============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 765
---------------------
week 4
---------------------

 

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


Editorial news: we have decided to stop reviewing MP3 releases. Please do not send any discs with MP3 releases. Just send me an e-mail with a link and a short description, so people can download it. The amount of releases pile up every week and I can no longer devote time to MP3s. Whatever you see coming in the next few weeks are the last ones. Please do not send anymore. Also: releases that do not contain the original artwork will most likely be no longer reviewed. The real thing is necessary for a real judgment. If you wish to send us not the real thing, please contact us first. <vital@vitalweekly.net>



ALEXIS O'HARA - ELLIPSIS (CD by Et Records) *
PINK SALIVA (CD by Et Records) *
DIANE LABROSSE & PHILIPPE LAUZIER & PIERRE TANGUAY - PALETUVIER (ROUGE) (CD by Et Records) *
TIARI KESE - AVE <W> (CD by Et Records) *
ROLF JULIUS - MUSIC FOR A DISTANCE (CD by Western Vinyl) *
ROTTERDAM - CAMBODIA (CD by Everest Records) *
FERRAN FAGES & ROBIN HAYWARD & NIKOS VELIOTIS - TABLES AND STAIRS (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki) *
STRADE TRASPARENTI (CD compilation by Staubgold)
MARK APPLEBAUM - THE METAPHYSICS OF NOTATION (DVD by Innova)
ANTHONY DE MARE - SPEAK (CD by Innova)
ESTHER LAMNECK & ROBERTO FABBRICIANI - WINDS OF THE HEART (CD by Innova)
AMY HORVEY - CATCHMENT (CD, private)
SKRYTY PUVAB BYROKARCIE - OUREDNIKOVY REFERATY (LP/CD by Poli5) *
BIRDS BUILD NESTS UNDERGROUND/RUINU (CD by Poli5)
B4 - RINGO GEORGE PAUL JOHN (CDR by Poli5)
KORA ET LE MECHANIX - METROPOLIS (CDR by Poli5) *
CORPSE OF DISCOVERY (LP by Free103point9)
ANTOINE CHESSEX - FOOLS (LP by Tourette Records)
ANTOINE CHESSEX & VALERIO TRICOLI - COI TORMENTI (LP by Dilemma Records)
MAARTEN VAN DER VLEUTEN - THE SCRAS REMAIN (2LP by Tone Float)
BIGG CITY OORGASTRAW - COCKAMAME (CDR by Ubuibi) *
HEAD IN BODY - NOT SO EMPTY (CDR by KLaNGuNDKRaCH)
LOUD & SAD - WHALE FALL VOLUME ONE (cassette by Digitalis LTD)
JOERI BRUNINCKX - STOP IF YOU NOTICE THAT YOU ARE LEARNING. TRY AGAIN (book by Knife In The Toaster)



