number 962
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week 52
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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LUCIO CAPECE - FACTORS OF SPACE INCONSTANCY (CD by Drone Sweet Drone) *
CLAUDIO ROCCHETTI & KLAUS JANEK - REISENNOTIZEN AUS DEM LAND DER MITTE (CD by Herbal International) *
BERTRAND GAUGUET - SHIRO (CD by Herbal International) *
ISLAND OF LIGHT - RUEBKE (CD by Home Normal) *
SATOMIMAGAE - KOKO (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
FAMILY BASIK - A FALSE DAWN AND POSTHUMOUS NOTORIETY (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - TOO MUCH SADNESS (CD by Ftarri/Hitorri) *
JACQUES DEMIERRE AND THE THIRTY PIANOS ORCHESTRA - THE THIRTY AND ONE PIANOS (CD by Flexion Records) *
SLAVEK KWI/DAVID MICHAEL - MMABOLELA (2CD by Gruenrekorder)
ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - ANOURAN LOVE SONGS (USB by Gruenrekorder)
LVIV - TRANSMISSION ONE (LP by Low Point) *
FABLE DUST - THE MAN WHO CAME OUT OF THE STORM (LP by Zesde Kolonne/Zwarte Vleugels)
PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK - FAILING HUMANS/FAILING MACHINES (LP by Zesde Kolonne)
ADRIAN REW - SLOT MACHINE MUSIC (LP by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY - THE BEAUTY BATH (LP by Hanson Records)
COLLIN MCKELVEY - THE NOLAN (CDR by Nada Records) *
ALEFF - SELECTED PUNISHMENTS (CDR by Ressonus Records) *
RAY BRASSIER & MATTIN - UNFREE IMPROVISATION/COMPULSIVE FREEDOM (CDR by Confront) *
UNPOPULAR SCIENTISTS - ELIMINAL (CDR by Fluxus Montana)
STUART CHALMERS - IMANGINARY MUSICKS VOL. 2 (CDR by Blood Diamond Music) *
PLEQ & PHILIPPE LAMY - GRAVITATION (3"CDR by Taalem) *
JAMES WYNESS - OBJECTS WRAPPED IN OBJECTS WRAPPED IN OBJECTS (3"CDR by Taalem) *
TOMONARI NOZAKI - THE FALL OF ICARUS (3"CDR by Taalem) *
JAN WARNKE & MICHAEL ESPOSITO - O TANNENBAUM (3"CDR by Geraeuschmanufaktur) *
TIME BASE CORRECTOR - INTRO TO MIDI (cassette)


LUCIO CAPECE - FACTORS OF SPACE INCONSTANCY (CD by Drone Sweet Drone)
When I read Lucio Capece's description of the first piece on his new CD I was thinking of Steve Reich's 'Pendulum Music'. Two speakers are moving as pendulum, amplifying a cassette in recording function, thus producing feedback and Capece responds by playing his saxophone in a similar way as the feedback. He can move around the room and create wonderfully strange overtones. There is probably more to it, but I don't want to re-type the cover text. You get the drift, I guess. In the twenty-seven minutes this piece lasts it's a beautiful, low and slow minimalist piece of evolving tones. Feedback and saxophone blend together in a great way, almost like an Alvin Lucier piece. Excellent stuff. Perhaps just this piece would have been enough, or a bit longer even, but 'Eyes Don't See Simultaneously' is the second piece and lasts forty minutes and description is much shorter: "for analog synthesizers and equalizers in feedback" and "this piece works with sound regarding the way we can perceive it as foreground or background. It's structured as a come-and-go between ears and body listening". This piece I best enjoyed at a somewhat lower volume. Somehow it seems to be filling my space better than when it's louder. Unlike the first piece this one moves through various stages and textures and sometimes rises below hearing level, or hoovers very closely to that level. It's quite a nice piece, but perhaps a bit long and after the title piece, which I enjoyed very much, maybe a bit superfluous. Or maybe it should have been trimmed down a bit. Either way: this disc is well worth getting if just for the first piece. (FdW)
Address: http://www.droneseweetdrone.com

