number 1053
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week 42
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TOMOTSUGU NAKAMURA - AN OPENED BOOK IN THE DARK (CD by Kaico) *
FEDERICO DURAND - JARDIN DE INVIERNO (CD by Spekk) *
RSS BOYS & VENTOLIN - THE GAME YS ROTTIN (CD by Mik Musik/Bdta)
STROM - STROM (CD by NurNichtNur) *
VETROPACO (CD by Silentes) *
MARK VERNON - LEND AN EAR, LEAVE A WORD. AUDIO ARCHEOLOGY SERIES VOL. 1:
  LISBON (LP by Kye) *
VAPOR LANES - HIERATIC TEEN (LP by Usonian) *
TEXT-SOUND COMPOSITIONS 8 (compilation LP by Fylkingen Records)
LARS AKERLUND/ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI (split LP by Fylkingen Records)
MICRO_PENIS - SCHLIM (LP by Doubtful Sounds)
DOC WÖR MIRRAN - TAPE HISSED (HISTORICAL OBSCURITY VOLUME 2) (CDR by Miss
  Management) *
DOC WÖR MIRRAN - CONFUSION ROCKS (CDR by Miss Management) *
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - BLOOD PORTRAITS (book by Mirran Thought)
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - ART PHAGS (book by Mirran Thought)
LIVING EARTH, FIELD NOTES FROM THE DARK ECOLOGY PROJECT 2014-2016 (book by
  Sonic Acts Press)
ANGUS CARLYLE - IN THE SHADOW OF THE SILENT MOUNTAIN (book by Gruenrekorder) *
BRUITAL ORGASME - METHODOLOGIE CONTEXTUELLE (cassette by Sincope) *
OTTAVEN - SEQUENZE PER RAFFIGURAZIONI MENTALI #1 (cassette by Sincope) *
FFFF (double cassette compilation by Magnetic Purely)




TOMOTSUGU NAKAMURA - AN OPENED BOOK IN THE DARK (CD by Kaico)

Following 'Soundium', his second release (see Vital Weekly 924), Tomotsugu Nakamura, who is
also is also one half of Suisen with Daren McClure, now releases his third CD 'An Opened Book In
The Dark'. The label informs us that this new album is both an evolution as well as a 'return to
the source' themed album, with Nakamura using 'fragmental acoustic tones', which is the evolution
side, and 'his electronic sound that he has been pursuing since his second album', I guess that
makes up the return to the source. That said, I must admit I think Nakamura explores the path he
already choose further and as such the differences might be in the details; on a microscopic level
that is. The cutting, chopping, sampling, slicing of guitar like sounds, transformed with granular
synthesis from the good ol' max msp is something that we have been hearing since Oval went
ambient. Is that a bad thing? Of course it is not. People have been playing the guitar since a long
time, and usually with six strings, strumming chords and whatever they are called. So to do what
Oval did, and do that in a somewhat more ambient texture, is absolutely fine with me. Maybe at
fifty-one minutes I found this be a bit too long, as towards the end I had the feeling Nakamura was
a bit on a repeat mission. I enjoyed the ambience, the melodic touch, the fact that one can
recognize a guitar, occasionally, in here, but a bit more variation, versus lesser pieces would have
been a better idea, in my opinion. (FdW)
––– Address: http://kaicojapan.tumblr.com



FEDERICO DURAND - JARDIN DE INVIERNO (CD by Spekk)

