number 886
week 24


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BRUNO DUPLANT & DARIUS CIUTA - (G)W(3) (CD by Mystery Sea) *
JUNJI HIROSE - SSI 4 (CD by Ftarri) *
IN PROGRESS (CD compilation by Laznia/Zoharum)
MUU FOR EARS 11 (CD compilation by MUU)
GERRITT WITTMER - MAKING REAL (CD by Misanthrophic Agenda) *
SEITZ VERSUS GENDREAU (LP by Misanthrophic Agenda)
FREIBAND - MUTATIS MOBILIS - (CD by Attenuation Circuit) *
VIDINĖ RAMYBĖ / HASSOKK - VILNIUS (cassette by Terror)
NEH CZNEG – SELF-TITLED (cassette by Puzzle Records)
FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH – SELF-TITLED (cassette by Diazepam Records)

BRUNO DUPLANT & DARIUS CIUTA - (G)W(3) (CD by Mystery Sea)
The cover of this CD doesn't tell us much, in fact, nothing at all. From France we have Bruno Duplant, whom already had a release on the sister division of Mystery Sea (see Vital Weekly 850) who teams up here with Darius Ciuta, Lithuanian sound artist and architect. No doubt this teaming up took place through the internet and shares sound files online. It's a long release, with one sixty minute piece and one that last sixteen minutes. Of course, I should add, all of the sounds are from some kind of water origin, and very now and then I believe to detect some of the dripping of such watery sources. It's a minimal work in which things move rather slowly, and perhaps also with not a lot of idea or composition. It's like drifting in a wide open ocean with considerable waves dropping you far away, you float and hoisted up, dropped down and float again. You never know what to expect here. Except that all that dropping down and hoisting up could make you believe this is all very wild; it isn't. Segments are slow and stay in stasis for a while, and occasionally not a lot happens, which is, I think, a pity. It seems at times a bit too randomly stuck together, and not always with the greatest consideration. There is a certain free flow here, occasionally, which doesn't make the long piece very stronger, although it also has some great moments. The shorter piece is all very soft, staying most of the time highly inaudible, with gaps of silence in between the various segments. I was thinking this might be some of the source material? Maybe I am wrong. Its a piece that I don't entirely understand, I think. A fine CD, but not the best on the label. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net/

A year ago, Toshimaru Nakamaru was in Quebec to talk about his music as well as to play some of it. Invited by label owner Eric Mattson, in a studio owned by Steve Bates and with a suggestions how to set up speakers by David Sylvian, the day after all the talking and meeting was spend to record the three pieces on this album. As he writes on the cover, it's all rather quick work, but with improvisation music I would think it's always rather 'quick' and 'on the spot', but maybe it's not. Nakamaru is a man who plays the no input mixer, which means nothing goes in, but in and output are connected and thus feedback is the result. There are various people doing this, and the one who I once saw, Marko Ciciliani, was great, simply because what he did was different than from the ones I hear on a disc. He was quick with fiddling knobs and had a rhythmic pattern. Nakamaru is more the man for long parts of high end sound with slow minimalist moves. Maybe he uses a bit of sound effects, maybe it's distributed over a number of speakers, each with their own characteristics, but it's different than say Ciciliani, but equally great. Maybe this is more the kind of music to play at home, where you can sink down in the music and occasional noise he puts on. Especially if you play this loud, and there is no reason why you shouldn't, the sound is quite immersive. It hisses, growls and howls, and cracks down under it's own weight. Nothing for the weak of hearth, I'd say. Top heavy onkyo music. Caution! (FdW)
Address: http://www.oral.qc.ca

OK, I may not be the right person to review this disc because I am hugely biased towards these artists; I am a big fan of both. In the area of field recording and its manipulations these two guys are simply at the top. With recorded sounds and edited versions of those recordings, Jos and Yiorgis know exactly how to create tantalizing compositions, brimming with intensity and passion. I also admit that I have seen their live presentation of this work in Extrapool in Nijmegen, as a result of their collaboration during the Brombron residency. This simply blew me away. This release is a good reminder of this live presentation and certainly as strong as the live set, but it also adds two new tracks, one from each artist. Sakellariou's track is simply gorgeous, using field recordings by Smolders and tuning those into a track of great delicacy, without losing its edge. Good work! The last track, a solo by Smolders, sounds like a show-off at first, with bursts of sounds and reverb (like in old tape music), and then  like a show-off of digital ways of manipulating sound and then, after all this, Smolders shows us his real face (if he has one). Cuts, shards and bits of sound blend with field recordings (of pissing cows?) into a majestic end. Get this! (RM)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

