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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 902
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week 42
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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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PHILIPPE LAUZIER - TRANSPARENCE (CD by Schraum) *
PHILL NIBLOCK - TOUCH FIVE (2CD by Touch) *
BURKHARD STANGL - UNFINISHED. FOR WILLIAM TURNER, PAINTER (CD by Touch) *
SERGIO SORRENTINO & MACHINEFABRIEK - VIGNETTES (CD by Frattonove) *
DEVIN DISANTO - TRACING A BOUNDARY (CD by Task Records) *
CLOCK AND CLOUDS - IN A PENTAGONAL ROOM (CD by Anaphoria) *
BILL THOMPSON AKA PROF_LOFI - SOLACE (CD by BHM)
TIM HOLEHOUSE – FIGHTER (CD by Aaahh!! Real Records)
TIM HOLEHOUSE – GRIT (CD, private)
FATAL CASUALITIES – PARIA (CD by Seja Records)
NITON DECAY – CAGE (CD by Seja Records)
MIGUEL A. GARCIA - LA AXACRA (CD, private) *
MIGUEL A. GARCIA & TOMAS GRIS & LEE NOYES - ASTO ILUNNO (CDR by Idealstate Recordings) *
MIGUEL A. GARCIA - HIZTUN! (3"CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
FABIO ORSI - ENDLESS AUTUMN (CD by Backwards) *
FABIO ORSI - VON  ZEIT ZU ZEIT (LP by Backwards)
FABIO ORSI - POSTCARDS FROM LUXEMBOURG (CD by Mudam)
INGRAM MARSHALL & JIM BENGTSON - ALCATRAZ (DVD by Starkland)
SPACE CAPSULE (CDR by Dissolving Records) *
BREMEN TOWN MUSICIAN - ECHO DUST IS ALL THAT'S LEFT OF US (CDR, private) *
ST RIDE – CONQUISTARE IL MONDO (CDR by Niente Records)
MICROMELANCOLIE - #P ST-M- D RN_SUMMERSTIME (CDR by BDTA) *
BARTEK KALINKA - SZORSTKIE SKRAWKI (CDR by BDTA) *
SOMNAPHON - AN ALIGNMENT OF VARIOUS THINGS (CDR by Bicephalic Records) *


PHILIPPE LAUZIER - TRANSPARENCE (CD by Schraum)
A solo CD by Philippe Lauzier, whose primary instrument is the bass clarinet. He hails from Montreal, where he recorded this CD between 2010 and 2012. He has had releases on &records and Ambiances Magnetiques. Seeing this on Schraum means that we are dealing here with music of an improvised nature. It's however not a CD of twelve piece of improvised playing on that instrument and nothing else. Lauzier is an explores of all sorts of techniques, such as amplification, multi tracking four bass clarinets, 'half-bass clarinet' (whatever that is), 'feedback with alto saxophone' and 'motorized bells'. Yet these twelve pieces here, spanning forty-four minutes, make an interesting homogenous thing. Each of the pieces has it's own character and sound differently from the other pieces, but not too different to be entirely somewhere else. It has a fine flow, these pieces, variation all around, but not too different. A fine showcase of what is possible I guess using a single instruments, different techniques and many fine ideas. Not a surprise in terms of being something new, but of fine quality through out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.schraum.de

