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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 828
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week 17
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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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LUCIO CAPECE - ZERO PLUS ZERO (CD by Potlatch) *
ANTHEA CADDY & THEMBI SODDELL - HOST (CD by Room40) *
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED 2010 (2CD by Alone At Last) *
MAURIZIO BIANCHI - CLETICHANTS (CD by Alone At Last) *
RICHARD FRANCIS & BRUCE RUSSELL - GARAGE MUSIC (CD by Alone At Last) *
FILFLA - FLIPTAP (CD by Someone Good) *
JEALOUS PARTY & NICOLAS WIESE - RELATIVE MEMORY (CD by Absinth Records) *
LHD - EVEN STILL (2CD by Troniks)
ELODIE - LA LUMIERE PARFUMEE (CD by Faraway Press) *
BATHUS & MARCHETTI & PETIT - LA VIE DANS LES BOIS (CD by Herbal International) *
KYLIE MINOISE - DIE YUPPIE SCUM! SECRET LOVE QUEST OV SHOCK DISCO DESTROYER!
(CD by Mind Flare Media)
SUBTERRANEANACT (CD by Z6 Records) *
STEINBRUCHEL & CORY ALLEN - SEAM (CD by Quiet Design) *
PBK & ZANSTONES - MANTIS FOG DESERT (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
THANOS CHRYSAKIS - MAGMA (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
THE HET - YOU NOT ME (CD by Monochrome Vision) *
AARON DILLOWAY - MODERN JESTER (2LP by Hanson Records) *
SPINE SCAVANGER - WEIGHTED GHOST (LP by Cylindrial Habitat Modules)
ROBERT TURMAN - SPIRALS OF EVERLASTING CHANGE (DVD-R by Hanson Records)
MARGARIDA GARCIA - THE LEADEN ECHO (LP by Headlights)
ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS - DEDICATED TO THE SENSORY ARMADA (LP by Memoirs Of An Aesthete)
SKANDINAVISK & MASKERET (double 7" by Bin Records)
DEREK PIOTR - AIRING (CDR by Bitsquare)
MATT NORTHRUP - LUCKY STUMBLES (CDR by Full Spectrum Records) *
BEN LINK COLLINS & JOEL FRY - VISITATIONS (CDR and book by Silent Media Projects) *
ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - N.RIOTAU (3"CDR by Kaon) *
VA AA LR - -1 (3"CDR by Foredoom Productions) *
YVONNE LOVEJOY - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
JAAP BLONK - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
MAG RESISTANCE - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
002 (cassette compilation by Hare Akedod)
PUSDRAINER - THE LUSTFUL SEXLIFE OF A PERVERTED NYMPHO HOUSEWIFE (Cassette by
Auris Apothecary)
EVIL MOISTURE/WEHWALT - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 3 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
LOVE, EXECUTION STYLE/ADAM BOHMAN & ADRIAN NORTHOVER - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 4 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
YOSHIHIRO KUKUCHI & CHRISTOPHER FLEEGER - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 5 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)



LUCIO CAPECE - ZERO PLUS ZERO (CD by Potlatch)
Best known for his improvised work with others, Lucio Capece presents here solo compositions. I assume he uses with multitrack for some if not all of these pieces. His instruments are sruti box, soprano saxophone with applied objects used as preparations, double plugged equalizer, ring modulator, bass clarinet neck, cassette, minidisc walkmans, bass clarinet and sine waves. Usually per track, and there are six of them, he explores one of these real instruments in combination with the more static sound sources. Like I think is usual with solo CDs of people from the field of improvised music, this kind of releases is a showcase of what the musician is capable of. Which in the case of Capece is a lot. He has a strong interest in the more sustaining sounds and hoovers closely to sheer silence every now and then. In the title piece, for soprano saxophone with applied objects used as preparations, this is very clear. Very quiet, never gone however, he plays his music with great care, allowing himself a fine compositional built up. In 'Inside The Outside 1' the sruti box starts but over the course the piece the music seems to die out, and pure tones remain, whereas in the second part of that piece the emphasis lies more on the drone like character, and stays 'present' for most of the time. The third part is for bass clarinet with and without cardboard tubes and has beautiful carefully build tension. This is not easy music, in terms of getting into it. You need to fully focus on what's on offer here, or else the beauty of it all gets lost. But once you do, a lot of beautiful, silent music can be heard. (FdW)
Address: http://www.potlatch.fr

ANTHEA CADDY & THEMBI SODDELL - HOST (CD by Room40)
Its been a while since we heard 'Iland' by Anthea Caddy and Thembi Soddell (see Vital Weekly 550). Caddy worked with Darrin Verhagen of Dorobo fame and is a cellist. Soddell is still the man to play the sampler. The downside of this new release is that it perhaps don't seem to be light years away from the previous release. It continues the lines of the previous release in that this sounds all quite modern classical with cello and electronics intertwining each other in occasionally massive (not as in loud) blocks of sound, and sometimes in moments of sheer silence. Like before the dynamic range of the music is still very important. Caddy and Soddell play with sustaining blocks of sound matter, which makes it all quite dense in approach and it still reminds me of Xenakis and Christou. So in all nothing new under the sun, but one could also argue that since this is their second CD in maybe five or six years its not really a problem and the fine quality of this proofs perhaps that not all change is necessary. (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org

FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED 2010 (2CD by Alone At Last)
MAURIZIO BIANCHI - CLETICHANTS (CD by Alone At Last)
RICHARD FRANCIS & BRUCE RUSSELL - GARAGE MUSIC (CD by Alone At Last)
Alone At Last is a new label from Russia, and all three of these releases have stunning multi-fold out, multi-cut out cover: there is still quality in releasing CDs I should think. The label open up shop with a double CD of nine pieces Francisco Lopez recorded in 2010 and that were scattered over compilations or special commissions. Unlike some of his other releases, this actually gives more information on each track (and perhaps the other difference is that this has more than one track) - although not for everyone. This sort of annual release is what Lopez has been doing for many years now, and I guess its a sort of service to his fans to keep their collection complete. These fans know what to expect I guess. A fine collection of pieces that do not always dwell on just field recordings, just as his main body of work does, but there is also curious remixes of 'sound matter' from others such as David Newman, which sees Lopez turning more musical than expected perhaps. These sort of compilations give fine opportunity to follow his development which in 2010 saw him working extensively with computer techniques and without the sheer silence from his earlier work. A fine collection - what would you have expected anything less?
I guess the work of Maurizio Bianchi has a legendary status in Russia too, so its hardly a surprise that a start-up label would not invite him. 'Celtichants' is dedicated to Isidore Ducasse, also known as Comte de Lautréamont, writer of 'Les Chants De Maldoror'. Maybe that's why we have a whole bunch of voice sounds on this one? Hard to say though. This hour long piece shows us the various ways to process voice material, in which echo/delay plays a dominant role - just like in the old days of Bianchi, but then put on top of synthesizer sounds. I must admit I am not blown by this work. Despite its ambient character this work seems to me done in a too easy fashion. We have a bunch of voice material on one hand and some techniques to play around with that and stick all those treatments into one finished pieces. Some parts last longer, some shorter, some quite ambient, some a bit more noisy - but it somehow doesn't seem to work as a complete piece. This should have been a bit shorter and more worked out, I think.
The surprise release on Alone At Last is the CD by Richard Francis and Bruce Russell. The latter one of my heroes from the New Zealand improvisation scene, and the first one a genuine nice person. Their collaborative CD sees them working in various ways. Three pieces are collaborations through mail, one piece is made out of separate solo sets being layered together and one is a real live set. On the postal pieces, Russell plays guitar and live wise he uses clavioline and tapes whereas Francis gets the credit on all tracks for computer and modular synthesizer. An excellent work here. The three postal pieces, 'Garage 1' etc, are the most noisy ones of this lot working extensively with feedback sounds and heavy oscillations from the synths. The layered solo set piece work by contrast almost as an relaxing piece of shimmering tones but together they retain some of that heavy character that the postal pieces also have. But in that piece, the taped material also plays an important role it seems - saxophones, I was thinking of? Maybe I am mistaken. These five pieces are quite distinct pieces and have that trademark of New Zealand's finest in lo-fi rock based improvisation. In a different decade this would have made a great CD on Russell's own Corpus Hermeticum label. Great CD - the best out of these first three. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alone-at-last.com

FILFLA - FLIPTAP (CD by Someone Good)
Keiichi Sugimoto is best known for his work with Minamo, FourColor and Fonica but finds time to record something entirely different as Filfla. For Someone Good's series of 10 songs in 20 minutes, he does exactly that: ten songs in twenty minutes. Someone Good is the sub-pop-division of Room40, and these ten short pieces fit the pop sensibilities of the label really well. Small guitar melodies, fine lines on the synthesizer, bits of vocals, breezy rhythms that sometimes work their way up and throughout a great summer like feeling. Maybe some of the pieces are too short, especially when they drop below one minute, but when they are, great pop like songs emerge, such as 'Pack Plus Ice', 'Syncsynth' or 'Morse Mall'. Not y'r average pop music obviously, as Filfla retains to have something odd in the chopped up sound. If you like Static Caravan releases and wonder what this is all about, you should try this. You can't miss. (FdW)
Address: http://www.someonegood.org

JEALOUS PARTY & NICOLAS WIESE - RELATIVE MEMORY (CD by Absinth Records)
From Italy hails Jealous Party, a trio of Mat Pogo (voices), WJ Meatball (live mixing, cutting and recycling pre-recorded material of the whole group) and Edoardo Ricci on reed instruments. Here they are joined by Nicolas Wise from Berlin, on computer, sampler and objects. They recorded two sessions, one in a studio and one in Pogo's living room. All of these recordings were subject to Wiese's recombining of that material and the four pieces here are the result of that of reworking process. The press blurb says that it has 'a clear focus on maintaining the JP characteristics of expression', but I can't check that: I never heard their music. I must admit that after hearing this CD I am not entirely sure if I would want to hear their music (but surely would give it the benefit of a doubt), but what I heard here is an uneasy marriage of traditionally improvised music and a bit of computer techniques that didn't work very well. I didn't hear anything that I thought was really engaging to hear or made me raise an eyebrow. (FdW)
Address: http://www.absinthrecords.com

