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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 633
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week 26
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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

 

EMERALDS - SOLAR BRIDGE (CD by Hanson Records) *
UENO - SUI-GIN (CD by Room40)
LEIGHTON CRAIG - 11 EASY PIECES (CD by Room40) *
BLOOD, MUSCLE & AIR - THE INITMATE VOICE (CD by Sonic Arts Network)
ALVA NOTO - UNITXT (CD by Raster-noton) *
PITA VS Z'EV - COLCHESTER (CD by Editions Mego) *
NICOLAS BERNIER - LES ARBES (CD by No Type Records) *
DOG HOLOCAUST VOL I-III (CD by Gaping Hole)
FREIBAND - REPLICAS (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
KOTRA - RESET (CD by Kvitnu)
ROBERT SCOTT THOMPSON - POESIS ATHESIS (CD by Lens Records)
ALLROH - NYM (CD by Graumann./Trost)
ANDREW LILES/DANIEL MENCHE - THE PROGENY OF FLIES (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
AIDAN BAKER - THE BOOKS OF NODS (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
ANAKRID - BASNISHED RITUALS OF FREE DISENLIGHTENMENT (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
THE ANTRIPODEAN COLLECTIVE - THE MASSACRE OF THE EGOS (CD by Extreme)
RADA AND GOSPLAN TRIO - I (CD)
TRIO SLICNATON (CD by Slicnaton)
ROSHI FEAT. PARS RADIO - AND STARS (miniCD by Geo Records)
RAYMOND DIJKSTRA - DE HAMER (LP by Le Souffleur)
RAYMOND DIJKSTRA - DE LARF (LP by Le Souffleur)
LAGOS DISCO MACHINE - DESTRUCTION SOUND (CD by Pattern Sound) *
THE GREEN KINGDOM - LAMINAE (CDR by The Land Of)
JOHN ASTOR & SERGEI KLEIN & ALEXANDR KOHANOVSKI - AGUAN ALPHABET (CDR by Arterija)
TRUE COLOUR OF BLOOD - ALL OF THE TRUE THINGS I'M ABOUT TO TELL YOU ARE LIES (CDR, private)*
JOSH LAY - POISON DRINKER (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
3OFMILLIONS (CDR by Hellosquare Recordings) *
SEAWORTHY/M. RÖSNER (CDR by Hellosquare Recordings)
SIMON WHETHAM - LANDLOCKED (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
LOGOPLASM - KANE-I-KOKALA (3"CDR by Field Muzick) *
GERALD FIEBIG - PUBLIC TRANSPORT. MUSIQUE ANECDOTIQUE IN MEMORIAM LUC FERRARI (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
CHRISTOPHER MCFALL - ALL FOR THE TERROR THAT SINGS SWEETLY TO YOU IN THE NIGHT (3"CDR by 1000Füssler) *

 

Obituary: Donna Klemm 06.08.1948 - 17.06.2008

 

 

EMERALDS - SOLAR BRIDGE (CD by Hanson Records)
In 2005 a trio started out using television sets as their prime sound sources to create drone music. They are called Emeralds and they have moved on to using analogue synthesizer, guitars and lots of effects to create their music. So far they released their work on cassettes and CDRs on such labels as American Tapes, Chrondritic Sound as well as their own labels Wagon and Gneiss Things. 'Solar Bridge' is their first 'real' CD. For one reason or the other I expected some heavy noise type of music, but actually its not, and the result is something that pleases me a lot, save perhaps for the fact that its only twenty six minutes (perhaps it has to do with the fact that there is going to be a vinyl version of it too). These two tracks bridge the wide gap between 'cosmic' music on one hand and 'loud drones' on the other. Say Ash Ra Temple meeting Mirror on a very dark night. Highly atmospheric music with in 'The Quaking Mass' slowly builds up to an intense wall of guitar sound. Many years of swirling guitar sounds in 'Magic', make this into some very nice psychedelic and perhaps even psychotic music (be careful with the drugs boys and girls). Excellent stuff going on here, and one could have only wished for a third and perhaps even a fourth piece here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hansonrecords.net