PHILL NIBLOCK - TOUCH FIVE (2CD by Touch)
BURKHARD STANGL - UNFINISHED. FOR WILLIAM TURNER, PAINTER (CD by Touch)
This year Phill Niblock will be 80 or perhaps already is. That wasn't the reason that I recently played all of the CDs I have from him. I am simply playing all the CDs I have in general, to see what I would like to keep and what can go. I must have never looked properly at the covers as I never noticed the repeated instruction to play the music so loud that your neighbors two miles down the road can still hear it. It's not how I enjoy his music, but I decided all of his works were 'keepers'. Here we have a double CD, with two different kind of works. The two pieces on the first CD are 'traditional' Niblock pieces, in which he record tones played by an instrument ('by an instrumentalist'), and the arranges these tones 'into multi-layered settings, making thick textured drones, with many microtones'. He has done this with guitars, cello, hurdy gurdy for instance. The other CD has three pieces which are actually scored and played by a number of musicians. They play the piece in small variations and record thus ten versions in a day which are then mixed together. These pieces are essentially the same, but played by three different ensembles of guitar players. The first disc here has a piece for cello and a piece for harp, the latter played by Rhodri Davies. Both approaches are excellent. The differences between the pieces on the second disc are small, and perhaps also small with the music we find on the first disc, but that is of course the whole esthetic nature of the music of Phill Niblock. His music is very much drone based, thick, immensely layered and one that works really well for me. I spoiled the review by stating that everything I already have from him is a 'keeper' and this new work is no different. It's again a great majestical sound of swarming massed drones, and Niblock once again shows us, he's the true master of this trade. His music is never static, but always seems to be on the move, with minor changes going on all the time. It's all highly vibrant, but also meditative in a way, even when this played loud - which I tried, perhaps for the first time. It's loud and drone based, just the way I like that.
Something different is the Burckhard Stangl's approach to music. Here we have nothing like thick drone sounds, but the electric guitar and tapes (electronics and field recordings). That's it. All three pieces are inspired by the works of painter William Turner (1775-1851), that man of those great paintings of light, landscape and seasides. Stangl is especially overwhelmed (his own words) by the late and unfinished works and three pieces here were all recorded live, perhaps that's a form of 'unfinished' for Stangl, being the opposite of a studio piece, being the 'finished' version? Whatever is the case, you hardly have the impression that you are playing a CD of live recordings. The guitar sound is very gentle, with an drone like undercurrent from time to time, but with more open ended strumming on top, and carefully mixed in field recordings and improvisational bits on top. It's all very quiet, very atmospheric and very… light? I am not sure if that word 'light' would cover a similar meaning as the word 'light' for the work of Turner, but this is some excellent release. Beautiful, poetic music, with light touches to the guitar, and darker clouds occasionally above them. Great releases by Touch, both of them. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

SERGIO SORRENTINO & MACHINEFABRIEK - VIGNETTES (CD by Frattonove)
From the ever so productive force Machinefabriek an album of collaboration with guitar player Sergio Sorrentino. I must admit I never heard of him, but he's trained performer and composer of the instrument and has released his music on such labels as Universal, Setola di Maiale, Aton Records and others. He recorded his guitar playing as clean as possible and send them off to Rutger Zuydervelt's Machinefabriek for processing. The thirteen pieces here are kept short and to the point. Zuydervelt doesn't meander about but takes just a few bits of guitar playing and paints with his magic on them, sample and hold, a bit of delay, a bit of reverb, a bit of reversing and bob's your uncle. It sounds all very easy the way it's written here, but of course I have no idea how easy it is to make. I do note however that it sounds very much like his own work, which perhaps made me think what the whole point is here. He can do something similar by his own account too. In that sense this collaboration - no matter how great it sounds actually - is perhaps not that exciting if you happen to be looking for a surprising new take on the approaches of Machinefabriek. It's a fine album of something that we already know Machinefabriek is very capable of. (FdW)
Address: http://fratto9.com

DEVIN DISANTO - TRACING A BOUNDARY (CD by Task Records)
There isn't an awful lot of information on the cover or the website, except it lists a bunch of performers: Alex Black, Devin DiSanto, Dan Letourneau, Dan Lis, Jeff Smith, Jess Turner, Chaz Underriner, Max Wanderman and mentions for some of these instruments (trumpet - Jess Turner, trombone - Jeff Smith, bass clarinet - Devin DiSanto, guitar - Dan Lis, guitar - Dan Letourneau and ukulele - Max Wanderman), but oddly enough the music seems to be about something else altogether. What, however, is a bit of a mystery to me. Here we find a whole bunch of field recordings of what could very well an espresso bar in which several people are doing 'things'. Machines, cracks, a voice saying '4 minutes' and all of this recorded with a subtantial amount of gain, so it has a rumble below which is heavily amplified since it seems some of this stuff seems to be looped, as several sound events return every now and then. But then what about the instruments, you ask. There are in here too, but very far away in the mix. They play every now and then for a very brief period which, and then disappear off the radar again. If ever they fully appeared on the radar of course. It's hard to say. But whatever it is, it's certainly a strange release. An odd mix between some very loud electro-acoustic sounds, field recordings and very soft recorded instruments playing these short lived, sustaining figures. For all I know this might very well some theatrical action being recorded, or a fluxus like performance, or perhaps someone who taped his favorite coffee bar and dissected the various actions to get a nice cup of coffee. Maybe it traces boundaries unheard of? Very nice release indeed, as nice as it is mysterious. (FdW)
Address: http://taskrec.tumblr.com

