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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 750
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week 40
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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. Feed is broken for the time being



INCH-TIME - THE FLOATING WORLD (CD by Mystery Plays Records) *
MATHIAS GRASSOW & TOMAS WEISS - FAREWELL (CD by El Culto) *
SYNDROMES - TEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki) *
TIM MOTZER & MARKUS REUTER - DESCENDING (CD by 1K Recordings)
TANJA ORNING - HOMMAGE A ANNA-EVA BERGMAN (CD by Prisma Records) *
SIGURD BERGE - EARLY ELECTRONIC WORKS (CD by Prisma Records) *
MERZBOW - LIVE AT HENIE ONSTAD ART CENTRE (CD by Prisma Records) *
ENRICO CONIGLIO FEAT. MANUEL P. CECCHINATO & MASSIMO LIVERANI - SEA CATHEDRALS (CD by Silentes) *
MICHAEL MANTRA - AMANITA LAKE (2CD/1DVD by Silentes) *
MAUTHAUSEN ORCHESTRA - DIGRESSION (CD by Silentes) *
ZEITKRATZER - WHITEHOUSE [ELECTRONICS] (CD by Zeitkratzer Records) *
FAT WORM OF ERROR - AMBIVALENCE AND THE BEAKER (CD by Resipiscent) *
NERFBAU - ERROR SWARMS (CD by Resipiscent) *
CRONICA L (CD compilation by Cronica Electronica)
MARKUS STEINKELLNER - URBAN LORITZ JAM (DVD by Wire Globe Recordings)
COUNTRY OF LAST THINGS (LP by Wire Globe Recordings)
SLOBODAN KAJKUT - GLUE SNIFFER (7" by Wire Globe Recordings)
DANIEL MENCHE - BLOOD OF THE LAND (3"CD by Ferns) *
STORMHAT - KABINE (CDR by Appolollaan Recordings)
ELISABETH SCHIMANA H÷LLENMASCHINE (CDR by chmafu nocords)
JUAN JOSE CALARCO & DAVID WELLS - FOCE (CDR by Siridisc) *
DOG HALLUCINATION - BOOGERS (CDR by Intangible Cat)
GUSHING CLOUD - PRISM SHELTER (CDR by Intangible Cat)
RANDFUNK - #1 (CDR by Misengarde) *
MERKUR - ASTRANA (CDR by Misengarde) *
RUNNINGONAIR - CLICK CONTINUE (CDR by Runningonair)
JOE EVANS & CRAIG BURSTON - SYSTEMS OUT OF CHANCE (CDR + DVDR by Runningonair) *
JLIAT - DASEIN (CDR by Jliat)
JLIAT - THE SOUNDS FROM WALKS (book by Jliat)
CHRISTOPHER WIMAN - THE RAVEN (3"CDR by Ghost & Son) *
CHOI JOONYONG - BURN YOIDO BURN (3"CDR by Ghost & Son) *
COLLEEN DONALDSON - FEELING GOOD, FEELING BAD, FEELING GROOVY (CDR by Friends & Relatives) *
DENNIS RAY & POWELL JR & JUSTIN RHODY & CLARE HUBBARD (cassette by Friends & Relatives)
SKYTHING - HOWDY CLOUD (cassette by Friends & Relatives)


INCH-TIME - THE FLOATING WORLD (CD by Mystery Plays Records)
Stefan Panczak is Inch-time and since 2003 he has been producing music for a variety of labels, mainly Static Caravan and the earliest one where on Lab Recordings. For whatever he started his own label now, Mystery Plays Records, and 'The Floating World' is his first release there, and his third full length album. Panczak, originally from Australia, but residing in London, is a man of electronics, keyboards as well as rhythm machines. 'It was constructed in my laptop with the addition of some acoustic guitar, recorded through a microphone' and the music is inspired by the Japanese art movement Ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world). The music, ten tracks spanning some forty-four minutes, is that of mellow ambient dance music. Some lush keyboard sounds, electric piano, spoken word samples, folk like at times, but always with that steady rhythm underneath. Not really a new thing of course, as this fits the Static Caravan catalogue quite nicely, or, say Expanding Records (the beat parts where sampled from vintage drum machines of Benge), but Inch-time executes ten great entertaining songs. Rainy day feel good music, with the right amount of experimental textures in combination with some great melodies. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysteryplaysrecords.com

