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Review of Big Sleep Little Death from Bedtime For Robots by Leo Zaccari

Big Sleep Little Death is the latest release from the purveyors of dark electronic music, Bedtime for Robots. This ambitious release comes on the heels of the enigmatic Music From an Undisclosed Location.

The album opens with the sprawling and spaced out electronic horror track “All My Idols Are Dead”. Given the pedigree of disparate musical acts that make up the brain trust behind Bedtime for Robots, this list of idols is undeniably quite impressive. The description on Bandcamp states that this album was inspired by horror and sci-fi films. The album does not disappoint, as one can easily hear certain tracks dropped into scenes of stalking or dismemberment (and who among us doesn’t love a good dismemberment?) But one can also hear glimpses of Junkie XL or The Crystal Method, and even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, especially in tracks such as “National Lobotomy”.

The album features two centerpieces: the first is the title cut, which features dark electronica that is so sinister it sounds like it belong right at home in a William Friedkin film. The second is the final cut, entitled “Easter”, a bleak post apocalyptic sci-fi soundtrack that will make you think of all the possibilities and could have beens that the world once held while you’re staring at the mutated corpses rising from the wreckage of what was once your favorite record store.

Bedtime for Robots is the brainchild of Michael Ferentino. He was a musician once. You don’t want to know what he’s become now.

 

 

https://bedtimeforrobots.bandcamp.com/album/big-sleep-little-death

The End of the World – Review of Solaris from Antwan Graftio by Leo Zaccari

Antwan Graftio’s Solaris is an album filled with mythological themes and all the dark world ending horrors that come with them. The tracks themselves stand on their own, but when put together they are as pieces of a puzzle that create an amazing tapestry of a story. It is a story repeated in all the ancient cultures of the world, from ancient Chinese folk mythology to the Hindu cultures, to the Babylonians, Egyptians, Olmec, Greek, and Norse mythologies. All cultures used their mythology to make sense of the universe around them, and this album is like its own mythology in miniature.

“Cosmic History of the Earthly World” – works in tribal like percussion to give it a world music vibe with an electro synth cyberpunk feel. “On the Eve of the World Apocalypse” continues the mythological tone of a world in transition from one age to the next.

In ancient mythologies this was called Eschatology, the study of the end of the world. The world ends in a flood mostly because most of the oldest civilizations lived in close proximity to large bodies of water, such as Egypt being on the Nile, Mesopotamia being near the conjunction of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, and China being near the Yellow and the Yanxte rivers. But in other ancient civilizations, such as the Inca, there are many worlds, or ages, and they end in many different ways, including floods.

“Dead Tree” is another track that continues the mythological symbolism. From the ancient Maya and Inca to the Scandinavian Norse, the world tree is one of the oldest world myths and it is rife with symbolism. The roots that extend into the ground but also the branches that extend outward are meant to symbolize the different but parallel dimensions of this world and the spirit world. If the tree is dead, do the souls of those who have died travel on to the next plane of existence, or are they stuck here to haunt us forever?

“Last Train Cold Winter” is the album’s coldest darkest point, the point at which the old world must be destroyed before it can rise again anew. In both Norse and Mayan mythologies, the apocalypse is preceded by a dark era of lost morals where people lose their humanity. In Norse mythology this is known as Fimbulwinter, and is doubtless the source of inspiration for George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. “Coming Home From Deep Space” has a clockwork feeling to it as well as a more subdued tone. Electronic music lovers might recall the early works of Jean Michele Jarre or Vangelis.

Graftio has constructed an album fitting of a world at the end of an age. An age of Apocalypse is followed by the promise of a new dawn, which brings with it, another album of awesome music.

 

 

https://graftio.bandcamp.com/album/album-solaris-2015

 

Review: Spheres – Phantom Ship

Phantom Ship is a Dark Ambient music project of Roberto Faloci from Italy. The magnificent music of Phantom Ship’s Spheres is absolutely superb, a masterpiece from a master artist, like a combination of fine wine and dark space opera. The album’s intro, fittingly titled “Intro” is a hauntingly sad but beautiful piece played on piano. If you have any shred of humanity left in you, this track will touch your soul.

“Orbiting Ion Spheres” is ethereal and inspiring, an intricate piece that is frightening, trippy, and yet somehow spiritual. “Warp 7” features clips of astronauts communicating with ground control like disembodied voices of the dead that only Major Tom can hear somewhere out there in the deepest reaches of space.

The focal point of the album leads to “Plasma Core”, a droning dreamlike wonderland of ambient sound. “Chakras Chant” combines eerie voices with bell chimes and other sounds to create a cosmic enlightenment type of atmosphere reminiscent of Jon Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans.

