number 955
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week 45
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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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CICADA DREAM BAND (CD by Gruenrekorder)
SETH CLUETT - FORMS OF FORGETTING (CD by Line) *
TARAB - I'M LOST (CD by 23Five Incorporated) *
TIM OLIVE & NICK HOFFMAN - NO FLAG (CD by Copy For Your Records) *
NICK HOFFMAN - BARBAROUS TONGUES (CD by Gravity Swarm Recordings) *
GÜNTER SCHICKERT & PHARAOH CHROMIUM - OXTLR (2CD by Grautag Records) *
blackhumour - selected pieces (cd by noise-below) *
NORBERTO LOBO - FORNALHA (CD by three:four records) *
HAKOBUNE - VITEX NEGUNDO (CD by Empiric Records) *
MARSEN JULES - MARSEN JULES AT GRM (CD by Oktaf Records) *
CHRS GALARRETA/ANTON MOBIN - ABANDON DEBIT (CD by Felt Collective) *
CHRS GALARRETA & JANNEKE VAN DER PUTTEN - INVISIBLE ARCHITECTURE (LP by Aloardi)
SAJJRA (CDR by Aloeardi) *
ASI MINA - BIALO (CD by Mik Musik/Bolt Records) *
LAUTBILD - PROLETKULT (cassette by Mik Musik)
SAW - NO WAY BLACK (LP by Lamour)
DJ MARCELLE - ANOTHER NICE MESS MEETS MOST SOULMATES AT FAUST STUDIO DEEJAY LABORATORY (2LP by Klangbad)
SUREAU/ROCCO & MIMMO – THE LEUVEN CONCERT (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
STEVEN VINKENOOG - NOCTURNES (cassette by Oggy Records)
SIMON WHETHAM - FROM THE MOUTHS OF CLAY (cassette by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)



CICADA DREAM BAND (CD by Gruenrekorder)
Last year Gruenrekorder released the album ‘Bug Music’ by David Rothenberg. He has a love for the rhythms produced by birds, insects, etc and made a record based on these rhythms coming from nature, joined of vocalist Timothy Hill and guitarist Robert Jürgendal. The album by the Cicada Dream Band is a sort of a next step. The band combines the talents of Pauline Oliveros (V-Accordion), David Rothenberg (bass clarinet, clarinet, iPad, creatures) and Timothy Hill (voice). They made their recordings in august 2013 in New York. “2013 marked the arrival of millions of periodical cicadas to the New York Metropolitan area. These musical insects appear only once every seventeen years. On the occasion of this auspicious event, David Rothenberg performed a series of concerts together with composer and deep listener Pauline Oliveros, overtone singer Timothy Hill, and live singing insects brought in from the trees“. That is how it started. It inspired the three for long extended dialogues with these natural sounds, and about an hour of this material is selected for this album. Although I like their improvisations, their way of combining it with animal sounds did not really do it for me.  Although...this last sentence I wrote after one or two listening, but now that I’m listening again it begins to reveal its beauty. Like the beautiful lines they play along the whistling of an European blackbird in ‘Room at the Inn’. The music becomes more and more óne and intriguing after repeated listening. Besides the vocals by Timothy Hill fascinate and inspire. He is a new voice for me. He worked with a variety of artists like John Cage, Bill Frisell, Jeff Buckley, Odetta, Pete Seeger, Madan Gopal Singh, and not to forget David Hykes. Okay, I’m pretty much in favour of the dreams of Rothenberg. (DM)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

