number 825
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!
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T.O.M.B. - UAG (CD by Crucial Blast) *
OPPOSITE SEX (CD by Occultation Recordings) *
MATTO FRANK - CHINA (CD by Narrominded) *
ANDUIN - STOLEN YEARS (CD by Smtg Limited) *
E.M.M. - II (CDR by Motok) *
BACHIR GEMAYEL - HNWAR (CDR by Order of The Nihil)
DOC WOR MIRRAN - MASK (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
ORIFICE - PINKK LLULLABIES (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
P.S. STAMPS BACK- MONO.TONIK - COMMUNIQUE E.P. (CDR 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
CITIES IN DESOLATION & NOEXIT (CDR 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
SOCIAL DRAG - NEW AGE HEALER (cassette by Stunned)

A few years ago I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in our - not too big - town there was somebody involved in experimental and electronic of whom I never heard, Mark Tamea. Now I received another envelope from Nijmegen with music by someone who lives locally but I never heard of: Florian Wittenburg. He works at the Max Planck Institute for Pscyholinguistics, but was born in Berlin, studied in Utrecht, in Paris (at the Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis) with Trevor Wishart, Agostino di Scipio and Curtis Roads. He worked with various instrumentalists and sculptors. Perhaps no ties to the local underground, he has them right across the border, as next to Nijmegen lies the smaller German town Kleve, with an active scene of improvised music around the NurNichtNur label. But Wittenburg's own music is not about improvised music. It just finds its original sounds with such crazy inventions as the Messertisch (knives table) instrument by Stephan Froleyks and the Tompret and the Bard instrument sculptures made by Willem Fremont. Wittenburg 'uses the kyma sound design language exclusively for the electronics of all tracks' it says on the cover. Five pieces which could have found its origins in anything really, not just the Messertisch, Tompret and Bard, but whatever Kyma does, it does make things highly unrecognizable. Design wise the cover looks like a serious modern electronic music record and perhaps it is one, yet Wittenburg doesn't play the tricks of acousmatic music which its glissandi and sudden movements. In these five pieces its rather more drone like, but then from a highly digital perspective. All tracks credit Wittenburg with electronics, but 'Noise Knifes + gong' maybe indicate that a gong has been used and that reminded me of the first Thomas KŲner record, which this shares a similarity with. Wittenburg's music is actually quite isolationist in approach - although he might not be aware of that, by now, forgotten term. Dark, mysterious rumble, stretched out fields, its all classic isolationist music. Interesting to read that most of these pieces were played live and were improvised with real time processing - which I guess brings him back to NurNichtNur. Quite an interesting and fascinating musical journey and an excellent musical discovery. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nurnichtnur.com

A disc of improvisation with Capece playing soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, preparations and sruti box which all seems normal for him, but Chris Abrahams plays the (Yamaha) DX7 FM synthesizer, which I guess is an unusual instrument for improvisations, since its not an easy synthesizer to use (programming wise I believe). The three pieces here were recorded already in 2008-2009. Three in total, with the middle piece being the longest. Improvised music of the highest level, I think. Lots of silence, lots of tension, strong interplay between both players, which hoover closely never the edge of silence in 'Southern Passages'. This is one of those releases that forces you to listen; don't sit back and let it happen, but sit back, do nothing and listen, especially in this long track. In the closing track there is no silence as such. Here the sruti box takes the lead, and the DX7 plays careful crackles and other small tunes on top of that. In the opening track, with eleven minutes still of considerable length, its effectively a combination of both ends, but slightly more fragmented than you would expect from a combination of drone, improvisation, as apparent in the other two pieces. This variety of approaches makes this a highly enjoyable disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

