number 714
week 3


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

TAMAGAWA - PLUS TARD, LE MEME JOUR... (CD by Noecho Records) *
PIERRE LABBE 4TET - MANIVELLE - (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
WELTRAUM - SY (CD by Toxo Records)
ACTIVITY CENTER - LOHN & BROT (CD by Absinth Records) *
CELER - POCKETS OF WHEAT (CD by Soundscaping) *
L/M/R/W - DRIFTS (CD by Home Normal)
MACHINEFABRIEK - NERF (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
FACTOR X - DIRECTIONS (LP by Excrete Music)
AS11 - ALTARE (CDR by A Question Of Re-entry) *
VECCHI-TELLER - ONE (CDR by Ephre Imprint) *
SONIC VIGIL 4 (4CDR by Gruenrekorder)
KACHELTISCH & NIKO TZOUKMANIS - 30072009 (CDR by Betong Tontrager) *
MR FUCKHEAD AND COMPANY (Cassette - self release?)
KG (3inch CDR)
JAMIE DROUIN - A THREE MONTH WARM UP (CDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings) *
COREY FULLER - SEAS BETWEEN (CDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings) *
ST.RIDE - ONDE (CDR by Niente Records) *
JAN M. IVERSEN - KLUBB KANIN, TRONDHEIM (double 3"CDR by Striate Cortex) *
TOM WHITE - IN POOR VISIBILITY (CD by Hibernate Recordings) *



Korea's finest, I'd say, in the field of improvisation is what comes from the Balloon & Needle label. The first CD here, 'Driller' (named after 'Thriller' no doubt - there is humor too), is by Choi Joonyeng and Park Seungjun who both play speaker cones. They started playing those in 2007 in a short concert situation, which wasn't very good, but afterwards they decided to explore the idea further. They feed feedback through their speakers and hold these say the table and that makes a vibrating sound. Sometimes they fiddle around with the cone itself. The speakers are cheap computer speakers and from a guitar speaker. Quite a noisy affair these four pieces, but also highly conceptual, which I guess makes it all the same more interesting. Its a pity you can't actually see how these sounds are produced, which I guess would be even more interesting. But in these minimal pieces with small but definite changes there is something very captivating. Highly obscured noise with an occasional driving rhythm.
The quartet release of Koreans Chulki and Hankil along with Takahiro Kawaguchi (from Japan) and Joe Foster (originally from the USA but since 2002 in Korea) is by contrast a more 'regular' album of improvisation. There is no information on the album as to who plays what or when and where it was recorded and judging by my ears this is a duet of electronics (analogue), contact microphones, feedback, turntables and other cracked electronics. Much softer than the 'Driller' release, this one bounces up and down the scale. Sometimes loud, sometimes inaudible soft. There is lots and lots of stuff going on here, making this a highly vibrant record. The absence of real instruments, yet while strictly in improvising field, make this a most exciting record. It could have a bit more information, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.balloonnneedle.com

TAMAGAWA - PLUS TARD, LE MEME JOUR... (CD by Noecho Records)
The name Tamagawa sounds Japanese, and perhaps the musician is? I don't know. Somehow I don't think he or she is. Although the music is easy to access in terms of listening, its not easy to describe. And precisely, I guess, because of the easy character of the music. Tamagawa plays ambient music, but not of the kind that stretches out long sustaining chords on a rusty analog synthesizers, but relatively short pieces, using keyboards, guitars and sound effects (I think, its not mentioned on the cover). Melancholic music, with chords in minor, a bit drone based at times on the keyboards (in 'La Vache Bariolee'), but also with a nice open strumming on the guitar here and there, such as the Durutti Column like 'Bonheur Animal'. The press text mentions some post apocalyptic scenery in which this music is perceived best, but of course such a scenery is far away as far as I'm concerned when listening to this bunch. Its totally harmless music, but something that fits a winter scenery quite well. Slow beautiful music for a slow season. Harmless, but that's not to be understood in a negative way. Harmless beauty. Nothing new, but done with great care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.noechorecords.com

PIERRE LABBE 4TET - MANIVELLE - (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
Pierre Labbe first appeared in the catalogue of Ambiances Magnetiques in 1999 on two releases. On one as a member of Les Projectionnistes, on the other as part of Papa Boa, a quartet of Bernard Falaise , Rémi Leclerc (Miriodor) and Frédéric Roverselli. In 2003 he returned with his Ensemble Pierre Labbé for his first real musical statement: "Risque et pendule". A sextet interprets nine stylistic diverse compositions by Labbé, again with guitarist Falaise as one of its members. Now we are once more six years ahead in time. This time Labbé (tenor sax, flute) formed a quartet to perform his newest compositions: Bernard Falaise (guitars), Clinton Ryder (bass) and Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums, percussions). This release perfectly fits in the long tradition of Ambiances Magnetiques of combining rock and jazz elements in the format of avant rock- like groups. Discussions whether it is more rock or jazz in the end or fruitless. Both languages are interwoven in a very organic way by Labbé, implying that is meaningless to seek for the moments where rocks ends and jazz starts. This atypical music that integrates so many different musical aspects and traditions, is on the other hand very together and undivided. This has to do with the strong handwriting of Labbé as a composer, and the dedicated performance by the group. The music ranges from almost spiritual pieces like the opening track "Pour le Moment" to very rhythmic complex exercises as "Manivelle". "Matos" belongs also to this last category. But this piece is at the same time an example of how Labbé reserved space for free collective improvisation. In many of the pieces there is much room for guitarist Falaise, for his surprising and inspired playing. No surprise Falaise is asked and involved in many initiatives nowadays. Hope it will not take another six year for a new album by Labbé and his mates. (DM)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

