============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 532
---------------------
week 26
---------------------

 

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

 

HUMCRUSH - HORNSWOGGLE (CD by Rune Grammofon) *
GREG MALCOLM - HUNG (CD by Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) *
OBJEKT 4 - EXTERMINATION PROCESSING TOWER (CD by Ravenheart) *
SLEPCY - WE ARE THE NEWEST BATTLE MODELS (CD by Cock Rock Disco) *
LARVAE - DEAD WEIGHT (CD by Ad Noiseam)
EVOL - PUNANI QUATRE (CD by Alku) *
BRUCKMANN/DAFELDECKER/HAUF - WANE (CD by Formed Records) *
DEBRIS FIELD (CD/Book by Bolton Museum)
TRACIS (Book by Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery)
NOOK - AUBAINE (2CD, private) *
DIRK SPECHT - ABIME/NOCTURNE (DVD-R, private)
BASS TONE TRAP - TRAPPING (CD by MUSIC 'A LA COQUE)
AIDAN BAKER - THE SEA SWELL A BIT... (CD by A Silent Place)
THELEMA - BURNT MEMORIES (CD by Small Voices)
ANDREAS BRANDAL - DRIVE HOME WITH A HAMMER (CD by Quasi Pop) *
JØRGEN KNUDSEN - WEALTH (CD by Quasi Pop)
AUBE - COMET (2CD by Cipher Productions) *
GELSOMINA - NOSTALGHIA (CD by Cipher Productions)
TELLEMAKE - SCARBO (LP + CD rom by Angstrom Records) *
MONOMARC - JUDAS IN TAKKITAKKILAND (3"CDR by De Hondenkoekjesfabriek)
MASONIC YOUTH - GOING DOWN (7" by Smittekilde)
CTACIK - IN ORDER TO PEREVENT SENSE (CDR by Verato Project)
POSTBLUE - NAKED WOMEN DANCE ALONE (CDR by Phase! Records) *
SCHROEDINGER'S CUT - BOWED INSIDES (3"CDR by Phase! Records)
OLIVEIRI/FIGURE - CELEST (CDR by Entr'acte) *
JOE GILMORE & GEORGE ROGERS - ELSEIF (3"CDR by Entr'acte)
LUTNAHIMAT - KLEINE MITZEKATZE (3"CDR by Entr'acte)
FOSSILS - ILLUMINATIONS (CDR by Longlongchaney)
NIHIL IS ME/BE INVISIBLE NOW! (Cassette by Longlongchaney)
SHIVERS - A MISTY PLACE (Cassette by Longlongchaney)
ASHER - DIRECTIONS (CDR by Leerraum) *
LONGMO - SANBAN (CDR by Leerraum)
KENNETH KIRSCHNER - NOVEMBER 18, 2004 ET AL (CDR by Leerraum)
MAHMOUD REFAT & ZIMMOUN - STATICS I (CDR by Leerraum)
MAHMOUD REFAT & PE LANG & ZIMMOUN - STATICS II (CDR by Leerraum)
AUTOBAM - QUASI SATELLITE (CDR by Leerraum)
YUZO KAKO - T/T (CDR by Leerraum)
ZIMOUN - KABEL (CDR by Leerraum

 

 

HUMCRUSH - HORNSWOGGLE (CD by Rune Grammofon)
Behind Humcrush we find Thomas Strønen on drums and live electronics and Stale Storlokken on keyboards. Strønen is a member of Food, Maria Kannegaard and Parish, and Storlokken a founding member of Supersilent, Terje Rypdal's Skywards, Bol and Cucumber. Not many of these names mean much to me, but that's perhaps they are mostly linked to jazz music. 'Hornswoggle' is their second CD, following their debut of 2004. With the instruments at hand, one would expect this to be not very jazz related, but in an odd way it does sound like jazz like, but of a more electronic nature. The drums play at times a groovy, funky rhythm, sometimes as disorganized as you can expect from jazz, but it's the electronical component of this CD that makes the difference, and is the icing on the cake. Sometimes they follow the rhythm, but more often they just seem to drop in and out of the mix, like raindrops (as opposed to rain). All the tracks are the result of improvisations, which is a big surprise for me, as it seems much more planned and organized. As the album progresses the music gets more a tad more experimental and stranger, but it always stays on the edge of entertaining and listenable. Very fine work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

