============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 740
---------------------
week 29
---------------------

 

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





PHAENON - HIS MASTER'S VOICE (CD by Malignant Records) *
NADJA - AUTOPERGAMENE (CD by Essence Music) *
DRAKH - BETHLEHEM (CD by Essence Music) *
NOSTALGIA - ECHOES FROM THE BORDERLAND (CD by Databloem)
THOMAS ANKERSMIT - LIVE IN UTRECHT (CD by Ash International) *
RICHARD LAINHART - CRANES FLY WEST - LIMITED SCHIPHORST 2010 (CD by Ex Ovo) *
MAAA - DECAY AND DEMORALIZATION (CD by Mind Flare Media)
MAAAA - SAMPO DISTORTION (CD by 24919 Records)
CUSTODIAN - TOIL AND WASTE  (CD by Syzmic Records)
INHALANT - SAVE OUR SOULS (CD by Syzmic Records)
MORTUOR - I'M WAITING FOR YOU (CD by Syzmic Records)
Z'EV - AS/IF (LP by Sub Rosa)
AN ANTHOLOGY OF NOISE & ELECTRONIC MUSIC: A CHRONOLOGY 1957-2010 (2CD by Sub Rosa)
GIUSEPPE IELASI - AIX (LP by Minority Records)
OFFSTRINGS: INVENTIONS FOR GUITAR (LP compilation by Complacency Records)
ORGANUM - VALENTIN (7" by Equation)
THE GRANITE SHORE - FLOOD FOR FORTUNE (7" by Occultation)
JONATHAN READ - VOLTANS (CDR by Ephre Imprint) *
ERIK DE CORDIER - DYSHIM (CDR by Ephre Imprint) *
MUU FOR EARS 3 (CDR by MUU) *
STRONGLY IMPLODED - FREEFALL (CDR by Gruenrekorder) *
CRAIG VEAR - AUD RALPH ROAS'LE (CDR by Gruenrekorder) *
COMBUSTIONE ELIBERAZIONE - ARNIA (CDR by Infverno) *
WEAK SISTERS (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
HOLY FAMILY PARISH (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
MUTANT APE - BLACK DOG'T NORTH (cassette by Obscurex)
IBREATHEFUR/HE CAN JOG (cassette by Wolf Interval)
TARR - SHOULDER MOVEMENTS (cassette by Notice Recordings)
THE NORTH SEA - RELINQUISHED SPARKS (cassette by Notice Recordings)



PHAENON - HIS MASTER'S VOICE (CD by Malignant Records)
Szymon Tankiewicz, also known as Phaenon, we heard for the first time on the compilation 'Message From A Subatomic World' (see Vital Weekly 643) and 'His Master's Voice' is his second release. Its on Malignant Records, which means that it is good quality ambient music, section Isolationist, very dark. The album is inspired by a book by Stanislaw Lem, 'which is centered around the efforts by scientists to decode, translate and understand a series of extraterrestial transmissions'. Does this mean that Phaenon uses sounds from outer space? Or perhaps that at the very core of the music we find voice material? Its hard to say, and it probably doesn't matter. Its the music that counts. There is, as usual with this kind of music, a great deal of reverb on whatever the sound sources may be. I am known to be not the biggest lover of such large reverb treatments, but at the same time I understand that its necessary for this kind of music. It suggest space. That's it. And what a large, neh enormous space it is, infinite even, like space itself. While dark clouds pour out an immense summer rain, Phaenon plays the perfect soundtrack for such a thunderous end of the day. Maybe with four of those lengthy excursions are a bit long - who wants dark clouds and massive rain for this long - it is, in its genre, a great album. Four dark ambient Isolationist pieces, no doubt suitable to read that book by Lem. (FdW)
Address: http://www.malignantrecords.com

