number 958
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week 48
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MAJA S.K. RATKJE & EUGNENIUSZ RUDNIK - IN DIALOGUE WITH (CD by Bolt Records)
HELGE STEN - MONOCHROMES (CD by Bolt Records)
KARE KOLBERG - ATTITUDES (2CD by Bolt Records) *
STEN HANSON - MY LAST WORKS (CD by Fylking Records) *
A-SYMMETRY - I AM LIFE (CD by AGF Producktion) *
SIDNEY CORBETT – THE LONGINGS (CD by Made From Nothing/Edition Kopernikus)
YORIKO IKEYA & KLAUS SCHÖPP – SONGS OF A DESERT BIRD (CD by Made From Nothing/Edition Kopernikus)
RADIAN & HOWE GELB - RADIAN VERSES HOWE GELB (CD by Radian Releases) *
ZEITKRATZER - WHITEHOUSE (CD by Zeitkratzer Records) *
PAUL BARAN - THE OTHER (CD by Fang Bomb) *
COR FUHLER & JIM DENLEY - TRUANCY (CD by Split Records) *
SULT - SVIMMELHED (CD by Humbler/Conrad Sound) *
DANAE STEFANOU - [HEREWITH] (LP by Holotype Editions)
LAWRENCE ENGLISH & WERNER DAFELDECKER - SHADOW OF THE MONOLITH (LP by Holotype Editions)
FERGUS KELLY - UNNATURAL ACTUALITY (CDR by Room Temperature) *
L.H.D. - TRANSITIONS (CDR by Klappstuhl) *
MARTIN KAY - ALL THINGS METAL (CDR by 3Leaves) *
FOSSILS - THE CARDIGAN HOUR (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
STATIC SOUND - DEAD BY XENOPHILIA (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
STATIC SOUND - WHITE CHRISTIAN POWER (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
STATIC SOUND - DEUS VULT (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
COUNT PORTMON (CDR by Poli5)
PYTHON VS COBRA / COCO /HUH - THE DISCUSSION (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
FEINE TRINKERS BEI PINKELS DAHEIM - LIVE AT LAB.30 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
KAPALI CARSI/NYM (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
MODELBAU - CATARACT (cassette by Licht-ung) *
THE LONG HALF DAY (USB by Slightly Off Kilter Label)


MAJA S.K. RATKJE & EUGNENIUSZ RUDNIK - IN DIALOGUE WITH (CD by Bolt Records)
HELGE STEN - MONOCHROMES (CD by Bolt Records)
KARE KOLBERG - ATTITUDES (2CD by Bolt Records)
Last week we had a bunch of releases on Bolt Records with an Eastern European background, this bundle got support by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway (although not mentioned on the release by Helge Sten actually) and have all three Norwegian roots. Two of these come with extensive booklets and information. The first release is by Norwegian sound artist Maja S.K. Ratkje, who was invited, be in some sort of dialogue with pieces by Eugeniusz Rudnik. There are two of his pieces on this CD, some twenty minutes in total, and in the middle a thirty-minute piece by Ratkje. The pairing of these two has to do with the fact they both use a lot of voice material in their music and it's Ratkje paying homage to the work of Rudnik. In the first piece by him it's perhaps not that obvious to hear it's based on voice material, even it's part of it. It could, perhaps, be any kind of fine electro-acoustic treatment of voice material as well as perhaps something else. 'Divertimento' (1971) is a great piece, one from the canon of modern electronic music. It's not easy to say why, but within these ten minutes there is a lot of slowed down voice, repetition and wackiness: it's perhaps a fun piece. In Rudnik's other piece, 'Breakfast On The Grass In The Cave of Lascaux', from 2002, there is more slowed down voice, but with an updated technology, it sounds also a bit like rehash of 'Divertimento', but seems to be missing the same playfulness. It's not a bad piece at all, but perhaps a bit too serious in comparison. Ratkje's piece combines more things: her voice, field recordings and electronics. Her piece has also some nice playful elements, owing to the world of improvised music perhaps more than Rudnik’s pieces, and is more distributed over the thirty minutes her piece lasts. There is a fine element of 'roughness' here, like dictaphone abuse and other lo-fi sounds, making this excursion a nicely bumpy ride at times, but also quiet when needed. Great one.
The next release confused me a bit. No funding means no text equals no context? The cover says 'Helge Sten' and 'Monochromes' and surely there are five pieces, totalling twenty-eight minutes, but also a twenty-two minute piece by Tomasz Sikorski, mentioned on the inside. Why isn't he on the front? The website sadly doesn't reveal more. Sten is also known as Deathprod and a leading member of Supersilent, creating the sound for them when they are done with recording. He has five pieces here, as said, four parts of 'Quad' and the title piece, 'Mononchromes'. These pieces are not unlike each other, and have that trademark Sten sound. It's drone like, based on sampling and time stretching and comes with a bit of sound effects; that sounds easy when one writes it like this, but it isn't that easy. At least not in the hands of Sten. It sounds great. Intense, shaped, defined, gliding and sustaining; it all sounds so easy, and who knows: maybe it is easy, but it's excellent stuff. There is not a lot of difference between 'Quad' and 'Monochromes': both are great. The piece by Sikorski is also great. It fits very much the pieces by Sten, even when it seems a little bit more subdued and slower in development, but maybe that's also because he spends more time in building his piece up. It seems to me that he employs similar techniques in creating his music. All in all a very subdued form of musique concrete meeting drone music.
The last one is a double CD and is granted the most text here. I didn't hear of Kare Kolberg before, but I understand he is one of the pioneers when it comes to electronic music in Norway, having composed the first piece of computer music. In the 90s he concentrated on composing for acoustic instruments again, as some many of his generation seemed to be doing. 'Attitudes' combines a bunch of pieces from the 70s and 90s, even up to 2003, the last piece he did. It follows, I believe, a more or less chronological order. It seems to be starting with some of the more roughly shaped works, created under then primitive circumstances, but already by 'The Emperor's New Tie', from 1973, the first computer piece, it's all a bit more smooth. These newer pieces seem to be a bit too academic for my taste, especially the two from the 1990s. 'Amore', the most recent work here, from 2003, is quite nice, especially for that smoothness and academia. The best pieces were on disc one, many of which take the voice as starting material. These have crude treatments, such as in 'Agathe', but never becomes really noise like. Or the politically inspired 'Omgivelser', about environmental issues, with it's machine gun fire and cabaret sounds, a fine collage of treated and untreated sounds. Maybe sometimes a big long, as in 'Nova', but if you like this sort of old musique concrete than this is certainly someone to investigate. Great overview of the work of yet another pioneer. (FdW)
Address: http://www.boltrecords.pl/

