number 1004
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week 43
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NO VITAL WEEKLY IN WEEK 44






PSEUDO CODE - REMAINS TO BE HEARD VOL. 1 & 2 (2CD by EE Tapes) *
INDIGO KID – FIST FULL OF NOTES (CD by Babel)
THE LAST HURRAH!! – MUDFLOWERS (CD by Rune Grammophon)
DANIEL BARBIERO & CRISTIANA BOCCI - NOSTOS (CD Acustronica)
HARVEST RAIN - NIGHTWAVE (CD by OPN)
NIHILTRONICS - CURIOSITÉS (CD by OPN)
STILLLIFE - ARCHIPELAGO (CD by Ftarri) *
IRMLER & EINHEIT - BESTANDTEIL (CD by Klangbad) *
PHILIPPE PETIT - EAR ME IN (CD by Monotype) *
NOAH - SIVUTIE (CD by Flau) *
RAYONS - THE WORLD LEFT BEHIND (CD by Flau) *
ECHOES OF YUL - THE HEALING (CD by Zoharum) *
MACIEK SZYMCZUK - MUSIC FOR CASSANDRA (CD by Zoharum) *
HATI - METANOUS (CD by Zoharum) *
MARINA FAGES - DIBUJO DE RAYO (CD by Panai)
SEBASTIAN ZANGAR - CHILDREN OF M (CD by Lantern) *
DREKKA - UNBEKNOWNST TO THE PARTICIPANTS AT HAND (LP by Dais Records)
DENKI UDON - IN ZDB (LP by Three-four) *
EX YOU – EX YOU (CDR by Ex You)
RUHE - PATRIARCHS (CDR by Eilean Records) *
CDR - ACID WALTZ (CDR by Adaadat) *
VENTA PROTESIX - ANNI DI MASTURBAZIONE (CDR by Adaadat) *
KARMICIEL WSZY - ISDALSKVINNEN (CDR, private) *
PINA BOUNCE - TRUMPETANCY (cassette by Orila/Paraphernalia/Noise-below)
AMK/HOWARD STELZER (cassette by Noise-below)
HÜBEBLO GENEVA (cassette by Hidden Temple)
T. MORIMOTO - CRIT REFLEX (cassette by Junk Mnemonic) *





PSEUDO CODE - REMAINS TO BE HEARD VOL. 1 & 2 (2CD by EE Tapes)

Here's a little confession from something I was thinking about a few years ago
(maybe I recounted this before): I took out a piece of paper and started to make
a list of all releases by Belgium's Pseudo Code, their one LP, the 7"s, their
cassettes (four, I believe), and, hardest to work out, the pieces they submitted
to compilations throughout their existence. I am sure the list was far from
complete but the idea was: how many CDs would be needed to release their complete
works on a CD box-set and would such a thing be commercially viable or suicide?
I am not sure how it worked out, CD-wise, as it simply was a fading day-dream,
but there is no longer such need to think about this. By now various of their
works have been released, even some previously unreleased works saw the light
of day ('With Helpful Friends' on Plinkity Plonk; see Vital Weekly 860) and much
of that is thanks to the tireless help of Belgium's EE Tapes. They have released
'Europa', the LP, on CD (see Vital Weekly 733), as well as a CD of earliest works,
'The Radio's On' (Vital Weekly 937). So slowly we are getting there. EE Tapes now
invests in this great package of two discs, spanning both volumes of 'Remains To
Be Heard', which were first released in 1984 and 1986, by Insane Music, the label
of Alain Neffe. Both cassettes had pieces which were unreleased, since the group
split up in 1982. There is three bonus pieces, and for those who acted quick,
a limited lathe cut 7" with two more pieces, both from 'rare' compilations (which
I honestly think all are most are). For a band that only existed for a short period,
maybe two or three years, there is a lot of music out there. Pseudo Code was a
trio with nucleus Alain Neffe (on synthesizers, strings organ, rhythm machines
and suchlike), Guy Marc Hinant (who you may know as the main operator of Sub Rosa,
who just released a CD/LP by Kosmose, a group which included Neffe, Hinant and
others, which was a more cosmic rock group from the seventies; sadly not received
here!) on pianet, organ, casio VL-tone and Xavier S on vocals. These two discs do
not contain material that should be regarded as inferior: 'oh yeah, we got this
too, it remains to be heard (also)'. They shed a light on the development of the
group, the more experimental leanings (compared to say, 'Europa'), even more
psychedelic at times: the rhythm machine is the central force, ticking in a machine
like fashion and the three members improvise around that in quite a wild fashion.
When rhythm is absent, Neffe lays down a few string sounds, Hinant picks a few
notes on his pianet, while Xavier sings words and uses a bit of delay here and
there; almost like sound poetry set to music (something Neffe later on did with
his Cortex project, using a variety of female vocalists). There is a nice collection
of live recordings in here too, from the few concerts they played, but all of their
music has a very 'live' feeling. While Pseudo Code's influences lie in the early
'industrial' music such as Cabaret Voltaire, and a lesser extent Throbbing Gristle,
they always manage to sound like Pseudo Code. Even if one removes one element,
whatever remains is still very much Pseudo Code and that is quite some achievement
I think. The vocals of S. along with the electronic music by Neffe and Hinant's
pianet create a unique sound that sometimes is wild and driven by lots of energy,
and sometimes is a quiet and covered in solitude. This is, still after all these
years, some powerful music.
   There is more to wish for: a double CD with 'Potlatch Music Vol. 1' and 'Vol. 2'
would be most welcome, I think, or perhaps more volumes of 'Remains To Be Heard',
compiling all of the pieces Pseudo Code contributed to compilations, which gave
them early recognition (I knew it would be a great compilation if it had both
Pseudo Code and the Legendary Pink Dots); by then we may have pretty complete
picture of this great band, and a well deserved monument is then finished. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.eetapes.be



