number 677
week 19


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!
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* noted are in this week's podcast


JASON CRUMER - WALK WITH ME (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
EARLABS 3 - HELIX (CD by Entr'acte) *
REDRAWN (CD by Digitalis Industries)
BACK MIRROR (10" by Urbsounds Collective)
CRAFT BANDITS - LOVE INFINITY X 1.000 (CDR by Black Petal) *
JOSH LAY - HEIROPHANT (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
MACHINEFABRIEK - SHUFFLE (CDR by Machinefabriek) *
PUIN + HOOP - P+H+PH (CDR by Tbfkagnk Records) *
ONDO - REGRESSION (CDR by Tuguska) *
CULVER - BLUE ANGEL (3"CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
STEPHEN SPERA - 4 {H20} (3"CDR by Parvoart) *
[PARVO] ART (3"CDR by Parvoart)



Although I heard the music of Florian Hecker before I saw a concert by him, I wasn't too impressed. Too much in the digital noise area for me. But after I saw a solo concert by him a few years back I changed my opinion. The crisp clear digital, rhythmic noise with lots of silence parts in between, made a very good impression on me. Here Hecker ties together the odd ends of serious classic music of the twentieth century with the rave music of the mid 80s. The result will not appeal, I guess, to avant-gardists listening to David Tudor, nor acid heads. There are no danceable beats around here, but at the same time the music is too rhythmic for the serious mob. Hecker uses a bucla modular synthesizer and a Comdyna analog computer on one hand and just computer on some others. The result is bizarre electronic music. Rhythmic, buzzing, panning furiously left to right channel and back, always on a constant shift, even when things are stripped bare to what seems to be a pulse only. A pretty radical release of what I think is great noise music. The somewhat complex cover text by Robin Mackay is not well spend on me, but perhaps I am being lazy for now. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

This Novisad is not to be confused with Novi_sad from Greece. This particular is Kristian Peters from Rostock, who started out with loud techno tracks but things got more experimental and his music was eventually released by Tomlab and Visor. He's been on several compilations, but what he did in the ten years between his Tomlab release and 'Funkel', which Flau announces as his third album, I am not entirely sure of. Yet, Peters let's us know that we should regard 'Funkel' as a sort of concept album, an album where he plays around with samples of guitars. The pieces were recorded over a period of seven years and the eighteen pieces are relatively short and sometimes quite sketch like. A few loops set forward to play a short ambient piece but it somehow remains a bit too much of sketches, rather than finished compositions. That is a bit of a pity as some of these pieces surely have potential to grow into some bigger compositions and develop in a more natural way. Otherwise its quite nice, but too short.
The second CD by Tui, who works as Orla Wren, is 'The One Two Bird And The Half Horse'. Tui left the material (banks & buildings) behind and has a gipsy life style, 'sleeping in forests' according to the press text, which seems a bit difficult because it also mentioned 'laptop wielding' - but no doubt there are other ways of creating music on the road. He plays a variety of instruments himself and various guest players. I was kinda surprised that his first album was on Expanding Records, but it surely fits well on Flau. Vocals play an important role and add a certain folk element to the music. Tui plays keyboards, chimes, violin, piano, zither, flute, field recordings and lots more in a very melancholic mood, held back, controlled, and on top wave these femine vocals, singing what seems to be most of the time wordless vocals. Flau mentions David Sylvian as one of the things it may resemble, and that's indeed a good point of reference - perhaps more than Fennesz, which they also mention - but it doesn't have that some new age feeling that I seem to be remember with the old Sylvian material. An excellent marriage between digital music and traditional folk music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flau.jp

