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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 631
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week 24
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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

GIANCARLO VULCANO - VETRO (CD by Innova)
MICHEL BLANC - LES ONZE TABLEAUX DE L'ESCOUADE (CD by D'Autres Cordes)
PIOTR ZABRODZKI - NAMANGA (CD by Vivo)
NEON RAIN - WE ARE MEAT / THE VULTURES (CD by Steelwork Maschine)
SOMATIC RESPONSES - DIGITAL DARKNESS (CD by Hymen Records)
EXOCET - VIOLATION (CD by Ant-Zen)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - CONOPS (CD by GD Stereo) *
ARSENIJE JOVANOVIC - GALIOLA (CD by FOARM/and-Oar/Alluvial) *
MACHINEFABRIEK & STEPHEN VITIELLO - BOX MUSIC (CD by 12K)
JANEK SCHAEFER - EXTENDED PLAY (CD by 12K)
LIONEL MARCHETTI - ADELE ET HADRIEN - LE LIVRE DES VACANCES (2CD by Optical Sound)
TSE - LA RALENTIE (CD by Optical Sound) *
FRIA KONSTELLATIONEN - MUSIK OM FRIA KONSTELLATIONEN (CD by Revvega) *
PAR THORN/HENRIK WALLIN & RICKARD DAUN - LIVE AT MOTVIKT (CDR by Revvega)
V-P V-F IS V-N (7" by Winds Measure Recordings)
RICHARD GARET - L'AVENIR (CDR by Winds Measure Recordings)
LAWRENCE ENGLISH - STUDY FOR STRADBROKE (CDR by Winds Measure Recordings) *
WYNDEL HUNT & THOM HEILESON - UNIT OF SELECTION (CDR/DVDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings) *
PIXYBLINK - CINDER (CD-R, private)
PIXYBLINK - PERIDOT (CD-R, private)
PIXYBLINK - WITHERED LEAVES (CD-R, private)
DAVID LACEY & PAUL VOGEL - THE BRITISH ISLES (CDR by Homefront Recordings) *
ROLAND ETZIN - INDICATOR (CDR by Gruenrekorder) *
FISK PA DISC - THE FISHER PRICE SESSIONS (CDR by Krakilsk)
SEARCH CLICK & DESTROY/WHALE PLATE - PUMMELING PARASITES (CDR by Krakilsk) *
XEDH - KATABOLE (CDR by Krakilsk)
VARIOUS NEGATIVE MESSAGE FROM COLLECTIVE MIND 2 - YOUR TALK MAY KILL YOUR COMRADES (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
KENJI SIRATORI - EXQUISITE CORPSE (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
CRANK SHAFT VS BIOMASS (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
FEAR KONSTRUKTOR AND MOURMANSK150 - ARSON ACRIMONY (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
CISFINITUM - MUSIC OF LIGHT (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
SUJO DORA (CDr by Inam Records)
WAND. AND PRINCESS - YELLOW SHIP (CDr by Wand. and Princess)
CORNUCOPIA BLACK OPERATIONS (CDR by Sonora)
CORNUCOPIA STAR TRAILS (CDR by Sonora)
BUBONIC HERMAPHRODITE - IDIOTUNDERGROUND01 (CDr by ??)
AKIFUMI NAKAJIMA - WATER 1991 (2CDR by Kokeshidisk)
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - FALL IN WOODLAND CEMETARY (3"CDR by Taalem)
OPIUM - ETERE (3"CDR by Taalem) *
BRIAN LAVELLE - THE PETRIFIED FOREST (3"CDR by Taalem)
LARSGARDEN & ROWENTA - GRDN (3"CDR by Tuguska) *
SLOWCREAM - LIVE LONG AND PROSPER (MP3 by Nonine)
NEUBAU - RYMDMYR (MP3 by Nonine) *
SCOTT SMALLWOOD - 3 SOUNDSCAPES (MP3 by Sijis) *
TOM WALLACE - BLOOD & WATER (MP3 by Sijis)
UBEBOET & CALARCO & RECHE - BIESI (MP3 by Sijis)

 

GIANCARLO VULCANO - VETRO (CD by Innova)
'Vetro' documents pieces New York composer and guitarist Giancarlo Vulcano composed between 2002-2005. They make up his first CD of very accessible but far from superficial music. The pieces are performed by himself on guitar, Yvonne Troxler on piano, Jesse Schiffrin and Rómulo Benavides both on violin (on two tracks) , plus Enid Blount playing clarinet, in different combinations. This work originated from a 'small is beautiful' perspective. The music is simple, effective, direct and very pure. It is impossible not to feel the charm of these miniature compositions. They are composed in a post-minimal tradition. "It was a process of giving the musicians little phrases to play as I was discovering them. I was finding ideas and my friends would play them for as long as they interested us, and then on to the next", Vulcano explains. He is successful in creating some very catchy and melodic compositions, without becoming sentimental of kitsch. Elegant and positive music it is, sometimes reminding of the good old Penguin Cafe Orchestra. The cd opens with 'Portrait of Arthur Rimbaud'. Like the two other portraits on this cd, 'Portrait of Richard Manuel' and 'Self-portrait', the same musical material is used in all three, but in each track it is differently orchestrated. Inevitably one asks oneself why one doesn't get bored by these endless repetitions of simple ideas. Well, it is hard to say. What helps for sure is the beautiful and warm playing from the musicians. Also the musical structures may be simple, they are also very consistent and have a strong inner quality. That must be the secret. 'Piano Death Theme' is a piece that clearly evokes the world of Satie. 'Music for Fish Tanks' is written for (multitracked) clarinet, where different melodic lines create a clear picture. It is impressive how Vulcano tries to maximaze the potencies of small simple musical melodic ideas by sticking to a minimalist approach. Great job! (DM)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