UENO - SUI-GIN (CD by Room40)
LEIGHTON CRAIG - 11 EASY PIECES (CD by Room40)
Imagine a guitar and a moog synthesizer and how the moog transforms the guitar and then you are close to the sound of Ueno, who, together with his partner Saya, is the core of Tenniscoats, a band that I only partially like (mainly its the singing that puts me off). I didn't hear the solo music of Ueno before. Heavily inspired by John Fahey, who delivered even the name of Ueno's cat, Ueno finger picks the twelve-stringed guitar and at the same time feeds the signal to the ring modulation part of a moog. An interesting concept, which no doubt will raise a few eyebrows here and there among guitar purists, of which I am not one. There are nine pieces on this CD and the first half goes by with me thinking: that's quite nice. The high pitched sounds, the improvised playing, but then after the fifth track I know the game, the idea has been set and boredom leaps in. It seems that the moog stays in the same position throughout. It stays too much on the same side of things, and thus makes me wonder why its forty-two minutes and not twenty-one to make a nice mini CD.
From Brisbane hails Leighton Craig, a keyboard
player, who plays solo and with other people. '11 Easy Pieces' is his first solo album was recorded already in 2003-2004 to cassette and remastered using valve tubes to keep the analogue feel. Craig loves cheap keyboards, no brands are mentioned except for the Casio MT40. Easy pieces indeed. But its the sort of easiness that I quite enjoy. Unlike Ueno, Craig knows how to surprise the listener with a great variety of tracks, of which two don't seem 'easy' (happens if you call piece 'Threnody', which is a very long drone like piece), but in every piece he challenges the listener. The overall feel to this record is one that adds a special retro kind of feel to it: it could have been easily a record from the mid 80s lively cassette scene. It has that same naive sense to it, of happy home made music. Songs from the kitchen sink as it were, the real ones. Nice one for sure. (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org

BLOOD, MUSCLE & AIR - THE INITMATE VOICE (CD by Sonic Arts Network)
Sonic Arts Network, founded in 1979, is a UK organization promoting the art of sound. For the project that is documented on this new CD, the organization invited David Moss to curate it. On his turn Moss invited singers with the following instruction: "Blood, Muscle and Air' is about the power and intimacy of the human voice; imagine yourself sitting in front of a microphone recording this piece as if you were singing directly into the ear of the listener. Send a piece that reflects how you love singing at the moment." About a dozen of well-known and not so well-known vocal artists accepted the invitation and returned their contributions.
Here we go: Melissa Madden Gray, Gunnlaug Thorvaldsdottir, Chris Mann, Yumiko Tanaka, Médéric Collignon, Jaap Blonk, Fatima Miranda, Phil Minton, Maja Ratkje, Tran Quang Hai, Koichi Makigami, Madalena Bernardes, Martyn Jacques.
From the 29 tracks on this cd Moss does all the
uneven ones. Most of them are very short and function as interludes between the contributions by the others. Most pieces are solo efforts, but in some pieces the vocalist is helped out by other musicians. Like Thorvaldsdottir who is acompanied by didgeroo-player William Barton. And in 'Heart Murmur' by Melissa Madden Gray we hear also the voice of composer Cornelius Wilczek. Pieces differ also concerning the amount of treatment the voice recording underwent. 'I've heard that one' by Chris Mann is not manipulated if I,m not mistaken. Also 'Improbration' by Médéric Collignon is just pure voice. For other compositions however the vocalist manipulated the voice recording afterwards in order to construct a piece of music. For example, 'Palimpsiesta II' by Fatima Miranda II., a multilayered piece of several voicetracks of Fatima. The piece by Jaap Blonk, 'Idling on Air' is a curious exception. It doesn't sound like the human voice. It is as if you're listening to some archaic electronic instrument. But it is his voice only. Than Quang Hai is an exception for another reason. He is the only one making use of traditional singing techniques. He makes an impressive use of overtone technique. In 'Wittgenstein Sings' David Moss takes some more time to develop a piece. He constructed a composition where he moves from pure sound to verbal parts using some electronics and objects. The cd ends with 'The Pedophile in the Park' by Martyn Jacques. The only piece on this cd that could be called a song. A very bizarre and eccentric Eisler-Waits kind of tune. All in all this a great introduction into the world of vocal artists. Showing the great diversity in expression, timbre, volume, etc. etc., that is possible by that one instrument: the human voice. (DM)
Address: http://www.sonicartsnetwork.org/

ALVA NOTO - UNITXT (CD by Raster-noton)
Like I would know it all, people ask me sometimes why Alva Noto/Carsten Nicolai is such a great name, travelling the world, and 'all he does is what we do'. That of course is not true. Nicolai can be seen as one of the founding fathers of clicks and cuts movement, playing music with laptops, crossing over from techno to the experiment, and just is of course a well-known visual artist, which capacity provide his work in audio with the necessary conceptual backbone. 'Unitxt' is no different. I must admit I have a serious lack in knowledge in his more recent work, although I heard 'Xerrox', which I thought was alright but not great. On 'Unitxt' he uses the rhythms again, and incorporates texts. The work was made for Unit, a great club in Tokyo. In strict tempo of 120 beats per minute, Nicolai offers ten tracks of his trade mark sound: deep bass bumps, distorted sine waves on top, moving in and out of the mix. Yet, the music may be derived through entirely digital means, Nicolai knows how to create a raw feel to the material, an organic feel if you wish, and not a clinically clean sound. The text elements contains of .txt data turned into audio, rather than spoken words (save for two tracks, which are actually roads to explore for Nicolai). After the ten pieces there is fifteen more small pieces of source material, so no doubt many aspiring, would-be Nicolai's will open that in Ableton Live and play around with what's on offer. Good luck, as things won't be easy! This album is not an entirely new Nicolai approach, but it's certainly one that fits the catalogue of Nicolai works very well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.raster-noton-net

