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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 489
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week 34
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: as an experiment for the time being, we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
http://www.vitalweekly.net
you can subscribe to the weekly broadcast using the following rss feed:
http://www.harmlog.nl/vitalfeed.asp
New broadcasts will be sent directly when uploaded. For more information on
podcasts go here: http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/
* noted are in this week's podcast

 

 

 

JAAP BLONK/COR FUHLER - PRE-ZOIC CELLWAYS (CD by Kontrans) *
MAJA RATKJE/JAAP BLONK - POST-HUMAN IDENTIES (CD by Kontrans)
JODA CLÉMENT - MOVEMENT + REST (CD by Alluvial) *
KOBI - DRONESYNDROME (CD by Silber Records) *
TAPE - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat) *
MITCHELL AKIYAMA - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
OORBEEK - ETOS (CD by Fijn Lawaai) *
YUJI TAKAHASHI (CD by Atak) *
AARON DILLOWAY - BAD DREAMS (CD by PACrec)
SOVACUSA - CENTREPOINT (CD by Expanding Records)
VESSEL - RESIST (CD by Expanding Records)
RE'POST'FABRICATED (2CD by DSP Recordings)
EZEKIEL HONIG/MORGAN PACKARD - EARLY MORNING MIGRATION (CD by Microcosm Music)
BIG EARS (CD compilation by Sonic Arts Network)
COLUMN ONE - DREAM TIME - AN ANTHOLOGY OF SELECTED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MATERIALS (CD by 90% Wasser)
FELIX KUBIN - ANTARKTIS SLOW ROCK/SHAKIN TUNDRA (EXPLICIT MIX) (7" by Meeuw Muzak)
GOREHALLREIDER - A BLOW TO THE HEAD (CDR by Cohort Records) *
DALE LLOYD AND VARIOUS ARTISTS - AMALGAM (CDR by Con-V)
FILTER FEEDER - RAW MATERIALS (CDR by Entr'acte) *
IRR.APT.(EXT.) - DRONE WORKS #10 (CDR by Twenty Hertz) *
ROXANNE JEAN POLISE - LEAVE YOUR WET BRAIN IN THE HOT SUN (CDR by Audiobot)
OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN - INEVITABLE SHIT (CDR by Audiobot)
AMPISM - THE MUFFLED SOUND A SAD MAZURKA (CDR by Audiobot) *
BRIAN LAVELLE - THE HOUSE OF THE RUSSIANS (mp3 by con-v)
OMNID - BAG OF RAMS (mp3 by Earlabs.org)

 

 

JAAP BLONK/COR FUHLER - PRE-ZOIC CELLWAYS (CD by Kontrans)
MAJA RATKJE/JAAP BLONK - POST-HUMAN IDENTIES (CD by Kontrans)
Over the years Jaap Blonk has established himself as a world renowned improviser, playing almost every hole on the planet, with virtually anyone. Blonk is one of the most gifted improvisers using voice and more recently electronics, feeding his voice through his laptop and a wide range of small effect processors. Surely his work in recent times has become much more radical and extreme. These two new releases, in Kontrans Electronic Music Series (Blonk's own label) proof this. On Pre-Zoic Cellways he teams up with Cor Fuhler who leaves his piano at home and arrived at the studio with an EMS Synthi AKS and turntable. Fuhler is perhaps best known to the readers of Vital Weekly from his duo CD with Gert-Jan Prins as The Flirts on Erstwhile. Right from the very first second of this CD it's full on in the world of noise, with cracklings, feedback, scratches, gliding tones and of course the never to missed vocal madness of Jaap Blonk. In 'An Algae Generator' the two incorporate the rhythm work that Blonk did with Radboud Mens on their collaborative 'Brombron' CD, but here augmented with electronics (the 'Brombron' CD was entirely voice based), thus providing a heavy, almost industrial dance track. It's the best track of the lot, but the others, more free in approach, would certainly appeal to those who have an always unsatisfiable appetite for more Merzbow.
On the second new release, Blonk continues to work with Maja Ratkje. Before Blonk and Ratkje did an all acoustic voice duet CD 'Majaap' on Kontrans (see Vital Weekly 420), but using electronics is no strange thing for Ratkje. She is also known as one half of Fe-mail, Norway's own all-female noise troupe. The five pieces on this CD were recorded in three different concerts, one in Norway and two in Denmark. There is voices on here, but not as we heard them before. Blonk and Ratkje manage create a full spectrum of noise electronica with simply there own voice input as the sole sound source. At times sounding like two cartoons at the same time, then mating whales, then a whole marching army to end with the amplification of the smallest forms of life. Hard to tell what is live and what is post-editing here, but having seen Blonk do this on various occasions, I bet not much editing was done. Crazy mayhem, ranging from silence to total war - happening with a few seconds from each-other. (FdW)
Address: http://www.toondist.nl

