number 922
week 10


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:

THE USE - WHAT'S THE USE (CD by Alrealon Musique) *
IQ + 1 (CD by poli5) *
SLIM VIC - BRAIN MASH (CD by Lamour) *
T'IEN LAI - DA'AT (CD by Monotype) *
HIRSOHI HASEGAWA/MAMA BAER (LP by Domestic Violence Recordings)
MERZOUGA - LIVE AT FLUC (CDR by Attentuation Circuit) *
STEPKID - COSMONAUT (cassette by Ephem Aural)

As I write this Kyiv is burning, waiting for a bit of democrazy and yet someone at Kvitnu find time to drop this in the mail. A souvenir from when Kyiv was a quieter place, but perhaps not on the night of June 6th, 2009 when Pan Sonic hit town. Now, close to five years later, we hear this concert too, and, spoiler ahead, while I like this, I wonder why, and why now? But since Pan Sonic ceased to exist as a duo, somewhere between after this concert and now, this is perhaps also a fine reminder of how they sounded. In Vital Weekly I often refer to their music as a point of reference, but what is it about? Pan Sonic, a duo of Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen (from Finland, currently both in Berlin), play some ultra minimal techno based music, with great, driving rhythms and on top they create some heavy sound patterns; industrial music perhaps from the 80s updated to the world of the 00s? Sine waves are spewed across sound effects, and all along you hear the driving, pumping rhythm below, full on the bass, but also with a high end, piercing beep, such as in the third piece. A powerful sound, full of nasty frequencies but one keeps your attention and one that makes you want to move all the time. I saw Pan Sonic a couple of times in concert and their intensity is quite overwhelming, even more in concert than on the studio works, I should think. There are a couple of official live releases by them, but this one seems to be the one in which they sound more furious than before. More intense, hardcore. Sometimes they end up a bit too much in a noise freak out, such as in the fourth piece, but it's always followed by a fine stomping piece. An excellent testament - for now, maybe they return one day? I hope they would consider that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kvitnu.com

Here we have two quite different releases on the Italian Silentes label. Since I haven't heard music by Simon Fisher Turner in a long time, I decided to play his first. The other artists mentioned are the two people responsible for the film of which one of the four pieces of music is the soundtrack. Fisher Turner is a man of minimalism - in my book - as well as someone who plays a melodic tune, and whose music ends up as soundtracks for the films by Derek Jarman, David Lynch, Mike Hidges, Michael Almareyda and others. The DVD part of the package contains the film 'Ghost Of Industrial Sunday', which lasts little over six minutes and shows shots from an abandoned factory - well, or a factory closed on the day of the lord. The music is made out of glitched rhythms and various layers of piano with reverb playing melancholically. For both film and music I thought they were nice, but also quite easy. Perhaps even too easy maybe, maybe a bit too much of a cliché? The CD with just music by Fisher Turner has that piece also, but also three more pieces, in total twenty-four minutes of music. Of these, 'Piano For Double Lesson', is a solo piano piece, along the lines of Satie and Debussy. The other three pieces seem to make more use of computer techniques and especially 'Some Lost Music', clocking at over ten minutes, is a very subtle and moody piece of music. It's a pity that there is such an uneven balance here. I could easily image an album with more pieces of 'regular' piano music and some of these treated pieces and a combination of both directions and have a great album. Now, both DVD and CD seem to be teasers, leaving you insisting more and more. That's a pity but the two discs come with a bigger booklet with stills from the movie and make a fine total art package.
Of an entirely different nature is the release by Gianluca Becuzzi, which is surely longer, seventy-three minutes and basically a re-issue of a 'Haunted', a cassette/CD on Cerebro Morto and 'B', a cassette on Silentes Tapestry. The latter was reviewed in Vital Weekly 789: "Gianluca Becuzzi has had various releases of his own and usually in a more ambient/drone/microsound field. Its good to see him move away from that, with a somewhat more experimental release. Lots of this seems to be revolving around elements from the world of percussion on steel, which reminded me of some of Z'EVs earlier records, in which he used both studio techniques and percussion. This too is a somewhat more noise based release, or at least less ambient and more experimental, but Becuzzi knows how to capture both a fine mood as well as some captivating sounds, and mould that into a fine composition." The four pieces from 'Haunted' are tracks 1, 3, 6 and 8, whereas 'B' is 2, 4, 5 and 7, which I thought was a bit odd (but it has to do with the times of these pieces, which now act as a mirror to each other). Not that this 'wrong' sequence messes up the release, perhaps it even makes it more varied. 'Haunted', which I didn't hear before, also seems to be using an amount of steel percussion/plates as well as electronics of some kind. It's all sturdy experimental music here, serious, dark, moody, and even noisy at times, but it's never over the top loud and abstract. Maybe a bit long but as far as I can judge these two older releases certainly belong together and as such work very well on one CD. (FdW)
Address: http://silentes.it

