number 905
week 45


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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SEC_ - OUTFLOW (CD by Den Records/HCB Records) *
THE PAPER HATS - COME AND SEE (LP by Apparent Extent)
SCOTT CAZAN - SWALLOW (LP by Care Of Editions)
EZRA BUCHLA - AT THE DOOR (LP by Care Of Editions)
STRINGSTRANG - FOUR (CDR by Het Donkse Oog) *
MAX BRAND - IMA FOCUS (CDR by Cmafu Nocords) *
MANON-LIU WINTER - STONES NO. 2 (CDR by Cmafu Nocords) *
LES ILLUSIONS MAGNETIQUES (double cassette compilation by Quasi Pop)
KATIE GATELY - PIPES (cassette by Blue)

More music by Francisco Meirino, whose work becomes more and more interesting. He works with the lowest means: some field recordings, static electronics, reel-to-reel recorders, modular synth and electro-magnetic sensors. His latest work, consisting of three parts that make up one pieces, began life as a fourteen speaker installation for a festival, but was later edited into the three pieces we hear on this CD. Meirino's work is loud and no doubt could easily be classified as 'noise', but the truth is that this is hardly 'noise' in the classical sense of the word. It uses elements from the world of noise, but due to the fact that nothing lasts very long plus the fact that this is collated together in the form of a composition, makes this perhaps more a musique concrete release, and rather not mindless long, numbing walls of noise. Here something is though out, planned, and constructed, using the raw building blocks of noise music. Meirino's work is far from pleasant, as it more often sounds like walking in a contaminated waste dump with leaking barrels of radio active material, and nearly defunct machinery which was original there to destroy the waste. Meirino's music is a soundtrack to a dystopian world, or perhaps simply beautiful for those who love their music to have an element of destruction. I enjoy that a lot. (FdW)
Address: http://auditoryfieldtheory.org

Here is a most puzzling release, partly because the booklet, which is a rare thing for Ftarri, is all in Japanese, but also whatever is written in English on the cover is not something more clearer. The website of Ftarri provides us with some more information: "This is the complete, uncut recording of the concert of the same name, held in the Music Hall of Kichijoji Art Museum on December 8, 2012. All of the tunes were composed by visual artist Hideki Nakazawa under the banner of "methodicism." Pieces using two different systems--polyphonic tunes created from the Japanese syllabary, and instrumental pieces for solo performance--were performed alternately. Polyphonic tunes like "Japanese Syllabic Invention in Two Voices" and "Japanese Syllabic Canon in Three Voices" were realized with the voices of sei, Madoka Kouno, and Junichiro Tanaka; and instrumental pieces such as "From 1 to 56" and "Monophony with 768 Musical Tones Each Accompanied by a Grace Note" were performed on piano by Yuji Takahashi. The performances were recorded by Taku Unami. In these 51 tracks (total 46 minutes 58 seconds), the unique excitement permeating the venue comes across in the applause and feeling of tension between tunes, the composer's on-stage talk at the end, and so on. Included with the CD is an insert with the e-mails exchanged by Yuji Takahashi and Hideki Nakazawa in the period between the performance request and the concert day (in Japanese only). Different from Nakazawa's previous studio-recorded CD Music Works - The Method Music since 1997 + Sounds for "Silly CG" Animations before 1996 (Naya Records, naya-0003, 2006), this is a rare live album showcasing the performers' unique individuality." I quote this in its entire form, since much of it still doesn't make much sense to me. There are many short pieces for voices and few longer piano pieces, which are a bit random affairs, if you'd ask me. Maybe this is all about something modern classical or maybe some sort of Fluxus action/happening which I may not understand? This is surely nothing for me. (FdW)
Address: http://ftarri.com