JODA CLÉMENT - MOVEMENT + REST (CD by Alluvial)
Somehow Alluvial knows where to find young and exciting and above all serious composers. Joda Clément (1981, Canada) started out when he was fourteen and ever since he has been working with sound. On this CD he works with instruments (Harmonium, Korg MS-20, PS-3200 & Polysix Synthesizers) as-well as field recordings. Everything goes into the computer and is melted together in a very good, but, I must admit, also a very traditional drone fashion. Things move unearthly deep in the low end, and on top, occasionally, there is something of a melody humming, such as in 'Song Of Threes' or traces of a small rhythm in 'Heliotaxis'. That makes the music of Clément only slightly different from that of Monos, Ora or Mirror (and such like), but it also means he has thought about where to put the icing on the cake. Next to Keith Berry another promising new name in the world of drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alluvialrecordings.com

KOBI - DRONESYNDROME (CD by Silber Records)
Choosing such a title is, me thinks, a bit boring and also perhaps guiding the listener into what he can expect. I may not be proven right in the first case, but drones is what you get. Kobi is a collective of musicians from Norway, run by Kai Mikalsen. Per track different people play, in different combinations. Primarily everybody plays instruments like guitar, cello, drums but Mikalsen is the one who plays synths and 'sounds'. These sound must be understood as 'electro-acoustics (processed sounds from common objects'), which are melted with the drone-like material played by the other musicians. The processed sounds are very hard to define, as is much of the music on this CD. Much of the music is played in an improvised way, and it seems to me, not recorded very well. The music is quite 'muddy', or 'muffled' everything sounds very much in one dynamic range, with not much care for the color of the sound. The idea of mixing real instruments with electro-acoustic sounds is very much a nice idea, which deserved to be better worked out. Still fans of early nineties Illusion Of Safety might find their pleasure here, as this CD isn't very bad either. Just some more production work was needed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silbermedia.com

TAPE - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
MITCHELL AKIYAMA - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
These two new releases in the ever ongoing Mort Aux Vaches series are packed as usual. That is: beyond the ordinary! Tape is a piece of card board held together with tape, and Mitchell Akiyama is embossed copper with no other printing. In both cases all the information is on the itself, which is a drag of course in case you want to know song is playing.
Tape is a trio from Sweden, consisting of the brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling (who are both active as solo artists too) and Thomas Hallonsten. If I'd say that they play computer, field recordings and acoustic instruments, then you might easily think 'oh yeah, been there heard that', but that should not be the case, as what Tape does is of great beauty, even when their material is part improvised and partly playing existing tunes. In the VPRO studios, were all Mort Aux Vaches CDs are recorded they made use of the hammondorgan found there and they built a careful drone piece with the use of the hammond organ, meanwhile playing xylophone, acoustic guitar and zither. Computer treatments? If they are really there, they are kept to a strict minimum. Tape's music is one of pastoral beauty: think of Eyeless In Gaza updated to the 21th century and without vocals. But the atmosphere is the same: desolated hills, misty lakes and an endless stroll in an otherwise empty forest: those are the images that come up while listening to this. Late night mood music, while sipping a glass of wine.
It's been a while since I last heard the music of Mitchell Akiyama, the 'If Night Is A Weed And A Day Grows Less' (VItal Weekly 421), and that left with mixed feelings. It didn't fulfill my expectations, certainly not after his work with Desormais. But as ever, Akiyama is on the road and he recorded his session for VPRO radio in April 2004 already, using guitar and laptop but apparently he doesn't use any prepared samples, but entirely based on treatments of the guitar. Akiyama strums and plucks, and the signals are picked up by the computer and the outcome is a stretched out field of ambient glitch that occasionally works it way to distortion. Not unlike Keith Fullerton Whitman's work in this direction, but more minimal and perhaps also less refined. It is surely nice music, but in this single, forty-three minute piece, I didn't have the feeling I was hearing something new and left me with similar mixed feelings as before. Executed with care and control, but nothing earthshaking new in terms of progress in the realms of glitchy ambient meeting post-rock. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staalplaat.com

