number 698
week 40


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. 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>


THE HATERS - IN THE SHADE OF FIRE (CD by Hanson Records) *
JASON KAHN & RICHARD FRANCIS (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
MUDBOY - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat) *
SPIRACLE - ANANTA (2CD by The Helen Scarsdale Agency) *
BRUME - THE SUN/THE MOON (2CD by Elsie & Jack Recordings) *
RETARDER - ENQUIRIES (CD by Tourette Records) *
DAO+COH - DZERZHINSK-9 (LP by Tourette Records)
AUTUMN BLOOD (CD compilation by Lumberton Trading Company)
(AD)VANCE(D) - TWO EVENTS (LP by Waystyx Records)
THE VOMIT ARSONIST - WRETCH (CD by Cipher Productions)
AZOIKUM - ANTHROPOPHAGY (CDR by Cipher Productions)
STROTTER INST. - BOLZPLATZ (10" by Everest Records) *
SIMON WHETHAM - D/R (CDR by 1000Füssler) *
GELUIDSPOST 2007-2008 (2CDR by Universaal Kunst)
CORNSTAR - LULLA (CDR by Visceral Media) *


plus new MP3 releases & announcements

More celebrations: this year marks also the 30th year of existence for The Haters and somehow I thought G.X. Jupitter-Larsen is not the kind of guy to look back upon the past. Not much of his old releases, if any at all, made it to another, more current format, or even as MP3 releases on all those nice historical blogs that unearth so much great and old music. But lo and behold, here is perhaps the first of many re-issues and what classic it is. 'In The Shade Of Fire' was in 1986 the very first LP release by The Haters, on Silent Records, long before they started to be big on the ambient house scene. The Haters are here in great shape. The sound of destruction leads the pieces. The breaking of glass, the crackle of fire, explosions and car crashes are looped with old reel-to-reel machines or perhaps cassette tapes and put together into very crude, minimal compositions. Loops phase shift with eachother and create a dense, minimal pattern of sound, that is quite loud of course. Noise as noise should be, in the mid-80s but after twenty-three years haven't lost a single bit of the original power. Noise for sure, but, and that's perhaps the most striking thing in hearing this after all these years, The Haters sound so 'musical'. Thought has been put into the compositions to make them sound like compositions. "Noise Is Pleasing" and "The grinding vibrating murmer of entropy is a pleasant intoxication for me", G.X. writes on the cover. I couldn't agree any more on that. A most welcome re-issue. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hansonrecords.net

The credits for this joint release read as follows: Seijiro Murayama: snare drum, cymbal, objects and Soundworm: sound engineering, suggestions. It made me wonder what 'sound engineering' is exactly. Some kind of real time sound processing perhaps? It seems so, at least to me. In which we should understand also that sound engineering might be the placing of microphones and amplifiers. Sometimes the music sounds very electronic and abstract and then, for instance in 'Composition For Recordings 3', very concrete and in your face. Improvised music of the highest order, this is. But somehow it didn't please me that much. Maybe its the mood of the day, but then it seemed to me that it was all a bit too easily put together. Producing sounds on a snare drum and cymbal, using some objects... alright. But then what? It doesn't grab the listener that much. In the two concert recordings this tension is a bit more present, but also just not enough. Not bad either, I must admit, as it has its moments, but just not enough to leave me entirely satisfied. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ftarri.com

JASON KAHN & RICHARD FRANCIS (CD by Monochrome Vision)
Just how many CDs did Jason Kahn release by now? Hard to say, but quite a fair bunch. He doesn't surprise me with his music that much anymore, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the music as such. Here he teams up with Richard Francis, once known as Eso Steel and running the CMR label, and these working under his own name. The two met for the first time in Auckland where they played together and then, a year later, again in Switzerland. Kahn plays percussion and analogue synthesizer, while Francis is on computer and electronics. Four pieces (between ten and sixteen minutes each) of great lo-fi humming sounds. A very special kind of drone music that sounds both electronic and acoustic. It seems to me that these are microphone recordings, which capture the atmosphere from the space they play their music in, and which adds a nice textured quality to the music. Minimalist in approach, but very fine in execution. Like said, Kahn doesn't surprise me with his music, but he sure knows how to please me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.ru

It shouldn't be a secret to anyone that BBC's Radio 1 has had a huge impact on the experimental music scene from the 1960's forward as British DJ-legend John Peel started his more than three decades lasting "John Peel Show" until his slipping away five years ago. Another excellent DJ from Radio 1 is Mary Ann Hobbs whose show "Dubstep warz" is considered being the show that gave dubstep the great impact on the present international electronic music scene. Mary Ann Hobbs released her first dubstep-compilation "Warrioir Dubz" on Planet Mu in 2006 followed by a second one titled "Evangeline" in 2008 also on Planet Mu. Now it is time for the third compilation, this one titled "Wild angels". Again there are much weight on the dubstep-related scene but the album also presents other styles such as darkside hip hop, grime and drum'n'bass. Favorite moment on the compilation is the opening track from Mark Pritchard, that with its otherworldly use of sampled guitar into electronic soundscapes in itself is worth the value of the whole compilation. Also Hyetal's atmospheric technoid piece "We should light a fire" is a true gem. Final track goes in the opposite direction with a dark electronic piece of heavy basslines along slow breakbeats being the track "And now we wait" from Legion Of Two. A very interesting look at the contemporary scene of dark electronic music related to the breakbeat and dubstep-scene. (NM)
Address: http://www.planet-mu.com/

