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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 646
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week 40
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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


WHISPERING FOR WOLVES - LANGUAGE OF THE DARDS - TAUU AND TWILIGHT SING 100,000 SONGS OF MILAREPA (NOISE NARRATIVES PART 1) (CD by Boring Machines)
EXPO '70/BE INVISIBLE NOW (CD by Boring Machines)
GRETA HOHEISEL & NORBERT LANG - BUKAREST FRAGMENTE (CD + Book by Gruenrekorder)
CARRIER BAND - VOICE COIL (CD by Deep Listening Recordings)
LOS ANGELES ELECTRIC 8 - PLAYS SHOSTAKOVITCH, MENDELSOHN, BRADDOCK, SIEGEL AND KOHL (CD by Los Angeles Electric 8)
GREG KELLEY - SELF-HATE INDEX (CD by Semata Productions)
THE EPICUREANS - INTRODUCING (CDR by Semata Productions)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - TECHNOCALYPS (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
AIDAN BAKER & TIM HECKER - FANTASMA PARASTASIE (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
CHEN SANTA MARIA (CD by GSSD/Shit On Records)
BLACK SUN - PARALYSER (LP by At War With False Noise)
ALDERDEEL - LUIZIG (CD by At War With False Noise)
SHIFT - CREATION & SPACE (LP by At War With False Noise)
STEVE RODEN - A SLOW MOVING BOAT (3"CD by In Between Noise)
NOSZTALGIA DIREKTIVA (7" by Enfant Terrible)
ADOLF FILTER - THE OTHER HAND ON THE KNOB (7" by Enfant Terrible)
Z'EV & BRYAN LEWIS SAUNDERS - DAKU (CDR by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
JEREMY BIBLE & JASON HENRY - MARKER (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
SNAPPING TURTLE - APRIL THROW (CDR by Savage Yank Records)
TEMPLE MUSIC - THE GREEN MAN PROJECT BETA - GEDNEY - ST. MARY MAGDALENE (CDR by Shining Day)
THROUROOF - WHALE BONES (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
FABIO ORSI - THE WILD LIGHT OF THE MOON (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
RP COLLIER - LAMELLAPHONE (CDR, self-released)
D.D. NEWMOLE - THE EARTH TREMBLED (CDR by I, Absentee)
ALPHA AESAR (CDR by I, Absentee)
PLATFORM - EP 1 (CDR by Minimal Resourch Manipulation)
PLATFORM - DISTANCED (CDR by Minimal Resourch Manipulation)
TORTURING NURSE - 192171-200871 (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
JULIEN SKROBEK - VOLATIL (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
GOH LEE KWANG - CICADAS (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
DANNY KREUTZFELDT - ERUPTION (3"CDR by Tib Prod)
TERJE PAULSEN - NOVEMBER X (3"CDR by Tib Prod)
PUIN + HOOP - WAARSCHOONLIJK (CDR by TBFKAGNK Records)
KATCHMARE & ANTLER PISS - AUTOMATIC WEDDING (Cassette by Scissor Death)
SOUND CANVAS VOLUME 1 (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)
KENNETH KIRSCHNER - MARCH 20, 2007 ET AL (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)
PHIL RAYMOND - ABSENCE (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)

 

WHISPERING FOR WOLVES - LANGUAGE OF THE DARDS - TAUU AND TWILIGHT SING 100,000 SONGS OF MILAREPA (NOISE NARRATIVES PART 1) (CD by Boring Machines)
EXPO '70/BE INVISIBLE NOW (CD by Boring Machines)
When I reviewed Punck's 'Piallassa' in Vital Weekly 637, I mocked with the label name and some of the band names on the label, including Whispers For Wolves. Today I have the task of hearing the music and judging it. Melissa Moore is the woman behind this name. She builds her own instruments, installations and sculptures. For her music she uses field recordings, voice and guitar and the label calls this psych/noise/folk, which I can second. Its not noise for the sake of noise, I recognize bird twitter and voices and in the opening track 'The Collective Darkness' a guitar. Three extensive pieces that deal however with quite a minimal approach per track. Minimal yet full of sound - every hole is cemented with sound here. No effect stayed behind in the cupboard. When all the machines are set in motion, through loops, playing or through layering the cake inside the computer, things no longer evolve, just seem to stay inside what it is, and gradually change color within the given frame. Quite nice, this full approach. Throughout I thought this was quite a nice work, an outsider that is, but doing a great job. Despite perhaps the hippy undertones.
From Kansas hails Justin Wright, as Expo '70. He
started in 2003 by playing the guitar to create drones with delay and repeat pedals. Be Invisible Now! is Marco Giotti from Italy, who does perhaps the same, but has more rhythm to it. They met over the internet and release here a split CD, two tracks each (divided over a side A and a side B on the cover, but that was never idea that worked well, I think). With Be Invisible Now! the drum computers bang their way through the two pieces, with the instruments being loud and clear present - synthesizers, guitars and more effects. Its a bit of randomized approach towards what he does, hovering in a dark world. Maybe there is a cinematic approach to it, but its from a kind of film I don't see too often. Expo '70 on the hand is much more concentrated. He starts his 'Heir Of Serpents' with an organ drone and then slowly an acoustic guitar sounds drop in until there is a solid e-bow solo. Very retro, very seventies, but very nice. The second piece has a steady, slow organ pulse to start with, and then thick slices of synthesizers come in. Klaus Schulze's darkest nightmare. What Expo '70 does is not new at all, but it sounds damn fine here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.boringmachines.it