ALEXIS O'HARA - ELLIPSIS (CD by Et Records)
PINK SALIVA (CD by Et Records)
DIANE LABROSSE & PHILIPPE LAUZIER & PIERRE TANGUAY - PALETUVIER (ROUGE) (CD by Et Records)
TIARI KESE - AVE <W> (CD by Et Records)
Canada's Et Records are now in full active force: existing since 2003, but only last year they doubled their amount of releases. That's great, also since they operate on an interesting crossroad of music styles, and these four new releases show that well. The crossroad is where popmusic, improvisation, musique concrete and free-jazz meet up. We have to go the website for additional information (which sometimes linked from the Actuelle label - Canada seems well organized in that respect). Let's start with the most 'traditional' one - or so it sounds like. I have never heard of Alexis O'Hara, who uses a lot of human voice - her own - as well as electronic improvisation and video. She has performed on spoken word festivals all over the world =, from "new music symposiums to "women & technology" events", and besides various mini CDRs, 'Ellipsis' is her second full length CD. Now it may sound like that this is all serious sound poetry, but this release is perhaps the most 'pop' music based I heard from Et Records. O'Hara samples her voice, adds a bit of electronic backing, rhythm machines, maybe a synth (but then perhaps these are sampled from her own voice, who am I to tell), and she signs a song, not use her voice in some dramatic or abstract poetry like manner. That adds a distinct pop music like element to her music, along with a cabaret/nightclub like feel in some songs - perhaps due to the fact that she uses besides English also French and Spanish. The CD closes with 'Twenty-three', which sounds like a pastiche of 'Twenty Jazz funk Greats' and 'Hot On The Heels' from Throbbing Gristle. An excellent release! Very relaxed music, very well made.
From this extreme we bounce to an opposite
extreme, the free jazz improvisation of Pink Saliva, a trio from Ellwood Epps (trumpet), Michel F. Cote (drums, microphones, lapsteel) and Alexandre St-Onge (electric bass and laptop). A live recording, which is edited down to twelve short 'songs' (again?), somewhere between one and four minutes. This music is more traditionally improvised than what I usually like, with a strong sense for jazz. That is not necessarily, of course, a bad thing, but just not so much my cup of tea, although I could envisage myself in a dark cellar smoke filled and pipe in my hand. Perhaps I should say 'that traditional', but I have to be careful: maybe this is all done tongue in cheek, but I am not qualified to judge on that.
More improvisation can be found on the trio disc of Diane Labrosse (sampler), Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet, saxophones) and Pierre Tanguay (drums). With the addition the sampler, things become straight away more 'modern', 'abstract' and perhaps also less strictly defined as something like free-jazz. Throughout these four lengthy pieces there is a great sense of controlled playing here, with some quite intense music. This trio keeps things well under control here, with a lot of rumble beneath the surface. Meaning it can be found more in the low end than in the top end of the music, and that is what delivers a certain, great kind of tension to the music. Maybe one could wonder if four such pieces is a bit too much to be taken in at once, but nevertheless its some wonderful music, not be swallowed at once.
From a more musique concrete perspective we have
a CD by one Tiare Karzov Kese, who was born in 1948 in Bulgaria, son of a resistance hero and soprano mother, who went in 1965 to Paris to study piano and horn. Later on befriended Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and Guy Debord, left the first, and then started to play music by Cage and Satie. Then he met Michel F Cote and ended up playing music on this CD, for which he plays piano, organ, mellotron, strings, French horn, electronics, samples and voices, plundering works by Satie, Cage, Tetreault, Falaise, Siewert, Brandlmayr, B. Gunter, Fennesz, Neina and Oval. I have no idea if this is all true, but why spoil a good story by looking up the 'truth'? The music is good, and that is what counts. If the other three are working towards the crossroad of styles, then its perhaps Kese who is in the middle. Bits of pop/rock tunings are used, mainly when it comes to using distortion, samples of an electro-acoustic nature, treated instruments, and occasionally improvised playing on them, all mingled together into some well crafted soundtrack like music. A bit of drone here and there, field recordings interwoven, desolate French horn, modern classical glissandi, sparse percussive sounds. Altogether this makes an excellent release. Quite intense, sparse and at times dramatic music. The best out of these four. (FdW)
Address: http://www.etrecords.net

ROLF JULIUS - MUSIC FOR A DISTANCE (CD by Western Vinyl)
Back in Vital Weekly we reviewed 'Music For Tears' by Rolf Julius, and we noted that he is quite famous in the field of sound art, but perhaps not that well-known in the world of Vital Weekly. Now that may of course change due to the good work of Western Vinyl, who plan a series of CDs with his 'small music'. 'Music For A Distance' is the second volume. Like before, or perhaps like always, we have no clue what it is that Julius does. The title piece was composed (or rather refined) over a six year period and its unclear what Julius does. Is it a bunch of field recordings? Like insects, crickets, cicadas, leaves, or perhaps something more mechanical? Played back from a bunch of CDRs perhaps, or something that creates the sound as they are, like small devices? What is sure that Julius' music is quite minimal. Not in a drone kind of sense, but hyperactive, with lots of sounds crawling like insects over eachother. Maybe there is a bit of sound processing? I really couldn't tell. Like 'Music For The Ears', 'Music For A Distance', which is with forty minutes the main piece here, creates an excellent sonic environment, and that's what Julius aims at. Could we call this ambient? Yes, perhaps we could. Music that fills your surrounding with a intelligent sound, and not some lift muzak, but never loud enough to be disturbing or confronting. There is also a difference between 'Music For The Ears' and this new work (apart from the time separated between recording - the main work here is from 2003-2009) and that's the volume of the music. Both 'Music For A Distance' and 'Music In A Corner' are quite audible, like those loud singing crickets in Japan, which are loud without being a nuisance. An excellent disc, once again! (FdW)
Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

