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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 657
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week 51
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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

GIANCARLO TONIUTTI - SOUND-FIELD FOR RATTLE-HARP (CD by Alluvial Recordings) *
ORGANUM/Z'EV - TEMPORAL (CD by Die Stadt) *
ASMUS TIETCHENS - ABFLEISCHUNG (CD by Die Stadt) *
SPARTAK - TALES FROM THE COLONY ROOM (CD by Hellosquare Recordings) *
MATMOS - WEST (CD by Autofact)
MERZBOW - ANICCA (CD by Cold Spring)
MICHEL BANABILA - PRECIOUS IMAGES (2CD on Steamin Soundworks)
DEADWOOD - RAMBLACK (CD by Cold Spring)
TRIPLE TREE - GHOSTS (CD by Cold Spring)
THE GUILTY C AND TABATA MITSURU (CD by Even Stilte) *
ANN ROSEN & STEN-OLOF HELLSTROM - LAGRAD (CD by Fylkingen)
JONATAN LILJEDAHL & DANIEL KARLSSON - EVEN WHILE THE EARTH SLEEPS WE TRAVEL BENEATH FROZEN RIVERS (CD by Fylkingen) *
MATTIAS PETERSSON & FREDERIK OLOFSSON - STROM (DVD by Fylkingen)
MATTIAS SKOLD - TAROOM (CD by Fylkingen)
SKOZEY FETISCH - THIS, THEN (CDR by Resipiscent Records)
HANS GRUSEL'S KRANKENKABINET - BLAUE BLOODED TUREN (CD by Resipiscent Records) *
AAAARTYSTTE - 22 SHORT NOISE VIDEOS (DVD by Resipiscent Records)
TOKYO MOROSE - SPECIFIC OCEAN (2CDR by Square Root Records) *
KATCHMARE - GABRIEL'S MISTAKE (CDR by Scissor Death) *
HYPNOZ - BREATH OF EARTH (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
ÜL - III (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
OFF THE SKY - CREEK CAUGHT FIRE (CDR by The Land Of) *
VINCENT BERGERON - LE SAVANT DEVAIT ARRIVER AVANT SONGEUR (CDR, private)
ASCANIO BORGA - XENOMORPHIC (CDR by Afe Records) *
21 JUMPSUIT - I HEARD YOU WERE AWAY (CDR by I, Absentee) *
LUNAR TESTING LAB - SPACE PROGRAM (CDR by I, Absentee)
MACHINEFABRIEK - STUKJES (3"CDR by Machinefabriek) *
CALEB DEUPREE - CATHEDRAL (MP3 by Treetrunk)
NOISH~ + SCMUTE - REALIDAD GRANULADA (MP3 by Tecnonucleo)
SEGMENTATION FAULT! - COREDUMPED (MP3 by No Conventions) *

 

 

 

GIANCARLO TONIUTTI - SOUND-FIELD FOR RATTLE-HARP (CD by Alluvial Recordings)
Its been a while since there was a release by Giancarlo Toniutti reviewed in Vital Weekly. The 3"CD of some time back on Ferns didn't make it and the one before? I can't remember. In fact (I could look this up on the pack of lies called the 'internet', but I rather don't) the releases I do remember of Toniutti were collaborations, with Siegmar Fricke, Andrew Chalk and Conrad Schnitzler. Was the last Toniutti solo record indeed the LP from the 80s? Seems hard to believe, but who knows, it might be true. Although not as extensive as his previous liner notes, there is the usual Toniutti language again: "Taking care (to comprehend and develop) of the interaction between the future sound form and the final ambient function, while approaching the time of the exhibition, I decided to forge some tripartite heuristic processes to compensate the sound field, with an eye (ear) both to the final space and the sonic economy". Say what? But read on and on, because the text does make a few things clear. This is a recording made to accompany an exhibition of Luisa Tomasetig and it uses the Rattle-harp, an instrument, especially built for this occasion and being a 145 x 85 cm drift metal plate and a 1 meter long steel wire, furnished with 6 tintinnabula and accidental bone, wood and additional 10 metre metal wire. One day he made a recording with it and about a year later he 'treats and composes' it, using DAT, reel-to-reel tape recorder, analogue mixer and eq. This hour long work is a trademark piece for Toniutti. The acoustics of the piece, the dragging of metallic sounds, the analogue treatment of the material, the minimal changing of the equalization to make the piece sound different, it all sounds like comfortable Toniutti music. I never figured out why he doesn't want to release more music, as this is certainly great stuff. Surely there is an explain, but I don't have it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alluvialrecordings.com

