Number 1024


FOVEA HEX – THE SALT GARDEN I (CDEP by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust) *
JOHN ATKINSON – ASASIN IN LEGE (CD by Florabelle Records) *
DAS DING – SEQUENCER (10″ by Midlight/DeHef)
CHARCOAL OWL (7″ by I Dischi Del Barone)
ARV & MILJÖ (7″ by I Dischi Del Barone)
DOC WÖR MIRRAN – GOSIA (CDR by Miss Management) *
JLIAT – C (CDR by Jliat) *
DUBCORE/ANDREY POPOVSKIY (split cassette by Spina! Records)
UMPIO/KRYPTOGEN RUNDFUNK (split cassette by Spina! Records)
   (split cassette by Spina! Records)
THE PHLOD-NAR – MORPHOGENESIS (cassette by Temonos)


As promised by the composer himself when he released ‘Sound Works 1982-1987,
a double CD of works from that period (see Vital Weekly 616), here is an another
release of early music, spanning the years before 1982, 1974 up to 1983. Back
then in Vital Weekly 616 it was my first introduction to his music, which
apparently first made waves with the ‘Cable Car Soundscapes’ LP for Smithsonian
Folkways. Much of what Speare did and does deals with multi-media projects and
as such is probably not always suited for release on a CD. Unlike his previous
anthology of early works, this new one balances between pieces of field
recordings and more instrumental ones. It opens with a piece called ‘Ecrier’,
with recordings made in a psychiatric hospital, including recordings of patients
with ‘distinct, remarkable speech patterns, tones and rhythms’, which are also
part of this long piece. It is perhaps a bit too long in the end whereas ‘Crib
Death Of An Astronaut’, an electronic piece, is on the other hand a bit on the
short side. More field recordings are to be found in the third piece, ‘Mettle
Of Metal’, including a video game arcade and the band Flipper. It has an
industrial ring to it, and sounds very much of it’s time. ‘Idiolect II’ is a
short, transitional piece of sound poetry and the three pieces that form the
rest of the CD are for instruments, such as flute and piano, two violas, two
cellos and piano and sound to me very much like modern classical music, and they
are not really my cup of tea. ‘White Strand’, the long piece at the end start in
a similar classical fashion but then start amassing more and more sound, of a
more unidentifiable nature, also with a somewhat industrial texture, but it sounds
all a bit muddy and undefined. Perhaps it was a sign o’times? Everything grey,
all in decay, decay equals okay? I am not sure about it now. The CD comes with
a great package with lengthy liner notes by the composer explaining the Ipieces,
how they were made and such niceties that you like to read while listening. (FdW)


The score for this, so says the cover, is published by Edition Wandelweiser, so
you may have an idea where to find this, music wise; or rather, volume-wise.
Stefan Thut composed the work, and he plays cello, but there is also Yuri Akbalkan
(sine waves, white noise), Anna Antipova (box, playback, movement), Ilia Belorukov
(alto saxophone, objects), Andrey Popvskiy (violin, objects) and Denis Sorokin
(acoustic guitar, ebow). These close to forty minutes of musicpromise everything
you expect from a recording connected to the Wandelweiser group; there is lots of
silence, which makes you crank up the volume quite a bit so you can hear whatever
music there is in here for you. The music is cut down to maybe (!) twelve parts
with quite some silence in between. This is not the kind of music you stick on and
do the dishes: you will be totally annoyed by the lack of sound. One either sits
down and listen with full concentration, with a clear open ear for every detail
it contains, or one closes their eyes and listen as a piece of meditation to this.
I simply see no other option for this kind of music. I played this with great
interest, almost with full-on concentration which is never easy for this kind of
music of a longer period of time, and it’s surely all most rewarding, but afterward
I needed some hard stomping techno to cool off. I wonder if other listeners have
the same feeling? If quiet music is your cup, then this is a small bowl. (FdW)


