vrijdag 2 september 2011

review: Ilya Monosov and Rosa Ensemble

Recently released on the superb label You Don't Have To Call It Music from Germany is an album with a collection of pieces by Ilya Monosov. Ilya Monosov is a contemporary musician / composer who is active in the field of experimental music. Since 1999 there has been quite a number of releases with music by him, mostly on tape and vinyl.

His works range from drones and psychedelic soundscapes to electro-acoustic pieces to minimal music and to improvised pieces. And... this LP collects all that in a fantastic way. You get eight pieces as either an introduction to, or as a confirmation of, his work.

The record is not just a collection... the pieces are sequenced just in the right way to make this a true adventure in sound and music. From playful to darker moods and from pleasant harmonic pieces to more difficult to follow experimental pieces. It is all here.

You Don't Have To Call It Music has released some fabulous other records as well. For example the RBE (Raudive Bunker Experiment) collection with true early industrial music. For fans of Cabaret Voltaire this one is not to be missed But also the Karl Bösmann LP "Eskalation" is excellent. Probably one of the most intense en darkest records I have ever heard. Somewhere in between psychedelic music and experimental drones. If you like Lustmord or Attestupa then this one is for you!

Also experimental but much more easy listening is "The Blind Spot" by Rosa Ensemble from the Netherlands. This album, which they call themselves their ambient album, was already released in 2006 on their own Bonte Koe Records label. It is being re-released now by Dying Giraffe Recordings.

Indeed this is an ambient album but very much unlike the ones you have probably heard before. Ambient has become a fixed genre and has moved mostly out of the art music world into pop territory where it is produced by people with laptops. "The Blind Spot" is nothing like that. First of all as the music is performed with real instruments, with electronics on the side, and second also because of the diversity in sounds and moods on this album.

Mostly the mood is also quite light on this album while for a large part ambient tends to be rather dark or at least bleak these days. The pieces range from soundscapes in the tradition of minimal music to what you might call experimental chamber music.

If you like to listen to ambient I really recommend to try this album for a change. I am quite sure you will be suprised... in a pleasant way...