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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 528
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week 22
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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

 

GIUSEPPE IELASI (CD by Hapna) *
ANDERS DAHL - HUNDLOKA, FLOCKBLOMSTRIGA 1 (CD by Hapna) *
BRIAN ALLEN WITH TONY MALABY AND TOM RAINEY - SYNAPSE (CD by Braintone)
JOHN DUNCAN & CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OUR TELLURIC CONVERSATION (CD by 23Five) *
CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OPERATIONS OF SPIRIT COMMUNICATION (LP by Die Stadt)
CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OPERATION OF SPIRIT COMMUNICATION (7" by Die Stadt)
JACOB KIRKEGAARD - 4 ROOMS (CD by Touch)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED #164 (CD by Alien8 Recordings) *
ASMUS TIETCHENS - GEBOREN, UM ZU DIENEN (CD by Die Stadt) *
ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO - BREATH OF FIRE (CD by K Records)
TRI-CORNERED TENT SHOW - THE FOOLKILLER (CD by Edgetone Records) *
MARCOS FERNANDES/HANS FJELLESTAD/HACO/JAKOB RISS - HACO HANS JAKOB MARCOS (CD by Accretions) *
LEAFCUTTER JOHN - THE FOREST AND THE SEA (CD by Staubgold) *
AIDAN BAKER - ONEIROMANCER (CD by Die Stadt) *
SCANNER - TEENAGE WOCHEN (12" by Bine Music)
DANIEL MENCHE - RADIANT BLOOD (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
ASIANOVA - MAGNAMNEMONICON (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
NOISE-MAKER'S FIFES - ZONA INCERTA (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
CHEFKIRK - RANGE MAPS (CDR by Neus 318) *
WILLIAM FIELDS - TIMBRE (CDR by Gears Of Sand) *
D.N.S. & GYS - CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE (CDR by Dihedral Sound) *
WATERSPORTS - A VERY WEIHNACHTEN (CDR by Breaking World Records) *
WATERSPORTS - NIGHT LIFE (cassette by White Tapes)
CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - DAS TAXI (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - TILE-O-RAMA (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - GODZILLA (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
CHEAPMACHINES - LATITUDE (MP3 by Con-V) *

 

GIUSEPPE IELASI (CD by Hapna)
ANDERS DAHL - HUNDLOKA, FLOCKBLOMSTRIGA 1 (CD by Hapna)
The first time I started playing the new Giuseppe Ielasi solo CD, I walked away for a few minutes, and when I came back, I heard some sort of minimal dub-techno rhythm. I was confused. Had I started to play something else, and mistakenly thought it was Ielasi? I took out the CD to confirm that this was the Ielasi and started playing the thing again. When I was fully there again, and starting again, the first piece (all untitled) took me also by surprise: a slow rhythm, scraping violins and all of a sudden a beautiful, dramatic horn section. The second piece is that dub-techno thing that doesn't look at of place with the rest when one has heard the entire album. The rest of the pieces are perhaps a bit what we could identify as the Ielasi trademark sound: guitar picking along the lines of Oren Ambarchi, but with the addition of percussive, electro-acoustic sounds that expand the sound of Ielasi a lot. Before it was very good, now it's great. Compared with his previous solo albums, as well as some of collaborative albums, this is a major leap forward for Ielasi, who proofs that he has excellent musical skills, both as a composer and as an improviser.
Recently flowers seem to be the thing to use to title your CD: petals and monk's horn and now cow parsley. That is what Hundloka means and it is one of the most common meadow flowers: a weed whose distribution is restricted with great difficulty. I wouldn't know, I don't have a garden. The for me unknown Anders Dahl has a CD with three pieces, all called Hundloka, and each is for a set of instruments he plays: guitar, bouzouki, violin, clarinet, recorder, percussion and prepared speakers. The music Dahl produces lies somewhere in between the 'composed' and 'improvised', in all three elements of drone music are in place, but the execution differs a bit. In the first piece things are more mood related, but in the shortest, second piece, things are much more noise related, within the self-chosen format. The most complex piece is the last one (also the longest piece), in which clarinet and recorder sound like recorded by Phil Niblock, but the guitar, bouzouki, percussion and computer play a more chaotic rule, trying to complicate the matters for the two wind instruments. It's a struggle that has no winners, but ultimately it's a complex and great piece of music, just as the other two. Two CDs on Hapna, two times again at their best. Hapna proofs to be the best in the world. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hapna.com

