Monday, August 29, 2016

Phantom Winter/Sundown Pleasures/Golden Antenna Records/2016 CD Review


  Phantom Winter  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  originally  started  out  as  a  mixture  of  sludge,  doom  metal  and  psychedelic  rock  and  they  also  expanding  on  this  recording  by  adding  elements  of  black  metal,  post  metal  and hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Sundown Pleasures"  which  was  released  by  Golden  Antenna  Records.

  Screaming  vocals  start  off  the  music  and  they  give  the  music  a  black  metal  vibe  along  with  some  heavier  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  takes  the  recording  into more  of a  sludge  and  doom  metal  direction  while  post  rock  elements  can  also  b  heard  at  times  and  some  of  the  riffs  also b ring  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  there  is  also a   brief  use  of  death  metal  growls  while  clean  guitars  can  also  be  heard  at  times  and  most  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  when  guitar  leads  are  utilized  they are  done  in  a  very  dark  and  melodic  fashion  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful and  all  of  the  songs  stick  to  a  very  slow  musical  direction  and  there is  also  a  brief  use  of  field  recordings  and  soundscapes.

  Phantom Winter  expand  on  the  sludge  and  doom  metal  style  of  previous  recordings  while  also  adding  in  more  elements  of  hardcore,  black  and  post  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the lyrics  cover dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Phantom  Winter  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  sludge  and  doom  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS INCLUDE  "The  Darkest  Clan"  and  "Black  Space".  8  out  of  10.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

meanwhile.in.texas Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
meanwhile.in.texas solo project started about two years ago with the intention to combine elements of ambient, noise, drone and field recordings. Influenced by ambient, post-rock and drone music, usually I use electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, analogue synthesizers, computer-soundsources, mixers and drum machines to build a kind of multi-layered, instrumental soundscapes. before making the first two records, I worked with some art galleries and visual artists and I released a long track on the amazing manyfeetunder/homemadelabel.

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Dark and atmospheric ambient sounds are mixed with noise elements, isolationist drones and obscure guitar movements. The soundscapes, created with keyboards and drone machines built by myself, really stand out. Ultimately, it is an electronic/ambient music album.

3.What are some of the concepts and images you bring out with your musical sound?
Sadness, melancholy, uncertainties, lost loves and the fear of a world that no longer belongs to us.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'meanwhile.in.texas'?
It does not have a special meaning. Quite simply, I always liked the word “meanwhile”. The dots and “Texas” are a tribute to the post-hardcore band at.the.drive.in, one of my favorite bands and a great source of inspiration for my personal guitar style.

5.You record most of your stuff solo, do you feel this gives you more freedom to be creative with your musical style?
Recording music by myself is an important part of the creative process. I feel that it is almost impossible, at least for the time being, interacting with other people at this stage because I believe that recording electronic music is as essential a phase as writing the songs, and something I prefer doing by myself.

6.Recently you have also done a collaboration with 'Skag Arcade', can you tell us a little bit more about it?
“Fernweh” is the first collaboration between meanwhile.in.texas and Skag Arcade (a.k.a. Paolo Colavita), born out of the common will to freely experiment with the widest range of sounds & frequencies possible (using & drawing from drones, samples & found sounds of every kind), in order to explore new sonic possibilities & to build up hauntingly evocative and unsettling soundscapes, regardless of binding & restraining boundaries.
The inspiration for the concept at the root of the two-tracks album comes out of the abiding astonishment consequent to the reading of Roberto Bolano’s final masterpieces, “2666”, with its elegiac yet vicious & desperate portrait of the human abyss, against the backdrop of a crazed Mexican metropolis (an imaginary, transfigured Ciudad Juarez afflicted by senseless brutality).
The album consists of two extended, hypnotic load-bearing drones, which in turn are composed of different micro-sequences & several layers of acidly manipulated synths & buzzing guitar feedbacks merging into each other, with an eerie, lysergic vibe of hopelessness on the background. It was released by the Swiss label LUCE SIA, in a catalog that includes historical names of underground music as The Tapes, Lunus, Gerstein, ODRZ, Sshe Retina Stimulants, Laxative Souls and many others.

