number 1145
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week 34
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help Vital Weekly to survive:






CELER - NACREOUS CLOUDS (CD by Two Acorns) *
WILL LONG - LONG TRAX 2 (CD by Smalltown Supersound) *
RUDOLF EB.ER - OM KULT: RITUAL PRACTICE OF CONSCIOUS DYING VOL. 1 (CD by Om Kult/
  Schimpfluch Associates) *
ZOOM IN 12: NEW ART MUSIC FROM LITHUNIA (CD by MIC Lithuania)
DAME AREA - CENTRO DI GRAVITA (LP by BFE Records/Magia Roja) *
BITCHIN BAJAS / DSR LINES  - THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CIVILIZATIONS VOL. 2: ATLANTIS (LP
   by Abstrakce Records)
DE FABRIEK - SCHAFTTIJDSAMBA (LP by BFE Records) *
BUCK YOUNG - PROUD TRASH SOUND (LP by No Rent Records)
CAGES - INSIDE A RINGING CHORD (CDR, private) *
STEREOCILIA - WORMHOLE (CDR by Echoic Memory) *
DAVID VELEZ - THE THINGS THAT OBJECTS CAN TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES (CDR by
  Flaming Pines) *
ERNIE ALTHOFF - FIFTEEN (CDR by Shame File Music) *
ERNIE ALTHOFF & CLINTON GREEN - BLINDFOLD TEST (CDR by Shame File Music) *
SURFACE NOISE VOL. 4 (CDR by Shame File Music) *
SURFACE NOISE VOL. 5 (CDR by Shame File Music) *
THE SAND RAYS - A MYSTERIOUS DISK (3"CDR by The Ceiling) *
CUBE - WET HOUSING (cassette by Anathema)
GUNTHER VALENTINE - MAINE REDACTIONS (cassette by Anathema)



CELER - NACREOUS CLOUDS (CD by Two Acorns)
WILL LONG - LONG TRAX 2 (CD by Smalltown Supersound)

Last week I mentioned the first time I wrote about Machinefabriek and how many times I used
music by him in the podcast. This will not turn into a weekly feature, but here I mention it again
but in connection with Celer, of whom I used 25 bits in the podcast and thus probably reviewed
a little more than that. There is also good reason to mention this as here we have 'Nacreous
Cloud', which is a re-issue and it happened to be the very first time Celer was mentioned in
these pages, all the way back in Vital Weekly 645 (although I reviewed a collaboration of them
and Mathieu Ruhlmann in Vital Weekly 628). I am not sure why this is re-issued, although my
best guess would it was unavailable for some time. I would think Celer is a highly productive
entity so there is always something new to release. On 'Nacreous Cloud' Celer was a duo of
Danielle Baquet-Long (pianos, words, custom electronics, tape-loops, Theremin) and Will Long
(pianos, custom electronics, tape-loops, arrangement diagrams and splicing) and of course you
know that Baquet-Long passed away in 2009, following that it is now a solo project. Back then I
received three releases by Celer in one week, lumping them all together in one review. Back
then I had extra information, which I am repeating here; "here too highly ambient loops are
created to make the music. Its played by cello, violin, piano, bells but also household sounds,
the wind, walking gravel streets and such like, but if you wouldn't know this, you could as easily
mistake this for a bunch of slow arpeggio's played on an analogue synthesizer. But it's not. Celer
created loops of everything and playing three to six loops on their reel-to-reel recorders,
'connected to both our laptops and channelled back out into a Kaiser filter', they say. Perhaps
the 'Kaiser filter' makes that these thirty-seven (!!) tracks sound quite similar with sonic differences
to be spotted through a microscope. It moves similar to clouds, like those mentioned in the title,
which occur in winter time". You see I already slipped in some of the original opinion and it's
something that I still stand by, but now, ten or so years later and hearing so many other works by
Celer (which is far from their entire output), it's quite interesting to hear this again; especially the
short format of the pieces is something they didn't do a lot since, so I believe, and while each of the
thirty-seven pieces as an individual title, it is very well possible to experience all of this as one long
work, cut into various shorter bits, ranging from a mere minute to several, each like a cloud passing
in the sky; that is not today, which is a bit greyish and no wind, but somehow the moody textures of
Celer seem to fit very well this kind of weather and just like the first time I heard it, I can safely say:
my kind of weather. For those interested if there is a difference between the two versions, I am very
happy to report that this is a remastered version, expertly done by Stephan Mathieu (who is in the
process of making his mastering work into a proper business; I should be independent of course,
but he seems the right for this kind of music).
    Back in Vital Weekly 1060 I was pleasantly surprised by a release by Will Long, as Will Long,
called 'Long Trax', a nice pun on his name as well as the fact these were long pieces indeed. The
real surprise was in the music, which was all house music; deep house music as Will calls it. I am
no expert on the nomenclature of dance music, but I sure l loved that release. Here we have the
follow-up album, again long tracks to be found here, six in total and there is a similar familiar
thread going through all of them. Some very smooth synth sounds, almost nightclubbish in
atmosphere, guided by some great beats, strong on the 4/4 of course, a fine set of percussive
sounds and sometimes vocal samples that repeat lines off and on. I am not sure if there is the
same political motivation behind all of this as on the previous one, but some of the samples seem
to suggest that, in 'That's The Way It Goes' or 'The Struggles, The Difficulties'. A visitor to the HQ
heard this and said it was fine background music, but then we were talking along all the time;
when I turned up the volume and we shut up for a while he mentioned that it could be indeed an
excellent minimal floor filler, so there you go. This is music that aims to please the feet as well fine
background home listening. The surprise of Celer's Will Long is not here again, but it sure is a
pretty damn fine follow-up. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.thesingularwe.org/twoacorns/
––– Address: https://smalltownsupersoundofficial.bandcamp.com/



