============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 766
---------------------
week 5
---------------------

 

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>



STEPHAN MATHIEU - A STATIC PLACE (CD by 12K) *
TASOGARE: LIVE IN TOKYO (CD by 12K)
MOLNIJA AURA - UTOPIAN SUNS (CD by Topheth Prophet) *
BJORN HATTERUD & CONRAD SCHNITZLER - HIRSCHGEBRULL (CD by Fysisk Format) *
NERNES/SKAGEN - CONFESSION (cassette/LP by Fysisk Format)
HARSHCORE - PONYTAIL, PONYTALES (CD by Lisca Records)
COH - IIRON (CD by Editions Mego) *
STUART SWEENEY - 16:9 (CD by Oomff) *
MICHAEL RANTA & MIKE LEWIS & CONNY PLANK - MU (2CD by Metaphon) *
ARSENE SOUFFRIAU - EXPERIENCES BIMES (3CD by Metaphon) *
SUBHEIM - NO LAND CALLED HOME (CD by Ad Noiseam)
IGORRR - NOSTRIL (CD by Ad Noiseam)
BLACK LUNG - THE SOUL CONSUMER (CD by Ad Noiseam)
MATTA - PROTOTYPE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
MARKUS REUTER - TODMORDEN 513 (CD by Hyperfunction) *
LA PUN - LIGHTNING PREMIERSHIP (CD)
BREATHE OWL BREATHE - MAGIC CENTRAL (CD by Home Tapes) *
SHEDDING - TEAR IN THE SUN (LP by Home Tapes) *
ALL TINY CREATURES - AN IRIS MIXTAPE (cassette by Home Tapes)
NICOLAS LEAL - REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE (2LP by Resistance des Materiaux)
AUDIOCRIP - BLUE YOU SPEAKERS (LP by Sonic Lozenge)
QUIET STARS - L'EQUATEUR DE (LP by Lejos Discos)
HISTORICAL RECORDINGS VOLUME 1 (LP by Gagarin Records)
SEAHAWKS - VISION QUEST ONE - SPACESHIPS OVER TOPANGA (LP by Static Caravan)
MAGNETIC STRIPPER - EXTENDED PLAY-R (7" by Suitcase Recordings)
JOACHIM NORDWALL - "CONCERT" (CDR by Confront Collectors Series) *
ZACHARY JAMES WATKINS - SUITE FOR STRING QUARTET (CDR by Confront Collectors Series) *
THE HATERS & NOT HALF + FEVER SPOOR - SILENCE PHILOSOPHER (CDR by Anima Mal Nata)
COOLOLA MONSTER - AVI WANNA (CDR by Hazard Records)
JOAN BAGES I RUBI - DECONSTRUCCIO INSTRUMENTAL (CDR by Hazard Records)
GIGGLE THE OZONE - CHARGE (CDR, private) *
MIKE KRAMER - NORWEGIAN DIARY - A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SOUTH (CDR by Diary Series) *
OHMTRON SEEDLING - STRAWBERRY MAKES YOU FREE (CDR by Smilin' Asterisk Records) *
ANDRES BORGI - OMAGGIO A LUCIO FONTANA (3"CDR by Reductive Music)
CHAPELS/STAPLERFAHRER (cassette by Dim Records)



STEPHAN MATHIEU - A STATIC PLACE (CD by 12K)
TASOGARE: LIVE IN TOKYO (CD by 12K)
A new work of Stephan Mathieu is always a delight. If a pile of stuff arrives on one day, and there is a Stephan Mathieu among the lot, you can be sure I will play that one first. For the decade or so that I know his music (and the lovely man himself), I have been rarely, if at all, been disappointed. His work deals with projects, like using radio as a source of music, virginals and now its time to have a look at wax cillinders from the late 1920s and early 1930s, when 'historically informed performances of music from the late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era were etched into 78rpm records. Mathieu plays these back on an ancient gramophone and picks up the music from his space and treats it with 'spectral analysis and convolution processes', whatever that means exactly. It something you can think about when you listen to these five long pieces. This could be, something I was thinking about then, be a more likely release on Line than 12K. If you are familiar with his music, then you probably know what to expect: easily the best you can have in the world of drone/ambient music. There isn't a single moment when you think this is music made with the aid of a computer. More like a bunch of analogue synthesizers, recorded to cassette (the hiss in the opening piece 'Schwarzchild Radius'!) and in the process of transfer nothing was done to remove the hiss and static energy of low grade recording means, and that's surely the intention of Mathieu when working with wax cillinders. At first it seems if the music is too gentle, a big cliche of ambient music, but as the album progresses Mathieu adds a lot of depth to it and it works on many levels. The music is gentle, not mistake can be made there, but it can not be lumped in with the new age crowd, although the opening may seem to hint at that. Its more like Eno's first ambient record - to be noticed, to fill an ambience. Excellent.
In April 2010 a 12K showcase played two temples in Japan, bringing labelboss Taylor Deupree, Australia's Solo Andanta and three Japanese acts, Minamo, Sawako & Hofli and Moskitoo. Highlights of these two nights are captured on this disc. Four of the bands, all save Deupree, use quite extensively acoustic instruments, ranging from guitars, glockenspiel and other assorted small percussion, to the voice of Sawako and a whole range of objects which are described in any way. Electronics are of course also part of it, but it seems that its never a lot, more like ornamental than playing big roles in this music. Maybe with Moskitoo's piece things are more in balance, with computer processing of instruments. Field recordings also don't seem to play a too big of a role here, maybe most in the piece by Solo Andata. Deupree's piece is perhaps the only one which seems entirely based on electronics, but with a great warmth and delicacy to it. Each band/project gets about ten to twenty minutes here, which make it possible to get quite clear picture of what these people do in live concert. A fine document. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

