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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 525
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week 19
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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

 

COLIN POTTER & THE HAFLER TRIO - A PRESSED ON SANDWICH (CD by Nextera) *
YANNIS KYRIAKIDES - WORDLESS (CD by Unsounds) *
MAGNUS ALEXANDERSON - STRETCHED IN THE DARK (CD by Elektron)
AHASVERUS - TEN IS THE NUMBER (CDR by Ahasverus Records)
VIKTOR SJÖBERG - ON A WINTER'S DAY (CD by Kalligrammofon)
THINK ABOUT LIFE - THINK ABOUT LIFE (CD by Alien8 Recordings) *
AS11 - MONOTHEISM (CD by Antifrost) *
WARREN BURT - THE ANIMATION OF LISTS/AND THE ARCHYTAN TRANSPOSITIONS (2CD by XI Records)
CRASHING HAPPY (2CD compilation by Bek) *
EARZUMBA - CUCCIOLI INCATENATI (miniCD by Aabland) *
CHRISTIAN MARCLAY - GUITAR DRAG (one-sided LP by Neon Gallery)
JANEK SCHAEFFER - LOCATION STORIES (2x 7" by Stichting Mixer)
MIRKO UHLIG - VIVMMI (CDR by Ex Ovo) *
TODD MERRELL - NEPTUNE (CDR by Dreamland Recordings) *
PERNANDO KRÜGER & LÖTY_NEGARTI - FLÜJO ACUSTIKO MATERIKO (CDR by Namaika<#)
POLYPHONIC PETALS (CDR compilation by Bitlab Records)
COME BACK VOLUME 1 (CDR compilation by Go Away Recordings)
GREG KELLEY - THE TRADITIONS OF THE PAST CANNOT BE RETRIEVED (CDR by 8mm Records) *
INFINITE MIND (DVD-R by 8mm Records)
REVERSE MOUTH - A CHILD A DWARF A SICKNESS (CDR by Phase Records)
DONNA PARKER - BLACK BLACK HEART (3"CDR by Phase Records)
INTERTRONIK - LIVE BEI RADIO GAGARIN (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TUMORCHESTER - FENG SHUI KATASTROPHEN (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TBC - NO ANIMAL CONVICTION (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
CHARLES GOFF III - DADA FOR THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY (CDR-rom by Taped Rugs)
PRAFIX AZTECH - GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! SWEET CHARIOT IS COMING! (CDR by Organic Pipeline) *
NIHIL T NADA - MUSICA FLORA MANICA (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
RESPIRATOR - MONOCHROME (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - FINGERMONSTERBUZZ (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
FEINE TRINKERS BEI PINKELS DAHEIM - OMAFISCH (business card CDR by Twisted Knister)
[~HYPH~] - GRANULAT 15405 (business card CDR by Twisted Knister)
IRISH - MANUFACTURES (MP3 by Minus N) *
TITAN AND YEZ - CANCEL, DON'T SAVE, SAVE (MP3 by Minus N)

 

 

COLIN POTTER & THE HAFLER TRIO - A PRESSED ON SANDWICH (CD by Nextera)
Do any of these two artists need really an introduction? I don't think so. Both are big shots in the world of experimental music. Early 2003, shortly after the re-discovery of The Hafler Trio, the trio did a performance in Preston called 'How To Slice A Loaf Of Bread'. The performance was attended by Colin Potter, who lives and works in the same city. Afterwards it was suggested that the two should work together, but McKenzie being Iceland and Potter in Preston made a tete-a-tete not easy. Andrew McKenzie mailed Colin Potter the original source materials for the concert, which Potter happily reworked into 'A Pressed On Sandwich'. The original performance was also released (see Vital Weekly 404), so there is something to compare. Both The Hafler Trio and Colin Potter are masters of drone music, but there are some subtle differences. The Hafler Trio seem overall more monochrome in approach, with so it seems for the listener who doesn't know any better, whereas Potter seems to be using more sound effects to create the soundscapes that he does, maybe less organic and more electronic. As said, the differences are quite subtle here, and there is certainly no hierarchy, both are masters of the genre. Potter's mix is perhaps a bit more dense and obviously more concise (The Hafler Trio release spans three CDs), but it moves as gentle and dark as the original. Great collaboration. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nextera.cz