MICHEL BLANC - LES ONZE TABLEAUX DE L'ESCOUADE (CD by D'Autres Cordes)
D'Autres Cordes was a new label for me. But since I reviewed the The Story of Modern Farming CD and more recently the great album of Kolkhoze, I'm alarmed when a new release arrives. This time it is a cd by drummer, composer Michel Blanc that is attracting the attention. This rock and jazz drummer, wrote some very strange music for this cd, I must say. He is accompanied by Jean-Luc Capozzo (trumpet, bugle), Frank Vigroux (guitar, electronics) and six other musicians playing clarinet, cello, vibraphone, and voice. Also he makes extensive uses of prerecorded sounds. Blanc took inspiration from a diary of the 158th infantry regiment of the french army in the first world war and uses fragments from this diary. His grandfather was part of this regiment! In each piece he evokes an episode from the history of this regiment. Musically, Blancs pieces are open structures giving room to the aggressive power playing of Vigroux and the rich and imaginative playing of Capozzo. At first hearing one is impressed by the power and the strangeness of this music. But after repeated listening several pieces are a bit too fragmentary, and do not convince from start to end. Some tracks or parts of them are more about trying and exploring, but do not reach satisfying end But this may be due to the fact that this cd at times is more like a radioplay with an important role for the (french-) spoken text, and 'music' being just one of the constituting parts. From what I understand from the texts, the dramatic impact will be increased if you can understand them. Musically spoken Blanc builds and develops moments with great dramatic power from time to time. Maybe we should compare Blanc with a composer like Heiner Goebbels who also combines sound art, radio play and music and fuses these ingredients into one whole. Anyway, what makes this cd very interesting for me, is that each track shows that Blanc is very eager to break new ground. We meet unique structures, strange arrangements and some very expressive and engaging musical moments. Not all his ideas work, but he surely is a composer with a vision. Therefore a name to watch! (DM)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/dautrescordes

PIOTR ZABRODZKI - NAMANGA (CD by Vivo)
The catalogue of the polish Vivo label is dominated by japanese artists: Merzbows, Acid Mothers Temple, Kawabata Makoto, a.o. The label also released of successful collaboration between Piotr Zabrodzki and Tatsuya Yoshida called 'Karakany' playing crazy free jazz noise. 'Namanga' is an all polish affair. 'Zdzislaw Piernik plays compositions of Piotr Zabrodzki' is the complete subtitle of this cd. Tubaplayer Piernik has a prominent place in this unusual quartet from Poland. Piotr Zabrodzki plays piano, electric piano, double bass, bass guitar, organ. He is also the composer of 15 pieces on this cd. We hear Wojciech Kondrat on violin and Hubert Zemler on percussion and vibraphone. Their music shows many faces. It is a sort of chamber music leaning on jazz, and incorporating all kinds of influences. The CD starts with a jazzy and moody tune with organ and tuba playing unisono. What follows is a chaotic free improvised piece. The third track is an improvisation that concentrates on sounds and texture. The fourth track has many twists. It sounds like an ensemble of modern composed chamber music that decided to improvise a bit. The next one, 'Kamrat Zuch', is once more another piece of cake. An electrified wind instrument and electric bass dominate this short eruption. 'Mikrototal' is more rock then something else. And so I could continue to characterize all 15 tracks on this cd. All of them have very different things to offer. The players manage to do their job very well. But it would sound better if it was recorded more transparent and balanced. The drummer is often too much in the background. This cd however also proves that incorporating many different influences doesn't make an interesting album. There are many convincing moments on this cd. This quartet has a few characteristics concerning their sound that make it special. On the other hand however, the music is often structured along well-known lines and is not very surprising. (DM)
Address: http://www.vivo.pl

NEON RAIN - WE ARE MEAT / THE VULTURES (CD by Steelwork Maschine)
Neon Rain is a French project that has been operating in the underground since the early nineties, though their officially first release came out a decade ago. Since the debut-release in 1998, "Early works 1992/1997", Neon Rain has been releasing five albums, present album out on interesting compatriot label Steelwork Maschine. The first album on Steelwork Maschine came out in 2003 and was titled "Dirtier than the dirt". It combined rhythmic industrial with dark ambient. On this latest effort titled "We are meat / the vultures", Neon Rain still works in the spheres of industrial and dark ambient, though with a much wider approach. Expressionally the album stretches from experimental rock of an almost musical kind to an extreme contrast of anti-music in the shape of ultra-brutal power electronics. The cold and cynic expression of the final moment of the lengthy opening piece "We are meat" turn the memories back to power electronics-pioneers Whitehouse though even more shockingly brutal and effective with crushing electronics interfered with evil human screams being manipulated and processed into hypnotic sound loops. An astonishing exploration in sonic extremity. Neon Rain deals with end of the world, survivalist, and mankind evil side, with this album dedicated to all the people around the world who lead our societies to more chaos and destruction. And the dark expressions, from dark ambient to harsh noise, certainly reveals the fact this is an album dedicated to the dark forces of human nature. This is black art at its best. (NM)
Address: http://www.steelwork-maschine.com/

SOMATIC RESPONSES - DIGITAL DARKNESS (CD by Hymen Records)
Since I first time fell into the sounds of Irish project Somatic Responses on Hymen Records' Teknoir-compilation (1999), the style of the two brothers, John and Paul Healy has fascinated me. The first albums had a sort-of futuristic atmosphere with almost emotional interventions in-between. On this fifth CD-release since the debut-album "Circumflex" (1999), Somatic Responses has taken the full step into, as they call it themselves, "Digital darkness". Hardly any melody to disrupt the ongoing machine of complex rhythm textures or the cynic technoid steelscapes, though a few tracks ("Invincible", "Go on" and "Bushido") includes emotional atmospheres showing that dark age of digitalism is not exclusively harsh and cold, but also has some sort emotional aspect inside. Another great work by Somatic Responses. (NM)

