number 1360
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week 45
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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!




TAMING POWER - MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI 2022 (CD by Input Error) *
MACHINENZIMMER 412 (MZ. 412) - MALFEITOR (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
MICHEL HENRITZI & MATHIAS PREUSS - MEMORIES (CD by E-klageto) *
ANOUCK GENTHON & DAVID MEIER – L’A NEUVE (CD by Wide Ear Records) *
VANESSA MASSERA - FULGURANCES (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
WAKO - ALT DET VI TAPTE (CD Řra Fonogram)
ANDREW CHALK - THE END TIMES (CD by ICR) *
MPM - ORBIT (CD by ICR) *
COLIN POTTER - AGO (LP by BFE Records) *
NICK MOTT - THE FALL OF THE HUMAN EMPIRE (LP by Lumberton Trading Company) *
ILLUSION OF SAFETY & Z'EV (LP by various labels) *
SPRUIT - DRUMS & SOUNDS (CDR, private) *
EXPOSE YOUR EYES - EVERYTHING ON FULL (CDR by Oxidation)
DAVID LEE MYERS - FRONTIERS (CDR by Pulsewidth) *
THE MYSTERY - THE MYSTERY SEES THE BURDEN (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
BLUE - V-EKPYROTIC (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
NEW GRASPING MACHINA - NIGHT TERRORS (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
HOWARD STELZER - THE FLEMISH GIANTS (SUBURBAN OBSERVANCES VOL. 5) (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
EAMON THE DESTROYER - A SMALL BLUE CAR – RE-MADE /RE-MODELLED (CDR by Bearsuit Records)
DEAD DOOR UNIT - LAUGH AT THE DEVIL (cassette by Tribe Tapes) *
JAZZHAND - MUUTTOMATKALAINEN (cassette by Hyster Tapes)
KRAUS - CHRONIC ILNESS (cassette by Artsy Records) *
CASUAL OBSERVER - INTERSECTING GRADIENTS (cassette by Artsy Records) *



TAMING POWER - MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI 2022 (CD by Input Error)

As far as I know, Askild Haugland, the man behind Taming Power, releases all of his works on his imprint, Early Morning Records, an extensive catalogue of small-run vinyl in all shapes. This new CD is the first real CD for Taming Power and is on a label outside Norway. Much deserved recognition, I should think. The last time I wrote about his music was in Vital Weekly 1311, but that was after a long hiatus. 'Missa In Tempore Belli 2022' contains mostly brief pieces, and the titles are dates, so we know that many of these pieces date from 1998, one from 2003, three from this year, and one is a collage of 1998 and 2010. In his work, Haugland uses whatever he can get hold of, such as found sounds, loose cables, field recordings, and old tape-recorders. The feedback and loop and, as noted before, Taming Power might be called an early adapter of the lo-fi approach. Or rather, as I seem to recall from way back, I made the connection between his music and his peers late 90s/early 2000s in New Zealand. A certain post-rock/drone approach is never far away in the music of Taming Power. In one, '27-2-22_6-3-22', this results in a barrage of noise, which wasn't for me. Also, thirteen minutes is too long, and it breaks with the brief character of the other thirteen pieces. In the other pieces, Taming Power is more reflective in his approach to sound. Playing around with only a few hard-to-define sources (except that radio is off and on discernable) and effects from boxes or machines (I am no longer sure here), he arrives at some lively music. The opening piece, '18-9-03', is a sturdy cable hum drone, but in his other pieces, the rusty loops of now almost demagnetized tapes are short, powerful and very much to the point. A great release, and hopefully, this will bring the music of Taming Power to a broader audience. Be warned: there is a lot to catch up with. (FdW)
––– Address: https://input-error.co.uk/



MACHINENZIMMER 412 (MZ. 412) - MALFEITOR (CD by Cold Spring Records)

So, is there an active campaign to reissue all works by Swedish industrial masters MZ.412 - or 'Machinenzimmer 412', as they were known in their earliest days? It certainly seems like it, since only three months ago (or so, I don't remember exactly), I had a reissue of 'Macht Durch Stimme' in front of me, and now it's time for 'Malfreitor'. Maybe it's just these two oldest works that are due for a reissue, as they were originally released in 1989 and, apparently, unavailable for twenty years. After that things got silent around the group, but they subsequently reformed as MZ.412 six years later.
    Since I was nine years old and heavily lego-obsessed, I missed out on both releases at the time, but I have to say I enjoyed 'Malfeitor' as much as I did 'Macht Durch Stimme'. The machine room is never quiet and always bursts with hot hot industrial action. I couldn't help but wonder: Is this battering on metal objects, or are they using drum machines? Not being a musician doesn't help, I guess.
    What I thought of their debut, "the naivety of youth", is something I feel is also present on this album. It seems like they listened to the earliest Esplendor Geométrico recordings, maybe some Neubauten and added their blend of electronics and mechanical rhythms. Compared to the earlier release, this album sports a bit more electronics, and it sounds like they learned perhaps more about the recording process - or I would imagine they did. Still the music is raw and primitive; perhaps sometimes a bit too stuck in a groove/loop for my taste, and it all takes a bit long, but I guess this, too, I regard as part of the youthful charm of the music. Especially when they add voice material, sung/spoken or simply lifted from the radio, they forecast a future with a more organized sound. This CD is another important historical lesson. (LW)
––– Address: https://coldspring.co.uk



