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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 741
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week 31
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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

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

http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xml





NICKOLAS MOHANNA - TRANSMISSION HUE (CD by Low Point) *
VISIONS - SUMMONING THE VOID (CD by Cyclic Law)
SVARTSINN - ELEGIES FOR THE END (2CD by Cyclic Law)
KARJALAN SISSIT - FUCKING WHORE SOCIETY (CD by Cyclic Law)
ARCANA - THE FIRST ERA (4CD Box Set by Cyclic Law)
EUGENE HARRINGTON - THE LIFE OF (CD by Noecho) *
IVAN CKONJEVIC - BARDO.VERTEP (CD by Noecho) *
PQ - YOU'LL NEVER FIND US HERE (CD by Expanding Records) *
QUENTIN SIRJACQ - LA CHAMBRE CLAIRE (CD by Brocoli) *
GOLDMUND - FAMOUS PLACES (CD by Western Vinyl) *
ROBERTO FABBRICIANI & ROBIN HAYWARD - NELLA BASILICA (CD by Another Timbre) *
ANGHARAD DAVIES & AXEL DORNER - A.D. (CD by Another Timbre) *
CARL LUDWIG HUBSCH & CHRISTOPH SCHILLER (CD by Another Timbre) *
MATHIAS FORGE & OLIVIER TOULEMONDE (CD by Another Timbre) *
AXEL DORNER & DIEGO CHAMY - SUPER AXEL DORNER (CD by Absinth Records) *
EN/Q./AHAD - PAW MUSIC (CD by Ronda) *
KARL BOSMANN - EUPHORIA MITTE (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
@C - 0-100 (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
XXXIII CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE DI MUSICA ELETTROACUSTICA E RUMORE (CD compilation by Monochrome Vision)
THE OVAL LANGUAGE - TAPES SINGLES AND REMIXES (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
OCCHIO QUARTET - MOMENTE 2 (CD by Seven Legged Spiders & co)
ERLING WOLD - MORDAKE (CD by Minmax Music)
JERPH JERMAN & DOUG THERIAULT - TATHATA (CD by Nitkie) *
KINETIX/PYLONE - SONOLOGY (CD by Sound On Probation)
MARCIA BASSETT & MARGARIDA GARCIA - THE WELL (LP by Headlights)
JAMES WHITEHEAD - JLIAT: THE STILL LIFE SERIES (booklet & CDR by Jliat) *
JLIAT - POUNDLAND (businesscard CDR by Jliat)
HENRY KUNTZ - IINFIINIITY (CDR by Humming Bird)
TAINTED CORROSIVE MIST - PARALLELDIMENSION (CDR by Tosom) *
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF & DRONAEMENT - HERMIT HAVEN (CDR by Tosom)
NOT HALF - CONTINUUM (CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings) *
NOT HALF - 2010 RSD (CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings)
NOT HALF - THE VIGILANCE (3"CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings)
VERTONEN - ETAOIN SHRDLU (3"CDR by CIP) *
TAPAJAWA - CRITICAL MAGIC (cassette by Beam Ends) *
RUST WORSHIP - HERE/ELSEWHERE (cassette by Cryptic Carousel)
NODOLBY (cassette by Obsolete Units)
BEN MILLER/DEGENERATION - POLAR SHIFTS (cassette by Obsolete Units)




NICKOLAS MOHANNA - TRANSMISSION HUE (CD by Low Point)
Previously Nicoklas Mohanna worked as Vakhchav, and had releases on such labels as Abandon Ship, Blackest Rainbow and Small Doses. 'Transmission Hue' is the first release under his own name and he uses guitar, modular analogue synthesis and electronics. Like many more of the releases on Low Point, Mohanna too works within the world of drone music. His music sounds a bit more computer based than is usual in this world, and never is really quiet. It also has an odd 'bouncing' element to it, which makes this a bit krautrock like, but without any real rhythms. A hypnotic pattern of sounds rolls on and on, like train without a brake. 'Thin Ice' has percussive sounds, but then doesn't feel like a rhythm. Odd. There is a lot of mid-range sounds on this CD, which is a pity, since it could have had a bit more depth. Otherwise, however, the drones on these five pieces work quite nicely. On a quiet summer day, like today, sitting back in an easy chair, I had this on repeat for a whole afternoon - a luxury which I can't always afford - and I was never bored. Objectively speaking, also not utterly convinced about the strongness of the release, but as they say: well entertaining. (FdW)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

