number 665
week 7


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

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* noted are in this week's podcast

JASON KAHN & TAKEFUMI NAOSHIMA - IN A ROOM (CD by Winds Measure Recordings) *
SHINKEI/LUIGI TURRA - YU (CD by Non Visual Objects) *
HEXLOVE - PIJA Z BOGIEM (2CD by Dreamsheep)
APSE - ERAS (LP by Equation)
BOB MARSH - EIGHT (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
NICK HENNIES - PATHS (CDR by Thor's Rubber Hammer Productions) *
GI GASPARIN - 24 SOLI (CDR by Lunhare/Lethargy)
JEPH JERMAN - NAAU/TRUNK SPACE (CDR by Lunhare/Lethargy) *
OLEKRANON - GAITAN (CDR by Inam Records) *
SUJO (3"CDR by Inam Records) *
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - CANDLE & FOG (cassette by Attic Cassettes)
MORTEN RIIS - DIGITAL SOUND DRAWINGS (download by Cronica Electronica)


Obituary: Jorge Reyes




If I'm not mistaken, though I usually am, this is the fourth collaborative work between BJ Nilsen, H. Thorsson and S. Berg Sigmarsson, the latter two known as Stillupsteypa, and by now mostly, or perhaps even solely, known from their collaboration with BJ Nilsen - I never heard much from them. The good news is: this is another great disc. The bad news, if one chooses it to call it so: there is nothing new under the previous suns that were produced by the trio of releases on The Helen Scarsdale Agency: deep drone stuff, based on heavily processed field recordings. There are, perhaps good news again, small differences with the previous release and the most important is that the three boys now allow small bits of melody in their music. Three long pieces of static, drone objects but with small melodic ornaments - not all the time, not on top of events. This is a heavy work of heavy drones. Dark clouds with a small bit of blue light - a pitch black river but with some branches in it - that sort of thing. They once again proof to be the sons of The Hafler Trio, later issue, with floating sound scapes, washing field recordings ashore and some melody. At one point they even painted a cosmic dream on analogue synths, and then they become the grandsons of Ash Ra Temple. This minor changes makes that I think this is a damn fine work once again. Its these changes that make me curious about a fifth release (or sixth) and see where they would eventually lead up to. Right on time for a small switch. Great CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

Over the years Gert-Jan Prins has become of the more interesting composers of 'noise' music, having played with lots of people in various improvisation groups, such as The Flirts and Mimeo, as well as solo. Yet he hasn't released that much and what he releases is usually not that long. For 'Cavity', which he released himself in a small edition of 250 copies with handmade cover, he goes back to his first solo release 'Noise Capture', where he worked with self-built electronic instruments, which he now uses again, in combination with vacuumtubes and timpani. Its perhaps a pity that this isn't a DVD, as its always great to see Prins in action and perhaps also for a better understanding what he does. Presented as dry as it is on this CD might be a bit more difficult to understand, and we are thrown back to appreciating what we hear. Which is hardly a problem for me. Seven pieces which are quite unbalanced. Three last pretty long and four a quite short. Prins deals with air sucking through vacuum tubes and produces a sound that is forcefully present - lots of deep bass end and minimalist sounds of objects flickering around. 'Ncrshrtm' is the longest piece, almost half the length of the entire CD and is a bit too long for what it has to offer. Gone are the shorter breaking up collages that Prins did on 'Break Before Make', but things moved on a bit and it makes a more 'mellow' sound - in as far as this is possible of course in the universe of Prins. Another fine addition to a small discography, which shows no weak brothers. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gjp.info

