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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 614
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week 7
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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

 

THE WEIRD WEEDS - I MISS THIS (CD by Autobus Records) *
RICHARD LAINHART - WHITE NIGHT (CD by Ex Ovo Records) *
MANDALA VOLUME ONE (3"CDR by Ex Ovo Records)
GERT-JAN PRINS - BREAK BEFORE MAKE (CD by Editions Mego) *
STEPHEN O'MALLEY & ATTILA CSIHAR - 6°FSKYQUAKE (CD by Editions Mego)
ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - ANATOMY OF INNER PLACE (CD by Monotype Records)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - LIVE IN AUCKLAND (CD by Monotype Records)
BRASIL AND THE GALLOWBROTHERS BAND - HI BRASIL WHERE WE ARE (CD by Monotype Records)
VOICE_ELECTRONIC DUO - VED (CD by Monotype Records) *
PRURIENT AND STILL WANTING (CD + 5inch single by No Fun Productions)
KATHY KENNEDY - HMMM REMIX COMPILATION (CD by Le Son 666)
TOY BIZARRE/PIERRE REDON - SAISONS (CD by Auf Abwegen) *
ANNETTE VANDE GORNE - EXILS (DVD by Empreintes Digitalis)
JOHN YOUNG - LIEU-TEMPS NEW (OF PLACE AND TIME (DVD by Empreintes Digitalis)
ROBERTA SETTELS - ISOLATION (LP by BIN Records)
SLITHER - SIXES (7" by Tasty Soil Records)
SLITHER - HORRIBLE MUTATION (CDR by Tasty Soil Records) *
MAURIZIO BIANCHI & CHEAPMACHINES - PARADOXOS (CDR by Tib Prod) *
BJERGA/IVERSEN - DISSECT AND CONNECT (CDR by Tib Prod)
DONYS MOKUALG SUBSTITUTION PRODUCT - KATAPLASM (CDr by ?)
HOLY DREAD - DRECHES (CDR by Cut Hands)
TANDEM ELECTRICS - INTAGLIO (CDR by RAR)
YANN NOVAK - IN RESIDENCE (CDR by Dragon Eye Recordings) *
MU MIXER - [EITHER OR] (CDR by Retinascan)
MARCO PIANGES - INSIDE IMPLOSION (CDR by Retinascan) *
DIAMONDHEAD - DIRTY REALISM (CDR by Public Eyesore)
JESSE KRAKOW - WORLD WITHOUT NACHOS (CDR by Public Eyesore)
THE KBD SONIC COOPERATIVE - FOUR PLUS ONE (CDR by Public Eyesore)
BREKEKEKEXKOAXKOAX - I MANAGE TO GET OUT BY A SECRET DOOR (CDR by Public Eyesore) *
JETZMANN - UNTER DIE DEUTSCHEN (3"CDR by AIC disc) *
SONATA REC - UND WIR WAREN NICHT DIE ERSTEN UTOPISTEN (3"CDR by AIC disc)
GREGORY BÜTTNER - NIL:AUDIO (3"CDR by AIC disc)
TOTES FORMAT - TUNNEL BRUECKE (CDR by Totes Format)
MATTHIEU SALADIN - 4'33"/O'00" (3" CDR by Editions Provisoires) *
MR. BRAIN SANDER - SONGS ABOUT HUFFING (cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
OUBLIETTE - SELF HATE (cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN - FJORDS (MP3 by Silence Is Not Empty) *
JEFF GBUREK - GNARLY ROOT QUEEN SPECTRA REMIX (MP3 by Idiosyncratics)
PANGEA - LA LOGICA DE LAS TERMITAS (MP3 by Idiosyncratics)
ENSEMBLE 0 - PASSACAILLE (MP3 by Idiosyncratics) *

 

THE WEIRD WEEDS - I MISS THIS (CD by Autobus Records)
The weirdos of the week come through us by The Weird Weeds, a trio from Austin, Texas, who try 'to create pop music that is experimental yet oddly palatable and well-conceived'. That is true. Fourteen relatively short songs here that display this rather well. From held-back, multi vocal bits to heavy post rock outings. This is their third album and took them seven months to record, more than their previous output (which I never heard). It's music that is not often found on this desk, and for which my reference book is rather empty. I must admit though, I quite liked it, simply because it's so unlike much other music that is covered in the pages of Vital Weekly. A bit folky, a bit rocky, a bit noisy and a bit ambient, it's all there, handsomely placed next to eachother. Quite nice, actually, but an island here. A comforting island though. (FdW)
Address: http://www.autobusrecs.com