GREG MALCOLM - HUNG (CD by Celebrate Psi Phenomenon)
Since with the last review of a Greg Malcolm solo record, you must be aware that his solo concert at Extrapool in 2003 was one of my all time favorite concerts and it's not necessary to repeat that again. 'Hung' is his latest solo CD. Greg Malcolm plays three guitars at the same time, one with his hands, and two with his feet. He added some extra strings to his hand held guitar, contact microphones, but also springs and bells attached to the guitar on the floor and thus becomes an one man orchestra. The pieces he plays are improvised on the spot. Its not easy to describe the music of Greg Malcolm, if you never heard it. Perhaps as always, it doesn't entirely justify the music. Malcolm strum, plucks the guitar, and bangs out a simple rhythm. Sometimes he add a small motor device or an e-bow to form more solid backdrop, but that's not part of the normal routine. The results are always spacious, free floating tones, that create an intimate atmosphere. Unlike the previous release, the tracks are shorter here, each creating it's own biotop and time seems to come to a virtual stand still. Solemnly, slowed down, but never pathetic or doom loaded, this is just 'simple' played beauty. Great CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cpsip.co.nz

OBJEKT 4 - EXTERMINATION PROCESSING TOWER (CD by Ravenheart)
This is my first encounter with Objekt 4, a sound project of Anders Peterson from Sweden. 'Extermination Processing Tower' is his second full length release, after a hand full of EPs. I don't know how this new release relates to the previous work, but I must say that I rather enjoyed this release. While it is nothing new under the ambient industrial sun, Objekt 4 is rather good at his job. Dark ambient textures, with much thanks to the use of reverb, in combination with musique concrete elements, such as the dragging about of stones and the squeaking of doors, make this is into a highly spooky record. 'Breath Of Sickness' (I guess titles aren't his best thoughts) is at such the highlight. From all the influences he could take, Lustmord seems to me the one that he cherishes most. Sometimes there are elements of noise and rhythm on some of the pieces, and that is an area that should not be touched by him. They break away from the atmospherics captured in the other tracks, and on 'Encrypted No.2' it sounds like In Slaughter Natives at on an off day and on 'Minisex' it's Muslimgauze on a bad day. Those aside this is really a well-enjoyable album that should definitely finds its place on the overcrowded market. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ravenheart.myseria.cz http://www.objekt4.com

SLEPCY - WE ARE THE NEWEST BATTLE MODELS (CD by Cock Rock Disco)
Despite their previous releases on Ambush Records, Kool.pop and Suburban Trash Industries, I never heard of Slepcy, a duo from Poland, consisting of Piotr Kurek and Marcin Stefanski. A breakcore meets pop band is probably the best description of what they do. Slepcy wants to merge together, and while at it, they also want to add a bit of synthi pop, jazz or classical music. When set against the usual blend of breakcore rhythms, it becomes a furious mass of sound, a totally over the top wall of sound, such as in 'Laurence'. It's nice for sure, but it perhaps lives also too much up to the expectations one might have for breakcore music. The albums best tracks are the ones in which the pop element starts prevailing, and as such offer a new take on the word 'popmusic'. Not that these tracks are mellow per se, but the melodies such as in 'Tiracon Theme' or 'Flying Things' offer just that bit of extra to the breakcore genre. The spaghetti western guitar of 'With Charles Bukowski On The Ride' is the prize winner on this album. Here things have a complexity but one that wins also the not so convinced listener over. It seems to me a road they should explore further. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cockrockdisco.com

LARVAE - DEAD WEIGHT (CD by Ad Noiseam)
A few weeks ago German label Ad Noiseam celebrated their fifth anniversary with the superb release "Ad Noiseam 2001-2006" presenting almost four hours of excellent contributions from the labels history on two CDs and one dvd. Larvae was the composer that opened the great show with the tranquilizing sounds of "Snowy day" and he was the one to end the visual part of the set with a full-throttle action-packed video to breakcore-track "Solo shoots first". Already here we had the impression of the great span of musical expressions from this very interesting composer. "Dead weight", being the second release from the project, emphasizes Larvae's ability of controlling various genres of music. The result is an album that appears extremely varied in expression. The main part of the album remains downbeat and introvert with the expression based on acoustic instruments stylishly connected to the post rock-scene. In some moments the music floats in melancholic post rock-spheres of weeping guitars and slow-rhythm drumming, added female vocals from among others singer songwriter Jessica Bailiff from the Kranky label (Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Pan American, Loscil). The dreamy vocals of Jessica Bailiff reinforce the feeling of melancholy on tracks like "Telecast" and "Thanks for playing". In other moments the album radically changes into an aggressive extrovert expression close to the UK Grime-scene with deep throat rapping from Shadowhuntaz ("Nation of bling") and Scalper ("Art of war"). A few tracks around the album remain completely instrumental and others involve elements of subtle speaking ("Dead beat"). Towards the end of the album the atmosphere turns darker and more threatening with the final three tracks being more hostile in expression ("Dead beat", "Art of war", "The logical end"). "Dead beat" prepares the listener with a dark and nocturnal post-rock expression reminiscent of US-postrock-band The For Carnation. "Art of war" takes over and strengthen the hostile atmosphere with the pretty raw rapping of Scalper operating above a simple but very effective horror-flick-sort of tune. "The logical end", with its ongoing change in rhythm-texture, is a superb instrumental track of sheer aggression, furiously putting an end to the album. "Dead weight" is a very convincing release by Larvae. An album that will satisfy a wide span of listeners! (NMP)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