SETH CLUETT - FORMS OF FORGETTING (CD by Line)
Haven't seen a release from Line in quite some time. Maybe it's due to the fact that the postal rates are high everywhere these days (and more and more labels offer digital only promo's, which we don't do; ultimately a publication like this will disappear) or perhaps I had some negative words on one thing or another which caused some grief, but Seth Cluett mailed me his most recent work directly, which, if I understood correctly is the culmination of two years of experimenting with sounds performed live in specific spaces and it 'employs techniques that aim to explore the fallibility of sound memory as a component of saturated, immersive listening over substantial elapsed time'. Quoting that doesn't necessarily mean I understand what it says, but maybe it means that by the end of the music you have forgotten what happened in between as you were immersed by listening to this? Maybe it's something like that? On his previous release for Line, 'Objects Of Memory', he worked with 'real' instruments, like a bassoon, viola, guitar and percussion in combination with sine waves, here it seems all about those sine waves and perhaps in combination with electronic sound. No doubt this is the kind of music that best floats through (your) space when you play, for optimum immersive sound, I'd say, and as such a surround sound DVD version would be of course the preferred format, but even 'just' the stereo version of this sounds great; set the volume at a level that is comforting for you as a listener, sit back and just let this flow all over you. My choice of volume is not very loud, not very soft either, but a rather medium level, so that the sound is pleasantly present. As this was pretty much the only thing that arrived today, I had it on repeat for a long time, maybe it spun four or five times, before I even started to think about doing a review. Cluett moves through various phases in this piece, from bright sine wave like to quite dark, atmospheric passages, and all of this with gracious speed: it's moving, but not always quickly. It also stays never in one place very long. Maybe this music is nothing new under the sun, but it'd an excellent work all around. (FdW)
Address: http://lineimprint.com

TARAB - I'M LOST (CD by 23Five Incorporated)
When reviewing 'Strata', the previous release by Tarab in Vital Weekly 911, I already noted that he's not the world's busiest bee when it comes to releases, but with steady intervals there's always something new. The title could refer to being lost in a geographical sense of the word, or being lost from 'existential narratives that we have scripted for ourselves' (broken relationships, failed jobs), but Eamon Sprod uses it for 'lost object' and 'lost sound', opposed to 'found object' and 'found sound'. He still uses field recordings on these five pieces here, but also to a wider extent than before the collage/cut-up aspect in all of this. 'Strata' seemed rather un-manipulated, but 'I'm Lost' is surely the product of lots of manipulation. Firstly through the layering of sounds and secondly through cutting these up and re-assembling these sounds. It makes that this music is a bit more noise like than before, jumping around in all these weird and unexpected cuts. It's not easy to say where Tarab gets his field recordings; if they are tied in to specific location(s), or thematically linked or from whatever source he seems fit. Maybe they all stem from pollution sites, I thought, as to a certain extent it seems to me this album is also a bit darker than his previous work, or perhaps many other works by those who work inside field recordings. It may share the negative worldview of say Joe Colley or the near-broken equipment of Francisco Meirino and with both of them it's a similar collage like styled, dynamic work of collage and cut-up. And, if you have been paying attention in the past few years, it's this dynamic form of noise - loud, quiet, high, low - which, combined with a refined sense of composition, is something that I enjoy very much. Therefore I can easily say that this is Tarab's best work to date. Strictly personal opinion, obviously. (FdW)
Address: http://www.23five.org

TIM OLIVE & NICK HOFFMAN - NO FLAG (CD by Copy For Your Records)
NICK HOFFMAN - BARBAROUS TONGUES (CD by Gravity Swarm Recordings)
It seemed it has been some time ago since I last heard from Nick Hoffman, but here he presents two new works. One is a collaborative work with Tim Olive, who has been very actively lately. There isn't any mentioning of instruments on the cover, but knowing up, I can assume we are dealing here with all sort of pick-ups, contact microphones, electrical fields, electronics and such like along with a bit of acoustic debris found on the streets of Kobe to create these five intense pieces of electro/acoustic/magnetic music. The longest piece, 'No Flag 5' is to be found at the end of this release and is a beautiful drone like affair of all things electrical; a great piece, but perhaps a bit untypical for the other four pieces. Here things buzz and sing too, but throughout are also a bit more noise inspired with shrieks of feedback dropping in and out in 'No Flag 4' or the deep rumble of 'No Flag 3'. The opening of 'No Flag 1' is very musical with a broken up piano tune, but ends in more drones. Many of the sounds used stay together quite closely, thus making the music perhaps a bit more claustrophobic. However this is the noise that I like.
Which is pretty much the same thing I could say about his solo release, released by Gravity Swarm Recordings, the label run by Guilty Connector. Here we have six pieces and all of them can be found on that cross road of drone, ambient and noise. A great package here, a poster folded around the CD with Hoffman's drawings, but without much information as to the how and why of the music. I must guess again and I would think much of these deals, again, with some lo-fi pick up system of coils and resonant surfaces, fed through various sound effects, along with perhaps what seems to be acoustic sounds, maybe looped around or played in real time. All of which creates these dense, heavily layered sounds. It continues, one could argue, where we left the previous disc of, with 'No Flag 5'. But whereas that disc may have some sort of light in there, it seems that for 'Barbarous Tongues' all lights have been dimmed or nulled and much of this hoovers at mid to low range frequencies. Quite dark all of this, I thought, but I very much enjoyed this noise as well. (FdW)
Address: http://cfyre.co/rds
Address: http://gravity-swarm.sakura.ne.jp

