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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 838
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week 27
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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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* noted are in this week's podcast. Feed at http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xml



GUIDO MOBIUS - SPIRITUALS (CD by Karaoke Kalk) *
FM TRIO – OBJECTS & ANIMALS (CD on Bottom Records)
BIRDS BUILD NESTS UNDERGROUND - SO AS (CD by Lumberton Trading Company)
BAD SECTOR - AMPOS (CD by Power & Steel/Loki) *
BAD SECTOR & ASTRO - IDIOBLAST (CD by Power & Steel/Loki) *
CRAWLING CHAOS - SPOOKHOUSE (CD by EE Tapes) *
RAMLEH - AWAKE (8CD by Harbinger Sound) *
SURREALESTATE – APORIAS (CD by Acoustic Levitation)
MACHINEFABRIEK - STROOMTOON (CD by Nuun) *
UNCODIFIED - DOCUMENT (CD by Lisca Records) *
DAMIAN VALLES - NONPARALLEL (IN 4 MOVEMENTS) (CD by Experimedia) *
MARIELLE V JAKOBSONS - GLASS CANYON (CD by Experimedia) *
UBIK - CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, SLEEP DISORDER (CD by Farmacia) *
ERIKM & NATACHA MUSLERA - CARTOUCHE (CD by Monotype Records) *
ACKER VELVET - CARBON & CHAIRS (CD by Monotype Records) *
SPILL - FLUORESCE (CD by Monotype Records) *
THOMAS BEL & LAURENT BARDECHE - HOMMAGE A PIET MOGET (CD/LP by Annexia/Maison Salvan)
SPLICEWERK: ECLECTIC ELECTRONICS FROM THE NYC UNDERGROUND (CDR by Popular Front Systems)
DANIELE SANTINI - LOOPING THE LOOPS (CDR by Tib Prod Italy) *
ROBERT CURGENVEN - GO OUTSIDE (3"CDR by Kaon) *
COSTIS DRYGIANAKIS - DIADROMI (ITINERARY) (3"CDR by More Mars) *
TRALALA BLIP - SUBMARINE LOVE SONGS (cassette by A Guide To Saints)
HEINZ RIEGLER - SURVEY #2 1000 DREAMS I NEVER HAD (cassette by A Guide To Saints)
PRINCESS DRAGON-MOM - UNICORN MAN (cassette by UFO Factory)
JIMBO EASTER & CHAD GILCHRIST - OWL RAGA (cassette by UFO Factory)
THE VORTEX PROJECT (cassette by UFO Factory)
DION D. FISCHER - ELEKTRIZITATMUSIK (cassette by UFO Factory)
CATHARTECH - LITHOGENESIS (cassette by Sonic Munitions)
CATHARTECH/NOISEPOETNOBODY (cassette by Sonic Munitions)



GUIDO MOBIUS - SPIRITUALS (CD by Karaoke Kalk)
'Spirituals' is the fourth solo album by Guido Möbius, who also works as a PR agent, music publisher  and label boss. I am not sure if I heard his previous three, but for sure I heard 'Klisten', which I quite enjoyed. Pop music I called it back then, and that's something that can be said of the new one too. Here the common thread of the pieces is using texts from traditional gospels, abstracted of course, but nevertheless, if you listen closely quite clearly recognizable. But all set into the world of abstract  pop - but nevertheless pop indeed. Up tempo, sampling guitars, drums, string instruments, glockenspiel and all that kind of things. I read in the press text that Möbius is an atheist, so perhaps he approaches the whole notion of gospels with a bit of irony? I have no idea. I must admit I only heard upon third, serious, attempt at listening and thinking about a review that I was dealing with some spiritual text anyway. The more I played it, the more I enjoyed it. 'Godhead Appears' is a bit long in its driving krautrock senses, and throughout I don't think that material is soon to appear on MTV (does that still exist? I have no idea), as pieces like 'Babylon's Falling' and 'The Reign Of Sin' are too weird to be real pop, but I like this a lot, especially such beauties as 'All Around Me', 'Judgment' and 'Babylon's Falling' go down really well. Think Felix Kubin, think the Sparks and you know you can't go wrong. Excellent alternative pop stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.karaokekalk.de

