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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 449
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week 47
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MERZBOW - SHA MO 3000 (CD by Essence Music)
GEL-SOL - 1104 (CD by EM:T Records)
PSYCHON - APOCALYPSE HAS BEEN DUBBED THE WEEKEND PILL (CD by Narrominded/Scarcelight)
JOSEPH AUER - KYOTO :: TOKYO :: 2001 (CD by Rednetic)
MY ROBOT FRIEND - HOT ACTION! (CD by Proptronix)
WANG INC. - WOODS ROADS (CD by Context)
MATTIN & TAKU UNAMI - SHIRYO NO COMPUTER (CD by w.m.o/r/Hibari)
MATTIN - BASQUE RD AUCKLAND (CDR by Document)
SAKADA - BILBOA RESISTE, RESISTE BILBOA (CDR by Fargone Records)
JULIEN OTTAVI - FOR DEGREABLE MUSIC: THE CDR I WILL NEVER RELEASE (CD by w.m.o/r)
CORRUGATED TUNNEL - CHAINSMOKING (CDEP by Freak Neck)
DESEPTAGON - BIG BLACK BANG HOLES (CD by 19-t)
O-TYPE - WESTERN CLASSICS (CD by Family Vineyard)
PRISMATICS - MODULUST (CD by Birds Go South Records)
YASUNAO TONE & HECKER - PALIMPSEST (CD by Mego)
ANDY ORTMANN & WEASEL WALTER - CONTRADICTION (CD by Breathmint Records)
DANIELLE LEMAIRE - PERFECT SURROUNDINGS (10" by Inner Landscapes)
NOISE DECAY: NOISES AND SUCH FROM DENMARK VOL. 1 (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
MUNDUS MANTIS/KØNS - SPLIT (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
(OS) - WHAT THOSE INGREDIENTS ARE (CDR by Sijis)
PASIF PERIFRASTIK (CDR by Sijis)
DÜPLO - HØY SJØ OG LANDLOV (EP) (CDR by Melektronikk)
PHOLDE - THE EXTENT OF SIGNIFACTION (3"CDR by Cohort Records)
HERIBERT FRIEDL - CONVERGE (MP3 by ConV)

 

MERZBOW - SHA MO 3000 (CD by Essence Music)
World domination for Merzbow is of course always lurking around the corner. He has made more CDs than there are countries in this world, but with this new release he will conquer also South America, as this is his first release from that continent, Brazil to be precise. With this release Merzbow continues to show his love for obscure psychedelic music from the 60s and 70s sampling it to great length. The drums and the distorted guitars are his love and he adds his own fine brand of EMS synthi-A and computer techniques. For those who think they know this style already, I have good news: Sha Mo 3000 (name taken from a Japanese gamecock called Shamo and Modulo 1000, an old Brazilian psychedelic band) shows enough variations in his usually monolithic noise approach. The title piece starts out like a typical Merzbow wall of noise but it develops with space for drums and percussion. A piece like 'Dreaming K-Dog' goes through various passages, with sudden and abrupt changes of mood and approach. 'Hen's Teeth' finds Masami playing guitar with a lot of fuzz and is definetly more rock than noise. Noise gets variation in this disc, thus creating a bridge between the real noise and heavy rock approaches. If Merzbow continues this way, then indeed world domination can never be far away anymore. Defintely a highlight in his vast catalogue. (FdW)
Address: http://www.essence-music.com

GEL-SOL - 1104 (CD by EM:T Records)
There was a time when I was a real commuter - going back and forth to my job, spending daily three hours on the train. I'm talking pre-ipod days here, so I listened on my CD walkman to pleasent music, not say Chartier or Meelkop because half the time one couldn't hear that. For a while The Orb was a big favourite. Nice ongoing techno-like rhythms, a bit dubby, walls of ambient synthesizers and sampled spoken word - I collected an entire Orb collection. But these days it is hardly touched. Mostly at home these days, I find more and more time to play Chartier and Meelkop I guess. Why all this ramble? If I wouldn't have known better, I could easily think that Gel-sol is The Orb spelled in chinese. But apperentely it is not. Gel-sol comes from the state of Washington, USA, but sound exactely like The Orb (or if you want FSOL or Plaid etc.) ten years ago. Only in 'Schwein Kuchen' a bit of modern, computer technology sips through. The same synth lines, funny spoken word samples ("Godzilla Is Now In New York City"), dubby bass and techno rhythms. Does this mean I don't like this? Well, no actually it is quite nice and I had a great time playing it. Even when the sound is that close to an original (well, maybe The Orb's originality was in the merging of techno, dub, ambient and krautrock) it's good to hear such music again. I am about to play this kind of music for the rest of the afternoon, reading a book and drinking water. (FdW)
Address: http://www.emitrecords.com