BRIAN ALLEN WITH TONY MALABY AND TOM RAINEY - SYNAPSE (CD by Braintone)
A new name for me and most Vital readers I suppose. Braintone is the outlet of composer and trombonist Brian Allen. He operates mainly in the south east of the States. And with 'Synapse' we can now count five releases that feature Allen: Duo (with Reuben Radding,) Solo Trombone, Brain Killer and Sketchy. With 'Synapse' trombonist and composer Allen presents his new trio. It has Brian Allen on trombone, Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone and Tom Rainey on drums. His mates on this trio CDc.d. are more known musicians. Tony Malaby plays with Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Bobby Previte, a.o. Like Malaby Tom Rainey played with too many to mention musicians. Nowadays he concentrates his work as a collaborator of projects by Tim Berne. Considering what they normally do, I guess they play very free on this one. They do it in a way that leaves room for everybody. It is a set of well balanced and concentrated improvisations. All three of them are equally involved and inspired. Maybe it is sax-player Tony Malaby who takes most initiatives if I have to chose. But it is especially the drummer who caught my attention. He plays in a economical, effective and funny way. Modest without unnecessary fuzz. This typifies the improvisations of this trio as well. These guys have so much experience and personality that through a splendid interplay they succeed in creating some solid free improvisations. (DM)
Address: <http://www.braintone.com/

JOHN DUNCAN & CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OUR TELLURIC CONVERSATION (CD by 23Five)
CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OPERATIONS OF SPIRIT COMMUNICATION (LP by Die Stadt)
CARL MICHEAL VON HAUSWOLFF - OPERATION OF SPIRIT COMMUNICATION (7" by Die Stadt)
More bigshots working together, even when these two big shots don't appear in Vital Weekly that often. CM von Hauswolff just doesn't release that much I guess, and Duncan's work just never gets here. Am I rambling? You don't know these two bigshots of experimental music. That should not turn out to be a problem, since these release comes with an extensive, forty page booklet of a conversation between Duncan and Hauswolff, in which they explain their own history to eachother, their working methods and other ideas. I can imagine that this is not only a good introduction in case you don't know them, but perhaps also may contain news for those who already know them. I didn't hear the previous collaboration between Duncan & Hauswolff, 'Stun Shelter', but perhaps I should try and find out, because 'Our Telluric Conversation' is in fact quite a fine release, albeit perhaps, also something we should expect from these two. In the final piece 'Yet Another (Very) Abridged And Linear Interpretation Of The History Of Our Planet As We Know It', both of the artists own interests are well heard: Duncan's love of highly processed shortwave tracks and Hauswolff's ongoing investigation into the world electrical charges. Starting out quite soft and with a growing intensity this piece becomes an explosion of electricity. Somewhat of a trademark for both. The opening piece '... Like A Lizard' opens with a pulse (not a uncommon thing in the work of Hauswolff), with the addition of subtle noise layers that built a crescendo, which, after it's abrupt halt, moves over into a story told by Hauswolff, about a maggot invested man, which I surely don't understand. In the middle (needless to say that we are dealing here with long pieces) there is a highly subtle but energetic at the same time piece of drone music, via the use of a highly processed sine waves. As said, it's been a while since I last heard something both either of these composers, but upon hearing this again, I think it's time to spend a sunday afternoon playing some of their older works again. So far they haven't lost any of their power, and this new one still proofs their importance today.
And while on the case, Die Stadt just did a limited edition repress of 'Operations Of Spirit Communication', a LP that was originally released in 2000 and got reviewed in Vital Weekly 257. Die Stadt send me, most friendly, another review copy, which I actually played again, and didn't note any difference (not remastered for instance), so I repress my previous review: "his solo music is of concept and minimalism too. It has taken the form of minimalist beats (but then just one short sound being repeated, rather then anything close to a rhythm machine) on his CD's for Table Of The Elements and Fire Inc. Here it takes the form of drones. Knowing a little bit how these things work, it looks like Hauswolff takes the Alvin Lucier concept of processing sounds (in his 'I"m Sitting In A Room') for a set of tape-loops of voices (from beyond the living?) or static sounds by tone generator. By playing them in a space, recording them, and then playing them back into the space, the sounds erode and transform. There is a certain 'live' character to the sounds enclosed on this record (and not just by looking at the cover and the various places it was recorded in), which sounds like recorded with a microphone. There is a sense of continuity in the various spaces this record inhabits, but it certainly moves around. Not just in your room or head, depending on your speakers or headphones, but it's divided in smaller tracks, which seem various generations of the sounds. Highly delicate sounds, which are nice if not beautiful. But but but vinyl? Crackles around when played for the third time... why not a CD? Or maybe it's part of the concept....? Great stuff in either way." The repress is on transparent vinyl, the original first black vinyl. Of more interest, at least to the die-hard fans who collect all things Hauswolff, is the 7" that is just released, that is can either come with the LP or separate, and that has almost the same title. The two four minute pieces are linked together by their titles: '12 Sine Missing One' and '1 Sine Missing Twelve' and both sound similar too, like, erm, sine waves of whatever hertz. Harking back to his more conceptual pieces, this is surely not easy stuff, but the limited length is a pity. Maybe as a 10", with ten minutes per side, things would have worked a bit better. Perhaps an idea for a repress of 7" in six years from now, entitled 'Operation Of Spirit Communications'? (FdW)
Address: http://www.23five.org
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

