number 959
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week 49
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LUCIANO MAGGIORE - WILLY NILLY (CD by Senufo Editions) *
BAD SECTOR/SSHE RETINA STIMULANTS - NEUROTRANSMITTER ACTIONS (CD by Loki Found)
JARL & ENVENOMIST - TUNGUSKA EVENT (CD by Zoharum) *
FORRESTDRONES - NAJAS FLEXILIS EXEQUIAE (CD by Zoharum) *
NAGAMATZU - NEURAL INTERVAL (2CD by Zoharum) *
OYAARSS - ZEMDEGA (CD by Ad Noiseam)
MONOLOG - MERGE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
KHOST – COPPER LOCK HELL (CD by Cold Spring)
GOH LEE KWANG & TIM BLECHMANN - FINDERS (CD by Herbal International) *
CHRISTIAN SKJDT - WORKS OF UNCOMMITTED CRIMES (LP by Tonometer Music)
DINAH BIRD - A BOX OF 78S (LP by Gruenrekorder)
FALLOPIAN DISCO FORCE - BLACK LARVENROLLER (LP by Ill Yacumama Records) *
CHRISTINE MANNAZ-DENARIE - VIRIDITE (LP by Dysmusie)
JULIE BYRNE - MELTING GRID/EMERALDS (PORTALS VERSION) (7" by Static Caravan)
VAULT OF BLOSSOMED ROPES (CDR by Triple Bath) *
SPRUIT - SMALL BITS OF INDIGENOUS SPACE BETWEEN THE GRAINS (CDR, private) *
ADRIAN SHENTON & BANKS BAILEY - UNSEEN LANDSCAPES (CDR by Phonospheric) *
THE DROWNED MAGICIANS - GROENE DRIEKHOEK (CDR by Oggy Records) *
SCHEERLING - RADIO KOOTWIJK (CDR by Oggy Records) *
FOAM SWORD - YOURNEY INTO THE MAZE (CDR by Oggy Records) *
ROMVELOPE - BESPOKE ACTION PLANTATION (CDR by Adaadat) *
FRACTAL MEAT CUTS VOL. 1 (CDR compilation by Adaadat) *
[NEUMA] - AEDA (CDR by Eter-Lab) *
YIORGIS SAKELLARIOU - CUEB (3"CDR by Eter-Lab) *
BIONULOR - VEXATIONS (3"CDR by Sqrt) *
OGROB/ALAN COURTIS - D'HELLA DERA (cassette by Editions Vibrisse)
L'AUTOPSIE - RECYCLED (cassette by RRRecords)



LUCIANO MAGGIORE - WILLY NILLY (CD by Senufo Editions)
The sound material on this release, so we read on the cover was 'composed in 2012 as a closed archive of sounds and actions to be recombined in different forms and then presented on various occasions during the first half of 2013', which I understand as a bunch of sound files which can be played together in different configurations, maybe with the help of laptops. This particular edition is almost the same as the concert Maggiore gave in May 2013 in France. It's not easy to say what it is here, these sounds, but my best guess would be this is some sort of modular synthesizer set up, contact microphones rubbed on surfaces and maybe field recordings. All of this comes with high crackling sounds, nervous and hectic, but perhaps operating through some sort of obscure system. Somewhere at twelve minutes deep sound drops in, a loop of some kind, which lasts for a few minutes and which is probably one of the few more introspective/less hectic places here. Towards the end (the whole piece is under thirty-four minutes), but starting at twenty-one minutes there is a lengthy section in which a delay effect is used but rather unimaginative. It's a part that is a bit long and a bit dull. But to that point I though this piece was developing quite nicely, maybe not in the most original ways, yet very much along the lines we know from earlier work from Maggiore, but the final ten minutes didn't do much for me. Received with mixed feelings. (FdW)
Address: http://www.senufoeditions.com/

