number 1150
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week 39
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KJ - EX (CD by Dronarivm) *
SPHYXION - 2 (CD by Zoharum) *
MAEROR TRI - ARCHAIC STATES (CD by Zoharum) *
MAEROR TRI - ULTIMATE TIME (CD by Zoharum) *
XAVIER CHARLES & JACQUES DI DONATO – ILEX (CD by Protagoniste) *
DAUNIK LAZRO & DOMINIQUE RÉPÉCAUD & KRISTOFF K.ROLL & GÉRALDINE KELLER –
  ACTIONS SONIQUES (CD by Centre Malreaux)
FRANCISCO MEIRINO - THE RUINS (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
GERRITT WITTMER - CREATION STORIES (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
JEROME NOETINGER, ROBERT PIOTROWICZ, ANNA ZARADNY - CRACKFINDER (LP by
  Musica Genera) *
LE SYNDICAT FACTION VIVANTE - INTERACTION SOCIALE (LP by Aussaat)
ANNE GILLIS & JAC BERROCAL & JACQUES DOYEN - FUEL 217/SACRE (7' by Présence
  Capitale D'Avantage)
CRAZY DOBERMAN - RUST CLATTER FOR THE MIDWEST SUN (7" by Il Dischi Del Barone)
NIKITA RAFAELOV – SPIRIT OF GAIA (CDR by Gotta Let It Out) *
HOBAMA – SAME (CDR by Gotta Let It Out) *
JACOBSON/FRIIS/MANISCALCO – SPLIT: BODY (cassette by Gotta Let It Out)
DYLAN NYOUKIS & DAN MELCHIOR - UNUSUAL DEALERS (CDR by Chocolate Monk) *
RED BRUT/BLOOD STEREO - SPLIT (CDR by Chocolate Monk)
BEN LINK COLLINS - ALABAMA FIELD SERIES PART ONE (CDR by Alabama Field) *
BEN LINK COLLINS - REFLECTING SHADE (CDR by Alabama Field) *
ANACLETO VITOLO - OBSIDIAN (CDR by Primrose/Flipper) *
CINEMA PERDU - 2 COMPOSITIONS WITH FOUND SOUNDS (3"CDR by Taalem) *
TAINNOS - KIERTO (3"CDR by Taalem) *
EMMANUEL MIEVILLE - JIN GNAG JING (LE SUTRA DU DIAMANT) (3"CDR by Taalem) *
ILIA BELORUKOV & MIGUEL A. GARCIA & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - ETWAS (cassette by
  Tanuki Records) *
ANDREA BORGI - SUPERELIEF (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo) *
PHIL MAGUIRE - FOLAMH, ENDLESS (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo) *
PHILIP SULIDAE  - PETRIFICATION AND STRIFE (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo) *
MENG QI - SPAN (cassette by Cloudchamber) *
PUSCHA - UNDULATIONS (cassette by Cloudchamber) *
PRMS - CONTRETEMPS (cassette by Cloudchamber) *



KJ - EX (CD by Dronarivm)

Just like the French label Eilean Records has a fine talent for seeking ambient musicians I never
heard, so does Russia's Dronarivm. Here we have someone called KJ, which is followed by
Rothweiler on the cover. This is surely one of the shortest 'band' names in some time, with also
one of the shortest titles in some time. KJ has had releases on Cathedral Transmissions, 38 and
Lost Tribe Sound, but 'Ex' is my first introduction to his sound world. There is no indication as to
instruments used, and it's not easy to guess what KJ does here. All too easy I could say he uses
guitar and lost of effects, but for all I know it could also be heavily processed field recordings, or
modular synthesizers, or... well, who knows, maybe a combination of all of this. It probably doesn't
matter, except if you are writing reviews. Guitars are certainly used here, that much is true, but my
best guess is that KJ uses quite a diverse set of instruments and sounds to create his music.
Guitars and piano can be recognized and no doubt there is a fair amount of treatments applied
here. Like with many of the Dronarivm releases this too is firmly stuck in the world of ambient
music. KJ goes for the more usual darker overtones, but is not afraid to bring a bit of light in his
work, thus moving back and forth between the dark ringing of ambient guitar of the title piece and
the lighter piano tinkle of 'Caro', almost new age in approach. Field recordings are employed in
'Thursday', which sounds like a church organ recorded in a cathedral and processed to sound like
a funeral march. Within the safe space of what he does, KJ's power lies in offering a variety of
colours and moods and it makes a remarkable unified album. On 'Foxes' there is a guest
appearance by Aaron Martin, himself no stranger to the world of Dronarivm. This is a very fine
album for the oncoming shorter days. (FdW)
––– Address: https://dronarivm.com/



SPHYXION - 2 (CD by Zoharum)
MAEROR TRI - ARCHAIC STATES (CD by Zoharum)
MAEROR TRI - ULTIMATE TIME (CD by Zoharum)

