============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 588
---------------------
week 32
---------------------

 

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:
http://www.harmlog.nl/vitalfeed.asp
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!

SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY - DEEP FRIEZE (CD by Cold Spring)
BEYOND IGNORANCE AND BORDERS : AN AFRICAN MIDDLE-EASTERN, ASIAN NOISE AND ELECTRONIC COMPILATION (CD by Syrphe)
KEVIN DRUMM & DANIEL MENCHE - GAUNTLET (CD by Editions Mego) *
ENCOMIAST - SELF-TITLED (CD by Lens Records) *
THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC - MUSICAMOROSA (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
FAR CORNER - ENDANGERED (CD by Cuneiform)
INANNA - DAY OV TORMENT (CD by Cold Spring)
SHINJUKI THIEF - THE SCRIBBLER (CD by Cold Spring)
VARIOUS ARTISTS - OTHERNESS (CD by Sonic Arts Network)
FANFARE POURPOUR & LARS HOLLMER - KARUSELL MUSIK (CD by Monsieur Fauteux)
FERRAN FAGES - CANÇONS PER A UN LENT RETARD (CD by Etude Records) *
COTTON (CD by Dragon's Eye Recordings) *
THE LATE SEVERA WIRES - THREE MINUTES A SECOND (LP on High Mayhem)
CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - NOBODY'S UGLY (LP by No Fun Productions)
KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT - TURN HEGEL ON HIS HEAD (7" by Implied Sound)
FIVE ELEMENTS MUSIC - VARUNAGHAT (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
(AD)VANCE(D) - POEM#RED128DOT (CDR by Absurd) *
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - DRIFTSOND (CDR by Gears Of Sand) *
BPMF - PAROUSIA FALLACY (CDR, private) *
IAN HOLLOWAY - WALKING THROUGH FIREFLIES (CDR by Quiet World) *
DARREN TATE - SMALL WORLDS (CDR by Quiet World) *
XEDH/FEVER SPOOR - NACHT UND NEBEL (CDR by Anima Mal Nata) *
MOLE HARNESS - AS LANGUAGE CARVES THE WORLD (CDR by Stray Dog Army) *

 

SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY - DEEP FRIEZE (CD by Cold Spring)
A rush of blood to the head - do you feel it? If you don't, within the opening ten minutes of this work from Sleep Research Facility, you'd better check your blood pressure! First track on this fourth effort by Sleep Research Facility is an absolutely amazing trance-inducing trip into solemn drones and concrete buzzes softly washing into your ears. Those who have ever listened to drone ambient might recognize the potential power of sonic drones to reach the sub-conscious levels of perception. Latest album by Kev Doherty ( a.k.a. Sleep Research Facility) takes its inspirational starting point in the Polar Regions of the globe. Despite the album title's reference to the icy territories geographically as well as to musical preferences, there is something warm and quite emotional among the otherwise cold and sometimes even threatening sonic expressions. There is a nice parallel to Biosphere's ode to Norwegian ice nature as expressed on "Substrata" (1997), thanks to the grandiose sound impressions. But the five section on this one hour trip to the dreaming never land of Sleep Research Facility is more drone-based and subtle with associations back to Wieland Samolak's "Steady state music", an album that was exclusively based on drones of concrete sound sources, and to Robert Rich's deep ambience on "Trances/Drones" (an album that was created for Robert Rich's legendary sleep concerts). And as was the case with the last mentioned album "Deep Frieze" will be an amazing sleeping friend for those being interested in trips to the deep sub-conscious levels of the mind rather than drifting into deep sleep. A masterwork! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

