Number 1033

[OWT KRI] — PILGRIMAGE (CD by Erototox Recordings) *
MAAAA — ABHORRENCE AND DISMAY (CD by Triangle Records) *
SUTCLIFFE JUGEND — OFFAL (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
CODESPIRA1 — ARTEFACT (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
BJARNI GUNNARSSON — PATHS (CD by Granny Records) *
GOOD TOAST FOR GOOD PEOPLE (CDR compilation by Broken Toaster Records)
BEN RATH — FORGIVENESS (CDR by Sound In Silence) *
TAKUJI NAKA — FAULT (CDR, private) *
CHOP SHOP — GREY AREA (cassette by Banned Production)
AMK — WIRETAP (cassette by Banned Production)
ORPHAX — AS YET UNTITLED (cassette by Silken Tofu) *
   THE MULTIVERSE ENNUI CAN’T LAST FOREVER (cassette by Silken Tofu) (
CHARNEL HOUSE — VOICELESS HYMNS (cassette by Auris Apothecary)
LATHER/SOMMER DUO (cassette by Sygil Records/Bob Heavens) *


It was twenty-five years ago (today?) that Asmus Tietchens released ‘Daseinsverfehlung’ on Stille Andacht,
a sub-division of Dark Vinyl, of whom I had, upon until receiving this CD, no idea they still existed. On that
particular release Tietchens worked with the sounds of hand manipulation of reel-to-reel tapes and all the
tracks are called ‘Freiband’, all of which was of great interest (and influence) for me. All-important for
Tietchens is the constant recycling of sounds, using different technology that new developments offer.
‘Parergon’ is Greek for ‘collection of short texts’, and I am not sure if this new CD is the recycling of sounds
from ‘Daseinsverfehlung’; Asmus didn’t mention that but he says it’s a continuation of his style that we heard
on ‘Soiree’ (see Vital Weekly 800). I started playing the CD, sat down, and closed my eyes. I was thinking
that I recently saw Asmus Tietchens play live and that I am never sure what volume I should use to play
his music. His concerts are never very loud, but on a CD his music can be very delicate and quiet, so one
perhaps needs to turn up the volume a bit more. This new release is indeed a continuation of ‘Soiree’, but
perhaps it is also safe to say it falls in this long line of releases, starting with the ‘Menge’ series on Ritornell
and later on continued on 12K. Again we are left completely in the dark when it comes to the sound sources
used, but on the label’s website, one can read ‘genuine compositions derived from already repeatedly recycled
structures’, which may mean that Tietchens takes a complete piece from the past, creates a couple of
transformations and then overlays them onto each other, finally to create a mix out of these various stages
of sound processing. A collage if you will, but Tietchens is not into shock techniques, with rapid editing and
such like. Everything flows in quite a natural way into each other, almost like ambient music, but then with
a slightly more musique concrete background. One could argue there is ‘nothing new’ going on for Tietchens
here, but it’s all of great beauty — in that respect also ‘nothing new’. (FdW)
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[OWT KRI] — PILGRIMAGE (CD by Erototox Recordings)

For me this is the first time I properly hear the music of Kenneth K.’s project [owt kri], but it is the follow-up
to ‘The New Seeds’, which was reviewed by someone else in Vital Weekly 889. K. started playing in 1981,
but properly started twenty odd years later, and it took some years to morph from metal into something more
drone and ambience alike. The guitar plays the all-important role here, along with electronics and metallic
percussion. The influence of metal doesn’t seem to be far away however as there is quite some sonic force
at work here, most of time, not all. The eight pieces are quite song-like in structure, rather than abstract
pieces of drone music. In ‘Pilgrimage 2’ [owt kri] also adds a bit of vocals. It adds certain gothic touches to
it. At times I am reminded of Controlled Bleeding, especially in the way the guitar is played; sometimes like
heavy metal, sometimes in a more improvised manner, usually treated with quite some sound effects and
topped with a bunch of forceful percussion sounds. ‘Messe De Requiem’ has a church organ like ring to the
music, which makes it even more Controlled Bleeding. At times [owt kri] erects a psychedelic wall of sound
and others is quite mild and introspective. All of this makes up for highly varied album that however also
stays wonderfully dark and mysterious. Quite a fine release for a grey afternoon. (FdW)
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As active as Chihei Hatakeyama seems these days, his musical partner here, Corey Fuller seems to be the
opposite. His debut ‘Seas Between’ was already released in 2009 and his second solo release will be out later