EXOCET - VIOLATION (CD by Ant-Zen)
As soon as "Violation" opens the show it seems like it lives its very own organic life. Listening to the album is like having a nightmare or a dream if you prefer a more diplomatic word. Abstract signs of atmospheres creates an interesting ongoing line throughout the 60 minutes. The musical concept behind the New York-based project Exocet might be familiar to listeners of German label Ant-Zen Recordings, though the joint venture between Renè Klimaczewski and Dave Kean still adds something unusual to the scene. That Renè has collaborated with Scott Sturgis aka Converter in the past isn't surprising when you listen to a track like "Retar a muerte" that has some similarity with "Conqueror" from the debut-album of Converter. Otherwise the album musically swirls in other sound spheres than Converter with the much more concentrated focus on creating atmospheres rather than the harsh industrial expressions. The mixture of abrupt sonic textures that continuously keeps changing directions and thus keeping the listener attended turns my memories back an album like Download's "Through the eyes of Stanley Pain". Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

FRANCISCO LOPEZ - CONOPS (CD by GD Stereo)
There is an interesting shift going on in the work of Francisco Lopez. For many years his pieces were all called 'Untitled' and the minimum of information on the cover, with a few exceptions, such as 'La Selva' or 'Buildings [New York]'. Black cover, sparse info. But slowly it seems as more and more the titles and info come in, maybe he feels the necessity to be more prolific as a composer? I'll ask him next time, as he's moving close by in, I believe. According to the cover the field recordings were made in locations in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Greece, Japan and the USA. Remarkable, since when you play this it sounds like one ongoing piece. It moves through different parts, with lots and lots of insect sounds, chirping, singing, moving. Only the final movement seems to be made of rain sounds. Unlike many older Lopez albums, this one is entirely 'present', no threshold of inaudibility, but present from the very first second until the very last. I am a big fan of his work, and 'Conops' is another great work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gdstereo.com

ARSENIJE JOVANOVIC - GALIOLA (CD by FOARM/and-Oar/Alluvial)
The name Arsenije Jovanovic I heard before and perhaps even his music - vaguely I remember a CD for La Legende Des Voix - but somehow, somewhere it didn't really stick in my mind. He creates music, film and writes books. I have no idea which is his most well-known side, but the four pieces on this CD might serve as an introduction to his work with music, through pieces composed for radio. That previous La Legende Des Voix CD is no longer available, so this may bring new interested to his work, like me, I guess. Two old works from 1967, one from 1990 and one from 2000. There is of course a slight problem with this, which is that the texts are sung or spoken in Serbian or Croatian (is there a difference?), which makes it hard to follow what it is about, and that seems to be a bit of a problem with pieces of music in which texts are important. I thought that 'Tombstones Along The Roadside' sounded like a religious work, with the chanting of monks, but then I read in the booklet that its about the tombstones of soldiers who died in the Balkan wars in the 19th century (this is a 1967 piece). However listening to this I'd say it's hardly a problem, since sound wise this is all great stuff. Jovanovic creates very imaginative pieces of sound - that transports the listener to another world - using field recordings and lots of voices in the older pieces. The later pieces are instrumental and have still a great power. Here the mind wanders out further and can freely make associations with the music on offer. Like I said, I heard of this composer before, but never could pin him down to something - now I can think and I think its great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.foarm.artdocuments.org

MACHINEFABRIEK & STEPHEN VITIELLO - BOX MUSIC (CD by 12K)
JANEK SCHAEFER - EXTENDED PLAY (CD by 12K)
Noted before: following his fly start career with a vast output of 3"CDR releases, leading to 'proper' releases, 2008 will be the year in which Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt expands to working with others. Steinbruchel, Freiband and Jan Kleefstra paved the way, now it's time for Stephen Vitiello. He ordered some CDs from Rutger and one thing lead to another. But it was not a matter of simply sending each other some sound files over the mail: in stead they mailed eachother boxes of objects to create music with. The titles of the pieces tell us what was in there: bells, book, tin foil, buttons, crackle box, thumb piano, egg cutter, rice, plastic bag and so forth. Its not easy to recognize these sounds in the music presented here. The treatments are wide and extensive. There are two solo piece by Rutger, two by Stephen and one collaborative, started by Rutger, finished by Stephen. I haven't kept up with Vitiello's work, so it's a bit hard to say wether his pieces are like his other music, but this is a great collaboration. Very delicate sound processing going on here, subtle crackling of sound, the best of ambient glitch music. Machinefabriek has found a sound of his own, but that he did for more than a year ago, and now it's time to deepen that sound. This is certainly a highlight in his career.
On 12K's sub division Line, a new CD by Janek Schaefer, based on his sound installation 'Extended Play'. Like with many other things by Schaefer there are many ends to this: his mum's Polish background, the secret musical messages of the BBC in World War II (the 'Jodoform'), Polish music, old vinyl and old turntables playing records, nine in total. They play three cello ep's, three piano ep's and and three violin ep's, in varying speeds. The music was taken out of a 1918 song and re-arranged and recorded on the vinyl, so it's new vinyl with old music. To view what it looked like go here: http://www.audioh.com/projects/extendedplay.html. The CD is what it sounded like. The first three pieces are a cello duo, a piano trio and a violin duo, whilst the 'acoustic ensemble' takes up twenty-four minutes. Since this deals with war, death and also life, it's all quite solemn, slow music. It has nothing to with electronics, processing or field recordings, but it's gentle, minimal music. Music however that is not composed but rather played by itself. The stop gap that happens every now and then is part of it, and adds a strange element to it, but one that works well. This music, had Schaefer been born 50 years ago, could have been easily part of Eno's Obscure Music series and has a similar, great quality to it as say Gavin Bryars 'Sinking Of The Titanic'. Similar free form modern classical approach, great conceptual edge and great execution. Highlight all around here too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

