number 957
---------------------
week 47
---------------------

 

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

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud!


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

Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.


help Vital Weekly to survive:






KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH - EUCLID (CD by Western Vinyl) *
THE URGE TRIO – LIVE IN TOLEDO (CD by Veto Records)
ARVE HENRIKSEN – THE NATURE OF CONNECTIONS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
MIRT - KHMER & SIAM RECORDINGS (CD by Saamleng) *
JOHANNES FRISCH & RALF WEHOWSKY - WHICH HEAD YOU'RE DANCING IN (CD by Monotype Records) *
HUBERT ZEMLER - GOSTAK & DOSHES (CD by Monotype Records) *
BENEDICT TAYLOR & ANTON MOBIN - STOW | PHASING (CD by Raw Tonk Records) *
SEKTOR 304 - COMMUNIPHONES (CD by New Approach Records) *
SEKTOR 304 - LIVE REACTION (CD by New Approach Records) *
GINTAS K - BLIND MAN TALES (CD by Bolt Records) *
MARCIN MASECKI - VARIATIONS (CD by Bolt Records) *
JOANNA HALSZKA SOKOLOWSKA - MSZA (CD by Bolt Records) *
REGLER - REGEL #3 (2CD by Turgid Animal Records) *
NATE HALL - ELECTRIC VACUUM ROAR (CD by Heart & Crossbone) *
OWL GLITTERS - ALCHEMICAL TONES (CD by Heart & Crossbone) *
MUJAHIDEEN - DEAD LANGUAGE (LP by Heart & Crossbone) *
GALM QUARTET – TRASH IS THE FUTURE (LP by Another Shape Records)
MYSTERY PLAYS SINGLES CLUB (12" compilation by Mystery Plays)
MARRACH - BLACK BEACON (CDR by Luscinia Discos) *
SVARTA STUGAN - EP3: ASPECTS OF OUR FUTURE LIVES (CDR by, private) *
TASOS STAMOU - MARCHES OF THE BROKEN HEARTS (3"CDR by Orila) *
FROND - THE SECOND CONTINENT (cassette by Esc Rec)
JACK HARRIS & SAMUEL RODGERS - PRIMARY/UNIT II (cassette by Notice Recordings)
CHIK WHITE - JAW WORKS & BEHIND A DEAD TREE ON THE SHORE (cassette by Notice Recordings)
BEN OWEN - BIRDS AND WATER, 4 (cassette by Notice Recordings)
HAPTIC - EXCESS OF VISION: UNRELEASED RECORDINGS, 2005-2014 (cassette by Notice Recordings)



KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH - EUCLID (CD by Western Vinyl)
Originally from the Orcas Island in the northwest region of Washington State, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith studied at Berklee College of Music, first voice and later on classical guitar and piano and 'Euclid' is her first album composed primarily using a Buchla Music Easel synthesizer, her next love. This CD, also available on LP, has a distinct A-side and B-side. The analogue sound of the synthesizer is preserved here but it all sounds quite gentle, without being ambient. I'm not sure if she sampled the sounds and played them, but on the six pieces that make up Side A of the record, there is a nice IDM styled sound, along with some odd tunes. There is a nice of bit of rhythm and quirky melodies, although it all perhaps staying also the sweet side of things. It's not really something that grabbed me as a listener, and it all sounded care- and risk-free. The B-side pieces, twelve in total, are shorter and more ambient in approach, but have a similar sweet approach. Minimalist, painterly, perhaps a bit like Aphex Twin during 'Selected Ambient Works' and more sketch like. While I thought this was all entertaining music, surely pleasantly to hear, and I enjoyed my morning coffee and newspaper, I must also say that beyond these pleasures it didn't add anything else. (FdW)
Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

