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Silber Records - Free Kobi EP & Last Days of BOGO Sale

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  • qrd@juno.com
    Hey Kidz, Another EP from Kobi is available for free at
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2005

      Hey Kidz,


      Another EP from Kobi is available for free at www.silbermedia.com/downloads.  Clocking in at fifteen minutes, it�s two songs that were outtakes from Dronesyndrome & one that was an outtake from Projecto


      Our buy-one-get-one-free sale is going to be ending December 5th, so if you�ve been putting off your order, now might be the best time.  Go to www.silbermedia.com/sale for full info.  All releases from 2004 & prior qualify, including releases by Aarktica, If Thousands, Kobi, Lycia, Clang Quartet, Remora, & Rollerball.


      Below are some reviews we�ve recently uncovered; not all necessarily new, but new to us.


      Thanks for your interest & support, it means a lot to us.



      Brian John Mitchell


      Origami Arktika - Vard�gr

      This disc and the websites associated with it, make me realize that I have not travelled enough in my lifetime.  There is so much yet I do not know, especially about other countries, other experiences and perspectives of life and this planet.  You see, Origami Arktika are a sort of artist's collective.  They are a branch of a larger collective called Origami Republika.  The artists involved are not just musicians, but artists of invention, subversion, deconstruction and reconstruction.  What fascinates me about Origami Arktika is that in their revolutionary play, they do not denounce their ancestors nor their country, but incorporate tradition in a respectful way, all the while setting old tradition in the context of new technology and thought.  It's a fascinating texture that arises from this process, a texture of stark beauty, tactile hope, and transcendent melancholy.

      Part of the reason the disc reminds me that I need to travel more, is it makes me wonder what it's like to ride on a bus or train through the landscapes in which this music was created.  Certainly, the music calls them to mind with success, but the music makes me hungry for the real physical experience of the landscapes, just as, I imagine, the recordings of Hank Williams would make someone in Norway perhaps hungry for the real physical landscapes of Texas.

      An interesting side note was included with the promotional material for this disc.  The quote is from one of the members of Origami Arktika. His name is Rune Flaten, and this is what he had to say about the recordings:

      "Vardogr is an old Norse word, meaning forewarning, almost an omen.  When you hear the door opening some time before it does, when you know someone is going to call you before they do.  This is made by a spirit, something which follows people around and projects their coming.  It is a protective spirit, and a promise of things to come." 

      His description, combined with these sounds, creates a delightful sense of mystery and elegance.  Definitely find this disc and let all of your senses experience it.  Clatters and flutters, hauntings and drones.  Wide open spaces and plaintive cries.  This is experimental music at its most wonderful.

      ~ Saint Petrol, Starvox


      Clang Quartet - The Separation of Church & Hate

      Scotty Irving embraces controversy and his second solo album as the Clang Quartet is as disturbing and uncomfortable as can be. Both leftfield music fans and Christians will agree. His sound constructions include drum machines, percussion (after all, he is a percussionist and most of the music is rhythmic in essence), noise generated on a self-made instrument called "The Crutch," occasional rhythm guitars and one-finger keyboard melodies. Tracks like "Companions" and "Under God" pair harsh noise and free improvisation. The avant-garde music fan will find them interesting, especially "The Winds & The Sea Obey Him," which throws together two different performances in the left and right speaker -- it sounds like a battle of the bands between two incarnations of the Nihilist Spasm Band. Elsewhere one thinks of Monty Cantsin (megaphone Industrial poet extraordinaire) jamming with Helgoland. But what strikes most about Clang Quartet is Irving�s televangelist-inspired rants. An affirmed Christian, he tackles religious issues like: the rumors that the company Proctor & Gamble had ties to satanism ("The Infidel Within"), the existence of Hell ("Hadephobia"), racism and peer pressure ("The Separation of Church & Hate"). Hearing these topics in the context of so-called experimental music is very unusual and disturbing. Again, this reviewer doesn�t think religion can�t have a place in avant-garde music, but one is tempted to interpret Irving�s speeches as satire (in the vein of Rhythm Activism) or hoax. And the way he weaves excerpts from a news feature on one of his concerts into "Two or More Gathered in HIS Name Part 2" pushes self-indulgence to a new limit. Be warned.

      ~ Fran�ois Couture, All-Music Guide


      Kobi - Projecto

      Origami Arktika�s Kai Mikalsen is behind this project. Not a real group per se, Kobi is a small ensemble platform that allows Mikalsen to play with one or two guests on each track -- so it is a solo/collective hybrid. His experimental ambient electronics provide the backbone for Projecto. Joining him one or two at a time are members of Origami Arktika, Origami Republika, Slowburn and Jazzkammer, among others.