PITA VS Z'EV - COLCHESTER (CD by Editions Mego)
Two of our favorite musicians apparently know each other for two decades, which may seem odd. Pita's Peter Rehberg first surfaced around 1996 when he started to play, as one of the first, live computer music, mostly embedded in a field where improvisation meets noise. And as far as I can see Z'EV has been around since thirty years and never left. In 2004 they first talked about playing together and exchanged sound files through e-mail, before taking their action on the road. In 2006 they played in Vienna and a bunch of cities in the UK. 'Colchester' is the final result of that collaboration, with Z'EV playing acoustic percussion and Pita altering it through computer manipulation. Neither of the two take the leading part in the meeting, but are equal partners. Z'EV's part may seem to take more presence, as his metallic percussion lies more on 'top', but underneath things cook, melt, freeze and explode in Pita's laptop, as he provides the perfect hot bed for Z'EV to operate in. Two great minds think alike. Maybe the recording could have been a bit more bright, but no doubt this is the sort of thing that is not easy to capture. However what is captured is just very fine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

NICOLAS BERNIER - LES ARBES (CD by No Type Records)
So far the name Nicolas Bernier popped when doing collaborations with other people, so 'Les Arbes' may be his first solo release. The title means the trees and, well, ok, its also a collaboration, even when only through the visual side, with Urban9. A set of card by him is part of the package. So far, also, we thought of Bernier as a laptop musician, but for this release he has expanded his methods of musical expression to using piano, vibraphone, guitar and even brass instruments. Other than his previous works too this seems to be less a work of improvisation and more a work of thorough composition. This is where digital music and acoustic music meet and melt. Glitchy rhythms, sounds of crackle, but also warm guitar parts, brass section and sustained strings. Not right from the start and not all the way clear, but as things move along, you could almost as suddenly find yourself inside a modern classical piece of music, in 'Piano' or 'Spleen', with flutes, crescendo violins and piano. This is quite an amazing CD, with great ideas, perfect execution, nice packaging and a way out of the locked in microsound artists. Bernier plays microsound, mixes it with real instruments and comes up with something new. (FdW)
Address: http://www.notype.com

DOG HOLOCAUST VOL I-III (CD by Gaping Hole)
It is difficult to review Dog Holocaust's (Dan Johansson/Sewer Election-Kakerlak/ Nolan Throop) Volume I-III (from 3 1 sided C30s) on Gaping Hole - the B&W cover showing an anus - quite a lot of noise seems to pick up on S&M, bondage and occultism. So what should I say - it's a noisy disk (3 tracks of continuous white/harsh noise and semi-modulated feedback)- I like it? - but S&M /Occultism and its influence on art/culture goes back to Sade and before - and the likes of Derrida pick up on this creative tension - e.g. Glas. or the work of the Chapmans - or Jakes meatphysics. If the very idea of "noise" is against the idea of "meaning" as noise is the reverse of music - def. "organized sound" - that's a similar process to deconstruction. And I've said a much before - but the depth of noise - its origins in Whitehouse / TG et al. is underpinned and re-inscribed. Sade = the actualisation of the Kantian ethical enlightenment - revolutionary anti-transcendentalist. Is the Dawkinsian telos. And such a duality which is in fact a singularity, the Kantian logic IS the Sadistic act is only (perhaps) in high art dismissed, dealt with as irony, if not by its practitioners then by its audience or supportive critics. In (noise) its (over) consumption and production, its own solution as a cultural zenith which must destroy itself even if this destruction is mistakenly seen by its practitioners as success-and marks a wider destruction, is taken too seriously - as a part of the whole which is both territorialization and its
reverse. I like it then for its integrity and my ability to find this a valueless presence. (jliat)
Address: http://snse.net