Toxydoll is a Berlin-based quartet with following crewmembers: Vicent Doménech (alto
sax), Alberto Cavenati (guitar), Bob Meanza (keyboards, electronics) and Olga Nosova
   Nosova is from Moscow and played about everything there in local groups. Nowadays
a duo with Alexei Borisov is a main activity. Bob Meanza is the pseudonym of Michele
Pedrazzi, Verona-born pianist and electronic musician. Also Cavenati comes from Italy,
but is a busy bee in the Berlin scene nowadays. Domenech comes from Valencia where he
studied jazz at the conservatory. So we have an international line up here, presenting
their second album for the also Berlin-based Aut label. In 2013 they debuted with a
live album. ‘Bullsheep’ is a studio work. Recordings were done in an Italian studio
shortly after touring this country. So we have them here as tight playing as possible.
And that is a good thing as this makes their rhythmic complex and jumpy music more
convincing. We find eight tracks on their cd, all between four and seven minutes,
composed by all members except Nosova. Room for improvisation is limited. All tracks
are complex constructions starting from an identical vision: jazz and rock are the
constitutive ingredients. With jazz integrated into a rock context more than it is
the other way around. Their eclectic avant rock picks up where older bands like Doctor
Nerve, Curlew and Miriodor stopped. In that sense Toxydoll doesn’t open new windows,
but it is a great pleasure to have a new band as fresh and tight as Toxydoll that
continues in this tradition. (DM)

FOVEA HEX – THE SALT GARDEN I (CDEP by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust)

It’s been four years since Fovea Hex released ‘Here Is Where We Used To Sing’ (see Vital
Weekly 780), but now the wait is over. There is now strong involvement of Steven Wilson,
prog-rock artist, but also someone who is known for a great taste in all things musical
(rumour has it he even subscribes to Vital Weekly, to tap into the world of experiment),
who will release three 10″ records on his own Headphone Dust label, which so far was only
reserved for his own (multiple) projects, but now sidesteps with Fovea Hex. Four pieces
on ‘The Salt Garden 1’, and it is a striking beauty. Stage central with Fovea Hex is the
voice of Clodagh Simonds, who lent her voice to early Mike Oldfield albums (Hergest Ridge,
Ommadawn, if you must know) and in the same period her own folk rock group Mellow Candle.
Then she didn’t do any music until a decade she started Fovea Hex, surrounded by the likes
of Brian Eno, Colin Potter, Carter Burwell, Robert Fripp and Michael Begg (best known as
Human Greed, see last week), creating a vast musical space around her heavenly voice.
There are no credits (yet) on the cover of this new release (maybe one day there will be
a box?), but the website says that Fovea Hex here is Clodagh Simonds, Michael Begg, Colin
Potter and Laura Sheeran, with Cora Venus Lunny and Kate Ellis and special guests Brian
Eno and Justin Grounds. There are four spacious pieces of music. Simonds voice reminds one
of Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil and Dead Can Dance, but the music shares very little
with those 4AD acts. It’s quite electronic, eerie, spacious, erecting a vast sense of
place; synthesizers, guitars, sounds? Who can tell? And who cares how this was made? This
music elevates to an entirely different atmosphere, not of this world. This is twenty-one
minutes of heavenly bliss.
   And if that isn’t enough there was for pre-ordered copies only also a twenty-one minute
rework of ‘Solace’ by Steven Wilson himself (of course nowhere to get now), just as the
previous albums by Fovea Hex were accompanied by a remix CD. I can imagine the music of
Fovea Hex is great to take apart and put together in a new construction. Wilson picked
‘Solace’, the one track of the four with the least amount of vocals, which was interesting.
The other remarkable fact I thought is why is this under the name of Steven Wilson (by
which name he himself does totally different music) and not his drone moniker Bass Communion?
It would have surely be fitting there, even when the drones of ‘Solace’ are less continuous
and more sparse; perhaps also more musical, taking various pastoral chords from the original
and spreading out them out over a twenty-one minute lovely piece. I wouldn’t have minded
more original Fovea Hex today (I’ll return to the older albums straight away), but this
remix sure works almost as well – the big wait for the next instalment has started! (FdW)