CLOCK AND CLOUDS - IN A PENTAGONAL ROOM (CD by Anaphoria)
It's been a while since I last heard something by Kraig Grady, the man who surprised me with 'Beyond The Windows Perhaps Among The Podcorn' (see Vital Weekly 582), which was microtonal composition for cello, saxophones, bassoon, trumpet and two voices, reminding me of Alvin Lucier and Ingram Marshall. His other releases were great too, but without the big surprise of a new discovery. Here Grady appears in a duo called Clocks And Clouds. Grady himself plays 'meta-slandro vibraphone' and Terumi Narushoma plays 'meta-slendro harmonium'; a quick search tells us that "Meta Slendro refers to the tuning shared on all the instruments. Slendro is a common tuning family found in java and on other Indonesian islands under similar names. This tuning invented by Erv Wilson is tuned to a pattern of harmonics up to 200 but can be extended further." Check out the net for images of these instruments. The cover also tells us this: 'performed and recorded in the Pentagoinal Room, a reverberation chamber with no parallel walls at the TIMR Centra, Anaphoria' and 'all sound is acoustic without electronic modification to capture the natural qualities of the instruments and tuning'. The music seems far away, not in your living room, but somewhere outside. The summer has vanished and autumn has arrived, so the windows are all closed, otherwise one could think that these are the wind chimes of one's neighbors and not a CD playing in one's own living room. Very spacious, very quiet, slowly meandering about, minimal and on the surface not going anywhere at all. Like clouds of sound on a clear day. Music that is like the wind, flowing gentle away and around. It's not possible, I think, to write about this music in very objective terms, in strict musical terms, but rather in poetic terms, with references to nature (wind, sea) and contemplative moods. An excellent zen-like release, again perhaps without the real surprise, but I wouldn't mind seeing this in a live concert. (FdW)
Address: http://www.anaphoria.com/clocksclouds.html

BILL THOMPSON AKA PROF_LOFI - SOLACE (CD by BHM)
Maybe this is a name that is very common, or perhaps I just have no idea who he is (but a quick search tells me I reviewed a disc he was involved with, along with Rick Reed and Keith Rowe - see Vital Weekly 876). He is from Texas, but moved to the UK in 2004 to pursue a PhD in composition. He has played with Keith Rowe, Ian Spink, Faust, EXAUDI and others, and curates concerts and does workshops. 'Solace' was 'first performed in 2012 for the Amoda Performance Series in Austin, Texas. It was subsequently reworked and mastered at the Firehouse Studios in London and Studio 4 in Norwich, UK. Solace is dedicated to loved ones who have shown such grace and courage in recent times." It doesn't specify any instruments, but this work seems to be using two main elements. Field recordings in the middle part, say from minute twelve to twenty-five, of someone walking around which ends in near silent electronics. In the first and third part electronics play an all important role, and these are multiple layered from what could very well organ or synths. Sound-wise they are a very strong contrast with the bits in between, and come off as very loud and strong, however not being noise/distortion based. Just way, way louder than whatever else is here. An excellent contrast between the near silent field recording bit and the very strong, loud, powerful drone parts. The four minute ending of real silence is a bit too much I think, but otherwise this is a really fine release. It reminded me of the older Jim O'Rourke releases as a whole or Phill Niblock in the drone parts. Powerful imaginative music from what still seems to me like an entirely new name. (FdW)
Address: http://www.billthompson.bandcamp.com