With a somewhat colder Autumn day ahead it is perhaps bit early for 'winter garden', as the title
translates of this new release by Argentinean's Federico Duran, who, as we noted before, is 'big in
Japan', but via liner notes in Spanish, Japanese and English aims for world domination. Like before
he lists a whole bunch of equipment and sources on the cover, from acoustic guitar, analogue
synthesizer, tape-loops, Sony TCM-200DV, EHX-2880, pocket camera microphone, music boxes,
electric piano, El Capistan, Fostex X-18, answering machine cassettes, tape delay, contact &
condenser microphones and little objects; I would say, especially little objects are in his favour
here, as Durand plays quiet music. That of course we knew already from his previous releases
(see Vital Weekly 1015, 995, 952, 927 or 734 for instance), but on this new one he seems to
be getting quieter than before, almost working towards the level of not being audible at all. I
checked the volume levels and found them to be what I always use for listening to music, so it
must be Durand who goes near silent here. Apparently this album was made in a cold old house
in the mountains in Argentina and much of this was recorded in one take without much editing
or mixing, which I found not easy to believe, but then I could also imagine Durand sitting on the
floor, armed with his toys (and this time I mean literally toys to produce sound) and with
microphones set up with some distance from either the action or the speakers, which makes it
possible for him to get that somewhat distant sound. And maybe this is recorded straight on to
cassette? Judging by some of the hiss on several of these pieces this might very well the case.
Normally one would try to get rid of such unwanted sounds, in this release I must admit it sounds
really lovely, especially because it doesn't appear in all the pieces; that would have been a bit
tiresome I would think. In the world of 'small sounds and melodies' Federico Durand is a well-
established name and one knows what to expect, even if it is this time a bit quieter. That is what
makes this something a bit different from his previous releases, but otherwise you would know
what to expect. Not the next big leap but with this album Duran is refined the trick of his trade.
(FdW)
––– Address: http://spekk.net



RSS BOYS & VENTOLIN - THE GAME YS ROTTIN (CD by Mik Musik/Bdta)

This actually not really a collaboration release, so perhaps the sign '&' should be released with '/',
but then maybe this is also not really a split release of some kind. Confusing? Perhaps it is indeed.
We have here two pieces by Polish RSS Boys and three by Czech musician Ventolin (maybe named
after the Aphex Twin song?) and each of them doing a remix of the other. But none of this in any
logical order, so we have RSS Boys, Ventolin, Ventolin remixed by RSS Boys, Ventolin, RSS Boys,
Ventolin and RSS Boys remixed by Ventolin. Does it make any difference you wonder? Can you hear
all of this in the music? No you don't, I think, but that might either be just me not knowing the
finer details of techno music or maybe I got it right, I do know and it doesn't make a difference.
Who can tell? The seven pieces on this album are actually long, and the whole thing lasts over one
hour, and the result are seven excellent pieces of dance music, produced with great care and style.
It is a bit raw but that's how I like them best. Raw, but not something that goes on and on forever;
both RSS Boys and Ventolin know when it is time to stop. Inspired by techno, acid and electro and
armed with some analogue gear these two acts present a very much in your face approach when it
comes to production. I can very much see how this would sound in concert: great! I was reminded
of indeed the Aphex Twin, but also of Unit Moebius or the whole Bunker Records sound from the
nineties. No doubt others will have different connections. It is perhaps all a bit old school, this
music, but while I reading Peter Hook's new book on his days with New Order, and this release
on repeat for a while, it didn't matter. I had a most enjoyable afternoon. It's a pity I rarely dance;
how would that work out with this music? I leave that up to your imagination. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.mikmusik.org/musik/



STROM - STROM (CD by NurNichtNur)

The German word for electricity is 'Strom' and it's also the name of a duo of Angelika Sheridan,
who plays bass flute and a normal flute and Frank Niehusmann on laptop and controllers. The
latter has had a bunch of solo releases reviewed in Vital Weekly, but it seems I never heard of
Sheridan before. This is the world of hardcore improvisation, which is not to say that this is very
loud or noisy, but it deals very much interaction between both players, merging two quite different
instruments (or three if you count Sheridan's voice, which she uses from time to time, as a third)
together and to those who are not well versed in this kind of music it could easily seem there is no
relation at all, but upon closer inspection one can hear that there is much connection between the
way both of them play their instruments. There is much use of microscopic small sounds here, with
a constant shifts moving back and forth, on both instruments, in which one, as expected can hear
the laptop 'winning' from the flutes, when it comes to both creating and controlling chaos. On very
few occasions this duo stretches out sounds and things go into a gradually slower fashion, but it
seems they prefer their own inflicted random sound approach. This music owes as much to the
world of free improvised jazz, especially the playing of the flute, as well as live electronic music,
picking, I assume, the sound of flute and going for some real-time transformations. It makes up
for some pretty vibrant music, one that is not always easy to grasp, but certainly in a smaller
doses is most enjoyable. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.nurnichtnur.com



VETROPACO (CD by Silentes)

