1


============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 718
---------------------
week 6
---------------------

 

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

before submitting material please read this carefully: http://www.vitalweekly.net/fga.html Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.

* 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>

 

 

DOF - SUDDENLY SHIFTING AGAINST THE SKY (CD by P*Dis) *
MY PRIVATE SPACE (CD compilation by P*Dis)
GEOFF GERSH - THESE PREDICAMENTS (CD by Deep Listening Institute) *
RHYS CHATHAM - THE BERN PROJECT (CD by Hinterzimmer) *
ELEH - LOCATION MOMENTUM (CD by Touch) *
DIAPHANE - SAMDHYA (CD by Ant-Zen)
SOMATIC RESPONSES - NEON (CD by Hymen Records)
THAMNOS - WIR (CD by Sound Claim)
AIDAN BAKER - LIMONOID / LIFEFORMS (CD by Alien8)
BLESSURE GRAVE - JUDGED BY TWELVE, CARRIED BY SIX (CD by Alien8)
FJERNLYS - BEYOND THE UNDULANT QUIESCENCE (CD by Loki Foundation) *
RELMIC STATUTE - MORNING TAPES (CD by Hibernate Recordings) *
NIGEL SAMWAYS - POOR HENRIETTA MARIE (3"CD by Hibernate Recordings) *
SEMUIN - CIRCLES AND ELEPHANTS (CD by Ahornfelder) *
DAVID GRUBBS & F.S. BLUMM - BACK TO THE PLANTS (7" plus book by Ahornfelder)
MATT RÖSNER - REPEAT (LP by Miatera)
EMACIATOR - COVETING (LP by Not Not Fun Records)
WARNING LIGHT - FURTHER ON (CDR by Stickfigure) *
LIB EMBA - TERMINAL MUSE: RED (CDR by Stickfigure) *
MICHEAL WINTER - RECURSIVE STALL (CDR by Magnanimous Records) *
DRUNJUS - SLEEP TRADER (CDR by Striate Cortex) *
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AT WAR WITH YOU? (CDR by Dying For Bad Music) *
LEAST CARPET (CDR by Dying For Bad Music) *
NICK DAN - LOVE SONGS PT. 3 (CDR by Black Petal) *
GEODESIC DOMES ON THE HORIZON - FEATHER OF THE BEE (3"CDR by Black Petal) *
SAY YES TO THE NO-NOS - KO-KO LUV GOOD (CDR by Green Tapes) *
CHURCHBURNERS - REASON TO BELIEVE (3"CDR by Green Tapes) *
JUSTIN RHODY & MATT HIMES (cassette by Green Tapes)
CHURCHBURNERS - AIR PUDDING (cassette by Green Tapes)
BERLIN TAPE RUN (cassette by Staaltape)
MADRE OSA/COMISARIO HJULER - MUSICA EXPERIMENTAL (cassette by Circuit Torcat Records)

 

 

DOF - SUDDENLY SHIFTING AGAINST THE SKY (CD by P*Dis)
MY PRIVATE SPACE (CD compilation by P*Dis)
Its been a while since we (I, at least) heard the music of Brian Hulick, also known as DoF. 'Sun, Strength and Shield' was reviewed back in Vital Weekly 547. Reading the current press message I think I missed out on two EPs released in between that album and this new album, which were more vocal based (I would have like to hear those). This one sees him returning to that previous Abandon Building album: almost instrumental and firmly rooted in that area where electronics and folk music meet up: folktronica as some call it. It must be that long, long cold winter that I am facing here in The Netherlands - a rarity I might add - but this music is great. Mild summer breeze music, with those tinkling guitars/mandolins/banjos, bouncing rhythms and sequencer based melodies. I closed the curtains so I can no longer see any snow and turned the heater up a bit more and closed my eyes, thinking it was a sunny day in May. Joyful and thoughtful music - its both of that. One can relax and think, or jump around full of enlightenment. Last time I wrote that twelve tracks is a bit much, and its twelve here too, but for some reason I don't think its enough. It must be, indeed, that time of the year I thought, that one could use such summery music. Pure instrumental popmusic with a great experimental edge to it. Excellent!
Elsewhere I write about Semuin and how 'Japanese' his music sounds (written before this one actually) and then this compilation drops in, which, according to the label, features the 'most popular Japanese post-classical/electronica artists'. I recognized a few, like Aus, Akira Kosemura, Fjordine and Haruka Nakamura, but I may not have heard of No. 9, Uran Okajima, Kadan or YNA. Of the twelve tracks, two are previously unreleased, which may mean that the label, P*Dis, also known as a fine distributor of CDs in Japan, are showcasing what they have for sale as a distributor. But what commercial marketing techniques tell you is, that sometimes people may not want to buy a CD by one artist, but rather have a compilation like this. It brings together some of the finest music available. Or you can use this to spot your own favorites which you may want to seek about more. Either way. I like to see to see as a highly pleasant disc of great music. The tinkling of guitars by Uran Okmajima (reminding me of a sunny Durutti Column), the piano of no.9 (and to make another reference: Soft Verdict/Wim Mertens) and the more modern classics of Haruka Nakamura, towards 'stuff with beats' by Akira Kosemura and even vocals with Kadan. There is a lot to be discovered here and the whole approach - music and design reminded me of Les Disques Du Crepuscule in their best days: great compilations showcasing a variety of musical styles, with always a nod towards classical music and popmusic (and luckily no spoken word!), everything with the capital Q of quality. Great compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.impartmaint.com

