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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 851
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week 40
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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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PINKCOURTESYPHONE - ELEGANT AND DETACHED (CD by Room40) *
PHILIPPE PETIT - EXTRAORDINARY TALES OF A LEMON GIRL, CHAPTER THREE: HITCH-HIKING THRU BROZE MIRRORS (CD by Aagoo) *
SIDSEL ENDRESEN & STIAN WESTERHUS – DIDYMOI DREAMS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
VLATKOVICH TRYYO – PERSHING WOMAN (CD byt pfMENTUM )
AXE- ELECTRIC GUITAR EXPLORATION (CD by Spectropol)
VINCENT BERGER ROND – ELLE AVAIT RAISON HATHOR (CD by Spectropol)
PARALLEL WORLDS & DAVE BESSELL - MORPHOGENIC (CD by Din) *
HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS & CHRISTOPHER CHAPLIN - KING OF HEARTS (CD by Sub Rosa) *
JOHN CAGE - SONG BOOKS (2CD by Sub Rosa) *
NIGHT SHIFT - TRESPASSER'S GUIDE TO NOWHERE (CD by Time Released Sound) *
ROLAND ETZIN - TRANSMOGILIAN (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
ANGUS CARLYLE & RUPERT COX - AIR PRESSURE (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
QUARZ - FIVE YEARS ON COLD ASPHALT (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
EPHRAIM WEGNER & JULIA WEINMANN - EINS BIS SECHZEHN (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - KINDSPECHLEBER (LP/CD by Empiric Records) *
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE & LASSE MARHAUG & MASSIMO PUPILLO - YOU'RE NEXT (LP by Bocian Records)
KEVIN DRUMM - CROWDED (LP by Bocian Records)
LOCRIAN & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN (LP by Hand Made Birds)
VIOLENCE AND THE SACRED - FAILURE PARADE (CDR by VioSac) *
PETER BLAMEY - FORAGE (CDR by Avant Whatever) *
THE CONSTANT RISE OF EXPECTATIONS (CDR compilation by Klappstuhl Records)
ERDEM HELVACIOGLU & MARK O'LEARY - ISTANBUL (CDR by Tib Prod Italy) *
EMERGE & DON VOMP FEAT ZANSTONES - LIVE AT AVANTGARDE FESTIVAL (SCHIPHORST 23.06.12) (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
NIKU SENPUKI - DIE ZAHNE DER SONNE (3"CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *



PINKCOURTESYPHONE - ELEGANT AND DETACHED (CD by Room40)
Back in Vital Weekly 829 I was a bit surprised to hear the first CD by Pinkcourtesyphone, apparently an old project by Richard Chartier, with recordings from 1997, 2004 and 2011, which saw him moving into a new direction, perhaps a more musical one, with small melodies played on some synthesizers. It all came across, perhaps due to the extended use of reverb, as a bit 'gothic' for my taste. Definitely not pop, as some of the tracks were too long and spread out to classify anything remotely pop music. Here is new release, where the shortest piece lasts nine minutes and the longest over twenty-three. And still five pieces! All recent, from 2011-2012 and all 'formed from places, plastics and particulars' as the cover says. There isn't any development to be noted yet, but that might also be a bit early for second release. This still deals heavily with the use of loops of various sound sources, both electronic and acoustic, but these loops never seem to form a beat that we think of when we hear the word beat. There are also 'vocals' through telephone lines, which seems a running theme for Pinkcourtesyphone(line). Everything baths in reverb, occasionally a bit too much if you ask me. I am not sure what Richard Chartier's idea is with this new project. Obviously to do something else than under his under name. Its more musical for sure, but also seems a bit formless yet. A piece like 'An Awaiting Room (For Tati)/Stars Fell' sounds like a bunch of different pieces stuck together, but also seems, at twenty-three minutes, just too slow in development. Should Chartier want something that is a bit more 'pop' like (without aiming for the charts of course), then I think he should cut these pieces into shorter segments and some form of composition, head and tail, to them. All of this has a lot of potential, I think, but now seems to be taking too much time to tell a story. If the idea is to play lengthy moody pieces of atmospheric and yet musical sounds than the same objection applies: it's too long and needs more form. Don't get me wrong: this is not bad at all, but just it's in a stage where it's unclear what Chartier wants with it. Time will tell, probably. (FdW)
Address: http://www.room40.org

