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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 783
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week 22
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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ERIKM & NORBERT MOSLANG - STODGY (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
WPB3 - A FLOATING WORLD (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
SETH HORVITZ - EIGHT STUDIED FOR AUTOMATIC PIANO (CD by Line Imprint) *
CHRIS WATSON & MARCUS DAVIDSON - CROSS POLLINATION (CD by Touch)
MARK TEMPLETON - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat) *
RANT - LAND (CD by Schraum) *
ZOMBI - ESCAPE VELOCITY (CD by Relapse) *
HORSEBACK - THE GORGON TONGUE (2CD by Relapse) *
ANDREA PENSADO - KTOTAM (CD by Zeromoon) *
MACHINIST - OF WHAT ONCE WAS (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM - TRYAKUSTA (CD by Vetvei) *
CREATION (CD compilation by Vetvei)
SIX DEAD BULGARIANS & OGNI VIDENIY - 2137 (CD by Vetvei)  *
ZOMBIE COMPUTER - INDIAN SUMMER (CD by Pschonavigation Records)
STEVE MOORE - DEMO 2003 (LP by Hlava Temple)
RASHOMON - ASHCAN COPY (LP by Hlava Temple)
DISSECTING TABLE/MATHIAS GRASSOW & TOMAS WEISS - A CHILDS COLOR PLAY (LP by Pysch.KG)
KOSTIS KILYMIS & LEIF ELGGREN - IF OTHER PEOPLE EXIST (LP by Firework Edition Records)
LEIF ELGGREN - SOMETHING LIKE SEEING IN TE DARK (booklet by Firework Edition Records)
MARK FELL - MANITUTSHU (double 12" by Editions Mego)
IAN HOLLOWAY & BANKS BAILEY - A SLOW FEATHER FALLS (CDR by Quiet World) *
RICHARD SANDERSON - IMPROVISATIONS FOR MELODEON (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings) *
FRANCISCO MEIRINO - RECORDINGS OF VOLTAGE ERRORS, MAGNETIC FIELDS, ON-SITE TESTIMONIES AND TAPE TENSION (CDR by Neus-318) *
LASSE MARHAUG & FRANCISCO MEIRINO (7" by Misanthropic Agenda)
JONATHAN READ - VOLANS 2 (CDR by Ephre Imprint) *
NCPS - III (CDR by Ephre Imprint) *
ORPHAX - A ROOM WITH A VIEW (3"CDR by Striate Cortex) *
SIR ISAF GUL (cassette by Lighten Up Sounds)
MAR HABRINE (cassette by Lighten Up Sounds)


ERIKM & NORBERT MOSLANG - STODGY (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
WPB3 - A FLOATING WORLD (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
Russia's Mikroton label sort of specializes in improvised music with an electronic/laptop edge. These two are a bit different. First of all, they don't use a laptop. But the release by eRikm and Norbert Moslang comes closest to the label's initial output as they use a 3k-pad loop system and electronics (eRikm) and cracked everyday-electronics (Moslang). If I understand right, these three tracks are recorded at four different concerts from the period 2002-2005 and then mixed by eRikm. This is a great affair: vibrant, energetic, noise based improvisations. I once saw, ages ago, Moslang in concert, and this recording revives that memory. These two men move between the loud, super loud and a little less loud, but never is really very quiet. A mean beast of improvised noise music, at times reminding the listener of say Merzbow. Its never a steady stream of distortion and feedback, but an energetic collage of sounds, which goes out all the way, with crushing bass sounds and high piercing sounds. Although quite short, just over thirty minutes, this leaves the listener grasping for air, certainly when played at a loud volume, which I guess is the only option you have.
The other new release on Mikroton goes out all the way into improvised music without any use of electronics. Here we have Heddy Boubaker (alto and bass saxophones), Mathias Pontevia (horizontal drums, percussion) and Nusch Werchowska (piano, objects). They played together in succession for three days in November 2008 and the results span four lengthy tracks on this CD, between fifteen and twenty-three minutes. I must say I have some trouble with this. At times it goes way out into free-jazz land, which is simply not my cup of tea. Things work best for me when they are quiet here, and an exploration of instruments takes place along with interaction between the three musicians. It would mean however I would have to copy all tracks to my computer and take out all the bits I don't like, which of course is something I won't do. Throughout this is not a bad CD however, don't get me wrong there, but its all very long and going directions which I simply don't care for. Perhaps too traditional for my taste. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

