number 780
week 19


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!
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PAS & HATI - PHASTI (CD by PAS Records) *
JONAS KOCHER - SOLO (CD by Insubordinations) *
BRUNO COSSANO - LIVE IN PARIS 04.IX.1986 (12inch by Dead Mind Records)
FIRE IN THE HEAD/BEREFT - MA/PE/FU Vol. 1 (12inch by Existence Establishment)
THE HATERS VS FCKN BSTRDS (7inch by Dead Mind Records)
ZYRTAX - BLACK ROOTS (7inch by Dead Mind Records)
PENUS RECTUS (7inch/CD by Dead Mind Records)
CHE CHEN - PULASKI WAVE (7" by Pilgrim Talk)
VEYOU - CARCASS IN THE MIST (cassette by Pilgrim Talk)
EN NIHIL/ELYSEUM (CDR by Syndrom Records)
NUN - NEURONALE (CDR by Menstrual Recordings) *
MAURIZIO BIANCHI - DIOXI (CDR by Menstrual Recordings) *
INFINITE DECIMALS - 2.54421781... (CDR by Dreamland Recordings) *
A27 - REC.EP (3"CDR by Recycling Records) *
LOOSE LINK - THE MANY THINGS (3"CDR by Recycling Records) *
MICHAEL JOHNSEN & PASCAL BATTUS - BITCHE SESSION (cassette by Organized Music From Thessaloniki) *
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 18 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 19 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 20 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 21 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
ARIA ROSTAMI - FORM (mp3 on Audiomoves)

Certainly a project covered in mystery, Fovea Hex. In the last five years, they released three CD-EPs, all on Die Stadt, all with bonus remix CDs. A mystery in as far that we obviously know who is behind it. Clodagh Simonds is the 'leader' of the pack. She sings, plays piano, harmonium, keyboards, kalimba and lyre. Around her she has gathered a whole bunch of musicians, such as Michael Begg, Kate Ellis, Cora Venus Lunny, Brian Eno and Colin Potter. They add such instruments as cello, violin, treated bells, sonics and starry keyboards. If you thought that Fovea Hex would have moved on after their last EP, you're wrong. They still operate in that very same field of ambient music and folk tunes. The voice of Simonds is as heavenly as before and the music as sparse and to the point as before. Very fragile music, maybe even a pathetic (although I like to stress I hardly mean this in a negative way), highly emotional. Even without paying attention to the lyrics, one can easily feel the high emotional level which is used here. I can imagine that playing this music when depressed is not going to help to lift that depression. Or perhaps it does. Very sad and yet very beautiful music.
Like before this release comes with a remix bonus CD as well, this time with three remixers. Two of them played an important role in shaping the original music, Michael Begg and Colin Potter and one 'outsider', William Basinski. In these remixes things deal with the electronics of the music rather than the instruments or Simonds voice, save for Potter's piece, who layers the voice into a small choir piece, in the middle a finer darker bed of drones. Sadness rules here too, in these three dark ambient pieces. Perhaps a lesser surprise, since it deals with the kind of dark/atmospheric/ambient/soundscapes that we know (and love, I may add) so well, but without the haunting beautiful voice of Simonds indeed less of surprise. It makes however a delicate bonus to the 'real' thing - for those who can't get enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

Of course Aidan Baker is by now well-known. Not that Vital Weekly reviewed all of his 100+ releases, solo or with Nadja, Arc and Whisper Room, but a fair share indeed. Thisquietarmy is the musical project, since 2005, of Eric Quach. He hails from Montreal and is also part of Destroyalldreamers and Mains de Givre. Both he and Baker play the guitar, and both do that to create 'drone' and 'ambient' music. They worked before and that resulted in the first version of 'Orange', a limited CDR only release on Quach own TQA label. This new extended version is re-edited, remastered and has four new tracks. Like with much music I heard from Baker, its hard to believe its all done with just guitars. At times I could have easily believed that there is a whole bunch of analogue synthesizers buzzing away. There is a great cosmic quality to many of these pieces, which, I know, is perhaps a modern buzz word, but hearing this music also very much true. A straight line from the early Ash Ra Temple going into the realms of 'Orange'. Great mood music. Howling like the wind, quiet as the desert, dark as the night sky. New? Nah, obviously not. Do we care? Nah, not really. Its perhaps good that I haven't heard all 100+ works by Baker, and that works like 'Orange' still sound fresh to these ears. (FdW)
Address: http://lunasylum.consouling.be