LHD - EVEN STILL (2CD by Troniks)
This double CD release documents the work of two west coast artists, Phil Blankenship and John Wiese working together under the LHD name producing works of Harsh Noise between 2002 and 2007. Disc one contains 18 tracks, disc two a further 5. The material is from various vinyl releases; 7" material: Asthma, Hands of the Priestess, Fascination, Hotel Fire, Normandie 2x7", Lock Up, Los Angeles 2x7", Veiled, 12" Material: Triple Void, Electrophorus, and Trap. A  further two unreleased works also appear, Rau and Wasp. Unfortunately only 200 of this release have been pressed which in my opinion is perhaps insufficient as it makes an excellent introduction to those wishing to hear actual Harsh Noise from the period in which this genre developed. It would be recommended listening for anyone interested in the development not only of noise, but also the “music” of the early 21st Century and therefore be an essential part of a recording library for the individual collector or musicologist but also in institutions were music is studied. (jliat- my “other” review is here) http://www.jliat.com/txts/lhd.pdf
Address: http://www.iheartnoise.com/

ELODIE - LA LUMIERE PARFUMEE (CD by Faraway Press)
Andrew Chalk and Timo van Luijk's ongoing research in the world of atmospheric music adds another chapter through their latest album 'La Lumiere Parfumee'. Armed with a handful of acoustic sounds, rusty metal, a piano, flutes, violin, wine glasses and such like they play intimate music that sounds improvised. Which I guess is an odd thing since you could expect something more drone like, but that's simply not the trick of their trade. Through sparse notes they create a sense of emptiness, desolateness and melancholy. Electronics, when used, are only there is a very sparse way. 'Arcade Oblique' seems to me the only piece that use more of them, but it fits well with the more acoustic pieces. Very intimate music, reminding me of Idea Fire Company's 'Music From The Impossible Salon'. (FdW)
Address: http://farawaypress.info/

BATHUS & MARCHETTI & PETIT - LA VIE DANS LES BOIS (CD by Herbal International)
Life in the forest is the translation of the title, and it is a recording of two electric guitars, played by Pascal Battus and Emmanuel Petit and Lionel Marchetti who gets credit for 'electricity'. In the beginning we hear bird calls in the background, but will they survive what's coming? Here we have Lionel Marchetti in his role as an improviser, which we don't get to hear much on CD, I think, and this concert is certainly a strange one. The recording is already from 2003, and the guitarists play mainly long sustaining feedback like sounds which die out, followed by silence (birds in the background) and then start again. Marchetti's role is play shorter sounds from his electricity boards and sometimes sets out to sound like a bunch of birds. The birds are not scared away, which I thought was pretty interesting to notice. I would think that the relative musical force this trio puts up in a forest would be enough to scare them away, but it didn't happen. The environmental quality of the recording certainly enhances the appreciation of it. Purely from a musical point of view, I am afraid I am less convinced about the work. Its not bad, but also not the most brilliant thing I ever heard in improvised music. Great idea, occasionally fine music, but ultimately not too convincing for the entire forty minutes. (FdW)
Address: http://www.herbalinternational.tk

KYLIE MINOISE - DIE YUPPIE SCUM! SECRET LOVE QUEST OV SHOCK DISCO DESTROYER!
(CD by Mind Flare Media)
Billed as Harsh Noise Dance/Pop that pretty much summarizes the CD and the review could stop there. There is one short intro track of harsh noise, then follows the dance tracks with beats and background trippy nonsense which reminded me of Dr Alex Patterson and the Orb, also The Future Sound of London, and I could wonder whatever happened to them, but they went the same way as my interest in that electro beats chill out music. This has a little more “noise” lite added, but its hard not to dismiss this kind of thing. http://www.myspace.com/kylieminoise has pictures of Mira Hindly and The Princess of Wales suitably graffitied, as a snapshot of the 80s. This is a piece of pure retro pleasantness hitching a lift on YBA art and Irvine Welsh’s Train spotting 1980s  novel, now in prequel… Even within the title “Yuppies” is another 80s reference. I suspect along with Margaret Thatcher and Reaganomics  this material would be a puzzle to anyone under the age of 40, unless they were historians. For me I never liked the 80s but for those not into their middle age they might find this interesting, pleasant enough and without being nasty that’s all except a realization that quite allot has happened since the days of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Frogger  and the biggest let down of all Halley's Comet. Or was it the fall of New Labour into Old mass murder…the future always makes he past absurd, and that is the fate of this retro. (jliat)
Address: http://www.mindflaremedia.com/