This is a new duo by veteran electronic artist Gianluca Favaron, who we know as working with
Corrado Altieri, Stefano Gentile, Deison, or groups as Lasik Surgery, Maribor, Under The Snow
and Zbeen and solo, and who adds a new duo to his list of collaborations, Vetropaca, and this
time it is with Andrea Belluci, who we know best as Red Sector A, even when we only reviewed
one release before, see Vital Weekly 928. Both artists get credit for electronics, and Bellucci also
for programming. Unlike Favaron, but very much like Bellucci this deals with the art of dance music,
and the seven pieces on this release are filled with the dark techno tunes, full of rhythm, lots of
sound effects and some level of alienation, especially when it comes to strange sounds used in
intros and outros; maybe this was Favaron's expertise, I wondered. Bellucci worked with Clock DVA
before and some of this music reminded me of the mid-90s incarnation of that band, along with
the music released by Minus Habens in the same period. This might be music that would do well
on a dance floor, which is dimly lit, the dark wave posse perhaps, but this is also something that
is most enjoyable at home. Like I noted with the release by Red Sector A this is not the kind of
music that I play a lot, and back in the mid-nineties wasn't too blown away by, but now, some
twenty years later, it is something that I find quite enjoyable. Music that you can play while
dusting around the house, reading a book (armchair techno is a term that someone coined in
those old days, but one that never caught on), riding a bike, or perhaps move along on the dance
floor. Maybe this was called Intelligent Dance Music at one point, especially when the rhythms get
a bit complex, or even drum & bass like in 'Lava'; this is not really not really a 2016 dance release,
but one that knows it's classic sound best and without making a straight forward copy emulates
the best of various dance music from many years ago, into a hybrid of it's own. (FdW)
––– Address: http://store.silentes.it



MARK VERNON - LEND AN EAR, LEAVE A WORD. AUDIO ARCHEOLOGY SERIES VOL. 1: LISBON
  (LP by Kye)

It's been a while since we last from Mark Vernon, he who loves field recordings, radio, hörspiel, and
drama as well as sound art. That was 'Things That Were Missed In The Clamour For Calm' (Vital
Weekly 971) but now he returns with the first volume of 'Lend An Ear, Leave A Word', which is all
about audio archaeology and Vernon (erstwhile of Hassle Hound and Vernon & Burns) went down
the flea market of the Alfarma district, that is part of Lisbon in case you were wondering, to buy a
whole bunch reel-to-reel tapes, micro-cassettes and Dictaphones at the Feira de Ladra market. A
great audio treasure that is as it presents the listener with a whole bunch of private recordings,
from answerphone messages, baby recordings, accordion playing or someone waiting in a car.
Vernon selected these sounds and cut them along with field recordings he made himself. Those
include peacocks, a sun lotion dispenser, a creaky tap, street noise, air ventilation unit and, yummy,
the pouring of sparkling wine. None of this is presented 'as is', it seems to me, but it comes to you
as two pieces of about twenty minutes each audio story, just you would expect Mark Vernon
(providing you know his music as well as I do) to present these things, even when it is clearly cut
into separate pieces; it works best when experienced as a forty minute story. It probably is not very
easy to recognize Lisbon in here (I have only been there once), or maybe any city at all, but then it
works as an audio tour all the better. By overlaying various sounds, field recordings and spoken
word, Vernon creates a world of his own. The music he found on this tapes is cleverly used in the
background and make things a bit more musical; sometimes he creates a loop of say a piano sound,
then takes the sound of people speaking in a dark alley and adds a bit of electronics (in 'Print-
through (May All Your Prayers Be Answered)' that is), and it much more a piece of music than
some field recordings stuck together for dramatic purposes. This easily bridges that world of field
recordings with the world of 'music', even when one is prepared to see one thing as part of the
other. In his pieces Vernon creates something that is aiming for something much more musical
and less sound art like. This might be one of the best works I heard from him so far. The level of
story telling, interaction and creative use of his sound material is very high here. I wonder what
will come next from him. (FdW)
––– Address: http://kyerecords.blogspot.com



VAPOR LANES - HIERATIC TEEN (LP by Usonian)