JOHN ATKINSON – ASASIN IN LEGE (CD by Florabelle Records)

These are the first two releases by Florabelle Records, a new label by Ned Milligan, who
also did the music on the LP. I started however with the CD, by one John Atkinson, of whom
I also never heard. He is a member of the Brooklyn rock ensemble Aa and the music here
was recorded as a soundtrack to the documentary ‘Asasin în Lege’ (Killers Inc), about the
“investigations into the assassination of an influential Russian businessman tracing
a barely-underground war between Kremlin-connected businessmen and bankers fought with
brigades of assassins for hire”, although the maker is nowhere mentioned. It’s perhaps
information that renders a bit a meaningless as one is hearing the music it’s very hard to
think of this as having anything to do with guns and such like. Hard to say what it is that
Atkinson does here, but my best guess is that most of the music is created with a guitar
and lots of sound effects, especially chilling reverb here and there. Sometimes, such as in
the opening piece ‘Air Lock’, this leads to beautiful wintery painted colours of beautiful
drone music, but it’s not always peace and quietness in these pieces. It’s not really noise
either, of course, but Atkinson knows how to generate some spine chilling effects and
tension in his pieces, such as the distortion of ‘Voyager’. Sometimes beautifully distilled
in an orchestral way, but then, with a single tone, crushing the moment into pitiful
darkness. The closing piece ‘In The Ring’ was, with its humming voices perhaps a bit a bit
too tacky, but otherwise this is a great album.
   ‘Continental Burns’ is Ned Milligan’s third album, and despite only 100 copies were
pressed, it is the first time he presents his work to a wider audience. No instruments are
mentioned on the cover, but my best guess is that he uses guitar, electronics, maybe a
keyboard of some kind and a touch of field recordings somewhere. On the first side we find
five pieces, while ‘The Station In Spuyten Duyvil’ takes up the entire B-side. There are
some differences between both sides. The pieces on the first side seem to be a bit more
experimental and collage like, with sounds being carefully placed all around on the multi-
track editor, playing the mood card quite a bit (certainly in a piece like ‘Every Afternoon
A New One’ with its soft tinkering guitar), but the music is, as far as I can see not
exclusively about all things drone like. It’s more about painting pictures with sound –
quite abstract pictures at that, leaving interpretation open to the listener. The long B-
side piece however does play that drone/all atmospheric card in its entire playing time of
nineteen minutes. It’s a piece of music based on a few loops of drone like sounds, softly
humming in the night. Milligan himself refers to Jim O’Rourke, early Rafael Toral and
Stephan Mathieu, which I can all hear humming along in this choir of sound – but also the
UK peers such as Mirror and Monos would be a most apt connection. A piece of process music,
gently sliding back and forth between fixed amounts of parameters. It’s not something you
haven’t heard before, but I think Milligan’s take on it sounds very good. The whole album
might be not the most original thing in the world, but everything (music, artwork) is done
with great care and love for detail. Let’s wait and see where he moves next. (FdW)


Despite his collaborative work with Leif Elggren, Kouhei Matsunaga, Vampilia and The Body
I never heard of Japanese sound artist Masayuki Imanishi. He has a few previous releases
on labels as Gender-Less Kibbutz, Deserted Factory, Psych.KG, A Giant Fern, Creative sources
and obs, in a period of nine years, so not really a lot. His instruments are paper,
microphone, radio, field recordings and various objects. Of course we learned over the years
that Ini.itu is a label to release exotic music and there is usually a connection to make to
the country of Indonesia, but on ‘Tone’ that doesn’t seem to be the case, unless of course
I missed the connection. Instead we have here something that is fine reminder of what was
once called ‘microsound’; music that operates on a more microscopic level. A few sounds here,
and a few there, some loops of radio transmissions, carefully placed crackles and pops, the
rustling of paper being amplified. All of this is about small sounds; and small sounds that
are meant to sound small. From the various points of interest, the ones that I think come
close to what Imanishi does is Steve Roden and Rolf Julius. There is not a wealth of sound
effects, or a massive production but simply, perhaps naive music. I quite enjoyed this,
especially the long piece on the second side, but I must also admit that for me this record
was not something new; it brought back good memories to all that quiet microsound music from
ten to fifteen years ago, and it didn’t seem to me that Imanishi added a new insight to that
world. That perhaps I thought was a pity; the aspect of innovation was missed. Otherwise I
think this had some wonderful music, as Imanishi knows to play his instruments/objects quite
well. Perhaps this is the oddball in the Ini.itu catalogue? (FdW)

