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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 722
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week 11
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

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

 

KLINGT.ORG - 10JAHRE BESSERE FARBEN (2CD compilation by Mikroton Recordings)
SPARTAK - VERONA (CD by Low Point) *
VEX'D - CLOUD SEED (CD by Planet Mu)
THE INTERNAL TULIPS - MISLEAD INTO A FIELD BY A DEFORMED DEAR (CD by Planet Mu)
YANNIS KYRIAKIDES - ANTICHAMBER (2CD by Unsounds)
NOAH CRESHEVSKY - THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS (CD by Tzadik)
LORI FREEDMAN - BRIDGE ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
NOUS PERCONS LES OREILLES - SHAMAN ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
KLAXON GUEULE - INFININIMENT ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUASER - MIROIR DES VENTS ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
MAEROR TRI - MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER (CD by Purple Soil) *
KIVA (2CD by Pogus) * *
LUIGI ARCHETTI - NULL (CD by Die Schachtel)
KOBI - EARPLUGGED (CD by End of Hum)
KOBI - LIVE IN JAPAN (CD by End of Hum)
MANDELBROT - EVOLUTION (CD by Audiophob) *
ALARMEN - NEXT (CD by Audiophob) *
SPHERICAL DISRUPTED - QUASAR (CD by Audiophob) *
HEAVEN AND - BYE AND BYE I'M GOING TO SEE THE KING (CD by Staubgold) *
PASCAL BATTUS & CHRISTINE SEHNAOUI ABDELNOUR - ICHNITES (CD by Potlatch) *
SERAFINA STEER - CHANGE IS GOOD CHANGE IS GOOD (CD by Static Caravan) *
HANNAH PEEL - RE-BOX (7" by Static Caravan) *
VERNON & BURNS - THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DIAL (LP by Gagarin Records)
MARK BOOMBASTIK - PLASTIK LIEB/HOFFNUNG (LIVE) (7" by Meeuw Muzak)
FVRTVR - DEMON CYCLE 1-9 (CDR by Niente Records) *
MACHINIST - VIENS AVEC MOI DANS LE VIDE (CDR by Betontoon) *
ANDREAS BRANDAL - JERNVOGNEN (CDR by Tape Drift)
CORPSE CANDLE - WASTE NOT WANT NOT (CDR by Twilight Luggage)
GOMEISA - TEMPORAL DEATH (CDR, private)
DRAPE - DREAM WORDS (CDR by Gears Of Sand) *
UR/IRON MOLAR (CDR by Locust Swarm Rex, Fucking Clinica, Alampo)
SPRUIT - PATTERNS (3"CDR by Spruit)
BARACLOUGH - THE LAMPSHADE IS NOT A PAST TENSE (cassette by The Tapeworm)
LEIF ELGGREN - ALL ANIMALS ARE SAINTS (cassette by The Tapeworm)
TONGUES OF MOUNT MERU - THE DELIGHT OF ASSEMBLY (cassette by The Tapeworm)
MELTAOT - FIRST AND SECOND RITES (cassette by The Tapeworm)
PETERMANN - INIT (MP3 by Carpal Tunnel)
PASCAL SAVY - THE SILENT WATCHER (MP3 by Audio Moves)

 

KLINGT.ORG - 10JAHRE BESSERE FARBEN (2CD compilation by Mikroton Recordings)
Among the mass of e-mails I get, there is always some from Kling.org, which I shamefully admit, never bother to read. Its never clear wether I should put this into Vital Weekly. Maybe it seems like a world of its own. Perhaps it is. If I understand the booklet here right, its a sort of digital community of people working together, started by dieb13 and it resembles a cafe from his home-town Vienna. You can sit down and talk, in all quietness. Musicians can exchange ideas or sounds. Once year the leave digispace and there is a concert. I believe this double CD is a collection of both live recordings of various concert recordings and perhaps some other solo pieces (I am not entirely sure here), and some are made with digital means of exchange. A soundpool of some kind. Some 140 minutes, which is not easy to digest I should think, but the sequencing of the pieces is done in a great way. My suggestion would be to not look at the tracklist, the names of the players but have this playing from begin to end. Then it will sound like an electro-acoustic concert, partly in pure electronic areas, then a few real instruments, cut-up of sound material and the crackles of contact microphones. (Perhaps even then this might all be a bit long, I admit that, but then I played the first one yesterday and the second today). There is a bit of everybody in there, at least if you are open-minded towards a lot of what Vital Weekly stands (and that's why you are here, right?). Some of the names here then: Christof Kurzmann, The Magic I.D., Goh Lee Kwang, dieb13, erikM, Billy Roisz, Siewert, Jez Riley, Toshimaru Nakamura, K&K, Boris Hauf, Hose... and that's about one third of all the names included here. An excellent compilation/overview of a movement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

SPARTAK - VERONA (CD by Low Point)
The busy man down under is Shoeb Ahmad, who runs the Hello Square label and plays in various outfits within improvised music. Spartak is, so I believe, his main point of action. Its a duo with Evan Dorrian, who plays drums and percussion, while Ahmad is the man for guitars and electronics. He himself released the debut CD, now its time for expansion, and with an eye to a forthcoming tour in Europe, there is the second CD, this time for a label in the UK. As said Spartak plays improvised music. Mainly in the percussion parts this is where these things are happening. Dorrian plays his kit, but also junk material in a great, almost jazzy way. Maybe you could see that as traditional, but where Spartak differs is in what Ahmad has to add. His guitar and no-input mixer often refers to music we know from ambient and post rock. His guitar wails about, also in a jazzy way, but fed through all his effects, things get very spacious. Eight pieces here of gentle debris, which not always work ('Sleepstalker' for instance is drowned in sound effects), but throughout this is a very pleasant release. A fine cross-over between the improvised jazz world, rock and ambient. All remaining considerable analogue in approach. Can't wait to see this live. (FdW)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

