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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 591
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week 35
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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
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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!

 

Next Vital Weekly is most likely wednesday september 5th. Week 37 will not see a Vital Weekly and we return on wednesday 19th.

GIUSEPPE IELASI - AUGUST (CD by 12K) *
GIUSEPPE IELASI & NICOLA RATTI - BELLOWS (CD by Kning Disk)
SWOD - SEKUNDEN (CD by City Centre Offices) *
MATT WESTON - HOLLER/DO YOU HEAR ME? (CD by 7272MUSIC)
TIMELESS PULSE QUINTET (CD by Mutable Music)
@C & VITOR JOAQUIM - DE-TOUR (CD by Feld Records) *
SZELY - PROCESSING OTHER PERSPECTIVES (CD by Mosz) *
OÖPHOI - UPUAUT (CD by Nextera)
KLAUS WIESE - BARAKA (CD by Nextera) *
GJÖLL - NOT TO LEAD NOT TO FOLLOW (CD by Ant-Zen)
GJÖLL - NOT TO LEAD NOR TO FOLLOW (CD by Ant-Zen)
CONTAGIOUS ORGASM - RIPPLE (CD by Ant-Zen)
BIPOL - RITUAL (CD by Ant-Zen)
AARON SPECTRE - LOST TRACKS (CD by Ad Noiseam)
ZEITKRATZER & LOU REED - METAL MACHINE MUSIC (CD/DVD by Asphodel)
REINHOLD FRIEDL - XENAKIS [A]LIVE! (CD/DVD by Asphodel)
C.C.C.C. - EARLY WORKS (4CD by No Fun Productions) *
ART SIMON - MORE OF THE SAME + (CD/CDR by Cohort Records)
MARK WASTELL - COME CRIMSON RAYS (CD by Kning Disk)
JAMES BLACKSHAW - WAKING INTO SLEEP (CD by Kning Disk)
NINA DE HENEY - ARCHIPELAGO (CD by Kning Disk)
ERIK ENOCKSOON - FARVÄL FALKENBERG (CD by Kning Disk)
JERRY JOHANSSON - NEXT DOOR CONVERSATION (CD by Kning Disk) *
M.B. - SYMPHONY FOR A GENOCIDE (CD by W.M.o/r)
MATTHIEU SALADIN - STOCK EXCHANGE PIECE (CDR by W.M.o/r) *
5 MODULES - III (CDR by Manual)
K.M. KREBS - ALCHYMY (CDR by Con-V)
THE DOMESTIC FRONT - THE PERFECT SWARM (CDR by 8K Mob) *
SYMBIOSIS (CDR by Zimogen/12rec)
TIM COSTER - STAR MILL (CDR by Claudi) *
MOUTFUL OF CHERRIES - GOALKEEPER WANTED (CDR by Void Of Oval)
D.B.P.I.T - JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF NOISE (CDR by Deserted Factory) *
ESE - THE SHROOM EXPERIENCE (CDR by Databloem) *
THE S.U.N.C.D. PROJECT - THE SUN CD (CDR by Kraklisk)
N.STRAHL.N - HEIMWERK//////ODER HACKSTÜCKE (CDR by Kraklisk) *
CHEFKIRK - ANALYSIS OF ANXIETIES (CDR by Kraklisk)
KASPER VAN HOEK - A/B (3"CDR by Heilskabaal Records)
FABIO ORSI - BIRDS ARE SMART, BUT THEY CANNOT SPEAK (3"CDR by The Locus Of)
TOMOROH HIDARI - TODTNAUBERG (MP3 by Indiestore)
HIS NAMELESSNESS IS LEGION - ...THAT NIGHT SHE EMITTED A DIFFERENT SILENCE (MP3 by Mahorka)

 

 

GIUSEPPE IELASI - AUGUST (CD by 12K)
GIUSEPPE IELASI & NICOLA RATTI - BELLOWS (CD by Kning Disk)
A big smile of excitement and surprise turned upon my face when I opened the 12K parcel (when they arrive they get opened and played first): Giuseppe Ielasi on 12K. Now that's a surprise. I can't say why exactly, maybe it was always coming, but after the recent bunch of new talent, it's perhaps the surprise of seeing an arrived musician at 12K. Ielasi's tracks still clock in at somewhere between six and eight minutes, but unlike his previous releases, he has five instead of four. I kinda suspect Ielasi to like the good old vinyl album length approach. Ielasi plays his favorite instruments again: the guitar of course, piano, hammond organ, dobro, synthesizers and shortwave and he's out to teach us lesson. The lesson being that you don't need a laptop only to make warm glitchy music. His guitar playing is anything but a guitar, but in stead he plays long form drones. On the other instruments he also creates a large humming and droning stream of sounds, which is densely layered together, with phase shifting patterns. Slow, but always on the move. Where there is room, Ielasi throws in some delay. Yet there is never a muddy sound, and everything remains crystal clear. Following his previous solo releases on Sedimental and Häpna, this is another fine addition to his catalogue.
As a solo artist Ielasi is also different than many other improvisers. On his solo CDs Ielasi manifests himself as a composer, and not the explorer of a single instrument. But never forget that Ielasi's main body of work lies inside improvisation. Well, that is: he has more works available created with others than solo work. I never heard of Nicola Ratti, nor do I know how the division, but Ratti and Ielasi are both credited with guitars, percussion, turntables, electronics. This is a different aspect of Ielasi, a much more free man, playing his guitar and electronics, while Ratti, I assume at least, plays drums and turntables. Great pieces, of which especially the first two should be noted as powerful statements of glitch meeting popmusic. Whispering guitar and distorted, almost vocal like sounds. Other pieces they are more in 'regular' areas of improvised, with at times even a more noise outing, but throughout this is a high and mighty fine disc, that showcases Ielasi's talents quite well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com
Address: http://www.kningdisk.com

