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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 651
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week 45
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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

 

 

KASPER VAN HOEK - A LIGHT YEAR OF SUNDAYS (CD by Heilskabaal Records) *
RAFAEL TORAL - SPACE ELEMENTS VOL. 1 (CD by Staubgold) *
ART OF ORYX - FIRST BOOK OF SOUND - (CD by Berlin Moves)
BERNARD GAL - RELIVE (CD by Gromoga Records) *
DJ OLIVE - TRIAGE (CD by Room40) *
ROBBIE AVENAIM - RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT DISORDER (CD by Room40) *
DAMN - FRESTILL SAMPLERIN #1 (2CD compilation by Chmafu Nocords) *
MZK #001 (CD by Moozak)
SOCCER COMMITTE & MACHINEFABRIEK - DRAWN (CD by Digitalis Industries) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - RUSLAND (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
MACHINEFABRIEK - HUISWERK (7" by Ketchup Cavern)
OCEANA COMPANY - FOR THE BOATMAN (CD by Spacejam Records)
ANNELIES MONSERE - SOMEWHERE SOMEONE (7" by Morc Records) *
THE RETAIL SECTORS - MARCH OF INCURABLE WORKAHOLIC/SONG ABOUT A GIRL WHO KILLED HERSELF YESTERDAY (8" lathe cut by Distraction Records) *
A SPIRALE - GARIGA (CDR by Setola Di Matale) * *
FROM THE WHITE CHIMNEYS - NAUTILUS WITH WINGS (CDR by Mystery Sea)
1000SCHOEN - AMISH GLAMOUR (MUSIC FOR THE SIXTH SENSE) (CDR by Luciol Editions) *
HORCHATA VS SIL MUIR (3"CDR by Taalem)
CORDELL KLIER - PHONO 4 (3"CDR by Taalem)
VOX POPULI! - SOFT ENTRANCE TO NATURE'S CAMINO DE LUZ (3"CDR by Taalem)
THE DEAR LISTENERS - APPROACH (3"CDR by Dear Listeners) *
NORMAL - STORM (MP3 by Just Not Normal)
DANADAX -DAXSCAPES II (MP3 by Just Not Normal)
DUST - SIX (MP3 by Just Not Normal)

 

KASPER VAN HOEK - A LIGHT YEAR OF SUNDAYS (CD by Heilskabaal Records)
Recently I saw a performance by Kasper van Hoek in collaboration with some video guy, whose name right now eludes me. Van Hoek 'played' an old stencil machine and some direct processing. Nice, but a bit sketchy if he'd asked me, which he didn't. Not enough 'composition' and too much 'improvisation'. Whereas from his releases so far we know he can do a real good thing. His 'Minerva' LP and 'Den Haag/Groningen/Froombosch' CDR were highlights so far. 'Minerva' can be regarded as a best of LP from the period he spend in art-school (2004-2006) and this new release, his first real full length CD 'A Light Year Of Sundays' is a best of from the period 2006-2008, and it may not be a surprise that it includes two pieces from the aforementioned CDR. I like that. Release CDRs as a more raw edged work and then a real CD with the best material. A bit like Machinefabriek did. Ok, so the music, what is it? The eight pieces here are a far cry from his LP, which was based on crude electronics, worn out tape-loops and other broken machinery. The computer has taken over the role of the analogue equipment and this results in music that is much 'softer' and more delicately constructed than his early work. Perhaps micro-sound is an appropriate term for his music. Van Hoek uses drones as the ground pattern of his compositions to which he adds highly processed field recordings, or sounds in action. The latter is a bit hard to trace back into this music. This all culminates in a rather beautiful final piece, which is a radical deconstruction of the rock band Sexton Creeps. Here too the drone persists, but various 'band' elements are cleverly mixed in. Van Hoek knows how to create a composition that is not the culmination of loose sound events, but builds a strong, intense collage of sound, which is very nice to hear. Points of reference are Machinefabriek (but without the extensive use of guitar sounds) and even more to Roel Meelkop. This is a great CD, very well be a best of, from what I can judge. The only thing to complain about is the total absence of track titles and information about the pieces. Great print-work though! (FdW)
Address: http://www.heilskabaal.net

