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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 841
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week 30
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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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MIKA VAINIO - FE304-MAGNETITE (CD by Touch) *
RALE - I SIT BY THE WINDOW AND WATCH WALLS AND CEILING (CD by Monorail) *
1000SCHOEN - AMISH GLAMOUR (2CD by Nitkie) *
TARDIVE DYSKINESIA - THE LETTER (CD by Audiophob)
2KILOS & MORE - KURZ VOR5 (CD by Audiophob)
SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY - STEALTH (CD by Cold Spring)
ROSE OF MEMORY - ROSE OF FORGETFULNESS (CD by Wrotycz Records)
EDWARD SOL - SUN STORM RAMPAGE (CD by Quasipop) *
FRANCES WHITE – IN THE LIBRARY OF DREAMS (CD by Pogus)
ERNESTO DIAZ INFANTE – CIVILIAN LIFE (CD by Pax Recordings)
THE GATE - DESTRUCTION OF DARKNESS (CD by Carrier Records)
SONAR - CUT US UP (CD by Ant-Zen)
AXIOME - TEN HYMNS OF SORBETIERE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE FREEZER (CD by Ant-Zen)
RAPOON - TIME-LOOP ANOMALIES (CD by Zoharum) *
X-NAVI:ET - BRAIN OVERLOADED (CD by Zoharum) *
AABZU - THERE'S NO OTHER GOD THAN RAMBO! (CD by Zoharum) *
GIANLUCA BECUZZI - TRAX TO TRAX (2CD by Silentes) *
GIANLUCA TURRI & LUIGI TURRA - IN WINTER (CD by Silentes) *
SARANG - THE DREAM OF EARTH (CD by Silentes) *
PAINTING PETALS ON PLANET GHOST - TRANSPARANT WINTER (CD by Silentes) *
THE LONGEST DAY - BEYOND YOUR SKIES (CD by Feral Media)
JONAS BRAASCH –SONIC TERRITORIES (DVD by Deep Listening Institute)
TOM RECCHION - PROSCENIUM (LP/7" by Elevator Bath)
AUTOMATING - SOUND OFF SOUND (CDR, private) *
IRENEUSZ SOCHA - POLIN (CDR by Mathka) *
SHANE FAHEY - TWIN KORG: WATER DRIP CODE (CDR by Ice Age Productions) *
A CLOAKROOM ASSEMBLY - MOVEMENT/TIME (CDR by Ice Age Productions) *
MECHA/ORGA - 18:36 (3"CDR by Orila) *
CELER - LIGHTNESS AND IRRESPONSIBILITY (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
BLOOD BRIGHT STAR/OBSIDIAN TOWERS (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
LONG DISTANCE POISON - IDEOLOGICAL STATE APPARATUS (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
GIMU - A SILENT STROLL ON SOMBRE STR. (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)




MIKA VAINIO - FE304-MAGNETITE (CD by Touch)
By now already the fifth solo album by Mika Vainio, once one half of Pan Sonic and since way before that interested in producing electronic music. As ø its usually minimal and rhythmic, but under his own name its more analogue/electronic/noise. Vainio uses radio signals, sine wave generators and electronic processors along with (contact-) microphones and the odd synthesizer, to create his music. He continues to do on this album what he more or less always does, which is creating an interesting interaction between the very loud and the very quiet. Unlike 'Life (It Eats You Up)' (see Vital Weekly 791), this album has not the conceptual edge of working mostly around the guitar, but in his more traditional vein. A fine album once again, and true Vainio fans won't go wrong here, unless of course you seek your artists to do something entirely new. Vainio has found the collage form of electronics, the sheer volume, the near silence, the occasional glitch, the low end humming of sine waves as his form and as such doesn't do actually something new. What he does, however, he does pretty well. That perhaps is sometimes enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

RALE - I SIT BY THE WINDOW AND WATCH WALLS AND CEILING (CD by Monorail)
Maybe its a bit of a bold statement made here on the press blurb: 'at this point in time, it is clear that William Hutson should be a household name in experimental music' - based on the LP he released on Isounderscore last year, but which never made it to this desk. Maybe he made serious waves somewhere, but then perhaps I missed them. So Hutson works as Rale and 'I Sit By The Window And Watch Walls And Ceiling' is the somewhat depressed title of the follow up to that LP. Its a work in seven parts, with seven independent titles, but which nevertheless can be heard as one piece. It is made out of recordings he made over the last four years, all improvised to tape using synthesizers, cassettes, effects pedals and computer, collated together to form up a narrative piece - perhaps with the somewhat depressed title as it is narrative. Its actually quite good music if you, like me, are always looking for interesting cross-overs (perhaps because something truly new is unlikely to happen) and we have one of those cross-over between the more traditional musique concrete, along with the influences of ambient, microsound but also the heavier and darker textures of noise, but never being the true loud distorted noise (which I don't seem to dig anymore after all these years), but also never silent and making the sound disappear as some of his peers would do. Hutson plays all of it with great style and care and makes up a remarkable fine album. Nothing here that we haven't heard before, as this particular cross-road in music is well attended - certainly in the world of Vital Weekly - but why not Rale indeed? He might be a household name one day. (FdW)
Address: http://monorailtresspassing.com