BAD SECTOR/SSHE RETINA STIMULANTS - NEUROTRANSMITTER ACTIONS (CD by Loki Found)
If you have been reading these pages closely over the past few years, you may know I have a soft, as yet unexplained, spot for the music of Bad Sector. One could find this odd, as I may not be known as someone who likes this dark, slightly gothic electronic music. But it seems there is always an element of computer treatments, sci-fi and humour in this, which makes that I enjoy it. In 2000 Bad Sector released this split CD with Sshe Retina Stimulants, also from Italy, and the music project of Paolo Bandera (and I have no opinion on his music, simply because I don't know it very well), and now it's been re-issued. Here we have one-track silence (why?) at the beginning, four pieces by Bad Sector, five by Sshe Retina Stimulants and one, in the middle, of them together. The Bad Sector pieces are trademark for him (the band is a solo project of Massimo Magrini): heavy slabs of electronics, ditto dark rhythms, and lots of treated vocals. This entire here more forceful, it seems, than on the more recent releases. Quite nice, again, music in the realm of industrial music. Sshe Retina Stimulants, whom I didn't know that well, seem to be more about singular synthesizer strokes in quite a noisy manner. There is something about these tracks, which may make them sound alike. Maybe its all more loop like with some sound effect treatments? Either way, it works quite well, even when it's perhaps not something I would play everyday. In the middle ground, their collaborative piece both ends are tied together and operated with a tour de force. Altogether this is fine manifestation of industrial music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loki-found.de

JARL & ENVENOMIST - TUNGUSKA EVENT (CD by Zoharum)
FORRESTDRONES - NAJAS FLEXILIS EXEQUIAE (CD by Zoharum)
NAGAMATZU - NEURAL INTERVAL (2CD by Zoharum)
Erik Jarl is not a man to release a lot of music. I quite enjoyed his 'Parallel/Collapsing', way back in Vital Weekly 401, and since then he also was reviewed in Vital Weekly 470 and 860, and on a few compilations. Here he works together with David Reed, also known as Envenomist, who has had releases on Brise Cul, Segerhuva, Chrondictic Sound and Bloodlust! Certainly two dark drone meisters who meet up here. Their CD is about events at Tunguska, in 1908: a large explosion that flattened 2,000 square kilometres of forest. Why it happened it was not clear, so that's fertile ground for conspiratists worldwide: alien life form, asteroid or comet explosion or a black hole passing earth. Still a mystery that remains unsolved. I assume both gentlemen are at the controls of a bunch of synthesizers and sound effects and together they created five top-heavy pieces of dark synthesizer music. It's not of the pure drone variation, starting and then stopping at some point, but it comes in waves; like a sea at night: you hear the waves, feel a cold wind in the face, but you can hardly see a thing. Another difference is that there is a bunch of looped, percussive sounds. Usually without much variation they simply tick away time, rather than setting a beat. It's all spooky, mysterious and it could very well the soundtrack to the X-files or any other movie on the invasion of the body snatchers. It's music that fits early dark autumn evening very well.
Behind ForrestDrones we find Robert Skrzynski, otherwise known as Micromelancolie, whose 'It Doesn't Belong Here' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 925, which was alright. I am not sure why he chooses for a new pseudonym as ForrestDrones seem to me another extension of the world of drone music. It starts out with the sound of a stylus on vinyl, like the music has been recorded from an old piece of vinyl, but ForrestDrones use it as an instrument here. Following a cassette release and some pieces on the Internet, this is his first release and it goes all the way: the piece lasts exactly one hour and takes the listener on dark trip. A bit like the Jarl/Envenomist release but here it's more 'earth' like as opposed to the more 'water' like connections I had with the other release. It's a trip into the woods, moist grounds, which you can smell at night. Pines from Christmas trees. Obviously the name of the project is a distraction here, or the guide in these woods. The crackles of vinyl continue for the entire hour; at one point I had enough but then, after some more time, I thought it made fine sense to do it like this, and it was a more or less conceptual notion. Less filmic, less a soundtrack, but more just a piece of music to sit by and enjoy without any other distraction (unless of course when played at night, walking in a forest). It's not really something new, but it's throughout a very consistent piece of music.
Besides releasing music that has been made 'now', Zoharum also, occasionally, dives into the archives and releases fine anthologies of old works. There have been already two excellent double CDs by Rapoon and early work by Andrew Lagowski. The latter was also part of a duo/trio called Nagamatzu, whom I first heard on 'Three Minute Symphony' 2LP when that came out (in 1983 or 4 or thereabouts) and shortly after that on another compilation LP 'Life At The Top'. Maybe it was vice versa? I can't remember. Both tracks I quite liked: they were pop-like with drum machines and guitars, a bit synth like. But somehow I didn't investigate them further back then. Maybe that was because they didn't have a lot of releases, or perhaps I moved in different cassette circles. This double CD makes up more than this, as it has their three cassette releases and the only 12" they ever released, although one or two tracks may been omitted. Nagamatzu was Andrew Lagowski on synthesizers, programming, vocals, guitar and bass and Stephen Jarvis on synthesizers, bass and guitar. In their very early days Andrew Fleck was also a member; he played synthesizers and vocals. There are two sides of Nagamatzu and to follow their career one should start at the end of disc two, and then the start of disc two and end with disc one. It's like that recent Bowie compilation, right? Work your way backwards. But it's understandable that we start at the end-phase of the group: it's their more accessible work; even when to me it all sounds very accessible. In the end-phase Nagamatzu was all about electronics, synth and rhythm heavy, not unfamiliar to the music of New Order, Clock DVA or Portion Control. While all is a bit darker and less pop music like this is actually some fine dark wave. Lagowski's later, more techno-like work is forecasted here. In the older work (from 1986 and four pieces from 1983) there is much more room for bass and guitars and it's perhaps a sound that I like a bit more, even more, than the latter day version of Nagamatzu, but maybe it's because it reminded me of how I was first introduced to them. Maybe a bit more pop-like, but thanks to the somewhat lo-fi equipment never the kind of stuff you hear on the radio. Here too the influence from New Order is never far away: listen the opening bass lines of 'Carmine' or 'Nikto', which seems like a rip-off of 'In A Lonely Place'. But in all it's charming copying Nagamatzu sound surprisingly great, exactly fitting my 80s taste for this kind of music. Another fine re-discovery from those glorious years. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

