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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 636
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week 29
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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

 

ROTHKAMM - OPUS SPONGEBOBICUM (CD by Flux Records) *
RESONANT EMBERS (CD compilation by Edition Sonoro)
XX COMMITTEE - NETWERK (CD by Impulsy Stetoskopu) *
NOISE-MAKER'S FIFES - LEGNICA (CDR by Impulsy Stetoskopu)
RAOUL SINIER - BRAIN KITCHEN (CD by Ad Noiseam)
SAMARKANDE - 3 SYNAPSES (CD by Edition Log Musik) *
LAWRENCE ENGLISH - KIRI NO OTO (CD by Touch) *
BLUE WILLOW TRIO - TREES (CD by Grapes)
PAPER WINGS - ASH FIELD (CD by Black Petal/Pseudo Arcana)
CORY ALLEN - THE FOURTH WAY (CD by Quiet Design)
MACHINEFABRIEK - DAUW (CD by Dekorder)
BLACK TO COMM - FRACTAL HAIR GEOMETRY (CD by Dekorder)
ESCAPING FROM COLOR (CD compilation by Quasipop)
EDWARD S - UNTITLED SILVER (CDR by Quasipop)
STEPHANE LEONARD - LYKKELIG DYR (CD/LP by Heilskabaal/Naiv Super) *
TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - DANCE MUSIC (CD by Bottrop-boy)
ILLUSION OF SAFETY - IN SESSION (CD by Waystyx) *
TRANCE - COMPILED (CD by Monochrome Vision)
THIS INFERNAL LOVE OF LIFE (CD by Monochrome Vision)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED (2006-2007) (2CD by Monochrome Vision)
BARDOSENETICCUBE - NOOSPHERE (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
ROGER MILLS - ANTIPODESIA (CD by UCM)
MIRCAN WITH LIMBO - NUMINOSUM (CD by UCM)
LES COX (SPORTIFS) - NEVERHEED (CD by Stop Looking)
SEMPERVIRENS - DIRGE OF THE DYING YEAR (CD by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium) *
PROCER VENEFICUS - SALTWATER AND GLASSMOON (CD by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium)
UNDERJORDISKA/SPECTRAL LORE (splitCDR by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium)
MIRKO UHLIG - THE NIGHTMILLER (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
PROMONIUM JESTERS - PSYCHIC WARFARE (CDR by P In A Circle)
BIRGIT ULHER & HEDDY BOUBAKER - UPSIDE DOWN (CDR by Herbal/Why Not) *
TRIO WERCHOWSKA/PONTEVIA/BOUBAKER - DECALAGE VERS LE ROUGE (CDR by Petit Label)
PHAT - LA GRANDE PESTE (MP3 by Nc.nd)
FEDERICO BARABINO - ONGAMIRA (CDR by Black Orchid Productions) *
DANIEL PABOEUF UNITY - DPU - (CDR, private)
ADAM JENNINGS - SOUNDS FROM SHANGHAI AND SUZHOU CHINA (CD, private) *
THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - NEIL DIAMOND IS NOT THE GOD OF THUNDER AND ROCK AND ROLL (CDR, private)
THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - 10000 Flying Girls (CDR by Frostly You Haunt Me) *
MARK SADGROVE & TIM COSTER - UNTITLED (CDR by CLaudia)
CURRER BELLS (3"CDR by CLaudia)
WOLFSKULL - BIBI BIBI BIBI (CDR by Insult Recordings)
PET COFFINS/SLOW LISTENER (CDR by Insult Recordings)
CONES - DIE ZACKEN (3"CDR by Insult Recordings)*
DEAD WOOD - BACKLED REALITY (3"CDR by Insult Recordings)
TÔ - U.N.A. (3"CDR by Cook An Egg)
TERJE PAULSEN - SEPTOBER (CDR by Q-tone)
TERJE PAULSEN - DAGBUE (MP3 by Homophoni)
ELAPSE-0 (MP3 by Records On Ribs) *

 

 

ROTHKAMM - OPUS SPONGEBOBICUM (CD by Flux Records)
Work by Frank Rothkamm has always a conceptual edge. In 1978, at the age of 12, he started to compose music, on the piano. Later on he devised his own notation for music and kept on playing the piano until now. I might be wrong but one of the first times his work was reviewed in Vital Weekly was his 'Tuning' 12" as DJ Flux, which consisted of the sound of tuning a piano. Here he offers '40 Variations on the secret formula from Spongebob Squarepants' - which comes with lengthy liner notes on 'variations' but how it connects to my favorite cartoon hero of the new millennium - I am even being waked up when he's on by the other, much younger fan when she's around. Much like I know next to nothing about classical music, it's not easy to value this work. Forty pieces of piano music, which go in one flow and which are certainly nice to hear. It's not the piano playing of say Satie or Debussy - that much I know - but more like 19th century piece of classical music with some 'strange' elements thrown in that make this is quite a strange piece too. Even when the overall concept left me with questions, the work as such was nice to hear. That's about all I can say about it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fluxrecords.com

RESONANT EMBERS (CD compilation by Edition Sonoro)
How much I like compilations, and certainly this one, things are never easy to review. I can make some general remarks about who's on it, what the underlying objective is in the music, pick a highlight, boo at a weak track and that's it. Compilations are certainly no easy task. On 'Resonant Embers' we have seven lengthy cuts of drone music. Six of them are by people who regularly deliver the sonic resonances for Vital Weekly such as Irr. App. (ext.), Jgrzinich, Ubeboet, Colin Potter, Paul Bradley and Andrew Liles, leaving us with the introduction of Maile Colbert with Tellemake as the only new artist on the block. Things drone away nicely, times seven. No weak brothers or sisters around this lot. But also no particular standout pieces or, and that's perhaps the weak point, nothing new under the ambient drone sun. Processed field recordings (are those church bells, mister Potter?), computerized software sound synthesis and otherworldly sounds from beyond imagination. All fine, but also all text book stuff for these people. It's not that they delivered yesterday's left-overs, au contraire I'd say, but it's a bit too much commonplace. If that doesn't bother you, than it's fine. It didn't bother me, since I like this kind of music anyway, so I thought it was a most pleasant release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsonoro.com/

