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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 658
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week 52
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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

 

 

MECHANIQUE(S) - LIVE AT LOGOS, GHENT (CD by Acheulian Handaxe) *
COLIN ANDREW SHEFFIELD - SIGNATURES (CD by Invisible Records) *
DAVID CUNNINGHAM & YASUAKI SHIMIZU - ONE HUNDRED (CD by Staubgold)
SACK & BLUMM - RETURNS (CD by Staubgold) *
RAUSCHGOLD (CD by Staubgold)
RICH JOHNSON - UP THE TURRET MIL (CD by Loyal Label) *
TIBETAN RED - RITUAL BREATHING (CD by Antahkarana Records) *
VIC MARS - KANRANSHA (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
OBA MASAHIRO - PROT (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
HAKOBUNE - WE LEFT THE WINDOW OPEN SOMETIMES (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
LIONEL MARCHETTI/JEAN-BAPTISTE FAVORY - 100.000 ANNEES (2CD by Monotype)
INSCAPE - LILLE-FLANDERS (CD by Monotype)
T. GADOMSKI & T. MIRT - SI SI (CD by Monotype) *
THIS MORN OMINA - INFERNO (CD by Spectre)
KRAKEN - NACHTSCHADE (CD + DVD by Spectre)
ARRINGTON DI DIONYSO - I SEE BEYOND THE BLACK SUN (CD by K Records)
HAEMORRHAGING FETUS - PROCREATION: A DISEASE / TANGLED DESIRES (LP by Gaping Hole)
BERTIN - VIDEORECORDER (7" by Ole Records) *
NUMUW - NANIOU MOUGNE (7" by Ole Records)
WAND AND PRINCESS - BLOSSOMING WOUNDS (CDR by Hashish) *
DEAD KNIGHTS - SOLAR SKELETONS (CDR/ Lathe cut by produck)
THE LATE SEVERA WIRES/FATHER OF THE FLOOD (CDR by Sick Sick Sick)
VERNON & BURNS - SING IT SOFTLY TO THE PEBBLES (CDR by Meagre Resource Productions) *
TEXTURED BIRD TRANSMISSION - BLAZING ANIMAL TRACES (CDR by Dead Sea Liner)
DEAD WOOD/PHANTOM HERON SEAS (CDR by Dead Pilot Records)
87 CENTRAL - OFFICE EXPLODER (CDR by Less Label) *
87 CENTRAL- FEEDBACK (CDR by Less Label)
WYNTR RAVN - DAYLIGHT RAVING (CDR by Deserted Village) *
WEREJU - A STRANGE DARK PLACE (CDR by Deserted Village)
HELIOTAXIS - FROM BEING TO ANNIHILATION (CDR by Dirty Demos)
SINNATAGGEN - STOMPE OG STINE (CDR by Dirty Demos)
I BEFORE E - TRACK AND FIELD (CDR by Dirty Demos) *
PACTA - FRAGMENTS (3"CDR by Tuguska Label) *
CHEAPMACHINES - DISPLACEMENT (cassette by CMX)
AUTOPSIA - FACTORY RITUALS (MP3 by Autopsia) *

 

 

MECHANIQUE(S) - LIVE AT LOGOS, GHENT (CD by Acheulian Handaxe)
Back in Vital Weekly 627, when reviewing a CD by Die Schrauber, I mentioned that I never heard of the band, the people behind it and the label, but I was wrong. 'Endangered guitarplayer' Hans Tammen was reviewed before in Vital Weekly, on three occasions, but surely sometime something slips my mind. All four reviews deal with one important notion: improvised music and this new one is no different. Again a trio disc, this time with one Dafna Naphtali (voice, live sound processing) and Martin Speicher (altosax, bassclarinet), under the banner of Mechanique(s). A recording from 2001 at Logos in Ghent, Belgium. Like the previous release by Die Schrauber, this is certainly quite a stretch to hear. The improvisations are fully loaded - there is always something happening and more often than not, there is a lot of things to pay attention. When the three freak out into free jazz land, I am not interested in joining them. Too hectic, too much jazz, too many notes. When they find peace and tranquility, such as in the opening of 'Precipice' I am, however, all ears. Intense, evocative, powerful. However I must admit that this is a rarity among the craziness of this record. This time I can't blame the sun, as I did before, but some more rigorous editing seemed to be in place, I think. Nice throughout, yet a bit heavy dinner, this one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tammen.org/cds.html

