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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 496
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week 41
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TAPE - RIDEAU (CD by Hapna)
COURTIS_MATSUNAGA (CD by Prele)
HARALD SACK ZIEGLER - PUNKT (CD by Staubgold)
MIKROKNYTES - SESS-SUPASTRENG (CD by Kavekavity Records)
EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH - WORN TO A SHADOW (CD by Lumberton Trading Company)
PANTHER SKULL - SLOTHWAVE (CD by SNSE)
NOTHING CONCRETE (CD compilation by 99x/10 Records and Tapes)
ERIN LANG - CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE (CD by 99x/10 Records and Tapes)
DOVE YELLOW SWANS - LIVE DURING WAR CRIMES (CD by Release The Bats)
PIERRE-YVES MACE - CIRCULATIONS (CD by Sub Rosa)
UM/ASCOLTARE - SPLIT (LP by Tripel)
PAUL BRADLEY - SOPHIA DRIFTS (CDR by Mystery Sea)
CHEFKIRK - ZYGODACTYL (CDR by Stop/Eject Records)
MACHINEFABRIEK - HISS PANIC (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
CATZENJAMMER (4xCDR compilation by Tib Prod)
RADAR - DROWNING OR DRINKING (CDREP, private)
EKMAN - THE ART OF BREATHING (CDR, private)
EKMAN/RADAR - NGONDRO (CDR by Kala Recordings)
THE BRACES - I'LL KILL YOU (DVD-R by Pineapple Tapes)
MATSUTAKE - NINE AND SEVENTEEN (MP3 by Nexsound)
ARTURAS BUMSTEINAS - PLACIDO (MP3 by Zeromoon)
CD-R - HIDE AND SEEK (MP3 by Zeromoon)
CRITIKAL - STATE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
KOTRA/VIOLET - SACHERTORTE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
NORMAL MUSIC - GENERIC (MP3 by Zeromoon)
R.R. HABARC - DETEKTIV (MP3 by Zeromoon)
RECHE/UBEBOET - COLL. 1 (MP3 by Zeromoon)
RINUS VAN ALEBEEK/TIBOR MACEK - CIAO JAZZCLUB (MP3 by Zeromoon)
SUMERKI PROJECT - SALVE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
TUBE ALLOYS (MP3 by Zeromoon)
VISTECLARO - 12 HELICES (MP3 by Zeromoon)
VOLGA - KIASMA (MP3 by Zeromoon)
ANLA COURTIS/PABLO RECHE - TRANSISTORES DE AIRE (MP3 by Con-V)

 

TAPE - RIDEAU (CD by Hapna)
Finally the third studio CD by Tape (their fourth release if you count the live album 'Mort Aux Vaches'), the trio of the brothers Andreas and Johan Berthling and Tomas Hallonsten. They play acoustic guitars, samples, computer, field recordings and maybe even an electric guitar. The previous two studio CDs were recorded in rural parts of Sweden, but for 'Rideau' they went to Cologne to recorded under supervision of Marcus Schmickler. I can't say it helped, but it certainly changed the sound of Tape. It seems as if musical events are more present in the mix, without being 'harsh', more clearer and apparent. Without losing their sense for experiments, nor the wish to make it more poppy, Tape is still on the edge of experimental music meeting pop, or vice versa. They don't use vocals, or even samples from vocals, which makes this still far away from the world of real popmusic, but Tape crafts minimal tunes, walking the thin line between acoustic guitar playing, drone pieces of their melodica and bon tempi organs and computer processed field recordings. The addition of horns in 'Sunrefrain' and violins in 'A Spire' make their marks for an even extended sound in the future. Can't wait for the next one. Slow, peaceful and pastoral: Tape is simply beautiful music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hapna.com

COURTIS_MATSUNAGA (CD by Prele)
This is the debut CD of a new label from Japan called Prele. It is a collaboration between Anla Courtis (of Reynols fame) and Kouhei Matsunaga (the man behind the Flying Swimming label, also from Japan). The disc contains nine tracks of widely varying lengths and collaboration methods. To name a couple: remix of the other's material, telepathic collaboration and real collaboration. Most tracks are of a certain ambient nature, but with enough things going on to definitely go beyond that (strange cuts, sudden outbursts of seemingly random noise, etc.). The overall quality is pretty lo-fi, which is very good, because it is combined with very typical computer sounds. This works very well and adds a warm quality to the sound. For me the most interesting piece is actually the longest one: the telepathic collaboration. Somehow Courtis and Matsunaga seem very well in tune and have created a very good track with so many kilometers between them. Somehow this track is almost a condensation of the whole CD. It will be interesting to see what the Prele label has to offer in the future. (MR)
Address: http://www.kokeko.net