      They represent an important chunk of the Norwegian experimental music scene of the early 2000s, all powerful idiosyncratic artists, and yet Mikalsen�s presence remains the strongest. It even gets overwhelming at times. Tore B�e and Jazzkammer�s John Hegre make significant contributions, re-orienting the music for a while, but the presence of Alexander Rishaug, Petter Pogo or even Fredrik Ness Sevendal go almost unnoticed. That said, Projecto makes a very fine album, especially when listened to on headphones, since special care has been put on stereo spatialization. The music often remains non-intrusive, inviting you to immerse yourself into it rather than imposing itself. If you don�t pay attention, the music will turn into an indistinguishable ambient backdrop.

      With a bit of effort you will find many interesting features to study and some illuminating moments too. But in the end Projecto remains a rather cold artifact, however beautiful and cleverly conceived it may be.

      ~ Fran�ois Couture, All-Music Guide


      Lycia - Empty Space

      Surprisingly, this is Lycia as a quartet: leader Mike VanPortfleet (guitars/vocals), Tara Vanflower (vocals), David Galas (bass), and John Fair (drum programs). Though released in 2003, this consists of 1999 recordings.  The old members were brought back to make it, but the band broke up (yet again) before completing the LP. Aside from Vanflower�s presence, this does sound more like early Lycia; the drum programming alone screams �80s (in a good way). Whatever the circumstances, it�s great that Empty Space finally came out, and four "unfinished" tracks remaining instrumentals should bother nobody. "Hope Is Here" is one of the catchiest songs they�ve ever made, and the album stands as a strong final effort by one of the great goth bands, with the closing track entitled "This Is the End."

      ~ Jack Rabid, The Big Take Over


      Tara Van Flower - My Little Fire-filled Heart

      Tara Van Flower�s album is an exercise in self-indulgence. While it is partially a spoken word record, I couldn�t make out more than a few words on each song. The most prominent feature is Van Flower�s atonal, often high-pitched vocals, which are chanted rather than sung. Clanging chimes, echoing and distorted vocals, and muffled yelping and panting can be found on most tracks. A dissonant guitar chord opens "I Lost the Moon," accompanied by what sounds like heavy breathing, and the sharp and jarring chords continue to sound throughout the track. Coupled with strange, repeated lyrics ("I can�t watch you die again"), it makes for a disconcerting number. Clocking in at nearly eleven minutes, "Wren" might win the honor of strangest track. It opens with the sound of pouring water (presumably mimicking rain) and the melody of "Love Me Tender" played on a music box. Then Van Flower�s vocal is added, at a totally different tempo than the music box and singing unexpected lyrics. Eventually the music box and vocal fade out, and we�re left with the steady downpour of water for practically five minutes. "The Girl from the Green Dimension" opens with the sound of wind chimes and contains some of the most understandable lyrics on the album. The melody and her voice create a peaceful ambience, making it one of the few easily listenable tracks. Perhaps Van Flower has something important to say, but it certainly isn�t expressed on this recording, on which the elements never congeal into a coherent piece of work, and we can�t discern the message from the monotony.

      ~ Karen Duda, Altar Magazine


      Aarktica - Pure Tone Audiometry

      Pure Tone Audiometry is pure bliss. On his third album as Aarktica, Jon DeRosa hit an ingenious balance between avant-gardist guitar soundscapes, neo-folk songwriting and post-rock dreaminess. "Out to Sea" opens the set with lush overdubbed and processed female vocals (Lorraine Lelis) over backwards guitar. Then DeRosa sings about "The Mimicry All Women Use" in a stark but ear-catching voice. The simple strummed guitar accompaniment gets a boost halfway into the track from Escapade�s drummer Hadley Kahn -- at that point he should have lost the drum machine track, as the two don�t always stay in sync, but that�s a minor point. "Snowstorm Ruins Birthday" offers a slab of well-controlled atmospheric noise guitar before "Ocean" comes back to the indie rock ballad format. For "Big Year" and "Williamsburg Counterpoint," Aarktica turns into a real band, adding Molly Sheridan and Mahogany�s Andrew Printz on strings, bassist Ernie Adzentovich and the aforementioned Kahn. The former song is dark and understated, but the latter serves up a thrilling 11-minute post-rock flight replete with a slow beat and a distorted sustained guitar solo. These "band" tracks show a lot of promise, but it is their power combined to the seditious charm of the smaller-scale songs that make Pure Tone Audiometry such a delightful album. Recommended.

