This compilation ? the very first release from this new Italian label ? features a wide range of artists/ musicians working in the fields of experimental drone/ folk music and new electro-acoustics. It was conceived as a tribute to the visionary art of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser who was famous ? amongst other things ? for trying to re-connect mankind with nature through his works as an architect and philosopher (the inside card actually reproduces a drawing by Hundertwasser that represents the ?five skins? from which we are supposedly made of ? epidermis, clothes, houses, identity, earth).
It?s thus no surprise to find here a great variety of sonic colours as colour was very important in Hundertwasser?s ecological philosophy. As with the best of the various artist compilations that have seen the light of day for the past few years (like the recent ones on Digitalis, PseudoArcana, Last Visible Dog, 267 Lattajjaa, etc.), there is an undeniable, yet scattered sense of homogeneity that can be felt throughout and which gives the compilation its unique personality: the tracks thus segue into one another with a great fluidity while their different approaches and textures remain intact to the attentive listener.
In order to remain true to Hundertwasser?s thinking, the music featured here offers various interpretations of what is commonly referred to as FOLK music ? be it real and/or imaginary. If architecture is indeed ?frozen music?, then the artists have all succeeded in making us hear once again what may well constitute the environmental fabric of our lives ? as this selection of ?experimental? pieces bears some strong emotional/ melodic resonances.
Consequently, everyone should find something in it that should suit their tastes and challenge their imagination! Rather than trying to distinguish them by ?styles,? I will refer to these pieces by the ways they?re able to create a certain kind of MOOD through their distinct melodic approaches.
You will find a few experimental ?folk? reveries which are either peaceful (K-Conjog) or quietly unsettling as in the cases of Stonebaby (with its subtle layers of electric guitar delays and violin scrapings/ drones), Alligator Crystal Moth or (etre) with its MVEE-inspired, laptop-treated contribution.
In some other cases, the music has a more ?ambient? feel that may be as gentle (Fabio Orsi) as it can be sparser (and darker) in shape (Seth, throuRoof) or displaying a rather idiosyncratic, almost ?cinematic? take on the world of electro-acoustics (I?m thinking here of the highly expressive sonic narratives created by Italian sound-artists such as Donato Epiro, Mark Hamn and Clan).
You will also find a few tiny ?epic? drone works displaying a highly-pronounced Eastern influence (Valerio Cosi) or a special fondness for ?ecstatic? noise as a melodic source of inspiration (Die Stadt Der Romantische Punk).
Still, there may be a more ?relaxed? approach to the music in general ? as the ?campfire? song performed by fellow Frenchman Bruno Duplant a.k.a. A Man & A Guitar actually testifies. One may also feel like gently dancing around with sound while listening to the Cold Solemn Rites In The Sun track which features some particularly shimmering guitar licks/ sax lines?
Yet, one can hardly think of a more resourceful ensemble than the band (VxPxC) who are sculpting some of the most unique (and affecting) sounds of today out of a great variety of musical colours (blues, folk, new wave, ambient, etc.).
But, there?s also the Mighty Acts of Gods (Niwi?s solo endeavour) who, after her previous releases on Musicyourmindwillloveyou and Rural Faune, offers new startling shape-shifting sonic forms, the disorientating power of which often comes from the juxtaposition of heart-wrenching melodies with an almost ?dramatic? approach to sound as organic matter.
By including so many different musical/ emotional forms, the compilation also contributes in placing the listener/ person at the centre of its very own project, thus making complete a particularly vibrant homage to Hundertwasser?s deeply ecological vision (the title actually refers to the multiple experiments he did in the 1970s which saw him placing/ growing TREES at the top of various buildings, thus trying to turn these trees into full inhabitants of the household as they would ? ideally ? recycle trash and produce some air in return).
Discovering Akoustic Desease?s motto on its website, it is no surprise to see that it is more interested ?by the mood? of a music than by the means through which it is produced. More ?trees?, more surprises, more utopian re-creations still lie ahead of us? Stay tuned and listen. 8/10 -- Francois Hubert (3 July, 2007)