GEOFF GERSH - THESE PREDICAMENTS (CD by Deep Listening Institute)
The music on this release was composed for a solo exhibition of painter David Stoupakis in Los Angeles by one Geoff Gersh. I never heard of him, although this is his second solo CD of Deep Listening Institute. Gersh is a composer and guitarist, but also uses field recordings, reel-to-reel tape recordings, zither and bowed metal files. Not that I could tell really from listening to the five pieces on this CD. It doesn't sound like that at all. The music is best described as isolationist music - although I think hardly anyone uses that these days anymore. Dark ambient drone, then? Well, why not. The sounds on this release are highly textured, transformed by using electronics perhaps, and the result is a beautiful, dense release that also a light tone it, like floating a few centimeters above the ground. An excellent release of fine, dark drone music. Music to fill your environment with in a very peaceful manner, like great ambient music should do. The real thing, a textbook release. Some people (see elsewhere) should take note of such things. (FdW)
Address: http://www.deeplistening.org

RHYS CHATHAM - THE BERN PROJECT (CD by Hinterzimmer)
Of course the name Rhys Chatham has been known to me for ages. In the 80s I used to read about him in the music papers as part of the growing group of musicians from the rock scene, playing around with the notions of minimal music, with Glen Branca the main protagonist. But the young FdW as I was, I couldn't afford to buy all records that seemed interesting (and downloading wasn't quite there yet. Can you believe that?), so somehow I never got to know his music until later on I heard some music that I borrowed somewhere. So odd as it may seem this is the first time I sit down and properly hear his music, although all the people he influenced I know: Sonic Youth, or Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Chatham is the composer for the electric guitar, solo, with a trio or even 100, 200 or 400, as he once did in Paris. His Guitar Trio is a piece he still performs and he did that in 2008 in Bern (Switzerland) where he met some great musicians. It was decided there and then to record more music and six months he went into the studio with Julian Sartorius (drums), Mago Flueck (bass) and Beat Unternahrer (trombone), supervised by Reto Mäder, who recorded all the sessions and did the mix of the material. Maybe its odd to say, but the music is exactly how I thought it would be, and keep that as a compliment to the musicians. Its minimal music indeed, with repeating strumming on the guitar, banging of drums and the trombone playing sustained notes on the trombone, that at times swell like a mass of fog horns. Its no like Godspeed's ploy to start soft and end with a bombastic mass of sound, but in Chatham's music things start right away and his builds are much quicker. The result is great, absolutely great. Minimal and rock alike. I would have to hear this out loud. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hinterzimmer-records.com

ELEH - LOCATION MOMENTUM (CD by Touch)
It wasn't difficult to miss out on the previous eleven releases by Eleh: they were on vinyl and all in highly limited editions, for labels such as Important Records, Taiga and Touch. The latter now releases the first digital release, and even I get to hear it. Eleh, of whom nothing is revealed, started out in 1999 'an an exploration of analog synthesis, emphasizing low frequency oscillation and resonant acoustic phenomena'. That means Eleh has some ancient of a synth at his disposal (or hers, we don't know), that generates tones rather than sweet bubbling sounds. Eleh records these, say two or three, and then mixes them together. Yes, if you read that, it may sound the simplest of things, doesn't it? Well, perhaps it is, but its always the result that counts, isn't it? Its music that fills out your space in a great way. Think Alvin Lucier, I'd say, but then usually pitched down - or rather: playing the lower end of the sound spectrum. By knitting a few closely related sounds together, a whole series of 'extra' sounds start to sing - like there is more space between them. Only in 'Observation Wheel' there are a few distinctly different sounds - sine wave like and white noise like. 'Rotational Change For Windmill' sounds like an alarm going off, slowing down towards the end - indeed Lucier like (think 'Clocker'). Quite a strong CD of powerful subconscious drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