SUBTERRANEANACT (CD by Z6 Records)
Recorded over a period of no less than five years, this debut of Subterraneanact, a duo of Henk Bakker on bass clarinet, electronics and editing and Jelmer Cnossen on drums and ableton live. Bakker is perhaps known as one half of Static Tics (see Vital Weekly 767), following his studies at the Conservatory of Utrecht. Cnossen played drums in jazz and new wave bands but later on gathered interest in electronic music. At the basis of this CD lie a whole bunch of 'live in studio' improvisations, mainly on drums and bass clarinet. Then all of this material is taken apart, re-edited, sampled and shuffled about to create the ten tracks on this CD. Unlike the Jealous Party/Wiese CD reviewed elsewhere, these two men really explore the sonic possibilities of their source material, and don't seem to care what happens to it, wether drums or bass clarinet can actually be heard. The end result is all that matters here, and what fine result that is. Music with a lot of vibrancy to it. There is always something happening somewhere. The studio as the main instrument to re-investigate the existing music and creating something new out of it. This owes more to the world of electro-acoustic music than to the world of improvisation, although we can find traces of the original source material all over this. Its loud music, leaving the listener hardly any time to grasp for breath, and as such is perhaps more on the noise end of electro-acoustic music than on the quieter click 'n cuts side. At 'just' thirty-five minutes I think this is the perfect length for this kind of mayhem. You will be left behind very tired, but elevated at the same time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.z6records.nl

STEINBRUCHEL & CORY ALLEN - SEAM (CD by Quiet Design)
A work through mail, exchanging sound files for fourteen months. 'Each sound was processed and multiplied by both artists, forming a sound archive of individual threads. The compositions were then sewn and stitched together using the collection of the archive. Connecting each composition is an in between thread which weaves the album's tracks together'. The cover is machine stitched with threads too, and looks quite distinctive. The music however is less distinctive, as it follows the patterns already set out by each of the artist before. Code words are 'warm', 'glitch', 'microsound', 'long sustaining' and it could have found its way to Line or 12K. In order words: there is nothing new under the sun. But then: should there always be something new under the sun? Perhaps not. Some people are glad to stick what they are good at and this happens the right territory for Steinbruchel and Cory Allen. All tracks flow into a short thread which takes you into the next passage of nicely flowing sounds - all seamlessly flowing into each other. There is no sign of the original sound material, which I guess is also the usual thing for this kind of music. Hardly the most innovative release, but surely of great beauty. That is worth a lot, sometimes. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietdesign.us

PBK & ZANSTONES - MANTIS FOG DESERT (CD by Monochrome Vision)
THANOS CHRYSAKIS - MAGMA (CD by Monochrome Vision)
THE HET - YOU NOT ME (CD by Monochrome Vision)
On Russia's Monochrome Vision we have usually the 'old' school of industrial musicians, but as it proofs here, only one out of three has that. Both Zan Hoffman and PBK have been busy since the mid 80s with industrial/electronic/ambient music (you don't to call it…) and have been responsible for many releases since then. Zan Hoffman works under many guises such as Zanstones, Zanoisect, Bodycocktail, and Philip B. Klingler always stuck with the initials PBK. The cover has no indication when this collaboration was recorded - five tracks, but two solo by Zanstones and one by PBK. It might be old, but for all I know this could also be something very recent. Its hard to tell, and perhaps a bit of the 'problem' which I may have with such things. Personally I'd like to see some form of growth in music, or in musicians, and rather not have them stick around in similar field too long. The interesting pieces here are the first five, in which PBK and Zanstones display a strange pop like sensibility through the effective use of looped material of real instruments, such as the stuttery accordion in 'Ground Ghosts', or the many synthesizers in the other tracks. One could argue that these pieces are all a bit too long. The solo pieces are all a bit too noisy for me, and rather evolve (or not) around one idea in each piece. Not bad, but here too some editing would have been in place. Just those five collaborative tracks, spanning close to forty minutes would have made a nice CD as well. Or rather: edit those down, add two more and it would have been a great CD.
Its been a while since I last heard music from Thanos Chrysakis - Vital Weekly 620 - but I wouldn't exactly lump him with the old boys, as he's been around, release-wise that is, for a few years only. His music is also different than much of the others on Monochrome Vision. 'Magma' is a thirty minute work for computer, by computer and with computer technology. No indication as to what kind of software is used, and perhaps irrelevant anyway, but computer music it is. Music which has a firm background in modern composition, acousmatica, 'sound matter' to use the Francisco Lopez word, of acoustic sounds, perhaps even field recordings, being treated, processed, altered, changed, edited through computer software. Its an interesting piece for sure, which glides through various movements and moments, and has a strange amorphous feel to it. A fine piece, although I'm not entirely sure why Monochrome Vision wanted to put this out exactly. It seems to me the sort of work that could have fitted on any CDR label, as it also doesn't seem to stand out from much that we already heard in this particular field of music.
Not exactly on Monochrome Vision is a band I never heard of, The Het. I couldn't find much information on them besides their myspace page. It seems to be the solo project of Valera, with the help, on two tracks, by Angels Vox Pride, which seem to provide voice material. No other instruments are mentioned, but I gather this is all electronic material, synthesizers, drum machines and such like. Music with 'gothic' undercurrents: swollen synthesizer tunes, deep slow drum sounds, that menacing suspicious sound (think horror movie here) in 'Dead Season' or cabaret like in 'Adult Russia/Behind A Fog'. I can sense this made with some care and some intelligence, but I don't think this is something for me. For me it taps too much in a field of music which simply isn't mine. Like music which is too much music to be experimental, and too experimental to be normal, falling in the cracks. I rather have something all out experimental or something real pop-like. Too sinister perhaps also, too 'gothic', which, if you know me, is a certain that I like for… well exactly, this kind of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.ru

