number 1048
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week 37
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ZENITH - ZENITH (CD by Psychonavigation Records) *
JONATHAN COLECLOUGH/BASS COMMUNION/COLIN POTTER (2CD by ICR) *
DAVE BALL & JON SAVAGE - PHOTOSYNTHESIS (CD by Cold Spring) *
LOUIS RICE - 33/45 (7" by Organized Music From Thessaloniki) *
MIKE KRAMER - RHYTHM IN THE FIELD (CDR by CS Music) *
MATHIEU RUHLMANN & CHRIS STRICKLAND - THIS HEAP IS GREATER LIGHT (CDR by Glistening
Examples) *
JASON LESCALLEET - TO THE TEETH (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - INTERCEPTION V (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
OMPHALOCELE - 1 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
LILLMEYER & STADLMEIER - ZIE-SPALT (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
HERR PENSCHUCK - UNFÄLLE IM HAUSHALT/DOMESTIC DESASTERS (cassette by Attenuation
Circuit) *
SONOLOGYST & KSHATRIY - TIME IS THE ENEMY (cassette by Attenuation Circuit) *
CONSUME & EXPIRE/SEXY CROCODULE FOR DINNER & DIVA_CARAMELLA - WHITE BEAR/SILENZIO
IMBARAZZANTE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
DEFFEKTEGG - NADIR (cassette by Amek/Mahorka) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ FEATURING RÖMERTOPF & SPELONK - TAFELMUSIK (cassette by Weakie Discs)
KEVIN DRUMM - GTR/SYNTH 2000 (cassette by Bocian Records)
OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & FRITZ WELCH - OLIVIER & FRITZ (cassette, private)
CRANK STURGEON & OLIVIER DI PLACIDO (cassette by Le Republique Des Granges)
AVE EVA - PANAMINT (cassette by Midnight Circles) *
JØN LIEFHOLD - ARGUSTERFELDER A-C (cassette by Midnight Circles) *
BOOKS OF KELLS - DEPICTION OF SATURN AND OTHER PLANETS FLOATING IN SPACE (cassette by
Midnight Circles) *
SCHWARZ - WIND 1-3 (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
SEQUENCES - AN EVENT FOR OCEANS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) 8
ANDY BIRTWISTLE - SALUTE TO VINYL (cassette by Start Here)
SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY? NO.1 (fanzine)



ZENITH - ZENITH (CD by Psychonavigation Records)

Following my review of No Mask Effect in Vital Weekly 1045 I had a private discussion with the label
owner and musician Keith Downey about the term 'ambient classical' and he told me this term came
from a bunch of releases Pete Namlook on a sub division of his Fax label Yesterday & Tomorrow, which
was allowing for a more classical approach in ambient music. It hadn't escaped me that Psychonavigation
already did a few re-issues of the late great Fax label, and with the sad passing of Pete Namlook in 2012,
there is a perhaps a wealth of material to be re-issued, certainly when, in more recent years, there was a
rekindled interest in ambient music and a bit of dance music, and it's there where the Fax Records catalogue
might of interest. I used to hear quite a bit of their limited edition releases, whenever our store could lay their
hands on them, and I kept a few personal highlights. Did I hear Zenith back then? I don't remember. Carlos
Vivanco and Tetsu Inoue recorded as Zenith in 1994 and it was shortly released after that, by Fax Records
(yeah I am aware the name is Fax +49-69/450464). The original now goes for quite a bit money, so a re-issue
is indeed in place, even when, oddly enough it doesn't mention the fact that it is a re-issue on the cover. In the
90s I was a big sucker for this kind of ambient-with-a-bit-rhythm music, either with a bit more or a bit less
rhythm, that didn't matter. In the four pieces this duo runs a few arpeggio's on their synthesizers, slowly
altering and changing them, adding a bit of melody, adding a bit of wind sounds, playing a bit of synth bass
and adding some dance rhythm at the bottom of it, as this music is never meant to be danced too. This is
after all chill out music, to played in a chill out room. The washy synthesizers of 'Plexus Solaris' have a bit of
rhythm leaping in, the last remaining beat of the party, but then 'Aura' opens up, no rhythm, just a lengthy
sustaining wash, a desolate piano like sound and the sun coming up after a night of partying and relaxing at
the end. This is an excellent introduction, if ever you need one, in how ambient house music sounded in the
90s; mind you this is just one example, but a great one it is. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.psychonavigationrecords.com