A trilogy of releases on 12K, or perhaps just waited a bit with sending them, since these darn postal rates are sky high, now everywhere. On the first release we meet and greet label boss Taylor Deupree who meet up with Seaworthy - a real meeting up, in Deupree's studio, near Ward Pound Ridge, where the two of them went for a walk and recording, especially of broken trees and debris, following a hurricane months earlier. In the studio they added in the evening nylon string guitar, banjo, e-bow, noises, loops, effects, jupiter 8 and percussion. This is very much something that I would expect to sound like this. In recent times 12K flirted a bit with pop music, but perhaps more with improvised music in combination with field recordings and very little electronica (synthesizers, loops). They are here, the electrical bits, but we hear them buzzing in the background, very softly, not outspoken and the thing we do hear is the tinkling of a guitar, the solitary bell sound of a glockenspiel, the metallic string of the banjo and the walking through leafy wood areas, and ducks in a pond. Not a very wintery release, as the title suggests, nor the titles which no doubt refer to the dates they were recorded (February 21 and 22 of this year). The crackling of branches sound like a cozy campfire, and Cameron Webb - the man of Seaworthy - playing his campfire songs but doesn't sing. Highly melancholic stuff indeed. Nothing new under the sun for either artist, nor for the label - if you keep up with it's movements.
Very much along similar lines we find the Japanese duo Illuha, who debuted in 2011 with "Shizuku", recorded in an old church in Washington. They improvise on whatever instruments are available, although the cover photo shows a zither and a guitar, and they use whatever big space they are in to create their spacious music. All generated through methods of improvisation too, just like the previous reviewed release, with in one piece poetry reading of Tadahito Ichinoseki, which adds to the zen-like feel of the music. There are however a few differences with the Seaworthy/Taylor Deupree release. The most striking is perhaps that Illuha use more electronics, or perhaps, don't hide it that well. The balance between instruments and electronics seem to be more on an equal level here, and there seems to be an absence of field recordings, maybe not in 'Interstices III'. The pieces by Illuha are a bit longer too and all three pieces are culled from live recordings, which may account for the somewhat rougher edges the music has. Like hearing a echo machine going on a bit too long, or the occasional longer searching for the next move. In a way I was reminded of Voice Of Eye: long spacious ambient pieces, always with that bit of spice in there, but perhaps also free floating like a finer hippie texture. Here too we don't hear many new directions, but it's equally great, as the previous one.
We didn't hear a lot from Marsen Jules, but three weeks ago we had his trio over here, now it's time for a solo release. It's one piece of music, forty-seven minutes long and it is 'a generative music piece upon a single phrase of an old jazz record split into three audio streams. These streams are transformed into loops which break the original instrumentation down into sound resembling pure waves, harmonics and overtones'. Drone music in short. I like drone music, and that's it. What else could I write? There is nothing here that I haven't heard before and that's fine. I like drone music. The only thing that I was thinking about - in a pure objective, non-music related way that is - is this: suppose this was the drone music created by someone nobody ever heard of, would it find it's way to 12K as well? Or does it help if you a Marsen Jules with a string of releases on hip labels? I do risk to be called a cynic again. I rather call it skeptical. It says nothing about what I think about the music. I think it's a might fine slab of drone music, slowly changing and minimally evolving. Just as the things were, and will probably always be. Very nice. Marsen Jules or otherwise. I like drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