The logo of this project express the feeling that the music contained must be of the abrasive kind. The logo looks like the style that could've been used by an extreme metal or harsh noise band. The first minute does sound like something evil will occur with its rumbling noises wriggling along the dark sounds of church bells and field recordings of creaking doors, but shortly after the melancholic sounds of a violin closes down the first chapter "Chanting bells call shadows".
From this moment forward the music turns acoustic
and it works well! Splinterskin comes from Ohio and his musical approach belongs to the experimental folk scene with dark and momentarily sinister atmospheres saturating this debut titled "Wayward souls". The music is primarily built on acoustic guitar spiced with some interesting vocals. What makes this album such an alluring experience is the artist's obvious compositional skills combined with a dark and dramatic take on the neo-folk-scene and not least: The vocal variations spanning from gently mild to downright evil and creepy on a piece like "Broken down hearse". The pieces of the album carried by the talented acoustic guitar strums sometimes added other acoustic instruments such as violin and hand drums has a dramatic touch making the listener suspect something creepy to happen in the next second. But at the end of the day, Splinterskin let's the listener float into seventeen beautiful pieces of contemporary folk music. Excellent debut album that can be enjoyed be anyone generally interested in melodic beauty - this being folk music or else! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

The idea of experiencing a ballet has never occurred to me, I must admit, but present album released on German label Ant-Zen Recordings certainly inspires to do so. The album is a collaboration between two composers: Joby Talbot is a british composer known for his sound works for television comedy series such as "The league of gentlemen" and "Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy". The other composer is the L.A.-based electronic musician Benjamin Wynn who often integrates styles spanning from classical to hip hop. The title of the album "Genus" is also the title of a ballet based on Charles Darwin's evolution theory directed by Wayne McGregor. Present album being a collaboration between two interesting contemporary yet quite differently approached composers, is the soundtrack to this ballet. Where most ballets use a classically based soundtrack, the soundtrack to this piece belongs to some of the most interesting electronic works heard for a while. The album's integration of ethereal choir in crossover with more modern based sound spheres does remind me of jazz-composer Jan Garbarek's collaboration with The Hilliard Ensemble as on "Officium", but where Garbarek remains in the acoustic sound spheres, the two composers behind "Genus" operates in forefront electronic textures integrating elements from first of all the IDM and ambient-scene in the electroacoustic expressions. Very interesting album that definitely adds something interesting to the ballet scene. (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com/

From what I know about Mudboy this could be a
short review: next to nothing. I reviewed various of his releases, which I all liked actually, but then: that's it. In November 2006 he was guest at VPRO's program Dwars and recorded this thirty minute session, consisting of five pieces. Since I never saw him perform live, I must guess what it is that he does, but it seems he has an organ (for three note melodies), maybe a sampler (for field recordings, bell sounds and such like) and a microphone. The music he creates with those relatively simple means is, as the man himself, quite a mystery in that sense that its not easy to describe. I scribbled down the words 'psychedelic one man orchestra', 'wacked out space pop', 'cerebral ambient'. See. I don't have all the answers either. I was listening and thinking 'wow this actually quite good'. It refers to pop through the slow organ sounds, to drone and psychedelic through the fuzzy distortion and anything in between. Quite a damn recording. I wonder: why we had to wait for almost three years before hearing this? (FdW)
Address: http://www.staalplaat.com

SPIRACLE - ANANTA (2CD by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
Today it dawned upon me that not many of the Mystery Sea releases, which are always limited to 100 copies, were re-issued, if any at all. I thought of this, while playing this double CD of Spiracle, also known as Hitsohi Kojo. His previous version of 'Ananta' was released on Mystery Sea (see Vital Weekly 513) and back then I wrote about this "It starts out with a forceful set of organ like sounds, and over the course of this piece, which lasts over an hour, sea like sounds wash in and out, whereas the organ sounds are pulled apart and start to modulate. Maybe I have had the volume more cranked up on this one, but it seemed to me a very 'present' release, unlike some other releases on this label (or in the genre of drone music as such), things don't drop back in a level of inaudibility. Having said that, things aren't very noise either, just present throughout this piece. One could wonder if things aren't say ten to fifteen minutes too long, but otherwise this is a pretty strong release, another one in the mighty Mystery Sea catalogue, and one that, with all it's washy sounds, fits the label's concept very clear." I am not sure why Kojo opted for another version of 'Ananta' (which means 'infinity' in Sanskrit), but the new version is also a nice one. It seems that in the passing three years, things have been reduced more than on the previous version. The water like sounds have been removed (maybe Mystery Sea requested those?) and the organ sounds play throughout all these time. This time I played things a bit more quieter and it worked quite nice 'in the space' - music like a surrounding space, bouncing between all walls of my space. Quite a good work. A bit shorter than the first version, and perhaps a bit stronger. (FdW)
Address: http://www.helenscarsdale.com