EVOL - PUNANI QUATRE (CD by Alku)
It's been a while since we last heard from the Spanish Alku label, who released a whole bunch of CDR releases, which were all about 'computer' music and especially the more louder kind. Evol is one of their man bands (in fact THE band behind the label) and 'Punani' is a series of compositions by Evol, so far released on Mego, Scarcelight and Fals.ch. The fourth one, aptly called 'Punani Quatre' is one their own Alku label and contains two long compositions by Evol, and four remixes. in 'Jabbercocky XII", Evol gets help from Jakob Draminsky-Højmark, who plays bass clarinet, in this rather nerve racking battle of computer generated noise versus the rather 'clean' sound of the clarinet. They form an interesting contrast. In 'Punani Testarossa', a live piece, things are for solo computer and even more chaotic. In this time Evol was listening to free jazz, and that shows here. This live recordings was remixed by Peter Rehberg, Cock E.S.P., Dave Philips and Wobbly. Rehberg's remix is less chaotic, but quite noise related and rhythmic. Monolithic and to the point. Cock E.S.P. also keeps things to the point, one minute to be precisely of things exploding into noise. Dave Philips on the other hand has a much longer piece and it's quite subtle. He isolates just a few tones from the original and builds a new piece around it, which includes his neighbors stepping about. Wobbly's remix is the most accessible one, as the rhythm might be jumpy but it's the glue who sticks everything together. Computerized pop music. It's a lengthy CD, but quite nice throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://vivapunani.org

BRUCKMANN/DAFELDECKER/HAUF - WANE (CD by Formed Records)
On the ever so excellent Formed Records a group named Wane, but perhaps it's just an one-off band. Wane consists of two Viennese musicians, Werner Dafeldecker on guitar and percussion and Boris Hauf on synthesizers and baritone saxophone along with Kyle Bruckmann on oboe and English horn. The later is from Chicago and is mostly known as one half of EGK. This trio does a great job at combining long sustained sounds from the various wind instruments and the synthesizer with the shorter, more randomly produced sounds of the guitar and again the synthesizer, or shorter sounds produced by the wind instruments. None of the three players has a specific role, and it seems if all members are equal in their goal to produce something that is at times very Alvin Lucier like in terms of sine wave/feedback like sounds, but with the addition of all sorts of smaller sounds. There is a high level of concentration in the playing of these three guys, but strangely enough, it doesn't seem to require the same concentration of the listener. Rather, he can sit back and let it all come by just as seemingly easy the musicians have produced it. Great improvised music by three established players. (FdW)
Address: http://www.formedrecords.com

DEBRIS FIELD (CD/Book by Bolton Museum)
TRACIS (Book by Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery)
Two catalogues on exhibitions about music, but two opposites. Of the two, the catalogue for 'Debris Field' is perhaps the more regular one, the way such a catalogue must be. 'Debris Fields' was curated by Phil Mouldycliff and deals with 'remains', the debris after the act. It's not an exhibition about music per se, as it includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and also music. Some of the participating artists are also musicians, such as Loren Chasse, Keith Rowe and Phil Mouldycliff and they all delivered some music to Colin Potter, who presented 'Debris field Ambient Wash', a mix of all the sounds into a 'discreet, constantly changing audible environment' to fill up the space with the exhibits. While flipping pages of the catalogue at home, this music fills also up the private space, and the big advantage is of course you can turn up the volume much louder and enjoy things perhaps better than in the public space. The music alone is worth getting the catalogue for.
'Traces' is also a catalogue for an exhibition, but rather than 'just' an account of activities, this is 'where notions of trace as they are addressed within the project are given shape in written form'. So it's more about the artists, their work in general and a bit about the work itself they presented during 'Tracking The Traces', an exhibition held in the Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery in Montreal, Canada. Participating artists where Dominique Petitgand, Mika Vainio, Lynn Pook, Peter Sülyi, Mika Taanila and Leif Elggren, among others. Their works are described in a not too difficult, pleasant to read style, in both english and french. Nice enough, but that bit of music makes it always a bit more nicer. (FdW)
Address: http://www.icrdistribution.com
Address: http://www.ellengallery.concordia.ca

