number 1202
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week 41
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TRIGGER & JEROME NOETINGER - CAMERA OBSCURA (CD by Bocian Records) *
SKY BURIAL - THE FORCING SEASON: FURTHER ACTS OF SEVERANCE (CD by Opa Loka
  Records) *
ORCHESTRA ENTROPY – RITUALS (CD by Discus Music) *
COREY MWAMBA – NTH (CD by Discus Music) *
THE BIG YES – KALMAR (CD by Nakama Records) *
KJETIL MULELID TRIO – WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS HOME (CD by Rune Grammofon) *
SKARBO SKULEKORPS - SKARBO SKULEKORPS (CD by Hubro Music) *
BENOIT CANCOIN & BIRGIT ULHER - ELECTRIC GREEN (CD by Edition Blumlein) *
CRISTIAN ALVEAR & KLAUS FILIP - 6 CHORDS (CD by Ftarri) *
FTARRI 7TH ANNIVERSARY (4CD by Ftarri)
CRISTIAN ALVEAR 7 TIM OLIVE - TELQUAN (CD by 845 Audio) *
ELIZABETH MILLER & TIM OLIVE & CRAIG PEDERSEN - CHARM POINT (CD by 845 Audio) *
SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN WITH TETUZI AKIYAMA & TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - AMPLIFIED
 CLARINET AND TRUMPET, GUITARS, NIMB (CD by Mystery & Wonder) *
MONO-POLY - TESTLAB (LP by Blowpipe) *
PERFECT VACUUM - I MUST NOT THINK BLEAK THOUGHTS (LP by Blowpipe) *
DENEUVE - PUSH PUSH ROCK & ROLL (12" by Blowpipe) *
D.C.P. - D.C.P. PIGEON (10" lathe cut by Paco et Gigi Records)
HAQ - EVAPORATOR (CDR by Bearsuit Records) *
IAN STENHOUSE/POOL PERVERT - ABOMINABLE INVESTIGATIONS (split cassette by
 Non-Interrupt)
WIL BOLTON - KOCHI (cassette by Audiobulb) *
IVY NOSTRUM - SELF OWN (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
MUSTER - TO FIND A CITY TO LIVE IN (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
SHIT CREEK & TREMELO GHOSTS - SHRDLU'S ADVENTURES IN BLOCKWORLD (cassette
 by Invisible City Records) *
ROVAR17 VS XPLDNGLKE - MIRACLES OF ORBANISTAN (cassette by Unsigned Label)
ABATTOIR & SATORI - MEGALOSCHEMOS LIVE (cassette by Unsigned Label)
CO-HABITANT (cassette by Chained Library)
[..(]. (cassette by Chained Library)
K2 / IKIRE – BIG CHANCE FOR FAILURE (cassette by Trapdoor Tapes)



TRIGGER & JEROME NOETINGER - CAMERA OBSCURA (CD by Bocian Records)
 
An acoustic wind instrument trio from Berlin; that's how Trigger describes their work. The three
players are Nils Ostendorf (trumpet), Matthias Müller (trombone) and Chris Heenan (contrabass
clarinet). In 2014 they invited Jerome Noetinger with his reel-to-reel tape recorder for some
collaborative work and that resulted in a concert at NK Berlin on the 14th of December and on this
CD we find the edited results. Noetinger is known for his work with the tape machine, picking up
sounds from the environment he is and feeding it back to the same space, meanwhile operating all
the tricks, such as altering pitches and speed. He's as such a very fine player for a group like
Trigger. The trio of wind instruments, of whom I had not heard before (I think; I have to be careful
with such things) have a wide range of techniques at their disposal to play the instruments.
Sometimes, they sound like an ensemble for contemporary music, sometimes as a free
improvisation unit and then they play something very slow and introspective, with a more radical
approach to improvised music (instruments as surfaces to produce sound, breathing techniques
and such). In interaction with Noetinger, this works well. His intersections and interceptions work
as a fourth member, real-time remixer and producer; sometimes all at the same time. The
interaction between all four players is great. They listen and respond; listen and contradict. This is
a great CD and excellent documentation of this conversation. (FdW)
––– Address: https://bocian.bandcamp.com/



SKY BURIAL - THE FORCING SEASON: FURTHER ACTS OF SEVERANCE (CD by Opa Loka
  Records)

What the previous acts of severance were, I cannot knowledgeably say. Also, precisely was
severed remains a mystery to me. So I dunno what the title refers to. However, the fact I am able to
address is this: Sky Burial is a very different side of the artist Mike Page than his hardcore power-
electronics noise project, Fire In the Head. The music on “The Forcing Season”, his 16th (!!) album
under this name, has a tone pitched somewhere between Steve Roach's new age, Bill Laswell's
ambient dub and Cold Meat melodrama… which might read like a clash of moods, and indeed
sometimes it is. But this is a collection of songs, more so than a unified album that hangs together
as a single piece. Page’s deliberate pacing on the first several songs (each is titled with a Roman
numeral) seems like it’s intended to accompany moving images, like an action movie with the
dialogue cut out. The next tracks move towards more somber and spikier territory, supplementing
the deep ambient throb with arhythmic metal clangs and percolating synth flourishes. Some even
feature insistent, head-nodding beats. Not everything here works for me. Some of Page’s signifiers
of ‘darkness’ are, for me, a bit too obvious: Gregorian moans, staccato human voices that could be
African war chants, discordant piano smash. But those are minor complaints. Most of these songs
(with one notable exception) hover around the 4 to 6 minute mark, so no one idea sticks around
long enough to offend. Each track offers a quick audio vignette, then backs away and shifts to the
next one. My favorite sections of the album begin a little past the midway point, when the mood
lightens and the martial beats become less insistent. The 10th and final track, easily the one I
enjoy the most, is a 27-minute monster of oncoming thunder and imminent threat. Attention
Hollywood: whoever Brian Williams and Graeme Revell’s agent is ought to take Page on and
find him gigs scoring big-budget sci-fi soundtrack work. (HS)
––– Address: http://skyburial2.bandcamp.com



ORCHESTRA ENTROPY – RITUALS (CD by Discus Music)
 
