number 1094
week 34


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SICK BOSS – SICK BOSS (CD by Drip Audio)
KEITH BERRY - SIMULACRA (2CD by Infraction) *
THINGS TO SOUNDS – 3 (CD by Wide Ear Records)
SEWER ELECTION - MALIGN (LP by Ideal Recordings)
JH1.FS3 - LOYALTY (LP by ideal Recordings)
FORM (CDR by Aubjects) *
MODELBAU – Radiance (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - FIGHT SCORE (3”CDR by Machinefabriek) *
TIBETAN RED - CALLIGRAPHY (CDR by Antahkarana Records) *
EXO_C - LABOYATTA (CDR by Kvitnu) *
  (CDR by Aloardi) *
MARDOLOR - CIEGATE PARA SIEMPRE (cassette by Craneal Fracture Records)
MR MONDOGREEN (cassette by Barreuh Records) *


Japanese composer Kazuya Ishigami came back out of some kind of hibernation, started doing music
again, opened his label again and now expands by releasing music from others in what he calls 'neo
electroacoustic ambient series'; "from the works of the artists, there are a free attitude to the sound
which is not caught by the tradition of the past, consciousness to the continuity of the history, sticking
to contemporary delicate and precise timbre, exciting. It is possible to listen to many common points
such as experimentality", as it is somewhat cryptically worded by the label. All three artists are new
names for me.
    I started with 'A Circuit Not Turning' by Kayu Nakada, born in 1980 in Tokyo. He graduated from
Senzoku Gakuen College of Music with a degree in composition. He now lives in Osaka where is a
member of the art space Figya. He plays his music "by a method to let a synthesizer and the circuit
board of the rhythm box short circuit in real time, perceiving circuit bending as being on the line that
extends to the prepared and string piano", more cryptics I guess, but no doubt there is some circuit
bending taking place based upon listening. None of the eight tracks is very easy listening. Three are
twenty seconds or less, the others are much longer and here we find some deep bass thump, very
irregular, the scratching of electro magnetic fields, and all sorts of static interference. This is more
improvised than composed I would think, even when the titles indicate that there is overlaying of
various tracks; the first piece is called 'no. 21' and the seventh is 'no. 21 no. 12 no. 13 no. 16 no. 17',
so maybe culled from various recordings together. I am not sure there. The whole release lasts fifty-
five minutes and that is a bit long I thought. Nakada gets his point across way before that. One can
connect electric circuits together to cause interference and feedback and that is quite noisy indeed.
Nakada uses a collage like approach, in real time I would think, and that is quite nice, but also at
times nerve wrecking.
    Ueda Hideo is the man behind Elma. His first release was 'Strange Rubber Beauty', a CDR in 2001
and since then he has released many more, which perhaps escaped my attention. According to Kyou
Records he uses 'PC, analog synthesizer, metal junk, adding elements of drones and musique concrete'
and that results in one piece of almost nine minutes, two of sixteen and one twenty-three minutes, in
which drones play a major role. How these drones are made I am not entirely sure of but I would
think Elma is interested in drone music that is rough and uneven, and not really smoothened out.
They can be derived from the simplest of keyboards and an endless line of sound effects (delay and
reverb), or perhaps the stretching of sounds with a computer means. On top of that Elma waves his
metal junk via a sparse bang on a can, the addition interplay of a synthesizer and both of these with
some effects. There isn't a single moment of silence to be found on this release and the drones of Elma
are far from relaxing. Au contraire, I would think, they are post nuclear horrorscapes, soundtracks to
documentaries of aliens attacking earth or the melting of Polar Regions. It is the pleasant music of the
unsettling; just as I like these sorts of things. Noisy ambient music but not too noisy, lo-fi atmospherics
and all that, but perhaps, in all honesty, I should also say that this is not something you haven't heard
before and Elma is not the most original voice in this kind of music, but he does a very decent job.
    And finally there is Miyamoto Takashi's 'Polarization'; following noise and drone with the two
previous releases by Kyou Records, it is now time for rhythm. Not in a conventional sense of the
word, most of the times that is, but Takashi is certainly heavily inspired by the classic Pan Sonic
sound in various of the fifteen pieces. His background shows him playing in a jazz-rock group Time
Strings Travelers, but also working with Otomo Yoshihide and in a group called 3 Mirros with label
boss Ishigami, so a pretty varied career so far. The minimalist rhythmic stomping ground with
electrical current sparking off as melodies is something strikingly different from the other releases.
That is one side of the story. But where Pan Sonic without rhythm usually resulted in menacing
drones (also in Mika Vainio's solo work) opts Takashi for something a bit mellower, as to make an
even sharper contrast. In some of his processing Takashi reminded me of a rough edged Asmus
Tietchens at times, but sometimes he picks up a guitar and plays a bit on that. There can be heavily
textured material, as well as noise, musique concrete or the leanings towards techno music. The level
of variety is pretty high here, and perhaps it is a bit too high. Any song that I will choose for the
podcast will very likely not give the right clue as to what this is about. If you like a radio station
spinning all sorts of weird music than you might dig Takashi's music for sure.
    All three releases come with liner notes in Japanese and no translation, which I thought was a
missed opportunity. (FdW)
––– Address:


