number 877
week 15


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:

FLUORESCENT GREY - AMBIENTE (3CDR by Record Label Records) *
KATSUNORI SAWA - THE TWO LEGS (12" by Weevil Neighbourhood)
INSTAGON - JAZZ FOR A LESSER DEAMON (CDR by Thee Instagon Foundation) *
INSTAGON'S GREATEST HITS (compilation CDR by Thee Instagon Foundation)
NOISE FROM CHINA 2 DISC (double CDR by Yan Jun)
3X12 (CDR by Oggy Records)
INVERTEBRATA - 5 (CDR, private) *
THE SOUND OF ANTLER - THEM BONES (CDR by Hark! Recordings) *
FRANK ROTHKAMM - K (CDR by Flux Records) *
DANIELLE LIEBESKIND - 29.3.2013 (CDR by Somehow Ecstatic/One Day Series)
ORPHAX - LIVE AT MFR HQ (3"CDR by Moving Furniture Records) *
THE LAY LLAMAS - SELF-TITLED (cassette by Jozik Records)
KÖSMONAUT - EMANATIONS (cassette by Jozik Records)
BEING - BATTERY CAGES III (cassette by Skeleton Dust Recordings)
JOHN MADIGAN MOLONEY - DIALECTIC TZARA (cassette by Skeleton Dust Recordings)
PAREGORIK / WORMHEAD - LIVE 26/2/12 (cassette by Puzzle Records & Obsedante!)
WORMHEAD / ORGASM DENIAL - COLLABORATION #1 (cassette by Puzzle Records)
TN.666 / WORMHEAD - SPLIT (cassette by Puzzle Records)

A disc on Ftarri usually means improvisation, and very seldom they are of such a radical nature as Madoka Kouno. He (she?) plays tape recorders, mixer, speakers and digital tuners. "I prepared a portable cassette recorder with a built-in microphone, connected it to two speakers, and held it in my hands for a certain duration of time while playing it in record mode without a recording medium. Using line-in input and open-air microphone input respectively, I captured the phenomenon triggered by the above mentioned settings and recorded it onto CDDA data format. "In" was recorded with enough distance between the recorder and the speakers, with audience (and the open-air microphone) inside it. "Out" was recorded with short distance between the recorder and the speakers, with audience (and the open-air microphone) outside it". That's all clear, and sounds like description of creating feedback, which effectively it is, but then hand manipulated by the use of, well, hands which hold this device. I must admit I am not too sure about this. There is of course already a long string of people using feedback as a sound source, from say Whitehouse to Alvin Lucier and as such Kouno doesn't seem to be adding that much to what we already know. I think I like the concept of it more than I love the execution, but perhaps being present at the recording would have been even better. All of this feedback and low rumble makes this into quite a radical release. Not something you would stick on easily and play. Here's a case of something which you take and sit down with, and study. In all its radical approach, I thought this was very Japanese, reminding me of Nerve Net Noise and some of the more radical improvisers on no-input mixers. Not so innovative, but highly effective. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ftarri.com

What the fuck is a fello, I thought? It's a cello with movement sensors attached to the bow and a corresponding software package. Developed at Steim - obviously - since 2007 and it has been presented around the world. Apparently Andi Otto, the man behind Springintgut, has already recorded two albums (for City Centre Offices), but this new album, he takes the 'fello' in the studio for the first time. I am not sure how this bow movements are translated into the music I'm hearing, but it sounds like something else. In fact, the whole thing about the fello I read only when I was half way through the CD the first time around, and it makes it quite a surprise. Much of the music here deals with dance (read: house) like rhythms, jazzy textures, downtempo music, and Skweee (yes, I am quoting the blurb, don't expect me to know what that means). There is female vocals in some pieces, and there is an excellent laid-back atmosphere around this music, with a fine sense of easy-ness around it. Maybe not the easiest thing to record, but the result is very playful. It moves around easily and one gets a feeling of joy from hearing this, which is great in what seems to be a never ending winter. It has a summery feel over, even in what could appear to be nonsensical pieces like 'Goose Egg'. It's far, far away from the more serious sensor based motions that are usually creeping out of Steim. In fact the cello is not always recognizable as such as, so you wonder what it all does all the time here. Bouncing, jumpy and plain fun. Excellent release of excitement. Fun! (FdW)
Address: http://www.pingipung.de