MICHEL HENRITZI & MATHIAS PREUSS - MEMORIES (CD by E-klageto)

A weird label, this E-klageto. Sometimes they delve into the history of industrial music, sometimes something new, like this one, which, music-wise, seems a bit out of the ordinary. But I see on Discogs this is the fourth in the 'Free Jazz/Impro Serie', so I may have missed a few earlier ones (not that I mind). Michel Henritzi is a guitar player (here, a lap steel guitar and effects) known from his work with the group Nox and Dustbreeders, a group on the fringe of noise and improvisation. I had not heard of saxophone player Mathias Preuß, who only has a few releases from recent years. I could believe he's of a different, younger generation than Henritzi. Recorded at the studio La Cave 38 in Metz on April 30, 2022, the result is a sixty-two-minute, six-track CD. As I am playing this release, I am thinking about the amount of free jazz/impro releases we get every week and if that amount is increasing. It seems so. I also wonder if the very nature of free improvised music isn't in the moment. Would it not have been better, more interesting, and more part of the experience to be at La Cave 38 in April and see the two men play this music? The difference in experiencing this in concert or at home on a Wednesday morning, sipping coffee, is very different. And, lastly, but connected, should a concert be released on a CD? What warrants this on CD and not any other concert these two might have played? There is no information, so I have no idea if there was a tour. Preuß is quite a conventional player, approaching the saxophone like we would a free-jazz saxophonist would do. That means very jazzy at times, such as in 'Lost Dream', and he drags Henritzi into a slightly more delicate approach. Otherwise, Henritzi is in a more disturbing, noisy mood, as we like him best. Sometimes he knows how to unleash some more aggressive playing by Preuß, and they enter a hybrid form of noise, free jazz and rock, such as in 'For Steve MacKay'. That's when the music gets my seal of approval. The music could have been louder and noisier with a bit of mastering. (FdW)
––– Address: psychkg@online.de



ANOUCK GENTHON & DAVID MEIER – L’A NEUVE (CD by Wide Ear Records)

First time I have heard of Anouck Genthon. She is a violinist, improviser and ethnomusicologist from France, based in Geneva. She likes to participate in projects that make innovative combinations of improvised, experimental, contemporary, electroacoustic and traditional music. Among them are duo collaborations with Jacques Demierre, Lionel Marchetti and Mathias Forge. Besides small ensembles like string quartet Quator LGBS and Insub Meta Orchestra. Also, she is into deepening the experience of listening, like in her project with vocalist Antione Läng which was about listening for one year at Le Parc Beaulieu. “It’s about listening, and the different paths our sensation and understanding of a place follow through the ever-changing experience of sound, although happening in familiar environments and with the same vocabulary.” Drummer and composer David Meier is undoubtedly most known for his work with the Swiss band Schnellertollermeier, an unconventional rock band that intensively toured the world for years. He explores the possibilities of the drumset of diverse combinations of improvised music, like in the trio Zimmerlin-Stoffner-Meier. His collaboration with Genthon is an example of this focus. Their collaboration came from the “mutual desire to combine distinct modes of playing that were initially predefined for each other. In this perspective, David Meier focuses solely on the bass drum of his instrument as a resonator and amplifier of found objects, seeking new freedoms in a consciously chosen limitation. Anouck Genthon, on the other hand, is deepening her sound research on the violin, linked to the playing and the specific timbre of a Tuareg single-stringed fiddle, the music of which she studied as an ethnomusicologist years earlier.” The Tuareg tendé inspire parallel Meier’s choices. So from ethnomusicological-inspired insights, they seek to expand possibilities on their instruments in the context of improvisation. Their sound-oriented improvisations are like textures that move on and change constantly. They are non-dramatic. This asks otherwise, for devoted listening, you miss what is happening on their well-defined and limited playground. Most of the time, the improvisations unfold in a very intimate and quiet way, expressing an almost meditative quality. The opening track, ‘Tsamodet’ is a meeting of deep resonating percussive sounds and pizzicato played by the violin and has a ritualistic feel. Each improvisation creates another atmosphere and ambience, mainly by subdued movements and gestures. The richness and depth are in the detailed sound patterns they make in their balanced interplay. And in the many colours, they evoke. A very poetic work of evocative and imaginative textures. They were recorded in Zürich by Philipp Schaufelberger at the start of 2021. Released in Wide Ear Records, a musician-run collective, platform and record label based in Zürich. (DM)
––– Address: https://www.wideearrecords.ch/