OYAARSS - ZEMDEGA (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Second album from Arvīds Laivinieks operating under the name Oyarss. The composer lives and has his original roots in Latvia. After having a couple of self-releases back in 2010/2011 he had his first official label-release back in 2012 with the album "Bads" launched from the German label Ad Noiseam. "Bads" was an album that oozed of cinematic atmospheres with a crossover between ambient and more noise-related textures from the electronic sound field. Now two years after Oyaarss is ready with the follow-up album titled "Zemdega". "Zemdega" sticks to the style of the previous album an thus takes the listener through a number of various styles and electronic expressions. The album nicely balances between harsh expressions of distorted beats and melancholic spheres of electroacoustic expressions where sounds of piano is the most frequent element. The rhythm-textures often gives the album an industrial feeling further intensifed by the harsh vocals and screams crawling from the lower levels of sonic expression. "Zemdega" is an intense and deep-felt album circulating in many levels expressions and certainly succeeds in doings so. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net
 
MONOLOG - MERGE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
Danish artist Mads Lindgren has his daily basis in Berlin where he runs his interesting sound project under the alias Monolog. As Monolog Mads Lindgren composes and performs music that combines complex beats and atmospheric sheets of electronic sounds. Field recordings and found sounds of broken instruments is a major part of the sound explorations of Monolog. The compositions circles in the outskirts of the electronica genre - styles like dubstep, breakbeat and IDM are some of the ingredients represented on his latest album titled "Merge". Compared to the previous album from Monolog "2 dots left", that was cold and harsh in expression, "Merge" is a far slower and heavier work with much weight on dubstep and hip hop-breaks and beats. A few tracks delivers vocal-based experimentation and rapping. The atmosphere is tense and regularly sinister and the works seems to constantly progress into new and unexpected territories. Awesome album from Monolog. (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

KHOST – COPPER LOCK HELL (CD by Cold Spring)
Khost is a british sound project driven by Andy Swan that are also known for his projects Iroha, Final and Atrocity Exhibition. Present album released on Cold Spring records is the debut album - and what a debut! The album titled "Copper Lock Hell” is an intense work that circles in the territories between metal and industrial-based music - an intense wall of sound. Ritualistic rhythms move along structures of ultra-heavy guitarriffs in combination with suppressed vocals and growls from hell. Not surprisingly Khost will be doing a UK tour with industrial/grindcore legends in Godflesh: Stylishly "Copper lock hell" reminds of a mixture between the newer scene of drone-based dark metal and industrial-grindcore-based metal such as Godflesh and Saw Throat. Despite the harsh expressions dominating, the album has a lot of great atmospheres giving making the album a quite alluring sound experience. Highly recommended. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

