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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 655
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week 49
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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


TOOT - TWO (CD by Another Timbre) *
KNITTING BY TWILIGHT - AN EVENING OUT OF TOWN (CD by It's Twilight Time)
JUNE11 - MATTER IS ALIVE (CD by EE Tapes)
THE NIGHTINGALES - INSULT TO INJURY (CD by Klangbad/Broken Silence)
DOKKEMAND - HONS! (CD by Other Electricities) *
ALFRED 23 HARTH & HANS JOACHIM IRMLER & GUNTER MULLER - TASTE TRIBES (CD by For4Ears) *
GUNTER MULLER & JASON KAHN & NORBERT MOSLANG - MKM_MSA (CD by For4Ears)
DAWID SZCZESNY - LUXATED SYMMETRY (CD by Porter)
DAWID SZCZESNY - IN BETWEEN (CD by Porter)
VALERIO COSI - COLLECTED WORKS (CD by Porter)
DAVID HURLEY - OUTER NEBULA INNER NEBULA (CD by Porter)
HYPERAKUSIS (Compilation CD by Audiophob)
ZERO DEGREE - THE INNER REALM (CD by Audiophob)
MANDELBROT - THORNS (CD by Audiophob)
SEWER ELECTION - KASSETTMUSIK (CD by Ideal Recordings) *
CHRISTINE ODLUND - PHENOMENA (CD by Ideal Recordings)
JOACHIM NORDWALL & MARK WASTELL - OCEANS OF SILVER & BLOOD (CDR by Ideal Recordings)
DEAD LETTERS SPELL OUT DEAD WORDS - LOST IN REFLECTION (LP + 7" by Ideal Recordings) *
SIRSIT - COLORBLIND CYCLE II (CDR by Con-V) *
RICHARD GARET - WINTER (DVD-R by Leerraum)
ASHER - UNTITLED FRAGMENTS (DVD-R by Leerraum)
SEVENHOURGERM - DOCUMENT 2 (CDR on Minimal Resource Manipulation)
KVIK - ELKS SLOP DAM (CDR on e.xtrem t.on a.nstalt)
PRELIMINARY SATURATION - DISCIPLES OF THE VATICAN (CDR by Vatican Analog) *
COLLIN THOMAS - FOR THE PAINTERS (CDR, private)
MACKLE JACKLE SHANAKEE FUNERAL (C-90 by Turgid Animal Records)
LHD OPAQUE (CDr by RRR)
JU SEI - TAIGUN YUEI (CDR by Black Petal) *
ANTHONY MAGEN - POURQUOI (3"CDR by Black Petal)
FREDERICO BARABINO - RUIDO IS NOT NOISE (MP3 by Ruidemos)
EN BUSCA DEL PASTO & ARAGUANEYLEAF - 21.07.08 (MP3 by Ruidemos)
EQUIPO ELEVADOR - PETITES PIECES PIOUR UN JOUR DE FETE (MP3 by Ruidemos) *
FALLINGAPPARATUS - NAR TAGEN LETTER ER DET HELE FORBI (MP3 by 8K Mob) *
HECTOR ROTTWEILER - BLOK (MP3 by 8K Mob)
I8U - 1033 CM (MP3 by Room40)
ASHER - LANDSCAPE STUDIES (MP3 by Room40) *

 

 

TOOT - TWO (CD by Another Timbre)
Last week I wrote about Evil Madness, a supergroup from Iceland with various musicians from various bands. Come to think of it, in improvisation music, a lot of the ad-hoc projects are also supergroups. Take this one for instance: we have Axel Dörner on trumpet, Thomas Lehn on analogue synthesizer and Phil Minton doing voice. Is that a supergroup, a meeting of giants or what? There are two pieces here, from recorded in 2005 and one from 2008 - meaning this supergroup has been around for some time, hence the idea of choosing a band name: Toot. What happens here, in two pieces that last around twenty-seven minutes each, is some excellent improvisation - the top shelf in the world of improvisation. Everything seems to be melting together here, with voice, synth and trumpet playing music that easily can go on as composed music. They feel exactly what the others are doing and how to interact with eachother. Sometimes they drift apart, and let their own instrument sound, but, maybe save for Lehn, whose synthesizer may sound like a synthesizer, how does a trumpet or a voice sound when its used by Minton or Dörner? Like anything but a trumpet or a voice. And sometimes the voice sounds like a trumpet and vice versa. The three of them playing together is a wonderful excursion into improvised music, of course music that requires full attention but which has so much beauty captured in. After 54.29 minutes you are left breathless. (FdW)
Address: http://www.anothertimbre.com