NADJA - AUTOPERGAMENE (CD by Essence Music)
DRAKH - BETHLEHEM (CD by Essence Music)
Although Nadja are usually lumped with anything called 'drone' music, I really don't think they are a drone band at all. A metal band: yes. A slow doom metal band, with perhaps drone influences, but the wall of sound approach is almost like Wagner in essence. Aidan Baker on various instruments, and Leah Buckareff on drums are aided by various players on double bass, violin and cello, and in three lengthy pieces they bang about. Its not the kind of music I like very much. Maybe because I never liked metal in the first place, I guess. I can see why its appealing for bands from the world of noise to cross-over to the world of metal music, since no doubt it has the most dedicated fans in the world, but perhaps also the most uncritical ones. Once a band is good, its hard to fall from grace. I have a somewhat more objective point of view on that. Since I am not a fan I can play this kind of music with some, positive, interest, and see what's good about it (since Nadja obviously is a great band, there is no doubt about that), but still they don't win me over with their music. Their symphony reminded me of Anton Bruckner and I heard that enough and too loud when I much younger.
No doubt entirely my mistake, but I never heard of Drakh. Its one Jonas Aneheim, who is also a member of MZ.412, Beyond Sensory Experience and Nordvagr, but also active on the solo front. I only vaguely remember MZ.412, but couldn't possibly say what it is about, let alone the others. This is an entirely different cup of tea than Nadja, and after that explosion, a most welcome come down kind of music. This is much more drone based than Nadja, this is more 'the real thing'. If I understand this right, this is a work of field recordings. Each track lists a country or place and some activity. Like the title track which says 'religion and steel: school bus going south on freeway 412' (that should be no coincidence, me thinks). Maybe he played some instruments while en route, or perhaps they were added later on. Slow drone music, crackles, glitches, waving piano tones, layered synth pieces, but it all remains quite open. Unlike say Phaenon reviewed elsewhere. Drakh keeps his reverb to a minimum, but yet knows how to create a similar sense of space. Quite dark altogether, with vast glaciers moving into hot deserts and back. Suppressed noise and decaying ambience. Now that's what I call drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.essence-music.com

NOSTALGIA - ECHOES FROM THE BORDERLAND (CD by Databloem)
Its been quiet for Matthias Grassow, at least from the corner I am in. But he's back here with an album with his 'band' Nostalgia. It started in 2000 with Grassow and Rždiger Gleisberg and later on Carsten Agthe became the third member. He plays percussion and didgeridoo. 'Echoes From The Borderland' is their fourth album. If you know Grassow's music, then you know where to place him: a long time voice in the world of ambient music, in more specific that area where it meets up with tribal influences, orchestral settings and even psychedelics and post rock. At least on this new one, as I must admit I don't think I heard the previous three records. Slow moving, immensely layered ambient music build around heavily processed guitars and a barrage of analogue synthesizers. Percussion is kept to a minimum, and has a more or less serving function. The didgeridoo is far away, if anywhere at all. Its not easy to say if it is present at all. Slow, meditative music, but also with a great darkness to it. An album of sad music me thinks. More autumn/winter music than for the bright summer, but perhaps also an album that works well when the hot day is over and dawn sets in. It ends with the Nadja inspired (although less 'metal') bang of 'Dartmoor' - an unsettling night is ahead. Scary spaciousness. (FdW)
Address: http://www.databloem.com

THOMAS ANKERSMIT - LIVE IN UTRECHT (CD by Ash International)
An odd thing just occurred to me: I may have met Thomas Ankersmit about ten years for the first time, when he walked into the shop I was working, asking me to buy records for the store from FMP, then, later on, telling me, he played saxophone and that it was pretty noisy. I asked him for some recordings, if he had any, with the idea to put them out on a CDR label I was involved with, and again later, off and on he inquired about playing a concert in a local venue I am a volunteer at, but I never actually caught his music, not on a release, not in concert. So, his 'Live In Utrecht', is the first time I hear his music. To his saxophone he added over the years a Serge analogue modular synthesizer, computer and 'pre-recorded saxophone and reel-to-reel parts composed by Valerio Tricoli, with source material by Ankersmit'. His Utrecht concert is in three parts (or least here on this CD). In each part he explores a minimal set of sounds, the beginning and end dominated by his saxophone playing, with a spiraling effect, maybe through the use of a loop device? In the first part there is also the crackling of vinyl, in the second high pitched sine wave like sounds float around more freely, and mingle with computerized crackles, while in the third piece the saxophone returns and sound like a bunch of bagpipes playing a very nice piece of drone music. I am not sure why exactly this concert had to be released, or why it would stand out from his other concerts, but its surely a very nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ashinternational.com

