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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 678
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week 20
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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

 

OCEANSOUNDS - MARINE MAMMALS AND FISH OF LOFOTEN AND VESTERALEN (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
ASTRO - SHELL STAR SPICA (CD by Cipher Productions)
MARGARETH KAMMERER & RUBY RUBY RUBY - THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE (CD by Zarek)
MAEROR TRI - YEARNING FOR THE SECRET(S) OF NATURE (CD by EE Tapes) *
MATHON - VIA MALA (CD by Everest Records) *
URS LEIMGRUBER & THOMAS LEHN- LAUSANNE (CD by For4 Ears Records) *
WET HAIR - DREAM (CD by Release The Bats) *
HILDEGURLS - ELECTRIC ORDO VIRTUTUM (CD by Innova) *
ZENLO - SKELETHAL ANTCIS (CD by Porter Records)
WOMAN YEAR - AEON CENTERS FADED (CD by Porter Records)
THE NETHER DAWN - WELL SONG (CD by Porter Records)
COPY & PASTE - IT'S OK IF IT'S YOU (CD by Everest Records)
AARON DILLOWAY - CHAIN SHOT (CD by Hanson Records) *
THE YELLOW MOON BAND - POLARIS (12" by Static Caravan)
THE WILD SWANS - ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING (10" by Occultation)
THE GRANITE SHORE - TOMORROW MORNING 3 A.M. (10" by Occultation)
K2 - TARGET TO NOWHERE (CDR by Cipher Productions)
ALTERED NEUROLOGYCAL FUNCTION VOL. 1 (Compilation CDR by R.O.N.F.)
MATHIAS FORGE - ESSAI (CDR by Why Not Ltd) *
SAUL STOKES - METACOLLAGE (CDR, private) *
JUAN JOSE CALARCO - DARSENA INTERNA (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
C-C - MUSE ICK FACT OR Y (CDR by .x.) *
CIRCULUM MUSICUM - PHASES (CDR by Thar)
NAUTICAL DEPTHS - NORTH PASSAGE (CDR by Musical Philosophy) *
CHUBBY WOLF - MEANDERING PUPA (4x business card CDR, private) *

 

OCEANSOUNDS - MARINE MAMMALS AND FISH OF LOFOTEN AND VESTERALEN (CD by Gruenrekorder)
Behind Oceansounds we find biologist Heike I. Vester, who is specialized in 'bio-acoustics of marine animals', following various studies in that direction. In the winter months 2003-2008 she studied Killer Whales in the northern Norway, and currently vocal behavior of killer whales. This is what is captured on this CD: the plain sounds of killer whales during post feeding, 'echolocating male sperm whale', the 'harbour seal pup calling for its mother', 'basking shark and mackerels feeding on plankton', 'pilot whales resting in Vestfjord' and such like. Its of course for an untrained, non-bio acoustic ear such as I have, but lots of these sound quite similar. I have not passed the test to be a biologist I guess. The high chirping sounds (which we may remember from John C. Lilly's CD for Silent Records, here without any other instrument of course) is one that we are quite familiar with. It makes a nice musical sub aquatic trip this CD. It seems that pieces flow into eachother and tell us a story, but perhaps I am just doing my own interpretation. Very nice work, best enjoyed as 'one piece'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

ASTRO - SHELL STAR SPICA (CD by Cipher Productions)
Composed by Hiroshi Hasegawa (of C.C.C.C.) this is a re-release of a double 3inch CDR. Arriving with suitable Hubble telescoped imaged photographs it contains two tracks of analogue synthesized waves of cosmic sound effects drenched in reverb. I guess from his myspace site and all to familiar modulated waves that a Synthi AKS is playing a significant part in this very 60s sounding spacey sci-fi offering. It has that strange unsophisticated sound of Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett, and fireball XL5, and I guess should be listened to dressed in a cheap polythene space suit. Apart from what one could call ideological simplicity there is perhaps in the underlying nostalgia the idea that the past offered a future quite unlike this present which resembles evermore the cold materialism of the 1950s. (jliat)
Address http://www.iheartnoise.com/cipherproductions/