HARALD SACK ZIEGLER - PUNKT (CD by Staubgold)
That Germans don't have any humor is a very common mistake - people like Sack proof Germans can be funny. Harald Ziegler, aka Sack, produces since umpteenth years his own funny variation of popmusic with German sung lyrics. Perhaps if you don't master the language things are a bit difficult, but luckily I do. Songs about his grandma, dogs, barbie and ken, chocolade, being tired, set against a somewhat more rocky tune than before, but with the usual additions of horns and bassoons, adding that wacky big band sound. But at other times, Sack sounds intimate and small, with just a guitar and two voices. Sack is a multi-instrumentalist, playing here most of the instruments (he is sometimes a member of Mouse On Mars as well as the Kölner Philarmonie). Twenty-two tracks speed by, and they are mostly around one to three minutes (although the latter is an exception). If you like rock, techno, children's songs and radio-plays all thrown into one mighty blender, and still sound as normally together as this, then Harald sack Ziegler is the man. He is the man, since many many years! So get your text book out and learn German and enjoy this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

MIKROKNYTES - SESS-SUPASTRENG (CD by Kavekavity Records)
Since 1998, Derek Morton (electronics, effects, mind control) and John Coursey (violin, electronics, idea manufacturing) are Mikroknytes, and they have released a small number of works ever since. 'Sess-Supastreng' is their fourth excursion into the world of 'massive drones through a barbed-wire filter of cracked electronics and random codes'. In the five lengthy pieces this works out as a semi-improvised, semi-composed work of many layers of sound - a massive sound indeed. Sounds are stapled onto each-other until a dense, vast, thick layer of sound arises from the mass. It's never too drone to be ambient, nor is it too noise to be industrial. In a way Mikroknytes have a very retro 80s sound. P Children or old Illusion Of Safety spring to mind. Music that is too smooth to be industrial and to harsh to be ambient, and was is too analogue to be truly modern. That is no problem at all, me thinks, as it's music that not many people create these days, so it might easily pass for something new. That, and the fact that Mikroknytes play some really fine tunes in this particular musical niche, makes this a most enjoyable album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kavekavity.com

EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH - WORN TO A SHADOW (CD by Lumberton Trading Company)
This is the first release on a new label, Lumberton Trading Company, run by Hassni Malik (of the bands dROME and Splintered, but also of Irrational Arts and Progress Report) and Richard Johnson of Fourth Dimension Records, Adverse Effect, Splintered, Theme and their mission "is dedicated, essentially, to bringing new and exclusive releases by musicians, artists and writers whose vision and commitment to their work exists beyond the usual clutches of their environment." I am not sure if this is the case with the first release, which is by Sonic Boom, aka Experimental Audio Research, which started out as a side project of his work with Spacemen 3. Sonic Boom plays a variety of vintage synthesizers, like the EMS synth Aks, the EMS VCS3 and a Serge Modular Music System. This is drone music with the big D, but it's something entirely different than Mirror, Colin Potter etc. Entirely based on the sounds of the old synthesizers, playing slow curves, and distant like beeps - mechanical water drops - this is very cosmic music. Slow enveloping sounds, this is perhaps music that is best enjoyed when smoking a big joint - but rest assured, it's also pretty fine music when listened to totally clean (or on a sunday morning with a hang-over). Music from altered states, going right into the subconscious. Having said all that, it must be noted that there is not much new development in the music of Experimental Audio Research, but he plays his tricks still very well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lumbertontrading.com