VEX'D - CLOUD SEED (CD by Planet Mu)
THE INTERNAL TULIPS - MISLEAD INTO A FIELD BY A DEFORMED DEAR (CD by Planet Mu)
Two new and very different releases from Planet Mu - the label of drill'n'bass artist Mike Paradinas alias mu-Ziq. Originally started by Virgin Records in the mid-90's. When it turned out that Virgin didn't do well in marketing this kind of music, Mike Paradinas set up the label independently in 1998. Since then a great number of albums have been launched from the label. Over the years the span of releases seems progressively wider. One of the latest releases comes from the british duo Vex'd consisting of Jamie Teasdale and Roly Porter. The project takes its starting point in the dubstep-scene and regarded as being part of the pioneering wave of dubstepper's with their first release in 2004. That the first release titled "Function" was released from the label "Drum + breaks" with roots in the city of Bristol doesn't come as a surprise as you listen to this new album titled "Cloud seed". A number of tracks, first of all "Heart space" has some clear fingerprints of the Bristol-born trip hop-style with associations pointed towards Portishead, with the addition of vocalist Anneka reminiscent of Björk or Norwegian Stinna Nordenstamm. Other tracks like "Disposition" features some excellent rapping from Jest adding an excellent aggressive edge to the dubstep-beats. There is nice contrast between the hardcore dubstep-pieces featuring samples and darkside-basslines and then other tracks where the rhythm-textures has been added great atmospheric ambient-scapes. Excellent album. As said, there is a great contrast between the "Cloud seed"-album of Vex'd and the other new shot from Planet Mu: The Internal Tulips is an American project consisting of Brad Lamer and Alex Graham. Both artists have a background in the rock-based soundworld; a fact the seems obvious as you listen to the album carrying the odd title "Mislead into a field by a deformed deer". The band balances between electronica and acoustic music carried by vocals that draws associations towards John Lennon and Jonathan Donahue (vocalist of Mercury Rev). There is a nice melancholic feel to the music reminiscent of the aforementioned bands, Beatles and Mercury Rev. Also the style of David Sylvian drifts somewhere in the music. An excellent album that despite its great distance from the usually cutting edge sounds from the Planet Mu-label, is a gem in the catalogue and definitely an album worth checking out! (NM)
Address: http://www.planet.mu/

YANNIS KYRIAKIDES - ANTICHAMBER (2CD by Unsounds)
Kyriakides (1969) comes from Cyprus, moved to Britain and settled down later in Amsterdam. Here he studied with Louis Andriessen and collaborated with Dick Raaymakers. Although I know him by name I did not encounter earlier any his works . This will change now. With "Antichamber" I have two CDs in my hands filled with 10 of his works composed between 1995 and 2007.150 minutes in total! It will take some time to learn all these works well. They are released by Unsounds, a label that he runs with Andy Moor (The Ex). No wonder in the past already several other CDs carrying his works saw the light. By the way, with Andy Moor Kyriakides also has a performing duo of improvised music. But above all Kyriakides is a very productive composer who wrote for many ensembles and orchestras. It is always a surprise to enter the musical universe of a composer at a first meeting. In the case of Kyriakides it sure is a complete and unique universe that I discovered. All works on "Antichamber" have in common that they are written for a limited group of instrumentalists, varying from piece to piece. In most works also electronic technology is involved. This has a widening effect, making the music much 'broader' then just a combination of a few acoustic instruments. Kyriakides has his special method of bringing acoustic and electronic sound sources together. Along both ways Kyriakides builds music of great nuance and detail, and rich sound scapes. Dramatically spoken none of the works direct to climaxes. Instead they meander peacefully and with grace through unknown landscapes. The opening piece "Telegraphic" plays in a wonderful way with telegraphic codes. "Zeimbebiko 1918" is for violin an guitar, plus surface noises of old vinyl and short cuts from an old rembetika recording. Kyriakides turns to his roots here I suppose. These and all other pieces are instrumental ones, except "U" that is for eight part choir and sinewaves. Of course not all compositions worked for me. "Chaoids" has boring minimal-music like passages that irritated me enormously. The closing piece "Atopia" is again a beautiful piece, this time made up of lengthy drones. No idea to what extent we have explored Kyriakides musical universe with this double CD, as he wrote also for greater ensembles and orchestras. But no doubt Kyriakides is on the map now in my musical universe. Great music! (DM)
Address: http://www.unsounds.com/

NOAH CRESHEVSKY - THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS (CD by Tzadik)
My first response while listening to this new CD by Creshevsky is a big smile. This is fabulous and intelligent music that opens ones heart. Creshevsky is active in electronic composition since 1971 after studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Luciano Berio. That's some time ago. So I think it is quite exceptional for a modern composer of this generation still to be so musically active, plus having the opportunity of works released on a label like Tzadik. With "Twilight of the Gods" he has his second album out on this label. Without judging on Creshevsky's colleagues, I think this attention is fully deserved. Creshevsky is into electro-acoustical metamusic. Music that is constructed out of already existing music, without leaning on their compositional structures. Creshevsky himself describes his music as 'hyperrealist' as a name for the electroacoustic language that he developed over the years. One of its characteristics is that Creshevsky builds his compositions from natural ingredients. Sounds, mostly from traditional instruments, found in our environment. Creshevsky does not treat the sound material as such, what makes his compositions sound very natural. Instruments, voices and natural sounds can easily be identified. However Creshevsky has caught them in structures that are beyond human capacities if it comes to performing them. Especially for the opening and closing pieces on this album, Creshevsky recruited several musicians. This raises the question whether he in these cases first wrote playable acoustic music for several musicians with the intention to use the recording for his hyperrealist procedures. Listening to 'Happy Ending' that has rock elements as well jazzy guitar playing by Rodney Jones, I suppose this is the case. And also 'Gotterdammerung' the opening piece is prove of this. Surely this is the most exuberant composition on the album. In the first part jazz dominates. With a female singer that changes to a jewish singing style from time to time. This is continued in the second part of very up tempo klezmer. I have a special weakness for the piece "Brother Tom", where Creshevsky uses vocal samples of Thomas Buckner. It is a beautiful 'simple song', evidencing that Creshevsky does not get lost in an aimless complexity of possible worlds. "Estancia" built from acoustic guitar samples, breathes spanish atmospheres. As a composition it stays close - in a way - to the idiom of the classical spanish guitar music on the samples. Each work on this CD is an example of the same paradoxical game Creshevsky plays. Staying close as much as possible to traditional sounds and idioms, and at the same moving away from it as far as you can. With very enjoying and powerful results. (DM)
Address: http://www.tzadik.com/

