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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 326
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week 23
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ROB(U)RANG - RUB(U)RANG & FRIENDS (CD by Ant-Zen Recordings)
SURYA - MUSIC TO WATCH (CD by Soleilmoon)
֒DEM - MONOCHROME (CD by Mindwerk Records)
MORCEAUX_DE_MACHINES - LIBERUM ARBITRIUM (CD by No Type)
OEUF KORRECKT - PODWEEK (CD by No Type)
FIBO TRESPO (CDR by Absurd)
PXP - WHILE(P){PRINT} (CD by Wavetrap)
VANCE ORCHESTRA - THE E EMISSION (CDR by EE Tapes)
O+A - BOX 30/70 (CD by Tourette)
FREEBASS - 22
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED 115
(Both 7" by Edition...)
THE VACUUM BOYS - SONGS FROM THE SEA OF LOVE (CD by Fire Inc.)
BEEQUEEN - OWNLINESS (CD by Infraction Records)
BIG CITY ORCHESTRA - SCARAB (CDR by EE Tapes)
TWINE - RECORDER (CD by Bip Hop)
MASSACCESI - I NEVER FALL APART BECAUSE I NEVER FALL TOGETHER (CD by Phthalo)
JONATHAN HUGHES - TRILLIUM (CD by The Foundry)
HYPO - KARAOKE A CAPELLA (CD by Active Suspension)
TETINE VS SOPHI CALLE - SAMBA DE MONALISA (CD by Sulphur Records)
KATIE O'LOONEY - ROUNDTRIP (CD by Morninglorie)
MATT SCHOEMAKER - WARUNG ELUSION (CD by Trente Oiseaux)
YOKO SATO - SEARCHING FOR MY RECORDING ENGINEER (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
THE DRAWING ROOM - EVOLVING SEQUENCE NO.1 (CDR by Krkrkrk)

 

ROB(U)RANG - RUB(U)RANG & FRIENDS (CD by Ant-Zen Recordings)
Belgian composer Rob(u)rang had his first album released in the year
2000 on French label Noise Museum. Specialising in pumping rhythms
created on old-fashioned rhythm-boxes and synths, Rob(u)rang has now
released his second album, this time on German label Ant-Zen
Recordings. The album title ìRob(u)rang & friendsî refers to the fact
that legends of Ant-Zen Recordings, Imminent and Silk Saw, has
contributed to fulfill this rather bizarre musical experience. With
quite a few tracks characterized by oblique rhythmic patterns, often
assisted by old-school robot voices and distorted melodies, the
atmosphere on the album is first of all humourous. The
Imminent-remixed track titled 'Tr(i)hhem robofull', does separate
though, in its aggressive approach first of all built upon harsh
upbeat rhythms not too far away from earlier Imminent
(Starvation)-works such as 'Hillstone' and 'Lost Highway 45' from the
Human Dislocation-album. Not being harsh, all seven tracks are still
driven explosive rhythms and masses of distorted energy. But despite
the usual over-the-top energetic approach, Rob(u)rang & Friends is
definitely a very unusual shot from the Ant-Zen camp. (NMP)
Address: www.ant-zen.com

SURYA - MUSIC TO WATCH (CD by Soleilmoon)
As the title of the album anticipates, 'Music to watch' is a
collection of original soundtracks for various physical art
performances as well as for video installation projects. The
bubbling chill out electronic sounds bear the impression of the 34
minutes short, but very intense album. Starting out with two tracks
that both uses a deeply relaxed atmosphere of waving electronic
sounds and gentle rhythms, the album turns more upbeat for a while
with third track titled '282' that moves away from the
ambient-feeling towards more funky rhythms and exotic sounds. On
fourth track the tempo is then slowed down again, this time into a
more spacy and thoughtful atmosphere with subtle electro-beats, deep
bass and a growing variation of electronic sounds. Least interesting
is the fifth and final track titled 'Gap' that seems like moving
without really going anywhere, lacking the great power of the
previous tracks. Never the less, a very nice album, revealing that
Surya is a project worth keeping an eye on. (NMP)
Address: www.soleilmoon.com