The one time before the name of Hannu Karjalainen came up in Vital Weekly was when he had a track
on a compilation (see Vital Weekly 858), but it seems he had his first solo release in 2007, ‘Worms In
My Piano’ on Osaka Records and then in 2009 ‘Hintergarten’ on Kesh Recordings. ‘A Handful Of Dust
Is A Desert’ is his third album and I am not sure why it took so long to release a third album, but in
the mean time he did remixes for Hauschka, Deaf Center and Loscil among others. For me this new
album is the first proper introduction and I must say I enjoy I what I hear and at the same time draw
the conclusion that the ambient music of Karjalainen is hardly something that you haven’t heard
before. For instance Loscil, to stay close at home, I guess. This is the ambient music variation, which
draws heavily from the world of modern classical music. A bit of piano here, quite some reverb over
there, a bit of synthesizer, a dash of rhythm (in ‘A Year In A Day’), slow, solemn and yet a groovy, with
a nice bit of guitar playing, though not in all pieces. Music aiming to please the listener and that it
most certainly does. Delicate, careful; this is music for early evenings, when the twilight hour arrives,
and you drink a bit of fine wine and eat a bit of nice cheese and you contemplate the busy day you had.
You relax and your mind starts drifting of. Like I said, I liked what I hear. Is what Karjalainen does
very original, or very innovative in the world of ambient music? Hardly. Is that important? Hardly
either, I would think. (FdW)
––– Address:


‘Silfr’ is an intriguing collaboration of Vilde Sandve Alnćs (violin) and Inga Margrethe Aas (bass). A
truly beautiful work of improvised music. The duo started in 2010, as classically trained musicians at
The Norwegian Academy of Music. They debuted with ‘Makrofauna’ on ECM in 2014. Alas I don’t know
this album that was mixed by Guiseppe Ielasi, but I guess they go several steps further here, as this
one doesn’t sound close to the ECM-aesthetics as far as I know. In 2016 they won The Lindeman prize
for Young Musicians, a significant prize in Norway. Both are technically very skilled musicians, not
loosing themselves in technical escapades. They use extended techniques, but don’t go to the extreme.
This is very warm-blooded and organic music, showing inspired interplay. Although it is abstract
improvised music, it seems rooted somehow in traditional Scandinavian folk music, because of the
melodic elements that sometimes appear. They play most of all with sound, colour and timbre in their
expressive improvisations, and succeed in creating music that is very rich, evocative and has depth.
And each track for its own reasons, as each tracks starts from a specific musical idea. Sometimes this
implies that both players seem to follow their own path. But one soon discovers their musical
conversations are very solid and together. An exceptional and very fascinating work! (DM)
––– Address:


Guitarist Ivann Cruz you may know from the interesting Lille-based Circum-Disc collective. Cruz is
an active member of this scene and is involved in many of their projects, like La Pieuvre, Feldspath,
Trio Ternoy/Cruz/Orins, a.o. Cruz is a classically educated guitarist specialized in jazz and improvised
music. ‘Lignes de Flute’ is his first solo effort and shows Cruz is a researcher. The release contains five
recordings spanning a period of 2009 to 2016. Recorded on different locations (Lille, Valenciennes
and Brussels). Except for two tracks Cruz composes everything. Two tracks he composed together
with his mate Peter Orins, who also plays drums in these tracks. Two others have the participation
of Olivier Lautem and Loďc Reboursičre doing live electronic programming, plus about 8 people
lending their voice. These pre-recorded voices are live manipulated, transformed, by Cruz with the
help of a guitar device. Experimental soundscapes that didn’t really convince me. At the centre of this
album is a short instrumental for acoustic guitar. It is the most conventional piece of the album. The
pieces that do it, are the tracks he recorded with Orins. ‘Etat d’Urgence’ is a dark and noisy treat,
whereas ‘Attente Précaire’ is somewhat the opposite of it. Subtle gestures and small sounds by Orins
combined with long extended drones by Cruz make an intimate closing chapter of this varied album.
––– Address:

SICK BOSS – SICK BOSS (CD by Drip Audio)