ORGANUM/Z'EV - TEMPORAL (CD by Die Stadt)
ASMUS TIETCHENS - ABFLEISCHUNG (CD by Die Stadt)
For their third release, following 'Tinnitus' (Vital Weekly 411) and Tocsin (Vital Weekly 459) Z'EV and Organum took some time. Again their modus operandi has changed. For the previous release they went into the studio to improvise and then each took the material home to mix that material. Here it says on the cover 'we worked side by side in Peckham in front of my computer [...] and/but/so Then David took it upon himself', assumingely to finish the material. At the fundament of this recording lies the reworking of basic sound material from the Organum archive back in 2006 by Z'EV and perhaps Z'EV has a much stronger interest in the older work of Jackman then in his later material, say the more dramatic keyboard works of his recent releases. Here, on 'Temporal' the metal sheets of years ago are revived into pieces that are less direct than the old Organum ('In Extremis') and more complex through the use of various layers and filters of sound. In 'Thunder', the longest of the three pieces, things get a bit lost but in 'Glory Sorrow' and 'Eagle' (both around twelve minutes) things are well concentrated and form two great pieces of rawly shaped drone music. Both Organum and Z'EV never cease to amaze me.
Which might be as well possible to say of herr Asmus Tietchens, but 'Abfleischung' only amazes me since I haven't heard it for some time. It was released in 1989 on Hamster Records as part of a four record series: 'Watching The Burning Bride', by Asmus Tietchens and Terry Burrows (owner of Hamster), then 'Abfleischung' by Asmus solo, then 'Whispering Scale' by Terry solo and the fourth one 'Burning The Watching Bride' (by the two of them again) was released in 1998, on Disaster Area. On 'Abfleischung' Tietchens goes back to his old reel to reel tapes from the period 1967 to 1970. Not a remix where one particular sound is remixed but the track in its entirety is reworked. Asmus calls this 'recycling', a much more appropriate word for what he does. He uses the techniques of 1989 to recycle the sounds of twenty years before. No less then twenty pieces are presented on this album (plus two bonus pieces) which last from forty-eight seconds to almost five minutes, but mostly between one and two minutes. Short pieces which were change for Tietchens too. Different methods of treating of the basic material, lead to a variety of similarly titled pieces, such as Mineral 1 to 4 and Modal 1 to 5. This album shows Tietchens at his peak of musique concrete, working with a limited set of sound in a limited frame of time. A fascinating journey of sound with the crackling of tooth combs, metallic rusty sounds and many more highly obscured sound sources. The only thing that makes this a bit dated is the sometimes excessive use of reverb, which perhaps in those days made a lot of sense, but not these days - at least not with me. But throughout a very well needed re-issue on CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

SPARTAK - TALES FROM THE COLONY ROOM (CD by Hellosquare Recordings)
Confidence all around, although not on a world economic level, but down under. Following 3ofmillions quick conversion from CDR to CD, here, from the same scene, follows Spartak, the duo of Shoeb Ahmad (guitar, computer, voice, loops, keyboard) and Evan Dorrian (drumkit, percussion). The latter has a background in jazz music, which can be heard. But there is more to this music. Spartak calls it 'jazz, ambient rock and a post-punk vibe that looks back to the messy noise of The Pop Group and The Ex'. But even that is not the complete picture I think. The glitches of warm laptops are also present. Post rock, jazz, ambient, improvisations, glitch: a curious mixture, certainly when in 'Sunstrokes' also a voice pops up (which sounds a bit like Nigel Ayers of Nocturnal Emissions). Their previous release was a nine minute CDR release, which would have been a great 7", but this seven track CD release is all about confidence. Spartak plays some great music. A strong mixture of various styles, which makes a damn fine unified release. No wonder they invested in releasing a CD of it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hellosquarerecordings.com

MATMOS - WEST (CD by Autofact)
To create an album exclusively on the sounds of human surgery is quite an effort and became probably one of the biggest eye-openers from the San Francisco-based duo Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel. The album titled "A chance to cut is a chance to cure" (Matador, 2001) utilised concrete sounds of slips, clicks and snaps from surgical procedures to create remarkably melodic pieces. Present album titled "West" was originally released two years before the "A chance to cut
is a chance to cure"-album. As the title suggests "West" takes its starting point in the traditional world of western folk music with some great moments of slide guitars from guitarist Mark Lightcap meanwhile guitarist from legendary Slint (and later Papa M) adds other great sound dimensions on a few pieces of the album. Thus the driving force of the album is the collaborations between the two sound explorers in Matmos and guest appearances from various acoustic artists. Matmos manages to keep the atmospheres from the glory days of the western in the otherwise forefront and futurist cut'n'paste-experiments, and this great balance is what makes the album accessible despite its experimental nature. The album reminds of the accessible parts of krautrockers in Faust (circa "Faust IV") and other moments of acts from the postrock-scene, i.e. Mogwai, Tortoise and Godspeed You Black Emperor!. Despite its soon coming 10th anniversary this is an album that sounds just as fresh today as it did in the early millennium. Excellent! (NM)
Address: http://www.a-fact.com/

