number 1308
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week 44
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offer a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the releases reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud!




INSECT ARK - FUTURE FOSSILS (CD/LP by Counsouling Sounds) *
GENEVIEVE MURPHY - I DON'T WANT TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL ALL ON MY OWN (CD by Unsounds/Gaudeamus) *
SERGIO ARMAROLI - MAHLER (IN/A) CAGE (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
PHILIPPE CT WITH MARC COPLAND - BELL TOLLS VARIATIONS (CD by Odd Sound)
PHILIPPE CT WITH MARC COPLAND - FLEUR REVISITED (CD by Odd Sound)
THE REMOTE VIEWERS - THE REMOTE CODE (3CD by Remote Viewers) *
FROSTLAKE – THE WEIGHT OF CLOUDS (CD by Discus Music) *
FRODE GJERSTAD & ISACH SKEIDSVOLL – TWENTY FINGERS (CD by Relative Pitch Records) *
ERIC LA CASA - EVERYDAY UNKNOWN 4 & 5 (CD by Swarming) *
AIDAN BAKER - TRUE DREAMING (TO BEND THE WORLD) (CD by Dissipatio) *
ZHALIH - THEY CALL (CD by Laaps) *
ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - NOCTURNALITY (CD by Trome Records) *
ANDREW OSTLER - CROSSING THE LINE (LP by Expert Sleepers) *
GOLDBLUM - OF FEATHERS AND BONES (LP by Kraak) *
DOC WR MIRRAN - CASSETTE (7" by Marginal Talent) *
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - IN GOD WE TRUSTED (book by Mirran Thought)
AL MARGOLIS & BOBAN RISTEVSKI - THE GREATNESS GUIDE (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
BRGS - BREAKFAST WITH CARDEW (CDR by Zvocnioprepihi) *
POOL PERVERT - NARCO STATE (cassette by Non Interrupt) *
THE QUIET CLUB - THE TELEPATHIC LOCKDOWN TAPES (cassette by Farpoint Recordings) *
GANA2 - FATA FOR GANA (cassette by Apport!) *
OORCHACH  - INSTINKT (cassette by Apport!) *



INSECT ARK - FUTURE FOSSILS (CD/LP by Counsouling Sounds)

Dana Schechter is the musician behind Insect Ark. She started this in 2012 and had a few solo releases back then, followed by a few with where she worked with a drummer. This new record is a split of sorts; one side (or the first three pieces on the CD0 has three solo pieces from her, and the other (fourth piece) is a live improvisation with Ashley Spungin on synths and percussion. I don't think I heard the previous releases by Insect Ark, so this is my introduction. I understand from the information that the old releases were drone-like and used the lap steel and bass guitar as primary instruments. Of the three pieces, she recorded two in EMS Elektronmusikstudio in Stockholm and used the Buchla 200 synth. This, so I am told, is a departure from other work and thus not easy for me to reference. However, I do know that these are great pieces of music. Obviously, I write these words after having heard the CD a couple of times, so I know what's coming, but the drone-like character of the highly atmospheric tracks translates well with the use of synthesizers. She bends the synth drones into touching pieces of music, tranquil but with tension built-in, especially in 'Gypsum Blade'. In 'Anopsian Volta', a piece recorded at home, she uses the piano, along with long sustaining strummed string sounds. The 2016 live recording with Spungin is a different beast. This is two people not used to playing together and cooking up a raw deal of spacious electronics and bending guitars. I have no idea how Spungin plays his drums, but he refrains banging, and sparse fills up with bells and cymbals. The two musicians move nicely and smoothly along uneven terrain and go from slightly more noise and the rocky road into total tranquillity. If this was their first performance, then they did a great job. (FdW)
––– Address: http://consouling.be



GENEVIEVE MURPHY - I DON'T WANT TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL ALL ON MY OWN (CD by Unsounds/Gaudeamus)