KNITTING BY TWILIGHT - AN EVENING OUT OF TOWN (CD by It's Twilight Time)
Back in Vital Weekly we announced Knitting By Twilight as the odd-ball for that week, these days we would say the unVital of this week. That is by no means a negative qualification, just perhaps a disqualification of ourselves. No matter how hard we say this, there is so much music out there that we are not qualified enough to say anything about it, and Knitting By Twilight is such a thing. What we hear we think is great. The band these days seems to be reduced to John Orsi, with just a few guestplayers, and some of the pieces (the majority in fact) solo pieces by him, making once again music with the melancholic touch, influenced still by good ol' 4AD and Factory Records sound - the more doomy end of pop. Fine references, and even when I hardly listen to 4AD, I do listen to a lot of things of all Factory incarnations, from time to time, but I have hardly an idea how that developed in more recent times, with other bands and different labels. But as said, I still think this is quite enjoyable. (FdW)
Address: http://www.overflower.com

JUNE11 - MATTER IS ALIVE (CD by EE Tapes)
From a label that is mucho symphatico, and around
for ages (first with cassettes, then CDRs and CDs) is Belgium's EE Tapes. In the past they brought us the old men of Y Create, Human Flesh, M.A.L. and some gorgeous compilations, now its time for June11, a project I never heard of, but apparently its masterminded by one Jan van den Broeke, who we could know as a member of The Misz and Absent Music, names that vaguely ring bells. Van Den Broeke himself plays vocals, keyboards, guitars, percussion and samples and gets help on a lot of instruments by people I never heard of, except Nadine Ball, the singer of Bene Gesserit. Its all well-done melancholic pop music, but I guess I am not the person whom this was made for. It vaguely reminds me of some of melodramatic pop music on Les Disques Du Crepuscule, which was a favorite label at one time, reminding me of Richard Jobson in 'Lahore'. Strings (from the sampler) bring majestical sounds to the foreground, there is pseudo ethnic drums, and lots of chords in minor. This is perhaps as unVital as Knitting By Twilight reviewed elsewhere, but it still makes a very well-considered and well-made impression on me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

THE NIGHTINGALES - INSULT TO INJURY (CD by Klangbad/Broken Silence)
More unVital and more from the past. I think I first The Nightingales on that ever classic compilation LP 'Pillows & Prayers' with their 'Don't Blink'. They started in 1976 and split up a few times and reformed (for good?) in 2004 and recorded this album in March of this year with Jochen Irmler of Faust fame. The Nightingales are a rock band that much is sure, but they are not a strict punk or new wave band. Take 'Brownhills United's Tattooed Southpark' which owes to Captain Beafheart, but there are more straight forward rock tunes here too. None of the twelve tracks really belong to what Vital Weekly writes about, even when this has enough raw untamed energy, lots of variation and wit ('Former Florist To The Queen'!) to make this one pleasant trip. Weird but very enjoyable. Not just for the retro-mind that I sometimes am. (FdW)
Address: http://www.klangbad.de

DOKKEMAND - HONS! (CD by Other Electricities)
One Marius Grøtterud Egenes from Oslo, Norway is behind Dokkemand, and as such he has been at the controls since 2005. Although perhaps out of the controls. This not y'r classical nor-noise, but a man armed with a keyboard, vocals, a loads of rhythms going at various times and seemingly at various speeds. Rhythms derived from electro-pop, hip-hop and techno all melted together into a slightly chaotic amalgam of noise pop. To that Dokkemand adds various female vocalists and crafts thus an album together that if anything is highly demanding to the listener. Music that I think is quite nice, but perhaps it would even work better when you would hear this played live. Think Patrick Catani or Mark Boombastik or even Felix Kubin, I wouldn't be too surprised if Dokkemand would be the next star on the scene. I know I would love to see him play live. This debut release is certainly promising. (FdW)
Address: http://www.other-electricities.com

