number 864
week 2


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GHOST TIME (CD by Hinterzimmer Records) *
PRSZR - EQUILIRIUM (CD by Hinterzimmer Records) *
BETWEEN (CD by 12K) *
ELEPHANT9 – ATLANTIS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
SELVHENTER – FRK.B.FRICKA (CD by Egetvaerelse)
WOLFRAM - ATOL DRONE (CD by Bocian Records/Bolt Records) *
SEC_ - MOSCAIO (CD by Bocian Records) *
ELEKTRIK UNDERGROUND 2012 (LP compilation by Motok)
NIGDENIYA (CDR by Zhelezobeton) *
GILDED - TERRANE (CDR by Hidden Shoal Recordings) *
L.R. PADGETT - CHAMBERS (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
BURRIED MACHINE - BULKFACE (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)

GHOST TIME (CD by Hinterzimmer Records)
PRSZR - EQUILIRIUM (CD by Hinterzimmer Records)
By now Z'EV has a remarkable career: working so long with percussion in so many different fields, solo as well as with others and, on a whole separate note also working with electronic music. Here he teams with a trio, that goes by the name of Ghost Time. Z'EV plays the alto and baritone rolmos, which are Tibetan ritual cymbals with lots of overtones. The other two members are Andy Knight who plays pocket trumpet and Ken Hyder from Scotland who plays snare drum, voice, cymbals, stainless discs and tenor rolmos. All recorded live, which I found hard to believe. I have no idea how this was played and recorded, but that 'live' thing suggests three people in a room and a microphone in the middle. How does the trumpet and the voice then have so much reverb on it? Assuming of course the microphone is not in the middle of empty long tunnel. The four pieces here are dark atmospheric affairs with shimmering tones lurking just above the surface, and probably a lot of it below the surface. Sounds arrive from a far, creepy, mysterious and even dangerous, but there is also a great flow in this album, of instruments, sounds and the space they are played in, melting together. Now the reverb part of it, wether its electronically enhanced or not, might not be my cup of tea, it serves it's function however very well. Shimmering dark and moody. And like said, hard to believe this was all improvised and played live, but if the cover says so, they must be right.
Curious enough, along similar lines we find a duo called Prszr, which is Peter Votava, who is best known working as Pure, and Rafal Iwasnki and Rafal Kolacki, by day also known as Polish percussion players Hati (and once collaborator with Z'EV - this is a small world), and who play gongs, percussion, wind instruments while Pure plays electronics. That means, indeed, along similar lines: percussion plays a big role here, and so does atmospherics, but there are differences too. Some of the material by Prszr is more crudely played, such as the third (untitled) piece. Then the simplicity is a bit too much, and too long. It works better in the other pieces, I think, when the gongs provide overtones and smaller percussion sounds play smaller spaces, and electronics perform more mysterious angles. Yet, it's not easy not to compare both records, since they cover similar territory: atmospheric music, percussion. The balance is in favor of Ghost Time for me, despite perhaps the extended use of reverb to make their point. The music by Prszr is more simple, sounds more improvised and not always works well, for me at least. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hinterzimmer-records.com

I thought I knew most improvisers and composers that are around in Montréal, because of the numerous CDs by Ambiances Magnetiques that slipped through my hands over the years. However the name Nicolas Caloia is new to me. He works as a performer, composer and organizer in this city. The Ratchet Orchestra is one of his projects and also his best known one, since he started it around 1990. It is a big orchestra of 30 musicians: Jean Derome (bass flute, piccolo, flute), Craig Dionne (flute), Lori Freedman (clarinet), Gordon Krieger (bass clarinet), Cristopher Cauley (soprano sax), Louisa Sage (alto sax), Damian Nisenson (tenor sax), Jason Sharp (bass sax), Elwood Epps (trumpet), Philippe Battikha (trumpet), Tom Walsh (trombone), Scott Thomson (trombone), Jacques Gravel (trombone), Thea Pratt (E flat horn), Eric Lewis (huphonium), Noah Countability (sousaphone), Gabriel Rivest (tuba), Joshua Zubot (violin), Guido Del Fabbro (violin), Brigitte Dajczer (violin), Jean René (viola), Gen Heistek (viola), Norsola Johnson (cello), Nicolas Caloia (bass), Chris Burns (guitar), Sam Shalabi (guitar), Guillame Dostaler (piano), Ken Doolittle (percussion), Michel Bonneau (conga), Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums), John Heward (drums). Yes, one needs to be a hell of an organizer to bring together so many musicians! With this orchestra Caloia experiments with improvised chamber music and jazz. ‘Hemlock’ is the third release of this project that started as a quintet. Recorded in three days in may, 2011. For the Sun Ra tribute in 2007 ‘Live at the Sala Rossa’ Caloia expanded the line up to what it is now. The compositions by Caloila are well-constructed and move within known territories. Some parts are very open for improvisation, others not. Some compositions – ‘Winnow’and ‘Yield’ - are not very surprising, others however are very appealing like ‘Dusty’ and the title track. The recording and mixing is ok. One hear and enjoy all participants, all sounds and colors coming from their instruments. Although this music is consumed best in a live performance.  Caloia uses a wide spectrum of sounds by continuously making different combinations of instruments and arrangements. The full span of possibilities that are contained in this big band of reputed players come into being. (DM)
Address: http://www.dripaudio.com

