number 1139
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week 27
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NO VITAL WEEKLY IN WEEK 28



AMANTRA VS SUBMERGED - LOST DIRECTION (CD by Kvitnu) *
MARGARIDA GARCIA - DER BAU (CD by Headlights Recordings) *
TAKASHI MASUBUCHI - R,R,R (CD by Headlights Recordings) *
SERGIO  SORRENTINO – DREAM: AMERICAN MUSIC FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR (CD by
  Mode Records)
BAARS & ELGART & KNEER - LIVE AT KONFRONTATIONEN NICKELSDORF (CD by Evil Rabbit)
JOEY MOLINARO –LIVE IN SWEDEN (CD by Gold Bolus)
ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE - FOR M.F. (CD by Pax Recordings) *
EXIT IN GREY - (RUSSIAN TITLE) (CD by Frozen Light) *
NURSE WITH WOUND - CHANGEZ LES BLOCKEURS (LP by Dirter Promotions)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS - SCUM TACTICS (12" by Dot Dot Dot Music)
MATT WESTON – THIS IS YOUR ROSEMONT HORIZON (12” by 7272Music)
JAMES WYNESS - LANDFILL (CDR by Breathing Space Records) *
RED BOILING SPRINGS - CHOKED TRANSMISSION (3"CDR by Inner Demons Records)
ARASH AKBARI - PERPETUAL (3"CDR by Taalem) *
EXPORTION - PHANTOM LINE (3"CDR by Taalem) *
ESCALLON & ISAZA - NUBES (3"CDR by Taalem) *
NILS QUAK - FORM PHALLUS FUNCTION (cassette by Otomatik Muziek) *
S.U.V. - STERBEN/SHIFTING (cassette by Otomatik Muziek) *
MATTHEW ATKINS - POROUS INNER MONTAGE (cassette by Minimal Resource Manipulation) *
EDUARDO ASTUDILLO & ANNE-F JACQUES - ATRAPANIEBLAS (cassette by Crustaces
   Tapes)
ALE HOP - BODILESS (cassette by Buh Records)
CLAWING & OFFERBEEST - SPLIT (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)




AMANTRA VS SUBMERGED - LOST DIRECTION (CD by Kvitnu)

Somehow, somewhere the name Submerged sounded familiar, but I am not sure where I heard it
before. He worked Bill Laswell, Dr. Israel, Death Cube K before so maybe I heard it when I was
more involved with a record store, in another lifetime. Behind Amantra is Thierry Arnal, who also
worked as Mothboy. I am not sure if I heard of him before, either. Together they recorded two
lengthy pieces, which could have fitted perfectly on a slab of vinyl. Amantra plays 'synths & fx' and
Submerged plays 'sheng, dombra, Virus KC', which I am all not too sure about what it means, but I
guess is a mouth organ, string instrument and synthesizer. Certainly in the first piece it is very hard
to distinguish any else other than a bunch of synthesizers, but in the second I think I could recognize
some wind instruments and heavily effected stringed instruments. Absent in both pieces is rhythm,
which perhaps is a pretty rare thing for a release on Kvitnu, known for their heavy, dark and minimal
beat releases. Yet in it's own way this is also heavy, dark and minimal, the well-orchestrated
nightmarish soundtrack of thunder and torrential rain in 'And Then We Started To Disappear'. In
'Because We Don't Need To Breath Anymore' those stringed are locked in a time-loop warp and
around it chainsaws drone away. Music that should be played loud and surely in the dark will
scare the hell out of you, just like a fine horror soundtrack will do. The first piece pitch black but the
second perhaps with a shimmer of light, barely to see but it seems there, especially in the earlier
moments of the piece when it starts it ascend to darker atmospheres above us. These are two quite
powerful pieces of music and quite a surprise to see them released by Kvitnu. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.kvitnu.com



MARGARIDA GARCIA - DER BAU (CD by Headlights Recordings)
TAKASHI MASUBUCHI - R,R,R (CD by Headlights Recordings)