Matt London is a classically trained tenor saxophonist, playing contemporary composed music, as
well as jazz and improvised music. In 2013 he debuted with an album (‘Speak Now’) of
compositions for tenor sax, composed by contemporary composers from the UK. Nowadays he is
playing mainly improvised music if I’m not mistaken, with Paul Dunmall as an important influence.
Orchestra Entropy is the extended ten-piece version of his Ensemble Entropy and this project is
about combining composition and improvisation: ‘Rituals’ is “presented on two hand-drawn
panels. This language score consists of various open notations, graphics plus two trio sub-pieces
titled skelf (electric guitar, double bass and drums) and antiphon (violin, viola and double bass) for
the performers to decipher. The intention is to sculpt the improvisations so that the music develops
and transforms along an ancient elemental journey, with the composer not as a totalitarian figure
of authority, instead of guiding the performers, the licence to explore and discover who they are
within it”, Matt London explains. It is an approach that we know from early work by John Zorn and
projects by Butch Morris for instance. Performers are Georgia Cooke (alto flute), Tom Ward (bass
clarinet), Seb Silas (baritone saxophone), Sarah Gail Brand (trombone), Rebecca Raimondi
(violin), Benedict Taylor (viola), Seth Bennett (double bass), Moss Freed (electric guitar) and
Mark Sanders (drums). Matt London plays tenor sax and director of the ensemble. ‘Rituals’ is a
work in nine parts. A multi-coloured work, as different (combinations of) instruments play the lead
in these nine chapters. The musicianship and interplay are very much okay. I especially enjoyed
playing by Sanders, for example in part 2 and 8 of this lengthy work. He is a driving force in many
of the interactions. There are many engaging moments to be enjoyed in this multi-sided work,
although there are also moments where the improvisation continues too much along well-known
pathways to be satisfying from start to finish. (DM)
 ––– Address: https://discusmusic.bandcamp.com/


 
COREY MWAMBA – NTH (CD by Discus Music)
 
Corey Mwamba lives and works in Derby. Above all, he is player of the vibraphone, but also
dulcimer and electronics. As a performer and composer, he works in contexts of jazz and
contemporary music. He was a member of Nat Birchall’s Quintet and Engine Room Favourites,
a large ensemble led by Martin Archer. This cd documents music performed by his quartet. Music
that Corey wrote over a period of fifteen years, performed by Laura Cole (piano), Andy Champion
(double bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums, small percussion). Mwamba plays vibraphone,
glockenspiel and beak flute. After several gigs, this quartet became a tight unit and ready for some
recordings. There is not much work by Mwamba out on cd. Two releases by his main group Yana
with Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore. In 2016 ‘Paperstone Suite’ a trio recording with Champion
and Ntshuks Bonga appeared on FMR. Together with Champion he also participates in the Anglo-
French quartet Sonsale. And in 2015 Slam Productions released an album by The Spirit Farm that
had Corey, Johnny Hunter among others as members. I guess ‘Nth’ is his most personal release,
reflecting his compositional work. Even more, while this release marks the end of Corey’s career
as a performing musician. “What these musicians and friends have done, to me, reflects a core
tradition in jazz -- to deal and commit to the material and make new things, present new ways of
listening and expressing: to move beyond the limits of the marks on the page, towards feeling.”
Opening track ‘Against all known Things’ opens with a great intro by bass and drums, before the
vibraphone joins in with a melodic theme. ‘Never a state’ starts as very open collective improvised.
Gradually they develop a focused and dynamic interplay. ‘Entwined Reveries’ is a dreamy ballad,
followed by the complex rhythm-based ‘Over Leagues’. I like them most in their up-tempo
excursions, like ‘Situations’ that has a great piano playing by Cole. In all they offer a varied
bunch of strongly jazzy compositions that are more complex than they may sound at first
hearing. (DM)
––– Address: https://discusmusic.bandcamp.com/


 
THE BIG YES – KALMAR (CD by Nakama Records)
 
The Big Yes is a Swedish quartet of Anna Högberg (saxophone), Maria Bertel (trombone, effects),
Christian Meaas Svendsen (bass) and Ole Mofjell (drums). The Norvegian Nakama label released
recently their debut album of free jazz. A short one (31 minutes), but also a very intense one,
recorded in early 2018 during a live session in a studio in Gothenburg. Musicians involved here
are young, coming from different Scandinavian countries. Högberg may be known from her
projects Attack! And Pombo, she was also was part of Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra. Bertel
from Danmark is a member of Selvhenter and one half of the G.E.K duo while Norwegian drummer
Ole Mofjell takes part in groups as Brute Force, Cokko and Heaven. Meaas also from Norway is the
leader of the Nakama-collective and a member of Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit. ‘Kalmar’, as the
improvisation is called refers to Unio Calmariensis, “a union dated from 1397 to 1523 that joined
under a single monarch the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and a bit more”.
International collaboration can bring about a strong exchange of ideas and energy in a language
we speak: music. The improvisation starts full-speed with high-energy duelling blowers on sax and
trombone with intense drumming and bass. In the middle section, the improvisation continues in a
very quiet near-silence episode with subtle bass playing. Then drums join in again playing patterns
that constantly change. Gradually they start to climb another mountain. Sax and trombone pick up
the conversation again, and the improvisation increases in dynamics and intensity. Throbbing bass
lines complete the whole and play a dominant role in leading all players to a last bursting out near
the end. A great ride! (DM)
––– Address: http://www.nakamarecords.no/


 
KJETIL MULELID TRIO – WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS HOME (CD by Rune Grammofon)
 
