number 560
week 3


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FRANK GRATKOWSKI & DAVE FOX & DAVID MENESTRES & IAN M DAVIS - ORM (CD by Assembled Sound/Umbrella Recordings)
REUBER - SÜDPOL (CD by Staubgold) *
IGOT KRUTOGOLOV - WHITE (CD by Topheth Prophet)
THOM GOLUB - LEXICON (CD by House Leek Audio)
FORTNER ANDERSON & TAPE/HEAD (CD single by Wiredonwords) *
GRKZGL - ESQUE (3"CD by Angle Records)
TAMING POWER - SIX PIECES (10" by Early Morning Records)
SEASON OF SNOW & ICE (2CDR compilation by Zaftig Research)
JAN-M. IVERSEN - 1.05 DRONE (CDR by Triple Bath) *
NINTH DESERT - COLLISION H (3"CDR by Verato Project)
NEST & MHFS (3"CDR by Gest) *
8YONE - KEYMOTION (3"CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
VANISHING VOICE - S/T (CD-R, selfreleased)
GOLDEN CUP/KAM HASSAH (2x business card CDRs by Long Long Chaney)
JOSH LAY - ABANDONED BY CHRIST (cassette by Long Long Chaney)
TZESNE = ALTER EGO (MP3 by Sototik) *




The collaborative effort is something that is very important for Ralf Wehowsky. He has collaborated with a great number of people, including Johannes Frisch, RM74, Bruce Russell and here with Bhob Rainey, who plays the soprano saxophone in numerous improvisation ensembles, including Nmperign with Greg Kelley. He is a rather unusual saxophone player, the one that treats his instrument as an object that makes sound. As such he (and others who play in similar style) they are players of electro-acoustic music, and can easily sit behind a computer doing their own compositions. So it's not a surprise to see Bhob working with Ralf, who sits , his computer since a long time, doing music like this. It took almost five years to complete this CD, and a shortened diary can be found on the cover of the release. It does only little to describe the actual sounds that exchanged, except for a recording of skating children. Not that's really important, it's the result that counts. Especially the opening piece 'Awaken Elsewhere, Unforeseen' is a pretty strong piece. Field recordings roll in, processed and unprocessed, collide with electronic sounds and take off again. The title piece is the longest piece and seems to be evolving around a lot of processed instruments, such as perhaps (!) the saxophone and the cello. A more contemplative piece. From the liner notes I understand that the third track 'Re: Hi!' was a bit of problem maker, and I must say that this piece, with it's obvious time stretches is indeed the somewhat weaker brother of the three pieces. But throughout this is a great CD, especially the first two tracks are great, total contrasts, but excellent examples of electro-acoustic music and computer techniques. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sedimental.com

Not being the greatest fan of the Velvet Underground, I could easily forget that the banana cover record was released forty years ago. Josetxo Grieta (that is a band, rather than a person, mind you) from the basque country was asked by Alvaro Matilla of the Brutus zine to record a version of 'European Son' and here they are. It's both a tribute to Velvet Underground as well as the man subject in the lyrics, Delmore Schwarz, a poet and mentor of Lou Reed. One piece is live with voice and guitar (played by Mattin), Inigo Eguillor on drums and Josexto Anitua on voice and radio. It's a rather chaotic version of ever forward pounding drums, but especially the guitar and voice are quite dope-related: in that sense it seems to be capturing the original Velvet atmosphere quite well. Nice alright, but the studio version is nicer. Here it mounts up to twenty years layered plus the sound of broken glasses, three watering cans and voice. A highly psychedelic piece with sound swirling in and out of the mix, but at the very same time also a noisy piece of music, almost like a violent piece of drone music. This is a great piece and one of the best I heard with involvement that is non-noise related (or at least to some extent) by Mattin. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mattin.org