Oddly enough, halfway through this thirty-eight minute piece, the word that sprang to mind was 'jazz'. Not because of its blearing saxophones, upright bass, hi-hats, but more about the way this music is played. Here we have five players, Simon Scott, Corey Fuller, Marcus Fischer, Tomoyoshi Date and Taylor Deupree together in Kyoto on October 8th of last year, captured during a concert. The duties are divided in electronics, voice, thumb piano, rhodes, guitar, electronics, lap harp, cassettes, electronics, x-pro1, percussion, synthesizer, bells and scrapes. Maybe it's the use of the Fender Rhodes that gave me the idea about jazz? In these thirty-eight minutes everything floats by easily, slowly drifting like a calm sea with driftwood washing a shore (thumb piano, scrapes, percussion?), while others provide long form sounds (Rhodes, synthesizers, cassettes?) to keep on evolving all of the time. There is a particular hiss like quality about it, which I am sure is all intentional here. Meditative, yet at times also a bit more experimental than you would expect. around the twenty-five minute mark there is scraping sound that is a bit odd and seemingly out of place, but it fits well in this sort of zen like music. There is a lot of fine stuff going on here, right between the cracks! (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

Quite a surprise, this release by New York-based Eli Keszler. An unknown talent for me, who played hardcore, punk and rock, before he became interested in experimental music and improvisation. He studied composition with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake, worked with Phil Niblock, Tony Conrad, Jandek, etc. He released numerous CDs and LPs for ESP-DISK, Pan, etc. He developed himself into a multimedia artist, building installations combined with compositions. In this area also his new release is to be located. The first cd contains ‘Cold Pin’, a work in two parts as they were originally released on LP in 2011. A live recording of the composition has been added for this release. In both versions we hear the following musicians: Ashley Paul (alto sax, bass harp), Greg Kelley (trumpet), Geoff Mullen (guitar), Reuben Son (bassoon), plus Eli Keszler himself on drums, percussion, crotales and guitar. We hear a constant intense stream of percussion, with long sustained notes and patterns on top of it. It really caught  me by surprise, the way this piece took off.  The second cd counts three different works: ‘Catching Net’, ‘Collecting Basin’ and again ‘Cold Pin’. The first piece is written for a string quartet plus piano and an ‘installation’. For ‘Collecting Basin’ piano strings are used up “to 250 feet long splayed from a two-story water tower in Shreveport/Lousiana, across two large, empty water purification basins, which acted as an amplifier for the sounds produced by the installation”. Plus again ‘Cold Pin’ without players this time. It was “installed directly on a large curved wall in the dome, using micro-controlled motors and beaters to strike extended strings ranging in length from 3 to 25 feet”. Overall this music sounds very fresh and punky for its love for raw, primitive and unpolished sound. At the same time it are very abstract sound works.  This works out as a very good combination: the rawness of hardcore and rock combined experimental, composed music. Although this music has a very ‘physical’ presence, as compositions they were not completely satisfying for me. Leaving me with questions about the focus and direction the compositions. Keszler's universe is close to the worlds of AMM, Organum, Faust and somebody like Matt Weston. Archaic music, evoking long forgotten worlds. Keszler is an interesting and original new composer of irresistible noisy soundscapes and textures. (DM)
Address: http://pan-act.com

