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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 438
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week 36
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DEAN ROBERTS - AND THE BLACK MOTHS PLAY THE GRAND CINEMA (CD by Staubgold)
GERT JAN BLOM - LIEDJES VAN ORDELIJKE ELLENDE (CD by Basta)
JOHN WIESE - MAGICAL CRYSTAL BLAH (CD by Helicopter)
JOHN WIESE & DANIEL MENCHE - BEHOLD THE SCATHING LIGHT (CD by Helicopter)
UNITED STATES OF BELT - WELCOME TO PANCAKE ALLEY (CD by Champ Records)
[A]PENDICS SHUFFLE - SMOOTH HAIR (CD by Proptronix)
ANDREW LILES - MY LONG ACCUMULATING DISCONTENT (CD by Nextera)
OÖPHOI - MARE TRANQUILLITATIS (CD by Nextera)
HORSE NOODLES-SELF-TITLED (CD by Lunaticworks)
THA FRUITBAT-SELF-TITLED (CD by Lunaticworks)
VA - POETRY AND CHAOS (CDR by Chmafu nocords)
LUCA SIGURTA - LA VERA MACCHINA D'ARGENTO (CDR by Afe Records/S'Agita)
STERN & GARCIA & GUERRA - HEY YA (3"CDR by Absurd)
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - DR. KANGAROO GOES CLASSICAL (CDR by Deserted Factory)
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - 8 BIT LUST (3"CDR by Retinascan)
ELOINE - SHORT COMMUNITY (CDR by Digitalis Industries)
EDWARD RUCHALSKI - DARK NIGHT (CDR by Digitalis Industries)
METAL TECH - SOUNDS THROUGH FISHING LINES (3"CDR by Digitalis Industries)
RECON - WHITE LABEL DECONSTRUCTION MIX (3"CDR by Highpoint Lowlife)
BONDAGE HARSH ELECTRONICS COMPILATION (CDR compilation by Suizid)

 

 

 

 

DEAN ROBERTS - AND THE BLACK MOTHS PLAY THE GRAND CINEMA (CD by Staubgold)
As many of you are no doubt aware Mille Plateaux is no more, and thus many of the old releases are not available anymore, which in many cases of the mother Mille Plateaux label is no big deal, but in the case of Ritornell is a pity. On that sister label some truely nice CDs were released, such as the two excellent album by Stephan Mathieu or Asmus Tietchens fresh approach to his studio techniques. Back in the days when Dean Roberts released his 'And The Black Moths Play The Grand Cinema', he was a household name. Before that he had some albums on Mille Plateaux, but his Ritornell album was a true surprise. Unlike all the other albums on Ritornell (save maybe one or two), this is not an album of laptop techniques. Roberts plays guitar here, but is also responsible for the vocals, computers, processing, electronics, viola, organ and hi-hats. He is helped by Tim Barnes on drums, harmonium, Charles Curtis on cello and Matt Valetine on bass. This album combines some very unlikely sources, such as post-rock, microsound and prepared guitars - strange as this combination may seems, it works wonderfully well. A kind of singer songwriter but then in a very free form, the lyrics are not to be understood (I think), there is a minimalist drone character present here, aswell as glitchy electronica. Hearing is believing. Back then it was an odd ball in the Ritornell catalogue, and maybe it fits better the Staubgold catalogue, but either way, it hasn't aged at all. This is true genre crossing and hasn't met a contemporary yet. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

