PHURPA | Gyen Ro

Every time I make the contact with a new genre or a new form of music, I always challenge myself to re-define internally my idea of it. The 15-years-old Concise Oxford Dictionary definition says that music is The art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.

Even if this definition can work for most of the population on Earth, many of the visitors will pass on these pages may disagree with it. If we take examples some Doom projects we can argue that no or little preparation is behind the composition, and in noise harmony is not contemplated, as like grind is not searching beauty.

But one thing we can agree on. No matter which is the final goal of a project or a performance, the idea behind is to feel something and sometimes, thanks to this feelings, communicate something. Music then becomes just a matter of perception, that can amplify and connect the inner with the outer world.

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This is basically what I read into a nice interview shot by Bard Metholodogy to the leader of the Russian project Purpha, Tegyn, when he just proclaimed the intention of the group to manifest power trough they ancient pre-tibetan rituals. Their music is mainly vocals, and this is the center point of everything: the voice is the manifestation of the ritual, when the ritual permits the man to leave his decadent dimension and become a superior being.

Tegyn made a deep research into ancient religion with the purpose of to understand some of their supernatural peculiarities. He ended up to show his findings producing albums that assume the form of channel towards another dimension, and let the public to reach its personal catharsis.

In Gyen Ro you can hear some of their mantras that labeled the songs, together with some traditional organic instruments (made sometimes – it seems – with human bones). It is a incessant litany made to unleashed the souls from his natural burden, and does not have any other goal except this. Question is: would we still consider a band like Phurpa is making music, just because the play instruments?

The Underground | MARTIAL

The Martial is a sub-genre born at the beginning of the ’90 as one of the post-industrial development. The main goal of this music is to represent the atmosphere of war, that can vary from the Roman Empire legion to the II World War. It is difficult to define a project as martial, considering the numerous influences from classic music and dark folk, however the main theme of the songs is always related to  battles, marches, declarations of devotion for their county or empire. Artists often perform music without lyrics, but is easy to find songs spoken in Italian or German. For this reason, during the years some of these bands were attacked as extreme, professing the return of old regimes as Fascism and Nazism.

The Underground | DOOM JAZZ

Doom jazz or noir jazz is a sort of smooth jazz quite obscure, often associated to noir movies (from the definition) or simply old movies from the ’50. Closer and quite known as one of the derivatives of the jazz, this subgenre did not have a big fortune, especially in the experimental area, however is recognized as one of the charming sound of the last century.

Curious about doom jazz artists? Check out this list on last.fm!

LE GUESS WHO? 2017

LGW 12h drone

Le Guess Who? Is a 4-days dutch festival running the 2nd week of November in Utrecht. It involves different venues and invites artists and performers all around the world, playing wheresoever kind of art or music. On Sunday 12th November, in the industrial context of the Pastoefabriek an event called 12 Hours Drone was performed. Here is the playlist of some of the artists shown during the gathering.

Check out our LGW? 2017 playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJUOMBMtapiwGGMFJHOSTYdItTewmjz1S

Discoveries | MSQ CONCRETE

These days, in which content can be reached worldwide with a simple click, it is a struggle to even decided what to listen to, especially when it is new. In this column – the Discoveries serie – I’ll try to give a solution to this big question: in the upcoming weeks I’ll show you some interesting and underground music I have found during my researches.

I decided to open this serie with a genre that on Bandcamp is defined Musique Concrète. This genre was born in 1948 with the experimentation of the French engineer and musician Pierre Schaeffer, in which he reached another expression of classic music thanks to the manipulation of the sound.

Schaeffer established the foundation of our modern electronic music, but even if not so many people knew about this pioneer, his ideas continue to live in different ways. One of the best example is Arturo Stàlteri, former musician of the progressive italian rock band Pierrot Lunaire, that simply shows how wonderful can be this mix. In ……E Il Pavone Parlo’ Alla Luna (“..and the Peacock spoke to the Moon”) we can hear the beauty of the sounds mixed with the timber of classical instruments, especially in La Pescatrice di Perle (“The Pearlfisher”):

At the border of this genre, but still fascinated by the vibration and the pureness of the sound, there is the young canadian musician Luna Arakawa, by whom I would like to advise the EP Kioq Parade, released last year. As quite standard for experimental music, it is just made of a long piece in which classic synth effects fade with the crystal sounds of xylophone:

Approaching Nothing is another extreme of the Musique Concrète. Lawrence English builds his song using the sounds of the environment, making them “play” as instruments, with their rhythms and melodies.  His goal is to put the listener in a rural scene, but at the same time to build a structured composition, as can be a score for an orchestra:

I did not find many information about the american Threshold Consciousness, project that has the oscillator studies as the main strength of its compositions. In particular, なしの順序と (“And No Order”) seems that wants to create a geometrical structure of listening, that ends up on a classic noise ambient:

Controlled distortion and the greatness of an organ-synth: this is the short description of the project Royal Hungarian Noisemakers, a duo that is not afraid to show the delicacies of a long pitched noises and artifacts voices in a whirl of fade in/out:

Musique Concrète was the answer to the need of modernity that the classical music felt to prove. It was also the realization that the world, as it was known after the two world wars, needed to be different and should have had improved. The change of the decades, together with the growth of new technologies, transformed the experimentation in new waves, giving the possibility for genres as martial, drone and noise, to develop into something well known for the (not mainstream) music public. This is just a small excursus on the surface of what we can hear today, but this world is growing, eager to give new expressions of itself.

PTP | Oltreluna

There is something extremely fascinating in the second LP of the Italian ambient black metal band Progenie Terrestre Pura (in English: Pure Terrestrial Progeny): the unexpected contamination of opposites. In fact, even if PTP were already into a melodic and dreamy black metal heavily inspired by Sci-Fi worlds, in this oltreluna (Beyond the Moon) the band go even further into an almost ritualistic dimension.

The fundamentals of the Italian project is quite obvious: the guys play a pure angry black metal, with well shaped raw voices (that sing in original language) and growling distortion, but they don’t leave the experimentation behind. Supported by female opera-voices, dark techno electronic and new age moments oltreLuna becomes a journey into a dystopian universe, where images of hope, despair, death and life swirl one after the other without an end.

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This is a structured album, very well thought and produced. Nothing is left by chance, from the sound to the beautiful cover drawn by Alexander Preuss. oltreLuna worth the time we had to wait since the debut album, and it is demonstrated by the super positive feedback around the web.

BERLIN ATONAL 2017

Cattura

If you are into Electronic music (and now I am generalizing A LOT!) you know for sure that the best place to have the best and mixed panorama of this kind of music in Europe is Berlin.

Here is a selection of the artists that performed in the last edition of 2017. For more information about the festival, give a shot on the Berlin Atonal website.

EUROBLAST 2017

Thanks to Maite Ramis for the pictures. Here you can find much more:
Maivisualart Flickr
Maivisualart Facebook

The more I get older, the more I am picky. I remember when I started to visit big festivals, and I can still feel how much I was excited, thinking about to gather thousands of people with the same passion in music and see my favourite bands play live. After 10 years I lost a little this excitement, but I can’t deny I am still in love with the idea to go and see music live, that gives me still a lot of feelings.

I have seen more or less all my favorite bands (except Type O’ Negative, one of my biggest disappointment) but I continue to go to concerts searching new sounds that capture me. That is why I decided to join at least one of the three days of the German progressive festival Euroblast. The gathering is at its 13th years, and for this edition has counted as headliners Textures, Twelve Foot Ninja and the master Devin Townsend. The success of the Euroblast is based on the fact that the most important bands for avant-garde progressive metal reunites here, and particularly we can see a defined pattern in the roster, considering the fact that bands like Textures and TesseracT are participating quite often.

It was ages that I wanted to check how good is and finally, on Saturday, I picked up my ticket and I arrived at the place just before Car Bomb started. This mathcore band has something to teach, since they have quite a long career, and it can be easily seen when they performed on the stage. However, they do not have a powerful impact, even if their music is performing quite good on stage. Michael Dafferner has an easy going way to growl, but he should totally forget clean parts, much better when modified on studio. Anyway, is not a real faking, since his strength is the scream, as it should be in the genre. The band is quite solid and the show had a good impact, even if sometimes the distortion was disappearing in the hall. The only point that I would like to challenge them is that they could give more for involving the public…

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Let’s go further. I reached, under the Essigfabrik, the entrance of the Elektroküche, another important place for the nightlife of Cologne. The idea to use the near club to guest the festival is really good, however a concert is starting just after the other, and it is difficult to someone to grab a beer or smoke a cigarette when you really want to see the end of a concert and the start of the next. In the Elektroküche I see The Interbeing, a Cyber but still Progressive band from Denmark, that do not impress me, since I never stood this genre, however there is an improvement in the public involvement, since a small group of people in front of the stage seems to support the band from a long time, and they also started an idiotic crowd surfing, considering that the ceiling is very low and the club is basically a basement.