This double CD compiles three very different re-releases by The Hafler Trio; Kuklos, Brain Song and (Antarctica) Brahma. The first CD is dedicated to Kuklos, which was previously released in 1990 on Touch as a cassette. The music on this release was composed as soundtrack to the film "The Graphic Language of Neville Brody", which was shown at the Twentieth Century Gallery of the Victoria and Albert museum and later travelled the world. It's just that you know. Here the cassette is edited in two pieces (side A and B of the original cassette), but seeing the full length is over 63 minutes, I do feel that somehow some reworking of the original material has taken place. As I don't have the original tape release I cannot compare both recordings. However, Kuklos is/remains a pretty straightforward piece featuring layers of noise with a lot of reverb. Luckily enough, the noise is not one-dimensional, but in a typical Hafler Trio sense, swirls in your brain in a subdued way. After a while you are sucked into the vortex of sound. Great to see this finally available again. The Brain Song is one of the most popular releases by The Hafler Trio and it's easy to see why. The five tracks were previously released on Touch in November 1986 as a 12 inch record. It's classic 80s H3O, refreshing and daring, like nothing you'd heard before. On Brain Song, McKenzie is still eager to explore and discover, yet his journey is highly listenable. There are sounds of water, sinus waves, strange interludes, voices, found and treated tapes, undecipherable sound (lots of that) you name it. As diverse as these sounds may seen, McKenzie, like the true master of sound he is, manages to combine them into a beautiful coherent mix with not a dull moment in sight. If you are interested in the H3O and you don't own Brain Song yet, you should go out and buy this 2CD immediately. The last two tracks (28 minutes) on this CD feature the much more reserved and restrained 'Various methods of attaining immortality/three different kinds of seed', which was previously released as a CD with the book "(Antarctica) Brahma" (1995-1996). This release is new to me. On these two tracks the sound is much more limited to less sources (or so it sounds), resulting in a more ambient, relaxed and even "refined" piece when compared to The Brain Song. The two long tracks (the second one adds a unobtrusive slow rhythm to the proceedings) make for ambient listening, but luckily not a series of heartless drones. Rather a series of sounds, treated and simplified. Great listening and a fine counterpoint to Brain Song's more fragmentic sound. Still, within the structure of this double CD, it is Brain Song that rules. Packed in the by now familiar book-pack, including a brilliant booklet featuring clear lettering on clear paper (deciphering the text will probably take you hours ­ try and do this whilst listening to the music, highly recommended), postcard and, if you purchase directly from Korm Plastics, a badge. In all another important release in this series. It is therefore extremely sad that this series of re-issues will not continue. The Name Of Someone is the last Hafler Trio re-release on Korm Plastics. This does not do justice to both the music of Mr. McKenzie or the input and care of Korm Plastics. (FK)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

JASON CRUMER - WALK WITH ME (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
"I threw all my past music career in the garbage. There was no longer any need for concepts like 'career' and 'skill'. I stopped playing music and went in search of an alternative." - Masami Akita. Despite playing Walk With Me several times I still found its form opaque. Long slowly building and diminishing industrial noises over several tracks over several minutes at times with processed piano- and then somewhere around track 4 of 6 a plain recording of a piano being destroyed. On the press release "Jason Crumer has further honed his craftsmanship . Romantic in nature and cinematic in scope.." Noise - in the Akita sense is a totaling end to music - as organized sound - So what's going on when in a Noise forum Jason
Crumer appears at least twice in a "Top 10" list - "Jason Crumer - this guy creates some of the most idiosyncratic sounds to have been recorded in the last decade, hand down. And, like Prurient, he seems to be improving with time." - Prurient also appears in the "top 10 of currently active "noise artists"" and on the Heartworm Press site we find re the Prurient - Rose Pillar release - "What separates Dominick Fernow's Prurient project from the rest of the contemporary underground cannon is its unyielding personal subject matter." (is anyone following this divergence from the sentiments of Akita - is what is considered Noise now something quite different - musical, autobiographical, thematic.) So I posted "Maybe you could help me then" to which Jason himself replied "walk with me describes the more current period of one feeling over a very long period of time. a simple emotion stretched to painful dullness, to the point of numb. The sources for walk with me were recorded in a drug study, (a hospital bed going up and down is the source for about half of the 'ambient' parts), a goat farm in north carolina (piano), and a filthy room in oakland scattered with -hard- drug paraphernalia (electronics, airhorn), and us smashing the piano.." Now ignoring the apparent mistake with "What separates Dominick Fernow's Prurient project.." it appears that autobiographical programme music is now considered noise by a sizeable group within the noise genre- or that having no where to go with the craftless totality of noise - themes, stories and craft have been re-introduced. Something very significant is going on within the genre - certainly in the USA, perhaps not unsurprising - within post-modernity it should have been anticipated - as in the work of Tracy Emin or Steve Reich (Tehillim, Different Trains). My only criticism here at this point given an already overly long review is that this autobiographical basis needs to be made clear- in this release it was not. (jliat)
Address: http://www.misanthropicagenda.com/