ELEPHANT9 – ATLANTIS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
A Norwegian power trio of Ståle Storløkken (keyboard), Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen (bass) and Torstein Lofthus on drums. All three made their mark in other established units from Norge. Storløkken is known from Supersilent and Humcrush; Eilertsen from Big Band and National Bank; and Lofthus from Shining. As a trio they started in 2006 operating in progressive and jazz rock territories. In 2008 they were ready for their debut cd: ‘Dodovoodoo’ to be followed by ‘Walk the Nile’in 2010. Like these two releases, their new one, ‘Atlantis’ is released by Rune Grammofon. And has Reine Fiske, a veteran guitarist from the progrock scene (Dungen), as a guest  on several tracks. Interesting and inspired moments there are plenty in this fusion music that continues where fusion music and heavy rock stopped in the 70s. No wonder they deal in long extended pieces were they take time to work towards a climax, like in the title track ‘Atlantis’.  But this musical language is not really talking to me anymore. The fact that this dynamic music bursts of ferocious energy, and has superb playing make no difference. But that is purely because of my personal tastes. No wonder I felt most comfortable by the slow and quiet tracks, where they leave all their extravaganza behind, like in ‘A Foot in Both’. For younger listeners, this music will probably sound new and have a strong appealing effect. Especially if you like the fender rhodes and hammond organ, this one is for you. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

SELVHENTER – FRK.B.FRICKA (CD by Egetvaerelse)
The Danish band Selvhenter is Sonja LaBianca (saxophone), Maria Bertel (trombone), Maria Diekmann (violin), Jaleh Negari (drums) and Anja Jacobsen (drums). This all women band started in 2007 as a trio, and expanded in 2008 with two drummers. Now they present their debut album, released on their own label Egetvaerelse, a platform for the projects they create. The opening track ‘Bali’ is a free improvised miniature, to be followed by rock dominated pieces of a raw and noisy nature. Most of them make room for improvised interludes and maneuvers. Tracks like ‘Solkat’ and ‘Nynorsk’ have nothing to do with rock. These pieces have a prominent role for the blowers operating in a free improvised way. For sure they show different faces in these 11 pieces. Also the performance is full of energy, so it must be exciting to see them life. They chose a for simple, rock-based, approach of improvisation with a big role for repetition. This makes the music in the end unsatisfying and a bit too amorphous to make it really an interesting one. (DM)
Address: http://www.egetvaerelse.dk

Isbin is a well-known name to me, as I know my way in the Belgian scene quite well. But I must admit I never crossed ways with him earlier. He is a composer, improviser, guitarist and lutenist, from Brugge, Belgium. He started as a lute player of baroque music, but his love for composing directed him towards contemporary music for guitar. This led to many collaborations over the years (Fred van Hove, Jaap Blonk, Joe Fonda, etc). His music shows many sides: raga, blues, jazz, Brazilian music, etc.  This new release with Scott Walton combines his love for old and new music. As it has Isbin playing lute again with Walton on bass. Because of the lute, one may think of Jozef van Wissem who also plays this instrument. But his very conceptual work has nothing to do with what Isbin is aiming at. Isbin and Walton play a music that is inspired on music of the renaissance as well as jazz. A perfect, and in any case, an unusual and surprising blend. Scott Walton is a bassist and pianist from the States, who played and recorded with people like George Lewis, Leo Smith, John Carter, etc. Performer, as a pianist of work by Ives for example. In 2005 he played in a trio with Isbin and Jeff Gauthier. Since this date Walton and Isbin started to develop their unique crossover that is presented here on this new disc, that was recorded in october 2011. Six tracks are composed by Isbin. They are melodic and close to jazz. Eight pieces are by Isbin and Walton. These pieces sound as the result of improvisation. Then there is one old – Flemish medieval – song, called ‘Soedansdochter’. Their music is of an eclectic nature, but far from a superficial meeting of different musical idioms. The results work wonderfully. The music dwells in pastoral and melancholy moods and atmospheres. There is fine interplay and dueling to be enjoyed. A very satisfying and convincing work. (DM)
Address: http://www.pfmentum.com
A sextet from Sweden: Marcelo Gabard Pazos (saxophone) Samuel Hällkvist (guitar), Loïc Dequidt (piano, Rhodes), David Carlsson (electric bass) Peter Nilsson(drums) and Anders Vestergård (percussion). All pieces on this album come from live recordings during their 2011 tour. The album is the follow up to their award winning debut album ‘Intertwined’, also released by Kopasetic. Kopasetic is a production company and record label specialized in jazz and improvised music from Sweden. ‘In Action’ opens with the rhythmic complex piece ‘Switch Foot Logo’, that has powerful guitar playing by Hällkvist. The piece is followed by the laid back track ‘Gods & Goods’. This track, like others on this album, is a slowly unfolding,  lyrical piece. Very open, with plenty of room, for (solo)improvisations. They are into interplay with attention for nuance and detail, more than into big gestures. Most compositions are by the hand of Samuel Hällkvist, winner of the prestigious 2010 Jazz In Sweden award, plus Loïc Dequidt. They are clearly into fusion-like jazz. So, if that is your thing... (DM)
Address: http://www.kopasetic.se