STEN HANSON - MY LAST WORKS (CD by Fylking Records)
Last year Sten Hanson died and 'My Last Works' contains four pieces, which he performed in the last years of his life. As with the releases on Bolt Records, reviewed elsewhere, this comes with an extensive booklet, which, after you read, makes everyone an expert on Sten Hanson (despite two errors in which some of the Dutch (!) is left in, I assume by whoever corrected these texts, but forgot to edit these comments out - the only flaw in here). Hanson, born in 1936, started out as a poet and writer, and then, in the early 60s discovered Fluxus, sound poetry (Henri Chopin, Ake Hodell) and started use to repetition in his own sound poetry work, using reel-to-reel tape machines, tape loops and such like. In the late 70s he also produced electronic music and he was part of the Electronic Music Studio in Stockholm, and connected to Fylkingen. It's through the latters label this CD with four last works is released (Dutch record label De Player will release a 10" vinyl version in case you are interested in such a thing) and it is fine showcase of Hanson's various interests. It opens with what will turn out, for me at least, the best piece of the CD, 'Sweet Jesus'. Hanson recites biblical names, Jesus, Maria, Joseph and Sarah, which are repeated and layered together, very much like Steve Reich once did with 'It's Gonna Rain' (to mention that for once, and not 'Come Out', for it's prayer like aspects), but it works very well in the Hanson case. It has a great, motorik drive, and subtly changes over the course of the piece. Almost like a religious chant: the many names of god? Alike, and likewise great, is the piece 'Klipp Mig For Fan' ('cut me for damn sake'), making rephrasing, not unlike 'Kick That Habit Man' by Brion Gysin. It's a great eighteen-minute piece. 'Moosebranch' is an electronic piece, in which Hanson uses samples of Leif Elggren and less voice material. It makes up an interesting piece with some nice rough editing. I quite enjoyed that piece. 'Rann Sten' is wordplay on his first name, but also on the Swedish word 'Gutter', and here Hanson recites a story, but in Swedish and it's hard to understand, but it comes with Gregorian chants and weird cuts every now and then. It works well, but for me is the least interesting piece of this release. Perhaps because it dwells too much on a language which I don't understand? All together, music and booklet, a fitting farewell to a master of the genre. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fylkingen.se

