Vital Weekly, the webcast: 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:
New broadcasts will be sent directly when uploaded.
PLEASE READ THIS. WE WILL NOT REVIEW MATERIAL OLDER THAN SIX MONTHS, SO PLEASE DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. NOT ONLY WILL WE NOT REVIEW IT, BUT WE WILL SELL THE MATERIAL TO A SECOND MAIL ORDER OUTLET. ALSO, DON'T SEND MORE THAN 3 (THREE) RELEASES AT ONCE. WE SIMPLY CAN'T HANDLE EVERYTHING ANYMORE. SAVE YOURSELVES THE FRUSTRATION... AND US!
FOR BARRY RAY - NEW DAYS (CD by Room40)
CANDLESNUFFER - WAKOOL (CD by Room40) *
F.S. BLUMM MEETS LUCA FEDDA (CD by Ahornfelder) *
VINCENT KOREMAN - ANGST (LP by Bunker Records)
ASCOLTARE - BEAM (12" by Tripel)
JOHN HEGRE & HOWARD STELZER - THE BORING LEADING THE BORED (CDR by Humbug)
ORIGAMI SKANDINAVIA - FURET VÆRBITT (CDR by Humbug)
MY FUN - SONORINE (CDR by The Land Of) *
STAPLERFAHRER/SASCHA NEUDECK - DIFFERENT ANGLE OF VIEW (CDR by Tib Prod) *
MARC MCNULTY - CODE INCONNU (CDR by Earphone) *
MARC MCNULTY - LE L'EGENE D'EER [DIATOPE]] (CDR by Earphone) *
ERTHAD - GMA (CDR by Zhelezobeton) *
THE INFANT CYCLE - PLAYOUT (CDR by Zhelezobeton) *
SPOOL ENSEMBLE - THREE ELECTRONICS PIECES (3"CDR by Heat Retention Records) *
MICHEAL THOMAS JACKSON - PARIS AU PRINTEMPS (3"CDR by Primecuts recordings) *
KING RAZOR POSSET SPLIT SERIES #1 (CDr by Dirtydemos)
JOE+N HEAD COLD (3inch CDr by Dirtydemos)
KHADEAUX/KVIK - VS (3inch CDR by name records)
HARM STRYKER - CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS (CDr by Sockets) *
FOR BARRY RAY - NEW DAYS (CD by Room40)
CANDLESNUFFER - WAKOOL (CD by Room40)
From Sweden is Carina Thoren and from Australia
is John Chantler, but they live and work in London under the curious banner of For Barry Ray. Thoren has played with groups such as Satellite Book and Trigger Happy & Performing Apes, whereas Chantler already released work on Room40 and playing drums on a Tujiko Noriko CD. Together Thoren and Chantler play all the instruments, even when it's quite hard to name all of them. There is a guitar for sure, drums, flutes, and organs, whereas Dom Garwood adds a bit of clarinet here and there. Despite being Australian/Swedish/Londoners, I thought it all sounded quite New Zealandish actually, even when the recording is much better and the music at times more complex. However the overall nature of the music, the free-form 'let's play and see where it ends' is very much like a lot of things from New Zealand. For Barry Ray however have much more to say, and play a wider range of different tunes here from introspective and calm to more drone and noise related work. It's a very fine work of really alternative rock, with a true keen ear for experimentalism.
