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ASMUS TIETCHENS - BLEICHE BRUNNEN (CD by Stille Andacht) *
ASMUS TIETCHENS - LEERE UND ZERFALL (CD by Moloko Plus) *
NEF - INTERVALLES (CD by Insub Records) *
MAEROR TRI - THE SINGLES (CD by EE Tapes) *
LOPLOP (CD by Gotta Let It Out Records) *
ANAHUAC (CD by Astral Spirits) *
IGNAZ SCHICK - ROTARY PERCEPTIONS (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
TOSHIMARU NAKAMARU & IGNAZ SCHICK - LOST BETWEEN TWO AIRPORTS (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
IGNAZ SCHICK & TASOS STAMOU - WHITE DOG/WHITE MAGIC (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
PEDRO ANDRE & IGNAZ SCHICK - THE BLIND EYE TALES (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
SNAKE FIGURES ARKESTRA - EIGHT PIECES FOR TURNTABLES & TAPE (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
IGNAZ SCHICK & CLAUS VAN BEBBER - RADIO CONTROL (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive) *
PARASHI - TAPE FROM OORT CLOUD (LP by Sedimental & Skell) *
ROBERT PIOTROWICZ - EUZEBIO (LP by Musica Genera) *
WIG – MUSIC FOR BIRDS (CDR for Cram) *
PAUL FLAHERTY / RANDALL COLBOURNE / JAMES CHUMLEY HUNT – DEAD CENTIPEDES (CDR by Econore) *
BLUE BEAST - ROARING (CDR by Declaw Ditties) *
VARIOUS - SONIC DISTURBANCE (CDR by Inner City Uprising)
JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - STRIJK (double cassette by Hellend Vlak) *
SIHTX - IK' SVIGT MIG MER' (cassette, private)
ASMUS TIETCHENS - BLEICHE BRUNNEN (CD by Stille Andacht)
ASMUS TIETCHENS - LEERE UND ZERFALL (CD by Moloko Plus)
As I am starting to play 'Bleiche Brunnen', I open 'A Short History Of Decay' by E.M. Cioran. For many years, Tietchens has quotes by pessimist Cioran on the covers of his releases and, as we will see, now also an entire CD devoted to the old French philosopher. But first, there is a completely new CD, which sees Tietchens continuing on the path of reduced music. It is effectively the sort of thing he does since the turn of the century and what started as something along the lines of Bernard Gunther (whatever happened to him) and Taylor Deupree and his 12K label, is now something that Tietchens made his own. One could say there is now such a thing as a Tietchens sound here. In a way it is a continuation from what he did before, treating acoustic sound with electronic means, but in the 'old' days the sound was fuller; and there is now much more reduction. However, the music isn't completely silent; far from it. There seems to be happening something, any time. I have no idea how Tietchens works, but in my romantic notion of such things, I would think he treats sounds over and over, in all sorts of miniature differences and then put them all together on the computer and mixes them all, taking a line here, a cue there and maybe works them over again. The eight pieces here are modest, quiet, introspective but not ambient or spacious. There are, as said, also not quiet. Occasionally it is much louder than much of the rest, which keeps the listener all tied up in the music and doesn't allow for some dreaming away. There is not much news here, but it is, again, of damn fine beauty.
