number 439
week 37





JONATHAN COLECLOUGH - DROP (7" by Klanggalerie)
ACT - XL (CD by Amanita Records)
NOR NOISE (DVD + CD by Ohm Records)
99 HOOKER - GENERICA (CD by Pax Recordings)
BRAN(...)POS - CHIRPHUIS (CD by Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack)
TUN - LE DISQUE (12" by Creaked
GOVERNMENT ALPHA/THIRDORGAN (split 7" by Dadadrumming)
by Crank Satori)





JONATHAN COLECLOUGH - DROP (7" by Klanggalerie)
From all the UK drone meisters (I never understood why they are
called 'meisters', but anyway), I think Jonathan Coleclough is one of
the best, with a most diverse catalogue of music available. In this
new CD, a split release between ICR and Siren, he offers two very
lengthy tracks that take his sound a little bit further. Whereas
until now, much of his music was multi-layered aspects of similar
sounds, here he extends his already richly layered sounds by
multiple, different layers. In "Makruna" there is an ongoing deep,
repeated bass sound, embedded in stretched out structures with, as
icing on the cake, various field recordings of water and rain.
Changes are there, but as usual with this kind of music, the
developments are slow. However, as said, Jonathan is a meister, and
he knows how to keep the listeners attention and prevents from
leaping into boredom. "Minya" is not unlike his older work, as here
too he works with multiple layers of similar sounds, but unlike his
previous work, his sounds are more upfront, more present. Sharply
mixed, with lots of attention for colour and detail. Quite a blast!
At the same time, a second 7" by Jonathan was released on Austrian's
Klanggalerie, now doubling the edition from 100 to 200. As noted
before, in Vital Weekly 249, you could wonder if it's a good idea to
release music with such extensive developments on such a short time
span as a 7". In "Pindrop" we hear the sounds of pins falling on a
metallic surface - nothing else. With a total absence of drones. In
"Seed Drop" the drones are present again, set against a backdrop of
processed sounds of seeds dropping on, perhaps, the same surface. The
a-side is very nice, but far too short, but for the limited concept
of the b-side the format of 7" is fine enough. A little treasure.
Address: http://www.icrdistribution.com/
Address: http://www.klanggalerie.com/

ACT - XL (CD by Amanita Records)
Second album by Basque project Act continues the journey into the
dark areas of collaged noise. Using rebuilt instruments, a lot of
samplers, and a huge bunch of various musical styles, the album
titled "XL" contains 18 tracks of sonic terrorism. Dominating on the
album is the acoustic based sound expression that is heavily built on
real sounds of drum kit, double bass and guitars. On quite a few
tracks Act works in the area between post-Industrial and fusion-metal
reminiscent of some mixture between Young Gods and Kong. Otherwise we
stylishly circulate in spheres ranging from free-jazz to distorted
guitar-noise on the acoustic side. On the electronic side the
listener is thrown into everything from edgy breakbeats to swirling
drones of ambient-noise. All these bits and pieces are melted into an
album that is anything but easy listening to. In fact the album needs
quite some listens to be fully rewarding. Nevertheless is it worth
the effort! (NMP)
Address: http://www.amanitarecords.com

NOR NOISE (DVD + CD by Ohm Records)
"What is Noise music?". That was the question Norwegian filmmaker Tom
Hovinbole asked twelve different noise musicians in 2001-2002. In
Norway noise music was then gaining much national and international
attraction and it seemed logical for Tom to make a documentary about
Noise music and the people who make it. We see these people sitting
behind tables, sometimes with some equipment, or on a couch, and the
camera is just focussed on them. While they talk (one at a time) we
get footage from some of their concerts. That is of course a static
approach, but it's nevertheless one that forces the viewer to have a
good listen as to what is said. In just one case, there is a break in
this routine: the interviewer asks Francisco Lopez, while sitting
behind his mixing desk in the auditorium where his concert is, what
it is that he does. I would have loved to hear more about how people
are generating their noise music, maybe through some visual
explanation. Hearing Toshimaru Nakamura explain the no input mixing
board, for the untrained it might not be easy to relate to that if
you have never been close to a mixing board. The threshold to get in
is quite nice, but it's certainly nice to see the talking heads of
people like Lasse Marhaug, Otomo Yoshihide, David Cotner, Arm, Maja
Ratkje (of Fe-mail), Lopez, Helge Sten, Kjell Runar Jenssen (Del),
Asbjorn Flo. Funniest interview is the one with Masami Akita. Mr.
Merzbow speaks, the words are subtitled, but we don't hear his voice.
When the live footage cuts in, it comes in extra loud of course.
With this DVD comes a CD compilation of all new Norwegian noise
artists, including some not seen on the DVD, which is of course a
pity if you like a track on CD and would like to know more about the
artist, or vice versa. There is some noise to be found here in the
best noise tradition such as by Jazzkammer, Domestic Purpose, Golden
Serenades and Norwegian Noise Orchestra, but also some more
contemplative moments such as by Kobi, Crazy River and Tore Honore
Boe. This makes this into a varied CD with various points of view,
all relating to the question: "What is Noise music?". It may provide
a few answers! (FdW)
Address: http://www.ohmrecords.no

