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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 611
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week 4
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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

before submitting material please read this carefully: http://www.vitalweekly.net/fga.html Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.

* noted are in this week's podcast

JUNKBOY - THREE (CD by Enraptured Records) *
FELIX KUBIN AND DAS MINERALORCHESTER - MUSIC FOR THEATRE AND RADIO PLAY (CD by Dekorder) *
AGF - WORDS ARE MISSING (CD by AGF Producktion) *
BALMORHEA - RIVERS ARMS (CD by Western Vinyl) *
FLUORESCENT GREY - GASEOUS OPAL ORBS (CD by Record Label Records) *
ELEKTRONISK KOMPILATION (CD compilation by Stupid Dream Records)
INCAPACITANTS - EL SHANBARA THERMINOSIS (CD by Segerhuva)
EDWIGE - THE INCONSOLABLE WIDOW THANKS ALL THOSE WHO CONSOLED HER (CDR by Segerhuva)
AUTISTIC DAUGHTERS - UNEASY FLOWERS (CD by Staubgold) *
DINNER MUSIC FOR CLUBBERS (CD by Staubgold)
NOVI_SAD - MISGUIDED HEART PULSES. A HAMMER, SHE, AND THE CLOCK (CD by Tilt Recordings) *
DEDO 3 - RESUMEN DE MOVIMIENTOS (CD by Hronir) *
VICTOR NUBLA - CATALEG D'USOS SIMBOLICS (CD by Hronir)
DOT TAPE DOT - TOMAVISTAS (CD by Other Electricities) *
BAJA - WOLFHOUR (CD by Other Electricities)
FESSENDEN - V1.1 (CD by Other Electricities)
HIJOKAIDAN - POLAR NIGHTS LIVE (CD by Pica Disk)
INCAPACITANTS - BURNING ORANGE (CD by Pica Disk)
TOMASZ KRAKOWIAK - LA CIUTAT ETS TU (CD by Etude Records) *
JOSE LUIS REDONDO - LA RESPONSE EST AUX PIEDS (CD by Etude Records)
ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - EPICYCLE (CD by Etude Records)
YUI ONODERA - SUISEI (CD by And/oar) *
YUI ONODERA - RHIZOME (CDR by Gears Of Sand)
PETER NEWMAN - PAPERHOUSE (DVD by Demux)
WADE MARYNOWSKY - INTERPRETATIVE DANCE (DVD by Demux)
ST.RIDE - ANTOLOGIA DEL MEDIO MONGOHOLI NASI (CDR by Setola Di Maiale) *
KASSEL JAEGER - EE[ND] (CDR by Mystery Sea)
ROBE - TREPANATION (CDR by Outfall Channel) *
CAPITAL HEMORRHAGE - ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION (CDR by Outfall Channel)
TWISTED FAERIE TALES - A [WALNUT + LOCUST] COMPILATION (3"CDR by Walnut + Locust)
GIANCARLO BRACCHI - UNIVERSAL SOUL ADAPTER (3"CDR, private)

 

JUNKBOY - THREE (CD by Enraptured Records)
From the department of music that is not strictly
for Vital Weekly comes Junkboy, a name that sounds like noise, but it's not. Junkboy are two brothers, Mik and Rich Hanscomb with a handful of friends to help them out. References mentioned are Brian Wilson, Elliot Smith, Tortoise, Krautrock. Recording their intimate music at home, this is a heavy folk record or a soft rock record. When they sing it's not so much thing, like the recent Little Wings release (see Vital Weekly 608), with whom they share a similar sound. But Junkboy play longer passages of instrumental music than the aforementioned Little Wings (just to mention a recent reference), which perhaps counts for the Tortoise influence here, which makes this album a bit more enjoyable - in Vitals' more experimental terms - and more experimental. Bells tinkling, horns, flute and lapsteel add a warmth to the music. Even the wordless vocals of 'Held Inside' and the retro guitar/flute solo in there may date back thirty-five years, it makes a wonderful nice tune. A fine combination of post rock, krautrock, folk and singer songwriter material, with enough to love for even the more experimental heads at the Vital HQ. (FdW)
Address: http://www.enrapturedrecords.com