MERZBOW - ANICCA (CD by Cold Spring)
To begin a review by claiming Masami Akita as "the undisputed king of Japanese noise" would be a cliché that has probably been used 200 times before, counting each time Masami Akita has come up with a new Merzbow-album from his laboratory of sonic extremity. On this latest album "Anicca" released on the excellent British Cold Spring-label, Merzbow presents three pieces of ear-shattering noise. Opening piece titled "Anicca Part 1" is a twenty minutes piece recorded in London just after the well-acclaimed noise event at the Ulu club in April 2008 featuring Merzbow, Satori and Sutcliffe Jugend. The piece separates in its inclusion of improvised freestyle drum-work from Masami Akita. The use of drums adds an interesting rhythm structure in the abrasive work. The contrast between acoustic sounds and electronic noise gives a quite interesting result. The next two pieces has been derived from Munemi House in Tokyo demonstrating Merzbow's ability to control and manipulate harsh sound textures and thus create the effect of hypnotism. Especially the third and final part of Anicca is an enjoyable exploration with the use of sonar sounds as part of the noise texture. Yet another fine work of anti-music from the Japanese legend which 30 years after his first shot still seems to find new paths in his jungle of sonic madness.
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

MICHEL BANABILA - PRECIOUS IMAGES (2CD on Steamin Soundworks)
Releases with new work by Banabila become more sparse in the last few years. His last one was 'Traces' (2007 ), an album of already known compositions in new jackets. Now it is again the turn for Steamin Soundworks to release work by this established ambient-magician. The first CD of this double album contains pieces taken from earlier albums, especially the 'Voiznoiz'- and 'Spherics'-series. If it is so that these albums are hard to get, this compilation makes sense and brings a nice overview of the respective series. Personally I,m more interested in the second cd. With the exception of two tracks everything on this album is new. I don't need further evidence for the craftsmanship of Banabila, but will he able to surprise with new solid compositions or convincing soundscapes. The answer is yes and no. Some of the tracks contain too much sugar for me, and come to close to easy listening, like the track 'A Man in a Room'. Happily there is also a more interesting and even new side of Banabila. The album ends with three lengthy soundscapes that really go deep. Abstracted from melody and rhythm, Banabila designs his most abstract paintings up till now.
'Night' is a true ambient-piece, attracting no special attention but simultaneously it really works as a perfect piece of ambient music. 'Crime Scene' starts with a long intro with sounds generated from gongs and percussion. Halfway Vloeimans enters the scene with this Hassell-like trumpetplaying and a beat is added. 'A Moody Guy's Audible Dream' sounds like a nightmare. It is the most noisy piece, if it ever comes that far on Banabila-albums, filled uneasy and detailed sounds. We have to add that all the pieces on this second album were functionally composed for theatre plays, video and documentaries like the music on that other double compilation album 'Hilarious Expedition' (2005). This is where Banabila makes his money I suppose, as a deserved international breakthrough is still to be awaited...
Banabila is assisted by his old companion Yasar Saka, playing oud in 'Yasar-Salar session' and Eric Vloeimans on trumpet in three tracks. Specials mentioning deserves the guitarplaying by Anton Goudsmit in 'Ears tell us where we are in space'. With the help of these and other musicians, Banabila does it again: an album of warm and well-constructed global ambient music (DM)
Address: http://www.steaminsounds.com/

DEADWOOD - RAMBLACK (CD by Cold Spring)
Swedish sound crusher Deadwood has left the cave, ready to attack the innocent listener with his symphonies of sickness. A couple of years ago Deadwood proved that Swedish power electronics-scene reached far beyond legendary Brighter Death Now with his debut-album "8/19". On his second effort titled "Ramblack", Deadwood continues his explorations into landscapes of sheer darkness and brutality. With a background as vocalist in black metal-band Blodulv, Deadwood knows how to make his voice sound like a chainsaw. Combined with the deep rumbles of power electronics, sounding like the loudspeakers burn from the inside, Deadwood manages to create dark atmospheres. No sweet melody on this one! This time Deadwood has joined forces with another master of the black metal-scene. Norwegian throat-grinder Maniac from legendary Mayhem guests with vocals on one of the seven pieces of the album, adding a more high pitched, yet just as evil vocal. Compared to the power electronics of aforementioned Brighter Death Now, the sound of Deadwood operates in deeper sound levels of crushing electronics resulting in almost drone-based expressions. With "Ramblack", Deadwood establish his position as a true master of contemporary hell. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