A-SYMMETRY - I AM LIFE (CD by AGF Producktion)
This is of course wordplay: A-Symmetry can also be asymmetry. It's the collaboration between Antye Greie-Ripatti (AGF, as it says on the cover, but that was before she got married) and Natalie Beridze (TBA), of whom I never heard. Maybe this is music for an installation? The cover may indicate at such. In much of the work of AGF the voice plays an important role, but in this case it's a bit less, it seems. The thirteen pieces here rhythm plays a bit role, maybe created from heavily treated voices, maybe for a different source, like a drum computer. This is all very much 'laptop' based music, owing to the world of techno music, but as far as I, non-dancer, can judge not necessarily something one could dance too. The pair samples acoustic sounds, created non-sequential blocks of sound, which repeat here and there, overlapping each other, crossing roads but it's not easy to get very excited about all of this. The production is excellent, crisp, clear and deep, and in '11 Lives' it works into a coherent piece, but it's more of a rarity, I think. It's not easy to figure what A-Symmetry actually wants with the music. Maybe the whole intention is to play something that is asymmetric? In which case they succeed admirably. But among the thirteen pieces I could find few that I really grabbed me. I would have preferred more straight forward dance beats I guess, or something that was way out more abstract, and not this-nor-that. (FdW)
Address: http://agfproducktion.com/

SIDNEY CORBETT – THE LONGINGS (CD by Made From Nothing/Edition Kopernikus)
YORIKO IKEYA & KLAUS SCHÖPP – SONGS OF A DESERT BIRD (CD by Made From Nothing/Edition Kopernikus)
First two releases of the new Berlin-based Edition Kopernikus-sublabel. It is a new subsection from the Made from Nothing-label, that is run by Corbett and Tino Schüllermann, concentrating on the latest of modern composed music. Corbett comes from Chicago, studied music and philosophy at the University of San Diego, and from 1985 up to 1988 in Hamburg with György Ligeti. From then on Corbett worked mostly on the European continent as a composer and professor. As a composer he concentrated on music theatre, vocal music as well as orchestral works. His newest release is a work for a chamber orchestra, performed here by the Modern Art Ensemble. Listening to this work I can  in no way say if there are any influences of Ligeti. My knowledge of modern composed music is far too fragmented and to little, to make any judgements here. This implies I feel totally incompetent in positioning him in the field of modern classical music, between Boulez, Feldmann, and other giants. Although my ears are not very trained with this kind of music, I felt absorbed by it. Captivating music if you listen with attention. Beautiful uplifting music in one word. Sometimes the music is very fragile, close to silence and of a reflective nature. At other moment strong dissonant gestures make a contrast. Resulting in music that is accessible but not comforting. Beautifully played and recorded. Yoriko Ikeya and Klaus Schöpp, both members of the above mentioned Modern Art Ensemble, perform six compositions from six very different composers: Boulez, Kondo and Zimermann did ring bells. Murali, Hosokawa and del Rosario are new to me. All compositions are between 1987 and 2007, except the composition by Boulez that was composed in 1946. What they offer is a consistent choice of modern composed music for piano and flute, played with verve. (DM)
Address: http://www.madefornothing.com

RADIAN & HOWE GELB - RADIAN VERSES HOWE GELB (CD by Radian Releases)
Being stuck in the underground all the time means I sometimes have no clue about the over ground. I heard about Taylor Swift when she had her album removed from Spotify and apparently she is a million selling artist. I had never heard of her (and probably rightly so). The name Howe Gelb I may have heard before, but he's "is an American singer-songwriter, musician and record producer based in Tucson, Arizona." Oh. I do know Radian. I love Radian. This Austrian trio with Martin Brandlmayr (drums, vibraphone, editing, arrangement), Martin Siewert (guitar, electronics, he joined in 2011 and replaced Stefan Nemeth) and John Norman (bass) plays their own trademark version of post-rock, electronica and improvised music. Instruments are fed through electronics and laptop and add a real-time additional layer to the music. I have no idea what Gelb does otherwise, although singing and playing guitar seems a fairly good guess, as that's what he does here too, and Radian plays the music. In their usual laidback style, fusing jazzy rhythms, distorted laptop sounds, a deep bass, and Siewert's guitar swirling around it, it fits the half sung, half spoken texts by Gelb really well. A piece like 'From Birth To Mortician' takes a while before it starts; first in a smoky nightclub surrounding, before becoming more rock-like, and then all distorted at the end, with Gelb's voice really transformed. Quite a radical piece of music, but it's not always such a radical construction as on this one. Usually you can more easily recognize his voice and follow the text. It's most of the times an excellent band-like effort here, nothing that says collaboration easily. It sounds very homogenous, as it's one band playing their tunes. Great release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.radianreleases.at