PSYCHON - APOCALYPSE HAS BEEN DUBBED THE WEEKEND PILL (CD by Narrominded/Scarcelight)
Maybe the name Psychon is new to you, maybe, in case you have been following the Narrominded label, you them. On this new CD, a co-production with Scarcelight, they play certainly some of the strangest music I heard in some time. New these days (actually since quite some time) doesn't mean really new, but new are the connections made between all sorts of seperate music styles, and Psychon are an incredible source for combining all of these strange musics together. I think I heard symphonic rock, techno, IDM, ambient, dashes of krautrock but alsojazz and noise. The six pieces hop between all of these styles like it's a regular thing. Rhythm, keyboards and guitars play an uttermost important role in this music, whereby the guitars play the most psychedelic part, through an extensive use of e-bows and sounds effects. Certainly this is quite complex music that is best enjoyed at home. Carefully constructed from many sources and probably hours and hours of manipulating went into this. If ever symphonica was apparent in techno related music, then it must be here. It's one step away from a full concept album, but if it happens I wouldn't be surprised and most curious to hear it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.narrominded.com or www.scarcelight.com

JOSEPH AUER - KYOTO :: TOKYO :: 2001 (CD by Rednetic)
Not so long ago, I reviewed one compilation released on Rednetica. Well this is their third release in an ep format (even though there are 8 tracks) signed by Joseph Auer. Rednetica is a label interested in experimental breakbeat electronics. So inevitably their compilation treats that sound. A combination between contemporary electronics, pop electronica, idm and break rhythms. However in this release everything is pretty different. Joseph Auer explores new territories in sound, by seizing a more housey oriented and straight forward rhythm spiced up with click n cut moments. Very calm and subtle with deep bass lines, sharp glitchy patches and unexpected sounds. The dubby atmosphere and pleasant peaceful melodies are also included giving off a more delicate and contemporary impression. On the seventh track the break rhythm becomes noticable and this track stands out among the whole release, likewise in the sixth track you can recognize the early break phases. Maybe it would have been better if the last two tracks hadn't been included on this release so that album could have passed as a whole. But on the other hand seeing as they aren't a typical break they can pass anyway. As breakbeat is quite passé now, this is surprisingly a really nice and fresh sounding release moving into the more contemporary streams. So, Rednetic keep up with the good work! (TD)
Address: http://www.rednetic.com

MY ROBOT FRIEND - HOT ACTION! (CD by Proptronix)
Hot Action! is the debut album of New York based electronic underground artist My Robot Friend. This album is a follow up to the 12" "Why won't you call me back" which included some remixes and a couple of extra tracks, also on Proptronix of course. That single in a way helped with getting a basic idea of the sound that this artist wants to present. So there is a lot more from where that came from! Despite that one track which offers a typical proptronix pop orientation, in this full length release, you can find other tracks into the pure My Robot Friend-esq electro pop sound, additionaly I Am The Robot track was also included on that single. We can assuredly call this synth or synthetic pop with electro and punk, not to say electropunk. All these rockabilly to italodisco tracks are supported with clear and clever lyrics, a catchy, subtle and sleepy male vocals that at moments remind you of David Byrne. Distorted bass and a completely retro rhythm with closed metal hihats and electroclashy snares backed up by weird melodies, noise, bell ringing, bursts, burps and other completely odd samples. The electroclashy sound is nothing new for My Robot Friend. He has already appeared on thise fancy, fashionable and famous "Electroclash" compilations. He also did a track dedicated to Pet Shop Boys named "We're The Pet Shop Boys". Finally we can say that this release is on one hand completely underground showing electro/synth/pop experimentations and on the other hand, highly modern and fancy presenting the sound of the now. In addition to the 13 Hot Action! songs the cd is flashed with 3 fancy and flashy music videos by The World Of Adam plus an informative video by Howard Robot. Flash it! (TD)
Address: http://www.proptronix.com