SWOD - SEKUNDEN (CD by City Centre Offices)
It's been a while since we last reviewed something by City Centre Offices, so how (and if) this music saw any development, I might not be able to tell. Swod stands for Stephan Wöhrmann, who plays guitar, bass and electronics and Olivier Doerell, who plays drums and piano. The latter being the most important instrument on this CD. Ah more piano. More and more piano. I suggest you go back to last week's issue and re-read the review of Mikronesia, and see what I said about the piano. (pause). Fine, the difference now with Sekunden is that the other instruments may play a minor role, the role is there however. The guitar, the few field recordings, bass and drums fill in the rest. Compositions are started on the piano, which appears here to be untreated, and the rest is added later on. More folk electronic than techno-related, so in that sense the music released by City Centre Office has progressed. But it doesn't mean I am throughout in favor of Swod. The nine tracks are quite similar in approach, the way they are built up and how the develop, which sounded throughout quite single minded. It could be the same piece throughout, with minor variations. That is a pity. Now they are nine, but they could have been four or twenty also. But four would have been an amount that I would have preferred. Nice, great music even, but a bit too much of the same. (FdW)
Address: http://www.city-centre-offices.de

MATT WESTON - HOLLER/DO YOU HEAR ME? (CD by 7272MUSIC)
Several weeks ago I introduced the new 7272Music label, with two inspiring cd singles by Matt Weston, a drummer and composer from Chicago. Now I have a third cdsingle in my hand that I like even more. Again with Matt Weston playing percussion and electronics. Or should I say electronics and percussion? Both pieces 'Holler' and 'Do you hear me?', are the product by a very imaginative and creative musician. 'Holler' is a like a little symphony, with great variation in dynamics and volume. Pre-recorded improvisations on drums are mixed up with electronics sounds and manipulated in a way that reminds me of good old tape music, Dockstader, Tietchens anbd Arcane Device. It's aA very successful combination of improvised drumming and manipulation afterwards, resulting in a carefully built composition.
'Do you hear me?', is a completely different structured piece. The music moves linear towards its end, keeping up a constant stream strange sounds. The sounds seem to come from scratching over the surface of percussive objects. And it gives the effect of some strange choir singing. In both pieces the music has a archaic and primitive feel. Very physical and human. Weston is a musician with a vision. Not sure where this music touches on, but I can tell you, this music really goes deep. Very disturbing and moving music from artist to watch. (DM)
Address: http://www.7272music.com

TIMELESS PULSE QUINTET (CD by Mutable Music)
A quintet, so five names to introduce to you: Thomas Buckner (voice), George Marsh (percussion), Pauline Oliveros (accordion), David Wessel (live-electronics), Jennifer Wilsey (percussion). Musicians from very different backgrounds: classic, improvisation, jazz and electronic music. Pauline Oliveros, a pioneer in american music needs no further introduction. Most of the others have in common that they are connected as teachers to Universities. They came together in 1993 and have at least one earlier cd around, called 'Live at CNMAT 2002' on Deep Listenings (without vocalist Thomas Buckner). On this new cd they perform 5 compositions from 2005. Most of them are lengthy works, that take time to breath and develop. Percussion, accordion and voice go very well together with the live electronics. The ensemble sounds very well-balanced, each one equally contributing to the whole. Maybe it is however vocalist Buckner who takes the lead in these improvisations. Their music is like 'timeless' organic soundscaping. No over-active improvisations, but quietly rolling waves of sound that bring you in meditative state of being. Oliveros states it as follows: "Leaning into the moments ofsounding I rest in the music of my friends and enjoy being". A nice and concentrated work. (DM)
Address: http://www.mutablemusic.com/

@C & VITOR JOAQUIM - DE-TOUR (CD by Feld Records)
People create music out of various reasons, and one is a fascination for sound. @C are such people. This duo, of Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela, play their music in a rather improvised way, at home or in concert. They like to play with other people, and everything is recorded. The recordings are never released as is, but act as new building blocks for new compositions. Their 'De-Tour' ('de' as in German) saw them play in various German cities, along with Vitor Joaquim (who joins them in Portugal too), but also Harald 'Sack' Ziegler on his horn, Pure on the laptop, Fried Dähn on the electric cello. Everything was recorded and the CD that now lies in front of us, is the culmination of editing and recomposing. They do a fine job of cracking sounds, the laptop's working overtime here, but this is not just purely microsound of pure glitch: @C & Vitor Joaquim never loose the musical component out of sight here. It's rhythmic on all sides, voices are used, a bass line is never far away, but it's also built of glitches, hiss and noise. Through their years of existence, @C have matured their playing and are confident improvisers on the laptop. When Sack's waldhorn comes in, things are just great. Very musical. Very nice work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.feld-records.com

