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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 529
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week 23
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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

 

LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - YOUR CHILDREN PALATE YOU FROM THEIR PREMATURE GRAVES (CD by Roir)
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - ALCHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL (CD by Caciocavallo) *
BRUNNEN - THE BEEKEEPER'S DREAM (CD by Beta Lactam Ring) *
BERNHARD GAL - INSTALLATIONS (CD by Gromoga Records) *
MARTYN BATES & TROUM - TO A CHILD, DANCING IN THE WIND (CD by Transgredient Records) *
TOUCH25 (CD compilation by Touch)
FOVEA HEX - HUGE (CDEP by Die Stadt) *
ASI MINA - HAVE ALL! BUT WHERE? (CD by Mik Musik) *
ESTHER VENROOY - SHIFT COORDINATE POINTS (LP by Entr'acte)
LUNAR ABYSS DEUM ORGANUM - BRUSNIKA (7" by Drone Records)
THO-SO-AA - DYING REVEAL/THE UNDEFINED (7" by Drone Records)
IN MEDITARIUM - MARE INTERNUM (7" by Drone Records)
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - FRAGMENT 36 (7" by Drone Records)
CLOSING THE ETERNITY - NORTHERN LIGHTS AMBIENCE (7" by Drone Records)
RYN - WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU (7" by Drone Records)
JASPER LEYLAND - MARGIN (CDR by Stray Dog Army) *
THE IMPOSSIBLE FLOWER - ROOTS AND FRUITS (CDR by Afe Records) *
SUBINTERIOR - THE CHRYSALIS SECRET (CDR by Afe Records) *
ANOFELE & LOGOPLASM - GRAVESCAPES (3"CDR by Afe Records)
AIDAN BAKER - DOG FOX GONE TO GROUND (CDR by Afe Records)
SNOTRA - ALL DONE BY JOHN (CDR by Afe Records)
NO ABIDING PLACES (CDR compilation by Afe Records)
CONVURAZIO - BACKSIDE HELLFLIP (CDR by Tib Prod) *
ORIGAMI ARKTIKA - EPLEKYSS (CDR by Tib Prod) *
LOOOP SESSIONS - OSLO, 24 MAY 2004 (CDR by Tib Prod)
OSCILLATOR 707 - SUITE #2 (CDR by Tib Prod)
BJERGA/IVERSEN - MOST THINGS ARE MADE OF WATER (CDR by Utech Records) *
JASON ZEH - SARIRA (CDR by Gameboy Records)
JAZKAMER - PROUD TO BE UN AMERICAN (CDR by Gameboy Records) *
BRENDAN MURRAY - OCEAN OF DIRT, MOUNTAIN OF STEAM (CDR by Gameboy Records)
MIKE SHIFLET - HEARING [OR NOT] [1-18] (CDR by Gameboy Records)
EXHIBITION #3 (MP3 compilation by Audiobulb Records)

 

 

LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - YOUR CHILDREN PALATE YOU FROM THEIR PREMATURE GRAVES (CD by Roir)
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - ALCHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL (CD by Caciocavallo)
Two brand-new Dots CD releases in Vital this week. The first one, Your Children Palate You
From Their Premature Graves, is the official new
studio album. An almost traditional package of poppy songs, ballads and ambient pieces, it also marks the return of former Dots-guitarist Martijn de Kleer. At times the music steers close to Pink Floyd (for instance on 'The Island Of Our Dreams') and gets away with it. The plodding semi-krautrock of 'No Matter What You Do' however does not work. The album's highlights are the beautifully restrained and sensitive pieces such as 'Stigmata Part 4', 'Bad Hair', 'A Silver Thread and Your Time Is Up'. Is it on songs like these that the Dots show their true class. With sparse instrumentation, the music is able to breathe and develop leaving plenty of room for Edward's word play and poems. Here the saxophones (if any) are non-obtrusive and constructive. More song-based than 2005's Poppy Variations album, this album-with-the-weird-title will certainly please the vast ranks of Pink Dots fanatics.
Alchemical Playschool is an altogether different beast. It comes packed in a beautiful trident-carved soapstone box that weighs a ton. Here the Dots-core of Edward Kaspel and Phil Knight rework environmental sound-material recorded in India (by Charles Powne of Soleilmoon records, the original recordings are available on CD as Indian Soundscapes). In doing so the Dots create a beautiful dreamscape. The four long tracks (parts one to four) evoke scenes of the East with street sounds, crowd noises, voices and field recordings drifting in and out. At times the results are pastoral and on other occasions downright hectic - just as you'd imagine India to sound like. Part Four, with its beautiful voice sample and washes of sound, forms the highlight of this fascinating album. Alchemical Playschool is welcome proof that the Dots are still willing and able to create exiting experimental music.
While Your Children Palate might be the easier album to digest, it is Alchemical Playschool that is the moral winner here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.roir-usa.com
Address: http://www.soleilmoon.com