Manuel Mota uses his label Headlights Recordings mostly to release music of his own making or
duets he records with others. Here he has two releases by others, of which Margarida Garcia is no
stranger to this label, having already released with Thurston Moore and Marcia Bassett, and now
has a new solo recording of 'electric upright bass'. It is not easy to recognize this instrument in
these seven pieces here. I am sure Garcia adds some sort of effects to the instrument, maybe some
kind of reverb (unless that comes from this being recorded in a big cavernous space) and some
sort of delay machine that adds a water colour like quality to the bass sound. She plays the bass
with a bow, or maybe two, to generate a deep low sound, but due to the various filters and other
sound effects it all sounds quite alien. Each of these pieces is a careful, minimal exploration of a
few sound movements, extending and sustaining for a longitude. It all seems to be just a few
masterful strokes on the bass, some rightfully chosen effects to expand the sound and its not
always as quiet as my description may sound. There are some louder movements to be spotted
in this, even when the overall atmosphere stays rather solemn and introspective and never
reaches the shores of noise. This is a most impressive release.
    The name of Takashi Masubuchi popped up a few times on various releases by Ftarri, and I
believe this is the first time I hear a solo recording from him. Masubuchi plays the acoustic guitar
and nothing else. The microphone is very close to the action, I would think, so there are a lot of
‘other’ sounds to be heard here. One can hear the fabric of t-shirt or whatever he is wearing and
him breathing. There is an audible level of concentration I would think going on here and it shows
in the music. Here the word 'quiet' is definitely useable, just as 'minimal'. It's not that you have to
crank the volume a lot before beige able to hear something, as because the guitar is close to the
microphone it is actually already a 'loud' recording (everything is relative of course). Masubuchi
shows to that he listened to the work of Taku Sugimoto very well, with a fine spacing between the
sounds, single note attacks, and occasionally repeating a phrase here and there. Everything is full
of beautiful tension here, quietly moving around. I am not sure if Masubuchi is part of the
Wandelweiser group, but his work is surely from that area, so if you want to explore new names
in that direction, then this is certainly one to check out. (FdW)
––– Address: http://headlightsrecordings.blogspot.com/



SERGIO  SORRENTINO – DREAM: AMERICAN MUSIC FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR (CD by
  Mode Records)

Mode Records is a prestigious label concentrating on contemporary composed music. The label
started in 1984 with a focus on the works by John Cage. Many other composers followed, mainly
from the US. The release we talking about now, fits well in this picture. The CD contains
compositions for electric guitar by John Cage, David Lang, Jack Vees, Elliott Sharp, Alvin Curran
(a new piece especially written for this CD), Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff (complete works for
solo electric guitar and the world premiere of ‘Going West’), Larry Polansky and Van Stiefel. Sergio
Sorrentino, an Italian composer and improviser, performs them. He is also a performer on classical
guitar and electric guitar, especially of modern composed music written for instrument or being
transcribed for it.  For this release Sorrentino selected compositions for electric guitar – an
American finding - by American composers. It is an interesting selection. “This is the first CD
release with the lost electric guitar composition by Morton Feldman, The Possibility of a New
Work for Electric Guitar. Originally composed for Christian Wolff, it was reconstructed by guitarist
Seth Josel. Feldman began by writing some long-sounding sequences in his most typical style,
and asking Wolff for their feasibility on the guitar. The intention was to make the electric guitar
sound completely different, to let the guitar play in a sweet and soft way.”  At first hearing I found
myself just listening to the beautiful sound of his guitar, instead of engaging myself with the very
different compositions. In most of the compositions Sorrentino sticks to a clean sound of the guitar.
But his sound, so well recorded, made me in need of nothing else. Like in the opening composition
‘Dream’ by John Cage, adapted by Sorrentino for the electric guitar. In ‘Mare Undarum’ by Elliott
Sharp, blues is not far away, as is the case in many of his work. With Larry Polansky and Van
Stiefel, Sharp is the only composer who is a guitarist too on this selection. The composition by
Bang on a Can-composer David Lang is an interesting work for two electric guitars playing more
or less the same melodic lines. Here it is rock that is on the corner. Both compositions by Wolff may
be the most intriguing ones on this disc. Intelligent complex works where I forgot the rock and blues
context of the electric guitar. Sorrentino made a very interesting selection, presenting a nice
overview of the role of electric guitar in modern American composed music. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.moderecords.com/



BAARS & ELGART & KNEER - LIVE AT KONFRONTATIONEN NICKELSDORF (CD by Evil Rabbit)