LIONEL MARCHETTI - ADELE ET HADRIEN - LE LIVRE DES VACANCES (2CD by Optical Sound)
TSE - LA RALENTIE (CD by Optical Sound)
Sometimes I regret I didn't pay much attention in high school learning French. Now it's quite rudimentary, if present at all. But Optical Sound doesn't provide any press information in English and the cover text is all en Francais. 'Le Livre Des Vacances' are the holiday books, I think. The holiday books of two children, Adele and Hadrien, who are followed by Lionel Marchetti and his microphone, taping their activities, among the two, but also with other friends. 'Deux Livres Et Dix Cahiers' are two books with ten chapters - that is the double CD with ten pieces to which this has expanded. Say the holiday diary of two children, built into pieces of electro-acoustic music, them talking, sobbing, giggling, but also the campfire or a river stream, vague music somewhere in the background, horses. Some of it sounds 'staged' but no doubt lots of this is culled from 'real life'. It sounds like a holiday (as far as I remember them, as these days holidays are no longer my kind of fun) with children, and I love children. Their total spontaneous action, honest response and imaginative talking make this is into something I can very much relate to. Although I couldn't understand anything of the talking, the total picture of field recordings and Marchetti's sound collage, made from slightest processing of sound (merely editing, it seems, however I may insult his work here) and the voices, make this into a highly evocative sound picture. However, two discs is a bit much if you don't understand much of it.
On the same label, who also deal with true art installations and release DVDs as well, the work of one Tse. 'composed and built with a laptop and a microphone during March-April, 2007, in a noisy room in Berlin, Germany'. I have no idea why the noisy room is relevant, as it doesn't seem to be a live recording of any kind, or the live recording be influenced by a 'noisy room' of any kind. Tse seems to be one Guillaume Ollendorff, who uses his laptop to create music with beats, rhythms, and repeating blocks of noise, but which never seems to be very 'danceable' and to which tse sings. The beat is usually 4/4 one, with bass, but the sounds he adds to it will not make it on the dance floor - too dark, too noisy and too alienated. Here too the lyrics are party in French and it's hard to understand what he sings about - but it seems to me all a bit dark. I found it hard to be very enthusiastic about this lot. Some of it was alright, some was a bit tedious, but throughout it didn't really grab me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.optical-sound.com

FRIA KONSTELLATIONEN - MUSIK OM FRIA KONSTELLATIONEN (CD by Revvega)
PAR THORN/HENRIK WALLIN & RICKARD DAUN - LIVE AT MOTVIKT (CDR by Revvega)
From Sweden hail Fria Konstellationen, who
describe themselves as being on 'the outskirts of psychedelic folk, drone and free form sound experimentation'. Not much further information is given here, but we hear guitars, drums, vocals, bass and electronics. So far they release three CDRs, and this is their first real CD. They say they play long tracks, but that's not entirely true: three pieces that in total last just under thirty minutes, but it's the perfect length I think to catch what this Swedish answer to the No Neck Blues Band does. They improvise around a given set of sounds, wether that is the repetition of the guitar or a drone. Everybody else improvises around that, by using smaller repetitive sounds. Just like the No-necks do. Which means I quite like it, since I like the Neck's, without keeping up with everything they release. This is a very nice alternative.
Related to this is a CDR release by Pär Thörn and Henrik Wallin/Rickard Daun. They are a member of Fria Konstellationen, but here play solo/duo. Thörn is a writer, conceptual-performance artist and plays here with sinewaves, field recordings and voice samples. The latter he takes from 'Dial A Poem', a record by John Giorno, with Burroughs and Sinclair, among others. Someone says 'We never heard of Buckminster Fuller or any of his friends' which became the title of the Thörn piece. The sinewaves are quite loud, but not really noisy, more nicely pressing and the voice samples work cinema like. Nice piece. Wallin and Daun do an improvisation with tapes, turntable, radio and effects, mainly using found sound. Here I'm less enthusiastic. They improvise for sure, but without seemingly any concept or idea behind it. Sounds feed through some delay machines and the two sit and watch it all happen. That is a mighty fine machine, the delay and it seems to be playing by itself. But what about us, the listener, not present at this event, listening at home? This piece couldn't interest me very much. (FdW)
Address: http://www.revvega.tk

V-P V-F IS V-N (7" by Winds Measure Recordings)
RICHARD GARET - L'AVENIR (CDR by Winds Measure Recordings)
LAWRENCE ENGLISH - STUDY FOR STRADBROKE (CDR by Winds Measure Recordings)
One of my more favorite microsound labels, Winds Measure Recordings, three new releases, of which one is on 7", so perhaps they are slowly expanding their imperium. The 7" is a compilation with twenty tracks, of which five are lock grooves and fifteen are about minutes. Usual suspects are here, such as Jeph Jerman, Richard Garet, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Lawrence English, Ben Owen, Ilya Monosov but also mpld, Tommy Birchett and Ben Scott. A 7" full of miniatures, very much unlike the musical scene where this comes from, when pieces are much longer. However the musical elements are there, of crackling, motorized drones, hiss and obscured tape and field sounds. I am not sure why this was made or what the idea behind is, but in all its briefness it sounds it sounds very nice. Strangely coherent, like a microsound collage cut-up.
On CDR we find Richard Garet, whom we know from his various releases for Con-V, Non Visual Objects and Winds Measure themselves. His music was received here with mildness: if you have never heard this, then you'll love it, but otherwise it's something that has been said and done before. This new work, 'L'avenir', which means 'to come', rather than the 'future' (there is an interesting quote from Jacques Derrida on the cover), should still be approached with the same care. Garet loves space and spatial approaches of sound, and 'L'avenir' is a work that plays well in 'your space'. I had it on a mild volume, walked around a bit, adjusted the volume some more, and the waves gently filled my space. Like Eno wanted it with his original ambient music concept. Garet uses processed sine waves, perhaps, I am not sure here, and in forty-nine minutes transports the listener on his gentle waves. Nice music no doubt, but like I said, its very much part of a tradition and not something radically new.
Lawrence English is perhaps a bit better known for his releases on labels as Cronica, and his own label Room40, regular guests in Vital Weekly. Here he presents 'hydrophonic recordings made january and august 2007, Stradbroke Island, Queensland'. Recording windlike sounds, which perhaps come to us in an unprocessed form, save perhaps for some extreme filtering. Crackling high, deep bass ends, water sounds and wind sounds. Here the role of the composer seems to be reduced to merely making a registration of the sound, and, more importantly, selecting them as musical pieces. Great record of pure field recordings. (FdW)
Address: http://www.windsmeasurerecordings.net