INDIGO KID – FIST FULL OF NOTES (CD by Babel)

Indigo Kid is Dan Messore (guitar), Iain Bellamy (tenor sax), Trish Clowes tenor sax),
Tim Harries (bass) and Martin France (drums). Their first album dates from 2012, and
contained a mixture of jazz, rock, country. On their follow up ‘Fist Full of Notes’
they limit themselves to jazz. Again Messore, who has a preference for melodic lines
and themes, composes everything. Sophisticated and warm playing makes this one an easy
listening. The compositions are okay and feel deeply rooted in the jazz tradition,
showing a different face or style in each track.  Also the playing of Messore makes
one think of other guitarists from the past. I had to think of Frisell for instance.
In ‘from Nowhere to our Place’ I heard influences of folk rock. So Messore is very
capable composer and player, in the company of excellent players, incorporating many
influences. Happily they don’t lose themselves in technical acrobatics. All that
impress me, but the music didn’t really turn me on. I don’t know why, while a lot is
happening on this solid recording. So be it. (DM)
   Address: http://www.babellabel.co.uk



THE LAST HURRAH!! – MUDFLOWERS (CD by Rune Grammophon)

Third release by The Last Hurrah!!, a project by Hans Petter Gundersen who wrote all
songs except one, and plays guitar. Gundersen is a central force in the scene of Bergen,
Norway for decades now, as a producer, composer and musician. Maesa Pullman – yes
daughter of actor Bill Pullman - sings. A dozen or more musicians play the numerous
instruments. Most of the musicians involved are from Bergen, but a few American 
players are invited. The pedal steel guitar is in the hands of Marty Rifkin (Sprinfield,
Petty), on Hammond organ John Thomas who played in The Magic Band. The music transports
you back to pre-punk and new wave times. Songs full of Americana: country, rock, pop,
soul, etc. All in a strong 60s-70s outlook. The voice of Maesa Pullman fits perfectly
in this ambiance. So in the least this is a very clever album insofar they deliver
a very convincing homage to this period. In every detail and aspect this one refers
to time passed. The arrangements, the sound, etc. as if a lost album was found on the
shelves in some American studio. So yes be prepared if you are of a certain age: most
certainly you have heard it all before a thousand times before. So here problems start,
one could say. What does this one add? Well not that much if you ask me. But, on the
other hand, these guys do their work with love and very professional. A superb musical
reincarnation! (DM)
   Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com



DANIEL BARBIERO & CRISTIANA BOCCI - NOSTOS (CD Acustronica)

‘Nostos’ is a duo effort by Daniel Barbiero and Cristiano Bocci. Both have a background
in modern classical music and share a similar sense for adventure as this release proves.
Barbiero plays double bass, plus electronics in the second track. Bocci plays electronics,
and electric bass in track 8. They are into electro-acoustic improvised music. The CD
counts eight examples of musical interactions. What we hear is the double bass often
playing long sustained notes and patterns embedded in an electronics environment. These
electronics range from very sparse in the background to very prominent. ‘Nostos” is from
the same root as nostalgia, they explain. And well, emotionally this music fits well with
this mental state because of the dark and deep sonorities that are produced. Nostalghia
has to do with being divided in space and time from a place one loves. The aspect of
distance offers another link to this work that came into being through the web. Each
piece starts from a double bass solo by Barbiero. These were sent to Bocci who lives in
the US. He did all kinds of manipulations, ending up in the final results that are in the
CD. The music deals a lot on drones and timbre. At times their music stayed a bit foggy
and vague in my perceptions, but happily there are many moments when the music unfolds
itself in captivating patterns and sound structures. (DM)
   Address: http://www.acustronica.com/



HARVEST RAIN - NIGHTWAVE (CD by OPN)
NIHILTRONICS - CURIOSITÉS (CD by OPN)