GRETA HOHEISEL & NORBERT LANG - BUKAREST FRAGMENTE (CD + Book by Gruenrekorder)
Its of course never easy to judge a release that deals with a city that one has never been too, in this the Romanian capital Bukarest. But the extensive and beautiful book (bound, bigger size than the average booklet) makes up for this omission. It contains photography of the places where the recordings were, with descriptive text in both German and Romanian. Many sounds of life on streets: cars passing, people trying to sell toys, the subway, street music (pan flutes of course), and sometimes the rumble mechanics. It makes all a fascinating trip while flipping through the book and looking at the pictures. Captivating stuff. Nothing is 'processed' here, nor does it tell a 'story', it merely takes things as they are. Certainly a major project for Gruenrekorder, and one of their best releases to date. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

CARRIER BAND - VOICE COIL (CD by Deep Listening Recordings)
The Carrier Band is a trio of Pauline Oliveros, Peer Bode, and Andrew Deutsch, formed in 1998 when they performed three improvisations at Alfred University. Later this music is released as the first Carrier Band CD on the Deep Listening label, called 'Automatic Inscription Of Speech Melod'. Many different disciplines are combined in this trio. Oliveros needs no introduction as she is well-known for her electronic music and music for accordion. Peer Bode comes from the world of film originally and developed into an electronic-media artist.
Andrew Deutsch is a sound, video and graphic artist. Since 1998 he has released over 14 CDRs of solo electronic music on his Magic If Recordings.
For their new cd they again recorded three length improvisations The first one, 'Voice Coil' was performed in the fall of 2003 at the Deep Listening Space in Kingston, New York. Pauline Oliveros performed on accordion and computer based Expanded Instrument System, Peer Bode performed live text with his Bode Vocoder, and Andrew Deutsch performed live mixing, archival recordings from the Bode archive, samples, loops and electronics. In 2007 Andrew Deutsch added several overdubs in order to bring to piece more close to what the audience actually heard in 2003. The piece takes some 40 minutes. It remained. 'Frozen Speaker' is an electronic composition by Andrew Deutsch. 'Video Voice' uses sounds from Pauline Oliveros electronic works V of IV, and 'Mewsak', as well as elements of Stephen Vitiello's 'Light Meter' recordings. In all their work they strive to combine analog and digital systems. In their improvisational activity they introduce already existing music, old recordings of spoken word, etc. This way they communicate with other outings from the present or past. In the way it takes shape however everything remains too amorphous for my tastes, especially in long title track. (DM)
Address: http://www.deeplistening.org/

LOS ANGELES ELECTRIC 8 - PLAYS SHOSTAKOVITCH, MENDELSOHN, BRADDOCK, SIEGEL AND KOHL (CD by Los Angeles Electric 8)
First thing that strikes us is the line up of this octet. I am used to guitar quartets (Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, etc.), but this is an ensemble of eight electric guitars. For their debut they arranged five existing compositions that were written originally for organ, classical guitars, strings and indonesian gamelan. Compositions from very different composers: Felix Mendelsohn and Dmitiri Shostakovitch, minimal composer Wayne Siegel and two young american composers Nathaniel Braddock and Randall Kohl. How this selection came about I don't know, but together they make an interesting and diverse collection. Also I haven't heard the compositions in their original orchestration. I can't compare them, and make up my mind as to whether these adaptations make any sense or not. So let's stay with what we hear on this exceptional cd. Because of the instrument electric guitar, the music has the air of rock music, but in fact it isn't rock at all. Listening to 'Octet op.11' by Shostakovitch I wished they played it more explicitly with a rock feel. Now it remains a little academic and cold. Listening to 'Balinesa' by Randall Kohl one can hear this is written for gamelan. For me their approach worked best for 'Domino Figures' by Wayne Siegel, a 22 minute minimal work of cascading waves of music and sound. I suppose it is Ben Harbert the leader of this octet who did the incredible job of arranging all these works for his guitar octet. What was he aiming at? Maybe he wants to prove that the electric guitar is fitted for performing classical and other composed music. He surrounded himself with seven excellent players, and together they do their job well. It really is a collective work. It is difficult to distinguish the individual players with their own characteristics and style. All in all it is a ingenious and impressive work, but not very moving. (DM)
Address: http://www.losangeleselectric8/