YANNIS KYRIAKIDES - WORDLESS (CD by Unsounds)
In Brussels there is an archive called BNA-BBOT, which collects interviews with people from Brussels. They talk about the daily lives, work, hobbies. Th Argos festival (see also last week's release by Francisco Lopez) commissioned Yannis Kyriakides - a Greek composer living in The Netherlands, and also the man behind the Unsounds label (well, with others) - to compose a piece of music using the interviews from the archive. As the title already indicates, he cuts out the words from the interviews, and leaves the hesitations, breathing emotional reactions and environmental sounds. These edits are re-sampled 'and set in musical structures with wave-based electronic sounds, resonances, pulses and noises'. Erm. Hmm. It may sound a bit boring, but its certainly not, in fact it's a great CD, especially when some of the environmental noises are used, such as 'Drummer_0404', in which a Gambian drummer explains his technique and his drumming is used. But the extra elements that Kyriakides adds, such as sine waves, clicks and other electronic sounds, make the whole thing very vibrant. Of course it's hard, if not impossible, to follow the interviews, but that's not the point of this work anyway. This work falls in between the category of sound poetry and musique concrete and is ultimately a beauty to hear; not a single weak moment. Great stuff.
Address: http://www.unsounds.com

MAGNUS ALEXANDERSON - STRETCHED IN THE DARK (CD by Elektron)
AHASVERUS - TEN IS THE NUMBER (CDR by Ahasverus Records)
These two releases are both from Sweden on two different labels, but both labels are run by Henrik Summanen, who is also responsible for one of the releases. Elektron is the record company of SEAMS, the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in Sweden. Their tenth release is by Magnus Alexanderson (1961). He studied guitar, bassoon and musical theory in his youth and later on computer music. Nowadays he works mainly in the electro-acoustic field. There are three pieces here on this release, one from 1991, one from 1997 and the most recent is from 2000, the opening piece. It's called 'Stretched In Dark' (the word 'the' mentioned in the title is missing here) and is listed as musique concrete, but it's wall of the sound drone could easily be listed as 'amplified electric guitar plays with a chain saw', as it has the heavy saw sounds of an amplified agricultural tool. The midiguitar is part of the second piece, 'Melting Points' (1997) together with a sampler. Similar chainsaw effects are reached here, but it's a much more 'serious' piece of slowly gliding sounds, occasionally interrupted by smaller sounds. The oldest piece is 'Fu' (1991), and it's also the longest piece. It's for computer-controlled synthesizer and of a much more quieter nature. Bell like sounds open the piece, and over the course of almost thirty minutes these get stretched out and are sometimes visited by the bell sounds. A deeply atmospherical piece that is the highlight of the CD, even when the other tracks are also quite good.
Ahasverus Records releases the work of Henrik Summanen, aka Ahasversus, so it can be seen as as a side label/hobby label of him. He is not trained as a musician, but as an archaeologist/linguist and works for the Museum of National antiquities in Stockholm. Since 1995 he produces his own music, mainly electronic and electro-acoustic as the EMS studios in Stockholm. Despite this interest in more academic music, Summanen discovered in 2005 dark wave/industrial/dark ambient music, which he found very inspiring and which ultimately lead to this new album. I think he sort of grasped the ideas of those styles of music quite well, even when at one point there is a heavily processed choir coming in. Deep and drone-like with a good solid dark atmosphere, much reverb on the sounds. All the common ingredients are there, and perhaps is it that the mystical connotations are not that well spend on me, but I have some trouble with this release. It all sounds a bit too much like an imitation, and not straight from the heart, more like an ecercise in style than a genuine thing. And perhaps the similarity of the sounds throughout didn't help either. No doubt excellently produced, but not really my thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.elektron.nu
Address: http://www.ahasverus.se

VIKTOR SJÖBERG - ON A WINTER'S DAY (CD by Kalligrammofon)
In the world of Vital Weekly we get new composers every week. People that we never heard of, but who are suddenly there and who produce some fine music. People like Viktor Sjöberg. He started to play music in 1995, with 'a rather naive idea if what hip hop could be', later to become 'real' hip hop, but these days his music is not like that at all. The new ingredients for his music are 'often unprocessed field recordings as well as his sampling of phonograph records'. Apparently the musical theme is built around the opening chords of a very famous popsong, but shamefully I admit I don't recognize it. The acoustic guitar, often used to create intimacy, plays the main role in the music of Sjöberg. It's a way of 'criticizing as well as acknowledging that myth'. Sjöberg's music can best be classified as highly melodic ambient glitch music. Vague music patterns, the tinkling of the guitar, the field recordings, which actually sounds more processed than not, and the typical sound processing, it all sounds familiar, it's a bit too much Stephan Mathieu, I guess. Perhaps the interest of Sjöberg lies in bringing out the guitar a little bit more than Mathieu would have done, but by and large it's a similar type of microsound/glitch popmusic. Excellently produced by the way. This is quite a nice CD throughout, and there are surely enough people who would dig this. Me too actually. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kalligrammofon.com