FM TRIO – OBJECTS & ANIMALS (CD on Bottom Records)
When I started listening to modern improvised music it was still moving away from jazz and heading towards a free improvised music that abstracted from recognizable musical elements. For many years already however a movement in the other direction is evident. Starting from these experimental stages one began to move back towards to traditional jazz forms, however incorporating what was gained and learned.  Of course this is a very black-white picture, but still it makes some sense, if one looks historically at it. The Swiss FM Trio is an excellent example of this development I think. This trio is delivering their third release, after ‚Moment‘ (2007) and "Ligne Libre" (2009), released on the small label Bottom Records that has an eye on new improvised music and jazz. Both albums were well-received in Switzerland. Their history goes back to 2004 when they did their first concert. From then on they developed as a consistent trio playing their own repertoire, being mainly compositions by classically trained pianist Fabian M. Müller. The trio is completed by Kaspar von Grünigen (bass) and Fabian Bürgi (drums). This new release contains recordings from two concerts in Germany in 2010. Recordings were done by two german radio stations. Three pieces are composed by von Grünigen. The others by Fabian M.Müller. All of them contain surprising twists and movements, without losing focus and goal. The playing is crystal clear, specially by the piano player. Full of charm and wit. No doubt this is jazz. References to jazz idiom are dominating and defining this music. Allusions to other idioms, like chamber music are integrated into it. As well as some extended techniques, like Müller using and playing the inside of the piano. The playing is overall very flexible, with fine touches and accents. Drummer and bassist are far more involved then in the way in the traditional trio format, although the piano plays the most prominent role. In one word, very refreshing, well-balanced, lyrical music. (DM)
Address: http://www.bottomrecords.org

BIRDS BUILD NESTS UNDERGROUND - SO AS (CD by Lumberton Trading Company)
Birds Build Nests Underground (BBNU) started as a duo in 2003 in Prague and the main goal was to create music with old and broken records. Later the turntablists Petr Ferenc and Michal Brunclik started to cooperate with Martin Jezek, who is now responsible for the images of BBNU. The trio is working now in the field of found sound and vision and they work with a double DJ set, 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm and KP8 film and slide projectors. The trio doesn't want to be an ordinary DJ/VJ group who create a nice party, but they want to discover and present pure sound and images. The concerts are a interaction between sound and vision. The CD So As is their latest CD after three years and is released by the Polish label Lumberton Trading Company.The CD has four tracks and one short movie of ten minutes which is registration of part of a concert in 2011.that was the day Freddy Mercury died. The movie is a nice combination of home movies and parts of some official movies. The images are well edited together and flow into a melting pot of nostalgic moments. The first track started a jazz-based composition with  a lot of horns and trumpets and flows into a rhythm track. I do not know how they manipulate the old records, but is like a drum band is playing. The second track “Ossifying Tonques” is one the most surprising tracks of this year. It starts like the old opera “Einstein on the Beach”of Philip Glass and moves into a industrial vicious beat. Great piece of music and nice combination of different atmospheres. “Axe Loop” is like an anxious walk though different corridors of a hotel and the last track “Smoking Sun” is like a sweet lullaby which will introduce a subtile nightmare. Beautiful album with very creative use of recycling music. (JKH)
Address: http://www.lumberton-trading.com

BAD SECTOR - AMPOS (CD by Power & Steel/Loki)
BAD SECTOR & ASTRO - IDIOBLAST (CD by Power & Steel/Loki)
Of course I could advance here a few pages from my auto-biography on my life in Staalplaat and tell a few of the stories surrounding God*Factory, but I haven't been writing that particular story yet, and maybe I don't remember that much. At least the how's and why's I forgot. I believe we wanted to create some obscure side label, and they were all limited to 777 copies. And it had something to do with Cold Meat Industry. I should have started earlier with writing my memoirs of live as staalslave, since my memory has strongly faded. I even had to check on Discogs what else God*Factory released, and yes, that Bad Sector might be the classic album of that small catalogue (which doesn't mean the others are not fine), since it has been re-issued on Power & Steel on 2002, with two extra tracks and by the band on CDR in 2004. And now, again, by Power & Steel with a new cover. That I wouldn't have predicted when I opened the box when the first pressing arrived in 1995. I must also admit that it has been a while since I last heard this, and now I hear it again, I know it wasn't my cup of tea that much. 'Gothic' is no doubt I word I have used back then. Deep heavy dramatic synthesizers, a deep heavy voice from beyond the grave and dark haunting melodies. I can see now why people regard this a classic, but its not my kind of music. Its an early work for Bad Sector and its later that I heard their more interesting works. I have no doubts if many fans will think differently.
Of much more interest, at least for me, is the other re-issue which is also released by Power & Steel/Loki, of a 2005 collaboration released on a limited CD by Russia's Insofar Vapour Bulk. At the basis we have a few minutes of drone music recorded by Hiroshi Hasegawa, which were treated by Bad Sector's man Massimo Magrini into a forty five minute piece of even more drone music. Magrini didn't add any other sounds to the material, but kept on transforming the original sounds, looking right through the microscopic lens to see what else is there. And that's a lot. The work falls apart in many sub-sections, although none of these are indexed as such on the CD. You have to switch it on, turn everything else off, and let yourself go, into the world of sub-aquatic drones, computer processing, deep ambience and sometimes simple loops expanding into a world of their own. As said, this is the Bad Sector which I really like. Like 'Ampos' is dark, but it comes less all the gothic undercurrents, the heavy synths and voices. This new release lacks the beautiful package from the first time around, but its great to have it available again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loki-found.de

