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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 624
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week 17
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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

 

PGT - TEMPORARY HABITATIONS (CD by Loochtone Recordings) *
NAPALMED - III (CD by Napalmed)
MARC NAMBLARD - CHANTS OF FROZEN LAKES (CD by Kalerne) *
RYOJI IKEDA - TEST PATTERN (CD by Raster-noton) *
ROBIN SAVILLE - PEASGOOD NONSUCH (CD by Static Caravan) *
@C - UP, DOWN, CHARM, STRANGE, TOP, BOTTOM (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
[-HYPH-] - ALTER-TENACIO (CD by Tourette) *
CISFINITUM - TACTIO (CD by Mechanoise Labs) *
MARTIN BAUMGARTNER - SHOOT'S HUFT (CD by For4Ears) *
SIGNAL TO NOISE VOL. 6 (CD by For4Ears)
QUATOR BOZZINI - CANONS + HOQUETS (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUARTETSKI DOES PROKOFIEV - VISONS FUGITIVES OP. 22 (CD Ambiances Magnetiques)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS & DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - THE MONOPSYLLABIC BICYLCES TRI-CYCLED QUADRUPLES (LP & 7" by Equation Records)
MAGNETISM, THAT ELECTRICITY (4x12" by Highpoint Lowlife) *
BRANDKOMMANDO - HUNGER (CDR by Apocalyptic Radio)
FIXTURE FOR TOXINS - THRENODIES OF LABOR (CDR by Future for Toxins)
FIXTURE FOR TOXINS - NIGHT HOVERS OVER US AGAIN (CDR by Future for Toxins)
TEXAR - ANNELIE AND THE DARK SEA (CDR by After Music)
GREG HEADLEY - 24-CARAT ABNORMALITIES (CDR by 28angles) *
SAD SAILOR LINK TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD (CDR by Public Eyesore)
WE NEED YOU - WE NEED YOU (CDR by Public Eyesore)
EARZUMBA - VIVO! (CDR by Absurd) *
ANASTENARIA (CDR by Absurd)
BRIAN OSBOURNE & MICHEAL THOMAS JACKSON - CIRCUIST CIRCUTS (CDR by Primecuts Recordings)
CIGMA6 - GROWTH RESUMED ON THE WORK (CDR by Primecuts Recordings)
MICHEALTHOMASJACKSON - A DOG STAR MANUAL (MP3 by Defenestrated Records) *
CLAUDIO ROCHETTI - HARRISONFORD (cassette by Deadtracks Records)
TIAGO SOUSA - THE WESTERN LANDS (MP3 by Resting Bell) *

 

 

 

PGT - TEMPORARY HABITATIONS (CD by Loochtone Recordings)
Last week we discussed The Desert Fathers, a duo of Jeff Kaiser and Gregory Taylor, this week it's PGT, which stands for Terry Pender (mandolin), Brad Garton (laptop) and Gregory Taylor (laptop). Another odd pairing, as last week it was the quartertone trumpet and laptop. The mandolin is not a very common musical instrument in the world of improvised music. I could try and re-do last week's review, as the three pieces here are as long the ones of 'Coptic Icons', plus one more (!), and throughout one could say they lack structure, edit, tension and all such things which can make exciting music. However there is something else on this recording which I do like and that's the 'endless stream' of sound. The mandolin is an instrument that can sustain at length, certainly when fed through a line of echo machines in 'Dome' and it's exactly this that I thought this quite an enjoyable disc of improvised music. An endless flow of sounds, hardly interrupted by musicians that need to show their face, making things go bump all over the place, but a very condensed. layered ambient cake. Structure and such like may not apply here, simply because that is not what they set out to do. The carry away the listeners on an ambient cloud of sound. This time around, not just nice if you saw the show, but also makes much sense at home. (FdW)
Address: http://music.columbia.edu/PGT/Temporary_Habitations

