number 702
week 44


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.xml


ROTHKAMM - ALT (CD by Baskaru) *
JASON KAHN & ASHER - PLANES (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
LETHE - CATASTROPHE POINT #5 (CD by Intransitive Recordings) *
NMPERIGN - OMMATIDIA (CD by Intransitive Recordings) *
SIGNAL (2CD compilation by Finetuned)
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER - RIFTS (2CD by No Fun Productions) *
BAKTRUPPEN - 1986-2008 (3CD by +3db) *
OBSIL - DISTANCES (CD by Disasters By Choice) *
KEIKI - WALTHAM HOLY CROSS (CD by Cheap Satanism Records)
IGNAZ SCHICK - BUTANIA METALLICA (LP by Kunstlerhaus Worpswede)
BM - BM BY BM (LP by Static Caravan) *
XELA - TRANSIT (10" by Static Caravan/Black Maps)
ST. JUST VIGILANTES - SWANS EVANGELIST (7" by Static Caravan/Black Maps)
FAUX AMIS (LP by Zero Jardins)
NEDERNOISE (3CDR compilation by Stront)



While opening this CD, I mumble: 'Cindytalk in Vital Weekly. Things must not become weirder than that'. I open the jewel case and mumble 'Cindytalk on Editions Mego. Things must not become weirder than that'. I learn from the press text that there have been three sort of incarnations of Cindytalk, the first one starting in 1982 (and which I remember not liking, but now it sort of eludes me why), the nineties version of 'broken down rock structures and abstract piano ambience' and since 2001, the computerized version, and essentially being Gordon Sharp's solo band. 'The Crackle Of My Soul' is the first album since 'Wappinschaw' from 1995 and has ten pieces of music that seem to rely heavily on the computer, with perhaps a bit of layered guitar drones and contact microphone stuff. Not bad, not too refined, this seems to me a rather early millennium version of microsound, than the 2009 version could sound like. Like said, not bad at all, but this is what wonders me: if this would have been mister Nobody's demo to Editions Mego, would it then have been released? I must admit I have some doubts there. Quite a decent laptop album, that doesn't sound weird, odd or strange. Quite beautiful and perhaps the biggest surprise is such an ambient work on Editions Mego. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

ROTHKAMM - ALT (CD by Baskaru)
Over the past few years I must admit I have a strong affection for the music of Frank Rothkamm. He is a serious composer of electronic music, but he's always in for a surprise or two, usually hidden as a concept that lurks underneath the music, but the great thing is that it is never in the way of the music. Creating a CD with piano variations of the first ten of the tune to 'Spongbob Squarepants', an electro record, an organ record and now with 'Alt' he produces an ambient record. When the machines rock (I took that from Gary Numan), they rock, that's the idea of Rothkamm. He sets the parameters of a piece on his machines - an array of analogue synthesizers or perhaps digital ones, and when everything is set in motion, he hardly adjusts the machines to what they are doing. Thus he creates ten variations to that theme, which harks back to say Brian Eno and everything that came after that, say Pete Namlook (but shorter in duration), say HIA, say Biosphere or anything on Hypnos (but perhaps at times a bit more 'loop' based, rather than endless sustaining sounds. As such, perhaps this album, is not the greatest revelation in music you could expect from Rothkamm, but in his catalogue of works so far, its perhaps the least conceptual one - or perhaps just a very loose concept: create an ambient album - but like so much else of his work, this is quite a pleasant, late night listening album. Nice one. Again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.baskaru.com