MARGARETH KAMMERER & RUBY RUBY RUBY - THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE (CD by Zarek)
Kammerer works as a vocalist and composer in Berlin in the field of new experimental music. So that was what I expected to hear when I gave this CD a first try. But something else happened. I immediately had to think of Billie Holliday hearing the voice of Margareth Kammerer. Not the baddest comparison one can make of course. Okay, a CD with jazz standards this time: 'Georgia on my mind', 'A Night in Tunesia' and others. Why not. Kammerer has a beautiful and suited voice for this repertoire. She convincely steels the show on the record. With Derek Shirley on bass and Steve Heather playing drums these three are the core in each song, guested by Axel Dörner (trumpet), Michael Thieke (clarinet), Thomas Meadowcroft (organ) and Tobias Delius (tenor sax). The songs wear soberly arranged jackets, leaving room for inspired contributions by the guests, like the tenor sax solo of Delius in 'Godd Bless the Child'. But bringing also the guitar playing of Kammerer to the light. The weak spot on this CD if you ask me. I wished she played a bit in more punctuated and pronounced way. Because this is lacking, a track like 'Angel Eyes' tends to become dull in the end. But her voice is what counts. Inspired evocations of old, timeless song. (DM)
Address: http://www.zangimusic.de

MAEROR TRI - YEARNING FOR THE SECRET(S) OF NATURE (CD by EE Tapes)
Recently I was looking at Discogs to look for some Maeror Tri information. It struck me that there was quite a lot re-released but not everything, as I probably expected. And now, a little later, this rolls into my box, and I am delighted, as this was one of those things that I didn't get when they came out. 'Yearning For The Secret(s) Of Nature' was originally released as a cassette only on Fool's Paradise, and might be one of the first releases of Maeror Tri outside their native Germany. It's dedicated to nature and has two tracks of around thirty minutes, the a and b side of the former cassette release. The title track comes second and its the better of the two pieces. 'Timeless Transcencion', which opens up here, is Maeror Tri as a pretty chaotic affair and not the refined ambient industrial troupe you may recall them, the forebarers of Troum. Occasionally this piece has nice moments, but its all a bit distorted (without being true noise of course), of various pieces recorded in rehearsal stuck together. But the title track does the (Maeror Tri) trick: a fine blend of processed guitars, field recordings, and god knows what else they were using at that time (I seem to remember, voices, oil drums and accordion also). Here too things can get 'louder', but throughout it seems to fit the right tension curve Maeror Tri were aiming for. This is the 'true' Maeror Tri sound, the one we love so much and which found its way into Troum later on. Fans of Troum should not miss out on this, and of course Maeror Tri completists shouldn't either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

MATHON - VIA MALA (CD by Everest Records)
The project named Mathon started eight years ago by Pete Leuenberger as an one-off project but he continued and in 2005 Thomas Augustiny and Roger Stucki joined. They know eachother from various other projects, such as the radioshow Noise In A Box. 'Their different musical backgrounds led to a new concept with the approach to create homogeneous electro-acoustic soundscapes'. And one of these soundscapes can be found in their native Switzerland, the Via Mala, an 'infamous trail along the Hinterrhein in Graubunden'. The journey is not based on mountain recordings, but the trail inspired them to create the music. I am not sure what it is that they use to create their music, but it seems to me a bunch of analogue synthesizers, lots of sound effects, some acoustic instruments (a cymbal in 'Ecclesia Plebeia'), contact microphones and the violin of Ronny Spiegel in some tracks. The opening piece, 'Tschifera', is not unlike the old Chain Reaction sound, bouncing, mild rhythmic, but as the album progresses things become a bit more experimental, but it never loses touch with that first track. There is a lot of reverb used on some of the sounds, to create that depth that they probably imagine with the mountains. Normally I am not a big fan of that, but I must say it works well here. Spooky, mysterious music with a strong ambient side, a nice rhythm touch and enough sense of experiment, to make this a pretty fine disc altogether. A remix album is in the works, it seems. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

