number 1074
week 11


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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SALA - SCARE ME NOT (CD by Unfathomless)
NO MASK EFFECT - DRIFT TO YOU (CD by Where Ambient Lives)
ELEGI - BANSULL (CD by Dronarivm)
  THING (CD by Sub Rosa)
NAKAMA – MOST INTIMATE (CD by Nakama Records)
EXPO 70 - LIVE IN THE PIT KFJC 89.7 FM (2CD by Zoharum)
RASTER- NOTON SOURCE BOOK 1/ARCHIV 4 (CD/book by Raster--Noton)
  Editions MEGO)
EFFENAAR (7" compilation by Discos Transgenero)
EVENTS AT THE FATAL PARTY (12" by Contort Yourself)
SHARK STORY OF THE CENTURY (12" by Contort Yourself)
W. ZABARKAS - THE ORIGIN OF DREAMS (CDR by Glistening Examples)
JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - KNIP/PLAK EP03 (self-released cassette)
REGOLITH/SAGAAN - SP12T (cassette by Spl1t Editions)

SALA - SCARE ME NOT (CD by Unfathomless)

Last week we reviewed a new release by Unfathomless using sounds from a brewery in Latvia, this
week it's Sala's turn to do field recordings of 'abandoned soviet machines and building materials
near Utena (Lithuania)'. I don't think I heard of Sala before, a trio before nbut now just a solo project by
Audrius Simkunas, who have released on Tantric Harmonies, Auterkeia, .NBK Records
and Observatoire. I tried to understand the text they wrote about this CD, but I failed. Apparently it
is about fear of some kind, and perhaps abandoned soviet machines evoke a sense of fear; that's at
least how I saw it. I am not entirely sure how the music was made. It starts out with some birds and
after quite some time there is some kind of processed sound and slowly that evolves into more on
going processed sounds, dripping of water until at the end of the first piece there is full on drone.
In the second piece, with twenty minutes half the length of the first, but with essentially a very
similar set of sounds and processes. I am not sure why they added this second piece, but also the
first piece leaves something to wonder about. In some way both of pieces seem to me a collection
of processed sound rather than a well-defined composition. Maybe the idea was to have a bunch of
sounds going in a rather intuitive way, and not working along composed lines. I thought of both
pieces rather working like a stream of sounds and as such it could not always interest me that
much. This I thought was a pity and made this one of the lesser releases on this label known for
its high quality. (FdW)
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NO MASK EFFECT - DRIFT TO YOU (CD by Where Ambient Lives)
ELEGI - BANSULL (CD by Dronarivm)

Back in Vital Weekly 1045 I first reviewed music by Keith Downey, also known as No Mask Effect
and industry mogul, head of Psychonavigation Records. 'Drift To You' is his fourth album, all in
about one year after starting to do music, which seems to me quite a workforce. I only heard his
third album and now this one. 'Drift To You' seems to be using less voice material than the
previous one, although not entirely absent, but more so he uses quite a bit of field recordings
here, more than before I would think. Mo Mask Effect processes these field recordings using time
stretching quite a bit, then adding quite a bit of sound effects on top of all that and bob is almost
your uncle. No Mask Effect is however not your most traditional ambient project. There are surely
some long sustaining synthesizer like patterns in this place, but sometimes it is also broken up,
collage like such as in 'Voices', the shortest piece on this release. When he allows for a more
documentary styled voice, in 'Atmosphere' for instance, No Mask Effect sounds in fact quite like
a fine radio play in a meeting with Biosphere. Overall I enjoyed this instrumental album a lot more
than the previous, where all the voices were drenched in reverb. In terms of musical innovation this
is perhaps not the most original album of experimental ambient music, but then I would like to raise
the rhetorical question: what is? Throughout I enjoyed this quite a bit as it had a fine sense of radio
drama. Not great, not spectacular, but some fine mood music.
    Tommy Jansen has very Dutch sounding, but if he is Dutch, I don't know. He works as Elegi
and had two albums out on Miasmah, in 2007 and 2009. After that nothing and he went to
'explore other medias, and worked as a sound designer, technician and composer for film, TV and
contemporary dance performances'. In the press text Jansen says he became father a few years
ago and that he wrote his own bed time stories, but 'for some strange reason these gave her
nightmares and she did not sleep for years' and that he made a bunch of recordings of these
stories, which I assume must have been music, and shelved them until Dronarivm dropped by to
release them. There isn't any mentioning of instruments, but my best guess would be that
whatever Elegi does is confined to the use of magnetic reel-to-reel tape and subsequently slowed
down, coloured by the use of sound effects; maybe even his own voice reciting a bedtime story,
so I was thinking, along with some more nocturnal music picked up from an old, likewise slowed
down 78rpm, but at the same time it could very be something he plays himself. I surely can
imagine this is the kind of stuff that give small children the creeps, as it sounds most fitting to a
horror soundtrack (but maybe reading Stephen King's 'Carrie' at the same time these days clouded
my judgement). Like No Mask Effect, this is the kind of music that aims for certain dramatic
experiences, a radio phonic drama, but in the case of Elegi it all has to do with one story, the
stuff of nightmares. Again, in terms of ambient this is not the newest development but certainly
an ambient of high quality, in terms of musical production, execution and variety. Scary stuff
indeed. (FdW)
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  THING (CD by Sub Rosa)