WANG INC. - WOODS ROADS (CD by Context)
I got this album 2 days before going to Dis-patch festival in Belgrade this October where Wang inc was performing. So, I hadn't heard the full album then, except the one or 2 tracks I played in my radio programs. Than during my stay in Belgrade I dedicated one of the nights to listening the album. I decided to to this right after seeing T.raumschmiere and Kid 606 live. You can imagine how exhausting this night actually was, so I fell fast to sleep before actually finishing the whole album. Then the next day I saw his live performance. I wasn't surprised. Despite not having heard the album with full concentration I had some idea of what to expect. A fresh sound somewhat rhythmical and very similar to "Woods roads: the premixes", a single with remixes of the album's tracks supposedly hinted to the new album. And also quite similar to the typical context sound. Rhythmic glitchy electronics over an ambient background. "Woods roads" is the second full-length release by Bartolomeo Sailer who has released on Sonig and Bip-hop so far. This one is with a sort of contemporary techno sound, if I can call it so. Techno but vibrating, pulsating and meandering inspired by his recent road trip across Pacific Northwest as well as the surreal psychological landscapes in the films of Lynch, Kubric and Jarmush. So we can regard this album as a travel through maze of highways of the mind of Wang inc. Beware for its very dark there, complicated yet very very interesting. Mysterious melodies, deep pulsating basses and microglitches appear while ambient squeak is rolling around like some sort of a strange insect. At the same time the repetitive clicks n cuts rhythm is constantly guiding you. "Wood, water and fire" as the name suggests is a track consisted of water trickling background and constant wood clicks and fire cracklings. There is also just a small amount of Mouse on mars reminiscence you can find on track "Downhill billy". Wang inc. himself tells that music is useful for better living. So this album, like his music in general, also is useful. It is great soundtrack for exploration, search of new undiscovered places and various travels; no matter if it is in the nature as he prefers, or some urban city or even in some strange hotel while you're sleeping. (TD)
Address: http://www.context.fm

MATTIN & TAKU UNAMI - SHIRYO NO COMPUTER (CD by w.m.o/r/Hibari)
MATTIN - BASQUE RD AUCKLAND (CDR by Document)
SAKADA - BILBOA RESISTE, RESISTE BILBOA (CDR by Fargone Records)
JULIEN OTTAVI - FOR DEGREABLE MUSIC: THE CDR I WILL NEVER RELEASE (CD by w.m.o/r)
All whole bunch of releases, all dealing in some way with the Basque composer Mattin. The first one is a duet of Mattin with Taku Unami. For those who do not known: Mattin plays computer feedback. Assuming everybody knows what feedback is, computer feedback is the feedback created by connecting the in and output of a computer together. Sometimes the music of Mattin can be really soft and bass like, but in a solo concert it can be really loud. Unami plays computer and objects and he had a CDR on Mattin's label before (see Vital Weekly 407). Unami's solo music was blend of silence and silence. Whenever in duo with somebody, Mattin seems to adjust his playing. Even when there are some heavy type outbursts on this release, the majority of the pieces hoover carefully along the lines of silence and the rumble of electro-acoustic objects. Quite an intense listening experience, which worked out well.
On 'Basque Rd Auckland' we find a recording of a concert at Auckland on March 7th, 2004. The first minutes of the concert things are really soft, but once the feedback drops in, it's a high pierced static white noise tone. When the volume drops, it is definetely a full zero: nothing is heard. Than he takes a long course in this silence and towards the end there is a short moment of outburst again, but this time in the low end. Definetely a battle of the loud versus the soft.
Mattin is together with percussion player Eddie Prevost the core of improvising group Sakada. They had various releases so far, and on this new live recording, they are helped by Xabier Erkizia on computer and accordion. The recording was made in Bilboa, which I believe is in Mattin's homeland. With the last Sakada release (see Vital Weekly 430) I thought things were calmed down much more, but Sakada proofs me different here. The first half of the concert is loud and abbrassive; raw and untamed. After that softer moments drop in, but here too, there are some nasty mean fragments of noisy mayhem. So far this is Sakada's most noisy outing. Nice to hear, when the softer edges are preferred here.
Guitarplayer Julien Ottavi is alike Mattin, a radical mind when it comes to using computers and music. The text of this CDR rambles about CDRs, computer and the disappearance of sound information, when storing sound on a computer. Apperentely the high and low frequencies get lost, so all of the music on 'The CDR I Will Never Release' is based on the more extreme frequencies of sound. Be carefull cranking up the volume, even when things seem to be at a very low volume. But that sometimes spoils the fun of listening. I can imagine that in a concert situation this music would work really well, providing the sound system is great. But at home one is struggling with setting the volume right all the time, to make it sound right in the best possible way, even when the bigger part of this release moves in similar volumes. Extreme noise music, which, oddly enough isn't really loud per se. Fascinating music, if just for the concept.
Hinyouki is a spanish noise duo, whose releases were reviewed before (Vital Weekly 296, 305 and 380). Whereas many of the w.m.o/r releases deal with noise in their own conceptual way, this release by Hinyouki is a kind of traditional noise release. Distorted noise, sources unknown, levels of effect boxes crancked up to ten, and all levels open. This is the sort of noise that I simply heard enough already, and already for ten years, that I find it hard to understand why Mattin would release such a thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mattin.org
Address: http://www.generatorsite.com

