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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 613
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week 6
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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

 

C.C.C.C. - CHAOS IS THE COSMOS (CD by Cold Spring)
SOUTH SATURN DELTA - EXPERIENCE THE CONCRETENESS (CD by Cold Spring)
TALVEKOIDIK - SILENT REFLECTIONS (CD by Brume Records)
THERMIDOR - 1929 (CD by Brume Records)
ANKITONER METAMARS (CD by G3G Records) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - RANONKEL (CD by Burning World Records) *
SILVIA FÄSSLER & BILLY ROISZ - SKYLLA (CD by Editions Mego) *
OSSO EXOTICO & Z'EV (CD by Crouton Music) *
KYBERNAUGHTY - OBIEKT (CD by Flyco)
RASPUTEEN - DIE SEGNUNGEN DER NEUZEIT (CD by Bazooka Joe)
DAVOR MIKAN - TAUSCHUNG (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
I/O - POLYTONE (CD by Fratto9)
TANAKE - 3REE (CD by Fratto9)
ELSE JUSTEL - MATS (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
MARTIN LECLERC - HORIZONS DU SILENCE (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
PAUL BRADLEY & CRIA CUERVOS - MORAINES II (CD by Small Voices) *
CRIA CUERVOS - IL XUNX (3"CDR by The Locus Of)
TROUM - SEN (2LP by Equation Records)
RLW - CONTOURS IMAGINAIRES (10" by Drone Records)
THE YELLOW MOON BAND - MAYBACH (7" by Static Caravan)
THE ACCIDENTAL - KNOCK KNOCK/BRAVE NEW WORLD (7" by Static Caravan)
SMILE DOWN UPON US (3"CDR by Static Caravan)
FEDERICO BARABINO/CHARLES RICE GOFF III - METAMORFS (CDR by Taped Rugs Production) *
TAUS - THE ORGAN OF CORTI (CDR by L'Innomable) *
DEADWOOD/RED NEEDLED SEA - SPLIT SERIES #3 (CDR by Dirty Demos)
SPOONO - SEA BREEZE (CDR by Dirty Demos) *
MACHINIST - BLACKBLOCK (CDR by Heilskabaal Records) *
BJERGA/IVERSEN - THE WORLD OF PRETEND IS A CAGE, NOT A COCOON (CDR by Heilskabaal Records)
AHD + RAVEN - STRAIN THIN FEVERS (CDR by Sonora)
I/C/O/C - PARASITIC CONCUBINE (CDR by Sonora)
EYE - THE DRESDEN CODEX (CDR by Sonora)
JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL.11 (CDR by Larks Council Of England)
PARMA DAY - NUSSBAUMS HEAND (2CDR/1DVDR by Tosom) *
JORIS J - OCHRANA BIRTH (3"CDR by Tosom)
SEBASTIAN ROUX - URBAN FIELD MUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
BIDIBOP - URBAN FIELD MUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick) *
GAS - GAS 0095 (MP3-album by Microscopics)
BAZTERRAK & VALVERDE & XEDH - SUBGRAVITY RADIO HANGOVER (MP3 by Mastertoaster Recordings)
IZARZUGAZA & TUSURI & XEDH - BARNE HOTSA (MP3 by Idiosyncratics Records)
BAZTERRAK & VALVERDE & XEDH & IZARZUGAZA - FREMDSPRACHEN (MP3 by Clinical Archives)

 

C.C.C.C. - CHAOS IS THE COSMOS (CD by Cold Spring)
SOUTH SATURN DELTA - EXPERIENCE THE CONCRETENESS (CD by Cold Spring)
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of reviewing two folk-based albums from British label Cold Spring Records. It was Von Thronstahl's latest effort "Sacrificare" and the excellent compilation "John Barleycorn Reborn". Now it's time for a radical change in stylish expression from the impressively musically wide spanning Cold Spring label. As you probably know Japan is the place to be if you're searching for ear-shattering symphonies of noise. Two new albums from Cold Spring present some of the Japanese noise-legends. First album is by Mayuko Hino and husband Hiroshi Hasegawa operating under the project C.C.C.C. (shortage of "Cosmic Coincidence Control Center") with contributions from Fumio Kosakai (Hijokaidan & Incapacitants) and Ryuichi Nagakubo (Tangerine Dream Syndicate). Having been active since 1991, this album is their first release in more than ten years. Previous effort was the "Flash"-album released back in 1996. The C.C.C.C.-project is first of known (or rather notorious) by the shocking live performances that earlier included onstage striptease and the throwing of urine-filled plastic bags into the audience. "Chaos Is The Cosmos" consists of one single track running 40+ minutes. Despite its length there is a great development in the piece. Main part of the noise creation consists of guitar distortion and keyboard generated noise with the addition of vocals from Mayuko's peaking with some hellish screams of fright. A great album that definitely has been worth the long wait! Second album is one hell of a joint venture. Three of Japnoise-scene's true legends emerge under the name "South Saturn Delta" to crush the brain of the listener with an hour of ear-shattering harsh noise. Maso Yamazaki known as Masonna is the composer. He is assisted by Hiroshi Hasegawa (a.k.a. Astro) and C.C.C.C. both responsible for keyboard and voice inferno. The album titled "Experience the concreteness" consists of four live recordings from the period 2003-2005, recorded at various locations in Japan. That Masonna is the brainman behind "Saturn South Delta" becomes quite clear during this noise trip with quite a few elements turning the memories back to Masonna's album "Frequency LSD" (Alien8 Recordings, 1997) with the excellent trippy noise passages based on ongoing repetitive noise loops. The frequent use of drumwork and guitar-noise gives associations to early krautrock or Japanese psychedelia in the style of Acid Mothers Temple. Two excellent noise-albums that proves that there is plenty of explosives in the underground of Japanese culture to let Japan defend its title as the true kingdom of Harsh Noise. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