THE USE - WHAT'S THE USE (CD by Alrealon Musique)
Michael Durek got a tape of Dr. Dre when he was nine years old and was blown away by that, as well as by the music of Cypress Hill and Eminem, but in his background as a piano player he also learned how to play Bach and Chopin. Later on he became a member of Pas Musique, introducing him to 'another' world of music making and these days draws his inspiration from Autechre, Flying Lotus, Sufjan Stevens and such like and uses analogue synthesizers, home-made digital instruments, sound effects, Theremin and field recordings. 'What's The Use' is his debut solo album, under the name of The Use. There is a bit of on percussion from ex-Lumineers drummer Jay van Dyke. "File under: electronic/IDM/psych pop" it says on the info, and that is something I can dig. Rhythm wise it seems to me that The Use uses the idiom of IDM with nicely broken beats, but the synthesizer melodies show a love for pop music. Perhaps not yet the kind that is entirely radio friendly, but it's getting close. The Use has in 'Bird Song' vocals courtesy of Rachel Mason, and sounds all around like Bjork. Not bad, this idea of using vocals, but it's perhaps not easy to find an original one. It works better in the only other vocal piece, 'Where Ya Been' with the voice of Mark Weinberg, who has a nice rock like vocal. To make it entirely radio friendly - should that of course be an objective for The Use - finding a vocalist is absolutely necessary, but maybe he wants to stay in this in between zone and create some nice song material. All of these ten pieces are rather short and to the point, between three and five minutes, which makes that this album has quite a nice drive to it. Not too long, not too short. The perfect introduction, I should say, to a world of highly pleasing music. (FdW)
Address: http://alrealonmusique.com

IQ + 1 (CD by poli5)
From Prague we have a quintet of Georgij Bagdasarov (vintage turntable, barytone saxophone, guitar), Jara Rarnovski (analog synths, theremin, kalimba, fx, percussion), Petr Vrba (clarinet, trumpet), Michal Zboril (Korg MS10 & MS20, sampler, fx, kalimba) and Katerina Bilejova (body weather) - yes, well, Bilejova is the groups' dancer. They used to have cello player, but he left. This is their second release. This is improvised music for sure, but perhaps also a bit more than that. There is a strong electronic component to the music, due to the fact that they have two players playing those electronics, filling up a lot of space in the sound. That's one side; on the other side are the various wind instruments in use here, which add a strange free jazz like vibe to the music. Together that makes something odd, but it works well. When things get too regular free jazz, it's not my cup of tea, really, such as '1' (which is the fourth track really). But when the wind instruments are pushed towards the back, without disappearing and the third element that of free rock music, is also in play in the first two pieces for instance, then it's all pretty interesting. There is a fine exchange of musical interests taking place here, where these five (four?) players play lengthy pieces of improvised music, rooted in the world of musique concrete, except that it doesn't seem that the 'studio-as-instrument' is used here, and everything is more spontaneously mixed, like in a live situation. If the rockist agenda of improvisation means anything to you and you are ready to explore something new, then I'd say try this band from Prague! (FdW)
Address: http://www.poli5.cz