This trio has Kjetil Mulelid on piano, Andreas Winther playing the drums and Bjørn Marius Hegge
on double bass. So we are dealing here with the classic jazz trio line up. Mulelid learned piano
from very early on in his childhood. He studied jazz performance on the University of Trondheim
and worked so far with musicians like Arve Henriksen, Barry Guy, Espen Berg, etc. Also his
companions Winther and Hegge studied at the Trondheim University. It was here they met another
and made plans for starting a trio. They debuted in 2017 with ‘Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House’
by Rune Grammofon. The album received good reviews. ‘What you thought was home’ is their next
step. Again most compositions are by Mulelid, except for one that is written by Hegge. Their
acoustic jazz with allusions of Scandinavian traditional music is an impressive exponent of the
Scandinavian jazz scene. Overall the material is melodic and lyrical. Played with elegance. The
interplay between the three is relaxed, harmonic and focused. Bass and drums operate not just in
a serving role only. Especially the drummer makes also his statements. But the piano is the
prominent instrument here. Mulelid plays more than excellent, but there is also something one-
sided in his playing style. It has to do with the same kind of tension that often returns. But in all
their intelligent jazz is very refined and sophisticated. For a young trio like this one, I was
surprised how mature and full-grown their music is. This is music that breathes a pastoral
atmosphere. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com/


 
SKARBO SKULEKORPS - SKARBO SKULEKORPS (CD by Hubro Music)
 
Øyvin Skarbø is a drummer, composer and producer based in Bergen, Norway. He was a member
of Bly de Blyant that released three albums for Hubro Music, as well as trio 1982 that released for
Hubro Music. For this new project, he invited: Anja Lauvdal (organ, synth), Stian Omenås (trumpet,
percussion), Eirik Hegdal (C Melody sax, clarinet), Signe Emmeluth (alto sax, no-input mixer),
Johan Lindström (pedal steel, guitar), Chris Holm (bass, synth). Skarbø himself plays ​drums and
banjo. He is inspired by the school bands from his youth and a first listening makes clear that he
refers to 70s esthetic (pop, disco, funk). Mixed up however with many contrasting ingredients,
resulting in catchy music with strange and unusual changes. It is a collection of very eclectic and
hybrid compositions that sure were a joy for the musicians to play. The cd opens with strange sci-fi
electronic sounds, being the intro to what turns out to be a poppy song with lyrics sung by Jorgen
Sandvik. Next track ‘Turnamat’ is a great funky tune. ‘Four Foxes’ again starts from a funky, disco-
like feel evoking the 70s. Each track surprises with unexpected twists and breaks. A conventional
melodic theme stops and music continues on an abstract level. A grooving part changed for an
abstract sound improvisation, and so on. ‘Pilabue’ for example, opens with high-pitched stretched-
out sounds with sax playing a solo. Weird, and even weirder is the moment when a plain melodic
theme pops up. But how out of order these changes maybe, in the end, the music surpasses still in
one continuous flow in some mysterious way. Very intelligently put together and convincingly
performed. (DM)
––– Address: https://hubromusic.com/


 
BENOIT CANCOIN & BIRGIT ULHER - ELECTRIC GREEN (CD by Edition Blumlein)
 
For me the name Benoit Cancoin (double bass) is a new one, I think and he teams up with Birgit
Ulher, whose work on the trumpet, radio, speakers and objects I heard on quite a few occasions.
They played together on May 22, 2018, in Hamburg at a place called Kapelle 6 and the recordings
have been edited later on into the six pieces on this CD. These pieces show a delicate interaction
between both players, with both the trumpet and double bass on quite a number of occasions
recognizable but also from time to time sounding quite different. I have no idea what kind of place
Kapelle 6 is but it seems to be a chapel of some kind. There is a spatial quality to the music, a
certain kind of reverb that gives the music a bit more space, and the two musicians play around
with that notion quite a bit. There is a fine hectic in there, that doubles nicely with space and that
space becomes almost like a third player. The music seems mostly acoustic, but there is also a
little bit of extra electronic, 'other' sounds that free-floats around this. This is what a great
improvisation should be like; action, reaction, responding, quiet, introspective, loud, thoughtful
and brutal and of course, it should create new sounds and new ways of playing instruments. That
too is something that happens here. Some fine release, indeed. (FdW)
––– Address: http://edition.blumlein.net/



CRISTIAN ALVEAR & KLAUS FILIP - 6 CHORDS (CD by Ftarri)
FTARRI 7TH ANNIVERSARY (4CD by Ftarri)
 