JACOB KIRKEGAARD - 4 ROOMS (CD by Touch)
On April 26, 1986 the worst nuclear power accident in history occurred at Chernobyl in the former USSR (now Ukraine). A poorly conducted test at one of the four reactors went out of control resulting in several explosions. Radiation was released into the atmosphere and spread over northern Europe. The town and surrounding areas were evacuated, to this day remains a dead zone, except for a few government workers attempting to clean up the area, and the aged who returned to live and die where they were born. Twenty years later Jacob Kirkegaard journeyed to the "Zone of Alienation" to create this work. Kirkegaard picked four rooms that were once places of social activity: a church, an auditorium, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium. In each of these abandoned spaces he made a ten minute recording of the silence and then played it back into the room, and recording it and repeating the process up to ten times. The process is reminiscent of Alvin Lucier's work "I am Sitting in a Room" with the difference being that Kirkegaard left the rooms while the recordings were being made. The end result is the amplification and unveiling of the resonances of each space. The CDc.d. opens with the Church which is very dense are hard to penetrate. With each following track the density lessens and the resonances more refined. "Swimming Pool" which I anticipated to be rich and reverberate, surprisingly is very minimal and bleak. The closing track "Gymnasium" is the most menacing, with very distinct frequencies swelling through the desolate space. Although the sound is hypnotic, the end result is unnerving and disturbing. "4 Rooms" is a document of shadows moving in dark empty rooms. (JS)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED #164 (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
After a period of silence, all of a sudden the second new release by Francisco Lopez, following 'Untitled #164' (see Vital Weekly 524). Like noted than, things are changing for Lopez. There is small, vague image to be spotted on the cover, and there is the line 'created at mobile messor (montreal, johannesburg, oslo, barcelona, madrid) in 2005'. That is more information than we usually get. I have been thinking about that line, while playing this. Like 'Untitled #164' this is not the usual Lopez with a few very low volume, long field of sounds, but a collage of sounds. I am not sure wether these sounds are field recordings from the cities mentioned, or that Lopez, always touring the globe, worked on it on his laptop (mobile messor) in hotel-rooms. It's hard to tell, I didn't recognize anything that sounded like Barcelona, Oslo or Montreal. Lopez created small blocks of sound that are clearly originating from field recordings, and yes, they are most likely city sounds, which is repeats in all sorts of variations and combinations. What seems familiar in fact isn't because smaller portions are used in different ways, intercepted by short breaks of near silence. It's certainly a break in Lopez tradition, and it's something to get used to. The volumes aren't as low (except for the last five minutes and a section in the middle) like before, and the composition is quite interesting to hear, although perhaps for some people the variation in sounds might not be enough. I can imagine people wondering what this is on about, as there doesn't seem to be a 'story', or a 'mood'. In that sense Francisco Lopez has once again succeeded in adding controversy again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

