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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 622
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week 15
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

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* noted are in this week's podcast

 

FREIBAND & MACHINEFABRIEK - OAHU (CD by Low Point) *
BEEQUEEN - SANDANCING (CD by Important Records) *
JON MUELLER & JASON KAHN - TOPOGRAPHY (CD by Xeric/Table Of The Elements) *
DIANE LABROSSE - MUSIC FOR OBJECTS ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION (CD by Ambiances Magnetics)
JEAN DEROME ET LES DANGERREUX ZHOMS (CD by Ambiances Magnetics)
THE KEVIN FRENETTE 4 - CONNECTIONS (CD by Fuller Street Music)
LISLE ELLIS - SUCKER PUNCH REQUIEM (CD by Henceforth)
ONDO - MAHAVISNU (CD on Paradigm Recordings) *
AKIRA RABELAIS - HOLLYWOOD (CD by Schoolmap) *
NATASHA BARRETT & TANJA ORNING - DR.OX (CD by Cycling 74) *
STEVE PETERS - THE WEBSTER CYCLES (CDEP by Cold Blue Music) *
JESSICA BAILIFF/ANNELIES MONSERE (CDEP by Morc Records)
ERIKM - STEME (CD by Room40) *
BRANDON LABELLE & JAMES WEBB - RADIO FLIRT (MP3 by Room40)
BILLY BAO - ACCUMULATION (7" by Xerox Musik)
MATHIAS DELPLANQUE - L'INONDATION (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
LUGANO FELL - RIGHT SIDE DEFECT (CDR, private) *
AMPUTATION DESIRE & GOGHAL (CDR by Verato Project)
TETSUYA HORI (CDR by Naiv Super) *
ANTOINE CHESSEX (CDR by Naiv Super)
DONINIQUE VACCARO - BASTILLE (CDR by Incudine) *
LUCIANO MAGGIORE - ON GREY (CDR by Incudine)
FRANCESCO CAVALIERE - YOUR HAIR IN MY TRAIL (CDR by Incudine)
ARMADILLO CONCRETO - FUSCIONORON (MP3 by L'Arraskito)
OIER ETXEBERRIA - AVENIDA DEL CANTABRICO (MP3 by L'Arraskito)
ANOREXIA MENTAL - SELFEDITEZ 2007 (MP3 by L'Arraskito)

FREIBAND & MACHINEFABRIEK - OAHU (CD by Low Point)
"Oahu" starts out this Dutch Meeting of the Giants with a introduction only little more then a minute, but it's important for the rest of the album as it not only delivers the sound material for what comes after, as also the title for the album. Oahu is the third-biggest island of Hawaii, and from it comes an acoustic lapsteel guitar, played on the first track by Martin Luiten. The two tracks following this are made in email collaboration between Frans de Waard (Freiband) and Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), with both doing one of the final mixes.
It's great to see these two generations of Dutch sound sculptors on one album, and I guess they fuel each other's interest in doing something extra good to avoid looking like the young novice and the old professor. Which is good for us, the listeners. It takes the 2.1 version about nine minutes before I can make out the lapsteel source material, and even then it's only through belief. It comes back clearly at the end, but before that must've come about ten different passages and intervals that follow each other up without any obvious structure. Which still doesn't take away any of the excitement of the track. A sign of mastery I guess.
The last track is more cohesive, and also maybe a bit more contemporary (although it's a 2001-contemporary maybe, with a sound that is suspended between Tim Hecker-y ambient grit and almost sacred tonal float). Here also, after 14 minutes of relative bliss, the guitar comes back in for some grounding. Especially beautiful is it when the glitchy floor boards fall away with only the stereo-divided guitar joined by some humming.
Great to see what these two do in their respective final mixes, it might just be coincidence, but they do stamp their own vision on each of their own mixes. Amazing material. Now step two would be an album completely done together. I would be delighted to hear that... (RM)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