DIAPHANE - SAMDHYA (CD by Ant-Zen)
People who has been following the catalogue of German master-label of industrial music, might have heard of Jerome Chassagnard and Regis Baillet's project Aba Ovo - a very interesting IDM-based project. Personally I was eager to listen to this side-project called Diaphane from the joint-venture between the two french sound artists. There is a tense melancholy upon the album with some excellent synth-layers sometimes reminiscent of the soundtrack of a horror-flick. The rhythmic parts of the album first of all stays in the midtempo pace with electro-textures shining through. Another descriptive element of the expression is the clever use of electro-acoustic sounds of acoustic instruments, first of all piano. Highlights of the album could be tracks like the trippy piece "Platinium" with touches of goa-trance saturating and the horrific John Carpenter-reminiscent piece "The icefield". Also the album closer titled "Chandra's breath" is a gem with the beautiful melodic piano tune assisted by simples of children's choir. Generally every single track on this album contains a nice cinematic character making the album seem like visions from the inner-cinema. (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

SOMATIC RESPONSES - NEON (CD by Hymen Records)
The Welsh brothers are back! Ever since their debut album "Circumflex ", the family project Somatic Responses has impressed with their take on technoid industrial. On previous album Somatic Responses seemed like taking a step into other expressions. Their 2008-album "Digital darkness" was more harsh and dark with hardly any melody to disrupt the ongoing machine of complex rhythm textures, meanwhile the album "Reformation" released in 2009 flirted with the sound of dubstep, though with the harsh edge of the Healy-brothers. Now less then a year later comes another work, from the project. In comparison to their previous aforementioned albums, it seems like the duo has gone back to the roots of their first albums: A sort of futuristic atmosphere with horrific yet emotional interventions. Despite the associations towards their earlier releases, Somatic Responses makes it very clear on this album titled "Neon" that the project has developed well over the years. Excellent almost humorous interventions seems to occur, for instance with the funky like track "I was neon" while a track like "Survive (mix)" is an upbeat and quite harsh beast. My personal favorite moment is the opening track titled "Another rainy day" being an excellent old-school technoid funky piece with some excellent ambient-passages sneaking in. Overall this an excellent shot from Somatic Responses. In fact this must be my all-time favorite from the Healy's and referring to my opening sequence of this review this is definitely a challenge. Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.hymenrecords.com

THAMNOS - WIR (CD by Sound Claim)
I have never heard of this project and it isn't the kind of style that I normally dig into. Never the less I must admit that I was blown away by this debut album from German/French-project Thamnos. The album titled "WIR" is the first album released on the Sound Claim and quite unusual release strategy by today's standards: Only released on CD-format and no download options available. On the other side this is most certainly an album worth having on your shelf at home. Expressively the compositions reminds me of Dead Can Dance, one thing is the beautiful female vocals of French vocalist Annemarie Borg, another thing is the clear fingerprints of ancient sounds such as neo-folk and world music. But in comparison to the Dead Can Dance, there is more weight put on the electronic expressions with elements of first of all Ambient music, but also chilling trip hop. "Dead can Dance" meets "Enigma" is not too far from the descriptive reality. A remarkable presence in the music is the acoustic sounds of first of all piano layers beautifully woven into nocturnal soundscapes - sometimes non-rhythmic, other times trippy hand percussion and electronic rhythm textures. As said I was, pretty much blown away by this album, that certainly delivers in atmosphere and melancholic beauty. People longing for the sound of Dead Can Dance should look no further, and everyone else should also pay attention. (NM)
Address: http://www.el.culto.eu

AIDAN BAKER - LIMONOID / LIFEFORMS (CD by Alien8)
BLESSURE GRAVE - JUDGED BY TWELVE, CARRIED BY SIX (CD by Alien8)
One of my favorite noise albums, "Frequency LSD" by Japanoise artist Masonna was released on Alien8 Recordings in the mid-90's. With this in mind, and in combination with the release of present two albums, there shouldn't be any questions about the the great span of styles released by Alien8 Recordings - Canada's probably most interesting label of the underground. Aidan Baker is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and sound artist that creates music in the field from post-rock across drone ambient to modern classical. His latest release "Limonoid / Lifeforms" roughly comes across all aforementioned styles. On the album Aidan Baker has allied with concrete noise artist Alan Bloor alias Knurl / Pholde, Richard Baker on drums plus a number of other acoustic members on instruments such as cello, violin and guitars. As the title suggest the album is divided into two main sections: A section called "Limonoid" consisting of four intersections and the long and final piece titled "Lifeforms". "Limonoid" is as mentioned earlier an interesting crossover between neo-classical chamber music, noise-rock, post-rock with associations of earlier Krautrock (first of all Amon Düül I + II) and neo-folk with elements of middle-age expressions. Quite interesting and very trippy psychedelia with vocals from Clara Engel is what the first four chapters of the albums presents. But in my opinion, the true gift is the second main section of the album titled "Lifeforms". "Lifeforms" is a lengthy piece clocking approximately 30 minutes. Where the aforementioned section was a crossover of a number of styles "Lifeforms" mainly focus on ambient-expressions but with clear interventions of classical instruments such as violin and cello meanwhile aforementioned noise artist Alan Bloor controls his usual ultra-aggressive sound equipments being amplified steel and metal as sound sources into more subtle and very attractive noise drones. The piece is quite repetitive with a long hissing drone of amplified strings but with organic interventions of concrete sounds of aforementioned instruments. Halfway though the track, hissing drone fades away giving way to more plain acoustic ambience until another drone appears. The atmosphere is hypnotic and very intense through out the running time of the piece. Very interesting album showing the wide span of Aidan Baker. As we leave the crossover style of Aidan Baker behind and enter the world of Blessure Grave the expressive image completely changes. Blessure Grave is a San Diego-based project consisting of Reyna Kay and T. Grave. The true inspirations of this joint venture is 80's goth and punk scene yet pulled into the present world of modern technology. Sixteen pieces is found on this debut album titled "Judged by twelve, carried by six". All pieces belongs to the dark and pessimistic visions of early punk. The expression first of all focus on electrified acoustic instruments such as guitars, bass and drums moving upon layers of black synthlines from Reyna Kay. Both members adds vocals to the pieces, sometimes separately but most often as a punk-like double-vocal. As I listen to the album, the earliest days of punk appears to me. The bass-work has some similarities with Joy Division, other times the blackest days of The Cure (circa-"Pornography") shines through thanks to the drum-patterns and the guitarwork. Also "The Sisters Of Mercy" slips through my mind as I listen. Still the "Blessure Grave" has their own take on the black world of goth-punk. The sound production is raw and unpolished giving the album a feel of demo-tape; a feeling that only strengthens the intensity and atmosphere of the music. Very interesting album, making me longing for the early "No future"-days. (NM)
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

