Shortcuts #1

rosyfinch

Rosy Finch ‎– Witchboro
Discos Macarras, DM-034-CD; Deathbound Records, DBR 013
CD/LP 2015

Rosy Finch is a Spanish trio that delivers a vigorous blend of stoner, glam, garage and goth rock that at a first listen recalls the solo works by Melissa Auf Der Maur, both because of the heavy riffing and of the similarity in the vocal timbre. It’s interesting to hear how the trademark desert landscapes of the stoner scene are transposed in an European context, and also to see how the strong feminine element of the band (the lineup is composed of two girls and one guy) gives an unusual perspective on the genre. But as opposed to most riot grrrl and girl punk bands, in Rosy Finch there’s also much substance beyond appearances. There are some really great guitar riffs, with a direct sound, just lots of overdrive and not many effects, but also complex rhythmic patterns and a sincere will to make noise. The lyrical side is interesting too: there are esoteric themes and references to horror movies (“Polvo Zombi”, “Mistress of All Evil”), but like in a good 80s horror movie, there’s also a sense for irony and excess, for entertainment in itself, as it appears in “Sexkinesia” and “Miss Howls”. [Damiano Lanzi]

aerosol

Aerosol ‎– Leave
n5MD, CATMD237LP
CD/LP/Digital 2015

Aerosol is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist Rasmus Rasmussen, that offers with his third album “Leave” a relaxing collection of ambient suites for analog electronics and guitar. The synth sounds are quite basic, revealing an inspiration from the proto-ambient works by Brian Eno (especially from the albums he made with Robert Fripp) together with all the Krautrock and Kosmische Musik scene. But despite the simplicity of the sounds, there are many elements that make listening to this album a pleasing experience: the way the patterns flow unto each other and every new instrument line adds on the previous one, the smooth and at times Gilmour-esque guitar melodies, everything is proof of Rasmussen’s will to make music with a positive and natural feel. This is particularly evident in the opener “Paths” and in the complex “Exposure”, full of different layers and moods. Also “Kicks” is worth a mention: a more rhythm-driven song, centered on the drum machine and on the pulsating basslines. [Damiano Lanzi]

crisopa

Crisopa ‎– A Lucid Dream Kit
n5MD, MD236
CD/Digital 2015

Santiago Lizon, the man standing behind the Crisopa project from Spain comes from Madrid and “A Lucid Dream Kit” is his third full length offering, the second for n5MD label. The title would suggest a quiet and soothing music that won’t be interrupting a meditative state that the listener consciously brings himself in, but in my case it required a lot of attention, even though the melodies are indeed pleasantly flowing through the ears and the atmosphere is far from unsettling. But those eleven nicely crafted tracks differ pretty much one from another, most of them are not very long, mid-tempo IDM shots filled with broken rhythms, synth passages, sometimes processed vocals. Every now and then Crisopa tries a more experimental approach, like in “Hurgo”, but although the sounds are not that obvious, they mostly don’t disturb the atmosphere of urban melancholy. “A Lucid Dream Kit” won’t conquer any toplists , but if you feel like resting, but not falling asleep just yet, this album might be a good alternative. [stark]

nachut

Nac/Hut Report ‎– Schism No Symmetry
Double Hallucinative, 005
CD 2015

This time we deal with a mixed duo, half Polish, half Italian, but officially they come from Kraków. Haven’t heard about them before, yet it seems they’ve been active since 2009 and have already released some stuff, also digitally and on cassettes. Actually, this is quite interesting music, based on contrasts, as the foundation for most of the tracks are dirty and ugly industrial, even musique concrète glitches. But if things are getting too obscure, they’re later toned down by guitars playing ephemeral melodies, sometimes of a post-rock provenance, and the delicate voice of Brigitte Roussel, who makes the impression that she sings casually. Anyway, when you dig into it deeper, you’ll realize that regardless of the noisy effects this music catches your attention, and in fact is something more than it may seem at the very beginning. Combining dirty and clean, angelic and dark, name it whatever you want, in my case always works good. Industrial, a pinch of post- and noise rock, shoegaze and a whole dose of nonchalance mixed in such a way that you if you don’t reject it after 10 seconds you shouldn’t feel confused, and will find yourself sucked into this weird sonic enterprise. Personally I’d use some more space in the sound, but maybe this was the idea, to catch the “garage” feeling? I’ll keep an eye on them. [stark]

blackbug

Black Bug – Frozen Energy
Avant!, AV!036
LP 2015

The releases of Italian label AVANT! always guarantee satisfaction if you’re into retro synth and obscure sub-genres of post-punk. This single by Swedish band Black Bug is no exception: two tracks of aggressive synth-punk filled with dirty analog leads and synthetic rhythms. Side A, “Frozen Energy”, is driven by an EBM-style bassline that wouldn’t be out of place in a classic album by DAF, with a devastating wall of fuzz on top and some edgy filter sweeps. On side B, “Push You”, the bpm stays fast, but the overall feeling is similar to “Closer”-era Joy Division, thanks to the baritone vocals by Shawn Foree from Digital Leather and to the great guitar sound that carries you back straight to the mid-Eighties. [Damiano Lanzi]

atavismo

Atavismo – Desintegración
Temple Of Torturous, TOT – 024

Atavismo is an Andalusian power trio formed by guitar, bass and drums. As their programmatic band name suggest, they perform an instinctive, raw form of psychedelic rock, largely based on hypnotic rhythmic patterns and long jam sessions. There are only four tracks in “Desintegración”, but their average length is almost ten minutes, so I wouldn’t call it an EP. The sounds are clearly inspired by the late Sixties’ psychedelic and krautrock scene, most of all Can, Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd in the immediately post-Barrett period (albums like “Ummagumma” and “Obscured by Clouds”). During the instrumentals Atavismo show a good band interplay and the improvisations are well accomplished in most cases. The parts with vocals may be less visceral, but they show a more calculated use of spatial effects, such as plate reverbs and entrancing delays along with some keyboards. In these sections, most of all in “Oceanica” that features a duet between male and female vocals, I think of another contemporary band that I like a lot and that moves in the same territory, the Canadian combo Besnard Lakes. Atavismo have in common with them the ability to switch from dreamy atmospheres to epic solos in the blink of an eye. [Damiano Lanzi]

yellow6

Yellow6 – Closer to the Sea Without Moving
Silber Records, SILBER165
CD 2014

Yellow6 is the prolific project of English guitar experimenter Jon Attwood, that from 1998 onwards has released an impressive number of albums, EP’s and split records. What is particularly interesting in “Closer to the Sea Without Moving”, apart from Attwood’s impressive ability for creating complex soundscapes with effected guitars, is the story behind the album and its aesthetics. He wrote the album while on holiday in a lighthouse cottage in Norfolk. Since in this area the coastal erosion is unstoppable, the lighthouse will submerge into the sea one day or another. It’s easy to imagine the otherworldly sense of abandon of that place, captured in the photographs that are part of the artwork. This contextualisation tinges the album with a beautiful nostalgia. You clearly recognize how the layers of sounds are flowing one upon the other like waves on the shore, leaving a sense of impalpability and relentlessness at the same time. [Damiano Lanzi]

One response to “Shortcuts #1

  1. Pingback: Santa Sangre Magazine | Rosy Finch Band | Official Web Rosy Finch·

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