The follow up to 'Etude No.3 Pour Cordes Et Poulies' by Nicolas Bernier and Jacques Poulin-Denis is 'Sur Fond Blanc', and its also a piece of music they recorded for a dance piece, which, according to the press text 'explores the themes of interior space, emptiness and absence". Bernier and Poulin-Denis are boys with laptops, but also a keen interest in using acoustic sounds, and, what makes this release even more interesting: there is an extensive use of voice material. They whisper most of the time, and add a feeling of absence and loneliness to the play. The music itself is quite nice, but not spectacular. There are lots of drone like sounds, micro glitch material, processed guitars and all the common place from the world of microsound and lowercase, mixed with a bit of clicks and cuts. But its the use of voice material that keeps this interesting, almost in a Hörspiel like manner. Hard to say what it is about, the voices or the music, but even without the dance its quite nice. Nothing new here under the sun, and Bernier and Poulin-Denis perform their music with great care and style, no doubt, but I couldn't help thinking I heard and saw it before. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ekumen.com

Don't imagine Taalem to be a multinational, but they do have a bunch of sub divisions and its not always clear, at least to me, what is what. Here in Lucioleditions we have a new release by Internal Fusion, the second CD is their history, following 'Om Vaira Satta Hum', released by Staalplaat in 1996. Back then it was a mixture of Lustmord, Muslimgauze and Rapoon, in a tribalesq mood. The ethnic influences are all gone here, but what remained is the dark ambience of say Lustmord, in combination with loops that may or may not form some sort of rhythm. There are slowed down bits of percussion at work, I hear voice based material and various pieces of what could be analogue synthesizers. In a way it sounds drone based, but Internal Fusion always keeps things a bit more tighter and also it stays away a bit more from the world of real drone based ambient. Things stay however sturdy based in the world of dark ambient music - the territory covered (and governed perhaps) by Lustmord. I thought the material was pretty good, but also a bit long. Six tracks that span the total of more than an hour is quite long. I think some pieces could have been a bit more condensed and it would probably gain in strength. A dark trip this one for those who love magick. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com/lucioleditions

EARLABS 3 - HELIX (CD by Entr'acte)
Both of these (and others) were handed to me by Entr'acte head honcho, with the notion: see what you do with it. Ok, I played them all, decided to send some to Jliat and some I didn't like that much. None of them came with covers, but there is some information on the website. That might be a problem in the case of Earlabs 3, an ad-hoc trio of Jos Smolders, Christopher McFall and Sascha Neudeck. Their release is the result of exchanging sound files through the internet, but its of course its not easy to tell who did what here. But then perhaps this is not necessary to know this. In the end what matters is the result. All three are, if you paid attention, known in the field of field recording and computer processing, but each of the composer has his own preferences and styles. This collaboration started with Jos and Christopher and Sascha joined in later and resulted in 'Helix' under the band name Earlabs 3 - Earlabs being of course the infamous website by Smolders of all thing experimental music (think Vital, but lots of extras). The field recordings used here create a drone like pattern. Its hard to tell what these are about, their origin, but they create an intense atmosphere. There is outdoor recordings, as well as rumbling inside the house, upon various surfaces. Everything is all the time covered with all sorts of computer processing, making this is into a fine disc of electro-acoustic music. None of three composers left their stamp on it too much. The sum of the total is what counted for them, and its great.
I never heard of Marinos Koutsomichalis but his work 'Anasiseipsychos' blew me away. Apparently it was recorded during a series of late-night improvisations, using sine waves, which he waves together. Perhaps this sound quite dull to you, as so many other people have used sine waves before, but Koutsomichalis does some pretty neat things with the sine waves. He feeds them, I think, through some very basic sound effects, like delay and reverb, and things keep moving up and down the scale, slowing down and speeding up. This has a great effect on the listener I think. Not an easy listening one, but certainly, when played not as loud as possible, this has a relaxing, ambient quality. When the volume is turned up things become a bit more grittier, but also more detailed. I'm reminded of Paul Panhuysen's work on Plinkity Plonk, but Koutsomichalis is more freely working around with the sine waves, and less conceptually based. A great work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.entracte.co.uk