The name Sphyxion may not mean much yet, but it is the name of a new group by Frederic and
Olivier Charlot, whom we also know as Maninkari. As such they play with rhythmic music that
reminded me of Rapoon, Desaccord Majeur, Internal Fusion and Muslimgauze. I am not sure why
they decided upon a new name; it's not clear from the information. It's not that they now play
acoustic guitars, heavy metal or country & western. Sphyxion still plays something that is very
rhythmic, and perhaps a bit more mechanical and less organic, so the immediate connection is
not to the four bands that are the influence on Maninkari, but there is a slightly more science fiction
soundtrack feel to the music, but than to the classic black and white pictures. The overall mood
here is dark and moody, but sometimes there is a bit of light to be spotted here. Occasionally I was
reminded me of Biosphere during 'Patashnik', especially in such pieces as the opening one (no
titles are given). Sometimes it leans more towards techno music, but it never leaps into a full on
dance modus, just as it never goes in a full drone path either, even when some of the more
rhythmic particles are sped up so they almost sound like a drone. There is altogether quite some
variation here I should think, making a very fine moody record of alternative electronic pop tunes
and something that goes way beyond that. This is excellent stuff.
    And there are, to close off the recent batch of new releases by Zoharum, two re-issues of the
work of Maeror Tri. I guess everyone is familiar with the music by this massively popular group that
existed from the mid 80s to 1997, before splitting up and becoming Troum and 1000schoen.
Massively popular is of course a relative thing but judging by the amount of releases and re-issues
that the band after they split up, they are surely very popular. As before with Zoharum re-issues of
Maeror Tri (see Vital Weekly 1029) these two cassettes were re-issued before, by Absurd and Old
Europa Cafe respectively on CDR, but these new versions are sold as 'the first proper remastered
versions'. I can't judge really. As an early fan of Maeror Tri it's always good to hear their music,
although I don't seem to be playing a lot of it these days; perhaps only when it arrives is for me a
time to get back to some of the older releases as well, but I still enjoy their ambient approach to
the industrial music, and quite rightly they can be seen as the true masters of what was called in
the 'ambient industrial'. All the usual suspect are here, the massive guitar landscapes, field
recordings, organ like sounds, voices with much delay work, the occasional noise bit that is the
mark of the time in which this was recorded and it is all more refined than when I heard the first
time, on cassette. The re-mastering is done wonderfully well and is for me personally a great trip
down memory lane, to more carefree days of yesterthen.  (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.zoharum.com



XAVIER CHARLES & JACQUES DI DONATO – ILEX (CD by Protagoniste)

Both Charles and Di Donato are clarinet players from France.  Xavier Charles is at home in noisy
rock projects, improvised music, electro-acoustic music, etc. A man of no borders, who worked
with Martin Tetrault, The Ex, Otomo Yoshihide, Michel Doneda, etc. Veteran Di Donato plays
saxophone, but above all clarinet. Worked with Louis Sclavis, Pierre Boulez, and Bernard Lubat
to name a few. He operates in the context of jazz and improvisation as well as modern composed
music. Both have more or les the same wide scope of activity. Both have an enormous experience,
although Charles is of a younger generation. As a duo they have a history too. They started in the
early 90s, and in 1996 they released ‘Du Slavon Glagol’ for the Khokhot-label. ‘Ilex’ their second
recording, consists of 14 condensed improvisations, recorded somewhere in the woods of the
Morvan in 2014. Both players have very much their own style and vocabulary. We are speaking
of a very communicative and intense musical collaboration here. In their concentrated
improvisations – all about fewer than six minutes - they bring in a lot of ideas and technical skills.
This is absolutely very rich and inspired music in an excellent recording. Every minute, every
movement is worthwhile and make you a fan of the clarinet. Beautiful sound and colour! Pure
poetry from a very inventive duo! (DM)
––– Address: https://protagoniste.bandcamp.com/

 

DAUNIK LAZRO & DOMINIQUE RÉPÉCAUD & KRISTOFF K.ROLL & GÉRALDINE KELLER –
  ACTIONS SONIQUES (CD by Centre Malreaux)

Here we have sonic actions undertaken by Daunik Lazro (bariton sax), Géraldine Keller (voice,
flute), Dominique Répécaud (electric guitar), and noise duo Carole Rieussec (Kristoff K.Roll) and
J-Kristoff Camps (Kristoff K.Roll) on a diversity of electronics and objects. The recordings date from
March 2016 and took place at the studio of Centre Culturel André Malraux de Vandœuvre-lès-
Nancy, and are released now on the associated label Vandœuvre. Initiator of this project Répécaud,
director of both label and centre, died that same year in November. I remember him most of all as a
member of 80s avant-garde combo Soixante Étages. ‘Actions Soniques’ could be very well his last
presence on cd, if no other recordings followed that year. Keller is an expressive vocalist and
performer of early music as well as modern composed music. But as this release shows, she is also
engaged in improvised music. Saxophonist Lazro is a known improviser since the early 80s. His
collaborations are uncountable. ‘Actions Soniques’ is the first – noise meets impro - collaboration
of these five musicians. Embedded in an electroacoustic environment, Répécaud makes his
aggressive free rock moves. And Keller sings and screams in a way as we know from abstract
improvised music. The noisy textures provided by Camps and Rieussec are engaging and
multilayered. Lazro’s contributions are very proportioned. The guitar escapades by Récépaud
attract most of my attention. All in all it is successful meeting expressed in sixteen short
improvisations full of energy. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.centremalraux.com/soundtracks



FRANCISCO MEIRINO - THE RUINS (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
GERRITT WITTMER - CREATION STORIES (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)