COLIN ANDREW SHEFFIELD - SIGNATURES (CD by Invisible Records)
This is the second release by a new label called Invisible Birds. Their first release was M. Swizynski's 'Films 2007' we reviewed in Vital Weekly 625, although it didn't mention this as a label. The label focuses itself on releasing 'limited edition CDs and DVDs evocative of birds and the landscapes they inhabit', which I think is a very nice selection method for incoming demo's. Colin Andrew Sheffield might better known from the releases on his own label, Elevator Bath, for which he released CDRs and a CD. His 'Signatures' CD has its official release December 10th 2008, the 100th birthday of Olivier Messiaen, another lover of birds and music (probably in that order). Sheffield uses a turntable, old sampler and a 'portable 64-track digital workstation' and no computer on these recordings. On the turntable lies records of nature sounds, birds and water, of which Sheffield carefully selects fragments to sample and layer on his ancient workstation. If you staple enough sounds on top of eachother, then have them slightly out of sync, one can create beautiful drone music, and that's exactly what Sheffield does here. The first three tracks are nice, but it will turn out they are exercises for what is to come: 'Breath Of Day', the fourth and final epic of this, with gramophone hiss and organ like sounds, being stretched out over the course of the twenty-seven minutes this lasts. A true beauty, in all its simplicity. Sometimes the simplest things is enough to get things done. The previous tracks, which lay out what Sheffield wants, eventually, are great too, but aren't of the same beauty as the last one. If it would have been just the first three i would have been equally enthusiastic about this, now I'm probably ecstatic. Great CD. (FdW)
Address: http://invisiblebirds.org

DAVID CUNNINGHAM & YASUAKI SHIMIZU - ONE HUNDRED (CD by Staubgold)
SACK & BLUMM - RETURNS (CD by Staubgold)
RAUSCHGOLD (CD by Staubgold)
When The Flying Lizards scored their big (novelty) hit 'Money' in 1980 I was fifteen and already inspired by punk spirit: I started their fanclub, which I had one member, and the fanclub magazine (one issue, one copy) had press cuttings about them. I gave the 7" away to the nice lads of Kornreiniger some years ago, since they loved it so much when I DJ-ed it, and I have at least ten different 'best of new wave' CDs with the same song. Not very often I get the chance to share these private notions, but then I not often get music by David Cunningham, the man Lizard of then. As a producer his work had nothing to do with novelty music, but it turned me to This Heat shortly after the Lizards and later also to Micheal Nyman. You say, dad, what pop music can do? Here Cunningham teams up with one Yasuaki Shimizu, a renowned jazz saxophonist who also worked with Sakamoto, Laswell and The Orb and various Peter Greenaway film soundtracks. 'One Hundred' has not one hundred pieces, but 'only' eight. It seems to me that this is very much a work of 'let's get together and get something going'. Cunningham with his guitar, footpedals, delays and kalimba, and Shimizu with his tenor saxophone, piano and delays. That's two delays and that is a bit much, certainly when they have a 'loop and repeat' function attached to them. The two musicians find a strong united love for minimalist music. They set out to make a nice ambient background sound of repeating loops of varying lengths, which sound quite nice. I really like them, but then the saxophone is coming on top, in a bit of a jazzy mood, with delay delay delay and that sort of ruins it for me. Of course there is no way of comparing it, not in a light year, but what 'Money' such a great song - its briefness - is ruining things here. If the saxophone would have been down more, the background more 'up' in volume and when tracks would have been half the length, I think a very good CD would have been there. Now it comes across as a pointless freak-out session, which somebody recorded in its entirety without using the editing suite in the next room.
And that certainly can't be said of Sack & Blumm. Roughly two-third of the length of the previous one, but with twenty-three tracks, somewhere between six seconds and three minutes. Harald 'Sack' Ziegler and Frank Schültge Blumm have been around, together and solo, for many years, and unlike their previous, which they recorded on a distance by sending eachother sound files ('musical letters'), this one 'returns' to the old situation of playing together. They play short pieces, with Sack playing the horns and Blumm the guitar and bass, and then everything in between by the two of them. This is not music made on the computer, but 'fitting the pieces together', but in true human interaction on a multi-track tape. Partly improvised, partly composed, this is, as usual, a strange bunch of sketches. Jazz like at times, naive, child-like at other occasions, introspective at again other occasions, folk like, country like. You name it, its there. Maybe the fragmented approach works on your nerves, but they spot a good song, like 'Lord Ley Lyn' and grant it the full length version of three minutes and seventeen seconds. A small radioplay packed as a pop song. You could consider that they would do that for all the tracks, and perhaps not choose the route of fragments, but I quite enjoy this approach. It makes a fresh record throughout, full of pleasant, funny, sad, hilarious and evocative surprises.
The previous mix CD by Staubgold, 'Dinner Music For Clubbers' (see Vital Weekly 611) was well received by this hang-over party animal as post-party music, which it was intended for. No such instructions these time with 'Rauschgold: Alec Empire Plays Staubgold', who mixes together 'droning krautronica' from the Staubgold catalogue, and that's fine: no hang-over while writing this. Throughout the years I think I pretty much heard everything by Staubgold (one of the best labels in my book of labels), and Empire harks through the entire catalogue for this mix. I have no idea who this is intended for... Empire fans in need for the introduction to a great label? A reminder for true Staubgold fans? An introduction for those who still don't know? I don't think I will ever understand the mechanics of rock business and why this is needed, but it's surely a great historical ride presented here, with music by Irmler/Reuber, Groenland Orchester, Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Mapstation, Schwabinggrad Ballett (now that's a new name for me), Organ Eye, The Loop Orchestra, Autistic Daughters, Faust, Harald Sack Ziegler, Die Weltraumforscher, Heaven, Klangwart, Beta Erko, Paul Wirkus and an outro by Empire himself. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

