Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunsaria - Australien Review

Artist: Sunsaria

Album: Australien

Label: Tempest Recordings

Year: 2010

Sunsaria (formally Psyburbia) is the alias of poly-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Baz Bardoe hailing from the outer reaches of the dusty plains of Western Victoria .With his new album 'Australien' he is joined by long time collaborator Robert Boehm (of Winduptoys fame) and a plethora of contributors from Flautist Megan Kenny to sonic noodler Jeremy Smith (the other half of Winduptoys)

With all this in the musical backpack the optimum conditions are created for a walkabout through the desert plains of the outback whilst traversing rising and falling psychedelic contours and terrains. The album begins with a beatless track "33 1/3 Revolutions per minute". Sparse echoes, a vocal that speaks of the concerns of our times and the haunting Arabian notes of Megan Kenny's flute could lead one to believe that this is an album full of brooding intensity. This is quickly dispelled however by the uplifting early 90's Orb-esque sounding bass n beats of "Deep Space Blues" which evolves in to a psybreaks roller as the track develops.

 Australien as a whole is a mixed bag of space rock ,hip hop beats and even pop. This by itself could be in danger of falling into the abstract. However, it is held together perfectly by a psychedelic soundscape which permeates each track and creates a cohesive whole to the overall sound of the album. Samples are used to great effect most notably on "Revolutionary" and "Mushroom Messiah". It closes once again beatless with "Decompression" full of sonic swirls and echoes panning from speaker to speaker.
There is a definite 90's vibe to Australien' which gives it a playful lightness though with that said it is in no way naive. It maintains the right amount of gravitas and is at times thought provoking and inspiring. 

Reviewed by CKA John

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Subheim - No Land Called Home Review

Artist:  Subheim

Album: No Land Called Home

Label: Ad Noiseam

Release Date: 2010

Having come across the opening track “Dusk” I was immediately impressed with the cinematic feel and beautifully melancholic strings of this organic & electronic fusion. I had hoped that the album would continue in the same vein however, it drifts away from the electronica for a while and leans more towards dark orchestral music that I would associate with the more down-tempo pieces of black metal bands.

It may then puzzle some of you why I have featured the album on here. Well, as much as I enjoy feel good summer records I also feel there should be a balance and this album offers exactly that. Katja’s vocals at times seem to lean towards the ethereal and at others when fused with ethnic percussion (utilised in the album but most prominent in the track Dune) remind me of Vas.

To summarise this is a very well produced album that I had to listen to more than once and at times allow myself to go with the flow to really appreciate. This could appeal to fans of Jon Hopkins, Brian Eno or Eraldo Bernocchi & Blackfilm and also those who like the ethereal vocals associated with bands such as the Cocteau Twins.  hi