GREG KELLEY - SELF-HATE INDEX (CD by Semata Productions)
THE EPICUREANS - INTRODUCING (CDR by Semata Productions)
Trumpet player Greg Kelley's previous release was a LP for No Fun Productions, and even I think Kelley produces some wonderful music, that album was a bit too much harsh noise for me. I don't mind harsh noise at all, but I prefer it to be mixed with something else. 'Self-Hate Index', his fourth CD, is in that respect something that works much better. He returns here to his trumpet, and works in a 'proper' studio, using pro-tools and some post-manipulation. But Kelley's main interest is in placing the microphones all over the place and then to create a mix out of the various microphone recordings. Close by, far away. Sustained blowing, hitting the instrument, scraping it, and then using a totally distorted channel which was also made using an amplifier and a distortion pedal. Its all in here, and it makes a great cross-over between noise and improvised music. Music that ranges from the very soft to the very loud. Not a straight line in noise, but a great balance between the two extremes in sound. That is the noise that I like. Going from one extreme to another, which is what makes things extreme and not the full on noise blast. The seven pieces on this are excellent examples of what is all possible in this direction, and perhaps 'true noise heads' should take notice. So far, the best and most complete work I heard by him.
The first release by Semata is a CDR by The Epicureans, of whom I never heard, but which seems to be a trio of Dave Gross (saxophone), Ricardo Donoso (drums) and Ryan McGuire (bass), and they hail from Boston. They have releases on Tzadik, Sedimental and Hydrahead and their music is much alike that of Kelley: improvised with a strong love for the dynamics of soft versus loud, silence versus noise. With one difference: they play everything acoustic with no electronic processing. It makes things perhaps a bit more 'traditional', but that might also be because their playing is a bit more traditional. No explorations of the instruments as such, but free play of the instruments themselves, playing their respective instruments as instruments and not as objects. Quite strong material here with a great dynamic range and a strong element of surprise. Great one too, but just a bit lesser than the full blast by Kelley. (FdW)
Address: http://www.semataproductions.com

FRANCISCO LOPEZ - TECHNOCALYPS (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
AIDAN BAKER & TIM HECKER - FANTASMA PARASTASIE (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
You can't say Francisco Lopez always plays the same tune. There is a large body of work by him which is perhaps 'along similar lines', the field recordings, but there is also work which is totally different (and also in the field recordings work there are notable changes - a book about his work is overdue me thinks). Today's surprise is his soundtrack to TechnoCaylps: 'a three part documentary about transhumanism, an ideology assuming that we approach an era where humans, as we know them, are no longer the driving force of civilization. All technological developments seem to converge to one main goal: to overcome humanity, to try and create something transhuman' it says on the cover. The Belgium filmmaker Frank Theys interviewed many people around the globe about this, and Lopez created the music to go with it. Certainly something to watch one day, as the documentary sounds interesting, but the music itself is also quite interesting. Its a Lopez that we don't know. There are fifteen tracks here, short and long alike, and while probably having the original sound sources in field recordings, Lopez went to a great length to transform them into a mechanical, post industrial music. The sound of what the world may sound like after the apocalypse. Metallic rumble, sonic debris, stale wind over empty industrial sites, flickering lights. All the cliche images one could have while thinking of this pass in front of your very eyes. Cliche's, but Lopez does a fine job here. With lots of imaginative sounds depicting this new world of transhumans, and its certainly not something to watch out for. Music that is hardly comforting, but more a warning. An alien release.
Back to the current world, where things are more comfortable and happy. We find two masters of guitars and electronics, Aidan Baker and Tim Hecker, two busy bees also. The have seven titles printed on the cover, but it's divided into sixty-six tracks on the CD (a nightmare for our podcast). No other info is provided here, but it's a heavy beast of music. Lots of fuzzy guitar, in overdrive mode, perhaps even in overkill mode, but Hecker and Baker also know to pull the strings and enter a textured field, such as in the closing title piece. Things move between these two extremes: the loud and the quiet. Its hard to tell which prevails, but my feeling has it that the louder parts prevail around. Heavy metal without drums, psychedelic noise. Exploding organ like guitar drones. A short, thirty-six minute, release of hellraising tones. Cascading and bursting, ripping speaker music. Very fine stuff. Delicate like a heavy meal. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