BEEQUEEN - SANDANCING (CD by Important Records)
Beequeen is the long running collaboration between Dutch music veterans Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar. The duo mainly focused on ambient and industrial music during the nineties, until their album 'Ownliness', back in 2002, which marked a more or less radical break with Beequeen's past. Since 'Ownliness' the music of Beequeen has shifted to well crafted electronic pop songs. 'Sandancing' is no exception. It's an atmospheric and dreamy album due to the beautiful (female) vocals of Olga Wallis.
The songs are built on electronics, guitar and keyboard, combined with fine microsonic details, pulsing drum machines and subtle field recordings. It can easily be seen as a rather accessible record, especially considering Beequeens past, but 'Sandancing' hides enough surprises to keep it exciting. It somehow reminds me of the early works of Piano Magic, the project of Glen Johnson, who also used to work with different vocalists to transform his electronic instrumentals into songs. Being aware of the adventurous approach of these experimental wizards, you immediately wonder what Beequeens next record will be like. But you certainly hope that Olga Wallis will be involved again as 'Sandancing' is definitely their best record to date. (MW)
Address: http://www.importantrecords.com/

JON MUELLER & JASON KAHN - TOPOGRAPHY (CD by Xeric/Table Of The Elements)
It went a little past by me, but Jon Mueller is now fully signed up to Table Of The Elements, so they already released in the last six months eight titles that include his work. Either solo, or with his band Collections Of Colonies Of Bees, or such as here in collaboration with the like wise prolific Jason Kahn. Together they have been on the road about a year ago in the North-east area of America. This CD is a documentation of that tour, spanning five tracks. Of course you do realize that both are drummer boys, but with an added extra. Kahn plays percussion and analogue synthesizer and Mueller plays percussion and cassettes. He places this cassette players below the skin of his percussion and through the rumble of the cassette the skin starts vibrating, making a rattling sound. Over the years Kahn's playing has turned more and more subtle and delicate and is much drone related these days. His synthesizer hums away, while I could never figure out what he does with his percussion, to be honest. These five pieces which flow nicely into eachother, thus perhaps presenting a concert as it could have been, displays very well what they. I believe this is a microphone recording, rather than a line recording, which adds a certain nice quality to the atmosphere. Drone like, and hardly percussive, but with great depth. Minimal in approach, maximum in the way it sounds like it. Great stuff, but I hardly expected anything different. (FdW)
Address: http://www.croutonmusic.com

DIANE LABROSSE - MUSIC FOR OBJECTS ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION (CD by Ambiances Magnetics)
JEAN DEROME ET LES DANGERREUX ZHOMS (CD by Ambiances Magnetics)
Two veterans from the Montréal musicscene present their newest work.
For her new project Diane Labrosse invited the following musicians: Marie-Soleil Bélanger (violin), Jean Derome (flute, fake trumpet), Bernard Falaise (electric guitar), Lori Freedman (clarinet), Jean René (viola), Pierre Tanguay (percussion). Labrosse herself plays accordion. It is a sort of conceptalbum. In 8 compositions she makes use of concrete noises we all know from our daily lives: clocks, telephones, printers, answering machines, etc. Without any manipulation these sounds are integrated in a musical background, by which she tries to evoke a story and atmosphere around these sounds. One could call it a non verbal radioplay, a sonic story that in a way moves along a narrative line. In each composition we hear only one or few musicians. We never hear an ensemble playing. "This disc was entirely assembled without the consent of the musicians playing on it. I thank them for agreeing to record "blindfolded" and let me manipulate them as I pleased" Labrosse explains. So these compositions are probably the result of a lot of editing, etc. This way she has built nice impressionistic, soundscaping pieces. They are carefully structured, with a good feeling for balance and atmosphere.
Jean Derome returns with another CD with his Dangereux Zhoms. After a silence of ten years, now the fourth cd by this ensemble sees the light after 'Carnets De Voyage' (1994), 'Navré' (1995), and 'Torticolis' (1998). With Tom Walsh (trombone), Guilaume Dostaler (piano), Pierre Cartier (electric bass) , Pierre Tanguay (drums) and Derome himself on saxes and flute, we are 65 minutes entertained with new compositions by Derome. A music that is most close to jazz, but that is above all in between everything. With plenty of room for improvisation the music always stays in the neighborhood of the themes that Derome composed. After so many records out Derome does not surprise with something completely new, but satisfies with a very well-crafted new work by a fine ensemble. Impressive I found the solo of Derome in the last 24-minute composition 'Prières', were he cries his heart out. Honest music. (DM)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

