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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 829
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week 18
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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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CULTURE OF UN - MOONISH (CD by Bocian Records) *
PINKCOURTESYPHONE - FOLEY FOLLY FOLIO (CD by Line Segments) *
ROBERT CURVENGEN & RICHARD CHARTIER - BUILT THROUGH (CD by Line) *
FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER - KIPPSCHWINGUNGEN (CD by Line) *
NEIL JENDON - CORPORATE LAUGHTER (CD by CIP) *
SYNDROME - NOW AND FOREVER (CD by Consouling Sounds)
GENERIC - VOICES - A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY (CD by Privileged To Fall)
BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT - MANITOU (CD by Alrealon) *
ANTONIO TRINCHERA - SPIRITS WRITE LETTERS (CD by Psychonavigation) *
PHILIP BLACKBURN – GHOSTLY PSALMS (CD by Innova)
THE  REMOTE VIEWERS – NERVE CURE (CD by Remote Viewers)
ROSS HAMMOND QUARTET  - ADORED  (CD by Prescott Recordings)
ALEX JENKINS’ SOUND IMMERSION – PERSEVERANCE (CD by Prescott Recordings)
DORON SADJA - RESIDUALS (CD by Shinkoyo) *
FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED #284 (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
DON PRESTON - FILTERS, OSCILLATORS & ENVELOPES 1967-1982 (CD by Sub Rosa) *
BERANGERE MAXIMIN - NO ONE IS AN ISLAND (CD by Sub Rosa/Framework) *
ERDEM HELVACIOGLU - TIMELESS WAVES (CD by Sub Rosa/Framework) *
ELAINIE LILLIOS - ENTRE ESPACES (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
PETE STOLLERY - SCENES (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS - CORDOPHONY (CD by Home Normal) *
V4W.ENKO & SANMI - YET (CDR by Nexsound) *
FRANCISCO MEIRINO - A WHILE AND AWHILE (CDR by Obs) *
CHRISTIAN B. SOTEMANN/CRYPTIC SCENERY - BEING (CDR by Bloated Sasquatch Beer Theatre Audio) *
D.O.R. - AN OCCUPIED HOUSE (CDR by Caduc) *
MIDWICH - RUNNING REPAIRS (CDR by Striate Cortex) *
ALLEYPISSER - GLEMT (cassette by Throne Heap)
ANNE-F JACQUES (cassette by Crustaces Tapes)



CULTURE OF UN - MOONISH (CD by Bocian Records)
Now here I find myself puzzled and pleasantly confused. A down-under duo of piano (played by Chris Abrahams) and prepared acoustic guitar and prepared semi-acoustic guitar (played by David Brown). I could take this down to Dolf Mulder, as it sounds at times pretty jazz like, but there is something very captivating about it. Their acoustic approach seems amplified, sometimes lingering on the verge of feedback (only slightly though), and when their playing is conventional, like playing the keys of the piano, it sounds jazz but not in a way I have encountered before. On top of that the prepared guitar sounds most of the time as a percussion instrument, with objects placed on top like a cymbal. Strange tonal textures arrive and in every way this is an odd record. Improvised music of course, but in an odd way also jazz or pop like. Small melodies are used, every now and then, such in 'Porpoise To One Side', but with those strange acoustic approaches on top of that. As said this is all very captivating to hear. Chris Abrahams never lets me down, it seems. All of his releases are wonderful, and this one is no exception. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bocianrecords.com