This seems to be the third release in a series "Sounds of the Young Avant-Garde", curated by the Gaudeamus Foundation and released through Unsounds. Supposedly this series collects some of the 'most forward moving sounds', all commissioned by Gaudeamus especially for these releases. So what have we got here?
    Murphy is a Scottish composer and performer, and combines music with the performing arts. The piece presented here sounds and looks a bit like an 'opera' - although it is not clear to me whether it has been performed as such, as musicians are credited, but no actors, instead 'video stills'. Along with the CD comes a booklet with texts and even dance choreography, so maybe it is all a collection of material and the listener/reader has to make up the performance in their head? The storyline is about Genevieve Murphy's 8th birthday party, paired with her mother's (42 three days earlier)  - about the preparation, elements of the party (Music Room, Cinema Room, Sitting in the Bushes etc.) up to the inevitable 'Time for Bed'.
    The main body of music is limited to 7 songs (out of 18 tracks). The first track is an Oumphta Techno attack that leaves you thinking of a - children's party, actually. Other songs take a melodic style, reminding of early 80ies electronics - though Murphy was not yet born then (* 1988). Or build on a percussion base that reminds of bagpipe bands (and Murphy does play the bagpipes). Two live tracks (with the full band backing) sound a bit more modern, although I do not see the avantgarde aspect - apart from a few odd sounds strewn in. The other tracks meander between statements by the mother (unnervingly supported by noises representing specific words), and quieter, slightly depressed voicings of the daugher (Murphy) talking about her feelings and perceptions as she watches the ongoing preparations of her mother, not totally convinced, and talks about other events and perceptions. These parts are backed by minimalistic sound constructions, ranging from bird song and minimal synthesizer layers, to click tracks (cinema), always underpinning the ongoing activities. From track 4 the mother falls by the wayside and the child narrative takes over in full, telling a slightly weird story of the child's view of the party, family, and other events.
    I must say, I would have preferred an EP with the music - and maybe one or two of the spoken word tracks. For me this is all a bit too much story telling and too close to many spoken word-cum-music releases, that are more out for spectacular effect than conveying anything I would like to have heard of. (RSW)
––– Address: https://unsounds.com/



SERGIO ARMAROLI - MAHLER (IN/A) CAGE (CD by Gruenrekorder)

This new Gruenrekorder release is one of those releases that I don't know about. Now, suppose you don't read any of the text, inspect the cover, and know anything about the musicians; what do you hear? Field recordings from the countryside, I would say. Water, cars, some animals, tractors, children are playing. Did I at any point think this is the house in which Gustave Mahler composed 'Das Lied Von Der Erde', among other works (his last)between 1909 and 1911. I have no idea where to find Dobbiaco/Toblach (Bozen) on the map, and I pride myself on some geographical knowledge. Sergo Armaroli visited the place and recorded his sounds, according to John Cage's ideas as laid in 'Sculptures Musicales', "an exhibition of several (sonic sculptures), one at a time, beginning and ending "hard-edge", concerning the surrounding "silence", each sculpture within the same space the audience is. From one sculpture to the next, no repetition, no variation. For each, a minimum of three constant sounds, each in a single envelope. No limit to their number. Any lengths of lasting. Any lengths of non-formation. Acoustic and/or electronic". The booklet mentions more names, R. Murray Schaefer and Adorno. Oddly enough, Alessandro Camnasio is responsible for mixing the music and in a short explanation, he says this work is the typical electro-acoustic composition, also using synthetic sounds. The question is, of course, are we hearing what Mahler may have heard? Surely not, I'd say, as there wasn't much synthetic sound in his days. Although I am a bit sceptical about the whole project, I immensely enjoyed the final piece, 'The Long Look: Forever/Ewig', in which insect sounds seem to mingle elegantly with synthetic sounds, and it all becomes more than sonic snapshots from a location that perhaps not many have visited and may lose it's meaning, without knowing the proper context. Having said that, I quite enjoyed this release, but mainly for its approach to the world of field recordings. I always enjoy hearing, and I can dispense with the bigger context. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.gruenrekorder.de/



PHILIPPE CT WITH MARC COPLAND - BELL TOLLS VARIATIONS (CD by Odd Sound)
PHILIPPE CT WITH MARC COPLAND - FLEUR REVISITED (CD by Odd Sound)