Already released last year, ‘Leere und Zerfall' is a six-piece CD of Tietchens reading texts from 'A Short History Of Decay', which is just, almost, that. 'Wir Troglodyten', the first piece here, opens with a very typical Tietchens piece of reduced music, as some sounds went via some extreme filtering, leaving just some residue. Then he starts to speak and it turns out he applies a similar filtering process on his voice. Tietchens reads in German and there is, very far away, some more of his highly reduced music. It is interesting to read the English version at the same as Tietchens speaks the German version, if not slightly confusing. I always say that I never listen to texts, which is true and here it is all about text, so I tried reading along with the same text, to have some understanding. I also played this CD without listening too much to the text and more as a piece of music and found that also enjoyable. The text is clear to be understood. It is a powerful release that you will play not a lot. Like reading Cioran, I would recommend playing one of the six pieces, and then put the CD for a few days. This is what I do with Cioran's books; read a few pages, put it away and return to it later. His pessimism and despair are well-founded and written, but not something to take in daily. Just turn on the idiot box and get depressed. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.darkvinyl.de/
––– Address: http://molokoplusrecords.de/
NEF - INTERVALLES (CD by Insub Records)
Behind the acronym (well, maybe; I am not sure if it is that) we find a trio of players, of which I only recognized the name Pascal Battus, who plays 'rotating snare drum’. The other players are Rodolphe Loubatiere (snare drum) and Bertrand Gauguet (alto saxophone). The seven pieces are called 'Acte' and were recorded in 2017. This is improvised music with a strong link towards the electro-acoustics and together they cooked up some pretty intense music. Oddly enough it seems that the saxophone is the main instrument, but I came to think that it is perhaps the one instrument out of these three that we may recognize, no matter how minimal or microscopic it is played by Gauguet. Micro is the imperative word here for the music. It is almost as if these players want to explore a sound that is not moving or changing, sustaining tones with a millimetre of space to play around with. There is, I would think, quite some level of control here among these three players. It hisses, scrapes, scratching and blows, and while it remains pretty close together when it comes to the dynamic range, each of the players tries to leave their mark on the recording; a small gesture here or there that slips out. I can imagine this was a pretty intense recording session, as it all sounds pretty intense for the listener. Intense but I think it comes with the option to listen to it very intensely, using your concentration to grasp what's going on, but on another rotation, without the same level of attention, I found that all of these sounds blended into perfect unison and became a wonderful set of electro-acoustic monochromes of subtle changing intensity. (FdW)
––– Address: https://insub.bandcamp.com/
MAEROR TRI - THE SINGLES (CD by EE Tapes)
For many years I was a massive fan of Maeror Tri, having discovered early on when they were firmly rooted in the worldwide networking of what was called 'home taping'. Much to my delight, the group got a second life, after they split into a two-piece Troum and a one-piece 1000schoen. Something happened that made everyone wanting to re-issue whatever they did in the past and so, in 2006, 'The Singles' was released by EE Tapes, one of the first signs of a rediscovered interest. I must admit I also surprised that now, fourteen years later, EE Tapes deems it very well to be that another 500 people are looking for a copy, so it is re-released, in a digipack as opposed to the 7"-sized cover of before, which, of course, fitted the theme of re-releasing a bunch of 7" vinyl (and one 10") releases from the mid-nineties. Back then I wrote about this release, in Vital Weekly 469, and I reprint it now; "Probably there is only one group that started as a cassette-only band, who will successfully release their entire back-catalogue on real CDs (not CDRs) and that is Maeror Tri. They started in the late eighties as a three-piece ambient industrial group, and released a whole bunch of cassettes and subsequently also 7"s and CDs. In the late nineties, one of the three band-members left and the name was changed to Troum. Their 7"s are now collected on this CD, for the first time and complete as such (so the originals can go to eBay now, although I have no idea how well sought there). One 7" is missing and that's the one that they released on their label, Drone Records (which started the label) and which will be re-issued soon. It's good to see this released at last, as the music of Maeror Tri can best be enjoyed in the digital format, away from the scratchy, hissy vinyl, of which the duration was sometimes also too long for a 7". This collection starts with quite a raw Maeror Tri, with metallic banging but as the CD progresses, some of the more classic Maeror Tri appear: dark and dense and intense, with much layering of sound effects, percussive sounds and many obscure sound-sources (I once saw them playing the accordion on stage, feeding it through a whole line of sound effects). These singles, three 7"s and one 10", can easily be classified among the best they ever did and with the enhanced quality of the CD, this is a much-wanted item. Time to plunder their cassette releases and release those on CD. Do I hear the word 'box set', anyone?"