THINK ABOUT LIFE - THINK ABOUT LIFE (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
Imagine yourself in a small basement, packed with people. You can barely the see the band, but there are three of them: Martin Cesar on vocals, Matt Shane on drums and vocals and Graham van Pelt on keyboards and vocals. They are called Think About Life and play high energy electronic music, with the inspiration from punk. Think Suicide, think Peaches, think Quintron, but with a real drummer. You take the CD home and play it. Sometimes you are disappointed, but you won't be if you take the debut from Think About Life home. Of course I didn't see this Montreal band live, but upon hearing this CD I have a pretty clear picture how this will sound, as it's all produced with a strong direct your face production. Play this loud and it will seem if the band is sitting next to you in your living room. Think About Life sound like an electronic punk band, but lack the dark undertones of a regular punk band and sound much more uplifting. Track are short and to the point. Well, what else do you want? Great CD to wake up after a night in small basement watching a great band. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

AS11 - MONOTHEISM (CD by Antifrost)
Releases on the Greek Antifrost label usually don't have that much information, certainly not when it has to do with the music of AS11. 'Monotheism' is based on 'field recordings made at Mount Horeb, Sinai/Gebel Musa, Egypt'. That mountain is also known as the mountain of God, Gebel Musa means the mountain of Mozes. We could say that this is the one place where man met God, and we know there is just one - hence the title 'Monotheism', believer in one God. AS11 made these recordings and added 'additional voice effects' in his studio in Athens. The work opens with what sound like the wind, first solely and stale around the top of the mountain, but as the piece progresses, things get louder and louder. Like a forceful and evil God, angry at his followers. Erosion made audible, I thought. Also some of the sounds reminded me early Eric Lunde music, who also recorded on a top of mountain, and whose music had a similar erosive quality to it. This piece builds and builts, but suddenly after thirty seven minutes it's all over and it takes another minute for the sound to die out. Maybe there is some significance in these time frames, which eludes me (both conceptually and religiously), but it's a mighty powerful piece of heavily treated field recordings, that someone may put down as simple noise, but which I think just works great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.antifrost.gr

WARREN BURT - THE ANIMATION OF LISTS/AND THE ARCHYTAN TRANSPOSITIONS (2CD by XI Records)
If I'm correct Gyorgi Ligeti composed a symphony for, I believe, 100 tuning forks and Christiana Kubisch for several, and here is Warren Burt delivering a double CD with eight pieces for tuning forks. Burt studied in New York but moved to Australia in 1975 where he lectures and composes, mainly in the area of interactive technology and microtonality. Many of his works dealt with voices, but here we have tuning forks. On one disc we find 'The Animation Of Lists' and on the other 'And The Archytan Transpositions'. Each of the pieces is around sixteen minutes long, and there is indeed a difference between both discs. The first work is more calm and relaxing, and in the second piece, there are more notes played and seems a bit more complex. I tried reading the technical notes by Burt himself in the booklet, but I got carried away by the music to such an extent that I ignored the notes altogether. This is highly minimal music with slow to no changes, just moving slowly forward. Peaceful, late night music, to be played with just a small light on, preferable at a low volume. Then it will unfold it's true beauty. Simply a gorgeous CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xirecords.org

CRASHING HAPPY (2CD compilation by Bek)
My former employer always said, when talking about differences in Windows and Apple computers, that there are computers whose harddisc works and those who are crashed. Of course a computer is terrible, but it can lead to something too. Stephan Mathieu's 'Kapotte Muziek by...' for instance is entirely based on a crashed harddisc that still produces sound, and on 'Crashing Happy' something similar is the case. Jørgen Larsson entered the computer room of Bek (in Bergen, Norway) and found the computer making 'some strange noises', a result of conflict with drivers, hardware and apps and it seemed like it played back all it's Ram as sound, just like HAL dying in 2001: A Space Odyssey. A recording was made and send to seven different composers with a request to do a remix. Of course Larsson is one. Six of them are Norwegians, and I must admit I never heard of them. From abroad comes the well-known Francisco Lopez. On this double CD, we get one disc with the full crash, which is of course a pretty harsh affair, but there is some music coming through it, like drums. Nice, but perhaps not the thing to play on a daily basis. If I would have not heard the crashing, but just the remixes, than I would surely be amazed to know that the remixes stem from the sounds of crashing computer. Perhaps I would have thought about some serious heavy weight academic composers, with a strong love for some noisy material. You can hear sounds in there that are surely not part of the crash, such as the drums in Ulf Knudsen's piece. Or perhaps it is in there, but so distorted and Knudsen changed it back, who knows. There are all quite nice pieces, except maybe the Lopez piece. It much longer than the others, but it isn't engaging as the others. A long field of stretched out sounds building to a crescendo until going into full stop and then starts building again. It's ok, but I heard him do better. Also included are Asbjørn Blokkum Flø, Espen Sommer Eide and Thorolf Thuestad. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bek.no