GÜNTER SCHICKERT & PHARAOH CHROMIUM - OXTLR (2CD by Grautag Records)
There is some confidence in this release, which is available as a 3LP set and possibly as a 2CD set as well. The press text announces the first and I'm looking at a double CD set. Visual artist Nicolas Moulin sets the Grautag label and each result sees him collaborating with a musician, in this case even two. Günter Schickert has been producing music since the 70s when he was part of the German krautrock scene, when he started to play guitar using many overdubs, which he called the 'echo guitar'. He released several solo albums as well as with his band Ziguri. Ghazi Barakat is from German-Palestinian descendent and works as Pharoah Chromium, and he plays flutes and electromics and his concerts are apparently like a 'bizarre space ritual'. They know each other since the mid 80s but only started work together in 2010, recordings and playing concerts. I must admit I didn't know either work of the two, but these six pieces, one per side, or three per disc, are all around the twenty-minute mark and build up in similar fashion. One sound starts, another is added and this ad infinitum (well, as a matter of speaking), until we have this vast mass of sound, which start mingling together and makes up a nice, coherent tapestry of gentle sound. There is however always a raw element in this, you can hear Barakat breathing as it were and that's quite nice. It's perhaps these days quite easy to have similar results using loop station/effect machines, so it may also seem a bit on automatic pilot this music, but in between you can hear these rough edges which made me give this the benefit of the doubt. Two hours of solid floating in tank of dark substance - that, or just a bunch of loopings in weightless space. (FdW)
Address: http://www.grautagrec.com

blackhumour - selected pieces (cd by noise-below)
probably one of the more curious careers in music: blackhumour, who spells it without capitals, like any thing he writes really. so we humour him with this review without capitals. curious career, since in the late 80s he was active on the cassette scene, released a lp even, and then seemed to have disappeared and releases have become more sparse since then. what i enjoyed back then about the music of blackhumour was the consistent use of only voice material, which he cut into loops and layered them together, very much like steve reich did with his 'come out' and 'it's gonna rain'; in later he work blackhumour cut phrases out of conversations and moved them around, creating new contexts. that work appealed less to me, i must admit. the six selected pieces here are from the period 1996 to 2002 and hold the middle ground between those 'heavy' drone like pieces from the early years and the cut 'n paste pieces of later. repetition plays a big role here, and most of the time it seems like not much is changing here - except for 'arbitrary', which seem to contain glitches from the digital audio tape it was once recorded on (unless this is a dirty cd), which add something to the voice material. Otherwise these pieces are as minimal as you can get, and it's the blackhumour i like very much. it has that fine hypnotic sound, with enough information to concentrate on one thing for a while and then something else. 'le mot juste' is the piece in which things change around into something entirely different. 'revision' adds in density over the course of seventeen minutes before changing over, in order to grow again, which is pretty much a standard blackhumour compositional technique. this is a most wonderful release. it should have fitted on monochrome vision (blackhumour has a strong black and white aesthetic too), but on noise-below is equally in the right place. if you have no idea who blackhumour is or what he does and if 80s unsung cassette heroes is your 'thing', then this cd is the best place to start. my pick of the week. (fdw)
address: http://noise-below.org/