VANESSA MASSERA - FULGURANCES (CD by Empreintes Digitales)

The biography of Vanessa Massera is relatively short. She is a composer of electro-acoustic music, "a medium she uses to express poetic ideas within the multiple cultural spaces and environments that fuel her inspiration", plus a list of places that programmed her music. There are six lengthy pieces of music on this disc, with a total length of seventy-one minutes. Massera uses a lot of field recording, from fireworks and bonfires to industrial objects and environmental recordings. She also works with instruments, such as saxophones (played by Stockholms Saxofonkvartett), her grandmother's voice, and an accordion. Most of the time, none of these sounds are recognized as such. It's only when you read the liner notes that one thinks, oh, fireworks or saxophones, indeed it is. When she writes about her piece 'Omega', using "elements of traditional Nordic folk music", I can safely say that 'indeed it does', didn't come to mind. As with many releases by Empreintes Digitales, the way the working methods of Massera are all in the digital domain, emphasising granular synthesis and stretching of sounds, topped with a good amount of reverb. All of this results in sturdy music with a serious approach. I think this is all solid music, good pieces, but not really something that seems to stand out. I enjoyed the way she treated the saxophone sounds into a densely orchestrated piece of minimalist attacks (using the sound of the keys, it seems) and the aforementioned 'Omega', which goes from near-silent to something that could be classified as weird techno music (with an all too strong 4/4 beat, however). Solid and good are the keywords here, but it is also something I heard before on more than a few occasions. (FdW)
––– Address: https://empreintesdigitales.com/en/accueil



WAKO - ALT DET VI TAPTE (CD Řra Fonogram)

'Alt det vi tapte' (All that we’ve lost) is the sixth release by the jazz group Wako hailing from Norway. The band members are Martin Myhre Olsen on saxophones, Bárđur Reinert Poulsen (double bass), Kjetil A. Mulelid (piano) and Simon Olderskog Albertsen (drums). They have played together for some ten years now, and it shows. All group members have other projects as well. The group sound is balanced, relaxed and swings a lot of the time. All members are highly proficient on their respective instruments, and all virtuosity is in service of the melody, not their ego. The title 'Alt det vi tapte' suggests a dark album. That’s not the case. Sure, there are a lot of ballads with a melancholy quality, but they always contain a sparkle of hope, of a way out of the darkness. Lřgmannabreyt, the only piece composed by double bassist Bárđur Reinert Poulsen is named after a long road in a town on the biggest Faroe island. It’s a short piece and is almost a sound poem. A beautiful melody, sometimes supported by bowed double bass, sometimes by plucked double bass, is, for me, a centrepiece of the record. Short and sweet. For the record: I had difficulty resetting my ears to this music. After hearing many ‘out there’ improvised music, returning to tonal jazz music was a bit of a stretch. In other words, this is Manonfriendly music (Manon being my wife, and a lot of music I listen to for Vital Weekly isn’t Manonfriendly at all). This is music that can be played day or night on every occasion. I hope to catch them in concert someday. (MDS)
––– Address: https://mulelid.bandcamp.com/album/wako-ut-av-det-nye



ANDREW CHALK - THE END TIMES (CD by ICR)
MPM - ORBIT (CD by ICR)
COLIN POTTER - AGO (LP by BFE Records)

