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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 707
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week 48
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

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

 

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>

 

CHRISTIAN ZANESI - SOIXANTE DIS-HUIT TOURS (CD by Double Entendre) *
SEIJIRO MURAYAMA - SOLOS (CD by Zero Jardins) *
SEKTOR 304 - SOUL CLEANSING (CD by Malignant Records)
HAIKU FUNERAL - ASSASSINATION IN THE HASHISH CATHEDRAL (CD by Hikikomori Records)
STUART DEMPSTER / TOM HEASLEY / ERICK GLICK RIEMAN - ECHOES OF SYROS (CD by Full Bleed Music)
DETRITUS - THINGS GONE WRONG (CD by Ad Noiseam)
DJ HIDDEN - THE WORDS BELOW (CD by Ad Noiseam)
DANIEL MENCHE - KATARACT (CD by Editions Mego) *
BROKEN NOTE - TERMINAL STATIC (CD by Ad Noiseam)
BRUME - EMERGENCY (2CD by Waystyx)
RLW - HERZBLUTANTEIL (IKK IV) (CD by Waystyx)
MAEROR TRI - WHEEL (2CD by Waystyx) *
BRUME - AFTER THE BATTLE (CD by EE Tapes) *
CUUSHE - RED ROCKET TELEPATHY (CD by Flau) *
EL FOG - REBUILDING VIBES (CD by Flau) *
GESKIA - ECLIPSE 323 (CD by Flau)
MATHIEU RUHLMANN - TSUBUBAI (CD by Unfathomless) *
SONAROPHON - DE FRIE ELEMENTER (CD by :Zang) *
PAUL BARAN - PANOPTIC (CD by Fang Bomb) *
PETER BRODERICK & MACHINEFABRIEK - BLANK GREY CANVAS SKY (CD by Fang Bomb) *
WOUTER VAN VELDHOVEN - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat) *
PIERRE FABLET - THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER PROJECT (CD by Editions!/Harmonia Mundi)
BRIAN GRODER - GRODER & GREENE (CD by Latham Records)
WOODEN VEIL (CD by Dekorder) *
UTON - UNEXPLAINED OBJECTS (LP by Dekorder)
GROUPSHOW - THE SCIENCE (BEHIND SHOES)/PET RAMP AND STAIRCASE (7" by Dekorder)
GREG & TED - LOVE, WIND & FAILURE (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
KOMMISSAR HJULER & MAMA BAER - AMERIKANISCHE POESIE UND ALKOHOLISMUS (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
NO SOUND - OLD MAN LEE (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
TORTURING NURSE/VERTONEN (split LP by Rococo Records)
VERTONEN - THE EVAPORATION OF PANTHALASSA (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
VERTONEN - RODINIA'S DECLENSION (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
VERTONEN - NICKED (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
RCF - 0509 (CDR by Misengarde) *
GOLDEN DEAD/RESONAN - DEAD SLOW AHEAD (CDR by Resdatcom) *
CHEMINS - CDR #1 (CDR, private) *
LISA ULLEN/DAVID LINNROS - LUDL (CDR by Disorder) *
GISH - PILFER (CDR by Dead Sea Liner) *
DEAD LABOUR PROCESS - PEOPLE ARE THE SAME ALL OVER (3"CDR by Dead Sea Liner) *
SUJO - COLUMNS (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt) *
B*TONG & PS STAMPS BACK (3"CDR by 1000+1 Tilt)
THE SWARMING OF FLIES (3"CDR by 1000+1 Tilt)
HYSTERSIS - 8PMCITYSCAPES : A SOUNDTRACK FOR THE RESTLESS (3"CDR by Betontoon)
IMAGHO - THE TRAVELLING GUILD (3" CDR by Field Muzick) *
PURE SOUND VS CARSTEN VOLLMER - AMERICAN TRILOGY (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
EXTRAFOXX - THE SADDEST (CDR by Bedroom Suck)
SWAMPLORD - MERMAIDS OF TAHITI (CDR by Bedroom Suck)
KUTOMO/ANONYMEYE (cassette by Bedroom Suck)
REVERSE MOUTH - OF THE CLOTH (cassette by Abandon Ship Records)
PEAT RAAMUR / PERSPECTIVES - SPLIT (cassette by Rotifer Cassettes)

MP3 releases & announcements

 

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN ZANESI - SOIXANTE DIS-HUIT TOURS (CD by Double Entendre)
Just like Bernard Donzel-Gargand last week, the name Christian Zanesi has been rarely seen in Vital Weekly. His 3" CD for Metamkine's Cinema Pour L'Oreille might have been, years and years ago, but I don't recall any other music by him. Maybe he too is not the kind of guy to release much. Which perhaps goes also for his latest (??) CD release, which has two pieces, both of them lasting fifteen minutes. Zanesi started composing electro-acoustic music after he heard much by Bernard Parmegiani in the 70s. Two pieces here, as said, of which the first one uses electronic signals from communication sources as well as 'non real time' computer sounds from the GRM studios in the 80s. The second piece deals with a 78 rpm record with lock grooves made by Pierre Schaeffer in 1949, which he used in 'Suite Pour 14 Instruments', which Zanesi in return uses in his composition 'Tours Et Detours En 78 Tours). Also alike Donzel-Gargand his music doesn't seem to work around traditional composition techniques used by other composers in this field. His approach seems to be much free. For instance working with loops of sounds, that run for a specific time and that have a very defined place in the piece. It seems to me that Zanesi is more along the same line of people that work with this kind of music, but then from an unacademic background, like RLW or Jos Smolders. I thought both pieces were great pieces of music. Concise and to the point, with that touch of industrial edge to it. Unlike Donzel-Gargand, who takes too much time here and there, Zanesi keeps his material to a minimum and makes stronger compositions. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vibrofiles.com

SEIJIRO MURAYAMA - SOLOS (CD by Zero Jardins)
The man who played drums in ANP (a duo with KK Null) and Fushitsusha (with Keiji Haino) returns to playing solo here, 'using one head snare drum with microphones, without sound effects', as it says on the cover (although the press text mentions a cymbal too). I assume he plays the snare drum with something, objects, sticks, brushes? Two pieces do rather sound the same: 'Ssei' and 'Llott' (if I read that well, its handwritten and not easy to read): rubbing sticks over the head and producing trainlike sounds, rolling faster and faster. In 'Aug' he plays the most 'traditional' piece of improvised music, hectic, nervous, but with a great control of the instrument, making it sound entirely different throughout this piece. In 'Ejie', the final and longest piece on the CD is an entire drone like piece. Hard to imagine how he plays this, but it could be objects pressed hard to the surface or perhaps some sort of bowing technique. This is the best piece of these four, but through I thought this was a pretty strong disc anyway. Excellent solo improvisation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zerojardins.com