AARON DILLOWAY - MODERN JESTER (2LP by Hanson Records)
SPINE SCAVANGER - WEIGHTED GHOST (LP by Cylindrial Habitat Modules)
ROBERT TURMAN - SPIRALS OF EVERLASTING CHANGE (DVD-R by Hanson Records)
Its a bit of myth but I do like noise. I don't like HNW. Full stop. That's the most boring thing, right next to country & western - and probably as conservative. But when there is some intelligence put into noise, I am all yours. Aaron Dilloway is one such person whose music I may not always like, but which I kindly lend my ear to, if only to find out what its about this time. A noise blast like 'Eight Cut Scars' is a bit lost on me - too noisy for too long - but its pieces like 'Labyrinths & Jokes' with its scratchy old reel to reel loops that I like - only way too short. A collage like piece like 'Body Chaos', taking up the entire b-side is something that is more of my appetite too. Dictaphone abuse, tape loops, effects, cut along with noise blasts and percussive bits work actually quite well. In terms of composition it isn't perhaps the most strongest enterprise, but I guess such is the way of noise musicians. Another fine piece is 'Look Over Your Shoulders', building from slow voice loops into a more noise mayhem, or the chopped up noise of 'Shatter All Organized Activities'. Things are loud and I do like them: noise and me are not two different things. Excellent mayhem indeed.
Also Dilloway but then in disguise as Spine Scavenger is on the LP 'Weighted Ghost'. Recorded in 2007 and released on cassette back then by Medusa, now it comes to us as a LP. Dilloway takes credit for synthesizer and tape effects. This sounds easy and perhaps its easy. One synthesizer playing arpeggio notes and feeding through some effects. Nothing else. But the result is not 'cosmic', not even by a long stretch. Its drone music for sure, but one of a more loud and violent nature, yet it never is really the sort of HNW thing which I don't like. A simple idea executed with some great, and a simple idea that has something quite captivating about it. Minimal wall of noise type of music. You could wonder if Cylindrial Habitat Modules would have released it if the musician wasn't Dilloway but some young hopeful, but who cares about that?
And going back to Dilloway's Hanson label, there is also a DVD-R of one Robert Turman. The video part is a video collage he did in 1988 of grainy images lifted from TV sources, spiraling about. Nice, but would I watch it a lot of times? The soundtrack was recorded live on February 18 of last year at Enemy, Chicago and consists of spiralling sounds too. Records perhaps, or tape loops? I am not entirely sure, but Turman adds a bit of electronics to it, like reverb and delay. Maybe there is also the use of a synthesizer, which reminded at one point of some sub-standard Throbbing Gristle rehearsal bootleg. Maybe I lack the use of finer substances to be fully entranced with this? It has at least a sufficient amount of variation in it which makes the whole thing enjoyable, if all is also a bit too naively put together - both music and film. Nice enough though. (FdW)
Address: http://hansonrecords.net/
Address: http://cylindricalhabitatmodules.blogspot.com/

MARGARIDA GARCIA - THE LEADEN ECHO (LP by Headlights)
This is the second release for Margarida Garcia for Headlights, following 'The Well', which she recorded with Marcia Bassett (see Vital Weekly 741). Here Garcia plays solo bass in two pieces, however filling only one side of the record. 'The Well' was a heavy type of improvisation, this is however something entirely different. The bass (upright) sounds exactly like it should sound, dark and menacing but its throughout very quiet music. Garcia plays her instrument with refined slowness and let's the bass 'sing' - creating a lot of space at the same time. Meditative music and one regrets, a lot actually, there is no b-side to this. Refined quietness. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/headlightsrecordings

ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS - DEDICATED TO THE SENSORY ARMADA (LP by Memoirs Of An Aesthete)
Being on the road is a terrible thing: all that music piling up at the HQ. But the upside is that you bump into people whose music you know for such a long time, and finally meet them in the flesh. People like Phil Todd, better known as Ashtray Navigations. For a while I collected his stuff, but didn't keep up, partly because I no longer go to record stores. So you get new records handed in front of pubs - which I prefer over record stores anyway. Ashtray Navigations is one of those 'groups' that have that wacky play on such notions as 'rock', 'noise' and 'psychedelica' which massed up a large amount of releases. This record, from late last year, sums it all up perfectly. From the speedy tape collage of 'Trashin' Hoops' it goes into the spacious 'Serious Telephone Music' or the casio VL-Tone 1 opening of 'September Directory', with a broken guitar melody and the krauty guitars of the title piece. The very act of creating music is having fun, that's I think the motto of Ashtray Navigations. Todd doesn't care about styles, boxes, corners, scenes. He does whatever he likes and he does it well. Maybe I should visit record stores more and keep up with this wacky world of Todd. This record is fine reminder to play some of the old records again. If only I had time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/ashtraynavigations

SKANDINAVISK & MASKERET (double 7" by Bin Records)
No artist is mentioned, just 'montage: Jonas Olesen' and some references to old records, one per side. None of those records mean actually anything to me. I assume this is some sort of 'remix', 'tribute', 'deconstruction' or perhaps, dare we say it, 'art'. All of this seems highly computer manipulated and its actually quite interesting (although I hate getting up every 4 minutes to turn the record over), in a sort of electro-acoustic way. I wish I could tell you more, but that's the extend of what I know. Maybe I am just very tired. Whatever happened to the fine art of writing press texts? (FdW)
Address: http://totem.menneske.dk/BIN/

DEREK PIOTR - AIRING (CDR by Bitsquare)
The second release for Derek Piotr, following 'Agora' (see Vital Weekly 799 and the remix version in Vital Weekly 811). The first one was co-produced by Antye Greie, also known as AGF, but this new one is all produced by himself. 'Airing', the word, should be read as 'air' and 'ring' - radio waves and bell sounds, in a homage to the first composers of electro-acoustic music, so Piotr plays croatles, cymbals and bells of all different kinds, but also violin, wine glasses, toy piano and zither. His voice, the main instrument of 'Agora', is also present here - 'celebrating conventional musicality', as he calls it. Fifteen relatively short pieces here, which make an odd combination of song structured based composition and more abstract electronics. An odd combination but one that I didn't find easy to access. What is it that Piotr wants with his music? That I found hard to know. Does he want to create atmospheric click 'n cut music, or more serious abstract music, or perhaps also a bit of pop like music? This sort of balancing makes this not an easy album to like. The influence of AGF is still there, although perhaps to a lesser extent, and seems more in favor of the instrumental bits. Its not bad, but it stays too much on one level, and one keeps thinking about some big bang to happen, which never comes. Not bad, but not entirely convincing either. (FdW)
Address: http://bitsquare.net

MATT NORTHRUP - LUCKY STUMBLES (CDR by Full Spectrum Records)
Fine odd package package for this release: a sort of DIY thing. Hard to explain, but it looks nice. 'Lucky Stumbles' is the second release from Matt Northrup for Full Spectrum Records (see also Vital Weekly 772) and it continues what we learned there. Spacious guitar doodling that connects to the world of cosmic music, in a straight line from Manuel Gottsching to Emeralds. Not quite 'E2-E4', since this has eight tracks clocking at just under thirty minutes, but it has that same drive as the Manuel Gottsching masterpiece. No doubt these things are nowadays much easier to be made with all these loop pedals, but it still needs a skilled guitarist to play a nice tune and that's what Northrup does rather well. The previous release arrived in springtime, just like this one and it has that similar spring time breezy air feeling. 'Driving with the windows down', Full Spectrum asks us to do. No, no. We need a greener world. Put this on your ipod and start cycling down hilly fields - well, I don't have license anyway. Put this on repeat. Enjoy the ride.
Full Spectrum Records also mailed two odd releases. The first is a booklet with bad drawings and equally handwriting by one Jacob Peck, badly cut and stapled together (oh that's how you spell handmade) and somewhere inside there is a download code for the music. The music is all for guitar and all improvised, along the lines of the great masters, John Fahey and Derek Bailey. Actually quite good, I thought, so why release it so silly?
Weirder is the Andrew Weathers Ensemble, which is simply a postcard announcing the line up and a download code. Some people would applaud such new marketing mechanisms, but why not press up a proper CD? The music deserves it. The ensemble plays banjo, harmonica, fiddle, sax, cello, guitar and vocals (all four members contribute to that) and plays some interesting modern long form minimal music with Americana influences. Again: this deserves a proper release and I will do proper review then. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fullspectrumrecords.com