XX COMMITTEE - NETWERK (CD by Impulsy Stetoskopu)
NOISE-MAKER'S FIFES - LEGNICA (CDR by Impulsy Stetoskopu)
An online search for really obscure and forgotten releases would no doubt bring you, also (!), to perhaps this release. XX Committee is one of the first 'bands' by Scott Foust, which is him on guitar, bass and rhythm and Chris Scarpino on synth and guitar. They recorded in the basement of Foust' parents in the early 80s, 'letting the rhythm go for hours', but in the end the power wasn't entirely captured on the original vinyl, released by Thermidor in 1983. The masters are lost, but this CD is rescued from the original LP - oh glory to the computer for that. The ten tracks are pieces of minimal music. XX Committee (pronounced as The Twenty Committee) set a rhythm in motion - be in from a drum machine, or from a synth - and let it go while they hammer out more rhythm and drone sounds on their instruments. Like machines working in a factory. As such I think this is easily one of the more important releases from the early, formative years of industrial music. XX Committee predates say Vivenza, although he had his own interesting view on the industrial mechanisms of music, and sidesteps all the power noise of Whitehouse and their shady friends. XX Committee blend together the rhythm of machines with the power of drones in a rather unique way, that was unheard at the time, and never repeated after that - the band went away and Foust went on. Even when this CD re-issue is limited to 250 copies, it's definitely one must have if you want to hear a great forgotten record from the early 80s. Maybe their cassette should be issued to now.
Noise-maker's Fifes were from Belgium and are no longer around, following the death of founder Geert Feytons in 2006. Apparently Impulsy Stetoskopu has some old material in their vaults and 'Legnica' is the first to see the light of day. Its a live recording from 1997 at the Ars Media Presentation in Legnica and Noise-maker's Fifes were besides Feytons, Marc Wroblewski and Eric Faes. There is no mentioning of instruments here, but knowing their music to some extent, I think it's the 'usual' blend of objects (stones, metal, wood etc) and prepared 'real' instruments. The music I guess is a typical good gig for Noise-maker's Fifes. They work their way through a set of improvised playing with a somewhat fixed structure, I think. Scraping the objects, radio sounds and towards the end resonating strings and cymbals play a bigger role. Think AMM, think Morphogenesis if such points of reference are needed. But there are also moments in which things don't seem to work and the three are looking for the right sounds and seem a bit lost in the action. I guess such things happen in the field of improvised electro-acoustic music. 'Legnica' is not the greatest document of what Noise-maker's Fifes could do - the visual aspect was certainly as important - but it gives a good solid impression anyway. (FdW)
Address: <impulsystetoskopu@yahoo.com>

RAOUL SINIER - BRAIN KITCHEN (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Raoul Sinier reaches many interesting corners in his latest effort from his kitchen of sonic experimentation. The French artist impressed me with his EP-appetizer "Huge Samirai Radish" to this main course titled "Brain kitchen". If music was food, the variation of expressions on this latest album by the artist who also has a number of releases on the Planet MU-label, is like a well-assorted buffet serving expressions from experimental hip hop, across IDM, abstract techno to cool breakbeats. Remarkable about this album is the artist's ability to control this complex soup of electronic sounds and thus end up with this enjoyable result. The fourteen works on the album spans from catchy pieces sometimes reminding me of a cutting-edge version of early 808 State to hypercomplex pieces such as the amazing track titled "The incredible spitting machine" reminiscent of Autechre from the "Chiastic Slide"-period thanks to the alluring combination of grandiose ambient-scapes and "spittting" expressions of microsounds and noise-beats. The frequent occurrence of hip hop rhythm textures creates a fine line throughout this excellent lengthy work of Raoul Sinier. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

SAMARKANDE - 3 SYNAPSES (CD by Edition Log Musik)
We met Samarkande last year for the first time, when they did a split CDR release with the Oblivion Ensemble (see Vital Weekly 568). Samarkande is a duo of Eric Fillion and Sylvain Lamirande, who played with John Zorn's Cobra Game Player, whereas Fillion is a classically trained pianist and organist. They already have three previous releases, since they started in 1999. The cover lists their instruments in full detail, even when it means not much to me, Samarkande seem to be a bunch of gear collectors. It's not easy to describe what Samarkande is doing. Partly it dwells heavily on the use of electronics which gives this album an ambient texture, but smaller portions are reserved for improvised playing on say the violin or the clarinet. What I thought of their split CDR release with the Oblivion Ensemble is also what I think of this new one: it's quite nice, but too lengthy and sometimes drifting too much without wanting to have any sort of structure. It comes off like many smaller pieces being mixed together to make one long piece, but which also makes things unfocussed. My suggestion is to create an album with shorter tracks and explore them within the time frame of that shorter piece. This doesn't mean I think this is a bad album, not at all in fact. '3 Synapses' certainly has some fine moments when explore the more moody roads of the music, and let things develop in a natural way. Their experience at playing their instruments helped create a musically fine album, but one with some extra room for improvement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.samarkande.ca

LAWRENCE ENGLISH - KIRI NO OTO (CD by Touch)
Perhaps Lawrence English needs no introduction, as recently he has presented much new work in these pages. He is from Brisbane where he deals with field recordings, installations, improvisations with people like David Toop, Terry Riley, DJ Olive, Tetuzi Akiyama and many others. Also he is the man behind Australia's more interesting labels Room40. In his own music he uses a lot of field recordings, like his recent underwater recordings. On 'Kiri No Oto', which translates as 'sound of fog', which is not what he uses, but the music that sounds like fog. Although English doesn't reveal his sound sources, just referred to as 'instruments and found sounds', which are processed until they sound like fog. Also the processing is just described as 'analog filtering and harmonic distortion', but the end result works very much like fog. No matter how hard you try to see, all you get is blurry things. And that's what this music does too. Once you think you may recognize something - be it a melody, an instrument or even a melodic part such as 'Allay' - it's never really clear what it is that you are listening to. I'm not a car driver, but I can imagine this as driving a car in fog: you notice things, and then they disappear and as such works the music also. Each of the eight pieces work like this, each piece of music has its own special quality, even when there are similarities among the various pieces. Here the fog theme works also a bigger level - by creating similar yet different tracks, a deliberate mist is also created. Great record, if not always surprising from the perspective of 'new' music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