Francisco Meirino’s latest album, “The Ruins”, seems ideally made for headphone listening. Edited
down to stereo from hours of multi-channel recordings of Serge and Buchla modular synthesizers
made during a residency at EMS Stockholm, “The Ruins” retains a strong character of highly
detailed sounds moving around discreetly in three-dimensional space. These chirps and crackles
are vivid, with the illusion of physical presence as the patient composition shifts steadily from up-
close rustling to massive bass tones that seeming to swell out of empty swimming pools or concrete
bunkers. With headphones on, one can make out the shapes of spaces with metal objects bouncing
off walls or machine hum seeping in from underneath doors. There’s a restrained sense of drama
on “The Ruins”, punctuated by titles taken from the stages of a narrative: “Exposition”, “Rising”,
“Climax”, “Falling” and “Denouement”… which doesn’t seem quite accurate, since denouement
and falling action mean the same thing, and here the climax comes in the middle of the piece…
those title cues don’t really correspond to the pacing of the album, so they’re a strange red herring.
Still, Meirino’s suggestion of dramatic structure is given, and at least it’s an entry point to the
otherwise entirely abstract music. “Rising” starts with what sounds like outdoor acoustics (people
moving in a hallway? doors closing?) which become overtaken by electronic fizz and a denouement
of dense analog-synth burl. When watery melodic tones emerge, they’re placed back in the mix as if
they’re simply passing by. Even the fullest sections are not a noise assault; each layer is legible,
juddering above and between each other. Throughout, there is a sense of control, pristine detail,
and confident patience.
    Misanthropic Agenda owner Gerritt Wittmer’s “Creation Stories” is billed as a remix album of
his “I Believe” LP (released at the same time), though I have not heard the LP that these five tracks
are remixed from, so I can only comment on the disc as it is. Those of you who enjoy Wittmer’s more
sonically abstract work, like the excellent “Vessel” LP (worth seeking out!), might be surprised by
how accessible these mid-tempo songs are. They bear more resemblance to his dark pop duo
Names (a collaboration with Sissy Spacek’s Jesse Jackson) than with the solo music I’ve heard
from him previously. Names contributes a remix called “Out Alone”, which features Wittmer’s
despondent, pitched-down vocal (“Tomorrow isn’t coming… she didn’t even say goodbye…
there’s no time for tears now because time is a lie”.) over a bed of ethereal synthesizers that recall
a stripped-down Clan of Xymox or Black Tape for a Blue Girl. Francisco Meirino begins his track,
“Tomorrow Isn’t Coming”, far from the song form but steadily brings in recognizable song-like
elements like Wittmer’s (slowed/elongated) voice and some hints of melody. Jackson, of Names,
contributes a solo track as G9 with an uncredited female singer backed by demonic growl and
darkwave stutter. My favorite track is actually the most pop song on here, Richard Dunham’s
“Ascension”, which pits some upbeat ambient ping against Kompakt-ish throb. (HS)
––– Address: https://misanthropicagenda.bandcamp.com



JEROME NOETINGER, ROBERT PIOTROWICZ, ANNA ZARADNY - CRACKFINDER (LP by
  Musica Genera)

Straight out the gate: BLAMMO! This album is unremittingly dense and action-packed, every
corner filled in with tape squiggles, soaring energetic howl and thumping electronic blasts.
Noetinger plays his usual Revox tape machines, Piotrowicz plays synthesizers and Zaradny plays
laptop and saxophone, and all participants twist knobs on unnamed “electronics”. The first of two
tracks finds the group sailing headfirst into the heavens, everything turned up and continually
pushed with relentless forward momentum. Passages blend together with harsh grey dust-storm
shifting gradually to ecstatic baying-at-the-moon yowl. The second side is relatively more negative-
vibes punishment, just as information-heavy as the first side but tacking more toward aggressive
nausea. There’s a surprising moment when, about eight minutes in, the bottom drops out entirely
and the group brings it all home with a warm ugh that lets the air out. (HS)
––– Address: http://www.musicagenera.net/



LE SYNDICAT FACTION VIVANTE - INTERACTION SOCIALE (LP by Aussaat)

With my limited knowledge of the French language I could think that 'Faction Vivante' would mean
something like 'live action', but apparently it is 'living faction'. Le Syndicat has been going for thirty-
five years now and in the early days mainly released cassettes, later on LPs and CDs, then some
kind of hiatus and since a couple of years they are back with new releases. Apparently the duo
(these days) of Ruelgo and Saphi play not more than once a year and that's what we have her; a
recording from 2016 in Clisson (France) and from 2017 in Copenhagen (Denmark). Saphi plays
'homemade noise generators and microphone' and Ruelgo 'digital interfaces, microphone'. I
believe Le Syndicat Faction Vivante should be seen, as the concert version of Le Syndicat and the
music live is quite different from the studio version of the group. At least on this LP (and also on the
previous release; see Vital Weekly 1075) it has very little to do with thunderous beats the group
also uses but all the more with noise and a lot more chaos. It is not all too difficult to see a link to
compadres in noise that work closely with Le Syndicat, Entre Vifs. This is the kind of noise that
requires to be played at high volume and let the musical onslaught fully wash all over the listener.
At any volume that is lower than that, the finer balance of this may get lost all too easily. The furious
and rapid montage of sounds, noises and drones being hacked to pieces works best when every
detail is as equally amplified, massively at that. You may even detect voices in there and towards
the end of the 2016 a vague trace of a melody. This is not your usual harsh noise wall distortion
with any change but a rapid-fire succession of sounds, and at that Le Syndicat Action Vivante is
surely an original voice in the crowded field of noise music. (FdW)
––– Address: ernten@aol.com