GERT JAN BLOM - LIEDJES VAN ORDELIJKE ELLENDE (CD by Basta)
"Songs of orderly misery" seems to me a correct translation of this new release by the Dutch Basta label. Same as other Basta releases this is something of a document.Most releases are more then just a recording of 'the new cd by... '. Following their own tastes the Basta-people dive up pearls from the past, which implies that old recordings are newly released  - like "Popular Electronics" (see Vital Weekly 433) with dutch electronic music from the 50s and 60s - or music is newly recorded: the Beau Hunks playing compositions of Raymond Scott. The intention is not just to make the past available again. No, they chose what they think has relevance for the present from a very personal point of view. In a way this is the case with this curious release by Gert Jan Blom as well. Blom tries to evoke the songs that he hears in the texts of an forgotten dutch writer Willem Van Iependaal (1891-1970). How did this project come into being?
Sometimes in the live of a man something has to happen in order to trigger the realisation of a dream. Waiting for the right moment in order to realize a plan, an event takes place completely out of your control that becomes the trigger. In the case of Blom this was an accident. On a night in 1992 in Amsterdam Blom fell from his bike. In the recovering period Blom decided to provide the van Diependaal texts of music. I did my best to imagine what is meant by "orderly misery", but maybe this is an example of it.
Diependaal discovered his talent for writing poetry in jail, became famous in the socialist and other left-wing circles in the 20s and 30s. The texts of van Diependaal concentrate on the life with all its problems of people in the lower regions of the dutch society.
For a dutch listener it is evident that the texts were written some time ago, but they are not outdated. For his project Blom made songs out of 9 poems. With the help of a most curious bunch of instruments - all played by himself - he creates the perfect musical environment for these poems: voice, fonofiddle, percussion, marimbula, bassharmonica, quatro, cuban tres, tenorguitar, harmonium andsinging saw. If you need a comparison, the songs have a Waits- Weil flavour. Each song has it's very own atmosphere, all fits perfectly with the texts. Very well done (DM).
Address: http://www.bastamusic.com/

JOHN WIESE - MAGICAL CRYSTAL BLAH (CD by Helicopter)
JOHN WIESE & DANIEL MENCHE - BEHOLD THE SCATHING LIGHT (CD by Helicopter)
John Wiese might, at least hopefully by now, a household name to those who love noise music of the better kind. Playing solo mostly, but also a member of Bastard Noise and releasing music on his own Helicopter label, Wiese is certainly a busy bee. The material on 'Magical Crystal Blah' was recorded on a recent tour and shows in all five tracks his interest in combining noise in the best sense of the word with the scratching and scraping of objects - contact microphones on objects, scraping of them on carpets. The sound bounces back and forth between the harsh noise elements and the disjointed elements of objects. Strong and intelligent noise going on here.
Of a totally different nature is the collaboartion that Wiese did with Daniel Menche. Via mail they exchanged soundfiles and the result is a dark twenty minute opus of processed scraping sounds. Oscillating tones of violin like scrapings that over the course of these twenty minutes grow in density. Layers are added of similar, but only slightly different sound material. Quite a break away from Wiese's solo disc, and more closely related to Daniel Menche's current releases. Noise is a thing that I heard to quite an extent in my life, but the dark sonorities of the Wiese/Menche collaboration is always well spend on me. (FdW)
Address: http://home.earthlink.net/~johnwiese

UNITED STATES OF BELT - WELCOME TO PANCAKE ALLEY (CD by Champ Records)
Sometimes one gets these CDs and they sound nice, but not a shred of information is enclosed. Usually these things are an one-off thing and disappear in the vaults of the history of music. In hindsight that was my idea of a CD 'Sparkle Night, Mojave', by artists named United States Of Belt, which I reviewed in Vital Weekly 226. Nice CD, forgot all about it. In fact when I received 'Welcome To Pancake Alley' no alarm bells went off. By a routine check of my (still private) Vital Weekly database I discovered I reviewed them before. On this new CD they still do the same thing: documenting american sounds. From rattles in the deserts, amusement parks, wind, glockenspiel, a banjo etc. There is a sort of list on the cover, but I assume if they used all these sounds, that some must be processed in some way. I have travelled just a tiny bit in the USA and certainly not every remote area but there is a nice pace about this disc which a lot of non-us people will not easily connect to America. In that sense this is also introduction to the 'other sounds' of 'another America'. A soundtrack for a roadmovie without a movie. Great soundscape. (FdW)
Address: http://www.champrecords.com

