number 1316
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week 52
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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!




ORPHAX - LESS IS MORE (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
AIDAN BAKER - THERE / NOT THERE (Consouling Sounds)
AIDAN BAKER - FLUSS (Planneutral)
ROEL MEELKOP & MARCO DOUMA - HOEK (CD by Esc Rec) *
TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA & TETUZI AKIYAMA - IDOMATIC EXPRESSIONISM (CD by Ftarri) *
TAKU SUGIMOTO - OCTET (CD by Ftarri/Meena) *
MASAMICHI KINOSHITA - STUDY IN FIFTHS I (FOR TWO FLUTES, KEYBOARD AND ELECTRONIC SOUNDS) (CD by Ftarri Classical) *
WAKANA IKEDA & STEFAN THUT - AFAR (CD by Ftarri) *
JOHN BUTCHER & JOHN RUSSELL & DOMINIC LASH - BUT EVERYTHING NOW LEFT BEFORE IT ARRIVED  (CD by Ftarri) *
RHYS FULBER - BRUTAL NATURE (CD by FR Recordings) *
ALMEIDA/GIBSON/MELO ALVES/TRILLA/VICENTE - DOG STAR (CD by Multikulti Project) *
AUGUSTI FERNANDEZ & SARAH CLAMAN - DANDELION (CD by Multikulti Project) *
MICHEL BANABILA - ECHO TRANSFORMATIONS (LP by Knekelhuis) *
GERALD FIEBIG - VOICE WORKS (CDR by Atemwerft) *
CARSTEN VOLLMER - ANSTEIGEND (Cdr by Attenuation Circuit ) *
CARSTEN VOLLMER - ABFALLEND (Cdr by Cat Killer) *
CARSTEN VOLLMER - TEIL 3 - 2600 HERTZ_PHREAKING (Cdr by Krater  Records) *
CARSTEN VOLLMER - ARBEIT NUMMER 8: JAPANESE ONLY PLAY POPMUSIC (postcard)
MATILDE MEIRELES - LIFE OF A POTATO (cassette by Cornica Electronica) *
CABARET VOLTAIRE - A COLLECTION OF INTERVIEWS 1977-1994 (book, private)


ORPHAX - LESS IS MORE (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

Officially this CD is the first release of 2022 for both Orphax and the label he operates, Moving Furniture Records. I must say that I think 'Less Is More' is not a great title. If anything, it should be the slogan for all of the Orphax works. Sietse van Erve, the man behind Orphax, works within the field of drone music, exploring long-form electronic sounds for a lengthy amount of time. That's what he has done for several years now. In August of this year, Van Erve curated a music program in Amsterdam, and he played a concert. That is what we have on 'Less Is More'. There are no edits, no cuts, just the complete live recording, almost forty minutes long. The piece starts gently, with an organ-like sound, and slowly the colours change. Different filters or sound effects create such an effect, becoming a bit psychedelic. At this point, fifteen minutes in, I thought if Orphax for once decided to stick to a single drone for the entire length. He doesn't. Shortly after that, the tone changes again and slowly return to a less full spectrum. From there on, it becomes a single drone and then builds up again until, at thirty minutes, there is even a bit of noise in a complete overdose area, ending in the final few minutes in standard drone terrain. All of this one could quickly call solid Orphax territory. A fine work, and an Orphax fan such I am, is an indispensable item. However, I wonder about this: had the past two years not been so tiring when playing live concerts and Orphax played more shows, would this one be on CD? Knowing Orphax to prepare these concerts as worked out compositions, I wondered why not present the studio version of 'Less Is More'? Maybe 'Less Is More' is also a statement, a call to return to a normal concert situation. (FdW)
––– Address: https://movingfurniturerecords.bandcamp.com/



AIDAN BAKER - THERE / NOT THERE (Consouling Sounds)
AIDAN BAKER - FLUSS (Planneutral)

