number 1028
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week 16
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KEITH ROWE & MARTIN KÜCHEN — THE BAKERY (CD by Mikroton) *
SERGE BAGHDASSARIANS & BORIS BALTSCHUN & BURKHARD BEINS — FUTURE PERFECT (CD by Mikroton) *
RYU HANKIL & NOID MATIJA SCHELLANDERAND OTHERS — FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS (CD by Mikroton) *
SKASET — 8:15 (CD by Conrad Sound) *
KEY — PENTIMENTO (CD by Empiric Records) *
JEAN-LUC GUIONNET — PLUGGED INCLINATIONS (CD by Circum Disc) *
BI-KI? — QUELQUE CHOSE AU MILIEU (CD by Circum Disc) *
PROTOS OROFOS 4 (CD by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 5 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 6 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 7 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
P.S. STAMPS BACK — HALF LIFE (CD by Protos Orofos) *
NEW RUMOURS AND OTHER NOISES – THE MOONLIGHT NIGHTCALL (CD by Casco)
WERNER HASLER – THE OUTER STRING (CD by Everest Records)
LINUS & OKLAND/VAN HEERTUM – FELT LIKE OLD FOLK (LP & CD  by Smeraldina-Rima)
BRION GYSIN'S DREAMACHINE (DVD, book, dreamachine by Soleilmoon Recordings)
ERIC LUNDE — THE TWIN EARTH EXPERIMENT (CDR, DVDR, book by Ballast) *
PHI BUI — UNNOTICED MOMENTS (CDR by Eilean Records) *
DANIEL K. BÖHM — CARRIER (CDR by Eilean Records) *
SANDRAY — (PL.) EP (3"CDR by Ceil)
RADBOUD MENS — CYCLE (cassette by No Rent) *
FUNKHOUSER — REWORKS DREKKA: WITHIN THE REALM OF THE UNKNOWN (cassette by No!) *
ENTRE VIFS — KOHLE + STAHL (cassette by Aussaat)


KEITH ROWE & MARTIN KÜCHEN — THE BAKERY (CD by Mikroton)
SERGE BAGHDASSARIANS & BORIS BALTSCHUN & BURKHARD BEINS — FUTURE PERFECT (CD by Mikroton)
RYU HANKIL & NOID MATIJA SCHELLANDERAND OTHERS — FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS (CD by Mikroton)

The first one of these three releases on Russia's Mikroton is already recorded in 2013 in the
Amann Studios in Vienna — a legendary place when it comes to recording improvised music,
I should think. On the 15th of October 2013 the eminence grise of the table top guitar
Keith Rowe (electronics, guitar) met up with Martin Küchen, also known for his work in the
field of improvised music, who brought along his alto- and baritone saxophone, radio and iPod. However long they played, we don't know, since it was edited and mastered by Toshimaru Nakamura. This is quite some interesting work. In 'The Bakery 1', the longer of the two pieces,
it all seems to revolve around using none of their normal instruments but all about electronics. We
hear the radio waves, and drone like electronics, yet all of this retains the idea of being improvised
music. In the other piece, 'The Bakery 2', the saxophones are to be recognized in the early part of the piece, but here too electronics from Rowe, a radio and whatever can be found on Küchen's iPod, seem to take the leading part. It makes all of this quite a different work and one that has quite few obscured sounds, but which slowly unveil upon playing.
   From the other new release I only recognized the name Burckhard Beins, a well-known percussion player from Germany's improvised music scene, who also plays zither here, who already recorded
this 2008 and 2009 with two musicians who I don't know that well, Serge Baghdassarians (mixing desk, delays, electric guitar) and Boris Baltschun (computer, sampler) — and yes, I am aware I reviewed a CD by them before, in Vital Weekly 505, which I honestly don't recall. The latter two mixed this work in 2009 and 2015 and there are three pieces, which span just over thirty minutes. Just as with the Rowe/Küchen release there is something undeniably electronic about this music. Baghdassarians and Blatschun play long form sounds, sometimes a bit raw and uncontrolled, but also with a well-placed crackle here and there, and all along Beins adds his own sparse percussion bits. You may think this would lead to music that is all careful and/or even somewhat lower in volume, but that's not the case. This trio plays around with dynamics and throughout they are careful, not because they are shy to make a sound, but because they position everything with great thought somewhere in the mix.
   'And Others': it really says so on the cover of the last recent Mikroton release. I was thinking: suppose you'd be one of the others, would you like to be mentioned like that? This double CD is about a travel Noid and Matija Schellander made from Vienna to East Asia, to people like Ryu Hankil
and countries like Japan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea. Their idea was that they would be 'carrying compositions, sound art pieces and workshop preparations in their luggage to be tested by changing social and artistic settings, by everyday tour life and to be used as starting points for debates in various forms'. On the first disc there is a forty-seven minute piece the three musicians recorded in the Ftarri shop and Ryu plays typewriter, Schellander double bass and victorian synthesizer and noid plays cello and jing-hu. I am not sure if I can visualize all of these instruments, but surely one is a percussion instrument. In this piece they bounce back and forth between loud fragments of all three of them hectic and nervously playing and remaining very quiet; in those instances we hear the typewriter quite well. I must say that as an idea 'loud versus quiet' I quite understood what it was after some twenty minutes, even when you can play both loud and quiet s bit longer as they do in the second half. It's not bad, I thought, but a bit long.
   The 'others; are on the second disc and here we a bunch of field recordings from their tour (gas stations, pachinko's, acoustic traffic light, birds, fuel tank filled with sound art) as well as short bits of improvisation recorded with a whole bunch of guests, such as Ali Morimoto, Klaus Filip, Nikos Veliotis, Radu Malfatti, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Syo Yoshihama, Takeshi Ishihara, Luciano Maggiore, Jin Sangtea, Lionel Marchetti, Quing Lo and Weisi Li — I hope I didn't overlook anyone's name, but I wanted to avoid to say 'and others'. Twenty-three pieces, mostly short, so one gets easily lost in here, but the interaction between the quietest improvisations and the likewise quiet field recordings works quite well. Now this is a disc I quite enjoyed; it has lots of variety in both approaches and executions of pieces. I wouldn't have minded two of those! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.mikroton.net