The ever so busy bee Simon Whetham and his multiple travels around the world. Here we find him guest of the McNeill Street Pumping Station New Music Festival in Shreveport, Louisiana in November 2011 where Whetham spend a week going about this pumping installation to create a multi-channel performance of his music. It's not only the pumps, but the complete site, the buildings and the people around it that have been captured by him and collages into five pieces of music, totaling around 53 minutes. With Whetham, I must admit, I am never sure what it is that he does. Obviously he picks up sounds from the environment, that's hardly a secret, but then what does he do? Is he playing them one at a time (which I doubt), is he layering them together, or is there any sort of electronic treatment going on? I assume the latter is the case, but I might be wrong altogether. Whetham does apply 'musical' techniques to create his music, like using loops in the fifth part of a jackhammer, the melodic drone touch in the third part and such like. He creates all these little touches which stretches it far beyond the mere documentation of a certain area. Spooky and mysterious at times, this is another fine addition to what mounts to a vast amount of releases by now. It's almost on par with his recent 'Never So Alone' (see Vital Weekly 870), which I thought was his best so far. This one is almost as refined I am to say. It's only in the smaller, somewhat untouchable details that I think this is just a bit less. Just a bit, I may add. If the name Whetham is new to you, then 'Hydrostatic' is an equal fine starting point. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aufabwegen.com

FLUORESCENT GREY - AMBIENTE (3CDR by Record Label Records)
The world of limited editions. The release by Thomas Dimuzio and Voice Of Eye is also available as a download - like anything else these days - but also as a 2LP set, in 'an ultra limited edition of 10 copies' - what's the point there, I thought. But I must admit I was quite surprised to see this somewhat unlikely collaboration. I know Dimuzio perhaps best as someone who works inside the more seriously composed electronic music with hints towards the electro-acoustic music, while Voice Of Eye have been around for a similar amount of time as a duo fine woven ambient music with a touch of incense/hippie/mystique. But those instruments by Voice Of Eye are played through electronic devices and Dimuzio knows how to touch the ambience through his playing, so maybe it's not all that odd. They first met in 2008 but recorded together in Dimuzio's studios on September 17, 2009 and later on did some more overdubs and transformations. Itunes opens this up and says I am hearing 'new age' music. Maybe I am, I said to myself, during the first track, 'Andrasthea', but of course, I already knew this is not standard new age. Not that I actually know what new age does sound like, but from the time I try to sell ambient music to new age shops, they always told me it was 'too dark', and if that was dark, then they haven't heard Voice Of Eye with Dimuzio, as when the disc moves on things end up pretty dark around here. There is some more keys being played on these keyboards, with reverb set to 'spooky cathedral', twisting and turning knobs with bass up. No wishy-washy light flutes, but cosmic space matter, dark hole disappearing stuff and all the usual metaphors apply. It sounds more like Voice Of Eye in a way than a Dimuzio release, I should think. All of this deep end ambient is their trade mark more than it is Dimuzio's, but it's I guess his love of transforming sound through electronics is needed here to enhance it further. That opening piece is quite heavenly, with that chanting and guitars, but the other four tracks take the listener into the black evening of a dark forest. No such as new age around this corner of the woods. An excellent trip, this head music.
The other one is also limited. Maybe its a 3 CD set in a wooden box with 35 'art' cards in an edition of 100 copies, but I can't vouch for that. I only got three CDR copies in a generic card sleeve, and that means that our review submission guidelines are still not read properly. It's the day and age of the internet, I think. There is so much to read that we all wonder why we would bother to read anyway, and if we are pointed to that we just say: 'oh, I never read the fine print'. Meanwhile, I am stuck with three CDRs of ambient music to review, equals, let me think, 5 hours of my time equals the income revenue of Vital Weekly advertising times donations received this week - adding twice zero euros - oh, oops, a nice zero all around. So you'll excuse me if I keep this brief. Robbie Martin is the man behind Fluorescent Grey and on these three discs we find music from the past seven years. 'Ambiente', as a title may hint towards 'ambient' music but if that leads to the expectation that all of these discs are filled with long form synthesizers soundscapes, you are wrong. I started with disc, so I noticed half way through actually, and here for instance we have twenty-four tracks in seventy minutes which show an interest in treating acoustic sounds with electronic means, resulting in relatively short pieces, which aren't exactly the kind of ambient Brian Eno was dreaming about. More owing to the world of musique concrete and electro-acoustic music, but maybe recorded using those old SK1 samplers with more fancy sound effects. Moving to the first disc then, we find sixteen pieces of a more rhythmic nature, feeding through sound effects. If ambient, then in an odd twist, one could think of ambient from the mid 90s chill out room. Glitched beats, fractured synthesizer and a handful of samples thrown around. Again, we don't relax or let the room be filled with undemanding yet unassuming music. The least amount of tracks are on disc three, only thirteen. This is the release that is the least easy to define, perhaps this seems to more complex. More sampling here, more sound effects and sound sources such as objects and field recordings, and occasionally something more nasty and loud. All in all, a lot of music, which would have been better of carefully selected and kept on a single disc. Maybe the listener should do this himself? (FdW)
Address: http://www.recordlabelrecords.org