ZEITKRATZER - WHITEHOUSE (CD by Zeitkratzer Records)
Sometime ago Zeitkratzer released a second disc of work they played together with Keiji Haino, now it's turn to Whitehouse to release a second collaboration; the previous one was reviewed in Vital Weekly 750. This was recorded in France (again, like with that recent Haino disc, no specific date), and Whitehouse main member William Bennett performs along on one piece, standing behind a curtain. Hence he's not on the cover picture, which looks strikingely the same as the previous Haino disc. Like any good (that's probably all) Whitehouse records there is only a handful of tracks here, 'Daddo' (the one with Bennett), 'White Whip', 'Foreplay', 'Incest' and 'Fanatics' - thirty-four minutes in total. A fine combination of old and more recent pieces. And as before Zeitkratzer knows perfectly how to translate the electronic wall of noise of Whitehouse using their trombone, trumpet, piano, harp, drums, violin, violoncello, double bass and clarinet, with Hilary Jeffery using also his voice on a few pieces. It seems it's very easy to do this, but of course it isn't. To create a low flying hum and high shrieking textures, using just acoustic instruments. It has that same great power as Whitehouse has originally. I was thinking for all it's anti-establishment attitude it's curious to see Whitehouse performed by an ensemble of modern music; what more pro-establishment could you possibly do (read Whitehouse lyrics at One World Poetry perhaps). But I'm sure Bennett doesn't mind to be part of the history books of serious avant-garde. It's the age I guess. Anyway, joking aside, this is a great release. Condense, powerful: acoustic noise at its very best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zeitkratzer.de

PAUL BARAN - THE OTHER (CD by Fang Bomb)
The second album of Paul Baran starts with silence and some minimal sounds and soon a strong noisy heartbeat. Paul Baran is composer, electro-acoustic sound designer and improviser. He works and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. His debut album was also released at Fang Bomb in 2009. He recorded this album in cooperation with a lot of other musicians.
The track 'Himmelstrasse' starts like a lullaby and develops in a short time into composition full of several layers and discords. 'Dissent' starts chaotic with noises and recordings of shouting people and turns into a harmonic close harmony piece with disturbing sounds at the background to a disharmony piece with noises. 'Britonia' is a beautiful electronic piece with beautiful abstract beats and flowing tones which take care the dis-balance in the harmony of the rhythms. 'The Human Republic of Haiti' has the same structure as 'Britonia' a beautiful rhythm by piano, guitar and percussion flows into a abstractions and experiments and meanwhile the beat goes on. The album is a kaleidoscope of several atmospheres and experiments. The diversity between the different compositions creates a palette of several musical worlds. The album is a adventurous mix between electronic music and instruments like double bass, acoustic guitar, bass flute, piano, cello, violin and prepared trombone. 'Krom' for example is a wonderful mix between fragile electronic sounds and classical acoustic instruments. The album is getting more and more intimate. Although there is always a mix of quietness and calmness and at the opposite the sounds of disharmony. Paul Baran takes some years to create his albums, but that is not a problem, because this album is timeless. (JKH)
Address: http://www.fangbomb.com/

COR FUHLER & JIM DENLEY - TRUANCY (CD by Split Records)
SULT - SVIMMELHED (CD by Humbler/Conrad Sound)
This one is also released on LP, which is nice and with two pieces of about nineteen minutes each, perfectly fitting vinyl. Jim Denley and Cor Fuhler alreday bumped into each other in the early nineties when they both played at the Taktlos festival, they continued to do so when Fuhler was down under. In 2012 he moved there so the prospect of having more time to work on a record together loomed large. During seven weeks at the end of 2013 they worked on these two pieces and as the press text tells us, they decided on using take 9 and 12. What does that mean? They played this music according along more or less a fixed plan, I'd say, and performed it until they stumbled upon the version they liked. It's a great record in which we recognize the acoustic alto saxophone by Denley and the acoustic piano of Fuhler, and sometimes, perhaps due to all the preparations it's hard to recognize them at all. In the early bit of 'Wag' it sounds like they use electronics to generate a mild wall of feedback, with some occasional acoustic sound. It's hard to believe that it's just these two instruments. Of the two pieces 'Wag' is the more intense piece it seems. Even when it paces down it still has that menacing quality of a noise piece. 'Skive' is perhaps quieter and subdued, but here too Denley plays some shrieking notes occasionally. But 'Skive' has more air, more space to breath and both of these pieces are, although different, they complement each other very well, and offer a truly rich album of improvised music.
In similar territories of improvisation we find the quartet called Sult. Tony Dryer and Guro Skumsnes Moe both play contrabass, Jacob Felix Heule plays percussion and Havard Skaset acoustic guitar. Their work has been reviewed before, such as in Vital Weekly 881. They too operate in improvised music and mostly acoustic, but perhaps less, so it seems, with 'preparations'. 'Svimmelhed' is their third album, and sees them growing further and further. Some of their music has a similar intensity as Denley/Fuhler, but throughout it seems a bit sparser, odd perhaps, given the fact there are four players here. There is a lot scraping going on here, surfaces of instruments becoming resonators, which offer textures and tactile layers of sound, such in 'Fryst'. Instruments are here more easily recognized (as opposed to Denley/Fuhler), and even employed to play something that is a song, such as 'Uvel'. While perhaps more conventionally improvised this too is a more than fine album of improvised music.(FdW)
Address: http://www.splitrec.com