Of course the name The Marcia Blaine School For Girls is a nice one, and taken from a fictional school of the 1961 novel and film, 'The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie', it's also the name of a trio from Glasgow. Before we ran across them when they had releases for such labels as Static Caravan, Expanding, Awkard Silence and many more, but 'Halfway Into The Woods' is their first full-length release, and it seems to me that they have taken advantage to use the entire length of the CD, being in this case sixty-one minutes. That is perhaps a bit much, but The Marcia Blaine guys have covered this problem quite well, me thinks. Although their music operates in the usual broken beats, melancholic keyboards and not too outspoken samples, they bring on some variety that makes this quite interesting. There is a strong uptempo piece followed by a truly mellow one and then a mild one. Sometimes I thought tracks were a bit too long for the amount it had to bring over, so some more editing would have been in place. Otherwise it's a fine example of what this kind of music has to offer and the girls offer quite an amount of variation of it - which should be an example to fashion travelers. (FdW)
Address: http://highpointlowlife.com

FRANK GRATKOWSKI & DAVE FOX & DAVID MENESTRES & IAN M DAVIS - ORM (CD by Assembled Sound/Umbrella Recordings)
Umbrella Recordings is the outlet of improvisor and pianist Dave Fox from Greensburo. The small catalogue offers several recordings by the Micro-East Collective. Reviewed earlier for Vital Weekly was the interesting album by Shull & Flandreau & Radding 'The Branch Will Not Break'. Two new CDs of improvised music appeared recently. Two very different ones. First there is 'Orm' by a quartet of David Fox on grand piano, Frank Gratkowski on alto sax and clarinet, David Menestres playing double bass and Ian M. Davis on percussion.
Recordings were made on one day in october 2004. Frank Gratkowski is a well-known improvisor from Germany, usually working on the European continent (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus König Orchester, etc.) but in october 2004 during his third visit to the States, he joined with three other local musicians, for a session of improvised music. Dave Fox is a teacher, composer and performer of composed as well as improvised music. Ian M Davis is also an important force in the scene of Greensburo. He organized the Micro-East -Collective, manages the Umbrella label, and plays with other improvisors. 'Orm' offers many beautiful moments of tight and inspired improvisations. Improvisations that are built up with a good sense for direction and with great interplay between the improvisors.
For 'The Foxbourne Chronicles' Dave Fox joined hands with his neighbor Eugene Chadbourne. Both are from Greensboro. We hear Fox on piano and Chadbourne on banjo, guitar and vocals. The 'artwork' of this CD is in the typical untidy Chadbourne style.
For the greatest part this CD contains a 'Sonata for banjo and piano (quasi-improvised' in 14 parts. What struck me first is the gap between the playing style of Fox and Chadbourne.
The playing of Chadbourne has many rough edges and humor is always there, whereas Fox plays in a much more clean and serious manner. So this is not my favorite combination. Two totally different improvisors concerning their esthetics and approach do their best, but it doesn't fit. It never happens. So in the end I liked the additional improvisations and compositions most, especially the opening track 'Two Plumbers', where Chadbourne and Fox make both use of extended techniques and create a nice intertwined piece. (DM)
Address: http://www.umbrellarecordings.com

REUBER - SÜDPOL (CD by Staubgold)
Timo Reuber might not be very well-known as a musician but every few years he releases a record on Staubgold, which is hardly a surprise, since the label is run by Markus Detmer, with whom Reuber forms the Klangwart duo (whose next album is still far away!). the good thing about Reuber is that none of his albums sound very much alike, me thinks. 'Kintopp' (see Vital Weekly 453) was already different from the previous more ambient like releases, but 'Südpol' is again a bit different. 'Kintopp' was like a long collage of sound, using samplers to create various cinematographic musics, on 'Südpol' he goes back to the big book of German cosmic music. 'Südpol' means Antarctica in German, and if you expect some glacier like synth album, then you are in the wrong place. Right from the start it's clear that analogue synthesizers do play a big role in this music, but the arpeggio button is always close by. Reuber adds a fine blend of technoid rhythms and as such updates the cosmic sound to something that is perhaps still not very much like the new millennium, but it's becomes a very lively thing. A fine combination of Klaus Schulze's psychedelic synths meeting up with techno in a finely carved niche of his own. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