THE URGE TRIO – LIVE IN TOLEDO (CD by Veto Records)
In the on-going exchange between Luzern and Chicago another chapter is written:  Keefe Jackson (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet), Tomeka Reid (cello) and Christoph Erb (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet) joined their talents. Resulting in a non-typical instrumentation for a jazz trio, as the traditional line up is piano, bass and drum. Keefe Jackson is an important and distinctive musician on the Chicago scene. Tomeka Reid plays in classical as well as jazz contexts, especially in experimental and improvisatory settings. Also she composes for big band, chamber music, etc. Christoph Erb, I only know from his collaborations with American musicians. Not sure but I guess he plays more with these musicians, then Swiss or European colleagues. Anyway, on this new release we hear a live recording from the Robinwood Concert House Toledo, Ohio on October 5th 2013. We witness two extended improvisations ‘Upward Behind The Onstreaming’ and ‘Manne Du Ciel’. The first and most extensive one (25 minutes) is far beyond the jazz vocabular, and is more of a modern classical sound investigation. They play with sound, timbre, phrasing, and dynamics and create tension, contrasts and all kinds of textures. This also counts for the second improvisation that is more extravert. Throughout their intertwined playing shows real togetherness and communication. Worthwhile for those interested in free improvised music. (DM)
Address: http://www.veto-records.ch
 
ARVE HENRIKSEN – THE NATURE OF CONNECTIONS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
The all Norwegian crew on the new album by Henriksen consists of: Nils ěkland (violin, Hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore), Svante Henryson (cello), Gjermund Larsen(violin, Hardanger fiddle), Mats Eilertsen (double bass), Audun Kleive (drums), Henriksen himself on trumpet, piccolo trumpet and piano. Except for the drummer everyone contributed with one or more compositions. So in fact it is much of a group effort. In many of the instrumentals the influence of Nordic folk is evident. The music sounds modest and sober in character. Starting with the delicate and characteristic tone of Henriksen’s trumpet. Not to forget his Shakuhachi-like sound as is to be enjoyed in the opening track. On earlier albums electronics were frequently used in Henriksen’s ambient jazz. Electronics are absent now, and it is a joy to hear him in the company of fantastic players of violin and fiddle. Nevertheless the music strangely sounds equal with earlier albums that make more use of electronics, even though there is more variation concerning the compositions and instrumentation. It has to do with some typical Nordic heaviness that covers his music I conclude. Organic and warm, but at the same time also some sadness inhabits his carefully coloured chamber music. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

MIRT - KHMER & SIAM RECORDINGS (CD by Saamleng)
Tomek Mirt is a busy man. He plays music as Mirt (see Vital Weekly 911 and 839), is a graphic designer and has a label called CatSun. Perhaps he also has a label called Saamleng? A new enterprise for the restless and the wicked? As the title of this release indicates we are dealing here with recordings from the Far East, Cambodja and Siam, and unlike other work by Mirt, which is all about music made with instruments, this new release is all purely based on field recordings. There is one piece on the disc itself, but the lists ten different fragments, and they are named as to what we hear: 'rain, bells and cicadas', 'cicadas and frogs 1' and such like. Obviously we are no strangers here at Vital Weekly with such releases of pure and untreated field recordings. At one point, obviously, I lost my way in this exotic trip, so I was scratching my head at one point and thinking, wow, what a great synth noise. Oh, hold on, this isn't synth noise; it must be 'nest of insects' or 'cicadas and birds', since 'Khmer radio' seemed close behind that. Maybe a travel guide in the form of isolated pieces (without pauses on the CD) would be a better idea, but throughout I thought this was a really fine work. The recordings are excellent and Mirt has made an excellent collage/travelogue out of them. An exciting trip indeed and it makes a cold day in The Netherlands feel a bit nicer, warmer. (FdW)
Address: http://saamleng.pl/index.html

