number 837
week 26


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HALL OF MIRRORS - ALTERED NIGHTS (2CD by Malignant Records) *
BONA HEAD - THE PATH (CD, private)
WAVES ON CANVAS - INTO THE NORTHSEA (CD by Psychonavigation) *
PARALLEL 41 (CD & DVD by Baskaru) *
ERIKM - AUSTRAL (DVD by D'Autres Cordes)
YOL - PUSHTOSHOVE (CDR, private) *
DAVID VELEZ - ALKU (3"CDR by Taalem) *
THE ETERNAL NOW (CDR compilation by WFMU)
MARTINS ROKIS/RUBEN PATINO (split cassette by Duh-Noh)
JOKE LANZ/DYLAN NYOUKIS -STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 7 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)

From New Zealand a new duo, or rather a joining of two older mainstays from the noise, rock and free improvisation scene. We have Antony Milton of Mrtyu and Glory Fckn Sun and James Kirk of Black Boned Angel and Sandoz Lab Technicians. Milton plays guitar and sings and Kirk plays drums. The label calls this 'in-the-red lo-fi noise subhuman rock 'n roll structured decomposition and marbled psychedelia splendor solipsism' which sounds like Mainlainer or Skullflower, or from The Skeptics to The Dead C and Wolfskull. There is hardly a word in here to which I would disagree. Its all true and I could leave the review at that, perhaps adding 'nicely done'. There is, however, something that bothered me a bit. Superbugger play indeed great noise rock along the lines of say Skullflower, and quite enjoyed it indeed, but the one thing that I thought could have been done better is the recording of this. It sounds now as recorded in their rehearsal space with a lot of tape overload to hide away some of the inaccuracies of the playing and not as recorded in a proper studio, in which no doubt similar overload could have been reached but then perhaps with more finesse in the end result. Sounding less as coming from a damp basement. I am aware that this kind of distorted recording, lo-fi quality is part of the esthetics of this kind of music, but I think there is so much more that one could get out of this providing some more technique was applied, that some is lost here. Alternatively, I'd love to see this music live, especially in damp basements! (FdW)
Address: http://www.hcbrecords.com

The third release by Hall Of Mirrors, although it might be the second time I hear them. This is duo of Andrea Marutti (sometimes known as Amon and Never Known, from the Afe Records label) and Giuseppe Verticchio (who we know as Nimh also). This album, with guests as New Risen Throne, K11, Vestigial continues where we left of with 'Forgotten Realm' (see Vital Weekly 731), in the world of dark ambient, but not as massive as we sometimes find this on albums as released by Malignant. In between those dense tapestries of sound, we also hear a lot of loops of sound, repetitive, machine like, like a jack hammer, but without the true industrial meaning of the word machines. Lots of electronics are, analogue synthesizers, effects, but also samples, field recordings, drones, treatments and above all reverb. Not necessarily put to the right use, but its effective in creating that artificial space that this kind of music always seem to have. In a curious way this is quite like a collage of drone/ambient music, rather than something that organically grows out of a few elements of sound, expanding beyond itself, growing larger than life, which is what ambient usually does. 'Magmatic Response' ends with a lot of reverb of guitars and is the most noisy track in these five pieces, while 'Immaterial Bodies' is the most rhythmic effort - which seems to me a rarity in the world of Malignant. Throughout a varied bunch of pieces, of which the only new thing seems to be that collage/montage like use of sounds, but overall works out like a fine, if not always the most surprising album of dark ambient music. Fine quality overall. (FdW)
Address: http://www.malignantrecords.com

Not the first one to capture the rain forest in Costa Rica, I should think, and I never heard of Rodolphe Alexis. He records with a quadraphonic microphone which records everything that passes by. 'Some are straight, untouched raw recordings, and others are slightly reworked, but there are no hydrophone, or parabolic recordings (except on track 05)'. Perhaps Alexis moves in circles where such information is of vital interest, I don't know. Like with many of such releases on Gruenrekorder, I have a hard time reviewing them. Perhaps because I find it hard to judge them purely on a musical level, which I realize more and more is my main interest. Collections with field recordings like this, of countries I haven't visited, are things I can hear with interest, but hardly think of as great music - and yes, perhaps that doesn't make me another John Cage, assuming each sound is interesting. I am sure each sound is interesting, but even more interesting if you do something with it. With releases like this, I like to take those sounds and do something with that, perhaps try and create some nice music out of it. I can hear that its all well recorded, and perhaps from a biologist view interesting, but I am not a biologist either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