CRAWLING CHAOS - SPOOKHOUSE (CD by EE Tapes)
RAMLEH - AWAKE (8CD by Harbinger Sound)
Twice a dive into nostalgia here. One of those more personal ramblings about the good old days I guess. I'll do this in the chronological order. Punk was never a main concern for me. Perhaps it was because the first local punk rock lover was in the class as I was and it learned me a bit on behavior I didn't like, although some of the Dutch punk records were always quite alright. Still are actually. But sonically I was very soon after that interested in a stylish label called Factory Records, first through Joy Division and A Certain Ratio, but I soon collected also the 'other' bands, as far as money allowed me, and of course availability of the records. Durutti Column was one of those highlights, and two 7's were my favorites: 'Electricity' by Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark (although I had the pressing on Virgin, I knew it was a Factory Record) and 'Sex Machine' by Crawling Chaos. I played both on and on and on. That was the record industry of those days: you only had so much money and you needed to play the records over and over again, unlike today where one downloads a ton of music, which then you will never properly know. With OMD I kept up for a while, perhaps because 'Enola Gay' was such a big hit and 'Organisation' a classic LP, but Crawling Chaos I lost out of sight. I couldn't afford to buy their LP 'The Gas Chair' and I am not sure if I ever heard it back then. I did of course later on, when the CD version out, as well as the CD version of 'Homunculus Equinox'. I read stories about the band in books on Factory (I recommend James Nice's book on the subject) and don't know what to make of them or their music. 'Sex Machine' is a great song, synth based, retro progressive guitar solos. I never quite liked the b-side. The LP has more weirdness, this band never could make up their mind about what they wanted. 'Spookhouse' contains their final recordings, from 1987, and some of those pieces were released by EE Tapes on a compilation cassette back then. But there are no further liner notes and information on the band is rather sketchy, even on the two previous re-issues on LTM. What I seem to notice here on these final recordings is that the band is more together and less sketchy/all over the place as on their first LP. Quite an electronic approach, lots of synthesizers, voices and not really the driving rhythm of 'Sex Machine'. Also saxophone plays a dominant role every now and then, sometimes to my annoyance. I've read 'Status Quo vs OMD', or connection to Joe Meek. All true I'd say. This is true pop madness, true weirdness with 'Memory Loss' being the closest to another great lost pop classic. Not great, but I love this very much, just as I did with the other releases. I can see why so many people hated this back in the day, but its simply sounds so funny/weird/nice/charming. The boys you love to hate.
Shortly after the world post punk I discovered Throbbing Gristle and then on the world of industrial music, cassettes, noise, Merzbow, Whitehouse and all such like. I knew the Ramleh box was coming and in anticipation I listened to a some old Whitehouse, to get all warmed up for some old fashioned power electronics, and when I played that, I remembered I always preferred Ramleh more. The clinically distant feedback sound, and sometimes weaker compositions and the more dense sound of Ramleh make me prefer them over Whitehouse. There is of course the same sinister undercurrent, lyric wise, which is perhaps these days we smile about and which (some of us) took very seriously back in the days, but which may sound a bit silly now. I suggest, if you care you
to buy this box set, to acquire also a copy of the magazine As Loud As Possible, which has a thirty page overview of the activities of Broken Flag, the label run by Gary Mundy of Ramleh, which provides tons of insight in that particular world in the early 80s. Ramleh had a dark and sinister sound, deep end synth tones, screaming vocals, feedback bits and a great use of echo/reverb, which made up their own unique place in the world of power electronics. I took a day off and played all eight in a row, and then a couple of original Broken Flag releases on cassette and vinyl. I felt relieved afterwards, the best nostalgic ride in some time. (FdW)
Address: http://eetapes.be
Address: http://www.asloudaspossible.org