1000SCHOEN - AMISH GLAMOUR (2CD by Nitkie)
Are artists still signed to one label these days, I mean in the micro world of Vital Weekly? I am not sure, but I'd be surprised if they are. This new release by 1000schoen is however once again on Nitkie Records, just as the previous one reviewed 'Yoshiwara' (see Vital Weekly 789). You probably know the story by now: 1000schoen is the third member of Maeror Tri, and where the other two started Troum, he started 1000schoen, and while it seems to me he doesn't have the same kind of recognition as Troum, I really think that all dedicated Troum fans should be on the look out for the music of 1000schoen, as its very much along those lines. Long sustaining sounds, perhaps generated by using lots of sound effects on field recordings and acoustic instruments (cymbals, gongs are the ones I am thinking of) of which the ultimate goal is to create dense clouds of deep atmospheric sound. Music that reverberates through the night, bouncing from the earth to the sky, through the darkest of forests, to the deepest of the seas. All of those metaphors come to mind and they are all valid, I should think. If you are looking for 1000schoen to do something out of his usual area, then 'Amish Glamour' is not that place. If you are looking for some excellent ambient industrial soundscapes along the lines of Maeror Tri and Troum, then this is another place to be. These people have mastered this genre to perfection, I think and here's one to proof that bold statement. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nitkie.ru

TARDIVE DYSKINESIA - THE LETTER (CD by Audiophob)
2KILOS & MORE - KURZ VOR5 (CD by Audiophob)
Audiophob is an interesting German label grounded in 2004 with focus on industrial and IDM-ambient. Two new albums from the label has seen the light of the day. Tardive Dyskinesia is a German ambient-noise project started in 2003 by main man Ronny Herling. The project has released a number of albums on label such as Sternklang Industries and Dystonia however I had never heard of them before this latest album released on Audiophob hit may mailbox. The album titled "The letter" is a quite interesting album. Tardive Dyskinesia creates abstract electronic expressions with frequent use of subtle rhythm textures underneath floating ambientscapes. There is a great trippy atmosphere throughout the album reminiscent of early Coil. Next album is a quite different beast. 2Kilos & More is a French duo consisting of Séverine Krouch & Hugues Villette. The twosome released their debut back in 2007 and present album is their third album and the first to be shot from the Audiophob-label. The album titled "Kurz vor5" is a an atmospheric album that circulates between electronica and ambient. There are elements of IDM and industrial sounds in the textures that also adds samples of voices to further strengthen the atmosphere. Two excellent album from Audiophob. (NM)
Address: http://www.audiophob.de
 
SLEEP RESEARCH FACILITY - STEALTH (CD by Cold Spring)
Sleep Research Facility is one of the truly interesting explorers of drone-based ambient. Since the album "Deep frieze", I have been a regular guest on the voyages of the Canadian ambient composer. The strength of SRF is the ability to create an alluringly strange kind of musicality in a thick and dark universe of subtle drones slowly drifting into the ears of the listener. On his latest opus, SRF conceptually takes his starting point in, what the composer himself calls one of the most mysterious aircrafts of the twentieth-century. Thus the third album titled "Stealth" has been mixed and edited from re-sampled location recordings originally captured inside the hangar environment of a Northrop-Grumman B-2 Stealth Bomber. The result is a an hour's deep trip into landscapes of drifting electronic drones changing between icy textures of buzzing low frequent noise and warm expressions of ambience sometimes assisted by distant crackling noises and pulses. Put on your earphones and let yourself drift into the atmospheres of Sleep Research Facility. And by the way: Excellent sleeping music! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

ROSE OF MEMORY - ROSE OF FORGETFULNESS (CD by Wrotycz Records)
Wrotycz Records is a Polish label that focuses on dark ambient, industrial and neofolk. One of label's latest shots is this present compilation dedicated to Thomas Stearns Eliot and his poetry. Thomas Stearns is by many considered being one of the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. The musical style of the compilation is first of all neo-folk with contributions from a number interesting acts. The album expressively points towards melancholic ballads and catchy folk songs with a number of acoustic instruments coming in throughout the running time. The album consists of thirteen contributions all from artists that comes from Russia. Everyone interested in neofolk circa the style of british label Cold Spring should check this out. Excellent compilation. (NM)
Address: http://www.wrotycz.com

