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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 695
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week 37
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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

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* noted are in this week's podcast. We finally have a feed again. 1000x times to Maximillian for his endless patience & help. Its here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xm

 

Editorial news: we have decided to stop reviewing MP3 releases. Please do not send any discs with MP3 releases. Just send me an e-mail with a link and a short description, so people can download it. The amount of releases pile up every week and I can no longer devote time to MP3s. Whatever you see coming in the next few weeks are the last ones. Please do not send anymore. Also: releases that do not contain the original artwork will most likely be no longer reviewed. The real thing is necessary for a real judgment. If you wish to send us not the real thing, please contact us first. <vital@vitalweekly.net>

 

SLW - FIFTEEN POINTS NINE GRAMS (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki) *
THOMAS KONER - LA BARCA (CD by Fario) *
THE INFANT CYCLE - THE SAND RAYS (CD by Diophantine Discs) *
THE MOBILE INTERACTIVE COMPUTER ENSEMBLE - MICE WORLD TOUR (CD by EcoSono) *
TELEKASTER - THE SILENT ANAGRAM (LP by Champversion/Panic Arrest)
N - BERGEN (SKIZZEN + NOTIZEN) (LP by Consouling Sounds)
N - TRISCHEN (LP by Genesungswerk)
MIRKO UHLIG/N - SANDDORN (7" by Ex Ovo/Genesungswerk)
STILLBIRTH/PRURIENT - THE MIRROR OF PURIFICATION (7" by Semata Productions)
RICARDO DONOSO - ZEROVINTEUM (7" by Semata Productions)
STRONGLY IMPLODED - WHY USE A PROXY? (CDR by Ikuisuus)
BIONULOR (CDR by Etalabel) *
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - THE MARIA SESSIONS (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope) *
EDWARD KA-SPEL & THE SILVERMAN - THE WHISPERING WAIL (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope)
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - HUMAN RADIO (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope)
INSTAGON - THEE SCREAMS OV ANGELS ON THEE DEAF EARS OV MAN (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
AUDIO ROADKILL VOLUME TWO (CDR by Love Earth Music)
ILAN MANOUACH & TASOS STAMOU - LIVE (CDR by A Question Of Re-Entry) *
MATT WESTON - FOR ALEXANDROS GRIGOROPOULOUS (CDR by A Question By Re-Entry) *
PHANTOM HERON SEAS - SPECTRAL DISHWATER (CDR by Muzzedia Verhead) *
DIODAAR - BLACK MOON SIEGE IMPRESSION (CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
DIODAAR - RUST COLOURED AIRBRUSH STROKE (3"CDR by Muzzedia Verhead) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - LOOPS FOR VOERMAN (3"CDR by Machinefabriek) *

 

SLW - FIFTEEN POINTS NINE GRAMS (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
The press text refers to a previous CD by SLW, which I called back then an instant quartet. Its Burkhard Beins (percussion, objects), Lucio Capece (soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, preparations), Rhodri Davies (harp, electro-acoustic devices) and Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixing board) and back then it seemed an one-of occasion which, in the world of improvisation is a common practice. Imagine a traveling circus of people who meet in a variety of places, perform music on the spot, and then move on. Back then the CD was called 'SLW', now they moved that being their 'band' name and these four meet on a regular basis. The recordings presented here were made in July 2007 in France, and is mixed by Nakamura. Like with this previous releases sustaining sounds play the all important role in this new piece. It sounds to me as if the four agreed upon the following concept to play: let's all imitate sine waves, drones and feedback like sound with our instruments. Only Beins at a very few occasions goes out of that and seems to be hitting instead of rubbing or bowing. Sometimes things seem to explode and go beyond the noise limit, sometimes they play a very soft card. The listener is taken on a great journey by these four excellent players. Forty some refined minutes of improvised music. Improvised music which hardly sounds improvised. (FdW)
Address: http://thesorg.noise-below.org