TIM HOLEHOUSE – FIGHTER (CD by Aaahh!! Real Records)
TIM HOLEHOUSE – GRIT (CD, private)
Tim Holehouse plays in Vaelium (Vital Weekly 893) and played in many other bands from hardcore punk to drones. Nowadays he tours through whole Europe with his blues music. In collaboration with the background band he recorded the album “Grit.” In eights typical blues songs he touches the old-school blues style. During the recordings he had some problems with his voice, so he had to find another way of singing. The raw voices and the sometimes typical rhythms will bring associations with Tom Waits. Most of the songs are like typical blues classics, played in a pure unpolished way. Not really special and innovative, but the purity of the album is attractive. “Fighter” is his fourth solo album and deals about his traveling and personal moments. It is an intimate album, just guitar and voice, nothing more and nothing less. The recordings of the 11 songs refer to recordings like in the old blues days during the hot summer days in America and refers to the good old Delta blues and Robert Johnson. The blues sounds pure and without any pretension. The personal stories and vulnerability make this album to a personal statement of a traveler, who live regardless to time or space. Great album. (JKH)
Address: http://www.timholehouse.com

FATAL CASUALITIES – PARIA (CD by Seja Records)
NITON DECAY – CAGE (CD by Seja Records)
Seja Records is a small label from the Netherlands and run by Johan Buurke. The roots of the releases are in the late seventies and eighties, but in another refreshing way. Most of the music of Fatal Casualities and Niton Decay refers to new wave, electric body music and industrial music from the eighties, but with a new personal touch. Fatal Casualities consists of the duo Stefan Ljungdahl and Ivan Hirvonen from Sweden. The duo started in 1986 and stopped five years later. In 2010 Stefan send Ivan the track "Aim", mostly as a joke he wrote that "Aim" is Fatal Casualties comeback. This was the starting point for working on their debut ep. The album Paria starts with a strong beat without any compromise and develops into a manic track in which the mood changes in a few minutes. Also the other tracks change from sphere to sphere. Nightmares are created and after a while a pulsing industrial beat with computer voices, synth sounds and melodies create a wicked mood. The lyrics change also from Swedish to English and back again. Fatal Casualities creates a paranoid musical album and offers you 25 minutes intensive listening pleasure. The album “Cage” of Niton Decay has more a depressive atmosphere created by the German musician Stefan Gonser. The album is has a solid structure and the songs strengthen each other. The album starts with impersonal computer voice and abstract deep electronic sounds with a minimal rhythm and sweet and warm string synth sounds. The second song “Don’t mind” leads the listener into a city in which people are only i.d. entities which are be observed as if they are enemies. Not really a pleasant city to live in. The singing voice adds a monotonous layer on the synth patterns, slow beats and minimal guitar or bass lines. The sad and desperate music refers to music like Joy Division, Coitus Int and the first records of New Order and Anne Clark. Anne Clark could have sing these beautiful lines : “as we live our little lives, as we tell our little lies, as the world keeps turning round.” The strength of the album can be found in the excellent composed songs with a balanced sound, in which every layer gets it’s own attention and no layer will get the a major or minor role. “Cage” is highly recommended to survive the coming autumn in a world in which control to individuals is growing more and more. (JKH)
Address: http://www.seja.nl

MIGUEL A. GARCIA - LA AXACRA (CD, private)
MIGUEL A. GARCIA & TOMAS GRIS & LEE NOYES - ASTO ILUNNO (CDR by Idealstate Recordings)
MIGUEL A. GARCIA - HIZTUN! (3"CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Three projects involving the Basque composer Miguel A. Garcia, all of which arrived in the space of two days. Some people appear to be very active. On the second release he is credited for electronics and it's duet with Tomas Gris on objects and Lee Noyes on piano. It doesn't say where this was recorded, but I assume this is some sort of live recording. It lasts just over thirty-one minutes and the ten or so are very quiet, almost below the threshold of hearing. Lots of lo-fi electronics peeping about, the crackle of contact microphones being scratched along a cactus or something similar, a bang on a piano key and sometimes something on the inside of the piano. Now, I am not sure why this had to be released. A fine digipack for sure, great design, but just how unique is all of this? It's a fine recordings, the men do what they do and do it well, but does it necessarily have to be released? I am not sure about that. I thought it wasn't special enough to get all wild about it. I would have loved to witness the concert, but I am not sure if I wanted to take the result home with me.
Then, on a real CD, we find his solo music. I might very well be wrong, but this is perhaps his second real CD and it seems he saves his best work for these releases. Garcia might have an interesting track record when it comes to playing different kinds of music, it seems to me that in recent years his modus operandi lies in collecting field recordings and feed them through a bunch of digital and analogue technologies, which results in a kind of ambient drone music which is a bit louder, a bit more noisy than is probably usual in this area. The element of noise is important but not the main objective here. Garcia likes things to be louder, grittier perhaps than some others, but you never have the idea of listening to a full on noise album, which is great. Garcia cleverly works around with the notions of 'soft' and 'loud', going all over the place. He works with field recordings a lot here, but sometimes it seems like things are exploding in your face, and Garcia drops some sonic bombs. But quite so, it can also be quite and not too outspoken for an extended amount of time. Thus he crafts some very nice collages of sound here. Very much musique concrete, very much the kind of noise I like.
The last one is a solo release, which Garcia produced for the online radio Hots! and for that he uses radios, microphones and his voice, which are re-recorded through radio's. A work of constant recycling perhaps, feeding sounds back into the same system that plays them out. There are may precedents of people using radio as a sound source, all the way from John Cage, Nicolas Collins and John Duncan and maybe we should see Garcia in this direction too. This is a much more interesting release I thought. It's all highly conceptual probably, but there is briefness to these pieces which keep the proceedings short and to the point. This is fine stuff, but I guess also for the more acquired tastes of the work of Garcia. More conceptual, more art and maybe as such as bit less entertaining - at least not as much as 'La Axacra'. (FdW)
Address: http://idealstaterecordings.bandcamp.com
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de
Address: http://www.xedh.org