EDWARD SOL - SUN STORM RAMPAGE (CD by Quasipop)
Using live electronics, noises, synths, tape loops, pre-recorded MDs and metal junk, Edward Sol, head of the Quasipop label (which offer hardly any pop really), delivers a real CD, unlike his various CDRs of recent. Its a concert recordings from December 2011 and I must say its a strange one. One Sol goes out all the way into the land of noise, he is surely there, loud and clear. Not really distorted loud, or a wall of feedback loud, just a loud buzzing, piercing sound, but when its quieter, and that is not very often here, its indeed nicely, floating almost in an ambient sort of manner. Sol moves quickly through his material, never wanting to stay anywhere for very long it seems. That gives this release a dynamic character, but perhaps also a bit of an uncontrolled character. It bears the marking of an improvised nature perhaps and not a very planned action. Although I might be very wrong here, I have no idea actually (as usual). Its a strong release, in every sense of the word, and perhaps not one I will play a lot, but whenever Sol is in town I'd love to hear the mayhem live. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quasipop.org

FRANCES WHITE – IN THE LIBRARY OF DREAMS (CD by Pogus)
This new Pogus release is a work of a composer who is completely new to me. White studied composition at the University of Maryland, Brooklyn College, and Princeton University. Some of her work has been released by labels like Mode, Bridge, Harmonia Mundi, etc. This new release gathers six compositions for very different line ups. The first one, ‘Chosi’ is for solo shakuhachi, beautifully played by Ralph Samuelson. White studied Shakuhachi herself and feels inspired by traditional music that has shakuhachi in a main role. Also she feels inspired by nature. No wonder that she often uses natural field recordings in het electronic work. Just like Jonas Braasch, White has a comparable fascination for space and environment in her musical output, like titles as ‘Walk through Resonant Landscape 5.1’and ‘Walk through Resonant Landscape 5.2’ indicate. Both titles provide a picture or metaphor that describes how one can experience these pieces: it feels like a travel through different parts of a jungle. Here birdcalls dominate, there sounds from insects. The works are built up as a series of waves of manipulated environmental sounds. The works have a fine balance of acoustical natural sounds and electronics. White builds successful imaginary landscapes and surroundings. Also I would say she is searching for some spiritual quality in sound.  The title piece ‘In the Library of Dreams’ is written for viola d’amore played here by David Cerutti, against a background of electronic sounds. Only one piece is for an ensemble, ‘The Ocean Inside’ played by Eight Blackbird, an ensemble of six musicians. It is a romantic piece of work of slowly moving patterns that disappear in a background of fragile sounds. The closing piece ‘The Book of Roses and Memory’ has very sensible playing by Liuh Wen Ting on viola and Thomas Buckner as narrator. The electroacoustic music of White takes you into dreamy  atmospheres, with compositions that are not extremely complicated. In fact her work is very accessible. It is also very solid work and far from some easy romantic pastiche. (DM)
Address: http://www.pogus.com
 
ERNESTO DIAZ INFANTE – CIVILIAN LIFE (CD by Pax Recordings)
The name of Diaz-Infante should ring a bell. He runs Pax Recordings, has numerous CDs out, several of them reviewed by Vital Weekly. On most of them he collaborates with other musicians and players. His new release ‘Civilian Life’ however, gathers solo studio and live recordings dating from 2003 to 2011. About all 13 tracks are examples of his guitar strumming. To be complete on the instruments used here: acoustic & amplified baja sexto, steel-string acoustic guitar, acoustic backpacker guitar, voice, singing bowl, electronic tanpura and field recordings. It is hard to ‘locate’ his music. He departs from folk and ends up in avant garde territories. In this new collection we meet Diaz-Infante as in earlier work, as a creator of a consequent primitivism. Pieces vary most concerning their length. Several pieces are shorter than 1 minute, others continue for 7 up to 12 minutes. Because of his consequent strumming one would say that length is arbitrary. Not much is happening.  The very reduced format Diaz-Infante is using here, brings one to listen to little details and minor changes. In a way it reminded me of the minimalism of Neu or Faust. The music has a strong hypnotic effect because of repetition as the main characteristic. ‘Easy to disappear into this fog’ is one of the few exceptions to this. Here Diaz-Infante plays electronic tanpura and creates deep resonating, eastern flavored ambient textures. Great piece. Diaz-Infante performs also a humorous play with expectations of the listener, if you ask me. That is what it did with me. (DM)
Address: http://www.paxrecordings.com

