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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 523
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week 17
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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!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html
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

 

MACHINEFABRIEK - MARIJN (CD by Lampse)
PATERAS/BAXTER/BROWN - GAUTICLE (CD by Synaesthesia) *
HUMAN FLESH - SONGS FOR THE VICTIMS (FROM A DECAYING COUNTRY) (CD by EE Tapes) *
YUICHIRO FUJIMOTO - THE MOUNTAIN RECORD (CD by Ahornfelder) *
AGNÈS PALIER & OLIVER TOULEMONDE - ROCCA (CD by Creative Sources)
WADE MATHEWS & INGAR ZACH - MORKE-LYS (CD by Creative Sources)
NA - NAISNICE (CD by Pax Recordings)
FRANK NIEHUSMANN - DAY TRACKS 2 (CD by Nur Nicht Nur)
PAUL BRADLEY - MEMORIAS EXTRANJERAS (CD by Alluvial Recordings)
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - DVNKL (CD by Fifth Week) *
SANTO SUBITO - XAVIER (CD by Accretions) *
DJENGER - VORTEX (CDR, self-released) *
THE SUN IS AN ORANGE COOKIE - MY HEART OF SUGAR (CDR by Chloe Recordings) *
DISSECTING TABLE - NO LONGER HUMAN (CDR by Suggestion Records) *
XEDH - YOUR FLESH (3"CDR by Verato Project)
GIESELA ROT - SACRAL FIELDMUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
MARCUS OBST - TRAFIC TONALITE (3"CDR by Field Muzick) *
FLUTWACHT/SYNOMORPH - FRAGRANCE OF BLOOD (CDR by Tosom)
ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN - SILENCE (CDR by Tosom) *
MITTELSFÄR - M1 - M6 (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
VED - DEMIS ROUSSOS INTERNAL (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
PRAKT - GINNIPIGGU (3"CDR by Mussigganger) *
PÄR THÖRN - NOW HOW RANDOM IS RANDOM (3"CDR by Mussigganger)

 

 

MACHINEFABRIEK - MARIJN (CD by Lampse)
The CDR as testing ground worked pretty well for Machinefabriek, our almost local hero Rutger Zuydervelt. He released about fifteen or so 3"CDR privately, which gained interest from all around. Lampse won the battle to release his first 'real' CD and we can finally hear which direction he chooses. His private releases went in all sorts of directions, from downright noise to almost electronic pop-songs and anything in between. And perhaps of course the next Machinefabriek will be entirely different, you never know for sure with Rutger. But for his debut he made a good choice. Playing around with both musique concrete electro-acoustics, as-well as computer processed sounds, in combination with a real piano, he crafted together six new tracks which play all more or less a melancholically card. All six pieces are in the darker corner of the musical spectrum. Sometimes I thought this was very good micro-sounding material, but Machinefabriek certainly adds much more to the roster. The touching of objects in the opening piece 'Kreukeltape' or the piano playing in the closing 'Lawine', in which the electronically processed sounds slowly take over, which then start to move towards a big crescendo. Both the noise and the popsong are far away, if not completly wiped off the planet. This planet that is. An excellent new start, or perhaps his big bang: I am sure much more delights will follow. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lampse.com

PATERAS/BAXTER/BROWN - GAUTICLE (CD by Synaesthesia)
In Vital Weekly 427 I was lyrical about the CD 'Ataxia' by Anthony Pateras (prepared piano), Sean Baxter (percussion) and David Brown (prepared guitar) and regretted that they didn't stop in my area when they were promoting their CD. On the tour they did they recorded various shows, but apparently two were stand out shows: the one in Vienna and the one in London. Excerpts of both appear on their new CD 'Gauticle'. This is highly acoustic music, without any electronics in sight. 'Ataxia' was a strongly vivid CD, bouncing up and down all along, and I must say that is less the case on 'Gauticle'. They still play around with the notions of electro-acoustic music, improvisation and even free jazz, but it's less of surprise than 'Ataxia'. They have set their own boundaries in improvising with the material they have and they still do it well. Actually very well. The onkyo part of improvisation is something that they entirely ignore and they have sound going all the time. 'Ataxia' was a blow away release, Gauticle is very good follow up. If ever there would be a next time around to see them play live, I would still grab my coat and go to witness them. (FdW)
Address: http://www.synrecords.com