TALVEKOIDIK - SILENT REFLECTIONS (CD by Brume Records)
THERMIDOR - 1929 (CD by Brume Records)
Brume Records is a French label covering a wide spectrum of experimental electronic music including dark ambient, power noise and everything in-between. The label established back in 2000 has a great release-catalogue with albums from interesting acts such as Flint Glass, Oil 10 and others. The two present releases is a good example of the quality standard of the label. First album comes from German musician Kai Christian Hahnewald, also known as the founding member of the S.K.E.T.-project that has had a couple of releases on German Power Noise label Hands Productions. The new project by Kai is called Talvekoidik. "Talvekoidik" is the Estonian word for a foggy, winter-like atmosphere. Apparently not an accidental choice of name, with an expression that blends atmospheric orchestral-based IDM with harsh Industrial-based rhythm textures and gloomy ambience. The result is impressive and definitely quite unique. Especially the inclusion of folk music expressions from a number of cultural traditions makes it unusual. Favorite track on the album is the awesome track titled "Rough Baltic Shore" consisting of atmospheric ambientscapes mixed up with various ancient folk sounds from flute to sack-pipes assisted by great rhythm structures below. Awesome track and a very intense album. Similarly intense, yet remarkably darker is the solo-project "Thermidor" by Portuguese artist J. Olivier. Similar to the aforementioned album by Talvekoidik, the debut album of Thermidor titled "1929" has some associations back to the musical culture of the historical past, but where Talvekoidik was folk-inspired, Thermidor is more orchestral based and more pompous in expression. Another sharp contrast to the Talvekoidik-project is the complete lack of rhythm textures on "1929". The album is ambient music of the dark kind entirely based on gloomy and melancholic ambience built on solemn electronic soundscapes, distant voice and vocals, buzzing noise drones and with momentarily occurrences of acoustic sounds of piano and clanging bells. "1929" is a dark and sinister trip back to the early days of 20th century. Very intense! (NM)
Address: http://www.brumerecords.com

ANKITONER METAMARS (CD by G3G Records)
If the word 'crooning' means the same for you as it does for me, then the word 'crooner electronica' might be as alien for the both of us. Ankitoner Metamars is Anki Toner (of Superelvis) and Javier Pinango (of Cerdos, Mil Dolores Peguenos, Destroy Mercedes, Druhb), both of them and their other bands unknown to me. Seven songs of crooner electronica on their album. They play electronic keyboards, heavy loops of rhythm, in a noise rock vein, and the vocals do not always croon, but its sung rather flat. Loud but flat. Like crooning, I guess. I was thinking of Scott Walker, of Suicide, of Philip Quehenberger - but Ankitoner Metamars certainly have something of their own. The songs are rather long, but at the same time also something hypnotic in these lengthy songs. Take for instance the opening of 'My Name Is', with some scraped violin, fading into spooky organ sounds, and the voice crooning 'my name is not, my name was what your name will be', while a heavy rhythm bangs away. Is it strange that the cover Leonard Cohen's 'Hallellujah'? Not at all. It fits just perfect. Lydia Lunch is starred on one track. Perfect nightmare music on this strangely compelling album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.g33grecords.com

MACHINEFABRIEK - RANONKEL (CD by Burning World Records)
As a sort of (sick?) joke I was thinking one could open a music store called 'M' - obviously 'M' for 'music', but also for Merzbow, Muslimgauze and Machinefabriek - three acts that have been or still are very active on the release front. Just sell bands whose names start with a 'm'. Machinefabriek is the youngest of these three working musicians (although of course one of them is no longer making music) and after some searching, a search we all witnessed via his stream of 3"CDR releases, Rutger has found his sound, also already for some time. The six pieces on 'Ranonkel' (which seems like a Dutch word, and probably is, but I have no idea what it means) could all be pieces that we heard before on the 3"CDR format, but they have reached a more matured form in the versions presented here. Using guitar, effects, vinyl and laptop, Rutger Zuydervelt creates highly atmospheric pieces of music, like he always does. His previous effort, the soundtracks to films for the Rotterdam Film Festival, wasn't so much of my liking but on 'Ranonkel' he more than makes up. These are strong pieces again, varied in approach, although all centered around the notion of dark atmospheric music, each of them has their own approach. I wasn't too pleased with the use of reverb in the opening 'Trouringh' but in the following 'Stofstuktoon', hints of melody arise from the mass of sound and is a great piece. A very fine work, again! (FdW)
Address: http://www.burningworldrecords.com