SZELY - PROCESSING OTHER PERSPECTIVES (CD by Mosz)
It's been a long while since 'Welcome To My World' by Szely (see Vital Weekly 432), but here is his second release, for which Szely asked his friends to send him some musical material. People such as Ulrich Troyer, Martin Siewert, Nik Hummer, Melita Jurisic: people from the Austrian scene. The result is a true expansion of themes explored on the first release. Szely likes his music to be pop, but also complex. There is a lot of stuff happening on all levels of the music - from the techno rhythms, all the synthesizer fill ups, extra sounds, bass lines, samples and vocals. Somewhere he finds time to play his guitar and throughout this album suffers from the same problem as the previous album. It's all a bit too much. A moment of rest, a turning point, an one bar loop with two tones: I don't know, but something like that would have been nice. Since so much is happening, the music is quite tiring and exhausting for the listener. Throughout it has some great ideas, but it's the trick to know when to stop. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mosz.org

OÖPHOI - UPUAUT (CD by Nextera)
KLAUS WIESE - BARAKA (CD by Nextera)
Both these releases are re-issues, in the case of Wiese a cassette from the 80s and in Oöphoi's case it was a private concert recording that has been bootlegged since it's recording in 1999. The Oöphoi CD deals with the secret room of the Pyramid of Cheops which one Rudolf Gantenbrink tried to discover by a small robot by the name of Upuaut. The music is a 'symbolic journey from Darkness to Light', Oöphoi says. He gets help from Amir Baghiri and Matthias Grassow in the last fifteen minutes of this journey. Of course I am doing this all wrong. Outside the sun is shining, at last, it's fully mid day when I am listening to music that no doubt works better at evening, in a darkened room, with headphones. Oöphoi plays synthesizers and Grassow adds voice, tibetan bowls and bells, whereas Baghiri does the treatments. It's a work that is of deep sonic richness, ambient music with the big A, although it also bends towards new age, in all it's serenity. But things stay on the good side of things and its a highly atmospherical piece of music. Even the clouds coming seem to agree.
The Klaus Wiese release was originally released on a cassette in the early 80s and 'became a kind of 'cult-music', especially in therapeutic circles', it says on the cover. The music was made with tamburas, asian harps, voices, bells and wind. 'Baraka' means 'blessing from above' and it's quite a natural piece of music. Perhaps if I didn't know how things were made, I would have guessed electronic means, but now that I know, I can appreciate it even better. It's very slow, textural music with, just as the Oöphoi a bit of a new age touch, but here too things stay luckily on the safe side. Nothing new or earth shaking radical new points of view in the world of ambient music, but a good relaxing piece (actually two) of music. Very nice, very smooth. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nextera.eu

GJÖLL - NOT TO LEAD NOT TO FOLLOW (CD by Ant-Zen)
GJÖLL - NOT TO LEAD NOR TO FOLLOW (CD by Ant-Zen)
CONTAGIOUS ORGASM - RIPPLE (CD by Ant-Zen)
Two outer limit-albums from legendary German label Ant-Zen Recordings. Last year I had the honor of reviewing the debut album of Icelandic project Gjöll. It was an interesting conceptual album that described a man's mental balance or rather: The lack of it. Now the two artists behind the project, Jóhann Eiriksson and Sigurdur Hardarson, have returned with their explorations into dark and disturbing sound expressions. Musically Gjöll crosses musical territories from early power electronics (Whitehouse etc.) to post-Industrial reminiscent of early Godflesh and Saw Throat (formerly Sore Throat). Characterizing the style of Gjöll is the rather dreamy and hypnotizing effects of the drone productions. Changing between expressive and harsh drones (though never in the full throttle noise-style) to more introvert and drowsy subtle buzz-drones. Vocals on the album change between furious and whispering. Too harsh to be termed ambient and too subtle to be termed noise, the style of Gjöll lies somewhere in between. Indescribable and quite unique second album from the Icelandic extremists! Three years ago I had the great honor of reviewing the first album on Ant-Zen Recordings by legendary Japanese sound artist Contagious Orgasm. Since I had always connected Hiroshi Hashimoto ( a.k.a. Contagious Orgasm) with the Noise scene, thanks to his contribution to various Noise compilations, among others Relapse/Release Entertainment's "Japanese/American Noise Treaty", I was quite surprised to listen his "Dessert Addicts Will Return To This" (Ant-Zen, 2004). This latest album continues the strange landscapes of numerous musical styles. Dealing with everything from drone-based as well as collaged noise, across clicks'n'cuts to almost danceable electro-inspired techno and eerie soundscapes of beautiful ambient, it is an impossible task to finish this album only within a few listens. It is a complex musical voyage, that atmospherically varies from icy minimalism reminiscent of Pan(a)Sonic to militant electro of Kraftwerk until towards the end where the album turns
more dreamy and dramatic with a mixture between experimental ambience and gentle acoustic post-rock reminiscent of Tortoise. "Ripple" is a continuation of the style of "Dessert Addicts Will Return To This", and the result is even more intense and clever than the aforementioned. Turn off the light and let yourself fall into the psychedelic tones of Contagious Orgasm. Excellent! (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com/