NAPALMED - III (CD by Napalmed)
This is my second attempt at a review, the napalmed piece is 80 minutes! One track which begins with 20 minutes of cow bells and gentle swirling noise, rhythms rise and fall *deceptively* pleasantly - at 20 + minutes they begin to hit pans of water and grown all with the reverb and echo which then settles down to much the same cow bell clanging somewhere in a muddy mix, it's 30 minutes now - they are banging on canaries with rusty bicycles - and my eyes are glazing, the canaries don't last long, I think they/we might all be in a sewer, more water, the vague impression of cars above, and a nice bar selling beer and playing Frank Sinatra records. I joke - I wish! But there is no escape. 35 minutes and perhaps some crickets have got flushed down here with us, I long for daylight. There is more machinery, obviously part of the pumping plant, I think the crickets have died - I wish I had, some ooooo ooooooy voice sounds, half way and still clank clank, more rhythmic machinery (napalmed iii comes is a pyramid foldout thing - I'm saying this - hell knows why?) What seems like day 28 and I've lost the will to live.... and on it goes. (napalmed claim to be harsh noise - a war of attrition - they are wining) it seems I've been listening for months, I've chewed off all my toes and fingers on my left hand, typing with one of the fingers on my right, still another rhythmic pumping plant. I think I can hear the sounds of trams far above - I no longer believe the sky is blue - I'm probably GOING MAD. 50 minutes - seems like years - another outflow of sewage and more machinery muffled and in the distance, does anyone know a good joke.. And on they clank, its now 60 minutes which means 20 more to go, I could just write a short review and say it's a remarkable piece and hit the stop button. My life is over - has run its course, slowly the earth spins into the sun, black holes eat up the remains of dead stars and still this clank clank clank. Aghhhhhhhhhhhh! (jliat)
Address: http://www.napalmed.cz/

MARC NAMBLARD - CHANTS OF FROZEN LAKES (CD by Kalerne)
A new label from Taiwan, of all places, release a CD by one Marc Namblard, 'sound artist and naturalist living in the northeast of France', and he has the same fascinating as I had, but I never made a recording of it. Across my parents house there was a small pond and in the winter it was sometimes frozen. If you would take a branch and hit the surface it made a very nice sound, one that is not easy to describe, but as soon as I started playing Namblard's 'Chants Of Frozen Lakes', it all came back, it's exactly that same sound. Recorded in on one day, but perhaps with some cross fading, some interesting things happen. We hear ducks, along with 'pulses' of crackles in the ice, but over the course of fifty-five minutes things grow immensely intense and expand. Indeed, towards the end like a chant of icy sounds. Winter may be no more, not at least in this part of Europe, so sounds like this will become rare to experience in nature. However, when I have an option, I stay inside, turn up the heater a bit, and enjoy Namblard's work as it's absolutely great. It sounds both 'natural' as well as electronical, oddly enough. A very fine work of true soundscaping. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kalerne.net

RYOJI IKEDA - TEST PATTERN (CD by Raster-noton)
Perhaps it's because I'm old(er) that I sometimes sit behind my computer and wonder about all the things that a modern computer can do: play music, send e-mail, browse internet, write a book or make a movie. All these different things and we seldom realize, perhaps we do but never enough, that all of these 'different' things are made of zeroes and ones, so basically the same sort of information. This is Ikeda's fascination in his multimedia project 'Datamatics', of which 'Test Pattern', following 'Dataplex', is his second release. Ikeda transfers data (text, sound, photo's, movies) into 'barcode patterns and binary patterns' and through this conversion the raw data becomes audio files. Not an entirely new idea, I believe Radboud Mens did something alike a long while back, but whereas his result was quite a noise based released, Ikeda's transformations spans sixteen tracks of highly rhythmical music. He keeps cutting his sounds up until they form a dense but groovy rhythmical whole. It's the ultra clean and ultra digital sound that we know and love Ikeda for. Elsewhere in this issue you'll find a review where I complain the pure digital esthetic of a release, but in Ikeda's groovy world it becomes almost minimal dance music. I am warned not to play this very loud, because it could damage my speakers, but I would love to hear this ultra loud with the vibrating bass going like wind through my hair. The sixteen tracks make a flow together, they are not sixteen separate tracks, but rather one piece, 'Test Pattern', in sixteen continuous parts. We are also told that converting this into MP3s may not work, which may lead to the conclusion that hearing this on CD quality is perhaps also not the right thing. Maybe a 24-bit conversion on DVD would the 'real' thing and perhaps it's the next, logical conclusion, is that Ikeda no longer releases CDs, DVDs but we should only go to his concerts or installations to witness the 'real' thing. Luckily its not that far yet, and we have 'Test Pattern' to enjoy on whatever poor installation we have available. Ikeda is still the undisputed master of the scene. (FdW)
Address: http://www.raster-noton.net

