MP3 Man in Formaldehyde - Copper Sulphate Crystals
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11 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Experimental, NEW AGE: Ambient
Reviews of Copper Sulphate Crystals
THE BIG CHILL - https://www.tradebit.com
If cows ever break free from the shackles of intensive milk and beef production, travel beyond the walls of the lowly cowshed, abattoir and artist's studio and begin to participate more fully in our society then I could imagine that putting a man in formaldehyde might well be how the artists amongst them would exact revenge for their treatment at the hands of mankind in general and one Damian Hirst in particular.
Happily, for us at least, Man in Formaldehyde is a recording artist and a bit of a sonic innovator rather than the horrific product of bovine vengeance upon our species. Even more happily he has just released his debut album, Copper Sulphate Crystals, on the new Isle of Wight based label Pointy Bird Records. Bordering on the ecstatically, it's very very good.
His moniker seems to be more than just a quirky and amusing tag to catch our eyes in record shops and review columns - the often bizarre constituent parts of his sound have a 'specimen' like quality about them. Raw, dry samples of brass and strings float unchanging and unemotive in the melodies they play, it's not a trumpet or a cello you hear but its Xerox image, duplicated and moved to different notes. This stark presentation is a shock to the system at first but the laid back trajectory of many of the pieces here, such as Birds Spin in Magnetic Milk, gives you a chance to walk around these exhibits and before long you are revelling in their frozen, simplistic beauty and the combined result is cinematic and quite moving.
Not that it's all curation of strange sounds into fascinating exhibitions. There are some pop leanings and sweet acoustic guitar playing in The Sacred Heart of Jesus and reminiscences of David Sylvian era Jon Hassell and what sounds like a guest spot by the Moomins to be found in A3055. And if that sounds like in incongruous mix it should be, but in the hands of MiF it is both beautifully strange and strangely beautiful.
Not everything here is laid back and weightless. Earthmonster 1 is a growling, sonically abused rock drum wig out and it's successor EarthMonster 2 is a sleek, taughtly skinned beast prowling through a glitchy, junglist soundscape. But on the whole it is the lazy latin lilt of Copper Sulphate Crystals 1 which opens the album (and is the most straight ahead track here) or the slow motion splendour of Zero G 100's and 1000's experiment 1 (an incredibly apt title) that resonate most memorably in MiF's audio laboratory. These are tracks that have a surface charm but whose details reward repeated listening.
Zero G 100's and 1000's experiment 2 moves the action into the black and white flickering candlelight of a silent horror movie and is much darker and more sinister but is preceded by the cockle warming combination of the plaintive Harry's Song and Mother's Day, a collage of simple musical shapes and speech.
By the end of Copper Sulphate Crystal 2 which finishes this collection you are left feeling that MiF has taken you through a truly bizarre collection of soundscapes, musics, tones and noises (however you want to classify them) which are familiar but you've never heard like this before. The experience is fascinating, involving, entertaining, weird and very often accompanied by a strong sense of deja-vu.
It's an album that should be difficult to grasp yet draws you in to its visions and dreams until you clearly see, through the formaldehyde, the world as this man sees it. And if I'm overdoing the superlatives here it's because I think this album is the best of its kind since Susumu Yokota's Grinning Cat and it might well be a classic - a little like the Boards of Canada but with melodies and an attention span, possibly less shocking than Damian Hirst but a great deal more technically accomplished, challenging and engaging. But hey, I'm a vegetarian. Jez Wells
SONOMU (1st) - https://www.tradebit.com
'Copper Sulphate Crystals' sounds like an antique find from a beautifully cultured past, a treasure-box of beatific electro-acoustic classical strings, xylophones and stuttering little mechanical drum-machines. Filled with lush instrumentation and spacious atmospherics, it has a very etheral otherworldy charm, and sits up there with other such recent organic electronic releases as Colleen and Mileece.