BEYOND IGNORANCE AND BORDERS : AN AFRICAN MIDDLE-EASTERN, ASIAN NOISE AND ELECTRONIC COMPILATION (CD by Syrphe)
Throughout the last twenty years or so various noise compilations with focus on the different cultures around the Globe have been released; from the "Japanese/American Noise Treaty" (Relapse/Release) across "Sound Of Sadism : An International Power Electronics Compilation" (Crowd Control Activities) to the "Extreme Music From."-series with editions focusing on Africa, Russia, Japan and Women (Susan Lawly Label). Now Belgium label Syrphe Records has brought us a new compilation of noise music. Titled "Beyond ignorance and borders" the compilation presents us for artists of nationalities from the Eastern world. The contributions do not come from Japan, the kingdom of Noise, but from other countries that are relatively unknown regarding noise music. And this is what makes this compilation very interesting. Twenty tracks from countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Lebanon, South Korea (just to name a few), the styles ranges from extreme noise to breakcore and field recording. What makes this album interesting is that the origin of many of the artists represented on the compilation seems to saturate the expressional style on the contributions. Highlights on the compilation is the weird technoid track "629" by Skorfuse (Philippines), harsh noise tracks such as "Useless summer" by Yan Jun (China) and the ultra-aggressive "Ithrane n ithige" from Algerian artist Nepa Ios. Also the ear-shattering closer "The night as it was raining (aka 26 aunigrai)" from Goh Lee Kwang (Malaysia) is remarkable. This is certainly a great compilation, worth investing whether you are noise-head or simply an adventurous listener of the more extreme kind. Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.syrphe.com

KEVIN DRUMM & DANIEL MENCHE - GAUNTLET (CD by Editions Mego)
Although I'm not sure about you, but expectations were high for this collaboration. Kevin Drumm versus Daniel Menche. Wow. One certified hero and one that usually does the right thing. What can go wrong if they meet up and do something? Apparently something, as the resulting twenty-eight minutes are what we except: noise. Drumm plays guitar and noise and Menche plays organ noise. It takes some minute to be spot on and towards the end things end in a crackle of microphones. But there is something missing here, and it's hard to say what that is. It has power for sure, but it's not a punch like with fist, but a nice stroke, a tap on the back, rather than bleeding knuckles. Maybe there is something about the recording itself, which I though lacked a bit of depth. There would be more in there, I think, than what came out now. It's good, it's fine, it's noise. Not the over top blown Merzbow type of noise, but it's quite, yet not entirely, full on noise. Expectations running high but not entirely met here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

ENCOMIAST - SELF-TITLED (CD by Lens Records)
Over the years we heard quite a bit of Encomiast, which has a strange line up. First time around (back in Vital Weekly 271), they were trio, then a solo project (Vital Weekly 463) and then a duo (508), and here they are still but different names: Ross Hagen and Nick Paul, instead of Ross Hagen and Megan Garland. Perhaps it has to that the recordings captured on 'Self Titled' are from 1999 and which have recently been re-edited? Encomiast, in these early recordings, start with a blueprint of what was to come later (we can safely say with some insight), music that we would simply call 'ambient industrial drone' music. Too loud to be ambient, perhaps even too strange to be 'just' ambient (thank god), but on the other hand also too soft to be real industrial music. Sounds loop around, trapped inside sound effects (delay and reverb are two favorite machines around here) and swirl in all directions possible. It's like a time machine, not to 1999 when this was recorded but 1989, when industrial music softened out and became sometimes mellow. At times it seemed I was listening to old Illusion Of Safety LPs and cassettes, and that is certainly not a bad reference at all. Dark, haunting, soundtrack like, Encomiast was even in these early stages a fine, be it not very new, player of good atmospheric music. Nice work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lensrecords.com

THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC - MUSICAMOROSA (CD by Cronica Electronica)
As far as I remember this is the first major work by Jorge Mantas, who has published works on CDR before as well as being part of a previous release on Cronica Electronica. Among his influences he ranks rather writers (such as Proust, Poe, Dante), painters (Friedrich, Waterhouse), nouvelle vague cinema and erotic photography. I was playing this CD and couldn't help thinking: I heard this before. Ambient scape drone music. Made with a laptop. Based on field recordings and instruments. How easy do you want to have it? Yet I was playing this a couple of times and every time I thought: wow this is nice. The guiding theme here are 'romantic drones'. Violins are sampled, layered, looped around, and sound like a warm bed, candle lit, incense perhaps (don't know how romantic things should be) and in the background the ambient glitch muzak of The Beautiful Schizophonic. The music is a bit like sweet cake. You take a bite and think that it's nice, and even the second and third bite are great but then your teeth start hurting of all the sweetness. That is a bit the trap of this album. It's a sweet album, a great album, but perhaps to be taken in just a few bites every time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

FAR CORNER - ENDANGERED (CD by Cuneiform)
A recent release from Cuneiform belonging to the art rock/progressive music-section of their catalogue. Far Corner is an american band who debuted in 2003 on Cuneiform. I can't make any comparison, as I haven't heard their first one. Far Corner is a quartet, assisted in one track by violist Jerry Loughney. We hear William Kopecky on fretless and fretted electric basses, plus spring dum; Dan Maske on keyboards, trumpet, melodica, and additional percussion; Angela Schmidt plays acoustic and electric cellos, violin, bamboo flute and Craig Walkner drumset. All of them are classically trained musicians. The playing is top-notch. The nostalgic sounding keyboard work of Maske is often in the centre. No surprise, as he composed all the titles. The opening track "Inhuman" begins with a spacy intro and sets in with a Présent-inspired rock beat. So the title, "Inhuman" may be a reference to the most recent record of Présent "A Great Inhumane Adventure". Far Corner moves between instrumental classical chamber rock and progressive rock. Music that seems to arise from its ashes in the last few years. So it is a real pleasure to hear this kind of music meeting the standards of sound quality and production of nowadays. "Do you think I'm spooky" and "Creature Council" continue along similar lines. Very well-constructed progressive rock pieces, performed with a great drive. Music that one inevitably associates with ELP and King Crimson. Like King Crimson and Univers Zero, Far Corner has also another side: "Claws" is an improvisation. For this piece the players limited themselves to scratching their instruments, creating an atmosphere comparable to the improvised track on Univers Zero's japanese maxisingle. It is followed by "Not from around here", a laid back jazzy tune of lyrical elegance. The cd closes with the titletrack, "Endangered" a 20 minute work composed by the group, that has very interesting and nice moments, but does not convince as a whole. Here we are arresting the weak spot of this release, if you ask me. This and the other compositions are lacking originality and a personal touch. The music moves along to well-known paths. Lacking depth and a feeling of necessity, which is so evident in the music of Univers Zero and Présent. So I hope they work on that aspect of their otherwise greatly performed music, and I'm looking forward to discover what there is more behind this far corner. (DM)
Address: http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/