ALFRED 23 HARTH & HANS JOACHIM IRMLER & GUNTER MULLER - TASTE TRIBES (CD by For4Ears)
GUNTER MULLER & JASON KAHN & NORBERT MOSLANG - MKM_MSA (CD by For4Ears)
More releases involving Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust fame. Last year he was visited by Alfred 23 Harth, once much seen in the European improvisation landscape, but these days residing in Seoul, Korea. Together they recorded some improvised music, Harth on his reeds and kaosspad, Irmler on organ. Then Harth went to Switzerland to record some more music with Gunter Muller (ipods and electronics) and back home Harth started toying around with the recordings to to mould them into one piece. In the final piece he adds some samples from Kawabato Makoto and Conrad Schnitzler ('Eruption'), however I don't see why that had to be done. It doesn't necessarily improve the music, it just makes things a lot more full. The preceding four pieces are fine examples of this virtual trio, of carefully constructed improvised music, fit to shape by the tools that the computer has to offer. There is a substantial amount of sound effects used here, which makes that this moves away from the usual improvised territory, and adds a somewhat psychedelic feeling to some of the pieces. This is sonically loaded improvised music, that we hardly encounter these days and the four pieces leave a great feeling. The fifth, nice it is, somewhat falls outside the four, and as far as I'm concerned could have been left off.
One can only be envious at people like Muller, but also Jason Kahn and Norbert Mosling. With the help of Pro Helvetia, supporter of cultural affairs in Switzerland, they travel the world and the seven seas, which brought them in the spring of 2007 to Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia and Chile. I wonder how the reception was in these territories? I was thinking it would make a nice video documentary to see on Kahn on his analogue synthesizer, Muller on his ipod and electronics, and Norbert Moslang on cracked everyday-electronics and then going places where this kind of music is rarely heard or seen (The Ex did a tour of Ethopia, and the film about that is great!). Here the improvisations are less than careful, more present to the ear, away from the super silent mode, but also, a rare thing in the world of improvisation, with the appliance of blocks of rhythm. Rhythms derived from what any of these three can do with their instruments, along with buzzing, hissing and soaring sounds. Music that sort of defies 'improvised' music as we know it, but that seems to be made out of improvisations, with the end result being something that is highly electronic, occasionally loud and fierce, maybe, dare I say this, even 'industrial' at times. The traditional improv posse might turn their heads away from this, I think its one hell of a daring move. Applause. (FdW)
Address: http://www.for4ears.com

DAWID SZCZESNY - LUXATED SYMMETRY (CD by Porter)
DAWID SZCZESNY - IN BETWEEN (CD by Porter)
VALERIO COSI - COLLECTED WORKS (CD by Porter)
DAVID HURLEY - OUTER NEBULA INNER NEBULA (CD by Porter)
Four releases by Florida-based Porter Records. A label run by music enthusiasts with an open ear for inventive music, be it jazz, hip hop, electronic, experimental or whatever. And no matter were it comes from we can add. Szczesny is from Poland, Cosi from Italy, Hurley from San Diego. To start with Dawid Szczesny, he is a soundartist living in Wroclaw. He has already a few solo-albums out ('Drafts' and 'Unheard Treats') and collaborations with Ignaz Schick ('The View Underneath') and with Nongenetic of Shadowhuntaz ('Earpeace').
Of the two releases by Porter 'Luxated Symmetry' is the most interesting. Using the sampled sounds of mainly percussive instruments Dawid builds open structures that are well composed along cyclic patterns. Subtle rhythms dominate in each track, but not in a way that makes this music suited for dance parties. In general this 'ballet mecanique' is more close to ambient-atmospheres. Dawid choses his sounds very careful and finds tasty combinations and proportions. Sometimes the music has a Harry Partch-like strangeness like in 'Contiguity of Yours'. At other moments it is as if we are in the inside of some eccentric clockwork. A convincing project. 'In Between' is a four track ep and released separately for some reason, although the music moves along similar lines.
'Collected Works' is a funny title when you realize that Valerio Cosi is just in his twenties. But not so strange if you take a look at the discography of this saxplayer from southern Italy. Its a lengthy list of cdr-releases. Some of the best moments recorded solo since 2005 are brought together now for a CD release by Porter. All recordings that are chosen for this release are recorded at Cosi's house. He plays sax and saxoloop but also percussion, drums, bass, rattles, korg synth, guitar, bells, gong, processed sitar, tabla, voice, congas, manipulated tapes, electronics, etc. His music is a very unusual blend of influences. On the one hand we have his saxplaying that is very much in the tradition of free jazz. Besides he makes use of processed and looped sounds. All ingredients brought together, this results in a free-ethno-psychedelic mixture. A very uncommon environment, I must say, that would not be possible without multitracking. Cosi finds his inspiration in the recordcollection of his parents if I have to guess. For instance the influence of Neu and Harmonia is obvious if you listen to the beats in the tracks 'Harmonia Raag' and 'Hoboland'. Also we hear influences of Terry Riley-like minimal music. In a piece like 'Lovely Blue Cream' Cosi's trademark really works for me: energetic free saxplaying, backed with an environment of looped drums and sounds. Not that I liked all of it. Not everything is worked out satisfyingly. But I met enough unusual twists and ideas, played with freshness and dare, to be curious what will be recorded more in that room of Valerio Cosi. With David Hurley we are on the american continent. Hurley is a percussionist playing on a very extended set of bells and percussion. And also flutes and even the Moog appears in a few tracks. The CDs contains several solotracks, accompanied by pieces of duo- up to quintet-format. In 'The Anti Venom' we have Hurley screaming wildly over thick layers of percussion played by Leonard Mack II, Ousmane Traore and Hurley himself. In this and other tracks ('Metamorphosis') we travel the spaceways in a Sun Ra-like manner. In other tracks the playing is more close to free jazz like in 'Inner Nebula' with Zuri Waters on sax. Also this release shows that Porter Records has a good nose for new original talents. (DM)
Address: http://www.porterrecords.com/

