============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 909
---------------------
week 49
---------------------

 

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!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html


before submitting material please read this carefully: http://www.vitalweekly.net/fga.html

Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.


help Vital Weekly to survive:








:ZOVIET*FRANCE: - THE TABLES ARE TURNING (CD by Soleilmoon Recordings) *
STAPLERFAHRER & SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON - TWO LOST SOULS (CD by Korm Plastics) *
ALAN COURTIS & BJ NILSEN - NIJMEGEN PULSE (CD by Korm Plastics) *
LUBOMYR MELNYK - THREE SOLO PIECES (CD by Unseen Worlds) *
BEATA HLAVENKOVA - THEORDOROS (LP by Minority Records)
RIKO GOTO TRIO – SIX COLORS (CD by Nekorekords/Karkia Mistika/Kauriala Society)
UMPIO – OPIUM ELECTRONIX (CDR by Nekorekords)
UMPIO – SAUNA (CD by Obscurex/Terror)
OWL – TAPES 97-99 (CD by Freak Animal/Arkisto)
CHRISTINA KUBISCH & ECKEHARD GUTHER - MOSAIQUE MOSAIC (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
RODOLPHE ALEXIS - MORNE DIABOLTINS (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
CATHY LANE - THE HEBRIDES SUITE (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
MONOLOG - 2 DOTS LEFT (CD by Ad Noiseam)
RUBY MY DEAR - FORM (CD by Ad Noiseam)
STAVROS GASPARATOS - SEVEN (CD by Ad Noiseam)
LEA BERTUCCI - RESONANCE SHAPES (LP by Obsolete Units)
HUMAN AS DISEASE – 10,000 VOLCANOES (CD by Obfuscated Records)
SKY BURIAL – PAS THE SARVERING GALLACK SEAS AND FLAMING NEBYUL EYE (CD by Obfuscated Records)
MORTEN RASZ – VOID CHIMES (CDR by Obfuscated Records)
CLARKE ROBINSON - SUBURBAN ECHOES (CDR, private) *
KHF - JAMS 4 THE FLY BOYS (cassette by Idiotunderground)
SECTION 35 - LOOSE (cassette by Idiotunderground)
YEAST CULTURE - SHIT ON A SHINGLE (three cassettes by Petri Supply)
DIATRIBES - AUGUSTUS (download & package by Insub) *
HANNES LINGENS - FOUR PIECES FOR QUINTET (download & package by Insub) *



:ZOVIET*FRANCE: - THE TABLES ARE TURNING (CD by Soleilmoon Recordings)
With hindsight it is of course not easy to tell when you first heard something, let's say the music of :Zoviet*France:. I think, in my case, this must have been at my friend Peter, when staying over one night after a concert, and he would proceed to play me records, as that was the kind of stuff he was into, unlike me, who was more into cassettes (and waking up, always, to the sound of 'Erector' by Whitehouse). I am however pretty sure I knew the name before as their records where sold by the then existing mail order of Ding Dong Records. Slowly over the years in the mid 80s I got to hear and see those crazy packed records and was immersed by them. In 1990 or so I saw them play live, in the UK, where Peter's band was due to play also, in a multiple day event. I think one night just had :Zoviet*France:, and they played for what I remember as two hours in a seated theatre. Their extended sound tapestries of acoustic sounds, lots of electronics went on and on, from mood to mood. A bit later I remember them playing at the Dutch radio station, VPRO in this case, for a recording that later turned out to be 'Mort Aux Vaches'. They were downstairs fiddling with the soundcheck and I was up in the control room. 'You can start the recording', one member said, and after 90 minutes the DAT was full. One of the radio people went down and told them it might be time to stop, which they did with a quick fade out. Now I could have been disappointed by that, being cut out of such beautiful music, but I wasn't. Seeing them playing around with the simplest of means, tea cups, flutes, and electronic devices was great. Following the extreme productivity of the 80s, there were some releases in the 90s, and in the 00s? One CD, and one 12"/10"/7"if I recall well. Zoviet*France, since many years a duo do play live and share live recordings easily but for whatever reason it never comes to a release that easily. Maybe they foresee that physical releases may disappear, maybe their sometimes complex packaging proofs to be difficult (this new one comes in a 'dual layer green satin bag with fold over flap') but more realistic: :Zoviet*France: are no longer part of the world of concerts, CDs and such like. For quite some time now they create soundtracks for dance companies and performances, and you don't sell CDs at those gigs (I guess, actually). 'The Tables Are Turning' was created for Ballet Lorent in 2008 and I am sure this is not a live recording, but I am also not sure how it works. There are twelve pieces here, quite distinctive pieces, so maybe these are used in this order, no breaks in between or maybe in some other configuration. There is an interesting distinction between the live releases by :Zoviet*France: and their studio work. A typical live CD has one or two pieces in which everything flows right into each other, like an endless stream of subconscious sounds. In their studio work they perform much shorter pieces which occasionally have an odd start or ending, like it's being cut out of a bigger whole. In the dance piece, the dancers are located on turntables - hence the title - and the revolving sound, the looping sound is something that returns in the music. From spacious and melodic in 'Prophecy Loved A Child' to the processed music boxes of 'Green Air' to the gritty organ opening of 'The Grit In The Cloud'. In the past :Zoviet*France: would refer to this as 'songlets', as opposed to real songs, but the shorter ditties here like 'The Fire Of Revolution', 'Sandbox', and 'A Moment Of Film' hark back the best days of 'Popular Soviet Songs' or 'Lohland'. I played this pretty much everyday for a week, and decided this is a great :Zoviet*France: release; not their best, which would be for me 'Mohnomishe', 'Shouting At The Ground', 'Digilogue' and 'What Is Not True', but it's up there with pretty much everything else I know by them, and which is a lot. This christmas will be spend with an entire day of :Zoviet*France: music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.soleilmoon.com

