\ / | ----- /\ | \ / |== |== | / | \ / Week 44
\ / | | / \ | \ /\ / | | |/ | \ / Number 247
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DEAN ROBERTS & WERNER DAFELDECKER - ALUMINIUM (CD by Erstwhile)
CASHIER ESCAPE ROUTE (CD compilation by City Center Offices)
ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI - CHOICE OF POITS FOR THE APPLICATION OF FORCE (CD by Ytterbium)
AMERICAN BREAKBEAT (2CD compilation by Klangkrieg)
AERON BERGMAN - THE SHED RECORD (CD by Diskono)
JEAN-MARC MONTERA - SMILES FROM JUPITER (CD by Grob)
ROBERT RICH - TRANCES/DRONES (CD by Release/Relapse)
THEME - ON PARALLEL SHORES REMOVED (CD by Fourth Dimension)
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - FAREWELL, MILKY WAY (CD by Caciocavallo)
NAD SPIRO - VS. ENEMIGOS DE HELIX (CD by Geometrik-Microgama)

 

DEAN ROBERTS & WERNER DAFELDECKER - ALUMINIUM (CD by Erstwhile)
Since I discovered Dean Roberts for myself, I have been a great admirer of his work. Seemingely easy he waves together ambient drones on his guitar with the addition of strange crackles, bowed guitar and curious small, amplified sounds. I am still less familiar with the work of Dafeldecker, but from what I heard so far, gave me the impression of well-skilled improviser on guitar and laptop. Listening to the 40 minute, two piece improv session recorded in April this year, I am not disapointed. The first piece, called 'Rock And Roll Part 4', lasts 10 minutes and is mainly centered around high pitched sine waves, in which at times deep end strumming and small sounds of scraping sounds (maybe the hi-hat that was placed between the two musicians, so that they could both play it!) complete the picture of a quick crescendo piece, but that holds it's tension.
'Rock And Roll Part 5' (I have no idea where the first 3 are...) is a more distracted piece. It moves between a great variety of sketches and ideas, small thing happening alongside the bigger issue of drones. Even when the ideas, at times, drop at a low rate of inspiration, the overall sound of the piece is alright. (FdW)
Address: www.erstwhilerecords.com

CASHIER ESCAPE ROUTE (CD compilation by City Center Offices)
City Center Offices is a fine small labels, having released 7"s by Lowfish, SND, Arovane and Geiom (the latter I haven't heard) and who present here a thematic compilation around supermarkets. Cold lights, the emptiness of evening shopping and the overall boredom at the cashier (if you have not guessed by now: I don't like shopping): certainly elements to inspire more then two hands full of artists. House music is out (again?) and electro is in (again?). A mostly analogue affair on keyboards, vocoders and rhythm boxes - well, unless of course these sounds are artificial and are arrived at through some very smart computer programm. It line up reads like a who's who of that scene: Lowfish, Opiate, Pole, Geiom, Arovane, Styrofoam, Phonem, The Remote Viewer, To Rococo Rot + D, Isan, Dynamo and more. Most tracks have a sad feeling, sad but poppy feeling. The overall length per track is just over an average pop song, and like the recentely released Morr Music double CD, I really think that this is the future of popmusic. Much of is like a rehearsal, the testing of qualities and one day, one artist breaks the market open with a gigantic hit single. Then the others will follow. If you want to be ahead of the mass, go to your supermarket, and get this CD now. (FdW)
Address: www.city-centre-offices.de

ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI - CHOICE OF POITS FOR THE APPLICATION OF FORCE (CD by Ytterbium)
Zbigniew Karkowski unleashes another solo CD - unlike his many others, which are recorded with other musicians, such as Edwin van der Heide or Masami Akita, to name but two. This CD contains a live recording from late last year, but it has been edited in the studio. Each of the three pieces last more or less 15 minutes. 'Vague' is an apt description of the piece. The slow rumble that doesn't seem to be in control of its speed, with the gradual, final speeding up and sine wave exercise towards the end. 'Idented' is more coherent. Based around a loop that is gradually getting longer and longer, with small detorations going on. 'Delimited' is the price winner here: an intense collage of high and low end sound that hold my breath until it's over. Two-third isn't a bad score, I think. (FdW)
Address: Ytterbium - 133 av Parmetier - 75011 Paris - France