T.O.M.B. - UAG (CD by Crucial Blast)
There is only as far as a boy can go, but then why stop there? This wisdom, thanks to GX, could apply to Whitehouse/Sutcliffe Jugend/Consumer Electronics. In terms of extreme music they set the tone - pun intended - quite high, and a long time ago. I haven't kept up with any of these here, lumped together here, since membership is fleeting, but from these three mostly with Whitehouse. From the high pitched feedback music of the early years, through the use of low end bass rumble of their later works, its a slow progression, but certainly a fine move. I must admit that someone gave me a copy of 'We Spit On Their Graves', a 10 cassette box by Sutcliffe Jugend, but I am not sure if I heard them all. Too noisy for me, I guess, and perhaps too similar. I didn't keep up with later works, so I expected a blast of noise on 'Blue Rabbit'. That is not the case. Its perhaps an extreme record, but then of an altogether different kind. In all of these eight tracks the voice is rather low, slow, like a narrator of horror story, but its not easy to decipher the lyrics - always a main feature for the jugend and the house, so occasionally we hear something about 'throats', but then lyrics are never my main concern. The music however is and that's pretty interesting here. Sutcliffe Jugend here goes out into no-man's land of electro-acoustic music, with acoustic instruments played in strange ways. A cello played with a comb, a piece of wood playing, scraping the inside of a piano, a thumb on the bass. It seems to me all culled from improvisations, but then cut and pasted together. The best bits become loops of a varying length, which start to make sense over the course of a piece. Music is mixed closely together, so that dense patterns occur, in which occasionally you recognize one instrument.  No walls of feedback screaming down your speakers, no high pitched voice screaming on top of their lungs, but a very interesting work of experimental music. Extreme for those whose expectations are shattered now, but I think its a brilliant work, with only one downside: its way too long for the amount of variety it is offering. There is simply not enough variation in how the voice works, pieces are built up and only a minimal variation in instruments. That is, for me, the downside. A Whitehouse length of thirty-five minutes would have made much more impact, I should think. Then you would have been left behind, thinking: what the hell did I just hear and was it really Sutcliffe Jugend?
On a more noise level we have the release by T.O.M.B, which stands for Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy), of whom I never heard. Apparently they do their recordings in abandoned sanitariums, morgues, decaying crypts 'and other sites of psychological and spiritual distress'. Places, it seems, where they have lots of scrap metal, which they bang and play, or perhaps they bang the walls. If reverb is not available in these places, they add it later on. In each and everyone of these pieces. Apparently they sound like Atrax Morgue, Subklinik, Mauthausen Orchestra, Brighter Death Now and some of the black metal bands. As surprised I was by the Jugend CD, as normal I find this particular record. While much louder, this kind of industrial music sound like any such thing that has been going on since Einsturzende Neubauten recorded their first 7" in an underpass at a highway. If this was all more composed, thought out, I could see, perhaps, a point to all this, but these pieces come across as improvised, like endless banging on objects, without much form or structure, so this could be anything with any given length, ten minutes or sixty two. For a while one could think its alright, but the entire sit through this is a bit too much for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.crucialblast.net

OPPOSITE SEX (CD by Occultation Recordings)
To start with the bad news: this is nothing for Vital Weekly. Alright? But by god, this is a nice record. Opposite Sex were formed in 2010 in Gisborne, somewhere on the Northern Island of New Zealand. Should you said to me this band was from 1981 and totally forgotten on some obscure independent label from the UK from the same time, I would probably have believed that as well. A trio of Lucy Hunter on bass, Fergus Taylor on guitar and Tim Player on drums. They relocated to Dunedin in 2011 they recorded over one weekend their debut album, which is this self titled thing. Thirteen razor sharp power pop pieces, sounding simply great. A bit of post punk, no wave, pure pop and direct in your face, but not entirely lo-fi. There has been some great care in the production, adding bits of piano and trumpet here and there. A brilliant and odd record - with strange waltz like tunes, straight forward rock songs and Lucy's (bitter-)sweet voice, sometimes with the more rock like voice of Player. A record bursting with energy and speed, no aggression. On a great sunny spring day, like today, this record brings out a big smile on my face. As said, its highly out of place in Vital Weekly, but I tell you: if you want something different, then you should really try Opposite Sex. Best record of the week. (FdW)
Address: http://www.occultation.co.uk

Following 'Fragile.Flicker.Fragment' (see Vital Weekly 768) this is the second album of Monty Adkins on Audiobulb. Its quite a break from that album, not how things work out, but more in terms of approach. Whereas 'Fragile.Flicker.Fragment' was made with a variety of sound sources (music box, guitar, violin), here its just two clarinets, played by Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche, and Adkins doing his thing on the computer - me thinks. It also involves the work of visual artist Pip Dickens, who created the images on the cover. Sibusa refers to a Japanese concept, 'a term that describes the inherent simplicity and beauty of everyday objects'. The music, four parts, obviously I'd say,  are of a great simplicity too. Gliding scales of processed and unprocessed clarinet sounds of highly delicate music. It bridges the modern classical music of Phill Niblock and the computer warmth of Stephan Mathieu, and moves away from the more microsounding music of the previous album. If that one was 12K-like, then this new one is more Line-like, if you get my drift. From the two I think 'Four Sibusa' is the more accomplished one, following a concept, exploring that and cutting away anything he seems unnecessary. Quite a refined record, a major leap forward. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