NORBERTO LOBO - FORNALHA (CD by three:four records)
From Lisbon hails Norberto Lobo and plays the acoustic guitar. I never heard of him before, despite his album on Bor Land and four albums on Mbari Music. This CD (also available on LP), has five of his pieces, and they all sound quite different, which is, given the fact he only uses an acoustic guitar and occasionally humming of his voice, is quite remarkable. It's hard to say if there is anything even remotely electronic around here, perhaps there is, and perhaps there isn't. It could be that Lobo has some looping device at hand to produce the more sustaining notes that we find on 'Pen Ward' or on 'Fran', but maybe it howls around in space? Delicate music, so perhaps howling is not the right word for such a thing. Lobo uses a lot of fingerpicking, quite rapid, which gives the music a nice minimal touch. In 'Eu Amo and 'Fornalha' it seems that he plays his six strings with a bow, and there is an element of improvisation in these pieces, along with the use of the voice actually. Here Lobo manages to make his guitar sing like cello but then played in a rather naive styling. 'Maryam', the fifth piece sees the guitar in a percussive mode, kalimba styled and it's also what seems to be the most electronic piece of the five. It's sadly a bit short, thirty-four minutes only, as I would not have minded to have a bit more here. Great one. (FdW)
Address: http://three-four.net

HAKOBUNE - VITEX NEGUNDO (CD by Empiric Records)
MARSEN JULES - MARSEN JULES AT GRM (CD by Oktaf Records)
On the rise in the field of ambient music is Takahiro Yorifuji, who goes by the name of Hakobune, releasing his music around the globe and here finds him with a CD release on Empiric Records (which will also be released on vinyl early next year) and here he has three improvisations on guitar, 'enriched with Ambient loopsets and delicate sound layers from tape'. At the same time I received the new Marsen Jules album, which he recorded already in 2009 at famous GRM studios in Paris. This is the studio started by the Groupe de Recherches Musicales by Pierre Schaeffer and a leading institute when it comes to musique concrete.
This morning I was speaking to some musician friends and we discussed the nature of ambient music, and the fact that everyone was doing it and everyone was doing it well, but it was hard to find something that grabbed you. When I got home, I played Hakobune again and thinking about this discussion and also about the nature of ambient music itself. Is ambient music created to be grabbing the listener? Or is ambient merely to please the listener, to set an atmosphere for the listener, to chill, relax, work, read or possibly even sleep? That's not about grabbing the listener, I'd say? I quite enjoy both of these releases, and probably don't do them justice by reviewing them together, but so it is. It has to do with the fact that they sound very much alike. Slow swelling tones, taking a long time sustain and decay slowly, before the cycle starts all over again. In the case of Hakobune this is all the work of guitars and loop stations to create these dense effects - and I am a bit clueless as what the tape stuff is, and in the case of Jules it is more difficult to define what his sources are, as his two drone pieces are simply dark and a bit amorphous. Not bad, but especially in the case of Jules I wondered what added value there was in going to the GRM studios. I must admit that somewhat eluded me. Lovely and gorgeous as these drones might be, they might have been, for all we know and hear, be made at home on a laptop and headphones. As said, I quite enjoyed both releases, having them on repeat for some time, while relaxing and reading, gazing out of the window; did these releases grab me? Not really, I must admit, but, as argued, I don't believe that is the nature of ambient music. Do they provide a nice backdrop to your environment? Both of these succeed very well at that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.empericrecords.com
Address: http://oktaf.com