The six chords mentioned in the title of the work by Cristian Alvear and Klaus Filip is not about six
chords being strummed throughout the length of this work. This work is divided into six pieces, so
perhaps one could think there is one chord per section. I am, however, not really sure if that is true,
maybe I'm tone deaf? I am definitely not a guitarist. Cristian Alvear from Chile (see also elsewhere)
is quite active when it comes to playing quiet music on his acoustic guitar, moving around in circles
of both contemporary and improvised music. Klaus Filip plays sine waves. He is from Vienna and
one of the developers of Ppooll, software used by many laptop improvisers, and he is among them.
 I am not sure if I heard his work before. There are no recording details mentioned on the cover
here and I am not sure if this is a live or studio recording. The piece lasts close to forty-one minutes
and it is an album about repetition. Alvear is the most obvious one to repeat tones, as that's what he
does in each of the six sections. Short phrases are repeated over and over again, but in each of
them there are some variations; in strings being plucked, but maybe also in tempo and attack. I
would think certain phrases are used again and again in various sections, perhaps slower, or
repeated differently. Filip creates with sine waves a delicate web sounds around it and also
repeats frequencies, but these too are not on a loop. Filip's longer, sustaining sounds work quite
differently than Alvera's guitar sounds, and he allows himself to crossfade between various sine
waves, creating a gentle switch between them. It is throughout a very quiet work, almost Zen-like
in approach and it allows the listener to slip in a more comfortable listening modus; or just upright
and listen very closely. That I did, and I found it quite rewarding.
           Ftarri is a label, but also a shop and every year they have a multi-set of discs to celebrate
another year. It presents people who released or played there, but so I noted of the four-disc in the
7th anniversary set only one was recorded at the Ftarri shop. The first volume is by Leo Okagawa,
who simply gets credit for 'electronics'. From previous releases I had the impression, Okagawa
worked along similar lines as Joe Colley and Francisco Meirino with using old, near-death
electronics. I am not sure if that is what he still does here on the two pieces he recorded at Ftarri in
January and June 2019. These are tonal exercises around the notion of feedback; I am not sure
how it works as it is not necessarily only about feedback, but the route goes through some simple
modular set-up adding slightly more crumbled sounds and at certain points also quite some
distortion, however none of that for very long. Somewhere in the second part, a very low sound
came on and that made me think even more about a modular set-up and not a pure no-input
mixer approach. It is quite a radical piece of music and not very easy listening, certainly not if you
intend to consume the whole disc at once.
           Yuma Takeshita plays electro-bass on the eight pieces here recorded at home on June 21,
2019. The instrument of choice here is a bass and some electronics of his own imagination. The
results are great. Takeshita plays the bass in a minimal way, but he makes sure that we still
recognize the bass as such. The electronics at work here provide crackles, small hiss sounds, a bit
of feedback and sine waves. They are all about adding friction and tension to the music and that
works really well. The bass, small and empty, almost lonely, can act up in a more melodic,
expansive and pushing the electronics aside. The bass sound is actually quite 'clean' throughout
these eight pieces, nothing weird or noisy, but exactly as you would expect a bass solo to sound
like. It is quite intimate music and, following Okagawa, a much-needed point of rest.
           Aoyama± plays 'catabolized guitar', whatever that means ("Catabolism is the set of metabolic
pathways that breaks down molecules into smaller units that are either oxidized to release energy
or used in other anabolic reactions"). The rust here, I would think, comes from feeding the guitar into
the computer and that results into some heavy treatments. It is not noise for the sake of it, and it is
also not your standard laptop glitch approach, which, in both cases, is a good thing. At best one
could say that the first piece is a take on Oval's earliest work, the second is a fierce attack on the
nature of improvised music and third, and final, one is a digital drone piece and also one that
works very well. Not weak of hearth, but I thought it was great. It wasn't as conceptual as Okagawa,
but still within similar noisy bounds.
           And finally 'Exploration Exploitation Exploration' is a forty-eight-minute collage of "solo
synthesizer improvisation recordings" on the modular synthesizer by Straytone. It starts out in a
traditional, modular way; loose sounds, not a lot of structure, a bit of fooling around. That doesn't
sound too good for the rest. But then, after some eleven minutes, there is a full stop for a while and
things start in a more or less drone fashion. From there it keeps building for a while, with all those
drones and loose ends sounds and makes up for some fine rumble in an electro-acoustic way and
then dies out on a slow drone towards the end. Not perhaps something entirely new, but it all
worked rather well here. Not spectacular or original, but well made anyway. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.ftarri.com/


 
CRISTIAN ALVEAR 7 TIM OLIVE - TELQUAN (CD by 845 Audio)
ELIZABETH MILLER & TIM OLIVE & CRAIG PEDERSEN - CHARM POINT (CD by 845 Audio)
 
Usually the sparring partners of Tim Olive, magnetic pick-ups player pas excellence are musicians
who are also at the edges of radical improvisation, with constructions of their own making, so to see
him play in duet with Cristian Alvear (see also elsewhere) is quite a surprise. Alvear is best known
as a guitar player and usually to be found in very quiet surroundings. Alvear and Olive played their
first three concerts in Japan in 2016 and in October the year after, they played in Kyoto and Osaka
and spend a day together to record the music that found it's way onto 'Telquan'. Of it, Olive writes,
“the music is heard as it was recorded, with a few structural edits". What can be noted straight away
is that the guitar played by Alvear is quite loud here; I assume an acoustic one and it's just very
close to the microphone. The music they play together is a very fine mix of acoustic sounds and
amplification of both the space the guitar is played in and some additional small sounds played by
Olive. At least that is what I assume here. The guitar is amplified, with small feedback like
treatments, gives it a great ringing sound and Alvear's pick on the strings in clear and strong. The
additional sounds produced by Olive is that of more delicacy; the rattling of coins, the strum of a
metal rod and such like and in the second half a gentle approach to crude drones. Towards the
even Alvear goes out of shape by gently detuning the strings and thus signalling we are nearing
the end of a wonderful forty-one-minute trip. It is something that is both rough and gentle, loud yet
quiet and is a great release.
           On the other release, we find Olive playing with Montreal based duo of Elizabeth Millar and
Craig Pedersen, respectively on amplified clarinet and amplified trumpet (see also elsewhere).
The latter two also go by the name Sound Of The Mountain, but not here, for whatever reason I am
not entirely sure they don't go by that name here. In October 2018, the three of them met up in Kobe
and recorded three pieces, which are here described as using "hand-made microphones thrust into
metal and wooden tubes, consumer cast-offs transformed into home-made sound-generating/
altering devices, electro-magnetism fed through simple analogue circuits, sound amplified and
recorded". Compared with the work I heard from Sound Of The Mountain, I would think they go
out on an even more radical approach here; most of the times one doesn't recognize the
instruments Millar and Pedersen have, or just a faint trace thereof. The radical approach doesn't
translate in extremer music, oddly enough. It becomes quieter and distant, with everybody on his
or her guard. The 'noise' is reduced to small sounds culled peeps, hiss, crackles, forming gentle
drones, moving slowly around; in and out the mix, they slip slowly away. Sometimes it all is a bit
louder, but throughout the work, delicacy is very much the keyword to the three pieces here, even
in all its roughness. Excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address: http://845audio.bandcamp.com



SOUND OF THE MOUNTAIN WITH TETUZI AKIYAMA & TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - AMPLIFIED
 CLARINET AND TRUMPET, GUITARS, NIMB (CD by Mystery & Wonder)
 