FABIO ORSI - ENDLESS AUTUMN (CD by Backwards)
FABIO ORSI - VON  ZEIT ZU ZEIT (LP by Backwards)
FABIO ORSI - POSTCARDS FROM LUXEMBOURG (CD by Mudam)
When I work up this morning I was tired, almost like I hadn't slept at all. Maybe it was getting to bed late, drinking just one beer too many, talking too much and all of that, but I found myself awake, thinking what to play as a soundtrack of getting up.  I looked at my desk, and picked up 'Endless Autumn' by Fabio Orsi, which I hadn't heard yet, but who knows, based on what I previously heard from him, might be some chill out wake up call. It tuned out to be the perfect choice for such moments of the day. I already knew Orsi as a fine craftsman of all things drone based, but here he opens up a bit more. It seems as if the guitars are more present, tinkling nice away in the middle of a fine, hot bath of drone like sounds. It's autumn here now, and this slightly misty music may fit here very well today, it is more than seasonal music. In Berlin, the current location of Orsi, it seems always autumn, except when it's winter. Of course one is inclined to think of that other Endless season record, the Fennesz one, and perhaps there is something to compare, on the whole however Orsi does something more ambient (perhaps not unlike Fennesz either, but from a later phase) and these sustaining, endless sounds of the guitar, electronics and a bit of field recordings, which seem to act as a go-between pieces. An excellent spacious journey.
A little later on the same day, and a little earlier released, I played the other releases which were also handed to me of the same musician. Both are from 2012, but too nice not too mention. First there is a LP 'Von Zeit Zu Zeit', where Orsi plays synth, guitar and filters, according to the cover. Here too Orsi plays drone based music but maybe this all a bit more winter like. The sometimes sunny autumn brown colors are replaced by all the shades of grey (no pun intended) via two side long pieces of deep, dark atmospheric drones. Here the guitar is either less present or thusly transformed into something we no longer may recognize as a guitar. It's a work for late at night, the hour of ghosts and such like. A fine journey too, but perhaps working too much in a known area.
Finally there is a CD of pure field recordings, made in the city of Luxembourg. This was part of a workshop organized by Fabio Orsi for music students of the Lycee Classique De Diekirch. It comes as one of the postcard envelopes with 8 postcards of original photography by Orsi, and it's listed on the cover what we hear, park, swimming pool, station etc. These pieces are presented here, it seems, as they are recorded. Its been a very long time since I visited Luxembourg and must admit my memory of the city is no longer apparent, but this all seems to me a fine work of pure field recordings.  Recorded with some fine imagination and throughout paints a vivid picture of the city. I think. If I remember well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.backwards.it
Address: http://www.mudam.lu/