Perhaps you may think its pretentious to call your CD 'Impossible Music', but of course you hear it, so what is it impossible then? The 'impossible' aspect lies here along the lines of Conlon Nancarrow's player piano pieces, which have so many notes that a normal piano can't handle it and also Peters (a German composer of whom I never heard, I think) is influenced by the very difficult piano pieces by Stockhausen. 'This music was created by a computer which followed an algorithm - in this case a Gumowski-Mira attractor - whose parameters were modified and improvised upon during the recording by a human', which is Peters himself. I played this CD quite a lot this past week. Not because I liked it that much or disliked it actually, but because it seems so hard to form an opinion about it. It's surely nice music, very modern classical sounding, with the piano always being present and correct, and playing perhaps 'impossible music', but it sounds to me, the untrained piano player, like very regular modern music and perhaps that's a bit of the problem I have with this release: it is too normal. Every time I play this I want to find out if there is a point that I am missing, but I don't think there is more than what it is. It is a nice work for sure, but perhaps I am just no particular lover of the modern genre! (FdW)
Address: http://www.hyperfunction.org

JASON KAHN & TAKEFUMI NAOSHIMA - IN A ROOM (CD by Winds Measure Recordings)
Its been quiet at the Winds Measure Recordings front, but perhaps they were saving up their pennies to release this, their first real CD. Still with the great packaging as before, but then in a bigger edition (300) and something that may live longer than a CDR. Takefumi Naoshima is a new name for me, and he plays mixing board, while Jason Kahn gets credit for percussion. The title could have been '60 minutes in a room', as this CD lasts one hour, which is no doubt the exact time they were in a room to record it. The recording level was set very low to avoid sudden peaks in the recording, and then later it was boosted in volume. Thus the whole hiss of the recording becomes a live factor in this piece. Its more a curious piece than a good piece. One can imagine these two men sitting in this room, knowing that every move will be recorded, with some percussion at hand, which Kahn only seems to be moving half way through the piece, cars passing outside, line hum, a fridge switching on - leading Kahn to play along the motor on some metal sheet. What it is that Naoshima does is even more unclear, I think. It seems to me more a conceptual piece than a musical piece, a sort of exemplification of Cage's '4'33', silence does not exist. There is surely something captivating about this piece: what is it, what are they doing, but at the same time you wonder if you could do the same thing by just opening your ears more. Which is then a good thing of course. (FdW)
Address: http://www.windsmeasurerecordings.net

SHINKEI/LUIGI TURRA - YU (CD by Non Visual Objects)
There isn't much information with these releases. A press release that merely states that these releases are available, which track titles there and whatever else we can also find on the cover, is a bit of a waste of paper, I think. 'What are you complaining about, you can always search the internet' - but who says whatever I find there is 'true'?
No information on Shinkei and Luigi Turra, who produced a CD together, with additional CC (whatever they might be) recordings courtesy of Koura, Jean Francois Cavro, Gezortenplotz, Laura Smith 'Gravier Street Blues' (1924) and Lizzie Miles 'I Hate A Man Like You' (1929). Not that this information means anything I guess, at least it didn't for me. Maybe information is over rated anyway, and we should concentrate on the music? Perhaps that's their idea. The first thing that struck me about this CD is that the volume has to be turned up quite a bit before hearing at all. Ah, we have landed in microland. Lots of crackles again, lots of hiss going on, highly processed field recordings and all those usual microsound ingredients. It makes me a bit... well, a bit... what should I say? Apart from the fact that the mastering is quite soft, which put me off, I thought the music was rather pleasant and interesting to hear. I was reading a book yesterday evening and thinking 'yeah nice', but then now, sitting down, volume open a bit more, its a bit of a disappointment. Its still not bad, but perhaps a bit too common with all those common ingredients that are part of this music that you can find in so much other work too. Its just not a thing that is of their own, which is a pity. But as said, by itself, its not bad at all.
Luckily for one release we are dealing with people of whom we have heard before. Philip Samartzis has had various releases on Dorobo, before expanding his career as one of the more interesting masters of microsound, whose expertise lies in the extended use of crackles. Michael Vorfeld lives in Germany, though I believe not far away from the Vital HQ and is part of the Nur Nicht Nur group, improvising musicians and composers around the Heinrich Mucken Saalorchester. Samartzis and Vorfeld recorded their work in March 2007 in Berlin. When I saw the CD, without hearing it, I thought this is an odd combination. Perhaps a surprising one, since it seems the meeting of two ends. Perhaps not, as they both use in their own way improvisation. I must say that this meeting didn't disappoint me at all. Played on the same volume as the previous release on Non Visual Objects, this one literally blows from the speakers. Vorfeld plays percussion and stringed instrument and I guess especially the latter makes a high end sound. This in combination with Samartzis sine waves and high pitched crackles makes a true cosmic interference storm. In 'Wams', the second piece, things work more on low to mid level of the sound, with curious and odd objects falling to the floor, motorized objects, while in the second half things go into the higher end again. In 'Schaube' it seems that they all meet up and makes up a piece that goes from quiet until loud, from high to low and makes a very fine balance between composition and improvisation. This too may be in the land of microsound, but the combination of real instruments and the improvised aspect of the music, makes this a very nice release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nonvisualobjects.com

