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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 869
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week 7
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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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help Vital Weekly to survive:






MERZBOW - DUO (11CD by Tourette Records) *
BOCKSHOLM - CAGED INSIDE THE BEAST OF THE FORGE (CD by Wrotycz) *
TROUM & AIDAN BAKER - NIHTES NIHT (CD by Alone At Last) *
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - CHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL 15 (CD by Rust Blade) *
MOSS GARDEN - UNDERSTANDING HOLY GHOSTS (CD by Kaico) *
NU CREATIVE METHODS - SUPERSTITIONS (CD by Music A La Coque) *
XXVI INTERNATIONAL MUSIC AWARD (2012) LUIGI RUSSOLO-ROSSANA MAGGIA (CD by Monochrome Vision)
ISRAEL MARTINEZ - THE MINUTES (CD by Aagoo Records) *
FATHER MURPHY - ANYWAY, YOUR CHILDREN WILL DENY IT (REMIX SERIES) (CD by Aagoo)
ABDUL MOIMEME - MEKHAANU - LA FORET DES MECANISMES SAUVAGES (CD by Insubordinations) *
QUEIXAS - EYE OF NEWT (CD by Insubordinations) *
INSUB META ORCHESTRA - ARCHIVE #2 (CDR by Insubordinations) *
DRONE MIND/MIND DRONE VOLUME 2 (LP by Drone Records)
JEAN FERRAILLE - MANIFESTE A SON(S) (LP by Bruits de Fond Records/Resistance des Materiaux)
KASSEL JAEGER - FERNWEH (LP by Senufo Editions)
CHRISTOF MIGONE - FINGERING (2LP by Squintfucker Press)
MIK QUANTIUS - KICK A BIT AGAINST THE SHIT (LP by Toztizok Zoundz)
RORO - SNAREDRUMMING (cassette by Toztizok Zoundz)
PQ & FRANKIE VIS & RORO (cassette by Toztizok Zoundz)
HOLZKOPF/PUH QUH - WINTER GERMZ (cassette by Sober Materials)
MASS WASTING - PSYCHIC TUBERCULOSIS (cassette, private)
SCANNER & MICHAEL ESPOSITO (7" flexi disc by Firework Edition Records)
FOSSILS - PATIENCE (7" lathe cut + CDR by Cardinal Records) *
DONNE & DESIREE - THREE WORLD PREMIERES (CDR by Norwegianism Records) *
DUCKYOUSUCKER - THE BEST NICE FANTASTIC MISC TECHNO (cassette, private)
SACHER-PELZ - ERSCHEPZAL (cassette by Hill Devil Drum)
BASSHATERS - FLATTENED UNFLATTENED (cassette by Hill Devil Drum)
NEDERLAGET (cassette by Phase Junk)
MONTREAL TAPE RUN (cassette by Crustaces/Staaltape)
ALAN SONDHEIM - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
SINDRE BJERGA - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
DAVID BLAMEY - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)