Kneer grew up in Tübingen, Germany and often saw Elgart performing in those days in Ulm where
American drummer Elgart was settled.  This way Elgart became one of Kneer’s favourite drummers.
So I guess it was on Kneer’s invitation that Elgart in 2010 joined the duo Baars-Kneer for a concert
at the Bimhuis. This worked out very well: the duo that started in 2008 became a trio. In 2013 the
trio debuted with a CD for Evil Rabbit Records with a studio recording dating from 2011: ‘Give no
Quarter’. And now they surprise with a live album, recorded in 2012. Again on Evil Rabbit, the label
founded by Michael Kneer, that focuses on new jazz and improvised music. No idea if this new
release reflects some of their up to date collaboration if there is any... If not it would be a historical
document of a collaboration that no longer exists. This kind of uncertainty is often the case with
releases of improvised music where the date of recording lies some years in the past. Well
whatever the reasons may be, often it is questions that do not have to hinder you from enjoying the
recordings, surely in the case of a recording with the excellent combination of Meinrad Kneer
(double bass), Bill Elgart (drums) and Ab Baars (tenor sax, shakuhachi, clarinet). A recording from
the Konfrontationen-festival at Nickelsdorf, Austria, a festival that exists since 1980 and
concentrates on modern forms of jazz and improvisation. The CD opens with a suite in three parts,
followed by a two-part suite, plus ‘Nickelsdorf Fantasia’ as the closing improvisation.
    They played a very sophisticated set of continually changing motives and movements. Like
sculpting in time, always very to the point and disciplined, with many subtleties. The playing is
very together and solid. All three players participate equally and contribute in their fine, delicate
improvisations. Tone and phrasing by Baars for example are very characteristic. But Kneer and
Elgart sure have their own voice and style too, what makes them a trio from the top division of
improvised music. If they are still in business… (DM)
––– Address: http://evilrabbitrecords.eu/



JOEY MOLINARO –LIVE IN SWEDEN (CD by Gold Bolus)

Joey Molinaro is a musician originating from Pittsburgh, but leading s a nomadic life. He is on tour
more or less constantly. From what I could trace he started in the grindcore band Basilica from
Bloomington, Indiana. That was around 2005. At the same time he got more and more interested in
solo performing with just violin and foot stomping. A combination that is also found in some French-
Canadian fiddle styles, Molinaro explains. What made him conclude that “metal, hardcore and punk
are just a continuation of the string band tradition”. One may agree of disagree with this statement,
Molinaro surely found his own way of expressing and manifesting himself as a musician. His first
solo album dates from 2011. It has one side with his band Basilica, and the other side has his solo
performance the ‘Inalienable Dreamless’-album by grindcore band Discordance Axis. This became
Molinaro’s most performed live material. Up till the very present. Three of the five works on his new
album ‘Live in Sweden’ are again renditions of the ‘Inalienable Dreamless’- Suite. Everything was
recorded live at the Element Studios in Gotenburg, Sweden on May 14th, 2017, near the end of his
European tour. Travelling by motorcycle he did about 100 concerts in 23 countries! Constantly
crossing borders can also be said of his music. Molinaro combines several influences in his music.
Grind core as is clear now, but also black metal, punk, experimental, avant rock, a bit of folk, etc.
Molinaro melts all influences into a very idiosyncratic and unique approach. It is presented in a
very intense and smash in the face-performance, on a constant high energy level and with full
speed; ferocious and aggressive from start to finish. The violin – in the hands of Molinaro – turns
out a very suited instrument to re-image hardcore inspired music. If you need a ballad to survive
all these heavy eruptions ‘Love Song’ comes most close. This song has some quiet and melodic
passages in contrast with the full speed parts. By the way, because of his maniacal burning
performance one could forget that his compositions are intelligent and complex constructions. I
guess he must been seen live in order to be believed and experienced. At the moment he is
touring Europe again, playing almost daily during June and July. So…?! (DM)
––– Address: http://goldbolus.com/



ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE - FOR M.F. (CD by Pax Recordings)

This release is a celebration of sorts, I guess; Pax Recordings exist for twenty years now and
Ernesto Diaz-Infante turned fifty, and that’s why it is celebrated with the release of this sixty seven
minute piece of music that Diaz-Infante already recorded in 2013. He plays his twelve-string
acoustic guitar at ‘next door to the Jefferson Airplane Studios’, which you must admit is a great
name for a place, regardless if it is actually true or not. I was quite taken by Diaz-Infante last
release, ‘The Lovers Escape/Los Amantes Escapan’ (see Vital Weekly 1118), with its minimal
strumming. I am never sure if Diaz-Infante uses anything else beyond the guitar, but here I would
surely guess there is some kind of reverb device in use to colour the sound. The faster pace of
strumming from the last work is absent here and instead Diaz-Infante here is in a more strumming
mode, slow and peaceful but there is a strong metallic edge to the music, no doubt because of the
metal strings just on the guitar, but perhaps also because of the reverb and whatever else he uses
to alter the sound. I am not that well versed in the use of stomp boxes that I could tell you what is
responsible for such a sound. It is minimal for sure, just as much as it is improvised, obviously I’d
say, knowing Diaz-Infante’s previous work. I am not sure if I would call this ‘meditative’; it’s perhaps
a bit too metallic in that respect, but surely I think there is something highly captivating about this
music. It never seems to be staying in the same place as it always seems to changing in small,
details ways, even when overall it seems that he’s using the same notes over and over again.
Perhaps this is a work that is needs a bit of time, but if you give I’m sure it will open up in a big
way for you. (FdW)
––– Address: http://paxrecordings.com