SILVIA FÄSSLER & BILLY ROISZ - SKYLLA (CD by Editions Mego)
Maybe you encountered the name Billy Roisz before? That might very well be possible, as he is part of Efzeg, the Viennese group in which he started as the man of the visuals, but also started playing music. Here, on his first release with Silvia Fässler (who has 'various curatorial roles' in the Viennese subculture', which is all the information we get thrown), Roisz plays computer and turntable, no doubt in this order, judging by the music. Fässler plays computer, electronics and guitar, also no doubt in this order. The computer seems for both the most important instrument. And this is on Editions Mego, so we are not spared for noise. Things bounce off towards all corners of the room, in a quick cut up style. Guitar and turntable are used, but merely to generate sound; the building blocks for this computerized form of noise. Eleven tracks ranging from seventeen second to eight plus minutes, this captures the feel of noise, or punk even, but with a strong sense of improvisation. Moving in between those parameters, this is quite a nice release, simply because it's not tied to a certain genre, but takes the best of all, and make something of their own in a crude as well as gentle way. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

OSSO EXOTICO & Z'EV (CD by Crouton Music)
Curious. Just curious. A collaboration between Z'EV, legendary player of percussion and tape-manipulator (among many qualities) and the Portuguese trio of Osso Exotico (Andre Maranha, David Maranha and Patricia Machas), the little chamber orchestra of all things minimalist? Maybe it's less of a mystery than it seems. This release lacks any information besides artist names and label's website (unless some insert is missing), so we have to be guessing (again). Unlike some of his previous collaborations I think it's not the result of some postal exchange of sound material, but the actual playing together of these four musicians. When you hear it than the unlikeliness of the recording seems to vanish - this is music that actually sounds like it belongs together. The drones of Osso Exotico, tight, layered, minimalist fits actually very well with Z'EV tribalesque percussion work here. It's a jam, that seems a sure thing. No editing or overdubbing has been used here, which is a pity, since as a whole thing it is somewhat too loosely played. Certainly when the four players are 'searching' for a sound. Once the ball gets rolling, it rolls, it makes ripples becoming waves, waves becoming thunder storm. It's in these moments when the true power of the music comes alive. A tribal version of LaMonte Young, the grittiness of Tony Conrad on a multiple instruments and the psychedelic power that is found in more of the recent Osso Exotico recordings. Despite a few flaws in the recording, and the fact that it sounds a bit muffled, this is a very nice work. Get them in a proper studio and let them work on it more extensively. (FdW)
Address: http://www.croutonmusic.com

KYBERNAUGHTY - OBIEKT (CD by Flyco)
Another off spring label from legendary German labels Ant-Zen Recordings and Hymen Records, Flyco-label is despite the rather limited release catalogue a label with almost ten years behind its back. First album released on the label was the debut of this German artist known as Kybernaughty. Originally known as Kybernaut, he had his debut release back in 1998 with the LP titled "Stalker". Now almost ten years later, Kybernaughty has finally released his follow-up to "The Stalker". With a running time slightly more than 30 minutes, the album titled "Obiekt" is an over-the-top intense ride into a sonic universe best comparable to the core-reaction in a nuclear power station. The rhythm texture on the album somehow reminds me of the complex jungle-patterns of British Jungle pioneer T-Power's classic album "The self evident truth of an intuitive mind", but where there was a kind of emotional warmth in T-Power's masterwork of 1994, "Obiekt" is a work of icy technological breakcore-science. And this quite cynic expression is what makes the album fascinating. Even though there are no elements of traditional harsh noise, the rhythmic structures itself are so extreme that it creates the same experience of sonic extremity as Merzbow or likewise Japanoisists. An excellent moment on the album is the bizarre track "Bars" sounding like a strange cocktail of old-school electro and distorted Power Noise - a quite unique beast. There are a few relatively downbeat moments on the album, for instance the strange track titled "Rakkyouzon". Otherwise the rhythms are ultra-fast peaking with the closing track "Hardkraut" that puts an end to this album in the most thinkable violent way. Very interesting album from "Kybernaughty". (NM)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/kybernaughty

RASPUTEEN - DIE SEGNUNGEN DER NEUZEIT (CD by Bazooka Joe)
Being an offspring-label to German legendary experimental electronics-labels, Ant-Zen Recordings and Hymen Records, Bazooka Joe conceptually focuses on minimalist retro-oriented synt-pop. Apart from this project called Rasputeen, the "Bazooka Joe"-label has also released albums by the expressional similar project called The Rorschach Garden. As is the case with The Rorschach garden, the style of Rasputeen is catchy and original. Behind the Rasputeen-project, we have a joint venture between the two artists Kurt Feltz and Heinz Gietz. Present album titled "Die Segnungen Der Neuzeit" is the third full length from Rasputeen. There is a nice retrospective line in the project pointing back to the heydays of early minimalist electro-pop and industrial culture. Throughout the album associations back to legends such as DAF, SPK, Einstüerzende Neubauten and Suicide shines through, even though Rasputeen does it in its own way with a blend of synth-sequence sounds of the 80's, cool electro-beats and vocals sounding like a mixture of Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Alan Vega (Suicide). The expression has a humorous and ironic touch giving the music a cool edgy approach to 80's electro-pop. Everyone interested in this growing wave of retro-oriented synth-pop that seems to flourish these years definitely has to check out this new album from Rasputeen as well as earlier releases from the Bazooka Joe-label. German electro-minimalism at its best! (NM)
Address: <http://www.bazooka-joe.com