99 HOOKER - GENERICA (CD by Pax Recordings)
99 Hooker is a New York multidisciplinary artist: film, saxophone and
spoken word are his metier. He has some 20 cds out, performed all
around USA plus Italy, Switzerland and France. He worked with people
like David Krakauer, Ron Anderson (Molecules, etc.), Jason Willett
(Jad Fair, etc.), Gino Robair, Ralph Carney, etc. He leads also his
own multimedia collective Rev.99.
On his new cd "Generica" we meet 99 Hooker as a spoken word artist.
This is to be taken very literally. He speaks - not sings - his
texts, mostly at a high speed. Also he is not a nonverbal vocal
artist like David Moss, but he reads his self written texts. Saying
he reads his texts is a bit of an understatement, because he makes an
intense and dramatic performance of it. The musicians that surround
him help to increase this atmosphere succesfully. This is no wonder
when these musicians have names like Donald Miller (Borbetomagus),
Mark Marinoff (Mercury Rev, Chemical Brothers) or Akio Mokuno
(sampler maniak from Japan). Together with a few other musicians they
make up a great noise band. On the other hand I perceive an ambiguity
that one encounters also on many other records where spoken word is
backed up with a band (I think of some John Giorno-records). The band
and the musical structure of the pieces are in function of the texts,
and in my perception the result is often not satisfying from a
musical point of view. This is also the case with with 'Generica',
where we have some great playing from all musicians but within the
limitations of this concept. Also the recording and mix of this cd
accentuate the serving role of the band. But maybe this is as it
should be. Because the central focus goes to the texts, and there is
nothing wrong with that. What about the texts then? In a absurd and
demented way 99 Hooker comments on social and religious themes in the
US society. Very entertaining (DM)
Address: http://www.paxrecordings.com/

The first volume of 'The Walls Are Whispering' was reviewed in Vital
Weekly 423, and here is the second one, the third and final part is
to be released before the year's end. More than one volume one the
younger and unknown artists are present - well, at least to me. Dark
ambient is still the undercurrent of the compilation, but the artists
have a certain freedom into what to do with this notion. So there is
more than just a bunch of synths doodling deep in the sub end, but
also processed field recordings and even some rhythm. An unusual
suspect for a dark ambient CD is Radboud Mens, whose 'Pulse 024.3' is
hardly audible, but if you crank up the volume it's definetly there
and in his usual minimalistic techno style. Also Reutoff use rhythms,
but in a more ritualistic sense. Most other tracks are along the
lines of field recordings (like Eric La Casa) and darkly processed
synth sounds such as the for me unknown Ian Robert McKenzie, Y Create
(good to see him return after so many years) and The [Law-rah]
Collective. Like volume one a well balanced compilation, that, to be
complete, also includes Vance Orchestra, Ah Cama-sotz, Brainquake and
Lasse Marhaug (with probably the most noisy outing here.
On the same label, but as a CDR comes a work by The Oratory Of Divine
Love, which John Gore who used to be working as Kirchenkampf and runs
Cohort Records. All five of the compositions on this release 'were
recorded in real time direct to DAT using only radio sounds for
source material'. Unlike say John Duncan, who uses extensively radio
sounds, Gore use the radio sounds rather unprocessed, feeding them
through maybe some reverb and delay lines and that's it. Knob dialing
until hitting upon some music. I can't say that this blew me away.
The idea is simple and tempting enough, but rather to try yourself,
instead of listening to this. The best piece was the rather ambient
approach in 'Benedictus', with it's repeating blocks of sound and
vaguely religious humming. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