THE GATE - DESTRUCTION OF DARKNESS (CD by Carrier Records)
A trio comprised of Dan Peck (tuba, compositions), Tom Blancarte (double-bass), and Brian Osborne (percussion). Delivering their second release since they started in 2008. They debuted as the Dan Peck Trio with the LP ‘Acid Soil’, released by Heat Retention Records. A combo with a curious line up, focused on dark frequencies and atmospheres. Rooted in improvisation as well as dark metal. Also Hungarian composer Kurtag is a source of inspiration for this New York-based outfit. Carrier Records presents this group as a ‘doom jazz trio’, and I think that is useful etiquette. The cd is comprised of three extensive pieces. All of them composed by Dan Peck, and to be considered as one big composition. As said they feel at home in dark atmospheres and between massive walls of sound and noise. The influence of doom metal is obvious. But there is also room for improvisation, like the scary solo in the third part by Blancarte. The second part opens with a noisy collective improvisation, but after three minutes it turns into a slow piece that turns softer and softer in the rest of the 20 minutes, progressing to a near-silence point. Whatever they do, they take their time. Leaving plenty of time to get used to their bizarre exercise. Strange trio that deals in unusual musical extremities. Impressive but not convincing from start to finish. (DM)
Address: http://www.carrierrecords.com

SONAR - CUT US UP (CD By Ant-Zen)
AXIOME - TEN HYMNS OF SORBETIERE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE FREEZER (CD By Ant-Zen)
Two new blasting shots from one of German's finest labels of harsh electronics, Ant-Zen. For almost two decades Ant-Zen has released albums of industrial, power noise, chilling ambient and harsh electronic styles in general. First album reviewed here comes from a project that is just as legendary as Ant-Zen: Sonar is a side-project of Dirk Ivens, former front-man of historical Belgian EBM band The Klinik. As Sonar, Dirk Ivens collaborate with Eric van Wonterghem who also as a fine past in the history of experimental electronics with projects such as Monolith and Zenith. The debut album of Sonar came back in the 1996 and since then a number of albums has been first of launched on first of all Daft Records and Ant-Zen. Present album titled "Cut us up" is the first album in six years and what a return! From first second, the album boils of overpowering energy built on blasting beats and distorted noises. The music is a powerful mix of industrial, techno and noise. That Dirk Ivens, thanks to his past in pioneering project Klinik, is one of the true pioneers of the power noise scene becomes clear as you listen to the album titled "Cut us up". The result is excellent and will satisfy listeners of power noise and upfront electronics in general. Next album comes from another sonic aggressor of the power noise scene. As was the case with Sonar, the Axiome-project features two legends of the harsh rhythm-electronic scene, both being from Belgium. Oliver Moreau has a background in one of the pioneering power noise acts of Ant-Zen, Imminent (formerly Imminent Starvation). The other part of Axiome is C-Drik Fermont who has been active since the late eighties as Crno Klank and Kirdec. Present album "Ten hymns for sorbetière" is the sixth album of Axiome over a period of 20 years. In comparison to the aforementioned projects Axiome is definitely the most club-oriented of them all. Otherwise it is an album that integrates a wide span of styles and thus are difficult to pigeonhole. Elements of among others IDM, acid and breakbeats are melted into a unique mass of energy exploded by complex rhythm textures. Two astonishing and hyper-energetic albums from Ant-Zen. (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