JONATHAN COLECLOUGH/BASS COMMUNION/COLIN POTTER (2CD by ICR)

Colin Potter wrote Vital Weekly: "Yesterday I sent you a copy of the latest ICR release. It's actually a re-release,
the 2CD ICR 39 by Bass Communion/Jonathan Coleclough & myself, which first came out earlier this century.
It's so long ago, I can't remember if it was mentioned on Vital, but I thought I'd send it anyway." I know that
people make fun of me writing 'I didn't know this musician, that release, or some such', even when I wrote
about it before, and it's good to see I am not the only one who doesn't remember. But lo & behold, I wrote
about this double pack before, in Vital Weekly 403, and this is what I wrote back then (I changed the spelling
a bit now):
"Early 2003, Colin Potter and Jonathan Coleclough did a remix for Bass Communion, which is the solo project
of Steven Wilson, who is also mastermind behind Porcupine Tree (the true successors to Pink Floyd) and No
Man. In his solo material as Bass Communion, Wilson strives for some dark ambient music, which has both
similarities and differences with the ambient drone music of Potter and Coleclough. But it's common sense
that he would invite them to do a remix. As such things go, much more material was recorded, which is now
released into a double CD set. The first CD has four lengthy tracks, two by Colin Potter, one by Bass Communion
and one by Jonathan Coleclough. It's hard to tell what the sound source input was from each of the participating
artists, but in general it's very heavy droning music going on here. The two Potter pieces are kinda melodic, with
even a touch of rhythm and Steven Wilson approaches the eerie dark drone music by Potter/Coleclough and adds
a whole bunch of field recordings. The final (and longest) piece is by Jonathan and is a trademark piece of his own
personal style. The second disc is entirely filled by one piece by Jonathan Coleclough, based on sound material by
Bass Communion. This seventy-four minute epos starts out in a low droning mood, but over the course of the
piece, more light hearted tones are set forth. Even a slow changing melody chord is to be recognized. Maybe it's
a bit on the long side, and maybe not the best of Coleclough works (maybe because one doesn't expect him in
such a lighter tone), it's much better than a lot of would be drone meisters."
Now, since then much time has passed and of mister Coleclough we hear a lot less these days (as to the reason,
I don't know), Potter is a fully paid up member of Nurse With Wound playing all over the world, and I found out
lots more about mister Wilson and his Bass Communion project since then (and that he is way more famous in
an entirely different field of music than I ever realized). Playing these two discs now, surely not having heard in
quite some time, and reading my words from all those moons ago, I didn't change my opinion very much, but I
do think the Coleclough piece on the second disc sounded much better now than what I would have believed it
to be, based on my old review. Seeing as copies of the original now go for quite a bit of money, I would think
that a re-issue is a most welcome thing. Now it comes in a fine cardboard sleeve and no longer in a jewel
case. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.icrdistribution.com



DAVE BALL & JON SAVAGE - PHOTOSYNTHESIS (CD by Cold Spring)

Boy, Cold Spring surely does know how to surprise the listener. A few weeks ago it was Crass in disguise as
Penny Rimbaud and now a CD by Dave Ball and Jon Savage. The former we know as the synth man behind
Soft Cell and the latter as a journalist of punk and beyond, author of one of the best books (if not The Book)
on punk in general and the Sex Pistols in particular, 'England's Dreaming'. I must admit the biggest shock here
is his credit for any music part, 'digital recording and Cubase programming'. "We started composing some
quasi pop/classical pieces that gradually morphed and evolved into one hour-long piece". Savage plays Roland
Fantom X6, EastWest and Native Instruments (that is software synths, in case you were wondering) and Ball
plays Mini Moog, Moogerfoogers and Sequential Circuits Prophet 5. What I expected, namely Savage talking
over a backdrop of ambient music, is nothing happening and not that that would not be interesting, I just
don't like spoken word releases. The seven pieces here, fifty-six minutes long, is all about synthesizer music
and much like the title, the music too is like a process. In 'One Night In Helmand Province', the opening piece,
uses a bit of voices in the background, but is otherwise, alike the rest, heavy on the use of the synthesizers,
slowly evolving and expanding. It might be that I just played the Zenith release (see elsewhere) and that the
words ambient house buzzes around my head, but this too one could see coming from such an area, but here
mostly sans any rhythm, and heavy on the synthesizers, but rather than becoming abstract drones, the
synthesizers swirls around like they should and perhaps one could see the start of something 'pop music' in
here, that is something that I can see in this music, and I am glad it didn't happen. I prefer this more abstract
yet very musical approach of this and in these lengthy pieces (most of the time) the music is intense, beautiful,
spooky, meandering and spacious, and sometimes all of this at the same time. This release might be the biggest
surprise this week, and easily one of the best of this week also. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk



LOUIS RICE - 33/45 (7" by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

We may know Louis Rice as one-third of VA AA LR, a group of improvisers from London (along Vasco Alves and
Adam Asnan), and their electro-acoustic music and site specific performances, or as the proprietor of the Hideous
Replica label, organising concerts under the banner of Hideous Porta and on very few occasions he's a composer of
his own solo music. This 7" has two of his recent compositions and the cover doesn't specify any other information,
except for the two titles, '33' and '45', which at the same time is also the playing speed for each piece. On '33' the
sound is quite soft and seems to be some form of acoustic action. A loop that is some form of rhythm and on top
the very irregular sounds of what could be digging in the dirt with a shovel. It could actually be something entirely
different of course. Sometimes that shovelling sound leaps out of the mix, so a somewhat softer loop is the more
or less constant factor here, and the vinyl crackles nicely along and I am sure that is the way Rice planned these
things. Just as intentional, I'd say, as the other side in which left and right channels are separated. In one there is
a continuous distortion/drone like sound to be heard, which is also at the start in the other channel, but then after
a minute in that channel some highly obscured action starts to take place, of mildly distorted scanning of surfaces
with contact microphones, complete with some kind of sonic interference, to make it gritty and noisy. Whereas '33'
came across as piece of sound art, I was thinking here more or along of a proper 'song', especially when it works its
 way to the end. I know I always whine about 7"s and how this kind of music doesn't quite fit; this one surely proves
me wrong, as I thought it was excellent. (FdW)
––– Address: http://cargocollective.com/organizedmusic



MIKE KRAMER - RHYTHM IN THE FIELD (CDR by CS Music)

If you have been paying attention then you might know that Mike Kramer was, a long time ago, a member of Evolution 
Garden, a group of ambient improvisation, and in more recent years working his way around with a laptop and sound
processing, also very ambient, under the banner of Core Shift, as well as the only guy organising concerts down south
in The Netherlands. This new release deals entirely with the use of field recordings, made on various locations in The
Netherland and some in Belgium, which he collaged together in two times thirteen-minute pieces of music. The
inspiration for these two pieces comes from two paintings by Hans Keuls, and replicas of these paintings are to be
found in the package here. Both paintings are very abstract, one with a lot of blue; the other yellow, and other
colours are mixed to it. Perhaps because I am listening at the same time to Kramer's music, I looked at these
paintings thinking of them as landscapes. 'In The Heat Of The Summer' gets from Kramer a very watery treatment;
maybe rowing a boat on a lake? Or perhaps the Dutch summer of rain? There are also insects and birds out there in
the field. Obviously 'Rainy Midnight Blues' has also quite a bit of water/storm/rain sounds. There is more 'action' in
this piece, I'd say, than in the other one, but both of these use very detailed recordings and Kramer crafts some
excellent pieces of music with these field recordings, using the methods of collage, rather than being a reporter of
strictly individual sound events. He takes matters rather slow and makes long cross fades between the pieces and
let it all evolve in a natural way. This is quite far away from the world of Core Shift and perhaps there isn't much
rhythm in the field, but there is surely quite some beauty. Now, this would have been a perfect release for
Gruenrekorder, I would think. (FdW)
––– Address: <bitsounds@gmail.com>



MATHIEU RUHLMANN & CHRIS STRICKLAND - THIS HEAP IS GREATER LIGHT (CDR by Glistening Examples)
JASON LESCALLEET - TO THE TEETH (CDR by Glistening Examples)