ASMUS TIETCHENS - GEBOREN, UM ZU DIENEN (CD by Die Stadt)
With this, the eight re-issue of an older Asmus Tietchens work, we arrive at where I got first introduced to his work. "Geboren Um Zu Dienen' was released by EG Records, otherwise known as the label by the Spanish band Esplendor Geometrico. That was one of the main reasons to explore this LP, even when my good friend Dolf Mulder already played me some of Tietchens' other music. Now, almost twenty years later, I play this CD, and right from the start I know what I remembered that put me off: in the day I dismissed this too much as a Esplendor Geometrico rip-off, but what we know now: their tape 'EG1' was landmark classic, genre dying. Much of their later work circled around techno beats and never seemed to hold that original power. This is Asmus Tietchens at his most grim (which to some might be just a darker shade of the usual black Tietchens!). It was music for grim times, the height of the nuclear race between America and USSR, and we were all born to serve (to roughly translate the title). Young aged and confused I now think, sadder and wiser (?). 'Geboren, Um Zu Dienen' is indeed an industrial album, but it's much more varied than I had in mind. I remembered this as a highly rhythmic album, but that's only partly true. Pieces like 'Medienlandschaft 6' and 'Glimm' are dark ambient, post apocalyptic pieces of music, with hardly any rhythm, and 'Heroischer Reflex' pre-dates the later Esplendor Geometrico techno, with actually a good groove. Looking back to this record these days, my judgment than was a wrong one. This is a good album, perhaps a very unlikely Tietchens album, but certainly an album that can easily meet it's contemporary best albums of those days, in particular the first Esplendor Geometrico albums, or in some ways the first Vivenza album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de>

ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO - BREATH OF FIRE (CD by K Records)
A few days before I received this CD, I watched a documentary on Paul Pena, an American bluesmucisian who became involved in tuvan throat singing, and even wins a first prize at a yearly festival in Tuva. Not knowing what to expect to my surprise, similar vocal sounds came from this CD by Arrington de Dionyso. Devoted Pena himself to singing traditional Tuvan songs, de Dionyso uses this technique in a very free context. Arrington de Dionyso is a new name for me, but he is already around some time. As a member of rock group Old Time Relijun, Arrington toured and recorded throughout the US, Europe, and Israel. K Records from Olympia, Washington released eight albums by this band. 'Breath Of Fire' is his first solo album. In most tracks Arrington practices throat-singing. But in some other tracks he plays bass clarinet (these pieces I like most), copper kettle, newspaper and siberian khomuz. Recordings were made in Italy in 2004 and found their way to this cd without overdubbing or whatever. Arrington is a very devoted and ecstatic singer. He is more into building some ecstatic shamanistic state of mind, then into making music. More caring about expression then musicality. He screams, sings and plays in each track with maximum intensity. It all sounds very spontaneously and pure. Other vocal artists come to my mind: Paul Dutton, David Moss and especially Diamanda Galas because of the almost spiritual and religious flavor. Twenty-one short and impressive incantations that will let one untouched. (DM)
Address: http://www.krecs.com/