JOHANNES FRISCH & RALF WEHOWSKY - WHICH HEAD YOU'RE DANCING IN (CD by Monotype Records)
HUBERT ZEMLER - GOSTAK & DOSHES (CD by Monotype Records)
Following albums on Korm Plastics and Waystyx, this is the third album by Johannes Frisch (also known from the Kammerflimmer Kollectif) on double bass and Ralf Wehowsky, previously known as RLW, here taking credit for 'all other instruments and sound transformation'. I didn't hear the release on Waystyx, their second collaboration. It's interesting to note that Wehowsky works a lot with people from the world of improvised music, such as Bruce Russell and Frisch. It seems this is fertile ground for whatever it is that he is doing. In these eight pieces here the playing of the double bass is always present, always audible, but through many big and small transformations it becomes part of a big electro-acoustic work. What's interesting to note here is the use of rhythm. Not via the use of a conventional drum machine (although 'Dub Clap Move' may suggest otherwise), I guess, but via cut 'n paste of sounds (sometimes reminding me of damaged DAT tapes) into extremely small blocks of sound, which Wehowsky then cooks up as rhythms. They stutter about and add an interesting dynamic to the record. I guess it's not their intention to make dance music, and it surely isn't dance music at all, but it's strange perhaps to find such an amount of rhythm on this record. It makes a fine difference for once, even the drum 'n bass of the aforementioned 'Dub Clap Move' is not really my cup of tea. This is quite a forceful record, noisier perhaps than I expected to it, away from the more careful musique concrete constructions of earlier works.
More traditional improvisation is to be found on the CD by Hubert Zemler, of whom I didn't hear before. He plays 'drums and percussion', with on two pieces the help of Milosz Pekala on vibraphone. The music was recorded in the vault of the Camaldolese Church in Warsaw, early 2013. This is an album of quite some silent approaches and sheer elegance. Zemler plays his kit with great care, with gentle strokes, soft brushes and mild attack. Sometimes it seems that there is some sort of electronic processing going on; I couldn't figure how that worked. Maybe its just resonances picked up in space, which it probably is, but it gives a nice additional texture to the music. Maybe Zemler found other ways plays to create sounds using drums and percussion, which accounts for these textured sounds? The overall tone of these six pieces here is that of minimalism. Zemler uses the 'less is more' approach, playing slow, meditative music and, as said, with some fine elegance. You may need to put up the volume a bit more, perhaps, when playing this, in order to hear all the beauty that is sometimes a buried below the surface. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://monotyperecords.com/

BENEDICT TAYLOR & ANTON MOBIN - STOW | PHASING (CD by Raw Tonk Records)
Only two weeks ago we reviewed a split CD with Anton Mobin and Chrs Galarreta, here it's Mobin working together with Benedict Taylot, a viola player, of whom I never heard. They met in 2012 playing on the same night and then played a couple of more concerts and then started to record and work on 'Stow | Phasing'. Mobin plays here an instrument of his own making, which he called 'prepared chamber',  a technique to manipulate metallic objects contained within the Prepared Chamber - and yes, I have no idea how that looks like. Taylor played with Evan Parker and Steve Beresford before, among others. In the eight pieces on this CD, lasting some fifty minutes, they explore their instruments, and in Taylor's case this is quite clear cut: this is a viola being plucked, scraped, bent and bowed. It never sounds unlike a viola. Taylor's playing is not unlike that of Agencement in his early days. Mobin's contribution, on the other hand, is bit more difficult to dissect, perhaps because I have no idea how a prepared chamber should sound like. It's however a vague rumble of metallic objects, without sounding overtly like percussion, that it is what we hear. More objects inside a box that sound perhaps a bit muffled. This is not easy music, I thought and not easy to like. Maybe it's all oke, but I also found variations between pieces rather limited and altogether a long release. There is perhaps a limit to things being nervous and hectic whilst touching various surfaces? (FdW)
Address: http://rawtonkrecords.bandcamp.com

SEKTOR 304 - COMMUNIPHONES (CD by New Approach Records)
SEKTOR 304 - LIVE REACTION (CD by New Approach Records)
If I get two CDs by one band at the same time, I suspect one is new and the other a bit older, but the opportunity is used to send that one too. However, it seems, that in this case both CDs are brand new. I heard Sektor 304 before, when I reviewed their album 'Subliminal Actions' in Vital Weekly 822 and I wasn't blown away by that. On 'Communiphones' Sektor 304 is halved and it's only Gustavo Costa (field recording and processing) and Andre Coelho (synthesizers and electronics) are present, and the music is a thirty-five minute piece 'aiming for a monolithic and dronish paranoid ambience' as they write in the press text. It's not really a traditional drone here, but rather synthesizers playing sustained sounds, although not always very long. It sets the mood for a while, until another deep bass rumble is found and that one is played. On top there is reverb-drenched recordings of walking in cavernous spaces, the metallic junk one stumbles upon in the garage after dark and such like field recordings. While nothing was really surprising here, I must admit I quite enjoyed this release. It didn't come across as paranoid, but it had a nice dark ambient feel to it. A winner compared to the previous release, but perhaps not very representative to their sound?
We find that out on 'Live Reaction', a collection of eight live recordings from 2010 to 2012. Martin Bladh supplies vocal recordings on the first and fifth piece. Here Sektor 304 is a four piece group: Joao Filipe (steel barrel, percussions, plastics, power tools, junk, abuse), Gustavo Costa (drums, junk percussions, gongs), Andre Coelho (vocals, electronics, power tools, amplified scrap metal, abuse) and Henrique Fernandes (electric double bass, amplified steel plate), which shows, perhaps, what kind of band Sektor 304 is: an all out industrial music one. When complete in line-up of course. Think Neubauten, SPK, Boy Dirt Car. Lots of screaming, lots of rhythm and lots of noise. Like I said about the previous release in Vital Weekly 822: I once, many years ago, may have liked this, and I can imagine very well this is great in concert (even I would like that still), but it's simply no longer something I play at home. (FdW)
Address: http://newapproachrecords.wordpress.com