Seemingly possessing opposite qualities,  “There / not There”, and “Fluss”, both evoked my interest.
    “There / Not There” - not only a record which a remarkable production value (drums: Fiona McKenzie (also of Halma), bass: Dana Schechter (also of Insect Ark, Bee And Flower, Angels of Light, Swans), mastered by Simon Scott (of Slowdive), but also with a very focussed emotional, nostalgic resonance and depth. Two eloquent songs in the post-rock shoegazer-y tradition, connected by an all-encompassing yet friendly melodious noise.  “Fluss” - perhaps a drone ambient work that seems filled with the same honesty and sincerity, but in the drone ambient aesthetic. Each song invites the listener to listen more carefully and repeat. The strategic use of volume and dynamic makes it vital to the experience.
    Because of the many opposites I found in the records, I was interested in the volition and similarities. According to Aidan, the emotional resonance of “There / not There” takes root in personal devotion or charm towards these songs he still loves to play live. Asking Fiona McKenzie and Dana Schechter for bass and drums takes the songs to a new level: “playing the songs myself would not be 'true’ to the spirit of the songs", as Baker explains it. " I think their contributions contemporized the songs, in a way—at the very least made them new to me, offering another sort of juxtaposition between the old and new.” Simon Scott takes the role as mastering engineer, and as the songs had a Slowdive influence, it seemed a logical choice: “... to highlight the shoegazer-y elements of the album. I trusted his ears and aesthetic.."
    In both composing songs and drone-ambient production, intuition forms the headsail of Aidan's practice: "I suppose they differ in the sense of immediacy - my more drone-oriented songs tend to be more spontaneous or intuitive, whereas the more structured songs, of course, require a more deliberate compositional approach. But I do still rely on intuition—the feel or the mood more so than traditional compositional rules - when writing structured materialThe driving force in both albums and Bakers’ work is a wealth of reciprocity: "being creative creates creativity” , sharing that creativity for the benefit of the listener, and that in turn "loops them into that reciprocity to create a shared experience”.
    Aidan Baker dismisses the idea of the “burden” of a spiritual mission to his work. But as the listener, you can’t help to imagine a magnetic field surrounding his music to find your ’self’ in, what perhaps makes his work ‘spiritual' after all. (MC)
––– Address: https://consouling.be/
––– Address: https://aidanbaker.bandcamp.com/album/fluss



ROEL MEELKOP & MARCO DOUMA - HOEK (CD by Esc Rec)

So, this year I complained about a few soundtrack CDs coming my way without seeing the actual films. Plus, these releases usually had shortish pieces of music, in most cases leaving me wanting more. This new release by Roel Meelkop and Marco Douma is everything I think a release of film and music should be. Meelkop once was a scribe for this rag and often presented with his music releases, solo or with various groups he's involved in (Kapotte Muziek, Goem, THU20, Zebra, Wieman) but in more recent years, that became less and less. Maybe due to the inactivity of the groups (or no longer existing) and his own slowness in seeking labels to release his music. He has worked with video artist Marco Douma for many years now, the master of slow-moving images. In 2012 they had an installation in beach cub in Hoek van Holland, a place built as a defence for the port of Rotterdam, later expanded by the Nazis as part of the Atlantic Wall. In 2014 they did a second installation in a bunker in that place. They returned to both installations and created a third version, a combination/culmination of both previous works. The CD comes with a lovely small booklet containing stills from the film and a CD that sticks out a bit, like a blue sun over the horizon. Also, and quite important, a small card will bring you to Vimeo, and you can see Douma's images. At first, I thought, oh yeah, slow-moving music gets the images it deserves, and that is great. Think Brian Eno's visual work (well, maybe Douma is a bit faster) but with better drone music. But then, at some point, Meelkop does something, a single sound (kalimba-like), and I noticed the images were moving along the piece. Maybe right from the start, but only very noticeable when the sound became shorter. When the sound turns to something that resembles sighing followed by some silence, the screen turns black, and images move along with the sigh. There is more of that sort of great interaction. I have no idea if Meelkop uses only field recordings from the area (water from the North Sea, seagulls, wind, debris from a bunker), which he then processes. I had the impression he did on many occasions, but the kalimba sound made me think differently. I don't know, but I don't think it is that important anyway. As always with the music of Meelkop (and yes, I admit I am biased), this stands very by itself as well, but in the interaction with Douma, real interaction that is, it works even better. This is an excellent film and music project, lovingly presented (as most of the releases by Esc Rec are, of course) in an unusual way. (FdW)
––– Address: https://escrec.bandcamp.com/



TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA & TETUZI AKIYAMA - IDOMATIC EXPRESSIONISM (CD by Ftarri)
TAKU SUGIMOTO - OCTET (CD by Ftarri/Meena)
MASAMICHI KINOSHITA - STUDY IN FIFTHS I (FOR TWO FLUTES, KEYBOARD AND ELECTRONIC SOUNDS) (CD by Ftarri Classical)
WAKANA IKEDA & STEFAN THUT - AFAR (CD by Ftarri)

This is a bunch of new Ftarri releases, and the nature of the music this Japanese label deals with is simply too difficult to enjoy when played in one long session. One Ftarri a day (more next week)! I started with a release by two players who are no strangers to these pages, even when their names don't appear that often in recent years. Toshimaru Nakamura is best known for using the no-input mixer and Tetuzi Akiyama for the acoustic guitar. While this may seem an odd pairing of very different instruments, they worked together before. In 2009 they released an album, 'Semi-Impressionism' (Vital Weekly 708), a documentation of live concerts in Sweden and Australia. For this new album, they stayed at home. Perhaps this has to do with the whole Covid thing, and concerts seem far away. On the other hand, it allows them to have a different look at what they are doing, maybe. The five pieces here are concentrated affairs of interaction. Akiyama's guitar is as delicate as he always is, plucking his strings, strumming the open chord and never really silent. Nakamaru, on the other hand, is the rough machine that he is, but somehow, somewhere, I would think he exerts a level of control that we don't always see from him. His bursts and bubbles, feedback and distortion, is cut down to smaller events, still without seemingly too much control at times. Still, when he does, it proves to be an excellent partner for Akiyama to let his guitar delicately weep. It culminates in 'IE.5', the shortest of the lot, but with a great condensed sound.
    Moving from improvisation to composed music, we arrive at the new disc of Taku Sugimoto. These days he spends his time writing pieces for string and wind instruments, and on this disc we find a few of them. The way I understand this, is that Sugimoto writes pieces for solo instruments which can be played simultaneously with other pieces. Pitches are fixed, lengths are relative, and the player decides the number of repetitions. The title piece is the longest of the seven pieces and it is the title piece. In 'Octet' we hear all pieces from this CD together, a  trio for flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet and various solo pieces for strings. I find this to be a most intriguing working practice, and while reviewing modern classical music might not be my forte, I can safely say I enjoyed the music quite a bit. 'Octet' turns out to be a slow, minimal piece of sustaining sounds for strings and winds that slowly seems to be drifting apart. The result is a beautifully evocative piece of music. The other pieces are quite sparse, certainly the five pieces for solo instruments (one is the trio for flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet), and you might think of these as 'mere' building blocks for a big composition, but I think they stand by themselves just very well.  Maybe because they remind me of the old music by Sugimoto, which he performed himself, leaving space between a note. In these pieces there is also a similar sparseness that we find 'Octet', moody, perhaps but certainly also evocative. Wonderful quiet music for a slow day.
    More modern classical music can be found on the release by Masamichi Kinoshita, who had a release before on Ftarri (see Vital Weekly 1253), but this new release is altogether something entirely different. "The background electronic sounds are all decided on the basis of prime numbers and pi. The total performance time is 3,559 seconds. The pitch is set at A=442. Five-note intervals (fifths) are taken above and below, and these are replaced by prime numbers of approximate value to form the basic pattern. Next, pi is divided into two-digit segments. The remainders of these segments divided by 11 are used as a substitute sequence, and the ways in which this shifts the basic pattern (pitch changes, duration of sustained sound, duration of rests) are determined. For the flutes and keyboard, 47 measures containing brief sound patterns (with intervals based on the above mentioned fifths) are performed independently and read in the form of a whirlpool. The four-page score is performed in the order [1-2-3-4-3-2-1]. The whirlpool configuration differs in the first and second parts". Sorry for the lengthy quote, but I couldn't summarize this, even if my life would depend on it. The result is a piece of music that is almost an hour long, and while I may not understand the theory behind the music, I enjoy the result. The sine waves remind me of Alvin Lucier, at times piercing; I would think a variety of them are intertwined. The flutes do something different here, as opposed to Lucier's music. They don't go along with the flow of the sine waves, stay in a similar micro-tonal field, but elegantly bow around that. Thus the piece becomes an alive organism, moving and changing all the time. It is both powerful and something that is a very present thing. Here we have music that is hard to avoid, which didn't make it easy to hear. I heard the CD a couple of times since it arrived and I felt overwhelmed by the content. Most enjoyable content, I should add, but once it was done (the piece takes up about one hour), I felt I needed to take a walk outside. Which, I guess, is what great music could do. Massive!
    The other new release is again on Ftarri, but just as well could have been 'classical' to my ears. Stefan Thut composed a piece, in which he transcribed from a composition by Johannes Ciconia (c.1370-1412), precisely from the motet "O padua, sidus praeclarum." As opposed to copying an entire work, I cut out all of the syllabic content, word for word, leaving aside the long melismatic trails". Music notation wasn't as fixed as it was later on, so for Thut the interest is with Ciconia's "his originality and variation in polyphonal writing". Wakana Ikeda is on flute and Thut on cello. They performed 'Afar' on October 3, 2019, in Tokyo, and the length is about thirty-five minutes. I must admit I didn't count if there were seventy-two fragments in this piece. Counting is easy as each fragment is followed by a bit of silence. This piece is the antithesis of the one I just heard (well, yesterday) by Kinoshita, which is full of sound, with something happening all the time. The work of Ikeda and Thut is an exercise in quietness in tranquillity, and maybe some people would see this music suitable for meditation. I am not one for that, but the slowness of the music fits the mood of the season. Those quiet days before Christmas, with the mailman carrying best wishes cards instead of Vital Weekly promos, allow me to leave music on repeat for some time, and this is one of them. Ikeda's flute and the Thut gentle, not too long strum on the cello (not playing the long sustaining notes) in what seemed an endless variation, in a very dry acoustic setting. I just sat back and played this on repeat. I wasn't sure if any of these fragments were repeated; maybe they were, perhaps not. It left me in a private space for quite some time. Wonderful. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.ftarri.com/