FELIX KUBIN AND DAS MINERALORCHESTER - MUSIC FOR THEATRE AND RADIO PLAY (CD by Dekorder)
The wonder of modern German pop, Felix Kubin that is, hardly makes it into these pages, which of course is a great shame. Armed with his organ and korg he plays popmusic, but ever throughout his career as Kubin, he has been playing music that he was asked to compose for film, theatre and radio. They form an equally important feature in his work. However it's not the music we/you might know him best for. From three of these pieces, the best parts (why not the complete work?) are now released as 'Music For Theatre And Radio Play'. Five pieces for 'Zufall', a theatre piece , six pieces for 'Hollywood Elegien', also a theatre play and eleven pieces for the radio play 'The Raft'. Twenty two pieces in total with a total playing time of thirty nine minutes, makes twenty two short pieces. No doubt dictated by the rules of the theatreplay, but separated from that, it's a bit hard to figure out what these plays are about. There is no extra information on their content and pieces stand by their self.
From uptempo party like music (including
guestmusicians on guitar, saxophone, violin and percussion - the Mineralorchester) to moody, sketch like pieces and semi orchestral pieces like 'Drifting'. The sketch like character of the pieces doesn't make a coherent listening affair and it's hard to tell the difference between the various plays they were composed for. However if you see them a bunch of songs, separated from their original context, this is wild gang of pieces, joyful, sorrowful, funny and hilarious. It shows us a more experimental Kubin who hasn't lost his wit and wisdom. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dekorder.com

AGF - WORDS ARE MISSING (CD by AGF Producktion)
Music by Antye Greie, also known as AGF, didn't make it in Vital Weekly for reasons that will never be known. AGF was once a member of Laub, an electronic pop duo and released solo work on Orthlong Musork, Asphodel, Mixer and since some time on her own AGF Producktion. I lost count what she released so it's a bit hard for me to place her new CD (her fourth solo) 'Words Are Missing' in the larger context of her work. Poetry, vocals, language play an important role in her work, but for this new one words are missing - she uses the voice to create sound and the computer to transform those sounds. In the booklet every track gets a picture - sometimes a photo, but it can also be words, letters or something that could something like that. The music by AGF is highly personal music, in which she puts together personal emotions, feelings and experiences. Yet this is no an entirely closed work, the title of the pieces in combination with the visual aspect give the listener an idea what they are about. 'KZ' (short in German for concentration camp) is based on a visit to Buchenwald when she was sixteen. From her voice she constructs beats, drones, cut up voices are looped and it might be best easy to say her work is click n cuts. Not abstract as with many of her male counterparts, not danceable as related to the dancefloor, yet strong on rhythm, moods and atmospheres. Perhaps sixteen tracks is a bit long, but it's certainly a varied work, sometimes heavy on rhythm, sometimes as quiet as poetry can be. Very nice. I should check out what else I missed from her. (FdW)
Address: http://www.poemproducer.com

BALMORHEA - RIVERS ARMS (CD by Western Vinyl)
Last week we had the chamber ambient (chambient?) music of Mico Nonet, this week another much alike band, from Texas this time: Balmorhea. They operate from a somewhat classical perspective, using guitar and bass along with violin, cello and some piano, but effectively the music is of similar nature. The acoustic guitar is plucked nicely and the four strings strummed carefully. Mood music of the highest kind. It's fits nicely along their Icelandic counterparts of Sigur Ros or some of the other Fat Cat artists, like Max Richter. When the piano kicks in, it reminded me of Wim Mertens. It's all grey and great, this slab of atmospherics. So far so good. The only thing that bothered a bit in the end was that fourteen of these sketchy winter-like music pieces is perhaps a bit too much (nearly an hour in length). After about two-third one (say the average old LP length) I had pretty much enough and wanted to change the tune. That doesn't happen and Balmorhea remains the same throughout, but it's all a bit too much drama. Great, in a smaller dose, nice but a tiring as a whole. (FdW)
Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