BRUNNEN - THE BEEKEEPER'S DREAM (CD by Beta Lactam Ring)
Perhaps I am absolutely the wrong person to review this CD by Brunnen, also known as Freek Kinkelaar, also known as one half of Beequeen, so somebody which I happen to know, erm, let's say quite well. As Brunnen, Kinkelaar plays singer-songwriter material, on guitar, bass, keyboards, singing and some computer doodling. 'The Beekeeper's Dream' is Brunnen first real 'big' release, after a portion of highly limited (and long gone) 7"s, among which are on his own Plinkity Plonk label. This CD collects them, and adds a bunch of new ones. It's the Kinkelaar use of economics. A usual Brunnen song starts with a rhythm loop, and/or perhaps a guitar being strummed and bass coming in and then Kinkelaar's singing. In the breaks between the verses, Kinkelaar adds a few odd sounds. The music is very intimate, like he's sitting there in your room, next to you, whispering his love songs in your ear. With a voice that is a cross-over between say Edward Ka-spel or Genesis P-Orridge, both at their most sweet, this intimate popmusic, that is only remotely linked to his work in Beequeen (especially in the newer works such as 'The Bodyshop' or 'Ownliness'), but more stripped down. Some of them are singalongs right from the start, like 'Fly', but 'Trust In Me' is a bit too long for me.
This CD comes also on vinyl, and some of them will include a picture disc, which shows another side of Kinkelaar: his love of drone music, as shown in the earlier days of Beequeen or in the recent Wander project. On this LP he has various improvisations on the pump organ, which are in some way or the or the other are collated on the computer into fine blocks of sound. Slow, minimal and meditative, this is absolutely great drone music. It could have been as easily the new Wander LP, but it isn't. It still comes from the same house. Get one while they last. (FdW)
Address: http://blrrecords.com http://www.freekkinkelaar.nl

BERNHARD GAL - INSTALLATIONS (CD by Gromoga Records)
By now Bernhard Gal should no longer be unknown, for his work has been released by such labels as Durian, Intransitive, Plate Lunch, Klanggalerie, Charhizma and now on Gromoga. 'Installations' is actually a book and CD dealing with the sound installations produced by Gal over the years, from 1999 until the present day. Unfortunately I haven't seen the book, so I can't exactly comment on the installations, how they look like, or what the ideas are behind them. I don't believe however that Gal wanted the CD to be just highlights of the sound portion of the installations. Taking things a bit further, he choose the most abstract part of each of the installations (if my count is right, seventeen) sound track and put them together as one of continuous flow of sound, in nineteen parts. This brings an utter varied bunch of musics: from the sound of billiard to a walk in the wood, bells sounds and electronically processed sounds. This makes this CD into both a fine display of his many talents but also something that can hold the attention for its entire seventy-four minutes. The fact that the installations are still a mystery is, well just too bad, I guess. This by itself is very fine enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gromoga.com