Only recently I reviewed a cassette release by Strickland (Vital Weekly 1044) and now he teams up with Mathieu
Ruhlmann, of whom of we reviewed work before, either from himself on such labels as Mystery Sea, Spekk and
Unfathomless or those released on his own label Caduc. In all of these works he explores that curious intersection
of field recordings, sound art, improvisation and electro-acoustic music, and that is perhaps something that is also
being explored by Strickland, so that the two have common ground to be explored is not a strange thing. And that's
what they do on the four lengthy pieces here, a total of fifty-one minutes, and to that end they use a wealth of sound
material, none of which is actually listed on the cover. So we have to imagine what they are using here, which might be
anything from some contact microphones, objects, field recordings of playgrounds and luna parks, electronics of
analogue and digital provenance, ancient and rusty reel to reel tapes, hissy cassettes and who knows what else.
All of this is used to create sound material and then all of these recordings are mixed together to generate collages
of sounds. So it's not some kind of playing live together and then do some mix of whatever sound sources were
heard, but it's more like collating as diverse as much sound sources together. I might be wrong. Keep that in mind,
but that's how I hear all of this music. It is most of the times quite dense, and the two take their time exploring all
of the sounds and how they work together, before slowly moving to a next block of sound, until a piece is completed.
Quiet and sparse can easily be followed by something full and almost orchestral. This is a surely one excellent release.
'To The Teeth' is a re-issue by Jason Lescalleet, this time on his own Glistening Examples label. Originally this was
released in 2005 by Campbell Kneale's Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, and not been available in some time. Kneale
asked Lescalleet after seeing him play live, using his trusted reel-to-reel machines, with the magnetics falling of the
tape, or so we are lead to believe. With Lescalleet becoming more and more popular these days I guess it's only the
right thing to do and re-issue this. Here we have three pieces, which last some thirty-four minutes and which show
us Lescalleet in some brutal sense. His music always has a raw edge to it, abusing whatever obsolete recording device
and 1 bit sampler is available, but in general he knows how to pull back when necessary, and have the sort of drone
that crawls under your skin approach. That perhaps is not really here on this release. Here we have sound effects,
feedback, a synthesizer (perhaps), ancient sampling and mucho distortion at his display for all out noise work out
that is 'To The Teeth'. Lescalleet doesn't allow for much silence, none at all I would think and as such this is something
that is forcefully loud and single-minded. It is better than much harsh noise wall music, but perhaps something that is
just a bit too much for me. (FdW)
––– Address: http://glisteningexamples.bandcamp.com/



ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - INTERCEPTION V (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
OMPHALOCELE - 1 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
LILLMEYER & STADLMEIER - ZIE-SPALT (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
HERR PENSCHUCK - UNFÄLLE IM HAUSHALT/DOMESTIC DESASTERS (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
SONOLOGYST & KSHATRIY - TIME IS THE ENEMY (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
CONSUME & EXPIRE/SEXY CROCODULE FOR DINNER & DIVA_CARAMELLA - WHITE BEAR/SILENZIO
IMBARAZZANTE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)

