============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 774
---------------------
week 13
---------------------

 

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.


help Vital Weekly to survive:


* noted are in this week's podcast. Feed at: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xml


RICHARD CHARTIER - TRANSPARENCY (PERFORMANCE) (CD by Line) *
SETH CLUETT - OBJECTS OF MEMORY (CD by Line) *
JOHN FOXX AND THE MATHS - INTERPLAY (CD by Metamatic Records) *
SCHLEIMER K - WOUNDED WOOD (CD by Infrastition) *
LARS AKERLUND - XENON (CD by Firework Edition Records) *
RON GEESIN - RONCYCLE 1: THE JOURNEY OF A MELODY (CD by Tonefloat)
AEROPLANE TRIO - NARANJA HA (CD & DVD by Drip Audio)
SUBTLE LIP CAN - SUBTLE LIP CAN (CD by Drip Audio)
GORD GRDINA TRIO - BARREL FIRE (CD by Drip Audio)
MATT WESTON - THE LAST OF THE SIX-CYLINDERS (CD by 7272 MUSIC)
ELEKTRO GUZZI - LIVE P.A. (CD by Macro) *
RAUDIVE - CHAMBER MUSIC (CD by Macro) *
FRIEDRICH GOLDMANN - LATE WORKS (CD by Macro)
PETERLICKER - NICHT (LP by Editions Mego)
RUSSELL HASWELL - IN IT (IMMERSIVE LIVE SALVAGE) (LP/DVD by Editions Mego)
FABRIC - A SORT OF RADIANCE (LP by Spectrum Spools)
BEE MASK - CANZONI DAL LABORATORIO DEL SILENZIO COSMICO (LP by Spectrum Spools)
RUDE PRAVO - THE HETERADELPH'S DAUGHTER (12" by Shadazz)
AMELIA CUNI & WERNER DURAND - ALREADY AWAKE IN THE NIGHT (LP by Ini.itu)
LUZPARIS - TIERRA DE CONEJOS (LP by Licht-ung)
MERZBOW - ZARA (10" by Licht-ung)
NAOKI ISHIDA - CARMMIT (CD by Licht-ung) *
VERY FRIENDLY #2 (book + 7" by Komplott)
ROBOL - MUSICA METAPHYSICA (CD by Telekinett Records)
CHEFKIRK - SOFT PROPAGATION (CDR by DumpsterScore Home Recordings)
IAN HOLLOWAY - PASSING THROUGH OCCASIONALLY (CDR by Phonospheric) *
CAUSTIC CASTLE - THREE UNTITLED (CDR by Dim Records)
STABWOUND - EMPIRE VASECTOMY (CDR by Dim Records)
JEREMY BIBLE & JASON HENRY - VOWL (CDR by Mystery Sea) *
NICK HENNIES - OBJECTS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
VENISON WHIRLED - XIBALBA (3"CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
ARVO 333 (CD by no label given)
LUNGWASH - BY MYSELF TO MYSELF SACRIFICED (cassette, private)




RICHARD CHARTIER - TRANSPARENCY (PERFORMANCE) (CD by Line)
SETH CLUETT - OBJECTS OF MEMORY (CD by Line)
These days Line is separate from 12K and to celebrate this, Richard Chartier released a new work by himself (as well as celebrating his 40th birthday) and a new release by Seth Cluett. Chartier's release deals with a research fellowship he was awarded by the Smithsonian Institution 'to explore the National Museum of American History's collection of 19th Century acoustic apparatus for scientific demonstration'. Chartier choose Grand Tonometer, as developed between 1870-1875 by German physicist Rudolf Koenig, which consists of 692 tuning forks from 260hz to 4096 hz. Apparently Chartier recorded them all, as well metal and wooden resonators and wood organ pipes. I can understand Chartier's interest in these forks: the way the resonate through space, makes you more aware of the space you are in. From all of this he created 'Transparency', and if I'm correct we are dealing here with a live recording made in Washington, DC. Perhaps the bad thing about it, is that it sounds like a Richard Chartier album. Now of course that is not bad thing in itself, but after quite a long string of albums, you could wonder if there is anything that can be changed in his method. That's not a question for me to answer, but Chartier. All his usual elements are there. The fact that this is all very very soft on the CD (thus ensuring being radio unfriendly, which is not doubt the idea), the ringing and sustaining deep end sounds, the high pitched sine wavey sounds and such like, it all sounds like common ground. That is perhaps the downside of the album. Fans who follow Chartier's work may be very pleased with this, and actually I thought it was a fine album too (maybe for the amount of radical sound information a bit long at sixty-one minutes), but somehow I hope that something will change a little bit for Richard Chartier. Things can be too much.
Less productive is Seth Cluett in terms of releases, or perhaps they escaped my attention. Cluett's work is also minimal, but also more 'traditional'. By this I mean that sometimes his work deals with a variety of instruments and players. More like a classical composer that is. Take for instance 'Objects In Stillness', which is a Niblock like piece for bassoon, viola, guitar, percussion and four sine tones. The next two pieces are alike: minimal, classical, introspective and simply beautiful. The other two pieces here are much longer and don't seem to involve any traditional instruments. Yet this is no break with the previous three pieces. In 'Dolores' he uses 'reclaimed building materials, steel, baler twine, speaker cones, light and 12.1 channel audio'. While there is a soft percussive element to the music, there is also the low humming bass sound, that over the course of the piece changes towards a more mid-ranged sound and a bit louder. If anything, I was reminded of the music of Steve Roden here. Sine waves also play a big role in the final and longest piece 'Untitled (Objects Of Memory)', which also uses cassette dictaphones, circuit-modified portable cassette player and controlled feedback. Despite it being the longest piece, it seems to have the least sound information, but its an excellent piece. Almost alike Alvin Lucier, but just with that extra bit to make it more 'musical'. This could have been a fine (if not short) CD by itself. This CD may serve as a fine introduction in case Cluett is a new name for you. (FDW)
Address: http://www.lineimprint.com