LORI FREEDMAN - BRIDGE ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
NOUS PERCONS LES OREILLES - SHAMAN ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
KLAXON GUEULE - INFININIMENT ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUASER - MIROIR DES VENTS ( CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
A solo-, a duo- , a trio-album and one by a quartet. That is one way of ordering these new releases by Ambiances Magnetiques. Musically however these four albums touch on very different grounds. Lori Freedman returns with a beautifully recorded solo album called 'Bridge'. All nuances and colors of her playing can be noticed and fully enjoyed on this crystal clear recording. Freedman leads us through ten works that have her playing bass clarinet, accompanied by Brigitte Poulin (piano) on 'Flicker' (Michel Galante). Some of them are improvisations. Others are compositions by well-known (Scelsi) and not so well-known composers like Monique Jean, Pascal Dusapin, Franco Donatini, etc. Improvising and playing composed music are equally important for Freedman at this stage of her career and that's why we find examples of both of them on this record. The contrasts I experienced do not exist between the improvised pieces on the one hand, and the composed ones on the other. Freedman choose very different works to interpret, offering a diverse richness and many contrasts. For instance, 'Clair' (1980) by Donatelli plays intelligently with jazz idiom and is a pleasantly light and positive work. Scelsi's 'Maknongen' (1976) remains in dark and low sections that are interrupted by almost screaming outbursts. Improvisation and composition are combined in 'Brief Candles' a work composed by Freedman. The closing piece 'Low Memory 3' by Monique Jean is the only electroacoustic work. The clarinet is surrounded here with sounds that range from ambient-like to very noisy eruptions.
Nous Perçons Les Oreilles is Jean Derome and Joane Hetu. They present their next step under this name after a silence of about eight years. 'Shaman' is their third work. We hear Hetu on sax and voice. Derome also on sax and voice plus flute and objects. Emotional and intense improvisations. With the title 'Shaman' they want to hint at their conviction that their work is "closer to the world of healing, supernatural communication, and ancestral memory than the world of entertainment."
I'm always especially curious after new releases by Michel F. Côté. He is a very interesting musician who deserves a much broader attention if you ask me. For instance for his fantastic Klaxon Gueule. This is Michel F Côté (drums, percussion), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Alexandre St-Onge (bass). They started in 1995, and with 'Infininiment' they are ready for their fifth statement after a silence of 5-year silence. Helped out by Gordon Allen , Jean Derome and Philippe Lauzier. It is not necessary to introduce the three core members as they are very profiled artists, all of them involved in numerous other musical projects. Klaxon Gueule combines these extraordinary talents who are very equipped to interpret Cote's bizarre musical visions. In a very abstract manner his music stays linked with rock, and more explicit it shows relations with improvised music. It is very rewarding and enjoyable to listen to all short movements and actions by the different players, and to experience how they intertwine into a strong nucleus of linear moving music.
Quasar is a saxophone quartet. Marie-Chantal Leclair, Mathieu Leclair, Andre Leroux and Jean-Marc Bouchard, are the players. They play works from six canadian composers of whom only Claude Vivier who died in 1983 is known to me. No wonder 'Pulau Dewata' (1974) by Vivier is the oldest composition played by this quartet. The CD opens with 'Miroir des vents' by Luc Marcel, thoroughly composed piece. 'Geyser Ghetto' from Michel Frigon is an evocation of the powers of nature as met in the phenomenon of geysers. No wonder a very dynamic piece. One feels the pressures that geysers cause. "Iskra" by Wolf Edwards is a wild and anarchistic piece. Here the quartet comes most close to the phrasing, etc. that we know from improvisation and free jazz. Especially in the power play by one of players in the beginning of the piece. With 'Giuco Piano' by Frangis Nurulla-Khoja we come in calmer realms. And 'Pulau Dewata' by Vivier is the most friendly sounding piece. Often it is close to minimal music. No wonder as it is inspired on Balinese music. Concerning the closing piece by Jean-Franois Laporte, the title says it all: 'Le chant de l'inauduble'. Through long extended notes, the music moves very slowly staying very close to silence. The richness of the work is revealed if you listen very carefully and discover the diversity in sounds and textures. (DM)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

