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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 592
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week 36
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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
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!

 

Week 37 will not see a Vital Weekly and we return on wednesday 19th.

SLOW SIX - PRIVATE TIMES IN PUBLIC PLACES (CD by Western Vinyl) *
ALEJANDRA AND AERON - A BILLOWY MASS (CD by Kning Disk)
GLASGOW IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA WITH BARRY GUY - FALKIRK (CD by FMR)
IMCA - IMCA (CD by Absurd) *
LUSINE ICL - LANGUAGE BARRIER (CD by Hymen Records)
GAJ MUSTAFA CELL - WORDS (CD By Louisville Lip)
JUSTIN BENNETT - THE WELL (CD by Spore Records) *
TORNGAT - YOU COULD BE (CD by Alien8 Recordings) *
GINTAS K - 13 TRACKS (CD by Percepts) *
SON OF EARTH - PET (LP by Apostasy)
AT JENNIE RICHIE - RECTUMS MERGING (LP by What We Do Is Secret)
AT JENNIE RICHIE - III (MAXIMUM MINIMALISM EP) (7" by Daisy Cutter Records)
AT JENNIE RICHIE/VERTONEN (cassette by Ready Made Tapes)
AT JENNIE RICHIE/RED SQUIRRELS (cassette by Ready Made Tapes)
RED NEEDLED SEA - OLD RIVER BLUES (CDR by Triple Bath) *
MED.MUD. (CDR, private) *
DITHERNOISE (CDR, private)
ORFEON GAGARIN - NEUMOTORAX S.XX (CDR by Menstrual Recordings) *
AMORPH - ETATS D'ESPRIT (CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
ENV(ITRE) - OKAY (CDR by Boltfish Recordings) *
PSYCHEDELIC DESERT - KESHIKI (CDR by Pharmafabrik) *
JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL. 6 (CDR by Jliat) *
YANNICK FRANK & OLIVIER PÉ - PARAGRAPHE (CD-R by e.mat projet)
MICHEL HENRITZI & TETUZI AKIYAMA - BROKEN BLUES (CDR by Absurd)
M. ROSNER/GARETH HARWICK - SILHOUETTES (CDR by Hello Squarerecordings) *
MORNING STALKER/THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - SILHOUETTES 2 (CDR by Hello Squarerecordings)
TEXTURED BIRD TRANSMISSION - SINGING THROUGH TREES (3" CDR by Dirty Demos) *
N.STRAHL.N - ZEITPAPIER (3"CDR, private)
VOLE - VOLE RADIO 1 (3"CDR by Vole)

SLOW SIX - PRIVATE TIMES IN PUBLIC PLACES (CD by Western Vinyl)
What happens if you combine the traditional rock format with 'homegrown' computer software? That is the question asked by Slow Six from the USA (not specified which part) and they explore that in three lengthy pieces. Not that they all play together: the first piece is for violin, electric guitar, rhodes and computer, the second for violin, rhodes and computer and only in the third there is a violin, viola, cello, two electric guitars, rhodes and computer. No drums. Since the computer software might be 'homegrown' it's also difficult to say what it does, because going by the music, it's very hard to tell. From the outside, the listener, it adds textures to the music rather than adds a whole new instrument, or extensive processing of the band. But according to the liner notes and press text it should be the latter. In that sense it's much more a 'traditional' working of the sound effects than the computer. A bit like the good ol' reverb and delay, except they are used here rather smoothly. It is a nice release, melodic, atmospheric, slow, Arvo Part like, ambient, desert like. Anything but really new or innovative, with or without computer processing. Great sad music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