Did we review the two Kirkegaard CDs that are at the basis of this record? Yes, we did, in one case. In Vital Weekly 653 we reviewed 'Laybrinthitis', Kirkegaard's work for  'otoacoustic emissions', highpitched tones that resemble tinnitus. Since then I heard a live version of this and indeed rang for long in these ears. I think I liked the CD version better, which I found was not unlike Alvin Lucier or Phill Niblock. On this new LP it is conversed into a classical piece, as performed by the Danish ensemble Scenatet, which is a bit like what Zeitkratzer did when they commissioned pieces by the likes of Terre Thaemlitz and Merzbow. One side as 'Laybrinthitis II' and one side has 'Church' from the '4 Rooms' CD, which wasn't reviewed. That CD brought Kirkegaard recognition worldwide since it used field recordings of the radioactive zone in Chernobyl. The instruments of the ensemble consist of clarinet, percussion, trombone, violin, viola and cello. In 'Church' this results in a very dark piece of subtle movements of the percussion and ultimately the entering of a two note string piece, that sounds like a fog horn wailing in the dark. I could have bet there is electronic sounds in there, but apparently it's not. It's a fine piece, but the one I liked even better was on the other side. Here the sine wave tinnitus experience is converted into a great subtle, orchestral piece of slow cascading glissandi, working majestically along and against each other. Slowly rising, slowly dropping, and more ship horn than fog horn like, and not at night but on a slightly unstable sea at day light. Gentle yet also, somehow, somewhere, urgent music. Beautiful slow static music, which reminds me easily of the best of Arvo Part, especially 'Laybrinthitis II'. A great conversion. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

KATSUNORI SAWA - THE TWO LEGS (12" by Weevil Neighbourhood)
Another highly limited vinyl release on Berlin's Weevil Neighbourhood, with a musician from Kyoto called Katsunori Sawa. He's one half of the duo Steven Porter (the other being Yuji Kondo, not Steven Porter) and here he has a classic 12": white vinyl, four tracks, 45 rpm. Just like the good old days and the music is great too. It continues what we heard on the previous release by Steven Porter: minimalist dance music, not too fast (mid tempo this is called; mid of what I always think), repetitive with the use of sound effects enhanced. Delay machines like a fine dub record, yet this ain't dub. Rhythm plays a central role obviously, and sounds here not too dissimilar to Basic Channel/Chain Reaction of a decade ago (maybe it's about time for a revival, I thought?) combined with a more abstract side of the axis Porter Ricks, Pan Sonic and Goem, topped with a dash of field recordings. Does that make any sense these days? It's a pity I am not a DJ, I thought. I wouldn't mind this kind of stuff for an evening. This record by Sawa would certainly make it into the mix. No doubt more than once. (FdW)
Address: http://www.weevilneighbourhood.com

INSTAGON - JAZZ FOR A LESSER DEAMON (CDR by Thee Instagon Foundation)
INSTAGON'S GREATEST HITS (compilation CDR by Thee Instagon Foundation)
Music by Instagon I surely heard over the years, and maybe even reviewed, but I don't seem to easily find that relevant information. But maybe these three will lead me to some coherent thoughts. Istagon call themselves an 'experimental sound art jazz jam band', whose membership is floating, but with a nucleus of Lob (lead bass, loops) and Chad E. Williams (guitar). Further instruments are drums, saxophone, trumpet, flute, keyboards and vocals, sometimes with multiple players on boards. Their releases count up to thirty in twenty years and are usually culled from live recordings from a certain period - although these concerts are sometimes sessions without an audience. The release on Auricular Records for instance has recordings from 2007 through to 2010 and show them in a more experimental mood, I should think. Jazz is a word that doesn't immediately come to mind when hearing this. It opens with the title piece which lasts thirty-five minutes, of which almost the first half is the band starting up with some vague rumbling before going somewhere. Spacious, drifting, but also not too well recorded. Much of this recorded with digital recorders with microphones attached to it, but to capture a band of multiple players, and their amplification is not an easy task, and not always the sound is very defined. That is a pity of course, but you could argue that the rawness of the moment is captured by this, and none is lost (nor enhanced). Its a long piece and spacious piece, just like the closing thirty minutes of 'Thee Sickness Ov Losing Friends Over Stupid Stuff On Facebook'. Spacious, drifting, not without a hint of very early Throbbing Gristle. In the two shorter pieces in between Instagon goes out to free jazz a bit more, with bass and drums freaking out, along with a marimba.
On 'Jazz For A Lesser Deamon', their 30th full length album, we find live recordings from 2012. It sounds different from the previous release, but that doesn't mean this should be discussed in terms of progress. According to the press release this happens to explore more the jazz side of the band. 'Garage-jazz sound' is what they call it, and perhaps that is a most apt title for these explorations in the world lo-fi recording. Lots of wind instruments along with bass and drums, all set the mode from free to very free. Maybe it's all too (free-) jazzy for me, these grandchildren of the Sun (Ra), with the big band playing, but I like the fact that it has a raw energy and some excellent tunes that could work, when recorded properly, work out as a fine soundtrack for a black/white film noir. The biggest surprise are the final two tracks which has Jenn Rogar on vocals. Although primarily a folk singer, she is more like scatting around here, and it makes things rather smooth. Now if progression is anywhere on the list for Instagon, I'd say this is surely one (alone with technical improvement on the recording side, like doing multi track recordings; this music surely deserves that).
Of course the twenty years of existence also prompted the release of a greatest hits compilation but then played by others, mostly friends I'd say from the west coast. I recognized such names as Nux Vomica, +dog+, Chad E. Williams and One Infinite Loop and none of the others - fourteen hits are to be found here. I am not sure, but that's perhaps because I am not that familiar with all of those thirty full length releases, if these are covers - playing their songs with your own instruments - or remixes, in which sound sources from Instagon are used to create new songs. I guess it doesn't really matter, and it's all more about doing a tribute. All of the band's interests drop by here: the jazzy bass lines, sampled rhythm patterns, noise, sampled melodies and all in between. I should think more remix than actual cover, but perhaps I am all wrong about this. Loud at times, quiet at others, maybe as diverse as the original bunch. Including also the musical qualities of Phog Masheen, Messier 7, Mile 97, Scott Heustis/Jeff Schwartz, Ogo Pogo, Corroded Master, Stephen E. Elliott, Chopstick and Urban Sherps. Nice one, and perhaps a fine introduction also for some new names. (FdW)
Address: http://www.auricular.com