this year. Together with Tomoyoshi Date he has a duo called Illuha, which has four albums so far, all released
by 12K. He lives in Tokyo, but was born in the USA, which makes it easier, I guess, to hook up with Chihei
Hatakeyama to do recordings. On three of the four lengthy pieces here, Fuller brings pipe organ sounds while
Hatakeyama plays a bit of electric guitar, while the fourth piece sees Fuller playing the Korg MS20 and
Hatakeyama plays electric guitar and max/msp. In those first three pieces it seems as if their intention is to
make time stop altogether. Seemingly there is a drone sound but there is hardly any movement. It’s very quiet
and it reminded me of the very early works of Jliat; peaceful, drone like, apparently static. But that’s on the
surface of the piece because when you listen with a lot of attention you can hear the minutiae changes in the
colour of the music. You can also decide to sit back and play this at a volume which is not very loud but that
effectively fills up your space. Perfect ambient so to speak.
   By contrast ‘Disphotic’, the fourth piece, is one full of action; well, not perhaps not so much as in very active,
but compared to the three previous monochromes, these final eighteen minutes of the release has quite a few
moves going on. The changes are arriving at a slightly quicker speed, but this too counts as a piece of
beautiful ambient music and is surely not out of place on this release.
   Nothing something that is shockingly different, but this is a damn great release. (FdW)
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This is the grim corner of the weekly, where everything is black and white, black mostly of course and we
welcome Sergei Hanolainen whose project is called MAAAA, whose ‘Abhorrence And Dismay’ is his first album
in five years. Before he has released also on Triangle Records, who, in 2005, released his debut, but also on
Rokot, B-rush and 24919 Records. None of these I heard before, since Jliat has reviewed several of his releases
that made to these pages. I thought this would be less up his alley, as MAAA here taps from the slightly different
field than just pure noise, even when it is clearly also part of this from time to time. There are two pieces on
this release, ‘Abhorrence’ and ‘Dismay’ and both are about twenty minutes long, classic LP length stuff that is.
I am not sure why he decided to keep it at two pieces, as clearly within each of these pieces there are very
distinctive parts, so it could also have been eight or so separate pieces. There is no mentioning of any
instruments but all of this screams the classic approach to noise music; the electronics, the distortion,
feedback, heavily processed field recordings, metallic percussion, maybe a single analogue synthesizer to
add a bit of space. But there is also a piano played with much attack at times, but also surprisingly subdued,
also because it is pushed to the background. He creates two fine collages of the super loud blocks of noise
battling with quiet and subdued field recordings and demented drones; everything of course within limits; do not
expect some swirly ambient music on this one as the music of MAAA comes with much spice. This is some
great noise music. (FdW)
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SUTCLIFFE JUGEND — OFFAL (CD by Cold Spring Records)

Very rarely names get more legendary than Sutcliffe Jugend, I guess. Kevin Tomkins main claim to fame comes
 from being an ex-member of Whitehouse but also as Sutcliffe Jugend, he and his longtime co-conspirator Paul Taylor are quite controversial. I must admit I didn’t keep up with their recorded output over the years, but back in Vital Weekly 825 I quite what seemed to a very loud acoustic approach on ‘Blue Rabbit’, even when I thought the album was a bit long in total. That was noise but it came from an entirely different angle. Listening to the new album, ‘Offal’, I am not sure if ‘Blue Rabbit’ was an oddball in his catalogue, but ‘Offal’ takes a more classic noise approach. For the first time the lyrics are printed on the cover and according to Cold Spring these are ‘words that will make you question what it is to be truly human and not the conformist PC neo-liberal slave so prevalent and encouraged in the modern era’. I am not a man of lyrics myself, but I glanced over the printed lyrics, ‘I hack off your arms’, ‘hurt me, break me, cut and
bruise me’, ‘feel the empty joy in my fucking rage’ and ‘pornographic half truths stabbing in to cock flesh’ — to give
four quotes from the four pieces that are on this release, all clocking in between twelve and sixteen minutes.