PHILIPPE PETIT - EXTRAORDINARY TALES OF A LEMON GIRL, CHAPTER THREE: HITCH-HIKING THRU BROZE MIRRORS (CD by Aagoo)
From our busy bee Philippe Petit we have here the third and final installment of 'Extraordinary Tales Of A Lemon Girl' (see also Vital Weekly 814 and 833), the 'epic soundtrack, a trilogy equally inspired by glorious Italian Gialli than the odysseys of Homer, Lewis Carroll or James Joyce'. Still armed with piano, electric cymbalum, triple caterpillar drum guitar, electric psalterion, processed acoustics/strings, electronics, turntables & glass manipulations, percussions and Roland fantom G6 synth, he crafts another forty-four minutes of music together. The piano seems to play a bigger role in this work (spread out over ten tracks), but maintaining the vibrancy of the two previous chapters of this book. What I said about the previous also accounts here: nice sound effects, effective computer editing, reminding me of older musique concrete, rough and untamed and never 'quiet'. The only main difference I could detect here was the use of piano, more than in the previous chapters. And yes, again, I'm still not convinced of the soundtrack like character the whole thing is supposed to have, the soundtrack of the 'fruity lemon girl's nonsensical journeys to oneiric lands' thing, but if I was to take this in a purely musical sense than this is ending to a nice book of which I didn't understand a word. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aagoo.com

SIDSEL ENDRESEN & STIAN WESTERHUS – DIDYMOI DREAMS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
Endresen worked as singer and co-writer in the 80s in the Jon Eberson Group. In the 90s she released two solo records for ECM with Django Bates, Bugge Wesseltoft and others helping out. More recent is her collaboration with Humcrush. Stian Westerhus is a guitarist with a special interest in extending techniques. Also for this album he is equipped with all kinds of additional instruments and tools besides his guitar. This cd captures them in live concert at the Natt Jazz Festival. What we get are abstract vocal sounds from Endresen combined with delicate textures coming from produced by Westerhus. Resulting in strong moments where both ingredients really interact. At other moments it is not that together, or I am not capable of constituting an unity. As you know listening to music is not a passive undergoing of music and sounds, and simply enjoying them. Listening can also be about discovering the musical vocabulary that is used and trying to find out what is communicated. Especially in these kinds of music where recognizable structures etc, are put aside. Westerhus produces fine textures and sound scapes, most of them of a spacey and atmospheric kind. Rich and deep textures of ambient-like quality. The vocal work by Endresen is more limited concerning the techniques etc, she uses. This makes her input a bit one-sided at moments. All in all, it is a fine example of how pure acoustic sounds, the human voice, can accommodate well in an environment of  electric guitar that is connected with electric and electronic adds. Personally I am most impressed by the way Westerhus extends the soundpalet of the guitar and still manages to play and compose condensed and to the point miniatures. Sometimes it is evident that electric guitar is at the base. At other instants however it is difficult to grasp and hear it all starts from the electric guitar. The vocal work did irritate me from time to time, because of repeating things too long. The recording is excellent. Sounds more as a studio recording than as a live recorded set. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com
 
VLATKOVICH TRYYO – PERSHING WOMAN (CD byt pfMENTUM )
Michael Vlatkovich is composing and playing for some 30 years now. He released 20 albums and one dvd in this period. He has always been interested in the relationship between written and improvised music. This is also reflected in this new release. This release has Vlatkovich playing with his trio of Jonathan Golove (electric cello), Damon Short (drums ) and Vlatkovich himself on trombone. We hear them in 9 compositions by Vlatkovich, recorded live in concert on 10.2.2010. Most pieces breath a reflective mood. A solid work of jazz nearing chamber music, but not appealing to me. Much too mainstream, no surprises or original moves that made me wonder. Most pieces however give a chance to enjoy the fine playing by Vlatkovich. (DM)
Address: http://www.pfmentum.com