֒DEM - MONOCHROME (CD by Mindwerk Records)
Danish label Mindwerk Records has throughout the years clearly marked
themselves on their concentration on the extreme sides of the
electronic music scene and most often have the albums of Mindwerk
Records been released in very limited editions. In these senses debut
full length album, Monochrome, from the Danish one-man-project
distinct itself from the typical Mindwerk-release. The album has been
published in 500 copies which is a lot compared to the
Mindwerk-standard publication and the sound of ֒Dem is more
open-minded in its expression than most other releases from the
label. Taking its starting point in electronica ֒Dem comes around
quite a few landmarks of electronic music throughout the 70+ minutes
playing time. Characteristic is the EBM-stylish rhythms that
saturates quite a few of the tracks. Also the mixture of technoid
sounds and harsh Industrial is unmistakeable and give some
associations towards earlier Download, eventhough ֒Dem exclusively
works in an instrumental soundsphere without human voices
interrupting the almost claustrophic atmosphere. Also earliest period
of Aphex Twin from the eighties as well as Mike Paladinas (aka U-Ziq)
crosses my mind with the melancholic and fragile ambient-scapes that
first of all dominate tracks like 'I donít have feelings for her' and
'The peple got me'. In other tracks like 'Suede denim secret police
theme' and 'Deliverance' the albums turns more harsh with distorted
break beats in the best Alec Empire-style. Being old-school rather
than innovative in its musical expression, 'Monochrome' will first of
all appeal to listeners of EBM-oriented Industrial and earlier
electronica from legendary English labels such as Rephlex, Skam and
Warp Records. (NMP)
Address: www.mindwerk.dk

MORCEAUX_DE_MACHINES - LIBERUM ARBITRIUM (CD by No Type)
Swathed in the closest I have yet seen to a Savage Pencil-esque
liquefying demon sleeve--a truly fitting representation in pen and
ink of this Canadian duo's music- -Morceaux_De_Machines' debut CD is
an insanely free journey into the possibilities of live laptop
performance. Aime Dontigny and Erick Dorion's improvisations are
nothing less than startling in a context where the debate often
centres mundanely around the merits or otherwise of watching
individuals perform the digital equivalent of tape-based works.
There is dripping sweat in this music; there is a refreshing ferocity
and brutal dynamism in abundance. It seems even at times that the
ghost of Coltrane's 1966/67 interstellar live work pervades the
proceedings. The resulting brew is a primordial mix of cut-ups,
lifts, uncategorisable loops, acrid and acidic soundscaping and more,
all the components reaching half-life at similar points in the fray.
Like the sound of the multitude of layers being stripped internally
from the walls of the atom, this is pure jazz fission. The
penultimate track on Liberum Arbitrium is entitled 'Rothko' and the
choice is apt, even as a generalised pointer to the sonic landscape
of this disc: oversized slabs of dense, textural colour juxtaposed in
an end-to-end fashion, exaggerated, confrontational, surprising - all
essential qualities of a difficult but completely mesmerising sonic
soup. (BL)
Address: www.notype.com

OEUF KORRECKT - PODWEEK (CD by No Type)
Label-owner David Turgeon makes reference to this compiling release
as an 'overview' of the musical career of Frederick Blouin between
1995 and the present day, and, boy, is this a seven year itch that
begs to be scratched. Oeuf Korreckt's music demonstrates for me one
of the vital facets of this type of electronic composing, one that
brings me back to it again and again over long periods of time: the
ability to engage an unstoppable grin and send the proverbial shiver
dancing up and down the spine at that moment when two fantastically
simple melodic lines entangle themselves in just the right fashion,
creating something which is so much greater and more joyous than the
individual components themselves. 'Before Bedtime', with its
ecstatic sequencing, is only one example of this phenomenon here and
one which could justify itself at twice the length: a beautiful piece
of frustratingly simple yet haunting and timeless electronica.
Throughout Podweek, layers and layers of harmonic sheets of
analog-sounding electronics build and fall in drawn-out simulacra of
the peaks and troughs of the very sound waves that go to make up this
music. There is a great variety over the space of these 15 tracks
and the single disappointment for me was the beat-dominated hardcore
of 'King of the Elephants' which outstays its welcome at a gruelling
8 minutes. (Perhaps tellingly, this is the oldest by far of the
pieces on the disc.) What is conjured up elsewhere, however, is a
backdrop not of laptop screenshine and over-intellectualisations of
sound-as-art but of hulking printed circuit boards, strobe lighting
and gleaming solder. Anyone who has ever relished the more
considered and adventurous residents of, say, the Warp stable,
especially Black Dog in its various guises and early Autechre, will
find a wealth of wonder to enjoy on Podweek. (BL)
Address: www.notype.com