SURREALESTATE – APORIAS (CD by Acoustic Levitation)
‘Aporias’ is the the third full length release by LA-based Surrealestate, after ‘Contrafactum (2000) and ‘Lacunae (2010). Recorded  already in july, 2009, and released recently by Acoustic Levitation.  Surrealestate is a quintet by Bruce Friedman (trumpet, mutes), Jonathon Grasse (guitar), Ken Luey ( bass clarinet, soprano saxophone), David Martinelli (drum set), Charles Sharp (Bb clarinet, alto clarinet, C-Melody saxophone, baritone saxophone, etc.).  They worked with artists ranging from The Platters to Glenn Branca. This LA-based collective is in business since 1996. They share and work from an interest in improvised, composed and ethnic music. Their broad scope is reflected in their improvisations that show elements from very different contexts and corners. All this in as that there is no style or vocabulary that dominates.  Everything is integrated in a very thorough approach of their own that was built up over the years. This make them a quite exceptional improvising combo, that developed their very own procedures and language to tell their story. Absolutely a must hear for those interested in intelligent and inspired improvised music! (DM)
Address: http://www.acousticlevitation.com

MACHINEFABRIEK - STROOMTOON (CD by Nuun)
A full on new release by Machinefabriek, solo and in the conventional format of a real CD. It seemed a rarity recently. Rutger Zuydervelt uses his trusted set of effect pedals, field recordings, mixer, computer but leaves away the guitar in favor of an analogue tone generator, radio and korg monotron, which you see everywhere these days. With this relatively easy set up Zuydervelt creates fine electronic mood music. I would like to add 'as only he can do' but that's not the case. He creates fine electronic mood music as various people can do, and Zuydervelt belongs to the top league of the genre. That much I can say, and this new album, with four shorter pieces and one long one (LP length, perhaps a LP version is imminent somewhere?) is a pretty strong affair. Moving away from the ambient atmospheres of his earlier work, he now has some very nice pieces of sustaining tones, crackles, hiss, static and puts them together in a lovely collage of sound. Not through rapid editing, but slow fading into new worlds all the time. These five pieces flow in natural way into each other, especially since the first piece is the longest, and already moving through various phases here. Altogether a great album, and surely one of the best of Machinefabriek in recent times. Changing the menu slightly, which is always good in my book, while staying close to what he normally does. Excellent all around. (FdW)
Address: http://nuun-records.com

UNCODIFIED - DOCUMENT (CD by Lisca Records)
Already recorded two years ago by Corrado Altieri (electronics, fx, tapes) with mastering duties by Simon Balestrazzi, who provided additional electronics on tracks 5 & 9. Nine track in twenty four minutes, ranging from six seconds to seven minutes and eleven seconds of music that falls in what I would label as noise, but then with a twist. Noise with some thought. Hard to say what these electronics are, as sometimes it sounded like field recordings, but then sometimes it seems all about plain distortion such as in 'Severance', which is at five minutes quite long. The music works best, for me that is, when it cuts between the real loud and the more softer passages, acting like a hastily made up collage of sound, such as in 'Aesthetic Imperfection' (also a bit long). Maybe Altieri should have added a lot more index points so that the shuffle effect of the CD player would have made more natural cut up of the material. Its all quite all right, but just a bit too much on the harsh noise side for me, and it could have benefitted from some more editing and more carefully spliced in silence. But in its kind surely not the worst I ever heard. Perhaps I should have left this with Jliat. (FdW)
Address: http://www.liscarecords.com