Besides being a highly productive sound artist, Rutger Zuydervelt, is also a designer, working not just on his own released by also for Nuun and My Own Little Label. He's someone whose music reflect is working with visuals, but not as before he did what he does here, an album of six pieces all named after a color, green, red, grey, brown, blue and the mixture of it all, mosaic. The music was composed last year as part of an exhibition, and Zuydervelt took his ideas from a series of short stories by Imants Ziedonis. Using guitars, memo recorders, looped tapes, old test records, a monotron, effect pedals and computer, plus sounds by Espen Reinertsen (saxophone), Gareth Davis (bass clarinet) and Aaron Martin (cello) (all of that it seems in the final piece), he crafts five pieces of exactly four minutes and one, the last, of twelve minutes - there is probably something about that too. Music-wise he stays close to what we know from Machinefabriek, which I guess is a lot. Delicate music, warm, ambient, microscopic, detailed. All of those keywords which we have used before, can apply to this record. In the short pieces things remain mostly abstract, but in 'Mosaic' it opens up in a very musical way. The saxophone, bass clarinet and cello provide a warm backing and on top Zuydervelt adds his guitar sounds, carefully plucking the strings. The old dualism fights here: a beautiful record no doubt, but does it add much to what we already know? I doubt that. But perhaps I am sole voice in concerns like this. Die hard fans won't be disappointed. (FdW)
Address: http://fangbomb.com/

MATTO FRANK - CHINA (CD by Narrominded)
Behind the name Matto Frank, we find Frank Schouten. I never heard of him, nor of his previous work with the improvised techno as Hakki Takki, and I don't remember his piece on Narrominded's 'Retro Retry 2: Another Green World'. He also has a radio program and a record label named Plattegrond. In 2009 he traveled through China and recorded sounds over there with a slightly dysfunctional microphone. He became fascinated with the loudness of the Chinese society. These recordings can be found on this CD, but its not an exclusive portrayal of those field recordings. In some of these pieces we hear them, shopping malls, pop music and people talking - it doesn't seem to be of the same loudness as Matto Frank may have encountered on his travel. However the majority of pieces are made from processing those sounds into digital glacier like pieces of music. This is no doubt to form a contrast with that noise-based society, but as said, the pure field recordings aren't that noisy. Digital ambient music, using all the 'right' plug ins on a computer, circa the mid-2000 computer area, like an earlier Stephan Mathieu. In '95th Floor', the eighth piece here, things get considerable louder and in 'Zziki Street', a bit more rhythmical, along with street sounds. These two pieces sort of don't seem to fit on the CD very well, and could have been left off as far as I'm concerned, as it breaks with the more peaceful nature of the other pieces. I'm not sure what to make of this CD. Its not bad, and makes up some nice music for sure, but it walks down roads that have been explored well enough before and doesn't seem something that is his own, which is a pity I think. It certainly does have some potential, I think, and I'd be curious to see in which direction this would go. (FdW)
Address: http://www.narrominded.com

ANDUIN - STOLEN YEARS (CD by Smtg Limited)
Its been a while since I heard 'Abandoned In Sleep' by Jonathan Lee's Anduin project (see Vital Weekly 703). Maybe that lies partly in the fact that his equipment was stolen in August 2011, where he lost not only his gear but also his files. Like before he works with others, but in this case its only one musician, jazzo Jimmy Ghaphery on saxophones and flutes. 'Stolen Years' comes in a great package (and is released on LP too) of cards for each of the eight tracks, and this new album seems to me an important step forward. I wasn't too blown away by 'Abandoned In Sleep' which I though was a bit too faceless as a work of dark ambient, but the wind instrument contributions by Ghaphery certainly make an excellent addition to the mood music. Lee uses drone like, sustaining patterns, but also quiet, moody loops of sound, forming mild rhythmic injections into the music which add a new richness to the music. Ghaphery's playing is mildly jazz like and he plays like a smokey bar saxophonist, a film noir soundtrack, which makes this music quite filmic. Excellent atmospheric music here all around, making an album of eight great pieces of music, and easily the best Anduin release I heard so far. (FdW)
Address: http://www.smtgltd.com

