Number 1032

L’ECLIPSE NUE – SCARS FOREVER (CD by Shiver To Death Recordings) *
BZ BZ UEU – TAPES AND VINYLS (CD by Music A La Coque) *
MICHAEL IDEHALL – NO MAN’S LAND (CD by ant-zen & Beläten)
THOROFON – ROOTS (CD by ant-zen)
POING – SUR POING (CD by Aurora)
PETER FARRAR – AVOCADO (CD by Split Records) *
SARAH HENNIES – GATHER & RELEASE (CD by Category of Manifestation) *
NEBULULLABY (LP compilation by Nebularosa)
KRENG – SELFED (double 10inch by Substantia Innominata)
   OUR EARTH/OUR WORLD  (CDR by Pfmentum)
ONDREJ ZAJAC – MONOLITH (CDR by Whitelabrecs) *
ZAHN & HATAMI & MCCLURE – VEERIAN (CDR by Eilean Records) *
MARTWA NATURA – III (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
MARS 96 – LIVE AT LITERATOR BAR, 09-01-2015 (3inch CDR, private) *
VALERIE KUEHNE – AUDIOZINE #3 (cassette by Staaltape)

L’ECLIPSE NUE – SCARS FOREVER (CD by Shiver To Death Recordings)

Up until recently L’eclipse Nue was based in Tokyo but just last month moved to Connecticut and also until now
many of Daniel Sine, the man behind the project, released many of his works on Dorei Recordings, but this new
one is a new label, called Shiver To Death Recordings, yet all of the pieces on this new release were recorded
last year, while still being based in Japan. Looking at the cover and the titles, there can be no doubt about this;
this is the world of noise music. A man/women with a bandage, titles like ‘Box Cutter’ and ‘Blood Tooth’ and the
music is what one kind of expects; lots of feedback, howling sine waves, distortion and screaming, howling
vocals, screaming with pain and torture. I am no longer well versed in the world of industrial music, noise, and
power electronics, so I can only refer to the older posse, and I see influences of Whitehouse and especially
Ramleh, but also a touch of Con-Dom is present here, I think. This might not be the kind of thing that in 2016 is
on my daily musical platter, but I must admit I quite enjoyed it. Partly because L’eclipse Nue’s isn’t one long howl
of agony and ecstasy, but in fact shows quite a bit of variation in how he approaches his music. It doesn’t have
to be necessarily very loud. Crazy but great. (FdW)
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Italy’s Music A La Coque specializes in re-issuing obscure music from the past, such as Tank Of Danzig (Vital
Weekly 887) and Nu Creative Methods (Vital Weekly 869) and here they re-issue the works of a band I never
heard of, Bz Bz Ueu, and in fact part of this re-issue 7″ that the label released themselves back in 1998, their
first release (although to 2013 the label released only four works, so not very active), and it was a split 7″ with
God Is My Co-Pilot. Maybe that’s an indication about the music; that of noise, free jazz, no wave and punk.
The band consists of Efisio Biancofiore (guitar), Edi Leo (trumpet), Jacopo Andreini (sax), Carlo Lupori (drums)
and Pino Montecalvo (bass), with all of them on ‘some words, little instruments, and toys’. The seventeen pieces
on this album are made of twelve songs from their first demo tape, three songs from a split 7″ with No and two
from the aforementioned split 7″. None of these tracks is very long, most of them between two and three minutes
(the whole album is under forty minutes), and it brings lots and lots of raw, punk energy, with sometimes the two
wind instruments taking into the free jazz/no wave area. Everything was recorded live in the studio and as such
retained a lot of direct power. I very much enjoyed these songs and this unknown band. It is a reminder of free
music from years and years ago, when punk merged into post-punk and the ‘anyone can do this’ attitude was
no longer restricted to three chords on the guitar, but in fact opened up a whole new world of musical possibilities.