It's quite hard to write a negative CD review. It is obvious from the meticulous care
that is put into the artwork and the poetic background story in the sleeve notes that
this not merely bungled together in an afternoon on a rainy day. I always consider the
possibility that something just isn't my kind of thing; that I simply don't understand
the aesthetic merit of the music in question. So in this case I will carefully try to
explain why I don't like this album that much. It is quite clear where the band is
coming from: think early Death in June, mixed with percussion-looped post-punk, drenched
in reverb, recounting fables, ghost stories and the such. Sounds good, you might say.
It did to me at any rate. Harvest Rain has been around since the mid 90s apparently
and though they have previously released their work via some well-known goth/industrial
scene labels, I don't believe I've ever heard any of their albums.
   All right so the album kicks off with an ambient intro that grabbed my attention
instantly, as it really has the typical atmosphere of a dreamlike Current93 intro.
However, the second track directly disrupts that oneiric flow with a bland kick/clap
loop that seems unintentionally wonky every 8 bars or so. Also when the main vocal
drops, it seems to be offbeat, which is somewhat covered up by the river of reverb
in which the distorted guitar is growling its muffled melody. And that's another thing
that made listening to the album a bit challenging; the mix is very messy. Maybe this
is an artistic choice and yes indeed there are classic albums of both post-punk and
neofolk about that were recorded in miserable conditions and sound accordingly, but
the tonnes of reverb that emphasise the harmonic content in such a way that it's hard
to tell what is actually going on every now and then, had me wondering if it is there
to cover up the odd mistake. But then again even the drum computer has a fair load of
reverb on it, so it might simply be what these lads prefer. Funny thing is that the
thick cloud of effects does work quite well in a track like 'Christblossoms', in which
the guitar has an industrial automaton thing going on. To me this song would have been
exceptionally interesting if only that silly kick-clap combination wasn't there, as it
seems somehow to serve as an unnecessary buoy for the lost-at-sea listener, while at
the same time it prevents the track from being truly overwhelming. "Antique Powdered
Sleep" was the highlight on the album, sounding like a mellowed down Esplendor
Géometrico, which stands out for obvious reasons. Then there were some tracks that
were so goth that it would be hard to not find them entertaining ("Weightless" for
instance). Also the vocal delivery is very pleasant in its neofolkity/gothness,
partly sung, sometimes declaimed and I found it to be reminiscent of Brendan Perry's
voice every now and then when it surfaced from the ocean of effects. Please understand,
I like reverb, I really do, but it seems like Harvest Rain has chosen to soak the
entire main mix in it before sending the master to the factory. Apparently the band
and OPN think that is the way to go and maybe you do to. Why not check it out for
yourself?
   NihilTronics is one of the aliases of Arnaud B. who has myriad of other monikers,
of which I-C-K is the only one I actually know. The sleeve does not give us much info
to go on, nor does the label's bandcamp page, which only cryptically mentions that
this is "Nihilistic music for nihilistic people". So from the outset my initial aim
is to ignore the recurring mental "we believe in nossing Lebowski" sound bite and avoid
dropping more "Autobahn" quotes apart for that one. However, the first track of the
album does not help much fighting off my facetious disposition, as it seems to be
grumbling on with its clowny bass line. It reminded me a bit of the dark cabaret AIT!
and Nový Svět had us dancing to in the mid 00s. But then by the third track "Leçon" we
leave dance floor and all fun behind and get dragged down into the dreary cellar of
dark minimal electronics. Le Syndicat Electronique/La Séduction des Innocents spring
to mind, also because many of the tracks murmur on without clear climaxes, like a lot
Alexandre Gand's stuff does - a notable exception being "Les Masques", which is one
of the more catchy tracks on the album. And yes there are indeed a lot of similarities
between the styles of I-C-K and NihilTronics - severely modulated vocals, minimal
rhythmic setups and crispy synths. It seems to me that some synth parts are hand played
which I think is a commendable feature and adds an organic sense, albeit a wonky one.
The basic beats and melodies are quite hypnotic from time to time and the driven
production is quite snappy and harsh. I guess what it does this album does well.
Then again, personally I prefer this kind of music to sport more memorable vocals and
hooks and I can't really see any occasion on which I would pop this disc into the cd
player again. But yeah, obviously a matter of taste. (PJN)
   Address: http://www.opn.fr



STILLLIFE - ARCHIPELAGO (CD by Ftarri)

Following their all Japanese CD 'Yuro No Katarogu', the duo of Stilllife offers here
a new recording of music performed in 2014 and 2015, which is cut together as one long
piece, spanning to the very second at one hour exactly. Takashi Tsuda and Hiroki
Sasajima are responsible for the music but unlike last time when we were told there
were no 'instruments, improvisation nor ensemble' I am sort of inclined to think there
might be instruments here, and hell, why not, there is some sort of improvisation.
Between the title, 'Archipelago', there is mentioning of 'Kagiroi', 'Kehai' and
'Tobari'; the first and the last might be names of locations. If you listen to the
music, it seems there are four places, rather than three, but the first and last part
could very well have been recorded outside somewhere, the last bit on busy street
somewhere. It could also be (I'm sorry if I sound like I'm speculating here, but that's
what I do best) they play some sort of flute or wind instruments from time to time.
It has that feedback like ring to it that something is going on here that is man made,
rather than sticking out a microphone and capture whatever happens to be going on at
the moment. Last time Stilllife sounded like they did small songs, which is not the
case on this release that much. Here everything is more about longer pieces, lots of
bird chatter and a bit of music that is played (or not that is. Maybe these people
should release DVDs I mused, so we can check it out more easily). Except for the final
bit everything here sound very quiet and non-obtrusive; the field recordings, or rather
the field as a place to make recordings, is still very important and, while not as
unique as their previous release, this is quite a refined music release. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.ftarri.com



IRMLER & EINHEIT - BESTANDTEIL (CD by Klangbad)

Hans Joachim Irmler you of course know as a member of Faust, but over the years he
opened up his studio to record with other musicians, and it is worth to note that
these musicians are often drummers or percussionists: Gudrun Gut, Jaki Liebezeit
and Christian Wolfarth. FM Einheit, best known perhaps as one of the early members
of Einsturzende Neubauten and Abwärts, which he both left in the mid 90s, to pursue
a solo career. He plays percussion but is also the inventor of the bass spring,
which is what he uses here. Between 2012 and 2015 he made eight trips to the Faust
studio, usually spending two days there, and recorded in total eight jam sessions
of himself on percussion and Irmler on the organ. Later on these were mixed together
into the nine pieces on 'Bestandteil'. The element of improvisation is never far
away, not even in these mixes. Usually the set a groove in motion and play more
sounds on top. These grooves don't have to start with Einheit: it can also be just
as well a sort of sequencer like motion from Irmler. The music they play on top
stays with that groove, but we hear the abundant use of delay and reverb. Unlike
the release Irmler did with Jaki Liebezeit (see Vital Weekly 940), the overall mood
is quite dark here, both in the way the organ and the rhythm sound, even in the dark
big band samples of 'The Taking'. Moody and textured rhythms and grooves, that's
what this music is all about. Every time I hear this it grows more and more,
all of this subtle dark and minimalist variations. Great release. (FdW)
   Address: http://klangbad.de