AMERICAN BREAKBEAT (2CD compilation by Klangkrieg)
Just like the elsewhere reviewed 'Cashier Escape Route', this can be considered a thematic compilation. You heard those names before, but you don't dare digging out a CD by them at your local supplier of good sounds. Simply because you have no money to buy an album by all of these, or you have no time to bore the cashier with all of hearing demands, or maybe because you are used to buy through the net. Well, for whatever reason, a compilation that compiles a particular scene. The word 'breakbeat' is a bit misleading here, since many forms of current dance music pass your ears. From minimal techno of Multicast to ambiences of Designer to heavy, indeed breakbeat styles of Blitter and Hrvatski. It's a pity that it moves in between many styles, but you get a good idea what's cooking in the US and Canadian underground. Also included are Kid 606, Lesser, Electric Company, Lowfish, David Kristian, Matmos, Solenoid, Slicker, Cex, Rook Vallade, Halo Vessel, Marumari and more. From my limited, remote view, it seems a very complete selection. And I hear some remix project from their European counterego's is in production. (FdW)
Address: www.klangkrieg-produktionen.de

AERON BERGMAN - THE SHED RECORD (CD by Diskono)
I like sounds. I like hearing sounds, and not just on recorded media. In the city, in the woods, I open my ears more and try to absord the sounds of the environment. I even make my own recordings. That's fun. It's also fun to listen to other people's ears: what have they captured on tape, and edited into music. In that sense I should be excited about this, but this is received with mixed feelings. It's under half an hour of hotch potch, misch masch recording of sounds from your environment, birds, helicopters, some crack, another plane. Cut into 20 tracks (why not 1 or 99, or 37?). The speedy, yet not too fast, cut up style make this into a fairly uninspired or uninspering recording. The recent concert I attended by Alejandra and Underwood (of which this guy is a member) made more impression for it's use of location sounds and narratives. (FdW)
Address: <diskono@lineone.net>

JEAN-MARC MONTERA - SMILES FROM JUPITER (CD by Grob)
Slowly Grob is growing into a label of fascinating improvised music, maybe the European counterpart of Erstwhile. This CD was supposed to be the first release, but it had problems with the DAT on which it was originally recorded. Two years and probably the fine elegancy of a harddisc later, the results are released. Montera, of whom I know nothing (even not after reading the liner notes; which many Grob releases have; hurray for that), plays the guitar in improvised style. He scratches, plucks, hits and ebows the strings in ten different tracks, ranging from subtle listening to furious noisy outbursts. The more subtle pieces are more in my line of liking (is it because noise is so easy to do? maybe...), such as 'Running In A Venus Kitchen'. Many of this reminded me of Joseph Suchy's (Grob's boss) CD, which is also for solo guitar and has the word 'smile' in the title. It's also worth noting that many of Grob's work is based around improvisers on guitars... This is just another addition to their catalogue. (FdW)
Address: <grobcologne@hotmail.com>