ROTTERDAM - CAMBODIA (CD by Everest Records)
Various surprising things happen here. First of all, why would a Viennese duo call themselves Rotterdam? And how on earth did Susanne Amann (cello, flute, electronics) and Michael Klauser (acoustic guitar, electronics) arrive at such 'strange' music? You would expect from such a line up perhaps modern classical music or improvisation of whatever kind, but straight from the opening sounds of 'Cool Bum Bum - 6:13' you know something else happens here. I didn't inspect the cover or press text very well when I first heard and somehow mistook this for either a weird take on the Pan Sonic genre or some turntablist. The first seems more accurate than the second. Rotterdam play minimal music based on their instruments, which are then looped around in tiny fragments, in a very sequential manner. They link their sounds closely together and make small variations in them. Its quite an interesting take on dance music, without being real dance music. Perhaps a bit like some Pan Sonic, but then entirely build from acoustic samples. Another point of reference would be 'Bek' by Jaap Blonk and Radboud Mens in which the voice is used to create dance music. But whereas that is perhaps even more dance music, Rotterdam stays on the minimalist side of things, so perhaps then more Pan Sonic/Goem, which was also never to be truly out and about techno music. Quite a great CD I must admit, a fresh take on a worn out (?) genre of music, and that could be read as 'techno' but perhaps also 'improvised' music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

FERRAN FAGES & ROBIN HAYWARD & NIKOS VELIOTIS - TABLES AND STAIRS (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
In June last year Ferran Fages (sine waves), Robin Hayward (microtonal tuba) and Nikos Veliotis (cello) played a concert in an apartment in Athens, Greece. They met up for the first time here and played this thirty-one minute (assuming not much was cut off in the process of releasing). Its a fine disc of highly refined 'low' sounds. I must assume they planned it like this, looking at what each of the three players brought to the table to play. Their music consists of four parts, more or less, with clear distinctive movements. The really low end of the third movement, and the very quiet/almost silent fourth part. They go however quite naturally into eachother. As said everything here moves around the lower end of sound spectrum, although there are sometimes quite high end sounds too, which makes you turning up the volume quite a bit, and thus the music is very hard to escape. This is the kind of improvisation that requires ones full attention: there is no other way than to concentrate utter and completely focus on this music. You'll be moved, shaking and put back to earth, all in just thirty minutes. An excellent work of careful music. (FdW)
Address: http://thesorg.noise-below.org

STRADE TRASPARENTI (CD compilation by Staubgold)
That I know very little about film should be no secret. I could pretend to know a lot, but alas its not. So, I never heard of the director Augusto Contento, and his tetralogy of films set in Brazil. "Strade Trasparenti (transparant roads) is a cinevoyage, a ritual of initiation to the journey, to the discovery of the unknown, the indecipherable and the irreducible. Its to go beyond the logic of one's own national, cultural, perceptive borders', the director writes and if I'm right we see the country from as a bus trip. Five artists play music for this film, The Necks, David Grubbs, Mira Calix, Mute Socialite and O-Type. The Necks open up here with a great, almost thirty (!) minute piece of hypnotic rock structures, very open, mildly jazz like and indeed like a road movie. Grubbs's ten minutes is solo electric guitar, quite desolated, but perhaps a bit too long. A bit longer is the piece by Mira Calix, which also has a bit of jazz like feeling too, but also revolves more about percussive sounds. Here the length of the piece gets a bit in the way of the composition - it sounds like an improvisation that was made seeing the film. Mute Socialite is with five minute by far the shortest artist here, with a nice up-tempo piece of music, but then O-Type looses themselves in twenty-three minutes in improvised jazz like playing. So two tracks are really good, the other three are perhaps so-so, but I should add of course that we lack the moving images here, which might make a world of difference with this music. So I wonder: why didn't Staubgold release the DVD version? (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