IGOT KRUTOGOLOV - WHITE (CD by Topheth Prophet)
The fact that Maurizio Bianchi is back is something that is known. I think the new age muzak he created right after his return should be seen as a false start, as since quite some time now, he returned to the world of noise and that is a territory that we can safely call his territory. Bianchi here teams up with one Maor Appelbaum, who is a member of various Israeli project such Poochlatz, Vultures, IWR and who has various solo projects Screening , Vectorscope and Plated Steel - not that I heard any of these. "This work provides profitable logicality to the futuristic aversions, subjecting the deprecared barins marketing to an elistist unpretentiousness". In case you didn't know. The music are six lengthy slabs of noise. Feedback crushes into each other, and is fed through a bunch of synthesizers and sound effects. At times things 'mellow' out just a little bit and goes into some ambient industrial area. It has that same unfocussed sound that is the trademark of Bianchi. It goes on and on, but it has something captivating. Quite alright this one, but it seems to me that the production could have been better. The sound has more potential than is shown here.
From Israel comes Igor Krutogolov, who is besides
a musician also the designer for Topheth Propeht. Apparently he is mostly known for his 'klezmer core' project Kruzenshtern & Parohod but also a 'toy orchestra' Igor Krutogolov's Karate Band as well as various collaborations he has done with people like Chaos As Shelter, Agnivolok, Bastard Noise, Tidal and Darkwood. For 'White', which comes with a booklet with white pages (funny or arty) he plays bass with bow and strings, voice, keyboards, objects, flute and birds and gets help from somebody playing bells and someone delivering a tape of rain sounds. Divided into seven parts, this is however very much one piece. The musical theme's re-occur in every track, the rain sounds return every now and then. The label compares this is to Colin Potter and Andrew Liles, which, especially in the case of Liles, I can see some parallel. The drone like sounds form the backbone of the piece and with irregular intervals, real instruments are added. Unlike Liles however, Krutogolov doesn't dwell that much of sound effects, and rather uses them in a more natural sounding way. Quite hypnotic and engaging at times, this is surrealist music, with a built in tension that keeps lurking around the corner, and the listener is waiting for something to happen. Wether or not it happens I won't reveal, but it's a pretty strong CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.topheth.org

THOM GOLUB - LEXICON (CD by House Leek Audio)
"House Leek Audio was formed in mid 2006 to document and promote the diverse musical happenings in and around Western Canada", is the mission statement of this new label. These two are the first releases, and they can both be found in the world of improvisation, although one more than the other. Thom Golub is a bass player and composer out of Edmonton, founding member of The Improvised Network and has released ten CDs of solo bass improvisations. Here on 'Lexicon' he plays the double bass in quite a regular way. Bowing the strings, occasionally plucking the strings, it is a rather traditional way of playing the bass, and not like many of the contemporary improvisers would do. Having said that, the almost twenty-three minutes captured here are quite nice. At times introspective and quiet, at other times chaotic and resonating. Although conventional, quite good.
About ten minutes longer is the release by Cody Oliver. He is from Calgary and plays since 1994, when he was a member of Drop Sea and Nicholas & Alexandra, which were both noise acts, he now plays a mixture of free improvisation, electro-acoustic and electronic music, using guitar, accordion, clarinet, violin and computer. All of his interests come together on this release. Careful strumming, improvisations on the strings, field recordings and drone like sounds. The music is not very outspoken, rather soft and some of the pieces are bit unfocussed. Hard to tell what he wants with some of these, but throughout he plays a fine piece of music, that is more improvised than composed, me thinks. (FdW)
Address: http://www.houseleekaudio.com

FORTNER ANDERSON & TAPE/HEAD (CD single by Wiredonwords)
Although pressed up as a real CD, this lasts only seven minutes. It's a work of a highly political nature. It deals with the torture of Omar Khadr, a fifteen year old who was captured by the US in July 2002 and is still in custody without trial. So that's why this is a CD single, hoping for radio play in Canada and the USA, to gain attention for people in prison without trial. Tape/head provide the backing of machine like noises and obscured tape manipulations, but Andersons recitation is clearly to be understood and a firm 'j'accuse' to these circumstances. A highly political statement, as said, and worthwhile to be played on every radio station throughout the entire world. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fortneranderson.com