HUMAN FLESH - SONGS FOR THE VICTIMS (FROM A DECAYING COUNTRY) (CD by EE Tapes)
A long, long time ago, in 1985 I took the train to Belgium, to Nivelles, not far away from Waterloo and met a very sympathetic couple: Alain Neffe and Nadine Bal. Together they were Bene Gesserit, they'd run Insane Music, and Alain was also in Pseudo Code, I Scream, Cortex and Human Flesh. They were my heroes and I saw their collection of tapes, records and in the basement their studio, which impressed me a lot. Years after I followed whatever they released, but in the nineties things seemed to have stopped and it was hard to find information on their music on the internet. These days Alain Neffe is back, re-mastered some of his cassettes and made them available on CDR. In each of his musical projects, Neffe did put something specific: Pseudo Code was sort of industrial, I Scream floating synthesizer ambience and Human Flesh was a group that wasn't a group. Recordings were made on an eight track recorder, where Alain Neffe played other musicians that came to his studio or he would dub in recordings send by people. It was more about the concept of music making, than that it has a strict musical concept of it's own. It borrows elements from his projects. When the recordings are made, Neffe leaves the tracks and starts mixing them much later, when he forgot what it sounded like and in a more or less improvised way. On this CD there are fifteen tracks, recorded in the period 1985-1995 and one long bonus track built with elements from the last twenty three years. Participating artists are people who are perhaps lesser known these days, such as Daniel Malempre (aka MAL), Cor Gout (Tresspassers W), Hessel Veldman (Y Create), Deborah Jaffe (Master/Slave Relationship), Xavier S (Pseudo Code, and the track he appears on, sounds very much like Pseudo Code), Lydia Tomkiw (Algreba Suicide) and the for me unknown Magali Cupak, Darline Victor and Judy Timpa. Human Flesh plays music that is best described as a cross-over between pop-music and experimental music, with a strong sense of the darker, atmospherical edges. Highly moody, with a strong emphasis on text, synthesizers and guitars. Like the title indicates, this is not exactly songs about love and happiness, but rather of desolation, loneliness and introspection. Perhaps the music sounds by now a bit dated, but it's nevertheless well made and certainly needs a lot of attention. Then, perhaps, the entire catalogue of Neffe's works should be made to proper CDR releases. Anyone cares to step in? (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

YUICHIRO FUJIMOTO - THE MOUNTAIN RECORD (CD by Ahornfelder)
Although this is my first encounter with Yuichiro Fujimoto, this is his third release, following albums on Audio Dregs and Smalltown Supersound. The cover doesn't list any instruments, but it's clearly guitar, piano, electronics and field recordings. All played in a slow and peaceful manner. Fujimoto leaves big gaps of silence between the various sparse notes he plays. In each of the nine tracks he seems to be concentrating on just one instrument (more or less), and adds a little bit of field recordings to it. In 'To Make A Fire In That Old Stove', with it's nine minutes the longest track in otherwise a bunch much shorter pieces, he opens with highly processed glitchy synth like sounds, but the guitar comes in, and everything is peaceful again. The field recordings are sometimes quite full of hiss, but that adds a very nice, warm quality to the music. Highly melancholic, with a lot of playing in the lower regions, much space and throughout a gentle atmosphere. It's the kind of music that is indeed released on the labels mentioned, or that of Tomlab. If it needed be compared, I'd say this is an even more stripped down version of the otherwise sparsely orchestrated Flim. Beautiful, peaceful. Like being alone on a mountain. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ahornfelder.de