PHILIPPE PETIT - EAR ME IN (CD by Monotype)

A meeting with legendary French composer Bernard Parmegiani in 2005, prompted
Philippe Petit to compose a work with 'the dynamic of the resonance and its
incidences: a microphonic exploration of a single sound body made to resonate by
means of different types of percussion'. To that end he got access to the whole
body of percussion instruments (timpani, wind chimes, tubular bells, marimba,
castanets, bass drums, gong, gamelans and such like, as well as his on amplified
wood tablet) and from all of this created his own sound bank, which he pressed
on a bunch of one-off copies on vinyl. Over the years he has been using these
unique pieces of vinyl in his concerts (a fine reminder that Petit started out
as a turntablist), which brought him a whole bunch of recordings, which were then
cut-up, spliced and processed using computer technology. This results in the
two pieces that we find on 'Ear Me In' and Petit proofs to be a good student
of Parmegiani, or in fact the whole idiom of musique concrete. Two pieces of
around twenty-two minutes each of cascading sounds, vinyl pops, glissandi notes,
pitched up and down percussive sounds, and never staying too long in the same
place. In 'Slowly The Door Creaks Open…' there is also a few bits with voices,
which I could have lived without. In this piece Petit also finds space for
somewhat longer, sustaining sounds, moving through space before landing just
anywhere, unlike the shorter cuts of the title piece. It's an album of a non-
academic composer and that's something one can easily hear in these two
pieces. Petit doesn't care so much for classical notions on compositions,
but rather plays around with these sounds in a more intuitive ways, which
makes it all the more interesting. Quite a lovely tribute to the old masters
by a new one. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com



NOAH - SIVUTIE (CD by Flau)
RAYONS - THE WORLD LEFT BEHIND (CD by Flau)

You could think that while listening to music all day, writing reviews, sitting
at home, a large bag of candies is never far away; it's not. Not because I don't
like candy but I know which result it will have on the not-so-active body.
Sometimes there is music that is also like candy: very sweet, very naive and
very intimate. Flau from Japan have quit a reputation for releasing that kind
lof music, but it's been a whole since it was something as sugary sweet as Noah.
All of the fifteen pieces consist of very sparse piano tones, lots of reverb on
that sparse tinkling so it all sounds far away, a contact microphone attached
to an object (most likely a doll, or a toy instrument) and the whispering voice,
of Noah perhaps. 'Gorgeous Death (Noah remix)' is the only piece with a bit of
rhythm, otherwise I though it all sounded by and large the same. The same sweet
song over and over again, the same compositional model, the same whispering
voice, for the entire length close to an hour this release lasts. I must admit
I pretty much had enough after four pieces of this, so I skipped through most
of the rest. I fail to see what the attraction of this kind of music is: for
which audience is this released?
   The piano is a main instrument in the catalogue and also on the album by
someone who calls him/herself Rayons. There is a bunch of guest players,
playing flute, alto flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and voice, the
latter by Predawn, who actually sings and doesn't whisper. Thank god! Here we
have ten pieces, spanning thirty-eight minutes of pure modern classical bliss.
Music that reminded me of Wim Mertens, of Les Disques du Crepuscule, of spring-
time, of joy and of sadness, especially when the piano is a solo instrument here.
Many of the instruments, if they play, are in the same piece,and then Rayons
sound more like a small modern music ensemble, with Predawn's voice singing
beautifully about a frozen forest or waxing moon. Maybe in the pieces the
influences shift towards 4AD records, but never rock like. The music is very
much like painting watercolours: brushes here and there, mixing music together
in an endless variety of wishy-washy tones. A highly enjoyable release, most
certainly after the drivel of Noah. For all it's sweet aspects this is surely
the place to be, as it offers variation, insight and delight. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.flau.jp



ECHOES OF YUL - THE HEALING (CD by Zoharum)
MACIEK SZYMCZUK - MUSIC FOR CASSANDRA (CD by Zoharum)
HATI - METANOUS (CD by Zoharum)