FIBO TRESPO (CDR by Absurd)
The CDR format more and more serves as a memory retriever. Works that
were released ages ago on hissy cassettes are now re-issued as a
cleaned up CDR, often with bonus tracks. Fibo Trespo is one of those
bands re-issued. Fibo Trespo are Sindre Bjerga and Kjetil D.
Brandsdal (known from his Corpus Hermeticum CD and LP for Ecstatic
Peace) and that's about all I know about this. Their cassette (maybe
self-released) from 1996 has four lengthy pieces of droning organs,
lo-fi percussion and likewise lo-fi samples. I think Sindre is
responsible for all the percussive work (since all of the pieces
emphasize the rhythmical aspect) and Kjetil for all the weird sounds
and loops. All brought to you in more lo-fi manners. The fifth track
is a bonus piece to the tape release and comes from a split 7", also
from 1996 and by the sound of it recorded at the same session. (FdW)
Address: <absurd@otenet.gr>

PXP - WHILE(P){PRINT} (CD by Wavetrap)
I believe the PXP banner is just another banner from the ever cryptic
Farmers Manual, but you can never be sure, certainly not when press
messages are as cryptic as the one that this is. Although this CD
starts out with some laptop noise doodlings, it by no means stays
like that. As soon as track two kicks in (in the world inhabited by
the microsounders with maximum output these things obviously come
without a title), the rhythmical elements is brought in. Despite all
the digital processing going on in the music contained here, I
couldn't get it out of my head that these boy/girl (plural if need
be) are secretely admireres of old school industrial sound, which is
cleverly combined with some old school techno. So despite all the
newness of the way it was made, it still (?) sounds old. I have been
wondering whether that is good or a bad thing. Because: I do like the
music herein, but in terms of innovative use of sound, I didn't think
I heard much news. (FdW)
Address: www.mdos.at

VANCE ORCHESTRA - THE E EMISSION (CDR by EE Tapes)
Vance Orchestra are made one of The Netherlands' best kept secrets.
They have kicking around since a great number of years ( before the
Vance Orchestra under different names) and use all sorts of
electronica and vinyl to play their music. From vinyl they lift a few
sound sources, looped them, and fed them through a simple set of
delays and analogue synths. The way it's described here makes it
sound very simple, and maybe it is. But through the many layers each
track is, they can shift from a lot of signals and things keep
popping in and out of the mix. The multi-multi layered sound is
probably very full of sound and in general comes across as a very
ambient one. Despite the title, The E Emission could be regarded as
Ectasy (the drug from ambient house), but is probably just the
mission to EE Tapes, the sound of the Vance Orchestra is much more
ambient industrial then related to techno music. But all the harsher
overtones have been removed, and a nice tapestry remains. Chill out
music for the underground. (FdW)
Address: <eetapes@hotmail.com>

O+A - BOX 30/70 (CD by Tourette)
O+A = (Bruce) Odland and (Sam) Auinger, of which I only know the last
for his work as Berliner Theory. With Bruce he is responsible for
'Box 30/70', a green container like box which was placed in six
different European cities (plus a test in Los Angeles), and which as
an installation would pick up sounds from the environment and which
are heard back, totally transformed, inside the container.
Occassionally one hears the street sounds (cars and trams passing),
but most of the time they are hard to be recognized. Thick drones
make up much the sound, except for a piece like 'Landscape 1' when
the material is played through a super collider patch and sounds
surprisingly rhythmical and glitchy. The material is cut with also
some of the raw material, which makes this even more into a
soundjourney. Although the places are known - Rotterdam, Berlin,
Witten, Dusseldorf, Dresden and Vienna) it's hard to tell the
difference between the cities by just hearing them. The specific
characteristics of the city is lost, or maybe interchangeable. But
that's a minor complaint, I think. Going from and to all the places
and transformations, make indeed a nice trip. (FdW)
Address: www.netzradio.de/box3070

