number 1050
week 39


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:

LE FORBICI DI MANITU - TINNITUS TALES (2CD, 10", book by Sussidiaria) *
  Malignant Records) *
ZARATA FEST BOOK (CD plus book by Belleze Infinita)
TASOS STAMOU - KOURA (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
LES HARRY’S – GGOTS (LP by Sonic Protest)
  Grain Of Sound)
  (two cassettes by Personal Archives) *
STUART CHALMERS - POETRY OF DECAY (cassette by Strange Rules) *
STUART CHALMERS - LOOP PHANTASY NO. 3 (cassette by Beartown Records)

LE FORBICI DI MANITU - TINNITUS TALES (2CD, 10", book by Sussidiaria)

In the past I sang praise of the work Vittore Baroni whenever this was possible. He was responsible
for one of the best cassette labels I know, Trax from Italy. Here not just experimental music was
released on a cassette, but also electronic music, pop and punk, and the label took great care of
packaging as well. Check their 'Tooth & Nail' release. Baroni was also active as a journalist, book
publisher and a relentless advocate of mail art. Plus he's a musician, in the old days as Lt. Murneau
and since the early 80s as part of Le Forbici Di Manitu (that's what Discogs says anyway, that they
were founded in 1983, and consisting of four members: Manitù Rossi, Satana Cianciulli, Enrico
Marani, Vittore Baroni), allegedly the band of Manitu Rossi, but in the world of Vittore Baroni all
might not be what it seems. Some of their packages are also complex affairs, such as their
'Trivelogue' release (see Vital Weekly 34), which came with an extensive booklet and a table game.
And if the packages aren't confusing enough, the music is also mildly disturbing, as the band is not
fixed to one particular style. The music can be techno, pop, jazz, plunderphonics and ambient; or a
mix between any of these is more likely.
    'Tinnitus Tales' is probably their most complex package yet. In a soft carton box we find a 10"
record, two CDs and a oversized booklet with graphics, all about the subject of Tinnitus, that
condition where you a constant buzzing in your ear, due to long exposure to loud sounds.
Musicians, such as Pete Townshend, Ozzie Osbourne, The Edge and Bono (he too), are known
victims, , but also Dr. Spock and William Shatner, who got it from explosions during the taping of
a Star Trek episode. Vittore Baroni also suffers from it for a long time. It is a condition that never
goes away, so you have to make the best of it. Le Forbici Di Manitu invited a whole bunch of
musicians and visual artists to use this notion of famous musicians having tinnitus and work that
into songs, along with Le Forbici themselves, so it is not always clear who does what. Those songs
are on the first CD and here we find a wide variety of styles, rap, lounge music, jazz, rock music
(of a terrible kind, by Deadburger, I must say), techno, R&B and much more, by people like Teho
Teardo, Sparkle In Grey, Okapi, Maisie, Rod Summers, Dagger Moth, Spectre, Gronge X, and more.
It reminded me of the early Trax cassettes, tied to a theme (say 'Anthems' in which musicians
covered anthems of their country; easily one of my favourite Trax releases), spreading out all
over the musical territory, many with funny, sad and interesting lyrics, and all of this makes an
excellent musical journey.
    Which is something that can also be said of the second CD but the music stays closer
together. Here we have seventeen pieces of 'masking tracks'. It is commonly believed that in
order to relieve the distress of tinnitus is to maintain a 'masking' sound source in the background
(I am quoting the information; I didn't know this) so this CD is all filled with mostly instrumental
pieces, and one could say 'ambient music' is the keyword here, but it is not throughout all about
long from drone music. On this CD we come across various people (more so than on the other)
who are well known in the world of the weekly; people such as Giancarlo Toniutti, Gianluca
Balestrazzi, Gianluca Becuzzi, Gen Ken Montgomery, Nigel Ayers, VipCancro, but also Samora,
Daniele Santagiuliana, Yami and Bruno de Angelis. The music is quite ambient but not without
certain nastiness, as Montgomery proves in his raising hell ambience of analogue synthesizers,
or Toniutti with his multiple loops of acoustic sounds. Various other pieces use laptop techniques
to alter sounds in the best tradition of say Coh (I am using him as an example for he did an album
called 'Enter Tinnitus'). Music wise this is a very coherent compilation CD, even if you don't have
tinnitus and when you're not in need of any masking tracks.
    At the end I played the 10" record, which seems to me to be eight songs by Le Forbici Di
Manitu, and this time it is just them. This is the clearest example of the band's interest in playing
diverse music. 'Through Vulcanian Ears', about the Star Trek incident, is a jazzy inspired song,
while 'Surface Noise' is more like a post-punk one; 'You Too (May Get It Soon)' sounds like The
Residents, who might be an influence in all of these pieces I thought, also in 'Tinnitus Tales', which
appears also on the first CD, but then by Metal Music Machine, but with identical composer credits,
Baroni and Rossi. The Residents humour spreads out to the mash-up cover they play of 'Silence Is
Golden' (The Tremeloes) merged with 'Eardrum Buzz', the Wire song and which is not only funny
as fuck but also groovy as hell. Okay so maybe Le Forbici Di Manitu are more like a rock band on
this 10" record, no techno, house or ambient this time around here, but it makes just a bit more
coherent, I guess. They opt here for the more rock-like formation, emphasizing the lyrics and
vocals. Now, this kind of rock may not be my cup that much, but it works quite well.
    Which is something that must also be said of the book with images from visual artists,
comic drawings and such like, along with some interesting background information. A most
complete package, I'd say and while not very cheap, at just over 300 copies a pre-programmed
collectors item, worth investing your money in. (FdW)
––– Address: <>