THOMAS KONER - LA BARCA (CD by Fario)
Maybe the time has come to admit that I was kinda jealous at Thomas Koner when he released his first CD on Barooni. It was quite early on for experimental music on CDs and this looked and sounded great. In those early days I had all of his work, then later on also his work as Porter Ricks (which I recently re-played and thought still to be very good), but then, at one point, I didn't keep up. I can't remember why, but it just happened, somewhere at the beginning of this century. So somehow it escaped me that Koner didn't release anything for the last five years and that 'La Barca' is his first musical release for some time. Here he uses field recordings from various locations (mentioned as longitude/latitude in the titles), with a strong interest in voices. No rain drops from the jungle, or wind from the permafrost, but people talking, walking and passing by. This he mixed with electronics (I guess) and the result is some great ambient music. I hear Japanese and French voices, a car passing, and Koner plays all along long form sounds, powerful in all its quietness. Ambient music with the very big A, great music along the lines of the best, say Brian Eno. Post holidays (a traveling period for some) a release that keeps the spirit of traveling alive and an excellent companion for short, dark winter nights. (FdW)
Address: http://www.feardrop.net

THE INFANT CYCLE - THE SAND RAYS (CD by Diophantine Discs)
This label has released both on CD and vinyl. Perhaps its therefore a bit of an odd choice to release the new Infant Cycle on CD. Not because of the nature of the music, but due to the material which was used to create this music: like before Jim DeJong, the man behind The Infant Cycle, uses vinyl to create his music. Ah. You think vinyl and you think Yoshihide, Marclay or Spooky? Wrong. The Infant Cycle has nothing to do with turntablism like that. More along the lines of Vertonen, The Infant Cycle uses run out grooves which are taped and then fed through a line of analogue sound effects or perhaps synthesizers and then further treated, enhanced and altered on the computer. Actually I made that last bit up, as I think there are no computers used by The Infant Cycle. Its more likely that everything exists in the world of analogue sounds, with cheap low resolution sampling keyboards, four track recording machines and more analogue sound effects. The music is raw and densely layered with lots of icing on the cake, but this is not a work of endless spinning noise loops. Jim DeJong knows how to create music that is both noise based and yet still something to hear. Although throughout quite present, he is not shy to take matters into a more quieter area, and presents us a highly listenable release of music that is, for me at least, the logical step in what some call industrial music. Powerful, intense, rich of ideas and excellently executed. (FdW)
Address: http://discs.diophantine.net

THE MOBILE INTERACTIVE COMPUTER ENSEMBLE - MICE WORLD TOUR (CD by EcoSono)
In this case MICE is short for The Mobile Interactive Computer Ensemble, which lists a whole bunch of names, about twenty-one in fact, and they are an 'innovative sonic arts ensemble using networked computers and interactive acoustics'. They have played all around the world, using their laptops and a variety of instruments and sound sources... sand sources even. In the first track there is the sound of buried microphones in a desert. There is an ecological angle to this, say people of the green world unite, or something like that, but that may reflect just of some of the more ethnical sounds used here and there, but throughout the microsounding edge prevails here. In 'That Which Is Bodiless' a saxophone bridges to the world of jazz, and its the weakest piece on the album. 'Sandprints' has a nice poppy touch to it, an almost electro-dance piece with great childlike rhythms. Great. 'World Strings' processes all sorts of string instruments together in quite a nice pieces. The other pieces can be find in laptop processing of sounds and are more abstract, with ''A'aa' being almost a Stephan Mathieu like piece. They are quite alright too, but not spectacular. The album ends with eight short pieces of FM sounds being processed in real time. They sort of elude me being on this album at the end. Maybe four of them should have been cut in between the regular pieces? Quite a varied album, and its perhaps this variety that saves the album. Not every minute is equally strong, but its saved by the pleasure used to bring this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ecosono.com

