number 1086
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week 24
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THE HONKIES - HOW DO PREVENT THE ADVANCE OF THE DESERT? (CD by Music 'A La Coque) *
23REDANTS & PABLO ORZA (CD by Creative Sources Recordings) *
JOÃO CASTRO PINTO - SUNTRIA - IMAGINAL SONOTOPES (CD by Unfathomless) *
MARC NAMBLARD - F. GUYANA (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
KATHERINA KLEMENT - PHERIPHERIES - SOUND PORTRAIT BELGRADE (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
ALAN JENKINS – DISASTER CAKE INTERROGATION BUNNY (CD by Cordelia Records)
SIMON WHETHAM - INTOLERANCE (CD by Kohlhaas Records) *
BLAKE'S OPTIMISM - THESE THINGS AND US (7" by Steelwork Maschine)
THE AUSTRASIAN GOAT / COBER ORD - Et Ils Franchirent Le Seuil  (CD + 7" by Steelwork Maschine)
THE LAST SENSE TO LEAVE US: A TRIBUTE TO PAULINE OLIVEROS (CDR by Rural Colours)
JLIAT - THE SWAN DEVICE - BLACK SWANS (CDR and book by Jliat) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ - REQUIEMS  (cassette by OJC Recordings) *
CHEMIEFASERWERK - KOPFBILD (cassette by Soft Error) *




THE HONKIES - HOW DO PREVENT THE ADVANCE OF THE DESERT? (CD by Music 'A La Coque)

The name of trumpet player Andy Diagram pops up every now and then in Vital Weekly, mostly as
a member of Spaceheads, a duo he has with drummer Richard Harrison, going back to Vital Weekly
137 and as recently as issue 1070, but also for instance as a collaborator with Phillipe Petit. His
musical career started in the late 70s with bands as Dislocation Dance and The Diagram Brothers,
he also played with Pere Ubu, David Thomas and James. I never knew of a band he was in called The
Honkies, where he plays trumpet and sings, along with Caroline Kraabel on saxophone and vocals,
RE Harrison on drums, washing machine, trombone and vocals and Kathy Hulme on saxophone,
cello and vocals. The little press note says that 'How Do We Prevent The Advance Of The Desert'
was their first record, but Discogs lists it as their debut, and it was released in 1989 in a handmade
cover, so the re-issue has just one of the vinyl sleeves reprinted. Music 'A La Coque is an Italian
imprint who search the vaults for crazy obscure free music, and as such as The Honkies are a great
find. This is a wild ride indeed, very much in the spirit of post-punk and without a single guitar in
sight. It bursts with heavy rhythms, wild drumming on that kit, but at the same time heavy on the
use of wind instruments. These blear around in the best free jazz manner, but it's perhaps the use
of all these vocals, which add that post-punk flavour to it. This has all to do with the freedom of
music and very little with the correct use of playing music; it is about the creation, stupid. Very
much in spirit of what punk could have been, had it not been spoiled by drugs, drinks and fight.
This is some forty-one minute of energy unleashed upon the listener, furious, even if it goes down
in tempo a bit. The Honkies leave very little room for contemplation, allowing no Zen like hearing
here. This was never before on CD, and now that void has finally been filled. Served as an
introduction, like for me, or for those whose vinyl copies have been worn out. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.musicalacoque.it/



