Number 1007

COPPICE – MATCHES (CD by Category Of Manifestation)
PIETRO RIPARBELLI – VACUUM (CD by Dirter Promotions)
LANDSCAPES OF FEAR (2CD compilation by Gruenrekorder)
TZII – THE BLACK PILE (CD by Silken Tofu)
DB/MZ – THE LIGHT TO COME (CD by Silken Tofu)
CDR/TOPGEAR (12″ by Adaadat)
BUG – SEDIMENT (2CDR by Attenuation Circuit/Brainhall)
LOVVER – X (cassette by Klanggold)
SONOVO – A LINE HAS TWO SIDES (cassette by Klanggold)

COPPICE – MATCHES (CD by Category Of Manifestation)

By now Coppice, a duo of Noé Cuéllar & Joseph Kramer, made quite some impression on
me with their various releases (see Vital Weekly 882, 892, 921, 991 and 996) and it
seems they continue to explore their very own brand of improvised music, musique
concrete and drones. They collect and play instruments with bellows, such as prepared
shruti boxes and pump organs, which they process using tape techniques. Their music
is shaped in the studio and in concert and whatever finds it’s way to a release is
usually a combination of both, recorded in concert, studio and at home. What is great
about this music is that there is this drone like sounds, coming from instruments with
bellows, but it’s never easy to recognize. Maybe in the opening piece ‘Held Cascade’
and in the closing piece, ‘Caper’, this is very clearly the case, but in the other
five pieces this is not always easy to hear. There is quite a bit of processing going
on, I should imagine, to arrive at the feedback like piercing sounds of ‘Bromine’.
Nothing here sounds static, as Coppice scans surfaces of their instruments in a varying
amount of spaces (small ones, bigger ones) and all of the irregularities of the surface
become alive in this music. It adds a great element to the music; there is this massive
sound, drone like but very direct; there is occasional noise, as in ‘Discharge Form’,
which also uses the sound collage form, but there is also the element of improvisation,
such as in ‘Bramble’, in which the instruments sound as bellows, but also with the
elements of repetition to go along. It is all within these thirty-four minutes lots of
variations in how they generate their sounds and how they produce these results. It is
a most fascinating album, I think, another highlight in their short career so far.
Limited to 100 copies only. (FdW)


Both of these releases come with beautiful covers and inside there are a 24-page/16-
page booklets of talks/interviews/conversations between the performing musicians. I am
not sure if I heard of Erkki Veltheim (violin) before, but Anthony Pateras (piano) is
someone whose music found it’s way to these pages before. Sometimes in a modern classical
setting, but usually firmly based within the realms improvised music. In the 24 page
booklet the two artists discuss the ‘difference’ between both composed and improvised
music, as well as a whole bunch of other interesting topics, and it’s interesting to
read about that and listen to their ‘Entertainment = Control’ piece, which might very
well be something that is composed (as in written down in a score) or improvised. They
themselves don’t see it this way and it’s a more fluid thing. The piece I think is
beautiful: it is very minimal with its open strings on the violin and Pateras playing
very sparse notes in a very repeating way, but without much sustain. This is not
minimalism in the Steve Reich/Philip Glass sense of the word. To use the word ‘fluid’
again: the music sounds like water coming out of a tap, dripping nervously. It must
have been quite an endurance test for these two players to play in this way. It is
a work that changes a lot actually over the course of fifty minutes. It has a great
spacious character and once you are sucked into this nervous hectic playing, these
repeating phrases, you will discover the beauty of it, and it unfolds in quite a
majestically way. I played this release a couple of times in the past few days and
every time found something new in it. I expect this to happen again whenever I play
this next.
   The other release seems to be the farewell release of Thymolphthalein, the quintet
of Anthony Pateras (piano, Wurlitzer, modular synthesizer) with Natasha Anderson
(contrabass recorder and electronics), Will Guthrie (percussion, drums), Jerome
Noetinger (tape machine, electronics) and Clayton Thomas (double bass). Before they
just had one record on Editions Mego, ‘Ni Maitre, Ni Marteau’ (see Vital Weekly 767)
and in the booklet one can read Pateras conversing with the other members, some more
general description of what this group was about and diary notes from Pateras, which
altogether makes an interesting read, providing some insight in this group.
Thymolphthalein was all about organising improvisation, but without being overtly
composed or improvised. I quite enjoyed their previous release, and this new one seems
to be very much along similar lines. Quite vividly played music that uses a lot of
improvised sounds – especially from the sides of the pianist, percussionist and bass,
while the electronics, while tapes provide a more musique concrete/electro-acoustic
approach to the music. Sometimes the music has a very acoustic angle such as in the
title piece, which leans most towards free jazz, but I favour those pieces that combine
acoustic and electronic generated sound. It’s here where the music picks up with most
vividness, bouncing and leaping around, scratching, hitting, quiet, loud, dynamic,
flat; sometimes it sounds like someone has treated the tape with a pair of scissors,
cutting up things further, but then, I suspect that this is not the case. If this is
the final statement of Thymolphthalein, then it’s surely a most fitting tombstone.
An excellent release. (FdW)


