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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 835
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week 24
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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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FIVE ELEMENTS MUSIC - RISHIKESH (CD by Unfathomless) *
MICHAEL BEGG/HUMAN GREED - DIRT ON EARTH: A POCKET OF RESISTANCE (CD by Omnempathy) *
FINGERS IN THE NOISE - SOUNDS FROM THE MOON (CD by Bine Music) *
KOJI ASANO - TRAVEL COUPONS (CD by Solstice) *
ECHTZEIT MUSIK BERLIN (3CD by Mikroton)
BUSMAN’S REVENGE – A LITTLE BIT OF BONANZA (CD by Rune Grammofon)
EL DOOM & THE BORN ELECTRIC – SAME (CD by Rune Grammofon)
FERGUS KELLY - A CONGREGATION OF VAPOURS (CD by Far Point Recordings) *
TOMOKO SAUVAGE - OMBROPHILIA (LP by Aposiopese)
DIETER MÜH - HETERODOXIE (LP by Verlautbarung)
JEROME NOETINGER & SEC_ - TESTACODA (LP by Bocian Records)
ULTRA MILKMAIDS - THE RISING (7", private)
SILVIA KASTEL - TAKE IT (7" by Ultramarine Records)
BOLIDE - FLAW GAMES (cassette by Ultramarine Records)
NIGEL SAMWAYS - HAVENOTS HAVENEVER (CDR by Somehow Recordings) *
TEMPLE MUSIC - CHILDREN OF THE SUN (CDR by Anti Clock Records) *
THE GRAY FIELD RECORDINGS - NATURE DESIRE NATURE (CDR by Reverb Worship) *
NORTHERN MACHINE - IN FRONT OF THE CROWD (CDR by HC3 Music) *
TL0741 - HELD TO ACCOUNT (CDR by HC3 Music) *
MYCOPHAGY - SONGS FROM THE OTHERWORLD (3"CDR by HC3 Music) *
ABUSIVE CONSUMER - CRUMBLING PORTALS (cassette by Retrograde Tapes)
ASSHOLE WITH A CLARINET - TIME FOR A TURD (cassette, private)
LUSCIOUS SKIN - VENTRILOQUIST (cassette by Alchemist Records)
SOFTOFT TECHECH (cassette by Alchemist Records)
RUN DMT/TRACEY TRANCE (split cassette by Cgifriday Enterprise)
GEM JONES - SYMPHONY IN P (cassette by Cgifriday Enterprise)




FIVE ELEMENTS MUSIC - RISHIKESH (CD by Unfathomless)
Sergey Suhovik, also known as Five Elements Music, is not very well-known in the 'west', but this Russian fine master of drone music has had already a bunch of releases in Russia. Some of them made it to these pages. I might be wrong, but this might be his first CD release. Like with all Unfathomless releases Five Elements Music uses field recordings, in this case taped in 2009 on a trip to India. Unlike some of his other works in which Five Elements Music heavily treats all the sounds into vast amounts of drone like sound matter, the two pieces here extensively use original sounds from the field recordings, people speaking, birds, insects, along with sound debris picked up along the way. In the second piece it all seems a bit more denser and louder, with a greater use of changes in the equalization of the sounds. It gives the piece a more darker character, unlike the first piece which sounds a bit more lighter in approach. Its all very atmospheric with a strong emphasis on the long form sounds, rather than lots of smaller events, ending with children singing. A strange coda that is, but it works wonderfully well. Not an outstanding disc in this field of workers, but certainly one of the better works I heard recently. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unfathomless.net

MICHAEL BEGG/HUMAN GREED - DIRT ON EARTH: A POCKET OF RESISTANCE (CD by Omnempathy)
The man behind Human Greed is Michael Begg, so I am not entirely sure why this was released as Michael Begg/Human Greed. Why not one or the other? There is not a lot of information forthcoming on this release, not on paper, nor on the website. This is one of those things in which the music should speak for itself, I guess. And it does, actually. 'No words. No guests. A sullen drone, a silence: Resistance' is that we are told, and that's what we get. Drone music of a great quality. Majestically played, slowly evolving and with a dark yet peaceful nature. Each of the seven pieces have this slow development, organic and no doubt made with a handful of synthesizers and computer processing. Lots of sound effects are used, and luckily the reverb is kept under control. In cases like this, its usually used as an easy toy to create artificial space, but here its used in exactly the right amount. Only in 'Pomegranate's Endurance Medal' we hear a piano, sparsely played, and some stringed sounds in 'Scenes From The Carefree Life', embedded in an organ like sound. The organ like sound is a favorite here as it seems to carry many of the pieces here. It adds a church like atmosphere to the tracks, which perhaps will put some people of (me, for instance), but in this case it didn't bother me. It fitted the music quite rightly. Great music, dark, atmospheric, ambient and what have you. Perhaps not the most 'new' sounding release in this field, but as remarked quite often, this is hardly a field that moves a lot. Begg knows how to produce some great music, and that is on a dark and rainy day all we need. (FdW)
Address: http://omnempathy.com/