TRI-CORNERED TENT SHOW - THE FOOLKILLER (CD by Edgetone Records)
If I counted right, there are fourteen performers playing on 'The Foolkiller' by Tri-Cornered Tent Show, which are presented by the label as a 'post-apocalyptic poetry music, and song portraying rage, revenge, and redemption, transcending the acts of murder madness and mayhem commonly defined as war religion and politics' - and that is quite a mouthful. Instruments are bass, noise pedals, turntable, vocals, jews harp, acoustic guitar (played by Ernesto Diaz-Infante, the only name that I recognized), saxophones, cello, accordion but also a t-rodimba, whatever it is. The music is largely improvised in a sort of free jazz way, which is kind of OK, but not great. But the music is entirely there to support the vocals, which at their best are also improvised mouth pieces, but at their worst opera-like doodling, melodramatic ramblings on subjects such as liberation, death, war and such. I am not sure who are they aiming at with this, but it's certainly not me. I don't like this one bit. (FdW)
Address: http://www.edgetonerecords.com

MARCOS FERNANDES/HANS FJELLESTAD/HACO/JAKOB RISS - HACO HANS JAKOB MARCOS (CD by Accretions)
Although perhaps the improvisations captured on this disc may be more Dolf Mulder's thing, I must admit I quite enjoyed it and that's partly because aside with all the chaotic drumming of Marcos Fernandes, the thing is largely electronic. Hans Fjellestad plays synthesizer, Haco (best known for he work with After Dinner) plays toys, electronics and voice and Jakob Riis plays powerbook. All four musicians operate in the fields of improvised music. This disc was recorded already three years ago, in one day, in a studio. Later on Fjellestad and Fernandes did the mixing, bringing out what they had in mind: mixing electronics and acoustic instruments. I must say they succeeded well in their task. Of course there are the usual elements of chaos that linger around these kind of musics in some of these pieces, but this quartet are at their best when they play a more contemplative tune. When looked as such, this CD works towards its way through various approaches, but in the final track (aptly called 'Last'), everything seems to be coming together: in this the longest piece there are elements of minimalism, of melancholy, but also small outbursts of chaos and mayhem. It's here when they are at their best. Each player has a distinct sound, his or her own voice, and none of the voices prevail, but there is instead plenty of room for communication. A very good meeting of electricity and analogue vibrations. (FdW)
Address: http://www.accretions.com

LEAFCUTTER JOHN - THE FOREST AND THE SEA (CD by Staubgold)
The records by Leafcutter John, aka John Burton, were released so far on Planet Mu, but never reached this desk. However I saw him play live at Sonar once, but it didn't leave a lasting impression. 'The Forest And The Sea' is his first album for Staubgold. Leafcutter John plays guitar, sings and adds field recordings and electronics. This album is something of a concept album, I am told, incorporating field recordings from Greece, Sweden and the United Kingdom, but what the concept is about, I couldn't quite tell after hearing the songs. Maybe it has to do with me being allergic to men with guitars and singing, but this is really not my music. It drags on, Burton's singing sounds a bit pathetic, tormented, old folk music like and nothing new folk about it. If I had to choose between last week's Hinterlandt or the new Leafcutter John, I'd rather go for the cheery songs of the previous. Just not my kind of popmusic. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