ALEJANDRA AND AERON - A BILLOWY MASS (CD by Kning Disk)
Alejandra (Salinas) and Aeron (Bergman) debuted in the mid 1990s with a unique combination of Spanish folklore and traditional tales and electro-acoustic/environmental recordings. 'Billowy Mass' consists of 'Campanas' (a reworking of their sound installation from 2001, the first 6 tracks) and 'Billowy Mass' (another installation dating from 2005, the final 2 tracks). Even though there is a track index on this CD, the music sounds like it's one comprehensive composition. Campanas features Spanish spoken word fragments, the sound of bells and snippets of (environmental?) sound, based - like other Alejandra and Aeron works - on Spanish folklore. In ancient times bells often were the only form of communication between people and villages and were used to ward off evil spirits and to warn for heavy storms. Billowy Mass continues this theme as it was recorded during the typhoon season in Taiwan. Even thought they were recorded 4 years apart, the two installations go well together. The Campanas tracks are slightly more subdued compared to Billowy Mass. Combined they make up this rather short (34 minute) CD, which creates a wonderful, often mesmerizing, almost slow-motion ambiance like you're actually in the sound, rather than listening to the sound. A major achievement for Alejandra and Aeron, who, with this release, have made one of their best-ever CDs. (FK)
Address: http://www.kningdisk.com

GLASGOW IMPROVISERS ORCHESTRA WITH BARRY GUY - FALKIRK (CD by FMR)
This orchestra has a history going back to 2002 when it was formed in the context of a workshop with Evan Parker. Collaborations with other reputed improvisors like Fred Frith, Maggie Nichols, a.o. followed. With 'Fallkirk' they team up with bass-player Barry Guy, who directs two improvisations: 'Improvisation GIO,(15:56), a collective improvisation and 'With Gong Game 11/10', a work by Barry Guy. Maya Homburger (baroque violin) was invited as a special guest for this project. The recordings on this cd dates from a concert in october 2005 in Callendar House, Falkirk , after a week of rehearsals. The cd opens with a collective improvisation, that has all 19 musicians participating in a 15 minute excursion. Like other works of Barry Guy, the 'With Gong Game 11/10' is inspired on paintings by Alan Davie who happens to live near Falkirk (graphic score). With Guy directing these improvisations with a graphic score, we have another example here of 'conducted improvisation' comparable to methods used by Butch Morris and John Zorn. During this 50 minute journey freeform parts are changed for more modern classical sounding or swinging interludes. The beginning is furious but gradually the music calms down, giving room to the voice of Nicola MacDonald. Followed by the hornsection who work again in the direction of an other climax. At times the music is hectic and cacaphonic, at other moments it is quite and thoughtful. Different sections of the orchestra take a change in the ongoing battles: horns, flutes, strings, etc. Although it is a lengthy piece, the music remains coherent and together. The orchestra counts 19 musicians that come from very different backgrounds: jazz, improvisation, classical, rock, a.o. Large ensembles playing music like this are rare. So take the opportunity if you are interested. The scottish improvisors do a great job on their third release. The recording is well done. (DM)
Address: http://www.fmr/

IMCA - IMCA (Absurd #62, CD)
I have to admit that I have a love-hate relation with this album. I love the way this album was made. It represents a somewhat bygone musical age, a time with cassettes and without e-mail, when things worked perhaps slower, but perhaps also more intensely. The full story of how the IMCA project (International Musique Concrete Ensemble) came together is told in detail in the CD booklet. In short, in 1990 Frans de Waard started a mail collaboration with John Hudak and Jos Smolders for a cassette on Midas Music, and later a second one with Guido Huebner (of Das Synthetisches Mischgewebe), Ios Smolders and Isabelle Chemin, which was the LP released by Korm Plastics. The basic soundmaterial (created by De Waard) was mailed to the first recipient who would rework the material and mail it to the next recipient etcetera. Thus a network chain was born. The results were released on the original IMCA album, which came on glorious white vinyl and contained an explanatory booklet. The vinyl edition consisted of 98 copies; 77 of these were for the public, 21 for the makers, resulting in the fact that many people knew about it, but only a few actually heard the music. I remember I was supposed to help gluing the covers, but I can't remember if I did in the end. I was given a free copy, so perhaps I did. I love the way this re-release is presented; an old tattered cover of the LP was used for this CD, which gives it a nice archival touch. The booklet is well-designed (by Meeuw), contains some of the original notes and explains the recording process in detail. But now to the music: IMCA is not easy listening, it is in fact a very demanding, electro-acoustic record with extreme dynamics. These dynamics were a bit lost on the original pressing on vinyl, but due to Jos Smolder's remastering these are back in place, which means you'll get to hear the IMCA ensemble as it was meant to be heard. The opening track of the CD still gives me a headache: high pitched feedback shrieks close to the level of irritation. It's hard to listen to this without turning the volume down. Luckily the electro-acoustic/musique concret of IMCA becomes more listenable after the challenging intro. The often dry sounds (dry as in untreated") are combined with long silences, with, at times, sudden blasts of concrete noise. Most of the used sounds seem to have their origin in noise (musique concret) rather than a musical source. Despite the many hands at the wheel of this album, the results are strangely coherent, which is a complement to those involved. In total 10 tracks are indexed, even though it's hard to tell where one ends and the other one begins. IMCA is probably best enjoyed in one long listening session in the right frame of mind. The final 2 tracks, which make up for the final 30 minutes of this CD, feature side A and B from the Midas cassette version with contributions from John Hudak. Here the sound is more traditional industrial if you like, with rhythms and a bit of a Nurse With Wound touch. Not bad at all. This is an important archive release of an album made by adventurous musicians who actually live up to their name. Like back in 1991, I'm not sure if it's musically a classic, but I am very happy to have this in my collection. (FK)
Address: http://www.void.gr/absurd