MERZBOW - DUO (11CD by Tourette Records)
Obviously I like to keep my readers in the dark as to how often I play something before writing a review or how much time it takes me to do a review, but here is a case that this review was actually started eleven days ago. A massive work here, and unlike The Maciunas Ensemble in Vital Weekly 852 which I played all day, I decided to play here a CD a day - to keep the doctor away. It seems as if box sets are now regular business for Merzbow, following that oh so little box set of only three discs on Korm Plastics, the 18 LP set on Soleilmoon, 10 LP set on Vinyl On Demand, two different 10 CD sets on Youth Inc and then this one. Perhaps I should be glad having not to review all of them in depth! If I had to choose a release to review something of this, I would go either for the Vinyl On Demand box or this 'Merzbow Duo' set. It's perhaps because both of them go back to the earliest days of Merzbow, 1979-1989, which happens to be also the days when I discovered Merzbow. Mainly because of the many times I heard his music on compilations and then also some of the releases on his own ZSF label. The first time I met Masami was when he played The Netherlands in 1989 for the first time, on which occasion he was accompanied by Reiko A and Kiyoshi Mizutani. In this period, Mizutani was a regular member and it's him who make this into a duo. The ten discs are all from the period 1987 to 1989, with a bonus disc with both of them from 1979 - how odd perhaps. Akita and Mizutani play pretty much the same instruments here: metal box with piano wires, guitar, violin, byan, junk metals, mixer, drums (Akita only it seems), flute, keyboards, egg cutter, ribber, paper tube, radio, motor and electric fan, of all these amplified with contact microphones and played. On the first CD, called 'Duo 1987' we have them improvising with all the electronic stomp boxes that play such a big role in the Merzbow sound right around the corner, but with scraping of metal wires producing a feedback like sound and a free role for the bass, with a likewise free role for the percussion. Obviously, I should say, a work of multitrack recording, unless they had more than four hands. This first one is really free jazz like and a road hardly explored later on, and even in this period on the live in Russia LP. On the second disc electronics are already in place, but not yet as extensively as on the latter work, and here finds a 50-50 balance with the scraping of metal sounds which is a main feature here. But on the third CD, the first piece (of two - most of these discs have only one or two pieces), is a long piece for two guitars, which start out like demented blues, but over the course of the piece, electronics slip in and gradually transform the guitars into a more swirling mass of sounds. In the other piece electronics play the most dominant role and here's its hard to say what the acoustics are. Forecasting the latter Merzbow sound. CD four starts out with another piece recorded on the same day as the first one on disc three, June 25, 1988', meaning Mizutani and Akita had an inspiring day. Here we have more guitars from the word 'go' but straight into the guitar effects. Dueling banjos with stomp boxes. It stays as it is throughout: dangling, chaotic, on the verve of distortion, and all highly improvised. The other piece, the first we encounter here recorded at Studio Penta. This is an interesting piece of louder electro-acoustic parts, but in an industrial music context. A bit muffled this recording, but it sounds quite good still. The credits for disc 5 may be wrong. It says recorded October 9th 1989 at Tad Pole Studio in Tokyo, but that day Merzbow played in Utrecht, The Netherlands (as released by V2_Archief, and I have good reason to believe that is correct information). Three pieces were recorded that day (?), which do not sound the way Merzbow sounded live that day (?). It's more densely orchestrated guitar noise, and feedback/distortion, lots of it, but the guitar remains an audible feature on these three pieces. The third part comes close to the Merzbow live sound. Metallic sounds, the egg cutter and ribber no doubt along with piano wires are part of disc six, finding a more noise ground, while in the second piece here there is also the use of drums, turning it into a wild improvisation piece. More walls of feedback are to be found on the seventh disc, from 16 April 1989, but here too we find something of a rhythm pounding slow underneath. More drums in the second, shorter piece. That one is more free rock like, the first one is a dense concentration of noise. The long first piece on disc eight (it's interesting to note that pieces are around 20, 30 or 45 minutes) is an interesting piece of dislocated guitars, sound effects and percussive sound, split into left and right channels for a disorientating effect. Disc nine approaches the live sound of those days, with lots of effects stuck on acoustic sources, while on disc ten, the first piece (from 1987) sees them going back to the acoustic noise approach and is maybe what you need after all these hours of loud noise improvisations. Also in the second piece the acoustic sources prevail. The bonus disc, from nine years before, sounds by comparison totally different. Here the free improvisation is also the main thing, but it sounds much more conventional. Mizutani wails like Cecil Taylor on an electronic keyboards and Akita bangs the drums. As said much more conventional in approach but from a historical perspective an interesting recording. Should it not exist, then no doubt someone will get into a releasing a box of the very early Merzbow recordings - I think a 20 CD set would be easily compiled. Overall I think this box set is a great one, a very creative period for Merzbow - when there were two. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touretterecords.com

BOCKSHOLM - CAGED INSIDE THE BEAST OF THE FORGE (CD by Wrotycz)
Maybe the name Peter Andersson is a common name in Sweden, and hence it's no surprise that we have two musicians from the world of darker electronic music are called like. One we better know as Lina from Deutsch Nepal and the other one is better known as Raison D'etre. Both release their music is a parallel universe which is seldom covered by Vital Weekly, releases on such labels as Cold Meat Industry. The two Peters found each other in a project named Bocksholm, a small village where Lina used to live in the summertime (and which is actually called Boxholm). According Raison D'Etre, the music 'reflects the bad childhood environment of the ironworks in Boxholm.' There is indeed some sort of metallic rumble going on. The children of the village with iron rods against the fence of the garden, in which two children with the same name create music? Maybe that is some such thing that this music evokes here. Maybe I just read that into the music based on what I found. It's not difficult to see any of their 'other' musical interests in this music. It's all highly atmospheric, drone like, but also with a fair amount of rhythm loops, a bit of orchestral inspired movement, but also it's perhaps less dark than one should expect based on their respective past releases. There is an interesting 'experimental' component in this music. Maybe 'electro-acoustic' is too much of a term, but it's not all about heavy dark ambient drone music, but more like a nice free, adventurous album. Let's try to work with this sound, let's loop that piece of clanging metal, and oh 'you know we did a bit of voices like we did before, in 'Forging Hammers'. That is the sort of spirit, which adds to the joy for the listener, I think. Despite it's occasional doomy character, these boys certainly had fun doing this. (FdW)
Address: http://wrotycz.com/

TROUM & AIDAN BAKER - NIHTES NIHT (CD by Alone At Last)
No doubt this is regarded by many as a wet dream come through, well, in terms of musical collaborations that is. Three masters of the ultimate drone music working together, the two of Troum and Baker. 'Four directions of nothing' as these four pieces are called of very quiet music. Quite a revelation for Troum, I should think. I saw Baker last year for the first time in concert and was very surprised by his refined playing which transported me to another place - which rarely happens with me when I go to concerts - and being more quiet than I would have expected. Troum always seem to be operating more on the 'louder' side of the drone, using a plethora of effects to transform their sound sources (guitars, accordion, cymbals and such like) into a vast amount of hypnotizing drones. But here it sounds all indeed a bit more quieter, more subdued, more… like 'nothing'. Maybe because of that it's not easy to hear a lot of development going on, but if you put up the volume quite a bit, then lots of detail unfolds itself. Sounds swirl in, out and around in what seems to be weightless space. Music with lots of detail, but also lots of tension and attention. Classic drone/ambient music, atmospheric like nothing else. However that last thing might not be true. It sounds less like Troum, I think, and maybe a bit more like Aidan Baker, but also, perhaps, like a lot of other drone music around. They don't open new doors, and stay, perhaps, safely, in a territory that they made big, and perhaps quite rightly that's the thing they do best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alone-at-last.com