RICH JOHNSON - UP THE TURRET MIL (CD by Loyal Label)
Its not cool to say so, but sometimes I just fail to understand things. For instance the release by Rich Johnson, which I spun twice in a row and then still didn't understand it. Johnson is a trumpet player, who also touches the acoustic guitar, piano, laptop and mixes it with glitch, sampling, musique concrete. His inspiration comes from Bob Dylan, Don Cherry, Low, Kenneth Galburo, Fugazi and Jimmy Giuffre. What gives me a hard time, is what to think of this? The eleven pieces are a mixed bag of goodies. There are gentle glitches, there are heavy guitars and computer distortions (in the title piece), there are traces of improvisation. That's all clear. What I don't seem to get right is this: do I like this? Is it good? Or is the variety of the material in its way? I don't know. With some of these pieces, like the title piece, I think its all too plain and simple, but then its not bad either. Then I play it again, listen more closely and think: yeah, no, this is great. Nicely atmospheric, put together in a nice way, good moves, nice pieces. I read in the press text that 'this is a grower' and I think, you're damn right, this album is a grower. An odd bunch of pieces, more like a compilation, but then one in which all the pieces seem to fit in neatly. A grower indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loyallabel.com

TIBETAN RED - RITUAL BREATHING (CD by Antahkarana Records)
Since many years there is Tibetan Red, but only in the recent years he has been releasing more and more music. I must admit I am a keen follower of his work. Some of it is great, while other is good, but never bad, and 'Ritual Breathing' is no exception. The central theme of 'Ritual Breathing' is 'air': sounds from the air, sounds produced with air and instruments dealing with air, such as the shakuhachi and didgeridoo. Tibetan Red is the master of layering, 'massed sounds' as he calls it. He mounts a seemingly endless pile of similar sounds on his computer and then starts to mix them. They fade in and out, making a dense sound field of drone music. Its hardly a wonder that this work is dedicated to Eliane Radigue, with whom Tibetan Red seems to be sharing a fascination for all things buddhist. On the cover he says he wanted to avoid a narrative and that seems to be working well. This is pure drone music, but with enough variation within each of three lengthy pieces to make things once again a fascinating journey. It easily matches the best work I heard of him so far, 'Fouta Djalon' (see Vital Weekly 566) - this new one is equally great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.salvadorfrancesch.com

VIC MARS - KANRANSHA (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
OBA MASAHIRO - PROT (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
HAKOBUNE - WE LEFT THE WINDOW OPEN SOMETIMES (CD by Symbolic Interaction)
Some weeks ago I was completely blown away by an album released on the Japanese label Symbolic Interaction. It was the album titled "The black and white album" from two of Holland's most prolific artists Frans de Waard and Roel Meelkop under the project Zebra. The album was an interesting mixture of avantgarde electronics and clubbish electropop. Now the time has come for another three releases from the Symbolic Interaction label. All three discs have been housed in slick ejector case with cover-art covering half the size of front, a quite original package in itself. The containment of all three albums belongs to the gentle downbeat areas of electronic music. First album comes from Matthew Davies composing under the name Vic Mars. Vic Mars combines classical elements of orchestral soundscapes with gentle electronica. The rhythm textures on the album titled "Kanransha" change between breakbeat-patterns and acoustic sounding percussion. Overall the acoustic expressions have quite an impact on this first album and it certainly is a satisfying experience all way through. The album closes with four remixes by different acts that gives their own personal interpretation of the sound of Vic Mars, though all four interpretations sticks to the gentle style of the original album-tracks. The same thing can not be said about the next album reviewed here from the artist called Oba Masahiro: On this album the final remixes of the original works takes the listener far away from the easy gentle tones of Oba Masahiro, never the less very interesting indeed! Oba Masahiro works in beautiful sound-spheres with his mixture between ambient and downbeat IDM. Clicking beat pulses gently follows the ethereal soundscapes of electronic ambience and acoustic sounds of piano. Momentarily the atmospheres are strengthened by some excellent female vocals. The aforementioned remixes on this disc comes from among others Dutch sound artist Frans De Waard acting under the interesting style of his Freiband-project. Frans de Waard pulls the gentle tone of Oba Masahiro into much more demanding sound worlds. The melody has disappeared and what is left is clicking abstract pulses accompanied by subtle noise drones. The piano sounds of the original works have been changed to short high frequency inputs adding a dark and threatening atmosphere; thus a sharp contrast to the mild atmosphere of the original works. Very interesting interpretation! The same can be said about the remix from Motorofaam. This time the original sounds are sucked into club-friendly territories with repetitive samples giving a trance-inducing effect meanwhile technoid rhythms adds to the physical style of the remix. Excellent. Last album comes from the composer Hakobune. As the title "We left the window open sometimes" suggests, there is a dream-like melancholy on this album. Of the three albums this is the most classic ambient album drawing associations towards classic releases from Brian Eno. The atmosphere is deep and lush with the electronic soundscapes assisted by gentle guitar strums. The remixes from Jason Sloan, Capricornus and David Tagg keeps the style of the original five pieces resulting in an awesome soothing ambient piece recommended for everyone longing for deep and isolated listening. Three high quality ambient/downbeat albums from Symbolic Interaction. Do keep an eye on this label! (NM)
Address: http://www.symbolicinteraction.net