CHEN SANTA MARIA (CD by GSSD/Shit On Records)
If you play 'outdoor guerilla' shows with bands like Yellow Swans, Hair Police, Sissy Spacek or Burning Star Core you get probably influenced, and perhaps Chen Santa Maria was, but only by Burning Star Core it seems to me. Its a duo of George Chen and Steve Santa Maria, who play with 'electro-acoustic sound sources, samplers, synthesizers, drum machines and guitars', which are used in seven improvised pieces. I must admit that the guitar feeding through what seems to me an endless amount of reverb didn't do much for me. The instrument is played like someone who touch the guitar for the first, randomly strumming here and there, hit a string. The addition of reverb makes that it sounds more than what it is. The rest of the electronic devices also don't play much engaging music. The music is a semi-noise improvised oriented thing, which sadly didn't do much for me. (FdW)
Address: <gerardpatawaran@gmail.com> or <rsztherland@hotmail.com>

BLACK SUN - PARALYSER (LP by At War With False Noise)
ALDERDEEL - LUIZIG (CD by At War With False Noise)
SHIFT - CREATION & SPACE (LP by At War With False Noise)
Popmusic has many disguises. One of them is metal, a musical genre I never fully understood. 'I'm only interested in heavy metal when it's me who's playing it. I suppose it's a bit like smelling your own fart', John Entwhistle once said. Perhaps I don't like spending hours in front of a mirror to dress up properly, or perhaps I don't want to be part of any musical scene. The whole notion of being 'heavy' is perhaps something that was never well-spend on me. The boys of Black Sun look heavy - tattoo's yummy (I never understand those either to be honest). Their 'Paralyser' comes in a 'prison of the cross' version, 'hammer the nails' (heavy, right?) and a 'dub mix'. I have no idea why I get this. Its nothing Vital ever writes about.
'Luizig' by Alkerdeel then. Previously released on a cassette in an edition of sixty-six copies (oh spooky...) and I have no idea why it deserves to be released on a real CD. The website says "some of the most filthy, disgusting stuff I've ever heard", which of course is no sense in arguing about, but it's quite a low range drum and bass rumble with fuzz and distortion pedals on, recorded by the side with a stereo microphone. Oh, it's 'DOOM'. Why didn't you say, so I could feel depressed. Its a ramble on instruments, some radio/TV spoken word comes on, and that's it.
But not that things are all that unVital. Shift is... well, is... who? Dunno. Its their second album and this is music that certainly fits these pages quite well. A dark rumble, like various guitars on fire, stuck on endless repeat and those who celebrate the burning are heard singing (?) every now and then. Heavy stuff, what, superheavy load. If I tell you that Lee Stokoe from Skullflower is part of the festivities, than you know what's going on here. These boys (hey, girls perhaps), know how to put on a heavy block of sound that is both drone as well as noise based, and then take things down into a lull in 'Space', which just is crackle with small drone underneath. 'Arrive' has chords to it, and seems to be played on an organ with more 'voices' mumbling on the bottom of the ocean. Certainly one of the stranger things I heard in quite some time and some captivating stuff. I may not care for heavy metal or doom, but if the metal is as heavy as a rock as it is here, then gimme more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.atwarwithfalsenoise.com

STEVE RODEN - A SLOW MOVING BOAT (3"CD by In Between Noise)
It must have been an odd sight, in April 2007. Steve Roden fits on a ferry in Norway and he is singing and humming along with the engine of the ferry. Later on he replaces the engine sounds with that of a bowed banjo, and no doubt layers his own voice in various harmonic constellations. Steve Roden has a relatively simple tool at hand - just a few sounds, but as before he very cleverly knows how to create a great piece of music with it. Minimal, refined, delicate. His humming in various shades and shapes, with the bowing of the banjo in the background, makes a nice piece of music that at fifteen minutes has captured the right length. What else can there be said? A mantra like piece. Elegant music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.inbetweennoise.com

