number 947
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week 37
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:







KEITH ROWE & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO & ILIA BELORUKOV & KURT LIEDWART - CONTOUR (CD by Mikroton) *
SHIFT - ALTAMONT RISING (CD by Cold Spring)
TREPANERINGSRITUALEN - PERFECTION AND PERMANENCE (CD by Cold Spring)
THEOLOGIAN/STROM.EC : HUBRIZINE  (CD by Malignant Records)
TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD : STARVING THE FIRES (PT 1) (CD by Malignant Records)
BALLOON AND NEEDLE COMPILATION (2CD by Balloon & Needle)
LEAN LEFT – LIVE AT AERA SISMICA (CD by Unsounds)
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - WINTER STORM (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
LOST DOMINION LOST - TOWERS OF SILENCE (CD by The Epicurean) *
KRANK/THE GRIMSEL PATH - VERDANT HUM (cassette by The Epicurean)
EPICUREAN ESCAPISM 1 (CD, DVD by The Epicurean)
HEARTSNATCHER - TRIUMPH WITHOUT EUPHORIA (CD by Blowpipe) *
KLEISTWAHR - THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME (CD by Fourth Dimension) *
EINE STUNDE MERZBAUTEN - 7305 (CD by Napalmed)
JOHN DUNCAN & JIM O'ROURKE - YEAH (LP by Ideal Recordings)
ALTER OF FLIES (LP by Ideal Recordings)
DANIEL LOWENBRUCK & MARCELLVS L. - STAHLGEWITTER (LP by Ideal Recordings)
BENE GESSERIT - THE SECOND BENEFIT (7" by EE Tapes)
JEAN-MICHEL VAN SCOUWBURG - THE GLOTTAL ALLOWANCE (7" by Peripheral Conserve)
LUCIANO MAGGIORE & ENRICO MALATESTA - TALLADURA (CDR by Triscele Registrazioni)
DOC WOR MIRRAN - WALM ART (CDR by Mirran Threat) *
PARE OHM/JWPATON (CDR by JM) *
GATHERER (CDR by JM) *
REFUND - EVERYBODY IS DEAD (CDR by JM) *
GOD LOVES FAGS - AS WE TOOK A POWER NAP (CD by Spezial Material Records) *
FEEL NO OTHER (CDR by Silber Records) *
BETTY'S APPARTMENT/TELETEXT (cassette, private)
DAVID B. GREENBERG - YOU ARE THE GREATEST (cassette, private) *


KEITH ROWE & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO & ILIA BELORUKOV & KURT LIEDWART - CONTOUR (CD by Mikroton)
Moscow's Mikroton label specializes in improvised music, and label boss Kurt Liedwart is sometimes an active musical force himself; also the name Keith Rowe seems to pop up on various releases. Here Liedwart plays objects and electronics, Rowe plays guitar and electronics, and on April 29, 2013, they met up at the Spinalstudio in St-Petersburg with Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion, objects) and Ilia Belorukov (alto saxophone, objects, ipod, mini-subwoofer, mini-speaker). They did recordings, which Belorukov mixed together into two pieces, one of twenty-four minutes, and one that last almost thirty-six. This is of course improvisation with the big 'I'. It's a very 'concrete' album, despite various players having electronic tools at their disposal. It's also a quite a 'silent' album, with lots of stuff happening in 'between' the silence and vice versa. There is a lot of intense, careful interaction between these players, leaving room for the others to play, and not wanting to be heard all the time. The first piece is just Rowe and Costa Monteiro, while the four of them play on the other piece; it doesn't seem to make much difference. Like with much of the improvised music, you could wonder if it all has to be released on a disc. Probably not. Or perhaps, all should be released, but then nothing should be left out. Maybe the best thing would be to see and hear it all played live. Impossible, of course; both of them. Releasing all that you do without any form of selection, or hearing this all live. This is fine album, a good one. Not the best ever. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net