This is part of a series of CDs in which artists work together, but usually there is one person who is leading the game. In this case it's Anthony Donovan, who sometimes works under his own name, and sometimes as Murmurists; he also works with projects as Destroyevsky, Ou_pi Golgotha.undead, Ampersand, The.clinamen and Spidey Agutter, none of which ring any bell, but he also recorded with John Zorn, Jochen Arbeit, Geoff Leigh, PAS, Steve Beresford and Damo Suzuki and dabbles with labels as Classwar Karaoke and suRRism-Phoneothics. On this CD, which has one piece that lasts forty-five minutes, which is an interesting mix of electronic music, electro-acoustic music and spoken word. A whole casts narrates the texts, such as Bryan Lewis Saunders, Michael Holloway, Pixyblink, Jaan Patterson and Jo Pearson and there is help from musicians such as Stephen Flinn, Antony de Braga, Zafer Aracogok and Adrian Beentjes. We are taken for 'through a complex series of dissociated communications, where attempts at congress and connection are stymied by language itself, with all signs failing to signify". I must admit that every time I play this, and that has been a few times in the last week, I think, listen carefully to the words, so you know what it is about, but somehow I don't get into it. It's partly because the music is demanding my attention, partly because I find it hard to concentrate (in general?) and partly because the music is very nice and takes me away from the narration. Which, I guess, might not be a good thing, but c'est la vie, and maybe you wouldn't always listen to the story anyway. Donovan sets the whole thing in quite some imaginative music, electronic mostly, highly atmospheric and sometimes wonderfully disturbing. A great radioplay which is more than just a radioplay; it's a fine piece of music as well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alrealonmusique.com

A rather moody package here, with lots of photos of rock formations (mountains, not rock bands) at twilight time. It's already the 50th release by Hibernate and behind Antonymes we find Ian M Hazeldine, who is from the North of Wales and who uses pianos, celesta, strings, church organ and field recordings. His previous work, unheard by me, was released by Soundcolours, Cathedral Transmissions, Hidden Shoal, Time Released Sound and Rural Colours. In 2009 he released 'Beauty Becomes The Enemy Of The Future' on Cathedral Transmissions, and later reworked that album which is now this one 'There Can Be No True Beauty Without Decay'. Somewhere in here there is also the reworkings of the same material by such people as Ian Hagwood, Isnaj Dui, Offthesky, Field Rotation, Wil Bolton, Spheruleus and James Banbury, though nowhere on the cover we find the details. Maybe this is one of those cases where unique composition/remix/collaboration melt together and it's becomes less important to know who does what. It certainly isn't possible to tell from the music, as it all sounds pretty homogenous to me. Maybe Hazeldine did the final mix and made sure it was all like that. Not let that whole 'decay' thing put you off. This has nothing to do with decay, and all the more with true beauty. Here we have some great atmospheric music, in which the piano plays an important role. Some of the pieces are purely piano with minor electronic treatment, such as 'Misshapen Beauty', which reminded me of Brian Eno and Harold Budd. In most of the other instances the music is a delicate mass of sustaining sounds, stretched out and beautifully soft. Not very outspoken, quiet and minimal. As minimal and orchestral as some of the current modern composers, such as Nils Frahm, but perhaps with a bit more ornament around it. Perhaps music for a grey, autumn day indeed? I am not too sure about that. It's of course that time of the year, with short days and long nights and such all, but it's perhaps music for all seasons. It's great quality mood music, with a gentle touch of experiment, a great touch of ambient and an overall great production. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hibernate-recs.co.uk