LIONEL MARCHETTI/JEAN-BAPTISTE FAVORY - 100.000 ANNEES (2CD by Monotype)
INSCAPE - LILLE-FLANDERS (CD by Monotype)
T. GADOMSKI & T. MIRT - SI SI (CD by Monotype)
A few questions can be raised about the disc by Lionel Marchetti and Jean-Baptiste Favory. They each have their own music on a separate disc in this package; why is that? A cunning marketing trick perhaps, to sell music of the unknown Favory through the relatively more known Marchetti. Otherwise there seems to be no link between the two artists and their solo works. This brings me to my second question: why are almost all the liner notes in French? It seems that the Marchetti work was already recorded in the early 90s and released by Metamkine in 1995 and its a long collage of plunderphonic source material. Music, snippets from records, tapes, TV, radio and some electronic music are mixed together. Certainly a nice work indeed but perhaps at seventy-two minutes also a bit long. The liner notes on Favory's work are in English and his electronic piece is 'inspired by the movement of the seven celestial bodies closest to Earth with the sun as a central axis. Each planet is represented by one synthetic sound, modulated by an inaudible concrete sound to obtain an effect of constant and partly random evolution'. Its an entirely different kind of work than Marchetti's. Shimmering electronics that seem to cook and boil in a frying pan, with geiger counter, seismographic sounds and radio sounds lurking underneath. Quite an interesting work in the field of ambient meets musique concrete and evocative, powerful (not in the harsh sense) drone music.
Much more information, in English, can be found on the release by Inscape, the duo of Eric LaCasa and Jean-Luc Guionnet. As Inscape they deal with 'site-specific listening installations', 'principally on the notion of 'background noise'. The review of their CD can never really deal with all the implications of their project (otherwise I'd be retyping the entire booklet), but they more or less scan the environment where a project is by means of audio and video, which are used in a live concert or an installation piece. 'Lille-Flanders' was made in 2004 at a disused postal sorting office, now a cultural space and a list of sounds is in the booklet. Best is to sit back and let the music just roll about. Cars passing, trains, water meter, the rain falling, incidental music from the nearby train station etc. Its all there. Other than LaCasa's solo work, this is more a collage like approach on sounds, with a bit more rapid mixing than in his solo work. It makes a small, but significant difference and it makes a beautiful piece of music. A very fine and solid work of field recordings.
I never heard of T. Gadomski nor of T. Mirt. Judging by their names I assume they are from Poland. They use a variety of instruments, such as harmonium, gongs, trumpet, Korg MS 10, Yamaha DX9, wind whistle, shaker, train whistle, voice, and more such like. Although the music is quite nice, its not easy to pin it down to any genre, as its crossing various genres. The main thing is fourth world music, especially through the use of the trumpet (think Jon Hassell), in combination with Brian Eno like ambience and some current day microsound like computer sounds (or perhaps these are the numerous synthesizers used on the album). There is also an element of improvisation in these pieces and the result is great. Relaxing music, but not in a new age sense of the word, but maintaining an experimental edge that keeps things interesting throughout. Now here's an example of ambient music that moves outside the strict dead end alley and does something that isn't new either (see the various Eno collaborations with Hassell, Budd and Laraaji), but its a voice seldom heard, and that's great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

THIS MORN OMINA - INFERNO (CD by Spectre)
This Morn Omina is a Belgium-based project that opened its musical explorations in the ambient-spheres back in the 90's, however it was with their change into rhythmic noise/technoid industrial-trance that the project started to become a well-known project. Especially with the "7 Years Of Famine" album on German label Ant-Zen Recordings, This Morn Omina clearly marked a stylish change in the musical approach. With the latest effort titled "Inferno" the project returns to the original sound. The album consists of three lengthy pieces running between 15 and 19 minutes. The style is dark ambient. Where the characteristics of previous releases were the upbeat rhythms, "Inferno" shines with the complete lack any rhythmic intervention. Despite the dark and sinister expression that draws associations back to Lustmord's "The place where the black stars hang" (Soleilmoon, 1994), the album contains discreet melodies of warmth and emotion spiced with samples of spoken words and acoustic instruments. Interesting change and well executed by the Belgium artist Mika Goedrijk calling himself This Morn Omina. (NM)
Address: http://www.spectre.be