ANNE GILLIS & JAC BERROCAL & JACQUES DOYEN - FUEL 217/SACRE (7' by Présence
  Capitale D'Avantage)

This is quite a little oddity. It is the only release (so far?) of this French label (listing the main
distribution source as the address) and it is a picture disc on heavy vinyl. Both sides involve
Jacuqes Berrocal, the French trumpet improviser and on one side he has a duet with Anne Gillis,
of whom I had not heard in a long time. They met the lovely Parisian festival Sonic Protest and
Gillis found an "oil can De Dion Bouton at a flea market" and used that in the recording. The other
sees a lyric by Allen Ginsburg recited by Jacques Doyen and that song already appeared on the
1982 compilation 'Paris Tokyo' by the Tago Mago label. The whole thing is limited to 230 copies. It
may seem odd to pair both songs together, but then: why not?
    The side with Anne Gillis is certainly a most curious affair with the crackling of can, oil or
otherwise, and some far away sounds; it might be a trumpet but for all I know it might also be a
voice. Surely a fine piece of musique concrete in a very naive sort of way, which is something I
enjoy very much. The trumpet is easily recognized on 'Sacré', layered I should think, also not too
present in the mix, unlike the voice of Doyen, reciting the French poem, and even without
understanding what this is about, one feel the somewhat scared atmosphere of the piece.
    Do these pieces fit together? Maybe not, indeed. Does it matter? It doesn't, either. It is a
most lovely 7" and that's what matters. (FdW)
––– Address: fernsrecordings@free.fr



CRAZY DOBERMAN - RUST CLATTER FOR THE MIDWEST SUN (7" by Il Dischi Del Barone)

Did I ever tell you I am not too fond of dogs? Or rather, than I am quite scared of them? Maybe I am
not the right person to write about group called Crazy Doberman? This group, so I am told has the
"ever-changing line-up this time around consists of Jason Filer, John Olson, Jordan Allen, Paul
Baldwin, Tim Gick, John Dawson, Mark Tester, Drew Davis, Zeno Ben-Amotz and Landon
Caldwell", at least on this record and on the first side that results in some slow tribal drum pattern,
flutes (a few of them) and a slow menace played on the guitar; it's like dropping right in the middle
of either a true pagan rite or a commune in the mid 70s doing a re-enactment of some sun ritual.
'Set' on the other side is sold as “if the Glenn Miller orchestra recorded a tape for Industrial Records
and microwaved the masters”, if that makes any sense, but I believe to hear a rather free jam
session with saxophones, drums and haunting electronics; a sort of ghost in the free jazz machine.
It surely sounded most captivating I should think. I found this most enjoyable and it was very much
a pity that both sides, different as they were, were that short; just of course is the downside of the
format. Here a 10" would have been a lovely format, or even a LP with multiple pieces. Maybe
some other label cares to step in and do the honours? (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.iddb.se/



NIKITA RAFAELOV – SPIRIT OF GAIA (CDR by Gotta Let It Out)
HØBAMA – SAME (CDR by Gotta Let It Out)
JACOBSON/FRIIS/MANISCALCO – SPLIT: BODY (cassette by Gotta Let It Out)

Gotta Let It Out is a small music label and publishing house based in Copenhagen, run by Polish-
born musician Tomo Jacobson and video-artist Malwa Grabowski. Overviewing the back catalogue
it mainly consists of releases with involvement by Jacobson. Concerning these three new releases,
    Jacobson himself is featured on the cassette ‘Split Body’. On side A we have improvisations by
Jacobson (double bass), Maria Laurette Friis (vocal, electronics) and Emanuele Maniscalco
(upright piano). Recorded live early 2016 in Copenhagen. It starts with a drone-like improvisation
with sinister bass lines, interspersed with piano attacks and long-lasting screams by singer.
Captivating improvisations that are full of tension. Side B has solo improvisations by promising
Latvian musician Kārlis Auziņš (soprano saxophone), recorded in the studio on a day in October
2017. Last year he debuted with an impressive album by his quartet: 'Images In Regard of The
Central Reference System'.  Here he gives way to an attractive solo performance. Making clear
that he is a capable improviser with a story to tell.
    The name of Emanuele Maniscalco returns in the line up of the trio Høbama. Maniscalco
comes from Brescia, Italy and is professionally in business since 2001 as a pianist and drummer.
He graduated as a ‘solist’ at the Rhythmic Conservatory of Copenhagen in 2014. He works as a
performer/improviser and composer. Nelide Bandello (drums) plays a variety of styles, conducts
his own quintet Leibniz and searches for alternative ways of musical writing with his project Einfalt.
Danish composer and trumpeter Claus Højensgård complete the trio. The collaboration came into
being during a stay of Højensgård in Bologna in 2016. It is also here that recordings took place for
this release in April 2017 at Alpha Dept Recording Studio. The focused trio impresses with their
moody and spaced-out improvisation. A joy is the fine Fender-playing by Maniscalco. The
atmosphere is relaxed.
    Nikita Rafaelov - from Finland - presents his debut release: a solo piano album. The album
consists of six compositions and three improvisations and they are a very personal statement,
and also a very diverse one. Some of the compositions follow minimalistic procedures like the
strongly – almost mechanically - pulsating ‘Gnaw’. Or ‘Kiertorata’ built from fluent cascading
effects. In contrast Rafaelov shows a lyrical side in ‘First Wind’. A melody-dominated reflective
piece of music. Also in the two other improvisations he gives way to a romantic jazzy approach.
In closing composition ‘The Gift of Moral Clarity’ Rafaelov shows affinity with the music of Satie.
So it is an album full of contrasts. These three releases opened up a new interesting scene to
me, meeting some promising and surprising musicians! To be continued. (DM)
––– Address: https://gottaletitout.bandcamp.com/