NOISE FROM CHINA 2 DISC (double CDR by Yan Jun)
A compilation (of course!) of numerous artists most of whom I could not say I know – except Torturing Nurse – but then I’m hopeless at names anyway.  The noise ranges from abstract TV comic toon surreal sound effects, at times over layered with walls of varying pitches, through the gambit of harsh noise and wall. The sound placement and recording is excellent, pure and concisely engineered. The whole product nicely packaged in blue and red slip cases inside a yellow envelope. 15 tracks/artists in all so apart from making this already dull review more pedantic I will not name check, describe or appraise them individually here but as above non are anything other than well produced and engineered works. And the temptation to stereotype will also be avoided- no neo-colonialism as in any case noise arguably owes as much to the cultural interchange of post-colonialism and art’s globalization before globalization. But what I do see – if even mistakenly – is an understanding of noise which is more than mere individual and very xenophobic self expression – the rants of bedroom bound pseudo gay Nazi devil worshiping college drop outs living in Texas – if you need a clearer description of the total misunderstanding of noise. Again though acceptable, as noise is ever thus – noise – so even such juvenile cri de coeurs are noise- and not music. How then can we judge or account for noise. Well only by re-instating it as music. And this may well be the case, it has been argued. However this assumes something akin to the idea presented elsewhere that everything is capitalizable as it is philosophicalizable as it is rationalizable.   With the exception of at least one (Badiou) this has not been the case since the turn of the 19thC.  The pantheon of these anti-Platonists to large and differentiated to list here, and proper names are of no interest other than some shorthand for the epoch of the individual of worth is removed by the copy, and its precisely the copy, once flawed now perfected that guarantees noise’s ubiquity for as late as 1964 Heir Heidegger was attempting to think from a completed (Vollendung)  philosophy wherein metaphysics could be placed (hidden yet Lichtung!).  For a non-scientific ametaphysical presence  which avoids the idea drained of ontology in “mere cipher, monadic carrier of information” (cybernetics) which is precisely what noise is in its aontological presence everywhere for everyone and most importantly for everything. Dasein is overcome as is every *thing* by complementarity, objects are now entanglements of thing and no-thing – and have been even since The Science of Logic- “pure Being and pure Nothing are therefore the same”… we cannot then even accept this noise as both being and being Chinese and being not and not Chinese… (jliat)
Address: http://www.subjam.org http://www.tenzenmen.com