GRKZGL - ESQUE (3"CD by Angle Records)
These two releases were handed to me when being in a clothing store in Montreal. I never heard of Angle Records, nor from the two artists. Delplanque was artist in residence in the Studio Cormier, which is an art gallery (I believe). Here he recorded the silences of the four different spaces during the most silent periods of the day and then treated the recordings, the frequencies of silence into a powerful forty-five minute piece of music. Silence does not exist (as John Cage already found out), so why not treat the silence as music. Not exactly a new idea of course, but Delplanque does a great job. It hisses, makes rhythm via low bass hum, and throughout these forty five minutes, there is a lot of variation in sound going on. The sound of emptiness and silence as ambient music. It's by no means a soft work: throughout it's highly audible and sounds like buzzing insects and has creepy undertone. A great work.
On the smaller size we find Grkzgl, of whom I never heard, but who is from Montreal and he worked under various guises before. It should be pronounced as 'grak-siggle'. The cover credits him for laptop, synth and bass whereas he received help on metal percussion on one track, although it sounds more like tin cans (or perhaps they are heavily processed). Grkzgl plays music that is best described as a more chaotic version of Pan Sonic or Goem when it concerns his rhythm stuff. But he expands on this material, by adding laser beam like sounds and a heavy layer of bass sounds. In that sense he merges together the current minimal rhythm boys with some of the more old school industrial lads. Not every track is as convincing I must say: some seem to be a bit too much of a haphazard affair, but it's certainly a nice and somewhat original affair. (FdW)
Address: http://www.angle-rec.net

Thom Bailey, also known as Thomas Transparant, the man behind the The Domestic Front, surprised us before with a release that was entirely made of him breathing, partly based on his experiences as an asthmatic. I don't think these experiences are being dealt with on his new CD, since it starts out with what I think is a treatment of 'Ode To Joy' by Ludwig Van. For his new CD he uses field recordings made in various Japanese cities and the deserted American plains. Not that I couldn't tell, as The Domestic Front uses a lot of time stretching of sounds and a lot of sound effects. Unlike his previous release on Tib Prod, which was a bit more quiet, this one is very lively and very collage like. Bouncing back and forth in various moods and textures, and captures perhaps not entirely the sounds of the city, it's sure captures the feel of a big city: the liveliness, the chaos, the activity. It is all captured well in this release. It uses the montage techniques of Nurse With Wound and has the electrical charges of Irr.Apt {ext}, but has sufficient enough of his own originality. Quite a nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.belsona-strategic.com/

This is certainly a strange looking strange record. It looks like it could be a record on Ultra Eczema, but it's on Bread And Animals, which is likewise a Belgium label. I have no clue who Mudboy is, or Orphan Fairytale, but I am told (but am I to believe) that he a six year old synthwizard. He is only present on the b-side of the record. The tracks on the a-side are all 'songs' in some rather bizarre way. Not really in a traditional sense of the word, but from an outside point this might be indeed songs. The b-side is a cosmic freak out on synthesizers, field recordings of birds and children playing outside and transformed voices. Bits of rhythm kick in every now and then.
In all the record is quite lo-fi, but at the same time also psychedelic and surely goes down as an outsider record. I myself am a bit unsure what to think of this.
The album comes in a very silkscreened cover and that will surely attract some of the more serious vinyl collectors. (FdW)
Address: http://users.telenet.be/bread.and.animals/

TAMING POWER - SIX PIECES (10" by Early Morning Records)
Still being a man on his own, somewhere in Norway, away from the usual noise crowd is Askild Haugland. Since some years he works as Taming Power, and has released a whole bunch of vinyl, of which 10" is his favorite. His tools include anything but a computer. Strictly using cassette recorders and reel to reel tapes, he crafts with the use of singing bowls, voice, metallophone, dingsha and harmonica, a kind of drone music. Before his music sounded some crude, perhaps due to his more lo-fi techniques, but on this new record I must say the music sounds much better. There is a clear diversification of sounds within each piece, a finer tuned mix of the music, but it's still clearly drone music. Much along the lines of the old Maeror Tri, with a slight touch of mystickal influences (but luckily well covered), this is perhaps the finest moment of Taming Power I have encountered. Only 110 copies were made, so act fast to grab this beauty. (FdW)
Address: <earlymrecords@yahoo.no>