LUSINE ICL - LANGUAGE BARRIER (CD by Hymen Records)
Since 1999 American composer Jeff McIllvain has been operating under the name Lusine ICL. The number of releases from Lusine is quite impressive. In 2003 I reviewed his album
"Condensed" released by Hymen Records. "Condensed" was a collection earlier works, with much focus on breakbeats combined with warm ambient sounds. Now four years later Lusine ICL has returned with this new album titled "Language barrier". And what a return! The rhythm texture has disappeared leaving only a few traces of clicking pulses. Lusine ICL has in other words taken a step further into the world of ambient sounds. And he demonstrates a very high talent as an ambient sound-explorer. The nine tracks on the album are warm and soothing with a nice feel of melancholia. Dominating part of the album is the use of piano turning the memories towards the modern ambient-classic "Radio Amor" by Tim Hecker. The result is extraordinary! 54 minutes of otherworldly ambience with a nice blend of acoustic sounds, field recordings and abstract sheets of electronic ambience. A highly aesthetic sonic universe, where bits of production and granulated noise melt into warm, repetitive arrangements. This first full-length album in four years from Lusine ICL is unquestionably my greatest ambient-experience of 2007, and it truly deserves to end up as a milestone in the history of ambient. A masterpiece! (NM)
Address: http://www.hymen-records.com

 

GAJ MUSTAFA CELL - WORDS (CD By Louisville Lip)
Out of the variety of bands and artists from the Louisville, Kentucky area that play at making music ranging from folk to hardcore to rap, noise punk group Gaj Mustafa Cell stands tall as being probably the best current and original group in the Louisville vicinity. Yeah, I know, noise punk has been done before and is still being done, but this group has a sound all their own due mainly to the presence of the spastic organ work throughout the whole album. That's right I said organ work. When's the last time you heard an organ in a noise punk band? Clocking in at around 22 minutes, you have 18 tracks worth of rapidly changing, energetic music that is both raw and noisy. The band as a whole sounds tight on the album and they have recently added a bass player that has definitely fattened their sound from their last effort, which was a nice, collectable 7-inch. Words has also benefited from competent studio work and the results are clearly evident from all the GMC members. Finally, I must make mention about the packaging artwork. The CD comes in a digi-pack, and is illustrated with what looks like a mummified cat surrounded by dead roses of which rib bones are used as the flower stems. Nicely done. The album also comes with the lyrics. I would be remiss, if I did not tell you that this album is worth seeking out. (Craig N.)
Address: http://www.gajmustafacell.com

JUSTIN BENNETT - THE WELL (CD by Spore Records)
It has been quiet as far as reviews are concerned by Justin Bennett, it seems as he moved his activities towards the combination of visual arts and music more and more and left the area of releasing music. This new CD will be given away for free, but you'd have to travel to Istanbul and get it, as it is part of the 10th Istanbul Biennial exhibition. Bennett is a man who loves to record the environment, to capture the mood of a city, with a strong love for the arabic one, having already been in Tanger and Beirut. In Istanbul there is a lively social climate, people of the street, talking selling, cars but also there are pipes, tunnels and air-shafts. And wells. Bennett made a whole bunch of recordings inside wells and capture the outside world. A natural transformation of sound. If you have never been to Istanbul, like me, than one can get a clear picture of the city. The business of everyday, it's almost there to smell it. Crafted together, going places ('Engine Room', 'The Well', 'Tünel'), this is perhaps a personal journey for Bennett, but surely one we can enjoy very well. (FdW)
Address: http://spore.soundscaper.com