JOHN FOXX AND THE MATHS - INTERPLAY (CD by Metamatic Records)
SCHLEIMER K - WOUNDED WOOD (CD by Infrastition)
Picture a fifteen year old FdW saving pennies and going to a record shop to buy 7" records - LPs were out of his league. Thus getting 'Are Friends Electric' by Tubeway Army, 'Adrenalin' by Throbbing Gristle, 'Electricity' by OMD and 'No One Driving' by John Foxx. Since then hooked on things with synthesizers, rhythm boxes, vocals and general a good electronic popsong. An interest that never waned, and in all of these cases, the rest of the history of each of the artists has been explored (and not always deemed good, actually). John Foxx was perhaps the one I was least into, after 'Europe After The Rain', which as song I liked, but the not the album it came from. Later works were better, but never as good as his first one, 'Metamatic'. Now Foxx is back with 'Interplay', which he recorded with The Maths, which is effectively one man: Benge. And as you should know Benge is the master of analogue synthesizers, which he explored so well on his 'Twenty Systems' CD (see Vital Weekly 653). Its safe to say this is a return to form for Foxx. It has nothing to do with Benge's more abstract ambient compositions, but it has strong electronic rhythms, sequencer based synthesizers and Foxx' deep and dark voice to go along. The music from Foxx is hardly uplifting or pleasantly pop; John Foxx plays pop-noir. Its hard to say what his lyrics are about, but his world-view, or look at the future might not be the most pleasant one. But the music, ah, the music is great. Clear synthesizers, no other instruments to distract from that pure electro pleasure, bouncing rhythms and just exactly what I want. Still after thirty years. Still a sucker for synth pop - noir or otherwise. 'Interplay' is indeed a great CD!
Picture a slightly older FdW craving for information and having a subscription to the Dutch magazine Vinyl. Every month new information and, through the flexi disc, two new bands. Sometimes something you'd know, like say Cabaret Voltaire of Five Or Six, but then, say Number 14, a flexi disc by Die Partei and Schleimer K. Two new names, two great tracks. The uplifting electronics of Die Partei and the dark, gothic synthesizers of Schleimer K. They have a LP says the article, but unavailable at the local record shop. Schleimer K is a mystery for the next twenty-five years. But internet arrives and information can be sourced. It turns out they made two LPs, one 12" and a handful of tracks on compilations. That was it. But as these things go, and due to the invaluable kindness of Infrastition, another piece of history is now committed to CD (replacing crackly free downloads) bringing out the full power of Schleimer K. 'Wounded Wood' is their swan song, when the original duo had expanded into a quartet (vocals, synthesizers, guitar, sax percussion) and an occasional guest vocal.  I wonder why no double CD with their entire output, but let's hope another CD with the rest will follow (I think all of that is from the time when they were a duo). As said Schleimer K is a dark band, the keys are in minor, and Micheal Wolfen's voice is dark, in despair but also decadent and never uplifting or funny. A streak of sunlight is not permitted in this music. The music is somewhat expanded over the years, following their self-titled debut, with leaned exclusively on synth and drum machine, besides the dark howl of Wolfsen. Here on 'Wounded Wood' the guitar wails along, seemingly never playing a chord of its own. An excellent album of music that is thank god no longer forgotten. (FdW)
Address: http://www.johnfoxxandthemaths.com
Address: http://www.infrastition.com

LARS AKERLUND - XENON (CD by Firework Edition Records)
Once a member of the Lucky People Center and originally a guitarist, but since the 90s more and more into electronic music, with releases alternating between Fylkingen Records and Firework Edition Records. 'Xenon' is his second released on the latter. For this album he recorded machinery and activities of everyday life. These recordings have been 'analyzed, treated and reconstructed; building a new framework'. The title relates to some of properties of xenon which are anaesthesia, transposition and levitation. The music, which spans five lengthy pieces here, is probably exactly what would you would expect from the world of serious electronic in Sweden (or anywhere else for that matter): blocks of sustaining white noise, repeating blocks of mechanical sounds, feeding through a bunch of oscillators, reflecting electric sparks. You can imagine yourself trapped in a large factory with no human interference, which acts by itself, or you are tied to a machinery buzzing straight in your head: these five pieces go all over the place. At times a chilling science fiction soundtrack, an industrial music nightmare and then a mild work of field recordings. Throughout a work of great music, a fascinating journey through sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fireworkseditionsrecords.com