Two players of wind instruments meet up in the chapel of Las Planques, in the valley of the Viaur. Nils Ostendorf plays trumpet and Michel Doneda plays soprano and sopranino saxophone and radio. In total they played for four hours. Four hours of improvisation, reduced to forty-four minutes. Of course not the easiest music around, and not easy to say who does what here. Sometimes I suspect one of the players - but I don't know which one - of playing more traditionally along the lines of free improvisation - Ostendorf is my guess - while the other uses his instrument more in relation to the space they are in. Effectively using the chapel as a resonating box, with sine wave like playing of the saxophone. High pitched, bouncing against the walls and making a great meditative piece of music - or pieces, as there are in total ten of them. You can take this music in by taking two different approaches; one is to just let it all happen, and not listen too closely to who's doing whatever what, and as a very relaxed, quiet work of improvised wind instruments music, or one could concentrate very hard on all there is to hear, analyze and deduct it. Both ways are of course fine, but one of the things that doesn't seem possible is that you take this in as just another CD. It simply doesn't seem to work on that level of entertainment. Which is probably all for the best. To have something that works on different levels all together. Very refined stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.absinthrecords.com

The music from Michel Banabila I know for years, and I even met him a couple of times, although he doesn't seem to remember. For years I left his releases with Dolf Mulder, thinking it still all be about world music fusing with elements of jazz and bits of electronics. But recently, very recently, I bumped into Michel again and he gave me this release, and pushed strongly his message: "you listen to it, as you will see I am also doing other music than world/jazz/ethnic/fusion etc" (alright, I have no idea which word he used there). Which of course I do, as I always do what people tell me, providing I bump into them. So, yes, indeed, this is indeed something else. I see, I hear. Like much of his other work, this too deals with rhythm, but its all more straight forward, almost like a (minimal) techno record in the best tradition of say Raster Noton (such as in 'Machinery Aesthetics' or in the usage of electrical interference sampled into a rhythm in 'Guerilla Tactics'), but also with more bigger beats in 'A Cold Wind Over Europe', or, opposite ways, more ambient in 'More Signals From Krakrot', however ending with a strong, linear stomp and lots of guitars and reverb. Very electronic as well as electric, this is at times Pan Sonic/Goem/Alva Noto like and when the beats take more space, its not so much my cup of tea, but Banabila is right: not all of his works deal with all that I already mentioned, but he has more on his plate indeed. That makes me curious about more of this indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/the-latest-research-from-the-department-of-electrical-engineering

One of the routines when mail arrives is to check if something is for me, or my fellow travelers of the Weekly, and here's one I have been thinking about of sending to Jliat. Especially the first two pieces are heavy blasts of noise/feedback/distortion. Usually I would have stopped playing this and put it in a mailer, but I know Soliday's music a bit, and I was intrigued with the references made on the press text: Pierry Henry, Voice Crack, Jean Claude Eloy, Jerome Noetinger, John Wiese, Olivia Block and modular synthesizers. Perhaps only the latter in those first two tracks. When it comes to noise, Soliday is indeed very heavy, but luckily its not what he does exclusively. A piece like 'An Obsession With Aerodynamics' is more spacious modular synth based than pure noise induced. Soliday uses a variety of techniques when it comes to composing music: noise blasts, spacious modular synthesizers, extended sometimes, going almost beyond the threshold of hearing, but then it can cut straight into something very loud and obnoxious, and then it can cut straight out of that, in order to continue with something very soft, like a disparate piece of drone music. You may have guessed it, but this is indeed the kind of noise I like. It is loud, at times, but never too long and Soliday has put some thought in it as to what would work and what not. What doesn't work is an endless stream of distorted sounds, me thinks. What works is the combination of cracked electronics, loud and soft put together to make a great composition - or nine. Perhaps an hour is a bit long for a release like this, but its a strong debut album anyway. Excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cipsite.net