That box set, by the way, didn't happen, but lots of labels plundered the archives of the band, with permission, and sparked an interest that still lingers on. And with good reason! This is still classic ambient industrial music, as was the much-used phrase in those days and I still enjoy it very much. Has it aged? Not for me. FdW)
––– Address: http://www.eetapes.be
LOPLOP (CD by Gotta Let It Out Records)
Loplop is a collaboration of Jon Lipscomb (guitar), Dan Peter Sundland (bass) and Ole Mofjell (drums). Mofjell is a Norwegian drummer we know from Emmeluth’s Amoeba and The Big Yes. Lipscomb is an American guitarist based in Malmö, Sweden operating in the fields of improvisation, noise and experimental rock. Norwegian performer Dan Peter Sundland we met on the album by Allemano’s Ohrensmaus Trio. Considering their backgrounds this could be an interesting release, and listening to their debut album it was immediately evident that we are dealing here with a very explosive trio, that is on a very exciting and original mission. In five tracks they concentrated all their energy and ideas. In this exhausting tour de force they are in a constant and tireless interaction they never take a break. A high energy unit of a very original free rock extravaganza. That is surely due to guitarist Lipscomb who performs with a rock attitude and has a vicious style. In the opening of ‘The Mephi‘, he demonstrates very far out playing, blending noise and blues and reminding me of Chadbourne’s improv madness. Bass player Sundland has a very idiosyncratic and personal style that was already evident on his collaboration with Allemano. Mofjell has ideas and alternatives for every mad situation they are engaged in. All three are very capable and moveable players, who can easily switch, accelerate and whatever is needed to channel their creative eruptions. They interact with great mutual understanding and eagerness what makes their hectic and eccentric manoeuvres very solid and focused. In contrast with their intense and noisy improvisations there also moments where their playing is more subdued and intimate like in the first part of ‘Modgud’. They keep things rough and unpolished what make their improvisations rooted and down to earth. This is a stimulating and convincing debut and for sure one of my highlights for this year. (DM)
––– Address: https://gottaletitout.bandcamp.com/
ANAHUAC (CD by Astral Spirits)
IGNAZ SCHICK - ROTARY PERCEPTIONS (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
TOSHIMARU NAKAMARU & IGNAZ SCHICK - LOST BETWEEN TWO AIRPORTS (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
IGNAZ SCHICK & TASOS STAMOU - WHITE DOG/WHITE MAGIC (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
PEDRO ANDRE & IGNAZ SCHICK - THE BLIND EYE TALES (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
SNAKE FIGURES ARKESTRA - EIGHT PIECES FOR TURNTABLES & TAPE (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
IGNAZ SCHICK & CLAUS VAN BEBBER - RADIO CONTROL (CDR by Zarek Online Release Archive)
This is a lot of Ignaz Schick we are dealing with here. We start with a release by Astral Spirits; it is part of three releases; one is this CD, one is a download and one is a cassette. I haven't heard the latter two. Anahuac is a trio of Ignaz Schick (turntables, sampler, live electronics), Juan J. Garcia (double bass) and Chris Cogburn (snare drum, percussion, live electronics). They first met in 2015 in Mexico City and from then have performed quite a few times in that country since. It all has to do with the Garcia and Cogburn being located over there. This is part of the world of improvisation, surely, and that is mostly when Garcia plays his bass in a jazzy way (not always!), but it is also very much something that owes to the world of electro-acoustic music. Through these three long pieces, there is a very tactile approach to the instruments. Rubbing, scanning, bowing, using a surface upon surface approach makes this is all not your typical improvised music here. What I particularly liked about this is that these are not very hectic and nervous pieces of music. This trio creates quite densely orchestrated soundscapes with their tools, seemingly going on for quite some time within whatever they are engaged with; only after some time, somebody breaks away, a sudden move on the bass, sound snippets of vinyl escaping, but as easy to close ranks and continue whatever they are doing. Especially the third (and longest) piece is a very fine example of this approach. The second piece (all titles are symbols, not to be repeated easily here) leans towards the improvisation a bit more, while the first holds the middle ground. Altogether this is some excellent live electro-acoustic music, in the best tradition of Morphogenesis, Kapotte Muziek, MEV and others from the world of improvised music.