  Malignant Records)
ZARATA FEST BOOK (CD plus book by Belleze Infinita)

All of these three were inside the same mailer, yet all three released by different people. The
connection is the musician Miguel A. Garcia, who plays on all three of them. A long time ago he
started as Xedh playing 'laptop' based music but not in any specific genre; it worked as drum &
bass, techno, noise, glitch and much more. Since a couple of years he works under his own name
and with a focus towards electronics, drones and improvisation. Yet he's also a member of various
other bands such as Ansinuak, Droneskvadronen All-Stars, La Bella Medusa, Larraskito Audio
Dissection Unit, Mubles, No and Black Earth. The latter being a trio of himself on electronics,
sampler and sound manipulations, Alejandro Tedin on guitar, bass, synth and voice and Alejandro
Duran on electronics, tape loops and drones, plus on the three pieces a bunch of others, delivering
music on guitar, drums and voices. You could think 'CD', 'Three Pieces', so that these are longer
than your average songs, but it's not case. The total length is nineteen minutes. Something else
you could assume is the fact that this is dark and drone based, as that's what we know the label
best for. Surely it is dark, but it's hardly drone based. It is not easy to say what it is, as I believe to
hear elements of whatever variation of metal music, but it comes to the listener with an amount
of sound effects, like there is a lot of dust under the laser/needle/groove (take your pick). It made
me listen with much more interest than I would probably normally do to a release with metal music.
There is an excellent form of energy within the music, which borders towards metal, noise,
electronics, musique concrete (thanks to the technique of collage and editing) and drone music,
but all together it sounds very alien and beyond whatever genre. I am not sure what to make of
this, but it grew every time I played it. This is an excellent release.
    Although the cover gives us four titles for the release Garcia (here credited with electronics,
electro acoustic composition) recorded with Seijiro Murayama (percussion, voice, electro acoustic
composition) it is cut as one, forty-minute, piece on the CDR, but each of the four sections is
easily to be recognized. If I understand correctly the music is the result of making a collage out
of recordings they made either solo as well as together, but I am not sure who made the final
edits; I assume they did this together. Murayama we know as someone who plays percussion in
his own expert way and on these four pieces we are treated with some finely honed pieces of
musique concrete, with the bricks to build this from the world of improvisation. I have no idea
how deep the rabbit hole goes here, i.e. how many layers are applied to the music; what is still
'live' and what is 'collage'; I would believe quite a bit is editing, but I might be entirely wrong of
course. Garcia delivers a fine set of electronic drone material, cutting in and out of the mix,
sustaining and breaking up, while Murayama plays the kit but also seems to be responsible for
the looped percussive bits that we also find in these pieces. In the final section, 'Monosho' all
of this comes towards an explosion and we find especially Murayama in a more traditional role
when it comes to improvising, but here too external sounds seem to have been added. I found
all of this wonderful stuff, but then I am a sucker for this kind of sound collage approach when
it comes to improvised music being used as building blocks for something else.
    Since ten years Garcia also organises the Zarata Festival, which is an annual event in his
hometown Bilbao. And ten years means a celebration, and this comes in the form of an almost
square shaped book (17x17 cm), hard cover, and some 250 pages. Garcia could have chosen
for a more documentary styled book, saying who's who on the pictures, which is responsible for
the many drawings that are scattered around in this book and perhaps an effort to translate the
various texts into English. Now, it is impossible to comment on these texts and about the many
pictures and drawings, I can say, 'yeah, lots of people use a laptop it seems, but there is also