VISIONS - SUMMONING THE VOID (CD by Cyclic Law)
SVARTSINN - ELEGIES FOR THE END (2CD by Cyclic Law)
KARJALAN SISSIT - FUCKING WHORE SOCIETY (CD by Cyclic Law)
ARCANA - THE FIRST ERA (4CD Box Set by Cyclic Law)
Despite the decreasing sale of music on the CD-media, it is excellent to realize that some labels still do a great job when it comes to the cover artwork. Cyclic Law is a very good example with four new beautifully packaged CD-releases. Cyclic Law is a Canadian Record label dedicated to promoting international acts working in the fields of ambient / experimental / electroacoustic / industrial / neo Classical and folk. Four new albums from the label has seen the light of the day. First album comes from an artist known as Visions. Behind the project, you find Canadian drone artist Frederic Arbour who had his debut album "Lapse" launched on Cyclic Law back in 2005. On this follow-up a half decade later, Visions offers an even deeper sonic album with more spacious expressions. "Summoning the void" opens and ends with grandiose pieces of musical beauty and warmth, in-between the listener are sent into obscure and sinister soundscapes not too far away from Lustmord and Inade. The compositions are multi-layered drone-pieces that spans from dark and nihilistic to solemn and melancholic. Creepy and very intense album indeed. Next project comes from Norway. Behind the Svartsinn-project you find Norwegian sound artist Jan Roger Pettersen who has already released three full-lengths and contributed in a number of interesting audio as well as video compilations. That the artist also has been used as part of horror movie-soundtracks isn't such a big surprise as you listen to this latest Svartsinn-album titled "Elegies for the end". As was the case with Vision's aforementioned album, present album from Svartsinn is sheer darkness and melancholy. Svartsinn combines buzzing drones with orchestral ambience with an impressive and grandiose result. Nicely packaged double-disc album that expressively reminds of early Robert Rich, circa the period of "Trances and drones". Where the two aforementioned album partly sticked to the warm and melancholic expressions next album reviewed goes quite some other way. The cover itself says everything. A double sized CD-artwork in the shape of a multipaged book, presenting a series of pictorial depravity and blackness. The music sticks to the world of ambience but in comparison to  the more deep ambient-focused albums mentioned before, this album titled "Fucking whore society" from Finnish artist Karjalan Sissit points towards the Industrial territories included some elements of martial expressions. There is a horrific and almost claustrophobic atmosphere with a blend of creepy ambient textures and samples of madman and victims being part of the sound picture. Interesting yet quite uncomfortable listen here. Last album reviewed here, is much more gentle in its sonic textures. What we are dealing with here, is a four disc box-set launched from legendary swedish project Arcana. The brain behind Arcana is Peter Bj”rg–, who launched his debut album "Dark age of reason" back in 1996 on Swedish label Cold Meat Industry. Since then three more albums was released in the period of 1997-2002: "Cantar De Procella" (1997), "The Last Embrace" (2000) and "Inner Pale Sun" (2002) . All four albums have been collected in this impressive cardboard-box-set together with a 40-page booklet. Only similarity to the ambient-focused albums of before is the complete lack of rhythmic textures on all four Arcana-albums. Arcana takes its compositional starting point in neo-classical meets neo-folk combined with beautiful female voices resulting in a almost heavenly middle-age atmosphere on the entire . Even if neo-folk or classical is not your usual lane of music, this release from Arcana is worth giving a chance. I was definitely taken by this box... (NM)
Address: http://www.cycliclaw.com/

EUGENE HARRINGTON - THE LIFE OF (CD by Noecho)
IVAN CKONJEVIC - BARDO.VERTEP (CD by Noecho)
Here in Nijmegen this week there is the famous four days march, but for non-walkers its a week of part-time, with perhaps twenty different stages throughout the city, with various concerts on one evening. I guess like most festivals - how would I know? - a giant supermarket and you can pick what you like. But more and more I conclude I heard it all. Everything is like something from the past. I should not complain about getting old(er), I know, but its not easy. All of this I am contemplating while listening to the CD 'The Life Of Eugene Harrington', born as the shop owner of keyboard repair. Now he would not be a stranger on some of the smaller stages at our festivals. What does that mean? That I don't like this? Well, no, actually I do. Harrington plays instrumental songs on keyboards, which are inspired by funk and jazz, with a groovy rhythm machine. Not bad at all, but I wonder if this is really Vital Weekly material. The laidback grooves, funky, jazzy tunes sound relaxing and makes the perfect soundtrack for either preparing to go out or to chill out when returning. I am doing the first now, so I am already enjoying myself.
On the same label, but arriving a few days later is the CD by one Ivan Ckonjevic, who is from Serbia. He plays some entirely different kind of music than Harrington. Using guitar, effects, loop devices and violine box/e-bow, he creates highly ambient music. Music that is best enjoyed as chill out music, to stay in the party-like terms of Harrington. When you return home, or when you wake up after a long, sweaty, night of all sorts of hedonistic pleasure, you can play these four pieces of relaxing, slow guitar music. But, then also, you might also want to hear basically another record from the genre of ambient music. Ckonjevic's music doesn't particularly stand out from what we already heard in the corner of guitar players, loop stations and effects. Its not bad music, its not great, its nicely produced, and it served its purpose (in my case: waking up after a normal night)(FdW)
Address: http://www.noechorecords.com