THE KEVIN FRENETTE 4 - CONNECTIONS (CD by Fuller Street Music)
A new CD from the small Fuller Street Music label, specialized in jazz and improvised music. This time they give room to guitarist Kevin Frenette to make his first step with his quartet. It has Andy McWain on piano, Todd Keating playing bass and Tatsuya Nakatani on percussion. Frenette studied guitar, composition, and music theory and has performed throughout the Northeast of the USA with people like Jack Wright, Dan DeChellis, Michael Snow and many others. Always in the corner of modern improvised and avant garde music. With his quartet he presents seven collective improvisations, recorded in august 2006. Their music is constantly moving with a restless speed and intensity and seems to drift in every possible direction at first hearing. Especially the guitarist tries to play as many notes as possible. But repeated listening makes clear that these improvisations are very focused and that the improvisors know where they are heading at. All the lines and patterns they play are woven into consistent improvisations. In many surprising ways, this is intelligently interconnected music. Technically all of them are very advanced and the interplay of the four is very good. All four play in function of the whole. Bassist Keating is not very prominent but probably essential in holding it together. Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, originally from Japan, uses, so to hear, an extended set of percussion and learned his techniques from very different backgrounds: folk, jazz, new music, etc. Of all four, his playing surprised me most. He has always an answer, and always a different one. He adds many colors and makes these improvisations multi-dimensional. The playing of Frenette on the other hand could be more pronounced from time to time. His style comes definitely from the world of jazz, which is also the case for the pianist. But as the percussionist abandoned the swing, these improvisations never become pure jazz. To conclude, this quartet offers some very rich improvisations. There is a lot to hear and to discover. An excellent work. (DM)
Address: http://www.fullerstreeetmusic.com/

LISLE ELLIS - SUCKER PUNCH REQUIEM (CD by Henceforth)
For some 25 years Ellis is active in the world of jazz and improvised. He is featured on at least 40 CD's. He lives in New York where he leads his own ensemble Audible Means.
His new CD is meant as a homage to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. For this occasion Ellis recruited the following musicians: Pamela Z (voice, electronics), Holly Hofmann (flutes), Oliver Lake (saxophones), George Lewis (trombone), Mike Wofford (piano) and Susie Ibarra (drums, percussion). Ellis himself plays bass and electronics. In 16 short compositions Ellis tries to translate the work of the visual artist Basquiat with whom Ellis felt himself deeply related. For this project he listened to many requiems, and from this research he took the traditional six part Mass of the Dead of the Roman Catholic Church as a point of departure.
The CD opens with an experimental intro of electronics and singing, with short breath takes on saxophone. Also the following piece 'Incantation and Ascent' opens with electronic manipulations with voice, before the piano sets in. The compositions however do not often surprise, and stay within what we know and expect from jazzmusic. But the playing of Lake and Lewis and the others is okay. Only the electronic intros and interludes bring in something new, and are well integrated with the acoustic part. So, thoroughly composed and played jazzmusic it is, but alas with very little unexpected moves and twists. (DM)
Address: http://www.henceforthrecords.com/