HYPERAKUSIS (Compilation CD by Audiophob)
ZERO DEGREE - THE INNER REALM (CD by Audiophob)
MANDELBROT - THORNS (CD by Audiophob)
Audiophob is a German label established in 2004. Originally the label gathered a number of friends and artist networks to compile the first release - the compilation album titled "Minus infinity dB". Now four years later the label is ready to launch the 10th album, being a compilation of artists of the label who each contribute with two pieces for the album carrying the title "Hyperakusis". The overall style of the album operates downbeat spheres from chilling IDM to ambient. The show is opened by German artist Carsten Stiller a.k.a Alarmen who delivers two classic idm-tracks putting a nice atmosphere to the album from start. Then comes the sound artist Nerthus delivering a slightly darker and more downbeat contribution of dreamlike quality. Next in line is Mandelbrot operated by Philip Munch also known for his power noise project Synapscape as well as his electropop-project "Rorschach garden". Mandelbrot takes the full step into dark ambient-spheres - no rhythms or shiny light here, just darkness and noise drones. The drone-based expression continues with the contributions from next artist. Spherical Disrupted delivers the best moment on the compilation with his opening track that hypnotizes with echoed drones waving back and forth meanwhile discreet melodies give a beautiful atmosphere on the piece. His second contribution is a quite different beast that floats in classic IDM-spheres reminiscent of early Warp Records. The compilation closes in the most beautiful way with a trippy ambient piece from Zero Degree that recalls the heydays of early ambient from the German krautrock-pioneers such as Edgar Froese and Klaus Schulze. A beautiful soothing piece that is everything but dark and thus closes the album in a pleasant manner. Nice compilation. Zero Degree is also the brain behind the next album reviewed here. The album titled "Inner realm" is second full-length from the German composer. In contrast to his contribution to the aforementioned "Hyperakusis"-compilation, Zero Degree on "Inner realm" includes technoid rhythm textures in ambient worlds. Compared to the "Frozen sunlight"-piece from the "Hyperakusis"-compilation, the expression on present album is much darker in expression. The atmosphere is grandiose on the album. A few tracks have a quite old-school feeling to the electronic sounds, i.e. the track titled "Surface" with sounds that recalls the 80's of Vangelis. A quite interesting and varied album from Zero Degree. Last album reviewed here is aforementioned Mandelbrot a.k.a Philip Munch, probably better known for his power noise-project Synapscape and his electropop-project "Rorschach garden". In comparison to his alternative projects, Philip Munch on this album titled "Thorns" under the Mandelbrot-flag, focus on a much more introvert sound nature of dark ambient-noise. As Mandelbrot Philip Munch collaborate with B. Teichner. Buzzing drones create the foundation of the album, sometimes added atmospheric and melodic passages. Nice one. (NM)
Address: http://www.audiophob.de