PANTHER SKULL - SLOTHWAVE (CD by SNSE)
Only two weeks ago, we reviewed 'These Graves' by Devillock, and as noted then, Justin Chris Meyers is also working as Panther Skull. Under that alias he just released also his first 'real' CD, 'Slothwave'. According to the press info 'Panther Skull takes the gunky tape sound of that band and crumples it, leaving behind a more haunted, ambient tone'. There is indeed some similarity between Devillock and Panther Skull, but the latter is more open, and at the same time also more crude sounding, but in a rather lo-fi manner. I remember playing around with my father's old reel-to-reel recorder, slowing things down, which I had recorded with a cheap microphone. The machine's motor made a buzzing sound that was also captured onto the recording. Panther Skull is alike this: very lo-fi buzzing drones, that are simply too crude (not noisy) to be classified as ambient, but also not really part of the world of noise. It's the short of release that defies the categories and that in itself is an achievement. Strange captivating stuff.
Address: http://snse.net

NOTHING CONCRETE (CD compilation by 99x/10 Records and Tapes)
ERIN LANG - CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE (CD by 99x/10 Records and Tapes)
Maybe I said this before but I like, every now and then at least, to hear music that is really outside the world of Vital Weekly. Just to hear it, but also to review it, even when my references are perhaps low. 99x/10 is a new label and reads like '99 Times Out Of 10' and is run by keyboard player Roger O'Donnell, who once played with The Cure, Psychedelic Furs and Thompson Twins). His idea is to help young bands and artists, which we at Vital Weekly of course appreciate highly. We received two releases, 'Nothing Concrete'; being a sampler of stuff coming and Erin Lang's 'Choose Your Own Adventure'. Of the compilation I recognized none of the names, but maybe bands/artists like Sensory Factory, Alka, Goddamn Electric Bill, The Maybe, Dead Waiter, Pale Amber Glow, Ecce and Somnolent ring any familiar bells anywhere? Overall the music is quite electronic, but not always in a techno sense of the word, but rather melodic, melancholic, with soft guitar, even vocals, crossing over into more rocky territories, such as Pale Amber Glow. Pretty decent popmusic throughout here, very mellow and smooth, with Somnolent being the most experimental one, but there too: no shocks.
No shocks either by Erin Lang. She hails from Montreal, Canada, and her father was a rock star and her mother a puppeteer. She co-runs the 99x/10 label and her debut album 'Choose Your Own Adventure' was recorded in Weilheim, with Mario Thaler of The Notwist, Lali Puna and Ms John Soda fame. That is not the worst reference, as it seems that erin Lang listened closely to those bands. Soft, melodic popmusic (with the big P however), with Lang's mostly whispering and dreamy vocals. A bit trip hop like, but not as dense and dark, nice slide guitars. Six tracks here - but perhaps this is just a preview copy? - which is just the perfect thing for me. I am not sure if it would be better if it had more tracks. This was just the right amount for me, after a day of work, to relax and sit back. Like I said, not my to refer to here, but it's nice enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.99xoutof10.com

DOVE YELLOW SWANS - LIVE DURING WAR CRIMES (CD by Release The Bats)
The band Yellow Swans are sometimes called something with a changing 'D' word, such as Dark Yellow Swans, Die Yellow Swans, Dreamed Yellow Swans or here as Dove Yellow Swans. It's a duo made out of Pete Swanson on drum machine, vocals and electronics and Gabriel Mindel Saloman on guitar, vocoder and feedback. The six cuts on 'Live During War Crimes' were recorded in concert in May and June 2004 and previously released on obscure CDR compilations, but now re-mastered for a proper CD release. I must admit I was quite surprised by this lot, as I expected things to be much more noisier than this, like a furious wall of feedback. It's not that the music is by any means soft, but it's main thing is the diversity and balance between the various instruments. The drum machine marches on, feedback from various effect pedals and the guitar play interesting lines, while vocals howls are way down in the mix. The CD builds up in intensity, starting rather soft (for a noise band), ending in a fiery crescendo of cascading tones, fading out during the final (untitled) piece. As such this is a highly pleasant work of noise, an example for many noise makers out there. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.releasethebats.com