MOLNIJA AURA - UTOPIAN SUNS (CD by Topheth Prophet)
A duo here, of the ever so active Andrea Marutti and Davide Del Col, of whom I may not have heard before, but who also works as O Diabo De Vila Velha and Ornament, as well as plays in group like 30 Seconds Over Teheran and Echran. I am not sure where Molnija Aura fits into his work, but for Marutti I can surely tell. His work seems to me one large take on the notion of ambient music, and all he does, and that is a lot, is finding a multitude of approaches to ambient. It can be very drone based, very quiet, more noisy, a bit more industrial, a bit more on field recordings etc. But whatever it is, he is always working towards that mighty droning piece of music. With Molnija Aura this is not different. They are credited for analogue and digital synthesizers, effects and treatments and they create six lengthy pieces of music. This is in ambient sub-section: spacious, science fiction music (the hand drawn space ship cover and titles give away a lot). Related to the so in-vogue cosmic music, although this was recorded in 2007 already. Great late night, dimly lit room music, or, if the weather is better, a walk at night with this on your headphones (walkman not mp3 of course). Great atmospherics going on here. Having said all things praise, I feel also a bit obliged to say that I didn't hear anything new that would shed light on the current state of said music. Molnija Aura probably don't care, so why should we? Sit back and flow downstream, sky-high. (FdW)
Address: http://www.topheth.org

BJORN HATTERUD & CONRAD SCHNITZLER - HIRSCHGEBRULL (CD by Fysisk Format)
NERNES/SKAGEN - CONFESSION (cassette/LP by Fysisk Format)
From reading the description of how this
collaboration was made I feared the worst. Bjorn Hatterud asked Conrad Schnitzler for some music from his garbage bin, and send two scratched CDRs with banana peels. Subsequently more 'foul smelling envelopes' were exchanged. Hatterud is best known for his solo project Maskinanlegg and membership of the Norwegian Noise Orchestra. That, plus the description, made me think I was going to deal with a work of noise. I am happy to report its not. If anything, for me it updates the non-keyboard electronics of Schnitzler into the 21st century. Lots of analogue synthesizer sounds have been used (and harmed) here, and are fed through a multitude of kaospads to create a wild and vivid, say psychedelic sound. There are ten pieces here, over the course of some forty minutes which also means that they know how to keep their doodling concise to the point and do not leap into lengthy pieces that loose themselves in chaos. There is chaos at times, but never too much, never too long. There is mild distortion, such as in the fifth part, but also moments that quieter and subdued. An excellent album of bouncing, non-rhythmic electronics.
Very retro of course to release your album on vinyl and cassette, but as I received the latter, I can say that looks pretty professional too. Nernes/Skagen's debut album 'Ad Undas' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 694. A duo of Nernes Nernes who plays guitar, while Skagen plays synthesis, analogue, filters and advanced sound constructions. Side A of this new work has three parts and was recorded using the particle generator in the University of Oslo, used to manipulate their instruments with liquid nitrogen and superconductors. No such information was forthcoming on the b-side of the record. Still, design wise it would not be something I would touch - the metal look is just not my cup of tea - and that's a pity. The music again a fine combination of influences, mainly for the guitar side of things, from the heavy metal music, but when things are toned down, and there is space appearing in the music, things become highly interesting. Lots of carefully build tension appears in the pieces, such as in 'Jura II' and electronics are carefully styled, a bass slowly strummed and one waits for a giant beast to enter your room. Of course that beast doesn't arrive, but at times things burst out in a great way. Excellently orchestrated nightmares. A pity about the form but the content is more than great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tigernet.no

HARSHCORE - PONYTAIL, PONYTALES (CD by Lisca Records)
I expected a lot of noise coming out of my speakers, but I was happily surprised. I like noise, the anger and force of sounds. But this was something completely different. The sounds of Harshcore are based on analogue and poor electronics, bass, effects and tapeloops and consists of Luca Sigurta (tapes, electronics and junk) and Tommaso Clerico (voice, trumpet, loop, synth and fieldrecordings). In 2007 they released their debut album The Sybian Sonority and after this soloalbum the duo released since 2007 many split-cd's and cassettes, with groups like To Live and Shave in L.A and  xNOBBQx. T. For this album Harshcore searches and finds collaboration with many other groups/musicians and that makes the album really interesting. The styles are different, from harsh techno to looped voices, from wicked rap to minimalistic electronic music or drony sounds. The track with Zeek Sheck is like free-jazz and the song with Madame P is really a surprise. A beautiful singing woman-voice highly inspired by Bjork and I mean this as a compliment. The artwork of the cover is made by Madeleine Boyne with a surrealistic phantastic attitude and that is exactly where this album is about. To create a weird phantastic world with a lot of space of freedom and exchange. (JKH)
Address: http://www.harshcore.com