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - CHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL 15 (CD by Rust Blade)
Over the years in their thirty plus career, there have always been 'Chemical Playschool' releases by The Legendary Pink Dots. These are works which are a bit different than their more regular, song based studio work, but not as experimental as some of the releases that they put out themselves. In songs on any of these 'Chemical Playschool' releases, there is always a fair amount of experimentation, while Edward Ka-spel's voice is never really far away. Take the opening piece, 'Immaculate Conception', which starts out with a two note synth and Edward's voice, but then after a while starts drifting into a cosmic synth work with floating and drifting melodies, and Ka-spel's voice backwards - a feature from the old days rarely seen on the more current releases. It's here where the Dots are at their best - in my humble opinion. Not drifting in a more krauty version or too spacious with experimental ideas, but an excellent balance between both ends. Rhythm machines seem not really apparent on this new CD and it all dwells heavily on the use of keyboards, electronics and maybe even field recordings, radio sounds and such like. Even Erik Drost's guitar seems to have a more remote place in the total picture, with a prominent tinkle on the strings in 'The Opium Den Parts 1-3', but otherwise more filling out spacious playing with sustaining tones. 'Chemical Playschool 15' is another fine trip - pun intended - and certainly a road these should take more often. (FdW)
Address: http://www.rustblade.com

MOSS GARDEN - UNDERSTANDING HOLY GHOSTS (CD by Kaico)
Kaico is a new sub-division of Spekk and it means 'unexpected discoveries'. The first group, via e-mail, is named after a Bowie track on 'Heroes' consisting of Lee Anthony Norris (also known as Metamatics, Norken, Nacht Plank) and Dimitar Dodovski, 'a techno producer from Macedonia'. They work together since October 2012, and already have this album to show. It's a shared interest in ambient music that made them do this record. It's perhaps also a shared interest in dance oriented music, as the pieces here seem to have a highly slowed down synth pattern working under neath some of this music. That slow thumb from a sequencer at maybe 60 bpm dubbing out a rhythmical chord or two. On top the two musicians wave together a finely knitted pattern of cosmic sounds, and with a fair amount of hiss, so it's probably all from neat analogue equipment or else everything has been taped to a cassette. It adds a nice warmth to the music, I thought. You could wonder of course if there are really any 'unexpected discoveries' to be found here, as these five lengthy pieces of ambient music could have been as easily released at the height of the ambient house scene in say 1996, certainly when there is an occasional voice sample thrown in. Play any record from The Heavenly Music Corporation (listen to that voice sample in 'Structures Of Patience'), and they'll know what I mean. Great use of synths, sound effects, uplifting ambient music with a touch of Chain Reaction. Excellent deep ambient music, nothing radically new. (FdW)
Address: http://www.naturebliss.jp

NU CREATIVE METHODS - SUPERSTITIONS (CD by Music A La Coque)
Among the 80s cassette labels with a certain degree of quality and notoriety, Italy's ADN Tapes was perhaps a bit of an odd ball. They were maybe a bit of an odd ball, not purely an industrial label and never a pure electronic label. There was always room for improvised music and even a bit of Recommended Records influence can be detected in their catalogue. I didn't hear all of their releases back then, and one of those which I missed out upon was the release by French duo Nu Creative Methods. Here we find Bernard Pruvost and Pierre Bastien playing improvised music on such 'weird' instruments as thumb piano aguidigbo, toy piano, xylo drums, hunters harp lute dosso ngoni, alto tam sax tam, tranverse horn buru, electric guitar, alarm clock, cornet and double bass. The four original pieces are thirty minutes in total and there is three minute bonus track. I assume they played all of this improvising onto a four track recorder. It seems like this is all randomly plucking and hitting of sounds, but especially in the longer pieces 'Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes' and the title piece, the strange, chaotic, repeating sounds, which most of the times sound very acoustic (or very  high end distorted such as in 'Barrio Chino'. A truly fascinating release, which has nothing to do with Bastien's later mechanical work, but which sounds crazy, fascinating and to my ears quite unique. Why did it take me almost thirty years to discover this? It makes you wonder what else is out there. Great re-issue! (FdW)
Address: http://www.musicalacoque.it

XXVI INTERNATIONAL MUSIC AWARD (2012) LUIGI RUSSOLO-ROSSANA MAGGIA (CD by Monochrome Vision)
This year is of course the year that we celebrate 100 years of The Art Of Noise, not the band, but the manifesto from Luigi Russolo. If that line doesn't mean anything, stop reading here and google it first. Somewhere you can win an award 'Luigi Russolo-Rossana Maggia' for 'young composers under 35' (I think I ranted before about being young vs being old in this world) and the prize winners are on this compilation, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize, as well as the audience awards and mentions by Ginafranco Maffina, Rossana Maggia and Dmitry Vasilyev (the jury perhaps?). All of these works are between 8 and 11 minutes, perhaps a restriction for entering this competition? Steven Snethkamp (2nd prize) has a weird piece for percussion, wind instruments and organ, maybe representing the orchestral noise as outlined by Russolo, whereas the third prize (for Carlos David Perales Cejudo) is more conventional electro-acoustic music. Not bad, but perhaps not special enough. Which I may also think of Theodore Karkatselas and Esteban Zuniga Dominguez. Vasilyev's mention goes to Andrei Lisin who delivers actually a very nice and somewhat cruder collage of sound, more fitting these pages. The two audience awards are also nice pieces, especially by Sam Salem. Prize winner is Timothy Schmele whose 'The Common Perkins Scream' is indeed a great piece combing cleverly electro-acoustic sounds, spoken word and electronics into a fine small piece with great radio play quality. Perhaps it would have been my winner too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monochromevision.com