PIERRE-YVES MACE - CIRCULATIONS (CD by Sub Rosa)
Young Pierre-Yves Mace (born in 1980) has already released a CD on Tzadik in 2002 and now a follow-up on Sub Rosa. Mace works primarily with samples, but he limits himself to one instrument per section. In each section there is one instrument that plays the music, and that's the instrument that is sampled. They are percussion, electric guitar, harp and clarinet. The result is the interaction between the instruments and samples thereof. The first piece for percussion is a hectic and nervous piece, which sounds like a very serious modern composition, but in the next two pieces, for electric guitar and harp, things smooth out in a very nice contemplative way. Things unfold slow and peaceful way, almost like a smooth ambient record. These two pieces are the highlight of this work, as the fourth one with the clarinet is the weakest brother here. Here all the samples are used in a modern classical way, but with the addition of sampled electric guitars in prog rock vein. But with two great tracks and one lesser, this is surely a very fine work. Musique concrete meets post-rock/ambient - well, or some such. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

UM/ASCOLTARE - SPLIT (LP by Tripel)
A picture disc is something that one doesn't see that often these days, but the one by UM/Ascoltare is quite nice to look at. UM is a new name for me, whilst from Ascoltare I heard a 7" before (see Vital Weekly 484), which was a bit Fennesz inspired. Here, both sides seem to be dealing less with glitch, clicks and such and more with plunderphonics. Ascoltare uses a lot of snippets of reality TV cooking programs, including Rick Stein, Keith Floyd and Gordon Ramsey - the rants of the latter are also cut separately for the DJs at the end. Ascoltare throws them all together and prepares us a nice dinner plate with plunderphonica and spoken words about fish, eating and quality of food. Here no such thing as Fennesz like glitch processing, but instead a much more musique concrete influenced sound collage, albeit with spoken word. Quite nice.
Behind UM is Peter Gregory, who has produced a 7" for Strange Lights and several CDR releases. On his side of this LP, he plays fifteen short, one minute tracks of his singing alongside a blend of rhythms and even more garbled, warped digital noise. Occasional there is a melody to be spotted, but mostly not. UM tells us small stories, although it's hard to tell what these stories are about. Quite nice, maybe a bit too short, this self-chosen limitation of one-minute per track. For fans from Felix Kubin, Voks and The Residents. And certainly for lovers of picture discs: you never see enough of those. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tripelrecords.com

PAUL BRADLEY - SOPHIA DRIFTS (CDR by Mystery Sea)
In a relatively short time, Paul Bradley has become a household name in the world of drone music, mainly through the various releases on his own Twenty Hertz, but also his collaborations with people such as Colin Potter and Darren Tate (the latter being on Plinkity Plonk). Such activities don't go unnoticed, and therefore Bradley is now signed (ho-hum, merely joking here) for an one-off deal with Mystery Sea - the other mainstay in the world of drone music. In the past I wrote about his work that it involved a bunch of analogue synthesizers, but Bradley assured me that there is no such thing. Principally he works with field recordings and computer processing. He could have fooled me. In 'Sophia Drifts', the material indeed drifts, in long, slow, majestically moving grace. Deep atmospheric, but there is half way through the piece the addition some sounds from the higher frequency range. It's here when the piece comes truly alive in a beautiful shimmering tones, not unlike the best Organum from his early days. In terms of new directions in drone music, this is not the place to be, but in terms of quality in drone music, this is surely one to remember. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

CHEFKIRK - ZYGODACTYL (CDR by Stop/Eject Records)
If my counts is right, this might very well the fifteenth release by Chefkirk we are reviewing, since Vital Weekly 383, when we first wrote about him. Here on a CDR label I never heard of, Stop/Eject Records. We find him in pretty much similar areas as his past few releases: rhythm and noise on a fine line together. Chefkirk's music is built out of many small rhythmical elements, perhaps computer treatments of electro-acoustic recordings, which are then blown up into many tiny bullets of noise. It's a trick that Chefkirk by now masters quite well, but at the same time, it should be noted that in this vast body of work not much news is happening. Things have been rather steady for a while now and it should be about time that Chefkirk masters some new tricks. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stop-eject.com

MACHINEFABRIEK - HISS PANIC (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
Machinefabriek should a little bit more careful about his releases, me thinks, otherwise he might fall in similar traps as Chefkirk, see elsewhere. He plays out live a lot these days, which is absolutely great in getting your name known, but why he wants to release most of his concerts on three inch CDR is a bit beyond me. This new release 'Hiss Panic' contains two of his recent concerts, one dates October 1st (!) and sees a continuation of his recent live style: carefully building noise, until it reaches a mighty crescendo, although in the 'Hiss' piece this is more or less a rhythmic crescendo, which is a new feature. A bit too gothic for me. As for my suggestion: why not save some more concerts up and collect them on a big CDR and release that on a foreign label? That might be a good career boost. (FdW)
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.tk