FLUORESCENT GREY - GASEOUS OPAL ORBS (CD by Record Label Records)
It's been a while, a long while since we reviewed 'Lying On The Floor Mingling With God In A Tijuana Motel Room Next Door To A Veterinary Supply Store' by Fluorescent Grey, the music project of Jacob Harnigon from California (Vital Weekly 419). Originally his next one was supposed to be released by Isolate Records, who once brought us the debut of Venetian Snares, but the owner Wai Cheng passed away in 2006, so it's now on Record Label Records. In the four years that passed since the previous CD and this new one, it seems that nothing much has changed: still tracks are quite long for a start. When he starts, Harnigon doesn't how to stop, or perhaps it's a strong desire not to stop. The music, as before, is highly rhythmic, from drum & bass patterns to quasi ethnic music - the whole drumkit has been used, wether or not analogue. Things work best when speed is pulled back and elements from dub music come in along with some more experimental sounds. Here too, again, a bit too long. The music could be enhanced when Harnigon would apply more structure to his music, make it more coherent/less chaotic and shorten things down to what he think could be the essence of a piece. In a small dose not bad at all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.recordlabelrecords.org

ELEKTRONISK KOMPILATION (CD compilation by Stupid Dream Records)
Apparently Stupid Dream Records did well with some other acts on their label and time has come to 'handpick' new artists for whom there might be also fame and glory at the end of the road. Trust me: I don't know. When I predict fame, nothing happens, while when I keep stumm all sorts of things happen. Oh well. Stupid Dreams call this 'great, smart and experimental new electronic music', but I mainly hear lots of techno based tunes, from every angle (minimal, elektro, trip hop, dub, club etc) that are hardly experimental. They are electronic for sure, maybe smart and sometimes great. What can be noted is that many tracks have vocals! Lyrics! Catchy tunes! Raps! No doubt, with the right promotion, good fortune and such like, there is cash maker in this lot (Papercut? Discolor?), but throughout this collection is too cheesy for the "real" experimental heads of Vital Weekly, except for the noise of Olle Oljud . Potential would-be millionaires please pay attention here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stupiddreamrecords.com

INCAPACITANTS - EL SHANBARA THERMINOSIS (CD by Segerhuva)
EDWIGE - THE INCONSOLABLE WIDOW THANKS ALL THOSE WHO CONSOLED HER (CDR by Segerhuva)
The Incapacitants release is of a 1995 cassette, which features theremins instead of vocals. and before I continue - two things - anyone interested in the noise genre should get a copy - and secondly - the Incapacitants fall into a different category as far as I'm concerned - being located within a genre which ensues traditional musicology and its associated aesthetics - but anticipating the familiar questions "did I like it - is it good?" the wrong answers would be "yes" and "yes". Anything this pure is beyond ethics in the Nietzchean sense for one - which does mean the previous answers are also not "no", "no". Given limited space, such a work could prompt a book! - within the gestalt the theremins begin as ostensive features which are embroidered into the overall object - which is not an object at all but more molecular that molar - in the Deleuzeian sense, that makes for the differentiation of noise in general, and this release in particular, as being outside the western (molar) hegemony of power, tradition, politics, ethics et al. (maybe that's why punks "like" it too!) - and while still in this -"thousand plateaus" much of the above applies to Edwige - (Mania, The Rita, Sewer Election) a tribute to Edwige French the "erotic film star", this is a re-release of a sold out vinyl- Perhaps "tighter" packed by being a joint collaboration the term "erotic" only politely re-inscribes for comfort the "pornographic" - which again - dismembers (makes the Molar Molecular) the female form as a sex object(s) - or simply three organs (without a body) anathema to the chattering classes' modernist/feminist cliques - reveals a contra - powerful female exploitation of a male seminology. (This) Noise does not communicate, pornography does not procreate. (jliat)
Address: http://www.segerhuva.se