Ambient music that uses guitars: is there something more old hat than that? We have Fear Falls Burning and a whole string of isolationists. But they are usually solo projects, and so, Northern Valentine is something different. Its a quartet, of Robert Brown (guitars), Amy Brown (keyboard, violin), Jeffrey Bumiller (guitars) and Matthew Primak (keyboards). They have been around since 1998 and I have no idea about previous recordings. But apparently this album has apparently two pieces that are fifteen years old, and were found sifting through over 200 hours of recordings. Some other pieces were recorded live. if you ask me, this band likes to meet up in their rehearsal space, switch the recorder on and then start playing. The seven pieces here, spanning only (?) forty-five minutes, are very much along whatever lines you expect 'ambient and guitar' to sound, but by no means it says bad. Actually I think this is quite a good album of a more expanded ambient sound. The band line up provides more possibilities than some of the solo guitar players have, no matter how many loop stations they use. The sound of Northern Valentine isn't very smooth but retains a gritty edge, a live edge if you will. That rawness adds a certain quality to the music which I like, beyond the ordinary. It reminds you of some of the older ambient industrialists, such as Voice Of Eye or older Illusion Of Safety. Ambient through improvisation, by an almost rock line-ups. Like a rawer version of Stars Of The Lid. You could do worse, I'd say. A great album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silbermedia.com

Its not easy to relate the story behind this release, as it deals with one Mikalojus Konstatinas Ciurlionis, 'a cult figure of Lithuanian art and a signpost of Lithuanian identity. Paradoxically, this internationally widely recognized extraordinary creator of music and painting has become a kind of abstract symbol for the young generation of Lithuanians, an icon worshipped out of habit and apparently not to be touched', but Arturas Bumsteinas and jazz musician Liudas Mockunas, 'particularly informal artists' seem one 'of the least expected recipients of musical respect'. But I have no clue who Ciurlionis is. But the cover text, which I am quoting here, suggest that Ciurlionis might have liked the collaborative nature of this kind of playing by two different artists. Bumsteinas is the man of the laptop, sampler, synthesizer, electroacoustic improvisation and violin, and Mockunas, the man who plays the soprano, tenor and bass saxophones, bass clarinet and piano. Maybe we, the outsiders of Lithuanian culture, see this as 'just' as work of two musicians improvising together. I have high respect for Bumsteinas, and some of the music here is alright, but not his best I think. That is partly due to Mockunas, whose jazzy playing at times is not to what I particularly like, which leaves me with mixed feelings about the entire release, I must say. At times pretty much alright, certainly when electronics wail and prevail, but also with some tedious moments. (FdW)
Address: http://www.semplice.it

E.M.M. - II (CDR by Motok)
From the isolated parts of The Netherlands, Nico Selen is still going strong, always working on music by one of his projects of which OR.D.U.C., NoNotes and E.M.M. are the main ones. Here a new work as Electronic Minimal Music, which is what E.M.M. stands for. Whereas some of his other abstract works are to be played live, E.M.M. is certainly not. Like perhaps all his music it is based in the world of electronics, synthesizers and sequencers, but its how its worked out that makes a difference. In O.R.D.U.C. this is mostly somehow pop music based, but in his other projects quite abstract. It seems that with this new E.M.M., its all a bit more harking back to the days and daze of cosmic music. But its hardly because Selen wants to tap into the current revival, as it is something he was always interested in, ever since he started to release cassettes back in 1981. So a Tangerine Dream arpeggio bounce in 'Chips' is not something that is entirely new for me, but it sounds pretty good here. Abstract doesn't equal difficult in his world, as the nine pieces on this release are quite smooth, very smooth indeed. It seems as if Selen works with more digital synthesizers these days than the analogue ones of yesteryear. Sometimes this sounds get a bit too smooth, too nice for me, especially when he employs a digital piano sound. Selen walks a careful line between what can be done and what shouldn't be done. Not to fall in the trap of music that is too new agey should be his concern. Pieces like 'Rain', 'Chips' and 'Two' show us he is still on the right side of the line however. He should explore this more and find a life-line to those who invest in the revival of cosmic music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.motok.org