GINTAS K - BLIND MAN TALES (CD by Bolt Records)
MARCIN MASECKI - VARIATIONS (CD by Bolt Records)
JOANNA HALSZKA SOKOLOWSKA - MSZA (CD by Bolt Records)
These three releases look alike, so perhaps they are part of some series? Bolt Records is all about 'new music in Eastern Europe' and these people surely are from Eastern Europe. I started with Gintas K, simply because of the three I know his work best. He presents here a work from 2010, about which he writes: "At the end of summer a couple of years ago I felt quite disappointed with my latest works. So, preparing program for a radio art festival I dropped occasionally more than 40 summer files to multi-channel software. I started to listen and I was in astonished.... After some tiny corrections it became "Blind Man Tales". That's always the best approach: just do something randomly, let machines run for a while and see what's going to happen, get a fresh look. Gintas K can still surprise us, too. While I don't always like this work, I am always keen to hear it. Sometimes it moves too much along familiar lines of glitch music, and here the glitches are also apparent, but play a part in a bigger picture, the forty minutes of the title piece; the second piece is only five minutes and acts a sort of coda. Gintas K moves, loop-wise, through ambient passages, noise, click and cuts and creates a fine modern composition. Not every second is equally strong here, but Gintas K moves with fine, gentle strokes through the sonic paint and puts on nice big strokes. Not his best work to date, but surely among the best.
I never heard of Marcin Masecki, a Polish pianist, and about 'Variations' I read on the Bolt Records website that he "composed the new work inspired by famous composition of Frederic Rzewski and invited another pianist Piotr Nowicki to perform it. Then he came to conclusion, that the work is a failure…". Why release a failure, I thought? I am confused. The nineteen pieces here all quite short and based on the Chilean Song 'El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido', except the twelfth one, which is longer, just over nine minutes. This is all very modern classical playing; going all over the keyboard but not playing smoothly like a Satie piece. It's all quite hard-core modern classical stuff, and some of it I enjoyed and some I found tedious annoying.
I also never heard of Sokolowska, whose album is a studio version of a chamber opera, which started with John Barton Wolgamot’s poem „In Sara Mencken, Christ and Beethoven there were men and women”, which is also the starting point of a composition by Robert Ashley by the same name. Its goal is 'bringing thousands of people together, everyone equal, nobody playing secondary role'. This is a work that is voice heavy, along with other instruments, also played by Sokolowska, such as organ, although the piano is by Jerzy Rogiewicz. The voice speaks, sings and hums around here, and perhaps is telling us a story, but maybe it's not one that is easy to understand or comprehend. It's not unlike an Ashley piece, moody, atmospheric and a modern day radio drama. Indeed a chamber opera, in which perhaps only a visual aspect lacks. This is all quite poetic music: not entirely easy to grasp, but you can easily sense the beauty of the work. At that Sokolowska created an excellent work. If radio drama were always like this, I'd sign up straight away for owning a radio! (FdW)
Address: http://www.boltrecords.pl/