DAVOR MIKAN - TAUSCHUNG (CD by Cronica Electronica)
From Vienna comes one Davor Mikan, of whom I
never heard, 'where he creates music about failure, beauty, lust and delusion in the context of psychoacoustic effects and in a personal sense (self-delusion)', as it is said on the blurb. He is using generative graphic tools together with granular synthesis to transform sound. Whatever that may mean, even when I think he uses sound software to transform work generated with software that is in general used for design. Which is not a new thing, as some programs do allow you to open a text or image file and then it will 'read' as music. Judging by the same what harsh, crude and loud music Mikan produces on 'Täuschung' this is the case here (unless he uses the 'pencil' in the audio software program to re-draw sound curves, which might give a similar effect). Thirty one tracks, spanning just over thirty seven minutes means that we are dealing with short pieces here. Very short but partly loud pieces. I don't recall such a noise based release on Cronica, which I think is a good move. Noise, certainly when it's done well, is the new main thing. Be it the crude, Merzbowian blasts of noise, the lo-fi noise of New America, the end of soft glitch seems imminent. See last week's Josh Russell's release and this week it's Mikan. Maybe the pieces could move away from the sketch like character and grow into something more composed like, but otherwise this is a most promising start. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

I/O - POLYTONE (CD by Fratto9)
TANAKE - 3REE (CD by Fratto9)
Two Italian groups are presented here on the Fratto9 label, a small independent also from Italy. I/O, formed in 2002, make no secret of it that they are followers of Can. So no surprise that they have performed with Damo Suzuki. It is a quartet made up by Luca Mauri (guitar), Paolo Romano (double bass), Paolo Benzoni (drums) and Andrea Reali (voice and electronics), presenting with 'Polytone' their second release. The guitarstyle reminds of the playing of Michael Karoli. The non-verbal singing is another similarity with Can. By repeating rhythmic patterns they create a hypnotizing atmosphere, the guitar playing simple riffs above it, and the drummer trying to keep it going and together. In each track they fulfill this same ritual of minimalistic rock. In some of the tracks the magic happens, like in the second track. Because of this stripped down approach it is important that during the piece gradually a tension is built up that leaves you no escapade as a listener. But that didn't happen with me while listening to I/O. Although it must be said that this is a good band with potential. Like Can they used no overdubs. Everything was recorded live in the studio in order to capture as much as possible of the created atmosphere. By the way, the mastering was done by Giuseppe Ielasi. Tanake is about something else. It is as trio: Martino Acciaro (drums, typewriter, noise), Maurizio Bosa (bass, Am Fm waves), Roberto Acciaro (guitar, trombone, Am Fm waves). In 11 tracks they try to visualize their version of free rock. Their music arises from endless improvisation I suppose. As they are experienced in this, they choose to record their CD live, using no overdubs. In several pieces they worked out there ideas satisfactory, like in 'Dustin soup'. Other pieces however remain on an experimental level and fail to impress. Acciaro plays some great trombone in 'Ingredienti per 3 persone'. And I would love to hear more of it. But in most tracks however we hear him on guitar. Throughout it is the drummer where most ideas come from. In a piece like 'Utilita...', they prove that also in introvert pieces they can built interesting structures. No doubt that I/O and Tanake are two interesting bands of good musicians, not convincing in all aspects, but I hope they will find more of a own voice. (DM)
Address: http://www.fratto9/

ELSE JUSTEL - MATS (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
MARTIN LECLERC - HORIZONS DU SILENCE (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
Music released by Empreintes Digitales is music that seems to be made according to a matrix or certain schematics. Or so it seems. Of course it's never easy to be fully original, but with the composers/performers on Empreintes Digitales it seems that they use the same software, both editing/processing and the input is usually one or more instruments. I must admit I never heard of Elsa Justel or Martin Leclerc, and yes, there are differences between the two, be it, however, minor. Leclerc seems to me the one who incorporates more musical elements in his musique concrete, whereas Justel is more opts for concrete sounds. The running of the tap, naked and unprocessed, is a nice gesture in her work. She sort of breaks with the self-seriousness that is part of so many of the releases on Empreintes Digitales. Throughout I think both releases have certainly nice moments, but it's all way too long. It seems as if the music is put on repeat or self-generating new bits of music. Maybe there is a world out there which I just fail to see? (FdW)
Address: http://www.electrocd.com

PAUL BRADLEY & CRIA CUERVOS - MORAINES II (CD by Small Voices)
CRIA CUERVOS - IL XUNX (3"CDR by The Locus Of)
About two years ago we reviewed 'Morainos', a collaboration between Paul Bradley and Eugenio Maggi, aka Cria Cuervos from Italy (see Vital 516). Since they have been working on 'Moraines II', or rather re-working the first one. Such can be the world of drone music. One drone - endless possibilities. The original recordings have been used, highly processed field recordings that is, and together they created quite a dark album of drone music. Rather than moving about in one single drone, this new piece moves along various paths, clearly divided into separate parts, each with it's own build up and changes, before moving to the next piece. Some clear field recordings punctuate the music, such as rain sounds, birds and footsteps. Perhaps nothing new, but the minor changes, such as the various parts approach, make this however quite a nice disc. Plus more treatments arrive through the work of Andrew Liles, who was given all the material and made a remix (a phrase we should not use for the first track). Liles has a distinct sound (well, as far as I know, as his output is vast and incomplete here) that is somewhat close to the more eerie Nurse With Wound sound. Here via the reverse sound approach, like a single wave washing ashore and a metallic drone rumble make up a creepy soundtrack to a perfect nightmare. Sounds arise from previous, and make this a more singleminded piece. Quite a nice one at that.
Cria Cuervos also just released a solo 3"CDR, so its interesting to compare it with his work with Bradley. The music here is more experimental, more loud and, dare we say it, more industrial. Cuervos scrapes the barrel of metal and picks up the sound to give it some additional treatment, by adding a bit of reverb here and there. Over the course of the piece things develop in a rather minimal manner - it seems as if sounds are stretched out and more space is added between them. Later on these empty spaces are filled with what could be field recordings. Quite interesting, since this piece moves out of the known drone field and crosses the field of noise and industrial on one hand and microsound on the other - certainly in the second part of the piece. (FdW)
Address: http://www.smallvoices.it
Address: http://www.thelocusof.freeuk.com