For this review I had to phone my mother to check whether we ever visited the house where Franz Schubert lived. That would have been in Vienna, she didn't think we did, and that I was confused with the Mozart house in Salzburg. Slim Vic however visited that house and banged a few notes on the master's piano, of course without permission, and crafted this album together with these recordings, and it took him five years to do so. Or perhaps it's a hoax? Hard to say actually. If Slim Vic said he captured the air of the Fuhrer bunker in Berlin, without permission, or the Lenin Mausoleum, without permission, and created these ten pieces, I would as easily believed that too. Seventy-four minutes of spacious, computer heavy music. Stretching out tones ad infinitum, colouring the sound with plug-ins and create some mood heavy atmospheric soundtrack is what he does. No piano's, with or without permission, were harmed in the creation of this music, I'd say. In 'Suverän' a thumb of a rhythm is introduced and the distortion pedal on the guitar (oops, guitar?) making it more like post-rock and it seems a bit out of place. I quite enjoyed this, I must say, but I also thought it was all a bit over long for the amount of variation on offer. That, plus the fact that I didn't hear many new insights in the world of microsound, maybe me think that even when I enjoyed this album very much, it was also somewhat of an unsurprising and a bit long of an album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lamour.se

T'IEN LAI - DA'AT (CD by Monotype)
Poland these days is bursting with energy when it comes to exciting labels. Monotype is the, as seen from the outside, multi-national from these labels. Here are four of their latest releases, and the first one I played was We Will Fail, the project of graphic designer, amateur musician (it says so on the press release) and audioperformance artist Aleksandra Grünholz. She's also part of Oko and the duo Tirips, together with Piotr Tkacz. She uses field recordings, tape samples, synthesizers and electronic drum kits and she created fourteen pieces with this, sixty-two minutes of music. That is a bit much, as I still believe that the best length of any album is around 45 minutes - you are free to disagree actually. She uses more or less the length of a serious pop song, and in every song she uses a rhythm, looped and fed through sound effects around which she spins a more abstract sound tapestry. It has a somewhat dark and melancholically feel, this music, which fits the season of the year very well. A bit grey, a bit isolated, somewhat distance perhaps and that's quite nice. The rhythm is not of the techno variety, but rather nicely subdued, ticking away, and only very occasionally into a bouncing rhythm, such as in the twelfth piece (all untitled, which is perhaps also a pity). Maybe there are a bit too many similarities in these pieces which makes these pieces somewhat interchangeable and that's a pity. Maybe a more rigid selection and thus a shorter album would have been better indeed.
The word 'fail' also returns in the release by Wojtek Kucharczyk, whom you may know as the man behind Mik Musik, the co-founder of Molr Drammaz, The Complainer & The Complainers, Retro*Sex*Galaxy, Pathman and HWDJazz, and as such a lots of releases, and now he has one under his last name guise. I am not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that it sounds again a bit different than his other guises. Like We Will Fail, Kucharczyk uses quite an amount of rhythm, but it's perhaps less lo-fi, 8 bit than some of his previous excursions into the world of rhythm. In the musical world of Kucharczyk there is more space for rhythm, and in some cases these pieces are more up-tempo, a bit more bright/less dark than the music of We Will Fail. This is the sound of the underground techno party, a return to the roots. Sharper edged than what you get normally served when out dancing, and some of this is perhaps not really intended for dancing. Quite minimal most of the times, but always, it seems with a witty/funny/disturbing edge. Pan Sonic with a smile, if you want. Only 'Hevi Hevi' seems a bit long, but otherwise these eleven pieces - forty-six minutes - make up a fine, varied, entertaining album. Great!
Something entirely different is the music by Emiter, also from Poland. He's more of the experimenting types, and his work involves sound installations, radio plays, soundtracks and such like and to that end he uses (here) microphones, analogue and digital carriers, mixer and field recordings. It looks like it, that this is all recorded, somehow, somewhere in a live context, and perhaps with some editing later on. Here rhythm is entirely absent and it's all about drone like sounds, atmospheres, bird twitter, sea sounds - maybe, so I was thinking, following We Will Fail and Kucharczyk, the chill-out bit. But then chill out music of a much more abstract nature. Ambient for sure, but without any conventional musical connections. Things rattle and shake occasionally, maybe from objects on vibrating speakers with low end tones and sometimes, and that accounts for the fact that I think this is a live album (or perhaps recorded as such to start with), has an improvised feel to it. In the title piece we hear a slow bump along with the clarinet (played by Tomek Stawiecki) and it could have come straight of the Viennese school of improvised music. A great album as well, perfects abstract ambient music.
And finally we arrive, in the middle of the night, at T'ien Lai, named after a brand of cigarettes from a Philip K. Dick book and which could be translated as 'heavenly music', but mind you, this is not like the record or the band, which carry similar names. This Polish duo of Lukasz Jedrzejczak and Kuba Ziolek invite 'to participate in an urban ritual of liberation and disorder in which kitsch and rubbish blends with sacredness and truth developing a mutual relationship'. The title means knowledge in Kabbalah and on the cover we two persons that look like members of Death In June. Their music is not like that, or like anything other heavenly music, but these five pieces are created with 'vintage PRL radio sets, guitar effects, synthesizers, voices, guitar loops, amplifiers and four track recorder', and it sounds quite dark - again - although the cover (gold on black) should have been a firm indication that this is not covered with a lot of sunlight. These five pieces are rather long (four are seven+ minutes and one is eleven) and rather dark, but not always as 'ambient' as you maybe would expect. Here we are dealing with the darker corners of the world of ambient music. Much of this is at the low end of the keyboards, and the addition of the radio transmissions make it occasionally noisier than you would maybe expect. Also the addition of vocals makes that this is something else indeed. Maybe a bit Coil like at time: heavily layered, spacious, obscure but also psychedelic; a big foggy and druggy, this music. Maybe I am not so blown away but all that it connects to, kabbalah and such like, or the iconography of it all, but the music I thought was actually all right. And that's what matters, I should think. (FdW)
Address: http://monotyperecords.com