ROBIN SAVILLE - PEASGOOD NONSUCH (CD by Static Caravan)
We were introduced to the music of Robin Saville in Vital Weekly 606, when we heard his split 7" with Dollboy. Back then it was player piano and rhythm machine, for 'Peasgood Nonsuch' it's more electronic, with synthesizers, rhythm machines, bass, guitar and lots of bell like sounds. What I didn't know back then is that Saville is one half of ISAN, but now I know things make sense here - even more. There is a very nice light touch to this music. Fresh spring time music. I know now too that Saville is a gardener - even more perfect sense here. I can imagine him walking in a garden on a sunny day after a rainy night to find nice smelling flowers and plants and finding inspiration to create his minimal but melodic music. The rhythm machine ticks time away with great ease and Saville waves a path that is mostly light and sometimes dark, such as in 'Colin The Lazy Cormorant (Part Two)' with a somewhat darker drone behind it. But that is an exception. Usually it's pleasantly light music. If you liked ISAN before, or anything where popmusic (for whatever that may be) meets up with modern classical music (say Harold Budd's 'Serpent In Quicksilver', this album is a perfect meeting place. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

@C - UP, DOWN, CHARM, STRANGE, TOP, BOTTOM (CD by Cronica Electronica)
Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudelo are @C, armed with their laptops they play mostly improvised music. However, important, they don't release improvised music. How is this possible. Their improvisations are restricted for playing together, in a concert like situation, with or without audience. All of the resulting recordings are taken into the studio and used as building blocks for their music. On this, their seventh release, they use recordings from concerts, studio work and field recordings which they recorded over a period of five years and deals mainly with the improvisations they did with others. Sometimes the 'other' was present while everything was played, sometimes the 'other' arrives through the form of a sample. They remove all the 'unwanted' bits of improvisations and use only that which hold the test, and these are used in these four constructions. They are vibrant, lively pieces of musique concrete, sometimes not unlike releases on Empreintes Dgitales, but with a more anarchistic, free approach. The software used is not the what it is about, but it's result, which, as @C say, 'becomes itself, and will become music each time it is played, to everyone and everywhere it is so'. Which I believe is very much true. There is so much happening on every level of this disc, that it requires a few rounds of listening until everything is uncovered and then the 'real' thing starts again: finding the overall picture again. It's a full CD, but one that has a lot to give. Great work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

[-HYPH-] - ALTER-TENACIO (CD by Tourette)
With a name like [-Hyph-] its not easy to search back issues for previous reviews, but it seems it has been over two years that we reviewed music by Nicolas Wiese (not related to John) who records under this banner. Likewise, the label has no website printed on the cover, and their no other information, so try searching Tourette on the internet - goddammit. This Wiese is from Berlin where he composes his electro-acoustic music using instruments played by others. There is xylophone, double bass, alto saxophone, bass clarinet (which he plays himself, actually) aswell as field recordings from Canada, police helicopter and human voices. Before I compared this with the 'never quiet' music of Brume. There is always something happening here. No second silence seems to be permitted. Wiese uses the computer to treat his sounds beyond belief, or rather: beyond recognition. It seems to me that he tries to tell us a story, as there is a multitude of voices to be detected in this work, but it's not easy to grasp that story. The titles seem to give a clue however: Pulverize Dreams, Reset Barriers, Upgrade Sirens and Suspend Values (the latter is called track 5 on the cover, meaning there is one track without a title). Maybe it has to do with idealism versus state control (or perhaps any sort of control really), I don't know. What I do know is that the music is very much along the lines of @C, reviewed elsewhere: very vibrant, very free in approach and result, composed from the original ideas of musique concrete, but with a strong touch of his own. Perhaps not entirely new (either), but it's all done with great care and style. Before I said goo to see it released and not just a radio piece, now I can safely say: great to see this on CD, rather than the fleeting format of CDR. (FdW)
Address: <tourettetic@mac.com>