INANNA - DAY OV TORMENT (CD by Cold Spring)
SHINJUKI THIEF - THE SCRIBBLER (CD by Cold Spring)
Once again British label has opened the treasures of the past. This time they have dived into the dark territories of ambient sound and found some real pearls of orchestral beauty. The first is the classic Swedish death Industrial/dark ambient opus "Day ov torment" from Inanna whose real name is Mikael Stavostrand. Mikael Stavostrand is first of all known for his Archon Satani-project in collaboration with Thomas Petterson, but also for his more sound art-based releases under the Korm Plastics-label as Mikael Stavostrand. This album originally released by Dutch label Staalplaat operates in the dark and gloomy caves of industrial ambient as was the case with his Archon Satani project. "Day ov torment" though, focus much more orchestral expressions and grandiose soundscapes and lesser on the extreme blackness of Archon Satani. The emptiness and the grandiose impression on the album are intensified by the presence of eerie choirs, ghoulish voices and creepy passages of screeching violins. The repetitive nature of the musical expression combined with the echoed sound production, sounding like had it been recorded in a cathedral, assist to create an intense ritual atmosphere. Remixed by Havukainen of In Slaughter Natives the album has gained the perfect sound for a voyage into the darkest areas of ambience! Listeners of neo-classical ambient, should not miss this classic piece of dark symphony. Operating in similar territories this classic album from legendary Australian sound artist Shinjuki Thief presents a more harsh and Industrial-based side of this very widely approached sound artist. The album titled "Scribbler" was created back in 1992 as a minimalist re-work of Kafka's novel "The trial" (1925). It was the follow-up to the debut album "Bloody tourist" (released in 1992 on Extreme Records). But where the debut had a more exotic and ethnic approach to the ambient-style, the "Scribbler" has a more classical approach to the music with a comprehensive use of string instruments such as violins and guitars, once in a while reminiscent of Philip Glass. On "Scribbler" background atmospheres begins to assume greater importance, especially with the incorporation of passages of the Kafkan texts. Despite the casual use of harsher sonic tools to create an edgy approach is far away from the abrasive E.P.A.-project that the Shinjuki Thief main-man Darrin Verhagen has been known for. "Scribbler" sounds like the soundtrack for a movie thanks to the blend of environmental sounds and cinematic soundscapes of moody, mellow, beautiful and ugly atmospheres. Two excellent reissues from Cold Spring Records both of them highly recommended to people interested in neo-classical or orchestral ambient. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

VARIOUS ARTISTS ­ OTHERNESS (CD by Sonic Arts Network)
The 20th edition of the Sonic Art Network's theme-based CD series is curated by composer and conceptualist David Cotner, who chose the concept of "Otherness" as a framework for this compilation. There are no less than 27 tracks on the CD, and the list of contributors includes some of experimental music's most seminal figures like Karlheinz Stockhausen or Eddie Prévost, along with names which are less publicly present (or at least less present these days?), like Lovely Midget, Kallabris or Ramleh or rarely found on compilations, such as Lee Ranaldo, Conrad Schnitzler and Wander. Most, if not all the people featured on this CD have been around for quite some time already, and thus also parts of the material date back up to a few decades, while other pieces have been recorded very recently. All this constitutes a truly heterogeneous collection of styles and approaches. The downside of this is of course, that the playing time of the individual tracks is mostly limited to two or three minutes (with Karlheinz Stockhausen's 7-minute track being the only ­ and in my opinion not fully justified ­ prominent exception). This is a pity, since especially the drone-based works on this compilation would for sure benefit from a greater time frame. As with so many other compilations the material is somewhere between alright and pretty good, without any real dropouts and with a few standout tracks. Some of my picks for the most notable contributions here would include Michael Prime's recording of electronic fields produced by fungi, the ceremonial dialogue recorded by David Toop in the Amazonas region of southern Venezuela and not to forget the beautifully Oriental-flavoured track by Cluster & Eno, featuring Asmus Tietchens and Okko Bekker, but of course there are more and as usual too many to describe or even list them all.
The CD comes in a 16-page booklet in 7"-format, which not only contains black and white illustrations by Jeffrey Jones, but also short thoughts on "Otherness" and/or their own work by the featured artists. Although Jones is highly praised in the liner notes, the illustrations, which show a naked woman alone on an deserted tropical island seem to present an all too common male fantasy topos of the "Other". Or maybe I just didn't get the conceptual twist here (OK, so Jeffrey Jones now works as Jeffrey Catherine Jones). The artists' statements are again a mixed affair, some of them informative, others too esoteric for my taste or plainly annoying in their commercial bluntness (guess who). However, to be honest I decided to largely neglect the conceptual framework and what I got then was a nice collection of quiet and often drone-oriented sounds, which, given the relative short length of the contributions, work much better as a whole than taken individually. (MSS)
Address: http://www.sonicartsnetwork.org