WELTRAUM - SY (CD by Toxo Records)
Weltraum is a trio from Naples, Italy, operating since 2003. In 2006 they released an ep for Lona Records, "Traum/Trauma". In 2008 Weltraum turned into a trio of Giuseppe Esposito (guitar, prepared guitar, metals) , SEC_ (synth, electronics, microphone) and Luca Piciullo (drums, bells). In this line up we find them on their new release "Sy", that was produced in their home studio. In their noisy soundscapes they spread around a primitivism that is very seductive. They are deliciously anarchistic in their approach. They create expressive and emotional textures and collages that work very immediate and are full of a sense of urgency. Sometimes they come close to rock music, using primal rhythmical structures. But they do not engage completely in the vocabulary of rock music. The spirit and emotion of rock however is definitely present in their music and not to denied. In fact they keep a perfect balance between rock and pure noise. This is very explosive and burning music that comes very close to your nerve system. Yes, they make their point very effectively. (DM)
Address: http://www.toxorecords.com

It is not my way of doing things, but this time I would like a start complimenting myself. For many years I listen a lot to records of free improvised music. Many of them are okay, many of them are mediocre. In spite of this listening experience, I often feel not sure anymore whether I still have the capacity to detect improvised music that really makes a difference. But luckily I can, concluding from listening to this very convincing and amazing work by Rupp and Gallio
The CD has a very cryptic title: 'Fasane Hula Punk'. I can't link it to something that makes some sense. The thirteen improvisations are not of any help. Instead of equal mysterious names, they carry numbers only, from 1 up to 13. The improvisations have to stand on their own feet and that is exactly what these improvisations do. Both gentlemen had a very fruitful encounter. The name of swiss sax player Christoph Gallio occurred earlier in Vital Weekly with some of his releases for the Percaso label. Olaf Rupp is a new player for me. He really impressed me with the depth and richness of his style and sound. He is an autodidact from Germany who developed his very own style of playing the electric guitar. He has several solo albums out on Grob and participated on many others albums. In the past he worked with Lol Coxhill, Michael Wertmüller, John Zorn, Paul Lovens, Thomas Lehn, Butch Morris, Tony Buck, among others. The recordings for this new CD were done in Berlin on two days early in 2009. There was a deep mutual understanding and respect in action here. Every piece illustrates that it was a very intense meeting between two improvisors who built beautiful conversations. The playing is crystal clear, very pure, uncomplicated and straight. Everything, every detail is on its place and functional. Although it is abstract, it is very emotional and moving music at the same time. An absolutely marvelous release from Rapid Moment. (DM)
Address: http://www.rapidmoment.tk/

With this one we are in section of curious releases. The musical importance of this one is not in line with the technical extravaganza that is used to create this one if you ask me. Musically is has not much to offer. Music and sounds seem to serve as material for an excellent sound design recording. Not so strange as Hamilton Sterling is first of all a sound designer. But a composer, editor and musician as well, working mainly in the film industry ("War of the Worlds"). Jimmy Haslip is a producer, composer, musician and founding member of the jazz fusion group Yellowjackets. With all their talents it will be no surprise that everything here is composed, arranged, played, produced and programmed by Hamilton and Haslip. Like in the closing piece "Spiral, Dreams of Home", or in "City of Light" it becomes evident that fusion is their normal territory. But these are not the most successful parts. Far more interesting are the pieces that concentrate on building soundscapes, like the dark ambient piece "City of Water", the only piece that satisfied me from beginning to end. They use a lot of environmental (nature)sounds, ethnic percussion, and sounds of electronic origin. For optimal experience they explain: "Side 1 of the disc contains two versions, a DVD Dolby Digital 5.1 version for DVD video players with surround speakers, and a high-resolution (24bit 48kHz) stereo version for DVD video players with stereo speakers. Side 2 of the disc contains a DVD-Audio 5.1 high-resolution (24bit 48kHz) version for DVD Audio players with surround speakers". Alas I don't have the equipment to fully undergo their creations, but I doubt it would make their work musically more interesting for my ears. Whether Hamilton and Haslip do a clever job as sound designers I can't tell. If they continue their experiments, I hope they will search for a musical concept that combines better with their interests in sound design. (DM)
Address: http://www.heikonsound.com/