REGLER - REGEL #3 (2CD by Turgid Animal Records)
Mattin shows up again, this time as one/fourth or one/third of Regler. He plays guitar here, while Anders Bryngelsson is the drummer. On both discs Henrik Andersson is the bass player and one disc has Yoann Durant on saxophone. Both discs are called 'Regel #3', which might be their third axiom: 'play as hard and fast as possible for an hour'. And that's exactly what's happening here: two hours, exactly, of fast and loud free jazz. Without the saxophone it sounds a bit more rock like, and with the saxophone a bit more free jazz like, as in 'jazz' like. It's quite a sit through, and I admit I didn't play both discs in one row. But in order to enjoy this little onslaught best, I suggest you sit back, and do nothing for this entire hour. Just play this at a volume which serves you best, but make sure it's loud - as loud as you can bear, or as loud as your environment permits you. Just immersive yourself fully and totally into this, and it feels like a refreshing bath. Maybe a bath of mud and clay, sticky and dirty, but it's well worth the trouble. If you feel like it, you could play the second disc straight away, but that is entirely at your own risk. I don't think 'excellent' is the right word for this, but I would like to use it, alongside the words 'consistent' and 'lunacy'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mutant-ape.co.uk/

NATE HALL - ELECTRIC VACUUM ROAR (CD by Heart & Crossbone)
OWL GLITTERS - ALCHEMICAL TONES (CD by Heart & Crossbone)
MUJAHIDEEN - DEAD LANGUAGE (LP by Heart & Crossbone)
A man (?) with long hair whose face we can't see with lots of tattoo's, a guitar and amps: yes that's how we imagine a rock star and how the music press enjoys his heroes. Not me. I can only think: why would you want to use such a picture? I never heard of Nate Hall, the vocalist and guitarist of U.S. Christmas (also never heard of that), and 'Electric Vacuum Roar' is second solo album. He plays guitar, synth, floor tom and bells along with Brett Netson on guitar and bass. Two pieces here, clocking in at just less than thirty minutes. I expected some slow doom metal - perhaps expected for no good reason - but I quite enjoyed what I heard. The music is indeed slow, and has a psychedelic feel to it, especially in the opening piece 'Dance Of The Prophet' with a bunch of layered and distorted guitars, a vocal howl and occasional percussion. I was expected Jim Morrison to tone in at any time, while Ray Manzarek was not on duty. The other piece, 'Long Howling Decline/People Fall Down' starts with a similar guitar wail, but breaks down in more distorted blues spirit towards the end.
Also from the USA are Owl Glitters, and we can also find them in the world of psychedelic music: just a look at the computer based cover design is enough. If there is grittiness, dirt in the psychedelic music of Nate Hall, under-the-underground, then Owl Glitters are the just-underground group. They take their cues from tribal music, sufi chanting and vaguely hippie atmospheres. You can smell incense coming out of your speakers. It has a pseudo? quasi? real? religious atmosphere this music, with tribal percussive bits, collective chanting and a bit of psychedelic rock, via the use of distortion - mildly of course. I would not if this would be an unearthed re-issue from a record by a band who made one record in 1970 in an edition and then disappeared again, but neo-anything is always possible these days, so it might be their grandchildren having dug up the Radha Krishna Temple record Apple Records released in late sixties. Do I like this? Oh yes, I actually do! I also liked that Apple Records and this 2014 incarnation (re-incarnation!) becoming Owl Glitters works equally well. Not to play everyday: one might run the risk of levitation.
On LP we find Mujahideen from Jerusalem - 'a bewildered city which is also a micro cosmos of Israeli society on-going debasement and vulnerable sphere for a daily clash of repressed enslavement, traditions, values and languages struggling to survive'. The lyrics are mostly in Hebrew and on the cover are translated as 'Greed' (actually a cover from another Israel band), 'Vengeance', 'Culture Slaves', 'Progress And Order', and such like, but obviously some the lyrics don't mean anything to me. But judging from the fierce and violent music these are probably not songs of love and devotion. Backed by heavy rhythm machines, bass, guitars and double layered voices: a nice wall of postpunk sound is the true spirit here; the band makes their own references to P.I.L., Killing Joke, Suicide, The Fall and Mark Stewart and all of that is not unreasonable and can easily be heard in this music. A furious album of much political content (or discontent, probably) and a fine blast of aggression. Just the way I like these sorts of things. (FdW)
Address: http://hcbrecords.com