BIPOL - RITUAL (CD by Ant-Zen)
This is Industrial simplicity in its purest form. Debut album from German artist Bipol finds legendary label Ant Zen Recordings back in the great tradition of harsh rhythmic Industrial. Even though Bipol doesn't belong to the harshest spectre of the Industrial-scene, there is still plenty of rumbling noises drifting in the sub-levels to keep listeners of abrasive electronics fully entertained. The rhythm textures are the main ingredient on the album, quite often with touches of early EBM-expressions transformed into 21st century Industrial attack. Hence the title "Ritual", Bipol focuses on repetitive expressions on the album resulting in an excellent trippy style. With a mixture of distorted beats and dark atmospheric soundscapes, Andreas Brinkert a.k.a. Bipol has created twelve floor-filling no-holds-barred club tracks. Despite the album's screaming for some physical performance of the consumer, "Ritual" also works well in the state of more passive listening. A very promising debut indeed! (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com/

AARON SPECTRE - LOST TRACKS (CD by Ad Noiseam)
It wouldn't be too much to describe American composer Aaron Spectre as a multi-facetted sound artist. Breakcore-fanatics will know him for his harsh project Drumcorps; a project that stand as a sharp contrast to the more downbeat expressions under the name "Aaron Spectre". This new album of lost gems from Aaron Spectre floats in-between spaces of ambient, singer songwriter and guitar-based rock. Opening with a heartfelt guitar-play that could have been created for Brian Eno's ambient-opus "Apollo", Aaron Spectre will glue the listener to the album already from the very first moment. There is a nice Americana/country-like approach on the album, with lots of beautiful moments thanks to the nice combinations of catchy melodies, great vocals and instrumentation counting a number of string instruments such as guitar, cello etc. It quite often happens that B-side-tracks and unreleased materials from artists should've been left to rest, rather than being published, though this is definitely not the case in this case. "Lost tracks" is an album of shining beauty. Thanks to Aaron Spectre for showing us these almost forgotten pieces of sonic art. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net/

ZEITKRATZER & LOU REED - METAL MACHINE MUSIC (CD/DVD by Asphodel)
REINHOLD FRIEDL - XENAKIS [A]LIVE! (CD/DVD by Asphodel)
It is amazing when you realize that someone with a career like Lou Reed, basically released only two truly essential solo albums. Harsh perhaps, but true. One, of course, is Berlin and the other one is Metal Machine Music. Both couldn't be more apart. Whereas Berlin is full of lushly orchestrated, beautiful yet stark songs about the break-up of a drugs-inflicted relation, Metal Machine Music is, well, all about noise. Four sides of cacophonic guitar feedback noise fed through effects and modulators, which outraged Reed fans at the time. In 1975 the album was returned to the stores by hordes of his fans. RCA, Reed's record company at the time, threatened to drop Reed from their label if he didn't supply them with a radio-friendly album (which became Coney Island Baby, most certainly more mainstream than Metal Machine Music and featuring the beautiful title track). Even the recent CD remaster (created by Reed himself) of Metal Machine Music sold poorly. This Zeitkratzer CD however, offers a third life for the album that has turned out to be the most hated album by any major artist ever. In 2002 Zeitkratzer recorded a live version of the music in Berlin (sic!) with a full orchestra incorporating violins, cello as well as the master himself on guitar. Zeitkratzer director Reinhold Friedl leads the orchestra with firm hand through the blistering atonal music, which remains remarkably close to the original. The original album played 16 minutes per side (with a locked groove at side 4 for real masochists). Unfortunately this edition is less conceptually timed. The three long tracks on this version are a harsh listen, but Vital readers will find them strangely comforting after a while. There's plenty of high pitched ringing of strings, which - and that is the true beauty of this release - sound nothing like an orchestra playing. The master himself joins the orchestra in the final 5 minutes of the performance. When Reed plays his guitar and the drums (!) set in, it almost sounds like the Velvet Underground circa 1966. The accompanying DVD features the full live show filmed in a slightly static way. There is also an interview with Reed tagged at the end, where Reed spills the beans on Metal Machine Music. The interviewer is blatantly annoying with questions lasting up to 5 minutes. Reed stays polite throughout and even cracks a few subtle jokes. Now recognized as a classic in the field of avant-garde freeform music, Metal Machine Music certainly deserved to be heard and this live version is a wonderful opportunity to get (re) acquainted with one of most adventurous pieces ever composed by a major rock musician. As Reed stated on the original album "my week beats your year".
The same ensemble, but with different credits, performs a work by Reinhold Friedl, called 'Xenakis [A]Live', which is not strictly a performance of a Xenakis work, but Friedl own interpretation the work of Xenakis. I may not call myself to have the knowledge at all on the late Greek master, having never got much further than the excellent 'Persepolis' work, but it seems to me a good starting point to enjoy this work. The stapling of sounds, the metal sheets cracking and other musical motives to envisage a city in decay, are exactly the elements that Friedl seems to enjoy. He orders his ensemble to reproduce these elements on their acoustic instruments and succeeds wonderfully well in capturing the same mood as Xenakis did in his work, be in 'Persepolis' or other, electronic works. Great powerful music. The video that comes here is not a registration of Zeitkratzer playing this live, but an animation by Lilevan, which looks nice, but doesn't necesarily add much to the music, and I could easily do without. (FK/FdW)
Address: http://www.asphodel.com

