Proswell & Wwcarpen

[Kracfive Records,]

True Delusion

[Nexsound, / Spekk,]

Live - Volumes 2 & 3

[Logistic Records,]

Barking News / Rhythm of Time

[Klein Records,]



In order to have any artistic success in electronic/experimental genre [forget about financial success - there's not much to be had here!], you have to keep your mind open to new ideas. At the same time, when the door is open, you must filter only the best ideas into your music. You have to nurture these ideas, love them and then, when they're ready to be set free, release them into your music. These artists have risen to the occasion. All work only with the finest, freshest ideas around.

I think both Proswell and Wwcarpen hail from Baltimore, but that's just the geographic location. Their first collaborative self-titled effort could've been made in just about any city on this planet as their idea of electronics is based on the primitive concept of what-came- before-must-be-good. In fact, even if they are re-hashing older ideas, they're still putting a fresh spin on them. Sure, some of this may sound like re-processed Autechre or even [dare I say] 808 State, but that's not the point. It's the presentation and pasting of ideas that makes all the difference in the world. Tons of glitch sounds, obscure samples, riveting break-neck d'n'b loops, synths galore and a wad of percussive elements ensure the listener is both taken aback and satisfied. The bass elements on "Poorly" tend to evoke memories of an Earth Wind & Fire track [though I can't recall, whether it's "Fantasy" or "Happy Feeling" or maybe it's just "Can't Hide Love"]. But wait, there's more in store. Groovy bird samples, cheap drum machines, synths that fly over your head like some sort of a supersonic jet fighter and all this in a span of just under an hour. If you're ready to receive, and keep your ears truly open, it's all here for the taking. Wherever they may be from, Proswell & Wwcarpen are the dope- maniacs and just outright schizos of the electronics scene.

Ukrainian sound-artists Andrey Kiritchenko had a different perception of how new technology could aid in the act of music making. "True Delusion" is in fact equal parts field recording, real instrumentation [guitar and piano] and computer processing. All of these elements are wrapped in a warm, soothing blanket that invites the listener to repeat the listening process again and again. The album starts off with warm guitar plucking that sounds as if surrounded by an aura of humming or buzzing. Minimal plucking is what Kiritchenko had in mind all along. His vision was to bring a meditative glistening to the recording, something that is immediately apparent. With tapes of crickets, dim nightfall and sounds of something that resembles dried leaves, the music [whether processed or not] gives an appearance of something that is embracing and natural. Though much of Kiritchenko's sounds fall in the serene category, he's still successful at retaining a factor of underlying tension. From one moment to the next, the listener is unable to guess and predict what's coming up next. Will the sounds continue to caress the ears or will the change in direction be so drastic that we'll sit up and take notice of the strangeness factor? His experiments with piano are especially welcome. Half-way through the record, it's the piano in fact that takes over as the predominant instrument. "Illusion of Safety" [not to be confused with the band of the same name] features wads of light keys clicking. Though pleasant at first, the sound appears to be shrouded over with a mysterious substance, almost like an oily filter that leaves a dirty sound behind. The beauty in all of this is how well the sounds flow from one point to the next, from one idea to the next. Kiritchenko is teasing listeners with an intense game of connect the dots. Everything is logical and nothing sounds false or contrived. Almost like a little kid who's connecting large dots on a piece of paper; like an artist who's filling his blank piece of cloth with paint, listening to Andrey Kiritchenko's "True Delusion" is like watching someone give birth to their newborn.

Though they've known each other for about two decades, Atom and Pink Ellen's first collaboration is almost 15 years old at this point. "Live - Volumes 2 & 3" is a compilation of one live Valparaiso date from 2004 and one Zurich date from last year. This time around, they're operating a couple of computers and an old Roland TR-808. Apparently, there was very little pre-planning that went into either of the live shows. All of their live sets are based on improvisation. The Valparaiso gig is a continual smooth flow of tight beats, light percussive elements, squeals and noises, innovative samples, and smartly drawn-out energy. Funny thing is though energy is visible; the music tends to fall on the lazy, sedate side of the spectrum. Zurich set features an apparent gain in the bass factor, heavier percussive focus and a keener eye for wild improvisation. Even though the smoothness that is present in the first part is still evident, there seems to be more variety thrown into the mix. The boys get crazy ideas and literally throw the kitchen sink in for good effects. Wildly organic and satisfying, "Live - Volume 2 & 3" is a must for any serious fan of electronica.