TRIPLE TREE - GHOSTS (CD by Cold Spring)
Montague Rhodes James was a medieval noted Scholar and provost of King's College, Cambridge. Born back in 1862 he is probably best known for his classic ghost stories from the 19th century regarded as some of the finest literature ever published in Great Britain. For that reason it seems obvious to create a tribute to this master of medieval ghosts, and who could be more dedicated for his job than two of the greatest composers of neofolk. Anthony Wakeford and Andrew King is best known as part of the project Sol Invictus, that for more than two decades has combined neo-folk and neoclassical influences with electronic experimentation. The comprehensive experiences in that particular field beautifully flourish on this tribute to haunted tales of medieval times under the project flag "Triple Tree". The atmosphere is perfectly accomplished with some beautiful male and female vocal integrated in medieval folk-expressions that stylishly turns associations towards Dead Can Dance. As a contrast to the organic sounds, the electronic part of the album first of all operates in ambient-oriented soundscapes to create haunting atmospheres of ghouls. "Ghosts" is a strong sonic depiction of early ghost stories from M.R. James, inspiring the listener to dive into the dark forces of the medieval author! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

THE GUILTY C AND TABATA MITSURU (CD by Even Stilte)
The Japanese (but with French origin) label Even Stilte have only eight releases - and that since their start in 2003 - no overproduction here, thank god. Their first release was a release by Tabata and Guilty Connector, now this duo returns. Both have a background in music that can easily be described as 'loud'. Guilty Connector as a pure noise act, and Tabata Mitsuru playing guitar and bass for Acid Mothers Temple, Zeni Geva, Leningrad Blues Machine and many more. I expected some heavy noise here too, but somehow that is not the case. There is a strong reliance on keyboards here, even with Tabata contributing on them. These keyboards (unnamed on the cover) play music that owes much more to the world of cosmic music, with their repeating loops, rather than their pink noise of the world of noise music. But things aren't always sweet and fine for this: they add some nasty sound effects to the keyboards and that will no doubt keep some of true cosmic heads away from this, but it adds certainly a lot more bite to the music. Partly hovering in confident fields of music, via those synthesizer sounds, but with high pierced tones somewhere lurking in the back of your skull. And as the disc progresses, things get better and better, such as in the freaky 'Patris'. Very nice collaborative effort. (FdW)
Address: http://es.cho-yaba.com

ANN ROSEN & STEN-OLOF HELLSTROM - LAGRAD (CD by Fylkingen)
JONATAN LILJEDAHL & DANIEL KARLSSON - EVEN WHILE THE EARTH SLEEPS WE TRAVEL BENEATH FROZEN RIVERS (CD by Fylkingen)
MATTIAS PETERSSON & FREDERIK OLOFSSON - STROM (DVD by Fylkingen)
MATTIAS SKOLD - TAROOM (CD by Fylkingen)
With these four (four?!?) CDs/DVDs by Fylkingen came a small note that they were presented during the recent party of the 75th anniversary of this 'experimental art society', and a list of the titles of these four (four?!?). Well, that I can see on the actual four (four?!?) CDs/DVDs - I think I would have preferred a bit more information on each of them, other then the limited notes on the actual digipacks. The release by Ann Rosen and Sten-Olof Hellström contains two 'jointly composed' pieces, taking up more than half the disc, plus two solo by each of them. It seems to me that both of them use the good ol' field recordings, fed through electronic processing machines - most likely the computer - to play some music that is well entertaining in its kind - abstract enough, serious enough - but at the same time isn't that different, new, 'other' than so many others in this field. Even a bit ordinary - just the like the thirteen in a dozen cover: a grainy video imagine. I think there could be more possible than this.
Something a like, a collaboration and solo pieces, comes by Jonatan Liljendahl and Daniel Karlsson, except that they have only one solo piece each and six collaborative pieces. These two (both are unknown to me) operate from a more electronic end of the musical spectrum, with a love for the more harsher aspects of sound. There is the analogue studio of EMS, located below Fylkingen, in which music like this can be taped off the old Bucla and Serge modular synths, which seems to be at the source of this recording. Perhaps treated a bit, to make small loops which interact with eachother. White and pink noise battle, rough edged drone music and other sound effects have been used to make music that is quite harsh, in a noise sense, but luckily enough also knows quieter moments and throughout has the idea of things being 'composed' rather than thrown together as would be a more common noise practice.
Also a collaboration, but with separated tasks for music and image, is 'Strom' ('electricity') by Mattias Petersson and video maker Frederik Olofsson. "The five speakers in the surround system struggle to take over the sonic stream like electro-magnets. Sine waves and noises rotate at breakneck speed around the listeners, try to charge them with static electricity, and, as an ultimate goal, even make them levitate." The five channels are translated into five separate lines that make the video: a black screen with ever changing small lines that looks like electricity waves. As the music gets more intense, so do the images. A very simple idea, that also works fine when reduced to plain stereo, as I have no DVD set up. Maybe the music wouldn't work in a similar strong way when it would have been presented as just a music release, but now it works pretty fine. The images are quite captivating - probably even better when projected on a big screen and not on regular TV, but the sense of electricity, the electric charges being imitated here make a great set in both and visual.
The only solo release, in every aspect, is the one by one Mattias Sköld, and all you can find on his website about his 'Taroom' CD is this: "Loud and informative is one possible definition of the word Taroom according to writers John Lloyd and Douglas Adams. It is, however, also a small town in Queensland, Australia, famous for an unusual windmill design." Nothing on Sköld, but playing his 'Taroom' CD it seems to me he is quite a bit of a Fennesz fan, of grainy guitar textures, courtesy of the computer, but with some more spiky rhythms added to it, which makes the material at more noisy than the usual Fennesz record, especially in a piece like 'Contempt'. Sköld borrows his rhythms from the world of techno, and whatever icing he puts on that from the world of glitch. Although not bad, I am not too pleased either. It sounds a bit too common for me. A feeling of deja-vu (deja-ecoute perhaps?), and Sköld doesn't seem to make a difference that sets him apart from the rest. That is a pity. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fylkingen.se