PQ - YOU'LL NEVER FIND US HERE (CD by Expanding Records)
QUENTIN SIRJACQ - LA CHAMBRE CLAIRE (CD by Brocoli)
GOLDMUND - FAMOUS PLACES (CD by Western Vinyl)
A trio of modern classical music, on three different labels. From Bruges, Belgium, a duo by the name of pq (no doubt without meaning, but its great to make a visual tag from it, although not on this cover), being Samir Bekaert and Maarten Vanderwalle. They had a 7" on Expanding Records before, and 'You'll Never Find Us Here' is their debut album. You should expect rhythms here, being on Expanding Records, but such is hardly the case here (until 'In Praise', the eleventh piece and in the closing 'Hold Me'). There is a nice small photograph inside the CD cover, where the two sit in a field with acoustic guitars and no doubt they use a fair bit of electronics, the whole album breathes acoustica. Guitars tinkle nicely away in their highly minimal mood. Composition wise I was at times reminded of Soft Verdict, in their earliest phase (like short versions of 'Maximizing The Audience'), but there is also post rock influences and folktronic, as well as say Durutti Column. Each of the thirteen pieces could easily serve as a soundtrack to a short film with lots of wide, open shots from nature scenes. Excellent mood music here. Relaxing, cinematic and throughout excellent music.
Although I hate to do so, thinking that each release should get its own space, the release by Quentin Sirjacq, which I played right after pq, fits to be reviewed along with pq. Sirjacq started to learn classical piano, was a devotee of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane and therefore studied jazz and improvisation. One could expect a jazz release, but his debut album 'La Chambre Claire' has little to do with jazz music. Its an album where the piano is the dominant instrument. A few tracks have some other instruments, like violin, violincello, vibraphone, guitar and sparse electronic treatments, the piano is the leading instrument. Here too, the influence of Soft Verdict is to be noted, except here a little bit later, when Soft Verdict became Wim Mertens. Also other known piano players drop by, such as Robert Haigh (although Sirjacq plays usually a bit faster), Micheal Nyman or Harold Budd, all with that Satie-like touch. Music that is full of melody and melancholy, this is highly romantic music. Not like the more strict minimalism of Glass, Reich or Palestine, but very European, full of meaning, symbols and, who knows, even a romantic touch. Perfect sunday afternoon music, with a glass of white wine and fine poetry. Sirjacq sometimes comes close to the edge of kitschy music, but avoids the trap.
And from Sirjacq to Goldmund is a small step, smaller than with pq to Sirjacq, since its all about the piano. He has made a couple of releases and this is his second release on Western Vinyl. Keith Kenniff is behind that moniker and his previous release on Western Vinyl was 'Two Point Discrimination' in which he recorded the piano with various microphones, close to hammers, pedals and the keys. An interesting approach, I'd say, but that seems to be gone on this new release. Maybe there is a bit of electronics at work here, but Kenniff plays some highly reflective piano music. Moody, atmospheric, silent and usually slow. Very much like Sirjacq but then just piano. Again the names of Haigh, Budd, Eno and Satie spring to mind here, more than Nyman and Reich. Goldmund too borders closely on the edge of new age, but firmly stays away from such notions. An excellent CD, neh an excellent modern trio. If you used to like such music on Les Disques Du Crepuscule, then these should appeal to you too.
(FdW)
Address: http://www.expandingrecords.com
Address: http://www.brocoli.org
Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

ROBERTO FABBRICIANI & ROBIN HAYWARD - NELLA BASILICA (CD by Another Timbre)
ANGHARAD DAVIES & AXEL DORNER - A.D. (CD by Another Timbre)
CARL LUDWIG HUBSCH & CHRISTOPH SCHILLER (CD by Another Timbre)
MATHIAS FORGE & OLIVIER TOULEMONDE (CD by Another Timbre)
Four releases on the Another Timbre label and as a series its called Duos With Brass, as all four releases deal with brass instruments in combination with another instruments. On the first two wind instruments even. Robin Hayward plays microtonal tuba (which has a microtonal valve system) and, the apparently well-known Roberto Fabbruciani plays bass flutes - bass, contrabass and hyerbass - the latter being over twelve meters of tubing. As you can imagine with such instruments things go pretty low here. I wasn't looking at the CD player when playing this, but it seems, oddly enough more like one track than five separate ones. A work of immense deepness, with just a bare minimum of sound information and a maximum of empty space. That seems like easy going music, but it isn't. This is one for your absolute full attention, but then it will be to your full satisfaction. This is a great start of the series.
The trumpet always sounds well in the hands of Axel D–rner, who teams up with Angharad Davies, who plays violin. This is a more 'traditional' improvisation disc, if such a thing exists in the world of Another Timbre. Probably not. But here, at times, we recognize the instruments. The soft scraping of the violin, the trumpet sounds like one, but then, that's only on a few instances. By and large however, these instruments sounds like anything but a violin and trumpet. Especially D–rner is a key player in this corner of the improvisation world and knows how to create the most unlikely sounds from his trumpet - white static noise at times. And all of that without any type of electronic processing. This is also a great disc, also one that requires ones full attention, as at times things move beyond the threshold of hearing. Excellent, concentrated music.
The press blurb writes that Carl-Ludwig Hubsch and Christoph Schiller are relatively unknown players in the field of improvised music, but Hubsch I saw a couple of times in Extrapool. Like Hayward he plays the tuba and Schiller plays the spinet. Now that's an unlikely instrument in the world of improvisation. A delicate instrument meeting the elephant of the brass section (in Hubsch's own words). The spinet here is used as a box that generates sounds, many sounds. The strings, the box, the keys, it all makes sound. The tuba too, of course, blowing the lower range of sounds. Again two instruments that are used as objects, but what's interesting here is that, while it sounds like improvised music, it also sounds like electronic music, or perhaps even more closely like musique concrete, and that also without the aid of any electronics. Here too, silence plays an important role, making another play of silence versus non-silence, but its also the one that has the widest possibilities: improvisation, both old and new, electro-acoustic and composed music meet up. A free release, in several ways.
I don't think I heard of Mathias Forge before, but he plays trombone here on this release. He teams up with Olivier Toulemonde, who plays a variety of acoustic objects. This is the one where we probably regret there is no video registration, since it would be great to see what this would look like. Toulemonde skipped the electronics of his earlier work, and just uses amplification in what is a great, refined work of silent music. At times its difficult to recognize who is doing what here, but throughout the trombone is to be spotted well. A fine blend of the electro-acoustic music and improvisation, again with some emphasis on 'silence as an instrument'. Maybe its the fatigue after three of those releases (such is the bad luck of a reviewer), that this one may seem a bit lesser than the other three. No doubt that would have been different when played in another order. Four fine duo's! (FdW)
Address: http://www.anothertimbre.com