From Canada hails Galerie Stratique, also known as Charles-Emile Beullac, and this
is fourth release, in fifteen years. He calls himself a sound hunter and his music
is all about applying concrete sounds to electronics, and perhaps vice versa. There
is a small booklet inside ‘Dreams of Concrete’, as the title translates, in which
he explains his influences, a list of stuff (which includes gongs, clay bells,
metal bowls filled with some water, but also a Commodore 64, drum machines, effect
pedals and roll paper towels. To Galerie Stratique everything is music. There are
twenty-one pieces on the first CD, which is the main thing in this package. On the
other disc, ‘Archives Volume 1’, there is a bunch of ambient lullabies from his
earlier days, that weren’t good enough for his previous releases, but now, polished
and refined, are. What I like about the first disc is the simply approach Galerie
Stratique has going per piece. Twenty-one songs in forty minutes that equals, say,
two minutes average per track. That makes that all of this is short and to the point.
A few bangs here and there, feeding them through a modular set-up and play around
with these sparse elements for two minutes is sometimes really enough. To be concise
is not easy, but Galerie Stratique does things very well. Each piece is made with
quite some imagination, and also the variation is well considered on this album.
An excellent mixture of electronic tunes, melodic, witty at times, and a majority
of more abstract pieces, that quirky, sad, uplifting, alien and sometimes tedious.
With such a variety that is likely to happen.
   The bonus disc contains also forty-one minutes, but then ten pieces, so here all
is a bit longer and we are promised more ambient like music. That’s what we get
indeed. Lots of synthesizers, a bit of drum machines and it seems there is a lot
less of electronic processing of acoustic sound material. There is a more minimal
approach towards composition here, with synth washes being an obvious connection,
but it’s not exclusively like that. Galerie Stratique also plays out some harsher
tones and tunes such as in the fifth piece (no titles for the pieces on this bonus
disc). When he employs a rhythm, I must say I am a little less interested, but
luckily those tracks are kept to a minimum. In general this is all a bit different
than the first CD, and even while there is a bit of variation in these pieces, I am
also inclined to think it’s perhaps a bit superfluous, but surely fans would
disagree with me. (FdW)
   Address: <>

PIETRO RIPARBELLI – VACUUM (CD by Dirter Promotions)

Sometimes, in the past, he called himself K11, but these days Pietro Riparbelli
refers to his own name when doing music releases. Gruenrekorder, Cold Spring,
Gerauschmanufaktur and others released his work and he sometimes works with other
people such as Michele Ferretti in Zone Demersale. I am not entirely sure, but the
name change may also have caused a small shift in his music; maybe I am just not
aware of everything he ever did. In the works I heard from him so far, heavily
processed field recordings play a very big role, which end up into very dense
masses of sound. On this new release it seems that the field recordings are still
there, and maybe even processed, but also, at times, very much unprocessed, but
there is also room, much room in fact, for rhythm. Rhythm out of a box, and played
in a very minimal way. There is just a slow, minimal beat, set onto the field
recordings and drones. Sometimes the synthesizers do a bit of an arpeggio sound,
which makes all of this a bit more cosmic, but throughout the mood of the music
is quite dark and very atmospheric. Maybe a bit too dark for my taste, but perhaps
that’s also due to the stark, minimal rhythms used, the extended reverb that
Riparbelli puts on, which makes it all a bit too cathedral like (to avoid the
word ‘gothic’) for my taste. But I’m sure there are people out there who love
such a majestically formed minimal rhythm ‘n drone music quite exciting.
Riparbelli plays his music quite well, and it’s made with great care for detail,
but just not always excites me. (FdW)