This is a meeting of two duos, and quite an unlikely meeting. In the left corner we have, all the way
from Japan, Tetuzi Akiyama on guitars and Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board (the
NIMB in the title of this release), which is already quite unlikely given Akiyama's delicate playing
and Nakamaru's more heavy approach towards the sound. In the right corner, we have Sound Of
The Mountain, the Montreal based duo of Elizabeth Millar and Craig Pedersen, respectively on
amplified clarinet and amplified trumpet (see also elsewhere). I heard their debut back in Vital
Weekly 1099. The four them recorded at Gok Sound on October 8, 2017, and it is quite a tour de
force. Even for improvised music, I would think this is quite a difficult release. Maybe it is because
there is quite some noise implied, but all four players; yes, including Akiyama, whose guitar is
occasionally brutally present. That is not something that is going on all the time, but it most
certainly weighs on the music. Each of the players has a wide range of techniques to play their
instruments and more often than not this is not very conventional, and yet we are able to recognize
the instruments, well, most of the time anyway. Only Nakamura's no-input mixer is an oddball here,
but one easily can single him out of the music; with the other three instruments that is not always
possible. Two pieces here, some thirty-six minutes of moving about of all four players. Sometimes
I had the impression they were all on their own, not minding what the others were doing and
something it seemed to come together in a wonderfully harmonious way. I thought it was all quite
extreme, moving to outer limits, with a certain uneasiness that was also, in some other way
pleasant. Not something you would easily stick on for some good fun, as it is music that I found
quite demanding and that is, of course, a good thing. (FdW)
––– Address: http://mwrecs.com


 
MONO-POLY - TESTLAB (LP by Blowpipe)
PERFECT VACUUM - I MUST NOT THINK BLEAK THOUGHTS (LP by Blowpipe)
DENEUVE - PUSH PUSH ROCK & ROLL (12" by Blowpipe)
 
Looking at these three new releases by Dutch label Blowpipe, it is very hard to decide where to
start. With something I know and am very curious to hear (Deneuve), with something I know of but
not that well (Perfect Vacuum) or the unknown quantity here (Mono-Poly)? It is the cover of the
latter that made me start there; not just the beautiful design by Red Bol, but also the photograph
of the musician at work. Behind Mono-Poly we find Dennis Verschoor, who has his own studio in
the Worm location in Rotterdam. Not a traditional studio with modular synthesizers or modern
ones, but a collection of electronic test equipment that was used for "measuring errors in other
equipment and to calibrate devices". The Waveform Research Centre uses no tapes but a
computer and modern effects to record the sounds of these machines and Verschoor has
mastered them quite well. Of the six pieces on his LP, he says that they are "totally different kind
of tracks to give the listener a good idea of what can be made in an electronic studio like this". I
beg to differ when it comes the "totally different kinds of tracks" part of that statement, as one could
say that there is a common thread through all of these pieces and that is the use of rhythm. It is
present in each of the pieces and it is usually in a mid-tempo. This is not music to dance to, as the
rhythms are very minimal and recall the days of Pan Sonic and their many clones, such as Goem.
A beat that is a fat thick pulse and on top of that Verschoor builds eerie atmospheric sounds and
while there are no sequencers, VCA's and envelope generators (says the cover text) it is all tight
and the electronic sounds are far from cold bleeps and bops, but all rather musical and it owes
surely to the world of techno music. Especially in a piece like 'Jah Toch', one could think there is
a bass synth working overtime. Maybe it's the use of digital effects, so I was thinking, but on the
other hand, Verschoor has been doing this for quite some time, so he mastered his equipment
very well. "This is a test, only a test"? I would not think this is, as these are fully formed piece and,
again according to the cover, all recorded in one take with no further editing. It proofs for me such
things can be done in a great way, and there is yet something to learn for many modulists.
           It has been a long time since Dolf Mulder reviewed 'A Guide to the Music of the 21st Century'
by Perfect Vacuum, a project by Dave Marsh and Lukas Simonis (Vital Weekly 675). The latter we
know from areas of improvised music, but that's because some of his more rock outings may not
reach these pages. Marsh, we don't know, outside Perfect Vacuum, but on good ground, I happen
to know it is the alter ego of Jim Welton of The Homosexuals fame and who has been a punk since
the very early days of punk music. But other than some of his peers selling chaos for cash, he went
on a different trajectory of working under a plethora of names (Amos & Sara, Die Trip Computer
Die and many others), shaping his own version of doing it yourself music. In that respect, it is a
perfect pairing, these two. Simonis is connected to another Worm studio where you can find lots of
ancient synthesizers, but also very well suited to record guitars and drums and it is a big toy box in
such capable hands. Eleven songs can be found on this album they recorded together with some
help on cello, voices and analogue percussion and it is a wild ride through fifty years of alternative
pop music. You will find Beatlesque voices and songs, next to a humming choir, baroque
synthesizers, quirky rhythms, blips and beeps from some synth, country and western-styled slide
guitars, orchestral progressive rock (well, the start of something that they effectively deconstruct)
of some kind and both Marsh and Simonis are responsible for vocals and it's great stuff all around.
Tracks seem to flow right into each other, connected by strange synth sounds, odd transitions
within the space of a song that makes no sense, and then, perhaps, it does make great sense. I
don't remember the previous release that well, but this one could also be the guide to the music
of this century, tirelessly blending every musical style available under the sun together.
           And then something I was anticipating a lot. First, there was Tox Modell (early 1980's), the
Det Wiehl (still alive, I think) and since a couple of years Andre Bach and Mark Tegefoss have a
duo called deNeuve. Perhaps it means 'of the new'? As Det Wiehl they turned more and more
abstract and maybe it was their old love for strange rock music to start a new 'band' together. In
deNeuve guitars play an important role, but also drum machines, samplers, voices, vocals,
sounds and these are not abstract, long soundscapes, but short songs and mostly quite strong. It
is definitely not something for these pages, the music of deNeuve. I have no idea where it stands
in the bigger scheme of (alternative) pop matters; if, in fact, it stands anywhere at all. Maybe it is
absolutely ground-breaking unique what these men do here. Having said that I think it doesn’t
belong to these pages, and I ever so thankful that Blowpipe sends a copy down the road, as I love
it. I loved their earlier releases (Vital Weekly 831, 923, 1012 and 1084) a lot, especially the latter,
and these four tracks on a 12" (come to think of it, that is something ancient. Four songs on a 12"
record, spinning at 45 rpm; very '80s) are the perfect extension of that CD. It is very strong noise
pop, noise sample, a hybrid of rock, techno, noise, samplemania and plain pop (what the hell?
Yes, and why not?), deNeuve has a strong identity of their own. I believe they did concerts but
not yet in my neck of the woods. They should, they really should do that. I reckon' it would be great.
All their releases so far are excellent, now it's time to put the show on the road. (FdW)
––– Address: https://blowpipe.bandcamp.com/