CORRUGATED TUNNEL - CHAINSMOKING (CDEP by Freak Neck)
Behind Corrugated Tunnel is one Edwin James, who has been playing around with electronic music since the early nineties, dabbling mostly with electro and house music. This is apperentely his first release, four studio and one live track. I don't think I could call myself a connaisseur of techno and house, but the five pieces on this disc sound very much like a standard regular thing. The live cut is a bit hooky and not really danceable, but the studio pieces certainly have an ok groove to them. It's entertaining music, but also something one may forget to have heard once the disc is over. (FdW)
Address: http://www.corrugatedtunnel.com

DESEPTAGON - BIG BLACK BANG HOLES (CD by 19-t)
Some weeks ago I reviewed the 'Trade & Distribution Almanac Vol. 2' by the Adaadat label and not on that label, but now released on a kind of sister label is Deseptagon, who is one Frederick Clifford Brummer from Canada. He has played in various indie bands, but now has turned completely electronic and 'Big Black Bang Holes' is his debut full length release. No less than fifteen tracks of electronic music. Sometimes slow, almost hip-hop like rhythms and samples, sometimes a little bit more uptempo, but always with enough experimentalism to make the thing actually quite nice. There is only one problem here, and that the CD is way too long to make it interesting throughout. After nine or so tracks one graps the ideas of Deseptagon and tiredness becomes present. Hard to understand why people would think that an CD can hold so much music that they think it should have. I rather have forty brilliant minutes of really the best tracks available, then sixty-five of nice but altogether similar tracks. That would be my only objection. Otherwise it has some really nice tracks indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.19-t.com

O-TYPE - WESTERN CLASSICS (CD by Family Vineyard)
When it comes to listening habbits, I must admit that in whatever spare time there is, I listen to a lot of old music, music from the late seventies and early eighties. New wave, electronica: popmusic that wasn't really pop when it was around. For one reason or the other, I always missed out on hearing MX-80. That band, started in 1974 is still active to this day. Out of MX-80 came a side project, called O-Type, which is basically MX-80 less the singer. O-Type already started in 1985, and released their first CD in 1994. 'Western Classics' is their third CD and it can be seen as a sort of hommage to film music (note the whistling on 'Point Blank', which is a hommage to Ennio Morricone). It can also be seen as cross-over between post-rock and psychedelic music. The long guitar solos on '3 Faces Of Eve' is the best example. Everything on this CD deals around the guitar. The forementioned track is not the highlight. In using sustained sounds they play certainly a scenic card here. However it's until the final track, 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller (With Deleted Scenes)' when they reach for a really minimal but intense piece. Somewhere half way through this 31 minute piece things drop to near silence and then tension is built up again. Seemingely built around a simple melody this built up with all the right tension and power. If this track would have been the only one on the CD, it would still have been worthwhile. (FdW)
Address: http://www.family-vineyard.com

PRISMATICS - MODULUST (CD by Birds Go South Records)
The word psychedelic seems to be popping up more and more these days. In some way the music of Prismatics is also to be called psychedelic. Prismatics are a duo of guitarist Joe Campbell and drummer Mike Shoun, although the latter also provides drum machine, electronics. Both do a little bit of vocals too. The drum patterns are usually slow in here and the guitar waves on top. Themselves they think it's a cross-over of 'early Cabaret Voltaire to late John Coltrane' but I think it's a bit dub like in a heavy way. Laswell, old Scorn those would be my references. The material was recorded live in studio, but is in no way improvised, so are we assured. That I firmly believe, since most of the tracks sound well constructed. The psychedelic elements lies foremost in the long duration of the tracks, easily five to seven minutes per track. Each track builts up carefully, reaches it's peak and then slowly decays. For just a guitarist and just a drummer, Prismatics come up with a full sound picture, in which there is enough tension to let everything breath. Only in 'Crossing The Blvd Of Fallen Stars', which sound more improvised than composed, they seem to be missing the tension, and will be counted, at least by me, as the least interesting track on this CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.birdsgosouthrecords.com