Bz Bz Ueu may have operated in the late 90s and might be inspired by 16/17, noise and free jazz, still have that
excellent post-punk quality. This is another great exhumation by Music A La Coque. (FdW)
––– Address:

MICHAEL IDEHALL – NO MAN’S LAND (CD by ant-zen & Beläten)
THOROFON – ROOTS (CD by ant-zen)

Having been an admirer of Idehall’s work from the get-go, his recent ascension into the ant-zen pantheon came
as a great delight to me. ‘No Man’s Land’ is his second release on Stefan Alt’s leading industrial label, which is
apparently co-released by Beläten from Sweden – the label that was the first to include Idehall in its ranks and
brought us SOL (2012) and Deep Code (2014), which were then compiled on one album and reissued by ant-zen
in 2015. Reviews of previous releases saw a recurring comparison to Coil, but although both are clearly inspired
by what is considered to be the ‘occult’, I feel that Idehall walks a strikingly different path. For one thing his music
is repetitive to the extent of being absorbingly hypnotic. Where Balance’s lyrics seemed a result of research into
the esoteric, Idehall’s work actually manifests the esoteric and drags one along into the ritual itself. Musically
speaking it is still seancetronica, Idehall’s own coined brand of dark industrial and experimental electronics,
all the way trough. Some tracks, like for instance the eponymous “No Man’s land” and “Nightmare” are perhaps
slightly reminiscent of the desolate mechanical stomping of ancient Cold Meat Industry, others venture into territory
that was formerly occupied by Haus Arafna, or even compatriot Trepaneringsritualen. However, with this kind of
references it’s quite remarkable to note that Idehall manages to remain quite catchy throughout the whole album
at the same time. A unique artist that definitely deserves a listen, if you haven’t done so already.
   Sonic Area aka Arnaud Coëffic is no new name but this latest album presents something quite different from
what we were heard on previous releases and I have to say I really like this newly discovered terrain. Where
2012’s “Music for Ghosts” gave us eerie IDM with tempered industrial surges, “Eyes in the Sky” takes electronic
music all the way back to it’s origins: repetitive minimalistic patterns, lush analogue synths, climactic compositions;
echoes of Steve Reich, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream. Although the construction of most tracks seems pretty
straightforward, they do manage to surprise by means of both sudden drops and subtle, slow timbre changes.
“It’s about time” takes this compositional craftsmanship to new heights and features quite a lot of unexpected
twists. Another track that stuck was “Dancing with the clouds”; it has an ethereal pad sound that propels one
right up there into the splendour of the vault. Even though most of the album is insanely rhythmic and dynamic
throughout its 52 minutes of galactic excursions, there are only a few tracks that actually have percussion on
them. Thick synth arpeggios and staccato stabs do the rest of the work, which is interesting since other works by
Coëffic were considerably more percussion-heavy. The enigmatic, yet luminous artwork already hinted that we
were in for quite a different experience altogether and it still managed to surprise me. Excellent this.
   Founded in 1996, Thorofon will have its 20th anniversary this year and in order to celebrate the occasion, ant-
zen released this album of mostly reworked outtakes and odds/ends. The record has a bit of a problem getting
its fat arse off the ground but when the second track “Cold fever” starts stomping away while occasionally crushing
the claustrophobic synth chords dangling between its legs, it becomes quite clear that the duo is not planning to
disappoint. The recipe: obstinate, coercive rhythmic patterns and powerful industrial hammer blows as usual but
unlike the repetitive first track, the rest of the material, although mostly loop-based, has some impressive plot
twists as well as caustic sonic explorations that we had not heard before from the labs of Thorofon. “In blood and
heels” even gives us a catchy angst pop stomper that could do a nice job on any grufti dance floor or in a French
cold wave catacomb. The crisp high-end production is a nice wrapper on the whole thing and I reckon it will
please power noise n00bs as well as the fans of this veteran ‘music wreckers’. Good on them. (PJN)
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“It’s alive!” one of the most famous exclamations in modern cinema originates from the 1931 film Frankenstein,
but could well be applied to this most wonderful album. It has been sixteen years since we last heard of Mr
Juntaro Yamanouchi, Gero’s main protégé. And maybe that was a good thing, as some of Gero’s later output (of
which there is a lot, really a lot) has been no match to his amazing debut Senzuri Champion or its delightfully
confusing follow up Showa. Let’s be honest: the Gero’s fascination with the Ramones (“one, two, three, four!”