SEKTOR 304 - SOUL CLEANSING (CD by Malignant Records)
Texas label Malignant Records has a strong focus in the darker and more extreme areas of the electronic scene in their catalogue of releases. Present album is no exception. A couple of days ago I watched Pascal Laugier's price-winning and shockingly extreme movie "Martyrs"; a tale depicting extreme human behavior and depravity. As I shortly after listened to the debut "Soul cleansing" from Portugal's Sektor 304, I was brought in similar worlds of extremity and sheer darkness. In comparison to earlier reviewed titles from Malignant Records, Sektor 304's "Soul cleansing" doesn't move to the extremely harsh expressions of the contemporary noise or power electronics-scene. The extremity of the album more likely is based in the dark and destructive atmospheres. Sector 304 creates hardcore Industrial in similar territories to Godflesh (circa "Streetcleaner"), Saw Throat and Scorn meaning industrial noises and drones added guttural growls and painful guitar distortions. With "Soul cleansing" Malignant Records makes a step towards the metal-based Industrial scene with an excellent album that could be this decade's edition of Godflesh's "Streetcleaner". This is black art in its most beautiful form! (NM)
Address: http://www.malignantrecords.com/

HAIKU FUNERAL - ASSASSINATION IN THE HASHISH CATHEDRAL (CD by Hikikomori Records)
Similar to another album reviewed recently here in this magazine, SEKTOR 304's "SOUL CLEANSING", present album focus on expressions of Industrial from the metal-based scene. Compared to the more expressive and downright aggressive style of Sektor 304, the band called Haiku Funeral is more introvert and ambient-based but with a similar utterly dark approach. Behind the project you find two members: WmK on bass, DiM (mis)treating the electronics and both members on screaming vocals. The electronic side of the album takes it starting point in the black ambient scene with drones of sheer darkness, but also subtle noise drones shines through the hellish soundworld first of all dominated by the creepy inhuman screams. The bass creates an ultra-heavy ground in the depressive musical textures. The band describes their music as "mental distorted drug hallucinations" themselves, which is a quite descriptive phrase. Everyone interested in the industrial-based metal-style (Godflesh, Scorn, Treponem Pal, Sunn:))), Helmet) should check this out. Limited edition of 50 copies.
Address: http://www.hikikomori-records.com/

STUART DEMPSTER / TOM HEASLEY / ERICK GLICK RIEMAN - ECHOES OF SYROS (CD by Full Bleed Music)
It is not every day a tuba is being connected to ambient music. Never the less this is what happened when L.A.-based composer released his "Where the earth meets the sky" on the Hypnos-label back in 2001. It was an album that concentrated on the dark expressions of ambient music, with deeply dark and organic drones created by the tuba-master Tom Heasley. There are similarities to the "Where the earth meets the sky" on this new album from Tom Heasley titled "Echoes of Syros". The album is based on a collaboration with compatriot artists Stuart Dempster and Eric Glick Rieman. Eric Glick Rieman is an improviser, composer, and multi-instrumentalist performer from the Californian Bay area, who works in wide areas of the musical styles from classical music across jazz to ambient music. Stuart Dempster is a S.F.-based composer and trombonist and didjeridu-player who has, among others collaborated with drone/doom-metal-band Sun O))) on the album "Monoliths and dimensions". "Echoes of Syros" was a live improvisation by the three collaborators recorded in august 2008 in a 200 million gallon underground cistern situated at Fort Worden. Opening track of "Echoes of Syros" is the main piece of the album with 34 minutes runtime. An excellent piece that reminds of the "Where the earth meets the sky" thanks to the use of wind instruments that apart from tuba also counts a trombone and didjeridu. The piece opens slowly and first of all built on textural atmospheres. The remaining three pieces of the album has a total runtime of 22 minutes moves a half step away from the pure ambient-style of opening piece. The electronic soundscapes have disappeared and the full attention is given to the acoustic instruments. The album is released on Tom Heasley's own label "Full Bleed Music" and highly recommended to listeners of earlier ambient-works of Tom Heasley and electronic dark jazz-projects such as Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble. (NM)
Address: http://www.tomheasley.com/

DETRITUS - THINGS GONE WRONG (CD by Ad Noiseam)
U.S.-composer David Dando-Moore is one of the legends on the Berlin-based label Ad Noiseam. Present album titled "Things gone wrong" is the seventh full-length from the IDM-artist and his fifth release on German label Ad Noiseam. David Dando-Moore alias Detritus certainly impressed with his previous album "Fractured", and the level continues on his new album. The strength of Detritus is the ability of the composer to create cinematic soundspheres with the help of electroacoustic instrument-samples combined with warm electronic soundscapes and rhythmic textures spanning from up-tempo breakbeats to chilling downbeat. In comparison to aforementioned "Fractured" that is the harshest effort from the composer, "Things gone wrong" returns to the friendlier spheres, though still with some hyper-energetic rhythmic textures momentarily. Many great moments to be found here, from the sinister track "Haunted" to the organ-sounding gentle ambient-piece "Drift". The album closes with two remixes, one from another Ad Noiseam-legend Mothboy and one from Niveau Zero. Especially Niveau Zero's take on "Haunted" attracts with his transformation into something recalling John Carpenter's frightful theme to his slasher-milestone "Halloween". Once again Detritus invites the listener into alluring cinematic sound-spheres - a trip into a mindblowing inner cinema. (NM)
Address: <http://www.adnoiseam.net/

DJ HIDDEN - THE WORDS BELOW (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Dutch artist Noel Wessels is the brain behind one of contemporary European drum'n'bass-scene's most interesting projects: DJ Hidden. His debut album "The later after", released on Ad Noiseam in 2007 impressed a lot with the intense mixture of cinematic atmospheres and harsh breakbeat textures. Now the Dutch artist, DJ and producer has launched his follow-up to the debut. In comparison to "The Later after" the textures of the album titled "The words below" seems more open to a wider audience, but still with the upfront cocktail of speedy rhythm-textures and sinister atmospheres. Unquestionably DJ Hidden would be an interesting composer of soundtracks for horror movies, with the dark ambient-textures creating a grandiose and eerie atmosphere. I.e. the opening of the up-tempo track "No notice" with distant nightmarish voices assisted by musical box and old pianos to create horrific expressions works excellent. Another dramatic feature in the sound world of DJ Hidden is the heavy bass lines giving a nice depth and aggressive impact on the music. DJ Hidden continues the eerie combination of cut-up rhythm-textures and melodic atmospheres on "The words below" and it truly works well! (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net/

DANIEL MENCHE - KATARACT (CD by Editions Mego)
The low lands of The Netherlands you hardly - well, never - see waterfalls. The one I saw were the Niagara waterfalls, on the Canadian site of the borders and it looked mighty impressive. I tried my hand at recording them but it failed - too many tourists openly sharing their enthusiasm. Daniel Menche captured waterfalls at the pacific northwest of the USA - no further specification - and added his own blend of electronics in this forty minute piece. If he wasn't satisfied with his recordings, I think, he well hides that fact in his electronic processing, but I am sure he is satisfied. Of course we know Menche as a fine producer of all thing noise, and that's the case here too. However its not the full blown thing of pure feedback and distortion (never a Menche game anyway), but a great merging of acoustic sound and sometimes piercing electronics. A loud release, but I think that makes it all the more interesting. For not a lot field recording are used with a lot of force. Usually its soft and not too outspoken in terms of violence, but of course nature can produce loud vicious sounds. And this is one such case. Menche does an excellent job at that. Whatever electronics were used is hardly relevant. After a short built-up, there is a long loud middle section, which has a constant, moving character, and then, the last ten minutes, a fine 'softer' ending. A most powerful statement on the case of field recordings. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