BRAN(...)POS - CHIRPHUIS (CD by Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack)
While playing this CD a couple of times and reading the press
information a couple of times, I still think I'm on both accounts
still clueless. Bran(...)pos hails from San Francisco and has been
playing 'nose sounds and electronic mishmash' since 1993, released a
couple of CDs on his own Chitah! Chitah! Soundcrack label. Voice and
synths play an important role in all of these tracks, but having said
that all twelve tracks are different from eachother. Ambient in the
short 'Harold Faltermeyer Dance Party For The Great Mice Detectives
on Mars', noisy in 'Prick The Nose To Light The Face' and
'Rhionestometry' and sometimes like 60s easy tune movement with those
nice organ sounds, like in the opening 'Ocean Fish'. Everything is
held together, one way or the other, with ties of synths, vocal
sounds and drumsamples. Funnily enough I must admit that there is,
within all the diversity offered, quite a strong sense of unity here,
and it's certainly captivating throughout. Quite a nice CD indeed.
Address: http://www.soundcrack.net

This is a release that comes from my favorite city, Berlin. As I read
about this release it is something about new industrial or exactly
'contemporary industrial chamber music'. And as we know Berlin is not
a place where industrial regularly comes from this days. Luckily this
is not regular old school industrial music. Robin Pleil and Christoph
Mainz were working in
project Arsenal. But in moments of futile discussions with fellow
project members, about which directions the music should go, they
decided to take things in their own hands and do things their own
way. So they continued with working under name Artridge. Now their
music is more soundtrackish oriented. Whole release is starting with
ten minute blend of drones, sound scapes, noise, contemporary
industrial variations. In the rest of the album industrial influences
are more visible. There are strict guitar parts and pure industrial
moments. After that you can find some acoustic instrumentation,
orchestration and contemporary classical moments, which of course I
don't like! That style is totally passé, no matter if it is in
context and in service of the cinematic and soundtrack feeling that
is always present. You are into music and suddenly unnoticeable
you'll be switched into movie. And the movie is your regular view.
Other part of the release is in sound design context, which counts
track layering, looping, noise and further experimenting which sounds
very nice, giving the meaning of the before mentioned phrase
'contemporary industrial chamber music'. It would be good if this is
the main and the only one direction on the album. In that case
soundtrack feeling will be lost which is good for the music, but from
other side not for the soundtrack concept, which is the intention of
the artists. At the end the title of the album tells everything about
music and define it in total. (TD)
Address: htp://www.interlink-audio.com.net

'All roads lead to this' is debut album from experimental Glasgow
music collective G-Plan. This is band formed by Mikey Truswell,
Steven Shade and Matt Kitchen previous members of bands like
Chimaera, Degrassi and The Wolf Kafe. At the beginning of 2003 they
decided to quit their previous bands so they can concentrate on
G-Plan and started with playing as support for bands like Degrassi,
Sputniks Down Astrid, Unkle & Whitelock and Troika as well started
recording sessions with Brendan O'Hare (ex Mogwai/Teenage Fun Club,
Macrocosmica) at the newly built Demon studios. Their sound is
completely Glasgow oriented. Here I mean Glasgow sound of last couple
of years that Mogwai marked at the end of 90's. And yes G-Plan's
sound is pure early Mogwai guitar sound. Intense walls of guitar
sound, distortion, melodic noise. Hypnotic rhythm is building the
skeleton to concrete blocks of noise and melody. Melancholic vocals
are appearing sometimes. Its quite symptomatic that this release
sound is so similar to Mogwai sound, but that's it. Whole Great
Britain scene is having difficulties with new music this days (and
not just this). Anyway its pretty interesting to hear this on moments
hard guitar sound on moments calm, melodic and subtle flows,
reminding of beautiful moments of Mogwai's 'Young team' album and end
of 90's guitar post rock. (TD)
Address: http://www.playrecords.co.uk

TUN - LE DISQUE (12" by Creaked)
I just got this 12" signed by Creaked Records, exactly by band named
as Tun. Under this name are Blaise Harrison, Laurent Gerard and
Bernard Zitz, founding this band in 2001. This is their long awaited
first record released as mini album. If we r going now into deeper
explanation of the sound we can conclude that this is sound
influenced by cinema, art, new music as well as from bands like Sonic
Youth, Brian Eno, DAF, John Fahey or Jim O'Rourke. On moments noisy,
avant-garde, on moments completely melodic and pop, this is release
where experimental attitude is crossing over with playful and
entertaining aspects of music. Homemade pop/rock tracks, experimental
guitar and contemporary avant-garde sound with noisy moments done on
their special way. 'Le Disque' is not revolutionary release. On
moments you can hear already heard sound on moments really cute
melodic tracks ('fleche qui va vers le bas') with melodic vocals ('im
sinachulfy'). Last track ('deux paturons plus') is also interesting
experiment of eighteen minutes where u can find many sound
variations. From funny rhythm, sinewavish melodies, noise, ambient
flows. Quite interesting. (TD)
Address: <creaked@hotmail.com>