Age doesn't seem to bother Phill Niblock. The older he gets the more active he seems, seemingly constant on the road to play concerts and recording new music. This is already his fourth release on Touch, another double CD. Perhaps with someone else I would moan that a double CD is too much, but in my world there can never be 'too much Niblock' music - not that he is that actively involved with releasing music, so perhaps this 'steady stream' is just perfect. And just perfect is what we can say about the music. Three pieces here: 'Stosspeng', 'Poure' and 'One Large Rose', between twenty-three and fifty nine minutes in duration. For me Niblock is simply the best composer of minimal music. He works from the serious background in minimal music, writing scores and such like, but works closely with the musicians when it comes to finishing the piece. 'Poure' for instance was created with the cellist Arne Deforce, who plays a all A and D notes, from several octaves on his cello, along with an oscillator and from that he crafts a archetypical Niblock piece of music. Majestic, densely layered, endless sustaining piece of music. 'One Large Rose' is an ensemble piece for cello, piano strummed with nylon strings, violin and acoustic bass guitar strummed with nylon strings or e-bow. Here the piece is scored, in ten parts, but what Niblock did, is he had the four players play the piece four times and then put these four recordings on the computer and then did a mix of it. 'Stosspeng' is played by Susan Stenger and Robert Poss for two guitars and two bass guitars, all of which are again overlaid ('superimposed') in the process of mixing. Three different angles to the same process that brings out some wonderfully long sustaining music of 'One Large Rose' is perhaps the most 'live' sounding piece, with some nice shifts along with it. Three great pieces of music. I now, I am biased here and much of what I normally use to review music - originality for one, a new direction for the composer - is not applied here. The one and only reason is because I am biased here. Great beauty! (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

JASON KAHN & ASHER - PLANES (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
The ever busy bee Jason Kahn - how much can he put out? I guess he just records everything he does and sometimes things lie around, but ultimately it sees a release, somehow, somewhere. Here he teams up with Asher, who is likewise busy, mainly in the realm of CDR and MP3 releases. On September 26 2008 they meet up at the Axiom Gallery in Boston and Kahn has his analogue synthesizer and percussion, whilst Asher brings 'recording and playback devices' to the table. I assume, but I am not sure, that Asher picks up whatever signal Kahn plays and process that through an array of analogue machinery: cassettes or reel to reel tapes. Or perhaps its about the addition of recorded (field-) sounds? I don't know. This is a highly 'warm' live recording, I guess (again) done with microphones, perhaps overlaid with the line recordings. Contemplative, slow moving, endless on the sustain, but never real drone based, since there is enough variation in the piece.
Maybe you remember that CD by Dafeldecker, Kurzmann, Fennesz, O'Rourke, Drumm and Siewert, on Charhizma, released a decade ago? Today the brother of that album arrived: the same cover, but then in purple, in stead of orange. Four players here: Werner Dafeldecker (electronics, bass), Christof Kurzmann (lloop, clarinet), John Tilbury (piano) and Stevie Wishart (hurdy gurdy). The recordings were made in concert in 2007 and provides the listener with some great improvised music. Slow music that is. This quartet plays slow curves, bending the notes and tones with great care, emphasizing the beauty of a single note, a small phrase, a sustained tone. The hurdy gurdy seems to be the odd ball in this collection of instruments, but it provides a fine counter point to the other three instruments. Highly delicate music, which floats by with great ease. A great brother to the previous release (and a fine reminded to play that one again too). (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net


As the follow up to last years White Nights - The Hand of Tzafkiël and part two of what might become a trilogy, White Nights - Glowing Lights is of course interesting to compare it to the first part. Both refer to white nights; is this a reference to the classic 1957 movie by Luchino Visconti (which incidentally I have on DVD, but still need to watch), a reference to the northern light or to perhaps the suicide practices of Jim Jones in Jonestown? I wonder. Both album covers look alike in design, but there are significant differences. The owl, which appears to be dead, set to a backdrop of a city on the cover of Tzafkiël, has been replaced by a picture of a deer (more often used in Use of Ashes' imagery), very much alive. Whereas the last lyrics on Tzafkiël were "ashes, we all fall down", the new album ends with "Kreuzpunkt des Lichtes". The feel of the album is also quite different. Lighter in tone than Tzafkiël, Glowing Lights is more focused on short songs, with less emphasis on the longer instrumental tracks of the first album. I hate to use the term psychedelic folk, but maybe that gives you an idea. As always, Use of Ashes main-man Peter van Vliet, aided by his brother Simon and Maarten Scherrenburg, weaves his songs based on gently guitar picking, tablas and mellotron. The lyrics are often short fragments, at times no more than loose words or lines, which is something I personally quite like. The works of Use of Ashes are a logical follow up to the later Mekanik Kommando albums (like the utterly wonderful Shadow of a Rose), which in the late-80's seamlessly merged into Use of Ashes (1988's The Castle of Fair Welcome was recorded under the name Mekanik Kommando but released as Use of Ashes). Opener Morgenstern on Glowing Lights sets the acoustic mood for the album, which features no less than 18 songs in 45 minutes. The often short songs have an open character, are more transparent, which gives room to the guitar and vocals. With the songs all seemingly floating into each other, it is hard to pick favorite. I personally love Kiss The Light, Dark White Planet, Eidolon and the instrumental Nine Glowing Lights. As a whole, this is a great follow up to Tzafkiël, there might be too many songs and too little experiment for Vital readers, but please let that not discourage you: Glowing Lights is a fantastic album that has been in my CD player for quite a while now. (FK)
Address: http://www.crazy-diamond.nl/tonefloat/