Philippe Ct is a Canadian composer and saxophone player, Marc Copland a well-known pianist (who actually started as a saxophone player). Ct only recently finished his doctorate in music, so the first expectation would be to find a collection of intellectually charged contemporary classical music.
    But far from. The CD releases come with liner notes of poems written by Lee Tsang. They are not necessarily a part of the music, but certainly add to the mood. On both recordings, Ct and Copland are accompanied by a string quartet, Quatuor Saguenay. And on 'Bells' all this intertwines to compositions that owe more to Debussy and the Impressionists than to 21st Century composers. In some pieces, Copland manages to add in a jazz phrase and a nod at Bartok, but the overall impression is that of chamber music. Ct is not much present, very restrained and leaves centre stage to the other musicians. The melodies and music, the acoustic feel are the main elements here, sounding more 19th than 20th Century. Nevertheless, the music sounds fresh and convincing.
    'Fleur' is quite different, it explores the sound more experimentally, saxophone and piano dropping notes, plucking piano strings. The saxophone in later pieces takes up a more central part. The use of some electronics lets me think of Kenny Wheeler, but in most tracks the sound treatment is minimal and again the acoustic impression prevails, only in this case far more modern. Lets me think of early Barbara Thompson, as - apart from the sound experimentation - this again is a melodic album. Nevertheless, maybe because of the Canadian background, a down-to-earth release that carefully uses the composition elements to create an interesting music that does not subscribe to one musical period alone, but spans centuries in an eclectic choice of styles. (RSW)
––– Address: https://philippecote.com/



THE REMOTE VIEWERS - THE REMOTE CODE (3CD by Remote Viewers)

The Remote Viewers is a rather unusual trio of saxophone, saxophone, and double bass. They started off in 1997 when B-Shops For the Poor disbanded, which they were all members of, and have since published a string of 19 releases, most of which they have provided through their own label, in cooperation with ReR Megacorp. Adrian Northover (sax) and John Edwards (bass) also have a moderate and very long (respectively) list of other projects, having joined forces with the likes of Adam Bohman, Lol Coxhill, Evan Parker, Eddie Prevost, and Kenny Wheeler, to name but a very few. David Petts, who has written most pieces on this 3-CD set, strangely only played with the B-Shops For the Poor, previous to the Remote Viewers.
    The CDs offer a number of tracks composed by Petts, as he always is the main source of RV music. The first two CDs also include improvised trio pieces. Whereas the third CD credits all musicians throughout. In contrast, guest musicians have contibuted to some tracks, starting with John Edwards' own wife, Caroline Kraabel, another saxophonist. As the recordings date from Summer 2020 up to March 2021, you could say this is a Covid legacy. This might explain the abundance of material that called for a triple release.
    The music explores a broad range of sound, from continuous notes, to rythmic percussion of all sorts (from bells to chimes to marimba) to some free jazz-like bits. The mood is mostly restrained, carefully and sensitively exploring the acoustic possibilities with 'small' sounds, nothing excessive. As the choice of instruments is much broader than 'just' two saxophones and a bass (including synths - a Wasp! - electronics, glockenspiel and more), the listener gets more than a conventional jazz recording. This is somewhere on the fringe of jazz, contemporary classical, and free improvisational music (although apparently composed). CD 2 concentrates more on the trio sound, adding very little other instruments. I liked this better as it conveyed more of a free jazz feel. The third disc then moves into a more experimental area by more openly combining the saxophone sounds with electronics - sometimes referring back to the first CD, sometimes creating sound layers. And this also answers the question why there are three discs in this release - they cover three different approaches to the Remote Viewers' music. Certainly a release that will take its time to grow on you (by the sheer amount of music), but also one that offers new insights and sound combinations. (RSW)
––– Address: https://www.theremoteviewers.com/



FROSTLAKE – THE WEIGHT OF CLOUDS (CD by Discus Music)