HEXLOVE - PIJA Z BOGIEM (2CD by Dreamsheep)
Dreamsheep is a new italian label run by Valerio Cosi. His name might ring a bell. Recently I reviewed a CD by him released on Porter Records. Cosi is a musician himself and he has several CDRs and CDs out. But that is not enough for him. Besides he feels the urge to start a recordlabel. With these three releases Cosi illustrates that he is seeking for new talent in many different corners: freejazz, dark-ambient, 'pop;. Considering the quality of these releases, we can say Cosi did a successful job. But let's have a closer look and start with Black Motor, a freejazz trio from Tampere, Finland, comprised of Sami Sippola (saxophones, voice), Ville Rauhala (double bass/electric bass, voice) and Simo Laihonen (drums, bells, flutes, voice). On another italian label (Qbico) they released last year their first album. Free jazz of the 60s and 70-s is their point of reference. With my limited knowledge of this music I can trace influences of the Art Ensemble as well as Sun Ra, but Pharaoh Sanders and Dewey Redman seem to be more important sources of inspiration. The album opens with a Art Ensemble of Chicago-like piece 'Yksi Sinulta Puuttuu'. Tribal, ritualistic sounding jazz, with bells and non-jazz drumming and busy improvising by the sax. The closing piece 'Vainila' is comparable to the first. It walks along in a Sun Ra-like manner, with flute and sax in a nice duet. Exceptional is their typical voice work here, as if they invited some tibetan monks. In between we find improvisations that are more close to the classic freejazz, deprived of afro- or other ethnic references. In all their improvisations drums and bass lay down an effective rhythm-section for the saxplayer. His playing is on all tracks on the forefront, which is no problem, as he is a capable and charming improvisor with a nice tone. At several moments they reach a high level of concentration and intensity, and the music really takes of, like in 'Aamen' and 'Vaarat Vastukset'. The strong thing of this trio is that they use no make up. Very straight. Very OK.
Ajilvsga is a duo from Oklahoma: Brad Rose, co-founder of Foxy Digitalis and Nathan Young who also writes for it. Under the name of Ajilvsga they released numerous CDR's and cassettes since 2005. Their newest one, 'Medicine Bull', is a work of timeless dark ambient. Recorded in 2007, it contains 5 tracks most of them between 10 and 20 minutes, plus one short track of about 3 minutes. All pieces are built of thick layers of noise and distorted sounds, with sometimes archaic and short melodic lines on top of it, like in 'Tired Eyes'. This slow stream of magma has similarities with early Kluster from the early 70s and with the industrial music from the 80s. It seems each decennium produces its evocations of these nightmares that emerge from dark corners in the subconsciousness. Rose and Young do their job with conviction and skill. They brew a pleasant thick soup of noise, amorph but focused. The ideal soundtrack for your dark moments.
With Hexlove we have to deal with another state of mind. Hexlove is Zac Nelson who lives in Portland, Oregon. He fits perfectly in the tradition of lonesome lunatics like Wild Man Fischer, Dimthings, Residents, etc. His double CD is full drums- and vocal-orientated madness on one side, and fine ambient on the other. An unusual combination. Crowded with many ideas the music on this CD sounds very fresh and engaging, but at times ideas remain sketchy and deserved to be worked out better. But that is besides the point here, because Hexlove is an original. For sure Hexlove is an interesting artist with a talent for structuring and arranging popsongs in an unorthodox way, but remaining accessible at the same time. Demented songs like 'Voomers' with characteristic high yelling and explosive drumming are illustrative for this side of his art. At the same time Hexlove has the talent for creating truly nice ambientmusic that we find especially on the second CD, like in 'Mocking Bird Totem'. A piece like 'Tropical Boom Five' is neither ambient nor pop, but something uncategorizable in between. His musical universe spans a wide musical range, filled with many original ideas and unconventional playing and manipulations. Interesting and enjoyable. (DM)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/dreamsheeprecordings