STAPLERFAHRER & SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON - TWO LOST SOULS (CD by Korm Plastics)
ALAN COURTIS & BJ NILSEN - NIJMEGEN PULSE (CD by Korm Plastics)
In the illustrious Brombron series, the collaboration of Korm Plastics and Extrapool, both situated in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, these two new discs have seen the light. Two more combinations of artists that are not very likely to meet accidentally in the street and say: hey, let's record some music together. So it is Frans de Waard's doing that these artists do meet up, with that special activity in mind: recording music together. And to be honest: these combinations often work out very well. There is hardly a Brombron release that doesn't sound original and well worked out. It must be the combination of good curating and fine hospitality that ensures this ongoing quality.
So, on to disc one: the two lost souls of the title seem to find themselves very well embedded in the music on the CD. The disc contains four tracks, all of which are constructed wit the use of (electronic) instruments and field recordings. A fine balance is very well kept between these ingredients, there is never a moment that asks for anything differently. The atmosphere is somewhat desolate (hence maybe the lost souls?), but stays warm throughout and keeps a strong tension in place, without becoming too tense or getting too dense acoustically. I don't know that much solo work of either artist (sorry!), but this collaboration sounds as if these guys have been working together for much longer. The total duration of the CD is just under 45 minutes and that is not a second too long. All the tracks are well structured and have a number of layers that can be focussed on, definitely worth listening to several times, it is rewarded. Well done.
On Nijmegen Pulse by Courtis and Nilsen we find again four tracks with a total duration of just under 45 minutes. The disc starts off very subdued and mostly quiet during the first two tracks. They contain wide varieties of similar field recordings, with which the artists create rich and evocative textures with a very naturalistic flair. However, underneath this realism lie other layers, waiting to be discovered and slowly appreciated. The last two tracks show a similar approach: field recordings are layered and combined to create an almost hyperrealistic ambiance. But always somewhere underneath or in the distance there is activity on another, mostly very subtle level. This requires careful listening and firm attention, which is not too much asked for what it provides: a rich and fine listening experience. (MR)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