FREIBAND - REPLICAS (CD by Monochrome Vision)
"Highly conceptual project that combines features of remix, recycling and plagiarism - the re-interpretation of Asmus Tietchens' classic album "Daseinsverfehlung". All what can be heard on this CD, is made from music that already existed: every sound, word in titles and even the cover picture - all is just processing and manipulation techniques."
I was in Hamburg, some weeks ago, and there I happened to meet Asmus Tietchens with whom I exchanged some words about Freiband's "Replicas" album (which is a re-interpretation of Tietchens' "Daseinsverfehlung" album). He told me that the De Waard made a complete remix of his album, which even includes a remake of the album's cover artwork. I noticed that Tietchens was pleasantly amused by this total approach displayed by Freiband. He asked me if I knew the original cover. I didn't, but he told me that I should look out for it since the photo manipulation, for one, has his unconditional blessing.
"Daseinsverfehlung" features 13 works that carry the same title, namely "Freiband". Distinction is placed, by adding numbers to the titles. "Replicas" follows the same routine; 13 tracks, the numbering stays the same, but "Freiband" is replaced by "Re". Can you still follow it? I guess you can, but my iTunes gave up already. When inserting "Replicas" into my cd-drive it recognizes it as "Daseinsverfehlung"!
Anyway, I have to admit that by now, I have only seen the cover of "Daseinsverfehlung" (as opposed to ever hearing the actual album) and so I can tell you that the "Replicas" cover is indeed a nice take on the original. It seems that the house in the picture got abandoned after so many years and that nature around it, has overgrown its territory and changed the estate's identity.
So the cover already makes up for a nice metaphor in terms of remixing, but what about the music on "Replicas"? It starts off very minimal. A subtle waving sine kicks in with added clicks and pulses, all placed in a seemingly comprehensive silence. At first "sight" there is indeed a lot of silence on this album; like entering wide-open space. Subtle details are to be discovered while traveling further throughout this album. But during most of the moments that you expect to be wandering in nothingness, there is actually a very distant and deep rumbling spread about. Sometimes you might wonder whether it is something that develops in your inner ear, just to be put on your right feet again after another development in time.
Without getting too trippy or spacey, I would like to propose that this is the kind of music that alters your state of mind and being. Not the kind of album that you'll play in the background, 'cause it wants your full attention. It freezes your body and at same time makes you experience it from head to toe. In this way it has the same effect as most of Francisco Lopez' work has on me: it grabs you by the ears and sucks you right in. (SdT)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.ru

KOTRA - RESET (CD by Kvitnu)
I like bars which sell Peroni Nastro Azzurro at exorbitant prices- anthropologically to people watch the beautiful young things both sides of the bar - which usually has a vast flower arrangement of giant lily's. And you can get fries and mayonnaise to dip - which leaves little change from a 20. Well they have this cool trippy ambient electro dance music, or else more ethnic trance, I know some bars play a cool jazz - the clientele are different- older- probably divorcees and middle management - but without the more shrill electro alarm samples 'Reset' could almost make it in the former, or if more up/complex/faster beat resemble autechre? 16 tracks - rhythmic sequenced glitch music - high pitched sine alarms and electronica from the Ukraine - Dmytro Fedorenko whose music credentials are impeccable and who mixed these during residence in Krakow Music Academy would no doubt find such beer, such fries, seductive? I like the idea behind reset - "to clear errors, events, people, experience and concepts to bring intention energy to a condition of initial state to refine the transformation process. reset to inner to free" it has the same vacuous feel of these places, however it does not quite have the semi-sophistication..
http://www.barroombar.com/home/ http://www.hahaonline.co.uk/ (jliat)
Address: http://kotra.org.ua/

ROBERT SCOTT THOMPSON - POESIS ATHESIS (CD by Lens Records)
ALLROH - NYM (CD by Graumann./Trost)
Sometimes people wonder why we review everything we get. Well, perhaps because that's easier than having to explain in private e-mails why we don't review stuff. Here's two examples which complete went by me. Vital Weekly is not for this kind of music. First we have Robert Scott Thompson, who composed a piece for 'Chi Kung Master Terrence Dunn [...] to work especially with the pace, mood and dynamics of the Flying Phoenix form of Chi Kung'. I really can't relate to any of this, but its about choreography, never my thing. The music sound like a very third rate piece of ambient. new age drivel to me. Pseudo ethnic percussion, melancholic piano chords, rattling of bells in a wash of reverb. Yuk. 'A personal homage to Erik Satie'. Yeah right. Very thin, very pathetic and very much over the top.
The only relation between Thompson and Allroh is the question mark over my head: why Vital as the platform for a review. They (?) are a band with just guitars and no effects. They will record with Steve Albini. Loud guitar music, with lots of amplification or not. Probably very alternative in some areas, the areas where Faust is also still the hippest band around, but to me sounds just alright as a band with some alternative tunes, a bit influenced by minimalism. Just nothing for the more out there fields of Vital Weekly. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lensrecords.com
Address: http://www.trost.at

ANDREW LILES/DANIEL MENCHE - THE PROGENY OF FLIES (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
I have been a fan of the works of Mr. Liles and Mr. Menche for a while now, so this CD of their first ever collaboration is most welcome. And it looks great; packed in a hard carton slightly oversized CD sleeve with typical Liles-artwork. The 65+ minutes that form The progeny Of Flies are divided into 4 parts. Opener Eggs (signifying the first stage of the fly life cycle) features the now typical Liles-sounds augmented by Menche's higher and harsher frequencies. In one word beautiful. The second track 1st To 3rd Instar features low frequency pulses before subtle piano chords (and reverbed pedals) set in. Again full marks to Liles and Menche. "Pupar" (the third track) starts off with a horse's neigh. After that surprising intro we're in a world filled with bass tones with plucked strings and percussive elements. Closing track Metamorphoses (to end the fly theme) features a low, almost prehistoric growl and Menche's more noisy elements which builds up to a climax. The track ends with piano and the buzzing sound of a fly. This CD, subtitled "tres muscae conummunt cadaver equi aeque cito ac leo", which loosely and very cryptically translates into "three muscular complete corpses indeed quick justice and lion" is a gorgeous piece of work; beautiful, restrained and highly recommended! (FK)
Address: http://www.blrrecords.com