23REDANTS & PABLO ORZA (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

If I understand correctly, 23RedAnts is a duo of Niet F-n, from Italy, who plays electronics and
Macarena Montesinos from Spain on cello. The first also plays solo as Ranter's Bay and works in
theatrical performances where the second has a background in jazz music and free improvisation.
Here they work together with one Pablo Orza from Spain, also with a background in free
improvisation and who plays guitar, voice and objects. Many of the releases by Creative Sources
Recordings are recorded on a single night, more often than not unedited, but in this case the five
pieces here I believe there were recorded over a longer period of time, or perhaps 'live in studio', but
on different dates. It says 'recorded in Galicia, Spain, between 2014-2016'; so whatever it is. In all
of these five pieces they carefully explore their instruments and perhaps at times it was all a bit too
careful for my taste, but maybe also because it was quite conventional in approach. The feedback
like sound of 'Why Do You Say That?' may be piercing, along with the scraping of the two string
instruments, but it is not something you haven't heard before (well, providing you listen to music
that is reviewed in these pages). The treatments of the instruments are not too radical, and one
easily recognizes the guitar and cello, even when they are played with objects. I am not sure what
the role of Niet F-n is in all of these, but it seems to me he adds colouring to the instruments
through the use of sound effects (reverb, delay), plus perhaps all of this culminating in some
drone matter. It is all together a pretty decent affair of conventional instruments and electronics
improvising together, in which the three players have a lot of respect towards each other but also
avoid taking the risks, I think. It could have used a bit spice I think. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.creativesourcesrec.com/



JOÃO CASTRO PINTO - SUNTRIA - IMAGINAL SONOTOPES (CD by Unfathomless)

In the past I reviewed music from João Castro Pinto before (Vital Weekly 837 and 894, and noted
a certain degree of intellectual approach to what he does; complicated wording to tell us he deals
with field recordings and computer technology. That is perhaps not different here. "Suntria is a
piece that presents plausible soundscapes through the creative electroacoustic exploration and
concrescence of samples that even though, in many cases, belong to the same ontic family" and
"Suntria is the title of this composition because, and foremost, the conceptual purpose of the
album is not to mimic the sonic landscapes of Sintra’s physical actual locations but to creatively
interpret these spaces"; of course it is relevant to say that Suntria is a forest, national park, in
Portugal, once inhabited by the Celts, Visigoths, Moorish and Romans and it is a place "known as
locations of worship and devotion". Pinto taped sounds in this forest and some villages (church
bells), but the twelve pieces on the CD are not a mere registration of these sounds, but through
editing, equalization and perhaps some kind of mild processing (but maybe not). In the eleventh
piece (all parts are numbered and not titled) for instance it is not easy to believe there is no
computer processing going on; at the same time it might all have to do with placing of microphones
in unusual locations to pick up sounds from afar. It seems to me that Pinto likes to have this sort
of mystery here, in which these things are not entirely clear, or in his own words "Suntria’s subtitle
is imaginal sonotopes, and it is so because what is at stake in the piece is recreating combinations
from elements of the soundscape, i.e., of diverse geophonies, biophonies and anthropophonies.
According to soundscape ecology, a sonotope is, precisely, the spatial overlapping units or patterns
advenient from these contingent conglomerations, which in their turn result on the blending of
sonic elements", which sounds better than I'd could say. I don't mind there is some kind of illusion.
Some of the sounds might be layered together, and all together these forty-three minutes
consists of a rich different palette of sounds, which are cleverly stuck together by Pinto into a fine
collage of sounds; mostly quiet but Pinto cleverly built in some louder points, giving the material
bumps and these sudden changes are used to do a complete change of scenery. Excellent release,
this one. (FdW)
––– Address: http://unfathomless.net



MARC NAMBLARD - F. GUYANA (CD by Gruenrekorder)
KATHERINA KLEMENT - PHERIPHERIES - SOUND PORTRAIT BELGRADE (CD by Gruenrekorder)

