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SLEEP WHALE - HOUSEBOAT (CD by Western Vinyl)
ESCAMA SERRADA - LA REINA ESTA MALA (CDEP by Tourette Records) *
O PARADIS - LA CORTE DEL REY PESCADOR (CDEP by Tourette Records) *
O PARADIS - PEQUENAS CANCIONES DE AMOR (CD by Tourette Records)
BLACK SUN PRODUCTIONS & VAL DENHAM - SOMEWHERE BETWEEN DESIRE AND DESPAIR (CD by Tourette Records) *
SOLO VISAGE - WHERE THE MANDRAKES GROW (CD by Autumn Wind Productions) *
DEAD VOICES ON AIR - FAST FALLS THE EVENTIDE (2CD by Lens Records) *
LOKAI - TRANSITION (CD by Thrill Jockey) *
RUSSELL HASWELL - WILD TRACKS (CD by Editions Mego) *
LIONEL MARCHETTI & OLIVIER CAPPAROS - EQUUS (CD by Pogus) *
EPIDEMIA + ARMENIA - CONVULSIONES, ESPASMOS Y DOLORES (CD by Diskus Fonografika)
ALLGRENA - URSPRUNG (CD by Erdgut)
ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST - ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST (CD by Cold Spring)
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - THE RIVER (CD by Hibernate) *
PROZELLAN - THE FOURTH LEVEL OF COMPREHENSION (CDR by Hibernate) *
TEMPELHOF - WE WERE NOT THERE FROM THE BEGINNING, WE WON'T BE THERE FOR THE END (CD by Distraction Records) *
ROSHI FEAT PARS RADIO - THE SKY AND THE CASPIAN SEA (CD by Geo Records) *
ANNELIES MONSERE - MARIT (CD by Auetic Records) *
C-MON & KYPSKI - WE ARE SQUARE (CD) *
THE BOATS - WORDS ARE SOMETHING ELSE (CD by Home Normal)
MOUNTAIN OCEAN SUN - PEACE CONFERENCE (CD by Home Normal)
CHRISTOPHER HIPGRAVE - DAY (CD by Home Normal)
ISNAJ DUI - UNSTABLE EQUILIBIRIUM (CD by Home Normal)
ONE FOR JUDE - BONHEUR DYNAMIQUE (CD, private)
LT. CARAMEL & KOMMISSAR HJULER & FRAU (LP by Psych Kg)
ANAPHORIA - FOOTPATHS AND TRADE ROUTES (LP by Ini Itu)
IAN HOLLOWAY - SHE LOVES TO SEE THE SKY (CDR by Quiet World) *
CLOUWBECK - WOLFRAHM (CDR by Shining Day) *
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - ANINGAN (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
JOS SMOLDERS - THE DRONE GNOME (CDR by Moving Furniture Records) *
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - LIVE ARCHIVES VOLUME 2: RRR (CDR by Lessons About History) *
THE PICKLE FACTORY - OUR ANTHEMS (CDR by Lessons About History) *
HIROKI SASAJIMA - MONOGENIC (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive) *
ENTIA NON - DISINTER (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive) *
SLEEP WHALE - HOUSEBOAT (CD by Western Vinyl)
Recently, in Vital Weekly 682 I was very pleasantly surprised by a LP by Sleep Whale, a duo of guitarist/cellist Joel North and violinist/sequence programmer Bruce Blay. Paul North and Spencer Stephenson also contribute to the album, but are primarily live members. This new album essentially brings what should be expected: more great songs, thirteen in total, of what started on 'Little Brite': rock like, with lots of guitars, drums and digital processing of all of these, and no doubt, more sounds from say field recordings or electronics. The joyous summer mood, now slowly fading into autumn since today, is still captured here, although it seems there is also room for some more introspective moments and sometimes more complex in their constructions. Pop meets ambient, rock meets folk, improvisation meets composition. Its all there, with considerate ease and peace.
ESCAMA SERRADA - LA REINA ESTA MALA (CDEP
by Tourette Records)
O PARADIS - LA CORTE DEL REY PESCADOR (CDEP by Tourette Records)
O PARADIS - PEQUENAS CANCIONES DE AMOR (CD by Tourette Records)
BLACK SUN PRODUCTIONS & VAL DENHAM - SOMEWHERE BETWEEN DESIRE AND DESPAIR (CD by Tourette Records)
Among these four releases I found some interesting parallels, so I lump them together in one review. The first is a pack of two releases sold together. They are both quite short, around twenty minutes. Escama Serrada is one Sergio Mendez, who sometimes works with one Demian, also known as O Paradis. Both acts dwell heavily on the use of the sampler. It takes ingredients from say rock music, classical music, some field recordings, industrial music and cook it up to a hot pan of music. Sometimes there is even a bit of singing. Strange music by Mendez, hard to define, which, I guess, is a good thing. Dark ambient? You say so. Cinematic approach? Yes, why not indeed. Spaghetti western? Too, in 'IV' (but maybe it was seeing that last Tarrantino movie that inspired that reference).