EARZUMBA - CUCCIOLI INCATENATI (miniCD by Aabland)
Along with this mini CD (twenty three minutes) by Earzumba, the by now more and more known Christian Dergarabedian, comes a book, which I haven't seen, but basically it is made by six artists, who gave eachother gifts to inspire the other to make a picture, design or music. Earzumba received socks, a picture, a sausage, Ukrainian beer and a book. Plus there is a sixth tracks that doesn't deal with gifts, I think. Each of the gifts inspired Earzumba to do something special and each track sounds different from the other. Most of the songs here, like 'Perdiendo La Magia' or 'Morci Music' sound very much like popmusic, more than we are normally used from Earzumba. The collage element is still present in the music but the rhythm holding everything together and these pieces sound the most pop related thing Earzumba ever did. There is also a metal track and a drone track, which seem like odd balls around here, but it makes good sense. This is throughout a pretty fine release, perhaps the most accessible Earzumba until now. (FdW)
Address: http://www.earzumba.com http://www.aabland.com

CHRISTIAN MARCLAY - GUITAR DRAG (one-sided LP by Neon Gallery)
In 1986 or 1987 I went to a local gallery, funnily enough called Goem Gallery, to see a concert by a man I never heard of before. He played about five or six turntables, spinning records of all sorts, looping them, hand-spin them and whatever. It was great. It was Christian Marclay. After I rarely saw anyone with turntables doing any better. What I didn't know is that Marclay was also a visual artist, later on producing the excellent 'Broken Music' book. I must admit I didn't keep up following all of his work, but somewhere in my mind the 'Guitar Drag' video, first shown at the Sonic Boom sound art exhibition stuck in my mind. In this video a guitar is stuck with a rope behind a pick up truck and dragged along the streets of San Antonio. It reminds us of the lynching of James Byrd Jr, who was dragged around in similar ways, but also of the destructive act of say Pete Townsend or a Fluxus happening. On this one side LP, we hear the complete soundtrack for this video, from attaching the guitar, slamming the strings, starting the car and, main part, the dragging around. Especially the later is heavy noise thing. Sometimes it sounds like it's on fire, sometimes it sounds like falling of a mountain. It's an excellent piece of very, very good noise music.
Address: http://www.neongallery.nu

JANEK SCHAEFFER - LOCATION STORIES (2x 7" by Stichting Mixer)
Many things happened since Janek Schaefer first entered the music scene with his turntable with three arms. He collaborates with others, such as Robert Hampson of Main, does installation pieces and incorporates field recordings in his work. This new double 7" (and if understood well, the final new Stichting Mixer release in some time to come) deals with field recordings, but of three different natures. On side A we hear messages left on a mini digital dictaphone that Schaeffer bought. It was the display model so it went through many hands, and many people tried the machine, leaving their messages on. Quite a hilarious piece of found sound. The b-side is a pure field recording of goats wearing bells. The funny thing is that these goats are all silent, so the only thing we hear is the sound of the bells, which sound like a thick mass of chinese bell chimes plus some more obscured sounds, part of the recording.
On the other 7" we have two recordings made in the Amazon Rain Forest, where a Brazilian guide, two English tourists and a German tourist are playing a 'word association' game. Of course the Rain Forest makes a lot of noise, bird and insect calls. Of course with three different native languages on board it's not easy to do this, so there is some amount of confusion among the players. It's a very nice idea and with the Rain Forest sounds its also a beautiful ambient recordings, but perhaps the fifteen minutes spread over 2 sides of a 7" is a bit too much. However, Schaeffer tells three great, three different stories. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stichtingmixer.nl

 