RAFAEL TORAL - SPACE ELEMENTS VOL. 1 (CD by Staubgold)
Jazz, according to Rafael Toral, is 'a system of individual decision-making from the standpoint of free-spectrum live electronics', and since releasing 'Space' (see Vital Weekly 542), Total plays his own, and I must add, his own radical version of electronic jazz. On custom built electronic devices that is. So not a merge of electronics and jazz, but jazz on electronic devices. As announced back then, it was part of 'space elements', in which he would play with others, but 'Space' was a solo record. Here however we get the first volume of 'Space Elements', which also sees players as Rute Praca (cello), Margarita Garcia (electric double bass), David Toop (flute) and Sei Miguel (pocket trumpet). They don't all appear together, but in various combinations, always along Toral's 'glove controlled computer sinewaves, ribbon-controlled sinewave bursts, modified MT-10 amplifier, analog modular synthesizer, delayed and filtered feedback empty circuit and amplified coil spring' - quite a mouthful. I am still not a lover of jazz, and prefer to make individual decisions on perhaps a totally different level, but the musical ground that is covered here is quite nice. The electronics sound utterly 'dry', i.e. without sound effects, computer plug ins or such like, while the other instruments restrict themselves to play also dry, clean and short sounds. This is indeed 'free' music, where each player makes his own decision, and as such its perhaps 'jazz', and again perhaps Toral's own term 'post-free jazz electronic music' covers the entire ground. Its music that goes without much precedent of the past, and surely marks something new. That by itself is a great effort, but the results are nice also! (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

ART OF ORYX - FIRST BOOK OF SOUND - (CD by Berlin Moves)
Art of Oryx is a Berlin-based quintet of Christoph Titz (trumpet, flugelhorn), Frank Sackenheim (saxophones), Thomas Büchel (guitar, electronics), Willem van Dijk (vocals, acoustic bass, electronics) and Jonas Burgwinkel (drums). It is mainly a project of Büchel and Van Dijk, who both also founded Berlin Moves, a new recordlabel and distribution channel.
The group was founded in 2000 by Dutch musician Willem van Dijk who met in Germany the musicians with whom he could realize his musical ideas. A first and second CD were released in 2001 and 2003. They played jazz music in these days. Their newest CD needed more time in finding its definite shape. Again it is jazzmusic but also a lot more. First recordings for this cd were done in 2006. These recordings were however treated in the studio by Büchel and van Dijk. New recordings, environmental sounds, etc. were added and shaped endlessly until a fluid whole came into being, an intriguing mix of jazz and popmusic. They surely did a tasteful and delicate job, resulting in a mature and full-grown piece of work.
Van Dijk wrote all the music and also the texts. Most of them are sung by him. For the lyrics he was inspired by the dutch riverlandscape intermingled with childhood memories. Guest vocalist Iris Romen does a great job in some of the songs on this album, like in 'Harbour'. A song that refused to leave my ears and is still echoing in my mind. A conventional song in fact and very catchy, but dressed in lots of unusual and uncomfortable sounds. In the way they treat their material it moves at times towards a radioplay with a strong evocating power. In this respect their work has some resemblance with the work of Heiner Goebbels and Alfred Harth. Also their music is sometimes close to Robert Wyatt (listen to 'The Village and the Sea') and the musical universe we know from Chris Cutlers' Recommended Records family. Themselves they describe their music as alternative, electro-acoustic jazz.
Although they experiment a lot on this cd, and a lot is happening, like in 'Jannowitzbrücke' where groupplaying is followed by passages of pure sound, the overall feeling is that of a warm, harmonic and melodic music of international allure. (DM)
Address: http://www.berlin-moves.com