RAPOON - TIME-LOOP ANOMALIES (CD by Zoharum)
X-NAVI:ET - BRAIN OVERLOADED (CD by Zoharum)
AABZU - THERE'S NO OTHER GOD THAN RAMBO! (CD by Zoharum)
Can't say I'm particularly blown away by any of these titles chosen by these artists for their releases, but so it is. For some time I was keen follower of the music of Rapoon, partly because I wrote about it, partly because I was involved with the release thereof, and then after a while (after that) my interested waned, or perhaps not every release reached me. A 'problem' that I encounter with others too. That doesn't make it easy to say something sensible about the development of an artist. I rightly assumed, partly based on the title I must admit, that Rapoon is still loop heavy music, but wrongly that his interest would still be ethnic percussive music. That doesn't seem to be the case. Its still lots of loops and lots of sound effects that he uses. Although a collection of eleven pieces, all created individually, but tied together here in some narrative structure, according to Robin Storey, but somehow I fail to see which that narrative is. Lots of ambient like textures, bits of percussive rhythm, such as in 'Of Course There Are Aliens' (perhaps a nod to 'No Such As Aliens' by the Sparks?), which sound like the more classic Rapoon, I remember best, just as 'Pig Drum Ritual'. But as said those pieces are in a minority here, as dark ambient loops of sound seem to prevail, with haunting electronic processing. Also here we have something we have heard before, by Rapoon, but it always sounds 'right' in his hands. Over the years, with such a strong fan-base as Rapoon has, the need to change completely is perhaps less necessary. And for the occasional listener/reviewer, like me, that's perhaps fine too. Impossible to track the entire career, but still be able to snack whatever comes around. 'Time-Loop Anomalies' is a fine snack indeed.
Rafal Iwanski is the man behind X-Navi:et, but also the man behind Hati and to his personal use he has analog filter machines, analog synthesizer, digital drummer, electronic effects, sampling unit field recordings, acoustic objects and microphones. All of the pieces were recorded over a period of three years before it was finally edited to this release. Like Rale (see elsewhere) this is at that same cross road of noise, improvisation, musique concrete, drone and such more, but throughout it doesn't seem to match Rale (or various others). X-Navi:et's music is a bit more noisier, a bit more single minded and a bit less worked out. X-Navi:et goes for the bigger picture, in single colors and lacks the refinement of others in this field. However I thought this was quite a nice one too, as it moves around, shifts that particular field of music upwards and towards the area of noise perhaps and makes a release that I do quite like for what it is: a sturdy, monolithic work of mild noise.
Aabzu is a duo of Maciek Szymcuk and Lukasz Szatankiewicz and their CD was recorded on July 16 2010 at the MPM Ambient in Gorlice. The cover has photos of the concert (and forty more on the data portion of the CD), so we see a laptop, midi controllers, a mixer and such like. Its the first time I hear their music, I think. Its fine music and easy to see why they are booked to play at an ambient festival. They cover the whole range from crackles to buzzes, from techno/house inspired rhythms to pseudo ritualistic doodling and then back to dubby breakbeats. Outside we have the very first sunny day of the summer and this music fits perfectly. I can't think of any proper reason to release this on CD though, unless they hit fame in Poland already. A fine solid set they played. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

GIANLUCA BECUZZI - TRAX TO TRAX (2CD by Silentes)
GIANLUCA TURRI & LUIGI TURRA - IN WINTER (CD by Silentes)
SARANG - THE DREAM OF EARTH (CD by Silentes)
PAINTING PETALS ON PLANET GHOST - TRANSPARANT WINTER (CD by Silentes)
Die-hard collectors of the music of Gianluca Becuzzi already have of course five of the six pieces presented on 'Trax To Trax', which is basically a collection of pieces Becuzzi did for re-issues of old tapes released by Trax. Trax was one of the more original Italian cassette labels of the 80s, run by the ever so active Vittore Baroni. They were especially noteworthy for their excellent thematic based compilations. In recent years there was some interest in re-issuing these and Becuzzi did some of the remastering of them and delivered some extra remixes using the original source material. All of the four main compilations, 'Trax Anthems', 'Nottarossa', 'Art Detox' and 'Traxtra' were reviewed in Vital Weekly, except 'Anthems'. "Nottarossa' in Vital Weekly 668 and 'Art Detox' and 'Traxtra' in Vital Weekly 786. I have not much more to add to what I already wrote back then: great to have these remixes, but apart from the eight minute unreleased piece on the second disc, its all a bit for the real die hards.
Its obviously a bit odd to review, mid-summer, a release that is called 'In Winter'. But so it is. Luigi Turra has been reviewed before, the last time extensively with his three CD set for And/Oar (see Vital Weekly 798), but also for various works he did with others, such as Shinkei and Christopher McFall, to which we can now add Gianluca Becuzzi. He is responsible for field recordings, sound objects, programming, while Turra plays acoustic guitar and piano. The work was recorded over a period of two years, from 2008 to 2010 and completed in the winter of 2011. I guess its not really difficult to imagine how this will sound? Field recordings, piano, winter feeling. Desolate but dream-like pictures of snowflakes falling down, quiet music, with lots gaps of near silence in between. I think you get my drift. At times a bit more abstract such as in the fourth piece (which all have pictograms of snowflakes - now that's original!), with its more roughly shaped, treated piano sounds, dripping of water and such like. Its a long piece, and also the sixth (curiously enough of exactly the same length) are the more experimental ones. Even when I thought most of it was quite nice, I though the overall length of the CD was a bit long for the amount of variation it had to offer, and its perhaps not the most original music in the world. But on a long winter's night: who cares?
Simon Balestrazzi has been present in Vital Weekly before, without leaving a too big of an impression. By now I have learned that he was a member of TAC, along with Enrico Marani - the other half of Sarang. Simon was also a member of Kirlian Camera (never a favorite here) and Le Forbici di Manitu, along with Trax member Vittore Baroni. Italy too has a small and incestious scene. With Sarang Marani plays flutes, percussion, didjeridoo, vocals and laptop, while Balestrazzi plays laptop, VCS3 and prepared ukulele. There is also the help of some other musicians on bass flute, vocals, tuned gongs and bowed singing bowls. Its fifty minutes of improvised playing, I think, and its hard to see the "long and meticulous preparation" mentioned on the website. It seems rather a work of getting together, connected everything and get the ball rolling. In the post-production they add a whole bunch of reverb on some of the instruments. This is not a work I liked very much. Its too improvised in a way too normal fashion for me. A bit new age like doodling that is just very boring.
Maurizio and Roberto Opalio are best known as My Cat Is An Alien, but together with Ramona Ponzini they are Painting Petals On Planet Ghost. Ponzini has a strong interest in ancient Japanese poetry, which is recited throughout the music. 'Transparent Winter' (what's wrong me? or what's wrong with the seasons?) is their fourth CD, which includes two pieces who have been, albeit in a slightly different mix, on vinyl. Like the Sarang release this too seems to be recorded in a short time span (and according to the cover it was: July 16-18, 2010) and has a similar improvised feel to it. We hear the sound of metal and wooden Japanese wind chimes, acoustic guitar, mini-keyboard, bodhran, alientronics and vocals. But that all makes a somewhat more electronic sound, as opposed to the more acoustic sound of Sarang, and therefore perhaps I liked this a bit better. Maybe I am not too blown away by Ponzini's singing, or perhaps I reminded too much of other female Japanese singers who do similar things. Its all highly atmospheric, but I must say its all not so much of my liking. Better than Sarang, but I prefer the other two new releases on Silentes, if I had to choose. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silentes.net