SKASET — 8:15 (CD by Conrad Sound)

Behind Skaset is Norwegian guitarist Havard Skaset, who is also a member of Sult and MoE (whose latest CD I gave to someone to review — more on that in the next few weeks). From both bands, as well as the group Bay/Oslo Mirror Trio, of which Skaset is also part, I reviewed works before, and from his solo outing a cassette from 2008 (see Vital Weekly 852), which I thought was a bit too noisy for my taste. But I tried again, with this new release, which is 'based around the malice of mankind, from the first A-bomb dropped from an aircraft named after the pilot's mother, to conspiracies around the disappearance of the Malaysian aircraft MH370'. I guess that is reflected in the titles of the pieces, not so much through the artwork (a nicely design booklet with abstract black and white images) or through texts — there are none, or even the music. Seven pieces, all about six to nine minutes, and each is an exploration in guitar noise. Usually quite loud, but there are also moments of introspection with a relatively quiet undercurrent, such as in 'MH370' or 'Bockscar'. In each of these pieces Skaset plays around with a minimal set of sounds, maybe even just one sound-approach when it comes to starting a piece. There is a drone, a howl, a noise and for the next six to nine minutes it explores this one, and nothing much else seems to happen in there. The guitar is usually not easy to recognize, maybe even only so on 'Campana' and the title piece. It is altogether quite a grim release indeed en it is something I enjoyed quite a bit on a somewhat sombre and grey day (even without thinking about some of the topics hinted towards in the title). Maybe that helped in appreciating, so I should try on sunny day this summer and see what I think of such grimness then. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.conradsound.com



KEY — PENTIMENTO (CD by Empiric Records)

There is not a lot of information here, basically because the press blurb sums up what we can also read on the cover; track titles and who did the music. Behind Key is Maiko Okimoto from Japan and she is responsible for the twelve tracks on this album. Empiric Records has a bunch of tags for this, which may (or may not) explain a bit more: 'techno, breaks, industrial, ambient, japan, Tokyo, debut', so at least we learned one important thing: this her debut release on CD (discogs lists also two 12" records). I must admit I am not too well-versed in the world of dance oriented music to pinpoint the exact differences between 'techno, breaks, industrial', assuming the latter is the variation that contains beats, which in this case it does. There is not a lot of ambient on this release, that much I knew when I was done playing this. The opening piece, 'Flee', has quite a dark texture to it, but otherwise these pieces are quite heavy on the rhythms; sometimes indeed broken up, sometimes more straightforward in a 4/4 time signature and sometimes with an essential extra amount of distortion to make it all a bit heavier than the rest. There is of course no such thing as 'Ableton Live' music, by means of category that is, but I'd say this comes close. The arrangements of beats and sounds, all neatly lined up, the addition of sound effects; it all shows the organisational power of that famous software tool, more so perhaps than many others who use this too, but maybe hide it a bit more. I spend a fine hour listening to this, while reading the morning newspaper, which might not the right kind of activity for this kind of music, but it worked well. Then I forgot all about what I heard until I heard it again. I am not sure if that is enough. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.empiricrecords.com



JEAN-LUC GUIONNET — PLUGGED INCLINATIONS (CD by Circum Disc)
BI-KI? — QUELQUE CHOSE AU MILIEU (CD by Circum Disc)