CLAUDIO ROCCHETTI & KLAUS JANEK - REISENNOTIZEN AUS DEM LAND DER MITTE (CD by Herbal International)
BERTRAND GAUGUET - SHIRO (CD by Herbal International)
In 2011 Klaus Janek and Claudio Rocchetti toured China, Hong Kong and Malaysia and played duets with the processed double bass (Janek) and processed field recordings and feedbacks (Rocchetti). On the road there was help/collaboration from other players such as Li Zenghui, Yan Jun, Stephen Roach, Feng Hao, Liu Xinyu, Torturing Nurse and Sin:Ned. Their sounds have been captured in the eight tracks/thirty five minutes this tour document lasts. One could think this leads to a highly varied disc with all these people adding their sound, but that's not the case. Everything seems well under control here, with careful playing of the bass and the addition of field recordings makes this more like a piece of collage music which spans out over eight pieces, rather than eight separate pieces of music. It's all quite carefully played here, but with great concentration and some excellent intensity. The saxophone buried in the second piece for instance surely adds a fine texture to an otherwise already dense structure. As much as this is a document of the tour they did, it's probably more a new composition build out of small blocks from various live recordings, put together in a new context, i.e. a new composition. Not a new procedure, of course, but it works very well here.
The other new Herbal International release is by Betrand Gauguet, who plays acoustic and amplified alto saxophone and works with the realms of improvisation. Here, however, solo, and in various pieces he offers a combination of both ends. In a piece like 'YŁgen' he keeps the feedback very much under control, humming neatly like sine waves, and on top Gauguet plays long sustaining sounds. It sounds very meditative; it also reminds me of Alvin Lucier long string pieces. It's followed by 'Bloc Noir', a much shorter piece, but according to the cover 'acoustic' but effectively along similar lines, which I thought was great. Gauget creates something from both ends, acoustic and amplified, and unites them. When Gauguet uses a guitar amp, such as in 'Sabi', things become more noise based, and Gauguet is a one-man Borbetomagus. It's the only loud bit on this release, as the other seven pieces are much quieter and much more atmospheric. But such a noisy counterpoint is actually quite nice; it breaks up the release and avoids repetition too much. Just like Capece CD reviewed elsewhere this is an excellent release of saxophone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.herbalinternational.blogspot.com

ISLAND OF LIGHT - RUEBKE (CD by Home Normal)
This time of the year is never my favourite. Early darkness, the forced fun activities, the cold and rainy days. I'd rather enjoy spring, nothing forced and a bit of sun. But perhaps every season gets the music it needs. Dino Spiluttini, from Vienna, is the man behind Island Of Light and he has his own labels, Beatismurder Records and Total Light Records, as well as producing his own music. I never heard of him, but apparently he plays drone music although here on 'Ruebke' he plays the piano and Home Normal quite rightly says "'Ruebke’ is the sound of season’s change, of shorter days and longer nights, of the hush of autumn as it takes its hold" so there you go. Island Of Light is not just about the piano; it's also about treatments thereof, even when the piano as such remains mostly recognizable. This is not just about some vague, moody piano tone, creating (or suggesting) atmosphere. A piece like 'Muemmelmannsberg' is very rhythmic and almost like a 'pop' song. 'Heisternest' is a piece that seems to be lost of processing and no piano, whereas other pieces seem just piano with minor treatments to make things a bit more alien and out of the ordinary. These processes might be digital, but might also very well be highly analogue, recorded on old reels or with near broken microphones in an unusual space. I don't know; but what I do know is that this is a great release. It's a very varied, very atmospheric altogether and fits the season very well. Excellent release. (FdW)
Address: http://homenormal.com/