Frostlake, a project by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jan Todd, presents their third album for Discus Music, following ‘White Moon, Black Moon’ (2015) and  ‘Ice & Bone’(2019). She is presenting a new collection of songs written in 2020-2021. Jan Todd plays most of the instruments herself: vocals, voices, lyrics, acoustic/electric/12 string guitars, E-bow, floor harp, cross strung harp, soprano lyre, jouhikko, alto tagelharpa, viola, e-violin, clarinet, melodica, Hulusi flutes, Idiopan, Korg MS2000, midi keys, Korg wave-drum, drum creations, percussion, electronic, field recordings. Above all, however, she sings the lyrics that are written by her hand. She is accompanied by Terry Todd, who plays acoustic-electric bass and 12-string guitar. Terry Todd, who participated also on the earlier Frostlake-albums is co-writer of eight of sixteen songs that fill this cd. First impression: although lots of instruments are used, vocals and guitar are most prominent. All songs are consequently framed in the same style with a well-defined, consistent sound format that is carried out from start to finish. This constitutes an otherworldly sounding world of its own compared to what Kate Bush did. Call it pop songs submerged in a slightly psychedelic atmosphere, though with underground aesthetics, but more sophisticated and easy-going. The songs are melancholy and pastoral in the atmosphere. They have a dreamy and ethereal character, sometimes a bit reminding me of the work of Durutti Column. Typical English pop. Very enjoyable, but more contrasts between the tracks would be nice. (DM)
––– Address: https://discusmusic.bandcamp.com/


 
FRODE GJERSTAD & ISACH SKEIDSVOLL – TWENTY FINGERS (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
 
‘Twenty Fingers’ is a meeting between a legend and a rising Norwegian jazz and improv scene star. The career of Gjerstad (saxophone, flute, clarinet) started at the end of the 70s. He soon operated on an international with John Stevens as his first and long-time companion. In contrast with many of his Norwegian colleagues, he didn’t join ECM circles. He always chose a freer, improvised, and experimental music practice, collaborating with Peter Brtzmann, Derek Bailey, William Parker, etc. He appears on dozens of records. In 1989 he started the Circulasione Totale Orchestra to make younger musicians familiar with free improvisation and experiment. ‘Twenty Fingers’ for sure is another example of a meeting of different generations. Isach Skeidsvoll is about 50 years younger and at the beginning of his career. So far, we find him as a member of the Bear Brother, a quintet with an album out on Creative Sources released in 2017. Last year he debuted with his own quartet General Post Office, joined by musicians who also studied at the Grieg Academy in Bergen. With his brother (?) Lauritz Skeisvoll – also a member of this quartet – he released a duo album last year called ‘Spirit without Fire Within’. Using this title as a diagnosis for his new collaboration with Gjerstad would be totally wrong. We are dealing here with a very dynamic and spirited meeting. Six short and concentrated improvisation moving between 2 and 6 minutes and one extensive improvisation lasting almost 19 minutes. The recording of this (first) meeting took place in December 2020 in Stavanger, the hometown of Gjerstad. From the very start, they come to business immediately. Both jump without hesitation into a very fresh and enthusiastic meeting. Especially Skeidsvoll impresses with whirling movements full of initiative and ideas. Chapeau! (DM)
––– Address: https://relativepitchrecords.bandcamp.com/



ERIC LA CASA - EVERYDAY UNKNOWN 4 & 5 (CD by Swarming)

Here we have a composer mainly known for his work with field recordings, and this new release is no different; perhaps, in some way, it is. La Casa writes that the two compositions on this CD  deal with the inaudible and the unspeakable, and that "Everyday Unknown is a series devoted to the representation of infraliminary sound phenomenons of the reality, of everyday life". I had no idea what infraliminary is, and it seems a straightforward translation of the French word "infraliminaire". But let's assume this is the sort of sound we usually don't hear, and now La Casa made them audible. The recordings are from his immediate environment. I believe I heard an old fashioned fax machine at the beginning of 'Everyday Unknown 4'. While the sources may be inaudible, they are no longer now. La Casa 'translated' them back into the audible domain, and via the use of sound collage, he combines various sound events into two compositions. He uses slow crossfades to get from one section to the next and just very occasionally by a short montage of sound. Except for the previously mentioned fax machine, none of these sounds can be easily traced back to something you might recognize. The 'invisibility' gives the music a much more abstract character, electronic obviously. The field recordings are obscured, and I must say, I enjoyed this abstract character quite a bit. There is a certain vagueness about the music that makes it obscure and mysterious. You are aware of impending danger (that breach in the electricity network you just can't hear?; you pay close attention, but you can't put your finger on it. Then it disappears and is replaced by something else that is equally mysterious. Nice! (FdW)
––– Address: https://swarming.bandcamp.com/



AIDAN BAKER - TRUE DREAMING (TO BEND THE WORLD) (CD by Dissipatio)