Two new releases of a comparable nature by the Vancouver-based Dripaudio label run by Jesse Zubot.
Sick Boss is Cole Schmidt (guitar, fx), James Meger (bass, fx), Dan Gaucher (drums, fx), Peggy Lee
(cello), JP Carter trumpet, fx), Tyson Naylor (synthesizer, organ, piano, accordion, fx) and Jeremy Page
(clarinet). Besides five guest musicians assist on some of the tracks. Original recordings for this debut
album by Vancouver-based Sick Boss date from two years ago. What followed was a process of
overdubbing, editing and mixing. They are into melodious art rock, with influences from jazz and folk. 
It is professionally constructed music along classical procedures. No real surprises, but a solid work.
Great many instruments are used, which gives the music a rich and colourful spectrum. Where the
music becomes a bit experimental and strange, this is due to the treatments they did afterwards.
Like in ‘Bug Ya! (pt.1)’,  where the music  seems to disappear in a noisy wall of sound. In ‘Bug Ya!
(pt.2) I heard far echoes from the artrock of Andre Duchesne. But to say they really freak out is
overdone. Most of it is well-crafted instrumental songs in rock format. A few of them have vocals.
On the solo album by Ron Samworth (guitar, effects), most of the musicians involved in Sick Boss,
appear again: JP Carter (trumpet, effects), Tyson Naylor (piano, keyboards, accordion), Peggy Lee
(cello), James Meger  (bass, effects), plus Barbara Adler  (narration). Again supplemented by several
guest musicians Wayne Horvitz, a.o.). But this is only one similarity. Composer and guitarist Samworth
was inspired by the dream life of dogs and wrote music and texts. A scientific fact that leaves enough
room for imagination, as we will never know what dogs dream about, and how they are present for
the dogs mind. The  suite was premiered at the Vancouver International Improvisation Festival in
March of 2015. Musically Samworth takes inspiration from rock, jazz, folk, etc.  He composed a
coherent work, consisting of fine arrangements and harmonies, nice melodies and moments of
improvisation. And also from this perspective comparable with the work of Sick Boss. Again an
accessible and colourful piece of music, not very demanding but worthwhile. (DM)
––– Address:


Ava is a trio of Giuseppe Doronzo (baritone sax), Esat Ekincioglu (double bass) and Pouriya Jaberi
(daf, jivar), a very international line up as he musicians come respectively from Italy, Turkey and
Iran. Based in Amsterdam, they started in 2015 touring Holland and Italy what made them a tight
unit. Six compositions are by Doronzo, and two by Ekincioglu. They are inspired by music of the
Mediterranean and jazz. I’m always a bit suspicious of this kind of fusions.  As often it results in
virtuose music that remains on the surface. Okay, to my ears of course. With Ava this is different.
They succeed in creating a well-balanced music with a more thorough integration of elements of
improvisation, jazz and music from the Middle East. Some of the patterns and riffs are a bit too
obvious, to stereotype. But in the end this is interesting and satisfying effort, that convinced me
most of all by their delicate and concentrated performance. Doronzo, often playing in the lower
registers, plays very soulful, even lyrical at moments. Jaberi is a great player of tambourine-like
instruments. Really surprising are the moments where they integrate also baroque (!) into their
music, like halfway in ‘Allest Allest’, and in the final track ‘Mediterranean People’.
Also Native Aliens Ensemble are an Amsterdam-based group, also with a very international line up:
Yedo Gibson (soprano sax), Laura Polence (voice), George Dumitriu (guitar, viola), Miguel Petruccelli
(guitar, bass guitar), JanWillem van der Ham (bassoon, alto sax), Gábor Hartyáni (cello), Onno
Govaert (drums) and Renato Ferreira (tenor and baritone sax). Ferreira is the initiator of this
ensemble and composed all the tracks. He comes from Sao Paulo and was a member of the ensemble
of Ricardo Zohyo, a long-term collaborator of Hermeto Pascoal. In 2007 he settled in Holland and
studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague to study contemporary composition. At the moment
he is active force within the Amsterdam-scene, participating in several projects like Trolleybus.
Native Aliens Ensemble is his own project. It is about combining Brazilian folk music with
improvisation. A pleasure to listen to, first because of the enthusiastic and dynamic performance.
Some great players are at work here. The opening track starts as a knot to the early work of Univers
Zero, intentionally or not. Also at other moments, this music sounds very European, at others the
Brazilian roots and rhythms are evident like in the song ‘Olma Quem veio de Lá’. ‘Druktemaker’ is a
dazzling free improvisation of drummer Govaert and guitarist Petruccelli. This ensemble has a lot
to offer. There is of power and potency in their rich and fresh music. Hope to catch them live,
somewhere, very soon! (DM)
––– Address:


Among the many drone artists there is a lot who create many works, one by one in high speed, Keith
Berry is however someone who releases his work sparsely. Since his debut in 2003 there have been,
more or less, eight official albums of his work. Only quite recently I reviewed ‘Elixir’ (see Vital Weekly
1073) and it is now followed by ’Simulacra’, a double CD of recent works and here he lists his
synthesizer and sound tools on the cover. I must admit I don’t really have an idea what all of this are,
just synthesizers and effects, I assume. There are some differences between both CDs in this package
I think. Disc one has twelve pieces, spanning seventy-three minutes while the three pieces on the
second disc last seven minutes longer. Looking at the three titles on the second disc, ’Simactia’,
‘Imaculara’ and ‘Muaulra’, I would believe these pieces are in some way connected or maybe even
extensions of the same material, even when they sound different, with the first being lighter in tone
than the second. It’s here where Berry sounds like the Berry we know from his earlier works; long,
sustaining synthesized drones sounds, with maybe some kind of field recording, heavily processed
feeding through the same synthesizers and effects and occasionally creating some kind of glitch.
Those glitches, sounding sometimes like the blank groove of an ancient 78 rpm, are also part of the
pieces on the first disc, which have, obviously, a much shorter time span, even when the opening
piece, ‘Perma Bay’ is close to twelve minutes. In these pieces Berry does something that is less
abstract and that may be labelled as musical, with shimmering melodies on a piano, or a slow
arpeggio on a synth, such as in ‘Mont Lux’.  Some of this reminded me of cosmic music from the
seventies (in ‘Cape Dusona’ for instance) and of course Brian Eno’s original take on ambient music.
It seems to me some departure from his previous work (like the one on disc two) and I must say that
this is a varied bunch of music and I enjoy this change of scenery quite a bit. I hope Berry will
continue to in this new style for some time to come. (FdW)
––– Address:


Fuzz Lee from Singapore calls himself Elintseeker, and it seemed a name I heard before, but I cannot
find evidence to substantiate that. Maybe I saw it online somewhere. Lee calls his work ‘composition,
textural sound design, silence, improvised movements of guitar, sound processing, light glitch
electronics, found sound and field recordings’. Since 2011 he released a bunch of albums and ‘Gerwelk
Modes’ is what he calls an ‘accident album’. Much of this is a documentation of improvising on the
guitar, for hours on end, with a loop pedal and adding recordings of friends along with the proceedings.
Here we find Stelios Romaliadis on flute (in a very hippish ‘Sara’s Island’), Andy Chia (dizi), Ferri
(vocals, piano), Mark Kuykendall (synth), Jason Shanley (guitars) and others. Fuzz Lee himself gets
credit for electric and acoustic guitars, 12 string lyre, synth, programming, processing, field recordings,
samples, electronics, effects & vocals. Atmospheric is the easy way to describe the music of Elintseeker
and there is a bit of variation to be noted in this bunch. Guitar plays a major role in most of these pieces,
and perhaps it’s the use of guest contributions responsible for the variation in this. Here we have the
soft sung vocals of Ferri and others (reminding me, along with the ambient guitars, of Durutti Column),
flutes or rhythm programming to make the difference in these pieces. The mood is dark yet never too
dark, too closed off or dramatic; Elintseeker plays throughout some very pleasant music and with the
added variation brought in by his guests it all becomes very entertaining. I am not sure if the release
would have made a similar impact had it been just Elintseeker and his guitar playing; I somehow
doubt that and it be bit more average guitar doodles. (FdW)
––– Address:

THINGS TO SOUNDS – 3 (CD by Wide Ear Records)

Here we have two new releases by two Swiss trios. Things to Sounds is a trio of Tobias Meier (alto sax),
Yves Theiler (piano, synth) and David Meier (drums) who are operating since 2010. Their new and
third work is a 42-minute live set recorded in May, 2016 on the Austrian Limmitationes Festival.
Truly an engaging ride with fine interplay and communication. Throughout they succeed in keeping
it a dynamic and concentrated excursion, where the players propose constantly new movements,
gestures and interventions. It results in one long journey where one part follows naturally after one
other. In improvisations of this length, containing so many ideas, I can experience it as one
continuous whole during the trip.
As is often the case the first part is building towards some climax, followed a more quiet intersection
that gradually turns again into a dynamic conversation. Asking what the start has to do with the finish,
except that they are connected through a chain of decisions, I can’t tell you much. The uniting principle
is the lively and rich interaction between the players. One of them, David Meier is also part of another
trio line up, together with Alfred Zimmerlin(cello) and Flo Stoffner (guitar). They recorded their first
one on during two days work at Zoo Studio, Bern in October last year. Zimmerlin is first of all a
composer of an extensive body of work (chamber music, live electronics, vocal and orchestral music,
etc.). Besides he is part of Karl ein Karl since 1983 and an improvising musician. The main role on
this one is for Stoffner and his electric guitar, although we are speaking of collective improvisation.
They selected seven improvisations for the CD, ranging between 1 and 10 minutes. Also the abstract
improvisations of this trio show a real interaction and communication. This is always half of the fun
for the listener. Besides all players have a lot of technique and vocabulary at their disposal, and a
story to tell. Not all of their stories however fascinate from start to finish. But there are enough
concentrated and powerful moments to make also this one worthwhile. (DM)
––– Address:

SEWER ELECTION - MALIGN (LP by Ideal Recordings)
JH1.FS3 - LOYALTY (LP by ideal Recordings)