some saxophones, cellos and traditional line-ups to be spotted'. Or one could listen to the
compilation CD in the mean time and try to find out if you can spot say Agnes Pe (who has a
DJ duty for many years; all posters are included), Murayama, Garcai himself, Tzesne, Clara de
Asis, Oier Iruretagoiena, Kakofunk Ensemble, Loty Negarty, The Tune 3.0 (with Ilia Belorukov)
or Ferran Fages is; I choose names of people of whom we reviewed music before. There are no
less than twenty pieces on this loaded CD and there is lots of new names to be found here (a=b,
Baba Ilaga, Dario Moratilla, Arruti Column, Grumos Lalai, Enxamio de Carneiro, Al Karpenter, Itziar
Okariz, Bazterrak & Tzesne, Inazio Escudero, Elbis Rever, Orbain Unit, Magmadam) with lots of
different styles, even when computers and noise seem to be in majority here, it is not as heavy
as one would perhaps expect. While perhaps not the most explaining of documentations, there
colourful chaos was well received. (FdW)
––– Address:
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Dutch guitarist Corrie van Binsbergen is a keymusician for decades already on the Dutch jazz and
improv scene. Over the years she had numerous successful ensembles. Van Binsbergen Playstation
is her newest unit with following line up: Mete Erker (tenorsax, bass clarinet), Miguel Boelens
(soprano and altosax), Morris Kliphuis (french horn, cornet), Joost Buis (trombone, lapsteel),
Albert van Veenendaal (prepared piano, piano), Corrie van Binsbergen (guitar), Dion Nijland
(double bass), Yonga Sun (drums). Recordings for their debut album come from first two (!)
live concerts from a tour that ended in July this year with a concert on North Sea. The cd counts
eleven tracks, nine of them composed by van Binsbergen. One (‘Basil Outside’) by Joost Buis, and
one by Billy Strayhorn (‘A Flower is a Lovely Thing’) in an arrangement by Buis. With Playstation
van Binsbergen continues where earlier bands of her  – for example Corrie en de Brokken and
Vanbinsbergen - stopped. Making a return to her core business of working with a big band. One
feels and hears the joy the musicians have in this very together band. The energy flows and
streams from it. Nice arrangements, making room for all players to make their own individual
contributions. This makes this album a very rich one, where there is lot to be enjoyed. Above
all the fine interplay and togetherness that makes this a top-notch band. (DM)
––– Address:


Here we have two new recordings by the trio of Norvegian guitar monster Hedvig Mollestad
Thomassen. The trio is deeply inspired by 70s heavy progrock. Also their music is evidently
jazz-flavoured and drenched into their own psychedelic approach. Mollestad studied at the
Norvegian Academy of Music and played in many rock and jazz combinations. The trio is in
operation since 2009 and has Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjornstad on drums. Their
music is to be enjoyed best when performed live. So happily both new cds are live recordings.
‘Black Stabat Mater’ was recorded live at Ocean Sound Recordings at Giske. The other one live
for on audience on august 15th, 2015. ‘Black Stabat Mater’ takes 33 minutes only. This fourth
release since 2011 is a very bold and concentrated statement. The title refers obviously to Black
Sabbath as well to the medieval hymn ‘Stabat Mater’. But these references are not loaded with
meaning as far as I can detect. More evident is the link between one of the five tracks, ‘In the
court of the Trolls’ and King Crimson. The piece is built from a typical Frippian riff at the beginning
that returns at the end and has Mollestad improvising in between. In contrast ‘Live in Oslo’ has
the trio indulged in long excursions. This cd counts four tracks taking nearly 70 minutes. Both
releases show this is a very tight trio with an enormous power. Mollestad has a great sound and
timing. But I have to admit my attention drifted away from time to time, where I didn’t felt a
strong necessity of their musical escapades. To call this music ‘avant rock’ or experimental is
too much said, for they stay to close to the paradigms of the music they are inspired by. But
the performance is overwhelming! (DM)
––– Address:


Pawel Kulczynski sometimes works as Wilhelm Bras and sometimes as Lautbild, and I am not
sure when he chooses for one or the other, as both seem to be dealing with (lots of) rhythm.
This is music that finds its inspiration on the dance floor, with a strong kick drum, four bar
measures and such like, but the way the music is made is ultimately not really dance floor I
would think. The rhythms, the sequences and the synthesizers that Kulczynski uses are just
too crude to be played on the dance floor. Now, I have no idea if that is something that Lautbild
regrets or not. Maybe it is his aim to play something that the listener will relate to dancing but
upon close inspection is not; or perhaps he genuinely thinks that this could be spun straight
away in the disco? I raised this question before and still I don't know the answer. The beats are
a bit off, it is not really a well-rounded piece of dance music, and the synthesizer are most the
times means and crude, perhaps even 'industrial'. My favourite pieces are those who are bit
gentler and straight forward, such as the cosmic driven synths of 'Believable And Cinematic'
and the opener 'Dishonest Gymanstics' but even these pieces have certain rough edges to it.
That makes the music of Lautbild distinctly different from the many other dance music creators
who work on their computer on the smoothest of pieces and that's a great thing. (FdW)
––– Address:


Damn this is quite a dark haul. Over the last couple of years Swedish ritual collective Tvlpa has
spawned numerous albums and this specific one was recently re-released by the North American
label Malignant, that brought us many proper dark ambient and industrial works in the past,
including Aderlating, Bad Sector and a while back Tvlpa's compatriot Trepaneringsritualen. The
latter incidentally also did the design for this album.
    Now this is certainly not the run-of-the-mill ritual ambient you could use to breathe a bit of
an occult atmosphere into a candlelit esoteric night. Each track is a sigil, intended to be activated
by the listener who then partakes as an active ingredient - a catalyst as it were - to actualise one’s
latent potential. As a participant, one is invited to gaze upon vistas unbeknown to most of us,
scorching through one’s subconscious corridors without holding back. And indeed this work is
quite the trip. I became part of the experience on two separate occasions and the hypnotising,
continuous respiration of the pieces allows for a gradual attuning to the nether layers, thus making
it fairly simple to descend - probably even for the inexperienced - and become ultimately absorbed,
even though the industrial palette with its throbbing sequencers and squealing synths may seem
somewhat intense in the beginning. Being already familiar with the works of Tvlpa I needed no
convincing before I listened to this album, but now I can also safely say that this specific one
would definitely have won me over and dispelled any doubt. Moreover, in general I feel this act
brings something new to the table, which is quite an achievement in a long-established genre
like ritual ambient/industrial. So anyway, I feel this is a solid and original addition to the
Malignant catalogue and I do hope other Tvlpa albums will follow in its footsteps soon. (PJN)
––– Address:

TASOS STAMOU - KOURA (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

Over the years we reviewed quite a bit of work by Greek composer and improviser Tasos Stamou,
who delivered so far a variety of works with diverse musical interests. Some of his works dealt
with drone music and long sustaining sounds, while in other works he sampled toys and
electronics and creates much shorter pieces of a distinct quality. His latest release, 'Koura',
belongs to the first body of works, but there is some overlap. From the information I learn that
a "‘Koura’ is a traditional sheep shearing ceremonial custom, still performed in rural Crete. Every
June, local farmers invite a group of close friends and relatives to join this full-day annual festivity
dedicated to the sheep. A major feast in late evening finalizes a hard day of commune work."
    On the CD we find two pieces of music, both for a single instrument and additional electronic
effect processing and both pieces are the result of multi track recording of the same instrument
and, so I assume, different processes applied to it. Both pieces are named after the instrument
used, so we have a 'Zither Drone' and a 'Chord Organ Drone'; the latter instrument being a Hohner
Organetta in case you were wondering about this. The cover also mentions that "the instruments
have been performed with extended techniques and additional live electronic “extensions” (looping
feedbacks & down-sampling, pitch shifting, reverberation and oscillators)". From all of this one
could think this is part of his drone works, and yet those drone works use oscillators and such
like and perhaps played themselves; in 'Chord Organ Drone' that might be the case, sticking keys
down with tape or stones, but in the zither piece I would think he actually keeps on playing, and
that makes up the difference between both pieces. Both are ominous drone experiences, and in
'Organ Chord Drone' he keeps colouring the sound, so there is a constant 'move' to be noticed
in this piece. In 'Zither Drone' there is a more a live feel to it, of an instrument being played, and
despite the drones generated through the use of sound effects, there is a slight irregularity to
the music; perhaps less mechanical if you will but I must admit I quite enjoyed the more mechanical
approach, the constant sound and the minutiae variations of the 'Chord Organ Drone'. Had Stamou
delivered two of these pieces I would certainly be pleased with the quality as well, but now it's
possible to say that the zither piece is fine but the chord organ piece is excellent. I can surely
imagine that for some people this might be exactly reversed and for the same reason, also
reversed, i.e. that one piece is too mechanical and the other one is more alive. Overall I thought
this was one of his best releases so far. (FdW)
––– Address:


A new unidentified entity from the Swiss city of Lausanne that is Spook is about to blow our
minds, if we are to believe the promo talk. The band consists of Coralie Lonfat on electronics,
Jamasp Jhabvala on violin and drummer Dominic Frey. Quite an uncommon line-up, but when
playing the first track it was somehow very close to what I had expected. Don’t know if that’s a
good or a bad thing. I would have liked to have been really blown off my socks or overwhelmed,
but it’s safe to say the sound of the band is not the steamroller I had hoped for. Perhaps in a
live setting this band will be able to do just that. Doesn’t matter that much, since in it’s own
right this album is well worth listening to. The pieces seem partly improvised and partly diligently
structured. Especially the louder improv bits are amazing feats of free form collision that are
liberating to listen to. Spook jumps effortless from a steady but progressive 4/4 downbeat
groove, through luminous chaos into a squelching sample-laden ambient bubble bath.
    The thing that didn’t really do it for me was the casual loopy bits like the one that covers
most of “Grand Parade In Bottens part. 2” and “Shall We Go”. That is not to say that it was done
in a bad way and it partly certainly serves a purpose with an eye on the overall musical dynamics.
Still after those violent outbursts, I’d rather have that whirlwind continue than having to wait for
5 minutes of noodling to be punted. And there is a lot of noodling going on, but I feel the rougher
bits do make up for it and the difference in intensity do make the album more palatable if you
consume the entire thing ‘immediately, without moderation’, as is suggested one should. So
that does balance out the record as a whole. If you’re into stuff like ZS or Combat Astronomy,
be sure to check this one out. (PJN)
––– Address:


While we did review Nobuchika's second release, 'Sonorite', all the way back in Vital Weekly 791,
I must say I totally forgot about it and no doubt that was due to the fact that he didn't release
anything since then. What he has been up to, I don't know, but maybe he was working in the
eight pieces on this new, yet short (twenty-eight minutes) album. The previous release I compared
with the music of Erik Satie, so it was more about the piano then this one, which is all much more
about electronics. The mood is something that is still there. All of these pieces are a bit on the dark
side and all highly atmospheric. Yet the music is not devoid of any rhythm; in fact there is quite a
bit of that to be found on these pieces. Small particles are cut out of the various stages of the
process, looped and placed inside the more ominous drones and atmospheres. The piano is present,
occasionally and plays now a more abstract melody, or sparse notes. The pieces are short and to
the point, which is something I like very much. Things should either be very long or very much to
the point; Nobuchika opts for the latter here, which is a wise decision. Perhaps I wouldn't have
minded to have a few more pieces; twenty-eight minutes seems to be just a bit too short, and a
few more I wouldn't have minded. (FdW)
––– Address:


The name Ingar Zach appears in reviews mostly in connection with other musicians, such as his
duo Labfield with David Stackenäs, the trio Looper with Nikos Veliotis and Martin Kuechen,
Huntsville and Mural or the many more ad hoc works of improvisations with people like Jaap Blonk,
Derek Bailey, Ivar Grydeland, Wade Matthews, Mazen Kerbaj, and many more. 'Le Stanze' is his fifth
solo record, and I am not sure if I ever reviewed any of his solo work before. Zach is a percussion
player who also quite a bit of electronics and the results are amazing. 'Le Stanze' opens with 'La
Bugia Dello Specchio' in which sounds seems almost absent, and reduced to a few strokes here and
there. By total contrast is then the piece 'Il Battito Del Vichingo' in which Zach taps out one steady
beat with his feet and another hand for a steady one, but with variations for the cymbals; that's
the start as in other parts of the piece he moves into something wilder yet sparser, and overtones
are created (how I don't know; maybe by rubbing objects on the skin of the drum) and it remains
sparse throughout. The surface scanning returns in 'L'Inno Dell' Oscurita', as a solo play it seems
and it depicts something very low and very spooky; like a big monster slowly roaming the streets
at night. The closing piece is 'E Solitudine' which is the album at it's heaviest I think. It opens with
a controlled feedback environment which turns out to be some kind of slow moving drone (I
assume this Zach's most electronically played piece on this release) of further control of the
various resonating skins which he also plays, I presume snares and toms, which objects moving
about from the electronics making those skins vibrate. This means that the four pieces on this
album are all very different from each other and they provide us with a wonderful insight in the
musical abilities of mister Zach. An album that sounds like a journey through life; from quiet
beginnings to a powerful end, expertly painted. An excellent work. (FdW)
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The phrase 'I have no idea what to make of this' is one I use quite a bit, and I would say usually
with good reason, but if I need it this week for one release then it is the collaboration between
Dakota Suite and Vampillia. The latter is a Japanese band I never heard from Osaka, and ten
people strong, including a throat singer by the name of Mongoloid. Dakota Suite (see also Vital
Weekly 784 for a review of their 'The Hearts Of Empty' album) is a duo Chris Hooson and David
Buxton, who toured Japan just before the tsunami hit Fukushima. They decided to work with
Vampillia to work on songs that reflected some of the sadness about that tragedy. There was, I
believe, some file swapping going on, with Dakota Suite at the helmet of constructing these
sounds into songs. So we have two long tracks, with the longest being twenty-seven minutes
and two shorter ones, but still clocking in at seven and eight minutes. The music moves all over
the place, which of course isn't a bad thing and easily it goes from new age to ambient to distorted
guitars, jazzy drums, odd sections with cheerful string music, melancholic chords on a guitar, a bit
of noise, some scary throat singing and probably I just described the first part of the title piece,
spanning eighteen minutes. Now while there are definitely sections that I like within those long
pieces, it moves also through bits and pieces that I don't like; that I found kitschy or filled with
clichés. It sounds as if it was hard to leave anything out, and that all the bits had to be used. But
weeding out the weaker links and expanding on the great bits and make those into one, proper,
finished piece of music would have been a better idea. Some of this now sounds too much self-
indulging, I think. That's what I made out of this, and I realize I might be completely wrong of
    Marion Dimbath and Anja Morell form the duo Leichtmetall, although on previous releases it
was Dimbath with Nicola Schüpferling. Those previous releases are from 2004 and 2006, so there
is a long gap of no releases. The two ladies play synthesizers, bells, ukulele, trombone, tuba,
trumpet and glockenspiel, that instrument of lightweight metal that gave them their band name.
Oh and let's not forget vocals, which are in German (mostly), French and English. Following the
musical rollercoaster that is the album by Dakota Suite and Vampillia, these ten songs are very
pop like and very German. This reminded this particular music lover of 'Wir Bauen Eine Stadt', the
Hindemith work for children, as performed by Thomas Fehlmann and Holger Hiller (Vital Weekly
530); voices are on top of the music, and have a childlike naivety about it. Music about love, a
gorilla, being a machine in your life, a puma and the music is kept very light also. That great
German pop sound of the early 80s shines through this (Andreas Dorau, Der Plan, though not
as nasty as some of their early music), but with a perhaps sometimes stronger beat to it
(Wolfgang Voigt will be doing two remixes soon). It sounds intimate and charming; music
without any harm. but on a sunny autumn day like today makes this into it's perfect
soundtrack. (FdW)
––– Address:

LES HARRY’S – GGOTS (LP by Sonic Protest)