NOOK - AUBAINE (2CD, private)
DIRK SPECHT - ABIME/NOCTURNE (DVD-R, private)
Its perhaps a little over the top, this double CD, as both CDs contain the same music. One is a regular CD with a regular stereo mix, to be played on a stereo installation and one is a 'kunstkopf' version, a binaural version recorded using a dummy head. Why not (also) a surround sound version on DVD? And with the three pieces that form 'Aubaine' being thirty three minutes, it could have easily fitted on one CD. NooK is a duo of Dirk Specht and Gerriet K. Sharma and 'Aubaine' was their joint postgraduate project at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. They used Wave-Field-Synthesis, which is all about spatialization of sound. I must admit I don't like to hear music on headphones that much, at least not the more difficult kind of music, so I only played the 'regular' stereo version, and what I heard was an interesting, though not really surprising kind serious electronic music that partly takes its influence from modern classical music and partly from microsound, with it's deep bass sound and computerized crackles. There might be some kind of electro-acoustic music part of this, sounds that have been treated in some electronic (digital of course) way, but I am not too sure of that. It's an ok work for what it is. Not a real innovative blast, certainly not bad at all. But perhaps of course I should have played it on headphones.
Of an entirely different nature is the DVD-R release 'Abime/Nocturne', which is announced as a 'musicplay with images'. The music is by Dirk Specht, one half of Nook, and the music is much more regular, focussing on drum sounds, electronic music, field recordings and soundscapes. The movie is presented as a split screen, also of found images as well as images produced with various actors. And sometimes things go dark, like the title would suggest. The music seems to me generated through improvisation, with the drum/percussion tracks being played first and then later added with other sounds. I must admit I am not directly blown away by the music, which seems to me a bit too haphazard thrown together (even when no doubt much work went in it), but along side the visual part things work quite well. It's hard to say wether there is any story, or that they are rather capturing the nocturnal mood. If it's the latter, they do a good job. (FdW)
Address: <dspecht@khm.de>

BASS TONE TRAP - TRAPPING (CD by MUSIC 'A LA COQUE)
First a few words on this small label. It is based in southern Italy and specialized in freeform jazz, white funk, avant punk, etc. Most releases from their small catalogue concern a free-funk band called BZ BZ UEU. Free and funky also characterizes the music of Bass Bone Trap, an english combo from Sheffield. With this release the label gives a second life to their one and only album originally released in 1983. White funk was in the air in those days. Just think of A Certain Ratio, Bush Tetras, James White, etc. The (re-mastered) music of Bass Tone Trap sounds remarkably fresh after all those years. Their punk jazz offers a nice mix of british funky new wave and free improvising. The more straight funky pop pieces sound a little dated like 'Africa Calling', but other more free and experimental pieces still stand. The band emerged form the Sheffield free music scene at the end of the 70s and existed until 1984 somewhere. The group consisted of competent jazz musicians and some non-musicians: Derek Saw (sax, clarinet), John Jasnoch (guitars), Paul Shaft (bass, vocals), Pete Infanti (drums), Neil Carver (guitar, little instruments) and Martin Archer (sax, violin, organ).
Musicians with very different backgrounds and abilities, but intensively they frequented the local pubs and stages and they grew into a very tight unit. They make no secret of the fact that they take most of their inspiration from James Blood Ulmer and Ornette Coleman.
Bass Tone Trap was the first band of Martin Archer, who changed in later years to electronic manipulating of prerecorded improvised music. What happened to the others? John Jasnoch is an active improvisor, solo and in several ad hoc ensembles. With Martin Archer he had the electro-acoustic duo ASK. Both gentlemen do also most of the solowork on this CD if I'm not mistaken. Or better, saxes and guitar are dominant, played by Neil Carver and Derek Saw as well. Although I didn't know this album from the time it was released, it served as a perfect trigger for nostalgic feelings and brought me back to the musically interesting early 80s. I don't mean to say it is only of historical interest. For those interested in experimental free and funky music Bass Tone Trap is a welcome exponent. (DM)
Address: http://www.musicalacoque.com/

AIDAN BAKER - THE SEA SWELL A BIT... (CD by A Silent Place)
THELEMA - BURNT MEMORIES (CD by Small Voices)
You could of course do too much. There is just one guy who gets a way with it, I think, and that is our dear friend Merzbow. But for many other whose engine is overburning, there is a risk of overheating the system. Aidan Baker is one of those liabilities. There is nothing wrong as such with the three pieces on 'The Sea Swells A Bit...', as they all capture the ideas of Baker quite right: semi-psychedelic tapestries of many layered guitar sounds, feeding through large stacks of effects, held together by sparse bass notes (which are also never alone without sound effects) and tape-loops and a drum machine, although he doesn't ask for prominent role until 'Davey Jones' Locker'. It's as said, another fine Aidan Baker record, but it's another one, and there is already a great deal of his music out there, so the risk of over production is also there. I think, but perhaps that's only my private opinion, you can only make as many albums in one style as is necessary and then new roads could or should explored.
Thelema, thelema, I kept mumbling. Where did I hear the name before? I think I saw the name a long, long time ago, as part of that particular angle of the Italian music scene, which I never really liked: Ain Soph, Sigillum S and erm, others. I think Thelema were part of that too. Rather bad imitations of Current 93, Sol Invictus and such like. Thelema are Giorgio Parmigiani and Massimo Mantovani and 'Burnt Memories' is the fourth album, since 1984 and the first in nine years. Inspired by Aleister Crowley, obviously. Ok, so I readily admit I didn't hear their old music, or perhaps it's erased from this hard disc mind, but I must say, I rather enjoyed 'Burnt Memories' for what it is. It's quite poppy with vocals from the grave, doomy and spooky, but there is unmistakably a poppy feel to this. Verses, choruses and such like, even when the lyrics aren't exactly about the most pleasant things in life. A bit dark folk music, which is an area that is usually ignored in these pages, and perhaps Thelema are a third rate copy cat, but since I don't have that many points of reference, I must say I enjoyed quite a bit. Perhaps the inclusion of a cover of 'The European Female' from the Stranglers did help, for this big time Stranglers fan (old and euro-pop alike). Here Thelema certainly adds an even darker edge to the original, but the organ sounds a bit like the original and so is that nice guitar sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.asilentplace.it
Address: http://www.smallvoices.it