RICHARD LAINHART - CRANES FLY WEST - LIMITED SCHIPHORST 2010 (CD by Ex Ovo)
Earlier this month the Avant-Garde festival near Hamburg was held and among the performing acts was Richard Lainhart, who, for the occasion had a CD release of two works that will be released later this year on Ex Ovo, and two previous unreleased pieces, but yet a pro-pressed CD. There is believe in this composer from Ex Ovo, and why not? Lainhart is a master of drone music from the end of modern classical music. Playing a Steinway grand piano with nine e-bows, or the Kyma System on the electric guitar: these are the two principle ideas behind the four pieces on this CD. Lainhart works extensively with the overtones generated by these 'simple' actions. In 'A Sense Of Loss' he plays the keys of the grandpiano as well as with the e-bows. The latter provide a warm bed for those sparse notes to meander about in a soft and contemplative manner. The two piano pieces work best for me. The two guitar pieces are nice, but perhaps also a bit more standard in their ambient approach. These could be find on say a fine record by Hypnos or in the hands of Dirk Serries. In his piano pieces, Lainhart effectively bridges the world of ambient and drone with that of modern classical and serious minimal music. An excellent release for those who love the Experimental Intermedia label and especially Phill Niblock's work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.exovo.org

MAAA - DECAY AND DEMORALIZATION (CD by Mind Flare Media)
"ALL RIGHTS RESERVED UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION IS A VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LAWS"  (from the CD cover) Mind Flare media is a label which not only turns its back on the Lo-Fi DIY aesthetic of noise, its also a sign of the truth that capitalism more than an economic system is a mental disease which has infested, and infected humanity, in a more nihilistic than Marxist vein it's the general condition of humanity from which it might just be possible to discuss  what a cultural revolution entails. Anyway I suppose Merzbow et al. could, if this label makes a buck take them to court, but (un)fortunately the work here - which began promisingly is only (IMO (inserted by legal request?)) a poor pastiche of Harsh Noise and not the thing itself. A general processing, clangy reverb and feedback which is always controlled, except for some reason track 5 has a short section of sound of someone apparently having a wash (so it's the arty bit?) and the final track "Satan Edge" begins I think with a bit of  Aleister Crowley "Do what though wilt" - as an ex public school estate agent would say 'your ticking all the right boxes' - but if what thou wilt is to bootleg this disc* then you would I suppose need to get a good lawyer first. And that would be it if it were not for what might be YHWHs sense of humor, my copy made by www.ultraentertainment.com  'The nations low price leader!' had problems with playback on tracks 5/6.* so much so that when I did try to rip it I got a "could not read audio data" error- but that (to keep the lawyers happy) might be a fault with my player.  (jliat T.M.)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/mindflaremedia