JOHN BUTCHER & JOHN RUSSELL & DOMINIC LASH - BUT EVERYTHING NOW LEFT BEFORE IT ARRIVED  (CD by Ftarri)

This recording is a trio concert from a date in 2010 during the Glasglow Improviser's Orchestra festival. In fact, in hindsight, the last-but-one as a trio. The two John's were both born in 1954, Dominic in 1980. Unfortunately, John Russell passed away earlier this year. In the early '80s until the end of the '90s, John Russell and John Butcher played in a groundbreaking trio with Phil Durrant. The latter graciously provided me with some background info on that trio. A critic -Nick Couldry- coined the term Group Voice Approach for that trio. They are aiming “to achieve a completely natural flow without relying on one or more players appearing to drive it forward individually”. For Couldry, the ‘Group Voice Approach’ focuses on small phrases and even isolated sounds “allowing space for immediate ‘comment’ by the others. Each ‘gesture’ or ‘moment’, “all elements (texture, movement and, if present, pitch) are united in one group gesture". Back to this trio: all three are/were prolific players in the free improvisation scene. On this recording, it is evident all three musicians have a keen ear and listen attentively to what is happening and respond immediately to changes in sound, textures, sound intensity and on rare occasions, complement each other or take over melodies. Each voice -and sometimes more than three due to the use of harmonics and multiphonics- is equal. And each musician is a virtuoso on his instrument in the sense of having complete control of it despite producing sounds in a non-traditional way. There are some collective outbursts of sound, but for the most part, the volume is quiet with a lot of pointillistically placed notes. The amount of detail to be heard is astonishing. This I highly recommend for anyone interested in adventurous texture-based improvised music.  (DMS)
––– Address: https://www.ftarri.com/



RHYS FULBER - BRUTAL NATURE (CD by FR Recordings)