PINKCOURTESYPHONE - FOLEY FOLLY FOLIO (CD by Line Segments)
ROBERT CURVENGEN & RICHARD CHARTIER - BUILT THROUGH (CD by Line)
FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER - KIPPSCHWINGUNGEN (CD by Line)
The first surprising thing I saw when I opened this package was a CD that looked different, design-wise, from the Line releases so far. A full-sized image on the front, with a serif lettering saying Pinkcourtesyphone and 'Foley Folly Folio'. It turns out this is a release by Line Segments, 'a new series (or sublabel?) of releases on Line which will highlight some, perhaps, very non-Line-like works, Works that stray away from the norm… more maximal, maybe… louder maybe… noisier maybe… beat-oriented, maybe.' For the first first release in this series, we have a release by Pinkcourtesyphone, which turns out to be label boss Richard Chartier. Apparently recorded in 1997, 2004 and 2011, 'Pinkcourtesyphone is dark but not arch, with a slight hint of humor'. This is indeed a much more musical and melodic music of Chartier than his usual abstract microsound sound art. I believe to hear synthesizers, lots of effects, maybe a wind instrument, but also lots of reverb and vaguely acoustic sounds, which reminded me of the 'other' Chartier. But with three of the five pieces clocking in at twenty or more minutes, this is hardly pop music. More dark, atmospheric and drone like. Maybe even a bit gothic in the sense that there is some drama in here. Is it good? I don't know, I haven't made up my mind, I think. Its hard to say, but even after a few repeated listening sessions, I am not sure what Chartier's intentions are with this. I am not yet convinced by the quality. Its more maximal indeed, but not necessarily louder/noisier or beat oriented.
Chartier teams up with Robert Curvengen, a man of turntables, dubplates and ventilators in a sort of curious remix project, bouncing sometimes pre existing materials back and forth, like a Chartier piece 'processed through three improvisations for a 16 foot single manual pipe organ'. In the four pieces presented here I must admit I didn't hear much news. Both Chartier and Curvengen know what they are doing and things should sound. The music is soft, it crackles, it hisses, skips a bit in 'Built Through Both Sides', with scratching vinyl. It all sounds nice and it all sounds a bit without surprise. The development has come to standstill here. I find it hard to think who is the person who keeps on wanting to hear this. It doesn't add much to what you already heard from both (even when Curvengen doesn't have such an extensive catalogue of works as Chartier). I think I preferred to have played Pinkcourtesyphone again and try and find out more about that. For his main body of work, Chartier does what he always does, and always does it expertly, but I think I know how it sounds by now.
Frank Bretschneider is someone who works with new ideas. FRom his strict minimalist dance music of Komet about a decade ago, and the more clean cuts of his earlier 21st century work, his music can be ambient or dance like. Or both. Here he has a work that deals with the Subharchord, a 'unique instrument developed during the 1960s at the technical center for radio and television of the East German postal service. Apparently eight machines were made and three survived. Apparently the Subharchord is a bit like the Mixturtrautonium, a subharmonic sound generator. Bretschneider worked for two weeks on the machine, especially focussing on the 'Mel' filter, a narrow-band filter and the part that provides the 'rhythmization'. He also used clavia micro modular synthesizer for additional filtering. Now this is a great CD. It has all the Bretschneider elements in it: click rhythms, looped clusters of synthesized sounds, such as in the drone heavy sixth part, moving over into a loop heavy rhythmic drone of the seventh part. Each of the parts flow in a natural way into the next and makes the whole eight part work into one story. An excellent work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lineimprint.com

NEIL JENDON - CORPORATE LAUGHTER (CD by CIP)
This a debut CD, so not a lot of information is known about Neil Jendon. Blake Edwards of CIP saw him play live a couple of times, and was blown away by his modular synth playing. Jendon presents five pieces here that reflect some of that live element. He builds up blocks of sound and then all of these blocks together make up an extensive mass of sound. In 'The Morbid Age' this grows and grows from a nice cosmic land into a nasty loud nightmarish piece of music, and a similar layering is applied by 'Static After Static', but then with a sort of Throbbing Gristle like rhythm at the start. Each of these five pieces has its own specific character. The three best pieces are the three not yet mentioned, in which Jendon explores the limits of ambient music, through slowly evolving sound patterns. Here its less 'layer upon layer' but the development are sought and found in a few specific sounds themselves, ranging from the very moody 'Staggers And Folds' and 'Cataline' to the slightly rhythmic build up of 'Always And Only' - three great pieces of moody modulars. The other two pieces are nice but sort of break with this more gentle flow. In any case Jendon delivered a debut album that showcases what he can do pretty well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cipsite.net