Seven songs on the O Paradis disc, and also something to do with kings and queens (a nod to both titles here), although my Spanish isn't that good to say more about it. Demian uses samples, voices, instruments and such like and is perhaps the more musical one in approach. Take the jazzy drums of 'La Verdad De Los Peces' with its dark vocals, and you almost have a nice reggae song - can it possible? Yes, it surely is. A bit of soundscaping is applied here and there, but the song structure is surely his starting point. Great songs, no doubt full of melancholy - I could tell if I could understand what they were about. Folk, rock, jazz like, but with a sufficient amount of weirdness in them to disqualify as such. No chart material, but if there would be would an alternative chart for this kind of music, O Paradis would score a big hit with some of this material.
I believe 'Pequenas Canciones De Amor' is an older record (I am breaking the second rule of Vital reviewing here, but it was agreed upon), and it makes the introduction to the work O Paradis complete - although I understand there has been more releases. I can do without, these two are nice enough. It's hard to say what I liked more, the old or the new, or even to spot significant changes in the music. Its to these untrained ears to alternative popmusic an extension. Sampled rhythm, more voices, guitar and even a Bob Dylan cover. Maybe the production here is a little more crude than on the newer release, or less worked out, I don't know, but its nice music. Totally outside the world of Vital Weekly, all three of these releases, but that makes a nice evening of listening to something else. Entirely something else.
More in line with Vital Weekly is the brand new release by Black Sun Productions (Massimo & Pierce, known for their work with Coil among others) and Val Denham (who recently resurfaced with a disc made with Andrew McKenzie). But what ties it into the world of the mexicans is the use of samplers to generate music and the extended use of voices. This too can be called popmusic in some wicked and twisted way. These fifteen pieces are 'songs' rather than soundscapes, and when they are sung in english, I haven't got a clue what they are about. Psychedelic songs, songs about Andromeda, mother and 'I Try To Kill The Man' and that's exactly why they are reviewed as a foursome. All of these are not necessarily my taste in music, Vital-wise or otherwise, as especially the last one is a bit too gloom and doom, lyric and music-wise, but like said, the difference is much welcomed - sometimes. Nice one too, actually. (FdW)
SOLO VISAGE - WHERE THE MANDRAKES GROW (CD
by Autumn Wind Productions)
Handwritten covers and me will never be a good marriage. I just have a hard time reading them, even when I put on my 1 euro reading glasses, which I acquired for purposes like this. I couldn't decipher the band with 100% certainty, but the label website could be read and so I learned the band is called is called Roto Visage and the CD 'Where the Mandrakes Grow' and that this "is conceptualized around autoerotic asphyxiation, forming an abstract narrative into a singular autoerotic experience." Just what does that mean? Music to masturbate by? Or perhaps generated through the act of masturbation? Or maybe this is to be understood in some Coil fashion of male sexual energy? It does sound like early Coil perhaps indeed - or maybe my mind is racing there contemplating autoerotic? Another strong point of reference, musically that is, is the work of Lustmord, circa 'Paradise Disowned' and 'Heresy'. The low end rumble in a cave of an old sound generator and some metal cluttered around: its unlikely things were done That way, but its a possibility. This is drone meets ambient meets industrial music - pitch and pitch black, like a starless night. Solo Visage is not a strict copy cat however: he does something interesting things involving electronics, acoustic treatments and field recordings, which makes this into actually quite a varied disc of sorts. Not amusing, but within the self-chosen dark corner, there is enough variation in approaches to the subject of dark ambient. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
DEAD VOICES ON AIR - FAST FALLS THE EVENTIDE
(2CD by Lens Records)
Its been a while, I must admit, since I last heard Dead Voices On Air, Mark Spybey's solo project. he contributed at one point to Zoviet*France as well as working with Cevin Key. I do have some, not all previous ten releases, and it takes a while hearing this to get into it. The first thirteen tracks on disc one are short, lasting somewhere between forty seconds and five minutes, and then there is suddenly a long, twenty-two minute piece. I must admit I had a hard time getting into the shorter bits: they were pretty much improvised, haphazard affairs, but when the long title piece came on, with its slow moving gestures, vocals, stringed sounds, I recognized the ambient music with a hint of rock (without being overtly post rock) again from yesteryear, and thought this was all most pleasant. For the second disc of this package, Spybey goes to his archive and re-issues his cassette release for the G.R.O.S.S. label from 1994, plus two more pieces from the same year that were never released. Here Spybey finds himself in something that is much more industrial (maybe fitting the world of G.R.O.S.S. back then?) in combination with some hardcore ambient. I must admit the entire second disc and that long piece from the first disc (still making up more than would fit on one CD), where my favorite. The short improvised rock pieces... well, not bad either, but perhaps not so much for me. (FdW)
LOKAI - TRANSITION (CD by Thrill Jockey)
Thrill Jockey promo's don't arrive here a lot, which is a great pity, but its good to receive 'Transition' by Lokai. It took Viennese musicians Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh four years to complete this album - '7 Million' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 490. They built a new working space to work and rehearse, but also record new material, free from any pressures to quickly deliver a new album. Kmet is primarily the guitar player, while Németh does all things electronics concerned. On this new album they use acoustic guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, metal objects, a snare drum and the heating system, all prepared in a Cage like manner to generate sound, which are then further explored and processed in the endless line of mixing the album. Although this album was generated through improvisation, like its predecessor, things sound here much more composed and worked out. Its quite delicate music, very much Vienna, I'd say. Think Radian and all its off shoots, a bit of mild Fennesz and you arrive at quite the kind of music Lokai creates. 'Salvador' has a nice laid back tom rhythm, glockenspiel like sounds and guitar improvisations and is clearly Radian inspired, but with a nice sound of its own. Throughout a 'slow' album, full of empty space, but with lots of interesting music. At the surface things seems to be easy going, but underneath lots of small events take place too. That makes this a top-album. Hopefully the next one takes not another four years. (FdW)