Our massive trip in the recent releases by Attenuation Circuit continues with the longest of the lot, the nearly eighty
minutes of music by Artificial Memory Trace. Slavek Kwi never seems to be doing a release that is shorter than that. I
complain off and on about the length of releases, and while I think forty minutes of strong music is to be preferred
over sixty or more of mediocre music and that not every CD has to be filled up, I'd like making an exception for the
music of Kwi. His treated field recordings simply work best when they are a long head-trip. I am never sure what it is
that he does, in terms of processing and editing, but there is a large amount of field recordings at the basis of all of
this, and Kwi specializes in using birds and insect sounds, but on 'Interception V' we also hear the barking of dogs
and bells. Beyond that I am not sure what he does. All of this might very be dealing with time stretching and/or
granular synthesis, but the sounds are easily recognizable for the most part. In 'Interception V' development is
very minimal but every now and then sounds are added, but not easily removed from the mix, not until, so it seems,
the forty minute break, when lots is gone and few remain. In the remainder the piece is a bit more stripped down but
throughout it seems to be using the same sound sources, and the final ten pieces everything moves into computer
abstraction. It is all a kind of action music, I think. Have bunch of sound running and adding processed versions
thereof when needed. Maybe a bit less refined than some of his work, but a most lovely release.
The next two releases contain music by label boss Sascha Stadlmeier, whom we also know as Emerge. On the first
release, a duet with Martin Freund on drums, they call themselves Omphalocele, maybe as to indicate this is a more
permanent collaboration. The thirty-five minutes of 'I' were recorded in concert at Hutfabrik Lembert in Augsburg, in
September last year. The drum kit is reduced to just a few toms and Freund taps a very minimal rhythm, rolling rather
than steady pulsating beat. It is a bit slow, but it works quite well with the samples that Emerge is spinning on top.
He takes the lead by applying different samples and sound effects on top of that steady beat. For once this is not
the kind of improvisation that bounces in all directions and to end with a noise blast, but it stays pretty much on
the same level throughout the whole piece and that adds a certain meditative feel to it. Quite a winner this one.
With guitarist H. Lillmeyer, Sascha Stadlmeier played twice, and from both concerts there are bits on the 'Zwie-Spalt'
release. Here too I must admit I get something that I wasn't expecting, although I am also not sure what I was
expecting then. Maybe I thought of another Emerge-like ride through samples, delay and reverb, but the two apply
quite a bit of silence in their music, especially in the first piece, which I thought was a really great sound collage.
Guitar and samples are used sparsely and with a maximum result towards intensity. The second, longer, piece has
less silent moments but here too there is much room for cutting sound out of the mix, and continue with
something entirely different, usually something quieter and building a new crescendo. The first piece made
the most impact, but both of them I thought were quite good.
We then move to the three cassette releases, and the first one is a collaborative effort by Sonologyst, also
known as Raffaele Pezzella from Italy, and Bulychev Sergey's project Kshatriy. From the latter we have reviewed
some works and from Sonologyst just one, quite recently (Vital Weekly 1038) and I quite enjoyed that one. It seems
to me that this a match well made. I am not sure how this was made, but my best guess would this is some of kind
'music by (e-) mail' collaboration, of exchanging long form sounds, adding more effects to these sounds and/or
putting field recordings and acoustic sounds on top. I am merely guessing, judging by the music I hear. Whereas
Sonologyst's first release that I heard sounded a bit more like the serious electronic music from a few decades ago,
that is something that is not present here. Here we find the more gentle sound treatments that lead to massive
drones, via the route of reverb. Everything is soaked with it, but the outcome is quite all right; it is something one
expects I guess and this fulfils that need to quality drone music.
Herr Penscchuck plays sampler and wavedrum on his 'Unfälle Im Haushalt/Domestic Desasters' and that is not my
mistake (this time) but it says so on the cover. I read on the cover that this is 'based upon lecture performances
with texts taken from German safety dictionaries for private households published in the late 1960s - human
safety that also ran out of control again on march 11th in 2011.' I was thinking of Die Tödliche Doris who had
a 7" with more or less the same title, but there is no relation I think. Throughout we hear crackles of what could
come from an old record, or an Ableton Live plug in, and on top of that Penschuck plays a string instrument in
'Gefühlsecht', a bit of synth and what could be a clock in 'Bedenklich'. In 'Katastrofal' everything goes down the
sewer, with lots of low-end sound, a rumble, a rainstorm or a cart down the street. The final piece is a 'song', with
voices and sounds that are hard to define. It all sounded to me like a 80s home taper release, which is of course
isn't a bad thing, but it also didn't blow me away either.
The final release is perhaps also 80s inspired, a split release with 'White Bear' by Consume And Expire on one side,
taking the entire side up with a wall of noise approach and a bit of radio transmissions, whereas the two pieces
by Sexy Crocodile For Dinner & Diva_Caramella are just one long slab of harsh noise wall. I guess I must be exhausted,
but I found little joy in this release. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de/



DEFFEKTEGG - NADIR (cassette by Amek/Mahorka)

Amek is a label from Bulgaria (see also Vital Weekly 990) and here they release a cassette of Deffektegg (digitally
available through Mahorka), and 'Nadir' is his second release, following 'Weightless' from two years ago, on the
same label, but not reviewed in Vital Weekly. In terms of information there is not a lot to go by. I would think this
one-man ambient army plays guitar, lots of effects and sometimes uses his voice, and he does that with mild yet
considerate force. There is grittiness in these pieces, a certain amount of roughness, but it never goes over the
top, which is the great thing about this. It starts out with three shorter pieces, which already work fine, but in his
longer pieces, such as 'Storm-Proof' and the powerful 'Stamina', Deffektegg proofs he can hold the attention pretty
well. The guitar is not always as such recognizable in these pieces, due to the many transformations it can sound
like an orchestra, like a church organ or radio that has trouble finding the right station (in 'Stainable' for instance),
and also just like the guitar the voice is also not easy to recognize when it comes to meaningful lyrics. Music that
 is on the edge of drone, but also reaching for the more experimental realms and that entire works quite well. (FdW)
––– Address: http://amekcollective.blogspot.com http://mahorka.bandcamp.com/