MATHIAS GRASSOW & TOMAS WEISS - FAREWELL (CD by El Culto)
On January, 27th 2009, Klaus Wiese left his human incarnation and passed away. He was a former member of Popol Vuh and produced many albums of deep ambient music using Tibetan instruments. His close friends Mathias Grassow and Tomas Weiss pay homage to him on the album 'Farewell'. Five lengthy pieces and a shorter closing track. Grassow too has vast output which brought him some fame in the world of German cosmic music. This work probably doesn't add a new insight to the man's work, or that of Weiss, but I'm sure all fans will line up to get a copy. This is some excellent spacious music. Popol Vuh like chantings on 'The Orbit' along a deep wash of analogue synthesizers. This is cosmic music, or heavenly: whatever you prefer. Very atmospheric, very deep and highly emotional. Light a candle, a 'cigarette', darken your room, lie back and float away. This is not music that wants to be original, new or any such thing, but simply wants to be 'beautiful', and as such it succeeds very well. A great homage to a player of similar beautiful music. The occasion might sad, but the music is mighty fine indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.el-culto.com/

SYNDROMES - TEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
The previous release by Syndromes, also known as Kostis Kiylmis, was reviewed in Vital Weekly 674, also on Organized Music From Thessaloniki. He has expanded his set up (originally a contact microphone, loose 1/8" jack, mixing board, effects and room) to field recordings, sine waves, computer data, electric guitar, lloop, tremolo pedal, condenser microphone, contact microphone and mixing board. That can be heard in the music. Whereas the previous 'Just Another Daily Bummer' was heavily into noise music, although from an intelligent kind, this new one is less true noise based, but has some fine combination of loud piercing sine waves, bumpy field recordings of air shafts and elevators, put together in the form of a sound collage. The subtitle is '4 Studies On Human Perception', but its not entirely clear what this perception is all about, I think. Syndromes works quite cleverly with elements of loud noise and quiet processing. I said it before and I will repeat again: I am not that much of a fan of the uncompromising feedback noise (which usually come with the usual sex/death images and titles) but I do like, very much even, noise music that doesn't rely on those images or titles but also that is put together in an intelligent manner, full of tension, quiet and loud and that sounds like a composed thing altogether. This new Syndromes work is an example thereof. (FdW)
Address: http://thesorg-noise-below.org

TIM MOTZER & MARKUS REUTER - DESCENDING (CD by 1K Recordings)
Ah Centrozoon relation again: Markus Reuter is a 'German touch guitarist/composer/producer', who plays that in that which never got my hands together. He works here with one Tim Motzer, of whom, despite his work with David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman, Jaki Liebezeit (CAN), King Britt, Ursula Rucker (let alone his involved with sound track work Miami Vice, HBO's True Blood), I never heard. 1K Recordings is his own label and here he releases the improvisation he did with Reuter while they were in Philadelphia - home of Motzer. There is also the involved of Theo Travis on flutes (who played with Robert Fripp and Gong), as well as BJ Cole (steel guitar), Pat Mastelotto and Doug Hirlinger (both drums). A lot of information, a lot of well-known names but is it good? Well, its not bad, but I am not blown away. The music, generated through improvisation and lots of sound effects, will appeal to the fans of Brian Eno, Frippertronics, Supersilent and David Sylvian (I am quoting the press message here), but the e-bow guitar and sound effects running about it, make a a bit of a nervous impression, and I must admit, improvisation wise its all a bit weak. It comes across as an afternoon of cosy get together, with some guitars and some effects, and in a later stage someone used these recording to cut and paste a record together. But like I said, its not really bad. You could leave this doodling on and do a fair bit of work. The music isn't that nervous, or demanding, but indeed has that ambient like character too. At times pleasant wall-paper, which may be a bit too much inspired by progressive rock from the seventies. Not exactly my cup, but i didn't mind drinking it. (FdW)
Address: www.1krecordings.com