LUBOMYR MELNYK - THREE SOLO PIECES (CD by Unseen Worlds)
BEATA HLAVENKOVA - THEORDOROS (LP by Minority Records)
Back in Vital Weekly 616 I was introduced to the composer Lubomyr Melnyk, via re-issue of his 1978 record 'KMH: Piano Music In The Continious Mode'. I called him Polish, but he is in fact from the Ukraine and lives in Canada for quite some time. That re-issue picked up him as one of the long lost and forgotten composers and his revival went big: even my daily newspaper - one of the bigger in The Netherlands - did an article on him, albeit a bit skeptical about the man and his theories about Continious Music. I must admit I forgot what they think was 'wrong' with it. Melnyk's piano pieces are surely very melodic and maybe that's something that is not very much liked in the world of modern classical music. I assume that Melnyk has two hands, but when he plays it sounds like he has many hands. Up and down the piano, the many notes flow together as one. It melts together in a very harmonic way, clustering together such as in the beginning of 'Corrosions On The Surface Of Life', but slowly drifting apart and becoming wide open. 'The ability to control various incongruent patterns in each hand simultaneously is one of the fundamental capacities for the Continuous Music player', which is something I easily believe. These three recent pieces may not differ that much from the 1978 record and it's quite short - thirty-six minutes, but also available on vinyl, so there you go - so the real surprise might not be there anymore, but this is a great introduction to that unique playing of Melnyk. Late last year Simeon Ten Holt passed away, but if you like the sensitive piano music that he created, than Melnyk is your next hero. Perfect mood music for those winter months ahead.
Also at the keyboard we find Czech jazz pianist Beata Hlavenkova with twelve pieces, named after the months of the year. Together with the record you also receive a calendar/photo book. Each month is pictured and there are no specific dates. A great total package! Her first record was dedicated to her first son, and now the second is dedicated to her second son, Theodor Eli. Do not expect jazz, or rapid, continious playing but something along the lines of Erik Satie or Claude Debussy. Introspective music of the most refined nature. There is a slight romantic touch to this music which doesn't make this moody, or rather, not dark and moody, but which can also be like fine spring breeze, although I am saying this while hearing 'July' (all titles are in Greek, but yeah, this is July). Like Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', Hlavenkova follows the months and depicts them as they are, in full color summer time, brown in autumn, bright green in spring, grey in the winter months. Hlavenkova has not much to do with the minimalist world that Melnyk inhabits, but in stead she has her own warm place. Perhaps I am a sucker for piano music - maybe I wish I could play only half as decent as these two (or half as slow as Melnyk) - but these two releases, arriving on the same day, certainly are excellent. No favorites here, all is fine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unseenworlds.net/
Address: http://www.minorityrecords.com

RIKO GOTO TRIO – SIX COLORS (CD by Nekorekords/Karkia Mistika/Kauriala Society)
The press release characterizes Riko Goto Trio's doomy jazz album as being a spiritual successor of Bohren & der Club of Gore's early days, which is an enticing descriptor. But I pin this disc as closer to recent-era Bohren, with a touch of Vince Guaraldi – though this record shares Bohren's plodding tempo and that vague air of portent, there's an accessible lightness to the proceedings that distinguishes it from a record like 'Gore Motel.' Consider “DarkMoonBlue,” whose unpredictable double-bass plucks coincide famously with Goto's child's-afternoon piano stroll. If there's an ominousness here, it is subtle – quite unlike the Gore troupe, who imbue every last moment with threatening portent. Erkki Joutseno's drums are a strength throughout 'Six Colors,' his hushed snares and cymbals seeming to evade the compositions' central rhythms entirely, building a vague percussive architecture around the other instruments' time. The slow-jazz dysphoria comes across most overtly on “Nuku” and pensive “Landscape,” the latter of which is a lugubrious yet pretty outing awash in slurred piano notes and woozy bass cycles. Digested whole, 'Six Colors' is a charming tidbit of obscure jazz; its tight balance between structure and chaos, best sampled on the exhilarating “Sadetta,” assures a consistently absorbing listen. (MT)
Address: http://www.umpio.com/
Address: http://hahmot.net/
Address: http://kauriala-society.blogspot.ca/

UMPIO – OPIUM ELECTRONIX (CDR by Nekorekords)
UMPIO – SAUNA (CD by Obscurex/Terror)
Here we have two solo releases from Umpio, Pentti Dassum's productive sound outfit dedicated to abstract and difficult noise. First off, we encounter volume three of his evocatively named 'Opium Electronix' project. I haven't heard the first two, but this edition supplies a forty-three minute exploration of various drone textures. It begins with a low-end pendulum of doom before skittering through several different timbres of noise, some more abrasive than others. One starts to wonder: where does the opium part come in? Is this supposed to be a recreation of an opiate high, the emphasis being on immersive volumes of sound? The luxurious pools of bass (described by Pentti as 'seismic subharmonics') certainly seem to emulate an altered mental state – one of some degree of tranquility. But there is a darkness here, too. While low frequencies certainly have a comforting connotation – in no small part due to their relationship to the ambiance of gestation – Dassum inflects his work with a sense of alienation imported from the realms of dark ambient music. However you cut it, this CDR's greatest strength is its ability to pull you into its deep world of drone, holding you in its thick suspension of sound.
By contrast, 'Sauna' – a reissue of a 2010 cassette buttressed with several bonus tracks – is a patently unpleasant listen. The quarter-hour opener, “Burning Foundation,” sets the scene fairly decisively: haphazard cranes of biting noise erupt into the foreground out of an intoxicated haze of electric sludge. As opposed to the absorbing subtlety of 'Opium Electronix,' this gambit assaults you from all sides. Even the moments of relative calm are blessed with a tetchy unpredictability that maintains the listener in a state of hypervigilance. “Heat, Sweat & Stink” is the more brutal of the original tape's two sides, kicking things into a maudlin frenzy of sound-abuse as realized by a lineup of tormented 'junkstruments' and 'springstruments.' Meanwhile, the four add-on tracks, which clock in – mysteriously – at durations of 3:33, 2:22, 4:44, and 5:55, tack on little bits of feisty pedal noise, bounding furiously from moments of dissonance to moments of even greater dissonance. 'Sauna' proves that, in addition to his faculty for disarming drone opuses, Pentti is also a skilled conjurer of sonic unpleasantness. (MT)
Address: http://www.umpio.com
Address: http://www.obscurex.org
Address: http://www.terror.lt