THE LONGEST DAY - BEYOND YOUR SKIES (CD by Feral Media)
Sounds like Swervedriver and Ride. Shoegaze, space-rock, ambient, drone, indie and post-rock. Acoustic pop. 'The Longest Day have crafted an amazing 'album' in the true sense of the word'. No doubt. But not in the world of Vital Weekly. Standard indie pop stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.feralmedia.com.au

JONAS BRAASCH – SONIC TERRITORIES (DVD by Deep Listening Institute)
Braasch is a performer  and  musicologist of German origin, working in the US.  As a soprano saxophonist and sound artist, he collaborated with Mark Dresser, Pauline Oliveros, a.o. He is a member of the Deep Listening Institute. As a player his music moves on the cross of jazz improvisation, minimalism, and field recording. This is the case for ‘Global Reflections’ released in 2006, and also for ‘Sonic Territories’, both released by Deep Listening Institute. Deep Listening is philosophy and method developed by Oliveros “that distinguishes the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. The result of the practice cultivates appreciation of sounds on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one's environment, technology and performance with others in music and related arts”. For this recording Braasch plays and uses soprano sax, field recordings and electronic processing. He explains: “I was looking for spaces that inspire and mess around with me, by influencing and guiding my performance”.  This brought Braasch recording in his driving car, at his home office, in a train, a water tank, subway, etc. For the opening track “Cross Roads”, this implies that we hear Braasch playing saxophone with the sounds of a car that is driving. This is also what we see.  We see traffic by night from inside a driving car, that has Braasch as a passenger playing saxophone. Outside in a snowy landscape the second piece ‘Stiff Lips’ is recorded. A short piece, maybe because of the cold. ‘Under cover’ is performed under a blanket inside his car.  No wonder Braasch is interested in the acoustical aspects of space and their effect on the music. This Braasch has in common with other Deep Listening composers and players who chose uncommon places to record because of the spatial effects on the  music and playing. The spaces Braasch choose are visualized by videorecordings because Braasch choose not only to records the sound but also the acoustical environment. Most of the 12 recordings received some treatment afterwards, specially the videos. Some of them registrar Braasch while playing on some spot, other videos are more complex. Overall Braasch plays long notes, extensive soundscapes, with sometimes more intense improvised interludes like in ‘Under the Bridge Tower’. Playing with timbre, phrasing, and other techniques, to built space, or to reflect the experience of space. In a piece like ‘Epilogue’ it is difficult to differentiate what comes from the environment and what from Braasch’ playing. A nice document, although I’m not absolutely about what the videos add in the end. (DM)
Address: http://www.deeplistening.org