AXEL DORNER & DIEGO CHAMY - SUPER AXEL DORNER (CD by Absinth Records)
More music by Axel Dorner (see also elsewhere), who teams up here with Diego Chamy, who plays percussion, spoken word and dance (?). Two pieces here, from April and September 2006, and this is an even more radical record than the one on Another Timbre. This is all very silent music, at long intervals it seems as if nothing is happening, such as in the second part of the second piece. Maybe its because I am tired, right now, that I have great trouble letting this sink in. Its just too quiet for me and too hard to concentrate on I guess. Maybe this is not the time for such a release to review, but the strange thing is that it seemed to happen every time I played it. Silence gone too far, for now. (FdW)
Address: http://www.absinthrecords.com

EN/Q./AHAD - PAW MUSIC (CD by Ronda)
A trio of improvisers. One is France, Quentin Rollet, a.k.a. Q., on alto saxophone, microphone, feedback and voice, and the other two from Budapest: Pal Toth, a.k.a. En on electronic devices, objects, contact microphones and voice and Zsolt Sores, a.k.a. Ahad, on viola, analogue synthesizer, objects, contact microphones, feedback and voice. All three have an extensive background in the world of improvised music, especially Q. and Ahad, but they manage to capture here something that is pretty interesting and side stepping the various genres inside the field of improvisation. The contribution of Q. on the alto saxophone is throughout the most 'standard' thing around here, which is not bad as it adds a certain curious free improvisation to it. But at other times he is on par with the other two, who play a great electronic set of sounds. En's solo work came close to microsound, an interest he brings on board here too. Stretched out field of drone like sounds, piercing sine waves and feedback along with the scraping of violins and pre-taped sounds (field recordings maybe?) make a great set of improvised pieces. A wild combination of pure improvisation and what seems to me composed layers in the background. The closest it comes to resembling something else, I think, is Morphogenesis, although this trio have a more lively dynamics.
From the extreme soft to the brutal loud, they
move more freely around in abusing their instruments. A highly dynamic force, this trio. Excellent stuff and I'm told there is more to come. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ronda-label.com