Theatro Grotesco is a multimedia project, with music as its main focus. The band started in 2009  as a counterpart of The Joy of Nature. The band released already three other albums. Kroni's Empire is released at the Portuguese label New Approach Records. The music has it?s roots in the industrial music from the seventies and eighties. The musicians combine industrial beats on metal and drums, with distorted guitar, loops of voices, samples of a choir and abstract ambient sounds. The atmospheres of the tracks are different, but always based on a dark ambient ground with a ritual concept. The albums starts with music like Middle Age classic melodies and instruments. Some tracks are like post-rock bands, with pulsing guitar riffs and ongoing drums. Anyhow - Teatro Grotesco leads you to different musical atmospheres and they play these different styles well. The artwork is also well done. Minimal photographs fits well to the soft and dark atmosphere of the album. Teatro Grotesco knows the classics of industrial music and they know how to play in another fresh way. Great album! (JKH)
Address: http://newapproachrecords.bigcartel.com/

C&L takes its name from a right wing anti Marxist catholic organization which (C&L) aims to fill the space left by this organization with ultra psychedelic noise.  With Panda on the split join their forces for “a journey into the meaning of living”… The solo CDR consists of heavy electronics and statics looped. Indecipherable voices appear and disappear. Track two takes place in the engine room of some middle of the last century stream ship…again a rhythmic loop(s) – a sudden image of women doing exercises in spandex flits across my mind, 80s dance routines. The split begins again like Ash Me with added reverb and echo. The second track starts in almost silence and slowly fades up!? into the industrial loops (again). The other tracks continue the obsession – not with spandex but with industrial loops. There might have been and maybe still is a justification for political activity wrapped within the milieu of genres -  industrial? or is the right term Power Electronics? And I must not let my experiences of property owning Marxists who have time share Villa’s in the South of France prejudice my attitude to these ‘left wingers’ – it would be gauche of me to do so (Boom boom). And those odd “collectives” that once flourished and still remain as kind of tired house plants. I’m well aware that for these and the likes of Zizek genocide in the name of  McDonalds is not the same as genocide in the name of Burger King, (I’ve never had a Wendy burger -) and that any critique will not do my commercial prospects with the arts nobbling scene much good, but could we not have some more “music” rather that PE, Street Fighting Man or the Red Flag will do…(jliat – class traitor and chav)
Address: http://orgonomy-records.blogspot.com/

This is HNW with slow bass drone that works in and out. I’m well aware that “noise” has any number of interpretations to it, and that harsh noise and harsh noise wall can be politicized and used in any number of ways by any number. Contra what some want to believe its ease of manufacture and seeming “anti” status make it a prime candidate for propaganda, polis, jouissance…and also alternatively it can become re-infected with progress, value, capital, skill, and condemnation… though its been pointed out that these are nothing other than cargo cults.  That a view from nihil is at all possible, a view from nothing, is ridiculous, but that has no hold. You cant have concepts, and this CDR touts itself as a concept par excellence, from the entropics of noise, actually a reverse entropics, the nihil unbound of a trillion years in the future if Brassier gets his wish is one where no information processing and so no concepts can occur- but of course this is a concept. Anyway a concept should be recognized especially to a “waller” as tout court  impossible due to the overwriting of information tout de meme… however we are told that this is a product, from a true artist, we have re-introduced truth, but not as a woman, and a genuine professional. The  anthropology is clear that in any group, stratifications will take place,  territorialization will occur.  We seem then to have a conflict, perhaps a dialectic (which will please many) that of the overcoming of entropy by a kind of ecstatics of divine immortality as A man’s destiny in a Christ risen, but risen above the masses. (pun intended). Laurelle’s Gnostic heretics of “knower” … Meillassoux’s future forgiving Christ… IOW  what has been done with the simple drone, is making of something (noise) which has no meaning into something which has. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing, the answer is yes. Its excellent. (jliat)
Address: http://www.voidseance.com/
BACHIR GEMAYEL - HNWAR (CDR by Order of The Nihil)
“Misbaha beads and bullet casings as source material, along with the absence of distortion effects”  recorded in Chicago but aims at presenting something of the nightmare of the middle east. Its difficult not to take sides, as is pointed out, in urban warfare and impossible problem for those of us lucky enough not to be directly involved. How then to review such material. It’s claiming to use HNW as some kind of political form of communication, and I guess some will anticipate my answer. However there is a point where one must remain silent, and this is one of them. However the silence is neither academic, or passive but sufficient to let the work and artists concerned speak for themselves. “The walls constructed are made of nothing more then misbaha beads and bullet casings, standard items either held or scattered around war torn areas of Lebanon. This is HNW on a realistic level. Inspired by life and the world around me, in the name of my people, I produce Walls of War.” (Jliat)
Address: http://orderofthehnw.blogspot.com/