And then, on Schick's label Zarek, there is the start of clearing out the archive, via the first six releases, on limited CDR and ever-lasting download; this is another way to use time during the quarantine. Many of these are duets, but the first one is the "only and at the same time last official recording involving the artist's Rotating Surfaces set-up". Imagine a turntable or something else rotating upon which objects are placed and which are amplified. These objects could be bows, plastic spoons, gongs, violin bows, metal sheets or whatever. Schick worked with such a set-up up until 2012 and since then he works with vinyl again. In July 2011 he recorded the ten pieces here, all called 'Perception', and the rotating sound of the turntable is, obviously, of course, never far away, even Schick uses not too fast speeds of his set-up. In that way, I would think, he can get more out of his sound material; a faster speed would destroy the sonic qualities of the objects. I very much liked it all when it all sounded a bit less like rotating surfaces and a bit more abstract. In particular, I enjoyed 'Perception VII" (well, the second one with that title, which I assume should be 'Perception VIII'), which starts with some loose sounds, household objects I imagine, but slowly evolves into a very lively piece of improvised music. In stark contrast is 'Perception IX', the longest piece, which sounds like a hefty slab of drone music consisting of malfunctioning electricity. The combination of improvisation versus the more static approach is something that works best here anyway. As such, this is an interesting first archival release.
The first time Toshimaru Nakamura and Ignaz Schick played together, they were still at their original instruments, guitar and saxophone. Later on, they started working no-input mixers and turntables. They both played an important role in the reductive music scene, sometimes called 'Onkyo', and 'Echtzeit'. In 2009 they toured together, as a duo but also with other people, and on this recording, we find the final concert of that tour, captured in Cave12 in Geneva. Schick was still working with his rotating surfaces and Nakamura heavily involved with the no-input mixer. This is far from being silent and careful; in fact, this is, most of the times, quite a brutal force. There are lots and lots of piercing high tones, feedback and otherwise, and Schick adds more brutality with something that sounds like a skipping CD (yes, oddly enough, so I thought) and bows upon rotating objects to generate some more mayhem. All of this, the complete forty-one minutes and forty-five seconds of it is not easy to digest. It took me a few tries before I could take it all in at once and even then I turned down the volume a bit. It is all quite noise-based and quite chaotic, not some ongoing slab of continuous noise.
Following which it is good to settle down with the two pieces by Schick and Tasos Stamou (prepared zither, toys, objects, looping fx and voice). They played on 2009 some concerts in Greece, and 2010 in Berlin and the music here is culled from a bunch of concerts and session recordings, mixed by Stamou in 2010 and 2011. Stamou's work I know to be constructed from these instruments and usually brings some very delicate acoustic drone music. Schick takes credit for "turntables, motors, objects, bows, gongs, looper" and it all works very well together. The acoustic aspect of the music, the objects clanging together in rotation, mixed with the drones from Stamou, and maybe also the ones produced by Schick via loops of his material is something that leads to pieces of five to seven minutes and each of the two pieces on this CDR has four or five of these sections. On top of the more or less automated sounds the two of them, the two men play delicately several 'small' sounds, contradicting the drones, shifting the balance and bringing in a human element, if you will; Stamou in working with his toys and Schick with his moving around of objects, both adding a strange musical touch to it. Not always very quiet, there are instances in which they leap out, up the ante (and volume) and put the listener back on his feet. It sounds like it was taped at a concert and hard to believe it came from various sessions stuck together.
I am not sure if I heard of Pedro André before. He is from Portugal and "co-founder and member of the art-collective Piso" as well as being responsible for the Altes Finanzamt venue in Berlin. He has worked with a few people from Portugal and is an electronic musician, using a laptop, effect pedals and a mixer. In November 2014 he and Schick recorded at the Altes Finanzamt and here Schick is back at using vinyl. When the two started to play together, André would pick up the rotating surfaces from Schick, but here it is the sound of vinyl. They recorded seven pieces of improvised music in that month. Whatever vinyl Schick is playing, there is very little I recognized as music; in fact, nothing at all. This is, however, the first release so far, in which I note the presence of rhythm via rotation. The constant loop of repetition on the turntable, with the static crackles being repeated over and over. André 's additions come in the form of more glitches and electronic layers, which oddly enough add a sort of click ‘n cut aspect to the music, but not in an overtly rhythmic sense. It sounds quite digital, even if that might not be the case. There is some cold and clinical sound here, with a fine majority of small sounds sparkling about, creating some vibrant music. There is a lot of things happening beneath the microscopic look of all the active sound forms.