Here we have one of those musicians with an extended discography under their belt, but I only heard a small portion. Baker plays here electric and acoustic guitars and voice. "Titles & lyrics taken from/inspired by Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes & The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi". I heard only a fraction of the man's output and wasn't aware that he is also singing these days. Maybe this is the first time? A couple of years ago I saw him in concert, which I thought was brilliant and it made me think about his music differently. Aidan Baker plays ambient music using his guitars and loops, and while that may sound like something a lot of people do, the results from Baker are always great. The bigger portion of his music is where he creates backdrops of drones, intertwined, and on top, he plays chords but also sometimes he mingles a bit with the strings. That results in blurry textures music. With Baker, it is never straightforward drones from guitars, common chords over a batch of more looped chords, but just spacious textures. There are four pieces just over four minutes on this disc, bookend by two over twelve minutes long. In 'Something Opens In My Head', he uses his voice and for all I'm concerned, not something I enjoy. It is the only track. In the other pieces, there are guitars and Baker did a great job. Don't think that the music is all quiet. There is quite a bit of tension in the music and occasionally rises to a good bit of noise, such as the bow upon the strings in 'Drawing Doors In Places Where The Walls Are Thin', or the furious ending of the title pieces, signalling also the end of the release. Altogether a wonderfully varied disc of some fine atmospheric quality. (FdW)
––– Address: https://dissipatio.bandcamp.com/



ZHALIH - THEY CALL (CD by Laaps)

Of course! Last week I wrote something about this label and that their release never had much rhythm, so their release by Sonae was an oddball. 'They Call' by Zhalih opens with rhythm. Of course! Zhalih is "Hannah Zhalih Mickunas is a multidisciplinary artist currently living on the Northern California coast." She sings and plays instruments and recorded the nineteen songs (spanning under forty minutes) between 2013 and 2021. I reviewed her 'Inrushes' in Vital Weekly 1149. 'They Call' is her second release. Her voice and string instrument (guitar? ukelele? both?) are the main ingredients. Whatever beats she uses is not a lot and are provided by others. I noted before that her music has a somewhat folk-like character and is sweet, gentle and delicate. That has not changed here; it is still all of that. This music is excellent, but not something I would play often. Maybe I find it too sweet? Or, perhaps, it is something that I think doesn't fit these pages too well? That is a problem I have with more folk releases. Vital Weekly has a wide range of musical genres to cover, and experiment plays an essential part in many of them. The music from Zhalih is undoubtedly on the more experimental edge of folk music (I said something about purer last time, which I won't repeat), but from my perspective, perhaps, not experimental enough. (FdW)
––– Address: https://laaps-records.com/



ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - NOCTURNALITY (CD by Trome Records)

Here we have no stranger to these pages, even when, to be honest, I don't always know too much about the man and his work. He works with a wide range of instruments, and this time it is percussion instruments and a no-input mixing desk. The latter is fancy wording for 'feedback'. Connect the headphone output to the first channel and open it up gentle. Then you know what I mean. This 'technique' is mainly used to generate long-form sounds (I know only very few people use it rhythmically). Monteiro chooses a great, non-existing word for his piece of music and one that fits the piece very well. The percussion here is cymbals. I would think, with his plays gently but firmly. And slowly, so that sound dies out before the next hit comes. I don't know how many of these he's using here or how many variations he uses to strike them, but he does a great job. The no-input mixing desk provides off and on an excellent texture for these sounds. Sometimes piercingly high, but there is an excellent nocturnal atmosphere in this music. Monteiro plays it solemnly, but you never have the impression of listening to music for a ritual. There is nothing gothic about Montero's music, and that is a good thing. Over the forty minutes this piece lasts, Monteiro repeats sounds and phrases, but I never had the impression he was in any way repeating himself. He starts quietly, then slowly expands and ends on a similar note as he started, with at times more no-input in the second half than in the first half, but maybe my perception was all blurry by that time. I found this a wonderful, beautiful CD, even when I heard it most of the time at full, bright daylight. No wolf hours for the wicked at work. (FdW)
––– Address: http://tromerecords.com



ANDREW OSTLER - CROSSING THE LINE (LP by Expert Sleepers)