Behind Vapor Lanes we find one A. Karuna, who is originally from Chicago, but these days lives in
Oakland. He is trained as a percussion player but growing up he also heard drones in Hindu temples
and perhaps that's what inspired him for his Vapor Lanes project, although not strictly drone
based. He played the drums and electronics in a 9-piece post rock band, but these days prefers to
work all alone. Whatever he lays his hand upon, he will use. He doesn't mind if his electronics are
analogue, digital, old synthesizers, software or modular. Now that's what I like. There is no limit. So,
how does it work out? Hard to say actually. This is not your usual drone music, but rather someone
who goes wild over the use of electronics, and finds great pleasure in playing around with many of
these. There is certainly something in here that one could label as 'improvisation', in the way he
approaches his various apparatus but also in the way he does his mixes. Playing around with sounds
within a given time frame, leave in what others would perhaps call 'mistakes' and then putting all of
this together via a process of blind mixing (I am merely guessing here). That is a most daring
approach of which the result is of course not easy to predict. The five pieces on the record (six if
you buy the download) are much more experiments in electronic sound and less refined drone music
pieces, which of course is all the better, even when not all of these pieces work very well. 'Locating'
and 'Teen', the two pieces that make up the second side, are both a bit long for what they actually
have sound information wise. It could have been a bit shorter and as a result it would have been a
bit stronger. But having said that, who does a full length LP of the more experimental electronics,
combining the softer edges of noise and the daring corners of drones these days? Who is willing to
take risks? Surely Vapor Lanes does take risks and you should do to. (FdW)
––– Address: http://usonian.bandcamp.com



TEXT-SOUND COMPOSITIONS 8 (compilation LP by Fylkingen Records)
LARS AKERLUND/ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI (split LP by Fylkingen Records)

This looked like a record I saw before, or perhaps, rather the title sounded very familiar. For one
Fylkingen have a bunch more titles with years mentioned in the titles but indeed there is also
various other releases named 'Text-Sound Compositions', in fact, so I learned by looking at Discogs,
there have been seven previous volumes, covering recordings made between 1968 and 1970, when
there was an annual festival of the same name. However the festival continued until 1974, but
there we no funds to produce more albums. Now, with the start of the 8th volume, Fylkingen will
release one more for every year the festival existed, until they have 11 of them. They are looking
for pieces to release that are not released before, so it excludes luminaries as Henri Chopin, Sten
Henson and Ake Hodell. On 'Text Sound Compositions 8' we find four composers, among two from
the Netherlands. The LP starts out with a piece by Bengt Emil Johnson, who uses the sound of
crowds, expressing cheer or discontent, and from all sorts of languages. The piece is recorded on
to four tracks and then mixed down to two. It's not easy to recognize any voice in here, but it
makes for some powerful tape-collage of found sound. Gust Gils is the first Belgian-Dutch poet
who is on here and he too made a four-track piece, of him talking, sometimes on all four channels
at the same time, and splitting it very much in left and right channels. Whispering, shouting,
speaking, humming; it all has to do with impressions of his visit to previous text-sound festivals.
It is a pretty straight forward text-sound piece, but one that works quite well.
    On the other side we find Herman Damen, also from The Netherlands, with a short piece called
'Magic', which is one of his 'verbosonies', 'a multi-track improvisation on a planned scheme with
the sound syllables: b(e), ba, a, bra, br, ka', and sounds very like a Jaap Blonk piece. Short, rhythmic
and powerful. Bob Cobbing is also on the second side with a longer piece, recorded in Stockholm
(like Johnson's piece; the other two were produced in Hilversum, The Netherlands). His piece is
quite abstract and more along the lines, so it seems to me, of the work of Henri Chopin, of voice
material taped onto a four track machine, but using the various speed options such machines
have and it has a more or less improvised feel, with spaced voice material, speed-up sound
material and in general not something that makes any sense, when it comes to text itself. No
Nobel prizes for these poet-musicians, and that's too bad.
    The other new release by Fylkingen Records is a split record by Zbigniew Karkowski and Lars
Akerlund, who started working together in the 1980s, with projects like P.I.T.T. And The Dreamers
and Onge-4-x, then in the 90s on an opera project around The Idiot (that's the Dostoyevsky play,
not the Iggy album) and with Jean-Louis Huhta as Mental Hackers, in 2012 and 2013. As you know
Karkowski died in 2013, two months after he was diagnosed with cancer. The last work he was
working on was this split LP with Lars Akerlund. Karkowski's piece is called 'Radio Enemy' and is a
noisy beast, and that's probably no surprise. It's not, however, one of those over the top
Merzbowian blasts of noise, but it opens up with a voice fed through an amount of distortion, but
it has still a commanding, strong presence. It then moves to a repeating, high-pitched sound to
which a slowed down voice is added. Listening to this right after the 'Text Sound' compilation, it
makes perfect sense; Karkowski is here updating the notion of voice/text within the realm of some
highly powerful music. Even if noise can be a bit much for you, I recommend this piece for you. This
is the variation of noise that is loud but not for the sake of loudness.
    Akerlund on the other side has no text, or at least nothing that we can see as such, and starts
out with noise that would suit Karkowski pretty well, but his piece 'Aware Not Aware' moves over a
much more dynamic range. The noise is powerful and short and through the twenty-three minutes
of this piece Akerlund moves from the very quiet to the reasonable loudness. His build up is slow,
minimal and yet dramatic. It is hard to say if these tools are all analogue and modular or much more
part of the world of software. Somehow I think the latter. His piece is quite intense; blocks of
heavily treated sounds and it works really well as a piece of modern musique concrete. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.fylkingen.se/



