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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 415
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week 12
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HERIBERT FRIEDL - TO BEAR IN REMEMBRANCE (mp3 by earlabs)
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL - NURSE (CDR by Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
STRAIGHT OUTTA MONGOLIA - THE REDUNDANCY OF SAYING SORRY (CDR by
Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
MOON - DREAM (CDR by Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
MURMANSK - END OF NAVIGATION (CDR by Humbug)
ID M THEFT ABLE - CL AMO/ANG OR/ER USE/E ETC (CDR by Humbug)
LASSE MARHAUG & PER AISLE ALAEN - IN STORE (CDR by Humbug)
AKALA - THE END OF THE BEGINNING (miniCD by Fin de Siecle Media)
NORWEGIAN NOISE ORCHESTRA - THERE'S NO REMORSE (2xCDR by Roggbif Records)
JOHANN WLIGHT - DAUSWKN (CDR by Sijis Records)
JONNY TORRANCE - THE ARCHDUKE OF THE FURRY CATS (CDR by Sijis Records)
TABA - ELECTRIC RED LIGHT (CDR self-released)
IVERSEN - TEN TIMES ME (CDR by Bedroom Brain)
STEVE BARSOTTI - SAY "TIN-TAH-PEE-MICK" (CD by Mimeograph)
ALEX KELLER & MERI VON KLEINSMID - SEARCHING FOR THE INVERSE SQUARE
(CD by Mimeograph)
BIRGIT ULHER & ERNST THOMA - SLANTS (CD by Unit Records)
RECON - WHITE LABEL (CD by Highpoint Lowlife)
VAUXHALL 44 - SUB-I (CD by Inflatabl Labl)
ROBOTEK - ROBOTEK (CD by PMG Recordings)
INDIVIDUAL - 180 BULLETS PER MAN (Cd by Ant-Zen)
GOFF/MCGEE - VERVE OF THE VOID (CDR by Haltapes)
CRANIOCLAST - CARL'S ON ACIT (10" by Auf Abwegen)
[MULTER] - SCHAUZEICHEN (10" by Auf Abwegen)
DE HONDENKOEKJESFABRIEK - TRAPHIK (CDR by De Hondenkoekjesfabriek)

 

 

 

HERIBERT FRIEDL - TO BEAR IN REMEMBRANCE (mp3 by earlabs)
The trampling of digital leaves underfoot, the sewer manhole cover is
dragged aside, revealing the echoes from the cavern below. This is
the image that comes to my audio mind when I listen to this mp3
release by Heribert Friedl. Friedl hails from Vienna, Austria and is
active in visual and sound installations. This work is definitely on
the quiet side and I had to crank it up to hear the rustling and
crackling sounds that fill these tracks. Occasionally a sound will
leap forth but for the most part this is quiet music. The track
entitled Lotic departs from the pallet of crunching sounds and feels
like sitting inside a ventilation duct as the air passes by you and
you shift your body to get comfortable (if such a thing were possible
being inside such a small space). Friedl skillfully places the
sounds within his audio space. This is a good release to play in the
background and see how it interacts with your
sonic environment. (JS)
Address: http://www.earlabs.org

BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL - NURSE (CDR by Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
STRAIGHT OUTTA MONGOLIA - THE REDUNDANCY OF SAYING SORRY (CDR by
Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
MOON - DREAM (CDR by Fencing Flatworm Recordings)
Three new releases on one of the more interesting CDR labels. Fencing
Flatworm Recordings have quite a nice catalog of underground music
and each release comes with a nice full colour cover. Birchville Cat
Motel, from New Zealand, consist mainly of Campbell Kneale (who plays
Baby Monitor, Wood Chipper, Organ, Music Box and Beats) and Ben
Spiers on Piano Accordian. This one track release opens with a
pulsating beat, which is unlike the Motels... but after this short
intro the track 'Nurse' comes in the usual realms of Birchville Cat
Motel: a drone related sound that consists of scraping metallic
sounds that over the course of the next half hour thickens until a
swirling mass of sound arises. Working nicely in the field of
overtones, this is drone music of a somewhat more lo-fi approach that
the people of that lovely island down under own the trademark of.
Straight Outta Mongolia is mainly a vocal act (and have previous
releases on labels such as Mothmoth before) who gets his beats and
synths from Random Number on five tracks and one by Fluxorgy here.
It's not something I can enjoy very much, I must admit. Crude and raw
popmusic, or the residue thereof. Maybe I'm just getting a boring old
guy. I can imagine that in a live concert this much nicer.
Also Moon could be known to you, as they have releases before on
their own Burning Emptiness label and which were reviewed before in
Vital Weekly. Here they return with a full length album of Moon
playing guitars through hard and software. Overall they use a fuzzy,
almost shoegazing guitar sound with e-bows and synths playing a
rather cosmic tone. Some of these tracks are a little too
masturbatory and take way too much time, like 'One, Two, Three:
Venus", which plays on the psychedelic effects but loose it in the
end. However on some of the shorter pieces Moon plays some fine,
dreamy and atmospheric tune. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fencingflatworm.cjb.net