SETH HORVITZ - EIGHT STUDIED FOR AUTOMATIC PIANO (CD by Line Imprint)
The name Seth Horvitz didn't ring any bell straight away, but the press text informs me he used to work as Sutekh since the mid 90s and that he had releases on Soul Jazz, Orthlorng Musork, Force Inc/Mille Plateaux, so I must have heard it in those days, but still nothing to remember. I must dig somewhere. Horvitz comes from the world of techno, but he also studied electronic music at Mills College. In this light we must see this new release, under his own banner, on Line. The automatic piano is something he build himself and stands in the tradition of the player piano, made famous by Conlon Nancarrow. By making it automatic you can play the most crazy pieces, beyond human control. Through the website of Line you can download the scores to the pieces, and more notes about the project. Always nice to watch and read such things, even if one doesn't always understand what this is about. Not being able to play the piano myself - despite a six month training when I was eleven - I can safely say that not all of these pieces would be difficult to play. Horvitz didn't set out to program the automatic piano 'to play as many notes as in humanly impossible'. In some cases, such as in 'Tentacles' or 'Strumming Machine' this is surely the case, but in 'Bells' its not. But that piece has a bell-like precision to one key played. All eight pieces are from the world of modern classical music, a far cry from the original Line releases, but perhaps also a logical expansion. I thought it was a great release of some interesting piano music in the realm of computers: just exactly what we like Line for. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lineimprint.com

CHRIS WATSON & MARCUS DAVIDSON - CROSS POLLINATION (CD by Touch)
What on earth am I doing inside the house? The sun is bursting, with a totally friendly temperature, which scream: walk! walk! walk! But no, I am inside, listening to music. Music made with the use of field recordings to be precise, as is certainly the case with the first piece by Chris Watson. Entirely recorded in the Kalahari desert, from sunset to sunrise, but then trimmed down to twenty-eight minutes. A remote area, where most of the wildlife is awake at night - with lots of insect chirping and buzzing. Its almost an electronic piece of music, which I guess is exactly why this is such a great piece of music. With much of the field recording artists who merely capture the environment, Watson takes it all a step further and actually composes with those sounds into quite a captivating piece of music. No by looping sounds, or putting on fancy plug-ins, but merely a process of editing and fading. Simple but difficult in order to create such an overwhelming mass of sound. And masses of sounds is also what's happening on the second piece, which is by Watson and one Marcus Davidson. It explores the vocal harmonies between humans and honey bees. Watson is here responsible for the field recordings used (which he did with label honcho Mike Harding), while Davidson gets the credit as composer. The bee choir consists of five human voices, who buzz like bees. If you are melissophobic then this will surely be a scary piece. A lovely CD of music derived from nature, as well as an interaction of human activity and animal sounds. Now its time to go out and the hear the real action. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

MARK TEMPLETON - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
The only time I reviewed something by Mark Templeton was back in Vital Weekly 666, when the CD he recorded with one AA. Munson, 'Acre Loss' was discussed. According to his website there have been a couple other releases. He has performed his music at Mutek, Unsound, Eat This, Send + Receive as well as some other festivals. To his instruments he uses "acoustic instruments, found sounds and sampled material to construct textured" and creates 'collage-like electronic' compositions. I must admit I am a bit surprised to see him part of the Mort Aux Vaches series by Staalplaat. This thirty-five something piece of music is not bad, but perhaps also a bit unlike the series. Not that there is a definite musical standard or scenery behind this series, but Templeton's music struck me as rather good, but rather standard sort of laptop music. Pre-recorded processed guitars, played a bit along the lines of improvisation at one point, which was nice, set against a choir of voices, crackling sounds, hiss, and all those usual ingredients of a laptop artist. Even taken in account that this release was recorded in 2008, it would be something of a development to move away from the strict laptop artists, and seek it in real instrument players, or those who use their laptops as part of a larger set up. Maybe Templeton does play the guitar in combination with his laptop, and then I take my words back. I still wouldn't think this is a great release, but then more effort went in it. This is a nice release, altogether, but not the highlight of the series. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staalplaat.com