TORNGAT - YOU COULD BE (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
Surely an odd line up at work here: a drummer, a keyboard player and a french horn, although this trio from Montreal also plays a bit of other instruments. To be honest from the start: I had great difficulty with this. The horn sounded quite similar to Harald Sack Ziegler, but it's embedded here inside what could be classified as post rock. That should not be a problem in itself, but many of the pieces sounded too similar for me and that unified sound became problematic in the end. A few of these up-tempo pieces are quite nice, with melodies partly from the keyboards and partly from the horn. After about six tracks I was well fed, nothing more was necessary. But it could be any number of six, not just the first six. Nice, but too much. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

GINTAS K - 13 TRACKS (CD by Percepts)
After some MP3 and CDR releases, this is the second release on a CD by Lithuanian Gintas K, a work he produced for the Transmediale 2007 exhibition. I am not sure if the pieces are linked together or that they should be seen as standing by themselves. Gintas K is a man behind the laptop screen, where the blocks of sound are neatly organized. Rhythmical music but not to dance to. Head nod music. Your head moves along the rhythm, but not your entire sweaty body on the floor. Some of the more austere pieces around here, remind me of the older Alva Noto such as in 'Ka As Zinau', but in general Gintas K is less organized and less conceptual than the master himself. Which is actually nice, since the thirteen tracks are a pretty varied bunch of music. Always based on rhythm, but at times with a bit more synthesizer/sine wave sounds, different kinds of sounds making the rhythm, this is not always a surprising new look on what was once called clicks 'n cuts, but which stands fully in that tradition, but nice produced with a certain fresh look with some more anarchistic approach. (FdW)
Address: http://www.percepts.info/

SON OF EARTH - PET (LP by Apostasy)
Despite their seven years of existence, and a number of cassettes, CDR, lathe cuts and one split LP, they now release their first real LP. Son Of Earth is a trio of Aaron Rosenblum, Matt Krefting an John Shaw, who all have a long standing career in free, improvised and noise music. In Son Of Earth they all play guitar in the first place, but also other instruments, such as children's toys, radios, scraps of metal, cheap keyboards. Four lengthy pieces at work here of subtle electronics, drones and tinkling guitars, all of which are fed through a wide array of sound effects. Highly atmospheric drone music, but with a nice sense of lo-fi around it, and with a lot of buried tension. A sort of creeping, beneath the earth of monster coming slowly towards you. A great album, that reminded me of some of the New Zealand stuff, even when Son Of Earth is much more subtle, or some of the albums released by Kraak years ago, such as Toss. This is the US noise that I really like, but I wonder if it's ever going to be as big as the other US noise, sadly enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.apostasyrecordings.com/

AT JENNIE RICHIE - RECTUMS MERGING (LP by What We Do Is Secret)
AT JENNIE RICHIE - III (MAXIMUM MINIMALISM EP) (7" by Daisy Cutter Records)
AT JENNIE RICHIE/VERTONEN (cassette by Ready Made Tapes)
AT JENNIE RICHIE/RED SQUIRRELS (cassette by Ready Made Tapes)
Now what is that, my visitor asked me? Well, that's a cassette, to which she asked, who buys tapes these days? That is a good question of course, to which I had no immediate answer other than: the american love it. At Jennie Bird love anything but a proper CD release, judging by this pack. Two cassettes, a 7" and a one sided LP (the other side is silkscreened). Released by various labels this lot, but nowhere any real information on the band. I started with the LP, which has minimalist beat music on it. Not to dance around too, but simple bangs, which were fed through a bunch of sound effects, that gave the music quite a creepy backdrop. Think Goem or Pan Sonic, but then even more minimal. Towards the rest of the piece it seems as if they started using field recordings. Quite nice.
The 7" is a bit more noise based. Scratchy (but that might be the vinyl) and perhaps created with the usual of skipping recordings, this recording especially the b-side is more noise like, a bit like good ol' Non. The a-side is very quiet, almost ambient, and low in threshold of hearing. Both sides sound however different from the LP and lives up to the title.
The At Jennie Richie side of the split tape with vertonen is called 'Infinite Forgotten (Rendered Rectums)' which made me think this is some sort of remix of the LP (or vice versa perhaps), and is a pitched shifted drone piece of a more ambient noise kind. The Vertonen side is more alive with a few loops of electronic and turntable manipulations set against a wall of drones, which eventually get rhythmic. Unfortunately this side lacks a bit of recording quality.
The other tape seems to be a collaboration with Red Squirrel member Jason Young and Irr.App.(ext.) and finds them in the most noisy and uncontrolled area and I thought this was the least interesting of the four releases.
It's a pity that there is no address for any of this. G-I-Y (google it yourself) (FdW)
Address: none given, anywhere