GOH LEE KWANG & TIM BLECHMANN - FINDERS (CD by Herbal International)
Recorded earlier this year at the Finders Art Space in Kuala Lumpur, home base of Goh Lee Kwang and his Herbal International empire. The cover doesn't mention what kind of instruments were used here, but me thinks there is Goh Lee Kwang's turntable and no-input mixer and Blechmann's lptop and software (free from the internet and/or self-built), but all of this is based upon earlier works by both. The recording lasts thirty-six minutes and while I like what I hear, I am not sure if it justifies to be released as a CD; Goh Lee Kwang also has a CDR division for more impromptus live recordings, called Theme Park. But something must have been captivating enough to put it on CD. There is a busy drone here, I assume from laptop and sound effects, along with the likewise busy manipulation of the stylus, feeding into a DJ mixer and maybe more effects. It's intense music, with a mildly distorted edge to it, but it's never loud, noisy or truly distorted, although I can imagine that in this Finders Art Space it might have sounded all quite loud and oppressive. It's solid, it's consistent, it's improvised (including flaws that may bring) and, as said, it's quite nice. Play loud for an optimum result. (FdW)
Address: http://www.herbalinternational.blogspot.com

CHRISTIAN SKJDT - WORKS OF UNCOMMITTED CRIMES (LP by Tonometer Music)
This is the debut solo album of Danish artist and composer Christian Skjdt, so the press release says, and that may suggest he's part of a band or some such, but none such has been mentioned. Skjdt has a master's degree from the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark and works in Europe, Canada and Mali, which seems like an odd selection of countries. To create his music he uses 'handmade electro-acoustic devices, autoharp, springs, ebow, b&o oscillator and empty samplers'. This LP has two parts of the title piece, fourteen and eighteen minutes, less some seconds. That is about the details you should know. Skjdt is someone who wheels the drone machine, and as such he's not the only one in the world of course, but I must admit he does some very impressive work. Both of these pieces are heavy slabs of drone music; Part One is all out loud, and half way through adds weight to the pieces by adding more and heavy bass sounds, while the second part starts out softer and slowly starts building up. At one point in that piece there seems to be an angelic choir humming from above and beyond - but then, maybe I was hallucinating. Then, still in this hazy state of listening, I was thinking about machines humming in a parking lot late one evening. Skjdt moves all over the place to create his vast sonic soundscapes and he does that very well. There is a lot of drone music out there, there is a lot of great drone music out there (and you know I am sucker for drone music), and while Skjdt is perhaps not the most 'new' sounding artist in the field of drone music, he delivered one hell of a great record. Play loud, is my suggestion for this and you'll be blown away by the rich sonic detail of it all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tonometermusic.com

DINAH BIRD - A BOX OF 78S (LP by Gruenrekorder)
Because of the nature of this release, including old 78s records being played on locations, it is released on vinyl, which a nice old, retro looking cover. Bird got a leather box of fifty old, 78rpms, which her grandmother, herself born in 1910, inherited. Her granny grew up in Salt Spring and after her death in 2000 the box got to Dinah, albeit in 2012. She went back to the beach of Salt Spring and played those records, while using also excerpts from her grandfather's diary and talking to people who live there now. All of this mixed together and while the cover notes various pieces, it's best enjoyed as one piece of great radiophonic quality. The whole process is a bit explained in the piece itself and it combines some of the 'now' with the 'then' - or maybe how history becomes a live thing. It's not something that one would easily play as a piece of music, I would think, since it's heavily on text/voice so you need to keep your attention I guess. That all happens on the first side of the record. On the second side we find a bunch of lockgrooves, culled from sounds to be found on the other side. Probably to attract some DJs to get this? Maybe a filler? I think I would have preferred another story here and I would not have minded to skip the lock grooves. But then, I am not a DJ. Great A-side here! (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/

FALLOPIAN DISCO FORCE - BLACK LARVENROLLER (LP by Ill Yacumama Records)
A trio here from Japan: HS Love Hennessy on electronics, DJ Memai on turntables and Moro on drums. They go by the name Fallopian Disco Force and exist since the late 1990s. According to the group they play 'psychedelic disco mashup', which is not something I would perhaps thought off when I heard their music for the first time. This is quite noisy, very chaotic and perhaps not always to dance too. You can easily recognize many dance styles in here however: hip hop beats, dubstep, disco, rock, techno and no doubt many small alleys in between these genres. Much of that comes from the drummer in question I'd say, who sounds like he's on speed all the time. Add to this the more than chaotic electronics and likewise totally crazy turntable mayhem and the next forty minutes is a rollercoaster ride of madness. Hardly conventional by any standard. It's not your typical noise, not your typical dance music, no mash up of anything you heard before, but perhaps a mesh up of all that you heard before at the same, thrown into a 500 miles per hour blender. This record left me seriously tired behind; I needed a quick nap before continuing with something else. Quite a tour de force, but surely one I liked very much (unlike a real rollercoaster, I'd say). If for once you want something that you very unlikely heard before, something aggressive as well as funny, then try this descent in mayhem. (FdW)
Address: http://fallopiandiscoforce.bandcamp.com/