RANT - LAND (CD by Schraum)
The two previous releases by Rant (see Vital Weekly 453 and 549) were reviewed by Dolf Mulder and by me. While playing the new CD 'Land' I read the two old reviews and thought about the music. Should I re-direct this Dolf again? His review seemed a bit lukewarm to it, whereas my own review had a similar point of view: "Even when it's just eight tracks and just under forty minutes, I think it's a bit too uniform in execution to maintain my full attention throughout. But a couple of songs here and there are quite nice indeed". The duo Rant, Merle Bennett on drums and Torsten Papenheim on guitar, explore very much the similar approach, but this time in thirteen tracks, which seem even shorter. Still very much within the format of pop song, but never quite like pop anyway. Stripped down to its bare essential, sometimes jazz like, a bit collage at other times, post rock like also, but all of these fields overlap each other. Improvised for sure, but also quite structured, certainly when they move into a real song as in 'Hunderer'. My main problem with the previous is the same here: I think its all quite nice, but perhaps a bit too much for my liking. Sitting through all thirteen tracks was a bit too much but there are some diamonds in here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.schraum.de

ZOMBI - ESCAPE VELOCITY (CD by Relapse)
HORSEBACK - THE GORGON TONGUE (2CD by Relapse)
In the same week as I hear music by Steve Moore for the second time (or rather: the second record of his to reach me), I am also introduced to the music of Zombi, his duo with A.E. Paterra. The website for the band doesn't say much, except that 'Escape Velocity' is the fourth record. Moore takes the credit for all the synthesizers and drum computers, while Paterra plays drums and some synthesizers (connected to the drums, I wonder). I am not sure what to make of this, as much as I like Steve Moore's solo records. Relapse talks about Neu and Harmonia on one side and Giorgio Moroder on the other. I can sense that. All three use that motorik drive that is also behind the music of Zombi. Lots of arpeggio's are applied, swirling synth lines and the live drums add that great drive. While this is all quite nice, I was also thinking that this was a mighty big cliche. A big sugary cliche. Are Zombi trying to fool someone, or are they very serious? Now there is an interesting question I thought. For now I give them the benefit of doubt: I wish I could drive a car. I put this on real loud, while driving fast through the rural surroundings of Nijmegen.
The first time I heard of Miller Jenks was when I discussed his CD with Nicholas Szczepanik reviewed in Vital Weekly 756. This time around its a double CD with two out of print works (although Relapse says of 'Forbidden Planet' that it is new, but previously on cassette only). This music is a far cry from the work with Szczepanik as both CDs here deal with guitar music. Two different ends on these discs. First there is 'Impale Golden Horn', four long tracks for heavy drone guitars. A sort of nightmare ambient music: top heavy, mildly distorted. Think Flying Saucer Attack in its most grim moments, with no vocals, ending with the gentle tune of 'Blood Fountain'. The other disc 'Forbidden Planet' is of a different nature. Top heavy too, but then with a full-on distortion. This is not entirely my cup of tea I must admit. Its perhaps too simple in approach. Once the distortion pedals are down, they stay down and that seems to be it. A sort of heavy type minimal psychedelic guitar wash, I guess. LaMonte Young on bad drugs? Seen in concert, this might do the trick better. (FdW)
Address: http://www.relapse.com