Also from down under is guitarist Candlesnuffer, also known as David Brown, whom we know best from his trio work with Anthony Pateras and Sean Baxter, but who has a lot more to his credit in the world of improvisation. Here he plays acoustic guitar, prepared bandura, eukolin and banjo. He uses a little bit of sound effects, but throughout things sound nice and clean, recorded in four sunday afternoons. Unlike Andy Moor's CD from last week, this is more a homogenous thing altogether. Brown hits the strings, plucks them, let the sustain die out and presses his foot down to add a bit of electronics. Sometimes wild and improvised, but at the times, it's almost like country & western style, using slide playing and fingerpicking. More an unified whole than a display of techniques, this is however quite a fine work of solo improvised guitar. (FdW)
F.S. BLUMM MEETS LUCA FEDDA (CD by Ahornfelder)
Over the years we have learned to love the work of F.S. Blumm (born as Frank Schültge), who released his music on mainly German labels such as Staubgold, Tomlab and Morr Music (although he also ventured out to Plop for his previous CD 'Sesamsamen' was released by Plop in Japan). On that work he already worked with other people, be in through mail, but here he meets Luca Fadda, who is a trumpet player from New York. I never heard of him, but it seems he plays a digitally processed trumpet. There are two live pieces on this CD, which are both very jazzy. Bass is plucked, the trumpet wanders off and Blumm adds his own blend of guitar, bass, toy instruments. The best this works in 'Ricke And Dina', which is a bit more filled with weird elements, dropping in and out of the mix. Maybe it's because it was recorded in front of children that the musicians allow themselves more liberty in making fun on stage. The other live piece is more minimal and serious in it's jazz approach. Furthermore there are also four shorter pieces, in total less than ten minutes, which are kind of alright, but don't seem to be adding more to it than we already know. You must like fairly traditional jazz music to like this, I think. Despite the fact of the weird instruments, the bass and trumpet dominate this recording, which in the end, at least for me, made it sound all a bit too similar; that one long live piece would have been enough. (FdW)
VINCENT KOREMAN - ANGST (LP by Bunker Records)
There was a time that I followed everything released by Bunker Records with great interest, but as time went by I lost my interest a bit, but while playing this new LP by Vincent Koreman, made me grab a few of the old ones again to be played later on. Koreman is from Tilburg (The Netherlands), but always strongly linked to Bunker (who are from Den Haag) in an esthetic way. Dark, mysterious, heavy and minimal beat music. Koreman, perhaps better known to the readers of Vital Weekly as Ra-X and to the rest of the world as a member of The Travoltas, plays music here that is only vaguely related to the world of techno - the beats are there, but I'm not sure if they invite the listener to dance, at least not all the time. 'Yuppie Funk' I can understand as a dance piece, but the slow 'Abandon Yr Goals is more difficult. There is something nasty and creepy about these six pieces. They are top heavy under the weight. Anger, fear and other less comfortable images are evoked in these pieces. A bit EBM like, but luckily only on the outside. Pleasure in discomfort. Great furious music. (FdW)
ASCOLTARE - BEAM (12" by Tripel)
Following a bunch of releases on his own Tripel label, as well as outings elsewhere, Ascoltare, also known as Dave Henson, moves away from the glitch and clicks an enters the dance floor, with this five track 12". Five tracks, but what a difference is there to be noted. Sometimes dub like, sometimes straight forward house like, techno based, but there is always an element lurking around of things experimental. When we first heard Ascoltare his music was kinda Fennesz inspire glitch, but here these elements are gone. Things work best, at least for this minimal mind, in 'Flatwoods' with a strong minimal rhythm and the digital ethno beats of 'Sky Fishing'. But the other three are also fine tunes. To be regretted, well perhaps, that I am not a DJ, otherwise you could find me spinning this one. Now it's spinning at home and I am the only to enjoy it. On the myspace site of the label there is apparently also a second part. (FdW)
JOHN HEGRE & HOWARD STELZER - THE BORING
LEADING THE BORED (CDR by Humbug)
(this review appeared last weekly, but with a wrong header. To correct this, we re-run the entire review) John (pronounced Jun) Hegre, the perhaps lesser known half of Jazkamer/Jazzkammer, and Howard Stelzer are good buddies. They toured quite a bit in the USA with Lasse Marhaug, and, I might add, as per usual, they team up on various nights to play improvised music together. Hegre and Stelzer played together in the winter of 2005 at The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain and together at Stelzer's home studio. 'Evening' and 'The Heckler' are the pieces called here. Hegre gets credit for 'electronics etc' and Stelzer for 'cassette tapes etc'. In 'Evening' (I assume the live piece), things rather quickly explode into the world of noise. It's alright, but it stays a bit too much on the safe side as far as I'm concerned. As such 'The Heckler' is more interest. The noise element is of course present here too, but on a totally different level. Stelzer is in full form here with careful playing of his tapes, with the head tapes scanning the tapes, lots of hiss like sounds and an occasional burst into the world of noise. This piece has a better structure, with outbursts of noise coming in, but sounding creepy and mean.