AUTISTIC DAUGHTERS - UNEASY FLOWERS (CD by Staubgold)
DINNER MUSIC FOR CLUBBERS (CD by Staubgold)
Somewhere over the years Dean Roberts moved out of my sight. After his releases for Mille Plateaux, his work as White Winged Moth and other explorations of guitar and electronics, he started to play 'real' songs. It wasn't a conscious decision to loose him out of eye-sight, but it happened. I must have missed the first release by Autistic Daughters, perhaps because it was vinyl only, also on Staubgold in 2004. As Austic Daughters, Roberts (guitar, vocals) teams up with Martin Brandlymayr on percussion and computer and Werner Dafeldecker on guitar and bass, plus a whole bunch of guests, such as Chris Abrahams (The Necks), Martin Siewert and Valerio Tricoli. This is singer-songwriter music, stripped to the very essence of music. Not a note or sound too many and lots of silence. Not real silence, but just a few sounds that go on. Imagine some of the more subdued moments of say Kapital Band 1 or Trapist but then with lyrics, which are likewise sparse. The music is played in what seems an improvised manner, but also carefully planned when it came to mixing the music. It's simply great stuff. I know I rant against the speaksinging, singer songwriters and such like, but here it sounds lovely. Maybe it's the grey rainy day that has put me in a melancholic state.
Also on Staubgold is a mix CD by one Peter Grummich, a DJ from Berlin who is a party animal and records for Shitkatapult and Kompakt, but here takes hold of the Staubgold catalogue to create a mix CD that can be played before going to a party or after - chill out music. Which is the perfect thing on a sunday afternoon - in my case - waking up, drinking coffee and get last night's party - ending 5 o'clock this morning - out of my system. I have no idea in what way the pieces are edited or changed. I put it on, drink more coffee and relax reading a book - 'Who Killed Martin Hannett' - in my case. Once the CD is done, I feel more relaxed, hop back to the computer and write these lines. All the usual Staubgold suspects are here: To Rococo Rot, Sack Und Blumm, Rafael Toral, Reuber, No Neck Blues Band, Alejandro Franov, Kammerflimmer Kollektief and such like. A post party pill that you can't swallow, but makes you feel good. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

NOVI_SAD - MISGUIDED HEART PULSES. A HAMMER, SHE, AND THE CLOCK (CD by Tilt Recordings)
The underscore in the name Novi_sad marks the difference with the other Novisad in the field of music. This is the work of a Greek guy that goes by the name Thanasis Kaproulias, I believe his debut. It's not a recent release, but due to some mix up it finally landed on my desk. Three long pieces of what can be best (well, easily) be described as computer drone music, made with field recordings. Thickly layered drones open up in 'Everything Looks Better Beside Water', that also carries some sampled percussive sound. Somewhere towards the end a violin like sound is added with irregular intervals. This is continued in the other two tracks, although in the final piece there is also a female voice telling a story. Perhaps some of the pieces are a bit too long and a bit more roughly shaped than say Roel Meelkop or Marc Behrens, this is a missing link between the current microsound trend and some of the 80s ambient industrial music. A very promising start! (FdW)
Address: http://www.novi-sad.net/

DEDO 3 - RESUMEN DE MOVIMIENTOS (CD by Hronir)
VICTOR NUBLA - CATALEG D'USOS SIMBOLICS (CD by Hronir)
Music by Victor Nubla has been around for a long time, in my case ever since I bought 'El Secreto Metro' cassette in the mid 80s and which I no longer have. With long irregular intervals, Nubla still releases his music, sometimes alone or with bands. One of them is Dedo, of whom 'Avatar' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 483. The line up of Dedo has changed from Nubla and Pau Torres to Nubla (sampler, electric clarinet), Angelica Sanchez (vocals), Ignacio Lois (keyboards) and Txema Gonzales (ancient flutes and percussion). More than on 'Avatar' there is now a unified sound for Dedo, incorporating what seems to me (no expert here) ancient spanish music (mostly through the singing, wind instruments and percussion) with electronic music, but unlike Zavoloka and Akkord-I-On, the electronics is not updated to the world of glitch and microsound, but stayed close to the world of dark electronic music of the 80s - say Lustmord, Rapoon, Zoviet France. That's a bit of a pity I think, since it could have sounded a lot fresher if they would have looked for more new means to create the music. Also the mix could have been more surprising: it stays too much on one dynamic level now. A pity since there is more in here than what is explored now.
On Nubla's latest solo offering, 'Cataleg D'Usos Simbolics', Nubla just plays the clarinets (four different ones, not all at the same time) and various multi-effects machinery (the ART multiverb EXT and Zoom 1204 and 7010, if you insist on knowing). Fifteen pieces, divided in five groups with each three pieces. The sound of clarinet is an acquired taste, I think. It's not always easy to tell what the effects do to change the sound, which at times give the clarinet a rather dry effect. I must admit that I liked those tracks best which had a lot of transformations to the sound, and less the 'dry' tracks (perhaps it's because a former neighbor of mine practiced this instrument too much and I sort of a natural resentment against the instrument), but when transformed Nubla plays quite interesting, abstract pieces of clarinet and electronics - almost in a modern classical vein. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hronir.org

