Sirona-Records

Glanko – Telekommand EP // NMMREM XIX

Glanko, classified as IDM (short for intelligent dance music) did not gain my interest with the genre title. I very rarely enjoy dance music. With the track 9003 (/w mote) on my Facebook wall by Pollux I thought I need to give it a listen. Boy was I surprised; 9003 sounds like it is from a movie, assessing melancholic violins and orchestrations in a mellow ambient and rather organic atmosphere. A thrilling neoclassical track, but nothing like the rest of the album.

Purely electronics driven; first half of constantly glitching; wonderously mystical Maikurofomu CC walks a tightrope and slips off balance only to regain it with a somersault.

Second track Telekommand A has probably the best hook of the album, with the bass line at 2.50, peaking already at 2.55 to the sudden glitching bassdrop. Many times have I found myself humming this bassline, along with the bassdrop after listening this EP. It is a shame, in reality the best hook of the album, is never repeated. But the strong bassline stays there for quite a while and mildly changes form constantly. As if there is one thing that Glanko’s Telekommand lacks it is memorable melodies and hooks. Telekommand is a very enticing entity but it doesn’t have jaw-droppers except a few individual moments and the fourth track, 9003 (w/ Mote). When 9003 (w/ Mote) is pure 10/10 material the rest of the album fades into 8/10 territory.

It doesn’t mean it is not a strong very original entity with a high base level. The mystical atmosphere stays intact; melodies and mixtures of sounds I’ve never heard anywhere else. There are a lot of stuff happening beyond the surface. Kudos to the artist for not overpeaking the tracks and allowing an extreme volumedose!

9-/10

Free Download: http://archive.org/details/siro570Glanko-TelekommandEp

Once Were Ghosts – Transient Silence // NMMREM XVIII

 

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Once Were Ghosts is a post-rock project originating from Las Vegas. When Las Vegas always brings in the image of flashing lights extravaganza, constant motion and hectic surroundings, Once Were Ghosts might be placed in this abstract moment when the city sleeps. Suitably Transient Silence clocks only a pinch under 7 minutes, the short wander you can make in deserted alleyways seeing shut down light signs, before everything bursts to flame again.

Transient Silence is driven by beautifully crafted guitar melodies setting the atmosphere high immediately. Imagine those November nights when it is raining, windy and cold outside and you are warm inside under the linen covers sipping warm blackberry juice and reading a book. The guitar melodies are accompanied by a drum machine which is a bit over the top, drums being a lot faster and technical than the guitars. Drums still manage to sound good but no doubt they aren’t the perfect par for the stunning guitar lines.

The shortness of Transient Silence is also a charm as it is easy to listen 2 or 3 times. Especially the first 2 tracks are top notch melancholic post rock, bringing in mind the strongest outputs of Escape The Day and This Empty Flow. In only 7 minutes it is hard to give yourself up to a complete flow as you know the fun is not going to last for long, but nearly every time Once Were Ghosts takes me over on the very first notes. Give this one a try, it is one of the best 7 minutes you’ll spend.

Pollux – My Beautiful Melancholia // NMMREM XV

It took a while to find another Pollux album I really like after the brilliant Offer Their Souls a few years ago. No, I haven’t tried them all, there are if not hundreds then dozens in between). Even though Pollux is a very productive artist, he still keeps a fine quality in his works. But the ones I’ve tried, mainly Abandoned Area, Lune Rouge and Wasteland have left me just quite pleasant aftertastes.

My Beautiful Melancholia which somehow has an enticing name, however leaves a very good impression. The varying beats give a lot of new grounds to the ambient of Pollux and make for a new interestspan. First track Absence (Blasted Version) even makes repeated hipsteresque background woman vocals work; without reminding of wool sweaters, MacBooks and instragram-jokes too much.

It is followed by Rain In Your Face & Stress In Your Mind (Loosening Version), which is rather a positive chillout vibe with nothing much happening except variation and growth circling around the same set of melodies. UAV Style (Plasma Version) continues the same but for me has a more complex variation. Not a huge amount of goosebumps but stellar progress and mild surprises.

The real catch is the title track. Similar than Pollux’s track “Black Hope”, it is has a very Braid’ish melody; I can see the town in flames in the main screen in my soul’s eye. The effect is very pretty. Pollux really works best when associated with a certain mental image. My Beautiful Melancholia even has a sort of evil twist in it, but it entwined between the beautiful parts that it doesn’t bother like some evil horror ambient might bother. It just adds more to it.

One advice for even more enjoyable experience is to take any track from the all stellar Lune Rouge (lately i’ve preferred Espoir de Verre) and the intro of Wasteland “Fallout New Vegas – Goodsprings Wasteland, Day (Remix)” as the first and second track. Then you have an album that does last a bit longer and provides even a wider variety of welcome ambience. The darkness of Lune Rouge is brilliantly overtaken by pleasant ambient, beats and then My Beautiful Melancholia. As an outro the tense Corruption Eternelle is often my choice. It brings a nice, star-light eclipse wandering along the shining dust clouds in circles -effect to finish up the album, if you know what I mean.