RUDOLF EB.ER - OM KULT: RITUAL PRACTICE OF CONSCIOUS DYING VOL. 1 (CD by Om Kult/
  Schimpfluch Associates)

It should hardly be a secret that I really like the current output by Schimpfluch's originator Rudolf
Eb.er. Perhaps I like most of his music ever since finding out about it in the mid 80s. For a long
time it was all about cut-up of sounds recorded during the various actions and performances if
psychophysical exercises, but these days it is about 'various shamanic and tantric traditions',
"giving us a glimpse into occult techniques for the transition from life to death". According to Eb.er
on this first volume of Om Kult trilogy there is no timeline for any of these thirty-one tracks. It is all
evolves "from his extended 'Brainnectar' studies on psycho-ritual forces and examinations of
personal psychotic episodes with aural hallucinations and paranormal perception. The focus now
is on the occult knowledge and practice of conscious dying; on the ejecting mind as well as on the
decomposing human body". This is probably pretty grim, I'd say, but the music is quite something
else. Many of the sounds here were recorded by Eb.er in Japanese forests, creeks and waterfalls
and consist of high piercing sounds of insects, fire like crackles and some more extreme treatments
all-together. In each of these there are few sounds, but they are quite heavily amplified and
continuous all together, not unlike some very powerful drone music. Sometimes it seems like a
human voice and of course it's easy to think 'man's last breath', but maybe that's an altogether too
easy of a reference. Many of these pieces are short and to the point and it's a great trip into a very
hot and humid environment. Even without thinking about the background of the Om Kult and what
 it stands for, this makes up for some very radical music build from field recordings. I am not sure
to what extent Eb.er would allow us to enjoy the music for it is, severed from it's conceptual
background; I know I did and I enjoyed the music 'as is' very well. (FdW)
––– Address: http://rudolfeber.bandcamp.com



ZOOM IN 12: NEW ART MUSIC FROM LITHUNIA (CD by MIC Lithuania)