From the ever so nice city of Montreal, with no
beach in sight (not that I seen at least), comes Cherry Beach Project, which is a project of Joda Clement and Nigel Craig. The latter we don't know, but the first we know from his fine CD on Alluvial Recordings 'Movement + Rest'. In the harbor of Montreal there are a few un-used silo's which are used by visual artists, such as [The User] in the past, which are subject to music here. Using the vast amount of natural reverb of the location, the two bring music that is different than many of the others on Mystery Sea. It's hard to tell what it is that they do, but it seems to me they play back sounds from electronic sources back into the space, along with perhaps acoustic objects. The sounds seems to be flying away in space. Soft shrieks, careful strumming of long strings and perhaps a low bass rumble here and there. Normally I don't like the use of artificial reverb, but here it works quite well. It reminded me of ABGS' 'Bunkerschallung' from many moons ago and this release is a particular stand out in the Mystery Sea catalogue. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

The announcements by Free103point9 usually take quite some space in Vital Weekly, but that's because they have a lot of activities. They also release music on CDRs and despite what you would think based on their announcements, it's less arty than their activities, or at least the one by Tens Of Thousands. Behind this name is Laura Ortman, who plays violin, vocals, electric guitar, piano, chord organ and casio. Folk is the keyword here, or perhaps with some imagination folk tronics. She sings her songs quite introspective, like she doesn't want to do the singing that much, and is sparsely accompanied on a few instruments. The guitars strums away, and the biggest role is for the violin. Not particular cheerful music going on here, but rather dark and moody. It fits the time of the year quite well (that is if you live in that part of the world where it's winter time). Twelve tracks in an almost classic LP length, I think this has potential to grow out of the limited circulation of CDRs and could easily be picked upon and brought to a much wider audience. The music deserves it, even when it's something for me that I would rarely play. (FdW)
Address: http://www.free103point9.org

SEASON OF SNOW & ICE (2CDR compilation by Zaftig Research)
Zaftig Research last surprised us with the Christmas compilation and in a way 'Season Of Snow And Ice' can be seen as successor to that, but it is less hark now hear the angels sing and more a double CD that can be played all winter. The two CDs are divided between 'ice' and 'snow', although it's a bit unclear what makes a track belong to one or the other. It may seem to me that 'ice' has a little bit more up tempo pieces. The music on both discs is a highly varied bunch and not, as one could expect, a whole load of ambient (glitch) pieces. Like before Zaftig Research has found a whole bunch of artists that at least I never heard of. Such as Dead Man's Hill, God Flight, Human extermination Project (sounds cosy around the christmas tree), Tote Stadt, Stolen Light, Conure, Black Saturn, Goose, but also several whose CDR releases were reviewed such as Karl Bosman, Suspicion Breeds Confidence, Flutwacht and Simulacra. As said, not particular christmas music (except well perhaps some) and something that can be played during summertime too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.inhell.com/eskaton/

Since many years, it has been noted before, Kirchenkampf is a solid player in the field of dark ambient electronics, but it never became a true household name like, say, Troum. Which is a pity since it would be truly deserved to get some more attention than a handful of CDRs over the years. 'Island Of The Dead' on Kirchenkampf's own Cohort Records is another fine leap forward. On his previous two releases Kirchenkampf worked with intercepted radio sounds, which were transformed through a bunch of sound effects. Which is probably what he does on the new one, but he takes matters a bit further. The first twenty or so minutes are much of the usual radio/synthesizer/sound effects stuff, but in the second half he picks up on a classical theme, which at first is played 'normally' but then slowly gets transformed and changed. The sustaining sounds of the orchestra are replaced by the sustaining sounds of guitars, synthesizers and smaller particles drop in and out. A very intense second half, with lots of hidden tension and intentions and 'Island Of The Dead' has become his greatest achievement thus far. (FdW)
Address: http://cohortrecords.0catch.com