OWL – TAPES 97-99 (CD by Freak Animal/Arkisto)
From the annals of obscure Finnish noise comes John Helola's OWL project. As legend has it, these early tapes predate Helola's awareness of there even BEING a noise scene. Instead, he was so driven by his intense desire for ugly sound that he rattled these recordings off under his own provisional set of rules. Call it noise in a bubble. The press release makes some fantastical claims: that these recordings were pulled off merely with “crude boomboxes” and a lone multi-FX unit, and that all the ugly distortion is due to tape saturation alone. If this is indeed true, it is pretty incredible just how irascible a racket Helola kicked up in his tentative experiments. The first track manages a squelchy, manic abrasiveness that violently writhes its way into your ears. A sturdy stratum of high-pitched squeal ensures its malevolence. At times, Helola's noise-naiveté comes out in the atypical structures of his tinny escapades: track two is slower and more restrained than your typical harsh-coterie, almost like a slurred MSBR effort. The fourth track – the most thin-sounding of all – sounds like a modem malfunctioning, betraying the flimsiness of Helola's crap boombox. The track's last and best piece is a nervous drone of electric hum that springs various appendages of mid-range racket, like sitting in the generator room of an enormous mean-machine. As one might expect, all this noise is enhanced by brilliant black-and-white artwork courtesy of Freak Animal. (MT)
Address: http://www.cfprod.com/fa/

CHRISTINA KUBISCH & ECKEHARD GUTHER - MOSAIQUE MOSAIC (CD by Gruenrekorder)
RODOLPHE ALEXIS - MORNE DIABOLTINS (CD by Gruenrekorder)
CATHY LANE - THE HEBRIDES SUITE (CD by Gruenrekorder)
Three releases of field recordings, from three different parts of the world, with a varying degree of documentation to go along. Our journey starts in Africa, Cameroon to be precise, which is, according to Christina Kubisch a noisy country 'with unexpected and subtle soundscapes'. In 2010 she visited the country for the first time and did an installation and a workshop on field recordings. I've never been to Cameroon, (nor, spoiler, any of the other places on these three new Gruenrekorder) releases, but I can imagine the sounds of a busy city, with lots of music, old and rusty cars, people talking, call for prayer service, but also quiet recordings from the country side, in the 'National Park Waza'. The titles of the pieces explain what we are hearing and it makes up a great audio journey to Cameroon, and a fine balance between nature sounds and human interference.
We cross the Atlantic Ocean and find one Rodolphe Alexis in the National Park of Guadeloupe and in Dominica, 'one of the most preserved island of the Lesser Antilles, which still retains some of its primary forest on the slopes of its volcanic peaks' to answer the question: "what did the Caribbean Island look like before the arrival of Columbus?", although probably he meant to ask what it sounded like. Here we have no human action and 'just' seventy two minutes of insects, birds and frog sounds. That might be a bit much, I was thinking, but on the other hand: it's cold outside and if I turn up the heater a bit more, close the curtains, close my eyes, I could easily pretend to be in the Caribbean, listening to the these animal sounds (of course not sitting on a porch sipping a cocktail, as that is not what it would have sounded like before Columbus, right?). Nice for sure, but very much one thing.
We cross the Atlantic again but go north, to the Outer Hebrides, a remote '130 mile long archipelago of islands about 40 miles off the north-west coast of Scotland'. Gruenrekorder has the previous two as part of their field recordings series, this one is in the 'soundscape series', so I assume that the material is not presented 'as is', but is used to compose a piece of music with this, with repeating blocks of sounds, mixes of various bits together, but with the overall idea that we stay in one place and we know more of the place. Cathy Lane does that in six pieces, all around nine to twelve minutes and each is about a certain aspect of the Hebrides, the wind, the sheep/the mill, life on the islands and such like. Sometimes, such as in 'Where Once Were Whales', about fishing, we also hear voices, talking about their trade, even when it's not always to understand what they are telling us, partly due to the dialect, partly due to the fact that the voices are layered. It perhaps adds to the mystique of the release? Unlike the other two, which are 'merely' audio travelogues, Lane actually composes with the material and makes some very strong compositions with it. Of the three releases, it's also the one which has the most documentation, explaining in detail what each piece is about. I quite enjoyed all three of these releases, but it was the Cathy Lane release that I especially enjoyed for it's more musical qualities. One to play again and again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

