Number 1036

END — NIGHTMARE VISIONS (CD by Epic Recordings) *
STURQEN — CURA (CD by Kvitnu) *
   (7″ lathe cut by Static Caravan) *
SAENÏNVEY — THE PATH (CDR by Eilean Records) *
SPECK — ANTIHEART (CDR by Eilean Records) *
SOMNOROASE PASARELE — GAMA (cassette by Tymbal Tapes)
   (cassette by Wounded Knife) *
   HARIGAMS (cassette by Wounded Knife) *

END — NIGHTMARE VISIONS (CD by Epic Recordings)

Only recently the name John Murphy came up in a review of cassette by Luke Holland, who uses Murphy’s
EMS AKS synth these days. It is perhaps only then I learned that Murphy was a member of such diverse
bands. I knew he was part of, for longer or shorter periods of time, of bands as Current 93, SPK, Death In
June but learned he was in also The Associates and Gene Loves Jezebel. Murphy passed away in October
last year and by that time The Epicurean was already working on a compilation of musical projects that
Murphy was involved, mainly as a fund raiser for medical treatments; although the extensive booklet does
not mention which kind of treatments. The booklet contains three lengthy pieces on Murphy; about the
formative years in Australia, his first stay in London, second stay in Australia; then it’s London again and
when he was refused entry to that country, his final years in Berlin. The booklet mentions lots of names,
too many we would think, and if one is not well versed in the world of esoteric, dark, gothic, neofolk music
(someone like me for instance), it’s easily to get lost in this neck of the woods. I am however massively
impressed by the amount of bands Murphy played with (even when Death In June seems absent on this
ompilation, but it’s good to hear something by The Associates), or his various solo projects. Many of these
projects seemed on an impromptu basis and an aspect of loose improvisation within the dark basement
never seems far away. This is almost 240 minutes of music, which has some great pieces, such as a
nineteen minute live action by Whitehouse (which was released on ‘Psychopathia Sexualis’ and as far as
I know not released on CD before), a lengthy live cut by SPK, KnifeLadder, Andrew King, and his own band
Last Dominion Lost, but also Shining Vril, Krang, Krank as his solo outings. But there is also music by
Blood Axis, Foresta Di Ferro, Naevus, Zeena Schreck, Die Weisse Rose, Gerechtigkeits Liga, Blood & Iron,
The Walking Korpses and many more dark tunes. The difference is being made on the first disc, in which
we have some very early rock bands that Murphy was part of in Australia, inc a school band and an great
instrumental by Associates. Those bits are rays of light in an otherwise dark world.
   Just last week there was the third edition of the Epicurean Escapsim festival, which I believe is held in
Berlin, and the catalogue consists of a compilation CD, a DVD with video and sound works by Dave Phillips,
about who we find also an essay in the booklet part, which contains also visuals by the musicians found on
the CD. I started with the music and encountered some people I know from before, such as Gerechtigkeits
Liga, Sutcliffe Jugend and Last Dominion Lost. And perhaps Skin Area, but maybe I just recognize the name
 from the old days. The folk noir tune of Nikolas Schreck is not well spend on me, same goes for the shouting
vocals and drone humming of Budrus, but the other pieces are quite all right. The density of Skin Area, the
chaos and rhythm of the Jugend, the early Laibach inspired marching music of Alfarmania (also a new name
for me actually), the percussive work of Last Dominion Lost and the surprisingly noisy music of the Liga;
there is quite some variation to be spotted in this end of the noise world and it would surely make up two
fine nights of music.
   The DVD is packed with goodies. There are three sections of interest; documentation of performances,
‘video works’ and collaborations, with Remote Control, Pakise Akin and Jan van Hasselt, Moju and GX
Jupitter-Larsen. The latter turns out to be a wonderful abstract film with a great moody soundtrack, a bit
of piano and a bit of drones. Among the performances there is one with Schimpfluch Gruppe (here Rudolv and Phillips) involving plates of spaghetti, but there is also a shadow play and actions involving blood.
Some of the audio of these performances was already been released, but it’s interesting to see the video
of these as well. The various ‘video works’ include a variety of interests, some shorter abstract bits but
also his cut-up work involving his strongly political stance on cruelty of animals. This might not be an all
ages work (although it raises awareness I guess, so who knows) and less suitable while you eat. It’s all
a bit heavy handed I guess, and it’s a message we may know (although I can hear him say: people still eat
meat, so we don’t hear the message enough); I simply prefer the more abstract images. The music is, as
always with Phillips, great; a fine combination of rapid montage of sound material and more straightforward
noise. The essay provides some more insight into his way of thinking and working and the visuals are great.
All in all an excellent package.
   On the sub-division Epic Recordings we find Odd Qvam, who worked as End, or sometimes as The End.
He was from Oslo back in the day. I don’t think I heard End back then but I did recently, when I reviewed
his come-back release (see Vital Weekly 1025), so this retrospective release is a collection of pieces from
a vinyl single, split 7″, two split tapes, obscure compilations and still also some unreleased material. It’s a
pity the cover doesn’t list where these tracks were originally released, but perhaps that’s the music nerd in
me. The music dwells heavenly on film samples, usually of the variety I have never seen (horror no doubt),
to which End adds a fine blend of electro-rhythms, hard and pounding, along with some of the finer,
piercing electronics. Fast, noisy and without mercy. It’s all quite extreme, with screaming vocals, crying,
trash talk, S&M samples and probably created by the sweetest boy you’d ever meet (or should that be
‘meat’?). It is probably not the kind of thing I would play a lot — I know I say this more often with a varying
amount of musical styles, but I played this release a couple of times last week, and I must (secretly?
guilty pleasure?) admit I actually quite enjoyed this endurance test. Seventy-two minutes of chaos,
mayhem, noisy and just as with that come back release I thought all of this was pretty funny. (FdW)
––– Address:


More dark music, which is also quite noisy, comes from ACL (as it says on the front), which stands for
Antichildleague (as it says on the spine), the musical project of Gaya Donadio. She contributes regularly
to this weekly with concert announcements, usually bigger events with the hot shots from the world of
industrial music, noise and power electronics. ‘Holy Ghost’ is the third instalment, following a CD called
‘The Father’ (2008 and ‘The Son’ (2014). Before that there was a cassette called ‘Hellworm’, released in
2001. Thirteen pieces are to be found on this release of mostly piercing electronics, which came alive
through the use of a bunch of old synthesizers, and buried in the mix are the vocals. I have no idea what
these lyrics are about, but maybe the titles are indications towards the actual content, ‘I Hate You’, ‘Ice
Heart’, ‘Weak Seed’, ‘Penis Dead’, ‘Dick Funeral’ or ‘Guilty Women’, but then; what’s in a title anyway?
The noise produced by Antichildleague is quite a varied bunch, if of course one is willing to dig a bit
deeper. There are various bits with rhythm (well actually a few of these pieces have some form or
another of rhythm), monotonous beating affairs really, and some of the synthesizers are less piercing
than others, which brings in quite some variation into the music. The vocals reminded me of Ramleh
from time to time, and at other times of Whitehouse. One could say something similar for the music
as well, but Antichildleague just adds a bit more rhythm to the plate. Despite the variety of sounds
she uses, it all remains a pretty grim release of course, which is perhaps at odds with the nice summer
day that it is. (FdW)
––– Address:


Everything is large scale on this release, a document of a real mega-project, originally composed for the
Ultima Festival in Oslo, 2010. This is a composition for three choirs and a few musicians. On this release
we have a live performance of this work at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival 2012. Performed
by The 24, RNCM Chamber Choir and the Huddersfield University Chamber Choir accompanied by Stian
Westerhus (guitar), Antoine Chessex (saxophone), multi instrumentalist Hild Sofie Tafjord, noise artists
Phil Julian and Mark Durgan, and organist Nils Henrik Asheim. Sound mix is by Ratkje herself. Kathy Hinde
filmed the concert that is included on DVD. The work that takes almost 57 minutes starts with a dramatic
instrumental intro. Then the choirs set in. Repeating short text lines. The texts are taken the Nag Hammadi
Library, a collection of Gnostic texts dating from the first centuries of Christianity, found in an Egyptian
desert in 1945. “I have chosen text fragments touching on the origin of the world and of humans. A female
divinity is in charge. On her own, she creates a ruler for the material world who turns out to be a beast”,
Ratkje explains. The choirs repeat and repeat their juxtaposed lines, creating a hypnotising effect. Gradually
the choirs are forced to the background, making room for instrumental interludes of orchestral proportions,
thickened to pure noise. Ratkje manages this enormous bulk of sounds very well. Structure, focus and
direction are not lost in this immense sound construction. On the contrary, I felt part of something very
big, a true ‘mysterium tremendum and fascinans’ if that wasn’t a definition of God. A very dramatic and
 monumental journey. (DM)
––– Address:


This quartet unites the talents of Michaël Attias (alto sax), Pascal Niggenkemper (double bass), Carlo
Costa (drums) and Jean-Brice Godet (clarinets, composition). Paris-born Godet discovered improvisation
at an early age. Later he completed his studies: computer music research. a.o.  In 2012 he started his
quartet in Brooklyn, “playing his compositions, working on impermanence and imperfection.” He co-leads
two trios (Zaal 33, Capsul) and plays regularly with Joëlle Léandre, a.o. Drummer Carlo Costa originates
from Rome but changed it for New York since 2005.  He has his own quartet going on, and also a duo
with Flin van Hemmen, plus one with Ryan Ferreira. Pascal Niggenkemper works in Europe as well as
America and has trio Baloni with Joachim Badenhorst and Frantz Loriot as one of his main activities.
Attias was born in Israel, raised in Paris and lives in New York since 1994. He is around with Rendu,
The Michaël Attias Quartet, etc. The quartet performs seven pieces, all of them composed by Godet,
with room for improvisation of course. The pieces were recorded in Brooklyn on two occasions in 2013
and 2014. Some of the pieces come close to chamber music; others are of a more jazzy nature. In ‘La
voix des cendres’ they create interesting sound textures of an abstract level. In other tracks they depart
from a rhythm-based pattern, creating room for engaged duets between sax and clarinet. In pieces like
‘Eloge la chute’ they show how easily they can switch and make enjoying twists and jumps. ‘Ballade
suspendue’ begins with a fine solo by Niggenkemper before the blowers come in and work out a subtle
and elegant ballade. In all a very solid and rich album, with lots of contrasts and fine interplay. (DM)
––– Address:


A debut here and a second album is what we find here in this new batch by Lantern, the Japanese home,
which surprises us most o the times. The debut is by Thomas Whitfield, who works as Simple Eyyes.
There are no instruments mentioned on the cover of this release, but there is obviously a lot of acoustic
guitar used in these pieces, which come to the listener as there are played, but also no doubt as sampled
and to which Simple Eyyes adds electronics, beats and such like; sometimes he sings. Eight tracks are
to be found on his debut, and the whole album spans thirty-four minutes. You could easily gather from
my description that this is all very ambient and slow music, but that is not the case. His music is actually
jumpy and fast, most of the times. The few vocals he uses he could do without, I would think. It is all
rather poppy and cheerful music, even when apparently there are mistakes in there, here and some place
else, but it’s not something we hear (although there was an odd ‘gap’ in one of songs, which I thought was
my player). The music of Simple Eyyes is quite energetic and as such I thought that ‘only’ thirty-four
minutes is not a big problem for me. By then it seemed he explored the possibilities of sampling his rapid
acoustic guitar playing and applying the latest in computer technology to melt this into some modern-day
alternative pop. Next up should be someone who does some great vocals.
   Kita Kouhei’s debut album ‘Endless Cycle Of Rebirth’ was reviewed back in Vital Weekly 996. He is
trained as a drummer and pianist but his music was made with a lot of samples. This doesn’t change on
this new release, in which he works with piano (a lot), kalimba, toy piano, analogue synthesizers and slit
drums along with field recordings — and all of this again sampled quite a lot. This too results in quite
poppy music, but Kita Kouhei’s tracks are usually a bit longer, between five and seven minutes is not
really rare here, and is heavier on the use of beats and chopped up samples. The jazzy piano samples
that we heard on his first CD are also part of this new one, but seem a bit less present. Again Kita Kouhei
offers a variety of moods and textures, odd time signatures on his drum sounds and throughout it is not
very abstract or experimental. Kita Kouhei’s music is quite accessible and easy going, even when he’s
applying cut-up methodology to some of the sounds used. There is nothing in here to annoy or upset the
listener; instead it is modern day pop for modern day homes. A new sound for every dream home. (FdW)
––– Address:

STURQEN — CURA (CD by Kvitnu)

Somehow I thought I reviewed a whole bunch of releases by Cesar Rodrigues and David Arantes, who
make up the duo Sturqen. It turns out I just reviewed ‘Praga’ by this Portuguese group, back in Vital
Weekly 806. The title of their new release translates as ‘cure’, no surprise there, and I surely missed out
on some of the releases that came in between, but it’s safe to say they still cues from the Pan Sonic guide
book into all things minimal, but Sturqen surely adds something of their own, as the pieces on this release
are quite diverse, in all it’s minimalism. Their sound is most of the time quite intense, especially on the low
end of the bass drum and the intensity of some of the synthesizers they use. That kind of Pan Sonic
inspired tunes make up the majority of the album, and perhaps as such it is less surprising but a quiet
and almost ambient piece like ‘Fobos’, the slow builder that ‘Systema’ is, the paced out beats of ‘Ptomaina’
and ‘Navegador’ do make a difference, although I think the more experimental tunes are at the end and
while Sturqen clearly aims for diversity in their music, I think a somewhat different track order would
have made the CD a bit stronger. Certainly in the first half the Pan Sonic ditties are a bit too much in
one row. Maybe these are considered to be the more recognizable/easy/commercial (surely not) tunes
by the band, but interspersing these with some of the more experimental/slower/ambient bits from later
on, would have made this album overall stronger, and that with the same pieces, as I think they are all
equally strong. This is surely a band that I wouldn’t mind seeing live and get a real blast. (FdW)
––– Address:


As far as I recall I didn’t review ‘Amalgam’ by Ora the first time it was released, as a double LP by Edition…
That was in the year 2000. I am not sure what I thought of the record back then, but I probably enjoyed it,
as I was very much into the music of Ora, Mirror, Monos, Jonathan Coleclough and all of their connected
projects at that time. Honesty also dictates that I haven’t heard the record in quite some time. Maybe
because picking out a record to play is always a bit less preferred than picking out a CD, strictly privately
of course, and maybe it’s also that I loved this kind of music on CD anyway, whereas these boys (no girls)
love their vinyl. So I am delighted to see this on CD and that I once again have to hear it. On this particular
version of Ora the group consists of Darren Tate and Colin Potter, the core duo as it were, along with
Michael Northam, plus John Grzinich and Slavek Kwi each on a track. This time it is a bit easier to read
the liner notes (no longer in a circle) and we learn that these pieces are inspired by specific places, and
might even contain sounds from such places. I am not sure of that, as I am actually also not sure how
Ora do their music at all. I would think, perhaps a romantically notion, there is a bunch of field recordings
at work, from these or other places, that there is a bunch of acoustic objects played by some members
and that at the controls we find Captain Potter, the conductor with his multitude of sound effects (just as
he is stage central with Nurse With Wound concerts), combining all of this together; a curious mixture of
drones, field recordings and hand cranked sounds forming longer pieces of dislocated sounds. They don’t
necessarily belong together, but if one continues to listen than it starts to make sense, and the beauty
unfolds slowly. It rattles, hums and cracks. Towards the end of the release there are more traditional drone
pieces, which is perhaps what one remembers these bands best for, but I must say, it is all much more
varied than I remembered. It has a great dynamic throughout and I must say the CD sounds excellent;
I have no idea to what extent Potter remastered all of this, but it sounds all crisp and clean. I should play
this kind of stuff; even from vinyl.
   The other release is a double CD is about a trip Phil Mouldycliff and Colin Potter made to the land down
under to play some music at the Horizon Planetarium in Perth. A piece of music to ‘accompany a
simulated trip through the universe created by Carley Tilet using SkyScan in the 18metre full-dome project
space’. ‘Universal’ makes up fifty-two minutes of the first disc. On the second disc one finds two further
pieces, ‘Auspex Australis’ by Potter and Mouldycliff, which features wildlife recordings they made during
the visit and ‘Two Lakes’ by the same duo and David Carson, who invited them to Australia in 2009.
‘Universal’ is a very drone like experience, a much smoother affair than the Ora disc (but then surely
a decade passed between both pieces) and one can easily see how such music will fit anything that
involves images from the cosmos. This is perfect deep space music. It’s not the bouncing arpeggios of
Tangerine Dream and that lot, but a trip into the darker edges of the cosmos via unearthly dark rumble,
and without a moment of stasis; everything seems to be a constant slow move. This space ship moves
gently through space, but it never stops. It takes full-scale pictures of intergalactic happenings. And
sometimes it seems that there is a full on orchestra at play here. It is a ringing beauty; I can imagine this
was an overwhelming experience.
   The wildlife is very well preserved on the ‘Auspex Australis’ piece, although it is hard to tell which
animals were captured on tape. The treatments by Potter and Mouldycliff are sparse and add more
colouring to the piece than it does to transform them. It makes this quite an open piece of music,
compared to the dark drones on the other disc. It even has a shimmer of melody here and there.
The other piece is about Donald Campbell, the guy who broke speed records on land and water in
1964. In 1967 he died trying to set another attempt, as Coniston Water. Apparently a mutual interest for
Mouldycliff and Carson, and ‘Two Lakes’ contains recordings from Lake Eyre and Lake Dumbleyung,
where Campbell raced in the sixties. The piece starts quite dark and remote but slowly unfolds into a
beautiful piece of drone music, including water and bird sounds. It has a very tranquil meandering this
piece and seemingly it has very little to do with racing. Maybe we should see it as a memorial piece
of music? I am never a fan of racing so I rather hear nature like this: quiet. Excellent music, all around
these three discs. (FdW)
––– Address:


Reviews of improvised music are normal business for Vital Weekly. Seldom however this concerns
albums of improvised music for church organ. However improvisation as a musical art form has a long
tradition connected to this instrument. An instrument that served for centuries in a liturgical context.
Where improvisation was helpful to connect or disconnect different parts of the liturgy. So it’s about
time for an the exception to this rule. Although, let’s not forget ‘Levitation’ by Tobias Preisig and
Stefan Rusconi, reviewed earlier here that has Rusconi playing the organ of the Saint-Etienne Church
in Cully, Switzerland. With ‘Dynamisch’ we stay in Switzerland. It is a double cd by Swiss musician
Pascale van Coppenolle, of Luxembourg origin. She studied in Liege and Cologne and developed a
special love for performing French-Italian baroque music. On cd 1 she plays compositions by Bach,
Byrd, Frescobaldi, Scheidt, Bull, Sweelinck and Liszst, covering 16th up to 19th century. Three
compositions are played on the ´Hochwandtorgel´, four other works on the `Hauptorgel´, both built
by Metzler for the Stadtkirche in Biel, Switzerland. CD 2 entails four duo improvisations and one
solo improvisation, all played on the ´Hauptorgel´. This organ has the unique possibility of influencing
the wind supply while playing, resulting in fascinating dynamic possibilities. Companions of van
Coppenolle are Hans Koch (bass clarinet), Jonas Kocher (accordion), Hannah E.Hänni (voice) and
Luke Wilkins (violin). No idea if it is common practice to include improvised works on a release,
but I think it is not. For me the contrast between the two is the interesting thing. Alas liner notes
don´t say much on van Coppenolle´s vision on improvising and the relation to a praxis of performing
mainly baroque music. Especially because improvising means here, complete free improvisation
and not departing from themes coming the compositions. Her solo improvisation ´Clusterizing´ is
an interesting abstract sound work, with fascinating sounds pass by. ´Fusion´ with vocalist Hanni
has some surreal sounding passages. The improvisations with accordionist Kocher, and Hans Koch
I liked most. Here I sensed and enjoyed most of a musical dialogue. Violinist Wilkins starts with
short phrases in a sort of answer-response improvisation, that develops into a furious battle, where
 van Coppenolle again pulls out unheard sounds and textures from the organ. In general, van
Coppenolle creates complex drones and long extended clusters, using a wide range in dynamics,
that make me immediately a fan of the church organ, that I often disliked for its often unpleasant
penetrating and omnipresent sound. (DM)
––– Address:


Just like last week’s releases by Alphatronic, I have a CD here, which I thought I saw before
already. Like it’s predecessor ‘Kuku!’ (see Vital Weekly 954) this new work by Taavi Tulev comes in
a digipack with a separate sheet of stickers which you can stick on the cover yourself, but upon
closer inspection this turns out to be a beach. Maybe Tulev took my advise from the previous review
and decided this to change the twenty-one minute of a forest into an one hour recording of a beach
side. Just that and nothing else, and that’s no change with the previous release. It is recorded “at
Tsitre, a sandy strip of beach in Lahemaa National Park. It’s pitch black and dead calm night. You
can hear only the lapping waves. The sky is cloud covered, though in time the clouds dissipate to
reveal a clear night sky. A giant orange moon sets in the sea.” That’s what Tulev share with us.
I don’t believe there is nothing much to say, other than this a beautiful recording of sea waves
washing ashore, for fifty-four minutes — plus a small gap of six empty minutes, perhaps to make
up the request for a full hour. I quite enjoyed this pure field recording; at the same I realize many
people would say: I can do that too. Then feel free to do it. (FdW)
––– Address:


An obscure combo from San Francisco. Members are Chris Cones (drums, concert bells, tapes,
metal rods, tambourine, backing vocals), Jason Stamberger (organ, synthesizer, acoustic guitar,
tapes, electronic tambora, backing vocals), Chris Rolls (vocals, synthesizer) and Liz Allbee (vocals,
trumpet, synthesizer, tapes, Syrian reed flute). Only the name of Cones did ring a bell. He did
a nice cover of Popol Vuh’s ‘Hüter der Schwelle’ as Skullcaster. But with La Flange du Mal, we are
in totally different territories. Punk-inspired up-tempo is what they offer. One track is originally from
Crass (‘Shaved Women’), with lyrics by Annie Anxiety Bandez. All other six songs are by the
band members. Recordings date from several years ago, if I’m not mistaken, but there is not
much information included. Their music is evidently related to bands like Ne Zhdali and Dog Faced
Hermans. Jumpy, noisy pop music, almost danceable, flavoured with bit weirdness and experiment,
plus political lyrics. They keep it very unpolished, but everything is well put together and sounds
very fresh and convincing. (DM)
––– Address:


Hot on the heels of their inaugural release by Quartz Locked, the French label Warm now releases
this album by the for me unknown Juan Pablo Espinoza (laptop, field recordings, Casio CZ101) and
Herve Moire (laptop field recordings, guitars). Of the latter I reviewed a CDR back in Vital Weekly
819. I see he only did one other release and then this. Warm certainly has faith in their artists.
The music was recorded at home and on a residency and both sides have a single piece each,
which, if I understand well (google messes up the French translation of the site), they are based
on earlier concerts, inspired by urban soundscapes — hence the swimming pool pictures. I would
think it is not easy to recognize the origins of these field recordings, and they hardly sound urban
to me. The guitar plays quite an important role on ‘Vacio’ and sounds toward the end a bit too
seventies retro for my taste. At the start ‘Reminiscence’ this seems to be less the case, and field
recordings, along by electronics, play a more important role on this side. Here it all seems a bit
less abstract, and works even towards a Pan Sonic like minimalist beat, along with piercing
sounds; it’s just that field recordings is something that the Pans wouldn’t do. Then it moves over
into something that we were already a bit familiar with from ‘Vacio’; slow meandering guitar
sounds, spacious and sparse electronic crackles. The great thing about both pieces that they
break down into various smaller pieces, cleverly manoeuvring between loud and quiet, sharp
and soft, edgy and round, it never rubs the wrong way (except for that one bit I cared less
about). But also I must say that much of what is in here is something we also heard explored
elsewhere. (FdW)
––– Address:

   (7″ lathe cut by Static Caravan)