ANDREA PENSADO - KTOTAM (CD by Zeromoon)
The name Andrea Pensado is entirely new to me, but this Argentinean composer has been around for some time. She studied music in Argentina and Krakow (Poland) where she lived for ten years, until moving back to Argentina in 1997; currently she lives in the USA. She works with laptop and voice. The laptop runs max/msp and the voice recites texts, but also acts as a 'signal processor and controller'. The seven pieces on 'Ktotam' are all improvised. Careful is not a word that springs to mind straight away. Its not until the fifth track, 'El Careta', that she pulls back a bit. Up until then, things have been pretty loud. The mastering is done by Jeff Carey, and if one is familiar with his music, than you may have an idea where to place Pensado's music: quite loud and vicious, noise based improvisations. Very digital, meaning it scratches the entire surface, loud versus soft, low end bass versus high end piercing frequencies. A voice as such is hard to recognize, nor any texts that are spoken - or not of course. Music like that Skiff++ or Office-R(6): one that is not strictly noise, but quite loud and very dynamic. Even at 'just' forty minutes this is quite a heavy, breath taking affair. You leave somewhat tired, yet satisfied behind. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zeromoon.com

MACHINIST - OF WHAT ONCE WAS (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
From The Netherlands hails Machinist, and when
reviewing his previous CD 'Viens Avec Moi Dans Le Vide', I closed the review with "Its about time he moved to doing real CDs, I'd say", which may or may not have been heard by Moving Furniture Records. Zeno van den Broek from Rotterdam is Machinist and this new album has two pieces of music, of which the first one is inspired by 'Monotone Symphony' by Yves Klein, a painter who painted monochrome one-color paintings, but who also scored some music. In 'Monotone Symphony' "a chamber orchestra plays only one note for twenty minutes, followed by an equal measure of silence". Machinist, being one man, uses a guitar, tuned in D and the variation is in the length of tones and different shapes of resonance. I thought this was a wonderful, open piece of music. A piece that reminded me very much of Machinefabriek (nowadays also from Rotterdam), with looping guitar tones, in various stages. From high end peeps to low end bouncing rhythms, this piece has a great quality, even when it perhaps sounds a bit Machienfabriek like. The other piece is 'Of What Once Was', an improvised piece which he played in various concerts in which he presented the more fixed piece 'Viens Avec Moi Dans Le Vide'. This is a more louder piece of music, also build around the guitar, but with more distortion and small howls of feedback. Apparently there is also field recordings in this piece, as well as computer generated tones, but they were harder to detect. In this piece, the influence of Machinefabriek is less apparent. Maybe 'Of What Once Was' is a bit long and it could have been edited a bit down, although, in his defense, I could say the longitude is also a necessary ingredient of this kind of music (and what cause some people to hate 'drone' music). Although, perhaps an extended bonus to the first piece. (FdW)
Address: http://www.movingfurniturerecords.com/

LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM - TRYAKUSTA (CD by Vetvei)
CREATION (CD compilation by Vetvei)
SIX DEAD BULGARIANS & OGNI VIDENIY - 2137 (CD by Vetvei)
I believe I once saw a concert by Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, open air, small square in St. Petersburg, in which the surrounding sounds of the environment (cars, people walking and talking, birds) added a sort of nice texture to the proceedings on the small stage. I don't recall if it was an one man band, or more, but perhaps that was due to the nature of the afternoon when this took place: some ad-hoc bands were formed and played. There was an amount of instruments on stage, all filed under 'electronics' and a microphone for some kind of overtone singing. Not this concert, but three others were moulded into one forty-two minute piece of music, which is on the release 'Tryakusta', all from july last year. Lunar Abyss Deus Organum has that sort of sound that ties ambient and industrial firmly together: many layers of electronic sounds, a sort of overtone singing and field recordings. Once the mighty wheel is in motion, this goes on and on, in a positive manner. A full on drone sound that lasts for the entire forty two minutes. Maybe we hear three concerts at once I thought. Quite a refined work.
The next new release on Vetvei is a compilation of three groups. Two groups are one-man affairs, Vresnit (who gets credit for 'creation') and Kshatriy ('capture, transformation and manifestation') and Bardoseneticcube (which I believed was an one man project, but you see I am wrong again), a three piece of 'soundkonstrukto, overtone singing and vocal'. The latter open up with two tracks of nicely mellow electronic music, beautiful female vocals (in Russian) and no doubt some sort of processed overtone singing. The other five pieces, two by Kshatriy, one by Vresnit and two by them together, are more 'alike': its hard to tell the difference between them, in the next four tracks. Quite nice ambient/drone/atmospheric music is in play here, with deep space synthesizers, lots of sustain and field recordings. The CD closes with a solo piece by Vresnit, which is a like the preceding four, but with a slightly more orchestral feel to it. No doubt sampled together but it breaks away from the more esoteric, heavenly synths and is therefor a fine piece to end it all. Nice compilation!
On CDR we find a collaboration between two projects from Arkhangelsk, Six Dead Bulgarians and Ogni Videniy, which translates as Fires Of Images. The work was recorded on february 13 and 14 2010, 'when a 2137 moon year began'. Maybe this will give you some clue as to what this is all about: vaguely ritualistic music, made with metal, singing bowls, wooden percussion, jews harp, sand, voice and some electronic devices, by which they mean wind like sounds from a synthesizer. Although ritualistik music (pseudo, quasi or real) is not my cup of tea, I thought this was all quite alright, although not great. I can see why it was released on CDR in a much smaller edition than the other two: unknown bands playing some improvised clutter of percussion sounds and metal scraping in a serious mood. And mood music it is: you need to be in a certain one, to fully experience this. Its the sort of mood I find myself in at times, but then rarely listening to this kind of music. Maybe I lack the space here, as I can imagine this best heard in caves and cathedrals. Also places I am not likely to visit. But surely also a fine experience. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vetvei.ohms.ru

ZOMBIE COMPUTER - INDIAN SUMMER (CD by Pschonavigation Records)
At various occasions I must have told you that I do like popmusic. Zombie Computer also play popmusic. So far so good. No doubt someone who is now sixteen will be hearing this, see the light and will be raving about this thirty years onwards. That is a comforting thought, or so I was thinking, since I wasn't very pleased by this. Drums from a computer, new wave like, erm… trying to think here… a modern synth band sound, but with guitars. Which Depeche Mode record am I thinking of? I appreciate the previous released sent to me from this label, which were all nicely ambient. If however pop is the main game, then I urge them not to bother sending me more of this. I am sure there are lots of other places that favor this very much as the next savior of young entertainment. I am sure they don't need some grumpy old men, who operate in a very specific corner of the musical spectrum. (FdW)
Address: http://www.psychonavigation.com

STEVE MOORE - DEMO 2003 (LP by Hlava Temple)
RASHOMON - ASHCAN COPY (LP by Hlava Temple)
Back in Vital Weekly 756 I was first introduced to the music of Steve Moore, not to be confused with others with the same name. This Steve Moore is one-half of Zombie and works also as Lovelock. Under his own name he plays very retro synthesizer music. That's what he did on 'Primitive Neural Pathways', the only other work I heard from him, and that's what he is doing here. This album was already recorded in 2003, as a demo, but now, perhaps thanks to the cosmic music being the next big thing, released on LP and quite rightly so. It starts out with a Keith Emerson fat lick on the synth, which made me worry a bit, but quite soon he moves into arpeggio's, ribbon bend synthesizer melodies and moody oscillators. Drum machines are pretty absent on this album. Throughout it also seems that the tone of this album is a bit darker than on the previous album, with just a touch more of drone/ambient influences and a dash of experimentalism, while retaining throughout its psychedelic, cosmic, krauty character. Excellent music for those who can't get enough of Tangerine Schulze in their more experimental moods.
Also from Rashomon I reviewed a work before, 'The Finishing Line' on Hinterzimmer Records (see Vital Weekly). Rashomon is Matt Thompson, for whom the website lists as instruments: "Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, guitars, bass, zither, bowed psaltery, percussion, MiniMoog, Moog Taurus bass pedals, jaw harp, harmonium, autoharp and some other stuff". The subtitle of his record is 'Film Music Volume 3', which is hardly a coincidence: the previous had soundtrack like qualities too. This new one takes matters a bit further, and each of the eight piece deals with a film, of which I am sad to say I didn't see any (not even heard of any of these). Apparently none of this films were actually finished. Odd. Just like his CD, Rashomon takes the listener on a bizarre musical journey. References made by the label include Ennio Morricone, Goblin, Popol Vuh and Bohren und der Club of Gore to which I like to add again, Nurse With Wound. Krautrock like, montage styled collages of sound, banging rock structures, swirling organs, jazzy, minimal music and maximal music. Trip music that works well, even without any filmic reference. An absolute fine record. Sadly there is just 150 copies made. Maybe I should ask for a CD re-issue straight away? (FdW)
Address: http://hlava-temple.com/start.html