ONDO - MAHAVISNU (CD on Paradigm Recordings)
Recently (Vital Weekly 617) we were introduced to the music of C-J Larsgarden, also known as Ondo, through a 3"CDR called 'Shields', a piece for drone like guitars and a bit of drums. Now, on a real CD, released by Paradigms Recordings (not to be confused with Paradigm, I guess, UK's home of improvised music) eight new tracks, which Ondo describes as a fusion between 'Earth, Raison D'Etre and a touch of Fennesz', which is certainly nice found and also not much beside the point. Larsgarden's music is quite dark, with lots of deep, atmospheric sounds, running like undercurrents underneath (let's say the Earth influence), but on top there is always a small melody or small melodic touch to be found. Sometimes on piano, sometimes on guitar - that might be the Raison D'Etre influence (if anyone remembers this Cold Meat Industry band). Fennesz is a bit harder to spot but with a certain flair you find it through the some of the production, certainly when it starts to sound a bit more digital. Quite a nice soundtrack to a horror film this one, to which I have one minor objection: the tracks sound a bit too similar at times. The heavy banging, the dark drone, the melodic touch, the built up of tracks and the noise bits - there is a bit too much uniformity in these pieces. But served in smaller portions: quite nice indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pactasuntservanda.se

AKIRA RABELAIS - HOLLYWOOD (CD by Schoolmap)
As far as I remember, we drove through Hollywood once, but perhaps not on Hollywood Boulevard, so we didn't see the star pavement. It wasn't, for sure, on August 26th, 2006, when Akira Rabelais stood between the stars of Betty Grable and Rod Serling and made this recording. Grable was an American dancer, singer and actress who died in 1973 and Serling was a screenwriter from the sixties, who died in 1975. Not really iconic names these days, me thinks. But in the work of Akira Rabelais almost anything is possible. Not visible on the surface, but hidden somewhere deep down, with all sorts of meaning and various layers of that preferably. So Rabelais stood there for a solid hour with his recorder and recorded the street, people passing and talking. Bits of music flash by, various languages and all the time the listener, not present there, in some if not many cases even never been there at all, keep wondering: why? Why am I supposed to be hearing this? What is the significance of me hearing this, and why these two stars? Is there going to happen anything at all here or is this it? (I won't spoil the fun there). Much of what Rabelais does is a big mystery. Visit his website and you know what I am talking about. The modern day minimalist and conceptualist, infiltrating on all levels (music, art, website, but also building his own eccentric software), makes another point. It's up to you whether to make up if you think it's a good or weak point. I made up my mind, but not giving it out in print. (FdW)
Address: http://www.schoolmap-records.com

NATASHA BARRETT & TANJA ORNING - DR.OX (CD by Cycling 74)
Hardly a surprise, I guess, but music released by Cycling 74 deals with software that is also available there, like various Max/msp things. The latter is also at work on the CD by Natasha Barrett and Tanja Orning. The latter plays cello and the first one uses the computer to transform the improvised cello playing. 'Dr. Ox' is a character from a Jules Verne story, though not as well-known as some of the other character, and I believe the main protagonist of this music. I must admit I had a hard time listening to this music. The improvised playing of Orning is pretty standard in the world of free improv, and whatever Barrett adds through the use of computer doesn't get me very excited either. It all sounds like a common place to me. There is a fair amount of dynamics on this release, which is fine but not enough to get fully excited. Occasionally nice, but throughout a bit too regular. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cycling74.com

STEVE PETERS - THE WEBSTER CYCLES (CDEP by Cold Blue Music)
Last week we had a Steve Peters release to review and here's another one. Long time nothing and now a small flood. Which is great, since 'The Webster Cycles' couldn't be much further away from 'Filtered Light', from last week. That was an entirely electronic work, whereas 'The Webster Cycles' is 'intended for any combination of wind instruments or voices', and is here performed by J.A. Deane for six trombones. The work was already composed in 1980-1981 and this recording is from 1998 - but music is timeless, I guess. Through overdubbing, Deane recorded this almost thirty minutes of music. Inspired by Webster's dictionary, words become pitch sequences or melodic phrases that are to be played within the duration of a long breath. Deane plays long sustaining sounds on his trombone, I guess with a long breath, and the result is a gorgeous, minimal piece with very slow changes. Unlike say Phill Niblock, the sounds are there to die out, beyond their sustain. Breathing space is kept inside, which adds a solemn character to the piece. Solemn and spacious, this is. Ambient music without any electronic means (rather than multi-track recording that is), or so it seems, close to the original ideas of Eno. Subtle music for late evenings. (FdW)
Address: http://www.coldbluemusic.com