KRAKEN - NACHTSCHADE (CD + DVD by Spectre)
Another impressive release from Spectre is the latest effort by Belgium project Kraken. Behind the project you find the two sound artists Joris Vermost and Ricardo Gomez. Kraken has since it's beginning in the late nineties, had a strong focus on the ambient style. On this their sixth album carrying the title "Nachtschade", Kraken operates in the spheres of dark ambient built on low frequency drones, samples of concrete and artificial sounds. Also the use of spoken words is a frequent source to the style, this time spoken words includes Dutch and Iranian language; the latter with an alluring style of hypnotic ritual chant accompanied by atmospheric ambientscapes. Awesome indeed! The music is subtle and dreamy thanks to the drones of hypnotism and the distantly echoed voices as well as a clever use of field recordings. Even with the occurrence of the great amount of samples from real life, accompanying you as you float through the tunnels of eerie ambientscapes, the atmosphere on the album first of all delivers a sense of isolationism. The release also includes a very interesting DVD from Kraken, showing another interesting side of the project. The soundtrack to the visual part is remixes of older works and the combination of audio and video works extremely well. Excellent CD/DVD-set from Kraken! (NM)
Address: http://www.spectre.be

ARRINGTON DI DIONYSO - I SEE BEYOND THE BLACK SUN (CD by K Records)
Everything on the cover of this release is a bit hard to read: you know I love those (not really). I figured out the title 'I See Beyond The Black Sun' and its by one Arrington De Dionyso, who combines throat singing with bass clarinet, which is of course a strange combination and perhaps not easy to combine at the same time. Otherwise there is no information on the website, which describes this album as 'a raga influenced anthropological meditation'. Its indeed a highly minimal affair of sustaining tones, both from the bass clarinet as well as throat, and I believe the pieces use multi-track recording to create various phasing layers of sound. Its quite alright, although the first few pieces sound alike. Two of these lengthy ones would be OK, and then the title piece, with its loud drumming, which makes surely a difference already quite a positive impression. Nine tracks at almost an hour, including a fifteen minute bonus piece, is a bit too much to digest all at once, certainly when some pieces sound too much alike. But as said, half of this at one time, is absolutely great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.krecs.com

HAEMORRHAGING FETUS - PROCREATION: A DISEASE / TANGLED DESIRES (LP by Gaping Hole)
I've had this 12inch around for about a week before playing - I was hoping not to be disappointed- but it lives up to both its promise and its PR. 3 tracks of sheer walls of noise -fairly continuous low roar- like escaping stream, jet engine, Apollo lift off kind of thing, with shards of feedback. H.F. is Anthony Shaw - he makes harsh noise. Ergo HF = HN . And that might be sufficient - but just two small points- technically this is excellent- it takes both some skill- but much more the bravery not to glam up or add to the totalizing noise, and the confidence to release a work into a genre which is in some areas is imploding back into musicological and/or political sterility AKA pussyfication. To those who assert noise is just another musical genre this LP offers the lie. Noise is not music but the sound of the end of the world. Best release of 2008. (Jliat)
Address: http://www.snse.net

BERTIN - VIDEORECORDER (7" by Ole Records)
NUMUW - NANIOU MOUGNE (7" by Ole Records)
The best track, in my humble opinion, of Bertin's 'Joyeux' (see Vital Weekly 542) is 'Videorecorder' and I am not really surprised that someone thinks the same, and wanted to put it out on a 7" record. I don't think that when Daniel Miller put out his The Normal 7" 'TV OD', could have imagined this to be the classic track which can be found on so many compilations. Or 'Being Boiled'. Likewise I think 'Videorecorder' is of the same classic nature. I heard it back in 2006 and now, I know its only two years, it still sounds great, and I am sure it will sound great in twenty-five years when its hailed as an early twenty-first century classic. Up tempo rhythm, casio's running amok and the simple lyrics, singing the joy of a videorecorder. To be found on many compilations in twenty-five years and graced with remix CD version thereof. If not, I'll eat a hat. The b-side is a new track of stomping casio tunes, loud, vicious and weird. No vocals here. Copies (well, not mine) come with a DVD-R with the excellent home video clip Bertin made for this piece - which I think is also on YouTube.
I have never heard of Numuw, who did a mix of 'Naniou Mougne' by one Ndiaga Mbaye. I am aware of the love of some of the Ole personnel for ethnic music, and this is what I think: they found the original somewhere on a record and had one Mumuw remixing this piece, adding some more beats, some breaks, more bass in order to make a curious cross-over of ethnic music and electronic music, which would certainly raise an eye-brow if you spin this at a party (where Bertin's 'Videorecorder' would have a bigger impact on the dance floor). Here too a videoclip is added of naval activity, which I fail to see the relation with - although I could think of some. One side only, also a small tradition for Ole, this is a very fine 7" too. Also with a DVD-R of various vague video's which I fail to understand, but it looks good. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ole-records.nl/

WAND AND PRINCESS - BLOSSOMING WOUNDS (CDR by Hashish)
In a handwritten comes the release by Wand And Princess, being one Isabelle and George, who are probably from Greece and 'Blossoming Wounds' is their fourth release, following a self-titled debut in 2007, and 'Fatigue' (2007) and 'Yellow Ship' (2007). Their label name Hashish may indicate something about the circumstances under which the music is recorded. Seven tracks, over more than hour of music. It might well be that the substances inhaled during the recording and perhaps it leads to a less rigorous selection when it comes to finishing a disc. They are a duo of lo-fi drone music. Overtones are conceived by guitars and their effect boxes, with amplification maintaining the sustain and the polite form of feedback. Their music meanders about, is never loud and dirty, but kind and nice. If I wouldn't know, I could easily suspect this music to be recorded and released in New Zealand. It shares the similar quality of lo-fi-ness, both in music and in cover art. Neo hippie drone music but that would perhaps sound a bit cruel. This is quite nice and I think they should step out of their private world and seek to release their music on like minded labels. I am sure they would pick on it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/wandandprincess