It was not difficult where to start with this trio of new records by Swedish Ideal Recordings; I have
been enjoying works by Sewer Electronics for the past few years quite a bit, and I very much enjoyed
the work of Dan Johansson so far. It most definitely is firmly rooted in the world of noise music, but
all of this noise is captured on a bulk of old audio cassettes, which weren't erased before being re-
used, and using one of those mixers you father (or grandfather) used in the seventies at a disco party
(just faders, no tone control), and everything is recorded onto another old cassette. This is all of course
something that I made up while listening to the music of Sewer Election, who goes more and more into
the land of delicate sound collages. Occasionally there is something that reminds the listener of 'noise',
which a cluster of tones held down on an organ, but it can also as easily be some found some worn out
record of ethnographic expedition, grandma singing on tapes found in a thrift store or sounds recorded
while cleaning out the basement; one simple has no clue, or one has too many associations. More so
than before Sewer Election found the right balance between the quiet and introspective and the loud
and abrasive. 'Malign' might be his best record so far; that is, if you are willing to accept that musicians
sometimes that can actually change their sound every now and then.
    Before turning my attention to somebody I also know, Henrik Rylander, I decided to go into the
deep with the record by JH1.FS3, which is a duo of Frederikke Hoffmeier and Jesse Sanes, who
recorded their album in Stockholm at the EMS studios, as well as in Bornhol, Copenhagen and Los
Angeles. There is no mentioning of instruments on the cover and on a small picture on the insert we
see a Korg MS20, and on another photo a studio or modular synth piece, so who knows all of this has
been used. Information on all of their releases is usually a sparse thing in the world of Ideal
Recordings. I am not sure what to make of this music. It sounds like music I heard on cassette releases
in the mid 80s, but from bands I didn't like, and over time I forgot most of them. Things like Psyclones
and Schlafengarten probably, but keep in mind: if I recall well. Music rooted in the world of industrial
music, but at the same time struggling with the format of a 'song'. A rhythm, some loops, a wash on a
synth, and some mysterious mumbling voices. Those are also the ingredients of JH1.FS3 and I am not
sure what they are aiming at. Perhaps some alternative form of 'pop' music perhaps, whatever you
wish to define as pop music? This particular brand is dark and atmospheric, but clearly build as
'songs', rather than 'pieces'. I have no idea what these are about, even when lyrics are enclosed. In
another life I would have said 'this is rather gothic', but I learned it's not wise to categorize things
that easily. While I thought all of this sounded well produced, it just failed to grab me and these
angst pop leanings left me cold. I guess their pain is not my pain.
    While listening to Henrik Rylander's latest solo work I re-read some of the previous reviews I did
of his work and in the early days it was all about rhythm and noise, but these days it seems to be more
about noise. Maybe as a result of being a member of The Skull Defekts or Saturn And The Sun, the
drone noise groups he's a member of inspired him to allow more that in his solo work too. According to
the cover this is was all made with no-input mixers and effects, which is something that leads to heavy
feedback music and as such this is something that one needs to play loud and do nothing else; let
yourself be fully immersed in the distorted sounds of Rylander. It is not the kind of noise that you
know from say Merzbow, chaotic bouncing all around, but continuous patterns of drone like electricity.
Think Arcane Device on a noisier day perhaps, even when Rylander also knows how to pull back and
let something quiet linger for a while. Rhythm is not part of this, even when the no-input mixer
approach is very much possible for that, but it seems not be of interest for Rylander anymore. This is
some powerful music and certainly not for the weak of heart. It is noise indeed, but it is noise with
some consideration and composition. (FdW)
––– Address:


There is no information on Bin's website regarding this 12" or the musician, but according to Discogs
Hector Rottweiler's real name is Jonas Olesen, who is the man behind this label. Four pieces of a sort
of techno music here, some twenty-five minutes in total. I say 'a sort of techno' as I am not entirely
sure if it Rottweiler's intention to play such music. There is surely rhythm in each of these pieces, but
these rhythms are not necessarily a boom-boom, four to floor rhythm. 'Sub-December' is even without
any of that and just some looped synthesizer sounds coupled together. More than producing dance
music, it seems to me that Rottweiler explores the ins and outs of modular synthesizers, but has
chosen to do so in the context of rhythm based music. With some good will one could say this is all
inspired by Pan Sonic and Raster Noton, with the exception of the title piece, which is the most
'techno' of the lot, and it's context that makes you believe this is all about dance music (the format
for one of course, the four pieces, the arty cover), but perhaps it is all more a demonstration of
modular electronics. A short and effective record.
    The covers are 'individually plotted' says the label, whichever that means, and the record is
limited to 150 copies. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far the releases by Katja Institute came as a CDR with no cover, no print and virtually no
information, and so to have four in a DVD case but with some cover, including twenty-four titles
(six pieces per disc) is quite a step up I think. It says 'Ka Pahana 7' on the cover but upon looking
at their Bandcamp page the title might also be 'Operation Northwoods'. They are listed as
'Memorandum 1', 'Memorandum 2' etc. and as tags we find ‘Alex Jones, Eddie Bravo, Electronic,
Reflected Sound and California’, which may or may not be an indication towards band members
and approach to sound. Like before the band operates within the genre of drone music with each
track flowing neatly into the next. I still have no clue as to how this music is made but surely with
an extensive amount of computer processing and/or sound effects cobbled together to cause some
internal feedback, which is then stuck into the endless loop of delay pedals. Sometimes there is some
sort of digital distortion, resulting in some clicks. The fourth disc opens with 'percussion' bits through
a wall of reverb, but over the course of the other pieces on this disc the sound slowly dies out and a
machine hum stays behind. The machine hum that has been part of the four discs all around. The
music of Katja Institute is drone and dark, atmospheric and minimal. Sometimes, perhaps, a bit too
minimal for my taste, I'd say. It seems as if the sound gets stuck in the machine and we don't know
when it is going to be released. Four hours of music is quite a sit through as you can imagine, but I
found it best to enjoy this at a somewhat lower volume and engaged myself in different activities,
which included falling asleep for a short while. That I guess all belongs the nature of true ambient
music and as such Katja Institute succeeds wonderfully well. Just below the surface, upon closer
inspection, there are perhaps a few things that could be improved. (FdW)
––– Address:

FORM (CDR by Aubjects)

The four times the name Robert Newell popped up in Vital Weekly so far was all in connection with
his membership of Amalgamated; he’s also part of Bob Hallucination and Headless Ballerinas
Underwater, but now, as Form, he presents his first solo release. There are no instruments mentioned
on the cover, but it is fairly safe to say everything was done in the electronic domain; less easy to say if
this is all analogue or digital.  The opening piece ‘Fr0353’ seems to be a pure synth piece in the best
cosmic tradition and there is a bunch of these, such as ‘M3ad0’, and one could think these were made
with some kind of modular set-up, but other pieces seem to have a more digital edge to them, with
granular synthesis and time stretching; the sampler, either as a machine or a piece of software
(Ableton Live for instance) plays a big role in almost all of these pieces I would think. From vaguely
Arabic instruments in ‘Gran35’ to field recordings (perhaps) in ‘F0lt3r’ or in the various pieces that
have some kind of rhythm, ’00m0my’ and ‘Am3nhot3p’; Form delivered a varied dish of sounds,
musical ideas and some of them are perhaps a bit sketch like, but with fourteen spanning one hour
of music the variety on offer is actually quite nice. Sometimes it leans towards the world of techno
music, albeit of a more experimental kind, and in other instances it’s more microsound, glitch and
such like. Newell’s music is a bit different from Amalgamated, and yet it is not difficult to see the link
between Amalgamated and Form. Pleasant constructions of electronic music, for listening pleasure
without shying away from the experiment. (FdW)
––– Address:

MODELBAU – Radiance (CDR by Glistening Examples)

Clink. The sound of a button being pressed. Maybe a bit earlier, a tape deck closing? In any case: the
machine is switched to position ON – all recordings done “on a single, particular fruitful evening in
March 2017, preparing material for a forthcoming tour in the Baltics”.
    As Radiance moves along static post-industrial machine noise gives way to the slow motion
pulsating drone Frans de Waard's Modelbau project is known for – a will be known for with quite
some releases to come, as we're with the R now and the alphabet still has a little way to go before
we reach the Z. Yes, all Modelbau releases follow the conceptual path of titles moving along the A-Z
line. Makes of quite easy chronological filing, although the releases differ vastly in format: from
cassette to business card CDR tot standard CD and CDR and download. Some longer than other,
mostly extremely limited, all but one in a standardized sleeve colour scheme of orange and grey
    Resonance is key with Modelbau. And modulation, of course. Subtly sine waves and machine
generated clean tones are merged with rustling and rumbling noises. Static hypnotic walls of drone
are thusly pierced as if to present a bit of air to breathe. Some respite in an ambient mood that's
massive, but – mind you! - never oppressive. Modelbau doesn't dive into the easy tar pits of dark
ambiences. This is straightforward, clean and simple and maybe even deliberately un-emotive, but
highly sensitive drone to the max juxtaposed with a clean intuition towards radical minimalism.
Not unlike specific objects as posited by Donald Judd then, captured in waves, moulded in sound.
Fabricated from concept – twice, thrice removed from finger markings or touch.
    Still, still... not wholly for Modelbau is a tinkering entity. It's this bricolage pur sang, this working
with details, small stuff and the piecing and gluing together – building slowy, gradually, with focus
and determination and ambition, which imprints a trademark timbral DNA upon this project. One
may wonder if the final product of hours spent in putting together the constitutive parts resembles
'what's on the lid of the box' in any way, but who really cares when the R spells out Modelbau's
experimental nature in capital letters. Vinyl will only be a matter of time, can't wait to find out
which letter gets that honour. And Modelbau, far from static, is steadily moving in complex, lo-fi,
tactile ways. One letter at a time. Slowly, but with purpose, very surely. (SSK)
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By now you should know that Machinefabriek equals Rutger Zuydervelt and work released could
bear either name but might still be very much along similar lines, unlike others who like to
compartmentalize their work with different monikers. Both of these new releases contain scores,
for a film, installation and virtual reality artwork. The CDR 'Concrete Scores' contains one each of
the first two, both created by Takashi Makino, with whom Zuydervelt off and on works since 2008.
The first piece is a film score to 'Cinema Concret', a response to Pierre Schaeffer's musique concrete,
which later also evolved into an installation. I haven't seen both, so we have to take Glistening
Examples word for it when they write: "Makino’s films are dense and hypnotic, similar to immersion
in television static. The viewer will recognize shapes, landscapes or other images while also
wondering if these things actually exist or are tricks of the mind. The films contain layers of
microscopic details that can become overwhelming, especially on a theatre screen." The music
works out in two different ways of which the film score is perhaps the most surprising one. In the
installation version, which is at thirty minutes the longest one we hear Zuydervelt as we know him
best; a master of all things very careful, with a slow development of electronic and acoustic sounds,
slowly building up but always careful placing new sounds into his mix. As said the true surprise is
the film score in which Zuydervelt plays something that is quite loud at one point, after starting with
a few minutes of next to nothingness. It almost becomes noise in the truest sense of the word, which
is something we don't hear him do a lot. This is a change of scenery that works well for him.
    As Machinefabriek he delivered the soundtrack to 'Fight', a virtual reality artwork by one Memo
Akten, and there is here the stereo adaption of the spatialized soundtracks, as well as an 'ambient'
version, 'played at low volume, in a continuous loop, in the room of the installation'. Here too we
obviously have no clue what the piece looked like. The music is very much Machinefabriek, probably
even more than with the second piece on 'Concrete Scores' CDR, and that is, perhaps, due to the fact
that Zuydervelt picked up the guitar for this piece again, and via some heavily sustaining loop played
there upon a warm bed of more drone like sounds. This is all more carefully constructing ambience,
which in the ambient version is explored further. A microphone is set up in the middle of the space
and captures the total mood of the piece as it softly bounces around. This is even more minimal and
ambient than the stereo version. Two solid pieces of ambient music by the Dutch master. Not his best
or most surprising work, but easily among the many better ones in his massive catalogue. This was
also released as a limited 10inch lathe cut, but most likely sold out. (FdW)
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TIBETAN RED - CALLIGRAPHY (CDR by Antahkarana Records)

