number 1057
week 46


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help Vital Weekly to survive:

VORTEX - MOLOCH (CD by Cyclic Law) *
SHRINE - ORDEAL 26.04.86 (CD by Cyclic Law) *
OTSO - DENDERMONDE (CD by Elli Records) *
BLOD - KÄRE JESUS/MANDYS BIL (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)
[MULTER] - KÖLN 4/11/2006 (CDR by Klappstuhl) *
OMRR - MUSIC FOR THE ANXIOUS (CDR by Eilean Records) *
LARB - THE STORY OF (triple CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
ORIFICE - FUGE FUNCTION (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
SKREI & EMERGE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
CITY MEDICINE - CATCH ME (cassette, private) *
KRUBE/ARV&MILJÖ (split cassette by Fragment Factory)
ODD PERSON/MIGUEL A. GARCIA - NOOSPHERTILIZER 5 (split cassette by Aubjects)
NOOSPHERTILIZER IV (2 cassette by Aubjects)

VORTEX - MOLOCH (CD by Cyclic Law)
SHRINE - ORDEAL 26.04.86 (CD by Cyclic Law)

While I had no specific reason to start with one or the other, I played bits of all three first, thinking
that it has been some time ago that I last saw a release by Cyclic Law (Vital Weekly 859 if I am not
mistaken), and that Shrine was the only group/project I heard of before. Without much further
reasoning I started with Vortex, the project of Marcus Stiglegger (sound design, percussion,
voices, flute) along with some guests on keyboards, acoustic guitar and electric guitars. The
album was conceived in New York, when Stiglegger wandered around town and visiting film sets
from Taxi Driver, French Connection, Mean Streets and so and was absorbed by this moloch of a
metropolis - his words, so hence the title. A frightening city he thought and looking at the green
sepia pictures in the beautiful booklet certainly give a feeling of unrest, which is surely reflected
in the eight pieces on this release. This is not your typical drone music of lengthy, stretched
sounds with tons of effects, and then all menacing and dark; perhaps this is the kind of stuff I
would think Cyclic Law is known for. Vortex does that also but the other instruments occasionally
burst out, like an unseen car coming from the right, and one that nearly hits you, to stay with big
city metaphors; it add at times quite an orchestral feel to the music, along with the wall of guitars
and reverb, and in 'Hunted' a tribal percussion set. In other pieces, such as 'City By The Sea', this
is however not the case, and we have a beautiful, creepy and haunting piece of drone music, that
is worth every bit of its fifteen minutes (the longest piece here). That makes this quite a varied
release, and even when there is hardly a ray of light to be noted, with the dark mood of the
composer always very present. Excellent start here.
    So Shrine was reviewed before, in Vital Weekly 836, and now I learn that this is the musical
project of Hristo Gospodinov from Bulgaria, not really a country known for this kind of music
(by which I don't want to pass any judgement on either the country, this musician or any one
else from this country as someone recently tried to accuse me of passing out things like this
as a judgement; I just find it interesting and remarkable, that's all). I missed out the album that
came after the one reviewed and now there is a new album to mark the 30th anniversary of the
Chernobyl nuclear disaster, so I sit down and prepare for more darkness. And darkness ye' shall
have. In the opening piece, 'Atomgrad' we hear some birds but darkness sets in very quickly and
in that piece, and subsequent every following piece, the mood seems to darken. Shrine erects
large walls of synthesizer sounds and lots of effects and his sound can be described as ambient,
but this is the kind of ambient that is very hard to ignore, I think. Au contraire, it is very present,
quite loud but not noisy. Not soothing, not lulling the listener to sleep, but rather the soundtrack
to a motion picture about a nuclear disaster, just as promised on the box. In 'The Night That Hell
Broke Loose' there is a voice, maybe Gospodinov himself, I wondered, along with the rambling of
percussion, the only time on this release. It ends with 'The Burden Of Knowledge', in which he
uses dialogue from the book of Revelation, taken from the movie 'Stalker', and this is most quiet
piece on the release, like a come-down, a moment of after thought, or perhaps laying ones head
down and take history for what it is? Hard to say, but it has been one hell of a trip, and one
should take the word 'hell' quite literal, I think.
    From Sweden we have Jonas Aneheim and K. Meizter, who work since 2001 as Beyond
Sensory Experience and who had a bunch of releases on Old Europa Cafe and Cold Meat Industry,
but their three most recent albums, including 'The End Of It Al' are by Cyclic Law. Here we are
dealing with another kind of drone music, one that we haven't encountered yet. This doesn't
have the ambient industrial force of Shrine, or the orchestral bursts of Vortex, but something
perhaps that is more in between. Beyond Sensory Experience is a group that likes to slow down
tapes of music and then play along with them, maybe even hum along them; add a bit of piano,
and while reverb is never far away, the music doesn't sound like hermetically closed, like this kind
of music often is, but it has little melodies, just shimmering below the surface, some voice stuff
talking, mumbling and the atmosphere here is a totally different one. To say this is all cheery is
of course wrong, and sure, dark it is, but the openness of the music is quite a relief after two
hours of dark slabs of electronics. The desolate and remote piano sounds, along by obscured,
clouded drones from processed acoustic instruments make up for some great haunted house
music (not as in witch house of course, but as in a mansion, mind you). The title piece, at the
end of it all, is perhaps the most 'regular' piece in terms of Cyclic Law they play, with it's
sustaining guitar sounds, and it ended in a more or less classical manner a greatly varied
release. (FdW)
––– Address:

Active since the mid-80s under various guises and in various collaborations, with Mirror probably
being the best known, Andrew Chalk has been releasing a continuous stream of high quality solo
project over the years. Most of these, be it on cassette, vinyl or CD, were released on Three Poplars,
the label Chalk founded with Christoph Heemann, or Faraway Press, the label run by Chalk himself.
Reviewing albums from Chalk or Faraway Press is always a true joy, because Chalk spends so much
of his time on the quality of his releases – both musically as visually. Courtesy of a dear friend from
France, recently two new Faraway Press releases ended on my desk: one by Elodie and one by
Andrew Chalk. Let’s start with Chalk’s new album 'Everyone Goes Home When The Sun Sets'.
    We are given precious little information to work with, which to be honest is something I like.
Press releases are often hilarious fun to read – or downright irritating. Personally I prefer to start
with a blank slate. There is no information on the front cover or the inside of the gatefold cover of
'Everybody Goes Home When The Sun Sets' (the title only features on the spine of the cover) – as
does the CD itself. The back cover only lists the titles. The cover, featuring pastoral images of a
home and garden, does feature a small insert written in Japanese. Unfortunately, visiting Japan
earlier this year did little for my ability to read Japanese. But that is fine as to me, these are all
indicators that Chalk wants us to listen to the music. And 'Everyone Goes Home When The Sun
Sets' is a gorgeous listen. Its 19 brief sound sketches in 47 minutes, feature hiss, rumble, what
sounds like a spinet, field recordings, keyboards, piano, a delicate use of effects, all breathing a
simple, delicate and calm atmosphere, never intruding, but always present. There is little more to
say about the album. You really should just listen to it. Everybody Goes Home When The Sun Sets
proves once again Chalk is an important and very fine composer indeed.
    Elodie’s 'Odyssee Musique En Scene II' is the latest offering by Elodie on Faraway Press. Elodie
is a musical collaboration featuring Chalk and Timo van Luyk, which first released their particular
brand of ambient music, as in a combination of keyboards, wind instruments and ROOM in 2011.
Their previous offerings, either on Faraway Press or Van Luyk’s equally impressive La Scie Dorée
label have, for obvious reasons, never failed to impress me. This album was recorded live at the
Gerauschwelten Festival in Münster on 7 February 2015. It is a brief performance, 33 minutes, but
let me assure you that quality always goes over quantity. This half hour+ is a gorgeous, shimmering
beautiful listen. Resting on a soft bed of keyboards and various flutes, Elodie takes you on an
odyssee that is calming and soothing, without ever becoming a cliché. The atmosphere and warmth
of the recording is just perfect. The applause at the end is a reminder this was done live, proving
not only the sheer quality of playing, but also of the remarkable high quality of interaction between
these two musicians and the space they are performing in. As you might have guessed, 'Odyssee',
handsomely packed in a sturdy carton gatefold cover, is a highly recommended release.
    You really should buy these lovely albums. (FK)
––– Address:


So maybe books are the future when it comes to releasing music? Following last week's slightly
mysterious 'Check Out' vinyl and hard cover, here comes another one, a bit smaller in size and
nowhere as obscure, but with 68 pages and a 'soft touch hardcover'. Label boss Stefano Gentile
more and more is active in the field of photography with releases on subdivision '13' and he's
responsible for the images in this book, of which the title translates as 'the silence of your steps'
and shows nocturnal scenes of small passages, harbour scenes and people walking in these
surroundings. Some of these are black and white and some of these are full colour and they look
very tranquil, very much like night-time can be I guess. Gigi Masin showed up for the first time
properly in Vital Weekly 1030, when he did music for another book (let) by Silentes and that was
my first encounter with this composer of ambient music. The thirty-minute piece he performs
here is along similar lines and has the biggest role for the piano, but there is also quite a bit of
electronics in use here, and maybe also a bit of strings and 'natural processing', by which I mean
reverb. This is all very much along the lines of Brian Eno, again, and his collaborations with Harold
Budd in that respect, but also some his solo work. Very slowly it moves towards an abstract
version of the music, but it never becomes something very alien or strange. I thought it was, in
strict musical terms, a fine piece, and I wouldn't have minded this to be a bit longer, even when
this was all quite sweet and without any danger. In terms of finding something as 'new ambient'
one could say this is not the place. It all stays safely in the world of 'old ambient', just as Eno
once dreamed off. But again, that's not to say anything about the musical quality, which is great
and fits the dark season. (FdW)
––– Address:


Vlatkovich is a very busy bee already for decades. Born and educated in St. Louis, trombonist
Vlatkovich lives and works in Los Angeles since 1973. Before 2000 his releases are few. Since
2000 they are many. And from 2005 the Pfmentum-label turns out to be become more and
more his home label. His output illustrates that he is a capable of starting up many ensembles
and groups. He is a restless organizer bringing musicians together. For ‘Myrnofants Kiss‘
Vlatkovich worked with a quartet: David Mott (baritone saxophone), Jonathan Golove (electric
cello), Christopher Garcia (drums) and Vlatkovich himself – as always - on trombone. It is the
second release by this quartet. In 2003 they recorded  ‘Alivebuquerque ‘, also released on
Pfmentum.  All compositions on this new statement are by Vlatkovich. The music sounds like
composed chamber music. Jazz elements are reduced, although there is room for improvisation.
But there is no swing like in other works by Vlatkovich, except where Vlatkovich takes a solo. The
music remains a bit at a distance. Sounds academic and doesn’t trigger an immediate emotional
response. Also I didn’t became a fan of the electric cello. In contrast, the ensemble on ‘Mortality’
plays much tighter and with a stronger drive. This CD Vlatkovich recorded with his Ensemblio: Dan
Lucas (trumpet), Jill Torberson (French horn), Bill Plake (cornet), David Riddles (bassoon, flute,
soprano sax, clarinet), Andrew Pask (alto sax, baritone sax, bass clarinet), Bill Roper (tuba,
bombardino), Harry Scorzo (violin), Jonathan Golove (cello), Tom McNally (guitar), Dominic
Genova (bass), Wayne Peet (piano, keyboard), Carol Sawyer (voice), Ken Park (percussion),
Vlatkovich trombone and composition. It is an ambitious and complex work where Vlatkovich
combines different styles and elements into one giant eclectic whole with a sense for adventure.
Enough exciting moments, breaks and humorous quotes pass by. Also fine interplay is to be
enjoyed. Vlatkovich is a fascinating soloist and a solid composer with a wide range of possibilities
to his disposal. (DM)
––– Address:


Here we have a beautiful debut of Zürich-based duo of Dalia Donadio (voice) and Linda Vogel
(harp), who composed all of the pieces here. Also they wrote the lyrics. Donadio studied with
Lauren Newton, Gerry Hemingway, a.o. and works at a music school near Zug, where Wide Ear
Records is based. For Linda Vogel I couldn’t find much, except that she is a Zürich-based harp
player. I hope to learn more on her musical activities, as she is a very inventive player. The duo
presents a collection of eleven songs. Donadio sings them in Schwizerdütsch, the dialect as
spoken in a particular region of Switzerland. It is ways different of normal German, so it is very
difficult to understand for me what she is singing about. But it is a delight to listen to the sound
of this language and how it is pronounced and used by Donadio, who sings, speaks, etc. in a very
profiled and personal style. Sometimes a little treatment is added. Vogel uses also extended
techniques and effects enriching the spectrum of sounds coming from her harp. She has a lot
to offer in this respect. Both have many ideas, and create many different textures and
atmospheres by just voice and harp plus effects. Each song has its very own shape and
atmosphere, its own personality. Constructed in a well-defined and surprising way. In all this
is a very original and pure album, very fresh and poetic. A strong and completely convincing
statement! (DM)
––– Address:


It's not difficult to admit: I am not something of a specialist when it comes to the world of
US punk music, but even I heard the name Germs before, yet not the actual music (I think);
it is one of those one sees mentioned if one reads old magazines about punk music. So, I wasn't
aware that their drummer is Don Bolles, whose real name is Jimmy Michael Giorsetti and who took
"his stage name from Arizona Republic journalist Don Bolles, murdered by a car bomb in 1976".
As Kitten Sparkles he produces his own solo brand of electronic music and five of his pieces are
to be found on his one and so far only release. There is nothing to compared this with, previous
work, concerts or otherwise. There are five pieces on this release, of which 'Omaggio A Rune
Lindblad' (a great yet somewhat obscure composer of electronic music from Sweden, 1923-
1991) is the shortest, five minutes' and with twenty-one minutes '(Epoch Of) Solipse Slips
(Edit)' is the longest; three pieces, including the Lindblad one were recorded using a shortwave
radio in 1980, live on a cassette and come without editing of processing, while the other two
are from 1998. The music from Bolles is very minimal and probably like something that is easy
to create. A synthesizer, some shortwave sounds and just these keep the sound running for a
long time. That one could think is his only modus operandi. And maybe it is, but then who
cares? I am listening to these results and think they are great. Somewhere it is along the lines
of good ol' industrial music, but it also has a gentle side, perhaps more so in the two recent
pieces, in which there are more complex layers of sounds, which appear all close together, but
inspected with a microscopic one sees all these little details. In all its relatively simple approach,
this is some excellent music, which grew upon me every time I heard it. Is there more music
such as this from this guy and if so, why didn't we hear it yet? (FdW)
––– Address:

OTSO - DENDERMONDE (CD by Elli Records)

In ancient Finnish Otso means 'bear', but here it is the first name of Lahdeoja, who is a composer,
guitarist and 'omnidirectional researcher of all things music', going all over the place, literally, to
record his music. The four pieces on this rather short CD (twenty-three minutes) were recorded in
Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium and Finland. According to the information his works include 'musical
ensemble, solo and group albums, multimedia projects, music-poetry, installation-art and music
for dance performances', and I don't think I ever heard of him. There is some help from guest
musicians on moog, drums and harmonicas. I played this a couple of times but found it is not
easy to make my mind up about it. There is no doubt an element of pop in here, especially in the
opening piece 'QC Underground', with its repeated bangs on a guitar and wind instruments, before
going all a bit more abstract in the second half of the piece. In 'Banshee' there is even a bit of
rhythm, along that mildly distorted guitar, crackles and almost like a techno piece, whereas in
'Overwinning' the drums might be real drums and his guitar wails about. The final track is 'Mue
End' in which he then leaves all the rhythms off and records the guys playing the harmonicas for
some fine in your face piece of drone music. I quite enjoyed these four pieces, but it also left me
somehow unsatisfied. What exactly is Otso all about? This release was too brief to find out. (FdW)
––– Address:


All right first of all, I know I set some 'rules' when it comes to reviewing old stuff and so, when I
wrote in Vital Weekly 1054: "Did I hear of Orchestramaxfieldparrish before? I don't recall, and it
is a strange name, so I would have probably remembered, I guess. This is another project by Mike
Fazio, who works also as A Guide For Reason and Sonic Arts Society, though I know him best
under his first moniker", it wasn't an exactly an invitation to get his much older releases, but
Fazio offered them anyway to send to me as mp3, just to check out, not to review, but lo and
behold, he didn't find the mp3s but then send me the three first releases, that followed 'Tears',
his debut in 2002. Sucker that I am, I feel obliged to do a full pay back and review them anyway.
I played them in the order they were released. Or not.
    On 'The Silent Breath Of Emptiness' the guitar is the primary instrument, an electric one,
and, so I assume, there is most likely quite a few audio processors, mainly the delay pedals at
work here, along of course with a dashing amount of reverb. All of this was recorded live in the
first four parts of this, while the fifth piece is a studio reconstruction using those parts in a
different configuration. With his electric guitar and sound effects, plus what I assume is an
e-bow, regular bow or otherwise methods of getting his strings to sustain on some end, Fazio
creates quite dark atmospheric music here, and it is not something that is without any force.
In the third part his guitar sounds like an organ at times and towards the end almost like a
conveyer belt, but it's not in anyway industrial music. In the other pieces Fazio takes the Fripp
textbook on how to play ambient guitar quite literal and he does a great job, adding his own
slightly darker and experimental edge to it. The reconstruction doesn't sound too different from
the other four pieces, and I might be missing a point here as to the nature of the piece; it seems
a bit denser, with a few more layers, but otherwise not too different.
    'Presents Aera', in with the first A and E are glued together is a double pack and sees the
expansion of the sound of Orchestramaxfieldparrish, through the use of field recordings,
synthesizers and rhythm, all sitting next to the use of the guitars. I am not entirely sure what
'Presents Area' means, as both discs have a separate title; maybe this was the (false?) start of
a new name?  I am not sure, as it also seems a one-off in his catalogue. From the lot that I heard
first, a few weeks ago, I got the idea that Orchestramaxfieldparrish was indeed all a bit orchestral
like and that is the feeling that I have here too, especially on the first disc, which has a great
variety in orchestral approaches; not only with a piece that contains rhythm, as in 'Ennoae', but
also with the sampling of string sounds and playing a kind of Arvo Pärt like clusters of sound. On
the second disc it seems as if Fazio returns to the world of ambient music, and it's just not just
the titles, '1/1', '2/1' etc. that reminded me of Brain Eno's first ambient record; the use of vocals,
humming quietly yet choir like does the same thing. Yet Fazio knows how to give a bit of edge,
through a mild form of distortion here and there.
    'Crossing Of Shadows' was already recorded in 2006, but the CD version came out in 2010,
in a re-mastered form, which is the one I have here. Here the orchestral approach of the music is
taken to a more extreme level. Fazio uses field recordings and improvised electronics, in order to
play around with processed as well as unprocessed versions of it, adding guitar, piano and voices
to create quite a rich sound here. Like in most of his work he stretches out his sounds quite a bit
and let them develop in a natural way, following their own course, but there might also be the
possibility that there is a sudden crescendo and/or a sudden break; a bang on the can as it
where and the pieces takes on a different course after that. With the addition of field recordings,
not the most common feature in orchestral music, even of the sampled variety, he adds a fine
different element to the music, something that gives it the quality of a radio drama maybe,
certainly when the voices are talking, such as in 'A Walk Amongst The Raindrops'. This is music
that is beautiful, powerful, intimate and cinematographic; the end of a great trilogy of some of
the finest ambient music; in whatever form Mike Fazio wishes to play this. He shows he has a
few tricks up his sleeve. (FdW)
––– Address:

BLOD - KÄRE JESUS/MANDYS BIL (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)

It seems I missed out on a release by I Dischi Del Barone, who are now up to catalogue number
13 with Blod, from Gothenburg. I never heard of them before, and are apparently from "the circle
around Enhet För Fri Musik". As with instruments they ransack thrift stores looking for old tapes
with home recordings of grandpa smoking a pipe and little john singing, along with some loops of
the stuff, or simply using the pause/rewind/fast-forward/play button (those that will break so
easily if you that a lot, I know from experience). This is some truly wacky music I thought. One
side is 'Käre Jesus' and sounds like taped in a shopping mall on Saturday afternoon, but then
inside a toilet space as we hear the sound from really far away. It sounds far away; there might
be a bunch of drunks singing along and it sure has a happy feeling, oddly enough of this
depressing Saturday afternoon in a shopping mall. The other side is a bit more chaotic with
similar remote loops, but here of saxophone music, and some talking on top of that, which is
no doubt in Swedish. This too sounds pretty crude, but I quite enjoyed it. It reminded me of
good ol' home tapers music from the 80s, but also of Radio Free Europe and Smegma. You
scratch your head and go 'what was that all about?' and you realize this is a totally different
form of musique concrete; from an alien civilization perhaps, but of the good variety. (FdW)
––– Address:

[MULTER] - KÖLN 4/11/2006 (CDR by Klappstuhl)

Normally I don't mention the package of a product because basically I think that music should
speak for itself, and when I mention covers, it is to say that the cover has not a lot of information,
is printed too darkly, too small or such like; but hardly the standard of design. Klappstuhl Records
have some fine releases on their label so far, but their design needs some improvement, so there's
your exception. But then I got this new release by [Multer] in which the CD box contains a plate of
metal, and thus the whole thing is quite a heavy weight release. On a transparent sheet we see
the rest of the info on the back; now that's what we like, even when the whole idea of metal
sheets inside jewel cases isn't exactly new (Radboud Mens' 'Sine' comes to mind).
    [Multer] is a trio of Neidhart on guitar, whom we otherwise know as N (with a number
attached to that to indicate which release he's now at), Thomas Geiter on keyboards and live
mix and Mal Hoeschen on field recordings and live mix. They have been around for close to
twenty years but didn't release that much over that long period, about a dozen or so releases,
mainly on their own Gesungswerk label. Between 2003 and 2011 there have been no releases
(also after that nothing, until this one), but the group did perform live, such as on the night of
November 4th 2006 at the lovely Kulturbunker in Cologne, organized by Auf Abwegen's
mastermind Till Kniola. I am not sure if they played more concerts in those years or if there is
otherwise a reason to release this now, but the fifty-four minute concert sounds like something
that should/could have been released much earlier. Why wait all these years, I thought. The music
of [Multer] is that of post-rock influenced drones, mainly through the use of the guitar and
 effects, but that is, I think, only a part of the story. The other two members have also quite
some input in the overall sound, with their chirping of insects or recordings of voices talking,
the latter adding more atmosphere to the music than something of a lyrical content, it seems.
The whole piece is the sum of various parts, and [Multer] play their music while staying on the
same volume level for a while and then go up in crescendo I think, in order to reach a not so loud
climax and then continues with a single sound for the next segment. None of this music is very
loud even when there are a few climaxes to be noted. This is simply a wonderful live recording and
it's great to have from a band like this; they have a sparse output, so anything is welcome, I
should think. (FdW)
––– Address:


Experimental musicians from Egypt, do they exist? Not a question that I think about on a daily
basis, but we've seen some from Iran (Porya Hatami for instance), and Lebanon has a lively
improvised scene, so why not somebody from Egypt working with guitars and sound art? That
person is Omar El Abd, born 22 September 1983 and who calls himself omrr (no capitals I assume)
and so far all of his releases have been on digital platforms and 'Music For The Anxious' is his first
physical release. All of his music is generated through improvisation and recorded on the spot,
which I guess is something that doesn't happen a lot with this kind of music; of perhaps it is
something I don't hear of very often. That is an interesting approach because on the surface it
seems a fairly traditional album of mood music that uses guitars, lots of electronics, but also
field recordings, loop devices or even a piano in 'Nataly' and on a more microscopic level one
hears glitches, hints of feedback, white noise and such like. That is a little bit different than the
usual stuff in this field, although perhaps not as such something entirely innovative. Some of
Machinefabriek's work comes to mind for instance, but I very much Omrr's foray into similar
territory. What he does is genuinely great music that is both quiet and atmospheric, but also
has that sharp, abstract edge inside, which makes this a damn fine release. (FdW)
––– Address:

LARB - THE STORY OF (triple CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
ORIFICE - FUGE FUNCTION (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
SKREI & EMERGE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)