AIDAN BAKER - ONEIROMANCER (CD by Die Stadt)
Slowly the name Aidan Baker goes upwards, away from the underground, the CDRs and MP3s: his first real album for Die Stadt is a CD, and the first 300 copies come with a bonus live CD. The good thing is also that Die Stadt hands out some more information than some of the CDR counterpart labels do. We learn that Baker is classically trained in flute, self-taught on guitar and drums and that he writes poetry, fiction and criticism, as well as composing works for The Penderecki String Quartet and The Uxbridge Chamber Choir. For the CD 'Oneireomancer' he uses electric and bass guitars, tapeloops, piano, percussion/drum machine and vocals. Usually the music of Baker takes a long course, the shortest track here is five minutes, but the four others are all over ten minutes. As perhaps you know, Aidan Baker plays mood music on his guitars (the prime mover in his music), feeding it through a whole bunch of sound effects and making it sound like a bunch of synthesizers. All the other instruments he uses in this studio work is perhaps merely decoration. Occasionally the bass or the rhythm leaps out, but it's only there to set some points in time. It makes the music of Aidan Baker quite full, quite rich too, but it at the same time it also sounds a bit outdated, cosmic seventies meeting the ambient industrial of the late eighties. But he does it in a way that is quite o.k., not merely copying things, but adding his own flavor.
How Baker sounds in a concert we can hear on the limited live CD (mailorder copies), which is indeed sounds like a stripped down version of the studio work, which however is not a big problem anyway. More concise, more single minded and thus more focussed on the ambient character of the music, this not just gives a fine impression of things sound in a concert room, but it's also excellent to dream away at home and more along the lines of Fear Falls Burning. Both sides of Baker's music are pleasant head trips. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

SCANNER - TEENAGE WOCHEN (12" by Bine Music)
Throughout the many years that now span Scanner's career I have been following him off and on, without keeping exact track of all of his many releases. But ones that were captured by these set of ears where quite good. Scanner moves in all sorts of directions, within the dance music area, but always with a keen ear for new directions, reworking them for his end. Two tracks on this 12". The title piece piece on side one starts with a guitar but quickly moves into the area of electro music with a jumpy rhythm and a very joyous melody line. A great up-tempo tune that has the word 'summer' stamped all over. On the flip there is 'Autumn Nights', about twice as long, with a bumpy rhythm and Germanic cosmic synth lines with noises (people speaking, rattle snakes) swirling in and out of the mix. More dramatic in approach, this is indeed rather autumn music than full on sunshine mid-summer. I have no idea wether this is part of a forthcoming album, but if so: where can I sign up to get one? (FdW)
Address: http://www.binemusic.de

DANIEL MENCHE - RADIANT BLOOD (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
ASIANOVA - MAGNAMNEMONICON (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
NOISE-MAKER'S FIFES - ZONA INCERTA (10" by Substantia Innominata/Drone)
After about eighty 7" on Drone Records (more on that next week), it's about time for something new, something different: a series of 10" records, of course all on colored vinyl, all limited to 500 copies, and according to Drone the new series "doesn't focus on a special concept or ideology regarding the music, but on a certain theme. The theme for this 10" series is based on "The Un-known, The Un-nameable, The Un-speakable, The Un-thinkable, etc.: various aspects related to "The Unknown". Like so many of the releases on Drone, this got a Latin title, "Substantia Innominata", that part of the brain which has unknown functions. So far three 10" have been released, and the first is straight away a blast: a 10" by Daniel Menche, with what sounds like the processed sound of a chainsaw. On side A this is like cutting the brain open, and sticking the drill in the brain, perhaps digging for that unknown area? Ultra violent drone music, the heavy approach. On the b-side he sets fire to piano, that is being treated with a motorized attack, but as the piece evolves it is becomes more of the drone material, but in a less forceful way as the other side. In terms of good listening fun, I think this is the better side.
The second one is by Asianova, which is the project of Ure Thrall (formerly known in his own right as well as part of Voice Of Eye) and Pamela Passmore, with such guests as Paul Valsecchi and Marlon Porter. Their music waves about 30 feet above the ground, but is by and large feeding some sounds through a bunch of echo/delay machines, together with some angelic singing. It indeed comes close to the music of Voice Of Eye, but sounds a bit more sparse (although it has been a while since I last heard Voice Of Eye actually). The record is quite o.k., but perhaps a bit too simple and linear made. It suggests depth that isn't there to extent that it suggests.
The third release in this series is by Belgium's Noise-Maker's Fifes. Much of their music is part of bigger events, such as sound installations, choreographs and such like. The music on 'Zona Incerta' was made for the dance 'Dyonisos' Last Day' and contains of field recordings, water and metal sounds. Side two is a remix of side one, if I understood well, which is a pity, since there is a strong sense of unification throughout both sides, and not enough variation to separate the two. Both sides have a strong love for the insect field recordings and vague rumbling on the metallic percussion. Nice, but perhaps a bit unfocussed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