NOSZTALGIA DIREKTIVA (7" by Enfant Terrible)
ADOLF FILTER - THE OTHER HAND ON THE KNOB (7" by Enfant Terrible)
Someone asked me not to mention anymore 'I am old, I did this or that, when you still crawled the floor', so I must think of something else then, which in the case of these two 7" singles is a bit difficult. Both Adolf Filter (from Sweden) and Nosztalgia Direktiva (from Hungary) play music that is mainly 'old'. Both use a steady rhythm machine, an analogue synth of two to play melodies and there is a singer who sings with a dark, sombre voice. The press text marks the finer differences between the two 'reminiscent of old industrial music [...] to the elektro side of things' (Nosztalgia Direktiva) versus 'synth pop influenced by cold wave sounds from the early 80s and old style EBM rhythms' (Adolf Filter) - this as to show what I said many times before. In certain, if not all, musical 'styles' the differences are small, but once you are into it, you know the cold wave from the elektro. Not me, actually. If I would go to a party where they would spin music like this (which curious enough is for people that are dressed in black), I wouldn't be able to tell the differences, but all I would think is 'oh, that's nice, a bit like Ende Shneafliet' or 'hey, when I get back home I should A Blaze Colour' again, or to make things a bit more contemporary (I am not that old) the entire Suction label catalogue. Of the two I liked Adolf Filter best. A bit more pop music based, a bit less darker vocals than their Hungarian counterparts, who weren't' bad either. And what I perhaps liked best: both 7"s had, in good punk spirit, four tracks - now that is both retro and value for money. (FdW)
Address: http://www.enfant-terrible.nl

Z'EV & BRYAN LEWIS SAUNDERS - DAKU (CDR by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
Certainly one of the stranger releases I recently reviewed was Bryan Lewis Saunders' 'N1-N4 Variations', of him talking in his sleep. Here he has another set of spoken word - four stories and an introduction of the word 'Daku'. It can be love, time, god or anything. Its meaning is its use, Saunders says. Saunders recites his texts, or rather tells his stories and Z'EV uses his voice to create the music. Z'EV's recent outings in electronic music, say 'Forwaard' and 'Outwaard', where he processes environmental sounds and which are far away from his usual percussion based work (although nothing new for him, as Z'EV also created text sound pieces in the earlier days of his career). Even when following the text is something that I don't always do, concentrating more on the texture of the voice in combination with the music, this is a great story telling release. Saunders has a great voice, telling stories about being sick and pain that grabs the listener, while Z'EV provides a fine soundtrack to it. The voices are transformed into animalistic cries and whispers, adding scary elements to the music. I'm not entirely sure if it is meant as such but there is an uneasy, horror like element that is part of this music. Excellent radioplay stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bryanlewissaunders.org

JEREMY BIBLE & JASON HENRY - MARKER (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
Following releases on their own Experimedia label, its now time to expand the horizon. Music by Jeremy Bible and Jason Henry was already reviewed before (586 and 638), exploring further what they already started: found sounds, electronic treatments thereof, acoustic instruments. On 'Marker' five long tracks, which seem to me be originating in improvisation, but which perhaps could have used a bit more editing. Once the mighty wheel of mechanical loops is set in motion, it seems that the end is reached of a piece, except it goes on for some more time. Throughout it seems that they are using more rhythm (or easier: repeated chunks of music) than on the previous releases I heard. Its not dance music in any way, but just continuos mechanical loops with sounds added to them. Interesting to see them make this move, but the execution of the five pieces is a bit weak. Only 'Glacr' which sounded like the previous work worked quite well. Too long, too many repetitions of ideas, whereas things could have been much shorter and then it could be more interesting I think. Brave to step away, but its not enough yet. Explore this route more I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

SNAPPING TURTLE - APRIL THROW (CDR by Savage Yank Records)
'This project brings the concept album to a different dimension in the space music genre.' That's always good. Away from the epic twenty guitar and drum pieces, Snapping Turtle brings twelve tracks in thirty seven minutes. The snapping turtle is considered a nuisance since it consumes game fish and ducklings, it says on the cover, but biology is a foreign language to me. I have no idea how many people are in the band, if in fact there is a band at all. They are from Honolulu, Hawaii. The twelve pieces dwell heavily on drones played on organs, with taped voice material from radio or television. Its because Snapping Turtle doesn't play space rock, just space music. That is what we would call ambient industrial music. Music that is too soft to be true noise, and too noisy to be real ambient. Atmospheric music with an edge that is. The soundtrack of a horror film. Snapping Turtle, with its shorter pieces does a nice job, but hardly a new one. Its part of a musical tradition that has been going since say twenty or so years.
From zoviet France and Illusion Of Safety right
onto say the entire catalogue of Drone Records. The shorter track approach isn't new either. But it certainly adds variety to the album of Snapping Turtle, even when some of the piece did sound a bit similar. Throughout a nice album, not too great, not bad either. On a scale of ten, I'd rank this with 6. (FdW)
Address: http://www.savageyankrecords.com