Did I ever of Larb before? I don't think I have, but in all honesty the musical world of Zan Hoffman
seems to be moving very much mostly outside what I perceive; maybe because there is so much
and there is not always a need for a review, so one misses out a bit. As Larb he teams up with
Mike Honeycutt, who I best know as Mystery Hearsay, already since the mid-80s and from whom
the ever so lovely Monochrome Vision label released a CD. In the mid 80s Zan and Mike went on
"road trip to see Einstürzende Neubauten in Atlanta" and since they work together, mostly by
mail it seems. Almost all of the work appeared on cassettes or CDRs on Hoffman's ZH27 label
and this triple CDR is a re-issue of six of these CDRs (Discogs lists seven), all with thirty-minute
pieces and released between 1998 and 2010. There are no instruments mentioned but one could
easily envisage lots of electronics, field recordings, plundered multi-media sources, violin, guitar
and such like and all of this merges together in what could be best described as fine cross-over
between ambient, industrial, ambient industrial (there is a slight difference to be noted in that),
noise and psychedelic music. This is little more of three hours of music, which seems rather long,
I know, but on the other hand, it works pretty well, taking this all in at once. For the old-cassette
head I once was, this reminded me of the mid-80s on similar rainy days in my boys room at my
parents house listening on end to this kind of noise manifestoes, browsing fanzines, cutting up
magazines (including war magazines and pornography; t'is was industrial music after all), collating
mail art and cassette covers alike; all of which no longer belongs to my daily routine, so in this
case I just sat back, drank coffee and enjoyed this endless changing stream of processed
electronic sounds. I could say something about the stream of unconscious sounds that pass
me by this afternoon or that a bit of editing and composing would have been in order, but I
decided not to care about such things too much, and just sit back and enjoy this long ride.
    It has been a while since I last heard from Orifice, the musical project of Burkhard Jaeger
from Hannover, Germany, and here is a new release by him, containing five pieces, lasting just
under half an hour, which as far as I'm concerned is about the right length for such a thing. In
the world of Orifice everything is live and unedited and these pieces are no different. Heavy slabs
of very crude electronic music, maybe played a bunch of lo-fi self built electronic circuits, recorded
well over 0dB and sometimes it jumps a bit around, so that we don't think this is all from the
world of Harsh Noise Wall. There is a level of chaos in these pieces, which saves the music for
me. It is pointless noise for sure, but at least it seems some thought went into this.
    More music by Giuseppe Capriglione, also known as Skrei, which was recorded as the
Attenuation Circuit headquarter and lasts thirty minutes of Skrei by himself and the other side
has a piece of his with the label honcho here, Emerge. Back in Vital Weekly 1047 I was first
introduced to the music of Skrei, which seemed to be about using a tape-loop system to
process sound, which sounded not too bad, but also not that great. I have a similar impression
of this new thirty-minute piece, which has no title. It moves around in a bleak industrial
atmosphere, full of unrest, with lots of small loops here and there, maybe from some lo-fi
sampling machine and it is divided into various sections, floating right into each other. Not
great, not bad. In his piece with Emerge, things seem to go up a notch, adding Emerge's various
sampling apparatus and it becomes more of industrial thing and less of something more
atmospheric. This goes towards noise, most of the times but not exclusively, which, as just
outlined, is always something I am in favour of; which not necessarily made me think this was
the best ever release by Emerge. This is in the end like the other side, perhaps, not great, not
bad, but it is another documentation of progress. (FdW)
––– Address:


To be very honest: I never really understood what Thisco is all about; they produce records,
books and perhaps there is some underlying concept, which I don't understand, but I admit
straight away I may not have investigated very well. Maybe there just isn't, and I am trying to
see too much in this? The label has a collection called 'Thisobey' and that's all about people
working together, and in the case of these two 3" CDR releases it is Rasalasad, whose work
was reviewed before, but which also leaves me a bit clueless I must admit, who works one way
or another together with others. First there is the French 'shoegaze/drone' band Amantra, of
whom I also never heard. I have no idea how these collaborations came about, but my best guess
would be through the use of the Internet and file exchanging. One can hear Amantra playing their
guitar based drones, while Rasalasad adds something on top that one could easily identify as a
bit more noise based; lots of manipulating and bending of tones and not unlikely to come from
the world of kaoss pads and stomp boxes. It is a marriage that actually worked quite well, I
thought; those feedback like walls of guitars sounds and the dark, loud yet flowing noisy sounds
of Rasalasad; in each of these four pieces they reach out for a lot of depth in what they do, and
it is best enjoyed at a louder volume.
    Also from France are Wildshores, whom I don't know, and Von Magnet, of whom I always
recognize the name and usually very little what kind of music he/they plays (it is both a person
and a band by that name). Here the duties are divided: Rasalasad plays the music and the two
French musicians are responsible for the spoken word of this seventeen-minute piece. The music
here goes into an entirely different musical hemisphere, even when it is also in part dark and
atmospheric. Noise seems to be absent here, and in turn we get a whole set of more synthesized
sounds, along with the two whispering voices, whose text is not always easy to follow, if that was
the idea at all; I am not sure there. There is also a bit of rhythm thrown in at various points but it
stays more on the background than anything else. The whole piece has something quite
mysterious and intense, also when played at a louder volume; it holds somewhere between a
sound poem and radio play. This certainly was a different disc than the other one, and while I
have not one that I prefer over the other, I felt that they both supplemented each other pretty
well. (FdW)
––– Address:

CITY MEDICINE - CATCH ME (cassette, private)

Following releases on Mazurka Editions, Acid Casualty Productions and Alien Passengers, 'Catch
Me' is now the fifth cassette by City Medicine from Miami, Florida. There is not a lot of other
information available here, in terms of instruments, concepts and such like, but it seems to me
that this too comes from the healthy US noise scene; noise that is not always for the sake of noise
actually, but also can be about the beauty of decay. Say, for instance to record stuff on an old
cassette because one loves the crumbling of old tape, the disappearance of sound and all such
aesthetic reasons one could have. This is at least what I think City Medicine is also about and I
might be wrong. It is not as noisy as I would expect, but rather about taping down field recordings
on cassettes, and play around with them, adding more hiss, playing around with the frequencies
and such like, or simply cutting them up in the form of loops such in the fourth part. It all results
in some very minimal music, with not always much variation, but at the end of each piece
something happens, changing the piece. 'Part II' and 'Part III' are the most 'electronic' pieces,
including the sound of motors and feedback, whereas as the other parts are more based on field
recordings with a bit of additional sound. It sounded all quite primitive but at the same time I
thought it was very captivating. A very nice release, which made me head over to the other
releases on his bandcamp page and investigate some more, which turned out to be as equally
rewarding. (FdW)
––– Address:

KRUBE/ARV&MILJÖ (split cassette by Fragment Factory)

In an odd way one could say that the connection here is Il Disci Del Barone, the Swedish label
(see also elsewhere) that releases only 7" records as they released of both of these projects
a 7" before and it is only now I learn that behind Arv&Miljö is the label boss of Il Disci, which
indeed leads to say: it is a small world after all. Each of these projects delivers a twenty-minute
piece here.
    Berlin based Krube has had a bunch of releases before, including one by Fragment Factory,
which wasn't reviewed here, and in much of his work there is room for analogue tape manipulation.
'Untitled' is no exception here. There is a bunch of tape loops at work here, which have picked up
a variety of sounds; fast forward tapes, rusty and squeaky swings in the playground and perhaps
some voices, some of them on helium. All of this comes to us in non-repeating blocks so that the
piece appears to be on a constant shift forward as well as backward. Sometimes it seems as if
sounds are brought a bit up in the mix, but that might also be an auditory illusion. I quite enjoyed
this more or less minimal piece of tape manipulations, but I also think it could have lost five
minutes at the end.
    On the other side there is Arv&Miljö, the musical enterprise of Matthias Andersson from
Gothenburg, who also seems to be using cassettes as carrier for the sound sources he plays
around with in his piece. In this case it contains piano playing, repetitive but maybe not like a
loop (I think), which seems to be lifted from Peter Jefferies' "On an Unknown Beach" (so the
information tells me; I didn't know this) and along this piano playing there is the occasional
sound of hiss/white noise that imitates the waves of the sea. It is a surprisingly mellow piece
of music, slowly expanding on the repeating piano motif on and on, until the hiss/white noise
finally drowns out the piano at the end; it has truly and well sunk into the sea. An excellent
piece. (FdW)
––– Address:

ODD PERSON/MIGUEL A. GARCIA - NOOSPHERTILIZER 5 (split cassette by Aubjects)
NOOSPHERTILIZER IV (2 cassette by Aubjects)