TANJA ORNING - HOMMAGE A ANNA-EVA BERGMAN (CD by Prisma Records)
SIGURD BERGE - EARLY ELECTRONIC WORKS (CD by Prisma Records)
MERZBOW - LIVE AT HENIE ONSTAD ART CENTRE (CD by Prisma Records)
These three releases come in nice digipacks, but the strange thing about the release by cellist Tanja Orning is that it only lasts seven minutes and fifty seconds. She composed this piece in 2002, for the opening of an exhibition of Anna-Eva Bergman and this was repeated in 2009 when she performed the piece at another exhibition of Bergman's formative years, 1949-1952. Both of them was at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in Hovikodden, Norway and they have a record label too, so now its released. A great piece of solo cello music, partly sounding like a modern classical composition and partly sounding like a piece of improvised music. The cello sounds like a cello.  Very nice, but way too short.
Prisma Records recently released a 3CD/1DVD set by Bjorn Fongaard with historical electronic recordings, here they have another new name for me with historical recordings. Sigurd Berge (1929-2002) was a Norwegian composer of electronic music and in 2009 a couple of old reels from the sixties or seventies were found and are now released, along with some previously released pieces and the lengthy piece 'Blikk', which was one of the first multimedia installations in Norway in the early seventies. That piece, spanning over thirty-one minutes, is a different than the six pieces before that. Those six are quite crude pieces for oscillations and sine wave and such  like, not recorded in a very high fidelity version, but perhaps because of that, the lack of refinement (both in recording and composition), the noise of 'Erupsjon', makes these pieces very nice. The sixth piece, 'Delta' is a musique concrete piece, but largely based on the recording of a heavy rainfall and sounds that imitate that. The 'Blikk' piece also consists of field recordings, but its much more spread out, with silent gaps, bits of electronic processing. Here the sound quality is much better, but the music largely unorganized. More like a bunch of sounds used in a bigger event, but without being able to see such events. Its altogether a nice piece and an excellent CD.
Some years ago I decided to give up on collecting everything by Merzbow and only to listen to the 100+ CDs I already have, plus hearing whatever comes my way. Like this forty-one minute live recording from the Henie Onstad Art Centre of exactly a year ago. It was part of an exhibition called 'Kurt Schwitters In Norway' (when leaving Germany for the Nazis). There Schwitters built another version of his Merzbau, and that's where Masami Akita got his band name from (and the cover shows a picture of Merzbow in Merzbau). In his current set-up, Merzbow uses two laptops, synthesizer, custom made metal objects and effect pedals - the whole rainbow of them. This is exactly the kind of Merzbow I like and love: loud, vicious noise music. I don't believe I would expected him to something else than this. Great stuff, but perhaps also a bit similar to the 100+ I already have and the 100+ I probably missed over the few years. I don't think that the real fans would really care that much, and I am more than satisfied with the occasional Merzbow. This particular live recording is excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.primsarecords.blogspot.com

ENRICO CONIGLIO FEAT. MANUEL P. CECCHINATO & MASSIMO LIVERANI - SEA CATHEDRALS (CD by Silentes)
MICHAEL MANTRA - AMANITA LAKE (2CD/1DVD by Silentes)
MAUTHAUSEN ORCHESTRA - DIGRESSION (CD by Silentes)
A strict separation between ambient and noise here, but the division is not quite on equal terms. In the left corner we find ambient music, spread out over three CDs and one DVD, while old-timers Mauthausen Orchestra are in the right corner with noise. Enrico Congilio already worked with Oophoi on a CD for Glacial Movements (see Vital Weekly 683) and here works with his drones, field recordings, bells, programming with two musicians (not on every track together) Manuel P. Cecchinato (arc-angel synthesizer, treatments, crystals) and Massimo Liverani (guitars, loops, treatments). The five pieces, ranging from six to twenty minutes, are excellent examples of ambient drone music. Dark, atmospheric, spacious, all those keywords of what ambient and drone music is, apply to this music. Much of this kind of music has been said and done before, but Coniglio does a mighty fine job here. Excellent wonderful production.
More ambient is to be found on the new Michael Mantra release. The last time I reviewed something from was his work with Rod Modell in Vital Weekly 163 - that's back in 1999! Before that he had a great CD on Silent Records. He writes on the cover that both CDs are companion albums, both spanning almost 75 minutes of strictly non-linear music. Repeating irregularities of simple keyboard patterns with hardly any change in that. This is not music that one should put on and listen to very carefully. Its ambient music in the way Brian Eno intended. Present music without making demands. The DVD is a version of the 'Amanita' piece with as visual bonus the sight of trees waving in the wind - also running for seventy-five minutes. The big 'trouble' here is of course changing the discs every seventy-five minutes. Perhaps this is the kind of music that should be on a DVD, in 24-bit and then lasting for three or more hours, as to extent the experience.
Mauthausen Orchestra, being Pierpaolo Zoppo, is quite a legendary household name from the world of (Italian) noise since the early 80s. Over those three decades I didn't keep up with his output, so its not easy to comment on 'Digression' in a historical context of his work - although I am told its a kind of come back album. I must say I am quite surprised by this work actually! I expected an album of harsh noise, feedback, distortion et al, but such is not really the case here. These thirty-eigth minutes are filled with lots of analogue synthesizer sounds, although not all at the same time. Separated into distinct blocks of sounds, cobbled together into one piece of heavy duty ambient-meets-noise. The noise here probably lies more in the approach of composition than in the actual musical content: its all pretty basic and crude. That is the surprise of the release I guess. Its nice enough but not great in terms of composition. But always nice to welcome back an older artist, restarting his musical career. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silentes.net