Here are two releases featuring in some capacity the work of Jean-Luc Guionnet. The first one is a solo work of him in which he uses the organ, which is his primary instrument since a long time. Mainly the church organ, which has been playing since 1993 but on this recording he also plays a Hammond organ C3 & Cabin Leslie, bontempi pop5 Tempest, harmonium Bontempi 13, DX7, harmonium Topodis, Clavier Elka and a Bontempi HF 222, which sounds like a great selection of high and low brow keyboards. In fact there is no church organ in sight; this is a celebration of the electric organ, although perhaps I wouldn't say the Yamaha DX7 is an organ per se (but then I easily admit I might be wrong). Some of these are motor driven, with fans inside, and some of that motorized sound plays an integral part in the fifty-eight minutes 'Plugged Inclinations' last. It says that this is
recorded live, which seems strange, but maybe it accounts for the various clicks in the recording, which sound like an accident, but I'm sure are very much intentional. As we will see Guionnet is also a master of recording techniques, so I assume there is a bunch of microphones and recorders used to capture this work, which moves between very hard pressing drone sounds on the organ but it also goes into some more quiet and submerged. This is not, however, a work that takes the form of a cigar as someone once called it: fade in and then it stays on the same volume level (and if you see this on a computer screen it resembles a cigar), as Guionnet moves through various passages, sometimes crudely cutting from one section to the next, but also workinga lot with the dynamics of the music itself. Sometimes far away and remote, but sometimes oppressive and loud, like the wind
blowing out of organ pipes, right in your face. It is drone based, yes, sure, but it also is very much the work of a sound collage, in the best tradition of musique concrete. It makes these fifty-some minutes an excellent excursion into the world of electric organ sounds.
   The other new release by Circum lists Guionnet as being responsible for recording, editing and mixing, but the information says Bi-Ki? is a duo of two alto saxophone players, Sakina Abdou and Jean-Baptiste Rubin. When they play together it is usually in the middle of the concert place, with audience surrounding them, but this release, which title translates as 'Something In The Middle', sees them taking their instruments to unusual locations and play over there. Think churches, highways, supermarkets, city hall and swimming pools and its here where Guionnet and his recorders come in. Not just to capture the interaction between two instruments, but also the environment in which this sounds, which can be full of reverb or entirely out in the open. The city of
choice is Lomme, in the North of France and sometimes it seems they are far away from the recording device, or maybe moving around the microphone, such as in 'Grand Bassin//Attaques Inversees'. Normally I am not the biggest lover of the saxophone, but as soon as it slows down and starts to play longer sustaining notes I am all ears and that's what happens here on this release.
Bi-Ki? plays indeed a more minimalist approach to the world of improvised music, which in combination with the field recordings works really well. Obviously these are field recordings as we hear all sorts of out door sounds, and we have no idea to which extent the editing process carried out Guionnet used more field recordings and what and if he layered a few of them together, which might actually also be said of the saxophones themselves. The music is moody, but not exclusively like that; in some of the shorter pieces there is the nervous hectic approach we know from some improvised music. I prefer the more sustained and minimal approach of their music, especially when the field recordings appear to be on an equal level with the instruments. It is
a release that raises questions on how this was made, but it results a work of great beauty. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.circum-disc.com



PROTOS OROFOS 4 (CD by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 5 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 6 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
PROTOS OROFOS 7 (CDR by Protos Orofos)
P.S. STAMPS BACK — HALF LIFE (CD by Protos Orofos)