Lithuanian musicians from the serious music sector should be happy with their Music Information
Center Lithuania, who supports their work on an international level. We receive fairly regularly
compilations displaying new classical music, even when we aren't specialists in that particular
field. Zoom In, a regular series since 2002 with new, recent compositions. This is the 12th edition
containing pieces by, Justė Janulytė, Dominykas Digimas, Egidija Medekšaitė, Justina Repečkaitė,
Marius Baranauskas, Žibuoklė Martinaitytė and Julius Aglinskas, who all have works for string
quartet, chamber orchestras and such like. There is nothing electronic to be spotted around here.
What tie these pieces together are a somewhat minimal approach and a more or less introspective
sound, but each composer has their own approach. Martinaitytė orchestral piece is quite dramatic
but takes too much time for me; I quite enjoyed the harpsichord piece by Janulytė, or the Arvo Pårt
inspired string quartet piece by Julias Aglinskas, but I am not the right person to explain modern
classical music. Why I like or dislike something is for me impossible to describe in terms that I know
and use to describe many others in these pages. Suffice to say this is a most enjoyable compilation
and if classical music of the modern variety is your thing then surely this is something for you. (FdW)
––– Address: http://mic.lt



DAME AREA - CENTRO DI GRAVITA (LP by BFE Records/Magia Roja)
BITCHIN BAJAS / DSR LINES  - THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CIVILIZATIONS VOL. 2: ATLANTIS (LP
   by Abstrakce Records)
DE FABRIEK - SCHAFTTIJDSAMBA (LP by BFE Records)