AXE- ELECTRIC GUITAR EXPLORATION (CD by Spectropol)
An excellent collection of experimental tracks featuring electric guitar. With contributions by  Kavin Allenson, Tigress and the U-Fraidees, Bruce Hamilton, Mark Hamilton, Bill Horist, Neil Haverstick, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Steve Moyes, Marco Oppedisano, James Ross, Roger Sundstrom, Chris Vaisvil, the Michael Vick Trip, and Jordan Watson. Most of these players are new to me. One hears influences of an earlier generation of guitar players, like Bill Frisell, Henry Kaiser, Fred Frith, etc. The works on this compilation are not completely free improvised pieces like many of their predecessors. Pieces sound more composed and conventional, although the use of extended techniques is common. With the exception of the piece by  Juka-Pekka Kervinen, which is a free, over the top improvised piece with electronic manipulation as an important feature. What is striking is that most contributions are very accessible and experimental at the same time. At the same time it is a very diverse collection of contributions: ambient textures, looped sounds, free improvisation, noise, rock, world music, etc. This fine collection illustrates that the instrument Les Paul invented some 70 years ago, is still inspiring musicians to renew and extend possibilities in order to create interesting music. (DM)
Address: http://www.spectropol.com

VINCENT BERGER ROND – ELLE AVAIT RAISON HATHOR (CD by Spectropol)
I’m very happy  the releases of this Canadian maestro end up at my disc for reviewing. In the last few years I reviewed several of the releases by this extraordinary talent. However, after a few releases I had the feeling, okay I know what he is up to. However this new release, is a pleasant surprise. The sampled constructions sound more organic and multi-dimensional now. This makes this unclassifiable music a bit more accessible and enjoyable. What is new also is the fact that this is his first release by another label, namely Spectropol Records. In a way his music is comparable in some aspects with that of Biota and Noah Creshevsky. Leaving the acoustic sound material in tact as far is possible, but manipulate it in a way that makes it evident that it is not or even cannot be played by these instruments. Most, if not all material comes from recordings he made with Fred Szymanski (electric guitars), Laura Kitty (voice), Jim Goodin (banjo) and several others. Through cutup procedures Berger Rond reassembled the material into his compositions. He builds structures and forms of interdependent activity that is not met in ordinary music. What he has in common with Creshnevsky is that this music sounds far from academic. On the contrary, this music is very human  and ‘physical’. His compositions do not classically work towards some climax. He builds intriguing, complicated looping structures, making the impression of waves of music that return and return. Something that I did not touch on in earlier releases of Berger Rond are his sources of inspiration. Poetry we should mention here. He states: “After music about manhood (Un doux rÍveur dans. Homme Sauvage dit.), here is music about womanhood (Elle avait raison Hathor).” The five pieces on this album take their inspiration from female gods taken from Japanese, Greek, Inuit and Egypt myths. But from this almost purely instrumental music it cannot be picked up by a soul like me. (DM)
Address: http://www.spectropol.com

PARALLEL WORLDS & DAVE BESSELL - MORPHOGENIC (CD by Din)
Ian Boddy was, for me, a man of great synth music in the mid 80s, and to this day he carries that particular torch, mostly it seems through his label, DiN. Here we see the return of Bakis Sirros, the man behind Parallel Worlds. His previous work was a collaboration with Boddy (see Vital Weekly 780), now it's time to work with Dave Bessell, who was a member of 'the almost famous legendary band Node' (almost? what happened?). Sirros gets credit for his bank of analogue synths, which includes such fine brands as Doepfer, Serge, Bucla, MS20, Odyssey while Bessell takes charge of the Macbeth M5n, Gibson Les Paul and custom software. Now with so many synths you could all too easily imagine this to be another one of those Tangerine Dream arpeggio championship works, but it's not. The eight pieces are all somewhere to be found in the six to nine minute range, and sequencing is important, but then so is a few other items. Variation is one, guitars is one, and rhythm machines is the third. This means that this album has a lot more to offer than just fine ambient music, but instead these boys take you on a wild trip moving along sea shores, mountain tops, chilly ice fields and warm sand. It bounces neatly all over the place, with some great imaginative music that never gets tiring or boring. Excellent production also, but that's hardly a surprise, taking in account the previous releases by Parallel Worlds. You could also say 'slick' production, or moan about the fact this is perhaps not the next musical revolution. I instead opted for sitting back and take the music as it is: a warm bath that flows all over me. Sit back, relax and enjoy. (FdW)
Address: http://www.DiN.org.uk

HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS & CHRISTOPHER CHAPLIN - KING OF HEARTS (CD by Sub Rosa)
JOHN CAGE - SONG BOOKS (2CD by Sub Rosa)
Some years ago I had a dispute with someone about something trivial, but it was resolved by him sending me a book on Hans Joachim Roedelius. Now, I don't regard myself Roedelius biggest fan, but obviously I like the early two Kluster records - still play them at least once every year - and in the 90s I was involved in getting some of his music out on CD. Those were the releases I know best, and especially 'La Nordica' is a particular favorite. But through that book I learned there is much more Roedelius music and of a varying quality. It also tells me that Roedelius is a man who loves to experiment with various styles, instruments and means. Here he works with Christopher Chaplin - indeed the youngest son of Charles - who plays the piano. The two met when Chaplin did a remix of Roedelius piano playing in June 2011, which resulted in more work together. This is all quite modern classic music, although I am not sure if all of these instruments are actually played by some musician or if they were digitally cooked up. I assume it was the latter. Lots of violins, percussion instruments, piano and cello make up an interesting eleven track album of moody, atmospheric music. It doesn't have the dark mid-90s quality that I liked in Roedelius, but it's also not as new age as some of his solo works sometimes are. It's through also smooth music, without many sharp edges. Orchestral ambient? Did that term ever exist? Maybe it's time someone used it to describe the music of Roedelius - the very eminence grise of that genre.
Also classical and on the same label is the complete cycle 'Song Books' by John Cage. This work was composed in 1970 as 90 different pieces for voice, and also including electronics and theatrical action. Cage composed this work in three months, using a variety of techniques he had been using in previous years. Now, on this double set you won't find all of these ninety song books, but only fourteen and yet this rather complete. How is that possible. The other seven pieces are 'mixes' which use a variety of songs books played together, superimposing them as Cage would have called this. In his sound world a normal procedure: you play various bits at the same time and mix them together, usually in a random way. I'm not sure if the musicians did the random approach thing here; I couldn't even try to guess here. It's however quite fascinating music. Quiet most of the time, like so many of Cage's compositions are being interpreted these days, as manifestations of quietness, but sometimes very loud, screaming (for instance in 'Solo For Voice No.3') or with extended use of electronics, such as in 'Solo For Voice No. 11'. It's of course a lot of music, some 160 minutes in total, which is quite a lot indeed, but surely a great excursion. I often said about Cage's work that it's more interesting to read about it, then to hear it. I know that's a bold statement, as I surely didn't hear all of it, and this fact this release might be wrong, at least for a bit, for now. This is fine release. And apparently all the solos are available as a download from the website of Sub Rosa. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

NIGHT SHIFT - TRESPASSER'S GUIDE TO NOWHERE (CD by Time Released Sound)
Although credited to a Russian trio called Night Shift, this is in fact a collaborative work they did with Olli Aarni, the man behind the band Ous Mal, from Finland. He takes the credit for keyboards, electronics and piano, while the band plays bass, electronics, voice, electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, drums and horns. It's hard to say how this collaboration was made, by mail, or perhaps by a true meeting in a studio. It's an interesting work in which various interests seem to melt. There is on one hand the folk/rock band approach of three musicians playing together, not set out to create loud rocking music, but playing together in an intimate way, delicate and light hearted. On the other hand, perhaps the hand of Aarni, the computerized processing of those 'band' recordings, taken apart and scrambled together. All of this spiced up with field recordings, snippets of people talking and perhaps more delicacy, but then of a more electronic nature. This makes an interesting mix of styles and ideas. A bit folk tronic like, but then the electronic doesn't seem to prevail, actually nor does the band playing: it seems to be in a perfect balance. You could wonder if thirteen tracks, that last seventy-seven minutes is perhaps a bit long and at this length it doesn't seem too many variations in their approach. Then it works a bit against the album as a whole. I always wonder why this has to be so long: remember the old days, when a LP lasted forty minutes maximum and which I think would be the right length for an album? Consider this album, if you will, as a document of all this band has to offer, and out of which you compile, easily I might add, your own favorite forty minutes. It's a great album, but all a bit in excess. (FdW)
Address: http://timereleasedsound.com/