Of course it might happen that the Protos Orofos team, as they call themselves in their promotional blurb have never read Vital Weekly, very likely even, and thus they might have missed our lack of enthusiasm when it comes to reviewing compilations. We as in the whole VW team, that is. Sorry guys, you may not have noticed this when you stuffed four of them in an envelope  (we usually think three releases is enough anyway), which are compilations of bands who played at Protos Orofos, also a location from October to May in an office on the first floor of 20 Olympiou Diamanti Street in Thessaloniki, Greece. They have been doing so since 2008, and by now over 70 bands played there. Four releases and here we go with the names. On 'Volume 4' you'll find
Nadja, FFrédéric D. Oberland, May Roosevelt, Michalis Vrettas, Biomass, Ghone, The Nylon Bug, Alexander Rishaug, Ilios, Inverz, Aidan Baker, Nikos Veliotis, Alexis Porfiriadis, Georgios Karamanolakis, Good Luck Mr. Gorsky. On Volume 5 there is music by D'incise, Phono, Emdy, V.I.A., Jonas Koher, Cankun, Higgs Boson, Denial Of Service, BeaTol and the Eagol plus some with names only in Greek writing, of which we also find a few different ones on Volume 6, as well as 6daEXIt Improvisation Ensemble, Fun with Nuns, Daikiri, Medea Electronique / I.S.E., Don Vito, Nanophonic, while the final one is Volume 7 there is the talents of Alberto Boccardi / Enrico Coniglio, C-drik, Kostadis, Mama Luma, i'd m thfft able, Ilan Manouach / Jonas Kohe, AUN, PS Stamps Back. There are lots of names I recognized, and there are a few new names to explore, even for me.
   Number Seven ends with PS Stamps Back (and 5 to 7 are CDRs, 4 is a CD) who played there on 19 June 2015, performing an one-off set of music, which he liked so much that he went back to his home town, Athens, to rework it a bit and record it again, straight to two tracks, which explains the title. Iason, the man behind PS Stamps Back, presented a number of releases over the past ten or more years and more and more he moves towards playing music that is somewhat based on the idea of techno, but without becoming to much oriented towards dance music. This new one is no different in that respect. A rhythm machine and some sort of sequencer are placed in the middle, and around that there are these small synthesizers, such as the monotron, bleeping away. Adding sounds from radio transmissions make this music that probably wouldn't go down too well on the dance floor and which adds a somewhat old school industrial music flavour to the proceedings, especially in piece in which rhythm is not as dominant, such as 'Crickets Crawling Under The Skin', of the darker drone/noise of the opening piece 'The Worms Gave Him A New Kind Of Life'. There is, throughout these fifty-four minutes, quite a story telling build up taking place, from the moody start, slowly building up with more and more rhythms and then end on a similar moody note, to bring the whole tale to a logical
conclusion. I quite enjoyed this quite a lot, and would rank this easily among one of his best works. (FdW)
––– Address: https://protosorofos.bandcamp.com/



NEW RUMOURS AND OTHER NOISES – THE MOONLIGHT NIGHTCALL (CD by Casco)

A long name for a new Amsterdam-based trio. January 2015 they recorded this debut-album at the Bimhuis, released by the minuscule Casco Records, run by Raoul van der Weide, who is also featured on the other releases by this label. For this release van der Weide (contrabass, crackle box, objects, voice) is in the company of Ada Rave (as, ts cl, preparations, voice) and Nicolas Chientaroli (piano, preparations, voice), two musicians from Argentina who settled down in Amsterdam a few years ago. Van der Weide is the most experienced from the three, part of the Dutch impro-church for many years, played in ensembles of Guus Janssen, Ab Baars, Luc Houtkamp, a.o.  Ada Rave first played jazz and improvisation in her hometown Buenos Aires, before crossing the ocean in order to expand her possibilities. Classically trained Chientaroli set also his first steps in jazz and
improvised music in Buenos Aires, participating with Rave in the Los Improvisadores, improvising on compositions by Cornelius Cardew. As mentioned above all three play prepared objects and instruments, played with fantasy and humour. Yes this trio has a strong and self-conscious voice. We hear fine spirited interactions, demonstrating that improvising is fun, divided over eight short instant compositions. I enjoyed the phrasing by Rave who plays very inspired all the way. The three don’t need more then about 35 minutes to convince that they are an inspired trio with lots of ideas. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.toondist.nl
 


WERNER HASLER – THE OUTER STRING (CD by Everest Records)

Hasler is a trumpet player and composer from Berne, Switzerland. He has realized a considerable output already, having a look on his website. Mainly releases with other Swiss (-based) musicians. This new release is my first meeting with his work. In 2012 he released  ‘The Outer String’, with more or less the same musicians. So this probably is a second step in this project. The CD counts eight compositions by Hasler, for duo, trio and quartet line-ups. In all pieces we hear Hasler on trumpet and electronics. His style has much in common with that other trumpet player of almost the same backname Jon Hassell. No doubt he is a source of inspiration for Hasler. Present in all tracks, except one,  is also the cello, played by Carlo Niederhauser, but also by Marie
Schmit and Vincent Courtois, both in one track. Also most tracks have drums played by Julian Sartorius, or Franck Vaillant and Christoph Steiner. In fact we are dealing with a multimedia project I learn from the enclosed information: “The presentation is an inter-connective, multidimensional exhibition of video art with live sets”. The video art is by Chloe Le Grand, Hugo Ryser, Arno Oehri, Fred Poulet, Marlene Hirtreiter and Andre Mayr. Recordings were done on different locations in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and France, using the specific acoustic characteristics of a certain place. All tracks are inspired by jazz and world music. The compositions are accessible and enjoying, but not very surprising or demanding. The recording is clear and transparent, sometimes with birdcalls or other environmental sounds in the background. Because in every track Hasler plays in that same style, it became too much of the same thing for me. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch



LINUS & OKLAND/VAN HEERTUM – FELT LIKE OLD FOLK (LP & CD  by Smeraldina-Rima)

Linus is a Belgian duo of Ruben Machtelinckx (acoustic baritone guitar, banjo) and Thomas Jillings (tenor & c-melody sax, alto clarinet). For their third album, ‘Felt like Old Folk’,  they invited Nils Okland (hardanger fiddle) and Niels van Heertum (euphonium) as guests. The duo started in 2013 and their music is about combining minimalism, folk and improvisation. Machtelinckx studied at the Antwerp Conservatory and worked with drummer Teun Verbruggen, Iva Bittova, Bart Maris, etc. Jillings also comes from Antwerp, where he leads his eclectic band An Expedition into the Mind of Sgt. Fuzzy. Nils Økland from Norway has releases out on Rune Grammofon and ECM. Van Heertum plays about anything from pop to impro and is often seen on Belgian stages. Their collaboration ended up in four tracks that made it to this cd. Everything is improvised in the studio, except ‘Felt’ written by Machtelinckx. Recorded on one afternoon in February 2014. Overall the music is of a poetic and atmospheric nature. ‘Felt’ has a consequent guitar-strumming à la Diaz-Infante at its base. Accompanied by long sustained notes by van Heertum. Økland takes the opportunity to fill up this environment with more pronounced melodic elements. Also in the other tracks it is the Hardagner fiddle of Okland that attracts most attention. Like in the opening track ‘A’ that starts from long sustained interfering notes by the blowers. Over these drones, it are the melancholic violin and later the guitar drawing more lines over this background. Again we get very pastoral music, open and slowly unfolding textures. They don’t play that many notes. So they really have to strongly believe in what they are playing. Obvious this music is not about virtuosity. At times the music is a bit fuzzy and unfocused, not sure to chose what direction. But that is part of the charm. And protects the music for becoming too beautiful and neat, which is often the case with this kind of ambient improvised tapestries. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.smeraldina-rima.com/



BRION GYSIN'S DREAMACHINE (DVD, book, dreamachine by Soleilmoon Recordings)