HIRSOHI HASEGAWA/MAMA BAER (LP by Domestic Violence Recordings)
Parts 10 and 11 of a series of split LPs on the Domestic Violence Recordings and one half of any of these records is always by Kommissar Hjuler and/or Mama Baer. On the first record we find on the other side Hirosji Hasegawa, who we sometimes know as Astro and Mortal Vision, and an important member of C.C.C.C. He was also a member of Club Skull, Senssurround Orchestra, Nord, YBO2 and many others. Hasegawa is a noise artist and that shows on his sidelong piece 'Scarlet Dream'. He uses a multitude of synthesizer sounds, brings them all out to the maximum noise settings and then starts playing around, creating interactions to bring out more noise from all of these apparatus. A cosmic storm that explodes like a black hole - is that even possible? Mama Baer on the other side has no noise to offer, at least not noise of a conventional kind. The outsider music of Mama Baer (and companion Kommissar Hjuler) is plain weird. It's never easy to tell what they are doing and sometimes one could get the impression they don't know either themselves. My best guess for the pieces on this side would be that Mama Baer has access to a reel-to-reel machine, a turntable and a microphone, speeding up voices, looping sounds, doing karaoke and such like. It's the usual fascinating here. It's not something one would play easily as 'entertainment', but this weird stuff is always great to hear.
The eleventh split record is with Hans-Joachim Hespos (1938), a German composer of avant-garde music, as Wiki learns me, although I never heard of him. His side has a short (8 or so minute) piece by him and then a collaborative piece with each Hjuler and Baer. Or maybe they do a remix of that original Hespos piece? It's a bit unclear, but all three are great pieces of classic musique concrete montage techniques in a heavy style. It's also noise, like Hasegawa, but of an entirely different nature. Not on-going, not endless, not cosmic, but razor sharp cut through blocks of frozen sounds. Or some such. Kommissar Hjuler und Frau on the other side have a very radical piece of sound poetry on offer. It's hard to say what this about, if anything at all actually, but sounds directly spoken, shouted, burped into the microphone, but then at one point you recognize some German sentences. Its sounds like a bunch of drunken Daleks. It's very consistent performance, and again not easily be called 'entertainment', but certainly in need of serious attention by those who like these totally outsider weirdness. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mndr.de/