URS LEIMGRUBER & THOMAS LEHN- LAUSANNE (CD by For4 Ears Records)
A recording from December 2006 by Urs Leimgruber (soprano and tenor saxophone) and Thomas Lehn (analogue synthesizer) gets released now on For4 Ears. Why it took so long I'm not sure. At that time they played for the first time together and this is 'the first album of their collaboration', so perhaps more are to follow. This is improvised music of the highest order, both in the way things are executed here, but also in the quality thereof. Things buzz, crack, hiss in a highly dynamic way, leaving lots of room for silence and contemplation, especially in 'Quatre'. In the opening 'Un' things are perhaps the most traditional in approach for improvised music, and perhaps my least favorite. But then Leimgruber and Lehn move on to the modern terrain of improvisation, with Leimgruber playing sparsely in a regular way, and Lehn getting more out of nothing from his machine, the EMS synthi-A. Certainly not easy listening music, but one with lots of beauty that aren't at the surface right away. (FdW)
Address: http://www.for4ears.com

WET HAIR - DREAM (CD by Release The Bats)
Raccoo-oo-on is no more, welcome Wet Hair, the band that started as a solo project of Shawn Reed, but is now a duo with Ryan Garbes. 'Dream' ('recorded in December 2012' it says on the cover), is their first release on CD, following some tapes and a 12", and has four long tracks of drums, organ and vocals. More Suicide than Silver Apples. Spacious but punk oriented, especially in the rhythm part of this. Spacious in a psychedelic sense as these pieces aren't short and to the point, but rather long. 'Black Sand' with its rhythm machine ticking away, and soaring vocals reminded me of Pseudo Code. Wet Hair combines krautrock length with punk intention and taps into the barrel of early 80s cassette music. Maybe I would have preferred things to be a bit shorter, but its quite nice, and made me curious to hear more of this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.releasethebats.com

HILDEGURLS - ELECTRIC ORDO VIRTUTUM (CD by Innova)
"A most curious CD" is an expression I used before and perhaps it may not mean that much any more, but then it surely applies to Hildegurls, a group of four female composers and performers: Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa, Kitty Brazelton and Elaine Kaplinsky. They set out to perform works by Hildegard (hildegurls - gettit?) von Bingen, the Roman catholic mystic who lived from 1098 to 1179. She wrote herbal books, composed music and had mystical visions. The 'Ordo Virtutum' is one of her works and its performed here by Hildegurls, adapted by them for theatre. A work in four acts, prologue and a processional. The work is adapted here to modern times and as a modern drama. They use guitars, keyboards, dramatic props but also sing beautifully, like Gregorian chants (if that is the appropriate term), which makes a strange combination. I am not entirely sure wether this is serious beautiful of wether this raises an eyebrow. But as a sucker for things Gregorian (perhaps the downside of non believing in anything), I like this very much. Hildegurls stay away from sounding like any band calling themselves 'ordo' something, and seem to me much more sincere in their approach. A fine work, a strange work. I still have no idea wether to think this is total kitsch or truly beautiful. I guess the latter. (FdW)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