REDRAWN (CD by Digitalis Industries)
Compilations are always hard to review, but then so are remix CDs, and perhaps even harder. Certainly when one doesn't know what is remixed. Here we have 'soccer Committee and Machinefabriek remixed and covered', but what songs we don't know, or perhaps they were just a bunch of sound files. Of course we do know Machinefabriek very well, having reviewed all of his works over the last five years, and often he works with Mariska Baars, also known as soccer Committee, whose work I once described as 'Oren Ambarchi with vocals'. Machinefabriek already did a remix double CD before, but here he has found new names to work on the material. Many from the world of microsound and drone music, such as Francisco Lopez (quite noisy), Taylor Deupree (who leaves Baars' vocals in tact), Lawrence English, Andrea Belfi, Steinbruchel, Kenneth Kirschner (also with vocals the middle of hissy treatments) and Stefano Pillia but also people from the world of 'rock' (however wide you wish to view that), such as Xela, Annelies Monsere, Gary Smith, The North Sea, Nemeth, Squares On Both Ends and Peter Borderick. Some stay gently in between both ends. One could easily think that these ends don't meet up easily, but this seventy-eight minute compilation is in all its variety a nice compilation. Shifting from mild experiments to wonderful fine 'pop', 'folk' tunes, with no particular favorite to pick, unless its for Kirschner and Deupree's vocal approach to the matter. There aren't any weak brothers around here either, making this is into damn fine compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.digitalisindustries.com

There is no justice in this world. Apparently 'kosmische musik' is 'hip' these days. Some bands do records on end, and sell out whatever number of copies they press up. Yet, much overseen, are the records by Idea Fire Company, who are largely built from the use of analogue synths and sound effects, guitars, shortwave and, although Idea Fire Company are probably the last to call themselves 'cosmic', it would be right up that alley of 'cosmic music'. Their records just don't fare well, and that's an injust thing. Well, I think. Its still not too late to pick them up from their own label Swill Radio. Over the years there have been a few records for other labels, such as Rund Um Den Watzmann and more recently a 7" on Entr'acte, so other labels do believe in them. So does Belgium's finest outlet for underground sounds Ultra Eczema, so perhaps these 300 copies will bring 300 new Idea Fire Company fans. Two pieces, one per side, and I started with 'Buzz Bomb', which is a trademark Idea Fire Company piece. Tapes of sounds, outdoor and indoor, shortwave and a variety of synthesizer sounds make up the first half of the piece, finely woven, meandering, flowing, but with a dark edge to it. Shimmering in feedback it seems, but perhaps its not. A nice bass end. The second half of the piece is much more sparsely orchestrated, with a piano motif being the main point of attention.
On the b-side there is the title track, which I think belong to the finest Idea Fire Company have ever produced. Three persons at synths and keyboard, a minimal sound on the Korg is set forward, but there is a nice, ultra nice, shimmering melody woven through this piece, which makes this an absolute gorgeous piece, one that could, neh should, appeal highly to the new lovers of 'kosmische musik'. Lush music, that, despite all its minimalism, never bores a single second. A great piece, and easily the best I ever heard from Idea Fire Company. If ever you needed a great place to start discovering something new: here it is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ultraeczema.com

BACK MIRROR (10" by Urbsounds Collective)
This record is the result of a mail collaboration between Jamka, Urbanfailure (both from London) and Rbnx (from Bratislava). Each created a piece and then others added more stuff to it. Four tracks here, which the label calls, 'in a state of perfect chaos', which is something I don't agree with, but perhaps I am hardly a lover of chaos, let alone perfect chaos. The four pieces sound like electronics going wrong, analogue synth doodling, sound effects, a bit noisy, but above all: a bit messy. It sounds like it has been thrown together on tape, without a plan or composition. Quite in a random state of no sound organization at all. Hardly something I would play again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.urbsounds.sk