BLUE WILLOW TRIO - TREES (CD by Grapes)
A jazz trio made up of Takumi Seino playing acoustic and electric guitars, with Masako Hamamura on piano and Jeremy Stratton handling the acoustic bass. They took their name from the 'Blue Willow' CD they recorded in 2000. So I guess this is their second release.
Before I go into it, I should say first that I,m not into this kind of music normally. What we have here is a pure jazz trio of very well accomplished players. Not my thing usually, but there is a but! The name of Takumi Seino should ring a bell. Frans de Waard and I covered earlier work of Seino in Vital Weekly. There was for example a duo recording of Seino with his canadian colleague Anthione Berthiaume. Jeremy Stratton is an american player who studied with Charlie Haden and plays a lot with Lee Konitz. Masako Hamamura comes from Kobe. At the moment she performs and teaches at the Koyo Conservatory in Kobe. For their new recording the trio played live two days in october 2007 in the small music cafe Jalan-Jalan, somewhere in Japan. Of the nine pieces on this album four were composed by Takumi Seino, two by Masako Hamamura. The other pieces are short collective improvisations. Together they make up a very homogenous unity in more than one respect. In all pieces the musicians take time to develop the lines they want to follow. The playing is controlled and functional. No meaningless virtuosity. The result is well balanced and well tempered kind of easy listening jazz that never becomes sugar sweet. Everything what they are doing fits. The trio delivers a very consistent job from beginning to end. They are equally involved and dedicated and very focused. The themes and tunes they composed sound very familiar and close to the laws that define the format of the jazz trio. But on the other hand the music is absolutely not cliché. This trio speaks with an authentic voice. During my listening to this CD my appreciation grew and grew, and now I simply love it. (DM)
Address: http://www.grapesmusic.com/

PAPER WINGS - ASH FIELD (CD by Black Petal/Pseudo Arcana)
Released by Anthony Guerra's Black Petal label (I think the first real CD on his label) and Anthony Milton's Pseudo Arcana, both of these musicians are also responsible for the audio content as Paper Wings. The album was already recorded in 2005 (I have no idea why it wasn't out earlier) in 'a small room on a winters day in Sydney'. Both play electric guitar (and both have an extensive background in improvised music) and use lots of amplification. This is improvised music but not the sort we review a lot these days. Here Paper Wings lots of amplification to get a nice resonating sound. And god knows what else they use, delay pedals, distortion pedals, ring modulation - the sky is the limit here. Four tracks of howling beauty. They play everything from just a few notes to walls of feedback and noise, even when this is not the Merzbow type of noise. They compare it to 'Earth at 16RPM' and that is very much true - slowly strummed, resonating sounds that work best at a massive volume. Four long improvised pieces of two electric guitars that work on an intense minimal yet psychedelic level and it sticks right in your brain. Absolutely great stuff and rightly so on a real CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blackpetal.com http://www.pseudoarcana.com

CORY ALLEN - THE FOURTH WAY (CD by Quiet Design)
Quiet Design releases a CD by Cory Allen who plays Fender Rhodes and Moog Voyager, ring modulator and software and call it a 'rich minimal ambient work [...] building on his signature style of lush and soft linear hypnotic ambient, Allen ventures into new territory where gripping data textures and air-tight moog tones push and pull with streaming fountains of electronic elegance'. For a moment I thought they packed the wrong CD but the label says indeed 'Cory Allen'. 'The Fourth Way' is, no surprise, his fourth album. We missed out on the previous three, so I have no idea if they were indeed 'lush and soft', but this one is certainly a different batch of music. Cory Allen, who is along with Josh Russel, Rick Reed and Brent Fariss a member of Sirsit, plays heavy drone music here. Loud, mean stuff, but not distorted or nasty in the industrial music sense of the word. Allen plays his music with a fine sense for details, moving away from the quiet drone music, but doing something much more heavy. He melts together the warmth of analogue synths with crispy software sounds and moves away from the traditional drone music, just as Russel did with 'Sink' (Vital Weekly 612), perhaps not surprisingly on the same label. Not easy listening this one, but surely one that has a lot of beauty captured inside. Cruel beauty that is, certainly if, and I recommend this, you play this loud. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietdesign.us

MACHINEFABRIEK - DAUW (CD by Dekorder)
BLACK TO COMM - FRACTAL HAIR GEOMETRY (CD by Dekorder)
For a week or two I believed Rutger Zuydervelt was on holiday, since nothing new arrived here... well, since his excellent release with Stephen Vitiello (Vital Weekly 531 - oops five weeks of silence), but here is 'Dauw', for once (?) a CD by Machinefabriek solo and specially composed for the occasion. Various of his previous CD releases were compilations of his vast catalogue of 3"CDR releases. Here he plays acoustic, electric guitar, turntable, sampler, dictaphone, piano, tone generator and laptop. Dekorder mentions a whole bunch comparisons, from Fennesz to Arvo Part, Godspeed, Basinski, Philip Jeck and Mogwai which is funny, because it seems so right, yet it never really crossed my mind to compare him with all of these. It has the sustaining, drone like sounds of Part, Godspeed and Mogwai, and the laptop like qualities of Fennesz and the pace of Jeck. This new album, with its five tracks (the fifth spanning half the album) is another fine Machinefabriek album, in which his music crystallize further, reaching another peak of subtle sounds. Machinefabriek has founds its form already some time, and now finds time to explore things further and deepens his music. 'Dauw' is a great CD and can easily meet the best in his extended career.
Black To Comm is the solo project of Marc Richter, the label boss of Dekorder. He calls this his 'drone' project in which he plays casio, farfisa organ, electronics and voice and gets help from various people playing violin, electronics, piano and trumpet. All of his sounds are fed through analogue and digital effects pedals and then put together on the computer, 'sometimes consisting of more than fifty recording layers'. The first track with its vocal like chants let me down a bit, but the rest of the album is quite nice. Black To Comm understands drone not as 'one chord down, delay pedal full open', but it can he nervous and hectic sounds pieced together on the computer, with sounds and even melodies dropping in and out of the mix. He does that in more or less in all seven of the pieces on this album and manages to hold enough variety in the material, yet keeping control of his working method. This kind of drone music is something that one doesn't hear every day and goes beyond the more traditional types of drone music. That's something I like very much and this new CD by Black To Comm is great. A highly refined and original work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dekorder.com