BROKEN NOTE - TERMINAL STATIC (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Just like another fresh drum'n'bass release from German label Ad Noiseam being DJ Hidden's "The words below", present album "Terminal static" released by L.A.-based artist Broken Note is a dark and threatening piece based on breakbeats and rhythmic cut-up. Where the album from DJ Hidden focus on atmospheres present album titled "Terminal static" from Broken Note has more focus on ultra-heavy basslines and violent downbeats. The two comrades behind Broken Notes combines drum'n'bass, breakcore and comprehensively dubstep to create some quite aggressive textures. The darkness flooding the album is further strengthened by industrial sound-textures and samples of spoken words and concrete sounds. Things gets especially intense with brutal and atmospheric clubbish tracks like "Zealot" and "Dubversion", thanks to the soundscapes drifting behind. Very interesting release showing the darker side of the dubstep-scene. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net/

BRUME - EMERGENCY (2CD by Waystyx)
RLW - HERZBLUTANTEIL (IKK IV) (CD by Waystyx)
MAEROR TRI - WHEEL (2CD by Waystyx)
BRUME - AFTER THE BATTLE (CD by EE Tapes)
The idea behind the Brume 2CD is not an entirely new one. Back in the days of cassette releases, it was not uncommon to have a double pack to be played at the same time. Bruce Gilbert once released a double 7" with the same music on both records, so they could be played out of phase/sync. I always wondered how many people would actually do such a thing. The good thing about CDs and computers these days is, perhaps, that one can easily mount onto the computer and open in a multi-track sound editor. Which I did. I played them both right from the start and noted that CD two is about ten minutes shorter than CD one. Meaning, perhaps, we can start fading in number two at any moment I want? As said, I played both right from the start, and CD one has water like sounds, dry and concrete like, and CD two has a processed version thereof. They work well together, I must say, but I think that the entire length is a bit too long for this. There is a minimal growing of intensity in these sounds, but its a bit too wide spread. Things could have been a bit more condense, concise for that matter. Say forty-five minutes and it would have been very good. Now its all a bit too much.
Another release on Waystyx, a Russian label with great packaging, is by RLW, the man also known as Ralf Wehowsky. Here the package may be pretty standard, but all the tracks are printed in super small cards, with band name and title. This new CD by RLW is an extension of what started as a 7" for Meeuw Muzak, in the 2003 version of his Christmas 7"s. RLW's daughter sang the classic 'Ihr Kinderlein Kommet', which then lead to various other releases, reworking the piece over and over again. Most of the times by RLW, but here by various others, sometimes in combination with RLW, such as Bruce Russell and Johannes Frisch. Halfway between a remix CD and a collaborative disc, we find contemporaries of Wehowsky like the aforementioned two, but also Anla Courtis, Dustbreeders, Brume and Formanex, but also new names to the RLW scene like Intertronik, Howard Stelzer or the Trans Industrial Toy Orchestra. Another half way can be found in the approach of the sound material: improvising along with other instruments (anything connected to christmas that produces any form of sound, I'd say) or in a musique concrete like manner taking the existing sound material apart and reconstruct it again. The improvisation seem to prevail here, in slightly longer tracks (and which could have been a bit shorter, I think). Throughout quite a nice CD, that hardly shouts christmas, which is a good thing. I share Stelzer's opinion: 'don't wish me a merry Christmas, I won't have one'.
The other double CD here is by Maeror Tri, Troum these days, but this from the time they were three. Much along the lines of last week's Oren Ambarchi release, this is a compilation of compilations. I doubt very few people will have all of these releases, as they include some damn obscure cassette and CD compilations from 1988 to 1996 (oddly enough no vinyl here), from the first 4 track piece to various unreleased pieces towards the end. I was pretty big fan of Maeror Tri, and although I don't play it as often as I did in the early days, its one feast of recognition. I noticed that the music of Maeror Tri, compared with the later Troum, is a bit raw, crude and roughly shaped, but also quite open, and airy. Guitars play an important part, droning nicely away. Noise is sometimes present, in some of the more cruder moments of Maeror Tri, but they are kept to a minimum and have their own place in the universe of Maeror Tri. I was a fan, and still am. Hardly the right person for an objective on this matter.
More Brume can be found on 'After The Battle', released at the same time, but this time by Belgium's EE Tapes, who, like Waystyx specializes in some what 'older' musicians (Big City Orchestra, Y Create, Human Flesh to mention a few). EE tapes doesn't have the same great packaging, but have settled on their style: 7" covers. Both 'Emergence' and 'After The Battle' aren't mentioned on the insert, a Brume/C. Renou discography, which starts in 1985 and ends with release number 106 'The Sun/The Moon' (reviewed in Vital Weekly 698), and this is just the solo and split releases, not whatever he contributed to compilations. Is that a lot, or just an ok number? And is there is someone out there who has all of this I wondered (well maybe Brume himself of course). 'After The Battle' contains nine pieces, all in a pretty classic Brume strategy. There is sound, always and everywhere. Silence is never a friend of Brume, but throughout the twenty-four years of his career, there is one major change: he allows synthesizers and computers on the game. In the old days he stuck all his acoustic sounds on a reel-to-reel machine and mixed them together, perhaps using some sound effects on the outside. These days, it seems at least to me, he uses sound synthesis from the computer to edit whatever he does, and also feeds them through (software based-) synthesizers. Still a highly vibrant sound, but also still, Brume doesn't always realize when to end a piece. Sometimes the pieces are a bit long by themselves, certainly when it comes to clang-boom pieces, but then the ten minute closing piece 'I'm Feeling Good' is a great one. Slow, peaceful, quiet, introspective. It offers an entirely new Brume, and this would be a great to have somewhere in the middle and a road to explore further. (FdW)
Address: http://www.waystyx.com/
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

CUUSHE - RED ROCKET TELEPATHY (CD by Flau)
EL FOG - REBUILDING VIBES (CD by Flau)
GESKIA - ECLIPSE 323 (CD by Flau)
Three examples of Jap-pop, each with their own angle to it. First there is Cuushe, a Japanese woman whose real name we don't know. She is influenced by Boards Of Canada and L'Altra and sounds like Tujiko Noriko meeting Bjork. I have no idea what the lyrics say, but she signs it in a typical Japanese way: a bit nasal. Its not a kind of singing I must admit. The music by Cuushe is quite dark. The lower end of the key range on the keyboard, the somewhat dark drum patterns, obscured samples also in lower range of the keyboard, its all in a minor key. With eleven tracks this is all a bit too much grim and gloom for me. For a while its not bad at all, but the entire things works a bit on my nerves.
Behind El Fog is Masayoshi Fujita who lives in Berlin these days and his primary instrument is the vibraphone, which he plays along with electronic, loop stations and such like. Pop goes jazz here. Now I'm not the biggest fan of jazz either, but El Fog takes it into a slightly different area. There are elements of jazz, but there are also clicky rhythms, dub like bass patterns, along while the vibraphone plays its typical laidback tunes. All made through the use of improvisation it seems to me. Here too I think the album is overall a bit too long. After a while you get the idea that El Fog wants to bring and then the rest is a mere repetition.
The most musical diverse release is by one Geskia, and although clocking at forty-three minutes, the label refers to this as an EP. Ten new pieces and three remixes (by Lukid, Caural and Bracken) of breakbeats, hip hop rhythms, ambient waves, melancholic textures and laidback tunes. Easily a record to play from beginning to end, with great pop like sensibility. Maybe also not my cup of tea either, but for me the best out of three. Sweet, trippy music that pleasant to hear throughout. Good music to either work by or chill out to. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flau.jp