Saxophonist Fancher is a pioneering interpreter. She performs work from many different contemporary composers. But also transcriptions of music by composers as diverse as Josquin Desprez and Steve Reich. Her work is documented on about 10 CDs released by different labels. To mention one, in 2002 her solo-album "Ponder Nothing" with compositions by Steve Reich and Ben Johnston was released by Innova. This label now make her newest solo-effort public. For this project she selected 7 compositions from 7 contemporary composers: John Anthony Lennon, James Paul Sain, Mark Engebretson, Reginald Bain, Judith Shatin, Morton Subotnick and Edmund Campion. All of them american composers working in the academic world. Two of the works one could consider as 'old': the fantastic opening piece "In Two Worlds" (1987) by Morton Subotnick and : "Aeterna" (1996) by John Anthony Lennon. All other compositions were born in this century. As said the opening piece comes from pioneer: Morton Subotnick. He is known for his electronic music, and his experimenting with interactive, electroacoustic procedures. This is also the case for "In Two Worlds' that was originally composed for saxophone and interactive computer. But because technological innovations developed quick, the computer-system that was originally used, is outdated now. So with permission by Subotnick newer technology is used here for the performance by Fancher. It is a bit tragicomical that music that was so innovative can be outdated so quick in some respects. The composition itself however is far from outdated. In fact it was the piece I liked most. By the way, also all other pieces on this CD are based on electroacoustical combinations of saxophone and electronics, albeit in many different ways. This way CD presents a good overview of the state of this particular art. (DM)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

I don't think in terms of 'best record of the year', but this one forces me to do so. This is absolutely on of the most amazing records I have heard this year. But only after I had conquered my allergy for Tom Waits- and Nick Cave-like voices. Listening to "Third one Rises" these comparisons are inevitable but please forget them if they disturb you. Because this one absolutely deserves your attention. It is a long time ago since I met such outstanding musical madness. An intriguing mix of influences, cooked and served by Andrew Plummer. We hear over the top and very inventive arrangements, played with incredible virtuosity in function of clear defined songs that are really made of flesh and blood. We have to deal with songs where musicians take different routes and solos at the same time, with music that continuously interrupts itself, with musicians that play out of phase, but where at the same time everything wonderfully fits in some mysterious way. So this is very intelligently constructed music that is very bizarre and wild at the same time. The musicians who clear this incredible job are: James Allsopp (reeds), Alex Bonney (trumpet), Matthew Bourne (piano, gongs), Tom Greenhalgh (drums), Dave Kane (bass), and Andrew Plummer himself (vocals, electric guitar). Plus several guests. All of them are fantastic musicians playing with an irresistible enthusiasm. Listening to this musically very convincing record is an breathtaking and exhausting experience that I can strongly advise you. (DM)
Address: http://www.gravidhands.com/

BRUME - THE SUN/THE MOON (2CD by Elsie & Jack Recordings)
Brume is dead - long live Christian Renou. At least that's what I thought that happened. Brume was old moniker for Renou and since roughly 2000 he worked under his own name. But now, celebrating the 40th anniversary of mankind's bigger steps on the moon, Brume is back. Partly with an old work (although I thought that the excellent Waystyx re-issued most of them on CD), from 1990, which was released by Old Europa Cafe and a new work from this along with six pieces which he recorded with Monera, the duo of James and Phil Rodriguez (and also acting as his label managers here). I have no idea why Renou returned to the Brume tag. The whole Moon landing thing is dragged into this, and then mainly on 'The Moon' part (obviously), the 2009 work. 'The Sun', the old work, is Brume is great form. Never a silent moment music, as I used to call it back then. Banging on metal percussion, blowing plastic pipes and all that mixed with tapes of his own making and feeding it through electronics in a thorough musique concrete like manner, making this a fine work, but at seventy-seven minutes also one that takes a lot of your energy. 'The Moon' is Renou updated - older and wiser, perhaps? Quieter for sure. His music has more space here, the room for sounds to develop, flourish and die out and not every inch of the tape has been filled with music. The other difference is that the music is sometimes a bit more stretched out, more drone and and ambient like. Especially the six pieces with Monera are very quieter and very spacious, like the good old cosmic music. This is actually the highlight of the package for me. 'The Sun' is fine, but a bit much, 'The Moon' is also long, but works well throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://www.elsieandjack.com

Holidays are over, Vital Weekly is a big as ever, but it seems that everyone has been productive over the holiday period. A Brume double CD, two Kirchenkampf CDs, and other releases in this issue also being lengthy. And then there is another double CD by Eric Carlson, its all a bit much (holiday required). Carlson is Area C and has a bunch of releases on Trensmat, Last Visible Dog, Free Matter 4 The Blind, Handmd and Students Of Decay. I think this is the first time I hear his music. Four pieces, each around thirty minutes, recorded with four different artists: Mudboy, Jeffrey Alexander (of Black Forest/Black Sea), Black Forest/Black Sea and Eyes Like Saucers. "The music composed for the Planetarium Project was inspired by the way this domed room (means the Planetarium - FdW) warps the sounds and images created here, while also wrapping the audience and performers within them". Curious statement, but then the pieces were recorded in an actual Planetarium, in Rhode Island. All four pieces were more or less improvised, leading to spacious work with Mudboy, post rock doodling with Alexander, more downright improvised post rock with Black Forest/Black Sea and more spacious music with Eyes Like Saucers. Again, I thought this was all quite nice, but the longitude of the material was all a bit much. Maybe three pieces of say twenty minutes each would have sufficient to get the idea across for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sedimental.com