BONA HEAD - THE PATH (CD, private)
Following 'Colours Doors Planet' (see Vital Weekly 779), we now received a second CD by Bona Head, one Roberto Bonazzoli from Italy. I am surprised that he mailed us a new one, as it was clear from the previous release, I should think, that this not really the kind of music we review a lot in Vital Weekly. We may care about it, privately when nobody is watching, but out in the open we would say: we don't care about pop music. But all promotion is good promotion, or perhaps Roberto Bonazzoli believes so, and therefore we have here 'The Path', "an electro-concept-album with a symphonic atmosphere […] the entire album describes this 'journey' through the vision of oneiric landscapes". Bonazzoli plays again piano, keyboards, guitars, programming and vocals, and especially the latter is the thing I most problems with. Perhaps because I only like very few singers, and certainly not the ones that Bonazzoli likes to imitate (Coldplay, Blur, Radiohead, but hey: what do I know about this kind of music?). Sometimes I found myself nodding along the music, thinking it was all alright, but like before, and here I quote myself, "As a whole however this CD is a bit out of reach for Vital Weekly, but maybe this self-released CD will bring him a real record contract and some fame in those circles where this is more appropriate. But that time he will have no memories of this review anyway." To which I may add: I might be wrong, if he still thinks its necessary to send a promo right here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.wix.com/bonahead/bona-head

Following an alright opening piece of waving synthesizers, which is nothing more than alright actually, 'Angel' comes on, which is sung by Louise Rutkowski, who is, apparently of This Mortal Coil, but boy… what a jam pack of musical cliche's here. Swollen, pathetic, dramatic - over the top. I must admit I check the cover if she would be singing more songs, but she doesn't. Waves On Canvas is the musical project of Stefano Guzzetti, who receives help from Ian Masters (Pale Saints), Pieter Nooten (Xymox and Michael Brook), Francoise Lacroix, Irene Nonnis, Yvette Winkler. All of them guesting on vocals. Guzzetti loves Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees and 'a lot of 4AD artists', as well as electronic music. That is something we can hear very well on his 'Into The Northsea', his debut album. To spoil it: its not an album I like very much. That song, 'Angel', is at the beginning and horrible in all its cliche's, and while the rest of the album is better, its never shy of using more of these cliché's. Lots of drama, lots of cliche use of synthesizers, lots of pre-set sounds, pathetic sung lyrics. Music for adults who didn't get over the spleen of their youth. Gothic for adults. Its at its best when things are instrumental, but even then its never really my cup of tea. Maybe I am a misery old sod myself? (FdW)
Address: http://www.psychonavigation.com

PARALLEL 41 (CD & DVD by Baskaru)
Its hard to say, but there are two entries into this package. One is to play the CD first and then the DVD or vice versa. I can't recommend which is the best. The DVD is not a visualization of the music, but a documentary which follows Julia Kent (cello, ex-Rasputina and Antony and the Johnsons) and poet/singer/electronic Barabra de Dominicis working together. Lots of talking heads, but also city shots of Naples and New York - the cities which both ladies are from and which happen to be on the same geographical wavelength. The pieces were recorded mainly in Italy, in unusual places - a fortress, an abandoned tunnel, a wool factory, a farmhouse - and use the field recordings in situ as part of the overall composition. Its however not easy to hear these field recordings, except when it comes to a the tunnel I guess. This music I must admit is not really my cup of tea. Its hard to say why though. I can hear its all made with a great love for music, and the two ladies improvise nicely with their cello and voice, but perhaps its also too sweet for me. Too much like serious overground avant-garde. No damage done here, in whatever respect. That perhaps doesn't do it for me. One is not really grabbed by it, there is no immediacy, no urgency in this. Just too civilized, perhaps? (FdW)
Address: http://www.baskaru.com