DOT TAPE DOT - TOMAVISTAS (CD by Other Electricities)
BAJA - WOLFHOUR (CD by Other Electricities)
FESSENDEN - V1.1 (CD by Other Electricities)
My first encounter with the label Other Electricities is a most pleasant one. It's the welcome of the first CD by Fessenden and the first encounter with Baja and Dot Tape Dot. The latter to start with is a project of Daniel Romero from Asturias Spain (and not to be confused with Damien Romero) who wanted to create music and found he didn't have much money, so he decided to use toy instruments and field recordings, which are all recorded in a lo-fi manner. I am quoting the press text here, since I find this hard to believe, as the CD doesn't sound at all lo-fi. "Tomavistas" collects pieces from the years 2002 to 2007 and is a very nice release of naive, childlike electronic music, much along the lines of Sack & Blumm or other German counterparts. It has a great sense of popmusic, glitch and sounds lovely. Some of the pieces could have been a shorter, but the somewhat crude composing methods give this release quite a nice edge, that makes it a little bit different the others in lullaby land.
Baja is also an one-man project by one Daniel Vujanic and Wolfhour is his third album. In some ways there is a link to Dot Tape Dot, but Baja is more tighter, less naive, less abstract/chaotic and more straight forward in composing. His music is held together by drums that are partly broken jazz rhythms, poppy and techno. On top he layers the cake with guitar, organs and electronics. Eclectic music this is, swinging - literally - all over the place. Jazz, pop, rock, free improv even it all passes with great ease by the listener. My reference book is a bit low here - although I don't see This Heat and Faust fitting in, like the label tells us - but Sea And Cake or Kammerflimmer Kollecktief: why not? Fun, feel good music in which a lot of small surprises are hidden, but if listened to superficially, this can make the listener quite happy.
Fessenden is last. This trio of Joshua Convey (bass, electronics), Stephen Fiehn (guitar, electronics) and Steven Hess (drums, percussion, vibraphone, electronics) do something different than Baja and Dot Tape Dot. Improvisation is at the core of their music, but not at the end of the road. They record everything they do and play around with the recordings before we hear them. Composed from improvisation. So far they had a couple of releases on Entr'acte, Chat Blanc (which they recorded with Keith Berry) and Stasisfield, but 'v1.1' is their first full length CD release. Overall, their music is highly atmospheric, even when there are outbursts in sound, such as in 'Peak V/Z*sin', the final track of the CD, but that is a rarity. Usually their sound is more like a continuos stream, in which things rise up, take shape and move away, like watching the sea. On the whole it looks the same, but close by it has all sorts of different looks. In a piece like 'Mid-Swing' they give new meaning to the world minimal techno, in a slow but moving shaker of a piece. Fessenden has succeeded in making a great debut album with their original blend of improvisation, composition, musique concrete and rock music. Very nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.other-electricities.com

HIJOKAIDAN - POLAR NIGHTS LIVE (CD by Pica Disk)
INCAPACITANTS - BURNING ORANGE (CD by Pica Disk)
(Lasse Marhaug's new label released the above recorded live at All Ears festival in Oslo - both have a mixed line ups - Jojo and Junko performed as a Hijokaidan for track one (No Oslo No Harm ) of their disk - the subsequent two being Jojo with guitarist Per Gisle Galåen (Book Of Changes) and Junko with Sten Ove Toft (Le Rayon Verte), whereas the other disk has Incapacitants - Fumio Kosakai and T.Mikawa on track one (Orange Smoke), followed by (Out Of Schnaps ) by "Fumio Tommiakawa" who are- Kosakai and T.Mikawa with Tommi Keränen.) Coherance (what I mean here is all at onceness) cannot communicate, only difference can, whatever communication is, if it exists at all - noise does not communicate - it is the problematics of any communication system (Nyquist-Shannon law), it is immanent - not delayed - not teleological, neither signifier or signified ergo common to both these disks is a remarkable demonstration, both opening tracks of Hijokaidan and Incapacitants are noise, and the others in their interplay *are not* - do communicate, they are the arch human tendency to represent (by interplay, recognition, pulse, improvisation, desire, becoming, binaryism ) and so differentiate from the "throwness" (a bad word) of noise. Remarkably both CDs demonstrate this gulf and they are worth listening to for this apart from the excellence of the performances - though excellence is of course a singling out -we can predicate the non-noise works - even anticipate- as an audience member obviously does! on Le Rayon Verte (almost classically silly!) - and can not of course hope to represent the - un-representational of the totalising presence of the noise works of Hijokaidan and Incapacitants - again - ambiplasma - organs without bodies the Meer der Brustwarzen of the Ephesian Artemis. (jliat)
Address: http://www.picadisk.com