YASUNAO TONE & HECKER - PALIMPSEST (CD by Mego)
Young meets old, I guess, here. Yasunao Tone was born in 1932 and and founded the Group Ongaku in 1960, did Fluxus actions in the sixties, composed music for Merce Cunningham and was the first to alter CD players to compose music with CD players and CDs. Florian Hecker was born in 1975 and is mainly known for his collaborations with Russell Haswell, Peter Rehberg and Marcus Schmickler aswell as his own solo CDs for Mego. Hecker's music is utterly digital: everything he does deals with hard- and software. This gives this collaboration a hard, digital edge to it. In all of the four tracks a loud, distorted computerized sound emerges to the listener, that comes in a heavy, disorienting cut-up way. A cut-up like Merzbow sound: no dense streams of sound, but the third millenium follow up to the serious avant-garde composing of the sixties. But that sounded mildly compared to this, as this is a direct in y'r face approach, music that can't be escaped of. It's there and makes all other activity impossible. It's a forcefull sound, split into stereo most of the time, making the sound extra layered. The booklet has an interview with both composers, explaining what and how this work was made and is extra helpful to understand this, especially for those who like know more before appreciating things. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mego.at

ANDY ORTMANN & WEASEL WALTER - CONTRADICTION (CD by Breathmint Records)
Ok, so sometimes go past by me without noting them. I have somewhere a CD recorded by Kevin Drumm and one Weasel Walter, which in all it's rough edged noisyness I liked. However I never cared to find out who Weasel Walter is, but upon the arrival of this CD with Andy Ortmann, the one and only man behind Panicsville, I did some research, and found that Walter was/is a member of The Flying Luttenbachers, XBXRX, To Live And Shave In L.A., 7000 Dying Rats, Adam And The Antz and many more. Quite a busy bee. His collaboration with Andy Ortmann is sold as 'compositions for electronics and voice'. If one ever played around with a microphone in front of a set of speakers, you know it can create feedback. If you are not afraid and keep on holding the microphone in front of the speakers, you know you can sing through it, or scream or shout. You have found out the true genius of Whitehouse. This sums up about everything Ortmann and Walter are doing here: holding microphones in front of speakers and scream, all in a true Whitehouse fashion. Of course they add a nice bunch of heavy heavy electronics to this dish, but in essence they play noise, like we know this best from Whitehouse. I like Whitehouse, I like this. Both are good fun. Provocative fun, that one can't take any serious. I don't know if this a serious thing or just a parody - I treat it as a parody. Ortmann and Weasel go as far as including a bit of silence at the end - just like Whitehouse did on a couple of old records. Yup I like this. The website linked mentioned on the cover brings you to a give up smoking website, so the correct site is below. (FdW)
Address: http://www.breathmint.net

DANIELLE LEMAIRE - PERFECT SURROUNDINGS (10" by Inner Landscapes)
Danielle Lemaire is one half of JaDa, together with Jan van den Dobbelsteen (who has unlashed a whole bunch of of music as Cosmic, aswell as under his own name) but also active as a solo artist. Her previous releases were reviewed in Vital Weekly 325 and 369, and here is finally her new record. Lemaire plays keyboards, sings and adds a bunch of extra sounds, such as toys and field recordings. As noted before, Lemaire plays foremost personal music, outside of any conventions. Her songs are not always well-composed, she sings sometimes a bit false, but from every inch of this record (both music and cover) one can sense a true honesty she has when playing this kind of music. Songs deal with daily things, love, money, relationships. She only goes of the rails for me when she sings a song in dutch, but otherwise this is another strong personal statement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.iae.nl/users/jada