OORBEEK - ETOS (CD by Fijn Lawaai)
Perhaps Oorbeek isn't that much of my tea and maybe more for fellow reviewer Dolf Mulder, but I saw them live last year and they left me a very good impression. Oorbeek is a seven piece group, with an extended instrument section: from drums to trumpet to toy instruments, voice, electric guitar and bass. So besides the usual rock line up, they also incorporate weird stuff, and weird their music is. Oorbeek cites as influences: overtone singing, Motorhead, improvised music, no wave, Cage, Cardew, Zorn and musical traditions from Mongolia. From all these influences improvised music is most clear one, as they play a very fine set of improvised music in a rather traditional way. Instruments sound as they sound like and not like 'objects' as many other contemporary improvisers sound like these days. But in this free improvisation they maintain the influence of free rock and no wave best: a tight rhythm section on bass and drums, which built the fundament of the pieces and the others are free to create whatever madness they find suitable. It's not always full rock on, but they create with similar means moments of silence and contemplation. Now that I heard the CD and compare it to what I heard last year, I think they have grown quite a lot. Perhaps check out them out during a new live concert would be a good idea. (FdW)
Address: http://www.toondist.nl

YUJI TAKAHASHI (CD by Atak)
Despite his 67 years of age, I never heard of Yuji Takahashi. He was trained as a pianist to play contemporary and classical music. Meeting Xenakis in 1963 led to composing some electronic works, but later on he played more traditional music. In the last years he has recited Bach as-well as playing a laptop duo with Keiichiro Shibuya. He is the founder of the Atak label, which before brought Stillupsteypa, Kahn/Cascone/Steinbruchel and Goem for instance, but here go in a totally different direction: an overview of Takahashi's electronic works, starting with 'Time' (1963) up-to to 'GS-portrait' (2005), and appear in reverse order: the most recent pieces start out. But the review goes back first. 'Time' is perhaps the only real electronic/electro-acoustic piece, based on the sound of clock-ticks, treated in a rather raw fashion - but maybe not unknown looking at the year when it was composed. All the other pieces use instruments, voices, electronic treatments and sound like recorded in an improvised manner. In two pieces text is used, one by Gertrude Stein and one by Kafka, written on his death bed. At the times the pieces are a bit too haphazard for me, going all over the place and whatever sort of treatments used, it had to be explored all the way. That makes some of these pieces a bit too long, at least to be enjoyed thoroughly on disc (maybe in concert this is entirely different), but it's work that needs to be explored more before it unfolds some of it's beauty. Not easy listening music, but the improvised pieces #2 to #6 are certainly great. (FdW)
Address: http://atak.jp

AARON DILLOWAY - BAD DREAMS (CD by PACrec)
Wolf Eyes member (or ex-member, as a piece in the August issue of The Wire tells us) with a reissue of an older CDR release which came out on Dilloway's own Hanson Records. Bad Dreams is 35 minutes of quite conventional noise music. There's not much spiky, "handmade" action à la Wolf Eyes going on here, despite the cassette recording quality of course, but just layers of looped noise that makes this sound extremely similar to Merzbow's repetitious bliss, with the only difference of Dilloway occasionally implementing more relatively serene parts. Not a second of discovery or innovation going on here, though it certainly is a nice listen for a week without any new Merzbow releases, and it's also good to hear that the Wolf Eyes camp is capable of producing different directions of loud music. (RM2)

Address: http://www.iheartnoise.com

SOVACUSA - CENTREPOINT (CD by Expanding Records)
VESSEL - RESIST (CD by Expanding Records)
Two new releases on Expanding Records, and both are closely connected, not by the people who made the music, but with the music itself. Sovacusa is the collaborative work of Tim Martin, who works otherwise as Maps + Diagrams and Steve Davis, who works as Broca. Both were born in 1972 and know each-other for twenty years now, but 'Centrepoint' is their debut album. It's based around a couple of music and sound recordings by the two from a few years back, but recently completed. The music is very much a blueprint of what Expanding has to offer: breakbeat rhythms, downtempo rhythm, warm synthesizers, melancholic lines on the keyboards and the occasional processed pluck of the guitar. Sovacusa is a bit more louder and upfront than some of their brothers in arms, which makes this into quite a nice release.
Vessel is Gavin Toomey, and 'Resist' the follow up to 'Dreaming In Paris' (Vital Weekly 363). Toomey's work also include making visual effects for Hollywood films, including 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory'. Virtually the same ingredients as with Sovacusa can be found here, but Vessel is a bit less forceful than Sovacusa, a bit more mellow. This too is a very fine release, but at the same time I must say that over the past few years I have not heard many new things, innovations if you want in this kind of music. It's a very rigid style of music, with apparently it's own strict laws, methods and therefore outcomes. It might be about time to break away from that and do something else with the given ideas. Some of these people, and Vessel is one, have, me thinks, the imagination to do so. (FdW)
Address: http://www.expandingrecords.com

