Sunday, March 19, 2006

El Sol y Luna


I was introduced to Gustavo's music when I heard "The Insider" soundtrack. Upon hearing his solo recording RONROCO I was entranced, the compositions are unique and refreshing, complex and simple, they take you to some tropical paradise. This recording sets a great atmosphere. Gustavo Santaolalla won the 'Best Composer' Oscar for Brokeback Mountain.


Heavenly. Perfect. Haunting. Moving.

Every one of the three THIS MORTAL COIL recordings are stand-out unique compositions. "Filigree & Shadow" has to be the most solid and even. It is definitely timeless & just as powerful as it was in the 80's. It holds so many rich and powerful songs, everyone different and unique. It is the definitive recording that is to be used with candles, incense & lovers. It is a long, long journey filled with sadness, joy, & wild, manic energy. It has white lights veiled in ghostly grey & white clouds with sparks of blue hues & crimsons throughout. The lyrics are incredible, the instrumental pieces are driving & flowing, everything is complete. This is the absolutely perfect recording to play while having a modest dinner party with an abundance of lavender candles.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

One May Levitate, Don't Be Alarmed Just Go With It


Fantastic. Other-worldly. Solid. A dynamite collection of ultra chill music. Deep and Chilled Euphoria is part of, at this point, a trilogy. Time will tell if the chill series is continued, but why would one stop a good thing? This is another concrete effort in the series, and again if you like pink clouds peppered with cotton candy trees and church going extraterrestrials, this is just what you are looking for. This ethereal affair has Red Jerry at the wheel once more. He conjures up something magnificent from Autechre, Miro, Moby, Solar Stone, BBE and so many more. Breathe deep, and keep your lover at bay. Again, if you like blue marshmallow clouds in your music then this recording is your fantasy turned reality. One can only hope they will continue to produce the Chilled Euphoria series.


Spread Your Wings

Balligomingo is a bright new arrival on the music scene. Filled with dreamy, sugary and seductive tunes all sung by various female vocalists including Kristy Thirsk. The beginning of "Falling" with its orchestra and electronic atmosphere might remind one of a perfume commercial, but that's a good thing because the perfume is intoxicating. "Wild Butteryfly" has a warm and tropical, uplifting groove. "Heat" and "Lust" are the two sexy tracks, with their heavy techno ambient sound. Overall, a solid recording. Don't miss the hidden track.


Growing Dialogue

Picture if you will, an industrialized Heaven, with a gangbanger's paradise nearby and the most incredible sounds imaginable. This is the music of Autechre's Tri Repetae++. This mechanical masterpiece has its ethereal moments and they are perfect, such as is the case with the heavenly song "Vietrmx21". A long luxurious build-up of glorious sound, it's quite simple, but so profound. My guess is it would be what one would hear if they were trapped within the inside of a flower for the night. The scent, the sound they are intoxicating. This track is worth your money alone. But there is so much more to discover on this double-disc offering from these two boys. The names of the songs themselves sound like alien plants waiting to be discovered, have a listen to Bronchusevenmx24, it conjures up images of a flower drying itself off after a rainstorm, the droplets going at warpspeed. Garbagemx36 with its deep chords could possibly be at times the conversation between two aliens. We'll never know.


It's Full of Stars

Paul Schwartz is the creator of the successful Aria series. With Earthbound he delves into writing and composing original pieces with fellow vocalist and songwriter Lisbeth Scott in addition to a host of other artists as well. This disc is a more than competent effort mixing classical orchestra with pop and ambient elements. The songs are the stuff of fairy tales-princesses,knights and portentous ravens. The result is magical and elegant.

Friday, March 17, 2006


Manifestation of the angel

The This Mortal Coil project is a groundbreaking musical experiment and collaboration which began with this magical and very organic recording called It'll End in Tears. One of the highlights of this disc is a cover of "Song to the Siren" sung gorgeously by Elizabeth Frasier of the now disbanded Cocteau Twins. Dead Can Dance performs twice, once on the epic piece "Dreams Made Flesh", a song which they often perform at their concerts, and another on a track entitled "Barramundi." Alex Chilton's "Holocaust" is sung by Howard Devoto, a startling sad song, one's wrists may spew open at any given moment. There are some fantastically wild and mist-filled instrumental pieces as well. All This Mortal Coil releases are a worthy and timeless addition to one's music library.

The Tallest Tree

Conjure One's debut release is complete with amazing songs and melodies all sung by various female vocalists, including Poe who also appears as a co-writer. Every track is great and fantastic, all of them very emotional, sad or sexy. Is sexy an emotion? If sexy is an emotion it is on this disc. In particular on the tracks "Make A Wish" on which Poe (aka Jane) sings and co-writes, and also on the piece entitled "Sleep" sung by Marie-Claire D'Ubaldo. Rhys Fulber one half of Delerium, is Conjure One's mastermind. The closing piece "Premonition" is a reprise and with its glorious orchestra pulls and closes the album perfectly, like a star at the top of a Christmas tree. And this is a Christmas tree that will last you forever, timeless.