RICHARD LAINHART - WHITE NIGHT (CD by Ex Ovo Records)
MANDALA VOLUME ONE (3"CDR by Ex Ovo Records)
In January 1975 Brian Eno had an accident which brought him into hospital. A friend of his gave him a record of 18th century harp music. After his friend had gone, Eno noticed that the record was played rather softly, but he couldn't get out of bed to turn up the volume. He instead listened to the very soft record and the environment in which it was played. Thus ambient music was born. In 2006, Ex Ovo Records released the compilation 'I, Mute Hummings' and on it was an excerpt of Richard Lainhart's 'White Night', a piece recorded on a moog in 1974. In my review of the compilation I wrote it sounded too much like regular ambient music to me (see Vital Weekly 550). Ex Ovo may have picked this up and added one to one, and thought, 'wow, we discovered a piece of ambient from 1974, older than Eno's original conception on 'Discreet Music' from 1975. If only things were that simple. Over the last thirty years ambient music has developed in all sorts of manners, from listening to pure field recordings to ambient house, rock and what else. The biggest part however is played by musicians who use a lot of synthesizers to create music that fills your environment and makes you feel good. This could, historically, be linked back to Lamonte Young, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros and Charlemagne Palestine, the origins of western drone music. Now Ex Ovo releases the whole, twenty-nine minute piece, and, while named after a snowy night on which it was recorded, today it's actually very sunny and not cold here. But the sun provides a sharp light in my room, and the swirling tones of Lainhart's moog are presently there in my environment. Maybe I still think it's regular ambient music, but I must also admit that it's a very fine piece of music. A nice piece of drone music, not unlike the latter day Mirror or Christoph Heeman, or in fact some of Eno's own later work. A solid piece.
Chinese whispers are when someone tells you a line of a story, you make up the second line, a third person the next one etc. Ex Ovo started a series of musical works based upon this notion, where a musician makes up five minutes and then someone else takes over, until four are done. This is 'Mandala Volume 1', starting out with Mirko Uhlig, Tobias Fischer (both of them behind the label), Keith Berry and Jörg Eger. Almost without noting the first two pieces slide into eachother, in a very weightless space sort of way. The music is highly (in every sense of the word) atmospheric. When Keith Berry takes over, things move from heaven right into the ocean, deep down, but here to the cross into guitarist Jörg Eger works really well, he comes in later on with his slide guitar and not from the very moment as he is supposed to play. A project like this could be a real miss, but these four are spot on. One excellent piece of ambient music, in not too clear four parts, but it surely makes sense. (FdW)
Address: http://www.exovo.org