Elsewhere I write about obscure 80s tapes and it would certainly be also the starting point of this review. I first heard music by Ian Boddy when I got hold of 'Rising From The Red Sand' and a compilation called 'Visions'. Especially the later had music that I didn't hear a lot on tapes: melodic, sequencer synthesizer music. Like raw versions of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream (release that again, and you'll be the hero of the recent cosmic music revival). I played it more than most other tapes. Years later I found out that Ian Boddy still plays music, and is part of a scene that never lost faith in cosmic music, yet I never heard much of his later music. Bakis Sirros mailed me however his latest work, recorded with Ian Boddy. His previous solo CD, 'Shade' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 668, while his work with Alio Die was reviewed in Vital Weekly 730. Both Boddy and Sirros love analogue synthesizers. I could be fooled, but this duo didn't work together in one room, which is odd, since it surely sounds like it. But apparently the starting point was some ambient based material Sirros recorded and handed over to Boddy for further  toying and messing about. Boddy added quite an amount of percussive layers, which do not sound techno like, mind you, but takes the music away from the strict ambient scene, and moves it into a land of soundtracks. Wide open fields, hills no doubt, in which a car is cruising, with nicely tinkling electric piano sounds. Very slickly produced - its hard to find any rough edge around this release. Dream away music, oh, I think the proper title is chill out music. Boddy has certainly come a long way from the past, when things were indeed a bit more roughly shaped, and no doubt thanks to many years of experience and new equipment it all sounds as it does now. I thought it was all very nice, yet hardly surprising. You can't be always surprised I guess, nor is there no need to be always surprised. Hearing fine music of a pleasant nature is just as nice, I should think. I drank some coffee, read a bit, and looked at the more quiet moments out of the window. Life is good, I mused. (FdW)
Address: http://www.DiN.org.uk

PAS & HATI - PHASTI (CD by PAS Records)
Last years CoCart festival in Poland was canceled due to the plane crash which killed the president Kacynski and other officials. US based musicians PAS was supposed to play there, and traveled anyway. Instead of a live concert he spend his time with Hati, the Polish duo who make great use of percussion: gongs, cymbals, bells, rattles, spring drum, pipe, zanza, rattles, bass drum, ocean drum and flute. PAS is a four piece band who use bass ('with effects'), percussion, found objects, keyboards, synthesizers, processed samples, fishing rod, vintage casio sk 1 and theremin. Whereas PAS is more of an improvised music ensemble, and Hati the masters of ritualistic percussion, it would be interesting to see in which direction this goes. No doubt Hati had a say, but they are a majority. The work, divided in nine parts, is highly rooted in the world of improvised music. That of course is not a bad thing, but I must say the result is a bit too haphazard for me. Lots of loose end sounds, being played together and against each other, but which fail to bring forward much musical coherence. I assume it is all related to 'the stages of sleep - a metaphor of Torun' as this album is subtitled, and occasionally they delve into atmospheric sparse percussion for that necessary quietness, but altogether the album evoked more unrest than pleasant quietness with me. Maybe its all just a bit too hardcore improvised for me, from a more regular end of the improvised music world. Or perhaps its just not my cup of tea. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/pas-music

JONAS KOCHER - SOLO (CD by Insubordinations)
Back in Vital Weekly 709 I already reviewed a solo CD by Jonas Kocher, from Switzerland. He plays the accordion, and has done so solo, but also with people like Urs Leimgruber, Michel Doneda, Thomas Lehn, Harold Schellinkx and others. This new CD is again, hardly a surprise with such a title, solo, this time captured in concert in Bern. One piece, that lasts more or less thirty five minutes, and its quite a demanding piece of music. Kocher plays the entire instrument, not just regular, but also the bellow, the knobs, the keys etc. Quite expertly he plays out both the low end and the high end of the instrument, and cleverly uses the dynamics of loud versus soft. There are times when you almost hear nothing, and then there are overwhelmingly loud bits. As said quite demanding. There is obviously a difference between the stage and the CD. If you don't see what's happening, you may loose your attention after a while, which I must admit happened to me at times here. Unlike his previous release 'Materials', this is all less drone based and more in an open collage like style played. Best enjoyed, I guess, when played with absolutely no distraction of any kind, fully concentrated on the work itself, and, when finished, I guess, its best not to do anything for a while. Take a rest and let it all slip in. Then the beauty of it can be enjoyed best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.insubordinations.net