In the ancient greek mythology the story about Arethusa is about flight and transformation - you look it up somewhere, but the story is also quoted on the cover, as there is a parallel to the musicians Wade Matthews (software synthesis and manipulated field recordings) and Stephane Rives (soprano saxophone). They recorded this work in Madrid in 2008 and is all about transformation too. Its not, as one would expect on a label of improvised music, a work that was recorded in concert but recorded over an eight day period in a studio. The liner notes, which draws various parallels to the this and greek mythology, doesn't say in which way the improvised music was altered or mixed after it was recorded, but I think it was quite a bit. Rives plays sine wave like sounds on his saxophone, which may or may not be altered through the software synthesis of Matthews - I think they are. Below that he also waves together a closed range of gentle software based changes of field recordings, of which the origins are no longer to be recognized. The results, in four pieces, is great. Meditative improvised music. Soft at times, but quite outspoken at other times.
In a slightly similar set up we find Lucio Capece and Lee Patterson. The first plays also soprano saxophone, as well as bass clarinet and shruti box and Patterson CD players, pick-ups, e-bowed springrods, springplate and hazelnuts - another combination of wind instruments with electronics, but more extended than Matthews and Rives. They recorded the eight pieces, which if you don't pay attention to the CD player go by as one track. I assume this is a concert recording. Unlike Matthews/Rives there seems to be an equal balance between both players, really melting together the sounds they produce. Delightful and delicate are the words that apply to this release. Like the other release on Another Timbre this slightly by-passes the regular paths of improvisation, mainly due to whatever Patterson does with his CD players and pick-ups. It sort gives an additional electronic layer to the music, making this perhaps a bit more drone based than the usual releases of Another Timbre, but throughout this is a pretty strong release, which ties together improvisation, electro-acoustics and drone based music. Excellent.
The Sealed Knot is, perhaps, a real band. It a trio of Burkhard Beins (percussion, objects), Rhodri Davies (pedal harp and ebow) and Mark Wastell (double bass, bow and beaters). On February 2nd 2007 they played a concert in Biel, Switzerland, which, again perhaps, was captured on a multitrack, since it was 'mixed, edited and mastered by Tomas Korber'. Its cut as one piece here, so we have a concert like feeling to it. The music, of course improvised, sounds fairly standard in terms of improvisation. Which is not to say its bad - it just doesn't seem to leap forward. Especially Beins seems to be playing his percussion like percussion and his objects in a percussive manner. Like the release by Matthews and Rives, this is quite gentle music too. It moves elegantly between high pitched tones (e-bow and bow!) and the delicate precision which is used by Beins. Not the object based improvisation per se, but all along a fine combination of both ends of what goes on in that respect. A highly delicate and refined interaction between three well accomplished players on the scene. Three beauties. (FdW)
Address: http://www.anothertimebre.com

ACTIVITY CENTER - LOHN & BROT (CD by Absinth Records)
More music by Burkhard Beins (see also elsewhere), who plays here drums, cymbals, table percussion, e-bowed an propelled zither, mixing desk and handheld electronics. He teams up as Activity Center with Micheal Renkel, which I think is a new name for me, who plays an acoustic nylon guitar, preparations, amplified stringboard, live electronics and percussion. They already started playing together in 1989, and ten years after that they recorded their double CD 'Mowen & Moos', which was mainly their release about playing acoustically. Now, another decade has passed, they release another CD, and its about being amplified again, and letting in electronic software (I didn't know there was also acoustic software) and devices. Its not a release of ten years of activity, but rather a recording from 2009, let's say when they felt assured enough to lay it down. At some seventy minutes, this is however quite a long CD for this kind of improvised music which simply demands a lot of attention. Its music with lots of silence, carefully constructed sounds, and great interaction between both players. The lengthy pieces (well, three of them, as two are rather short, oddly enough) display virtuoso on the instruments, and I thought it was a great CD, but also altogether a bit much. If this was a concert of seventy minutes it would have been too much, so why on CD? I think one could easily play one of the longer pieces on one day and return the next day for another. Then the beauty will be sink even better, as this is quite a beautiful work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.absinthrecords.com

CELER - POCKETS OF WHEAT (CD by Soundscaping)
In a relative short time span Celer has gained a strong reputation through string of releases. They play ambient music. Their new album 'Pockets Of Wheat' was conceived during a trip across the USA, from California to Mississippi. They stayed in a small hotel in Texas and saw outside endless wheat fields and that inspired this album. They recorded five hours of recordings made with cello, violin, piano, bells, crickets and wind, which were spliced together in one hundred segments of five to ten seconds which were played as loops, played together in various degrees and various sequences. That's not easy to hear as this hour long work is one of continuos drone music: loops fade in, fade out, fade in, but since they sound kinda similar, this is music that is always moving and shifting about. Like many shades of one color, or indeed like a wheat field. From a distance it looks the same but by close inspection you will notice that they are different. It works well, this ambient music. Its nothing new under the ambient sun, but this gentle music is bound to bring light and joy on a grey day. Nothing special for the genre of ambient, and nothing outstanding in the world of Celer, but another fine addition to the vastly expanding catalogue. (FdW)
Address: http://www.soundscaping.net