The name Rhys Fulber, an honest word here, didn't mean much to me, and upon reading that he was a member of Front Line Assembly and Delerium, both bands I missed out on when they were at their peak. A whole blank space here. Fulber had a solo project, Conjure One, but these days he goes by how own name for his solo material. The music here he recorded at home, using a smaller set-up than in the studio (and there is me thinking all of these electronic musicians work from home), resulting from the whole pandemic. Maybe this accounts for some of the downright aggressive sounds on this album. Most of the time, the beats are relentless bashing and trashing around, the keyboards are always dark and moody, and the overall tone is greyish industrial landscapes. Sometimes the synthesizers are in an ambient setting, but here too, it is all dark. 'Chemical' is such a song. A processed voice sings 'chemical' repeatedly, the beats toned down, but the atmosphere is as dark as the rest. As I say in the review of XFNX, much of the music in these pages are from the world of improvisation and modern composition, so a release such as XFnX or Fulber are most welcome. It is the sheer absolute difference that I like. Oddly, this is the kind of music that revitalizes me; the beats lift me, even when it is dark, industrial, filled with nuclear toxicity, and that's what I call 'uplifting'. What is wrong with me? Good question. While pondering the answer, I continue to engage in a little headbang action to the music of Rhys Fulber. (FdW)
––– Address: https://rhysfulber.bandcamp.com/



ALMEIDA/GIBSON/MELO ALVES/TRILLA/VICENTE - DOG STAR (CD by Multikulti Project)

All old hands but also a debutant. That's the lineup on Dog Star, the first release after the party of the 25th issue in the Spontaneous Music Tribune Series. A beautiful series by Multikulti Project and the Spontaneous Music Tribune pays full attention to improvised music from the Iberian peninsula, i.e. Spain, Portugal, and some surrounding small islands. Goncalo Almeida (bass), Yedo Gibson (saxophone), Luis Vicente (trumpet), and Vasco Trilla (drums, percussion) appeared earlier in the series, for Pedro Melo Alves (drums) it was all still new. In the four songs (with the simple titles I, II, III and IV) on the CD, the quintet initially keeps it quiet, the music even resembles ambient a bit, but such a thing can never last long. In improvisational jazz, 'action' is often at the top of the list, and people quickly go strong with it. But as said: not quite so on the first song, which lasts almost half an hour. It is mostly old-fashioned hectic for the rest, where not just fast playing is important, but sometimes motifs are spread over several bars. There is also room for pieces that are played solo, but in such a case, there is always a fellow musician who knows what to do with it and who would like to give more substance to it. (AvS)
––– Address: http://multikulti.com



AUGUSTI FERNANDEZ & SARAH CLAMAN - DANDELION (CD by Multikulti Project)

The 25th release, time to party! They were looking forward to it over there at the Spontaneous Music Tribune Series. The collaboration between Multikulti Project and the Spontaneous Music Tribune didn't have to think long about it. There was work to be done here for the Catalan pianist Agusti Fernandez, a living legend within the Spanish improvisation scene and best known for the manipulation and misuse in all kinds of ways of the piano he has in front of him. The series is set up for the improvised music of the Iberian peninsula, but fortunately, that is interpreted broadly. Fernandez plays here with violinist Sarah Claman from New Zealand, but she has been living in Barcelona for a long time, so it fits seamlessly into the purposes. The duo got carte blanche from the label and made good use of it in the seven tracks on Dandelion. Fernandez often attacks the keys with violence, it thumps, crunches and grinds that it is a delight, but at other times he can also work almost silently on a single note. Claman follows suitably but sometimes manages to change the mind of the keyboard terrorist and make him take a slightly different path. She can even let the violin rage lyrically in the apotheosis, over surging piano waves. All in all, a worthy end to about five years of exciting Iberian music. (AvS)
––– Address: http://multikulti.com



MICHEL BANABILA - ECHO TRANSFORMATIONS (LP by Knekelhuis)