FJERNLYS - BEYOND THE UNDULANT QUIESCENCE (CD by Lofi Foundation)
In the music industry everything returns one day: that is the law of the industry. Ambient house died already ten years ago, but mark my words, it will return. Now ambient house is a term that covers a wide field of music, and not necessarily has anything to do with dance music. It can be more ambient than dance. I am not sure, but I doubt wether Fjernlys would call themselves producers of that kind of music, but I see clearly the inspiration. The synthesizers are digital - not software based but no longer analogue, monophonic either. The kind of synths that produce sounds that bubble. Secondly there are voices, female and male. They don't sing, but more narrate stories - stories that are not always easy to follow, but certainly set the tone for some darker moods. Thirdly there are rudimentary beats, banging solemnly in the background - just bass drum sounds basically. The cover says there are vocals, guitars, viola also, and all of that make up some pretty decent atmospheric music. This could have been on Silent Records or perhaps Staalplaat fifteen years ago I thought, the labels that brought the more daring kinds of experimental ambient house. Not a moment of dance music in sight here, but throughout a mighty fine retro sounding disc. I haven't heard this kind of music for quite some time, but it gave me a nostalgic feeling and that was highly pleasant. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loki-found.de

RELMIC STATUTE - MORNING TAPES (CD by Hibernate Recordings)
NIGEL SAMWAYS - POOR HENRIETTA MARIE (3"CD by Hibernate Recordings)
'Morning Tapes' by Relmic Statute is, I believe, the first 'real' CD released by Hibernate, who have so far released CDRs. Behind Relmic Statute there is one David Horner from Leeds. He finds morning the best time of the day to record field recordings and the tracks assembled on this release where recorded from 2000 to 2009, and it was never an idea to release them as one album. These field recordings but also instruments were recorded on cassettes and 1/4 inch tapes. I have no idea if these pieces were then also finished in this period, or just recently, but they indeed make a 'whole' as such. Gentle gliding music, of sustaining sounds. Sometimes we recognize rain, or a guitar, but most of the time we may not recognize anything at all. Hidden in whatever kind of treatment was used by Horner (analogue or digital), but the warm ambient music is really nice. A varied album of pieces that works quite well. Nothing new in terms of ambient music, but with excellent production skills made.
Nigel Samways was recently (see Vital Weekly 714) discovered with some charming releases and here has a twenty-one minute piece 'Wade In The Water', which is based on a recording of a girl singing the same song in the streets of Lewes, but its no longer to be recognized as such. Samways uses tape treatments, dsp processing, instruments and some more field recordings, and
crafted a great piece of music of a loop of singing, to which a whole brand of small electronic sounds, drones and glitches are added. Think 'Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet' meeting 'Salt Marie Celeste': a radioplay like piece of obscured field recordings which tell us a story, other than 'just' beautiful music. Excellent release here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hibernate-recs.com