MARTYN BATES & TROUM - TO A CHILD, DANCING IN THE WIND (CD by Transgredient Records)
In '24 Hour Party People', Tony Wilson says that 'W.B. Yeats was the greatest poet since Dante', but Ian Curtis 'never heard of him, mate'. I heard the name Yeats, but school education never went that far (let alone self-education), but his sensible poems are well spend on Martyn Bates and Troum. The latter are obviously my all time favorite drone meisters of the more forceful kind. Think Mirror or Ora but louder. Playing bass, percussion, accordion, lots of sound effects they create sometimes a subtle, and sometimes less of subtle atmospheric piece of music. I don't think I would easily link them to Martyn Bates, one half of Eyeless In Gaza and recently in Vital Weekly with 12000 Days (see Vital Weekly 486). Back in the day, I was a big Eyeless In Gaza fan, lost sight for perhaps more than a decade but their comeback album for Soleilmoon 'Song Of The Beautiful Wanton' was quite nice again. But somehow I wouldn't expect this to happen. The voice of Martyn Bates is something you either truly like or truly hate. It's full of passion, emotion or, deciding which side you are on, pathetic. Set against the background of Troum's beautiful music, that solemnly spreads it's wings in 'Mad As The Mist And Snow', this is all too good to be true. I am perhaps not the biggest lover of poems, perhaps on an ordinary day I would not enjoy the voice of Bates that much, but the singing forms only a small portion of the total package. There are even tracks that instrumental. Now its so much more than 'just' a drone record: the voice forms a counterpart of the music, perhaps because it fits so well. This is certainly on of the best drone records I heard this year, because it's so familiar as well as such a surprise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

TOUCH25 (CD compilation by Touch)
With the release of 'Touch25' UK's Touch celebrates it's twentieth-fifth anniversary and what better would be than a compilation? Touch started out with a compilation after all, and right from that start, 'Feature Mist', it was clear that quality was going to meet design. With the invaluable help in the early years of Neville Brody's artwork, Touch releases are usually packed in the regular jewel cases and digipacks (and not like that other famous label, also nearing it's twenty-five year landmark, Staalplaat, in all sorts of weird packaging), but with a strong own image/photo/design, by Jon Wozencroft. For the compilation they didn't pick the the highlights of the past, but it's more a present state of mind. So no Strafe Fur Rebellion, John Duncan or Hafler Trio, but Rosy Parlane, Biosphere, Oren Ambarchi, Fennesz, Pan Sonic, Bruce Gilbert or Mark van Hoen, whose 'Put My Trust In You' (wasn't that a line from 'A Means To An End' by Joy Division?) is definitely one of the highlights of this CD. And just when is he going do something new? Other highlights are the sounds of transport means by Chris Watson, the much overdue re-release of Mother Tongue, Rehberg's clicki-di-click techno glitch and Bruce Gilbert's scary story. The other artists do whatever and many of them just do the right thing at that (Pan Sonic, Ikeda, Ambarchi, Rafael Toral, Biosphere, Johann Johannson). It's a good showcase compilation. I was thinking about the next twenty-five years: will Touch still exist? And in what form will they distribute their music? They went from analog to digital. The next logical step would be going MP3. If that would be the case, I have a request: open up the archives and make available all the old tapes again. Start the next twenty-five years with 'Feature Mist'! (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

FOVEA HEX - HUGE (CDEP by Die Stadt)
Following 'Bloom', the first of three CDEP by Fovea Hex, 'Huge' is the second one. Fovea Hex is Clodagh Simonds, backed by a who's who in the UK underground, and perhaps overground as well: Roger Doyle, Brian Eno and Colin Potter, plus musicians as Percy Jones, Hugh O'Neill and Carter Burwell. Simonds sings and plays recycled glass, waltz bed, psalteries, odd sounds, glazed harmonium and chimes. But her voice remains the important instrument. Again the angelic voice of Simonds is set against a beautiful cross-over of ambient, electronica or digital sound processing (in that order). There is something both utter ancient about the songs, and at the same time it's also very modern. Of the three pieces one is instrumental, although it lists three voices. Like 'Bloom' it's short, and like 'Bloom' that's fine. More would be too much. Its like eating a great meal: too much is not good enough. I can't find any instrumental credits on the cover for Andrew McKenzie, but he has co-written the instrumental 'A Song For Magda', and just as before, he delivers a free CD to go with first few hundred copies. It's called 'The Discussion' and is perhaps, I am merely guessing here, an extended version of 'A Song For Magda': voices are manipulated into a church organ at the beginning, but return more simple at one point and more complex at other times, and is perhaps, again, indeed a discussion. It moves the Fovea Hex material into a complex, tightly knitted pattern of drone clouds in the wind - they come and they pass. It's like the previous remix of Fovea Hex one of my favorite Hafler Trio works of recent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