BERNARD GAL - RELIVE (CD by Gromoga Records)
For whatever reason I am not sure of, the work of Bernard Gal was never much reviewed in these pages, despite his past seven releases, a book and a DVD. Its perhaps a name you see more in the announcement section. Since 2002, he has played over 150 concerts on four continents, armed with his laptop and devices, and through a mixture of on the spot improvisation and through the use of pre-recorded sounds from his previous work (audio, installations), he plays almost every night something new, it seems. So its perhaps a more than wise decision to release an album of various piece, as recorded in concert. The press texts gives a detailed description of each of the eight pieces, and its a pity that this is not on the cover, as it is a pretty interest read. The sounds he uses, the spaces he played in, and, in some cases, the people has played with (pianist Xenia Hu, Guzhengplayer Yeh Jiuan-Reng and the voices of Many, Marianthi and Vivian). Gal's selection of his concert recordings is a great one - at least as far as I can judge, as I never saw him play live. Its almost possible to say that these are hardly 'live' pieces at all. They make a coherent whole. Gal shows himself an excellent player on the microsound scene, taking bits of his work and presenting new contexts for them. The spaces play a role in his work in as far that when the audience is super quiet, he is super quiet too, such as in the near silent 'Schulterblatt'. Things buzz, hum, crack in a highly intelligent way and never leaps into boredom, despite the ominous length of this release. A very fine release altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gromoga.com

DJ OLIVE - TRIAGE (CD by Room40)
ROBBIE AVENAIM - RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT DISORDER (CD by Room40)
'Triage' is the third CD by DJ Olive for Room40, and its also the third 'sleeping pill', which are 'designed to create a deeply enveloping environment in which the listener becomes engulfed in an audio tint'. I missed out on the first one, 'Buoy' from 2004, but 'Sleep' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 527. Again we are presented with an hour of high quality ambient music, and much what I wrote last week about Steinbruchel's 'Home' applies here too: I think music in general should be listened to when fully awake, or perhaps even in a state of being under the influence, but when it's nightie night, its silent. I for one would have a hard time falling asleep. So for me, I can only judge this music of DJ Olive in terms of being awake. It seems that throughout this new one is a bit darker than the previous record, but when you play it 'soft', as recommended by DJ Olive himself, you wouldn't notice these darker undercurrents as such very much. Built from field recordings, instruments and lots of computer editing which make things occasional quite dense, this is quite a nice release.
Something entirely different is the release by Robbie Avenaim. He's been active in improvised music as a percussion player since the late 80s, and has played with Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe and Oren Ambarchi, but oddly enough, this 'Rhythmic Movement Disorder' is his first solo release. Other than with his 'usual' work, which all finds its roots in improvised music, this new release is highly composed. Maybe at its origins lie the improvised playing, but its then edited on the computer to create something that is no doubt more linked to electro-acoustic composition than to improvisation. 'Headbanging', the opening piece, sounds occasionally like gamelan, like early computer music, and like Ikeda's sinewaves, but has a great vibrancy to it. Things bounce, shift and phase to all four corners of the world. In 'Headrolling' the rhythmic playing has become very dense and its almost like a piece of ambient music - but in a very direct manner. 'Bodyrocking' is a more introspective piece of music and perhaps a bit more traditional percussion music. The longest piece is the final 'Bodyrolling', which is the culmination of all of these things. At just under twenty-nine minutes this is quite a short CD, and I have the feeling there would have been easily room for another piece, or even two. This is an excellent release! (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org