BRUNO COSSANO - LIVE IN PARIS 04.IX.1986 (12inch by Dead Mind Records)
Bruno Cossano was unknown to me until I received this, and not that much information or releases from "an early industrial artist" could I find - though this is not the soundscapes of reverb of the typical industrial track I've come to know. It's a chaotic mixture of quite brutal 'in your face' sounds, no pretense at poetics - or rather the presentation of a new concrete and metal poetry, one which is constantly breaking itself up, loops are not digitally pure Microsoft/Apple productions but resemble actual machines breaking and miss-functioning, or being broken down as an act of anti mechanistic terrorism. All this makes a review difficult, always a good thing, as the work resists description, resists translation as Derrida would say, is idiosyncratic? For industrial strangely human, as if rather than
exist in a dreamscape of deserted humanless urbanity  it's the destruction of the actual machine by actual flesh. A biological engulfing of the city and factory of a powerful humanism. (jliat)
Address: http://www.blutistzeit.nl/

FIRE IN THE HEAD/BEREFT - MA/PE/FU Vol. 1 (12inch by Existence Establishment)
Well I'm disappointed, maybe I just don't get "power electronics" or industrial, here we have two tracks of rumble through a reverb with someone chanting in that very 'put on' menacing way something or other, sounds important to him, Bereft, but in all the turgidness it loses me, FITH is more industrial PE rumble, this is a massive production of inserts picturing the familiar urban wastelands and old Cadillacs of the United States, not quite the trailer trash, but now oh so familiar like the groaning PE sludge quite soporific, but I take full responsibility, you see I don't like opera and this is more operatic than soporific.. Perhaps... perhaps. It has something to say, its like Wagner but slowed down or some Russian soviet opera set in a light bulb factory in Minsk. all no doubt significant, important, the urban rusting automobiles a metaphor for humanity. An incisive indictment of capitalism and consumerism, but this whole thing is a massive product in itself, and only volume 1, how many more seals will be bludgeoned to death, how many more dolphins skinned in order to make volume 2? (jliat)
Address: http://existest.org/

THE HATERS VS FCKN BSTRDS (7inch by Dead Mind Records)
How to read this review. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 1. How does art work? Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 2. The Haters, some few minutes of metallic wall and feedback. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 3. 45 R.P.M. Single. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 4. American Juke boxes with lights.. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there.  5. Pin ball machines, Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 6. Atoms and electrons in space. Think of a number between one and fourteen. Go there.  7. The universe, a child's address. England, Europe the world the solar system the galaxy the universe.  Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 8. How does art work like synapses in the brain a mesh, the internet, in multiple ways. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there.  9. Fckn Bstrds cut ups of collaged sound and vocals, Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 10. alzheimer's, dementia, Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there.  11.  linear text and time. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there.  12. vocal performance, Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. 13. therefore a lesson for me, Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there.  14. a mesh of objects. Think of a number between one and fourteen. go there. (jliat)
Address: http://www.blutistzeit.nl/

ZYRTAX - BLACK ROOTS (7inch by Dead Mind Records)
Sounding at times like a slowed down petrol engine with digital glitches finally descending into clicks which sound looped like a dripping tap. Deep in the background are other random electronics, again looping seems to predominate, even with vocals which sound like - is it called dub? Given the digital precision its odd to hear a format which is so traditional in its staging. The metallic loops and moaning appear as if from a proscenium stage and act out their strategies for us, yet that is not quite right, we these days either interact, or else are totally isolated, you know, on the street all those people talking to themselves,  are they on hands free cell phones, or psychos listening to ipods, it's really hard to tell, I'm sure this
government will twig and issue headphones to schizophrenics - much cheaper
therapy than the talking cure or drugs, and we would no longer notice them. I've strayed from this review, but then its maybe because I'm simultaneously talking, to a friend or one of the many voices in my head? (jliat)
Address: http://www.blutistzeit.nl/