The opening track 'Copper Sulphate Crystal 1' has a feel to it like sepia tinged memories of strolling along a british seaside pier, slightly melancholic, a glimpse of a past lost forever. 'The Sacred Heart of Jesus' wanders close to 'Godspeed You Black Emperor' heights of epic proportion and sound, stereophonic orchestral strings, processed electric guitar, horns and percussion framed with casio melodies and laid back acoustic strumming. A broken piano loop and waves of static, like rain on a window, introduces 'Birds Spin In Magnetic Milk'. A bass that sounds like a generator hum surges up, as the sounds intensify, playing off each other and expanding into drones before dissolving again into shrapnel. 'Mothers Day' has a bassline which slowly morphs back and forth from speaker to speaker, revealing tendrils of captured conversations and pockets of melody as if they were bubbles floating upwards through liquid. 'Zero G 100's and 1,000's experiment 2' could be a soundtrack to a black and white forties movie, save for the sine wave frequencies and the low throbbing hint of technology, and the closing track 'Copper Sulphate Crystal 2' is another grandly sombre song of half diluted memories fading in the light of dawn.
Quite a stunning piece of work altogether, and a great debut for this Isle Of Wight based label.
- thorsten sideb0ard
SONOMU (2nd) - https://www.tradebit.com
"Copper Sulphate Crystals" occupies an ambient soundscape painted with gorgeous melodies, sinister atmospheres, crunching beats and electro bleeps. It's ripe with nods to classical music - pianos, strings, organs and chimes - as well electronic music - synths, sounds effects and other computer-generated tomfoolery - but it reveals its strength solely as a collection of remarkable and unique pieces of music. To cite a handful of tracks on the album: "A3055" starts as a gentle spatter of notes and bleeps but evolves into a beautiful string and piano-driven epic, sounding much like the theme to a scandanavian drama film, where one envisions this piece heating up those icey barren landscapes; the sweet and melancholy "The Sacred Heart of Jesus" moves along with an insanely catchy melody, underwritten by folk rhythms, bleeps and acoustic guitars; the noise and frenetic beat workout of "Earthmonster 1" dares take the album in an assertively darker (and not so musical) direction; the happy organs of "Harry's Song" sound like a folk soundtrack written for a Commodore 64 game; and the closing "Copper Sulphate Crystal 2" sounds much like a buried treasure from ambient/alternative stalwarts Rothko, but with a broader sound palette and an earful of Man In Formaldehyde's own brand of cinematic and musical gold. It's safe to say however that this whole album is a gem. I write so kindly about "Copper Sulphate Crystals" because I believe it's greatness lies in its broad emotional scope: from sweet to sour, from happy to melancholy, from blissful chill out to the dark confines of noise exercises, this album has it all. But with a name like Man In Formaldehyde and titles like "Copper Sulphate Crystals" or "Zero G 100's and 1,000's experiment 2", you'd think this album might be in some way cold or mechanical. Yet surprisingly (or perhaps rather unsurprisingly) this a warm and moving record, closer to something spiritual than science.
- David Nguyen [email protected]://www.tradebit.com
Eesti Ekspress (Estonia)- https://www.tradebit.com
Aasta parim electronica-plaat? Wighti saare (Inglismaa) pisikeselt label’ilt Pointy Bird Records on tulnud vist selle aasta parim electronica-plaat. 10 punktist lahutab “Copper Sulphate Crystalsi” ainult kaks üleliigset lugu (“Earthmonster” 1 ja 2), mis kuidagi tervikusse ei sobi. Plaat koosneb suuresti (kuid mitte üleni) loopaaridest, millest “Copper Sulphate Crystal” 1 ja 2 on pasunatega ja meloodilised, “Harry’s Song” ja “Mother’s Day” meloodilised ja mahedad palad à la Isan või Mum, “A3055”, “Birds Spin in Magnetic Milk” ja “Zero G 100’s and 1000’s experiment” 1 ja 2 rütmitud ja meloodilised tabamatud kompositsioonid. Leidlik, innovatiivne, väga (“Earthmonsteriga” isegi liiga) erinevatele piiridele küündiv ilus asi. 9/10. Erkki Luuk
WIND AND WIRE - https://www.tradebit.com