MONOLOG - 2 DOTS LEFT (CD by Ad Noiseam)
RUBY MY DEAR - FORM (CD by Ad Noiseam)
STAVROS GASPARATOS - SEVEN (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Behind the project Monolog, you find Danish sound artist Mads Lindgren. Under the alias Monolog, he composes and performs music that combines complex beats and atmospheric sheets of electronic sounds. Field recordings and found sounds of broken instruments is a major part of the sound explorations of Monolog. The style of Monolog circles in the outskirts of the electronica genre - styles like dubstep, breakbeat and IDM are some of the ingredients represented on his latest album titled "2 dots left". Despite it's casual uptempo rhythm structures, the album is a superb album for deep immersive listening. The atmosphere is tense and often sinister and the works seems to constantly progress into new and unexpected territories. Awesome album from Monolog.
Next in line is Ruby My Dear and the album "Form". "Form" is upfront break core made with heart and deep emotions. Behind the otherwise quite harsh textures of aggressive rhythm structures the listener is confronted with melancholic melodies and and atmospheres soundscapes. The tracks varies between fast breakbeats and sometimes downtempo dubstep. Behind the name Ruby My Dear you find the French composer Julien Chastagnol. The composer from Toulouse began his explorations as Doc Colibri in 2008 and then continued as Ruby My Dear in 2012 with the debut "Remains of shapes to come". So many great moments throughout the 56 minutes runtime. "Form", being the second shot from Ruby My Dear is the kind of album that, thanks to its complexity, keeps revealing new sonic aspects as you dive into the album again and again.
Last album reviewed here is the album "Seven" by the Greek composer Stavros Gasparatos. Compositionally the mr. Gasparatos drifts somewhere in the borderlands between modern classical and experimental electronic music on his second album out on excellent German label Ad Noiseam, after the debut-album "Rehearsals" released on the Creative Space label back in 2008. Based in Athens, Stavros Gasparatos is known for his many soundtracks both cinema and stage, having been performed in a large number major theaters and concert venues around Europe. The album titled "Seven" is based on a dance performance carrying the same titled originally performed in Athens back in 2011. The fact that the album is a soundtrack is quite obvious as you take the 46 minutes journey throughout the sonic landscapes of "Seven". There is a nice cinematic expression on the album, that gently floats through the mind of the listener. Stylishly the album belongs to  the scene of neo-classical/ambient music and will appeal to everyone searching for drifting sounds of tranquility. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net/

LEA BERTUCCI - RESONANCE SHAPES (LP by Obsolete Units)
Apparently this is the debut vinyl of Lea Bertucci, whom we know as a gifted player of the clarinet in various works of improvised music. I would have assumed there was more solo material available. There are four compositions on this record all dealing with the clarinet, field recordings from Brooklyn (where she lives) and Southern Utah among others (unnamed), bowed vibraphone, 'various percussive implements' and as such this album has very little to do with improvised music - but then who said it would? It's not easy music that is pressed into the vinyl here. The four pieces are not unlike each other, and it's not easy to tell when one is done and the next one starts. Much of this is very silent (which I think is a bit of surprise for this label, best known for some of the more harsher music), with multiple layers of long sustaining clarinet sounds woven into each other. It's not exactly a drone that is formed here, but more in the tradition of modern classical music, with addition of all of these wide open, empty space sounds. Seemingly nothing happens, but then, at the same time, there is a lot of tension underneath. A lot happens when nothing seems to be moving. The bass clarinet sounds like bird on side 2 somewhere (the clear vinyl isn't easy to distinguish separate pieces either). A great record that is on the fringe of modern composition, electro-acoustic music, improvised music, field recording and everything in between. I am reminded here of the work of Olivia Block who meets Luc Ferrari and of an equal great meeting. Excellent record, great transparent package. (FdW)
Address: http://obsoleteunits.com