ESCAPING FROM COLOR (CD compilation by Quasipop)
EDWARD S - UNTITLED SILVER (CDR by Quasipop)
Elsewhere there is a review of Francisco Lopez' new double CD which rounds up tracks from 2006 and 2007 and one of that is a rather disappointing remix of Rapoon. I thought I missed that somewhere along the lines, but Quasipop just send me the complete album of Rapoon 'recomposed and remixed'. As a quick reminder, since we haven't reviewed a Rapoon CD in quite some time: Rapoon is the music by Zoviet France founder Robin Storey who left in the early 90s to concentrate on his own music, which had strong rhythmical (at times ethno) components and ambient textures. Sounds indeed like a good material to remix, but I wonder if the fifteen artists here would bring the material really into a new place, to win over new fans for the music of Rapoon. We are treated here with work by TV Pow, Machinefabriek, Troum, Steve Roden, Jorge Castro, Paulo Raposo, Aidan Baker, Anla Courtis, Gert-Jan Prins, Heimir Bjorgulfsson, Mike Shiflet, Family Underground, Ronnie Sundin and Cisfinitum (although his track doesn't count as a remix, since it's a live collaboration with Rapoon from a concert in Moscow in 2006). Lots of familiar names, from roughly say the same scene as Rapoon himself, and some surprises - didn't know Bjorgulfsson was still doing music, Roden as a remixer and Sundin who has been quiet for a while. The downside is that I didn't hear many surprising pieces of music - I did hear good versions of Rapoon's music. Some emphasized his rhythmic side, others his ambient side, some worked with computerized treatments there of (Sundin, Roden, Lopez and Bjorgulfsson), and some stay pretty close to the original, like Troum. But none took his music into the rock arena, the dubstep floor or country-western - to mention three unlikely places, but where there is perhaps new fans to win over. In that sense this is 'just' a 'nice' compilation with many nice tracks for sure, but for whom, we could wonder. No doubt for the Rapoon fans of course and for some of the remixers (which may overlap no doubt). A very nice compilation, but perhaps a bit redundant also.
On the same label another CDR by Edward S, 'Untitled Silver', in an edition of 23 copies. Twenty track in an equal amount of minutes - there is no doubt some conspiracy, conceptually driven aspect, which I fail to see. The short time span doesn't do the music any justice. It's more like twenty-three attempts at writing short pieces, but they keep sticking in half started attempts. Rhythm, noise, collage, musique concrete, it's all there but fails to make a good impression here. Its more difficult to create a good, very short piece than a somewhat longer one - that is lesson to be drawn from this one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quasipop.org

STEPHANE LEONARD - LYKKELIG DYR (CD/LP by Heilskabaal/Naiv Super)
Its always great to see confidence. I never heard of Stephane Leonard, but Heilskanaal and Naivsuper are confident enough to do a release that is both on LP and CD - the first real CD for Naivsuper. That is surely confidence and I hope it works for them. Leonard released two solo recordings in 2003 and 2004, then learned how to program max/msp and then spent three years on doing field recordings and editing this album. I must admit that I fail to see all the confidence. Its by all means not a bad piece of work, but it doesn't shout 'original' all over it. Ten tracks of glitchy sounds and rhythms which sound very Fennesz like, even the 'pop' approach is used by Leonard, doesn't make him the next promise in microsound, click 'n cut or glitch land. Having said that, I must say that the album isn't bad either. Leonard plays some nice music, excellently produced, with tracks being short and to the point. Qualities that are sometimes forgotten by others, but which are necessary tools of the trade. If there wasn't a Fennesz around, and if he didn't release 'Endless Summer', 'Lykkelig Dyr' by Stephane Leonard could easily be the new king of all things glitch and pop, now he's one of the many fine servants of the trade. (FdW)
Address: http://www.heilskabaal.net http://www.naivsuper.de

TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA - DANCE MUSIC (CD by Bottrop-boy)
There is no need to put on your shoes and dance along, since this 'Dance Music' is music for choreography and as such uses no beats of course. Toshimaru Nakamura is of course the man of the no-input mixer and one that has the standard for this instrument. It seems that everyone, except for Marko Ciciliani whose rapid playing is the anti-thesis of Nakamura, plays like Nakamura: long stretches of feedback sound, with the minimalist changes. Nakamura tests our limits on this release. Two pieces, one lasting over twenty minutes and under fifty minutes, this will do all sorts of crazy things with your mind. It's not music to put on and play loud, as certified insanity is what happens next, but even at a much lower volume this is not easy music to hear. For me this works best at this somewhat lower volume and create a more ambient/surround texture style of music. The first, shorter, piece is a more continuous affair, whereas the second is more a bumpy ride, with sounds dropping in and out. Certainly not easy music to hear and I doubt wether I would play this very often. Sometimes music can be too demanding and 'Dance Music' certainly falls in the category of too demanding music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bottrop-boy.com

ILLUSION OF SAFETY - IN SESSION (CD by Waystyx)
One of my favorite post industrial bands ever. Period. Since more than twenty years I am a fan and every new release is awaited with eager anticipation. This highly limited release from Russia, in a gorgeous package, is no different. These days, since many years actually, Illusion Of Safety is reduced one person, following a free floating membership that included Thyme Jones and Jim O'Rourke to mention just two, which is Dan Burke. He plays 'sound generating devices and random objects that deliberately provoke, mesmerize and even affront listeners'. I deliberately use the term 'post industrial' and not say 'electro-acoustic' or 'musique concrete', which could also easily be applied to the music of Illusion Of Safety. When they started they were firmly rooted in the world of industrial music, and later on elements of musique concrete came along, but if you listen to 'In Session' the elements of industrial music are still there. Heavy, steel walls of drone music pierce your ears and are as easily replaced by soft drones, crackling sounds of hand held objects and contact microphones. I wouldn't be surprised if Burke plays all of this 'in session', live at home so to speak. I saw him a lot of times playing concerts which capture the equal beauty that is captured here. Ranging from sheer noise to near silence and there is always an element of surprise lurking around the corner. An abrupt, full stop or start and it bring the piece in a new territory. Illusion Of Safety's music can be compared with the likes of Roel Meelkop or Toy Bizarre, but is less bound to rules of composition and more free and joyous (well, that's probably not the right away) than those of the microsound/musique concrete posse that inhabits the world of Vital Weekly so frequently. That alone makes a great band and another great CD. Very fine concentrated bursts of sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.waystyx.com