In 2013 Alain Courtis, member of Reynols, was invited to do a workshop for young autistic
adults from a Day Care Centre near Paris. This workshop was repeated one year later, and things
started to develop. Six young adults joined forces and continued as Les Harry’s. At the end of
2015 they released their debut lp ‘Ggots’. The release counts 31 short tracks (bonus cd included)
and has the members playing in different combinations. The ‘songs’ are mainly starting from words
that are spoken rather than sung. Embedded in very free-form constructions that have a dramatic
impact. The playing is very expressive and open. They operate somewhere between Half Japanese
and Faust. Some of the pieces are just fragments, others are complete songs. They are edited and
compiled in a way that one perceives the music as one continuous collage. The recording is
excellent and everything sounds very fresh. They had great help from the Sonic Protest-collective
from Lille, who supervise this project. Absolutely a satisfying listening experience. (DM)
––– Address:

  Grain Of Sound)

The small Portuguese label Grain of Sound took a seven-year pause before returning with a new
release by the trio of Alex Zhang Hungtai, David Maranha and Gabriel Ferrandini. The label has a
small catalogue of records mainly by Portuguese musicians, like David Maranha, who is also
present on this new release. Maranha is a veteran of the Portuguese avant garde scene, known
for his work with Osso Exotico, his collaborations with Z’ev , Stephan Mathieu, Phil Niblock and
many others. In 2012 he released a vinyl album with Gabiel Ferrandini, ‘A Fonte de Aretusa’ for
Mazagran. Ferrandini is a young drummer, percussionist from Portugal who since 2007 is
engaged in numerous collaborations of improvised music. For their next step they invited Alex
Zhang Hungtai. Hungtai is a Taiwanese-born Canadian musician originating from Montréal, who
works under the moniker of Dirty Beaches and later, Last Lizard. On this trio effort we hear
Hungtai on sax, Maranha on organ and Ferrandini on drums in two extended improvisations of
about 20 minutes each. Ferrandini is the busiest one of the three with driving drums and
percussion. Hungtai plays long extended notes and riffs and Maranha does a great on job on
organ. Through their intense interplay they deliver a hypnotizing and engaging work of minimal
improvisations, recorded live in Cafe Oto in London, February 6th 2015. (DM)
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The name Jeff Snyder popped up a few times in Vital Weekly, mainly in connection with
improvised music but he is also a member of The Miz'ries, where he plays a homemade analogue
modular synthesizer, along with Leila Adu on vocals and 'broken turntable with effects loops' by
Quinn Collins. At first I frowned and thought 'what the hell is this', but after repeated playing I
believe to see what they are aiming at. The six songs here are to be found in the timeframe of a
pop song, say between three and four and half minute and while an element of noise (courtesy
of Snyder, I would think) is nothing odd in here, I believe the aim is to find an intersection where
pop-like vocals (however odd they sound) meet up with loops from scratchy records and a more
stomping rhythm of the analogue synths. One could think that 'noise pop' is then an adequate
term, but that's not the true story. It could suggest that there is a pop sensibility in here, and
that's not the case, I think; the voice of Adu adds something that makes it recognizable (easier
that is), but the musical accompaniment by the others make this too weird to be fully pop; and
not fully noise based at the same time, I should add. This is not something that storms any
spotify pop list very soon, but I quite enjoyed what The Miz'ries are trying to do here. It's
sufficiently weird music but still carries enough elements that make these six songs also truly
'songs', which I think is quite an achievement. I was wondering how all of this would sound in
concert; hopefully something to witness one day. (FdW)
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  (two cassettes by Personal Archives)