PENUS RECTUS (7inch/CD by Dead Mind Records)
Aube, K2, Lasse Marhaug, Masonna, Sin Crime, MSBR, DL Savings TX., Kapotte
Muziek, Deathpile, Government Alpha, Macronyphia, Pain Jerk on CD, Prurient,
Odal, Smell & Quim, Streicher on 7inch make this re-release 14 years after the original 30 + artist  3 cassette tape comp - a medium which went out and came back in fashion over that same time period. Comps make  difficult reviewing, thankfully now reduced from the original cast one can't help wonder what happened to the others, we no longer have Lady Di, instead Lady Gaga who now is the first hit on google, which back in 97 was a year away from existence, though I cant believe we still have pop tarts, and of course I could do none of this without wikipedia, only 11 years old.. how did we live before google and wiki?  Well anyway as you probably now know what many of these names sound like again my job is simplified, and if you don't you can wiki and google.. something impossible in 97,  all tracks relate to the male member though I'm not in the loop as to why, and wiki isn't responsive to PENUS RECTUS.. so we are left in the dark, or rather its assumed now if its not wikiable its existence is in doubt?  What is surprising is the amount of vocals on the tracks, the screaming sort which is now re-appearing, as some antidote to the incommunicable HNW? Pain Jerk, Government Alpha and  Kapotte Muziek are notable exceptions. And I've mentioned elsewhere that I don't particularly like being shouted at, and in these exceptions, strangely still the industrial roots can be heard, and here and there the signs of where this work might be going, though not progressing but multiplying into genres and repeating older tactics, sometimes successfully sometimes not. As an historical record its an
interesting mix, though why not just repeat the original, after all though the cassette format was also pronounced dead, it is alive and well, and it has now gained an avant garde  as well as noise/industrial elitism... and unbelievably we didn't have mp3 players in 1997- yes they were the dark ages? Winamp was 1998! The ipod another three years away.. (jliat)
Address: http://www.blutistzeit.nl/

CHE CHEN - PULASKI WAVE (7" by Pilgrim Talk)
VEYOU - CARCASS IN THE MIST (cassette by Pilgrim Talk)
Pilgrim Talk usually releases music which has something to do with Nick Hoffman, but of these three there is one that is not him. Che Chen is from New York and plays with Jozef van Wissem in Heresy Of The Free Spirit, but also with Robbie Lee and in True Primes. His main instrument is the violin, but also uses sine wave generators, feedback and tape delay. Two pieces of these here. 'Pulaski Wave' places the violin upfront in a more subdued playing, introvert and spacious. On 'Newton Creek Mirror Lag', the b-side, he adds tape-delay, which makes the piece a bit blurry for my taste. A direct link can be made from the early minimalists (Tony Conrad and Terry Riley above the rest) leading to the direct action music of Chen. Nice minimal music. This could be one of those forgotten classics in twenty years time, so be fast.
On CDR and cassette we find labelowner Nick Hoffman. First there is a twenty-minute improvised recording by Hoffman with Utah Kawasaki of whom I haven't heard in some time. I never heard of Takahiro Kawaguchi of whom the press text notes: 'in 2000, Kawaguchi started thinking about field recordings'. Instruments aren't mentioned here, but it was captured before a concert this trio held on May 3rd 2010 in Tokyo. The soundcheck so to speak, captured on a microcassette. Things start and stop, crackling of objects and if you listen carefully you can hear people coming in and softly talking. A most curious recording of hardly intentional music, just sound based rumbling I guess, but which, curious enough also works quite well. You could as easily mistake as the real concert, and no doubt that is the intention of this. Very nice.
Hoffman, together with Stephen Holliger (who is also known as Swim Ignorant Fire), is also part of Veyou (or rather VEYOU as it is spelled), who call themselves a 'basement electronics' duo. However they also played live once at Chicago's Metal Shaker in December 2009 and ten or so minutes are captured on this cassette. For one reason or another I thought this would be noise, but its not. The title piece on side A is a moody electronics, of waving electronics, but still a bit on rough side. Lo-fi indeed. 'Metal Shaker', the b-side is slightly more noise based, through fragmented noise bits sparkling about, in a more collage like styled piece. Quite concentrated efforts. Again very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pilgrimtalk.com