SYNDROME - NOW AND FOREVER (CD by Consouling Sounds)
Now and Forever is the third release of Syndrome at Consouling Sounds, a label in Belgium. Syndrome is a project of Mathieu Vandekerkhove, who plays also in Amenra, Kingdom, Sembler Deah and Caan. He is assisted by Colin H. van Eeckhout on vocals and Josh Graham on piano and moog. Now and Forever consists of one track of 28 minutes and is dedicated to his son Wolf. The composition starts with slowly played accords on guitar and a rhythm on piano... I presume. Slowly some drones will flee into this open melancholic sounds which slowly slip away. Dark moments of ongoing sound layers are slightly opened by guitar tones which introduced the dark voice of Vandekerkhove who sings a song for his son and wishes him a independent life and guidance to walk this way. The song makes me not happy and gives me more then feeling of a farewell song. Anyhow... maybe it is like that... when your son grows up and goes his own way, you had to say him goodbye and hopes that he will do the right thing and follows his own heart. Now and Forever is melancholic album full of deep mixed emotions, claustrophobic and also full of hope and despair. The variation between dark sound layers and ongoing guitar drones and open played chords and fresh string sounds makes this album to one of my favorites in this field of music. Mathieu Vandekerkhove tells a musical story about the role as father and he tells in a sensitive way. (JKH)
Address: http://consouling.be/

GENERIC - VOICES - A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY (CD by Privileged To Fall)
Adam Sykes is active in experimental music for a long time. In his daily life he is sound-engineer for television and film industry. Since 1996 he runs the label Iris Light, which released music like Maeror Tri, Aube and Front 242. In 2008 Adam Syker started Generic and released a few CD's and free mp3 downloads. Voices - A Phenomenological Study is indeed a nice and interesting study to the voice. Looped voices are the main source in the six compositions which are combined with a kind of different sounds. The music has a ritual atmosphere, maybe because of the looped sounds which gives a repetitive and meditative mood. Noisy sounds are combined with dark slow drums, chants and edited voices. The edited voices are stripped of their natural source and flow together with the abstract sounds and ongoing layers. The music gives an spooky feeling, but in a subtile way. The music refers strong to the tape-music and industrial music in the eighties, because of the use of looped sounds and the ritual atmosphere, but played with the technics of 2012.. "Voices - A Phenomenological Study" is highly recommended for the lovers of dark ambient music and for now it is one of the most interesting albums of 2012, because it fits well in the claustrophobic age we are living in... (JKH)
Address: http://www.irislight.demon.co.uk

BLUE SAUSAGE INFANT - MANITOU (CD by Alrealon)
Chester Hawkins has been going strong has Blue Sausage Infant since the 80s, releasing a bunch of cassettes. But its only in recent years that I fully heard his music, such as on the excellent LP 'Negative Space' (see Vital Weekly 790). Here is a new CD by him, this time with a bit more and a bit shorter pieces, although still between three and twelve minutes. He receives help from a bunch of players, such Jeff Barsky, Daniel Euphrat, Jason Mullinax, Jeff Surak and Chris Videll on instruments as guitar, drums, fire extinguisher, turntable, bells, gongs and shortwave. Hawkins himself plays synthesizer, oscillators, bass, lapsteel, rhythm machines, guitar, voice, wood flute, zither, ukulele, edits, toys etc. Style-wise Blue Sausage Infant continues were that LP left of, even with the inclusion of a track from 1990: an excellent mixture of krautrock driven beats, drone like soundscapes, modular knob twiddling, walls of guitar sounds, still very much along the lines Neu!, Hawkind, and The Legendary Pink Dots, but save for a few taped bits, all instrumental. A piece like 'Yggdrasil' shows the eclectic approach of Blue Sausage Infant, with one hand a lot of guitars and feedback but on the other hand a bouncing techno beat. And somewhere in between a desolate lapsteel guitar. Excellent music for some late night beer drinking and dope smoking - if only such things were allowed. Another fine album indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alrealonmusique.com

ANTONIO TRINCHERA - SPIRITS WRITE LETTERS (CD by Psychonavigation)
This is the second album for the Italian composer Antonio Trinchera for this label and its an odd one. Trinchera primary instrument is the guitar, but he also uses beats and synthesizers. Some guest players add piano, lyrics/vocals and bass guitar. Originally trained to play blues and jazz, this is an album of ambient soundscapes and jazzy guitar loops. That is not the odd thing about this. The odd thing is that at times this sounds quite distorted. In the opening title piece the back beat is quite heavy, and there is some distorted hiss like sound to it, like the whole thing is over compressed. This distortion returns every now and then. Some of these pieces are quite nice, like 'The Doll And The Moon', which reminded of Polygon Window. But sometimes it seems to be a bit too much on free play of guitar and an over-active use of effects, such as in 'Capovento' of 'Sound Of Broken Shell', or too jazzy like in 'Speak To Me'. 'Yes Or Not', the only vocal track, looses itself in echo effects set against a techno beat. This album has many ideas, too many I am afraid, and doesn't seem to make its mind what it wants to be. It has a bunch of nice pieces, but overall I am afraid I am lost here. It should be less of a showcase of what can be done, and more a coherent set of pieces, I would think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.psychonavigation.com