ZEITKRATZER - WHITEHOUSE [ELECTRONICS] (CD by Zeitkratzer Records)
This may look like an odd combination: the ten piece Zeitkratzer with their trombone, trumpet, piano, harp, drums, violin, violoncello, double bass and clarinet playing the music of Whitehouse. But in case you forgot: Zeitkratzer has also played works by Merzbow, Zbigniew Karkowski, Keiji Haino, and performed Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music'. In the case of Whitehouse they perform six pieces, mainly from 'Cruise', 'Racket' and 'Bird Seed' in a totally acoustic setting. I wouldn't have mind hearing Zeitkratzer play say 'Erector', 'Great Whitedeath' or 'Bird Death Experience', and not the perhaps more complex recent pieces. Zeitkratzer however does a great job with their acoustic noise approach, and know how to translate the electronic noise of Whitehouse with an equal power into the world of the acoustics. Its an excellent work, with twenty-eigth minutes perhaps a bit short, but perhaps also reminding us of the early Whitehouse, which were equally short. No covers of pieces like 'Politics'. This is a live recording, and after each piece Zeitkratzer played something by Morton Feldman. It must have been one hell of an evening. A total racket. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zeitkratzer.de

FAT WORM OF ERROR - AMBIVALENCE AND THE BEAKER (CD by Resipiscent)
NERFBAU - ERROR SWARMS (CD by Resipiscent)
A few years ago I saw Fat Worm Of Error in concert on one of those crazy nights with various bands playing, drunken haze, lots of props and paintings and the next day you can't recall which band was what. A great evening, called 'Dramarama'. Members of Fat Worm Of Error include musicians otherwise known as Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase, Schurt Kwitters, Offal, Rack Rash and Bromp Treb. I once stayed in one their houses and stumbled upon a room full of equipment, a drum kit and ancient tape-recorders (I won't reveal which), which looked like a great working space. Fat Worm Of Error play music that relies heavily on improvisation within a rock context. The label calls upon bands like Climax Golden Twins, Captain Beefheart, early Boredoms, Deerhoof. There are guitars, reel-to-reel manipulations, synthesizers, vocals, drums and mayhem throughout. Fat Worm Of Error may at times sound like a noise band, their music also knows quite moments and surprising collages of sound, which reminded me of Nurse With Wound. An excellent work of experimental, free improvised rock music. I never heard much from them after that concert, but this release makes me altogether quite curious again.
Jsun McCarty and Michael Daddona are behind Nerfbau and hail from Oakland, California. I never saw them live, but they seem to 'hybridize sonic theatre, militaristic mockery through homemade weather modification, and the worship of exaggerated impossibilities', which sound good. More quotes then: 'using custom sequencers, laryngopharyns, custom guitars, reprocessed wind instruments and sound-object graphical processors. They sixteen tracks here, ranging from a mere minute to ten minutes of improvised music too, but whereas Fat Worm Of Error stem from a rock context, Nerfbau's music is largely electronic. Chaotic and free, with lots of tape-manipulations, occasionally crossing into noise-land, this is also about twice as long as Fat Worm Of Error and sadly isn't able to hold the attention for all that time. Here some more rigorous editing would have probably saved the thing, which now sinks away in self-indulgent doodling. That is a pity, since some of it is actually quite nice. Some, alas, not all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.resipiscent.com