COH - IIRON (CD by Editions Mego)
More metal here (see also Nernes/Skagen's review). What is it with these guys, who all come out of the woodwork (metalwork) with their liking of metal music and incorporating it in some way or another in their music? CoH's Ivan Pavlov also picked up the guitar, acoustic and electric, to create his own 'sort of' metal album. 'Iiron' is the follow-up to 'Iron', from eleven years ago on Wavetrap, although I don't remember this album at all. That was also about rock music. Of course its not really a metal or rock album at all. In every piece Pavlov uses riffs from the metal music songbook, but feeds these through hard edged software systems (something like Max, Audiomulch), with add a nice glitch like depth to the material. Sometimes bouncing around like a rhythm, in the best Raster/Noto tradition, which is nice. Yet, I must also admit that one you are over the initial 'oh wow, that's nice' a certain uniformity leaps in. The repeating riff is a loop, sometimes without a formal time signature, but never the less a loop, and with the strict following of the computer, also quite one dimensional to keep the attention going for an entire piece, and repeated times seven, is perhaps all a bit not enough to make the strongest album. Here a great 7" could have been cut. 'Satsugaii' should be the a-side, as this is by far the strongest track here, even when it comes last. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

STUART SWEENEY - 16:9 (CD by Oomff)
'A one man analogue orchestra producing a soundtrack that needs no film', is how Oomff promotes this debut album by Stuart Sweeney from Northampton. Apparently he uses 'hand-welded percussion, without an audible drum' and a computer. But somewhere else in the press text there is also mentioning of 'countless hours exploring the English countryside surrounding his home and the sounds to be found, and more importantly recorded, therein', which suggests the use of field recordings. Whatever it is, I think it involves a great deal of computer treatments, so that both percussion (non-rhythmic I should add) and field recordings melt in a fine way. Partly rooted in electronic music, the ambient section of course, there is also elements of contemporary classical music to be spotted in here. 'Ascension' has a Vangelis like choir, but at its more soaring moments, one could easily think of Arvo Part in stead. Indeed like a soundtrack to a movie, although its hard to say which kind of movie would use a soundtrack like this. Sweeney rather shows he's capable of presenting music that could be used by any movie, rather then settling on a specific kind of music. There is sweetness, suspension, dreamy soundscapes, and such like, but more difficult to set a great slasher movie or animals from outer space. As such Sweeney has a perfect introduction into the world of Hollywood. (FdW)
Address: http://www.oomff.com

MICHAEL RANTA & MIKE LEWIS & CONNY PLANK - MU (2CD by Metaphon)
ARSENE SOUFFRIAU - EXPERIENCES BIMES (3CD by Metaphon)
Two great designed boxes for Belgium's Metaphon label, which once again delve the archives for some historically important music. The first one is a double CD recorded in 1970 by Michael Ranta, who plays here percussion, guitars and prepared thunder sheet, Mike Lewis on keyboards and Conny Plank on live electronics, sound recording and recording. This meeting was the last between the three, late December 1970, as all three were going in different directions. They recorded four pieces on magnetic tape, as a matter of improvisation and did straight after that a mix down. One piece, 'Mu III' was used in 1982 by Ranta for an extended performance, the other three pieces are presented as they were mixed in 1970. Ranta is a classically trained percussion player, who worked with Stockhausen among others, Lewis studied with Jozef Dvorak and Plank is of course best known as the man who recorded the first Kluster albums, but also Killing Joke, Ultravox and Eurythmics, and who sadly died in 1987. Historically important music, surely. Excellent improvised music, totally free, but not wild or jazz like. Its more like being part of some kind of sound ritual, with great obscured sounds. Apart from the third part which has more obvious percussion parts by Ranta, the other pieces are more like clouds of sound, slow rumbling dark thunder that pass over your head. The earth is boiling, bubbling, slowly peacefully (deceivingly of course), like an earthquake to happen anytime soon. An excellent release.
Metaphon released previously a boxset by Baudouin Oosterlynck, a forgotten Belgium composer, now they do it again with one Arsene Souffriau, first generation electronic composer from Belgium, but not as well-known as Henri Pousseur, Karel Goeyvaerts or Leo Kupper. l never heard of him before. His first compositions date from 1943 but in 1963 his music appeared on record. He composed music for film in his own studio, Bimes, and teaches. Very much an outsider, mainly because he was only known for his film music and not his personal work. Various pieces on this triple CD comes with a lengthy explanation in the booklet; its a pity not all of them, but perhaps there is not always something to say, I guess. Souffriau's music is not purely electronic, but often a combination of electronics and real instruments. Not always this is a great success, since Souffriau doesn't compose along strict lines. On the second disc we find such pieces like 'Mutations' for choir, two piano's and three percussion players, which seemed more like an attempt than a well-defined composition. Things worked best, at least for me when it was purely electronic, such as in 'Imaginaires Irisees' or 'Attente' (both on the third disc), which is dark venture into the world of soundscapes. The first disc concentrated on the early pieces of more pure electronic work as well as an electro-acoustic composition, which were a bit cruder but very nice all around. Not the same as with the re-discovery a decade ago of the recently deceased Roland Kayn, but surely an interesting archival find.
Both releases releases appear in linen boxes, with extensive liner notes in English, French, German (only the Ranta box) and Dutch and are available on LP too. High quality releases, the best around. (FdW)
Address: http://www.metaphon.be