CISFINITUM - TACTIO (CD by Mechanoise Labs)
One of Russia's older forces of all things dark, ambient and at times a bit industrial is the work of Evgeny Voronovsky, who goes by the name of Cisfinitum. He has released his music on Monochrome Vision, Waystyx, Ewers Tonkunst and Drone Records. In November 2005 he played a concert in Bremen in the St. Petri Dom and the recording here presents his music, using both the acoustic environment of the church as well a direct recording of the music. Cisfinitum's music is a blend of synthesized drone/ambient sounds much along the lines of say Lustmord. But to top things of Cisfinitum adds a blend of pulsating sounds, which over the course of the concert becomes to live. First, half way through as church bells but towards the end things are almost minimal techno like pulsating, with a fat drone like synthesizer still heavily in control of the mood. On tape there is the addition also of a baroque violin (an instrument which Evgeny is formally trained in), but that is stretched out to an extent that they fit the drone like capacities of the rest. The six pieces flow into eachother and form one long piece, which is, I must admit, nothing new under the ambient drone sun, but Cisfinitum's work can easily meet the best in the genre, and is one of Russia's biggest talents. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mechanoise-labs.com

MARTIN BAUMGARTNER - SHOOT'S HUFT (CD by For4Ears)
SIGNAL TO NOISE VOL. 6 (CD by For4Ears)
Perhaps its entirely my mistake, but I never heard of Martin Baumgartner. According to the press text he 'decided to use moniker for this one', but honestly I don't know which moniker he uses in the first place. On the cover he is credited with 'laptop and electronics' and the work was recorded in Sydney, Cairns, New York and Lucerne. To that extend is where the information goes. Which leaves us some space for guessing about. I think he uses mostly electronically originated and processed sounds. But it seems to me as if he didn't make up his mind what he wanted to do with it. There are loud, long blocks of noise bursts, bits of drone material and sometimes things are in a more quieter mood. Add to this that the sounds are unmistakably digital (made and processed, and reflected in the titles, '0.0.0.', '0.1.0' and '0.0.1') and the end result is quite a cold and distant release. The drone and quiet parts I must say sounded quite alright, but the noise was not my cup of tea, and unfortunately they form a majority around here. With the absence of noise, the second piece is the best. Received with confused feelings.
For4Ears also released the sixth installment of recordings made on a tour of Swiss musicians. Here they stopped over in Korea (the other releases in this series contain recordings made in Japan) and play their improvised with local musicians such as Ryu Hankil (analog clock, electronics), Choi Joonyong (CD players), Hong Chulki (feedback mixer), Bae Miryung (laptop), Jin Sangtea (electronics, radio) and Sato Yukie (guitar). The swiss are Jason Kahn (analog synthesizer, percussion), Tomas Korber (guitar, electronics), Norbert Möslang (cracked everyday electronics) and Günter Müller (ipod, electronics). The seven pieces contain various combinations of these names. It's not easy to say many things in detail to this album, and the reason for it is quite simply. If you stick this on, sit back and start to listen it's like you are listening to a concert. You know who should be on stage, but it's hard to tell whose who. And even more difficult to see who is doing what sound. The stage is full, some are quiet and some not. With the amount of combinations on this release, it's simply, even with the cover nearby, not easy to find out what's what and whose who. But if there is one observation to made, compared with the five previous volumes of this series, is that the music seems more raw. But this I don't mean 'loud' per se, but it's a rough charm that lacks the refinement of the previous lot. And that's something I think that works pretty well and adds a certain freshness to the material. Maybe it's the kind of playing that the Korean party brought in, perhaps not. But even at their quieter moments this big party hold their fresh, uncut music well up. A great way to close this series. (FdW)
Address: http://www.for4ears.com