followed by a brief noisy recording) and his ambition to put as many songs as possible on both vinyl as CD,
became a bit of a tiresome format. Having said that, Gero’s music has continued to intrigue me as he is one of
the few artist where you never know what to expect next – never settling on one style and for every great record
(say Endless Humiliation or None Friendly) releasing a number of records that, well, sucked. Juntaro Yamanouchi
himself is also shrouded in mystery. There are surprisingly few interviews or facts known about him and perhaps
this is for the better, as it allows us to focus on his music and do the interpretation on our own. So, after sixteen
years, we have a surprise new Gerogerigegege album Moenai Hai. With some external help I was able to find
out Moenai stands for inflammable, and I know Hai means a number of things, ranging from ‘yes’ to ‘sorry’ or
‘I’m here’. It is also quite useful as a stopgap phrase in a conversation. Personally, I like the ‘I’m here’ meaning –
but that is just me interpreting. What about the music? Opening track Out Of Saiga is an ambient piece, almost
like a live street scene recording with background rumbling noises. In the liner notes it says ‘treasure/trash’
recordings. I like that, even though I have no idea what it means. Maybe it is Juntaro going back to his old home
and contemplating his roots – see? I love to fantasize and make private interpretations. No matter what its
meaning (and maybe there is no meaning at all) this a great, almost melancholic, opener. A scene setter you’d
think, but next is The Gerogerigegege. Here we are treated to the Gero’s trademark “one, two, three, four!”
count-in after which we are served fifteen minutes of loud and heavy guitar riffing, drums and (Juntaro’s?)
screaming. This more classic Gerogerigegege-sound is as good as it gets and will no doubt please the hardcore
Gero-fans. Third track Tokyo: Sea Of Loser/Donors For USA is another total surprise: with hardly any volume,
this is an amazing minimal, drone work with a low rumble in the background and what sounds like slowed down
piano chords on top. Stunningly simple but beautiful! Closing track Final Tuning starts with the sound of tuning,
but almost like it is recorded from the after-life, drowned in reverb and at an ultra-low volume. Next is some brief
laughter and a music box being played. As expected, Moenai Hai offers more questions than answers and it is
all the better for it. It is classic Gerogerigegege, but at the same time it is nothing like that. Most of all, Moenai Hai
sounds like a very personal and emotional album, unlike some of his ‘all-form-but-no-content’ from the 90s.
Sixteen years. A lot can happen, a lot can change. Maybe that is what Moenai Hai is all about. Juntaro has
made one of his best, if not his best, album so far. And who knows what will happen next? (FK)
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POING – SUR POING (CD by Aurora)

Poing is a Norwegian trio of Frode Halti (accordion), Rolf-Erik Nustrom (saxophone) and Hakon Thelin (double
bass), playing improvised, composed music and everything between and beyond. They exist since 1999 and
this is their third release, preceded by ‘Giants of Jazz’ (2003), ‘Planet Poing’(2005), although a lot more releases
are around that have been playing with others, like ‘Wach auf’with M.Ratkje (2011). On ‘Sur Poing’ they play
four works of very different origin. Two works are by Helmut Oehring: ´Sur Poing: Prolog´ and ´Sur Poing: Epilog´.
´Cell´ is a work by Richard Barrett and ´Blow Out´ is by Paul Lovens. Both works by Oehring seem most close
to composition. Oehring tells the story of Poing, combined with his own. This double/portrait is `a combination
of sound clips of POING telling about their instruments, field recordings from their career and a musical collection
of Oehrings existing compositions´, as liner notes explain. So it is a work built from collage techniques. We hear
musical fragments interrupted with moments that have the musicians speaking, presenting themselves. To me
the pieces with more room for improvisation were more convincing. ´Cell´ the work by Richard Barrett combines
composition and improvisation. It is the result of six years of collaboration between Barrett and POING. This piece
has a very different energy, as one feels here the music comes into being through live generated interactions.
