number 738
week 27


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

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


K11 - METAPHONIC PORTRAIT 1230 A.D. (CD by Actual Noise) *
FEAR DROP 15 (CD compilation and magazine)
MARCUS MAEDER - ANNEX (3"CD by Domizil) *
ELYSEUM - BIPOLAR (CDR by Syndrom Records) *
MATTHEW ATKINS - HIATUS (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation) *
PLATFORM - LOVELORN (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation) *
EZDANITOFF - KOMEET (3"CDR by My Own Little Label) *
FRANS DE WAARD - CORONA REWIND (cassette by Petri Supply) *

In past years Jeff Carey was best known as 87 Central, a drone like music outfit, which he kind of stopped when studying at Sonology in The Hague. Its back then when I met him, and he was a helping hand for Vital Weekly in sending out through the net with means of software. A gentle man. Its since then, as well as before, that I followed his work, which deals with computer music. Usually as part of some improvising ensemble, such as Skif++, Office-R(6) and N-Ensemble and now solo. On 'Impulse' he has five pieces and it starts out with something that I wouldn't expect him to do on a solo CD. Loud, distorted, heavily cut up type of sound. Speaker damaging stuff. It sounds like the analogue world of Gert-Jan Prins, but then through entirely digital means. It turns out this the modus operandi for the entire disc. Its probably more the style of noise for somebody like Jliat to review, but these twenty minutes have something truly captivating. The outbursts of seemingly random noise leave a buzzing ring to the ears. If you allow me to draw another analogy, I'd say it sounds like sounds Merzbow, but curiously enough the recent, 21st century Merzbow, but during his Scum period: the cutting up of sounds. Then analogue, but in the hands of Carey through constructed software of his own making. An excellent release, which lasts about long enough to be really breath- and energy taking! (FdW)
Address: http://jeffcarey.foundation-one.org

First of all I need to apologize to David Newman, the man behind Audiobulb and the musician responsible for Autistici. I spelled his artist name wrong on a couple of occasions, which makes it hard to find in our archive. Recently I reviewed two of his old archive releases (Vital Weekly 720 and 732) and its his turn to deliver a remix album. He has send a recording of 'one vibrating wire from an acoustic guitar, captured, sculptured and morphed into a buzzing pad of noise. Tiny details were added, xylophone, cello, double bass, electronics and the crumpled sound of household objects exploited and manipulated' to ten artists for a further deconstruction. The results are a varied bunch, very varied to my very surprise. The opening pieces by Simon Scott, Bluermutt and Sawako, may hint at the original (which can be found on 'Complex Tone Test' released by Kesh), with sampled rhythms, voices and keyboards making a sort of mild IDM music with lots of ambience, but then Jimmy Behan makes things even more ambient, whereas Francisco Lopez goes in some eleven minutes for the most radical deconstruction of all. The three pieces to follow (Isan, Justin Varis and Ian Hagwood & Danny Norbury) are all interested to work with the cello parts of the original as leading voice for their remix, whereas Richard Chartier (with nine minutes not much shorter than Lopez) probably does that too, but going in his own line of work with a beautiful extraction of a millisecond expanded, and He Can Jog closes with a nice warm minimalist electro tune, no beats included. A varied compilation indeed, but its in this variation that there is beauty. A great remix compilation: a fine example of possibilities. A rare thing! (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

Dutch label Narrominded, now celebrating ten years of activities with various concert series (check their website) slowly merges into a full label, where all sorts of music find their home. What seemed to start as an IDM label, now is also the home for (post-) rock and improvisation. Gijs Borstlap and Kruno Jost know eachother from bands as Impromondays, NoiseWall, LiveNoise Tupi, Kaisergrutva, In Process Of Reason, The KGB and Tom Kinski (not that I heard any of their music, I must admit). At their disposal we find a bass guitar, pedals, laptop, drum machine and a mixer. Their music is a curious hybrid of improvisation meeting noise meeting drone meeting rock. But its never one or the other. Although things tend to get pretty loud and noisy, its not a pure noise record, just like its not a pure improvisation record. These two men cleverly walk a variety of roads, in which the guitar sounds play an important role, along with those effects, but there are also more gentle ways to approach that, and that's what they do too. A delicate, demanding journey among the highs and lows of improvised noise music with rock background. A trip that pays off. (FdW)
Address: http://www.narrominded.com