Matt Earle is a steady returning artist to the world of Black Petal. Here he is part of of Craft Bandits, where he plays vocals, guitar, keyboard and synth), along with Melanie Jade Simpson (guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals and Nibblechu). She is also a member of Fantastic Dog & The Cupcake Club. Their music is the result of various jam sessions and show them in a rock-like mood. Last week Jliat asked where the New Zealand artists went, and I'd say: here they are. Craft Bandits sound like any good release on Corpus Hermeticum, with that lo-fi guitar sound, distorted, improvised and a like-wise lo drum sound, which sound recorded in a room next door, but the door was open so luckily some of it came on to the recording. Not that the drums play always an important role in this music, sometimes its just a duet of guitars, spiced with some echo and vocals, making a strange singer-songwriter recorded in a tunnel with a battery operated speaker. Quite nice this stuff. Like Jliat I haven't heard much music like this from the double island down under, but Craft Bandits bring back good memories and I should dig some Corpus up soon. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blackpetal.com

JOSH LAY - HEIROPHANT (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Distortion/feedback/vocal moaning. a title that relates to the Tarot?, and tracks which relate again perhaps to some autobiography 'These Times Are Bad Times' - 'Found Dead In The Woods Of Kentucky' + one collaboration with Nicholas Szczepanik who runs the SRA label that "plans to explore "a branch of science dealing with hearing, the sensations produced by sounds, and the problem with communication" while offering "narrative interruptions, disorder, and sidetracks that exhaustively investigate, discover, and create new meanings" in audio..." I'm not certain of just what this branch of "science" is and I'll probably be thought of as being sophomoric (again) the creation of new meanings is it seems now cool, new meanings for "science" - for "noise" for "art" - which avoids any critical closure other than if we are to be positive about life theses days praise - praise for the last men. (jliat)
Address: http://www.naszczepanik.com/sra/

Things just don't seem to slow down for Rutger Zuydervelt, also known as Machinefabriek, but then a fabriek (which means factory in dutch, in case you wondered) should always work, right? Zuydervelt writes that we shouldn't regard this as the follow up to his main works "Marijn", "Ranonkel" or "Dauw". The title doesn't deal with the tracks on the release which should be played in shuffle mode, but rather with some random shuffle thing that you can find on his website (and installed there by his long term friend and former Dagpauwoog member Gerco Hiddink), in which he loads on or two sounds and then it plays by itself. Or some such, if I understand well. The nine pieces here are named after the instruments used, such 'Acoustic Guitar, E-bow', 'Autoharp, Vinyl' or 'Piano, Voice'. This might seem a hit and miss approach, and obviously we are unaware of the various stages of editing Zuydervelt may have applied to it, but rest assured, this is still top Zuydervelt music, of the kind that he started with... exactly "Marijn" and has expanded later on, on his real CDs but also on his various collaborations and 3"CDR releases. Nice, sparsely orchestrated music. Take 'Piano, voice': a few notes played on the keyboard, some sustained female vocals (courtesy of Mariska Baars of Soccer Comittee) humming nicely. I am not blown away by some of the use of reverb on this release but such is life. Otherwise I think this is a pretty strong release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.nu

PUIN + HOOP - P+H+PH (CDR by Tbfkagnk Records)
Dutch group Puin + Hoop reveal a bit of their identity: Erik, Remco and Roald, along with a special guest named Philip. I won't re-type up what it is they used, because its quite an extensive list of sound effects, recorders, instruments and each of that is mentioned by brand and type number. That's nice, I guess, when you are a gear freak, which I am not. Like before the music is generated through improvisation, recorded to a multi-track recording device and then mixed together. I must say that this time around the improvisations didn't do that much for me. They are quite long and ongoing, even when there is enough variation in there, adding new sounds as they play, it still isn't enough to keep it interesting. However, a piece like 'Effect Me' with its New Zealandish guitar drone underneath and a nice meandering trumpet on top, make up a piece that is nice, certainly in the first half of the song, but it turns out to be quite long too. 'Stervende Stofzuiger' (dying vacuum cleaner) is also quite nice, for it a nice mellow approach but with a creepy undertone and highly processed trumpet. Not bad at all, but most track could have been much shorter. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/puingeefthoop