GERT-JAN PRINS - BREAK BEFORE MAKE (CD by Editions Mego)
STEPHEN O'MALLEY & ATTILA CSIHAR - 6°FSKYQUAKE (CD by Editions Mego)
Over the years Gert-Jan Prins has established himself as a solid figure in the world of improvisation. The first time I ever heard his name was in 1984 when he played drums on music by band called Y Create. Many people don't realize this, but Prins started out as a drummer. On his new CD he throws in some timpani, and even some voice, but none of that is easily be recognized. Today Prins is perhaps more regarded as a noise head, but if you listen closely to his work you will acknowledge the fact that he is a percussionist. A percussionist of broken electronics. The wires of his instruments - open boxes with the circuits exposed - are all connected and buzz, hiss and peep, while the fingers of Prins make the connections come alive. Fourteen tracks in just under twenty-five minutes. No doubt Prins has plundered his archive of recordings (both live and studio) to select tiny fragments, which he feels best represent what he stands for. Breaking down circuits, bending circuits, all in a rhythmic and noise based manner. This is the true noise and by someone who knows how to break things in order to create new things. Not a second too long, or too short. This is Prins at his best.
I read the text that came with the CD by O'Malley and Csihar, but I am not sure if I understand it well. There were two shows at two different galleries by american sculptor Banks Violette. The music was produced at one gallery but later on also to be heard at the other and lasted eight hours and thirty-five minutes. What is on this CD is only a small portion, with, again if understood right, tape voice material Csihar. O'Malley plays 'HP 200CD & Travis Bean / Fender Twin Reverb'. I must admit I have no idea who Csihar is or how the art of Banks Violette looks like, but this CD gives me some clue. The overtone like singing/chanting sounds very much like the voice of a man alone, a contemplative recording of solitude and despair. O'Malley creates a sonic texture of likewise sonic isolation. It's all dark and grim, as well as empty. I can imagine that this lasts eight hours and that it creates more an environment than a piece by itself. The darker undercurrents may not be spend that well on me, but every now and then a bit of depression, is nice too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - ANATOMY OF INNER PLACE (CD by Monotype Records)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - LIVE IN AUCKLAND (CD by Monotype Records)
BRASIL AND THE GALLOWBROTHERS BAND - HI BRASIL WHERE WE ARE (CD by Monotype Records)
VOICE_ELECTRONIC DUO - VED (CD by Monotype Records)
Polish label Monotype Records doesn't exactly releases music of a monotype. The four (??!?) releases here can be separated in two different lots: one is the more accessible kind of music and one is the experimental type of music. In the latter area we find Alfredo Costa Monteira, of whom we recently reviewed 'Epicycle' (see Vital Weekly 611). He was concerned back then with the voice, now it's the inner place, the household objects. 'All the sound sources are part of my domestic environment. Every sound is used here as it was recorded with no electronic effects or processing except for dynamics. Some sounds result from acoustic combinations of other sounds'. I am not sure if Monteiro thought of Pink Floyd, who wanted to do a record of household objects, but Monteiro limits himself to apparatus around the house which make a mechanical sound, washing machines, hair driers, coffee grinding - things like that. He cuts all of these sounds together in quite a nice way. Collage like. Sounds start and stop while others continue. Sometimes in a noisy manner, sometimes in an ambient manner, but quite nice. You could wonder if a 3" CD wouldn't have been right enough to make the same point, but throughout it's all quite alright. A sort of much more intellectual noise, whilst also taking the piss out of the field recording posse.
And perhaps leading man of that posse is Francisco Lopez, who has delivered a long line of releases of music made with field recordings. As perhaps known, at least to his dedicated followers, he is now releasing his best live recordings. I have no idea how he selects these. Recording quality? Performance of the piece? Uniqueness of the piece? But he surely travels around the world, and he was in Auckland, New Zealand where he played a forty some minute piece, in which we find him in a somewhat different mood. Perhaps an unique performance? For this piece he seems to be using rhythmical machine sounds at the start, which will later on return. Also insect sounds from tropical rain forests are used, but only in a small portion of the piece. The machine like sounds form the bigger part of this piece, which isn't that silent at all. The silent approach is rather something he uses on his studio releases, and live things are, well, just different. It's a great piece building to a large crescendo at the end - another Lopezian trademark. Very fine work.
On the other side of the musical spectrum we find Brasil And The Gallowbrothers Band, who type font is unreadable on the cover, but it looks nice. With or without glasses, I am not going to ruin my eyes on this. They don't play textbook popmusic, but are clearly influenced by slow popmusic, mood and atmospheres. I hear guitar, vocals (whispering of course), drums, keyboards and a bit of electronics. Six long pieces, with slow developments. Once the band is on the wagon things roll on, based around drums, vocals and the instruments playing ornament bits. Certainly not bad, but as said, all is a bit long. Some of the pieces could have been tighter in playing and perhaps a bit more variation this could be a great thing, now it stays in nice ideas.
The most out in popland is Voice_electronic duo, which is exactly what it is, a duo of electronics (male) and vocals (female). By judging the various bits of information on the cover I am pretty sure, nay, convinced that they are from Poland, and they have listened to emopop, trip hop, Björk, Portishead and Alva Noto - odd? Perhaps, but yeah it does make sense. The whispering, soft, fairytale vocals of Zosia Eden, with the eerie electronics, slow beats and such like by Marcin Dymiter, make a daring, odd but also workable combination, I think. Moody, poppy, but also enough sense of experimentalism. Nice enough, although not easy to break the alternative charts, well, perhaps in Poland, where they might understand the lyrics. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

PRURIENT AND STILL WANTING (CD + 5inch single by No Fun Productions)
A feature of this epoch (an end) is its similarity with the Baroque (another end) - i.e. irony, sex as perversion and pornography, surface, amusement and ultra realism, (the origins of opera!) compared to the religiosity of truth and beauty - even eroticism - of what preceded - the renaissance or modernity. Contrast Michelangelo with Caravaggio or Sol Le Witt with Jeff Koons. My reasons for not liking opera - in the past - was that it was not serious - and my reasons for still not liking -now- it is that it has become serious (and popular amongst intellectuals). I was appalled at Nixon in China whilst the chattering classes were enthralled - they at last had something they didn't have to understand. So this release must be good, is serious and popular - should be acclaimed amongst a
set... from which I am excluded. A self exclusion by virtue of its very idea of an opus an operatic work in scale and form/content - voice / noise. Industrialization saved humanity before, with the end of logic no machine will either save us or burry us, the shouting and posturing - which is both ethical and aesthetic - and what gives the work above both credit and value - (old functions) as noise- or better music- is in vein, only decoration without function - pure noise - which this is not- will do. (jliat)
Address: http://www.nofunfest.com/nofunprod.html