MAAAA - SAMPO DISTORTION (CD by 24919 Records)
Noise as much before, but superb packaging, check out the web site, but then about 4 minutes in there's a punk track, followed by scrap metal working and a dog howling, general reverb and echoey space lasers. etc. etc.  MAAAA seem to be appropriating HN?.google translation "Maaaa produced a totally ruthless thing and in fact and by the sound. Mythical grinder Kalevala as a grand annihilator rises from the sea floor and grinds all of this ugly world of evil and progress. - Everything is falling apart, all in the house collapses and the here and now and then - once remarked to me a strange citizen. "Sampo Distortion" And she was right - "Sampo Distortion" comes to you. Almost by accident a few days crossed with Rombiksom, and he - has issued a new album Maaaa, which is 10 minutes earlier freshest came to him from the factory. That evening, listened attentively to his friends and still love it!  This a great noise in the right spirit of K2! And at the end of a good bus left us on board, but not gone - took off . Once again, convinced that Maaaa - a great group." Great they might be but it's the Wall, the wall is where its at man.(jliat)
Address: http://wingzz.livejournal.com/

CUSTODIAN - TOIL AND WASTE  (CD by Syzmic Records)
INHALANT - SAVE OUR SOULS (CD by Syzmic Records)
MORTUOR - I'M WAITING FOR YOU (CD by Syzmic Records)
Inhalant and Mortuor fall into or under the industrial noise genre, though not as harsh as maybe the label says, as the harshness is always a narrative. That's fine, cool, guys - hoodies with knives and titles like "dead love" "Skalpel Inzertion" . "little girl" or riot police and "death is laughing" "lick the dead", humanities obsession with death and sex is blazingly obvious, look at Catholism, and Islam for that matter, OK masked in ideas of "passion" and not the outright onticness  of tantric practice, always masked in a transcendentalism - i.e. heaven.  bucket loads of western art picks up these themes from Grunwald and before via Michelangelo's Dying Slave http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dying_slave_Louvre_MR_1590_n3.jpg through to the shower scene in psycho
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4  and both Inhalant and Mortuor
produce fine tracks which narrate this obsession or condition of humanity.. in bleak swathes of industrial noise processed incantations et al. But - (ok here it comes) the shift in art from the actual, i.e. the idol, totem, icon (is in itself holy) through to the representation of the other in the 20th C (as everyone knows) moved back towards the idea of the object in itself, its material not representing the other but being the other in its actual presence.  That is one of the key features of Noise, especially HN and more so HNW  that separates it from the narrative tradition of previous art. And that is a precise description of what separates the Custodian's Toil and Waste from the other two works here. An excellent example of HNW's purest aesthetic of reality as what is given and not refereed to. Ergo -  "Obviously I had major influence from artists like Ad Reinhardt, Richard Serra, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Long, George Trakas, Kasimir Malevich, etc. "-Sam McKinlay (Jliat)
Address: http://www.syzmicrecords.com/

Z'EV - AS/IF (LP by Sub Rosa)
AN ANTHOLOGY OF NOISE & ELECTRONIC MUSIC: A CHRONOLOGY 1957-2010 (2CD by Sub Rosa)
Its must be hardly a surprise, but I am a big fan of Z'EV, both the man and his work. Almost sixty years old now, and still going strong with his percussion and taped based music. He plays a variety of percussion based objects, but is perhaps best known as a man who plays metal and PVC objects. On this particular album, Z'EV dives in his archives and found two recordings, 'As' and 'If' from 1978 and 1982 respectively. He explores his objects in a musical a musical context. Its not that Z'EV bangs out a rhythm, like Neubauten or (the dreadful) Stomp, but explores the sonic qualities of his objects in a rhythmic context. Especially on 'If', things are pretty hypnotizing. The stainless steel and titanium rattle about, create immense overtones and make simply a great piece of music. 'As' is a more contemplative piece, working with spatial qualities of the sound and with silence in between. An excellent historical document.
Z'EV is also on the sixth volume of Sub Rosa's anthology of noise and electronic music. I don't think we reviewed them all, but its surely growing to be one of the best series of this kind. If you are a starter in this kind of music, then all six volumes are a must have, both to introduce you to well-known names as well as some that even the initiated- your humble reviewer - has never of. Like Israel Martinez, Ata Ebtekar, Rico Schwantes, Tzvi Avni, Julie Rousse, Else Marie Pade, Olivier Strummer & Liesl Ujvary or Manual Rocha Iturbide. Cleverly divided into various areas of interest, such as section of Japanese noise (Tetsuo Furudate, Kohei Gomi/Pain Jerk, Hijokaidan, Incapacitants, Torturing Nurse, Sachico M), musique concrete from the early days (Cowell, Raaymakers, Iturbide), rhythm 'n noise (Z'EV, Menche, Wiese, Schwantes, Rousse, Bird Palace/Christian Vogel) and noise related drone music (Piotrowicz, Avni, Pade, Duncan, O'Malley and Ilios). Again: an excellent overview. May this series last for a couple of more volumes! (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