During their Japanese tour in September 2015, Jozef Dumoulin and Teun Verbruggen, both from
Belgium, performed with Haino and decided to do some recordings in the studio. And now there is a
cd documenting this collaboration. We hear Jozef Dumoulin playing Fender Rhodes and electronics,
Teun Verbruggen doing drums and electronics and Keiji Haino guitar, vocals, electronics. Haino
needs no introduction here. For decades now he is a leading force of the Japanese underground,
an avant-garde musician and artist, known for his noise, drone, improve, etc. projects and
collaborations. Dumoulin is a Fender-Rhode specialist, expanding the sound world of this instrument
in unheard directions. Like Teun Verbruggen he has a background in jazz. Verbruggen is a multi-
sided drummer you may know from the Flat Earth Society or his collaborations with Arve Henriksen,
Trevor Dunn and Dirk Serries. I don’t know much of Haino’s work. So I can’t judge whether this is
more of the same or an interesting next step. The CD totals four tracks, two recorded live, and two
others in the studio and it is radical music of massive and heavy electronics. They go with full force
and without hesitation. Their interaction bursts of propellant energy. I’m not sure however if they
always know where they are heading. They navigate uncompromising their way through. Sometimes
it just a hell of noise. They keep things rough and unpolished. Especially in the first two extensive
tracks. I enjoyed most the sounds that Dumoulin generates from his Fender Rhodes. But also the
guitar work by Haino in ‘Non-Dark destinations’.  Track three and four show another side. ‘Snow is
Frequent, Tough Light, in Winter’, has Verbruggen in a leading role. In the closing track things calm
down, and Haino opens with a long solo on flute, before he starts to sing and scream. It has
Dumoulin and Verbruggen in a servant role adding dark and abstract textures. Interesting trip. (DM)
––– Address:


Splitter Orchester is a Berlin-based international collective of about 25 composers and improvisers.
All of them are into new music and improvisation. This initiative started in 2010, rooted in the
‘Echtzeitmusik’-scene in Berlin. All members are based (from time to time) in Berlin. Simultaneously
they are present in Berlin for at least one occasion: the yearly Splitter Music Festival. On this festival
for contemporary orchestral music they perform as the Splitter Orchester. ‘Creative Construction
Set’ documents their collaboration with AACM member George Lewis, trombonist and much more.
He started in the mid-70s playing a lot with Anthony Braxton in those days. Later he became a
pioneer in technology and computer music. Gradually the trombone became less important and
Lewis was more and more into composing and improvising and everything in between. He composed
‘Creative Construction Set’ as a framework or starting point for a musical meeting. He offers
structures that define a specific space for free improvisation. For example his set of rules get the
improvisers all play in serving role, contributing to the whole. It is not about profiling solo
improvisers showing their virtuosity etc. No this music moves along as one giant entity, somehow
framed by what Lewis handed to the musicians. Although there is plenty of room for improvisation,
it often sounds as if it is composed music. It shows Lewis is really one who pushes on the
boundaries, shaping sounds into huge constellations. The music is much about change in dynamics.
There are many dramatic movements and eruptions while this vast and massive stream of sounds
follows it way. Although this music depends on lots of extended techniques, computers, balancing
acoustic and electronics sources, etc., all this didn’t bother me while listening. The music made me
forget from what and how it is produced. It is played sensitive and has depth. Yes, this captivating
and engaging music. Recorded in Stuttgart by the way - not in Berlin – in the SWF-Studios in
2015. (DM)
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NAKAMA – MOST INTIMATE (CD by Nakama Records)