Salvador Francesch, also known as Tibetan Red, had his first release out in 1985 and now, 32 years
later he releases his sixth release. I have no idea why there was a five-year hiatus between this and
‘Narrative Spaces’, of which I am not sure was reviewed by Vital Weekly, or even a seventeen-year
gap between his first and second release. The title here is ‘Calligraphy’ and perhaps by way of
explanation it says on the cover ‘’calligraphy as a form of friction. Friction, as an expression of the
Electricity Entity’, which is a bit cryptically, I guess. The music of Tibetan Red is also cryptically, I
would think. There are field recordings used, I would think, made in the Pyrenees of Catalonia, where
Francesch lives since 1999, which are manipulated by means I am not entirely sure of. They might be
some kind of computer processing, but for all I know Francesch might be using analogue treatments,
for instance by playing back the sound in his living room and picking that up with a microphone from
an odd angle, or heavily amplified of some kind. That amplification leads in ‘Stone Calligraphy’ to
some painfully high-pitched sound at the start that I must admit skipped to that point in the
composition which made it more interesting. The three pieces on this disc are all over fifteen minutes,
and below sixteen, and uses some of that ‘classic’ Tibetan Red treatments or heavily layered sounds,
radical sonic treatments going from quite low to incredible high, but all of which are derived (I am
guessing here) from field recordings. And sometimes it seems there are just one or two layers of
sound playing at the same time. Some of this also sounds like actual interventions in the environment
 to add a musical narrative to the proceedings, such as the scraping of the pavement in ‘Stone
Calligraphy’. All of this is very low on telling a story as such and it works like abstract events
happening simultaneously, without much internal interaction. It makes all of this not very easy
listening; it’s like listening to a private ritual performed outdoors. We have no idea what we are
witnessing, but it sounds mighty obscure and excellent throughout. (FdW)
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Here we have the collaborative effort between Exoterrism and c_c, both of which I had not heard
before and on October 22nd 2015 they recorded the nine pieces at ‘On Fait Du L’Art’ in Lausanne.
There is no information about instruments but it’s not really difficult to see this as the work of two
people with laptops and/or perhaps some kind of modular set-up. Like with many releases on the
Ukrainian imprint Kvitnu this too deals with rhythmic music from the heavy angle of the musical
spectrum; the angle that I sometimes describe as the children and grandchildren of Pan Sonic; what
does that mean? A low-end kick, massively amplified high pitches tones in sequence to go along, and
other sound material that resemble the sparkling of electricity that can act as a ‘melody’. It is in a
way techno music and then yet not at all. I don’t expect to see a crowd going all wild over this but,
as a clever record store called this once upon a long ago, this is perfect ‘head-nod’ music. Especially
if you play this very loud, as it is no doubt intended, then you feel yourself nodding along the
uberrhythm of the bass and the high-end side of this pierces straight through your brain, and yet
you will be in total agreement with the music. It’s like taking a warm bath I guess. This is where
techno meets the industrial edge of electronic music, forceful, heavy like mountain and simply
quite good; not so original or ‘new’ I guess, but Exo_C have listened quite well to their inspiration
and took out the elements that they felt suited their needs best and went along with it. (FdW)
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  (CDR by Aloardi)
MARDOLOR - CIEGATE PARA SIEMPRE (cassette by Craneal Fracture Records)