MIRKO UHLIG - VIVMMI (CDR by Ex Ovo)
Something that happens a lot is that musicians work under the banner of a bandname and then later on in their career work just by their own name, perhaps to mark a difference, or perhaps a change in approach, or the desire to be taken more seriously. Whatever the reason may be, Mirko Uhlig was formerly known as Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf, Suneaters and The Vévé Seashore, but now just goes by his own name. For him it marks the beginning of a new phase. What was already present in the music by Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf (or perhaps the others, but I don't know them) is the element of drone music, here again playing an important role. There is also the extended use of field recordings, especially bird calls, the slowed down piano and guitar sounds and the more obscured sounds of objects falling to the ground or a door squeaking. The work is recorded at a very low volume, which is a pity since one has to crank the volume all the way up to hear something and that seems unnecessary to me. Mirko Uhlig plays a form of drone music that is highly refreshing, touched by influences of some of the work of Nurse With Wound, but with enough of it's own. It's drone related, has field recordings and processed instruments, all the common elements so to say, but he creates something that is beyond the ordinary. It is about time that he went out to produce his first real CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.exovo.org

TODD MERRELL - NEPTUNE (CDR by Dreamland Recordings)
A new label for me is Australia's Dreamland Recordings, which releases music in the format of CDR as-well as MP3s, covering such grounds as ambient, drone, dark ambient, experimental, post rock, dream pop, shoegazer by lesser-known artists worldwide. One such artist is one Todd Merrell, who studied music composition and voice at Berklee College of Music and who was the keyboardist of the Bunny Brains, besides writing serious pieces of music. His release 'Neptune' is ambient with the big A. All eight tracks are named after various moons of that planet and the cover lists the date of discovery, distance, radius, mass and who discovered it. It's quite easy to say that this is spacious music, but what else can one say? Taking his inspiration from the isolationist music of Thomas Köner or the more recent works of Biosphere, Merrell crafts a dark, empty space in which nothing seems to live. Like a cold, glacier wind coming out of your speakers, with small events happening, but that never work their way upfront. Everything seems to be happening in a low key mode. Silent and tranquil, but ever so dark that 'new age' isn't a term that even comes closely to this. Great stuff that is hardly 'new' by any musical means, but nevertheless makes a good impression for those who love their ambient to be dark and drone-like. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dreamlandrecordings.com

PERNANDO KRÜGER & LÖTY_NEGARTI - FLÜJO ACUSTIKO MATERIKO (CDR by Namaika<#)
Löty_Negarti hails from the Basque country and since three years he has been with music, mainly electronic but also analogue media. He runs, together with the members of Gatza a CDR label called Namaika<# and 'Flügo Acustiko Materiko (Ejercicios Esperituales De Subsuelo)' is the third release on the label. It is roughly translated as 'material acoustic flow (underground spiritual exercises)'. It's recorded by Löty_Negarti and on Pernando Krüger, whoever he is. Recorded in July last year, the two use laptops, feedback and radio sounds. The two like the sound to be roughly shaped and noise related. They never go over the top to produce a really furious Merzbow like sound, but throughout things are pretty loud and mean, but due to the effect of using sound collages, it jumps all over the place, which makes it altogether more interesting to hear. A cross-over between industrial music, musique concrete and improvisation, sometimes missing the point entirely, sometimes right on spot. (FdW)
Address: http://www.euskalnet.net/gabon/cdrlabel.htm

POLYPHONIC PETALS (CDR compilation by Bitlab Records)
A petal is a flower, so why couldn't they be polyphonic? The Hungarian Bitlab label invited a whole bunch of musicians to play around with the notion of petals. Not just Hungarian composers, but also from outside the country, such as Miles Tilmann, Boc Scadet, Vector Lovers, Ten And Tracer, Bad Comfort and Sensiva. The music can be described as intelligent ambient techno, which is throughout a pleasant to hear. There is however also an objection to be made: all tracks sound alike, without much difference between the various bands. Influences of such labels as Warp or Skam, and many of their artists, run through of all these tracks. There isn't a particular weak one, which is of course a good thing, but there is also, sadly enough, no standout track, one that really breaks the rules or does something different within the genre. But it was also a pleasant trip on sunny afternoon. And sometimes that is fine enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bitlabrecords.com