TRANCE - COMPILED (CD by Monochrome Vision)
THIS INFERNAL LOVE OF LIFE (CD by Monochrome Vision)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED (2006-2007) (2CD by Monochrome Vision)
BARDOSENETICCUBE - NOOSPHERE (CD by Monochrome Vision)
I don't remember when the last time was that I music from Mason Jones' Trance project - easily more than ten years ago. Perhaps this is the right moment to admit that I was never the biggest fan for the Trance project and perhaps that's the reason it has been such a long time, perhaps it had to do with shifting interests at the time. Jones started Trance in 1987 as a solo guitar project with a strong interest in slow and heavy, almost industrial music. He released a couple of cassettes on his own Charnel House label, then a few CD for the same label, as well as Staalplaat and called it a day when Trance had a totally different meaning - 'bad electronic music' as Jones calls this on the liner notes of a CD that compiles various, but not all, pieces that Trance did for compilation CDs and cassettes (oddly enough no vinyl). Even when I didn't hear his music for such a long, I must say that I was eager to play it, to note if my appreciation has changed over the years. Right from the very first second I recognized this a traditional music by Trance. Lots of hectic beats and lots of distorted guitars that go on top of that. It's still something I find hard to relate to, even after all these years. The music of Trance remains very distant and doesn't grab me that much. Sometimes a guitar line pops up which sounds nice, or when the beats are slower, but that's it. I think I still prefer Jones' work in Subarachnoid Space much better.
Somewhere in the vaults of music that I may call 'living' room I have a copy of 'This Infernal Love Of Life', an album released by Topyscan in 1989. I don't remember why I have this, wether I wrote a review or not, or even if I ever played it. But I like CD releases of old vinyl as they usually sound better. When I heard this I must admit I didn't recognize the music. This CD goes up and up. The start, a piece by Eld-Omala is not something I like very much. 'Gothic' music to my taste. I was never a big fan of White Stains either - too much the Swedish answer to Psychic TV - but their 'Underworld Initiation' sounds alright. Heavy slow drums, pounding nicely with highly atmospheric synthesizers. Pretty dated music, but not bad at all. Phauss, the band of Hauswolff and Phauser have a great piece of field recordings - at a time when no one did those - mixed with sizzling electronics and Karkowski presents an early piece I guess of similar electronics and what seems to warped tape collages. The electronics reminded me of insect like sounds. Quality increases on this highly varied compilation, and sounds great. Never understood why I didn't play the album - or remembering it.
Many of the Francisco Lopez releases have just one piece, but of course Lopez composes also shorter pieces, usually for compilations or commissions. Lopez compiles them by the year and here he rounds up two years, 2006 and 2007, on a double CD. Perhaps the most 'strange' piece in this collection is 'Untitled #196', which he was commissioned for by the MAE Ensemble from Amsterdam. This is indeed an unlike Lopez piece for a small ensemble with some hectic playing - in that sense also an odd piece for Lopez. The other pieces are, as said, shorter than the usual Lopez pieces, and there are times when it seems to me that Lopez has difficulty handling the short time span, or perhaps it has to do with the assignment, like a rather mediocre Rapoon remix. However those pieces are in a minority here. When Lopez goes back into the field to tape his sounds and to do his typical Lopez like treatments things are great as always. Here the shorter time span works also a bit against the pieces, or perhaps one wished they would last a bit longer, but they are fine pieces. No doubt the die hard collectors have all of these pieces when they were first released on a compilation, but collected together is something I actually prefer. A nice round-up of things from the past, preserved for the future.
Monochrome Vision releases a lot of music from the 'old' boys from what can be loosely called 'industrial music and beyond', but after every three or four releases there is also space for a Russian artist, home land of the label. The cover tell us a story about a laptop with an unknown system error playing the music of solar wind and a feedback circuit to add elements of human presence. The laptop was stolen shortly after that so this is the only account of the piece that was created. Bardoseneticcube is the project of Igor Potsukaili. His 'Noosphere' is a lengthy piece of music, almost sixty-eight minutes, that works more like an ambient event than an actual piece of music. It changes throughout its run, with sounds coming in and out of the mix, while there are continuous events that run the entire course of the CD. Its music that you may to play at a somewhat lower volume and preferable in repeat play and create your own environment. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.ru

ROGER MILLS - ANTIPODESIA (CD by UCM)
MIRCAN WITH LIMBO - NUMINOSUM (CD by UCM)
Two CDs that both come in a very deluxe edition. The CDs come with a thick full color booklet with photographs, etc. They did invest quite a lot in graphics and design. Unusual if you ask me. UCM stands for Uncatalogued Music Production. It was founded in 2006 by Mircan Kaia coming from the Black Sea region and earthquake engineer from profession. In 2007 two CDs were released on this label; 'Sala' and 'Ashes' both solo-albums by Mircan. Now UCM presents two new cds. On 'Numinosum' Mircan is assisted by Limbo an english jazz combo with Roger Mills a.o. Mills did also the mixing and production in his Eartrumpet Studio in Bristol. With Limbo and three turkish musicians Mircan realized her latest musical dreams. All lyrics and tracks are written by Mircan, but the music came about mostly out of improvisation in the studio. The music is far from jazzy, except in 'To take a Step without Feet'. Most pieces are dreamy, sometimes rocky songs, with much attention for an atmospheric sonic environment. Eastern influences you might expect are hard to discover. Only in the playing of the accordion-player I discovered some. Mircan sings in english with a voice that has more potential then shown on this cd. The band gives a good performance. All together they create a Kate Bush-related world that will function in your dreamy hours.
Roger Mills is a composer, sound and media artist plus trumpet-player. For more information on him go to http://www.eartrumpet.com/.
'Antipodesian' is his debut album. His music is a mix of ambient, jazz and soundscapes. The pieces on his album emerged from improvisations recorded during live performances between 2005 and 2007. Field recordings he made during his travels also play an important role. He is helped out by several musicians playing flutes, drums, percussion, etc. But in the end the music sounds very programmed and processed. Prominent is the muted trumpet by Mills. Jon Hassell is not very far away. Also because most pieces breath an exotic and tribal atmosphere. Like on the album by Mircan the music communicates a dreamy and spacey soundworld. It is a professional mix of an improvising trumpet imbedded in nice soundscapes that are made up of fieldrecordings and manipulated musical recordings. Ambient jazz evoking melancholic moods. On the other hand I found his blend not very surprising or original. It is nice and effective soundwork, however moving along conventional lines. (DM)
Address: http://www.ucmproduction.com