3X12 (CDR by Oggy Records)
From the local people who brought you the literary fanzine 'Kutgitaar' (edition of sixty copies I believe) comes a new enterprise, Oggy Records. Mostly on bandcamp, but also available on CDR, in what can be called lo-fi packaging but it's a simplicity I like. Here label owner, musician and writer Oscar Wyers invited three local musicians to produce a bit of sound which he could use for his spoken word things. If I understood the whole project correctly. There is in two pieces no spoken word, but each of the bands play a piece for twelve minutes, hence the title. It is as diverse as is possible. It opens up with the as yet relatively unknown De Geconcentreerde Consumentenbond whose title , 'Huidhoudelijke Compositie' seems to indicate that they are the grandsons of Pink Floyd and their failed attempt at recording an album of household appliances. Here, in this attempt, this band succeeds rather well, bending violin like sounds in the dishwasher, with an effective use of echo, in a slow but dramatic build up. Donne Et Desiree are obviously the well-known duo of improvisation, responsible for Nijmegen Noise City, but whose '123numerology' sounds surprisingly mellow, with stretched out playing of the cymbals and the guitar nicely wailing in feedback around it. It continues where we left of their previous CDR release - see Vital Weekly 869. Syntax Pony I never heard of but it seems to be some sort of off-shoot of Distel. Here we have a voice indeed, Wyers no doubt, set to a soundtrack which is an odd mixture of ghostly soundtrack effects, field recordings and sparse instrumentation. I am clueless what this text is about, as it's more mumbled than spoken, but it adds to the nocturnal atmosphere created by the music. Three diverse bits of music on this compilation, and for once I won't complain about compilations, as this one has sufficient longer pieces to get the full picture across. (FdW)
Address: http://viezecocktails.bandcamp.com/

INVERTEBRATA - 5 (CDR, private)
This is the fifth album by Bert Vanden Berghe from Belgium, who plays mainly 'randomly detuned & often prepared (most acoustic) guitars […] sometimes combined with digital edits and electronic additions'. I have no idea about anything else from him, as this is the first time I hear his music. The music was recorded on a multi track recorder, which is something one can hear when playing this. Vanden Berghe plays in a free mode strumming the strings, letting objects glide up and down the fretboard, sits in front of the TV, and in general does all sorts of things that your guitar teacher didn't teach you. It's sort of thing I like to do on an acoustic guitar whenever I can lay my hands on one, thinking I am as good as Derek Bailey. Or as good as Vanden Berghe, as I think these nine pieces show a lot of strength. The electronic sounds play a small but vital role, add perhaps an interesting level of alienation to the music. Like being captured in a space ship and playing to save his life? But all of the electronic sounds are minor, it's the guitar playing that counts here. Quite an imaginative release! (FdW)
Address: http://invertebrata.bandcamp.com

A member of Hamilton Yarns of whom in the past I reviewed various releases, and while perhaps always a bit outside the world of Vital Weekly, always quite enjoyable. One of those things where I always wonder: why aren't they on Static Caravan? Joceline Colvert sings her songs and plays accordion, cornet, casio keyboard, piano, autoharp, field recordings while engineering all of these songs herself. Her method of recording is quite direct, without too much studio make-up. But perhaps that's all an illusion. Maybe some of that hissing and crackling is just another layer of field recordings that she adds to her songs and places herself somewhere in the mix. Very clever, I thought. There is of course an element of folk music to these thirteen songs - element? It's all very much like folk music, but with an odd twist here and there, i.e. the field recordings. Sea shanty songs is probably also a very apt description, and sometimes they are recorded on the sea itself. Excellent outside the usual Vital digest music, fine pop tones! (FdW)
Address: http://thesoundofantler.com

Hard to believe here, but it seems as if voices are the basic sound element of the five pieces on this CD, and hardly a single voice can be detected. Maybe I'm all wrong, but there is a 'cover' version (interpretation is what this is called in the serious avant-garde world, perhaps) of 'She Was A Visitor' by Robert Ashley, but also there is 'Pauline's Choir', sampling Pauline Oliveros 'Sound Pattern' and 'Haunted Bach'. Jens Kindermann's For Kings And Queens has been around for some time and operates in the world of field recordings and musique concrete. I have no idea what kind of tools he uses to manipulate sound, but me thinks this is the computer. But it very rarely sounds like time stretching here, which is perhaps the thing one easily expects from this. Ashley's piece went by without me even thinking about the original, and in 'Fake Summer Evening' we hear bird chatter along with a nice ambient pattern of sound. That is a particular cosmic piece, whereas in 'Haunted Bach', Kindermann tends towards the more noisy side of things. His previous work I thought was a bit long, but this one is quite alright. There is variation, there is a well balanced sense of working with his sound material, and it's all along the lines of musique concrete, ambient, drone and a bit of noise. Voice material, human and animal, work nicely hand in hand here, and very rarely indeed you have the idea you are listening to any voice related material. Very well-made indeed. (FdW)
Address: <subterraneansonic@gmx.de>

FRANK ROTHKAMM - K (CDR by Flux Records)
The 33 CDRs Frank Rothkamm produced where nailed against a wall as part of an exhibition and later sold as an art item. Its a pity that my particular copy was nailed through the actual CDR so it doesn't play. But Rothkamm send me a download link so I can hear it anyway, while I now have an art object disguised as a CDR. There seems to be less of a conceptual edge to this work than on some of Rothkamm other works, and the nine pieces here last 33 minutes and 33 seconds. The whole art thing was part of a lecture and audio-visual performance. Rothkamm is a collector of vintage synthesizers, which he puts to good use here. Some of these pieces are quite short, and hardly with any sound. The longer pieces are studies for the K5 synthesizer (well, all are, but here at least we hear something) made by Kawai in 1987. The music is not too dissimilar to what I sometimes refer to as 'Planet Of The Apes' film score. That soundtrack has become the template of almost anything that sounds like analogue synthesizers without the cosmic use of arpeggio's - space is not place here, but with all that microsound gliding and sustaining, bouncing in and out of the mix. Its actually nice music. Perhaps it doesn't stand out with some others in the same field, and perhaps the conceptual Rothkamm edge is not apparent, but purely as a musical release it is very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fluxrecords.com