MICRO_PENIS - SCHLIM (LP by Doubtful Sounds)

With the release of 'Schlim', Micro_Penis concludes their trilogy of albums, which started with a
self-titled LP (Vital Weekly 696) and then 'Tolvek' (Vital Weekly 802). I admit I didn't understand
the first album, and found it not easy to place anywhere, but with their second album I understood
perhaps a little better. Forget all the 'crazy stories' about members in mental hospitals and Zen
temples, covering themselves with stuff from garbage bins, and concentrate on what is on offer,
and that's the music. The four members, Heyer, Kittel, Ogrob and Spenlehauer, are no doubt non-
musicians in the truest sense of the word, but that having said that I think they pretty much know
what they are doing. They swap their instruments (none listed on the cover) on all tracks, and keep
at them for the duration of the track. There is the usual vocal abuse, a bit of noise, improvised
guitar bits, the demented rock approach if you will. It all goes down to tape and then gets mixed,
and there it gets interesting; the studio-as-instrument is of course nothing new but Micro_Penis
use the studio to great effect here and there must have been some tinkering in getting this mix
down. I somehow don't think that is the work of some deranged mental patients who escaped the
asylum. It all reminded me of a bit of Nurse With Wound layering tons of weirdness on a bunch of
tracks in the studio and then seeking out the right balance between those tracks in order to build
an intense composition. Take the longest piece, 'Repliques', which is a very low and moody piece
of electronics and you know this was done by people who know what they are doing, despite more
screaming, noisy bits such as 'Kommandant' or 'U-Boat Le Periscope Aveugle'. This is surely their
best album so far. If this is the end of their trilogy, I wonder what comes next for them. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.doubtfulsounds.info



DOC WÖR MIRRAN - TAPE HISSED (HISTORICAL OBSCURITY VOLUME 2) (CDR by
  Miss Management)
DOC WÖR MIRRAN - CONFUSION ROCKS (CDR by Miss Management)
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - BLOOD PORTRAITS (book by Mirran Thought)
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - ART PHAGS (book by Mirran Thought)