RON GEESIN - RONCYCLE 1: THE JOURNEY OF A MELODY (CD by Tonefloat)
It is a long time ago since I last heard from Ron Geesin. I had to go upstairs , searching in my vinyl collection for 'Right Through' an LP from 1977. Yes, from this you may conclude that his careers spans a long time.  In fact his musical career started in the 60s. He is known for his work with Pink Floyd ('Atom Heart Mother'). But in the end Geesin is a true solo artist, who is still on the map as this new release proves. I remember I enjoyed 'Right Through' because of the tape work Geesin was an expert in. But of course later technological developments were embraced by Geesin. Here on 'Roncycle 1: The Journey of a Melody'  the Fairlight computer plays a dominant role,  besides the voices (of John Peel and others) and several other instruments and sounds. The composition is a construction of 16 individual pieces that can be listened to however as one continuous and fluent piece of music. This project was started in 1986 (!). "The reason that it has taken so long is that, as it grew, it frightened me so much that I had to walk away for long periods", Geesin explains.  Geesin had to concur many problems in transferring analogue elements into digital ones.  Because of this choice the music works very reduced in some aspects. This is especially the case in tracks like track 9. A very jazzy piece of music evoking a complete band. But all sounds come from the same source and taste very much the same. Alas. But above all this is a true tour de force . A suite that took some 25 years to complete. Musically it breaths more of the 70s then of recent  musical developments.  In those days one would call it a concept album. The suite incorporates  many influences and references: jazz, pop, soundcollage, etc.  At moments it works as a soundtrack for an old silent movie. My respect for completing this job. The cd ends where it all started for Geesin with a fragment on banjo, the first instrument he learned to play. (DM)
Address: http://www.tonefloat.com/

AEROPLANE TRIO - NARANJA HA (CD & DVD by Drip Audio)
SUBTLE LIP CAN - SUBTLE LIP CAN (CD by Drip Audio)
GORD GRDINA TRIO - BARREL FIRE (CD by Drip Audio)
Drip Audio releases always have my interest. As many interesting releases saw the light through this label. No wonder I was curious what these three new releases had to offer. But, this time no convincing Music. None of these three trios really did it for me.
Gord Grdina Trio has Tommy Babin on bass and Kenton Loewen on drums, and Grdina on guitar and oud. Their are around since 2005 and travelled America and Europe. For this occasion they are joined by Mats Gustafsson on sax as a guest. A good choice. Brutal power play is their business. So it is a good thing they decided to use a live recording for their CD, as live recordings often are the best when it comes to this kind of music. Gustafsson does a good job here. Or more correct, the combination of Mats and this trio worked out very well. Major roles are for the guitarist and Mats, but in principle it is group improvisation what they are doing, with plenty of room for the others as well. Like the solo of Babin in the middle section of  'Burning Bright'. The surprise on this release is the Iraqi traditional 'En Shakoota' with Grdina on oud and an inspired solo by Gustafsson.
The Aeroplane Trio is an unit made up by JP Carter (trumpet/cornet), Russell Sholberg (bass/saw) and Skye Brooks (drums/percussion). Their first release 'Naranja Ha' represents results from a period of eight years (!). Included is a dvd that contains a performance in Vancouver in 2008. Again we are listening to free improvised Music. Compared to Gord Grdina Trio however, this trio is much closer to jazz. Sometimes their improvisations engaging and surprising as in 'Rock Paper' and 'Subtle Shock'. At other moments however, like in 'Whitehorse' it all sounds too much known to catch my attention. Improvisations of the first category are a minority, so that I have to conclude that this music does not talk to me.  Although they chose many different paths for their improvisations and musicianship is okay.
With Subtle Lip Can we are again in the company of a trio. They met on stage, and decided afterwards to continue their collaboration: Isaiah Ceccarelli (percussion, piano), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Joshua Zubot (violin, low octave violin). The most satisfying release of these three. Noisy but subtle and warm improvisations. 'Crumpled up Seed' is a good example of their sense for detail and little sounds and movements. Very nice! (DM)
Address: http://www.dripaudio.nl

MATT WESTON - THE LAST OF THE SIX-CYLINDERS (CD by 7272 MUSIC)
Why is it that one feels a weakness for music A and artist Y, and not for Music B and musician Z? This I asked myself listening to the new mini-cd of Matt Weston. I was immediately impressed by the charm and humor, the emotional impact of his music. This new release is dedicated to the memory of musician and composer Bill Dixon who died in 2010. Weston studied and Collaborated with Dixon. The titles of all three pieces on this cd are quotes from Dixon: 'You've got to know how to wear a hat', 'I don't want success, I want adventure' and 'The reward has got to be that this is what you do'. Weston is one of those drummers who like Charles Hayward can create a complete and also a completely different musical world . In the case of Weston not only because of his drumstyle, but also because of his compositional talents and his taste for qualities of pure sound. This new release is again prove of these qualities. Music that is utterly strange and uncommon, but because of its emotional appeal also very nearby. (DM)
Address: http://www.7272music.com