COME BACK VOLUME 1 (CDR compilation by Go Away Recordings)
Perhaps it's funny: Go Away presents Come Back, but it's also a bit silly. None of the thirteen names mean anything to me, but then I am not too well informed about the crazy breakcore scene. Perhaps my mistake. All the pieces here are simply to be classified as 'crazy' beat stuff. Over the top rhythms, over the top samples. Extreme break-beats, extreme breakcore. Gabber (that only true innovation in music from The Netherlands) is never far away. Deceiving moments of quietness are by Amoebazoid or the somewhat minimal and dubby piece by The Last Sound, before it explodes into a mean slab of drone noise with rhythms underneath. All the others provide mayhem. Try this right before you go to sleep and you have a rather uncomfortable night. But I must admit it's also a shot of adrenaline that will surely enlighten you and can work refreshing. Also included are Spectac, Xian, Lakker, Herv, Solypsis, DJ Floorclearer, DJ 808/Hard Off, DJ Rainbow Ejaculation, Sausage Forest, Skell and Sunken Foal. Not for the weak of heart. (FdW)
Address: http://www.goawayrecordings.com

GREG KELLEY - THE TRADITIONS OF THE PAST CANNOT BE RETRIEVED (CDR by 8mm Records)
INFINITE MIND (DVD-R by 8mm Records)
To some people Greg Kelley is mostly known as a trumpet player in the world of improvised music, with his projects such as Nmperign, Heathen Shame and Cold Bleak Heat, but he's also active as a composer under his own name. His previous solo release, 'I Don't Want To Live Forever' (see Vital Weekly 474) was a strong work of musique concrete sound assemblage of field recordings made on tour, entirely put together on the computer. On this new release he dug up five pieces from the period 1997 to 2005 which were all made on a four track machine. The first four are all around seven to eight minutes and the final piece is almost thirty one minutes long. In all five there is an element of noise, not in the sense of putting some distortion pedals on but the loud recording of acoustic elements, tape loops and bits of silence making strong sound collages. In '4 Piezos', the long piece, there is a lot of metal sounds, amplified with piezo microphones and electronic sounds coming from tape-machines (tape-scratching) and perhaps even some electronic processing at the end. Perhaps a bit long, this last one, but it's throughout a release that has some highly intelligent form of noise music.
'Infinite Mind' is a film by Ms Elsa, who undertook a spiritual pilgrimage from 1971 to 1978 into the lands of India and Nepal. It was filmed on super8 film by Sissy B. and now edited into this thirty three minute poetic film, or cinematographic poem. Music is delivered by people like Mondo Cane, Madame P, Nihil Is Me, Be Maledetto Now!, Alemon, Nico Vascellari and Stefano 'Sissy' Biasin, who all play together in different variations. The film shows us life in India and Nepal (and bits of Ceylon, as it was then called), sometimes with images layered over eachother. If one, like me, doesn't have much knowledge of the various religious aspects shown, it's a bit like feeling lost, but everything moves quite gentle about. The music is a bit like processed ethnic music, but processed with electronic elements. They make good sense along with the music. Very nice work this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.8mmrecs.com

REVERSE MOUTH - A CHILD A DWARF A SICKNESS (CDR by Phase Records)
DONNA PARKER - BLACK BLACK HEART (3"CDR by Phase Records)
Two releases on the Greek Phase Records, usually bringing us noise and these are no different. I have no idea who or what Reverse Mouth is, but the title of their release makes us fear the worst. Yes, it's a rather lo-fi affair of noise related music, but it's also quite nice. In five pieces, Reverse Mouth uses feedback sounds, metal scraping and some relatively simple forms of sound processing. It never goes over the top with extreme walls of distortion, but it stays rather on a more intimate side of things. Obscured rumbling of objects, with a bit of electronica. Lo-fi indeed, but it's all rather nice.
Of course we know Donna Parker, most recently from her debut LP for Twisted Village (see Vital Weekly 520). She continues her short sound attacks on this 3"CDR, six tracks in just over sixteen minutes. Things are less rhythmic here than we are used from her and operate more in the areas of nasty drone music. Working her way through a few effect pedals, she creates a like-wise lo-fi affair but more noisy than Reverse Mouth. A simple and direct in your face recording, with even a moment of introspection in 'Pull Down The Shades'. Quite alright, again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.phaseweb.tk