DEAD KNIGHTS - SOLAR SKELETONS (CDR/ Lathe cut by produck)
This makes for an interesting release - for those of no technical savvy CDs
play from the middle out - whereas of course the old vinyl plays from the
outside in.. (everybody's got something to hide except for me and my
monkey.) soooo here the Cd has one track and on the same surface is a lathe
cut track. The noise is fairly slow evolving layered distortion probably of
found sounds and reversed vocal detritus- that was at least the CDr - moving
the polar bear and elephants to let me use the deck (I'm serious but wont
explain) the lathe cut at around a minute @ 45 rpm - which seemed right was
far far better. The quality - and surface media noise enhanced the fairly
bland and typical low/sloo noise into a much more organically interesting
piece - which not having a run out groove ends with the stylus crashing into
the centre spindle. Great stuff. Worth getting if only for the novelty - but
here could I say is an opportunity for someone - hopefully the Dead Knights
(awful name - change it!) to use old CDrs as lathe cuts and so bring Rons
(of RRR) re-cycled cassettes up to date. The CD surface gives a remarkable
low fi sound. an interesting and promising potential - (jliat)
Address http://www.produck.tk/

THE LATE SEVERA WIRES/FATHER OF THE FLOOD (CDR by Sick Sick Sick)
Two new bands here, both from New Mexico. "Father of the Flood is a relatively new project in the desert noise scene and is one of the loudest" it says on the website but I think this is not that loud at all. Not soft either, but it works through methods of collage, going from noise to introspective piano motifs, which seems to last much longer than the noise, so there you go. All captured in one long track, but me thinks it should have chopped to various pieces. Quite nice actually. The other is a band, The Late Severa Wires, with drums, guitars, bass and a turntablist. Their tracks, seven in total, were recorded at the KFJC studios in California and they show the bands love of improvisation in the rock band format, but the electronic aspect is never forgotten here. It plays a quite important role, either when recording the material or in the post production. Their second track (no titles) sounds like it has been cut-up, removing tiny seconds of sound. The Late Severa Wires are probably more noisy than Father Of The Flood, but they are also the rock band, with refined love for all things improvised and experimental. Quite a nice release. Lo-fi but great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sicksicksickdistro.com

VERNON & BURNS - SING IT SOFTLY TO THE PEBBLES (CDR by Meagre Resource Productions)
Every time in the last week I had this on, I was thinking 'ok, this time we'll hear the story', but every time I am too distracted to actually hear the story. Vernon & Burns are creators of radio plays - among a lot of other things, such as their band Hassle Hound. But mostly known from radio plays, in which a story is important, as well as the sound that comes with it. 'Sing It Softly To The Pebbles' was recorded for an exhibition in Glasgow and has 'spontaneous stories, improvised music and field recordings'. The music is played by a variety of people, Vernon & Burns of course, but also Katy Dove, Belinda Gilbert Scott and Sarah Kechington. The stories are told by Wendy Woolfson with a great intonation. Every time the music, which comes plenty here, distracts me from the stories, so I still have no clue what they are about, but it makes a damn combination with the music, which seems to be recorded in a rather naive fashion, a bit like Sack & Blumm (see elsewhere), direct in front of the microphone, on what seems at times toy instruments. In the final stage, the mixing, Vernon & Burns show their greatest quality, that of melting the various input sources together into a truly fascinating play. The voice, the story may no longer seem the central point of attention, but its the whole thing, the total package of sound and words that make this once again a highly wonderful and fascinating journey. Better than anything you'll ever hear on a radio. (FdW)
Address: http://www.meagreresource.com

TEXTURED BIRD TRANSMISSION - BLAZING ANIMAL TRACES (CDR by Dead Sea Liner)
DEAD WOOD/PHANTOM HERON SEAS (CDR by Dead Pilot Records)
Still Textured Bird Transmission remains a mystery. They have had a bunch of CDR releases, on Gold Sounds and Dirty Demos, and several for Dead Sea Liner. This is from a world in which 'progression' or 'new ideas' play hardly a role and things remain as they are. Which of course is a valid choice too, but one that puts the reviewer in difficulty. Textured Bird Transmission play cosmic, psychedelic drone music on a bunch of old analogue synths, tape-delay and some low level distortion pedals, I wrote before and its valid. Six lengthy pieces of music, almost an hour worth of music, created along the previous lines: they seem to me outtakes from longer parts, jams that lasted hours and hours. Just one candle was lit, some incense burned (yuk), illegal substances at hand and jam along in good spirit. Also written before, and also still valid. No progress was made here either. Nice one, again. Again. Quite nice, once again.
Although a different website, in the same parcel came a release on Dead Pilot Records, and I believe Adam of Dead Sea Liner is the man behind Phanton Heron Seas. He does the equal numbered tracks on this release. Dead Wood (being a different one that NM reviewed last week, namely Adam Baker (of Dirty Demos fame)) with the unequal numbered tracks. Its interesting that both projects make music that is quite similar. I play this from my computer to my home stereo, and the play list is hidden, but over the course of these forty minutes, things stay on similar ground. Highly processed field recordings, mingled with electronic data streams from various computer plug ins. It makes music that is highly microsound in approach, much along the lines of Marc Behrens and Roel Meelkop, but with enough style of their own. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.deadsealiner.co.uk
Address: http://www.deadpilotrecords.co.uk