MATHIEU RUHLMANN - TSUBUBAI (CD by Unfathomless)
Its not uncommon for labels to start sub-divisions, to diversify their musical interests for instance. Its however odd that the mother company is a CDR only label, to start a sub division that is releasing real CDs. Or perhaps its just the natural next, logical step? In either case, that's what Mystery Sea does. They started a new label Unfathomless and the first release is a CD by Mathieu Ruhlmann. The label's statement is that is 'a thematic series focusing on sonographies reflecting the spirit of a specific place crowded with memories, its aura & resonancies'. What struck me also as odd is the fact that this release would have been also very suitable for a release on Mystery Sea. The recordings made by Ruhlmann here were made with a hydrophone (an underwater microphone) at same gardens in Canada (sorry, the exact location is hard to read), and whilst cut into eight smaller pieces, I think we must see the entire thing as one long track. It dwells heavily on field recordings, well, perhaps only on field recordings, as a matter of fact, of events happening in a pond, although I'm clueless what those events would be. However, the resulting piece of music stretches beyond the notion of a pure piece of field recordings, even when there is perhaps little sense of post processing, save perhaps for some equalization. At the start there is water sounds, ducks maybe but as the piece evolves we sink deeper under the water surface and things get more and more abstract. Quite a solid work of field recordings that actually get beyond the idea of 'just' field recordings and is a beautifully composed piece of music.
It kind of escapes me why a thirty-four minute CD has to come with a bonus CDR with another twenty-nine minutes of bonus material. Why not stick it all on one release and not limited it to 50 copies? One reason might be that 'Funayurei' sounds a bit different. I am not sure if it is derived from the sound material (I guess so, as there is more water here), but throughout, and this is perhaps the most curious thing about the release, this is a bit more melodic. If 'Tsukubai' hoovers towards the field recording artists, then 'Funayurei' is more linked towards the drone scene, think Ora or Monos. I must admit that if it was up to me I think I would I have chosen this one to be the real CD and 'Tsukubai' to be the bonus. Daring move, but two great pieces of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unfathomless.net

SONAROPHON - DE FRIE ELEMENTER (CD by :Zang)
Behind Sonarophon are Line Hornland (vocals, electronics) and Alf Terje Hana (guitar, electronics), who recorded the free elements - as the title translates to - at the Kunst Og Kulturfestival in Ogna (Norway) in 2008. Almost twenty-five minutes of free play on guitar and vocals, but the electronics play an important role in this piece. I am not sure what to think of this release. Its of improvised music pur sang, but it seems to be mostly to be doing a sort of vaguely ambient texture. It seems to me that they want to create a moody, atmospheric sound texture through improvisation, but they do not entirely succeed in that. The music drifts around like it should be, there is a bit of a noisy element thrown in (perhaps due to the fact that this is a live recording, I'd say) but its a bit to thin to convince me that this is really moody music. The idea to create such music is nice however, a merging of two ends that almost never reach, ambient and improvisation, and that's the thing that I like about this short album. A somewhat daring move, that may not have worked out entirely well, but they tried. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zang.no

PAUL BARAN - PANOPTIC (CD by Fang Bomb)
PETER BRODERICK & MACHINEFABRIEK - BLANK GREY CANVAS SKY (CD by Fang Bomb)
Paul Baran (1975) is a composer, electro-acoustic sound and improviser who is for his release 'Panoptic' helped by a whole bunch of people, including Keith Rowe, Werner Dafeldecker, Andrea Belfi, Rhordri Davies, Armin Sturm and many more. Among the listed instruments we see organs, grand piano, upright piano, prepared guitar, double bass, prepared harp, cello, acoustic guitar, euphonium, walkie talkie, voice and more. This is 'an attempt to soundtrack the lives of the creative people affected by such concepts as underclass, surveillance, and the dangers of mass consensus'. I am not sure how this was all recorded, all in the various studios listed, or whether some perhaps send in their sound material. Various compositions get credit by various composers. I was thinking about the premise that Baran set out while listening to the music. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I fail to see it. The music is mostly, up to the ninth piece, 'To Protest In Their Silence' mainly about quietly improvised music. That ninth piece is by return then something quiet loud, for the albums standards, with lots of electronic outbursts, but still with that feel of improvised music. Hard to see it as the soundtrack mentioned. The music is quite nice, but hardly surprising. The instruments usually play whatever they play in a pretty traditional improvised manner, where the instruments can be recognized as such. Not the greatest of works in improvised music, not the worst either.
I only heard music by Peter Broderick from his 'Music For Falling From Trees', a LP released by Western Vinyl and reviewed in Vital Weekly 680, but he is quite active, either as a member of Efterklang and with his own solo releases. He hails from Oregon, but lives in Berlin these days (who isn't? well, the Vital people of course). He teams up here with that other guy whose work load always seems to be piling up: Rutger Zuydervelt, also known as Machinefabriek, who pushes out lots of collaborations. Following last week's release with Tim Caitlin, its now turn for Peter Broderick. Unlike last week, when it was clear that Zuydervelt was using sound material supplied by Caitlin, there is no information here on how these things were made. Did they sit together in the studio (like Zuydervelt did with Andrea Belfi earlier this year) or an exchange of sound files, or one working on sounds of the other. I somehow put my money on the exchange of sound files, where Broderick gets to say his say in three tracks and Zuydervelt in the other three. I can't say this is 'another' Machinefabriek collaboration, although partly it is. There is the well-known soft guitar playing and sound effects in full operative modus, but throughout I thought there was something altogether more 'musical' about this. Maybe its the use of vocals, even so sparsely as here, but also the addition of some clear piano notes (also sparsely) and likewise clear guitar parts that make this wholly more musical than some of the other collaborative efforts undertaken already. An excellent CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fangbomb.com