AIDAN BAKER - THE BOOKS OF NODS (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
Aidan Baker is around with a brand-new album: The Book of Nods. The 4 tracks on this album form two continuous pieces, starting out with the Terry Riley-like opening where drummed strings lead into overtones and gradually in a single drone. Over the next three tracks (unfortunately my copy lacks all tracklisting information) this turns into a organ chord drone where the occasional dissonant note creeps in. By track three more and more percussion (hesitating at start, later more prominently) sets in. The last track has drones with reversed effects. Despite the nonsense blurb ("a new landscape is painted out of darkness by progressive strokes of the dawn") this is a very nice drone record. (FK)
Address: http://www.blrrecords.com

ANAKRID - BASNISHED RITUALS OF FREE DISENLIGHTENMENT (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
I have to admit I'm unfamiliar with the music of Chris Bickel and Rob Cherry (perhaps better known as Anakrid). They have been around for over 10 years now, doing small-edition home-made releases. This one is their first "major" release. The description supplied by BLRR ("Anakrid a day keeps the doctor slurred in a trove of fish-wallowing sling slong") doesn't help much. Perhaps they are also unsure what to make of this. BLRR link this to Nurse With Wound and to a certain sense the somewhat reverbed, washed music combined with concrete sounds do have a NWW-ish character. But not all music in this style is NWW. The twelve tracks on this album make a nice, though slightly unbalanced, listen. Perhaps it would have worked better if they had concentrated themselves more on one style (either more droney or more concrete). Anakrid have saved the best for last though; With Lies In a Tranquil Brow (beautiful title incidentally) is a gorgeous spaceous track with Residents-like (to name drop another famous experimental band) keyboards and rhythm. A beautiful end to a slightly unbalanced album. (FK)
Address: http://www.blrrecords.com

THE ANTRIPODEAN COLLECTIVE - THE MASSACRE OF THE EGOS (CD by Extreme)
"The Massacre of the Egos" is the fourth part in the Antripodean series of releases on Extreme. In this series Extreme Records intends to release music that is of a highly explorative and innovative nature. Extreme Records not only releases this kind of music, but is also a force in bringing musicians together to make new music possible as is the case for this cd. For this occasion Roger Richards of Extreme invited five musicians for an adventure that was made possible with the help of the Australia Council for the Arts. During two days in september 2007 they explored their possibilities. Paul Grabowsky (piano) joins forces with four other excellent musicians from the australian jazz and improv scene: Scott Tinkler (trumpet), John Rodgers violin), Philip Rex (double bass) and Ken Edie (drums). All of them are outspoken musicians who made their mark in the australian music scene.
From what I can conclude from the biographical
information most of them met on earlier occasions, but not in this line up. I don't know what appointments they made when entering the studio. I guess they did not need many words before starting off. The cd opens quietly, taking time to introduce all five musicians. The piano opens this improvisation, then the violin joins in, followed by the bass. Later on the trumpet of Tinkler occures and immediately takes over. When the drummer enters the arena the improvisation becomes more powerful. Although the ironic title correctly suggests they choose for groups improvisation, this does not mean their is no room for individual solowork in these improvisations. In 'The Totally Unconscious' for instance plenty of room is given to the fabulous playing of Tinkler, albeit in strong battles with the others. Its a very muscled improvisation, with a nice outro by the violin and trumpet. The longest improvisation 'The Need to Have the Last Say' starts with Grabowsky playing prepared piano and bass. But later on it is again Tinkler who is most prominent in destining the direction. Although the cd counts seven improvisations all carrying their own title, this seems a bit artificial. As their is no pause between the second and the third improvisation for example. The musicians show mutual understanding making the improvisations very together with nice intertwined playing. The jazz background of the musicians is clear in these improvisations and not to be denied. All they had to say they did on the right moment. No overdubbing or editing afterwards was needed. What we know from long extended improvisations is also the case here. They often start quiet with just one, two or three musicians. Gradually the improvisation is built up. The others join in, complexing and intensifying the improvisation moving towards a climax to be followed again by a quiet interlude or solo. Along this curve the music changes in mood, concentration, etc. So I did not find myself engaged in it from start to finish. But there is a lot to be enjoyed here (DM).
Address: http://www.xtr.com/