Nakama Records from Norway started in 2015 as an outlet for Nakama and associated projects.
That same year the first album by Nakama came out: ‘Before the Storm’, followed in 2016 by
‘Grand Line’ and ‘Most Intimate’. A productive unit. On this third effort we hear Adrian Løseth
Waade (violin), Ayumi Tanaka (piano), Andreas Wildhagen (drums) and Christian Meaas Svendsen
(bass). Svendsen is also the initiator of this project. Their music integrates influences like jazz,
contemporary composed music, Japanese traditional music. After a first listening it was also
evident that romanticism is an important influence. The cd counts 15 titles, and Svendsen explains
the titles are linked with each other as follows: “I wanted to make a collaborative album portraying
the musicians as ensemble players, improvisers, soloists and composers. In order to fulfil that vision
we decided to write small Dedications to each other. I wrote for Andreas, Andreas for Adrian, and
Adrian for Ayumi and Ayumi for me. The only rule was that the person who received the dedication
was to be omitted from the composition. Each of the dedications are followed by a solo
improvisation, or as we have called it here — Gratitude — from the receiver. The solo is then
followed by a synthesis of the two former, a short improvised something with all four, but with
the dedicator and the receiver swapping instruments. We have called these pieces Unifications”.
So the music starts from a conceptual scheme of social interactions. Not so strange for an
ensemble called Nakama, Japanese for ‘comrade’. Of course it is not necessary to know about all
this, for fully enjoying the music. And yes, there is a lot to enjoy. Because of the chosen concept
we hear instruments in different combinations and arrangements. Throughout the music, as the
title suggests, is of an intimate character. Sometimes I was in doubt, especially where the music is
shamelessly romantic; are they playing clichés or is it a play with clichés? Over viewing what they
are doing and aiming for, I think it is the second option. Although they improvise and make unusual
movements, they stay within familiar harmonies. What makes this one an album of accessible and
enjoying chamber music with a soul. The recording is absolutely excellent, and helps noticing every
detail. (DM)
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EXPO 70 - LIVE IN THE PIT KFJC 89.7 FM (2CD by Zoharum)

Before I seriously dived into this lot, I picked a few to listen to for a few minutes in order to decide
what would be the best way to get into this. For no particular reason I stayed with Nowa Ziemia 2
and played that in its entirety and that became the starting point. This is what I understood; Nowa
Ziemia is the project of Artur Krychowiak (also from God's Own Prototype) and who had a digital
release and a CDR before this one. On Nowa Ziemia 2 he has two pieces, each recorded with a guest.
First there is a piece with Michal Banasik (also known as Tranquilizer) and one by Dawid Adrjanczyk
(Akpatok). No instruments are mentioned for any of these players, but I'm fairly sure it deals with
various guitars, lots of sound effects and with the overall idea to create a fine drone or two. Reverb
plays a central role in much of this, and perhaps a slightly too central role I'd say. In his duet with
Banasik, Krychowiak displays not just a bunch of drones but also a hint or two of melodic approach,
with either of them strumming a bit of chords here and there and everywhere in this glacial drone.
The other duet is twice as long and here the guitars are strummed more freely, using even more
reverb, to evoke that sense of ambience and big space and it reminded me of various on the
'Isolationism' double CD in the mid nineties which just didn't cut it for me. Perhaps too much
improvised surrounded by too many sound effects? With those sound effects covering up the fact
that improvisation is perhaps not that great? I don't know. I quite enjoyed the first piece; that
much is sure whereas the second was less convincing.
    Somebody who has been around for quite some time is Maciek Szymczuk, whose last release
'Music For Cassandra' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1004. That one showed a more poppy side to
his somewhat dark music and this he also explores on his new release, taking matters even further
down the line of electronic pop. Guitars seem to have been pushed to the background on this new
eight-track release in favour of more synthesizers and drum machines. Throughout there is an
ambient meets techno meets house atmosphere in these pieces, but in all of these there is a
somewhat dark cloud present, with some minor chords played on the left side of the keyboard.
Nevertheless this is absolutely pleasant music to hear. Szymczuk has a fine ear for dark tunes,
complicated percussion bits to avoid an all to rigid 4/4 time measure, some cosmic arpeggios
thrown in for good historical reference, and one can't help thinking of Tangerine Dream meeting
Sandoz and them doing a CD for Silent Records, some twenty years ago, if you catch my drift.
Variation to the dinner table arrive via the introspective 'Dream Of The Small Watermelon', which
is all ambience and no rhythm; that is an exception however. Most of the other tracks are fine rides
down the highway. I wish the weather would be much nicer, so I could go cycle outside and play
this musical trip. This is no doubt Szymczuk's best release so far.
    From Szymczuk it is a small step to the music of Expo 70, which was a trio around Justin
Wright, but now seems to be just him on electric guitar and Matt Hill on bass and analogue drum
machine on one of the two discs and wright solo on electric guitar, analogue drum machine and
moog on the other disc. The first was recorded in August 2008, the latter November 2010. I am
not sure why Zoharum waited so long before release this. In fact to be blunt: why release this at
all? This is downright 70-space rock at it dreariest. Think Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream or any
German Krauter with a guitar and some spacey synth a two-hour solo. On the first disc there is
not a lot of synthesizer anyway, but on the second the keys are glued down to create a drone
oscillation or two. Like I wrote before, in Vital Weekly 971, when I reviewed their 'Frozen Living
Elements' I have nothing against retro music, I do like a good inspired copy cat and as such the
world is filled with great cosmic/synth/drone/space music (see the work of Steve Moore), but a
two-hour doodle like this should be confined to free downloads on Bandcamp. I am sure they could
add on a daily basis new releases like this; on end! Maybe I have not yet consumed the right pills or
inhaled a proper ciggie to fully dig this, but it was turn off and drop out for me.
    For the review of 'Assemblage', Machinefabriek's fifth album on Zoharum, I went back to the
fourth one for the same label, 'Dubbeltjes', reviewed in Vital Weekly 925, which said: "here at Vital
Weekly a lot of music released by Machinefabriek is discussed, but there is a lot more than doesn't
make it here, as Machinefabriek is also very active in the field of highly limited vinyl, lathe cut
 records and cassette only releases. Luckily he is well known enough to have every now and then
a compilation of these rarities, such as 'Dubbeltjes' ('dimes'). Here we have two pieces from
compilations plus two 7"s, a lathe cut 5", a cassette and a 3"CDR, twelve pieces in total." From
there on the review discussed various pieces on the release. 'Assemblage' is a similar collection of
oddities, recorded between 2010 and 2016 and unlike the previous, which was forty-eight
minutes, this new one is much longer, clocking in at seventy minutes. If I would be lazy, which I
usually am, I could copy some more lines of that previous review and change some of the titles
around, as many of the pieces on this release see Rutger Zuydervelt exploring the boundaries of
ambient guitar sound meeting with musique concrete; sometimes quite separate from each other,
but more and more inside the space of a single piece, which is where his work is now heading to
more and more (say for instance his recent 'Crumble' release). Die hard fans probably have most
 of these in their original released form, completists want this anyway; all the others who are
interested could see this a peek into the current development of Machinefabriek. So it is a must
for all.
    The final new Zoharum release is a three-group compilation and each of these groups delivers
three pieces, all around twenty minutes per project. This is inspired by the Phillips silver series from
the sixties, introducing new composers from the wide world of electronic music. It starts out with
Docetims, also known as Maciek Banasik, we just met him, who also worked as Atum, Contemptus
Mundi and Topografia but under this specific moniker he works with ambient dub, offering some
very slow burners here of highly Chain Reaction inspired tunes, especially in the first and third piece,
the latter complete with a sampled Gregorian choir. Ghosts Of Breslau have been around since 2001
and these days dabble heavily with drone music and the three pieces here are no exception. Long
form sustainers, a bit of bird twitter, the processed crackle of vinyl (probably a plug in); it's all right
but nothing surprising. The final project presented here is the collaboration between Gaap Kvlt and
Micromelancolie, which they named Ixora, a plant that includes evergreen shrubs and magnificent
inflorescences. Like Docetism they work with the notion of experimental dance music, but not as
much with ambient dub, but an even slower and more experimental form of using rhythm, lots of
reverb, a bit of field recording, and ultimately sounds a bit too abstract to be enjoyed on a dance
floor (said the non-dancer), but nevertheless sounded very nice for a home spin. Docetism and
Ixora taste like something you would want more of, where as Ghosts Of Breslau sounded like
something that was heard before. (FdW)
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RASTER- NOTON SOURCE BOOK 1/ARCHIV 4 (CD/book by Raster--Noton)