ELEKTRO GUZZI - LIVE P.A. (CD by Macro)
RAUDIVE - CHAMBER MUSIC (CD by Macro)
FRIEDRICH GOLDMANN - LATE WORKS (CD by Macro)
A little piece of marketing advice for all those musicians: what sells is a good story. 'Me make music, and I'm the best', is not a good story. Doing something that not a lot of people do, out of the ordinary, new context for old stuff always does. So if you know that Elektro Guzzi is Bernhard Hammer on guitar, Jakob Schneidewind on bass and Bernhard Breuer on drums, you could easily think they are a rock band, improvised music but a techno band? And of course they don't play any techno in the strict sense of the word, but something that sounds like it, but they can advertise as 'the only band in the world of techno that actually play live' and ramble about the main advantage of a band on stage, 'you can see and feel what you hear' (which never seems to me the main thing of a techno party, but rather 'can you dance?'), and that they have no visuals to excite their crowds. Me personally don't believe in the 'see, the musician is sweating so it must be good' thing, but yes, I agree, 'just' a laptop is passe too. Ok, now there's a story, right? Elektro Guzzi recorded their album in London, live of course, with the help of Brendon Harding, the engineer of Lee 'Scratch' Perry, which means a certain element of dub is part of the music. I don't regard myself as someone who knows all the ins and outs of techno music, let alone any new developments in that area, but Elektro Guzzi seems to me playing all the right moves to be called techno. A 4/4 ticking beat on the drums, supported by the bass and I assume its the mainly the guitar which plays the all crazy sounds that find a good home in the dubby effects placed by the engineer. All in a steady, uninterrupted stream, like this is supposed to be in techno (yet in total ten different tracks), and it all sounds rather good. A good marketing story and also a good CD. Pretty rare?
Raudive is Oliver Ho from London, who runs the 'legendary' Meta label, but being not so connected, I never heard of either. Apparently what he does as Raudive is 'new', adding 'experimental' bits to techno: 'bitches brew voodoo reeds, New York no wave voices and European avant strings', but to these untrained ears it seems at times a bit dull, and a bit forced together. I can't imagine people dancing to the scratchy violins of 'Paper', which the label calls more 'Xenakis than Detroit'. I must say I am a bit lost here. Its not music that is appealing to me very much, and here it seems like a great story has been written first, 'let's have a bit techno, downtempo and mix that with experimental sounds', but I'm afraid its not enough to win me over. Maybe I am spoilt in the department of experimental music already?
In contrast to these two techno related CDs, I have no idea why Macro Recordings would want to release a CD by Friedrich Goldmann, a classical composer who was to celebrate his 70th birthday this year, had he not passed away in 2009. 9000 copies of this CD are been given away by The Wire, and upon finding some information on their website about why this is an adventure in modern music, I found some 'exclusive mix by Stefan Goldmann of Macro Recordings', which makes things clear: he's the son and honors his father. Four lengthy classical pieces for small ensembles or orchestras, but not something we at Vital Weekly know a lot about, or necessarily care about. Its fine that Stefan creates a small monument for his father, but no doubt many will wonder 'WTF is this doing in my magazine'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.macro-rec.com

PETERLICKER - NICHT (LP by Editions Mego)
RUSSELL HASWELL - IN IT (IMMERSIVE LIVE SALVAGE) (LP/DVD by Editions Mego)
Apparently there has been a band, twenty years ago, called Peterlicker. Or more accurate, inactive for twenty years, but since 2010 active again. Three members I never heard of: F. Hergovich (vocals), C. Schachinger (guitar) and G. Weissegger (bass, electronics, edits, production), but the fourth member is of course someone we know very well: Peter Rehberg (electronics, edits).  As you may have guessed by looking at this line-up, this is not another work of computerized noise improvisation, but perhaps 'rock'? If it is 'rock', then we should add the word 'electronic' to it. Five long, heavy slabs of electronic rock. At times I was reminded of what Whitehouse could sound if they had a more conventional line up, or Skullflower when they had less guitars and no drums. One could think this is a joke project for Rehberg, but somehow I don't think it is. This is all bloody serious stuff.  Loud, vicious and dirty electronic rock. Sometimes 'introspective' as in 'Tunnel 47503', but don't let that deceive you in a way. Vaguely to be noted as songs, but equally as well we might say 'lengthy excursions in madness'. Must be a wreckage on stage. Do they play live anyway?
Russell Haswell supported Autechre during their 2010 European tour and played thirty concerts in fifteen countries. He recorded as many as possible on a surround sound recorder and excerpts are scattered on vinyl and DVD. I have no surround sound set up, but it plays well in stereo too. Haswell might be well-known to play the laptop, but according to the liner notes he got tired 'of 'artists' using the space-bar as a 'play' button and pretending to do something', so he packed up a contact microphone, crystal mic, electronics with light sensors, effect pedals, SOS whistle and various multicolor headlamps with flashing modes. The liner notes also detail about it worked technically, which I won't repeat here. The music, which last ninety minutes in total, is exactly what we expect from a) Russel Haswell and b) the limitation of his equipment: harsh noise. In total free improvised mode, he plays his furious noise in front of a bewildered audience, which given the various excerpts from encores, must have liked what was going on, which is indeed a surprise (or perhaps I didn't expect Autechre fans so open-minded). A bit more lo-fi than his previous laptop work, obviously, but curiously enough it has gained also a lot more depth and is in nice free form shape. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