GALM QUARTET – TRASH IS THE FUTURE (LP by Another Shape Records)
Galm Quartet is an international improvising ensemble: George Hadow (UK, drums), Andreas Fulgosi (IT, baritone guitar), Laurens van der Wee (NL, no-input mixer), Michael Foster (US, saxophones). Let me introduce the musicians: Michael Foster is a Brooklyn based saxophonist, improvisor, and multi-instrumentalist. George Hadow set his first steps in the music scene in South Devon before moving to Amsterdam in 2012 to plunge into the Dutch improv scene. His Dutch companion however in this unit, Laurens van der Wee, has a background in electronic music with a special interest in autonomous works on the edge of composition and performance. Andreas Fulgosi studied at the Montreux Jazz School and the Bern Jazz School, with Mick Goodrick, John Scofield and Wolfgang Muthspiel. What I learn from his biography is that he has a special interest in the African jazz and improv scene, and played a lot on this continent. Very different backgrounds, but they make a fantastic tight unit.
Their well-recorded debut album is recorded in Vilnius by Tomas Verbaitis and mixed in New York by Jason LaFarge. Why not. The album has the complete set played on October 10th 2013. The album opens with a high energy battle. They continue with another loud, noisy improvisation before showing other faces, and play open improvisations as well of different dynamics. Weird interludes from van der Wee, Foster blowing his soul out, distorted riffs and motives by Fulgosi and great drumwork by Hadow. They built their structures with a sense of urgence, and they sound together, fresh and very eager. They really go for it, and you can compare them a bit with Cactus Truck and The Ex-related outfits, who also deal in rough, full power improvisations. Excellent work! (DM)
Address: http://www.anothershaperecords.com

MYSTERY PLAYS SINGLES CLUB (12" compilation by Mystery Plays)
If you go to the website mentioned in this review, you will be redirected to the bandcamp page of the label and you'll see ten identical covers, the Singles Club project, ten singles by ten artists. And singles are literal here: just one piece. Suppose you are a DJ, of the variety still carrying heavy vinyl around, you might want to get the 12" with four of the ten singles. A best-of? The most promising new artists in this club? Or is there more to come? Hard to say, but here we have label boss Inch-time (Stefan Panczak) with a slow number with one Olie Brice on double bass and a nice laidback, jazzy tune. AM/PM opened up this side with a similar laidback construction but then from the world of house. Sam Britton and Oliver Brown are Icarus and their drum & bass, jazz, sound collage didn't do much for me, but that's perhaps I never got drum & bass to start with, all those years ago. Only to be consumed with the right (amount of) drugs, should be the government health warning. Shoeb Ahmad, who has an album before on this label, continues here what he set out to explore: vaguely pop inspired, reverb drenched vocal, a bit of shoegazing meets dream pop, with the influence of Mark Hollis never far away. Here too it's laidback, but more like smokey film-noir atmosphere, the soundtrack to jazz club in the mid-50s. I need to pick up pipe-smoking again. 3/4: a great record. Excellent presentation too, like one is used from Mystery Plays. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysteryplaysrecords.com

MARRACH - BLACK BEACON (CDR by Luscinia Discos)
From the home of quality, Luscinia Discos, another release from a Lithuanian composer, following Estonian Sebastian Wesman on the same label, we have here one Marrach, which stands for Martin Rach. He has three pieces on 'Black Beacon' and the cover doesn't tell us about the instruments used, or who plays them. So judging by our ears, there is drums, bass and guitars and perhaps the additional use of electronics plus a saxophone in the opening piece 'Shining' and a piano in the final piece 'Luminescence Decay'. There is a rockist agenda in this music that leans towards a bit of rock jazz, but there is also a bit of nifty studio manipulation, again especially in the last piece. This is a most curious release! It's a bit of a lot: a bit of free jazz, a bit of rock, a bit of studio manipulation (think Biota or Mnemomists) and a nice hybrid of it all. I assume Marrach plays all of this himself and is also responsible for the mixing, editing and processing and whatever else is necessary to create the final result. It's perhaps more rock like than I would expect on Luscinia Discos, but it's a very consistent high quality (also in presentation) music. Maybe not entirely my cup of tea but it's overall an interesting release. (FdW)
Address: http://luscinia.ruidemos.org