KATHY KENNEDY - HMMM REMIX COMPILATION (CD by Le Son 666)
Perhaps it's safe to assume that all people hum, at least every now and then. Humming to themselves, to a tune or to meditate. Kathy Kennedy, of whom I never heard, does group hummings for 'sonic experimentation and meditation, for play and for physical well-being'. Recordings of this humming were given to a whole bunch of people in order to crank out some form of remix, which is clever thinking, me thinks, because it brings her work to a new audience. Kennedy is, I believe, from Montreal, so some of the Montreal posse are here, such as Helene Prevost, i8u but also Francisco Lopez, Kim Cascone, Thanos Chrysakis, Austici, and lesser known names, such as Doug van Nort, Magali Babin, Jonas Olesen, Margaret Schedel. Some of them use the humming of voices as a starting point to create electronic deviations of it, other use the voices as voices, and layered them, change the pitch etc. But all of the twelve remixes (the first track is a sort of documentary piece about humming and people are being interviewed) seem to be interested in creating densely, atmospheric music in which you can feel good. To create perhaps a similar effect as humming, to enter a relaxing state. Quite a nice compilation, but not always a big surprise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.le-son666.com

TOY BIZARRE/PIERRE REDON - SAISONS (CD by Auf Abwegen)
If you wouldn't know any better than the four tracks on this release would be by the same musician. Is that good or bad, when it involves two different ones? The answer I haven't quite figured out yet. It's always a risky affair, the four seasons and music - but in this case there is no Vivaldi fiddling along, which is good. Toy Bizarre is perhaps one of the last 'old' guys to use his band name rather than his own name, Cedric Peyronnet, which is good. Pierre Redon is a much younger guy and never used a band name, which is also good. They have been playing music together since 2002. Peyronnet is in fine electro-acoustic mood and Redon's main instrument is the guitar and electronics. They both play two pieces, Redon springtime and autumn (first and last piece), Toy Bizarre summer and winter (the two pieces in the middle). Listened closely to the music, one can spot the differences, even when Redon uses field recordings and Toy Bizarre makes his field recordings sound like drones. The result should appeal to all lovers of drone related music with a good, sturdy look at the world of field recordings. Subtle music goes loud, noise music goes subtle. Mind you, this is not a work of microsound. There is much more happening than just a few static crackles built from a ten second rain sample. This is quite vivid, imaginative electro-acoustic music. Great stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aufabwegen.com

ANNETTE VANDE GORNE - EXILS (DVD by Empreintes Digitalis)
JOHN YOUNG - LIEU-TEMPS NEW (OF PLACE AND TIME (DVD by Empreintes Digitalis)
Much of what I rambled last week about the two latest Empreintes Digitales releases apply also to the new Annette vande Gorne. Musique concrete made with a textbook. All the same sort of processing, bending etc of sounds is used here. Field recordings, maybe heavily processed instruments and such like and bob is your uncle.
Is nothing good then in this corner? There is John Young, who undertook a travel to Northern Italy with his parents - his mother being from that area. His work is based on field recordings made in that place, voice material from locals (perhaps his parents even) and voices from broadcasts about the war - the period in which John's parents met and left for New Zealand. Now this is the way to do it. The voices and sounds tell us a story, about war, about a place, about memories in a very concentrated manner. Some of his processings are perhaps Empreintes alike, but he uses it in the right combination with the spoken word material. Haunting stuff, absolutely beautiful. Radioplay like, cinema to the ears. A long piece, but interesting to the very end. As a sort of 'bonus' one also gets a piece for ensemble and electroacoustic music, which is nice, since the two are quite separated here and make interesting interplay. (FdW)
Address: http://www.electrocd.com

ROBERTA SETTELS - ISOLATION (LP by BIN Records)
The world knows many talents whose work is covered with dust. Richard Lainhart for instance (see elsewhere), or Roberta Settels. She is from America, but now lives in Sweden. She studied in the seventies and 80s with Pierre Boulez and worked on the UPIC system, guided by Iannis Xenakis. In 1985 she released a LP on her own label Music In Crisis called 'Isolation', with four pieces to be 'played as parts of a unified composition focused on the Meinhof story' - it says on the cover of a re-issue by BIN from Denmark. This record, more than Lainhart, is a real eyeopener. Is this really from 1985? Very, very hard to believe, but if it's true, then it's truly a forgotten classic. It deals with the death of Ulrike Meinhof after being isolated in prison. The silence of isolation is brought alive through electronic music. Music in which almost nothing seems to be happening. Here the silence of say Lopez, Meelkop, Behrens or Chartier is forecast by some fifteen years. A sparse tone here and there, a sine wave, isolated from the rest. Only in the fourth part, 'P1 - Information?' there is a sudden lot of activity, but even then it still remains sparse. Freightening music, sounding the isolated work inside a prison cell very well. (FdW)
Address: http://totem.menneske.dk