Behind the odd moniker Montauk In February there is Pierre de Muelenaere, who is also known (no to me however) as Code314 and co-founder of Spank Me More Records. As Montauk In February he operates in a more experimental fashion, as opposed to Code314. At the basis of 'Broken City Heart' there is the sound of 30 video's filmed at some construction site in Brussels, along with vibraphone and piano samples (played by others). Montauk In February compares his music with the likes of Xela, Black To Comm and Fennesz and such like and that's well spotted. However the five pieces that span only just under eighteen minutes here didn't leave a big impression on me. The sounds from whatever construction site are highly processed into massive chunks of computer sound, that are massive and monolithic most of the time, but where I kept thinking: what does a vibraphone and piano have to do with this, where do they fit in? It wasn't a bad a release actually, but a bit too short perhaps to form a solid opinion about it. There is overall I think room for improvement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.spankmemore.com

L/M/R/W - DRIFTS (CD by Home Normal)
MACHINEFABRIEK - NERF (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
From this trio of releases that involve the omni
present Rutger Zuydervelt, the first one contains works that have been released before, but as far as I can remember have not been reviewed in Vital Weekly before. The letters in the band name stand for Leo (Fabriek), Mariska (Baars, a.k.a. SoccerCommittee), Rutger (Zuydervelt, Machinefabriek) and Wouter (van Veldhoven). The first two pieces on 'Drifts' were released on a cassette by Digitalis and of that the first one has all four people playing, the second just Mariska and Rutger. The third piece is by Leo, Rutger and Wouter and was a released as a 3". In the quartet piece that opens up here we get a pretty full sound, and pretty much improvised. Even within the realm of things being atmospherical this is an improvised work, with sounds going in and out, and everybody does whatever he or she deems good, and let's hope it works alright. It does work out fine. The piece with Mariska and Rutger is very 'silent': Mariska sings and Rutger processes the sound. Endless wordless humming create a quiet, weightless piece of space music, with lots of hiss like sounds and sparse additional sounds. Elegant! In the third piece Leo Fabriek plays piano and is pretty much present in this recording. Wouter plays melodica and tape recorders, while Rutger plays guitar, sampler and effects, and both of them wave together a great, densely layered piece of atmospherics in which a nice tape-loop with spoken word (Drs P. perhaps?) pops up. Very nice piece, making two pieces very fine and one ok.
The other two releases are just by Machinefabriek and are very recent. For 'The Breathing Bridge' he uses sounds taped at the Erasmus Bridge and the river Nieuwe Maas, both in Rotterdam and creates two pieces of music with that, although it wasn't easy to see the distinction between both. As with many of his recent outings, Zuydervelt is all about atmospheric music, but arrives there from different ends. Sometimes with musical instruments and sometimes with field recordings, such as in this case. For the most part the music humms at a low, bass end level, until it bursts out somewhere halfway through the second piece, after which things die out again. On 'Nerf' he plays just acoustic and electric guitars which in 'Sluimer' sound like a guitar, with some very open sound, in an Ambarchi like manner. In 'Ax' the whole things hoovers about in effects, resonating and vibrating, whereas 'Nerf' is the culmination of both ends. Here the atmospheric card is played by Machinefabriek and both are highly enjoyable releases, which may not shed that much new light on the Machinefabriek, but with such a vast output its hard to be 'new' all the time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.homenormal.com
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.nu

FACTOR X - DIRECTIONS (LP by Excrete Music)
When was the last time I thought if Shaun Robert's Factor X project? I can't remember. When he appeared on the scene, back in the late 80s, with a series of strange cassettes full of found which seemed to be captured on microcassettes. I can't say I was a big fan of his work. It seemed to lack composition in favor of one big concept. 'Directions' was first released on tape, so I learned from the net and in the early 90s re-issued by Harsh Dept and now its still someone's favorite as its produced as a bootleg LP in an edition of 200 copies. The first side is made of pieces of magnetic tape stuck together of found sounds. Obscure banging of objects, spoken word (sounds like excerpt from an interview), distortions and such like, and may come across like a very lo-fi Schimpfluch record. Whereas side two has a more continuos piece of music, based on vocal loops, bell sounds and throughout this sounds semi-religious, or perhaps Factor X takes the piss out of very early Current 93? Both sides are long, perhaps close to thirty minutes, which is too long if you ask me. Still not blown away by it, but its quite interesting to see someone actually making the effort to release it.
Address: none given

AS11 - ALTARE (CDR by A Question Of Re-entry)
The same person who is working as Nixilx.nijilx, Blanco Estira Nuestro and Helice Peid is working as Socrates Martins and for his 7" he took the title of a painting by Rene Margritte from 1937. On these pieces he plays 'field recordings and objects', but all of this highly obscured through extremely lo-fi transformations. It seems like captured on a cassette (or perhaps a whole bunch of cassettes), which add a low resolution to the material. It moves low over the surface of sound and is truly obscure record, but also a captivating one, I think. Maybe because one doesn't have a clue what's going on here, it leaves lots of space to contemplate about that. A record that poses more questions then the answer it gives. Which I guess if you call yourself Socrates Martins is the whole idea. Beautiful obscurity.
Before I read the short message that came along with the release by AS11 I first played the music. Quite a normal procedure, to check out what it is before knowing anything about it. I couldn't make much of it. A bit noisy, heavily based on the more noise based outings of the world of computers and plug ins, cascading waves of sound, drums, glitchy rhythms. Odd stuff. Not entirely blown away by it, I read the note. It seems that all of this was made with the sound of bagpipes, apparently a love of AS11 to do at least once in his life. That's hard to hear on this release, I think. At least I had a pretty hard time figuring out that we deal with bagpipes here. Once I knew it didn't change much for me I think. I still wasn't blown away by the somewhat crude manipulations of the sounds and the likewise somewhat compositions that were derived from it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.noise-below.org