CHRISTINE MANNAZ-DENARIE - VIRIDITE (LP by Dysmusie)
If I understand things well this LP is the result of a five-hour concert held in June 2010 by a large group of musicians (Jerome Noetinger, Christian Malfray, Jean Francois Minjard, Jerome Montagne, Pierre Faure, Mathias Forge, Herve Boghossian, Bruno Capelle, Nicolas Dick, Herve Durnad, and Jean Francois Plomb) held in a church and epxloring the room for its spatial character, and the room as resonating chamber. However and whatever was done was recorded and all these recordings were handed to Christine Mannaz-Denarie who was asked to reconstruct these pieces into a new piece of music. This is quite some interesting musique concrete here. Obviously I like the whole recycling aspect of this, reminding me, for instance, of P16.D4's recycled 'Captured Music' recording, in which one does no longer recognize the original input and something entirely new is created. It's not documentation but an entirely new creation of the music. I never heard of Mannaz-Denarie, but these pieces are excellent. Vivid, imaginative and not stuck in the world of serious academic electronic/acousmatic music. She uses all of these sounds to create some spacious electronic variation of musique concrete. Sparks of electricity fly by as easily as monolithic walls of noise and heavy weight black holes. All put together in a seemingly free flow/free fall, like going through space (if only one knew how that worked, I wonder, but maybe this music is a fine alternative?). An excellent record. If this is your kind of music then this new name and her record is certainly worth exploring. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dysmusie.com

JULIE BYRNE - MELTING GRID/EMERALDS (PORTALS VERSION) (7" by Static Caravan)
Discovered at the SXSW festival by the Static Caravan crew: Julie Byrne (following Nadine Byrne in Vital Weekly 953, another Byrne - things must not get crazier than this) plays guitar and sings. Static Caravan calls this psych folk, reminding of Linda Perhacs, Karen Dalton and Vashtio Bunyan - my psych folk knowledge is a bit rusty I think. Obviously it's not just voice and guitar as there is some production going on, enriching the sound with some great reverb effects and on 'Melting Grid' maybe also a flute of some kind which brings a great melancholic but perhaps also spooky atmosphere to the piece. This is absolutely a gorgeous song. 'Emeralds' on the other side is put on, by comparison, maybe a bit more sparse, more naked, just guitar and vocals, and has fine somewhat rough feel to it. Now this may not be the kind of music I play a lot, but especially on long days of listening to so many of the other things already reviewed, this is a most welcome breath of fresh air. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

VAULT OF BLOSSOMED ROPES (CDR by Triple Bath)
A five-piece band from Greece. Girogis Varoutas, Anna Linardou, Nikos Fokas, Stelios Romaliadis and Stratis Sgourellis make up Vault Of Blossomed Ropes. Among the instruments we see guitar, granular piano, percussion, mellotron, bass, flute, synths, clarinet, vocals as well as on the opening piece Andreas Empeirikos reading a poem of his, as well Steve Jansen guesting on track. Jansen is best known for his work with Japan - one of my favourite bands from the 80s. Music wise this seems to be change for the Triple Bath label, which we know for their many releases of experimental electronics, musique concrete and improvisation. Maybe improvisation is part of the working method of Vault Of Blossomed Ropes? It seems so from time to time, but it also seems they work from a slightly more rock perspective. Record them jamming around on a multi-track and later bring everything into some sort of perspective and balance, which takes away some of the improvised edges and maybe a better balance. I must admit, I am not sure what to make of all of this. I like some of it, and some of it sounded a bit too much like worn out improv prog rock, such as 'Jodhpur' or the vaguely folky 'Celestial Mercury', despite Jansen's only appearance on this piece (but I didn't like Rain Tree Crow either; I even think this Greek band shares some sensibilities with that Japan off-shoot); the soundtrack to a bad fantasy flick. But the opening piece 'Ordo Ab Chao' and the closing 'Crater 101' sounded all right: atmospheric, intense, but also coherent and playful. Maybe this is just not the kind of music for me? Let's stick with that notion. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