MAEROR TRI - MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER (CD by Purple Soil)
Some music is related to a period, because of the sound of the amplifiers, recording possibilities, effects and synthesizers. The technic colors the sound during that period and gives is that time limit. I cannot say that about the re-release of the timeless sounds at the CD "Multiple Personality Disorder" (MPD) of the not anymore existing German group Maeror Tri. The groups existed from 1998 - 1996 and has the following members Stefan "Baraka [H]" Knappe, Martin "GLIT[s]CH" Git and Helge Siehl. Stefan Knappe and Martin Git continues to make music with the group Troum and releases music with the vinyllabel Drone Records. From 1998 - 1993 Maeror Tri released a lot of tapes. The music for the first CD Multiply Personality Disorder was recorded in 1991 and released in 1993 by Korm Plastics as a limited edition of 600 in the serial Introductionaire to promote the music of new musical artists. For now the re-release has been done by the Purplesoil from the Czech Republic. During the musical project the group examined the different states of mind and characters by means of music and they want to confront the listener with the totally different states of mind and feeling of people with MPD. The CD exist of five compositions, with different moods, from ambient and atmospheric to aggressive and anxious. And really I was confronted with the different moods some with MPD. The meaning of the album has been successful.
During that same period I was working in a psychiatric hospital with people with so-called personality diseases. I worked also with people with MPD and they presented themselves with totally different characters, behavior, clothing, sexual preference and sound of the voice. I was really very differcult to work with these people because I had to deal with one person, but sometimes during daytime with three or four different persons. Most of these people had very bad childhood experiences and they try to deal with the some treating or stressfull reality with different personalities. For now MPD has become more on the background but this release is really a good flashback of that period and a successful experiment of Maeror Tri. (JKH)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

KIVA (2CD by Pogus)
Pogus keeps finding material in archives all over the world interesting music from many moons ago. Here they present a double CD by Kiva, a 'research/performance' group Kiva, which was started in 1975 by trombonist John Silber and percussionist Jean-Charles Francois, who both worked at the Center for Music Experiment at the University of California San Diego. Graduate students played along with them. Two persons became important, the Korean dancer Hi-ah Park and pianist Keith Humble. Kiva was about the 'emancipation of the classical performer from the role of interpreter of written music to one that involved being fully an actor of artistic creation through the direct production of sounds on instruments and related objects'. Yet they didn't want to call this improvised music. But I would. This is hardcore improvised music. Kiva apparently recorded everything and we get here three out of four pieces of such improvised concerts. One is supposed to have some sort of electronics, which I somehow don't hear back in this recording, but perhaps its there. Otherwise these three pieces are explorations of trombone, percussion and piano. Not unlike AMM at times, but maybe also a bit more straightforward in their approach. Its actually quite nice altogether, but also quite a long sit through. The fourth pieces is a sound collage of Kiva playing music, set along tape manipulations of Antonin Artaud's poem 'Pour En Finir Avec le Jugement De Dieu' and vocal improvisations of Silber and Francois. An entirely different piece, even when it comes from the world of improvisation too, but it distinctly different. This is not music to just put on and do the dishes, this is something that requires ones full attention, and perhaps best had in one piece at a time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pogus.com

LUIGI ARCHETTI - NULL (CD by Die Schachtel)
The main instrument of Luigi Archetti is the guitar, which he has been playing since 1978. Every now and then he releases a CD and usually its some sort of thematic approach. His previous CD 'Fragments On Speed, Slowless And Tedium' was about improvised guitar playing, edited on the computer. For 'Null' he explores drones, or so he says. Besides the guitar he uses field recordings here from sources such as white noise of blank video tape and hum from generators. Thirteen pieces here, which he calls a 'journey further into unexplored regions', but I'm afraid its a journey I truly well heard before. Like before Archetti stays in a musical field which is quite well-known, even when a bit different than his previous CD release, but anyone with some knowledge of the current state of experimental music will hear these paths. Droning music at times, sometimes entirely build from loops, sometimes from actually playing the guitar, with an e-bow or objects, fed through some effects. Its not a bad CD, but also something that couldn't interest me for its entire length. After a while I was a bit fed up and decided I listen to something else. (FdW)
Address: http://www.die-schachtel.com

KOBI - EARPLUGGED (CD by End of Hum)
KOBI - LIVE IN JAPAN (CD by End of Hum)
Earplugged is Kai Mikalsen's solo (studio?) " death-ambient album the world has been waiting for.." consisting of very gentle scrapes and clicks... I could save space and time by a link or cut and paste to my thoughts on Spruit. (I won't) The consequences of accepting the greatness of Kant, none seem yet to knock him down, put so simply as I can, to the extent of making the ridiculous, is that we only see, hear, feel and know by virtue of what *we are* not by virtue of *what is*. That's probably good, at least evolutionarily, because otherwise the world would appear to us like the LSD trip magnified to infinity. We cope with the world because its our world, there is no point in waiting for godot, he wont come because he is already here, if not the actual saviour, not the actual infinite being of the second coming, i.e. the product of some grand experiment in art, the whole of metaphysics is nothing more than the feeling a child has on Christmas eve, assuming she/he is living in an affluent tolerant middle class western
household, and so at the most transcendental he/she will only see Santa kissing mommy. There is a chapter in John Barrow's book on impossibility entitled "Does Gödel Stymie Physics", well does Godot stymie experimentalism - I guess so. (I should have said Kant but the symmetry wouldn't be the same.) On the second CD, Kai Mikalsen is joined by Petter Flaten, Eilertsen and Kelly Churko in a live piece of abstract improv which is much more interesting as its not a dead metaphysical monster, who never existed and who never will, but good ole humanity interacting, so from the above, replace Santa with Daddy, and kissing with what ever possibility turns you on. Its amusing, worrying, funny, serious .. Human work, one in which its possible to hear the breath of God, as "performance". (jliat)
Address: http://www.endofhum.no/