      ~ Fran�ois Couture, All-Music Guide


      If Thousands - Lullaby

      Some albums bore you until you fall asleep. Others try too hard to get you there (they usually have spacy synths, bland classical guitars, streaming water sounds and subliminal messages). And then, a few lull you to sleep in the simplest ways. If Thousands want you to doze off. In fact, the booklet of {^Lullaby specifies that it should be listened to "as low a volume as possible to induce & aid in slumber" and the jewel case has a warning sticker: "May cause drowsiness." Using guitars and synthesizers, Aaron Molina and Christian McShane have recorded a continuous hour-long drone piece. It hovers in mid-air, just slightly out of reach, moving slowly and hypnotically. You can loose yourself in it -- loose track of time and space. At high volume, the hum of the musicians� amplifiers occasionally threatens to take over the quiet noise-based soundscapes, but if you follow the instructions it disappears, blending with the background noises of your surroundings. In the first and last thirds of the album, someone steps up to the microphone and speaks softly. The echo effect makes it very difficult to hear (even more if you have decided to listen at low volume), but in track eight the message, repeated over and over, is clear: "Our lives will never be the same / We miss Matt terribly / We think of him all the time." It gives the pieces a note of sorrow and all of a sudden what sounded like an exercise in experimental slumber music turns to a new kind of elegy.

      ~ Fran�ois Couture, All-Music Guide


      Rollerball - Real Hair

      This album is a real delicious mindblower, at first I thought I'd put Tom Z� on by accident, but it's just part of the wildly diverse aesthetic of Rollerball, to have incorporated elements of tropicalia in their genre hybrid mix of sounds and influences. This Portland band are hard to pin down, but imagine Slapp Happy sending tart valentines to Can by way of Sun Ra. Dub Housing Pere Ubu doing grooves with Volcano the Bear and setting fire to their hats, or Piano Magic jamming with Carla Bley. Shape shifting through free jazz, improvisation, funk, gypsy reels, woozy mariachi, male and female vocals, sci-fi dub, organic electronica, punchy extraterrestrial soundtracks, hallucinatory madrigals, and some sort of smooth futuristic pop. Easily one of the best albums of the year.

      ~ George Parsons, Dream Magazine


      Rollerball's Real Hair is one of those recordings, like Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising and "The Monster Mash," which reminds me of Halloween each time I hear it. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing it has to do with an overall creepy atmosphere and lyrics like "Like all your friends, they're there to bleed." That line comes from the first track "Girls Higging Trees," and it's right after the line "Sun was blocking out the church sign today/thank God," which might be another clue to the devilish feeling of the album. Those lines are sung in a weirdly gothic tone, but I can't say for sure that Rollerball wear all-black and worship Satan. These are slippery folks, too tricky to hang many judgments on. Drums, bass, piano and horns are the dominant instruments, but they don't always use them as you might expect. Their music is a form of jazz-inflected midnight-mood pop that has an arty distance about it, yet they're always out to surprise you, getting moodier and more minimalist here, slipping into a marching-band funky stroll routine there. On one song they'll conjure up the ghost of Miles and on the next they'll sound like folk music from some long-forgotten place (Transylvania, maybe?). On a song called "Spine Delay" one member of the group even breaks out an off-kilter, sort-of rap about fairies and palaces which feels completely out of the blue and then melds into an organ playing church music. Real Hair ends with a song called "Eight Inch Nun": the title sounds like it should be on a Dr. Demento compilation, but the song itself is a haunting, meditative piece of music with an intriguing poem read over it. What's the deal with Rollerball? I can honestly say I have no idea what they're up to with their music, but I like it. They confuse me, but sometimes it's good to be confused.

      ~ Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds


      Twelve - first album

      After three albums with SBS, Chris Olley decide to record something more experimental than the powerful and cutting new wave of his band. A four minute drone opens the album and we immediately understand to be in front of the more intimal side of Olley aim. The next track confirm our suggestion: the eleven minute 'talking about' is an obscure orchestral hypnosis with the form of circular ballad. Arab Strap would kill for. Next track, �travelin� light� gets lo-fi electronics for seven minutes. We come back to rock ballads worthy the marvelous soul ala Spiritualized...never let you go. Then music generated by silicon circuit again (one seventeen...) that could be part of a warp release. The end is for another great ballad, as always with male end female vocals.

      ~ Roberto Mandolini, Rockerilla


      This majestic work reveals Chris Olley�s (of Six By Seven) quieter, more experimental side. The disc opens with a four-minute drone of 24 guitars and moves into �Talkin� About�, a low core masterpiece of sadness and light. Added female vocals by Tee Dymond blend with Olley�s voice on the chorus and raise the song to gorgeous heights. Each song on the disc is pure and evocative. A must hear.

      ~ Cleo, The Sentimentalist


      Small Life Form - one

      It's been a five years work to complete SLF album, by Brian John Mitchell, the Remora main man, and label-boss of Silber. A very great debut, one, has seven dense drones that flow slowly under the textures of sound to bring to light the primary essence. Cornets, voices, melodica, organ, and medium and low frequencies that will prove your hi-fi speakers fidelity. No layered sounds, nor overdubs in this album, but only the natural deep sounds.

      ~ Roberto Mandolini, Rockerilla

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