LÄRMSCHUTZ FEATURING RÖMERTOPF & SPELONK - TAFELMUSIK (cassette by Weakie Discs)

From the ever so active Dutch improvising force Lärmschutz (Stef Brans on guitar and Rutger van Driel on trombone),
another work of improvisation, this time with Spelonk, who plays violin and with whom they also recorded 'Le Noise Do
Figaro' (Vital Weekly 1026) and a duo who call themselves Römertopf, being Jan van Wessel (electronics) and Ab Bot
on bass. There is no information about the recording itself, whether this was in concert somewhere, or perhaps a get
together in a studio, and whether or not some kind of editing was applied. I was quite pleased with the result, as the
five of them are doing something that goes beyond the usual anarchistic, punk and jazz leaning of Lärmschutz. Not
much of their usual chaos here, I'd say and I have no idea if that is due to the others, or if the mood dictated another
approach, one that called for more introspection. The music is quite dense at times with the violin in a more melancholic
mood than we'd know, and even a bit of sorrowful humming in the opening piece 'Crucifixus', and Römertopf providing
gentle backing, giving all of this a solid foundation. The instruments of Lärmschutz receive a freer role here, but they
too keep up with the sombre mood of the four pieces. This I thought was an excellent release. Intense yet powerful
improvised music, moving away from all the hectic that is so much in use in this kind of music. This is a great place
to start, if you are curious about this active force of Dutch improvisation. (FdW)
––– Address: http://weakiediscs.bandcamp.com



KEVIN DRUMM - GTR/SYNTH 2000 (cassette by Bocian Records)

As you could have read in last week's announcement section of this rag, Kevin Drumm is on tour in Europe and for
this occasion Bocian Records (which state of existence or non-existence quite frankly eludes me; the fact that they
just released this tape, doesn't mean the label still exists, mind you) released this tour item, in which the title explain
what we hear, a guitar and a synth and that it was recorded in 2000. It is not easy to recognize a guitar in the work
of Drumm, not on this cassette, and perhaps never on his other releases, although I easily admit that I haven't heard
of all of his music. The music starts out low humming; big on the deep end bass and from there easily unfolds into
two sides of noise music. But noise music in the hands of Drumm means that one doesn't get some harsh noise for
the sake of it, but in the case of 'gtr/synth 2000' this is more along the lines of some powerful drone music; music
that actually changes every now and then, music that is not without a musical touch and noise that is made by
someone who actually spend some time thinking about it. Now of course, I have no idea if now, in 2016, the touring
Kevin Drumm sounds anything alike the Kevin Drumm from sixteen years and unfortunately he's not in my area, so I
can't find out, but this heavy blast made me digging out some of his other releases again, and take a plunge in his
sonic richness. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.bocianrecords.com/



OLIVIER DI PLACIDO & FRITZ WELCH - OLIVIER & FRITZ (cassette, private)
CRANK STURGEON & OLIVIER DI PLACIDO (cassette by Le Republique Des Granges)

Two releases by Olivier Di Placido and both of them in collaboration with somebody else. Di Placido is a guitar player
from France, and in the past he released music with Sec_ (Vital Weekly 875) and Francesco Gregoretti (Vital Weekly
878). Here he first teams up with Fritz Welch, a drummer, of whom I never heard. There is not a lot of information to
go by here, but these twenty minutes are filled with some total mayhem when it comes to guitar and drum sounds.
The second side a bit more traditional when it comes to recognizing drums and guitar, more so than on the other side,
which seemed all a bit more abstracter in approach. What both sides ties together is the use of hectic and nervousness,
a sense of chaos and mayhem for what they are doing here. Their performances, and no doubt this was recorded in
concert, are surely a delight to witness, and I must say it doesn't easily translate to tape, but perhaps because I keep
imaging how this would look in concert.
With Crank Sturgeon from the USA, Olivier has a more regular concern when it comes to performing and releasing music,
and on their cassette we find a recording from the 4th of November 2015 at Cave 12 in Geneva. Of course it is never
easy to guess why something deserve a release (on whatever format) and why the rest remains unreleased. Maybe
improvisers of this kind should put all of their recordings on Bandcamp or Souncloud and let die-hard fans decide?
Crank Sturgeon brings his usual home crafted electronic devices to the table, along with pick ups and found sounds,
and in a way the results are not wildly different from the ones produced by Di Placido and Welch, except that the
drums are now replaced by objects, but a similar feeling of chaos and energy emerges from these recordings. Here
too I would like to think that 'seeing is believing' as much of this kind of improvised noise music is action based and
perhaps people like Di Placido and whoever he is playing with should consider releasing a DVD(R) of concerts, so it
becomes more an all-round document of sorts. (FdW)
––– Address: http://olivierdiplacidofritzwelch.bandcamp.com/album/untitled-cassette
––– Address: http://www.larepubliquedesgranges.org/