While I met Michel Banabila in the 90s on several occasions, it wasn't until much later that we got into a more serious contact. I believe he called me one day and expressed that I always wrote about his music in terms of Fourth World music, but that I was wrong. I had to admit that I had limited knowledge of his output, which is vast; I still only have very little idea. Banabilia works with other musicians from a most diverse range of musical genres. From jazz to electronics, from world to classical. Here we have a rare record of Banabila for a different label than his Tapu Records, but perhaps one that will connect him to maybe a different kind of audience. Knekelhuis I mostly know for their re-issues of Dutch electronic classics from the 80's cassette scene, and in a way, Banabila is from that very same world, except he's still doing the work. More importantly, Banabila is still doing the job very well. This new release one might use as an introduction to his sound world. The music here ranges from rusty cassette loops (in a track called just that) to exotic drumming in 'Balafon Dub', spacious flutes, synthesizers and soundscapes ('The Three Stages Of Endurance'). Yes, some of this music one could call Fourth World music, but just as well ambient, field recordings or pure electronic. In Banabila's music, the melody is a strong point of reference. It is always there, no more if something abstract is going on. Melodies on wind instruments, keyboards or strings don't matter, but it's there. Dark and moody, light and exotic, and sometimes all that combined within one piece of music. 'MltVz 5' is the album poppiest moment, with a computerized voice and strong rhythm; in a different world, this would be a hit and the go-to track for several remixes. Unfortunately, such a world no longer exists; well, or Banabila is just not part of such a world, which is equally a shame. Have you never heard his music? This album is a great one to get acquainted with his music, and if you are a fan, well, then you have this already.  (FdW)
––– Address: https://knekelhuis.bandcamp.com/



GERALD FIEBIG - VOICE WORKS (CDR by Atemwerft)

Voiceworks is the sixth instalment in a series of records that collects the works of Gerald Fiebig. Writing poetry for nearly 30 years and making sound art for 15, this release combines the two. Long-time collaborator Michael Herbst provides the words for the two Herbstblätter -autumn leaves in German and sheets of Michael's surname-, two electroacoustic works with a dense and heavy reverb treatment for the first one, sprinkled with sounds that resemble a Tuvan throat singer. The second is like a memory of the first track, fewer words, more Tuvan throat singer as if the Herbstblätter has decomposed and insects crawl in the compost. Other tracks are completely voice-driven. Sentences are cut up into syllables, and each spoken sentence is made out of these syllables, sometimes with different accentuations to create rhythmic variations. For the time being, my favourite is Rolling The Stone Of Demosthenes Up The Fucking Hill, essentially repeating the same sentence again and again. At the same time, with each repetition, Gerald puts another stone into his mouth, making the sentence with each iteration a little more challenging to utter and for the listener to hear the words. Demosthenes was an ancient Greek politician with a speech impediment. The whole work references the Greek myth of Sysiphus, rolling up a giant stone up a hill to no avail since the stone rolls back to the foot of the hill, forcing Sysiphus to do the whole exercise again and again and again. This is a short, fun and profound release, all the more fun if you can understand the meaning of the German words. (MDS)
––– Address: https://atemwerft.bandcamp.com/



CARSTEN VOLLMER - ANSTEIGEND (Cdr by Attenuation Circuit )
CARSTEN VOLLMER - ABFALLEND (Cdr by Cat Killer)
CARSTEN VOLLMER - TEIL 3 - 2600 HERTZ_PHREAKING (Cdr by Krater  Records)
 