La Musica De La Luna

Aria 2 is much better than Aria 1. The production is slicker. For me, the stand-out tracks are "ARIANNA",this should have been used in the ending to "THE MESSENGER:JOAN OF ARC" along with the next track, "HORIZON". Continuing there is "INTERLUDE", an amazing short piece that would be incredible to use in the ending of an autobiographical film, it would be perfect to use as some sort of photo montage at the end of the film showcasing a person's glamorous,exciting and somewhat tragic life. Another great track "SVIRAJ" is featured twice (as it should be) once in English, once in Italian. The lyrics are sad, about a woman that lost her baby. Purchase this recording and all your friends will thank you for it.



Solar Stone mixes an uplifting song titled Seven Cities. It is filled with soaring blue and green washes of sound and colour. It will fill your body, it will fill your soul, it will bring you out of your dark hole. ok ok But when you hear this beautiful trance, you may dance, you may prance, but you will definitely not sit or have a fit. When I hear this piece of sound, I see a bright orb floating above a perfect pond with people circling 'round the water with their eyes fixated on the pink orb. The orb spins, spraying out blue and green angel wings that have been donated from up above. The people become attached to the wings and all fly upward each in their own perfect chorus of sound. All becoming one in the end.

Is Mars Your Ruling Planet?


This masterful recording was produced by the great Graeme Revell and Paul Haslinger. Revell composed many of the pieces on this CD, instrumentals and the tracks featuring the mesmerizing operatic Emma Shapplin. "Red Planet" features a great orchestra and chorus combined with ambient and techno sounds. It is a exquisite cornucopia of sound and voice. The foreboding "Dante's Eternal Flame" by Melissa Kaplan and Revell features an ominous male choir and female voice with percussion and string orchestra in addition to ambient sound. Without a doubt the lush and lengthy Graeme Revell and Emma Shapplin tracks give this recording its magnificent energy and uniqueness, it is one of the greatest soundtracks I have heard. The compositions effectively capture the frenetic emotion of the "Red Planet".

Musica Del Misterio


SPLEEN AND IDEAL is a spectacular recording that has withstood the test of time. It has great production. The tone of this recording is dark throughout. The title track "De Profundis" was featured in the Italian horror film DEMONS 2. The compositions are replete with interesting instrumentation, such as "Circumradiant Dawn" a splendid track which features Lisa Gerrard and, I believe the accordion. "Mesmerism" features her voice and among other things a drum machine to create a flowing multi-layered piece. "Avatar" has heavy instrumentation along with Lisa's voice, it is one of this recordings stronger tracks. Lastly, I must add that the design/cover art is striking, it features a wonderful iconoclastic photograph.

Thursday, March 16, 2006



The sweet, sophisticated melodies of The Innocence Mission are forever embracing of the human spirit. With this recording, appropriately titled "Befriended", they continue their smile-spreading 'mission'. The 'heaven's calling' track "No Storms Come", a startling moving piece is one of two songs that have a touch of melancholy. Keeping one's head up and looking into the face of adversity with a smile is the message one may receive from "Befriended". "Look For Me As You Go By" is the closing track, its prayerful text leads the listener to a fitting end. The Innocence Mission's music never fails to warm and comfort. Embrace yourself, embrace the world, and let the sun come in.


Lisa Gerrard

Lisa Gerrard has steadfastly created a lifelong career as a big budget Hollywood film composer. The Insider features her and Pieter Bourke working hand in hand to create this somewhat minimalistic and at times operatic (in mood) score. There is a surprising track titled "Meltdown", which has Lisa doing (treated) vocals to a drum-riddled electronica backbeat. Massive Attack, Jan Garbarek, Graeme Revell and the wonderful Gustavo Santaolalla make an appearance as well on several separate songs. Some may be taken aback with some of the music of Gerrard and Bourke that is on this disc as it is not what Lisa is known for doing in the past. But, keep an open mind, for it is still superb music.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Lisa Gerrard, one half of the former band Dead Can Dance and now a famous film composer undoubtedly possesses one of the most glorious voices on the planet. THE MIRROR POOL was her first solo work and with it she continued to use her own personal language to weave wondrous musical tapestries of dark and light. This forms nothing short of a masterpiece. In addition to the Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra Lisa uses an eclectic assortment of instruments from various regions of the globe. It is difficult to file her music into a certain genre although 'World' would be the appropriate choice I believe. Many of her countless musical influences come from a Greek-Turkish community in Melbourne, Australia where Lisa spent much of her childhood. These global influences give her music its wonderfully chameleonic quality. As I stated earlier Lisa is now a famous Golden Globe nominated film composer, in addition to recording an equally stunning collaborative recording with Pieter Bourke called "Duality" she has scored the wonderful film "The Insider" with Pieter Bourke also. Just recently she completed scoring with Hans Zimmer for the great film "Gladiator". Lisa departed the groundbreaking band Dead Can Dance a few years prior.