LANDSCAPES OF FEAR (2CD compilation by Gruenrekorder)

Another ‘no expense spared’ release here: a large box and inside two CDs and
a folded poster that looks like a map on one side and explanations on the other
side. Much like the recently reviewed ‘Grenzen’ compilation (Vital Weekly 1003)
this compilation also deals with borders, but in this case limits itself to
borders between countries, sources of conflict between them, refugees, big
data and such like. A compilation, another one. Here we find such composers
as Sebastian Thewes, Tim Gorinski, Public Demand, Katharina Mayer, Ali Chakav,
Linda Franke, Achim Mohne, Stephanie Glauber/Miriam Gossing, Zo-on Slows,
Alisa Berger, Axel Pulgar, Lena Ditte Nissen, Tzeshi Lei, Renate Boden and
Random Supply. To be honest, none of these names mean much to me, but that,
of course, says nothing about the quality of the music. Lots of field recordings,
as is expected from this label, of open fields with planes overhead. Some of
these pieces are more conceptual in approach and use a variety of computer
treatments. Nothing too spectacular I think, but there aren’t any weak brothers
either. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights. Linda Franke’s piece is
a choir of singing and a repeating speaking voice, which is an excellent
change for a while, after all the field recordings, and so is the Glauber/
Gossing piece dealing with text and sound, or purely text as in the case of
Nissen. It’s these pieces, interestingly enough all of them by women, which
makes this compilation quite interesting, something that goes beyond the more
regular sound pieces, field recordings and laptop processing, which many of
the others do around here. I was puzzled by the large map on one of the sides
of the insert, which at times I seemed to look at with more interest than
I was actually giving the music. That might not be the way these things
should be done. (FdW)

TZII – THE BLACK PILE (CD by Silken Tofu)
DB/MZ – THE LIGHT TO COME (CD by Silken Tofu)

Last weekend I was in Belgium and, alright there was a bit of beer involved,
I got a whole bunch of releases handed by the owner of Silken Tofu, with the
instruction ‘to play, maybe review, listen and see for yourself’, but I’d
like to think there is no such thing as a free lunch, so I will hope to go
through most of these over the next few weeks. Looking at all the covers,
one notices that the colour ‘black’ is something most of these musicians love.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, and I forgot to ask (beers involved, I told
you), if Silken Tofu regards themselves to be an industrial label. I rather
randomly picked the CD by Instinct Primal to play first. This is the musical
project of Jan Kruml, who calls his music ‘ambient/dub/experimental/field
recordings’, and who sometimes works with Per Ahlund (Diskrepant) as Stendahl.
In a nice silkscreened black cover with silver carton sleeve, we find nine
tracks of dark ambient music, even when the start is a bit gothic (dramatic
orchestral samples, reverb), but as the release evolved and I got more and
more into it and found it lesser to be on that dramatic gothic side. There
is quite some variation in the music here; bits of dubby/ethnic rhythm in
‘Glacial’, which also may use the dripping of ice, more industrialized forms
of synth washes with choral humming, Test Dept like drumming in ‘Awake II’
and an excellent quiet poetic piece with female voices whispering in German,
French and English (it seems) in ‘Denudation Of Bodies’ with sparse piano
notes. As said all is dark, all is atmospheric, but given the amount of
variation of approaches here, this is a most enjoyable release. The music
of Instinct Primal is rather ‘musical’ and not as abstract as some of his
peers. Great start!
   Tzii has been reviewed before, but Jliat wasn’t that positive back then.
This new work seems to be less noise based. There is just one, close to thirty-
five minute piece on this disc, which, certainly in the early minutes, up to
say sixteen minutes remains very quiet: it keeps building and building with
small synth sounds, a bit of reverb and every now and then another sound,
another effect is added to the roster. Then a sudden break, and the piece
have arrived in noise territory, albeit more considered noise than I expected.
It has a somewhat ‘live recording’ feeling to it, with some of the more abrupt
additions of sound here and there. Beyond the twenty-two minute mark there is
a bit of mechanical industrial rhythm and what seems vocals and voices from
tapes, which ends with ‘you’re a slave’, so perhaps all of this politically
motived? Quite simple and direct, this music, quite good to be honest.
   DB stands for David Bengtsson and MZ for Magnus Zetterberg; I don’t think
I heard their music before. The six tracks are all untitled and information
is sparse anyway on this release. With the third piece we arrive in firm noise
land, but it’s not their aim to be an all-noise duo, I think. Their sound is
electronic throughout, dark obviously, and there is refined sense of minimalism
in these pieces. Things move rather slowly in these pieces, but I am not
entirely convinced by their music. The minimalism doesn’t work always here;
it is too sparse perhaps, or too thin, and ultimately there is a some sounds
together, such as in the fourth piece, but which doesn’t seem to bring on an
intense composition, or finely woven atmospheric drones or such like. It all
remains a bit too distant, cold and alien, but that might very well be the
intention of the musician, to create something that is just not very easy to
relate to?
   Last Saturday, a few hours before I got this bunch handed, I witnessed
from quite a distance actually, the concert by Bruital Orgasme, a duo from
Brussels, of whom I previously reviewed a cassette release in Vital Weekly
861, which I thought worked quite well in terms of old school industrial
noise. The concert was quite nice, with lots of scratchy records, electronic
bleeps, an amplified spinning wheel and when things exploded in the second
half into a harsh noise wall, it was time to retreat to another room.
Despite that noise the concert made me curious about this record though.
Not unlike the previous release and certainly not unlike the concert,
the record follows the same compositional built up: first there is a whole
bunch of skipping sounds from ancient and well worn out pieces of vinyl,
which receive treatments of electronics and effects and towards the end of
side one a bit of noise, whereas on the other side the noise bits are much
more present, but unlike the concert there isn’t just one long blast of
noise. Here Bruital Orgasme is more playful (although that might not be the
correct name for it) with their noise, and it is well balanced. No doubt
the fact the listener has a level of control over the noise, and no control
at all in a concert situation makes this all the more enjoyable. Okay,
so maybe the concert situation isn’t my cup of tea, but I definitely enjoyed
what I heard on record. The rest to follow next week! (FdW)