AVE EVA - PANAMINT (cassette by Midnight Circles)
JØN LIEFHOLD - ARGUSTERFELDER A-C (cassette by Midnight Circles)
BOOKS OF KELLS - DEPICTION OF SATURN AND OTHER PLANETS FLOATING IN SPACE (cassette by Midnight
Circles)

Three new cassettes by Germany's Midnight Circles, who call them 'a Xerox label', and all three seem to be by
people I haven't heard of. I started off with Ave Eva (notice the palindrome in there; a great palindrome as title
would be 'Eva Can I Stab In A Cave', thanks Gregory Whitehead for that), who is from Switzerland and has forty
minutes of synth-based soundscapes. He or she does that with some low humming synthesizer tones, slowed
down arpeggios and a shimmering melody, but somehow it is all quite soft and not very outspoken. That is not
to say I didn't like this; I actually did like this a lot. I assume this is part of the Ave Eva aesthetic and it works
remarkably well. This is music that requires a dark surrounding, so preferably something for the night-time.
There is very little else one could say about this, I guess. If you like atmospheric drone based music, using a
bunch of real synthesizers and you like your musicians to hide in obscurity: add Ave Eva to your list.
Well, or Jøn Liefhold for that matter, who, early 2016, visited some friends in Berlin and then had the idea for
this series of which this is part one. Each piece is called 'Argusterfelder', and added is 'A', 'B' etc. Jøn Liefhold,
of whom I couldn't find anything, uses 'vintage analogue synthesizers, field-recordings, various effects and
recorded directly to tape', and much of this is live to tape, without too much editing and overdubs. His music
is not unlike that of Ave Eva, but borders closer to the world of experiment, and is not a full out exploration of
nocturnal spookiness. Liefhold uses his synthesizers in a somewhat rougher way, sharper in it's oscillations and
whatever field recordings are used, they are surely not easy to recognize in this. This sounds all quite good; it
reminded me at times of Conrad Schnitzler and his 'non-keyboard use of electronics'. Some more information
would be great, as it made me curious to know more about it.
For Book Of Kells there is no information at all, not even an external soundcloud link, and it comes just with the
recommendation to play these using headphones. Unlike many of the releases on Midnight Circles which have
one or two long pieces per side, this sixty minute tape has twenty-seven pieces, all somewhere in the one to four
minute range, usually around three. The synthesizer excursion continues on this cassette, and it's more along the
lines of Ave Eva than of Liefhold. There is a serious amount of hiss on this cassette (and download), which is then
surely part of the concept; it sounds like this was recorded on a Ferro cassette, no Dolby and then copied again with
no Dolby for the final master. The oddest thing is that much of these pieces sound alike, yet they all stop quite
abruptly, like if they were cut from a bigger composition, but these cuts are quite crudely made. The music is at
times a bit melodic, but the synthesizer is kept on a similar setting throughout this. Here thirty or forty minutes
would have been equally okay, I'd say, as the full sixty is just a bit too much. I might be missing a conceptual point
in this one, fine as the music sounds. (FdW)
––– Address: http://midnightcircles.bandcamp.com/



R. SCHWARZ - WIND 1-3 (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
SEQUENCES - AN EVENT FOR OCEANS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