ISRAEL MARTINEZ - THE MINUTES (CD by Aagoo Records)
FATHER MURPHY - ANYWAY, YOUR CHILDREN WILL DENY IT (REMIX SERIES) (CD by Aagoo)
This is already the seventh recording for Israel Martinez, but I am sure I haven't heard them all. He is one of the younger (or perhaps at 34 he's not that young) more interesting composers to come from Mexico, and on this new release his home country is the main source of inspiration, especially the uncontrolled violence, drug gangs vs each other, all against the state, affecting the lives of innocent people. 'Uncertainty' rules that society and that's the feeling Martinez wanted to have in this music, the empty playgrounds, abandoned streets and social tension. No doubt it uses as a starting point field recordings from Mexico, but they are all transformed quite extensively. Time stretching is one of his favorite techniques. Ripping sounds apart, making them much longer and create chilling electronic soundscapes. Sometimes noisy, like cars riding dirty sand road, sometimes just chilling high end frequencies as in 'Lamira', or darkly sustaining sounds as in 'Xiriah', which actually sounds like a combination of electro-acoustic music and guitars played with e-bows. A dark and mysterious work here, of a rather unsettling nature. Perhaps because we are aware of this, reading the liner notes? Maybe also, but throughout it's indeed a fine soundtrack of a society in turmoil. Unsettling music indeed.
The other new release on Aagoo is a remix CD. Maybe I should put a generic text on the Vital Weekly site, which applies to all of these remix CDs? I didn't hear Father Murphy's 'Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It', so what's the point in discussing this remix project? It spans a 7" and as 12", but are unconvienently pressed on a real CD with no track list. Of the remixers I name checked Black Dice and Philippe Petit, and I didn't seem to know Indian jewelry, Happy New Year, W.H.I.T.E., Zulus, Thulebaseb, Yvette, Noel V. Harmonson/Sic Alps and EMA. What kind of music Father Murphy do themselves is not entirely clear based on these ten songs. Something electronic perhaps, with some notion of 'alternative' pop music? Hard to say. It is, however, entertaining music that is being produced here. That is sometimes enough too. (FdW)
Address: http://aagoo.com

ABDUL MOIMEME - MEKHAANU - LA FORET DES MECANISMES SAUVAGES (CD by Insubordinations)
QUEIXAS - EYE OF NEWT (CD by Insubordinations)
INSUB META ORCHESTRA - ARCHIVE #2 (CDR by Insubordinations)
Three releases from the world of improvisation, and with a lot of new names. Such as Abdul Moimeme, a guitar player from Portugal. He plays two prepared electric guitars, at the same time, which are connected with a bunch of objects, as springs, metalic bars, plates and such like. He has played with Axel Dorner, Ernesto Rodriguez, Heddy Boubaker, Diatribes and others. The seven pieces on his second solo CD are quite nice. He works only with amplification and no other sound effects (which is not always easy to believe), and it leads to some interesting pieces here. In his playing, which probably holds somewhere in between a sound installation and improvisation (although surely all of the actual music was of course improvised), he works with feedback, the rumbling of objects against each other, sometimes in a carefully construction, but sometimes also crude and heavy, with a fair amount of distortion. This makes the music more like an electro-acoustic ensemble of sounds than a work of improvisations on two guitars played by one guy. That aspect is perhaps one that I really liked, as it moves away from the more traditional paths of improvised music, into something that is more like 'sound art' (for the lack of better word). All along this is all highly musical, such as the metallic percussive sounds of 'Atmosphere Mecanique'.
Moimeme is also part of Queixas, a trio of him and his two prepared guitars and objects, Cyril Bondi on floor tom and objects and D'Incise on laptop and objects. Before they were called Diatribes & Abdul Moimeme, but abandoning ego and perhaps to have a more serious musical future they choose upon the name Queixas. Their music is improvised by in very slow moves, straight forward and without sudden changes or moves. If 'improvised drone' is a new genre, then it was invented by Queixas. Touches of feedback, scratching of surfaces, rumbling of objects and all such like are used in the three pieces on this release. More electro-acoustic again than purely improvised, but in his solo disc Moimeme uses the collage form more than in this trio disc here. Quite meditative music I should think, in which all three are searching for sounds that are closely linked together, and they succeed wonderfully well in this. Excellent disc of touching surfaces.
To name everybody who is involved in the Insub Meta Orchestra is a bit much, as they have no less than forty-five members (as opposed to the thirty nine on 'Archive 1', see Vital Weekly 836), many from Switzerland, but both Bondi and D'Incise are present here too. We find here loys of double bass, percussion, saxophone, violins, electronics, piano etc. This group made 'the choice to work on and build a specific way to improvise in a large group, based on collective actions, on certain sounds, on volume control etc'. Here they play two lengthy pieces, around twenty minutes each. In 'Line 1' this is a drone like piece, which sounds great. A heavy, fat slab of drone music, which a slow, almost natural progression, electronic sounds mingling easily with the acoustic sounds and making a very strong, orchestral drone piece. In 'Line 2' its more like improvised music, with sounds dropping in and out, but larger blocks of instruments staying together in a strangely coherent way. It's not as good as 'Line 1' but nice enough, and certainly something to wonder about with so many people the music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.insubordinations.net