SATOMIMAGAE - KOKO (CD by White Paddy Mountain)
FAMILY BASIK - A FALSE DAWN AND POSTHUMOUS NOTORIETY (CD by White Paddy Mountain)
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - TOO MUCH SADNESS (CD by Ftarri/Hitorri)
On Chihei Hatakeyama's White Paddy Mountain two releases that aren't by him, and he himself has a release on Ftarri. Things remain busy. I started out with the release 'Koko' by Satomimagae, who was born in 1989 and started to compose music in 2003 and (self-)released her first album "awa" in 2012. In November of that year she composed the soundtrack to 'The Woman Lacking Ears' and now presents her second album. I never heard her music before, but she's a folk singer, joining herself on the acoustic guitar. Hatakeyama mixed and mastered the album, and maybe added a bit of reverb on voice and guitar, double tracking the voice and maybe suggesting a bit of field recording here and there. This is all very intimate music, and for once (well, not just once, but only occasional), the voice is something I like here. It's quite pleasant to hear and Satomimagae plays eleven great songs, not unlike the best of music you can find on such labels as Static Caravan. Even when this is not entirely the kind of music that we usually review, I'd strongly recommend this to the more daring lovers of pop music.
More pop music can be found on Family Basik's debut release. This is a duo of Yu Kato on 'vocal and instruments' and Rima Kato on 'vocal'. They started out in 2007 after writing a 'huge number of songs'. The label compares this to the likes of Van Dyke Parks, Robert Wyatt, High Llamas, Stereolab, Jim O'Rourke, Yo La Tengo and such likes, which is indeed not difficult to see. I must admit I am not the best person to review pure pop stuff, even when I like pure pop stuff. I quite like the music, but am not blown away by the voice of whoever does the lead vocals. It's a bit too normal, regular, nothing out of the ordinary voice, although it sounds quite 'international', which I guess is a good thing. I enjoyed it, but on a different day it wouldn't be my first selection if I would want to hear some pop music.
'Too Much Sadness' is an album Chihei Hatakeyama recorded right after the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster that hit Japan in 2011. In a direct response, Hatakeyama reached for a record lying around, covered with dust and recorded the crackles of it and then started to play around with these samples on his computer. I am not sure if all three pieces here stem from the same source material, and whether there is any additional instruments used. I doubt that. It seems to me that Hatakeyama only used the record and nothing much else, besides a load of sound effects. That may sound like a big difference to his other work, but it isn't. This is music from Hatakeyama as you would expect him to do when playing the guitar. His loop station samples the crackle of vinyl and through the use of sound effects he creates ominous, spacious pieces of music. The stuff he does best when it comes to creating music: ambient, atmospheric and drone like and this time with the use of the sound of an old piece of vinyl. Nothing new under that particular sun, but another fine addition to his extended body of work. (FdW)
Address: http://whitepaddymountain.tumblr.com
Address: http://www.ftarri.com

JACQUES DEMIERRE AND THE THIRTY PIANOS ORCHESTRA - THE THIRTY AND ONE PIANOS (CD by Flexion Records)
Sometimes the provided information is not a lot. Here we have a release with three parts of 'Thirty Pianos' and 'Free Fight'; the latter is a solo piece played by Jacques Demierre, so that's clear. But the other piece: listed are a whole bunch of people with the cryptic notion: 'some who are not on the list did play; some who are on the list did not play; my sincere apologizes to all of them' and apparently this was recorded live on September 9, 2012 in Switzerland. One piano played by thirty people? Or perhaps thirty persons playing thirty pianos on stage? Or perhaps they played one by one and later on all the parts were stuck together? I don't know but it sounds like the latter really. Something like a fluxus concert; quite chaotic and without much head or tail, although also not too chaotic; down at the train station, here in Nijmegen, there is now a piano for just anyone to play while waiting on a train, and sometimes it sounds like hideous, mindless banging (also thanks to the building's reverb). That is something we don't have on this release, it remains something more civilized. But I hardly understand what is going on so my appreciation is perhaps a bit less. His solo piece is quite furious also with the keys being struck hard and loud, but also with playing on the inside of the piano. This solo piece made actually more sense to me. Furious solo action on the piano; perhaps also fluxus-alike, but also highly enjoyable as a great piece of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flexionrecords.net