JAN-M. IVERSEN - 1.05 DRONE (CDR by Triple Bath)
Besides his various releases with Sindre Bjerga, it is relatively quiet on the front of Jan-M. Iversen releases. He is perhaps busy running his Tib Prod label, but here he has time to create a new work, consisting of one piece, '1.05 Drone', which lasts 1 hour and 5 minutes, hence, perhaps it's title. It's a work, as the title already suggests, that deals with drones. And that's what you get. A deep dark and highly atmospheric piece of drone music. Made with sources unknown, but Iversen adds a whole blend of sound effects to it. Music to be played in the dark room, late at night, in order to get the full haunted house effect. Music for a wordless thriller, depicting murder without seeing the victim. Like blood spatters about and a full moon. Quite cinematographic music. Some of his previous work wasn't worked out and structured that well, but '1.05 Drone' is. It flows nicely along the waves it's riding. It's easily his best work to date. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

NINTH DESERT - COLLISION H (3"CDR by Verato Project)
Behind Ninth Desert is one Cyril Herry from Limoges France, and that's about it what I know about him. So 'Collision H' is my first encounter with his music. Herry plays a dark atmospheric piece of music, built around the repeating loops of a highly obscured rhythm drenched in a lot of effects. A much more simple version of Lustmord, but Herry creates in all his rawness quite an effective piece of music. Through a strict linear built up, Herry works his way through his sounds until it reaches a climax. For the lovers of Troum, Lustmord and anything else in the dark. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

NEST & MHFS (3"CDR by Gest)
On a new New Zealand label called Gest the result of a concert at the Wine Cellar in Auckland between MHFS and Nest. Behind MHFS we find Mark Sadgrove, whose music has been reviewed before. He uses the laptop filled with field recordings around the house. Nest is a new name for me, and it's Andrew Scott "mostly guitars" and Nigel Wright "mostly laptop". The guitar feeds into the laptop, gets transformed and the real guitar responds to that. As a trio in a wine cellar they create dense sonic patterns, which start out right in your face and over the course of the next fourteen minutes only will increase in density. A dirty and vicious sound that has nothing to do with microsound, but in stead harks back to the lo-fi drone music of the New Zealand scene. As such powerful stuff indeed. (FdW)
Address: <nest.or.gest@gmail.com>

8YONE - KEYMOTION (3"CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
Behind 8yone is one Mathias Gorf, of whom I don't know anything. Being on Boltfish Recordings means that his music can be found in the areas of 'intelligent dance music', and his four pieces won't disappoint the curious listener who is open for all things intelligent and danceable. The usual atmospherical keyboards, the bouncing rhythms, melancholy. Nothing quite new under the sun, but clocking at twenty minutes with four tracks that are all quite alright, this is actually a very nice release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.boltfish.co.uk

VANISHING VOICE - S/T (CD-R, selfreleased)
A few weeks ago The Magik Markers played a great show in Berlin, and on this occasion I picked up these two CD-Rs, both wrapped in plastic wallets with photocopied covers - cheap DIY at its best (or worst). The Magik Markers' setup is guitar, bass, percussion and the oddly captivating voice of Elisa Ambrogio. They show their quieter side on this EP, with two pieces of free rock jamming, albeit more 'free' than 'rock'. On the first track the music is nicely drifting forward in a semi-improvised way, occasionally tuning into a melody or a groove, or just exploring the plink and twang of strings and drums, with Elisa reciting in her dry, laconic voice, half speaking, half singing. The second track is a soothing cloud of fuzz and delay, as far out as it gets and again with cool (the VU-type of coolness indeed) singing and percussion. Sure, this might be a somewhat marginal release, maybe a private documentation rather then a public presentation, but to those few people who will actually lay their hands on it, it will bring some minutes of essential Magik-Markers-sounds.
A handwritten "VV" on the disc is the only written information that the CD-R by Vanishing Voice has to offer. Pete Nolan, the drummer of The Magik Markers, is involved here, and a couple of other people as well, but, as said, the cover won't tell anything. The CD-R seems to be a live recording and the sound quality is poor, to say the least. Vanishing Voice present three tracks, cavernous acoustic drones, with mumbling voices, slow guitar melodies, an occasional sample and Nolan's fine percussion work on top. At times this gets a little folky, and towards the end they hit a nice, almost NEU!-like groove. I guess, there are two legitimate ways of reacting to this CD-R. You might dismiss it as a superfluous and all too raw product of the drive to release every tiny bit of recorded information. However, if you are willing to accept all the haphazardness as an integral element of the music's aesthetic dispositions (as I would suggest), then the Vanishing Voice's blurred no-fi version of ecstatic folk-drone, is definitely worth a listen. (MSS)
Address: http://www.magikmarkers.com/