FABRIC - A SORT OF RADIANCE (LP by Spectrum Spools)
BEE MASK - CANZONI DAL LABORATORIO DEL SILENZIO COSMICO (LP by Spectrum Spools)
Spectrum Spools seems to be a new off-shoot from Editions Mego, and I couldn't find what it was all about actually. Behind Fabric is Matthew Mullane from Chicago. He plays synthesizers, although none such is mentioned. And Spectrum Spools is also very clever not to brand the music in anyway (no 'file under' here), but the music is all about cosmic synthesizers. Lots of arpeggios wailing about, with a faint trace of rhythm underneath. Like I said, ambient house may do a return. Apparently people are fed up with loud stomping music and return to glitchy beats and analogue synthesizers. No glitchy beats for Fabric however, as this is mostly synthesizer heavy. Drawn heavily from the songbook of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, mid to late seventies. No epic, side-long pieces but somewhat shorter, and highly minimal and melodic. Its music I like actually, very much. A fine work to launch a new label!
The second LP on Spectrum Spools was already released last year by Gift Tapes, and the title roughly translates as 'songs from the laboratory of cosmic silence', which suspects me that Spectrum Spools is indeed a cosmic music label. Bee Mask is Chris Madak, who describes himself as 'one man, a synth and a looper pedal'. He's been going since 2005 or so, and has had many obscure releases. This LP might change things. Although they are elements in this work of cosmic music, it also a bit more than just that, but its not always as spacious and floating as the genre wants, but it mixes up with the more serious avant-garde electronics of Philips Silver Series and Lovely Music. Bee Mask seems to take a likewise inspiration of say David Behrman and Gordon Mumma as from Tangerine Dream or Cluster. His music, here epic with a 'song' per side, has more nasty angels and is throughout a bit more experimental than Fabric, which is more pleasing throughout. That is of course fine too, as you can't have pleasing things all the time. A chilling soundtrack to a fictious science fiction movie, a fine narrative. Twice a great start a new label. (FdW)
Address: http://www.spectrumspools.com

RUDE PRAVO - THE HETERADELPH'S DAUGHTER (12" by Shadazz)
When you announce your record as of interest for people with an interest in Rough Trade, Sky or Recommended Records, and call it 'early techno, auteur pop productions and experimental music', then you have my full attention right away, even if I never heard of Rude Pravo. They had their last 7" five years ago (see Vital Weekly 450) and now return with a revised line up. I really enjoyed that first 7" which me think of Cherry Red and Les Disques Du Crepuscule. Still there is the core duo of Luke Fowler (synthesizer, sampler, amplified objects and vocals) and Stevie Jones (bass, electric guitar and moog) and these days Cara Tomlie on vocals, oboe and moog. Their interest lies in making 'electronic music in their bedrooms-mixing 'rock' instrumentation with computer sequencing'. That succeeds wonderfully well, I must say, in these six songs. It makes everything come true. This is indeed, in some way, a bit techno like (but then only a bit), pop like for sure, but also with that addition of things that can be classified as experimental music. Maybe a bit along the lines of The Magic I.D. which I reviewed last week, but Rude Pravo are even more poplike, especially due to their use of sequencer based sounds. They walk a fine line between experiment and pop, electronics and acoustics, ultimately to create six great pieces of 'music', for the lack of any clearer definition. That's something this music doesn't need. Its fine as such. Gettit. (FdW)
Address: http://www.shadazz.com

AMELIA CUNI & WERNER DURAND - ALREADY AWAKE IN THE NIGHT (LP by Ini.itu)
Ini.itu releases music that deals with Indonesia, but on this new release expands its horizon to India. It combines the wind instruments of Werner Durand (who also gets credit for sine waves, phase shifters and digital delays) with the voice of Amelia Cuni, who also plays on two pieces (out of three) bamboo resonator. On the same two pieces David Trasoff plays sarod. Durand started out with the 13th Tribe, who played ethnic music on self-built instruments, while Cuni is a trained singer of Dhrupid music, which she has studied for ten years in North India. This album, one track on side A, two on side B, is one of utter minimalism. The singing seems wordless to me, while the sarod slides every now and then, and Duran waves a bed of tones to go along. To say not much is happening is probably an understatement. On the surface the music is almost like a stand-still. The most active component is the voice, and then probably only in 'Morning Surge', which sounds like an improvised tone poem, embedded however in the slow moving sine waves from Durand. Yet, I think this is a record of great beauty. Very austere, very minimal, but full of captivating beauty. An excellent example of Indian music that is connected well to the history of Western minimal music. No rhythms, but an excellent tone poem. Music with great style. (FdW)
Address: http://www.iniitu.net