D.C.P. - D.C.P. PIGEON (10" lathe cut by Paco et Gigi Records)
 
This is a limited edition 10" lathe cut record. At least, I assume it is limited. The lathe cut records is
basically a thin piece of plastic in which the grooves are carved, just like a 'real' record, but this
process is done individually. It is a great way of presenting your music on 'vinyl' (even when it isn't
vinyl!), but there are limitations when it comes to the quality of the 'pressing'. I was thinking about
that when I playing the 10" record by D.C.P., of whom I had not heard before, and there was time to
think about it as there was no other information available. On the Bandcamp page, it is said this is a
"10" beats/indus comp", which made me think if ‘comp’ is short for compositions or compilation. No
other band names are mentioned, so let's say 'compositions'. The music is indeed quite industrial
and quite beat-oriented. A loud, deep bass drum in a strict minimal way. This is not techno music,
with a fat acid bass line, or cheesy house samples, but the conveyer belt doing overtime. Strict,
straight harsh beats and likewise minimal samples (voices, perhaps?). The tempo is quite high,
yet not quite gabber like but getting close. I don't know enough of the world of dance music to say
in which direction this is to be found, but safe to say it is not for the weak of heart or legs. The four
tracks are a tremendous power, which translates not as well in the form of a lathe cut record, but I
can imagine this would work as a calling card for other labels to make an offer for some proper
release. The material here is convincing enough to warrant such a deal. Party music for an
underpass at two in the morning if somebody will bring the right supplies. (FdW)
––– Address: https://pacoetgigirecords.bandcamp.com/releases


 
HAQ - EVAPORATOR (CDR by Bearsuit Records)
 
One is never sure if the Bearsuit Records releases are an online-only affair, or also as a CDR. The
CDR copies I receive look damn fine, and checking Bandcamp, this is indeed a CDR. Haq is a trio
from Scotland, with Japanese duo N-qia and Harold Nono (also label boss here) in their ranks. N-
qia is Nozomi (vocals) and Takma (programming) and I assume a similar role for Nono here. This
is mini album disguised as a full-length. The first five songs are new songs, while the next seven
are remixes by Senji Niban, Annie & The Station Orchestra, Idaa66, Loalue, Ullapul and Ryota
Mikami, while one is an alternate mix of a track no featured here. To start with the remixes; it is
interesting to note that none of these sounded much different from the original five pieces, which
I thought was pretty funny. They were different, but I mean they were not radically altered. They
could have been as easily being made by the original trio. I was thinking, without actually finding
an answer, that I am not sure if that is a good or a bad thing. Perhaps it bypasses the whole notion
of doing remixes? The music by Haq is a mixture of mostly up-tempo rhythms, energetic synths
and the dreamy, Japanese voice by Nozomi; thin and atmospheric, which seems to be some sort
of cliché. Together with the music, there is quite some drama going on. On top of that, there is an
occasional level of fuzz and distortion, owing to the world of shoegaze. The production is excellent
here; there is much room for depth and dynamics here. It is all hyper-modern pop music that will
surely not be that popular, which is a sad thing. I wouldn't mind seeing a band like this getting the
recognition they deserve. However, to be honest: I think they are not the sort of music we at Vital
Weekly know a lot about; it is perhaps way too much out of our scope. (FdW)
––– Address: https://bearsuitrecords.bandcamp.com/


 
IAN STENHOUSE/POOL PERVERT - ABOMINABLE INVESTIGATIONS (split cassette by
 Non-Interrupt)
 
Following their recent split tape, there is now another one by Pool Pervert, also known as Egbert
van der Vliet and Ian Stenhouse (see Vital Weekly 1200). For the latter that cassette was my
introduction. Here he has three lengthy pieces, ranging from seven to seventeen minutes and
once again we find him at the noisy edge of experimental music. Not sure if he still uses loops
here; it could very well that is, but also it is just one block of sound that he spins through a bunch
of delay pedals and in 'Siemens' that results in a spielerei of feedback, which is not enough for
the twelve minutes it now lasts. In 'London Calling Dub' and 'Session B1' he works with the same
delay pedals but feeds in sounds from the monotron and some cassette freak out. I was reminded
of :zoviet*france: here doing long work out sessions. Quite nice actually. Pool Pervert starts out
with the title track of this release here too we see something of a continuation of the previous
release. Through the use of found sound (internet, films, radio) and heavy use of manipulations
through free software, Pool Pervert creates more ambient industrial music that curiously sounds
pretty lo-fi (despite the work being carried in the digital world), almost like he mixes his sources
from a bundle of worn-out cassettes. Perhaps less :zoviet*france: with these four pieces than
before, connecting with all the lo-fi drone makers who use those trusted cassettes these days.
There is a slow but steady motion towards refinement to be noted in the works of Pool Pervert.
Time to expand to greater pastures and sending out demos to like-minded labels! (FdW)
––– Address: https://non-interrupt.bandcamp.com/


 
WIL BOLTON - KOCHI (cassette by Audiobulb)
 
Via releases on such labels as Eilean, Home Normal, Dauw, Dronarivm, Hidden Vibes, Fluid and
Time Released Sound, the name Wil Bolton is perhaps somewhat of a household name by now.
His releases appeared in these pages before. For this new album, Bolton uses quite a bit of field
recordings that he made at Fort Kochi Beach, in Kochi, a port city in South India. There are birds,
crows, people and seaside sounds that were captured and which Bolton mixes with drone sounds
that he made using a Shruti box, melodica, Moog semi-modular analogue synthesizer, while also
using glockenspiel and electric guitar playing through sound effects. I gather that from this
description one could easily see where all of this is going, in terms of music; ambient music. Both
sides contain two lengthy pieces and they are all variations on the same thing, which is a few
lengthy, sustaining drones, coupled with individual sounds, from saying the guitar in 'Nets' or
xylophone, bells and a variety of field recordings mixed together. I must admit my head was in a
totally different place when playing this, not sleeping or meditating, but just doing some stupid
manual labour behind the computer and this cassette was on repeat for maybe three or four times
in a single row. I wasn't bored with it, nor lazy to get up and change it, but I rather enjoyed the
washes of tones, the soft tinkling of bells, seagull, all on this lousy rainy day and while I couldn't
resist thinking of new age music, especially in 'Nest' when the guitar starts to produce these
Göttsching like notes. I am no fan of new age music and this new release by Wil Bolton came
suspiciously close, but I still would like to give him the benefits o doubt and say it's not new age,
but a very friendly form of ambient music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.audiobulb.com