SLAVEK KWI/DAVID MICHAEL - MMABOLELA (2CD by Gruenrekorder)
ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE - ANOURAN LOVE SONGS (USB by Gruenrekorder)
Two releases involving Slavek Kwi, also known as Artificial Memory Trace. On the CD he works under his own name and use sounds recorded at the Mmabolela Reserve in Limpopo in South Africa when he and David Michael were part of larger project involving field recordings. I am not sure if I know who David Michael is. Together these discs have about 160 minutes of field recordings. It's a bit strange listening to these crickets, beetles, insects, birds, baboons, frogs, cicadas and such like and watching outside at the same time and seeing this grey Dutch winter sky, occasional rain and knowing it's very cold outside. Maybe all of this evokes a sense of holiday? Unlikely as it may seem, as I don't like the heat very much, so such a wildlife expedition would not be something for me. There are differences between Kwi and Michael. The latter has fewer pieces, seven instead of twelve, and as far I can judge in Michael's pieces there is less happening.  He explores a single sound for a longer duration, whereas Kwi's pieces are bit shorter and seem to be employ additional layering inside a piece, although I am not fully certain of that. It's a long trip, these two and half hours, but it's certainly worthwhile. From the department of pure field recording.
I didn't go over immediately to the release by Artificial Memory Trace, as I already knew that on this USB drive there would be three pieces of around 80 minutes each. Each is a full length CD and with the covers enclosed you are encouraged to copy them and threat them as such. I copied them to my hard drive so I could have a better playback. All three works deal with the sound of frogs, though not exclusively, as there is also "insects (a variety of grasshoppers, leafhoppers, cicadas, crickets, various flying insects); sometimes featuring other animals, such as bats, birds, fish jumping out of water and sounds of weather", all of which were recorded during the years 2007-2011 around the lakes of Mamori and Yuma in Amazon, Brazil. I waited a few days to play this, as I didn't want an overload of Slavek Kwi on a single day. This 240 minute trip into the jungle is also a bit much to go through in one go, as I experienced. Long stretches of frog sounds, that, a lot of times, sound like the buzzing of modular synthesizers, which is actually quite nice, and Kwi fading one into the next for the entire duration of a piece. Somehow it sounded a bit more 'electrical' than the pieces on the double CD, and also a bit more collage-like, but maybe I was hallucinating after a while. I quite enjoyed it, even for this long afternoon of listening, reading, dozing off and coming back online. I am not that kind of guy who immediately thinks of holidays again, but a bit more sunshine might be nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

LVIV - TRANSMISSION ONE (LP by Low Point)
Of the people that make up Lviv I only recognized the name Gareth Hardwick, acting also as label-boss here. Other members are Dan Layton and David Stockwell 'and Nottingham's obscure cinema renegades Kneel Before Zod'. Lviv started out in 2013 and played in venues, galleries and cinemas, sometimes along obscure sci-fi movies. On their debut release, and seeing the fact they use a lot of video material aptly called 'Transmission One', they have three pieces, which they more or less recorded live and breath the good ol' days of ambient/post-rock/drone music. A bunch of guitars, lots of effects and in the final piece, '14:51' also cymbals or maybe more bits from a drum kit and together it crafts some very nice spacious drone music. Sustaining tones, which sound occasionally like sine waves, with deep bass sounds. A desolate place is visited in this music, a remote village in a vast empty desert; it's the kind of metaphors I may have used before describing similar music. So maybe Lviv doesn't have the newest of new sounds embedded in them; so why? I asked myself. What they do in their music is quite good; it's performed with great care and recorded with even more care. It's fine moody record for the shortest of days. (FdW)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

