Click here to see a complete list of reviews. Click here to see a complete list of interviews. Click here for links to artists and labels . Click here to visit our main menu page. Click here for email address.

 

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Enrico Coniglio - dyanMU
STYLE   Ambient foundation with impressionist piano embellishment and some chilled beats. This is an unusual album - Enrico Coniglio has created a series of absorbing ambiences that have a moody enigmatic quality about them - dark, deep morphing pools of sound crackling in places with electrical damage - these are overlaid with delicate piano melodies by Elisa Marzorati "partly based on the piano Préludes of Claude Debussy". The resultant combination is a delightful movement between dappled light and thick shadow. Eerie passages of fractured drones and sustained metallic ringing swell ghost-like, indistinct whilst the gentle buoyant romance of Marzorati's ivory dances wistfully across the surface. Track one has a sparse digital beat that effortlessly carries the introduction into weightless, breezy motion - the remainder of the music is pretty much free of percussive rhythm.
 
ARTWORK   A tasteful twin panel digipack holds this CD - delivering the same balance of light and shadow explored through the music. On the front cover an improbable cube sits in a scrubby woodland - littered with dead leaves and shattered sun light, pale against the gloom of the undergrowth behind. On the rear cover we find a compact tracklist and brief credits set out on a densely tenebrous arched corridor photo scene. Inside another woodland image holds a printed quotation from Franco Marzorati and behind the disc itself is an extended list of credits and sample sources.
 
OVERALL    This is the second album on Psychonavigation Records from Venice based guitar player/composer Enrico Coniglio following a series of earlier releases. Here the artist further develops his interest in ambient electronica - his muted environmental creations minimal and evocative - suggestive motes and minutiae crawling in the depths. Yet the introduction of Elisa Marzorati's piano playing completely transforms the overall tenor of the collection - his soundscaping illuminated by her grace, her fingering haunted by his static and gloom. Add to this some drum programming from Rena Jones and a couple of well chosen samples including one from Robert Fripp and you have a truly stand out album.

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Don Peyote - Peyote Dreaming
STYLE  

Downtempo 'doof dub' and colourful ethno chill. Don Peyote has created a beat driven album that brings together a dense mix of global sounds, electronic patterns and psychedelic influences. There are all manner of ethnic elements deftly interwoven here - Indian chants, bowed strings, flutes, didgeridoo drones and so forth along with plenty of international rhythms - hand drumming and stick work that interplay with the western percussive material to suggest a contemporary tribal meet. Guitars and synth lines don't dominate over the global material - hanging rather somewhat behind - smooth waves, rippling patterns and blunt urgent basslines. Two prominent collaborators feature on the album - flute and sax player Dan Richardson and didgeridoo master Ganga Giri. Natural sounds also populate many tracks - most notably bird cries and song taking their place alongside digital effects and peculiarities. Reggae extractions and voices make an appearance on the dub side of things - gritty expressions, swirling echoes and bright rim shots.

 
MOOD    The air on this album is one of colourful curling incense and international diversity - lazy night time ambience and relaxed tropical vibes alternating with fire-side tribalism and gutsy dub. Steeped in global exotica from all over the world, Don Peyote takes the listener from East to West in broad confident steps stringing his varied collection together on a sharp downbeat thread. It seems that almost anything goes in Don's music, the unity of the album held by a strong vision rather than any fixed stylistic artifice.
  
ARTWORK   The artwork for this album is as bright and detailed as the music - the front cover montage juxtaposing multicultural art work and carvings, wild birds and creatures with graphic designs all sprawled out colourfully upon a blue tinted natural texture background. On the rear another textural montage acts as backdrop to the tracklist - a second listing appearing inside on the sleeve back. Opening out we have an explanation of the project and credits on one panel with thanks on the opposing face.
 