CRONICA L (CD compilation by Cronica Electronica)
Labels sometimes release label samplers, which is of course if you need to reach a new audience. Sometimes they come with a magazine. And sometimes they are send to magazines for review. I never like to review compilations, but least of all those label samplers. It's usually stuff I already reviewed or sneak preview, but I don't mind waiting for the real thing. Cronica understands that, so for their label compilation which is part of the Italian Neural magazine, they asked 18 of their artists to work together on a new piece. So we are introduced to the artists from their catalogue, but through exclusive nine, new tracks. All of these artists work with the possibilities of laptop and electronics, while many of them also incorporate field recordings to the scene. In these nine tracks we hear what these people do best: glitchy electronics (Ran Slavin & Vitor Joaquim, @C & Gintas K), musique concrete like compositions (Marc Behrens & Cem Guney), ambient drones (Pure & Duran Vazquez, Stephan Mathieu & Piotr Kurek, The Beautiful Schizophonic & TU M'), field recordings (Gilles Aubry & Paulo Raposo) and of course edges blurr in these genres (Enrico Coniglio & Janek Schaefer). A compilation that holds little surprises, but its an absolute nice one, nine strong pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

MARKUS STEINKELLNER - URBAN LORITZ JAM (DVD by Wire Globe Recordings)
COUNTRY OF LAST THINGS (LP by Wire Globe Recordings)
SLOBODAN KAJKUT - GLUE SNIFFER (7" by Wire Globe Recordings)
Now here is a nice idea: Markus Steinkellner and Andreas Tschernkowitsch, both guitarists, set their instruments on the roof of the main library in Vienna on the 4th of July 2009. Between 4 and 7 o'clock in the morning they improvised their music in front of a camera. You hear cars passing, the city waking up. I'm not sure why the credit goes out to Steinkellner alone though. A nice idea, right? Bit like the Beatles upon their roof, but no police to stop it and probably less screaming fans down there on the street. But the execution, the actual improvised, here cut down to fifty-six minutes, is not really great. Actually quite lame I think. Free improvisation, e-bow stuff, free strumming and all such like, but it all seems to be flowing away with non-intent. Nowhere one has the idea they really want to grab the listener with their music. A fine idea ruined.
Much more interesting are the extended improvisations by Country Of Last Things, a duo of Christian Staudacher and Daniel Bemberger. The basis of their LP, which took three years to make, were a bunch of jam sessions, using guitar, electronics, laptop and such like, all in quite a krautrock like style. But instead of 'just' mixing these improvisations, they were used to add more sounds to it, removing sounds and then adding again more sounds to it. The studio as instrument approach, while all along trying to keep the four minute time frame for a song, say the length of a popsong. They craft some great songs together, with changing moods, introspective, joyous, with a great role for the guitar to maintain that krautrock spirit. Groovy when a rhythm is added, mellow when there is just electronics and guitar involved. A bit of vocal samples wouldn't have hurt the music I thought, but through a nice work.
Slobodan Kajkut is a composer from Serbia who writes classical music, but the solo composition for electric viola, as performed here by Dimitrios Polisoidis, sounds more like a piece of improvised noise music than actually a composed piece, but perhaps that's the true charm of this single sided 7" I guess. It sort of is not really the kind of thing one would expect from a classical composer. Its a pity that its very short and just on one side of the 7". (FdW)
Address: http://www.wiregloberecordings.com

DANIEL MENCHE - BLOOD OF THE LAND (3"CD by Ferns)
And what about Daniel Menche? He continues as ever. In 'Blood Of The Land' he doesn't use any soil recordings, which you may expect with such a title, but 'storm recordings recorded throughout 2009-2010 all around Oregon, USA', which mixed together into a twenty minute piece of heavily processed field recordings. I might be mistaken, but when I played this earlier today, in the morning, I thought I could feel a cold breeze in my house. I must have been imagining this, but for a short moment (well, actually a bit longer) I thought I could actually feel the music breezing through my house. Which I guess is the best when it comes to having an audio illusion. This piece could have been a bit longer for my taste - although I never like biking through a heavy storm, the sound is always nice to hear.
Address: http://www.fernsrecordings.free.fr