QUATOR BOZZINI - CANONS + HOQUETS (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUARTETSKI DOES PROKOFIEV - VISONS FUGITIVES OP. 22 (CD Ambiances Magnetiques)
A few years ago Quator Bozzini - the string quartet of the sisters Bozzini - released a cd with 'Different Trains' of Steve Reich. Disappointing nor because of the musicianship of this excellent quartet, nor their interpretation of this work. But why this work, this composer? Personally, I,m not waiting for once again a registration of well-known works from well-known composers. So I,m happy they focus now on not so familiar composers. The cd opens with two works from the english composer Howard Skempton, namely 'Catch' (2001) and 'Tendrils' (2004). Succeeded by three works by Jo Kondo: 'Hypsotony' (1989), 'Fern' (1990) and 'Mr Bloomfield, his Spacing' (1973). Both pieces of Skempton are sweet elegant compositions. Especially 'Catch' with its canonic structure, is a meditative piece drenched in medieval atmospheres. 'Tendrils' meanders pleasantly along, albeit a bit too long.
The works of japanese composer Kondo continue in more or less the same tempo, but in contrast with the compositions of Skempton, Kondo's works are very dissonant from start to finish. This is a interesting selection of compositions. In their similarities and differences they make an inspiring anthology, carrying all the string quartets composed by respectively Skempton and Kondo.
Quartetski Does Prokofiev is a jazz quartet. Bassist Pierre-Yves Martel arranged the 'Visions Fugitive', of Prokofiev for a jazz quartet. Other members of this quartet are Gordon Allen (trumpet), Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums) and Philippe Lauzier (alto and soprano sax, bass clarinet).
If I didn't know, I could not have guessed that these compositions are by the hand of Prokofiev or any other composer from this era. This implies that the original music must be very suitable for being transposed to a modern jazz context, or that the arranger and the quartet are very creative in doing so. Probably both are true. In 18 short pieces - most of them about 3-4 minutes - the quartet explores and revives the originals that are even shorter. Prokofiev composed them during the Russian Revolution for piano. They remained at the stage of musical ideas, but prove to be very fitting starting points for improvisation for this very capable quartet. (DM)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

THE NEW BLOCKADERS & DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - THE MONOPSYLLABIC BICYLCES TRI-CYCLED QUADRUPLES (LP & 7" by Equation Records)
On the Equation Records label website there is a lengthy story written by Guido Huebner since long time upon the man behind Das Synthetische Mischgewebe (and one of the few 'old' guys to still guise a band guise, even when he does things solo). It's a long text but it's not a text I understand very well. It explains only halfy what is done on this record and why. It's beautifully packed, as is the usual thing for this label, and there is a 7" and a 12". The correct route is of course side a, side b, side c and then side d. However side a and d are on the LP, whilst b and c are on the 7". The latter is pure Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, with 'sounds set in motion' - no human interference, but things 'around the house' which make sound them selves. I may assume Guido did some cutting and pasting of these events? On the LP Guido is at work as the 'composer' of sounds delivered by The New Blockaders (why isn't this called 'the final collaboration', I thought, but the logic of the Blockaders is not always my logic). The New Blockaders are used to scraping the surface, amplifying acoustic events, hand played that is. If I understood the text correctly there has been no electronic alterations of the sound, but just a 're-organisation' of the sounds (some specially recorded for this project, some from existing releases) - what we would 'composing'. Hubner is the sort of person who is the man who suits the task well. His ears know exactly what to pick out and shape the material to an entirely new form, while maintaining the original sound input of the Blockaders. It's the meeting of the industrialized sounds of the Blockaders, the sharp blocks of sound versus the splicing technique of Huebner - even when that is nowadays done in a digital manner and no longer through analogue tape. A refined work at that and like said, with this label, it's also beautiful packed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.chronoglide.com/equation.html

MAGNETISM, THAT ELECTRICITY (4x12" by Highpoint Lowlife)
Packed as box of four EPs (here a CDR was provided) comes a release that showcases the various musical directions that the releases by Highpoint Lowlife take these days. Each fills up a record (although I am not sure how the 19 minute track by The Village Orchestra is separated on the vinyl) and there are some interesting and some less interesting things to be spotted around this place. Things start off strong with four tracks by Mandelbrot Set who go off in a post rock direction, with drums, guitars, synthesizers and violins (perhaps only through sampling) playing at times a wild rock tune and in 'Astronomy And Allied Sciences 2a' more an introspective piece of drone music. Fisk Industries on the other hand are purely electronical, with broken hip hop beats, electronics and in 'Rhetoric' a rap that is pushed to the back. Not particularly strong material. The Village Orchestra play a rather epic piece of music, starting out in a desolate landscape but land in a techno party of pulsating beats and swirling electronics, before landing in the chill out zone again. The Marcia Blaine School For Girls just love the discotheque here, with rhythms that push around and in 'Bottle Stain' offer a strong Chain Reaction like piece. So Fisk Industries didn't get me going, but the other three delivered quite nice material, from the rock stage and the dance floor and Highpoint Lowlife is once again providing the soundtrack for alternative dance spaces. (FdW)
Address: http://www.highpointlowlife.com