INGRAM MARSHALL & JIM BENGTSON - ALCATRAZ (DVD by Starkland)
In my attempt to play all the records I privately own, I recently played 'Fog Tropes' by Ingram Marshall again, and I still think it's a great album of minimal music from a later date than many of the other minimal pieces I cherish. Here we have a DVD with a work from 1982, called 'Alcatraz', which no doubt you know as the prison. Together with visual artist Jim Bengston, Marshall explored the area with tape-recorders and cameras, and it grew into a piece of photographs and live, electronically processed music. While touring this piece in Germany, the stumbled upon a monastery, 'Eberbach', and similarly explored the area. Now these two pieces are on one DVD. The film part is a fine slide show of both locations, which is absolutely great, but not something I would watch always. The music is great too. In 'Alcatraz' we start of with repeating piano motifs and then  slowly field recordings are added, such as the slamming of doors. These are processed later on, with mucho echo, and slowly this pieces moves through various passages, including a return to the piano a bit later on. Excellent collage of sound and music - if there was a difference of course.
My favorite is however 'Eberbach'. From tones of church bells things gradually transform into a beautiful drone like piece, which has a fine orchestral feel to it. Again it's hard to make out wether we are dealing here with real instruments, real voices or computer (?) processed versions of that. It seemed to me this was more minimal in approach and perhaps also more linear, straight forward, but with the same fine quality of 'Alcatraz'. This is an excellent work, with or without watching the movies. (FdW)
Address: http://www.starkland.com

SPACE CAPSULE (CDR by Dissolving Records)
This is, I believe, the first time that Dissolving Records sends information along with the release, and it puts a few things in perspective. Dissolving Records is run by Thomas Shrubsole, who also works as Sub Loam, Jesus On Mars (both of them reviewed before), In The Field and 'various other pseudonyms, sometimes anonymously'. Here he acts as Space Capsule, an odd project of free jazz music. He plays 'acoustic and electro-mechanical instruments (soprano saxophone, piano, electric piano) aided by rudimentary electronics', and I assume not all at the same time, but taped to a form of multi-track recordings (analogue or digital) and that leads, I think, to some intentional randomness in the music. In an odd way it sounds very jazz like, even when it's all a bit more electronic, such as in 'Space Capsule 2'. Shrubsole plays loosely connected notes and improvises along with that and then on the next track he throws some other, similar and dissimilar notes, and then mixes them together, perhaps adding a bit more electronics in the process. Of the two pieces I liked the second better, but also to be honest, I think both pieces were a bit long and could have been edited down a bit, even when I understand that the length of this is necessary for this kind of spacious free jazz. Not yet entirely Sun Ra like I think. Great package! (FdW)
Address: http://dissolvingrecords.blogspot.com

BREMEN TOWN MUSICIAN - ECHO DUST IS ALL THAT'S LEFT OF US (CDR, private)
From Australia we have here Bremen Town Musician, which is primarily the vehicle of Marisa Allen since 2005, when she recorded her first CDR, using field recordings, loops, violins, percussion, voice and drums. After that Bremen Town Musician became a trio, toured around and now there is a second release, with a new band that includes Adam Sussmann on guitar (known for Xwave, Stasis Duo, Sun Of The Seventh Sister) and Timothy Green on drums and percussion. Allen sings here and plays violin. I must admit I am not sure what to make of this. It's folky but then rather of a much more experimental kind. It's songs for sure, but the way they are played is quite unusual. Sometimes a bit mediaeval like with steady beat on the toms and the violin being like fiddle, the music is rather more odd than say last week's Forgotten Birds, or whatever folk/rock like we find on Static Caravan. Electronics surely play a role here, but also loops from the various instruments used. At times I was thinking of Iva Bittova and Pavel Faijt - but that seemed so far away in my memory. All of these songs seem to have something that is a bit sombre, a bit doom if you will, which, taking the grey autumn weather in account, didn't lift the spirits very much here today. A bit grayish perhaps, a bit haunted and haunting. Although perhaps not entirely my 'thing', I heard this with great anticipation a couple of times. (FdW)
Address: http://brementownmusician.com