HUMAN AS DISEASE – 10,000 VOLCANOES (CD by Obfuscated Records)
SKY BURIAL – PAS THE SARVERING GALLACK SEAS AND FLAMING NEBYUL EYE (CD by Obfuscated Records)
MORTEN RASZ – VOID CHIMES (CDR by Obfuscated Records)
Wilt dude James P. Keeler recently started Human As Disease as an outlet for his slow-moving noise walls, and '10,000 Volcanoes' is the first pro-CD release he's put out. When you put out a record and name one of its two lengthy tracks “We raped her repeatedly with long mechanical arms spraying toxins deep into her body,” it makes a statement. I'll admit, it took me a moment to realize that this is, in fact, a reference to the pollution of the Earth. Keeler, who detests humanity's continued exploitation of nature, is fairly transparent about his misanthropy – he calls himself Human As Disease, after all. And this record is a testament to that conviction. The opening track boasts of “A deafening rumble of 10,000 volcanoes erupting at once blowing ash miles into the sky and blanketing all life,” something of a nature's-revenge fantasy for Mr. Keeler. The noise encased within is a suitable boulder of growl – not as abrasive as one might imagine, but instead heavy on the stoic low-end. Track number two, the one with the rape-thirsty long arms, is even more arid. Standing at a sturdy forty-five minutes, it is kept lively by an undertow of tectonic movement. A dignified and entrancing block of sound that skirts harshness in favor of a desolate tranquility, it's a testament to Keeler's growth as a noise architect.
A sky burial is a Tibetan funeral ritual wherein a corpse is left atop a mountain to be consumed by vultures and other wildlife – an image that portends Michael Page's uneasy sound experiments. 'Pas The Sarvering...' demonstrates that he is getting serious about his macabrely-named sound project, spreading his efforts across a seventy-plus minute canvas and enlisting the help of several high-profile collaborators – including industrial legend Nigel Ayers (a.k.a. Nocturnal Emissions) and Andrew Grant (a.k.a., grotesquely, The Vomit Arsonist). Whereas many of Obfuscated Records' albums tend toward the big and noisy, this is a distinctly contemplative record. Its most salient (i.e. longest) composition, “The Longest Day Heralds the Darkness to Follow,” is an epic dark ambient track that sounds as though it's been pulled off a yellowed tape from the eighties. On it, a haze of synths is used to evoke an eerie, industrial ambiance, something like the after-hours reverberations of a giant warehouse. Floating in the foreground is a rotation of peripheral sounds: a bouncy electro rhythm kicks around for a time, and at one point the sounds of a piano are haphazardly reversed and dissected. It is a consuming yet wearied track that stands out as the album's main attraction. Elsewhere, 'Vessel' evolves through a variety of textures, toggling between the subterranean and the interstellar, while the title-track submerges a childish music-box melody in a synthesized sludge. But the most distinct composition is the exhilarating opener, which sounds as though it is dragging the listener through an underworld Tunnel of Love, motoring through neon keys, hellish distorted guitar, and an intoxicating final stretch of bagpipes. Page's efforts have paid off – this colossal record may be Obfuscated's finest offering thus far.
I couldn't tell you too much about Morten Rasz, whose 'Void Chimes' is apparently an effort to explore “the traces of a sound” – specifically the “ghost matter” that underlies the everyday sounds we experience as inhabitants of this planet. It is difficult to pinpoint what all that lofty language translates to on these three tracks. On “Embracing Skies,” we are treated to field recordings of rain and thunder which have been heavily processed. Rasz seems to take his source material and then meticulously pore through it, pulling apart the sounds into fine digital details. I'd imagine it must have been a tedious exercise – I suppose poor Morten would know best – but the results here are gripping. With deft transitions, he subtly slides from an organic sound to a smear of digital froth, or a deep, computerized hum. The juxtapositions establish a fine line between our day-to-day ambient noise, and the infinite ways these sounds can be dismembered and reconfigured. “Ghost Matter” takes a rowdy percussive clip and grinds into so much digital pulp. In its odd confluence of patience and whimsy – making liberal use of silence but offering a tremendously variegated sound palette – it captures a joyful approach to sound that belongs more to the Mego/Touch school of experimentalism than the brutish noise circuit. (MT)
Address: http://obfuscatedrecords.com/