PHILIP BLACKBURN – GHOSTLY PSALMS (CD by Innova)
This is one of those CDs that lay around much too long on my desk. Repeated listening didn’t make this one talk to me. We didn’t become friends for some reason. Blackburn is a composer and sound artist from Cambridge, England. Did some of his studies at the Deep Listening Institute if Pauline Oliveros. He published articles on diverse musical topics and runs Innova Recordings.‘Ghostly Psalms’ is an extended work in 10 parts. Opening and closing compositions are shorter ones: ‘Duluth Harbor Serenade’ and ‘Gospel Jihad’. The opening work is a collage of sounds of the harbor in Duluth, Minnesota: church bells, boats, horns, sirens, etc. with additional musical instruments. For the key work ‘Ghostly Psalms’ Blackburn makes use of vocal ensembles, instruments and field recordings. Above all, Blackburn creates soundscapes. Ambient flows of electronics sounds come and pass by, creating an ambient space. Evoking dreamy landscapes, illusionary places, somewhere high up in the sky. The choirs often sing sacred or seemingly religious music. Otherworldly music. Environmental sound artist Blackburn describes the piece as a ‘Universe Cantata’. The way he combines choir and environmental sounds did not lead to a convincing work in my perception. (DM)
Address: http://www.innova.mu
 
THE  REMOTE VIEWERS – NERVE CURE (CD by Remote Viewers)
The Remote Viewers started as a trio of Adrian Northover, Louise Petts and David Petts, around  2007. It was the start of a fruitful period, that with ‘Nerve Cure’, results in their tenth release. Nowadays The Remote Viewers turns around the nucleus of Adrian Northover (soprano & alto sax) and  David Petts (tenor sax). For this release they were assisted by Rosa Lynch-Nothrover (piano, percussion), Sue Lynch (tenor sax, flute), John Edwards (double bass, harp) plus Adam Bohman (bowed objects on ‘Long Weekend’ and Caroline Kraabel (baritone sax on ‘Grids’). It is my first meeting with this group. Gradually I became more and more enthusiastic about their music. For sure it is evident this music is carefully structured and played, but it didn’t move instantly. I needed time. The approach is very minimalistic and academic although there is humor and wit in it.. There is also something Henry Cow-ish in this music, listening to tracks as ‘Forgotten Corners’ and ‘War with the Outer Countries’. The playing is economic and the arrangements are sober, delicate and to the point. Saxophones are prominent, but the coloring by harp, flute, are very okay. It is more in vein of composed chamber music than leaning on jazz or rock. It is of great efficiency and discipline. As cold and emotionless this music appeared to me in the beginning, how warm it is now. Interesting stuff. (DM)
Address: http://www.remoteviewers.com

ROSS HAMMOND QUARTET  - ADORED  (CD by Prescott Recordings)
ALEX JENKINS’ SOUND IMMERSION – PERSEVERANCE (CD by Prescott Recordings)
A new release from Ross Hammond from Sacramento, with a set recorded by his quartet in Los Angeles at Newzone Studio in december 2011. Compared with earlier releases I know from him, this is heavy and powerful stuff. This is also reflected in the line up: Vinny Golia (tenor, alto, C soprano saxophones), Alex Cline (drums), Steuart Liebig (bass) and Hammond on guitar. In the closing piece they are assisted by Wayne Peet  on piano.  I think we have here Hammond for the first time in the accompany of big names from improvised music. The pieces start from a compositional approach Hammond developed with the Lovely Builders. This way he defined a context for the improvisations.  The playing is tight and together.  Solos occur but it is really more of a group expedition.  The pleasant guitar playing by Hammond feels completely at home in the company of these heavy weights.  The improvisations are not that far out.  This is more on the accessible and pleasant side of improvisation, more of a jam session, where  one feels these guys had a good time together. So why not join them?
Another quartet is run by Alex Jenkins, also a Sacramento-based artist with roots in rock.  Nowadays however feeling more at home in jazz and improvised music. The line up of his quartet: Tony Passarell (tenor, soprano and baritone sax), Michael Dale (alto sax and clarinet), Alex Reiff (upright bass) plus Jenkins himself playing percussion). Was it ‘Generosity’  some time ago, now it is the virtue of Perseverance that provides the title for their new cd.  Passarell, a central force in the Sacramento scene,  also played on the first record of 2009. For their new release everything was recorded on one day in april 2011. Recorded, produced, mixed and edited by Jenkins.  All four musicians contributed with compositions. As it is jazz there is plenty of room for improvisation. It is a solid work but not spectacular. Fine, nice solo work from Passarell and overall fine playing by all of them. The typical drumming of Jenkins is holding everything together. This is also the most remarkable thing of this release.  In tracks as ‘Byobu’ Jenkins plays with swing. But in others, like his own composition ‘Ali Baba’ or ‘Frozone’, not. Here the influence of his studies on Indian music pop up. (DM)
Adress: http://www.rosshammond.com / http://www.alexdrums.net