RE'POST'FABRICATED (2CD by DSP Recordings)
In a way this release has everything to do with Vital Weekly. Richard Chartier released 'Post Fabricated' in June 1999 on a dutch CDR label Microwave Recordings, which gathered their name from a review in Vital Weekly to note a whole new genre of laptop music: "Everytime I write about music that borrows elements of house/techno, but also from minimal music, ambient and industrial music, we notice that our vocabulary runs short. It's a lot of things, but it has no name. I have thought about this for some time now, and I think 'microwave' apply describes what it's about. Micro in the sense that all the changes appear on a microscopic level, small but evidently present, and wave, because there is a current wave of serious musicians that take influences from all these waves of music that have experienced (note that many of them are around for a long time) and take whatever they fit well. "Technology will be so small that it will disappear", John Cage once said. That might not be entirely true, however it has shrunk over the years. To produce a good quality music that can easily compete with the work made in 'real' studios. Technology is micro too now." (Vital Weekly 162). The label Microwave released, as said 'Post Fabricated' and reviewer Roel Meelkop noted in Vital Weekly 178 that the volume was a bit soft and suggested also a remix of this. Now, six later later, we all get it: the re-mastered version and the remixes. Re-mastered might not be the right word, since Chartier reconstructed the entire CD making it sound like it supposed to be when it was made in 1998. These days no-body uses the term 'microwave' any more, and that's because 'microsound' is the more popular term these days, but the recordings on this CD have not aged. Chartier uses crackles, bleeps and hiss in a pure form, pure and rhythmical. The twenty-three tracks here are still state-of-the art pieces of microwave. Beautiful crackles and cuts.
On the second CD we find the remixes of the original CD by Chartier's friends. The instruction was that they should try and keep in spirit of the original work and try and make some 'poppy' tunes (in which 'poppy' not necessarily just means 'pop-music'). A lot of the usual 12K/Line suspects are here, like Vent, Asmus Tietchens, Frank Bretschneider, Taylor Deupree, Matmos and Steve Roden, and many try and succeed to take the original Chartier sounds and re-shape them into an even more rhythmical form, tighter and fuller with sound, with breaks and even small melodies. Sometimes rhythms return in different pieces, thus adding to the unity of the remixes. As said, the original hasn't aged since 1999, but the remixes bring the material into the new millennium. Microwave brought to its logical conclusion. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dsprecs.com

EZEKIEL HONIG/MORGAN PACKARD - EARLY MORNING MIGRATION (CD by Microcosm Music)
Both the artists and the label are new to me, but it's a nice first encounter. Ezekiel Honig and Morgan Packard produced this CD separately from each-other, and as such placed next to each-other on the CD. Some of the tracks are by Honig and some by Packard, although the division is not very strict, i.e. first the first and then the other. If one didn't glimpse at the cover, one wouldn't know, as there is a strong sense of homogeneity in this album. Despite the approach of two individuals producing their own tracks, the whole CD feels organic in approach. Honig and Packard play ambient music, entirely made up of computerized sounds and beats. Clicks in a strict 4/4 rhythm tick nicely away with processed piano sounds and stretched out sounds. Textural music, wallpaper music perhaps, but then made for the twenty-first century, lots of ambience, a bit of techno inspired rhythms. Great pass time music along the lines of Kompakt's 'Pop Ambient'. No doubt the early morning migration in the title is meant as a migration of coming home after a night long partying and clubbing and this music as a chill-out and go to bed music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.microcosm-music.com