SLITHER - SIXES (7" by Tasty Soil Records)
SLITHER - HORRIBLE MUTATION (CDR by Tasty Soil Records)
Saxophones seem to be the main ingredient of Slither, a duo of C. Pottinger and H. Moerland. However, they also amplification, not too great microphones and a four track - all to obtain that gritty and noisy sound. In the opening minutes I thought they did a cover of Five Or Six's 'Theme', slowly transforming in a tune by Last Few Days. Slither plays eighties inspired noise music meeting the ritual. The sounds are layered in slightly different speeds and are sometimes a bit out of tune. In the fourth and final track on 'Horrible Mutation' they wander off into noise land. It was all o.k. but nothing great. Which is a pity since their 7" is actually quite nice. It's more worked out, with all sorts of smaller events happening and more instruments/sound effects. It sounds better recorded and better mixed with eye for the detail. It should be good if all of their work got a similar treatment. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tastysoil.com

MAURIZIO BIANCHI & CHEAPMACHINES - PARADOXOS (CDR by Tib Prod)
BJERGA/IVERSEN - DISSECT AND CONNECT (CDR by Tib Prod)
Both Maurizio Bianchi and Cheapmachines have proven over the years of their careers that they are capable of producing a fine bit of music, also when it comes to louder stuff or even true noise music. Bianchi of course playing an all important role in the early days of industrial music and Cheapmachines as a good student of that. However their piece 'Powerarctic' comes with some linernotes such as 'Like the silence, which is the contrary of the sound, or the Arctic which is the opposite of the Anarctic' along other more complicated lines of mumbo-jumbo. The piece lasts one hour of motorized drone music, which slowly develops, or rather just changes a bit, but it seems that both are caught on an off day. Nothing here that could interest me very much, not for more than any random ten minutes of this piece, but not the entirety itself.
The new Bjerga/Iversen is not really a new one, but a remix album. In the world of real music business, the remix is there to bring music into a new territory, to find, say, rock clients for your dance act. None such is the case here, as the twelve remixers are all from the same world as Bjerga/Iversen. The same posse that is responsible for endless lines of CDR releases on their own labels, and who, by friends request, easily make up a remix for you. The usual suspects, local and international are welcomed here: Hoh, Robert Horton, Dead Wood, Andy Jarvis, Joe + N-XXXXXX, Swamps Up Nostrils, Hrönir, Green Kingdom, Prester, Tzesne and Culver. It's a nice compilation, even when at times it seems close to the original sounds of Bjerga/Iversen: lengthy pieces of improvised electronics, playing the atmospheric card and sometimes derailing. Not bad, but not entirely convincing, certainly not after last week's fine Bjerga/Iversen release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com

DONYS MOKUALG SUBSTITUTION PRODUCT - KATAPLASM (CDr by ?)
This was released in January 2008 and a contact address is
<scumflesh@wanadoo.fr> - the disk I got was a verbatim with marker pen bearing the above text. An accompanying green flyer provides little more
information - than above - a track listing showing 24 tracks with names like "Hunger of the artificial vagina", "autoroute orgasme" and "scalpel vector cunt (part 1 to 5). The collage on the other side includes a cutout with French text. The sounds - first tracks - fast drum machines, piano , guitar? and sax plundering from noise into semi Jazz? Google yields very little more - http://www.scan-dm-mania.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=293&sid=0890796fe6cbd17502fa47a699333d04
gives - "Cyber death noisecore/ Harsh noise/ Cut up noisecore" The following pieces are more abstract slabs of noise- very impressive - this potential should be 'exploited - there then follows some less dynamic pieces of abstract sounds "cut ups" (a little boring) with a good finale. Perhaps the very low key packaging and scant information is deliberate- (miles from the operatic scale and packaging of the Prurient production) and only in parts does it live up to its claims of death noisecore - (it does) - which is a pity. (jliat)
Address: <scumflesh@wanadoo.fr>