On a hot day like today I should be outside, trying to find some cool shade, but I have to stay inside and cool it with my old ventilator, which sometimes makes a funny noise. The first time I was playing this CD by Thomas Tilly I wasn't paying attention enough - hot weather and all that - I thought that it was the ventilator acting up again. Then I studied the liner notes and it turns out that Tilly recorded sounds under water, and although I am not entirely sure, I understand these are the sounds are perhaps from insects and plants and somehow react to the sun shining on the water. These are then recorded and nothing else was done with it, except that we hear it. Its a pretty amazing disc, I must say. The music sounds like electrical charges, decaying motorized objects and such things alike. If you wouldn't better you could easily think this some sort of conceptual thing about machines, maybe something by Paul Panhuysen. It shares the same minimalist approach of Panhuysen, but then entirely from field recordings. Click like sounds, with some odd changes, if any at all. It doesn't sound like field recordings at all, and that's the best thing about it. It stays away from that line of interest of rain and wind sounds but makes a fascinating world of itself. One of the most interesting pieces of work I heard in quite some time. Hard to explain, but you should definitely found our for yourself. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fissur.com

K11 - METAPHONIC PORTRAIT 1230 A.D. (CD by Actual Noise)
If I'm not mistaken this is the third time, in a matter of a few months, that Pietro Ripabelli, also known as K11, pops up in Vital Weekly. First with his work with Philippe Petit, then solo (Vital Weekly 729 and 731 to be precise). The first was good, but the second didn't blow me away. 'This work has been realized with sound sources recorded within the Assisi lower Basilica in 2005. The concept of this work is related to personal research which 'm conducting about the sound, environment and esoteric dimensions with some interesting cathedrals', he writes on the cover. K11 uses field recordings, radio signals, organ and voice. I am not sure if I should understand this as a work in which he drags that stuff into the cathedral to make a recording, or wether he taped some sounds in the cathedral and at home adds the radio signals, organ and voice; I assume the latter actually. I thought this new work was more interesting than the previous solo work. The humming voices, the natural resonances of the big hall, and then the addition of heavy type of drones from the organ (no doubt plus a lot of sound effects) makes a pretty effective type of loud drone music with an angelic undertone. I am not sure if there is a religious, political or sociologic meaning to all of this, or wether its all just esthetically intended. The humming voices in a big space, which I can relate as being a beautiful thing, without the religious experience.
Address: http://www.actualnoise.net

From Brooklyn, New York, we have here on Richard
Martin. He has a studio where he records his work, as well as other people. The idea behind his new solo CD is that it was "made in an attempt to slow the sometimes unbearable operating speed of living and working in one of the most populous cities in the world." To that end he uses various unnamed instruments, field recordings and found sounds and he created four pieces with that, all somewhere between twelve and fifteen minutes. Martin succeeded well in recording pieces that sound indeed 'slow'. The third piece (actually called 'Two') is a sub bass drone in which not much happens and the weakest link on this release. The other three pieces are much nicer. Here we have slowed down sounds, also put together in the form a drone, but with more variation. Somehow I think that at the bottom of this there is a guitar with heavy type manipulations at work. The best piece however is 'Three' (actually the fourth piece) of soft tinkling guitar being looped around. Reminding of Fear Falls Burning, it brings the album to quite a musical ending. I thought that all four pieces were a bit long as a composition, but obviously that's not what Martin was interested in when creating these pieces. In what he set out to, he succeeded pretty well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiotong.net

It has been a long time since I last reviewed a release of Pax Recordings. So it is a good thing to see they are still in business, as is Ernesto-Diaz Infante who is featured on many of their releases. Recordings for this release came about in 2006 when Rodrigues and Mota - both from Portugal - where traveling the US. ŒOur Faceless Empire‚ documents their meeting with two musicians from California: Diaz-Infante and Robair. It all happened on february 19, in the 1510 Studio in Oakland with Scott R. Looney doing the recording. The line up is as follows: Ernesto Diaz-Infante (steel-string acoustic guitar), Manuel Mota (electric guitar), Gino Robair ( energized surfaces/voltage made audible) and Ernesto Rodrigues (viola). From, what I know from the work by Diaz-Infante this collaboration has a logic. This are improvisations in the style we know well from the Portuguese Creative Sources label, where textures, timbre and concrete sounds make up the aspects they work with. One could call this music highly abstract, in the sense of abstracted from melody, harmony, rhythm, etc. But at the same it is also very concrete, as it deals with concrete sounds and colors. The music is not very dramatic but if you really go into it, it is a very engaging and rewarding experience. With concentrated listening you will surely enjoy all all the movements, short runs and twists, and the interaction between the musicians. It is very delicate music, full of nuance and little motives. Pointillistic, if that makes sense. (DM)
Address: http://www.paxrecordings.com/