Two more releases showcasing what 12K is all about, and what they do to deepen the sound world they inhabit. Both of these releases contain, one more than the other, vocals. First we have 'old-timer' Stephen Vitiello and Molly Berg, who, together, released 'The Gorilla Variations' before (see Vital Weekly 676). Berg plays here again clarinet, percussion and voice and Vitiello acoustic and baritone guitar, modular synthesizer, loops and processing, plus on two tracks there is the violin of Hahn Rowe. They play their music together, i.e. it's not a collaboration through the post. They start to play and see where ever it will end and then somehow there is a piece. I wasn't blown away by their first release together, which I thought was nice, but not great, and I am inclined to think the same for this one. It's all very nice, very melancholic, a bit doomy in atmospheres, but also at the same time it leaves me unattached. Maybe it is mood music for which I am not in the right mood, I was thinking. Or perhaps I heard this kind of music enough for a while? Vitiello and Berg do a fine job, I think, I am sure in fact, but maybe it's not something for me indeed.
Another return to 12K is Gareth Dickson, who back then was a fine surprise for 12K, with his album 'Quite A Way Away' (see Vital Weekly 821). That was in fact his second album, as his first was 'Collected Recordings' which was released by Drifting/Falling in 2009 but which is no longer available. As 12K boss Taylor Deupree liked this album so much he decided to re-issue this on 12K and quite rightly so. In my previous review I made the reference to Nick Drake and I think that is also appropriate here. A man, a guitar, desolation and captured in a beautifully sonic environment. Some of the ambience in which this takes place is very moody and textured, like Brian Eno had something to do with it. Sometimes it seems that Dickson merely strums away, but with a minimal amount of coloring (maybe a bit of reverb, a dash of delay) he creates wonderful music. Music that doesn't deal with laptops, field recordings, electronics, but just a man with an acoustic guitar. To go into the deep end and do something else: that's the true strength of 12K. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

SEC_ - OUTFLOW (CD by Den Records/HCB Records)
When a parcel arrives from Den Records I usually take a quick look and forward it to Dold Mulder, as it's probably jazz related. Had I not known SEC_ it might have happened too, and I would wonder what Dolf would have thought about this album. He might have enjoyed it, I think, but that's more due to his varied taste than to the fact that this is anything jazz related. SEC_ from Italy is a noise musician, having previous work on Bocian Records, who uses a revox tape recorder, no-input feedback, radio, field recordings, synth, microphones and pick-ups, neon and CRT TV. With this he creates quite some heavy slabs of noise based music, but as you may have guessed not of the heavy wall of noise type of things (it could have ended up with Jliat if that was the case), but more of the kind of intelligent noise, in which things can be loud indeed, but which are put together with some intelligence, some flair for composition, even when, in the case of SEC_ for instance, it's probably all more through matters of improvisation. This reminds me of Marchetti/Noetinger, but even a bit more chopped up, a bit more like a collage of sound. It continues what we heard previously from him, and he does a great job. It takes the noise out of the silly world of power electronics and makes it perhaps into something that is more 'serious', and that's something I actually quite enjoy. Great CD, great cover, no jazz harmed here. (FdW)
Address: http://denrecords.eu

Like it happens every now and then we are sometimes a bit lost, here at Vital Weekly. We do review lots of experimental music, but sometimes we get served something else. Sometimes something we just know doesn't fit this place, but then also sometimes music we feel is quite alright but nevertheless maybe out of place here at Vital Weekly. As such I think we should see the release by Tarwater, the duo of Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok, and musician, writer and artist Alexander Krohn. In their modus operandi a song is started by Krohn, playing guitar and singing to which Jestram adds some keyboards, samples and beats and finally Lippok adds some drums. The lyrics are german and have texts by poets from Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg scene. Like I say, I have no idea what to make of this. It's alright, it's decent, it's alternative perhaps in a very polite, bourgeois way, with sharp edges removed. I can imagine sitting outside with decent chaps, left wing in orientation, sipping white wine, and conversing about… well, I don't know, probably how we loved Obama but that the NSA is a scandal? That perhaps is not really my cup of tea, but my thoughts wander off to the music, this music obviously, and is perhaps the perfect music for such an evening. Not something I would like necessarily, but wouldn't mind either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.distillerypress.de