RED NEEDLED SEA - OLD RIVER BLUES (CDR by Triple Bath)
Panos Alexiades's project Red Needled Sea may need no introduction: many of his releases were already reviewed in Vital Weekly. Earlier this year he gave us a release which featured the piano, and 'Old River Blues' takes matters on the piano a bit further. The title is already poetic and the music drifts nicely. The piano is heavily processed in the digital domain and with all the electronic treatments going on, it's sometimes hardly recognizable. Red Needled Sea also add electric guitar, which give more textured layers to the music. Highly ambient in approach, but Alexiades keeps an experimental element alive in his music to prevent it falling into kitschy new age. At times dark, somewhere else things light up, but always it's highly atmospherical. Anything connect with ambient music of Eno and thirty years onwards passes by, except that there isn't a single beat around here. A very fine release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

MED.MUD. (CDR, private)
One Erik Maes, a Dutch musician/video artist presents a work under the banner of Med Mud, which he was commissioned by Oosterse Rijders an artspace from Arnhem, The Netherlands. He writes that he recorded the environment, using 'old lo-fi technology such as old cassette players, dictaphone, webcams and such like' - webcams old? Oh well. It is that he tells us this, otherwise it would be hard to tell. The eighteen tracks are short and span in total not more than forty minutes. The whole thing sounds rather computerized, with all possibilities available used. Time stretching, plug ins running amok, pitch shifting, convolution: the whole lot is used but it also remains a bit too distant for my taste. What does he want? What does this say about the project space he worked in? Couldn't he have made this at home, using two empty coffee mugs? I am slightly overdoing it, but it's hard to see the relation between all of this. The music remains too much an exercise in computer technology and at such is not always appealing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/medmudmusic

DITHERNOISE (CDR, private)
Simon Longo is the man behind Dithernoise. Originally he came from Milan, but is now based in London, where he is quite active with concerts and releases on MP3 and CDR. His main concern 'is investigating reality, concepts, and visuals mediated by computers', and does that since the late 80, being influenced by acid and techno. However these influences are long gone here, but there is an interest in rhythm, that is certain. I must admit that this music didn't do much for me. Especially the longer pieces didn't contain much interesting movements or structures. Whatever sound was put into this, and whatever plug ins were used to transform them, it all remained a bit too cold and distant for my taste. Things were switched on as it were and from then let on running. The shorter pieces, such as the opening 'Electrophysical Soundscape' and 'Afro+vox_blue noise' were more interesting because they were to the point. But throughout this was a bit too long for my taste. Some selection would have been nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dithernoise.net

ORFEON GAGARIN - NEUMOTORAX S.XX (CDR by Menstrual Recordings)
Spanish composer Miguel A. Ruiz is someone who is back on track after a period of absence. In the mid to late eighties he was an active force of the industrial music coming from Spain. Although, I should add that his work wasn't loud or rhythmical, but he was more the 'son' of Tietchens, in a way. Lots of chilling sounds, reverb, and unsettling soundtracks. 'Neumotorax S.xx', released as Orfeon Gagarin (I am never too sure why some is under that name, and some under his own name) in 1988, shows this interest in Tietchens too. A bit like his 'Zwingburgen des Hedonismus' or 'Face To Face': two long pieces of heavily processed orchestral samples, but feeding through a large wall of sound effects and synthesizers, this is quite a loaded atmospherical release. Not bad in it's day, but in these days, sounded quite dated to me. Vague music, too much effects, and dragging a bit on and on. And perhaps Tietchens was always a better and more imaginative. But who knows, since everything always returns and gets a second life, maybe this too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.menstrualrecordings.org