MURMANSK - END OF NAVIGATION (CDR by Humbug)
ID M THEFT ABLE - CL AMO/ANG OR/ER USE/E ETC (CDR by Humbug)
LASSE MARHAUG & PER AISLE ALAEN - IN STORE (CDR by Humbug)
Another active force in the world of CDR is the Norwegian Humbug
label. Their first new release is by Murmansk, a group from Dublin.
The members first met a workshop by AMM percussionist Eddie Prevost
in 2001. They also run a label Deserted Village. There are six
members in Murmansk who play a wide variety of analogue and digital
instruments. As you can imagine with such an inspiring background as
with Eddie Prevost, this the world of total free improv, but the AMM
influence of silent music starts only in the fourth piece 'Still In
Search'. In the other three tracks the volume is more upfront, and we
can detect mostly percussive sounds aswell as some stringed sounds.
Quite atmospheric stuff, especially in that aforementioned 'Still in
Search' piece.
ID M Theft Able have a very nice and artsy website, but one that
isn't necessarily very informative, so I still don't know much about
them. It seems to be a duo. In the title piece, which is about 50
minutes long, they play an highly amplified form of musique concrete.
Sounds scraping and contact microphones being rubbed against the
carpet, balloons, tea cups and what else. Maybe, just maybe a bit
long at fifty minutes, but this is quite a nice version of Cage's
'Catridge Music'. Unfortunally the other three tracks, of which two
last another ten minutes each, are less interesting: here turntables
are used and are in general quite noisy. Just that first track, a bit
trimmed, would have been a very fine release.
The final new release surprised me most. I expected some harsh noise
from Mr. Marhaug who teams up here with Per Aisle Alaen, but instead
it's an improvised music affair. The other surprising thing about
this release was the fact that it's a split channel release, Lasse on
the right speaker and Per on the right speaker. A funny (though not
completely new thing of course) thing, certainly when it comes to a
live recording (this was recorded in a record store in 1999). The two
boys improvise their way through a two guitar set which is not very
noisy but rather pleasent improvised music. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com.humbug.htm

AKALA - THE END OF THE BEGINNING (miniCD by Fin de Siecle Media)
A multi-media artist from Lithunia, who has released before on
RRRecords (as Naj) and delivered some music for a dance performance
'Extremum Mobile'. Akala uses synths, loops and radio sounds and on
this mini CD (although lasting thirty minutes) he offers three highly
dense and noisy tracks. A rather lo-fi affair here of dense clouds of
noise, which operate, I think, in a highly psychedelic affair. Things
seem to be happening on all levels of the work. Quite a nice, yet not
stunning new release. Alienated music for alienated people, a
soundtrack for a sci-fi movie of a world to come; and it's not a
pleasent world to live in. (FdW)
Address: http://www.findesieclemedia.com

NORWEGIAN NOISE ORCHESTRA - THERE'S NO REMORSE (2xCDR by Roggbif Records)
The orchestra strikes again. Fifteen musicians from the Norwegian
noise scene take the stage in april 2003 and strike full force again.
And Lasse Marhaug is not even a member. Many of the names don't mean
much to me, but I did recognize the names of Ole Herman Melby (of Ohm
Records fame), Sindre Andersen and Andre Borgen. The fifteen players
have entered the stage and there is no central sound system,
everybody has their own amp and everybody had to be armed with
acoustic objects. With regards to that, the acoustic side obviously
disappears in the mayhem of sound effects that everybody puts on
here. Spread out of two discs (for reasons unknown: it could have
fitted on one disc) this is one long steady stream (steam?) of noise,
along side the lines of Merzgod, but nevertheless it's an enjoyable
ride. Ultimately I see the Norwegian Noise Orchestra to be the noisy
counterpart of Mimeo. (FdW)
Address: http://www.home.no/roggbif/