AGNÈS PALIER & OLIVER TOULEMONDE - ROCCA (CD by Creative Sources)
WADE MATHEWS & INGAR ZACH - MORKE-LYS (CD by Creative Sources)
Singer Agnès Palier moved from classical music, chanson to jazz. In the last few years she concentrates on singing in a free improvised context, which is the case on this new CDCD 'Rocca'. For this occasion she is accompanied by Oliver Toulemonde on electroacoustic set. Toulemonde may be known as one of the founding members of the Collectif Ishtar.
Palier screams, yells, murmurs, growls, etc with her voice in a way one aspects from vocal artists like her. Toulemonde creates a great diversity of sounds, textures, etc. with his electro-acoustic set. The noises he produces are the perfect company for Palier's voice: the same in atmosphere, color, intensity, etc. I can't detect exactly what Toulemonde is doing on his so called 'electroacoustic set', but he seems to use all kind of objects. They are played and used by him in a very physical, lively and elegant way. Another reason that makes Toulemonde and Palier an interesting duo. Their improvisations play at at a highly abstract level. But on the other hand their sound poetry stays 'on the floor': its dramatic and dynamic, and very human. Their explorations evolve within a wide range of sounds and musical possibilities. I never had a dull moment with this one.
'Morke-lys' is another impressive duo-effort, albeit of a totally different kind. Wade Matthews and Ingar Zach plus some other musicians made already another CD for Creative Sources, called 'Dining Music'. Ingar Zach is percussionist from Norway. American Wade Matthews (winds, electro-acoustic instruments) lives in Madrid. He released a CD on a sub-label of Sofa Records, that was co-founded by Zach. Mathews has a special interest in bringing improvisation and electro-acoustic music together. On their collaboration 'Morke-lys' Matthews (electronic synthesis) and Zach (percussion) succeed in creating a music of great penetrative and imaginative power. If you want to be at the frontier of improvised and electro-acoustic music, this is the place to be! (DM)
Address: http://www.creativesources.com/

NA - NAISNICE (CD by Pax Recordings)
Kazu Nomura (guitar, voice), Shin Yamada (percussion, electronics, voice) and Noriaka Watanabe (keyboards, percussion), all from Japan, met in Seattle where they started collaborating. They have lots of cd-rs out, 'Naisnice' pretends to be their first official release. It contains 10 songs, each one demonstrates a cacophony of electronic noises and acoustical instruments. Listening to them it becomes obvious that they don't care too much about structure. Also they do not try to become masters in playing technique. In a free and enthusiastic atmosphere their weird songs are born. They are not very critical to themselves, but this maybe their strength in this phase. In the end I would say this is pop-music, but of a very loosely improvised kind. Their focus seems to be to experiment and see what this brings about. I guess they themselves also often do not know what the experiments will reveal. This probably explains the innocent and childlike character of their music. In the anarchic chaos they create, often nice moments occur. These three do have ideas, and are a solid working-unit.
Address: http://www.paxrecordings.com/

FRANK NIEHUSMANN - DAY TRACKS 2 (CD by Nur Nicht Nur)

Only recently we reviewed the CD 'Day Tracks 1' by Frank Niehusmann (see Vital Weekly 510), and here is 'Day Tracks 2', soon to be followed by 'Day Tracks 3'. Maybe there will be 'Night Tracks', with more peaceful music? Not that Niehusmann plays loud music. His work is about a piece of software which he built himself, and which allows him to sample sounds and play around with them. Again, like before, we get twenty pieces of his 'direct to tape' playing of electro-acoustic music and much of what I had to say about the first release, I can state here: It's a bit too much for me. In the end it's hard to see the difference between the various pieces and the trick is known after say ten tracks. It's worthwhile to select your own ten favorites and put them on your player, as it's hard to imagine anyone sitting through this in one go altogether. But there are certainly quite nice pieces to be detected around here. Look and you'll find. (FdW)
Address: http://www.niehusmann.org or http://www.nurnichtnur.com