With the weather being all sunny, and located in a very quiet neighbourhood, I sleep with windows
open and every morning birds awake me quite early. Being no ornithologist, I have no idea which
one, but one of these birds makes a very high-pitched noise, which is, come early morning, quite
irritating. How remarkable, I thought a few hours later, that I don't mind hearing such sounds when
they arrive on compact disc. Gruenrekorder is a German label with an extensive catalogue of works
that deal with field recordings (you know this of course from the many reviews already appeared
here) and here we have two new ones, dealing with places I have never been too. Which always
made me wonder if that is a 'problem' or not; can I fully relate to the work at hand, without ever visited
the place? Of course it is a bit of a theoretical question, since the review has to be written anyway.
    I started this little trip overseas (for me that is) and joined Marc Namblard on a journey
through France Guyana. Namblard, who calls himself a 'sound artist and naturalist' is from the
North of France and has a few releases to his name (see Vital Weekly 624, 737 and 914). Namblard
is entirely focussed on recording the sounds of the rain forest and animal life within that. In the
booklet that comes with this (and as usual, no expenses are spared with Gruenrekorder) Namblard
gives us information about the location where did his recordings and what kinds of animals we are
hearing. He certainly seems to know his stuff. What particularly struck me in the eleven pieces here
was the fact that many of the sounds we hear are very minimal and repetitive and also quite
musical. I am not sure how that Namblard does his editing, be it that each of these pieces is a
strict recording of a particular event with nothing else than just cut 'n paste, or if there is layering
of sounds, looping or such like. In a piece like 'Crique Popote, Rhinella Marina', we hear the beginning
of night with far away chirping of cicadas and close by the Cane toads (also known as Rhinella
marina) and the way the piece unfolds sounds very much like a song; one sound coming in on it's
own and later on repeated, altered a bit, and becoming a kind of chorus. As the CD progresses the
sounds get more and more minimal, but also they seem to be electronic; here I was thinking about
that bird that woke me up this morning. In 'Forest Drones' one could easily mistake the repeating
sound to be that of lo-fi cassette loop, and in 'Kaw Mountain, Post-explosive breeding' it sounds
like a synthesizer. It is not easy to think of all of this in terms of 'just' natural sounds, but so it
is. This is an excellent release of pure field recordings sounding like some great music.
    Katherina Klement is someone who we mostly know for her work within the field of improvised
and composed, mainly with her on the piano. But apparently she is also involved in the world of field
recordings and in 2014 she spend nine weeks in Belgrade, "focusing on the questions: 'what does
this city sound like? Is it possible to portray it using sounds?' and to that end she not only
recorded sounds from the city but also she interviewed people. As Belgrade is a (I didn't know this)
city of numerous peripheries, she drew concentric circles on her map as to design a score, and in
each piece she uses sounds from that specific circle. Each of the pieces is described here in the
booklet and unlike Namblard Klement layers various sound events together to make a musical
composition out of sounds from the city. She uses sounds from market squares, elevators, sounds
from the Tesla Museum, concrete mixers, animals in the zoo and even historical speeches by Tito,
the first president of Yugoslavia. Klement draws from a wider selection than Namblard does, but
also seems to be doing much more when it comes to editing and layering of sounds. Whereas
Namblard is mainly about the minimalist approach towards field recordings and create musical
piece with these sounds, Klement is more into telling a story with sounds. Maybe one not
necessarily gets the story of Belgrade (certainly if one has never been to the city before; it is
perhaps not easy to say where this city is, based on hearing these pieces and that includes the
Tito talk), but abstract as it is, it is also a fascinating piece (nine of them) of music. Klement is
not shy to bend and shape tones, pitch them up or down as she sees fit, as long as it is necessary
for the actual composition.
    Both of these new Gruenrekorder releases are excellent, but I preferred the one by Namblard
to the one by Klement, mainly for it's minimal approach that worked out quite musically. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/



ALAN JENKINS – DISASTER CAKE INTERROGATION BUNNY (CD by Cordelia Records)
 