APSE - ERAS (LP by Equation)
A while ago I received a copy of the follow up to Apse's debut album Spirit (Acuarela Discos 2006, now available on All Tomorrow's Parties records). Apse were an unknown name to me. Hailing from New England and formed in 1999 by mainman Robert Toher, this album certainly looks appealing. Packed in heavy gatefold sleeve with landscape photos not unlike Jon Wozencroft's images for Touch records and with a definite "Twin Peaks"-feel, the album is pressed on heavy vinyl and limited to 425 copies. Compared to Liars, Faust and Nine Inch Nails in the press copy, I was not sure if this would be my cup of tea, but Apse have surprise me in a positive sense. Even though you do get the heavy "get down and post-rock till you drop" material, there is more to this album. The band shine on their more experimental material such as Dawn and Lilian, which, devoid of guitars, and spiked with backwards looping are good ambient tracks. There is more dark ambient on Deathless. The Twin Peaks-theme is continued on The Gloom. A track like Up in the Eaves sounds more like an undated Neu. Combined with the "standard" (to these ears) rock out tunes you could argue that Apse have found themselves a niche in the already overcrowded post-rock genre. On the other hand, you could feel this album is not sure what it wants to be. The choice is to the listener. Personally speaking I quite like the combination as presented on Eras. As an aside, Equation records are planning more vinyl in the near future, including an Aidan Baker double album. Well worth watching out for. (FK)
Address: http://www.chronoglide.com/equation.html

After the second world war brought a lot of English words into the Dutch language, and it may hardly be no surprise that German words didn't make it. There is one exception, which is the now fully accepted German word bunker. Before World War Two they were called 'Kazemat', which is a beautiful word, I think. Praise to Rob Vugs and Ivo Bol who just started a label with the same name, and more praise to him for this daring move: a bit of heavy vinyl, gatefold, full color sleeve, in an edition of 500 copies. Let's hope this may last longer than just one release. Ivo Bol was once a member of Wrikken, who released a 7" on Mixer (see Vital Weekly 334), but since time works solo as Vinkepeezer, creating music by using game controllers and acoustic instruments. Much of his work is created for film, theatre and dance. In the first two pieces it seems that Bol loves his Oval, through a jumpy myriad of bouncing sounds. Closely out of phase they make a densely shaped total. Its however not a glitch based as Oval, or many of their followers. Bol creates his own strong world, plus he knows how to cut back in sound and make a quieter moment. Nothing earth shaking new, but executed with great care. Morsanek is an Amsterdam based guitarist, DJ and sound editor, who for his own piece, which spans one side of this record, he uses his guitar, effects and sound editing. Its a bit hard to say how much of this was guitar or 'live', as I hear many different layers, which seems to be hard for one person to deal with and there are some sounds which seem like 'real' percussion. Whereas Vinkepeezer stays on the safe side of things, Morsanek goes for the adventure of sound, offering a wider range of sounds and moods, and makes a more surprising piece of music. But both sides are quite nice, so this is a most promising start for this new label. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kazemat.com