MANDELBROT - EVOLUTION (CD by Audiophob)
ALARMEN - NEXT (CD by Audiophob)
SPHERICAL DISRUPTED - QUASAR (CD by Audiophob)
Perhaps a bit late, 'Evolution' by Mandelbrot, which celebrates the publication of 'The Origins Of Species' by Charles Darwin, last year. B. Teichner and P. Muench, also known as Mandelbrot were asked to present a musical work for the Museum am Scholerberg which displayed works of/on Darwin. They created an hour worth of music, which are presented here on this CD in the form of nine tracks, called in German by their numbers, 'Null', 'Sechs', 'Zwei' etc. Not the most logical order, and it seems to me that the music is not a linear evolution either. Played, I think, on a bunch of analogue synthesizers and sound effects. Heavy cosmic music on display here. Atmospheric, with arpeggio's, delay machines, even some rhythm machines, this music is not what you would expect: an hour of drones, but well rounded compositions of moody electronics. Not music I would easily associate with a museum, and I wonder what the visitors may have thought about it. Perhaps a bit too much popmusic (?) for four white walls? But it works well at home, even when thematic approach is a bit lost here.
Niels Mark discussed the first real CD by Alarmen, 'There Is No Place Like Hoan' in VItal Weekly 534 and he told us that its a project by Carsten Stiller. It was followed by two MP3 releases, and now there is 'Next', the next CD by Alarmen (never a good title for a CD I'd say, suggesting nothing more than 'oh, the next CD'). It starts off with a harsher rhythmic minimalist piece, along the lines of the previous release. But that's only deceiving the listener. The other six tracks on 'Next' are perhaps like-wise minimalist in approach, but sound a bit more lighter in approach. Synthesizer parts are mixed up a bit higher and a piece like 'Next 3' is slow, almost dub-like, with some nice, mean organ sounds blubbling below, while 'Next 4' is almost cheery in approach. Quite an interesting varied album, with only 'Next 7' to be something of a hit and miss track.
The last full length release by Spherical Disrupted was 'Null' (Vital Weekly 482), followed by the remix album 'Barriere'. The new one 'Quasar' (short for 'Quasi-Stellar Radio Source') is also not a full length, but perhaps more like a EP of five tracks (long one at that: total is about fifty-five minutes) plus three remixes. Like Alarmen heavily relying on the use of rhythm, with an extended use of analogue synthesizers which sound even more like cosmic music than that of Alarmen. Arpeggio's are used extensively here, along with long sustaining sounds, dark chords and such like. Not every track is as strong here: 'Galaxy Bulge' for instance just doesn't seem to have enough variation to be fully interesting. Its too long. But a piece like 'Solar Luminosity' on the other hand shows it can be done: moody, atmospheric, rhythmic, all combined in a hypnotic piece. No wonder it gets a remix treatment, by Xabec, who pulls out even more cosmic/ambient house patterns from the original. Empusae knows how to give a more danceable spin to 'Accretion Disc' into some proto techno vein whereas Spherical Disrupted himself remixes Fractional Shift into a chilling closure of the CD - not the best track here, with some slight distortion in the lower regio of the piece. All in all a nice release with some minor flaws. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiophob.de

HEAVEN AND - BYE AND BYE I'M GOING TO SEE THE KING (CD by Staubgold)
The second release by Heaven And, a quartet of musicians: Martin Siewert (guitar), Tony Buck (drums), Steve Heather (drums) and Zeitblom (bass, keyboards), and their second album is also named after Blind Wilie Johnson song. Like their first album, 'Sweeter As The Years Roll By' (see Vital Weekly 618), they continue to experiment with elements from jazz, post/free/whatever rock, slide guitars and bits of noise. Still there is a strong element of retro to this music, blues, jazz, improvisation to it, with all the various incarnations of guitar music from past hundred years, but throughout I enjoyed this album more than I did the previously. I am not sure why that is. Maybe the pieces are better in terms of compositions? Maybe less free form? Strongly melancholic this music, very krautrock at times, very old, but never the less also quite nice. Maybe its because the rain makes me sad and bluesy? (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

PASCAL BATTUS & CHRISTINE SEHNAOUI ABDELNOUR - ICHNITES (CD by Potlatch)
Lebanese born, but now living in France is alto-saxophone player Christine Shenaoui Abdelnour, who has a background in improvisation, which she plays in all sorts of ways, some of which may be like intended by Aldophe. She works here with Pascal Battus, who usually works with table-top guitars, but here plays 'rotating surfaces': "small motorised components from inside old walkmans, used as exciters on different objects reacting as vibrators and resonators: sheets of paper, cardboards, plastic, wooden, metal or polystyrene pieces, and stems connected to cymbals". They played together on may 26th 2009 and the results can be found on 'Ichnites'. This is some hardcore improvised music, and not necessarily from a softer edge. Things buzz at times at an immense volume, for instance in 'Fouilles & Rongement'. Its followed by a more quieter excursion, 'Estocade & Coulees'. These two play some mighty intense music, which requires one full attention. Its not easy music, but one that makes your hair rise up the wrong way. An utter fine work of improvisation. Very intense, very beautiful. (FdW)
Address: http://www.potlatch.fr

SERAFINA STEER - CHANGE IS GOOD CHANGE IS GOOD (CD by Static Caravan)
HANNAH PEEL - RE-BOX (7" by Static Caravan)
Actually I should not be reviewing music by Static Caravan. Their releases are usually far away from the madding crowd called Vital Weekly. Its never improvised, noise, onkyo, field recordings, droning ambient and all such like, but Static Caravan deal with popmusic. And we don't, right? Wrong. Whenever a parcel from Static Caravan lands, a smile is to be found here: popmusic! And to be more precise, popmusic from the leftfield of the biz, and its usually great. Serafina Steer plays the harp and signs. She already released a CD and a 3"CDR and here gets help from Capital K and Benge in the form of production. The already great folky music of Steer benefits greatly from the added production skills. There are synth lines, synthetic and real drums, and even an up-tempo song like 'Margoton', which reminded me Nouvelle Vague. It pushes, from time to time, the folk aspect of Steer's music to the background and makes it even more (hurrah) pop-like. An excellent CD, the perfect anti-dote after a long day of 'difficult' music.
Hannah Peel plays music boxes (with those long strings of paper with holes in it) and sings. She does four covers here, all of which I happen to have in the original 7" and 12" form: 'Sugar Hiccup' (Cocteau Twins), 'Electricity' (OMD - an all time stand out classic par excellence), 'Tainted Love' (Gloria Jones - well, I have the Soft Cell version) and 'Blue Monday' (New Order). Peel plays them in a very unique private way. Quiet, almost folk like. She doesn't have the drama of Liz Frazer, or the coolness of Sumner, or the drive of OMD - but she does perform 'Electricity' with OMD's Andy Mclusky. She renders all four from the original form into something very much her own. Did I just mention Nouvelle Vague? Hannah Peel does something equally ground breaking I think. She might be a novelty act, but it should be a big one. I can't choose between 'Electricity' or 'Blue Monday' to my favorite here, but I love 'm all. And that's why Static Caravan makes me happy and that's why they fit in Vital Weekly - I can finally ramble about my favorite music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