ZENLO - SKELETHAL ANTCIS (CD by Porter Records)
WOMAN YEAR - AEON CENTERS FADED (CD by Porter Records)
THE NETHER DAWN - WELL SONG (CD by Porter Records)
These three very different releases by Porter Records have in common that they all are solo efforts. They bring us to very different parts of the world. Zenlo is a mysterious artist from Italy. It is said that he played in experimental and psychedelic groups in 60s and 70s. But mainly he lives the live a complete musical outsider and it is impossible to connect him with other groups or persons he worked with. I suppose this is first appearance on the 'vinyl' as a solo artist. Everything on 'Skelethal Antics', except for one track (1990), is recorded in 1983 in London. Zenlo plays soprano sax, harmonica, cough, casio, organ, untuned upright piano, electric guitar, synthetics and grand piano. A typical product of a free spirit. Loosely assembled instrumentals, based on improvisations. The music is a bit timeless. It could come from the 70s or the 90s as well. "Beaming Greetings on a far away Beach" reminded me of early work by Terry Riley. 'The Big Dish Suite' has krautrock allure. 'Psitunion' refers to cosmic music. The recording plunged every track in an archaic sound bath, giving this cd an interesting and attractive atmosphere and mood. It is not a forgotten treasure or some missing link that Porter dived up for us. It belongs to the 'curious'-section.
Behind The Nether Dawn we meet Antony Milton from New Zealand. He appeared on the scene of New Zealand in the mid-90s and has already several CDs and CDRs out. "Well Song" is the first cd I hear from him. Milton is clearly into folk and drones. With his new cd he delivers his 'midnight drone blues'-project as he describes it. It is recorded in an old bunker, a room that attracted Milton because of its acoustic qualities. The music looks for a position somewhere between atmospheric soundsculpting on the one hand and lengthy bluesy improvisations on the other. Environmental sounds are combined with his guitar playing and other instruments, and off we go. "Still watch the Sky" is a great drony piece, and closing title "Step through the Night" also. Gradually and proportionally Milton builds some nice captivating trips.
Woman Year leads us to the US. Under this name Michael Saalman performed and produced "Aeon Centers Faded". A collection of odd, quirky and funny songs. His singing is central in most of the songs. He plays a whole bunch of instruments: guitars, keyboards, drums, etc. In most of the songs Saalman hided some surprising twists but remaining with his feet on the ground as a singer-songwriter. (DM)
Address: http://www.porterrecords.com/

COPY & PASTE - IT'S OK IF IT'S YOU (CD by Everest Records)
The unVital music is a self-taught of genre that is isn't a genre. Its all that music that we feel is not part of the great and beautiful family of Vital Weekly - the world of experiment in whatever sense of music, idea etc. In the case of Copy & Paste, a border line case, its hardly unVital when the music is concerned, as this is surely great vital music. Its released by a label that also releases music that we digest well, but the electro-pop trash of Copy & Paste, a duo from Bern (Switzerland), is lively for sure, great dance floor music with a nice punky attitude (think Peaches). Four new pieces and four remixes of phat bass-line, rap-like female vocals, techno/electro rhythms, disco sounds. I must admit that, although probably nothing that the general audience of Vital would like (or probably wouldn't admit), I thought this was a rather enjoyable disc: you don't often see me dancing around at home. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

AARON DILLOWAY - CHAIN SHOT (CD by Hanson Records)
Perhaps I am one of the few non Wolf Eyes fans? I think their music is alright, not the best noise can get, not the most original and the fact that a 'major' released is fine for them, but hardly says something about the quality. Plus there is a lot of Wolf Eyes, and I gave up before I even started. Likewise I didn't follow the respective solo careers, but occasionally I hear something, like 'Chain Shot' by former Wolf Eye Aaron Dilloway. Previously released as a LP by Throne Heap, and now re-issued with a twenty-eight minute bonus track. 'Tape-loops, metal, horns' it says on the cover, whereas I think the banging of metal and horns, horns on metal, metal on horns are cut to tape-loops and being played with Dilloway having a keen ear to filter out the hiss of the tapes and add those as an extra instrument. If one is familiar with the very early works of Merzbow, 'Material Action', one can see the straight line going from that to 'Chain Shot' and the somewhat more noise oriented 'Execution Dock'. Both work as strict linear compositions. Starting, building, the end. I must say that 'Medusa', the bonus piece here is my favorite one. Its long, but it works as a more thought out composition, made from tape hiss, tape loops, maybe even field recordings and it builds very slowly up, until it lands in a more electronic and electro-acoustic territory. An excellent piece, away from the true noise, but never really leaving it. Well thought and made. A fine disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hansonrecords.net