LES COX (SPORTIFS) - NEVERHEED (CD by Stop Looking)
During the big 7 days summer festival of Nijmegen there is a place with 'alternative' stages, so I could easily fill my gap of knowledge with regards to all things alternative. I'm writing this somewhere half way through the week, so perhaps the real surprises could be coming, but I heard on the main stage a current imitation of Section 25, a cross between Emerson Lake & Palmer and Mother's Finest, white man reggae and third class post rock. This town ain't big enough. I don't have a copy of the program, nor does the hangover encourage me to search for it online, but I don't think Les Cox (Sportifs) are playing. A power trio of guitar, drums, vocals and bass from the UK, and are an 'unpolished, artless, ramshackle and utterly charming insight to all that was great with the Indie scene 20 years ago, yet with both feet stamped firmly in the present', which means selling old as new, me thinks. But there is no such thing as 'independent music' in the place where the guitars, drums, vocals and bass - it's all unsigned bands waiting for the major to drop by. That's why they have festivals in small places to test waters. Having said all that the eight tracks were pretty decent and picked up out of the mailbox this tomorrow it saved me also time to think of what music I needed to wake up to and was mildly amused by their band name. So life isn't bad - it changes color every now and then, and stays the same. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stop-looking.co.uk

SEMPERVIRENS - DIRGE OF THE DYING YEAR (CD by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium)
PROCER VENEFICUS - SALTWATER AND GLASSMOON (CD by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium)
UNDERJORDISKA/SPECTRAL LORE (splitCDR by New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium)
Chosing a label name like New Age Dawn/Stellar Auditorium raises an eyebrow here, but thank god no new age music around these three. The label is from Athens, Greece and focusing on 'both rock/metal and experimental music', but again thank god no rock/metal - and hopefully not in the future for Vital Weekly (release it as you like, but we can't review that - thanks). These three are on the sublabel Steller Auditorium, and the first is by Estonian ambient artist Margus Mets, who works as Sempervirens. He has had six releases already and his sound sources are field recordings, electronics but also say an acoustic guitar. The label compares this to Biosphere, early Brian Eno and Northaunt's 'Barren Land' and even when I don't know that one, the others sound like a good reference to me. Dark drones, highly atmospheric, like picked up transmissions from the sky itself. Stellar music indeed. Mets plays eight very nice tracks indeed, excellently produced but nothing new under the sun.
Which perhaps could also be said of Procer Veneficus, also known as Derek Schultz. He started in 2004 and has a long catalogue of unheard music by me, but filled, I'm told, with music from black metal, acoustic and organic ambience. I guess 'Saltwater And Glassmoon' is from the latter category of works as the five lengthy pieces are very much alike what I just described as music by Sempervirens. Deep drone music, maybe just a little bit more monotonous, but certainly as nicely produced as the previous release, and again, with not much new insight on the subject of dark drone ambient music. More forest than sky music I guess, like a misty picture of trees. Nice.
A bit more problematic for me is the release by 'two experimental black metal one-man bands', Underjordiska and Spectral Lore. Both play a variety of instruments, guitar mostly, drones and electronics, but in both cases it's an uneasy marriage. It seems to me that both want to display their ability to really play. So abstract passages in the music, which are quite nice, can move into post rock or guitar doodling. But it all happens inside a single track per band, which are faded quite roughly, and one has the idea that just various tracks are collated together. As said, the more abstract parts of the pieces with the shimmering dark drones is quite nice, but display of technique is not my thing. And I have no idea where they found the black metal thing, since it has nothing to do with metal. (FdW)
Address: http://www.newagedawn.co.uk

MIRKO UHLIG - THE NIGHTMILLER (CDR by Mystery Sea)
So far the work of Mirko Uhlig was highly appreciated here. Not because it's any 'new' by any sort of standard, but his wanderings into the world of drone music can easily match those in the field with a higher profile. The three tracks here are more pieces from what Uhlig does best (his attempt at 'noise' seemed an one off). Very soft in volume, this is drone music of a highly nocturnal affair. Don't bring this into the daylight but keep it covered for night time listening. You need to crank up the volume quite a bit in order to hear something of the low fidelity drones, but if you the three parts will make perfect sense. Only the title piece seems to be a bit louder, and could be sampled from Ravel's 'Bolero' covered with a lot of hiss sounds. It's anyway hard to tell what it is that Uhlig does here in terms of using sounds and/or instruments. The drones are large, and could be processed field recordings, but I think I also recognized some (sampled?) instruments in there. As said, I think this is another fine release from Uhlig, even when the whole ambient drone sound is a dead end alley. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

PROMONIUM JESTERS - PSYCHIC WARFARE (CDR by P In A Circle)
Promonium Jesters is an Ontario-based project that was established in 1994 by school mates Greg Cox and Ethan Moseley, originally with concentration on Industrial music. With the addition of Dave Miller and Tyler Noble, Promonium Jester has extended their sound approach with a more wide Industrial metal-based attitude. And the result on this Ep-release titled "Psychic warfare" is certainly promising if you're into abrasive stuff. Opening with a brutal piece titled "Futurekill" approaching the noise-level of extreme grind-thrashers Exhumed thanks to the excellent cocktail of furious black metal-like vocals and thrashing guitar-riffs grinding on top of electronic Industrial-scapes, the ground has been laid for some serious moshing.... Until second track penetrates with a radical style-change towards club-oriented industrial-techno reminding me of early Swamp Terrorists or Wumpscut. The quartet manage to keep the listener glued to the speakers with the excellent blend of harsh expressions of Industrial-metal and awesome atmospheric electronic soundscapes. Especially on third track the shift from harshness to deep atmospheres works great as the music suddenly changes approx. halfway through seven minutes running track. Having toured with Noise-acts such compatriot sound terrorist Knurl and japnoise-legend Merzbow, Platinum Jesters already has spread their name, but their successful blend of Industrial, techno, hip hop, rock and extreme metal/electronics certainly deserves to get wider attention. (NM)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/promonium