SEMUIN - CIRCLES AND ELEPHANTS (CD by Ahornfelder)
DAVID GRUBBS & F.S. BLUMM - BACK TO THE PLANTS (7" plus book by Ahornfelder)
Jochen Briesen, the man of Semuin, released his first album 'Province' on Audio Dregs in 2005 and for some reason or another it took him five years to do another one. I didn't hear that one but maybe I should. It is said that Briesen moves away from acoustic instruments and digital processing thereof combined with field recordings, in favor of using midi instruments and composing with them. Sometimes these midi instruments sound very much like the real thing. And sometimes just not at all. You may guessed it already: this is popmusic. Not with vocals or common structures of a pop song, but gentle, sweet melodies. References are made by the label to Nobukazu Takemura, Max Tundra and Frank Zappa at the synclavier. Not references I would easily thought of myself, really. There is something definitely 'Japanese' about this music. Pick almost any release of Flau, Spekk or Noble and you can hear traces back in this release by Semuin. The Books would be another point of reference. Sometimes distinctly computerized and sometimes almost analog, warm and cosy. Just the last piece 'Stem (II)' seems to be loudly out of place in this lot. Otherwise small melodies prevail and make gentle curves. A sweet release, but not too sweet. Dirty angles exist at the edges. Very nice.
The other new release is a book of drawings by F.S. Blumm. I am not an art-critic, so what I can say? Its nice? Yes, it's nice. I flip through it, and see some great naive drawing, very abstract. A bit like the kids I babysit every now and then. But the nice thing of course, at least for the music critic, is the 7" that comes along. Recorded by Blumm on the 2nd of July 2008 on an acoustic guitar with David Grubbs on electric guitar. That recording has been split into four lovely tracks, along with some extra material Blumm found on his hard drive. Excellent improvised music, very intimate, with small gestures. Perhaps just as naive as the drawings in the book? It shares a common background I think. A great release of two parts that go together well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ahornfelder.de

MATT RÖSNER - REPEAT (LP by Miatera)
M. Rösner he was called in the previous reviews in Vital Weekly (see Vital Weekly 592 and 633), but here its full out Matt Rösner. He is from the western parts of Australia and his environment - no doubt an empty one - is of influence on his music. Although this is not mentioned in the current press release, I believe from his previous releases he plays the cello and electronics. Sometimes the latter sounds like sine waves - or perhaps they are? - and the cello like an upright bass. This is highly sparse music - empty if you will. Rösner plays music in which there is room for silence. Tones swell and leave, rise and fall. 'Echo' is such a piece. The title track is one that has a sparse few chords on an organ like instrument. Music that has come to a full stop. Excellent drone music. The five pieces on the a-side of this record are very different. A bit with just a piano, or one with just the cello, or sinewaves. But it makes quite a coherent listening. A showcase of what Rösner has to say, as well as an excellent performance of that. The b-side has the side long 'Lattices', which reduces matters perhaps even a bit more. For twenty minutes a low end sine wave like sound that moves in and out. Towards the very end there is a bit of field recording. A great side. A great record, with a nice cover and arty printed insert. (FdW)
Address: http://www.miatera.com

EMACIATOR - COVETING (LP by Not Not Fun Records)
Lone member of legendary noise outlet Pedestrian Deposit, and honcho behind the Monorail Trespassing label, John Borges begot Emaciator as a tag for his more ambient exploits, including those on this enrapturing LP. Here, we encounter an album's worth of feedback noise, adorned infrequently with passages of solemn guitar picking. It can be a tough listen emotionally, but it's an attractive one aesthetically, as it avoids brash noise for a more atmospheric approach, making for a facilely conveyable trail of morose sound. As others have often remarked upon when tackling Borges' recordings, an important factor to his noise - or, as he has put it, his "industrial collage" - is its demeanor. His Pedestrian Deposit material, and now his Emaciator material, is typically endowed with an
deep-seated sadness. Choosing words is a tough gambit when describing abstract music, but Borges' recordings conjure up feelings of alienation, mournfulness, depression, and detachment. 'Coveting' is no different, employing ambient noise to evoke potent measures of despondence. By my estimation, this miserable state is most evident on resigned "Recurring," which combines a vague underbrush of radio static with an eerie, fragile ambiance that sounds like a distant train-horn blowing. It is alternately sensitive and nihilistic, and difficult to get a full read on. Meanwhile, closer "No One Will Ever Know" is a particularly interesting composition - after a passage of straightforward ambient noise, it brings in an extensive, sullen guitar line which is threaded through a miasma of evolving feedback. The guitar helps transcend the typical atmospheric noise oeuvre, registering a calm detachedness which is hammered in by the accompanying fuzz-haze. The track, and album, approaches its haunting conclusion by shedding its feedback for a slow, repeated guitar tone. It's a fittingly lugubrious end for an unerringly poignant album. (MT)
Address: http://www.notnotfun.com