SHIFT - ALTAMONT RISING (CD by Cold Spring)
TREPANERINGSRITUALEN - PERFECTION AND PERMANENCE (CD by Cold Spring)
One of the true legends from the Swedish power electronics-scene is without any doubt Brighter Death Now - a project that was circulating in-between dark ambient and harsh brutal expressions. Two new Swedish releases on Cold Spring Records reveals that the swedish power electronics-scene are still going strong. Sound artist Shift adds fresh blood to the noise-scene with this new album titled "Altamont rising". With inspiration and a with a few samples from the violent Viking-film "Valhalla rising" Shift takes his starting point in the tragedy at the Altamont Free Festival in 1969 where violations between Hells Angels and a part of the audience ended up with manslaughter and other tragic events. To express the defying nature of human mankind Shift moves into territories of extremely harsh noise and power electronics. Drones of crushing soundscapes swirls alongside inhuman vocals of pure hatred and desperation. "Altamont rising" is a fresh breed of brutal noise anno 2014.
Next in line is Trepaneringsritualen - a project also driven by Swedish forces. Behind the project you find Thomas Ekelund who like his aforementioned compatriot artist swirls in spheres of extreme aggression. That Thomas Ekelund a.k.a. Trepaneringsritualen often do concerts with black metal bands in Sweden isn't surprising as you listen to the brutal and violent expressions of his latest album titled "Perfection and permanence". Raw vocals move alongside the hyperbrutal soundscapes of crushing drones. Stylishly Trepaneringsritualen drifts in the borderline between power electronics and death industrial so be prepared! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

THEOLOGIAN/STROM.EC : HUBRIZINE  (CD by Malignant Records)
TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD : STARVING THE FIRES (PT 1) (CD by Malignant Records)
Malignant Records is an interesting American label that first of all concentrates on the harsh electronic music scene and dark ambient since its establishment back in 1994. Two new albums from the label have seen the light of the day. The fact that each album are labelled with the brand-name Tumor gives the listener a clue of what kind of dark focus we have with this label. First album reviewed here is a reissue of an album originally released in 2012 as a limited edition of 12 cassettes on the Annihilvs label. The source material comes from one of Finland's most interesting acts within power electronics - Strom.ec. As a celebration of a shared appreciation for the works of Philip K. Dick, the American composer Theologian has reinterpreted and re-engineered the original works of Strom.ec. And the result is astonishing! Having never heard the original works of Strom.ec I was blown away by the expression on this present album carrying the title "Hubrizine". The seven intersections on the album are harsh with much focus on over-the-top aggressions of noise drones, yet there are also moments of extremely emotional and melancholic saturating the album. Underneath the brutality, subtle melodies of drifting ambience create an emotionally strong contrast to the expressions of evil. So many layers hides underneath the album making it an album that you want to return back to again and again, if you can stand the test of extreme brutality. Black art in its most beautiful form! Next album comes from the American composer Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead. Present album titled "Starving the fires (pt. 1)" is the debut album from the composer based in Portland, Oregon. As was the case with the aforementioned album of Strom.ec/Theologian, this is an album that explores the darkest territories of sonic expression. Expressionally the album flows in spheres between dark ambient and harsh drones of death industrial. Underneath the waves of crushing electronics distant vocal recordings adds to the feeling of being trapped in a world far away from close human contact. There is something paranoid about the atmospheres of the album, however despite the unpleasant feeling throughout the run-time, the atmosphere is trippy and hypnotic in its stylish expression. Two very interesting releases revealing that Malignant Records is a label to keep a close eye on, in the search of dark disturbing electronics. (NM)
Address: http://www.malignantrecords.com

BALLOON AND NEEDLE COMPILATION (2CD by Balloon & Needle)
Subtitled as ‘Music made with balloon and/or needle’ it is clear what to expect from this double cd release, compiled by Choi Joonyong. He selected artists for this project “for their experience in using balloon or needle (or similar instrument) on their music”. Choi Joonyong origins from Seoul, South Korea, where he founded the Astronoise with Hong Chulki in 1997, playing in a diversity of noise, improve and experimental outfits ever since. Usually he plays playback devices such as cd-players, mp3player, tape player, etc. He has several solo albums out and runs the Balloon And Needle label, an outlet for experimental music from Korea. The artists that contribute come from all over the planet:  Davide Tidoni, Judy Dunaway, Una Lee, EVOL, Attila Faravelli & Enrico Malatesta, Gen 26 (Matjaz Galicic), Choi Sehee, Benedict Drew, Eugene Chadbourne,  Jin Sangtae, Ricardo Arias, Dave Phillips and Horio Kanta, Hong Chulki, Luciano Maggiore, Umeda Tetsuya, Frans de Waard and finally Lee Miyeon. The concept is worked out very consequent and to the point, also in its design. It comes in a minimal off-white card gatefold sleeve with geometrical cuts removed. A needle and a balloon are included of course. The contributions are very diverse and, luckily, dominated by acoustical contributions. One wonders just a balloon and a needle can produce so many different pieces, although most pieces were done with some treatment of the original sounds. A satisfying and interesting compilation, with an original and effective concept as its trigger. (DM)
Address: http://www.balloonnneedle.com/