SPRUIT - SMALL BITS OF INDIGENOUS SPACE BETWEEN THE GRAINS (CDR, private)
Marc Spruit is from Alphen aan de Rijn, in the western part of The Netherlands and he has had a bunch of releases, solo or with De Haan, in which he explores the turntable and electronics. He writes that it was time for a change: "a step into the digital domain. Working with a laptop and all its possibilities. It was an interesting but difficult search to find out how to play music with a laptop and learning all the necessary software (Ableton-Max-Puredata)". Spruit settled upon a laptop and midi-controller, with on the input side, recordings of circuit-bending old toys and radio's, no-input mixing boards and primitive synths from Puredata. He improvises with the sounds until he arrives at results he likes. Six pieces are to be found on this CDR, in total thirty-five minutes of music. It's an interesting move and probably surprising for him, but for the more experienced listener to things computerized it doesn't seem a leap forward. Spruit uses his collage techniques and applies these to the sound he has here at hand. Lots of heavily treated glitches, bouncing up and down pitch scales and bouncing into reverb and/or delay. It's edgy stuff, as in very dynamic: loud versus soft, high against low frequencies and such like, but it's stuff we heard before, for instance in Mattin 'Free Software Series'. Having said that, I think Spruit does some great work here. It's very precise and concise: it doesn't seem there is anything too much in here. And at thirty-five minutes I'd say it has the right length. Maybe he should consider a combination of this and his earlier work with turntables and see what the surprises could be then? (FdW)
Address: http://www.marcspruit.net

ADRIAN SHENTON & BANKS BAILEY - UNSEEN LANDSCAPES (CDR by Phonospheric)
With some irregularity Adrian Shenton releases new work on his own Phonospheric label. It's been a while but the previous one was also recorded with Banks Bailey - see Vital Weekly 840. Bailey, also a regular collaborator of Ian Holloway, hails from America and is responsible for the field recordings part of this, and Shenton does whatever the rest is, either more field recordings, but surely looping said recordings and processing them, or adding electronics of some kind. Two lengthy pieces here, of a LP sized length in total, and it starts out with various loops of frogs and then slowly adds a not so mild set of electronics. It's not noise per se, but a bit too distorted to be called ambient. It's hard to say what it is that Shenton does here, but in all its unusual distortion-ness it sounds quite nice. Maybe the loops could have used a bit more variation in 'The Falling Night'. 'The Rising Day' works with more loops of field recordings it seems and is throughout sparser on the use of electronics and/or processed field recordings. Instead there is some sort of simple string instrument to be discovered in here with very occasional plucks on one string, maybe a koto or something like that. Lots of bird sounds, but hey, day is rising here so what else did you expect. I preferred this one to the first, although both were actually quite good, but the second was more natural sounding and yet also in a different place. It's a highly subjective choice, I think. (FdW)
Address: http://phonospheric.co.uk