This particular Fahey is also somebody with a long career in music. Starting with an art rock band, The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, then onto sampling genius with Social Interiors (along with Rick Rue and Julian Knowles) and then building his own and others' studios. For this new solo work he uses a bunch of field recordings, analogue synths and tape loops - almost like ancient musique concrete. Even when this CD has seven separate tracks, it feels like one piece. Partly that is due to the nature of what Fahey does: a multi-track tape with lots of sounds that are there in a seemingly random order, but which start to make sense in the mix. The field recordings are not always easy to spot, save for some rain dripping and wind blowing through empty metal containers, but they mix nicely along the sound of buzz and hiss coming from the analogue synths. Music that is quite densely layered, most of the times, sometimes in a slightly amorphous mass, then crisp and clear. Each piece is a piece by itself, and all seven make up for one giant piece of music. There is always something happening at any level of the music, making this into a very vibrant electro-acoustic work. Very well done work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.endgame.com.au

In New Haven, Connecticut, there is the legendary grave of Midnight Mary and if you get caught there past midnight, you will die the next day. That is not entirely true. Loren Connors walked in, in 1981, with his guitar and tape recorder and still lives on, lucky for him and us. The recording of his guitar playing and singing that night on the graveyard was lost for some time but recently unearthed and is now released. If you are familiar with his Connors' old recordings from this period, which were re-released in 1999 in box-set form, then you know what to expect here. Slightly detuned acoustic guitar and Connors moaning, shaman like 'vocals', wordless, and chilling to the bone. With the imperfections of the recordings like in place, this Nine pieces of midnight horror music of a great delicate, improvised nature. I am not the connoisseur to say whether this is gospel like, or in which particular direction of folk music this stands, but I know this sounds great. I dug out the old box-set again and placed it on my desk for the times that are less busy to come and play an entire day of Connors music. I am glad some curses aren't true. (FdW)
Address: http://www.family-vineyard.com

RETARDER - ENQUIRIES (CD by Tourette Records)
DAO+COH - DZERZHINSK-9 (LP by Tourette Records)
To be really honest, the only thing Muslimgauze related I'm waiting for is the book that Ibrahim Khider wrote on the life and work of this man, rather than some new work or re-issue, even when that re-issue is somehow linked to my own past. Russia's Species Of Fishes released 'Songs Of A Dumb World' on Korm Plastics and 'Trip Trap' on their own Exotica label and back then, 1997-1998, this was at the peak of ambient house and I thought Species Of Fishes was one of those bands that made their own interesting mark on that musical scene. I am not sure if they send copies of their own to Muslimgauze or perhaps I did, but it resulted in this set of remixes. Muslimgauze was always busy remixing other people's work, so various bands sent in their music and get a full hour of work back, which was then released. Perhaps a particular favorite of Tourette Records, I don't know, but here it is again. Listening to this I was thinking that perhaps of all the works created by Muslimgauze, his remixes are, besides some of his solo highlights, of more interest than many of his sometimes mediocre albums. I guess this has to do with the sound input received from the original band, which makes this less arabic/ethno in approach, yet still maintaining that signature Muslimgauze sound. Minimal chuncks of rhythm, repeating in a somewhat mechanical way. The biggest problem I always had with Muslimgauze was his determination to get everything out that he created, also the weaker bits. That's also the case here with this set of remixes, of which some tracks don't extend beyond 'three loops of sound and some sound effects'. Good to hear again though.
Lloyd James is the man behind Retarder. I understand he was a member of a band called Naevus, which I never heard, but I gather from what I read a sort of rock band. His 'Enquiries' record is however hardly rock related. Experimental is the easy way out in calling it something at all. The eight pieces are quite a different, mixed bag. The opening piece 'Dancing' sound like an exercise in Garage Band: piano and horns play Conlon Nancarrow's player piano pieces. Hectic and nervous, but I must admit it sounds quite nice. Its followed by 'Turn That Light Off', which has bass loop, guitar riff and vocals - something entirely different. 'Superman's Cave' sounds again like something coming out of a digital instrument, but then very ambient, or 'Modern Evening' with slow electric guitar movements, heavy drums and singing. A most curious record indeed. More like a radio program actually, but one that I actually would like to hear. Most likely one of the stranger records I heard recently.
From Andrew Zealley I once reviewed a LP on
En/Of, and he was a member of Greek Buck. That was back in Vital Weekly 450, which is nearly four years ago. Now he returns to the Vital HQ with a new LP, which deals with various pieces of music recorded for film, video, installation and performances. I won't go into the depth by writing what is what here, but there is for instance the 'score to Treleaven's film on pandrogyny (starring Genesis P'Orridge and the late Lady Jaye Breyer)', which opens this record. Zealley uses in his music field recordings, electronics, violin and other strings and vocals. Somehow it seems to me that the pieces are linked to eachother, or cross faded into eachother. The music is simply great. Ambient like, soft, not too outspoken but also on the other hand weird and experimental enough, and suddenly bursting into 'Signal' which is almost like a sorrowful poptune - dreampop almost. However most of the other pieces are instrumentals, which would be less poppy, but still have that nice ambient edge. More like microsound or downright ambient, these are however more structured like a 'song'. Even without film, video or such like, this is a great album.
What did COH, also known as Ivan Pavlov before he became one of the stars of the electronic music scene? He created more electronic music, together with DAO, also known as Andrej Kolesov. The pieces collected here are from before COHs first releases on Raster Music from 1996, which was recorded using "hand-made digital and analogue equipment, and recorded onto a 4-track cassette deck", and its all live in the studio, direct to tape stuff. The four pieces are crude electronics - not noise in any sense of the word, but crude rhythmic electronics. What it seems to lack in composition is actually made up in raw energy. Sometimes breakbeat like, then a bit of ambient with bass beating below. Its not the greatest music in the world, but it has some nice untamed energy. Nice historical document. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touretterecords.com