Also, a duo is Snake Figures Arkestra, being Schick (turntables, objects, looper) and Marcel Türkowsky (walkmen, objects, looper) but the only (so far) that deserved a band name. Between 2007 and 2009 they worked together a lot, sometimes daily, plus a few concerts (labelled "legendary" in the press text, but that's hard to verify, isn’t it?) and from all of that Turkowsky compiled a seven-piece album of which the title explains it all. This is a delicately radical release, taking the turntable sounds even more into the land of musique concrete; quite heavy, I would think, on the use of objects here, sounding brittle and sharp, but also the electronic aspect of the music is created from high-end crackles and static. That reminded me of the good ol' days of laptop glitch music, sans the rhythm and just the crackles. It is not easy to say who does what here, as it all seems closely linked and the turntable is not always to be recognized as such; only in the last piece, with musical snippets this is clear; the rotating aspect is, of course, to be heard in various pieces. It is all quite enjoyable; it is quite rough music, but without the obvious noise component. It is very much the work of musique concrete but in a much livelier, active form, spontaneous bursts of energy over a lot of acoustic sounds.
And finally, there is a classic duel between Claus van Bebber (and despite being Germany, it is not 'von' but 'van'), turntablist since many years and Schick, well, the same since also many years. They did quite a bit of playing together between 2005, when they first met and 2014. In 2011 they recorded for a couple of days at Van Bebber's home base in Schloss Gnadenthal, which was a commission by the German radio. Here we come back to the release with Nakamura and the noisy side of Schick, even when there are also important differences. Within these nine pieces, there is quite a dynamic range to be noticed, as thing aren't always loud, or always nasty. There are softer elements within the music that make it quite more balanced, but throughout, loud or quiet, the glitch approach prevails here. The stumbling of objects on objects, the amplification of rotations and noises captured earlier on loop devices, all makeup for a very bumpy hillside journey. Going and down, with sharp turns. Like a bicycle ride, maybe, but on a rusty one. The whole machine makes sounds and whatever you do, up, down, turn left, turn right, the sounds change a d whenever a bit of road is straight ahead for a while, it all tones down a bit. The whole bicycle thing seems to be a fine analogy for the turntable; did they ever use a combination of that I wonder? (FdW)
––– Address: https://astralspirits.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: https://zarekberlin.bandcamp.com/
PARASHI - TAPE FROM OORT CLOUD (LP by Sedimental & Skell)
There’s a moment about six minutes in to the 3rd piece, the one from which this album gets its title, when one hears the slightly-off-mic sound of the artist coughing. It serves several functions at once: most importantly, leaving a cough in your final mix of otherwise hermetic electronic music is objectively charming. The humor comes from the sudden and rude snapping a listener out of what was, for the preceding 20 minutes, an absorbing experience of concrete sound in order to say “don’t forget there’s a human in here”. The sudden corporeality also shifts a listener’s focus for the remainder of the piece (and for the inevitable multiple re-listens) to artifacts of the process: small clicks of the artist moving something around, twisting buttons and raising levers… aspects of the music seem to be recorded/performed live, whereas it previously (before the cough) had the aura of tightly-worked-over cosmic texture. “Tape From Oort Cloud” is a deep slab. There’s a lot in this music that once could pay attention to, and different take-aways depending on which aspect you might want to focus on. On my first listen, I heard the shifts in tone from brooding industrial to striated cassette-tape-rewind volleys (do you love that sound as much as I do?) to aggressive noise attack to Berlin-School-esque ambience to… eh, who knows. I heard the tone and mood first. Then, after the cough, I could better hear the guiding hands moving between spaces. The improvisation and gorgeous imperfection. Further listens (because this album inspires return visits) revealed the richness of the synthesizer tones, the solid command of movement within each of the four pieces, the drama from one moment to the next, the dialogue between the pieces. And