TROUM - SEN (2LP by Equation Records)
To grasp some of the success of Troum, or their predecessors Maeror Tri, one only needs to realize that by now they have the opportunity to pick out anything from their backcatalogue and re-issue in what ever format they prefer. The limited edition live recording Troum made at VPRO Radio 'De Avonden' was released as 'Mort Aux Vaches' by Staalplaat, so hey why not re-issue it on vinyl (which I expect to be the preferred format by these boys)? In three versions: a double picture disc, on white and black vinyl and one edition on clear vinyl. A collectors nightmare, but as said, these boys have fans. Remastered of course to send better (or perhaps, sound right on vinyl). Of course the one piece that was the CD (and thus the live recording) had to be cut into four parts to fit on vinyl, which is a pity, since the continuous playing works better. 'Sen' was a piece Troum had been playing right before this recording in Poland and is among the first works they ever played when arising from the ashes of Maeror Tri. Now, almost a decade later, it still sounds as fresh as back then. Slow drones, hypnotic rhythms, swirling organ like sounds, all in mesmerizing colors. Their means were and still are relatively simple, but they know how to play their instruments (accordion, gas tanks, sound effects, guitar, gong, melodica, to mention a few) to full effect. Their ambient is always full on present, the 'industrial' version of ambient (even when the word industrial is entirely inappropiate here). Dream music for those who are awake. The four sides are cleverly cut and one has the idea there are four pieces. Nice. It's easy to see why they are still one of the best around and why their previous output will be in print for years to come. Textbook stuff. Listen and learn. (FdW)
Address: http://www.chronoglide.com/equation.html

RLW - CONTOURS IMAGINAIRES (10" by Drone Records)
Drone Records, best known for a long line of drone 7"s, started already a while ago with a new series: Substantia Innominata, in which artists deal with the unknown, in whatever way they feel ('unnameable, unspeakable etc). For someone who likes his imagination go wild, Drone Records made a fine decision in choosing RLW to be part of the series. On the cover it says 'built from a few seconds of piano and vocals. Everything else: imagination'. Quite right. Good music is like a good movie: you create images that might not be what they seem to be. And musique concrete, since this is what is primarily the concern of RLW, is always a good way of imaging. You hear music, which could be voice, which could be piano, but then it could also be something else. Deceiving music. That is what RLW does best. In none of the three pieces it's easy to determine what the original sound is, or how it was treated. No doubt inside the bits and bytes these days (unlike the good old days of four track and reel to reel, where RLW learned the trick of the trade) things are transformed to such an extent that your imagination is free to run wild. It makes a movie in your head. For me an abstract movie, of squares and circles, using only a few colors and they spiral around, bounce off screen and back in. And no doubt it might be something entirely different for someone else. A great record. One that leaves more space to guess than some of the work RLW has recorded in the past, usually with others. His solo work goes out to no man's land more, which is great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.substantia-innominata.de

THE YELLOW MOON BAND - MAYBACH (7" by Static Caravan)
THE ACCIDENTAL - KNOCK KNOCK/BRAVE NEW WORLD (7" by Static Caravan)
SMILE DOWN UPON US (3"CDR by Static Caravan)
The three faces of Static Caravan here. They are a great pop label, most likely the best pop label around, I think. Lots of cute 7"s, great design and some great music. The first one is a 7" by The Yellow Moon Band. For a moment I thought I died and was shipped back to the past (who said we can't reincarnate to the past?). I woke up in the mid-seventies. Fleetwood Mac are on the radio, and all those bands which names would elude me in 2008 (but I always liked the Mac), and The Yellow Moon Band offer nothing but a great west coast rock imitation. Great solo on 'Focussed'. If you like solo's, that is. 'Maybach' hammers nicely away in a nice prog-rock sense of the word. Great record to be filed under 'utter retro'.
But I'm not dead. And it's not 1975, but 2008, says Static Caravan with their second new release by The Accidental, the duo of Stephen Cracknell and Sam Genders. The latter also works as Tunng, and as such he is responsible for the mix of 'Brave New World', built around bouncing vocal sample, with nice bass lines and likewise bouncing beats. Benge remixed the other side has a down beat bass, great vocals, both male and female and tribal rhythms. Slow, moody, atmospheric. A great dark popsong. Great 7".
Not much information on Smile Down Upon Us, which is announced as a CD release on the website. Perhaps a 3"CDR, of which Static Caravan is also an advocate (all in a cunning ploy to annoy those who listen to music on their 'computer'). Smile Down Upon Us represent the folk element in the catalogue of Static Caravan. Sweet female vocals, flutes, percussion, acoustic guitar - the whole works are used here. In the third track the elph sounds a bit like Björk, which is perhaps an too obvious reference, but throughout this was highly enjoyable. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