ASI MINA - HAVE ALL! BUT WHERE? (CD by Mik Musik)
More singer song writer material, by one Asia Bronislawska, which is a bit longer for a poster, so it's Asi Mina. She is from Poland, and her CD is a like a diary in songs, a 'songiary'. She sings, plays guitar, percussion and gets help from other people like Mik Musik boss Wojtek. If I understood correctly the songs were recorded over a longer period and sometimes improvised on the spot. The lyrics are mostly in Polish, which makes a bit harder to understand what they are about, but I believe about children, parenthood and such like. When Asi Mina plays guitar and sings it's not so much my thing, but when there is some more musical action, especially when mingled with electronics it is quite nice. The polish language becomes for those who do not speak it, rather magical spells or just made up words, even when they probably carry some real meaning. I must say that this CD was quite alright to hear a couple of times, but perhaps it's bit too far from my usual things to truly enjoy it. But for those who think people like Tujiko Noriko or Piana are too soft or too computer based, Asi Mina might be the more improvised/electro or even rocky counter part. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikmusik.org

ESTHER VENROOY - SHIFT COORDINATE POINTS (LP by Entr'acte)
About nine years ago, Irdial Records released a four CD 'The Conet Project', collecting sounds from number stations, or spy stations: transmissions found on radio waves of various secret services. A great and no doubt worrying work, if you understand the consequences of it, but also a wealth of great sound. I believe it is not allowed to use these sounds at will (I forget what the fuzz was all about, but somebody got sued for sampling some of it), but Esther Venrooy asked and got permission to use the material to create a sound piece for Belgium radio, which existed seventy-five years. If one is familiar with the original 'Conet Project' recordings, then it's easy to spot all the original voices ('five - three - two - zero - five'), but Venrooy knows her classics in music, especially that of musique concrete: the sudden shifts in sounds, the gentle gliding electronic tones, but also incorporating a little melody at the beginning of the second side. There is nothing really frightening about these voices anymore, they are isolated from the original context, and placed in this new, abstract picture, where they become voices of the unknown. They no longer have their original meaning, but rather a new one. This is a more than excellent record, and by far the best work by Venrooy to date. (FdW)
Address: http://www.entracte.co.uk