DRONE MIND/MIND DRONE VOLUME 2 (LP by Drone Records)
The second installment on Drone Records' new series 'Drone Mind/Mind Drone' sees again four artists and three of them you may have seen in Vital Weekly before, but there is also a new name here, Emme Ya from South America. Side A kicks off which some twelve minutes by Yann Novak of a very silent piece of drone music. It's called 'Silent.Loop.001' and is near silent - not completely obviously - and nearly without any movement. It is not like some of his other music which always sound a bit digital. Here it's all more warm and analog. According to the information it is said that this is made from the silence of vinyl endgrooves, which I found hard to believe. Strom Noir from Slovakia has a small but fine body of ambient and near stasis is also their trick of the trade it seems, but operate on a bit louder basis than Novak, and less in the high end of the spectrum. Emme Ya I never heard of but he/she/they go a bit more down and down in the world of drone music, making things darker than what we found on the other side. It's more about esoteric affairs than the more 'straightforward' drones on the other side. Karl Bösmann has had a couple of releases already and with his music we easily land in a drone world that is a more electronic and certainly more experimental. With his work you can easily wonder if it's all pretty much drone like - I doubt that - but it sounds fine indeed. It makes up for something else, maybe a bit more daring. More old school tape manipulation. I thought this whole album was another fine manifestation of the small yet significant differences in the world of drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

JEAN FERRAILLE - MANIFESTE A SON(S) (LP by Bruits de Fond Records/Resistance des Materiaux)
Somewhere vaguely I remember this Aphasia, not to be confused with the UK Aphasia, who did CDs for Atmoject, Korm Plastics and Tigerbeat6. This Aphasia is Jean Ferraille from France and for about ten years he worked with lots of beats, hardcore and all. But now he's just called Jean Ferraille - still not his real name - following his moniker Nicolas Leal (see Vital Weekly 766). This change seems necessary as the sound has changed. Not much, but enough to justify this move. The noise of the previous record is still present, but it seems less heavy than before. There are moments of quietness to be detected here, when things are dropping down, and Ferraille lets his music breath for a while, with a few carefully placed crackles and hiss. That makes this into quite a nice record, a 'noise plus' record. Not going for the all out distortion, but for depth and detail. A record to be played at 45 rpm, but should you happen to play it 33 rpm: it makes hardly any difference - and I mean this as a compliment. Somewhere in the no-mans zone with noise, musique concrete, metal bashing and cut-up. A heavy platter indeed, again, on any speed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bruitsdefond.org

KASSEL JAEGER - FERNWEH (LP by Senufo Editions)
'Fernweh' sounds like a title chosen by Asmus Tietchens, and probably indicates a longing to be somewhere else. It's a new record by Kassel Jaeger of whom I already heard some pretty interesting works. He works at the INA/GRM studios in Paris, and no doubt has a lot of the same techniques as his fellow peers working there, but he comes up with different results. No doubt, again, the input here is all about field recordings, but the outcome is not glissandi working up and down the scales, but a great, fine woven pattern of sustaining sounds. Many layers of processed field recordings work alongside each other and some of the unprocessed field recordings are woven in. That's the main thing of 'Fernweh 1'. In 'Fernweh 2' it seems that the fundament of the piece is rather electronic sounds, like those small synthesizers that you see a lot these days, which are gradually altered and changed over the course of this side of the record. It sounds perhaps a bit like the older Asmus Tietchens, but even more it reminds me of some of the work by Robert Hampson, also known as Main. This is drone like, ambient, atmospheric, isolationist even, and maybe also musique concrete, melting together in short repeating loops. A fine mix of the best of things, and while not for his unique style - nothing here that we may not have heard anywhere else - this is some excellent music. Probably the best release I heard from him so far. (FdW)
Address: http://www.senufoeditions.com/