Perhaps here is another answer to my own of apparent hand washing in my approach to politics. Though in my case it was unlike Pilate’s and more sympathetic (empathy is impossible) than an excuse to leave the party. However the mules in Two Mules for Sister Sara are complicit even in their passivity to the political and in the end a form of revolutionary prostitution which leaves anyone not enthralled with Mr. Eastwood (nobody!) in a dilemma. So what should  the mules do? I maintain, and I  have consistently done, that they should do nothing. Biologically at least they can do nothing. If they are as dumb as (Ass) made out maybe they can escape any part in the ideological conflict, not at all like the other equine revolutionary, Boxer. However returning to their Deleuzean excuse, they are not the virtual plane (which I think is a metaphysics to far!), but the plane of immanence itself where singularities or events occur. In translation then, Boxer is modernity, avant garde, Eastwood & Co the dialectic – and you guessed it-  the two mules HN and HNW.  Perhaps a less allegorical explanation is here - orderofthehnw.blogspot ? The actual sounds are interesting in that they are not what one expects primarily from HNW, but are made of two or three layers of noise, a deep rumbling bass, a static crackle and at times a high pitch whine which is of a definite pitch. These are all of a fairly low volume and quite discernible with subtle changes and mixes, more noticeably a use of a Doppler effect… which reduces the click to clunks and throws the bass rumble deeper.. so neither (pure) HN or HNW but certainly Noise, as its context is lacking, or if any, has no use or purpose, even to cause the physicality’s of HN / HNW. (jliat)
Address: http://orderofthehnw.blogspot.com/

DOC WOR MIRRAN - MASK (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
ORIFICE - PINKK LLULLABIES (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
When Germany's Selektion label asked Smegma for some compilation track,s the band replied they could send some sound material to be completed by P16.D4, main band behind Selektion. That never happened, but P16.D4 organized a project called 'Distruct' where people send in tapes to be part of a larger composition, not knowing what others would send in. That method of asking for tapes of 'raw sound material' was something others would also do, like Controlled Bleeding, Ramleh, Kapotte Muziek and Doc Wor Mirran. The latter was perhaps most active in this, and over the years have had tapes to use by such diverse people as Asmus Tietchens, Genesis P-Orridge and Jello Biafra, but here its 'lesser' gods as Laurent Gabiot, Klaus Jochim, Emil B. (Beaulieu I was wondering?) and Frans de Waard (oh!), who doesn't remember a thing about this, but then it has been some years. 'Mask' was already recorded and mixed in 1994, and it doesn't sound like a collage of disparete sounds spliced together. Besides the tapes, Doc Wor Mirran has six members here, including main-man Jospeh B. Raimond and Tesendalo's Peter Schuster. Like before you never know what to get from Doc Wor Mirran, who plays anything from punk to ambient, and here works out in the way of moody electronics, with a strong(er) emphasis on rhythm. They hold everything together and around this sounds swirl in and out of the mix, either played by the band members or from those tapes mailed to them (and which hardly make a difference in approach), like  psychedelic mixture of colors. The third part, the shortest, is the most industrial one, despite the analogue sounds of the drums. A good, fine, solid Doc Wor Mirran. Not a stand-out, but just a fine new work.
Expanding twice in length to its predecessor 'Signal Kitchen' (see Vital Weekly 800), 'Pinkk Llullabies' offers again 'wavetable-synth improvisation' by Burkhard Jaeger. This time there is no mentioning of 'no editing, no overdubs, no mastering or any post-production', but surely that's the case too here. At least it sounds like it. Quite noisy stuff here again, and while the sound is better than on the previous release, the actual content, which is of course what its all about is not better. Thirteen pieces here, shorter than before, but still feedback like noise like stuff. Editing, dubbing and producing are all sadly missed here again.
Planktone Unlimited Editions was the label by Slawek Kwi, better known as Artificial Memory Trace. I must admit I didn't know this, so I have no idea why he is no longer working as such. Two of the works released on that label find now their way on a double CDR by Germany's Attenuation Circuit. Like much of his work, if not all, here too we have field recordings at the very foundation of the compositions. Compositions, because its Kwi's idea to use field recordings, alter them a little bit, and put them together, and not present them as pure phenomena of sound. Its music that one doesn't take too easily. There are lots of moments when sound drops to a low volume and for some time stays there, with just the sound of chirping insects. But then it cuts with a loud sound/event into something new and then a whole new world opens up. Its not easy to say what kind of techniques are used, but my best guess would be that its simply the result of layering various sound events together and then find the right compositional balance with these sounds, through editing, cutting and fading. Throughout, the music of Artificial Memory Trace isn't very loud so one has to keep full attention to this. Which makes these two discs, one that lasts seventy-six minutes and one that lasts fifty-eight, not something one would digest in one go easily, unless you either fully concentrate or 'use' it as ambient music: let it come as it comes. Either way of perceiving this music I think is pretty valid. It contains lots of beauty, poetic beauty actually, like the some what cryptic notes on the cover. Long in duration, massive in beauty. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