RUSSELL HASWELL - WILD TRACKS (CD by Editions
Nicely packed in a Kidzbox (trademarked but I have no idea when and where they are used - I don't see them with the kids I spot every now and then), this is a new direction for Russell Haswell. "Wild track: sound recorded during production without picture' according to Vincent LoBrutto in 'Sound-On Film'. Moving away from his computer based (noise-) music, Haswell goes into the territory of field recording here: "'deliberate recordings' made with other multi media/film projects in mind". No post processing, overdubs or compression. Yet Haswell wants us also to understand that these recordings are about 'noise pollution' and recordings of sounds other people working in the same field of recording would want to avoid. We have here helicopter trips, flies (on a rotting pheasant carcass), rocket launch, Jamaican blowhole and 'exceptionally loud propane gas cannon bird scarer' - all tracks are named after what we hear. For those who love pure sound - and that includes me - its quite alright that it doesn't include the rainforest or 'nocturnal amphibian type material': this material sounds truly fascinating too. Excellent recordings (made with all kinds of different microphones and various recording machines), which hardly sounds like pollution at all. Maybe Cage was right when he said 'all sound is music'? Haswell has some pretty nice pieces going here and its a brave step outside his normal routine so far. (FdW)
LIONEL MARCHETTI & OLIVIER CAPPAROS
- EQUUS (CD by Pogus)
The liner notes to this CD are all in French, a language which I never mastered, save for ordering a drink and some food. So its hard for me to say what 'Equus' is about. Its composed by Lionel Marchetti, whom we know for his solo work as well as his duo work with Jerome Noetinger, who teams up with Olivier Capparos, of whom I never heard. He is a composer of instrumental and electro-acoustic work. 'Equus' is a most curious, thirty-three minute work. It deals, perhaps exclusively, with voice material. Lots of people lend their voices (Sarah Bernhardt, John Oswald, Pierre Schaeffer, Henri Chopin and many more) and also, I think, that Ash International LP with flight control talk is used. These voices are processed into an electro-acoustic work of extraordinary power - if only I could grasp what it is about. Soft, drone like at times, very loud and noisy towards the end. A powerful work indeed. A true masterpiece in the field of electro-acoustic music. Do not play after dark - scary stuff included. (FdW)
EPIDEMIA + ARMENIA - CONVULSIONES, ESPASMOS
Y DOLORES (CD by Diskus Fonografika)
The artwork of present album is worth mentioning. Beautifully, the disc has been packed in dvd-sized cool tin-box. The album has been developed from a joint venture between two of Southern America's harsh projects: Epidemia and Armenia. Epidemia is the project by Mexican Chuiy Bitios, a project that has released quite a few works utilizing disjointed beats combined with ambient and noise. Armenia is Leonardo Sabatto from Ecuador also focusing on harsh expressions of electronic sound. In english language, the title of present album means something like "Cramps, pains" and the containment certainly deals with the hurting sounds of sonic noises. Circulating in the territories between drone-based ambient and harsh noise the atmosphere is very tense. There is a great balance between emotional and fragile ambient and over-the-top cynic aggressions often kept in the ultra-distorted worlds of power electronics. The album is a great example of how noise music can be executed with great emotional depth. Excellent work! (NM)
ALLGRENA - URSPRUNG (CD by Erdgut)
Allgrena is a project run by Austrian composer Franz Nigl circulating in spheres between ambient and industrial. Present album is the second effort from Allgrena, the first being "Tonräder" released on the same label in 1999. An important part of the textures is field recordings of metal-objects and similar industrial noises and drones. Favorite moment is the atmospheric piece titled "Wachsende ringe" that opens with dramatic flute-like high-freq sounds followed by echoed male speaks with distorted guitar and crushing noise-drones operating in the deeper levels. Generally the composer has s great balance between atmospheric textures and quite brutal moments of noise with elements of power electronics. Very interesting album from Allgrena. (NM)
Address: none given
ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST - ALL HAIL
THE TRANSCENDING GHOST (CD by Cold Spring)
"All Hail The Transcending Ghost" is the joint venture between two Swedish artists. Henrik Nordvargr Björkk is an active artist who has been part of a number of different projects and joint-ventures and with earlier releases on the Cold Spring label. Among others the excellent "Partikel II"-album in collaboration with Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow) in 2007. The other artist is Tim Bertilsson who is part of the death metal-band Switchblade and founder of the metal-based Trust No One-label. Despite the fact that both artists has some experience in creating harsh sounds, this album belongs to more downbeat and tranquilizing sound worlds. The music is first of all dark ambient-based of deep buzzing drones with elements of industrial. The works are multileveled utilizing electro-acoustic sounds of among others piano and guitar-strums and others times distant voices creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Despite the tranquilizing and deep ambient-textures, the works are often sinister and threatening sounding like a mixture between Lustmord and Biosphere. A very interesting debut from All Hail The Transcending Ghost. (NM)
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - THE RIVER (CD by Hibernate)
PROZELLAN - THE FOURTH LEVEL OF COMPREHENSION (CDR by Hibernate)
Earlier this summer I was first introduced to the music of Chihei Hatakeyama, who released 'Saunter' on Room40 (see Vital Weekly 679). Now I now he has had also releases on Kranky, Under The Spire, Magic Book Records, Spekk (when he worked as Opitope). I have no idea where to place 'The River' with 'Saunter'. With the latter there are some differences, but throughout the similarities prevail. Long, sustaining sounds, that cascade like small waves in a river and the big ones of the sea. The first four pieces sound like synthesizers, and then in the fifth it moves to guitar - no doubt due to the sound effects used its all a synthesizer, or all a guitar. Nothing is a such specified on the cover, although the press text talks about guitars, vibraphone and piano. Quiet and atmospheric music, but just as with 'Saunter' I don't seem to connect very well. Not because 'The River' is rough edged, far from, but perhaps its a classic case of 'seen it all, heard it all', which of course counts for many more releases in Vital Weekly, but now the fatigue hits hard? By itself quite nice late night music.