Short pieces is what we are dealing with here. One CD has eighty of them, one fifty and one (only) twelve, so 142 in total. The latter two have been previously released, 'Skegg' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 512, and 'Spor...' in Vital Weekly 382 and 'Skitt' is a new, previously unreleased work. What was written then, still stands today: "The tracks are short and distinct indeed (and obviously succinct as well). These are miniatures, delicately constructed from a great variety of sound
sources. There is no such thing as a general mood or atmosphere; the tracks are too varied for that. The only thing one might say is that they are all sampler based (which says nothing much really)." or "No less than fifty tracks in twenty-five minutes. And it's not the first time that he goes all the way. His previous solo record 'Spor had twelve tracks of one minutes (and was pressed on a 8" lathe cut record - see Vital Weekly 382). Does that sound easy? Perhaps it does, but sit down and try and make something solid of thirty seconds. And repeat that fifty times. The whole stuff is sampled together from many different sources: popmusic, radio, electro-acoustic music, drones and served up in this ultra fast fashion that is of course part of the thirty second schematics at hand. Pettersen does his best not to make tracks sound alike, doesn't always succeed, but throughout he has done a really fine job in doing the best thing possible." Those were two short albums but 'Skitt', with its eighty pieces is twice as long, almost fifty minutes and is the radical extension of both previous short albums, however without much variation, which I think is great, as it ties all albums together and make this a true delight to hear. The sheer shizophrenic work of so many different styles, ideas, samples, from improvisation to rhythm 'n noise, make this for me rather one long work (which effectively could have fitted on one CD, but then it would be only 99 tracks), like scanning through radio waves. Tracks range from four seconds to one minute and twenty-two seconds. Although its nowhere stated, this is great for some shuffle play too. Great total weirdness. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zang.no

VECCHI-TELLER - ONE (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
A new label from London is Ephre Imprint. The first release is available on a lathe cut 10" record or on CDR and is by one Nigel Samways. I never heard of him. He records his sounds on the streets of London on this occasion, but also has releases which take the streetsounds of Paris and Venice. To this he adds he piano, harmonica, flute guitar, analogue and vocals, and melts this together on the computer to create his music. Melodic at times, abstract at others, but throughout there seems to be a melancholic thread through his music. His pieces are short and to the point: six in twenty some minutes. Field recordings and instruments blend together nicely here in somewhat clouded and sombre colors. Nice stuff actually which bypasses various musical genres, which I guess is always a good thing.
Also a new name is a duo called Vecchi-Teller, who say they work in an improvised manner, using toolbox, junk percussion, electric guitar, analogue synthesizer, a bright purple vibrator, contact microphone, phrase sampler and dsp processing. It doesn't sound however too improvised. This has to do with the fact that everything is recorded on to the computer and then edited. Sometimes a piece can have sounds which were recorded years apart. Five pieces on this twenty minute release. The results are five blocks of sound, heavily layered, with some strong noise based undercurrent. Sounds crashing into eachother, but there is always a deep drone end to the pieces. Its not noise as the textbooks describe, but rather a violent brother of musique concrete, and as such I was reminded of some of the older works by Cheapmachines.
More music by Nigel Samways can be found on a release on a different label called October Man, in an edition of 25 copies. It was recorded on a four track, using piano, strings and field recordings and later edited on the computer, in order to get that 'half-erased ghostly atmosphere' - and that is captured well on this release, I think. Spooky music of far away tinkering pianos, rain fall on a car roof and such like. Quite haunting and dramatic, this too is an excellent music. More musical and melodic than Asher or William Basinski, but from the same background I'd say. Nice mood music.
Address: http://www.ephreimprint.eu

SONIC VIGIL 4 (4CDR by Gruenrekorder)
Its sunday, around noon. The only thing on my desk to review today is 'Sonic Vigil 4', a four CDR set by Gruenrekorder, who curated this as an event (together with the Quiet Club and Soundeye) in Cork, Ireland. Much like what I am doing - sitting back and listen to roughly five hours of music - is what happened on that day at the St. Fin Barre's cathedral in Cork. Well, ok, that was even an hour longer than this. Fourteen artists here, of which Christene Wertheim brings a six minute and Jaap Blonk a thirty three minute, but all the others are around fifteen to twenty minutes in length (no doubt there has been some editing). Everything that Gruenrekorder stands for passes here: field recordings, improvisation, electronic music - the third disc has a somewhat boring piece by Female Orphan Asylum - and sound poetry. The field recordings are usually 'hidden' in electronic processed pieces, so there are hardly any 'pure' field recording pieces. We come across various names from the label that we already know, such as Suspicion Breeds Confidence, Roland Etzin, Angus Carlyle but also new names such as Tony Langlois (with a nice piece of spoken words and crazy fucked up sounds), Francis Heery, Olivier Nijs, Safe and Jerome Rothenberg. The latter is to be found on the fourth disc, which is the only one, so it seems, that is based in one musical field, that of sound poetry, together with Christene Wertheim and Jaap Blonk. This is heavy on the dada- connection. Rothenberg performs a whole bunch of Tzara and Schwitters et al pieces along with some electronics. Blonk shows no need for electronics, and has some more abstract pieces of his own here. The undisputed master of sound poetry. Placed at the end, means listening at the end, and that is no easy task after almost four hours of experimental music. At the end of a sunday afternoon, one is tired, but satisfied. The quality varied of course, but throughout a fine collection. It must have been a fine day over there in Cork. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