EXIT IN GREY - (RUSSIAN TITLE) (CD by Frozen Light)

Of course I looked up what the Russian title is supposed to mean. I am curious enough for that and
obviously I'd like to check its relevance to the music. However I am never sure if I then should use
the translation. With Google translate there is a risk of being horribly wrong. The title means
'moments' and behind Exit In Grey is [S], also Sergey Suhovik (in his passport) and Black Deal With
Snow, Candyman And Evil Flowers, Five Elements Music, Radioson, Redhouse, Sergey Suhovik
and Sister Loolomie (on Discogs). Many names with not always the clearest of differences between
what he produces. Not that I know all of his projects, but for instance Exit In Grey and Five Elements
Music is very close in musical terms. Exit in Grey used to be a duo but is now a solo project of [S].
Much of what he does revolves and evolves around the mighty world of drone music and in that
respect this is new work is not different. In the first two-thirds or so this comes via a heavy storm of
heavily processed field recordings, forming this vast, thick mass of drone sounds. A cloud of
clustered church organs if you will, or some densely layered guitar sounds. Anything is possible
really yet judging by the final one-third I would think the guitar is the primary source of music. In
that part the more melodic side of Exit In Grey pops up with some highly sorrowful bucket of tunes
on the six strings and e-bow. That and of course a whole bunch of sound effects; loop stations of
whatever kind seems to me the most likely candidate. Robert Fripp would be happy with such a
grandson. I am not sure what the word 'moments' reflect, other than that it is maybe a title that fits
the idea of the moment in which this music is playing, the very moment it exists and then doesn't
again. It moves from quite dark in the beginning towards some beautiful shimmering light towards
the end and is divided in various moments. This is a fine solid work, not Exit In Grey's best or most
original work, but surely among his best. (FdW)
––– Address: https://frozenlightlabel.bandcamp.com/



NURSE WITH WOUND - CHANGEZ LES BLOCKEURS (LP by Dirter Promotions)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS - SCUM TACTICS (12" by Dot Dot Dot Music)

There are people who think that 'Changez Les Blockades' by The New Blockaders, from 1982, is
the stunde null for noise music, the first time somebody released something as intended by Luigi
Russolo's 'Art Of Noise' manifest from 1913. I am not one of them, even when it is regarded a
classic and I can see that. Along similar lines I know people who think that the very first Nurse With
Wound is a timeless classic, and again I am not one of them. In fact I always thought it as very dull.
But again, people still talk about it, so they must be right. People still think Lou Reed's 'Metal
Machine Music' is a great record and I always argue that Pete Shelley did a much better noise
record with 'Sky Yen' at the same time, more or less. I realize this is all school playground stuff;
my group is better than yours, oh, that third record is so overrated blah. The opportunity to release
a thirty-fifth anniversary remix album was missed (last year of course) but I happen to know on
good authority it is still in the works, and I am surprised to find this in my mailbox. A Nurse With
Wound tribute to the very first record of The New Blockaders and I would like to think that for both
sides mister Stapleton, who gets the sole copyright credit here (so no Colin Potter or Andrew Liles),
takes both sides of the original and adds a very minimal palette of electronics to change the sound.
Especially on 'Hallelujah T.N.B.' it takes a while before one realizes that it is actually a different
piece of music. But it surely is, and on 'T.N.B. Amen' the effects are used in full force and it sounds
like the sound is stuck on a conveyer belt loop. The non-musical character of the original, which to
me sounded like chairs and bicycle wheels being scratched, is retained in this rework, and that's
what makes this quite a powerful record. From the addition of almost church like hymns on the first
side to the very minimal second side, this is the Noise With Wound you didn't know it existed. It
does and it's pretty good.
    There is also a new record by The New Blockaders; a lengthy 12" on transparent vinyl. I
honestly admit that I never 'got' The New Blockaders, just as I never 'got', say, The Hafler Trio. I
have no clue what they are about, other than being a noise band, as explained by Paul Hegarty
on the liner notes that come with the Nurse With Wound. There is a lot 'anti' in their work, anti-music,
anti-art (and even they are anti-anti art), anti-symphonies and it's all about using daily objects to
create noise. So that's the only thing I actually do understand, but 115 years after Russolo that is
hardly a new message. The New Blockaders, here a duo I believe, have grown quite a bit since
changing the blockades in 1982, and by that I mean they use quite a bit of effects on top of their
chairs, bikes, typewriters, walls, or whatever else they trash around. Objects plus sound effects
and amplification equals feedback, and feedback equals noise. That's what they do and that's what
they do well. This is their version of non-musicianship (what would Eno think, I wondered), the non-
qualified personal at work in the creation of music and pressing a slab of vinyl of it. While I was
playing this, and the Nurse With Wound LP, on a quiet Thursday afternoon, I was wondering if the
addition of sound effects is really necessary to create the manifest of non qualified, non
musicianship, as outlined here by The New Blockaders. I am pretty sure they will find this question
futile, as they are surely not really interested in changing their sound in any way, nor in any avant-
garde way to try out something different or new, but how would this sound without all the
amplification, effects and feedback? How would a Blockaders record sound that just had lots and
lots of acoustic sounds stored on top of each other, in a totally random order and without any
mixing, to avoid any composition? Maybe they could try that and see what happens? Maybe as
a free participation to all noisemakers around the world, a mail-art project? Say some of de-
personalized anti-group for the masses? If not, then not, and I'll play the other side again, and
again. If noise like this it is, it is fine with me. I appreciate some blearing noise in the blearing
June sun. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.dirterpromotions.com/
––– Address: http://www.dotdotdotmusic.com/