DORON SADJA - RESIDUALS (CD by Shinkoyo)
Somehow, I think, I may have missed out upon Doron Sadja's 'A Piece Of String, A Sunset', which 12K released in 2003. Now there is finally a new release, on his own Shinkoyo label, in an oversized package, an envelope with two prints. There is no mentioning of any instruments used, but my best guess is (perhaps based on the title of his first release) that Sadja uses the guitar, and lots of electronics, perhaps laptop. Yet to think that Sadja plays minimalist drone like spacious guitar music is not entirely true. In the first two pieces this is fuzzy, shoegazing like, but with a strong romantic notion on the synthesizer (guitar synthesizer). Think Fennesz and Tim Hecker for instance. Music that is all over the spectrum of sound, very dynamic. In the third piece (there is, I think, no tracklist) there is suddenly a bunch of not very good digital drums, which seem, as far as I'm concerned, seem out of place and break with the great uplifting spirit of the first two pieces. In the fourth one there is a return to music without rhythm, and here a whole bunch of odd cliche's are opened up, which sound a bit cheesy to me. Which means that I like two pieces and two that I found myself to have some difficulty with. Maybe Doron Sadja felt a need to deliver a diverse release, but with four tracks/thirty minutes it seems a rather unstable lot. (FdW)
Address: http://www.shinkoyo.com

FRANCISCO LOPEZ - UNTITLED #284 (CD by Cronica Electronica)
In 1992 Francisco Lopez did a bunch of 'environmental recordings' in Lisbon. In 2011 he did an 'extensive evolutionary transformation' of these recordings and presented that in Lisbon. No wonder the CD of that of that piece is now released on a Portuguese label. Its a forty-three minute in a fashion that Lopez uses a lot these days. The computer is these days his main tool of transformation and composition, using mainly those functions to alter the color of the sound. This he applies to the many sounds he has at his disposal, sometimes looping them around and creating a dense field of sound events. This CD is not different from any of his other recent CDs, which I guess is a pity. Lopez is one of those musicians who release a lot, but whose development can be summed up with a few key releases, the others are 'fill ins', extending what you already know, or perhaps for the die-hard fans. Having said that, this work by itself is another fine piece (if nothing new that is) of computer treated sounds, ranging from super-low sounds to very high end sounds, put together in a collage like form of building crescendo's and dropping them at one point and building all over again. He does it with the usual great care, but having said that, this is not the big new innovative masterpiece (just in case you were waiting for it). (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

DON PRESTON - FILTERS, OSCILLATORS & ENVELOPES 1967-1982 (CD by Sub Rosa)
In case you don't know: Don Preston was from 1966 to 1974 the keyboard player of The Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa's band. Alright: I didn't know, but then, I never cared for Zappa that much anyway, so perhaps you will excuse me. Preston also played with Carla Bley, Captain Beefheart, Meredith Monk, Eugene Chadbourne, The Residents and much more. Yet, almost forgotten, were his pure electronic works, which are now gathered on this release. 'Electronic Music' (1967), 'Analog Heaven' (1975, in seven parts) and 'Fred & Me' (1982). This is a discovery that equals I guess the first time we found that there was a person like Tod Dockstader, who had been composing electronic music decades before we heard it. Preston works with modular synthesizers, moog synthesizers, oscillators, theremin and such like and the result is excellent. From the pretty raw 1967 piece to the excellent mood music of 'Fred & Me', with its soft drifting nature, and sparse percussive sounds - well, according to the cover, but they were not easy to find here. 'Analog Heaven' is just that: analog blissful heaven. An excellent CD all around, which made me think: is there more? Yes? Please? For all fans of sixties electronic music, Barron & Dockstader fans. Or perhaps even for daring Zappa fans. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