FREEBASS - 22
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED 115
(Both 7" by Edition...)
Freebass is one Tony Gordon, who recorded a bass guitar to
multi-track, but in such a way that it could have been any sound
really. There is an ongoing crackle, not unlike raindrops falling on
a wooden roof, but treated. There is only this on one side on the
record, the other one is blank. So this is somewhat of an enigmatic
record really, it is basically the sound and nothing else. Difficult
to review, because the sound is not overly interesting as such. And
besides that there is nothing much left.
Untitled 115 by Lopez is a very low rumble sitting between the
crackles of the vinyl. It consists of two parts, divided over the two
sides of the single. Probably this is the lowest one can go on vinyl
and it makes one wonder if the crackles are an intended part of the
piece or not. And then: a vinyl scratch, at the end of side A. So the
crackles are intended indeed. Or is this a wrong pressing? (MR)
Adress: fenton@stonehenge.ohr.gatech.edu

THE VACUUM BOYS - SONGS FROM THE SEA OF LOVE (CD by Fire Inc.)
The Vacuum Boys are on their way to a new adventure and this is part
one of it. Their Rock 'n Roll Detective Agency will unravel the
mysteries of the Haunted Spanish Galleon without any doubt, I am
sure. So yes, the cover and booklet are hilarious and very well put
together. Heimir Bjrglfsson, Guy Amitai, Gert-Jan Prins and Dan
Armstrong have been touring extensively last year and this CD is the
edited result thereof. It takes a while for the record to get into
the groove, but then it rocks. The flirtation with rock 'n roll is
not just a cover gimmick, it extends to the music as well. Samples of
guitars and voices build up something akin to a rock song. But the
Vacuum Boys wouldn't be the Vacuum Boys if they didn't suck the roll
out of the rock, so that we are dealing with electronic music after
all. This play with a known format basically runs through the whole
record and is very well done indeed. The Boys avoid obvious traps and
establish themselves as the embodiment of the new laptop generation
(with a lot of excellent choices). Deftly they manoeuver through
seemingly opposite musical languages and make port in a new world. An
excellent release. (MR)
Adress: www.fire-inc.demon.nl

BEEQUEEN - OWNLINESS (CD by Infraction Records)
The ways of Beequeen are not always predictable. This new release
seems to open up a new field of exploration for the Dutch duo. Having
concerned themselves with ambient music before, this CD goes in a
more popy direction. It would go to far to say that these are songs,
but one might actually expect them on a next release. Back to this
one: instruments and sampled instruments are the core of the
presented tracks. Gentle melodies are combined with field recordings
to create a deamy atmosphere, that runs through the whole album.
There is still this typical Beequeen feeling though: no hurry to get
anywhere, simply enjoying the moment for what it is. This sounds
easier than the record actually is. The tracks are built very well
and the production is outstanding; a lot of care and attention has
been put into it. So don't be surprised if you feel your feet moving
every now and then......(MR)
Address: http://www.riouxs.com

BIG CITY ORCHESTRA - SCARAB (CDR by EE Tapes)
Big City Orchestra is one of those long standing obscurities - still
dabbling with cassettes and small scale CDR releases, along with an
occassional CD release. Here is one of those limited CDR releases, in
an edition of 120 copies. Kinda hard to tell what the thematic
approach is, other then the life of the animal mentioned in the
title. Big City Orchestra here mostly limit themselves to using lo-fi
drone music. It might very be possible that events happen in this
music, but it's all burned down to a point of standstill. More like
the aforementioned Vance Orchestra, this is true ambient industrial
of the 80s, except that Big City Orchestra has updated their sound to
using laptops and computer editing without losing any of it's
original intensity. (FdW)
Address: <eetapes@hotmail.com>