DAMIAN VALLES - NONPARALLEL (IN 4 MOVEMENTS) (CD by Experimedia)
MARIELLE V JAKOBSONS - GLASS CANYON (CD by Experimedia)
At the foundation of the CD by Damian Valles, of whom I never heard, we find samples of avant-garde Western classical composers released by the Nonesuch labels in the 60s and 70s. Think music by Elliot Carter, William Bolcom, Charles Ives and such composers - all non electronic composers that is. Valles takes his material straight from vinyl, and then its 'carefully cut up, rearranged, stretched and heavily manipulated'. Four movements, like any good symphony perhaps, of finely woven ambient music. I must say that I think all four movements are a bit alike in approach: once everything is in place, all the stretched out material, the crackles of vinyl, a dash of echo and a splash of reverb, things are moving slowly and majestically, like any fine album of ambient and drone would do. The fact that its build from modern classical samples is something that one can hardly detect in this and perhaps is of less interest then. The musical qualities of the original material is hardly explored further here. It could have been anything as far as I'm concerned.  Its a nice album, but also one without many surprises or a striking new look on the matters of drone and ambient.
Likewise I never heard of Marielle V Jakobsons, who is a member of Date Pslam and Myrmur and works with the drone ensemble Portraits and has recorded with Helena Espvall and Agnes Szelag. She has released her music under the guise of Darwinsbitch, but this is her first work under her real name. Her instruments are primarily synthesizer and violin. Its quite interesting what she does here. The drone form is never far away, but so is the experiment. Music that hoovers closely at the borders of many styles: drone, ambient, rock, but also neo classical, especially when the violin plays a bigger role. Secure sine wave like material, fine oscillations and atmospheric results. Quite intimate music going on here and Jakobsons plays it with great care. In 'Dusty Rails' she even hits upon on a spacious krautrock theme and the bouncing rhythm breaks a bit the somewhat cerebral character of the CD. I could have easily liked another piece of this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.experimedia.net

UBIK - CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, SLEEP DISORDER (CD by Farmacia)
A record about sleeping disorders: finally! I have been waiting for this, since I gave up smoking three weeks, two days, five hours and seven minutes ago and at the same time I also gave up a good night's rest, it seems. I am sure it will pass (either by starting to smoke again, or simply in time to come). The musician who is Ubik, Marco Bonini, has hypnagogia, sleeping paralysis and during these states of half asleep, half awake he recorded these seven pieces of music on his guitar. At night, in Rome where he lives, with his headphones on. Several improvisations are layered together, so its no longer possible to know what has been done when and where. Computer processing plays an important part but not so much that we no longer hear the guitar. There are quite in a right balance I'd say. An interesting work, I think. While not entirely the ambient album I perhaps expected - music to sleep by maybe - but an interesting work of glitch based guitar music, that has its finer moods and textures, but also a bit of the angular tones and sine wave like sounds that one expects with the use of the computer. Never loud, never a lot, always carefully balanced. Just more than your regular ambient album I think, and certainly music that puts you in a good mood. Best enjoyed while being awake, I'd should add. You simply hear more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.farmacia901.com

ERIKM & NATACHA MUSLERA - CARTOUCHE (CD by Monotype Records)
ACKER VELVET - CARBON & CHAIRS (CD by Monotype Records)
SPILL - FLUORESCE (CD by Monotype Records)
Three discs of improvised by three duos, of which two of them have band names, which means, I should think, they perform quite often. The first however is by erikM (CDJ, electronics and sampling live) and Natacha Mustera (voice, microphone and objects). I am not entirely sure, but this CD doesn't seem to be a live recording, as is perhaps more common in this particular scene, but rather a studio recording. Improvisations with voice are usually not my thing, especially when some form of screaming is used - there are exceptions of course. Muslera uses screaming every now and then, such as in the lengthy opening piece 'Cascadeuse', but the electric storm provided by erikM makes this quite nice. In the other, shorter, pieces Muslera whispers, screams, moans, howls, which is nice but here too its the electro-acoustic backdrop provided by erikM that makes it for me more interesting. Fairly traditional improvised music going on here, but from a perspective of non-instruments, the concrete element that is. Although I thought this was ok, its also not the best I ever heard from erikM.
Acker Velvet are Andreas Trobollowitsch and Johannes Trondle. They play all the instruments themselves and the album was recorded over a period from april to september 2010. So again not a document of some live action. Instruments are not specified but from their previous release (see Vital Weekly 704) we know they play cello, prepared cello, live electronics, tapes, electric guitar and bass, prepared melodica, inside radio and feedback and the result is quite nice. Due to the multitude of instruments used, we can safely assume they use the studio here to record their various improvisations and mix together various layers of improvisations. This results is quite nice sketchy and patchy pieces that hoover closely along the lines of improvised music, but also at times, perhaps due to the briefness of the songs to popmusic. All strongly in the world of acoustic sound with very tiny bits of electronics, only to argument what is done already. An interesting disc of improvised music with bits of post rock, improvised music, acoustic drone and short sweet pieces. Very nice disc.
Spill is a duo of Magda Mayas (piano, clavinet, tiger organ, harmonium, objects and preparations) and Tony Buck (drums, cymbals gongs, bells, tabla, percussion). In San Francisco and Berlin they recorded these four lengthy pieces of heavily layered sounds, but no doubt all of this played in real time. Both of them are masters in creating clusters of music on their own instruments, using all fours it seems to create their sound. Each of these pieces is a delight to hear, rich in sonic excess, rich in details thereof. Spacious music with clusters of organ sounds, scraping of the inside of the piano, the objects on cymbals and hi-hats, culminating in the brutal free rock force of 'Sermon' at the end of this CD. A long but fruitful trip. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