SUBHEIM - NO LAND CALLED HOME (CD by Ad Noiseam)
IGORRR - NOSTRIL (CD by Ad Noiseam)
BLACK LUNG - THE SOUL CONSUMER (CD by Ad Noiseam)
MATTA - PROTOTYPE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
For almost a decade, German label Ad Noiseam has fed listeners of experimental electronic music with a wide selection of albums crossing many different musical styles. Four albums from the label has seen the light of the day. First album is a quite untraditional release considering the usual style of the label. Subheim is the project of two greek artists, Kostas K and Katja. Present album titled "No land called home" is the follow-up to 2008's debut album "Approach" released on U.S. label Tympanik Audio. Stylish this second shot from the Greek joint venture, now based in London remains the same as the first album of Subheim. The music is first of all grandiose in its expression with orchestral elements counting sources as violin, cello and other kinds of wind instruments. There is a cinematic expression throughout the eleven pieces of the album. A strong and remarkable element of the music of Subheim is the beautiful middle-eastern stylish voice of Katja sometimes reminiscent of Lisa Gerrard from Australian world/ambient-band Dead Can Dance. "No land called home" is a very nice and atmospheric album.
Next album is quite some contrast to the aforementioned album from Subheim. French artist Gautier Serre works as part of the Grindcore band Whourkr who has released albums on among others the respected label Crucial Blast. As a solo artist
Gautier Serre operates under the name "Igorrr", that finds its hometown in the electronic sound world. Despite the different approach, there are also much similarity to the Whourkr-project on this album titled "Nostril" from Igorr. Igorrr takes its starting point in the extreme breakcore-scene but throughout the 40 minutes run-time, the album comes across a large number of expressions. First of all extreme metal, such as Grindcore and black metal with masses of guitarriffs and uptempo beats. Awesome breakcore from Igorrr.
Next album comes from an artist from "Down Under". Australian composer David Thrussell has over the years contributed with lots of exciting projects on the experimental electronic scene.
From the political and technoid project Snog, to
spoken word under his personal name and then his legendary industrial project Black Lung. As Black Lung, David Thrussell already has a large number of albums behind, though he still seems to re-new himself stylishly. Present album titled "Soul consumer" comes around a number of expressions from soundscapes of horrific ambient industrial to uptempo power noise-textures and much else in-between. The experimental and sometimes extreme expressions of "Soul consumer" correlates with the press materials of thought provoking containment, where mr. David Thrussell claims his passion for human flesh after he tasted it some years back. Experimental album from an experimental artist. Last album moves to quite different textures despite the fact that we musically still belong to the experimental tone of darkness.
The U.K.-based duo Matta circulates around spheres of dubstep textures with downtempo syncopated rhythm textures and darkside basslines drilling in and out of the cynic sound textures. But once in a while excellent atmospheric soundscapes of melodic ambience sneaks in to create a nice contrast to the cold and icy sounds of Matta. Very nice! (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net/

MARKUS REUTER - TODMORDEN 513 (CD by Hyperfunction).
New music from Centrozoon member Markus Reuter, and so far I have no been a big fan of that band, but the various things that I heard from him solo or in combination with Tim Motzer or Robert Rich were quite alright. For this new solo work he receives help from Rich as well as a whole bunch of others. 'Morden', you could know, is a town in Northeast England (remember 'The New Blockaders - Live At Morden Tower'?) and 513 refers to the construction of the piece: 'a continuos movement and sequence of five hundred and thirteen harmonies and triads generated by a combinatorial compositional technique of Reuter's own design' , which is further explained on the cover, but is perhaps a bit over my head. The piece is played a whole bunch of players of violins, cello, recorders, electronics, guitars, synthesizers, organ and glockenspiel, the majority of these by Reuter himself. Its an hour long piece of modern classical music, and of a very peaceful nature. Sounds glide by like small boats on summer's day. The acoustic instruments mingle excellently with the electronic sounds. At various points its not easy to the difference and that seems to me is a fine thing. Very ambient music, throughout here, with in the sixth' piece some more upfront, louder sounds of a mildly distorted guitar. The music moves back and forth, like being trapped in a system of its own and it could last for one hour, but you could also put this on repeat for a whole evening and it would still be a great, if not somewhat sweet, work. Relaxing music. Chill out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hyperfunction.org

LA PUN - LIGHTNING PREMIERSHIP (CD)
This is one of those things which made me think: why do I care, or why do you want me to care about this. I can hardly read the band name, but after first typing Le Pun into that dreaded myspace thing, it turns out to be La Pun, a duo (?) from Australia, who created this CD 'Lightning Premiership' together, using some keyboard or two, some sort of vocals, a rhythm machine and are perhaps inspired by hip hop like rhythms, although they call themselves, at least on myspace, 'experimental', 'garage' and 'kindermuzik', but its hardly experimental nor it has the fuzzyness of garage music, but yeah perhaps these are child-like naive pieces of music. I don't know, and somehow I don't care that much about it: I simple don't get into the music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/lapun