With all the cripple translations google is offering on the artist - I didn't get a blurb here, well, the wrong actually - I am not sure, but it seems that Yokotsuka Yuuya is a member of Ametsub, maybe not. It's perhaps not really important, details, that is, but it's always nice to write something extra which might be true. Yuuya is born in 1988 and lives in Tokyo and his (her?) music can be regarded as IDM, the intelligent designer muzak. I am joking here. Music with beats for sure, and these beats are not made for dancing. Too slow, too complex. Yuuya plays melancholic piano lines, nice smooth synth music on top and throws in a vocal sample (lifted from TV) for good measure. Is it great music? I am not sure. I was reading a book, drinking coffee, watching the summer sun outside - thinking why the hell am I inside listening to music, and not listening outside, walking around - and this music provided some nice pastime tunes. Nothing that really grabbed me, but also nothing that really annoyed me. Pleasant pastime. Maybe that constitutes as muzak? That was not a joke.
Very much along similar lines we find Romanian composer Sebastian Zangar, who worked as Databoy78 before, but with 'Song 4 Sector 4' delivers the first album under his own name. He received a classical piano training since he was five years old, and that's something we easily acknowledge here. There is a lot of piano here. There is also electronics here. Maybe Zangar samples his own playing and transforms them into the bass bumps he creates or the higher pitched stretches? I am not entirely sure. This is very 'modern' music. Music that probably does well with a certain segment of hip people, lounging in cocktail bars, waiting for godot perhaps, sipping wine (or whatever beverage is hip these days), and listening to these loungy, jazzy tunes with that bit of techno/dub/stretch added to make it 'modern'. Sometimes a bit more abstract, as in 'Boxroom', sometimes with some rhythm machine out of the laptop, as in 'Little Lake'. It's not bad either, although the hip people is not my scene, and it's bit early in the day for drink; this is more later at night music, sipping wine on the balcony, when the rhythm is gone. Hence both albums probably are complementary. More pleasant pastime muzak. (FdW)
Address: http://www.naturebliss.jp

New music by Fazio, who works under a variety of names, of which one is his own, and A Guide For Reason is another. The previous release under that name was reviewed in Vital Weekly 793. Here is a new work, even when it was recorded in 2010 and part of "Music From The Strange Box, which was a small micro, private pressing of a 4 cd box set, only given to record labels for promotional use only" - but no-one has money now to release box sets of four CDs (well, not if you are you-know-who). The first fifty copies of 'Iconography' will have a download code for some more music from this era. On 'Iconography' we have four long pieces - side long pieces, if you would consider thinking in terms of LPs and the music is not unlike before. It's hard to say what Fazio does, but no doubt there is an extended use of guitar, effects, synthesizer, tapes and ebows. All of this plated with a fine feeling for some of the looser ends of composition. Fazio likes to jam around and see what comes out of that. His music has a loose feeling, a bit unstructured, a bit too unstructured occasionally. He looses grip on his pieces and it sometimes falls apart into the various ideas it has, but lacks the connection. And sometimes it works quite well, actually. The new element in his music seems to be the addition of slow, dubby, digital rhythms. Maybe he should try and let go, and hand over the multi-tracks to other people, and let somebody else 'produce'/'mix' the release: maybe a fresh look would benefit the music here? I am not sure. It's an idea. Maybe it's not at all on the agenda of Fazio to even consider this and he likes his little prog inspired symphonies? They are, overall, nice enough. Fine presentation too! (FdW)
Address: http://www.faithstrange.com

JUNJI HIROSE - SSI 4 (CD by Ftarri)
Ftarri from Japan is an interesting label which brings us with regular intervals music that is rooted in improvisation, by people I knew heard of and usually with strange instruments. This new one by Junji Hirose is a fine example. There is xeroxed picture of him and his 'self-made sound instrument, version 4' (as the title of his release also indicates), but I advise you find some youtube films so you can see what it is about. Basically it uses a bunch of bicycle wheels which are (perhaps) amplified, and played with various objects, metal and plastic, perhaps. He has two pieces on his release, one being forty-four minutes and the other fourteen. In the long piece he plays around with the notion of dynamic, ranging from soft - although not a lot - until something very loud. By doing small movements with the object on object, he knows how to create a rich sonic palette, whereas in the second solo (actually called 'Solo 3') he plays with high end and low end sounds. Starting out with an almost pure sine wave/feedback like sound he moves via the middle to the low end and very much towards the end it goes up again. It's certainly not 'easy' music and perhaps it would be nice to see it happen, so you have a better understanding of what is going on, but in a nice and curious way this works a bit like a tribute to The New Blockaders, although perhaps less noise based. Another fine addition to another world of improvised music by Ftarri. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ftarri.com