SEWER ELECTION - KASSETTMUSIK (CD by Ideal Recordings)
CHRISTINE ODLUND - PHENOMENA (CD by Ideal Recordings)
JOACHIM NORDWALL & MARK WASTELL - OCEANS OF SILVER & BLOOD (CDR by Ideal Recordings)
DEAD LETTERS SPELL OUT DEAD WORDS - LOST IN REFLECTION (LP + 7" by Ideal Recordings)
The first one of this lot I played was Sewer Election, mainly to check it out quickly before passing on to Jliat, as somewhere in the back of my head it said 'Sewer Election = noise'. The cover said 'moments captured and repeated in raw mono [...] contact mic, cassette loops and cassette amplifier', so I was prepared for the full noise blast, but it ain't so. Not at all. Of course this is noise, but one of a more kinder origin. The sound is real a low affair, not in the sense that it is on a low volume, but because the music is crudely recorded. No feedback, but loops of electronic stuff, loads of hiss, ticks and scratches. I kept on listening as I thought this was quite fascinating stuff. It very much reminded me of the old cassette days, when I worked with splicing cassette tape and recorded similar crude music (which in retrospect never sounded this good actually). Distortion is kept to a nice level and Sewer Election creates a composition full of tension and drama. I have nothing against noise, which some people seem to think, but it has to be good and not wearing out all the cliche's of the genre. As such I can easily say that 'Kassettmusik' by Sewer Election is exactly the kind of noise I like. I wish there was more like this!
I have no idea who Christine Odlund is, other than that she recorded this CD and did the drawings in the booklet. Her music was 'mixed' at EMS, but it doesn't say where it was recorded nor which instruments she used. I think it's a combination of analogue or digital synthesizers and field recordings. Spooky, dark music. Lots of moody atmospheric drones and insect sounds and bird calls. Minimalist music but with enough changes. 'Forest' reminded me of modern electronics from the mid 60s. It was all pretty much ok, but nothing special or really out of the ordinary. 'Meeting In Albertville', the final piece and the longest of the total of seven, was the highlight of the CD, for its dramatic built up and cyclist playing. Music that fits the sombre weather here today in the final month of the year.
More drones on the release by drone meister and label boss Joachim Nordwall, who plays here a Roland S100 Modular Synth and Mark Wastell who plays a 32" Paiste Tam Tam. Recorded live almost one year ago. There are two untitled pieces here which offer some very elegant styled drone works. The tam tam is played in a similar way as the synth or vice versa: the two melt together. I have no idea how Wastell generated this sound (by rubbing the mallet over and over I gather, but maybe its something else that is used to generate this thing to vibrate), but the two slow humming pieces are great. Nothing new under the drone sun (of course), but its a high and mighty work. At thirty-three minutes perhaps a bit short: I would have loved another one.
The next two releases were presented on a CDR to me, which actually makes perhaps more sense since it works well. The music is by Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words, the active force of Thomas Ekelund. He too is a master of all good things drone, but uses the guitar to that end. The guitar and lots of electronics and perhaps laptop processing. He plays a kind of ambient glitch drone music with lots of warmth covered with it. What can start out as some abstract doodling, over the course of time becomes a small melody, arriving seemingly out of nowhere. My least favorite track here was the side long (LP that is) 'Hummelschreibende Herzen', which starts out rather noise based, but then stays there too long, before turning to more richer ground. Things at their best when its kept shorter, like on the two excellent pieces on the 7", almost going into pop music territory. Excellent stuff here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.idealrecordings.com

SIRSIT - COLORBLIND CYCLE II (CDR by Con-V)
A band of four persons, of which we also heard in various other constellations and solo projects: Rick Reed, Brent Fariss, Cory Allen and Josh Russell, all from Austin, Texas. I have no idea what they use equipment wise here, but my very best guess would be a bunch of analogue synthesizers and perhaps one or more laptops to process the sound with and maybe there is a guitar in there as well. The piece here lasts thirty-six minutes and is made of lots and lots of buzzing, warm sounds. At times I was inclined to think it was all analogue synthesizers, but then some of the overlaying sounds came off a bit too digital to be just that. Elegant mood music with a bite. Music made from and for cosmic interferences. It bridges the world of cosmic music with microsound and experimental, but its neither nor. It doesn't have the same cheesy dayglow of the cosmic synthesizer music, but at the same time it's also too loud to be purely microsound. Quite a nice, fascinating sound journey. Simple, effective and illuminating. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