FABLE DUST - THE MAN WHO CAME OUT OF THE STORM (LP by Zesde Kolonne/Zwarte Vleugels)
PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK - FAILING HUMANS/FAILING MACHINES (LP by Zesde Kolonne)
I may not have heard of Niels Duffhues before, but I must also admit I am not a keen follower of a band like The Gathering of which he was a member, just as he was a member of Enos and Blimey. Or being an improviser in The Flipside Paradox and Fire Shrine. He also does films and theatre, and plays solo instrumental guitar as Fable Dust. He plays guitar, along with sound effects, live sampling and field recordings from India and Vietnam. You may remember Zesde Kolonne as a cassette label from the early 80s dabbling in industrial music, but don't let that distract you here. Fable Dust plays some great tunes on his guitar, guided by drums and field recordings. Eight pieces in total, all recorded without much colouring or processing, or other kinds of masking. Just a pure, electric guitar played, as it would be in your space. The recording quality is very warm here (perhaps also due to the fact that this on vinyl, just as purists would love such a thing) and each of these pieces is small film by itself. Excellent record, quite moody and textured, but also with shimmering lights.
More experimental, perhaps, is the record by Petra Dubach and Mario van Horrik, both from Eindhoven. I know them for a long time, and not so long ago I reviewed 'Waves', a CDR of their work (see Vital Weekly 914). They work with sound as musicians and as creators of installations. On this record we get a look at both sides, each represented on one side of the record. 'Failing Humans' is them improvising with such instruments as portable organ, cymbals, marbles, small percussion, kalimba, hand drum, mouth organ, vibratone, found objects, toys, metal objects (Dubvach), prepared guitar, small percussion, marbles, mouth organ, Jew’s harp, toys, found objects, loop station, flute-alikes (Van Horrik). I am not sure if all of this was played live, which seems a bit much to me, even if this side lasts almost twenty-three minutes (and not crackle free it seems), so maybe it's a combination of various improvisations, effectively falling apart in three distinct pieces. I can't say they fail as humans: the music is great. Very much drone like, with sounds moving around all of the time. It's somewhat lo-fi character, including wordless humming, reminded me of some of the more experimental works of Richard Youngs. The overtone quality, which is a common feature in their work, is displayed in all three parts, but best used in the longest opening bit. On the other side we find a side long piece of a 'set-up in their studio of two long strings driven by body-shakers, resulting in feedback, resulting in vibrating long strings with curtain clips moving up and down along the length of the strings […] no human interference, no turning of knobs: just a process in process' as is written on the cover. This is the 'other' side of their work: likewise minimal, but much more conceptual and yet very listenable - although maybe I should admit I am sucker for such things. It cracks and buzzes, keep steady peace, but is also on a continuous change. A wonderful somewhat brutal piece of music is the result. Great record. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kolonne.nl

ADRIAN REW - SLOT MACHINE MUSIC (LP by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY - THE BEAUTY BATH (LP by Hanson Records)
Two beautiful picture discs by Hanson Records here. The first is by Adrian Rew and as the title of his record indicates he uses recordings from Slot Machines. I have been to a casino once and didn't like the atmosphere very much. Something cheap that tried to look expensive, and I have been to a pachinko once, a Japanese gambling house, mainly to do what Rew did: record sounds. I am not sure if I held my recorder in the open, or if it was hidden, but Rew informs us on the cover that it was not easy to tape these sounds, as security in US casino's is very strict. Unlike Soft Verdict on 'For Amusement Only', Rew doesn't use the sounds of a specific slot machine to compose music, but offers a field report on the sound captured as a whole from a gambling hall. We hear the cheap music, people talking, and the rattling of machines and if I understood correctly Rew recorded a whole bunch and the three pieces on this record are the best. I don't understand the shortest of these, which seems like an outdoor recording, but the other two, and especially the taking up an entire side, is great. It's almost like a form of minimal music in which one sticks a lot of sounds on at the same time, and what seems to be a chaos, but then slowly the mind starts to organize these sounds, and in the longest it gets all these great little melodies inside the rumble and the talking of people. I could listen to this for easily an hour without getting bored. So besides that short piece on the other side, we have two excellent pieces of slot machine music.
Label boss Aaron Dilloway doesn't need (or want) any liner notes for his LP. Its says that it has been recorded in the last couple of years and as far as I can judge these matters, Dilloway further explores his love for the crude side of tape manipulation. Ancient, rusty reel-to-reel machines, using tapes without much oxide any more, and feeding them crude synthesizer tones, sound effects from stomp boxes and have them on a few loops so a lot more oxide is lost on its way, and save all of those manipulations and then make an intelligent composition using the computer. In this composition he takes the listener on a ride through relative extremes. It never gets really awfully loud, nor does it drop below the threshold of hearing, but Dilloway cleverly works around these notion with section that are louder and sections that are much softer. There is static white noise, slowed down percussion blasting out of your speakers, or the relatively simple, single tone loop working here. Not unlike the record of his with Jason Lescalleet reviewed here last week, this is just very nice noise music. Almost like a musique concrete record at times but then of a much cruder kind, and the loops at the end of one of the sides sounds perhaps a bit odd for a musique concrete record. I thought this was fine record altogether; one for the intelligent noise heads. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hansonrecords.net