There is an odd chance you might go to a record store and look under 'experimental/soundtrack/contemporary' or, right next to it, 'electronica/experimental/psychedelic'. You might bump into these two new releases by Alrealon, but it's only one I can recommend. The first is by PAS Musique, the group around Robert L. Pepper (but also with Michael Durek, Amber Brien and Jon Worthley). There are no instruments mentioned on the cover, but no doubt we are dealing here with a multitude of keyboards, guitars, bass, samples and (electronic) percussion. This is the album that has 'psychedelic' attached to it, which is perhaps no wonder with such a title. The music contained within is no doubt the result of endless hours of jamming together. Set around the patterns of drum machines, sequenced loops or arpeggio's on a synth, and on top of which everything else moves around freely, spaciously. What we get on the disc however is not the jam session itself, but the resulting residue of these jam sessions. Once they have something nice going they do a proper recording and limit the parameters and make it into a song, rather than an over-lengthy piece which is perhaps interesting for the players, but not always for the listeners who weren't part of the jam session. That's makes this a most enjoyable album of twelve pieces of music, all in the range of four to seven minutes and with a great production. Here we have a lot of variation, a lot of sound too, as there is always something going on, on all the levels of the music. Music that transports the listener to other dimensions, I should think. Great stuff.
And I realize that's a bit of spoiler for the next review, which is album of a band name Kine. It's front man is Dao Anh Khanh, from Vietnam on vocals, Brett Zweiman (of $50 Doller Trumpet) on guitar, Amber Brien (PAS Musique) on Garrahand and Robert L. Pepper (PAS Musique) on electronics, synths and flute on one piece. All five pieces are called 'Meditation' and I think the 'psychedelic' tag could have as easily fitted on this release. The wordless chant/sing methods remind me of something psychedelic, and something Japanese. Maybe it was Keiji Haino? The first two pieces are quite long (seventeen and twelve minutes), the others relatively shorter. The music is also based on a jam session or two, but it's not really with the same density and subtle play as Pas Musique. It seems here we get a longer cut out of the jam session served, the band warming up and then getting somewhere. Or nowhere, as I am inclined to think, since the wordless chant/sing-song is not really my idea of meditation, or something to hear in any state of awakening. Here we have something that was no doubt fun to create, but the listener is forgotten. To be fair, I liked some of the passages, such as the electrified thumb piano opening of 'Meditation 3' and some parts of 'Meditation 2', but otherwise this couldn't hold my attention very much. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alrealonmusique.com

IN PROGRESS (CD compilation by Laznia/Zoharum)
The cover of this release suggests different music than I would expect. Maybe I don't like these photoshopped surrealist images very much, or perhaps I think they are a bit gothic? Whatever is the case. I never heard of both artists and groups, but on one hand we have Schuyler Tsuda who at one point met up with Will Connor at the University of Hawai'i. Connor is a member of Vultures Quartet, which is actually a trio of him, Matt Chilton and Anthony Donovan. The fourth member is he/she who ever comes along to play music, which in past were Steve Beresford, Damo Suzuki, Ernesto Tomasini and with releases on Tzadik and Somber Soniks. In October 2011 they played together at the university of Minnesota: Tsuda on his sound sculptures, Dovonvan (as it is on the cover) live electronics, bass and ballon, Chilton on laptop and Connor on percussion, metal, junk. This is the kind of improvised music we don't hear a lot. It's not really quiet - far from actually - but also not the most noisy one. Heavily drowned in sound effects though, with lots of echo and reverb to modify the scraping of metal and sculptures. It's not always the most careful of playing methods they apply here and sometimes I was thinking of Morphogenesis, who had a likewise love for sound effects - sometimes, or perhaps Merzbow in the late 80s, say 'Ecobondage' or 'Storage', but these noise vultures are less driven to noise around. I thought it was all quite nice, but nothing great or spectacular. It's great however to hear that this particular line of improvisation is still being practiced. That's for me the most amazing thing about this otherwise quite alright release.
Zoharum also has something to do with the release by Laznia, a place that organizes concerts, and 'In Progress' offers thirteen pieces by people who have played there, not necessarily recordings made in the place. Each take up about six, seven minutes, although Adam Donovan only two and Aki Onda only three minutes. The finest names drop by here: Robert Lippok, Rapoon, Troum, Andrew Lagowski, Michel Banabila, Z'EV & Hati, Mats Lindstrom, Robert Piotrowucz, Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim as well as the for me unknown C.3.3. and Jacaszek. It's a fine introduction in case you never heard any of their music, but for the initiated? I am not sure. Perhaps I don't like compilations? (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