“Cygnus” is a slow persistent march towards infinity that doesn’t end so much as it fades away like a ghost that no longer inhabits a dwelling.

Spheres is absolutely brilliant, the kind of music that is both beautiful and tortured at the same time, like a genius writing music for someone or something he that he longs for and can never have again. The evocatively chilling album is both superb in its execution and amazing in its ability to create somber otherworldly atmospheres.

 

https://phantomship.bandcamp.com/

by: Leo Zaccari

Review of Music From an Undisclosed Location from Bedtime for Robots by Leo Zaccari

Music From An Undisclosed Location is the recent release (Oct 2015) from Bedtime for Robots, the brainchild of former Love in Reverse frontman, Michael Ferentino. The album is chock full of uncanny goodness from classic rock influences to horror soundtracks of the 70s and 80s.

The album begins with “Oct 5” which can be described as Carpenteresque, as it evokes the music of director and musician John Carpenter, most notably his earlier work like Assault on Precinct 13. One thing is certain; whatever happened on October 5th wasn’t good.

“El Diablo Gutiarra” sounds very much like it belongs on Joe Satriani’s Surfing with the Alien except it’s not an alien at all, but a psychotic reanimated corpse and we’re running like hell because it wants to eat us alive. “Motorcycle Death Song (Tampa Chainsaw Remix)” communicates a sense of urgency and has the feel of a death defying chase scene on a crowded highway. Please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

The album shifts gears often with the eerie, atmospheric “Missing Face” and the stunning melodic “Before”, setting you up for the album’s crown jewel, “A Field of Fireflies”. This is a track that you need to listen to over and over again, as you’ll hear subtle things that you missed the first time around. “A Field of Fireflies” is split into three parts. The first part is a tribal kind of spiritual piece effortlessly giving way to a beautiful acoustic piece that sounds like it could have come from an old Love in Reverse album, juxtaposed with the sinister sound of echoes that resemble an alarm that finally overwhelm the guitar like weeds choking a flower. The third and final piece beautifully recalls the work of King Crimson’s “Matte Kudesi”

“Prong” is a straight up sinister tour de force that sounds like a score from an 80s slasher flick. “Pumpkinfist” continues the horror soundtrack feel with a menacing tone that feels like it could fit right into Scott Derrickson’s Sinister. “Faust” contains an ominous guitar amidst various sound effects, paving the way for “Turn Down the Sky”, which ends the album with some atmospheric synth.

Music From an Undisclosed Location is a celebration of horror at its best. It’s at times creepy, beautiful, and pulse pounding, and at the heart of it all, it’s downright fun. Savor this album and be sure to crank it up to 11.

So just where is this undisclosed location? It might be Ferentino’s own personal underground bunker where his warped brain churns out Lovecraftian music the way some people binge watch television programs. Or perhaps it’s the crypt of a long dead druid who practiced ritual sacrifice? It might even be all of these at once. Or maybe we’re not meant to know. Maybe it’s someplace frightening that you don’t want to visit. Not in the dark. Not alone.

Not ever.

 

https://bedtimeforrobots.bandcamp.com/album/music-from-an-undisclosed-location

Review of Orbit Beyond from Dawn Tuesday by Leo Zaccari

Orbit Beyond from Alaskan native Dawn Tuesday, is not just a music track, it’s an all encompassing musical quest unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Its so intense that you should be required to fill out a stack of disclaimers before listening, but luckily for us, you don’t need to waste any time with boring paperwork. While Phil Spector pioneered his “wall of sound”, Dawn Tuesday immerses you in an entire “world of sound”. Categorized as drone or ambient sound, Orbit Beyond also contains elements of experimental electronic, dark ambient, industrial, and esoteric.

Spanning a colossal forty minutes, Orbit Beyond will take you on a musical journey that will leave you spellbound. Unrelenting synthesizers capture your imagination and take you to far off realms of the surreal and fantastic. Imagine being trapped in a forty minute loop of intense sensory deprivation; a literal whiteout of the senses, but without all the icky insanity associated with that type of thing. That’s the genius that is Orbit Beyond.  It sounds like something that was literally created in another dimension by menacing space gods intent on overwhelming your senses, controlling your brain, and leaving you in thrall to their cosmic powers, but in a good way. It’s all at once mind bendingly trippy and menacing, and yet accessible enough to listen to on your device of choice in the solitude of your own home (please see above paragraph about disclaimers). This is clearly music for the music lover crafted with care by a music lover.

Dawn Tuesday is a native of Kodiak, Alaska, who makes electronic music (and yes, that’s her real name). You can find more of her atmospheric dark ambient music such as False Color, Souls Troubled, and Above Clouds, here: https://soundcloud.com/dawntuesday.

Orbit Beyond: https://dawntuesday.bandcamp.com/album/orbit-beyond