FEDERICO BARABINO/CHARLES RICE GOFF III - METAMORFS (CDR by Taped Rugs Production)
Charles Rice Goff III has been around for ages, at least in what can easily be tagged as underground. Here he takes control of work recorded by the unknown, at least to me, Argentinean guitar player Federico Barabino. His improvisations are called Expresiones. He sent seven to Goff and in return Goff thought of seven different ways to rework/remix/recycle them. This ranges from recording them to cassette and re-record them as they spun on a turntable, converting to midi files, looping it through a digital mixer and adding some of his own sounds: all to create metamorfs. The approach taken by Goff make this a highly varied disc, that however makes much sense. Some of these pieces may be too long, such as 'Zapatos De Patos' and 'Four By Ten', which could have been easily trimmed in half, but the electronic manipulations of the short 'Escuchame' and 'Fuerte Suerte' proof that a concise approach works best. The prize winning piece is the creepy and intense 'Be Like A Chair' however. The guitar has been processed beyond recognition and crawls like a beast around. (FdW)
Address: http://www.geocities.com/padukem

TAUS - THE ORGAN OF CORTI (CDR by L'Innomable)
No instruments are mentioned on the cover of 'The Organ Of Corti' by Taus, the duo of Tim Blechmann and Klaus Filip. But me thinks that it's a duo of laptops, no input mixers and perhaps a turntable. That's about what I could detect on their release as sound sources. Things peep, scratch and hum for about fifty one minutes, but that may sound a bit unfair. Taus do a very fine job I'd say. They built up their pieces from just a few sounds, but let them develop in a natural manner, give them space and they grow. Then they take back sound, close in the space and it seems that the music is disappearing again. When almost silent, they start again. Taus easily takes minutes to let theme's explore, but then the result is a great one. Music that you should hear rather loud; loud in the loudest parts, but then the softest parts also become audible. The music will wash over the a warm flow of water. Rather than full concentration, it's best to enjoy this with eyes closed, headphone and on repeat. (FdW)
Address: http://www.linnomable.com/

DEADWOOD/RED NEEDLED SEA - SPLIT SERIES #3 (CDR by Dirty Demos)
SPOONO - SEA BREEZE (CDR by Dirty Demos)
Maybe there is a world wide alliance going on to call things 'Split Series'? Following last week's 'Split Series #5' on Tib prod, here is 'Split Series #3' on Dirty Demos, and although one can't be sure, I don't think they are related. Not in music that is. Whereas the two from last week played improvised music, here Deadwood and Red Needled Sea operate from the drone music end. Deadwood has a minimalist pattern that repeats itself with irregular intervals, in a sort of Oval manner when they turned more ambient and less rhythmic. Towards the end things get a bit distorted. Red Needled Sea hoovers nicely on the bottom of the sea with a low rumble bass sound.
From standing on the bottom we hear a hovercraft
passing. The piece stays on the same level throughout, but has quite an intense feel to it. Scary ambient.
The other new release on Dirty Demos is by Spoono, being on Jack Allett. He opens with 'Bagpipe Song', and, sure it may include bagpipes, but they are not easy to detect in the barrage of noise and drone. It's a heavy piece, but it flies about, sparkling, furious and it's nice. On 'Fuck It, It's Broken Again', I think he means the guitar that sounds about. It's also loud, but more improvised sounding. A bit incoherent this one. The noise of guitar and drums (courtesy of Ben Pruess) sound more better. A slow menacing piece of music. The final piece moves into feedback land again, and here, oddly enough, it could a bagpipe. The first and last piece were my favorites, as they sound the most coherent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dirtydemos.co.uk

MACHINIST - BLACKBLOCK (CDR by Heilskabaal Records)
BJERGA/IVERSEN - THE WORLD OF PRETEND IS A CAGE, NOT A COCOON (CDR by Heilskabaal Records)
The name Machinist may suggest something industrial, mechanical, something alien (as in 'not human') perhaps, and the three long pieces by Zeno van den Broek, the man behind Machinist is alike that, yet it has a certain quality that makes it very human. Machinist is inspired by the art of Richard Serra and Anselm Kiefer, the beauty of decay, rust, earth, brown and grey. In the opening piece Machinist plays a very dark ambient tune which is along the lines of Lustmord, in a very cinematographic way. The desolated and empty industrial park at night with strong suspense. Soundsources are hard to trace down. The second piece seems to be drums and guitars and is quite a rock like piece, not at all like the first or the third piece. More Skullflower inspired drones than anything ambient industrial. 'Blackblock' ends with a piece that is a combination of the two previous ones. Slow rumbling percussive bang on a can against a darkened wall of alien machines trying to conquer the world. The rhythm here is the most mechanical. Quite a strong release, and the length of the pieces might be considered long, but this music needs that kind of development, and Machinist makes all the right moves only a human make to create some interesting shapes and moves. Very nice indeed. The right noise!
It has ben quiet from the Norwegian shores, Bjerga/Iversen, for reasons I am not aware of. Maybe the ran out of labels to release their, after having explored every CDR label in the world? Heilskabaal Records is still a young label and they release a Bjerga/Iversen recording from January 2006, which is a most remarkable one. Much of the previous work, and no doubt this one too, has been recorded through improvisation, but whereas some of the earlier stuff could be a hit and miss affair, not unlikely to wander off in the realms of noise, this new one is throughout mostly a quieter affair, of carefully bundled electronics, in a rather soft mood. Things remain careful, but full of tension. Rather short with five pieces at twenty-six minutes, but no doubt one of the very best releases by them! (FdW)
Address: http://www.heilskabaal.net