INTERTRONIK - LIVE BEI RADIO GAGARIN (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TUMORCHESTER - FENG SHUI KATASTROPHEN (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TBC - NO ANIMAL CONVICTION (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
Wachsender Prozess is a small German label which releases LPs by Marc Behrens, NTL, Beequeen/Kapotte Muziek but also cassettes and CDRs. The three we are dealing with here are all packed in collated 7" covers, which breath the esthetics of punk rock. Intertronik is a duo of Guy Saldanha (bass) and Klemenz Kaatz (live electronik) who have releases before on Knistern Records and present here an improvised gig recorded at the local Hamburg Radio Gagarin station. In four lengthy tracks they play around with the notions of noise and rhythm, but in a somewhat older fashion, that of krautrock. Jamming around the rhythm machine and sound effects, both musicians do space out on their equipment. More seventies than eighties, more German than UK, more Conrad Schnitzler and Can than Cabaret Voltaire or Throbbing Gristle, if you catch my drift. It's quite alright for what it is, but nothing new under the sun.
I never heard of Tumorchester, which apparently is 'Hamburgs Postpunk-freakout-krautrock-jazz-no wave answer', who get help here from Chad from Gorge Trio on percussion and TBC on electronics. Their release was also recorded at Radio Gagarin and makes their description come through: very wild and free music of bursting noise explosions of saxophone, guitar, cello and percussion in various combinations. Quite a wild bunch even when they very occasionally play a more introvert tune, which I must admit are more to my liking. Quite an energetic affair this one, leaving the listener a bit nervous behind.
TBC is Thomas Beck, the man behind Wachsender Prozess. His new release is all about animals and vegan life style. If you are a vegetarian you will like it, otherwise you will have no other possibility than to hate this, the press text reads. Since I am not really a vegetarian, my judgment should be ready then, but to be sure, let's listen first. TBC uses many treated recordings of animal sounds, which are treated to an extent where it is no longer possible to recognize the original sounds. TBC's processing's are crude and noise related, with distorted sounds and apparently he doesn't care that much about the structure of a piece. Things go on and on, as in an endless stream of sounds. I don't hate it, because I sometimes eat meat, but there are obviously points for improvement to be made. Not bad, but not great either. (FdW)
Address: <thomas@fsk-hh.org

CHARLES GOFF III - DADA FOR THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY (CDR-rom by Taped Rugs)
Last year we reviewed a whole bunch of releases by Charles Goff III, but more recently things were quiet again. This new release contains not only music, but also films. Actually it's the films that count here, it's a CDR-rom with seventeen short films in the Mpeg 1 format. Goff takes material from old films, newer documentaries, old and new photo's, original art and samples the sound from them and plays along new music. Sometimes the films are perhaps a bit too easy made using sampling of images and spoken word, such as in 'Odokta!' or a too long exerciseexcircise with lights in '333', but 'Flight Of The Dresses', with it's classical piano theme and processed choreography make a good poetic homogeneity. Or 'Cigarren', presented as a poem by Kurt Schwitters, which as nice retro twenties film and a dadaesq soundtrack. It would be a bit much to describe all the films in detail, but there are some very nice ones, as well as some lesser ones. The soundtracks are not always great, which is a pity, but the whole thing would surely do well at your local experimental film night. (FdW)
Address: http://www.geocities.com/padukem