BIRGIT ULHER & HEDDY BOUBAKER - UPSIDE DOWN (CDR by Herbal/Why Not)
TRIO WERCHOWSKA/PONTEVIA/BOUBAKER - DECALAGE VERS LE ROUGE (CDR by Petit Label)
PHAT - LA GRANDE PESTE (MP3 by Nc.nd)
The common factor for these three releases is the French musician Heddy Boubaker, who plays alto saxophone. All three releases fall in the section of improvised music. The first release is a duo recording with Birgit Ulher, who plays trumpet, radio and objects. The six pieces were recorded in Hamburg in 2007. They play their instruments like objects like so many do these days. There is however one thing which makes them a bit different and that is the volume they use. In this area its not uncommon to play things at a soft level, but here the instruments are loud (well, relatively speaking) and clear. They play some intense pieces, exploring their instruments in unusual manner and making some intense listening. A very fine work that has the right length of thirty-two minutes, which requires your full concentration.
The second release is a trio, and judging by the name perhaps a more regular outing for them. Boubaker plays here with Nush Werchowska (piano and objects) and Mathias Pontevia (horizontal drums). The drums and the piano tend to play at times in a more 'regular' improvised way, whereas the saxophone is most of the times in his 'object' mood. This trio moves along the lines of old and new improvisation, as well as a silence and loudness and requires the equal amount of attention as the previous one - don't play this in one go, I'd say.
With the trio Phat Boubakker goes into another territory. It has Fabien Duscombs on drums and percussion and Marc Perrenoud on bass and electric contrabass. Here too it's all free improvisation of course but in a strict free jazz vein. In terms of 'music' perhaps the most 'musical' one, less of an exploration of instruments and more about playing many crazy notes, this is the least exciting for me, perhaps while is so regular crazy music and not something that could be bringing more than lots of crazy playing. Or perhaps I don't like Free Jazz. Let's stay on the safe side and think that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.geocities.com/whynotltd
Address: http://www.petitlabel.com
Address: http://insub.dincise.net

FEDERICO BARABINO - ONGAMIRA (CDR by Black Orchid Productions)
We came across the music of Federico Barabino before, when he released together with Charles Rice Goff III. Here he is solo, playing his guitar and feeding the sounds through a bunch of delay pedals and ring modulator. Unlike the recent CD by Ueno (see Vital Weekly 633) in which this marriage didn't work very well, Barabino does a better job. His playing matches his processing better - I use the word 'processing', since I wouldn't be surprised to learn (no information was given with this release) that Barabino first laid down his guitar playing on the computer and then used that create 'shadow' files with ring modulator plug ins which he then mixes together. On one hand highly moody music, but not in the sense of drone music, but rather plucking the strings and adding on a sub-level some kind of ambient background, creating sufficient tension for the material. Quite a nice mixture of improvisation and micro sound techniques with some surprising results. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blackorchid.host.sk

DANIEL PABOEUF UNITY - DPU - (CDR, private)
The name of Daniel Pabouef brings back memories of the days of new wave music. I know him from Marquis de Sade, Ubik and Sax Pustuls, french groups that were on the front in the 80s. How things went for him later I don't know. But he is back now with a CDR by his own project with music that still is linked to the paradigms of new wave music. Just listen to 'L'excavateur'. From the first moments it is immediately clear that Paboeuf likes it rough. Responsible is his power sax playing. But the drumming by Régis Boulard, the piano and synthesizer playing by David Euverte, and the laptop and programming plus vocals by Mistress Bomb H also contribute to the cacophony. Together they fabricate a pleasant wall of sound that surely is the most attractive aspect of their music, also in a ballad-like piece 'L'étincelle'. Without guitar and bass the quartet they create their version of rock music. Lots of energy is generated here, and that is what counts here. But it finds it's way through musical forms that we know too well. So I ask myself who will be attracted by it. But please continue DPU! (DM)

ADAM JENNINGS - SOUNDS FROM SHANGHAI AND SUZHOU CHINA (CD, private)
Have recorder, will travel. Adam Jennings was in China very recently when the earth quake hit the country and the preparing for the Olympics. Inspired by the Sublime Frequencies series, he wants to release his own series of field recordings. This album has no less than 48 small tracks of pure field recordings, ranging from street sounds, restaurants, TV and such like. I have not been to China myself, but I can easily believe this what the country sounds like. However I must admit that the brief character of many of pieces is a bit of a let down. I rather would have heard fewer pieces, but a bit longer. Also some of the pieces end abruptly with a click, which could have been easily removed when it came to transferring to a computer. Otherwise it's a pretty decent work of field recordings of a crowded country with lots of activity. Jennings next trip will be to Africa. (FdW)
Address: <meatalulcer@aol.com>

THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - NEIL DIAMOND IS NOT THE GOD OF THUNDER AND ROCK AND ROLL (CDR, private)
THE GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES - 10000 Flying Girls (CDR by Frostly You Haunt Me)
We first heard of The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles in Vital Weekly 592, when we reviewed their split release with Morning Stalker of Hello Squarerecordings, which we believed was just the bandname of Greg Thaw, but now it seems to be more a real band, which includes members of Radarmaker, Jasmine Loop Control, These Shipwrecks and additional local (Australian) musicians. If I am right, 'Neil Diamond Is Not The God Of Thunder And Rock And Roll' (gee I assumed he was), is from 2007 and so might fall outside of Vital Weekly's period of releases not being older than six months, but of course how can we ignore such a nice title? The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles play guitar, many guitars and to that they add organ, vocals, circuit bent toys, strings, bass, bells, percussion and drums. But guitars, many guitars are the prime ingredient to this music. It's all looped and sampled around and lots of small patterns appear all the time in a highly minimal manner. A bit like Stars Of The Lid, but less drone based and more like tinkling stringed sounds. This is the sound that they use on both of these releases, which I think is a bit much - or rather a bit less for the extended output. The 2007 release last fifty minutes and '10000 Flying Girls' lasts twenty-six minutes but there is not enough variation is what they offer. Things stay too much on similar grounds through out and the looped guitar, reversed loops and sampled tinkling wears out after a while. I think, perhaps for not very clear reasons, I liked the most recent release better. A bit more brief and certainly the mastering by Taylor Deupree helped out to expand on the sound territory and adds an extra grainy texture to the material. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/theghostof29megacycles