CHRS GALARRETA/ANTON MOBIN - ABANDON DEBIT (CD by Felt Collective)
CHRS GALARRETA & JANNEKE VAN DER PUTTEN - INVISIBLE ARCHITECTURE (LP by Aloardi)
SAJJRA (CDR by Aloeardi)
These three releases were to send to me from The Netherlands, where Chrs (which stands for Christian) Galarreta lives, sometimes residing in Paris. He hails from Peru and works with "broken electrical appliances, homemade audio-visual instruments, field streamings, field recordings, feedback systems, the induction of errors in the software-hardware and in the way to play musical instruments" and he has a lot of projects such as "Sajjra (current solo harsh-pop project), DiosMeHaViolado (soloist project sometimes in collaboration with Claudia Machuca, Fabian Escalante, Yuri Gutierrez and Aldo Castillejos), Evamuss (as soloist), Azucena Kantrix (with Wilder Gonzales), Tica (with Fabiola Vasquez), Garrapata (with Gabriel Castillo and Rolando Apolo), Ninguna Ninfula (with Sabrina Melenotte), Miasma (with Sergio Sanchez), 50 Otages (with Mathiu Finisterre, Bernard Bruit and Julien Otavi) among others" (quoting from websites here, as you may have guessed). He's also involved in a lot of more art related projects, sound walks and such like. From the three releases I started with the Sajjra one, for no particular reason, other than perhaps wrongly assuming a solo project might be the best way to start? Or perhaps it's more a false start? Pop is a word that often mis-used, I think. A bit of rhythm, some guitars, keyboards and vocals may sound pop-like, but it's perhaps not really pop-music yet. That seems to be the case on the release as Sajjra. You can hear Galarreta plays with the notion of pop, but these seven pieces are not structured like a pop song, yet. It has all the ingredients for sure, but the loose structure of the pieces sees him toying around with ideas and not thinking about those great pop songs they could be. But for all I know this could entirely be the intention of Galarreta? It surely has a dark feeling to it, which might appeal those who like angst-pop and beyond. I didn't think this was bad music, far from it; I played it with great interest and enjoyed it quite a bit. The Dutch weather is grey and it drizzles all day, so it needs a soundtrack like this. Not something I would easily play a lot.
I then moved to what turned out to be a split CD by Galarreta and Anton Mobin. Both of them worked in January on their respective pieces, and here we find Galarreta in a noisier mood. Maybe also justifies the description he gives of his own work, using broken electrical appliances and errors in software-hardware. Or perhaps it's just the workings on any lo-fi to work with: Dictaphones, walkmans, contact microphones. This is more like it: an endless stream of lo-fi noise sounds streaming towards the listener. Galarreta moves around from very loud passages to more subtle leanings on his beloved antiques cassette machines, all along picking up signals from electrical currents, solar flares or highly amplified mechanics of his device. That may account for the faults in his hardware. A bit long at twenty-five minutes perhaps, but quite nice all the same. Anton Mobin from France works along similar lines; maybe a shared love for lo-fi mechanics is what brought these two together, and Mobin's piece has the same sort of dynamics between the high and low range, acoustic sounds dropping in and all sorts of buzz, sparkle and hiss that such things come with. Maybe perhaps a bit less of the broken software, perhaps? Two great pieces of vivid, imaginative noise music.
The final release by Chrs Galarreta for today is one he composed together with Dutch sound artist Janneke van der Putten, which can be played at 33 or 45 rpm, whatever you want (great!) and it deals with the human voice and the space it sounds in. It's all about reflections the voice can have in a space and how it differs from another space. We all have, probably, the same urge to hum in an empty space, a tunnel or underpass. Here Van der Putten uses her voice and Galarreta is responsible for the composition and microphone techniques; it's not clear if the voice is played in real-time or perhaps the result of play back through a previous recording. Or maybe it's all being picked up in one space - a light tower we read on the cover - and picked up with several microphones placed on various points - near and far away - in this space. Whatever it may be, it sounds great. It sounds like a multi-layered voice piece, humming away and maybe has an ethereal feeling to it, like some religious chant, but the more I heard this, the less I thought this was the case. It has a great, refined drone quality with a tranquil atmosphere, and that hoovers perhaps closely to the world of new age, but it's not. It's probably too dark for that. This is one of those records you should get two copies of and play them together, slowly altering the speed and make an even bigger choir. Of the three this was the one that most appealed to me. (FdW)
Address: https://chrsgalarretaprojects.bandcamp.com
Address: https://sajjra.bandcamp.com