ANDREAS BRANDAL - DRIVE HOME WITH A HAMMER (CD by Quasi Pop)
JØRGEN KNUDSEN - WEALTH (CD by Quasi Pop)
A small label from the Ukraine, sending two promo's, and both are from Norwegian artists. That is curious. The label is called Quasi Pop and that name is chosen with some irony, as none of these two releases deal with popmusic at all. Or not one as we know yet. Andreas Brandal is, as said, from Norway, Bergen to be precise, and released his first recording in 1994, a two and half minute cassette. Later on he released work as Larmoyant, Nullpluss and The Western Gloom, and has played with Merzbow, John Hegre, Maja Ratkje and Karkowski, to name but a few. Despite all this activity, 'Drive Home With A Hammer' is his first solo CD. For this he uses analogue equipment as well as computers. The eleven tracks on this CD are all in the realms of experimental music, and, yes, I agree, that is broad term, but such is the bandwidth of music found on this CD.
From computer processing of sounds, orchestral
maneuvers and downright noise, Brandal has composed an album that is both pretty varied and yet sounds homogenous in approach. The noise moments on this CD are not that much of my liking for they don't add much, but the orchestral sounds of 'File Under Lost' is a great almost modern classical piece of music.
Jørgen Knudsen is also from Bergen, Norway and has been on the music scene since the 80s, mainly in rock bands, but his main work was composing music for dance performances. He was also one half of Information, who released their music on Beatservice and Rune Grammofon. 'Wealth' is also his debut solo CD. I must say that his music was a little less attractive for me. The idea of collage seems to be the main interest for Knudsen. Taking piano sounds, exotic rhythms, electronic sounds and such like which are all thrown into a blender and see wait for the results. When a rhythm is holding the stuff together, things are alright, but very often it is just a bunch of sounds thrown freely around and things don't seem to be adding much very much. Everything doesn't seem to go anywhere, nor is there the will to go anywhere. Not my thing really. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quasipop.org

AUBE - COMET (2CD by Cipher Productions)
GELSOMINA - NOSTALGHIA (CD by Cipher Productions)
There was a time that Aube, aka Akifumi Nakajima was as active with releases as Merzbow. It was the time when a new label would start with a Merzbow release, and then one by Aube (and then disappear). For whatever reasons I never fully understood, this came to a halt, also some years ago. But he's back, or perhaps not. The recordings on this double CD were made from November 1997 to April 1998, re-mastered in 2002 and then shelved until recent. Like with many if not all of his releases, the music is made with a single sound source, or in this case, one sound source per disc. One disc it's ice and on disc two it's space, although I must admit, I am not sure what that means. Space as in the space you are in, or the constellation above us? Whatever Aube lays his hands upon, soundwise, he produces a couple of short sound with them, samples them and then starts playing around with them. Loops spin on end, in sometimes a more ambient way and at other times in a more rhythm and noise manner. I hadn't played much Aube in the last years, but now I hear this 2CD set, I do remember what it is that causes a problem for me: many of the pieces, regardless of the sound input, sound a like. One loop, another and another one, some delay and reverb effects, built up, climax. Out of the pieces on this 2CD I think one could select one quite alright CD, but there are some weaker brothers here that make two a bit too much.
The name Gelsomina was encountered before, on a bunch of CDR compilations from Finnish Musically Incorrect Records, who also released 'Rautavaara' (see Vital Weekly 365). The first ten tracks on 'Nostalgia' were originally released by Smell The Stench in 2004 as a cassette. Gelsomina is the nom de plume for Pekka PT, who is credited for 'noise' and noise is what we get. Loud obnoxious feedback and distortion, the full works are here. Unlike others in this field, Gelsomina has 'depth', has 'variation' and has 'skil' - three factors not always present in the work of the lesser imaginative noise makers. Even when Gelsomina walks the paths of noise that is now paved like a highway and no longer a 'find your way in the bush', he still does a pretty fine job, pretty much along the lines of a good Merzbow. One of the better noise makers I encountered recently. (FdW)
Address: http://www.iheartnoise.cipherproductions