CHRISTOF MIGONE - FINGERING (2LP by Squintfucker Press)
A double LP that comes with two inserts with two punched holes in it a 'tear' in the paper. You know this has to be the work of Christof Migone, who has provided us with more conceptual weirdness in the past few years, but for now his music is actual less concept based. Here we have Migone as an improviser, like he did with Alexandre St.Onge in the duo undo, but also with Set Fire To Flames, l'oreille a Vincent, Fly Pan Am, Klaxon Guele, Mecha Fixes Clock and with people like Tim Hecker, Martin Tetreault, Sam Shalabi and others. His instrument in all of these occasions is 'gutted reel-to-reel machines'. This double LP documents his solo performances since 2000. He plays the tapes by using his fingers - or so I assume. Speeding the tape up, slowing it down are the only two I can think of, but then I don't play this. I am not sure if Migone prepares his tapes in any way, such as recording it with his own sound material, punching holes in it, covers it with dirt (as some people do), but based on these nine pieces it's safe to say Migone has learned a few tricks over the last fifteen years to play some varied music. Noise is never far away, which is perhaps not odd, but especially when he cuts down in volume, an interesting sonic depth arrises from the music in which electro acoustic music, field recordings and pure electronics melt down in real time sound collages, such as 'Gignrifen' and 'As Smoke'. When the noise hits the van, it hits hard and loud, but it keeps bouncing off in all directions, like the rawest of musique concrete sound collages, which have been buried in gravel for about fifty years. Two heavy slabs of vinyl, a great documentation of a fine craftsmanship. Would be great to see this in concert. (FdW)
Address: http://www.squintfuckerpressdotcom.com

MIK QUANTIUS - KICK A BIT AGAINST THE SHIT (LP by Toztizok Zoundz)
RORO - SNAREDRUMMING (cassette by Toztizok Zoundz)
PQ & FRANKIE VIS & RORO (cassette by Toztizok Zoundz)
HOLZKOPF/PUH QUH - WINTER GERMZ (cassette by Sober Materials)
MASS WASTING - PSYCHIC TUBERCULOSIS (cassette, private)
All of this I got handed in Amsterdam, at the same place, but by two different people and of course later on I forgot what was told about them. Most of this has to do with very active scene of improvisers from Amsterdam, centered around that lovely place called OCCI. Recycled tapes, hand drawn covers, a shambles of info - or the lack thereof.
The first is a LP by one Mik Quantius, who website didn't clear up much - more a computer game than a website. On the insert we see a guy behind two big keyboards - but what are images worth these days? If anything, I'd say we are dealing with a healthy portion of outsider music here. Quantius has keyboards at his disposal, he sings, there are some rhythm bits. It reminded me at times of that other crazy vocalist and organ player Harry Merry, but perhaps all a bit more like an outsider - even more - and all to be more experimental. His untitled pieces minimal affairs of slow keyboard melodies, sampled thumb piano and half sung/half spoken lyrics. It's hard a form of pop music, I should think, but perhaps it actually is. Highly demented pop music that is, without a sensibility of reaching top 40, but it sounds… well, nice? Surely and thoroughly weird music indeed. I am not sure if it's really my kind of stuff, but it did scare away a visitor this afternoon, which I didn't mind see leaving anyway.
We move over the cassettes, and the first is by Roro, who I also saw playing live. He uses a snare drum, objects, brushes and sticks. Nothing new, but when he played live he used the whole space, starting in the toilet, and then in between the audience and his actions included sawing a piece of wood. It was improvised but also seemed like a Fluxus happening. I liked it, so I had high hopes for this tape. The spatial thing is of course not easy to capture on tape, so it's more snare drum, objects and microphone. Now here it would have been a great idea to use many microphones of varying quality and put them at various distances from the drum and capture all of it, then mix it (although mixing in improvised music is perhaps not done). Now we have a very direct recording, quite close by it seems, of drum rolls, objects bashing and such like. Direct action music. Roro has a nice way of handling his sounds, which aren't always consecutive rhythms, but he loves to find out what his objects can do.
Roro is also present on a trio disc with Frankie Vis on vocals and effects and PQ on home made synth and effects. There isn't a lot of information, but no doubt I wouldn't be far off saying this is probably something along the lines of an improvisation, but perhaps there is also a performance aspect which I actually seem to miss out upon. Sometimes it sounds really far away (is someone moving that microphone again?), but then it gets close and can be very loud. The text might be in Dutch, but perhaps I am all wrong. Its hard to say wether I like this. It is curious, that much is sure. I mean… well, what the hell did I just listen to? Maybe I'm tired, maybe I'm lost, or maybe I just didn't understand what went on. Not my favorite tape this week.
Puh Quh (no doubt the PQ of the previous tape) has been around for some time and play electronic music that may or may not be somewhere, somehow be inspired by techno music. Here he shares a tape with Canada's Holzkopf, who actually shares a similar interest in tormented mutated techno rhythms. I already reviewed a whole bunch of his releases, but this new one sounds, in all its crude recording, like a fine sort of dance 'thing', although it's hard to imagine people dancing to this. You could say something similar of the music of Puh Quh, but then I saw people move to his music, so what do I know. Here he has some nice technoid dub music again, recorded with more care than Holzkopf did, but in execution as raw as an uncut diamond. I used to know a couple of guys locally who did the same, and they said about themselves 'we're not musicians, we're freaks'. No doubt the sort of term Puh Quh and Holzkopf use.
I forgot what was said about Mass Wasting. The tape is called 'Psychi Tuberculosis' and also mentioned is 'Victoria January 2012' and 'PTB1'. Nothing else. They might not be from Amsterdam. Here we have some absolute free rock playing, straight forward but without notion of time keeping and with the addition of lots of distortion. Great release, despite that lack of information, but also a reminder that some music should not be recorded but experienced in a live situation. I am pretty sure Mass Wasting is one such band that would put a great loud racket of free noise rock. I am not sure if you can get all of these from the website below, but Amsterdam is a small place, so they might help you further when you inquire. (FdW)
Address: http://toztizok.com/