As I am playing this new release by Andrew Chalk, I realize a few things. One is, perhaps, the most obvious, I have known the man's music for quite some years, but somehow I think I hardly ever review his music. His solo work and his work with Timo van Luijk (as Elodie) didn't make these pages a lot. I believe I wrote about all his works with Christoph Heeman, a duo called Mirror, but that was already many years ago. But the solo arist hardly makes it to these pages. Maybe his releases, all wonderfully packed, so I am told, are too limited for promotion? The other thing I realized is that I have no clue about Chalk's setup when producing music. His music is very delicate and gentle. A couple of keyboards, maybe a guitar? The guitar seems to be the most likely candidate after repeated listening. Some loops of percussive elements? That kind of thing, perhaps. But for all I know, Chalk uses a laptop and some software, some of which plugins may imitate glitches, hiss and crackles. I have no idea, but the results are excellent. Chalk plays throughout short music pieces, which are very much to the point, even when they are, at times, very watercoloury and sketchy. Chalk paints with sound, but not with paint, not with firm strokes, but with touches, brushes and a pencil. Never going too much into the world of drones, Chalk likes a more open approach. Notes, not drones, seem to be his message. But, as I said, they aren't absent. They have a background role, such as in 'At Sunset'. That happens, and the sun setting here as I write these words and Chalks' moody tones fit this time of day very well.
    MPM is the acronym of the trio of Phil Mouldycliff, Colin Potter and Jackson Mouldycliff. The latter might be the least known of the three, but on this CD, he's the leading composer of the eleven pieces. The other two take (humbly) credit for "interventions and modifications". The word 'Orbit, we are told, means "course, path, circuit, trajectory, rotation, revolution, circle, cycle, circumgyration, " which is the link to the music. These music pieces deal with loops. Whether these loops are analogue or digitak, I don't know. It is, of course, not really important, but merely something to get an idea of. Judging by the elegant nature of the music, I would think that we are dealing with a more digital side of things, in which loops are fed into analogue modules and sound effects, but the results remain gentle and delicate. The loops are sometimes short and have a slightly industrial character, but with the big spacious drones that these grace it becomes a much more spacey and cosmic record. Especially when in 'Lagrange', some bubbly synthesizers are popping up in good comsic tradition. The space exploration theme runs through all these pieces to a smaller or bigger extent. Not just in those vast, spacious synthesizer drones but also in the rusty metallic clatterrings of objects, which reminded me of science fiction from a few decades ago. On a few occasions, the music makes a little leap into the world of ambient house, but it always remains firmly locked in the chill-out zone. It's lovely stuff now, with days being much shorter and much stargazing to be done.
    Label boss Colin Potter's career spans four decades now, and he's been active with electronic music most of that time, solo, but also as a fixed member of Nurse With Wound. There were already several re-issues from his early days, which were initially on cassette. 'Ago' has six pieces from the late80s and mid-90s, none of which have been released. The rhythm was never far away in the early music of Potter (unlike these days, it seems, when it is all more about tones and drones), and in these pieces, Potter uses a more sophisticated set of instruments. Mentioned are "Akai S950 sampler, an Emulator II, Roland TR727 and Yamaha RX11 digital drum machines, a Roland Juno 60, and some new effects processors". I am not a gear freak, so I am not all too impressed, but I would think that Potter's music over the years, coming from his earlier days, certainly matured. It seems to connect to the world of techno music, even when none of these pieces is too much geared for the dance floor. The thump of the beat is surely a strong presence in all of these pieces, along with the gnawing of the bass synthesizer. It seems to miss that grooviness that 'real' (what is that) dance music, and Potter's music was the connection between good ol' industrial music when it went 'dance' and techno music. As a sucker for all things electronic and rhythm, and indeed the music of Colin Potter, I enjoyed the music on this record. It provided a missing link for me, music from a time in which Potter was a bit lost. He was actively involved with his studio and not so much in releasing music, but this record shows that he evolved as a composer. Is there more from this period, and if so, can we hear that too? (FdW)
––– Address: https://icrdistribution.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: https://bferecords.bandcamp.com/



NICK MOTT - THE FALL OF THE HUMAN EMPIRE (LP by Lumberton Trading Company)

Looking at his discography, former Volcano The Bear member Nick Mott doesn't belong to the most active composers. There have been only five releases so far since the first in 2011. While doing my bit of 'research' (a word to be used lightly), I re-read all about Volcano The Bear releases in Vital Weekly, as well as the various solo releases by its members, Nick Mott, Daniel Padden and Anthony Moore. The Volcano releases weren't reviewed too favourably by FK on these pages; I saw a fantastic concert by them at one point but never heard many of their releases. One name runs through all of the reviews: Nurse With Wound. The influence is powerful, and also, on this new LP by Nick Mott, it's omnipresent. Put it bluntly, lock Mott in the studio, give him percussion bits, string instruments, some wind instruments and enough tracks on the recorder, and the results will sound like NWW. Tribalistic percussion, tape-loops of percussive sound, jump cuts cutting in and out, plus recorders at different speeds add that alienating aspect. While it may not sound too original, I think this is a most satisfying record. With seven songs per side, Mott keeps the proceedings brief and to the point. It's almost as if there is one long piece per side on this record, with some odd moments of silence thrown in for good measure. Maybe one lumps this into surrealism with a photo section/book with photo montages that may suggest such a thing. Not all too great, but throughout well-executed music. (FdW)
––– Address: https://fourthdimensionrecords.bigcartel.com/products



ILLUSION OF SAFETY & Z'EV (LP by various labels)