TOMASZ KRAKOWIAK - LA CIUTAT ETS TU (CD by Etude Records)
JOSE LUIS REDONDO - LA RESPONSE EST AUX PIEDS (CD by Etude Records)
ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - EPICYCLE (CD by Etude Records)
Three new releases on Etude Records from Barcelona, home of 'experimental and obscure sound archives'. The first is by Tomasz Krakowiak who was born in Poland but currently lives in Toronto, Canada. He is a percussion player and composer/improviser, in the latter capacity he played with all the usual suspects such as Kaffe Matthews, Gert-Jan Prins, Phil Minton and many more. I am not sure, but it seems that this is a work of multi-tracking music. Krakowiak doesn't limit himself to the percussion kit, but uses any sound that can be applied in a rhythmical manner. At times it seems like Krakowiak is scratching the surface and I mean this literally: rubbing the microphone over the carpet in a rhythmical fashion along with playing percussion. Krakowiak makes strong compositions, combining the kit with electro-acoustic sounds and very few, it seems, electronic processes. He also manages to get in a great amount of variation: from loud and noisy bits to almost melancholic drone like in 'o_vbrdub'. An exciting work of resonating sounds, rhythmical explosions and fine interaction.
Jose Luis Redondo is also a new name for me, and he plays string instruments, like Dobro, banjo, electric guitar, piccolo bass etc. He is from Barcelona and worked with local groups ranging from jazz/space/cabaret to irish/funk music and 'La Response Est Aux Pieds' is his first CD. I must say I found his CD less surprising. It reminded me of myself. Whenever I see a guitar, an instrument which I have never ever mastered in any way, I must pick it up, and pretend to be a guitarist, strumming whatever nonsense accord I can think, plucking the strings what is not making a melody. I am not saying that Redondo is the same, I'm sure he's an accomplished guitarist, but his pieces aren't great. Especially in those places where plays blues like schematics, in 'Devine A Qui Je Pense?', we hear the amateur improviser, wanting to create sound, but doesn't know what makes a fine improvisation. Some parts, which were more abstract were better, but there is also seems he has picked up the technique of improvisation, but not yet the imagination.
Sometimes entirely and completely different is the release by Alfredo Costa Monteiro, who is more a composer than an improviser like the other two. Perhaps composer is also not the right word, sound artist would be more appropriate. His work sometimes deals with installations and take a concept as a starting point. 'Epicycle' is 'for voice processing' - we read on the cover as it's hard to imagine voices in the mass of sound. Deep bass, sudden changes, high pitched sounds - nothing here that sounds like a voice. Although divided in larger blocks of sound, the rapid changes that happen every now and then, make this a surprising work. If you like Ilios, Francisco Lopez or Carl-Micheal von Hauswolff then Monteiro's austere sound collage of the voice being transformed into an electrical power plant should be up your alley too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.etuderecords.com

YUI ONODERA - SUISEI (CD by And/oar)
YUI ONODERA - RHIZOME (CDR by Gears Of Sand)
In general terms there are two ways of approaching a new product when starting to review. First is to take it face value: is the music good? And take nothing else in account. The other is to take the rest of what the musician in account and/or place it in a larger reference. Is it good what he does now, and in what way fits this his work, and how does it relate to what else is done in similar direction. If you paid attention over the last twenty-two years (Vital started in 1986 as a magazine), then you know I am very much a reviewer that searches for the second approach: is it new, how does it relate to the rest of the work and the scene where we can find the artist in. This is a long introduction, which could no doubt be longer, about these two new works by Yui Onodera. We have reviewed him before and we learned to know him as someone who treats field recordings on his computer in minimal, sketch like soundscapes with little movements per piece. On 'Suisei' he has only one, forty minute piece, 'composed from environmental sound and pump organ' and it fits what he know of him. Despite being one piece, it has various parts through he moves. Whatever environmental sound is in there is hard to tell, save perhaps for some rain sounds and also the pump organ is heavily treated. In the world of Onodera nothing new under the sun, and something can be said of his role in the endless amount of 'field recording computer/microsound artists'. When we look from it the first approach of reviewing, then this is a great work. Calm, quiet, moving, atmospheric: non harsh ambient/drone music of a refined nature.
About 'Rhizome' we can pretty much say the same thing when it comes to the first approach of reviewing, except that it's divided here into seven different pieces, like some of his previous releases. Shorter pieces, a bit more loop based than 'Suisei', but throughout - again - no news. No big deal, since it's beautiful too - the kind of music I play a lot. Onodera here uses, besides the field recordings, piano, electronics, guitar and voice - and some of these are clearly recognizable, unlike the pumporgan on 'Suisei'. A very fine work also this one, but for thrill seekers finding out new movements in microsound, this is all perhaps a bit too much of commonplace. (FdW)
Address: http://www.and-oar.org
Address: http://www.gearsofsand.net