FANFARE POURPOUR & LARS HOLLMER - KARUSELL MUSIK (CD by Monsieur Fauteux)
In one word: this is a fantastic cd! Hollmer and Fanfare Pourpour would have fitted perfectly in the program of the resurrected RIO-festival last april in France. Between the dark - but more then excellent!! - music of Guapo, Présent and others, their positive and uplifting music would have been a great contribution. Why linking this Karusell with RIO? Well, Lars Hollmer with Samla Mammas Manna, was one of the groups involved in the RIO-network in the early 80s, as were Stormy Six, Etron Fou, Univers Zero, Henry Cow, etc. RIO had its function in creating a global audience for these groups. Now, so many years later, we can say this was a success. Accordionplayer Lars Hollmer made friends in Canada (Jean Derome, a.o.), and travels the world with his Accordion Tribe. But before that Hollmer made several great solo-albums in the 80s and 90s. From these lps come most of the compositions that we hear on Karusell Musik,. Great tunes, all inspired on swedish folk music. Jean Derome did a great job in arranging them for the fanfare. Fanfare Pourpour are some 20 musicians playing a diversity of wind instruments of course, but also several string instruments (mandoline, guitar, banjo, violin) plus percussion. And accordion not to forget, one of them played by Lars Hollmer himself who also sings on several pieces. The pieces were rehearsed and recorded with Lars Hollmer during a week in october 2006. They must have had a lot of fun, as the Fanfare gives way to a very joyous interpretation of Hollmers, pieces. They embraced his music with great enthusiasm. For Hollmer it is the second time that his super melodic tunes are interpreted by musicians somewhere else on this planet. In 2000 he recorded with a group of japanese musicians (Global Home Project). Fanfare Pourpour has a history going back to the 70s, but since they are working together with musicians from the impro scene, they release every now and then a cd. The first one in 1999 ('Tout le monde'), the second one ('Le bal') in 2004 with compositions by band members. And now the irresistible 'Karusell Musik', a very successful collaboration. Chapeau! (DM)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

FERRAN FAGES - CANÇONS PER A UN LENT RETARD (CD by Etude Records)
Over the past few years, work by Ferran Fages has been reviewed in Vital Weekly, where we saw him armed with a turntable, but he also plays electronics and guitar and usually in collaboration with others, as Fages is a respected improviser. 'Cançons Per A Un Lent Retard' is his second solo CD in which he explores the acoustic guitar. A 'cançon' is a song, but the nine songs on this CD are hardly songs. Or at least not songs as most people, perhaps us included, would know and recognize. Fages plucks his instruments, strumms loud, hits quiet, hardly uses anything else (but I thought to hear an e-bow in there somewhere), and the recording is of crystal clear nature. The music is loud and present. It's a fine CD, if not a great CD. However, one thing must be noted: it's also a very long CD. Music like this asks for a great deal of concentration, and at seventy-one minutes of high concentration listening efforts, I felt kind of tired. To listen carefully to all the details, such as in 'Paraula Clau' with it's extensive use of silence, hum and pluck, it's already a great effort (at seventeen minutes this would be a great work in itself), but there are nine of them, although not everyone as radical, but it is a bit much. A small portion to be tasted daily. (FdW)
Address: http://www.etuderecords.com

COTTON (CD by Dragon's Eye Recordings)
Since a few weeks we have been receiving and enjoying music released by Dragon's Eye Recordings. Here the present a compilation of artists that are currently releasing their work on the label or that soon will be. The music released by the label is, perhaps easily, best classified as computerized microsound and glitch music. The children of Alva Noto at work, certainly when it comes to Yann Novak and Kamran Sadeghi. Other take their inspiration from Stephan Mathieu, such as Corey Fuller (in his solo piece) or take a more narrative road such as the fine piece by Tadahito Ichinoseki and Tomoyoshi Date. It makes the music not be the most original one under the sun, as much of what can be heard here was heard before elsewhere. But none of the eight brothers (I believe no sisters here) play a bad piece. These pieces make quite a coherent listen, maybe a bit interchangeable, but quite nice throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dragonseyerecordings.com