[A]PENDICS SHUFFLE - SMOOTH HAIR (CD by Proptronix)
This is most cutest label known. Its music is sweet as well as its owner (Safety Scissors). Here we have their latest cute release signed by prolific artist with many aliases. Kenneth James Gibson works under name Eight Frozen Modules and already have 2 releases on Orthlong Musork producing harsh sounds. Under The Premature Wig he is trying deep house styles and under dubLoaner and Electronic Music Composer he built up his colorful discography on labels like Planet Mu, City Slang, Tigerbeat 6, Force Tracks and SKOR. And at the end under his alias [A]pendics Shuffle he has released two well received 12"s on Orac and Narita. His new release under this alias on Proptronix is his most balanced cut so far. Various styles, influences and variations can be recognized and all that into proper recognizable Proptronix production of course. Opening 'Infected Drink Funk' is pure Proptronix bouncy funky track with vocal snips. Recognizable proptronica sound continues with first tone of next track 'Twit and a Half'. Mouse on Mars reminiscence is here. 'Wasted Space' is another funky piece with Prince style singing which confirms the funk once again. Next is Cologne techno piece 'Prefusely Mine' which except hard techno rhythm has some funky proptronix melodies, glitchy sounds and high pitched childish vocal samples. Very nice straight rhythmic piece for dancefloor spinning. 'Boobies Bounce' is also dancefloor filler. A bit glitchy and cut up, a bit with break rhythm
or even straight. 'Summertime Settlement' is around here in the rhythmic dancefloor orientation and contemporary funky melodies. 'Towheaded Tot' worthy closes the release as slow rhythmic piece with calm guitar, mellow melodies and buzzing sounds. Very funky release with various influences implemented on highly contemporary way. Its multifarious styling and many influences are mixed together into one equalized and extraordinary totality (that also function as totality very good). Every proptronix release has its concept and story, so here its about the hair. Funkyness concept and the story is also defined by funky design and styling done by Slanginternational.org. By the way vinyl version has 2 tracks less. (TD)
Address: http://www.proptronix.com

ANDREW LILES - MY LONG ACCUMULATING DISCONTENT (CD by Nextera)
For long time readers of Vital Weekly the name of Andrew Liles should be a familiar one. In the past he has released his works on his own label, but also on Infraction Records from the USA and now a new album on the Czech label Nextera. As on his recent CD's 'Aural Anagram' and 'All Closed Doors', Andrew Liles has by now a refined personal style. Processing sounds through his equipment (mainly a synth and loads of sound effects), adding 'field' recordings, which in Liles' case is mostly voices of children but also an almost neo-folk singer in 'The Captain's Apprentice', thus creating a highly surreal soundscape. As noted before the influence of Nurse With Wound is never far away here in Liles' work, but I must also note that Liles develops his style more and more and it's in these special, small refinements that he builts quite a strong CD. Maybe the strongest so far. Some of his previous works were maybe a bit too uniform, dwelling too much on one idea, but here he takes his various ideas - ambient, musique concrete, electronic and surreal hörspiel - into account, and uses for each of the seventeen tracks elements from these ideas. Although I am not sure what the underpinning theme is here, I believe (so I am told) that it has to do with the current state of England - the violence, the pub closing early so everybody drinks too much - and that is was never any different. Liles uses old english songs to make his point clear. Maybe for the non-native english man this is all hard to understand, and it is a damm fine album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nextera.cz

OÖPHOI - MARE TRANQUILLITATIS (CD by Nextera)
Nextera have released more albums by Oöphoi, a band (?) about whom I know not much. It's an Italian guy, Gianluigi Gasparetti, and he has had also on album on Mystery Sea before (see Vital Weekly 386). He plays digital and analog synths, bells, stonechimes and shakuhachi. So what I heard so far, Oöphoi plays deep ambient music, as you can expect from a title that translates as 'sea of tranquility'. Big deep washes of synth sounds float by in one majestic wave, or rather like a sea. Waves rolls by and go. The instruments bells, stonechimes and shakuhachi are hard to recognize, and are probably processed beyond recognition. This is ambient music with the big A. An album that doesn't necessarily add something to the definitions of ambient, but I believe that is not necessary either, as ambient is finished and new paths are not needed. In that sense it will appeal to those who love the works released by such labels as Hypnos and it will hard to gain new fans. But in it's genre it's a very nice album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nextera.cz

HORSE NOODLES-SELF-TITLED (CD by Lunaticworks)
THA FRUITBAT-SELF-TITLED (CD by Lunaticworks)
Just what can one expect to hear from an individual who calls himself Horse Noodles? If you say audio manifested weirdness, you are not far off the track. This self-titled disc is brimming with loopy psychedelic samples straight from the mad equestrian's stable, meshing quite fittingly with infusions of laid back dub styled beats, easy listening jazz excursions and made complete with body moving funk bass lines. An interesting combination to be sure that makes listening to this album, an entertaining and audibly eccentric horse ride that moves with a rather brisk pace through most of this appropriately spanned 51 minute CD.
Tha Fruitbat's self-titled album is a rhythmically complex drum & bass showcase that keeps your head moving and your brain configuring the minute data and beat geometry fused with lock step, synthesized bass squelch synchronicity. This is music for the future as well as for today as it represents sonically the frenetic pace of society and its assimilation of digitally transferred news and information brought on by the spread of computer, internet and global telecommunications technology. This disc is a recommended choice for drum & bass fans. (CN)
Address: http://www.lunaticworks.com