Russian Tsarlag and Blue Shift are both from Providence (RI), USA. Driving force behind Russian Tsarlag is one Carlos Gonzales and when I play the first track of his side on the LP, he immediately reminds me of The Tinklers. The same kind of dingly dangly instrument control and the naïve kind of songwriting and off beat, somewhat slow, singing. I guess that, with The Tinklers in mind, there are some references to the genre "outsider music" and perhaps not coincidentally, the Rare Youth website refers to him as a weirdo - so there you have it. I imagine that in a live setting this music might be enjoyed best in candle lit basements (or in equally dark living rooms, when spinning the LP). Not that it is creepy or disturbing, but rather magical (and well okay, there is slight maniacal vibe in his singing). Included is also a haunting version of The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby". If you enjoy The Tinklers like I do, then you should definitely give this one a try. Not to hear a copy of aforementioned reference, but an original artist on its own.
Blue Shift is Cybéle Collins, also member of free rock outfits Bone Rattle and (now disbanded) Dreamhouse. Blue Shift is Cybéle's solo outing in which she plays the violin, but not in the vein of say Vanessa Mae - far from it actually. Here the violin is played in a hectic and frantic frenzy, not in a full on noise blast but everything is placed rather delicately. This side of the LP "reads" like a novel: traveling from one story to the other. Mainly told by the violin, but with some added tape-manipulations, wordless vocals etc. A nicely composed work. (SDT)
Address: http://www.rareyouth.org/

A rather nicely lo-fi packed 7" of two of the more intelligent noise projects around. On side Greg Kelley and Bhob Rainey, otherwise known as Nmperign team up for one of their great pieces of improvised wind instrument mayhems. Mayhem as in silence meeting noise, but not the usual noise you may expect from someone like Merzbow. The controlled blowing of the two make a great fine interplay. The instruments as instrument and as objects. A fine piece.
Skeletons Out are more a noise rock piece band, or so it seems. Howard Stelzer on cassettes and Jay Sullivan on turntable create a more straight forward piece of noise music that rocks the house. It sound like a rock band with dark rumbling noise underneath and cracklings on top, all in true fierce noise mood. Much more heavy and linear than the other side, but great noise altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://www.noise-below.org

BOB MARSH - EIGHT (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
Bob Marsh is a composer and improvisor from San Francisco. You may known him from his work with The Emergency String Quartet, Jack Wright and with The Abstractions. For his newest project he composed a piece of 8 minutes consisting of field recordings, voice and electronics. This track, which is enclosed on this cd (the last track), was sent by Marsh to 12 fellow improvisors in the States and Europe. They were invited in whatever way to transform this material into a short piece of music. The results meet on this CD. It's a procedure we know from other artists like Frans de Waard as well. Most of the inivted guests I'm not familair with: Grant Strombeck (Chicago), Bellerophone (Athens), Massimo Falascone (Milano), Boris Hauf (Berlin), Marina Hardy (Omaha), Earzumba (Barcelona), Renato Ciunfrini (Roma), Bryan Eubanks (New York), Candy Covered Clown (Riga), Bryan Day (Omaha), Zz Brr (Paris), Arg (Roma). The piece by Marsh is not just a bag with soundmaterial put together at random. It is a piece of music in itself, accompanied by mutated versions of itself. A release like this triggers always many puzzling questions in my mind. Meaningfull questions I don,t know.All tracks start from the same eight minutes of soundmaterial provided by Bob Marsh. In all freedom the artists worked with this material in order to create their piece of music. Listening two the twelve results, we hear very different works. More then limiting, the material opens the way for very different treatments.Would it be possible to transform a piece back to the original version of Marsh, or into any of the other pieces of this album? They are all made of the same stuff.
Marsh invited to use the material. But is it possible to say that the material of Marsh is interpreted with intentions of staying close to the original or to take opposite positions? For how many percent can one one really become free from all qualities of the original material and at the same time using it? From what I understand Marsh did not include some focus or question, or whatever. It was just the soundmaterial with a open invitation to use it as a starting point for a piece of music. Of course all cooperators used different procedures and techniques in structuring their own piece.Most pieces are shorter then the material supplied by Marsh. The pieces on this CDR make up a coherent whole, which is (not) due to the fact that they all used the same 8 minutes that Marsh defined. At the same the CDR is surprisingly diverse and of an overall considerable quality. An interesting one. (DM)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net/