KACHELTISCH & NIKO TZOUKMANIS - 30072009 (CDR by Betong Tontrager)
Housed on a bathroom tile (mint green), comes another release, following their self-titled (debut?) reviewed in Vital Weekly 674. There is no information on the cover, but in a note it says this a collaboration with one Niko Tzoukmanis. Judging by the title recorded on July 30th 2009. Kacheltisch is Lars Becker and Peter Pawlicki. They call this is a 'pure man-machine-man interaction' and refer to the 'more hazy territories and soft meadows of deep-house', which frankly is not something I heard on this release. There is a vaguely rhythmic notion in this music, arpeggio's? sequencers? cheap samplers?, but according to the press information is Kachelfisch on no-input mixers. It sounds pretty gentle. If there is a connection to be made, then I'd say that this particular combination works along the lines of the current re-invention of cosmic music, the seventies germanic music, but in a somewhat more lo-fi manner. I am not sure if that is because of the addition of Tzoukmanis, but it works quite well. In good cosmic tradition the pieces are fairly long, highly minimal, slightly rhythmic, nothing new but in general quite alright. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kacheltisch.org

MR FUCKHEAD AND COMPANY (Cassette - self release?)
90 + minutes of a compilation "junk metal scrape, chains, vacuums, glass,
drills, guitar, keyboards, field recordings, classical samples, and tape
loops.." from Travis Dobbs (ONO), Daniel Burke (Illusion of Safety), Michael
Kendrick (Lovely Little Girls, ex-Rope, Redemer, etc), Mike Krause (Death
Factory), Dave Purdie (Silver Abuse, Satan2000), Richard Syska (Dummy
Antenna), Andy Ortmann (Panicsville), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Right-Eye Rita,
Brian Klein, Christopher ILTH (Daily Void, ex-Functional Blackouts),
Alejandro Morales (PISSPISSPISSMOANMOANMOAN), Rik Garrett, Rupert Glimm,
Bobby Danger (Black Bear Combo), and Allison Lake (Pommel). I suspect
revolves around the DIY ideas in the noise genre, which I suppose I should
say something about. I think it's a continuum of the very free improv work
on the outskirts of jazz / avant gardism / fluxus which will it seems
continue to exist as its kind of found an ecological niche within
contemporary modernity / post-modernity, a niche similar to a biological one
through perhaps in terms of Dawkins' "meme" - though I must admit to not
liking the idea which seems self contradictory especially here as I cant see
how this music can have the desire to sustain itself anymore than DNA. The
ideological processes that gave the left field avant improv is no longer
active, which is proclaimed by the current practitioners, but that perhaps
is the whole point - an ironic positing of the no longer theory laden
intellectualism of the new wave, more an oily swell of pollution and dead
seabirds. Interesting, poignant even and ultimately nice.(jliat)
Address http://nopartofit.blogspot.com/

KG (3inch CDR)
Strange CDR of 12 tracks all but 2 sub minute tracks of cut up feedback and
extreme harsh noise the shortest of 8 seconds, a nice idea of further
deconstruction, and one which continues as all I have is the CDR with the
letters KG stamped on it, whether it arrived as such or during my recent
house move it became lost from any explanation / packaging its enigmatics
is only increased by is being around my desk for about a month I think, to
the extent I might have already reviewed it. I would recommend it (but for
the odd, in timbre and length, last track?) if I knew what it was.
information welcome.. (jliat)