MARK SADGROVE & TIM COSTER - UNTITLED (CDR by CLaudia)
CURRER BELLS (3"CDR by CLaudia)
It was only two weeks ago that I reviewed an 'Untitled' disc by Mark Sadgrove and Tim Coster and here they return with a release for Coster's own CLaudia label. The three pieces were captured on april 9th 2008 at the Wine Cellar in Auckland, and Mark plays guitar and dictaphone and Tim plays oscillator, sampling keyboard, walkman and loop pedals. Their playing is not unlike the previous released of a fortnight ago, but its less conceptually inclined and their playing is a bit more free here, even when a small chord is played it gets musical. The previous was more or less an exercise in sine wave like experiments, this is more improvisation, let's see what happens. Not at bad at all, but not as great as the previous release either. It's more a case of recognition - the path already explored.
Coster is also involved in Currer Bells, a new duo he does with Jane Austen. They have an extensive line up of instruments and sounds to use, ranging from bass, cymbals, acoustic guitar, keyboard, drums, glasses, shaker and glockenspiel. Three songs which all seem to evolve around the use of loops of all of these sound producing devices and over that they add live playing of instruments, mainly the drum parts - or so it seems. The result is a nice combination of improvised playing, along with a whole bunch of computerized loops in 'Vivid Words', but on 'Two Winters' things are down and the vocals make this is a very free singer songwriter piece. Fine start for Currer Bells, and no doubt we'll hear more from them. (FdW)
Address: http://www.halftheory.com/claudia

WOLFSKULL - BIBI BIBI BIBI (CDR by Insult Recordings)
PET COFFINS/SLOW LISTENER (CDR by Insult Recordings)
CONES - DIE ZACKEN (3"CDR by Insult Recordings)
DEAD WOOD - BACKLED REALITY (3"CDR by Insult Recordings)
Four new releases on Greece's Insult Recordings. There is not always information available. The first band is Wolfskull from New Zealand. This is band with line up of Iso 12 on synth and vocals, CJA on guitar and vocals, Zarakov on drums, and Mandroid on bass and harpiscord. Although the cover doesn't tell us (anything), this is a live recording. They improvise in a rather noise based manner, with heavy guitars, pounding drums, heavy bass, all set to the button 'free play', but I must say that I wasn't too pleased by these thirty minutes. It's quite long, moves on end without an end in sight, but didn't grab me at all. I'm sure that live it had much more power, as a CDR it doesn't.
Also the names Pet Coffins and Slow Listener. Pet Coffins as a band name sounds pretty noise based, but it isn't. Their 'The Stars Are Gigantic' is a nice, heavy, psychedelic piece of swirling electronics and heavily treated drums, which have a great trance like to it. Very nice. Actually Slow Listener is more noise based than Pet Coffins. They have a track of distorted lo-fi drones that operate in a minimal, ongoing, everlasting sustain mood, but its too thin to be truly captivating.
The two releases on a smaller size are by people we heard before. First there is Cones, the duo of Marcel Turkowsky and Ulf Schutte, whose 'Ice Field Elephants' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 600. 'Die Zacken' is a live performance, where Turkowsky played 'personal memory tapes played in prepared walkmen' and Ulf Schutte has a 'pulsating feedbacksystem', feeding both sounds through a couple of pieces of electronics, mainly delay. Their piece is a very consistent piece of ongoing lo-fi sounds and electronics, which work on both a noise and minimal music level. It's loaded with sound, every hole is filled and there is always something happening, yet maintaining to stay on similar grounds.
Dead Wood is the active force of Adam Baker, also the man behind Dirty Demos. Back in the shack of a rural farm he recorded 'Bucked Reality' using electric guitar, ebow, violin, sine waves. field recordings and digital processing. In the five resulting pieces he does a pretty nice job. Whereas his last release, reviewed last week, suffered a bit from similarity among the pieces, he creates here something that can easily meet say Machinefabriek. Low humming drones, guitars played with bows and electronics picking up and transforming the music, like being captured in a closed but expanding system. Certainly one of the best works I heard by Dead Wood and a sudden big leap forward. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/insultrecordings

TÔ - U.N.A. (3"CDR by Cook An Egg)
Thomas Tilly, also known as Tô, has had a couple of releases before, mainly self-released CDRs and this one is on Cook An Egg (finding label names gets more and more difficult) and contains 'sounds and found objects manipulations recorded during four night in a beach of Re Island (France) in August 2005'. 'U.N.A.' stands for 'Unconscious Nocturnal Activity'. Tilly does here what seems to be his trade: processing these nocturnal activities at the beach, the rumbling of sand, objects, the cascade of water, into two pieces of microsound made with field recordings, with a slightly bigger emphasis on the object part in the second piece. Very much like French fellow country-man Toy Bizarre, Tô rumbles away in a concentrated vein and as such has not much news on offer but he does a pretty decent job throughout. One of those cases were one thinks 'not great, not bad' and 'was that all?' (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/cookanegg

TERJE PAULSEN - SEPTOBER (CDR by Q-tone)
TERJE PAULSEN - DAGBUE (MP3 by Homophoni)
The name Terje Paulsen is a new one for me, and he hails from Norway. He plays a '4string bass, 3string guitar, parts of an accordion, bowed floor lamp and other found objects'. Somehow I thought this was a very 'Norwegian' music, which is funny as there are two countries where musicians have strong similarities. That is New Zealand and Norway - and also the musicians from one country could sound like from the other country - confusing, right? Paulsen's music is based on improvisation and recorded with an 'in your face' attitude. Upfront and present that is, a bit lo-fi, but not muffled or hidden away. His tracks tend to be a bit long I think, which is indeed part of the game musicians like this play, but it's a fact that it's a bit long. Take 'Oh No Vember' (from 'Septober') which is a great piece when cut in half. He can put up some great atmospheric, all acoustic drones of an intense nature. The difference between these two releases is that 'Septober' has various tracks, displaying the various instruments he plays - usually one or two per track, and 'Dagbue' is a thirty-eigth minute ambient piece of shuffling sounds in the warehouse. Here the length works actually because it's very consistent sound piece on an ambient level - with sounds pushed away in favor of the overall picture of sound. Interesting material, and no doubt somebody of whom we'll hear more in the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.q-tone.com
Address: http://www.homophoni.com

ELAPSE-0 (MP3 by Records On Ribs)
Two of the four songs on this free MP3 will be released as a 7" by YUL Records later this year - which sound a bit like wrong marketing techniques. Elapse-O are a duo of David J. Roe and Toby Nevitt, who play drum machines, guitar, bass and vocals. Four slabs of heavy drum machines, a bit like the recent Fuck Buttons release, totally fucked up and distorted. Hammering away with lots of reverb (too bad), and distorted guitars and howling vocals. Quite noisy in the modern sense of the word, which I believe is the latest craze for some. To this old man it sounded like something that could have been made when I was young and would have liked it better back then. Ok, its still not bad, but I assume this one of those bands that is better off on stage at a smokey club (if they exist still), but not gets the same power across at home. If only I was a DJ, I could try it on a big sound system. (FdW)
Address: http://recordonribs.com