From the world of the musical chameleon that we call Doc Wör Mirran here comes two new releases
and two new books, and once again it couldn't be much different from the previous releases. In the
first one, 'Tape Hissed (Historical Obscurity Volume 2)' that even is inside the space of one song,
and that times ten. Here we have an expanded line-up, listing no less than twenty-one players (lots
of people you expect on a Doc release, but also including Jello Biafra, also no stranger, but always
good to see him), with recordings from 1993 and 1993, remixed from 2002 to 2009. It may or
may not be part with a cassette, as the cover lists a side 1 and 2 for a tape (or perhaps that refers
to an older tape release), and this, the CDR, is side 3. But then, it lists nine songs and the release
has ten, so there you go (and then the other new release is called 'Confusion Rocks'). Confusion is
also part and parcel of the music itself, I would think, as what the hell is it that I am hearing? Or at
least that's what I thought a couple of times when I was playing this. There is quite a bit of noise
in here, that much is sure, there are plenty of guitars, but also a drum machine, bass guitar and
guitar playing 'Jazz My Azz'; much of this comes from the great body of cassette work Doc Wör
Mirran released in the past  (and this being their 141st release), so some of it sounds familiar (and
no, I haven't heard all of they releases), but then it is all a bit stranger, wackier, or perhaps more
remixed? It is all not very consistent in terms of well-defined musical categories, but no doubt that
is something that the band actively seeks out. It is all quite gritty and alien, perhaps like some kind
of tortured krautrock by mentally unstable musicians, and at that I thought this was a most
enjoyable release; top heavy but very pleasant.
    On 'Confusion Rocks' Stefan Schweiger plays drums, while Phil Abendroth supplied graphics,
so the one guy that is the main member of Doc Wör Mirran handles guitar, keyboards, bass and
graphics ever since the group started, and that is mister Joseph B. Raimond. Here too Raimond
sets out for some fine confusion, and maybe this the counterpart of the 'Tape Hissed' release.
Here too Raimond plays some krautrock infested guitar music, with some endless solos, but the
background is less noise, alien and/or gritty. Lots of synthesizer though, plenty of electronics and
the drums being all around nicely stomping ground. Perhaps, so I was thinking, this sounded all
very retro, very seventies perhaps, save for the more electronic drums of '!' and 'As The Days Get
Shorter', which sounded a bit nineties like (think To Rococo Rot), and not all-around my cup of
tea, but still a most enjoyable release. With the musical antenna of this band so wide it is not easy
to like 'm all.
    For the two books I dug out my mantra "As much as I would love to do so, reviewing anything
else than music is really a hard task. That 'else' includes video art, literature, poetry, sculptures or
art-objects", and while I know Joseph B. Raimond as someone who loves to do music (which I am
more than happy to write about), he also creates drawings and poetry, both subjects of his books.
'Art Phags' is something he created in the last two months of 2014 and it is a series of two
hundred small black ink drawings. "The pages of this book represent what I think are the best of
them", while 'Blood Portraits' is sub-titled 'Western Haiku Vol. 6', and has no cover text, but these
pieces were written in 2010 and 2011, dedicated (like his work to Frank Abendroth, an early,
deceased member of the group) and Cynthia Lennon, John's first wife who died earlier this year.
The book of naive drawings didn't mean much to me, but the haiku's I thought were quite nice,
which are funny, depressed, witty and romantic. "the suicide victim knew/Loneliness can be an
infinite fall/Whereas the building is a short fall", that kind of thing. This one of those books you
pick up, read a few, and put away for the day, which I can dig. This one I enjoyed quite a bit. What
else can I say about things I have no idea about? (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.dwmirran.de



LIVING EARTH, FIELD NOTES FROM THE DARK ECOLOGY PROJECT 2014-2016 (book by
  Sonic Acts Press)