Origami derives from ori, meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper". The mathematics of the fold is relevant, is analogical to 'the fold'. This can be understood as the new mathematics of the curve, of changing quantities which is often difficult for non-mathematicians, of which I am one. Put simply in simple geometry of a flat surface, say a chessboard, a piece, pawn, knight etc. can be located by two coordinates. These are static set properties, which Deleuze via Leibniz relates to Descartes. Complex curves, changing velocities,  cannot be precisely modelled using such a method. This was accomplished by using mathematics to model dynamically changing events, the Calculus.  If modernism in its linear development fixes and finalizes itself in a Cartesian / Euclidean fixed point, a null event, the Baroque does not. The metaphor of calculus is useful, for around it are mathematical objects such as the limit. In simple non-mathematical terms, a series of calculations can approach a limit but never reach it, and in getting closer, to a potential infinity of numbers. For non-mathematicians, this is best seen in the obvious Baroque of The Mandelbrot Set. Folding can produce an infinite variation. Associated with 'folding' in Deleuze derives the aesthetic, especially the visual aesthetic in the Baroque, one of the dynamic curves and dramatic events. “Leibniz is endlessly drawing up linear and numerical tables. With them he denotes the inner walls of the monad. Folds replace holes...” (The Fold). Elsewhere (in The Logic of Sense) Tenth series of the ideal game -”of which we speak cannot be played by either man or God. It can only be thought as nonsense. But precisely for this reason, it is the reality of thought itself and the unconscious of pure thought. This game is reserved then for thought and art.” Baroque music of the 'classical period' - (late 17thC- 18thC) used accomplished improvisation, complex polyphony, multiple independent melody lines, the fugue and ricercar (which explore the permutations of a given motif). The 'metaphysics' that the Baroque produced was significant in music. Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Purcell, Telemann... such that with Bach there is the deployment of a pure abstract formalism which could be regarded as a metaphysics of the free play of the potentialities of the abstract (windowless) structures of music. And in thinking the Baroque we also arrive at Leibniz and German Idealism, but also the more recent 'idealism' of Deleuze and the Speculative Realists and Object Oriented Ontologists. To judge these metaphysics in 'scientific', empirical terms, would then be to miss the point. They are not in all cases Monads, as they are not closed off to ourselves. They are like Monads in that they seem closed in on themselves. The point is that 'Baroque Folding' is an internal programme. Thus it typically appears when genres become exhausted or fully mature. A very early classical example is the development of Corinthian Architecture from that of the Doric & Ionic, or the much more recent, post-modernism, especially noticeable in Architecture. A certain playfulness which can and does in Po-Mo reduce, at times, to mere sensation and irony.  Within contemporary music, 'noise music' and 'harsh noise'  was to lead to a reductionist, 'analytics' of the extreme minimalism of Harsh Noise Wall's monolithic unchanging noise. This cul-de-sac has an obvious problem, and various methodologies have evolved in order to circumvent its effective closure of the noise genre, from abandoning noise altogether (Wolf Eyes), to alternatives, such as shit folk and ultra shit folk (Romain Perrot).  The process of 'folding' is synthetic, not analytic (reductionist, minimalist walls). Both processes are to be found in Metaphysics and Art. In The Critique of Pure Reason, Kant sets out to establish an a priori basis for his transcendental metaphysics and makes two distinctions, that of the analytic a priori and the synthetic a priori.  The philosophy of this needn't concern us. What is useful is concerning the idea of The Fold. The epistemological, philosophical implications disputed by some also need not bother us here. For us, what is significant in Kant is that Kant maintains that the Synthetic can produce (a priori) new objects without recourse to finding them in the outside world. In Analysis, something is broken down or examined to find its fundamental form or origin (The Wall of Noise). This is normally regarded as a task that will arrive at something fundamental. In early philosophy – the Atom – in Jungian analysis the archetype. It may well be that such a final analysis is not possible, that analysis is potentially infinite, or results in a void.  Synthesis is the reverse. Given some fundamental objects, we can create new objects and structures – out of what is already given. A triangle can be analyzed into its basic three sides of straight lines, but we can synthesize new objects given a triangle. We can make a quadrilateral with two triangles and continue – pentagons, hexagons, and no limit – and no recourse to anything external to our basic element. And whereas Analysis is contained by the analysis of 'what is there' synthesis creates new objects that are not 'already there'. The Baroque is this distinction between the Analytic A Priori and Kant's idea of a Synthetic A Priori. An example in the arts is that of Analytic Cubism and Synthetic Cubism. Whereas Analytical Cubism broke up the picture plane into its elements,  Synthetic Cubism used these basic 'elements' to synthesize new compositions. The tendency in modernism was analytical. “What is painting?” “What is music?” “What is Art?”,  the analytical desire of what is “essential”. In Cubism, the 'Analytical' phase was relatively short-lived, the Synthetic move allowing Picasso and others an alternative continuous productive methodology. The (Baroque) fold is a synthetic methodology. At the most pedantic Origami – (from ori  "folding", and kami "paper"). An origami Swan is a synthesis of a flat sheet of paper. All creations of Origami are in the last analysis, flat sheets of paper. The methodology of Origami, of 'folding', is Synthetic and offers an infinity of productions. Which is occasioned in Noise – here! which is not the abandonment of noise or a retrograde movement back into music.  The baroque fold, abstractly using the tropes, forms etc., of noise music not as an external expression but as internal work exploring the permutations and improvisational possibilities of a given motif. The tropes of Harsh Noise, the motifs of feedback, oscillator sweeps, distortion, white noise etc. Abstract sounds, found in Harsh Noise before its collapse into a minimal wall. What is removed is the idea of a linear 'progress'  (modernism) replaced by that of infinite synthesis.  Ansteigend, Abfallend and 2600 Hertz_Phreaking are 3 parts of Arbeit Nummer 23 - Ich Arbeite Mit Frequenzen. (jliat)
––– Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de
––– Address: http://www.carsten-vollmer.de
––– Address: http://krater.audiophob.de