JESSICA BAILIFF/ANNELIES MONSERE (CDEP by Morc Records)
The one time Jessica Bailiff played in Nijmegen, I missed out, so I never heard her music, which has been around for a decade or so. Apparently she plays drone like music and very slowfolk songs. Here she teams up with the for me likewise unknown Annelies Monsere who is a multi-instrumentalist from Gent, Belgium. Each of the women supplies two songs. Sparsely instrumented these four songs, only in 'Shadow' there seems to be more happening than just a bit of guitar strumming. They sing their songs rather held back, not shouting their emotions out, but distilled, frail and no doubt very personal. Music like this, which reminded me of Fovea Hex, but a lot simpler, more sparse, is never really my cup of tea but these four tracks, however brief they are, is something I quite enjoyed. A great relaxing atmosphere comes from these four songs and as such they were refreshing or uplifting. (FdW)
Address: http://www.morctapes.com

ERIKM - STEME (CD by Room40)
BRANDON LABELLE & JAMES WEBB - RADIO FLIRT (MP3 by Room40)
Foremost we may know ErikM as an improviser, using recorded media, such as vinyl, CDs and mini discs. But he's also a composer and we should see 'Steme' as a composition. It uses ten, one minute long sound pieces which were burned to CR that was deliberately damaged. This was fed through ErikM set up including a '3k-pad system, Minidisc, CD-DJ and electronics). From these improvisations he recorded a whole bunch of sessions, which he then mixed. That is easy to hear here, I think. The sound of scratching is a definite feature on this release, but ErikM takes the most out of it. Unlike say Oval, ErikM is not interested in creating some new (old?) form of popmusic out of it, but rather tries to use all these blocks in a large composition of a highly delicate, electro-acoustic nature. With the exception of 'White Out' which operates more from the drone end, and there for seems a bit out of place here, all the seven other pieces are of a collage like nature, which adds a great vibrancy to the material, bouncing all over the place while the listener only can submit to this with full attention. That 'White Out' piece could have been easily left of from this, and it would have been a perfect CD, now it's near perfection.
Same label but in digital distribution only comes a collaboration between Brandon Labelle and James Webb. Its been a while since we last saw Labelle in these pages as a musician and more as a publisher of books on his own Errant Bodies Press. Webb is from South Africa, where he works as a composer and organizer. Together the two of them produced an installation for '(In)visible Sounds' at the Media Art Institute in Amsterdam in 2007. Afterwards they expanded on the material produced for the installation and that has become this release. It deals with various spaces of a house (?), and each piece called after a particular part, like foyer, staircase, front room, hall and back room. Perhaps these pieces were recorded in these parts of the house. Much of the music consists of field recording, which in this case consists of heavily amplified action of what happens inside but even more so, outside the house. Deep rumbling sounds, to which the two added whispering voices which recite texts, poetry, dreams outloud, or any some such, which was something I could not very easy relate to. It sounded alright, sound wise, with, I assume, quite an amount of post production to make these sounds even more heavy based (bassed?) but the voices put me a bit off. As a radiophonic work however this sounded quite nice, however, I'm not sure if a receiver would indeed receive all the musical information. (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org

BILLY BAO - ACCUMULATION (7" by Xerox Musik)
The fact that Billy Bao is a band is something that might not have escaped you. It's the man with the same name on vocals, Mattin on guitar, Xabier Erkizia on guitar and Alberto Lopez on drums. Ten one minute tracks on the 7" 'Accumulation', dealing with excess richness and the growth of capital. Like a flow chart, the titles get longer and longer, until 'While Watching Their Stocks Rise, Your Miserable Fucking Life Dies' - welcome to politically inspired music. The band plays minimal strokes, but banging rather than introvertly played, but don't sound like a punk band. Their recording seems to be of an even more lo-fi nature than what is common in this area. There is a very consistent element through running through this music, with is more like a piece of 'art', than a 'political' statement, despite what the liner notes try to tell you. Quite a nice piece of gesamtkunstwerk. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mattin.org/2_Billy_Bao.html