JOHANN WLIGHT - DAUSWKN (CDR by Sijis Records)
JONNY TORRANCE - THE ARCHDUKE OF THE FURRY CATS (CDR by Sijis Records)
Music by Johann Wlight was reviewed before (Vital Weekly 388), but he
is something of an enigma - nothing is known about him. He works
inside the world of field recordings and again, like on his Evelyn
Records release, he offers one piece of thirty minutes. Drones lurk
nicely in the background and on top we find the silent rumbling of
objects, or maybe people moving in streets doing their shopping. As
the piece develops, things grow thicker and denser. Not unlike some
of the finer Lopez releases, except that Johann's music is more
audible.
Also of Jonny Torrance, I never heard before. Of him no information
is available. His release contains four tracks. 'Yard Of Ale' takes
about half the release and is a minimal techno stomper with
melancholic synth lines kept in the background. In 'Gwyneth Paltrow
Butt Naked (Now That's What I Call Coldplay)' he rips together jazzy
basslines in a slightly off-beat manner. 'Coney Island Dogbiscuit'
again is a more minimal techno and the ep closes with 'Bucket Of
Blood', which is a sinister closing. For those who love minimal
techno along the lines of Basic Channel, Kompakt or Audio.NL this is
certainly worth investigating. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sijis.com

TABA - ELECTRIC RED LIGHT (CDR self-released)
A man armed with a sampler and a microphone, that, in a nutshell, is
Taba from Italy. He sampled rock music along with techno riffs and
adds his own vocal bits. Five short energetic songs are to be found
here, with rocky guitar riffs. Funny and witty, short and to the
point. (FdW)
Address: http://stage.vitaminic.com.pan_pipes

IVERSEN - TEN TIMES ME (CDR by Bedroom Brain)
Jan M. Iversen is a busy bee. Besides running his Tib Prod label, he
is also a most active musician. On the for me unknown label Bedroom
Brain he releases a CDR with ten tracks which don't seem to have any
sort of thematic approach - not that it's important, but in the past
some of the Iversen releases seem to have that. Like so many of his
releases, Iversen is again turned to the screen of his computer.
Whatever he puts in there, I don't know. Maybe field recordings, or
maybe instruments, but in these ten cases he transforms the sounds in
his usual microsounding way. Sometimes noisy (although this time kept
to a minimum it seems to me) and most of the time hoovering on the
edges of inaudibility. Carefully constructed hiss and white noise,
flooded by a bunch of plug ins. Another fine release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bedroombrain.com

STEVE BARSOTTI - SAY "TIN-TAH-PEE-MICK" (CD by Mimeograph)
ALEX KELLER & MERI VON KLEINSMID - SEARCHING FOR THE INVERSE SQUARE
(CD by Mimeograph)
Another new label here, from Seattle and they present, at least for
me, two known names and new one. The label seems to be some sort of
collective of people working together in all sorts of relations and
with all sorts of music. The new one is one Steve Barsotti who is a
sound artist and educator out of Seattle. He works on his release
with field recordings and pre-recorded sounds of objects, such as a
can opener, an old squeaking chair and a radiator. Two pieces here
are studio pieces and two are live pieces. The studio pieces are
collages of wild sound sources hacked together with field recordings,
but which do not always seem to make their point. I had the idea that
the composer wanted to deliver fixed length pieces and therefore
didn't use an all to critical ear to the material. The two live
pieces are more interesting. 'hey' was performed at a festival called
The Threshold Of Hearing and uses very minimal sound of hiss being
equalized very subtle. At a counter festival, The Threshold Of Pain,
the complete opposite was done, but here loud, short sound blocks are
used. If your installation is still way up, be prepared for some
shocks. With two good and two mildly interesting pieces, this is
received with mixed feelings.
Music from Meri von Kleinsmid and Alex Keller have been reviewed
before (343 and 292 resp.) but those were solo projects. Here the two
offer a CD of four concerts they recorded together, in which they
loosely improvise with toys, radios and bent-circuits. Important
however is that they are moving through the space in which they
perform. The four recordings here are all done using a microphone
(but I'm sure can never capture the event if you didn't witness
them). In the opening piece 'Phar Lap' they move about using a
modified Texas Instruments 'speak 'n math' and five toy parrots
recording it while moving through the space. This is I think the best
piece of the CD and would have loved to seen this live (maybe a DVD
in the future). The other three tracks are twice as long as 'Phar
Lap' and unfortunally can't capture my attention through out. The
distorted radio waves and amplified toys take a lot of time and do
not necessarily go anywhere. Here the lack of visuals is most sad,
because it would have made more sense. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mimeograph.net