DANAE STEFANOU - [HEREWITH] (LP by Holotype Editions)
LAWRENCE ENGLISH & WERNER DAFELDECKER - SHADOW OF THE MONOLITH (LP by Holotype Editions)
A new label from Greece, with two releases to start with and both with visually stark yet austere designed albums. The first is by Greek piano player Danae Stefanou, who is an improviser and musicologist. She is also a member of Acte Vide, and an assistant professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This is her first full-length solo piano release. It's not that she bangs the 88 keys, but explores the inside of the piano, where you find the hammers and the strings, locked in this resonant box. The pieces here, eigΩth in total, were captured in one take in two afternoons. None of this was pre-planned or post-produced, just some mixing and mastering. I assume it was captured by various microphones, some close by and some a bit further away? I don't think I would have been able to tell this was all the inside of a piano, if I hadn't read the press text. I am not sure if I could have told what it was anyway. My guess would have been a violin being scraped, or some sort of percussion instruments - not at the same time of course, but in various instances. This is quite tour de force, a great record. Stefanou not necessarily explores the inside of the piano very carefully, but quite loudly actually. It's that or its all been recorded loudly. It's not a record of noise, but rather some form of acoustic noise.  'By Densities Of Foreground Noise', the final piece of the record, is like a solid block of acoustic drone noise, like the 60s never brought you La Monte Young, or The Velvet Underground. Only once I heard a quick bang or two on the piano, but otherwise the bows are firmly placed on the strings. I liked the fact that this was not some careful exploration of an instrument - the inside of a piano - but a rather controlled attack on that resonant chamber, via eight relatively short, concentrated bursts of energy. An excellent record.
You may, I hope, have heard the names Lawrence English and Werner Dafeldecker before. The first is from Australia and uses his laptop to transform field recordings, while the second is from Austria and best known for his work in improvisation, Fluxus, minimal music and field recordings, among many other things. This record was recorded 'across the Antarctic Peninsula' and produced in Brisbane, 'exploring electroacoustic transformations of atmospheric, hydrophonic and ionospheric materials' - the microphone picks up signals from water, wind and the ground; all of which are then transformed using computer techniques. This album, though great as it is, is not as a big surprise as the one by Stefanou. Here we have some solid constructions of treated field recordings, the breaking of waves and ice, stale wind over polar landscapes and all such like. It's sometimes quite dark and haunting, like an endless winter night in these regions, but it's not exclusively like that. Light shimmers through this here, occasionally and throws a long shadow over the material. Sometimes it becomes even musical, when it hints towards a melody or rhythm, such as in the final piece 'Outtake'. Though not a surprise per se, I think this is a great record. Dark yet imaginative, cool but not cold, it's a fine record of nicely retuned field recordings. Exactly, probably the kind of thing you would expect from these two composers. (FdW)
Address: http://www.holotype-editions.com

FERGUS KELLY - UNNATURAL ACTUALITY (CDR by Room Temperature)
It certainly has been a while since I last reviewed something solo by Fergus Kelly; in fact perhaps nothing since 'A Congregation Of Vapours' in Vital Weekly 835. On his latest release he combines field recordings with recordings of electromagnetic origin, such as computer drives, TV monitors, xbox, wii, ATMs, ticket vending machines and such like. Then he also adds metal percussion, like the ones in car suspension springs, which were struck and bowed, mounted on an aluminium water heater, which acts as a resonator. These pieces are constructions as compositions, and not live pieces, improvisations or part of a sound installation; at least as far as I understood this. And these nine pieces are great, if not sometimes a bit long. The whole album is now just over an hour long, and perhaps could have been a bit shorter, more concise. But overall, Kelly has some great sounds on hand, which he combines very cleverly into fine compositions. There is the falling of metal in the garage in 'Split Second', mixed with sizzling and bursting electrical sounds and some far away rumble. This piece is an example of how things work here: the wide-open space from a field recording, the close by electrical charges of those electromagnetic sounds and the spring metal sounds as a solo voice. Quite atmospheric music is the overall result, with an intense undercurrent. Kelly plays finely with dynamics here, as in an excellent musique concrete tradition. As said, some of the longer pieces here I thought were a bit too long and could be edited down for some more tension and would overall a shorter album would have been stronger. For those who like the work of Francisco Meirino this is something to explore as well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.roomtemperature.org

L.H.D. - TRANSITIONS (CDR by Klappstuhl)
Released on a 10" CDR, but arriving on a CDR; I am not sure if this is to save on the already cheap German postage, or perhaps the 10" being sold out already and now only available as a CDR and download (or even: only the latter). There are two fifteen-minute pieces here, recorded by Martin 17, also known as L.H.D., whom we also know as The Closed Circuit (see Vital Weekly 875). That was all a bit more in the circles of minimalist techno, while here, as L.H.D., it is all-more about experimentalism. Both sides are almost of the same length, but quite different. 'The Wind From Nowhere', the B-side, is about wind sounds that one can create from white noise filtering on a synthesizers in a sonorous backing of eerie synth sounds. It's a bit too dark and a bit too alien to be called ambient music, I'd say, but it's nice, if hardly surprising. The first side is called 'Disillusion Progress Extended' and consists of a live mix of many layers of sound, spoken word, noise, electronics and such like mixed together. A busy mix, in which none of the sounds asks to lead the attention. A very Cageian mixing procedure at the heart of all of this. Two quite different sides but it works well as a record. (FdW)
Address: https://klappstuhl.bandcamp.com