Spanish label BFE Records (which stands for Burka For Everybody) blends past and current
together with their releases. All three (of four) releases/groups do music that can be just as
much 'now' as 'then'. It hard for me to prove in any way but a thing to try out would be to play
these records to someone with a bit of musical knowledge and ask them to say roughly in which
year they were made. I can't do that because I know one was released in 1980, while I read the
liner notes of the others in preparing a review to know they are from 'now'.
    This journey started for me with a Spanish duo Dame Area, being Silvia Konstance, whose
project it was originally in solo mode, and Viktor L.Crux (" Futuro de Hierro, ex-Qa’a, ex-Ordre
Etern, collaborator of Nurse With Wound, Jochen Arbeit and various Gnodheads"), who is the
owner of Magia Roja ('red magic') label in Barcelona, who co-releases this. Franco Battiato
influenced their music. Konstance sings, play organs, synths and percussion while Crux plays
synthesizers, rhythm machine and voice. It is mentioned in that order and judging by the music
there isn't much from Crux’ singing. The sound here is very much early to mid 80s, taking it's cues
from minimal synth, motorik beats and a bit of industrial; not as in the early days of industrial, but
rather all a bit later, when it was a bit more elektro. The lyrics are all in Spanish, so I have not
much idea what they are about. There are seven pieces in total and while the label mentions,
actually quite rightly Malaria, Liaisons Dangerouses and Suicide (plus Muslimgauze, which I
thought was a bit less on the spot), I was also thinking of Map 71, who recently released a new
CD. A similar set-up of synths, rhythms (albeit with Map 71 real drums, not machines) and female
vocals, with Map 71 more poetic/narrative and Dame Area being more song based, there is
definitely also a shared interest in their approach to the music. The music is quite forceful on the
rhythm from time to time, but the melodic aspect is not forgotten. That makes all of this irresistible.
It even has a slightly tribalistic aspect to it in the use of the beats (and I can see why the label
would mention Muslimgauze, especially the early work, but I think this is just a bit different), which
works well in this varied album of songs. Play loud if you have the possibility and dance like 1990
never happened.
    Abstrakce Records is a BFE Records subdivision and I have no idea if it has a mission
statement or anything, but I enjoyed the Colin Potter (see Vital Weekly 1111) and The Legendary
Pink Dots (see Vital Weekly 1023) releases they did. I didn't hear the others so far. I am not sure
if I heard of DSR LInes or Bitchin Bajas before. Their split LP is inspired by the story of Atlantis and
is outlined in a beautifully printed booklet (cover is also of the same high quality; all "letterpressed
with metal movable type as Gutenberg used to do it, as all of the Abstrakce editions"). DSR Lines
is David Edren, who released before on Ultra Eczema, JJ Funhouse and Black Sweat, and he is
all about using modular synthesizers, such as Buchla 200 and Serge Synthesizer Systems. With
his music we leave the 80s and return to the mid 70s and think of Tangerine Dream and Klaus
Schulze. Neat arpeggios roll about, like tinkling wind chimes outside and on top sparse melodies
are played. Music that sounds like under water bubbles, but surely it is not DSR Lines' intention to
make that connection to Atlantis being consumed by the sea. This is very friendly and easy going
music. Very cosmic, which is something that can also be said of the other side, by Bitchin Bajas.
This is a trio with Cooper Crain (also from the band Cave, apparently), Dan Quinlivan and Rob
Frye. Permanent Records, Drag City, Hands in the Dark and Important Records all have released
music from them. Their take on the cosmic music is a tad more experimental and little bit abstract
and dwells less on the use of arpeggio's as they are just present in the second half of this side
long piece of music, but white noise sounding sea waves combined with some acoustic instruments
such as a flute. The overall mood is a bit darker, certainly compared to the music of DSR Lines and
certainly could be a reference to Atlantis' fate.
    And last we have the re-issue of De Fabriek's very first album 'Schafttijdsamba' (which could
roughly mean 'lunch time samba'), which was released by the band in 1982. I checked an old diary
and learned I bought a copy on October 10, 1983, and while buying records and cassettes quite
regularly that LP was heavily in rotation. Maybe also because I was corresponding with the band at
that point, so it was close to home. De Fabriek started in 1977 and released a few cassettes before
this LP, but here truly blossom their early sound. Later on they became a much more industrial
force, under the influence of Esplendor Geometrico. In recent years the band returned, even can
be found online, which made them the last band on earth to connect to the digital world. I have
been reviewing some of their recent work and I must have written before that I have not much idea
how they operate. Not now, not then. I think it always was a matter of getting sounds dropped in,
from various sources, on cassettes in the old days, and then some people doing a sound collage
out of that. In 1980 members were Richard van Dellen (who is still at the controls), Heinz Bönig,
Andries D. Eker (later Soft Joke Productions), Henry Mouwer, Louis Schreur and Nico Selen (later
from O.R.D.U.C.). He does the vocals on 'Es Lebe Die Freiheit', I think. This re-issue lacks two
pieces from the original (it is also a slightly different order of songs, which was a bit confusing for
me obviously). The original was perhaps quite long at over twenty-five minutes per side and it may
have shown in the pressing. That is perhaps a pity for those who want to get of their original record?
The missing songs are on the bandcamp page of the label, for true completists. This first LP by De
Fabriek shows their various playful sides of trumpet piece, such as 'Barbara' and 'African Disco',
with a slow rhythm machine and delay pedal with someone blowing a trumpet on top; the political
'Es Lebe Die Freiheit' and other more radical tape-experiments. But perhaps radical is a word that
means extreme and that is not the case. It is not noise, but rather fine, naive spacious doodling,
minimal synth and other homegrown experiments. There are perhaps too many re-issues these
days, but this is a most welcome one, even for someone who still has the original and plays it
every now and then. (FdW)
––– Address: http://bferecords.com/



BUCK YOUNG - PROUD TRASH SOUND (LP by No Rent Records)