SKOZEY FETISCH - THIS, THEN (CDR by Resipiscent Records)
HANS GRUSEL'S KRANKENKABINET - BLAUE BLOODED TUREN (CD by Resipiscent Records)
AAAARTYSTTE - 22 SHORT NOISE VIDEOS (DVD by Resipiscent Records)
Mark C. Jackman is a rare species - a man that isn't about overload. His previous release reviewed in Vital Weekly was 'Spectral Freight' (Vital Weekly 360), now he returns with a work already composed in 2001, but for whatever reason wasn't released until now. At the core lies 'quarter inch reel to reel documents of acoustic experiments and years of patch-programming on the analog Roland Jupiter 6 synthesizer', all transferred digitally and then recomposed. In a sense this new album is not unlike his previous one. A computerized digital album of analogue sound sources. The music by Skozey Fetisch is hard to classify: its too loud to be ambient, yet it never comes close to the real noise. It works as insect sounds, buzzing bees, a flock of seagulls. Also like before, I think some of the pieces are a bit too long and it could use some more editing and avoid repetition, or perhaps throw away some tracks altogether. It would certainly make a stronger album, if kept at forty minutes instead of almost sixty. But as said, its quite nice altogether.
Interesting (or perhaps just coincidence), like Skozey Fetisch, the previous release by Hans Grüsel's Krankenkabinet was also released by C.I.P. (see Vital Weekly 520). Back then I talked about their background being a hoax, and the new label continues the information fiction with them working together with members of the Scorpions - bla bla - but more important I guess is the music. Like before they have four pieces, divided into smaller sections, and for each a number of players are mentioned. Analogue synthesizers play the leading part again, mixed with tape manipulations of drums, fairy ground music, and other instruments, all in a rather free spirit. Like before there is a certain west-coast, Los Angeles Free Music Society feeling that is part of this music. Maybe Caroliner has a new name? And as before, I thought this was all a bit too chaotic for my taste.
If I understood correctly the release by Aaartfystte is a re-issue of a cassette released in 1997, but now set to video - twenty-two of them actually - by Brown Whörnet from Austin. The music was made with an invention of themselves called 'oscillo-scopitones', which seems to me some sort of feedback system, but there is also spoken word and rhythm machines, although both occasionally. The music is not very inspiring, but the images make up things quite a bit. Distorted found footage, collage like, images, drawings, and many video effects make a hysterical fast moving pattern, a bombing of images and ideas, of illusions and disillusions, which makes you want to watch until the end. Quite captivating. (FdW)
Address: http://www.resipiscent.com