So, just what is a Dreamachine (which is with just one 'm' in there)? It is a cylinder with holes, in which you hang a light bulb and place it on a record player that spins at 78 rpm (important), and thus a flickering effect can be perceived, even with your eyes closed; in fact it is recommended you watch this with your eyes closed. Compare it with the sun through leaves of trees when you look out of a speeding car. That's also how the inventor, Brion Gysin, first thought of this, in 1958, when he was driving through the South of France. The flickering light corresponds with the alpha waves in your brain, especially when it hits somewhere between 8 and 13 times the eyelids (experts are still divided over this). It took Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville two years to come up with a prototype, which Philips was going to produce in the early 60s. That didn't happen, and when Gysin
died, in 1986, it seemed that a commercial availability of a dreamachine would never happen. Along with the cut-up he also invented along with William Burroughs, the Dreamachine is the one thing Gysin is best known for.
   After his demise, the 'rights' to the dreamachine where inherited by Genesis P-Orridge, of Psychic TV, who in turn gave the right to Andrew McKenzie of The Hafler Trio. In 1989 KK Records released a version of the Dreamachine. It was a large piece of cardboard, black on both sides with a pattern in white which one had to cut out. It came with either a LP or a CD and because it was expensive it wasn't easy to buy one. I first heard or read about the Dreamachine in the 'Industrial Culture Handbook' (the one about Burroughs, Gysin and Throbbing Gristle), and was ever since curious to see it in the flesh as it were. The release by KK Records was a steep price, but together with a friend we conned a local student club to purchase three of these and we'd be playing some original music of our own, along with a presentation of the music from the CD. Afterwards we released a flexidisc (78 rpm, obviously). Also that night we handed out the questionnaire that was found in the original booklet, which results were mailed back to the Hafler Trio. Then the dreamachine (and the record player bought especially bought for the occasion, as most common turntables did no longer have 78 rpm at that time) gathered dust until my mother moved away and without telling me until much she threw away 'that dusty piece of cardboard that has been in the corner of my attic'. Ever since I thought a more solid machine would be nice, and when Soleilmoon announced years ago they would produce one, I hoped it would be a kind of sturdy, almost like an Ikea lamp, solid object, with the light bulb already in and with a motor inside to rotate: a totally sell-contained dreamachine. Now, in 2016, which is also the 100th anniversary of Gysin's birth (and receiving this in the week Tony Conrad died — you look for yourself how that fits in!), there is finally something released, after years of problems.
  When you open the large mailer, you'll find a 'fully functional dreamachine' made out of 'sturdy, flexible and long-lasting vinyl', ready to use. You connect the velcro-lined edges and use sticky tape to glue it to a LP, hang a light bulb in it and spin it at 78 rpm. Sit close and wait for a dreamstate. Bob's y'r uncle. I must admit I was at first a bit disappointed when I saw the machine was made out of vinyl, albeit sturdy, but maybe I was expecting too much something else — I dreamed up a different machine. When I studied the various documentation bits, especially on the enclosed DVD, I understand that the somewhat unstable and shaky character of the sturdy vinyl machine plays an important role when using this. Or maybe not, reading the extensive booklet (which, to be fair, doesn't read too easily with text white on black), but seeing this as a highly individual experience, as outlined everywhere, one can uses whatever way one sees fit, I'd say. Try placing it firmly in the middle, not shaky etc, and how that differs from being a bit more shaky. Apparently the alpha waves don't work on a similar level when not spun at 78 rpm, but who knows, as an individual experience it might be work on 16/33/45 (or anything in between if you have pitch control). Every person has it's own unique experience when viewing this... machine? Or is it a painting? Or simply: an experience? It is, in the words of Gysin, the first painting you watch with your eyes closed. You can listento the musical section on the DVD, in either surround sound or stereo (the latter only available here, so I am sure I missed out on something there), which contains sounds by Andrew McKenzie, Genesis, Alaura and Caresse P-Orridge, but as the documentary from 1988, produced by Amsterdam's Rabotnik TV, shows you can also use the music from the Master Musicians Of Joujouka — but here too I would think, and maybe I missed any suggestion not to do this, one can choose perhaps any music that one thinks would be worthwhile to hear. I believe these of these pieces of music, two of the three were also part of the KK Records release, but have been reworked for this release. We should not regard this new version as a re-issue of that previous release. This one, for a start, looks much better and seems to have more lasting value then the KK Records version, especially the most important part of the package, the actual Dreamachine itself. Also the booklet seems more expansive but it leaves out the texts written by P-Orridge as well as the questionnaire, which you could fill in with your test results. On the other side the extra's here are great. The original VHS documentary release by Staalplaat is now available on DVD (which is more Dreamachine in action than Gysin talking, a bit of a pity), along with McKenzie telling about this device in a lecture, making observations about art versus experience, going back to much more ancient times, but which is also a reference to Gysin's intake of marijuana, perhaps causing him things to see we don't see that easily. However the Dreamachine evokes a similar experience but is of course entirely drug free (how would you know if you didn't try that out). This is a entirely fascinating release, which kept me busy for a few days, reading all there is to know about the Dreamachine, trying out various stages of sleepiness, sometimes working better than other times, but also reading about the fascinating other work by Brion Gysin — just like the Dreamachine something to loose yourself in. Easily one of the more important releases of this year, and like its predecessor, not quite cheap, but worth every penny. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.soleilmoon.com



ERIC LUNDE — THE TWIN EARTH EXPERIMENT (CDR, DVDR, book by Ballast)

Another thing to watch this week was this new release by Eric Lunde, which came with a CDR and a booklet of information. Not for the first time it leaves me puzzled, but this time I must admit I wasn't just puzzled, but also a bit sceptical. The package looks great with a silk-screened bag, a neatly printed book, in a small edition of 20 copies only. It all has to do with a lecture/concert Lunde did at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, in November last year. It is a demonstration of Lunde's 'reduplicative/degenerative process performed for a class lecture', using his text 'I am a copy of a copy of a strange loop', and also the video performance. It demonstrates perfectly how Lunde works, taking his voice, recording them using the most shitty means and thus
transforming the voice, but also giving an introduction by Neil Gravander (who invited Lunde to do this lecture/performance) and the sound of the performance. The performance itself revolves around a part of a movie called 'Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun', especially about the part about a duplicate of the earth, so you can easily see where Lunde's interest is from. Part of the movie is duplicated and degenerated four times. I understand what it is all about but it also a bit too much of a demonstration of techniques using a film as example, and while all of that may be interesting, I think I would have rather have Lunde doing a more formal lecture with examples than watching half a movie and some of Lunde's more difficult to understand talking and sound processing. Also I am not entirely sure why this is in two versions on the disc, whereas they seem to differ only marginally (and I am sure it is not part of some copying/regeneration process!). While I always immensely enjoy the work of Lunde, and especially the total concept of music, words, images, packaging, I am a bit lost here. Maybe it arrived on the wrong day and I am not much in the mood for this? I am not entirely sure about this. The most attractive part was the book here, which has some interesting insights in the working methods of Lunde, which even on a mediocre release still are thought provoking. (FdW)
––– Address: http://ballastnvp.blogspot.com



PHI BUI — UNNOTICED MOMENTS (CDR by Eilean Records)
DANIEL K. BÖHM — CARRIER (CDR by Eilean Records)