WYNDEL HUNT & THOM HEILESON - UNIT OF SELECTION (CDR/DVDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings)
Upon reading the text that came with these release, a big ? arrived over my head. 'The process began with Hunt's sound compositions, which are motivated by an unstructured emotional template. This template, combined with the idea of an "anonymous force that shapes", determined the aesthetic order of pitch, tone and volume' it says, but what does it mean? I must admit I am bit clueless, also after the hearing the music. Hunt's music before on 'Nk Ak' (see Vital Weekly 577) was what I described as computerized blissful drones', and this new one in as far goes in a similar direction, but things seem to be louder, more present here, certainly in the first six tracks. The mass of sound seems a bit amorph to me, almost like an industrial/factory like sound. I must say I am not impressed, but as the disc progresses it becomes much more interesting. Not fresh and new, but within the given theme of microsound, ambient, drone and glitch quite interesting.
Together with Thom Heileson, Hunt also created pieces of music that go with film (or perhaps the other way around). 'Unit Of Selection 2' and 'Oov' has that same fast, industrial sound with rapid changing images, and its through that combination that it works fine. Light and changes also form the basis of the other two films, in which the music has slowed down in speed and volume and create more dream like images. In all four things fit well, and like said, here the music makes more sense (but then of course sound is usually not perceived like images, which have a stronger impact on the brain). Nice release throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dragonseyerecordings.com

PIXYBLINK - CINDER (CD-R, private)
PIXYBLINK - PERIDOT (CD-R, private)
PIXYBLINK - WITHERED LEAVES (CD-R, private)
Three home produced CD-Rs from Californian sound artist Pixyblink, labeled by hand and just a plain thin jewel case for packaging. But it's not how the discs are packaged that's important it's what's recorded on them, and what is recorded on these is a rare treat. Created employing computer processed field (and other) recordings (a recipie that, for me, usually spells unending "experimental" tedium)
Pixyblink's work is overflowing with imagery, emotion, and atmosphere. These pieces explore various levels of a dark underworld - some have the qualities of disturbing fairy tales, some centre around "forbidden" areas of sexuality, others venture into the distorted visions of the insane, and a contemplation of death. The opening track of Peridot emphasizes the idea that I'd had previously, that this is some eldrich radio broadcast found during a night of insomnia and never rediscovered. Whilst many tracks simply try to paint a picture or create an atmosphere, others contain elements of fiction or documentary with the inclusion of pieces of recorded speech, occasionally from other sources, but mostly using her own narration, singing and other vocalizations. It is her virtuosity in using her voice that makes her work so unique: sometimes mature, sometimes childlike, sometimes naturalistic, sometimes highly camp; she uses it very effectively to emphasize and create an atmosphere of unease and foreboding to such a degree that on some tracks the other elements of the recording are reduced to the function of background sound effects. But I'm not meaning to belittle the quality of her sonic manipulations, these are also executed with great attention to detail, from simple but still very effective speech reversal to complex treatments and musical fragments. All these elements come together into a carefully crafted journey into the strange and spooky midnight world of Pixyblink. (EE)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/pixyblink

DAVID LACEY & PAUL VOGEL - THE BRITISH ISLES (CDR by Homefront Recordings)
According to the label David Lacey and Paul Vogel played with the likes of Mark Wastell, Keith Rowe, Annette Krebs, Martin Küchen and Erik Carlsson and that this is their first duo release, but both info and cover do not mention any instruments used and I must admit I never heard of them. But upon hearing this, I think they play saxophones and perhaps use electronics and/or field recordings. Certainly in 'The Matter Of England' this seems to be the case as to where things are saxophones. Perhaps that's why I didn't like that track very much. As opposed to the other three, which work around overtones and spatial routes of whatever space they recorded this in. 'Soft Houses' is in that respect the best of the four: very intense working the different qualities of the space, like waiting for some gigantic explosion - or feedback to arrive. That doesn't happen, and the track moves into some metal scraping sound and more highly amplified emptiness. The saxophone returns in 'Just Like America At Home' along with a densely shaped sample (thereof). Quite an intelligent release of improvisation meeting electro-acoustic music. More please! (FdW)
Address: <d_lacey@yahoo.com>

ROLAND ETZIN - INDICATOR (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
The name Roland Etzin we have heard before, mainly through compilations on Gruenrekorder, where he was noticed for the some more noisy end of field recording. On 'Indicator', which is one track in eight parts, the field recordings seem to merely serve as pieces in between the parts, when Etzin moves through various stages of highly processed electronic signals. Those might have found their origins also in field recordings, but then Etzin knows how to hide that. It's not music that moves me, but what I do like about it, is that it's something that you don't hear very often: the combination of field recordings with noise elements. It needs further shaping but it's quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