LUZPARIS - TIERRA DE CONEJOS (LP by Licht-ung)
MERZBOW - ZARA (10" by Licht-ung)
NAOKI ISHIDA - CARMMIT (CD by Licht-ung)
In my little (virtual, so don't ask for copy) book of record labels, Licht-ung is jotted down for 'mainly noise, and sometimes less noisy electronic music in small editions'. So you can perhaps understand a bit my mild confusion when I started to play the LP by Luzparis, a band (?) from Buenos Aires (?) who play post rock (??). A line up of five, playing guitars (three of them at times), violins, synthesizers, bass, piano and drums. Confusion indeed, but a pleasant one also. There was a time when I heard a lot of post rock, and then I grew tired of it, just as I was listening to lots of ambient house in 1995, and grew tired of it. But as these things happen, when you haven't played them in a long time, you actually start to enjoy it again, when you do hear it. Besides the fact that Luzparis uses a fuzzy pedal every now and then, I don't think they play much 'new' forms of post rock. This could be like Tortoise in their prime years, maybe Trans-Am, AMP or all those bands. If I wasn't tied up in listening to stuff to review for pretty much the rest of the day, I would go back some of that stuff right after this, but then perhaps its wise not to do so. It may change what I think about Luzparis, as it would probably be a bit different, and I am not sure if I would feel equally positive about it. Not to ruin that I think I stick on Luzparis again, tonight, when I'm done reviewing.
But Merzbow, now, he proof me right about Licht-ung I guess. I believe its not his first release on this label. Its been some time since I last heard Merzbow too actually, and perhaps for the very same reason as I didn't hear post rock or ambient house: maybe after a while you heard it. And believe me, I heard a lot of Merzbow. Now that hear this 10", I realize I missed that too, but perhaps that is due to the fact that there is something about this record which reminded me of some older Merzbow, the 'SCUM' double LP. On that LP Masami Akita cuts up his own old work and re-assembles it. The a-side starts out with similar cut-ups, before going into what seems to be an improvised guitar recording, filtered through the EMS Synthi-A. On the b-side drumming pops up, reminding the listener of the fact that Akita started out as a drummer, and did also play the drums on his 'Live In Khabarovsk' LP. Akita is on both sides in a totally free improvisation mode, and his tools of the trade - noise - is apparent, but not the main driving force of this record. It appears here, in the middle of his free play of improvised playing. Here too its a call out to play more, old, Merzbow. Said records for instance, and then 'Zara' again.
And then on CD, Naoki Ishida. Back in Vital Weekly 566 I reviewed his 'Tone Redust', which was his debut album. He started out with acoustic guitar, field recordings and 'minimal' electronics. I am not sure if he still plays the acoustic guitar, but I assume he does. He added piano to his playing quite extensively, and he does that, like before, in quite a free mode. He plays the keys with care, but hardly with a sense for melody. It doesn't mean he bangs the keys wild and hard, but rather sparse distributes his keys where deems necessary. Just like before that is. Which is great, it gives him a style of his own. It perhaps also means its getting more content than just form. His blend of 'minimal' electronics and field recordings fits in nicely. Its an album that works with the forms set out on labels as 12K and Spekk, microsounding, minimal, acoustic instruments, sometimes processed, but due to his free playing is probably deemed too 'difficult' for these labels. Eleven tracks, and this time Ishida knows how to keep things to a short and concise point, which adds to the strength of the album. A curious hybrid of improvisation, field recordings, microsound and a small dose of noise. Quite nice throughout. A name to watch out for. (FdW)
Address: http://www.licht-ung.de

VERY FRIENDLY #2 (book + 7" by Komplott)
When I eat my dinner I play regular music, nothing weird, and I read something. The newspaper, a book, or a comic. I don't have that many comics, Tin Tin still a favorite, but sometimes I grab Very Friendly #1 (see Vital Weekly 675). The second issue was just released, slipped out quietly as they call it, but Ronnie Sundin send me one, along with the zero number (which I believe is a must-do if you release comics). 'Very Friendly' is an extension of Sundin's 'The History Of Electronic Music', in which Sundin drew portraits of important players from that world. In 'Very Friendly' he tells stories. In the zero issue all about his own trip to Los Angeles, where he has most curious encounter with Steve Roden and Erik Hoffman. In the second issue about a travel he made to Barcelona, on invitation of Francisco Lopez and he draws the story to the film 'Decoder' (which I believe is available on DVD and a must-see if you are into industrial music, manipulation and muzak) and a one page about German electronic music. Sundin draws with his naive style, and if you some of the persons then you might even vaguely recognize them. The zero issue has no music as an added bonus, but the second comes with a 7" by Francisco Lopez. Its been a while since I saw a record from him, but this piece (spread over two sides I assume) continues his interest in using static from vinyl, hiss, pops and clicks into a composition. On the first side it seems there is hardly any information, but the b-side reveals better (?) what it is all about. Mister Sundin has strange friends and its great to see them depicted in the adventures of mister Sundin. Can't wait for the next issue. (FdW)
Address: http://www.komplott.com