ORIGAMI SKANDINAVIA - FURET VÆRBITT
(CDR by Humbug)
A delicate work, at times nostalgic and at others a commentary opposing a proposed oil terminal, short tracks of a few minutes, a longer 22 + minute noise piece and found sound, metallic, always seeming polite and civilized with perhaps not humor but a whimsicality within the strange genre of "extremely gay noise"... this is a "CDR lamenting Norway's' 100 year independence from Sweden (by importing a Danish Price"??? Part of, if part could be, origami republika "A cultural network where over 260 people from all over the globe and with uniquely diverse backgrounds have participated since the start in 1990". One is reminded of Peter Blake's nostalgic pop art which mourns something that was only ever an idea of something like a toy shop, a sweet shop, a seaside pier with miniature railway and hand crafted pin ball machines in mahogany cases, woodbine cigarettes - in some abstract collage of sound and sentiment, delightfully sad. (jliat)
MY FUN - SONORINE (CDR by The Land Of)
This is the fourth release by My Fun, also known as Justin Hardison (see also Vital Weekly 471, 504 and 551) and there is truly a strong upwards curve to be spotted in his work. Hardison started out with something quite beat related, but after that he went to all things field and all things micro. On 'Sonorine' he adds instruments. A sonorine was a spoken word postcard which you could send with your own personal message carved into it. You can easily imagine that such a thing would sound quite cracky and perhaps My Fun thinks that's a sort of pre-date micro glitch. On the eight tracks on this release things crack, glitch and click a lot. Voices, field recordings, guitar sounds and lots of plug ins: that's the extent of My Fun's music, which is still close to the likes of especially Fennesz with this release, but also to Stephan Mathieu, but it's growing, composition wise. His pieces are getting better, more complicated and better. No prize for originality given here (but that's something we never do), but within the frame My Fun is working, this most certainly a fine release. It also has a great cover, so it could almost be a real CD release. That will happen no doubt one day, if My Fun keeps on growing like this. (FdW)
STAPLERFAHRER/SASCHA NEUDECK - DIFFERENT
ANGLE OF VIEW (CDR by Tib Prod)
Music by biochemist Sascha Neudeck was reviewed before (see Vital Weekly 562) and of course Staplerfahrer is our own Steffan de Turck, who has had many releases so far on MP3 and CDR labels and plays around like a maniac. His music has gradually moved from noise into the field of microsound, although a certain element of noise is always present. On this release both present a solo piece, as well as a remix of a piece by the other. Four tracks in total, and if you wouldn't be looking at the cover than it would be difficult to find out who is doing what as there is a strong similarity between the various pieces. Things rumble an crack under the weight of field recordings running amok in the computer. Having said that there is nothing new under this sun, the micro sun, the four pieces are quite strong, especially Staplerfahrer's solo piece, which ends in a long, dark drone piece of shivering nature. In the terms of microsound, which is where you can lump these boys in, they deliver a fine job, nothing surprising, but it's made with care and eye for the detail. Not sure which is the different angle they mean with the title though. (FdW)
MARC MCNULTY - CODE INCONNU (CDR by Earphone)
MARC MCNULTY - LE L'EGENE D'EER [DIATOPE]] (CDR by Earphone)
Now it's official: Marc McNulty is back. About a decade ago his name came up with various releases, then he moved out of sight for a while but now he's back. These two releases on his own Earphone label are very very recent recordings. 'Code Inconnu' was 'recorded July 2007', which it still is as we write. 'Code Inconnu' deals with recordings made in Montreal and on the bridges in Boston. There is are people talking and whatever field recordings can be made on a bridge. There are similarities between this and John Hudak's 'Brooklyn Bridge' or even better the CD by Tom Hall: McNulty plays shorter pieces than Hudak, but some of the drone related material is more like Hudak than Hall's sometimes technoid rhythm pieces. He reworks the material in good electro-acoustic fashion, which musicwise was not too far from some of the recent material by Asmus Tietchens. Good sturdy work going on here, and not rhythmic as on his previous 'Asymetric Error Propagation' (see Vital Weekly 582). Quite powerful stuff, certainly not academic, but perhaps that's what I like about this kind of acousmatic music.