The Austrian composer Max Brandt (1896-1980) was trained as a composer, but in 1937 fled Austria (he was a jew) and ended up in the USA. Here he got in touch with electronic music in the fifties and tried to built his own studio. Later on he got help from the young Bob Moog. Brandt's synthesizer was a like reconstructed Trautonium, and basically one of Moog's early work in that area. This CD is supposed to be a compilation, but it can also be seen as a collaboration. The few names return, Hausch, Guschlbauer, Kuhn, Krist, either solo or in one combination or another. They all play the synthesizer of Brandt, in twelve compositions, which sound like a pretty rough affair. No computer editing or post processing took place as all of the material was played live. Clustered blocks of sound, oscillating about, this is finely raw synthesizer stuff. Quite alright, in all its primitive form and shape of these compositions. But perhaps the best gem in this collection are the two pieces by Brandt himself, which are more closer to the original electronic music of the sixties and seventies (both of these pieces are from 1970 and 1974). Bleeps and blops, glissandi, swift changes and various notes being played. This too might be seen as a rough version of say early Stockhausen or 'Planet Of The Apes', but as a forgotten treasure this is quite nice. Its interesting to hear the contemporary players of this instrument, playing this in a more monophonic play and Brandt himself in a much more free form. (FdW)
Address: http://www.moozak.org

Things have been quiet for Japanese Atak, due the sad loss of one of the owners, the admirable Maria. Now they make a return with an album by Canada's I8U and Tomas Philips. Both are perhaps known for their work in the field of microsound and together they have been working since 2005. They work out of improvisation while being inspired by one thing or another. A film by Sergio Leone or a piano for instance. These improvisations have been revised, reworked, added or subtracted. Perhaps that might be hard to believe, since if you hear this CD, you'll be listening to some very minimal music. A few static lines, some click like sound, deep bass, sine waves and such like. Like the vague images on the cover, this music is more like an environment, surrounding you. The flickering of shadow on the wall, this music is also altering your perception. Carefully, slow, meditative, delicate and precious. All of these words are appropriate for this album. Labelboss Keiichiro Shibuya's remix of the title track at the end brings the material in a slightly different terrain: its more present than the other three pieces and more firmly rooted in somewhat louder laptop music, but it fits well in this release, providing a nice counterpoint. (FdW)
Address: http://atak.jp

LETHE - CATASTROPHE POINT #5 (CD by Intransitive Recordings)
NMPERIGN - OMMATIDIA (CD by Intransitive Recordings)
Two recurring artists present new work on Intransitive Recordings. Kuwayama Kiyoharu is better known as Lethe and his 'Catastrophe Point #5' was recorded in an empty warehouse. Inside Lethe plays metal chains, rusty metals and old wheels that were found on the site, and using the resonant space in which these objects lie around. The concrete floor is an instrument too. To this Lethe adds his playing of a cello and some horn like sounds. Drone music in optima forma, and one that is not heard a lot. Made by acoustic instruments being played throughout the duration (I am thinking here of Jos Smolder's recent CDR on drone music, which he thought was 'easy' to make - I guess Lethe here proofs him wrong). Art music, that only vaguely resembles the work of other scrap metal artists, such as Organum, Z'EV or The New Blockaders. Lethe however stretches out his playing in his own unique manner. This is a truly gorgeous CD.
To spoil the end of the review: that also goes for this CD by Greg Kelley (trumpet) and Bhob Rainey (soprano sax), better known as Nmperign. I don't exactly understand what the label honcho means when he states "Yet surprisingly, more than a decade after their debut, have never recorded a studio album as an unaccompanied duo... until now!" - but my best guess is that Kelley and Rainey are locked in the studio with just their instruments, a few microphones and nothing else. Like with their previous work however Nmperign show they are true masters of playing their instruments with great care, and making them almost never sound like a trumpet or a soprano saxophone. The instrument is a mere vehicle to produce sounds with. Sounds that not necessarily sound like a trumpet or a saxophone. False air, sustained sounds, sometimes even percussive short sounds. I never like the sound of a saxophone - no mystery there, as I wrote this before - but when it comes to Rainey and his method of playing it, I am all ears. The six pieces on this CD are great. Very refined playing, highly free and improvised, but very open, fresh and spacious, but never 'silent' for the sake of being silent. Excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.intransitiverecordings.com