There’s a wealth of music that addresses the idea and origins of American culture. America is, if
nothing else, a nation that loves to create myths about itself, then pry apart those myths in order to
supplant them with new ones. From Negativland’s collaged critiques of capitalism and commerce
to Jonathan Richman’s rhapsodic love songs to architecture to The Residents’ disingenuous and
condescending “Cube-E” to all sorts of movies and TV stories about idealized small-town life in
some idealized American era… American art about American art is a long and onanistic American
tradition. Into that vast canon, Jason Crumer and his collaborators (Alan Jones, Christian Mirande,
Zoe Burke, Matt Shuff) launch a complex album called “Proud Trash Sound” that, to its great credit,
never spells out explicitly or obviously what it’s saying about American culture. It does, however,
plant plenty of seeds for listeners’ consideration. Neither blatantly ironic nor mocking, “Proud Trash
Sound” respects its source material, approaching it from the inside while casting it in uneasy critical
 light.
    The first hurdle to contend with is the name Buck Young, which could be a twist on 50 Cent’s
alter ego Young Buck and also perhaps a nod to country legend Buck Owens. Take this allusion
along with Brian Blomerth’s fantastic comic art (on the cover, on a comic-panel-like insert and on
fabulous posters) and listeners may make another association: perhaps this is an album about
white American culture. How else can one understand the title “Proud Trash Sound” presented
with depictions of mythical cowboys as an allusion to “white trash”, that nasty epithet hurled at low-
income residents of the American South? When coupled with an inversion of an African American
hip-hop artist’s alias, it seems intentional. Which begs the question: if this is music specifically
about white American culture, what is it saying? I'm not sure I know yet, but the intentional ambiguity
is intriguing.
    The participants are known primarily for making electronic music, sound art, and harsh noise.
“Proud Trash Sound” certainly incorporates elements of all of those, but it also can be heard as a
country album. Yes, really. The songs are a loose cycle telling a story of love, betrayal and revenge,
a tale that should be familiar to anyone who listens to classic country of the 1960s (Merle Haggard,
George Jones, Waylon Jennings etc) and further ensconced in American cultural imagination via
Western movies from the 1930s to 1960s. It’s worth noting that the truth of driving cattle was far from
John Wayne’s romantic depiction of that occupation. And so the image of the cowboy that we have
today is itself a myth created by Americans living in a time of war and social unrest. It’s a mythology
by and for Americans, air-brushing their complicated past in order to tell themselves a new creation
story. That archetype is the entry-point for “Proud Trash Sound”: a lonesome cowboy in a doomed
romance, defused and refracted through a 21st century lens of harsh electronic music. Crumer and
company walk a tricky line here… hints of critical distance creep in with gender reversals, feedback
blasts, and violence, and yet the tropes of the genre are incorporated seamlessly.
    The listener is immediately dropped into a tornado of signifiers: a flurry of horses, gunshots,
banjo and hog calls. But, crucially, the hog calls are taken from a record… that is, a step away
from the authentic, with vinyl skipping making the artifice plain. The story begins with “Where’s
Linda?”, a demand made amid crackling whitenoise and raga-drone guitar. “Bad Feeling” follows,
a slide guitar break-up ballad of male sadness told with distorted/exaggerated Residential
interjections. That “wild west” myth is pushed over the top on  “Hang Em Hiiiiiiiiii!” (note the
troubling title, an allusion to justice by gallows), a modern country tale of debauchery with the
blues riff backed by electronic static.  The main character is named in “Murdoch” , a piano ballad
with concrete rustling and 60-cycle hum “bad cord” buzz playing in stereo field. So far, this could
be the plot of a soap opera or spaghetti Western (which, it’s worth noting, were stories of a mythical
late-19th century America created by Europeans in the 1960s and 70s). “Hey Linda!” begins
identically to “Where’s Linda?” from the previous side, but takes a very different path: Zoe Burke
snarls Foetus-like lyrics, threatening poor Linda over violent noise interjections: “You can’t run out
like that / I’m gonna fuck you with my gat / I’ll see you at the corner store / with your knuckles
dragging on the floor. / How can you do me like this? / I’m gonna kiss you with my fist.” Yikes! And
hang on: the anachronistic presence of a gat reminds the listener that this isn't really the wild west.
Burke brings it all to a close on the album’s best song, “I’m Getting Better”, a forceful and soulful
broken-hearted ballad that has her voice distorted with virtuosic tape-pause splices and shifting
acoustic spaces in the place of a traditional orchestra. (HS)
––– Address: http://www.norentrecords.com



CAGES - INSIDE A RINGING CHORD (CDR, private)