RICHARD GARET - WINTER (DVD-R by Leerraum)
ASHER - UNTITLED FRAGMENTS (DVD-R by Leerraum)
Hopefully I played these two DVDs correct. That is, I hope both have a stereo version or otherwise I may have missed something here. Asher is perhaps already a bit well-known from the many releases we already reviewed by him, Garet might be an upcoming (but not new) star on the micro-scene. The scene isn't micro, what they do is. Both Asher and Garet operate from the same angle, which makes reviewing these together in one go, not the easiest task around. Both last around fifty of minutes, have no visual component, just a black screen and both are low in volume. There is however also one big difference. As Asher implies with his title, his work is based on fragments, or, to be more precise, these are fragments, whereas Garet has 'just' one piece. He builds his piece from various highly processed field recordings, which resemble partly footsteps in snow, as well as snow flakes falling on a microphone - or so it seems. A very consistent 'low' volume work which works as an ambient in a very relaxing way.
Asher's fragmented pieces are just that - fragmented pieces. But together they work quite well. Pieces built from a few sparse piano notes, silence, more silence, some sine wave, silence, field recording, more silence. Maybe as such the pieces are not particularly strong, but here together they make a particular united feel. Its not, and that counts for both releases, that they make much difference in the world of microsound. They aren't works that stand out, but both carve out what we already know, and do that in a great way. (FdW)
Address: http://www.leerraum.ch

SEVENHOURGERM - DOCUMENT 2 (CDR on Minimal Resource Manipulation)
KVIK - ELKS SLOP DAM (CDR on e.xtrem t.on a.nstalt)
SHG is Matthew Atkins - Computer, found sounds, samples. - the web address
given is up for sale but you can get more information here
http://smallfish.co.uk/shop/release/?cat=MRMCDR06 and even listen for
yourself. Industrial clanking and echo - this wouldn't play on a car stereo TOC ERR - and once again manic drums - one could say that manic drumming seems to
becoming a sub genre of noise - but as I have said elsewhere the term has
become a catch-all and there are at times odd things in the net. Track 4 is
practically silent - T5 backwards- 6 I think someone's playing pop music on
bed springs, T7 what could be shortwave - T8 - Title Wednesday bit of noise-
and rhythm from some sampler- and finally 9. industrial fieldsounds and
sampled radio - looped noodles through echo. Quite soft and delicate. Not
very original - but why should it be. Not very coherent - but why should it
be. Kvik is not of the Swedish group Ballingslöv Int. AB. Ballingslöv one
of the leading companies in kitchens and baths in Scandinavia and Great
Britain- but Simon Thibaudeau - from Montreal who explores post-industrial
drones - inspired by the quiet resolve of pine trees according to his bio.
Three tracks of not post but I'd say industrial noise - which maybe is
drone- in a nice 7 inch printed sleeve. Both the first tracks are glitchy
droney things which build to a kind of climax whereas the last doesn't seem
to go anywhere- not that it should. (Jliat)
Address try http://www.myspace.com/sevenhourgerm if you visit the supposed
band website http://www.minimalresourcemanipulation.co.uk/ you get a 404
error.
Address: <nakedcity@web.de>

PRELIMINARY SATURATION - DISCIPLES OF THE VATICAN (CDR by Vatican Analog)
Its not that these boys, who make up Preliminary Saturation haven't got anything else to do. Wouter Jaspers being Franz Fjodor and Steffan de Turck being Staplerfahrer, which is already 1 + 1 = 4, but then they are also the improvisation duo Preliminary Saturation. They jam, and they jam a lot. In their own houses, with wine and cigarettes at hand, with self-made instruments, microphones (some broken ones), a laptop, and they jam, but I might have said that. Pretty much what they do sounds a bit like Bjerga/Iversen, with whom they seem to share a similar esthetic. The totally free improvisation electronic music, the electro-acoustic guerilla, the drone end of sound, a bit of noise thrown in. All of that in pretty long pieces, but it sounds fairly o.k. I must admit I am not entirely blown away by it, but that's perhaps because I think its a bit too free form and because it could use some more sharper editing, and shape the very best moments. But just like Bjerga/Iversen I'm convinced truly great works will come eventually. This is a step ahead. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vatican-analog.com