The Raster-noton label celebrates its 20 years of practice with a massive catalogue of their releases:
source book 1; a huge brick of printed matter in a card board slipcase, all made to the highest of
standards. Along with this extremely impressive book 'Archiv 4' is released – a new label compilation
record, exclusive to the 'Source Book 1.
    First introduced in December 2003 as a supplement to »the wire« magazine, Raster-noton's
archiv series has since been continued in loose sequence with different artists related to the label.
In 2016 r-n showcases the stripped down beats of Kangding Ray with his filled out masses of
harmonic melodies next to sparse noise and sine waves explorations by Emptyset. Grischa
Lichtenberger delivers dance floor rhythms (also suitable for home use) and Alva Noto shoots his
laser sharp bright beams of spiked synth tones across the room in a track that brings him maybe a
tad bit closer to Jean-Michael Jarre than we were used to. Frank Brettschneider's workout is as
much jazzy slap bass improv as it's happy go lucky computer pop. A rather nervous rattling tune
by AtomTM gives way to Robert Lippok's reverb heavy massive stomper for what sounds like an
empty turbine hall. Ueno Masaaki closes off these proceedings with clanging and clashing oil drum
smashing and disembodied machine screeches for love, fear, danger, anger and binary death?
    Always grand masters of styling and high standards Raster-noton's 3 kilo's of catalogue plus
CD underline the immense importance of one of electronic music's most important contemporary
records. For a long time confined to academic festivals and highbrow in-crowds the label's acts
finally are being picked up in a broader realm from exhibition places for new media and art to clubs
and dance festivals across the world. Judging by the highly impressive output of the first 20 years,
the influence of Raster-noton cannot be overestimated. (SSK)
––– Address:

  Editions MEGO)