KARL BOSMANN - EUPHORIA MITTE (CD by Monochrome Vision)
@C - 0-100 (CD by Monochrome Vision)
XXXIII CONCORSO INTERNAZIONALE DI MUSICA ELETTROACUSTICA E RUMORE (CD compilation by Monochrome Vision)
THE OVAL LANGUAGE - TAPES SINGLES AND REMIXES (CD by Monochrome Vision)
Russia's Monochrome Vision have a catalogue of 'old' artists, with sometimes 'old' releases - the 'big' names from the 80s industrial scene. With this new bunch that seems to be changing. Karl Bosmann may be born in 1965, yet we perceive him as a current artist (unless I missed out on him in the 80s). He has had a couple of releases on Tosom, Verato and Youdonthavetocallitmusic - but this new one might very well be his first real compact disc (but no doubt I am wrong). Its not easy to describe Bosmann's music, other than the always vague sounding 'experimental electronics'. I suspect him, positively of course, to be a man who works with analogue machines. Reel-to-reel loops, some analogue synth and a microphone to tape a few sounds with, which are then manipulated on the reels. The music is a varied bunch of sounds. At times piercing, loud, sine wave like sounds, but also, at other times, cut straight from the world of musique concrete. References mentioned and agreed upon include Nurse With Wound, AMM, Aube and Organum - although the latter perhaps also the least shown influence. The two longest tracks could have been half their size making the album somewhat long.
The Portuguese duo @C have been around for a decade, which isn't that young, but not that old. Many of their works were reviewed in Vital Weekly. The laptops of Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais are always on the fringe of burning down - that active. The work here is another one that deals with a live context. Shaped over a period of two years, and presented, in concert, as four channel mixes. The music is as before: improvised on a bunch of laptops (no doubt more than two!) playing a vivid mixture of electro-acoustic music, musique concrete and modern electronic music. Maybe here too things are a bit long and I thought things could have been a bit more shaped up. Maybe a track or two too long, but otherwise entirely up the fine standard of @C.
It seemed odd, at first, that Monochrome Vision would release the compilation that deals with the 32th competition of the Luigi Russolo prize. A competition dedicated to the 'art of noise' manifesto from Russolo (1913) and for compositions from composers under thirty-five. But I spotted among the jury Bernard-Donzel Gargand, Phillippe Blanchard and Pierre Jolivet, all of which were released on Monochrome Vision's, whose head honcho Dmitry Vasilyev was also a member of the jury (along with Victor Nubla to be precise). It opens up with the prize winner - Yota Kobayashi - and then the other winners. They all play fairly nice pieces of acousmatic music, but nothing really blew me away. On the disc we find other pieces which also 'received votes', which show a less rigid type of acousmatic music, moving out of the compositional rules. Lots of field recordings here and in general more adventurous music. But then, what do I know: I wasn't a member of the jury!
Leaves us with The Oval Language, the link the old. They were formed in 1987 by Klaus-Peter John and Frank Berendt in then Eastern Germany. There have been only a small number of releases, cassettes, three CDRs and 10". On this CD you'll find some pieces from old tapes and some remixes of that by Guido Hubner, also known as Das Synthetische Mischgwebe. I must admit I am not blown away by the music of The Oval Language. They create a very noisy type of musique concrete, by banging on objects, or perhaps breaking them, and some shouting. Its just too primitive for my taste. The remixes created by Hubner also didn't do much for me. He too stays in familiar noise patterns which were already heard by the tracks of The Oval Language themselves. Not convinced that everything from the past should have a place in the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.ru

OCCHIO QUARTET - MOMENTE 2 (CD by Seven Legged Spiders & co)
A few years ago the Seven Legged Spiders & Co-label surprised with the release of a solo record by Limpe Fuchs, called "Pianobody 2002". Limpe Fuchs is one of those veterans of the krautrock scene (Anima), who are still in business. The label returns now with its second release, featuring once again Limpe Fuchs. "Momente 2' is a live recording dating from 2008 by the Occhio Quartet, being: Zoro Babel (drums), Limpe Fuchs (percussion, violine), Elmar Guantes (bass) and Hans Wolf (piano). We are offered three pieces, all about 15 minutes. The players treat us on some very free and inspired improvisations. Can't tell you much about this group. Zoro Babel grew up with the music of his parents Paul and Limpe Fuchs. No wonder you can find him on some releases of Anima. I know also of a record by Markus Stockhausen he participated on. But I don't know much of his other musical whereabouts. Even less I know of Guantes and Wolf. As a quartet I suppose they spent already some time together, as their improvisations speak with a clear and distinguished voice. All members take equally part in their explorations, especially the three gentlemen. Very fresh and pronounced improvisations. The first one "11.02 bis 11.17" comes most close to jazz idiom, with exuberant playing by Babel. The second one "12.04 bis 12.28" starts with a great percussive intro by Babel and Fuchs and bass player Guantes. The piano of Wolf is dominant throughout, with classical touches especially near the end. In the third improvisation they calm down, and concentrate on small motives and simple sounds, leaving room for silence. All pieces prove that this quartet is able to really communicate through a musically interesting process. (DM)
Address: http://www.sevenleggedspiders.co.uk

ERLING WOLD - MORDAKE (CD by Minmax Music)
It never worked between opera and me. I never felled absorbed in the narrative or in the musical form. It is a way of combining text, music and drama, that never appealed to me. As "Mordake" is an opera, I maybe not the right person to review this one. So I will be very descriptive on this one. And as a serious reviewer I will surely do my best to listen with open ears. In the case of "Mordake", we are dealing with a new opera by american composer Erling Wold. From his website I conclude he has an impressive output, starting in the 80s. He has been hailed as "the Eric Satie of Berkeley surrealist/minimalist electro-art rock" by the Village Voice. The opera "tells the story of young Edvard Mordake, a man of high birth, secreted away in his apartments due to his disfigurement: a woman‚s face on the back of his head, whose constant imprecations, heard by him alone, lead him on a terrifying course of action, one that may result in his own destruction." The libretto is written by Douglas Kearney, and sung by John Duykers, a tenor with an international reputation. The music is performed by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra cofounded by Wold. Additional sounds come from Thom Blum. Voices and orchestra are organically and intelligently mixed with sounds of electronic origin. The melodic lines, the typical operatic 'sprechgesang', did not attract my attention and seem very common to me. Wold knows however how to orchestrate and how to paint with sounds. For sure he does a very professional job with this opera that is closely related to the aesthetics of popular music: Philip Glass, Nyman, Fibonaccis, Simpletones. (DM)
Address: http://www.minmaxmusic.com/