TELEKASTER - THE SILENT ANAGRAM (LP by Champversion/Panic Arrest)
The debut album by Matthias Grübel, who plays 'various instruments, sounds and manipulation', with the help of some others on violin, electric guitar, voice and 'orchestra arrangements and other recordings'. Grübel has released before under the guise of Phon Noir on Sub Rosa, but for some reason changed to Telekaster. Its not easy to describe the album. Its all highly atmospheric music, that's for sure. Not just in a drone sense of the word, because melodies play an important role here. The various instruments seem to me mainly guitars and a piano (perhaps a midi one), with an extensive use of sound effects to create a rich, thick sound, that is orchestral in 'All That Is Solid Melts Into Noise', drifting into a more introspective tune of 'Where Diving Bells Are Ringing'. Post rock is perhaps a term to fits this, but its all without drums and its definitely not static. This music is in constant flux, always on the move. A great record actually. Very melodic, without becoming a pop record. More modern classical, I'd say. A very pleasant and varied album. Highlight of the week. (FdW)
Address: http://championversion.com/

N - BERGEN (SKIZZEN + NOTIZEN) (LP by Consouling Sounds)
N - TRISCHEN (LP by Genesungswerk)
MIRKO UHLIG/N - SANDDORN (7" by Ex Ovo/Genesungswerk)
To be honest: it sort of eludes me why in 2009 a label would want to release a remix LP from a 2LP set from 2003? Back then Genesungswerk released the very nice record 'Bergen' by N (see Vital Weekly 473), also known as Hellmut Neidhart, the guitar player from [Multer], and now Consouling Sounds releases a four track remix album, with pieces by Mirko Uhlig, Segment, Fear Falls Burning and N himself. Things open up with a short lovely piece of a lighter nature. Feeding perhaps through some synthesizer, this is gorgeous. Segment starts out drone based, but then moves into a strange bouncing and minimal piece of music. A long piece, but one that needs its time indeed. Fear Falls Burning also get quite some space on this record. Its hard to think how someone who plays guitar and effects can create a remix. Maybe N gave him some chords used on the original? Or maybe the original is fed through some of the Fear Falls Burning effects? Either way, the end result is great. It doesn't sound like a remix, it sounds like a Fear Falls Burning original. N's own remix is a matter of 're-amping and live dubbing', according to the cover. A subdued mix, sounding far away. Not very long, but perhaps a fine way to end this record.
At the same time there is a new LP by N on Genesungswerk called 'Trischen', with recordings from this year, direct to two track. The previous record was mastered by Thomas Koner, and one could perhaps see that in the music, this new one is mastered by Fear Falls Burning, and, I'll be damned, there is a link to that music too. Five pieces of guitar playing, more raw than Fear Falls Burning perhaps, with just a bit more distortion pedal, pushed a bit further, but by and large N fishes the same pond of guitar drone music. Actually quite nice indeed, be it not very original but played with care and style. Remix to be expected in 2015, I assume?
The format of 7" might not be the right format for this kind of music, but N and Mirko Uhlig give it a try anyway. Its a bit unclear who does what here, but maybe there is no link: 'recorded and mixed separately 2008 and 2009'. N's side sounds less like guitars, or perhaps: less than on 'Trischen', and a bit more electronic. Uhlig (formerly known as Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf) plays the piano on his side, distant and quiet. Electronics? Perhaps somewhere. Maybe you should play both sides at the same time? Curious little item, on transparent vinyl and a nice full color cover on transparent paper. (FdW)
Address: http://www.consouling.be
Address: http://www.genesungswerk.de
Address: http://www.exovo.org