7.The new album was released on 'Triple Moon Records', are you happy with the support they have given you so far?
I'm really happy that the album was released on Triple Moon. Philippe is a great guy and his support is constant and of great help for the promotion of my music. I really could not ask for more.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of experimental and ambient?
So far, I have gathered a lot of positive responses. Me and Paolo got wonderful reviews of our album, in Italy and abroad, and I hope that it will be the same for “Take Black Pills” and for future releases.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
I'm currently working across multiple projects. Ambient/drone music remains my reference point but I'm attracted to the idea of exploring new sonic territories, from noise to industrial music, even introducing voices and drums. I do not exclude work on a synth pop project.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I really love psychedelic music (especially Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd) and experimental/electronic music projects as Labradford, Pan American, Loscil, Gavin Bryars, Brian Eno, Éliane Radigue, Pauline Oliveros, Machinefabriek, Aidan Baker, Phill Niblock and Tim Hecker. Other great sources of inspiration, even though it may seem surprising considering my musical sound, are Sonic Youth, at.the.drive.in, Fugazi, The Mars Volta, Animal Collective, Slowdive, Low, Codeine, Einstürzende Neubauten, Faust, Dinosaur Jr, Panda Bear, Ramleh, Sigillum S, Zoviet France, Maurizio Bianchi, Can, Jackie O'Motherfucker and many others. Currently I spend a lot of time listening to Big City Orchestra, Zona Industriale, Tasaday, Dean Blunt, Disasterpiece, Roly Porter and Bowery Electric.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Electronic circuits, cinema, books (right now I'm reading “Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past” by Simon Reynolds) and playing soccer.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I would like to thank you for this interview and express my gratitude to Triple Moon Records and for all those who have allowed me to spread my music.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

meanwhile.in.texas/Take BlackPills/Triple Moon Records/2016 CD Review


  meanwhile.in.texas  are  a  solo  project  from  Italy  that  plays  a  mixture  of  experimental,  ambient, drone  and  field  recordings  and  this  is  a  review  of his 2016  album  "Take  black  Pills"  which  was  released  by  Triple  Moon  Records.

  A  very  dark  and  atmospheric ambient  sound  starts off  the album  and  after  awhile  field  recordings  are  added  into  the  music  and  all  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  all  of  the  songs  are  instrumental  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  soundscapes  along  with elements  of  neo  classical.

  At  times  the  music  can  be  very  experimental  and  as  the album  progresses  guitar  waves,  acoustic  loops,  isolationist  electronics,  and  drones  are  added  into  certain  sections  of  the recording  and  the  last track  also  brings  in  a  small  amount  of  harsh  noises  and  there  is  also  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  samples.

  meanwhile.in.texas  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes,  experimental,  ambient  soundscapes  and  drone and mixes  them  together  to  create  a  musical sound  of  his  own along  with  the  songs  being  instrumental  and  the  production  sounds  very  dark.

  In  my opinion  meanwhile.in.texas  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  experimental,  ambient,  drone  and  field  recordings  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Diamonds  Are  my  Friends"  and  "Another Earth".  8  out  of  10.
 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Gnawed/Pestilence Beholden/Malignant Records/2016 CD Review


  Gnawed  are  a  solo  project  from  Minnesota  that  plays a mixture  of  power  electronics  and  death  industrial and  this  is  a  review  of  his  2016  album  "Pestilence  Beholden"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Malignant  Records.

  Field  recordings  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  very  dark  and  avant  garde  atmosphere  and  after  awhile  drones  and  power  electronics  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  there  are  also  some  natural  sounds  added into  some  parts of  the  songs  but  done  in  a  more  darker  approach  while  the  tracks  also  bring  in a  touch  of  ambient  at  times.

  Spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of t he  recording  and  some  of  the  tracks a re  very long  and  epic  in  length  and  at  times  the  music  uses  percussion  along  with  also  making  natural  devices  turn  into  musical  instruments  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  music  starts  incorporating  more  elements  of  industrial.  while  some  of t he  distorted  screams  bring  in  touches  of  harsh  noise  and  black  metal  and  all  of  the  tracks  sound  different  from  each  other  and  there  are  also  a  couple  of  instrumentals  and  the synths  also  gives  the  music  more  of  a  darker  dimension. 


  Gnawed  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  avant  garde  music, dark  ambient,  power  electronics  and  death  industrial  to  create  a sound  of  his  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Gnawed  are a very  great  sounding  mixture  of  power  electronics  and  death  industrial  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  solo  project.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Serpent  In  The  River  Of  Arms"  "The  River  Runs  Dry"  "Wheat  From  Chaff"  and  "Perdition  (Death's  Disease)".  8  out of  10.  


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Beyond Enclosure/Dungeon Of Total Void/Malignant Records/2016 CD Review


  Beyond  Enclosure are  a  duo  from  Portugal  that  plays  a  mixture  of  death  industrial  and  power  electronics  and this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Dungeon  Of  Total  Void"  which  was  released  by  Malignant  Records.

  A  very  distorted  yet  avant  garde  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  power  electronics  and  field  recordings  and  after  awhile  the  electronic  sounds  get  more  powerful  along  with  some  harsh  noises  and  dark  ambient  elements  and  on  the  second  track  the  music  starts  bringing  in    more  brutal  death  industrial  style.