JERPH JERMAN & DOUG THERIAULT - TATHATA (CD by Nitkie)
A disc of improvisation, but one of a more special kind. Its not Doug Theriault, who plays guitar and electronics here, but Jeph Jerman who does something special. Jerman we best know as the man from Hands To, but in recent years he has turned to a player of stones, metals, sticks, leaves and such like. Usually in a highly acoustic style, which is what he does here too, but then as a set of percussion. Obviously not as a set of drums, but like all good improvising drummers as generators of sound. On 'Tathata' (which is sanskrit meaning of 'thusness' or 'suchness' and expresses 'appreciation of the true nature of reality in any given moment') there are three lengthy pieces of improvisation, all recorded on February 19, 2010. Careful playing of objects and strings, little bits of electronics dropping in and out and providing a with a lengthy, ongoing mass of sound. With a total length of around fifty-six minutes, this is a bit on the long side, I think. It hoovers closely on the fringe of being audible for a lot of time, which no doubt requires a long and intense, concentrated effort to listen. Now that is of course is not a bad thing, but perhaps a bit in contradiction with what the musicians call 'setting free your mind and clear it from any predominant thoughts'. That is perhaps a bit hard for a reviewer, whom we require to listen and analyze the music. Having said that, I actually do like the music. More as a rational thing to listen to, but rather something to play and leave playing for a while. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nitkie.ru

KINETIX/PYLONE - SONOLOGY (CD by Sound On Probation)
A split CD here with two lengthy pieces by Gianluca Becuzzi, also known Kinetix and Laurent Perrier, known as Pylone (for his more composed electronic music, absent of rhythm, unlike various other incarnations by him). For their split album they choose the common theme of Sonology, which Wikipedia calls "a neologism used to describe the study of sound". That is exactly what is happening here: a study of sounds. Acoustic sounds, electronic sounds, digital sounds and those three words also can also be followed by the word 'processing'. Becuzzi has two pieces, each exactly twenty minutes, which are absolutely fine explorations of all things electronic: ambient, microsound, electro-acoustic sounds. A fine collage of sound and at times reminding me of the older works of Jos Smolders, especially when voices were used.
Pylone has four tracks, a bit shorter in total, and his pieces seem throughout a bit more straight forward electronic pieces, and some employ also a sequence of sounds, which may go down as 'rhythm' to some. Pylone works in many respects a lot more simpler than Kinetix, with repeating loops of sounds, but by and large within the same musical field of microsound and electronic music. Both use extended laptop techniques in their search for sounds and use the machine to create music out of these sounds. To be honest I don't think that either does something that I never heard before, not in the traditional acousmatic world, but also not in the world of Vital Weekly, which seems to be their natural background, but then that's probably a difficult task and not their primary concern. They do play however some rather nice music, and that's all that counts. (FdW)
Address: http://www.soundonprobation.com

MARCIA BASSETT & MARGARIDA GARCIA - THE WELL (LP by Headlights)
It was hard to find an address for the label Headlights, but I learned on my journey to netland that Marcia Bassett was a memberDouble Leopards, GHQ, Hototogisu, The Purple Haze, Shackamaxon, Un and Zaika. I have no idea who Margarida Garcia is is. She plays double bass and guitar, while Bassett plays guitar and keyboards. The pieces on this limited vinyl (200 copies) were recorded to a four track cassette in 2009 and consist of some fine free noise rock improvisation. No drums, but a pretty strong interplay of sounds. Loud and forceful, these ladies play some heavy type of improvised music, in which the instruments are recognized as such. Psychedelic music in a way. The A-side starts out raw, but comes down to a more introspective playing after a while, exploring their instruments and their various qualities, while always recognizable as guitar, bass and keyboards. Sounds are bend in gentle brutal way. The B-side stays 'loud' and 'present' through and goes straight into your brain. Excellent, raw and lo-fi. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/headlightsrecordings

JAMES WHITEHEAD - JLIAT: THE STILL LIFE SERIES (booklet & CDR by Jliat)
JLIAT - POUNDLAND (businesscard CDR by Jliat)
We know Jliat as our own reviewer of noise, at times much to chagrin of those he reviews, but he puts noise in an interesting, wider context. When I first heard his own music he played drone music, long CDs with one piece of drone music. He did quite a few of those, but then suddenly changed when he started to release a series of CDs called 'Still Life'. That was in 2000. I didn't understand much of the project, but now, with this new release… well… perhaps more? The booklet gives s the drift of the idea, how to create CDs with directly created PCM data. For a CD audio is converted into numbers and then burned to CD. He has released a bunch of works dealing with burning CDs, silence and such. One work wasn't released back then and now comes with the booklet. It is a work for 'piano sample set at various DC offsets' and is a very minimal work of piano sounds. Fill under 'experimental ambient'. You can read the booklet while listening to this, but the tech-talk is quite complicated. Instead you could read a nice book.
Then you can listen to 'Poundland'. Jliat writes: "Poundland is a chain of stores in the UK where everything is 1 UKP - the poem by Ezra Pound, who it seems thought the Banks were dangerous organizations causing debt and war- he was held for a long time in an asylum for the mentally ill, as if such ideas are obviously crazy". The funny thing is that if you open this up in Itunes, it reads: "Pachinko&Slot Try-Cm'09 Mix1". A pachinko is a gambling hall in Japan, in which you don't play for coins, but metal marbles, which makes the circle round I guess. The perfect coincidence, or deliberate? Would you know with Jliat? The whole release lasts twenty-one seconds and is a computervoice reading the poem (I guess). Nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.jliat.com