FINGERS IN THE NOISE - SOUNDS FROM THE MOON (CD by Bine Music)
Behind Fingers In The Noise - which I think is a pretty silly name - is one Laurent Bisch, 1966, from France, and father of three kids and he started to produce techno music twenty years ago 'after taking a few piano lessons' (I wonder what the relation is there). He likes ambient, dub, deep and experimental and such like and its no more long party nights for him, but a more peaceful life, in which he uses his free time to record his own music and after releasing some EPs (which term these days can be any kind of format, physical or otherwise) this is his debut album. Eleven pieces of exactly what he likes: ambient, deep, dub and hardly experimental - although what is considered experimental in this particular angle of the world I don't know. Maybe its because I don't know that much about this kind of music, so its hard for me to judge this in terms of musical development, i.e. the bigger picture of all those things deep, dub, techno, ambient, but judging from what I hear in this direction (and to be honest, that usually comes from the likes of labels such as Bine Music, so perhaps not the best reference) this is not too different from what I usually hear. Is that a bad thing? No, I don't think so. Music like this is not about being 'innovative' at all. Its all, I should assume at least, about being entertaining on whatever personal level is convenient for the consumer/listener. I can imagine that people like this while driving a car, vacuum cleaning, a private party, or simply reading the newspaper (which is what I did). All of this is valid, obviously, and therefore it makes it very hard for me to say anything negative about this. Nothing new, quite old, retro if you want, and all such like, but the entertaining factor was quite high. That's all that sometimes matters. (FdW)
Address: http://www.binemusic.de

KOJI ASANO - TRAVEL COUPONS (CD by Solstice)
Though not as active as in his top years, 2001 (ten CDs), 2002 (four CDs) and 2003 (five CDs), Koji Asano is back, and since 2010 this is his fourth CD. Like with some of the other recent releases, there is no indication as to what he is doing on this release. Asano's work can range from computerized noise to baroque pieces of classical music. 'Travel Coupons' seems to me some a work that is somewhere in between computer and classical instruments. Those are at the foundation of the piece (again: so it seems) and the computer does a bit of processing, but not a lot. So we still hear instruments from an orchestra (or small ensemble at least) and those sounds being stretched out a bit, with some delay here and there, over layered, out of tune it sometimes. Its kind of hard to tell whether this is all stuff that Asano wrote himself, recorded with musicians, or perhaps used already existing work of instrumental playing, which he plays around with. That is a bit of a difficulty I think. Also at close to sixty minutes the work seems a bit long to me. There are two parts here, one of eleven minutes and one of forty eight. I'd say skip the first one, and the second one is fine at forty minutes. Strangely abstract music, in which beauty, as far as I can see, doesn't play an all important role. But the whole thing has something captivating, especially since its so strange and abstract. Would I play this again, easily? That's a different question to which I am inclined to say: not easily, indeed and probably not as quick. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kojiasano.com