EN NIHIL/ELYSEUM (CDR by Syndrom Records)
A split CD by Adam Fritz, also known as En Nihil and Elyseum, also known as Mark Angel. I am not entirely sure, but I may have heard En Nihil's music before, but I don't seem to recall when and where. At the start of this, I thought this would be more up the noise street at Jliat's, but for one reason or another (not entirely important either), I kept on playing this, and was rather taken by the noise material of En Nihil. Its not one of those noise blasts with no end, nor variation, but instead En Nihil moves all over the place that is noise. From the utter loud end to more introspective dark industrial ambient, a dash of rhythm here and there, all pretty sparse and spaced out, minimum means to create an maximum effort. Obviously this is all quite dark and sinister. Not for the weak of hearth.
'Bipolar' was the previous release by Elyseum, reviewed in Vital Weekly 738, and unlike En Nihil, whose work here spans eight pieces, Elyseum has just one long piece, and its a continuation of 'Bipolar': more alien nightmare music, played on a bunch of modular synthesizers. Cosmic music, anyone? Not really, the work of Elyseum may hint towards that specific genre, but its not really the same. Whereas the usual inhabitants of the intergalactic cosmos have something sweet, Elyseum is all about nightmares, sinister and full of despair. Blown up, without a spark of light reaching the surface of the planet. Like comets, stars and black holes - fading light into the pitch black sea of infinity. Certainly not pleasant music by any standard, but essential indeed. At times krautrock like with what seems to be wailing, crying guitars, cascading into a brick wall of synthesizer washes. Again: not for the weak minded, and not to be played in the dark. (FdW)
Address: http://www.syndrom-records.com

From Berlin is Tetsuya Hori, who composes using a
laptop, all since 2003. She writes that 'my pieces do not have a concept. That is the concept. The concept develops in the head of the listener. I compose not for instruments, but for things. Each piece is different. Every time. I want to show the listener nonsense. Interesting nonsense'. That is, indeed, an interesting concept. I have no idea what to make of this CD. It starts out with an improvisation for voice, and then some electronic sound, which the cover describes as 'cigar box'. Granular synthesis is applied here, in various layers of varying pitches. A strange kind of computerized drone music is the result, and it works nicely. The second piece is called 'Intermezzo' and lasts nine minutes, about half the length of the other two pieces, but hardly an intermezzo length. Here we have voice, piano and that cigar box again. The piano plays in a modern classical vein, the cigar box does something which I couldn't decipher, and the voice is either choir like or improvised vocalizations. The last piece is the title piece, 'for voice, face and rubber bands', and starts out with three minutes of silence and ends with another minute of silence, some of which may become apparent by looking at the cover (if that isn't conceptual, I don't know what is). It then has a chaotic opening for voices, and noise like sounds (acoustic, rather than electronic). As the piece progresses there is more improvised vocal material, and improvised like playing of recordings of the rubber bands. Through this CD deals with a lot of improvised sounds, lots of voice material and computer based improvisations. At times I thought it was very nice, but then some of the vocal improvisations just didn't seem to be doing it for me. See: I can't make up my mind. (FdW)
Address: http://aphoniarecordings.com

Composer Jurg Frey (1953) composes music for all sorts of instruments, mainly violin, cello and piano. His main, important thing is silence, near quietness and spacious sound. He also composes for non-instruments, such as metal, stones, air, as is the case with the piece 'Metall, Stone, Skin,  Foliage, Air (1996-2001)', which he composed for the Manifold Percussion Quartet, but performed here by one player, the ever so active percussionist Nick Hennies. Now this raises a question: did Hennies reduce the work to one player or is this a case of multi-tracking and playing all the parts himself? I assume its the latter, and that Hennies is someone who is only doing the real performance of a score. I'd be curious to see the score of this piece actually. The whole work lasts about seventy minutes and its not always clear that we are listening to percussion music. In fact that goes for pretty much of the 2/3 of this release. Say somewhere after the twenty-five minute mark things go into a very silent mode, with what seems 'air' like sounds from sources unknown. About ten minutes later, there is a louder segment in which the skin of a drum is being played; this kind of action returns a few times: very quiet near silent sounds, and highly obscured vaguely percussive playing. Only in the first twenty-five minutes we hear Hennies' trademark metallic ringing percussion. This work is excellently played, although hard to say whether the score is followed, but who cares (other than Frey perhaps)? This is a beautiful soft minimal percussion work that demands something from the listener - concentration especially during the quiet parts - but which also gives back a great Zen like experience. Hennies is a busy man, but so far I didn't hear a bad work by him. (FdW)
Address: http://linnomable.wordpress.com/