FISK PA DISC - THE FISHER PRICE SESSIONS (CDR by Krakilsk)
SEARCH CLICK & DESTROY/WHALE PLATE - PUMMELING PARASITES (CDR by Krakilsk)
XEDH - KATABOLE (CDR by Krakilsk)
The ever so strange and rather uninformative label Krakilsk from Norway releases another CDR by Fisk Pa Disc, the duo Willy Koperud and Roar Borge, who are both responsible for the vocals and instruments. Again they improvise their music, singing, chanting, speaking and playing all sorts of instruments, like drums, flutes, guitars and without noting things that could essential music like time or structure. Taken from probably even longer excerpts, things start, things stop and that's it. The novelty of the first release has worn out I think, and therefore this could not fascinate me as much as the first. I still think it's nice, complete outsider music, but to sit through the entire release is a bit too much I thought.
New names are Search Click & Destroy and Whale Plate. The first has seven tracks on their split release of computerized noise music. Highly distorted, loud recorded, but it has something that made me keep listening. Reminding me a bit of Farmers Manual, and whatever side project came off that, things are also ever changing, hissy, moving and quickly edited. Maybe a bit long, but a 3"CD edited out of this could have been a masterpiece. Whale Plate at the end offers eleven minutes of more 'pure' noise and has everything that I don't like about this kind of music. Loud, distortion, no ideas, just keep on banging. I don't see why this had to be included, as Search Click & Destroy was long enough and could easily stand by themselves.
The most interesting one is by Miguel A. Garcia, also better known as Xedh. By now he has an extensive discography of net releases and some CDRs, which in recent times get better and better. This is surely one up again. In the early days he played less interesting noise, then turned to microsound, and works towards a synthesis of both ends on this release. At times things are calm, deep and glitchy whereas things can easily explode into noise. But Xedh composes (!) with the elements at hand. He makes decisions what to do, how to do it, what works and what doesn't and that's what makes him quite a promising artist in the world of CDRs. Not a free run of sound, to fill another disc, but thinking what is needed to shape the music. The meeting of noise and microsound works well here, culminating into a highly varied disc of music. Keep a close ear to this name - you'll be hearing more from him soon, and perhaps someone should think of a real CD for him. (FdW)
Address: http://www.krakilsk.org

VARIOUS NEGATIVE MESSAGE FROM COLLECTIVE MIND 2 - YOUR TALK MAY KILL YOUR COMRADES (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
KENJI SIRATORI - EXQUISITE CORPSE (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
CRANK SHAFT VS BIOMASS (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
FEAR KONSTRUKTOR AND MOURMANSK150 - ARSON ACRIMONY (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
CISFINITUM - MUSIC OF LIGHT (CDR by Spirals Of Involution)
A set of disks only identified by the Tatlin tower logo - from Russia - in a variety of packages and graphics. Use of small black text on black images, broken DVD cases and jewel case inserts without cases - well they also break- makes identification difficult. Perhaps the EU could issue a directive re a standard of using the card - digi-pack - blanks now available - and a proforma contact sheet- identification would be a simpler task- though we would sadly become even more homogenised. The distinctive lo-fi packaging and printing prejudices the Russian releases with taints of former USSR collapse, so when Various opens with an industrial landscape "Verterno" by "Misery" (sic) I thought nostalgic field recordings of bankrupt soviet industrialisation and collapse was going to unfold - and does to an extent (Out Of Focus Moloko, Frozen Ocean Myrmekos Fear Konstruktor Dead Space, Circle Of Iron Tape Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero ) - but tracks 10 - 14 explore the noise genre- ranging from heavy bass (Biomass, Necrasota and various others in cyrillic only) through high pitched stuff (Organoid Like Fly In Spider Web ) - noise feedback (Maaaa Karelia) etc. - if anyone from Spirals reads this - could I suggest a coherent website with information in English and some mp3s? I checked out the Russian section of chondriticsound.com/forum/ without luck, discogs gives their site - barely discernable on some disks as - http://fnord.lenin.ru/soi/ - punch in this and you get - "404: LOVE ALWAYS YIELDS Alas! your file is forfeit" Hummm? Is this diss-information intentional? Exquisite Corpse by *The* Kenji Sirtori *is* extreme noise - extreme as it consists in the main of electronics pushed to the extreme - that is over modulated and so falling into hypersonic feedback - which no doubt resists capture in 44100hz PCM. Live one would I suspect be more aware of this inaudible feedback - the piece is extreme rather than harsh in its rhizome structure - or de-structuring - and a particular example for this listener- where meta-sonics are employed rather more than the rumble and white noise of atypical harsh noise. I hope such work within the Russian context can remove the temptation of a self indulgent introversion of a potential nostalgic and closed retreat into nationalism - and history. Tatlin's tower had non parochial ideologies! But at times pieces on the comp are over played industrial or elsewhere on other CDrs "spacey" and "cosmic" landscapes of a future predicted in the last century but which never happened - at best? tangerine dream 20 years ago on vinyl- well no! and certainly not on an ipod. Biomass (who runs the label) & Crank Shaft's CDR is heavy noise with strong rhythms and pulses, a re-release of previous material - the more recent work of the compilation lacks this structuring agenda - is more de-focussed and de-structuring- that is ideologically more noisy.
The last two Cds, Sci-Fi reverbry - Music of Light (!), unfortunately resorts to close to the edegry glissera + noise? synthed reverb washes of 70s / 80s anthemic freakery, Arson Acrimony more industrial spacey-wailing-beats- with dialogue samples - Russian? French and English expletives. Certain soviet sc-fi masked or metaphored criticism of a regime, but this fiction is redundant. Perhaps involution is a dangerous thing - paranoia after all was the disease of modernity - but this "now" is the future and our disease is schizophrenia, not to be confused with eclecticism and third worldism - the noise genre is in each successful piece a demonstration of schizophrenic sound - madness rather than gladness. It might be that the Russian consciousness has to overcome the vestigial proclivity to hierarchies, structures, rhythms, tunes which (they can learn from) Japanese noise has accomplished without regard to some primitivism or fake occultism of western noise's bare chested shenanigans. (jliat)
Address: http://atherisieren.kulichki.com/soi/