SIGNAL (2CD compilation by Finetuned)
Say if you wouldn't read the liner notes to this release, then what would you make of such a compilation? That's something I wondered about. It would be a hard guess. The Finetuned people had a space and asked musician to fill it with sound, I guess. Now the space is gone, but the sound is there, captured on these two CDs. But like I said, if you didn't see the show/exhibition, then its just a two CD set with nice music. Great pieces of silent music by such likes of Hallucinator, Charlotte White, Benjamin Gwilliam, Rob Mullender, Knut Aufermann, Mark Wastell, Lawrence English - all of whom seem to deal with ghostly, radio wave activity. But there is also music pieces like the droning organs of Semiconductor and Night Night, the musique concrete of Vincent Epplay and Ian Helliwell, cable hum by Lee Patterson, more obscured drones by Anonymous and Edric Brown and the spacious synths of Kings & Queens. The nicest bit was the over top of Radio Tirana by Jonathan Swain - almost a pastiche of Autopsia. A fine compilation with lots of interesting pieces, but if you weren't there, perhaps just another (fine) compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.finetuned.org/

Music by Daniel Lopatin has been reviewed before. First when he called himself Dania Shapes (see Vital Weekly 575), then as a member of Astronaut (see Vital Weekly 628) and then in Vital Weekly 670 when he took on the Oneohtrix Point Never, when we reviewed 'Betrayed In The Octagon'. That album is now part of this double CD which collects all three full length records which released under that guise. Back then our reviewer wrote he was the next hottest thing, and perhaps I just missed out on his other, forthcoming, releases, but then this double pack can serve me as a proper introduction. Beyond those three full length releases, there are various bits from CDR and cassette releases. This is a man who fits the 'new' trend of synthesizer music, what some call cosmic music, or isolationist as some others would have called it more than a decade ago. Twenty-seven tracks in total here, which means he knows how to restrict himself. He does play a nice bunch of short pieces, as well as some longer ones - the Tangerine Dream lengths of ten to fifteen minutes. In his short pieces he restricts himself to a few sounds and plays around with those. It makes this double album into a varied affair, with different moods and textures. Its nice to see that this kind of music, for a long time hidden in music history's darker corner, now makes a full return into the world that was inhabited by noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nofunproductions.com

BAKTRUPPEN - 1986-2008 (3CD by +3db)
Its been a while since I last heard something by Golden Serenades, the duo of Sigborn Apeland on organ, Jorgen Traeen and John Hegre, the last best known for his work with Jazzkammer/Jazkammer. The latter two get credit for electronics, and its them who started Golden Serenades. In 2007 a performance of them destroying $5000 guitars which got them in the eye of right wing politicians, moaning about the waster of tax payers money. Here no guitars (?), but the extensive use of organ playing - at least that's what we should believe. In the just under forty minutes piece of noise there might be buried the sound of an organ, but throughout they opt for the Merzbowian noise sound. Very loud, distorted sounds, crash into eachother, filtering the organ sounds into an amorphous mass of sound. Atonal, vicious, loud, dirty. A serious stab of noise. Nothing new, but highly effective, and supported by happy taxpayers ('fond for utøvende kunstnere and Bergen'). Its money well spend.
The other new release by +3db is a retrospective by Baktruppen, of whom I must admit never heard. They started in 1986 and their 'expressed goal has been to realize a theatre based on equality, both in term of dramaturgy, scenic effects and the actual work process'. I understand they do theatre, rather than music, but music plays a role, it seems. They performed in theaters all over the world. I am not sure to whom this collection is directed. Its 115 short pieces of all sorts of things they did, in theaters, on streets, on site and language, singing and talking play an important role. The booklet gives extended details on each piece (when recorded, what is used), but despite a few photographs, the context seems to be missing here to fully understand what these pieces are about. That makes three CDs then quite a sit through. Interesting to hear, but probably better to see and hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.plus3db.net