BIRGIT ULHER & ERNST THOMA - SLANTS (CD by Unit Records)
Trumpet player Birgit Ulher was reviewed before in Vital Weekly
(379), but those were kinda traditional improvised music releases.
Here she teams up with one Ernst Thoma, who gets credit for 'live
electronics and the blue wheel instant composing machine'. Six
moderate length and one very long piece make up this release which is
best described as a trumpet in a love - hate relationship with the
computer. Ulher's playing is far from conventional and sometimes it's
hard to tell the difference between trumpet and computer generated
sounds. But I must say I most impressed by Thoma's playing here: a
wide variety of sounds, from clean computer sounds of the good ol'
Max/msp towards ambient fields at the end of 'Skyblue' - he seems to
covers it all and creates a warm, cosy bed for the trumpet to sleep
and every once in a while to wake her in a crude way. Good improvised
music along the lines of work released normally by labels as Grob and
Erstwhile. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unitrecords.com

RECON - WHITE LABEL (CD by Highpoint Lowlife)
Chris Coode might be known, in some instances as the man behind
Motion. Maybe you heard his music on his split 12" with Matmos or his
CD releases on 12K. Now he takes us by surprise with a new project, I
guess a side project, called Recon. Under this monniker he goes into
a new territory, although traces of his work as Motion can be found
in there. The ambient grainyness of Motion is set here against a
bunch of bit-rotten techno rhythms. 'Motorhome' and 'Fold' are the
few Motion like tracks, but the other ten take the Motion sound into
new worlds. A world that is inhabited by strange analogue machines
that seem to pop, humm in an otherworld rhythm. Unlike other releases
on Highpoint Lowlife this is not dance music for alternative dance
spaces, but rather dance music for private parties - lounge music for
the underground. A pleasent ride along roads with sparse light. In
the far end there are factories with likewise sparse lights. Smoke
leaves the chimney against a star-lite night. (FdW)
Address: http://www.highpointlowlife.com

VAUXHALL 44 - SUB-I (CD by Inflatabl Labl)
The fourth release from Inflatabl Labl, what a pleasure to my ears. I
really like what Matt Haines aka The Rip Off Artist is releasing on
his label with a great name. Vauxhall 44 is Yuki Kiba from Tokyo,
before he started making computer music he played experimental rock,
jazz, reggae etc. in some go-nowhere garage bands, and Sub-I is his
first full-length album since he started making computer music. So,
what do we find on this album? Well, lots of four-floor minimalistics
in a playful macro outfit. Something that might have been released by
Force Inc for example. Yes, this music is as serious as Force Inc's
microbeats. But there are also some more downbeat tracks, even jazzy.
Most of this music is very listening-friendly, but some tracks are
DJ-friendly too, specially for DJs who play music from Geez'n'Gosh,
The Rip Off Artist, Safety Scissors, Sutekh, Books On Tape, Tomas
Jirku and all various kinds of clickotronix. It's great that
Inflatabl Labl are releasing music like this from unknown and new
artists from different parts of the world. This music is simply fine,
done with a feel and ear for contemporary music and it's good for
listening. (BR)
Address: http://www.inflatabl.com

ROBOTEK - ROBOTEK (CD by PMG Recordings)
Are you interested to find out about some macedonian artists who make
good music? In this case both the artist and the label are from
Skopje, Macedonia. Official releases with exceptionaly good music
from macedonian artists are really rare, specially rare are those
kind of releases, like this one, which can be compared with the
worldwide production of good quality music. Robotek is Goran
Atanasovski and he's been around with his music for a while. This is
his first self-titled album and it's the 5th release on PMG
Recordings from March 2004. PMG are a collective of macedonian
(tech-house) DJs, producers, filmmakers etc... There are 12 audio
tracks on this album and one video. The music is, generally, electro
(and Kraftwerk) influenced teky-house of the finest kind, very well
balanced between dancing (I guess djs would prefer to have it on
vinyl) and listening, specially recommended to fans of labels like
BPitch Control, Suction, Thinner... Good dancey mainstream music for
listening. (BR)
Address: <pmgbooking@yahoo.com>