COLLIN THOMAS - FOR THE PAINTERS (CDR, private)
Surely Collin Thomas likes painters - and quite different ones too: from Margritte to Malevich, from Bacon to Rothko and there is a bunch I don't know, including one Larry Thomas, the final track here. It says that the 'visual artists always inspired me, and this is my way of giving back to them for all that these artists have given me. Especially that last one...'. Father or brother, I'd assume. Thomas plays drums as his main instrument, but there are also keyboards (piano among them) and lots of electronic processes to change these sounds. Thomas does a fine job here. Its not clear that percussion plays the main part of this, but its only after a while that you realize that there is indeed a lot of percussion going on here. Somehow I don't think one should regard this music as strict homages to the painters, i.e. the piece for Rothko isn't a monochrome one, or a constructivist piece for Malevich. Its rather 'sweet' music, part abstract in its use of electronics and then recognizable through the more straightforward drum sounds used. There is no loud bang, no just entirely 'soft' playing but rather kind, sweet microsound meeting improvised textured music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.collinthomas.net

MACKLE JACKLE SHANAKEE FUNERAL (C-90 by Turgid Animal Records )
LHD OPAQUE (CDr by RRR)
Shanakee Funeral is best suited to release on cassette for in appears to be
various layers of recorded noise, speech etc from locations layered through
noise and in static on a Dictaphone. An on-going collaboration in this
instance between Darren (Filthy Old Turd) and Dean ((Lack of) Romance). LHD
is John Wiese and Phil Blankenship (Cherry Point) ergo - 3 tracks of total
perfection. Now if this was a proper typewriter I could perform the review
in a similar way to how Mackle Jackle perform their piece by constantly
inscribing and re-inscribing the words "total perfection" until the type
becomes overloaded with ink, the type head cuts through the paper and
eventually destroys the roller and its own mechanism. This is the minimalist
methodology of the re-inscription of the cheap tape which presents itself as
it is in a very modernist manner. The two make an interesting comparison,
from a modernist point of view LHD must seen to be deeply ironic in its
sophisticated process of producing what should be the result of a
mal-function- i.e. Noise, whilst the cassette in its transparency and
honesty despite but more because of its dependency on the product of its
manufacture is pure to the point of the sublime. From the post-modernist
perspective the cassette becomes naïve and exhibits a meta-narrative of the
past- whilst the CDr makes a re-inscription of truth in a new and subjective
way. Though neither addresses the present situation - "after theory"
(rococo-esq indefinability) both remain as historicity & icons in their own
particular genres. (jliat)
Address www.turgid-animal.co.uk
Address http://www.rrrecords.com

JU SEI - TAIGUN YUEI (CDR by Black Petal)
ANTHONY MAGEN - POURQUOI (3"CDR by Black Petal)
Something I didn't realize but Black Petal, the label run out of Japan by Anthony Guerra, didn't release any Japanese artists so far. But Ju Sei is the first. This is a duo of Junichiro Tanaka on guitar and vocals and Sei on vocals and 'andes 250' (I assume some keyboard). They started out as an acoustic duo in 2002, but now turned to electricity. This might be by far one of the more eccentric discs of this week. The music is alright. Minimalist pop and folk tunes on a guitar and some sparse keyboard here and there and the occasionally sweet voice of Sei. Occasionally as sometimes it's pretty mean, loud and even false, especially in the first track (track titles appear in Japanese). That makes this a pretty much of an outsider disc, and not one to get easy into, but as the disc progresses the other four tracks are much nicer, balancing on this fine line of folk, drone, experiment and jap-pop. Curious indeed, but fine one.
Even more on the outside is Anthony Magen. His 'Pourquoi' is his first release and has four versions of the title piece, in 'an abstract take on dub tactics'. The first one, the original (?), is a piece we hardly can hear, field recordings and then a man strumming his guitar, repeating the word 'Pourquoi', whereas in the second there is the same thing with a strange soft repeating sound. Of course volumes have been cranked up, so when the third, a totally distorted (normalize plus 12db) version, kicks in, you have to run to the remote (a spoiler here, right?). The fourth holds volume wise somewhere in the middle of the previous three and has water sounds. This is the version I liked best, but throughout I thought this was all a bit too much for me. Too much outside anything I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blackpetal.com