MARK APPLEBAUM - THE METAPHYSICS OF NOTATION (DVD by Innova)
ANTHONY DE MARE - SPEAK (CD by Innova)
ESTHER LAMNECK & ROBERTO FABBRICIANI - WINDS OF THE HEART (CD by Innova)
Three new releases from Innova. Three very different ones, and yes innovating to in some aspects. First, pianist De Mare realized who has already about twenty releases around. "Speak" is the first one I encounter. He created his own genre of the speaking/singing pianist. And "Speak" is the first cd completely devoted to this style. It reminded of a bar pianist who tells jokes and stories while playing. But in the case of De Mare storytelling and playing are more deeply intertwined, and more sophisticated also. No wonder when you look at the list of composers: Frederic Rzewski, Jerome Kitzke, Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Derek Bermel and Rodney Sharman. Three of the six compositions have been composed especially for De Mare: 'De Profundis' (Rzwksi), 'Sunflower Sutra' Kitzke) and 'The Garden' (Sharman). The vocal performance by De Mare is somewhere in between speaking and singing. Sometimes a text is used, by Allen Ginsburg, Oscar Wilde and others. At other moments De Mare merely murmurs, screams, etc. He uses theatrical and dramatic tools to the limit. The vocals and piano are equally important in most pieces, representing different characters and voices. A very entertaining release, that wins when you give equal attention to the texts.
Extreme low sounds have always intrigued Fabbriciani and eventually led him to the construction of the Hyperbass flute in 1976. It was built in 2001 and it is the largest of all flutes. In 2005 Fabbriciani released "Glaviers in Extinction", his first album for hyperbass flute and tape. Now it is followed by a second one. Resulting from an initiative of Fabbricciani and Lamneck taken in 2008. For this CD the hyperbass flute is in the company of the tarogato, a Hungarian reed instrument that is related to the clarinet. Fabbriciani is an expert on extended flute techniques. He collaborated with Stockhausen and Ligeti among other reputed composers. Esther Lamneck the player of the tarogato, is artistic director of the NYU New Music and Dance Ensemble. Deep resonating sounds come from the flute, and very colorful and expressive notes come from the tarogato that whirls over these deep sounds. From time to time I hoped the taragota would shut his mouth, so that one could enjoy for a moment the sound world of this flute on its own. However these moments are sparse. The constant level of intense improvisation, with the penetrating sound of the tarogato too much on the forefront, becomes a tiring experience after a while. On the other hand the virtuosic playing of Lamneck clearly demonstrates the rich sound potential of the expressive tarogato. By its nature this instrument is very present, I guess. I can't remember I developed so quickly a hate-love relationship with a musical instrument as this time with the taragota. Anyway, this collaboration of tarogato and hyperbass flute, is not the ideal one for me.
Listening to parts of track '11', I hoped for more room for the flute in a solo-performance. Mark Applebaum is composer and soundsculptor. His project 'The Metaphysics of Notation' is about pictographic notation. It 'consists of 70 linear feet of highly detailed, hand-drawn glyphs, two hanging mobiles of score fragments, and absolutely no written of verbal instructions'. The score was installed at a museum where the piece received 45 interpretations from musicians that walked in. One minute excerpts from these performances have been compiled for this release in 'Metaphysics Mix'. The dvd opens with an very interesting documentary by Robert Arnold on Applebaum, 'There's no Sound in my Head'. Interesting because different perspectives and evaluations of Applebaum's project are at word, and a field of possible positions is sketched.
The dvd closes with two scrolling versions of 'The Metaphysics of Notation' plus a still version of the score, counting 48 images. As said, Applebaum wrote a purely pictographical score, with absolutely no verbal instructions added. I suppose this was not the only possible way for Applebaum to notate the music he had in mind. So he choose it for different reasons.
Maybe Applebaum had no exact musical idea or composition in mind. More likely he wanted to create an opportunity for improvisation and starts from interpreting abstract figures. Whatever 'interpretation' may and can mean in such a context. One can see that he musicians often are in eye contact with the score, but how strict or free is the reading of this notation? Can one actually say the musicians read the score, or are they merely producing musical associations, in the same way as they could also interpret other pictographical figures that were not intended as a notation of music? So the piece raises interesting questions. But as the 45 one minute outtakes show, the score stimulated most of the musicians for some inspired improvisations. (DM)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