CHEFKIRK - RANGE MAPS (CDR by Neus 318)
The latest release by Chefkirk, and I must admit, I really lost count, is dedicated to bird of Eastern and Central America. Where exactly they fly into this release, I am not sure, since Chefkirk, nom de plume of Roger H Smith, continues his noise battle with the usual suspects: rhythm and noise, mostly in that order, but there are moments here to be detected in which things turn towards other directions, a more subdued sound, which I must admit is, in my view, the way to go. After so many releases of harsh noise, it's really time to move onwards, and explore other directions. Unfortunately these new directions are quite sparse here, which is a pity. This release fits his more recent ones that were all quite alright, but sad to state that it is also more of the same thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.neus318.com

WILLIAM FIELDS - TIMBRE (CDR by Gears Of Sand)
US label Gears Of Sand presents us with a steady stream of releases on the CDR format, but they love a professional package, making them look like the real thing. The other fine thing is that dig up artists I never heard of, and William Fields is one of them. Born in 1977, playing music since 1993 in various styles. He produced work as Asoka, before turning to his christian name, releasing music on such tbtmo, Hippocamp, and Audiobulb Records. All of which I am afraid was unheard in these headquarters. On 'Timbre' (which in lexicon terms mean: the combination of qualities of a sound that distinguishes it from other sounds of the same pitch and volume), he offers ten tracks that show a distinct love of ambient glitch music. How he does it, I don't know, but I suspect all the usual ingredients are there: field recordings, max processing, guitars, computer manipulation. All the usual references are there, from Fennesz to Stephan Mathieu, from Taylor Deupree to Sogar (or perhaps 85% of everything on 12K), which makes this nothing never heard before. Not that's of any relevance, since Fields does a fine job. Each of the tracks are produced well, show variation in approaching the sounds and is just a very nice, pleasant CD. Which is sometimes just as fine to hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gearsofsand.net/

D.N.S. & GYS - CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE (CDR by Dihedral Sound)
Behind Conspiracy Of Silence, a collaboration of two Lithuanian artists, we find D.N.S, aka Donatas Bielkauskas, who is best known for his work as one half of Wejdas and Gys, aka Gytis Skudzinskas, who is active with the experimental sound and art action group Ensemble SP. They deliver two tracks, totaling forty minutes. Music-wise I think, partly because I didn't hear Ensemble SP, close to the Wejdas sound. Parts of the music are ambient of a more forceful kind of ambient music. Music that would have been called ambient industrial at one point, some fifteen years ago. Occasional outbursts are in the field of noise, and things get real gritty. It's hard to tell what the exact input is in terms of instruments used, but it's probably a combination laptops working overtime, short-waves and perhaps a bunch of highly processed guitars. The two cross the lines of microsound, noise and ambient music, which is quite something, but overall it stays a bit too much on the dark side for my taste. But throughout it's well made and comes with a nice cover. (FdW)
Address: http://www.donis.lt