WOUTER VAN VELDHOVEN - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
Perhaps I told this before: one sunday afternoon two years I went out to see the farewell event of a band that I never heard of, Dagpauwoog, but I knew all of its members (including Rutger Zuydervelt) and was pleasantly surprised by at least two concerts: soccerCommitee use of voice and guitar blew me away (the female answer to Oren Ambarchi I thought) and Wouter van Veldhoven, who played some analogue synthesizer, a music box, an ancient tape delay. A silent concert, in which every crackle could be noted loud and clear (the presence of a wooden floor added a nice texture, I must admit). Since then I heard bits of his music, but not a lot (why? I wondered), but here he appears in the legendary Mort Aux Vaches series. I can't detect a date on the cover. Back then I had a closer look at the curious equipment of Van Veldhoven, but it wasn't easy to make any sense out of it. As far as I can remember the system contains of some sort of tape-loop or tape-delay unit, in which sounds are fed but not erased, so as the piece unfolds sounds are layered onto eachother. These sounds might be the aforementioned music box, but here on his 'Mort Aux Vaches' this can also be melodica, bells or other, more obscured sounds. There is certainly a link to be made with the work of Machinefabriek, but Van Veldhoven plays some highly nice moody music of his own. It sort of falls somewhere in between electronic and acoustic music. One can hear the electronics playing their part but there is also much intimate sounds coming from acoustic sources. An excellent blending of both ends, crafting together three lovely intimate pieces of music. Not yet reaching the same fame as Machinefabriek, but certainly on his way. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staalplaat.com

PIERRE FABLET - THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER PROJECT (CD by Editions!/Harmonia Mundi)
"The Night of the Hunter" is the name of a film from 1955, with actor Charles Laughton in the leading role. And what is more relevant in this context, with Walter Schumann as the composer of the soundtrack. I can't remember having seen this film. Also I/m not familiar with the composer. That's a pity, because I can imagine it helps to appreciate this curious project by Rennes-based Fablet and his friends. Anyway, from what I found out about this soundtrack, it is of some fame and a timeless quality is ascribed to it. One day Pierre Fablet woke up with the idea to rework and update this old soundtrack. I dont't know to what extent Fablet reworked the original for his band, but one of the things he had to do, was to arrange it for his band consisting of Daniel Paboeuf (saxophones), David Euverte (piano, samples), Regis Boulard (drums), Jac Auvergne (bass), Jerome Bensoussan (trumpet) and Fablet himself on guitars. Also I cannot make any comparison between this work and other output by Fablet, as I don't know any of his other recordings. But in the past blues, psychedelic rock, Ornette Coleman, jazz, improvisation, etc. inspired him. Since 2005 he works with James Chance (!). Well, let's come to this record containing 17 tracks, now. We can easily detect Fablets experience with rock, jazz and blues. In a piece like "Open That Door" I had to think of John Zorn's Filmworks. Very accessible music with a very spicey sauce all over it. This sauce is missed in pieces like "Uncle Birdie", that sounds very old-fashioned and performed with too little humor to be interesting. Also some of the tracks have too little to offer, like "Lullaby" and "Wila's Waltz" that is nothing more then just a waltz. In contrast, "Bringing in the Sheaves" moves along simple melodic lines, but the band gives it an inspired treat. Tracks like these leave me puzzled at the end of this movie, and I don,t know what to think of it. Surely Fablet did a clever job in transposing this old material in the context of jazz, rock and a bit of blues. And Fablet also proves himself as a fantastic guitarplayer. The aggressive attack in the opening tune is promising. His bottleneck playing in the closing track "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" brings back Ry Cooder-like atmospheres. The band plays very fresh and enthusiastic. And I admire Fablet taking all the risks in reworking this old soundtrack. I wish he did with more sense for musical adventure. Now he failed to convince me of the necessity of this project. (DM)
Address: http://www.lastationservice.com

BRIAN GRODER - GRODER & GREENE (CD by Latham Records)
After his first one, "Torque", with legend Sam Rivers and his trio, it is now with veteran Burton Greene with whom Brian Groder joins forces for another tour de force. To begin with, it is a long time ago since I enjoyed so intensely a jazz recording as this one. Great vibrant and spirited music. Free jazz by musicians who can handle freedom and demonstrate a strongly focussed operation, creating some fantastic and gorgeous moments. For me the fun already starts with the opening track "Landfall": the comical, seemingly a bit clumsy playing by Greene, with a delicious solo by saxplayer Rob Brown. Yes, Groder contracted an impressive crew for this date. Rob Brown played with Cecil Taylor. Burton Greene is one of the godfathers of freejazz. He lived (or lives?) in Amsterdam. In recent years he had his band Klezmokum, playing klezmer in a jazzjacket. The names of Adam Lane (bass) and Ray Sage (drums) didn't ring a bell, but fine musicians they are. The improvisations are much of a collective exercise, but Greene is often somehow in the center of where it is happens. Greene is also the writer of the only composition on this disc: "Hey Pithy, Can You Thropt The Erectus?" All pieces make the impression of being chaotic and cacaphonic from the outward, but if you dive into them, all is dazzlingly intertwined and connected. Very communicative ensemble work. "Nigh" circles around a simple melodic theme that sounds very familiar but I,m unable to identify it. Also it is driven by a straight beat, which is not what you expect in free jazz. Greene puts a lot of humor and fun in the music, like in "Amulet" where he distorts the sound of the piano by putting objects on the strings. It is the contrast between Greene's 'primitive' playing and the playing by the others that make this one a very enjoyable record. Must have been two blessed days when these recordings were done in october 2007. (DM)
Address: http://www.briangroder.com

WOODEN VEIL (CD by Dekorder)
UTON - UNEXPLAINED OBJECTS (LP by Dekorder)
GROUPSHOW - THE SCIENCE (BEHIND SHOES)/PET RAMP AND STAIRCASE (7" by Dekorder)
Three releases on Dekorder, three different formats. First, on CD, is Wooden Veil. They started in 2007, in Berlin, and Dekorder calls them an 'art group'. The members are Marcel Turkowsky (Snake Figures Arkestra, Cones, Uuhuu), Hanayo (who works mainly as a singer, but also with Merzbow, Red Crayola), Christopher Kline (Valkenburg Hermitage, Night Music, Soft Peace), Dominik Noe (Lustfaust) and Jan Pfeiffer (Songs For Rocks, Soft Peace, Purple). They are 'inspired by the shared hauntedness of their respective homelands, they combine elements from forgotten and misremembered traditions to create a microcosmos which only Wooden Veil inhabits, complete with its own symbols, clothing, food and shelters'. So perhaps a CD reflects not every thing, perhaps not even the main thing, but just one aspect of their work and that makes it harder to make a proper judgment about it. Because what I hear on CD is only sometimes interesting. The music is largely improvised on a series of acoustic instruments and some electronics, but not always have some clarity in the recordings. Sometimes drums leap out, sometimes the voice of Hanayo, but its a bit messy. I understand that the recording were made in a variety of places, which may not count for the same level of recording, and by looking at the cover, it seems a whole ritual that is performed. Perhaps Dekorder had better invested in their first proper DVD release to launch this band. The music isn't that convincing, nor its really awful either, don't get me wrong there, but seeing might have been better. On DVD, but no doubt the real thing would have been best.
'Unexplained Objects' is the third album by Jani Hirvonen, who plays his music as Uton for Dekorder. He already has a whole bunch of releases on CDs, CDRs, cassettes and vinyl, and while I haven't heard them all, whatever it was that I did hear, it has left a pretty good impression on me. No doubt the title refers to things from outer space, but perhaps, so I was thinking, also to objects that are unexplained on the cover (hardly an informative one at that) used to create the music. Music of a free nature, improvised onto a multi-track, and the mixed together, adding a bits of electronic. Mainly, it seems to me, it dwells heavily on acoustic instruments, bells, flutes, guitars (maybe, just maybe) and the result sounds like a New Zealand like affair of free drone music. The compositions aren't really fixed to make coherent pieces, but loosely structured and make nice use of the lo-fi approach in recording these sounds. This new record seemed to be less on tribal percussion and throat singing and altogether more of something of his own. A damn fine record, perhaps the best I heard from him so far.
Behind Groupshow we find the 'supergroup' of Jan Jelinek, Andrew Pekler and Hanno Leichtmann, three luminaries from the Berlin scene that is involved with creating dance music that stretches out beyond the ordinary club life. In their solo work they craft their music together in meticulously way, but for Groupshow they record live, through a collective improvisation. There is already a release on Scape, which I didn't hear, now these two tracks on a 7". They sound indeed, on both sides, as pieces of live improvised music. The rhythmic aspect is indeed present, as one could expect, but they are both a bit too easy for me. Not exactly dance music, but loop driven sound by one player and the two others improvise with a bunch of swirling electronics. Definitely cut outs from a larger thing, this is nice music, but also not entirely convincing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dekorder.com