CLARKE ROBINSON - SUBURBAN ECHOES (CDR, private)
Reverb is not always something I like. It sounds too artificial and perhaps sometimes is too easy to fill up the empty space to create an artificial space. Here is someone who uses natural reverb and that is of course something more like it. I must admit I never heard of Clarke Robinson. He performs his synthesizer music ideally in parking garages on battery powered equipment. We see a picture on the cover of a small speaker, a stomp box and what is most likely a self built synth. Robinson writes that his music should not be labelled 'experimental electronic', since it's not experimental (his words), but rather free improvised music in a rather inspired punky DIY form. I very much agree with that. This is not really something you didn't hear before, hence no experiment, no exploration of the unknown takes place, but in the eleven tracks/thirty minutes Robinson plays around with his synthesizer in a fine way. Loud for sure, but with lots of imagination and he picked up the natural reverb from the parking garage nicely: not too much, not too few, although maybe one could say that the microphone stays too much in one place. But apparently these pieces are from various sessions, so I might be all wrong. This has all the elements of great noise music: it's loud most of the times, but not exclusively, played with some fine care for composition/improvisation, and always, it seems, concise and to the point. I don't drive cars, but here's one I wouldn't mind to play me synth serenade when I get out the car. (FdW)
Address: http://clarkerobinson.bandcamp.com

KHF - JAMS 4 THE FLY BOYS (cassette by Idiotunderground)
SECTION 35 - LOOSE (cassette by Idiotunderground)
Two highly limited tapes, only 29 were made, and both of them without a lot of information on the cover. Both tapes are quite noisy and both are quite short, maybe ten to fifteen minutes each. KHF uses electronics, power electronics perhaps, a microphone and distortion. Albeit not the kind of distortion that bumps into a harsh noise wall, but has an uneasy, unsettling bumping sound, although it's not looped around. Maybe someone with a microphone down his throat and with subsequent 'processing' on the stomp boxes. That is my best guess, and I might be all wrong.
Section 35 - not an upgrade from Section 25 I should think - starts out with voice, we can be sure of that, along with, a little later, the sound of a trumpet and a bumpy looped rhythm, which is recorded as/too loud as the voice. There is also a bit of synth in here, and with the general build up we could very well state we are dealing with songs here. Not the kind of songs that storm the top 40, but it has an interesting post-punk lo-fi quality about it. It's perhaps not the kind of thing to press on a 7" straight away, as it's all perhaps a bit too naive and out of control, but this odd mixture between the straight forward trumpet exercises and the bumping rhythm/synth doodle on 'Over The Edge' certainly has potential to grow. Khf was enough, but here I could certainly a few more pieces, albeit of a shorter length. (FdW)
Address: http://www.discogs.com/label/IDIOTUNDERGROUND

YEAST CULTURE - SHIT ON A SHINGLE (three cassettes by Petri Supply)
One of the more mysterious 'bands' around is Yeast Culture and come to think of it, the label they run, Petri Supply, is likewise mysterious. When connected, in the late 80s, to a shop and mail order called Incubator, up North West in Seattle, they were most prolific, but later on releases got more sparse and sometimes band and label seemed to have disappeared. The release of a Hands To LP took about ten years to be complete, but turned out to be a great art-ifact: a totally wild package of many layers of silkscreen on card board and on the record itself. With the release of these tapes by Yeast Culture, nothing much changed. Still there is loads and loads of screen printing used in this 7" package that holds no 7" but close to two and half hours of music on three cassettes, all housed in another great package. The 7" originally intended to be part of this was released in 1996 as part of 'Circusirus', but then extremely layered and condensed. This release has all of the music from the original project, which is an overview of the early years, 1987-1991, remastered earlier this year. All of the sounds here come from multiple sources and are played at the same time, in various speed configurations, thus building a very close knitted sound pattern. It has it's roots in noise music, surely, but these manipulations are all created on ancient reel-to-reel machines; ancient even by the time of the creating. It adds a nice layer of electro-acoustic history to it, but remains also firmly in the land of noise. A steady stream of sounds passes the listener by, and it's hard to say what is what. There are sound sources used from Bakra Bata (steeldrums on one side), Kapotte Muziek and Dada Action Group, but you have to know if you want to spot them. There is perhaps a sense of naivety about these recordings: we have no clue what we are doing but see us, we are doing it. Thus capturing the spirit of independently released music of the late 80s. Not locked into strict power electronics, but aware of the historical precedents of musique concrete, but not yet with the full notion to work them into real compositions. And sometimes Yeast Culture pulls back gear and is more quiet, more spacious and who knows even psychedelic, in a vacant industrial lot somewhere. it's two hours of some great old music and you can stare at this totally crazy package. Some 130 copies were made so far. Instant collectors items, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: Mark Schomburg <logjam@upwardaccess.com> in Europe: http://www.antenne-tilburg.nl/