LEAN LEFT – LIVE AT AERA SISMICA (CD by Unsounds)
The Ex started as an anarcho-punk band about 1980. Later on they incorporated music from very different styles, like Ethiopian music and above all improvised music. Once taken this path they never went off of this route. Surely they gave a fruitful injection to the improvised music scene. Not just a gimmick, but adding new possibilities and dimensions. Lean Left is excellent prove of this development. Lean Left is a combination of two duos: Andy Moor and Luc Ex, both guitarists from the Ex, pair with reedplayer Ken Vandermark and drummer Paal Nilsson. Norwegian drummer Nilsson is active in the improve scene since the 90s, and played already on earlier occasions with Vandermark and Terrie Ex. Vandermark also turned to avant garde and improv in 90s from his base in Chicago as a member of noisy jazz outfit The Flying Luttenbachers, etc. As Lean Left they deliver their fifth live-album with this new release, being the second release for Unsounds. A recording of their final concert in Italy, after touring Europe. It catches them at a moment where all four were maximally tuned in. They make up a very tight unit. A great work, from beginning to the end. One feels everything really works here. Fantastic! Vibrant and very communicative music full of energy. Fine interplay between the musicians who know how to get the best out of each other. Also in the two more quiet improvisations, ‘Moti’ and ‘Cleft Segment’, that are the most abstract pieces on the album. Their free improv rock, somehow linked to Beefheart, is solid and convincing. This one really cheers you up! (DM)
Address: http://www.unsounds.com

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - WINTER STORM (CD by White Paddy Mountain)
From the ever-busy man Chihei Hatakeyama another new release, recorded last winter, and perhaps not entirely fitting post summer mild breeze temperatures right now. Four pieces, of which one is just under eight minutes and the other three are over eighteen minutes, up to twenty-three. On the press sheet Hatakeyama writes that the music was created using a analogue synthesizer 'Juno 2' and an electric guitar 'Fender Stratocaster' and the various pieces were for various things, such as the closing of an ambient shop in Japan. That's the opening piece here and it straight into Brain Eno textbook material. Long sustaining sounds and smaller curves intertwine irregularly and that makes up a mighty powerful piece. Lie down and don't do anything at all. Powerful, and surely working well, but perhaps also something that is close to something you may heard already before - the catalogue of Brian Eno no doubt. Nevertheless not a bad piece, but it's the other three that I enjoyed more. No new ground is walked upon either here, but it's a bit darker and more obscure; shimmering grey lights at the start of the evening (and nothing like the high sun right now, middle of the day). The somewhat more grainy sound works here better, more like something his own voice, and something less of somebody else. Very nice stuff all around on this disc, a further deepening of Hatakeyama's musical interests, rather than exploring new paths. (FdW)
Address: http://whitepaddymountain.tumblr.com