WARNING LIGHT - FURTHER ON (CDR by Stickfigure)
LIB EMBA - TERMINAL MUSE: RED (CDR by Stickfigure)
D. Haddon is behind Warning Light and he likes synthesizers. The press message that came along says so, and also that's its the kind of drone music that has nothing to do with Sunn 0))) and those alike that, but also that 'how someone doesn't hear little bits of LaMonte Young, Eliane Radigue and ms Pauline Oliveros in there I'm not sure'. Well, me for instance. I don't hear any of that, really. Whereas these three deal with overtones, created by layering various tones together, Warning Light just plays a few sustaining notes on what seems to me a digital synthesizer. Maybe two, but that's really it, I think. This is a nice chord, a great preset sound, but it rarely, if at all, seems to move beyond that. This makes quite a dull release altogether. One of those where one all too easily think: yeah, give me a synthesizer and I'll do it too. Not really the drone thing that is drone, nor the cosmic head space trip.
Of much more interest is the CDEP by Lib Emba, the project of Sean Moore. His previous release was a collaboration with Ryan Huber, then under the guise of Bobcrane, but later on better known as Olekranon, at least in the Vital world. Here however Lib Emba does all the duties himself. Its the first release in a series of three (and apparently limited to 100 copies). It sees a continuation of the previous release. Quite loud rhythm music, loaded with nasty synthesizer bits, and sometimes perhaps a guitar - although this seems to be less than before. The drum sounds are in my ear real drums, mixed with drum machines - but of course I might be wrong there. Was the last one perhaps along the lines of Techno Animal, this one owes more to prog rock, with rapid changes in the drum department, such as the intro of 'Stuporfied'. Quite a furious little fucker this release. Although perhaps not the sort of thing I would play on a daily basis, this is a very fine release. Earcleaning time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stickfigurerecords.com

MICHEAL WINTER - RECURSIVE STALL (CDR by Magnanimous Records)
The name Micheal Winter seems new to me. On the same label that released 'Recursive Stall' there is also a previous release called 'Klee'. Winter is from New Orleans. The cover may suggest something along the lines of microsound: lots of white, and a vague image of a computer keyboard or two. The music however is not really microsound, although its partly rooted in there. Micheal Winter plays computer music - that is something that is clear. The outcome is quite interesting. Its a fine mixture noise based industrial music and ambient, heavily processed sounds from sources no longer known to mankind. It begins with 'Day Of Hoisted Suns' in a full on noise mode, but as the disc progresses, there is a lively variation to be spotted. I think field recordings are at the core of the music, but with all those computer plug ins running amok, its hard to sure. He creates either large chunks of sound along with short rhythmic loops and combines these into some densely layered music. An intelligent work I'd say. Taking the best elements from either that noise scene or the ambient land, Winter cooks up something that is perhaps not the most original thing in the world, but its surely a damn release. Produced with some great skill, someone who knows what he's doing, and the result is a great dynamic work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.magnanimous.org/

DRUNJUS - SLEEP TRADER (CDR by Striate Cortex)
If I'm not mistaken this is the first release on Striate Cortex that has a musician that is not from Norway. Drunjus is one Tony Endless, who also runs the Earjerk Records label. This release, in an edition of 83 copies, comes in handmade cloth bag, then in a plastic bag with a plastic green leaf. Its a single 68 minute piece of drone music. That I knew before I started to play this. I then didn't look at the CD player, I decided, only until that moment when I thought I had enough. That was roughly after thrity-six minutes. It seemed like it was already playing for ages. I do like this sort of rough drone music. I really do. Here a mass of electronic sounds arise and there is some voice mumbling. That's about the extend of it. And that in itself is not a bad thing, but Drunjus takes a bit too much time to tell his story, or to unfold his atmospherics. Its like with noise: you can enjoy yourself immensely putting stuff down on record, but you should also consider the listener, I think. Do they want this to be this long? Remember: they are separate from the creator, in a different time and a different space and perceive things totally different than the creator. That's a few of my considerations for Drunjus. Do the same thing, but keep it more concise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.striatecortex.co.uk

AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AT WAR WITH YOU? (CDR by Dying For Bad Music)
LEAST CARPET (CDR by Dying For Bad Music)
This weekend I brought some amazement to someone's face by telling I really (really!) like Abba. We all have our secrets, I guess. Marcus Obst is best known for running the Field Muzick Recordings label, but he started Dying For Bad Music to release folk music. He knows (?) I don't like folk music (think to know I don't like it), but asks me if I want to review it. The first one is rather surprising Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf, once the band name used by Mirko Uhlig, but I thought he left it behind when he started to work under his own name. 'Auf Wasserleichen Gehen' opens up with what seems like a guy on speed and a guitar. Helium folk? In the same piece we have several more, entirely different songs and sound collage. Definitely not standard folk music, which is always great, I'd say. The theme of a man with an acoustic guitar is repeated in the other songs indeed, but that's not what makes this an interesting album, in my opinion. Its the more or less psychedelic approach of adding field recordings and electronic treatments (cross fading a song into a backwards rendition of the same song). All of that makes this a highly unusual folk album - even for someone like me, readily admitting, who doesn't know much about folk music. I think this is a particularly strong album, even with the guitar playing and singing (maybe a bit too much reverb on the voice sometimes). Some of that sounds like things I heard on Black Petal before and its not the kind of music I would play a lot indeed, but I can actually enjoy it quite a bit. Maybe for those who like Current 93? How would I know? You never know.
Least Carpet play 'Eastern European influenced psych folk' and use guitar, bouzouki, melodica, flute, drums, flutes, drums, cymbals and jew's harp. I am not sure if this one guy or a band. The tracks are rather short and indeed have some vaguely middle-european feel to it, or perhaps even a medieval feel - at least how we think it must have sounded back then. No vocals, this is purely instrumental music. The recording is nicely kept rough, with a sort of direct recording and no sound effects on any of the instruments. I see castles in the mist, gypsies at campfires, a wood at dawn and all such fairytale stereotypes, which I never particular cared for - disliking anything fantastic, but rather liking the real world. That may not say anything I feel about this music, but actually I thought this is quite nice too. Just like the Aalfang release, this may not be the sort of music I play a lot (although later date Dead Can Dance occasionally finds it way to the CD player - there: another confession), but its music that is indeed, at times, appreciated. (FdW)
Address: http://dyingforbadmusic.com