MATT WESTON – THIS IS YOUR ROSEMONT HORIZON (12” by 7272Music)

Over the last few years I reviewed several releases by Matt Weston. Always releases of limited
length: singles. This way Weston works steadily and consistent on his chosen musical path. This
path is hard to pin down and categorize. But if you are familiar with his idiosyncratic output, you
will sense that Weston works from a clear and coherent musical vision. Earlier I described his
music as ‘orchestral’. And again this term pop up in my mind listening to his new release. This
time Weston offers a 12-inch EP, released on his own 7272 Music label. Each side contains a
work of about 12 minutes: ‘Special Apparatus For Coercion’ on side 1 and ‘A Simple Machine
Without A Machine’ on side 2. As usual everything is written, played, recorded, etc. by Weston
himself. Mastered by Jason Lescalleet at Glistening Labs. Most important difference with his
recent work is the length of both compositions. But these works are not essentially different from
his often-shorter compositions. Likewise they are arranged for percussion, cheap electronics and
guitar. He keeps things unpolished what contributes to his own specific brew of electro-acoustic
music. With this release Weston proves he can build satisfying constructions of more length. Just
like his earlier work these two compositions are also very ‘narrative’, as if Weston tells a story
through his music that is above all built from sounds and noises. Intriguing stuff! (DM)
––– Address: http://www.7272music.com/



JAMES WYNESS - LANDFILL (CDR by Breathing Space Records)

This is not exactly a winner in the graphic department: a single black and white A5 sheet in an A5
plastic bag. I have reviewed work by James Wyness before (Vital Weekly 962 and 921 for instance),
but his catalogue isn't very big, even when he has a bunch of free releases on his Bandcamp page.
His work is sometimes for installations, or for stereo set-ups like this new release. Attenuation
Circuit before already released the first piece, the other two are new. The first (and longest) piece
is called 'A Rummage Around In The Recycling Department' and it just sounds like that. A man
shuffling about in a basement, carefully touching objects around him, while his feet step on old
newspapers. There is also the use of a 'randomiser/articulator' in max/msp, which generate drones
that add to the gentle proceedings we are hearing. The other two pieces are called 'Brno Industrial'
and use copper, steel, aluminium and tracing paper (plus shells, and gourd in just the second
version). Here too there is a sense of rumbling but it sounds more like a big table with all of these
objects, being amplified and fed through some similar max/msp patch, adding again a gentle
drone background the proceedings. This is lovely stuff all around, a fine mixture of field recordings
and computer processing and its some sturdy yet gentle pieces of music that went down pretty
well, when I was working on repairing some computer stuff and this was on repeat. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.jameswyness.com



RED BOILING SPRINGS - CHOKED TRANSMISSION (3"CDR by Inner Demons Records)