AUTUMN BLOOD (CD compilation by Lumberton Trading Company)
From the ashes of Fourth Dimension, moving from
the UK to Poland, came a new label, Lumberton Trading Company, which released between june 2005 and now, twelve CDs and LPs. Not all of these were reviewed in Vital Weekly, but the label included Experimental Audio Research, Thighpaulsandra, Theme, Micheal Gira, Volga, Nick Mott, Formication, Faust, Sion Orgon, Andrew Liles and Human Greed. You'll find many of them on this taster compilation, which includes also people that will be released later on. So we get also Lawrence English, Peter Christopherson, Birds Build Nests Underground, Steven Severin, Zenial/Banabila, and Colin Potter. Its quite a nice compilation, but its a compilation. Short pieces that show the love this label has for somewhat dark, electronic music, a bit of turntablism, some tribal percussion and such like. None of the pieces is bad and there is no particular track standing out. Such is the unfortunate life of compilations I guess. It never brings out the great reviewer in me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lumbertontrading.com

(AD)VANCE(D) - TWO EVENTS (LP by Waystyx Records)
Not much info on this otherwise beautifully packed LP. The story should be known: following the split of Vance Orchestra, Mars Wellink started (ad)vance(d), together with Jan Dekker. The music of (ad)vance(d) is a continuation of lines set out by Vance Orchestra: that of the cross road of ambient music, bit of rhythm (mainly through samples) and a hint of industrial music. Two side long pieces, an event per side me thinks. The music slowly evolves and develops - the archetypical form of drone music, which is in these four hands in great form. Deep rumbles from below the earth's surface, which grow in intensity and take a big shape, almost without the listener realizing this. Voices (?) seem to mumble, the rattling of a bike, all against a nice, thick brick wall of sound. It reminded me of some of the best work of zoviet*france. The rotating swirls fit the medium, or the medium fits the swirls of sound. Two particular great pieces that one keeps rotating on end. Fabolous headspace music. (FdW)
Address: distribution through http://www.dronerecords.de

THE VOMIT ARSONIST - WRETCH (CD by Cipher Productions)
AZOIKUM - ANTHROPOPHAGY (CDR by Cipher Productions)
The coelacanth was a mystery until human understanding dragged it from the depths and killed it. Knowledge is power, and power is death, understanding destroys in two ways, the subject it destroys literally but the act of understanding gives a limit, a limit to life. Literalism and understanding are what separates the artistic act from that of the therapeutic, of which the latter is what Wretch is about. A personal description which sounds like many others, the "Alien" sound track. If it posited anything other than that is would be clichéd. As its not its more like a diary than a novel. Unfortunately texturally / sonically
Anthropophagy is much the same, and here I take full responsibility for not being able to read the text, these texts which focus very much on a signified - a teleology of mental health and normality. "dedicated to those who understand". I don't understand - or do I think it's a good thing to want to, or achieve what is a phallogocentric telos. Ikomayam Stars 'n' Nishinari is more of a non signifying signifier, perhaps by limiting itself to the format of only two tracks - a long metallic drone & and a short semi silent shimmering which terminates in what could be a real non-linguistic turn if perused with more confidence. It is then - and certainly what was just referenced, immanent rather than the hallucination of transcendental error in the other two. Kant was after all the first and last philosopher who posited the transcendental as unpredicated limit, a land which deluded metaphysicians think they inhabit, a group of foolish costume wearing
super-heroes one never sees flying or traversing the city in a single leap. (Jliat)
Address: http://www.iheartnoise.com/cipherproductions/

STROTTER INST. - BOLZPLATZ (10" by Everest Records)
Since I'm no longer reviewing not 'the real thing' I wonder why I touch this CDR of a 10". My wondering goes further: the press text reads about two tracks at 33 rpm and two at 45 rpm, but it implies also that one could play all tracks at any speed - eight in total they say, but whatever happened to 16 and 78 rpm? Now that's something I would have liked to try out myself. One of those reasons for wanting the real thing. Strotter Inst. is one of those guys who use the turntable to play his music. Not in the sense of say Otomo Yoshihide, but more like a Philip Jeck on speed. The rotations of the table are used to generate a louder sound, a menacing threat. A driving stomping beat sound, very dry. Objects cling and clang around in a strictly mechanical fashion, but the drive is fine enough to get a small crowd moving. No techno beats, more like dark tribal music. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