HOLY DREAD - DRECHES (CDR by Cut Hands)
Presence and surface is the hallmark of modernity - truth to materials - transparency is the miasmic landscape of what went before - romanticism of
which impressionism was a part. Within electronic music - that is music amplified - the use of reverb gives depth- and so the illusion of nature - as in hall - room - cathedral reverbs- and within the genre of noise (industrial) the natural phenomenon - thunder, explosions - or industrial - deserted factories - aircraft and tube trains- which can be just program music- and in many examples it is just this- and tedious at times like a bmovie. Holy Dread however manage in this release to transcend such by the sheer intensity of its application. The sine/tones in the second track seem completely out of place from the more magnificent and overpowering of the noise elsewhere. The work builds from the obvious to such an extreme that is becomes abstract pure presence which is the hallmark of noise - even the obviousness of its being an over the top- unreal - Hollywood apocalypse of nature - and virtual Armageddon. Excellent (jliat)
Address: http://www.cuthands.net

TANDEM ELECTRICS - INTAGLIO (CDR by RAR)
Richard Kamerman & Evan Rosenberg collaborate on this microsound improvised CDR of just over half an hour. Work of such low volume and thin texture - hum and noise of minimal electronics requires careful listening. Its easy to see why many reviewers are disparaging of such sound works - but not this one. Careful and effortful listening brings with this a kind of de-toxification- though not to be confused with anything like modernity's minimalism - as art statements - now such works work phenomenologically, on and in the consciousness and sub conscious - they are psychologically the equivalent of breathing fresh air or perhaps the literal explanation of the parable in John 2:1-10. (jliat)
Address http://www.myspace.com/reedevanrosenberg

 

YANN NOVAK - IN RESIDENCE (CDR by Dragon Eye Recordings)
In Fall 2007 Dragon Eye Recordings owner Yann Novak did three residencies and in each place he created a new piece. Away from home, one can isolated while working, solitary, on music. That feeling is what Novak tries to get across. Whatever sort of field recordings might be his input, we don't know. It's not on the cover and it's not audible through the recordings. However what we can say, indeed safely say, is that Novak plays microsound ambient music. Slowly the music unfolds, being fed through a whole bunch of sound transformers, no doubt all of digital nature. Chirping insects in the first piece and in the other two nothing that we could even remotely recognize. It's textbook microsound ambient music, great music, relaxing music, but also nothing new under the sun. Sometimes, such as in the case, that is fine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dragonseyerecordings.com

MU MIXER - [EITHER OR] (CDR by Retinascan)
MARCO PIANGES - INSIDE IMPLOSION (CDR by Retinascan)
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seemed that I missed out on Mu Mixer, or 'Future Remix' as he called himself when first releasing on Retinascan in 2003. It was, apparently, a 'thrilling version of how microsampling can be used to extreme form of meditative noise, mantras of empty information cleaning up your consciousness'. In 2006 he changed his name to Mu Mixer and as such '[Either Or]' is his third release on Retinascan. It's music to an exhibition of which some photos are reproduced in the booklet (excellent package here, like is usual with Retinascan). Five lengthy cuts of monotonous drone/noise sampling. Not much seems to be happening in this lot. Perhaps it's the empty sampler, or the time stretched 1/1000 second sample, but this empty lot is a bit too empty for me. I do like minimalism, a lot actually, but here's it take to a level, in which no effort seems to be the guiding principle - and that is just not goo enough.
Also on Retinascan is a new artists by the name of Marco Pianges who hails from beautiful Catania, Italy. Although he has been working inside music since 2002, it's only that he released his first thing last year. Pianges takes his inspiration from the world of microsound and ambient glitch, but applies them in a somewhat more crude manner, even gritty and noise at times. However below the somewhat louder interjections, the processed hiss, crackle and static lies firmly. Pianges also applies collage techniques, making abrupt changing sounds. It's all pretty interesting, and certainly promising for the future, but it also needs some more refinement in compositions and this has certainly growth potential. (FdW)
Address: http://www.retinascan.de