STORMHAT - KABINE (CDR by Appolollaan Recordings)
Stormhat is the Danish word for one of the European continent's most poisonous plants; a few grams consumption of the Stormhat-plant marks the end of a human life. Behind this threatening name, you find Danish sound artist Peter Bach Nicolaisen who apart from lecturing at Krabbesholm College for Art, Architecture and Design and part time at the electronic department of the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, also creates strange sound spheres as Stormhat. Since 2004, Stormhat has launched a number of albums on labels such as Diophantine Discs, EE Tapes and the two latest on well acclaimed British label Apollolaan Recordings. Stormhat¥s latest release titled "Kabine" opens with clanging bells manipulated in a way that reminds a bit of early Zoviet France but soon after we slowly move into ambient textures. The force of Stormhat is the re-processession and manipulation of concrete sources into alienated sound sculptures. The ambient textures floats in-between moments of tranquility and harsher moments. Another remarkable part of the overall expression is the use of subtle noise drones reminiscent of U.S. noise artist Bastard Noise. As is the case with all albums from Apollolaan Recordings, "Kabine" is launched in a limited edition of 50 copies with nicely handmade cover artwork: A hand-painted sleeve wrapped in a color sheet. (NM)
Address: http://www.apollolaan.blogspot.com

ELISABETH SCHIMANA H÷LLENMASCHINE (CDR by chmafu nocords)
Translates as Hell Machine is a 'Composition for the Max Brand Synthesizer'. Which demands some explanation however brief, the machine made by a Bob Moog for the composer who wanted a version of a 'Trautonium, an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1929 by Friedrich Trautwein and later perfected by Oskar Sala', in the days months and years that have elapsed since then apart from a world war, nuclear weapons, moon trips etc we also have the internet, Google, wiki, and youtube, so pasting any of the above into ones computer - another artifact of modernity - sufficient information for a 'Month of Sundays' can now be found. What we have on the disk a demonstration of this antique or is it a composition. Flight of electric bumble bees -saw toothed oscillators et al. VCA, VCO and VCF are evident, and the CDR arrives in a tin with booklet which perhaps explains the motivation for such a piece.  As you suspect I have a problem here, just what is the motivation? And the explanation if given is in german - which I cant read. there is currently a vogue for things old (is this why frans gets on TV these days?) - making art films in super 8, using old formats, 8 tracks, cassettes, or buying stuff on ebay, computer games, retro is, to use a retro term, hip, though not the traction engine kind of thing, but why not, I suspect there is as much concern over traction engines and old stream trains as electronica, I just don't get it. I could rave on about the search for a history in the cybernetic alienation of today, but its kind of odd to see on youtube  via the wonders of the internet and TCP/IP packet switching some guys stoking the boiler or twiddling some knobs of what is now
available for under 50uk pounds - i.e. http://www.korg.com/monotron. OK not the same - but you get my point?  Or do you? There is a difference between technology and art (this is a biggy so I cant discuss it here) - old art (contra Kosuth) retains a value, its called aesthetics guys, Hamlet still speaks to the human condition, the spinning jenny is obsolete, people might find museums interesting but no one recourses these days to gas lighting, burning witches, sending children up chimneys, blood letting or leaches - well no - some do don't they. but they I suspect have some (justifiable - even in psychological terms) problem with technology, or is it modernity post-modernity - whatever? (jliat)
Address: http://nocords.net

JUAN JOSE CALARCO & DAVID WELLS - FOCE (CDR by Siridisc)
This is a re-issue of a release from 2009, back then in an edition of 50 copies. But now with a bonus tracks, a bonus mix by Simon Whetham. All three pieces are called 'Foce', and are by Calarco (track one), Wells (track two) and Whetham (track three). I am not sure how the material was conceived by Calarco and Wells. An exchange of sound material, with each providing a mix? That seems to me the most logical thing, although I might be wrong. They do sound different however. Both deal with field recordings, which are not easy to recognize in Calarco's case, but rain and ventilation shafts in Wells', it seems. Also it seems that Calarco is the one who uses a bit more processing, while Wells uses more straight forward field recordings, in the form of a collage of events. I think I liked his piece best from the two, simply because it sounds less like that muffled piece of drone like field recordings, although not bad for what it is. Whetham's remix is a nice mixture of both ends, with the rumble of percussive like metal, which adds a strange musical element to the music. In terms of music, this is the most musical piece of the lot. Throughout a fine disc, with the remix being the biggest surprise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.siridisc.blogspot.com