Like with the recent release by IPEM (see Vital Weekly 883), or the various historical releases by Pogus, we have here another fine example of historical music. House in a booklet of information on the composer, the pieces and the players, we have here the early work of Greek composer Michael Adamis, born in 1929 and who died on January 21 2013, but having approved of this release before that. As far as I understand he was one of the, if not the, first composers to use electronics in his music. However as this anthology of eleven works from 1964 to 1977 tells us, it's almost always works with instruments, rather than pure electronic works. Some of these pieces are 'for tape' but are effectively pieces in which Adamis transforms a lot of instruments. What's interesting is that he uses a lot of traditional Greek instruments and musical traditions. These instruments make this a fairly traditional modern classical release, which I guess is not always my thing. A piece like 'Whimpering', based on a baby's cry or 'Piece One' and 'Piece Two', both of them more abstract, is something I enjoy a lot. Some of the other pieces, especially on the second disc are not really my cup of tea. But throughout one keeps listening. Maybe it's because I love releases like this, full of historical perspective, even when not all of the music is my cup of hot beverage. Here I wonder what else this man composed, and if we are going to hear more of that. Especially electronic works, please. (FdW)
Address: http://www.metamkine.com

MUU FOR EARS 11 (CD compilation by MUU)
The Artists?Association MUU organized the exhibition ?Invisible Time? in their own gallery in Helsinki. During this event eight artists exhibit 11 music pieces, which are collected at the 11th edition of MUU for Ears. The collection of these music pieces is diverse and has a wide range of experimental music, mostly orientated for musicians living and working in the Northern part of Europe. For these release MUU invited musicians from all over the world. The compilation starts with two electronic pieces of Jatin Vidy Arthi from India. The two pieces are short and are well composed with a moody atmosphere. Konstantinos Fioretos from Greece presents two different pieces. One piece is an electronic piece created by analog en digital systems and has a minimal musical approach. The second piece is played by four tubas and tape. The composition has a classical mood. Secret Secrets from the USA combines with drum parts and intimate voices. Myriam van Imschoot from Belgium with a interesting collage of different voices. Johan Landgren from Sweden works also with different voices and edit them electronically. Minh Phan Quang Tran from Vietnam combines improvisations on electronic guitar, with a flute and percussion instruments. The guitarist from Hanoi combines musical elements from western and eastern elements. Snorkel Quintet from Barcelona/Spain experiments also with several musical styles. The CD ends with a piece of Jay-Dea Lopez based on intense radio waves which are recorded close to Saturn by a spacecraft. The piece is a beautiful ambient piece of music like howling windy tones. Again the compilation CD of MUU  is very diverse with different styles. The quality of the compositions is high, but it offers too many styles. (JKH)
Address: http://www.muu.fi