 

BRANDKOMMANDO - HUNGER (CDR by Apocalyptic Radio)
A CD-R in Digipack limited to 99 copies of 7 tracks of Noise from Poland. Track one echoy machinery - I begin to twitch, finishes just after a minute, track two is some sci-fi transporter and someone playing the God father film music, or I really have gone mad. More noise- rumbles - BUHHHH BHUHHH not noise - noise should be WAZZZZ HISSS KICKKKKK SCCCCCCAAA XYYYY !!!! !"£$%^&*(- which at two and a half minutes these boys are now doing - yeh! - go for it boys - shred them tweeters - split some wigs - rip my woofers out! Well they've gone rhythmic and spacey echoy thing again - sigh! I'm getting bored - maybe there could be a computer program which just read the disk and if everything was not well over on the DB scale "bend them VU needles" - totally in the red - it would print "Interesting" - and if totally in the red, flag it up for listening. If so Hunger is marginal. If I really wanted to listen to sci-fi music I'd watch Alien - but just which one. Or Event Horizon - that's cool too. (jliat)
Address: http://www.apocalyptic-radio.com/

FIXTURE FOR TOXINS - THRENODIES OF LABOR (CDR by Future for Toxins)
FIXTURE FOR TOXINS - NIGHT HOVERS OVER US AGAIN (CDR by Future for Toxins)
This I think is part of a sub-genre - AKA Breakcore, Powernoise-industrial .?? short live performances of rhythmic improv of what sounds like de-tuned guitar and noise with vocals. A pastiche of a punk band performance - or of good old Black Sabbath- which is perhaps the origins of its move towards noise - which is a bad term - though this is 'noisy' - it has both form and structure in the articulation of pseudo-songs which I think pushes it out of the category of Noise - if the term has to have any meaning. And though some don't see the worth in discussing boundaries, I do - if only for the 'play' or crack as the Irish say. What differentiates this sub-genre is its teleology - and its ontology- (trans: - where it came from -its being - and where its going - telos) and why it isn't what I would define as Noise is that Noise has neither. Noise has no ontology, teleology or *ethics* - (it is the Übermensch). FFT though - faces back critically at the pop group performance of songs even as "anakistic' as punk itself- and offers a moral critique, it lies within "music" (even pop) (but) is different not just in sound, in its construction, instrumentation, production of - lo-fi product and packaging & dissemination but by the very ethical values of its performers. It replicates itself as gestures which resemble "songs" as being anti-pop neo-dada works, (and Dadaism was a moral response!) this makes it sufficiently different to "industrial" - which often seems to paint landscapes rather than address the concept and traditions of our industrial history from which the pop-group emerged. And in being this honest, artists such as these are taking great risks, i.e. Atrax Morgue.
(jliat)
Address : http://www.purevolume.com/fixturefortoxins

TEXAR - ANNELIE AND THE DARK SEA (CDR by After Music)
Myspace give us "Acousmatic / Tape music / Minimalist / Live Electronics Darren Brown & Rick McCollum Influences - What needs to be done must be done in silence .. Sounds Like - Your Nightmare - Record Label - After Music " and very little else. The disk quotes Annelie whilst a flyer gives the title as Aniline. Is the lack of information and dis-information - deliberate or not? In a lack of clear intent it engages something of the thoughts elsewhere re Fixture for Toxins, though the blurb says "live" this has been - and is obvious - studio processed or sliced up. At first maybe a studio album of natural sounds- perhaps - but perhaps synthesized - rain and thunder - processed with added noise - regular groans and elephantine animal noises. Long cries, generator noises appear to start at 5 minutes - and woooowy woowy sounds - and so it continues ghostly moans and repetitive indistinguishable chanting - a little like children trying to frighten each other.16:12 and the sound of a cheering crowd and then a few seconds more and its all over. Though having a different sound texture it has much in common with FFT in its low fi - low production / presentation and short length. What was once an EP in the days when vinyl ruled the earth - and maybe that offers still a better format for such oddities. However nothing is so simple even in the spent pointlessness of lo-fi absurdities - even more mysterious I find with no apparent link - or maybe there is - Texar is also a *pro-slavery* character in a novel by Jules Verne, - so what could that mean - deliberate or accident - though its also the name of a drilling company an I.T. set up, and a credit union as well as a musical ensemble. (jliat)
Address <texar@earthlink.net>