SIMON WHETHAM - D/R (CDR by 1000Füssler)
Two releases dealing with field recordings. There is lots of information on the press release on Rui Costa, like that he worked with Inaki Ros and Manuela Barile, and that works as a sound artist. Here on 'Sightseeing For The Blind' he created a sound piece on the city he lives in, Lisbon. A nice city as far as I can remember from the two hours I walked around there. Costa walks the same route as many tourists do - not me - and created this piece. A nice piece, like the city. But not a piece that tells us much about the city Lisbon. Nothing spectacular. Just a very nice, somewhat subdued piece of music. Furthermore there are five further remixes by others, Gregory Büttner, Pali Meursault, Bill jarboe, Maile Colbert and Marc Behrens, who use the rough sound material of Costa. These pieces are much shorter and throughout with more 'action' - not just in the way they are processed, but also because of the 'leakage' of the original sources.
On CDR we find the work of Simon Whetham, by now perhaps no longer an unknown guy. He has had a couple of releases on Trente Oiseaux, Entr'acte, Gruenrekorder and his work deals mainly with field recordings. In October 2008 he went to Tallin, Estonia to work on a project with a performance group on the theme of 'Deconstruction/Reconstruction'. One piece wasn't documented, the other three are. The first piece is deals with the city sounds of Tallinn, which are processed (I think) into some collage form. The typical work of a modern day composer of city sounds, I'd say, but Whetham does a fine job at that. Its a very playful piece, detailed and rich. In 'Decrescendo' things move from the loud to the soft, as implied by the title. Starting out with classical music, which, once died out, fades into sparse metallic sounds that scratch the surface and some deep bass rumble. Almost silent in approach. Perhaps the best piece of the three. In 'Yoko' he uses the sounds produced by Yoko Ishiguro, who tries to smoke, cook, wash her her and eat a banana, all at the same time. The human sounds of action can be well spotted in here, but I think its the least convincing piece - perhaps too clear, or too direct in approach. With seven minutes also the shortest. (FdW)
Address: http://www.1000fussler.com

Paul is a professional photographer, but plays piano since his youth with a love for jazz and improvisation. With Henry Kuntz we are in the company of a veteran improvisor. We first hear him on a very early record of Henry Kaiser, "Ice Death" (1977). And two years later Kuntz started Hummingbird and released his first solo-album "Cross-Eyed Priest". Releases over the years were not many. Concerning this new release Kuntz says: "These are the first recordings Paul and I have made together in 25 years. We had fun improvising and spontaneously shaping the music, each piece grew out of its own organic logic." The reason for this long gap remains is not given. Also whether we are are talking here of two brothers, father and son, or another (family-)relation is not made explicit, but of course of secondary importance. But let's come to this meeting. Henry Kuntz plays chinese musette, angel soprano recorder, bells ,voice. Paul Kuntz embellished piano, bell wreath. We find them in nine concentrated improvisations, each one starting from a different angle. The music comes to you very direct. It is of great purity and rawness, unpolished. This makes that the music has an immediate emotional impact, although it are very abstract improvisations. Like in 'Ox 1' Kuntz produces often very penetrating sounds from his instruments, whereas Paul attracts attention with his self-made prepared piano turning it into an almost percussive instrument. In 'Ox 2' Henry excels in (fake) japanese vocals. Virtuosity is not their thing. The music lacks ego and pretensions. It springs from a meeting between two very personal and dedicated players. Authentic music! (DM)
Address: http:/henrykuntz.free-jazz.net/

Its been nearly five years since I last (and first) heard of Homogenized Terrestrials, who never stopped releasing music, so far there have been thirty-six releases. Listening to this new work, 'Rabbit Hole', I am bound to think that not much has changed for Homogenized Terrestrials since 'Patience Is A Fuse'. Again the music is atmospheric and electronic, with a tendency to be slightly rhythmic in approach. The four pieces are again quite long, an this time tend to be a bit overlong. Some more rigorous editing would have been in place. It comes across now as material that created through methods of improvisation and released as such, and not with the listener in mind. That is a pity, since each of the pieces has something of its own which is now swamped by the entirety of the piece - and that, I think, is a pity, especially 'History Engraved' could have been chopped up into two or three smaller pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://www.homogenizedterrestrials.com/

This privately released CDR by the Italian duo of Pasquale Napolitano and Felice Acierno, together known as Le Mal D'Archive, deals with, if I understand well, french chanson tradition in combination modern electronica. They use laptop, guitar, microkorg, analogic [sic] synth and processed trumpet. Maybe its fair to say that there are only two songs on this release, and three more sketch like pieces. In 'Omonime', clearly the best piece of the release, the acoustic guitar plays the central role, along with singing and lots of nice electronic ornamental sounds. 'La Chanson de Mai '94' is a more sparse piece, and not as good. The three sketch pieces are between one and two minutes each and are more short improvisations, or try-outs. An odd release, and I'm sure that first track is very good, and could be expanded upon. I'm also sure I don't get the rest. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/lemaldarchive