The work of Micheal Thomas Jackson spans many directions, and despite its somewhat low level approach in packaging, his music is pretty interesting. Sometimes it may hoover a bit too much on the edge of noise music for my taste, but 'Eine Kleine Notmusik' (which I am not sure how to translate) is quite the opposite. Two very long tracks of Ian Caskey on voice, computer and keyboard, Micheal Thomas Jackson on percussion, short wave radio, mixer feedback, tape processing and one L-b Russel on 'unlistenable discs' - whatever that is supposed to be. This is certainly a highly lowercase release if ever you were looking for one. It seems to me recorded in a room with two people working, typing on the computer every now and then, windows open, chimes in the wind, birds and very low somewhere the shortwave producing a static sound. At seven-six minutes maybe way too long to proof any point, but perhaps its the longitude of the release that makes it appealing, certainly when mixed the typing of a review in spring time with the doors open. Highly experimental, highly ambient in a strange sort of manner too. One to undergo rather than to fully concentrated hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.microearth.com/jackson

A new name this Leos Ator, who presents himself as a sound poet. He used the run the label of electronic poetry called L'ovni Tendre, and has played with Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Christopher Williams, Jean-Marc Montera and Zol. '3 Requiems Rouges' are recorded using voice and pure data and it doesn't sound like much I else heard. Or, let me re-state that, it is not what I expected. Maybe I expected a bit more Henri Chopin, or maybe a bit more Whitehouse, or even Michel Chion (in reference to his Requiem), but its not. Actually it seems that there is not a lot of voice to be recognized on this release. The first piece is a low end drone affair, while the second (all untitled) operates in the mid to high regions of frequencies, in a sort of modern computer music kind of way. The third track is the only one which has clearly recognizable voice stuff. Humming unison with eachother, with a bass sound at the bottom, this is perhaps the piece I didn't like best. Perhaps because we may recognize the voice so well, and it was nice to have a sound poet where the voice would totally unrecognizable. But throughout this is quite an enjoyable piece of work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bourbaki-rec.com

Both of these releases deal with C.J. Larsgarden. One time solo as Ondo, and on the other disc in collaboration with Frank Rowenta. With him he recorded 'Grdn' before (see Vital Weekly 631), and here on 'Electromagnetic Fields' they continue the path chosen. A refined combination of field recordings, electro-magnetic interference and the addition of real instruments - well, you could read that last line also in reverse order: maybe the starting point are the real instruments and the rest is added later. Sometimes this results in an uneasy marriage, but the strength of this release is, I guess, in this odd mixture and approaches. Still, like before strong on the outsider part of it all, but with enough references to lo-fi and microsound. Not exactly refined in technical approach and occasionally a bit long, but throughout quite nice.
C.J. Larsgarden also produces solo music under the name of Ondo, and so far he has released a bunch 3"CDRs, but this is, maybe I'm wrong, a full length. As Ondo he plays guitar and lots of sound effects and his aim is to create densely woven ambient patterns of a more louder and grittier kind. His music doesn't exactly lull the listener into a deep sleep, but sort of extends the state of slumber. You don't fall asleep, yet Ondo puts your mind on 'hold'. You relax but perhaps its a facade only, as sometimes he bursts out in some more vicious soundscape. It doesn't add much to what we already before from Ondo, and that is perhaps a pity. Maybe some expansion, into perhaps a different sound world or an extended sound palette would be handy. Maybe that's something for the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pactaservanda.se