STILLBIRTH/PRURIENT - THE MIRROR OF PURIFICATION (7" by Semata Productions)
RICARDO DONOSO - ZEROVINTEUM (7" by Semata Productions)
It was mentioned before, but I'll say it again: not all kinds of music are fit for a 7" release. Not because the music is bad, but sometimes the tonal qualities are better for a CD release, and the brief character of a 7" do not always justify the music. That's my 'problem' with these two 7" records. Excellent presented in nice covers and blowing away any expectations I might have had. I assumed, wrongly, that Stillbirth and Prurient on the firs 7" would be noise. Both bands present here, on 45 rpm!, a piece which is best described as dark ambient. Highly textured music of layered guitar sounds, synthesizers, mumbled voices from the ether and other manipulations. Great. But way too short.
A bit longer, since it plays at 33 rpm, is the 7" by Ricardo Donoso, who is the drummer of 'experimental death metal unit' Ehnahre and one half of Perispirit. His 7" is great. Again it has nothing to with death metal or noise, but it takes the sound of drums and synthesizers as the starting point for two great pieces of minimal dark ambient music. Especially 'Plate Fourteen' is a very minimalist affair of cymbals that form a drone, while title piece is more a complex web of sounds, all mixed to dark moody pitches. Here too, I would have loved to hear more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.semataproductions.com

STRONGLY IMPLODED - WHY USE A PROXY? (CDR by Ikuisuus)
A release from the Ikuisuus-label (Finland). Strongly Imploded is a group of four people who don't reveal their real names. They play reeds, guitar, drums, glockenspiel, electronics, synth and bells. They come from different musical backgrounds and decided to start Strongly Imploded as an laboratory for new musical experiments. And experiment is what they do. They recorded this CDR in 2008 in Napoli, Italy, so I suppose it is an italian combo. In their radical improvisations they mix sources of acoustic and electronic origin. In the quiet and open passages their music fails to attract attention. However in the extravert and loud parts of the improvisations they do. There are some very enjoyable cacaphonic and furious minutes to enjoy here. Also they know how to built up a piece of improvised music. They are relatively new in this business if you ask me, but eager to learn more, as can be deduced from their dedicated playing. (DM)
Address: http://www.ikuisuus.net/

BIONULOR (CDR by Etalabel)
The music created by Bionulor is "100% sound recycling" as he calls it himself. Each piece is created with only one sample, which is then processed in lots of different ways. A bit like Aube used to work, taking one source to create music. Aube did that for a whole CD, but somehow I think Bionulor changes his source per track, which of course is fine too. He writes that he uses 'musical waste', like sounds from old tapes, vinyl and archive recordings. The processings done by Bionulor are entirely made in the digital domain, i.e. the computer. A job well-done I'd say. The music is glitchy, yet warm. Warm digital ambient music along the lines of say Fennesz or Stephan Mathieu. As such one could say there is not much news under this ambient glitch music, but Bionulor does however a fine job. Fifty solid minutes of finely woven, textured music. Some tracks could have been a bit shorter I'd say, but surely that's something for the future. This is a promising start. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/bionulor