A Bocian Records regular, Kevin Drumm, with another new LP of his work, which he recorded in July and August 2012, and perhaps there was humid weather in Chicago back then? There is not a lot of information on the cover, with regards to instruments and such like. The title piece spans side A, and on side B we find 'Heat Stress' and 'Humidity Can Suck It'. To start with side B is to start from an obvious point of entry. We know and love Kevin Drumm as a noise maker and these two pieces are very much like you would expect him to do. You could wonder if that's a good thing, but I quite enjoyed these two massive slabs of noise. Maybe there is some field recording in there, but there are effectively transformed by the use of effects and analogue synthesizers. It's what he does best, and Drumm isn't exactly of the Wall of noise school guys, but he's certainly one heavy composer. Chaotic it bounces around, like the finest Merzbow piece. It's great, but it's what you expect. The big surprise is to be found on the other side. Here we have a piece which is build from field recordings, lots of rain and thunder sounds, but also bits of street sounds. That's about one-third of the piece, the rest is made up from a very low ambient sound, mostly electronic I'd say, of a few loops howling around in the far distance, and nothing much else. This is great piece, unlike much, if not all, you may have heard from Drumm. A fine piece of ambient music, humming away in the background, almost like a very quiet Brian Eno piece. That perhaps is the biggest surprise - well, at least for me it is. (FdW)
Address: http://bocianrecords.com/

THE PAPER HATS - COME AND SEE (LP by Apparent Extent)
William Tyler was a member of Lambchop, one of the names I heard but never know what it is, and in 2004 he home recorded a bunch of 'random noise' which he gave away on CDR. That was the start of The Paper Hats, which later released some more music, and by then Tyler went completely solo. Now Apparent Extent, who released 'Deseret Canyon' before now releases the earliest works on LP. If I understand well. Tyler is primarily a guitar player, an acoustic player. The guitar is a family gift and used for many years. This LP has various examples of his playing, but due to the fact that this LP is recorded on a hissy four track cassette, there are extra layers of noise - albeit never really random. There are also sound collages here, such as the opening piece 'Beautiful Music In The Night', which has big band music being fed through sound effects and has a weird, naive sense around it, but one that works well. Its followed by 'Basement Moves', which has some electronica, lots of hiss and a rudimentary, random pick of guitar notes. The whole record, all ten pieces, is a bit like this, moving through more sound collage like pieces and atmospheric guitar music, with a nice minimalist melody coming up in 'Red Desert Of The Bruinists', or the razor shaved drones of 'Reconcile'. Quite a varied album, offering a bunch of interesting lo-fi textures and atmospheres. Very nice, very much along the lines of New Zealand's finest underground. (FdW)
Address: http://www.apparent-extent.com

SCOTT CAZAN - SWALLOW (LP by Care Of Editions)
EZRA BUCHLA - AT THE DOOR (LP by Care Of Editions)
These records don't seem very recent, at least not all of them, and the cover of all mentions this: "Care Of Editions uses the profits from selling vinyl records to pay people for downloading the same music. The amount one receives is equal, in dollars to the download edition number. As records sell, more downloads become available. This chart [image on the cover] shows the correlation between vinyl sales and download availability. We also use it to mark the edition number of each record". I am not sure if that makes any profit, but not being an business guy the model eludes me anyway. The first record is by Boris Hegenbart, whom, a long time ago, surprised me with his 1/Tau release, although it's been so long ago, I am now no longer what the surprise was back then, but maybe it was an Oval like inspiration, shortly after we heard Oval for the first time. I must say his other work was good, but not as good, and also his concert I saw a few years ago wasn't entirely convincing. It's not easy to say what Hegenbart does, but sampling is definitely his trick of trade. On side A he has a bunch of shorter pieces, six in total, of found voice material, deep sonic resonances, speaker hum, and somewhere in there perhaps also a bunch samples made with heavily chopped up guitar sounds. It's alright these pieces, but never that great, but really not bad either. It's however the other side with one piece, 'Music For Cicadas' that I like. It's a stuttering piece of many out of phase shifting loops of musical material. Voices, sounds, instruments, and it makes a very vibrant Oval like play, but at the same also reminding me of Steve Reich's early works with tape-loops. A great side this! A return to form?
I never heard of Scott Cazan, whose three pieces here uses on side A 'mics, mixer, violin, metal, recordings of strings' and side B 'mixer, contact mics, condenser mic, room, field recordings of sine tones in rooms' and 'mixer, pitch tracks, 1/4" jack body'. Here too we have a world of minimalism. Especially this time on the side long a-side piece. It's a very minimal work of far away metal tones, strings being carefully strum and such like. It seems recorded from a far at the start, but closes in half way through and gets more sonically detailed. It has a very slow development, but it works quite well. A moody and contemplative piece of music. The first piece on the other side shoots sine waves through rooms, but the recording also picks up other sounds, from the outside world, leaking into this. The overall tone is moody, I'd say, with these mid to low range and slowly seems to vanish and reappear, like a mirrored piece. The second piece on the b-side is 'Bodies', which is the most noisy piece here, of shortwave like sounds, but I'd say a 1/4" jack exploring the nature of the human body - perhaps I was thinking of The Gerogerigegege who did something similar.
Likewise I never heard of Ezra Buchla, whose record has three pieces on side A and one on side B. There is no mentioning of any instruments on the cover. This record is a bit strange. In 'A Cruel Man' and 'Hail Nothing', two of the three a-side pieces, have vocals and a drone like violin. Of course it's the week that Lou Reed died, so perhaps a connection is now easily made with The Velvet Underground. I am not sure what to make of this, but the the piece in between and 'Black Box', which takes up the entire b-side of the record are quite lovely piece of drone music sans vocals, build from electronic sources and maybe heavily treated string sounds. In 'His Thirsts' it perhaps also owes to The Underground, with a finer drone rock sensibility, without any drums actually (the whole record), but the long 'Black Box' is heavily on organ sounds and electronics, and downright spacious and cosmic in approach. Great records, all three of time, and never mind that wacky business model. It's a great marketing line, but it's the music that counts. (FdW)
Address: http://www.careof.co