C.C.C.C. - EARLY WORKS (4CD by No Fun Productions)
This week's four CD box with retrospective material comes from C.C.C.C., the Japanese four some noise band, which stopped ten or so year ago. I must admit I didn't know this. Alas, you can't know it all. The band had three people playing noise on synthesizers, electronics, metal sheets and vocals plus the fourth member playing bass - that is a rather unusual combination. The vocals were done by Mayuko Hino, who added a performance aspect to the music, by dripping hot candle wax on her naked body, which made me think a nice DVD retrospective could be in place too. As much of what C.C.C.C. did was made through improvisation, so it's hardly a surprise that seven of the eight pieces are live recordings. All tracks are around the thirty minute mark, except the first track on disc four which is forty-seven minutes. Usually C.C.C.C. play a barrage of noise in which sounds keep on colliding to eachother, and from every collision, something new arises. A process that is repeated through each of these pieces. There is however something psychedelic about this music. Once you dive in, you get sucked into this endless stream of sounds, which continue to develop, rather than the usual noise, which is more about the noise itself, and not so much about the development. I must admit that back in the day I kinda ignored C.C.C.C. thinking it was just another Japnoise band, but this set proofs me wrong. There is something uniqiue about them. A reunion is not likely to happen, I read in the extensive liner notes (great!!), but this set fills a few holes in history. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nofunproductions.com

ART SIMON - MORE OF THE SAME + (CD/CDR by Cohort Records)
The name Art Simon ringes far, far away a bell, but I don't know how and where. Or perhaps it's a contraction of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, going weird? What also puzzles me is this: why is one of the CD a 'real' pressed CD and the other one a CDR, whereas it doesn't say anywhere that this is a bonus of any kind. Simon plays guitar, computer programming and midi theremin. Five long tracks on the first disc, of computer drum programming, that plays a heavy rhythm, but sounds like coming right out of a can, and it seems to be played manually. On top Art Simon smears his guitar solo's in a true prog rock fashion. I must admit that I thought the music was badly produced and didn't have many ideas, others than a long self-indulgent look at his guitar. The CDR had more and shorter tracks, and also a bit more synthesizer and throughout I thought that the better pieces were found on the CDR and not on the CD, even when as such I wasn't too pleased with the material on the CDR either. (FdW)
Address: http://cohortrecords.0catch.com

MARK WASTELL - COME CRIMSON RAYS (CD by Kning Disk)
JAMES BLACKSHAW - WAKING INTO SLEEP (CD by Kning Disk)
NINA DE HENEY - ARCHIPELAGO (CD by Kning Disk)
ERIK ENOCKSOON - FARVÄL FALKENBERG (CD by Kning Disk)
JERRY JOHANSSON - NEXT DOOR CONVERSATION (CD by Kning Disk)
By now the name Mark Wastell should be known to the readers, certainly those who love improvised music. Wastell has already released two CDRs with his solo tam tam recordings, one on w.m/r and on Longbox Recordings, and 'Come Crimson Rays' is the third and final installment in this trilogy. For this part he uses a 32 inch Paiste tam tam, and he concentrates on the bass region. Slow and low music. A bang and then wait until the sustain dies out. Music of a long shot. It seems as if nothing happens, and that's wrong: there are a lot of things happening in this recording and the three pieces have a strong sense of continuity. Great release.
Also on the solo side of things, is the release by James Blackshaw, of whom I never heard. He plays solo 12 string acoustic guitar, and on this CD he presents four pieces, all recorded live. He plays the instrument graciously. Fingerpicking in a fast style, so that the sound sustains while adding new tones. A bit medieval like, opening music for the knights tournament to start. OK, I thought four tracks was a bit much, because it seemed in the end a bit tiresome, but it's surely a concert I would have attended.
Double bass is the instrument of Nina de Heney, who sees her instrument as a volcanic body, just like archipelagoes. Eleven tracks here, and I can be short about it. She plays the instrument as it should be: we recognize the sound of a double bass. She improvises on it, plucking away. Might be nice to take a sample here and there, but throughout I couldn't be bothered with it too much.
If you wouldn't know that 'Farväl Falkenberg' is the soundtrack to a movie than I think it's clear enough when you play it. Erik Enocksson plays guitar, bells and organ and it has country stamped all over it. Some of the pieces were recorded while the film was made (the actual contents of the film is something I don't know), which was in the country side. Of all the CDs reviewed here, this seems to be the most worked out release, in terms of it not being a concert recording, and not focussed on a single instrument. Folk tronics in optima forma at work here in this absolutely great release. It made me realize that folktronics is a genre that is already well explored too, but Enocksson plays some damn fine tunes. The best release on Kning disk of this week.
Although it says Jerry Johansson, his 'Next Door Conversation' is not a solo work. Johansson is a guitar player and composer, but after hearing George Harrison on the sitar, he was hooked to that instrument. His latest CD is a work for sitar, santour, tambura and string quartet. I am sure to tell you I am not at all qualified to write about this CD at all, since I have a black hole when it comes to classical non-western music. I think. Perhaps this bears no relation with traditional Indian music? I don't know. Two long pieces of swirling notes in a sort of middle eastern style, with plucking on the sitar and santour. Actually I quite like it for what it is. Kitsch perhaps? High art? I am not able to tell, and luckily I don't care that much either. I like to take things face value. Do I like this? Yes I do. Fine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kningdisk.com