DYLAN NYOUKIS & DAN MELCHIOR - UNUSUAL DEALERS (CDR by Chocolate Monk)
RED BRUT & BLOOD STEREO - SPLIT (CDR by Chocolate Monk)

I was excited to hear “Unusual Dealers” because I’m a fan of both participants, but I couldn’t
imagine what their collaboration might sound like. Dan Melchior recorded one of my favorite rock
albums, “Fire Breathing Clones on Cellular Phones” (Plastic Records, 2005) while Chocolate monk
CEO Nyoukis’ wide-ranging work (solo and with the groups Blood Stereo, Decear Pinga, Prick
Decay, Ceylon Mange, etc) typically involves improvised noise and sound poetry. But sinces
Melchior’s music is garage-rock-adjacent songs and Nyoukis’ is tape-mangled vocal abstraction, I
wasn’t sure what the meeting of these melted minds would produce. Turns out: a lovely drone
album! Who’d’ve thought such a thing? Not me. And yet, here it is.
    At the album’s start, an angry crowd (are those the “dealers”?) shouts and chants about… er,
I’m not sure (“we want justice!” and some people arguing about the price of something… perhaps
at an outdoor event of some kind?)… then the voices fade away. What follows is half an hour of
aural goo… gentle chimes, birdsong, something bowed, and a pleasantly lilting one-finger synth
melody drifting slowly with acres of deep-sleep heavy-breathing providing a snore-texture
accompaniment. About 20 minutes into this narcotic non-event, a crusty tape enters the scene to
crunch along with a vaguely spoken-language-ish cadence, though no actual words can be made
out, and it’s just as well; the flavor of corporeal residue adds an element of spiky roughness to the
otherwise lulling oceanic drift. Further towards the piece’s ending, Melchior appears to say a few
obscured/incomprehensible words. Sure, the ending is unresolved, but I fixed that issue by playing
the album twice. 
    Nyoukis makes another appearance on the split album by Blood Stereo (aka the power-duo of
Dylan + Karen Constance) and Dutch newcomer Red Blut (aka Marijn Verbiesen). Red Blut goes
first with a noxious slab of raw and stubbornly unpleasant chewed-tape warble. After a bit of rough
gunk, she brings in a sparse synth melody with percussion provided by open-reel tapes flapping
like the mad grunts of hungry animals. The clicks of gadgets being turned off and on are left in,
giving the untitled piece a veneer of spontaneous live-in-the-studio energy. That energy is
subverted midway though, when everything cuts to silence, takes a pregnant pause… and finally
returns as watery sloosh noises and harsh high-end whistle squeak. Impressive! A full hour of this
might be tough to take, but 15 minutes is enough to pique my interest and see what she does with
a full-length album. Apparently, one has been released… I shall seek it out. Blood Stereo’s half of
the split is more colorful than Red Blut’s unyielding gray, serving as an effective counterpoint. The
component sounds have more depth and variety to them… which isn’t a knock at Red Blut at all,
only a notable contrast. This track appears to be a live performance recording, though that’s
unclear. Between the close-mic’d shuffles, honks, cello-like tones and groans are (I assume)
audience members chatting, shouting, sneezing, laughing, coughing, arguing… but those human
mouth noises could be have been taken from different places and times. Hard to say. That
confusion seems to be the point, as Nyoukis and Constance lead listeners down narrative
mazes, shifting course without warning and leaving one wondering just where the hell you’ve
been dropped off. (HS)
––– Address: http://chocolatemonk.co.uk



BEN LINK COLLINS - ALABAMA FIELD SERIES PART ONE (CDR by Alabama Field)
BEN LINK COLLINS - REFLECTING SHADE (CDR by Alabama Field)