AMY HORVEY - CATCHMENT (CD, private)
Trumpeter Amy Horvey is known for her interpretations of contemporary and baroque music. Some of her work devoted to contemporary music was first released earlier on the CD "Interview" (Malsartes Musiques). Now she knocks again with a new self-released CD on the door: "Catchment". Horvey is from Canada, where she started playing from a young age in a brass band. A similar start as the one for Marco Blaauw, with whom she studied a while in Holland.
"At times it is sound as sound and at other times it is sound as metaphor" Horvey explains. I decided to keep this statement in mind while listening to 'Catchment'. But I find it hard to say where sound is sound and where sound is metaphor. Also I cannot grasp in what respect it makes sense to say that sound can be a metaphor. But that doesn't matter, I love to indulge in ideas and in music from musicians who experiment and create unheard music and sounds. And that is certainly what Horvey is doing. She offers 'an exploration of sounds objects and sound events. It brings a range of landscapes and relationships into the private space of the listener.'
As is often the case soundexploration go hand in hand with the use of extended techniques, in composed as well as improvised music. The cd opens with a composition by Cassandra Miller, 'This One And That One Side by Side'. A piece that has a cyclic structure. After each cycle Horvey makes a pause and then starts with a new version of more or the less the same line. It is a very poetic and intimate piece. 'Marionette Lazarus' comes from Isak Goldschneider. It is a reworking of a piece that was originally written for trumpet and organ. 'People Deserving Something' is a work by Jeff Morton. It starts with organ prelude, to be followed by a quintet of trumpets. Very fine and nuanced piece. The closing work 'Cranberry Flats Mobile' is a composition by Horvey herself. It focuses on small sounds and short patterns. The pieces on this CD also leave room for environmental sounds and spacial effects. And this way it is also a tribute for Saskatoon, the place where Horvey lives. This is also reflected in the beautiful artwork of this limited independent release. All four pieces have a similar sensibility in common as well poetic and emotional content.(DM)
Address: http://www.amyhorvey.com