ASI MINA - BIALO (CD by Mik Musik/Bolt Records)
LAUTBILD - PROLETKULT (cassette by Mik Musik)
These two releases on Mik Musik couldn't be more apart. In the words of Tarab (see elsewhere), I'm lost here with the release of Asi Mina. Twelve songs in twenty-five minutes and the press text has a story/text from her on the radio play with the same name 'Bialo', but these songs sound like songs, and as they are sung in Polish, the meaning of all of this is a bit lost on the non-Polish speaker, such as I am. It sounds like a bundle of songs, sung clearly, with an organ to support the vocals and a bit of electronics, electronic drums and bass are also used. This is perhaps an odd form of pop music, or the very weird end of folk music. It all seems to be far outside any references I can make with this. It's great such thing exist, no doubt here, but in stead of trying to fetch attention abroad, I can imagine there is more sense in sending out promotional copies inside Poland. Don't get me wrong: to an extent this certainly belongs to the world of Vital Weekly, but the context is so far out that it's almost impossible to be judged this by me.
On tape we have a new name for Wilhelm Bras, also known to his family as Pawel Kulczynski, and I have no idea why he changed from Bras to Lautbild, although it's a great name; noisy image? The cover mentions a bunch of titles, six to be precise, for the songs and a credit for the photographer. Musicwise it seems that he stays close to his Wilhelm Bras moniker and continues to work with a bunch of analogue synthesizers and ditto rhythm machines, along with the odd sample here and there, to create more life forms of the rudimentary techno genre. It might be the sound carrier of choice here, or perhaps the way the music was recorded, mixed and mastered, but on all of these levels there is refined sense of crudeness going on. I am not too sure if people would actually dance to this kind of music, maybe because I am a no-dancer myself (maybe slo-dancer when time comes and evening progresses), but I quite enjoyed this raw and untamed diamond of dance music. L'House Brut? Think Pan Sonic and take it a bit further. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikmusik.org

SAW - NO WAY BLACK (LP by Lamour)
Somewhere along the way ambient and metal and doom merged together into yet another hybrid form of music, and somehow I missed that boat. Here we have a Norwegian duo named after the amplified saw-blades they use (and most likely maybe also after the movies). Saw, the music group is Tomas Jarmyr on drums and Eirik Havnes on guitar. Apparently they are both on the scene of experimental music for some years in their hometown Trondheim. The three lengthy pieces here are slow burners: they start out moody and then develop into these walls of wild drumming and guitar feedback. The strums are looped and it starts banging around, howling and screaming. It's perhaps indeed quite 'doomy' and 'metal' and on it's first hearing not very ambient, but the pieces are stretched to such a length that indeed there might be some sort of ambient quality to it; a hallucinatory effect which transports the listener away to another place. I quite enjoyed this, even when the heavy weight of the music, or perhaps the masculinity (?), is not really my kind of thing. It's great seasonal music, stormy drifts on a grey day. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lamour.se

DJ MARCELLE - ANOTHER NICE MESS MEETS MOST SOULMATES AT FAUST STUDIO DEEJAY LABORATORY (2LP by Klangbad)
Why a DJ would want to release a LP, or two, is a bit beyond me. Dutch DJ Marcelle worked with three turntables in the studios of Faust. She is considered as 'the only real successor to BBC legend John Peel', but why people consider her that is beyond me. She improvises her sets, and duly lists on the cover what we hear, Pierre Bastien, Hugh Le Caine, Muslimgauze, Mexican music, Steve Roden, Blood Stereo, 2562, and loads more. But you could also take any list of great music and play it on spotify and check out new names - assuming you are not already doing this. Yes, yummy, that's a great collection Marcelle has. This is not music to dance too, but like a trip to other countries and different styles, stuff you may not hear a lot. The most interesting thing on this double pack I think was side four of this in which she collaborates with muscicians, such as Holger Martin, Guido Möbius and Lianne Hall, adding stuff to the sets. I am not sure if this is the best way to discover new music, but perhaps I'm just a miserable/grumpy/sceptical/old man (or all of that), but the point of all this eludes me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.klangbad.de