COLLIN MCKELVEY - THE NOLAN (CDR by Nada Records)
From the Bay Area hails the sound artist Collin McKelvey and on the website I read about this release that "The Nolan is a reference to the Neapolitan philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548 – 1600), an early proponent of free thought and critical inquiry. Celebrated for his cosmological theories which went beyond the then new and unpopular Copernican heliocentric model, proposing that the stars were distant suns with their own rotating planets, and moreover the possibility that these planets could foster life. He was exiled multiple times and eventually put to death by the Catholic Inquisition for his beliefs in Astronomy and the Art of Memory, being turned in by a Venetian aristocrat who had tricked him in coming back to Venice." Learned again something today. There are five pieces on this disc, from just two minutes to almost twenty-five. McKelvey uses field recordings, granular synthesis, computer synthesis, and modular synthesis and he does that in quite a nice way. His pieces are quite minimal, with repeating layers of sound, going in and out of phase and then cross fading to something in which we recognize field recordings in their original form as well as being fed through granular synthesis. In 'Specific Experience Of An Abnormal Meaningfulness' he uses real instruments, such as violins or other stringed instruments massed together to make dense patterns and creates an intense atmosphere with that. In 'Sufficient For A Head' he starts out with a few violins and then moves to a very vibrant form of musique concrete; my favourite piece - although I like them all - is 'Musique Domestica' for continuous organ like tones and field recordings and slowly fades into a more quieter textured field and it works quite well. The cover presentation has some space for improvement, but otherwise this is an excellent release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nadarecs.com/

ALEFF - SELECTED PUNISHMENTS (CDR by Ressonus Records)
Behind Aleff is Ondrej Gasek, from the Czech Republic, who creates electronic music with a bunch of rhythm behind it. Sometimes he does this for films, but here it stands by itself in eight pieces. It's somewhere between 'down tempo, ambient techno and industrial', Ressonus tells me. It's indeed not very fast in tempo, and a certain level of industrial music is indeed reached within these pieces. It has a swing, it might be called techno, but the component ambient somewhat eludes me. That's not a big problem, as I quite enjoy what I hear. It's not the sort of thing I'd play a lot everyday, as it's a bit too dark for me (dance?) taste, and the hectic beats of 'Buzz Uf Ass' is surely not my cup of tea, and the weakest link around here, but when his beats are a bit tighter together, coupled with some fine instrumental samples make up a nice Laibachian/Test Department industrial bang in 'Krajina Unkrajina', demented techno in 'Crime And Punishment/The Mate', or the Pan Sonic bleep of 'Jazzfuck', but then with the samples of a free jazz saxophone on top. Quite a tour de force this music, re-energizing the listener after a day of hard work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ressonus.net

RAY BRASSIER & MATTIN - UNFREE IMPROVISATION/COMPULSIVE FREEDOM (CDR by Confront)
More from Mattin, following his rather conceptual work from two weeks ago; but perhaps everything he does is very conceptual, and one of the main questions he asks himself is: what is free improvisation? How does it work, can it be truly free, is it really improvised and all such semantic and philosophical questions. While listening to the thirty-five minutes of 'Unfree Improvisation/Compulsive Freedom', which was performed with Ray Brassier on April 21 2013 at Tramway in Glasgow, you can read Brassier's text about it. Maybe you won't notice the music as such in the first ten minutes or so, but then you can read really well. Mattin got into the music world via harsh noise, but that's not the case here. Everything here remains quite soft. I have no idea what kind of sounds or instruments are used, no doubt none of any kind, and while reading the text, I kept thinking: does all of this lead to some great music? It is surely interesting to hear (and read), but the silence thing? I think I heard that by now. I don't want to get up and having to amplify the really soft bits to see what's going on. Why not properly master this into a listenable product? Obviously because that's against any of their self-proclaimed rules or conceptual guidelines. The bits that could be heard worked actually quite well: speed up spoken words, field recordings (probably something mechanical at Tramway and something captured on tape and brought to the venue), hiss, radio static, alone or in combination with each other. It works quite well; even as stand-alone music, even when, overall, I must admit I have my doubts about it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.confrontrecordings.com/