THE YELLOW MOON BAND - POLARIS (12" by Static Caravan)
"File under 'utter retro'" I wrote when reviewing the 7" of The Yellow Moon Band back in Vital Weekly 613. I died and was shipped back to the past and the Yellow Moon Band play seventies tunes. But time has passed, 65 weeklys separate the 7" and the LP and no more west coast imitation, but The Yellow Moon Band opt for a more proggy, krauty type of sound. Is this the same band? Yes and no. It has, if I'm correct, a remix by Time And Space Machine and four remixes by Xela. Perhaps its just them who take the material into an entirely new direction, and does The Yellow Moon Band still sound the same? Obviously we don't know. But I must say that all of these remix business going on is certainly highly enjoyable. Xela takes the material into a more electronic ambient drone area, which quite nice, but its the Time And Space Machine that is the great gem here. A driving rhythm, and 'ah oh' sampled from a chorus line, a bit Beatles like. A great rework taking the original into a new territory, making this into a fine record. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

THE WILD SWANS - ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING (10" by Occultation)
THE GRANITE SHORE - TOMORROW MORNING 3 A.M. (10" by Occultation)
Somewhere in a dusty corner at Vital HQ there is a likewise dusty box containing copies of the Dutch magazine Vinyl, a legendary magazine (with the infamous flexi disc) about all things post punk, electronic and experimental. I do remember reading about The Wild Swans (issue 8, I believe) but I didn't think that in 2009 I would be hearing them for the first time, let alone reviewing them for Vital Weekly. But I do. I must admit that The Wild Swans are quite nice, and nothing at all for Vital Weekly. I do seem to remember the usual Joy Division reference being made at the time, and perhaps they still sound alike now, certainly on 'English Electric Lightning', which is solid doom rock song. On the b-side we find a more poetry/story telling piece about the early days of The Wild Swans and is a homage to Pete de Freitas from Echo & The Bunnyman. Two quite moody pieces of music. I have no idea how they progressed from the early years to now, including various long gaps of non activity, but these two songs are surely quite nice. If nothing for these pages.
Perhaps we could say almost the same thing for The Granite Shore, a 'musical collective [...] without rigid structure, form or membership' and according to the label (neat packaging boys!) is 'experimental and seeks to represent quality musicianship, songwriting and lyrical eloquence contrast sharply with today's mass-produced music', but their a-side 'Tomorrow Morning 3 A.M.' is a pretty regular rock piece. I have no clue who or what to compare it with as I am heavily out of touch with alternative rock, but their wailing guitar solos sound pretty old fashioned to me. The b-side 'Workhouse' fares better to my taste, but its all a bit too normal for these ears, and I preferred The Wild Swans over this one. If nothing, again, for these pages. (FdW)
Address: http://www.occultation.co.uk

K2 - TARGET TO NOWHERE (CDR by Cipher Productions)
This is perfect. That said I suppose more should be said - but it need not. Why I continue is not for self gratification but as an act of providing public information- much as I would tell you if your house was on fire. If you already accept TTN is perfect - or know that your house IS on fire - read no further- phone for help? Of the 4 tracks 3 are of splits and cutups- sections placed across the stereo field - of manipulated / mutilated harsh noise - feedback, distortion, some voice- punctuated and staccatoded magnificence. Track three stands out in being mono? Of a more limited dynamic range, still noise and its sources as before but not as cutup. The applause at the end of this track makes the summation that this is a live recording obvious, whereas the others which seem to be more edited or de-edited I suppose are studio work. No matter the live track documents though grainy an excellent noise performance, the others are simply
splendid. Its not often I hear what I consider a definitive work, which this is, so why only limited to 100? Ok if you've read so far and are the least bit into noise - buy this. Can I now do the so called "pseudo-intellectual bit"?- (climbs on high horse) Noise (this kind of noise) either marks the completion of western music's teleology - evolution, dialectic - "whatever" - or directly opposes the idea of any structural grand narrative, it can simultaneously occupy both positions - it can be art and not art 'at the same time' (therefore resisting closure in a transcendental signified - its immanent becoming..) though not purring quite like Schrödinger's cat, and though *only* occupying the *most* significant position in light of its anti dialectic contra-eschatological ontology its summits can be descended from as well as climbed up. (spot the cute mountain metaphor - K2 get it?) Still the view from the top is splendid, and the going down both Nietzschean and with the faint glow of Moses on his decent. (jliat & trigger)
Address http://www.iheartnoise.com/cipherproductions/