From these three new releases by Polish Zoharum, I started with the one I had
no clue about. Echoes Of Yul may have released two albums, a split and an EP,
this is my first encounter with the music of Michal Sliwa, who plays electric
and acoustic guitars, basses, synthesizers, keys, bows, theremin, accordion,
harmonica, flute, stylophone, talkbox, vocoded voice, kazoo, shortwave radio,
drums, percussion, field recording, programming and samples. That's a lot indeed,
but with such an orchestral sound as he has, this is surely all necessary. The
music by Echoes Of Yul doesn't fit in any particular music area. It lies heavily
in the world of rhythm, with real drums playing an important part (next to the
use of loops of sound), and that rhythm is a bit slow, a bit dub like at times,
but also solid as in rock music. Think post-rock, krautrock and psychedelica.
On top of that there is a lot of guitar and synthesizer like sounds spacing and
racing a long; voices are kept to a minimum, but if present sound like a bunch
of monks chanting wordless together. It's a clever, modern pastiche of styles
and Echoes Of Yul does a great job in connecting the dots between musical styles.
It's highly atmospheric, spacious, much of which is owed to the extensive use of
reverb, but it no doubt could appeal to a wider, more rock oriented audience,
thanks to those heavy rock drum sound and lots of dubbed guitars. This is the
kind of music that would sound great in concert, even if I have no idea how Sliwa
would pull such a thing off. Maybe forming a proper band would be the one solid a
nswer and take this show on the road. I predict a great career for Echoes Of Yul.
   Maciek Szymczuk has been going for many years and has had releases on Mik Musik
and Zoharum, solo and as part of Aabzu (see Vital Weekly 937) and he continues
his ambient 'pop' music on his latest 'Music For Cassandra'. There is a bit of
rhythm, some piano and guitar, lots of atmosphere and Szymczuk is your man to
guide you in this doomy and moody world. All of this is rather simple in terms
of composition: rhythm ticks away, a bit of piano chords, some on the guitar and
washes of synthesizers. Most of the time it sounds like gently passing like clouds
in the sky; a sky at twilight time, shimmering with darkness. Taking its title
from Friedrich Schiller, there is a darker, romantic notion over this music,
one of despair, spleen, weltschmerz, or whatever you prefer ('Infinite Sadness
Of Being Right' is one of the titles, 'Last Lament In Death' another; there you
go). It is also filled with musical notions, as Szymczuk doesn't want this to be
fully abstract and alien, when it comes to the use of drones. Sometimes it's
a bit grittier and dirtier, such as 'Let My Life Be Done' (what did I say about
titles?), and more rock-like. Maybe a bit out of place, but it also provides
a needed counterpoint, a different angle (angel?) to the music. It is cold outside,
it is grey and the mood is sad: yes, Szymczuk knows how to make the right move.
   Hati is known as the duo of Rafal Iwanski and Rafal Kolacki, but they also
worked as a trio, which included Robert Darowski. He plays wooden and bamboo
didgeridoos, rain stick, clap sticks, double windwand and pvc pipe, while the
other two play gongs, cymbals, bells, spring drums, rattles, shell, wooden horn,
ocarina, bass drum, rattles, flute and animal horn. Hati is, as you may either
guessed or known, a percussion troupe and the music owes to the world of magick,
atmospherics, drones, ambient and all such like. The best news is: they keep any
such references as to magick to a minimum, or in fact, it's hardly there at all.
This time around the didgeridoo is a fine addition to the music of Hati, and
taking their music is a slightly different field. The percussion is stretched
out more, and playing longer sustaining tones, to which the didgeridoo adds more
depth. Following the music of atmospheres created by Echoes Of Yul and Maciek
Szymczuk, this is another addition to that, albeit of a somewhat difference
nature. I am not the world biggest fan of this type of percussion music; it is
perhaps too esoteric for me, too ritualistick, magick and whatever else ends on
'ck' (not even calvin). As said, Hati leaves out many of these references these
days, and that's something. Purely as music this might not be entirely my cup
of tea, but I surely hear that this is made with some great skill and fine ear
for detail. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.zoharum.com



MARINA FAGES - DIBUJO DE RAYO (CD by Panai)
SEBASTIAN ZANGAR - CHILDREN OF M (CD by Lantern)

Following her debut 'Madera Metal' (see Vital Weekly 897), there is now the
second CD by Marina Fages, still big in Japan, and while I thought of her folky,
poppy debut as ' all too sweet and perhaps all a bit too similar' but not bad
for a post summer's day, she now turned her ears towards 'punk music' and more
especially her own interpretation of it. Ah punk. I do like a bit of punk,
and still rank Crass and The Ex as bands I enjoy to this very day; there are
lots of early 80s Dutch punk I like but I never cared for US hardcore. While
writing these lines I am playing Fages' second album, now into the second piece.
I was thinking (skip to track three) that I have no idea what punk in Argentina
was like, but if it was anything like Fages does here, than (skip to four) I
wonder what they thought of hardcore US bands, or Crass, or The Ex. This,
I thought, was more like alternative heavy rock with a bit of new wave influences
(and yes, I do like new wave too, in fact too many bands to mention), which is
something that has been recycled over the years just too many times and every
time these recycled versions are heralded as the next big thing (Franz Ferdinand
and whatever else was applauded, skip to next song) and who knows, maybe the
world is waiting for the new wave songs of Fages and she can be truly big star.
This music is something that has not left me indifferent; it left me a thinking
there is so (skip track seven, seven more to come) much more great music alike
this to be played from my personal collection than this copycat. (skip cd)
   From the same source also a second release from Romanian born, German
resident Sebastian Zangar (picture on the press shows a man with a beard,
cap reversed on his head; I wish I hadn't seen that actually; must be my punk
background: who cares what the artist looks like?) who’s 'Song 4 Sector 4' was
reviewed in Vital Weekly 886. His recent album was partly recorded in Berlin and
partly on an island near Stockholm (have laptop will travel) and Zangar changed
his tune too. His previous album was a bit jazzy, a bit like a lounge record for
hip people (have beard will reverse cap, will sip coffee of a more obscure kind
while waiting for my next tattoo or large hole ear ring) but perhaps I am just
a bit sceptical about all of that. His new record sees Zangar dealing with
electronics once again, but without the elements 'jazz', 'lounge' and 'piano'
and in its place we find dub techniques. 'M' in the title stands for Maurizio,
he who guided so many on their roads to dub techno through his releases on Basic
Channel and Chain Reaction and Zangar is a very good student. Maybe I could
launch another diatribe against copying, but I'm not against copying at all.
One should not applaud every copy as the work of a genius, that's all (and yes,
forget what Picasso said about copying and talent). No one says Fages is a genius,
you're right there, but maybe the whole dub techno is just something that I enjoy
more than a tenth carbon copy of new wave. Maybe there is something faceless about
that kind of music that no one cares who does what? Would you care about the
composer if you were sweaty and dancing? As long as the DJ serves you the right
mix. Zangar's music would go down smoothly in a mix that would play Maurizio,
Porter Ricks, Rhythm & Sound or whatever is hip these days in the world of dub
techno. I quite enjoyed all of this, though the more rhythm, the better it was
I thought. When he strips his beats too much, I found my attention wondering
off. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.naturebliss.jp