PAUL BRADLEY - MEMORIAS EXTRANJERAS (CD by Alluvial Recordings)
On the back-cover of the new Paul Bradley CD, we see a tourist picture: people standing in a sunny street and when we read that this was recorded in Valencia and Gandia, both in Spain, we may know that this picture is made while recording the field recordings used. At the basis of all Paul Bradley music is the field recording. After that Bradley manipulates the material until is a stretched out piece of drone music and the original source recordings have disappeared. That's why in the early days we thought it was a bunch of synthesizers. However for 'Memories Extranjeras' he has these recordings made in Spain, and he by and large does the thing he always does best but there is a slight difference. The original field recordings are here and there to be heard: at one point the rhythms of a marching band arrive out of a mass of sound and sounded like an odd counterpoint in this music. On other spots we hear the crowd cheering or talking in a reverbing hallway. This 'revealing' of sources is a quite nice new feature in this music. It doesn't add a whole new perspective, nor does it break the good flow in this work, but at the same time, you feel that Bradley is slowly shifting interest towards new paths. I wouldn't be surprised if he switches over one day and reduces the electronic processing in favor of the pure field recording. But that's all for later. For now, Bradley added another fine work of drone music to his already nice discography. (FdW)

Address: http://www.alluvialrecordings.com

MOLJEBKA PVLSE - DVNKL (CD by Fifth Week)
Not all of the previous releases by Mathias Josefsons project Moljebka Pvlse have been reviewed in Vital Weekly, but some made their way. His works were previously released on Cold Meat Industry, Segerhuva, Mystery Sea and Fin de Siecle and now on the unknown label Fifth Week. For 'Dvnkl', his seventh release, Josefson works with Karin Jacobson, singer of Les Issambres, but I must admit that I read this in the press blurb, since the voice is as much twisted around, and placed upside down inside out, as the field recordings that form the usual basis of this music, that it is hard to recognize as a voice. Sometimes the looped voice is to be recognized, speaking, humming or just producing sound, but it's never made easy. Moljebka Pvlse plays music that is best categorized as dark ambient, but the element field recording becomes more and more a clear thing, just as with the elsewhere mentioned new Paul Bradley. The original sources are not easy to recognize, but there is a very good element of darkness involved - the ongoing feature in the music of Moljebka Pvlse I guess. 'Dvnkl' somewhat sidesteps the previous work, being the collaboration with vocal related material, but on the other hand it entirely fits the Moljebka Pvlse sound perfectly. This is indeed another fine work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fifthweek.se

SANTO SUBITO - XAVIER (CD by Accretions)
Drone music can have many forms, but many of the drone related records reviewed in Vital Weekly are in most ways highly electronically shaped. The acoustic drone however harks back to the early days of minimal music, to the music of La Monte Young and the Dream Syndicate. Santo Subito, aka Milton Cross (violin) and Steven Dye (bass clarinet) go back to these old days of early minimal music with a record that was recorded on 'a saturday' in April 2005. Besides their usual instruments, they also play homemade horns, piano, electronics (dam it!) and percussion. Whatever electronics there are, they are hidden away in the mix. Cross might be known for his work for Tarentel and Dye is the builder of instruments. The seven pieces on this CD display an excellent variety of sounds. The closing 'Farewell Bouy' is slow, contemplative piece with rumbling percussive sounds in the back, a few chords on the piano and the leading role for the bass clarinet, which is a far cry from 'Radiosonde', a strong minimal driving force along the lines of Micheal Nyman or The Lost Jockey. The wall of sound minimalism is however not the majority here, as most pieces have that more introspective playing of the final piece. All seven make clear that the possibilities of playing acoustic drone music are quite endless and that given the variety on offer here, it's still a pretty coherent disc. Very fine music, refreshing to hear after the many electronica drones usually around this place. (FdW)
Address: http://www.accretions.com

DJENGER - VORTEX (CDR, self-released)
Although Djenjer started out making music in December 2005, he feels it's already time to release his first CDR. Djenjer is one Yassine Maaroufi, a young Morroccan artist living in France. That might be the first surprise, the second is that he produces noise music. The album has six tracks and they are more or less related to the cosmos, with titles such as 'Cosmic Tempest', 'Planet Cries' or 'Black Star Dying'. It's hard to tell what Djenjer uses instrument wise, besides feeding the sound through a bunch of distortion pedals. He creates a dark and dense sound, based mainly on the lower end of the sound spectrum. Rhythm plays an important role, but it's more like the old Esplendor Geometrico than a mean dance floor killer. The pieces are alright, but all six are in general too long. Once the idea is clear it goes on a bit too long, which is a pity since it doesn't add to the power of the music. Power which is clearly present, but it looses its sharp edges in the length of the pieces. There is certainly a lot of potential in Djenjer's music, but also some learning to do. A good start nevertheless. (FdW)
Address: http://djenjer.atspace.com/