so, who the heck is Parashi, anyway? A new name to me, but the Sedimental label, now back in action after something of a pause, can always be trusted to search out lesser known artists and give ‘em a platform. Parashi isn’t quite a new name, though; he only flew beneath my radar, which I now realize needs to be adjusted. Albany’s Mike Griffin is a member of psych rock stalwarts Burnt Hills and has plenty of small-run albums before “Tape From Oort Cloud”, including collaborations with Spykes, Chapels, Wether, Rambutan and Cruudeuces. That might give you an idea of the underground world he’s resided in, but this confident and engrossing LP ought to make more people pay attention. I’ve got some catching up to do. (HS)
––– Address: http://sedimental.com http://parashi.bandcamp.com
ROBERT PIOTROWICZ - EUZEBIO (LP by Musica Genera)
The latest LP of synth zoink from Musica Genera founder Robert Piotrowisz is pretty bonkers. Composed at the legendary EMS Elekronmusikstudio in Stokholm on of Buchla and Serge synths, the music shoots electro-firecrackers all over the place, but the damn thing swings… it even has a backbone of hard funk beneath the circuit noise. While Piotrowicz’ electronic whatsis slurps noisily, the dense chirps keep coming to rest on something that resembles a solid groove. It’s still abstract and colorful, but at times reminds me of the fractured beats of Pan Sonic or classic Mego sides, letting unstable thunks gird a spray of knob-twisting chaos and rapid left-turns of tempo and/or density. The opening number lays down what to expect: volleys of high-energy synth noise with a half-time slam of rubbery dub-adjacent percussion. The second piece, “Euzo Found Guitar”, is the slinkiest of the album, the one with the easiest-to-spot floor for robots to dance on. The third track, in contrast, pulls back for a few minutes’ breathing space amid the chaos. “Flares Et Wasser Hole” begins with a brittle melody, grows slightly more discordant, then dissipates to allow a slower and more contemplative/austere mood take over. Marimba-like tones linger in the air, gliding slowly as if coaxed out of Piotrowisz’ boxes. The funk re-emerges with a vengence on the big closer, “Ocarina Wars”, seven minutes of nauseous blorp with a half-speed thunderous beat and awkward fanfare wrestling to emerge from the fractured deluge. The struggle continues for some time, the anthem and the noise take turns, each one seeming victorious for a moment here and there… though in the end both abstraction and order declare a stalemate. (HS)
––– Address: http://robertpiotrowicz.bandcamp.com
WIG – MUSIC FOR BIRDS (CDR for Cram)
Wig is a trio of Merran Laginestra (piano, voice), Antonio Bravo (guitar) and Elo Masing (violin). Only Estonian musician Elo Masing (violin) I know from earlier releases. She has albums out on Creative Sources Recordings of collaborations with Ernesto Rodrigues, a.o. Also, she is a member of the London Experimental Ensemble. Merran Laginestra (piano, voice, synthesizer) originates from Australia and works as a multi-disciplinary artist (electroacoustic music, improvised music, theatre, television,etc.). Antonio Bravo (guitar) is a Spanish musician from Santiago de Compostela. Both Bravo and Laginestra also operate as a duo, and in another trio setting with Spanish drummer Alvaro Trillos. So Wig is a trio of improvisers from very different cultural backgrounds. The session that is presented here was recorded by Dietrich Petzold in a Berlin studio during summer 2017. In eight improvisations they work from very different angles and ideas. ‘A sort of English Chicago’ has repeated guitar motives that continue in a drone-like manner, with long extended movements by violin and strange electronic gestures by Laginestra on synthesizer. On ‘Houston, we have a problem’ she plays the inside of the piano in a percussive way. In ‘The weight of all these memories’ features piano playing and also her vocals, in a fine interplay with Masing and Bravo. Near the end, Masing introduces a romantic melody that is effectively accompanied by Lagisnestra. ‘The Man from Laxaria’ opens with a moody and delicate duet by Masing and Bravo and has again a romantic feel. With improvisations like ‘Trichoglossus Rubiginosus’, they choose for more abstract sound-oriented improvisation. So Wig offers an album of very diverse explorations with equally engaged participation by all three members. Worthwhile! (DM)
––– Address: https://cramrecords.bandcamp.com/
PAUL FLAHERTY / RANDALL COLBOURNE / JAMES CHUMLEY HUNT – DEAD CENTIPEDES (CDR by Econore)