 

GREG HEADLEY - 24-CARAT ABNORMALITIES (CDR by 28angles)
Already Greg Headley's ninth release, the sixth on his own 28angles label. Much of the work here is inspired by a trip he did to Eastern Europe in summer of 2007. If I understand his words correctly this new work is a bit different than the previous ones, which were more the direct taping of results, whereas this new one involved more extensive mixing, taking up more time in the final shaping of the music. As before Headley plays guitar and software instruments to transform the sounds made on the six strings. It's however not easy to recognize the guitar all the time. Sometimes it's pretty obvious, but sometimes Headley manages to make it sound like the crackle of short/long wave or thunderous like a hurricane or airplane flying over. Dynamics play an important role in the six pieces on this release. Sometimes deceivingly sweet and mellow, but it's the silence before the thunder breaks out. It's move from much of his previous work which stayed more on one volume level and was throughout more ambient. In some ways the previous release 'There Comes A Violent Love/Pulse' still remains an anomaly in his work - with his modern classical approach - and '24-carat Abnormalities' sees him returning to his guitar phase, but with the addition of dynamics as a new strong point. That previous one was a highlight in his career, perhaps mainly for being so different than the others, but this new one, while moving outside his tradition again and remaining a similar approach to musical equipment, is also a standout work. Quite a mature and carefully planned work! (FdW)
Address: http://www.28angles.com

SAD SAILOR LINK TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD (CDR by Public Eyesore)
WE NEED YOU - WE NEED YOU (CDR by Public Eyesore)
Three tracks on this minicd from a very extended group. The group has three guitarplayers, a bass and a cello player. Plus a drummer and someone on synthesizer and trumpet. The group was formed in 2007 born out of a spontaneous meeting. In their instrumental jams a massive soundwall comes from the speakers. Bass and drum lay down a strong basis of rhythm. Above this the guitars and cello - especially in the first track 'Juice the Room' - play their riffs, resulting in a sort of noisy guitarrock. Nothing special happens here. It is guitarrock as we know it, and as it always will be. This is not compensated by the fact that we find a cello and a trumpet on these recordings which is a bit unusual for this kind of undertaking.
We Need You is something completely different. Like Sad Sailor they make their statement in about half an hour. It is an improv trio with John Dikeman on tenor sax, Jon Barrios on bass and Toshi Makihara on percussion. All three of them are experienced musicians which is clear from the start. Dikeman let his sax squeak, murmur, etc. He is an expressive player and has a nice tone. Makihara's playing is polyrhythmic and very elastic. And Barrios is a dexterous player. Together they create very different textures and moods. From slow and soft to quick and very loud. Abstract improvisations convincingly played but not earthshaking. (DM)
Address: http://www.publiceyesore.com

EARZUMBA - VIVO! (CDR by Absurd)
ANASTENARIA (CDR by Absurd)
Each week we wade through copious amounts of music, which is fine, it's our task. But sometimes even we wonder why? Apparently Earzumba was on tour and played in Buenos Aires, Vienna and the lovely Folkore Museum of Xanthi Greece and from the recordings made during these shows, Earzumba compiled this release with nine tracks. 'Erros, kyb solos, all music, live processing' is what is said on the cover. I respect Earzumba very much and many of his previous releases were applauded here, and this new one is quite nice again. Earzumba is a sample mania artist, taking drums here and there, plays his keyboard widely, feeds it through a blend of electronics, and plays throughout vibrant electronic music. A sure delight to see it lives, or so I can imagine. But it's perhaps also a bit of a superfluous release, as it doesn't necessarily add much to what we already know from Earzumba. In a world full of releases, it's perhaps time not to release every bit, but work on the best next release. As such I don't think 'Vivo' is that next best thing. It's one of nicer ones in an already expanded universe.
More folkore on the release called 'Anastenaria', and although I hate to refer to websites, there is a lengthy story on the events held at Ayia Eleni, Langada and other Greek places here: http://www.anagnosis.gr/index.php?la=eng&pageID=143. It's about a ritual that dates back to Pagan times and this release is a pure field recording of the 1979 (!) event. We hear drums, violins, chanting, people talking, which makes hardly sense if you don't know what it is about but has a true ethnographic feel to it. I must say that I listened to it with interest, but found it difficult to relate to. It reminded me also of the good 80s cassette scene when 'field recordings' such as this, think Calanda, were released. (FdW)
Address: http://www.void.gr/absurd/