THE LATE SEVERA WIRES - THREE MINUTES A SECOND (LP on High Mayhem)
Carlos Santistevan is one of the driving forces behind the High Mayhem festival (Santa Fe) and label. Also he is involved in several groups and projects, The Late Severa Wires being one of them. For their newest release 'Three minutes a second' they choose to release it on vinyl. In their opinion the warmth and space of the studio recordings are captured better on vinyl then on cd. For my ears it wouldn't make any difference I guess, but anyway that is how they decided. The Late Severa Wires is a group consisting of Santistevan on bass and electronics, Mike Rowland (drumset), Ultraviolet (turntables, guitar, electronics) and Yozo Suzuki (guitar, electronics). In february 2006 they spent 2 weeks in the studio to work out their ideas in 17 hours of recording sessions. In about 40 minutes they condensed their results on the vinyl. 9 short outtakes define the core of their musical excursions. I appreciate it that they choose for limited outtakes and pieces, probably catching them at their most concentrated moments. Often these kind of improvisations continue endlessly.
We hear great noisy improvisations with a definite rock feel. Raw and unedited they found their way to the vinyl. The music bursts of energy and intensity. In some tracks they integrate prerecorded material from different sources, bringing the old days of Can to my mind. Some tracks are based on a rhythm, others create a spacy atmosphere in a free collage-like way, or develop towards a climax. Different moods and atmospheres are expressed by the four, originating from the different ideas and angles that make up the basis of these groupimprovisations. The music, as the band, sounds very 'together', as one massive whole. Must be a great joy to experience this free rock band live. (DM)
Address: http://www.highmayhem.org

 

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - NOBODY'S UGLY (LP by No Fun Productions)
For reasons not entirely clear to me, Philip Best never really seemed to have pushed his Consumer Electronics project. From a very early age he was a member of Whitehouse, played with Ramleh, and Consumer Electronics seemed to have died a slow death. Which is a pity since what we heard on 'Neuengamme' or 'Fuer Ilse Koch', or on obscure bootlegs that floated around at that time, the mixture of classic short wave noise, synthesizer and effects sounded quite nice. For the same unclear reasons, there is now an album by Consumer Electronics on giffoni's No Fun label and has Best gone soft? Nobody's Ugly sounds far from the topics touched upon by Whitehouse. His buddy William Bennett produced the album and both sides are gigantic slabs of noise, big time clusters of sound, which are greeted by an extensive mass of sound effects. Deep, massive, loud and mean but no doubt Consumer Electronics. The only minor thing is the quick fade at the end, thus not giving the pieces an ending, but it seems more like shorter versions of longer pieces. Not confirming to the world of 'real' noise, Best plays his own version of noise, and that's something he is particular good at. Great album. (FdW)
http://www.nofunproductions.com/

KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT - TURN HEGEL ON HIS HEAD (7" by Implied Sound)
Welcome to the world of the tormented souls. Belgium's Stef Heeren, who calls himself Stef Irritant here, is the core of Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, of whom we reviewed the CD 'If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks' in Vital Weekly 469. Kiss The Anus is an apocalyptic folk band, with Heeren's voice, guitar, drones, skins and bells an help on the drums, guitars and vocals from others. Hegel's dialectic is the edge of this record, which I honestly will admit is all a bit beyond me. I hear Heeren once again singing like David Tibet, and the folk drones are along similar lines. The music part is quite strong, again, but also again, the singing is not my thing. Though to be honest (also again) I quite liked this 7". It's short, two tracks only, which are tied together, theme-wise, and for a day with grey clouds that is far enough from the world of apocalyptic folk. I'm sure loads of people will like this more than I do, but sometimes even I do, when it arrives in a small dose. (FdW)
Address: http://www.publicguilt.com