DISSECTING TABLE/MATHIAS GRASSOW & TOMAS WEISS - A CHILDS COLOR PLAY (LP by Pysch.KG)
'Plus - Minus' is the title of the composition by Mathias Grassow and Tomas Weiss on this record. It might have been the title of the entire record, as things are very opposite. I have a certain weakness for the music of Dissecting Table, simply because one of the first CDs I ever bought as a young man was by Dissecting Table. It was a time when it was hard to get 'my kind of music' on CD. Not that I kept up with subsequent releases very much, of which some of the more recent is a bit too noisy (or ordinary noise) for my taste, but on 'Sky' it seems that Dissecting Table pulls back gear a bit, and not just works with noise, but glides back down and let sound effects run their course and die out, before starting up again. Its actually quite a nice piece of solid noise. The piece on the other side is something else. Both Mathias Grassow and Tomas Weiss are known to be players from the world of drone music, and that's exactly what they set out to do here. What ties in noise and drone, is that both ends of the musical spectrum don't seem to have many new developments in recent years. Just as noise is perhaps so much as it is, drone is no different. What Grassow and Weiss do here is what they have been doing for years. That again is no problem, and knowing myself to love drones more than noise - these days - I think this a wonderful side, in which time doesn't seem to be moving. Excellent. The cover of these records, which come in an edition of 100 copies, are 'designed' (drawn is perhaps the word) by a child with a mental handicap. I have no idea what the bigger idea behind that is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mndr.de/shop/index.php

KOSTIS KILYMIS & LEIF ELGGREN - IF OTHER PEOPLE EXIST (LP by Firework Edition Records)
LEIF ELGGREN - SOMETHING LIKE SEEING IN TE DARK (booklet by Firework Edition Records)
In December last year an event took place as a farewell to the Greek label and organizer Absurd. A few days of musical activities by some long term comrades, among which we found Leif Elggren. He performed a fourteen minute using his voice and his own text (and 'dance', according to the credits), along with Kostis Kilymis on electronics and objects. Perhaps as a thank you to Absurd, this piece is now released Elggren's Firework Edition as an one-sided LP. Quite a noise piece here, which is perhaps something I didn't expect. Loud distorted noise of some obscured objects moving/hitting/destroying, along with a bunch of sound effects and Elggren's voice somewhere on top. Its not easy to understand what these texts about, but they might just very well be printed in the companion release 'Something Like Seeing In The Dark', a booklet with texts, used on several occasions throughout 2007, which on paper do not make much sense either, but then who am I to judge texts of a poetic nature. Its perhaps a thing to read when you are listening to the music can get some sort of sensory overload from it. The harsh music, the 'singing'/'speaking' and all along you try to read the text. Almost like a lethal dose of information. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fireworkeditionrecords.com

MARK FELL - MANITUTSHU (double 12" by Editions Mego)
Earlier this year Mark Fell was asked to deliver some sounds for a new software synthesizer by some company and whilst working on it, he decided to 'rework his UL8 project by extending the pattern generation systems used in its construction, which he then connected to the sounds produced in Erik Wiegand's (Errorsmith and the guy who asked him to do the sounds for the soft-synth) synthesizer. I am not sure what we are then given, but surely some kind of remix of 'UL8' (see Vital Weekly 760). If that Hecker CD is about randomness then so is Mark Fell's remix of his own work. Like the original CD, this all sounds like dance music, but somehow this is not really dance music. There is no deep bass end, lots of mid-range frequencies, lots of rhythmic keyboards and not always rhythm patterns from drum machines (all, I assume, from the world of software synthesis). Nine short tracks, with odd voice snippets thrown in. The D-side of this record is used for a remix by Mat Steel, Fell's buddy from SND (and less active it seems when it comes to solo music, at least releasing it). His piece seems much more structured, but nervous and hectic, very much like the recent SND material. The cover says play at 45 rpm, but surely I recommend 33 on all four sides also. An excellent record. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