CATZENJAMMER (4xCDR compilation by Tib Prod)
There is no doubt about it: the world of CDR releases is a confusing one. Every week new bands, new labels, side-projects: if I wasn't this close to the fire, I am sure it would all be Chinese for me too. But the good thing is 'Catzenjammer' a 4CDR set by Tibprod (sometimes spelled as 'Cat-zen-jammer', 'Catz-en-jammer' and 'Catzen-jammer'), which is probably the most complete guide to bands that release CDRs, not just on Tibprod, but also all these other labels that flood the headquarters here. Four times seventy minutes per CD, makes a total of sixty-nine tracks. Phew. It contains a few people who have released real CDs, such as Lasse Marhaug, Kobi, Aidan Baker, Jan van den Dobbelsteen, Shifts and Tore Honore Boe. They are probably the heroes here. Otherwise it contains some of the most active players in this underground, names you see a lot, like Chefkirk, Guignol Dangereux, Sound OO, Taming Power, Tzesne, Sindre Bjerga, and it (re-) introduces us to Your Name Here, Subinterior, The Suncd Project, Makinoize, Skylined and Monotonos. The music ranges from the softest ambient, via musique concrete collage to harsh noise, all thrown together, but that is the biggest charm here: it's not the individual quality that matters, but the overall impression. A nearly complete guide to this year's underground... (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com

RADAR - DROWNING OR DRINKING (CDREP, private)
EKMAN - THE ART OF BREATHING (CDR, private)
EKMAN/RADAR - NGONDRO (CDR by Kala Recordings)
These three releases are connected to eachother because Ekman and Radar work together on one of the releases and they are for sale at the address below. Ekman is Roel Dijcks from Breda, The Netherlands and Radar is Albert van Abbe from Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Both are also playing together in Penik Ettek and The Untitled and have a background in design. The differences between Ekman and Radar are in the music. Radar's CDREP 'Drowning or Drinking' contains four heavy stomping tracks: a minimal yet forceful rhythm with a slight touch of experimental sounds in the background. The rhythms are not meant for dancing, I think, but they are quite mechanical, almost industrial. In a way, Radar seems to be influenced by Esplendor Geomtrico.
Ekman's release is almost the opposite from Radar. He plays around with electronica, but also piano samples and field recordings. His release starts out with a deep ambient piece of synth washes, but in the other pieces, his music gets a bit more spicier with technoid rhythms. There is a certain sense of melancholy in this music, but it's too straightforward (or perhaps less complex) than many of the counterparts on Expanding Records, Highpoint Lowlife or some such. Clearly a much more ambient influenced work than a techno inspired thing. Very nice music while you work.
Ekman and Radar produced the 'Ngondro' release together, with Ekman delivering three pieces and Radar four. This is a release on their own Kalarecordings, named after the buddhist steps to enlightenment. 'Kala' meaning eternal time. The pieces by Radar's pieces are improvisations with hardware and without samples, all recorded live. It's a bit unclear what that means, but here is music is much darker, yet still rhythmical, but in a less stomping way. Ekman's pieces are much longer here, the piece 'Mayavadi' lasts eighteen minutes for instance, and see a continuation of his 'The Art Of Breathing', but more stretched out and even more ambient. His 'Asanga' piece is made of crackles and is an odd-ball so far. One could think that the combination of two such diverse projects wouldn't work, but not so. Radar's deeper rhythm pieces work nicely along Ekman's ambient pieces. A fine start! (FdW)
Address: <appievanabbe@hotmail.com>

THE BRACES - I'LL KILL YOU (DVD-R by Pineapple Tapes)
Scott Foust is one of my heroes - and I am not sure why. Perhaps it's his music, as Idea Fire Company, as Tart, as XX Commitee but perhaps it's his film 'Here's To Love' of which he send me a preview copy - it's coming soon, and a must see, even if I have no clue what is about. I liked it, just for it's slowness and pretty vague story (more to be revealed later on when I do the review of the film). I didn't know Scott was also doing The Braces, but perhaps there is more that I don't know about him. With The Braces Scott plays guitar and sings and free drummer legend (?) Chris Corsand. This is Scott's closest thing to punk, I guess. Tight drumming and the singing is pretty neat. Here too I don't have a clue what the songs are about, but it has speed and energy and still a certain wackiness that defies this as real punk. I don't think I would have expected anything else from Scott. Here's to love. (FdW)
Address