LOST DOMINION LOST - TOWERS OF SILENCE (CD by The Epicurean)
KRANK/THE GRIMSEL PATH - VERDANT HUM (cassette by The Epicurean)
EPICUREAN ESCAPISM 1 (CD, DVD by The Epicurean)
Three releases from the darker underworld of power electronics, noise, combined with the images of death, wounds, and religion. Perhaps a warning to start with. This is not my world per se. I must admit I never care that much for the images this music comes with, but sometimes do like the music itself. The first release is by Last Dominion Lost, a trio of Jon Evans (synths, samplers, treatments, tapes), Julian Percy (guitar, keys, electronics, percussion) and John Murphy (drums, vocals, electronics and shenai). The latter you may know as a former of SPK, but also of his solo project Krank - more on that later. Apparently their last release, 'The Tyranny Of Distance' (2004, on Tesco, another label that is all grim and glum), was recorded twenty years ago, but here they have recordings from the last two years, and it includes Ash Wednesday (ex-Einsturzende Neubauten) on synth on three pieces and minor guest contribution by David Barret, Ricky Garrett, Till Bruggemann and Annie Stubbs. The CD starts out in a noisy, metal percussion banging fashion and that doesn't appeal to me much. That's not the mood for the entire CD, as these ten pieces offer a varied bunch of sounds in the underbelly of doom and gloom. There are moments of relative quietness around here, such as in 'Hexaton', but it's always full of intensity, through spoken word. The male voice used here reminds me to that of David Tibet, never much of a personal favourite here - especially 'Chlorpromazine' is reminder of the early Current 93 sound, even when that is not a bad thing in itself as this is my favourite Current phase. I actually quite enjoyed this, maybe because the visual darkness was kept to a minimum, gothic lettering aside. The fact that it is was varied was what probably won me over, as it seemed to be moving away from the more rigid noise/banging/distortion and it's vaguely ritualistic sound worked for once quite nice.
Evans and Murphy are also responsible for the cassette by Krank and The Grimsel Path. Murphy for both sides, Evans only on the second. Krank is the solo vehicle for John Murphy, mainly in the 80s and since the 1991 release 'Chaos' (CD by Dark Vinyl) there were no more new releases. Krank has a twenty-minute here 'NAOS Number', recorded by Murphy and Till Bruggemann (from Gerechtigkeits Liga - another one of those lost 80s bands), using synthesizers, bending circuits or steel plates and maybe some voice material. It seems that all of these has been cut down to a bunch of loops, which go merry round, and very occasionally something is added in real-time on top. Sometimes loops disappear from the mix and it seems to be shifting towards other textures. It's all quite moody but at the same time also spacious. Nice one! Samples to create beat oriented material are also something we find on the six pieces by The Grimsel Path. Murphy takes credit for 'electronics and arcana' and Evans for 'electronics and apocrypha'. The six pieces were recorded live and have an even more looped character than the Krank piece. Noise based, sampling the hell out of metal clatter, making this true to its industrial ur-form. It drips and it rains, post apocalyptic acid no doubt, making those metal plates even rustier. Excellent mood music all around here.
You might have looked for an announcement of the Epicurean Escapism Festival in these pages, but due to the holiday here it arrived too late. It was held on the 22nd/23rd of August in Berlin and for that occasion they released 'Epicurean Escapism 1', not to be confused with a release of almost the same line up, but on cassette from 2012. Last year 'volume 2' was released (see Vital Weekly 889), and again it's a CD, DVD (no DVDR this time) and a booklet of collages and Polaroid’s by Martin Bladh. He's also responsible for the DVD. The CD starts out with music by Krank, which is nice; just why it has the vocals of Annie Stubs eludes me. They don't seem to make a fine impression on me, and not add much to the actual music. IRM is a group by Martin Bladh, Erik Jarl and Mikael Oretoft, who sixteen-minute suite is about noise, distortion and vocals in the best Swedish tradition; think Brighter Death Now for instance. Surely nice, even if only every once in a while. Human Larvae and Anemone Tube collaborate on a power drone piece which combines the heavy drones of the Malignant catalogue with some of the power electronics vocals, before landing in a more 'easy' territory of frightening lower drones, slowly cascading again. Excellent piece, for it moves in various directions. Erik Jarl has the longest piece on this compilation, twenty-five minutes, and performs one of his mighty drone pieces. Here there is, so it seems, not really within the context of noise. Then I switched over to the DVD and watched those performance like movies by Martin Bladh, but I honestly couldn't write anything about it; I also can't say I liked them. The whole world of performance would require an in-depth essay, which I am not prepared to write. It's not my world. I appreciate the effort, I think the package is great but I am not the intended target for this. (FdW)
Address: http://the-epicurean.transformed.de

HEARTSNATCHER - TRIUMPH WITHOUT EUPHORIA (CD by Blowpipe)
When I started to play this CD I wasn't sure what to expect. Nice cover, but who is Heartsnatcher? One Jos van Tol, "a drummer for more than 15 years in various bands ranging from bigband jazz to noise rock. After an intensive tour for 2 years and a successful album with 60's freak Jacco Gardner he decided to pick up his practice of COMPUTERprogramming to make an autobiographic and introvert album" - yeah, yeah. I know what's coming, I thought. I was wrong. Heartsnatcher has seven pieces here that owe much more to the world of microsound and minimalism than… well, something else, say bigbang jazz or noise rock. It's very delicate music, quiet and introspective - "personal music", I think one is supposed to say in such cases - but it's never even close to the world of new age. Deep end bass sounds, crackles, beeps, and a sufficient amount of reverb from the world of ambient industrial. This has nothing to do, not even remotely, with he world of 'pop' either. In 'Yank Put Bang' you may find a rhythm - a sequence of short, repeating sounds - but nothing to dance about. But, and maybe this is because I know Van Tol is a drummer, there is a rhythmical element to all of these pieces, mostly buried a bit in the mix, or through the use of drones, but 'beating' is certainly present here. A great CD, coming from an area which you would least suspect these things from; that said, looking at twenty or more years writing about experimental music, this stands in a longer tradition and builds on experiences from previous work, carried by others. That's of course no problem, just a clarification. (FdW)
Address: http://www.blowpipe.org/in.html