IAN HOLLOWAY & BANKS BAILEY - A SLOW FEATHER FALLS (CDR by Quiet World)
The third collaboration between Ian Holloway - UK's man of drones and Banks Bailey, a field recordist influenced by the early works of Monos. The two previous ones (see Vital Weekly 635 and 708) already showed us the way: a fine combination of what we know both men for. The field recordings of Bailey are delicate here, birds and insects (no locations are mentioned here), and Holloway has his trademark organ sound. On 'Silent Spring', his last offering (see Vital Weekly 775), things seemed a little harsher than before, but maybe I was deluded to think that would be a new direction. The organ like sounds as delicate as on his earlier work. This release is best enjoyed, I found out, when listened to with doors and windows wide open and have your environment as part of this music (alright, providing you don't live downtown Manhattan - in that case make sure you everything is closed firmly, or use headphones), adjust volume so that you still hear the organ droning away, but its becomes hard to say which field recordings are from Bailey and which are 'real'. It worked fine here in this quiet neighborhood. No surprises to be found here, but excellently produced. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietworld.co.uk

RICHARD SANDERSON - IMPROVISATIONS FOR MELODEON (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings)
A melodeon is a diatonic button accordion, in case you were wondering about that, and its played here by Richard Sanderson. He is a member of Ticklish, Minnow and has duos with Mark Spybey and Steve Beresford. As the title suggests these are works of improvisation. There are three approaches to playing the melodeon here: entirely acoustic, sometimes with the addition of bells, music box and a dictaphone. Secondly by feeding it through computer software (Audiomulch) and live playing using foot-pedals and amplification. This variety is shown on this album. Indeed all three varieties are shown here and make some remarkable music. 'Parsec' sounds like curious mixture of microsound and improvisation, followed by 'Five Small Stones' and 'Desorbering', which sound like full on, careful improvisations. Field recordings, played through the dictaphone perhaps, slip through on 'Bottle City'. There is even some mild noise explosions in 'December Valves'. See, not a disc about one thing, but about many things, and this variety holds up for the entire length of the disc of an hour. Quite exciting for its entire duration. (FdW)
Address: http://bagrec.blogspot.com

FRANCISCO MEIRINO - RECORDINGS OF VOLTAGE ERRORS, MAGNETIC FIELDS, ON-SITE TESTIMONIES AND TAPE TENSION (CDR by Neus-318)
LASSE MARHAUG & FRANCISCO MEIRINO (7" by Misanthropic Agenda)
This is the CDR version of a LP that was released by Misanthropic Agenda in a super small edition of 90 copies only, but then its twelve minutes longer than the LP. In recent times I became quite a fan of the music of Phroq, especially at the turning point when he calls himself by his own name. Maybe it has to do with my own private interest in a more noise based approach these days, but going back to the strictest harsh noise is not my cup of tea. What I do like is that fine combination of loud and soft. Meirino is one of those composers who does just that. Like the title of this suggests, he uses recordings of electric means that go wrong, broken cables, defective plugs, picking up magnetic fields and crackling tape hiss. Amplified to the max - at times - carefully low humming at other times. Sometimes looped around for a small amount of time, but then brutally interrupted by a loud burst and swiftly moving into something new. Excellent use of collage techniques here. I am not sure if I should regard getting this as a CDR and not as a LP, but somehow I think a CDR is better. No extra-static charges from the vinyl, and the dynamics are bright and neat.
Together with Lasse Marhaug, Meirino also recorded a 7", 'play at 33 or 45 rpm', with some medical theme. 'Flupentixol' is a swift montage (even at 33 rpm) of sounds glued together, like found sounds from old reel-to-reel tape snippets found on the floor. I thought I heard snippets of James Bond movies, but I might be wrong. The whole demontage of sounds reminded me of old Mixed Band Philantrophist LP, which acted in a similar craze. 'Lamotrigine' is less speedily collage of sounds, but a rather concentrated effort of magnetic fields, intercepted by electronic sounds towards the end and other sounds dropping in and out. It makes two entirely different sides, but together a great 7". (FdW)
Address: http://www.neus318.com
Address: http://www.misanthropicagenda.com