INDIVIDUAL - 180 BULLETS PER MAN (Cd by Ant-Zen)
Last year's tenth anniversary compilation "Daruma" from the Ant-Zen
label presented the musically wide range of artists that over the
years has been signed on this essential label within harsh
electronics. One of the names that especially caught my attention on
this great compilation was the debut-project Individual who appeared
with the short but intense track titled "180 bullets per man".
Apparently this track turned out to be an outtake from a new
full-length album carrying the same title. Individual is a project by
Belgian artist Marc Medea who is best known as one half of the
Belgian project Silk Saw. What characterizes the style of Individual
is the strange world of hyperspeed beat-patterns not sounding too far
away from the earliest Suicide-albums. Otherwise the overall rhythmic
texture on the album has been based on multiple layers of rhythmic
patterns. As said, first of all ultra-fast beat-pulses spreading like
bullets of a machine gun, but once in a while slower rhythms sounding
like the heart pulse of a human body penetrate the soundscapes. That
multi-layered rhythmic cocktail gives a great but far from pleasant
trance-inducing effect. The atmosphere is definitely more
fascinatingly strange and unpleasant than beautiful. Side by side to
the complex beat textures Marc Medea works a lot with ambient
expressions first of built on noise drones that mostly remains subtle
but once in a while turns out like outbursts of more aggressive
noise. The excellent mixture between subtle hyperspeed rhythms and
rumbling noise drones makes "180 bullets per man" a great and quite
unique sound experience...Like a subliminal war against your aural
senses! Excellent stuff! (NMP)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

GOFF/MCGEE - VERVE OF THE VOID (CDR by Haltapes)
More Charles Rice Goff III and here with Hal McGee moving again in a
different sort of territory. His previous releases, at least the ones
I reviewed, were of an improvised nature or popmusic, with 'Verve Of
The Void' they move in McGee's territory of cosmic music. They switch
their synthesizers on, all the sound effects they can possibly find
and start playing heavy drone like music. Not the one that lulls the
listener to sleep, but rather one that is the perfect soundtrack to
the documentary 'edges of the universe' - endless shots of stars and
of the galaxy, with a voice-over telling about possible lifeforms far
far away (and of which voice shots are heard at the end of
'Transmission'). Normally I would complain about the lenght of pieces
like this, but here I think it works well. Music like this simply
needs the extendedness to work. It works right inside the brain after
a while. You won't catch up with sleep as this music is much too
forceful for that. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://hometown.aol.com/haltapes1/index.html

CRANIOCLAST - CARL'S ON ACIT (10" by Auf Abwegen)
[MULTER] - SCHAUZEICHEN (10" by Auf Abwegen)
One of the unsung heroes of music is Cranioclast. They have been
around since god knows how long. Every once in a release pops up and
than that's it. No interviews, photos or concert. Over the years the
music has changed a little bit, structures became more open and there
is room for rhythms. On this new 10" this is no different. The a-side
has a lengthy yet minimal piece around a steady rhythm, with
additional sound effects, tape-splicings and far away mumbling voice.
The b-side is much denser. The rhythm is more electronic, pulsating.
The sounds that come with this rhythm are likewise denser and
atmospherical. There is much going on in the deeper end of this
record. It's a record that fits the Cranioclast releases so far very
well. Die hard fans won't be disappointed.
The second release by Auf Abwegen, and, like the Cranioclast one, a
'travel document of the Elgaland-Vargaland ministry of detours', is
by a three piece from Dortmund, Germany named [Multer]. They have had
releases before, on their own Genesungswerk label. Before they were
called ABGS (and had a release on the Cranioclast label). On side A
they have one long beautiful track of swirling electronics with far
away melancholical touch on keyboards. A great piece, the best I
heard by them. The b-side starts out with a rather pumping techno
beat but it's not a techno piece. The other piece on this side starts
out with multiple layers of guitars but eventually sinks back into
one guitar and effects. Nice tracks but they can't beat the first
side. But overall also a record that [Multer] can be proud of. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aufabwegen.com

DE HONDENKOEKJESFABRIEK - TRAPHIK (CDR by De Hondenkoekjesfabriek)
With some regularity we review CDR releases by De
Hondenkoekjesfabriek (the dog candy factory). This is mainly
cartoonist Mark van Elburg and a varying bunch of people. On this new
release there is also a track with De Fabriek. De
Hondenkoekjesfabriek are the new breed in Dutch noise - well, if
there ever was an old breed. This release is a twenty-four minute,
three piece suite, of noise noise and noise. Feedback scratch peep,
but actually it's nice. Nicer is the fact that they enclose one of
their comic books with their own strong style. Good to see that noise
music can be packed with something like and not some badly copied
porno/nazi images. This makes De Hondenkoekjesfabriek quite an unique
thing, not just for The Netherlands but also abroad. (FdW)
Address:
http://www.angelfire.com/stars3/fcknbstrds/de-HONDENKOEKJESFABRIEK.html