DOG HALLUCINATION - BOOGERS (CDR by Intangible Cat)
GUSHING CLOUD - PRISM SHELTER (CDR by Intangible Cat)
Colorful and with a lot of fun, that are the first things that triggers me. The artwork of the CD-cover is self-made compiled with photography, drawings and collage technics. A pleasure for the eyes. The CD 'Boogers' is a compilation of music of the last five years. Doggy P. Lips started to record sounds on an old tabletop cassette recorder and exchanged the recordings with D. Petri. The sounds are mostly created by voice, guitar, a lot of effect pedals and field-recordings. The result is a noisy experimental album. No noise as a wall of sound, but abstract electronic sounds with a lot of diversity.  The album ends with two composition which are more musical. Firstly it starts with a harsh loop created by a voice and more elements like bells and long-lasting soundwaves with a drony mood calm down these harsh sounds. The CD ends with a long drony track with edited water-alike looped sounds. Will this long drony music be the next step of Dog Hallucination? I hope so, because they create it in a good way.
Gushing Cloud is a project of Gus Kumo, who is working close with the musicians of Dog Hallucination. Also Gus Kumo takes a long period to compile this album and that is what you can hear. He takes six years to recompose, rework, re-edit and re?. to make a well-balanced album of seven tracks. The base of the music is a nice beat and the music palette goes from minimal ambient to heavy guitar and from weird funky stuff to jazzy dub. The music is creative, freaky, funny and well composed. This album gives me a good mood and is highly recommended. (JKH)
Address: http://www.intangiblecat.com


RANDFUNK - #1 (CDR by Misengarde)
MERKUR - ASTRANA (CDR by Misengarde)
These two releases are a bit along eachother lines and both are a bit mysterious as to the who, what and why. No names are mentioned of who is behind this. I think both artists are working with laptops on an exclusive basis. Randfunk combines various interests together on his laptop. By and large he likes his things to be ambient, but due to the loop based character of his sounds, there is also a kind of rhythmic sense to it, may I say it: even a bit of techno like. But only in 'Asserter' and 'Mercer Loop', the techno rhythm rises above the level the deep ambient washes. References are easy: Gas meet Chain Reaction, but the music Randfunk does is a bit too clean and clinical, and never has that grainyness of Chain Reaction, or that very deep edge of Gas. Randfunk keeps his tracks short, and I am not convinced if that's a good thing, maybe when it all be a bit longer, it would gain a bit more depth. But nevertheless, altogether quite entertaining.
Mercer thanks various people, including Andrea Belfi and other Italian sounding names, so let's assume he's from Italy. Merkur already is around for over a decade and his release has seven tracks that are all around the ten minute mark. Here too we find Gas as the main influence, but also others from the world of grainy ambient music, such as Tim Hecker or William Basinski. Sounds of whatever nature are transferred through a bunch of plug ins (no doubt with names carrying the words 'vocoder' or 'ambience' in them). Here too the music remained a bit too clinical for me and I was a bit put off by the fact that most tracks ended quite abruptly, like they have been roughly cut out a bigger part. Merkur has a more limited appeal than Randfunk, who has a bit more variation to offer in his pieces. But this one is also pleasantly entertaining. Both releases are not great, but not bad either. (FdW)
Address: http://misengardemusic.blogspot.com

RUNNINGONAIR - CLICK CONTINUE (CDR by Runningonair)
JOE EVANS & CRAIG BURSTON - SYSTEMS OUT OF CHANCE (CDR + DVDR by Runningonair)
There is an artist who calls himself Running On Air, and who has a label by the same name. The 'Click Continue' EP by Runningonair is a sort of remix EP of a track by the same name. Its remixed by Dan Lo-Fi and Chocolate Girl. Mellow ambient techno music, which doesn't sound very hip and fresh in the world of dance music (or at least the kind of techno I am a bit aware of), but throughout the music quite alright. Uptempo, sampled robot voices, and an ambient, beatless interlude. I don't see dance floors being filled with this stuff, but at home it works well when cleaning up the house.
Runningonair is one Joe Evans, who is also responsible for the other new release on his label, a collaboration with Craig Burston. The latter is a visual artist, and Evans plays the piano here. The images, as provided on the DVDR, shows us discarded and lost gloves. Texts where they were founded. Abstract geometric forms. The latter I liked best. The whole thing was presented at an art gallery. The music by Evans is not like that his moniker Runningonair at all. The piano is the main instrument here and for a while I thought this was another work along Frank Rothkamm's solo piano records of modern classical music. But slowly there is also room for electronics. I am not sure if these are added to the piano playing or come as a result of processing the sound of piano playing. The music is an odd mixture of classical piano playing, although perhaps loosely improvised around themes in a fine combination with rusty, hissy electronics and dark menacing drones. The visual part is not something I understood very well, but the music is great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.runningonair.com