Recently, so it seemed, Arvo Zylo started a 'campaign' to release much of his music, some of
which was recorded several years ago, or music that has been out of print for a while. Much of
that deals with his group with fluctuating membership Blood Rhythms. The first time I heard
their music was the LP 'Assembly', which I enjoyed a lot (Vital Weekly 965) and if I understood
correctly, the original idea was to have 'Cutting Teeth' as part of a special of that record. The
minimalism of the LP, captured in lots and lots of loops, is not what we find on 'Cutting Teeth',
which is six long pieces of live improvisations. Blood Rhythms are about many things, you see.
Each of the six pieces has Arvo Zylo playing with other people, all recorded live in the period 2007
to 2009, and there are lots of people on this release of whom I never heard of, with the most
notable exception of Dan Burke, of Illusion Of Safety fame. The opening piece is a rather traditional
piece of improvised music, with a large group of people carefully playing their instruments. Not a
particular great piece. The second piece is by a smaller cast of players and more about the noise
edge, banging in scrap metal and detuned radios. The smallest line-up is to be found in the third
piece, only Zylo and Michael Krause in what is a pretty straightforward improvisation for pure noise
waves, not unlike Merzbow, but not as loud. Of more interest in my opinion are the next two pieces
in which Zylo and a group of people play wind instruments, such as French horn, trumpet, baritone
and electronics (although the latter only in the fourth piece), which have a great modern classical
ring to it, very Niblock like in a way, but then without the refinement, but which makes this I think
two great pieces; I wish these excerpts were a bit longer. The final piece is another pretty straight-
forward noise piece. I quite enjoyed the diversity of this particular release, even when
I didn't seem to enjoy each individual piece.
    On the solo front Zylo releases 'Heavenly Sound In Lo-Fidelity: Arvo Plays Ferrante And
Teicher'. I never heard of them, but then I am also not fully emerged in the history of what "could
be called part of the "percussion craze" of the late 50s, or "proto exotica" as Zylo describes them.
Ferrante & Teicher played the grand piano and later on prepared pianos for more rhythmical sound.
Zylo has fifteen records by this duo along with other records of this kind of percussive music and
on these two cassettes he explores these records. One could use the word 'remixing', or 'recycling'
and perhaps 'plunderphonics' is a word that is hard to avoid in this context. Zylo composed
fourteen pieces; numbered 'One' to 'Fourteen' and style wise it ranges from the plunderphonics
side of things to spacious ambient textures. The first lot I have some problem with. It sounds too
easy to sample a bit of a record and loop/play that around set against a bunch of these samples.
That was perhaps not bad in the hands of John Oswald or The Tape-beatles, but it's by now a bit
worn out. When Zylo stretches out his sounds, make them into long form sound scapes I am very
pleased with the result, such as the string heavy 'Seven'. This is ambient industrial music at its
best, and luckily these pieces are in a majority here. The plunderphonics part effectively makes up
about a quarter from the total release, which at eighty minutes might also be a bit long I thought.
Zylo created some excellent pieces using the time stretched string and percussion sounds and
moves gentle around with these sounds, but could make the same perfect point in a somewhat
more limited time frame. (FdW)
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STUART CHALMERS - POETRY OF DECAY (cassette by Strange Rules)
STUART CHALMERS - LOOP PHANTASY NO. 3 (cassette by Beartown Records)

Two new, although perhaps not the most recent, releases by Stuart Chalmers, of whom by now
we reviewed a whole bunch of material (see for instance Vital weekly 982, 962, 935, 896, 867
to start with) in which cassettes and pedals play an all important role. Sometimes this works out
into something that is a bit noise based, but in more recent times there is tranquillity to be found
in his work, going towards atmospheric ambient music. That is something that is also the case on
'Poetry Of Decay', which Chalmers calls a '30 minute collage of degraded tape ambiances', which
might very well cover what this is all about. The pieces go from one into the next and it seems like
Chalmers used the lowest possible means of recording sound, and re-recorded whatever he was
doing again on those tapes. I am thinking of Walkmans with build-in recording possibilities, held
next to each other, or setting up cheap microphones in front of speakers, rather than using a
cleaner line-in signal. It all sounds pretty 'low', as in degraded, but not 'low' as in of 'bad' music.
On the contrary, there is something quite captivating about all of this, I thought. If you listen
closer you will note so much more; slowed down records, voices, acoustic sound treatments and
such like, put together with some thought and care, which is something one can leave up to
Stuart Chalmers. This is a great release.
    On 'Loop Phantasy No. 3', Chalmers does something completely different and that is using
mostly the sound of skipping records, looped and sampled; or as the label puts it: " Recycled
music, scavenged sonics [...] Regis of Re-appro-Pop set his sights on the myriad glossy
productions, which percolate through the collective head-brain every day. The CD skipping in the
local Costa, the mini-disc dancing cripple-ways due to bouncy jog - all haunting reminders of a
perfect world beyond the current."  Following the 'Poetry Of Decay' album which I enjoyed a lot I
must admit this one is somewhat of a disappointment; maybe it is due to the fact that the besides
layering the various samples together there is not much more processing going and there are put
together just like that. The second side has bits with somewhat more tension among the samples,
effectively creating some more mood inspired music but on the first side on this cassette I found
the music rather weak and not very engaging. I am not sure what Chalmers intentions were, other
than perhaps create something other than his more usual electro-acoustic soundscapes, but this
route may need some refinement or rethinking. (FdW)
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