JAMIE DROUIN - A THREE MONTH WARM UP (CDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings)
COREY FULLER - SEAS BETWEEN (CDR by Dragon's Eye Recordings)
We haven't seen any Dragon's Eye Recordings in some time, but these three new releases should correct that. First there is Jamie Drouin who had releases before on this label, as well as Cryoworks and Infrequency. For a site specific work for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's Asssume Nothing exhibition he created this seventy-seven work, which deals with 124 individual field recordings 'made in an outdoor public square' in Victoria over a three month period and is inspired 'by the cacophony of notes played by a symphony during warm up'. Drouin layers all the field recordings into one long swarming mass of sound, like indeed the orchestra tuning up, but much slower and without a single event to be recognized. Or perhaps like a church full of mumbling voices. Over the course of these seventy-seven minutes, the color of the music is slowly changes, changing from dark to a bit lighter and brighter and then slowly towards the dark again. Ambient music as it is supposed to be according to the text book of Brian Eno. Music derived from everyday, common sounds surrounding us. Maybe in that respect Drouin doesn't have to offer much news to the initiated in the world of ambient music, but the longitude of the work makes much sense. Play at a low volume and let it surround you.
New to me (I think) is Corey Fuller, who lives in Washington, after a long stay in Tokyo. He plays a whole array of instruments on his album, such as accordion, acoustic/electric guitars, piano, rhodes, percussion, gongs, temple bells, vibraphone, glockenspiel, melodica, hammered dulcimer etc, along with field recordings from Japan and Washington, reel to reel tapes, cassettes and software. If that isn't enough, there is also help from various musicians on cello, saxophone, bass clarinet and piano. Perhaps its not a nice thing to say, but from my armchair its not easy to spot all those instruments. Maybe they are all heavily processed? Or perhaps they are all pitched to play similar long sustaining notes? It takes the listener until the sixth track, the final (title-) track to discover the string like quartet sounds, which truly mark a difference to the other five pieces. Fuller plays long sustaining sounds, shimmering away late afternoon, with bits and bops of field recordings mixed in. I think the music is great yet very old fashioned. Micro ambient glitch at its best. It explores a field of music that has been explored before by others, and sometimes better. In that respect Fuller doesn't have much new on offer, but that doesn't say anything about the beauty of the music: its there and it sounds great. Think Celer meeting Phil Niblock and any good field recordist.
The last one is actually a compilation, dealing with the notion of minimalism. Again we come across Luigi Turra, of whom we never heard, until last week, but as Fourm and Shinkei, which is David Sani, the man behind the mailorder Microsuoni and the label Koyuki. Fourm is an off-shoot of Level, of whom I never heard. Minimalism it is. Throughout these three pieces the music is very soft; one has to put up the volume quite a bit, to hear anything at all. (Why can't it never be loud and minimal, I was thinking). At the bottom of it all lie field recordings I think. They are processed in such a way that all the frequencies are removed, until almost nothing remains. With those remainders the music is then composed, by collating a few of those frequencies together. Maybe alternating at times with something higher pitched. More microsound than ambient I'd say, this is music that requires ones full attention as not to miss anything. That is not easy, given the soft volume in all three pieces. Its however a rewarding listen, that may not shed any new light on microsound, but is austerely beautiful. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dragonseyerecordings.com

Back in Vital Weekly 643 I was pleasantly surprised by a release by Mark Tamea, who was once a member of Kymatik but interestingly now lives in Vital's home town, beautiful Nijmegen. For his new release he continues whatever he started on 'Tessellation': using spoken word along with violins and celli, and perhaps a bit more electronics on this occasion. I still have no idea whether these are recorded as played by Tamea himself (I don't think we bumped into eachother at the supermarket), or whether he uses samples thereof (or if he is well accomplished player of Garageband). Evocative music at work here, moody, textured, modern classical and radioplay: all in one. The differences with his previous work is small, but present. It seems that this new release is a bit more 'down' and 'smaller' than before. Not as widely set up, but for fewer instruments, bit more electronic here and some more musique concrete techniques applied here (splicing, cutting) where it concerns field recordings. The thrill of the previous release is not here, but throughout this was an equally strong release. Lovers of John Wall should pay attention: there is strong competition out there. Mark Tamea is the new force to be reckoned with! (FdW)
Address: http://tamea.org

ST.RIDE - ONDE (CDR by Niente Records)
To create music with radio waves is hardly a new thing. St.Ride from Italy however think they should give it another go. M.G. is tuning the shortwave radio and E.G. records it with a Shure VP88 microphone. That's it. You can do it, your little sister can do it, and M.G. and E.G. can do it. No less than twenty six tracks of this kind of stuff, which I deem is a bit much for what it is. Why not just ten or so of the best fragment/pieces and make a nice 3"CDR (which also in the graphic department need some improvement)? Or throw all those pieces together and actually compose a bit of music out of it, rather than have these sounds picked up with a microphone. Its all a bit beyond me this one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/nienterecords

In Russia's Kaliningrad there was a summer camp in July last year, where international sound artists and musicians can have a residency, work together, or solo, play music, and do workshops. None of the two computers and the DVD player would play the DVD that comes as part of this, but according to the booklet it shows us the working environment, public presentation and viewer's impression and photos. I believe that's it. The CDR only represents a few of the artists, as not all are included (missing are Carl Micheal von Hauswolff and Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson for instance) and focus more on the Russian participants, along with Jana Winderen and Robert Piotrowicz, who does a great violent drone piece. That seems to be the main interest among these participants: drone like sounds combined with field recordings. Sometimes this works out great, such as by Piotrowicz, Winderen or her duet with Maksims Shentelevs, or his solo piece. Dmitry Demidov and Tobias Kirstein venture into the world of noise, a bit too much and a bit too long. That turns out to be the weakest brother in this otherwise pretty strong collection. Sounds like a fruitful summer camp! (FdW)
Address: http://www.ncca-kaliningrad.ru