SCANNER & MICHAEL ESPOSITO (7" flexi disc by Firework Edition Records)
Of course. Obviously. If somebody should be able to get the EVP onto a real, magnetic tape, then it's our man Robin Rimbaud, also known as Scanner, named after working with a Scanner in his early days. Here it's all about English settlers in the 1590s in North Carolina, who apparently went AWOL from the original settling place, popping elsewhere. Ghosts? This is the subject of this flexi disc, in which Scanner no doubt provides the electronic backing to a haunted and haunting piece of obscured sounds. Hard to define what those are, but its sounds like going around in a ghost house with the lights turned off. The whole EVP thing is for me, more down to earth, probably not to be taken seriously, but hey, I like a good horror movie. This piece of music (one sided flexi only) is certainly very well suited to be a soundtrack to such a filmic endevour. Another excellent statement in this ongoing series. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fireworkeditionrecords.com

FOSSILS - PATIENCE (7" lathe cut + CDR by Cardinal Records)
Even when the esthetic side of Fossils is perhaps a bit too lo-fi for me, after all their recent releases its easy (easier) to spot a trend among them. Their music is also something that slowly dawns upon me as something quite nice. With each new release I seem to be enjoying it more and more. Here we have two items in one package, and perhaps also released as one thing? The lathe cut vinyl comes in an edition of just twenty-five copies and contains a live recording of Fossils as a trio (opposed to the usual duo material) in Albany, New York and features guitar, percussion and saxophone. All of these are examined and inspected for their various sonorous qualities of scraping and hitting, dragging them over the floors, and the saxophone blowing a mild free jazz tune. Extreme stuff, but not so much for the noise side of these things, or the somewhat very direct recording, up close to the instruments, but the controlled nature of the playing is what makes this quite good. There is no sudden outburst of violence or aggression, but a carefully interaction between three free spirited musicians. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cardinalrecords.blogspot.com

DONNE & DESIREE - THREE WORLD PREMIERES (CDR by Norwegianism Records)
A few weeks ago, a day too late for me, there was a 'Nijmegen Noise City' event, and I was absent. Donne & Desiree, effectively half from Nijmegen and one half from Arnhem presented their latest CD, along with the presence of The Dear Listeners and The Dead Neanderthalers, among others. Here noise equals free improvisation it seems, as this is where these people are at. Donne & Desiree are Donne on drums and percussion and Desiree (in which we recognize Steven Vinkenoog) on guitar and sometimes vocals. A sensation when they play live, explosive, abusive and funny. Last year they ended the Nijmegen part of the short lived Ultra revival in great, furious style. Their new CD is in fact a CDR, but who cares, I should think, and have four pieces, despite that title. It's a great title, since if you improvise anything is a world premiere, I reckon. These four tracks show what they are capable of, in case you missed out on their previous releases. Vinkenoog plays around more than before it seems with the sustaining qualities of his guitar with e-bow, creating a hot bed for Donne to explore his drums and percussion, the rattling of bells, the stroking of cymbals or simply going out, all wild. Throughout it seems they are a bit more quiet than before. It might because this not the same as the live experience, or perhaps they opted for a bit more subtle playing. Maybe I am all wrong, and I need to check my cables - the opening of 'Elephant In The Room' proofs me wrong probably. I don't think Nijmegen is a noise city per se, but in the free play, Donne & Desiree are a class act, always out for a surprise. (FdW)
Address: http://norwegianismrecords.wordpress.com/

DUCKYOUSUCKER - THE BEST NICE FANTASTIC MISC TECHNO (cassette, private)
Here is something I may not understand. Duckyousucker is a band from San Francisco and play saxophone, guitar and drums, and it's kind of dance like music. 'Nice' is indeed a word that applies to this music. 'Techno' perhaps not really. But there is also something very old fashioned about this music, and god, I wish I could pin it down to something. 'Look, it sounds very much like that second record by this-this, especially in the way the saxophone wails about', but I have to be honest. I certainly have no idea about this kind of music. Not made by Duckyousucker, but not by any band they may sound like. I guess also that should I see this band playing, I might actually enjoy it more than I do now on this tape. It's all quite pop-like I think, though mostly instrumental indeed, it has a nice groovy beat, retro guitar sound and too much saxophone wailing. Party music indeed, but you need people to party. By itself perhaps less impressive. Not home alone music. (FdW)
Address: http://duckyousucker.bandcamp.com/