GOLDEN CUP/KAM HASSAH (2x business card CDRs by Long Long Chaney)
JOSH LAY - ABANDONED BY CHRIST (cassette by Long Long Chaney)
Long Long Chaney Records may want to go down the history of record labels for doing weird formats, although to some of course the audio cassette is still a regular size. The Golden Cup/Kam Hassah split release comes on two business card CDRs, which I always think is a funny format, even when it's usually too short to form any good option. Golden Cup play around with drones on organs and some vaguely humming alongside with percussive elements. It's a bit of a lo-fi recording. Kam Hassah also works around with drones, but in a more aggressive vein. Loudly present, with piercing feedback at the heart of the controls, this is vicious slab of drones. Both are too short however.
The first cassette is by Josh Lay, and like all artists on Long Long Chaney, I know nothing about him. He too hoovers around in aggressive drone areas, with a pulsating lo-fi drone which he effectively destroys with an effective amount of distortion. The b-side 'Throne Of Dead Moths' is a piece that is less drone related and works around slabs of noise. It's however less convincing than the a-side.
Women In Tragedy follow the same line of operations. It starts out with what seems to be treated voices, but soon explodes into a barrage of noise. The best thing is the b-side which is an oasis of rest after all the noise excursions. Relatively soft with mumbling voices and a farfisa organ going through a distortion pedal. Great stuff all along! (FdW)
Address: http://www.longlongchaney.com/

Although there will be a limited edition of 23 CDRs in wooden boxes, I file this under the MP3 section, as it will be available in that format for those less fortunate. The recordings for this new release were made over the course of three days last year and sees them moving away from the previous release (with influences such a Throbbing Gristle, Conrad Schnitzler to a territory which is less easy to define. There is a strong use of guitars here, but also of samplers and synthesizers and some tracks are drenched with an unhealthy amount of delay. It seems to me that what is on the release is actually what has been recorded, and there has been no such thing as editing. Just a straight copy of recordings to the master. That is a pity. Some of the shorter pieces are alright, but there are a couple of long ones, that I think bear any structure or idea and are merely strumming away in an 'improvised' (a word to be used with care here) manner, which basically leads to nothing. Download with caution. (FdW)
Address: http://www.theformicarium.com

TZESNE = ALTER EGO (MP3 by Sototik)
Sototik is a spanish MP3 label, and unfortunately all information is in Spanish, which is a pity, since I can't tell that much about Tzesne release. So far Tzesne has had a couple of releases reviewed, and he is a man (also from Spain actually) who likes his drone material to be dark and atmospherical. I am not sure what he uses, but my best guess is that he uses synthesizers to filter and modulate waves taped of a shortwave and mixed with a bunch of sound effects. 'Alter Ego' is a twenty six minute piece that slowly builds up. There are rhythmic particles running a long of looped sine waves, but the basis of the piece is the dark humming drones in the background. After the piece is half way through, things start to fade out during the rest of the track and natural hiss drops in the mix and it has a rather tranquil ending. Not really a big surprise this piece, but it's executed with great care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sototik.com/label




The CD by Kotra and Zavoloka 'Wag The Swing, reviewed last week, was not released by Nexsound but by Kvitnu. The label's website is http://kvitnu.com




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