Subsegemental is "used in psychology and perception within the context of linguisitics and phonetics" - its about how the smallest units make the meaning. In music 'the acoustic information is perceived in a segmentary manner, i.e. through very small or short parts of a sound signal'. There is a lot more to it, which are in the liner notes, but essentially Maeder composes using the concept of subsegmental with the help of Mathias S. Oechslin, a neuroscientist. He wrote the liner notes and described 'the gestalts appearing in his imagination while he listened to the individual pieces and expressed the associations that they conjured up in his mind'. Not easy to relate of this scientific information to the actual music, and perhaps its OK to do what I did: listen to the music, while occasionally glancing at the liner notes. Eleven pieces of highly minimal music: each piece seems to consist of only a few sounds, that arrive with long intervals of silence. This all sounds very much like serious composed computer music, rather than say musique concrete or microsound. Quiet music and while I must admit it didn't relate for me personally on any sort of psycho level, I actually quite enjoyed the music. Because of its silenceness and apparently nothing going on level, the real beauty is revealed in hearing the material when listened to it close. Avoid dark rooms I'd suggest, as things can be haunting at times. Refined and delicate. (FdW)
Address: http://www.domizil.ch

OBSIL - DISTANCES (CD by Disasters By Choice)
If there would be such a tag, I'd say one could call this 'pleasant glitch'. Obsil is one Giulio Aldinucci from Siena, where he still lives and where he did his field recordings. They are processed to quite an extent, so we no longer recognize anything, except perhaps the humming of some birds. To this he adds a digital synthesizers from the 80s, digital-analog "hybryd" instruments and Max/MSP. All of this results in quite sweet, melodic music, in which real instruments are reproduced by the digital sounds (which I guess not a lot of people use these days anymore). Tinkling bell like, cello, violin and piano imitations, and perhaps even a bit of real thing here and there. Sweet, harmless music. Quite ambient, sometimes even leaning towards new age, this is some nice music to relax by. Read a book, do your bit of day dreaming. Sit back and relax. Nice one for the dark days ahead. (FdW)
Address: http://www.obsil.com

KEIKI - WALTHAM HOLY CROSS (CD by Cheap Satanism Records)
If you Black Sabbath, Sonic Youth or Add N To X, then you might like Keiki, a duo from Brussels. At least that's what their label Cheap Satanism Records says. I must admit I fail to see that, but then perhaps Keiki is just not my band. Dominique Van Cappellen-Waldock sings and Raphael Rastelli on guitars and programming play pop music. Lyrics are about homosexual mice, dragons, dead birds and such like. Drum programming, slightly distorted guitars and the nice voice of Dominique. I do like popmusic, I really do, and a bunch of these songs by Keiki were alright, but throughout I thought this just wasn't the kind of pop I liked very much. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cheapsatanism.com

IGNAZ SCHICK - BUTANIA METALLICA (LP by Kunstlerhaus Worpswede)
An active force from the Berlin scene is our man Ignaz Schick, who is a turntablist and sound artist who has played with the best people around (Martin Tetrault, Charlemagne Palestine, Phil Durrant to name three), in various bands and many releases under his belt on as many labels. Here he presents a record in a black box, which nothing else in it then a paper with info and a record. In 2004 he changed his approach towards sound creation, and often uses one object at a time. On 'Butania Metallica' he uses a cymbal and a gong. He plays them on a turntable by rotating objects over the surface and picking those frequencies up with a microphone. Perhaps various recordings are overlaid, but not a lot. There is some great scraping going on here, a fine combination of electro-acoustic music (object based), drone music (the ever lasting sound) and improvisation (the playing of the objects, especially on 'Temple Gong'). Four pieces on this record, which reminded me of the early days of Organum, perhaps not as harsh, but certainly with the same great care. Very nice one, this one and its good to hear something solo from him every now and then.
I never heard of James Beckett, who was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, but now lives in The Netherlands. Along with the record I received his CV, which spans two and half page of solo and group exhibitions, and a short statement, that his work deals nowadays with 'research-based activity with output ranging from radio documentaries to mock ethnic bands, and museum displays documenting the cultural and physiological effects of noise'. But nothing about the actual record itself, the '14 Years In The Fond Company Of The Frederyck Nuyegen Seaside Memorial Band'. It says on the cover that he plays hurdy-gurdy and percussion. Maybe this is mock ethnic music too? A take on Vietnamese music? I don't know, as I am not an expert on ethnic music, mock or otherwise. A lot of bowing on the gurdy hurdy and some snap-crack percussive sounds in the background. Again something that definitely derived from the world of improvised music and actually quite nice too. Both this and the Schick record are pretty raw, direct in your face approach to recording music, but Schick's record seem to have some subtleness to it, whereas Beckett is even more direct, although none of these two constitute as 'true noise' of course. Fine stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kuenstlerhaeuser-worpswede.de/