GIUSEPPE IELASI - AIX (LP by Minority Records)
Earlier, in Vital Weekly 662, we reviewed the CD version of 'Aix', which is now released on Minority Records on vinyl and back then we wrote: "Back in Vital Weekly 632 we reviewed 'Stunt', the first 12" in a series of three by Giuseppe Ielasi. The next two 12"s we didn't see, so I don't know wether they were released. It might very well be the case that they weren't released, and that Ielasi uses the material here, as 'Aix' seems to be a continuation of the 'Stunt' 12". Again he uses small blocks of sound material, sampled from whatever source (acoustic objects, instruments, vinyl) and plays around with them. Nothing ever works out in a real groovy way, but that is exactly his point I think. But what he does works so wonderfully well. This sounds like the missing link between musique concrete and techno. Where the whole clicks 'n cuts movement tried to make beat oriented music with the residual sound material, 'Aix' is the true link. No residue material, but great warm sampled sounds, that make a groovy, even jazz like sound. Around that Ielasi waves warm small melodies. Nine pieces, all around three to four minutes (thus making the record the usual Ielasi length of around thirty minutes). A record that due time will be as important and ground breaking as the first SND releases, with whom Ielasi shares a similar interest: redefining dance music. Another highlight of the new year!" The LP version is not the highlight of this year, but surely a most welcome thing for object fetishists. (FdW)
Address: http://www.minorityrecords.com

OFFSTRINGS: INVENTIONS FOR GUITAR (LP compilation by Complacency Records)
Its been a while since we last had a new release on Complacency Records, primarily the label of Illusion Of Safety, but here is a compilation that deals with guitarists from the Chicago area. Five artists, of which two form a duo, Travis Bird and Daniel Burke (of Illusion Of Safety), while the other three are new to me: David Daniell, Mark Shippy and Michael Vallera. The guitar is still a machine to play music on, which can be basically anything, from nicely played string to abstract drone patterns. This album seems to be dealing with the latter. The three pieces on side, Bird/Burke (who have two pieces) and Vallera are both great examples of the guitar as a resonating box of sounds, and no doubt sound effects. The second of the two Bird/Burke pieces is a more improvised one and works a bit less but all together they are great pieces though. David Daniell opens up on side B and here it starts with the tinkling of guitars, which are gradually being pick up by various loop devices and the result is a desolate piece of music. Mark Shippy's piece uses also the same idea of tinkling guitars, but are drenched in reverb and is the weakest link on an otherwise fine compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.complacencyrecords.com/

ORGANUM - VALENTIN (7" by Equation)
Active for over 25 years in, it seems, a world of his own, this single marks David Jackman's first vinyl release in quite a few years. And what a release this is; pressed on super thick vinyl in a thick carton cover with an insert (marked "Unbekannte" - no idea what this is supposed to imply), this has the weight of a tank. There are two editions; one on black vinyl and one as a picture disc. The press statement announces that "David wishes the music to speak for itself and therefore prefers not to attempt the contents of the release". Fair point. We do grow tired of silly press statements with platitudes as "sounding like Superman grilled with Ozzy Ozbourne backwards on a gorgeous summer day". Even though it is tempting NOT to describe the sound on this single, I think I will give it a shot anyways as it is quite simple; the two sides are of equal length and share the same title. They also share the same sounds; breaking glass (?) and piano chords on a reverbed background. That's it. And quite good it is too and, when you play this at 33 rpm instead of the recommended 45 rpm, the music not only lasts longer, it also sounds even better! (FK)
Address: http://www.chronoglide.com/equation.html