  Harsh  screams  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  along  with  a  very  powerful  base  sound  and  drones  and  the  spoken  word  parts  sound  very  robotic  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  the  songs  are  also  very  diverse  and  some  songs bring  in  more  experimental  elements.  

  Beyond  Enclosure  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  death  industrial,  power  electronics  and   harsh  noise  and  mixes them  with  a  touch  of  dark  ambient  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  dark  and  raw  while  the  lyrics  cover  S  &  M  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Beyond  Enclosure  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  power electronics  and  death  industrial  and  if  you  are  a fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  duo.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Autoerotik  Punishment"  "Vortex  Of  Steel  Into  Flesh"  and  "Black  Rubber  Walk".  8  out  of  10. 

Gandalf's Owl Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?

Hi Guys, First of all a Great Thanks for the attention you give to me! Gandalf’s Owl is the most significant opportunity for me to tell freely the deepest side of my Soul! The Epic and the Gloom are both part of my essence... My will is to create spaceless and Timeless music directly from the Heart!

2.Recently you have released an ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?

The Ep wants to show to people three aspects of my “ Ambient way of thinking”! As I said, Gloom and Epic are both part of me... and I think that this Ep holds the cards to show you that! Every sounds, rumor or clasters are children of my soul.

3.What are some of the themes you explore with this project?

Gandalf’s Owl will explore both lands of dreams and lands of nightmares... every flight of the Owl will bring back stories to tell! For example, this record is an extract of a full length in which I tell a  journey with my wife thoughout “Westeros and Essos”. I tell you! the Owl is already away... and soon will bring us  to visit other place out of space and time!

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gandalf's Owl'?

According to fantasy literature, the Owl is “the night -time messenger”... The one to send messages and bring them back secretly and safe! It represent a poetic flight inside and outside me.

5.With this project you record everything by yourself, how would you compare it to working with a full band?

It was liberating for me!!! No compromise! Only me and my feeling!!! Peaceful!!!

6.The ep was released by Club Inferno Ent, are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?

Absolutely Yes!!! Francesco and his Staff understand immediately the deepest feelings inside this offer and encourage me to release it!!! I think that no-one but Francesco could help me to do that.

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your project by fans of dark ambient?

Nice!!! I read some good reviews and a lot of attentions to my work. A heavy metal musician and, especially a Singer, is always seen with some suspects. Evidently not for me!!! ( :D )

8.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects that you are a part of these days?
A lot of work for me!!! We are working on new HEIMDALL stuff... and soon we will release a video clip of the new Single. I have to finish to record the voices for the debut album of my Hard Rock band called THE OPERA and Still working on a Rock Progressive project with Martino Lo Cascio, a valued composer and songwriter.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?

To answare this question I have to ask to the “Owl”!!! The only thing I can say is that surely i will not waste what the gods have given to me... And Gandalf’s Owl will have progressively more and more space for sure!

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Can I answer with a List? There are so many influences as singer and musician as well. As Singer: Deep Purple, Genesis, Queen, Whitesnake. As Ambient composer:  Brian Eno, jean Michel jarre Kitaro. Nowadays I’m listening more and more Ambient music than before... what I’m listening now? Kitaro! And what yesterday? Metallica – Black Album!!! That’s Me , Guy!!!

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Sex! Reading and gazing the stars!

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thanks to you for this interview! Thanks to Francesco and all Club Inferno Staff for the support... and we’ll see soon for the next flight of Gandalf’s Owl!



Sunday, July 31, 2016

Horseback/Dead Ringers/Relapse Records/2016 CD Review


  Horseback  are  a  band  from  North  Carolina  that  plays  a  mixture  of  drone,  krautrock,  shoegaze,  metal  and  psychedelia  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2016  album  "Dead  Ringers"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Relapse  Records.

  Drones  and  psychedelic  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  distorted  reverbs  and  you  can  also  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments  that  are  present  on  the  recording  and  after  awhile  clean  singing  vocals  are  added  onto  the  recording  and  the  solos  and  leads  are  very  melodic  and  also  bring  in a   touch  of  classic  rock.

  A  lot  of  experimental  and  avant  garde  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  along  with  some  krautrock  influences  and  some  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  all  of  the  songs  sound  different  from  each  other  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  along  with  the  music  also  bringing  in  a  touches  of  metal.  and  shoegaze.

  Horseback  creates  a  recording  that  takes  psychedelia  and  krautrock  and  mixes  it  with  drone,  shoegaze  and  metal  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  dark  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Horseback  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of   drone,  krautrock,  shoegaze,  metal  and  psychedelia  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Shape  Of  The  One  Thing"  "Lion  Killer"  and  "Descended  From  the  Crown".  8  out  of  10.