TELLEMAKE - SCARBO (LP + CD rom by Angstrom Records)
Many drummers leave their kit for what it is, and start playing around with computers. Jason Kahn, Jon Mueller, Eric Cook and also one Christophe Guiraud, who once was a drummer in Spoonful and Dogma, before turning to all things electronic. Now he is Tellemake and 'Scarbo' is his first LP, following the 'Moorning' EP in 2003. On the eleven tracks drums plays still an important role (more than with the three peers mentioned), but also manipulated guitars, violins and vocals. Again unlike the other three mentioned, Tellemake cares for a good tune. No microsounding processing cum live processing, but a track in which he can cross-over from jazz to electronics, from pop to experimental music is what he cares about. It's all however beyond any regular standard: it's not jazz or pop, since the experimental side of samples and computer manipulation is a far more present feature than what would be normal, and it's exactly this what makes this a great LP. When vocals leap in, things sound a bit like AGF, but throughout it's something that is definitely his own thing. And as an unusual feature, a CDRom is enclosed in this package, which contains films to the music by Sylvain Fogato, which are like wise moody experiences. Also included are various remixes by people such Sink, Arco5, Lodz, Kob i Vento and Yenkell. All worths twice the size of the LP, more or less. Great value for money, I think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.angstrom-records.net

MONOMARC - JUDAS IN TAKKITAKKILAND (3"CDR by De Hondenkoekjesfabriek)
MASONIC YOUTH - GOING DOWN (7" by Smittekilde)
From the ever so crazy world of De
Hondenkoekjesfabriek a 3"CDR release by Monomarc, who I believe is part of the Fckn Bstrds, perhaps the best known band out of that part of the world. The tracks on this release were partly released on compilations, and contain a wild mixture of noise, noise, cut-up and more noise. Feedback, distortion and a bit of rhythm thrown into it. Nothing new under either the noise sun as well as for Monomarc. The usual OK quality stamp for a noise product.
From perhaps the same area comes Masonic Youth.
Their website is protected, so I have no clue who they are. Their 7" is released by Smittekilde and in a way it's also noise, but of an entirely different order. It doesn't contain the usual distortion, but its a rather lo-fi affair of found sound, mumbling voices, slowed down rhythms and some such. This the sort of thing that is too short to form a solid opinion about and in general leaves the listener rather puzzled. But I must admit it's also rather captivating, leaving room to guess what it is all about. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xs4all.nl/~tellab
Address: http://www.smittekilde.dk

CTACIK - IN ORDER TO PEREVENT SENSE (CDR by Verato Project)
Only about twelve weeks ago, we reviewed the previous release by Ctacik, a.k.a Stanislav Popov (see Vital Weekly 520). Here he returns with 'In Order To Perevent Sense' (and that sounds like a writing error). Compared to the previous 'Amur Region', which was a step forward from his previous more noise oriented work, this new release continues the new style, in which ambient music, noise and musique concrete work finely together. Field recordings of bird sounds and people talking are set against a wall of dark synthesizer sounds. A piano tinkles away with rain sounds, but also with what sounds like an engine. It's still not pleasant music, for its all quite dark and alien music, but it has a certain cinematographic quality that makes this most workable soundtrack for any home shoot movies. As said, along the lines of 'Amur Region', but just a little bit better. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

POSTBLUE - NAKED WOMEN DANCE ALONE (CDR by Phase! Records)
SCHROEDINGER'S CUT - BOWED INSIDES (3"CDR by Phase! Records)
On Greece's Phase! Records label a new studio album by Postblue, which was already recorded in 2004. Postblue is a band consisting of Aris Stathis, Panos Ladas, Panagiotis Spoulos (labelboss of Phaseweb) and Thodoris Zioutos. They compare the music with Grateful Dead, Die Princess Die or early Butthole Surfers, which may be all true. Psychedelica is definitely an interest for Postblue, as they play lengthy rock songs in which bass and drums play an important role as the providers of the backbone, while guitars and organ play the solo's in this music. It's a bit jazz related, freaky and above lengthy, with just a few touches of experimental music. Postblue is above post-rock. It's not really great, not really bad, and not really original. Among the majority of laptop/electronic related music landing on this desk, it's quite nice at the same time.
On a smaller size we find Schroedinger's Cut, which is a duo of Aantasis Grivas and Panagiotis Spoulos. Apparentely 'Bowed Insides' is a taster for a forthcoming full length album and the three tracks are best described as 'free'. Free noise in the opening parts, but going into more careful and subdued scrapings of what are perhaps objects of whatever kind, after which they move over into the world of drone music. As an introduction this surely works fine, by itself it's perhaps too scattered over the place. The drone side of Schroedinger's Cut is certainly an area to explore, me thinks. (FdW)
Address: http://www.phasewebtk