Ominous clangs rattle spines in cavernous narrow alleys and delicate drone impregnates previously
stagnant and stale air with a whiff of woozy plenty, a horn of coded dream messages in sumptuous
resonant fullness however sparsely the orchestra of eerie electronics and gently jarring acoustic
(field) recordings is kitted out. Richard Chartier here doesn't turn out all the lights, to flood the
senses with nightmare aural vision. His formation of place, plastics and particulars collected over
the course of three years bobs and weaves in a slow moving duet or feather gloved boxing match
between William Basinski, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, several protagonists of the Cold Meat
Industries ambient force and Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch's Twin Peaks atmospheres,
maybe with an added dash of Neil Gaiman's wry or ironic humour. Chartier's ambient might seem
dark, but is actually a flight of fancy just out of reach of a firm grasp; amorphous, coagulated, gel
like viscous, muddling through in stead of forcefully hammering home simple statements of the
one liner sort. Neither here nor there Chartier inserts his nebulous sounds into an in-between zone
that's wholly engaging nor gratuitous. A classical case of leaving cold in an elegant way – untouched
from a distance; like a Meursault standing on a beach, with not only your phones' battery dead.
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One could say: two sides of the same coin, two vistas of the same view; appearing like the
rendering of an identikit picture. On the first side the Splitter Orchestra plays its inimitable style
of improvised composition – music indebted as much to John Cage as to the Gruppo di
Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza and above all, taking these cues right and well into
contemporary domains. The group uses no scores to reach a depth and clarity of constructed
sound masses that bristle with slowly unfolding spaces, both literal and aural. Energetic spiky
percussion and crashing glass open up a deep dark and uncomfortable drone into narrative
spooky qualities. A play for sounds; a Hörspiel that morphs in shape and size with content matter
and plot being constantly thrown across the sonic scene.  High frequencies shriek and pierce the
sky; like a choir of ghostly and ghastly unbelievers gathered to usher in blistering noise.
    Felix Kubin retells the Splitter Orchester's stories. He adds swooshes of his trademark quirky
acid beats and proto-synth pop irony. Kubin works his magic within the Hörspiel framework he's
a grandmaster of. The rough and raw hewn edges of the Splitter Orchester are replaced by not per
se happy go lucky easy going tunes, but Kubin does make the palette more readily available to ears
accustomed to rather more clean cut popular idioms. No rude awakenings here from the erratic
dream like states of side A. Kubin thusly projects a deceptively elegant lull, which belies the same
kind of intricacies that undercut the swarms of varied dynamics the Splitter Orchester, radicalizes.
A back and forth between both sides of this bloody amazing record brings new interpretations and
insights into both modes of working, 'compositions' and styles while also progressively building
passageways and bridges between seemingly disparate musical worlds. (SSK)
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So, to be honest here: I know the name Richard Pinhas for a long time, and I do know he was in a
group called Heldon, but somehow over the course of my long life I have never heard his music
properly. Never heard a complete LP by Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones, either, since it's confession
time anyway, so there you go. Before I could review the LP that is a tribute to Pinhas, I went to
Youtube to hear some of his music, and I got the idea of it. Unless of course I have to be well
versed in his work in order to be able to judge a tribute, I think I can see what both Phillipe Laurent
and Airworld are after in their tributes. Laurent, synth pioneer since the 70s, drags out guitar
and synthesizer, set the later to two or more intertwining arpeggios that gentle move along each
other. Joyously bouncing around, with no further rhythm, and to which the guitar e-bowed notes
play an excellent ride. Slowly all of this blurs together in what could very well be described as
'ambient house' or 'chill out music' in the best tradition of The Orb, System 7, Silent Records or
older music by Steve Hillage. Unlike Expo 70 reviewed elsewhere, there is a fine balance between
guitar and synthesizers and it's not an endless space jam.
    Airworld on the other side have been around since 2001, and looking at his bandcamp he
is very much inspired by the music of the 70s, looking at the various tribute singles (download
only) to Tony Conrad, David Bowie or Moondog. He applies a bit of rhythm to their guitar sounds,
Gilles Deleuze gets to say a bit (well, apparently as I am not sure where and when; Pinhas also
worked with him), and once the steamroller is on it is way, this is quite a krautrocking piece; darker
than Laurent's piece, with an emphasis on the use of guitar and drums (lots of cymbals mainly), all
tuned to a darker frequency, before ending on an orchestral note of stringed sounds, a bit of free
electronic play, all in a looped modus. This is quite a fine piece, even when I prefer the one on the
other side a little bit more. I guess. Airworld planned their piece throughout and also don't space
out on end, which is great. Quite a fine tribute, I'd say; and it made me put on my 'to do' list: listen
to some more Pinhas. (FdW)
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EFFENAAR (7" compilation by Discos Transgenero)
EVENTS AT THE FATAL PARTY (12" by Contort Yourself)
SHARK STORY OF THE CENTURY (12" by Contort Yourself)