I do count myself as one of Mr. Alan Jenkins’ many loyal supporters. Much like the 30+ backers who
funded his new album. Over the years, Vital Weekly has been reviewing Jenkins’ albums, as released
under many guises most prominently the Deep Freeze Mice, with gusto and regularity. And here is a
new one: Disaster Cake Interrogation Bunny. Interestingly enough, the front and back cover feature
chickens quite prominently (and a rat-selfie on the inside cover). While this album does not feature
any endless droning, reversed vocal takes of the last Maharaja of India or field recordings made in
on top of mount Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar, all of which I love incidentally, it fits Vital Weekly like a
glove. This is fiercely independent music, carefree and fun, oblivious of any musical gimmickry of
the day. Playing the album gave me a very welcome déjà vu, when Jenkins opens with a new version
of Emile Zola, which first appeared on the more than classic Mice-album My Geraniums Are
Bulletproof. This version updates the lyrics, but luckily retains that typical sluggish feeling of the
1979 version. Jenkins has always confessed to a deep love of surf music and Frank Zappa, and
even though that is probably selling this album short, it does give you some idea about the musical
content. That and the spoken word of 'Control Jones Something' and 'The First Word Of This Song
Is Cat'. Actually some of these songs are reminiscent of the Deep Freeze Mice – that typical voice,
the 60s sounding Vox Continental organ and the really great guitar soloing. Yes, these are pop
songs, but no sneering in the back please. To me 'Disaster Cake Interrogation Bunny' beats most,
if not all, Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa albums. The only thing that kind of irks me on this
album is the deliberately dumb-sounding voice of There’s Your Crypto-fascist Bullshit Dave, but
that is a small price to pay for an album’s worth of great tunes. I have been playing Disaster Cake
Interrogation Bunny for days now and I really love it. There is also a really nice T-shirt. Why not buy
both at Cordelia’s? (FK)
––– Address: http://www.cordeliarecords.co.uk



SIMON WHETHAM - INTOLERANCE (CD by Kohlhaas Records)

A lot of Whethem's music deals with field recordings, usually picked up in remote places on the
planet and transformed at home using computer technology. He's been around for some time,
and many of his releases have been reviewed in these pages (see for instance Vital Weekly 1019,
1000, 978, 940, 877, 875, 870, 791, 786, 778). This new work is one about the current state
of the world, and perhaps is a political work as such. He writes: "Tolerance can be used to describe
how things fit together. Another term is allowance. Situations do not always run smoothly
alongside others. People are not always able to accept new situations presented to them. With
this work, I have stated, “Many borders crossed, communities welcomed by, moments shared,
ideas exchanged. Everyone on the planet should have this basic human right.” I truly believe this
and have grown in every way through my own experiences, here combined in a way to reflect both
tolerance and intolerance" and that sounds were recorded all over the world, and maybe these
sounds were taped at borders? I am just guessing here but some of this? Why not? Like rusty
fences, with contact microphones dragged over rusty surfaces but also cut with very loud sounds
from electro-magnetic sources, of which I imagined these could be surveillance equipment, sonar
devices or other wise electronic devices to spy upon us. I might be wrong. The whole piece last
sixty-three minutes and Whetham made this cutting radically in a vast pool of sources, going left
right from loud to quiet and back again. In each of these small blocks, usually a couple of minutes,
he moves back and fort between the material, making small changes to do audible changes and
nothing remains static. Rattling, rumbling, buzzing and scratching, this is quite a fine work, bouncing
around in a very dynamic manner. I am not sure if Whetham wants to tell a story,
beyond his manifesto about tolerance, but maybe it's all one world, one sound and as such I'd
say this is a great work. There are more than a few surprise moves he makes here and it makes
that the listener will not be allowed to let attention slip. Quite a powerful statement. (FdW)
––– Address: http://kohlhaas.bandcamp.com



BLAKE'S OPTIMISM - THESE THINGS AND US (7" by Steelwork Maschine)
THE AUSTRASIAN GOAT / COBER ORD - Et Ils Franchirent Le Seuil  (CD + 7" by Steelwork Maschine)