GELUIDSPOST 2007-2008 (2CDR by Universaal Kunst)
Maybe you remember the announcements by Martijn Hohmann for his Geluidspost? Geluidspost is an imaginary concert space in an art space in Breda (The Netherlands), where people can sit and listen to to music, not distracted by something else. In 2007 and 2008 he asked various people to compose a piece of music for this, nine in total (and some had a real concert to present it). These nine pieces are now collected on this double CDR, in an edition of 250 copies (why not a real CD, I wondered). Tracks are usually around ten to twenty minutes long and read like a fine who's who from the current experimental scene: Merzbow, Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, Janek Schaefer, Machinefabriek, (ad)vance(d), Steve Roden, Francisco Lopez, Staplerfahrer and a bunch of student from Sonology from The Hague, under the guidance of Justin Bennett. In 2007 (the first four names mentioned here), the emphasis was more on music, with some nice electronic piece by Schaefer and Machinefabriek and more noisy bits from the other two, whereas in 2008 the notions shifted more towards the use of field recordings. The student piece was perhaps not the best of the lot, a bit haphazard, but the other four a fine pieces, which do exactly what to expect from these composers. As such perhaps a bit 'regular' for them, but no weak brother around and (ad)vance(d) delivering the best out of nine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.universaal.nl

Very nice package here from Karl Bösmann, lots of spiral cuts were made, handpainted and all that. The CDR is very, very long. I sighed. Is it really necessary to fill a CD with almost eighty minutes of music? Are you sure all the pieces are equally strong to be released? Maybe Bösmann thought of that too, so he calls this 'the electronic sketch book'. There is a market in the visual art world of artists sketch books, as to penetrate the mind of the artist, and maybe we should think of this when we hear this release: loose ideas, half baked, semi-rough. Work in progress music. Sometimes nice, sometimes not. Rhythmic at its best times, ugly noise based in its lesser moments. What's there to say about this unfinished music (would be great title, hadn't Lennon used it). Not much really. I heard Bösmann doing way better than this, and maybe people just shouldn't release. Not The Beatles, not Bösmann. Just give the real, finished thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

CORNSTAR - LULLA (CDR by Visceral Media)
Apparently a decade ago, John Latartara and Khristian Weeks worked together, and now they reunite as Cornstar. Latartara is a composer of all sorts of music from ambient to noise to 'deconstructions of Western canonic pieces' and I believe he is from Australia, whereas Weeks is 'a sound artist/designer and improviser living in Durham, NC'. I assume both of them use laptops to play their music. Weeks delivered the sound material through mail and Latartara 'edited, arranged and mixed' them. There is the sound of piano and guitar, but all captured in their most glitchy form. In the past I wrote about originals and copy cats, and sometimes the copy is better than the original, but in the case of Cornstar I can't say so. They very much sound like Oval in its ambient phase and Fennesz in a like-wise slumber mood and everything else that happened in the past decade in the world of glitch and clicks and cuts, that this well behind the facts. The music as such is actually not bad at all. Kinda of pleasant warm glitch music, but then any reach for an old 12K, Line, Ritornell might satisfy that need for that kind of music too. Out of ten: a seven for productional skills, a three for originality. (FdW)
Address: http://www.visceralmediarecords.com

Its good to know that people do work hard and long to create their music (though it should not be confused with 'I worked on this very long, so it is very good'), and Psychon from Haarlem or Amsterdam took five years to create a follow-up to 'Apocalypse Has Been Dubbed The Weekend Pill'. That album was crazy mixture of musical genres, like symphonic rock, techno, IDM, ambient, dashes of krautrock but also jazz and noise and perhaps the bad news is that 'Slow Country For Old Man' isn't something else, but more of the same. But waiting five years for something you liked back then, might not be bad either? Again we are bombarded with samples from all over the musical spectrum, but throughout hip hop like rhythms play an important role - if any change that might be the one major change in this new Psychon work - and lots of wacky vocal samples, guitars, ambient doodling, psychedelica and strangely enough sounds all pretty coherent. Its like this stuff is made to stick to eachother. This could be big on the dance/rock live circuit, as its not far away from say C'Mon & Kypsky. The humour extends to the titles: 'Bollywoodhowl', 'Campdavidhasselhoff' or 'Nanamissouri'.
Also Living Ornaments took some time to follow up their 'Vlokken' release (see Vital Weekly 518), three years. I think that membership for both Pscyhon and Living Ornaments are quite a like, but there is a big difference in sound approach. Whereas Psychon bounces in all direction, Living Ornaments are more in one corner: IDM based sample music. They released on Skam and Scarcelight in the past to give you a clue. Rhythm plays an important role in their music, either straight forward from the rhythm machine, or through sampled sounds. It seems that these pieces are more like finished, rounded off songs than the same more free play of before. It makes the music more coherent than before too, I think. Maybe some of the pieces are still a bit long for my taste. Oddly enough I don't see Living Ornaments on the big stage, which is funny: shouldn't they be getting the kids to dance and not Psychon? Perhaps so, but Living Ornaments are more armchair dance music - tap your feet music. Nice too for the after party. (FdW)
Address: http://www.narrominded.com