THE GRANITE SHORE - FLOOD OF FORTUNE (7" by Occultation)
From The Granite Shore I reviewed a 10" before, also on Occultation, along with one with by The Wild Swans. The Granite Shore is from Devon, just as is the label and is distinctly 'rock' bands. The Granite Shore has here two new tracks, which were written and produced Nick Halliwell, the leader of this gang, with some nice string and brass arrangement (by Vaughan Jones and Probyb Gregory (of Brian Wilson fame). Their previous record was nice, but a bit perhaps too normally rock based. 'Flood Of Fortune' is also a rock piece, but what a great song it is. More seventies like with a grand orchestral string behind a suited singer - that's how I imagine this. Maybe even late sixties. Not quite the ol' blue eyes voice, but an excellent dramatic piece. The b-side, 'Highway Code' is even more dramatic, ballad like pop song, but not entirely slow. Here the instruments are more like a rock band playing, but the voice croons melancholically about something lost - I imagine. Reviewing lyrics is never something I was good at. Two absolutely great songs. What a single. (FdW)
Address: http://www.occultation.co.uk

JONATHAN READ - VOLTANS (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
ERIK DE CORDIER - DYSHIM (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
The name Jonathan Read seems new to me, but you never know… He is from South Eastern Australia and the cover nor the press text sheds any light as to what its is that he does here. I guess you want me to guess, so I'd say its most likely a whole bunch of field recordings being heavily processed inside the safe area of a computer and rendered beyond recognition. This is clear from the short piece '0', which follows the highly ambient opening, the lengthy 'Cybele 1598'. 'A Safe Landing', the third piece on this rather short release (both of this Ephre Imprint releases are announced as EPs), sounds like a recording inside a plane which is set to land, but in an absolute non-noise way. Maybe a zeppelin or balloon trip coming to a hold. Its actually quite a nice EP with some interesting variations to the well-known field recordings/drone/ambient era. Not much news however.
There is a lot more information on the cover of the Erik de Cordier (from Palermo, Italy). His six, rather short, pieces were recorded over a number of years in different locations (seaports by night, graveyards, desecrated churches, hypermarket parking by night, uninhabited buildings) and treated with various bits of electronics and software. It seems as if De Cordier's interest lies in ghostly activities, the EVP, it seems we hear subtle voices, obscure rattling of chains and silence becoming less silent here. In the area of field recordings also not on of those entirely new things, but it has a great ghostly, creepy atmosphere around it. One senses an amount of tension in these recordings, like a giant beast about to strike the listener when he lowers his guard. If that happens? Find out for yourself. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ephreimprint.eu

MUU FOR EARS 3 (CDR by MUU)
Hot on the heels of 'Muu For Ears 2' (see Vital Weekly 734) there is now the third volume in this series. As before the aim of Muu is "to develop the collaboration and interchange of artists working within different fields" and number three in the series is 'a colorful collection of different approaches to sounds and compositions, using varying rhythmic and repetitive elements'. Some of the names included are, happily as it is, recognized here, like Incite/, Helena Gough and Disinformation (of whom I didn't hear in a long time) and the rest seem all new to me. Disinformation has a nice piece, along the lines of Steve Reich's 'Come Out', but then on Osama and Obama, Incite/ have their dance oriented cut up madness, Gaia B's synthi doodling eludes me. Gough has a great piece of current day musique concrete, Jean-Marc Savic explores the noise end of guitar improvisation. Charlie Morrow reinterpretes the 'Turkish Rondo' by Mozart, which is funny and mostly not easy to recognize. Sinebag has a moody piece of cracks 'n guitars, Alice Evermore and Eavesdropper also moody electronics with spoken word and Sami Klemola a cut-up piece along the line of historical electronic music. Indeed a different approach for this compilation, maybe not all fitting together, but a nice introduction of new and established names. (FdW)
Address: http://muu.fi/sound