RADA AND GOSPLAN TRIO - I (CD)
This is a russian project of musicians with a very different background. I did my best to discover what brought these musicians together here, but I have no idea to be honest. Ingredients are dreamy, ethereal, non-verbal vocals and singing by Rada. Sergey Letov is an advanced saxplayer with an obvious background in jazz and free music, producing the most satisfying ingredients for my taste. From Alexei Borisov, playing electronics and laptop, come abstract non-complex sounds. Vladimir Anchevsky did the sound engineering. Their music stays at an experimental level of trying and searching without going anywhere. There is no focus, nor form, no uniting idea. It lacks vision. In the ten tracks this cd counts they take much more time then is needed to reach this inevitable conclusion. Alas, this russian project failed to make any impression. (DM)
Address: www.myspace.com/radaandgosplantrio

TRIO SLICNATON (CD by Slicnaton)
Usually a website has some information but the website that comes along with this CD, doesn't tell me much. I gather Slicnaton is some sort of collective of musicians, who perform "a collection of original compositions and recordings focused on the instrumental and electronic music of Nicholas Slaton and his collaborators". In this collective we find names such as Slaton himself, Mietek Glinkowski, Julian Sparacino, Bob Spence, Marc Medwin, Andrew Munger and more, all of whom I never heard. On Trio Slicnaton only the first three musicians play, on violin, vitar (?), basses, electronics, clarinets and flute. The CD starts out in quite an improvised mood, with a leading part for the clarinet. At the first I thought this would not be my kind of music, but as the CD progressed things got more and more interesting. Slicnaton uses improvisation to create drone like music, with lots of attention for the smaller details in the music, the smaller electronic particles. Clarinets and violin take the leading part, but things are cleverly mixed together. This is not a static form of drone music, but sounds swirl around; around eachother, around the room. Moving in and out the mix making things organic and atmospheric. A bit of modern classical touches thrown in, make this altogether quite a pleasant CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.slicnaton.com/

ROSHI FEAT. PARS RADIO - AND STARS (miniCD by Geo Records)
A short CD around the voice of Roshi Nasehi, who is from Wales but has Iranian parents, who brought her up with songs from her home country. This influence she brings to singing her own songs, along with a band called Pars Radio. In this band we find Graham Dowdall, also known as Dids (having played with Nico and Eric Random, but now solo as Dids), Richard Thomas and Rachell Threlfall, the latter two on cello. 'And Stars' is their debut EP with four songs of a great, curious nature. Folk music like, but also exotic. I am not a specialist at all on music from countries such as Iran, but the Iranian sung 'Dohktar e Boyerhmadi' is a true beauty, with loose strings, great vocals and faint electronics swirling somewhere in the background. 'She Paces' operates at the other end of the spectrum, with a bouncing rhythm derived from a thumb piano (wired up in the computer) and uptempo vocals, until a soaring cello leaps in through the backdoor. Four great songs, varied in approach, which should work as a great taster for a full-length album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com.georecordsuk

RAYMOND DIJKSTRA - DE HAMER (LP by Le Souffleur)
RAYMOND DIJKSTRA - DE LARF (LP by Le Souffleur)
First of all, Raymond Dijkstra asked me to point out that Le Souffleur is the name of the label, and not the artist. But hey, we're living in the world of information and there is so much of that around, and the more information is around, the less people are actually understanding what they read - such as the wonderful days of internet. Dijkstra also told me that he's not making the same record all the time, but that every day brings sounds and that he captures them. I don't think I said he produces the same record everyday, but that a lot of them sound similar. But his remark made me think: if someone uses say a guitar on every record, we also don't say he produces the same record, and for Dijkstra the guitar is replaced by his glass objects and electronics. Recently he produced six small records, which were released in an edition of six only and therefore not reviewed here, but which was nice to hear, if only for the twelve small changes in the sound and the limited time frame. Here, on two new records ('real' ones and not lathe cuts), Dijkstra continues to explore his own sound empire a bit further, with again subtle differences. 'De Hamer' seems to be richer in sound than 'De Larf' for instance, which is more sparse. Whereas 'De Hamer' seems to be having organ/harmonium sounds, 'De Larf' has small points of silence and the sounds are more stereo separated. In both works the glass sounds are again the leading instrument. 'De Larf' is the more minimal record and asks more from the listener than 'De Hamer', as this is a highly concentrated play on sound versus silence, or silence and sound. True Dijkstra fans, and count me in, will love this total outsider music, free of any pressure or need for a change and will love the building of this extended catalogue of sound. For those who think 'heard one, heard all', these two records may bring nothing else, but then surely you didn't pay enough attention. I think they are great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.le-souffleur.nl

LAGOS DISCO MACHINE - DESTRUCTION SOUND (CDR by Pattern Sound)
One G. Morris is behind Lagos Disco Machine and he has an album out of Pattern Sound, a new label from Canberra, Australia. Morris plays simple tunes on a bunch of keyboards - it seems. Maybe it's a bit more complicated in the process, but at least that's how it sounds. No less than eleven tracks in the relatively short time span of thirty-one minutes. He sampled together a bunch of instruments, voices and cooks up a pretty pleasant version of electronic music, which sounds very German in a way. Think Sack, think Blumm for instance. Xylophone, humor, short pieces. Maybe it's therefore not easy to get the drift of this, but Lagos Disco Machine has in its place a great variety of poppy tunes with a great naive sense to it. Very nice crossover of pop, experiment and IDM. Done with great care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.patternsound.com