 
IVY NOSTRUM - SELF OWN (cassette by Invisible City Records)
MUSTER - TO FIND A CITY TO LIVE IN (cassette by Invisible City Records)
SHIT CREEK & TREMELO GHOSTS - SHRDLU'S ADVENTURES IN BLOCKWORLD (cassette
 by Invisible City Records)
 
One of the more interesting cassette labels currently, I think, is UK's Invisible Records. Their
musical interests in lo-fi cassette manipulations, drones and the occasional noise venture are all
very much up my alley, coupled with a fine interest in 80's black/white cover art. Ivy Nostrum is a
perfect example of all of these interests. It is the musical project of Paul Margree, who also works
as We Need No Swords. This is his second release as Ivy Nostrum and my introduction to his
work. The cover lists his instruments as "cassette manipulations, synth plugins, gong, domestic
objects, field recordings, breath" and there are five pieces on this fifty-minute tape. Within these,
Ivy Nostrum takes us on a very fine ride through exactly all of those interests: from the drones of
'Bad Actor', to the metal rumbling/contact microphone abuse of 'Carceral State'; these metal objects
are, I think, a blend of garden fence recordings, oil drums and small percussion on a table. It is a
great chance for once. In 'Fragile Whiteness', Ivy Nostrum explores the world of drones and noise,
with more percussion in a fine old fashioned industrial music way, whereas 'Lost Empathy' is a
controlled feedback surrounding. Of note is the sometimes somewhat percussive streak that Ivy
Nostrum has and that is something that sets him aside from many of peers; Ivy Nostrum is more
hands-on, whereas others operate on automatic pilot.
           Of a somewhat different is the music by Muster, a duo of Dan Powell from Brighton on
electronics and James O'Sullivan from South London on electric guitar. They "formed accidentally
on 2nd November 2016, in the Catford Constitutional Club" and I assume they have been going
ever since. The four pieces on this cassette were recorded in 2018 and I am not surely sure how it
works; perhaps Powell processes the guitar playing by O'Sullivan in real-time? Perhaps both
operate individually? I am not sure here. From listening to the music I could think that either is
possible (or, of course, a combination). This is a release from the world of improvised music and
they do a fine job here, even when not really spectacular. Their work is rather noisy and chaotic,
yet without the usual distortion, often associated with the word noise. There is random hit aspect
to the music (and the occasional miss of course), of bending strings and shape-shifting electronic
sounds (which, somehow, I suspect to be a combination of analogue ones, modular synthesizers
perhaps and laptop/software). Maybe it is music that works better when it is experienced in concert,
I thought, but there are some strong moments in here anyway. if you like early Kevin Drumm or
very early Giuseppe Ielasi, then this is definitely worth your while.
           No further information between two band names, a title for the release and the five individual
pieces. I can find a project named Shit Creek from Huddersfield but nothing for Tremelo Ghosts.
Alternative City Records calls this "Golden hour psychedelia from Shit Creek and Tremelo ghosts.
Total head cleanser", and while just ten minutes shy of an hour, this is certainly something quite
psychedelic, I would think. It starts out rather simple with a few harmonium/organ sounds being
sampled and someone plucking a guitar. It could be the start of some outsider kind of music, but it
moves into something quite coherent. Perhaps not so much in the first piece, but from the second
on onwards, there is a fine, gentle development. The drones become thicker, with the help of some
software processing (perhaps). Sounds return in this release, as if each song is a variation of the
others; the pluck on the guitar, the harmonium/organ drones, the wordless humming voices, all
with varying degrees of effects and sampling stages, work that as a whole this is a very strong
album, moving back and forth between similar ideas. There is maybe some kind of hippie feel to it,
but I kept the incense in the shop and crystal clear took it all in and enjoyed it a lot. It is the perfect
blend indeed between lo-fi, outsider music, drone and manipulation, even when not necessarily
from cassettes. (FdW)
––– Address: https://invisiblecityrecords.bandcamp.com/music


 
ROVAR17 VS XPLDNGLKE - MIRACLES OF ORBANISTAN (cassette by Unsigned Label)
ABATTOIR & SATORI - MEGALOSCHEMOS LIVE (cassette by Unsigned Label)
 
Orbanistan is no doubt a comment on the current state of the democracy in Hungary, shining bright
if you agree with its prime minister and not if you are Jew, gay, lefty or otherwise engaged in
different political direction. Rovar17 has seen various releases reviewed in these pages and I had
not heard of Xpidnglke before. They are both credited with 'electronics', whatever they are. The
political content doesn't show that much in the music, which is all-instrumental; even the titles don't
reflect that, but I could be wrong of course. The electronics at work here are mostly samples and
electronics, I would think and it results in a fine web of sounds, not say of a bit louder, noisier
excursion, but not exclusively focused on brutal distortion. It surely owes to the world of industrial
music. The sound is dense and abstract, but also quite colourful, or even psychedelic. It is massive
music that sticks right in your brain, certainly when you play it loud enough. There is fine ambience,
pleasant noise and makes you escape the daily mad world. I am not sure if that is something they
go for, but why not?
           The other new release is a live recording by one Lorenzo Abattoir, from Italy and of whom I
had not heard before and Dave Kirby, who works as Satori for many years. I haven't reviewed
many of his works, but only recently (Vital Weekly 1178) I heard work from him again. The
recording here they did together on October 13, 2018, in Budapest. Working together in an ad
hoc situation isn't, of course, restricted to the world of improvisation, but maybe it is easier (I don't
know) for the noise musician? Flick on a few machines, tape some keys down and do the
occasional howl? That is perhaps simplifying things a bit too much, but I would think that's what's
going on here. It is powerful, noise-based music, more than the other new release on this label, but
here too, I would think there is a bit more going on. Again, it is not the noise for the sake of noise
thing, screaming and blearing for forty minutes, but rather a fine balance of just that kind of noise
mixed with choir sampled, acoustic manipulation, a dash of percussion and some deep ambient
passages, all performing a fine contrast with the louder parts, which are also in abundant presence
here. (FdW)
––– Address: https://havizaj.bandcamp.com/album/