DIATRIBES - AUGUSTUS (download & package by Insub)
HANNES LINGENS - FOUR PIECES FOR QUINTET (download & package by Insub)
The future of Vital Weekly is something I love to think about on a day like this. The mail just brought one parcel, containing two lovely silkscreened packages, with a A3 sized poster, but no sound carrier of any kind. A close study learns that the music can be downloaded from the website of Insub. Will Vital Weekly reach number 1000? Perhaps it will, but with our insistence on reviewing physical releases it may as well not happen. Music is music, you could argue, so why not review anything, regardless of it's format? Good question. As you surely have noticed Vital Weekly comes without any form of advertisement, yet it costs money, website, forwarding parcels to reviews and above all time. In order to spend all the time on reviewing - albeit perhaps not today that much - there is, if you know where to look (remember: no ads), a possibility to obtain these releases and hopefully that will bring in enough to continue doing this. If half the amount of subscribers would pay 20 euros a year for the service called Vital Weekly, I'd be happy to review all the digital releases I can digest. Something else that I was thinking about: if you want to spend time and money on such a beautiful package, why not on the physical release? "These objects are to be appropriated by the listener, as fetish, reminder, decoration, promotional tool, link between digitality and materiality, und so weiter'. Oh. The thirty-eight minutes of Diatribes would not have fitted on a CDR in this package. Diatribes is Cyril Bondi (floortom, objects) and D'Incise (laptop, objects) and together they recorded this earlier this year in a studio. It's an interesting work with deep end bass sounds, which might be coming from the floortom, or straight outta the laptop. It moves with great slow speed over the land and sometimes it seems to be losing a bit of edge, but it works well as a steady stream of sounds. A fine mixture of acoustic and electronic sounds, and sometimes it's hard to differentiate between the two, which I think is the best thing about this release.
The other release is by Hannes Linges, who plays accordion (and sometimes percussion) and who creates graphical scores, which he performs with friends, such as Koen Nutters (double bass), Johnny Chang (viola), Michael Thieke (clarinet) and Derek Shirley (double bass). Four pieces in twenty minutes. It seems a bit short to me, especially for the kind of music that we are offered here. These four pieces are all very minimal, sustaining pieces for string instruments played with bows and the clarinet playing long form sounds. Maybe a bit 'heavy' and dramatic with all this moving in the lower region of the sound spectrum and perhaps as such these four pieces are all a bit similar. Perhaps this must be seen as four pieces belonging to a group or one major work. The scores - varying colored blocks - indicate such a thing. It has perhaps a modern classical touch to it, but the sustaining, drone like character of the music should appeal to drone-heads and ambient lovers also. Quite a nice release. A pity it's not on a… blah blah. You get my drift. (FdW)
Address: http://www.insub.org








Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this, then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <vital@vitalweekly.net>. Forward to your allies.
Snail mail: Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard - Acaciastraat 11 - 6521 NE Nijmegen - The Netherlands
All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <dolf.mulder@hetnet.nl>, Niels Mark (NM), Jliat (Jliat), Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Jan-Kees Helms (JKH), Michael Tau (MT) and others on a less regular basis.
This is copyright free publication, except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.
Announcements can be shortened by the editor. Please do NOT send any attachments/jpeg's, we will trash them without viewing.
There is no point in directing us to MP3 sites, as we will not go there.
Some people think it's perhaps 'cool', 'fun', 'art' or otherwise to send something to Vital Weekly that has no information. Don't bother doing this: anything that is too hard to decipher will be thrown away. Also we have set this new policy: Vital Weekly only concerns itself with new releases. We usually act quick, so sending us something new means probably the first review you will see. If we start reviewing older material we will not be able to maintain this. Please do not send any thing that is older than six months. Anything older will not be reviewed. In both cases: you can save your money and spend it otherwise.
Lastly we have decided to remove the announcement section of Vital Weekly that is archived on our website that is older than five weeks. Since they 95% deal with concerts that have been, it's gentle to remove the announcement and more important the e-mail addresses coming with that.


the complete archive of Vital Weekly including search possibilities:
http://www.vitalweekly.net


<<<