Some time ago I received in a short period of time various releases by either
Franck Vigroux, or those that he released on his own label, D’autres Cordes.
His most recent collaboration with Mika Vainio I didn’t receive. His label
didn’t release ‘Camera’ and it’s perhaps also something of an oddball in
his more electronic career. The eight pieces on this release are played by
Michel Blanc (percussion), Matthew Bourne (electric and acoustic piano),
Bruno Chevillon (double bass), with Vigroux himself on electronics and guitar.
I assume that seeing ‘composed by Franck Vigroux’ on the cover means that he
actively scribbled down a few notes with regards to how things should be
played, but it might also very well be that Vigroux took a bunch of recordings
by these people and he plays around with them, using studio techniques. I must
admit: I am not sure about this. It could be either of these two approaches.
There is at times quite a modern classical feel about these pieces, especially
when the piano strums few chords, majestically, and a bow is used to play the
double bass. The guitar and electronics in return bring you back into the land
of noise, with some well-placed beeps and distorted noise patterns. There is
some strong interaction between these players, and within this music, regardless
of how it was made. Lots of tension between the notes, the players and the way
the whole thing is played out. A powerful release indeed, but it suffers a bit
from the vinyl, I think. Or perhaps my copy is just a bit crackly? I don’t
know but it somehow interrupts the fine flow of the dynamic music. (FdW)


This is the fourth release by Lisbon based guitar player Filipe Felizardo, who
turned thirty this year and coincidently this is also the thirtieth release by
Three:four Records. Felizardo’s previous three releases were released by Clean
Feed, Wasser Bassin and Three:four, so ‘Volume IV’ is his second release for
the label, and therefor (?) a double LP. Felizardo plays electric guitar and
has a self-built amplifier. There is no mentioning of effects and based on what
I hear, and since this double album is an introduction for me, he might not use
any effects. Felizardo moves around the amplifier to generate feedback if need
by and need for that seems in demand quite a bit here. Felizardo let’s his six
stringed beast howl on end and much of this sounds pretty dark and grim. Maybe
grim is not the right word, but dark it is. Much of the higher frequencies have
been filtered out by Felizardo and one hears the low end rumble of him playing
his tunes. It’s not music people have a word for, I think. Blues might be the
one that comes close, but it might also just not cover it, entirely. There is
a distinct personal howl around this music, of desolation, of open landscapes,
heat and sand perhaps, but with that personal touch – we can not guess what it
means for Felizardo, but we can make it our own drama; in fact it’s quite easy
I should think to find something personal in this, grief, sadness, loneliness.
None of this, you might have guessed is strictly blues, as Felizardo has a few
tricks up his sleeve to make it sound quite different and alien, such as ‘Ain’t
Gonna Get Outta This Floor No More’, with it’s more percussive guitar approach.
Maybe a double LP all a bit long for so much sadness, but it works fine in
smaller quantities. (FdW)