MARTIN KAY - ALL THINGS METAL (CDR by 3Leaves)
The 3Leaves label specializes in music that deals with field recordings and usually the releases have a nice package: this one too. A pro-printed booklet with information. I never heard of Martin Kay, but in the last five years he has been recording environments that deal with metal. 'My intention for this album is to highlight the unique ability that metal possesses un abstracting, transforming and reconfiguring a given landscape - propelling the listener to reconsider their emotional and psychological connections to familiar urban environments', he writes in the booklet. In the first piece he uses two omni-directional microphones in an old Soviet oil tank picking up the vibrations from beyond, traffic, wind, construction site and debris. All of that together brings us a piece of music that is dark, atmospheric, drone like and intense. This perfectly tells us what Kay does: record sound through the use of metal, acting as a resonator or filter to other sounds. Put a microphone beneath a metal sheet and record the rain pouring on the metal plate, such in 'Rain On Iron Gutter'. It's probably one of those listening experiences you once (or more of course) had but simply couldn't record properly. Or when you did and it didn't sound like this. Martin Kay may have the right equipment, but also the right amount of patience to capture his sounds. The twelve pieces here are all great: excellent listening experiences. It's not an album of heavy metal, or an album of some rhythmic banging on metal sheets, but sometimes a very quiet and introspective sounding of the world, and sometimes droning heavily away in a pitch black sea. Kay offers an excellent variety in these pieces and makes up, in its entirety, a great album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.3leaves-label.com

FOSSILS - THE CARDIGAN HOUR (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
Usually Fossils is the duo of Daniel Farr and David Payne but on this particular new release they are joined (for once?) by T. J. Borden and Rob Michalchuk, I assume on wind instruments. Recently I found the Fossils releases quite interesting, working within the field of improvisation, musique concrete (with plenty of crude tape manipulations) and composition. This new release seems to me, recorded live and while 'edited and mixed by Daniel Farr' as it says on the cover, it very much has the feel of a live recording. It's split into twelve separate pieces of music, but may very well act as one on going piece of music. In some ways I think this is a return to their older days of a free improvisation group, at least at the time I first heard their music, and that I think is a pity. I very much enjoyed their recent excursions into music, finding their own voice in improvised music. I am less convinced about this release. It's weird, it's free and it's sometimes contemplative; it's certainly not abrasive, loud, wild throw around of sounds. That is also something different than before, but it's perhaps not so much my thing anymore. Nice, but I heard them do much better recently. (FdW)
Address: http://lendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com