A first cd by these two long time friends. Brown is playing piano, live computer signal processing. And Pauline Oliveros accordion, conch, percussion, and ELS (Expanded Instrument System). On this first duo collaboration they present three works that were recorded live in the studio with no overdubbing. Oliveros started her career as a composer and musician way back in the 60s (!), and she is still on the scene as this release proves. A release by Deep Listening an institute she started in 1985 "to encourage others in the practice of Deep Listening for creativity and heightened awareness of sound and sounding". Got it? Chris Brown is educated as a classical pianist. Studies on Indonesian, Indian and other world music inspired him deeply. Later he began experimenting with building his own set of electronic instruments. In three tracks, "Nocturnal Clouds", "Gravity Waves" and "Troposphere", both musicians communicate with acoustical instruments combined with electronics. In all three works this takes form in stretched out patterns and improvisations that evoke multidimensional spaces. Swarms of sounds move through time, like a swarm of birds do in the air. The music is full of crawling and bristling sounds. Looking at the inside it is like a complex and seemingly disorder organism. But from the outset this organism is clearly involved in performing meditative gestures. (DM)
Address: http://www.deeplistening.org/

From the family of wind instruments, I must admit
that I like the clarinet the best. And here we have two of them: on the right channel Kai Fagaschinski and on the left channel Michael Thieke. They work as The International Nothing. I think we should see the title of this work as the program for this CD. The two play the clarinets with great slowness, with long sustains and decays, and action seems indeed not really apparent. Excitement, yes, that is something that is hard to escape when listening t this release. I think this very exciting music actually. Almost like sine waves humming slow and carefully, sometimes developing into a small melody, sometimes as quickly as that disappearing. Carefully playing with the silent notions. This is improvised music and the odd thing is it sounds on one hand very onkyo, but the more I think about it, I realize we hear the clarinets as they are: clarinets and not as some object with a mouthpiece. That's an interesting notion about this music. An excellent, solemn work of refined ascetic beauty. Sparse yet rich. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ftarri.com

Two discs of improvised music here. On the first we find a duo, of Seijiro Murayama on percussion and one Tomaz Grom on doublebass. This is a live recording from December last year and we find them in an incredible relaxed mood. Its a recording that has a strange sort of jazz undercurrent, especially in the track 'Pet', where the bass is being slapped and the percussion rolls. But of course its not real jazz and its also the end of the release. The four pieces that preceded 'Pet' show them in a true love of their instruments partly as resonating boxes, partly as real instruments, in an excursion to examine the tonal qualities of the instruments. Lots of silence in between music and lots of music in between silence. A refined disc.
The quintet, with a base in Berlin and Buenos Aires came together in 2004 at the Goethe Institut, and consists of the Berlin connection of Andrea Neumann (inside piano) and  Robin Hayward (tuba), in the middle Lucio Capece (soprano saxophone and bass clarinet), who lives in Berlin but is from Buenos Aires, where he no doubt knew Sergio Merce (tenor saxophone and electronics) and Gabrial Paiuk (piano). One piece, forty three minutes. But it sounds like many pieces, by one man and lasting an entire lifetime. That last remark is not something negative. The music is filled with loads of silence and carefully placing of sounds. Its not always easy to recognize a single player in here (tuba? where?), but there are times of concentrated playing together, followed by gaps of silence or near silence. Just like the Grom/Murayama release a work that has a lot of silent beauty in it. Another disc of great refined music, with so many players and yet so much space. Excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.linnomable.com

A nice handwritten from band member John Orsi, whom we know as the man behind Knitting By Twilight. Here however with a different band Incandescent Sky, a four piece. In september 2007 they recorded an in-studio improvisation, but its rock music. Its the kind of rock music which I must admit I don't like at all. Lengthy guitar solos, all instrumental, a bit of world like percussion, but throughout this is not at all the kind of music I like. It all sounds too retro, too prog rocky in the worst sense of the word. Nothing at all for Vital Weekly. Next time Knitting By Twilight again, please. (FdW)
Address: http://www.itstwiligmusic.com