ROBOL - MUSICA METAPHYSICA (CD by Telekinett Records)
Mauricio Reyes is born in 1969 in Mexico and composes music under the name Robol. Musica Metaphysica is his debut album. When he was 14 years old he started to create music with dual tape recorders,  two turntables and experiments with different records playing simultaneously or play them in reverse. Later he collected rare samples of early electronic music and started to study the wide range of electronic music. One year ago he started to create this album and used sound samples that were recorded during seances and other paranormal events. He sees himself as an architect who constructs the time-scheme and the layers in the music. Mauricio takes the listener to different environments and dimensions in sound and also in experience. After four pieces of electro-acoustic abstract music the track Clairaudience starts with a knock on the door. The door opens and a mix of talking people, continuous sounds and filtered layers are connected with each other. In the last track "Radiesthesia" a sample of Jouko Linjama's Kalevala Suite? "Toisin tiesin, toisin luulin?" has been used and programmed, encoded, disformed and formed. Electronics and analogue recordings are melted together harmony and disharmony. And that is where this album all about. An exploration of dissonance and similar soundwaves in sound. About abstraction and realism. About the use of filters and electronics and the lack of it. This album includes a lot of concepts, but nevertheless the album has no academic atmosphere, but is strong because of it's purity. A great album, highly recommended. (JKH)
Address: http://www.telekinett.com

CHEFKIRK - SOFT PROPAGATION (CDR by DumpsterScore Home Recordings)
"using nothing more than a no-input mixer, boss sampler and a micro-cassette recorder... walls of feedback, micro-tonal rhythms.." ..There is a decisional dialectical "splitting" of the world according to n-philosophy  - a decisional sufficiency towards the Real (as singular) a claim which noise places ALL sound "on an equal footing"- I'd rather speculate and say a "scientific footing". "All concepts are welcome, so long as they leave their implication in Decisional sufficiency at the door.". All sound articulates, actualizes, articulates across a plane only when it
leaves such decisions which are music, musical, not at any door, a door is yet another decision, logic gate, law. a propagation in time via causality. Doors are casual , decisional in every instance, limits are not only decisions but become finite, the causality of the finitude of the feedback of a no input mixer, now a token of experimentation in the tradition of all that is philosophic, by 'distinct paths' is axiomatically decisional, but ultimately a decisional machine as finite and casual as any piano forte. It is a philosophic mistake to attempt to solve such problems as feedback loops that is such a disappointment in this piece. Experimentation with whatever form is not  in art, science but a pseudo science, a pseudo music which longs for the imaginary real, which longs for the metaphysics of truth rather than anything else. Recourse to a metaphysics of sampling is an input, a musical trope which renders the piece senseless and empty. I mean if you are using 'nothing more' but include a sampler - what is left out, how is this sampled cosmos accommodated with a system which allows no input? Trickery and jiggery pokery. (jliat)
Address: http://www.dumpsterscore.org/

IAN HOLLOWAY - PASSING THROUGH OCCASIONALLY (CDR by Phonospheric)
Best known for his own label Quiet World (and long before that working under the moniker Psychic Space Invasion and the label Elvis Coffee Records), Ian Holloway not often releases on other labels. I have no idea why that is. The bulk of his work is based on drone music (with 'Handle This Wino Like He Was Angel' as an exception to that: no single piece, no drones, but plunderphonics - see Vital Weekly 721) and this new one on Adrian Shenton's label is no different. One piece, about forty or so minutes and drone like music. Yet there seems to have been a few changes, minor, but changes. I still have no clue how Holloway creates his drones, but my best guess is some sort field recordings and maybe a guitar of some kind. In that department probably not much news. But the whole thing has a more digital feel to it, more it seems than his previous works. There is a sort of digital undercurrent bubbling around here, which I don't recall from his previous works. I am not sure if I like this change that much. It has a somewhat cold and clinical feel to it, whereas there is still that nice dark droning sound underneath. Maybe a case of time stretching that didn't work properly? Either way, its an alright work, if you like things to be chilly, but I like the warmth of his earlier music, as shown in the final minutes of this work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.phonospheric.co.uk

CAUSTIC CASTLE - THREE UNTITLED (CDR by Dim Records)
STABWOUND - EMPIRE VASECTOMY (CDR by Dim Records)
CCs 3 tracks are of live events, though recorded not via the ambient sound but directly, all are electronics, probably analogue devices modulating and over modulating sine waves in various extremities of frequencies and volumes but unified in a wash of reverb which 'holds together' these pieces and so pushes them towards the musical. Stabwound, again 3 pieces (ignoring the titles!) is harsh noise, cut up and overlaid, in the last track a repeated loop of sound which is not deconstructed but destructed in noise,  by noise and with noise, though throughout the noise never attains a wall, it continually collapses. Each collapse a "scientific" anti musical paradigm shift of a less (but perhaps still present) phallogocentricism, an anti musicological materialism. The totalizing plane of transcendence which is wall noise (only) defines a(n absolute) limit, which is a plane where mankind can individuate in non sophistic, non-religious (of music) actualities, events. sound or sound art. Another plane has been produced of virtuality which is infinite in space (volume) and speed.. a plane where sounds can actualize themselves as univocities rather than signifiers, (of art, music, god, etc) an example of  Laurelle's One in the last instance in art, sound art, noise art- where music- the totalizing anthropomorphism (the decision of music!) is de-centred by the limit of noise in the virtual plane - which is like a Brassierean nihilism of extinction, and in the simple play of possibilities. contingencies which can now constitute an object as such... In simple terms what Harsh Noise Wall (amongst others - it is not a representation but a repartition of very large or infinite number) has done in its destruction of Music's pseudo religiosity is opened up a new set of possibilities, its deterritorialization (of music) has created by re-territorialization the possibility of sound works (i.e.) of difference and repartition, as if the object as such was not possible, is now present, at the end an example of pure imagination as event and entity in time. (jliat)
Address http://dimrecords.wordpress.com/