Here we are going back in time again. I do remember the 'Effenaar' 7"; I may have even had it, but
where it is these days? I have no idea. Since many years I am quite interested in all of these re-
issues from my own formative years. When the CD came into my life, I thought that much of the
music I was hearing would never be released on CD. Looking at what was re-issued in recent times
I think I was very much wrong. And yet still I can be amazed. Sure, I can see something like Das Ding
having appeal to a new audience, with it's proto techno/electro tunes, just as so many others from
what is called 'minimal wave'. It is perhaps because the current crowd can easy relate to that kind
of music, as people who came later on doing the same thing have copied it. But dig deeper and
you'll find this four-track 7" for instance, none with names that would probably ring a bell, with
music that is 'different'; different as in certainly not minimal wave, or in some way alternative and
pop-like. In case you have no idea (maybe because you're not Dutch), 'Effenaar' is rock venue in
Eindhoven, still going to this very day, a commercial black box of rock music like so many of these
places in The Netherlands, but in the late 70s and early 80s a meeting point for punk, post-punk,
ultra, squatters and such like (also like so many other places in The Netherlands, the same places
as mentioned before actually). Four bands here, with on the first side Rabbit Fun and Vovo Kai
represented a more experimental side of Eindhoven, and both connected to the label Kaisettes/
Zesde Kolonne. The first is a six-piece band, with drums, clarinets, metal percussion and multiple
voices with either nonsense vocals or chants. It reminded me of Scram Juju (but who they, you
may ask). A strange ritualistic sound and at that it is quite captivating. Vovo Kai have two shorter
pieces of synthesizers, rhythm machine, vocals and crackle box, and there is strange industrial
psychedelic sound from them. The shortness of these pieces may not entirely justify this, I
thought. Tubifex and Viva La Muerte are both more towards traditional post-punk sound, and
without a Martin Hannett inspired production they sound quite raw in their full-in garage mode,
with 'Big Sigars' by Tubifex also very much like a punk band. Both of these bands show a firm
interest in punk, post-punk and the whole do-it-yourself notion of non-musicians starting to play
music with their own not yet directed raw energy. I totally forgot about this record, but someone
out there didn't and was brave enough to press another 500 copies. I am told this Spanish guy is
ready to unload more old music on us. If his taste is as obscure as this, then I am very curious
about all of this.
    Hold on. Didn't I review a re-issue of Mekanik Kommando's debut LP on CD? I did indeed in
Vital Weekly 728. That is perhaps more minimal wave than the Effenaar 7", as I wrote back then;
"Mekanik Kommando played pop music. Electronic popmusic, but not like, say Human League. Not
really catchy hooks, but never the less great tunes. Songs that were easy to remember and which
had that doom of the day presence, but were also joyful. Joyful in a sad way. 'It Would Be Quiet In
The Woods' is a classic album. Full stop". Now their debut LP comes out on LP again, and I am told
they used the same cassette as they did in 1981 to master the record from (which even in those
days was quite odd), but since technology now is much better to cut a record without phasing
problems and such like, plus the fact that Mekanik Kommando will play a bunch of concerts soon in
their original trio line-up (i.e. before this LP was made), it is all the right time to re-issue this for
the vinyl fetish mob (even when the Mekanik catalogue has few other interesting things yet to be
re-issued on CD or LP, I'd say) who can actually spot these technical differences. I admit I had a
great time with both LPs and CD to find these differences out, but somehow I failed the blind test.
    And then I also received four 12" records by Scottish Contort Yourself label. Now this is the
place where old meets new, and the boundaries get really blurry. Among these four 12" I found
some old geezers like Die Form, Le Syndicat, Esplendor Geometrico, Zombies Under Stress (which
is what Vovo Kai became later on), but also names from the now, such as Slugbug, Fallbeil, Enrique,
Beau Wanzer, Prostitues, Volition Immanent, Mark Forshaw, Novacom and JK Flesh. Some of the old
people being remixed by new guys and playing these four 12" records in a row made it easy to see
why all of this connected in this way. This label looks for stylistic similarities between the old and
the new, something raw and untamed in the world from mid 80s industrial music, when equipment
became much better and powerful, and some of the current dance musicians being influenced by
all of this. Perhaps something that was called in between EBM. Dark, mysterious and yet this is the
kind of music that is quite groovy as well. I am not sure but I think these are the kind of releases
that are quite educational. At least that's how I would love to see these things. Even for me, who
just got in from the historical end, whereas it is probably supposed to be the other way round.
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On the cover of 'At The Salt Museum' we see some rusty objects in a sun soaked desert and this
is very likely the salt museum mentioned in the title, and it is mentioned that three musicians
camped here and "sounding various sites and performing ritualistic actions. This album documents
our interactions with rusted salt machinery discovered at the outdoor 'salt museum' on the shore
of the Lake Crosbie saltpan". So what may sound like a bunch of percussion instruments are in fact
three people playing rusty machines. Actually we don't know if they are rusty, we just assume they
are. Unlike metal bashers from the industrial scene, say Neubauten. Z'EV or Test Dept, the music
here is very dry; no big barrels reverberating through space, just very dry hectic drumming on
these objects and indeed all the time I was thinking that these could have also been small
percussion instruments, rather than metal objects. In a few pieces the objects are explored in
different ways, by stroking them or placing the recording device a bit further away so the sound
changes in different ways and a bit of wind is also caught in the process. This is quite a nice
release of improvised music played on found material, in an outdoor location, even when we don't
get to hear much of that surrounding; perhaps there was not much other in way of living animals?
    Together with Iceage Productions, Shame File Music has a series of split CDR releases,
documenting live performances of experimental and noise artists, in which the labels choose the
first artist, who in turn gets to choose the second one. First we have here Joe Musgroove, who
sometimes works as Biffplex, but here under his own name. If I understood correctly his piece is
the end of an eight hour performance, 'as it all grinds to an entropic end', whatever that is. We
hear an electronic sound, cars passing, someone taking away the cups and bottles and there is
occasional talk and coughing. Throughout the electronic sound changes minimally, so we could
think this all part of the piece, or perhaps a field recording of a performance slowly fading out. It
is all very hard to say, I must admit, but perhaps that is what makes this also a fascinating piece
to hear.
    The other piece is by Makro, also known as Lloyd Barrett (Diaspora, Secret Killer Of Names)
and Hetlev, being Paul Forbes Mitchell (also Hetleveiker). Their piece is a bit shorter, but still
twenty-six minutes, and it is an improvisation for electronic sounds. I am guessing here if I say
they are probably some kind modular synthesizer set-up in combination with a live input of field
recordings. There is a fine modern electronic feel to this pieces, bouncing up and down, round and
around, with mild distortion going on in various places, with much charged electricity sparks
running off this, and at the same time it can as easy leap back to something much more quiet.
Perhaps not something you haven't heard before, but it's all well done. (FdW)
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Here's a new split CDR by Bearsuit Records, it's a format they apparently love and again with two
acts I never heard of and both of these have five pieces of music to offer. Behind Swamp Sound is
Yuuya Kuno, from Nagoya. He sometimes works as House Of Tapes, as well as running his own
label Sleep Jam records and organising a music event called Nagoela in his hometown. To me it
seems that Swamp Sounds is a man armed with a sampler and many electronics to create a
massive sounds of bouncing tunes, hyper sensitive rhythms, quirky keyboards that reminded me
8 bit electronics and gameboy music. Swamp Sounds' music is very full and he doesn't allow the
listener not a lot in terms of quietness or laidback listening. Though nothing lasts very long here, I
already were suitable tired after hearing this.
    The other five pieces are by Uncle Pop & The Dumbloods, which is just one guy, Douglas
Wallace from Dundee. Before he was a member of Blood Uncles and Stub. He also recorded with
Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai for Bearsuit. He too uses a sampler and electronics and
continues in a similar hectic fashion with his five pieces, but he allows for a bit of quiet and
contemplation via the use of a sparse piano tune before going on an all-out excursion, as in
'Portrait In An Egg Cup', or the orchestral Hollywood soundtrack tune of 'The Comfort Zinger'.
At times I found Uncle Pops & The Dumbloods a bit kitschy, a cliché in sound approach, but
throughout I liked this a lot more than Swamp Sounds, simply because the music was overall
less nervous and full-on but Wallace takes the listener for an interesting journey, even when it
goes off the rails every now and then. (FdW)
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It seems that on the three previous occasions we wrote about Francesco Paolo Paladino it was he
involved as a filmmaker, rather than as a musician. Here we have a most curious music release by
him, and in all four pieces he is credited with 'tapes, field recordings, birman violin and suckers'. In
two of the four pieces 'frames' are credited to Gianluca Favaron, Alessandro Fogra and Simon
Balestrazzi. I say curious as the four pieces sound very much the same; in fact their titles are also
quite similar, 'Aries', 'Ariae', 'Ariel' and 'Ariente'. In two of these pieces there is the same slow,
repeating lines to be heard of time stretched instrument (the birman violin I would think), coloured
with some sound effects, being the first and the last piece. In between we have two pieces of even
further time stretched material, maybe a few seconds expanded into a long, very sparse block of
immobile music, with in the third piece the slow imprint of the first and fourth piece. Maybe there
is some sort of conceptual edge to all of this, but it is not something I can see. At best this is
surely a fine album of ambient music, but due to the repeating idea I found it all a bit too much
of the same thing. (FdW)
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W. ZABARKAS - THE ORIGIN OF DREAMS (CDR by Glistening Examples)