An impressive 3”CDr mini-album of four glacially-paced power-electronics-lineage songs,
seemingly built up from fuzzy radio static. For fans of the genre, there’s a lot to like about “Choked
Transmission”. These four songs get slightly denser as they go on, with rumbling feedback and
creeping delay saturation, but that evanescent radio crackle constantly threatens to bring the
whole thing tumbling down. I like that instability. The voice, once it comes in, is either a faraway
scream with a delivery that recalls black metal sore-throat with edge-of-feedback power electronics
screech, or else it’s a pitched-down monster growl. But there’s empty space around all the
component sound elements, breathing room that lifts “Choked…” out of the ordinary. Cascading
delay effects recall ocean waves, which anchor the pace to a crawl, rendering the music more of a
tonal drone than a PE assault. It had a calming effect on me, like a bedroom-level Inade or Schloss
Tegal. The quality of the recorded sounds themselves were interesting, too; Red Boiling Springs
keeps intact the rough edges of a DIY home-recording… digital distortion, the crack of an effects
pedal being triggered, the telltale close-mic’d ambience of a quiet sound turned way up. (HS)
––– Address: https://innerdemonsrecords.bandcamp.com/



ARASH AKBARI - PERPETUAL (3"CDR by Taalem)
EXPORTION - PHANTOM LINE (3"CDR by Taalem)
ESCALLON & ISAZA - NUBES (3"CDR by Taalem)

From this bundle of new releases by French ambient powerhouse Taalem I decided to start with
what definitely seemed like new names to me. Someone recently asked me if there was new
music in Iran and I remembered the compilation Cold Spring Records and I said, sure there is a
lot going on there, and mainly in the field of laptops, home production, rather than dance floor and
rock bands. That is of course as far as my limited knowledge of such things is. Not present on that
compilation is Arash Akbari, who is a "sound and new media artist from Tehran" and he released
work that I haven't heard, on Soft Recordings, Unknown Tone and Flaming Pines. His twenty-two
minute composition 'Perpetual' has two distinct sections. This is a very textbook composition of
drone music generated with a few sound sources and extensive computer treatments. There is
the schlepping rhythm of a vinyl record in the first half along with big washes of drones
(synthesizers? Field recordings?) and via a short interlude we arrive in heavily processed field
recordings of outdoor sound amongst high rises and with a big organ drone around. It's fine, for
sure, but perhaps also not the most imaginative new things I ever heard.
    I never did the math, but it seems that a lot of the releases on Taalem are by Japanese artists
and here is another one, again a new one. Yuki Izumi and Takahisa Hirao are Exportion and they
have been going since 2008. Hirao was, with Hiroki Sasajima, also active as Nature Of Dislocation.
According to Taalem they have an audio-visual approach and Izumi is videographer/painter and
Hirao as musician, so maybe it's only the latter we hear on the two pieces here? Here the drone
plays a central role, but not as massive as the ones coming from Tehran. Field recordings in the
form of water sounds are used, along with far away voices made me think of a day at the beach;
it's not crowded neither it is empty. As the pieces progresses we leave the beach and we hear the
crunching of shells below our feet. Again I'd say the computer plays a big role in generating these
ambient washes, from treating those field recordings or perhaps some kind of instrument. The
guitar is an obvious point of drone, or just some synthesizer. Here too there are some distinctive
parts to be noted, which made me wonder why there is first a prologue and then one long piece,
when that too was sort of split up. I am sure there is a good reason. Here too I think this is a very
fine release, well made and all that, but perhaps not the sort of thing I haven't heard before.
    This trip around the world then brings us to Columbia where we find the as ever active Miguel
Isaza, who had releases before on White Paddy Mountain, Dragon's Eye Recordings, Line,
Farmacia901 and his own Eter Editions, who teams up with a friend of, David Escallon, less known
yet reviewed before here (Vital Weekly 941). After the two previous drone by storm approaches it is
quite a delight to unwind in a quieter territory, one that is made also in the computer, also with
drones, but then with a greater dynamic range for sounds and much more delicate processes. Via
extreme filtering Isaza and Escallon sometimes reach for barely audible bass sounds, and only
after a while you may recognize, say, the sound of water. At other times the sound is audible but
very quiet, which may sound like a strange contradiction. Towards the end we hear birds and a
single watery drone, whereas a few minutes just a low-end bass sound. This duo uses the collage
technique much more than the other two newbies on Taalem and yet they too aim and hit for that
drone-like feeling. Oddly enough this more abstract approach seemed to me the most refined one;
after the big washes of the previous two you may want to have something that is more of a 'come-
down/chill out version' of the genre and then this works quite well. (FdW)
––– Address: https://taalem.bandcamp.com/