Sonic Acts has been taken a hike (or several) over the last three years. In close collaboration with
Norwegian curator Hilde Methi, the organization (best known perhaps for the massive multi-day
conference and concerts in a festival setting) went to the uttermost northern regions of Europe,
inviting artists, researchers and thinkers along for the trip. Kirkenes and Svanvik, Nikel and
Zapolyarny or Murmansk are a long way from what we here in 'crowded Holland' would consider
the inhabited or habitable world. All the activities these excursions yielded might easily have been
lost in location, where there not this catalogue of ideas, conversations, lectures and documen-
tations – a collection of field notes. With this book it's possible for those who weren't invited, to
be included in elements of the creative focus en force the Dark Ecology project brought to those
actively engaged, to a certain extent, at least.
As one has come to expect from Sonic Acts the range and scope of ideas, approaches and angles
is varied wide and deep. Lectures by Timothy Morton verge on the incomprehensible in terms of
density of thought and speed of delivery. In print, his radical criticism of nature as something
outside of us, the human being, towards a meshed co-existence of all objects, living and non-living,
projects some tangible clues to his philosophy of dark ecology as the weird weirdness. A train of
thought too, very much so working towards a notion of a possible exit from what Morton calls
“toxic modernity”.
Sonic Acts with Methi forced the participants in the project to live and work outside of their comfort
zones. Rethinking, reworking, re-searching. Sound walks and concerts were developed
and performed on site. Video and photographic works document and elaborate upon aspects of
the dark ecology. Architecture and obscure massive financial currents are touched upon. All in all
Living Earth presents an atlas of sorts – as a collection of 'maps' of many of the current positions,
however continuously in flux – for earth as a living force.
Living Earth might be considered a document too to show the world and all the funders included
what Sonic Acts and co have been up to – stepping out of the dark. It does strike me as quite odd
to program and produce this much of activity for the Sonic Acts-team and the inner core of artists
the festival has worked with before (like HC Gilje, BJ Nilsen, Joris Strijbos, Justin Bennett, Espen
Sommer Eide, Raviv Ganchrow), without any form of public program, here, in The Netherlands. 'A
couple of holidays for the happy few' critics and detractors could very easily state. And not too
wrongly. What's the point? What do we see and hear from this? Precious little, even in this book,
it has to be said for it's quite a shame the pages remain mute. One can't hear Bennett's work for
example. And for BJ Nilsen's compositions (with images by Karl Lemieux) one has to turn to the
previous Sonic Acts-book, which include a USB-drive with the audio. In this day and age of digital
disclosure and crossmedial opportunities, there's a massive chance not taken to project a more
360-degree overview of the works produced too. The thoughts are there, but the online presen-
tation does remain too in-crowd, too much of a family holiday picture album for a vacation you
weren't part of in the first place.
Exclusiveness is not what this wholly inclusive idea is all about. I mean: Sonic Acts per se is on the
more exclusive side of things (i.e. not for everyone, with high standards), but was always about
inclusiveness of curious and interested minds with artists, researchers and thinkers. Living Earth
builds some bridges, but still remains quite exclusive and per se in-crowd. As a sneak peek behind
the scenes of what went on up North Living Earth is a brilliant exposé and exhibition. It's also a
reminder and exhibit A in the case of in-crowdedness went one step too far, as far as I am
concerned. Put differently: it's due time Sonic Acts delivers the goods and practices what Morton
more of less 'preaches' which is this mesh, this holos, this totality – all of us huddled together and
warming ourselves, each other above all, to the glimmer and glow of the artistic fires this amazing
project has unleashed. Not to worry, for if Living Earth presents one thing, it's making clear that
many seeds have been sown. Let's hope the barren lands in the North prove to be fertile. (SSK)
––– Address: http://www.darkecology.net



ANGUS CARLYLE - IN THE SHADOW OF THE SILENT MOUNTAIN (book by Gruenrekorder)

Well, technically this is listed as a book, well actually two books, but there is also music to hear,
which you have to download from the label's website. All of this I would think is some kind of
poetry cobbled together through field recordings, words and photography. One book has only
words and the other has pictures, and I assume all of this upon a mountain somewhere in Italy.
Or not Italy, maybe it's the name of the website that distracts me? Confusing indeed, I must say.
I will repeat what I say above, my mantra, "as much as I would love to do so, reviewing anything
else than music is really a hard task. That 'else' includes video art, literature, poetry, sculptures
or art-objects", and that pretty much sums up what I think of the two booklets, other than the
pictures look great, and made me want to go on a mountain trip again, which is in the Netherlands
is not an easy option. The words/poetry/literature come in the form of a diary and is 'interesting
to read'.
    The music is all about field recordings, and I assume (once again), from taking a trip up the
mountain, capturing the surrounding; church bells, a small creek, cow bells, but as we go higher
and higher we hear only ourselves walking up the mountain, microphone in backpack, arriving at
a ski-station in 'Ferro Legno' and more water streams. It is not entirely clear if Carlyle uses any
editing of processing. In 'Fifty Breaths In The Valley' he surely must have, I was thinking, used a
bit of delay and also in some of the other pieces it seems some editing is used. Probably very
much like the rest of the package, this is all a bit mysterious and deliberately vague, but I guess
that's what makes this quite captivating. You can read, watch and hear while pondering over the
question: 'what is this all about?' (FdW)
––– Address: http://montesilenzio.com/
––– Address: http://gruenrekorder.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-shadow-of-the-silent-mountain