As always, a free download: http://archive.org/details/siro416Pollux-MyBeautifulMelancholia

The nmmrem-extended album version as free downloads:

1. Espoir de Verre (archive.org)

2. Fallout New Vegas – Goodsprings Wasteland, Day (Remix) (bandcamp)

3. My Beautiful Melancholia (Whole EP)

4. Corruption Eternelle (archive.org)

Covolux – Paris // NMMREM XIV

As marketed for workplaces as a background music in an work environment

Covolux’s Paris is an ambient release which is most suitable for light office work with little to mediocre background noise. The test subjects found this release most worthwhile while listening as a background music two to three times a day. Positive aspect of this release is also that the listener does not need a good sound system to enjoy it, the sound flows nicely enough from laptop speakers and provides a rich soundscape for concentration. Beautiful melodies flow on but only rarely fully consume the listeners attention (electric shock devices to prevent this from occurring can be bought at a discount from our store).

The legend of certain ambient noise boosting the effectiveness of work is definitely not untrue with this release. 80 out of 100 test subjects from the extremely picky group concluded that Paris is good concentration music and also sets up the mood for work with beautiful ambient tones keeping the mind light and intact. Just where you as a corporate businessman want your workers mind to be. We at Sirona-Records are permanently offering all our releases for free, so you and your massive corporation can boost your work-effectiveness for free! Forever!

Download for free: http://archive.org/details/siro170Covolux-Paris

Meklabor – Raw Reeds // NMMREM XIII

Very black metal

Meklabor’s is yet another interesting artist from Russia who is also involved in the martial & dark folk projekt Ostov. He states himself that Meklabor is bagpipe music with hardware-made ambient, distorted drums and drones. Certainly a very unusual combo for a Russian artist who says to be inspired by slavonic folk traditions! Judging by this release the inspiration doesn’t stop in folk but goes deeper from folk straight into mystical terrains.

Meklabor’s Raw Reeds serves as an intro that could well be based on a sludge record. Based on this, it would be too easy to just entitle this record Meklabore. The second song Fields already proves this wrong with odd rhythm and a fine melody with a… Bagpipe? A definite !?! upon the first listen. The sounds aren’t top notch, for example the record would agree with a deeper and more organic bass sounds; somehow the sounds lack the final punch. The third, Bessarabaska continues the interesting experiment comprising an Alamaailman Vasarat-like klezmer-melody and applies a discobeat later. I still might not play this at a summer fest.

After three first tracks peak to a mildly annoying hippie-klezmerfest At The Gates, suddendly things go down the drain to dark ambient. Salamandra (Oil Edit) is mighty convincing dark ambient, but it is absolutely in the wrong place for the average Johns and Jacquelines. Bad trip, man. Multinational corporations in their oil-greed did this, man.

Salamandra does mark an imaginary B-side mark though, the following Thousand Years Beyond Kaspia continues the surprising industrial touch that Salamandra hints towards. Best of all Meklabor seems to be very natural with their industrial-side! The illusion breaks at 0.40 with, a very original, Meklaborish melody, but the industrial beat continues to throb on top of this mystic melody. After a month I somehow find myself thrilled by this melody though it didn’t impress me initially and it does repeat too much. I would have definitely lived without the 1.43 trance-interlude too

Haze is a bagpipe song and impresses less than its predecessors. Largely that is because its driven by another very Meklaborish melody, which you have just listened for 20 minutes; and for me this melody is the worst of the record. It does try and I feel the hook at 2.40 and 4.00 would be a memorable one, if only the melody wasn’t off my game. So unfortunately the album closes up in less memorable fashion than it started.

In the end Fields and Thousand Years Beyond Kaspia are the top cuts in the album, reclaiming the potential that other tracks only hint towards. The soundscapes in Raw Reeds are possibly more interesting than the melodies. There are lots of unique clever beat work and low-bass sections which throb in the back and may go unnoticed but still add in to the atmosphere. Also kudos to Meklabor for having the second edition of Salamandra as a clear bonus track.

Raw reeds encompasses a mystical atmosphere which adds to the value, it could be a swan song for a culture that never existed with its own glyphs, prophecies and gods. Music impresses and at the same time fails to capture its utmost potential. Still a very worthy release that surely people with an ear towards mystical ambiance and modern beats can appreciate!

7½/10

Free download: http://archive.org/details/siro318Meklabor-RawReeds

Avs_Silvester – Mansipal’s Heaven // NMMREM XII

Avs_silvester is a Russian artist with lots of interesting concepts for albums, for example the “Periodic Table of Sounds”. His new album or actually a compilation of old tracks is stated as Fusion, Progressive, ethno-rock with a very interesting concept.

“Mansipal – the historical name of the east Ural Mountains in the language of the native Finno-Ugric people of Mansi (Voguls).  Mansi World is divided into three parts – lower, middle and upper world. The heaven is also divided into three tiers, one of which goes after the death one of the five souls of man.

The album – a compilation of tracks from different years – sending you on a journey through the three parts of this world.”