KLEISTWAHR - THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME (CD by Fourth Dimension)
Obviously because of its noise based content I could leave this to Jliat for closer inspection, but instead I played it, and meanwhile took out As Loud As Possible volume 1, an excellent book/magazine (Vital Weekly 756), which contained a very in-depth survey of the catalogue of Broken Flag, the mighty power electronics label from the 80s. The label's main band was Ramleh, a duo including Gary Mundy, also label boss, who, in order to fill up the early days of the catalogue, 'invented' a group called Kleistwahr, but which effectively was his own solo project. Over time that project disappeared, but in 2009 he returned with a LP for Noiseville, which I didn't hear, but according to that article was received with mixed reception. Now there is a new CD, a thirty-seven minute, of very loud, electronic music. Apparently Mundy uses guitar and electronics in Kleistwahr these days, which was hard to tell, I thought. Everything is cranked up to something very loud, but not without detail. Kleistwahr is noise, yes, no doubts there, but it's not of the harsh noise wall variation. This obviously no longer has the shock it had so many years ago, and might even be called conservative to some extent. Who cares about something original these days? That must be something from the past. The music, while recorded and mastered better, has more power it seems than 'back then'. With Mundy adding vocals at the end of this, it sounds like Ramleh, and that happens to be one of my favourite power electronics from the 80s (before they picked up guitars, which, in my humble opinion, they shouldn't have done. Excellent release! The cover is a very nice CD version of the old label design. Maybe there could even be a series in this, re-issues, and new works? Where do we sign up? (FdW)
Address: http://fourth-dimension.net/

EINE STUNDE MERZBAUTEN - 7305 (CD by Napalmed)
“New Czech project on the scene, true commercial cover band! EINE STUNDE MERZBAUTEN released recording 7305. Three tracks: 1/ loud cover of N……D, 2/industrial cover of E……….. ……..N and  3/ noise cover of M…..W.” Well they wanted 666 of your most high value coins- £ 1332.00! But now it seems you can have a copy for 6.66 Euros…? Although there are three tracks your player will see just 1. It comes printed black on black. And there is the “fill in the gaps” puzzle…  ‘zadna hudba znamena hluk’ Translates to ‘No music means noise’- There are three discernable pieces, the first layered harsh noise, effects and electronics – processed voice, the second processed metal clashes, bangs and electronics which is very unlike the first track, but is not so different to the last, if the last has more scrambled electronics and processing…. How much these are ‘covers’ is debatable- more so as I’m unable to fill in the gaps for one of these tracks – guess which one – do write in with answers and prizes will be awarded. And talking of covers can I mention how often on certain forums the question of ‘how to do noise’ is raised by supposedly a newbie- AKA Troll?... which prompts a pelting with comments covering the range of deepest sympathy to disgust. Maybe that is a sign of noise’s morphing into a genre to be copied. The covers of Nazi stuff, naked women and rape themes no longer, if ever shock. Maybe things which have what is technically termed the WTF factor (NOT the X factor, or Maxfactor) can no longer appear qua noise, but whatever else occurs I’m sure not going to let anyone know, if I know, before I get things trade marked. But taking a leap from Art its probably going to be a four-person band type thing… again and again. The problem is that it is broke, and all the kings’ horses and all the kings men can’t put humpty back together again. But then in those days they didn’t have superglue or speculative metaphysics. (jliat)
Address: http://napalmed.cz/