JONATHAN READ - VOLANS 2 (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
NCPS - III (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
In Vital Weekly 740 I reviewed the first disc by Jonathan Read from South Eastern Australia. He produces music with heavily processed field recordings. I assumed back then, due to the lack of any information that this was all done in the world of computers. Not much news under the sun, though nice music anyway. In very much the same field of music, being drone/field recordings/ambient is where we find his second release 'Volans 2', with only minor differences. Things seem here to be a bit more ambient, with long stretched out sounds making the whole thing - four tracks in total - very spacious, like the starship enterprise moving through space. Even when I thought this was all utterly relaxing music - I did get some work done - its again very much old hat. Think Eno's Apollo and everything that happened in that field after that.
Four tracks are also on the release by NCPS, a duo of label boss Nigel Samways and Daniel Dickel. Their music is influenced by 1970 and early 80s sci-fi films and comics, which I think can be heard in their music. Even it possess some of that same quality of Jonathan Read's disc - long sustaining meandering synth tones, although more of fleet of space ships than one lost phone booth - there is more happening here. Snippets of voices (including those from adult movies) are used, extra-terrestrial sounds, and more clear field recordings. On top of that there is also an occasional rhythm to be detected. This makes this quite a strange release. The atmospheric bits are the majority here, but it never leaps fully in ambient land, but moves back and forth between that and some more abstract electronic music. Over sixty minutes is perhaps a bit long  for such a release, but I must admit I never had the idea that things were too long, which I guess is a good thing. Unfocused at times, but strangely captivating. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ephreimprint.eu

ORPHAX - A ROOM WITH A VIEW (3"CDR by Striate Cortex)
A live recording from last year, on the day Sietse van Erve's (Orphax main man) had her birthday which he had to miss because of his concert. Now this release is dedicated to her. I am not sure what Orphax's sees through his window, but its not a static scenery. In the first six minutes he builds up a picture of industrial waste lands, and empty factories. Quite an unsettling picture, but the rest is a much more mellow drone like affair, which we perhaps now him best for. Here the room seems to be looking across a wide open landscape, green grass. A view from train more likely, I was thinking. We leave the city, and go out into the open, and the music is build from the train sounds (obviously I am making this all up of course). I especially liked the second half of the piece a lot. Dark spacious drone music! (FdW)
Address: http://striatecortex.wordpress.com

SIR ISAF GUL (cassette by Lighten Up Sounds)
MAR HABRINE (cassette by Lighten Up Sounds)
Not much is revealed about Sir Isaf Gul, but maybe I misplaced the press text - its fairly chaotic at times here. 'Four string guitar & u', perhaps indicating the voice that is also present on this recording, which is a fairly lo-fi affair anyway. Picked up with a cassette recorder in a rehearsal space, or so it seems. Gul strums away, sometimes 'singing' along. Outsider stuff, maybe, but I don't believe everything that is sold as outsider. Sometimes it might be one of those things that is simply not very good and I think this one of them.
Mar Habrine tells us at least what he/she did: 'electronics recorded live to cassette deck'. And it exactly sounds like that. Probably this too can be regarded as a form of outsider stuff, but its marginally better. Totally improvised. One of the reasons the once mighty tape-scene died out in the 80s was that there were a lot of these releases: recorded by doodling on a synthesizer about in thirty minutes and you're next release is ready. I'm afraid that the revived scene might be suffering from similar problems. Both of these can serve as case studies. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lightenupsounds.blogspot.com






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