NOISE DECAY: NOISES AND SUCH FROM DENMARK VOL. 1 (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
MUNDUS MANTIS/KØNS - SPLIT (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
If I encounter such terms as 'noise' and 'decay', I imagine a full sized noise blast of distorted humming synthesizer signals being fed through rusty sound effects. On the new Danish Organic Pipeline label a compilation no less than sixteen tracks from mostly young and unknown musicians from Danmark. The only name I recognized is Wäldchengarten. The music is quite a surprise, as the proceedings aren't that noisy at all. Many of the artists emploi computers, rhythms and glitches to produce their music, despite some good ol' noise by Bobby Blitzkrieg. But the better tracks are those who incorporate digitalia into their noise, such as Polarforsker, Respirator, Nxfxtxex, Nand or those using hybyrd techno rhythms by Noianiz, Prafix Aztech, Rebel Inc.. Quite an interesting compilation with many new names to discover.
Another absolute top thing is the handy booklet, which describes each artist, what they use software wise, their influences and how to contact them. That only makes up the release for me. Very nice and something other labels should do with their compilations.
The other new release by Organic Pipeline is a split release between Mundus Mantis and Køns, the latter once being part of Teste. Mundus Mantis operates inside the field of power electronics. Nine, mostly short tracks, based on distorted synths and rather dry loops of sound. Though hardly surprising, it's quite nice stuff. Køns presents in his five tracks a more chilly cold electronic music, mainly working, it seems to me, on a bunch of analogue synthesizers. A distant, alien space sound in which occassionally rhythmical particles float by like comets. In '060904' Køns takes his skills to play a nice piece of almost minimal techno. Not music that has much warmth, but of the two the better one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.organicpipeline.com

(OS) - WHAT THOSE INGREDIENTS ARE (CDR by Sijis)
PASIF PERIFRASTIK (CDR by Sijis)
Behind (os) is one Steve Polta, filmmaker and sound artist from San Francisco. Can't comment on his film work, but his sound work is quite interesting. Polta attaches contactmicrophones to tunnel railguards or trains and thus documents the boring daily life of commuting. Somewhere far away we hear people talking, cars passing or static hum. I believe that there is no post-production, so that everything we hear is a straight recording of things as they are. In the final piece 'BART fr East Bay' this results in a beautiful ambient piece of changing textures, like a wind harp producing sound. The things (os) does are quite simple, but he does things with a keen ear and knows how to cut the right sounds. One of the best pieces of soundscaping this year.
Likewise I never heard of Pasif Perifrastik, and the text Sijis sends along is total acabadabra to me. I hear acoustic guitars, drums, vocals and some rather undefineable noise in the background. A kind of singersongwriter stuff of a more disturbing kind. It's actually quite nice stuff, music that seems, at least to me, be moving outside any strictly defined musical territory. Highly puzzling but fascinating stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sijis.com

DÜPLO - HØY SJØ OG LANDLOV (EP) (CDR by Melektronikk)
It's a long time ago since we last heard from Norway's Düplo (see Vital Weekly 314), but they return with a nicely packed CDR ep with just twelve minutes of music. In a transparant DVD box with transparant artwork. The music is electronic. 'Under Dekk' has an ambient feel and forms a total contrast with 'Vi Gar Aldri Hjem', where they use sourcematerial by Electrodiesel. This is noisy piece of feedback and distortion, which calms down towards the end. 'Brusende Bølger' is the final track here and see them in a total calm mood, with some kind of microsounding piece of ambient music. And then it's already done. A pity, since all of these tracks are quite nice, and makes the listener, at least this one, wanting to hear some more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.melektronikk.com

PHOLDE - THE EXTENT OF SIGNIFACTION (3"CDR by Cohort Records)
Alan Bloor, aka Knurl, aka Pholde when he got his ambient hat on, has a new small CDR on Cohort Records, in a completely handpainted cover. As Pholde, which by the way seems his main act these days, as I can't remember seeing a new Knurl release, he scraps his way around on sheets of metal, and adds a firm dose of reverb to the recordings. 'No overdubs or computers were used', which is just another way of saying 'all material played live' or 'all material improvised'. As Pholde, Bloor has made his point. The scraping, chain dragging, rubbing or what else is possible on metaal plates has been well explored by now. Maybe the time has to come to start overdubbing or using computers and see what else is there to explore by using metal plates and all his playing techniques. Because what Pholde is does is nice and certainly has a lot of potential. (FdW)
Address: http://cohortrecords.0catch.com/

HERIBERT FRIEDL - CONVERGE (MP3 by ConV)
Following his debut release on And/Oar is a MP3 release on the excellent ConV net label from Madrid. Just like his debut Heribert Friedl uses field recordings which are fed through his computer. Maybe it's a recording of Friedl taking a forest stroll, or maybe it's the gentle rubbing of two pieces of metal against each other. Despite these limited inputs and despite Friedl stretching the material to it's very end, it's a nice journey with an uncertain end. Friedl moves about, but apperentely he hasn't set a goal for his journey. Moving through space and time, without an emphasis on anything in particular, he's probably more a Zen musician than anything else. What he has to offer however is a nice trip through the morphology of sound. Just like his previous work it stands in a long tradition, but he sure plays his part nicely. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

correction: both releases on Scarcelight reviews last week are not CDRs but CDs.