A few weeks ago I reviewed the LP by Lt. Caramel & Komissar Hjuler & Mama Bär, and said it was part of a bigger series of which I knew nothing. Now I learn its going to be twelve records, with Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Bär on one side and 'well-known' artists on the other. We had Caramel, today Smegma, to be followed by Bomis Prendin, Princess Dragon Mom, Klaus Girnus, The New Blockaders, Eric Lunde, Jerome Noetinger, LSD March, Due Process, Pacific 231 and Rudolf Eb.er.
Smegma delivers three pieces, two from 2008-2009 and one from 1975, which I think is funny, since they all could have been from this year or from 1975: the difference is quite small. Over those many years Smegma stayed firm to their roots of free improvisation within a rock context, well more or less that is. They play around with the notions of rock but combined with the experiments as executed by musique concrete composers. Its what they have been doing for the last thirty-five years and they do a great job, still. Especially 'Blues For M.' from 1974 is a great subdued piece of music.
One track on the side by Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Bär, recorded (live?) this year in Flensburg and it seems they are inspired by Smegma. Also from the world of 'rock' music, with guitars, bass and 'vocals', this is more a lo-fi rock piece from the noise end than from the musique concrete end of things. Bits of feedback scream at the back end of thing and this piece stabs right into your brain. Nice perhaps, but a bit long. I can imagine this in a concert situation having much more impact. A slightly different side of their work (as far as I know it). (FdW)
Address: http://www.psych-kg.de

BM - BM BY BM (LP by Static Caravan)
XELA - TRANSIT (10" by Static Caravan/Black Maps)
ST. JUST VIGILANTES - SWANS EVANGELIST (7" by Static Caravan/Black Maps)
Maybe the recession has gotten to the office of Static Caravan too, or perhaps its just a new thing, but two of these three new releases are on a new label (a subdivision perhaps) called Black Maps, which apparently have their office in Tokyo and London. But all three are limited lathe cut releases. I assume the one by BM is a LP (I got the CDR), while the other two are on 10" and 7". BM stands for Billy Mahonie, which is actually a band, not one person. Static Caravan calls them a post rock band and that's actually well spot on. They play eight instrumental pieces of the best post rock stuff. I must say that this is entirely not my cup of coffee, but while I was doing some other stuff around the desk here, I kept on spinning this. Jazzy, complex, math oriented, total post rock. If ever there was a need for a template of the music, I'd say play this and you know what it is all about.
The 10" is reserved for Xela, whose work we reviewed before. Here he has two pieces, one called 'Manhattan' and one is 'Brooklyn' and they are played with a Sequential Circuits Pro-One synthesizer, tapes and effects. With these lathe cut records you never know what side a or side b is, but listening to the music I guess it doesn't matter that much. Its two sides of the same coin here. A vaguely droning sound of what seems to be cymbals being played (which are not listed, I know), feeding through what seems to be a very crunchy synthesizer. On one side this end a nice sequenced chord play in a very nice minimal music fashion. Now this is definitely the sort of thing I like. Moody, atmospheric, not slick produced, but roughly edged. Nice one.
The 7" has writing on it, on one side and an image on the other, so we still don't know which track is what. St. Just Vigilantes take us back to the world of rock, not post, not instrumental. Banging drums, slides being played, maybe a violin and a far away voice topped with an odd abrupt ending. Velvet Underground like perhaps? The other side is a bit more folk like, with street recordings of children and again a sweet voice and guitar playing. Great music! Now I wished for some more - some format swapping in the future? BM on 7", St. Just Vigilantes on LP. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