LUNAR ABYSS DEUM ORGANUM - BRUSNIKA (7" by Drone Records)
THO-SO-AA - DYING REVEAL/THE UNDEFINED (7" by Drone Records)
IN MEDITARIUM - MARE INTERNUM (7" by Drone Records)
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - FRAGMENT 36 (7" by Drone Records)
CLOSING THE ETERNITY - NORTHERN LIGHTS AMBIENCE (7" by Drone Records)
RYN - WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU (7" by Drone Records)
Drone Records keep on going on, always releasing their 7"s in groups of three. This review contains not just the latest catch, but also the previous which we somehow missed. It is a bit of mystery to me where they find their artists, but more and more Drone comes up with names I never heard of. Of these six 7"s there is only one band I heard of before. Like Lunar Abyss Deum Organum from Russia. They have a whole bunch of releases (the 7"s always come discographies printed on the insert) from this Evgueny Savenko from St. Petersburg. His 7" has an odd mixture of chanting voices, a crude synthesizer sound (or perhaps field recordings) and vaguely ethnic percussion rumble at the bottom on 'Veet Vecher'. The esoterica on this one is quite high, but it's alright. There is still a sense of experimentalism in these pieces to make it stay on the right side of the line.
Tho-so-aa have been reviewed before in Vital Weekly (112), but that is a long long time ago. It's an one-man project from Germany, who delivers a rather noise related drone work. Loops of voices swirl in and out of the mix, with some piercing and distorted synthesizers working overtime in the background. It's quite dark and obscure, with hardly a spark of light in there.
In Meditarium from the Ukraine is one Sergey Svistelnik (who also runs the Ukrainian Dark Syndicate and making music as Filivs Macrocosmi) and Oleg Kolyada (of First Human Ferro and Oda Relicta). This is the first vinyl release, following two CDR releases. This comes closest to the original idea of drone music: deep washes of subsonic bass sounds and soft tinkling bell sounds on top. Meditation music for the darker minds available, and not for away from the likes of Mirror or Monos. Two great pieces.
According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus you can never step into the same river twice and it's the guide line for the 7" by Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf, the only name we recognized. Mirko Uhlig has already released some beautiful CDRs, most recently under his own name. Here he uses processed feedback-like sounds in combination with water sounds and a glockenspiel. Like the Heraclitus saying this music moves around and never seems to be reaching the same point again, but alike water, it may look superficially look the same. The b-side is much louder than we have expected from him, but there he manages to keep things together quite well.
Closing The Eternity hail from Siberia, Jekaterinburg to be precise and they use recordings of Nothern Light together with a bunch of synthesizers. There is a strong sense of cosmic music around these two pieces. The b-side has a lot of crackles, which at first I thought were coming from the pressing, but they turn out to be part of the music. This makes this cosmic trip into lesser an angelic one and more a scary ride trough the intergalactic. Scary but nice.
RYN is a new duo of members that were once in the drone rock band Marzuraan and in a noise band called Romance. As Ryn they are never far away from the noise, but they take matters into the world of drone. It seems like a huge ship building site they made their recordings and then layer them, and add a whole load of delay to it. One side seems like a far away recording and the other a close miked chainsaw. Nice, but it's a bit too simple for my taste. Too straightforward and not as convincing for drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

JASPER LEYLAND - MARGIN (CDR by Stray Dog Army)
You may never heard of Jasper Leyland, but his real name is Jonathan Brewster, and that might ring no bell either. He released a CDREP in August 2005 and 'Margin' is his first full length release. Jasper/Jonathan plays a variety of instruments, such as zither, acoustic guitar, melodica and field recordings. These are all processed on the computer, mainly in the form of layering them in various shapes, lengths and colors. The result is quite glitchy ambient with a strong love for the more minimal approach. Once the wheel is set in motion it spins and spins, like there is no end to it. In that respect some of the pieces might be a bit long in approach, but there is a certain warmth and gentleness in these pieces that makes it quite entertaining throughout, although more as a backdrop, living room music thing, that actually as pieces of music that should be listened to and understand as such. Exactly what good ambient should be all about. And Jasper Leyland delivers a fine job at that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.straydogarmy.co.uk