BEN LINK COLLINS & JOEL FRY - VISITATIONS (CDR and book by Silent Media Projects)
Following their book and CD project on Stan Brakhage (see Vital Weekly 797), Silent Media Projects offers here a small booklet on sturdy stock with five poems by Joel Fry, which are connected to the also delivered music by Ben Link Collins (who I think is the man behind the label). Its not that he set the words to music or that the poems were inspired by the music, but who were created in a collaborative process. So sometimes the poetry came first and sometimes the music came first. I am not really a literally educated person to say something about the poems, I must admit. I am sure they are great. The five pieces of music I can comment on. Collins is a composer of electronic music, using perhaps analogue and digital techniques to create his music, and perhaps also uses a bit of field recordings in here, which seem to be the case in 'The Farm Before Dawn' or the farm sounds of 'Old Age On Sanders Street'. Sometimes it seems purely electronic such as in the two drone like pieces 'The Mariage Proposal' and 'Prayer'. I found it not very easy to say if these pieces fit the music very well. I do, however, think that the music stands by itself quite well. Interesting pieces of electronic music, crossing the lines between ambient and musique concrete, drone and noise like, all in an intelligent way. Quite nice altogether, fine project. (FdW)
Address: http://silentmediaprojects.com/

ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - N.RIOTAU (3"CDR by Kaon)
More field recordings by Cedric Peyronnet, this time ending up in the hands of Slawek Kwi, the man behind Artificial Memory Trace. A perfect choice I'd say for such task of reworking field recordings and does that with great care. Usually his music works with longer forms of ongoing sounds, but in this case he decided to work with smaller sound particles, cut 'n pasted together. I assume there is also a bit of electronics in here, as things go 'peep' every now and then. Its hard, as usual with Artificial Memory Trace, to say what's going on exactly, which kinds of techniques he applies to (re-) create his music, but this is once again wonderful music. Lots of pure field recordings, but then maybe looped here and there, cut with the raw footage, chirping insects going into mild feedback like sounds and throughout an excellent release. Very vibrant, moving forward all the time, just like a river, and all too short. Sadly. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kaon.org

VA AA LR - -1 (3"CDR by Foredoom Productions)
One of those things in which 'information' is suspicious I guess. VA = Vasco Alves, AA = Adam Asnan and Louie Rice, three composers of electro-acoustic music working together, working radio sounds and static textures (Alves), amplification (Asnan) and electronic and acoustic systems (Rice). This 3"CDR has an eleven minute piece and a three minute piece. I think I expected things more noise like, but thank god, its not. These pieces seem to me created through improvising together along some fixed ideas of hissy sounds, static charges and skipping CDs. Musique concrete in action rather than distilled on the surface of a magnetic tape. Nice one, although the long piece is perhaps a bit long, and I would think that editing is in place for these men, in order to make more out of their improvisations that is also engaging to hear for those who weren't present when it was produced. (FdW)
Address: http://foredoomproductions.blogspot.com/

YVONNE LOVEJOY - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
JAAP BLONK - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
MAG RESISTANCE - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
Label's statement: We are an independent publishing house and tape label founded in 2009 and based in London. Our aim is to promote contemporary artists whose work is inspired by the dangerous and convulsive beauty of the everyday life." Here we have three of their cassettes all part of a series called voice studies. Other who were present in this series we Dylan Nyoukis, Tom White, Kommissar Hjuler & Mama Baer, Andrew Coltrane and Thurston Moore. I would have loved to trade Yvonne Lovejoy's release for one of them. I read on the website "Genuine field recordings by Seymour Glass". 'Look, daddy, did this great art prank when you were four months old: he put a tape recorder ("what's that daddy?") in your cradle and someone spend money on releasing it'. Nice one, dad.
No, I rather prefer to hear Jaap Blonk. This must be the first thing I heard from him in years. I'm not sure what he has been up to all these years, but Blonk is the sort of person who can easily trust to deliver a twenty minute tape of voice studies. He has been working in sound poetry for close to thirty years now, and has had many releases on his own label, as well as Staalplaat, besides playing with improvised musicians Multi-layered voice material, which sound in 'Apostatic Aria' loud and angry, like an ethnic chant, slowed down and full of power. In 'Approximate Air', he whispers and moans, and 'air' escaping the mouth, recorded expertly makes another fine piece. Multi-layered but purely working with voice only. Excellent return from one of the best in his field.
Mag Resistance is Mark E. Miller & Matthew Wascovich. Miller is from the Bay Area and has played with Golden Palominos, John Zorn, Michael Beinhorn, Elliot Sharp, Arto Lindsay, Fred Frith, Toykillers and others and Wascovich writes poems and is the singer of Scarcity Of Tanks. I am not sure but in these pieces it seems that there is some form of electronics used, but who knows? Maybe its just the voice being processed? The voice is more straight forward reading but not easy to follow in the racket they produce. Not unlike early Terre Blanche stuff - the group not the idiot - or some Ramleh. No doubt this is one that will go down with noise heads pretty well, but I think Blonk is the real one to have - at least from these three. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mydancetheskull.com/