There is a lot of information on the cover to digest here; for each of the six pieces all the musicians
are mentioned, of which David Bailey and Nola Ranallo seem to be the only constant presence.
Every track is recorded in at least 4 or 5 different spaces, studios or perhaps venues, over a longer
period of time and there is, per piece, some explanation as to what the song is about, plus some
overall information. As to instruments used there seem to be plenty of guitars, violin, cello, oboe,
percussion as well as 'analogue and digital procession'. The six pieces take up the entire amount
of CD time available. Three pieces clock in around twenty minutes and as such the music tends to
drift widely apart. This is one of those things that belong very much to the world of Vital Weekly, but
at the same time made me scratch my head, trying to think what to write about it. It is the sort of free-
folk psychedelic music at times that leaves much room for on-going sonic drifts as well having the
rising to mighty crescendos as Godspeed You Black Emperor; perhaps with the difference that
Cages don't rise that much, except in 'Devil'. When it comes to vocals, Ranallo's voice at times
reminded me of Björk or Beth Gibbons and at other times a more folksy approach. The music
becomes a more gothic enterprise at such instances, with a semi-classical approach. It is quite
a mixed bag altogether, and I think some of the longer pieces could surely have been a bit shorter,
as for me the spacious drifts didn't always work that well. A bit more concise would have worked
quite well, I think; now it surely the best moments forms a majority. (FdW)
––– Address: https://cagesmusic.bandcamp.com/



STEREOCILIA - WORMHOLE (CDR by Echoic Memory)

As this was housed in a very professional digipack and booklet, I thought Stereocilia, also known
as John Scott, made the transition from CDR to CD, but it's not. Still when it comes to presenting
your CDR this is an example of how to do it. A change took place with regard to the use of
instruments, and that's perhaps only because the opportunity was there. In Rotterdam houses a
great organisation, called Worm, a stage, a place to create and meet and work in a great analogue
studio. Up until recently they housed the former CEM Studio in their building, with tons of ancient
machines and which I believe are easy to use for those who ask. These days they host another
studio, but with a similar set-up (see also the review of BJ Nilsen's record last week). Scott went in
there in April 2017 to work for three days and came out with three hours worth of materials,
including four that he presents on 'Wormhole' (granted not the most original title). The booklet says
it is all improvised and there are no overdubs. The fifth piece, spanning thirty-two minutes, is a live-
in-studio concert using synths, a drum machine and a guitar, which was streamed onto Facebook
(and saved on YouTube, at least partly). There are lots of vintage synthesizers here, as opposed to
lots of modular racks here and maybe that's where the music pushes slightly in a more cosmic
direction, in both the four improvisations but especially in the live piece. In the four pieces it is all
synthesizers and a bit of drum machines, humming spaciously yet dark away in slowly moving
circles and vast horizons, yet in the fifth piece the guitar wails about like Manual Göttsching all
those moons ago, supported by some strong drum machine stuck in the same module for a long
time, building a very fine psychedelic pattern, which sounds great but also very retro. I guess that's
not always a bad thing as Stereocilia does something unusual, out of it's box and that's great. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.stereociliamusic.com



DAVID VELEZ - THE THINGS THAT OBJECTS CAN TELL US ABOUT OURSELVES (CDR by
  Flaming Pines)

By now music by David Velez has been reviewed quite a bit and many of these are works of
collaboration. Velez is from Columbia and has lived in New York. Field recordings certainly play
an important role in his music, but he also uses objects in concerts, installations and composition.
From the cover I understand he is also teaching Foley to film and art students; production of sound
that go along with films. You smash some cauliflower while on screen Hannibal is chopping men's
liver. That sort of thing. For Velez destruction of objects is quite important, as it can "become a
poetic and metaphoric action where elements such as fragility, vulnerability and transience can be
reflected on it". Velez compiled this new release from various concerts in which he plays objects. I
assume these recordings are superimposed on top of each other and while you could think that the
destruction of acoustic objects could easily lead into a massive amount of stamped on plastic cups,
say the sort of things The Haters or The New Blockaders would use, Velez doesn't use any
electronics (or at least not to the extent a true noise band would do), but keeps it mostly acoustic.
Surely there is quite some reverb from time to time, but otherwise sounds are as natural as they
come, I think. There is one piece here, clocking at some fifty minutes, which is divided into various
sections. The element of destruction isn't that clear to me, as it sounds like a long improvisation on
a variety of metallic objects, which Velez plays rather carefully. It is all very electro-acoustic,
probably more acoustic than electro of course, which reminded me of some of the live work of
Kapotte Muziek. It seems also to me that Velez might use some field recordings to go along with
his playing or perhaps it is just some extensive layering of sounds. There is a beautiful tranquillity
to the music; everything seems to be moving in a rather slow pace. That adds further to me thinking
carefully about the whole element of destruction. Sometimes there is just some sort of drone
lingering about, and the music becomes quieter than it already is, especially in the second half.
All of this worked very well for me, destruction or otherwise. Sometimes it sounds like Velez is a
percussion player in some improvisation set-up, and at other times the explorer of more musique
concrete like textures and sounds. (FdW)
––– Address: http://flamingpines.com/