In 'Le L'egende d'eer [Diatope], McNulty does a 'recontextualisation' of Iannis Xenakis piece which was originally for '8 tracks of independent tapes an to be performed/played within an existing piece of architecture'. Here the space are the ears of the listeners. I am not sure if McNulty uses the same sounds as Xenakis, but somehow I think so, but perhaps he's also feeds them through his own fine blend of processing devices. There are eight voices to be detected in this work, which sort of move forward in a linear fashion. Sounds drop in and out of the mix, which could have worked very lively, but it lacks a bit of passion. Perhaps if one would hear this super loud, it could work better, but here on the average installation, the power doesn't really come across. It's good, but the other one is better. (FdW)
ERTHAD - GMA (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
THE INFANT CYCLE - PLAYOUT (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
One of the reasons for not doing spoken announcements in our podcast are the tongue twisting names of artists and labels. Erthad might be doable, but the name of the label Zhelezobeton is certainly less easy. Erthad is originally from Kazam and started out in the late 90s, but it's not until now that he made his first release on this for me new label. 'GMA' was already recorded in 2002, using 'voice and software noise synthesizers' as it says on the website (the cover holds no information). Very occasionally it's a bit of rhythm, but the major part of the music are built of long sustaining sounds, that are not loud enough to be real noise, but at the same it's not ambient enough to be called erm ambient. It's music that sort of falls between these categories and that's of course not something new. It's not always 'deep' but rather stays on the surface of things and one wish they had gotten some more out of it.
Jim DeJong's The Infant Cycle has been around for a good thirteen years already and he released a whole bunch of material on various media. This new release is not exactly new, since it was recorded in 2003 already an it's a kinda of conceptual release. The cover says for sound sources 'one carved-vinyl record groove, record player operational sounds (augmented by violin bow and razor blade)', which left me thinking what to see. It's now released here on this Russian label and it's quite a minimal piece of music, actually two pieces. Records are spun at various speeds and the razor blades are held at different positions - well, or some such, me thinks. 'How To Bow A Tone Arm' is a minimal, industrialized piece of music of continuos drones, which is nice but not great. 'Skinning The Platter' is more interesting, starting out with a sort of beat, and far away drones, which slowly seem to disappear, instead of increasing. It's a much more careful piece of music, with a strange development, but one that holds the attention throughout, not knowing what to expect next. A great piece going on here. (FdW)
SPOOL ENSEMBLE - THREE ELECTRONICS PIECES
(3"CDR by Heat Retention Records)
MICHEAL THOMAS JACKSON - PARIS AU PRINTEMPS (3"CDR by Primecuts recordings)
Micheal Thomas Jackson has been a strong force of experimental music for close to twenty years, and is still active. In 1996 he founded the Spool Ensemble, together with Aaron Bachelder to create free improvise music on electronic instruments. To that end they ask others to join in and as such they played with Bob Holub, Matt Smith, Eugene Chadbourne and others. I believe however that on this 3"CDR it's just Bachelder and Jackson. The latter plays no input mixer an the first does real-time digital sampling and processing. The resulting three pieces are interesting pieces of harsh noise that however have enough variation an dynamics to be interesting. A sort of violent Stockhausen, but perhaps with a bit too much improvisation for my taste.