SACHER-PELZ - ERSCHEPZAL (cassette by Hill Devil Drum)
BASSHATERS - FLATTENED UNFLATTENED (cassette by Hill Devil Drum)
Here we have a look at a new sub-division of My Dance The Skull called Hill Devil Drum and its inaugural release is 'Erschepzal' by Sacher-Pelz, which I assume to be Maurizio Bianchi. He worked, before turning out many records as M.B., as such, but I am not entirely sure why he decided to go back to that name. He has five pieces, and track timing on the cover doesn't add up - more like a piece per side, and these sound more or less like the old music by M.B./Sacher-Pelz. Dark, moody, but industrial, moving heavy blocks of synthesized sounds forward, yet it comes without the usual distortion and feedback on the first side. Feeding back it does through a line of delay machines and throughout Sacher-Pelz places minimal but essential variations in pedals and EQ, and creates beautiful dark apocalyptic soundscapes - 1984 has yet to come. The b-side is cruder and louder, and does have indeed flying bits of feedback tossed around, and is alike musique concrete gone entirely wrong. I have no idea if this was recorded recently - the cover say 'captured between the end of 6030 A.M. and the beginning of 6031 A.M.', but who knows what that means - or in fact 1979 as part of his early roots, but it sounds great, so I was thinking.
Behind Basshaters we find Tony Dryer on electronics and Jacon Felix Heule on percussion and electronics and together they recorded two twenty minute pieces. Both of them we heard before in other configurations of improvised but not as Basshaters. Maybe it's the name, but you are sure not get any sort of traditional improvised music. Here we have something that arrives from the world of noise, packed up with blocks of ongoing sound, heavy and loud, with distortion on the drums and deep end bass sound howling away from the electronics. It borders closely to the world of feedback and power electronics, but these two players know their way around the use of improvised playing in such a context. It's vivid, it's wild and it's loud, but never without thought or care. This is not the mindless playing of effects - and I mean just the sheer effect of creating noise. This is not noise for the sake of noise, but because it suits their playing best, while at the same time they also know how to cut back in volume. Excellent release of great power music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mydancetheskull.com

NEDERLAGET (cassette by Phase Junk)
Sound activist is a term that is no doubt highly appropriate for people like Sindre Bjerga and Lasse Marhaug. Always touring, always releasing, or so it seems. Here they work together on a relatively short tape, recorded in 2011. It seems to me that this is a rather unedited live-in-studio collaboration that shows a lot of Bjerga (acoustic objects moved around contact-miked surfaces), while Marhaug amplifies the whole thing, creating occasional feedback, dropping the random noise sound in every now and then. Dictaphone mayhem adds further to the confusion. The b-side seems to be more noisier than the a-side, but I guess the whole thing attracts more the real noise lovers and perhaps lesser to pure Bjerga fans. Some more recording and some more editing would have been right into place I was thinking. (FdW)
Address: http://www.phasejunk.com/

MONTREAL TAPE RUN (cassette by Crustaces/Staaltape)
By now you probably know what a tape-run is. An invention by Rinus van Alebeek, these days the man behind Staaltape, where musicians from one city record a piece direct to cassette and then run down the street to another musician who adds his contribution. Until the tape is full. Here the vibrant city of Montreal is subject to such a tape run. We have here the more experimental (even more experimental?) circles of this city with Andrea Jane Cornell, Magali Babin, Alain Lefebvre, Helene Prevosy, Ann-F Jacques, Dona Siliconm Grkzgl, N Tobin, Joshua Bastien and the best known of the lot, I guess, Martin Tetrault. The uniquely typed liner notes reveal some of the process that went on here, of sticking microphones out of windows and picking up what was going on outside, sharpening of pencil, playing a record (no prize if you know who), and various old tape recorders in play here. Lots of improvised material with electro-acoustic sources and field recordings, and thus making it strangely (?) coherent in approach actually. If you won't know better you could easily think this is all done by the same musician. Excellent work here! (FdW)
Address: http://crustaces.bandcamp.com/

ALAN SONDHEIM - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
SINDRE BJERGA - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
DAVID BLAMEY - VOICE STUDIES (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
Elsewhere we have the tapes from My Dance The Skull's sub division Hill Devil Drum, here are a bunch of new releases on the mothership, more dealings with the human voice The first one is by Alan Sondheim, whom I think I don't know. He gets the credit for a Hasapi, whatever that is, and Azure Carter gets credit for the voice. I don't think I understand the liner notes, but here we have voice and electronic treatments thereof. I am not sure, but I think we are not to understand what these voices are about, but it's all more about voice triggering sounds. It's not bad, but I can't really say I am blown away by it either. Somewhere on the edge of sound art and sound poetry.
David Blamey has two pieces, both called 'O.K.' In one he does all the voices himself and in the other they are by him, Tom Merrell, Pam Martin, Samara Scott and Mike Wyeld. Now here we are definetly in the land of sound poetry. The word is repeated over and over, but not a strict loop. It's rather a mixture of the same thing recorded in various spaces mixed together and has a great, disorienting effect on the listener. It works best in the single voice version. The multi voice version works best as a musical piece because it uses loops indeed and also some pitch shifted voices. It's alright, but the solo voice version has a much more creepy effect. Are things really o.k., I wondered?
And then, wondering some more: does Sindre Bjerga use voice or voice material in his cassette? That's not easy to tell. If it is, it's recorded on a battered dictaphone and played back into a cafe and picked up by the same battered dictaphone. Three live pieces, around eight or nine minutes but one is an intermezzo lasting only one minute. Voices that only arise very occasionally are from the radio it seems, but otherwise this seems to be a more regular Bjerga live recording. And not a bad one either, but then, I should think hard to know that he ever did a bad live recording. Or maybe he just doesn't release that? Here's another fine mixture of lo-fi electro-acoustics and more lo-fi electronics, rubbed, scratched, strum and stuck together. Nice stuff, but that you already knew. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mydancetheskull.com






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