Normally I don't do much geographical research for my reviews, but now I did as part of these two
new releases by Ben Link Collins. In his letter he writes that he spend the first twenty-five years of
his life in Alabama, and when he turned thirty-five he returned to this state, and lives there again
since three years. That was surely a good reason to take a look at the map and locate that particular
state, as I honestly had no clue. It is partly also because of the music, I must say. There is something
about these pieces here that made me think that indeed Alabama is a state where the sun shines
and the crickets are pretty much present. But that's only one ingredient as the cover lists a very long
list of sounds that may be heard on this release, which includes a lazy ukulele, box preacher,
helicopter over magazine room at fort Gaines with microphone in wall and trump preacher. The list
on the cover mentions quite a bunch of synths, not specified in brand names but I assume all
different ones.  So this is much more than taping some animals in an empty field. Collins created
five pieces with all of these sounds and seemingly freely mixes these together into collages of
sounds. I don't think there is much when comes to separating them. It's not 'one piece with just
nature sounds', followed by 'city sound scape'; Collins throws everything together when he sees
things fit, and that free approach works very well. It doesn't mean that all of these pieces are alike,
far from it. Sometimes there are just a few sounds, slowly developing, like the rain drops of 'It's
Gonna Rain' (not a cover of the Steve Reich piece) or the water sounds of 'With This Body'. The
other three pieces are more complex, hybrid affairs of nature recordings, quite a lot of them in
'Porch And Pasture' and city sounds in 'Old Shade Tree (Prepare A Spire)' and 'Simple Beast'.
Whatever Collins with his synthesizers I have no idea, but from what I gather it is not much. I
thought was a great release from somebody who does what he think fits best.
    The other release is called 'Reflecting State' was recorded in Hopkinsville, Kentucky ("two
states north of Alabama", Collins informs me) during the solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017. The
eclipse lasted for four minutes, and Collins presents two pieces of twenty-five minutes each. The
second being a field recording in situ before, during and after the eclipse, while "the first piece is
based on my memory of the event". In the second piece we hear many crickets and a plane flying
over, all very gentle I guess, which is perhaps the nature (pun intended) when you go out into the
woods in the rural area of Kentucky. Collins walked away from the recording and the machine to
its duty. I am not entirely sure how then the other piece was made; maybe he works with field
recordings here, trying to capture the memories of what he recorded out in the field? Or maybe he
works with some additional sound effects to the piece? It is sharper, louder and at one point even
a burst of low rumbling noise than the original. I assume this last option is what he did here and
he does a fine job at it. Judging by the titles the 'memory' piece was recorded exactly one year
and a day later than the solar eclipse piece. This piece has a more conceptual approach than
the other one, yet it is a lovely consistent piece as well. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.alabamafield.com/



ANACLETO VITOLO - OBSIDIAN (CDR by Primrose/Flipper)

Here's a name that popped up a few times in Vital Weekly. In fact all of his releases were reviewed
in these pages, as there were only three (Vital Weekly 1054, 1099 and 1130). That doesn't mean I
know much about the man. The piece of paper enclosed repeated all the information that I could
also read on the cover of the CD, which isn't very helpful and a bit of waste of paper. If you plan to
waste paper than why not write something different/useful on it? Vitolo's Bandcamp reads this. "AV-
K prod. is the trademark that brings together all the sounds of Anacleto Vitolo – AV-K, K.lust,
Kletus.K and former member of several experimental acts, such as X(i)NEON, Internos and Algebra
del Bisogno. Co-Director of Manyfeetunder, an experimental oriented label, based in South Italy."
So, okay, percussion, cymbals and prepared piano were recorded at the conservatory of Salerno
and the double bass at the Kasataie studio, which may suggest that this is something along the
lines of modern classical music, and perhaps it is, but there is also a fair amount of computer
processing to be heard on this release. Judging by the previous releases, which were all
collaborations, also in his solo work Vitolo is interested in combining various interests, such as
musique concrete (in his treatments of acoustic instruments), glitch music, modern classical (in
such instances in which the instruments aren't receiving a heavy treatment) and strong blocks of
synthesizer meddling. It seems as if some piece flow into each other, yet each of the eight pieces
has it's own title on the cover. While Vitolo surely takes his time in getting his music across, tracks
last four to twelve minutes; I believe it is never on a repeat mission. Vitolo surely has some fine
variation woven into the fabric of his pieces, ranging from modest to loud but more typically
somewhere in between both ends, but he likes his music to be very present; there is quite some
detail to be spotted in this music, yet it is also sonically rich. Quite a fine release, this one. (FdW)
––– Address: https://av-kprod.bandcamp.com/



CINEMA PERDU - 2 COMPOSITIONS WITH FOUND SOUNDS (3"CDR by Taalem)
TAINNOS - KIERTO (3"CDR by Taalem)
EMMANUEL MIEVILLE - JIN GNAG JING (LE SUTRA DU DIAMANT) (3"CDR by Taalem)