THE SUN IS AN ORANGE COOKIE - MY HEART OF SUGAR (CDR by Chloe Recordings)
Now that's an odd band name: The Sun Is An Orange Cookie is one Linda Gale Aubry, of whom I never heard before. Her CDR comes in hand-stichted bags, each being entirely different and limited to 36 copies only. The seven pieces were recorded over the course of several weeks, using a synthesizer, sampler and an ipod. On the latter she stored a bunch of field recordings, which she samples away and colors the picture further with synthetic sounds. The music is not like some of the other Chloe releases, which all had their share in improvised and electro-acoustic music, but The Sun Is An Orange Cookie is highly synthetic music, even when perhaps some of it is made through methods of improvisation. It's very upfront stuff that is made with a sort of sense for naivety. Arpeggio synths, minimal samplings. It all sounds quite alright but never too brilliant or too new, with some of pieces being an updated version of the Germanic cosmic music tradition. A bit unstructured here and there, but in the end it's thumbs up for this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.chloechloe.cc

DISSECTING TABLE - NO LONGER HUMAN (CDR by Suggestion Records)
XEDH - YOUR FLESH (3"CDR by Verato Project)
Back in the day when CDs were a novelty to get, there wasn't much experimental music available, so you would end up buying things that were perhaps not entirely your taste, but you needed to feed the machine something. So one of the first CDs I ever bought was an album by Dissecting Table, which a friend of mine released. I wasn't blown away by the aggressive, noise 'n rhythm sound and when Dissecting Table released more, I didn't bother with keeping up. It's been a while since we reviewed anything by Ichiro Tsuji, as the man of Dissecting Table is called, but here is a new one - relatively new, since it was recorded in 2003. I am a bit clueless why this CDR is released on Suggestion Records, and not Verato Project, Suggestion's side label for CDRs. Much happened in music in the last years, but all of that went by Dissecting Table. His music is still a blend of feedback, feedback, distortion, distortion and vocals. Like it sounded when I got the first CD, umpteenth years ago. I still I am not won over as the biggest fan. I can see his point, but that's it.
On Verato Project we find Xedh, with a follow-up to 'Serpents' (see Vital Weekly 445), again a 3"CDR. Other than that it is a project by Miguel A. Garda, I know nothing. In the time span between 'Serpents' and 'In Your Flesh', nothing much changed in his music. Banging the plates metal in a machine-like way complete with piercing electronics. Life isn't a perfect place or some such, which is the message it tries to communicate. I already knew that. Still old school industrial, and a tad bit better than the previous, but not my thing at all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.suggestion-records.de
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

 

GIESELA ROT - SACRAL FIELDMUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
MARCUS OBST - TRAFIC TONALITE (3"CDR by Field Muzick)

Perhaps I am not at liberty tell, but Giesela (a German girl name) is not a girl, it's Lasse Marc Riek, whom we know from his Grünrekorder label. Her (ok, for reviews sake) release deals with time, waving together family portraits and lullabies in an almost sacred way. On the cover it says field recordings by Opa Knef in Koblenz and Opa Rostock in Rostock - two granddaddys helping out. It's not easy what they did, as Giesela stretches the material far out. If they are voices, they are now knitted together into a field of waving tones. A bit synthesizer in the first two pieces, but in 'Acer Campestre/Feldahorn' it seems to be accordion or wind instruments. Quite nice and indeed a bit sacral, but not too much to be kitschy.
Marcus Obst runs the Field Muzick label. In October 2005 he recorded this piece (plus the two you can find online) but on the way the 'plugins of my sequencer software started to melt. This slowed down the recording process in such way, that I embarked on my journey home empty-handed'. So is this the slowed down recording? Perhaps it is. The one piece that lasts twenty minutes uses street sounds, being fed into plugins, is of a slow and relaxing quality. Music to be played at a rather soft volume to create the right atmosphere for it. Slow and peaceful without much real development, but it's all together quite a nice release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fieldmuzick.net