GERRITT WITTMER - MAKING REAL (CD by Misanthrophic Agenda)
SEITZ VERSUS GENDREAU (LP by Misanthrophic Agenda)
"'Making Real', an exercise in creating reality", the press text says, and probably somewhere in my book it's noted that Gerritt Wittmer is a noise-boy. Maybe he no longer isn't. There was a time when I forwarded stuff from him and his label straight to Jliat, but these days I check it out beforehand. It turns out that his noise is my kind of noise. 'His work often articulates abstract narratives through vocal expression, body performance and intense theatrical lighting'. Out of the door are the massive walls of feedback and screaming, and in came the more subtle ringing noise sounds, the close miked vocalizations and electro-acoustic noise. Three pieces here, only twenty-five minutes, but what intense and intensive minutes they are. No track titles here, but take that second piece, which starts out quite soft and then adds some loud, piercing mid range drone sounds and nearby breathing sounds - it almost sounds like Wittmer recorded a therapeutic session. His work is not unlike that of Dave Philips, which shares a similar esthetic of the modern intelligent noise music. Well recorded, well put together in terms of a composition - collage-like, with surprise elements, nice balance between loud and soft - and throughout pleasant to hear, even when, no doubt, the whole concept is pitch black or otherwise part of the miserable human condition. (I don't care about that, sorry!). I judge these things by their output: a great CD!
In an edition of merely 90 copies we have the LP of Seitz and Michael Gendreau. The latter we know best here, as one half of Crawling With Tarts - until 1998 - and since then solo. These days he uses 'buildings as a speaker', using infrasonic vibration. Not on this record however, where he plays music with one Seitz (Oakland, CA) and formerly a member of Taxodiaceae. I never heard of him but about him it's said: "Seitz is fascinated by the re-contextualization of ephemeral sound such as- streams from radio, lost and forgotten records, tangents of passing conversation, fragmented voicemails, pieces of cassettes sound, field recordings by amateurs, tv movie themes, and random and despised podcasts- and the breakdown of the music bubble that surrounds most contemporary music consumers. Seitz envisions a world where listeners actually listen and no music is fetishized." Which means he is some sort of plunderphonic artist? I am not sure. It's not something that I will know based on playing this record. The record is quite a remarkable one. Three pieces here. The first one is 'Chorus After Rains', and sounds like an improvisation for various toy instruments and appears to be not very loud or outspoken, but has something that really held my attention. It is quite a contrast with 'Things Lost That Will Never Be Found', on the same side and which is quite a noisy blast - noisy but great, with lots of subtle variations. On the other side we find 'Trains Will Not Stop (Grand Surface Noise Opera Nr. 9)' and which is what it is, a piece of music based on surface sounds of vinyl, just like Crawling With Tarts did all those moons ago, but here too it's very quiet and not outspoken but again, in all it's minimal appearing quite nice. Quite a captivating record. No fetish, but something which I loved to hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.misanthropicagenda.com

Local music then. I told you before about my pleasant surprise to find out Mark Tamea did some great music and lived locally. His previous releases were reviewed in Vital Weekly 643 and 715 and here returns with a new CD. Mark Tamea is a rare species who is on the curious cross road of modern composition, electronic music and plunderphonics. For starters: I have never a clue what he does. If he actually plays something himself on his releases. Like the string instruments we sometimes encounter here. What he set out on his previous releases he explores again here. Six pieces here on this album, and everything I knew about him, returns here. The modern classical approach in 'Oikony Noyod', microtonal synthesis in 'The Lake', and the elements of plunderphonics? They might be everywhere, hidden in every tracks. The radiophonic aspect of his work is again never far away, and it evokes perhaps rather abstractly at things - although a title as 'Objet Trouve' is something to think about - maybe he found some classical music? Tamea splices his music in a digital way, but puts it back together in a new form, very tonal at times, but also very abstract. Like with the previous release, 'Metonymy', I can't say I am as surprised as I was with 'Tessellation', but that doesn't mean I am not impressed. I think 'Atomism' harks back to 'Tessellation' more than to 'Metonymy', in a way that it uses a lot of acoustic instruments as well as some fine electronic charges. Great (traditional!) musique concrete. Excellent release, all around. (FdW)
Address: http://tamea.org/

FREIBAND - MUTATIS MOBILIS - (CD by Attenuation Circuit)
Freiband is of course Frans de Waard's guise for digital sound manipulations. This release is different from Freiband's others because it has a strong conceptual element. It contains two thirty minute tracks that divide up into four separate mono tracks on left and right channels, that could be mixed in a multitrack environment. Are you still with me? So yes, there are basically sixteen mono tracks on this disc. And you, as a listener, are invited to mix it up. So far so good. Nice idea, not new but hey, what's new anyway? But then: are you ready to go through all the trouble of doing a mix of your own? I don't think so. Even I (as a musician) think this is no good and I am not going to bother with it. So that's a bit of a problem then, right? Well, no. To my big surprise the idea of doing a mix yourself etc. is just plain nonsense. These are beautiful pieces of drone work, different on left and right channels, but blending together perfectly. A work with soft and gentle changes in texture, almost zen like in nature. There is no need whatsoever to mix this in a different way, because it is just right as it is. So that leaves me with a question: why state the concept when it has become obsolete? On the other hand it partly explains the process of creation. I leave it up to you to decide for yourself, but I do urge you to listen to this. It's very well worth it. (RM)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