Scotland's Thomas Martin heads up the morbid Death Frees Every Soul project, one of the more recent names to crop up on the contemporary HNW circuit. So far he's hit a number of the usual suspects (Victomology Rec., Altar of Waste, Shit Noise), and this one sees his efforts etched into the annals on James Killick's productive Vagary imprint (thirty releases in three years!) What to expect? What else? Four brick-and-mortar noise walls, each cementing a different timbre. Five minute “Myriad of Distraction” is the meanest of the bunch, sharpening its blade with some high-pitched squall before going full-slasher in a gust of abrasive pyrotechnics. The other three are comparatively ambient. “Facing the Winds” is a mere exoskeleton of tetchy noise burble that's feels like a balloon slowly reaching its limit but never exceeding capacity. “Nature's Blessings” adds a stratum of reverberant industrial sound to the mix, like a fed-up fax machine malfunctioning indignantly. Meanwhile, “Hidden Paths” is likely the best of the bunch, striking the choicest balance between detonable noise snarl and digestible restraint. Nothing breaks the mold on 'Hunters,' but Martin adds a nice assembly of harsh noise blocks to his young but growing discography. (MT)
Address: http://vagaryrecords.tumblr.com

Jens Kinderman is the man behind For Kings And Queens, from Berlin, and he has released a bunch of releases before (see Vital Weekly 629, 684, 734 and 877) and now returns with an album of songs, which he 'demoed' in the last four years, but now fully works into proper songs. His primary instruments are the guitar, synth, effect pedals, found sounds and field recordings. Unlike his last release, which was all about voices, he goes back to his earlier releases and influences and it's not difficult to see such influences as say from Fennesz here. Many of these songs, except for the first, are rather short and to the point. He uses a bit of sound, loops that around, and adds further treatment to individual sounds as he mixes them along as the piece evolves. I thought the first piece, close to eight minutes, was a bit long for what it was and a bit unfocussed, but the other eleven were more to the point and sharp, exploring the right amount of sound sources and ideas per track, and then moving to a whole new set of sounds and ideas in the next, making this a highly varied work, which held my attention for the entire forty-three minutes. Maybe in terms of glitch (etc.) not the most innovative work, but I thought it was most entertaining record. Easily the best album by For Kings And Queens I heard so far. (FdW)
Address: http://forkingsandqueens.bandcamp.com

Noisy Brit James Killick has struck gold with his remarkable high-concept HNW project. The idea behind Love Katy is that he dedicates each noise wall to a different Katy Perry song, and over the past couple of years he's somehow wriggled out over ten releases under this set-up. Tongue in cheek or the product of a celebrity crush? It's hard to tell, though here we get a minute-long clip from Perry's beaty-poppy “This Moment” that gradually fades into a hefty stretch of large-particulate noise. The chaos fluctuates in intensity considerably throughout the exercise, but retains a clipped, randomized quality that keeps things sounding hazardous. At times the sound crescendos into full-blast noise, maxing out the audio spectrum, whereas other moments see the snarl shaved down to a tinny fizzle. These changes are necessary given that the release is lumped together as one seventy-seven minute boulder of sound. The blast is adorned, on occasion, with pieces of Katy: a subdued live performance of “This Moment” is buried faint in the mix at times, whereas elsewhere James' abrasives battle for supremacy against the pounding studio version (you can guess which of Katy or Killick ultimately reigns supreme). As someone who respects the majority of the Katy Perry songs I've heard as fine specimens of unabashed melodic bliss (you can tell I don't quite agree with Masami Akita's position on pop as noise), I find the dichotomy between ugly and pretty to be the real story here. The essence of Killick's Love Katy project is this tense tug of war – as well as a liberal helping of tongue-in-cheek smarm. (MT)
Address: http://altarofwasterecords.blogspot.gr