Even more – by definition – this is the case in ´Blow Out´ is free improvisation, recorded live in Oslo with veteran
Paul Lovens on drums. This makes clear that POING takes a very own position between composed and
improvised music. (DM)
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PETER FARRAR – AVOCADO (CD by Split Records)

This might very well be my introduction to Peter Farrar, an alto saxophone player from Australia who uses ‘mainly
plastic bags and bottles as mutes’, and I expected this to be something for the lover for all things jazz at Vital Weekly,
but a quick inspection proved me wrong. I am not sure how Farrar approaches playing his instrument, but it does
and at the same time doesn’t sound like an alto-saxophone. One is able to recognize it, but then it never sounds
like the wailing of one. It seems that Farrar is somewhat suppressing the tones that he produces, but via one way
or another he manages to layer them, adding lines upon lines. Maybe there is some electronics at play, looping
parts around, or maybe there is circular breathing, or perhaps another technique I am not aware of, but it sounds
really different than most solo saxophone releases I hear. In ‘Light Green’ it moves towards the use of feedback,
which is something that in all four of these pieces occurs to a bigger or smaller degree. It is in a way a bit distorted
but it is never unconformable loud or vicious. Au contraire, I’d say, this is all beautifully rich music. A hermetic closed
off field of limited saxophone sounds, but within those limitations Farrar really finds lots and lots of small variations
to work around with. Sometimes it sounds like feedback, or a choir of insects, or sounds from an old industrial site,
and sometimes, most of the times, it is hard to believe this is a solo saxophone at work. This is an excellent CD of
improvised music, composed music or electro-acoustics – whatever one would prefer I guess. (FdW)
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This is not the first time that Lithuanian composer Arturas Bumsteinas occupies himself with the church organ; he
also composed a work in the Netherlands for that instruments, sampling loads of them, and eventually released
a CD of that, ‘Stories From Organ Safari’ (see Vital Weekly 745) and seeing the word ‘safari’ here also, one could
easily assume this is along similar lines, and surely it is. Bumsteinas had Gaile Griciute play a whole bunch of
church organs in Lithuania, in less than twenty different places. I am not sure if there is a particular significance
between these twenty church organs; are these all of the organs in churches in that country? Or maybe they are
all in Orthodox Catholic churches? Perhaps something else? Whatever it is, this is also a soup of samples – I am
referring to the previous review. However here all the samples are organ only, and on the previous also included
flugelhorn, cello and such like, plus lots of electronics. That made that one quite interesting, but I must admit I am
less convinced by this new release. There seems to be quite a random approach to the sounds, like they are
placed on a bunch of tracks in a multi-track program and it just plays and plays, but without keeping in mind the
compositional approach or how the listener is supposed to swallow all of the seventy-four minutes of all of this.
Maybe very soft and play it as an album of ambient music? Some of this seems to demanding to be just that, I think.
I must admit I was quite lost after a while and gave up. (FdW)
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SARAH HENNIES – GATHER & RELEASE (CD by Category of Manifestation)

It’s been quite a while since I reviewed a solo release by Sarah Hennies; I think it was ‘Work’, back in Vital Weekly
929, but here’s a new one, with two pieces, ‘Gather’ and ‘Release’, and both last exactly twenty-seven minutes.
If I understand the cover correctly it is inspired by EMDR – a form of psycho therapy in which patients are relieved
from disturbing memories through bilateral stimulation in a rhythmic left-right pattern; a sudden movement or
sound. I never heard of that until last Saturday when a friend of mine told he was trained to do this. For the music
on this release, which may or may not be used for this, Hennies plays vibraphone, field recordings, sine waves
and bilateral stimulation – the latter meaning that she uses a lot of left-right/stereo panning of sounds, especially
audible in ‘Release’, but I didn’t listen to this music on my headphones. The first piece is ‘Gather’ and here it seems
she mostly works with sine waves and field recordings and the vibraphone is nearly inaudible. It starts very soft but
half way through takes up a few notches and becomes a very loud piece of static hiss, cut out very nearly at the
end, only to be followed by a coda of white noise for fifty seconds. ‘Release’ is a more complex piece of music with
various sound sources, and the vibraphone (which occasionally sound like wood blocks) but also a voice (radio?),
the scraping of a violin and such like, and it also includes the sudden drop in sound and a continuation with
something entirely different, but this time it lasts almost eight minutes and has a gradual shift all along, unlike that
short coda at the end of ‘Gather’. Hennies is mostly known as a player of percussion, and she does that here too,
but this is much more and in fact two fine pieces of electro-acoustic composition. While I like both pieces, especially