M.B. - SYMPHONY FOR A GENOCIDE (CD by W.M.o/r)
MATTHIEU SALADIN - STOCK EXCHANGE PIECE (CDR by W.M.o/r)
5 MODULES - III (CDR by Manual)
All three of these releases came from the house of Mattin, who acts here as labelboss and musician. I frankly don't understand why 'Symphony For A Genocide' by Maurizio Bianchi is re-issued again. Originally, in 1981, as a LP on Sterile Records and it was part of the first MB boxset 'Archeo MB'. I am not sure if that one is entirely sold out, but Mattin W.M./or label does an exact reprint of that CD, including the same three bonus tracks. I admit right away that this is a classic M.B. recording: loud, heavy, shocking and a landmark in the industrial culture. If you don't want to own everything by M.B. but a true highlight than this could be that highlight.
The good thing about not having money, is that one doesn't have to worry how to make more money. I am not sure if Saladin has money, or shares, but the stock market is the starting point for his 'Stock Exchange Piece'. He took the rates of oil and gold over a fifty day period, and 'translated' the fluctuations into sine waves. So if the rate is 61.43 dollar for a barrel of oil today, then he will pick that as frequency in sinewaves and with the gold it's dollars per ounce (oil becomes low frequencies and gold higher frequencies). Each day, one minute. There is a bit which I don't understand about the 'moving averages' (MA50), but alas I can't be economic about that. That's about it. The result, one might ask, any good? Yes it is. The fluctuations don't jump around a lot, but it moves up and down, and slow as it is, the piece moves up and down in a slow. A great slow, heavy drone piece.
Certainly a difficult release on offer is the one by 5 Modules, a collaborative effort by Rya Hankil (one clockwork and contact mic), Jin Sangtea (laptop, radio), Taku Unami (laptop) and Mattin (laptop). They question 'time' here. When are you silent and when do you play? That sort of thing. There is, in good Japanese tradition, a lot of silence on this release, and only short blocks of sound, or rather noise that is. Two extreme opposites that sometime make sense, a little bit. If you don't pay enough attention, than you are completely lost in this. Lots of silence, occasional loud noise: two things to drive the unaware listener up the wall. (FdW)
Address: http://www.matting.org
Address: http://www.themanual.co.kr

K.M. KREBS - ALCHYMY (CDR by Con-V)
Since the arrival of this release by K.M. Krebs I have been playing this already a couple of times, but I find it very hard to get into this release. As perhaps known, Krebs is one of the microsound artists. Working with field recordings and computer processing, to create his music. Nine pieces are to be found on 'Alchymy', of water sounds, drones, and other more obscured sound sources, but none of the material really grabbed me. Is it my tiredness of the genre that gave me a hard time here. Objectively speaking this is nicely produced, minimal, but with enough variation in approach, but somewhere lacked the tension for me. Too much of the same, I think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

THE DOMESTIC FRONT - THE PERFECT SWARM (CDR by 8K Mob)
So far I have been enjoying the releases by The Domestic Front, a.k.a. Thomas Transparant. A good noise project, with care of detail and a great sense of collage. Here things are a bit more electronic than on the previous releases (or so it seems). The central theme here in the four pieces is the big city. 'Over 1/2 of humanity now resides in urban areas - this CD is for you' (quite a sales potential there). Like before this is apparently all made on a laptop plus some guitar. Transparant depicts a busy world, filled with sound. The nerve and hecticness of the cities depicted (tokyo, chicago, Al Burj and Bangalore) is shown excellent through the abstract noise of the music, with rapid changes against static hiss. This release seems a bit more electronic than before and also a bit more noisy, but it's altogether a pretty strong release anyway. Although perhaps not as great as his previous release, it moves away from the Nurse With Wound influence, this easily passes as another fine work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.8kmob.dustopper.dk