TOKYO MOROSE - SPECIFIC OCEAN (2CDR by Square Root Records)
Not much unVital music this week, but Tokyo Morose are it, and for once I seem to like it a lot. With the unVital music its not that I mean music that we don't like, but music that might not fit in these pages, simply because we lack the required skills to say anything about it. Tokyo Morose is a three piece, formed early 2007 from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They play acoustic guitar, drums, cello, viola, pump organ and (female) vocals. Sometimes they sound intimate, like a small chamber orchestra, and then things can burst out. Erin Lenau's vocals in 'Here's The Man', with its soaring organ, sound like Nico. Seven great songs in thirty minutes - it would have been a great piece of vinyl. As a sort of bonus there is also a second disc with eleven pieces that are much more experimental and more or less show the band at work - unfinished sketches, reworked into small songs of their own, but as said more sketchy. A few riffs can make a song. This is perhaps where Tokyo Morose do fit into Vital Weekly, and where they sound like an experimental rock group. Easily the most accessible release of the week, and for me, also one of the best of this week. Much pleasure in hearing this, indeed: a whole lot! (FdW)
Address: http://www.squarerootmusic.com

KATCHMARE - GABRIEL'S MISTAKE (CDR by Scissor Death)
Following his 'Lotus Village Plan' (see Vital Weekly 654), here's another release by Katchmare, the musical project of Nick Hoffman, the man behind Scissor Death Collective. "The horror of 'real life' serves as a catalyst in the creation of both these works. If reality can truly be manipulated by sound, there may be hope for a real revolution", it says in the press text. 'Gabriel's Mistake' is a live recording from this summer and is an almost twenty-nine minute work of electronics. A work of sheer minimalism, with a very slow opening sequence of drone like sine waves, until suddenly metal sounds crashing interrupt for a brief moment, and drones return, but in a slightly different form. Towards the end things suddenly erupt again, and that sorts of breaks with the gentle mood before that and things die out over the remaining course to ride. Altogether not a bad work, not great either. 'Lotus Village Plan' I liked better. This one comes with a nice booklet of xeroxed collages. (FdW)
Address: http://www.scissordeath.com

HYPNOZ - BREATH OF EARTH (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
ÜL - III (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
Zhelebeton is a Russian label that distributes a wide spectre of experimental music worldwide. In present case the two releases takes their starting point in the world of ambience. First album comes from Russian sound artist Dmitry Zubov operating under the name Hypnoz. The album titled "Breath of earth" is the third shot from Hypnoz since he began his explorations back in 2001. Having never heard his earlier efforts I can not tell whether there is a change in the approach to the ambient style. Though this particular album is a beautiful piece of work that sucks you in as soon as you begin the forty minutes journey. "Breath of earth" was recorded by Hypnoz in company with fellow artist Evgeny Voronovsky during a night session. The atmosphere is quite emotional changing from melancholic to curiously soul-searching and always moving in a trippy psychedelic vein that turns the associations back to 70's ambient-works. Especially Tangerine Dream's psychedelic space-rock opus "Zeit" comes to mind, thanks to the use of old analogue synthesizers to create cosmic sounds and astral subspaces. Being first of all straight ambient, some clicking beats and minor rhythm textures appears momentarily. Awesome work. Next album comes from a trio based in Argentina, counting Alan Courtis, Fernando Perales and Charly Zaragoza. Their project Ül was formed in 2006 resulting in two albums, this present album being the third shot. Where the aforementioned album was based on electronic sounds, the trio of Ül utilizes acoustic instruments to create their semi-ambient-work. An important instrument in the drone-based work is the guitar, transmitting expressions of feedback resonance and raw sounds of string vibrations. Compared to Hypnoz the style of Ül is more abrasive generally and less trippy. Stylishly the music of the album floats in expressions of noise, post industrial and drone ambient. Good work. (NM)
Address: http://zhb.radionoise.ru/

OFF THE SKY - CREEK CAUGHT FIRE (CDR by The Land Of)
Jason Corder is the man behind Off The Sky, and as such he has had a release on 12K. Term weblabel. I tried to read the information that came with this, but I failed miserably: 'it expands upon the popular idea of extracting subjective/objective inspiration and creative abstraction from vast natural space; but specifically that of the Appalachian (red river) area. The use of an EGG system served to drive different sonic dynamics on the record. A heart rate monitor captured an essence of loose time' - etc. So, should I think that the music on 'Greek Caught Fire' (a title with some newsworthiness these days) is made with medical apparatus? These days I easily believe anything. For all I know it can be true. Maybe its my usual winter medical condition of sneezing and coughing that didn't help, but the good thing is that I played this three times in a row (there was nothing else), and the third time it lulled me to sleep. Medicine against insomnia at work? The music is strongly influenced by the world of glitch: lengthy computer processed field recordings (the hospital) creating abstract, amorphous sound patterns, with vague notions of rhythm - percussive samples by Colin Campbell says the cover. Its all pretty decent material, but nothing, absolutely nothing new under the microsun. But as said, by itself its pretty well recorded and assembled stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.thelandof.org