FIVE ELEMENTS MUSIC - VARUNAGHAT (CDR by Mystery Sea)
It's hard to imagine where Mystery Sea finds them, but he does find them. Five Elements Music hail from Russia and I haven't got the faintest idea about the who or what. I do know about the why though: according to the vedic concept there are five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth and releasing on Mystery Sea is perhaps something that fits the schematics. The Sergey bloke who is behind this release takes the name of the label as a starting point for his three untitled pieces, as water seems to be recurring element in his music. Highly processed at the start, but the cascading waves become an apparent feature later on. The main features are there: drone, deep rumbling drones of the subaquatic nature of the sea waves, while slowly move forward and which bring structure to the music. There is nothing we haven't heard before in the same field that we hear on this release, but Five Elements Music do a pretty fine job in creating underwater music, which is a bit on the dark ambient side on one hand but never looses it's sense of experimentalism. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

(AD)VANCE(D) - POEM#RED128DOT (CDR by Absurd)
Vance Orchestra from Arnhem are no more, but out of his ashes new paths are chosen. Robert Deters plays around with various people from the local scene, including Machinefabriek, while Mars Wellink goes on solo. As (ad)vance(d) he now presents his first solo work, I think, for the Absurd label. It has been around in their offices for a while, but it's release comes in handy. In various cities (Arnhem, Leiden, Molovos) Mars recorded some field sounds which he knits together to a thirty six minute sound poem. Voices play a role, but more over it's here to create an atmospheric piece of music. The backdrop is a sort of ambient piece of a wall of synthesizers, but it's too angular to be a dull piece of music. On top of that hotbed, Mars lets his recordings drop in and out of the mix, bird calls, insects, people walking and talking. Over the course of the piece things move away from the ambient patterns played at the beginning and moving into the world of strict soundscaping and then spiral back into the ambient backing of the start. A highly atmospheric work that is more like a sound picture, be it of different places, of sound moving in and from various directions than a strict music piece, more like a sound environment. (FdW)
Address: http://www.void.gr/absurd

MOLJEBKA PVLSE - DRIFTSOND (CDR by Gears Of Sand)
By now Mathias Josefson's project Moljebka Pvlse has gathered some interest due to a bunch of interesting ambient industrial drone releases. Here he presents his latest work, which perhaps, I am merely guessing here is a of a bit of different nature than his previous works, and one possible reason for that might be that it's a CDR release (although on Gears Of Sand the quality is so high that's hard to to tell the difference). The four pieces on 'Driftsond' are more minimal than before. Each piece seems to be built around one set of sounds and a little bit of electronic processing. A bit like Alvin Lucier's 'Music On Long Thin Wire' at times, but here with a touch more musical sense, like a drone version of his work. But it has that same minimalist approach. But nowhere that this leap into boredom, not at all really. Each of the pieces depicts a desolate world, pictured in one color and the more one looks at this image, the more details are revealed. Quite long pieces here, but needed to bring out the finer subtleness of the music. Perhaps nothing new under the drone sun, that must be said too, but throughout a great disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gearsofsand.net

BPMF - PAROUSIA FALLACY (CDR, private)
This CDR came with a note that said something along longer lines than this: "Hi, I just released my first CD after 25 years of creating music". As I never heard of one Jason going by the name of BMPf, I looked up his history in music, and found out that he sold his guitars in 1982, got a synth, and then turned towards techno after hearing Taylor Deupree, with whom he formed Prototype 909. Around that time he started to use the name BMPf for more 'chill out' music, launched and killed Serotonin Records and was active in The Rancho Relaxo All-Stars. However with/as BMPf his work is not entirely based on rhythm, although on the other hand also not entirely free of it. It's a bit hard to tell what BMPf wants with his music. The whole thing has quite an ambient touch to it, created with analogue synthesizers, but overall it's not that sonic carpet that ambient sometimes is. Which of course is a great thing. But then some pieces break out of that and voices and rhythms are added, which makes the whole thing moving into a different direction. It makes the release a bit unfocussed ('what does he want?'), even when the individual pieces are quite alright. Everything is left of the 'real' ambient music, with a great sense of experimentalism to it. I wonder why it took him so long to make this debut? (FdW)
Address: http://www.bpmf.us