NICK HENNIES - PATHS (CDR by Thor's Rubber Hammer Productions)
Its a surprise to read that 'Paths' is recorded by one Nick Hennies, who is a drummer for a band Weird Weeds (and at one point also the drummer of Jandek), since it doesn't deal at all with drums. Hennies plays the no input mixer here and perhaps that may sound as tired as say 'microsound', Hennies does however a great job. Apparently he has a background in the world of improvised music, which works well when touching the mixer and the feedback that comes from it. 'Paths' is a work for long form sustained sounds and that makes him right on the spot with the others who play the no input mixer (Marko Cicilliani is still one of the few does these things entirely different), but the elegant flow between the soft and the loud(er) parts make this a very subtle work. Rather one to play at a softer volume, so it will have room to breath in the space you are playing this in, and let the subtleness become alive. When you play this too loud it will be annoying and things will be lost. But I think its a great work, low in volume, high in quality. (FdW)
Address: http://thorsrubberhammer.com/

Bored witch is a rock band: killer drums, wretch guitar, silly voice, mourning bass. and there are five tracks on their CDR which could have the title 'Weird Eyez Wierd-is', but maybe I am not looking right, but then maybe I didn't care that much to read the fuzzy liner notes. This is just a normal loud rock band, nothing for Vital. Good or bad: I don't know as I never cared for normal loud rock bands. I have no idea why people send this to Vital. But perhaps because there was space in the same parcel as they also send me a release by Fiesta Animal, which according to the cover is an extended band from what seems to be Spain. This is definitely more up the alley of Vital Weekly, be it that it sounds like an early 80s recording of music. In those good old days of cassettes, it wasn't all noise and mayhem, but also bands like Fiesta Animal. A free play of instruments, within the idioms of rock music. Musicians that couldn't play their instruments right, but did it anyway, moving away from the three chord schematics of punk rock. No New York or the Ultra movement of 1981 in The Netherlands. Lydia Lunch meets Plus Instruments, if that means anything to anyone these days. Post punk music with an electronic edge, but then recorded recently with the attempt to record it like it sounded from those days. Very nice, very retro. (FdW)
Address: http://www.moremars.org