NICK DAN - LOVE SONGS PT. 3 (CDR by Black Petal)
GEODESIC DOMES ON THE HORIZON - FEATHER OF THE BEE (3"CDR by Black Petal)
The name Nick Dan popped up in Vital Weekly before, mainly with his group xNoBBQx (together with Matt Earle), where he plays the drums. Here however he plays the guitar. I have no idea what happened to the first two parts of 'Love Songs', but according to Black Petal this is first solo release. The idea is simple: you have an acoustic guitar and a microphone. There are no vocals on this. Just Nick Dan strumming that detuned guitar without much sense for melody, chord structure and god knows what else helps when playing the guitar. Is this the sound of a man in love? Staring out the window, strumming away? But why is it so detuned? Maybe the love of his life disappeared? And he is angry, depressed? But why call it love songs, then? Sometimes, many times, loud, and on a few occasions a bit softer, such as in the fourth track. I thought, overall, that this was a nice record, but things could have been a bit shorter. It's nice to see that Dan has the power to keep on playing on such lengths the same detuned thing over and over, but sometimes a couple of minutes would not be a bad idea.
Back in Vital Weekly 605 we reviewed the first release by Geodesic Domes Of The Eastern Seabord, named 'Vicious '70 Magnets Multiplied By Nothing'. Its the work of Peter Blamey, best known for this work with Jim Denley. If I'm right (usually I ain't) than this is moniker for playing noise. That's what he did back then, and that's what he's does here. Two tracks again of pure, relentless noise. No more rhythms, just a wall of screaming feedback. Like holding motorized objects on the pick up of a guitar, feeding it through some distortion pedal - hey, maybe three of them. Or perhaps its just computer noise? I don't know. I'm no longer the biggest lover of noise, that's hardly a secret, but sometimes I do enjoy it. Certainly when the ideas are simple and proceedings are kept to a point. That's what Blamey does. To end like last time: strange one, this one. Maybe a tad bit too noise based for my taste, but quite alright, perhaps also in it brevity. Great cover, like always with Black Petal. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blackpetal.com

SAY YES TO THE NO-NOS - KO-KO LUV GOOD (CDR by Green Tapes)
CHURCHBURNERS - REASON TO BELIEVE (3"CDR by Green Tapes)
JUSTIN RHODY & MATT HIMES (cassette by Green Tapes)
CHURCHBURNERS - AIR PUDDING (cassette by Green Tapes)
Some people think that the Do-It-Yourself ethic means that the listener should do it themselves - hardly any 'useful' information, if anything at all. That wasn't the idea, I thought, but hey times change? These four releases are definitely proud inhabitants of the DIY esthetic, but there is a website for some background. Outsiders of the world: unite. Jesus Correa is behind Say Yes To The No-Nos, which is perhaps the best thing about the release. He sings (?), speaks his words over a bunch of percussive sounds. This is actually quite nice for a few pieces, but perhaps a bit hard for the entire eight tracks. I thought, oh lord Jesus, you have some strange children.
The Churchbuners first release here is 'Reason To Believe' of which the website says "the usual chord and drones and a cover too". I don't know which cover is played here. A microphone is set up from the first sony walkman, and there is a guitar, a xylophone and a harmonica. Mild distortion from microphone overload. It moves to more distortion in in 'Bad Transformation' (hence the title, I thought). Not a greatly successful release I thought.
Then on tape we find a release by Justin Rhody and Matt Himes. The website calls this "garbled sounds and the depths of Maine", whatever that means. The music is rather lo-fi. It might be an attempt to play some kind of drone/noise, noise/drone, like a Ramleh recording, recorded two blocks down the street. Actually come to think of it: it might be the same song twice. Maybe intended to be the karaoke version?
The final tape has no text on it, and last perhaps three minutes, maybe even shorter (c2?).
From the website I understand this must be: "51=
churchburners "air pudding" ----- cassingle of keyboard drones and other fuckery". Oh! Side A is filled with sounds from reel-to-reel tapes playing at high speed, and side B has wrapped cassette sounds. You could play this on end on autoreverse no doubt - do it yourself, you see - but after three spins I heard it. No bad, actually, should be twice as long. Surely four mad outsiders, hard at work here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.freewebs.com/greentape/