CITIES IN DESOLATION & NOEXIT (CDR 1000+1 Tilt Recordings)   
'This E.P. is of no named price. Feel free to copy, rip, reproduce, manipulate. Share if you care. Fuck SOPA-PIPA, ACTA and moneymaking rippers. Fuck copyrights' says the cover of this short CDR from Greece, and perhaps it reflects something of the monetary state the country is in. Crisis, however, does sometimes bring great music, and unemployment is a fertile soil for creativity. Here we have P.S. Stamps Back and Mono.tonik. The latter is a new name for me, but the first has been reviewed in Vital Weekly, although we would have to dig quite a bit in our archives. Armed with a laptop and synths, they start out with some high pitched noise music, but somewhere a beat kicks in. In 'Imminence' and 'Grave Expectations' this is more abstract, with the latter containing some more harsh high pitched sounds, the greek title in the middle has a more straight forward beat running and around its core the two freely improvise their way. Freaky but funny, not exactly composed, but very much like the marketing ethos of the whole release: free stuff. That's certainly a fine thing to do.
Cities In Desolation, of which PS Stamps Back is one half, toured Europe in October 2008 and while in Lausanne they did a recording with the for me unknown Noexit. Maybe Noexit is the one responsible for playing the saxophone on the their joint piece - the other piece on this release is just by Cities In Desolation. The collaborative piece is an excellent one. The saxophone blows circular movements, while the electronic background slowly masses a thickening sound of likewise circular electronic injections, even arriving at a sort of technoid tune. On their solo piece they have a similar approach: through a long ambient/drone opening of layered synth sounds, a rhythm slowly walks in which has a more pseudo-tribal character. Both pieces are quite good. Ambient music that moves out of the regular ambient atmospheres and into a musical universe of its own. Not entirely ambient house per se, but surely getting close. Cities In Desolation are still a bit too much of a raw diamond to create very smooth music, which is something, I think, we should cherish. A great idea to release this after all these years. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tiltrecordings.org

SOCIAL DRAG - NEW AGE HEALER (cassette by Stunned)
The cover doesn't exactly spit out a lot of information, just a thank you to some people and the title. No website, no names. Another piece of paper, the press release, has some words but it isn't revealing either a lot on what Social Drag is: "One of the most flat-out incendiary debut tapes ever shared with this label, Social Drag’s ‘New Age Healer’ employs wickedly smart noise structures as a necessary remedy for any digital-age depressions. In the hands of this frequency surgeon we are provided a reboot and awaken fresh to what has made the last decades of experimental music worthwhile in the first place — starting with the artist’s scandalizing and unapologetic plunder far beyond all safety zones erected by society. Opening his aperture into this lawless place of awesome possibility, Social Drag directs red hot mutagenic forces through writhing cables and circuits fried to crispy perfection". Just to provide you with some of the insights I have to deal with (actually this was on the website). So the music is not all New Age like, but perhaps if you want to heal from that drivel, you might want to hear this. My best guess - there we go - is that Social Drag uses a modular synth - or two - which he twitches and turns and searches for more gritty sounds than nice ones. This owes to the sixties tradition of serious electronic music, but then a rather fucked up version of it. More noise based than actually conservatorium based, me thinks. Yet there is something quite captivating about it, which made me have this on repeat for a while. I am not sure why I found this captivating - at times too noisy, too uncontrolled perhaps, and perhaps just that's where its power is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stunnedrecords.blogspot.com/