DARKROOM - SOME OF THESE NUMBERS MEAN SOMETHING (CD by Burning Shed)
Micheal Bearpark (electric guitars, pedals, loops, feedback, acoustic guitar, bass) just returned from touring with No-man (a side project of Bass Communion and Porcupine Tree) is together with Andrew Ostler (synthesizers, programming) and Andrew Booker on drum Darkroom, a project in which the guitar plays the all dominant role. Burning Shed calls this 'ambient stadium rock', which I though was very funny, but once I played the album, I thought it was also an appropriate term. Crazy as it may sound. Darkroom seem to combine all things guitar from all decades of popular music. Shoegazing, cosmic music, The Shadows, and post rock. Just to name a few. The guitar swells and swells, held together by crazy electronics and pounding drums. I can picture them in a stadium and 'The Valley Of Ten Thousand Smokes', the start of the CD, could be a great opening tune for the show. A 4/4 rhythm and lots of sustaining guitar sounds. Lengthy krauty exercusions in music, that sound by all means 'retro'. Music to be played loud, which seems also a bit odd for an ambient production, but this can have it. Its all a bit much this one, no matter how much I like it, its simply a bit too much. Perhaps in that stadium I would think otherwise, but here at home I thought half of this would have been great. Think F/i or Vocokesh on a more ambient trip. (FdW)
Address: http://www.burningshed.com

DAMN - FRESTILL SAMPLERIN #1 (2CD compilation by Chmafu Nocords)
In the early, very early years of Vital, when it was written on paper, we wanted to have a survey on why women were not involved in experimental music to the same extent as men. Without much luck. These days the situation is improved - see Olivia Block, Andrea Neuman, Annette Krebs, to mention a few - but it is still not a 50-50 situation (and then we could start a discussion about racial backgrounds of composers, of course). One Hannes Schweiger, percussion player and journalist, started searching for female composers and asked them for a composition. Eleven of these are collected on this double CD, and, hurrah, they are all new names to be added to the small list. I have no idea how he did his research, but he found them. Angelica Castello, Cordula Bosze, Manon Liu Winter, Katharina Klement, Petra Stump, Elisabeth Flunger, Maria Frodl, Carla Kihlstedt, Susanna Gartmayer, Judith Unterpertinger and Ilse Riedler. From what I gather, purely based on listening to this double CD, is that they all studied at the conservatorium and they all present pieces of 'serious' avant-garde music, and some ties to the world of jazz. Ilse Riedler's piece is to be found there, but its traditional jazz for me and Gartmayer and Stump too freaky. However most of the other pieces are quite nice, such as the broken plates piece by Manon Liu Winter, the solo violin cello piece by Frodl, Klement's modern classical piano piece, or the flute and electronic piece by Cordula Bosze. Best pieces were an entirely electronic piece by Castello and the voices of Kihlstedt, which could easily be edited into a horror movie about monks going mad. A great release this one, exciting and great music, a true adventure to explore new names. (FdW)
Address: http://nocords.net

MZK #001 (CD by Moozak)
New from Vienna, where things always remain busy it seems, comes a new label Moozak, which is an extension from the Klub Moozak, held each month at Fluc since september 2007. All of the twelve participants played there, and no less then eleven are new, which once again proofs the electronic and experimental is so much bigger than one can possibly imagine. The majority of the artists featured here operate at the more noise based ends of music. Not necessarily the over the top end of noise, but things here are pretty loud and present. it moves between tape manipulations of Rinus van Alebeek (the only name I recognized) and Gedi, to the more digital surroundings of fAbia and Griefer and the darker side of ambient of Taos Hum. Griefer also brings rhythm to the outburst, just like Lamanidayz. At the beginning and the end there are two more quieter counterpoints, and me thinks the best tracks: Strangelets microsound ambient glitch and the harmonic textured, almost orchestral ambient of Dirac. Not every moment is great, such as the luckily short CD skippings by Analogset, and some are quite long (basically all four pieces that last nine minutes), but this compilation offers a nice view of live experimental music - if you run a stage and if your looking for new acts to book, then this is surely a good guide. (FdW)
Address: http://www.moozak.org