Last week I reviewed a CD by Light Conductor and said it was along the lines of early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. It was a fine album but didn't add much to the whole notion of cosmic music/Berlin school. The man behind the Expert Sleepers label, Andrew Ostler, works with similar inspirations but slightly different results. He says that he works with modular synthesizers, but not 'one, take, no overdubs', which is good news. "Here, each sound is patched, played, recorded, and torn down, ready for the next one. Many layers are then painstakingly edited up into a coherent whole." An interesting addition is the bass clarinet, which he plays, processes and sometimes loops. I must admit I had not heard the bass clarinet in the two side-long pieces of music here, simply part 1 and part 2 of the album's title. The cosmic element is within the bouncing arpeggio, which runs through most of these two pieces of music. On top of those rhythmic lines (just as with Light Conductor, I'd say Ostler dispenses with the use of drum machines), there are some big fat drone melodies spread around. 'Part 1' opens dreamily and spacious, but soon locks in the various lines, and then the spaceship takes off, in the second half drifting in orbit, looking and searching. Now the music is a sea of uneasy tranquillity. 'Part 2' opens with the drones that will stay for pretty much the rest of the piece. There are traces of arpeggio's here, but it needs time to kick of full time. When they do, the piece is flying until the end. I am a big fan of the Berlin School (well, not too openly, of course), and I am very impressed by Ostler's work here. It all sounds great on vinyl, but I wouldn't have minded a full-length CD of this stuff. (FdW)
––– Address: https://expert-sleepers.co.uk/



GOLDBLUM - OF FEATHERS AND BONES (LP by Kraak)

Following their debut cassette (Vital Weekly 1222), the Rotterdam-based duo Goldblum has a second release. Michiel Klein and Marijn Verbiesen. The latter you may know from her Red Brut project (also having a record on Kraak) and her interest in using cassettes. Together with a singer, this duo had a group called Sweat Tongue, one of Rotterdam's more interesting experimental groups. Verbiesen plays keyboards, bells, harmonica, contact microphones and sings her lyrics, while Klein is responsible for tape loops, keyboards, effects, montage and mix. Verbiesen is not really singing but rather reciting poetry over a hotbed of intertwining loops and sounds. These loops are rather plain and clear. Take a few wind instruments, loop that, and play it along with another loop of, say, drum sounds. Wave on top some wacky slow keyboard line and bury the voice in the mix. Please don't think I don't like this music; I do, very much. In much of their work, I believe to hear all sorts of inspirations from the past. The No New York of Sweat Tongue and the later experimental post-punk in Goldblum; sometimes it reminded me of Dome, but sometimes not at all. There is a seriousness about these pieces that I can't quite put my finger to. I think this duo has grown from their previous release. It has grown into something bigger and more thought-out. And that also includes the random approach in choosing sounds. What might have seemed a gimmick before is now fully developed into compositional techniques. Verbiesen's poems, alternately in English and Dutch, are not always understood but add to the music's somewhat solemn, slow vibe. This record is a significant step forward. (FdW)
––– Address: https://kraak.bandcamp.com/



DOC WR MIRRAN - CASSETTE (7" by Marginal Talent)
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - IN GOD WE TRUSTED (book by Mirran Thought)

Release number 181 by Doc Wr Mirran is a lathe cut 7" in an edition of 23 copies. It has a cast of nine players; if they all have a copy, there are only 14 copies left for sale. There is a free download on Bandcamp. Despite being one of the nine contributing musicians, I have no idea what went into the mix this time. I thought it was funny to call this 'Cassette' and release it as a 7" lathe cut. Manipulated voice(s) open 'Dosey Doe', along with a rhythm and some harder-to-define noise in the background. There is an old school industrial vibe to this music, which I immensely enjoyed. Total vagueness, which is also the case of 'Moofanchu', placed on the other side. We also have a steady rhythm and some madcap sounds swirling in and out of the mix.
    At the same time, there is a new poetry book by Doc Wr Mirran's main man Joseph B. Raimond, and it seems a relatively short one. It is also an obvious one when it comes to the message. The current state of the USA is one to be lamented, and that's what Raimond does here. Otherwise, I am not a poetry critic; I enjoyed the furious style of his writing. The anger is palpable.
(FdW)
––– Address: https://docwoermirran.bandcamp.com/