DAS DING – SEQUENCER (10″ by Midlight/DeHef)

Hey, Das Ding, ‘Sequencer’, didn’t I review this before? Yes, I did, in Vital Weekly 970!
“Back in the 80s I used to own some of his cassettes, released on his own Kalkulator label and
Stichting Update Materials but Danny Bosten – der Das Ding – stopped doing music until he found
out his music was heavily in demand, due to the activity of the no longer forgotten music blog.
His old music was re-issued and Bosten dusted off the old machines (maybe acquired some new)
and started to produce new music. ‘Sequencer’ is a rather short cassette, just as in the old
days it seems, with four pieces, ‘Sequence 1’, ‘Sequence 2’ and so on. The label references to
the music of Aphex Twin but in my humble opinion I like this better. Das Ding has a nice, dry,
clean dubby sound, which bounces around nicely; long live the sequencer, I’d say. It’s a pity
this lasts only fifteen or so minutes, as I would have loved to hear more, much more of this.
‘Sequencer’ has a great, raw quality to it and nowhere one has the impression this is some
early stages work or demo’s of some kind, which means, in my book, that Das Ding still loves
his cassette releases and doesn’t consider this to be a playground for random shots”.
Obviously I was wrong thinking this was just a product in between, or some random shots (but
then: I love to get it wrong; I can write about it again), as Das Ding now releases it himself
on his own Midlight label, in collaboration with the original label DeHef, on vinyl, so
obviously these are pieces he is quite proud of. And quite rightly so, still, about a year
later, this are great piece of sequenced minimalism, and while I am far from a format freak,
they sound great on vinyl. Let there be more! (FdW)

CHARCOAL OWL (7″ by I Dischi Del Barone)
ARV & MILJÖ (7″ by I Dischi Del Barone)

Two new 7″ releases by Swedish I Dischi Del Barone and both of these bands I never heard of.
Charcoal Owls is a duo of Russell Walker and Tom James Scott, who, I assume, play guitar,
drums and singing. This is what the label quite rightly calls ‘slow motion pop’, with a slide
like guitar sounds, brushes on the snare and Walker’s voice in a sort of lament mode. There are
also field recordings at work on this one. Everything is recorded somewhat naively, which is no
doubt part of the aesthetics of a place like this – the lower fidelity, the better. So imagine
a damp basement in an old building, with some shaky electrical wiring and two musicians with a
lot of heartache singing these songs. To great charming effect I might say!
   ‘Recorded from a window’ is the somewhat cryptic message from Arv & Miljö (who they?), who
recorded an ode to Gothenburg and they captured seagulls and rain on that day in July 2015.
It’s been a while since I was on holiday in Sweden, passing the nice town of Gothenburg and I
surely don’t remember hearing so many seagulls. I also don’t remember the rain, but then,
I usually was there in the summer time. Seagulls and rain are divided over the sides. On the
first side (the one that’s stamped with the artist names, in good label tradition) we hear the
seagulls scream from a very window open, and on the other side we hear the rain pouring down,
from the same, still very wide, open window. It’s quite a conceptual little bastard this one,
and it’s probably good this is a 7″, and not a 10″ or LP – that would have been too much.
Nice one! (FdW)

DOC WÖR MIRRAN – GOSIA (CDR by Miss Management)