SOCCER COMMITTE & MACHINEFABRIEK - DRAWN (CD by Digitalis Industries)
MACHINEFABRIEK - RUSLAND (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
MACHINEFABRIEK - HUISWERK (7" by Ketchup Cavern)
It seems to be a bit more quiet on the Machinefabriek front, but once you think so, three releases appear. The first one I thought was disappointing when it turned out to be so short (twenty-four minutes), but then I learned it is also released on LP (by Morc Records from Belgium), which then makes more sense I guess. 'Drawn' is a collaboration between Rutger Zuydervelt and Mariska Baars, who is better known as Soccer Committee. I saw Mariska playing once (although she's going to be around this week here locally!) and it blew me away. Imagine Oren Ambarchi, the same sparseness but then with, likewise sparse vocals. This is what the two do here too: Mariska's songs are the fundament of the music. Slow, very slow guitar notes, a few words, lots of silence. Zuydervelt adds his own fine blend of delicate sound processing to the dinner table, adding some sparse extra sounds on 'instruments' and computer, all in his trademark style of cracks, pops and subtle drones. Very quiet music, but quite intense at the same time. Lullabies for the new dark ages - had that not be already used by someone else.
Recently Machinefabriek played in Russia four concerts as part of the Dutch Punch festival. Everything was duly recorded, but not released as such. The 3"CDR 'Rusland' is an extensive re-edit of all the concerts plus some additional home recording. The guitar plays the all important role here, like in more of Machinefabriek's recent work Soft tinkling, with slowly enveloping pedal work. On top there is a bit of cracks and pops and with sparsely orchestrated field recordings. A thoroughly relaxing piece of music, but one in which there is more sound than in 'Drawn'. Nice release and on the website there is another twenty-five minute piece waiting for you.
The final new release is a 7" on Ketchup Cavern, which is also limited available as a 3"CDR by Machinefabriek himself. Two, four minute pieces of music. Its nice to see Rutger doing something that is limited through time and making things a bit more songlike. It adds a nice freshness to his known sound palette, a bit more open than the more closed 'Rusland' (for example) and has a playful character. Guitars tinkle, a drone comes in, the guitar tinkles further. Maybe he should work on an album with more of these shorter pieces. Knowing Zuydervelt a bit, I'm sure its already made. (FdW)
Address: http://www.digitalisindustries.com
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.nu
Address: http://www.ketchupcavern.com

OCEANA COMPANY - FOR THE BOATMAN (CD by Spacejam Records)
"You know, it might be a wise thing to send a copy of your CD to a guy close by, in Nijmegen. He does something that is called Vital Weekly. I have no clue what it is, other than he reviews music and I believe of some alternative sort, so why not send a copy of 'For The Boatman' by your band Oceana Company to him. You know, sounding like Motorpsycho, Porcupine Tree, Q.O.T.S.A. and Anathema, is surely alternative enough to be part of such a publication? If you write him that psychedelic, stoner rock, prog rock and indie music have never been before connected so well, in The Netherlands of course, then you are bound to get a review. Just do."
"Thanks mate, CD on its way."
Address: http://www.spacejamrecords.com

ANNELIES MONSERE - SOMEWHERE SOMEONE (7" by Morc Records)
In Vital Weekly 622 I reviewed a CD-EP by Jessica Bailif and Annelies Monsere, of high quality minimal songwriting. Monsere returns here with no less than six songs which she recently recorded, using a hammond organ, a bit of percussion and her own voice. Short songs - the title track, just under three minutes being the longest. Its perhaps very easy to think of poor old Nico when you hear these songs. Not with the same intense voice, but of equal minimalist beauty. Monsere plays folk like songs, short and sweet. Intense but in a different way. Not a note too many, just the right amount, in every aspect. Great stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.morctapes.com