ROLAND ETZIN - TRANSMOGILIAN (CD by Gruenrekorder)
ANGUS CARLYLE & RUPERT COX - AIR PRESSURE (CD by Gruenrekorder)
Two works of pure 'unprocessed' field recordings, both carried out in the far east, but I guess that's the only thing that combines these together. On 'TransMogolian' we follow the journey of Etzin through Russia, China, Lake Baikal, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan. He was accompanied by Katrin Hoedemacker who did the drawings in the booklet. As the title suggest, all of these pieces seem to be dealing with the sound of transport, the means thereof. Trains mostly, but also a boat in Lake Baikal. Long pieces here, always around seven to twelve minutes of what seems to me a single sound event lifted from the journey, and also quite an abstract one. It's not easy to grasp from which point things are recorded and in some piece it takes a while before you realize there is a train in there, such in South Korea piece. That makes this into quite a nice release actually, maybe overstepping some of the other pure field recording/sound scaping works that this label also releases. It's of course not musical in the sense of a fine piece of music, but the whole things is truly captivating. I am not sure if I agree, however, with 'these countries do not only have very different landscapes and ways of life, they also differ in their sounds, a dimension which more often that not goes unnoticed'. I am not sure if this is really true, based upon what I heard. Let's say it's not something I heard or noticed.
The first time I arrived in Japan, I flew into Narita airport and looking out of the window of the airplane, I thought about hills, farms and how it perhaps would look a bit like Austria. I may not have realized there might be people living there, but I guess you never do when you arrive after a 11 hour journey. Below there at Narita Airport is the farm of the family Shimamura and that's part of the extensive project 'Air Pressure' of which this CD and very extended booklet with stories about a farm below the runway of Narita airport. All of these pieces deal with the very fact that there is farm life but also lots of planes coming over. The whole project is about how it affects the farmers and their farming - organic but of course that's not audible on the CD itself. Crops are under wraps and we have recordings of that. There is animal life, people talking and of course we hear every now and then planes. Years ago I lived close by a rail track, which you couldn't barely hear, but still drove me insane at times, and these days I like where I am: a quiet corner in a medium sized town. Not a lot of traffic or other disturbance. I am glad I am not a farmer below a runway. That much is clear from listening and reading all of this. Here too we are hardly dealing with music per se, but it's an interesting work from a sociological or perhaps even anthropological point of view. A documentary in word, image and sound. Everything for a great documentary that is not a movie. Great stuff that points out a few interesting questions. Food for thought. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

QUARZ - FIVE YEARS ON COLD ASPHALT (CD by Cronica Electronica)
EPHRAIM WEGNER & JULIA WEINMANN - EINS BIS SECHZEHN (CD by Cronica Electronica)
Two new releases on Portugal's finest home for electronic music, Cronica Electronica. The first is group around Alexandr Vatagin (also of Tupolev and Port-Royal), who started Quarz in 2006. I believe there is a floating membership here, but for this release we have Nicolas Bernier (I assume he send in his work via e-mail as he's not from Austria), Stefan Nemeth (of Radian and Lokai fame), Alexander Schubert (Sinebag) and Martin Siewert (Trapist, Heaven And) and for this CD also Bernhard Breuer (Elektro Guzzi, Metalycee) and David Schweighart (Tupolev). If I understood right the music here is generated through mail, in such a way that everybody could tap into the latest version and add stuff. I couldn't have told this based on what I just heard here. This sounds more like a bunch of people playing actively together in a space than some sort of elaborate process of file exchange. Music that is no surprise for those who love the Austrian wave of a few years back - which, come to think of it, seems less these days. I don't know why - with those vaguely reminiscent jazz rolls, deep bass rumble and careful strumming on a few strings of the guitar every now and then. This leads to some intense listening music, which is more contemplative than 'out there', more introspective than extravert. Just an excellent relaxed piece of music.
The other new project on Cronica is more an art like project dealing with ruins of hotels. Julia Weinmann did the photography of them, while one Ephraim Wegner made recordings in these abandoned places. Waking up and down those stairs, large empty rooms of bare concrete. There is not of processing going on here, although it's also not entirely without. Wegner was originally a DJ, but now deals with field recordings and sound installations and creates music for films. A rather short CD here, only twenty minutes in time, with recordings, I believe, from various places. It's I think a fine work of pretty interesting field recordings and it sounds great, but I must say the reason behind all this eludes me a bit. Maybe it's too brief for me, these five rather short and one longer piece, and perhaps it needed as much as attention as the whole package has. In a strange way this looks very much like a recent package on Gruenrekorder, more so than one on Cronica Electronica. It's as a total experience, image and sound (in that order) quite a fine package. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF - KINDSPECHLEBER (LP/CD by Empiric Records)
This proofs absolutely nothing. What the hell do I know? Like why Mirko Uhlig once changed from using his band name Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf to his own name, and since time it's back to that moniker again. There might be a perfect logic explanation for it, but I don't know. Or perhaps I am not certain about it but the differences could be hidden inside the music. If that is the case, then I am sure these differences are quite small. Maybe with Uhlig (as Uhlig) I had the impression things were all a bit more subdued, and with Aalfang it's perhaps all a bit more louder. But maybe I just have the volume turned up more today? Here we have a LP and a CD, both of around forty minutes which offer a sufficient insight in the world of Uhlig. Mood music is the best description but perhaps not mood music in the 'classic' drone sense, but more like a story telling. Uhlig uses long form sounds, drones if you will, but cuts it along with spoken word, children's voices, radio which gives the music a strange surrealistic notion. Will you be surprised if I bring up the name Nurse With Wound in this respect? It has that same estranged atmosphere here as on say 'Spiral Insana', like a wicked radio play, or a montage of film voices from a horror movie, but also with samples from a spaghetti western towards the end of 'Les Mouches Volantes'. If I understood matters correctly, the CD is Uhlig taking the sounds from the LP into a whole new world, a recycled version as we would have said so in the 1980s. Now to proof my point I don't know much. The LP sounds differently than the CD. The CD could be more Uhlig than Aalfang (am I still making sense?). with more subdued textured tones, more ambient, more Hafler Trio than the wounded nurse. It's great that both come to us as Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf as they fit along each other quite well. First play the record to get in a scary mood, and then the CD to relax and contemplate about what just happened. Great work, I must say, but I guess I have been a converted fan for quite some time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.empiricrecords.com/

PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE & LASSE MARHAUG & MASSIMO PUPILLO - YOU'RE NEXT (LP by Bocian Records)
KEVIN DRUMM - CROWDED (LP by Bocian Records)
Of the first LP I am not sure if I ever heard of Massimo Pupillo, who plays 'low end bowel chainsaw' on this record, but since a lot seems tongue in cheek here, it might also be a guitar with effects. Everything here says: we poke fun at those who play with the stereotypes of the world of industrial music. One side is called 'First Offence' and has titles as 'Necrophiliac Cunnilingus', 'Rope For The Undead' and 'Vomit Buffet', while 'Second Coming' has 'Rib Cage Of Rotting Horror', 'Broken Spine Crushed Cranium' and 'Forest Of Disembowelment'. Nilssen-Love plays 'battery of total limb annihilation' and Marhaug 'electronic torture devices'. I think I summed all of the inside jokes here, but what about the music you may ask? Ah, now well, that's something that fits well, except that it is not a joke of some kind. But I can imagine that 'post concert/dressing room' they said, that's was a great hell of a racket, wow, almost like industrial music' and so the idea came to be to present it like that, but then over the top. There are of course not really three pieces per side, but just two sides of some excellent free improvised noise music. Loud, vicious and unrelentness. And curiously: it doesn't sound like good ol' industrial music, but more like good ol' free jazz from a very noise end of the spectrum. Think Borbetomagus but then without the saxophone and lots of drums. An ear cleansing exercise. Excellent.
I haven't been keeping up with Kevin Drumm, although I am not sure why not. I guess it's one of these things that happen. So I am not sure where we 'are' with Drumm. The two side long pieces here seem to be two different sides of the same coin. 'Rediki' is a piece of electronics, loud at times, swirling/beating/oscillating most of the times and piercing right through your ears, without mercy, but it's also, at the same time, not y'r typical noise record. The deep end has a menacing/treating/oppressing sound that adds a lot of tension to the piece. Here is where the true power of the piece lies, and what sets the great composer aside from those who try their hands at noise. But alright it's a noise indeed, and for me the really great/even better piece of music is on the other side, 'Reptitive Algae', which seems to me all acoustic, and perhaps if not all, then at least for a greater part. Maybe it's here where Drumm got the idea for the title of the record. One side is crowded with buzzing and ringing of tones and on the other it's just crowded with sounds. Multi-layered with tons and tons (it seems) of acoustic sounds, rubbing against each other. Sound source: unknown. There is a bit of electronica in there, but don't ask me how this works. Well, perhaps I could guess: lots of loops of different lengths playing at the same time, so that they hardly make the same connection very soon again. Music with a great deal of tension, like a horror movie soundtrack. The graveyard shakes and all the bodies rise like one man, rattling their cages. This record is reminder I should play some Kevin Drumm soon again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bocianrecords.com