Here we have release 137 and 138 by one of my favourite German bands, Doc Wör Mirran. And it’s
not that I like all of their music, but since they operate in so many styles that every new
release simply screams “surprise!!” I started with ‘Gosia’ in which DWM is a four piece around
main man Joseph B. Raimond on guitar, synth and mandolin, Ralf Lexis on guitar (also part for
a long time) and Stefan Schweiger (drums, guitar, synth, bass) and Alex Kammerer (guitar, synth,
bass); the latter seem to me new names in the mighty DWM empire. The ten instrumental pieces see
DWM move into a jazz-rock field, one that I haven’t seen them in before (or maybe, in all their
diversity I don’t remember). Just the other week, by sheer coincidence, I was playing a CD by
John Trubee, also released by Empty Records (DWM’s main label), which for whatever obscure reason
is something I always love. Today I am reminded of Trubee again, listening to ‘Gosia’ I realize
that I quite like that whole kitschy cliché jazzy space rock sound, without (I admit that straight
away never being a Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart fan). Here we have four men having great fun
in the garage/rehearsal space/studio, playing some excellent riffs on their guitar and freak out
with them for the space of about three to five minutes. Excellent west coast driving music – if
I could pull that off anyway. Maybe get the guy who sings for Trubee to deliver some words next
time and make this into a full swinging rock band? You play a concert and I will certainly be
   The other new record is an one sided lathe cut record in an edition of twenty-three copies
and the line up is Raimond, Frank Abendroth, Frans de Waard and Denise Kusiak and it’s based
upon an idea by .rizla23., “features manipulated and augmented “field recordings” of a cement
mixer”, which even for me is news, I guess. The website mentions also ‘Lou would have been proud’,
which is of course is a reference to Lou Reed and his ‘Metal Machine Music’, and comes with a
small slob of cement on the cover. One piece of roughly ten tot twelve minutes filled with power
drones, created by coupling tons of sound effects together. I am not sure if Lou would have been
proud actually; Doc Wör Mirran’s piece may be noisy but has more musical thought than Lou’s how
to get out of record contract manual. There is a bit of guitar and bass to be detected in this
one, maybe slowed down and it creates a fine wall of sound (not wall of noise) of psychedelic
textures, with phasers and flangers running amok. Apart from the fact that the cover mentions
both Doc Wör Mirran, it is very hard to think of both of these releases as the same band. And
that, I think, is great. Doc Wör Mirran is always in for a surprise. (FdW)

JLIAT – C (CDR by Jliat)

Recently Jliat started to release drone music releases again, in small handmade packages, but
last year there were also two booklets with texts on the subject of ‘noise’ and ‘pop’. His
tracts aren’t always easy to read, although the last time I actually had less trouble, but when
he pulls out the old mathematics I simply am too dumb to understand any of it. It’s like high
school again. I started reading and gave up when I thought ‘oh, well, now you really lost me’.
So what did I understand about this new work? It’s all about the ‘C’ note and ‘it consists of
creating all sequences of the scale of C Major with the base and the 6 notes following… produced
by specially developed computer programs (data disk enclosed for home play; if you have windows
– fdw) to write and play the midi-note sequences… in this data disc the full score, a mid
sequence and audio CD of the first hour of the full 480 hour sequence’. The score, as a PDF
on the data disk, is about 500 some pages. I am not sure what the point is that Jliat tries to
prove (or disprove) here, except that it is a very long work. Oh. The music sounds quite all
right! An arpeggio synthesizer sound bouncing up and down and if this is the ‘C’ note and the
six notes that follow it, then so be it. It changes in a very minimal way – that actually might
be Jliat’s point: another outing on the subject of minimalism – that makes all of this quite
mechanic, but it has a fine captivating quality to it. Yesterday I fell asleep listening to this,
but now, full awake, it still fills me which much joy. I flicker through the booklet, looks at
the various diagrams, ponder about high school and where did I go wrong there, meanwhile
listening to this minimalism; that, as back then as a high school boy, I also did. ‘Drumming’
back then, ‘C’ today. I like it, and didn’t need to do the maths for that. (FdW)