DIAMONDHEAD - DIRTY REALISM (CDR by Public Eyesore)
JESSE KRAKOW - WORLD WITHOUT NACHOS (CDR by Public Eyesore)
THE KBD SONIC COOPERATIVE - FOUR PLUS ONE (CDR by Public Eyesore)
BREKEKEKEXKOAXKOAX - I MANAGE TO GET OUT BY A SECRET DOOR (CDR by Public Eyesore)
Diamondhead is one L. Eugene Methe, R.J. Reynolds and Derek Rogers. They are depicted, in blurry black and white, with a bass, drums and guitar on the cover. Their music is typical free music that is found on the US shores these days. Some careful strumming, some feedback, some noise, some quiet parts, all in a the free free environment. Music made without rules but perhaps also a but tired. Very much a case of been there, heard that. It's not bad at all, for what it is, just not very original.
A long time ago we encountered the music of Jesse Krakow, with his 'Oceans In The Sun' release (see Vital Weekly 431) and here he returns with 'World Without Nachos', with thirty-eight minutes of music, but with no less than seventy-two songs - that's less than thirty seconds per track. Some are longer and some are shorter. Krakow still sings, plays keyboards and guitar. The recording certainly has improved over the years, and even have multiple vocal layers, and some of these songs could certainly expand beyond the mere second that they last now. Certified weirdness all around here. It's actually very funny but the briefness of the songs make sure that it's hard for any song to stick in your brain. That's a pity.
Much less tracks - five in total - spanning almost the entire eighty minutes of a CDR, that's what you get with The KBD Sonic Cooperative, being Micheal Kimaid (drums, percussion, signals), Gabe Beam (strings, horns, electronics, objects) and Ryan Dohm (trumpet, cello, no-input mixer, objects). Welcome to the world of improvisation. The world of uncut improvisation, we tell the whole story of what happened that night to the three of us. Long pieces have fairly traditional improvisation. Free wind instruments, drums roll, a bit of electronics. Actually it's all quite alright, but after two tracks (already thirty minutes) the idea behind The KBD Sonic Cooperative is quite clear. The rest is for the diehard fans.
Also improvisation can be found on the release by those whose name we can't pronounce: Brekekekexkoaxkoax, being the group around Josh Ronsen. He too has long pieces. The first two are recordings by him on prepared guitar and Jason Pierce on drums. This is fairly traditional improvisation and one of these would have been enough. I'd prefer 'I Never Saw The End Of The Fire'. 'Shoham' is Ronsen solo on electronics, with a nice subdued drone like piece. The piece after that 'We Ought To Have But One Single Thought' lives up to its title and is a free piece, not like the opening pieces but more open ended, just as the piece that closes the release, but that one is again for a totally different line up. In between that there is another solo piece. Perhaps some of it is a bit long, but throughout I thought this was the best of the four, if only for the sheer variation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.publiceyesore.com

JETZMANN - UNTER DIE DEUTSCHEN (3"CDR by AIC disc)
SONATA REC - UND WIR WAREN NICHT DIE ERSTEN UTOPISTEN (3"CDR by AIC disc)
GREGORY BÜTTNER - NIL:AUDIO (3"CDR by AIC disc)
TOTES FORMAT - TUNNEL BRUECKE (CDR by Totes Format)
Three new 3" releases by AIC from Hamburg, Germany, and they all seem to be dealing with history. Most clearly in the release by Jetzmann. He's been around for a long time, but has remained somewhat underground. Here he takes a text by Friedrich Hölderlin about being among the Germans and sets this to music. The text, spoken in German, is recited wonderfully, even if you don't get the drift of it. Jetzmann adds minimal electronics from his laptop to it, and makes a really wonderful, radioplay like piece. The second piece seems a filler: it's a pure electronic piece of deep end drones and rhythmic clicks, but I don't think it has much relation to the first piece.
Also Sonata Rec, also known as Heidrun Schramm uses voices in 'Es War Einmal...' (once upon a time). They are culled from historical sources, and fed through some sort of computer plug in or something like that. It doesn't however tell really much of a story and is a bit long. Turntable variation seem to be part of the much shorter second piece. The vinyl spinning is 'historical fragments', which are layered around so that we can't hear which part of history. The weakest of the three releases.
No voices on Büttner's release, but the historical component is that he harks back to a movie he did in 2002, about data compressing. NIL in the title stands for 'non-existant interface', where files are sent for deletion. By compressing and decompressing sound files, Büttner arrives some fine microscopic glitch material which, like glacier masses rub against eachother until it reaches it's conclusion in the short 'Intkom'. Warm, glitchy, modern yet also a bit too traditional.
Labelowner Olivier Peeters also does music under the banner of Totstellen. His latest release 'Tunnel Bruecke' was recorded inside a motorwaybridge across the river Elbe in Hamburg for 'a fragmented video performance'. The sound later on processed and edited. The result is quite a dark atmospheric release, which employs lots of reverb, texts recited, cars passing, water running. Quite a grim release, much along the lines of Lustmord's 'Heresy', but not in caves but in a tunnel. Isolation music for the darker souls around. But it's actually it's all quite nice and well recorded and executed with care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.0000-anti.info
Address: http://www.telenautik.de/grimm/totesformat