THE DROWNED MAGICIANS - GROENE DRIEKHOEK (CDR by Oggy Records)
SCHEERLING - RADIO KOOTWIJK (CDR by Oggy Records)
FOAM SWORD - YOURNEY INTO THE MAZE (CDR by Oggy Records)
Three new releases on the local Oggy Records. The first one is another addition to 'De Groene Driehoek', a series of discs with improvised music by a rotating cast of musicians. Here it's The Drowned Magicians, a quartet of Billy Navrovski, GP Montgommery, Cresconio Delarosa and Augustin Languaro, mixed by one Nuno Gomez. They recorded their jam session - as this is what these discs are about - on October 19, 2013 and unlike previous releases in this series, which were all a bit more techno/noise/ambient music oriented this new one seems to be more about rock music; there is plenty of guitar strumming here, as well as some bass and a bit of vocal, but also lots of drumming. In 'Significance Of Leave' this is all quite spacious - in the sense that it takes up some space on the release, and a wild jam it is. 'Cold Name' is much shorter and seems to be more coherent, more alike a real song; also spaciously played but just with more air in between the notes. I am sure a lovely evening for all involved, but I am not sure about the necessity for a release.
Behind Scheerling is local musician Bert van Beek, who has five pieces here, all of which have been inspired by poetry of Dennis Gaens, translated by Van Beek's mother in the dialect of Enter, a part of the East of The Netherlands - I kid you not. You can read these poems, enclosed in a small booklet, while listening to the music, or try to recite them while playing this. The music is quite interesting. It's my introduction to Scheerling as such and I must say I quite enjoyed these five drone like ambient pieces. There is credit for bass and drums, but I must admit I didn't hear these. Maybe they are all too heavily processed in here? It's hard to say what it is that Scheerling does here. It might be some sort of field recordings being processed, electro-magnetic currents or slowed down harmonium sounds. Or anything else that is suitable of a solid melt down in either the analogue or digital domain. It's all dark and moody and with those dialect poems you might expect something like Pjipstilling (Machinefabriek and Kleefstra brothers), except Scheerling remains all instrumental. Quite moody, but maybe because of the early dark times of the season, I thought this was quite a fine release. Perhaps nothing new as such under the grey autumn ambient sky, but a most welcome new name.
The final new release is by Oscar Wyers, also known as Foam Sword, and the proprietor of Oggy Records, as well as being involved with lots of other releases on his label. 'Yourney Into Your Maze' is his second release as Foam Sword, following 'The Librarian' (see Vital Weekly 890) and it sees his continuation in exploring the world of techno music via his own crude ways. This is not music to dance too, not necessarily perhaps, or not always maybe. In the two opening pieces it's not easy, but sure there is fine groove in the title piece and 'The Stairs'. Foam Sword uses quite a bit of synthesizer sounds and drum machines, which seem analogue, but might not be. It moves all over the dance place, house like, ambient, IDM and minimalist and is a most entertaining release (again). The weather is not as great as the first time around, but there is something uplifting about this; it's feel good music - at least for me. Maybe it's because lately I have been listening to (older) dance music again, or maybe it's just something I occasionally need, but these crude transmission from the underground dance floor certainly made my made. Not leaping around in a Vitus dance, but certainly foot tapping along. (FdW)
Address: http://oggyrecords.blogspot.com

ROMVELOPE - BESPOKE ACTION PLANTATION (CDR by Adaadat)
FRACTAL MEAT CUTS VOL. 1 (CDR compilation by Adaadat)
Following 'Mountains Of Mayonnaise', see Vital Weekly 919, Bjrn Hatleskog returns with 'Bespoke Action Plantation', and Adaadat is his own label. Since 2002 he produces music, sound installations and such like and the music on this new release were generated through a series of experiments for these installations. The previous release I found noisy, chaotic, cut-up and collaged and with not a lot of silence. This new one seemed to me in better balance. It's not as noisy, not as chaotic, jumpy, collage-like and more coherent per track. Romvelope uses loops of rhythms, electronics and even plays the odd melodic line somewhere, such as in 'Bay Area Of Pigs'. Sometimes he pushes the drone envelope harder and it sinks into the world of deep atmospherics. It makes the whole album quite varied with the noise bits in strategic positions and it's all-great to hear. A fine album, and one that beats the previous - in it not a bad record either - by far.
Somewhere in the London area we find the online radio station NTS and every fortnight they have a show called 'Fractal Meat On A Sponge Bone' and sometimes they host sessions by artists. Time for a compilation with some of the music that was first heard on those online waves. Mostly by people I never heard of, such as Thibault Autheman, Tom White, Shelly Parker, Aas, Leslie Deere, Flange Zoo, Ryan Jordan, Cullllt, Mark & Sals Thoughtography, Jo Thomas, Jess Rowland, label boss Romvelope and Stereocilia, the only other name I recognized. The music is somewhere on the middle ground of improvisations (banging on a table by Aas), quite some electronic noise based pieces (Jordan being particularly noisy), drones, musique concrete and such like. A fine introductiuon to a whole bunch of new names, should you be on the look-out for such a thing. No particular standout piece here, no really weak spot either. Nice compilation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.adaaddat.co.uk