ROBERT RICH - TRANCES/DRONES (CD by Release/Relapse)
Having explored the darker side of the sound spectre in more than 20 years and having left behind a discography counting more than 30 releases, Robert Rich ranks among the true pioneers of the dark/deep ambient-scene. This being a collection of works from the first three albums, Trances/Drones are the documentation of Robert Rich's early ambient-isolationism. Inspired by Robert Rich's studies in psychology and dream-processes, all tracks are based on sleep concerts, where the audience were meant to find themselves in the borderlands between never never-land and the waking state. Meanwhile trance-inducing sounds of mr. Rich were slowly oscillating into the deepest levels of the soul.
Trances/Drones is the true sound of sub-consciousness. Like every single wave of sound refuse to slip away, it gently drifts inside the listener until the next wave wash over and slowly bring the music back into motion. Starting with the Trances-cd, floating spheres of sweet lullabies fills the air until more sinister soundscapes quietly sneaks further into the sonic space. As the Drones-cd see the light the atmosphere crawls even deeper into the mind of the listener. Sometimes sounding nightmarish other times weird, in a divinely beautiful sense. Ending out with the subtle drones of deep black rumbles the audience of the sleep concerts could be very close to comfortably drifting the whole way into deep sleep. Those who managed to stay in the borderlands under the three hours long soul-side journey, would never see the environmental room in the same light ever again. Essential listening.
(originally released in 1996 by Extreme Records) (NMP)

THEME - ON PARALLEL SHORES REMOVED (CD by Fourth Dimension)
Splintered, former guitar noise cum tape splicers from past days, are no more. They have reformed themselves into Theme, went into the studio for a long time (this CD took over a year to make). Theme move beyond the wall of guitar with additional heavy metal banging, sampling and field recording, with a variety of sounds and styles. The opening track moves from guitar tune into a ambient synth pattern that is almost minimal techno. Right after that you get served 'Lines Swallowed Red', with a dub percussion theme and ditto bass guitar. Breakbeats and all that form the backbone of 'Real Is Seeing Blind'. There are pieces that seem to dwell entirely on samples, such as 'Enmity Divided', but the overall impression is that these boys play a lot of the instruments themselves (drums, guitar, synth), which adds to the more rock character of this, even when there are elements of dub, d&b or techno. The whole thing is a joy to hear, with great care of the details in the production. There are lots of small things, effects and washes everywhere to make this into an exciting album. Guitar underground of the past, match with new undergrounds of today... (FdW)
Address: http://buy.at/fourthdimension

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - FAREWELL, MILKY WAY (CD by Caciocavallo)
You don't need to be a Legendary Pink Dots fan to enjoy what they are doing live. I don't call myself a fan of them (or anything else), but for the last 15 years I have tried to hear everything and I have favourites in their career (for me "The Maria Dimension" is still the best, besides many of their pre-LP days on cassette). I have had the joy to see the band on stage for many times, and that is one exciting thing, certainly if, like me, you see more people on lap-tops and not enough bands. Each of the members is a skilled person, there is room for improvisation and the theatrical aspects of Edward Ka-spel are stage filling. This particular CD, previously only available at their latest tour in the USA and now also through the Soleilmoon website, was recorded in 1994, but I do believe the line up is still the same. This is elementary Pink Dots live stuff. Long pieces with extended guitar and saxophone solos, psychedelic intros and the apocalyptic singing of Ka-spel (who makes his little variety in lyrics too, depending on the place they play). I have no idea how many shows the Dots have played since their first real live appearance in 1983, but you hear a band that knows what a good show is. This recording is no less then excellent, the perfect souvenir for a well-spend evening with the Dots. And what a goddamm pity we don't see them in Holland so much these days! An international band from Holland, never seen in Holland. It's a disgrace!
Address: www.soleilmoon.com

NAD SPIRO - VS. ENEMIGOS DE HELIX (CD by Geometrik-Microgama)
>From Barcelona, Spain comes this disc which was made mostly by Rosa Arruti, a name as yet unknown to me. She's had help from some others to create these 14 tracks. An array of different sounds, instruments and effects are used to make songs, soundscapes and other forms of music. The variety is huge, but the atmosphere stays mostly the same: dense, estranged and, well, sort of damp. As if a dense fog of sound is enveloping the listener and taking him/her to this hermetic world inhabitated by Nad Spiro. One simply has to give over or leave it be. No way in between. This mysterious world may intrigue or not. (MR)
Address: geo@geometrikrecords.com