MATSUTAKE - NINE AND SEVENTEEN (MP3 by Nexsound)
Khabarosvsk - this Russian city's claim to experimental fame is a LP Merzbow recorded there in the 80s, but it's also hometown of Evegeniy Gorbunov, aka Matsutake, which I believe is the name of a mushroom. The source material for Matsutake's work is all recorded with a microphone, which is then processed with a computer in an improvised way. It's quite a curious mixture of serious musique concrete, folky tunes (but then sped up) and sometimes painful experiments that not always work very well. At times it seems as though Matsutake is searching too much for the right sound, or the right process, or the right sound, but then the composition start to fly away: it's searching too much. But sometimes he hits upon the right spot, and things turn out quite nice, such as in 'Da', 'No 2' and 'Flying Dogs'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nexsound.org

ARTURAS BUMSTEINAS - PLACIDO (MP3 by Zeromoon)
CD-R - HIDE AND SEEK (MP3 by Zeromoon)
CRITIKAL - STATE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
KOTRA/VIOLET - SACHERTORTE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
NORMAL MUSIC - GENERIC (MP3 by Zeromoon)
R.R. HABARC - DETEKTIV (MP3 by Zeromoon)
RECHE/UBEBOET - COLL. 1 (MP3 by Zeromoon)
RINUS VAN ALEBEEK/TIBOR MACEK - CIAO JAZZCLUB (MP3 by Zeromoon)
SUMERKI PROJECT - SALVE (MP3 by Zeromoon)
TUBE ALLOYS (MP3 by Zeromoon)
VISTECLARO - 12 HELICES (MP3 by Zeromoon)
VOLGA - KIASMA (MP3 by Zeromoon)
Here is a whole bunch of MP3s released by Zeromoon, a label that also releases normal CDs and CDrs. Many of these MP3s are by artists from the eastern Europe and Russia parts of this world. Arturas Bumsteinas is from Vilnius, Lithunia. His music has been received with some pleasure here. I am not sure if the vocals of Placido Domingo form the basis of this music, but Bumsteinas surely plays around with the notions of ambient glitch in quite a nice way. Slowly unfolding music made out of glitches and carefully processing whatever sound input there was. A bit dark here and there, but very nice.
CD-R are Nikita Golyshev and Stas Bobkin from Moscow, and their music is much more noise related, but they never go for the full blast of things. They built the tracks with care, but end up in quite forceful sound patterns, where high pitched sounds and feedback work alike. It is worked out quite nicely.
Labelman Jeff Surak is one third of Critikal, together with Andrey Kiritchenko and Jonas Lindgren. Seeing where these boys live, I'm sure we are dealing here with a collaboration of mailing sound files. The recordings for 'State' were made in 2002. The eight tracks operate in a noise related drone way, especially the short fifth track is pretty loud. The sixth track is also short and sound a bit like Nurse With Wound. The others are more lo-fi drone related, but sound quite nice.
Ukrains Kotra has already had some releases on Nexsound and is a pretty violent music man. On March 24 and 26 of this year he was in Vienna, and so was Violet (again, the label-boss himself in solo guise) and together they played 'home built electronics and zither'. It starts out with a long solo track by Kotra which is just a vicious loud noise beast, that didn't do much for me. Then Kotra and Violet (note the order), and again noise plays a big role, but in a more cut-up form. Violet and Kotra is unfortunately more of the same, even when some Violet's trademark ambient glitches are somewhere hiding in there. Not my thing.
Of much more interest is Normal Music, the trio of Rafael, beat-master, guitar (The Musique Concrete Ensemble), Thomas on field recordings and rumbles (Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words) and Jeff responsible for drones, autoharp and tapes. I guess, but that's purely my private opinion that Normal Music are the world's best kept minimal techno secret. Why they do MP3s and not 12" on ~Scape eludes me. The work of Normal music can easily be compared with the best of Pole or Deadbeat or any some such. Two lengthy cuts of dubby rhythms, pulsating drones and obscured field recordings. One track is called 'Close Your Eyes And You Too Can Make Normal Music' calls for a remix project, right? Although lesser rhythm based, this could have been a perfect 12".