AMORPH - ETATS D'ESPRIT (CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
ENV(ITRE) - OKAY (CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
On Boltfish another brand of new names. Sometimes I wonder if they are all real, or just one person with a split personality disorder. Amorph doesn't sound amorph, but rather structured. Twelve tracks of lush easy techno based music, uplifting rhythms which do not always engage to dance, but which however are always an integral part of the songs and a warm bed of synthesizer sounds. Great music to work to, but if you zoom in on the pieces you will see that the differences between the pieces is really small and that is a bit of a problem I think. Music that is here to entertain the listener, rather than that it demands a lot of attention. Nice though.
ENV(itre) is perhaps more of the same, with marginal differences. Eleven tracks, somewhat more forceable beats and more cosmic synthesizer lines. Great music to work to, but if you zoom in on the pieces you will see that the differences between the pieces is really small and that is a bit of a problem I think. Music that is here to entertain the listener, rather than that it demands a lot of attention. Nice though. Both of them.
Address: http://www.boltfish.co.uk

PSYCHEDELIC DESERT - KESHIKI (CDR by Pharmafabrik)
Not much information here on Psychedelic Desert, which appears to be a trio of Cuckoo on mixer, effects and bass, Ge Fushima on guitar and Pure H on additional processing. They seem to be from Japan. The thing here at hand is a live recording, made in Kobe, Japan. Two long, long long pieces of drone music. Slowly swelling and decaying notes, in the higher region, almost organ music like. Played solemnly and with care. Hard to think this is live music and keeps me wondering about the venue would be like, in my imagination I am seeing a Buddhist temple. Rather than giving this a thorough listening session, one should, at least that's what I think, lie back and let this wash all over you. Like an endless stream of sound. The second piece is perhaps a bit too much in the field of effects, but the first more austere piece is truly beautiful. Very nice work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pharmafabrik.com

JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL. 6 (CDR by Jliat)
Abbey Road. Roxy Music. Sound Of Silence. Merzbox. Umma Gumma. John Cage. Silent Records. Hanatarash. Violent Onsen Geisha. Wolf Eyes? Nietzsche. Lowest Common Denominator. Seven. Oh Superman. In Rock. Rattus Norvegicus. Rumours. Kimono My House. Closer. Hypnotised. Neuengamme. Quiet Life. Replicas. Trance Europe Express. Ace Of Spades. Arrival. Metal Box. Music For Pleasure. Regatta De Blanc. Now That's What I Call Noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.jliat.com

YANNICK FRANK & OLIVIER PÉ - PARAGRAPHE (CD-R by e.mat projet)
"Tender" might be the most appropriate term for the music on this CD-R. It gently puts a velvet blanket over everything around the listener, and seems to be just perfect for pre-autumnal nightfall-moods, when you suddenly realize that yet another summer is gone and days are getting shorter again. Yannick Frank and Olivier Pé utilize what might almost be described as a standard selection of instruments for a darker kind of drone music, including, amongst others, prepared electric guitar, field recordings, voice, objects, a singing bowl and electronics. The resulting tracks are, however, among the most sensitive drone music I've heard recently. They are based on loops of fragmented melodies, which shine and shimmer through diaphanous layers of blurred sounds. Yannick Frank and Olivier Pé know how to keep things interesting throughout, with most tracks ranging from six to ten minutes in length and each one offering a distinct character, while coalescing into a consistent atmospheric stream. Everything moves forward at a very slow pace, and when listening to this music at a low volume at night, the delicate textures gradually begin to mingle with the murmur of everyday sounds around you. This is not the ecstatic or immersive type of drone then, but rather atmospheric music at its most discreet and cosy, yet far away from any esoteric connotation and in all its suggestive beauty there is always a solemn and sober edge to it. (MSS)
Addresses: http://www.olivierpe.be and http://www.myspace.com/yannickfranck

 