TEMPLE MUSIC - THE GREEN MAN PROJECT BETA - GEDNEY - ST. MARY MAGDALENE (CDR by Shining Day)
Perhaps because this is the second of series that will eventually span seven CDR releases, it is perhaps released as a CDR, and not like 'Volume 2' on CD (see Vital Weekly 595). On the cover there is a large text, fine print only, about the various locations this was recorded in, all dealing with magickal places no doubt. The instruments used here include treated slide guitar, various bits of percussion, bass, dulcimer, string machine, bow psaltery, low whistle and much more. I can imagine these four guys in some cold cave with their instruments, performing this ritualistik piece of music (see, I use all the right 'c' and 'k' lingo), strumming their guitars, the bells and the flutes. Like with their previous release their music is way too experimental, I guess, to attract the gothic crowd to it, but I'm sure there is a niche for them in that scene. And that scene is, unfortunately for them I must say, not my scene. I surely liked what I hear, but churches and temples are not my thing but from a musical point of view, quite alright indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.shiningday.pl

THROUROOF - WHALE BONES (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
FABIO ORSI - THE WILD LIGHT OF THE MOON (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Recently we got various releases by Sentient Recognition Archive, which all look cool - almost like a real CD. Musicwise they are in the corner of what one could loosely call 'dark ambient drones', and these two new releases are no stranger in this land. First we have throuRoof, as they prefer to spell their name. I have no idea who they are but their release is an 'impro recorded in Blissland - May 2008', and is divided in two parts, each around sixteen minutes. Its not easy to tell what they do, but it seems to me a blend of electronics, effects and guitars, and perhaps a reader's digest recording of whales - they sound clear at the end of this impro. Things bounce like the waves - bounce as when a whale is in the waves - mighty up and down the waves, especially in the first piece 'Humpback Cemetery Blues'. Maybe its just whale sounds anyway. I don't know. But the drones are high and mighty, but not restricted to that. There is more happening around this place, just as percussion sounds - ok so no 'just' whale sounds then. Animalistic in approach this music. Quite nice.
Fabio Orsi is more well known, although I only recall his releases on Small Voices, who presents here one piece of thirty-five minutes. Again we are left in the dark what he does or uses, sound wise, but it may seem to me as a bunch of software plug ins to create a delicate piece of drone music. Much more refined as throuRoof, he comes deceivingly close to the world of real ambient music, certainly in the second part of his piece with its waving and meandering synthesizer clusters. Here things too develop in a slow way, which gives the piece quite a tranquility. I thought it was coming close to the edge of being new age, but the darker undercurrent that remained present throughout this piece make the die hard waterfall music lovers probably stay far away - and that is a good thing. Majestically slow music that could have lasted a bit longer. Perfect nightfall music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/sentientrecognitionarchive

RP COLLIER - LAMELLAPHONE (CDR, self-released)
The gap between his second release 'Deconstruction Of Twilight' and this, his third release, is quite small, only a mere twenty weeks, which is considerable smaller than with his first release, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 495. Maybe RP Collier gets more productive? Per album he seeks one instrument to explore. Before it was thumb piano's and toy synthesizers, then guitars, now with 'Lamellaphone' he is back at the thumb piano. 'Improvisations with electronic effects'. They surely look amazing (watch them here: http://www.tinyurl.com/yt8f8j), but musicwise I was less happy. It seemed more improvised than his previous releases, but Collier didn't get the same amount of tension across as before, nor did it do much in terms of ambient music, like with the previous release. The plink and plonk of thumb piano, meeting up with various sound effects, bumping around a bit (the effects hardly take over control, which is a nice thing) makes this for me only remotely interesting. Nice sounds as such, now we need a nice composition with them. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cdbaby.com/rpcollier2

D.D. NEWMOLE - THE EARTH TREMBLED (CDR by I, Absentee)
ALPHA AESAR (CDR by I, Absentee)
These two new releases on I, Absentee look nice, professional and they continue the course set out by the label. D.D. Newmole we heard before on a compilation on this label, and its the name chosen by Dan Petrarca from Akron, Ohio. His music is inspired by drum & bass, one of the few musical genres I could never ever get into. I think I called it digital jazz rock at some point. However what Dan does with it, is not bad at all. Dan uses his lessons in circuit bending and computer knowledge, along with broken beats, and drum and bass influences to create music that I may still not like very much, but at least it sounds 'different' to these ears. It side steps the regular, dance floor oriented and adds sounds to the genre which I think are pretty extraordinary. However, I must admit, I might be totally wrong: as said, drum & bass is not my thing. So, let's say I can see why this is good, without wining me over.
Warren Kroll and Carl States are behind Alpha Aesar, also from Ohio, Canton this time. They were inspired by Suction Records, who were interested in releasing some of the early stuff, but it never happened. They split up in 2002, but their name is still alive and now I, Absentee releases this self-titled album, which has all fourteen tracks this duo ever recorded, plus six remixes, including one by Lowfish, the Suction Records act, to make the full circle. Apparently all tracks were recorded to cassettes, but it still sounds fine to me. Now this is the kind of electronic dance inspired I like. It brings back time. The early days when I played music like this on cassettes, although never as good as its here, but also, oddly enough, the music of Suction Records (do they still exist? [pause] Hard to tell), the robotic rhythms, the bouncing melodies. Uplifting stuff, rather than cold and distant. Robots with a hearth of gold. Fourteen great pieces. I must admit that after this I didn't necessarily need the remixes, but seeing the continuation in style, it might almost sound like its also by Alpha Aesar (except Coppice Halifax). This should have been a real CD and no doubt a real CD for Suction Records. The best album I heard that they didn't release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.i-absentee.com