GI GASPARIN - 24 SOLI (CDR by Lunhare/Lethargy)
Spare time is something that is not around here a lot, but somehow I found myself with this bunch of CDR releases on the Lethargy subdivision from Italy's Lunhare. After sending off a bunch to others, these were left for me. Gi Gasparin is a member of Piume E Sangue, Pangolinorchestrà, Gi-Napajo but somehow found spare time (too!) to record twenty-four pieces on guitar, a keyboard and something that is called a "horizontal rantola". Seventy-two minutes is this solo outing and many of these pieces seem to recorded on the spot. Somewhere between one minute plus and some eight minutes last these pieces, and some of it is nice, but not more than that. I think I liked the keyboard pieces best, whereas the guitar pieces were a bit 'freaky' for my taste. However a somehow more critical look at what Gi does would suit the man, this is listening to sketch book of half baked ideas, good attempts and false starts.
Even longer is the 'Il Giro Del Mondo In 80 Pezzi', which is 'around the world in 80 tracks'. That's right, 80 tracks here, in seventy-seven minutes. All around a minute or less. A bit of worn out idea if you'd ask me, but to present this like a audio version of Jules Verne, is perhaps nice. Gasparin gets help from one Jacopo Andreini, with whom he has been active in the world of improvised since the early 90s. Together they a whole bunch of instruments, guitars, voices, percussion, saxophone, oud, keyboards and such like. Very much like the Gasparin solo release this is a sketch book on paper, but with the important difference that all of these pieces are short and to the point. Not always particular strong, but due to the brief character of the music and the changing atmospheres of the small pieces, this can be indeed a trip around the world.
An oh more Gasparin on a collaborative disc with one Felice Pesavento, of whom I never heard. He gets credit for sampler here, whereas Gasparin plays tape, guitar, casiotone and turntable. Musicwise this is the most interesting of three works Gasparin is involved in recently. The music ranges from ambient and industrial, to free improvised sampling and more experimental sounds and even a bit of noise. Its however a bit unbalanced, still, and could certainly use a lot more editing and a somewhat more detailed production. But there are pieces (all untitled) around here that are certainly quite nice, or even could pass on as structured compositions, such as the longest drone piece, track twelve. Also long, and perhaps the whole thing could be cut down to say half the length, it still has pretty decent moment.
Piume E Sangue is also with Gi Gasparin, here with Paolo Dal Balcon, but its, I believe, something from the past. The music here at least is from 1993. The band is something I remember from the past, but off hand I couldn't tell who or what they were. The music here, all dealing with the vague notion of Japan (the country, not the band), was recorded with keyboards and guitar, but as far as I'm concerned it hasn't aged very well. Its all very sketchy, but long and sounds somehow something of not 1993, but 1987, when cheap sampler keyboards came on the market, to which add not much sound effects, so it stays all a bit flat. I don't recall what I thought of them back them, and I'm afraid I will not in fifteen years. For now, its quite alright, not too good, not too bad either. Its spare time music I guess.
Somehow I expected something else from Andrea Marutti, whom we learned to know and love for his projects Amon and Never Known, but then perhaps the title is the program around here. This is Marutti's noise, working with whatever went wrong in the process of recording this. Its not always super loud, super distorted, but never close to the drones and ambient we heard before. A track like 'Fractal [III]' comes close though. There is an almost twenty minute cover 'I Am The Walrus', but it takes no expert to tell you it sounds like something else, most likely a computer running amok. Its interesting to see him doing 'other' stuff too, and some of it is actually quite good but not throughout.
The only non Italian artist in the lot that was for me, is Jeph Jerman, in another time Hands To, City Of Worms, Blowhole and part of the Animist Orchestra and already for a lifetime of his own, working under his own name. Here we have two performances from 2007, and ones that show what he does best: working with natural objects (pictured on the cover: stones, shells, feathers, wood, cacti etc), he produces music that is entirely stripped from electricity, computers, plug ins etc, but only needs a microphone and a recording device. There are also no field recordings, save from whatever comes passing the performance space, like a car in 'Trunk Space'. The differences between these two performances are small, which makes this not very easy to play at once. The rubbing of objects on a variety surfaces is a delicate business and requires all your attention to unveil its beauty. Listening to two, each around twenty-seven minutes, might be a bit much to take at once, but both are absolute great pieces. Its a pity that he hasn't been to Europe, as far as I know. All releases have absolutely great professional pro-printed covers, which makes this a truly great label to pass your spare time with. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lunhare.net

OLEKRANON - GAITAN (CDR by Inam Records)
SUJO (3"CDR by Inam Records)
Ryan Huber is back, following 'Cohesion' (see Vital Weekly 630), now with 'Gaitan', another ten tracks of many drum computers and many guitars. In the time that has passed here, nothing much 'new' happened. Still things are in full noise swing mode, although don't expect some techno music here. Guitars howl away over a fine, endless blast of drum computer beats. Feedback, distortion. If something has changed, I'd say it seems that things have become more forceful, more 'louder', if that was possible. Less Pthalho influenced, and more Skullflower, even when it reaches out for a quiet moment such as in 'Black Sands' or 'Bundles', one the album's more introspective moments and also one of the finer moments. Not that the rest is bad, but after all the blasts you could do with a quieter moment. There is little progress made here, and this is quite an entertaining album, improving from the previous.
On a smaller size, three tracks by Sujo, whoever he is, although I wouldn't be surprised if it was Ryan Huber in a different guise. Or perhaps a close friend using his equipment, or, last guess, Huber with a real drummer. Like Olekranon this is heavy music - wall of sound guitar approach with the drums banging heavily underneath. Three top heavy pieces of music, a orgasmic storm of music. Fourteen minutes, but quite a blast. It seems short, but this is exactly the right length for a thunder storm like this. (FdW)
Address: <inamrecs@yahoo.com>