JEREMY BIBLE & JASON HENRY - VOWL (CDR by Mystery Sea)
Although they run their own label, Experimedia, the duo of Jeremy Bible and Jason Henry (and both of them solo as well), release music on other labels, such as Gruenrekorder, Resting Bell and Gears Of Sand, and and now have a work on Mystery Sea. Much of the work uses field recordings and electronics. The field recordings seem to have been made in a restaurant or something like that. The basic material of this release is also used on a LP to be released shortly on Infraction. The aquatic theme that runs through a lot of the releases on Mystery Sea is something that is missing here I think. No bubbling downunder electronics, rusty shipwrecks or seas washing ashore, but a rather decent, not spectacular, work of drone music mixed with the great book of field recordings. Nothing new as such under that particular sun, but certainly not bad either. But both pieces of 'Vowl', lasting each over thirty-three minutes, are also a bit long I think, also since there are large chuncks in which there doesn't seem to be happening much, static rather than moving music. The whole thing could have been a third shorter and gain more power on basis of that. But throughout also not a bad a release either. One that left me with mixed feelings. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

NICK HENNIES - OBJECTS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
VENISON WHIRLED - XIBALBA (3"CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
In 'the psychoanalytic theory known as Object Relations in which it's believed that human beings are not pleasure seeking but instead have, above all else, an innate desire to form and maintain relationships', we read on the cover of the new Nick Hennies CDR. Hennies plays objects and by doing so there is a better understanding of the objects. Alternatively, if this is a bit too 'soft' for you, you can also 'just' like the music, me thinks. I happen to like the music of Hennies a lot. Its very simply: a steady pulse is played, on end, in this case on congas, woodblocks, claves and a bit of vibraphone. That's it, but Hennies does that with great care and style, and lots of dynamics. Half way through the piece he plays something of a beat on a low resonating object, before returning to his 'simple' playing on woodblocks in all sorts of variations. Very concentrated, very minimal, yet very rich. Once more an excellent release.
Lisa Cameron is Venison Whirled. I heard her music before, but don't remember it very well. On this 3"CDR there are two tracks, both recorded live. One is for 'lapsteel and tibetan bowl and the other for amplified space/time membrane. Its not easy to spot the difference between both tracks, but it seems she has an interest in sustaining sounds, Alvin Lucier like and how they travel through space. Not music to be listened with headphones, I should think (I tried). Of the two 'Dark Drift' (with the Tibetan bowl, howl is more right), things are particular noise based and a bit too heavy for my taste, but in 'Vortex Compression' there is a nice sine wave like texture to it, which, if played at a moderate volume will work nicely in your space. Brutal minimalism. (FdW)
Address: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com

ARVO 333 (CD by no label given)
An series of electronic illustrations of an emotional  infatuation with 333 industrial work with a long history of its gestation, a Salvador Dali work if ever there was one in industrial music. played in various venues and group members and none over 11 years.. "with a sample-based material ranging from madly structured pseudo-classical, swing jazz, or exotica to industrial, noise, drone."  which accounts probably for its over worked ornate baroque features. just summarizes, encapsulates the virtual modernity and spaces we now find ourselves in, in its eclectic disgust for the present it has to be a remarkable critique, I cant say I like it, but then I don't particularly like the current situation, or were the paintings of Francis Bacon pretty. it should be played for 24 hours over all media worldwide, and then humanity might see sense and in doing so as Camus advised commit mass suicide thus saving what is left of the planet.. to the seagulls outside this apartment now..(jliat)
Address: http://nopartofit.blogspot.com/

LUNGWASH - BY MYSELF TO MYSELF SACRIFICED (cassette, private)
An obscure, self released tape. Lungwash is one Chris and he describes his music as 'minimal, crackling and crunching static drone 'sub-genre'', which others perhaps may call 'microsound'. Since in my home set-up the cassette machine is connected via the computer, I thought it would be better idea to record the cassette to the computer. This for the simply reason the output was quite low on the cassette, so listening to it as a soundfile would mean I could enhance it a bit. Hard to tell what Chris uses here. It might be the surface rumble of vinyl, loops of static hiss from cassettes, or even field recordings of a highly obscured kind. The b-side has music that is a bit louder and upfront than the a-side, and towards the end even has a noise finale. Nice tape, although the sound quality is not top. Just wondering why you would want to it so off the map? Why not seek connection with some cassette label? From the recent flow reviewed here, I'd say there are plenty. (FdW)
Address: <lungwash@gmail.com>




<<<