A release of free improvisation from Econore, a small label focused on experimental music and based in Mönchengladbach, Germany. We are introduced to a trio of Paul Flaherty (alto and tenor sax), Randall Colbourne (drums) and James Chumley Hunt (trumpet, conch shells). Flaherty started playing in the 70s, But his high-energy free improvisation style wasn’t met with enthusiasm by his colleagues in those days. Near the end of the 80s, Flaherty found his true mates and continued since on the path of free improvisation. His collaboration with Colbourne is the most important one and started in 1989. They released about ten records, spread over many different labels, some with the involvement of others. Since the 90s one of their returning collaborators is Chumley Hunt. So we are talking of musicians who have a long history together and played – if I’m not mistaken - within a relatively small circle of musicians. On ‘Dead Centipedes’, it is especially the playing of Flaherty that impressed me. He plays with great drive and urges. However, the movements and gestures they exercise in this meeting didn’t excite me. Their improvisations come from a free jazz tradition, but their interplay, the motives they develop, etc., didn’t work for me. The three, however, are in a productive phase, as this release more or less coincides with the release of a quartet-recording with guitarist Mike Roberson (‘Borrowed from Children’ on 577 Records). (DM)
––– Address: https://econore.bandcamp.com/
BLUE BEAST - ROARING (CDR by Declaw Ditties)
Behind Blue Beast we find Plus Instruments' Truus de Groot and Miguel Barella; he plays the guitar and she plays keyboards and sings. 'Roaring' is their second release, the follow-up to 'Devil May Care' (see Vital Weekly 1067). Oddly enough there is also a song with that title on this new CDR. As I wrote before I quite enjoy the music of Plus Instruments, which I always call the female version of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft. The minimalist, motorik beats are something that De Groot also brings to this table, but with the addition of the guitar and electronics of Barella, it also becomes something quite different. While the strong opening 'Fucking Telephone' is very much a Plus Instruments Plus song, it is when the rhythm machines and sequencers are shut off, and Truus starts more narrating, the speed slowing down, it also becomes more like something of radio drama proportions. Not that something entirely alien to the world of De Groot; in Vital Weekly 814 I reviewed 'Salton Sea' by her and Bosko Hrnjak, which also was a more of a radio drama. Here the music gains dramatic impact and becomes another bloom in her catalogue. It's still all quite poppy, for the lack of a better word (nothing that will storm the charts), but this is all leftfield pop music. Strange sounds, familiar ones, a bit of improvisation, a bit of structure elsewhere, and a bit of history thrown in. I can easily see the Plus Instruments side of this music, but it's my lack of knowledge when it comes to the work of Barella; I am sure he brings quite something different to the table, which makes this another fascinating release of modern surreal and alternative pop music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://blue-beast.weebly.com
VARIOUS - SONIC DISTURBANCE (CDR by Inner City Uprising)
24 track compilation, featuring, MILAT - YOU ARE NOTHING, NUNSPLOITATION - DANNY, TONE GENERATOR - CORONA RING, BROWNING MUMMERY - CONTACT TRACES, BESPOKE DECAY - DEMOCRACY MANIFEST (GET YOUR HAND OFF MY PENIS), MENSCH - GERMANY CALLING, D.J URINAL CAKE - HORSE POO $5 A BAG, KRANG - URO 2, URETHRA STOCKADE - COP EATING DOGS, ELECTRO SURGERY // NOISE UNIT - ETHICALLY CHALLENGED//POLICE CUNT, DFFDL - HOPKINS, JUSTICE YELDHAM - PLEASE MUMMY A BOOB (LIVE), ENJOY OUR LAST CENTURY ON EARTH - GLOSSOALIA, MENSTRUATION SISTERS - GIVE BLOOD, LACTATING NUN - 共产主义中国之死, TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZION - SIBLING, CLETUS VORTEX - CHEED, DISCORD - PC POLICE, SCISSOR - SEPHIR EXCERPT, BEASTIANITY - GLORY OF ELVES, SCAVENGER - NOBODY, HUMAN RESOURCE - BITAFUK, MANS BEST FRIEND - YOU DO NOT RECOGNISE THE BODIES IN THE WATER, DYSTERHET - ENSAM. Most around 2-3 minutes in length, variations on harsh noise sometimes saturated in reverb and pulses, blips and glitches... and often featuring a recorded speech from archive material / found clips, the clue being in some of the titles... screams etc. This is a compilation of Australian noise, the names above difficult to reference in some cases, ranging from small groups, (bands) to single persons, some who have been active since the 90s, others this compilation seemingly their first release. Urethra Stockade's stood out for me in its loud high pitched wasted sound, whereas Dffdl's Hopkins was not noise in any harsh way, but more a wall of ambient drone, a very brief work of under 4 minutes. As an 'overview' of what can these days be categorised as noise these 24 tracks give a good indication, save 'Hopkins', from relatively drone laden rumbles, synths, sound collages, and percussive loops, found sound, through to the extremes of harshness in Cop Eating Dogs, though no actual HNW. (jliat)