ECHTZEIT MUSIK BERLIN (3CD by Mikroton)
You've read the book - see Vital Weekly 796 - but you wondered about the music? Oh Berlin, that vibrant city of new music. Where one lives because its cheap and where you get hardly any money for playing concert, but there is a plethora of small venues all around. You could, if you want to, go to a concert every night. Echtzeit means real time, so this is all music played in real time, in Berlin, and that is, to one extend or another, music that has been improvised. That is the parameter of this set of three discs, in total spanning some three hours of music. Forty-one pieces by a plethora of names such as, (deep breath please) Michael Vorfeld, Der Kreis Des Gegenstandes, Sink, MEK, Subroutine, Bogan Ghost, Trigger, Thomas Ankersmit, Perlonex, Pokemachine, Tony Buck & Axel Dörner, The Magic I.D., The Pitch Extended, MoHa!, Pierre Borel & Hannes Lingens, Phospor, Spill, Ignaz Schick & Sabine Vogel, Annette Krebs, Les Femmes Savantes, Serge Baghdassarians & Boris Baltschun, Lucio Capece & Christian Kesten, Germ Studies, Jürg Bariletti & Mike Majkowski, Team Up, Phono_phono, Ercklentz Neumann, The Understaded Brown, Static, Lovens/Schick/Thomas, Trophies, Antje Vorwinkel, Nicholas Bussmann & Werner Dafeldecker, Fernanda Farah & Chico Mello, Hotelgäste, Hanno Leichtmann & Andrea Neumann, Olaf Rupp, Antoine Chessex, LYSN and Splitter Orchestra. If you study the finer print, the credits per track, you will notice that many of these names involve the same people, working together in all sorts of combinations, telling us something about the vibrant aspect of music life in Berlin. Forty-one pieces of music, from careful constructions of abstract music, to rock out improvisation, free jazz, pure instruments, onkyo and even a bit of noise here and there (Capece's solo piece on the second disc for instance). Maybe its a pity that this was released quite a while after the book came out, nine months or so, as this would have been a great set of discs to have been included with the book I guess, to put things in the right perspective. Still its a fine document of a great scene that is partly not a scene, but more a gathering of many diverse actions. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

BUSMAN’S REVENGE – A LITTLE BIT OF BONANZA (CD by Rune Grammofon)
EL DOOM & THE BORN ELECTRIC – SAME (CD by Rune Grammofon)
Fourth release by Bushman’s Revenge and first for Rune Grammofon. A trio of Even Helte Hermanensen (guitars), Rune Nergaard (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums, vibraphone) who started in 2003. A power trio of Hendrix-like heavy rock. Yes, the music did immediately grab me, but after a while it became very boring and failing to impress. Apart from the fresh energy and  drive in their playing, there is musically spoken, not much happening here.
El Doom & The Born Electric, counting 8 members is another retro-exercise, with Ole Petter Andreassen (vocals, guitars) as one of the core members. He wrote most of the material for this debut album. Be warned this is ‘classic, guitar-driven, melodic progressive rock’. Picking up the heritage of Deep Purple and other progressive rock bands from the 70s. The guitar playing is excellent, but also all the others do a great job. Very tight and top notch playing. h I’m impressed by their energy and force. The music is completed by the typical singing style that we know so well from their precursors from the 70s. Again boredom sets in very quickly. I can’t help it. I don’t mind when bands take inspiration from the past. There is nothing wrong with that. But for a good reason please. It is inevitable to work with ingredients that are already there. It is not possible in another way to create new relevant music. But when doing this so openly, I need to feel a sense of urgence and relevance for doing so. But that is not often the case. Also not in these two well-executed projects. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

FERGUS KELLY - A CONGREGATION OF VAPOURS (CD by Far Point Recordings)
From Fergus Kelly I have already reviewed some releases, and every time it seems he wants to create something different, which I guess is nice. His previous 'Long Range' (see Vital Weekly 758) was quite a careful release of textural music, using a variety of sound sources. Here, on 'A Congregation Of Vapours', he moves towards the noise end of the spectrum, exploring the use of feedback, no input mixing board, DIY electronics, amplified metals, field recordings and processing. Its not that Kelly takes us by the hand and shows uses the big harsh noise wall, but there are certainly bits and pieces here that aren't most certainly 'careful' or 'silent'. However, he knows how to craft his noise: by using dynamics quite extreme it doesn't stay on the pure noise side of things. It slows down, tones down, and we hear the rattling of field recordings through a multitude of speakers, picked up by various microphones which make the whole thing, indeed, a noise based release. As far as I can judge field recordings play quite an important role here, and aren't always easy to trace back to their original source, although I think I recognized a dot matrix printer. Overall, Kelly's music is more on the silent edge of things than on the noise side, although I didn't use a stopwatch to fact-check this. Its a mighty fine release of field recordings, rusty metal processing and obscured electronics. Perhaps not so much something new, but produced with some great and style. (FdW)
Address: http://www.farpointrecordings.com