SYMBIOSIS (CDR by Zimogen/12rec)
To be really honest then: when I first played this release, I was caught up in other things to do. That happens. One has to do various things and music can/should fit various occasions, such as close listening, vacuum cleaning or reading. So I wasn't paying too close of attention to this release, but after a while I looked up and thought, 'which band made this nice CD', and when I picked up the cover, I realized this was a compilation. Ouch. Zymogen is an Italian net label, who present with Symbiosis a compilation of their bands. Twelve tracks by twelve artists, and none of which I heard before, except Marsen Jules. Although the label describes it as a 'range of electronic music, from experimental to acoustic, from glitchy structured rhythm to field recording', this is all quite close related to eachother. The differences are small between this lot, which is a drag if you think of it as a compilation, but it makes on the other hand also quite a coherent album. Most of the pieces are warm, glitchy ambient pieces, with sometimes field recordings, sometimes guitar, piano or xylophone, and make a great late night listening affair. Plus it comes with a great, neatly printed cover. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zymogen.net

TIM COSTER - STAR MILL (CDR by Claudi)
The name Tim Coster has popped up before in these virtual pages. He is from those islands down under that are so isolated that if they want to hear experimental music, it's easier to make it themselves than buying import records. So everyone seems to be making music down there. A lot of people from New Zealand play in bands, but there is also a bunch of people who create music through laptops, such as Richard Francis, Mark Sadgrove and Tim Coster. 'Star Mill' is one, thirty-seven minute, piece (in what I believe to be three parts) of music that starts out with some rain like sounds, and from there on things grow with great intensity, building, adding, building, adding. Layer upon layer, until a thick and heavy thunder cloud arises out of which sparks and thunder are discharged. Heavy duty drone music at work. To quite an extent in the field of digital processing, this one, and also more topheavy than some of the other drone workers. Which sets Coster quite nicely apart from the rest of the lot, which is great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.halftheory.com/claudia/

MOUTFUL OF CHERRIES - GOALKEEPER WANTED (CDR by Void Of Oval)
Not much information is found on Goalkeeper Wanted, with their 'Mouthful Of CheRries' - in fact besides that: nothing. Hold on, perhaps it's this: not much information is found on Mouthful Of CherRies, with their 'Goalkeeper Wanted'. A scribbled note reads the following 'void of ovals is a bristol, uk based record label founded in 2005 by cunningham moss. we release genre shattering music and would love you to review these bad boyz'. ouch. But why? If there is no website, physical address, e-mail or information. There is one track, fifteen minutes long of improvised music, quite loud, of a band, playing guitar, drums, bass, and maybe a laptop which seems to be recorded as live and as straight as possible. Actually it's quite nice. Pretty direct in y'r face, postpunk like instrumental improvisation. It's a pity that it's so poor in information, you could think they don't want to sell it. (FdW)
Address: none given

D.B.P.I.T - JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF NOISE (CDR by Deserted Factory)
Me personally I don't like street musicians very much, just as I don't see the point in having music in a store (well, one that isn't a music store of course). So I don't know what I would think of Der Bekannte Post-Industrielle Trompeter (as that's what D.B.P.I.T stands for), whoever he is. It seems that he is a trumpet player, traveling the world, playing on the streets but with one difference from a regular busking artist: he records his music on the street, along with whatever is happening, or just field recordings, on mini disc, video an photo camera or even a mobile phone. These sounds are brought back home and processed. Along his way he gets help from people from Ain Soph, Circus Joy, Kenji Siratori and others. Now that is a concept I like. The trumpet thing should be taken literally here. There many instances of trumpet in the tunnel sounds, to add that natural reverb effect that street musicians like, but which I don't like. The best things on this release is when the trumpet is all silent or pushed to the background, and the field recordings are crudely processed into small looping particles. This isn't 'big' music, not thoroughly composed, but it sounds rather hastily put together, and more would have been possible in some way. One of those things which has good intentions, but suffers from the execution. (FdW)
Address: http://www.desertedfactory.com

ESE - THE SHROOM EXPERIENCE (CDR by Databloem)
Not much information came with this release, which can be found on myspace. ESE stands for Entheogenic Sound Explorers from Milan, Italy and has two core players, Piero Marchesi & Stefano Contini. Their instruments are listed on the cover and includes a whole bunch of synthesizers and drumcomputers. They came together in 1999 in a mutual love for ethnological and ethnobotanical studies. They describe their music as ambient, dub and electronics. Ese did their own field recordings, mainly in Mexico. Things start out in a nice way, bringing back the memories of The Orb, with a nice ambient dub piece. When Ese bring in voices things are quite nice, and they set themselves apart from the usual ambient music around, but it's not something that always happens. On other occasions they are just another good (let's not forget that) ambient band with enough sense of rhythm to prevent the listener from falling asleep. Good, but nothing new. Actually come to think of it, also the pieces which sound like The Orb aren't too new either, but like said, the music sounds well produced and is mostly both entertaining and relaxing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.databloem.com