––– Address: https://innercityuprising.bandcamp.com/
JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - STRIJK (double cassette by Hellend Vlak)
Very much like Martijn Hohmann last week, we find the work of Jeroen Diepenmaat firmly rooted in the art world. His releases are usually handcrafted in small editions; and I don't mean some paint was thrown on a photo and asking a ridiculous amount of money for it, as was the thing in the 80's to do). Here we have a beautiful sturdy black box, a small booklet with Lettre poetry and two tapes; all in an edition of 26 copies. Many of his releases have a concept behind and 'Strijk' is that. 'Strijk' can mean 'to iron', but it is also the Dutch way of saying to play a string instrument with a bow. Here a record player plays a record (something that Diepenmaat does for quite some time now, is to cut his vinyl on a machine that he owns), the record by rotating plays a cello and the composer plays both; I assume by moving record closer to the strings, adding cuts to the record and such things. As I noticed in the reviews of the work by Ignaz Schick, the problem with the turntables, you can always hear the rotating of the disc and that is here not different. It brings an interesting cadence to the music. The steady playing of the strings via the turntable is picked up acoustically and that brings another interesting layer of sound to the music. 'Minimal' is the operative word here; once the wheels are in motion, they stay in similar motion for a while, before things are changing. There is an interesting development in the five pieces over four sides here. The first two shorter are on 'Side A' and sound like places to start; does it work? Yes, it does. 'Side B' and 'Side C' are rhythmic, with the discs and scratches along with the subtle variations of the cello, which are great, but it all culminates on 'Side D', which is stark tour de force. It is the most minimal of the five pieces but with has the most 'sound' and, when played loud, keeps ringing in your ear. With that locked groove of a drum part, it sounds like Tony Conrad meets Faust; but then a little bit different. Excellent release, a delight for eyes and ears. (FdW)
––– Address: https://jeroendiepenmaat.bandcamp.com/
SIHTX - IK' SVIGT MIG MER' (cassette, private)
Behind Sihtx we find Norway's Signe Tolbøll, who created, as far as I understand, a drum machine that is "a wooden square box with small hammers controlled by my laptop - hitting on all the objects that resonated with my inner feelings during that time. Those objects were glass, light bulb, teacup, china, a metal spoon and other metals. Other sounds in this record are tinfoil, clocks, tape, knives etc." There is an offer for a photograph, but I get the picture quite clear from this description, perhaps having also seen, for instance, the field kit by Koma Elektronik in action, in which you can control voltage of shakers and movers on acoustic objects. I understand, however, that Sihtx does a bit more here and adds other sounds to the menu, as well as electronic processing of the sounds generated from his drum machine. There is, for instance, quite a bit of reverb going on here, providing a fine backdrop of drone-based sounds; on top, the 'drum' sounds have a wide range. From the amorphous rattle of tin foil to the tinkling of bell-like sounds in 'Mer'', offering quite a complete range of sounds and moods. The title of the cassette is to be translated from Danish and means "Don't let me down anymore", with each word of the title being the one-word title of each of the four pieces. 'Ik'' is the cling clang that reminded me of Jean Tinguely, while 'Svigt' is much more open and slowly enveloping and 'Mig' is dominated by what seems to be piano sounds (I might be wrong there) and closing 'Mer'' is the moody atmospheric drone piece. It is altogether a bit short, and I would have liked to hear a bit more, as it all sounded most promising. (FdW)
––– Address: https://sihtx.bandcamp.com/