VERNON & BURNS - THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE DIAL (LP by Gagarin Records)
By now Vernon & Burns should be house-hold names, at least if you are commited to plunderphonics for their various releases, mainly on Felix Kubin's Gagarin Records. Their newest record, for the same company, is loosely centered around jingles for commercial productions. At least I understood this right. 'Vernon & Burns offer 14 exciting multi-use modular selections of mood and temoi in the most contemporary idioms to suit a wide range of productions and products". There you go. This new record breaks away, at least to some extent, from the radio plays they are usually connect themselves with, and seems to be dealing more with music. Still of course they plunder the musical sources together from various media (vinyl, tapes, the internet, TV) and create rather short pieces with them, which usually deal with one aspect, as to maintain that idea of a commercial. It is spliced together in the good tradition of musique concrete - variation francaise - but it sounds at times like a big band. Samplemania of course. The narrative aspect of the older music is missed here, and I'm not sure if I'm pleased with that. Maybe the whole album sounds a bit too easy for me. It seems there is so much more possible with the idea of jingles and commercials (see The Residents 'Commercial Album' in that respect), or even make them more real, like real commercials, but then in the style of plunderphonics. Not entirely convinced now by this as an end-result. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gagarinrecords.com

MARK BOOMBASTIK - PLASTIK LIEB/HOFFNUNG (LIVE) (7" by Meeuw Muzak)
Its been a while since we last heard a new 7" by Meeuw Muzak, busy with a private life these days and nights (congratulations from the entire VW team on that mister Meeuw) but then here a brand new 7" by Mark Boombastik, who already released 'I Hate Art Galleries' on the same label, as well as material for other labels, such Solotempo, Lou Records, Gagarin Records, Tomlab etc. His background is in the field of hip hop, so he's probably better known in other, non Vital areas. He has worked with Patric Catani (Candie Hank), Funkstoerung, Felix Kubin and such alike. The music is not really hip hop like (as far as I can judge, not being fully known with the genre), but Boombastik uses a stomping rhythm, deep bass sound, something that sounds like a theremin and German vocals, which sing about our love for plastic. Quite biting the a-side, maybe even a political edge to it. The b-side is a looped voice duet between 'where is my hope' and 'where is my fear', along with fucked up rhythm backing. Quite chilling this one. Great labels here too: based on the energy chocolate which keeps drivers awake - Meeuw should remember that from a shared experience with the writer! (FdW)
Address: http://www.meeuw.net

FVRTVR - DEMON CYCLE 1-9 (CDR by Niente Records)
Recorded in the basement of an old post office by Fvrtvr, which is a duo of Guido Hennebohl (electronics) and Fritz Welch (percussion and voice). Nine tracks here, recorded backwards it says on the press release, but no doubt it means that the last piece they recorded comes first and then works its way backwards. This is a pretty fine disc of improvised music. Somewhere between soft and loud, noise and onkyo is where this duo position themselves. The voice is clearly a voice, but the words are all non-sense; making sound, like the best sound poetry of say Jaap Blonk, but without much variation. The percussive bits rumble about and the most interesting part comes from the electronics. Its here we find enough variation, with drone like sounds, noise outing and clicks and cuts. Maybe its all a bit long for the amount of variation, and certainly some more editing would have helped, but throughout its all pretty decent thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/nienterecords

MACHINIST - VIENS AVEC MOI DANS LE VIDE (CDR by Betontoon)
Caves aren't exactly the things you find in The Netherlands, but Machinist make cave like music. Machinist is Zeno van den Broek from Rotterdam and since 2005 he has released a couple of CDRs and played a few selected concerts. On this new release he gets help from Sven Schlijper who recites a text and Elleke Bosma, who plays cello on two tracks. As said cave music, by which mean music that is very, very dark (as in no light), but also using the reverb of caves. I believe to be hearing - although not entirely sure - lots of heavily processed guitars, even more electronics, some field recordings and a fair amount of dark percussive sounds. Despite what it says on the press release '... opens up the auditory point of view of the listener at an open and wide panoramic vista of emotions with a sharp focus on the horizon', I hear perhaps something else. This is music from a claustrophobic point. Hermetically closed, grey/black landscape music. Having said that, its not a judgment or a negative qualification per se. It might not be entirely my cup of coffee, this kind of music (being too black, grim and hinting towards things I don't care about - maybe a bit too gothic?), I can see that Machinist plays his music with great care. Its excellently produced, the individual compositions are kept into a great time frame and calls the dark beast out its hole. Its about time he moved to doing real CDs, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.betontoon.com