HENRY KUNTZ - IINFIINIITY (CDR by Humming Bird)
This new album by mister Kuntz is subtitled "Trans-Temporal Trans-Spatial Multi-track Creations". It clearly points at what is happening here. For Kuntz multi tracking is not some necessary evil. On the contrary, for him it is an essential way of composing music. In all compositions on "Iinfiiniity" Kuntz uses old recordings from his archive, and combines them with new presently added playing. There is a time gap of about eight in most pieces. And maybe recordings were done at different places as well as the subtitle suggests. This procedure is like a dialogue with oneself. Kuntz the improvisor in 2001 or 1995 is not Kuntz the improvisor in 2009. Another combination that is relevant for Kuntz is shown by his use of asian and african wind and percussion instruments on the one hand, and western ones on the other. But it is not only the use of exotic instruments that give his improvisation an exotic flavor. It is also because of the way Kuntz structures his improvisations that his music has similarities with ethnic and tribal music. Again an inspiring and original work from this veteran improvisor. (DM)
Address: http://henrykuntz.free-jazz.net/

TAINTED CORROSIVE MIST - PARALLELDIMENSION (CDR by Tosom)
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF & DRONAEMENT - HERMIT HAVEN (CDR by Tosom)
On the band website of Tainted Corrosive Mist it says under the header 'about', that they are a 'drone'n' noise project from Saarbruecken/Germany' followed by a list of equipment they use. That is no doubt of interest to technophiles (who can also glance a picture of the set-up, in case you don't know what it looks like), but essentially not much is revealed. Their pieces are numbered, and here we have four pieces '#54', '#63', '#61' and '#52', all within the range of fourteen to twenty minutes. Each piece is a set of drone sounds which form the backbone of a piece. On top, sound effects are used, to change the sound - perhaps what they would call 'create a melody'. Push pedal, release pedal. It sounds easy and perhaps its easy (despite the equipment used). Its true what the band says: they play drone music with a noise edge, or noise music pushed away by drones - its whatever way you are looking at this. Not bad at all, but then perhaps also not the greatest thing I came across recently. Its a pleasant dark beast without real danger, nor real surprises.
Even a bit long, almost eighty minutes, is the release which I understand is some sort of collaboration between Mirko Uhlig's Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf and Marcus Obst's Droneament, both representatives of Germany's more 'softer' drone scene and often incorporating field recordings. Each mixed three tracks and are placed on the equal and unequal numbers here. In Uhlig's opening piece already a lot is happening. In these twenty-four minutes more than on the entire Tainted Corrosive Mist release. Field recordings, accordion, cello playing and electronics. These are also used in the rest of the pieces, which form an excellent example of 'extended drone music', for the lack of a better word, and both artists are setting out excellent examples of that kind of music. This is simply one of the best pieces of drone music I encountered in some time. Acoustic, electronic, musique concrete, improvisation: its all mixed here together, crafting some excellent music together. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tosom.de

NOT HALF - CONTINUUM (CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings)
NOT HALF - 2010 RSD (CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings)
NOT HALF - THE VIGILANCE (3"CDR by Dimetrodon Recordings)
One of my theories that in the end everybody come back to their own roots. You did some music in the 80s, released some tapes, had a label, then a job/wife/kids, and lost interest in music. But then one bored night, you type in your old band name into Google and lo and behold, you find your tapes shared on a blog, championing you as an old master. Bloody hell. Great luck you kept that old synth in the basement and you switch it on again. This is not what happen to Al of Not Half - he never left music, but following his cassette life, he ended up in breakcore and now returns to playing free form electronic music. These three are his 2010 releases. He has some synthesizers (still!) and some sound effects. On 'Continuum' he has seven pieces, which are not entirely a continuos affair, they form an unified whole. Loosely improvised, which no doubt is fine for such a limited release, but there were times here I wished things were a bit composed/reduced/edited (cross out whatever is preferred).
In that respect is the other one, with the somewhat dull title '2010 RSD' of more interest. It was recorded in 2005, mixed in 2008 and released in 2010. Two pieces here of around twenty-three minutes each and they sound indeed more composed. More droney as opposed to the loose cosmic sound of 'Continuum', much darker and atmospheric also this is some excellent nightmare music. Haunted and haunting, spooky and spooked. Nocturnal ghost creeping in your head, telling you stories that scare the hell out of you. To spoil the end: the best out of three.
'The Vigilance' is a twenty minute work that is again more along the lines of 'Continuum', loosely improvised electronic music without head or tail, which has its ups and downs in volume, at times turning pretty wild. This is the least work of the three. Whereas 'Continuum' had some nice flowing elements to it, 'The Vigilance' is just an endless barrage of sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/nothalf