Of more interest is Micheal Thomas Jackson's own 'Paris Au Printemps', which is not a tribute, at least so it seems to me, to Public Image's album of the same name. Jackson uses feedback going through 'multiple effect processors'. Static feedback comes out of it, but there is certainly change in there. This is music that one should not play very loud but rather soft and then move through your space: the sound waves will alter by itself. Psycho-acoustic music in the best Alvin Lucier tradition. It's a very fine disc, a short but powerful work. (FdW)
KING RAZOR POSSET SPLIT SERIES #1 (CDr by
JOE+N HEAD COLD (3inch CDr by Dirtydemos)
Another "split" series - well at least its not a comp of 55 various artists - and tricky - King Razor sounded like the spin up and down of the CDR in the computer with some domestic background noise and a thumping sound - the thing winds down to an eventual stop and the track is over, prompting me to think maybe there is something wrong with this P.C. - have I been listening to the CDr player break. Posset promises to be a tasty dish of heavy analogue noise - but all I'm getting is silence and an egg timer. A quick save and then investigation. On the Walkman King Razor has obviously got an auto panner.. its very minimal various hums and glitches - and yes the spin up and down sound was down to Fujitsu Siemens and not KR - how embarrassing that could have been! - now the Posset is remarkably similar - no its not - its KRs second track - a split with two tracks each? again micro-sound effects and field recordings - some speech.. and echoy bits. industrial noodlings and wooooowy sounds. Now Posset's - noisy - hardly analogue but metallic crashes - imagine a maniac on a fork lift truck in a steel works - then strangely track 4 seems a continuation of the fork lift sequence - very strange but quite likeable - not harsh enough for my taste - Chicken Tiki not vindaloo.. and some 3 or 4 minutes of silence at the end - or is the Walkman now on the blink?
Moving on then. Joe+N's 3inch has two pieces of guitar, steel strings? Either de-tuned or tuned to some exotic scale? and looped melodica which unfortunately for me sounded at times a little like a harmonica, especially on the second of the two live tracks, which even more unfortunately at times sounded like The Rock Iron Line by Lonnie Donegan, such are the perils of live improv I once realized that we were drifting into the theme tune from the magic roundabout. So leaving the dubious accidents of track 2 - track 1 was more thought provoking- it builds pleasant steel string riffs and chords- and I was thinking how best to describe this - and decided on simple associations rather than eccentric metaphor, what came to my mind for perhaps no good reason - or by virtue of the piece was- Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights or Matisse's le luxe calm et volupte.. A memorable fancy? (jliat) P.S. Windows media player tells me the Split might contain errors - and I should turn on error checking.
KHADEAUX/KVIK - VS (3inch CDR by name records)
HARM STRYKER - CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS (CDr by Sockets)
Khadeax and Kvik is a collaboration- with little information - name records is not a particularly useful signifier when it comes to google - KHADEAUX/KVIK gives 3 hits - 1 of which is Kviks myspace site - and links to the more dancey Khadeaux - but getting to this particular collaboration - its dark industrial slash drone slash echo and slash sci-fiy stuff. They glide zoom and swoop over imaginary planetary landscapes with noise and ominous rumblings- or at least they produce the sounds familiar to the darker sci fi landscapes of Gieger.
Harm Stryker I reviewed in VW 581 - a more than the ordinary and at times a little quirky duo of electronic improvisers and here continuing in much the same vein, fashioning what could be bird/insect sounds electronically, at times even sounding like someone making an animal out of balloons - if you are familiar with such performances and accompanying sounds, not sure of the relevance to the title or accompanying blurb regarding gentrification? (jliat)