THE GREEN KINGDOM - LAMINAE (CDR by The Land Of)
Behind The Green Kingdom is one Michael Cottone, of whom I never heard, despite his releases on Term, SEM, EKo, Mandorla, Skam, Tibprod, Heldernacht and Room40. He uses a 'variety of processed acoustic and electronic sources, sampled textures and field recordings' - the known story for The Land Of label, but like so many of their releases, The Green Kingdom is actually quite nice again, and rather nice than absolutely great. Cottone uses xylophone, synthesizers, thumb piano and lots and lots of computer processing to create his music. It never gets original, these moody textures of thunder, lightning, light and joy, but it always remains warm and cosy, a nice place to be in. I played this release three times in a row, as I was busy doing other things at the same time and liked the mellow tone of the music. Of course one could argue that it's non presence failed to leave an impression, but I rather take an opposite view. Mood music like this is non-presence, but should it be gone, than you notice something is missing. A small but essential difference. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://thelandof.org

JOHN ASTOR & SERGEI KLEIN & ALEXANDR KOHANOVSKI - AGUAN ALPHABET (CDR by Arterija)
On the cover, with some difficulty you can decipher Astpr, Klein and Kohanovski, but nothing else. You have to go to http://www.aterija.org/arto11.htm to view all the information. Astor plays guitar, clarinet, and played since the 70s with a whole bunch of people. Kohanovski plays piano and electronic music, and Klein plays vargans and bamboo flutes and is one of the founders of Ukr.Tele.Kom, who already had a release on Arterija. The Aguan language belongs to the 'Albanian-Armenian descent' and lost since a long time. This trio seems to be inspired by folk music too, and I must admit (perhaps I already did) that I am no expert in this field. There are lots of guitar parts, clear, acoustic. Lots of bamboo flute sounds and a little bit of electronics. All of the pieces seem to me to be generated through improvisation, but they have quite a coherent character. Even when I thought this was quite a pleasant release, it also went a sort of past by me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.arterija.org

TRUE COLOUR OF BLOOD - ALL OF THE TRUE THINGS I'M ABOUT TO TELL YOU ARE LIES (CDR, private)
Perhaps you know my allergic reaction when things are 'gothic', my own dictionary styled version there of: everything that deals with 'magick', ritualisk', 'ov' and such like. I was bound not to like True Colour Of Blood - even when they spelled 'Of' right. Hardly decipherable title here, or titles in fact, so my expectations were all about either harsh rhythms and dark synthesizer, or, horrible, apocalyptic folk. That is not the case. True Colour Of Blood is one Eric Kesner, who plays guitar. 'No keyboards or synths were used in the production of this album' it says on the guitar, perhaps as to assure the listener that such a thing might the case if you hear this. Eric plays some highly ambient tunes on his guitar: drone music that has come to stand still almost. In some of these pieces, of which there are ten in about eighty minutes, nothing is wasted here, we hear a sustaining sound, and hardly any movement. Also on the cover it says, 'designed for low level listening', but I put the volume up a bit as to hear the subtle nuances in this recording. I must say, despite my reservations, I thought this was quite a nice release, if not a bit long. After a while one could be a bit tired of another endless drone ('the sea on a delay pedal', as I heard a sound guy once say during a concert), but surely this is not music to be listened as 'music', but rather perceived as an ambient piece: sound to fill the void, to react to your private environment and in every word: as Brian Eno intended ambient to be. Highly enjoyable as such, but please change the name of the band. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tcobambient.com/

JOSH LAY - POISON DRINKER (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Perhaps I am wrong, but I don't think heard of Josh Lay before, so I may have missed his 3"CDR, but this is a new version with a bonus track on a new label Sentient Recognition Archive. The title piece, the one that is re-issued, is a sixteen minute piece of surpressed feedback noise. The kind of thing that sounds quite nice just because it's not recorded that well. Sounds of rusty mechanics colliding, like an old record player with a piece of metal spinning. Nasty but nice. The bonus, perhaps a remix as it is called 'Poison Dreams' is less noisy and seems to be made of low resolution samples of 'Poison Drinker' and has small sustaining tones and a much darker tone - both tracks are pretty grim and dark anyway. This is quite alright in terms of noise, even when it's all a bit brief. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/sentientrecognitionarchive