the minimalist territory it covers, I thought ‘Release’ was the better piece of the two, even when the spoken word/
violin bit could have been left out. An excellent solo release, once again. (FdW)
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So far I hadn’t encountered the ‘Bluesanct Art Vinyl Series’ LPs: these are a basically a one-sided LP with a screen
print on the other side of the vinyl, in a full colour sleeve and insert. Now you know me, I hardly complain about
artwork, and I like to think ‘music first’; usually when I say something about a cover, it is to express that it is unclear
or ugly. This however is a beautiful record sleeve/project, but the beauty of the project means also we loose one
side of the record, meaning twenty minutes of music. Over the years I reviewed some of the dream pop by Belgium
singer/guitarist Annelies Monsere and all of the seven songs on this record are from her hand and appear on ‘Marit’
(see Vital Weekly 699), but all of these receive an extensive treatment by Drekka, also known as Michael Anderson, with whom Monsere worked a lot in the last ten years. Originally these pieces were recorded as birthday gifts from him to her, hence the title ‘Verjaardag’, the Dutch word for birthday; well, Flemish too, as Monsere is from Belgium. From the ‘Marit’ album, which was a collaboration with people like Jessica Bailiff, Nathan Amundsen, Ellen Evers, the Vollmar-brothers and Anderson himself, but he now takes all the material apart and into a world of great solitude.
All of this is very dreamy; not just the voice of Monsere, but also the stripped down instruments. Some sparse piano
notes swirl in, a lonesome cello, and a bit of electronics to add some wind sounds or, in ‘Common Ground’ a bit of
field recordings/hiss/drones. It is all very spacious, quiet and heavenly. Think Kate Bush, or perhaps the introspection of the new Radiohead, but frankly: this sounds so much better. There is lots of wide open space here, everything is breathing and this is just perfect; perfect save for the fact that I feel I only have half the music – who stole the other twenty minutes? (Insert smiley here) (FdW)
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The sleeve notes indicate that much material on this album was recorded during a weeklong residency at the vintage synthesizer Eldorado that is the WORM sound studio in Rotterdam. So yes, plenty of modular madness on this one, though Lemaire manages to marry the realm of the synthetic with acoustic sound sources in a unique and colourfully carefree way. The first track, “Nieuwemaan”, is a playful exercise in LFO driven, improvised analogue synth havoc wreaking, perhaps slightly reminiscent Ruth White’s more experimental works on Flowers of Evil. However, the robotic vocals that crop up after a few minutes take the composition to a new level, through their cool, hypnotic persuasion.
Aforementioned playfulness is a recurring motive on the album; second track “Reaching out” gives us layers of
glockenspiel or perhaps celesta that hammer on into a climatic swirl and suddenly seize with a stab of tantalising
sound of a synthetic origin. The rest of the A-side sports more synth experiments when a grumpy, gritty oscillator is
taken out for a slide through the many corners of the audio spectrum. “The Girl With One Arm” heralds in the return
of the bell sounds, although this time there is a more Múm-like quality to them, while the vocals give it the allure of
a forgotten lullaby. Smallattack was my favourite track of the album, party because it reminded me of the early work
of long lost Dutch treasure Blatnova, partly because it dials back the outwardly iridescent lambency and plunges into the mirky depths of a bottomless ocean. It combines a beautifully desolate high-end synth chord drone, icy melodies and Lemaire’s reverb-laden vocals into a dirge for something intangible. Then “The Boiled Son” hoist us up back on land, to witness a lo-fi rural folktale that demonstrates Lemaire’s interesting range of vocal timbres; her voice in this bassy monotonic narrative is very similar to that of Jarboe and the surreal lyrics complete that eerie picture. Eponymous track “Respiration” flaunts a battle between organ drones and fizzy synthesizer effects, until at one point the machines seem to have got the upper hand en the album end in a similar though slightly less topsy-turvy manner than the way in which it started. (PJN)
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NEBULULLABY (LP compilation by Nebularosa)

The new London-based Nebularosa starts of with a compilation LP; that almost sounds like how a great number of
labels from the 1980s started, doesn’t it? There are just five people on the record, but twelve on the digital download; that didn’t happen in the 80s, but there would have been a cassette, most likely. That could have been a bit more on the vinyl, so I thought. I thought it was interesting that many, if not all, of these names didn’t mean much to me. The music is by d.R.e.G.S, 0xA, xname, Erich Barganier and Samuel Hertz (those on the actual LP) and Thor Magnusson, Robert B. Lisek, Repl Electric, Claude Heiland-Allen and Marta Zapparoli, part of the download only. The common theme that runs through these pieces is ‘lullaby’, but then from an experimental and electronic angle. That reminded me of the compilation ‘Good Night: Music To Sleep By’, which is from 2003, and probably didn’t make into these pages.