AHD + RAVEN - STRAIN THIN FEVERS (CDR by Sonora)
I/C/O/C - PARASITIC CONCUBINE (CDR by Sonora)
EYE - THE DRESDEN CODEX (CDR by Sonora)
On a Puerto Rican label three works which inhabit the New World and the world of industrial/ sampled/electronic / electroacoustic sound. I/C/O/C (Input/Cable/Output/Cable) (as is described on myspace) mixes noise(feedback distortion) against a clear beat. The noise is certainly harsh but surely the placing of a rhythm here re-introduces the concept of teleology- and so music not noise (admitted on the myspace site). Its trying to say something even if its as hysterically neo-surreal as Guido Flichman's Argentina (AKA EYE) explanation of his "music" as sounding like your mother having sexual intercourse with a dead horse from mars.- or industrial noise - in the sense of factory sounds echoy field recordings etc. - even more trance like on the AHD & Raven Cd. Programme music? Noise to be noise lies outside morality (as I have said) and ethics and aesthetics are one and the same - the condemnation of noise as being bad in all senses of the word is from a noise point of view besides the point - morality is
something that noise transcends, these three CDs are still on the bridge passing over - or else in danger of being leap-frogged by a devil. (jliat)
Address: http://www.sonoradisc.com

JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL.11 (CDR by Larks Council Of England)
Which is no big deal, it's like real life. Software running amok, some effect pedals. Not ebut here in the context of noise. Tht is ncil Of England he releases a purposedesigneR with a rip off cover of 'Abbea good, but simple safter that he sta q. I ueight tracks of exactly three minutes anse is whd thirty nine secoweeks have peard volume one of this series, and it's about time for numbr Sofning amok, some thenes, as opposed to the soft ones) and things explode, eight times. Oh Superman. Ace Of Spades. Jliat's own 'Now That's What I Call Noise', now up the ninth volume, is certainly not a masterpiece either. Noise. Noise. So i've been making these short tracks for soon a year and have recorded already up to volume 20. And oh I did ever tell you in all those eleven volumes that the covers are always pastiches of well-known rock records? Perhaps I should mention that too?
Address: http://www.jliat.com

PARMA DAY - NUSSBAUMS HEAND (2CDR/1DVDR by Tosom)
JORIS J - OCHRANA BIRTH (3"CDR by Tosom)
The two CDR and one DVDR set by Tosom proofs some difficulty for me. It's based on stories by one VernomLLP, music by Parma Day and video by Mädchen June. To start with the latter: the video 'Nussbaums Hand' contains three films, or perhaps one film in three parts - it's not entirely clear. Presented are images from cities, desolate areas contained therein, which are cut with what seems to me imaginary of older films, to suggest some intriguing story about misery or failure. Its again not very clear how the story/stories work, but they leave something to suggest which is nice. Although tension is suggested it is not always really present, I thought, but the music, provided by Parma Day works well. Cold, isolated electronic music, with the same feeling of isolation. Parma Day is also responsible for the music on the two CDRs that are part of the package, which only very partially overlap the music for the films. Parma Day take their inspiration from bleak industrial landscapes, translate them through a bunch of electronics and sound effects to create an eerie effect. Sometimes vast and loud, sometimes like crawling insects and sometimes like corrupt computer data. Maybe the full package is a bit too much of semi-depressed music to swallow all at once (certainly the best musical bits could have fitted on one CDR), but throughout it's a nice darkened affair.
Tosom also brings us one Joris J from Berlin. So far he has released privately a CDR, a split release with N.Strahl.N. and now 'Ochrana Birth'. His music is a mixture of various positions in the world of experimental music. Partly he takes his inspiration from musique concrete, party microsound and partly noise, which three way division is clearly shown in the three tracks on this release. The first is centered around the treatment of guitar sounds; a treatment mostly done inside the computer and works in a linear fashion. The second piece 'Versorgungsbehörden Meldet Kriegsgewinnler' is a micro-drone piece of shifting layers of sounds, whilst the final piece Joris J (an alias fro Martin Schilling) moves into the Merzbow land of noise. It's the weakest piece of the three. The other two are quite nice and in my humble opinion should be roads to explore. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tosom.de