So... What do we have here? An LP with on both sides a collaborative work from the sadly departed Z'EV - yes, it's been five years already - and the always inspiring Illusion of Safety, who has more or less stopped actively producing as IoS in 2014 but re-activated again. Sometimes Daniel Burke goes by the name of Soundoferror. These pieces were not released before, and it's great to finally hear them (but better yet, add them to your collection). Both sides are just tipping the twenty-minute mark, which is good. Would it be more, there wouldn't be enough space to give room to all the sounds.
    The tracks were created in between 2008 and 2012, with the initial sounds coming from Z'ev. So we're talking about parts of arecording of the Z'EV/IoS show in Chicago 2007. Daniel Burke worked from those and added modular layers, field recordings and very probably - listening to the sounds - treatments of some sounds by of Z'EV, after which the music was returned to Z'ev for final treatment. While best known as a percussion player, Z'EV also worked with computer manipulation of sound.
    The first side is titled "A Strategy of Transformation" and is, without doubt, the loudest of the two, even though "loud" is not precisely describing the atmosphere. The sound is at moments erratic, probably because of the rhythmic approach of the tools and setup from Z'EV, yet IoS manages to mould the sounds into a more coherent soundscape with his additions. The percussive basics, however, never really leave the composition.
    And why I emphasized the percussive 'ethics' of side A becomes clear on the reverse side. "Smaller Revolutions" is more ambient in its approach. Think bows or other (non-percussive) treatments of the metal sources. And here, the additional layers by IoS generate a beautiful soundscape in its full form. Excellent dynamics are obtained by keeping open spaces in the frequency spectrum and the volume. This might be my favourite of the two sides because of those dynamics.
    This vinyl was co-released by various people/labels to ensure it would happen. Thankfully, it did, even when the production took two years to complete, and I want to thank everybody involved for making this happen. (BW)
––– Address: https://illusionofsafety.bandcamp.com/



SPRUIT - DRUMS & SOUNDS (CDR, private)

Marc Spruit has been an active composer for many years, and he always self-released his music, never connected to a specific label. I am unsure what the reason is, but maybe he likes total control. Usually, his releases aren't too long, and 'Drums & Sounds' is no different. Four pieces, clocking in at thirty-one minutes. Spruit plays the drums, drum synth, digital decks and a laptop. "Severe editing and arrangements", the cover informs, and I would not have expected something else. The drums are hardly conventionally played or recognized. Just occasionally, I thought, with some deep-end bang, for instance, oh yeah, drums. Otherwise, Spruit approaches to sound, composition and improvisation from a technical, computerized point of view. Editing means stripping, cutting, transforming, and altering the sounds in whatever way he sees fit. At times the results are awfully harsh, such as in the first (as always untitled) piece, with some thunderous feedback/sine waves. In 'II', the drums can be recognized best, and Spruit shows us his free improvisation drum side. The computer aspect of the music is never far away, also not in a track like this. Spruit's music is never easy listening. If one isn't paying enough attention, then some of this music might easily be perceived as annoying. One undivided attention is required, and maybe it is wise that Spruit limits his music to thirty minutes. Music in the best laptop tradition with some surprises on the input side. (FdW)
––– Address: https://spruit.bandcamp.com/



EXPOSE YOUR EYES - EVERYTHING ON FULL (CDR by Oxidation)

I happened recently to be talking to a drummer, former pro, now semi-pro working in education, and someone remarked that I was into, interested in, and making “Noise” - adding 'music'. I'm aware of conversations like this, so I was only moderately surprised by a slight questioning look. My usual response is, and in the case was, “Merzbow?” and the normal shake of the head reply. This is where things get more profound, how to explain what noise is, in which the idea of music, certainly 'conventional' music, often has different aims, aesthetics and generally what has become 'music'. This was not a great surprise, though I think the guy studied music. Much more, to my surprise, came when in the process of posting a copy of Pulse Demon to this guy, I printed the Wiki pages for Noise (Music). Maybe this has been edited since I last checked it out. I very much think so; it begins with a general introduction in which Luigi Russolo's 'Intonarumori and L'Arte di Rumori' (The Art of Noises) manifesto) – is mentioned, then a fairly detailed chronology, a discussion of 'Experimental Music', 'Popular Music', 'Noise Rock' and 'No Wave', 'Industrial Music', 'Japanese Noise Music', and finally ', Post-digital Music'. No mention of any other noise music, The Rita, Vomir, RRR records, or noise in the USA, Europe. Troniks, The Cherry Point, TNB, Mattin, The Haters, Richard Ramirez ...Black Leather Jesus... Prurient, I must mention Prurient - gone! “Nick Cain of The Wire identifies the "primacy of Japanese Noise artists like Merzbow, Hijokaidan and Incapacitants" as one of the major developments in noise music since 1990”. And that is IT! In 1990, Paul Harrison became active, the AKA of Expose Your Eyes. Noise (Music) outside of Japnoise no longer exists and never did. I know the internet now has dead links, empty and broken blogs (Paul Harrison's an example) and the now non-existent 'boards' save a couple, one of which is conversations between 3 or 4 individuals on domestic matters. Within 30 years, the genre had become almost extinct, when once it was the focus of seminars, conferences, and books – even!, at such prestigious places as Huddersfield University. Now what remains is less than Shelly's Ozymandias. Oh, this release, which, if you check out https://oxidation.bandcamp.com/album/everything-on-full is Noise. As a postscript, why at its peak Noise was so significant is given in the detail of the wiki article, of its development from the Futurists, through the Avant-Garde, Cage, Stockhausen... et al. to emerge as a genre with a philosophical and artistic revolutionary pedigree, hence Merzbow's moniker. But “home cassette recording technology in the 1970s, combined with the simultaneous influence of punk rock, established the No Wave aesthetic, and instigated what is commonly referred to as noise music today.” 'Oh really!' <Face Palm!> (Jliat)
––– Address: https://linktr.ee/oxidationlabel