GREG & TED - LOVE, WIND & FAILURE (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
KOMMISSAR HJULER & MAMA BAER - AMERIKANISCHE POESIE UND ALKOHOLISMUS (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
NO SOUND - OLD MAN LEE (LP by Feeding Tube Records)
Outsiders at work here. First we have two men with beards, Greg & Ted. They sign?, recite poetry?, are plain insane? 'Me, My Dick & Your Vagina', 'Hell Heck', or, oh 'Two Beards'. There is a bit of guitar playing? Percussive bits? But that might be something falling in the background on the floor, but then side B has drums and sound more musical than the other side (maybe even a live recording?). Not exactly the next Simon & Garfunkel (the only duo springing to mind right now, and it doesn't make much sense, but maybe the insanity of the record distracts me a bit). Maybe funded by institute in which they reside? Or perhaps just plain serious art? Musique brut that's what it is. Actually I enjoyed the total weirdness of it. Picture disc displaying men with beards.
More outsiders, but banging on the door to get in more and more are Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer, who never seemed more active than they are now (sort of defeats the idea of an outsider I thought, but more a conscious marketing thing - doesn't mind I guess). On side has 'Once Again concrete poetry', consisting voices of all kinds, some screaming 'Once Again' every now and then plus some feedback. Its not that concrete that I could say what it is about, and perhaps its a bit lengthy for what it is, but its surely a nice piece. The other is by Mama Baer and has two pieces, both dealing with the excess, or so I think, of drinking alcohol. A collage of spoken word, radio snippets, some loops. Maybe as overlong as the other side but also not as good as the other side. It surely beats me why that is, but the a-side seemed more attractive. So these things go, I guess.
More free madness on the Lp by No Sound, but this time without many words. Whatever vocals used around here is rather wordless, while No Sound does have sound, a lot of them. Recorded in a variety of places, its hard to say wether this is a band at work, or one person mixing together a whole bunch of sound sources, lifted from detuned radios, old records and TV signals. Mayhem galore here. Feedback is mixed in every now and then. That's the first side. The second side is different. Here 'vocals' play a part, a big part and the same musical madness, but then more stripped down to the bare essential. It says that one Ted Lee is responsible for this, and this might the same Ted from the Greg & Ted record. It carries that same outsider madness. A most curious record indeed - like all three are. No Sound is pressed on orange vinyl and limited to 100 copies - an instant collectors item to be discovered in ten year as a lost classic of musique brut. (FdW)
Address: http://www.feedingtuberecords.com/

TORTURING NURSE/VERTONEN (split LP by Rococo Records)
VERTONEN - THE EVAPORATION OF PANTHALASSA (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
VERTONEN - RODINIA'S DECLENSION (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
VERTONEN - NICKED (3"CDR by C.I.P.)
A highly limited split LP (100 copies) by Vertonen's Blake Edwards and Torturing Nurse, a duo from China. One Youki plays guitar and turntable while one Junky plays voice and noise. Its already an old recording, from October 2006. Although its not mentioned, I would I think this is a live recording of some kind. There is feedback, distortion, but also loops, vocal bits and all sorts of doodling coming from the turntable. I am reminded here of the music of Dustbreeders. It has that some rock inspired free improvisation that sometimes explodes into noise, but throughout remains a free improvised session of rock like sounds. Nice one. On the other side we find Vertonen's 'Allegiance Variance', which comes in four parts. An interesting piece as it sees Vertonen moving away from the strict drone music of lately and it opens with a drum machine! Then the second part is the drone bit, but in 'Shellacked Skull Exit Strategy' things become quite noisy and rhythmic, bringing back to memory the turntable experiments of his older work. I must admit that I didn't expect this turn by Vertonen. Well, its either that, or we are dealing with an older piece here (recorded, edited and mastered December 2006 - February 2007 it says on the insert). A bit of curious record I thought. Not fairly recent stuff and perhaps artists have moved on? However from a strict musical point of view, I thought it was a very fine record of nice drones and intelligent noise.
Vertonen may now then very well be best known as a merchant of all things drone based, but for a couple of shows in California he released a trio of 3"CDRs to be sold at those concerts and which offer three different aspects of his work. One is obviously filled a drone piece, and that's 'The Evaporation Of Panthalassa'. It opens on the soft, almost in audible site of the sound spectrum, but slowly builds up by allowing other frequencies to the table, mainly from the mid-range. Once it is there, it stays there. That is perhaps a pity: I could definitely see a move from there to another point within the given time frame. Not a bad piece however, I can imagine picking such a thing up after a Vertonen concert made of drones.
Its however debatable wether concerts by Vertonen are all drone affairs. The second disc has four slices of 'Rodinia Declension' and contains two studio pieces and two complete (!) live shows, all within twenty minutes. If a few minutes is what a concert is, then why bother going out to say California I wondered. This is Vertonen's full on noise angle. No doubt this works live very well, with the right amplification and the right maniac lightening, but I am not Jliat, so it's hard to see a point to all of this, here at home. Its not the worse kind of noise, I must admit that, but perhaps noise is no longer my real interest, especially when it comes to this kind of noise.
The most odd ball in this lot is 'Nicked', in which he nicks music from others, plunderphonic, plagiarism, mash-up. If you like popmusic, like I do, this kind of music can be a bore, because you hear all your favorites mashed-up, or true feast as you will recognize all your favorites mashed-up. Sometimes I lean towards the first, sometimes to the second. You may touch E.L.O's 'Don't Bring Me Down' (even allowed by this particular big E.L.O. fan), but I think Vertonen misses a point: he plays a lot of music at the same time, but not always makes a composition out of it (that is: if we are to see this one piece as separate pieces), or a real Too Many DJs like mash-up. Loops run around of rhythm, guitars, vocals, but not necessarily go anywhere, at least, not all the time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.rococorecords.com
Address: http://cipsite.net