BREATHE OWL BREATHE - MAGIC CENTRAL (CD by Home Tapes)
SHEDDING - TEAR IN THE SUN (LP by Home Tapes)
ALL TINY CREATURES - AN IRIS MIXTAPE (cassette by Home Tapes)
Home Tapes, from Portland Oregon, is a home for all things pop and beyond. This trip in three parts starts in Michigan where we find Breathe Owl Breathe in cabin rebuild into a studio, which they call 'Magic Central', just as their CD. Guitars, vocals, drums, folk music, soft rock alike, sweet music, skillfully produced. Now, I was actually having dinner while listening to this, since I like to play a bit of popmusic while eating. I had a great time (and great food), but when I sat behind my computer to 'review' this CD, I found I had some problem with this, as perhaps I have always with reviewing popmusic for Vital Weekly. I do have my personal favorites when it comes to popmusic, all based on stuff from the past, but I never kept up with more recent developments in that kind of music, commercial or alternative, so I have no idea where Breathe Owl Breathe stands in that world. Are they good, original, copy cats? I couldn't tell. Throughout I thought this was nice enough indeed, but perhaps a bit too sweet for my taste. As a bonus you get two films on the CD which shows the band (I guess) in the snow and they look like I expected: men with beards. Nicely produced however.
It almost seven years since I reviewed 'Now I Am Shedding', by Shedding, also known as Connor Bell (see Vital Weekly 409). I compared that record with Oval being locked in a system that feeds itself again and again.  The new record 'Tear In The Sun' is however something different. Is it a drone record? Yes, you could say that. Drones made with what seems to me saxophones and/or violin massive layered and stretched out. Or maybe a harmonium as written on the website. All is possible here. Bell also sings now, with a solemn voice. Bell sings almost like being part of religious celebration, with the help of raga like music. When Home Tapes is about pop and beyond, this is definitely beyond. Majestically the music unfolds in a very slow way. Its a pity however that, however nice it is to press a record on red vinyl, the quality is not that good. That doesn't justify the music (although on the first track, first side I thought this was part of it) which is a pity. Luckily you can download the pieces in mp3 format.
Its not easy to decipher the text on the cover (white on bright green), and its not yet on the website. But All its by a band from Madison, Wisconsin, called All Tiny Creatures, around multi instrumentalist Thomas Wincek. They had a LP out before, and now on cassette, which seems to be a taster for a forthcoming album. This is a four piece band and we return to popmusic here, albeit one that is also not very commercial. Their music consists of stretched out, krautrock like playing, wordless singing (I think) and post-rock moves. Its hard to say wether these pieces are just one track per side or various pieces. Somehow I think its all one piece, broken up into various parts. The b-side is even more cosmic/krautrock like than the a-side, with lengthy instrumental, spacious playing. Not as sweet as Breathe Owl Breathe, All Tiny Creatures have a stronger bite to it. There is a references to be made to the music of Colonies Of Bees, in which Wincek also plays, but All Tiny Creatures seem to me throughout a bit more rock like. Much more my cup of tea, this one.
Also received a promo CDR of Home Tapes, which showcases seventeen tracks of their acts and what I tried to tell you before: Home Tapes is a label of pop music in its widest meaning. Maybe they can pop in one when you order from them? (FdW)
Address: http://www.home-tapes.com

NICOLAS LEAL - REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE (2LP by Resistance des Materiaux)
After I penned a few lines about the return of the long lost cut-up artist Aphasia, I read the press text for this double LP and realized we are talking different Aphasia's here. This one is from France, and started out in 1997, playing 'energetic hardcore beats', with one sampler and one synth. These days Aphasia goes by his real name Nicolas Leal, according to the press text, but on the cover it says 'all traxx by Jean Ferraille'. The music is not made with samplers we are told but in the 'old acousmatic process' and the result is quite noise based. The hardcore gabber element of before is gone, but the music is still quite loud. Lots of metal percussion is banged around here, with some ways to process the sound, through electronics, but also tape-manipulation. I am not sure if all the sounds are played by Leal, as the opening piece 'Tableau D'Une Exposition' sounds like a cut-up version of 'Compulsion', Test Department's first 12". Test Dept, Neubauten or SPK - to mention the three best known metal bashers - are all a major influence here, and all from their most experimental phases. Forget any of their disco music, take their roots and explore those again, that is what Leal does. He also probably had Merzbow's 'SCUM' 2LP in mind when he started to cut those tape up. Although I am not sure if four sides is really necessary, this is quite good. A fine line between hardcore rhythm (without any real consecutive beats), musique concrete montage techniques and industrial noise. Certainly one that leaves no room for a single breath of air (maybe that's why four sides isn't such a good idea?). Leal does a great job at producing some utterly tiring music - the pleasure of being tired when its finished. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bruitsdefond.org