DREKKA - UNBEKNOWNST TO THE PARTICIPANTS AT HAND (LP by Dais Records)

From the busy bee that is Michael Anderson, otherwise known as Drekka, or part
of Dry Socket, as well as running Bluesanct label, and Orphanology as it's sub
division, comes another LP for Dais Records from New York/Los Angeles, and once
again Drekka delves the archives to find stuff that is in the archive. In this
case a recording from October 2014, quite fresh I think, which Anderson did in
Italy, together with Annelies Monsere on vocals. Anderson also takes credit
for voice and 'else', by which I think it means all the rest of the sounds.
Monsere's vocals were taped earlier on and in his concerts Anderson uses tapes
to play along. The label links this piece to Nurse With Wound, which is perhaps
not something I easily hear. There are humming voices, spread out in thick
layers over the sonic palette, and there's the rummaging of objects upon
contact microphones. All of this with quite a bit of reverb to add to the
atmosphere. Quite an unsettling piece of music, but alike Nurse With Wound?
That's perhaps a bit too far fetched. On the other side there is (more or
less) the title piece, but then fully named: 'The Work In Question Is
Unbeknownst To The Participants At Hand', in which, if I understood correctly
Anderson uses a whole bunch of sounds from people, with whom he worked over
the years and crafted this into a piece of electronic sound, electro-acoustic
mayhem and a bit of collage techniques from the world of musique concrete.
Perhaps this side owes more to the early sound world of the Nurse, with its
on-going, somewhat piercing electronics (all rather lo-fi drones), recordings
of what could be a drum kit, and feedback. Spread out over the side of a record,
just like Nurse With Wound did in the early days, I can more easily see that
connection. This is a very vibrant piece of music that Drekka plays here,
using a variety of apparently non-connected sounds, melted together to make
an excellent piece of electronic music. For me the B-side is the winner, but
the A-side with its wrapped choir sounds is not bad either. Another gorgeous
dark and spacious slab of vinyl by Drekka! (FdW)
   Address: http://www.daisrecords.com/



DENKI UDON - IN ZDB (LP by Three-four)

ZDB, as mentioned in the title, is a concert space in Lisbon and its acronym
stands for Zé Dos Bois. While I had not heard of Denki Udon before, the trio
consists of Norberto Lobo, of whom in Vital Weekly 981, I reviewed a CD that
he did with João Lobo and a bunch of other people. Jazz was something that
didn't seem to be far away for that release, but it was also a bit too decent
for my taste. Lobo plays guitar and bass on this recording from Denki Udon,
while Giovanni Di Domenico plays Fender Rhodes (he was also present on the Lobo
brothers CD) and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto plays the drums. All three players have
their roots in the world of improvised music, free jazz and modern classical
music. That is something that they also play on this record, and in concert
in ZDB in 2014: music that is partly free, mostly jazzy and also a bit careful.
Everybody has their role in this music, everybody contributes to the bigger
picture of a piece and they play with much ear for detail. Lobo sometimes plays
more rock like gestures on his guitar, and there are a fair bit of effects on
the Fender Rhodes; 'Needle Dropping' is in that respect their most aggressive
piece: three minutes of free noise rock. It's all highly enjoyable music here,
but perhaps also no harm or danger around here. I can imagine this going down
well by those love their Sunday glass of wine and fine bit free jazz in a
highly respectable jazz environment. (FdW)
   Address: http://three-four.net



EX YOU – EX YOU (CDR by Ex You)

Ex You is a trio from Novi Sad, Serbia (ex-Yougoslavia) of Milan Milojković
(electronics), László Lenkes (guitar) and Filip Đurović (drums). They started
last year and have also a cassette (‘Whatknot’) out on Small Scale Music,
reviewed by Frans for Vital Weekly 9. Can’t tell you much about the musical
whereabouts of these three players. But as Ex You they make up a strong and
focussed unit. The CDR counts four lengthy free improvised sessions departing
from a rock attitude. Spaced out experiments, taking time to let things evolve,
etc. The improvisations were recorded in October and November 2014, in a home
recording studio in Vojvodina, Serbia. At moments their music develops like
a jam session with a groove and rhythm at the core, almost in a Neu-like manner
due to the primitive but effective pulsating electronic beats generated by
Milojkovic. At other moments they choose to abstract from conventional
vocabulary and take a dive into free and open territories. It all could be
more condensed and concentrated, but all in all this are interesting and
sympathetic excursions. (DM)
   Address: http://www.exyou.bandcamp.com



RUHE - PATRIARCHS (CDR by Eilean Records)