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The Interbeing closed the show announcing to be in tour with Twelve Foot Ninja in that period, and they played immediately after them at the main stage. Twelve Foot Ninja is one of the most brilliant thing that I saw in music: never I would have imagined  it can be possible to mix djent with reggae or funk style, but with them I realized that it really works and very well. The result is to see a lot of people enjoying the music dancing, something that normally don’t happen in a metal concert. But this is what I liked of Euroblast: is not afraid to cross the border, because the limits are not included in a genre as Progressive is.

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It was a pity not to see Devin Townsend the day after. I really like Essigfabrik as venue and the yearly booking plan is always great. I will definitely will come back the next year to see which new experimental bands are coming up, and -why not- discover again bands as Monuments on the main stage.

 

Discoveries | DIO DRONE

Dio Drone is an Italian underground label with a very peculiar name. The label, infact, remembers a blaspheme way to called God, and in a catholic country like this is extremely rude and anti-social pronounce something even similar in a public place. However, Dio Drone is not afraid to show its peculiar way to see itself as a breaking point from all the mainstream hard music, focusing on (as it defines) a family of outcasts with really high potentiality.

Here is a fine selection of Dio Drone’s roster. From sound poetry to grindcore, it is difficult to reduce is project in few songs. I invite you to go to the Bancamp page to discover more, and leave a comment here if you know other realities like this.

PANDEMIA | Intro

Dear Music Lovers,

Welcome to the first post of Pandemia. In this snowing and windy night, I would like to write few words to introduce the project and to congratulate with you to start this wonderful adventure into a new music dimension.

Pandemia support the language of creativity.

The idea of Pandemia was born last year, after months of struggling and frustration. It is every time more and more difficult to develop a decent music culture and, even more important, to find cool artists to support. Internet has somehow made everything easier and more difficult at the same time; marketing and media (old and new) strongly push us on what THEY want to hear. What to do then?

I spent most of my life gravitating around music, even if I decided not to jump in this crazy crazy world 24/7. I studied how to play, I did it on stage, I helped beyond it and finally I started to write about. The result was to accumulate tons of notions and facts that I feel I would like to share with a worldwide community. This not just to develop my ego, but to find connections with a growing community of music lovers that feel the same needs as me. The ultimate goal is to connect all different realities to support the language of creativity.

Pandemia is genres-free (in music, and beyond…)

I (and my team) strongly believe that music is fascinating in all its shapes. We belong to the metal scene, but our tastes are comprehensive on everything that it was well created and thought. From noise to classica, from kawaii pop to industrial… if something is cool, it’s worthy to be mentioned it in our website.

Pandemia is international and social.

As I wrote before, the goal is to spread and share good music. Everyone is welcome to give advises, comments, thoughts. We strongly support discussions on our platforms, and we believe we can have a strong and passionate community around us.

Pandemia is the new way to write about music.

We write about quality and we don’t follow big venues or big labels, but does not mean we will not support some of the one that deserve. Pandemia discovers good music, does not matter if it is in front of our eyes or in a corner of internet. If we find it, we will talk about it.

Pandemia wants to experiment, talking about new topics and using new way to share ideas.

We are open to criticism and feedback oriented. We have our opinions, but we would like to listen yours.

Pandemia lives in the respect of all the human beings.
Pandemia does not tolerate any form of discrimination.
Every type of political propaganda will be not tolerated.

We are happy to start the new year with this experience. During this adventure I will have the talented V. at my side, to support me with media and graphics. I believe we are a cool duo, however we would like to have other great people on board. If you are interested to join,  please write us a message. We will be back to you.

That’s all for now. Pandemia is officially online! To celebrate the launch of our webzine, we created this compilation for you. Without border, to share passion.

With love,
S.