STATIC SOUND - DEAD BY XENOPHILIA (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
STATIC SOUND - WHITE CHRISTIAN POWER (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
STATIC SOUND - DEUS VULT (CDR/Download by Static Sound)
To quote Neil Young 'The Devil fools with the best laid plans.."… Dead by xenophilia,White Christian Power and  Deus Vult... by Static Sound  @ https://staticsoundrex.bandcamp.com – a Nationalist / Christian HNW set up… we could spend sometime yet again saying that HNW is not a medium of expression – of any expression - but it falls on dead ears… and these walls are more like Morse code gone awry, so maybe there is a message in there somewhere. The problem with messages is that everyone knows God speaks in English… so how can Johnny Foreigner know what he is on about? That’s the thing that peeves most people in the world, that they are ‘foreign’. Its why you see all those guys in Calais desperate to get into England. Note, England, not Wales or Scotland… Wales is fine if you are a sheep, Scotland is freezing and wet for 11 months and plagued with midges which eat you alive for the one month its not raining or cold. I went there – everyone was drunk and who can blame them… of course I’m joking. (Maybe?) So maybe this guy is. I like his ideas - not, he bemoans the loss of identity, well there is a thing in some book about identity – some dudes ask who is their neighbour – and the answer is anyone and everyone… these dudes also thought Jesus- a Jew, his message was only for the Jews… oh and he was an Arab Jew and not European white, Mary appears to have blonde hair only because the vision of her was by a nun from Sweden… yep! work that one out. As for being a Nationalist, well the guy who betrayed JC to the Romans was a nationalist… hasn’t this static guy seen The Life of Brian, the pity about Christianity is not JC, his sermon on the mount was after all Ghandi’s second favourite piece of writing, but Christians! The notion of  letting he who is without sin cast the first stone – its meaning is hidden unless you believe everyone is not without Sin, only God is without sin. And I don’t see God throwing stones or beheading people!  And if you believe JC was God – then he didn’t – though he could and should – throw the first stone! Oh and the guy from Static Sound mentions ‘Crusade’, the first of which set off, got lost, landed in what was then Constantinople / Byzantium – a Christian place full of Christians – which the crusaders then put to the torch. But I suppose the good things via the contact with the Muslims and Jews was the reintroduction of Greek knowledge, the philosophy of Aristotle, which underpinned medieval theology, and stuff like medicine, astronomy (most stars are Arab names- ) and algebra “from Arabic al-jebr meaning "reunion of broken parts"” – now we could do a  “what did the Arabs ever do for us?” Joke… well cutting to the chase – lifted Northern Europe out of the Dark Ages… much to the annoyance of Goths, Emo’s, Dark Metal and Power Electronics fans. Without the likes of the influence of any of this there would never have been the Renaissance, we would still be worshiping Odin and not some guy who thought it might be cool to try to get on with each other… bloody foreigners – what are we going to do? Now where did I put my woad…? (jliat)
While I am not particularly religious or anti-religious, I do have a firm standpoint on the subject of forcing religion down people's throats (and you can replace 'religion' with 'politics' and 'nationalism' for all I care). You can believe whatever you want, as long as you keep it yourself. Yourself, so not your wife, not your children, not your neighbours, no one. If they want to believe something else, let them have the freedom to do so - if you are christian or muslim or god (whohe?) knows whatelse. Oops, I didn't use the word freedom, right? Antonio is worried about the loss of freedom in the west. (and loss identity, as well as new Christian martyrs, killed by Hindu, middle east or attacks in Europe - I assume he's not referring to the vast catholic majority opposing gay marriage in France, or the killing of doctors who perform abortion in the USA; he's a family man). Me too, dude. Let's not replace your christian intolerant behavior by any other intolerant behavior. Or vice versa. To hell with all of them. I hope I am not seen too much as a relativist. My suggestion would be: write another book on the subject and don't do anymore music; or read less and make some interesting music. Reading a lot and coming up with this music isn't clearly working. (FdW)
Address: https://staticsoundrex.bandcamp.com

COUNT PORTMON (CDR by Poli5)
Count Portman is a solo project of the Prague based musician, journalist and teacher Jan Faix. He works with tape players and analogue electronics. He has released his solo music at the Russian net label Clinical Archives. He is also playing in bands Tembryo and Levi-Faix. In his solo music he experiments with electronics and tapes and use them in a non-standard way.This untitled release is at Poli5, a musical platform which released the hand-made covered CDR. The album starts with a track based on synths and samples. The atmosphere is psychedelic, created by a lot of echo. The second track is based on a looped voice, which changes slowly in intensity, and the track gets more and more complex. The third track is full of field-recordings and again some non-definable glitches. Some ongoing electronic layers take care of depth into the composition. The music is subtle created, completely different than the following tracks, which is created with a lot of feedback, distortion and destructing noises. Number five is a beautiful synth track, with a nice melody. The sixth track is a nice experiment with tapes, different tapespeed, tape scratching and more. A happy break between the serious tracks. The seventy track is like a psychotrip with lots of different sounds created by voices, upcoming musical parts of popular music and some white noise as base. The last track is a beautiful ambient track with a looped tape I guess with sounds which refer to frogs, sounds like glitches and some non-definable rhythmical sounds. The atmosphere is easy-going and beautiful to lay-back and to repeat the track again and again. (JKH)
Address: http://www.poli5.cz