 

VA - POETRY AND CHAOS (CDR by Chmafu nocords)
Again we are in touch with Chmafu nocords, label that was presented with their releases some issue ago. Here we have their latest release. This is highly conceptual release. Maybe even not (so) musical in common sense of word musically. Of course is about sound and even music, but its rather about voice and its manipulation. What is all about? This project is consisted of several levels of developing. First Maru, the owner of Chmafu nocords asked several artists from different countries that speaks different languages to provide vocal samples. Samples should be recordings of one or several sentences of artists favorite book but strictly on their native language. So reading samples are on Italian (Guignol Dangereux), Japanese (Kazuya Ishigami), Macedonian (every kid on speed), Turkish (Erdem Helvacioglu), French (pyo.), German (maru), English (Andrew Duke, Massaccesi, Kim Cascone) and of course many others. No other sound source of any kind is allowed, just editing and processing. Second part of the project is about producing pieces using provided samples. Every artist choose samples and edit them in his own way without using any other sound source. Works are here on this release. They vary between glitchy cut up pieces from male and female voices to high and low pitched voices on different languages. About this project there were guidelines but no rules and it's a result of an attempt to live and work together in an anarchistic organized network which shows Maru's anarchistic orientation. This projects spontaneously shows not just that voice, as singing, is most powerful and beautiful instrument but also that it can be used as sound source for producing sound and music. Packaged in DVD cover and with interesting design this release presents Chmafu nocords as really serious label. The cd contains the first pieces made for this project. More pieces can be found on http://www.nocords.net/poetry/andchaoscd2.html. Also if you are interested in first step of the work, voice samples can be downloaded at http://chmafu.mur.at/voices//voices.html. And at the end, this project is still in progress, so if someone is interested in participating should contact chmafu@nocords.net. (TD)
Address: http://www.nocords.net

LUCA SIGURTA - LA VERA MACCHINA D'ARGENTO (CDR by Afe Records/S'Agita)
Italian composer Sigurta (1976) has a strong interest in field recordings and found sounds. Before he self-released a couple of CDRs and a CD-rom in collaboration with Manuele Cecconello and when playing live he uses laptop, CDs and electronica. The title of his latest CD is best translated as the 'the real silver machine' (don't know if it relates to Hawkind). There is a whole bunch of stuff listed that was used to create this release, apart from the aforementioned field recordings: guitars, percussion, objects, self-built devices and broken discs. For a reason not clear to me the volume is very soft, and apperentely one should play this very soft. I thought that the Lopezian trick was more for Lopez himself. Whatever Sigurta is using for sound devices, he throws everything in the computer and creates three lenghty pieces of musique concrete-like music with it. If you crank up the volume you will notice that his music is actual quite full, and not as empty as say Richard Chartier or Roel Meelkop, but rather a more ambient version of THU20 or Boca Raton, with whom Sigurta shares more similarities. Although I must admit I thought this was a rather a nice disc, I must at the same also admit it wasn't a very original one. Much of microsounding microscopic microsounds have been reworked in pretty much similar ways by others, and execution wise this is certainly not a bad release, but not highly original either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aferecords.com or http://www.sagitarecordings.com

STERN & GARCIA & GUERRA - HEY YA (3"CDR by Absurd)
If I understand correctely this is a trio recorded in Lisbon in 2002 of Joel Stern (feedback, microphone, electronics), Margarida Garcia (electric double bass) and Anthony Guerra (electric guitar and electronics). Just like the disc I reviewed last week with involvement of Stern and Guerra, this is another example of their capacities to improvise with literally anyone around. The way they work their way through the possibilities their sound tools have to offer, building a slow but not always steady crescendo, this is a highly scraping affair, scraping the bass, the guitar and the objects, working not really with overtones, but nevertheless a louder affair than the usual Stern/Guerra music. Strange packed with the CDR attached to a photo. (FdW)
Address: <absurd@otenet.gr>

GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - DR. KANGAROO GOES CLASSICAL (CDR by Deserted Factory)
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - 8 BIT LUST (3"CDR by Retinascan)
Music by Italy's Guignol Dangereux has been reviewed before, mainly for his many releases on Norway's Tibprod label. Here are two releases on different labels. On 'Dr. Kangaroo Goes Classical' he offers a wild lunch (bunch?) of distorted rhythmical tracks, based on classical music. Although this is only most apperent in the Mozart piece on 'Mause Art'. Quite a heavy take on music in general, as these pieces are pretty noisy and rough altogether. But in all it's shortness quite nice.
Also short and also with four tracks is '8 Bit Lust', but here pressed as 3"CDR (unlike the Deserted Factory which comes as a 5"). The tone in the four tracks is much more lighter than on the Deserted Factory. Mutated technoid rhythms form the basics of these four pieces, which are less dark and atmospheric than the other new release. Here fresh air comes in the house and this is much easier to digest music. I think I prefer this one over the 'Dr. Kangaroo Goes Classical'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.desertedfactory.com
Address: http://www.retinascan.de

ELOINE - SHORT COMMUNITY (CDR by Digitalis Industries)
EDWARD RUCHALSKI - DARK NIGHT (CDR by Digitalis Industries)
METAL TECH - SOUNDS THROUGH FISHING LINES (3"CDR by Digitalis Industries)
Three new releases by Digitalis Industries, a small US CDR label, who for the Eloine release work together with Public Eyesore label. Not a big surprise, since behind Eloine is Brian Day, the same man responsible for the Public Eyesore label. The three cuts here were recorded last july and contain some forty minutes of absolutely nice lo-fi improvisation music. In each track a specific instrument seems to be playing the main part, such as the jew harp in 'Dangling Filaments', guitar in 'Bonanza Illusion' and percussions in 'Apples On A Cutting Board' (although it uses apples on a cutting board, so I learned). All three pieces are played in a rather free manner, but it never gets anywhere near 'loud'. Eloine (a solo project) plays repeated themes on a wide variety of instruments, all in quiet and peaceful manner. Nice, contemplative music.
Edward Ruchalski may also be a bit known from his various releases for the Norwegian Humbug label. Like his previous releases, this new one deals with drone music. Motors play guitar strings and there is a wide use of sustained sounds from piano chords and processed field recordings. Nothing new like we didn't hear from Edward Ruchalski before, I must admit. Good sturdy drone related music that works best in a totally dark room, or played at night while engaged in some star watching.
Least interesting in this new bunch was a 3"CDR by Metal Tech, with some older material. It was previously released by Seagull Tapes in 2001. The eight short pieces deal with noise, collage and more noise and a bit drone-like sounds thrown in. All recorded in a rather lo-fi affair, and sounds a bit outdated if Pork Queen is still a regular spinner on your machine. This didn't do much to me, if anything at all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.digitalisindustries.com

RECON - WHITE LABEL DECONSTRUCTION MIX (3"CDR by Highpoint Lowlife)
Behind Recon is Chris Coode, who is more known for his work as Motion. As Motion he plays around with the notions of glitchy ambient, without too much rhythms, but as Recon the rhythm plays an important role. As Recon he has one album available, 'White Label' (see also Vital Weekly 415) and on this 3" CDR he presents a 'deconstruction mix' of the entire album. It seems to me that he uses the sound of the CD skipping, along with glitchy small rhythms that slowly develop into a dubby rhythm towards the end. I don't believe the entire CD is being deconstructed here, but it's a very nice intimate mix anyway. (FdW)
Address: http://www.highpointlowlife.com

BONDAGE HARSH ELECTRONICS COMPILATION (CDR compilation by Suizid)
Suizid is small cdr label from Germany that treats experimental music. This is simply another compilation that provides sound that they are interested in and that shows in which direction they will continue. Or maybe this is comp that just encircle the sound from their past. Anyhow this is another harsh electronics compilation (as name tells) this time seen by Suizid recordz. Even maybe music for bondage. Much harsh noise stuff, power electronics, pseudo rhythmic stuff, various samples implemented in mostly loud tracks. Here can be found various range of bands from Germany, Poland, France, Macedonia. that produces this quite interesting harsh tracks... very powerful and nice to listen. Nothing new and revolutionary. There were much comps from this type and sound by now, but this one is also interesting and as I said nice to listen. (TD)
Address: <psychohead@t-online.de>