AL MARGOLIS & BOBAN RISTEVSKI - THE GREATNESS GUIDE (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

You may not remember, but Boban Ristevski once reviewed music for Vital Weekly. At the time, he was also active in the world of laptop music. When he ended reviewing, I also stopped seeing his music, but he was off my radar because he was active with online labels. Al Margolis, I know many more years, mainly as a musician under the name If, Bwana and his Pogus label. Earlier this year, Ristevski had a release on Attenuation Circuit with Occupied Head (see Vital Weekly 1270), and just as that one was about spirituality, so is this one. 'The Greatness Guide' is a book by Robin S. Sharma and is a book about self-help and motivation. I have not read it and, maybe, not the motivation to do so, biased as I am. Margolis' music is usually about improvisation, nervous and hectic, but quite drone-based on other occasions. The cover or the information reveals much about how this collaboration was made, but I guess Ristevski took a bunch of sounds produced by Margolis and reworked those into the four parts of 'The Greatness Guide'. The information speaks of harsh noise meeting 'music for meditation', but, honestly, I would not think of this as either harsh noise or music for meditation. Although it is closer to the latter than to the first. The previous release with Ristevski was inspired by the Tibetan book of the dead, which is also a source for Eliane Radigue. Oddly enough, I think the music on this CD is closer to Radigue than on the previous one. Not, of course, said that she was an inspiration back then. The four pieces are long stretches of sustaining sound. The magic of the endless sea, if you will. Minimalism prevails in each of these pieces, but whoever did the final mix added enough variation to keep things interesting. In the second part, I had the impression of various field recordings being processed, and they are in all pieces. Still, there is also an undeniable electronic component to this music. Maybe it is all laptop processing, or perhaps the modular way. Either way, I don't mind how the music was made. I love the results; this music is excellent. This is precisely the sort of thing I dig a lot; an excellent collaboration! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de/



BRGS - BREAKFAST WITH CARDEW (CDR by Zvocnioprepihi)

It is good to see that Cornelius Cardew's score 'Treatise' is still used by musicians. Jake Berger, also known as Brgs, took a few pages out and performed these here. One piece is one page, but the other six uses various pages. If you have no idea what this score looks like, Google it, and I'm sure a free download will pop up. This score is very open for musicians to use, but it also offers many ideas on how to 'stick' to it. I thought Berger was mostly an improvising drummer/percussion player, but he also plays modular synth, string boxes, effects and objects, next to the prepared snare drum and feedback speakers on this new release. While pretty much a lot of the music on this disc is part of the world of improvisation, at the same time, it is more. For instance, 'Endless Loop Of Spotless Mind' contains repeating drone loops, captured from some broken speakers (maybe this the feedback speakers?), which sound crackling and lo-fi. And it sounds great. 'Shapes Of Emptiness' consists of a lot of silence and a bit of sparse music, sounds, noises and works excellent intensely. Sometimes Brgs is working towards a more electro-acoustic approach, using the surface of the snare drum and objects in 'Tension Of The Surface'. Brgs bends and re-shapes his improvisations so that they become improvisations. Working with different set-ups allowed him the freedom to work his way through the material. This music is not your standard improvised music release, which I enjoy all the more. I would think that in each of these pieces, Brgs goes for a slightly different approach, which makes this a highly varied disc, well beyond any traditional approach to improvised music, and perhaps that is the whole idea of using the Cradew score. (FdW)
––– Address: https://zvocniprepihi.bandcamp.com/



POOL PERVERT - NARCO STATE (cassette by Non Interrupt)

Recently Egbert van der Vliet stumbled upon a box of old c90 cassettes, so it is not surprising that his recent releases have this length. 'Narco State' has two forty-minute pieces, 'Swift, Odorless' and 'Odorless, Swift' (his titles could use a re-think). As with his recent releases, Egbert van der Vliet is on a long trajectory of using free sounds and free software. I would think, and I might be wrong, that Pool Pervert uses more electronic sounds; or, maybe, this is what Pool Pervert sets apart from Van der Vliet's other project, Muziek Terwijl U Luncht? I am not sure here. The best way to enjoy this music is not to overthink it too much, not analyze it, just press play and immerse yourself in this ninety-minute trip. Pool Pervert takes the time to make a point, which means that sometimes sounds may go on a bit too long, but sometimes he hits upon a sweet spot, and you wish it could go some longer, such as that dramatic melodic guitar bit around thirty minutes of 'Swift, Odorless'. As I recently wrote, I think Van der Vliet's latest work is all of the extraordinary beauty, and this is no different. Music to read your morning paper, drink your evening wine, or relax halfway during the day. Mood music for all sorts of moods; for me, it was that middle of the day relaxing thing that worked best. Onwards and forwards! (FdW)
––– Address: https://noninterrupt.bandcamp.com/