Apparently we have music that was composed using Nintendo, Atari, Pure Data, Supercollider, D-Box, tape recorders, as well as ultraStethoscopes – as to underline the different approaches on the subject. I must say I have hardly a recollection of that other compilation, but I can imagine that not all of the pieces here lull the listener into sweet dreams. A piece like the one by OxA is more like a kid playing a game (in bed, so that the parents don’t hear it), but there is also some mighty fine drone music, such as by Thor Magnusson, or processed children’s toys by Erich Barganier. A piece like ‘Two Minutes In The Canteen’ by Adrian Carter, poppy on a single keyboard, and the noise-based ‘Thorium’ by Robert Lisek, seem however a bit out of place. But those are the exceptions; otherwise I think this is quite a fine release, which introduces a lot of new artists; where do these people come from I wondered. It’s not always easy to detect what kind of approaches are used, with regards to the list of software and equipment, but that’s perhaps only for the true insomniacs. (FdW)
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KRENG – SELFED (double 10inch by Substantia Innominata)

While the name sound Kreng sounded familiar, it seems I never heard the music. Kreng means ‘bitch’ in Dutch and
is the musical project of Pepijn Caudron from Belgium and somehow linked to the theatre company Abbatoir Ferme, who are fascinated by ‘the world beyond the world’ and to that end they have pieces of music theatre, dance without text and also opera and youth theatre. I believe as Kreng, Caudron makes his own compositions and this one is for a dance by Kevin Trappeniers for a single dancer, and ‘Selfed’ ‘is seen as a metaphor to overcome mental and physical barriers of the self and the society, by investigating the notion of the energy of self and self-sacrifice’. On this double 10″ you’ll find three pieces of music, which leaves one side blank. There is not much known in terms of instruments used by Kreng, but I could easily believe he uses guitars and piano, besides a bunch of electronics, to create quite a spooky soundscape, with a sufficient amount of silence woven into the music and sparse notes the piano are played along with these slow cascading wave of drone like sounds. This is perfect soundtrack music, even when one doesn’t see anything. It’s never easy to judge this kind of music if one knows there is something visual at play, like in this case choreography. Certainly when reading what this is supposed to be about. Do I hear that in the music? I must admit I didn’t. I do however think the music stands pretty much on it’s own feet very strongly. Just like the Drekka record (which shares musical sensibilities with this one actually, although Kreng is much darker),  Iwouldn’t have minded to have the un-played side filled up with some more of this excellent music. (FdW)
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It was only the name of Sewelson that rang a bell. He was part of Fast ‘n Bulbous, the Captain Beefheart project
by Gary Lucas. It was just a tiny chapter in his career that started in the 70s. Since these days he played often with
Peter Kuhn in very diverse settings. Their friendship survived a 20-year gap. These two have a history together and
know each other very well. Kuhn is the initiator for this quartet, never met Roland and Cleaver, “and they hadn’t
played together before this either”, Kuhn ads. Cleaver is a drummer from Detroit with New York as his base. Worked with Roscoe Mitchell, Charles Gayle, Miroslav Vitous, William Parker, Craig Taborn a.o. Roland is from Massachusetts.
Played with Gunter Hampel Sextet, The Charles Gayle Trio and the William Hooker Quartet, etc. So for thismeeting
they started from scratch. No concept, rule or whatever was discussed. They just plunged into the musical conversation. And the results on this cd say they did the right thing. They demonstrate a fine interplay in these three engaging andintense improvisations recorded April 2015 at Arts for Arts. The fact these four players have tons of musical experience, work out. They make their points very clearly and self-assured. No ambiguous and uncertain passages. It wouldn’t be shame for a first start by the way. Some very expressive and vital conversations unfold from their togetherness.