SVARTA STUGAN - EP3: ASPECTS OF OUR FUTURE LIVES (CDR by, private)
Just today someone remarked I look exactly like Rutger Hauer in 'Blade Runner' and confused from this message I returned home to find the third release by Swedish band Svarta Stugan. This trio started out in 2012 combining a mutual love for Twin Peaks and Blade Runner. They call themselves 'twee-noise/post-rock' - the latter denomination I heard before, but never of 'twee-noise'. This third release is an EP, six pieces in nineteen minutes and shows their musical love for Radiohead and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but clearly without the longitude of the latter's pieces. Two guitar players and a drummer, with also bits of synth, noise, mayhem and themes thrown in. I only like Radiohead to a certain extent and Godspeed quite a bit, but all of that more as a private interest: I have no claim to knowing anything about twee-noise and/or post rock. I do know that this is a varied bunch of tunes. There are indeed nicely stomping rock pieces ('Neo-Futuristic' and 'Damn Good Coffee' (you can take Twin Peaks also a bit too far) but also the introspective, almost synthi piece of 'Street View' and the free jazz of 'Drums In The Light Of Christ' and the wailing and blearing of a saxophone in 'Unbirth', not a particular favourite here. But all of these pieces are rather short and to the point. I can't compare with earlier releases, but throughout I thought this was all quite all right. Not great, not bad, quite entertaining and maybe a bit too obvious in their references. (FdW)
Address: http://svartastugan.bandcamp.com

TASOS STAMOU - MARCHES OF THE BROKEN HEARTS (3"CDR by Orila)
With the release of 'Marches Of The Broken Hearts', Tasos Stamou completes a trilogy of 3"CDR releases for Orila; see also Vital Weekly 875 and 906. Stamou records his music on a mini portable 4-track recorder and uses 'a variety of homebrew electronics and vintage keyboards, domestic objects and traditional instruments (violin, zither, whistles and melodica). Again the pieces are quite brief, in two instances longer than three minutes, but usually shorter. There is a nice organic feel to his music: just a few sounds, samples and a bit of melody. But there also seems to be a small difference with the previous releases. It seems all a bit more abstract than before and also a bit darker perhaps. Maybe it's just my imagination running wild here? There is still the approach of 'do-it-yourself as the machines won't do it for you' here that is part of the Stamou work ethic as we have seen before. And with the sparse ideas per track, it's good that it's no longer than twenty-two minutes. Great series and it makes me curious to see what his next move will be. (FdW)
Address: http://orila.net

FROND - THE SECOND CONTINENT (cassette by Esc Rec)
Behind Frond we find one Richard Bultitude, who has been producing music since being a teenager and in his mid-twenties he had a project called Point B, of which I never heard. Frond is his latest outing and 'The Second Continent' is the first cassette on Esc Rec (known so far mostly for their downloads and CDRs). The cover doesn't mention any instruments, but me thinks there is surely a guitar around here, maybe a synthesizer and electronics for sure. Also part of the game might be the use of field recordings but if they are, they might be heavily processed, down here somewhere, although in 'Urban Glow' we sensor the call or birds. The music is all very ambient but of the variety with a darker undercurrent. There is a lot of darker tension brooding underneath the waves here; nothing seems carefree really. That of course is a great thing. There is a certain darker side to the music, an angular side if you will that is a bit nasty, without being noisy. Now of course it might be the fact that this is released on a cassette, but it's also in the music itself. It's all quite nice, but at the same time, it's also something that I heard before. That is perhaps the downside of this. It sounds great but also a bit unsurprising. Think Fennesz, Hecker, Mathieu and all the other likes who melt their guitar and/or field recordings through the use of the computer into icy, atmospheric blocks of sound, even when Frond uses an electric piano here and there on top of things. On a rainy Sunday afternoon however such contemplations may not matter, and it's just the beauty that counts. (FdW)
Address: http://www.escrec.com