THE QUIET CLUB - THE TELEPATHIC LOCKDOWN TAPES (cassette by Farpoint Recordings)

"Have you one hundred and sixty minutes of listening time available for The Quiet Club? That's Good. This release is just for you". Oh... well... 160, is a bit much. The cassette is eighty minutes. The full download is the complete 160. I reviewed music from this duo before. Danny McCarthy and Mock O'Shea use mostly sounds from stones, homemade instruments, electronics, theremins and field recordings. For an improvising unit, such as The Quiet Club, the 2020 lockdown was a terrible thing (well, for all of us, I guess), and instead of breaking the rules and meeting up in secret, they also dispensed with the idea of using online programmes to chat and play music. Instead, they performed music in their studios, 20 kilometres apart at a given time of day. Each session was to be 20 minutes, and hence you have eight times 20 minutes of 'The Telepathic Lockdown Tapes'. You could opt for an all-Zen approach here and play these tapes in one long stretch. I'd recommend taking a similar Zen-like approach in listening; zone in and out, go with the flow of the music. Go inside without too many ideas about the music, just as the musicians go in without any preconceived plan. For their music, this always works fine, and as such, it is a delight to say that meeting up is no requirement to deliver the goods fully. It might very well be the nature of their music that allows them the freedom to explore sound and structures, but sticking together two random sets of sounds delivers a most beautiful set of music. In the end, I heard them all as I got into this and, let's be honest here. I was too lazy to get out of the comfy chair and write these words for some time. I think I nodded off at one point, but never mind. John Cage was known to sleep at concerts as well, and he's one of the main inspirations behind The Quiet Club when it comes to applying randomness to music. The Quiet Club can be found along the lines of AMM, Morphogenesis (less electronic though) and Kapotte Muziek, as well as, of course, countless others working with chance and improvisations. (FdW)
––– Address: https://digital.farpointrecordings.com/



GANA2 - FATA FOR GANA (cassette by Apport!)
OORCHACH  - INSTINKT (cassette by Apport!)

This is all new to me, label and artists, all from Lithuania. Behind GANA2 (as the preferred spelling is), we find Antanas Dombrovskij. He is one half of Tiese and a member of the Quartet Twentytwentyone, of whom I heard (albeit quite some time ago). I am not sure what GANA2 stands for. I understand from the information that the music is created using old synthesizers and circuit bending. Had I not read this, I would surely think this was part of the laptop music scene. A scene that has almost vanished, I would think. In the two pieces, each about twenty minutes, he moves around with great ease with a cluster of smaller and bigger sounds. For no particular reason, I expected something noise based, and certainly, some of this is on the edge of noise, but GANA2 also knows how to take back control and use softer glitches, sine waves and crackles; or halfway through the title piece, a near broken drum machine. Thus he creates some intense music that takes the form of a collage. Not via hard cuts but gently moving from one section to the next. Unlike some of the laptop predecessor or circuit benders of all time, GANA2 has a keen sense of doing a composition rather than an improvisation. A great debut!
    For Oorchach, no individual name or names are mentioned. On Bandcamp, they are referred to as 'they', so maybe it is a band. Their music is best described as old school industrial; or power electronics from the same old school. No instruments are mentioned on the cover, but my best guess is that some rusty synthesizers are working overtime here. Along with that comes the stompboxes and loop devices. The loops created are short and rhythmical. Sometimes there is no rhythm, but stretches of synthesizers and noise, along with layered voices, such as the heavily Ramleh-inspired 'Shine With Us'. Feedback is always within reach, along with a bash of the metal percussion ('Pro Paraliais (Deuce Take It!)' is inspired by SPK and Neubauten. What I especially enjoyed here was the variety of approaches to the noise genre. That made it more attractive for me, I guess, but such old school power electronics is usually well spent on me anyway. (FdW)
––– Address: https://apport.bandcamp.com/









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