As far as I can tell this is the first release by Blake's Optimism, which according to the promo text
consists of Frenchmen Adrien Tibi - also active in black metal projects Feigur, Asubha and Attralia -
and Alexandre Caelles of Red City Noise. However, on the sleeve of the 7" single Emil Brahe is
credited instead of Caelles, so I'm not entirely sure whether this is a solo project by Tibi aided by
occasional collaborators, or that the songs on this release were recorded before Caelles joined the
project. But perhaps this is not of much importance. There are four tracks of which two, Ballyhoo
and Knives as Apparatus, are generic guitar-based dark/neo-folk songs that seem clearly influenced
by bands like Death in June, Of the Wand and The Moon and Rome. If like me, you listened to those
bands a lot back in the day, this doesn't really bring anything new to the table, except possibly
some nostalgic or jarring deja-vu. Even the fact that the other two tracks are more experimental
in nature - martial industrial soundscapes that one may liken to the sample-laden intro ambiences
of Rose Rovine & Amanti and Luftwaffe, and the track Die Schwarzmarsch in particular to Arditi or
Turbund Sturmwerk - as a combination this is a commonplace in this line of work really. That said,
the tracks are well written and honour the neofolk and martial song writing tradition perfectly. And
with an ace production and fitting sleeve design there really isn't anything to complain about.
    But I do have to say it's weird to still have new stuff like this coming out in this day and age.
Having been involved in this specific scene for quite some time, I felt that all the raving about
apocalypticism and the whole crypto-fascist fad were an outlet for latent conservative sentiments
that couldn't possibly find their way into the mainstream PC-governed social debates. And then
perhaps to some extent it provided a form of escapism within a seemingly more homogeneous
and local cultural identity, or a subcultural surrogate for a sense of belonging in a Europe that
became increasingly tainted by divisive pluralism and the erosion internationalism. For all intents
and purposes neofolk and martial industrial, in the periphery and context of the PC society they
rebelled against, made a lot of sense back then. Nowadays when I hear someone call for "victory"
in this kind of music I really wonder what on earth they're on about. Where all those years ago
the apocalyptic rise of a new world order and the upcoming appreciation of some sort of fictitious
European identity seemed portents of a paradigmatic cultural and political shift, today a track like
Prepare, prepare !!!I has a coarse archaic right-wing ring to it that makes the embedded cry for
"victory" sound like an (fashionably) populist keyword that would have us echo in agreement. If
however, all of this is not intended to have any overt political bearing, but (still) finds itself
shrouded by the comfortable veil of "artistic expression", then "victory" from the mouth of a
contemporary neofolk act is tantamount to hearing a  pirate folk band singing about ships and
booty; it has been reduced to the jargon and themes that come with a certain genre. And this is
the remarkable truth for this specific kind of neofolk - and I say "this kind", as I realise that some
people consider stuff like Hexvessel to be neofolk as well - I even mentioned Of the Wand & the
Moon a minute ago - both of which obviously work with different lyrical themes altogether. You
might object that this loss of social context and gain of jarring anachronism is inevitable when a
movement turns into a genre.. and you're probably right. Anyway, all of this is not necessarily
criticism directed towards this particular band, but rather some thoughts about this kind of
music and its cultural implications today. Long story short: Blake's Optimism is a band that
skilfully follows in the footsteps of its heroes and I will definitely appeal to a lot of neofolk and
martial industrial fans out there.
    The Austrasian Goat seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth for a while, then
again, Julien Louvet is a man of many guises and has continuously been churning out new stuff
with other projects. Still, I have to say it's good to see the Goat is out an about again, for I have
thoroughly enjoyed his previous works. The other part in this collaboration, the amazing Cober
Ord, consists of Yan Alexis (Stille Volk, Ihan) and Yann Hagimont (Habsyll, <<O>>, Ecce Homo),
both very prolific in their own right. This album was recorded on several locations, amongst which
an ancient cavern known to be used for ritual practices in prehistoric times and these places has
left a certain imprint on the music. Basically what we have here is contemporary atmospheric ritual
music that ranges from rhythmic passages (Flambeau d'ombres), to folk dirges, to dark ambient
dronery and fierce vocal atmospheres. The trendy influence of black metal that is mentioned in the
writing that came with the beautifully designed packaging, as a rule, forebodes an excessive
amount of distortion on the whole thing (e.g. Wraiths, early Burial Hex, Ascend), but fortunately
the three lads have chosen to present their work in a different, more natural way. By no means this
entails that the album is not intense - on the contrary, I'd say it's even more overwhelming because
of the wide range of dynamics and the saturated climatic build-ups. The ‘black metal’ that we do
find in on the album is the abrasive vocal use, that ranges from regular Darkthrone-esque, to that
bone-chilling howl of early Burzum. The extended vocal techniques don't stop there however; it's
clear that the expertise of these guys extends beyond genre-specific definitions. I would like to
praise the choice of percussive timbres as well and the overall production on them; really fresh
and tantalising and so is the blending of electronic and acoustic sources into an organic whole.
In particular, the b-side of the 7" had a harmonic feedback sequence that really held me
mesmerised. The album as a whole is a series of evocative ritual events that is haunted by the
sheer sensation of not knowing what is going on where exactly, but everything being eerily real
and localised in some way or another. There is a proper balance between the aforementioned
rhythmic tracks and the seemingly improvised drones and ambiences and if there's any
programming or sequencing going on on this album, it is not obvious to my ears.
    In all honesty, this is easily is one of the most interesting things that I've heard this year,
with regard to musical ideas, sound palette and production. It comes as a regular CD + 7",
housed in a heavy gatefold 7" sleeve. Steelwork Maschine really went out of their way on this
one and can only say I love every aspect of it. Highly recommended. (PJN)
––– Address: http://www.steelwork.fr/