CDR/TOPGEAR (12″ by Adaadat)

People around me who try to engage me in a conversation about football or cars
know already: I am not in the least bit interested in both. Yet while there
are more football haters, when it comes to cars, even the ones who tell me they
are not interested, tell me Topgear is a great show, ‘it’s very funny and you
don’t need to like cars’. While even women tell me this, I very much don’t like
to watch some biased, xenophobic, chauvinistic males bashing another countries/
foreign cars/people/women/men (sissy’s like me probably). Maybe I told this
before, in an earlier review of his work, but it’s an all-important message,
me thinks. So there you go and I like to thank DJ Topgear for allowing me to
review a TV show, and while the label does not mention it, Simon Petre might be
a big fan of the show. He lives in Tokyo, and calls himself a ‘suburban freeware
electronica geek, occasional MC and Korean flute player’ and no doubt he met CDR,
Hakaru Tsunematsu, over there. You can find more on him and his many monikers in
Vital Weekly 1004). I started with the CDR side, first on 33 rpm, which sounded
great until I found out I had to play this at 45 rpm, of course speeding things
up a few notches more. It continues from his previous release but seems a bit
more organised here. Maybe for these two pieces, and CDR took some consideration
while recording towards such notions as composition? It’s still a piece of
breakcore and comes with the usual chaos, but there is also a rhythm pattern that
returns in both of the pieces on the record. DJ Topgear on the other side is
even more organised: his beats may be broken up, but on top he waves quite coherent
synthesizer/sequencer sounds. Fast music, ultra fast, and it must be an age thing:
but this is way too fast for me. It’s great music, there is no doubt about that,
drill ‘n bass, drum ‘n break or whatever core, but I found it hard to bounce around,
pretending to dance.
   On CDR we find Rutger Hauser. And yes, that sounds like strangely familiar to
the Dutch actor of the same, and recently Adaadat released a 7″ by Masters, with
a title that was exactly like the actor. Maybe there is a bit of fascination for
our Blade Runner over there at Adaadat HQ? Rutger Hauser started in 2013 as a duo
with John Harries (of Sleeps In Oysters) on drums and Jamie Coe on bass/pedals,
but soon expanded with John Klaemint Hofgaard on guitar, Lisa Busby (of Fingers
In The Gloss and Sleeps In Oysters) and Ian Stonehouse on ‘playback media’ and
Rose Dagul (of Rhosyn, Foals, 2:54, Ghold, Chad Valley) on cello. While many of
the releases on Adaadat seem to deal with electronics and rhythms, Rutger Hauser
is electronic at times, but it’s also very rock like, and very improvised. It’s
the strangest of combinations maybe, but funnily enough it also works quite well.
‘Playback media’ should be understood a vinyl spinning and CD skipping, which
provide an already chaotic background for the cello/drums/bass to either bring
more chaos to the table, or try to, in various configurations, bring order to the
music. All of that makes one hell of a bumpy ride, as one can imagine. Sometimes
they rock like punk, but with someone having a radio in the background, while in
other instances everybody is on a free rollercoaster ride. This is fifty minutes
of high-tension music, with lots to explore and even more to enjoy. Rutger Hauser
seems an exciting new band. (FdW)