This is all a bit unclear to me, I must admit. There is already so much music around, that I don't see the point of releasing both new music two CDRs. With not much money to burn, people would probably ignore one of the two? Wouldn't that be a pity? John Gore's Kirchenkampf, in his defense, is not a man to release lots of music, but for the unholy reviewer, it might be a bit hard to review both discs at once. His music deals mainly with the darker side of droning electronics, the analogue synthesizers hissing. No rhythm machines, just various layers of synthesizers and sound effects which are there to create an unsettling feel - the dark planet indeed. Inconvenient truth music - although I am not sure if this Gore has the same environmental ideas. Think Maurizio Bianchi's 'The Plain Truth' and you are there - at least soundwise.
'No radios were used' it says on 'Well Of Souls'. Three pieces here, all around twenty-five minutes (why not, I mumbled) instead of nine on the other. The pieces here run a longer course of course, and are more minimal in their execution. Its hard to say which approach I like, as I like pretty much both ends of the approaches. Having said that, I must admit I had a hard(er) time listening to both these discs in a row. That can't be the point of good music. (FdW)
Address: http://cohortrecords.0catch.com

Unfortunately Experimedia, a label who send material before, never read the fine print of submitting material to Vital Weekly, so they just send us five CDRs at once, and have a nice day. You probably didn't get anything this week? Read elsewhere what I said about the end of the holidays and all that. A bird review, which I started with one Sylvie Walder, who presents with 'Moments' her first release. The website says something about 'the intimate tones of her piano as the driving force behind her emotive sonic constructs', but it must be a very heavily processed piano. In 'Paris Failure', the tenth track I recognized the piano, for the first time. Walder creates nice quiet ambient music with this. Dark, atmospheric, drone based, with maybe as an odder exception, the fact that her tracks are shorter than with many others. That makes some of these pieces a bit sketch like, unfinished and rough, not in a noisy sense of course. Nice but not great. Not bad either. One of those things.
Likewise I never heard, I think, of Ian Hawgood. More piano's are mentioned here, but the music is less subtle in approach than Walder's, less ambient, more experimental (for the lack of a better word), and essentially loop and glitch based. Looping and phase shifting voices in 'The Yesterdays Of Today, The Tomorrows Of Now', with clicks are irregular rhythm patterns, make this sound like a demented Steve Reich, but at twenty minutes it also a bit long for what it has to say. That is a bit of a problem with four of the six pieces, they are a bit too long. Easily they could have lasted ten minutes instead of fifteen to twenty and be a bit stronger. It's all quite nice experimental music, partly ambient, partly something louder and experimental, which makes it a varied party.
There is no information on the next three releases on the Experimedia website. And while the label has great covers for the releases (hats off!), they don't have much information either. In fact nothing at all. So who is Ryonkt and what does he do? I don't know - I could have a look at myspace, but I don't like myspace very much. Four pieces here, all around ten minutes and to me it seems he uses acoustic instruments, maybe wind instruments and strings, which he cuts into loops before the sound dies out. So that one sound appears, which he loops around. He then creates various layers of various pitches of this material and that makes up a piece. If that sounds like a Phill Niblock approach to you, then you are right - to me it does too. And that's not bad: I like Phill Niblock's music and its an approach to music I like very much and its not followed a lot (at least to my knowledge) and makes effectively great modern classical music. Very drone based, very gentle music. Great one.
Shinobu Nemoto calls his release 'improvisations', which probably no doubt refers to the way it was created. Again we are left in the dark as to how this was done. These are certainly not improvisations like so many others in Vital Weekly. Done on perhaps synthesizers or computer/software, they are lengthy affairs of densely layered sounds, in which sounds roll over eachother in a somewhat muddy sound. Not very detailed that is. And that is a pity. Also there isn't that much variation in these five pieces, which makes this all a bit overlong.
The two names I recognized are Billy Gomberg and Off The Sky, Both were reviewed before in Vital Weekly and consist usually of a fine blend of field recordings and acoustic instruments being manipulated and treated digitally. What they do here is of their usual high standard. Great manipulations of not too outspoken music, held back, introspective, ambient glitch with a touch of improvisation. As such this music is hardly 'new' by the standards of microsound (think for instance 'Heroin' by Mathieu/Ehlers, without the pop references, but in the hands of Gomberg and Jason Corder (the man behind Off The Sky) the result is great. Together with Ryonkt, the best release out of these five. (FdW)
Address: http://www.experimedia.net



New MP3 releases:


1. From: <irb154187@ntlworld.com>


The Truth About Frank have a new 6 track EP entitled 'Neon Fractured Night' available for free download on the German netlabel 'weirdandwired'.

This is how the label describes the release;

Some war-robots with dying batteries are stomping beats through terrifying landscapes of giant mountains topped with scrap-metal. A long journey into noisy battles of grinding and shuffling beat-up beats and noises, surrounding the enemy, enclosing a space of excited, fervid sounds, crawling like a colony of army-ants with antennas right towards you. Prepare! get your rusty laser-sword out and march along.

Download either via www.myspace.com/truthaboutfrank