Maybe I am too old to be shocked by lyrics, or maybe I think this is all commonplace for the works of a noise artists,
but it’s the music that I find of mostly of interest. Here Tomkins (vocals, organ, synthesizer, programming) and Paul Taylor (guitar and synthesizer) move back to the field of harsh power electronics. It is not the kind of wall of feedback that one probably expects with such acts, but quite well processed walls of guitar drones, organ drones and stabs at synthesizers or even a ‘rhythm’ in ‘Slice’ (straight forward fast repeated bang), but what makes this particularly good is the massive production of this music. It immediately brings this noise to a whole different level; it is amazingly loud, obviously, but all of this comes with some great clarity in the music. Every detail can easily be heard in here, unlike many others in the world of power electronics, noise or harsh noise wall painters. Also musically there is something interesting going on here: there is quite some variation in how these pieces are approached by Sutcliffe Jugend, making each a most profound statement of their own. All of this, and still operating in the more ‘conventional’, ‘traditional’ approach. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more exploration of the approaches on ‘Blue Rabbit’, but this is also something as good. It confirms that Sutcliffe Jugend is just major league noise music. (FdW)
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CODESPIRA1 — ARTEFACT (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

This is the first album for Codespira (I am not sure what that name means), which is the musical project of
Stockholm’s Mattias Petersson, who had two releases before under his own name (see Vital weekly 392 and 627)
and a DVD with with Frederil Olofsson (Vital Weekly 657). He is also a member of a duo called “there are no more
four seasons”, which I don’t know. I have no idea why he decided to change from working under his own name into
Codespira1. Apparently it has to do with the fact that much of his music is recorded in one take, using SuperCollider
(that’s the kind of musical software that I always found very hard to grasp) in combination with a Buchla Skylab
system and some other small stuff. His album was recorded at ‘Wickerwork’ and EMS, the famous electronic studio
in Stockholm. I think we should see the seven pieces of ‘Artefact’ as one continuous piece of music, and it’s quite
a heavy beast; heavy on the tones it contains and heavy on the execution of the sounds, especially the two parts
of ‘Case’ that open up here. In ‘Node #1’ Petersson goes out towards the rhythmic elements in music, and has a
piece of almost dance proportions, but it remains quite dark. Also in ‘Nodes #2 & 3’, which is one piece, there are
traces of rhythm, but then embedded a bit more in the music, encapsulated with more drones. ‘Artefact On My Feet’,
the album’s closing piece is quite fuzz like and distorted but it works quite well. As I said, everything is quite heavy
and it’s not easy to take all of this in easily, I thought. If the recent release by Bas van Huizen on the same label
is something you dig, especially the fuzzy, grainy textures than this is surely something you should check out
too. (FdW)
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Can’t say that I heard of Massimo Pavarini before, but I do know some of the bands he worked with such as
Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata (or T.A.C. in short) and Le Forbici Di Manitu. Pavarini was a composer,
percussion player and pianist; was I say, as he died in 2012, at the age of forty-two. Now his friends released
this four CD set, which spans on disc one and two his first two solo releases (of which the first was a cassette
he released when he was seventeen), the third is about his house and techno ambient music from the 90s and
the fourth about his works with such groups as T.A.C., Le Forbici Di manitu, Marmo and Le Orbite. All of this
in a somewhat fragile package, with a 44 page booklet, in Italian and English (that’s how these things should be
done, take note, everyone!), which for me is a delight to read as I learned a few things I didn’t know. Much of the
music was never heard properly, partly because Pavarini was very critical of his own work. His early claim to
fame was a cassette only release ‘Alea’ which he made when he was seventeen, on which he plays piano,
synthesizer and drums, and all of these pieces were properly scored by him, before putting them on to a recording.