 
CO-HABITANT (cassette by Chained Library)
[..(]. (cassette by Chained Library)
 
These two releases looked so obscure that I had a hard time figuring out where to find them online.
There are no indications on the cover which label released them, and only by googling Co-habitant
and the word music, the Bandcamp page of Chained Library came up. There I learned... nothing
more for both of these releases. No names, no information, nothing. Clicking on the label's website
I see both of these mentioned as 'CS/RE' and in 2014 both of them as 'CS'; CS meaning cassette
obviously, and /RE probably being re-issues? Despite the graphic content here being all black, the
music from Co-habitant isn't that bleak and sombre. I think this project is armed with a synthesizer
and a delay pedal or two. Short phrases are played, key progressions or whatever they are called
and fed through the delay pedals, picking up the sound a bit later and feeding it back. In each of
the seven pieces, there is not much variation. Bell-like sounds, drones, a short melody, delay upon
delay but there is no minimalism (think Reich or Glass), no phase shifting going on. It stays in
whatever thing it is, and that's it. I am not sure if that is a conceptual decision or perhaps because
the ideas are that simple. I quite enjoyed it for what it was. Nothing special, nothing weird, partly
melodic, partly drone-based, executed well, so what's there not to enjoy?
           I am glad I am not doing a spoken word podcast for Vital Weekly, because, how on earth
does one pronounce this band name [..(]. ? Listening to this one, it was like listening to the brother/
sister of Co-habitant. It might be a different brand of synthesizer, another kind of delay perhaps, but
the music shares a similar form of minimalism. At times I thought [..(]. was a bit darker, abstracter
than Co-habitant, but here too we have some lighter ditties, such as the second track on the first
side. It is in pieces like that one that I thought it was all perhaps some sort of take on cosmic music,
stripped bare but still pushing around? I might be wrong. In [..(].'s more abstract pieces there is
some fine modulation of drones going on. I couldn't say which of these two was the more original
voice; the similarities were just overwhelming. Again, concept or laziness: I have no idea. I quite
enjoyed it for what it was. Nothing special, nothing weird, partly melodic, partly drone-based,
executed well, so what's there not to enjoy? But perhaps I used hose words already? (FdW)
––– Address: https://chainedlibrary.bandcamp.com/



K2 / IKIRE – BIG CHANCE FOR FAILURE (cassette by Trapdoor Tapes)
 
A side “U.N.K.W.N. (16'15”), “C.L.R. (13'45”) - K2; B side “living HIYOKO soup” (30'07”), Ikire. K2 -
Kimihide Kusafuka - prolific since the 80s, whereas for Ikire I could find no information except
Discogs which just gives this release. The liner notes “Cough!!” (The typical PE/Industrial/Noise
bad photocopy on coloured paper) suggests, or maybe not! that the Ikire track was “de-composed”
by K2? from a recording at Onosonik Laboratory in June 2018, or maybe it was simply
decomposed? from some other source, it’s not clear and mixed by K2 in July. This release arrives
not in the normal broken cassette case but in a jiffy bag. Now I have a real problem with this tape.
The K2 tracks on first listening one can hear a variety of electronica in play, beats, sweeps, use of
effects and textures, maybe not 'fast' enough or dynamic for 'Harsh Noise' but I'd say up to Kimihide
Kusafuka's standard of sound manipulation, however, the recording has a terrible bandwidth
which makes the whole sound a foggy soup. No highlights just murk and shadow, however
through this it's obvious there once was light and dark, colour. I'm no sound engineer and first I
thought my headphones might be at fault, testing they were not. My next step was to download
sections to Audacity and see what the spectrum analysis looked like, again I'm no engineer so I
compared this to other noise samples. The K2 tracks showed at 86 kHz near enough 0dB, with a
sharp drop to -40 dB at just over 3kHz and then slowly dropping to -50db by 10 kHz, finishing @
20kHz at -60db. My comparison noise was 0 dB @ 86 kHz dropping to -10dB @ 16 kHz, then
plateauing @ -20dB.  Finally performing the same analysis on the B side, Ikire track, gave a much
slower drop to -50db, and it does sound 'sharper'. Whatever, the murk resembles the images used
here, to the extent that much detail is destroyed. Whether this is intentional or not I do not know,
with the graphics that were part of the industrial/PE/Noise scene's aesthetic, but not rendering the
sound likewise illegible, to the extent that it appears what was detailed electronica of interesting
variety is reduced to grey mush. It would seem then in doing so to beg the question as to why
bother to use detailed sound textures, to begin with, if in processing the detail is removed? And
the answer must be that is what is wanted and so must be considered successful. The Ikrie side is
certainly harsher, with screaming feedback. Unlike the K2 tracks this is fairly consistent and
unchanging, some modulation towards the track’s end... lacking any bass, structure beats or
pulses. This poses yet other questions with regards this tape, how such a single track of uniform
sound relates to the two K2 tracks whose sonic structures are nowhere uniform in texture, rhythm
and spectra? The K2 tracks would be listenable if not for the poor recording quality, whereas the
uniform high pitched feedback of the Ikrie track, because of its form, is un-listenable, in the sense
of hearing any significant variation. Maybe in a non-material virtual world of 'perfect' digital media/
information such objects, cassettes, of this quality exist not as media, but only as objects, in
Graham Harman's sense of withdrawal, or in simpler terms as the object is in itself the most
significant thing. Given the large Trapdoor catalogue, one then 'collects' more than listens? And
the whole lo-fi cassette repro – image – thing, is the fetish object. Even as, maybe, these might!
be played (or not) on an 80s Walkman, contra a smart phone's mere binary mp3s. (jliat)
––– Address: trapdoortapes@hotmail.com
 
 
 









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