TWINE - RECORDER (CD by Bip Hop)
Maybe as a group Twine doesn't really exist. Chad Mossholder lives in
Boulder, Colorado and Greg Malcolm in Cleveland, Ohio, not a distance
to go on bike and record some jams together. Yet their collaborative
efforts (released so far on Hefty and Komplott) sound very coherent.
On their new CD they go for the lengthy pieces and sound like a
further development from their previous record on Komplott. It seems
as if guitars and drones make up a larger part in their music and the
crazy fucked up beats have been removed, or maybe slowed down, or
eased out. The rhythmical part here is much more dubby in approach,
slowly building up, fed through echo and bouncing back and forth.
Twine has developped and has gone down to a more experimental line of
music and to a point where it is better and better. Smaller sounds,
but played in a big way, an almost live setting as it sounds. Going
live-wise through their bunch of plug ins, things develop here as in
a live situation. So far their best work, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: www.bip-hop.com

MASSACCESI - I NEVER FALL APART BECAUSE I NEVER FALL TOGETHER (CD by Phthalo)
Chaos is ok! That must be what Massaccesi thinks. For instance: he
lists 13 tracks but puts 31 on the CD, which is really an EP, he
says, but which is called 'full' length somewhere else. On the inside
of his booklet he complains about the current situation of people
making music, and how boring it is to watch a someone watching a
laptop, but he uses a powerbook too, plus some other things. To label
this entire CD as plunderphonics is probably not the right thing to
do, but I am sure Massaccesi lifted loads of sounds from other
people's records but in his crazy techno punk version it's hard to
recognize anything. And that's of course the whole plan from people
who sample the hell out of what is already around. Massaccesi is a
boy with great speed, everything happens in great speed. Things move
in and out quickly and tracks stay at a short length. If
anarcho-trash-techno-punk is your alley (and labels like Phthalo and
Tigerbeat your guiding men in this), then you'll find this of
interest. (FdW)
Address: www.massaccesi.com

JONATHAN HUGHES - TRILLIUM (CD by The Foundry)
Jonathan Hughes hails from Buffalo, NY and has been doing synthesizer
music since the early 80s when he got a synth as a teenager. He also
plays bass in a world music group Lotusflower. But no worldy things
on his CD for The Foundry. This is his first solo CD, at least under
his own name. The ones before were under the Subspace monniker (and
unheard by me). All the music here has a 3/4 time signature, which is
basically the measure of a waltz or polka. However Hughes does some
interesting work. The rhythm parts give the pieces a distinct push, a
nice drive. Rhythms, since this is not just a work of heavily
floating synths; they are there (I hasten to say: of course, it's The
Foundry in combination with Hypnos releasing this), but rhythms play
an important role. Obviously an album like this has those deep
washes, but Hughes plays also around with more harsher sounds,
especially in the first track, which makes this distinctively remote
from anything new agey. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.foundrysite.com

HYPO - KARAOKE A CAPELLA (CD by Active Suspension)
After a LP for Spymania and a 12" for Active Suspension (for the
latter see Vital Weekly 309), Hypo retruns with another full length
album for Active Suspension. This album is very much like a
collaborative album, as Hypo (short for Anthony Keyeux) works
together with a bunch of labelmates and friends, such as O. Lamm,
Sonia Cordier, Karelgott, Sawako, Reiko Underwater etc. Sometimes
tracks are remixes by those others, but funny enough it's not a break
in styles. Hypo's blender like style mixes up techno, beats, new
wave, electro, noise - you name it from the last twenty years in
music - and serves a tastefull cocktail of his own taste. Short
pieces (usually two to three minutes) in which he quickly sketches a
few ideas, which are not sketchy but which shows the whole drawing in
a few lines. And then he moves to the next one. I think Hypo leaps
forward from his previous 'Jingles & Singles' and has an even more
future pop record that is wonderfully coherent. (FdW)
Address: www.activesuspension.org