For some time now Chrs Galarreta lives and works in The Netherlands, having left his homeland
Peru, even when he is here too something of a nomad. Traveling to and from places to perform his
or install his sound art pieces he is a keen listener to the environment around him. Usually armed
with hand-made electromagnetic transducers, which pick up sound that may not be audible to the
human ear. On 'Raw Field Recordings II' you just get that; raw field recordings without any
transformation, from Lima to Vienna and from Paris to the Lacandona Jungle, and it's all quite
noisy with heavy electrical sparks and current, line hum from inside a train, fluorescent lamp,
mobile phone or an electric generator box. It is not something you haven't heard before; think for
instance of the work of Joe Colley or Disinformation, but Galarreta does an equally interesting job
as those composers, which culminates in the longest track here, a live recording from Paris, in
which, so I assume, he uses all of those field recordings (found on this disc, or otherwise) to create
a collage of these somewhat unusual recordings, tying him into the world of Colley and Meirino even
more. Quite a beauty this recording and with some excellent suppressed aggression.
    Aggresion is also the keyword of Mardolor, a band wi=h Christian Galarreta (feedback bass, voice,
electronics and mix) from Peru along with a trio of Mexicans: Ramses Guevara(drums and electronics),
Sinuhé Guevara (guitar, voice) and Sergio Sanchez T. (guitar, voice and synthesizer), who had their
music released by Diosmehaviolado, Evamuss, Heraldos Negros, Amniosis, Deimusaranea, Nuuk as
well as others. They have a shared interest in "heavy layered, grinding sounds that go beyond the
realms of experimental music conventions", which of course raises the question: what are these
conventions? It depends I guess on what you know and what you are willing to perceive as
conventions. As such I am not blown away by their music, even when the volume did. Everything
is awfully loud with this music and it's not always possible to believe there is a band playing here,
because of the barrage of distortion and feedback flying about. Everything is extreme about this,
which is 'unconventional' should you never encountered that, but in the world of Vital Weekly we
go 'nah, so loud noise by a rock band line-up, that's isn’t something we never heard', but I must say
Mardolor do a pretty decent job, even when it it's not entirely my cup of tea, I guess. (FdW)
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MR MONDOGREEN (cassette by Barreuh Records)

Apparently, as I write these words, some comic book guy is making a Mr Mondogreen promotional
card with the musician as superhero. That is a bit of a different world, I guess, from your usual Vital
Weekly musician. Mr Mondogreen is from a small village near Eindhoven where is mostly active in
visual arts but for Barreuh Records he recorded a fourteen song cassette that lasts just below thirty
minutes. It has been quiet for Barreuh Records for a while, and I must admit I more or less forgot
they are not your typical noise/experiment label, and Mr Mondogreen proofs that with these songs.
Inspired by Larry Voltz, Pere Ubu and Tonetta he plays guitars, has a rhythm machine and sings a
long with his own lyrics (one is a cover of a song by Alan Jenkins and Yukio Yung), all slightly
absurdist (what to think of 'I Wished Marvin’s Father Had Killed Me Instead'?). This is more along
the lines of early home made one-man post punk and remote from the world strange sounds and
weird noises. Pop music, you ask? Well, yeah, in a way one could easily call this pop music, I think. I
wasn't prepared for something like this, but as I kept returning to it, the music kept growing on me,
with that odd production, the sometimes out of tune falsetto voice (which of course remind me of
this or that singer whose name eludes me right now), rocky guitars and wonderfully naive way of
playing his music. It all sounded quite wonderful and fresh, and perhaps is totally different than
pretty much everything else I heard this week (or even these weeks), but it appealed to my own
formative years of listening to strange music, and this could have been part of it. (FdW)
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Do I know any labels dedicated to 'comedy & bootlegs' I wonder? Probably I didn't, but now I do. Laffs
& Danger call themselves like that. I am not sure if Aaron Dillloway's live recordings on the first side
qualifies as comedy or bootleg, but Jim Morrison on the other side is perhaps both. Dilloway does what
he does best and that is creating a dense mesh of layered cassette recordings, a whole bunch of loops,
lifts music from a multitude of sources (Inc. babies crying) and feeds that the hungry wolves of sound
devices. At times quite chaotic and pretty noisy, with the emphasis on 'pretty', I would not dare call
this a bootleg, but who knows? Maybe Dilloway didn't give his permission. It is a fairly decent live
cut, but perhaps altogether not necessary for a release.
    From all the sixties bands I'd say The Doors is pretty much my most favourite band, and I know
their songs pretty well, saw the movie, read a bunch of books. However I am not that much of a fan
boy that I collect all their live recordings. Recently I read a book about Morrison with an extensive
description of the Miami incident (if you have no clue look it up) and was surprised there is an audio
recording of YouTube. Since the cover has no clue at all what this is about, or what we are listening
to, I am a bit in the dark if this is from bootlegs 'as is' or if someone has been tampering with these
recordings. Vague mumbling, some talking, Morrison crooning a bit along some music; it is all pretty
vague. Bootleg probably but hardly comedic. You'd have to be a real die-hard fan to fork out money
for this, but surely some people are. Maybe the comedy factor lies in the fact that this is released at
all. (FdW)
––– Address: none given