TOMOKO SAUVAGE - OMBROPHILIA (LP by Aposiopese)
A record of percussion music that how I like to call this record by Tomoko Sauvage. She was born in Yokohama and grew with classical and jazz piano. When she heard the sound of water on an Indian traditional instrument, she started to build her own water bowls: porcelain bowls filled water, hypdrophones and electronics. She plays them live in concert and does recordings with them. Here we have seven of these pieces, in which she plays the water bowls with wooden spoons and metal wires as well as playing with the water, dripping etc. All of this recorded with multi tracking, adding field recordings from the South of India, but the latter is something that I found hard to hear. If you expect something that is very tranquil and quiet, then this is spot on. Its like wind chimes in the summer breeze, even it sounds very much like that, in a piece like 'Amniotic Life', but in other instances the water sounds prevails. If you are in an urgent need for a visit to the bathroom, this is certainly not a record you would enjoy easily. However if you are in a more reflective, meditative mood, zen like if you will, then you will find this, like me, a great record. Highly percussive in a non-linear way, fitting perfectly the early summer mood. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aposiopese.com

DIETER MÜH - HETERODOXIE (LP by Verlautbarung)
Its fair to say that Dieter Müh is one of the older groups from the third (fourth?) wave of power electronics that came to us in the mid to late 90s. Too late for the cassettes of the 80s, too obscure to be part of the whole retro noise scene and perhaps, simply (but better yet), not enough power electronics/noise based. So over the years there have been a bunch of releases, but not a lot, and they are always quite interesting. Dieter Müh played at the Broken Festival in London last month and its not difficult to see where they did in. Not because they play very loud music, but rather densely knitted, rough patterns of drone noise, along with primitive (casio) sampling of rhythms and cheap sound effects. Not that their music is cheap, by now means. Its music that takes out the best of industrial music and combines it with the more adventurous sounds of ambient music. Layered sounds of those wind pipes that children swing above their heads (no craze these days but I am sure some day it will return), along with the sampled percussion of something highly obscure, a bit of sound effects - music that stands in one form or another in the long tradition of Giancarlo Toniutti, Andrew Chalk and Controlled Bleeding, or, but this requires an in-depth knowledge of the Broken Flag catalogue, say Ain-Tow. It doesn't sound like them, but its part of the whole esthetic of working with ambient sounds and electronic music. Music with a long tradition, like cogs in a machine. Dieter Müh is one of those cogs. Not the most essential one, but nevertheless one that forms part of the family, so that you have the complete picture. 'Heterodoxie' is a nice record. Not great, just pleasant electronic music - noise but then one I like. (FdW)
Address: http://www.millstonevinyl.se

JEROME NOETINGER & SEC_ - TESTACODA (LP by Bocian Records)
The subtitle to this could have been 'duet for two Revox recorders', as both Jerome Noetinger plays this, along with radio and microphone and SEC_, one half of Aspec[t] that is, who also gets credit for feedback and laptop. At the foundation of this record we have two concerts from last year, April 12th in Italy and in December in France. If you are familiar with the work of both, and how could you have missed Noetinger over the years?, then you pretty much know what to expect here. The more brutal side of improvised music, from an electronic perspective. Musique concrete in action music, or action in musique concrete. The speed manipulations of the reel-to-reel machines are extensively used in feeding sounds to it, and playing back sounds. Harsh and slow, sped up, multi-speed playing. The a-side (I don't know if the two concerts are divided over both sides, or perhaps its all a combination of both concert recordings) is the more hectic side of the two, whereas the b-side seems to have lengthier fragments of sustained material, with more careful developments. It ends in a coda of noise like material following these careful procedures. The a-side is more about a constant change; of speed; of color; of input. This side is a rather vivid combination of ancient montage techniques from the world of musique concrete and live improvisation. Its the side I prefer over the other. That one is nice, but seems to be sticking with repeating loops and such like, whereas the constant movement of the other side is a thrill to hear. With Noetinger you can't go wrong, it seems. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bocianrecords.com

ULTRA MILKMAIDS - THE RISING (7", private)
One of those bands that have been around for many years - twenty, perhaps, I was thinking - and of whom we don't know that much. They release a CD, or record, or whatever, and maybe play live every now and then, and that's it. And its usually of a consistent high quality. The Ultra Milkmaids, I believe a duo of to brothers from Nantes, delivered at least one master piece, 'Peps' in 2000, although I haven't heard all of their records and haven't heard 'Peps' in quite some time. Here we have a lathe cut record, in an edition of just 53 copies, with a nice colored cover, showing us two sides of the what Milkies (as their fans call them) can do, recorded by them with Harris Pilton. 'Atom Heart' on the A-side is the kind of piece you would expect from them. Nicely flowing ambient like music, with a mildly shimmering organ sound, bouncing nicely along with a Korg sound and some looped rhythm of something similar, all working along each other in a strange random fashion, but since its repeating it works pretty well as a sort of dervish dance. The B-side has '7h14*', which has seems a kind of plunderphonic piece. Maybe I should recognize it, but then, perhaps I am not that aware of the world of pop music. It has a vocal of some kind, and some backing of pop proportions and some processing. Maybe the milkies play it all themselves, who knows? An odd piece, but somehow it works quite nice actually. Two entirely different sides of what they can do. Excellent, like always. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ultra-milkmaids.com