 

BRIAN OSBOURNE & MICHEAL THOMAS JACKSON - CIRCUIST CIRCUTS (CDR by Primecuts Recordings)
CIGMA6 - GROWTH RESUMED ON THE WORK (CDR by Primecuts Recordings)
MICHEALTHOMASJACKSON - A DOG STAR MANUAL (MP3 by Defenestrated Records)
Micheal Thomas Jackson wants us to know he's back. I think (or rather believe) that in the last year he has released more than in the twenty or so years he has been active. The first two of these releases are on his own Primecuts label and both a collaboration. With Brian Osbourne he has been working for a decade now, using percussion, clarinet and electronics. The eleven pieces here are what I could easily call a mixed bag. Mostly conceived through improvisation, in a rather free setting, these pieces are the best of the release. But there are also noise bits such as 'Miles Runs The Battery Down', which don't seem to fit their (rather my) idea of improvisation. That is a pity. Maybe with a fewer, or rather stronger selection, this would be have more than just an o.k. release.
As Cigma6 (named after one of the first incarnations of Pink Floyd?), Jackson goes back even further, as it's his ongoing collaboration with Chris Phinney, also known as Mental Anguish. They worked together before as Cancerous Growth and Viktimized Karcass. Like others in this area of US underground music (Hal McGee, Alien Plantescapes) they love psychedelic music. Here they are physically together in two piece and virtually in an other. When together they have a bunch of moog synthesizers and electronics and freak out is the theme of the day. In a rather free, again, play of synthesizers they jam around with sounds dropping in and out, notes being bent and space is the place. Nice, perhaps, but here goes: playing it yourself is probably more fun. This sort of music could perhaps be better enjoyed with all the right chemical substances. The shortest of the three, the virtual assembled 'Fraught With You', with its menacing, mechanical sounds is the best of the three.
The final one was recorded on August 22 2006, Stockhausen's birthday and is a collection of feedback improvisations. From the three releases this is the most interesting one I think. There is an interesting 'wideness' in these recordings, from the obnoxious loud to the extreme quietness, from the very high end of the spectrum to the low end. Jackson has absolute control over his feedback and produces some interesting music with this. Through keep controlling of the matters at hand, the seven pieces are wealth to listen to. Much alike some of the best Arcane Device - to stick with the tune of the older statesmen of the no-input musicians. No input, maximum out put. (FdW)
Address: http://www.microearth.com/jackson
Address: http://www.ded-recs.com

CLAUDIO ROCHETTI - HARRISONFORD (cassette by Deadtracks Records)
One of the three myths of Claudio Rochetti (one of the members of 3/4Hadbeeneliminated) is Harrison Ford. Another one is David Lee Roth and whoever the third is we don't know yet. A dedication to David Lee Roth was released by Long Long Chaney. Here it's 'Harrisonford'. On one side we hear the voice of Kenji Siratori set against a organ like drone. The voice is not distorted as with some other Siratori projects, but hard to understand. The instrumental b-side is also based on drones, but louder. A dishwasher or some such is fed through some effects. Quite an industrial piece of music, but it sounds quite nice. Pretty nice release, the first on Deadtracks Records, and we wonder how long this label will exist, since rumor has it that cassettes will disappear from the market next year, which, me thinks, is a great pity. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/deadtracks

TIAGO SOUSA - THE WESTERN LANDS (MP3 by Resting Bell)
The main instrument of one Tiago Sousa was a piano, and with that instrument he played on two releases before. I never heard of him, but for 'The Western Lands' (a very loose interpretation of the Burroughs book of the same name), Sousa grabs the guitar. Played by picking and strumming and feeding through effects to create a somewhat dense pattern. But to say he creates music that really wants to attracts the listener: not really. The sound is a kinda muffled, a bit distorted and the note progression suggest, or try to suggest, 'a space open to be filled' but it simply fails to work as ambient piece. The best moments are when Sousa gets back to his piano, and plays that. But even at that, none of the seven pieces could really grab me. (FdW)
Address: htto://www.restingbell.net