SKRYTY PUVAB BYROKARCIE - OUREDNIKOVY REFERATY (LP/CD by Poli5)
BIRDS BUILD NESTS UNDERGROUND/RUINU (CD by Poli5)
B4 - RINGO GEORGE PAUL JOHN (CDR by Poli5)
KORA ET LE MECHANIX - METROPOLIS (CDR by Poli5)
The only bit of information in English I could find on this label's website is a bit of explanation of what they do, which is actually quite a lot: a shop selling books, CDs, LPs, and such like, fair trade products, concert organizing, gallery, and label, releasing approx. five items every year. I guess these are these four out of five… unfortunately no more information on these releases: "Please, excuse our imperfect English and a bit of communication latency in a non-Czech language". One is a LP/CD, one on CD and two are on CDR format in nice big carton sleeves. Three different formats and perhaps as many directions.
The first release proofs to be a difficult one, both in terms of content and more plainly: what is it? Or who? Or why? There is more text on the cover, all in Czech, which probably say something about this release, or perhaps a lot, but what is it? Text, also through the lyrics, play an important role, in this otherwise pretty much improvised music on a bunch of instruments and electronics. Occasionally we hear words that may translate as 'Ideology' or 'Bureaucracy', so this are no doubt the grandsons of Josef K or some other stab at politically inspired music. The music is put together in a rather free-spirited way, at times a bit more electronic, and at other times a bit more rock like. The lack of sub-titles is annoying. Five bonus tracks on the one-sided vinyl (which could have fitted on the CD anyway) - so all in all the music was not quite my cup of tea, and I seem to be lost in the woods.
Just a CD then, which is a split release between Birds Builds Nests Underground and Ruinu. Of the first I once reviewed a CDR, on Klang Und Krach (see Vital Weekly 684), so I know its a duo of Michal Brunclik and Petr Ferenc, who are credited here with 'gramofony', vinyl records. They have one track here that lasts thirty-five minutes and unlike the previous release, its pretty early on clear that vinyl is used to create this music, although there might also be a bit of electronics used here and there. That, I must admit, doesn't help very much. The thirty-five minutes are filled with what seems to me an improvisation, in which not a lot was edited. It drags on and on. Another fine case of creating is fun for the creators but perhaps not so for the listeners. I never heard of Ruinu, who have no information, other than a quote from Walter Benjamin (in Czech…). The music is created here through more electronic means, although its hard to say what exactly. Ruinu seems to be inspired by Birds Builds Nests Underground (well, perhaps, I am merely assuming here) in terms of 'non-composing', or improvisation with a limited set of means, and without too much effort of cutting out all those bits which aren't that great. Marginally better than Birds Builds Nests Underground, but that's mainly due to the fact that vinyl can sound so worn out. I have no idea why this is on CD and not a CDR.
There is quite a bit of text for B4, all in Czech, and this is a trio, and if my imagination on the Czech language runs free, they use a Wurlitzer, organ, micro korg, drums, bass guitar, elektrik guitar, field recordings (hey that sounds like the english word) and other stuff, which no doubt include a sampler. Nine originals here and seven remixes as MP3 files on the same disc. Cheesy popmusic at play here. Nice rhythms, big time rhythms even, very upfront, nice fat organ sounds, sparse angular guitars, and in 'Nachtreiter', German lyrics. Maybe the students of Kubin? Mostly instrumental however and sufficiently weird, but at the same time quite entertaining. Except for the introspective '5+7', which seems a bit out of place, this music has a nice drive and energy to it. Time to clean up the kitchen and play this loudly as you go along. Remixes are by Karaoke Tundra & Peto Tazok, Mataiotechnia, Federsel, Gurun Gurun, WOo, Aleff and Dva - which is seven times a questionmark. Nice stuff, and in some cases something is added, such as the hip hop rap from Karaoke Tundra but throughout the remixes do not add necessarily anything particular interesting.
Kora Et Le Mechanix was the only name I recognized, due to their 'Excursin' CD (see Vital Weekly 522), released by the lovingly missed Nextera label. Kora Et Le Mechanix are a duo of Michel Koran, who previously played in Richter Band and Zapomenuty orchestr Zeme snivcu and Filip Homola who worked with Die Archa and Znameni kruhu. They take credit for sampling, loops, piano, laptop, synthesizer and vocoder. I am not sure if we should see this as an alternative soundtrack to Fritz Lang's movie of the same name, but it could surely be, with some imagination. As before they explore the route of experimental ambient music. The title piece takes up about thirty minutes and the other three go down in about thirteen minutes. Long form waves on a synthesizer make up pretty much a lot of the music, along with some random bleeps, and deep space voice - very occasionally, the latter. A bit SETI like from that great 'Knowledge' CD albeit in a more Biosphere like remix. Maybe like much of the material on this label also put together through one form of improvisation or another, but at least Kora Et Le Mechanix have the patience to stretch out their music, while keeping things utterly listenable. Lie back and chill out, that seems to be their approach and especially in the long 'Metropolis' they succeed well. The first around I fell asleep when listening to this, which I guess is a compliment too. When awake its music that fills the space nicely with warm sounds. An excellent release of ambient music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.poli5.cz

CORPSE OF DISCOVERY (LP by Free103point9)
This one is quite a bit problematic. First of all there is a very long press release along with it which is not easy to just summarize. Bryan Zimmerman is the main man behind Corpse Of Discovery, along with Laura Ortman, engineer Jason Loewenstein, bass players Charlie Hines and Darin Mickey and Jeff Conaway on drums. Lots of references are to be found to other bands, sadly many of which I never heard. So far I had Free103point9 down as a label of experimental music, sound art and radioplay, and Zimmerman samples radio. That's the element I like about the music. And that's where problem two arrives. The music is mainly rock like, and sometimes its great. There are elements of post rock, post punk and improvisation in those slides guitars, drums and hammond organ. Sometimes it derails to quite ordinary rock music and then the album lets down a great bit, despite the extensive use of weird samples, such as in the opening track 'My Disco Ball'. Six tracks in total, and the best are the three on the b-side. Less straight forward and more complex, but altogether perhaps a bit too much rock minded for Vital Weekly. (FdW)
Address: http://www.free103point9.org