THOMAS BEL & LAURENT BARDECHE - HOMMAGE A PIET MOGET (CD/LP by Annexia/Maison Salvan)
Maison Salvan organized in 2011 an exhibition with works of the dutch painter Piet Moget. He was born in 1928 and was already art-student at his 13th year. Since 1952 he lives and works in France. His main subject is the light and transparency of light and the combination of water and air. Air and horizon become more and more important in his work and his work gets more minimalistic. Thomas Bel was inspired by this paintings and composes a piece for guitar and bow and played this 20 minutes piece at the opening of the exhibition. The idea was born to release an album as a homage to Piet Moget. Laurent Bardeche offered to make a remix of the composition of Thomas Bel. The music of Bel is slowly and minimal. Just like the paintings of Moget. Slowly more ingredients will be submitted to make the composition complete. Just like the fog in the morning which slowly fades away by the sunlight. Bardeche extended the tones of Bel and all these tones melt together into a melting pot. The high tones overwhelm the low tones and are pretty annoying for me. And that's a pity, because the beautiful minimal piece of Bel disforms into a long lasting repeating tones. The idea of a musical reaction of a musical reaction of painting is in this case too much. (JKH)
Address: http://www.annexia-net.com

SPLICEWERK: ECLECTIC ELECTRONICS FROM THE NYC UNDERGROUND (CDR by Popular Front Systems)
It wasn't perhaps the best of ideas to put this CD on and then shuffle around the house, with boxes of CDs, cleaning up corners and all such like. It seemed such a great idea however. I read the press text, something about 'innovative electronic musicians', remixes and 'tangle of synth patch cords'. That should do the trick of getting me all started when shuffling around boxes. But, to spoil the review a bit, the album has also a few ambient ditties which takes the flow away a bit too much for me, and it started already with the third piece by one KoChu. I liked the compilations's more uplifting tracks, perhaps because I was in the mood for such music. Best tracks top three: I thought was Maxx Klaxon's 'First We Take Manhattan', the 'parathesis remix 1.5' (or perhaps that's the artist?): stomping rhythm and funny lyrics was the best of them. The robotic mix of 'Waterfall', originally by I, Synthesist, but remixed by Maxx Klaxon was fine number two and 'Military Time' by _vectorzero and Maxx Klaxon was a fine number three with his highly retro like character. The ambient affairs here, by Tu and Tamara Yadao & Chris Burke are no doubt also nice, but not right now. As with lots of compilations: this one has its fine moments and some just are a bit less. That happens. (FdW)
Address: http://www.popularfrontsystems.com

DANIELE SANTINI - LOOPING THE LOOPS (CDR by Tib Prod Italy)
Find a good title is not always an easy task. 'Looping The Loops' with all excuse if I missed out on something, is not a great title, especially when it's a 'concept album based on the book 'Three Magic Words' by Uell S. Andersen' and 'the album describes the contrast between the divine perfect order and what is happening in the world nowadays', which deems me that it should offer better possibilities for a good title. Santini is the founder of the psychedelic prog-rock band Delirio Sonoro and the experimental electronic band Skema. The album opens nicely with a piano piece and a bit of rhythm. 'Looping Alessandro' is the second piece and reminds me of sampled ethnic percussion and prepared piano. I think I like this release. But then we have 'Mental Attack' and 'Krautrock 1', synth based pieces from either 'other' project with in the first one a drum 'n bass loop or two. Perhaps experimental, maybe psychedelic, but certainly not that much to my liking. Its followed by 'Loops And Circles', the longest chunk here, of spacious synth tones and a bit more rock like percussion. Nice but way too long. The title piece gets a reprise and is nice again. So, conclusion. Six quite different pieces and some are quite nice and some I don't get. A difficult release to judge in its complete form, almost like a compilation, which I am sure some will think is great, but I have my doubts. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com/italy