ALTERED NEUROLOGYCAL FUNCTION VOL. 1 (Compilation CDR by R.O.N.F.)
Spanish label R.O.N.F. has been on the stage for some years by now. Established in 2006 the name is a shortage of "Regression Of Noise Freaks" and the focus on the label is releasing albums that lie in the abrasive areas of musical expression from harsh Noise to¬ÝGrindcore. Over time the label has come up with a number of interesting compilations and solo-releases from both underground artists and more established artists such as Richard Ramirez. On this 30th shot from the powerful gun, the full throttle noise expressions have been substituted by more subtle ones. As the title suggests, "Altered neurological function vol. 1" is an album of a more introvert nature than is the case with the main number of almost brain-damaging sonic freakouts coming from the¬Ýlabel.¬ÝThe thirteen pieces of the album swirl in atmospheres of dark ambient. The pressure on the album is put on the drone-based style though this is not an album drifting away to, since a number of tracks contain elements of subdued noise. More likely the compilation takes the listener on a¬Ýhallucinating and sometimes creepy acid trip into the secret corners¬Ýof human sub-consciousness. Stylishly I find much similarity to the excellent triple disc dark ambient/noise-compilation "Release your mind vol. 2" (Relapse/Release Entertainment, 1997): Just like¬Ýthis twelve years old compilation-box attracted me in its very own strange nature, this new compilation from R.O.N.F. does the same. Everyone interested in edgy drone ambient should definitely check this out. (NM)
Address: http://www.ronfrecords.com/

MATHIAS FORGE - ESSAI (CDR by Why Not Ltd)
A new name, Mathias Forge, who, according to the cover, uses 12 tape recorders and 4 magnets. The three pieces here were recorded in October 2008. No instruments are mentioned, so its a bit unclear what it is what Forge does here. The music is at times noise based, feedback howls every now and then, but Forge keeps control all the time, and then the sound sinks back into sheer silence. Its music that comes to the listener as a sound collage, with the sound bouncing back and forth between harsh noise and sheer silence. This works best in 'Essai 8', where the silence prevails over the noise part. Nice stuff, though not great or brilliant. (FdW)
Address: http://www.whynotltd.tk

SAUL STOKES - METACOLLAGE (CDR, private)
In a nice wooden sleeve comes a new release by Saul Stokes, whom we know from his various releases for Hypnos. Stokes belongs to the scene of ambient musicians in the USA that seem to play the same tune over and over again, even when Stokes occasionally adds some rhythm elements to his music. That doesn't seem the case on 'Metacollage', but its also not the typical ambient album we would expect from him. In some curious twist his music allows also some classical synths to drop in - like drops of water, such as in 'Out Of True', thus avoiding the endless sustained synthesizers which this scene is known for. That sets him a bit aside of the regular pack of ambient musicians, and it makes 'Metacollage' into that something that is a little bit different than the usual pack but that never looses it origins in the world of ambient music. It still has that relaxing quality of good ambient music, but a little bit more spicier, without falling too much outside with the rest. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.saulstokes.com

JUAN JOSE CALARCO - DARSENA INTERNA (CDR by Mystery Sea)
The name Juan Jose Calarco popped up in Vital Weekly, back in issue 631 when I reviewed a collaboration of his with Ubeboet and Pablo Reche, but otherwise I know not much about this composer. He is from Argentina and had various releases on the internet. He works, according to Mystery Sea, 'essentially on urban field recordings meticulously selected, processed & assembled', which seems to me drifting (excuse le mot) away from the general water theme the releases on Mystery Sea generally have. Which of course is hardly a problem, its the end result that counts here. The water sounds that we hear in the first part of 'Darsena Interna' is not from the (mystery) sea, but rain dripping in buildings. I think. His field recordings are pretty interesting and has put them together into quite an interesting collage of sound. Not unlike Christopher McFall urban soundscapes, Calarco moves around the city - at night I would think, hearing his music - and records elevators, ventilators and obscure empty spaces, and the music he creates from that sounds rather dark and gloom. The soundtrack to a movie about a killer loose in the city. Mysterious music that has a rather unsettling character, but it sounds great. Cinematic qualities all around here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