GOVERNMENT ALPHA/THIRDORGAN (split 7" by Dadadrumming)
Noise from not the oldest but also not the most recent wave in
Japanese styled noise. Both Government Alpha and Thirdorgan are
already active for some time. Government Alpha, aka Yasutoshi Yoshida
offers a piece of grabled electronics: the speed of tapes being
altered, mainly sped up, which add a sort of strange, mouthlike
character to the sounds. Towards the end there is the sound crashing
metal. Fiery noise here that grows in intensity as the record spins
on. On the Thirdorgan side it is implied that SU, Thirdorgan's main
man, built everything himself, and seeing this being dedicated to
Gordon Mumma, one could think that SU built all the electric circuits
himself. If he did, it's probably broke now, since he puts on a hell
of a racket of monolithic noise. Halfway there is a moment of
contemplation (ho-hum) but when the noise returns it's going to stay
there forever.
With the 7" comes a CDR. I am not sure with all 300 copies or maybe a
limited edition off-shoot. It contains from both artists a live
recording, opening with Government Alpha's fifteen minutes of noise
fame, or was that noise flame? Distorted radio sounds are featured in
the work of Thirdorgan, or maybe he is abusing a turntable. His noise
is more fragmented and scattered around the place, but, together with
Government Alpha he belongs to the more interesting people around in
the Japanese noise scene. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dadadrumming.org

Behind Axiomatic Intergration is one Kera. Who? She is half of the
Incite duo, whose self-released CDR was reviewed in Vital Weekly 422.
Incite plays around with minimalist rhythms, feeding them through
synthesizers or laptops. It's hard not to see the connection with
Axiomatic Intergration. Of the seven pieces to be found here, they
play around with similar ideas, but I thought the sound was less
closed, more open, compared to that of Incite. Also it seems to me
that this release is less about analogue sounds and more about
digital processings, but with a strong focuss on software
synthesizers. Despite the briefness of the tracks, I must also admit
there is a tendency to use similar processings and ideas in various
tracks, which makes it unfortunally sound too similar throughout. I
think that is a pity, since the potential to make some interesting
music is certainly there; it may need a bit more diverse though. (FdW)
Address: http://www.a.i.radylon.com

by Crank Satori)
Of course you know Boris Hauf, member of Efzeg and improviser from
Berlin. Here he comes with a nice little 3"CDR which displays his
work on the laptop quite well, and displays his interests in various
types of music. The first piece, called 'I Want To Reach The Point
Where People Hear My Name And Immediately Think Of Real Country
Music' is built around droning ambient glitches, but with strong yet
minimal drum sample and bass sounds. Nice hasty music, and nothing to
do with 'real country' music. The second piece 'Because We're Humans
We Go For The Honey' sort of falls apart on two sides. It starts out
with microsounding, musique concrete-like noise sounds which over the
course is replaced by the use of guitars (played by Dean Roberts),
thus adding a sense of pace to the piece. In case you never heard
Boris Hauf, this might be a good place to start. Short and sweet.
Address: <cranksat@xnet.com>

On the website of The Retailsectors one can't find that much info, in
fact nothing at all, not even a link to this new release, but I'm
assured it's really available. I don't know if they are a one man
band, or maybe more persons, or even the titles to these pieces,
other that I can safely say they are from Japan. Alas, there are
seven pieces to be found here, which show an interest in lo-fi
post-rock. Guitars play a big role here of course, but below the
backing is the lo-fi part. Rhythmboxes and cheap synthesizers provide
the backdrop here. Not too complicated songs that nicely play away in
the background. Not too disturbing, not too far away and droney, it
combines all of these interests. Nice one anyway, and should be
brought to a larger audience. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~theretailsectors/

Two lengthy pieces released as MP3s by Cria Cuervos and Sparkle In
Grey. Cria Cuervos is one Eugenio Maggi, of whom we reviewed his CDR
'Cancroregina' in Vital Weekly 423. His 'Enero-Sinopia' is a lenghty
pieces of crackling electronics, in which over the course of the
piece outside noises, like cars passings and phone lines come
through. Maybe not the most innovative piece of microsound I heard,
but in all it's simpleness quite an interesting recording. As a link
to Sparkle In Grey there is also a short collaborative track, linking
both together. Off almost equal length is the Sparkle In Grey piece
'That January When...' which also uses telephone lines and mobile
phones searching for a network. This is a much opener piece, with
sounds as loose entities flying about like stars at night. Over the
course of the piece sounds disappear, like flying into a black hole.
Just like sparkles indeed. Nice release! (FdW)
Address: http://www.ctraltcanc.tk http://www.sinewaves.it