SILVIA KASTEL - TAKE IT (7" by Ultramarine Records)
BOLIDE - FLAW GAMES (cassette by Ultramarine Records)
Label owner Kastel releases her first ever 7", a debut for her and her label. Kastel has a background in improvised music, but in her solo work she uses beats, synths, bass, tape echo and her own voice. Especially the use of beat material make things more coherent, like I noticed with her 'Love Tape' (see Vital Weekly 794), it seems to me that Kastel is also interested in the music of the late 70s/early 80s. She hints, in her press release, to early Cabaret Voltaire and Clock DVA, and indeed it shares some of that sense of experimentalism within some kind of pop format. The lyrics, if any, don't seem to matter that much and the voice is used as an additional instrument. Especially in the side long 'Tok Wide' she does that and sounds like a slowed down CV mantra. Topped off with a cover that looks genuinely retro also, this is a damn fine little item. Edition of 100 copies, so a pre-programmed collectors item - if not now, then possibly later.
The cassette on the other hand is the new format of choice for Ultramarine Records lately, and the new one is by a six piece group from Brighton, of which the 'main members are Spiceberg (aka Daniel Spicer), Tom Roberts, The Sultan and other mysterious individuals', although the website lists for the six members, Dr, Spiceberg, F. Ampism, The Sultan, Reverend Cal-Mag Boron and Dick Moss. They have been going since 2007 and there are already a bunch of releases. A band of free music I'd say. Hard to tell what they are all playing, but drums, I'd say, guitars, bass, perhaps but surely lots of sound effects. Freaky music, like there is so much other freaky music of people jamming together, creating the next musical revolution, but its rather stale, I'd say. Its one of those things that was probably quite interesting at some point, but unfortunately not so much anymore. Perhaps I am just getting too old for this youthfully enthusiasm for free music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ultramarinerecords.com

NIGEL SAMWAYS - HAVENOTS HAVENEVER (CDR by Somehow Recordings)
A bit of an odd package. CDR with no print on it, in a plastic shell, and larger pro printed card with information and such. Very likely to get separated at one in time, certainly when you have a few CDs around the house, but apparently this is the way they do things at Somehow Recordings. This is (also apparently, but I could have been fooled), Samways first full length record, using a plethora of 'ad-hoc street recordings' taking right of the streets with a microphone and set to pick up whatever is happened down there and play music along that. Odd music. I believe to hear drum machines, samples, organs (?) and perhaps wind instruments, fed through a bunch of effects. At times a bit chaotic such as in Grey Flowers, or perhaps a bit too heavy (the opening of 'Finis Opus Coronat'), but when the balance between street and studio-level is good, its a surprisingly musical album. It reminded me in some ways of the classical album by A Tent, 'Six Empty Places'. A similar jazzy/smokey atmosphere, although Samways is less musical, less based on say a heavy saxophone solo, but with the same sort of 'free' notion of letting those instruments play. The piano and percussion are in place and Samways uses more field recordings it seems. I think this is a great record, for various reasons. One, quite important, is that the approach to field recordings is very musical, since it is incorporated in a musical surrounding. A musical surrounding, rather than a piece of some kind. That I thought was very good, Samways tries to do something new. Its executed with great care, and perhaps some of these pieces could have been a tad bit shorter, but throughout I thought this was a great release. Excellent music, produced with imagination, with a keen ear for doing something that others not always do. Check it out. (FdW)
Address: http://somehowrecordings.co.uk/