TETINE VS SOPHI CALLE - SAMBA DE MONALISA (CD by Sulphur Records)
This album is the fruit of a collaboration between Sophie Calle (a
French artist, actress, director and writer) with Tetine, two
Brazillian musicians. There is spoken word in both French and
English, but I'll be honest: I didn't get a word of it. Not because I
wasn't paying any attention, but maybe because the whole atmosphere
is a relaxed nature and the spoken pieces just add to the atmosphere.
In fact I was reminded, music and word, of early 80s Crepuscule
records. A lazy early summer feel surrounds this and on a humid warm
day today like today, it even adds to the atmosphere. The music by
Tettine is laidback, maybe even lounge like, sounding also 80s, but
maybe put together with the modern day technqiues. In all it's
relative relaxing softness a strong album. (FdW)
Address: www.sulphurrecords.co.uk

KATIE O'LOONEY - ROUNDTRIP (CD by Morninglorie)
I don't know much about Katie O'Looney... her CD was recorded in
France and mastered by Kato Hideki in Brooklyn. O'Looney's work
hoovers around in low tempo rhythms, which are kinda mechanical ethno
rhythms with melodies played on keyboards. Kinda ethno ambient in
away of a lesser disturbing kind. Wallpaper music, which is executed
reasonably ok. There isn't a single original sound or idea captured
here, but as an aural background thing to read a book it's harmless
and fine. Nuf said. (FdW)
Address: <loons@ctanet.fr>

MATT SCHOEMAKER - WARUNG ELUSION (CD by Trente Oiseaux)
It's not so often that we review the CDs released by Bernard
Gunther's label Trente Oiseaux, which is a pity. This is Matt
Schoemaker's second CD for Trente Oiseaux, and maybe Schoemaker's
second CD altogether. I think Matt is a collectioneur of sounds,
recorded sounds from our daily life. In the three lengthy pieces he
presents these environmental recordings in one long steady flow of
sound, sometimes soft, sometimes loud, but everything is always
present. I was reminded of some MNortham's sound work, with it's
higher pitches, somewhat metallic sounds and darker, low end rumbles
underneath. It seems to me that Schoemaker places great care of
detail, shifting small elements and elegant sound processing over his
palette of sounds. Abstract but paiting at the same time a big city
in which a lot of things are happening. Moving music movie music.
(FdW)
Address: www.trenteoseaux.com

YOKO SATO - SEARCHING FOR MY RECORDING ENGINEER (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
Four lenghty improvisations recorded by one Yoko Sato in Morioka,
Japan on October 25th, 2001. They are simply called 'Guitar
Improvisation 1, 2 and 3' and one is 'Guitar And Voice
Improvisation'. Yoko Sato tortures rather then plays his guitar. I
imagine a man sitting with his guitar, his effects pedals and a small
amplifier and produces this crazy amount of noise. And all this time
he is doing what the title says... The recording isn't actually that
bad... But as an overall thing, noise improvisation, I found it not
of real interest. It has it's nice moments, but it kinda drags forth
and doesn't hold ones attention throughout. (FdW)
Address: www.sinkhole.net/pehome

THE DRAWING ROOM - EVOLVING SEQUENCE NO.1 (CDR by Krkrkrk)
The Drawing Room is David Khan solo, known from his various works
with various people which are mostly released on his Krkrkrk label.
Here he uses extensive sampling of sound sources, such as dripping
water and bowed acoustic guitar (thanks to mate Peter Wright). The
Drawing Room plays joyfully with the ambient idiom, and especially
that of the more darker nature (so maybe less joyfully). Also there
are hints of their improv background, but the heavy use of reverb
makes this is a more blurred release. Not a bad thing if it serves
the prupose, and I guess it does. Swirling layers of sound, bouncing
back and forth through sound effects. Everything is at a level of
presence, nothing is hidden in top notch laptop inaudibility. Music
that sounds like a floating tank. Perfect for isolation. (FdW)
Address: 227 Worchester Street - Christchurch - New Zealand

 

correction: the correct URL for Pure (see last week's issue) is
http://pure.test.at