Ephre Imprint is back after a hiatus. At least that's what they say, but I can't say they were gone in some way. On the first of these two releases we find two tracks by two different artists. First there is Nigel Samways and then Vecchi-Teller, which is, actually, Samways again with Dickel Dickel. They didn't do anything as such since 2009 - now that's what I call a hiatus. Here, both pieces are called 'Nuclear Beach', but approaches seem to differ. Of course I have no idea if the intention was to record something 'thematically' linked to some nuclear beach, but in Samways solo piece we are dealing with something more subdued and ambient, but also loosely constructed, using computer means to make edits when needed. It reminds me of 'Havenots Havenever' (Vital Weekly 835), that similar widely meandering feel to the sounds, but it's less convincing here. I really enjoyed that earlier release, and this piece is close, but too loosely orchestrated, I guess. Vecchi-Teller's piece is of similar length - around nineteen minutes - and more chaotic in approach. Here it bounces all over the place, from noise to something techno like, ambient, improvised, field recordings; all of which are played with some energy, I must admit, but also in need of some kind of structure to keep it fully interesting for the length of this release.
Behind Electric Landscapes Of Rebellion we find Edith Alonso from Spain and Antony Maubert from France. They have been playing music together since 2010, somewhere in the field of circuit bending, homemade electronic instruments, objects from daily life and digital synthesis. For this release, the label notes 'both artists melt their sounds together as if one performer, one "sound generator", turning down the concept of duality meant by duo', which is a bit cryptic. All of these sounds are mixed together, so isn't always mixed by however many people are behind it? I gather this piece (one piece on this CDR, twenty-eight plus minutes) is a computer edit of various performances they did together cut 'n pasted into this one piece. All of their interests are present here, noise bits, musique concrete sound manipulation, processed field recordings, electro-acoustic bits, deep end bass manipulation and such like. Looking (!) at the sound wave, it seems there is room for mastering this piece, as now it sounds all a bit remote. It's quite a heavy piece of music, forceful loud, collaged in a rather speedy way, with some piercing tones to go along. Definitely not easy listening music, but quite good I thought. Just long enough. More would be too tiresome I guess, less would not be right, either. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ephreimprint.eu

MERZOUGA - LIVE AT FLUC (CDR by Attentuation Circuit)
So far I have not been blown away by the releases of Eva Pöpplein (computer) and Janko Hanushevsky (prepared bass guitar), which were released by Gruenrekorder. It's very conceptual, very serious and not always something I understand. Maybe read that review I wrote of their latest release in Vital Weekly 912? Here we have work that is cut away from any thing conceptual, field recordings or anything like, but just the two of them, on stage, improvising. Here we have a recording from 2012 at Fluc in Vienna, where they played on a night organized by Klub Moozak. I must admit that from the various releases I heard so far, this one of pure improvisation is the one that I like best. The combination of sounds streaming from a laptop in combination with the improvisations on the bass for about thirty-eight minutes work quite well. Pöpplein sometimes adds field recordings of birds to the proceedings but also imitations of insect sounds, which is then also done by Hanushevsky on his prepared bass. There is a fine interaction between the two players, leaving space for each other to explore further, hold back and wait until it's time to interact again. Most of the times carefully played, but not held back, like being shy or something like that. They can easily take their time in doing as few as possible for quite a few minutes and then pick up with something else again. That makes this release quite a nice one, as such. The best I heard from them, indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