MICHEL HENRITZI & TETUZI AKIYAMA - BROKEN BLUES (CDR by Absurd)
Although I'm not a musical expert in any traditional sense of the word, I think about loneliness and misery when I hear blues, or even the word blues. Tetuzi Akiyama and Michel Henritzi are both guitarists, playing the acoustics, as we can clearly hear when their 'Broken Blues' release starts, which they recorded in Osaka, earlier this year. Not with the usual blues like sustain, but picking the strings carefully. However over the course of this piece, they pick up an electric drill, machine screws saw bar, hammer and nails and start banging on the guitars and a general controlled mayhem occurs. I never heard Akiyama doing something this loud, even when for the true noise lovers this is all probably easy stuff. What is the relation to blues? The sadness of a broken relationship made audible, perhaps? I am not sure. But I must admit I quite like the piece in all its furious character. A lot of pain involved here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.void.gr/absurd

M. ROSNER/GARETH HARWICK - SILHOUETTES (CDR by Hello Squarerecordings)
MORNING STALKER/THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - SILHOUETTES 2 (CDR by Hello Squarerecordings)
Hot on the heels on the recent releases on Hello Squarerecordings, here is something new by them. Silhouettes is a series of four discs with each two artists, face to face, with about twelve minutes of music. None of the first four names did ring a bell, but there are certainly stylistically similarities to be spotted around here. On the first release is M. Rösner, who released his work on 12x50, Room 40 and Apestaartje, and who is set to explore here the nature of cello like guitar playing, whereas in his second piece he plays around with feedback and sine waves. His final piece has sampled percussion which is quite loaded with tension. Hardwick comes from England and he plays sampled piano. Sampled not in an entirely digital way, but through those nice food pedals that guitarists use. In his first piece the piano is recognizable, but in the second it could be anything that swells to and from to make a nice drone piece.
On the second volume we first find Morning Stalker, which is Morgan McKellar, guitarist and vocalist of Underlapper, whom I don't know, but his piece here is a nice layered piece of sampled guitar sounds, bouncing around with a lot of delay pedals. As such there isn't much difference with Greg Thaw, also known as The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles. He's from Polaroid Ghost and Jasmine Loop Control. His piece is very similar: tinkling guitars, loops, a bit of feedback and nicely melodic, pleasant ambient music.
On the first the differences work quite well, whereas the similarities on the second one make a pretty coherent release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/heliosquarerecordings

TEXTURED BIRD TRANSMISSION - SINGING THROUGH TREES (3" CDR by Dirty Demos)
My first encounter with Textured Bird Transmission, who had a CDR release on their own Dead Sea Liner last year. No further information is given here, so we have to purely the music, which is exactly quite a surprise. I had Dirty Demos not as a noise label in my little book, but one that released music of a somewhat louder spirit. With Textured Bird Transmission we are all wrong as the four pieces are best pinned down as ambient, with a big A. Heavily and heavenly processed field recordings, bells and voices, music with a slow curve. Something that Brian Eno could be proud of, as this comes close to his first ambient record, but with even more sonic depth. Great but too short release.
Address: http://www.dirtydemos.co.uk

N.STRAHL.N - ZEITPAPIER (3"CDR, private)
Almost in an Aube like way, N.strahl.n comes up with the second release in a series of releases about mass media and for this he uses the newspaper as its prime source. Perhaps unlike Aube, he also adds metal, foil and analogue synthesizer. He recorded four pieces with this which were later mixed together. Ranging from dark, experimental ambient music, via something that is vaguely rhythmic into more musique concrete like to end in the world of experimental ambient again. It's that we know that it has something to do with mass media and newspaper, because going by just the music would be a bit too difficult. Than it would be just mildly interesting experimental music that is not bad, but not great either. Per piece a bit too long for the amount of information it has, but as a backdrop is not bad either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nstrahln.blogspot.com

VOLE - VOLE RADIO 1 (3"CDR by Vole)
This is a 'variety of Brighton improvisers' but Vole didn't think it would be necessary to list any on the cover. Perhaps since it 's 'also' a download, people will check the website. The various pieces, seven in total, were recorded at various radio broadcasts. We hear various windinstruments and some stringed instruments playing quite short dramatic pieces of music that were nice, but in all it's briefness didn't leave a too big of an impression on me. It sort of came and went and you didn't notice it that well. Perhaps a bit like radio at that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vole.info