STRONGLY IMPLODED - FREEFALL (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
CRAIG VEAR - AUD RALPH ROAS'LE (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
Although the label Gruenrekorder is mostly known for their releases dealing with field recordings, here they also present another side of the coin. Strongly Imploded is a four piece improvisation group from Italy and has members from One Starving Day, Weltraum and A Spirale: F. Gregoretti (drums), M. Gabola (reeds), M. Argenziano (guitar) and SEC_ (synth and electronics). With their background in improvised music from a louder edge, its no surprise to know that also Strongly Imploded sees a similar combination of noise, improvised music and free jazz. They have seven tracks here, no doubt the result of a direct to tape playing, but perhaps with some edits. The reeds of Gabola add a sort of strange jazz feel to some of the pieces, while the others seem more interested in playing a loud as possible, banging away on their instruments. Its music that leaves the listener quite tired after forty one minutes, and although I thought this was on of the better releases I heard from this particular circle of collaborators, I also think this is definitely the kind of music that is best enjoyed when heard live.
But there is also field recordings, as represented by Craig Vear, of whom I never heard, who worked for the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences in Hull. The purpose of his fellowship was twofold "to explore new technology and field recordings as the sound source for composition; and to interpret the research areas/communities of CEMS through music and acoustic ecology". Six pieces of these aquatic recordings, and although the website of Gruenrekorder says Vear works with computer technology, I think that these six pieces simply work with pure and untreated sounds from nature. Washes of sound and wind, blowing straight into the microphone, but they are quite different pieces. 'Spurn Head' is almost like a noise piece - that loud - but 'River Esk Frozen' is, on the hand, a water piece and some branches near the shore. A plane comes over in 'Filey Brigg' and bird calls in 'Grosmont'. Cut from reality, but presented as a composition and I must say this works quite well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

COMBUSTIONE ELIBERAZIONE - ARNIA (CDR by Infverno)
Why, oh why, I asked myself. The sleeve has noted 'combustione eliberazione', 'arnia', 'infverno 09' and 'orgn#01' and nothing else. Just what is the point of such a low presentation? Should I think: wow this looks obscure, so it must be great. Or go to google and try and find this? I didn't. If you don't bother, why should I? Oh, doesn't Vital say something, somewhere like this: "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". So I didn't throw this away. Why not? That question I asked myself also. Maybe its the somewhat slow summer days. The music is harsh noise, thirty-two minutes of it. Like the cover all without too much idea. Hardly worth hearing. But a negative review in this scene is no doubt a recommendation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.google.com

WEAK SISTERS (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
HOLY FAMILY PARISH (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
The first of these two new Throne Heap tapes is by Weak Sisters, who are described by the label as 'contemporary style harsh noise', which for a moment, I assumed to be some sort harsh noise mixed musique concrete - the latter counting then as 'contemporary'. But perhaps the word 'contemporary' just means whatever is 'today', and I think Weak Sisters are nothing else than some good old fashioned harsh noise combo. Just as contemporary as Ramleh would be, if they do their 1983 music in these days. Since I compare it Ramleh, a particular favorite of mine from the old days, so that means I have sympathy for Weak Sisters as well. Although this type of harsh noise is no longer a regular favorite, from time to time I quite like it.
The description for Holy Family Parish also sounds pretty interesting: 'Americana Goth' from Matt Franco, also a member of Air Conditioning and American Band. The label website 'I can't quite put my finger on this... PERFECT', which is almost agreed on here. I am not sure if this is 'perfect', though it is pretty good, its indeed something that is not easy to pin down. I sense some improvised guitar doodling in all seven tracks, which only in 'Vocation' tends to be on the soft side, and one wished there would be more of that. The other six pieces are drenched in sound effects (reverb, delay and such like), and are a bit distorted in their recording. The desolation of Americana is certainly in there, but in an odd and twisted way. I am not sure about the goth part of it however and though 'perfect' is something not given lightly, this is actually quite a nice release indeed. Perfect for a cassette release on one of the nicer labels. (FdW)
Address: http://www.throneheap.com