'The Fourth Level Of Comprehension' is the second album by Francis Cazal, also known as Porzellan. Here he harks back to the world of Baroque music, which is one of the types of music I really hate, but then, if it would sound like when played at 16rpm or 'a Largo fugue where only in every notes has been retained' and there are references here to Arvo Part, Brian Eno and Stars Of the Lid. Perhaps its easy to say again 'seen and heard it all', but this one sounded pretty damn fine. Also largely drone music, but perhaps a bit more pure, not as 'regular' as the other one, with an even more minimal route to follow. In 'One Week & One Day', its one tone almost, with one trombone-like sound on top following it. Almost Niblock like, meditative yet also experimental enough to be more than just a nice bit of atmospheric music. Very elegant music - but I agree: its a fine line there between what is liked very much and what is greeted with a smile. (FdW)
TEMPELHOF - WE WERE NOT THERE FROM THE BEGINNING,
WE WON'T BE THERE FOR THE END (CD by Distraction Records)
Not from Berlin, but from Mantova (Italy) is the duo Tempelhof. They play music to obscure black and white films and early colored films and the long titled 'We Were Not There From The Beginning, We Won't Be There For The End' is the first full length release. Despite this being on Distraction Records, more known for some upbeat and uplifting music, this here is not always upbeat and uplifting. Tempelfhof keep the tempi slower and more tuned down than others, whereas their melodies are melancholic, introspective and with vocals far away in the mix. I'm not sure if I immediately see black and white films in front of me, but its certainly quite nice. Maybe some of the pieces are a bit too similar, not just in sound approach, but also in the way the pieces are built-up (long atmospheric intro, followed by a down tempo rhythm, which is also built slowly) this album could use a bit more variation, but then you wouldn't play various sound tracks in a row either, right? Nice moody popmusic, with luckily not much vocals. (FdW)
ROSHI FEAT PARS RADIO - THE SKY AND THE
CASPIAN SEA (CD by Geo Records)
Probably when I write this review I am half way through Vital for this week, and it occurs to me that this is an odd issue. Lots of unVital music, some which I really don't like, like One For Jude, and some that were actually quite good, like the various releases by Tourette and C'mon & Kypsky. This sort of falls in between. Roshi is from Iranian/Welsh descendant, who debuted with 'And Stars' (see Vital Weekly 633), and now delivers a full length album, with again the help of Dids (having played with Nico and Eric Random, but now solo as Dids), Richard Thomas and Rachell Threlfall, the latter two on cello. Now there are eleven songs, of Roshi singing, sparse instrumentation, which means a lot comes from her voice. She has a gentle voice, that much is sure, which reminds me at times of Kate Bush. Very melodic, fragile music. Yet, there is a feeling that this is all a bit too much for me. After about eight songs I had pretty much enough and wanted to play something else. That makes that this album falls between the good and the bad, I guess. By itself the songs are pretty good, but as a whole I thought the album was a bit too long for me. Such is life, I guess. (FdW)
ANNELIES MONSERE - MARIT (CD by Auetic Records)
Dream pop. Annelies Monsere is originally from The Netherlands but now lives in Belgium. Her work has been reviewed before here, although not her 2005 debut album 'Helder'. For 'Marit' she invited a bunch of friends to help out, like Jessica Bailiff, Nathan Amundsen, Micheal Anderson, Ellen Evers and the Vollmar-brothers. They add singing, violin-uke, stairwell, guitar drones and even drums. Yet all of this activity doesn't mean that the album is all of a sudden 'full' of sound. Monsere's music still plays on the border of quietness. Not in a microsounding way - there is always something to be heard here, but more in a quiet, singer-songwriting manner. Lyrics are more whispered than sung out loud and are not easy to understand. More an atmosphere is put forward but then using the format of a song. Not entirely my cup of tea, but these twelve songs are rather quite nice. Intimate music but with a nice bite. (FdW)
C-MON & KYPSKI - WE ARE SQUARE (CD)