Slowly Philippe Petit joins the ranks of Machinefabriek or Merzbow: it seems as if there is a new release every week. To what purpose one could ask are there so many new releases? Here he teams up with G. Stuart Dahlquist, of whom I never heard, but who sax Burning Witch , as well as the bassist of Sunn O))) and lots of other works, including music for films. That is interest that he shares with Petit, and while their joint album is not a soundtrack per se, it has qualities in that direction. On three of the five pieces they have guest vocalists: Edward Ka-spel, Jarboe and Bryan Lewis Saunders. Dahlquist usually plays reed organ, but in one track also drum and bass, while Petit plays cymbalum, turntables, electronics, electric piano, and processed acoustics. Dark and atmospheric music here, which is hardly a surprise seeing these boys and what they play. Drone, introspective music, less musique concrete/montage like than what we would have expected from somebody like Petit (hearing his more recent works that is). Sometimes mournful tunes going on, a rather discomforting release of uneasy music. Moody music throughout all of this. Nice, since it gives us another insight in the total musical package of Petit (Asva I don't know that well). A new way perhaps, or maybe a further exploration of his musical omniversum. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bassesfrequences.org

ERIKM - AUSTRAL (DVD by D'Autres Cordes)
For me its new, but apparently erikM also works as a visual artist, who works with automated generated images. His 'Austral' is a mixed work of electronic sound and video, composed for an ensemble (harp, clarinet, flute, cello and percussion, along with erikM as the conductor, electronics and CD players). The work lasts twenty-two minutes and the graphic part didn't mean much to me. Lots of colors, small images of a highly abstract and computerized nature, which simply isn't my cup of tea. The music however I thought was great. A vibrant mixture of acoustic instruments, trying to get in, and once in, trying to get out, along with the electronic sounds of erikM himself, who produces a similar approach for his sounds. Things swell and swell, and then suddenly disappear, colliding nicely with the acoustic instruments. A piece of modern classical music, rather then of pure electronic music, and this seems to be the new direction of erikM when it comes to doing releases. Refined stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.daustrescordesrecords.com

Its been a while, I guess, since I last saw record releases on Fourth Dimension - vinyl that is. Maybe twenty years ago, I was a devoted follower of the many obscure noise/guitar/ambient/rock releases on this label, especially on 7". So its great to see some new ones again. I don't think I ever heard from Bliscappen Van Maria, who are from Switzerland and 'Bliscepen' is their first proper album. Among the instruments we find 'Bantar and objects', 'MSP, Bucla 200e, Roland System 100, function generators', bass, electronics, string ensemble, melodica, mini moog, guitar and electronics, and two people playing drums and percussion. This is music that is not 'now', although its recorded 'now' (well, already two years ago), but sounds like 1972. Think Ash Ra Tempel, Taj Mahal Travellers, maybe Pink Floyd, or stomping, motorik krautrock, Neu! for instance. Do people who play this look like old hippies, I wondered. I didn't dare to look up a picture of them. 'Sporen Nor Vaden' is a bit too much of a free form/no rhythm jam for me, but the other four pieces are more together, more organized and have a great raw, improvised but spacious rock feeling to it. Its probably one of those bands who is great live, especially when they play on end, and this might be one of those records which gets hopefully lost in time, to be rediscovered in twenty-five years as a classic of yet another revival of this kind of music. While not entirely my cup of tea, I had a great time hearing it. Excellent space, the place to be.
One of those guys who had 7"s on Fourth Dimension all those years ago is Richard Youngs, somebody who is sadly enough not mentioned a lot in Vital Weekly in recent years. I have no idea why, or, to be honest, that I know what he is up to these days. Youngs has an interesting body of works, in which we find experimental, electro-acoustic pieces, drone like music but also him singing and playing the piano. Here he teams up with Luke Fowler, mostly known as a film maker, but also a member of Rude Pravo (see Vital Weekly 774 and 450). Here we find Youngs and Fowler in a more experimental moo, using a bunch of synthesizers and loop devices. Not exactly the kind of cosmic music it could be, but on the title side perhaps coming closer than on the other side, 'Pond Energy' which is more somewhat heavier textured, even a bit industrial in its approach to a continuous rhythm. 'Yellow Gardens' is more alike a dark spacious stab at cosmic music. Swirling around in the black hole. Nice! This should have been a 10" - now that's something Fourth Dimension should revive releasing. (FdW)
Address: http://fourth-dimension.net/