On receiving this CD, I knew it was going to be something different and quite probably quirky, the artist name and album title gave that impression right away. The graphics on the liner notes also suggested a 1960s style of music, which is partly true in that the music is inspired by soundtracks from old films and "enchanted TV shows". I'm not particularly keen on experimental, psychedelic, or overly unusual music, so it was with some apprehension that I put the disc into my CD player. My first impression was relief that it isn't of the weird and unlistenable type of "music" that I've occasionally heard, and after several listens I came to appreciate the strange atmosphere generated by this album. There's a "home-made" feel throughout Copper Sulphate Crystals. An anonymous man from the Isle Of Wight (a.k.a. Man in Formaldehyde) has used a synth, acoustic guitar, computer, and samples to create a personal album with some cinematic sensibilities. He cleverly delivers tracks that range from little more than various sounds strung together, through melodic and rhythmic pieces that sound more mainstream, to obvious psychedelia. Use of tape hiss and crackling sounds on some tracks helps to keep the listener's imagination tending towards old films or TV programmes. Several pieces stand out for me. A particularly rhythmic and melodic piece is "The Sacred Heart of Jesus" which mixes acoustic guitar well with an almost toy like synth sound, drum and other effects. On "Earthmonster 1," blistering sounds and drum effects summon memories of Japanese Godzilla or dinosaur films. Then towards the end of the album "Harry's Song" is a pleasant mildly melodic track sounding as though it's played on an organ. I didn't enjoy every track on Copper Sulphate Crystals, nonetheless it's a singular album of some charm that tends to grow on the listener. Those who are open to something different and who don't give up at the first listen may become captivated by this offering from Pointy Bird Records. Dene Bebbington
ROBOTS AND ELECTRONIC BRAINS - https://www.tradebit.com
I like their style. From the chap with the red face that's gone wrong in the middle on the sleeve (is that what formaldehyde does to you?) to the Pointy Bird logo (looks like a crab with stumpy claws) to the fact that they've written PROMO COPY in felt pen on the back of the CD case, I love all the details. I liked this record before I even put it on. And then I liked it all over again. Copper Sulphate Crystal 1 opens the Formaldehyde account by echoing the music from Take Hart's Gallery while locating itself in a Parisian Café during a quiet afternoon. Then we're into A3055 for a ten minute journey across the Isle of Wight in a slow-moving balloon piloted by The Orb. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is next. You know how, when you stare at the sun, you get kaleidoscopic flashing and stained-glass colours in front of your eyes? Imagine the same for your ears, on a really hot day. The rest of the album glides by in chunks of five or six minutes that seem to last five or six seconds. Or maybe five or six days - Jimmy Possession
THE FREAK EMPORIUM - https://www.tradebit.com
2003 release from sonic soundscaper Man In Formaldehyde. Using only guitar, synth and computer he has come up with a beautifully atmospheric album of ambient cinematic soundscapes. Using loops, backward tapes and various FX, Man In Formaldehyde creates a sound that is reminiscent of Eno, Tortoise and even the Aphex Twin in places but retains a very personal feel. Pulsing swathes of sound (and absolutely no voices) make this one of the chillout albums of the year! - Julian
NORMAN RECORDS - https://www.tradebit.com
'Copper Sulphate Crystals' by Man In Formaldehyde is the oddest CD I've seen in a long time simply due to the fact I was expecting some harsh, disjointed powerbook abuse but was pleasantly surprised to discover chilled & pretty atmospherics with strings & whooshing noises that make me want to go on holiday again. Hints of Tindersticks et al in places but instrumental loveliness with bits of gentle electronica don't prepare you for cut up cymbals with dark electronic overtones halfway through. Uncategorisable bastards. - Brian
SMALLFISH RECORDS - https://www.tradebit.com
'FIRST RELEASE WE'VE HAD FROM THIS ISLE OF WIGHT BASED LABEL. YOU GET ELEVEN TRACKS OF ACOUSTIC AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC THAT'S CUNNINGLY MIXED TOGETHER TO CREATE AN ORGANIC SOUNDING WHOLE THAT HAS CINEMATIC QUALITIES. BEAUTIFULLY MELODIC AND PACKED FULL OF INTERESTING ARRANGEMENTS AND CLEVER PRODUCTION. DOESN'T DO IT JUSTICE, I KNOW, BUT YOU REALLY NEED TO CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
SCHIZOPHRENIC RECORDS - https://www.tradebit.com
Hailing from the Isle Of Wight armed with a synth, acoustic guitar and a computer. Stuttered yet melodious, warm and cinematic. Lending to a dream state. Beautiful electronics.
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