TEMPLE MUSIC - CHILDREN OF THE SUN (CDR by Anti Clock Records)
THE GRAY FIELD RECORDINGS - NATURE DESIRE NATURE (CDR by Reverb Worship)
Ah Temple Music! You might think I run amok over them, claiming that I hate all things gothic and vaguely religious, esoteric and what have you in this area. But over the years I sort of got to like the band of Alan Trench, formerly of World Serpent Distribution and his band Orchis. Dark, drone based music with synthesizers, guitars, percussive bits and all such like. Apart from the hexagrams and Crowley connections quite enjoyable. 'Children Of The Sun' could have been easily from an entirely different band. Here Trench plays guitar, synthesizer, vocals and programming and Stephen Robinson plays bass, synths, harmonium with the help of R. Loftiss on vocals and Frank Suchomel on keyboards. Here we are dealing with something entirely different. No drones here, but a wall of fuzzy guitars, vocals drenched in effects, banging rhythm machines: pop music? Pop music, more specific from the late sixties/early seventies area, highly psychedelic, almost like krautrock. Banging and banging. Some with tinkling acoustic guitars, folk like, such as the opening of the title piece. Like Current 93 and Psychic TV went through many phases in their careers, this is something entirely new for Temple Music and its actually quite good. Maybe because it doesn't sound like much else I get to hear, or perhaps its still quite remotely moved away from pop music; more like the sort of thing for Static Caravan, in particular when things are quite folky, but throughout this is too dark for the Caravans. As said, I quite enjoyed this bunch.
R. Loftiss is also responsible for a band called The Gray Field Recordings. She is from Oklahoma, and plays guitar, flute, cello, toys, synths and sings. Other members are violist David Salim and violinist Justin Jones and there is help (through mail, I suppose) from Alan Trench, Frank Suchomel (from Inalonelyplace), and guest vocals by Mike Seed (The Chasms) and Lisa (The Hausfrauen Experiment). Although she runs the Anti Clock Records label, this one was released by Reverb Worship, a UK label, but maybe sold out there and still available from Anti Clock. So far the details, now the music. The Gray Field Recordings stay on the folky side, more than Temple Music do on their release for the same label. Dark, threatening sounds, like a horror movie in 'The Maple Seldom Inward Sound', or cello solo and voice in 'Willow Waly'. Think Hannah Peel, think Fovea Hex, but its all a bit more free, a bit more improvised and thus all a bit more experimental than those others. Its perhaps that's why I like this. The sheer diversity of the music, the folk of the pieces mentioned, but also the cabaret like music of 'A Little World/In A Field Or Far Away', ending with a more noise oriented outing, the more electronic music of 'Honey Locust' - all different, but rooted on the same tree. Another bunch of music I enjoyed very much. Must be that summer rain! (FdW)
Address: http://www.anticlock.net

NORTHERN MACHINE - IN FRONT OF THE CROWD (CDR by HC3 Music)
TL0741 - HELD TO ACCOUNT (CDR by HC3 Music)
MYCOPHAGY - SONGS FROM THE OTHERWORLD (3"CDR by HC3 Music)
Releases from the US duo Northern Machine (Pat Gillis and Bill Warford) are a bit sparse. Following six studio albums, of which the last one was 'Staalhertz' (see Vital Weekly 399), they started to play live a lot, which resulted in a whole bunch of recordings, of which this CDR compiles the best moments from 2005-2009. In between there has been a release, 'Dark To Dark/Dark, Too' (see Vital Weekly 593), so its all a bit sparse on the release front. From what I remember from 'Staalhertz' is that all sounded along the lines of pseudo/quasi/semi third world ambient of say Muslimgauze, O Yuki Conjugate, Internal Fusion, but in their following release, they were already much more interested in dark ambient and in their live work they explore keyboards, gopichand, rhythms, effects, bass, singing metals, psaltery, man drum, electra guitar and loops. Northern Machine has developed themselves in a fine ambient industrial band playing some fine, dark textured, atmospheric music. Not shy of rhythmical parts such as in the lengthy 'Hematonymic Procession', which works around some demented rhythms of an obscured nature. Occasionally the music leans a bit too much to the industrial side for me, and its too noisy, but at its best there is some very nice textured music to be heard, drones with the attitude of a great horror movie soundtrack, a post nuclear landscape nightmare soundtrack. Bring it on, I'd say.
Music by TL0741, also known as Pat Gillis (of Northern Machine - what do you expect?) has been reviewed before, such as 'Back To MInus' (Vital Weekly 641) and 'Magnetic Injuries' (Vital Weekly 715) and I have been lucky to see him play live on his modular synth beast, long before that was 'hip' among the cosmonauts. On this new release he continues what he set out before: play relative short improvisations on his modular beast thing, in which the cosmos not completely absent, but on the other hand doesn't play a big role either. Noise on the contrary is never far away, lurking its head around the corner occasionally. The pieces here have a more or less sketch like character, but no doubt that's because of the improvised way this is played and recorded - perhaps being excerpts of bigger pieces. But its neither a complete, all out noise release and has various moments of introspection, such as in 'Caul', with its threatening undercurrent and shimmering melody. Like before I quite enjoyed the music, even when not every moment was equally strong, and this time, the album clocks in at just under forty minutes, so the ideal length for such experiments.
I have no idea if Gillis is also involved in the last release, which is one out of a series of three 'encompassing the astral-ambient, meditative noise and minimalist genres. The works are built on a foundation of singing bowls and metals, organic flutes, gongs and effects processors'. So who Mycophagy is I don't know, but the twenty-four minutes aren't exactly very ambient, but rather more meditative in a sort of noise like manner. Its ringing and singing, its bowls no doubt, but there is a kind of distorted element to it, which makes it all a bit more noise oriented than pure ambient. Also I thought this was rather more 'action' music, taking from perhaps a live recording (even when its live in the studio), which makes it not the most focussed recording. Sometimes it goes a bit down and the flow is not entirely constant. Not a great release, but certainly not a weak one either. Just alright I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hc3music.com