At the foundation of this release, there is apparently a 'pagan metal riff', but (un-)fortunately my knowledge of metal music is very limited, so I didn't recognize any metal riff here, or in fact any metal at all. Stringstrang is one of the names used by Jan-Kees Helms, who also works as a photographer and film maker. Here he plays the guitar and a whole bunch of effects and the music is two pieces of twenty minutes, apparently the length for a zen meditation. It's not difficult to think of a connection between the music and zen, as Stringstrang plays some extended fields of endless sustaining guitar sounds. Maybe it's indeed a riff of whatever kind, but severed from any metal context (pagan or otherwise), caught and trapped inside the looping devices, stretched and humming on end, with a Twin Peaks opening on the second piece, you can envisage a beautiful landscape, sea waves or perhaps nothing at all, and focus on that all embracing void. The first piece, simply titled '1' seems to me a bit more metallic at the start, from the strings - not the influence - but strums away nicely towards the end, whereas '2' remains a bit more abstract throughout. Great pieces and even when I didn't hear all music by Stringstrang, I can say that this is an big leap forward, moving away from the harsher textures from the earlier work I heard. Very good. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hetdonkseoog.bandcamp.com

How often do you see on a cover that involves a piece of music that has 'flies over a dead fox' for sound source (actually: how often do you get that on a release) that says: 'no foxes or flies were harmed during the production of Dry Land. The fox was already dead and the flies were feasting on the fox'. The liner notes are specific when it comes to recording gear use, which pieces use sounds that have been down pitched with Ableton Live and PaulStretch, but none of the others and that 'all sound sources are related somehow with issues such as dereliction, abandonment or miss use'. This is quite an interesting release as it deals with both locations and location recordings. These recordings have been made using whatever debris was found on the site, and seems to be mainly consisting of sheets of metal. In that respect the music of Edu Comelles, which seems to me someone I never heard of, reminds me of ABGS who recorded inside a bunker ages ago, Lethe's work inside large empty spaces (although Comelles doesn't always use large empty spaces with natural reverb) or Organum but then working outdoors. Lots of bowing metal plates onto metal plates, creating a bunch of rich overtones, with occasionally the strangest field recordings, such as indeed flies on a dead animal, or, more common, a firestove. Lots of banging with metal doors, trucks, containers, even trams and chains, but the result - and I am not sure in what way this was all edited from larger chunks of recordings - is at times a finely cut collage or, in the case of the trams in 'U-Turn' a fine piece of multi-layered tram recordings. Quite a fine release and certainly a new to look out for in the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiotalaia.net