NILS QUAK - FORM PHALLUS FUNCTION (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)
S.U.V. - STERBEN/SHIFTING (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)

Despite having reviewed some of Nils Quak's previous releases I didn't realize that this new
cassette is already his 24th release, so I heard only a small bit of the man’s output. From what I
heard and know Nils Quak is a man to use the modular synthesizer and does that along more
drone like landscapes. This new release sees him however moving slightly away from the synth
drones and into something that is sparser and somewhat harsher. I'd like to avoid the word
'industrial', but I am reminded of early 1980s cassettes by say Asmus Tietchens, combining
classical electronic music and a more edgy Conrad Schnitzler use of electronics. In the side long
'L'eclisse', Quak takes the listener along various industrial sceneries, in a varying state of decay. It
sounds like the electronics also have some rust, which is something that he continues on 'Kalter
Aal', the first of two pieces on the other side, but now the decay is inside the airplane engine and
slowly drifting away over the mountains. It more or less slowly fades into 'Offene Runde', which is
also a bit drone like, but again harsher than what I know from Quak's earlier work and ending on
a somewhat blurry chopped up note of various sounds stumbling and falling. Harsher and also
darker is the overall vibe that comes from this music. It makes up altogether for an interesting little
change of tune.
    I am not sure if I heard of S.U.V. before, the musical project of Franz Joseph Kaputt. In 2014
he bought an acoustic guitar, for the first time in twenty years. He also became a father, which all
made quite some impact on him. This tape is a sort of goodbye to the old life with no kids and a
new future with one. The eight pieces here are recorded with the acoustic guitar, although the
opening piece 'Loop Foe Judith Johnson' has very little evidence of that, as it sounds very
electronic. But in some of the other songs, yeah sure, we recognize the acoustic guitar, even when
S.U.V. applies quite a bit of processing to the sounds, adding his voice and other sound material,
which are not easy to be recognized. It sometimes sounds like field recordings and adds a slightly
percussive feel to the music. There is also the use of electronics, which makes this altogether quite
a strange release. Occasionally a bit folk like, dark and moody, but with these electronic sounds
also at times noisy and estranged, almost alien. I thought this odd pairing of sounds worked very
well. S.U.V. moves around with great ease between all of what is available for him and I should
think it is music that would appeal to wider audience then the fifty it now attracts. Maybe this is
something that in psychedelic and folk scenes would go down quite well and a release on vinyl
would have made perhaps sense. (FdW)
––– Address: https://otomatikmuziek.bandcamp.com/



MATTHEW ATKINS - POROUS INNER MONTAGE (cassette by Minimal Resource Manipulation)

Of course you recognise this name from the various releases he did he as Platform and under his
own banner; the latter, so it seems, is these days a favourite for him. As Matthew Atkins he plays
mostly moody music using old ‘cracked’ software and field recordings along with sounds he
produces with bells, wood, singing bowl, cymbals, circuit boards, guitar, pedals, wine glasses and
piano and with the help of Jonathan Clayton on cello and Paul May on percussion (on one piece
only). What he creates he calls ‘sonic collages’ rather than something defined as ‘musical’, as he
thinks of himself as a non-musician (despite being a drummer in some bands) and more and more
his work gets an excellent refined shape. That refinement does not mean it is very ambient or quiet;
it is a different kind of refinement. In his compositions Atkins works in a rather spacious way, given
certain sounds room to breathe, while others are more in a supporting role here. Not that he ever
did smear things together with sound, but now more than before I notice the details in his pieces. It
is hard to say what is exactly field recordings and what Atkins plays, save for the more obvious
sounds (piano, cello), which is not the details I mean. It’s all about how they are used in a specific
composition. I am very much reminded of Machinefabriek with this release; the delicate balance
between drones, crackles, field recordings and instruments that Machinefabriek usually has, is
also very much present with this new release. I hesitate to say it, but I think this is his best release
so far. (FdW)
––– Address: https://mrmrecordings.bandcamp.com/



EDUARDO ASTUDILLO & ANNE-F JACQUES - ATRAPANIEBLAS (cassette by Crustaces
   Tapes)