RCF - 0509 (CDR by Misengarde)
Along with this release I received an earlier release by RCF, who is one Ciro Fioratti from Brescia, in the northern part of Italy. I assume this is give some background. RCF uses a MC505, MPX 550 and UB 1204FX, whatever those may be. He writes that he records all his music without edits, overdubs and copy paste and calls himself a crossover between Keith Rowe and Asmus Tietchens. In a way I can see that, even when the music doesn't sound like either of them. It has that improvised feel of Rowe and the somewhat clinical sounds of Tietchens. The music is quite raw, almost industrial but with the absence of an ongoing rhythm. Elements return at irregular intervals. Its a pretty interesting release I think. It moves in various circles - noise, improvised music and even microsound at times - but RCF has found a voice of his own. The best piece is '21.1 (for rowe)', with a great interplay of silence versus noise. The older work 'Plateaux' is throughout a somewhat cruder affair, which however has its moments already. More minimal it seems, and also a bit more noise based. Altogether it seems a most promising new artist on the scene. (FdW)
Address: <misengarde@gmail.com>

GOLDEN DEAD/RESONAN - DEAD SLOW AHEAD (CDR by Resdatcom)
Two bands from The Netherlands of whom I never heard, plus a new label. You can't know them all, I guess. The track list is a bit of a puzzle. There is a prologue, then four tracks (by Golden Dead, I assume) and then an epilogue and then two tracks (by Resonan, I gather). Golden Dead play what I would call science fiction music. Some analogue synthesizer (or perhaps a digital version thereof) playing long sustained tones, drones if you will, with some Nasa flight control talk and stuff about unidentified flying objects. Pretty minimal stuff, but quite nice. Low flying droning soundscapes with great suppressed intensity. Resonan plays two long tracks, over thirty minutes, also on analogue beast of a synth. Oscillators huff and puff and things are a bit more noisier than with Golden Dead. Not bad either, but not as good as Golden Dead and a bit too long. Curious to hear more of both, however. (FdW)
Address: http://www.resonan.com

CHEMINS - CDR #1 (CDR, private)
Quite some music from Finland this week (Uton, Kutomo), but also Chemins, who have no friends on myspace (which is great I think) and also no information. The CDR, simply titled 'CDR #1' has one piece that lasts twenty-three minutes and thirty seconds. So perhaps its a band then... I hear drums and a bunch drones played on guitar, maybe a bass, maybe field recordings. What they do sounds very interesting. A concentrated form of playing, perhaps (partly) improvised and sometimes remind me of 3/4Hadbeeneliminated. The music is slow and peaceful and unfolds in a majestic manner, without being over the top. A great piece, perhaps a few minutes too long. Its a pity they choose to release it themselves and it may stay in relative obscurity. Maybe they could have better find a second piece and release it on some of the more interesting CDR labels around. This music certainly deserves it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/cheminsgroup

LISA ULLEN/DAVID LINNROS - LUDL (CDR by Disorder)
With this release came a note that ended with 'we're looking for tourdates these coming months', so I assumed it was a demo to get these tourdates, which Vital Weekly doesn't do. So when David Linnros asked when the review would appear, I told him that we don't do demo's. It turns out, not that one could tell from either the press text, or from the 'cover' that this is actually a released CDR from Disorder, the same label that also released 'Konatus', in Vital Weekly 701, in which Linnros also plays alto saxophone. Here he teams up with Lisa Ullen, who plays prepared piano. Unlike Konatus this is music that deals with a great deal of silence. There is a great interaction between both players, each carefully constructing sounds on their respective instruments. Sometimes close to regular improvised music, but also at other times more like electro-acoustic music, taking the instruments into a new territory. At some twenty-two minutes, this is quite intense music that requires a lot from the listener, but throughout its quite rewarding listening. Despite the some what low packaging, an interesting release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.disorder.se

GISH - PILFER (CDR by Dead Sea Liner)
DEAD LABOUR PROCESS - PEOPLE ARE THE SAME ALL OVER (3"CDR by Dead Sea Liner)
Two new releases on Dead Sea Liner usually means more new names to deal with, and these are no different. First we have some twenty four minutes of Gish. Maybe its a band, who knows. There is a credit for one Andrew Perry on the second piece, who plays mic and analogue electronics. Two pieces here, of which the first one starts out in a nice droning manner, but evolves quite quickly in some sort of New Zealand like lo-fi improvising rock like combo, including free drumming. The second piece is also droning away, but over crumbled notes of lo-fi electronics, creepy like a hurdle of insects trying to invade the human body. That piece is the best of the two, although hardly a surprising new take on anything that has been produced under the banner of lo-fi drone music.
The second release is by Dead Labour Process, who knows, a project of the label owner? Also two tracks, but a bit shorter. Alike Gish, these are of an improvised nature, but less of a drone nature. More like doodling around with a bunch of sounds that would have been interesting for those who created it at that specific time (of night, I assume, with a vast intake of some chemicals of one kind or another), but that may not mean much for the unsuspecting listener. A bit too haphazard for me. This is something that is mostly worth for the creator, but not necessary for the listener. (FdW)
Address: http://www.deadsealiner.co.uk

SUJO - COLUMNS (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt)
B*TONG & PS STAMPS BACK (3"CDR by 1000+1 Tilt)
THE SWARMING OF FLIES (3"CDR by 1000+1 Tilt)
More music by Sujo, perhaps Ryan Huber of Olekranon and Iman Records, but here branching out to a label from Greece, 1000+1 Tilt. The music here moves more and more towards rhythm and noise, instead of the previous more noise based assaults. Sujo switches on a rhythm machine - slow and powerful is the pre-set of choice and then checks if all his stomp pedals work - they do - strums one chord and feeds it on through his stomp boxes, along the like wise stomping of the rhythm. Somewhere there may a voice sample, such as towards the end of the title track. Sometimes a bass loop gets looped around as a sort of basis. Nice one, this one. Indeed heavy duty music, firmly like a brick of concrete in the world of noisy guitar rock. Thirty minutes of guitar terror.
Label owner of 1000+1 Tilt plays his own music PS Stamps Back and as such travels the world or organizes concerts locally. Here, armed with his laptop, guitar and boxes, he teams up with B*Tong from Switzerland, in a recording made at Sokratous in Athens, Greece. B*Tong has by now a solid reputation for playing some darker than life ambient music, and PS Stamps Back glide easily along the glacier like tones here, with a nice uncut edge to it. In 'Not By Fire', there is even a bit of rhythm. Constructed from what seems to be field recordings, outside but also inside (a church perhaps) and computer processing, this fits along very well with the other releases so far by B*Tong, and though not entirely new in approach, it is quite a nice momentum of a concert recording.
Also a concert recording is the CDR by The Swarming Of Flies, with has one M on violin and one I on synth, strings, effects and computer and no doubt that I is the same person as the one behind PS Stamps Back and the label. Here we enter a much more rough landscape, also of long sustaining sounds that over the course of these tracks swell, rise and come to a noisy halt after twenty-two minutes. By that time the violin has disappeared from the scenery and its laptop a gogo. Much more raw than the work with B*Tong, this has however a fine power of its own. Nice on too. (FdW)
Address: http://tiltrecordings.org