THE IMPOSSIBLE FLOWER - ROOTS AND FRUITS (CDR by Afe Records)
SUBINTERIOR - THE CHRYSALIS SECRET (CDR by Afe Records)
ANOFELE & LOGOPLASM - GRAVESCAPES (3"CDR by Afe Records)
AIDAN BAKER - DOG FOX GONE TO GROUND (CDR by Afe Records)
SNOTRA - ALL DONE BY JOHN (CDR by Afe Records)
NO ABIDING PLACES (CDR compilation by Afe Records)
A whole bunch of releases on Afe Records, and it seems with got away with some luck: they are only six of the fifteen new releases that came out in April of this year. Many of the names on Afe Records are relatively new to me. Suchg as The Impossible Flower, the project of Andrew David Daly, from Glasgow. He started out as Digital Butter, and played with Frog Pocket. 'Roots And Fruits' was recorded between 2000 and 2004, when The Impossible Flower was still a solo project (it's duo these days), and the music dwells heavily on the use of guitar. Feeding it through all sorts of effects (but always to maintain an open sound), and doing tricks on the computer, such as reversing, it what makes up these seven pieces of post-post rock ambient music. Much alike Windy & Carl, including the addition of a bit of vocal or a piano tinkling. Nicely played mood music for sure, that may not hold that many surprises, but it's quite alright altogether.
The name Subinterior is something new to me, and its one Andrea Freschi from Milan, Italy. He is the drummer of Canaan and a member of Konau. For his solo work he captures field recordings of millers, lapping wheels, lathes, industrial refrigeration plants, safety doors etc, which he puts together on his computer at home, creating highly ambient form of industrial music. Adding here and there a bit too much delay on the sounds, he creates a deep atmospheric work, which is quite alright. Not great, not new, and sometimes a bit too unfocussed but throughout a most enjoyable work along the lines of Lustmord circa 'Heresy'.
On a smaller scale a release by Anofele (aka Adriano Scerna, one half of Kar) and Logoplasm, the group of Paolo Ippoliti and Laura Lovreglio, who used to run the S'Agita Recordings label. For them this release is a return, since shutting down S'Agita nothing was released by them. Their joint work started in 2003 when they made a recording outside a local Therevada Buddhist monastery, where they found some human bones, leaves, sticks and branches. On this 3" CDR we find the original source recording, as well as reworkings by Anofele and Logoplasm. What can be noted about the Anofele one is that his rework is very dry and natural - this could have been the field recording as far as I'm concerned. Logoplasm takes the material much further into the world of digital processing and is perhaps a bit too much lost in the world of reverb: it's certainly scary music.
More Aidan Baker, see also last week. On this new release he offers five pieces which are less complex in approach than last week's 'Oneiromancer' CD. On that release Baker waves everything together, whereas on this 'Dog Fox Gone To Ground' it seems as if he explores an instrument per track. 'Dog Fox One' is mainly percussive, in 'Dog Fox Two' the guitar plays a big role and in bowed cymbals close off in 'Dog Fox Five'. One could think it's perhaps a bit too much variation going on here, but Baker's ambient music can be made any sort of instrument, as long as the right effect pedals are there, to add the right amount of sustain and delay. Another fine addition to Baker's vastly expanding universe.
I'm not sure why the Snotra release is copied to a 5"CDR, since it has only eighteen minutes of music. Snotra is a side project of John Charles Wilson, also known as Frog Pocket. In his early days we reviewed a lot of his music, but his move to Planet Mu and Benbecula, also meant a move out of sight. 'All Done By John' was already released by Duotone Records in Japan, but is now remastered. Among all the dark atmospheric sounds found on all the other releases by Afe Records, this is certainly a strange thing. Fucked up rhythm machines, strange samples of guitars, fiddles and crazy, childlike melodies. It's witty, funny and crazy, but playing this after being elevated by the previous lot might cause serious mental problems.
And the final release is 'No Abiding Places', a no less than twenty-three track compilation but by half the amount of artists. Each artist was invited to deliver a finished track and a small 'bridge' track which could be put in between the finished pieces, in order to provide an uninterrupted playing. That is a very nice idea, and one that works well. However the downside of this that the music sounds throughout very similar. It's all dark atmospheric deep end rumble that is going on here, and the processed sound of thunder that hoovers among these tracks. Bands become interchangeable and of course you can wonder if that is a big problem. There is no band that leaps out of the ordinary, but it's surely an uninterrupted playing throughout. Switch of the lights, lie back and fear the night, with Bad Sector, Aal, Non Ethos, Moan, True Colour Of Blood, Bestia Centauri, Ornament and more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aferecords.com