UNPOPULAR SCIENTISTS - ELIMINAL (CDR by Fluxus Montana)
Unpopular Scientists consists of Freed Altemus on prepared lap steel guitar and Josh Roshen on pepared guitar and laptop and released their debut album at Fluxus Montana. The album contains three improvisations on mentioned instruments. The tracks are recorded during live performances at Mobius Gallery and 11 Gallery in May 2013. Both musicians are active in several musical project and other artistic projects like mail art, stamp art and visual poetry. The two musicians are doing improvisations on their prepared guitars, which are based on repetition and searching for communication between the two men. Mostly the music has been played carefully, so the listener can be taken in an experimental space. The music has a quiet mood and is slowly changing. In some parts the music is adventurous, especially in the second track in which the laptop creates beautiful sound waves. Both musicians play their instrument with different techniques, so there is a lot of diversity in sound. Great album for people who are interested in experimental guitarmusic. (JKH)
Address: http://fluxusmontana.blogspot.com

STUART CHALMERS - IMANGINARY MUSICKS VOL. 2 (CDR by Blood Diamond Music)
Prizewinning in the department of the lowest quality packaging goes out this week to Stuart Chalmers, who manages to present something that looks worse than an average demo, which is a pity. So far I liked his music and I am sure this too will contain some fine music, but there is really lots of improvement to be made in the design department. He writes that he uses his tape player/sampler, synths and pedals, but tried out some new approaches. Chalmers uses the collage form, cutting and pasting sounds together, and here indeed seems to be taking the route that says 'noise'. Everything seems to be a bit louder and dirtier than on his previous work, although a piece like 'Trance' is not very loud and indeed a bit trance-like. But throughout it seems a bit less atmospheric than on his previous work and that new direction actually works quite well. Chalmers offers more variety here with this release, breaking up sounds and objects, sampling them, looping them and moving them around, sometimes in a more crude fashion. Less refined but quite effective altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://stuartchalmers.bandcamp.com