TOM RECCHION - PROSCENIUM (LP/7" by Elevator Bath)
The first time I heard the name Tom Recchion it was in a different capacity and one I never see mentioned in his biographical notes with releases: he once came to Staalplaat, told them how much he loved our artwork which he was never able to do in his work for Prince and REM. Maybe its not something he wishes to see mentioned - oops - but rather sees his work with the Los Angeles Free Music Society, or with David Toop, Christian Marclay, Oren Ambarchi etc. Its hard to say what Recchion actually does. He is a composer for sure, and of music, but what does he do? Does he play instruments, and if so, which? Or does he collage sound material together in some way? I must admit I haven't heard his previous release, 'Sweetly Doing Nothing' from 2006 and the cover doesn't present us with many hard facts either. Let's say Recchion is a composer of electronic music, that should cover about it. There are six pieces to be found in this package of a rather dark and moody nature - not fitting exactly the first summer day of sunshine, but more a record for the ghostly hour later on, when all is dark and quiet. Somehow somewhere inspired by a piece from Edgar Allen Poe, and indeed this seems like a nightmare trip, music for the haunted as well as the haunting. Like I said, I am totally clueless what it is that Recchion is doing here. Slowing down a bunch of tapes, some elaborate process to transform music in a digital way, or is it perhaps an analogue way? Maybe its the heat that makes it hard for me to think about such matters, or maybe I just don't care that much about it. Maybe I just like the music as it is, spooky and hunting me down. Maybe I am doomed and lost. Or maybe I need a smoke after looking at what I think is the greatest cover of all year, so far. (FdW)
Address: http://www.elevatorbath.com

AUTOMATING - SOUND OFF SOUND (CDR, private)
From Melbourne, Australia we have Sasha, who works as Automating. Through bandcamp we find one album of thirteen tracks ready for download, but there is also this particular release, which lasts very close to eighty minutes, so way too long to be put on bandcamp, I should think. According to the same bandcamp, Automating uses field recordings, found sound, tape manipulation, noise and effects unites, "currently pursuing live and studio created binaural soundscapes and archaic tape based drones". That is certainly the case on this massive piece of work. Whatever Sasha found along the road or in any sort of state, he takes it down to the computer and expands it into one tonal drift, of very slow moving, shifting sounds. Only in movements of slow minutes you hear something has changed here, but change is inevitably there. Its all quite raw. Maybe the time stretching was done in an analogue manner, whereby a small portion of sound has been slowed down on an ancient reel-to-reel recorder ad infinitum and colored up with a likewise ancient graphic equalizer. That makes this particular alley of drone music a bit more intense and a bit more raw than many of his peers are doing. Quite a heavy rock that rolls down the mountain here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.automating.bandcamp.com

IRENEUSZ SOCHA - POLIN (CDR by Mathka)
Its always not easy to understand why you have nine separate pieces mentioned on the cover and clearly to be heard on the release it self, but then have them cut as one track. I always find that odd. I must say I never heard of Ireneusz Socha, "drummer, vocalist, sound artist, improviser and composer", member of "Przestrzenie (art songs, music theatre), Na Przyklad (group improvisation) and Hiena (postindustrial)". The work here was composed 'on and off' between 2004 and 2011 and had various incarnations, such as a live piece, but also a horspiel/installation. It deals with the Polish-Jewish history, politics and culture, and I am told its an "electronic/plunderphonic/played coda to “Sztetlach” (www.dembitzer.pl/text?t=14), leading the story on through some new sound and contextual labyrinths." As an outsider to all of this, it's not easy to relate to all of this. There is klezmer like music, ballroom like music, water sounds, a bit of sampling, some voices in Polish, I assume, but the whole nature of this sort of eludes me. Its not a bad work, not at all even but the narrative aspect is not easy to follow for the outsider. This is, as judged by this outsider, quite interesting work of sampling, electronic music and some historical notion. I wish I knew more about it. I do like it! (FdW)
Address: http://www.mathka.pl

SHANE FAHEY - TWIN KORG: WATER DRIP CODE (CDR by Ice Age Productions)
A CLOAKROOM ASSEMBLY - MOVEMENT/TIME (CDR by Ice Age Productions)
Two old geezers/legends from the Australian underground. Fahey was a member of The Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast and Social Interiors and along with Michael Tee these days a member of Scattered Order. Tee is a A Cloakroon Assembly and also a member of Ya Ya Choral. We are talking here musical history which reaches back over thirty years. The two play in the same band, but their solo work is quite different. Shane Fahey uses the sounds of water to trigger two Korg MS20 synthesizers, in real-time, but he also makes sure we hear none of the water sounds. That by itself is of course quite a nice idea, but the results are very noisy and then thirteen pieces is quite a lot to deal with, certainly when it lasts over an hour. The synths are not connected to each other, but work independent of each other. I am not sure if that particular information bears any significance. Although the overall level of noise is a bit too much for me, I though this was quite a nice set of noise pieces, best served in various smaller portions.
On the other hand we have the release by Michael Tee, who works as A Cloakroon Assembly. Apparently 'Movement/Time' has seven tracks and four bonus piece 'for this edition'. There are no instruments mentioned on the cover, but my best guess would be it is all sampled together from a variety of sources. In the lengthy opening piece (almost eighteen minutes) we have field recordings and guitar like sounds, but covered with a lot of sound effects. Together with the next track, the twelve minute 'The Truth Of Things', one easily think this is an album of moody, atmospheric music, dealing with music/sounds of a highly soundtrack like nature. But as the tracks after that proof this is not the case. In the other pieces, a rhythm of one kind or another, plays a role. Breakbeat like, trip hop like, techno like, but all a bit on the slower side of things as to make it all but dance music and keep matters with the realms of moody, atmospheric music, especially when we reach the final piece 'Slow And Steady Sleep Walkers'. Its a long album, over sixty minutes and this is perhaps also best taken in smaller portion too, unless you travel those long empty roads in Australia and have this blearing out of your car. I wanna try that. (FdW)
Address: http://iceageproductions.bandcamp.com/