C-C - MUSE ICK FACT OR Y (CDR by .x.)
This I got handed last friday by Andrew Chadwick, also known as Ironing, then part of Slaughterin' Slobbersville (among Lucas Abela and Blectum from Blechdom), which was a hilarious show. I must admit I forgot a bit what Andrew said about this release, though maybe the time of night had something to do with it. It was originally released on Custom Muisc Records in 2007, and re-issued by .x. as part of Ironing's euro tour, although its not under that name but as Cocacolah or C-C. See? Things are confusing, but then so is the music. Plunderphonics at work here, and especially the work of rap, hip hop and scratching which are put together in quite a crude way, quite raw and noisy, but it never hits the tab of real noise. I don't know what to make of this. Its not bad, but seeing that rap, hip hop and such like aren't exactly my favorite things, I think I preferred out of this lot 'This Is Cuban Bass' best. Noisy and raw, but funny, whereas the others were funny at their best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/cocacolah

CIRCULUM MUSICUM - PHASES (CDR by Thar)
NAUTICAL DEPTHS - NORTH PASSAGE (CDR by Musical Philosophy)
I have no idea what format these are in. It might be MP3, CDR or CD, but the label's (actually a label with many subdivisions) website is not clear about this. What is the problem with supplying sufficient information with a release? Also nothing on the artists. The label has strong ties to the Dutch Databloem label, and after hearing these two, its hardly a surprise. Circulum Musicum play seven long pieces, well over seventy minutes, of highly ambient music, with a bit of rhythm at the bottom end. At least in most of the tracks. Sometimes the rhythm forces itself a bit more to the foreground. Music along the lines of Databloem and Hypnos. Late night red wine music. Circulum Musicum stays away from the new age circles, as well as true ambient house scene. Its quite pleasant music I think, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Behind Nautical Depths we find Mathias Grassow and Tomas Weiss and for their 'North Passage', they find inspiration in the life of Willem Barentz, the dutch sailor who tried to find the passage to the east along the norther coast of Russia, In 1597 he died there. A true Dutch hero! The music here is a tribute to his work and Grassow and Weiss find the lowest tones on their keyboards to make an aural picture of the cold and harshness of the climate, yet of course the music is not at all harsh or cold. Deep drone music of a highly relaxing kind. Nothing to do with new age either, nor does it particular stand out in its field, but as a whole, the music and the concept, seemed stronger than Circulum Musicum. Quite a strong release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.el-culto.eu

CHUBBY WOLF - MEANDERING PUPA (4x business card CDR, private)
You may wonder who Chubby Wolf is? Its the solo project of Dani Baquet-Long, one half of Celer, who is responsible for 'all music, voice, processing, titles, painting and photography' on her first solo release 'Meandering Pupa', which comes not as a 3"CDR, which this material could have easily fitted on, but as a set of four business card CDRs in a rather dull, not too sturdy cardboard box. Musicwise there is not much difference with the music of Celer. Five pieces in total, three of them around four minutes and two a bit shorter, of highly atmospheric music, highly processed field recordings, or perhaps instruments, or perhaps just electronics. Not entirely worked out, which is perhaps the best things about it. It still has, far away, that rough edge, such as the not yet completed composition 'Golems Caving In To Rebels', which shimmers a bit through in what we hear, but its a nice gesture. Nice stuff, but altogether very short... Its of course a bit of a drag to get up every time to switch a disc, but then I thought it is perhaps a nice perversity on behalf of Chubby Wolf. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/chubbywolfsounds