OVERALL   Don Peyote is Australia based producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Yvon Mounier aka Peyote Sound System. This eleven track album is the follow up to his 2000 release Are You Peyoted? His music goes well beyond these solo works though, having collaborated with Ganga Giri and Naasko among others on a series of recent releases as well as having appeared on compilations with Buddha Bar, Interchill and Green Ant Records. Promotional material suggests the style of Peyote Dreaming be considered 'global groove, psy-dub, intelligent temple beatz or doof dub' - that gives a pretty good idea of what to expect. You'll enjoy this release if you like your downtempo rich, vivid and eclectic with a strong beat throughout.
 
  WHO WILL LIKE THIS ALBUM   

This album is one to try if you enjoy downtempo chill with plenty of world sounds. There is something of a 'live' performance feel to the music and although in the lower bpm field, there are a lot of tracks to dance to here. Have a listen at Don's Myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/peyotesoundsystem)- or buy the album from his own website (http://www.donpeyote.com).

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Journeys - Tania Rose
STYLE   New age instrumentals with emphasis on melodic performance. There are a range of styles here - dramatic compositions with synth strains and artificial strings propelled by uncluttered percussion, beatless themes with chiming arrangements, pieces that are almost piano solos (only somewhat effected and sonically altered with sparse string accompaniment). For the most, however, part the music consists of romantic keyboard music - at times delicate and wistful, at times passionate, very harmonious and peaceful. The final track is a vocal piece featuring Tania's own voice, a cinematic, drifting ballad that carries a hint of Celtic influence.
 
ARTWORK   Arriving in a crisp card envelope Journeys opens into two panels with CD and promotional sheet slotted into a notched slash on either side. The imagery consists of long exposure photographs of moving lights snaking in bright curves across a graduated backdrop that drops from near black to a deep brick red. The legend 'music for the spiritual traveller' hints at the content within. On the back cover is a faded tracklist and an explanation of the project. Inside are credits and some background information on the artist along with some brief inspirational verses - the lyrics to the track Wind Dance.
 
OVERALL   

Tania Rose is an Australian musician with a series of new age albums under her belt. This latest release comes through Artscope Music and is the follow up to her 2003 CD 43 Angels. There are ten tracks here that maintain a fairly consistent vision throughout - an interest in film music evident in the arrangements - gentle, emotional and occasionally lightly melancholic.

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Antonio Testa - Inframundis
STYLE  

Environmental ambient sound installations. Antonio Testa here presents a series of sonic environments that are often suggestive of found sound or musical representations of wondrous places. The listener is inclined to envision the musician working in low light somewhere below ground in harmony with his space - each taking equal part - artist and expanse. Softly clanging chimes are scattered against bird song and water movement, a low drone even and measured permeating everything - meditative evolving strains are rippled by unidentifiable sonorous percussives, almost rhythmic - reverberating fluids, spills and streams run across smooth synthetic textures - turbulence gently heaves whilst a soft female voice speaks. We even get to hear Rahien Testa's first cry on the opening track in his name. The impression is one of timelessness - ancient simplicity against contemporary clarity. The gear list includes stalagmites and field recordings as well as contributions from fellow musicians Alio Die - samples, textures, drones, soundscape from Thailand; Susana Beatriz Alvear and Maurizio Dall'olio - voice; Daniela Risser - crystal bowls among others.

 
ARTWORK   I have no artwork at all for this album as yet and so can only point potential listeners to the image above taken from the Faria Records website where you can download a number of demos of the tracks for the album..
 
OVERALL   

Inframundis meaning inland universe (from Latin) the latest in a considerable discography from percussionist Antonio Testa. Antonio's website points out that he "specialises in organic sound and the creation of musical atmospheres through the use of a vast array of mostly native and shamanic instruments, together with his own creations made from organic and recycled materials". This interest is clearly evident on this recording which is primarily a piece musical research into stalagmite and stalactite sounds mixed with textures and drones. Stefano Musso shares in four of the ten recordings - Inframundis surely being an album that will appeal to fans of Alio Die. Very meditative and evocative, this CD is one for lovers of experimental sound that enjoy something with an exotic edge, cavern music without the cold isolationist tone that many subterranean explorations employ.