ABUSIVE CONSUMER - CRUMBLING PORTALS (cassette by Retrograde Tapes)
The first time around I heard of J. Morales' project Abusive Consumer was in Vital Weekly 787, when I reviewed his 'It's Dry' release on Ilse. I was told he was inspired by the whole range of electronic and electro-acoustic composers (Schaeffer, Henry, Stockhausen), although it seemed to me was more interested in electronics than acoustics. More Planet Of The Apes than Chemin de Fer, if you know what I mean. Here he has two side long pieces of electronic music. One side is called 'Crumbling Youth In Plastic (Buchla Bonglaods)', which might give away something of the sound sources he uses here: the beloved - by some - Bucla modular synthesizer. There is of course a nice eccentricity to releasing this kind of music on a cassette, but with such delicate music I think I would prefer a CD(R) of it. Some of the stuff going on here is pretty low end in terms of volume and I am afraid one misses out some of the frequencies. Unlike his 'It's Dry', some of the music here is pretty low end, volume wise, but it sounds all very good. Excellent compositions of a finer, abstract nature, but as said, one may miss out some of the frequencies here and there. Unless that is of course the point, but somehow I don't think so. Great release by all accounts. (FdW)
Address: http://www.rertogradetapes.blogspot.com

ASSHOLE WITH A CLARINET - TIME FOR A TURD (cassette, private)
LUSCIOUS SKIN - VENTRILOQUIST (cassette by Alchemist Records)
SOFTOFT TECHECH (cassette by Alchemist Records)
RUN DMT/TRACEY TRANCE (split cassette by Cgifriday Enterprise)
GEM JONES - SYMPHONY IN P (cassette by Cgifriday Enterprise)
Is the title 'Time For A Turd' and the artist 'Asshole With A Clarinet'? Or perhaps vice versa? On the insert one side is called 'Asshole With A Clarinet' and one side 'Funny Feelings'. 'All music written and recorded by Nathan Ventura' - that's at least something clear. Twelve tracks in about thirty minutes and despite the confused silliness of the titles (or is that just plain silly?), the music is actually not too bad, or too uninteresting. Ventura is down in the basement with his drums and clarinet (side A) and drums and guitars (side B) over which he sings/howls/mumbles his lyrics. A sort of no wave, outsider kind of stuff, but if you listen closely you realize that is is not the real outsider stuff. It sounds to neat, too much planned, guitars detuned a bit, and such like, but throughout I thought it was pretty nice. I am not sure if I would easily play this a lot (but then, what do I play a lot anyway?), but there is a point to this.
Luscious Skin, to stay on the pop side, is a duo of Rhys Ziemba and Kyle Combs. Their laptop with these songs was stolen, but thanks to the Kansas Cops it was returned and now we have the release. I could make jokes about stolen laptops, but I won't. I guess the studio is their living room, as it all sounds a bit like it could have deserved a better production. A rhythm machine, a muddy synth and the vocals on top, but without blending in with the music in a natural way. The label calls this 'exquisite left field pop', a term I never really understand (is there right field pop then too, and if so, what is that?), but I would call this a rather naive attempt at producing pop music. To be positive, I think some of the songs certainly have potential and given some better studio (recording, production), this could actually be quite good.
Paul Slocum is from the Dallas band Tree Wave, but works with atari, commodore and especially Looper here. The five tracks start as they stop and are indeed looped affairs. A few loops is what each track is about and each are given some amount of mixing - one sound goes out, another up, another a bit down - the first one up again - you know the drill, I assume. Its hard to see a point to all of this. It sounds like an exercise in possibilities - 'look what this crazy machine can do, play so many loops and you can even mix them' - its not the 'disco on another plant in a sci fi film or at a futuristic tribal jungle ritual'. Unless of course there are even more roads in pop that I have no knowledge of, in which I case I apologize and ask to be educated.