ERNIE ALTHOFF - FIFTEEN (CDR by Shame File Music)
ERNIE ALTHOFF & CLINTON GREEN - BLINDFOLD TEST (CDR by Shame File Music)
SURFACE NOISE VOL. 4 (CDR by Shame File Music)
SURFACE NOISE VOL. 5 (CDR by Shame File Music)

It’s been a while since we last heard music by Ernie Althoff; 'Tide Shelf' was reviewed in Vital
Weekly 863. He is still constructing his own instruments with primarily a percussive functioning.
On YouTube you can find various clips of concerts by him and what I see is a mixture of motor
driven machinery with sheets and strips of metal colliding, bits of rope and objects gentle bouncing
around, mixed with Althoff adding manually a bunch of other sounds. There are, apparently, six
machines used "pairing them in the fifteen permutations of the title", which means that they are
mixed 'a/b', 'c/d-b/d', 'e/a-f/a-f/c' etc. and there are nine pieces. I am not sure how relevant I think
that is, as I must say that throughout these nine pieces it all sounds pretty much similar; that mild
chaotic sound of colliding surfaces and tinkling bells sound pretty much the same in all of these
pieces. It is very hard to point any differences between these pieces even when the machines look
quite differently (pictures included on the cover). I enjoyed it best as one long floating composition
of percussive sounds and perhaps at sixty-three minutes it was also a bit long.
    To play right after the collaboration between Althoff and label boss Clinton Green is perhaps
not a wise idea; I waited a day. There are four 'studio' pieces in which Althoff's machines are
playing along four turntable constructions devised by Green. Each lasts about ten minutes, which I
think is a bit long to get the drift. Unlike Althoff's solo music, which has a pretty irregular character
and seems to be changing all the time, here the sound is pretty minimal and seems to be in one
place through the length of the piece. I might be entirely wrong of course. It could be a bit shorter I
think. There are also two live pieces in which there is more interaction and changes here it works
much better. A somewhat better recording would have done more justice to both players, as it
seems that one is less audible than the other. This is not bad but not great either, but a fine
documentation of their work together.
    Then there are also two new split CDRs in which in the first one we have per piece a duo
combining electro and acoustic sources. The first piece on 'Volume 4' is by Ben Byrne, who plays
tapes and Rosalind Hall, who plays prepared saxophone. Their recording is from 2014 is quite a
radical piece. I have no idea what is on those tapes by Byrne, or how he uses them in playback,
but the music is altogether quite radical. Hall half blows, whispers, moans and uses the whole body
of the instrument to fit the more extreme noises produced by Byrne. Nice one! The other piece is by
Anthea Caddy (violincello) and Matthew Davis (analogue synth), recorded live in 2015. Their duet
is also quite extreme from time to time, either through sonic overload or the use of dynamics. There
is a fine interaction between both players here, leaving room for each other to do a solo bit and
react/respond to the other.
    'Volume 5' contains a nine-minute noise piece by Dotabata, recorded at the International
Noise Conference. It's a fairly regular piece of noise music; loud, distorted, topped with a bit of
feedback and excessive rumble. At nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds I would think also long
enough. I am sure in concert it made more impact than at home. Llara Goodall has a cassette
meat grinder, which she feeds with slices of pop music. I think. I am not sure of course. It all results
also in quite the noisy affair, more collage like I guess, with much mayhem and chaos, and what
seems to audience enjoying themselves. At thirteen minutes and twenty-six minutes, you guessed,
the message came across loud and clear and that was enough for me. (FdW)
––– Address: http://shamefilemusic.com/