MATHIAS DELPLANQUE - L'INONDATION (CDR by Mystery Sea)
Some people use various artist names, but then some of them do manage to sound the same throughout. There is also somebody like Mathias Deplanque who various incarnations manage to sound very differently. There is the dub of Lena, the glitch of Bidlo and the electronics of The Missing Ensemble. Under his own name Delplanque does the 'serious work', dealing with field recordings and such like such as his great, delicate work 'Ma Chambre Quand Je N'y Suis Pas', dealing with sound of empty spaces (see Vital Weekly 539). He lives in Nantes and down in his basement is where he taped all the sounds for 'L'Inondation', which first presented as a sound installation in 2005. The sounds are, probably, heavily processed affairs of low humming vibrations and on top various sorts of machinery, with soft, breaking sounds. Perhaps I'm all wrong. Perhaps it's the radiator sounds, insects and cars passing in the background. The forty-seven minute piece is best seen as a piece of ambient music - music derived from the ambient, using the space as a resonator and to play his sound. The low mechanical humming is best played at a lower volume, so that it incorporates your living area perfectly. I can imagine if you play this at full volume, the music will be too industrial. At home, a quiet home, the soft sounds from outside will match Delplanque's perfectly, providing a lower volume. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

LUGANO FELL - RIGHT SIDE DEFECT (CDR, private)
Not much is known about James Taylor (assuming it's not the older one), which is "50% of the mature house duo Swayzak", and who here operates as Lugano Fell, as there isn't much on his website at myspace. He could do with some more friends, I think, and his release 'Right Side Defect' is worth hearing. The six pieces here show a distinct love for digital sound manipulation that includes tags as 'drone', 'glitch' and 'shoegazing'. No instruments were to be detected here as they are all dully transformed using the computer. Sustaining sounds, clicks that work as rhythms and lots of effects (outboard or inboard) to feed them through. A gritty, granulated sound with small melodic blocks that work well in their warm bed of drones. The shoegazing aspect lies more in the extensive use of distortion an chorus effects. It's not really ambient glitch like: the music is too loud to pass on as such. Think Tilliander's later work and you get the idea. Not really top new, but executed with great care. It would have been nice on a real label, and not disappear as a private release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/luganofell

AMPUTATION DESIRE & GOGHAL (CDR by Verato Project)
Neither Amputation Desire and Goghal ran any bell in this dazed head that is here today, and from the cover I understand that this is a matter of bouncing back and forth sound material. The result is two long tracks of say twenty some minutes each which are very opposite works to eachother. The second piece is a long noise beast, but lacks any imagination to make things even remotely interesting. Which is a pity since the other track is a nice dark ambient industrial piece of music, which isn't entirely new either but at least sounds pretty decent, shifting through various textures and moods in the darkest realm of life. Like said, nothing new under the sun either, but it's a nice piece. For my part they could have easily made two such pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

TETSUYA HORI (CDR by Naiv Super)
ANTOINE CHESSEX (CDR by Naiv Super)
I never heard of Tetsuya Hori, who was born in Sapporo, Japan, where he studied and teached piano and composition. Since 2003 he lives in Berlin where he composes and improvises. The three compositions here all deal with laptop and real time sounds: one with a beer bottle, one with a glass of water and one with flute. Only the latter is played by somebody else that Hori.
From whatever he does with the objects or
instruments, the sound is being picked up by the laptop and processed as such. He does that in a very gentle way. It's not hard to recognize the original source - if you ever had a glass of water or ever blown into a beer bottle, but the sounds that are unfolded from the computer are delicate and elegant. Hori is not a man to blow you to pieces, unlike some of his country men. Surely this can be easily classified as microsound and as such is not necessarily offers a new strategy, but within the field he certainly does some interesting things. Ambient laptop doodling with a strong love for the electro-acoustic treatment.
Saxophone player Antoine Chessex has been reviewed here with some pretty strong improvised playing recorded in a live situation. Here too its a live recording, made in the Electronic Church in Berlin. Chessex technique is circular breathing so that he can make sustained tones that make small drones. When he and the Naiv Super team went into the church it was stone cold and it took him an hour to warm up the saxophone, but the recording session was too cold, so every caught a cold. However what was recorded sounded great and that is what we find on this tape. Five pieces of nice deep drone like saxophone sounds, which keep on evolving. Although no doubt one instrument is heard at a time it sounds like more. Chessex moves around, slightly thus cleverly using the space he's in to alter the sound. Move around your own space for more alterations. This is a great work, strong music with a conceptual edge. Should be good to see this live one day. (FdW)
Address: http://www.maivsuper.de