Label boss of Running On Air presents a work of his own, under his own name. Before he used the label name as a band name too. Joe Evans started already in the early 80s, playing guitar, keyboards and tape and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and worked for various theatre companies. In 'Ecliptic Plane' he has five pieces that deal with space, or rather the sun and the planets, always a fine source for musical works. Evans' music has nothing to do with the work of say Gustav Holst, but was conceived for a gallery exhibition exploring the synchronicity of the planets and their moons. In two pieces data from the planets, their moons and such like is used to create rhythms and harmonies, the three other pieces are the results of "mathematical experiments that have links with their subjects through mood and metaphor". I must say that the text portion of this release is pretty interesting to read, and some of the pieces are quite interesting, such as 'Receding Sun' and 'Approaching Sun'. Both are interesting clusters of sounds, drone like, but a bit sharper, digitally if you want. I have my doubt about 'Resonant TNOs', which is a piano piece with simple, slightly different changing tempo's and pitches. While the idea is nice, I thought it was a bit too long. The title piece is again a more drone like piece with sustaining sounds, based on length of days or orbits of moons of planets. A nice piece, that is perhaps a bit too digital. 'Oort Cloud', finally, is the longest piece here and named after a 'theoretical cloud of icy objects that surround the solar system at a great distance'. It moves slowly, like the music does in this piece, which is perhaps a bit too long. The title piece also gets two video pieces (one in stereo and one in surround sound) of slow moving light. I realized I wasn't much of a video man, when I looked at the video part of this. Shimmering light in a vast dark mass. The music part however of this release is quite alright. (FdW)
Address: http://www.runningonair.com

Apparently there is an exchange between Polish and Chinese artists under the name of ChoP, to exchange ideas and work together, also to play live in each others countries. The idea is to combine traditional and modern sounds of the two countries with field recordings and ambient structures. Orluk has had a release on Databloem before and Bai Tian on Lona Records, Audio Tong and the Anthology CD on Sub Rosa. The eight pieces they created together, through internet exchange it seems, use flute, field recordings, Ableton Live and Nuendo (the latter two being software bits, in case you were wondering) and the element of field recordings is hard to figure out in these pieces. Its all highly ambient indeed, but glitchy, not drone based. Or at least not always drone based, but sometimes hovering in the background. Its music that is hardly Chinese or Polish I should think, but in fact could be from anywhere. Delicate late night music of carefully constructed hiss, cracks and long form glitchy sounds, field recordings inside a train station and which works fine on an early morning (the computer clock says 7:35 - no kidding). Each artist created four pieces, but its hard to see a difference between their individual approaches. There is not a single moment around here which I thought was radically different from what I already know, but everything is executed with the greatest care and love of the microscopic detail of sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.etalabel.com

In another setting we find Steven Vinkenoog as one half of the fast rising stars of noise/improv duo Donne Et Desiree, where he sings and plays guitar, but outside that he has work of his own. Not 'more' seriously, but just 'also' as serious. In that particular body of work the guitar also plays a role, but he doesn't touch it, or, as it says on the cover, 'during the recordings I didn't touch a string; in fact, I tried to be as quiet as possible'. He lets his strings vibrate with a fan, and the resulting feedback is what is being picked up. Four etudes of this feedback to be played at a low volume. This is all very 'easy' music, but I am a true sucker for this kind of music. It reminds me of Alvin Lucier, of Phill Niblock and of others in the field of minimal music. Music that is present in your space, but not full force on. By moving around in your space, you notice the sound moving along with you. In 'Detuner' and 'Tonality' the music is still present, but in the other two pieces, 'Straphanger' and 'Chromatically' it seems as if the music moved beyond audibility, but still one should not turn up the volume too much and leave it nicely low humming in the background. If you play this too loud, this can easily be annoying but played softly this works really great. Excellent ambient music, in the purest sense of the word. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stevenvinkenoog.com