BIG EARS (CD compilation by Sonic Arts Network)
A long long time ago I had a radio program on the local, illegal radio station. It didn't have many rules, other than closing the door properly to keep the police away. It certainly didn't have the manifesto by Charles Fitzgerald from 1931 on broadcasting, in which he sets out the principles of good radio programming. From March 2003 to December 2004 Resonance FM hosted a show called Big Ears, along the lines of the Fitzgerald manifesto. The documentation comes in the form of a book and CD and both are delight for ears and eyes. The booklet has detailed descriptions of the music pieces, as-well as instructions for radio presenters to '2005 in alphabetical order' and 'The Periodic Table in alphabetical order' and games. The CD is likewise a crazy thing. From fluxus artists Ben Vautier and Nam June Paik to Hugh Le Caine from Henri Chopin (on a split track with Frederic Chopin - this is called the 'Duel Pan Two Handler) to the 'Parlophone Laughing Record' and 'The Mystery Frog' (as part of games: requesting the listener to identify these frogs) to music by The Beau Hunks, Otomo Yoshihide and the Rhythm Rats Vocal Group (average age of 4). If this is on radio every day, I would rush out and buy one. I'd probably not easily play an entire CD by Le Caine or The Beau Hunks, but these thirty-five, mostly short tracks, are a true delight. Much a like the cassette 'Touch Radio' (sadly never issued on CD, CDR or MP3), this is radio as it should sound like. Fresh and full of surprises. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sonicartsnetwork.org

COLUMN ONE - DREAM TIME - AN ANTHOLOGY OF SELECTED PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MATERIALS (CD by 90% Wasser)
The history of Column One is by now an extended one, spanning many CDs, LPs and other media, and many of them are based on one or the other theme. Here it is the use of small children in advertising, based on an add by Dream Time - children's underwear. The material was gathered from major media, direct expression and language. The use of the innocent's children's image to such as an extent that it becomes almost perverse. In one way or the other, as I haven't figured out yet, is the music loosely based on the first ten years of Column One music, 1994-2004. If understood correctly the music has been remixed one way or the other. Mostly snippets of jazzy and lounge like tunes, a little bit techno inspired rhythms and cosmic rides on synthesizers form the backbone of the music, which gets sauced up with spoken word, either spoken by the various band members or lifted from documentaries and sex commercials. Quite a hotchpotch of music and spoken word, in an entirely free collage form. Sometimes things are quite strong here, but also at times the ideas are a bit thin, and in it's entire form it's perhaps a bit too long to be entertaining throughout. Also the many German lyrics and words might put off some listeners who don't understand the language. A small portion of this would be fine, just like zapping away when the commercials come on. (FdW)
Address: http://www.90-prozent-wasser.de

FELIX KUBIN - ANTARKTIS SLOW ROCK/SHAKIN TUNDRA (EXPLICIT MIX) (7" by Meeuw Muzak)
Hey, didn't we review this before? Yes, we did, in Vital Weekly 133 to be precise. But it had some mistakes: the a-side was not called 'Antarktis Flow' but 'Antartkis Slow Rock' and in the review a and b side were switched. This was the first release, in 1997 by a man named Felix Kubin, before stepping into the world of fame. So riding on this fame it's been re-issued with a new mix of the original b-side. The a-side is indeed a slow, rock-rhythm box pieces, with nicely humming organ lines, a sweet little melody. A quasi eastern-Europe feel comes to live in the form of wind blowing over the tundra. And tundra's shaking ahead on the flipside, via a casio rhythm and a more up-tempo song. Here to similar eastern Europe feelings float by, in what is a very joyful and up-tempo song. Great to have it back in print.
And also Meeuw informs us that there is a second pressing of 'I Hate Artgalleries' by Felix Kubin and Mark Boombastik (see Vital Weekly 398), just in case you missed out the first time around. And that one hasn't changed nor aged. (FdW)
Address: http://www.meeuw.net/

 