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - THE MARIA SESSIONS (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope)
EDWARD KA-SPEL & THE SILVERMAN - THE WHISPERING WAIL (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope)
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - HUMAN RADIO (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidscope)
A celebration that somehow escaped me, which of course I should be ashamed of forgetting: this year The Legendary Pink Dots exist thirty years and that means an interesting archeological sound dig. Three CDRs of material, two by the band and one by the two main actors of the band, Edward Ka-spel and The Silverman. Maybe I told this story before, but in the early to mid-80s I was a big Pink Dots fan, as their tracks on compilation cassettes stood out from the amorph industrial music that was usually served. They had a rock sound that was still experimental, with tape cut ups and collages of sound. When they started to release records, and played more regular songs my interest disappeared a bit, but when I got 'The Maria Dimension' in 1991 I was blown away by those great songs and to this date I think this album is the one to get, if you only just want one. I believe its their best selling album. On 'The Maria Sessions' we get to hear how this material was born, shaped and finished. The band was four then: Ka-spel, The Silverman, Niels van Hoorn and Bob Pistoor and each in a corner, they created their music spontaneously, which was recorded onto a cassette. To many this was the band's best line-up (me included, although I think the absence of violin is still to be regretted). Listening to these four lengthy pieces, one hardly recognizes any of what would later become the songs of the album, but in the first part the electronics swirl around. Coming from all four corners, guitar and saxophone included, its a great ambient piece. In the second part the rhythm plays a big role and Pistoor's guitar howls away. The last two pieces combine both ends and make a great album. As said, trainspotters won't be able to recognize any of the songs, but these edits (keep that in mind - this is not the complete session material, but edited highlights) show a great instrumental Pink Dots work. Not unlike 'Four Days', which was recorded in the same years.
The same working method was applied later on, in 2004, when the band recorded 'The Whispering Wall', but then only by core members Ka-spel and The Silverman. I realize that I have no clue how the band worked for their other albums. Through similar jams? Or more from a concrete starting point? Anyway, in 2004, the two sat down with the synthesizers and went jamming around. Its away from 'The Maria Sessions', these four jams being purely electronic and somewhat crude, even at time a bit noise based. A far cry from the refined psychedelic ambient of the previous release, and piercing at times. I don't seem to remember this angle from resulting 'The Whispering Wall' CD, but its nice to hear this. Of course its not screaming noise hell, certainly in the first piece things are quite nicely psychedelic. Great view of how a band like this works.
These two releases would make you forget that the Legendary Pink Dots are band, playing songs, with heads and tails. May 14th 2002 was when The Dots (the Ka-spel, landed in Cafe Desmet in Amsterdam. A small bar inside a radio studio. They were invited by Marylou and it was a strange period for the Netherlands. It was about election time, right after the murder of Pim Fortuyn, 8 days earlier. A country in chaos and distress and what could be better than the apocalyptic voice of Ka-spel and the at times sad and other times hopeful music of the Dots? The set of eight songs they play here is rather intimate, almost folk like with the 'The More It Stays The Same' as the odd ball out. No krautrock like explosions they can also be known for if they play the venue. No such thing here. A damn fine recording of a great set of songs, plus some funny radio quotes. Three fine releases to celebrate thirty years. Onwards to the next thirty. (FdW)
Address: http://www.terminalkaleidoscope.com/

INSTAGON - THEE SCREAMS OV ANGELS ON THEE DEAF EARS OV MAN (CDR by Love Earth Music)
AUDIO ROADKILL VOLUME TWO (CDR by Thee Instagon Foundation)
Back in Vital Weekly 671, we reviewed 'Audio Roadkill Volume One' by Thee Instagon Foundation, here is a somewhat more complicated affair. As Instagon, the band that is, there are twenty-four people who contribute sound material to this release of eight tracks. They were all recorded live, show 470 to show 483 (these guys play a lot), where a variety, but not all twenty-four are on stage, perform some crazy, noise based improvised music. Noise based, but not in the sense that its an hour worth of feedback howl, but improvised on a variety of instruments such as bass, synthesizer, guitar, maybe even a bit of vocal. I was reminded of some early Throbbing Gristle freaking and jamming out, when they sounded more like a rock unit, than a band that used a lot of synthesizers and electronics. Not every piece is convincing here, especially when someone does that something that certainly won't fit the schematics of whatever is going on, but the raw energy of this makes up for it. Much better than the previous compilation, with the jazzy 'The Handstamp Conspiracy' as the highlight here.
I wasn't that pleased with the 'Audio Roadkill Volume One' compilation, but always eager to hear more, here is 'Volume Two' and things have improved. It starts with a fairly long piece by Nux Vomica for contact microphones and mild electronics, and it creates a great piece. Vertonen's Blake Edwards has four tracks on offer cut as one track, which brings the noise to the compilation, but in quite a nice way. Not always just a loud blast, but he walks a fine line with more silent fragments, inside the space of one piece. A fine job. More noise comes from Audioemetic and Kawaiietly Please, which wasn't bad, but too single minded in their turntable with distortion pedals pushed through the floor. But Nux Vomica and Vertonen save the day for this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loveearthmusic.com