PRAFIX AZTECH - GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! SWEET CHARIOT IS COMING! (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
NIHIL T NADA - MUSICA FLORA MANICA (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
RESPIRATOR - MONOCHROME (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX - FINGERMONSTERBUZZ (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
From the four new releases by Danish Organic
Pipeline, there is one from Italy and three from the home-land. Denmark is always a bit of difficult country to pin down music-wise, and sometimes it seems not much is happening but these three releases proof me wrong. All three Danish acts were present on 'Noise Decay - Noises And Such From Denmark Vol. 1' (see Vital Weekly 449), and two of them even noted by this reviewer. One of them is Prafix Aztech, of whom we know nothing. He likes to play around with loops and synchronized rhythms, which he sauces up with a bunch of noise and distortion, thus adding most of the times a violent feel to the matters, although it's not extreme industrial noise, just forceful uptempo drum 'n bass inspired music. It's quite nice most of the times, but what I don't understand is what he (she?) insisted on making twenty tracks? Why not ten and make them a bit longer, add a bit more structure, and not as fragmented as it is now? There is surely more potential in there, even when it's more than alright now.
"Danish Flower Noise!" says the press blurb for Nihil T Nada, and again we haven't clue. Musicwise this is along the lines of Prafix Aztech, noise and rhythm - in this order and not the other way around as with Prafix Aztech, where the rhythm is more important. Nihil T Tada plays around with industrial noise and highly distorted rhythms, but in a less refined than Prafix Aztech, who choose the drum 'n bass genre as it's prime target. The tracks are considerable longer and less worked out. Not so my thing, I think.
The title 'Monochrome' for Respirator's release refers to the fact that each track is based on one sound source only. So 'Piano' features piano sounds, 'Lapsteel' lapsteel sounds etc. There are also acoustic guitar, books, theremin, trumpet, electric guitar, ukulele and kitchen. All of these sources are manipulated through computer means. Time stretching is a favorite business of Respirator, but also creating small looped particles that have been covered in fine dust of plug-ins. In most tracks the original sound source can be recognized as such, even when it's only for a few seconds, or longer such as in 'electric guitar'. The tracks are however throughout a bit long and not always engaging to hear, such as 'Ukele', which sounds like a third rate rock song. Potential is alright, but the execution lacks a bit, like it could happen with any dogma.
Finally there is the ever active Guignol Dangereux, who has been present in Vital Weekly quite a lot in recent years, always refining his music and always improving his sound. Here on 'Fingermontserbuzz' he goes a step further in exploring techno along the lines of Warp Records and more in particular Autechre. It's highly minimal, sometimes a bit ambient related, but sometimes up tempo, like in 'The Nuclear Kite', with a strong, machine-like rhythm that borrows it's original ideas from the world of industrial music, but with a lot more groove to it. 'Hotline 3232' reminded this listener of Chris & Cosey's "Trance" LP. By far the most refined and developed work by Guignol Dangereux. Maybe not exactly scoring floor filling dance hits, but unmistakably with a strong sounds of his own. (FdW)
Address: http://www.organicpipeline.com

FEINE TRINKERS BEI PINKELS DAHEIM - OMAFISCH (business card CDR by Twisted Knister)
[~HYPH~] - GRANULAT 15405 (business card CDR by Twisted Knister)
Micheal Hohendorf started a small label, literally small, when he got hold of an old cigarette vending machine, which is at the Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst in Bremen.
Only there you can buy these releases. The are cigarette like boxes with a business card CDR in it. On the two that I got we find two German bands, Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim and [~Hyph~]. 'Omafisch' by Feine Trinkers starts out in a ambient industrial way, but gradually fades over in a driving rhythm before collapsing. Nice piece, but it sounds a bit outdated.
[~Hyph~], aka Nicolas Wiese presents a remix of an installation he did with Hans Stuetzer. Definitely more in micro-glitch areas with time stretched sounds and other processed sounds through methods of computer manipulation. It a surprising piece of music, vivid and lively. Perhaps too short. (FdW)
Address: <michael@twistedknister.de>

IRISH - MANUFACTURES (MP3 by Minus N)
TITAN AND YEZ - CANCEL, DON'T SAVE, SAVE (MP3 by Minus N)
Two new releases by the excellent Minus N net label from Japan, and I believe both artists are not Japanese, at least I'm not sure if Irish is. Irish was part of a rock band named Cap-D, but out of growing frustration to be part of that band, he started to make his own music. 'Manufactures' was originally released as self-released CDR, but now is re-issued as re-mastered MP3 release. Irish uses a computer with all the regular software (pure data, ableton live, cubase) as-well as a Yamaha DX21, Korg Electribe EM1 and sounds from his own and kitchen. Irish main inspiration is the minimalism and mechanical sound of techno. This works best when he implements a 4/4 beat under his music. That backbone always works well. In 'Cut My Throat' for instance this is very uplifting music, sauced by the use of an electric piano (or perhaps vibraphone?) and electronic sounds flying in and out the mix. Sometimes however the marriage is more uneasy, and the time-stretched rhythms don't work as-well, and everything seems to be in an off-beat mode. Irish plays with very detailed sounds and everything is excellently produced and luckily there are more good than bad tracks.
Titan and Yez are two Norwegian artists, who did an eight hour live improvisation from which they selected eight tracks. Four of them are presented in the form of a cut from the original session recordings and four others are edits. They too have a background in rock music, but their release is entirely made with computers and analogue equipment of an electronic nature. Titan and Yez play also with minimal dance rhythms, just like Irish, but are more monochrome in approach. Irish sauces his music up with a lot of extra sounds, in the music of Titan and Yez this is more covered and the rhythm section is the most important thing. Here too the main objection might be that the music is not always the most danceable thing, despite the fact that 4/4 rhythms are used, but when it does, those pieces are the best. Throughout quite a nice release! (FdW)
Address: http://minusn.com/

 

 

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