MAX BRAND - IMA FOCUS (CDR by Cmafu Nocords)
MANON-LIU WINTER - STONES NO. 2 (CDR by Cmafu Nocords)
Three new releases by Cmafu Nocords and we start with the historical release, by Max Brandt. He was an Austrian composer who lived from 1896 (born in the Ukraine however) to 1980, who lived from 1940 to 1975 in the USA and whose electronic works never reached a big audience, but who invented his own machine, the Max Brand synthesizer. I am sure I heard his music before, and perhaps even a tribute/remix CD, but I am afraid it didn't stick to my memory - no doubt my fault. Here one can (re-) introduce himself to the sound world of Max Brand, via two long pieces, 'The Astronauts' and 'Ilian' - from 1962 and 1973 resp. - and some shorter pieces, including some commercials, which are nice (providing they are real, I mused). It's on this disc, without any of staging or films some of these works were created for, fairly traditional electronic music, perhaps like the kind of stuff you would expect from the late 50s, early 60s when this was created. Lots of pure tones, oscillations, and, in 'The Astronauts' spoken word from flight recordings and spoken texts. Music that I thought was pretty interesting and which seemed at times perhaps all a bit more roughly shaped than some of his contemporaries. Maybe I am mistaken, but it seemed from time to time pretty noisy. It's not something we haven't heard before, I'd say, but from a historical perspective surely a fine release.
From recent times are the next two recordings. Manon-Liu Winter is a composer and musician who uses the piano. Here she performs two pieces for prepared piano. There is first the title piece, which is all solo piano, as the title indicates and the other piece, 'Insite 4/3a' has 'piano solo and prerecorded sounds', which seem to be the shattering of glass with stones and is mostly a heavy piece of piano violence, slowly building up and up and coming to a major outbreak but ending however with a gentle tone. It's an intense and violent piece. The title piece is probably as intense but it works on a different level, I think. Here we have the piano, being played from every possible angle: with objects on the strings, regular playing, by using the wood as percussion and Winter moves around this with great care. Sometimes it shakes and rattles and howls like a storm, but she knows how to bring calm and depth, dynamics and here we find the piece in a fine contemplative mood. These two pieces are quite different, but are great.
Something entirely different is the music by Elisabeth Schimana, of whom we reviewed music before. She has quite some radical stuff here. This is a recording of a concert from June 2012 and even when it's not entirely clear, she might be using sounds from the sun or is inspired by explosions and changes in the cosmos. Ah, the cosmos again. Synth music, arpeggio's, color slides and hippie stuff. Wrong in this case as here we have something that is hardly 'mellow' gazing at the firmament, but a deep end rumble of sounds, with very few, high end sounds attached here and there. The music adapts a rather slow development and is quite overwhelming. Not just when you play this loud, but most likely in every volume position. Even at a low volume it has a strong sense of presence. Quite a heavy form of drone music going on here. Not for the weak at heart. (FdW)
Address: http://nocords.net

Adam Mankowski is the person behind Limited Liability Sounds and Stirner is our man Tony Mulder. I expected something very loud, and very noisy, but it's not. Or better: not really. I assume these two men recorded their music through the use of e-mail and large file exchange and it contains electronic sounds, sometimes loud and noisy, but on the second side also in the form of a looped rhythm. That reminded me of Esplendor Geometrico in the early phase, especially when Mankowski and Stirner add radio voices to the mix. It's the second side that I enjoyed, for it seemed more to contain more musical elements, besides that rhythm bit, also something that is a synth perhaps, whereas on the other side the sounds are probably all about more randomly processed electronic sounds of whatever nature. It's all quite roughly cut together, like an unpolished diamond. No doubt a deliberate ploy by these two musicians to keep matters at such rough edges, which are sometimes too long, but that too might be part of the esthetics of it all. But surely nice enough for my mild noise taste. (FdW)
Address: http://skumrex.blogspot.com