It wasn't for nationalistic reasons I started with Cinema Perdu, the Dutch musical project of Martijn
Pieck. It was just the first one that I played. Pieck is also a member of [law-rah] collective next to
Bauke van der Wal since 2008 and together with Jon Unger formed Woodbender (see Vital Weekly
1077). His latest release as Cinema Perdu was the excellent CD 'Amsterdam CS' (see Vital Weekly
1127), in which he used field recordings at the Amsterdam Central Station. Taking field recordings
and feeding them to his extended modular set up. I recently saw a concert by him and the field
recordings disappeared in there, just they do in these two pieces here. They are just called 'found
sounds' and are not specified in any way, just from an 'urban environment'. I don't even want to go
in there and think about it; I don't care that much, as I was lost easily in the dark currents produced
by Cinema Perdu that hold the middle ground between a grinder and synthesizer, playing some
darker chords. This is quite an un-earthy rumble that is going on here, exactly the spooky tone in
combination with a delicate atmosphere that I like so much.
    Henkka Kyllönen is the man behind Tainnos. Before he was known as Xivic and sometimes
as No Xivic (see Vital Weekly 426 and 609). As Tainnos he does something new and I guess a bit
more refined. 'Kierto' means, apparently, 'circulation' and it is about the evolution of life on our
planet, starting with a few bangs (big or small, I leave that to you) and then evolves into a fine piece
of drone music, growing from dark to light and towards the end, of course I should add, it is all a bit
darker again, with that slow bang on a repeat mission. Maybe the big bang will ultimately tear us to
pieces? Is that the message? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't; perhaps it is about something else all
together... at one point I thought to recognize a swarm of human voices singing over the swamp,
into the mist of time; a trip in magical world? Whatever it is, it sounds wonderful.
    Emmanuel Mieville closes this trilogy and his work has been reviewed before (Vital Weekly
1071 for instance) and these days his work is extensively about the use of field recordings. In the
two pieces on this 3"CDR he uses sounds recorded at Buddhist temples in China. In ‘Shao Yeu
Temple' voices play an important role. Whatever text is recited I have no idea, not being a Buddhist
myself nor particularly interested I must admit in any form of religion organised or otherwise, but I
like the rhythmic flow to the piece. It's hooky and comes with some great 'other' sounds, insects
chirping and something that sounds like stick being rubbed over a floor. Should I know not any
better than I would think the opening sounds of 'Chengdu' has a dark synthesizer, but it's probably
something else. Here too we have the same hooky reciting of a text. I was wondering what
electrical machinery sparked off that drone like sound, as it sounded deep and menacing. I liked
both pieces, with a slight preference for the first one, which at times sounded like it could be an
outtake of the first Dome LP. This is all a very musical form of field recordings. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.taalem.com



ILIA BELORUKOV & MIGUEL A. GARCIA & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - ETWAS (cassette by
  Tanuki Records)

This is the first time that these three musicians work together, yet as duos they did work together
before. As Wolkokrots, Garcia and Belorukov perform together and the duo Monteiro/Garcia
delivered two records and Monteiro/Belorukov one record together. On 13th of July 2017 the three
were in Barcelona, hometown of Monteiro, and they recorded the two pieces, each around twenty-
two minutes, using electronics and fluteophone for Belorukov, whole the other two simply take
credit for electronics. If you are familiar with their work, for instance from pages like Vital Weekly,
then you know that they love their sounds to be delicate, small and intimate, but at the same time
they are not shy of using some high piercing frequencies. If these are the doodling of sine waves
or perhaps using "from minute gestures and fragile materials like paper, strings, small objects or
manipulated acoustic instruments", which is their common practice, so says Tanuki Records, I don't
know. I do know that this particular release sounds quite electronic, with lots of hisses, crackles and
deep and high-end frequencies melting together in an excellent way. This trio take their time to
develop sounds, let them rest and simmer for a while, before moving to something else. If it so
happens to be quiet for some time, then so be it. They don't care for the fact that this is a cassette
and especially the lower end of volume range might be lost here. That is okay, as they always
return with their dialogue of sounds and then move slowly forward to the next section. This is by all
accounts a great release, but I must admit I didn't expect anything else as such from these three
accomplished players. (FdW)
––– Address: https://tanukirecords.bandcamp.com/



ANDREA BORGI - SUPERELIEF (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo)
PHIL MAGUIRE - FOLAMH, ENDLESS (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo)
PHILIP SULIDAE  - PETRIFICATION AND STRIFE (cassette by Hemisphare nokukyo)

