Clutter / Kotra / Laurent Chambert / L’Échelle de Mohs & Solar Skeletons

Clutter - Yellow Light Discarded
Clutter – Yellow Light Discarded
3″ CD-R, self-released, 2010
www.cluttermusic.com
Hailing from the UK, Clutter presents a very short but pleasant concoction of processed field recordings and subtle shifting melodies with this 3” CD-R. “Yellow Light Discarded” is a melancholic but rather pleasant and effective soundtrack for a few brief moments on a cold and rainy afternoon – strong enough to make an impression but simultaneously able to seamlessly blend into the background, non-intrusively catching the listener’s attention from time to time. It is also a textbook case of ‘less is more’, its bite-sized duration leaving the listener on the edge between satisfied and wanting more (there’s always pressing ‘play’ again). With a lot of his material made freely available through netlabel releases, this is an artist worth checking out. [7.5/10]

Kotra - Revolt
Kotra – Revolt
CD, Kvitnu, 2010
www.kotra.org.ua
With “Revolt”, Kotra’s latest offering on the Kvitnu label, the listener is treated to this Ukrainian artist’s signature brand of high-pitched glitch experimentation. Probably not material for the casual listener (and possibly even unnerving for those who appreciate this sort of sound art), but Kotra’s sound constructs are extremely precise and well-achieved from a technical point of view – evolving through the album from insect-like glitches to a full barrage of glitch noise and back again. Kotra’s work is complemented by remixes by fellow Kvitnu artists, with highlights being reworkings by Sturqen and Zavoloka, which contrast with the original material; the former opt for deep slow rhythms while the latter’s approach is more melodic and proves a more than apt closing to “Revolt”. As usual with Kvitnu releases, this one also features careful packaging and artwork which, while not a direct influence on the music itself, may influence the listening experience by signalling to the listener that something ‘special’ is being held and is worthy of attention. [7.5/10]

Laurent Chambert - ALF10
Laurent Chambert – ALF10 – La Societé de Curiosités
12″ white vinyl, Les Autres Couleurs, 2010
www.laurentchambert.com
Despite being somewhat more familiarized with Laurent Chambert’s less experimental work (with The Other Colours and Rose Et Noire) the contents of this white vinyl 12” don’t come as a complete surprise. Chambert is a quite multifaceted sound artist, and that can be easily heard in “ALF10”, a collection of works that was born of his performances at La Societé des Curiosités in Paris during 2009. Unfortunately for this release, despite a degree of internal coherency, it comes across as something of a collection of teaser pieces that barely allow glimpses of what the content of Chambert’s original performances were truly about. Interesting, definitely, but perhaps not as enticing to the discovery of this multifaceted French artist as it should be. [7/10]

L'Échelle de Mohs/Solar Skeletons
L’Échelle de Mohs/Solar Skeletons – untitled
12″ vinyl, Theatre Records/Bruits de Fond/L’Échelle de Mohs/Aïnu/Migouri, 2010
www.myspace.com/lechelledemohs / www.solarskeletons.com
The untitled split collaboration between the French L’Échelle de Mohs and the Belgian Solar Skeletons is a strange and somewhat frustrating beast. On one side, L’Échelle de Mohs present two choice recordings of a ‘no-holds barred’ improvised session of sound experimentation: electro-acoustics, sampled field recordings, old recordings and voices are thrown into a melting pot, the result being “France Ferrugineuse”. This can certainly be seen as a throwback to the days of early industrial music but the efforts are undermined by a lack of production, which makes this cacophony less engaging than it could have been. On the other side, the Belgians Tzii and Ripit as Solar Skeletons deliver something rather unexpected for those that have their debut “Necroethyl” 12” as reference. Gone is a certain Tom Waits ‘whisky and cigarettes’ vibe, exchanged with a metal-fueled, intense barrage of noise that sounds quite coherent and somewhat harmonic (if such a term can be applied to controlled chaos). [6/10]

— Miguel de Sousa