CONVURAZIO - BACKSIDE HELLFLIP (CDR by Tib Prod)
ORIGAMI ARKTIKA - EPLEKYSS (CDR by Tib Prod)
LOOOP SESSIONS - OSLO, 24 MAY 2004 (CDR by Tib Prod)
OSCILLATOR 707 - SUITE #2 (CDR by Tib Prod)
BJERGA/IVERSEN - MOST THINGS ARE MADE OF WATER (CDR by Utech Records)
Four new releases on Norwegian Tib Prod, of which the first one, by one Alessandro Siciliano, aka Convurazio, is completely new to me. I believe this is first full length CDR, following various MP3 releases and tracks on compilations for such labels as Rednitic. The 'Backside Hellflip' starts promising with a break beat/trip hop rhythm, and samples of the much in praise eighties guitar sound. A very nice piece that holds a promise for the next sixteen (!), but unfortunately we learn quickly that Siciliano is a man behind his computer fiddling about with all sorts of dance music rhythms, techno, breakbeat and trip hop alike, and smears it full with samples of organs at their worst or sometimes with more of that lovely guitar sounds, and sometimes with nothing at all, and keeping it strict techno. Surely nice pieces are to be found, but on the fingers of one hand.
From the ever expanded family of Origami, here is
a five piece band Origami Arktika, with a recording they made two years ago of their support act for Acid Mothers Temple. It's an Origami rock line up, of careful playing with a bit of improvisation on what could be guitars (but for all I know, perhaps also some sort of electro-acoustic objects), while bass and drums hold the rest together. At times it's a bit too careful for my taste, but they include three traditional tracks, including singing and that's always nice. It's ok, I guess, but not so my cup of tea.
Also two years ago, on may 24 2004 to be precise, a bunch of people met up in Oslo, to create the Looop Sessions together. This is an almost all Norwegian line up of who's who in the real Norwegian underground: John Birger Wormdahl (Salvatore, Racing Junior), Per Gisle Galaen (Apartment Rec, Crazy River, The Birds, Slowburn), Kai Mikalsen (Kobi, Origami Arktika), Sten Ove Toft (Ryfylke, Waffelpung), Anders Gjerde (Humbug Records) and non Nor Carlos Giffoni of Monotract. On the inside of the cover we see a photo of the proceedings: laptops, at least four of them, effect pedals and obscure things with cables, faders and keys. You can imagine that with so many players on boards it's not easy to be silent or quiet, so this is a rather noise related disc. But it is fortunately quite vibrant music, with sounds pouring in and out of the mix, distorted rhythms, sonic mayhem, but also pieces that are 'soft' and perhaps even a bit ambient. They provide nice counterpoints and makes an overall much enjoyable CD.
The last new Tib Prod release is by Oscillator 707 collective from Italy. There a couple of bands work together: Paolo Veneziani, Strinqulu, Urkuma, !((OrKZa1, Luca Confusione, Talk Show Host, Orchestra Vuota, Black Dezign and Guignol Dangereux. It's the latter one's duty to mix all tracks together. There is one track on this CDR which is a pity since it makes skipping tracks a bit more difficult, but on the other hand it there is uninterrupted flow in these techno/acid/house pieces, which are mixed flawlessly by Guignol. Perhaps it's a bit traditional dance music, but it should do well as start up for your private underground techno party.
And finally there is also more music from man behind Tib Prod, Jan-M. Iversen, whose duo with Sindre Bjerga is by now one that stays. They do their endless improvisations in remote areas, such as lighthouses, but when it comes to releasing music, they do not just present a session on a CDR, they cut the best part out of it. Their instruments is a combination of electronics (Iversen) and amplified objects, guitar and electronics (Bjerga), the music is by and large atmospherical in a sort of drone manner, but also a bit more lo-fi. Throughout their many releases there is an upward line to be noted, but on this new release there is an absolute stand out piece for the duo, the part one of the title piece. Slowly moving forward, highly minimal but also highly moving, working towards a small crescendo at the end of the piece, this is by far the best piece by them. In the other six tracks they explore similar ground, and usually at their best, but that track is a standout. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com
Address: http://www.utechrecords.com