VERTONEN - ETAOIN SHRDLU (3"CDR by CIP)
The second of a series of four 3"CDR releases by Blake Edward's Vertonen project, who more and more confuses us with his intentions. Originally started out as a noise based, turntable project, it became, in a more interesting phase, a heavy drone based project, but since the recent explosion of releases, Vertonen can be any or all of what he did in previous years. The second release in his series translates as 'Turn The Sun Upside Down' and as 'devices' it lists shortwave, turntable, cassette players, microcassette players and voice. Vertonen is only vaguely doing his drone act here - which I think is a pity - but a more a collage like sound of treated voices from pre-recorded media, picking up voices. Its dedicated to Eric Lunde and Z'EV - both transformers of voice material and masters of abstract sound poetry. When it comes to real noise, it gets off the rails unfortunately, but luckily it doesn't last long. Throughout an enjoyable release, I think, luckily far away from the real harsh noise (which he also sometimes does) and hopefully with a bit more drones next time around. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cipsite.net

TAPAJAWA - CRITICAL MAGIC (cassette by Beam Ends)
Devotees to the work of The Legendary Pink Dots will no doubt remember their first guitarist who went by the name Stret Majest, and who plays on such fine old works as 'Apparition', 'Basilisk', 'The Lovers' and some of Edward Ka-spel's solo works. He didn't join the band's relocation to The Netherlands and sort of disappeared from the radar. A few years ago he guested his guitar playing on Beequeen's 'Sandancing' and that relationship lingered on with Beam End's owner Freek Kinkelaar, who now makes the circle round again, by releasing a solo cassette of Stret Majest, whose real name is Barry Gray, and prefers to be called Tapajawa. Gray plays guitars - lots of them it seems -, bass, vocals and programming. I quite like this tape, I must admit. But at the same time, its nothing for Vital Weekly. Gray bangs out rhythms from his drum machines, plays lots of guitars on top and sings his songs. Not like early Pink Dots - devotees should be warned - but, well, hell, what do I know? To me, the blind man in the world of rock music, it could be like anything from the world of rock music. I have no idea if this is highly original, the worst copy cat around, a genius at work, a third range clown. It doesn't matter. Since I have no solid point of reference, I can only say I had genuine pleasure in this music. Maybe because its I hear so much 'weird' music all day, that this sounds refreshing, or simply because I like it. Nice retro cover on this, limited, cassette. (FdW)
Address: <info@beequeen.nl>

RUST WORSHIP - HERE/ELSEWHERE (cassette by Cryptic Carousel)
NODOLBY (cassette by Obsolete Units)
BEN MILLER/DEGENERATION - POLAR SHIFTS (cassette by Obsolete Units)
Paul Haney runs the Obsolete Units label, but he is also active as a musician himself. He works as Rust Worship and on 'Here/Elsewhere' (maybe a nod to 'Something Anything'?) he offers two pieces recorded in concert. I am not sure, but it seems most likely he has some modular synthesizer at his disposal which he uses in this concert, to create a somewhat dirty minimal mass of sound. Densely layered, with slow, minimal changes, which work quite nicely. The abrupt ending of 'Meditation On Violence' sounds a bit silly, but then this is a live recording, so that happens. Both sides have a similar approach, but are worked out differently. 'Dry Saturday' is a more in a collage style, and the aforementioned 'Meditation On Violence' is a like massive drone. Very nice.
A little bit shorter is the tape by Nodolby, also known as Michele Scariot from Italy, who also runs the Dokuro label. He's a man who loves noise and that's what he presents here. Feedback, distorted rumble and on 'Dialogue With Myself' even a bit of old fashioned rhythm, think the very earliest works of Esplendor Geometrico. Harsh noise is not really my cup of tea (how often did I say that?), but I must say that Nodolby plays a fine bit of that. Loud obviously, but not the Japanese wall of noise approach, but rather a varied thing, which is a rarity in the world of noise. Not the best thing in the world, but pretty much ok.
Ben Miller has played on recordings from Destroy All Monsters, M3, GKW, Dirty Old Man River and here on his solo tape, offers five pieces of prepared guitar. Some of this music is pretty abstract, but the odd thing is that there is at least one piece in which he uses voice (which is no doubt the one that Haney links to This Heat). Altogether a varied thing, in which Miller is not afraid to use a bit of power to spice his improvisations on the prepared guitar. The recording quality is a bit lo-fi, but that adds to the quality of the music, I think. A raw, untamed beast, rock inspired, improvised, vicious and absolutely great music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.crypticcarousel.com
Address: http://www.myspace.com/obsoleteunits







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