Here we have two new cassettes from the Belgium Audio Visuals Atmosphere label and both of them by people
who seem new to me. I didn just write that in the review of the three new Midnight Circles releases too. Hold on,
there is more to link these two to those three. These two are a bit shorter than the German releases, but music
wise it comes from the same big pile of analogue synthesizers, field recordings, modular synthesizers and/or tons
of sound effects. R. (is for Robert) Schwarz has some rather spooky music, like a stale wind over a barren piece of
land, castle in fog and ghostly voices lurking in the forest; that kind of metaphors spring to mind. If anything to
compare it with, I was reminded me of the music of Peter Frohmader; dark, symphonic, and yet quite abstract.
Seriously scary music and R. Schwarz did an excellent job at recording just that.
Sequences have a bunch more releases on this label, and trying to find them in the archive of Vital weekly is a bit
difficult. The word 'sequences' has been used a couple of times, as one could imagine. His/her tape contains
sounds recorded at the Isle of Eigg, up Scotland, but it was finished in Antwerp, Belgium. Far away one can hear
boats in the water, which are mixed, perhaps with some synthesizer based sound, but it might very well be that
all of this is just the treatment of the field recording. It hums away beautifully. The motor of the vessels serves
as a drone in 'The Repining Inlet', along with some bird whistle and some action on board. This one sounds a bit
less vague than the other side, 'Cast Seaward'. Here the inspiration could have come from a band like Ora or
Monos. This too is quite dark but it also has a fine elegance to it. (FdW)
––– Address: http://audiovisualsatmosphere.com/



ANDY BIRTWISTLE - SALUTE TO VINYL (cassette by Start Here)

This is the first release by a new label, Start Here, and the labels "aims to bring discerning listeners the finest in
magnetic tape-based media archaeological art"; future volumes will deal with field recordings, spoken word, found
sound & ready-mades. All of this is the brainchild of Andy Birtwistle, who is also a film maker and writer. The first
cassette is about the sound of vinyl, and we read:
"Salute to Vinyl features the surface noise recorded from both sides of a blank long playing vinyl disc played at
thirty-three and a third revolutions per minute. This sound is generated by physical contact between the turntable
stylus and the moving surface of a vinyl record. The continuous sound that results from the friction between these
two surfaces is interspersed with intermittent sounds produced when the stylus encounters the damaged wall of a
recording groove or particles of dirt. This is the sound of vinyl, brought to you through the medium of magnetic
tape."
There is also a bit about obsolete media, but pick up any newspaper and surely you can read something about
the hipness of vinyl, or the attraction of cassette for underground musicians, so in what universe are they obsolete,
 I wondered? Before I started to play this, I thought: this guy must come with something damn clever to surprise me,
as the 'sound of vinyl' has been done to death. Much like turntablists I think this is all a bit over done by now. I must
say, I don't think Andy Birtwistle comes up with something new; it is what it is, the sound of vinyl crackling. The
concept is quite poor, the results are nothing you couldn't do yourself (get a copy of Due Process' LP 'Do Nothing'
of Discogs and start recording, I'd say), but, all right, the cover looks nice. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.andybirtwistle.com/



SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY? NO.1 (fanzine)

The internet is of course a great thing, but one of the things that at least I sadly miss, is a good old Xeroxed
fanzine, and yes, I am aware that I don't make these myself anymore (you might remember that Vital (without
weekly) was a tri-monthly fanzine back in the mid 80s and early 90s, running for 44 issues and a book of them
will perhaps happen one day). The better ones are those who inform you of world you didn't know exist and which
are a bit deliberate vague. This one is surely one of those. First I had some trouble locating the actual title of this.
I was thinking it was either 'C.U.N.T.' or 'See You Next Tuesday', and I am informed that it is the latter, but the
editor informs that ""See you next Tuesday" is an expression (usually of derision) used in the UK to describe
someone because the phonetic acronym is 'C'  'U'  'N'  'T'", so that explains it. It's not that everybody knows
this in the UK. So we have bunch of A4 pieces of paper and it's all about the world of industrial, noise and drone
music. A long piece/interview with Depletion (power electronics), Wasp Bomb, Matching Heads, The New Movement,
all of whom I never heard, but it all makes up a great read, I think. It is all very personal and chummy, but that's
I think what makes a fanzine truly a fanzine. There is a lengthy piece in here about The New Blockaders - them I
know - and their concert at Morden Tower, in 1983 and also about the concerts by Ramleh and Whitehouse in
the same venue; a most memorable night as one surely knows from various other publications and releases, and
the fanzine interviews a variety of people and use many sources to tell us a complete story. Along with the fanzine
comes a CDR of some three minutes of people talking who are either drunk or have some mental condition, and
which is a bit awkward to hear, but I guess it fits such a fanzine pretty well. An excellent read all of this. (FdW)
––– Address: <thinkpinkfairies@aol.com>









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