While I am not entirely certain it is so, I believe thatAnne-F Jacques is quite a traveller. Last week
we had her release with Pascal Battus and Tim Olive, recorded in 2017 in Paris, here is a cassette
on her own Crustaces Tapes ("send a gift or postcard", but you can also get them for a mere 3 us
dollars) she recorded in the afternoon and evening of December 16, 2016 in Santiago de Chile
with Eduardo Astudillo, of whom I never heard nor could find much information about him, so I
have not much idea what is going here. There isn't exactly a whole lot of information available on
the Bandcamp page or the cover. From Eduardo Astudillo's own Bandcamp there is an image of
him playing a snare drum and amplification. I would probably not have guessed the snare drum,
but amplification I surely would have mentioned as this is quite a loud and vicious beast when it
comes to the use of feedback on whatever acoustic objects are amplified around here. All picked
up with a microphone in the recording space and that prevents it from being an all over the top
feedback noise festival. At times they pull back away from the amplifier and investigate their objects,
which could really be anything from scattered objects, instruments or household appliances. This is
some radical improvised music, much like The New Blockaders records reviewed elsewhere, but
here from a stricter improvised music zone, so it is all less straightforward noise and oddly
(perhaps) a form of composition. Just like last week's CD this is radical improvised electro-
acoustica I enjoy very much. (FdW)
––– Address: https://crustaces.bandcamp.com/



ALE HOP - BODILESS (cassette by Buh Records)

It is very easy for me to admit I am not the right person to review pop music, alternative or
mainstream. I have no idea what developments are in that world. Ale Hop is originally from
Peru, now living in Berlin and has a master degree in Sound Studies from the university in that
city. Julia Holter wrote on Pitchfork (a site I never read, but should do of course if I want to know
something about modern popular music) that "her show was so loud and overwhelming, and the
energy was amazing in the room", which quote me think 'who is Julia Holter and how often did she
see something like Merzbow live?' Yesterday the newspaper I read had an interview with an
ambient composer I never heard of (Jon Hopkins) and I decided to check his ambient music, but I
heard something much more techno like. See, what do I know about what happens in the real
world?
    You're still reading. Ale Hop (maybe it's the heat outside, but why am I thinking of beer?) calls
her work "Hörspiel, noise, electronic experimentation, tracing a bridge towards electronic pop",
which is "inspired by the South American landscape and human geography", but to these untrained
ears sounds pretty pop, even when her voice seems to me not made full out singing. It's more
introvert, say some 4AD band from the 80s (thinking hard here and no, not the Cocteau Twins),
with some weirder elements thrown in but not enough for this die-hard experimentalist to think 'oh
electronic experimentation going here'. There is a more a poetry side to her music when it is a bit
more experimental, such as in both parts of the title piece. I predict a great career for this musician,
which moves outside of our scoop, which is fine I guess. (FdW)
––– Address: https://buhrecords.bandcamp.com/



CLAWING & OFFERBEEST - SPLIT (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)

It’s a damn rare thing when I listen to a band I haven’t heard of before and can’t think of anything
else to compare it to. At this point in my life, I’ve heard every sub-genre of weirdo electronic music
one could name. But Clawing are coming from someplace personal and unique, and hell yeah is it
refreshing. Sure, it’s got some dark drone electronics throb that imparts an implacable menace to
these languid songs. But it’s not a dark-ambient genre exercise, no way. The waking-dream guitar
reminds me a bit of Loren MazzaCane Connors or Roy Montgomery’s looser excursions. Ah, but
the key to it all is Matt Finney’s spoken voice, telling matter-of-fact tales of horror in a laconic
Alabama drawl… which is a particular regional American identity that isn’t very well represented in
this sort of music. As someone who lived and travelled in the American South for quite some time, I
loved hearing this voice. Finney’s deadpan readings seem even more threatening because he
doesn’t push it over the top… a strong performance, and a hell of a band.
    The other side of this tape seems to belong to a different album entirely. Offerbeest, aka the
nom de noise of Dutch artist Maurice de Jong, is such a contrast to Clawing that I wonder why they
share a tape at all. The artificiality of de Jong’s voice, slowed down and/or screeching to signify
“evil” “industrial”, seems cartoonish when compared to the bare naturalness of Clawing’s side.
While Offerbeest seems to intend to convey rage and menace, the emotional content comes across
as forced. There are some nice dive-bombing pounding rhythms here, and the bedrock synth
drones succeed in creating anxiety. Ah, but if you’ve heard Neuntöter der Plage or Brighter Death
Now, Offerbeest won’t surprise you. I wanted to hear more Clawing (whose work I’ll definitely seek
out now). (HS)
––– Address: https://nailbattapes.bandcamp.com/




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