OLIVEIRI/FIGURE - CELEST (CDR by Entr'acte)
JOE GILMORE & GEORGE ROGERS - ELSEIF (3"CDR by Entr'acte)
LUTNAHIMAT - KLEINE MITZEKATZE (3"CDR by Entr'acte)
Figure is a name that appears in Vital Weekly since a long time, but sometimes it's spelled Brannon Hungness, Kill My Self On Monday, Oblivion Ensemble but strangely enough we never mentioned his work with Glenn Branca or Elliot Sharp. On 'Celest' he plays music with Chad Oliveiri, a journalist from Rochester, NY (where also Brannon lives), who also produces music. Together they did a whole bunch of improvisations, Chad on his laptop and Brannon on keyboards and effects and after that Brannon sat down in his bedroom studio to edit these recordings into this release. The input on those computers and keyboards is mostly electronical, but there are also real instruments to detect, like guitars and violins, all sampled. Stylistically this is not far away from the music Figure produces himself, dark and atmospheric slabs of sound, but the addition of Olivieri's computer adds a 'modern' component: crackles and glitches all set in loopmode to repeat them selves. That makes a rather odd marriage of ambient industrial and microsound, but it's one that much to my surprise works quite well. It adds an element of surprise to both microsound music and dark ambient, even when some of the pieces are bit long and unfocussed.
Its been a while since we heard from Joe Gilmore, part of Powerbooks For Peace and working in the area of 'loud' computer music, instead of the more delicate. Here he teams up with one George Rogers, who is also a video artist and painter. He played at various festival, but I believe he has not had any releases. For 'Elseif' they use 'dynamic stochastic synthesis', as developed by Xenakis. 'A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic in that the next state is partially but not fully determined by the previous state'. Its not easy to say how this works out in the music, this music. But the computerized noise of Gilmore and Rogers is harsh, but not violent. They start a piece with say a linear sound, which can be interrupted, broken up and replaced with something else. At times this seems to be a random process, but perhaps there is logic in there somewhere. I must say that the combination of serious composed electronic with a sound palette such as used here, is certainly one I like very much, as it brings out more thought to noise, which is always a good thing.
Entr'acte doesn't provide us with any information on one Lutnahimat, who also delivers a 3"CDR, with one piece of just a bit more than thirteen minutes. 'Kleine Mitzekatze' is a computerized piece of drone music. Over the duration the piece slowly develops and gets a minimal treatment. It's surely a nice piece, but perhaps a bit too short and one has the impression the potential would have been bigger than just this piece. (FdW)
Address: http://www.entracte.co.uk

FOSSILS - ILLUMINATIONS (CDR by Longlongchaney)
NIHIL IS ME/BE INVISIBLE NOW! (Cassette by Longlongchaney)
SHIVERS - A MISTY PLACE (Cassette by Longlongchaney)
Longlongchaney is a new name for me, and this label hails from Italy. Apart from releasing CDRs they also release cassettes. On CDR format we find Fossils, an offshoot of Offensive Orange. Although we mentioned this band before, it was only in connection with David Payne, who is a member and of whom we reviewed a couple of solo releases. I believe Fossils are a trio and the music contains elements of David Payne solo feedback music, but it's much more. It contains elements of spontaneous, improvised music played on guitars, feeding through distortion, violin scraping, feedback and perhaps synthesizers. The label compares it to the old Los Angeles Free Music Society and that sounds pretty valid to me. Free music, made within the context of rock music (with the absence of drums however), but taking it a step further. As such the music isn't much new under the sun: it could have been easily recorded twenty years ago by some of the LAFMS bands or by PD when they started P16.D4. It bears some resemblance to the current wave of noise bands from the USA (even when Fossils are Canadian, in fact), except that Fossils' interest is not in playing super loud, totally distorted music, and as such there is much more to enjoy here.
I never heard of either Nihil Is Me or Be Invisible Now!, but together they share a c10 cassette. Be Invisible Now! plays a Korg MS-20 and samples and Nihil Is Me plays electric guitar without effects. The first one is a cosmic synth track in a fine Germanic tradition of Conrad Schnitzler or Klaus Schulze in their early days. In similar fashion, Nihil Is Me is also psychedelic, but much more raw and untamed with the guitar howling about, more like Ash Ra Temple, to stay in reference land.
Shivers is one Ulf and his ten minute cassette is filled with harsh cut ups of noise related material. It's alright for this length, but it's pretty much a 'been there, done that' thing, from indeed the times when people were doing this sort of stuff on tape releases. (FdW)
Address: http://www.longlongchaney.com