JASON ZEH - SARIRA (CDR by Gameboy Records)
JAZKAMER - PROUD TO BE UN AMERICAN (CDR by Gameboy Records)
BRENDAN MURRAY - OCEAN OF DIRT, MOUNTAIN OF STEAM (CDR by Gameboy Records)
MIKE SHIFLET - HEARING [OR NOT] [1-18] (CDR by Gameboy Records)
From these four new releases, there are three
well-known acts (well, more or less) and one unknown. Let's start with him. I have no information on Jason Zeh, but his twenty-two minute 'Sarira' was recorded in the spring of 2006 at New Beginnings Church in Bowling Green, Ohio. I have no idea what I should think about this church in relation with the piece, as this is at the start quite a noise blast along the lines of Merzbow. Loops rumble about, like tin cans on a string, with subtle manipulations of cassettes being played (think Howard Stelzer here). The sound dies out in an extremely slow fashion, with more subtle cassette sounds against a drone like backdrop. After it stopped you may think it's over, but then follows some more manipulation and a bit of drone, which is kind of pity since the piece already made its point. But it's quite alright altogether.
Jazkamer? Yes, that's really how its spelled on the cover, but perhaps it's for contractual reasons misspelled? The website refers to Jazzkammer, the duo of John Hegre and Lasse Marhaug. In may/june 2004 they toured the USA, the eastern part thereof and on this CDR we find seven tracks from seven different concerts. For those who expect this to be full on noise, sliced into seven portions, that's not the case. Especially in the opening pieces, 'Lowell' and 'Poughkipsee', things refer much more to musique concrete and electro-acoustic music than in the noise onslaught of 'Columbus'. Loops, guitar manipulations, improvisation and yes, distortion and noise, play a dominant role in these pieces, but showcase also that Jazzkammer, or which ever spelling you prefer, are much more than just an ordinary noise band: they play an extended and a much more intelligent version of noise music, without losing the senses of the original sound.
Brendan Murray isn't perhaps as well known as we'd hoped for. But his small discography is hailed here at Vital Weekly with some praise, but perhaps and unfortunately only well-known to the insiders. I think that 'Ocean Of Dirt, Mountain Of Steam' is the follow-up to 'Resting Places' (see Vital Weekly 480), but perhaps we missed out on a release. In any case, also in terms of music this is a follow-up, but in stead of five pieces, Murray offers here one forty-one minute piece of drone music. Still we are left in the dark as to the origins of the soundscources Murray uses, but he crafts a very beautiful piece of drone music of it. Sounds move on all sides of the spectrum, at the low end as well as the high end, in various layers organized. Half way through the piece more or less 'explodes' and moves to higher tension level, like being in the middle of factory. That also disappears as suddenly and things move towards the end at even more gentle level. Not the most 'new' direction in drone music, but it's certainly well made and should appeal to all fans of the genre, who dare to hear something just a little bit louder.
On the final new release we find label boss Mike Shiflet. 'Hearing [Or Not]', is mostly actually about hearing things in a very loud way. Shiflet uses a noise generator and digital feedback to produce eighteen relatively short pieces of high pitched, crude noise blasts. They are all to be heard, loud and clear. Just very occasionally things are a bit rhythmical, but that's only to start up the noise engines. Although Shiflet does a fine job, I must say that I rather prefer his work with Scenic Railroad, as in terms of music and putting some more thought in the work. This might be too easy. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gmby.net

EXHIBITION #3 (MP3 compilation by Audiobulb Records)
With the release of 'Exhibition #3' UK's Audiobulb celebrates it's third anniversary and what better would be than a compilation? Audiobulb already has a solid reputation when it comes to releasing compilations, always introducing new names. For this one they only have two new signings, but to be honest all names sound new to me (but I think I missed out on some of the releases). All fourteen tracks seem to be operating in the realm of rhythm oriented music, which is a breakaway from the more ambient-dance oriented. However having said that, this is not fourteen time the same piece. There are differences between the artists, that are sometimes subtle (perhaps even too subtle), but a track like that from Effacer and Another Electronic Musician (that is a great artist name!) - the opening and closing piece - are wide apart. From a mysterious sounding synth and stumbling rhythm to a nice flowing bed of ambient rhythms. Straight forward, in y'r face stomping of Nomad Place to the more complex piano cum melancholy rhythms of Ultre. The rhythm glitch of Build or the Ikeda glitch of Bllix. This is a great guide for would be label owners or festival organizers looking for new talent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

 

 

 

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