AUDIOCRIP - BLUE YOU SPEAKERS (LP by Sonic Lozenge)
The world of rap, hip hop, gansta's, is not my world. I really just don't like it ('oh no you can't say that, you really should hear ….' or 'that's just one side of the story, you should hear…' - but like I repeat: I don't like rap, hip hop, gansta's and everything that is connected with it. I am sure that world doesn't like what I do. Venus and Mars. So the biography of Audiocrip is about witnessing '92 riots of Compton, car thievery and somebody turning him onto experimental music. Maybe his and my world meet up then? Apparently Audiocrip records his stuff on the street, drunk girls, the convenient store, laughing people, and those he mixes with some hip hop rhythms, lock grooves from vinyl and perhaps even a singer (sparsely, far away). Surely not the kind of commercial hip hop styled stuff that creates multi-millionair stars with villa's and swimming pools, but there is something about the sparseness of this record that I don't like. A few beats, some far away street recordings and bob's y'r uncle. Not my cup of tea. At all. I told you. (FdW)
Address: http://www.soniclozenge.com

QUIET STARS - L'EQUATEUR DE (LP by Lejos Discos)
This record I got handed when in Brussels, but as I was a bit busy I forgot to ask one of the band members (I assume) for some more information. So I have to rely on the information from the website of the label. Quiet Stars is a trio of Peter Kern (actor), Quentin Legrand (journalist) and Rene Mercelis (painter). They are fascinated with boss-nova - something I have no knowledge about. Its not a very clear text, but we get the drift of it. Although its music I would hardly play, it reminded me of some early Les Disques Du Crepuscule records, Isabelle Antena and such like. Twilight easy listening music. They use simple rhythm machines to create slow boss nova rhythms (mechanically from a drum machine), easy lines on a keyboard, a bit of guitar, a bit of saxophone and a bit of voices, which I must admit get in the way of the music. The tell a story, whisper a bit, like those French female singers sometimes do, but never as good really. But the instrumental part of the record is something that is really nice. Joyfull, breezy summer music, adding a certain warmth to a cold winter day. To be enjoyed with a glass of cool, white wine. (FdW)
Address: http://lejosdiscos.com

HISTORICAL RECORDINGS VOLUME 1 (LP by Gagarin Records)
You may think that by now everything is available by a simple mouseclick, but its not. In 2008 an 1860 recording of 'Au Clair De Lune'  was discovered and that put Gagarin boss Felix Kubin on the hunt for more neglected recordings from archives and private collections. This LP is the first collection of what he found and its a closet of curiosities. What to think of machine recordings, Marmara Sea Plankton, a nazi prototype synthesizer, Pygmy hunting journal, but also David Tudor, Hans Henny Jahnn and Welimir Chlebnikow? All of the pieces are excellently described in the booklet, even when you might be part of a large hoax: isn't Kubin the sort of guy to produce quasi historical recordings with such an accuracy? It could very well be, but perhaps its not and this is the real thing? Or perhaps partly? I don't know. I was reminded of the Spiral cassettes once released by the Radio Art Foundation, which was a likewise curious mixture of spoken word, field recordings from Tsjernobyl, singing parrots and Ron L. Hubbard singing. That was, if I remember correctly, ten or twelve volumes and I surely hope Gagarin will go on with the treasure hunt for such more weirdness, which is a pleasure to hear by itself, however which can be used as part of a wild DJ set or simply to shock visitors: 'hey do you want to this recording of a synthesizer demonstration that was recorded by the Nazis'. 'What that is? Oh a recording of Marmara Sea Planton' - of course. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gagarinrecords.com

SEAHAWKS - VISION QUEST ONE - SPACESHIPS OVER TOPANGA (LP by Static Caravan)
Back in Vital Weekly 730 I was pleasantly surprised by the work of Seahawks, a sample heavy group of musicians with a great love for the big history novel of popmusic. The previous lot sounded like seventies disco, but this new one is a bit more mellow, less disco/rhythm, more ambient and unmistakably sunshine music - much needed in the dark grey days of this season. Spacious trippy music, with lotsa guitars, endless delay, hissy analogue synthesizers. I have said in the past few months something about the return of ambient house, and found myself playing yesterday morning The Heavenly Music Corporation as part of an attempt to get over a hangover, and now I am playing Seahawks - no hangover to get rid of - and I am thinking of the Corporation again, and also of the more spacey music by The Orb. Is there going to be such a return? Are we fed up with the cosmic music resurrection and we want it to have some more rhythm, and we are arrive at ambient house again? Who knows (or who cares about such labels, come to think of it), but Seahawks definitely play some great music from the era and they do a great job. Not a lot of voice samples here (unlike The Orb), but the sources are the same: cosmic music, psychedelics, dub, west coast guitars and radiophonic voices. Very pleasant music that works utterly relaxing (except for the part where you have to flip this excellently designed picture disc over), with or without the use of any chemicals. Oh summer, were are'thou? (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

MAGNETIC STRIPPER - EXTENDED PLAY-R (7" by Suitcase Recordings)
Eric Blevins was once known as All Fours, and also running the Suitcase Recordings label, and returned after a long hiatus in 2008. In 1982 he started along with one Jim Ellis Absolute Ceiling, until 1984 and since 1996 the two work again, but now as Magnetic Stripper. Another fourteen years later sees the first release by this duo, a 7" with four tracks on Blevins' own imprint. They seem to be stuck in old industrial music, armed with a few synthesizers and a rhythm machine. Think a bit of Esplendor Geometrico in the earliest days, crude formed electronic music with voices which are hard to decipher. I must admit I quite liked this, but then so I did with the old Esplendor Geometrico sound. The overall music and design: its all very much a product from the past but then presently made. A fine one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.a4suitcase.com