Here we have two new releases by France's Eilean Records. I am not sure if these are artist names or perhaps in any way real. In the second case I think it's not, but who knows about the first. It has an Asian ring to ring, Vietnamese or so, but Phi Bui hails from San Francisco ('currently residing' that is) and according to Eilean this is "his first and debut Lp" (I believe debut means first anyway). It is a rather short LP (taking the format of a CDR), clocking in at thirty minutes, with ten pieces, all rather short and to the point. His influences are from the various worlds of "musique concrète, ambient, classical, hip-hop, and lo-fi idioms' and he uses "acoustic instruments, dàn bâu, a 4-track, and samples from records and field recording". The crackling of vinyl is an apparent feature in many of these pieces, which extent beyond the more usual ambient soundscapes that we know and love Eilean Records for. Phi Bui also uses a bit of rhythm here and there, sampled from old records, like a good hip-hop influenced is supposed to do, I guess. There is also a somewhat vaguely ethnic element in this music. Both of these make this is a somewhat unusual album. It's surely not rooted in the world of hip hop, and throughout sounds actually quite atmospheric, but in stead of drones or the processing of acoustic instruments, the choice of sound sources is what makes the surprise here. It all works rather well, I think. At times it reminded me of zoviet*france, especially in the use of non-Western instruments, but maybe not as much relying on the use of sound effects. Excellent release, if not a bit too short.
   The other new release by Eilean is presented with, excuse le mot, some bullshit information on some reactor meltdown for whichthe composer is supposed to be responsible — it is even repeated on the cover of the release. Google that word plus the city and the name and it comes up with the same wording Eilean uses. They have learned an important lesson I guess: bullshit is what journalists want so they can write a great story about the music. It distracts from the music. I am proud to say: at Vital Weekly we don't deal with marketing, bullshit and just care about great music. Is that was Daniel K. Böhm produces? That's the only question that matters, we think. His release is a bit longer, forty-one minutes, and also has a bit more pieces, fourteen in total. There is, just as with Phi Bui, no information regarding instruments used. I would think there is surely a guitar, some kind of field recordings, which are slightly altered through a bunch of sound effects, and maybe some assorted toy instruments. I really have no clue, as you can see, but based on what I hear it sounds like that. The end result is something that isn't as far removed as the music of Phi Bui, but also because of the somewhat sound world of someone like Federico Durand or Dominique Petitgand; it is all private and intimate music, like Böhm sits around the house, kids playing in the backyard, TV on in the other room and sometimes he's a bit distracted by all of this, and something goes wrong and he has to start all over again, or there is an odd ending to a piece, but it all adds to the quality of the music, which I think is great. I can imagine there is quite a market for this
music, and I don't think it doesn't need a cock 'n bull story about some reactor meltdown and a physicist hiding in Texas. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.eilean-records.com/



SANDRAY — (PL.) EP (3"CDR by Ceil)

Following Ray sands (Vital Weekly 919) and The Sand Rays (Vital Weekly 1016) there is now Sandray, which has 'nothing to do with Ray Sands' and is produced by Jim The Medium (the previous ones by Jim The Younger and Jim The Elder, so one can wonder what comes next, unless of course we should see this as a trilogy of some kind?) Here again we have two pieces, spanning twelve minutes of music, again 'not a 7"…', as the cover tells us, and perhaps that's not a bad idea. I am still not entirely convinced a 7" of this stuff would sell. It all remains a bit on the experimental drone side of things. A bit of samples of an unknown origin, mucho sound effects to drone-out those samples and two moody pieces of electronics is what you get. And that's what you got last time, and before that, so that's what this is all about. Minimalist electronic sounds, perhaps based on field recordings, finely transformed and not too mellow in approach. We have six pieces by now, and a somewhat clearer idea of what this is all about. Quite good stuff, I thought, and music for which the CDR is the most suitable label. (FdW)
––– Address: http://theceiling.ca



RADBOUD MENS — CYCLE (cassette by No Rent)