Recorded almost three years ago, but for whatever reason it has been lying around until now. We have Chris Abrahams at the piano and Alessandro Bosetti taking care of electronics and in two pieces also voice. It's a pity that these electronics are not specified. Sampling sounds from the piano, max/mps treatments, analogue synthesizers, stomp boxes? It's unclear. It opens with a nice sampled piece of prepared piano sounds, 'We Also Dress Today', but then 'We Arrange Our Home' is way too jazz minded for my taste. 'We Cannot Imagine' is then a more spooky piece with a meandering piano, moody electronics and also Bosetti reciting a text, rather than singing it. Like with what he does with his band, Trophies, I am not that blown away by that use of his voice. But then, the next two pieces are very good, intense, minimally changing sounds, clustered sounds of both the piano and samples, tied together and swinging around. In the final piece, 'Waltz For Debby', Abrahams plays piano like he is playing in a restaurant, Bosetti like he is on the love boat but with a default in the recording - or as a Whitehouse/Ikeda sine wave remix, but for me it doesn't save this particular piece. So we have here two tracks I firmly don't like, three which I do a lot and one that is sort of so-so. That means the balance is in favor of this release. Just.
A bit older are the 2008 recordings from a trio of which I only recognize Kai Fagaschinski (clarinet); also here are Barbara Romen on hammered dulcimer and Gunter Schneider (guitars). The six pieces were recorded in a single day in Vienna at the Amann Studios (obviously, I almost added, where all this weird stuff is recorded). With this release we enter a territory that is well covered in these pages. That of the carefully constructed improvised music. It plinks and it plonks, instruments do not sound like how they normally do, but act as resonating boxes or sine wave apparatus. You may think I may not like this, but in fact I actually do like this. It is perhaps not something I haven't heard before but who cares about that? These three players created some thoughtful, intense improvised music in which 'silence' meets up with something that might very well be the opposite and sometimes in a matter of seconds. Nothing new, but very nice indeed.
And then we arrive at the oldest release of this trio by a horrible band name, but no doubt this is all intended to be funny. This was recorded already in 2004! A quartet of Japanese musicians: Tetuzi Akiyama (high frequency: resonator guitar with samurai sword), Naoaki Miyamoto (mid-high frequency: electric guitar), Utah Kawasaki (mid-low frequency: analog synthesizer) and Atsuhiro Ito (low frequency: optron). Some of these names may call for some expectations, I'd say, but these expectations might be all wrong. We have a single fifty two minute piece that gradually over the course of the piece goes down and down. But then it starts out quite loud and stays there for some time. No careful improvising here. This is all about making up a large wall of sound and then gradually breaking that sound down, tear it up, apart and all of that while trying to maintain that harsh level, and each player trying to stay within the given frequency range. It's both an exercise in longitude as well as a demand to execute a certain piece of music through a handful of instructions. As said, this is something you wouldn't hear that often from a player like Akiyama, as it's loud and without the trademark acoustic guitar, but a very consistent disc it is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