Of the releases on Caduc, the first is by Gabi Losoncy, of whom I never heard before. I learned,
that she was a member of Good Area and that her solo work uses field recordings. That is not
mentioned on the cover of ‘Judgement’, which in fact doesn’t mention anything at all. So, yes
I’d like to believe she uses field recordings, but I have no idea where these are made. Certainly
the first thirteen or so minutes it sounds like wind or rain recorded from afar, but then it
appears that the wind strikes hard against the microphone from that point onwards. From about
twenty-eight minutes onwards the wind sets a rope against metal in motion, like a flagpole.
Nothing is regular here and when the wind hits the microphone it is all quite loud. This sounds
like a direct action being recorded, something is happening and Losoncy is present to record
that action. It’s actually, without being overtly noisy, the more violent end of field
recording music. I found it hard to say if I liked this or not. I quite enjoyed the idea of some
noisier field recordings, but found this a bit long and, without any credits, also a bit lost
on me. For all I knew this is about somebody who, against better ‘judgement’ goes outside to do
field recordings. Enter at your own risk.
   The other new release by Caduc has more information, and here we find Joda Clement with a
bunch of field recordings from Squamish, Vancouver, Montreal, Portland and Kleyehof, to which
he adds analog synthesizers, harmonium, piano board, electromagnetic feedback and objects.
If that isn’t enough there is also help from a bunch of help adding tape loop delay, guitar,
percussion, objects and found gospel tapes. That results in two long pieces (fourteen and twenty-
one minutes) and one short, lasting five minutes. The result of all of these sounds makes up
a pretty dense release with a great web of sounds. Surely, it all sounds like field recordings,
large vessels on water waves, engines captured and all that, with some crackling of near by
objects, plus a wealth of other sounds to make that these field recordings are on a meltdown in
the hot oven called drone music. It moves, I think, beyond both the ordinary drone and beyond
the standard field recording release. It gets up to a point in which it is hard to say which
is what and that is a great thing. The analogue synthesizer hum like a ventilator, the sea
shore sounds (I am guessing that, based on the title) sound like hand held objects close to the
microphone, and overall Clement knows how to create a fine ‘close by’, ‘far away’ feel to the
music. Sometimes it sounds like a big space, yet some of these appear close by; an great illusion
is created here and it makes this an excellent release! (FdW)

DUBCORE/ANDREY POPOVSKIY (split cassette by Spina! Records)
UMPIO/KRYPTOGEN RUNDFUNK (split cassette by Spina! Records)
(split cassette by Spina! Records)