[NEUMA] - AEDA (CDR by Eter-Lab)
YIORGIS SAKELLARIOU - CUEB (3"CDR by Eter-Lab)
Two new releases on Colombia's Eter-Lab label and behind [Neuma] is one Jose Santamaria, who writes on the cover "To Fradique, my father, in his 30 years of absence. 30 years listening to my silence", which sounds rather sad. A bit of that sadness is reflected in the music I think. It opens with guitar strumming and field recording. The guitar is in a free mode, rambling on the strings, a bit of thunder to go a long, but slowly, in the following pieces it picks up more composition and structure and gets less improvised, and is like a more day version of Durutti Column. Spacious guitar music, but not in the realm of drone music per se. In 'Aeda 03' and beyond he also adds rhythm, first sparsely, but in a full IDM mode when we reach the sixth and final piece, everything seems to be in a build here. From the sparse opening of 'Aeda 01' to the final full on ambient/rhythm exercise of 'Aeda 06', it's an upward curve. A intimate, delicate album, and one that works very well. At just thirty-seven minutes a bit too short I thought.
Greek born, but now residing in London, composer Yiorgis Sakellariou played at the Sonicueb festival in March 2014 and to that he taped sounds at Canary Wharf and nearby areas earlier this year, while adding sounds from his archive. For this release the piece has been edited down. We know Sakellariou as a composer of pieces of music that deal with field recordings, but which are not exclusive registrations of field recordings: he actually composes with the material. In this case he crafts a collage of machine like sounds, which you may find at a wharf and in the beginning of 'Cueb' this has even a minimalist industrial techno quality, with a longer middle section of more sub-aquatic sound material. It rumbles and drones nicely way, before cutting quite abruptly. In the final section we return to the world of metallic rumble, via non-sequenced falling of objects, which act as a choir of industrial kling-klang. For Sakellariou quite an 'industrial' piece of music and as such a bit different. Great piece! (FdW)
Address: http://eter-lab.net/

BIONULOR - VEXATIONS (3"CDR by Sqrt)
The Sqrt label from Warsaw exists for ten years, which calls for celebrations. This comes in the form of a series of 3"CDRs. They look like the ones I already received, but perhaps celebrations started early? Here Sebastian Banaszczyk, also known as Bionulor, delivers another work of '100% recycling' and as you may have guessed the source material here is derived from Erik Satie's 'Vexations'. I am not sure if Bionulor played the piece himself (once? or all?), or if he took it from another recording, but through the means of computer manipulation he created seven nice, short pieces. These pieces are not related to each other as such, unlike say the original 'Vexations' piece, but nevertheless share a similar quietness of the Satie piece. You might conclude from this that this ambient music, but it's not. Bionulor is more about microsound and musique concrete. Think Marc Behrens or Roel Meelkop. Quiet, intelligent compositions of computer based treatments, but Bionulor adds his own twist and makes it all even a bit more quiet and avoids sharper edges. Quite a great little artefact. (FdW)
Address: http://sqrt-label.org

OGROB/ALAN COURTIS - D'HELLA DERA (cassette by Editions Vibrisse)
L'AUTOPSIE - RECYCLED (cassette by RRRecords)
Some years ago I was asked to write something about the recent revival of cassette only releases and to compare with the first wave. The main difference I noted was the fact these days not a lot of labels care much about a presentation that extents beyond the simple plastic box, save for those small cardboard boxes everybody uses. This split release by Ogrob and Anla Courtis is something of a huge difference. It's packed in a big, LP sized transparent cover, with architectural plans and a box with photos of a mine shaft. This mineshaft is used for mining - excuse le mot - the field recordings used by Ogrob and Courtis. I believe Ogrob is one side A and it's a recording made 858 metres below the surface and maybe not much else beyond that. The title translates as hell's gate as the temperature in the mine could be 50degrees Celsius. The original field recoding on side A is a fascinating piece of music. The large empty space with these highly reverbed sounds of falling objects simply sound fascinating. On the other side we find a remix of these sounds by Alan Courtis who takes the material into the world of industrial music with some top-heavy electronic treatments. The reverb/falling aspect is a bit gone, which is a pity and replaced by something that probably resembles the old mine better when it was fully active. That in itself wasn't a bad idea either. Music and package form a great thing; very 80s in many ways.
Sebastien Borgo, the man behind Ogrob is also a member of L'Autopsie A Rvl Que La Mort tait Due A L'Autopsie, along with Anla Courtis, Frank De Quengo and Nicolas Marmin. An earlier record was reviewed in Vital Weekly 870. Here they have a cassette release in RRRecords 'Recycled' series (and possibly not very recent), in which an old cassette is recycled and the cover is done with the word 'recycled' and the bandname, here shortened to L'Autopsie. The previous record seemed all-acoustic but I am not convinced the same happens here. This might the work of lots of electronics, creating dense patterns of drone like music. Maybe they recycle some of their old recordings using electronics? Or something similar? At times it's all a bit noisy and quite roughly shaped, but overall it worked quite well, this little raw diamond of ambient industrial music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ogrob.org
Address: http://www.rrrecords.com/
















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