LES ILLUSIONS MAGNETIQUES (double cassette compilation by Quasi Pop)
You know me and compilations. To review never really my cup of tea, but to be on? Why not. So locked in here are is a bit of me, and originally this compilation was called 'Fuck Stupid Music', which I took as a guidance. Now it has the much better name 'Les Illusions Magnetiques' and it showcases some of the more known names - well, to whom, you could wonder - in the world of contemporary noise. This was already compiled in 2011, for the 10th anniversary of Quasi PopNot really the sort of noise that plasters walls, but a fair amount of noise can be found here. It goes in various areas, such as good ol' school industrial, even older school musique concrete, power electronics, and experiments with cassettes, voices and more static noise. It's not easy to figure who does what here, as perhaps some of this is quite close to each other but that makes this box and presentation of it reminds me of the 80s: simple yet effective, no bullshit, no weird images, just a fine package. It lacks the sex and concentration camps, but we could do well without that, I'd say. An excellent compilation of the best of today's noise boys (no girls as far as I can see): Brume, KK Null, Our Love will Destroy The World, Sindre Bjerga, Cheapmachines, Lasse Marhaug, Aki Onda, Howard Stelzer, If Bwana, Edward Sol, Eric Lunde, Anla Courtis, Sudden Infant. Volcano The Bear, Family Underground, Carlos Giffoni, Aeron Bergman, AMK, Cornucopia, Andreas Brandal, John Wiese, Burning Star Core. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quasipop.org

KATIE GATELY - PIPES (cassette by Blue)
"Disclaimer: NO INSTRUMENTS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS RECORDING", it says on the press release and the capitals are not mine. I never really understood the whole 'no samplers/synths/laptop/instruments…" etc were used on the cover of a release; it's what you use, not what you don't use, I'd say. So Gately uses no instruments, but there is plenty of voice material here, lots of voices. She has sampled her voice, slowed it down, sped it up and created 'Pipes' with, influenced by Arthur Russell and Gregorian chant. It has a great driving sound, almost like a pop song, with a mass of voices providing drones, melodies, beats and all such like, and we hear Gately singing heavenly, chanting is probably a better word. Wordless pop music and it works quite well. It's a pity that's only one side, repeated onto the next side, but in the bandcamp download you get two extra pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://bluetapes.co.uk

In these times of podcasting it shows pure guts to release an 'audio cassette magazine'. In the 'old' days there have been magazines on cassette (Band-It for instance is one that sprang to this mind), which had bits of music, interviews, spoken word, poetry and such like, but they were never a big success, partly because of course it's never easy to go back to that one bit you really liked. But here  on 'Master Cactus' the medium is revived. And why not. Go against the grain! Here's a place for "field recordings, sound collage, interviews, articles, found sound, musical composition, improvisations, conversations, monologues, noise, radio shows, personal essays, scenes & comedy sketches, performance art, characters, dramatic readings, comedic readings, psychic readings, audio plays, poetry, short stories, jingles, commercials or WHATEVER". I was quickly lost here on volume one, and looking at the track list I didn't recognize any of the artists anyway. This was all like dialing the knobs of a radio receiver and waiting to hear what would be coming out. You have just tapped into a sound and information source which you never heard of before. Lots of weirdness to be explored on this first issue, which stays, it seems to me, always close to the world of music, even when it's someone telling some weird dream - or perhaps that was a radioplay? You never know, and that's the nicest thing about this little lovely item. Pieces by Nick W, Bill III, Carlos Hernandez, Felicia Douglass, Amy von Harrington, Serin, Mint Rae, Bill Baird, The Best Of, Red Hands, Isaac Gillespie, Marty Windahl, Aaron Roche, Marie Demple, Emily Burke, Geo Wyth, Wild Ponie, Guardian Angel, Becca Kauffman. Like I said: none of these I heard of before, but nevertheless I thought this was a great release. Daring to release in these times, but also great because of it's contents. This is one of those things that pop up many years from now, and you think 'what the hell is this all about?'. (FdW)
Address: http://mastercactus.tumblr.com