ANTOINE CHESSEX - FOOLS (LP by Tourette Records)
ANTOINE CHESSEX & VALERIO TRICOLI - COI TORMENTI (LP by Dilemma Records)
Last week I witnessed an audio illusion. I saw a man with a saxophone, a tenor one, moving around in a small space while playing his saxophone. There was no microphone, yet the sound seemed to come from the speakers. It did probably. The guy who played the saxophone moved around, facing the wall and let the sound bounce around. Who did what or what did what remained a mystery. That man was Antoine Chessex, who has played with a band called Monno, is a gifted improviser who operates on the more noisy end of the soundspectrum, with people like Lasse Marhaug, Zbigniew Karkowski, Maja Ratkje, but also Robin Hayward or Burkhard Beins. Two records here, three sides of music. 'Fools' is a solo album of his and both sides have one title, although they seem to me build from various live recordings. Most of these recordings are from 2008 (or before) and don't necessarily display the Niblock/Lucier sensibility of this week's concert.  Chessex play tenor saxophone, amplification and electronics. It walks that fine line of very loud noise - perhaps the main portion of this album - and sine wave like structures, carefully spread out over the course of a few minutes. Perhaps I would want this to last longer, but a bath of noise is sometimes equally good.
The other record is an one-sided record, a collaboration with Valerio Tricoli, member of 3/4Hadbeeneliminated. Tricoli, who calls himself a sound architect, work here with a reel-to-reel recorder to treat the sounds of Chessex and they both end up with a great twenty minute piece in which the minimalism of Chessex meets up with the musique concrete of Tricoli's treatments: a dense tapestry of saxophone sounds and some interesting treatments of a somewhat obscured origin. Twenty minutes. How sad. Where's the b-side? (FdW)
Address: http://www.touretterecords.com
Address: http://www.dilemmarecords.com

MAARTEN VAN DER VLEUTEN - THE SCRAS REMAIN (2LP by Tone Float)
Back in Vital Weekly 653 I was first, properly that is, introduced to the music of Maarten van der Vleuten, who has been around in the Dutch music scene for some time, mainly section 'dance' music, but that is now put to rest - we all get older, right - in favor of some more experimental form of electronic music. Tonefloat might be perceived as a bit of a hippie/psychedelic label - at least from my seat - and while I know that is not entirely true, Van der Vleuten's album is loosely described as a concept album. Its about such things as crusades and 20th century genocide, and that we sadly have to deal with such things. The studio is his instrument so he says and he puts a lot into this studio. Samples of monks, brass fanfare, synthesizers, voices (his own) and the returning sound of snare drums rolling, like a military march, in various pieces. It makes indeed quite cinematic music, excellently produced. One thing I was less keen on was his use of his own voice - reciting text or attempting to sing, I am not sure which way he sees that. But its a kind of mumbling that just doesn't work very well, I think. Surely it suggests an awful lot, but it would have had more power, I think, when they would  have been properly recited. However its not always present in the music and by and large its instrumental music and that's where the power lies. Atmospheric, drone based, but also psychedelic, shimmering with samples of an original kind. An excellent ride through the dark side of mankind, depicted in likewise dark music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tonefloat.com