PYTHON VS COBRA / COCO /HUH - THE DISCUSSION (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
FEINE TRINKERS BEI PINKELS DAHEIM - LIVE AT LAB.30 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
KAPALI CARSI/NYM (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
The first of these three new releases by Attenuation Circuit is by two duo's, Python vs Cobra in one corner and Huh in the other corner, both of them collaborating with vocalist and tape manipulator Coco, and on 'some pieces' Yuko Under on electronics. All of these pieces were recorded in Tokyo last year and all nine are quite violent explosions of free styled improvised music, based on two drums, two guitars and electronics. This onslaught lasts twenty-six minutes by which time you are entirely satisfied; it's like eating a huge dinner. Huge but a nice dinner also. It's not always about pure free improvisation noise but they also can tune down a bit, or simply rock out. It's quite a varied bunch of pieces here.
Also noisy, but then of an entirely different order, is the music of Jurgen Eberhard, going by the name of Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim since 1990. In 2009 he played at Lab.30 at a presentation of Attenuation Circuit, and now, five years later, this recording is released. Feine Trinkers are, along with say Maeror Tri/Troum and Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf, part of the ambient/drone/noise scene in Germany, the old masters if you will and from this lot I think Feine Trinkers are the most noisy ones. At least in concert they have quite a forceful presence. Much of their (his, maybe, as it's I think mostly Eberhard solo) music revolves and evolves around the use of effects. There is a little bit of original sound running, which is fed through all sorts of sound effects - reverb mostly, but also delay, chorus, distortion and such like, and the end result is a strong thick multitude layered mass of sounds. Shrieking high towards the end - the excited strings of violin bows - but also the endless grooves from records, deep end bass and machine hum, all with quite an amount of power and also with control. Feine Trinkers also pull back so they can use a bit of spoken word here and there and in the end have a powerful listening trip for you. Probably loud on the evening itself, but at home you can be in control, which is nice.
I have no idea who is Kapali Carsi or NYM, or maybe it's the same thing under a different name? 'Too much noise, drone, and other post-industrial stuff sounds pretty much the same by now", starts the information text, to go that of course this is different, but upon listening to the tape I beg to differ. This is indeed 'noise' and 'drone', recorded through low-humming feedback on a loq quality tape for an additional layer of 'noise' and 'distortion', but in fact it sounds like some many mediocre noise artists, starting thirty or more years ago of everybody who wanted to be inside the scene of cassette labels - believe me: I know very well how this works, as I was part of it. The b-side was a bit more rhythmically and a bit more interesting. Both sides were twenty-three minutes and I am sure there is a meaning to that. If only I knew which ritual we are decoding today. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

MODELBAU - CATARACT (cassette by Licht-ung)
Modelbau is one of the projects of Frans de Waard. The first tape was released by Barreuh Records and all tracks start with the letter B. This tape is starts with the letter C and Frans de Waard works with the same idea. He creates music with analogue material and with a backing track. The music is recorded with a two track recording and will be edited by this way. No complex multilayered music, but music played 'live'. The first track 'Checkout' is like a buzzing bee circling round your head and tries to penetrate your brain. Another sound is coming up and with an ongoing pulse and the bee flies slowly away. The second track is more noisy and the pitching of the sounds is getting higher. Side A ends with a drony sound pulsing sound which develops to more and more silent. Side B starts with an rhythmical piece of music, very minimimalistic which slowly fades away and ends with a great glitch. 'Caustic' is an uptempo track with ongoing noisy synthwave and at the background there a minimal rhythm. The sound is pitching up and down, maybe once this track will be a floor-filler for a independent dancefest. Great track! The last track continues this concept an electronic sound in combination with a rhythmical sound at the background. The sound is scratching and searching to complete. Great minimalistic electronic tape and a logical follow up of the tape Blade.(JKH)
Address: http://www.licht-ung.de

THE LONG HALF DAY (USB by Slightly Off Kilter Label)
Even when this is long, it's surely not the longest release ever reviewed in Vital Weekly. That might be Merzbow box or the Farmers Manual live DVD, but this USB drive has a live recording that is exactly twelve hours long, plus some additional three hours of remixes. Plus there is a bit too read here. Perhaps you'd excuse me if I didn't spend sixteen hours (at least) on hearing this. 'The Long Half Day' is what it says: twelve hours of improvised music, played by members of the Carousel Collective (Tim Yates, Benedict Taylor, Noura Sanatian, Charlie Sdraulig) and the Brighton based quartet Thomas Mindhouse, being Chris Parfitt, Kev Nickells, Adam Bushell and Dan Powell. They were formed to be part of this. There is a variety of instruments, both traditional and homemade as well as whatever they found on the spot, and they sure take their time. It's hard to imagine anyone sitting down and then spending twelve hours of uninterrupted listening. There are string instruments, wind instruments, percussion and acoustic sounds. I played this for quite a long time today, not twelve hours, I readily admit, but it made a great impression. Once you know you are going to hear something for such a long time, your listening mode switches from 'an album worth of material' to 'a stream of consciousness sounds'. I walked around a bit, did some cooking (outside of the room where the music was playing) and even did an afternoon nap.
The remixes are to be found in the world of computer treatments. There is harsh noise of Kev Nickells, who also did two click noise versions of it (though nor rhythmically organised), and all of which is very long. Chris Parfitt has an interesting piece of stretching out sounds, and Adam Bushell reduces twelve hours to twelve seconds. I liked Dan Powell's eleven minutes of ambient music quite a bit, not surprising, but something different for sure, and delivering a moment of quietness. What Tim Yates does eludes me a bit. I quite enjoyed all of these remixes but I wondered: would you really want to hear this after twelve solid hours of listening? Or would you rather play some techno trance to get yourself truly distracted? (FdW)
Address: http://www.slightlyoffkilterlabel.blogspot.com



1. Frans de Waard <info@kormplastics.nl>

Marc McNulty - The Last Signals Were Sent (new album)
https://kormdigitaal.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-signals-were-sent



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