MECHA/ORGA - 18:36 (3"CDR by Orila)
Its good to see the Greeks don't fade into economic misery but continue to create new music and have new labels. I never heard of Orila, but of course I do know Yiorgis Sakellariou, also known as Mecha/orga pretty well. For quite some years now he has presented his work on CD/CDR and cassette and more recently a lot on net labels, thus moving a bit out of sight. His work always uses extensively field recordings which he then manipulates with digital means. He likes sound matter that goes on and on, I think, or perhaps he creates loops of sound. In either case I am not sure. Unlike others, say Lopez, Mecha/orga likes the short form composition, being smaller blocks of manipulated sounds, which he presents as a sound collage. Those may come with elements of surprise, like sudden loud sounds dropping in, swift changes and such like. This new piece uses sounds from Belgium, Greece, Lithuania (his current base) and England and makes up eighteen minutes and thirty-six seconds of excellent stuff. Water sounds, people interacting, thunder, mechanical sounds (cars in the street?) and sometimes sounds which are hard to define, it all makes up for an excellent work. If you like Roel Meelkop or Jos Smolders (both of whom Mecha/orga recently worked), then this should surely be investigated, but I guess if you know them, you of course also know Mecha/orga. Its good to have his work on CD(R), as that is the only medium that captures these delicate frequencies best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.orila.net

CELER - LIGHTNESS AND IRRESPONSIBILITY (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
BLOOD BRIGHT STAR/OBSIDIAN TOWERS (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
LONG DISTANCE POISON - IDEOLOGICAL STATE APPARATUS (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
GIMU - A SILENT STROLL ON SOMBRE STR. (cassette by Constellation Tatsu)
Constellation Tatsu is a new cassette only label and these are their first four releases, so we review them all four; four? (yes, I know, but they don't). I started out with the only name I seem to have recognized, which is Celer, and Will Long plays two pieces of music here that are text book Celer. Two long, sustaining pieces of deep ambient music, long form drones. Its great, its fine and its what we know. I am not sure why I picked that one to play first, as perhaps I already knew this was coming. Mind you, I am not negative here. If this is what the fans wants, this is what the fans get, I suppose. Celer is a master, and this is no different from many of his previous works. C'est ca.
The first release on the label is however a split between Blood Bright Star and Obsidian Towers. Ruben Sawyer is behind the first project, Dustin Something behind the other. Blood Bright Star plays guitar and probably some loop device, and builds a nice wall of fuzzed sounds of solo guitar, fuzz and a bit of mild distortion. Nice desolation music. On the other side we also have a more fuzzy buzz toned drone, but here the desolation takes place inside the isolation cell. Obsidian Towers is a much noisy and closed off than Blood Bright Star and perhaps not as interesting either. Just all a bit too dark and unpleasant, this corner with no light.
Long Distance Poison is a trio of Nathan Cearley, Erica Bradbury and Casey Block, working a bunch of analogue synths (the cover has some very small print, but I recognized the micro moog, juno 60, doepfer a100) and they have two takes on the darker side of moog/n, and the label compares it too Joel Vandroogenbroeck and Popol Vuh, which might not be too far off the case indeed. Slowly developing lines on the synth, but the rawness of the chosen medium to get this out, makes this also a bit louder and perhaps a more distorted than Brainticket or the Vuh. When the plane rocks off, it surely is on its way, in a heavy manner, with slow arpeggio's, opening up of filters, gates, and oscillators and heads slowly for the sun. I am in on this cosmic trip.
Gimu is from Brazil and that's all I know. He has six tracks on his tape and its not easy to say how they were made. Analogue electronics seems to be my best guess here, with lots of crackles and hiss like sounds, but also a bit more musical stuff from… perhaps a guitar, lots of electronics… who knows these days, but there are indeed small melodies shimmering below the surface, ready to get out. Covered with reverb to enhance that atmosphere necessary of this kind of music, and which I think is always a bit unnecessary, this is quite a little charmer. I rate this the best out of these four. (FdW)
Address: http://ctatsu.com/



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