BIGG CITY OORGASTRAW - COCKAMAME (CDR by Ubuibi)
What the deal is here, I am not entirely sure of: an edition of 400, but 'not for sale'. So how would you get it then? I don't know. Also I am not sure which particular idea is behind this. Last time I saw Das and Ninah Pixie they showed me a whole bunch of releases they were working on, enthusiastically telling me about all sorts of projects, and all the various conceptual edges to them. And now, almost 18 months I forgot about them. Maybe 'Cockamame' wasn't mentioned? The floating membership of Big City Orchestra always rotates around Das and lately always also about Pixie, but long serving member Cliff Neighbors is there and special stars Wobbly and Daevid Allen - of former Gong fame. and a whole bunch of others, who get such as credits as 'applied plundering, guitar, voice, processing, tea, cello, violin' and much more. I couldn't find any information on Ubuibi central, so we just go by the music then. Its a rather poppy affair - floating membership means floating musical interesting affairs. Here exotica rhythms are chopped up and used along with glitching electronics, radioplay like voice material, opera singing, plunderphonics ('Sir Paul' is sampled from 'Band On The Run' from Sir Paul when he had wings) and throughout a mild psychedelic sound. Big City Orchestra - or how ever they wish to write it - have a pleasant experimental sound here. Moving into various musical areas in a gentle way. Quite an excellent release at hand here, although 'Viper' is perhaps fifteen minutes too long. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ubuoibi.org

HEAD IN BODY - NOT SO EMPTY (CDR by KLaNGuNDKRaCH)
The CDR of this underground group from Prague ? Czech Republic starts with a very short vocal song. It is a parody on all these sweet songs you will hear on the radio. Great track!  The four other songs continue this EP with highly delayed voice which is supported by electronic beats, crushes, groovy loops and noisy licks. The music is pulsating and minimal, because of the basic structure of the compositions. The instrumental part of the music has been played and composed in a good manner, with enough repetitions and variations.
But after a while the voice with delay starts to irritate me. I think Head in Body has enough creativity to use the voice in more different styles. I am looking forward to the next release of this promising duo. (JKH)
Address: http://www.klangundkrach.net

LOUD & SAD - WHALE FALL VOLUME ONE (cassette by Digitalis LTD)
A duo here, who call themselves Loud & Sad, Joseph Houpert and Nathan McLaughlin. The latter was recently reviewed with a solo release (see Vital Weekly 760). This is the first official release, and part one of 'The Whale Cycle' and 'it encapsulates death and rebirth, friendship and loss, and frames these ideas using the life cycle of whales'. Two pieces of around twenty minutes. No instruments are mentioned, just as with McLaughlin's solo tape. There are more similarities with that release. The music is calm and meditative, yet also a bit dark, and also from a more low resolution point of view. Indeed, like 'Echolocation' we can hear here traces of Basinski and Asher. But never far away, covered with hiss, this music is always present. Slow moving, and without too much emphasizes on the composition. More improvised like around a set of sounds, creating atmospheres and textures, alike being on a ship on the ocean (or more likely a whale, I assume), floating and bouncing. If Mystery Sea is looking for new names to add to the roster, the spacious aquatic sound of Loud & Sad would be a great new name. (FdW)
Address: http://www.digitalisindustries.com

JOERI BRUNINCKX - STOP IF YOU NOTICE THAT YOU ARE LEARNING. TRY AGAIN (book by Knife In The Toaster)
Maybe the new trend in magazine making is creating them into books? See the first issue of As Loud As Possible (see Vital Weekly 756) or the Encyclopedia Of Industrial Music, second part reviewed last week. This book by Joeri Bruyninckx is small, more pocket size and deals with interviews from the Belgium underground, 2003-2008, when he interviewed a whole bunch of people. Bruyninckx organized an album of recordings he made in an institution for people with mental handicap and that, along with writing of a music magazine called Storing, brought him into contact with the Belgium's underground, buying their LPs and CDRs at concert and he thus he decided to do interviews with them and collect them in this book, which has about 100 pages. A magazine or a book? Or perhaps something in between. Various names of people and labels were part of Vital Weekly before, such as R.OT., Ignatz, Alkerdeel, Ultra Eczema, but it also includes names I never heard of before, such as Jos Steen, Sylvester Anfang, Bear Bones, Partkdolg or Rivercrest. Maybe a CD/CDR with sound samples would have been a nice idea, as well as some sort of discography for the people included, or a survey of websites to check out them (in case you're too lazy to find out yourself). Well-done interviews, shedding light on a particular kind of Belgium underground (folk noir, improvisation, noise mainly). (FdW)
Address: http://www.knifeinthetoaster.com



<<<