GOREHALLREIDER - A BLOW TO THE HEAD (CDR by Cohort Records)
It seems to me that Cohort Records is becoming more and more active these days, and so are the musical activities of their boss, John Gore, aka Kirchenkampf, aka The Oratory Of Divine Love and aka >wirewall<. Here he teams up with Steve Hall, aka Yen Pox and aka Veil Of Secrecy and the more unknown C. Reider, who runs the Vuzh Music label. All three delivered sound material for this release, which was then 'arranged, effected and mixed' by John Gore. He calls this 'psychedelic ambient', which is an appropriate tag. 'Violent Drone' might also be appropriate, as in all seven tracks drones of whatever nature (radio static, analogue synth and perhaps even field recordings) play an important role, but a likewise important role is played by all the applied effects that Gore adds to this. This gives this drone music a top heavy character, sounds bursting in and out everywhere, from the depths of the earth and stardust from the sky. A sizzling mix of static sounds that never sounds static. Everything seems to be moving around all the time, with small changes of color and texture, like a Yves Klein painting or a Steve Reich piano piece, ever so apparent in 'I Hear Voices'. Powerful drone music, along the lines of Troum, but more musical... by which ever definition music of course. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cohortrecords.0catch.com

DALE LLOYD AND VARIOUS ARTISTS - AMALGAM (CDR by Con-V)
In the world of microsound and field recordings Dale Lloyd should not be an unknown person. His activities span from his own label And/Oar, to phonography website and of course his own music. On this new CDR release, 'Amalgam' Lloyd works with the sounds provided by other artists, such as Heribert Friedl, Omnid, Josh Russell, Ben Owen and other. It's not Lloyd's task to add any sort of sounds of his own, but more to process and edit whatever he has gotten. The sounds he'd been given include sitar, glass, found objects and of course many field recordings. It's hard to decipher any of these original sounds in Lloyd's delicate work (or should that be 'world'?) of crackling and fine tuned hissing. Named after the periodic table it's easy to draw a parallel to the world of alchemy and that it's easy to see the connection Lloyd wishes to make: his music is alike alchemy: blending various elements, in this instance sound, and process them until something new arrives. Very much along the best of microsounding artists like Roel Meelkop, Steve Roden or, more apparent here than in some of Lloyd's other releases, Richard Chartier. Music to crank up your volume as a lot of this hoovers on the edge of silence, and it unfolds much of what it has to offer when played loud(er). A good, well-made release, well produced and perhaps not the latest innovation in microsound, but still a true beauty. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

FILTER FEEDER - RAW MATERIALS (CDR by Entr'acte)
My first encounter with Filter Feeder was with their debut 'Feeding Frenzy' (Vital Weekly 455), which was ok, but not really great, but better than the 3"CDR that came after that. This new one is a big step forward. Despite it's title it's not a collection of raw materials waiting to be re-used by the remix community, but a collection of new songs, made up from their set of analogue synthesizers, field recordings and found sound, all thrown into the computer. Many of these pieces, I am told, are recorded live at home. The tracks are mostly electronic, built around a rhythm and some synthesizer sounds, but most tracks have a nice structure, building up to something, as opposed to staying some where. Not every track by itself is great, but throughout this is an ok release. Perhaps not something to play every day, but a track in your underground party is quite alright. (FdW)
Address: http://www.entracte.co.uk

IRR.APT.(EXT.) - DRONE WORKS #10 (CDR by Twenty Hertz)
Despite being around for some time, Matt Waldron, aka Irr.app.(ext.) is still not a household name, which is a pity. He has a couple of solo releases on labels as Fire Inc and Helen Scardale, and has played with Steve Stapleton's Nurse With Wound on a rare concert in Vienna recently. On 'Drone Works #10', perhaps the final release in this series, he plays a single, twenty-one minute drone piece, starting out with humming in Asia, but slowly guitars played with fans, bows or e-bows (or some such or maybe all together) take over and built a majestic drone piece. The piece is much louder, top heavy under it's weight, than the usual pieces in this series. Harsh but non-violent, this is more Tony Conrad than Brian Eno, if you catch my drift. A masterpiece and if this is the end of the series, it doesn't end with a breeze but with a nice electric storm. (FdW)
Address: http://www.twentyhertz.co.uk

 