From Hull, UK, hails Yol, a performance/text/visual artist, creating noise/text without the use of synths, computers and amplifiers. He shouts his texts in a space which has some reverb, and he pushes around chairs and objects on concrete floors to get his sound. Seven pieces that span just under twenty minutes and which made me quite curious about it. The poetry is not abstract, as Yol repeats words and phrases. It has an excellent rawness to it, a noise quality without being a noise release per se. If anything I was reminded of Schimpfluch material, thinking this would fit in quite nicely with that label's esthetics. It has that noise-based poetry, the noise vs silence approach, the lyrical content and the actionist stance. Quite a curious little release, which made me wanting to hear a bit more. Now its a bit too short to get a full on impression. (FdW)
Address: <yol1971@hotmail.co.uk>

Three new releases on Triple Bath, the Greek CDR label of fine quality, usually that is, finding itself on the fringes of improvised music and dark, drone matter. Two of these releases are from earlier this year, with RP Collier and Eloine  being the oldest. Behind Eloine we recognize Public Eyesore/Eh? label boss Brian Dat and Robert Patterson Collier has released some CDRs on his own. He plays 'homemadelamellaphones, guitars and samplers' while Day plays home made instruments. 'Anchor Studies' was recorded between 2009-2010 in Portland and Lincoln, which I guess means the two musicians didn't meet up, face to face, which I thought was funny, since it sounds like a work that was actually played together. This release is the from the line of releases that represents improvised music on Triple Bath. Five lengthy pieces of improvised music with a strong love of the minimal. These pieces are multi-layered affairs of acoustic sounds from the guitar and the various (unnamed) objects, along with the sparse use of electronics, which occasionally support the instruments (echo for instance) and on some other occasions make up for a nice atmospheric backdrop. Quite alright, but perhaps five pieces that all seem to last around ten to to fifteen minutes (with the exception of the last) and a similar approach per track, is perhaps a bit too much. Maybe these pieces could have been a bit shorter or less perhaps just three of them would have been nice enough. Now, an element of repetition leaps in: I heard that tune before, is what you could easily think.
Tasos Stamou has had a bunch of releases before, but its hard to see a line in what he does, so I guess that's good. You never know what to expect, but unfortunately that is usually not bringing in a lot of fans: people want to know what they are getting. The title of his release may give away a bit of what's coming: seven synth drone studies and Stamou takes credit for analog modular synthesizer system. In these seven pieces/studies he does exactly that. Play drone like synth pieces, which are quite atmospheric, although not always 'quiet', if you get my drift. There is an interesting nasty undercurrent in these pieces which make this a bit more than your average synth/drone record. Quite something different again from Stamou and although not a surprise as such, this is quite a nice release indeed.
"Panuaral is the term that expresses Cage's idea of panaurality, i.e. the formal practice of incorporating any typology of sound into a musical piece and, in a synthetic conceptualization, the consideration that any sound can be considered music". I am sure I heard music by Joao Castro Pinto before as he had released on Sirr-ecords, Creative Sources, Grain Of Sound, Variz and Useless Poorductions, but I simply don't see to recall what it sounded like. His three pieces on 'Panaural' deal with soundscapes and sound walks, and perhaps Pinto uses a lot of - interesting - words to say that he creates music with field recordings and computer technology. And as such he does quite interesting things with it. Its not strict field recordings material, and sometimes even hard to recognize, but more a matter of musique concrete/electro-acoustic music, which is for a great deal based on field recordings. Pinto uses the collage form and as such is quite related to people like Marc Behrens or even more so, Roel Meelkop. In 'Water-Dreamt-By-Forest', the movement are a bit too rapid perhaps, but the slower constructed (and much longer) 'Catachresis' is quite nice, and very Meelkop like. Excellent, perhaps a bit short release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