DANIELLE LIEBESKIND - 29.3.2013 (CDR by Somehow Ecstatic/One Day Series)
The idea here is very simple. You have a band and ask them to create an album, mini-album or ep within one day. Everything should be composed/written/mixed in that single day. That day becomes the title of the album. "Our purpose through this experiment is the spontaneous creativity and the randomness of first-moment inspirations", says the label. This particular one was recorded last friday, in two cities, close by each other, Arnhem and Nijmegen. I assume recorded in the first and finished off in the second, but perhaps that's because I have some insider information. Here we have Danielle Liebeskind herself on guitar and vocals, Donne Brok (of Donne & Desiree fame) on drums and percussion and Martin Luiten (of The Dear Listeners, Julie Mittens and Pick-up) on guitar and electronics. There are seven pieces, presented in chronological order. You could argue, and probably rightly so, that both Luiten and Brok are (gifted!) improvisers so recording an album a day is their usual business anyway, but with the vocals of Liebeskind added they must however reach out for something that is more song like, even when all seven pieces are untitled (why I wondered?). The free play here results in a demented rock trio playing in the best no wave tradition, or as we called here in The Netherlands Ultra (revived for a short period last year). Actually I would wish there would be a bit more of those vocal bits. With all the improvisation that goes on here, one could easily think: we know all of this already, and they do it very well, but is that what this one day thing is about? It might be, what's the added value? When this trio however starts playing their more structured sets of pop (dare we use that word?) it becomes very interesting. The raw and direct energy spouting from that is great. Take a bit more time, and 'write' a couple of these songs, record them in exactly the same way, and this band could be a going concern on the (very-) alternative rock scene. Here's what a particular route of Ultra could have been like. (FdW)
Address: http://somehowecstatic.blogspot.gr/p/one-day-series.html

It's been a while, it seems, since I last heard Earzumba's music. Once a member of Reynols, but who remembers that now, and since a long time locked inside the world of plunderphonics, samplers, synths, percussion and all such like. His music has an interesting radiophonic component - not always, but occasionally - but as easily connects to rudimentary forms of dance music or serious electronic music. Here he re-samples himself, using his archives from the last eleven years. Eight of the ten pieces here are rather short, from a few second to less than three minutes and display the Earzumba we know best. Quickly moving about, rhythmic, bouncing up and down, with more often than not a dramatic change of tune. The first and last track are however something different. They are quiet and meditative. In the first, 'Fur Elise' (which is of particular personal delight when it comes to that title), the sound source is a music box, being played with great slow care, while in 'Discontinuado' he uses a sampled tuner, making some more delicate ambient like patterns, which I must say work extremely well. I am not sure if Earzumba considers these to be a new direction, but I wouldn't mind he did this. This, in combination with voice material would be very interesting. Excellent release! (FdW)
Address: http://earzumba.bandcamp.com

ORPHAX - LIVE AT MFR HQ (3"CDR by Moving Furniture Records)
In our role as guide to the underground, Vital Weekly gets many questions, such as 'hey man, love what you are doing, and dig Holland as a great country, now where can I play in Amsterdam' - which rubs pretty much against all hair I have. Not the yellow pages, not in that city (at all!, mind you!!), not in the business of concert organization and we simply don't have the energy to answer that kind of e-mail, which would actually be easier than the question 'hey man, great love my music, I'd love to get a few names of labels who could release this as a proper CD', and we don't answer that either, so there you go. The whole point of Vital Weekly, take notice here, is that old punk idea: do it yourself. You read this weekly missive and you seek out, those labels, those venues, those musicians. Don't rely on me to give you a proper answer. Oh and don't bombard mister Orphax with this: "hey man, love your label and according to Vital Weekly you do concerts in your living room. Me and my drummer don't need that much space anyway, but some space cake as payment would be awesome, dude". Orphax, also known as Sietse van Erve, does occasionally put up concerts in his living room, yes, in that city, which I am sure is smaller than small but nice - his living room that is, not that city. On November 17th 2012 Orphax also played at an evening and the fourteen minutes are released here. Van Erve is a man of laptop, and armed with Audiomulch, he plays this very dense and very minimal piece, using feedback created through the program itself. Slowly he moves around with various parameters. Dense but hardly drone like, more like modern minimal electronic music, or even Alvin Lucier like, but it moves a bit too quick for the latter. Not a brilliant work, but a fine document of progress. (FdW)
Address: http://www.movingfurniturerecords.com/