THE SAND RAYS - A MYSTERIOUS DISK (3"CDR by The Ceiling)

From the ever expanding universe of... well, whoever is behind... erm... hold on... there is nothing
on the cover and the letter that came with it says 'a mysterious disc', but also mentions The Sand
Rays. It's an ever changing name, Sand Ray, Ray Sands, Sand Rays, unleashing 3"CDRs onto
the world; occasionally a few were compiled into a proper CD (see Vital Weekly 1121). The
website says this: "Poking at the deepening discographical badlands", while mentioning name
and title, so I guess it's not that mysterious, but poking fun at completists and such. Music wise this
is all firmly rooted in the world of drone music. It is deeply atmospheric and usually made with
samples of every day objects, transformed into lengthy sustaining pieces of music. However don't
expect this to be one long piece of drone music, but it's not. The Sand Rays move through at least
4 different shades of a greyish sound world, even become silent at one point, and a firm break
somewhere, before going through it's final stage of vinyl abuse and radiophonic pick-up.
Everything is on a constant change course, so nothing stays the same for very long. While I am
not too sure about the mystery game of the poking fun business, I think this is something that
more people should hear than the ones now. If you are proud of what you do, show it! The Sand
Rays, or who-ever, should pick a steady name and be less obscure. Their music deserves it. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.theceiling.ca



CUBE - WET HOUSING (cassette by Anathema)
GUNTHER VALENTINE - MAINE REDACTIONS (cassette by Anathema)

From what seems to be a new label run by Gunther Valentine we receive two releases, both by
musicians I never heard of. I started of with Cube. The description on the Bandcamp page is quite
vague to say the least. "Cube is the only sonic shapeshifter working today through a supercollider
of expert ventriloquism on this latest release. He tests your limits through fidelity and
experimentation before giving you a chance to turn the crystal, hold your body to the sun, and
change not only your own mind but also his very own several times over through a unique
transcendence of memory and apparition." It means that words 'digital' and 'lo-fi' go together,
which make up an odd pairing I'd say, but listening to seventeen pieces I think I understand what
Anathema means with that. Pieces are somewhere between one and five minutes and contain
equal amounts of rhythm and noise, recorded on what is no doubt some ancient laptop; some of
the samples could be picked with the internal microphone and explain some of its cruder shaping.
The music is rough edged, but certainly not noise-in a noise sense; not noise for the sake of noise.
It owes as well to the world of dance music; primitive forms of techno, drum 'n bass and breakbeat
are employed here and because it is not always in sync with whatever else these plug-ins cook up
with, there is a fine uneasiness in the music. An unbalance if you will that works well. Altogether
this is a nicely disturbed and varied release.
    Labelboss Valentine has released on labels as Primitive Languages, No Rent and All Gone
yet 'Redactions' is the first time I hear his music. The cover says that bits were recorded using Max
MSP and field recordings (beginning of Side A) and the rest 'using MIDI gear'. There are no
individual pieces per side mentioned, yet I would think there are distinct parts to be noticed. Here
too I'd say there is a crossover; rhythm is something Valentine also uses, but not in a similar techno
(et al) fashion as Cube. The noise element is at times harsh here, piercing even, but in the overall,
grander scheme of things I'd say Valentine, despite his Max MSP and Midi gear, connects dots to
the world of modular synthesizers, bleeping and peeping against fierce layers of power drones.
This is exactly the kind of thing that one would associate with the world of modular electronics and
modern day musique concrete. It's not loud throughout, as Valentine knows how to pull back gear
and come up some more introspective doodling. This is quite a dynamic release and one full of
excellent controlled power. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.anathema.me/

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