Back in Vital Weekly 545 I reviewed C-Mon & Kyspki's 'Where The Wild Things Are', and moaned a bit about things being alternative and not really alternative, but that I quite enjoyed their hotchpotch album of hip hop beats, big band, klezmer, samplemania, rock and all that. Nice one indeed. And over the years I kept hearing their CD - used to tune up a p.a., in a bar as background music, in the disco perhaps, and on free outdoor festivals I even caught them live. The last time, merely a weeks ago, when it was announced that it would be their last show doing the old album as a new was imminent. So I contact that kind lady who does promotion for them (and who apparently wrote a book on music life in Berlin in dutch, but that's a different story) to secure a copy of that new album. A thing I hardly do, but standing there, a few weeks ago, with a couple of youngsters who dragged me along, I was contemplating various thoughts. One was they are a very good live band - no doubt the result of playing lots of concerts to promote their previous album. Also the ease which they use all those styles on a stage, which enjoyed en masse by the youngsters. That's the good thing about the music for the young people: it doesn't matter what it is, no scene, no tag to put on, simply whatever comes to mind, you throw in. A band with guitars, keyboards, live drums, scratching, vocals (by all four members) and samples. Again with the help of lots of guest musicians, though not klezmer and punk bands. More guitar based than the previous album, more speed in the songs. That's what changed, but for the rest is the 'usual' mayhem of styles, which makes this another pleasing album. Excellent songs, a complete mash up of styles, not quite sing-alongs as far as I could see, but a damn fine album altogether. Next time they are around I'll be there again, despite what the uberhip elderly say. This is great entertainment. (FdW)
THE BOATS - WORDS ARE SOMETHING ELSE (CD
by Home Normal)
MOUNTAIN OCEAN SUN - PEACE CONFERENCE (CD by Home Normal)
CHRISTOPHER HIPGRAVE - DAY (CD by Home Normal)
ISNAJ DUI - UNSTABLE EQUILIBIRIUM (CD by Home Normal)
Home Normal half read submission guidelines, sending me five CDs, but 'Library Tapes don't need a review since its older than six months', leaving still four and not three (and then their sixth release is already sold out). So we start this trip with The Boats, whom we came across with their CD 'Faulty Toned Radio' (see Vital Weekly 640). I am not sure if that album was the oddball in their work, or this one, but they sound quite differently. Rhythm plays here a pretty major part, sequenced to 4/4, a bass line and some melancholic chords. Not as complex as some of that music on Expanding or Boltfish, but rather simple and straight forward. A nice stomping beat, vocoder vocals, a simple motif on the keyboard. Very nice stuff, moving away from various scenes at the same time (IDM, ambient glitch). Pleasant music.
Much more experimental, well, compared to The Boats are Mountain Ocean Sun, which is a quartet on shruti box, harmonium, violin, bells and gong (various of these things are played by more than one person) and we find Hitoko Sakai and Warren Defever here. Defever best known for his work with His Name Is Alive, I gather. Last year, on August 8th (birthday of - ed.), they sat together and recorded this one hour work. Totally improvised, I gather, this is most definitely the most hippy release of this week. Meditation music, or music for healing sessions? Actually its quite nice. It took me a while to get into this, as in the early parts of the CD is sounds like a free form rattle of sounds and drones, but surely the larger part of what comes after twenty-five minutes is quite nice up towards the end at sixty-four minutes. Get candles, incense and a peace pipe out for this one.
Christopher Hipgrave seems to be a new name for me and he has seven tracks on his 'Day' release. He is a 'composer, sound designer, and software programmer' from England. Its unclear what he uses here, instrument-wise. It might be guitar, electronics or field recordings, but its all been altered in the world of computers. According to the label there is a connection with nature for these pieces, but I somehow fail to see that. I hear pretty nice ambient glitch music, warm throughout (much needed on the first cold autumn night), a bit microsound like. Think of anything on the 12K label of say the last five years, and you may arrive at the music of Hipgrave. Not bad at all, produced with great care, but somehow also not very original or new. Not that necessary always, but Hipgrave stays perhaps a bit too much in a common place.