THE RETAIL SECTORS - MARCH OF INCURABLE WORKAHOLIC/SONG ABOUT A GIRL WHO KILLED HERSELF YESTERDAY (8" lathe cut by Distraction Records)
Kentaro Togawa is a busy man: responsible for the nice Symbolic Interaction label and a musician himself under the banner of The Retail Sectors. The guitar is his main instruments, along with some pedals and sampled drums. He has had a couple of releases on his own label, and here comes with two pieces on plastic, erm, lathe cut. The a-side starts with heavy guitars and heavy drums, whereas the b-side has a slightly longer quiet intro, before drums burst in. Togawa calls his music post post post rock and that is clearly shown in these two pieces. An interest in minimal music - the repeated quick guitar loops - and in rock music - the heavy pounding drums. It may seem a curious marriage of two outer limits of music, but it works well. In the past I have not been always too enthusiastic about The Retail Sectors, but when it comes served in such a small dose, its more than welcome. (FdW)
Address: http://www.distractionrecords.com

A SPIRALE - GARIGA (CDR by Setola Di Matale)
Sometimes a press text presents an endless stream of names of which one has never heard, which hardly makes much sense. Therefore I can hardly reproduce what I read about A Spirale, but it seems to be a trio from Italy with Maurizio Argenziano on 'corde ed elettricita', Mario Gabola on 'sax alto' and Massimo Spezzaferro on 'batteria' - drums, guitar and saxophone. Sometimes they play with other people, hence the big list. Here however its just a trio. Six pieces of improvised music, carefully played, lots of silence, lots of instrument treatments, other than regular playing. Quite nice, but also quite regular in their approach to the 'new silent improvisation'. Electro-acoustic improvisation, with an occasional traditional approach in playing their instruments. Index points, or rather separate track titles seem only to be there for the comfort of the listener, but it might very well be one session. Nice, but not great, but well executed altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://www.a-spirale.blogspot.com

FROM THE WHITE CHIMNEYS - NAUTILUS WITH WINGS (CDR by Mystery Sea)
The name From The White Chimneys appear to be a new one, but the names behind are well-known, as its the collaboration between Danny Kretutzfeldt and Ben Fleury-Steiner, both of whom are active as hell, releasing lots and lots of material on CDRs around the world. I believe this is their first work together and the three pieces are all what they are about in their (recent) solo work, as well what the label stands for. The mighty deeper and darker atmospherics in life. I have no idea what they use here (field recordings? electronics? software synthesizers? pure effects? or perhaps a combination of all of this?), but the three heavy weight pieces are quite nice. Trademark stuff of this kind of music. Nothing new or spectacular, but executed with great care and style. Shimmering melodies, the sinking of a ship, the sea waves rolling. Great late night music. Unnerving and relaxing at the same time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

1000SCHOEN - AMISH GLAMOUR (MUSIC FOR THE SIXTH SENSE) (CDR by Luciol Editions)
HORCHATA VS SIL MUIR (3"CDR by Taalem)
CORDELL KLIER - PHONO 4 (3"CDR by Taalem)
VOX POPULI! - SOFT ENTRANCE TO NATURE'S CAMINO DE LUZ (3"CDR by Taalem)
Another new division from the house of Taalem, next to Kokeshidisk and Taalem, is Luciol Editions, and I am not sure why this is. 1000schoen is the project of Helge Siehl, who went solo after the split of Maeror Tri, when the other members became Troum. He has released already a couple of works, and hearing 'Amish Glamour (Music For The Sixth Sense)', one could have some interesting thoughts about the split of Maeror Tri, and the music of Troum and 1000schoen. After all these years, its still strongly connected, soundwise. The differences between the three are to be spotted with a magnifying glass. Lengthy dark ambient pieces, built from lots and lots sound effects applied to a few instruments, to an extent in which we no longer recognize what instrument it is. Loops are used to great length also and 1000schoen walks the path of ambient, industrial with a touch of magical. Nothing new under the burning dark ambient sun, but executed with great. Perhaps his best release so far.
Taalem is the imprint for 3"CDR releases of a more droney nature. Like Drone Records 7" series, this is a long running enterprise, now up to number 54. They are usually released in series of three. The first is a collaboration between Michael Palace, also known as Horchata and Sil Muir being Andrea Ferraris (all guitars) and Andrea Marutti (all treatments). It seems that Horchata delivered the raw material, Ferraris added some more guitar and that Marutti did the overall sound design. Two great pieces of dark atmospheric drone music. Nothing new, but very very dark and elegant.
Cordell Klier has already had a bunch of releases on labels as Ad Noiseam, Mystery Sea, Afe Records, Gears Of Sand and his own Doctsect label. Its not easy to hear what is going on 'Phono 4'. This hoovers very much on the edge of near silence. Soft crackles, even more soft drone like sounds, some field recording. And all of this in the middle of the storm of silence. Turn up the volume really high or use the best headphones. Its great minimalist beauty, in the best microsound tradition.
Its quite a surprise to see Vox Populi! to be part of Taalem. Axel Kyrou has been active since the early 80s in the field of experimental music, but sometimes with a more pop like direction (in the early stages), ethnical (later on). I wasn't always a big fan of his work, but what he does here is very nice. There is a long list of instruments used and places that were recorded, which are finely woven into a three piece suite of all these various sound sources, making a very nice sound scape of animal sounds, chimes, bells and other field recordings. If this is his recent direction, then I am all ears. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taaleem.com