For review purposes Static Caravan enclosed a CDR of this 7″, and I assume they think not
everybody has a record player these days. Good news for me and you as well, as I am able to
enclose a bit in the podcast, but much to my curious surprise there is just one piece on the CDR,
clocking in at 9:41, so the part one and part two of the 7″ appear here as one piece, probably
just as was intended by the composers. We hear the voice of James Robertson, who has an
‘melancholic exegesis of the human condition’, and he recounts this wonderful with his Scottish
accent, but the peaceful electronic music of Art Of The Memory Palace, a duo of Andrew
Mitchell and Raz Ullah enhances the mood further. Its drone like music, spacious, with slow
drum sounds and strings sound ethereal and orchestral; it has a mildly dark shade, this music,
but along with the voice of Robertson this works simply great. A poem, a fairy-tale, a nightmare,
this is simply a gorgeous piece of music. It continues Static Caravan’s search for music and
narrations (see also Vital Weekly 1017), and normally I am not the kind of guy to like that sort
of thing, but within the (two) song like structure this has it works absolutely great. A ten-minute
tone poem of heavenly beauty. Excellent release and sadly not many copies of this are
around. (FdW)
––– Address:


According to the press information this is an album of ’49 minutes of algorithmic, modular synth
mainstream experimental music’. Maybe it is a semantically discussion if music can be both
mainstream and experimental, but somehow I think this excludes each other. I don’t think I
heard of Worsel Strauss before, and ‘Tako Tsubo’ is his second album. The title refers to ‘a
broken heart’ with can also be a physical condition. Strauss uses Buchla, EMS and Fenix
synthesizers; all modular of course, and there are twelve songs on this album, all in the range
of three to four minutes. Curiously the press text also says something about ‘west coast
aesthetics’, which I am clueless about what that should be. I would think there is very little
‘experimental’ about this music. It doesn’t seem to explore some new language in music we
haven’t heard before. These twelve tracks are quite pleasant synthesizer with a dash of rhythm
pieces. Sometimes with a bit of melody, but usually not really. It never the less sound pleasant
and sunny — maybe that’s the west coast aesthetics? Apparently these pieces are cut from
a variety of recordings in which Strauss had the machines running for a while, without any
interaction, which may count for a bit of the more or less colder feel some of these pieces
have. It’s not industrial cold, but it left me in a state of indifference. It was alright, it was fine,
but it didn’t sound like something I would immediately play again, and something that I would
probably forget all about soon, and that doesn’t seem to me to be the great thing about good
music. (FdW)
––– Address:

SAENÏNVEY — THE PATH (CDR by Eilean Records)
SPECK — ANTIHEART (CDR by Eilean Records)

Spending his time between France and Vietnam, Yves-Gaël Jacak works as Saenïnvey and
with ‘The Path’ he presents his first album. On the cover of his album we read however that
all of the music was composed between 2013 and 2016 in France and, unlike other releases
by Eilean Records there is no list of instruments on the cover, but the website mentions he
has some of his own making and that he likes both acoustic and electronic music, and also
that this is his first album. So that’s about what we know. His music seems a bit of an
oddball in Eilean Records catalogue. Whereas normally it’s all to with electronics, field
recordings, computer processing of acoustic instruments and such like, this one sounds
like a band, from time to time. In ‘Something New’, he plays percussion and zither or such
like string instrument, whereas in other pieces the percussive element is also present,
but not as much upfront. It would seem to me that much of this is generated by using a
variety of percussive tracks, improvised, recorded onto a multi-track recorder, along with
field recordings, and maybe other instruments and then mixed together in a somewhat
randomly improvised manner. Especially this seems to be the case on the two longest
pieces, ‘Monotonous Life’ and ‘Rite De Passage’, which might meander a bit too far off.
Droney pieces like ‘The Path’ and ‘Back To Life’ are either devoid of much percussion or
everything has gotten very close together. ‘The Big Travel’ is also quite drone like but seems
to be made with bows and cymbals (I might be wrong of course). It makes that this is quite
a varied bunch of pieces; perhaps we should see this as his calling card into making music,
and as such the fact that it is less coherent is not that big of a big deal. It shows what he is
capable of and that sounds pretty good already.
   The other new release is the fifth album by Nikita Bondarev, who is from Berdsk and who
works as Speck. Otherwise there is not a lot of information about him, and in this case there
is also not a lot about the instruments that he is using. Unlike many of his countrymen who
dabble in the world of drone music, the music of Speck is not really that dark ambient, the
heavy machine like drone. Speck’s music is a bit sparser, with some well-chosen field
recordings, rain, wind, empty spaces, that kind of thing, along with a piano sound, with some
electronic treatments (reverb and delay). It is a process that is repeated in all four of these
pieces, with a varying degree of piano sounds, treatments, crackles and field recordings.
In the title piece this is all a bit louder and present, but in other pieces it remains all a bit
sparser and perhaps somewhat vaguely. Think Harold Budd with a more 21st century Eno
at the laptop, rather than the studio. Each of the four pieces is somewhere between ten and
fourteen minutes, and highly atmospheric and yet very open is approach. A most delicate
and delightful album, even when perhaps it is not so much something new. (FdW)
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SOMNOROASE PASARELE — GAMA (cassette by Tymbal Tapes)