THE LAY LLAMAS - SELF-TITLED (cassette by Jozik Records)
KÖSMONAUT - EMANATIONS (cassette by Jozik Records)
Helsinki label Jozik takes pride in widening their aim beyond the typical noise/drone depths to an amorphous jamboree of sonic approaches. Their accumulating library of tapes encompasses a broad net of timbres, with a colorful cast of sound artists who take varying liberties with traditional song form.
Right off the bat we've got a very strong tape from Wolf Fluorescence, the swell sound outlet of Ross Devlin. This copy comes housed in a nifty little cardboard box which arrived more or less destroyed by the slings and arrows of the postal system. The two sides of 'Unwavering, Achronymous' seem to comprise one continuous composition, which was composed both "by the waters and under the bridges in Tennessee" and on a bus traveling through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Side A follows a compelling progression, storming out the gait with naïve and luminescent synth goobers before haphazardly segueing into an exquisitely understated drone whose glitchy/twitchy bottom is perpetually threatening to drop off the face of the earth. As sea waves seep in near track's end, the ears are transfixed. Devlin apparently liked the melancholic drone of the first side so much he decided to continue it on side B, which he's cheekily named "A Heart that Belongs in the Sea.” It's a wise decision simply because his drone is so exquisite, matching gentle, Oval-inspired spasmodics to a placid ambient fog. I don't know what "achronymous" means (surely there's nothing acrimonious about this record), but, hey, maybe it's time we challenged the tyranny of the English language, with all its shitty rules and restrictions. Down with homework!
As I graze over to the Lay Llamas' tape, I begin realize that there is isn't too much background information on this pet project of Nicola Giunta, an Italian songwriter who also has a solo CS out on Tulip Records. Here he's joined by an assortment of allies and together they pull off a tape inspired by the fringes of fifties/sixties lounge and exotica music. "African Spacecraft" weds tribal drums to a funk bassline and a troposphere of cosmic synth pearls and ethereal flute, landing somewhere between Martin Denny's 'Exotica' and 101 Strings' 'Astro Sounds from Beyond the Year 2000.' Then "Space Jungle Mantra" treads one step further into the bizarre, again meshing astronomy with the animal-kingdom stomp of the wilderness. After the resplendent, paisley-clad pop of “The Voice of the Big Snake” momentarily steals the show, a stretch of thick guitar fuzz and textural hand drums close out the tape.
Kösmonaut, who also puts out tapes through his Ethereal Mother Tapes imprint, brings us fifty stereoscopic minutes of synthesizers and drum machines on 'Emanations.' The gambit nabs concepts from Tangerine Dream et al., the Basic Channel techno scene, and even shades of early EBM. Moods oscillate over the course of the tape, ready to bend from chipper ("The One") to coldly mechanistic ("Monad") at moment's service. The retained products are a commitment to steady rhythmics and a fierce sense of future-mindedness, mirroring the way in which early techno acts sought to forecast the technological wonder of the twenty-first century and beyond. Indeed, there is a simplicity to these tracks that connects them to the early days of dance-oriented electronic music. Consider spectacular "The Indefinite Dyad," an intricately designed contraption that nuzzles early ambient techno and IDM (The Orb, Sun Electric). Or the false-utopia of glimmering "Triad." Together, it all amounts to a surprising and engrossing tape.
Address: http://www.jozikrecords.net

BEING - BATTERY CAGES III (cassette by Skeleton Dust Recordings)
JOHN MADIGAN MOLONEY - DIALECTIC TZARA (cassette by Skeleton Dust Recordings)
Luke Tandy's well-respected Skeleton Dust label brings the noise as ever, this time channeled in two distinct directions. Tandy's own project, Being, populates 'Battery Cages III' with a fidgety stretch of junk-noise, presumably brought into this plane by several wincing contact mics. On "No Honour" the bludgeoning begins with some bumps and scrapes surrounded by ample negative space, but as the track wears on the mess gets thicker and thicker until all we're faced with is a dense block of abrasive goodness. Tandy lets ribbons of high-frequency squall rain down on the listener, infecting the inner ear with a stubborn case of the fuck-your-cochlea. "Among Thieves" opts out of the high-pitched arms race in favor of some good old crunchy noise heroics and the odd mid-range screech, keeping the squeeze on until the tape runs clear.
The case of John Madigan Moloney's 'Dialectic Tzara' tape comes decorated in extruded sprouts of pastel-orange caulking foam, the J-card itself printed on transparent film. Sure, bits and pieces of the foam broke off in the post, but the aesthetics of this release are really quite something. It's amazing that, after so many different iterations of the incredulous-packaging thing (the various spectacles of American Tapes and MSBR Records come to mind), there is still room for invention. The final product – a mess of caulk erratically slathered on the cassette's clear plastic shell – hints at home renovations gone awry, and the recording reflects that unfinished, incidental quality. On "Nostrums," haphazard, low-level noise scum meets driblets of found sound and some hair-brained vocal goofery. It meshes the stiff upper lip of noise with tongue-in-cheek absurdity. "Polyganal Slab" makes the blather the main attraction, macerating, mutating, and looping little phoneme giblets in the name of high art. This is the sort of wild and wacky sound artifact that collectors end up creaming their shorts over five years down the line. (MT)
Address: http://skeletondust.blogspot.com