PETER NEWMAN - PAPERHOUSE (DVD by Demux)
WADE MARYNOWSKY - INTERPRETATIVE DANCE (DVD by Demux)
Demux is a new DVD-label from Australia, devoted to "promoting live audio-visual performance events, documentation and experimental works for screen." The first two entries in their catalogue are from Australian filmmakers Peter Newman and Wade Marynowsky, respectively.
Newman's "Paperhouse" presents highly atmospheric images, usually on the brink of being non-representational, however with enough suggestive potential to produce ever changing sets of haunting visual associations. From the nerve wrecking flicker of "Rosebud" to "The Waking Instant's" minimalist impressions of a tropical thunderstorm and the exploration of minimal textures in "Mesh - P.I.V. 7", "Paperhouse" blends an interest in abstraction and the material aspects of film with a romantic sensibility. In some aspects Newman's aesthetic brings to mind the visual experiments of the 1960s and in particular the work of artists such as Stan Brakhage, but he manages to add a digital characteristic to it, while maintaining the organic qualities that are so typical of many classics of experimental cinema. The soundtrack matches the visual part pretty well throughout. Mostly drone-based and minimal, with a dark grounding and occasional held back rhythms or noisy outbursts, it reflects both the images' psychedelic character and their digital quality. Maybe it wouldn't be that exciting on its own, but the images wouldn't be either, and that's how it should be, after all. In "The Waking Instant" the music gets somewhat pathetic in conjunction with the images, but that is still all right with me. The only real dropout is "The 5.19", which is based on found-footage from television. It doesn't go along well with the other films on a formal level, and above all it relies too much on the visual attractions generated by loads of plug-ins.
Marynowsky's "Interpretative Dance" collects mostly recordings from live AV-performances. The first clip I saw was "Geek from the swamp" a parody on people sitting behind their laptops and pretending to do something interesting while they actually just rearrange preset sounds and images. Aesthetically the other films continue in this vein, however it soon becomes apparent, that they are not at all as ironic as the aforementioned. The problem is that Marynowsky actually loves processing his images with lots of plug-ins, without being too critical about the results. This sounds like a hard verdict and maybe things aren't that bad if you aren't as prejudiced against the bulk of digital arts as I am, but seeing the flashy colors, 1990s-like animations and digitally blurred footage in these films didn't really convince me to watch them more than once. I did watch some of these films more than once nevertheless, just to make sure that my first impression was not all wrong. It turned out I shouldn't have been so rude in my initial judgment, but still I either don't get the point here, or showing a koala with multicolored rotating spirals in his eyes is really not funny, just as presenting highly abstracted images of quiet outdoor scenes, accompanied by soft ambient sounds is really not engaging. (MSS)
Address: http://www.demux.org

ST.RIDE - ANTOLOGIA DEL MEDIO MONGOHOLI NASI (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
It seems that St.Ride gets more and more active through releases. Also it seems that there is now a third member: Mongoholi Nasi on guitar, vocals and reeds, next to Maurizio Gusmerini on rhythms and effects and Edo Grandi on rhythms and effects. This expansion has certain repercusions for their music. Tracks are, here at least, very short, just somewhere between one and two minutes, and are clearly improvised - perhaps so far nothing new, but there is a stronger emphasis on using vocals and trying to play some sort of crazy, almost pop tune but all in the strict boundary of improvised music, which makes an odd combination, but actually one that also works. The vocals are without words, producing sounds along the lines of say Jaap Blonk or Phil Minton, but the chopped rhythms and effects make this less strict improvised and more pop-like. At only seventeen minutes this is a most curious little item. Quite a strong leap forward. (FdW)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net