DAVID LEE MYERS - FRONTIERS (CDR by Pulsewidth)

In a short note, David Lee Myers writes that music on 'Frontiers' is "gentle ambient and atmospheric, avoiding dystopianism but by no means mellifluous" Noted! And he doesn't recommend headphones when listening, which I rarely do when I listen to music at home. Like the music on 'Frontiers', I prefer physical space for music. The cover has two lengthy quotes by Jorgen Luis Borges and Jean-Paul Sartre. Myers and his modular setup slash feedback system is a man of many faces. While much of his music has a strong presence, especially when played in that physical space, the nine pieces of this new disc have a tranquil approach. It's Saturday afternoon, the air is grey, and it's getting cold outside; no reason whatsoever to leave the house or even the chair. I didn't want to get up and 'do something', not even thinking about a review. You have to get and do commit the words about this music. Sitting quietly in a chair, reading a book, sipping tea and playing the quiet music of David Lee Myers was all I wanted to do. I got up, twice even, to start the disc again; the option of 'repeat play' didn't cross my mind (and I admit, I hardly ever do cross my mind but come to think of it, it would be an idea; play a release on repeat for as long as needed to write a review), but this little exercise is enough. I have to get up and press play again, but I also find that much-needed energy to write about the music. Sitting behind my desk, l always seem to listen to a bit differently. It's only now that I notice that it's not all quiet but that Myers waves in delicate unrest, just below the surface sometimes but also right above the surface. Music that works well when played loud but also with the volume down a bit. Rich and powerful, but also intimate. (FdW)
––– Address: https://davidleemyers.bandcamp.com/



THE MYSTERY - THE MYSTERY SEES THE BURDEN (CDR by Love Earth Music)
BLUE - V-EKPYROTIC (CDR by Love Earth Music)
NEW GRASPING MACHINA - NIGHT TERRORS (CDR by Love Earth Music)
HOWARD STELZER - THE FLEMISH GIANTS (SUBURBAN OBSERVANCES VOL. 5) (CDR by Love Earth Music)