002 (cassette compilation by Hare Akedod)
A good old fashioned compilation on cassette, that looks straight out of a time machine from the 80s. There is, as far as I can judge, not a specific theme attached to this and from all of the names on this compilation I only recognized Vom Grill, Ultra Eczema's mastermind. Otherwise we have muisc by Milan W, Brl'-aaB, Hellvete, DSRlines, Jan Matthe, Urpf Lanze, Kosmische Keuterboeren, Razen, Forklong Daruplay, False Friend and the man behind the label, Hare Akedod, also has a track. I am not sure, but I think they are all from Belgium. The music bounces all of the over the spectrum, although it seems to me the main emphasis lies on the free play of structures within a folk like context, such as with Brl'aab, Hellvete, Lanze, Komische Keuterboeren, Razen, Forklong Daruplay and Hare Akedod, all proofing to be the children of Jackie-O-Motherfucker and No Neck Blues Band. The other are the spacious and synth like music by Milan W and DSRlines or downright old home synth music by Matthe (with rhythm machine). Vom Grill is the sound poet delivering the most noisy piece, although False Friend does his share of medium distortion. A fine compilation, and there are some interesting new names to be discovered, exactly what compilations are usually for. (FdW)
Address: http://hareakedod.bandcamp.com/album/002

PUSDRAINER - THE LUSTFUL SEXLIFE OF A PERVERTED NYMPHO HOUSEWIFE (Cassette by
Auris Apothecary)
“As the most despicable artist in the Midwest packs up and heads to New York, he does so with a giant middle finger in the air. An absolutely vile soundtrack to match an absolutely filthy concept, TLSOAPNH presents the sounds of vintage audio 8-track porn manipulated and mangled into something which is somehow more disturbing than the original” The problematics here are immense, the use of a condom and harsh sex as some arch feature of noise as in the Caesar finger pointing, Levi jeans wearing Caesar or George's Bush. Tracy Emin’s bed, with condom and menstrual blood exhibited in the most prestigious establishment of the authorities designation of what is high culture, high art and nobility returned once again via the Tyrian porphyrogenitos,  of the popes to the Bolinus brandaris  of the Caesar finger raising not into an arse but in the condemnation to death, which is the death of the predatory gastropods from which his origin arose. Such protest from those who fail to imagine where they come from, or see a re-introduction as some crime against a society they disdain. Those that give each other the Bras d'honneur, turning noise in to a fox hat! Both the church, those making noise and those attempting to make noise can only wonder at the shells beneath their feet of the sounds made by the snails which crawl over this tape and the Bishops who lie in Tewkesbury Abbey. The screams of dying gastropods in the shallow seas of Pierre de Caen here recorded for posterity! is better than the the praise and condemnation from The Warriors of Grezan in the “August” condemnation. Urbi et Orbi fingers held high a reversed. Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti descendat super vos et maneat semper. He cried torturing tape and sea shells.… (jliat)
Address: http://aurisapothecary.org/

EVIL MOISTURE/WEHWALT - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 3 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
LOVE, EXECUTION STYLE/ADAM BOHMAN & ADRIAN NORTHOVER - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 4 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
YOSHIHIRO KUKUCHI & CHRISTOPHER FLEEGER - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 5 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
The introduction was already in Vital Weekly 796: "Bryan Saunders has already done some work into the world sleep, dreams and recordings made of them at night. Now he expands on that with an ambitious series of twelve cassettes, with twenty-four different artists. Together they form each a chapter of an unconscious novel. I am not sure if these artists record their own dreams or wether get a set of recordings from Saunders. I think that is the case. A promising list of artists and also a few of whom I never heard." The series now continues with three new volumes. Evil Moisture stays closely to the original voice recordings, which he sometimes reverses, and adds tiny bits of vinyl manipulation to it. Its very minimal but its has great creepy texture to it. Not a piece of noise, which I perhaps inaccurately expected. On the other side we find Wehwalt of whom I never heard. They (?) too let the source material prevail but add more sounds to it. Sounds of an electro-acoustic nature, banging on objects, rumbling around the house, at night, in the dark, with electrical currents occasionally sparking - i.e.. feedback sounds. Music however takes over in the second half and things become very hallucinating and psychedelic. Actually some great music here: a multi-layered nightmare of sounds. The true stream of unconscious mixing of sounds.
Also I never heard of Love, Execution Style from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who add a more filmic soundtrack to the music. Its not easy to say what the hell they are doing, but they add a nice  radiophonic aspect to the Saunders source material. Its quite captivating. Which can also be said of the other side, which has music by Adam Bohman (best known of Morphogenesis and Bohman Brothers) and saxophone player Adrian Northover. Their improvised music on saxophone and voice (Bohman repeating words from Saunders I think) works very well, but is perhaps a bit too long for my taste. Its basically one idea and at that a bit too long.
The fifth volume has two artists I never heard of, Yoshiro Kikuchi and Christopher Fleeger. Kukuchi uses electronics, percussion, composing, editing and mixing on an old computer abuse. Music plays an important role here and the voice is manipulated too. The music once again takes the form of a stream of unconscious mixing, but this time of all electronic sources. Quite chaotic but the slow whispering voice of Saunders seems to balance this work quite well. Here too however I think it was all a bit long. Fleeger solely seems to be working with field recordings, which add a spooky character to the music. From the six new sides this I thought was the best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bryanlewissaunders.org





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