DONINIQUE VACCARO - BASTILLE (CDR by Incudine)
LUCIANO MAGGIORE - ON GREY (CDR by Incudine)
FRANCESCO CAVALIERE - YOUR HAIR IN MY TRAIL (CDR by Incudine)
The new Italian label Incudine Records just released three CDR releases, on 5" CDR, but none of these last longer than twenty minutes, which made me think: why not on 3" CDRs, or perhaps all together on one CDR. Their mission statement seems to be written with the dictionary at hand: "It deals with hybrids, with solitary places kept hidden, intimate and solipsistic environments to which look as small treasures to protect". The first release is by Dominique Vaccaro with an improvisation, based on some precorded cassette tapes with short wave, vocals, motors, objects and guitars (at least if I understood the press text correct), which are mixed with the use of sound effects (mainly reverb). It's quite a nice piece of ambient industrial music, which hardly shows the improvised character, which is good I think.
Much louder is the music of Luciano Maggiore, whose 'On Grey' is the 'recording on tape cassette of a performance held inside a broadcast program in Bologna in May 2007'. So the sound going from the radio to cassette to CD is what is the central focus is here. It has 'recordings of arcs and organs' and is quite drone like but pretty harsh at the start, getting 'softer' (relatively speaking) as the piece evolves. Nice but a bit too single minded for my taste.
The best is kept until the last. One Cavaliere (never heard of, just as the other two), combines two recordings: one of swinging bushes in a large space and a metallofono, an electric guitar and a piano. They are combined in various possible combinations. The swinging of the bushes make a strange but effective combination with the sparse tonal qualities of the other instruments. Great intimate music with a nice starting point. (FdW)
Address: http://www.incudinerecords.com

ARMADILLO CONCRETO - FUSCIONORON (MP3 by L'Arraskito)
OIER ETXEBERRIA - AVENIDA DEL CANTABRICO (MP3 by L'Arraskito)
ANOREXIA MENTAL - SELFEDITEZ 2007 (MP3 by L'Arraskito)
In between doing releases as Xedh, Miguel A. Garcia found time to start a new netlabel, L'Arraskito, together with Alejandro Duran. All three releases are available in either flac or MP3. The first release is by Armadillo Concreto, a project around one Raul Dominguez, but also people like Garcia, Elena Aiztkoa, Alba Burgos, Laura Fernandez, Alfredo Rubio and Natalia Vegas, among others. This 'big' band plays improvised music on analogue synthesizers and 'real' instruments like violins, trumpets and guitar. The realm of their music can easily be called free floating improvisation, which aims for higher atmospheres. Occasionally I was reminded of AMM, but throughout it lacked the attention, or better: to hold my attention. Maybe a touch of too many hippies?
The second release is a short one, only four minutes. Oier Etzeberria is the the guitarist of Akauzazte, but solo he is armed with a sampler and guitar. Inspired by a poem by one Pedro G. Romero, he samples classical music with a strong edge (Prokofjev?), while strumming his guitar and reciting the poem. Quite a low affair throughout here.
Daniel Llaria and Itziar Markiegi are both members of Baba Llaga, but here, with a little help from Garcia in the mix, Anorexia Mental. Another example of lo-fi noise, with 'vocals', 'voices' or what they should be called. Short tracks of around three minutes, which also failed to make any impression on me.
So the first three aren't that great at all. Nice, but there is plenty of room for improvement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xedh.org/larraskito