FLUTWACHT/SYNOMORPH - FRAGRANCE OF BLOOD (CDR by Tosom)
ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN - SILENCE (CDR by Tosom)
These two new releases on Tosom are two entirely different releases. Flutwacht is an active force (in many ways) of Germany's always very strong noise scene, and they (he? she?) has had many releases on many labels. Here they have a split with Synomorph is less known and have only one CDR release so far. The first time I played this release I didn't particular look at the cover, nor read the information, assuming this was a collaboration of some kind. Then it turned out to be a split, but the tracks are not strictly separated (first a bunch by one, and then a bunch by the other), but hustled. Plus there are four collaborative pieces. Not that any of this matters, since it all sounds pretty much a like, with enough variations on the theme. Both bands play with tons and tons of noise (distortion, feedback), layered electronics, occasional machine rhythm (or is that rhythm machine?) and piercing vocals. You can't pin one band down and say what it differs from the other. But as said there is enough variation in these pieces, which otherwise sound like they played their fair share of Whitehouse, Genocide Organ and Ramleh in the past.
On the other side of the musical spectrum is Roy-Arne Knutsen from Norway. 'Silence' is his second release and consists of four ambient pieces, with a total length of twenty minutes. Quiet music, relaxing music, played on a bunch of synthesizers (wether or not coming out of the computer, we don't know) with some additional field recordings. Probably the sound of rain, always easy to catch. If Flutwacht/Synomorph have their heroes, so does Knutsen: his ambient music is quite close to the inventor of the genre, Brian Eno. One thing though that struck me: the tracks are a bit short for this kind of music and they end a bit abruptly. Knutsen could easily make his pieces a bit longer without losing the listener's interest and create nicer curves to end his pieces. Nice one for an early spring morning. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tosom.de

MITTELSFÄR - M1 - M6 (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
VED - DEMIS ROUSSOS INTERNAL (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
PRAKT - GINNIPIGGU (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
PÄR THÖRN - NOW HOW RANDOM IS RANDOM (3"CDR by Mussigganger)
The english version of the website for this label is not yet online, and my swedish isn't what it never was, so I just go by what I (barely) read on the cover. Mittelsfär is Matthias Nihlen on prepared electric guitar and Henrik Kihlberg on a small portable gramophone. They offer six short tracks of really lo-fi improvised music of themselves scraping the guitar, some field recordings. It's all a bit too lo-fi and easy for me.
No instruments are listed for Ved. Not even a name. Just Ved as the artist and 'Demis Roussos Internal' as the title. This one is a bit harder to describe really: I think it's made of samples and sounds, certainly at the beginning, a bit lo-fi pop like. But then it moves into a lengthy drone like piece with piano playing. It's a kind of curious release that is not bad at all.
Behind Prakt is Henrik Kihlberg, who runs the Mussigganger label. His 'Ginipiggu' (that probably translates as guinea pig) release is a 'reworking of various field recordings'. The funny thing is that he doesn't transform the usual blend of water and rain sounds, like so many other do, but he stuck his microphone in a birdcage and works his way around with the birdcalls. Somewhere along the line he feeds his birds into a wall of droning electronics and scraps along the metal of the cage. Not exactly a peaceful affair, but it sounds quite intense and dense.
Pär Thörn offers a conceptual work. The title means 'concept of randomness and
dice throwing'. Lots of layered voices, feeding through an echo unit, or perhaps natural in the process of phase shifting. I was going to write a bit like blackhumour, but is there anyone out-there who has a clue what I am talking about? Let's say, a bit like Steve Reich's 'Come Out', but with a lesser intensity. As far as concepts go, it's alright. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mussigganger.tk

 

 

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