BRUITAL ORGASME - METHODOLOGIE CONTEXTUELLE (cassette by Sincope)
OTTAVEN - SEQUENZE PER RAFFIGURAZIONI MENTALI #1 (cassette by Sincope)

Last year, around this time, I saw a concert by Brussels' Bruital Orgasme, and due to the amount
of volume they used it was from some distance. As the name probably implies they are a noise
group, and so they are in concert, but I must say that on the two releases I heard by them, I think
their noise is actually quite interesting. First there was a cassette in Sincope from Italy (see Vital
Weekly 861), who now also release a second one, and a LP by Silken Tofu (Vital Weekly 1007),
which was a bit louder. I quite enjoyed their releases, perhaps more than their more single-minded
noise approach in concert. There is simply more to enjoy here. Using turntables with and without
records, radio, spinning wheel, drills, contact microphones and radio, Bruital Orgasme comes up
with quite some intense music, but it is not necessarily music that made without any consideration.
I'd say: it is made with a lot of it, actually. The opening minutes of 'Migration' on the first side works
up to quite an intense level, but the rest of that piece is very quiet, with some remote turntable
action; that is also part of 'Transhumance' on the other side, and the rotating sound of 'object
plus stylus' is easy to recognize and somewhat later into the skipping mode, but here too the
group know how to build attention as well as a fine level of intensity. It is all based on the
repeating sounds of dirty vinyl and objects, and perhaps less fit to be called 'musique concrete',
but the bursting electricity made for some fine electro-acoustic music.
    Repetition is also at the basis of Giovanni Donadini's project Ottaven, who is a 'former
member of the band and co-worker as With Love, WW, Lake Dead, Mortal Tape, Magic Towers,
Utat and Forum I', none of which I ever heard. It is not easy to guess what he uses, sound wise;
I would think there is quite some electronics at play here, but the press text also mentions field
recordings, voices and objects. If so, these are transformed quite a bit I think, and fed mainly
through some analogue synthesizers, set on circular mission of repetition. The music is more on
the same level throughout, more so than the Bruital Orgasm one, and seems to be taking it's
cues from the world of old school industrial music. Piercing synth with minimalist rhythm, all fed
through some crude sound effects, of which reverb and delay are it's main occupants. You feel
trapped inside this massive industrial lot, full on action of conveyer belts, alarm clocks, machines
grinding away and everything is closing in on you; you are looking for the way out, but that's not
going to happen easily.
    While I certainly enjoyed the music of Ottaven, I must admit I found more pleasure in the
somewhat more complex and worked out compositions of Bruital Orgasm, even when both find
inspiration in the world of 80s industrial music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://sincoperec.bandcamp.com/



FFFF (double cassette compilation by Magnetic Purely)

Interested to talk about 'green', as in ecological? Here we have two cassettes, in two plastic
boxes, paper wrap around, but the total amount of music is ten minutes. Two and half minute
per side, and by four different bands, none of which I heard of before. Talk about an economic
package! I understand this is a revival of the German label Magnetic Purely. DRNTTCKS, Philipp
Bückle, Gora Sou and Yibbon, the latter from Australia and the only non-German band deliver
the music. DRNTTCKS have a fine piece of darker electronics, drones and a bit of rhythm, whereas
Bückle sounds like a singer-song writer who has just been discovered while singing in a tunnel, and
recording was made instantly. Him singing a bit, some electric interference and a slightly reverb in
the mix. Most enjoyable actually. Gora Sou goes into the world of synthesizers and quite a bit of
delay, all neatly lined up to make fine modulations and ending with a bit of reverb for full dramatic
effect, and then it's Yibbon's turn with a dance song, fast, crude, lots of reverb, ending with some
noise, and perhaps as a statement it works fine, but what the hell does Yibbon want, I wondered.
And that's ten minutes; that could have been the all-classic 7" sampler like the punks did back in
the day. I enjoyed all four of these pieces, and I surely wouldn't have minded more minutes per
band actually, to get a clearer view of what these bands are all about, because it is not just Yibbon
I was wondering about. Maybe a revived label can tell us that in the future? (FdW)
––– Address: http://magnetic-purely.bandcamp.com



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