From the booklet I learned that Pavarini was a big fan of such labels as 4AD and Les Disques Du Crepuscule, and
I can see a link between these early works and Crepuscule stalwart minimalist Wim Mertens; not that Pavarini
copies his minimalist style, but has a different kind of minimalism; more Satie like, if you will at times, but also
a lot more orchestral and busy at other times. It’s great music and it’s easy to see why he was hailed as a
wunderkind in his early years.
   The second disc is the unreleased cassette ‘Undicititoli’, from 1989, and some of these pieces later turned up
with Le Forbici di Manitu’s release ‘Infanzia di M’ (from 2001) and I am not sure if the versions on this disc are
the originals or not. Stylistically this is a continuation of the previous disc with more modern classical chamber
music, quiet on one hand and sometimes filled up with what seems a bit too much rhythm. There is help, as
before actually, on flute, recorder and clarinet. Yet there are also some differences, with an experimental guitar
improvisation on ‘Diastole Infinita’, which seems infinite (too) long, or the improvised percussion of ‘O.O.O.’,
which sounds like a T.A.C. piece and also the beginning of second version of ‘Nativo’ goes in that direction,
but is perhaps a bit long, which is something I think of more of these pieces.
   The third CD contains six pieces Pavarini recorded from 1990 to 1992 and a further three more he recorded with
Le Forbici Di Manitu, an Italian group that also included Vittore Baroni (of the legendary cassette label Trax), and
who were from time to time also quite into dance music, especially early on, when these piece were recorded.
I do like a bit of dance music but these pieces didn’t blow me away. I realize these should be seen in the time
they were made, but that kind of dance music sounds a bit out of date these. The long ‘Typewriter’s Tears’ could
have been on a Silent Records dance compilation from the mid 90s, and sounds quite alright; actually all of these
pieces sound not bad, also the ones by Le Forbici di Manitu, who are a bit more leaning towards the ambient side
of dance music, and freely toss in a bit of experiment. It sounds okay, but quite retro indeed.
   On the fourth CD the music goes out in an entirely different musical universe. First we have nine songs by Le
Orbite and a shoegazing rock band with Pavarini on drums. Of this band mainly live recorded exist, which add a
great vibe to the recordings. I have no idea where this is in terms of good/bad and shoegazing. Marmo, also with
Pavarini on drums, is present with two pieces of rather dull rock/new wave music. T.A.C. has five pieces, all of
hich were released before (on CDs by Discordia, in 1994, and Cthulhu, in 1993) and have their classic experimental
gothic approach, with metallic percussion and synthesizers. It’s great to hear this again, as it’s one of those bands
that always passed me by, I guess. There is also another Manitu piece on this disc.
   Overall, as you can see, this is quite a diverse release, music wise, and while not everything sounded that great,
I must admit that the overall impression of all of this work is quite good. The presentation is great and the friends
of Pavarini surely created a fine overview of his career, a small monument even. (FdW)
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The name Pierre-Yves Martel we have encountered before, mostly working with others, such as being part of the
duo Sainct Laurens (Vital Weekly 970), the quartet Quartetski (Vital Weekly 929) and various more impromptu
improvisations with Carl Ludwig Hübsch and Philip Zoubek (Vital Weekly 890), Martin Tetreault and Philippe Lauzier
(Vital Weekly 812). This might very well the first time I review a solo recording of his and I am not sure if this is
a live recording or not. I must admit it does sound like one, captured in a place with some natural reverb; perhaps
a church or a chapel. This is music with much silence between the notes. Martel plays here viola da gamba soprano
and harmonica and plays a few notes on either instrument and then remains quiet for a couple of seconds. Judging
by hearing this, these moments of silence are not perfectly timed, nor are the amount of notes fixed in each of the
bits that actually is the music (of course, of course, I know, silence is a rhythm too). Sometimes they are a bit
longer and sometimes quite short, but they are never under a few seconds anyway. It makes listening to this quite
a radical experience, not one that can easily does while engaging in something else. This is something that requires
one’s full attention I would think and only then it works quite well. I was distracted by the phone half way through for
a short while and then found myself starting all over again, to soak up the true spirit of the piece. Not the easiest
music around but one with quite some beauty hidden in both music and the silence that surrounds it; or vice versa