LOCRIAN & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN (LP by Hand Made Birds)
This seems like an unlikely meeting: why would these people work together? Christoph Heemann, a man of delicate drone music and fine tape manipulations, and a duo from America that I held down in my book as a fine noise band. But hold on, something else has changed. Locrian (Andre Foisy on electric and 12 strings acoustic guitars and Terence Hannum on vocals, organ, synth, piano) have grown into a trio now, with Steven Hess on drums and tapes. That too is a major surprise. But Locrian have worked with other people before, so it's perhaps not a big mystery that everybody thinks out of the box here. This is one of those things that have been through the use of internet, by exchanging sound files, and those excursions work best, I think, when it's impossible to hear that they were made like that. Once you think: I must look at the cover and see who did the mix, then you are right: it's hard to tell wether this was created through mail or not. It happened to me with this record. These four lengthy cuts, ten minutes at least for each song, are tight pieces of repressed noise music made within the context of rock music. Repressed, as this never bursts or screams out, but perhaps the whole notion of noise doesn't apply in this world, with this particular release. 'Edgeless City' for instance is a piece that is way more drone like than anything I heard from Locrian before, and while not exactly what Heemann does with In Camera or did with Mirror, it's easy to see the connection with him. While in 'Loathe The Light' it's easier to see the older works of Locrian at play and it has a more rock like structure/song like character. This is a pretty strong record, one that easily defies any easy genre, and as such genres don't seem to matter anymore. Noise, drone, ambient: who cares anyway? This collaboration is very well made, excellently produced and topped off in a great fold out sleeve. (FdW)
Address: http://www.handmadebirds.com

VIOLENCE AND THE SACRED - FAILURE PARADE (CDR by VioSac)
Number six out of series of fifteen historical releases by Violence And The Sacred. Here we have a recording from 1987, June 5 and 6 to be precise from London, Ontario and the line up is as usual of voice, synth, beatbox, tapes, cello, synth, tapes and guitar. It was in those released as a cassette on Audiofile Tapes, a label run by Carl Howard. The chaos from the previous concert lingers onto this one, showing this band was heading for a more free improvised mood here. Lots of distorted guitar, string abuse, feedback, and all sorts of spoken word sounds dropping in and out of the mix. Sometimes lifted from radio/TV sources, and sometimes read by St. Deborah. The harshness and denser approach from the previous release, 'Lost Horizon' (with recordings from a few months earlier, see Vital Weekly 805) continues here too, and this is, at sixty-seven minutes quite a tour de force. More visual ('non stop slides, films, light projections') were shown so it must have been an all sensory overload. It's interesting to see what the next concert will bring; maybe they continue in this way or will there any way they slow down and perhaps add a moment or two of 'silence'. Time will tell. This is surely one to take in a small dose at a time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.viosac.net

PETER BLAMEY - FORAGE (CDR by Avant Whatever)
'Open Electronics' is the word Peter Blamey uses for his work and by that he means that he breaks all sorts of electricity boards open and makes music with the all the cables he finds inside, which he connects to each other. That creates a buzzy, hissing sound, noisy and distorted, hovering close to the world of feedback. But then it's also not the most noise related piece of music I heard. Here we have a seventeen minute and a three minute piece, although it's hard to hear a difference between both pieces. I assume he plays this using his fingers to make connections, or perhaps to attaching wires together, which is never according to the manual for which these apparatus were originally created. I am strongly reminded of the early work of Gert-Jan Prins, who worked with similar open electronics, but also using hiss from radio and TV, which I don't think is something Blamey does. These twenty minutes are, I believe, a fine showcase of what Blamey does in this field, but I'd be curious to hear this in concert and how this would relate to the more adventurous improvisers working roughly in the same field (say whatever we find these days on Bocian Records). In the interaction with people like that the true tension of this music can fully bloom. As a greeting card of what Blamey can do, this works indeed quite well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.avantwhatever.com