ANDREAS BRANDAL - JERNVOGNEN (CDR by Tape Drift)
Noise with a twist from this crafty Norwegian sound-smith, who has a distinct penchant for the dark and ominous. 'Jernvognen' itself is a reference to a 1909 mystery novel by Stein Riverton, which revolves around a "mysterious chariot which move[s] in the dead of night without leaving any track." Intriguing subject matter, no doubt, though for me this record's prime attribute is its stark evocation of the pitch-black arctic night. Nowhere is this more evident than on its sublimely atmospheric final composition, whose fragile, pensive drone ebbs in and out, accompanied by subtle guitar tomfoolery and a chilled, industrial ambiance. A delicious conclusion to the ordeal, it sends the listener skyward in a a whirl of Aurora Borealis and twinkling little stars. The rest of the record explores depraved, distorted guitar drone, as on evil part one (replete with sonic waves and shreds glistening above the noise) and steadily dissolute part two. Meanwhile, the record's menacing third part deserves special note, as it craftily weds a brooding melodic loop to all sorts of bass-heavy interference. (MT)
Address: http://sites.google.com/site/hardiman04/

CORPSE CANDLE - WASTE NOT WANT NOT (CDR by Twilight Luggage)
I am not a lover of all harsh noise - in fact, I can be quite captious about the matter - but I really dig noise like this, which offers that deliciously odious sense of teetering just over the brink. 'Waste Not Want Not' is a rather riveting assault, and it conveys its intensity admirably - it's unabashedly abrasive and menacingly nihilistic, but carefully designed for maximum impact. Dig album-best "Bats in the Belfry," which attacks like a vicious steam engine barreling forward; it's all windy pedal abrasion and spasmodic hyper-drilling - a beautiful flower of a harsh noise assault that will drive noiseheads into ecstasy and roommates up the wall. The soundtrack to fucked up things happening, in short. On the other hand, "Fresh Grave, Well... Get In..." is somehow a more reasoned and musical affair (we're still talking about abrasive noise here, however), while brief "Well So Long Then" clatters randomly, employing far more negative space than its two discmates. Yes, 'Waste Not Want Not' peaks early, but that shouldn't discredit its blissful spectacle of chaos. (MT)|
Address: http://www.twilightluggage.com

GOMEISA - TEMPORAL DEATH (CDR, private)
A nine minute passage of sinister dark ambience starts off this self-released nugget from Gomeisa (Cole Peters). It's a wonderfully grisly harbinger of the vile noise assault that's to come in the form of "Seconds Migrate Like Cattle to the Butcher," which offers twenty minutes of on-the-brink reverb and feedback, craggy with chunks of pedal abuse and deathly screeching. It's like an immensely drawn-out enactment of a rural cargo train derailing and being rendered to smithereens. Even from a noise standpoint, it's a feverishly brutal composition. The three-parted "Temporal Death" proper occupies the disc's final trio of tracks, and is, for me, the least compelling component of this album. It's a respectable noise exploit, with ample grungy feedback, but for me it doesn't boast the same riveting dynamics of the first two tracks. Don't get me wrong - this is solid abrasion throughout, with more than enough aural aggression to leave even hardened ears throbbing, but tracks one and two have that added je-ne-sais-quoi that stirs your viscera just so. (MT)
Address: http://www.colepeters.com/gomeisa

DRAPE - DREAM WORDS (CDR by Gears Of Sand)
The recordings here, by Ryan Gracey and Spencer Williams, also known as Drape, date already from 2004 to 2006. I have no idea why they haven't been released sooner, as its certainly very nice music. Seeing this being released by Gears Of Sand, since some time the new major CDR label (as far I'm concerned) for ambient music, the music is, naturally ambient too. Nothing new there, and that's what we don't expect either. When we open a jewel case, labeled Gears Of Sand, we expect this kind of slow, meditative ambient music. No disappointment there, as Drape deliver eight tracks of exactly that. Played with... well, I'd say synthesizers, but these days (or even those days) you never know. It might as well be a bunch of guitars and lots sound effect units - like I said you never know. The music is quiet, calm and not very outspoken, but some excellent cold winter night, nocturnal music. Sounds come and go, and usually hoover about for a while in similar vein - the very essence I'd say of ambient music. It fills your space with warmth. Drape doesn't do much new indeed and like I said, for ambient music that's quite alright. You get what you asked for. Drape does it all, and they do it very well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gearsofsand.net

UR/IRON MOLAR (CDR by Locust Swarm Rex, Fucking Clinica, Alampo)
We've already had various releases by Ur, the Italian trio of Federico Esposito, Mauro Sciaccaluga and Andrea Ferraris. Here they have a split release with Iron Molar, of whom I know nothing. Apparently a work people have been waiting for, as it is released by three different CDR labels. Iron Molar has one long track, Ur has four. The music of Ur is mostly based in the world of drones, although they go out here with 'You've Been So Kind To Me' into the world of noise, and sadly not the best result. The other three tracks however are great: a swamp of drones, field recordings and lots of sound effects which transform the analogue synthesizers and guitars into some great atmospheric music. Works best when things are more quiet and spacious.
Iron Molar has a guitar, a loop device, a microphone and maybe some sort of synthesizer. The twenty-seven minutes of their 'La Caduta Di Lucifero' (the fall of lucifer) is a noise based piece, that never seems to explode into real noise (or never wants to perhaps), but also a piece that is generated through methods of improvisation. Everything is switched on and we'll see where it gets us. Not particular far I'd say. Not too much of my liking. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alampomusic.com

SPRUIT - PATTERNS (3"CDR by Spruit)
Morphology is a strange science. At its extreme, most open to ontologies it appears open ended, and so rather than mark off a territory offers ever expanding planes of immanence, certainly to the creative, inventive mind, but de-anthropomorphise this, it should allow "a hyper-chaos, for which nothing is or would seem to be, impossible, not even the unthinkable". The whole history of post-theory is strewn with papers, blogs and books where such is attempted, and it seems ever more justified by appeals to "empirical science", as if that offers some freedom from the philosophical blinkers, or shackles (keeping us facing the cave wall) of Kantian correlationism. But such musings of the prisoners once exposed to the empirical daylight would bring disappointment. Plastic is a good (empirical) example. Deemed to be the most amorphous protean being too easy to catch, plastic either looks plastic or looks like anything else, wood, metal, ceramic. Rather than offering a hyper-chaos it adds one more and only one more substance to the world, itself. Likewise with electronic music and its locus of the
synthesizer, that either sounds like a synthesizer or some other pre-existing instrument, but never sounds the realm of infinite and impossible, even to the extent that modern software emulates a Moog in the same way it does a Grand Piano. Cutting to the chase then, 'Patterns' rather than extending the chaos of ON/OFF becomes not more abstract but dissolves into insect like soundscapes and computer glitches which are immediately recognisable. That might be a good thing, that "rock 'n roll feeling", and I suppose shouldn't disappoint- our ears can only hear what we hear, not "the" sounds, which are not available, like "the thing in itself" lost to us. The recent metaphysical howling for the moon is very familiar. (jliat)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/spruit