SUJO DORA (CDr by Inam Records)
"four new tracks of lo-fi noise, drone and distant shoegaze" Yep!
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (jliat) This does an injustice to this release, the music is finely balanced and crafted, as is the mix, depth is created by skillful use of reverb and what sounds like carefully controlled guitar feedback and distortion - rhythmic drones and slowly evolving abstractions - with this Sujo manages to create a work of merit and anyone interested in this kind of thing should try to get to listen if not actually buy a copy. (jliat)
Address inamrecs@yahoo.com

WAND. AND PRINCESS - YELLOW SHIP (CDr by Wand. and Princess)
W. & P obviously have a massive P.R. and publishing deal, I like this kind of stuff, so low fi its nearly dirt, the corporate info sheet is a page torn out of an exercise book with a biroed "Hello there .." same money, time and care was spent on packaging the CDr- hand painted blue card - well a few brush strokes of yellow and maroon - with again hand written text- cut no doubt by a pair of scissors with the precision of a drunk. A white label stuck to the cd is blank - they lost their biro perhaps. And what on the CD you ask - what you would expect - one track of lo-fi noise - they might call drone but I wouldn't- of appalling quality - brilliant stuff - the only pity is the myspace site gives more - too much information- and is almost professional in appearance! - it needs the biro and paint job. Anticipating cries of hypocrite - as in my critique of the lo-fi Russians - I think you need to be competent or totally incompetent , as W Blake said - if a fool persists in his folly he shall become wise. And such in-competence and apparent carelessness should not be used as a pretense, the beauty lies in its worthlessness to the point of bored meaningless which describes life itself and a survival mechanism for it without - hope. (jliat)
Address http://www.myspace.com/wandandprincess

CORNUCOPIA BLACK OPERATIONS (CDR by Sonora)
CORNUCOPIA STAR TRAILS (CDR by Sonora)
Claudio Chea & Jorge Castro - live recordings from 2005/6 B Ops recorded in San Juan the other across the Netherlands. Synth Noise Box, field recordings and other data - I précis . S.T. 17:53 - reverb - reverb - everywhere And all the boards did shrink ; reverb reverb every where, Nor any one to think.. The very deep did rot : O Christ !That ever this should be ! Yea, synthy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.. B. Ops 32:07 - here the things chatter and chrip - the doses of spring-line, focusrite, Bucket Brigade, Lexicon . "The classic mistakes of the novice are using too much reverb return on everything and allowing reverb tails to be too long. Reverb generally needs to be subtle.." Hugh Robjohns - Sound on Sound Magazine. That agony returns :And till my ghastly tale is told.. "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" is a track written and performed by Roger Waters from the two-part 1969 Pink Floyd album, Ummagumma. The track consists of several
minutes of noises resembling rodents and birds simulated by Waters' voice and other techniques, such as tapping the microphone played at different speeds, followed by Waters providing a few stanzas of quasi-lyrics in an exaggerated Scottish brogue. There is a "hidden message" in the song at approximately 4:34. If played at a slower speed, Waters can be heard to say, "That was pretty avant-garde, wasn't it?". Also, at the end of the rant, Waters is heard to say "and the wind cried Mary", referencing the Jimi Hendrix song of that title". Ay! and the wind cried Mary. (jliat)
Address http://www.sonoradisc.com/

BUBONIC HERMAPHRODITE - IDIOTUNDERGROUND01 (CDr by ??)
Is it true in every household there is a draw - or more- of stuff, we have one, ball of string broken can opener, lawnmower blades (used) several boxes of matches, those things used to assemble Ikea furniture, several bent drawing pins, an incomplete set of playing cards, a chopstick, bits of strange shaped plastic and metal, screws of various sizes, mains adaptors for what we have forgotten. the list could run to pages- well imagine the sonic equivalent and that what I'm listening to. Such a strange conglomeration of noises which organically shift in waves like a migraine- oh and a shelf of tins of paint most either half or fully used- the detritus of life which somehow no matter how often you clear - returns - or if you do throw them all out you immediately need that alan key - or realize the purpose of that bit of plastic is vital to your continued life and happiness. only with death is such ephemera finally thrown out - to surface years later I suspect in an antique shop - my junk draw in 100 years time will be no doubt of great interest and value to some avid collector - and maybe they might also find this CDr and play it - and think how it summed up the pervious eras taste in music - which of course it doesn't but splendidly resists categorization like the contents of the "junk draw" - some how junk - yet important and annoyingly autobiographical - like the broken flash light you one day will fix, and the tube of super-glue which might come in handy - though of course its set solid in its tube. On the last track they sing badly to a broken harmonica - "brown nipple" - deep or what? (jliat)
Address: non given - try http://www.myspace.com/bubonichermaphrodite

 