Its been a while since we last heard from Isnaj Dui, who played flute on a release by Superimpozer (see Vital Weekly 552) and then released 'Patterns in Rocks' (see Vital Weekly 586). Katie English, she who is Isnaj Dui, plays flute, electrodulcimer and electronics, which is not some fancy software thing, but rather those nice sampling devices. That's what she does here too, on 'Unstable Equilibrium', playing her flute for the bigger part of the release, feeding it through her sampling device and create nice mood music. Not like new age - thank God for that - but moody, atmospheric, introspective, sometimes with a stronger bite, a bit of experiment here and there and it makes a nicely varied album. Here too not much 'new' goes on, but surely pleasant enough. (FdW)
ONE FOR JUDE - BONHEUR DYNAMIQUE (CD, private)
One of those cases of sending a promo to whichever address comes across. I am sure no member of One For Jude reads Vital Weekly (well besides maybe a side interest in odd music) and after the read this 'review' they will start accusing eachother of sending promo's to the wrong place. Or better: they blame their manager. They call themselves a moody pop folk alternative music band and they sign a bit false and play perhaps moody pop folk alternative music - how would I know? I don't. I like popmusic to be cheery, outgoing, loud and for parties. If I want to contemplate the deeper meaning of life (if ever), then I wouldn't play moody pop folk alternative music - perhaps no music at all. You guessed it right: no my cup of tea at all. Not a single second. (FdW)
LT. CARAMEL & KOMMISSAR HJULER &
FRAU (LP by Psych Kg)
The announcement for this series I must have received, but I couldn't find it anymore. If I recall there will be eleven split LPs with Kommissar Hjuler on one side on all eleven records and on the other side every time an unique band. The only two names in the series, so far, will be Smegma (up next) and for now (the first) Lt. Caramel. A pity that I don't recall the other names, so I can't say anything about reviving old names or some such. Let's just wait and see. So on side one Lt. Caramel, the French electro-acoustic composer Philippe Blanchard, who perhaps did what are do in reverse: he changed back to his Lt. Caramel name. Never change a winning horse? A side long composition of manipulating sounds through the use of... oops... I was going to write tape recorders, but perhaps these days we speak about computers? Its not easy to spot those sounds, save for the extended use of voices. Furthermore there is the use of electronics - synthesizers perhaps? electronic manipulation of acoustic sounds? who knows? - which makes altogether a dark and dense piece, with some crazy wacked out melody dropping by every now and then. Hardly a traditional piece in terms of musique concrete, but in the not so vast catalogue of Lt. Caramel certainly no odd ball. All the trademarks are there, and tops it off as a fine piece.
On the b-side Kommissar Hjuler and Frau. Already they have a long discography of craziness. Small handmade editions, anti-records sometimes, art objects (to some at least), but sometimes (not always) their music is actually pretty good. Their recent CD for Intransative (see Vital Weekly 683) is a fine overview of the best musical work. Their side of the record is also quite nice. It uses the idea's of electro-acoustic soundtreatments, just like Lt. Caramel does, but it seems more direct, more right y'r face. The unfolding of adhesive tape for instance in the first part or the movement of objects over the floor board in the third part, makes this into a fine piece of electro-action music. I can vividly imagine some sort of performance going on here. Think Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock in a long form fashion, without the rapid cut-ups. Very nice side of a very nice record. (FdW)
ANAPHORIA - FOOTPATHS AND TRADE ROUTES (LP
by Ini Itu)
Back in Vital Weekly 582 I was first introduced to the work of Kraig Grady, of whom I thought 'Beyond The Windows Perhaps Among The Podcorn' was his debut CD. That CD blew me away, and I held it for the missing link between Phill Niblock, Ingram Marshall and Alvin Lucier. Later on I got some of his older work, which explored also micro tonalism. Grady explores the sound of metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers and reed organs, which makes it hardly a surprise that he ends with a LP for Ini Itu, the label from Brussels, of whom I found out explore Indonesian music - a point I missed when reviewing their first two LP releases of this label. Grady here play percussion instruments and does that in his usual elegant manner. Working around with overtones, he plays mood music that seems to me (and I readily admit being no expert) only vaguely connected to Indonesian gamelan music. That is usually much louder and more hectic, but in Grady's hands they turn out to be sounding like wind chimes. Not music that demands a lot, but music that works well on a microscopic level. A bit like z'ev playing softly. Great late night music - very atmospheric, very controlled and ending in gorgeous lock groove on 'Ostaelo'. Damn fine record. (FdW)
IAN HOLLOWAY - SHE LOVES TO SEE THE SKY
(CDR by Quiet World)
The drone meister returns. Before working under his own flag, Ian Holloway was Psychic Space Invasion and had a label called Elvis Coffee Records, but under his own name and as Quiet World being a more 'serious' label he started a second career. In this new work drones and field recordings play the main role. Below the surface there is a deep rumble, of what could be synthesizers (analogue or digital? The cover doesn't tell us) or processed feedback. On top there are field recordings. What kind? Again its not easy to tell. Maybe an example of sticking a microphone out of the window? Or perhaps something more elaborate - a large empty space with some obscured action (birds flying about?). A rawer version of say Paul Bradley. Less refined than his previous release, this is a some what more heavy work of drone sounds. The differences are in the detail. A fine work as such however, expanding his horizon. (FdW)
CLOUWBECK - WOLFRAHM (CDR by Shining Day)