And it must be pop and cassette week, as two more tapes from America arrived. Both are recorded in the basement, the garage or the attic, and all use electronic devices. Tracey Trance, which is probably a funny name, works with a drum machine, a synth, amplification and in the middle of the room a microphone is set up to pick the sounds. There must be something that these people like about such recording quality, but i always find it hard to figure what that is. The music is not very trance like, of whatever trance like nature it could have been, but rather pretty incoherent, like testing out a few sounds of a newly purchased synth. Run DMT on the other side is also quite incoherent, with a bunch of small and smaller songs, snippets even, but also have a sixties like pop tune going somewhere - no tracklist for any of this, nor info, so what on earth am I hearing anyway - which was very nice. Odd but interesting, and partly quite good.
Gem Jones is a band? A person? From Iowa City this sounds like an electronic funk band down in the basement with a rather 'low' production. Mechanic drums, 80s retro funk bass (more Medium Medium than Chic) and a voice that occasionally splashes out a few words, which are not to be deciphered. Crisis funk was the term that was used back then. As said the recording quality is a bit crude and that's a pity as this is something I quite enjoyed, even when it was quite brief, with four tracks at twenty six minutes (that reeks of 12" length, I thought). Very retro, very crude, very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nathanventura.bandcamp.com
Address: http://www.alchimistrecords.com
Address: http://www.cgifriday.blogspot.com




1. "miguel a. garcía" <www.xedh.org@gmail.com>


12-6-12, 21:00 > miguel a. garcía + pablo orza + luca massolin
cavalo branco studio, rua do barao de sao cosme, 234-4000-501, porto

14-6-12, 21:00 > durán vazquez + miguel a. garcía + pablo orza
hipolito, avenida de castrelos 26a, vigo



2. FRAGMENT FACTORY <info@fragmentfactory.com>

:: RADIO GAGARIN & FRAGMENT FACTORY present ::

live:

AARON DILLOWAY
(Spine Scavenger, Nevari Butchers, ex-Wolf Eyes / Hanson Records, USA)

Only 3 shows in Europe this summer!

Dilloway has been releasing and recording music since the age of 16. He was a member of experimental bands Couch, Galen and Universal Indians. He is a former guitarist and tape manipulator for the experimental band Wolf Eyes, which he left in 2005 to live most of that year in Kathmandu, Nepal. While his wife did her graduate work there, he roamed the streets recording every sound he could, many of which are used in his recent recordings and performances. Currently he runs the noise record label, record store and mailorder Hanson Records, which he began in Brighton, Michigan in 1994. Hanson then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan for several years, before finally settling in Oberlin, Ohio, after a brief return to Ann Arbor. He performs solo using eight track tapes and vocal sounds, and records modular synthesizer music as Spine Scavenger. Recently, he has played with an ever-changing cast of sound artists under the name The Nevari Butchers.

http://thenevaributchers.blogspot.com/
http://vimeo.com/35847929


TBC
(Radio Gagarin / Wachsender Prozess, Hamburg)

TBC is Thomas Beck (ex-H64), operator of the Hamburg based Wachsender Prozess label and long-established sound artist, known from several solo releases and collaborations with the likes of Brume, Asmus Tietchens, Das Synthetische Mischgewebe etc. during the past 15+ years. A spinning mashup of electroacoustics, field recordings and severe noise elements.

http://www.soundcloud.com/wachsender-prozess

HELGE MEYER
(Wir Rufen Zurück, Hamburg)

Exploring the many facets of noise since 2009, analog synthesizers, oscillators, embracing dronescapes and always enough scope to keep it gripping and unpredictable.

http://soundcloud.com/helgemeyer

FSK Studio (Foyer)
Eimsbütteler Chaussee 21
20259 Hamburg
Germany

Friday, June 22
9 pm sharp // 5.00€




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