JOHN DUNCAN & JIM O'ROURKE - YEAH (LP by Ideal Recordings)
ALTER OF FLIES (LP by Ideal Recordings)
DANIEL LOWENBRUCK & MARCELLVS L. - STAHLGEWITTER (LP by Ideal Recordings)
Surely you would say, when offered, "yeah, I'd love to release a John Duncan & Jim O'Rourke record", who wouldn't? That's what we thought, when Duncan gave us a cassette of it. Maybe that was already in 1993. I am speaking here of my Staalplaat days and this petit histoire may not end up in my book on life at Staalplaat. Duncan lived around our corner, and O'Rourke dropped by whenever he was in Amsterdam. It's not where this was recorded: it was recorded at Christoph Heemann's studio in Aachen, Germany. So we said 'yes' and Duncan said 'but it's not done yet. We ended here at this point and don't know what to do next. So we wait until it's properly finished'. The original cassette disappeared and was never heard again, so I can't say if what I hear on this record, now, twenty-odd years later, is what I heard back then. Or, if in fact it was ever expanded. That I doubt, I must say, as I am pretty sure the original demo was of a similar length as what is now on Side A. Side B is a live recording, I assume, of Duncan, O'Rourke with Oren Ambarchi and Joe Talia from 2013 - the cover text is a bit sketchy. On the music on the A-side Duncan's love for shortwave radio sounds is omnipresent - from the heavily processed (electronics rather than computer, my dear) opening sounds to a straighter forward ending of mucho-layered interferences. An excellent piece, expanded from the original demo or not. The B-side is something I am less convinced about. I assume Ambarchi and Talia play drums and guitar, while the other two add electronics and voice; the latter repeating shouting 'stay alive' (or 'stayin' alive'?) over the improvised ramble of the other two. I might be entirely wrong about this line up, but I am just not convinced about the proceedings on this side. It seems something was picked to make up the B-Side; the other side: that's where the true beauty is.
Mattias Gustafsson sits behind an ancient small mixer, and we see some ancient electronic device and a cassette recorder. That's the picture on his album 'Altar of Flies', and it says he plays magnetic tape, field recordings and electronics. He has six pieces on his record here and they are a delight to hear. No doubt I say that because I am a sucker for such lo-fi electronic music with a cassette or two near by - as a medium to record on as well as using them for playback, especially when the playback heads are dirty - along with cheap and crude synthesizers, or perhaps just sound generators of a more simpler, electrical kind. Altar Of Flies ties all of this together and creates some heavy electronic music; heavy, mind you, noisy perhaps but noise isn't the end goal here. Things are surely loud, dirty and obnoxious, but its aim is not to shock. It is music that provides a strong presence in your living room, a forceful sound but with the aim to please - I think. Maybe I am wrong here and maybe there is some sort of shock treatment part of this, but in my perception this is music that is made to enjoy. This is the noise I like! Not on a similar noise level as say Francisco Meirino, whose work is more collage like, whereas Altar Of Flies is more continuous, like an ever sustaining ur-drone and heavily treated tapes ringing and singing along. This is the kind of musique concrete that they don't teach you at Ina-Grm. Excellent record!
The last new release by Ideal Recordings is a 12" (at 45 rpm) by Daniel Löwenbrück (himself owner of Tochnit Aleph, and somehow, somewhere connected with Schimpfluch) and one Marcellvs L. The 'Stallgewitter' title is word play; not stahlgewitter - steelstorm (but also the name of a German hardrock band with ties to the right wing movement) but 'stall' as in stables, and it's here where the recordings were made. Lots of pig and cow sounds - reminding this particular listener of his childhood holiday's in Austria. These recordings of animals seem to be treated in such a way that they amass sound a lot - maybe by playing various recordings of the same thing on top of each other, or perhaps these are noisy stables? Whatever is the case, these are some highly fascinating recordings. It's perhaps the kind of field recordings you never hear a lot, I think. Knowing of Daniel Löwenbrück's ties to Schimpfluch Gruppe I wouldn't be surprised to learn if there is some sort of political undercurrent in this - "DON'T EAT MEAT" - the Dave Phillips connection, but don't let that spoil your appetite for this great record of field recording meeting noise. (FdW)
Address: http://idealrecordings.com

BENE GESSERIT - THE SECOND BENEFIT (7" by EE Tapes)
EE Tapes by now is a prime mover when it comes to releasing music on CD and 7"s by the Insane Music groups: Pseudo Code, Human Flesh and now, again, Bene Gesserit. Benefits (see the title) of this release, should there be any, go to buying new equipment. Great! There is an old side here, and a new side, both with three tracks. I started with the old side, since it had a track from a cassette I used to have, and haven't heard in a long time. It sounds exactly like I fondly remembered from all those years ago. There is an element in the electronic music of Bene Gesserit, which I guess could be called 'cabaret' like, mainly in the way Nadine Ball sings. Bending her voice, playing with dialects, uplifting and sad at the same time, and Alain Neffe's music bounces around this. Heavy on the rhythm machine and synthesizers in a rather free spirit around them. That was the old side, and compared with the new side it seems that the rhythm parts became tighter, more together, maybe less free. More pop music, if you will. That is a nice change! There isn't a universe in which Nadine Ball or Alain Neffe could be a real pop star, but the three songs here are great songs. Not entirely to sing along but professional, great, adult pop music. Let's hope new equipment will allow them to progress further. Great record with fifteen minutes of the best electronic music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

JEAN-MICHEL VAN SCOUWBURG - THE GLOTTAL ALLOWANCE (7" by Peripheral Conserve)
Along with this 7" I also received a CDR in which Jean-Michel van Schouwburg improvises with other people, but I left that in the hands of Dolf Mulder for closer inspection. I never heard of Van Schouwburg, who is a Belgium voice improviser, who worked with John Russell, Phil Minton and Adam Bohman along many others. He's also a member of the trio Sureau. He provided some of his vocal techniques for the film 'Berberian Sound Studio', from Peter Strickland (a movie, and highly recommended if you like movies that deal with sound), who is the owner of Peripheral Conserve, who releases this on a 7". I saw the movie - once, but no doubt to be repeated somewhere soon - and don't remember this particular sound bit (sorry), but it surely fits the movie very well (horror movie sounds being recorded by a home-sick engineer). It's raw, visceral and jumps around and is probably way too short. On the other side we find a remix of this piece by Andrew Liles, who also worked on the sound part of the film, and it seems he adds a lot of sound effects to the original but maybe otherwise don't seem to add much else. It's an all right remix I think, nothing spectacular, but it surely helps to sell the original from the other side. Overall quite a nice 7". (FdW)
Address: http://www.soniccatering.com