Iof course. (FdW)
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Of course I might be wrong, and I did hear of Bjarni Gunnarsson, but a quick survey of the old weeklies learned
that this might be my first introduction to his work, despite having releases on Vertical Form, Thule, Uni:form,
Spezial Material, Trachanik, Lamadameaveclechien, Shipwrec and 3LEAVES — and some of these labels actually
make it to these pages. On ‘Paths’ we find five pieces, which originally were part of three multichannel pieces,
but of course now turned into stereo. The title may refer to the routes the sounds travel to various speakers hanging
in space. This is an area that is of much interest for Gunnarsson and he worked in various studios offering such
sound surround speakers, including the WFS system in Berlin, which has 832 speakers. He studied with people
like Trevor Wishart and Curtis Roads and teaches now in The Hague himself. The five pieces on this CD are quite
vibrant pieces of computer music with a very classical touch in terms of musique concrete. His pieces bounce up
and down and go all over the place, and one never recognize any of the original sound input. I am sure all of the
classical tools are used, such as max/msp or Ina/Grm tools to transform these sounds ad infinitum. It’s easy to
see how this would work if it would be played on more speakers; leaping up and down, side ways and spinning out
of control, even when a piece is quiet, such as ‘Pulsatiles’. This is not music to settle down with and keep quiet,
but is quite a major tour de force, which needs quite a bit of volume for it’s playback.
   On a split LP we find on the first side Savvas Metaxas and Spyros Emmanouilidis working together. They are
members of Good Luck Mr Gorsky and V.I.A., but together share a love for modular and analogue synthesizers,
found sounds, tape feedback and low frequencies. Metaxas plays on this sidelong piece tapes and modular
synth and Emmanouilidis prepared piano, synth and tapes. I assume their piece ‘Front’ is recorded as part of
an improvisation, perhaps with some editing afterwards. This is a very fine mixture of stutter electronics, which
find the origins in field recordings or acoustic sound sources at the beginning of the piece, slowly morphing into
a steady, sustaining cluster of sounds at the end of the piece. Everything moves with an excellent sense of
slowness — much needed in these busy and buzzing times. It’s not something you haven’t heard before, from
either these men or others, but they do a great job.
   On the other side we find Eventless Plot, a trio of Vasilis Liolios (percussion, crotales, sound plates, objects,
contact microphones), Aris Giatas (analog synths) and Yiannis Tsirikoglou (zither, electronics, max/msp) and
they have a bunch of releases on Granny records before, as well as Another Timbre, Creative Sources and Aural
Terrains (see also Vital Weekly 951, 846, 685, 618), and their music crosses such lines as improvised music,
noise and modern electronics. All of that seems is captured in the twenty or so minutes of ‘Killing Realism’,
I should think. There is quite a bit of crackling of objects on contact microphones, percussive bits and the on-
going sounds of electronics underneath it all, which are quite dark most of the time and also quite heavy on
the bass. It makes up a great piece of music, quite dynamic all the time, with a constant change in character
and style. Just as we would expect from this band I guess. (FdW)
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This 7″ is part of a series of 7 and all of these singles deal with the multiplication of one instrument. In Vital
Weekly 1003 it was thirty chromatic tuners, now it is time for nine upright pianos, and they are played by nine
different players; I am sure that works out conceptually better. On the first side we have ‘Descending Piece’
which is a very thick flow of piano sounds, playing lots of notes so they become clusters that over the course
of these three minutes and fifty seconds become more and more intense and mysteriously stop as they
   ‘Partial Piece’, on the other side of this 45rpm record start with three heavy crashes, a bit like ‘A Day In
The Life’, but with less sustain so it is a bit shorter, before moving in to a Steve Reich/Charlemagne Palestine
strumming on single notes on the piano — times nine of course, that is.
   The previous 7″ was about tuners and I wondered how a piece would sound if it wasn’t about mechanical
devices and here’s the answer: using well-trained musicians hardly makes a difference and don’t seem to
do much when it comes to adding imperfections, if one was looking for that anyway. Quite a lovely 7″
I thought! (FdW)
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GOOD TOAST FOR GOOD PEOPLE (CDR compilation by Broken Toaster Records)

“Do you know Broken Toaster Records?”