Address: http://www.tif.org

ILAN MANOUACH & TASOS STAMOU - LIVE (CDR by A Question Of Re-Entry)
MATT WESTON - FOR ALEXANDROS GRIGOROPOULOUS (CDR by A Question By Re-Entry)
Both of these releases have a printed cover, but both don't have that much information to go by. The whatever info on Manouach & Stamou is very small printed, but i learned that Ilan Manouach plays saxophone and reeds (and more) and Tasos Stamou plays effects, electronics, toys etc and that this work was recored during an impromptu event at Despo Papastathi's house. A work of improvised music. Manouach's saxophone sounds at times like Evan Parker or Lol Coxhill, that is the somewhat more traditional playing of the instrument and not the exploration of the full potential of the instrument-as-object. Which of course is fine. Stamou waves along some nice electronics, which are mostly in the background, sometimes as drones, sometimes percussive. Nice stuff going on here, like lazy sunday afternoon: glass of retsina, nice improvised music, relaxed atmosphere.
But sunday afternoons can get disturbed. In December 2008 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot by the police. US percussion player Matt Weston, of whom I think I never heard, created a tribute to Grigoropoulos' memory, which is a powerful, loud work of electronics, turntablism (it seems, it might also be the kaos pad), and percussive instrumental bits, all recorded loud, in your face, without becoming too obvious noise based. This is also only partly rooted in the world of improvised music, but perhaps owes more to old good musique concrete in the old analogue sense of the word. Quite a powerful work of heavy electronics for a heavy subject. (FdW)
Address: http://www.noise-below.org

PHANTOM HERON SEAS - SPECTRAL DISHWATER (CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
DIODAAR - BLACK MOON SIEGE IMPRESSION (CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
DIODAAR - RUST COLOURED AIRBRUSH STROKE (3"CDR by Muzzedia Verhead)
Behind Phanton Heron Seas is Allan Upton, whom we also know as the man behind the Dead Sea Liner label, and as a musician as Textured Bird Transmission. I must admit that hearing this Phantom Heron Seas and knowing Textured Bird Transmission doesn't make it easy to say what the differences are between both projects. Upton likes his music to be drone based and it seems to me that it is created in the digital domain. Highly textured glitch based music that doesn't deal with clicks an cuts, but gliding and sustaining sounds of refined computer processing. Excellent stuff. Nothing new or spectacular innovative, but very well crafted drone music. At times sparsely orchestrated and at other times a bit more massive. From both project, I think this is the best release so far.
Diodaar is a trio of Simon Moore, Waz Hoola and Kev Wilkinson and as soundsources, the cover lists guitars, bass, synths, computers, electronics, cymbals, dictaphones, amps and boxes. On 'Black Moon Siege Impression' they have two cuts, one of twenty seven minutes and one of thirteen minutes. They improvise their music 'direct to stereo mics'. I have no idea if there is some form of editing afterwards. When I was listening to these pieces I couldn't help thinking of the local The Dear Listeners. Diodaar sounds very much alike them: sustaining guitars, which slowly evolve and develop with sound effects playing an all important role. In '0612040902-1' there is the continuous sound of a cymbal. Slow motion music, played with great care. And of course something similar can be said of the 3"CDR, a kind of sister release to the full length, but if I had to compare all three pieces, I'd say the one of the 3" is the most worked out, most complex one, and the most musical one. Rather than an improvisation, it seems if the three members actually set out to play a pre-planned piece of music. As great as the other one actually, but better! (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/muzzediaverhead

MACHINEFABRIEK - LOOPS FOR VOERMAN (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
The cover says 'originally presented on a three way speaker system, 11 and 12 september 2009 at Beeldenpark Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht', which is funny, since I write this on the 4th of september. Perhaps Machinefabriek made these ready before the presentation of the sculpture by one Rob Voerman? The cover may show this sculpture, but I don't think I would easily recognize this, when I saw the real thing. Rutger Zuydervelt composed a fifteen minute for this sculpture which deals with his guitar and the effects that surround the six strings. Things are put through an endless sustain, with a slow, shifting mood. Played with a violin bow, it seems, and the decay of the sounds are amplified even a bit more, so we can hear them well. Quite an environmental, as in ambient, piece of music. Maybe a bit too much in the improvised world (some more editing could have made the piece a bit more tighter), but a great surrounding music piece anyway. (FdW)
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.nu