PAREGORIK / WORMHEAD - LIVE 26/2/12 (cassette by Puzzle Records & Obsedante!)
WORMHEAD / ORGASM DENIAL - COLLABORATION #1 (cassette by Puzzle Records)
TN.666 / WORMHEAD - SPLIT (cassette by Puzzle Records)
From Saarbrücken imprint Puzzle Records comes three splits featuring the label's blithesome owner, Wormhead. The first tape I picked out of the batch, a co-release between Puzzle and the much less prolific (but extra exclamatory) Obsedante! label, is a live recording from early 2012. Paregorik's side brings us a standard bluster of noise: pedal chicanery, sinuous personal-alarm retching, and a latent drone that tenses the sphincter. Below the low-freq bedlam is the sterile voice of a sexless college instructor. You recognize the voice; it's the old-timey croak that graces ancient educational videos, espousing the perils of drug use and the importance of proper driving technique. Bits of speech eke out of the woodwork when the chaos ebbs... there's shady talk of pubic hair, earthworms annexing the human body, old rags reeking of "urine and cheap red wine," etc. The overall effect is grotesque and unnerving, replicating that sensation of having stepped in on something that just doesn't feel right. Wormhead's side, by contrast, is more conventionally apoplectic, bristling out with a writhing mass of noise. Snared over a blanket of analog grumble, the listener is confronted with the grind of machinery being abused. It's a wonderfully malevolent scrap of noise, calling to mind the sullen image of WALL-E being gruesomely dismantled for parts.
The 'Collaboration #1' split tape pools the efforts of Wormhead and the ever-reliable Orgasm Denial. Wormhead and his Hong Kong-based colleague, Rolf (who also runs Noisoke Records), start off the fun with a wily sprig of discharged tension; their purging process sounds like an electronic appliance gangbang... photocopiers, microwaves, printers, and computer monitors all slamming each other under a sticky mist of modem seed. Side B doesn't disappoint, hashing up crystalline noise and ham radio squeal with the sort of hostility you'd expect from two teeth-bared harsh-hounds. Though their collaboration must have been pulled off virtually, what with the big stretch of land and fog separating these two grizzled sound-transgressors, the work doesn't turn out disjointed in the least. I can't pick out which layers of sound each man was responsible for, but their aesthetic sensibilities (or lack thereof) fit together famously. Here's to more worm orgasms being denied in the near future.
Last up: a dense sixty-minute split from our well-acquainted pal Wormhead and his compatriot, tn.666. Now, sixty minutes is a lot to ask of your listener, particularly when you're trafficking in structureless noise, so right from the get-go there's an expectation that these folks will be on their best behaviour. tn.666 is Matthias Weigand, the man behind German noise/etc label Ecocentric Records - a label that, like Puzzle, also occasionally dabbles in the punk/hardcore noise of things. Reflecting this, his side sounds something like a blown-out and slowed down punk experiment … the simple, nearly tribal patter of a drum is buried deep in the mix, under a festering mass of guitar & electronic garble. The entire track is clogged up by rusty recording equipment, giving air to a dank, muddled quality that makes you feel as though you've dug up some audio document of a cult ritual. As the track seethes on, the cranking and churning of imagined machinery lend an Industrial quality to the sound. Instead of going for the big-dick pandemonium of your average fuck-you noise fiend, his sound is slow and distressing, something that stands up to a full thirty minutes of scrutiny much better than most harsh-noise grouchfests. On his hot-tempered side, Wormhead kicks things off with some German dude's slowed-down voice getting flayed by the haughty tumult of his daisy-chained assembly of noise generators. In contrast to Weigand's audio equivalent to standing water, our pal Wormy lets rip a tsunami, locking the listener into a constantly-evolving spray of mid-range noise. While Weigand's side subsists on its odious atmosphere, Wormhead's two tracks thrive on their exuberance. The spasmodic crush of "Autounfall" rivals "Petrischale"'s more tempered grind, which wears slightly thin as it rattles on. A significant length of dead air closes off the tape with a bit of a fizzle. (MT)
Address: http://puzzlerecords.blogspot.com