The US label Aubjects are down in my books as a great label. Back in the 80's when I was occupied
with music releases on cassettes I was never a fan of small or big video boxes to house them in,
simply because they took up too much space in my boys room. Aubjects use them also, but in
the current world where cassettes are mostly packed in standard plastic boxes this is quite a
change. The first two releases are split releases and on 'Noosphertilizer 5', we find two projects.
On the first side there is Odd Person, which is the new (?) name by August Traeger, whom we also
know as Somnaphon and his Bicephalic Records label. Apparently he also works as Nipple Stools
and Food World. Listed as instruments a 'malfunctioning sampling keyboard, pure data and
hardware effects). Whereas much of his previous music was quite crude and noisy in a very digital
way this is all quite mellow and pleasant. Maybe this too is made with digital, it certainly looks like
it, but there is gentle, synth atmosphere here, with even some Tangerine Dream influences
somewhere in these thirty minutes, which was sadly quite short; I sure wish there was more of
this. On the other side we find the ever so active Miguel A. Garcia from the Basque part of Spain.
Here he uses sound sources from something called Window Pane (link on the cover didn't work)
and oddly enough we see him moving away from his more thoughtful recent experimental laptop
music and re-emerging into the world of noise. I am quite sure that what sound sources he uses,
it all goes into the computer and via some sort of treatment inside it comes out at the other end,
and the original is rendered beyond recognition. It's not all super loud here, and he even moves
along to something that is a bit quiet but what could hardly be called introspective. It's gritty and
dirty but somehow it's great to see him do this sort thing again, but now with the experiences of
someone who knows what he's being doing and applying reasoning to his noise. This release
comes with a small Xeroxed booklet of high quality with photo collages of a more abstract nature.
    The previous issue of 'Noosphertilizer' (which is all about the sphere of human thought) is a
double cassette with four musicians and one visual piece. To start with the latter; in each of the
fifty copies of this release there is an object of 'resin art' by Rik Lee Liepold. It has roughly the size
of a cassette and a heavy block with found materials, broken bits of a record and magnetic tape. It
looks awesome and makes one hell of a difference with regular cassette packaging. On the website
of the label you can find how this looks like with a gif image. The first side has music by
Somnoroase Pasarele, from Romania, and whose work has been reviewed quite a bit here, and
generally well received, except for the last one which I thought didn't crack it for me; that can
happen. The band name means Sleepy Birds and this piece, 'F XIII', was recorded by Gili Mocanu
in the Summer of 2015 and is quite a different piece than what I heard from them so far. No
rhythms at work here, only a couple of synthesizers that play a rather sombre piece of moody
sounds, textures and reminded me of good ol' electronic music from the sixties, but then
captured in a more or less lo-fi manner. If there was some kind of process going on, of blocks of
sound getting processed again and again, I must say that worked really well. In a way I was
reminded of Roland Kayn's work. This was easily the best work I heard by them so far. The
other side has music by Alan Courtis from Argentina, former member of Reynols, but that
seems to be ages ago. Since then he has released many solo works as well as many works in
collaboration with others and toured the continents quite a bit. His piece here is a live recording
from about a year ago, when he played in Brazil. These thirty minutes are filled a guitar, a
distortion pedal and backing tapes and sounds a bit crude at the beginning but it gets really
interesting in the second half, when there the drones go up a notch or two, and becomes a fine
power drone of guitar sounds.
    The second tape had music by two American projects, of which Directives is the first one,
and of whom I don't think I heard before. This is the musical work of D. Petri, who is also the label
boss here, and a musical collaborator in Amalgamated, Homogenized Terrestrials and Gushing
Cloud. In his solo work he uses guitars, but also 'utilizing approximately 5/1 pre to post
processing ratio' he says, and goes from primitive recording techniques to software, from
cassettes to low fidelity microphones and then mixed together and that works out into five
parts of 'Igneous Plethora', moving from lo-fi sampled guitar noise to more introspective parts;
it is not easy to say where one piece ends and the next one starts, as it is all more or less mixed
together, but all of this left a good impression on me. Sometimes it was gentle, sometimes not,
but the balance between both ends was maintained very well. On the other side we find the
noisiest of the four (or six) sides, music by Crank Sturgeon, who has been going since the early
90s in the world of noise and performance art. Here he has a piece for 'dinner utensils, tape
machines and guitar pickups, but no doubt also Dictaphones and cassettes. Everything is
recorded with much gusto to analogue tape and there is a fine sense of overload on the
magnetic heads. This is not the kind of noise that goes on and on, like being on an automatic
pilot, but in stead it is chopped up and played by two of hands in real time. And that maybe
times four, and overlaid with each other to further enhance the chaos and noise aspect. The
left channel may not know what the right one is doing. Quite an intense half hour this one,
but it sounds great, certainly after three more or less sides of sustaining music.
    The third new release by Aubjects is Phil Klampe's project Homogenized Terrestrials, of
whom we reviewed quite a few works before. He's been active since the 80s, being part of the
then very active cassette scene, working with Charles Rice Goff III, Hal Mcgee and Brian Noring,
and he kept on going playing his own brand of electronic mood music, which may or may not
involve a whole bunch of synthesizers, samplers and electronics. In his music much is possible;
while for the most of it, it contains moody synthesizers, mild sequences, a bit of arpeggio on
the keyboards, he also allows, if only occasionally, for a rhythm that borrows from the world of
techno music, such as in 'Eat Your Soup, We Need Healthy Warriors' or a more exotic, stranger
rhythm in 'Flimal 5'. But most of the time it is all about moods and textures, and those are quite
dark and a bit unsettling. There is a lot of use of regular equipment and not so much the
processing of sounds through software. Whether these are real synthesizers or software versions,
I don't know, and also don't care about, really. The result is what counts and the results are great.
All of these thirteen pieces are concise and to the point and not a formless mass of drone based
sounds but rather full formed compositions, heads and tails and all. This is another confirmation
that the Homogenized Terrestrials is a great project and living for far too long under the radar.
Only a few handfuls of this have been made, while it deserves, I think, a much wider distribution.
––– Address:


Moscow, 26. Nov. 2016
Teatr Club

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