The name Adern X, chosen by Andrea Piran, popped up a few times in Vital Weekly to announce his online releases. This new one appears on a CDR and should be seen as a collection of pieces from his career, starting with the very first track of his first demo right up 'Prayers', a piece from 2012. Some of these pieces were made for online releases, but some also for live concerts, videos and such like. Adern X is a typical laptop artist. Using whatever is necessary and available for the computer, he has it and plays around with it. Voice sounds, piano, field recordings, electronics and all else that can be reshaped, isn't safe in his hands. The end result is not something that one could easily describe as 'warm ambient glitch', which some of the music in this direction sometimes tends to sound like, but more a mild version of musique concrete. Sounds of an electro-acoustic nature put together into a sound collage. Adern X never jumps out with something exceptionally loud, or a move that triggers the listener, but rather stays on the safe side. You won't get hurt by this. While throughout not bad, I must also say that it also perhaps not engaging enough to be different from what we already heard in this field in the last fifteen years. Not great, not bad. Its alright, but if that's good enough? (FdW)
Address: http://www.xevor.net

By sheer coincidence, no doubt, I received this on the very day called summer solstice, June 21. Bruno Moreigne is a hunter for sound and has had various releases, mainly for Kaon. This new release deals with, if Google translated it right, "exploring the chaotic noise of photons captured by a silicon wafer (solar) and numerically by converting the lights of the last summer solstice.
The raw sound material was excavated and transformed as if by distillation to extract harmonics or rhythms, by analogy to the glass prism which separates white light from the sun in the color spectrum." Whatever that may mean, I have no idea. If there is field recordings on this nineteen minute work, I don't hear it. Its a very electronic work of transformed sounds, of whatever nature, of tones bouncing and colliding together in the best tradition of musique concrete. Its a fine work, but not the strongest I heard from Moreigne. It sometimes seems to be moving in odd ways, and Moreigne makes chooses in his composition which I don't always quite follow. It now seems a work of various short bits, presented as one piece, which not always seem to have a relation together. Maybe it struck me as something a bit too easy? But like said, not his best, certainly not his worst either, perhaps just average good. But is that enough in itself? (FdW)
Address: http://www.kaon.org

DAVID VELEZ - ALKU (3"CDR by Taalem)
A new trio of releases on Taalem, a label specialized in 3" CDRs of drone music and all things otherwise atmospheric. Strom Noir from Bratislava (Slovakia) have been around since 2007 and his the brain child of Emil Mat'ko. There have been a bunch of releases on the usual labels for this kind of music (Hibernate, Rural Colours, U-Cover, Resting Bell) and here we have three new pieces recorded in spring 2010, using more and more guitars, electronics and field recordings, especially in 'World Of  A Thousand Colours', with its many bird calls and which has a light tone to it. The title piece and '… Leaving' are somewhat more darker in approach. Although not the most innovative approach in this musical field, quite a fine release.
Patrick McGinley has been around as Murmer (or murmer as he prefers it) since 1996, using found sound and found objects, and his work 'concentrates on the framing of sounds from our environment which normally pass through our ears unnoticed and unremarked but which out of context become unrecognizable, alien and extraordinary'. His release has one piece and its a recreation of a drone piece from 2000 (which was released by Absurd back then, see Vital Weekly 372) but then with modern techniques, which make it possible to do a more refined piece rather than the rawer material he had back then. It uses rain sounds and bells. Its a fine piece, very Murmer like. Minimal, austere, changing very gradually over the course of the piece and making a small crescendo at the end. A rather solid piece in its approach. Nothing new for Murmer, not the best work in his catalogue, but just a fine, sturdy addition to what we already know and that's fine too.
From Colombia but residing in New York is David Velez, whose 'Alku' was composed as a soundtrack to painting exhibition called 'Homenaje Al Planeta' which means 'tribute to the planet'. Velez uses  field recordings and 'deep drones' along with some high pitched, sine wave like sounds. Rather than being thoroughly composed this seems to me a work that is made along as things go, rather than being carefully decided upon. I am not sure why I think this, its more a feeling I have, rather than a very conscious thing. It just seems a bit unfocussed I think. That doesn't mean I don't like this piece, far from it. It moves nicely around and sometimes has things in focus and sometimes not at all. This is, I guess, what ambient music should be all about: to create an environment which works in delicate way for the listener. As such I think Velez succeeded pretty well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com