Behind TVAM is one Joe Oxley and in Vital Weekly 992 we already reviewed an USB
device in an ancient video box by him; now it’s time for a lathe cut, edition
of 100 copies, 7″ single with two songs. Oxley calls his music ‘post-internet,
motivational slime punk’ and his influences reach from Big Black to Boards Of
Canada. It’s not, as I thought of the first release, a rock band with electronics.
Here the music seems to be electronic but also with quite some guitars. ‘Porsche
Majeure’ is the more electronic of the two pieces. Vocals pushed towards the back,
hard rhythm up front and a guitar wailing about, but more towards the end. There
is, certainly at the beginning, some more esoteric voice work, but it’s mostly a
heavy electronic sound. ‘We Like Fires’ is also driven by hard rhythm and sequences
while Oxley (I assume) singing, even when his voice is pushed a bit towards the
back in the mix. The guitar plays an all-important role here, even more than on
the other side it seems. It’s not difficult to see the Big Black reference in
this respect, actually in both of these songs. Quite a pop blast for a grey
Sunday afternoon. (FdW)

BUG – SEDIMENT (2CDR by Attenuation Circuit/Brainhall)

Bug is a Swiss duo of Andreas Glauser (manipulated electronic tools, organ) and
Christian Bucher (drums). Glauser is an artist, musician specialized in sound
performances. With his partner Julia Kälin he runs the Brainhall label that
released this double cd. Bucher is a classically trained percussionist, but he
did also studies in jazz and improvisation. They joined their forces for some
very smash in the face noise music. The noises produced by Glauser on his organ
and mixer are very raw and often extremely distorted. Bucher adds massive
percussive patterns and structures. The first cd counts 10 of their noise attacks.
The second cd captured them in a live performance. They are more into producing
over the top noise, full of a bombastic energy, then musical structures. This I
experienced as the weak spot of their uncompromising and courageous undertaking.
How overwhelming the noise may be, the structures they built are not equally
impressive. On the live cd they prove however to be tight and communicative
unit. Hope this is a promise for the future (DM)


Drummer Chris Golinski and pianist Lona Kozik present their first work, titled
‘Spelaeology’, named after the scientific research in caves and similar
environments. They choose the title as an metaphor for their search for the
“underworld of traditional musical approaches”. Kozik seems to play some kind
of prepared piano, if not she choose for a percussive way of playing the piano.
They develop their ideas in three very determined improvisations and play with
timbre, colour and texture. In ‘Discovery’ also melodic elements are explored.
‘Return’ has parts of long sustained abstract sounds changed for percussion
dominated parts, playing all kind of patterns. Their playing is very fresh
and self-conscious. They create a rich and full grown sound world of their
own, with many engaging passages passing by.
   Ask Not is an improvising unit led by Keith Kelly (soprano, tenor saxophones,
clarinet, flute), with Ari Chersky on guitar, Shaun Lowecki playing drums and
cymbals and Doug Stuart on upright bass. Plus Brett Reed guesting on vibes.
Their music is a melting pot of influences but in the end their music is
dominated by jazz elements. Although they develop interesting and complex
structures, the music didn’t really make an appeal on me. Their interactions
are not sounding very spirited and urgent to me. I guess it is better to catch
them live on stage on the right moment.
   Brett Carson is a new name for me. He composed a very interesting work,
performed by his ensemble Quattor Elephantis: Robert Lopez (drums), Mateo Lugo
(electric guitar) and Scott Siler (vibraphone, percussion). Carson himself
plays keyboards in a prominent role. His thoroughly constructed compositions
and fine arrangements evoke memories of Zappa and progrock, but absolutely
not in a retro manner. Very intelligent structures and complex rhythms are
woven by Carson and performed excellent by his ensemble. A joy. (DM)


‘God save the Noise! Noise save the God!’ it says on this five track release,
which may or may not be the result of two people having a split release.
The font is not easy to read, so hop over to the bandcamp to know more about
this. So there are three pieces by Royal Hungarian Noisemakers and two by
Noisesculptor. The final track by the first is a live piece, while the other
four may be remixes of each other’s work. The word ‘noise’ should not be
taken too literal. Obviously this is all quite experimental music, and most
of the times quite abstract at that, but it’s not your usual over the top
howling noise. It would seem to me that both of these projects like their
laptops a lot and that whatever finds it’s way inside these laptops is
stretched out and treated with lots of sound effects, effectively creating
some cold computer drone music; pieces follow the curve of the input, so
it never remains static, but at the same time it’s also very computer like.
Nothing is done to hide that fact, which is of course just another way at
looking at these things. It’s a choice, I guess, but maybe also an easy one.
The live piece by Royal Hungarian Noisemakers at the end, with the help of
Bass O-Matic is the most noisiest cut around here, but even then it’s all
well under control. It’s not the world’s greatest release by (unsigned)
artists, but it works quite all right. (FdW)

