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Archive for January, 2007

2005-oneida-the-wedding.jpg

Not knowing what you’re doing in the studio is not necessarily bad. But in this case it is.

I gave more than 3 chances to the 7th album by Oneida, but I swear, I don’t know what is this all about.

They sound a little ‘tribal’ until the 4th track, Run through my Hair. And it’s somehow interesting. But the insistance on inconsistency keeps you as an outsider to their music.

From High Life on, everything is going to nowhere.

The only track I’d pick up as a good one is the foresaid Run through my Hair.

The guys are not bad, and I shall check more stuff by them out.

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An absurdly good first album. This french duo made me smile on a cloudy saturday.

They’re unfairly labeled as math rock and compared to Gastr del Sol (which I think is far less musical) .

Their music sometimes reminds me Tortoise, but the fact of having an acoustic guitar in place of an electric one changes everything.

Really good stuff. I’m digging it.

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Great kick off album. Bloc Party seems to me sounding like a Hot Hot Heat with a better drummer, and a stronger will for making fresh things.

I don’t like the ballads though.

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Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth

After a few auditions of this album, mr Malkmus seems to be a prodigy of alternative rock.

Everybody have heard at least one time a song by Pavement, and its ok. But Stephen Malkmus solo is just a breath of “now i’m gonna do everything I want and I don’t need to sound like anything else”.

This album is intelligent, creative and original. Even the most fool song has a cool riff or noise or instrument section.

It’s like having lots of inconsequent fun at the studio and releasing it with no fear. And it’s cool. Cool.

Best shots: Pencil Rot, Freeze the Saints and No More Shoes (what a great instrumental performance, it’s more like a jam!).

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Zero 7 - The Garden

I already knew some Zero 7 stuff, and I like the electro chillout feeling of the 2001 album Simple Things.
So I just thought “hey, why not trying another album?”. And so I got the fabulous The Garden.

It was a pretty surprise. The first track, Futures is just a retro anthem of relaxing downtempo and well-balanced vocal harmonies. You’ll probrably feel like listening to an early 70’s prog-pop-folk song.
The album runs from retro pop to 70’s disco, besides black music elements. It all flows very very naturally.

In this release the guys of Zero 7 leave the artificial sound only to the synthesizers. Wich are far more subtle now.
It’s clear that the main charcters of The Garden are the vocals.

I still name the music chillout. It’s very organic. So drums will sound like real drums most of the time. And you’ll feel like listening to a full band, not just two guys tweaking their computers and synths.

The only down on the album is the Sia‘s vocals on Throw it all Away. I my humble opinion she appeas too much to black music. And the song is a cool easy ambient track, so I think it discorded from the whole thing.
But she put it all right on The Pageant of the Bizarre. Certainly one of the best tracks out of this album.
I’d also like to highlight Crosses, that ends as a full disco music track. And of course Futures, the top track in my opinion.

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Second album by Pelican.

I assume I have an experimental taste for music. So if it doesn’t surprise me it’s hard to make me like it.
First time listening to The Fire… didn’t raise any interest about the band.
But since it’s instrumental I decided let it playing one more time.

And yes, after a while I started liking it.
I think Pelican doesn’t bring any new stuff to the world in this album, but they make such a sensitive instrumental rock that if you pay some attention and let time pass you’ll certainly find a value on it.

The album mixing is average. But I really don’t like the too hard kick drum unless it’s metal stuff. I think it’s often unnecessary since the band’s sound has a fair big range. So I’d let it hard just in March to the Sea, the heaviest track.

The band sound much like background music the whole album, it’s not bad. The bad thing is Pelican not having a vocalist. I think it could make them great.

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Tangerine Dream - Phaedra

Acclaimed as the Tangerine Dream‘s masterpiece, Phaedra is also considered a major mark in electronic music history.
The dreamland of synths experimentalism that would leave its influence to the next decades among various differents subgenres of electronic and ambient music.

The first and homonym track explores textures. Several textures from tense sections to light ambiental parts.

Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares brings up a more melodic approach. It has string synths in most of the track, which are replaced by an organ-like synth at the end.

Movements of a Visionary keeps up a little bit of melodic sense. But its focus is on hipnotic pulsing notes. This seems to be the most ‘direct’ track of the album, once it reaches its apex the synths keep on it just flowing through variations.

Sequence C’ is the closing track. It’s short but its flute-like synths are very relaxing.

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