ASHER - DIRECTIONS (CDR by Leerraum)
LONGMO - SANBAN (CDR by Leerraum)
KENNETH KIRSCHNER - NOVEMBER 18, 2004 ET AL (CDR by Leerraum)
MAHMOUD REFAT & ZIMMOUN - STATICS I (CDR by Leerraum)
MAHMOUD REFAT & PE LANG & ZIMMOUN - STATICS II (CDR by Leerraum)
AUTOBAM - QUASI SATELLITE (CDR by Leerraum)
YUZO KAKO - T/T (CDR by Leerraum)
ZIMOUN - KABEL (CDR by Leerraum
Here is a whole bunch of releases by the Swiss Leerraum label, who also organize art events, installations and such like. Their releases are housed in a simple but very stylish carton sleeves, and are limited to 150 copies. We meet and greet people we already encountered before in Vital Weekly, as well as some new names. Asher for instance is somebody whom we met before. In his usual style of minimalism, he produced three lengthy pieces of music at the usual low volume. Using static humming bass sounds, and carefull cracks of vinyl skipping (or so it seems). Quite nice, even when I don't understand why it's listed as three separate tracks, since there is an altogether very strong similarity in all three tracks.
Whoever Longmo is I don't know, but he lives in Zürich, Switzerland and on 'Sanban' just one piece. Again firmly rooted in the world of microsound, with crackling and static sounds, but it's a lively mass. I see loads of insects or ants crawling about in a big bucket. Every once in a while something stirs the animals, that represented by a piano chord played every now and then. As the piece progresses, all sorts of subtle changes arrive on the scene, a bit more bass here and there, some more insects are thrown in the bucket. This is an absolutely great piece of microsound music. Organic and lively.
More playing around with the notion of silence and just a little bit of sound is Kenneth Kirschner. Usually he plays the piano in his own undefinable way, but for the three tracks on his Leerraum he seems to be leaning towards the use software synthesizers for the main part, and lesser to the piano, although it can be heard here and there. There are gaps of silence between the sparsely played notes, creating a fine atmospheric tapestry of highly contemplative sounds. Great stuff.
The next two releases are linked to eachother. One Mahmoud Refat from Cairo plays five pieces with Zimmoun on 'Statics 1'. Zimmoun is the man behind the Leerraum label. These five pieces live up to their name: machine like humming that barely moves forward or backward, but throughout each of the pieces, minimal changes become apparent by means of carefull filtering.
I might be entirely wrong but I think 'Statics II' is a continuation of 'Statics I', and perhaps even using the same sounds, so perhaps it's an extension or a remix project. With an extra player on board, one Pe Lang, they continue in similar style of careful crackling, machine hum and other such delights. Played right after 'Statics I', this might be a bit too much.
If all these things carefull and delicate is a bit too much to be true, then Autobam might be something for you. On 'Quasi Satellite' up front rhythms play an all important role, and even when its built from clicks and cuts, there is an element of dance music throughout these pieces. It has that Ryojia Ikeda sort of groove, that makes your feet go tapping along (if you are one of the dancers that move like me). The clicks and cuts feed off through a bunch of synthesizers (probably all digitally) and it's highly enjoyable for those who like Kompakt's minimalism.
Like Yuzo Kako, of whom I also never heard. He or she plays on 'T/t' five pieces minimal techno music, which are even less techno like than the ones by Autobam, but more in a good Pan Sonic direction. These five pieces have also a good driving force. Deep bass sounds, clicks on top and white noises playing the rhythm. Nothing new under the minimal sun, but it's great music.
The final release here is by labelboss Zimoun, whose work fits more the last two, Autobam and Kako, but who works more in a style that is related to Pan Sonic, but without the highly rhythm groove. Zimmoun's music is entirely rhythm based, but these rhythms aren't for dancing. His work bears similarity to that of Goem: minimal to the bone, always rhythm inspired, but not necessarily dance music per se. Rhythms aren't made of machines here, but are rather short loops of white noise and static. Quite a nice one this one, too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.leerraum.ch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this, then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <vital@vitalweekly.net>. Forward to your allies.
Snail mail: Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard - Acaciastraat 11 - 6521 NE Nijmegen - The Netherlands
All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), The Square Root Of Sub (MP <sub@xs4all.nl>), Dolf Mulder (DM) <dolf.mulder@hetnet.nl>, Meelkop Roel (MR), Gerald
Schwartz (GS), Niels Mark Pedersen (NMP), Henry Schneider (SH), Jeff
Surak (JS), TJ Norris (TJN), Gregg Kowlaksky (GK), Craig N (CN), Boban Ristevski (BR), Maurice Woestenburg (MW), Toni Dimitrov (TD <info@fakezine.tk>), Chris Jeely (CJ) and others on a less regular basis.
This is copyright free publication, except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.
Announcements can be shortened by the editor. Please do NOT send any
attachments/jpeg's, we will trash them without viewing.
There is no point in directing us to MP3 sites, as we will not go there. Any MP3 release to be reviewed should be burned as an audio CDR and send to the address above.

the complete archive of Vital Weekly (1-494) can be found at: http://staalplaat.com/vital/