Richard Skelton is the man behind Clouwbeck, as well as the man behind A Broken Consort and Carousell, all of which I don't think I heard before. There are six pieces on this, all of which seem to use the violin as the source of the sound. Its unprocessed in that way that it sounds like a violin still. Multitracked, maybe with some extra reverb and/or a bit of other electronica. Melancholic music. Music for landscapes, which seem to be a Skelton obsession: "landscapes, land formation, erosion, decay and renewal" it says on the website. Landscapes without human beings, desolate and empty, with a grey sky about it. That's how the music of Skelton can be best described. Chilly, autumn, rather than winter, music. The winter can be bright and cold, autumn can be grey and yet still be a bit warm. Excellent atmospheric music, a bit modern classical, a bit of drone, but all quite natural sounding. Very much the perfect soundtrack for a grey sunday afternoon. (FdW)
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - ANINGAN (CDR by Mystery
For the first time a project returns to Mystery Sea, following 'Irdlivissong' (see Vital Weekly 479), there is now a 'sequel' called 'Aningan'. A single, seventy one minute piece of drone music. Apparently there is still the use of guitar being played through an amount of sound effects and creating a cling-clang sound at times, a metallic undercurrent that is not just deep, but chilly also at times. Things built up to a forty-five minute and then opens up. That built-up is quite long and could have been a bit shorter. In the second half the reverb units a full open to create that ever expansive drone like character. The best part I thought was at the very end when the guitar sounded like a guitar, captured in a drone-like environment with some obligatory sea sounds. Maybe easy, but effective. Like said that third part seemed the best to me. The others were alright, but a bit too long. Some more editing could have been in place and the work would have been stronger I think. (FdW)
JOS SMOLDERS - THE DRONE GNOME (CDR by Moving
Maybe Jos Smolders is just jealous at those musicians who concern them with drone music? Whereas he has to compose his music second by second, 'drone music is lated out and constructed with (very) large chunks of time' - and thus its done easier? Another thing Jos Smolders doesn't like about drone music is that is 'often about bass and noise. Sometimes the composer mixes subtleties over the basic layer. Sounds that are barely discernible. Others filter the basic layer so that modulations occur'. Jos Smolders, always a man to ask him a question and finding an answer, tried his hands on making a drone record. Now his comments (the longer version is at the label website) places us for a few questions too. Any particular drone, mister Smolders? By my estimation there are a variety of appearances on the drone scene, which do not all constitute of 'bass and noise' (just what is noise then anyway?). In Jos' hands there are two pieces, which I refer to as drone music from the microsound end. No analogue synths, or spacious analogue effects and bird twitter, but processed sine waves that glide carefully up and down the scale. I must say that he understands drone music quite well: long sustaining sounds, minimalist, but it wouldn't be Jos Smolders if he knew how to give the material a twist of his own and make it sound like something that is remotely drone based, but yet also more composed, bringing in some action and liveliness to the material. No doubt in a longer form than his usual compositions and certainly towards the end of 'ggrrrr' more noise based than his usual works. I think true drone heads may actually this move Smolders did, and his true fans will be delighted - as I am - with this interesting move. Despite his disqualification of drone music. (FdW)
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - LIVE ARCHIVES VOLUME
2: RRR (CDR by Lessons About History)
THE PICKLE FACTORY - OUR ANTHEMS (CDR by Lessons About History)
The second live CDR by Idea Fire Company has two shows, from two different years (1997 and 1998) but from the same location: the infamous RRRecords. Idea Fire Company here are Karla Borecky on synth and Scott Foust on synth, guitar, tapes and treatments. Of 'Cycle 19' is present in both shows, but its a piece that has always been on Idea Fire Company concerts, so no surprise. Funny to see how it changes. The other nine pieces are classic pieces, I'd say, even with such a reduced line up. Classic drone music of sustaining tones, tape-loops and sound effects. Maybe a bit long to do all at once, but its an suggestion to play the first concert one night, and the second a day later.
The Pickle Factory was never reviewed in Vital Weekly, perhaps because they no longer exist. There have been an album and a CD, and 'Our Anthem', recorded in 1996 was supposed to be the second LP. The Pickle Factory we find Karla Borecky (keyboard, voice, tapes, synth), Scott Foust (guitar, synth, tapes, voice, radio, bass) and Mike Popvich (bass, voice, drums, percussion, radio, guitar, keyboard). Idea Fire Company plus a guest? Hardly. In all the various bands Foust is (or was) involved in, there is always a distinct sound of its own. The Pickle Factory might be called 'popmusic': rhythm machines, a nice bass line and additional sounds to go along in order to form a short song, rounded off like a song, as opposed to a 'piece'. True, also The Pickle Factory can play a bit of droney mood music, but not with the long curves as is usually with Idea Fire Company. A damn fine varied record of experimental music. Which brings up the question: why wasn't this excellent record never properly released on a LP? (FdW)
HIROKI SASAJIMA - MONOGENIC (CDR by Sentient
ENTIA NON - DISINTER (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Two new names for me, on the excellent Sentient Recognition Archive label. While Entia Non has a little bit of information, there is no such thing on 'Monogenic' by Hiroki Sasajima. That's a pity, since we have to guess a bit. My best shot is that Sasajima uses field recordings, which are heavily processed into monolithic blocks of sound. His results, three in total, a deeply, what: bass shaking, rumbles of sound. Like the Holloway disc reviewed elsewhere, there is a strong influence of the work of Paul Bradley or Jonathan Coleclough. Deep, dark and mysterious and somehow all generated in the world of digital processing. Rain seems to be the main player in the second piece and motorized sounds in the third, whereas in the first I am completely in the dark. Very fine release for the music, not so much in terms of new things happening.