Sounds just like my cup of tea, but surely a very tough concept to pull out as well. Not every Average Joe is the next Omar Rodriguez or John Lennon, but it certainly doesn’t stop some people from trying. And it certainly shouldn’t stop people from trying. In essence that is a good thing, but when they try to form up creations like professional composers; sometimes physically challenged babies like Mansipal’s Heaven come up. It is supposed to be Progressive ethno-rock. But it is not really progressive, it is random. It is pretty ethnic, but it is mostly not rock at all. It should be classified as experimental or improvisational guitar jam.

How many people really want to hear improvisational guitar jams of the greatest guitarists in the world? Hand to the heart, how many of you would like to hear an improvisational guitar jam of a mediocre layman guitarist with rather bad sounds? This is ultimately what Mansipal’s Heaven is. The guitar lines have a lot of glitches and mistakes. This could still be acceptable if the songs were good. You can hear there are compositions behind but mostly it seems the tracks are a mashup of certain guitar elements which are repeated in random places in – semi-similar to not similar at all – forms. In theory this could be a pretty ingenious way for making songs if those guitar elements just happened to not be mostly awkward and the placings had more style and pattern.

Many songs do have pleasant background ambience, for example Wind in the gorge, Music of silver and suitably named This strange autumn. Hell the chorus of This strange autumn is even catchy. Guitars are incoherent, but not as much as in most of the album. This marks the main problem and specialty of Avs Silvester. For example the title track seems to consist almost solely on guitar layers seemingly in not much contact with each other, drumming or keyboards. All forming different entities and playing on top of each other. When I release songs like this, I call them experimental or shitcore, not progressive. After an incoherent jamfest like Mansipal’s Heaven, This strange autumn sounds clear as a winter day when in earnest, it is a mess with a melody that when worked on could be very good.

The closest thing to a stable track is Mansipal’s heaven 2008 as it builds up nicely, in real standards mediocrely, the build up gets boring and the melodies never top the beginnings touch, but hey at least this time the track never went berserk! 2009 and 2010 versions of the same track encompass a less minimal approach with more guitar layers which ultimately means worse. Again the main riff really is not too bad (like in Fatal Chainsaw Massacre), if it just didn’t lead to a rather worthless improvisation after each repeat. Often less is more.

Most of the album feels like watching Journey Into Bliss on and on again, the shared sense of shame is always there. Maybe with some doses of mescaline this’d be a good trip with lots of laughing but with a clear mind it just boggling. The luck is, I’m a person having a liking in shitty and random music, so listening was in the end quite enjoyable, after getting through the disappointment of this not being a good album. But for any real music critic I can well believe this release effecting the tearing out of hair.

And hey, calling improvisational guitar jam progressive ethno-rock is just underrating the listener. If I’d known Mansipal’s Heaven to be a guitar jam I most likely wouldn’t have listened it at all – completely missing out the worst progressive rock album that I’ve ever heard! An eye opening release in a different way than expected.

Musicality: 2/10

Randomness: 9/10

Entertainment: 7/10

Free download: http://archive.org/details/siro484Avs_silvester-MansipalsHeaven

Psycho Mum – Riff Rough // NMMREM XI

Psycho Mum, an artist I genuinely have no idea about and a musician of genres which I loathe (Rave, “ugh” / Disco, “UGHH!” / Break, “just add in core please”). Being the first experimental review for Narrow-Minded Metalhead, this was certainly a good shock factor to start :). Anyway, Psycho Mum is todays reviewed release; sponsored by http://www.random.org.

The cover of the album looks ugly and cheap. Looks like a 2 minute paint work. So it made me expect something intentionally shitty. However the title track Riff Rough turns out to be a surprisingly interesting abstract and psychedelic track with a lo-fi vibe. So lo-fi is where the cover art hints to? Makes some sense.

The song starts out slowly and progresses first to an odd (I like oddness) psychedelic beeping (I like psychedelia and beeping) noise (and most of all I like noise). This is soon layered with a psychedelic beat. This progress steadily with a cool surprising, though a bit cheap sounding effects, coming in here and there quite melodically.

The song grows up nicely, and after multiple listens the seemingly random breaks can better be appreciated as well. I’m sure this would work great with fitting visuals. Odd sounds popping in from here and there add more flavour.

In the 2nd track. The beginning beats underline my loath for rave, two different deep bass-driven beats which sound to belong to a club, which I would not attend without an excess amount of beer. The pussy-sounding voice saying “Satan” is quite funny and very random, but more interesting is the nearly random beeping. The track underlines why im not a terrific fan of rave music. It gets boring even though there is stuff happening and variation.

As a release one song and one remix of the same song is a bit too little, though I must say the remix doesn’t really sound like the original at all, which is a good thing especially as it seems disco and rave are fitted to the second track and the first compasses of psychedelia and break. I do not get a huge interest in repeating the tracks once I got done with the first crush.

Nothing mind-blowing here, but the release did rise my interest factor for a short while. Not an attention grabber after the first listens, but the first track does hold up listening well. The release could be interesting for you if the two previously mentioned big UGH’s are your cup of tea. For me, I rather stay on my normal tea and keep looking for the first rave song to dig.

5½/10

Free Download: http://www.archive.org/details/siro030PsychoMum-RiffRough