AKIFUMI NAKAJIMA - WATER 1991 (2CDR by Kokeshidisk)
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - FALL IN WOODLAND CEMETARY (3"CDR by Taalem)
OPIUM - ETERE (3"CDR by Taalem)
BRIAN LAVELLE - THE PETRIFIED FOREST (3"CDR by Taalem)
Before Aube, Akifumi Nakajima was just Akifumi Nakajima, a designer with a strong interest in music. He didn't release that much under his own name, and they were not on his G.R.O.S.S. label. Kokeshidisk already released 'Water 1990' (see Vital Weekly 486) and of course 'Water 1991' is the follow-up and again of course uses just water sounds as its sound source. The difference here is that there were two tapes, which the listener could decide to play simultaneously or separate. I have no DJ set up, so I have to play them one by one. Other similarities are that the music is much softer than the early Aube releases. I think the sound is fed through an analogue synth and some delay pedals, but throughout things are very ambient like on the first disc and things get a bit louder on the second disc, which also seems to be the more musical one of the two. I can imagine that they would go well together. Still in a more free fall these four pieces, but nevertheless good to hear again, after all these years.
On the sub-division for 3"CDR releases, Taalem, three new releases, and two by people whom we already know from much of their previous work. Mathias Josefson's Moljebka Pvlse has had many releases on various labels, displaying his sense for all things dark and ambient. Taalem says it's a 'field recording' and who are we to disbelieve, but it sounds like an orchestral pieces of many strings, playing overtones in a cave while Josefson stands outside. Throughout the course of this piece, things fall back in volume and the night sets in. Nice one.
I don't think I ever heard of Opium from Italy, also known as Teo Zini, who has had releases on Hic Sunt Leones and Silentes. Here too I have not much idea how things were made, but my best guess is a bunch of analogue synthesizers and some machine to imitate ethnic percussion. More synthetic than Moljebka Pvlse, and more from the world where they spell magic as magick. A bit of a cliche world, but Opium knows how to avoid the various traps and makes quite a nice piece.
Brian Lavelle recently surprised us 'Supernaturalist', and the two pieces here were recorded just before that and show the best side of his: manipulating field recordings and very much altering them into microscopic detailed pieces of ambient drones. Slowly changing patterns of what seems to be rain fall, deep bass sounds in 'The Wood Turned Dark And Silent' and more synthetic in 'This Twisting Glade', which sounds like a church organ being dissected. Very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://kokeshidisk.free.fr
Address: http://www.taalem.com

LARSGARDEN & ROWENTA - GRDN (3"CDR by Tuguska)
Frank Rowenta's musical history goes back to the 80s when he recorded various albums with one Kahn and with Grillhaus. In more recent years he's more concerned with field recordings and has had a release on Gruenrekorder. Here he teams with C.J. Larsgarden, who sometimes works as Ondo, A Perfect Friend and Pacta. Together they recorded a bunch of pieces since 2006, of which five found there way to this 3" on Larsgarden's own Tuguska label. It's an interesting, intimate piece of work where field recordings and acoustic guitars meet half way through - in a garden (see title) perhaps - where each of them holds a small sampler to give some very basic sound treatments to the events at hand. Intimate, like recorded in a garden, or in bar, minimal and cleverly mixing microsound and outsider music. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/ljudet

SLOWCREAM - LIVE LONG AND PROSPER (MP3 by Nonine)
NEUBAU - RYMDMYR (MP3 by Nonine)
Nonine lets us know that the 'connection between classical and minimal-electro is saturated with spaces of re-definition" and that 'Slowcream smears the frames of classical music with a funky delicious fringe, polarizing certain fragments of its best qualities", but surely I am missing a point here and there. Slowcream is Me Raabenstein and he plucks 'classical' music and set something electronic against it. But its neither something classical, nor something techno like. Its instruments used in classical music, like piano (lots of them around here), a bit of strings and the electronic sounds are sometimes cut into a rhythm, but I never had the feeling I should start to dance to this music. It seemed to me like loose ends stuck together, except for 'Wife's Tales', which seemed to have a good amount of tension in it, but that was the only diamond around here.
One Arno Steinacher is behind Neubau, who started composing at the age of 12, played the guitar, did improvisations and now works in the electronic music field. It seems to me that his main input is the voice and perhaps field recordings, which is then treated inside the computer. I might be entirely wrong here, but I don't think he uses any instruments. No rhythm as such here, not like Slowcream. Neubau's music is more microsound, but at the same time things sound also very digital. Throughout the music is highly atmospherical, ambient inspired, but also dark at times. Nevertheless quite pleasant if somewhat unsurprising music. Not something that hasn't be said or done before, but Neubau executes his ideas with care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nonine.com

SCOTT SMALLWOOD - 3 SOUNDSCAPES (MP3 by Sijis)
TOM WALLACE - BLOOD & WATER (MP3 by Sijis)
UBEBOET & CALARCO & RECHE - BIESI (MP3 by Sijis)
Sijis is perhaps not the most active label when it comes to releasing music, but when they do it's usually high quality. Scott Smallwood for instance, released work on Autumn Records, Deep Listening, Simple Logic and Static Caravan, is someone who loves the sounds to come from the fields and he loves them to drone. He has three soundscapes here, two of which include people playing instruments 'Colton Swarm' is an intense piece of clustered sounds from an 'electric plastic harmonium' and sounds heavily drone like, but it's very nice. No field recordings there, but they seem to be present in the other two pieces, most notably in 'Stay', where he uses sounds from the Brooklyn Bridge along with the contrabass of Mark Dresser and the cello of Francis-Marie Uitti. 'Still In Here' is an ensemble piece, performed by the Now Ensemble, but it's a pretty sketchy piece. I don't know whether it's the recording or that it is intended to sound so far away, but it's the least appealing work of this new Sijis lot.
A student from Denis Smalley is one Tom Wallace, who recorded the basic sound material for his piece 'Blood & Water' at King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, especially at the haemodialysis unit. Sister Rachel Mwansa gives a tour before the piece starts. When it gets going it seems like a pure field recordings piece of hospital sounds, or perhaps a collage, but with much treatment, in sound that is. Machines of all sorts hiss and peep and in general it has that claustrophobic feeling that at least I get when I visit hospital - definitely not a place to be. Can you say nice in this context? Perhaps not, but I'll do it anyway.
The final new release is a collaboration between Miguel Angel Tolosa (ubeboet), Juan Jose Calarco and Pablo Reche, who take the Russian idea of Biesi - demons - who act as part of life, rather than something from another life. I have no idea wether this was recorded through mail or in person. They seem to be using field recordings of a rather flowing, vague kind. Machines? Motors? Ventilators? Any of those will probably do. Slowly the web thickens as more and more field recordings and derivations thereof come in. Just when you think the sound dies out, things return for a creepy ending of the proceedings. Nice one too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sijis.com