ROBERT CURGENVEN - GO OUTSIDE (3"CDR by Kaon)
Today happens to be one of those summer days: hot, clouded and humid. Weather I actually don't like, since I am stuck inside with a bunch of music (always nice of course), but I should be outside enjoying shadow, a cool drink and a fine book. 'Go Outside' sounds a like an order to do so. Why stick inside and listen to '172 recordings of the Taurion River cut into over 400 iterations of white noise / a computer malfunction / a distortion pedal / two intrusions of a guitar & dub plate feedback' by Robert Curgenven. Well, one reason is of course that I write for Vital Weekly and we review music. So we review this too, in stead of going outside we stay inside and listen to this. I must say I don't hear that much of whatever else besides those recordings of the Taurion River which sounds like white noise indeed. Curgenven opts for a piece with strong dynamic differences, from minute three to nine somewhere things are pretty loud, but from then pretty inaudible for some time after that. Only between fifteen and seventeen minutes we something - the final segment indeed something that could be computer processed water sounds and then two and half minutes of silence and the rest is two seconds of loud sound. A strange release indeed, but a nice one. Strangely coherent in the fact that it uses the field recordings which Kaon provides for this series and as such staying close to what the series brings, but it has a fine added extra value of weirdness which makes this quite a nice release indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kaon.org

COSTIS DRYGIANAKIS - DIADROMI (ITINERARY) (3"CDR by More Mars)
This piece was already commissioned in 2000 for an installation and Costis Drygianakis asked fourteen fellow musicians to give him two minutes of sounds which would played in loops, along with slides inside 'a kind of corridor'. Drygianakis also uses sampled from others (Richard Wagner, Alban Berg and greek music). In February of this year he re-composed his piece using all of these sounds (which include lots of voice material, electric bass, noise (courtesy of Nicolas Malevitsis), recorder, egotron with metronome, violin, bowl, rainstick, barking and so on. This new version may be layering various bits over eachother, but it still has that modern music feeling to it. It sounds rather as a piece for a small ensemble than as a collage of sounds put together using modern techniques. Quite fascinating stuff going on here. Hard to say who does what, and while modern classical music is not always my cup of tea, I though this was all rather nice indeed. Nineteen strong minutes of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.moremars.org/

TRALALA BLIP - SUBMARINE LOVE SONGS (cassette by A Guide To Saints)
HEINZ RIEGLER - SURVEY #2 1000 DREAMS I NEVER HAD (cassette by A Guide To Saints)
Another division to the Room40 empire is a cassette only label called A Guide To Saints. Here are the first two I saw/heard, both by people I never heard of. First there is the album by Tralala Blip, founded by Randolf Reimann, who "is a musician, a support worker for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and the founder of Tra La La Blip, which was created in 2008 to provide a fertile environment in which intellectually and physically handicapped people would have access to new technologies that would enable more creative possibilities for self-expression." Actually I couldn't have guessed judging by the six songs on this cassette. It sounds very good… weird… but good. The word 'outsider' is used on the press text, and perhaps that word is finally applied in the right sense of the word, or perhaps in the wrong one. Electronic pop songs, with vocals. Not always to understand what these lyrics/vocals are about, but this sweet pop songs are very nice.
The other cassette is by one Heinz Riegler, from Austria, but dividing time between Europe and Australia. He was a member of Not From There (189-2001) and later on of I/O3, collaborating with Lawrence English, Ben Frost, Scanner and others. This new solo cassette was recorded up in Austrian Alps in early 2011, isolated from the rest of the world, armed with a guitar, a keyboard and a recording device, most likely an organ of some kind, I should say. This is not like pop at all, unlike the other release, as its mostly instrumental, and seems to be owing much more to the world of ambient music, but then without many electronics, and more simplicity allowed in the use of instruments. Naive playing, but also sounding quite isolated and maybe melancholic. I was reminded of Pascal Comelade, but less plink-plonk on the piano, or Flim. Rather intimate music, moody but not depressing/depressed sounding. On the b-side there is all of sudden the fury of a guitar, small wall type, but it oddly breaks the cassette in neat way. All of these pieces are short and to the point and occasionally are more sketch like than real finished compositions. This is one of those things were one should think it would deserve a better quality than a 'mere' cassette. (FdW)
Address: http://aguidetosaints.com