VINCENT BERGERON - LE SAVANT DEVAIT ARRIVER AVANT SONGEUR (CDR, private)
A new song cycle by this Van Dyke Parks of the 21st century. An absurd 'musical' in form and content. This CD is comparable to the one ('Philosophie Fantasmagorique') reviewed earlier in Vital Weekly. The music is composed and structured along similar principles and procedures, that I,m unable to identify I must say. It is another example of his extraordinary plunderphonic talent. It was around 2004 that Bergeron found a satisfying way of composing, after starting in 1997 playing with sound software. He cites fragments from already - often classical and eastern - music. Kidnapped from their original environment and forced in to the ingenious patterns born out of the fantasy of Bergeron, he creates something completely new. Well, completely new. For some reason I have to think of musicals all the time. In a way he creates songs often sung in a duet with Viveka Eriksson. This makes his music very accessible and physical. Besides, in most tracks Bergeron is helped by several 'real' musicians: Marco Oppedisano (guitars), Marco Rosano (saxes, clarinet), Jörg Fischer (drums), Jurica Jelic (guitar), Frédéric Szymanski (piano), Tiny Orchestra (primitive feel), Markus Breuss (trutruca), Thilo Schacht (noise) and Gregory Jacobsen (noise). The characteristic voice of Bergeron is most of the time in the forefront. The far better voice of Eriksson too a lesser extent. 'Sexy Worm Book' is the exception on this cd. It is a purely vocal piece performed by both, somewhere between speaking and singing. Very expressive and dramatic this song illustrates the backbone of Bergeron's music. It proofs that the sampled make-up is not always necessary. On the other hand his sampled orchestrations of the songs are for sure what makes his music incomparable with anything else. The music also makes the impression of being strongly narrative. No wonder if we realize that the cd is composed while writing a filmscenario! A 60 page script is included as a document on the CDR according to the liner notes, however I couldn't find it on the one I have here. The compositions are by Bergeron and his mates. The lyrics are co-written by Viveka Eriksson. But I guess most comes from the creative mind of Bergeron, mixing old and new material and musical procedures in a very original way. Please do invite this strange angel at your table. (DM)
Address: http://www.freakywaves.com

ASCANIO BORGA - XENOMORPHIC (CDR by Afe Records)
Releases by Ascanio Borga seem to come with the ticking of the years clock. The first three were reviewed in Vital Weekly 550 and then 'Peripheral Vision' in Vital Weekly 600 and little over a year later (57 issues!) his first non-private release on Afe Records. It seems to me that his music has made a nice step forward. Until now it was all mainly non-rhythmic ambient music in the best Hypnos tradition of heavily treated guitar works, here he adds percussion, windchimes, Japanese carillon, frog guiro, samples, found sounds and objects. Three long pieces and one shorter coda 'Raw Ground' at the end of the release. The music is still largely in the ambient sector, with the addition of pseudo ethnic drumming and careful percussion. Somewhere towards the end of 'Apnea' e-bow guitars come in, adding an extra texture of seventies cosmic music. Still there is nothing new under the sun for Borga, but these new pieces mark an important step forward, the deepening of the sound of Borga. It makes a fuller, richer sound, still with all things beautiful. Borga wants to lull you to sleep, late at night and he does a very fine job at that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aferecords.com

21 JUMPSUIT - I HEARD YOU WERE AWAY (CDR by I, Absentee)
LUNAR TESTING LAB - SPACE PROGRAM (CDR by I, Absentee)
Two new releases by I, Absentee, and both are by one man projects. Behind 21 Jumpsuit is Carl States, who is a guitarist, drummer, DJ and producer. He started out with Dorosoto, which then became known as Alpha Aesar (whose completed work made the best release on I, Absentee so far). With his latest incarnation 21 Jumpsuit he mixes electronics with actual playing of instruments. Thus it sometimes takes months to finish a track. It seems, judging these fourteen pieces, that its mainly the live addition of drums and guitars, which lay on top of a bed of electronics. Its of course music made of rhythm, but it has moved away from the world of techno, IDM and such like, and sounds like post-rock, but then much more simple and easy going. His tracks aren't long, nor very complicated and that's nice. The only that seems to working against the album is the number of tracks. At one point, say after the ninth track, I was thinking 'yeah, alright, I know the drill now'. Rock like drums, guitar chords, some shimmering electronics - its been fine. Fourteen is just a bit too much.
But then I wasn't ready for Lunar Testing Lab - twenty-nine tracks, seventy-three minutes. I guess you know how this review will ends? Lunar Testing Lab, name unknown, hails from Pennsylviana and uses a set of more cosmic synthesizers and broken up beats, but here too a certain fragmentary approach works against the album. Its all quite nice, but too fragmented. Why not work out some themes a bit more, make the pieces all a bit longer, and then throw away all the tracks which sound like others anyway. Good chance you'd have ten tracks in forty great minutes. Some tracks could have been nice intros and some pieces could have been sliced together. Now it's unfortunately too much like a sketch book. (FdW)
Address: http://www.i-absentee.com