(CDR by The Slightly Off Kilter Label)

Two works of improvised music, both involving Paul Khimasia Morgan. On
the disc where he works with Dan Powell, who plays guitar and electronics,
they call themselves Brambling, a small songbird. Morgan himself plays
zither and amplified objects and I’m sure there is a fair of electronics
floating around the place. Between September 2012 and March 2013 they
recorded a couple of times together and the results can be heard on this
sixty-five minute disc. That made me think there is perhaps not a lot of
editing going on, but maybe that’s also because it sounds rather unedited.
I must admit I am not particular blown away by these four long duets. It
is too much in the area of noise, or rather an extended use of sound
effects, which makes that all of this sounds very much the same. Lots of
delay. There is also quite an amount of hiss in this music, which doesn’t
add an aesthetic thing, at least not for me. The sound has lots of room
for improvement, but I am not sure if that helps the actual music. It’s
all a bit messy, noisy and without too much control, and none of I thought
lead up to something engaging to hear.
   Two sets where recorded in Wiveliscombe, Somerset in the spring of 2013,
by Michael Fairfax, at home and all in one go. Fairfax studied musique
concrete in 1972, and then did both visual and sound art. With Matt Saunders
and Barry Witherden he had a trio called Tapes + Ashes, and with Barry
also the duo Gimlet-Eyed Mariners (see Vital Weekly 817). Witherden, also
present here, is also a music journalist, writing about jazz. No instruments
are mentioned on the cover, but I should think there is a fair amount of
electronics, laptops, tapes and maybe the odd acoustic object. These two
pieces are not free renditions of the Stone Roses’ classic of the same
name. These two pieces are shorter (in total) than on the other release,
but also a bit unformed. I can see why people have a ‘no edit’ policy,
but there is something to say for some good ol’ editing: weed out the
passages that don’t work. It’s simple as that. Having said that, I must
also say I enjoyed this release way more than the other one. It moves
through interesting bits of improvised electronic sounds, some squeak
on the zither and has an occasional spooky atmosphere. This is dark and
gloomy, but then originated in the world of improvised music. Spacious
improvised music that works quite well, except for those bits in which
they loose their game a bit. Worth checking out. The only room for
improvement is the cover artwork! (FdW)

LOVVER – X (cassette by Klanggold)
SONOVO – A LINE HAS TWO SIDES (cassette by Klanggold)

Many releases by Klanggold are in the digital domain, and it’s certainly
worthwhile checking their site for these. The two releases here, at this
moment, are on cassette and both by people I haven’t heard of before.
Behind Lovver, it is said by the label, are a post-rock guitarist and an
“avant-garde sound-mangler & noise maker”. They don’t discuss or talk a
lot, but just play and on their joint cassette, the music is rather calm
and yet also orchestral. The noisemaker provides a rhythm pounding below
the waves that are no doubt courtesy of the guitar player. Apparently both
tracks (one per side) where played live, but shaped in the studio for
this release. ‘Cloud Logic’ is the more guitar/rhythm-oriented piece on
the first side with its sustaining guitar bits while ‘Sermon’ on the other
side has a more abstract feel to it. A bit of crackling on the contact
microphones and drones that are more alien, at least until the rhythm
becomes more apparent. This music could serve well in a chill-out room,
although a bit short to relax.
   Sonovo was apparently quiet for seven years and now return with two
short songs on what we used to call a cassingle in the old days (which we
used to send out spoken word letters!), with in total has twelve minutes
of music. Andreas Usenbenz plays microkorg, samples and loops and on
the title piece there is also a field recording from the Peace Park in
Hiroshima. Both of these pieces are quite minimal in approach: once it
has found it’s groove it stays in there and very little changes. There
are more changes in ‘Serious Colors’ than in the title piece, but rather
below the surface of the beat (on both sides). Interestingly ‘Serious
Colors’ has a somewhat lighter tone than the other side. It’s all a bit
too brief for me: I quite enjoy these pieces but it’s short to form an
opinion on this project or the music. I also don’t understand why this
wasn’t any longer: after seven years of absence one could expect some
more compositions to be ready? I’d love to hear them! (FdW)