JAN M. IVERSEN - KLUBB KANIN, TRONDHEIM (double 3"CDR by Striate Cortex)
More music - of course I'd say by now - by Sindre Bjerga and Jan-M Iversen on UK's Striate Cortex. Now 'hidden' as Mallucoch Quartet, which is them plus Dario Fariello on alto saxophone and Daniele Giannotta on flutes, percussion and junk. Two pieces captured at Farm Studios (which sound like a farm, rather than a studio, judging by the quality) in Bologna in July last year. To be honest? Ok, to be honest: I heard them do better than this. The improvisations pretend to be careful and quiet, but that perhaps just hides the fact that they are not very interesting to hear. Especially the Italians just seem to fiddle about. I couldn't make much of it.
Of much more interest is the double 3"CDR of four live pieces recorded by Jan-M. Iversen in Klubb Kanin in Trondheim. He plays four soundtracks to old movies. 'Walking In An Exaggerated Manner Around The Perimeter Of A Square' by Bruce Nauman, 'Filmstudie' (1926) and 'Ghosts Before Breakfast' (1927) by Hans Richter and 'The Cameraman's Revenge' (1912) by Ladislaw Starewicz. I didn't play the two 3"CDRs however, as Striate Cortex also released a limited 3" DVD-R with all four films and soundtracks. The soundtrack for Starewicz is perhaps the most narrative of the three and the music follows the story of the film, but then perhaps the other three are more abstract, storywise and so is the music. Its especially these three that I like. The slow piano sounds of the first film, the insect like sounds of the second and vague rhythmic notion of the third. All three pieces move straight forward: when set in motion it keeps moving, like a perpetuum mobile. Excellent stuff, great to watch these old films with this new soundtrack. (FdW)
Address: http://www.striatecortex.co.uk

TOM WHITE - IN POOR VISIBILITY (CD by Hibernate Recordings)
So far Tom White (1986) has released two limited edition EPs on Smallfish and Under The Spire, and 'In Poor Visibility' is his first full length. He started the recordings by improvising with microphone feedback, guitar, found sounds and all of that recorded onto a dictaphone. Later on these recordings were all layered and edited on the computer and the result is kept in style with the found images on the cover and the improvised character of the music. The latter I didn't find easy to hear in the music, but I take his word for it. The music was pretty much standard ambient glitch, mixed with field recordings but I must say it didn't do that much for me. Most certainly not a bad release, but it stayed all a bit too much in common ground for me. It didn't grab me, shook me up or put me in a higher state (to mention a few states of euphoria). Decent stuff.
Alexis Bechu is from France, now in London and he works as Lexithimie, with releases on Rope Swing Cities and October Man, and has four tracks here of blissful ambient music. Long sustaining tones of light drone like patterns, with tiny bits of rhythms, a bass like, but this is pure ambient music. Music that carries you away. What is nice about Bechu is that its not just a bunch of drones lulling you to sleep, but the hidden melodies and beats that keep you awake. Its a pity that I am a reviewer (of sorts, really), so to do what the title suggest is always a bit difficult, but certainly an option to execute. This one certainly is about higher states! (FdW)
Address: http://www.hibernate-recs.com

Harsh Noise Wall (HNW) upsets many people which I maintain here & now is not
from a cochlean aesthetic but from a deeper neurosis (disease - dis-ease) from which they hide.. that is the hiding of modernity, culture, civilization which at other times they appear to find ecologically now and now too late - problematic. I live in a town, lying awake in bed I can hear the sound of a train, against the distant rumble of the traffic, and the noise of the water in the heating system, there is a stillness and in this each of these sounds signifies something. And of course that is the problem, and if there is a problem then there is a philosophy, whether you like it or not, that is unavoidable. "Why are there essents rather than nothing?" (Heidegger) the most important and deepest of questions at the source of all signification, the fundamental question of metaphysics, one which is never answered, for in any answer lies the question, which is why philosophy is always incomplete. Put elsewhere, this arises from the space of chora on which the thinker establishes a plane of immanence, that question, the most important of questions, its not the first, and is often ignored, and is never answered other than by the act of genuine 'being' in the world. It marks an essential break or return from modernity. Sound that ceases to signify will/must *be* this pre-oedipal chaos, and the opprobrium for such is the very act of repression which is the un-curable psychosis of the ego and super-ego - i.e. culture, music, art, even philosophy itself. I have followed "the progress" of Mixturizer away from ego/super-ego towards- but not yet lacking all structure and signification, a space where Vomir 'moves' - i.e. 'Chora' "The earliest stage in your psychosexual development . this pre-lingual stage of development. You did not distinguish your own self .. the stage, then, when you were closest to the pure
materiality of existence, or what Lacan terms "the Real." . " 'Untitled', the overcoming, overwriting of the repressions of ego and super-ego - which is music, by that which "never alters its characteristics.. the unchanging form, uncreated and indestructible, admitting no modification and entering no combination.." -( Plato Timaeus) If my argument here is true and HNW is 'the real' what does this imply for the other..what then does merit this cassette? than it has something beyond metaphysics? (Jliat)
Address: http://www.ronfrecords.com