Pure Joy! (DM)
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This is the debut release by Ondrej Zajac from Slovakia, who recorded this during a hot summer in his basement.
A label from the UK releases it, which is also a new name to me. Zajac send this with a hand written letter, but doesn’t say much about how he created this music. From what I hear and read on the label’s bandcamp page, he uses guitar and effects. Apparently he worked eight years on this release, but then, he’s also studying architecture in Prague at the same time. I must admit I couldn’t hear this time span in this release, even when these seven pieces sound pretty decent. Much of this, it seems to me, deals with the use of guitar and looping pedals to create an expansive atmospheric sound, which of course may not sound like something you have never heard before. Sometimes he plays his guitar with
a bow, such as in ‘Babylonia’, which makes this however a bit different than y’r usual drone release, but having said that,
the release as a whole isn’t that alien from what one expects from man armed with guitars and loop devices. The whole
thing sounds actually like the work of improvisation, rather than being thoroughly composed, which makes the eight year
claim also a bit odd, unless he spend years honing his skills. Throughout this was all very good release; nothing great,
nothing new or special, just one fine release of some excellent mood music. (FdW)
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It’s been a while since I last wrote the name of Arovane down in Vital Weekly and it was first when Uwe Zahn, he behind
it, released his dance music on labels as Din, Vertical Form and City Centre Offices; all of which, I must admit, blurred in
my memory. Than a long gap of silence and in 2013 I reviewed his comeback album, but anything he did after that I didn’t hear. I must admit I am a bit surprised to see him working with the more microsound/ambient minds of Darren McClure (from Japan) and Porya Hatami (from Iran), but nothing stops the wonders of exchanging sound via e-mail, I guess.
I checked Zahn’s releases on discogs and saw he worked with Hatami before and has releases with lots of pieces,
perhaps owing more to the world of granular synthesis, judging by the titles. Here they have seven pieces of lovely
ambient music, gentle moving the mighty course of ambient music in the best Brian Eno tradition, such as in ‘Vhandaan’,
but as easily veering towards something more experimental, such as the metallic field recordings of ‘Vhaundt’ or the
creepy drones of ‘Veeland’, which also finds room for a piano. It’s this variation among these pieces, taking various
approaches, which make it all quite interesting. I guess if they would have stuck with one or the other, the ambient
versus the more experimental approach it could have brought on something that would be a bit more single-minded
and made perhaps a less strong release. Now, with the variation on offer, I think it all makes up a very strong album
and brings out the best of both worlds. (FdW)
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MARTWA NATURA – III (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

Hardly a week seems to pass without having something new by Germany’s Attenuation Circuit. Here it is two new
releases by a new duo of Martyna Solecka and label boss Emerge, and one on side of the cassette there is also the
musical talent of Tobias Schmitt, whom we normally encounter as Suspicion Breeds Confidence, and this time around
he doesn’t play sampler and instead picks up processed guitar and bass, and going by his real name. The cassette is
called ‘II’ and the CDR ‘III’, so I must have missed ‘I’, somewhere.
   I started out with the CDR, which contains a live recording from January this year. Martwa Natura is Polish for ‘still life’,
which the French call ‘nature morte’ – dead nature as it were and that’s what inspires Emerge and Solecka. She uses
her voice and Emerge only uses samples from that voice, as well as ‘body’ sounds, using his own body, ‘from muscular
body percussion to his own voice’. Emerge’s approach to samples is something we know quite well by now, thanks to
the endless amount of releases and it’s usually a bit short, but adding lots of delay to the proceedings. As such this is not something we haven’t heard before from him, no matter what the input was. I am rather more curious as to what Solecka adds, as this is not always too clear. Maybe she’s humming, as it seems from time to time, but it might also be that she processed her own voice to quite some extent. I am not sure. On two occasions it all leaps into the land of noise, but luckily not too long. I thought some parts were quite good, but overall it was a bit unfocussed I thought; the sounds they produce were just too regular and the processing didn’t help either. Maybe a bit more playing would help?