ST RIDE – CONQUISTARE IL MONDO (CDR by Niente Records)
Conquistare il Mondo is the 11th release of St. Ride at their own Niente Records. Every release of this Italian duo is a surprise. For the first releases the voice was an important part of their experimental electronic music. All kinds of musical genres were examined and played in a totally different way. Humor and melancholic moments were important ingredients of their compositions. At their latest release the voice is missing, although… the music is more intense and the different electronic and analog elements get more attention. In seven songs St Ride will take the listener to seven cities all over the world, like Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia or Tepetlaoxtoc, a city in Mexico. Honestly I do miss the connection between the music and the cities, but the idea to conquer the world with music is something what a lot of musicians wants to achieve. I really do not know if the men of St Ride wants to rule the world with their experimental and gloomy electronics, but this release is a little step into this direction. The strength of the album is that the seven songs flow into each other, the album is  like a 38 minutes track instead of seven short tracks. Great release again of this adventurous Italian duo. (JKH)
Address: http://nienterecords.blogspot.com/

MICROMELANCOLIE - #P ST-M- D RN_SUMMERSTIME (CDR by BDTA)
BARTEK KALINKA - SZORSTKIE SKRAWKI (CDR by BDTA)
Behind Micromelancolie we find one Robert Skrzynski, who also work within visual art as no_signal and has his own 77ndustry netlabel. When asked to write something about his own music he wrote: "“#amplify #bubbles #cough #defect #experimental #fluorescence #glitch #hound #imbalance #jinx #kaleidoscope #loops #mechanical #night #owl #postmodernism #quiet #rust #summertime #tropic #untitled #vapor #weather #xerox #yard #zoom”" which is quite funny. According to the label he uses field recordings, no-input mixer, old VHS tapes and many more. The result is cut into three relatively shorter pieces and one very long piece. In all of them I am reminded of zoviet*france, one way or another. We have here that similar love for tape-loops from a rather rusty origin, crackling electronics and mighty fine drone like sounds. Especially in the long "#In The Sun, In The Subway Fluorescents' it wanders about, perhaps rather without much sense or direction, but it never fails to bore me. Here, but in all of the pieces, there is a nice ambient atmosphere, which might not be the most original, but it works really very well. If drone like music is your cup of tea, then this would be certainly a name to look out for.
Bartek Kalinka was best known as XV Paworek, and as such he released quite an amount of CDRs, mainly on his own label. I didn't hear much from in more recent times, but now he returns with a new release, and he seems to have abandoned his old moniker. His older work was a bit more in the field of musique concrete, sometimes harsh, but with a fine sense of audio manipulation (reminding me of Brume actually on more than one occasion), here he uses keyboards, stringed instruments, his voice (but never singing much), field recordings and electronics. It's probably a bridge to far to call this pop music, but he tinkles away on the electronic piano, adding rhythmic sounds from samples of say a comb or such like, bits of guitar playing maybe a sort of melody, but it never seems to work as proper song, so the attempts stay rather attempts at a pop song and not a pop song. Maybe this is to be seen as a take on the singer-songwriting genre - never my cup of tea - but I am less than convinced. (FdW)
Address: http://bdta.bandcamp.com/

SOMNAPHON - AN ALIGNMENT OF VARIOUS THINGS (CDR by Bicephalic Records)
August Traeger, who works as Somnaphon, spend a year in a remote Central American jungle, he writes me, but I am not sure if that's any relevance for this new release, 'An Alignment Of Various Things', even when it was recorded in the period 2011-2012. Maybe in that remote jungle, maybe not. It's not to say, as it seems that Traeger doesn't use field recordings per se, but instead seems to be concentrating on the use of electronic sounds. Although I believe he has a background in more noisy areas, here he moves all over the place. It's never necessarily soft, but it's also not something that has to be loud of the sake of being loud. It seems, in an odd way, at times to hint towards IDM, but in much more fucked up way, cutting and chopping the genre further up and down. When Traeger aims for noise, he does it loudly, and those pieces, like 'Melchor To Benque', could easily be skipped, I think. Traeger moves all over the place in this hour long release (thirteen pieces), noise, louder end of ambient music, IDM, and maybe it's a bit too varied in approach I was thinking. He should be a bit more selective in what to release on one album, and choose pieces that perhaps are more alike, or complement the others, and maybe some of this stuff is in some need of editing too: it could be a bit shorter, occasionally. But in terms of noise and something exciting to hear in that field, I'd say this is an excellent release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bicephalic.net




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