JACK HARRIS & SAMUEL RODGERS - PRIMARY/UNIT II (cassette by Notice Recordings)
CHIK WHITE - JAW WORKS & BEHIND A DEAD TREE ON THE SHORE (cassette by Notice Recordings)
BEN OWEN - BIRDS AND WATER, 4 (cassette by Notice Recordings)
HAPTIC - EXCESS OF VISION: UNRELEASED RECORDINGS, 2005-2014 (cassette by Notice Recordings)
Four new releases on Chicago's Notice Recordings and we review them in chronological, release, order. Samuel Rodgers might be known from his own label, Consumer Waste, and here works with one Jack Harris. They are working, recording, in a space here with windows open, so we hear some outside sounds, as opposed to pre-recorded field recordings. They don't use any traditional instruments, but only 'amplified object manipulation, cable hum and different types of feedback', which they move around the room in which they record. I assume this is all live, without much manipulation of any kind, both in the process of getting this recorded, as well as post-recording - no editing of some kind, although the cover says 'mixed by Rodgers', so maybe it has been recorded from various angles. I also assume this is without an audience of any kind, but I could think this would be fascinating to see. The sounds they produce are quite fascinating to hear, so I assume them pushing around these objects through space could be likewise interesting to watch. That's one side of the game. This tape is also quite long and both sides do not seem to differ very much, even when they are recorded a year apart in two different locations. 'Unit 11' seems a bit more reliant on feedback sounds and less on the loosely structured hovering around of objects, but it's all a bit too long. Editing this down a bit would have been nice, I think. Quite a Fluxus inspired stream of consciousness sounds if you are willing to open up.
Darcy Spidle, owner of Divorce Records, goes by the name of Chik White when playing the jaw harp. Here on this cassette we find on the side that is called 'Jaw Works' eight pieces of jaw harp playing, at home or in the studio I assume, as on the other side, called 'Behind A Dead Tree On The Shore', the jaw harp was 'recorded under a mud cliff, behind an upside down tree in Seaforth, Nova Scotia. These cliffs line the coast and can be heard quietly slipping into the sea at all hours of the day. Trees fall to the rocks from the tops of these cliffs when the soil that houses their roots break away'. The jaw harp may seem a silly folk instrument - well, to some it may seem like that - but it's played here with some great style. Obviously I studied the press text and cover while listening to this, so I know it's a jaw harp, but I wonder what I would have made of it, had I not known this. Maybe I'd guessed it right, but on the other hand I could have mumbled something about a synthesizer being played of a very homemade origin? That is especially the case on the first side, as on the second side it seems to be a more 'regular' jaw harp, but then the sea waves provide an interesting additional texture. This is all consistent, music-wise and at forty or so minutes this is surely also long enough.
Somewhere along the lines I may have missed out upon 'Birds And Water', the second and third instalment, but I did hear the first one, also released on cassette by Notice Recordings (see Vital Weekly 804). In 2010 Owen was on residency with The Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY and worked with some of the in-house electronic equipment, 'set of keyers, a multi-input syncable sequencer and a bank of oscillators'. Inspired by the bird that 'hovered as dusk approaches over the Susquehanna River, which borders the residency building', Owen creates some deep end drone music here. On the previous volume I heard Owen produced more washes of sound, and here it's two times twenty minutes of pure sustaining drone music. Forty minutes of music, but you could have this on for hours on a low volume that is loud enough to fill up your environment. This is the kind of drone that you heard before, perhaps, but which is still very nice. Owen is very capable of creating his own excellent variation here.
It's been a while since I last heard music by Haptic, a trio from Chicago of Adam Sonderberg, Joseph Clayton Mills and Steven Hess, who had some great releases on Entr'acte years ago. Their music is largely improvised using a variety of instruments and electronics, in a fine electro-acoustic tradition. Here we have two pieces with two guests, Tony Buck on the first side, and Salvatore Dellaria on the other, and as there are only two pieces, the title could have been 'unreleased recordings 2005 & 2014'. Or maybe they are a construct of some kind, out of more recordings? That last thing I actually doubt. Both of these pieces last somewhere around twenty minutes and are slow builders. From just one or two sounds things start to build and grow and slowly new sounds are added. It's not easy to say what kind of instruments are used, but surely a fair amount of electronics and Hess' drum kit being played with bows and objects to generate more (more and more) deep drone like sounds, creating a vast landscape of sound; a beautiful scape of sound, an picture of vast open space with some greyish clouds above them. Of the four releases this is the one that is the one that is most 'musical' (relatively speaking) and perhaps least conceptual; it's for me the one that is simply the best out of these four. Twice an excellent flow of sounds, rolling majestically about. It's good to hear music of Haptic again. (FdW)
Address: http://noticerecordings.blogspot.com














<<<