LUCIANO MAGGIORE & ENRICO MALATESTA - TALLADURA (CDR by Triscele Registrazioni)
The previous release by Maggiore (speakers, playback devices) and Malatesta (objects) was reviewed in Vital Weekly 941 and consisted of a forty-minute piece of music. Here they have fourteen small pieces, which last in total twenty-nine minutes. That makes this release a bit more sketch-like, more than it was on the previous release. The ideas however remain the same, it seems. This still seems to be "composed using unrelated recordings of synthesizer and acoustic object". The sound seems very 'dry' (i.e. without many sound effects or manipulation), even the synthesizer and the way Malatesta plays his objects. Also much of this seems to be very quiet, demanding quite some attention before it unfolds itself. Yet, at the same time, I don't see this as the same thing again. Maggiore's synth is sometimes a bit more dominant, noisier even, and Malatesta's treatment of objects - picked up with microphones and contact microphones alike - is also a bit more present. Like the previous one I think this is all very nice stuff. You need your attention but it gives you a fascinating sound world in return. Somewhere in the middle of electro-acoustic experiments, improvisation, composition, performance and anything in between these parameters. It's something that comes without much reference to anything else. The only thing I could think was the performance group BMB con, but their Italian counterparts keep things closer together, and smaller. Great stuff. (FdW)
Address: <trisceleregistrazioni@gmail.com>

DOC WOR MIRRAN - WALM ART (CDR by Mirran Threat)
It's always funny to see ones name mentioned as a member of Doc Wor Mirran on a release. Are they still working around with that DAT of sounds I mailed them 25 years ago? Whatever is the case, it's good to see it is being used and re-used. Although where exactly these sounds appear in these thirty-eight pieces that we find on this release, is beyond me, but I have no recollection of what I mailed them either. This release might have the biggest line up for Doc Wor Mirran; I counted over 20 people collaborating here. This release is dedicated to Zoogz Rift, the American composer who died in 2011. I am thinking very hard if I ever saw him play live locally. I think I did. I remember this was quite wild, weird, improv like and rock based. I might be wrong (I should have consulted Dolf Mulder before writing this). Some of that intensity and insanity is captured here, as many of these pieces are quite short and the variety is enormous here. Rock pieces, spoken word, poetry, tape-collages, synth doodles, ambient… perhaps any and all that makes Doc Wor Mirran such an interesting band: it's never the same with them. But whereas normally they are in one place on a single release, here it nicely bounces all around and surprisingly works well. Its hilarious, its funny, its even serious at times. An hour of madness. There will always be a weak spot for them in my heart and perhaps I should send them a bunch of new sounds, to cover the next twenty-five years? (FdW)
Address: http://www.dwmirran.de

PARE OHM/JWPATON (CDR by JM)
GATHERER (CDR by JM)
REFUND - EVERYBODY IS DEAD (CDR by JM)
From Melbourne, Australia, here's a new label, which has some room for improvement. Not in the small note that came neither with this parcel, nor on the cover do we find a website address. Each of these three last about twenty minutes (copied onto 5" CDRs), but why on earth refer to pieces as Side A and Side B, even mentioning a couple of titles, when there is only one piece per 'side' on the CDR? Also googling band names like Refund or Gatherer is not easy.
The first one is a split release by Pare Ohm and JWPaton, each with an eleven-minute piece. I have no idea about who these people are. Both have a single piece, perhaps to be cut into smaller 'songs' and deal with noise. There is some form of rhythm with Pare Ohm, but in both pieces the clipping either suggests something went wrong with copying this music from one medium to another. But, Oval world it is, maybe this is all intentional? Maybe it's some electronic gadget running amok here? Pare Ohm takes a rest sometimes and it all sounds pretty obscure. JWPaton seems to be more single minded in his noise approach and is the weakest link all around in this catalogue so far.
The second release by Gatherer is of more interest, i.e. less in the pure noise field. Here we have three pieces that sound like someone having a strong interest in the world of all things 'ambient' and 'industrial'. Through a myriad of electronic sounds, he creates some interesting moody textures that sound a bit noisier than the usual ambient, but never is really very loud. In 'Tomato Indigo' he adds a rhythm machine in over drive, but it sounds very much like it was recorded in a room, rather than through cables and mixers. It sounds quite all right this, but perhaps three pieces is just not enough to form a proper opinion on them. Surely nice, surely interested in hearing more and see what this is all about. So far, so good.
Refund has nine pieces in twenty-one minutes and it is to be found in the world of noise, but more interesting than the split release by Pare Ohm and JWPaton. There is indeed some loud stuff, such as the feedback excursion 'Pce', but in the other pieces these are kept to a minimum in favour of development and variety. In the opening piece I was reminded of Maurizio Bianchi's early work and in some of the other pieces it's all more alike a naive, raw version of early electronics, say The Planet Of The Apes revised with even more low-fi technology; that's where the feedback is not spared all around but it works well. Some of these excursions are quite brief, which makes it hard to make up ones mind about it, like with Gatherer, perhaps. I would give this the benefit of doubt too. Again, so far, good. Next time a bit more professional, please. (FdW)
Address: none given