WATERSPORTS - A VERY WEIHNACHTEN (CDR by Breaking World Records)
WATERSPORTS - NIGHT LIFE (cassette by White Tapes)
So soon after our last tape review, here is another tape, and that is not much of a surprise. Watersports and Idea Fire Company arrive both from the same corner of the music world, although probably a world of difference in ages, their approach are similar, and both release cassettes (as well as CDRs, LPs, etc). I must admit I don't know much about them, other than they are duo. What they play, how they generate their sound, I don't know. Both this CDR and cassette release have a pretty lo-fi character. Perhaps there are one or two synths present at the recording, and some sort of tape manipulation of field recordings (meaning in an analogue sense of the word, using cassettes to store the sound on and feeding them through analogue effect pedals). Lengthy stuff and in an odd way spacious. Sounds move forward a little bit, but there doesn't seem to be any sense of direction, well, perhaps other than to lie back and like what you hear. That seemed to be the only logical thing to do. Especially the cassette is a bit too poorly recorded, but the CDR shows depth which makes it altogether more intense, although I have no idea what christmas has to with it (as suggested by the title). The sound comes close to that of Idea Fire Company and represent, I think, a forgotten area of the US experimental noise scene. A scene that is less based on the 'real' noise, but rather the more cosmic/psychedelic/musique concrete one. Time is right to put the spotlight on there (well, if we were a big time music magazine, of course). (FdW)
Address: http://www.breakingworldrecords.com
Address: <whitetapas@yahoo.com>

CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - DAS TAXI (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - TILE-O-RAMA (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
CHANSON ELECTRONIQUE - GODZILLA (3"DVD-R by Knistern)
These three 3"DVDR releases caused me some problem: what exactly am I reviewing here: the music or the images? That is certainly the case with 'Das Taxi', eight music pieces and eight animated videoclips by Chanson Electronique, a trio from Hamburg around Guy Saldanha. The tracks are also released on a 7", so you can imagine they are only brief. They play here an odd mix of electronic music, but with a strong poppy feel, a crooning singer, and even the preset rhythms of a bossa nova. The animated films are quite nice, ranging from pure computer work of moving images to a fish visiting a prostitute.
Tile-O-Rama sees Chanson Electronique working again with SFA, the duo between the films. Here they offer twenty tiles, moving wallpaper. Each lasts a few seconds and are set to the music of Chanson Electronique, who expand their sound into almost every direction possible. I must admit I didn't try this, but some of these tiles work probably work one's nerves if left on for too long, because both the music and sound may get too jumpy.
On Godzilla, they take a scene from the 1951 film by Inoshira Honda and create new music for it. A family scene and then Godzilla walking the city, but the film is 'remixed' by Saldanha, speed up, fast-forwarded and scenes are played again - a bit of a crude form of VJ-ing. Of course (I should add) I am unfamiliar with the original score for this music, but Chanson Electronique captured the moods of such film soundtracks quite nice. Perhaps all of these small releases are a bit too small, but perhaps its an idea to do a proper DVD in the future featuring all of them, and perhaps more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.knistern.net

CHEAPMACHINES - LATITUDE (MP3 by Con-V)
Cheapmachines is just one word, but it's also just one guy: Phil Julian. His discography is already a long list of CDR and MP3 releases, for some known (like his own Authorized Version) and some utter obscure labels. Con-V of course isn't part of the unknown names, as they appear in Vital Weekly a lot with their MP3 and CDR releases. For his piece 'Latitude' Cheapmachines uses field recordings, sinewaves, amplified metal objects, white noise and feedback. Over the course of the next fifteen minutes, Cheapmachines operate in a strict linear fashion. The proceedings don't start out soft, but it only gets more intensified as the piece progresses. It gets louder and louder and louder, growing in an intensified way, until a howling feedback is left. Like a James Bond movie, where the subject is tied to a conveyer belt, and moves towards the big destruction (saws are preferred, if we need to compare the sound). What is left is what we hear at the end: everything hacked to pieces, debris on the floor and a vacuum cleaner clears out. Quite an intense release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

 

corrections: the label that released Löty_Negarti/Pernando Krüger 'Flügo Acustiko Materiko (Ejercicios Esperituales De Subsuelo)', see Vital Weekly 525, is called HAMAIKA<# and not NAMAIKA<#.
And Peter Bach Nicolaisen (see last week) lets us know that 'Stormhat' is a Monks Hood, a poisonous plant (in latin "Aconitum Napellus") "Vindspejl" means the front window in a vehicle but also in a direct translation: "wind-mirror".

 

 

 

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