CULVER - BLUE ANGEL (3"CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
The little new label Muzzedia Verhead brought us recently brb>voicecoil and now expand their catalogue with others too. First there is Diodaar, which seem to be a trio from Newcastle of Waz Hoola, Simon Moore and Kevin Wilkinson, using tools like 'guitars, bass, synths, glitch's, amps, electronics, xylophone, dictaphone, tins, cases and cymbals' all recorded direct to cassette. Five lengthy pieces of drone based music - very much in the New Zealand fashion. This could have as easily be on Corpus Hermeticum or Black Petal. Dark, mysterious but also lo-fi in approach. Instruments sound a bit muffled in these recordings, but that is part of the game I suppose and its a game Diodaar seems to have mastered already pretty well. Broading, dark, atmospheric with a slight touch of anything dealing with guitars. Think Surface Of The Earth if you will.
This Culver should not be confused, I think, with the Icelandic Culver (of whom we haven't heard much in recent years), but one Lee Stokoe from Tyne & Wear, who operates for 'Blue Angel' from an almost similar musical ground, but even a bit more dense and a bit more dark. Hard to say what's going on here anyway, but it might very well be just a bunch of guitars resonating and humming away; perhaps they are a bunch of motors recorded on a cheap dictaphone - what do I know? It is quite a nice piece, if not a bit too single minded for me. There could have been a bit more variation in here I think.
The big recent surprise in the category 'new acts' is brb>voicecoil, who sound like a new Small Cruel Party. Their (?) mysterious called 'In Damascus They Are Marked By The Teeth' we see a continuation of their sound style, which starts out with metallic sounds, and then as the title piece goes on the rumble gets thicker, fatter and denser, but there is still that strange Small Cruel Party like electronic processing going on until the rumble decays over a considerable long period. 'Witness The Infinite Justice Of The New Century' is also around twenty minutes and is build from acoustic sources (plastic object, running water) which are looped. Once stopped for a moment, and returns with a massive collapse, much louder sounds, also running water, and that slowly runs out. Quite a nice one, again, and it still sounds like the one and only true successor to Small Cruel Party. (FdW)
Address: <verhead@muza.freeserve.co.uk>

STEPHEN SPERA - 4 {H20} (3"CDR by Parvoart)
[PARVO] ART (3"CDR by Parvoart)
Parvoart is curiously (or perhaps funny) named label who release their stuff in an edition of 50 copies, but hire a press agent to do promotion for them. Three releases here, the first being by Stephen Spera, who's 'CV (is) as long as your arm', but I never heard of him. He played in (unnamed) successful rock bands, but also is a painter, photographer and friend of William Basinski and Kenneth Kirschner. Those names aren't dropped by accident, as Spera's music shares great similarities with both: hissy old cassette sounds and cracked devices to alter the sounds of piano and field recordings, create nice ambient like music, which reminds both his friends, but also Brian Eno, as the main difference between Spera and his friends is that Spera knows how to cut a long story short. His pieces here are a few minutes only, whereas the other would probably fill the entire surface of the disk with one piece. That makes things actually more like Eno, say 'On Land' or 'Apollo'. Four pieces, which all have their own character. Intimate, nice, glitchy: great stuff.
Likewise I never heard of John R. Carlson, who is a piano player. He plays here with Oliver Sonntag on drums. Two pieces, ten minutes each, all recorded live to two tracks. Minimal but groovy, almost in a jazzy way. I must say I am a bit lost here, as jazz is not my territory at all. It sounds pleasant, entertaining, nice as a sort of music you put on and do something, like reading a book, in my case. Some of the more subtle changes in this work may be lost then. This is one of those releases I feel a bit lost with: its nice, but essentially, perhaps not for made for me.
The last release for now on Parvoart is a compilation called '[Parvo] Art', which means in Latin 'small art', but to me sounds like 'arvo part'. They limit themselves to small releases of small music, as the two previous already showed. Here we find a collection of seven pieces by a variety of known and unknown names, such as Porzellan, Thomas Phillips & Marihiko Hara, Rim, Kryztof Orluk, Duncan O Ceallaigh, Shinkei and The Boats. All of the music operates in the world called 'lowercase', 'ambient' and 'microsound', which makes these twenty minutes an excellent spacious journey of music. The downside may be that the strong similarity between the pieces make them sound the same. There is not much difference between Rim and Kryztof Orluk and Shinkei for instance, just variations on a theme. But besides that, this is quite a nice little, small compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.parvoart.org

Not a lot of information on this one, which seems to be by one Carlos Suarez and it has three tracks. It seems to me as if he uses a lot of field recordings and sound effects to create his music. I am sure what it is, but there is something about this which I don't like very much, but I find it hard to pin down. Its perhaps the extended use of reverb, the use of loops, the somewhat swollen undercurrent in the music, the off and on noise textures, the orchestral samples in 'Oraculo De La Guerra'? I am not sure. It must be the combination of all of that, that just made this not work for me at all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xedh.org/larraskito_netlabel