I didn’t.
“They are from your home-town, Nijmegen, so maybe have one of these promo CDRs which we give away
for free. Maybe you can write about it in Vital Weekly? Actually it is a pay what you want release.” So I took
one from the lovely Underbelly store who had a temporary basis at the Incubate festival, which I visited,
and donated a very small sum, two euros I think, and decided to write about it, always keen to support
something from my hometown. I actually heard the name before but I missed the occasion when they
presented themselves. Their mission statement reads like this: “A record label dedicated to the kink and
think about what you can expect from the fruit loops. The only reason to believe in the power of social
security.” I see also lots about the city of Arnhem and the island Vlieland — maybe some of this, including
coming from Nijmegen, is all a bit of a smokescreen? None of the bands on this compilation I heard off
before; we have the Dutch/English sung electronic pop songs of Het Carmello Trio and Brik, the more punky
efforts of Filt and the cabaretesque weirdness of Code Malloot or the more generic vagueness of Live Op
Vlieland. Not everything was equally great but I loved the genuine weirdness of it all. A definite must-see
the next time they put up a gig! The true underground sound of Nijmegen. (FdW)
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BEN RATH — FORGIVENESS (CDR by Sound In Silence)

It’s been a long time since I heard ‘Return Written Arrange’ by Daniel WJ Mackenzie (see Vital Weekly
813). Also of his alter ego Plurals I haven’t heard anything since Vital Weekly 732. Of his other projects
Ekca Liena and Lost Property I never heard any music. He has releases on Fluid Audio, Dead Pilot
Records, Under The Spire, Home Normal, Thisquietarmy Records, Consouling Sounds and others, but
under his own name this is only his third full-length album. ‘Glass Permanent’ is quite different than the
previous one I heard, as this one doesn’t deal with Fibonacci sequences (I think), but Mackenzie picks
up piano, zither, voice, glockenspiel and field recordings of his own making and processes these until
he has results that he likes. Of the six pieces two are quite long (around ten minutes and four a bit shorter
than that. The music is very quiet and subdued. I found it hard to say to what extent there have been any
sort of processing, except for the occasional addition of reverb here and there, to create more of that
ambience, but when does, such as in ‘Missing Aura ii’, some of the instruments get lost. I had the idea
that Mackenzie was exploring one instrument per track, but I might be wrong. Some of these pieces move
around in weightless space, again much thanks to the reverb/delay, and the instruments plink and plonk
in when needed. In both parts of ‘Lost Jewels’, the glockenspiel is something that clearly leaps out on its
own, but that’s an exception, but here too I wondered if there was any external processing used.
I am not sure if I ever heard of Ben Rath before, despite his work for Cathedral Transmissions, Triple
Moon Records, Moonswing Netlabel and Splitting Sounds Records. This is his sixth album and he has
eight pieces here, which ‘only’ last twenty-seven minutes. As for instruments the cover lists acoustic
guitar, keyboards and laptop, but it is not easy to spot an acoustic guitar in these eight shoegazing laptop
doodles, with ‘Another Side’, being the exception in which a guitar can be heard more clearly. Otherwise
sound effects and/or laptop treatments blur much of the original sounds from the instrument. Via intense
layering of sounds everything is quite blurry and grainy, which is all right for a couple of songs, but seven
out of eight seems to receive such a treatment, which is perhaps a bit much I thought; this album could
use a bit of air. The label mentions a whole bunch of influences, from Stars Of The Lid, Wil Bolton, Eluvium
to Fennesz and I think the latter come closest. Most of these pieces are quite short, almost as a sort of
pop song really in the best fuzzy/shoegaze/ambient/drone tradition, with various shades of grey for intensity
and colour of the pieces. All in all I thought this was all right, not great, not bad, but perhaps that is
sometimes not enough. (FdW)
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These two releases I got handed when Olive and Naka were on an European tour together, playing night
after night their duo set of improvised, electro-acoustic music. Olive played his spring reverb and objects
and Naka was more engaged in a set of old-fashioned cassettes and sound effects. It made a wonderful
combination together. ‘Fault’ is a solo disc by Takuji Naka, perhaps even only available on tour, but maybe
if you ask him kindly he has some spare copies? The piece here, lasting thirty five minutes falls apart in
some distinct parts; an opening section of a few minutes with some more noise based acoustic treatments,
then a very long section, spanning more than half the length, of tapes being fed through sounds effects,
but they keep having this utter vagueness that works really well and which are then cut to shorter loops of
the same nature, and a closing drone like piece, heavily relaying on the mid-range, whereas the long section
was neatly tucked away in the lower region. An excellent piece of blissful music. Great isolationist drones,
if you can still remember that!