Here we have three new releases by Philip Sulidae's Hemisphare Nokukyo, still maintaining a
strong visual identity for the label. All three are by musicians that should be no stranger to anyone
who has been carefully reading these pages. Andrea Borghi for instance, is someone whom we
know for his solo work as well as his membership of Vipcancro. In much of his work computers
play an important role, especially such software that radically alters the field recordings he puts in.
Think Cycling 74s Max/msp for instance. Here he has seven pieces which he produced during an
Artist Residency at Tempo Reale, Florence / 2017, in which he uses prepared turntable,
electroacoustic device and computer and I think it is something that shows in these music pieces.
There is metal object upon turntable approach, scanning surfaces via rotating movements. In
these pieces it is not easy to say what and if the computer is applied to do some further processing.
In some of these pieces I tend to think there is certainly some kind of processing, but in others
perhaps not. There is a fine electro-acoustic feeling about these pieces, which adds uneasiness to
the music and it's something that works rather fine I think. These seven pieces seem to me to
forming one big piece, seven examples of possibilities within a limited set of means.
    Phil Maguire is from London and from I only reviewed one release before, 'Solo Computer
Music' in Vital Weekly 1083. Here the credits include "cassette tapes, computer and field
recordings" and it fits that whole lo-fi hiss/noise aesthetic of rumbling drones from the most
obscured field recordings available. There are six pieces here and they all last nine minutes and
a few seconds. There are quite some differences here. The cassette opens with 'Music For Blank
Cassette #1', mucho hiss, maximum amplified, followed 'Thrum Hum' for instance there is a deep
rumble of bass sounds and a well detuned radio leaking messages from behind the Iron Curtain
(that old), but then comes 'Partikel #1', which is high end drone like sine wave piece. On Side B
we see a sort of repetition of the program, with the second parts of 'Music For Blank Cassette' and
'Partikel' with 'Panel Break' in the middle. The second blank cassette is less amplified and the
second partikel is much deeper when it comes to the bass-end, less piercing as well. 'Panel Break'
is another highly obscure field recording; for the love of it I have no idea what this is. Screen wipers
in winter time? It surely has some sort of inside of a car atmosphere, with the cassette this time in
the background being all wobbly. Surely this is a car indeed of some repair. Great variation in here,
and great concept by mirroring the pieces on both sides.
    Label boss Philip Sulidae has the shortest tape, around twenty-six minutes, and he uses
'contact mics, wire, field recordings, computer and software' and the two pieces are curious
collages of sounds that are very obscure. He takes a walk through Sydney, armed with a
handheld recorder and his contact mics and tapes the environment, the metallic railings, drips
and drops of water, tapping on the pavement, or below, walking about, mics in a plastic bag and
so on. Once at home he goes for the most crackling of affairs and adds very nifty bits of delay
and reverb in occasional places, sticks seemingly random events in an order, adds open
microphone of rain and thunder and thus paints this odd sound picture of the city. If of course this
is what he does. As usual I very limited knowledge of how these matters work. I might be entirely
wrong of course. But being someone who loves to stick contact microphones onto streetlights,
flagpoles and rabbit cages, I think this is a wonderful head trip, leaving a lot to imagine and
Sulidae managed to capture some truly strange sounds, which made me occasionally wonder if
it wasn't something in my own space, just was the illusion spun by Sulidae and that's how sound
scapes like this work best for me. Something scary shit, indeed. (FdW)
––– Address: https://hemispharenokukyo.bandcamp.com/



MENG QI - SPAN (cassette by Cloudchamber)
PUSCHA - UNDULATIONS (cassette by Cloudchamber)
PRMS - CONTRETEMPS (cassette by Cloudchamber)

From the Slovenian label Cloudchamber I had not heard before, but here they present three
cassettes, all by musicians I also never heard of. People like Meng Qi, who is " a musician, iconic
hardware synthesis designer, innovator and lecturer". He has four albums so far, on ChinaVibe
Records (twice), Obsolete Staircases and this one. On his website there are some of synthesizer
designs, but me being somewhat of a layman with regards to these sort of things, it didn't mean
much to me. The songs on "“Span” is a collection of his songs written during experimentation and
enveloped in the design process", so we're told. Meng Qi recorded ten pieces with his equipment
and what struck is that these pieces are quite structured and to the point, ranging from three to
nine minutes. There isn't much by way of rhythm here, yet throughout the music is dealing much
with melodic bits and bobs played with a keyboard. This makes that there is somehow and
somewhere a sort of strange pop feeling to this cassette. Not easy accessible pop songs of course,
but some outer edge fringe of weird electronic pop that simply seems to defy easy categorization.
Strange but great release, I'd say.
    Jacob Richards is the man behind Puscha and from the cover I understand he's into 'modular
synthesis' as well, and he took his eurorack model on a three-month journey on the Southern
Ocean and Antarctic, part of anti-whaling operation against Japanese whaling ships. He has five
pieces on this cassette and these are called "Rileyesque" by the label, suggesting some influence
of minimal master Terry Riley. There is indeed minimalism to be spotted on this release, but I would
not easily link that to the work of Riley. Perhaps because it is all about modular synthesizers, neatly
bouncing around through sequenced parts and arpeggio settings that give this a more cosmic ring
than the real time accumulations of mister Riley and his saxophone. Yet the cosmic ring of Puscha
isn't always to gentle; in 'Seien' it might be, but then in an almost 8-bit fashion, but in 'Refraction' it
is more like a rusty spaceship. In 'Cataclyst' he comes closest to the original seventies sound. All
of this makes that this is not your typical cosmic album, but also not your typical modular
synthesizer album, and even when Puscha operates on a different level as Meng Qi, it shares that
notion of doing things not in the most conventional way. Which is right there were I like them.
    Primož Bončina is behind Prms and I must say that the little bit of text on the album that I
found on the website is not very clear as to the how and why. Some of these pieces were recorded
in other locations, London, Singapore and Ljubljana over a period of two years and mixed in May
and June 2018. Based on what I hear and not what I know (because I don't), I'd say this too deals
with modular synthesizers, but just as easily there might be a bunch of software plug ins running
amok here. One simply can't always be sure. The music of Prms is something we perhaps could
find along the lines of shoegazing mood music, but without guitars. Fuzz and chorus pedals are
used on blocks of sustaining organ like sounds. Clustered tones are being harmed here, as Prms
likes to a rough take on the sound material. His pieces are somewhere between four and twelve
minutes and when he takes his time it sounds more rewarding. The longer pieces suit the power
drone approach quite well here. Even an apparently quieter piece, such as '5 Meters Under Water'
is not without some kind of nasty undercurrent. If it's modular stuff than Prms too is doing something
great; it is all highly controlled and powerful. (FdW)
––– Address: https://cloudchamber.net/


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