GOD LOVES FAGS - AS WE TOOK A POWER NAP (CD by Spezial Material Records)
FEEL NO OTHER (CDR by Silber Records)
BETTY'S APPARTMENT/TELETEXT (cassette, private)
DAVID B. GREENBERG - YOU ARE THE GREATEST (cassette, private)
Here's a quartet of unrelated releases that have been lying around for some time, while everyone was scratching their heads: oh, erm, pop? Rock? Anyone any ideas, please? It's perhaps not really our territory, but we'll our best. The quartet God Loves Fags seems an impromptu group, traditional line-up but with a synth and 'elektronik'. That latter thing is to state their Can and Neu influences. They also mention Sonic Youth, Shellac and Grauzone. Recorded during a fourteen-day jam session, they created six pieces of quite strong krautrock inspired pieces. The elektronik and synth play quite a role in keeping this nicely tight, certainly in the first two pieces. Here the krautrock influence seems strongest, compared to the more traditional rock outings of the next three songs, of which 'Vulture' is the most folky and thus quiet song on the release. It all ends with the longest piece here, called 'Zufallskomposition #6' (random composition #6) which is nothing like the rest: gliding and sustaining synth tones: a bit Eno like and actually for these Vital Weekly ears the best piece on this release. But I enjoyed the rest too! Especially those two more krautrock inspired songs at the beginning.
Feel No Other is a duo of Brian Lea McKenzie, whom we otherwise know as Electric Bird Noise and Claudia Gregory, whom we otherwise didn't know of, but who is also working as Exhaust The Fox and Claudia Versus The Queen Of Hearts. They met up some years ago when Mckenzie had some pieces, which he thought needed 'strong female vocals'. Here we have twelve pieces, in thirty-three minutes, which means some of these songs are quite short, five being around one minute. I am always too distracted to know what songs are about, no doubt love, lust, despair, and the bigger picture of human emotions. The music is very nice here too. Sometimes Electric Bird Noise is a bit experimental, and eerie, but here he produces a full on, almost orchestral sound. Maybe using garage band, or a sampler of some kind, but it works very well. The David Lynch reference is obviously not far away, but effectively all sort of cinematic dream pop could serve as a reference here. Not through her singing per se, but Kate Bush could be among these as well. A most enjoyable release of something that is vaguely labelled as 'pop' by these headquarters. Wrong, probably.
Perhaps I am most lost with the release by Betty's Apartment on one side and Teletext on the other. Perhaps I have most trouble with this German (?) band, which sound like a very traditional rock band. Nothing exciting or spectacular, no odd edge, nothing weird. Just fuzzy guitars, German lyrics, a bit new wave like, but all very traditional. Betty's Apartment on the other side gave me more pleasure, even when here I am a bit lost too. More folky, sometimes seemingly in a totally different language, making the whole thing perhaps a bit more ethnic inspired; they use rhythm machines, samplers, maybe field recordings, TV snippets and it's actually quite nice. Quite sweet overall, but quite nice at that too. I could imagine this being released by Static Caravan, if that is any help. File under: electronic and folk music.
David B. Greenberg was on tour with Prince Rama (who I saw play in The Netherlands last year) and recorded a bunch of songs of him on guitar, keyboards and singing. The classic singer songwriter as it was. There is a bit of production going on, although a song like 'Himalayan Heart' fades out in a strange way. Here I am certainly lost too, too poppy, too singer-songwriter like and perhaps, yes, too normal, but I found this intimate playing more entertaining than Teletext, who sounded dull and retro. Greenberg is just very retro. A sort of 70s outsider, perhaps. Otherwise I am blank here. (FdW)
Address: http://spezialmaterial.ch
Address: http://silbermedia.com
Address: http://bettysapartment.bandcamp.com
Address: http://davidbgreenberg.bandcamp.com



















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