Both Peasant Graves and Fences are projects that originate from the USA. Both display a strong affection for drones. The thick and heavy ones that is with lots of bass. Peasant Graves starts off this four track mini album with a distant throbbing and rhythmic pulse, layered with airy and droney soundscapes. It has a bit of that contemplative dark feel to it. The one that sucks you right in along the way. But just when it is starting to develop... it abruptly stops and leaves you a bit dissatisfied. Guess we're already dealing with time issues on this 3"?
Tracks 2 and 3 are the collaborative ones: both started by the one and finished by the other (during a mail project). Peasant Graves' part is recognizable in nature from the first track (guitar layers, e-bow?) and I guess a bit more edge is delivered by Fences' part. These two tracks already seem more complete to me; more eye for a finished composition. "Joined in Despair" and "Nightfalls" might come on a bit depressive in terms of track titles, but their actual sound make it turn out satisfactory. Fences ends this album with a solo track: abrasive guitar hammering that slowly moves on with added layers of delayed and in other ways processed guitar sound. It ends with some more distorted melodic guitar picking, before fading away. Nice one and maybe the stand out track here. (SDT)
Address: http://www.small-doses.com

IDEA FIRE COMPANY - CANDLE & FOG (cassette by Attic Cassettes)
Ah, cassettes. If there is one band who don't play noise, but who are still comited to cassettes it must be, I think, Idea Fire Company, who present themselves as a trio here: Karla Borecky on guitar, Scott Foust on bass and Matt Krefting on synth. There are two parts to 'Candle & Fog' of spacious rock music, slow and meandering about, sparse and effective use of effects and synthesizer sounds. Music that could be recorded years ago, on cassette. Two thematic approach to the same angle. Twenty minutes only, but as far as I'm concerned it could have lasted much longer. A pity that much of the rest of side one and the whole of side two is blank. Maybe the label ran out of c20 cassettes? That's the only downside to this great release. (FdW)
Address: Attic Tapes - 11 1f3 perth street - Edinburgh eh3 5dw scotland - united kingdom

MORTEN RIIS - DIGITAL SOUND DRAWINGS (download by Cronica Electronica)
Perhaps many of you have seen sound at one point. Maybe your computer comes with software to work with sound, or perhaps a program that shows sound files when added to home movies. Depending on what kind of screen and resolution you know this can look great, much alike a very rhythm 12" does. Morten Riis had this fascination too, but worked the other way round. By making drawings on the computer and then translating them to audio, he created these six 'digital sound drawings'. I opened one of them and to me it still looks like a sound file and hardly like a drawing. The music is offered as .aiff files rather than MP3, which of course is a good thing, since it sounds much better. The music didn't do much to me, except for the first heavy noise track, but the other five where digital ticks, clicks and some hiss, that didn't seem to make much sense as music. The idea is nice, but I doubt wether consistently worked out and thus it failed, at least for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

Obituary: Jorge Reyes

R.I.P. Jorge Reyes

On Saturday 7 February, multi-instrumentalist Jorge Reyes has passed away as a result of heart failure, at the age of 56, while he was asleep in his studio in Mexico City. Reyes was mostly known for inventing 'prehispanic' music. He made collages and songs directly inspired on the rich and partly unknown past of the old indian civilizations in Mexico (Maya, Aztecs, Huicholes). In his traveling years as a youngster, he studied flute in India and jazz in Germany. Back in Mexico City he started the progrockband Chac Mool. In the late eighties he continued as a solo artist and started processing the sound of old stones, wood, claypots and his own body into ambiental and psychedelic soundscapes with an evil Mexican edge, combining this with intense flute playing and singing. He toured in Europe many times (mainly in the nineties) and released over 25 albums, such as the outstanding Comala, Nierika, Bajo el Sol Jaguar, Mort aux Vaches and El Costumbre. Reyes did interesting collaborations with Deep Forest, Suso Saiz, Steve Roach and Dutch artist Piet Jan Blauw. After 2000, he wrote a few scores for film, theatre and documentaries. In Mexico, he was becoming more and more famous, also for his huge spectacular shows on magic locations, including 'crazy Aztec dancers'. Jorge Reyes Valencia leaves a wife (the actress Ariane Pellicer) and three kids.

Buen viaje en el espacio, amigo.


Rick Treffers (Reyes' former European tour manager)