FREDERICO BARABINO - RUIDO IS NOT NOISE (MP3 by Ruidemos)
EN BUSCA DEL PASTO & ARAGUANEYLEAF - 21.07.08 (MP3 by Ruidemos)
EQUIPO ELEVADOR - PETITES PIECES PIOUR UN JOUR DE FETE (MP3 by Ruidemos)
Three releases from Ruidemos, the net label from Spain, and all three are by Spanish artists, of which I know one, Frederico Barabino (who actually is from Argentina. He offers two long pieces, recorded in "real time with contact microphones in feedback, electric guitar and many effects from laptop". I can be short about the longest piece of the two, entitled 'Noise': the title says it all, and its all about feedback. Quite boring. However 'Non-impulse' is much more interesting: a very silent piece with sounds trying to step out of the silence and only in one instance this happens, in a very wrong (too much reverb) way, but through this piece has some great qualities.
En Busca Del Pasto and Araguaneyleaf played together on july 21st 2008 and recorded six untitled pieces using 'music instruments, objects and electronical sounds'. They dabble, rather than improvise. They pieces have head nor tail, and they work their way through some rumble on objects, some percussive motifs and keyboard like sounds, but I thought it was all a bit too lame. Exactly the right stuff to distribute via MP3, but who's listening?
I also never heard of Equipo Elevador, which seems to be a duo of Antonio Sanchez and Hertz Volta. This material, eigth tracks in total, was recorded between 2000-2001 and revised in 2005. I have no idea which festivity is celebrated for which these small pieces were recorded (a rough translation of the title), nor what it is that these men are equipped with. I believe to have heard guitars, lots of electronics and maybe keyboard (a piano in 'Hurt, Para Doce Pianos'). I might be entirely wrong. Not every track is great, especially the more noise based outings here are quite tedious but the softer ones are quite alright, such as 'Interferencia B' or 'Silenbloc Izquierdo'. The piano piece in all its briefness was the best piece. Certainly worth checking out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ruidemos.org

FALLINGAPPARATUS - NAR TAGEN LETTER ER DET HELE FORBI (MP3 by 8K Mob)
HECTOR ROTTWEILER - BLOK (MP3 by 8K Mob)
Danny Kreutzfeldt is an active man, working on a magntitude of aliases. I never heard of his project Fallingapparatus or his 8KMob net label. Here he releases his final release as Fallingapparatus, probably the harshest thing I ever come across attached to his name. It opens with the fairly straight forward noise blast 'Komment For At Blive', which didn't do much for me. But the remaining five tracks are quite nice, if you love noise mixed with heavy, heavy rhythms. Much energy comes from this, and Kreutzfeldt seems to draw his inspiration from breakcore and gabber music. Just these five pieces would have made a stronger release.
Along similar lines is one Hector Rottweiler, of whom we know its one Jonas Olesen, and who had a netlabel called Bin. He organized techno parties in the 90s as youngster and these days studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. As Hector Rottweiler he plays quite crude electronic music, music reduced to some lowest bits of sound. Loud, but rhythmic. Good quality electronic samples are taken down to a low bit rate, and pumped up with computer gear to make them sound loud and nasty. You could say he took his inspiration from breakcore, yet it doesn't use the same forceful beats and breaks. Just the overtop energy that one knows from noise, but in a more straightforward rhythmic vein. Quite nice, and very much to the point. (FdW)
Address: http://8kmob.dustopper.dk

I8U - 1033 CM (MP3 by Room40)
ASHER - LANDSCAPE STUDIES (MP3 by Room40)
We haven't heard lately of France Jobin, who works since many years as I8U. The seven tracks on this download only release all deal with the string theory, which is one of those scientific things about the Universe which I never understood - like I never understood Stephen Hawking either, not even his public friendly book about time. Perhaps Jobin does better, and the pieces here are build from sine wave like particles that are being processed in the digital realm. It brings us seven pieces of a highly microsound origin. Buzzing bass sound, high pitched peeping sounds, but never 'loud' and certainly never 'noise'. This is text book microsound material, think Richard Chartier, Bernard Gunter or Roel Meelkop, but I8U certainly a strong voice of her own. Quite modern ambient, and very nice at that.
Asher is always present in Vital Weekly it seems. 'Landscape Studies' started out as a multichannel work 'which dealt with interior spaces in several ways' and the six pieces here are best heard as Asher created them. Late afternoon, winter time, windows closed. The pieces all have a great circular like synth playing to them and adds in the background some very obscure field recording - the empty amplified room, perhaps? Of course the Brian Eno ghost, the earliest ambient records, hang like a heavy cloud over this, but it makes a pretty strong work of his own too. Surely one of the more refined moments by Asher I encountered. (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org