WOLFRAM - ATOL DRONE (CD by Bocian Records/Bolt Records)
SEC_ - MOSCAIO (CD by Bocian Records)
The first of these two new releases on Bocian Records is a re-issue of music from 10 years ago, by Polish musician Wolfram. Four pieces form the original Atol Drone album from 2001 on Polycephal, three tracks on the CDR 'Superrecombination_sys', on Mik Musik (also from 2002 and reviewed in Vital Weekly 342) and the longest piece is an unreleased piece made in 2012 based on samples from 2002-2004. I am not sure why this is re-issued now, or why there are Polish liner notes on the cover (which can be found in translation on the website), other than perhaps because the music is nice. It is very much music, I think, of the time in which this was recorded, especially the seven pieces recorded in 2002. Deep bass rumble, carefully placing of crackles and humming sounds from radiators and refrigerators, stylish ambient rhythm loops. Didn't we use the words clicks 'n cuts back then? These were the relative early days of computer music, max/msp patches and free version of pro-tools. Think early Stephan Mathieu, later Fennesz. Its curious that after these seven more of less careful sonic constructions are done, the last piece is much longer, sixteen minutes, but it's also quite chaotic and noisy, and I must admit break a bit with what we just heard. It's not the strongest pieces of noise related music. All in all It's not bad at all this release, I thought, and if the reason to re-issue is the mere fact that it is nice music that deserves to be available again, I am all for it to re-issue it again. No doubt there is plenty more in vaults from small labels that existed for a short while, which could be dug up.
Entirely 'now' is the music by Sec_ from Italy. It's the name used b Mimmo Napolitano, who is a member of Aspec(t), Weltraum, Endorgan and Strongly Imploded and active as a solo musician as Sec_. He uses a revox tape recorder, computer, no-input feedback, field recordings, radio, microphones and contact microphones. Here we have five part work of which the first version was commissioned by the series "A Short Guide To Becoming-bat" by ORF Kunstradio. I read the text on the cover, but somehow fail to see the relation between insects and the way they communicate with this music. When I say the music is very much 'now', I mean that these days the computer itself is not enough to create music, even when the possibilities are no doubt endless, but added value can be had from the use of analogue means of sound production. It adds a raw edge to the music, a level of danger perhaps. That's what Sec_ does in his music. The computer, both as an instrument in the process of creating music, and as an end stage to micro edit the recordings, plays a vital role in this. Sec_'s music is not careful, nor easy, but also never really noise, although at times it can become quite loud. Sec_ clever uses the montage techniques found in the analogue terrain and sometimes knows how to sound like the very early Etant Donnes, no doubt thanks to the use of the revox. Improvisation, musique concrete, noise, electro-acoustic and composition: it's all becoming a blurr in this music and that's alright, I should think. An album in which a lot of information is cramped, even when it only lasts just under thirty-seven minutes. Excellent stuff all around here. If you like what this label does, then this release won't disappoint you either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bocianrecords.com

Is there a more mundane, cynical rock clichéd title for a live album as “live in…”? Name any big 70’s or 80’s band and you’re sure to find an album (or two) featuring this title in their catalogue. The live album is the perfect stop-gap album, very popular when a band (temporarily) runs out of steam. The fans (read: a souvenir) and record companies (read: cheap to make) just love them. But running out of steam is not often associated with Jordi Valls of VDO. Being one of the most creative and unpredictable artists of our age, his latest release, The London Punk Tapes, was in fact not an album at all, but a book. Based on the live recordings made by Valls in 1977 of bands like the Clash, the Damned, the Slits and the Sex Pistols he even toured the book. And now we have the ultimate rock entry in the VDO canon – a live album. Live in Berlin was recorded in Berlin (you guessed it) at NK Gallery on 31 March 2012 and is in fact a re-release (another rock cliché) of “Allegory of cosmic violence”, a CDR featuring original artwork of the performance itself. Released by Tochnit Aleph in an edition of 21 copies at quite a hefty price it was for the hardcore collector only (we stick with rock clichés). Harbinger Sound now releases the performance on picture disc in an edition of 100 copies. The performance begins with a solo violin piece, like the pieces on Valls’ 2007 CD album “Music for the blind”. Then the mayhem starts when Calanda drummers enter the gallery and Valls emerges breaking mirrors. From the speakers comes the sound of earlier VDO records and looped applause. The performance is cynical and nihilistic, yet also instant mythical. Valls knows how to put on a show and doesn’t disappoint his audience. The full performance (around 12 minutes) fits one side of this picture disc. The other side features a feedback beep for the full length. Visually the beep is divided into 16 “tracks”. Spiral confusion, much like a special edition of the DOA album by Throbbing Gristle, its 13 tracks confusingly banded as 8 tracks of equal length. For the casual and perhaps confused listener, this album might be a load of bullocks - something Valls probably will gladly agree with. For those who accept the surreal concept and appreciate the razor blade sense of realism, “Live in Berlin” has much to offer. And now we wait for the ultimate rock album cliché: Vagina Dentata Organ – Greatest Hits. (FK)
No website, copies are for sale via www.discogs.com