NUN - NEURONALE (CDR by Menstrual Recordings)
MAURIZIO BIANCHI - DIOXI (CDR by Menstrual Recordings)
As I popped in the CDR by Nun without looking at the cover very much, I made a short note, like I sometimes do, saying 'old?', which means that either the music is old, or at least sounding very retro. When I inspected the cover more closely, I found out it was indeed 'old' and that I may have heard one piece before. The shortest piece was previously released on a compilation cassette in 1984, which I used to own. I vaguely remember that tape, but have no recollection at all of that piece by Nun. All six pieces here are previously released, all from that 1984-1986 era. Two pieces on a 7" and four from compilation cassettes. Ezio Abrile, the man behind Nun (which stood for Nacht Und Nebel), wrote some liner notes, but doesn't reveal much as to why he never took things further than these pieces. His music has a nice 80s synthesizer crudeness to it. Not really melodic, with oscillations from a monophonic synth, a small sort of melody-line underneath and minimalist rhythms ticking away. Home grown minimal synth music. Maybe you have to be old (although I am not allowed to say that) to fully enjoy this. It brings back great memories of the 80s, the cassette network, tape trading and dabbling with cheap electronics yourself. In itself this is not really a great work, and one could easily wonder who cares about this kind of music these days, as it doesn't even apply to be fully minimal synth, but to the old man here, this is a time-travel, making me wanting drag out more 'home made music by home made people' cassettes out of the closet. Very nice discovery!
The other new release on Menstrual is by Maurizio Bianchi who, for this release, 'flagellated afflicated pre-recorded sounds and troubled waves, with the persecuted interceptions by Siegmar Fricke', which I guess is difficult words for saying that Fricke delivered soundmaterial to Bianchi for extended processing. It comes with a quote from the gospel according to Matthew, to underline his recent quotations from the bible. Bianchi, ever so (over-) productive, continues with this release his recent movements in industrial ambient noise. Its hard to say wether he uses analogue synthesizers here, or feeds the signals through some kaos-pads or computer plug ins. It's alright I guess, but its not the brilliant work of much of his early work or some of his more recent outings. Maybe this is all a bit tame for me, too easily put together, without much critical consideration. I guess not all has to be released, and that it sometimes requires more effort. (FdW)
Address: http://www.menstrualrecordings.org

INFINITE DECIMALS - 2.54421781... (CDR by Dreamland Recordings)
A trio here of one Barnaby on guitar and piano, Don on bass and drums and Paul responsible for live visuals, which I believe is an equally important member. A video of the first track will be released on the DVD version of this CDR '2.54421781', but was delivered separatly. The CDR has two short pieces and one very long. The title piece reminded me of the Spartak and 3Ofmillions, both also Australian, and on the verge of free jazz in a more traditional setting. The first short piece is more like shoegazing drone piece and the long piece like an extended version thereof. I am told that the piece is their first studio recording using piano and percussion, but perhaps its not what they usually sound like, as this is their third release already. The first and third piece are quite ambient like, stemming from the world of postrock (think Windy & Carl rather than Tortoise) and it works all quite nice. Slowly evolving, minimalist changes, with sustaining sounds on the guitar and bass. Drums seem to be absent in both these pieces, as well as piano. The video that goes along with the first track shows black and white field footage, which works well with the music, especially since it forms a contrast: the slowness of the music versus the hectic swift moving images. Would be interesting to see this band play live. (FdW)
Address: http://dreamlandrecordings.ipower.com