Brendan Byrnes is composer and multi-instrumentalist working in the Los Angeles area/USA.  future. He creates a eight-track CD and a website about this subject. Each page on the website gives information about each track. The artists’ notes are interesting to read as background, but for me the music has to speak his own language. The album has a complex musical atmosphere with multi-layered compositions. The titles of the compositions refers to different places on the fictive continent. The continent is for example surrounded by an ╦boa Ocean.” A adventurous composition with dark ongoing tones and tones are coming up and down, just like the waves of restless sea. The song “Vacant City” reminds me to King Crimson music from the eighties, a nice mix of intelligent jazz-rock and softly vocals. Two tracks are based of the non-octave theory of X. J. Scott. The tuning is adventurous and the listener comes into another world of melodies and (dis?)harmonies. The last track “The Skies” is a piece for six guitars, percussion and electronics. Tones, riffs and rhythms complete each other, but are also searching the conflict, melt together and collapse. 'Micorpangaea' is not an each piece of cake, but I like the adventurous mood of the album a lot. (JKH)
Address: http://www.spectropol.com

Here are two pieces of music by Sietse van Erve, also known as Orphax, with two films by Erslaub, the man behind the Broken20 label. I can be short about the films: they are nice, but not really my thing to review. Slow moving images, water of sorts in one and the other I don't know (leaves? shades? sand?), to which filters are applied and slow movements occur. It fits the music of Orphax quite nice. Orphax is a man of drones, digital drones, which he creates through the use of Audiomulch, modular software not dissimilar to Ableton, but a bit different. Here you can put in whatever you want, or even generate sounds yourself, and apply all sorts of treatments, which you can manipulate on the spot. Orphax usually brings on very few sounds, but expands wildly on them. He doesn't play noise music with these but layers them together, applying microscopic variations to each parameter and bob's y'r uncle. It sounds simple, perhaps it is simple, but Orphax does his job with great care. Both of these pieces are very similar, which is perhaps the downside of it, and my favorite is the second one 'Un Coeur, Sans Coeur'. Here the organ like sounds gradually transform into bell-like sounds and there is even a shimmering melody down there somewhere. There is not a lot of 'new' insight in the world of drone music here, but especially that second piece is one I fall for.  (FdW)
Address: http://www.broken20.com

VIDINĖ RAMYBĖ / HASSOKK - VILNIUS (cassette by Terror)
So all the writing on this tape's artwork is presented in a messy scrawl, white-on-black, making it a wee bit difficult to interpret. Plus it's all in Lithuanian, a language I can't even pretend to understand. The tape itself pools the efforts of two bands, both from Lithuania's capital city. Vidinė Ramybė whiles away their four tracks shouting in Lithuanian against a background of reverberant noise/PE frustration, in tough Whitehouse fashion. Obviously I have no idea what they're griping about – a lyrics sheet is provided, for those who speak the language – though the label's blurb explains that each band is musing on their hometown, Vilnius. If the gruff bark that accompanies Vidinė Ramybė's side of discontent is anything to go by, this sounds like quite the political grouchfest. Hassokk's lone track scraps the vocals for a cinder-block of whirling noise and smokestack atmospherics – it isn't especially harsh, but instead vast and oppressive. It concludes with the hack of someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, making not-so-oblique reference to the suffocating stretch of sound that precedes it.
Address: http://www.terror.lt