STEPKID - COSMONAUT (cassette by Ephem Aural)
From New York hails International Surrealist Bulletin and this is what I got off the labels website: they have an unconventional line up which includes an accordion, vibraphone, marimba and synth, along with drums and bass. 'Ten Wounds Wise' is their second album, and the first album was already five years ago. The accordion is the main instrument in these ten songs, which are all instrumental. They describe the band as “Best Psychedelic Accordioncore band on the East Coast”, of course, but I can dig what they are doing. Even when, perhaps, it's something that is more conventional musical than much of the other music we reviewed in these pages. A bit of Balkan beats like, klezmer and other forms of traditional music, mixed with jazz, rock and minimal music. 'Last Acts' has a bunch of voice samples and is more of a straight forward stomping piece. It's excellent produced music, with a fine rock like bottom end, and some wacky tunes on top. Certainly one of the weirder releases this week, and at that, a most pleasant surprise.
Oddly enough, a day later, I get a CD from a band with ties to Switzerland and South Africa, and in the line up we find one Nadja Stoller who sings and plays accordion, along with Jan Galega Bronnimann on bass clarinet and electronics and Ronan Skillen (the South African component here) on percussion, tabla and didgeridoo. While there are some things here that can be compared to International Surrealist Bulletin, the accordion obviously, but also the jazzy feel, there are also major differences and having a vocalist makes A. Spell different, obviously - again. It's strange music, with an odd line up, but it's something that works well. This is serious, adult pop music. The sort of stuff your alternative parents would like an open air summer festival - all ages, macchiato at hand, a white beer (German) for later on. You might think I disagree with all of this, but I don't. I won't head out myself, but maybe it's because I have a peculiar taste when it comes to going to concerts (easily bored actually), any concerts really - but at home I surely can dig an album like this. It's pop music of a more exotic kind, with weirder instruments than usual, a great voice, sometimes with up to date beats (I think, I am no expert), a dash of third world like percussion - hip music for hip people indeed. Not something I would easily play again, I also admit to that. Even when there is a nice Beatles cover included.
Going back to Ephem Aural label where we find a tape by Stepkid, without any accordion. Behind Stepkid is Benjamin Tyler from Portland and like International Surrealist Bulletin he has his drums recorded elsewhere by someone else. This is a rather short tape, maybe twenty or so minutes and Tyler himself is responsible for all the electronics involved in this. Which, me thinks, includes mainly analogue synthesizers in a large freak out session, which is then chopped into smaller blocks, songs if you will. It has a strangely wild character, not the kind of cosmic explosion one would expect on a modern day version of Tangerine Dream, but rather a raw, garage version thereof. Lo-fi rumbling, kind of freaked out (spaced out is perhaps the word to use), and fitting surely any C or D science fiction movie. Tracks are perhaps a bit short, a bit too short, but who cares? They are for scenes in the movie, not for the entire movie. Here the aliens attack, short, fast and brutal, and there's no hiding. I love this kind of rough edged music! Very energetic! (FdW)
Address: http://www.ephem-aural.com/
Address: http://everestrecords.ch/

Another instalment in the series of releases based on the river sounds made by Cedric Peyronnet. Here it's Akos Garai, from Hungary, who is perhaps not as well known as some of the others in this series (or rather: less productive). Whereas various composers in this series choose to use various field recordings together to create a composition, and not a lot of other treatments, Garai does exactly that. He treats the material (computer means would be my best guess) into a more sustaining sound field, but in which we also recognize the original sounds. There is an opening section of almost four minutes, and then abruptly moves, via some short sounds, into something much louder, less based on the recordings of the river but then the final nine and half minute (of fifteen in total) is a drone/river treatment. I thought this was a great piece, save for the fact that I thought this was all a bit short. For me all parts of this could have been a bit longer, especially the opening five minutes could have been ten or so. Otherwise: very fine addition to this great series. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kaon.org

Just a note: unfortunately I got a bum copy of this release and side B was effectively silent for me. The following review discusses the first side alone.
Justin Marc Lloyd, he who runs the prolific Rainbow Bridge label, has been recording grouchy music for a few years under the False Flag banner. Here we find him enlisting a bunch of friends to help out with the chaos – most notably Breaking Static curator Boar and Matt Boettke (Scant). The disparate influences of his collaborators worm their way into the tape's variegated breed of noise and power-electronics: “Muslim Police” (with Boar and Rosemary Arp) features a swath of low-end noise pierced by muscled yell-vox, the affair evoking a nasty bit of inferno. “Rage for Order,” which brings Divine Shell into the equation, lays a nest of alienating industrial atmospherics above which tidy electronic comets get their squall on. And the title-track, a bit of teamwork with Matt Boettke, erects a lovely soundscape of full-bodied noise. Yet as harsh an exercise as their track is, its nuanced, multi-layered construction allows the listener more room to penetrate the chaos than is typically afforded – though its tantalizingly brief duration is a bit of a downer. I'd love to hear what Side B has to offer, but it wasn't in the cards this time. Either way, over half this tape Lloyd proves himself to be a versatile noise dude with a gift for merging his approach with his pals' abrasive visions. (MT)
Address: http://www.terror.lt