Up until now I had not encountered Somnoroase Pasarele, a duo of Gili Mocanu and Elena
Album,  “two visual artists who live and work between Constanta and Bucharest in Romania”.
I found that bit of information on another bandcamp, where one can hear their second release,
‘CO’. Perhaps ‘Gama’ is then their third release? Tymbal Tapes is not very forthcoming with
information, as their bandcamp doesn’t mention anything at all, and nor does the cover of this
cassette. Lovely printed, I must say, but useless with information. I understand from the other
bandcamp that this duo ‘defies categorisation – techno, post-punk, experimental electronics
or noise would be too restrictive and inadequate as labels. Their music is an enigma, and it
doesn’t strive for understanding’, and judging by the twenty-eight minutes of music here,
I can very much see ties to experimental electronics and noise, and perhaps less to techno
and post-punk, but I do realize this is a different release. If Tymbal’s bandcamp page is
anything to go by, these two sides are one piece, but if one plays this it is more like a bunch
of pieces stuck together. There is a rhythm machine working over time on the second side,
but this would be techno of a more experimental kind. Mostly however this duo uses sound
synthesis, maybe through the use of modular synthesizers and other sound effects to create
a fairly abstract from electronic music; nothing here about ambient or drones, but it moves
towards the louder edges but neatly stays away from being very noisy. Occasionally there
is even room for a melody. I thought all of this was not bad at all, but maybe the overall
sound quality could be better. (FdW)
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   (cassette by Wounded Knife)
   HARIGAMS (cassette by Wounded Knife)

Here’s a whole bunch of musicians who do not ring immediately bells here, except Garcia,
I would think. I started however with the cassette by Charles Barabé, from Canada meeting
up Roadside Picnic, also known as Justin Wiggan, from the UK. They have releases on
such labels as 905 Tapes, A Giant Fern, Tymbal Tapes, Jehu & Chinaman as well as
Barabé’s own La Cohu. It is not mentioned anywhere but I would assume this was recorded
through the use of the Internet, and it’s likewise not easy to say what they use. There is a
whole bunch of acoustic sounds, either from real instruments, such as the piano, or from
the kitchen sink, along with a whole bunch of orchestral samples, including a humming
men’s choir (in the fifth piece), and me thinks the sampling of sounds is their primary
interest. The piano sounds, present it seems in most pieces, reminded me a bit of Nurse
With Wound, but no doubt the whole cut ‘n paste approach towards electro-acoustic sounds
is also very much along the way the nurses work. None of these pieces, nine in total,
are overtly long or tedious; everything is neatly trimmed and it works really fine. Excellent,
energetic release.
   The other release is the result of a European tour by saxophonist Sébastien Branche and
Miguel A. García, playing electronics and jen brio, and by the time they arrived in Warsaw
they did a recording session with Wojtek Kurek (from Paper Cuts and Warten; drums) and
Mateusz Wysocki (Fischerle, Bouchons D’oreilles; laptop, field recordings), which resulted
in this forty-five minute release, the two parts that make up ‘Harigams’. It is quite a fine
balance between two players of ‘real’ instruments and two players of electronics, which in
the music shines through nicely. The saxophone is an instrument we hear in the background
making long sustaining sounds, whereas Kurek plays his drums very sparsely. The four of
them prefer to keep the music firmly in a more abstract sound field, clustering all the sounds
together, leaving very little air to breath for the music, but that seems very well to be the
intention of this. It all moves inside a world of electro-acoustic music, and some of it happens
to be acoustic instruments. My favourite side is the second one, in which everything appears
to be even more closely together, hermetically sealed off and to be a form of acoustic drone
music. One excellent side to another piece of fine music one on the other side. (FdW)
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