NEH CZNEG – SELF-TITLED (cassette by Puzzle Records)
Satisfying sub-basement noise from this German miscreant. I really appreciate that this isn't simply an exercise in meat-head harsh noise bluster; instead, Neh Czneg contrives to build actual structures out of his pedal abuse, aligning layers of sound into an complex but odious landscape of noise girders and gnarled guitar strings. Sixty minutes is an ambitious time-frame for any grumbly noisester to work with, so a big block of bludgeon-your-ears musculature would have been ill-advised. And for the most part, this aims at reverb-glazed ominousness rather than monster-sized jag-offery. “Just a dream...” almost even sounds like a song (gasp!), alternating a minimal drum-machine tick with a more-than-menacing bass loop. Still, dude's also capable of brawny theatrics, as on the pillars of distorted guitar that hoist up “Sacrificium” I still might have preferred that this had been chopped down to more digestible size, as there are a few directionless moments here (dreary Side B gets lodged in quite the rut). Limited to a scant twenty copies with spray-painted cassettes! (MT)
Address: http://puzzlerecords.blogspot.com

FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH – SELF-TITLED (cassette by Diazepam Records)
Snuggled within a lush felt pocket (kudos to Diazepam for stitching each of these cuties up), Fungi From Yuggoth toggles between noise constructions and grandiose (if melancholic) post-rock guitar melodrama. The combination of ugly sound and lugubrious leanings is, perhaps, in concordance with the band's name, which is pulled from the title of an H.P. Lovecraft poem cycle. The bulk of the tape stays clear of harsh meaniedom, instead rutting itself in growly Industrial loops -- exuding a feeling of a cold and mechanistic future, the sort of dead-eyed dystopia that Timecop and Judge Dredd (or, even better, Dredd 3D) tried so valiantly to warn us about. The solemn guitar churns that close out side A are a welcome snippet of lucidity, but the tape is truly made by the topsy malfunctioning-cassette whorl that drifts side B into its death spiral. It's so alluring that the burst of axe-noise that up-ends it is somehow disappointing – a mere, pedestrian salvo of feedback-noise doesn't do justice to the true weight of FFY's tasty atmospherics. (MT)
Address: http://dzpm.blogspot.it

While Kommissar Hjuler just released, in an edition of 8 copies, some 78 minutes of drone music I made for him using a simple hit and run sound program, he send me a few courtesy copies. It's sold out, so it's unlikely you will see a review anywhere. Along with that he send a windows CD rom, which I can't read or see and this cassette which contains the noise madness of one Robert Ridley-Shackleton, which is a rather lo-fi rambling of voice stuff and equally lo-fi electronic sampling. Maybe he sings along? I am not sure. According to the website it has 'reversed charity shop tapes' and 'hisses and spits'. Its long, its a bit pointless and it's maybe a bit like an outsider? A steady stream of the unconscious mind.
The other side has Kommissar Hjuler Und Frau captured playing live. There appears to be some distance between microphone and 'band', so it's not easy to get what's going on. Sometimes it seems there is nothing going. Sometimes we hear strumming of guitars and screaming. Crank your volume all the way up: you might easily miss out on something. File under either 'outsider' or 'sound poetry'. Or just plain 'weird' will also do.
Check out the website for more music by Shackleton and his funny descriptions. Some of them even might contain a form of truth. (FdW)
Address: http://hissingframes.blogspot.com

It seems to me a bit of an odd pairing here. On the first side of this cassette we find Botfly, also known as John Brennan and Holzkopf, Jacob Hardy that is. Since 2011 they work together with an odd form of improvised music, in which low resolution samplers play an important role, in which they blend with cruel pleasure rock rhythms, jazz licks and sauer kraut rocks. It's sounds mildly distorted and pleasantly insane. Like a bunch of demented rock musicians recorded by a guy who does a 360 degrees dance while holding a microphone. Sometimes it seems to give in under its weight. On the other side we find Gintas K, who is since 2011 a member of the Lithuanian Composers Union - altogether probably a more serious bunch of sound makers, I'd say. He has here a recording from 2011 in which he plays laptop - Plogue Bidule software and a bunch of cycling 74 VST plugins - which he plays, I'd say, in a more or less improvising way. If that is at all possible with a laptop (some would argue this is not possible). This is quite a different bunch of sounds. Nothing wild, no distortion, nothing insane, but just plain old fashioned, well made, if not too out of the ordinary computer music. Maybe a bit raw too, but nothing compared to the other side. See: odd pairing, but I must say it works rather nice indeed. The wild on one side and the more quiet, introspective on the other. Nothing spectacular, but nice enough indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.discogs.com/Botfly-Holzkopf-Duo-Gintas-K-Sober-Materials-7/release/4560596