PLATFORM - EP 1 (CDR by Minimal Resourch Manipulation)
PLATFORM - DISTANCED (CDR by Minimal Resourch Manipulation)
From these two releases, 'Platform' is the most
recent one, 'Distanced' is from earlier this year. They are quite different. The first one, the most recent one, sees them playing broken beat electronic stuff. A bit of melancholy is employed here, but its kept to a minimum. The beats in 'Dorsal' are just a bit more heavy weighted than what is usual in this scene - think Boltfish Recordings. The closing piece 'What We Saw' is entirely different, sampling apparently Anton Webern violin quartets with very glitchy beats. That I thought was the best track here, sinister and spooky.
'Distanced' on the other hand is much more abstract. Rhythms are present here too, but not as straight forward as on 'EP1'. Here they are clutched, clustered together, and fed through hungry plug ins. This makes much more abstract, glitch based music that is not really ambient, but at times more noise based. I must admit that of the two I liked this one better than 'EP1', which sounded more 'normal' to these ears. Having said that I think that also 'Distanced' is not entirely original either, but at least its here that all the glitch influences are bit more covered up. But both directions certainly have potential to grow to something that can be more of his own. (FdW)
Address: http://www.minimalsourcemanipulation.co.uk

TORTURING NURSE - 192171-200871 (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
JULIEN SKROBEK - VOLATIL (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
GOH LEE KWANG - CICADAS (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
As jamesy ignored the hun's Flugabwehrkanone he once again banked his trusty Lanc over the enemy, though this time below him lay the cotton fields of the deep south, he could hear the gentle strum of banjos as his bomb bay doors opened... Three disks wrapped in colour Xerox A4 + commercially randed - Life Tec CDRs - hopefully I haven't mislaid these as no identifying writing - is this a phaleologocentric trope weeeeeeeeeeee! Booom! Or an attempt to place oneself before the event, writing, encasing, screening, the time before the first.weeeeee. boom! Broken bits of banjo and burning Jack Daniels fills the air.. Volatil uses a picture of a bird -" it's kind of a pun between "volatilisation" (like the sounds) and the bird, because the lyrics in Vietnamese mean "I want to be a bird..." eh-hem! Nod nod say no more- a strange concoction- mix of sounds - found maybe - and dialogue- effects minimally strung out- like a charm bracelet of 60s avant garde? Ethnic drums &tc- though once exotic are now in shops everywhere selling pan-pipes and didgeridoos. so it's a bit like being in one of those shops. with the kids playing about- only much more silence on the disk - Goh Lee is echoey industrial, gongy droney single track which ends in a high pitched thing?... moving on and T.N. - buy this! It starts as a fairly laid back racket of feedback and clanging - live I suspect - the guitar needs tuning and there is a serious mains loop hum (joke) by track 3 they are beginning to wind themselves up - hell they have what I think is called a groove going- its splendid stuff- the kind of noise that brings a smile - you just know they are touching 80mph and there is more power left - this is a fucking Harley Davidson of a disk- they ease the throttle on 4 only to open it back up into more feedback (excellent) on 5, 6 eases out into a field recording??? Brilliant - see for yourself - and weep. Chinas rising! http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HT7WgvzfojQ (jliat) (clear enough?)
Address http://www.geocities.com/whynotltd/