SUREAU/ROCCO & MIMMO – THE LEUVEN CONCERT (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
An improv trio and an improv duo, both recorded live the Oratorienhof, Leuven, Belgium on October 22nd  2009. Belgian trio Sureau is Jean-Michel Schouwburg (voice), Jean Demey (double bass) and  Kris Vanderstraeten (percussions). Jean Demey started in the folk scene of Antwerp in the 70s, and played with Belgian players like Chris Joris, Pierre Narcisse and Michel Mast. Later he became more interested in multi-ethnic musical combinations. Kris Vanderstraeten is happy with his small self-built drumset and worked regularly with Timo van Luijk (Af Ursin). Van Schouwburg has his roots in the obscure Brussels’ Collectif Inaudible and focused on vocal techniques. The opening improvisation is a breath-taking one and immediately fascinated me. These guys understand how to make totally real music through total improvisation. Very effective and communicative interactions. Also the four improvisations that follow are engaging and not without humour. Subtle and expressive, not in the least by the fine escapdes by the vocalist. Well done, and a good thing to have this released. Trying to find out more about this trio I found they released an album one year earlier on the Creative Sources label. Also Gianni Mimmo (soprano sax) and Enzo Rocco (guitar) do a good job. Gianni Mimmo operates as a saxophonist and composer on the borders of jazz and experiment. Enzo is around since the early 90s as a guitarist, improviser and composer. There is something lyrical about their improvisations, and like Sureau’s they are uplifting and joyful in there spirited dialogues. (DM)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net

STEVEN VINKENOOG - NOCTURNES (cassette by Oggy Records)
The music from Steven Vinkenoog from Arnhem, The Netherlands, always appeals to me. He's the guitarist of Donné & Desiree, and that wild free rock duo is miles away from his solo work. He then has guitar strings moved with ventilators; ebows and such like, and create some wonderful, quiet overtone music. On this cassette he has six pieces 'for semi-acoustic guitar with ebow, humming, whistling and three cassette recorders for live recording and playback' and the listener is urged to get two copies of this (on cassette, as a download, you choose) and actively mix these six pieces together in some way. Each side was recorded in one take. I am biased, you know that already, but I think this is a great release. Very delicate and quiet music, with overtones working excellently; I am not sure how to work the titles, 'Solo', 'Trio', 'Sextet' and 'Duo', 'Quintet' and 'Septet', which I gathered to be some sort of doubling of the sounds, but which I may not hear in the music itself. It's not something I worry about: the music itself is excellent as it is. This is peaceful, quiet music, intended and best enjoyed for a nocturnal playing. Excellent release, nice Xeroxed booklet. (FdW)
Address: http://oggyrecords.blogspot.nl/

SIMON WHETHAM - FROM THE MOUTHS OF CLAY (cassette by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
Somewhat of a traveling person, our Simon Whetham. Early 2013 we found him (not literally of course) in Medellin, Colombia, as a resident of a lab project at the Museo Universitario de la Universidad and Cas Tres Patios, recording and playing back sounds from found objects, much alike Alvin Lucier's 'I'm Sitting In A Room' and to that end he used three pre-Hispanic burial urns and three more recent examples of that, capturing resonances in these urns and playing them back, using small speakers in these urns, as well as two speakers playing the lower tones created by the vessels using the same process, but using a microphone inside each and a larger speaker placed against the outside. I hope I more or less correctly summarized what this tape is about. I expected something more linear, along the lines of the Lucier piece, with sounds gradually evolving and decaying, but here it is straight from the beginning in full on decay. The great thing about the Lucier piece is not the piece itself, but the ideas behind it: to use space as an instrument and work around with sounds and compose with all these elements. That I believe is what Whetham does here; he assembled a whole bunch of recordings from various stages of the process and combines these in such a way that a composition arrives, not linear as with Lucier, but all the more listenable. He takes us on a trip of broken resonant sounds that keep decaying and on side 2 (another piece? a continuation of side 1?) starts to crackle and burst. Great release, which is not close to his more commonly used field recordings work, but in a somewhat different guise this time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.helenscarsdale.com





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