MATTHIEU SALADIN - 4'33"/O'00" (3" CDR by Editions Provisoires)
In 1974 Cramps Records released the very first version of 4'33, the 'silent' piece by John Cage from 1952. On vinyl. It was followed later by other versions, and even a CD of cover versions. Matthieu Saladin, who likes a conceptual approach to music, takes the 1974 recording and amplifies it to the maximum, by using 'change gain' and 'normalize' - no doubt and comes up with a sole, four minutes and thirty three second piece (well actually it clocks in a 4'40"!) of some utter loud noise, which, much to my surprise, actually has variations in it (not following the score however of three parts, I think). Play loud, it says on the nicely designed cover, and that is indeed the best thing you can do. The shortest Merzbow CD that Merzbow never did. Great statement. (FdW)
Address: http://editionsprovisoires.free.fr

MR. BRAIN SANDER - SONGS ABOUT HUFFING (cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
OUBLIETTE - SELF HATE (cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
Teenage Whore Tapes? Brain Sander? Prayer tape recordings? Humming synths? This is 80s, very 80s. If I hadn't seen the tape, or in fact holding it in my hand, I could have sworn the release by Mr. Brain Sander was a tape release by Hidious In Strength, Psy Falanx, Jonathan Briley, Noizecloth or any some such early 80s USA industrial music act. Humming, slightly rhythmic songs with a great importance on spoken word vocals. A prayer like tape, or rap-like in 'PCP Poetry'. 'Methanol' on the b-side is rather Ramleh inspired. Actually I must say I quite enjoyed this release, since it sounds very retro, but also sounds nicely produced and worked out.
Work by Seth Oubliette was reviewed before (Vital Weekly 499 and 604) and here he returns with a new tape of pure uncut noise. Like what I said about his previous release, I can say here: it's all o.k. but way too long for what it is. An endless wall of distortion, feedback, noise, distortion, feedback and noise. On end. It lacks the depth of Mr. Brain Sander and is a unidirectional attack on the ears. Not bad, not great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/teenagewhoretapes

ROY-ARNE KNUTSEN - FJORDS (MP3 by Silence Is Not Empty)
The Norwegian fjords are a source of inspiration for Roy-Arne Knutsen, of whom I never heard. On Silence Is Not Empty he has a MP3 of two tracks, 'Fjords 1' and 'Fjords 2' which show his love, fascinating or perhaps hate for the fjords. I doubt they'd be inspired by hate though. Deep dark ambient pieces. Slowly developing, enveloping and unfolding. Deep and mysterious, like watching the rock formations from very close by. Knutsen lives in Tromso, which is the very northern end of Norway and this is an influence on his music. It's dark from the most of the day, certainly in this time of the year, and this no doubt casts its dark shadows on this music. Not highly original, but executed with care. Something to be relaunced in the world of CDRs, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silence-is-not-empty.com

JEFF GBUREK - GNARLY ROOT QUEEN SPECTRA REMIX (MP3 by Idiosyncratics)
PANGEA - LA LOGICA DE LAS TERMITAS (MP3 by Idiosyncratics)
ENSEMBLE 0 - PASSACAILLE (MP3 by Idiosyncratics)
More from Idiosyncratics, a label that releases both things you can hold in your hand and stuff that you can download, following last week's release by Xedh and his friends. The first one is by Jeff Gburek, who recorded this piece as it happens not too far from Vital's HQ, in Germany's Kleve Nur Nicht Nicht studios. For this he used electric guitars, shortwave radio, ebow, oscillators and voice. It's a remixed version of something that has been released by Digitalis Industries. It's a great piece of humming sounds, soft spoken text and the crackle of short wave. A rather subdued piece, minimal, but forever changing it's course, shape and color. A delight to hear from this already remarkable composer.
I never heard of Juan Antonio Nieto, also known as Pangea (named after the Miles Davis record?), who plays around with field recordings from Gambia and Asturias, digital hardware and an old broken sampler. His piece starts out a bit noisy, but it turns around for all the good. Maybe it's a bit too much of a haphazard affair in the end. Once the band is on the wagon, things move, but it's all a bit too free, and it could have been a stronger piece when Nieto would have decided to actually compose with the sounds, rather than letting them in a free fall. It's not a bad piece, but it could have been more than what it is.
The final release is by a group, Ensemble O, consisting of Sylvain Chauveau
(electric guitar), Maitane Sebastian (violoncello), Stéphane Garin (metals, cymbals, alluminium paper, spinning top, glockenspiel-toy). Mood here too, in a finely woven interplay between instruments and concrete sounds. Starting slowly, with a few sounds, this builds up, but never loud, but richly layered, textured sounds. A bit like Fessenden in approach. Quite quiet and quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.idiosyncratics.net