JOACHIM NORDWALL - "CONCERT" (CDR by Confront Collectors Series)
ZACHARY JAMES WATKINS - SUITE FOR STRING QUARTET (CDR by Confront Collectors Series)
Ideal Records boss and Skull Defekts member Joachim Nordwall  played a 'concert' in 2008 although it says 'skull transmission at Bla, Oslo'. It is recorded by Wolf Eyes frontman John Olson and its 'intentionally lo-fi / keeping the spirit of analogue alive in the twenty-first century' as it says on the press release. I have no idea, but it might very well also the case that the output of Nordwall is in some way derived from analogue sources, like battered old cassettes, reel-to-reel loops or such things alike, and with Olson's recording techniques things sound even more lo-fi. A seventeen minute "concert" (what the "" mean in the title, I am not sure of. Perhaps Nordwall isn't sure it is a 'concert' either?) of a super lo-fi rumble of sound, moving about a bit. Tape-loops or some motor driven mechanics - see it happen for the audience present, but not for us. But actually I thought this was a real nice piece of music.
The other release is recorded much better (if such a word is deemed relevant: I don't know; I am sure Nordwall/Ohlson might not agree). Its a work for a string quartet, but also resonant spaces, interactive electronics and audience participation. I am not sure how that translates to the music I hear. The first twenty minutes resembles closely to the work of Phill Niblock: long sustaining sounds that sound like soundwaves, moving gently along.  At almost twenty-two minutes something else starts and towards the end the playing gets all nervous and hectic and for me broke down what was build up in the first twenty-one minute of the piece. Maybe the violins were handed out to the audience and that made up the audience participation? Its a pity since it took away some of the delicate magic from the first, main part of the piece. I am not sure why that was part of the composition. But the main portion was very good. (FdW)
Address: http://sound323.com/pages/catalog.php?label=Confront

THE HATERS & NOT HALF + FEVER SPOOR - SILENCE PHILOSOPHER (CDR by Anima Mal Nata)
Silence Philosopher is the 100th release of Anima Mal Nata. The man behind this label is Marcel Herms, who always releases his music on his own label as a split with another musician/group or project. The artwork has a standard lay-out with the wild drawings of Herms himself. The title "Silence Philosopher" pretends to be a silent album, quiet and layed back. But that will be impossible with the noiseists of the first hour. Since 1979 The Haters break and smash all kinds of material on stage and record these eruptions and release it all over the world. The contact between these three noise-musicians; the Haters, Not Half (Al Conroy) and Fever Spoor (Marcel Herms) has a long history. Since the tape network in the eighties they exchange material and compose their walls of sound. "Kettleday 2010" is a recording of the Haters and is meditative because of a ever lasting tone which continues all the way round. Lots of other noises are coming up and down and come back again. It is created by amplified grinding and sanding. Great blasting noise as we known from the Haters. not half and Fever Spoor have collaborated many times. "Purging the Thief's Presence?"has more variation. Al Conroy composed the basic track and Herms added his own sounds to this track. Looped sounds, feedback tones and other trash build up to a climax and than they slow down and trash again the sounds full in the face. This release is a culmination of the brutal releases of Marcel Herms. What will be the next step in his arts when Herms philosophes in silence after this earblasting CDR? (JKH)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/animamalnata

COOLOLA MONSTER - AVI WANNA (CDR by Hazard Records)
JOAN BAGES I RUBI - DECONSTRUCCIO INSTRUMENTAL (CDR by Hazard Records)
Hazard Records is based in Barcelona and started as a CDR label in 1998. Their goal was to offer music for a cheap price. For now they publish music of all gernes on the internet as free download. The attitude of the label has a high DIY standard. Coolola Monster is based in Bilbao, Spain and formed by Estranis Comella, Miguel A. Garcia, Oier I.A. and Jorge Nunez and they make noise without any structure. That is not really a problem. Their own created noises are okay, not special or spectaculair, but just noise with a lot of feed-back and wicked voices. Some tracks are mixed with sampled music of metal bands or classical music. The samples are too clear for me. And it becomes more worse when the musicians starts to yell with these metal licks. I do not know, maybe Coolola Monster was in a happy crazy mood or something when they recorded this album, but it is not my cup of tea. Joan Bages I Rubi is a catalan sound artist whow lives in Paris and released about 30 CDs/DVDs since 1998. He studied music at several academies and won also some prices. But he doesn't live in an academic ivory tower. He releases his music at several independent labels. In the album Deconstruccio Instrumental he combines flute, fagot, cello and Electronics and he does it really in a nice way. It is like free-jazz, improvisation and electro-acoustic music with an academic attitude. But still it has a wide range of sounds and spheres. He plays the instruments with a good technic, but also with his heart. The electronic sounds improve and complete the acoustic sound and sometimes it is a complete mess and chaos with many tones, accords and bleeps. The most thrilling piece is "Le Tailleur de Temps dans l'Interzone" with electronics  of File  Under Toner. This track was released at Hazard Records 61. The cracking sounds of a pick-up player and album combined with a fagot played in a thoughtful way makes this album high recommended for lovers of free-music and experiment. (JKH)
Address: http://www.hazardrecords.org