Coriolis Sounds, so their website tells me, is a label founded by Cedrick Eymenier and so far
released music on CDR, vinyl and download only. I am not sure what relationship he has with
Guillaume Eymenier, but I would assume they are brothers. His eleven pieces have no titles and
there is otherwise not a lot of information either. So I can't elaborate on instruments used here,
processes applied, and I have to go by what I hear. The music is all drone like, and my best guess
is that this is all to do with the extensive process of some kind of whatever input. I was thinking
more along the lines of an instrument than of field recordings. Maybe a wind instrument or
something to do with strings, and sometimes I was thinking of a church organ. Eymenier has
eleven pieces here, with a total length of forty-two minutes, which means that none of this is
really long. In fact in some cases, such as the third piece, it is perhaps a bit too brief and the
fade out a bit too abrupt. The influences here are the usual suspects of Brian Eno, Taylor Deupree
and Stephan Mathieu (who is responsible for mastering here). Throughout it is most enjoyable
and yet highly unremarkable music, as it is something one has heard before, among others by
those already mentioned.
    From which it is only a small step to the music produced by one W. Zabarkas, born in 1986,
and who produced this in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yaroslav, the triangle of cities travelled by
many Western experimentalists going East. Discogs lists two aliases in Cyrillic as well as RIP Cyborg
and Yungcomputer. Among the tags listed by Glistening Examples on Bandcamp we find 'ambient
dark ambient drone shoegaze', which certainly gives you the right perspective for this. Very much
along the lines of what I just heard by Eymenier I must say but then perhaps the negative version
of it. Whereas Eymenier seems to be all about producing the gentler version of ambient drone
music, Zabarkas sees it has his task to produce the grittier, noisier version thereof. Say indeed the
shoegaze version, full on with its effect pedals pressed fully down; and this time it includes chorus,
flangers, phasers and distortion. I could have done this as a separate review but what ties Eymenier
and Zabrakas together is the fact that this too is indeed most enjoyable and yet also something
one has heard enough before, mainly by those laptopists that took the main stage at an alternative
music festival. Neither of this is 'bad' but both are not very original. (FdW)
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JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - KNIP/PLAK EP03 (self-released cassette)