BERANGERE MAXIMIN - NO ONE IS AN ISLAND (CD by Sub Rosa/Framework)
ERDEM HELVACIOGLU - TIMELESS WAVES (CD by Sub Rosa/Framework)
We can't keep up with Sub Rosa's Framework series, here already with number 11 and 12. The series is about "A brand new mix-up of unusual conceptions of sound material by young unknown composers, well known not-so-young composers and old but clever composers." and at least introduces me to the work of Berangere Maximin, who was born on the island of Reunion but she moved to France when she was fifteen. She studied electro-acoustic music with Denis Dufour and performs using her laptop, voice, guitar and objects. On this CD she has some duets with Rhys Chatham on trumpet, Christian Fennesz, Frederic D. Oberland and Richard Pinhas, all three on guitar. Each of these four are on separate pieces, Fennesz even on two of them. Its not easy to place Maximin's music, and I am not sure what she wants with her music. Its somewhere in between improvisation and pop music, especially when she uses her voice. The instrumental part is made of large walls of guitar sounds, except in the piece with Chatham on trumpet, with lots of echo, being a very improvised piece. But especially 'Knitting In The Air' seems like an attempt at pop structures - along the lines of AGF, but then less clean and perfect. The whole album has a certain dirtiness about it, which makes it all quite enjoyable. Hard to pin down, but quite captivating all together.
Erdem Helvaciouglu's 'Eleven Short Stories' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 824 and was all about piano music. Here we have some altogether different. An electronic piece in six parts, which was composed for a 47 channel/53 speaker diffusion system, but obviously reduced to stereo here. It deals with the six basic human emotions, fear, love, anger, sadness, surprise and joy. Erdem Helvaciouglu uses the Togaman GuitarViol, Gibson Les Paul, sine waves, various analog pedals and hardware fx processors. Maybe the word 'electronic' is a bit misleading here: its mostly the multichannel part of the work that is the electronic bit. The music itself is mainly a sort of improvised guitar doodling and one of a kind I am slightly allergic too. Either its scratching the surface of strings (in 'Fear'), happy looped tunes (in 'Joy'), noise based in 'Anger' - all seems to be pretty clear from looking at the title. Just not my cup of tea I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

ELAINIE LILLIOS - ENTRE ESPACES (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
PETE STOLLERY - SCENES (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
Two releases from two composers I never heard of on the Empreintes Digitales label, home of the world of acousmatic composers. Her biography reads like a list of official institutions and festivals, which is no doubt to impress the reader, but none of these mean much to me. The music however on this CD is quite interesting. Unlike others on this label not all here is about putting sounds through computer processing, which in this circle of composers often leads to similar results, but the power here lies in the use of field recordings (cars, voices, water) to come to the listener untreated but put together in a radiophonic manner. Sometimes the use of electronics is a bit too much of a cliche, me thinks, but the poetic 'Arturo' and the filmic car sounds of three piece suite of 'Backroads' are quite nice.
From the UK is Pete Stollery, BMus(Hons), MA, PGCE and PhD, a professor of electroacoustic music and composition. His music seems to be build from field recordings which sometimes shimmer through all the electronic processing that is going on. Like with the release by Lillios, things for me are most interesting when it moves away from all the well-known practice of acousmatic sound processing and focussing on primarily field recordings, such as in 'Field Of Silence'. In 'Resound' he uses interviews with people and here its is where the music becomes great. It has a fine radiophonic character, with mumbling voices, street sounds and what seems an absence of electronic processing. Its only with the third piece, 'Still Voices', that we hear more and more of these field recordings, as the first two sink away in sound processing. A combination of electronics and pure field recordings done well is the closing piece, 'Scenes, Rendez-Vous', which has a fine soundtrack like capacity.
I wasn't too happy a few years with the direction this label heading, but these two pick up matters where I like to see them best: a fine combination of pure sound and treatments. (FdW)
Address: http://www.empreintesdigitales.com

PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS - CORDOPHONY (CD by Home Normal)
'With Friends' called have also been 'With Many Friends' as Philippe Petit gets help from a lot of his friends here. A few of them are Bela Emerson (cello), Nils Frahm (piano), Reinhold Friedl (prepaired [sic] piano), Aidan Baker (guitar) and lots of people I never heard of playing harp, violin, vibraphone, organ, guitar, grand piano, flutes, gongs, drums and tibetan bowls. They don't always play together, but per track - thirteen in total - Petit chooses what he needs to add to his own processed acoustics, field recordings, found sounds, electronics, turntables, glass manipulations, percussions, synth, piano and balloons. The cover specifies who does what on which track. The overall tone of the pieces is modern classical music, but not in a very melodic sense, but highly abstract. Not always seem the instruments fit together, but somehow they do. Take for instance 'Crepuscule', in which we have an electric harp, flutes, gongs, bells, violin, cello, tibetan bowls, guitar, bass, acoustics, electronics and percussions. All of that used in the space of five minutes, all seemingly playing random things, but put together so that it actually works quite well. Petit and his ensemble - no doubt none of these people were together when this was recorded - play some highly modern music, rooted in classical music, electro-acoustic music, soundscaping and even folk like tunes. Music that is filled from top to bottom with sounds, with always something happening. Maybe the story like character of some of his previous releases is not that apparent here, but it makes up with some great music. Now its time to work with a real ensemble - maybe Zeitkratzer should invite him? (FdW)
Address: http://homenormal.tumblr.com/

V4W.ENKO & SANMI - YET (CDR by Nexsound)
A collaboration, through e-mail I guess, between Kyo Yanagi, also known as Sanmi and Evgeniy Vaschenko from the Ukraine. A highly digital work this is, but one that has also quite a 'live' feeling to it. Clicks 'n cuts - if anyone cares to remember that - is certainly something that applies here. Things buzz, hiss, crack and loop around, with a highly dynamic sound. Deep bass sounds, shrieking high end sine wave like sounds on top, cut 'n pasted together in the best Pan Sonic tradition. yet, all with a slight difference: this music deals less with a straight forward beat, but rather with cutting up all the sounds, all the time. Only in the closing piece 'Lcgf' the cut-up is absent, and everything is placed in a straight forward fashion, with some desolate piano sounds. A fine closing to a somewhat tiring but also quite rewarding release. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nexsound.org

FRANCISCO MEIRINO - A WHILE AND AWHILE (CDR by Obs)
Like I said last week, I do like noise; when served decently. One of the noise makers I really like is Francisco Meirino. He worked as Phroq until 2009, and since then under his own name. For his 'A While And Awhile) he uses his computer, reel-to-reel recorders, analog synth, field recorder, various home-made electronics, piezo transducers, radio scanner and electro-magnetic sensors. 'With audio and visual data gathered in Switzerland and China', it says on the cover. Noise is perhaps not really present on this release. Or perhaps: not as such. Things buzz, crackle and hiss, and put together in an interesting fashion through collage techniques. There are nine pieces on this release, but they can also be heard as one piece. I wasn't paying attention to my CD player so its hard to say when a track started and ended. Its not really important either - the tracks have no titles anyway. Sometimes there is a strong buzz and a new piece starts or perhaps in the middle of piece. Faulty lines and machinery are important ingredients in this music. Sometimes the buzzes are layered together and form a heavy drone like machine sound. This is all excellent modern musique concrete music put together in a highly intelligent way from elements from noise music. See, boys from the HNW scene, now that's what I call noise. Use this as your text book example. (FdW)
Address: http://abser1.narod2.ru

CHRISTIAN B. SOTEMANN/CRYPTIC SCENERY - BEING (CDR by Bloated Sasquatch Beer Theatre Audio)
This is a highly conceptual release. Fifteen performances of a piece called 'Being', some 'recorded in a field', some 'recorded during a live performance' and some 'recorded using alternative instrumentation'. The piece 'consists of three sections of silence/sonic surrounding as given in the respective situation and two intentionally played notes'. So we have lots of silence, although 'hiss' is a better word in the long opening, but in the other pieces also may or may not consist of 'field recordings'. The 'live' section contain mainly short pieces, in which we hear the audience talk and wait. No doubt this little joke piece of music, if I dare to call it like that, was played during set-up or waiting to start the concert. Thus the audience missed out upon the first piece being (!) played. As said lots of silence, and when we arrive at the 'other instruments' section, the silence is real silence. I quite enjoyed the conceptual edge of this release, but you could wonder if you would play this a lot of times. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bsbta.com