MACHINEFABRIEK - STUKJES (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
For his latest 3"CDR Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt was inspired by 'Rabbitrun', an album by Keith Rowe, Thomas Lehn & Marcus Schmickler on Erstwhile. I must admit I don't know that one, but 'Stukjes' means 'pieces', like short pieces, sixteen in the total time span of twenty-one minutes. "This is all about the joy of making music", Rutger says, and who can disagree with that? To that end he plays electric and acoustic guitars, guitar effects, steelwool, metal plate, microphone, sponge, paperclips, record player and much more. He could have fooled me, actually. I sat back in my big music chair, watched outside and listened to this (like always when reviewing). To me it doesn't sound like sixteen small tracks, but rather of one big track that happens to be divided into sixteen track codes. It contains all the usual Machinefabriek elements, such as ambient guitars, dusty records, acoustic sounds from various objects and more such like, but none of the tracks gave me the idea of listening to a well-rounded piece of music. Not that I really cared, I must admit, but it me wonder about the motivation to create them as such. Its perhaps all a bit more collage like than some of his recent stuff. Its nice anyway, even when it doesn't add much to his catalogue! (FdW)
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.nu

CALEB DEUPREE - CATHEDRAL (MP3 by Treetrunk)
There is a relation, family that is, between Caleb Deupree and Taylor Deupree, also a musical one. Deupree recorded this work over the period of one year, using piano, field recordings and processing. Hard to believe that is a piano at work here, but well, of course, its processed. That explains thing a bit. Its slowed down, torn apart, ripped to pieces, and then glued back together, using the computer as its concrete, and the various sound blocks as its building stones. One majestic piece of drone music, made from all of these piano sounds and nocturnal crickets, moulded into a piece of dark atmospheric ambience. Music that is not unlike its peers, say Monos, Mirror or Andrew Chalk, more than say all things microsound. Its there, its present, its thick, its layered, its audible - all those things that a lot of microsound isn't. Having said that this is a nice work, clocking at the cool twenty minutes, which I think is the right length, its also a work that hardly holds surprises for the lovers of the genre. Perhaps they don't want any, in which case they can start downloading right away. They won't be disappointed. (FdW)
Address: http://mystifiedmusic.com/treetrunk-records/

NOISH~ + SCMUTE - REALIDAD GRANULADA (MP3 by Tecnonucleo)
SEGMENTATION FAULT! - COREDUMPED (MP3 by No Conventions)
One Oscar Martin sends me two CDRs, which are I think MP3 releases, but I have no idea where he fits in. On his spanish blog (http://www.noisedreamsmachina.blogspot.com) I couldn't find these, nor about his relation to these two. The letter that came with this is at its best 'sketchy'. About Noish~ + Scmute it says: 'delicate explosions of atomic sonorous structures, in counterpoint with series of stochastic surgery that they draw on a noise-mutant universe'. Coffee, anyone? As sources it mentions, 'water of the Montseny, glass, mechanical stairs of the underground and train engine', but they must have been trapped inside the zeroes and ones of the computer. Not really the noise mutant I expected, but quite delicate processing of sounds on the computer. It sounds like some max/msp (or pure data) patch processing sound, but its all quite nice.
Segmentation Fault! is 'a research project, of experimental audio and software, based in the fusion of drones and deconstructed rhythms with a Pd (pure data) programming, joined with a set of a generative video also with Pd' - now that I more or less understand. Clicks and cuts music of a rather crude and raw kind. Not exactly the beats to dance your feet off, since they are a bit too forceful at that, but the mixture of beats, electro-acoustic elements and perhaps 'drones' (glissandi moving in every direction) makes quite an interesting collection. Maybe the pieces are a bit long (between eight and twelve minutes), which could benefit from some trimming down. Things work best when the beats are counted and move more closely to the world of dance music. Both are nice releases, but a bit more information would have been welcome. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tecnonucleo.org
Address: http://www.noconventions.mobi