Bauchkland is an Austrian outfit that features a ton of vocalists [six to be exact]. Their refusal to stick to any one musical category has been praised by many. As they try to break the boundaries between dub, hip-hop, d'n'b and electronic music, they release a split single "Barking News / Rhythm in Time" from their new full length "Many People". [Both versions get three mixes each.] "Rhythm in Time" is a relaxed blend of early Material, in-your-face rap, pounding dubalicious bass and a dazzle of samples thrown in for good effect. The second mix ["A & B Remix"] of the track is much more minimal and rawer than the other two. DJ Vadim gives us two distinct remixes of "Barking News" - original and instrumental. Both are rough and ready but it's the instrumental that leaves a lot more to the imagination. With only intermittent samples of Vadim's name popping up at the beginning, this instrumental gives the band more room to stretch out, while putting an emphasis on the pounding beats. Good first single from a full length that may prove to be equally as strong.

As far as collaborations go, one of the most dramatic ones so far this year is one from electronics guru/guitarist Tomas Korber, guitarist Keith Rowe and electronics guru [once percussionist] Gunter Muller. "Fibre" takes these three musicians on a dramatic journey of pure, unadulterated sound. What's wonderful about this effort is the multitude of relationships that exist within this small trio. The dissonance and drama that is played out between the washes of sound produced between Korber and Rowe is different than what Muller and Korber might accomplish in unison. Each player knows there is no defined time and space they must stick to. Gentle static washes turn into sounds that resemble waves. Then eerie, creaking noises pop onto the scene. This is followed by more radio static, grueling display of something that resembles an old video game soundtrack. Add to this almost nature-like sounds resembling cool summer air filled with chirping crickets and soothing, celestial sounds of something that could pass for falling water, and you've got yourself an intensely rewarding experience. No matter if you choose to identify the sounds made with individual members of the unit, all sounds generated are unique in their own peculiar way. Repeat listening sessions are highly encouraged. Each one brings out new nuances that were somehow missed on the previous flight.

- Tom Sekowski

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>> PROSWELL & WWCARPEN - Proswell & Wwcarpen / ANDREY KIRITCHENKO - True Delusion / ATOM AND PINK ELLN - Live - Volumes 2 & 3 / BAUCHKLANG - Barking News / Rhythm of Time / TOMAS KORBER / KEITH ROWE / GUNTER MULLER - Fibre
+ LOKA - Fire Shepherds
+ DARSOMBRA - Ecdysis
+ THE ETERNALS - High Anxiety - Remix EP
+ DISKAHOLICS - Live in Japan, Vol. 1 / IMPRACTICAL COCKPIT - To Be Treated
+ DAT Politics - Wow Twist
+ V.A. - Suburb the Record Label - Limited Edition Sampler, Vol. 1 / ROBERT RICH & IAN BODDY - Lithosphere / RICHARD GARET / DALE LLOYD / JOS SMOLDERS / UBEBOET - Territorium
+ THE APPARITIONS - As This is Futuristic
+ JOE MORRIS QUARTET - Beautiful Existence
+ MARBLE SHEEP - The Gate of a Heavenly Body / WATUSI ZOMBIE - Buddha Mask Experience / AURAL FIT - Livestock
+ DAVE REMPIS / TIM DAISY - Back to the Circle
+ SONNY SIMMONS - The Complete ESP Disk Recordings / The Traveller
+ MOLE HARNESS - A Present From The Future
+ ODYSSEY THE BAND - Back in Time
+ SUN RA ARKESTRA - The Great Lost Sun Ra Albums: Cymbals / Crystal Spears ; Pathways to Unknown Worlds / Friendly Love ; When Angels Speak of Love / SUN RA - Spaceship Lullaby
+ MIMINOKOTO - Orange Garage
+ V.A. - Earsugar Jukebox Series
+ MAXIMO PARK - Missing Songs
+ FREDERIC LE JUNTER - Chansons Impopulaires
+ THE HERBALISER - Fabriclive 26 / CARL CRAIG - Fabric2

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