To spoil the end of the review: it can also be said about Entia Non, also known as James McDougall. Not much information here either, but it says that the field recordings were made at the East Coast of Australia. Here too the field recordings are heavily processed to filter out the deepest, lowest sound, and emphasize those through heavy filtering. The difference with Sasajima however is that its possible to recognize the or;.iginal sounds somewhat. Lots of sea sounds, walking along the beach, the sand in hand approach, motors and boats. Maybe a track too long this one. The best pieces, with the most variety in them - the raw sound versus the treatments - are at the beginning of the disc. 'Nearly Home', the fifth piece, seems a mere repetition of moves that were already made. Again leaning heavily on the UK drone scene - Mirror, Monos, Ora, Coleclough - but executed with the same great care, so perhaps that's fine enough. Two fine discs. (FdW)
New MP3 releases:
1. From: Frans de Waard <email@example.com>
October 1st saw the 25th anniversary of Kapotte Muziek. To celebrate this I launched a new blog http://www.kapottemuziek.blogspot.com dedicated to the history of Kapotte Muziek. During one year I will post on relevant dates information, pictures, music, photos of releases, concerts and such like. All for free. And this is also a call for help: if you have any information, recording or film about Kapotte Muziek, please contact me without any delay!
1. From: Sindre Bjerga <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SINDRE BJERGA / NILS ROSTAD / ANDREW PERRY
UK TOUR OCTOBER 2009
- 2 shoddy norwegians & 1 of englands finest in a sonic pissing contest -
OCT 6: RED HOUSE, SHEFFIELD - 8PM - £4
168 Solly St
Cam Deas (uk)
OCT 7: BOATHOUSE, HULL - 8PM - DONATION
Oak Road, Hull
OCT 8: THE CHILLINGHAM, NEWCASTLE - 8PM
OCT 9: DOW'S, GLASGOW - 8PM - £5
9-11 Dundas St
Magnetic North Trio (Bjerga, Rostad, Perry)
Sindre Bjerga solo
Sic Alps (usa)
Gummy Stumps (scotland)
OCT 10: SECRET VENUE, EDINBURGH - 8PM -
get in touch for details + attendance
2. From: dp <email@example.com>
6th october NAPOLI, Italy @ Perditempo,
Via S. Pietro A Maiella
dp video aktion + Gokkun, Mindfuckingboy feat. Kismett
7th october ROME, Italy @ Bencivenga Squat,
Via Bencivenga 15 (Nomentana-Pietralata District)
dp video aktion + Gokkun, Mindfuckingboy feat. Kismett
8th october BELLUNO, Italy @ Antica Birreria
Mezzaterra, Via Mezzaterra 16
dp video aktion + Gokkun, Mindfuckingboy feat. Kismett, Fukte, Ezcaton
9th october, VITTORIO VENETO, Italy @ Via
dp video aktion + Gokkun, Mindfuckingboy feat. Kismett
10th october LUGO, Italy @ Circondario Sud,
Via Circondario Sud 82
dp video aktion + Evol, Lorenzo Senni, Gokkun, Mindfuckingboy feat. Kismett
19th october Zürich, Switzerland @
eva d. dj set + Rovar17 (HU), Animal Machine (PL), Pent Leditgrant Memorial Orchestra (HU)
3. From: firstname.lastname@example.org
)toon) plaatst Vlaamse accenten
Sunday 11 oktober 2009, 16:00 till 22:00
Nieuwe Vide. Mickelersweg, Haarlem, Netherlands.
KRAAK. showcase with Dolphins of the Future, Bear Bones Lay Low en Silvester Anfang. + Plague Recordings showcase with Nathan Siter (USA) / Ibrahim Terzic (Fin) and Manifesto (Swe)
Entrance 7 euro.
Sunday 18 oktober, 2009, 16:30 h in de Philharmonie,
Electronic works by Karel Goeyvaerts and Joris De Laet. Plus live Esther Venrooy (laptop) and Heleen van Haegenborgh (piano)
4. From: "Heribert Friedl" <email@example.com>
- live performance, exhibition, artist talk - <http://www.sendandreceive.org/>send&receive festival - winnipeg - canada - october 2009
Tuesday, October 13:
Opening Reception and Exhibition Opening
at Ace Art Inc.
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Wednesday, October 14:
"I see something that you do not see and this is
Artist Talk with Heribert Friedl
University of Manitoba | Centre Space, John A. Russell Building, Faculty of Architecture.
Friday, October 16:
Magali Babin (CAN), Heribert Friedl (AT), and the duo of Stephen Vitiello (US) + Machinefabriek (NL)
Urban Shaman Gallery | 203 290 McDermot Ave.
- live performance - <http://www.casadelpopolo.com/>casa
del popolo - montreal - canada - october 18th - 2009
- live performance - <http://www.diapasongallery.org/>diapason gallery - new york city - usa - october 24th - 2009
- exhibition: "OSCAR WILDE - The dark
side of beauty" - <http://www.neue-saechsische-galerie.de/>neue
sächsische galerie - chemnitz - germany - 2009
- exhibition: "31. Österreichischer Grafikwettbewerb" - <http://www.galerieimtaxispalais.at/>galerie im taxispalais - innsbruck - 2009
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