87 CENTRAL - OFFICE EXPLODER (CDR by Less Label)
87 CENTRAL- FEEDBACK (CDR by Less Label)
These two releases are on Jeff Carey's own Less Label, which will act more like a digital label, than an actual physical label, although they can be had on CDR as well (which I urge to get, since its the better sound quality to be preferred over good quality MP3, me thinks). The first release is an EP with a 'deconstruction of sounds taken from the studio sessions of the recent Office-R(6) release 'Recording The Grain' (see Vital Weekly 649). Carey is a member of Office-R(6) and has therefore access to the bands recordings and in good fashion that goes with projects like these, all material can always be remixed, reworked and recycled. Office-R(6) is a band of improvisation, the meeting of instruments and laptops and they play some intense music in that area. What Carey does here however is take various blocks of the sound and places them in a more chronological order, repeats some and adding some, making it perhaps more into songs, or perhaps more safely: into pieces of music. The improvisation aspect is removed in favor of a more composed sound. How much I like the original improvised sound of this band, I must say that these three pieces are excellent compositions. The traces are there, but it somehow all makes more sense. Very nice.
The second release is a re-issue of the self-titled LP which was released years ago on ERS Records, and apparently not reviewed in these pages. This new version has a different order of the pieces, as originally intended, but for technical reasons not possible on the LP format. This is entirely different music than the previous one. Carey deals here with feedback, along with some instruments such as 'cello system', 'kalimba cello system' and 'two pass'. All of these are fed into the mixing board and then doubled, trippled with the feedback generated by the infamous no-input mixer. Its been a while since I heard the original record, but listening to this again, on CDR, made me realize that this is a great ambient record. Gliding and sustaining tones fly low over the ground, occasionally hitting the surface and the bump may cause a new action to develop as slowly and majestically as the previous action. Even at the time when this was first released, in the early years of this millennium, this wasn't the newest thing in drone music, but Carey executes things with care and patience. This is still a true beauty - and I know people like vinyl but I think it sounds so much better on CD. A most welcome re-issue. (FdW)
Address: http://lesslabel.radiantslab.com/

WYNTR RAVN - DAYLIGHT RAVING (CDR by Deserted Village)
WEREJU - A STRANGE DARK PLACE (CDR by Deserted Village)
Behind Wyntr Ravn are Jane Austen of Avanti Maria and Currer Bells and Gavin Prior of Toymonger and United Bible Studies. Fifteen tracks can be found on their debut release 'Daylight Raving' and its mayhem time. Samples of keyboards, a bit of voice, a bit of noise, feedback, pop again, electro-acoustic collage - all recorded with a charming lo-fi sensibility. Music that doesn't sound like coming from Ireland, but more a German thing. A melting pot of styles and ideas, some worked out, some not, but with a lot of energy and speed of its own. Its less from the world of improvised and noise music, if that is what you would expect based on their background and this label, but much more electronic. Mutant disco - had that not be reserved for something else.
Something entirely different is Wereju of whom it seems like only a few months that i reviewed 'Through The Depths Of Unknowing', but it was really in Vital Weekly 573. Cathal Rodgers is behind Wereju, and his 'A Strange Dark Place' is not unlike his previous 2CD release. Guitars play the all important role again, and they are spiked up with loads and lots of sound effects. Drone music is optima forma. Dark, deep and atmospheric are the keywords to this particular dead end alley of music, and it fits to the music of Wereju. This time it seems that Wereju has moved from say Colin Potter or Paul Bradley to a more Lull oriented sound, but these are the minor differences that comes with the territory. The best piece is 'Is This How It Should End', with its a little bit of sunlight allowed on the winter morning. Wereju does play some great dark mood music, that however holds nothing new under the sun, but throughout its well done. (FdW)
Address: http://www.desertedvillage.com