GIGGLE THE OZONE - CHARGE (CDR, private)
A duo using drums/percussion, voice, keyboards and guitars that almost reminds me of Silver Apples, one of the few very old favorites - pre-punk that is. Yet Giggle The Ozone is not alike Silver Apples. The guitar plays an important role here, but otherwise this is popmusic. Seven tracks of intelligent, drum heavy music, sparse keyboards, guitar strumming and nice vocals. Quite intelligently made popmusic with a nice electronic edge to it, yet never really full on electro music or popmusic. More like a fine cross-over between those genres, with interesting changes in tempos. I played it with great curiosity actually, but perhaps that is because I like popmusic? Think Devo meets the Sparks?n Is it something for Vital Weekly and 'all things experimental'? Well, not really, although this hardly commercial either. Strange, but I had a fine time. (FdW)
Address: <lazerseizure@earthlink.net>

MIKE KRAMER - NORWEGIAN DIARY - A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SOUTH (CDR by Diary Series)
Besides organizing concerts in home-town Heerlen, Mike Kramer also records music. Recently we had his release for a John Cage event, and now a piece of work that is entirely built from field recordings made in July and August last year in the south part of Norway. In this work we hear the emptiness of the land, water sounds, an occasional car passing, some cows and birds, and the travel through this land by train and bus. This is quite an interesting piece of work in that it starts out quite 'ordinary': we recognize all the sounds crisp and clear (after turning up the volume a bit, I must say). But after the fifteen minute break, the piece takes a different road and its heavily processed, or maybe recorded entirely differently - I don't know - but here you have to turn down the volume a bit, since it would shred your speakers to bits. A very fine transition here. An excellent, twenty-five minute soundscape that would fit perfectly on say the Gruenrekorder label. (FdW)
Address: <mikekramerart@gmail.com>

OHMTRON SEEDLING - STRAWBERRY MAKES YOU FREE (CDR by Smilin' Asterisk Records)
A small country like The Netherlands (never say Holland, please, thank you) and Vital Weekly coming from it, you might think we know everybody in that small country who is doing 'weird' music, but there is always something new to explore, like Ohmotron Seedling, whose curiously called 'Strawberry Makes You Free' (which I think is very fun, but a very hard to explain private reference and probably means something else to the band) has fifteen tracks and lasts for almost seventy minutes. In the old days a double LP, and I am just saying that since the music has something 'old' about it. Although there is no mentioning of that, I think we could say Ohmtron Seedling is a band who uses extensively analogue synthesizers, sparse drum machines and sound effects, and at that play cosmic music. Occasionally there are mildly distorted guitars to break up the mood, but its all quite retro sounding, in a curious lo-fi setting. Arpeggio's are in place, just like longitude sustaining sounds Like the earliest days of cosmic music, when the machinery was still hissy and rusty. Not every moment is great here, as some of the tracks could have been shorter or left out entirely. However altogether it was quite a pleasure to hear this from a small Dutch town (Almelo, in case you're interested). A promise for the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/ohmtronseedlingmusic/blog

ANDRES BORGI - OMAGGIO A LUCIO FONTANA (3"CDR by Reductive Music)
Omaggio a Lucio Fontana of the Italian sound-artist and bass-player Andres Borgi is the third release of the label Reductive Music from Spain. The label is specialized in experiments with sound. The artwork is great of this small piece of sound-art. A transparent cover in a small dvd-case with nice fonts and minimal lay-out. The music is a documentation of a interactive sound installation for modified turntable. The vinyl is treated with glue and dusted materials and edited with a computer. The installation was a tribute to the Italian abstract artist Lucio Fontana. The 3"CDR consists five short tracks with cracking sounds of the vinyl. Lots of musicians have done this before, but Borgi makes the abstract dusty sounds of vinyl more abstract than possible. The sounds are coming up and down. In a harsh way or very softly and kind, like drops of water passing by after a rainy day. A great release of abstract music! (JKH)
Address: http://www.reductivemusic.com/

CHAPELS/STAPLERFAHRER (cassette by Dim Records)
A split release with from the US Chapels and from the Netherlands Staplerfahrer, released by the label of the latter. I don't think I heard the music of Chapels before. Its a bit of strange music here. Far away, drenched with sound effects, there is, perhaps, music. Voices, organ, field recordings? I am not sure. But whatever I thought, it sounds pretty much alright. Lo-fidelity soundscapes, relatively easy and cheaply made perhaps, but it works pretty well. Staplerfahrer on the other side has a great piece, which starts out with low humming pulses, that over the course of twenty-five minutes builds up in a strong, drone like manner. A very dynamic piece, even when some of the dynamics are lost in the translation to the medium of cassette, but somehow I think this is an intentional thing from Staplerfahrer. Nice one. (FdW)
Address: http://dimrecords.wordpress.com

<<<