[reviews] afe071mcd
anofele & logoplasm: gravescapes

vital weekly []
newsletter, the netherlands, june 2006

A whole bunch of releases on Afe Records, and it seems we got away with some luck: they are only six of the fifteen new releases that came out in April of this year. Many of the names on Afe Records are relatively new to me. Such as The Impossible Flower, the project of Andrew David Daly, from Glasgow. He started out as Digital Butter, and played with Frog Pocket. "Roots and Fruits" was recorded between 2000 and 2004, when The Impossible Flower was still a solo project (it's duo these days), and the music dwells heavily on the use of guitar. Feeding it through all sorts of effects (but always to maintain an open sound), and doing tricks on the computer, such as reversing, it what makes up these seven pieces of post-post rock ambient music. Much alike Windy & Carl, including the addition of a bit of vocal or a piano tinkling. Nicely played mood music for sure, that may not hold that many surprises, but it's quite alright altogether.

> The name Subinterior is something new to me, and it's one Andrea Freschi from Milan, Italy. He is the drummer of Canaan and a member of Konau. For his solo work he captures field recordings of millers, lapping wheels, lathes, industrial refrigeration plants, safety doors etc, which he puts together on his computer at home, creating highly ambient form of industrial music. Adding here and there a bit too much delay on the sounds, he creates a deep atmospheric work, which is quite alright. Not great, not new, and sometimes a bit too unfocussed but throughout a most enjoyable work along the lines of Lustmord circa "Heresy".

> On a smaller scale a release by Anofele (a.k.a. Adriano Scerna, one half of Kar) and Logoplasm, the group of Paolo Ippoliti and Laura Lovreglio, who used to run the S'Agita Recordings label. For them this release is a return, since shutting down S'Agita nothing was released by them. Their joint work started in 2003 when they made a recording outside a local Therevada Buddhist monastery, where they found some human bones, leaves, sticks and branches. On this 3" CD-R we find the original source recording, as well as reworkings by Anofele and Logoplasm. What can be noted about the Anofele one is that his rework is very dry and natural - this could have been the field recording as far as I'm concerned. Logoplasm takes the material much further into the world of digital processing and is perhaps a bit too much lost in the world of reverb: it's certainly scary music.

> More Aidan Baker, see also last week. On this new release he offers five pieces which are less complex in approach than last week's "Oneiromancer" CD. On that release Baker waves everything together, whereas on this "Dog Fox Gone to Ground"it seems as if he explores an instrument per track. "Dog Fox One" is mainly percussive, in "Dog Fox Two" the guitar plays a big role and in bowed cymbals close off in "Dog Fox Five". One could think it's perhaps a bit too much variation going on here, but Baker's ambient music can be made with any sort of instrument, as long as the right effect pedals are there, to add the right amount of sustain and delay. Another fine addition to Baker's vastly expanding universe.

> I'm not sure why the Snotra release is copied to a 5" CD-R, since it has only eighteen minutes of music. Snotra is a side project of John Charles Wilson, also known as Frog Pocket. In his early days we reviewed a lot of his music, but his move to Planet Mu and Benbecula, also meant a move out of sight. "All Done By John" was already released by Duotone Records in Japan, but is now remastered. Among all the dark atmospheric sounds found on all the other releases by Afe Records, this is certainly a strange thing. Fucked up rhythm machines, strange samples of guitars, fiddles and crazy, childlike melodies. It's witty, funny and crazy, but playing this after being elevated by the previous lot might cause serious mental problems.

> And the final release is "No Abiding Places", a no less than twenty-three track compilation but by half the amount of artists. Each artist was invited to deliver a finished track and a small 'bridge' track which could be put in between the finished pieces, in order to provide an uninterrupted playing. That is a very nice idea, and one that works well. However the downside of this is that the music sounds throughout very similar. It's all dark atmospheric deep end rumble that is going on here, and the processed sound of thunder that hoovers among these tracks. Bands become interchangeable and of course you can wonder if that is a big problem. There is no band that leaps out of the ordinary, but it's surely an uninterrupted playing throughout. Switch of the lights, lie back and fear the night, with Bad Sector, Aal, Non Ethos, Moan, True Colour Of Blood, Bestia Centauri, Ornament and more.

[Frans de Waard on Vital Weekly 529]