A27 - REC.EP (3"CDR by Recycling Records)
LOOSE LINK - THE MANY THINGS (3"CDR by Recycling Records)
Two new names on a new label, at least all for me. Who is behind A27 I don't know, that information is not provided. 'Rec.ep' is his second release for Recycling Records. It takes samples from vinyl, films and field recordings, along with sounds of his older work. All to be filed under 'abstract hip-hop, glitch and ambient music'. Maybe its that abstract hip hop tag that put me off. It borrows indeed from the world of hip hop in its approach to rhythm, all along to which A27 is adding sound material in a rather loose way. Seven pieces, that spans over twenty minutes, and its all a bit without focus. Maybe the idea is to space out after a late pub night, not entirely ready to go to sleep, and that might be the circumstances under which this was recorded, perhaps intoxicated by something else. Not bad, but not entirely my cup of tea either. Organize it a bit more, try to compose with those elements a piece of music.
Loose Link also borrows from the hip hop rhythm book. Its the project of Craig Gillman. He samples also but from spoken word media, in the first piece. Five pieces here, which are even less organized than with A27. Whereas A27 has a certain charm, its hard to discover any such thing in Loose Link. All things thrown into the sampler and let it run for a while. I really couldn't see any other point than self-indulgence. Fine, but why release it? (FdW)
Address: http://www.recyclingrecords.com

MICHAEL JOHNSEN & PASCAL BATTUS - BITCHE SESSION (cassette by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Work with Pascal Battus was reviewed before in Vital Weekly, so we know that he usually works in the field of what is usually called improvised music. Usually on table-top guitars, but on this recording he plays 'magnetic pick-ups' and teams up with Michael Johnsen, of whom, I think, never heard before. He plays 'electronics, saw' and the recording was made in Nantes at Bitche (hence the title) in December 2009. Highly improvised music, spanning two sides of the cassette. Instruments seem absent, and are replaced by the pick up which perhaps is dragged along the surface and the electronics of Johnsen which sound like chemicals eating away electronics of cheap toys. It makes the recording apart from highly improvised also quite electronic in approach. The sounds bounces back forth between loud en quiet, in a vibrant manner. You realize this is the work of improvised music, but it has some great dynamics, noisy perhaps, yet also precise and detailled. A true feast for the ears this release. Great scratchy improvised music, bursting with energy. (FdW)
Address: http://thesorg.noise-below.org

BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 18 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 19 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 20 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
BLIND TAPE QUARTETS TAPE 21 (cassette by Blind Tapes)
Back in Vital Weekly 757 I reviewed three tapes from Blind Tapes, whose actually name is Blind Tape Quartets. Back then it came without information, but these four new ones, the series being up to twenty-one by now, there is some information. This is the idea: there is a portable 4 track cassette recorder and four players record individually sounds onto the tape, along with some directions 'in order to preserve the overall mix from being too noisy'. I have no idea how or who is then responsible for the mix, or in fact if it is mixed at all. Each of these tapes has a ten minute track of a highly improvised nature. Again lots of unknown names, besides Lionel Marchetti (on number 19) and Jonas Kocher (number 18). Otherwise we have Igor Cubrilovic, Tom Borax, Robert Roza (all number 18), Srdjen Muc, Raphael Rucciua, Dan Breen (19), www.monsieurJean.ch, Rastko, Forbidden Things, Dragos Tarra (20) and Benoit Moreau, Antoine Francoise, The Laurentz and Masqued Chicken (21). All four tapes were recorded in Lausanne during the Festival Rue du Nord. Its all very much like John Cage's more free spirited moments of randomized musical thoughts. Number 20 was the most concentrated effort, with sounds being quite electronic and the least randomly created mix. The other three are quite far out in their random approach, total free improvisation and not easy to approach. Its perhaps a pity that these tapes are all rather short and that all sounds seem to be equally present in the mix. Maybe a new stage could be to hand these four track tapes out to like minded people and create a more musical, or perhaps more balanced mix. (FdW)
Address: <blindtapes@gmail.com>

ARIA ROSTAMI - FORM (mp3 on Audiomoves)
Maybe a new-comer to the world of Vital Weekly and didn't grasp the message of 'no mp3 will be reviewed'. Its in every Vital Weekly for oh about three years now, but sometimes I am afraid about reading abilities of some people. Aria Rostami lives in San Francisco where he produces 'ambient pieces for installations and scores for films'. 'Form was recorded in the Winter of 2010/2011 and marks that very specific time in my life', he writes. 'Form' is released by Audiomoves, a department of Audiobulb, so its hardly a surprise to find this in the world intelligent dance music. Those melancholic keyboard lines, stuttery rhythms and such like are all well and present, but throughout it seems to me that Rostami uses more from the big book of ambient music too and occasionally pushes rhythm a bit more to the background in favor of more watery synths, and glitchy waves. A pretty much entertaining release for sure, even when it moves old water under the bridge. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiomoves.com