HYSTERSIS - 8PMCITYSCAPES : A SOUNDTRACK FOR THE RESTLESS (3"CDR by Betontoon)
Hystersis is the name of a solo project established by Rotterdam-based sound artist who has a background in the black metal and the industrial scene. On this debut as Hystersis, the artist makes a slight change in expression with a more abstract electronic work taking its starting point in field recordings of city life. Despite the focus on concrete samples of recordings from cities such as Hamburg, London, Bangkok and Rotterdam, there are much melody and emotions hidden in the five tracks of the album, with a total runtime of 24 minutes. First of all the sound of guitar is an important source besides the field recordings. Stylish the guitar-passages range from postrock-gentle spheres to more fast and furious riffs of black metal-style as on third intersection titled "Streetpreacher". Main piece of the album is the 10-minutes running piece "Beacon 996", that sounds similar to postrock-legends in Mogwai due to the development from fragile strumming to more noise-rock-based textures towards the end. Only a limited edition of 50 copies, so listeners of postrock should hurry and get a copy. Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.betontoon.com/

IMAGHO - THE TRAVELLING GUILD (3" CDR by Field Muzick)
PURE SOUND VS CARSTEN VOLLMER - AMERICAN TRILOGY (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
From France hails Imagho who travels his country
armed with a microphone and a guitar. He places the microphone in such a way that the nature around him becomes an instrument, all along which he tinkles on his guitar. The nature can also be an unused church, or the fruitmarket. Highly elegant stuff here, but even at this limited length of twenty minute are seven tracks well enough. The difference in guitar playing doesn't have much variation and also the nature of field recordings is quite similar. Not bad, but not that great either.
Much more is there to be enjoyed in the release by Pure Sound vs Carsten Vollmer. Pure Sound emerged a while ago with three CDs released shortly after eachother (see Vital Weekly 552, 575 and 626) based on field recordings and poetry recitation. Carsten Vollmer once crossed the paths of the weekly, but otherwise I know not much about him. Here they team together up in some collaborative form. Pure Sound have sounds from America (New Orleans, Chicago, Vicksburg, Minneapolis and St. Louis) with stories written by Vince Hunt. Three great pieces are produced as such, using field recordings, some bass and piano. You have to like the fact that there is a spoken text on top of these recordings and music, but then they are quite nice. I understand exactly why this coupled with the digital noise of Vollmer, whose music bears no resemblance with the original work of Pure Sound. Loud and vicious, mean noise. This sort of eludes but as at least a perfect antidote to the textures woven by Pure Sound. (FdW)
Address: http://fieldmuzick.net

EXTRAFOXX - THE SADDEST (CDR by Bedroom Suck)
SWAMPLORD - MERMAIDS OF TAHITI (CDR by Bedroom Suck)
KUTOMO/ANONYMEYE (cassette by Bedroom Suck)
I can be brief about Extrafoxx, also known as as Conwae Burrell. He records music since 'long before anybody can care to recal. About thirteen years, but possibly more'. Ouch. Thirteen years! That's when everything was still in black/white. He lives his life and writes songs about them. He signs and plays a guitar, neither in a great fashion. Thirty-five tracks, but I managed up to track fifteen. There wasn't a single second I enjoyed or cared about. The press message says he 'listens to a lot of Pavement and New Order'. I join him, and play some New Order too.
If you are a member of a band called The Swamplords, your solo project would easily be called Swamplord. That's what Jeremy Hidmarsh did. He pays homage, the label tells us, 'to the great psychedelic music of the late 50s-70s', not a field in which I am a particular expert on. That's makes it quite difficult what to think of this. Many guitar solos, some wacky vocals, distorted percussion bits and perhaps that fits indeed the idea of psychedelic music, which can be quite without much structure. What is nice however is that the sound is all dirty and gritty, distinctively lo-fi, homebrew stuff. That's where the great power of this release is: a real garage like piece of music. Though not a daily digest for me, but still quite nice.
I have no idea why the cassette gets a poor black/white xerox presentation, why not a nice color xerox as the CDR? The music surely deserves that. Kutomo is from Finland and plays flutes and a bunch of looper devices that create a nice flowing ambient backdrop. It wasn't necessary to use a voice in this material, I'd say, but its not bad either. Hard to say wether we are dealing here with one track or more, but let's say its cut into various section; the cover lists various tracks, but they sound frigtenly similar. On the other side we have Andrew Tuttle's Anonymeye project, who does very much the same, except that he is using guitars and loop stations. He too crafts some nice atmospheric music together, which has bit more bite than Kutomo. Both artists do a rework of eachother, which turns out to be a pleasant combination of either artists' input. I'd strongly suggest to re-issue this on CDR and get them to do more collaborative stuff together. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/bedroomsuckrecords

REVERSE MOUTH - OF THE CLOTH (cassette by Abandon Ship Records)
Starting inauspiciously enough with some sparse guitar diddles, Reverse Mouth gradually builds 'Of The Cloth' into a caustic, scrappy wall of guitar noise. Not as abrasive as the keener Japanoise efforts, this is instead more piecemeal and jagged, with crusty swaths of noise continuously driving at the listener. At their most vicious moments, Reverse Mouth's Panagiotis and Sofia really deliver a hellish cauldron of an album - the macabre black and red of the cover paints an
appropriate picture of the sound contained within. There is some sort of Christian theme going on here, what with the cross on the front and side B being baptized "World's Most Significant Christening," but as with most instrumental experimental chaos, all associations must be inferred by the listener's intuition alone. My preference sides with the demonic second half of this tape, which commences with a dirty, ritualistic feedback pattern before untying into liberated mayhem of the grimy, grisly sort. Summed up objectively, 'Of The Cloth' will appeal to most dedicated noisehounds, slyly traipsing the wire between noise and free improv. (MT)
Address: http://www.abandonshiprecords.com

PEAT RAAMUR / PERSPECTIVES - SPLIT (cassette by Rotifer Cassettes)
Two newly-ordained purveyors of understated, droning weirdness have joined forces for this magnificently designed C18. As far as I can tell, neither Peat Raamur nor Perspectives have any other releases out, so this EP had a mysterious allure about it as I first popped it into the stereo. Beginning the affair on side A, Peat Raamur brings us a sort of subaqueous soundscape, replete with a nautically shimmering drone, distant drum taps, and what sounds like whale calls. It is a deep and meditative composition that becomes more and more involved as it wears on - an obscure, reverb-heavy whirlwind of mystery. Perspectives' side, on the other hand, is a more chaotic beast. A throbbing haze of sound is initiated, with bubbling synths and disjointed detritus laid over top, culminating in a frankly noisy second half. It's a building, hectic furnace of sound with certain industrial underpinnings. Taken together, this split is a titillating sampling from two budding sound projects. (MT)
Address: http://rotifercassettes.blogspot.com