Behind Ruhe is one Bryan Ruhe (and 'ruhe' in German means 'quiet'), and I
don't think I heard of him before. The piano seems to be his primary
instrument but he also uses some other techniques to transform the sound
of piano as well as to add some weirder sounds; more moods and textures
really. There's a bit of field recording here and there (the piano is
recorded outside in the rain), but also it seems that there is a lot of
time spend on making these recordings sound very low in approach. Then
certain features are taken out of that, a bass sound, a bit of hiss,
those kinds of elements, and added again to the music, to create more
alienation. None of the piano melodies are very much in a flow. Ruhe likes
to play a few chords, slowly until the sustain dies out and that's about
it. This is indeed quite a curious release. I must admit I felt I was
bouncing back and forth between thinking 'this is actually something
that I heard before, but quite consistently worked out, and surely odd
enough' versus 'yeah, okay, I heard you play a few notes on the piano,
reverse them, amplify hiss and add rain sounds'; it is somewhere between
'not bad at all' and 'quite simple' actually, not exactly between 'love'
and 'hate', which I think would be too strong. Even when I played this
a couple of times since receiving this, I don't seem to be able to make
up my mind. There is a mysterious attraction to this music, which is
quite captivating and perhaps that's the best thing about this? A quality
in itself, I think. (FdW)
   Address: http://eileanrec.bandcamp.com/



CDR - ACID WALTZ (CDR by Adaadat)
VENTA PROTESIX - ANNI DI MASTURBAZIONE (CDR by Adaadat)

Hikaru Tsunematsu works as Amen Junky, Amenomix, Casio Roland, DJ
Psilocube Disc Recordable, GBR, Auaua, Gunslinger R, RDC, Zr3a and CDR.
His music was released by 19-T, BRK, Maltine Records, Chipdripdrops,
No Kore, Otherman Records, Amenorea, Dance Corps, Proc Records, Cuntroll,
Cock Rock Disco, Merryworks, Tsundere Violence and his own RDC Records.
If the list of names is fake, and something lazy reviewers copy from
press texts: so be it; I haven't heard of any of these before. CDR calls
himself a noise/breakcore/chiptune artist and this is music that leaves
any listener, of any age, behind exhausted. This is heavy on all sides;
the chaotic drum patterns that belong to the world of breakcore, the
grainy 8 (or lower) bit tunes played on worn out gameboys and the let's
crank everything up to 11 production. Sometimes the acid side of the
title comes alive, with some bits played on the 303. That makes this
actually something with quite a bit of variation throughout, though I
must admit it also worked best for me if pieces were kept to a minimum;
a punk rock minimum so anything over two and half minute is already quite
long, but that's also because not every song is a great idea in itself.
Short pieces make sure that the energy level for this release is kept up
to speed. At thirty-seven minutes this is not an easy task, and as said,
by the time the release was done, I was entirely without energy.
   Italo Belladonna produces more noise of a more traditional stance,
which I am sure, is not his real name, who works as Venta Protesix.
A previous CD was reviewed in Vital Weekly 885. This new release compiles
the best tracks from 2008 towards 2015 and Venta Protesix thinks of himself
as 'the most prominent representative of the emerging musical tradition
known as laptop micro-autism or bruitist stochasticism'. His interest
lies in "'lolicon' - a genre of erotic anime that focuses on young ladies",
as I just learned from MT in the previous review; the artwork of this CD
has a lot of references to Japanese pornography and much of the titles
have no room for the imagination. Some of this is used in the music as
well. For whatever reason I reminded me of the other Italian in laptop
noise music, Massimo (Sapienza), covering a similar territory of laptop
noise mayhem, although I believe Venta Protesix to be more radical than
his countrymen from so many years ago. Unlike CDR Venta Protesix doesn't
keep his pieces short, nor his album; there are no less than twenty pieces
on this release and it spans a good, solid seventy-three minutes. It is
very loud and very digital; maybe he opened a bunch of pictures of Japanese
porn with an audio editor and recorded the noise that would bring (perhaps
while masturbating?). It's very loud. Oh, I wrote that already. I wonder
who could actually play this in its entirety and at the volume needed.
I wasn't succeasful in doing that, I must admit (and I know it's not
necessary to play things in it's entirety, but still, who could/would?).
The creating of noise music is perhaps indeed a form of masturbation and
as such Venta Protesix surely is a master of one. Oh, Venta Protesix has
also releases on Lips Infection, RDC, Floppy Kick, Anarcho Freaks Production,
Monstres Par Exces, Ikebukuro Dada, Loli&Puke Inc, A Dear Girl Called Wendy,
16 Shots Per Second Records, Placenta Recordings, Setola Di Maiale, Metzger
Therapie and Stockroom Records; this time I even recognized two or three
names, but along with the labels I typed with the CDR review: the musical
world is infinity bigger than I ever imagine. Venta Protesix is not
something I would put on repeat easily. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.adaadat.co.uk



KARMICIEL WSZY - ISDALSKVINNEN (CDR, private)

The tumblr site mentioned on the cover has no posts as of writing this,
and no information was enclosed, so I have not much idea about Karmiciel
Wszy. Discogs tell me nothing, other than a previous CDR released by
Inyrdisk and a cassette by Jasien. 'Isdalskvinnen', so it's told on Discogs,
"is a promotional self-release / demo, available for free of charge after
contacting the artist. Also available for streaming in whole on soundcloud."
I am sure you must be able to find out where exactly on soundcloud. This
is my first encounter with his or her (their?) music, and the nine pieces
here span thirty minutes. The cover mentions no instruments, so for all I
know this is someone with either a laptop and a bunch of sounds on board,
or an impressive line of sound effects coupled to a guitar or keyboard.
The result is some pretty neat, but not the most 'new' music, which one
could label as 'ambient industrial', actually in equal amounts of both
the ambient and the industrial side. Quite some extensive use of reverb
is added to create more atmosphere to mechanical sounds, the rattling of
cymbals and perhaps the obscurities of field recordings being transformed
into oblivion. Pieces are kept short, which I'm not sure is a good thing;
I sense there could be a bit more in there than what it is now, but perhaps
I'm wrong. In short there is much to enjoy here and there is room for
improvement to make this more of his own and finding one's voice
in this. (FdW)
   Address: http://karmicielwszy.tumblr.com/