PLEQ & PHILIPPE LAMY - GRAVITATION (3"CDR by Taalem)
JAMES WYNESS - OBJECTS WRAPPED IN OBJECTS WRAPPED IN OBJECTS (3"CDR by Taalem)
TOMONARI NOZAKI - THE FALL OF ICARUS (3"CDR by Taalem)
This may seem 'hot on the heels' of the previous three, but that's not the case. The previous bunch was in fact released some time before mailing the promos and here we have three brand new, hot smoking releases. I started out with Pleq and Philippe Lamy's work 'Gravitation'. They both had works before on Taalem, Pleq with his collaborative disc with Hiroki Sasajima (see Vital Weekly 839) and Lamy's 'Entre Deux' (Vital Weekly 890). They work together since 2011, and their twenty-plus minute piece is very nice, and hardly be part of the world of spacious drones, which we more commonly find on Taalem. These two inhabit a world of computer processing along the lines of acousmatic music, musique concrete, feeding field recordings to the zeroes and ones of the computer and cook up a nice, vibrant piece of music. In a constant drift this moves about and may have ambient qualities - especially in the constant flow that is part of this and perhaps in the treated field recordings, it's also very much a work of musique concrete. Spacious collage music, very energetic and one of the best in the Taalem catalogue.
James Wyness has a great title of his release: it leaves stuff to imagine. He has two pieces, of exactly ten minutes each. In the first he uses 'metal wood burning stoves, open domestic fires and domestic utensils' and in the other 'tin foil, transducers and contact microphones'. I don't like long quotes, but the website says it better than I can do: ""the hearth" investigates the sounds of open and closed hearths recorded in the san macario region of northern Portugal. It reveals the dense dynamic textures and sonic morphologies of one of the fundamentals of architecture. "Foil" is an investigation of materiality and recursive procedures in which tin foil was set in a picture frame, played by hand and recorded using contact microphones. The recorded sounds were then played back through the foil using transducers, the foil was performed simultaneously and the results mixed live to tape." In the first of these pieces we hear something of light crackling nature, the burning of something inside a small hollow, metallic space, whereas in the tin foil piece it becomes all a bit darker and even percussive, slowed down. The tin foil has great sonic qualities but here it sounds very much unlike that. Dark and obscured sounds, but with a fine imaginative headspace. Two excellent pieces and also perhaps something that sounds less like what you would expect on Taalem.
The final new release is by Tomonari Nozaki, of whom we reviewed a CD back in Vital Weekly 888. His music reminded me of the more romantic laptop outing of Jorge Mantis. Nozaki uses 'destruction techniques discovered with reel-to-reel tape-loop splicing and other analogue experimentations', Taalem informs us and it inspired by the story of Icarus and his attempt to fly towards the sun. To the destruction end of his analogue experiments Nozaki uses recordings of string instruments, maybe played by him, but more likely loops from romantic classical music. It comes to us is fine washes, especially in 'Falling Into The Sky', which is very Mantis/The Beautiful Schizophonic like. 'Falling Into The Sea' is a bit darker and certainly towards the end a bit distorted, more the noisy end of ambient music I think. Nozaki's release is quite all right, and perhaps exactly the sort of thing Taalem releases: ambient, atmospheric, a bit dark. Nice music indeed, even if what predictable. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com

JAN WARNKE & MICHAEL ESPOSITO - O TANNENBAUM (3"CDR by Geraeuschmanufaktur)
Although I am not sure if this is for public consumption or perhaps it's some oil in music business relations, but it's too nice not to mention. It's of course that time of the year and here we have two remixes of 'O Tannenbaum' by Jan Warnke and Michael Esposito and it says 'frightening frequencies encountered under the Christmas tree', and I guess it has to do with how much you appreciate Christmas, trees and what you find scary; I am not a particular fan of the season, although it has positive sides (no mail, not a lot of work, so time for books/music/ (as in other music)/film. Maybe Warnke and Esposito poke a bit of fun with the whole thing and we should see the more humorous side of this. Two pieces here and both are lovely collages of found sound, field recordings and eerie electronics, which is the first (untitled) piece, reminded me of early Nurse With Wound ('Strange Play Of The Mouth'), but perhaps less moody (maybe more moody, but less serious). The second piece is all about obscured electronics and field recordings, and surely hoovers at sounds from beyond. Excellent release, and while there is no more Meeuw 7" records this time of the year, we could surely hope Warnke will start a new series of festive music. (FdW)
Address: https://geraeuschmanufaktur.bandcamp.com/

TIME BASE CORRECTOR - INTRO TO MIDI (cassette)
Behind Time Base Corrector we find Matthew Underwood, who has been making music since more than fifteen years and who studied with Andrew Deutsch and 'Intro To Midi' is his first official release. For this he started to use more traditional music programs including midi, he wrote me and while that may be it's not easy how it all works. But my best guess would be that this is all pure computer music. Now that could lead to some pretty strict music, following precise playing, sequencing, editing and such like, but it seems to me that Underwood aims for something different and that is more chaos. It sometimes comes across like he's trying out sounds, switching filters on and off, creating this large chaotic pattern of sounds, bouncing all over the spectrum. At times too chaotic for my taste - put this in the right place, I wanted to shout, but I could see the aesthetic behind it. Underwood has something very consistent to present. The title piece is not unlike a destruction of drum machine sounds, whereas 'Kapotte' (hey!) is a collage out of the more noise based basements and 'Nick Of Time' does something similar but with very subdued, low end sounds. Not just because of that title, I'd give this the benefit of doubt. It seems all rather easily made, but I think it all works quite well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mattunderwood.net/









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