   The cassette by Tim Olive and Horacio Pollard is a bit older and was recorded in 2012 in ‘Berlin/Kobe’,
so one could assume this was recorded through the exchange of sounds via e-mail. Pollard is a member
of Clifford Torus (along with Anders Hana and Kjetil D Brandsal) and Fully Blown Dental Reform with Danny
O’Really and Marc Fantini, and works on a lot of solo releases, usually of the poppier yet very wacked kind.
That is not something he is doing here and on ‘Frackers-Como’ he sticks to the improvised nature of Olive’s
work, using guitar in many strange configurations. This is pretty noise-based release, with quite some
amplification going on the various sounds. There is metallic rumbling, string abuse and guitars. Many of
these pieces are rather short and to the point with a fine amount of variation in approaches. Quite a
powerful blast, this one. (FdW)
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CHOP SHOP — GREY AREA (cassette by Banned Production)
AMK — WIRETAP (cassette by Banned Production)

These are two slightly older cassettes by one of US’ older homes of experimental music on a cassette,
Banned Production. The first is by Chop Shop, also known as Scott Konzelmann, who has been around
since close to thirty years, but over all these years only had a handful of releases. Also concert wise he
isn’t the most active yet sometimes presents sound installations. Maybe all of this sparse activity gave
Chop Shop a somewhat mythical status. In much of his work he uses loudspeakers that are very well on
their way of being broken and Chop Shop feeds through that extreme field recordings, or maybe that should
be extremely processed field recordings. Chop Shop’s music is probably best described as industrial music.
It seems to me he has a bunch of recordings from machines and plays them this half functioning set-up
and the result is the sound of decay; or rather decaying sounds. It might be the sound of a motor, or wind-
blowing heavy against a windowpane, but it sounds quite powerful. The B-side is one piece also that has a
certain ambient quality to it. Excellent tape!
Labelboss AMK has been spinning records since the dawn of the turntable it seems, at least also for some
thirty or more years now, and sanding, grinding, cutting and breaking vinyl is his trick, but unlike other
turntablists, he layers many recordings together to actually make a composition, and not just a free run of
sounds. On ‘Wiretap’ he uses a whole bunch of drum sounds, from such luminaries as John Bonham, Keith
Moon, Elvin Jones, Carlon Barrett, Gary Madeley (him out of Crispy Ambulance — I recognized that) but
also Howard Stelzer, although, maybe he’s drumming here too. AMK layers some of their drumming into
totally over the top chaotic pieces, but in ‘Redux’ manages to sound like Chop Shop; grainy and rainy drones
from the world of industrial music. Quite a short tape, but it’s very much to the point I’d say. AMK is one of
the few turntablists who understand the medium they are working with, I’d say. (FdW)
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ORPHAX — AS YET UNTITLED (cassette by Silken Tofu)

While Sietse van Erve, also known as Orphax, has not yet a title of the release, or for the sidelong pieces
of music, he did decide to dedicate both of these pieces. ‘Not Yet Titled’ is for Jos Smolders and ‘based on
recordings made for a never finished project for Jos Smolders in 2014′ and the title piece on the other side
is for Phill Niblock, whose ‘work has been a direct inspiration for years’. Both pieces were recorded between
June and August 2015 ‘using Audiomulch, Reaper and a Casio SA10 (on AYO)’, Both pieces are about
twenty minutes each and in ‘Not Yet Titled’, Orphax starts out with some very good powerful drone sound
that has a beautiful rhythmic undercurrent in it’s development. Something to play with considerable, I’d say.