FEAR DROP 15 (CD compilation and magazine)
In many of my reviews I refer to weather conditions, mostly actually for fun, but also because some music is better enjoyed when its cold, or, vice versa, when its hot. Today its hot but a quite windy for Dutch standards. That's fine, even when the breeze is not entirely cooling the place down. Its perhaps good to play the CD that comes with the latest issue of French magazine Fear Drop, while 'trying' to read the magazine. My French, despite my name, is not really that good (anymore?), but I gather it as to be very obvious that all of these pages and pieces deal with wind, the sound of wind. In the magazine there are articles on drone music via three principle labels, Afe Records, Taalem and Drone Records, of nature and music history, BJ Nilsen & Chris Watson, an in-depth tale of CDs that deal with wind and Toy Bizarre. Probably a nice read, as far as I can judge that. We find many usual suspects on the CD, like Jana Winderen, BJ Nilsen, Michael Northam, Bruno Moreigne, Cedric Peyronnet, Francisco Lopez and Chris Watson, who all deliver their wind inspired pieces. The main power lies however with pieces by others, who use wind sounds to create more musical pieces. Some, I suspect, even use fake winds sounds coming from synthesizers. Here we find pieces by the [Law-Rah] collective, Thomas Koner, Tetsuo Furudate, Black To Comm and Philippe Petit. Frederique Bruyas has a spoken word piece on wind. Greatest surprise is to have a piece by Mike Harding, headhoncho of Touch, with a pretty rare musical piece of himself. The mixture of pure field recordings, processed field recordings and musical pieces is a great one, put together with some idea of how these things should be done. Excellent, even when the language is a bit of a barrier. (FdW)
Address: http://www.feardrop.net

Earlier today I was not at home, but in a friends house waiting for something. The weather was hot, and I lay down on his couch. In my bag was 'Annex' by Marcus Maeder, and I decided to play it. Around the house there was a lot of activity of people constructing a new house on one side (or perhaps putting an annex to it?) and on the other side motorized objects doing gardening work. Maeder's music wasn't very loud on, but it merged wonderful with the sounds coming from outside, even with all the windows closed. I fell asleep. Later on, now, I am at home again, listening again to 'Annex' in a more quiet surrounding of early evening (windows open). I am to understand that this work is an extension (for that is what an 'annex' is, in an architectural sense) of 'Subsegmental' (see Vital Weekly 702). I am not sure if Maeder draws from the same sounds as on 'Subsegmental', but he uses 'very short sound segments reproduced at such low speed as to stretch out and form vast soundscapes' - I couldn't have this any better myself. The four pieces (sixteen minutes in total) emerge on the near silence, especially 'Plateau' is very quiet, much alike the eleven pieces on 'Subsegmental'. Perhaps without many differences between this one and that one, but its simply beautiful stuff. Maybe its too early to play this music and I should wait until full darkness has set in, but its tranquility is simply great as it is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.domizil.ch

ELYSEUM - BIPOLAR (CDR by Syndrom Records)
Behind Elyseum we find one Mark Angel, who says about his compositions that they are 'using a mixture of analog and computer based equipment' and that 'sOme of the rhythmic textures within the recordings were made using an analog modular synthesizer'. Those two lines mean not much, the music could be anything. Elyseum however looks for the alien nightmare music. Indeed lifted on the old ideas of cosmic music I'd say, but enlarged, empowered and blown up to gigantic proportions. Not in a noise sense, but dark, alienated music. Imagine an empty, rusty space ship in a sci-fi movie floating through space, unbeknownst of what lies ahead. In 'Reflection', with its angelic voices, sun light bursts in through the windows, but its a forebode of more evil. With titles as 'Despair', 'Suppression', 'Wrench' or 'Dead Inside', you simply know life in space isn't easy. Elyseum combines cosmic music with ambient and industrial music and does as such some great, yet not entirely 'new' kind of music. Maybe seventy minutes is a bit long, but then that's not the real length of a sci-fi movie anyway. A beautiful nightmare trip, earthlings beware. (FdW)
Address: http://www.syndrom-records.com