 

IAN HOLLOWAY - WALKING THROUGH FIREFLIES (CDR by Quiet World)
DARREN TATE - SMALL WORLDS (CDR by Quiet World)
The Elvis Coffee Records label is no more and it's now moved on to be Quiet World and the first release is by Ian Holloway. Another move, since before he called himself Psychic Invasion, but with the new label name also a change of his own project. Music wise there has been not much change, I think. Holloway, as before with his Psychic Invasion, plays a fine set of dark atmospheric music. Using something that sounds like synthesizers (but they might very well be coming from the computer), field recordings, guitars and loads of sound effects, Holloway created seven pieces that sound quite different from eachother, and not throughout the same. 'A Lighter Being' has not much to do with drone music per se, and quite an improvised feel to it (and it's not the greatest moment here). Other pieces are more quiet and drone like and are just better. A pretty varied and throughout fine release.
The second release on Quiet World is much to my surprise a CDR by Darren Tate. Tate is a main player of things dark and drone since the mid eighties, working with Andrew Chalk and Colin Potter (with him as Monos) and solo. In 'Small Worlds' it seems to me that Tate is exploring one instruments per track. The first and third piece seem to be a synthesizer piece while the second is a guitar piece. No titles for these pieces. The first one is actually not as drone like as I would have expected. The synthesizer makes quite some high and low end which especially in the upper end of the sound spectrum is a bit mean. But it's a fine piece, nothing to do with noise or such. The guitar piece sees Tate strumming away, almost inaudible, but it's feeding through a large amount of sound effects, which makes it quite spooky. And spooky is a word that can also be applied to the final piece, which is a dark drone piece played on a synthesizer, with some tones rising out every now and then. It's great release, of quiet music, although not always the most new and innovative. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietworld.co.uk

XEDH/FEVER SPOOR - NACHT UND NEBEL (CDR by Anima Mal Nata)
When I started to play this CDR I made sure the volume was a bit down, since I know Xedh can be a real beast when it comes to digital noise. However the seven pieces on this CDR were not really that loud. Not at all actually, save perhaps for some feedback outburst here and there. Anything goes in the world of Xedh, who plays noise, rhythmic music and apparently also his own version of musique concrete, which is what he does here. Taking apart concrete recordings of whatever kind and transform them beyond recognition. Not every moment is great but throughout it's fine release. Fever Spoor is, if I'm not mistaken, Marcel Herms, who also runs Anima Mal Mata when not making crazy comic like drawings. He too opts for some lo-fi musique concrete here, through the use of delay, picking up rain on the window, using his fingers on the same window, and various kinds of electronics to feed his electro-acoustic sounds through. There is not always going on a lot in these recordings, which are at times also a bit too long, but throughout it's quite nice. Fine noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.animamalnata.nl

MOLE HARNESS - AS LANGUAGE CARVES THE WORLD (CDR by Stray Dog Army)
Recently James Brewster, the man behind Mole Harness relocated from the UK to Sweden's Malmö and the three tracks on this CDR, with a total playing time of twenty minutes, is the first result of this relocating. Brewster likes his instruments, the piano and the guitar, along with field recordings of rain and thunder. There is a long, almost fifteen minute piece at the center here, which is built around repeating guitar loops and cracks and it has quite an organic and meditative feel to it. A new element seems to be that sound is picked up through contact microphones which add a slightly different dimension to his music. Brewster creates rhythms from those, feeds them through effects, but always stay on the gentle side of things. Melodic ambient and glitch like, but throughout the element of music is an important one for Brewster. His next release will be a real CD, which seems to be a logical progression, on Apestaartje. (FdW)
Address: http://www.straydogarmy.co.uk