ROXANNE JEAN POLISE - LEAVE YOUR WET BRAIN IN THE HOT SUN (CDR by Audiobot)
OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN - INEVITABLE SHIT (CDR by Audiobot)
AMPISM - THE MUFFLED SOUND A SAD MAZURKA (CDR by Audiobot)
Releases on Belgium's hyper active Audiobot label always look very nice: screen printed covers, with an eye for nice design. These three new releases aren't by anyone I heard before of, but that's the whole point of CDR releases: get new stuff out to people. And if it looks good: great! At least two of these bands have a whole bunch of releases available, looking at the websites at least. But the websites don't tell us much else, so we are left in the dark as to some background information. I think Roxanne Jean Polise are from the USA and it's pretty hard to describe what is going on their release. It's pretty dark music that seems to me sampled together from various musical sources, mainly guitars but also some classical music. In the first piece this leads to a dense modern classical piece, but in the second (all untitled of course) it feeds through a bunch of distortion pedals, pilling up into noise. The third track starts out in an almost ambient mood, which grows and grows with the use of skipping vinyl and sound effects slowly into what could be an uncontrollable noise beast, but the backbone stays present until things explode at the end. File under: fairly intelligent noise.
Also Other Peoples Children have an extensive discography of releases, none of which I ever heard of course and they are also from the States. Their noise is something else, the 'right in y'r face' kind of feedback, distortion and feedback. In the five tracks they try and sound as great as Merzbow does, but they aren't always successful in their approach. A piece like 'First Skore' sounds too much like the Japanese emperor, without being something of its own. I'll stick to my 150 Merzbow CDs.
I believe the release for Ampism is a debut one. This is some entirely different work, even when it very occasionally hints towards noise, it's entire body is something else. What exactly is difficult to describe. Some of these pieces, like the opening 'Bison Fute' and the closing 'Bojangles' are straight drone pieces played on guitars, but 'Psorinum' is a percussive piece for cymbals, rainmakers and a guitar with much delay. Followed by a nervous piece for a cheap organ. Weird stuff that goes all over the improvised/lo-fi music place, but certainly one that keeps the attention there, as you never know what is going to happen. In terms of 'music' this is the musical release of these three. A strangely captivating affair. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.freaksendfuture.com

BRIAN LAVELLE - THE HOUSE OF THE RUSSIANS (mp3 by con-v)
Brian Lavelle has been absent for a few years and he was sadly missed! In the mean time also his wonderful weblabel Technoh went offline he seemed to have disappeared from the music scene completely. I was therefore quite surprised when I saw that Con-v released a complete new album. The release notes tell me that every composition is actually a live improvisation without overdubs. Okay, so let's hear this guy live, then! These works certainly don't have an impro feel to them. Each composition uses a clearly limited set of sounds and a compact editing route. That way the composer has better control over the structure and soundpallette during his live routine. Nevertheless Lavelle is able to make very interesting moves from one phase to the other within the improvisation. In the second work (Painted in Faded Blue) after 4 minutes of abstract digital noise changes a bass rhythm combined with a vocoder like layer moves in quite naturally bringing smoothing the atmosphere. It's quite subtly and everything fits nicely; the abstract and the smooth rhythm and harmonic vocoder sounds. Of course at 8 minutes the laid back atmosphere changes into more machine like hesitant sound alternations. The coherence of the sounds used however prevents the piece from falling apart. It's like that with all the pieces on this release.
That's basically the case with many of the works in this release. Next to the compositions which sound like interesting juxtaposed and layered sound particles there are also two compositions with more ongoing synthesized sounds. These give your brain a more time to relax. You can see that Brian Lavelle really has a grip on his sound material and his instrumentation (i.e.. laptop with MAX/MSP). This is a wonderful comeback and I am really really looking forward to hearing more. (JS)
Address: http://wwww.con-v.org

OMNID - BAG OF RAMS (mp3 by Earlabs.org)
Omnid is the alias for Albert Casais, a pleasant guy from New York. His project should be familiar to many as he has released several mp3 works on practically every quality net-label. His mini ep for earlabs, "Bag of Rams," was generated using a Max/MSP script which selected various audio file fragments and spliced them together at random. The end result does not sound as random as I expected, so I wonder if Omnid further worked on the results generated by his laptop. The first track, called Shasta, is comprised of remnants of musical tidbits (piano sounds, etc) spliced together with digital fragments, all held together by one drone. Sort of an updated take on pause button collage made with a cassette deck. The second track is similar in feel to music concrete from the 1950s, but with today's pristine digital sound. The closing track entitled "Fend" limits its audio sources and sounds more harmonious than the preceding 2 tracks. A pleasant audio postcard from Omnid. (JS)
Address: http://www.earlabs.org

Corrections: g_n44f is not Milton D as mentioned but Kengo Miyazaki. Naiv Super not just releases CDRs, but also CDs and the Dis.Playce one reviewed is a 'real' CD. In the review of 'Praam/Rotterdam' it says "Kapotte Muziek was still a trio", but it should have read "when Kapotte Muziek just became a trio (in 1995)".