Three split releases here on Spina! Records from St. Peterbsurg and I started with Dubcore and
Andrey Popovskiy. I have no idea who Dubcore is, but I read that these two pieces were “created
as reaction to long term fascination of silence, which as for now remains the most interesting
field of exploration. However, exploring one extreme for few years one day of 2014 it just
happened that the appetite for the opposite showed up, resulting in six multi-layered tracks
full of sounds and changes.” There is no indication as to how the silence was explored before,
or how this new material was generated, but my best guess would be that all of these sounds were
stuck on a multi-track editor and mixed together in a fashion of randomness, which would make
John Cage proud. In the process there are a few electronic sounds mixed along, which provide an
occasional rhythm, or maybe these arrive from different sources providing the input. Sometimes
there is a hint towards composition, but it doesn’t seem to be the main objective. Every now and
then it hits upon something that I enjoyed but some of it also left me untouched also.
   On the other side we find a thirty-minute recording from June 4, 2015 by Andrey Popovskiy,
whose solo CD ‘Rotunda’ I quite enjoyed (see Vital Weekly 946), even when it was all at quite
a low level. The cover here lists a whole bunch of sound sources (violin, yunost turntable, e-bow,
field recordings, sound system, cassette dictaphones, mini amps, CD player, mini loudspeakers,
vega 104 turntable and pitchfork), yet Popovskiy knows how to maintain a low level when it comes
to playing his music. Apparently, according to the information, this has something to do with
playback from various media and those differ from each other. It seems as if things get gradually
more and more quiet on this side. You really have to stay focussed on the events; otherwise it
might be a release of very little music. I can imagine that some people would find this a tad too
conceptual. I quite enjoyed these almost Zen meditations in sound.
   The other split is by Umpio and Kryptogen Rundfunk. Umpio, from Turku, Finland, also known as
Pentti Dassum, known for a wild ride in the world of electronic improvisations, which is something
that is at work here too. The cover indicates five different pieces, but it’s hard to say where
one ends and another starts. Umpio’s music is never ambient or droney, nor noisy per se, but it
seems to draw from all sorts of influences and take out whatever is suited for today’s music.
Maybe Umpio is these days part of the modular posse; it sounds like he could be, but he ads his
own part ambient part noise twist to the musique concrete melange. Great pieces.
   From St. Petersburg is Kryptogen Rundfunk, also owner of the Zhelzebeton label (see for instance
last week), of whom it’s been a while since I last heard some of his own music, but it’s always
most welcome. He uses an array of small synthesizers, mixers and sound effects to create dense dark
atmospheric sound pieces and this is what he did at the Experimental Sound Gallery (St. Petersburg
finest for live experimental music) in June last year. Twenty minutes of an industrial nightmare
soundtrack, with loops of piercing sounds, processed field recordings from the life of ants,
knitting a tight web of black sounds. It’s on par with his usual work: good sturdy well-thought
   The last split is a new project, in collaboration with “Open Readings”, which concerns it self
with ” negative trends which are taking shape in modern culture during last years. Barbarization
of content, devaluation of moral and spiritual values and denial of cultural archetypes raise the
main uneasy. We couldn’t keep aloof and decided to focus on strengthening the role of cultural and
educational activity”, and they use texts by the “best classical writers of the Silver Age performed
by leading artists of the theatre and cinema to the accompaniment of the talented contemporary
musicians”. Great idea but with texts read in Russian (see also last week actually), I found it
hard to form a proper opinion. On the first side music by Mashanov and Belorukov: a drum machine
and synth noise with a text that sounds like marching orders. More noise like sounds are on the
other side, no rhythms and a female voice. I can understand people want to do a bit of promotion
for their releases, but in cases like this the whole point is easily missed. I can imagine somebody
wants to have a genuine weird thing (‘look all Russian text and electronic music, isn’t that awesome’),
but a label could also realize its limited foreign appeal. (FdW)

THE PHLOD-NAR – MORPHOGENESIS (cassette by Temonos)

The package is a glossy paper with hand typed (as in ‘typed on a type-writer’) information on it, which
may either be perceived as something very hipster-like, or a demo. Randolf Smeets is behind the music
and, looking at the title of his new release, I immediately made the connection with the British band
of the same name (do they still exist), and I wondered if there was any link. Playing the music I can
say there isn’t. The website/bandcamp shows us some information about these pieces and the sound sources
used, which include ‘cheap samples, midi piano, sansula, percussion, environmental recordings, orchestra
sounds treatments, choir samples, bird recordings’ and such like. The music is quite interesting as
it cleverly moves along ambient (in the best Brian Eno tradition), moody tunes and a bit of ethnic
influenced sounds. Indeed: very Eno like I’d say, but The Phlod-Nar do quite a nice job at creating
something more of their own sound, I think. It moves away from the pure abstract ambient and leaves
in all of these musical elements; a bit of rhythm, a hint of melody, the well-placed field recording,
adding more texture to a piece. This is not drone for the sake of drone music but it expands into
something more than that. Come to think of it, I was also reminded of the early work of Michel
Banabila; it shared a similar playful territory. I am not sure why only eleven copies are made of this
release, but maybe The Phlod-Nar believe in digital distribution? I hope for them it works. (FdW)