One of the nicest concerts I saw last year was Volcano The Bear in Extrapool. While I am not always blown away by their records, the concert was an excellent display of percussion, electric piano, tape collage, wind instruments and voices. Aaron Moore is one of the founding members of the group and as such responsible for  drums, voice and trumpet. Here he teams up with Thierry Muller, who we recently saw in the review of Ruth (see Vital Weekly 852), and who was once behind Ilitch. That album was a bit poppy, but here, on this double album, the two play some excellent music. The two met up for a separate gig in 2009 and liked what the other did. From there on they booked a studio and recorded the material which can be heard here. It's a record with long(er) psychedelic passages of e-bow guitars and improvised rocky drums, short collages of sound and nice introspective moods, from time to time. There is a wide variety of instruments  here: drums, slit drums, percussion, trumpet, wind objects, tapes, voice (all by Moore) and guitars, bass, piano, synth, tone generator and percussion. A fine mixture of acoustic instruments, electronic sounds, acoustic sounds and electronic instruments. A fine mixture of musical styles. Here's an album that airs 'we had a great time together, knocking about all these different pieces of music'. I can do this, I can do that, what do you have? It is not to difficult to see that the amount of 'fun' amounted to a lot of nice music. Krautrock meets improv meets musique concrete meets ambient, all in rock land with a bunch of electronics. Great stuff all around. (FdW)
Address: http://www.three-four.net

ELEKTRIK UNDERGROUND 2012 (LP compilation by Motok)
By now a small tradition, the annual compilation by Motok under the banner of 'Elektrik Underground'. But like with a good tradition, things are subject to change. First of all the format, which was until now a CDR but now a LP - black vinyl in an edition of 100. Also the choice of artists changed, for their has been choices this time. Up until now it was label boss Nico Selen who played all the music in his various guises - each guise being some different angel on electronic music - but in a daring move to expand his label he handpicked a bunch of old and new artists. Some of these will have their own release on Motok somewhere in the future, or will have their work available through it's soon to be founded mail-order. Selen himself is present with his long serving moniker O.R.D.U.C., but also with Ooy (from Kluster fame), one Onno Smook, NoNotes and E.M.M. but among the new names we find Peer Saer, Electric Bongo, Kompleta, Winnie & Speeezzzbeeezzz and Martin Hoogeboom - whom we recognize from the ancient Dutch band Dier. So, the label expands, which is great. The music here is best described as pop, pop with a nice electronic twist to it. Pop in various guises. Selen's own O.R.D.U.C. play the more intimate version of pop, with a small sound and Selen's not always strong voice. Winnie & Speeezzzbeeezzz are on the other end with more uptempo songs and a fuller sound, whereas Electric Bongo plays a more techno version of pop. The experimental side of things are covered by Ooy & Ilo (who already had a CDR on Motok) and Peer Saer's interesting rhythm excursion of real percussion instruments. Experiments with a more ambient nature are provided by E.M.M., NoNotes and Hoogeboom - but here I must say that the liner notes are somewhat quirky at times: "When Brian Eno will hear the track from Martin Hoogeboom, he surely would like to record an album with him. But first there will be new works from him" - this is clumsy as hell. It indeed sounds like Eno, so why would would he want to work with Hoogeboom. Nice track though. It's all in all a very pleasant and entertaining; and perhaps harmless at that. Not a problem, as the mood can not always be intense. A risky affair, I should think, this compilation with not very well-known names, and that in itself is worth a big hands up also. (FdW)
Address: http://www.motok.org