DANNY KREUTZFELDT - ERUPTION (3"CDR by Tib Prod)
TERJE PAULSEN - NOVEMBER X (3"CDR by Tib Prod)
'Eruption' is the fourth and final in Danny Kreutzfeldts 'Ruptures' series, following 'Disruption', 'Corruption' and 'Abruption'. Kreutzfeldt plays various kinds of electronic music, from deep ambient to noise and sometimes even rhythmic stuff. Here it's noise. An eruption of noise, like the hot lava bursting out of the core of the earth, coming towards us in various waves. Things melt under this hot mass, but, going back to the music, is great? This cascading, giant mass of sound? I must say I thought it was so so, not really bad, but certainly not good either. One of those things that could leave you quite neutral. Its there, its ok, and if it wasn't there, then it would have been ok also.
In that respect the release by Terje Paulsen, the upcoming man from Nor-noise land is more interesting. He plays guitar I think and manipulates it through effects and adds some other sounds (flutes?). In 'November X' the guitar pops up somewhere half way through the piece, when we heard highly obscured sound sources rumbling about. Despite the fact that we have no clue what is going on here, it sounds in all its obscurity and lo-finess quite nice. A fascinating trip through rumble and debris. It turns out to be this is lasts for the whole piece, including some of those guitar sounds. A small captivating journey through the dust bin. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com

PUIN + HOOP - WAARSCHOONLIJK (CDR by TBFKAGNK Records)
The third release by this Dutch trio this year. 'Headphone Sessions' was a great start, but 'Tirtekl' didn't do much for me. Perhaps inspired by Machinefabriek's way of giving song titles, they now have a twenty-four minute track, which sees them on the way back. Starting out with some vague loops and TV talk, guitars slowly come in and start strumming. Then slowly the guitars takes over and Puin + Hoop find their roots in post rock strumming. There might be something that we could 'drums', but it might also be vague rumble on a table. Longer sustaining sounds come in, forming drone like material, and making this into a very nice track which comes to grinding collapse at the very end. Much better than the previous release, less in a free spirit and surely a way to go. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/puingeefthoop

KATCHMARE & ANTLER PISS - AUTOMATIC WEDDING (Cassette by Scissor Death)
Not much info on this release, but apparently its a collaboration between Katchmare and Antler Piss, two bands I never of. They collaborated by exchanging files through e-mail and the two pieces on this twenty minute tape is the result. Two quite different results actually - I could easily believe that each participant did his own version, but we don't know who did what here. 'Kettles Of Horn' on the a-side is a distorted piece of drone music. Not really over the top noise, but certainly quite a heavy beast and not relaxing in terms of drones. 'Ancestor' on the other side has that quality - it's drone based and ambient, and works much better. Its much softer also with carefully processed sounds. Not that we know what it is that they do, or what kind of instruments they are using, but certainly the b-side is quite beautiful. (FdW)
Address: http://www.scissordeath.com

SOUND CANVAS VOLUME 1 (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)
KENNETH KIRSCHNER - MARCH 20, 2007 ET AL (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)
PHIL RAYMOND - ABSENCE (MP3 by Mikroton Digital)
These are the first three releases on the new Mikroton label from Moscow, all three in the digital domain, although physical releases will follow later on. They open up with a compilation, perhaps the programm of things to come. Its a meeting of some well-known people in the field with some introductions. I have no idea how he did it, but he managed to get new (?) pieces by Alva Noto and Frank Bretschneider, and some more usual suspects as Lawrence English, Heribert Friedl and Sascha Neudeck, Lawrence English, Freiband, Sawako, Alexei Borisov and Anton Nikkilä, Kenneth Kirschner and introduces Wouter van Veldhoven, Zenial, Knuf Aufermann, Sawako and Kurt Liedwart (the man behind the label). As one can imagine, lots of digital manipulations around here. Some without too many surprises, like Alva Noto or Bretschneider, but its the variety of approaches that makes this into quite a nice dish. Ranging from the noise of Borisov & Nikila and Auferman, to the crystal clear beats of Alva Noto, Bretschneider towards the more ambient approaches of English, Liedwart, Friedl & Neudeck, Sawako, Van Veldhoven and the odd acoustic guitars of Freiband. Kirschner is also ambient, and his twenty-six minute piece is great and he steals the show by his sheer length.
He also delivers four long pieces on the second release by Mikroton Digital. In the pieces 'March 20, 2007' and 'December 18, 2004, he uses his trademark piano sounds with lots of hiss, which is nice but also common ground for him. The other two pieces (all between thirteen and twenty-three minutes) are more interesting, since they sound like something which I haven't heard from him. 'January 13, 2007' is a rhythmic piece, full of sampled sounds, forming a heavy (for Kirschner at least) piece of phase shifting sounds. Maybe a bit too much in the field of computer work here. 'September 10 2006' is a very soft, ambient piece built around sine waves from all over the frequency range. Great stuff, fine release.
For me Phil Raymond is a new name, and he presents two pieces of a total length of seventeen minutes. He too works with sine waves and crackles in a more ambient direction. Not too outspoken music here, not bad to hear but also something that is a bit too much in the middle. Certainly someone to keep an ear open for. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net