THE CONSTANT RISE OF EXPECTATIONS (CDR compilation by Klappstuhl Records)
'Dedicated to the late Lydia Tomkiw (1959-2007)', it says on the cover of this compilation, and I can imagine that you may not know who she was. In the 80s she was a member of the duo Algebra Suicide, in which guitar, drum machine and Tomkiw's vocals were crucial. They were also very much into the whole business of cassettes and networking. So perhaps it's not strange that five years after she passed away there is this CDR salute to her with some people that, save to say, are a bit older, like (Ad)Vance(d), Kallabris, [Multer], F-Space, Solanaceae Tau, N, Gerstein and [Multer]. Not all of these pieces are new to this compilation, but if they were released than it's from a limited edition release only. Not all of this music is along the old lines of Algebra Suicide, in fact hardly any. This is more a manifestation of independent music production from all corners of the musical world. From moody pieces by (Ad)Vance(d), [Multer] to the heavy rhythms of Mr. Concept, Gerstein, 9Cento9, Cyborcosis, Mik@ 69N + Fto synthi pop by Solanaceae Tau and guitar noise by F. Space (complete with a good heavy metal banging - and I mean metal). Martin Newell provides a jolly pop moment, which is certainly the oddest ball around this lot. Like I said, it bounces all over the place, which is nice, but, and this not DIY talk, what's the target audience here: people who like independent music? I can imagine that those who love the comp's more rhythmic moments will frown upon the more subdued moments, and vice versa. Is open-mindedness something that belongs in 2012? I would certainly hope so, but I fear for the worst. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

ERDEM HELVACIOGLU & MARK O'LEARY - ISTANBUL (CDR by Tib Prod Italy)
Here is a collaborative work that was made in meeting each other, rather than exchanging sound files per mail. Mark O'Leary went down to Istanbul to capture sounds from the city and work them into four pieces of music. It's a work that is all about ambience, I guess. I have never been to Istanbul, so I am not sure, but these four long pieces capture various aspects of the city. The western and the eastern part of the town, in between the bridge and the Bosphorus. I am not sure how this was made, but I think that O'Leary and Helvacioglu use a fair amount of (analogue?) electronics to transform the material they have. It's not pure soundscaping, but in stead this has been edited and played around with electronics. One could argue that some of this process makes this more or less the same, being stretched out, drone like music and that it doesn't matter wether this starts with birds or the market place. And perhaps the tranquil results don't meet up with the idea I have of Istanbul as a busy middle Eastern city. Not that this is any major problem of course. You can also see this field recording work as a starting point for four nice ambient/drone excursions. What more do you want? (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com/italy

EMERGE & DON VOMP FEAT ZANSTONES - LIVE AT AVANTGARDE FESTIVAL (SCHIPHORST 23.06.12) (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
NIKU SENPUKI - DIE ZAHNE DER SONNE (3"CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Attenuation Circuit's house artist Emerge has here another release again, this time a co-release with a violin player called Don Vomp with whom he played live on June 23 2012 in Schiphorst at the festival curated by Faust's Jean-Herve Perron. There is the thirty-five minute recording they did together as well as a bonus piece of almost thirteen minutes of them improvising with Zan Hoffman, also known as Zanstones. Emerge picks up the violin sounds produced by Don Vomp and processes them before hand and uses these as a starting point for the concert, along with recordings of synthesizers by elektrojudas. Emerge also plays guitar and effects. Although I like the idea, I am not sure why this had to be released on a CDR. This seems perfect for a release on bandcamp, I'd say. You can hear, and choose to buy it, should you want to. It's not something that is very good or absolutely necessary to release. It is a work of improvisation obviously but either Emerge or Don Vomp is not the best improviser in the world - I found it hard to figure out which one it is. It goes on and on, but there is no tension, no interaction between the two players, and it messes a lot with electronics. When Zan Hoffman joins in there is more tension with a quiet development of sounds, and one has the impression musicians are listening and responding to each other, working towards, perhaps a bit of a cliche, a climax at the end.
The other new release is by Niku Senpuki, who before had a track on a compilation by Impedance. Behind this name we find Fabian Otto, who plays guitar and laptop and he recorded three tracks of exactly 7 minutes and 42 seconds. I am not sure how it works with him, how guitar, effects and laptop are connected, if they are at all. It seems to me he plays his music with improvisation in mind, but here to it's hard to escape from the idea that this guy just plays around with sounds and effect pedals, but doesn't want to create the necessary tension in his work to get something across. An idea, a gesture, a movement, but in stead plays around with the knobs on his delay pedal and have them on endless repeat. That in itself doesn't make up for great music I am afraid. There is a lot to learn here for these musicians and a lot to play. But not necessarily a lot to release right away. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de






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