FAUX AMIS (LP by Zero Jardins)
You may not have heard of Faux Amis, but it seems to be an impromptu band around musicians from the scene in French city Lyon (including members of Motherfucking, I'm A Grizzly, Julien Dupont, Francois Virot, Le Geme Faute) and new heroes on the same musical block, from the UK, with members of Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides, Helhesten, Chora and Lanterns. Some of these might have been in Vital Weekly before, or perhaps I saw some of them somewhere (mainly the UK part of this, actually). Ten members of these bands came together on the 22nd of April 2008 and recorded a five hour jam, of which you will find about thirty-four minutes on this record. Recorder is placed in the middle and let's roll. Free rock improvisation, based around some loosely given tunes or cues (perhaps). Raw energy at work here, lo-fi recording at work too, but its all quite pleasant stuff. Think No Neck Blues-band type of music, but even more chaotic improvised. Quite nice.
Motherfucker went to the UK in August to play eleven concerts and I believe this CDR is their tour CD. They play one piece, almost twenty-nine minutes, which is very much along the lines of the Faux Amis LP, but better recorded. Here too improvisation plays a big part (I have no idea about the band line up, but there are drums, bass and guitars for sure), but things are stretched out a bit more. Motherfucker takes more time to develop their piece and sound also less chaotic than Faux Amis. Everything is almost pushing the loudest peak in sound, making this (also) to quite a noisy affair. The quality is, as said, much better, with more attention to the low end of the music. Quite a dense recording, and musically better than Faux Amis, but they share both the raw energy of improvised noise rock. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zerojardins.com

Two slabs of noise by Campbell Kneale, formerly known as Birchville Cat Motel, now as Our Love Will Destroy The World. Well, noise doesn't do this right. Its noise based for sure, but its also firmly rooted in the world of drone. Loud drone music that is. Both sides are based around loops, which are fed through sound effects (perhaps the good ol' Kaos Pad) to avoid the static approach of just listening to a bunch of loops. Two fine pieces for sure, no doubt about that, but what I noted before with music like this: this is not the right kind of music to put on a 7". Not just the pressing itself which is not great here, but sometimes, and that is also the case here, one has the impression of listening to excerpts of a bigger thing, and then I'd prefer the bigger thing. A great taster for this kind of music however. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quasipop.org

NEDERNOISE (3CDR compilation by Stront)
A while ago Jliat wrote me personally that the best noise seemed to be coming out of The Netherlands. Obviously I should send him this 3CDR with just Dutch noise bands, but I played it and decided to do the honors myself. First of all I am amazed by the amount of bands and projects found by Peter Zincken of Stront (meaning shit in Dutch). Himself being somewhat of noise legend, starting in the mid 80s as Odal, which he still does, but also as Dr. Bibber and a member of the Fucking Bastards. Over three hours of noise, but with a nice variety running along. Many new names for me, and hoping of course they are not all pseudonyms for Zincken himself, we find here Krimpoos, Vernaggelkramp, Bitter, Dreka Dreka dreka, Kapotte Muziek, Teenage Arsonist, Industrial Passage, Ezra Jacobs, Infected Needles, Kasper van Hoek, Margriet, Neurobit, Noise Gekanker A Gogo, Obsolote Office Equipment, Alex, Terg, Belch, Chuck Curry, Darm Kwadraat, Dashabi, Doodseskader, Fckn Bstrds, Fever Spoor, Gaskroket, Het Evagelie, Infected Needles, Jack Jack En De Wandelende Feedback, Kamp Chaos, LSD Mossel, Mem Bus, Nimwegen Terrorfront, Doornen, Odal, Rinus van Alebeek, Roeben Swart, Stirner, Tiws, Vincent Koreman, Vulvax & Stiff Nipple Of Terror, Zyrtax, 850 and Exploding Cunts. By my count I know about fifteen of these bands. Wailing feedback, distortion, but also darker edges, even silence here and there to augment the noise of others. A well balanced release, presented in the usual no-fi esthetic of Stront. The definite overview I'd say of how loud a small country can be. Jliat was right. (FdW)
Address: <p.zincken1@chello.nl>