Cut-ups are at the basis of the Knip/Plak (Cut and Paste) series by Dutch (sound) artist Jeroen
Diepenmaat. Cut-ups not only in the Fluxus way, also taking cues from for example William S.
Burroughs, but also cutting, pasting, putting together in the most physical of ways. That is:
Diepenmaat cuts flexi discs into shards and puts these back together into more or less playable
format therewith generating exciting and hitherto uncharted – as in: un-composed, maybe even
improvised – music. Slowly changing repeating minimal patterns of as it were locked grooves
permeate the sound field. The needle scurries across the cuts and fragmented pieces of worn
out audio, discontinued samples so to speak, literally glued together – held in a new wholeness.
Diepenmaat breathes amazing depth into the musicality of the cutting procedure, producing two
sides to a very limited cassette release (which comes with a splendid hand made booklet) that
remind the listener as much of jukeboxes of times long gone, as it references for example the
crackle-ambient we've come to cherish by the likes of Fennesz and Philip Jeck. With the added
bonus of the chance element of not exactly knowing how the result of cutting and pasting will
musically turn out, John Cage factors in too. A splendid piece of tactile beauty in a duet between
sound art and music. (SSK)
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REGOLITH/SAGAAN - SP12T (cassette by Spl1t Editions)

Austrian duo Regolith, behind we find Interstellar labelboss Richie Herbst and Christian Zollner, of
Koma Elektronik (electronic devices company par excellence) have been around since 2006 and
have been reviewed before. They have a bunch of self-released split releases of which this is the
new one with Victor Mazon Gardoqui, also known as Sagaan (in which the 'a' is replaced by
triangles), of whom I never heard, but who works with 'actions, objects and electronic devices',
which seems something along the lines of Regolith. There is not a lot of information on the
otherwise nice cover (in fact nothing at all) but this is the kind of power station drone music;
imagine yourself trapped in a power station and the lights are off. You can move through the
space, but only slowly, and you have no idea where the turbines are, nor when they will collapse.
By moving slowly the sound changes; as a spoiler, the explosion is not going to happen, but feel
free to be frightened. The best way to enjoy this pain is to play this very loud.
    Essentially Regolith is in the same power plant but we are now chained to the turbines and
perform their own power drones with similar energy and care. Here too maximum volume is
required, so that your foundations are shaking and your power lines are on the verge of a nervous
breakdown. Regolith tends to be more towards harsh noise with their music but display at the
same time also a keen ear for detail and variation. Everything (which also goes for Sagaan) is quite
minimal, but nothing is very static. Like Sagaan, Regolith is not for the weak at heart. (FdW)
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