SEBASTIAN ROUX - URBAN FIELD MUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
BIDIBOP - URBAN FIELD MUZICK (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
The name Urban Field Muzick doesn't leave much to guess, I thought when listening to the first of these two. Sebastian Roux is someone whom we known for his releases on 12K and Carpark and is someone who uses field recordings a lot, but usually highly micro processed. Here he presents them in a clean, direct way. One piece that is originally a sound installation and all the sounds were recorded during Roux's holidays in the last three years. It's a bit like watching someone's holiday snaps: you get an idea, never the real picture. Roux collages his sounds together (recordings from Bandol, Bruxelles, London, Luxembourg, Lyon, Nice, Samoens and the mountains (oops, non urban) around Santarcangelo, Vevey and a train), but it hardly makes any sense to the outsider. Not really a big problem, as he creates a nice piece with all his sounds, which is best enjoyed through headphones. Nice, but not spectacular.
I never heard of Bidipop, which is one Vincent Nicolas, who was part of Un Automne A Lob-Nor, a post rock band. When the band split up he started solo as Bidipop. His field recordings are definitely urban: recorded in Manhattan. He recorded human activity that included music. It's a bit hard to tell wether the music is played in those places by Nicolas himself, but for some reason I think it is. Or perhaps he added a bit of sound afterwards. In either case, he plays three pieces of music, which are more compositions by themselves than Roux's work. I for myself like this more than Roux, simply because it seems to have more effort put it. Perhaps a bit long these pieces, but certainly quite enjoyable. 'Ace Train Songs' even has a nice hook to it! (FdW)
Address: http://www.fieldmuzick.net

GAS - GAS 0095 (MP3-album by Microscopics)
Anyone interested in drone-based ambient should check out the music channel "Drone zone", which is part of SOMA radio station transmitting from San Francisco. It was in "Drone zone" I was introduced to this British project called Gas. I was so amazed by the particular track titled "Microscopics" played in the "Drone Zone"-channel that I just had hear some more from this "Gas"-project. The result was the reception of present mp3-album titled Gas 0095 (a.k.a. "High Skies"). Mat Jarvis (alias Gas) has already had quite a few releases on the highly respected Em:t Records label. The "Gas 0095"-album was originally released on Em:t Records back in 1995 in a CD-edition. The album was never advertised and quickly sold on word of mouth alone. The album was encoded in 3D by the huge and hugely expensive Roland Sound Space RSS 3D sound imaging system. Now it has been re-issued in a superb sound quality by Mat Jarvis's own online-exclusive label Microscopics. And the album certainly deserves a royal treatment! There was a time where you had to find the real pearls in the shelves of the records stores and where the Internet was first of all the place where upcoming artists could promote their music with the hope of getting signed at a label for a "proper" CD-release. These days seems to end these years. Now the real music treasure might only be released online via Internet. The excellent re-issue of "Gas 0095" is a very good example on that development. I regard "Gas 0095" as a landmark within the ambient-based IDM-scene up there with the heavyweights of the UK-born ambient/IDM-scene alongside benchmarks from the Warp Records label. Especially the two lengthy tracks "Microscopic" and "Tellurium" are stunning works of art. The expression on these two pieces has common grounds with some of the famous artists of the British ambient/IDM-scene, even though Gas creates its very own sound worlds. Take the earliest days of Warp Records, circa the period of Black Dog and legendary Warp compilation-series "Artificial Intelligence" (I + II) and stir it up with atmospheric wanderings that suggest virtual galactic discovery similar to Global Comminations and more rhythm-structured chillout moments from Future Sound Of London's "Lifeforms". The result is excellent. For people interested in conceptual sound art, a very interesting fact about the album is the track titled "Timestretch". "Timestretch" is a four-minute track, which has been compressed into one second of audio. For anyone interested in electronic space music "Gas 0095" is an absolutely amazing release created back in the heydays of British Ambient/IDM-scene and now re-issued into a true sonic beauty. Essential! (NM)
Address: http://www.microscopics.co.uk

BAZTERRAK & VALVERDE & XEDH - SUBGRAVITY RADIO HANGOVER (MP3 by Mastertoaster Recordings)
IZARZUGAZA & TUSURI & XEDH - BARNE HOTSA (MP3 by Idiosyncratics Records)
BAZTERRAK & VALVERDE & XEDH & IZARZUGAZA - FREMDSPRACHEN (MP3 by Clinical Archives)
The world of MP3 is a good way of getting to known new music, but also a way of getting rid of your live recordings. Xedh has had a couple of MP3 releases by just himself, but in recent times his MP3 releases are all sorts of live recordings he made with fellow Basque musicians in a rather improvising manner. The first has Xedh together with Bazterrak (a.k.a. Enrike Hurtado on laptop and self-made software) and Carlos Valverde on guitar in a rather crude piece of silence meeting noise. Crackles, un-grounded electricity, hints towards rhythm (techno even), but it never gets off the ground, beyond the idea.
The second one with Tüsüri (laptop) and Edorta Izarzugaza on guitar sounds much more interesting. A carefully built up piece of electronics, static noise, slowly going in a crescendo mode which collapses when things get loud (very short) and then it takes gear back until the end. A very nice piece.
Xedh teams up with Bazterrak, Izarzugaza and Valverde on the third release (all three on different MP3 outlets) and some switch has been made in instruments: now its mixer, effects, electronics, laptop, self-made software, analogue devices, feedback, synthesizers and loops. That may seem like a lot of toys to generate noise, but this quartet keeps things under control for quite some time, but you feel noise lurking around the corner and it's kept like that until the very end. Not a bad piece either. (FdW)
Address: http://mastertoastermusic.blogspot.com
Address: http://www.idiosyncratics.net/
Address: http://clinicalarchives.blogspot.com