D.O.R. - AN OCCUPIED HOUSE (CDR by Caduc)
A new trio, a new label, but with two names we heard of before: Jamie Drouin (analogue synthesizer, radio) and Mathieu Ruhlmann (objects), who, together with Lance Austin Olsen (copper plate, objects, floor guitar) form D.O.R. Their six piece release was recorded live in Drouin's home of December 14, 2011. While we may know Drouin and Ruhlmann from more microsounding drone minimalism, this new venture goes out into the field of improvisation. Minimalist improvisation from the world of electro-acoustic music. The objects, including the guitar, provide a steady rumble, while the synthesizer and radio add a static feel to it. Each of the six pieces is build like that. All is set in motion and slowly things are altered over the course of a piece, by adding small variations in the way things are played, a slight twitch on the radio dial, or knob on the synthesizer or minimalist changes in the way an object is played. Its still highly microsound: carefully constructed from a minimal set of sounds, played softly, sometimes at the verge of being unable to hear anything, but away from the static warm glitch computer music. At times reminding me of some of Kapotte Muziek older live concerts, in which 'hearing' and 'listening' to almost inaudible events were the most important. Excellent experience music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.caduc.org

MIDWICH - RUNNING REPAIRS (CDR by Striate Cortex)
Although around for a considerable amount of time, Midwich has not always been the most prolific artist when it comes to 'commercial' releases, but on his blog you can these days download pretty much everything he ever did. For the last four years there wasn't much new music, but now its time to start again. Rob Hayler used to run his own CDR label, Fencing Flatworm but these days he mainly releases on other labels, such as Striate Cortex, who are now up to catalogue number 46 (which means I may have missed a few for review). From the vast amount of music I only heard a few, but drone like capacities they all seem to have. Here we have three pieces, two quite long and one very short, 'Pennine Interlude'. In the opening piece 'New Territories', which we could regard as a programmatic title, the drones are a bit louder and more forceful than before. Its recorded with one Daniel Thomas and it sounds like a bunch of toy organs being recorded with an open microphone in a small space. Lots of van/motor sounds and the organs filling up the small, confined space. The 'Pennine Interlude' sounds a like radio collage of voice and field recordings, driving you into 'Bosky', at just under twenty six minutes the highlight of the release. Here the organ drones are picked up from the mixing desk, being processed by some sound effects but to great minimal effect. With more variation than 'Opening Territories', but with an equally loud effect at some point, after a long and slow build up. The new territory is there, and its slightly different than the old one, but unmistakably its there. A fine return to a new form. (FdW)
Address: http://striatecortex.wordpress.com

ALLEYPISSER - GLEMT (cassette by Throne Heap)
An obscure tape by one Mikkel, also known as Alleypisser, who plays analogue synthesizer, tape loops and metal percussion. Two pieces that last thirty-three minutes in total of highly minimal dark electronic music. Loops move like a quiet sea, not really forward or backward, but just drifting. On top there is a rusty boat, which is represented by the metallic rumble, in which somebody moves a lot, having his own drift. A very consistent piece of work of some very obscure music. Not really noise like, but not entirely very musical either. This is a pitch black (sea) release of horror like capacity. Excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.throneheap.com/

ANNE-F JACQUES (cassette by Crustaces Tapes)
More 'free' music on the Crustaces label (send a gift or postcard), here this time with only one artist: Anne-F Jacques. Recorded in Halifax during a residency in a shed using loops, microphones, rocks, plants and found objects. Obscure improvised electro-acoustic music, cut into little segments of sound which all stay on the same dynamic level. Its not easy to make up my mind about this. Its not bad, but somehow it could have been recorded better, and perhaps been edited into more compositional pieces. Now its stays a bit too much action music. But one that is served by the medium of cassettes. (FdW)
Address: http://crustaces.bandcamp.com/







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