BERLIN TAPE RUN (cassette by Staaltape)
According to someone who should know, it was twenty years ago that Staaltape, part of the Staalplaat empire released a cassette. As someone who is in the know for a later history of Staalplaat, we cleared out the cassette shelves in the mid 90s, and put them in a box: take them for free. None of us expected to see the return the cassette. But then, 2010: Touch has some ties into releasing cassettes on their Tapeworm division (which never make it to these pages unfortunately), Korm Plastics celebrates their 25th anniversary with a compilation cassette, and Staalplaat, these days tucked away in the creative hot-spot of Berlin, the Neu Köln area, release their cassette in the form of a chinese whisper: the Berlin run. It doesn't share the aesthetics of the cassettes they released in the 80s and got famous for, but its now, perhaps sadly, a typical product of the underground: typewriter credits, xerox. "Reminiscent of the early days of the cassette culture when cassettes travelled all over the globe and through the years turned into audio documents, the Berlin Run was initiated to restore the movement, but also to bring it to another level. The cassette was handed over in person from one artist to the other". Eleven artists from the vibrant Berlin underground scene present work here: Topmodel, Balz Isler, Preslay Literary School, Stephane Leonard, Kakawaka, Rinus van Alebeek, James Edmonds, Beryl Smith/Lara Szanne Schroeder, Marcel Turkowsky, Melanie Velarde and Kate Donova. Not all familiar names here, but some were seen around in the CDR scene or on stage. A curious mixture of spoken word, electronics, sound poetry perhaps, violin and guitar. In some curious twist it seems like all of these tracks were recorded 'en route' as it where: it all sounds recorded outdoor. A release that captures the interests and style of the old world of cassettes quite nicely, and thinking back on it: in the old days Staaltape, with their roster of artists (Laibach, Zoviet France, Hafler Trio for instance) belonged to the upperworld of cassette releases, and now moved into the true underground with this one. Quite an interesting move. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staaltape.wordpress.com

MADRE OSA/COMISARIO HJULER - MUSICA EXPERIMENTAL (cassette by Circuit Torcat Records)
How to find your way to the refrigerator. That's the piece of music on side A by Madre Osa, which is Spanish for Mama Bär. It starts out with spoken word, of some kind at least, and then later on a bit of electronic sounds - which may or may not have their origin in the refrigerator. Its actually a nice piece, but maybe a bit long, especially when its all electronic, it doesn't seem to have much progression anymore. Comisario Hjuler on the other side is of course Kommissar Hjuler and his piece if for piano and voice. The voice reads texts from Danish pornographic magazines while Mama Bär was pregnant. Hmmm. Explain that when the kid is older, I thought. This seems to be thirteen pieces in total, but that's a bit hard to decipher here. Here too I thought it was alright for a while, but not for the entire twenty-four minutes. Its nice to see that they have reached a cult status by now. True outsider music. (FdW)-
Address: http://www.circuittorcat.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this, then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <vital@vitalweekly.net>. Forward to your allies.
Snail mail: Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard - Acaciastraat 11 - 6521 NE Nijmegen - The Netherlands
All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <dolf.mulder@hetnet.nl>, Robert Meijer (RM), Niels Mark (NM), Jeff Surak (JS), Craig N (CN), Jliat (Jliat), Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Michael Tau (MT) and others on a less regular basis.
This is copyright free publication, except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.
Announcements can be shortened by the editor. Please do NOT send any
attachments/jpeg's, we will trash them without viewing.
There is no point in directing us to MP3 sites, as we will not go there. Any MP3 release to be reviewed should be burned as an audio CDR and send to the address above.
Some people think it's perhaps 'cool', 'fun', 'art' or otherwise to send something to Vital Weekly that has no information. Don't bother doing this: anything that is too hard to decipher will be thrown away. Also we have set this new policy: Vital Weekly only concerns itself with new releases. We usually act quick, so sending us something new means probably the first review you will see. If we start reviewing older material we will not be able to maintain this. Please do not send any thing that is older than six months. Anything older will not be reviewed. In both cases: you can save your money and spend it otherwise.
Lastly we have decided to remove the announcement section of Vital Weekly that is archived on our website that is older than five weeks. Since they 95% deal with concerts that have been, it's gentle to remove the announcement and more important the e-mail addresses coming with that.

 

the complete archive of Vital Weekly including search possibilities:
http://www.vitalweekly.net


<<<