THE DEAR LISTENERS - APPROACH (3"CDR by Dear Listeners)
The second release for The Dear Listeners, the new and ongoing project of former Vance Orchestra member Robert Deters and Martin Luiten (Uw Hypotheekadvies and Pick-up member) and again on a 3"CDR. 'Approach' has two pieces of Luiten's guitar work and Deters' electronics. In 'Part 1' they operate on a more drone related base, as 'Vallen' did before this. There is a distinctive live feel to it again, of sounds popping in and out the mix. Sustained frequencies from the electronics, the guitar fed through a ring modulator, while being played with an e-bow. The second piece starts out and has throughout the sound of humming voices. A more angular sound is used here and even at some point there is a bit of rhythm coming through the louder, densities of the piece. Two quite different pieces working from a similar ground. A very nice follow-up to 'Vallen'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/thedearlisteners

NORMAL - STORM (MP3 by Just Not Normal)
DANADAX -DAXSCAPES II (MP3 by Just Not Normal)
DUST - SIX (MP3 by Just Not Normal)
A new MP3 label from The Netherlands, using the advantages of blog pages. A great and even more simple way of starting a label, and great to by pass Myspace and such commercial nonsense. Just Not Normal is connected to a radio program called Not The Normal Shit Radio. I received a data CDR with three current releases. Mark, label boss (ho-hum), says he knows the artist Normal for about five years, but that the artist doesn't want to say much about himself. He's from the USA, and not, as I expected, Mark himself. Three pieces dealing with the issue of 'storm', all exactly twenty minutes in length. Perhaps its built from field recordings of a storm, I don't know. But they are fed through a bunch of computer plug ins which seem to work at random, but in a slow manner. Things never really unfold but move rather linear. It moves between certain parameters and then bounces back. Its quite nice music to work by. Not too demanding, but also not too ambient. Owing a bit to the work of Roland Kayn I thought. A fine break from the world of pure field recording, moving into a more musical area.
Also from Daxscapes nothing is known, not even where he's from. 'Daxscapes II' is the follow up to a release on the Amduscias label. Here too its not easy to tell what is going on. Again it might be field recordings, but then from all sorts of electrical sources, being fed through the computer to make things more noisy than their origins. Corroded circuits, ambient hum, electric discharges: this is a rather unpleasant piece of ambient industrial music - the post nuclear landscape, or the sci-fi soundtrack to a film that has no peaceful end.
The last one is by an artist from the UK, called Dust and 'Six' is, you might have guessed, his sixth album. I am least enthusiastic about this one. The pieces use an amount of rhythm, which sometimes is borrowed from the world of techno, but also from glitch. The first three pieces fade easy into eachother, and so do the final three. The final three are a bit more 'drone' based with rhythms, and the first three just rhythm based. Nothing much happens that made things really worthwhile, though as a piece of background music things aren't totally bad either. One assumes there is more into than just this, I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://justnotnormal.wordpress.com