The name R.R. Habarc might not be unknown to the Vital Weekly reader, despite his career of only small edition CDR releases in handmade packages. Habarc is from Budapest, Hungary and his music is a blend of piercing electronics and deep bass sounds. I don't think his very suitable for the compressed MP3 format, since it has a wide frequency range. Minimalist pulses along the lines of Ikeda and Goem, but also a bit more noise related at times. Not his strongest moment, but still quite enjoyable.
More Pablo Reche (see also elsewhere), here in collaboration with someone named Ubeboet from Madrid, which is one Miguel Tolosa from Madrid. They play pretty dark and dense drone music, that is much louder and abrasively present than most others in this field, especially in the piece 'Littoral', although 'Littoral (Version)' sounds much more delicate. It's quite alright in terms of drone music, but nothing special.
I never quite figured out wether Rinus van Alebeek is a real Dutch man, despite his Dutch name: but hearing some Dutch speaking on this release, I am pretty sure he is. Just like his previous release (Vital Weekly 373), this deals with field recordings he made at work (at Kindergarten?) and at various locations. Just exactly what the role of the for me unknown Tibor Macek is, I don't know. There is at various places some electronic sounds, maybe that's his part? It's actually quite a nice collection of found sound, recorded on the spot, keeping the spirit of the moment alive. A highly concrete sound, and very acoustical.
The band Sumerki Project is a new name for me. They are a five piece band from Tallinn, Estonia and the members play keyboards, gregorian singing and Russian Orthodox singing, but also 'chewing cat sounds', electric guitar and 'crying child sounds'. There is an experimental edge to this music, but in general I wasn't too impressed by this semi-gothic music. Here I pass on.
Tube Alloys are not a 'real' band, but more or less a conceptual project by Zan Hoffman and Jeff Surak. Both run their own labels and both get demo's, which sometimes has a nice piece or two, but one can't release it all. So they choose an economical solution, namely to present a sort of mega-mix of the best pieces from these demo's. It includes music from Alessandro Bosetti/Chris Forsyth (USA), Kuorinki (Finalnd), Fabio Selvafiorita (Italy), Jacob Ludvigsen (Denmark), and Palsecam (Poland), and sound like anything from drone music to ambient to noise and electro-acoustic music. All of which happens in twenty minutes. Quite nice, but the concept and the execution thereof.
I know nothing about Visteclaro, which seems to be a free improvisation music duo from Argentina. Their '12 Helices' is filled with free guitar strumming, electro-acoustic sounds and some sort of horn blowing. Most of the times these improvisations quickly explode in to a vast mass of distortion, which is only occasionally alright. At other times a bit tedious.
Volga is a group around the singer Anjela Manukjan, who is a professionally trained vocalist and folklore researcher, who combines her voice, singing old Russian texts and authentic melodies along with electronic music, played by Alexei Borisov, Jeff Surak, Anton Nikkila, Sergei Letov and others. Surely an interesting combination, but for me a little bit too much of a techno version of Dead Can Dance, which is of course a nice thing, it's again, not so my thing, just like the Sumerki Project. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zeromoon.com

ANLA COURTIS/PABLO RECHE - TRANSISTORES DE AIRE (MP3 by Con-V)
In the years to come, new markets for electronic music will become bigger and bigger. Of course China will be booming, but also South America is upcoming. Anla Courtis of Reynols is for instance already a household name to some. Here he teams up with Pablo Reche, a fellow Argentinean drone musician. In the summer of 2005 they recorded 'Transistores De Aire' together - an eighteen and half minute pure drone piece. Shimmering at the very low end of the sound spectrum, just deep tones are covered here in this territory. How this was done, we don't know. Perhaps some old analogue synth? Maybe the aircondition system being amplified? There is hardly a movement in this piece, no big moving passages, just this very slow, humming sound that is recorded at a low volume. One waits for the big burst, that will destroy everything, but no such is happening. A very intense piece when played loud, and a very atmospheric piece when played soft - a frightening piece when played in the dark. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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