As I believe I noted before, I had Love Earth Music down as a noise label, which it isn't, and this new batch is further proof of that. But rock music I didn't expect. Yet, that is what The Mystery does. The musical brainchild of Jerry Macdonald, who recorded this album with "The Mystery's spokesmodel and manager Gilmore Tamy". Don't get me wrong, I do like rock music, and I do like the music on this album. However, it sounds to me like not your typical sort of rock music. The rhythm (machine?) does a minimal pattern, hardly any breaks, and Macdonald plays in similar minimal style guitar and sings. And here is the 'problem' I have with this release. I have no idea how rock music developed over the past decades and if The Mystery is part of any tradition or if The Mystery does something radically new and different. Vital Weekly is not your go-to source for rock music, but you know this. As much as I appreciate that the label takes care in sending me this disc, and I understand I must write about it, I have very little to say about this music out of sheer ignorance. I wish I could write; check out the label's Bandcamp, but there isn't a proper one. Now, here's the real mystery.
    The lack of a Bandcamp page for the label means very little information about musicians and their releases. Who is behind Blue, for instance? Wiki tells me, "The ekpyrotic universe is a cosmological model of the early universe that explains the origin of the large-scale structure of the cosmos. The model has also been incorporated in the cyclic universe theory (or ekpyrotic cyclic universe theory), which proposes a complete cosmological history, both the past and future", but I can't figure out how to relate that to the music by Blue. Four pieces of noise music, two of which are fourteen minutes and two about half that length. I understand that Blue is a duo of E. Giles and S. Davis, and they play harsh noise, but stay clear from doing that in the form of walls. The four pieces on this release are quite different. Centaurus A' is a piercing synth of voices and faulty cable rumble. In 'Maffei 2', they offer a more minimalist heavy noise drone of slow evolving sounds and 'Andromeda' has a similar minimalist approach but is slightly chaotic and twice as long. Finally, 'Circinus' sees blue venturing into the world of power electronics, with voices screaming down the tube of delay, reverb, and whatever another rainbow-coloured sound effect the group has. I realize that the margins to tell one noise apart from the next is minimal to the listener who has never heard noise music, but I enjoyed these little variations and thought they make a fine release.
    More noise we find on the release by New Grasping Machina, the music project of Lukas Henderiks. "New Grasping Machine does not support violence against people in unjust ways, and the imagery used is for strictly artistic usage". Does it support violence in just ways? I am unsure what the cover image is, but I assume there is shocking context (now lost, as I have no idea). Here we have five tracks of loud noise music. What he uses, equipment-wise, I don't know. New Grasping Machine doesn't go for the all too minimal approach here, with a few sounds running uninterrupted for a long (too long) time. There is the use of electronics, from (modular?) synthesizers to some loops and like Blue, New Grasping Machina opts to have some variation within the noise. And also like Blue, I enjoyed this, even when New Grasping Machine is a bit more straightforward in the world of noise. Loud and vicious most of the time, with some uncontrolled bursts of pure energy.
    And the final new release is by Howard Stelzer, who has had quite a year (or two) if we look at his releases. In many of his recent releases, Stelzer uses sound sources handed in by other musicians. We find RLW, Brendan Murray, Linda Aubry Bullock, Brun Duplant, Fani Konstantiduo and Andrew Zukerman on this new CD. The listener has no idea who delivered what, as Stelzer puts it all in one big bowl and cooks one long piece, almost forty-eight minutes (which seems to be his preferred length). Something else I noted in his recent pieces is that Stelzer no longer works on top-heavy drones. There is still a strong presence in his music, but perhaps less intense and not going on for many of them. There is now also room for the crackling of contact microphones or field recordings from someone walking a forest. Stelzer works towards the next drone from these more open recordings, usually crafted from the same field recordings but then undergoing his usual cassette treatments. One of the methods is playing a sound on a walkman with a small amplifier (providing the machine has none) and then taping that outside, capturing other field recordings in the process. Some unstable sounds served here stem from machines that no longer function well. Instability is the keyword for Stelzer, I should think; the more, the merrier. With his interplay of loud(er) and quiet(er), Stelzer's music becomes even more dynamic than before, and it is a wonderfully rich collage of sound. Dark at times, of course, but no longer as dark as some of his other music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.loveearthmusic.com/



EAMON THE DESTROYER - A SMALL BLUE CAR – RE-MADE /RE-MODELLED (CDR by Bearsuit Records)

In Vital Weekly 1313, someone else wrote about Eamon The Destroyer's album 'A Small Blue Car'. Now it's time for a remix, but that someone is no longer part of the team. I quickly went to the original album, also released by Bearsuit Records, so I had an idea of what it sounded like. Weird electronic pop with quite a bit of vocal. Not exactly the sort of thing that I  like very much, but remixes might win me over. Various of the remixers I have ever heard of before; Michael Valentine WestSchizo Fun Addict, House Of Tapes, Hanali, The Moth Poet and John 3-16. Some of these musicians, like Harold Nono, Yponeko and Andrei Rikichi, have releases on Bearsuit Records. You may not be surprised that I like it when the singing is absent, as I don't think Eamon The Destroyer's voice is particularly good. West delivers a lengthy stretch of just guitar sounds and reduces the vocals to far-away whispers, which I enjoy just as the short ambient mix by The Moth Poet. Others emphasize the rhythm and go a more dance-like song, such as Ememe, Yponeko or Société Cantine. And some seem to stay all too close to the original, with a bit of voice, some guitar and a few electronics. I am not all too convinced about this. That has to do with the whole nature of remixes. What's the reason for doing these, other than having a bit of fun with the sounds of other musicians? Does this remix album bring the fans of John 3-16, for example, to Eamon The Destroyer? I hope it does, but I doubt it will. (FdW)
––– Address: https://bearsuitrecords.bandcamp.com/



DEAD DOOR UNIT - LAUGH AT THE DEVIL (cassette by Tribe Tapes)