THE LAST SENSE TO LEAVE US: A TRIBUTE TO PAULINE OLIVEROS (CDR by Rural Colours)

If I am totally honest, and of course I should be, I wasn't the biggest fan of Pauline Oliveros and
her deep listening music. Maybe somehow I never got fully into it. Some of the earlier pieces she
did I enjoyed to some extent but her improvised music seemed to be dealing with a lot of reverb
to suggest all sorts of space and ambience, and that wasn't for me. I acknowledge easily that she
had a great impact on a lot of musicians, and thought much about we hear and perceive music.
The twelve artists on this compilation pay homage to Oliveros taking in account for electronic
music, voice work and improvisation and this is done by a whole bunch of musicians I never heard
of; only Isnaj Dui was a name I recognized. There is some excellent quality here, and eleven of the
twelve pieces are around four to six minutes, whereas Michael Tanner closes with a fifteen-minute
piece for hurdy gurdy and bowed dulcimer. The overall mood is tranquil and invites the listener for
some private introspection, or better, some profound deep listening. Anne Garner for instance has
a drone like pattern as a backdrop for a few sparse piano tones on top, creating a very mournful
tune. Drone like experiments are in favour here, with some not Oliveros like, such as the somewhat
jumpy synthesizers sounds of The Hardy Tree (though a fine piece; one that is a change), but
more often it does (Isnaj Dui, James Stringer), and vocals are used to create more drones (Alison
Cotton, Anne Garner and Neotropic for instance) or a seventies prog rock space flute (Oliver Cherer
and Keiron Phelan, and luckily not much else). Some others are inspired by the whole early synth
experiments such as Brona McVitte and Thollem Electric, perhaps perfectly blending in with the
current hip modular synth posse. Anybody using a real instrument, such as Tanner of The New
Honey Shade with '7 Accordions' take their inspiration from the improvised work Oliveros did in
more recent years, with her Deep Listening Band. It is throughout a highly varied compilation with
everybody paying respect to what is important to him or her from the vast body of work that
Oliveros did in her life. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.ruralcolours.co.uk



JLIAT - THE SWAN DEVICE - BLACK SWANS (CDR and book by Jliat)