KASSEL JAEGER - EE[ND] (CDR by Mystery Sea)
Ah, a new kid on the block! I never heard of Kassel Jaeger, of whom I only know he works as a sound engineer for GRM in Paris. I don't know if this work was realized over there using the elaborate tools at hand, or perhaps worked on it privately. I am no expert when it comes to software and such like, but it seems to me that there is a fair use of what is developed over there. I must keep on guessing, as to the sound input, which seems to me field recordings, which are heavily processed. None of the sounds in any of the five tracks can be easily traced back to it's original form. The end result is what counts of course and the endresult may be heard! In trying to change the underworld of deep sea life, Jaeger has something new on offer that sets him apart from his peers. His music is somewhat louder and grittier than others. A bit more noise based, although this is still far away from Merzbow. At the same time it's not ambient industrial, but rather more academic in approach, even when the compositions themselves are not like serious computer avant-garde. You get my drift? Jaeger's music moves between the lines, off side microsound (too loud), off side noise (too soft) and off side musique concrete (the pieces are too minimal). This all makes this a highly interesting release. Rough and not entirely refined, this is certainly also an odd ball for this label! (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

ROBE - TREPANATION (CDR by Outfall Channel)
CAPITAL HEMORRHAGE - ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION (CDR by Outfall Channel)
Both of these releases don't have that much information. Nothing on Robe actually, except the tracktitles and the fact that is was recorded in 2006. Whatever it is that Robe uses is hard to tell. My best guess is that he uses radio waves fed through analogue synthesizers which are all tuned down to the lowest bass possible, perhaps with the addition of some sound effects. There isn't much difference in the six tracks on offer here. A slow sound that rattles, seems to break and rumbles along the depth of the earth. Ground sounds. Quite nice, but because of the lack of variety and the length of it all, perhaps a bit too much of a repetition. The lengthy 'After Three Weeks, Shiny Black 1' could have been skipped and saved the release. Nice cover actually.
Capital Hemmorrhage is a guitar and percussion player, Jonathan Prunty and Ryan Faris. It was recorded live to four track it says and it lists eight tracks but there is one on the CDR. Twenty four minutes in total of improvised music, crude, loud, quiet, soft. Capital Hemmorrhage move all over the place. Hard to see it as eight separate tracks but as one whole it is a concentrated outburst of energy. The guitar is scraped, goes out to feedback and explored for tonal qualities. The drums support that and seem to be less explored than the drums. It plays wild, free tunes. For those who loved wild free and sheer improvisation, this is a fine stop. (FdW)
Address: http://www.outfallchannel.com

TWISTED FAERIE TALES - A [WALNUT + LOCUST] COMPILATION (3"CDR by Walnut + Locust)
Following 'Delicatessen: A Taste Of [Walnut + Locust]' (see Vital Weekly 598, the label now produces another compilation 3"CDR from an altogether different angle. The seven pieces here are more from a 'serious' electro-acoustic music. Each of the seven artists takes a certain amount of sounds and then transform them inside the bits and bytes of the computer. The opening by Aidan Baker is quite strong, and also the piece by Alexandre St-onge. After that it's all a bit less great I think, ending the almost gothic approach of Seven Morgues, which reminded me of Ain Soph. Other artists are .cut & Friends, Famecia, Pine Tree State Mind Control and Whilst. Perhaps it's the brief character of the songs that makes it hard for the listener to get into. But it could always serve as an introduction for those on the lookout for new music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.walnutlocust.com

GIANCARLO BRACCHI - UNIVERSAL SOUL ADAPTER (3"CDR, private)
The name sounds Italian, but he's from New York and we came across him before when reviewing his duo Thick Wisps. This release is too old to be reviewed for Vital Weekly, so I'll keep it brief. There is just one piece of guitar sounds, layered to drone nicely. Some parts are played in reverse. There may be the addition of a loop of a synth. Once the train is going there is not much change anymore, until the sixteenth minute break when the guitar plays starts to play solo's. That was a bit of a pity. The whole thing is about half too long. It could have a stronger impact when kept around ten minutes. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/giancarlobracchi