PINA BOUNCE - TRUMPETANCY (cassette by Orila/Paraphernalia/Noise-below)
AMK/HOWARD STELZER (cassette by Noise-below)
I got these two together and decided to start this time around with the name
that is new: Pina Bounce, whose 'Trumpetancy' is her debut release. Bounce
is a trumpet player who holds uses a multi effects amplifier and lives high
up in Mount Giona, central Greece. The five pieces are played in an improvised
manner, but otherwise she's not willing to tell us much more than just that.
Which I guess is fine: maybe music should speak for itself (but it may not
necessarily lead to a longer review). Pina Bounce plays the trumpet and loops
the sound on the spot, adding a bit of reverb (providing she's not in some
church or cave recording this). It gives the music a strange, somewhat hollow
sound, like alphorns played in a somewhat sacral surrounding. Bounce plays her
 music in quite a slow and minimal manner, sometimes, such as in 'Finale' with
some percussive sounds (maybe some kind of accidental sound being repeated),
which reminded of 23Skidoo in a very contemplative mood. I like this best
when Bounce puts layer upon layer and creates this sort of low fidelity
drone sound.
   The other cassette is a split release by two composers who are always quite
single minded about what they have centre stage in their set-up, and over the
 years have become masters of their trade. On the first side this AMK, boss
of banned Production who uses records, record players, montage flexi discs,
field recordings and shortwave radio; and on the other side we have Howard
Stelzer on 'cassette tapes etc', recorded and prepared by himself, as well
having some from AMK and frog. AMK cooks up four pieces and one doesn't have
the idea this is all today with the revolving sounds of vinyl grooves. At
least: not all the time, and that's great. I must have said this before, but
the whole turntable thing is something I am a bit fed up with. But with AMK's
extra sounds and effects it becomes something else; partly of course in the
world of noise, but he creates also some radio play like events with small
voices and ancient music. A curious intervention in the world of musique
concrete: excellent!
   Stelzer on the other side starts with a count-in by a guitarist and a guitar
riff, which he quickly amasses to the world of 1000 excited guitarists strumming
together, and then, via an abrupt switch-over, which works quite well, we have
entered the factory which recycled guitars via chain saws: a metallic ringing
sound sings towards the listener, used to mayhem by now. This is quite a noisy
work by Stelzer (never shy to put on such a thing). I wonder if he realized
this release was released to celebrate the birth of the daughter of the owners
of the Electric Knife Record store? It will be some time before she learns
to appreciate this music is my best guess. (FdW)
   Address: http://www.orila.net/



HÜBEBLO GENEVA (cassette by Hidden Temple)

It's been quite a while since I saw the trio of Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba),
Claus van Bebber (turntables) and Jaap Blonk (voice) perform at Extrapool.
I reviewed their 'Improvisers' release back in Vital Weekly 365 and it must
gave been around that time, although I am no longer sure about that. Much to
my surprise they are still playing together, and this time under the banner
of Hübeblo Geneva. Maybe because this was recorded in Geneva - also something
I am not entirely sure about that? Here they played at the evening of October
7th, 2012 and this is a mighty fine recording. Unlike their previous release,
which was a studio effort, there is a fine directness about this, which works
out very well. It starts with a more usual (if you are familiar with that kind
of music obviously) carefully exploring musicians, see what everybody is up to,
but by the time of 'Evan Eg' and 'A Va Negave', which takes up the entire B-
side, this trio is back on track with some particular heavy improvised music.
It is building layer upon layer, especially in the B-side piece, with Van
Bebber spinning many records at the same time, hitting upon something which
is good for repeating and Blonk and Hübsch in a similar repetitive fashion,
until going back, breaking down into some of their more up-tempo, hectic,
Dadaist sound poetry and tuba interventions; Van Bebber joins a bit later
again, with some hand-spun sounds adding tension and electro-acoustic interplay
to the proceedings. A highly enjoyable recording, one that oozes vibrancy
among the players. A night that will not be forgotten: it survives through
this recording. (FdW)
   Address: http://hiddentempletapes.storenvy.com/



T. MORIMOTO - CRIT REFLEX (cassette by Junk Mnemonic)
From Sydney, Australia hails Tom Smith, who works sometimes as Thomas William,
Cleptoclectics and who works with Marcus Whale as Collarbones/Black Vanilla.
Here he calls himself T. Morimoto, which perhaps sounds vaguely Japanese and
maybe the idea when creating his synthesizer/mixer feedback improvisations was
to have some sort of Japanese image of a noise musician? I have no idea if that
was the case, but it could be. This is quite a noisy beast indeed and at the
same time also quite rhythmical. Not in a dance music fashion, far from it,
but bouncing around in that modular synthesizer fashion. Smith improvises all
of these pieces and that's something that one clearly detects in here. It
sometimes derails a bit from the main track, but it's never too far off. I
don't think I heard music by Smith before (but with such a name it's not easy
to trace I guess), but apparently this is his noisier side. I must admit I
am not entirely convinced by these excursions; I heard this done much better
by other people. Maybe I'd be more interested in his other work? Maybe this
rhythm 'n noise is just not for me? (FdW)
   Address: http://junkmnemonic.bandcamp.com




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