JLIAT - DASEIN (CDR by Jliat)
JLIAT - THE SOUNDS FROM WALKS (book by Jliat)
More curious conceptual releases by Jliat. First there is a CDR that might be called 'Dasein' (again?) and which has a thirteen minute audio piece of a speaking voice, reciting a computerized text describing audio events, like 'the sound of traffic in the distance', followed by say thirty seconds of silence, which you amplify that have also sound information, but very short. What exactly this is all about is not very clear.
There is also a book, paperback with 353 pages with one line per page, noted while walking from 'In This Fens', 'In The Midlands', 'Through Wales 100 Miles Across Cornwall'. "Slide shows of texts, the ontic THIS Vs. the ontological of language. Experience- THIS onticicity - thought ontologic - BEING DASEIN - Process the image to create the IDEA. Read the idea to create the IMAGE. The eternal return." Both of these releases are about thinking about the sound that surrounds us. A book to open at random, read a few pages and then close again. I must admit I like the book better than the CDR, which seem companions here. You never know. (FdW)
Address: http://www.jliat.com/dasein.html

CHRISTOPHER WIMAN - THE RAVEN (3"CDR by Ghost & Son)
CHOI JOONYONG - BURN YOIDO BURN (3"CDR by Ghost & Son)
Crazy stuff here. One Christoph Wiman (who he?) recorded 'The Raven', a ten minute piece of acoustic guitar, singing, flutes and percussion. Quite melodic, almost pop music like, but the odd, and perhaps that's the most unsettling thing about this, length makes this a really a haunting piece. I thought it was absolutely nothing for Vital Weekly, but at the same time I thought this was a great song. Odd.
Feedback through mp3 player, contact microphone and distortion pedals: now that's more common ground for Vital Weekly, and they are operated by Choi Joonyong from Korea. He has eight short pieces of noise based music on his 3"CDR. Loud, vicious stuff, all improvised no doubt (as that's his background). A pretty loud beast this one, but altogether also good and at twenty-one minutes also very much to the point. This shouldn't have been much longer I thought. Raw, powerful and short: excellent noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ghostandson.com/

COLLEEN DONALDSON - FEELING GOOD, FEELING BAD, FEELING GROOVY (CDR by Friends & Relatives)
DENNIS RAY & POWELL JR & JUSTIN RHODY & CLARE HUBBARD (cassette by Friends & Relatives)
SKYTHING - HOWDY CLOUD (cassette by Friends & Relatives)
More madness then from the house of Friends & Relatives. First on CDR is one Colleen Donaldson, who has some thirteen short tracks of unrelentness chaotic tunes. Lots of distorted sounds from sources unknown. Maybe some form of tape manipulation, vinyl manipulation and the addition of voice. Think singer songwriting, but then coming from mars. Hardly sung and even harder songs. Total weirdness, total outsider stuff. Its as chaotic as loveable. Am I to believe that the girl pictured on the back did this music? She looks normal! Strange, very strange.
And even stranger is the release by Dennis Ray, Powell JR, Justin Rhody and Clare Hubbard. If indeed that's who did this short cassette. There is the sound of drums, recorded from the playing in the room next door while along someone learning to play the trumpet and/or the bass guitar. The b-side is better with some vague, undirected piece of bells shimmering in the wind and some outdoor sound, which hardly counts as field recordings. More outsider weirdness thrown onto tape.
And I am not sure if its a conceptual joke, but the tape by Skything had a short bit of music and then nothing. In that strange universe of Friends & Relatives that might be the real thing but this is beyond it, as far as I'm concerned. (FdW)
Address: http://www.freindsandrelativesrecords.com






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