THE S.U.N.C.D. PROJECT - THE SUN CD (CDR by Kraklisk)
N.STRAHL.N - HEIMWERK//////ODER HACKSTÜCKE (CDR by Kraklisk)
CHEFKIRK - ANALYSIS OF ANXIETIES (CDR by Kraklisk)
A collaboration between Swamp Up Nostrils (a.k.a. Arnfirn Killingtveit) and Cadmium Dunkel (Roar Borge) leads to the S.U.N.C.D. Project and 'The Sun CD'. Both are known players in the field of experimental electronics, having both released a whole bunch of CDRs under a plethora of names and styles. They keep their stuff together here, and here present nine tracks of cosmic music, played on analogue and digital synthesizers that bubble around in a nice and pleasant way. It's however quite a long release, which could have been a greater collection when kept to forty or so minutes. Now it's at times too much a repetition of ideas.
Mario Löhr, also known as N.Strahl.N has also had various releases before, in a variety of styles and qualities, but all under one banner. Here however he presents something that is quite interesting. He uses synthesizer, field recordings, analog and digital manipulations, amplified household objects and tape manipulations. The material here was made as a preparation for a concert he did in Cologne, earlier this year. N.Strahl.n plays dark music, quite loaded with black images, with heavily processed cutlery falling on the floor, although we are not known to recognize this, and the combination with more experimental electronics is quite nice. Easily the best and most interesting release I heard from him so far.
Roger H Smith, Chefkirk, we know him all too well, from his trillion releases under this name. For the first time he tells us about his method of work: 'all tracks are untitled, recorded straight to hard disc. no-input mixer/sp-202'. Although it's chopped up in many separate files, this is more a continuous work of heavy duty feedback music. Sometimes rhythmic, but always noise based. Not a single moment of silence spotted anywhere. It fits the catalogue of Chefkirk, and no doubt he gets more pleasure out of this, than other people hearing it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kraklisk.org

KASPER VAN HOEK - A/B (3"CDR by Heilskabaal Records)
This release comes in two forms: fifteen copies on a 3" CDR and one copy on a 10" - if this isn't art, what is? Kasper van Hoek loves his instruments to be originating from the thrift store - old turntables, old cassette players, reel to reel machines and old vinyl and tapes. The first piece deals with the sound of two skipping turntables with nails as needles. He asks us to guess what's playing. Could be anything, as far as I'm concerned. Boyd Rice's Non springs to mind. Crude, minimal sounds with a great sense of looping, obviously I'd say with the turntable being the instrument. The second piece (might that be 'B'?) is a reworking of a live piece from early 2006, and it's a much more interesting piece of electronics and objects. Things hiss, sizzle, crack in an interesting, intense way, with keeps the tension in this piece alive. It will be part of a larger release by Van Hoek, and rightly so, I think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kaspervanhoek.net

FABIO ORSI - BIRDS ARE SMART, BUT THEY CANNOT SPEAK (3"CDR by The Locus Of)
From the previous releases by Fabio Orsi which we
learned to love him as a true meister of drones from the digital end of the telescope, influenced by say Stars Of The Lid and William Basinski. Here he present a new work, with a bit of a silly title, but I am sure he means well. More drones at the start, but once the work is on the road, Orsi adds some open ended strumming to the table and then slowly thickens the work with more heavy duty drones. Quite nice, and remembering me a bit of the recent work by Machinefabriek, which have that some post-rock-in-combination-with-electronics, moving away from the strict drone work, but also stays a bit away from the space rock (less the drums) of post rock. Nice piece throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://www.assemblage.freeuk.com

 

TOMOROH HIDARI - TODTNAUBERG (MP3 by Indiestore)
HIS NAMELESSNESS IS LEGION - ...THAT NIGHT SHE EMITTED A DIFFERENT SILENCE (MP3 by Mahorka)
Todtnauberg is a small German village where Heidegger wrote his famous work 'Sein Und Zeit', but that's about the only connection to the release by Tomoroh Hidari, but the ever changing 'excretive winds of King Ubu' are the inspirations. Tomoroh Hidari has released music on labels as Isolate Records, Lee, Mekobira and others - even when I never heard of those three. All other information is kept secret, but I believe one Oliver Stummer is behind this. The four tracks presented here rhythmic and dark. Forceful beats that are hardly to dance along too, because the musical background is dark and creepy. The whole thing is a bit too synthetic and remote for me. Chaos rules in these beats, but I pass.
The same Stummer recorded also as His Namelessness Is Legion a MP3 release called '... That Night She Emitted A Different Silence', which I thought was of much more interest. No rhythm on the foreground, but lots of guitars, treated on the computer. Microsound bumps into ambient and industrial music. Densely layered, at times noise based heaviness, digital clicks and droney. The odd thing is however at the end, with '...And The Quick Kill The Dead', with has vocals (sounding a bit like Edward Ka-spel), and could almost pass on as a popsong. Very nice release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.indiestore.com/tomoroh
Address: http://www.archive.org/details/mhrk054