MUTANT APE - BLACK DOG'T NORTH (cassette by Obscurex)
In previous centuries the North of England was haunted by a ghost hound named Skriker, which inspired Mutant Ape to do a concept album about. The a-side of this tape shows the classic Mutant Ape sound as a noise band. Three lengthy slabs of harsh power noise, which somehow I always find better on tape than on CD - I have no idea why this is, other than perhaps it sounds so retro. Its however the b-side that is much more interesting. Here we find Mutant Ape in a more 'contemplative' mood, if such a word exists for a noise band. They don't tone down but everything is a bit milder and here we have more the impression of a ghost hound being haunted through the woods. The soundtrack of the search for a ghost, outside, with the rattling of chains, and the hound escaping. More a menace than the noise onslaught on the other side, me thinks. Quite a nice tape altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://www.obscurex.org

IBREATHEFUR/HE CAN JOG (cassette by Wolf Interval)
Luv Sound is a label from Milwaukee and they started a sub-division called Wolf Interval. The first release is a split tape by ibreatheFUR (to use the proper 'spelling'), which is Chris Spearman from the UK and on the other side we find Erik Schoster from Milwaukee (perhaps the man from the label?), who works as He Can Jog, and we known from various compilations. Spearman's interest is within the drone music, it seems, from a bunch of cheap organs (type bontempi, me thinks) and some sound effects. There is a slight distortion through these pieces, which makes the edges a bit raw, and I somehow don't think it fits the music very well. That's a pity, since these six pieces have a nice lo-fi drone edge to them. He Can Jog has four tracks on the other side of obscured electronic music. The first piece is multi-layered voice hum, while in the other pieces I seem to detect a piano, a synth, a sparse rhythm machine and some effects. The recordings are better, except '1981', which sounds like a recording from that year. These pieces are better, nicer and also from a lo-fi perspective. The He Can Jog side is the best out of two, but throughout these two releases fit together quite well. (FdW)
Address: http://wolf.luvsound.org

TARR - SHOULDER MOVEMENTS (cassette by Notice Recordings)
THE NORTH SEA - RELINQUISHED SPARKS (cassette by Notice Recordings)
Two new releases on Notice Recordings from Chicago, of which Travis Bird is one half, and whom we just heard on the 'Offstrings' compilation. The first new release is by T”rr, also known as Philip Kruse, 'owner of OMS-B', whatever that is. His cassette is just over twenty minutes and its an odd electronic one. Some parts only seem exist on one channel, and then on the other. Its hard to say what it is that he uses here, instrument wise. It might be pure electronics, but also some sort of laptop doodling, which I don't know. The outcome, quite abstract electronics, which fail to be ambient, drone or noise, but rather cleverly seem to combine every aspect of those interests. Maybe a cruder form of Hafler Trio, I was thinking, but that's never a bad thing. Very nice.
Behind The North Sea is Brad Rose of Digitalis Industries, and we heard his music before. His drone music is of a more upright nature. Organ like drones, augmented by the extensive use of sound effects, that form a thick mass of sound. Maybe like a church organ being recorded from outside the church, amplified and blown up. The track on the b-side, 'Tiny, Perfect Tears' is a more silent piece, which I suspect is recorded using a guitar, sound effects and heavily controlled feedback. An entirely different piece of music than 'Breathing In Your Breathing Out', which is a nice thing, it makes a perfect pair of pieces. Both releases are fine examples that cassettes still hold some great lo-fi music. (FdW)
Address: Address: http://noticerecordings.blogspot.com



<<<