BARACLOUGH - THE LAMPSHADE IS NOT A PAST TENSE (cassette by The Tapeworm)
LEIF ELGGREN - ALL ANIMALS ARE SAINTS (cassette by The Tapeworm)
TONGUES OF MOUNT MERU - THE DELIGHT OF ASSEMBLY (cassette by The Tapeworm)
MELTAOT - FIRST AND SECOND RITES (cassette by The Tapeworm)
The cassette is back - there is little doubt about that. It was never away I guess. Over the years I used to play my favorites from twenty years ago, but added not many new favorites, simply because for years not many were released. But its back, and one of the more interesting new labels is The Tapeworm - loosely connected to Touch, in which online shop you can order them. The cassette also a playground for new names, ideas and small concepts. For instance Baraclough, the longest of these four releases. A group of Paul de Casparis, Eddie Nuttall and Dale Cornish, from London. Whatever instrument they play is not revealed (information on all covers is sparse), but there might be a synthesizer, maybe some bowed instrument, voices, a laptop filled with field recordings? Who knows. Three lengthy pieces (repeated on the b-side). Although I think the music is made through improvisation, it has very little do with improvised music. Quite loop based, with a kind of repressed noise in the background. A pretty obscure release I'd say, and perhaps tracks are bit too long, but it also has something quite captivating about it. Hard to say what exactly, but I surely liked it.
Leif Elggren was in London in November 2009 to present his DVD release 'Death Travels Backwards' (see Vital Weekly 710). The first night he read a story, followed by music of a highly strange kind. It sounds electronic, with all sorts of peeps with intervals of a varying length - it could be processed voice. It has that sort of minimalist sound that we know and love Elggren for. Then the story continues and more processed sounds. An odd piece. The b-side is entirely instrumental with some odd sound from a small organ, and what seems to be the squeaking of a door or some other object being rubbed. Perhaps not indeed the sort of thing to put on a CD release, but surely quite captivating. A great private document.
Behind Tongues Of Mount Meru we find one Jon Wesseltoft and the well-known Lasse Marhaug. One would perhaps expect some noise release, or cut-up collage like sounds, but these two pieces sound like these two found a bunch of cheap bontempi keyboards. Pressing a few chords down on all of them, they sit behind a mixing board mixing the sounds together. Welcome ye of drone music! Its the kind of drone music I like very much - lover all of organs. Hardcore minimalism at work here, with slow changes in the sound material, but piercing throughout. Not in a noise way, but in a more upfront manner. The new plasticity of drone music. Simply yet effective. Great release.
The final release is the shortest, by one SavX, who plays 'electric rooster guitar' and Sharon Gal on electric bass, voice, percussion and feedback, who work as Meltaot. Here we land in noise territory, but perhaps due to the quality which comes with medium, its not loud as such. Improvised noise, bending guitar, feedback in the background and distortion pedals used sparsely throughout, this is however my least favorite of the four. Maybe its because I am not that fond (anymore) of noise, or perhaps I heard too many of these noisy guitar improvisations. Not bad, but a little worn out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tapeworm.org.uk

PAID Downloads:

PETERMANN - INIT (MP3 by Carpal Tunnel)
This is a paid download thing - also something we don't want to review anymore - by one Petermann. I have no idea where he is from, although I assume Germany. His music can best be called laptopmusic. By this I mean a mixture of various interests in music, which all have to do with electronic means which are to be found on a laptop, primarily I think Ableton Live. Petermann's music is most of the time dealing with rhythm and a bit of ambient and drones. As an influence on his work I think we should not look further than early Pan(a)sonic. Deep bass thumbs, high end sounds, hiss as melody and such like, and you get the Petermann sound. Music like this that seems have some revival these days. It seems however that this lacks the depth of the masters, let alone the swing needed. A few tracks are actually alright, but not all twelve. (FdW)
Address: http://www.carpaltunnel.net

PASCAL SAVY - THE SILENT WATCHER (MP3 by Audio Moves)
A subdivision from the physical label Audiobulb is Audio Moves, which deal with paid downloads. Pascal Savy started in the 90s playing Detroit techno, recorded onto tapes and minidiscs and stopped for quite some time. Now he's back, concentrating on my ambient textured music. To that end he uses field recordings made in an old workshop, the slowing down of clocks, the spinning wheel of a rusty bike, children playing and such like. In his music he treats these sounds on the computer and mixes both the raw, unprocessed parts with the processed ones. It would be too easy to say his music is all ambient. Savy uses sustaining sounds for sure, build from small extracts of his field recordings, but an important feature is also the use of loops. Sometimes these loops are worked into something that can be called a rhythm, like in 'rhythm machines' - or perhaps he just added those? The seven tracks make a pretty strong impression, while at the same time its perhaps not much new under the sun of microsound, ambient, field recordings and drones. Savy adds small musical touches to the material, such as the piano like sounds in 'Deconstructing Clues', which makes this less abstract than the average release in this field. Excellent production - great compositions. Should have been a real CD, I think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiomoves.com

 

 

 

 

 


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