MATTHEW ATKINS - HIATUS (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation)
PLATFORM - LOVELORN (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation)
Matthew Atkins is the man behind Minimal Resource Manipulation and also the man behind the one main act of the label, Platform. Sometimes he plays with other people. Here he moves into something different, a work under his own name, thus setting it apart from his work as Platform. The first difference is that the four pieces on this release are quite long, between eight and thirteen minutes, making this effectively a full length album, other the EPs released as Platform. The music is drone based, highly layered and absent of any rhythm. I suspect this uses a whole bunch digital synthesizers and digital sound effects, with reverb on 'end', but these lengthy sustaining pieces are nice ambient pieces. As such nothing new, but Atkins knows how to play them effectively.
As Platform Atkins plays rhythmic music, inspired by house and techno, a bit abstract. Previously inspired by Autechre, but since the last few releases moving away from that and in a more straight forward rhythmic sense, with a few melodic lines. I was thinking that this music isn't entirely up for vinyl release yet, but slowly Atkins is getting there. Some more shaping up, perhaps making things even a bit more accessible, and then move away from CDR releases and see if he could attract a dance label to release it. I am too uninformed about that scene to say which label that should be, but surely some would buy this. After this string of self-releases, its about time to make the next step. (FdW)
Address: http://www.minimalresourcemanipulation.co.uk

From the UK hails Clutter, also known as Shaun
Blezard, who has been involved in music since 2001, as a solo artists as well as being part of orfeo 5, Good Noise Bad Noise, Aht-n and has had releases on Clinical Archives, Dokuro and Earth Monkey - although I think I didn't hear any of this. Among his tools of trade we find a laptop, iphone, nintendo DS and effects. In two pieces here he also uses field recordings. He melts together various interests in music, such as electroacoustic improvisation, ambient electronics as well as dub, jazz and post rock - although the latter three don't seem present on this four track EP. Its not easy to say something about these four pieces. They are not bad, in a sort of glitchy laptop kind of music, but perhaps also a bit too non-descript. The sort of processing of sounds, the addition of field recordings, the delicate build up of a piece, all of this was heard before and in most cases also perhaps better. But like said, its not bad at all, but to form a full opinion based on these four pieces is just not easy. I'd like to hear more before knowing what it is that Clutter does. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cluttermusic.com

EZDANITOFF - KOMEET (3"CDR by My Own Little Label)
Frans de Waard found a new musician to create a new world of sounds. With Wouter Jaspers (also known as Franz Fjodor) Frans did a concert in Budapest, the major city of Hungary. But they did more when there and at their hotel room of Hotel Ventura they built a temporary studio. With all their sound-equipment, like magnetic wave fields, crackle box, sound effects, contact microphones they recorded a piece of music. The composition starts with psychedelic sounds, voices of the Hungary radio and cracking bits of sound. Slowly the waves flood into a dark (almost ambient) long lasting piece of soundlayer. Other cracking sounds and voices enter the darkness and faded away in more open range. The duo takes time to develop the compositions which is what makes this a strong 3"CDR. The releases of My Own Little Label are mostly little gifts of the musical adventures of Frans de Waard (and friends) and this gift is a beautiful one. (JKH)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

FRANS DE WAARD - CORONA REWIND (cassette by Petri Supply)
This cassette has a difficult genealogy, being (from my excavations) a re-mix made in April this year from a 1990 4 track by Kapotte Muziek (corona wind) a concept by Yeast Culture, with Dale Travous and Gary with recordings made by Abo and Allen Russell,  others involved are David Lee Myers, Jeph Jerman, AMK, Achim Wollscheid. in which recordings are passed around based on the performers age, if that's not sufficiently confusing the package is a purple screen printed sleeve on orange paper which wraps around a custom card case held together with electrical wire. Which can be viewed at the address given.. the sound is fairly industrial mechanistic looping noises which has a very narrow bandwidth probably as a result of all the processing, with interruptions of static - and feedback saturated tape. Almost as if the recording was made of the artifacts of tape recording itself.  Again a consequence of the projects re-processing? There is at stake here an important difference in noise as subversive anti-music and noise as a minimal purism and integrity of the high art philosophy of the mid 20thC. - in particular the work of Robert Morris & co - http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/kuspit7-14-06-12.asp 'Box with the Sound of its Own Making' which became what was known as conceptual art. This is all very interesting for me (and hopefully any reader) - space and genre prevent a full exploration of this apparent emerging phenomenon in music, as a new conceptualism,  one that is addressed in Seth Kim-Cohen's book - 'In the Blink of an Ear '...  why in sonic art there wasn't a similar
rejection of the aesthetic object - which perhaps in music (and  in poetry http://ubu.com/concept/ etc.) is now emerging - "rejecting sound-in-itself in favor of a reading of sound's expanded situation and its uncontainable textuality". it is not perhaps accidental that the  philosophical debate re idealism / empiricism centered around the "sound" of a falling tree, a debate which resonates still in the very important problem in physics of the observer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics) - or here - the listener. (jliat)
Address: http://www.fransdewaard.blogspot.com