This is maybe (!) a re-issue of some kind? Radboud Mens already put this up on his bandcamp before and that's where I heard it first. You know me, and I don't review downloads, but I do know Radboud for a very long and decided to put up some words on social media, telling people why they should buy this download. Today I am pleased to tell you that a cassette version is available, and thus I can happily more or less recycle what I wrote before, even when the tone is much more personal than what you should expect from a review in this pages. It goes like this:
   Radboud Mens is someone I know for about twenty years now, ever since he walked into Staalplaat and volunteered in our shop and later on did the mail order us. In his early days he did some great noise that involved vinyl and a dog brush, later on some brilliant minimal techno, some of which I released on Audio.NL, a label which I ran in the late 90s/early 00s with Roel Meelkop and Peter Duimelinks (and which is available on my own Bandcamp) and a few years ago he had a fine, yet much overlooked ambient/guitar/laptop release 'Fitness Landscape', which he recorded with Dan Armstrong. Radboud just mailed me 'Cycle', his latest digital only release, and he stretches out even more into ambient land here. Nine pieces of gentle sounds, made no doubt with the use of laptops and electronics; music that is not very obtrusive, but works rather along the lines of Brian Eno, 12K, Line and White Paddy Mountain — any of the latter three labels could have released this. Whereas much of the current wave of ambient music seems to be about processing acoustic instruments, it seems to me that Radboud uses primarily electronic sounds to create a similar effect. I might be wrong of course. This is some excellent ambient music to wake up too.
   And so it went, now get the cassette! (FdW)
––– Address: http://norentrecords.bandcamp.com/



FUNKHOUSER — REWORKS DREKKA: WITHIN THE REALM OF THE UNKNOWN (cassette by No!)

As far as I understand Drekka, the musical project of Michael Anderson, handed out the source material for their 'Unbeknownst To The Participants At Hand' LP (see for a review of that LP Vital Weekly 1004) to a bunch of people with the question to rework it, and Rob Funkhouser (is that his real name I wondered) is the first one to be done with his mix. The LP is all about 'electronic sound, electro-acoustic mayhem and a bit of collage techniques from the world of musique concrete' as I described it in the review, but Funkhouser takes the material back into the world of drone/atmosphere/dark ambient music through the use of computer processing. Something of the lo-fi sound that is also part of the Drekka sound, but Funkhouser takes it all a bit further into the realm of amplifying the lowest sounds he could find in the Drekka material and adding a variety of effects to that. It does not necessarily pushes Drekka's music into something you haven't heard before, but true fans of the band may surely dig this too. I sincerely hope that someone pulls Drekka's music and comes up with a steamy dance mix! (FdW)
––– Address: http://drekka.bandcamp.com



(The review below was also in last week's issue, but with too many mistakes. We now run the correct one)

ENTRE VIFS — KOHLE + STAHL (cassette by Aussaat)

In the week where the Dutch people vote on some treaty with the Ukraine (or as some put it about the whole nature of European collaboration between nations), I am listening to 'Kohle & Stahl' by Entre Vifs. The European Coal and Steel Community was a forerunner of the European Union, the starting point for this whole EU thing, to work together with six nations, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Italy and Germany, so that a future war between countries would not happen. I understand this release is about the Lorraine, a part of France that was "heavily affected and effectively rendered powerless by the crisis of the steel-industry of the 1980s and 90s". I also understand that Zorin, the main man from Entre Vifs, is from this area and his industrial music fits
very much the idea of standing right in the middle of an ironworks. As a student I once paid a visit to such a factory, albeit in Liege, with a friend who was also interested in 'industrial' music and we both agreed that sticking up a microphone right there would result in a much better industrial music than we'd usually hear. We didn't do. The music of old-timers Entre Vifs was in the old days a bit of mystery to me, and for some time I assumed they just used synthesizers and short wave radio, but apparently since the old days they built their own 'noisemakers', apparatus with plugs and metal, wires and such like which are amplified to a volume tres fort, very much like the original ideas of Luigi Russolo and his 'Art of noises' manifest. This release is dedicated to 'Muckrackers' an industrial band from the same region, who use a bit more conventional instruments to create similar loud results.
   These 'noisemakers' ('bruiteurs' in France) are played in an improvised way and it doesn't sound like a full blast of distortion but rather like a fine mixture of loud noise, improvised plucking and scratching and in 'Le Coeur Machine' it goes straight into the heart of the machine, but the two pieces on the other side show more dynamics, ranging from loud to well, a little less loud than this. It all makes up a good ol' fashioned noise cassette, and the only major difference is that the printed cover looks much better than in the old days — with probably one of the exceptions being Entre Vifs first casette, but maybe that's because Aussaat is the successor to the label Cthulhu Records, who already had a great reputation in that department and who happened to release that first cassette? (FdW)
––– Address: <ernten@aol.com>



IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Musician Z'EV was injured in a train derailment last month. That bit of news is probably well-known by now. If not check this:

http://www.newslocker.com/en-us/region/wichita/musician-in-critical-after-amtrak-derailment/view/

Z'EV is now in Chicago, slowly recovering but lost all of his instruments, computer, hard drives etc in the crash. None of which he will receive any compensation for. He still needs your support as he is without any social security or insurance to pay the rent, house oxygen rental and to get his equipment together to make an income due time.

You can still contribute any amount however small or big through this link:

https://www.gofundme.com/kqu6bed4





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