The works carried by Jliat sometimes puzzle me enormously. This one comes with a booklet, 98
pages, of computer language, musical scores and on the CD there is (warning long quote ahead)
"a 60 minute CD of the piece. Audio CD of part of work – '14i05i2017h18j05j54-
ex' ('14i05i2017h18j05j54-ex' is as recording made from the midi output of the program listed
here. This CD is the first 63 minutes unedited of a 'simulated performance' from a computer run
on 14/05/2017 of six hours. The structure of the composition is completely artificial. The
process is stochastic within pre-given limits (deterministic chaos). No human control of the
system is given once this process begins. The end time of six hours equates to approximately
the maximum size of a .WAV file. A smaller part of this is also given from the output of a midi
note to score software", so you have a pretty good (as good as mine or better or worse) of what
it is. It all has to do with some device/sculpture/object, dubbed The Swan Device, but what that
is, I am not too sure about. The music is all piano banging through midi notes, chaotic and random
it seems, but occasionally with some silence in there. As with whatever Jliat does, maybe save for
his drone music (which is actually great to play as a piece of music), much of his other work is
pretty radical to say the least. There is the harsh noise music that he does, but also a work like
this is not easy to play all the way through. As always one is forced to think, to consider and
reconsider the notions one has about music, composition, random process and sound in general
and as such it's always good to sit with something like this for an hour, hear random modern
stabs of modern classical music, flip through pages of crazy musical notation and reflect. Then
it's time to turn one's attention to something, return to the world of beautiful things. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.jliat.com



LÄRMSCHUTZ - REQUIEMS  (cassette by OJC Recordings)

By now Dutch anarcho-punk-free jazz group Lärmschutz is a force to reckon with, via a steady
stream of releases. There is a core of players, Stef Brans on guitar and Rutger van Driel on
trombone, and sometimes they have guest players. Together with Spelonk they investigated
opera before, in 'Le Noise Di Figaro' (see Vital Weekly 1026), now it's time to look at 'Requiem',
the mass for the death, popular by old composers, such Mozart, Dvorak, Faure, Brahms, Verdi,
Haydn and other fine catholic composers. I am not sure if Lärmschutz wants to poke fun at this,
but they write: "The classic requiems tend to hold bitter irony: dead man's marches, written by
dead composers, formed by dead notes on paper that have not changed for decades. So
Lärmschutz intervenes! Brass and string noise teams up with bass vocal chords, making this
requiem tribute. Or mockery. You decide." One Sietse Ringers sings his favourite passages
from various Requiems, but sadly I am not proficient enough to recognize from which composers
(I would recognize 'Lacrimosa' and 'Confutadis Maledictus' from Mozart, having seen 'Amadeus'!).
This is one strange release, I'd say, one mighty strange release. The music is very much like what
one expects from Lärmschutz, rocking free improvised music, and as the release continues it
becomes wilder, but it is the singing here that is actually sounds… normal? Conventional? Ringers
sings/speaks the all the texts as supposed to be on top of these improvised tones, and it makes
a most curious marriage of two seemingly opposite things. I must admit I like a bit of adventure,
certainly because there is a bit more to write about adventures, but then, do I like this? I must say
that is a hard nut to crack here. It reminded me of my youth when my father played classical music,
but then in an entirely new musical context. I like the effort, but doubt if I would easily stick it on
again easily in the future. (FdW)
––– Address: https://ojcrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/requiems



CHEMIEFASERWERK - KOPFBILD DEFAULT (cassette by Soft Error)

There already have been a few works by Chemiefaserwerk, mostly on cassette, which I think is a
format that suits what he does quite well (see Vital Weekly 1072, 1041, 1030, 992 and 953).
It is the work of Christian Schniefer from Marseille and he uses 'tapes, field recordings, synths and
electronics' and creates lo-fi sound collages with these. Maybe the word 'lo-fi' means for some
that it is crude in recording and execution, but that is not the case here with the six pieces on
this release. He is very careful in approaching the sounds he uses and how he combines these into
a composition. I would very much believe much of this uses a 'live' or 'semi-live' approach, playing
all at once and hit 'record' button when he thinks it all works together. The six pieces here are all
highly delicate affairs of small synthesizer melodies shimmering about, sustaining organ like tones,
scratchy records of spoken word speeding up and down (in the appropriately titled 'Speech
Lessons'), along with the crackling of field recordings, in 'Refrained Knistern'. The most complex
piece, in which the most things happen, is 'Certified' on the second side, and there is quite a bit
of sound effects sparking about. The overall quality of the works by Chemiefaserwerk is going up
all the time and this 'Kopfbild Default' is the best so far. This is a highly delicate piece of work of
some excellent experimental music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.softerror.co.uk





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