This might not be my thing, I thought when I was listening to the two lengthy cuts that open up here from Iron Molar. Feedback, screams, distortion - not +40db stuff, but surely loud and not always to the point, such as these things something seem to be. But it was Monotonos which prevented me to send this thing to Jliat. I know Roger NBH, the man behind Monotonos, for quite some time, from a different lifetime, and we stayed in touch over the years, but I never figured out why there has been such a gap in getting releases out. There was 4 minute business card thing in an edition of 13 copies (for friends only), which is nice, but it doesn't do just to the music he wants to create. Monotonos play dark ambient, music from isolated world, polar music. Two pieces here (seventeen and twenty minutes; that's more like it) of very low humming sounds and bird sounds. Ultra long slow fade in and when the piece is in place then subtle changes take place in the material, like slow cascading waves, a thunder on an autumn night, which comes in every now and then. Gorgeous rolling deep ambient music, perfect isolationist drones. This should have been a release by itself, I'd say. I understand the contrast between the two, but coupling them didn't do either justice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.amid-the-waves.com

More from the independent and productive spirit of Vincent Bergeron. 'Instruit Mental' is a compilation with a selection of eight titles coming from five albums Bergerond created between 2004 and 2009. Also two tracks are included from his new one: 'Audiomachie/Logomachie', namely 'Audiomachie' and 'Bruissement'. But as the title from the compilation indicates, in these two as well as the other six pieces voices are left out. This makes it possible to concentrate more on the rich and detailed multidimensional soundstructures built by Bergeron.
'Audiomachie/Logomachie' contains six songs composed and created in the first half of 2009. It is another proof of Bergeronds very unusual musical vision Again Bergeron is helped by several collaborators like Frederic Szymanski (bass), Dan Stearns (ukelele) and others. Special mentioning deserves singer Viveka Erikson (Laidbackviv). What a voice! Erikson sings in a way that betrays that she is a experienced singer in the field of jazzy - billie holliday-like - repertoire. Great voice and a very beautiful and fitting counterpart to the bizarre orchestrations of Bergeron. These are very edgy and angular, whereas the voice of Eriksson is very warm and round. Bergeron uses - relatively long - soundsamples, often derived from acoustic instruments, capturing all the sonic qualities of acoustic sound. With these samples he orchestrates and embodies his songs. The samples are 'copied and pasted' in dramatic songstructures, leaving you with the impression of witnessing otherworldly, archaic, mechanistic music. Strange and alienating on the hand, at the same time this theatrical music is very straight forward and addressed to the listener. In a way it is very accessible and 'comprehensible'. Bergerond explains that this project is "about trying to explore different poetry styles". This is funny, as I cannot immediately connect his music with poetry. But that may be due to my lack of knowledge of the english and french languages. (DM)
Address: http://www.freakywaves.com/

And the winner is... I must admit I was partly instrumental in getting this release out. Last year the festival formerly called ZXZW (now called Incubate) staged a Eurovision Noise Contest, in which the judge looked at the presentation, the music and the performance. I was asked to judge the music aspect. One of the things that could be noted that when the performance and dress was great, the music suffered, and vice versa. Two acts came close to winning. Eugene Stamp Rot (if I recall correctly) and Sheik Anorak had a great presentation, performance and music. I believe in the end Sheik Anorak had half a point more. He played guitar (again if I remember correctly) and switched to drums at the very end for maybe one minute. The prize was releasing a CDR, which now finally materialized. I must admit I don't recall his sound to be like this. He plays drums and guitars here, in a rather improvised rock manner, and doesn't quite constitute as noise as say is reviewed in these pages by Jliat. More free rock like than overtly leaning on distortion and fuzz. This is a live recording and its a bit 'thin' in sound. I don't know why Sheik Anorak choose these recordings for a noise competition winning release, but it didn't serve me right for what I recalled. The Incubate festival this year bypassed many of the more outsider music, in favor of things that attracted more crowd or politic uproar (such as Herman Nitsch), and perhaps Sheik Anorak tries moving into that direction too? I don't know. I hope Incubate will do more underground in the future and go back to the roots. Another noise contest I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.incubate.org