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Hyper Frequencies - Phantasmikta
STYLE  

Thumping dance floor psychedelia. Phantasmikta plunges straight into carefully measured rhythm from the initial bar - setting the pace at 146 bpm, the rest of the album varies only by a beat or two from this energetic standard. Arpeggiators and oscillators burble atop programmed beats and percolating bass pulses with acidic sharpness. Indeed Hyper Frequencies focuses his mix on the harsher aspects of synthetic sound - shuddering digital stabs, cycling jagged motifs, thin squirts and spatterings of electronica - all relentlessly thundering on like a roller coaster ride ... just a slight lessening of intensity here or there, synths dissipating away from a lone kick or perhaps some flickering sputters of electricity, multinational voices calling through an introduction or final wind down - then we're off again. Effected voices inhabit some tracks - frequently repeating their brief messages or chanting with tribal urgency, at times spoken phrases hang in the air and on the final piece the snatched strains of Irina Mikhailova's distinctive singing.

 
ARTWORK   A complex tangling of imagery complements the musical side of this release. Built around a copy of the famous hieroglyph that can be found in the Mayan Temple of Inscriptions, a Mayan space man sits within a sharp cockpit, his fingers manipulating the dials of his machinery. Graphic overlays and ancient shapes interconnect with a graduated wash of yellow-grey bathing everything. Track titles with bpm rates can be found on the back cover along with brief credits and thanks. Inside is a two panel booklet with a full panel given over to generous thanks. The innermost part of the booklet features an enlarged verson of the cover design and a second tracklist.
 
OVERALL   

Phantasmikta is the second full-on trance album from French artist Gill - Hyper Frequencies. Coming four years after the debut album Red Crystal Moon - Phantasmikta was constructed over a period of two years involving 'frequent testing on trancefloors around the world'. For this release the new Irish trance label Syncronize Records was chosen - further clarifying their manifesto after previously delivering Ajja's Psychogenica. The album consists of ten tracks of merciless electronica mustered around rigid kick drum beats and corrosive synth motifs.

MORPHEUS MUSIC REVIEWS

 

 

 ------Ian Ion - Gringo Locomotion
STYLE  

Eclectic ambient and chillout mix. Gringo Locomotion explores a number of low key musical genres from some floatational beatlessness through, minimal chill and soundscaping into acoustic guitar melody and space age folk adaptation. There are tracks of an environmental nature that feature smooth synthetic washes and soft drones with marginal atmospherics and semi-percussive detail, actual field recordings from Tokyo sidestreets and an Australian rainforest adding further depth. Freeform in nature, some arrangements meander from one state into another - the changes subtle and natural - moving in and out of light, harmony rising and falling away into amorphous abstraction. A spaced out contemporary rendition of Scarborough Fair features the soft, breathy voice of half-Inuit singer Aviaja Lumholdt, lazily wafting across a rippling electronic sound canvas. The tracks here all run from one into another creating an unbroken listening/peripheral experience to absorb or ignore as you go about your business.

 
ARTWORK   An attractive digipack holds this CD - what looks like an aeroplane fuselage spreads across front and back. Twin windows gleam on the main panel, metallic frames around bedarkend bloody red glass. On the back the windows are replaced by a tracklist of witty titles each accompanied by a time for the track. Brief credits and a Myspace page address are also found here. Inside is an eye testing banded pink/black backdrop to an explanation of the project that explains how the artist began his journey into mellow.
 
OVERALL    Ian Ion is the Danish musician better known from such projects as Koxbox, Saiko-Pod and The Overlords among others - this being his first delivery of a solo ambient album. Gringo Locomotion is released through Norway's Chill Tribe Records home to a series of inventive downbeat CDs in recent years. This album began with a need to fill the musical space between festival highlights with something 'unobtrusive' for Roskilde. Bitten by the bug of the gaps a 'secret career' began leading to this experimental full length disc. Tracks range from a thirty second recording of Ian's previous agent talking on the telephone to the eighteen minute thirty one second concluding epic that rises out of night time insect noise into a thick, airy dream-like piece of beat free minimalism - exotic voices mumuring in the sonic depths.