   Essentially the concert recording on the cassette, from the next day (!) works along similar lines; lots of sound processing on the voice of Solecki, humming without words and sampling of that, and again two bits of noise, even shorter here, all of this moving along the same guiding principle of dividing this into various segments, but the focus was more in place I thought and maybe they should have released this on CDR and archive the other recording?
   The trio recording of Tobias Schmitt, Martyna Solecka and Sascha Stadlmeier on the other side is shorter, clocking in
at twenty-two minutes and which works quite well. There seems to be a bit of violin scraping going, which is quite nice
and the trio work their way through this improvised music set with quite some charm. Although not every bit of this work
is great, with a bit of searching going, I thought this was an enjoyable piece, bouncing all over the place and especially
Emerge seems out of his comfort zone. (FdW)
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MARS 96 – LIVE AT LITERATOR BAR, 09-01-2015 (3inch CDR, private)

This is the last recording of Mars 96 with a live recording from early 2015. It has Ilia Belorukov on guitar and voice,
Sergey on bass guitar and voice and Konstantin on drums. Check out the bandcamp for lots more their recordings. This
music might not be entirely my cup of tea. It’s a kind of free rock, more rock than free I guess. I understand people want
to play in bands and how much fun it is to jam around, along certain guidelines, and then to wail about when time comes.
It is perhaps for me also a sign of macho force; a boys only thing. A bit of metal punk. I actually enjoyed this while it
lasted, but beyond that failed to see why I would want to play it again. (FdW)
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I’ve been looking forward to having a gander at this recent release by three well versed improvisers; drummer Rene
Aquarius (Dead Neanderthals), guitarist Dirk Serries (VidnaObmana) and John Dikeman (Cactus Truck). Night Realms
brings us an intense and orphic improv piece of impressive and electrifying development.
   Serries unfolds a blanket of wailing guitar drone on which this ceremony initially takes place. Dikeman’s saxophone
narrative slowly evolves from what feels like a middle eastern lullaby to a maniacal slur – to return again to something
that meanders between those two, whilst Aquarius’ restrained primitive pounding remains a constant drive in the
background for at least the first 15 minutes of the track. Then slowly, without becoming jarringly incongruent, the
percussion rises to the foreground as the drone fades and the plucked phrasing of the guitar follows in its wake to
an ostensibly serene pointillist ad libitum with the occasional bass-heavy cymbal blow. The layers of looped guitar
and fickle saxophone phrases snail-pace towards a solid drone again, but this time a fragmented, less homogeneous
one than the one the track began with, as if to portray the pluralism of the divided world that the light of dawn confronts
us with after the dense monolith of night.
   I feel this specific combination of instruments and improv styles worked exceptionally well together. During the entire
run of the tape images of Elias Merhige’s Begotten filled my head and for some reason I felt that I was witnessing
something secretly sacred, like indeed a rite of spring. Maybe it’s the time of year. (PJN)
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VALERIE KUEHNE – AUDIOZINE #3 (cassette by Staaltape)

The music we hear on this cassette is by Valerie Kuehne, who sings and plays cello. However it is Rinus van Alebeek,
the man behind Staaltape, who had a free reign in selecting the songs from a whole bunch of songs, so effectively he’s
acting the classic role as producer, i.e. making the selection of the best songs of the artist for a release (even more
classic would be telling which songs to record). He calls this tape an ‘audiozine’ as it is more an audio portrait of Kuehne,
than a bunch of songs. I may not entirely agree there. Most releases probably are in some way a portrait of the musician,
even when it’s not saying anything at all. That can be choice too and it reveals something about the artist.
   Kuehne’s music is not something one would easily see on Staaltape. This is all a bit folk like, a bit of Americana, mixed with a fine bit of weirdness and outsider stuff. The combination of ‘studio’ material, recorded from a close distance, and some of the more ‘live in a club’ recordings make this into quite a varied release. Especially in the live situation Kuehne is quite theatrical and goes out all the way of performance art. She performs with great style and has a whole bunch of people helping her out with instruments and sounds. I must admit this kind of music is perhaps not entirely my cup of tea, but I certainly enjoyed its more weirder moments and thought this to be a bold move on behalf of Staaltape.
Handmade package in an edition of just 16 copies. That’s underground culture, I guess. (FdW)
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