CARSTEN VOLLMER - ARBEIT NUMMER 8: JAPANESE ONLY PLAY POPMUSIC (postcard)

If all of that is too much, that many words on Carsten Vollmer, or three identical looking CDR releases, there is also 'Arbeit Nummer 8'. It is a bit like a real composer, opus 1, opus 2? This postcard with grooves cut into the paper is about three minutes long and starts and ends abruptly, like being part of something bigger. Subtitled 'Japanese Pnly Play Popmusic' it sums up better what Vollmer is about than the three releases Jliat just discussed and I also heard. This postcard is what it is, a postcard to advertise noise and as such it works wonders. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.carsten-vollmer.de



MATILDE MEIRELES - LIFE OF A POTATO (cassette by Cornica Electronica)

The field recordings used here by Matilde Meireles are literally homegrown. It deals with the life of a potato, growing near Pewsey, in the Southwest of England. I had not heard of Matilde Meireles before. In her garden, she grows her vegetables, plants, and potatoes. She made her field recordings in her garden, in the soil where the potatoes were, and in her kitchen, preparing a meal. Cutting and seasoning the potatoes, we hear many birds outside to indicate the rural area where she lives. All of this appears on the first side of the cassette, which paints a rather clear picture of the events. Save for the events below the surface, those are unclear, but I am sure there are woven into this. The other side, called 'Or 38 Metres', is less clear about the sounds. Still, according to the information, "it explores various sounds of energy used to cook the potatoes, the potatoes’ crackling sounds as they come out of the oven and sounds of the garden in an early evening, in October when the potato season is finished" and here a more drone-like experience. You could assume that these are all heavily processed sounds, but I am sure they are not. I thought this was a great piece, with the only downside is a drum sound that kicks in somewhere. Why? Do potatoes celebrate being cooked by a little dance? I would have enjoyed it more if all had stayed on the abstract side, with that fine shimmering (simmering) quality of a kitchen with food being prepared and everything making small sounds in the process. (FdW)
––– Address: https://cronica.bandcamp.com/



CABARET VOLTAIRE - A COLLECTION OF INTERVIEWS 1977-1994 (book, private)

This time of the year I usually treat myself to a give gifts and while things slow I take the oppurtunity to write about these. This year it is books! This year saw the passing of Richard H. Kirk, one of three founding members of Cabaret Voltaire and in the end the only remaining member. Chris Watson already left in the early 80s and in the mid 90s Stephen Mallinder said goodbye in 1994. Kirk by then worked under a plethora of names and only in 2014 re-launced Cabaret Voltaire. This book contains interviews with the band from the very first one until 1994, so covering the main portion of the band's history. Starting with the very first interview, in the Sheffield fanzine Gun Rubber in 1977, ending with Le Vendredi Newspaper out of Switzerland; 127 interviews in total. The goal was to collect interviews printed on paper and if you want Kirk on the re-launch, there is lots online. There was a wish from Fabio Méndez to be complete, but in this second edition articles from NMX are gone (will be republished somewhere else) or proved to be too hard to translate (Japanese interviews). Quick check: there are three pieces from the Dutch magazine Vinyl, and one from the bigger Muziekkrant Oor, which I am sure did more than once an interview (the box with cuttings I have only had the one that is in the book). Let's say, mostly complete! These interviews are untouched by Méndez, but it's not a scrapbook. Méndez took words and did a rather normal typesetting and no images at all. For those who love a great design, lots of photo's: this is not your book. If you are a die-hard with clippings tucked too far away, this is your book. Start your trip by playing 'Mix-Up', their first record, and read along as things go along (or start with 'Methodology', which covers the earliest recordings) of the band and work your way up, to say 'The Conversation'. I have no idea how that works out, as I took an alternative route, picking the book, reading a few pages and put it away. There is a bit overkill to take it all in at once. An essential read, that sits well next to Mick Fish' 'Industrial Evolution'. More books next week. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.fabiomendez.com/cabaretvoltaire/product/cabaret-voltaire-a-collection-of-interviews-1977-1994-book/




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