THE ETERNAL NOW (CDR compilation by WFMU)
The Butre$$ is one Bethany Schmitt, who gets credit for playing synthesizer on this release and apparently recorded six pieces. Its hard to see where a piece begins and ends here. A short tape with lots and lots noise based synth outbursts. Its in general not the sort of thing I would really go for, but there is a certain aspect that I like about. Partly because it sounds like a cut-up and not like the usual wall of distorted feedback, but more like bits of tape stuck together and some additional echo machine and partly because its short. With noise, I think the impact is better when things are shorter - rather a punch in the nose than endless slapping in the face, if you know what I mean. So The Butre$$ gets a thumbs up here.
Not necessarily a release by Nihilist, is a compilation CDR compiled by Andy Ortmann as a benefit for a New York radio station called WFMU. I have no idea if they need money, or are otherwise in trouble, but there are eightteen nice pieces here from Bryan Lewis Saunders/Z'EV, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Blevin Blectum, Leif Elggren, Greg Kelley, Tobacconists and Cray (to name the names I already knew), as well as Three Legged Race, Ritualistic School Of Errors, Tarr, The Tenses, Alter/Break, Headboggle, Brett Naucke, Positive Shadow, Joseph Hammer and Viktoria. The most surprising is Crash Course In Science, whom I lost since the 80s somewhere. Although there are bit of noise music here, the mood is throughout to be called 'electronic', 'experimental' and 'musique concrete' via series of most entertaining pieces, with Crash Course being the most poppy outsider. Excellent compilation. Support that cause. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nihilistrecords.net/
Address: http://wfmu.org

MARTINS ROKIS/RUBEN PATINO (split cassette by Duh-Noh)
A cassette with no information at all, except that its a split by Martins Rokis and Ruben Patino. I haven't heard of either one of them. Rokis has six tracks and Patino eight. Odd abstract computer music in the best tradition of releases on Alku, I should say. Loud, in your face, very clear computerized sounds, chopped to form rhythmic blocks on the Rokis side, which surely blasts away nicely. If you like Mark Fell, you may like this too. Patino's side, partly recorded at Sonology in The Hague, is more abstract, and even more minimal. He uses a rather simplified form of electronic music, but due to the fact that all of these pieces (on both sides) are very short - this tape last twenty minutes in total - it all works pretty well. A short blast. More digital by Rokis and, seemingly, more analogue, by Patino. Very nice, but it shouldn't have been much longer. (FdW)
Address: http://duh-noh.com/album/rokis-pati-o-split

JOKE LANZ/DYLAN NYOUKIS -STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 7 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
Hot on the heels of the previous three in this series of twelve, here are two new additions to the Bryan Lewis Saunders 'stream of unconscious' series, where he sends out tapes of himself talking in his sleep to be put to music and a split release of two artists working on it. On the first tape we have Sudden Infant's Joke Lanz and Dylan Nyoukis. It might not be true, but it seems if Lanz re-recorded the voice of Lewis himself and uses that as a guidance for his piece, which is quite good, less noisy than one would perhaps expect (but his recent solo CD also hinted in that direction). A strong electro-acoustic radio play like piece, which goes almost without interruption or stylistic change over in the piece by Dylan Nyoukis. He lists a bunch of things he uses (piano, cello, field recordings) and a bunch of other voices, and his piece grows effectively into a strange affair of rambling voices and the sleeping Saunders tape. An interesting form of dementia seems to be leaping in here.
The other tape is a bit shorter, twenty minutes per side and has Lee Gamble, who is a member of the CYRK collective and has some releases on Entr'acte. His side mentions 'personal attributes and identifier, deconstructions, computer audio, voice re-synthesis and manipulations', which perhaps doesn't make things much clearer. He does something highly obscure with the source material, and I can't figure out what it is. Not that is perhaps that important to know what it is, because it sounds very nice. It seems as if he fades the mumbling through some sound effects and somehow it sounds like he was half asleep himself. That may sound negative, but I mean this very positive. Excellent obscurity. Hauswolff on the other side mentions just the recording location, and does what he always does: extreme tone material, of loud, short repeating sounds with the voice of Lewis somewhere in there too, but seemingly unprocessed. I am not sure if this was a lot of work, or rather an in between job, but just for the fact that this is an entirely different approach, makes it for me quite enjoyable. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bryanlewissaunders.org

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