PRINCESS DRAGON-MOM - UNICORN MAN (cassette by UFO Factory)
JIMBO EASTER & CHAD GILCHRIST - OWL RAGA (cassette by UFO Factory)
THE VORTEX PROJECT (cassette by UFO Factory)
DION D. FISCHER - ELEKTRIZITATMUSIK (cassette by UFO Factory)
Although I can't say I am the biggest fan of pure noise, there are always these exceptions. Merzbow, obviously (although I gave being a completist) and Princess Dragon-Mom (well, others too, but I am kinda tired to think about 'others') might be another group of noise trouble makers whom I like, but perhaps also because David Brainard and Warren Defever are lovely chaps, which makes it easier, I guess, to enjoy the racket these produce. Lots of distortion going on, and I am clueless what they use to produce this - it could be radio sounds, microphone abuse, a drill, or perhaps just no input mixer stuff with tons of outboard sound effects. I like it best when its all muffled and pushed away, and less when it dwelling on the feedback. The lower end quality of the medium certainly adds to quality of the 'songs' (hohum). Nice!
Something completely different is the release by Jimbo Easter (also member of Druid Perfume and Piranhas) and Chad Gilchrist (of Infinite People and Outrageous Cherry) and comes with absolutely zilch information on the cover. I hear two men using their voice, guitar music, drums, rhythm machines, an organ and in general disorganized music, free form madness. Maybe you could apply the word 'outsider' to this, but who am I to tell? I think its fairly strange indeed, but perhaps I have no idea what the word 'outsider' means? Do I like this? I don't know either. Some of these pieces (unless its one long suite of course) sounded quite nice, and some were off the road a lot. So I have rather mixed feelings about it. I enjoyed hearing it, but would I play it soon again? I doubt that.
Also in total obscurity is a recorded from 'circa' 1983 from the 'ultra mysterious raw/synth/freak/dark energy/hippie-weirdo collective… think tg jamming with eno at the bottom of lake michigan'. They recorded three pieces 'circa' 1983 lasting sixteen minutes and thirty seconds (programm repeats on side two), and the remark is not far off. It has that psychedelic Throbbing Gristle sound, ongoing, but freaky enough and a singer who indeed thinks he's Genesis himself, certainly in the first piece. The last track is a more up tempo synth song and in between a more sad song for electronics and depressed voice. This is surely all nice enough and certainly a band I'd like to hear more of, but apparently these are the only known recordings.
Label boss Dion D. Fischer has a tape of music made up with piano, the EMS synthi, tape cut-ups, broken electronics, stylophone and such like and calls it 'musik konkrete', probably in a false attempt to come with some German (more US humorists fail at that) - or maybe I am without humor (I have to be careful these days). I don't know about this one. It started off nicely with some piano and tape manipulations, but it also had these moments in which nothing much seemed to be happening and it sounded like a bunch of electronic doodles, without much development or idea. Like the cover suggest, it all seemed very retro to me. Very 80s: "I have a microphone, lots of spare time, now let's create some music, but I have not much idea". Anything doesn't always go, I'd reply. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ufofactory.com

CATHARTECH - LITHOGENESIS (cassette by Sonic Munitions)
CATHARTECH/NOISEPOETNOBODY (cassette by Sonic Munitions)
Two cassettes, both of which don't have a lot of information to share with us. The first is by Cathartech, the project of AJ Linder from Seattle. He's been playing 'difficult' music since about ten years and releases CDs, cassettes, does music for films and plays live. On his solo cassette he has three lengthy pieces, one of which was recorded as part of the Loopool field recordings project and the other entirely by Linder himself. The whole tape is dedicated to 'the entities of stone' as it says on the cover. I am not sure what that is, but looking at the cover, I see stones in the background, some mystical sign in white and I hear music that reminds me of Lustmord, but perhaps even more of Lilith, especially those early Sub Rosa albums. Dark, atmospheric music with lots of sound effects being tossed around. Ambient with the big 'D' of dark ambient. Spooky and haunting, of course if you are open for that kind of stuff. This could have been a great CD on Malignant I should think - but then what I do know about such matters. Nothing new under the sun, but its damn fine produced.
The other tape, I assume by the same label, even when it doesn't say so, is a split tape by Cathartech (one piece) and Noisepoetnobody, of whom we reviewed a split CD with Vance Galloway in Vital Weekly 782. He has three pieces on this split cassette. Those continue to what we encountered previously on his collaborative CD with Galloway. A combination, or maybe its better to say collision of ambient textures and improvised doodling on… well, I don't know. Some kind of instrument which I don't know what it is. Its perhaps a bit long as such and some more variation could be in use here, but its all quite alright. The one piece by Cathartech continues where we just left him off, but 'The Electric Tuvan' is a bit louder and seems to be using more obvious field recordings than on the other tape. A somewhat louder, grittier sound over a bunch of insect choirs. A somewhat different look at these matters of dark ambience, and it shows a fine craftsmanship of the matter at hand. Very nice, both tapes, but it could do with some more informations. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sonicmunitions.com



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