HELIOTAXIS - FROM BEING TO ANNIHILATION (CDR by Dirty Demos)
SINNATAGGEN - STOMPE OG STINE (CDR by Dirty Demos)
I BEFORE E - TRACK AND FIELD (CDR by Dirty Demos)
A three piece suite is Heliotaxis: Mark Hadsell (on 'lows), Corey Bauer ('Shrills') and Myles Bisi (percussions). They are from Brooklyn, NY and the two pieces on 'From Being To Annihilation' (track titles are 'Being' and 'Annihilation') and its a pretty chaotic psychedelic rock affair which isn't too well recorded. I gather that comes part of the esthetic that is usual for bands like this. Free form stuff that is probably nicer to play or to witness live than to play on the CDR at home. It lacks the rawness that it surely has when heard loud in a small, smokey club (no doubt not many around anymore).
Following 'Lille Hus', his debut 3"CDR on Dirty Demos (see Vital Weekly 601), here is a full length (thirty minutes) by Hamish, a member of Rasmus Clausen. He has changed a little since we last heard of him. He still works from that popmusic angle, but is seems to me that he has changed his modus operandi. His music is still very rhythmic in approach, but more dark. Computerized, processed field recordings are added, but the joyous overtones have disappeared from the menu. That is a pity, I think, since he seemed to be on a such good course. Now only '3 Rolls' seems to get near to what he did before. This is not bad music either, and perhaps fits the season, but maybe I like things to be a bit more frivolous with this kind of music.
As I Before E labelboss Adam Baker (also known as Dead Wood) works together with Nick Davidson of Pinkeye/Orange Eye. Their 'Track And Field' was already recorded in 2006 but for whatever reason its now released. Its a strange and curious pastiche of dance music rhythms - glitch, techno, dub, drum & bass - mixed with a variety of field recordings and other curious sounds. More like an example of 'lets sample some high brow techno (et al) stuff' and see if we can do it as well. That usually doesn't work very well if you are trying to create music that is actual dance music, and as such I Before E fail a bit, but its throughout a brave attempt in creating 'different' music. The most coherent piece they get together is 'Misconception', with a raga like vocal, dubby rhythm and alien synthesizers. If they would try their hands more on that, they would actually make a coherent album. The right ideas are there, but a serious beat master would be of great help. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dirtydemos.co.uk

PACTA - FRAGMENTS (3"CDR by Tuguska Label)
In the past I reviewed various releases by C-J Larsgarden, but never (I believe) his side project Pacta. He also works as Ondo and has ongoing collaborations with Frank Rowenta, with Julien Louvet (as Yrsel) and A Perfect Friend (with Thomas Denver Jonsson). As Pacta he walks the melancholiac path, armed with a guitar and a laptop, filled with some field recordings. The seven pieces here are indeed 'fragments' as the title implies. Larsgarden tinkles away, there are sustaining sounds, bits of outdoor recordings, which never seem to be traced back to anything, and there is throughout a pleasant, atmospheric mood on this release. An easy, quick approach to music however its not a 'lazy' approach. What he does, he does with great care and style. Not a rushed job. Nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pactasuntservanda.se

CHEAPMACHINES - DISPLACEMENT (cassette by CMX)
There was a time when Cheapmachines were to be found frequently in the reviews of Vital Weekly, but the last few years it has been a lot less. That's one break with the past, the other is the music. His old CDR releases dealt with a combination of noise and musique concrete, but his more recent work moved towards the more atmospheric music, drone based and gentle. Now the format has changed too, into cassette, the last sound carrier still standing (?, well perhaps a more romantic notion on my side) and was recorded in London, New York and Washington between September and November 2007. The ambient drone lines set out are continued here. Highly processed field recordings (I assume) are moulded into stretched out fields of sound that glide over each other in a most gentle way, almost like 'real' ambient which you can find on Hypnos or Gears Of Sand. A very distinctive break with the past, this one, but that's fine. Cheapmachines walks new paths and that's great, even when those paths aren't exactly new either. For him they are and that's fine. Excellent stuff. Perhaps a pity its on a cassette only. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cmx.org.co.uk

AUTOPSIA - FACTORY RITUALS (MP3 by Autopsia)
Although I tend not to make a habit out of this, mixing my reviews with personal petite histoire, here is a nice story, which recently came up in an interview on my own activities with cassettes in the 80s: "I didn't make a living out of it. I do remember wanting to put the cassette by Autopsia, and had no money, so I washed my fathers car and got 10 guilders, so I could xerox the covers." I could make as many as 200 cassette covers of the 'Vivo' cassette which Autopsia send me earlier. As far as I can remember it didn't have much info, and looking back I am not even sure if it was supposed to be released by me. The name Autopsia I picked up before and quite liked their sampling madness of orchestral tunes and industrial rhythms. I think much of my cassette ended up on the 'Wound' CD, released somewhere in the 90s. This download only release by Autopsia harks back to those glory days, and it was conceived for an exhibition in Belgrade in 1989, and contains 'sampler & computer free recordings' from 1985-1988. I assume it was made with splice and loop of good ol' reel-to-reel recorders. None of the seven pieces sound like the music I released, and seems to me, with the benefit of looking back, the forerunner or their early CD releases, like my beloved 'Death Is The Mother Of Beauty'. Quite orchestral, with humming and chanting voices, choir like and cerebral. This is still the Autopsia that I like, the one that leaps from memory, when I think of them. Static pieces with not many changes, but which have a trance like character. I gather if I would encounter this today for the first time, I would probably not like it as much, and denounce it to be 'gothic', but at the time I heard it first, I thought it was great, and now, twenty-five years it still stirs up good memories. (FdW)
Address: http://www.autopsia.net