3OFMILLIONS (CDR by Hellosquare Recordings)
SEAWORTHY/M. RÖSNER (CDR by Hellosquare Recordings)
These two releases on Hellosquare Recordings are burned to a 5" CDR but both last under twenty minutes. 3ofmillions is an improvisation trouppe with Adrian Klumpes (piano, rhodes, piano book), Abel Cross (acoustic bass guitar) and Finn Ryan (drum set) - all of them members (not at the same time) of Triosk, Pure Evil Trio, Trio Apoleptic, The Nownow Splinter Orchestra. The two pieces - one quite long and one short - mark their first sessions in the studio. The fourteen minute 'Golden Calf' is a piece of great rotating drums, slow piano's (which seem to be altered through electronics) and a likewise slow bass. A piece that is not unlike Radian or any of those Viennese off shoots. 'Number 13' is more free play for the percussion and piano, which is too short to get a proper impression of. But both tracks promise a lot. Now here I wouldn't have minded hearing more.
Seaworthy we heard for the first time on 12K, and are Cameron, Sam and Greg, who have two tracks on offer on the split release with M. Rösner. Two pieces of shimmering microsound ambient drone (cross out what you don't think is appropriate). Late night music of slow evolving clusters of sound, mingled together. It's a pity that both pieces are just variations of eachother.
M. Rösner released before on Hellosquare and here seems to be totally immersed with sine waves and manipulations thereof. Especially this works best in '~4' of subtle moving and gliding tones, breaking down into small rhythm pieces. Both Seaworthy and M. Rösner do what others do, not better or worse. They follow the trend rather than making a new one. That is fine too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hellosquarerecordings.com

SIMON WHETHAM - LANDLOCKED (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
LOGOPLASM - KANE-I-KOKALA (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
GERALD FIEBIG - PUBLIC TRANSPORT. MUSIQUE ANECDOTIQUE IN MEMORIAM LUC FERRARI (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
Three German releases of field recordings on two different labels. Unlike Simon Whetham I've never been to Mongolia but I believe him when he says that this massive country hasn't got much water. Wetham got struck by this and, oddly enough, all the recordings he made in Mongolia, only the water recordings survived. With these he recorded a pure soundscape piece of water flowing and various types of rain (or so it seems) and created a very nice, if not a bit short at twenty-three minutes, piece out of it. Silence, near silence and massive water sounds are mixed together into a soundpicture of a dry country. Quite nice at that, this Lopez like work.
On a smaller size, but almost of equal length are the two releases by Field Muzick. Logoplasm are Laura Lovreglio and Paolo Ippoliti, who used to run S'Agita records and here they are using the sound of water too. But unlike Wetham they use electronic manipulation of the material to generate their piece of music. From the water sources we are lifted towards metal rumbles, which aren't recorded very well, so there is a slight distortion in the piece. When that is over, the menace of the water is brought into the second half of the piece and sounds quite like The Hafler Trio's 'Brain Song'. Quite a decent piece altogether.
The master of field recordings and telling a story was of course Luc Ferrari, who died in 2005. One Gerald Fiebig pays tribute to Ferrari in a piece which he recorded in a train from Augsburg to Munich, and mixed them with some guitar improvisations. Fiebig uses repetition of the sounds, which makes it less of a story, I think. I mean, who uses a lot of repetition if you tell a story. Fiebig goes more into soundscaping, layering various recordings over eachother and makes things more into an abstract story. He uses lots of different sounds and thus makes quite a nice and varied piece of music. Three different examples of what is possible with field recordings and three fine results. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de
Address: http://www.fieldmuzick.net

CHRISTOPHER MCFALL - ALL FOR THE TERROR THAT SINGS SWEETLY TO YOU IN THE NIGHT (3"CDR by 1000Füssler)
A flock of black birds 'that routinely roost within the building architecture in the downtown district of Kansas City at night' are at the core of this new release by Chritsoph McFall. We learned his previous through labels such as Gears Of Sand, Entr'acte, Con-V and others. The sounds of the black birds are captured here and McFall creates three pieces of music out of it through the use of the computer. He does two fine jobs and one great, and in all three he seems to be leaping away from the world of microsound. All tracks are 'there', and not muffled or hidden away in some heavy computer plug in. All of these pieces are quite loud, dark, even employ a bit of rhythm and especially 'Endurance' is a great piece. It's hard to tell why I really like this one, but it reminded me a bit of some tape experiments from the 80s world of cassettes, but recorded much, much better. This I thought was a great piece, and the two others are just pretty much alright too. Hard to recognize any birds in here, but nevertheless is a very fine example of soundscapes. (FdW)
Address: http://www.1000fussler.com

 

 

Obituary: Donna Klemm 06.08.1948 - 17.06.2008

Right after sending last week's issue, I received the message that Donna Klemm passed away on June 17th. This is very sad news. I knew Donna from the mid 80s when she ran, with her friend Uwe Hamm, the excellent Artware mailorder and label. They had a great selection of music for sale and released some great music on their label with a daring touch in their artist and repertoire. I met her a few times, at concerts around Wiesbaden where she lived, and was struck by her liveliness, even she moved out of the music business in the 90s. She continued her work in art and is sadly missed.