NIGDENIYA (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
Music by mail: P16.D4 already learned us how to do that in 1982 with their 'Distruct' project - meaning 'distant structures'. Back then, mail was really mail, envelope, stamp etc. These days mail is of course e-mail, but more like it all goes through so-called share sites, where you can easily send each other large volumes of sound. People who have never met, create music like they have been in a studio together. Nigdeniya is such a project, started by Vitaly Maklakov, who is a painter and musician from Siberian town Kamensk-Uralskiy. He also works as Light Collapse, Kromeshna, Obozdur and DIY-labels Ostroga and Heart-Shaped Box, but I wouldn't know the difference between all these names. Here he works together with M.Nomized, also known as Michel Madrange, and in the 80s an important activist on the matter of sound cassettes, gaining fame on many compilations. It's hard to say who does what here, as M. Nomized gets a few times first name credit and sometimes second name, while Maklakov hides as Kromeshna on five tracks, as Obozdur on three and then there is the guest Dmitry Rodionov Experience. The band name translates as 'nowhereland', an utopian state. One could think this is fantasy equals drone music, but that's not the case here. I must admit I am not sure what to make of this album. It's perhaps it started off with something I didn't expect. The first two pieces revolve around a bigger amount of rhythm than I probably anticipated. Not exactly of a techno fashion, but more of an industrialized Muslimgauze'd version - more late 80s than late 90s, if you get my drift. I am not blown away by these. The other six pieces are more deep ambient affairs, with lots of synthesizers (including an arpeggio is 'Water Illusion'), some taped voices and sounds from the local market place. Here too we have loops, but make up less of a 'rhythm' if you know what I mean, or is at least buried inside the mix more than on the first piece (which is called 'Metronome' - that is no coincidence). The music is quite diverse here, and not always seem to fit together; sometimes I had the impression some of these sounds don't fit together very well, but are used for the sake of using them. Maybe that too is part of the esthetics of a music by mail collaboration, but I think the objective should be to do great music. That only leads to a handful nice tracks and some less successful attempts. (FdW)
Address: http://zhb.radionoise.ru

GILDED - TERRANE (CDR by Hidden Shoal Recordings)
It is no secret that I am hardly a lover of jazz music, but I sometimes do exceptions. Although perhaps Gilded is not really jazz? It's an Australian duo of Matt Rosner and Adam Trainer. Rosner already had releases on 12K, Apestaartje,  and Room40, displaying a fine sense of field recordings use and guitar and Trainer was a member if Radarmaker, Polaroid Ghost and the Ghost of 29 Megacycles (only the latter made it to Vital Weekly, I think) and had solo music on HellosQuare, New Weird Australia and Feral Media. The cover nor press text lists any instruments, but there is piano and drums quite a lot, playing this sort of jazz like meandering we also heard in Spartak, 3millions and Pollen Trio - all new jazz from Australia, oddly enough. But Gilded has more to offer. There is also a drone beneath many of these pieces, created with a harmonium, with guitars and electronics. A banjo (I think) in 'Road Movie' - that is the kind of instrument that fits the title, I guess. It leans towards modern classical in 'Dew Cloud' and towards more pop (but what is that anyway?) in 'String & Stone'. I am not particularly fond of the use of voices in 'Expand/Contract', the only piece in which they do so. Quiet, contemplative music, slowly moving about. Nine pieces, lasting a total of forty-six minutes. Excellent release, somber perhaps, but quite fitting the dark season. That new Australian jazz is certainly something I like very much. This is another fine example. (FdW)
Address: http://music.hiddenshoal.com

L.R. PADGETT - CHAMBERS (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
BURRIED MACHINE - BULKFACE (cassette by Throne Heap Devotional Music)
More music by Lloyd Padgett on Throne Heap Devotional Music, short just Throne Heap, I think. We've already came across a cassette of his on the same label back in Vital Weekly 776, which is something different than that previous release. Here we may not find any electro-acoustics, or any sort of collage music. This time around it's all about drone music and not much else. There might be one track on the a-side and several (three I think) on the b-side, but I might be wrong. What I do know is that the long piece on side A is is very minimal: a synth is merely humming about, and doesn't seem to be doing anything else than humming, breathing, being on a life support system called endless delay. I quite liked it actually. The pieces on the other side are just a bit more musical, with ocean like sounds, shimmering melodies, and perhaps even a sampled guitar thrown in. Very Eno, very ambient and quite dark. This is exactly the kind of ambient music I like so much. It reminded me of De Muziekkamer, but then: who on earth remembers them?
I am not sure if I ever heard of Burried Machine, which is one Shin Chida. He (she?) had a tapes on Lust Vessel and Rockatansky before this one and its a combination of synthesizers and tape loops. Here too I had the impression of being transported back to the 80s, the big day for the independent cassette releases. Burried Machine owes to a more noisy crowd, say mild Broken Flag tapes, Maurizio Bianchi, and early Merzbow. There are no such things as over top walls of screaming feedback that drag on end, but it's also not a tape that was constructed meticulously over a long period, composing per nano-second. This is all rather impromptu playing and committing it to tape without much extra thought or consideration. The b-side seems a bit louder, and bit more chaotic than the a-side. The whole thing might be one long track, split in two. I might be wrong. Nice, but not as good as Padgett's release. But, hey, that's personal taste for you. (FdW)
Address: http://www.throneheap.com