It's happy times again! Another new package from Tribe Tapes, a clear plastic blood-red cassette by Dead Door Unit. Until now unknown to me, but that will change in the next 62 minutes.
First things first, Dead Door Unit is Ken Geiger from New Jersey. Of course, he's been active as a musician way longer. Still, his noise and experimental output started somewhere in the second part of the last decade under various names and with various people. I've been checking Discogs - one of the first things I usually do when I hear of new names - and I can honestly say this is the first I hear of him or any of his projects.
    'Laugh At The Devil' is a collection of many tracks properly divided over both sides. It's not two long untitled pieces, as the Bandcamp release page kinda implies, and I am not yet sure if I would like it to have those separate parts titled. In general, I would say it's good to indicate what a maker wants to communicate with his output. So is "Laugh At The Devil" indicative enough? Or is the title of the artwork at the inlay being "Desperation"? I could use a little more, but I'm probably lacking fantasy.
The tracks were "destroyed and reassembled" in the summer of 2022, which sounds like a really shitty summer (pun intended) because the combination of harsh noise, slow-evolving noise drones and heavily manipulated field recordings and junk noise are a true pleasure to listen to. Unfortunately, there is not any artist Dead Door Unit can be compared to, which is good because it means he's original in his approach, even though the promotional words mention the early works of Dom Fernow.
    Sixty minutes and the automatic return of the tapedeck clicks. How about I listen to it again, it's okay with me. Still can't tell you my favourite track, and I still like what I hear. (BW)
––– Address: https://tribetapes.bandcamp.com/



JAZZHAND - MUUTTOMATKALAINEN (cassette by Hyster Tapes)

From the ever so lovely home of recycled, Hyster Tapes out of Finland, a new release is both a joy and a slight burden. The burden being the fact that the label has no formal Bandcamp site with neat information. Who or what Jazzhand is, I don't know. Their tape has three pieces, if I understand correctly with a total length of thirty minutes with the music being the same on both sides. They use electronics, field recordings of bird sounds and it sounds as obscure and great at the same time. The music has nothing to do with jazz music as such, but you could see this as a form of improvisation or free jazz and then, perhaps, the name makes sense. An element of randomization is surely part of this. However, it doesn't sound like some sounds were thrown together and that the idea was, 'let's see what sticks'. The music has is at times too free and too much like collage of sound that it only partly roots in the world of lo-fi drones. When Jazzhand reaches for that, the music gets an additional noisy layer, which adds to the variation of the entire disc. At times the music gets quite intense and there isn't much room for subtleness. Somehow that fits very much the whole punky notion of having a label about recycling. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.pcuf.fi/~plaa/hyster.html



KRAUS - CHRONIC ILNESS (cassette by Artsy Records)
CASUAL OBSERVER - INTERSECTING GRADIENTS (cassette by Artsy Records)

Behind Kraus is Pat Kraus, and for twenty years, he has an autoimmune condition, making his life difficult. He writes that the music on this cassette is an "attempt to provide comfort and distraction for myself and, hopefully, for others coping with daily pain. I hope it can be helpful to you in some way". And, I should hope, it should comfort anyone who hears the music. Kraus is from Aotearoa, the current Māori-language name for New Zealand. I don't think I have listened to his music before, not on Ultra Eczema, Soft Abuse and Moniker Records, labels which he has used since 2002. The music is quite strange, I think. Not loud or weird, but these nine pieces for synthesizer (or more than one) have a strange mechanical edge to them as if Kraus finds a pattern to play, automates the changes and gets the thing running around. But then, he snaps out of it, and the repeating stops, and there is the odd melodic line. A mistake, maybe? I doubt that. I like mechanical music, maybe something to do with robots, science fiction and synthesizers on my part. The more I hear the music, the less sure I am about that mechanical element; maybe Kraus sits down and plays his keyboards this way? I think that is an option we should not rule out.  The music has quite an optimistic touch, like joyful bells at times, uplifting arpeggios, and jumpy rhythms (that never engage the listener to dance). There is something cheerfully cosy about all of this.
    I also had not heard of Casual Observer before, the music project of Sulo Kolehmainen. Artsy Records describes him as "a dabbler based in Helsinki, Finland. He cut his sonic teeth on trackers and drum machines but has long since fallen off the grid". That made me think he's gone from the world of music, but then Artsy says that "in his ongoing search for the indescribable, Kolehmainen uses a selection of software and hardware tools to knead, sculpt and mangle sound. On "Intersecting Gradients" he utilizes several forms of synthesis and found sounds". So, well, he is still on the grid, I think. The music here is much darker than the Kraus release, yet also heavily into the world of electronics. Casual Observer plays his music in a very abstract way. I would think he has a line of transformers, analogue or digital, that keep chopping up the music he creates in small, random bits and pieces that are stuck together in a similarly random fashion. Sometimes it all makes sense, such as the somewhat spacious 'Marble Pools', in which cosmic music meets modern electronics. There are, at times, quite noisy bits, and there is a dry, serious undercurrent. I thought of (some of) Mark Fell's music, certainly at times when the music struck me as digital. At twenty-four minutes a rather short cassette, but I found this enough. Casual Observer makes a solid point and does that very well. Nuff said. (FdW)
––– Address: https://artsyrecords.bandcamp.com/













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