It then moves into something that is quieter and almost like a far away whistle, ending on the low end
drone, which was also the start. This I thought was an excellent piece.
The title piece on the other side is where Orphax captures the music of Niblock; a multi-layered field of
very similar sounds, playing along each other. It is static, or so it seems, for the entire twenty minutes
and curiously enough sounds less like organ sounds but more like processed hurdy-gurdy or guitars —
say the kind of sound sources that Niblock himself uses. The surprise here is that the sound treatment
seems quite different and Orphax chooses a somewhat different compositional approach on it. It sounds
great, if not quite similar to the master himself.
Not a lot of information could be found on Jonas van den Bossche and Benne Dousselaere, who also have
two sidelong pieces on their cassette. It starts out with something quite cosmic in approach, with a bunch
of hissing analogue synthesizers, but then quickly get company of drums, and maybe guitar, while the
synthesizer plays a small hint of a melody below. The third part of this piece sees the duo landing in the
middle of improvised noise, in which guitars, distortion and circuit bending play a big role. ‘Supersymmetry’
on the other side is bit shorter, just over thirteen minutes and seems to be following a similar course of
variations. Here it opens up with guitar noise, chopped up by the way it is played and then there is a bit
of fuzz and distortion, ending with guitar and bass being nasty and loud. Maybe no synthesizers in this
piece, which also doesn’t have a lot ambient/cosmic undercurrents. I liked ‘Antiquark’ better, but overall
this tape did not blow me away anyway. Maybe too sketchy, or too much free play without much thought?
Maybe something like this should have a bit more idea, I guess. (FdW)
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CHARNEL HOUSE — VOICELESS HYMNS (cassette by Auris Apothecary)
LATHER/SOMMER DUO (cassette by Sygil Records/Bob Heavens)

Two cassettes and both of these are released by various labels at the same time, if I understand well.
While they were in the same mailer, I am not sure what the connection is. I guess Adam Sommer was
Charnel House on these recordings and he’s also on the split with Lather.
   I started off with Charnel House, the duo out of Bloomington, Indiana (and not the label that once came
out of San Francisco), of whom I reviewed a CD back in Vital Weekly 812. On this cassette one finds
the earliest moments of the band, and Sygil Records released this in 2010 (hey, another connection!).
Sommer plays here guitar, samples and beats and most of this is actually quite crude. Noisy at that, but
also sometimes played with nothing in mind about all such notions as a great production but that says
nothing about the quality of the music, which is something I quite enjoyed. Everything is rotten and dirty,
it all seems to fall apart in this dusty basement, and there is much torment when this was recorded;
at least that’s what we are made to believe. ‘Infinite Instance’ is when Charnel House comes closest to
doing a (punk-) rock song, and along ‘Borax Pillow’ it is to be found at the end, like an appreciation for
sticking out so long? Or the move to a different kind of sound?
   This cassette comes in a linen drawstring pouch and bone fragments in a miniature vials. That looks
great, but Auris Apothecary knows how to pack a release.
   Adam Sommer, also known as Sommer here and Ben Myers and John Dawson, working as Lather
here (and who we found on the Enantiobiosis release, see Vital Weekly 847) recorded the other cassette
together. Sommer plays drums, guitar, tapes and effects while Myers is responsible for Optigan, SK-1,
Estey pump and voice, while John Dawson plays piano and drums, but who is also responsible for
recording, engineering and mixing. This is surely improvised music from a more free rock background,
and while occasionally things burst out with all noise, most of the time it actually stays on the softer
side; well, softer might not be the right word of course. More spaced out is perhaps a better word.
There are slow movements of guitar treatments, likewise slow bangs on the cans, all of this working
to a mighty crescendo, somewhere along one of the four pieces. It’s improvised, drone like, noise like
and even maybe, who knows, metal like. This is nothing for the faint at heart. An excellent, powerful
collaboration of some very intense music. (FdW)
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