Number 1039

SEC_ — MEFITE (CD by Toxo Records) *
NARTCORE — AELUTON (CD by Creative Sources Recordings) *
TV POW (LP by Shameless) *
   (LP by Static Caravan/Dirter Promotions)
BOY DIRT CAR & BUMBLE BE — WHEELS/CLEVELAND 351 (CDR by After Music Recordings) *
THREE SNAKE LEAVES — DEUCE (CDR by After Music Recordings) *
S.M. NURSE (cassette by Top Tape)
PIERRE-LUC SIMON — FIXATIONS (cassette by Small Scale Music) *
AARON LUMLEY — KATABASIS/ANABASIS (cassette by Small Scale Music) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ — SLEEPCYCLES (cassette by Small Scale Music) *

SEC_ — MEFITE (CD by Toxo Records)

It’s been a while since I last heard a release by Mimmo, also known as SEC_, a most active improviser from
the world of electro-acoustic music. He is a member of Aspec(t) and played with Jerome Noetinger, Dave Phillips,
Oliver die Placido, Francisco Meirino and many others. His main instrument is a Revox reel-to-reel recorder,
which he uses to record acoustic and electronic sounds and then, while playing it using more analogue and digital
treatments, hand spinning and such like. This new CD is about ‘Mefgite’, the Italian Godess from the southern part
of the country, goddess of fertility, presiding over life and death. Especially in the Ansanto Valley she has her cult;
the deadly moat, with horrible gas makes you especially careful. SEC_ uses words from the film ‘The Sound Of
Insects’, inspired by M. Shimada’s ‘Diary Of A Mummy’. M. DellaMorte (either appropriate name or a pseudonym)
recited these words, which are from a diary of death by starvation.
   This piece was made for multi-channel diffusion, on radios and speakers, and live voice, but is here reduced to
stereo. This is a great piece, in two parts, spanning thirty-one minutes. It has that vibrancy of SEC_’s music, as
we know it. Bouncing back and forth with sounds, from loud to soft, like the best of musique concrete can have.
It never sounds really electronic, because SEC_ uses a lot of acoustic sounds, none of which we can easily detect
in its original source. The great beauty however here is the addition of text material. It adds a strong Nurse With
Wound like quality to the music, narrative and yet very spooky. No doubt thanks to the macabre and sinister
content of the words. This is a particular strong release by SEC_ and one that I thought was at thirty-one minutes
just a bit on the short side.
   A bit longer, thirty-nine minutes, is the solo release by Francesco Gregoretti, who we best know as the drummer
for Grizzly Exploded (sometimes called Strongle Exploded, or vice versa) and who did a CD with guitar player Oliver
Di Placido (see Vital Weekly 878). Since 1998 he is also a member of One Starving Day, which I never heard and
plays improvised music with Pascal Battus, SEC_, Tetuzi Akiyama and others. Labelboss SEC_ here writes the
liner notes and he compares Gregoretti with a mathematician, not because he counts his beats but him finding
regularities among the chaos of sounds. I am not sure if I agree, but there is indeed a pleasantly disturbing chaos
in this music. I would love to see Gregoretti play his music, as I heard some curiously interesting drone like sounds
here; like he rubs with fingers over large sheets or surfaces of his drum kit. It adds some extra to his improvisation
which we not always in the work of others. It is, despite what the word ‘chaos’ may imply, also not the work of heavy
rattling and stomping around the drum kit, far from it actually. Much of what Gregoretti does deals with playing with
a bow, the careful exploration of the various parts of his kit, focussing on single parts of it or using additional objects
while playing the kit. A piece like ‘Suspended Solids’ is one of those quiet and introspective pieces of music. And,
as said, in some of these pieces there is this menacing low sounding rumble, of which I have no idea how he does
that. And yes, sometimes he lets arms and legs go all free on the kit and be all wild, but that never seems to last
very long. It all in all makes this is a highly varied disc, with many different approaches to playing solo-improvised
drum music. Excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address:


This is the second collaboration of Norwegian guitarist and improviser Kim Myhr with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.
This time with participation of writer and singer Jenny Hval time. You may remember Hval’s solo-album ‘Innocence
is Kinky’, released on Rune Grammofon in 2013, and reviewed here. For this new release Myhr and Hval together
composed the music. Myhr did the arrangements and Hval wrote the lyrics. Although an orchestra is involved, the
music is far from ‘orchestral’. Also it is not jazzy, although the orchestra has term ‘jazz’ in its name. Well then, what
is it? It is music of a very intimate character, full of little, subtle acoustic sounds. Myhr and his companions create
friendly, even sensual textures that abstract from melody and rhythm. Accentuated by Hval’s voice. Often just
spoken voice, sometimes with melodic elements and a jazzy feel. Hval explains: “I wanted to combine something
charming, in both the lyrics and the melody, something that wants to be loved, with this more abstract and
fragmentary music.” Her emotional performance fits wonderfully with the moderate arrangements. At moments it
has resemblances with the album by Danielle Liebeskind, reviewed a few weeks ago. Spoken word by a female
voice combined with open sound-dominated textures, coloured by the use of a diversity of instruments, playing
short runs and patterns. All from a stripped down, minimalistic, if not ascetic, approach with the 12-string guitar
of Myhr in the forefront in most of the tracks. Carefully arranged music that didn’t really came too alive
however. (DM)
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It seems as if Francesco Meirino is a little less active than before when it comes to releases. I am not sure why
that is; maybe he’s more into installation pieces? So far I quite enjoyed his work, which always seemed to be
quite noisy, but never being an all-on onslaught of mindless noise. Failure, somehow, played an important role,
usually that of equipment. Apparatus that are on the fringe of breaking down, down to their last breath, but still
being able to produce that final sound, which Meirino then incorporates in his sound collages. One could say
these are field recordings too, and along with the ones he tapes outside (in ‘the field’ as it were), acoustic sound
rumble of his own, electronic sounds and perhaps modular synthesizer. On this new work he crafts these
together into another five pieces of great beauty. There is no noise here, not in the ‘traditional’ sense of the word,
but in a more traditional musique concrete way: by creating layers of sounds, which are cut ‘n paste together,
scratching and hissing and sometimes dropping out of the mix in order to be replaced by something else. One
can easily enjoy this as one piece of forty-eight minutes, moving through various sections, various degrees of
harshness if you will. ‘Arguments (For Laziness)’ has some brutal dying force in the machines, while ‘Render’
seems more about the sustaining sounds of motorized objects and almost a concrete drone piece. ‘End’, aptly
placed at the end, is a piece that is the most quiet in this lot, and one that works wonderfully well as a coda.
Inside there are some garbled voices and throughout this is an excellent release. Not his best, but among the
best he did; all in a consistently high quality rating in the last few years.
   While I saw the name Fossil Aerosol Mining Project before, it was usually in connection to zoviet*france, which
lead to me thinking this was some sort of side-project by one the members. Now that I the first time duty to review
a CD by them, I learned that this is not true. Well? Very much like zoviet*france in their early days this is a group
that is clouded by obscurity. No band names, instruments or such like, although the one thing that is mentioned
everywhere is that uses a lot of literally found sound; tapes (cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reel) found on the streets,
old warehouses and such like. These are played and used in their music, feeding them through stacks of sound
effects, or so I assume. It is not difficult to think about zoviet*france when one hears this music, especially the
influence of the early zoviet*france sound seems never far away. However, it seems that Fossil Aerosol Mining
Project hails from the American Midwest, rather than from Newcastle (but to what extent any of this is true,
I don’t know) It has this loopy sound, created with coupling a lot of delay pedals in a row, and with a constant
feed of those loops going on into these devices. Much of the material seems ‘old’, like voices found on old
78rpm records slowed down, Dictaphone voices (also slowed down) and hand manipulated reels with more
obscured sounds and all of that nicely bouncing through those sound effects. It has that great, dense sound
that I personally love so much from the days and apparently Fossil Aerosol Mining Project knows how to
replicate that sound very well. Inside the box one finds a download code for a further one hour of extra music,
all of which are ‘remixes’ of older work by them, and in total one gets two hours worth of music. I had no idea
who or what this band is, and I still don’t know, but at least I have a great introduction here and I am a new
convert. (FdW)
––– Address:


Over the years the name Vanessa Rossetto popped up a few times in Vital Weekly, although maybe once with
a solo release, ‘Dogs In English Porcelain’ (see Vital Weekly 690), and as Hwaet (Vital Weekly 757) and Bright
Duplex (Vital Weekly 680). Some of her work deals with improvisation, perhaps mainly when working with
others, but her solo works can also be more composed, such as this new release, which entirely deals with
field recordings made in New York from October 17 to November 5, 2014. If I understand the information that
the label provides well, she almost continually kept recording sounds, save for those moments a SD card
was full or batteries died. Rossetto was in New York preparing for a performance; I have no idea what kind of
performance that was and if any or all any of those preparations were recorded and if so what part they play
in the four pieces that are on this release. It seems from the same text she combed through all the material
and found those bits that were quieter and moments of more rest. Action and dialogue were cut out. I am not
sure what kind of processing methods are applied, if any at all, really, but it seems to me that Rossetto loves
her more sustaining sounds, from ventilator shafts and other forms of electricity along with scratches from
surfaces and pavements, which she collages together. Sometimes she uses the rapid editing to make a swift
change in the music and than it may take some slower fading between events. For a noisy city like New York
all of this sounds surprisingly mellow, I would think. One nowhere has the idea of that city anyway; or at least
I didn’t think once about New York when I heard this, but it has been a while since I was last in that city, but I
don’t think it has turned into a very a quiet place since. The pieces created by Rossetto are quite dark, I would
think, and have a strangely captivating drone spell, such as in the title piece. This is a great CD, full of
little surprises.  (FdW)
––– Address:


Urheim is a guitarist from Bergen, Norway who released his first solo-album in 2009 (‘Three Sets of Music’).
He has also two albums out with singer Mari Kvien Brunvoll, and was a member of the Bergen-based rock
band Steady Steele, and also present on the The Last Hurrah’s  =debut album. For his new solo album he
chose for a solitary live for several months to work on this album, named after the location where he stayed:
‘Strandebarm’ in the southwest of Norway. Recordings were done here in a former church. Besides guitars,
Urheim plays flutes, harmonica, slide tamboura, fretless bouzouki, turkish tanbur, mandolin, langeleik, banjo,
loops and delay, pocket-cornet, percussion and vocals. Jørgen Træen, who was also involved on the 2014
solo-album ‘Stein Urheim’, again helps out on modular synth and effects. The cd counts seven compositions
of multi-layered instrumental music. A piece like ‘Dragene over Tempelhof’ is close to ambient. Other
compositions that have Urheims guitar playing in the centre bring back memories of Leo Kottke and Ry
Coorder. Surprising are the changes of moods, instruments and direction within one track, like in ‘Berlin
Blues’ that starts with a nostalgic electronic tapestry before Urheim takes a turn to the blues. Even more
so for the opening track ‘Water-part 1’ that starts with a complex flow of sounds, mostly generated by guitar,
before Urheim halfway again decides for bluesy solo. Same goes for the title track. Personally I like these
multi-layered intros far more than the fingerpicking or bluesy guitar playing that follows. Urheim is not an
artist who wants to shock. He reflects the tranquil environment of Strandebarm in comforting and
entertaining instrumentals. (DM)
––– Address:


Until recently I thought I knew every French mad genius that emerged from the 70s (Jac Berrocal, Jean-
Francois Pauvros, etc.). But I missed one:  Jean-Marc Foussat whom I got to know through the 4CD set
‘Alternative Oblique’ for the Improvising Beings label, that I reviewed recently. But Foussat is not only a
musician from the past. He is still in business, and can be found on several of the releases of Four Records.
‘En Respirant’ is his latest effort and it is a duo with Marialuisa Capurso, an Italian singer and sound artist
based in Berlin. She studied with Meredith Monk, David Moss, Carlos Zingaro, a.o. Investigating “the realm
of acoustic sounds and electronic interfaces as extension of the human voice” is her main interest in her
art. This new CD is convincing proof of this. It has Capurso singing (plus objects and effects), and Foussat
playing Synthi AKS, voice, etc.  Live in a location in Berlin on February 19th, 2016. In three lengthy
improvisations they work their weird conversations: ‘Osmosis’ (19:49), ‘Purple Future’ (15:28) and ‘Place
du Marché’ (11:08). Very radical and far out improvisations that deserved a better recording. For an optimal
listening experience a good recording is essential especially for such indefinable music as we have here.
Both create a fascinating and even mysterious sound jungle where you, amidst of all the noise, haven’t
any clue to chose your direction. Absolutely unique and outspoken. (DM)
––– Address:

NARTCORE — AELUTON (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

This is the first release of a duo from Hungary; Adam Meggyes on trumpet and objects and Gergo Kovats
on electronics and saxophone. Meggyes was born in 1983 and went to the Bartok Conservatory and these
days writes pieces of music, is a member of Irie Maffia (‘one of the best live bands of Hungarian pop music’)
and does play improvised music, jazz, and free jazz. Of Kovats not much is told, other than that he is ‘one
of the most interesting and unexpected Hungarian musicians of the young generation. His musical future is
a still a story to be told’ (which goes for any story from the future, I’d like to think).
   Over the past week I played this CD a couple of times, thinking it would be something for Dolf Mulder,
but then, upon repeated listening, I decided it is actually more up my alley. What won me over is not the
first piece, which was quite noisy and more or less an onslaught of layered saxophone and trumpet sounds,
but in the other pieces Nartcore is more into using objects and electronics along their instruments and it still
remains something with quite some force, but they allow also moments (not very long as it happens) of
more quietness. It is all in a way related to the world of jazz; the way some of the saxophone and trumpet
parts sound, even when fed through a bunch of sound effects, still makes them jazz inspired. But it is the
addition of these sound effects and objects that drag this into the world of noise which Nartcore seems
to enjoy very much and which has great effect on the listener. It all ends with the shorter and quite
introspective ‘Miroedd’, calming the listener after so much violence. (FdW)
––– Address:


From Aria Rostami I reviewed a few things (Vital Weekly 780 and 903) but it seems to be lost in the mist
of time, and I can no longer remember, other than a bit ambient and a bit pop like, and from Daniel Blomquist
I don’t think I ever heard. They worked together for eighteen months on new music, and on one occasion
they recorded inside a planetarium without any audience. Two pieces appear on this release; another piece
was recorded by them playing together in Blomquist’s basement and other pieces were made exchanging
sounds over the Internet. That I think is an interesting way of working, as there is a bit of direct interaction
and a bit of a long distance relationship, which works (maybe?) better if one also knows each other
personally. They both live in San Francisco though, and they usually start with exchanging sound material
for a performances, which might already be heavily processed or hardly a lot, which is then taking towards
the stage for further sampling and addition with other sounds. At least, that’s how I understood the nature of
their work together and the six pieces on this release are variations of these principles of working together.
Based on what I hear I think this duo uses quite a lot of field recordings, laptop techniques and maybe
a bit of analogue/modular synthesizer. It all sounds like good ol’ fashioned laptop music of the warmer,
ambient variety. Sounds are being stretched out, frequencies are being emphasized or subtracted, and
cue in some twittering bird calls and let all of this stew for a while. One may think from this description
that I am mocking this, far from actually. I got this on a day when nothing much else was going on and
I decided to play this on repeat for a longer time than usual, and it kept working quite well. It is maybe
because this is also one of those grey June days with (again!) much rain and it doesn’t feel like summer
very much and that dark music, such as is played by Rostami and Blomquist, is a more than fitting
soundtrack; maybe there is also a bit of nostalgia involved? Laptop music like this; when was the last
time I heard that properly? That must have been a while, and this one did the trick most perfectly.
Very refined music. (FdW)
––– Address:

(DVD by Luscinia Discos)

From the same label that already brought us a wealth of music and information about Eduardo Polonio
(see Vital Weekly 988 for a review of that double DVD release), there is now a new DVD, which contains
five pieces of music by Polonio, each which gets a visual representation by Santiago Torralba. The
booklet has extensive information on both gentlemen but all of that is in Spanish, so it’s a bit difficult to
read for me. I understand that Torralba is a photographer and a visual artist, which is something that
shows in these works. It partly deals with ‘real’ images, of say passing clouds, and sometimes these
are highly abstract, computer generated images, and sometimes he seems to combine both ends in one
film. It looks great, I must say, and it fits the electronic music of Polonio quite well. That too is quite
abstract, with lots of (acoustic?) sound being processed through electronic means and it sounds all very
much in the world of serious academic composition, but I must admit I enjoyed all of this very much.
The mysterious sounding ‘La Metafora Del Tiempo’ for instance may have some highly processed field
recordings, but maybe I am misguided by the use of (‘real’) images from the landscapes. A piece like
‘Que Hacen Todos Estos Girasoles Mirando Hacia Japon?’ is a more traditional piece of electro-acoustic
transformation and thus has quite abstract images; fast moving lines in colours against a black
background. ‘Transparencies 7:11’ is a work of feedback and sine waves and comes with a beautiful
grey/white moving images of squared forms and has a distilled character.
   The only piece I didn’t understand was ‘El Objeto Encontrado’, which is a tribute to the artists, poet
and editor Antonio Perez, which opens with a spoken word introduction (Perez? Polonio?), which may
reveal something and then we have sort of documentary form images of what might be Perez’ study,
along with Polonio’s music, which is another fine piece of electro-acoustic music, and this time probably
the most traditional one. It somehow seems as if this piece was played more or less improvised with
the voice of Perez as a starting point; I might be wrong though. This is all together a work of high
art. (FdW)
––– Address:

TV POW (LP by Shameless)

Here’s a thought experiment: what if Asmus Tietchens tomorrow releases a totally serious death metal
release, would we be reviewing it? Probably we would, and it is very likely that we’d say: we have no
clue about this music. Something similar happens here with TV Pow, Chicago’s finest laptop trio, even
when that seems a long time ago. I hadn’t heard anything from them in ages, nor did I play their music
a lot in recent years, but sometimes I play some solo music by Brent Gutzeit, one of the three members,
along with Todd Carter and Michael Hartman. Much to my surprise this new release arrives. I read that
this record ‘began as a beat oriented remix project that evolved into an endeavour of song writing and
collaboration with some of Chicago’s most versatile and prolific lyricists and vocalists’, which means hip
hop and rap music. Yes, that’s right and they are serious about it. I wrote before that music with lyrics
is not really my cup of tea, so you can imagine what I think of rap music. It’s a lot of words, angry
words by angry young people, or words about celebrating a life style that it is not mine and will never
be mine. There is usually someone who then in return says ‘oh listen to this guy, he is so much
different from all the rappers you know; his words are so much better; his production is awesome’ or
something like that, which I of course always do, but still doesn’t win me over. TV Pow here has two
rap pieces, with a bunch of rappers at work — and I have no idea what this is about; then there is an
instrumental hip hop piece, which is also not really my cup of tea. The other side is of more interest
to me; here TV Pow experiments with minimal techno beat and that’s something I dig. Minimalist
beats arrive with a bunch of nasty sounds, like stabbing a few keys on a keyboard. Squeezed in is
another small rap piece. This is not something I particularly enjoyed; maybe that metal record would
have been a better idea? Having said that, I think the music sounds well made, and may gone down
very well with the right crowd, no doubt. Do we find that crowd among our readers? I seriously have
my doubts about that. (FdW)
––– Address:

(LP by Static Caravan/Dirter Promotions)

This is surely an odd record, the way it was made but also seeing this finding it’s way to Static
Caravan. At the foundation of this record we have the alto saxophone playing of Noah Howard, born
in 1943 in New Orleans, and who was part of avant-garde jazz movement of the 1960s and spent
time in Paris, Nairobi and Brussels, where he died in 2010. His wife Lieve Fransen has a whole bunch
of his solo saxophone recordings, which Howard made in private. Justin Wiggan, a member of
Dreams Of Tall Buildings and The Transplant Mountains, who set himself to work to create electronic
soundscapes around these saxophone recordings, discovered this. When he was done with the
addition of his electronic sounds he asked bass player Chris Mapp to add along bass lines. The
cover looks like a very serious jazz record, including liner notes and pictures of the musicians,
and certainly in some of the playing by Howard and Mapp we discover jazzy patterns, but throughout
this is certainly something much different. The electronics added by Wiggan brings this to entirely
different, way more abstract world, one that is sizzling, bubbling, oscillating and sometimes picks
up a bit of the saxophone playing, doubling that, layering it for a while, before going into a new path,
another strange course; Mapp’s bass brings on some markers, here and there, sometimes a bit
busier or with a tad more nervousness; one might say this is free jazz, but not of the overtly
strange, hectic that this music has a reputation for. Au contraire: it spaces more out than usual,
without being cosmic in anyway, or psychedelic, but it creates it’s own language that is beyond
the usual characterizations. This is certainly one of the stranger records of this week, but the
more I heard it, the more it grew on me. (FdW)
––– Address:

BOY DIRT CAR & BUMBLE BE — WHEELS/CLEVELAND 351 (CDR by After Music Recordings)
THREE SNAKE LEAVES — DEUCE (CDR by After Music Recordings)

Here we have one of the more mythical names from America’s industrial music scene, who’s history
dates back to the early 80s when they were called ‘the American Einsturzende Neubauten’, who
made a bunch of releases on RRRecords, then went silent for two decade and came back with
‘Spoken Answer To A Silent Question’ (see Vital Weekly 605) and since then a couple of more
since then (see Vital Weekly 745 and 840), but all of these without founding member Eric Lunde.
Here they team up with ‘drone makers’ (so sayeth the label) Bumble Be, of whom I never heard.
Despite this being indexed to thirteen pieces, it all sounds like one piece of music, taped in their
rehearsal space with six people banging around on found objects, those lovely small synthesizers
one can buy these days, but also a drum kit, bass guitar and guitars with distortion. It’s a bit off
the point to say it sounds like Einsturzende Neubauten (they too changed over the years), but all
the more like a noise rock improvisation, moving back and forth between the chaotic, disjointed
improvisation and more spacious meandering, such as in ‘Local Train’ (so, all pieces have
individual titles; curious) and the piece that follows ‘Night Milk’. Here we can as easily say it’s a
bit psychedelic. None of this would be easily go down as ‘industrial’ music, in whatever meaning
people think about that particular genre.
   Then, Three Snake Leaves have their second release, ‘Deuce’. This quartet consists of Darren
Brown, Julie Brown, Josh Mead and Dylan Ritchie. This is my first encounter with their music.
It opens with ‘The Cafe’, in which we hear a man singing with a low baritone voice (I think Darren
Brown), with a sort of Death in June/Current 93 guitar strum as backing, and that’s exactly
something I don’t like very much. In ‘King Tut’ he sounds a bit like Nick Cave; this is music that
has emotion, with the big E there of. When Three Snake Leaves reaches for more a continuous
rock sound, such as the ‘Devils’, ‘Giving Back And Giving In’, Sun Ra Dance’ and ‘Walls’, with
the vocals pushed a bit towards the background or even instrumental than it sounds like
something I am all the more interested in. It sounds like the rockier brother of Boy Dirt Car;
effectively four out of six pieces were quite all right, but perhaps the whole rock-like stance of
this band is maybe a bit far off what concerns us here at Vital Weekly. (FdW)
––– Address:

S.M. NURSE (cassette by Top Tape)

As an eager young man trying to discover new music I was listening to the radio; not John Peel
(couldn’t find it on my transistor radio, I guess), but Dutch radio had Radionome and a little later
Spleen. They played for me exciting new music, often by Dutch people. Sometimes Spleen
(presented by Ignit van Kasteren, who was part of Van Kaye & Ignit as well as Ding Dong
Records & Tapes and a big player on the cassette scene) would invite bands to come to the
radio studio and have them play a live concert. Most of the times I would tape these concerts,
especially if I already knew the band. I think I heard S.M. Nurse on a Ding Dong cassette before
and then recorded their concert. I very much enjoyed what sounded to me like a cross-over
between industrial, rhythm and what one would later call plunderphonics — samples from TV,
all enlighted by female vocals. And then? The band never appeared on my radar again, until
a decade ago they popped up in blogosphere and I found some their music, discovered that
they had a label, called Top Tape and main member Menko Konings did a bunch more releases.
That whole blogosphere rekindled interest in S.M. Nurse (and also Das Ding, who started a
second life, with much underground success), so they released some of their old music on
vinyl, and now, in 2016, Konings revives his Top tape imprint and the inaugural (well, of sorts)
is the one cassette by S.M. Nurse, complete with a replica of the original cover, but without
any mention of a website, so it almost looks like the original release, but this time the on body
print on the cassette is different.
   The big question is, of course, does it still sound like industrial and rhythm, like I had this
locked away in my mind? What is most notably from what I remembered is the strong presence
of the guitar, the typical 80s female voice and the rhythm machine being all the more groovy
and less straightforward. The guitar always seems to be in a distorted mode, but is somewhat
removed to the background of the mix, while rhythm and synthesizer are quite present; the
synthesizer as dirty as one would expect, bursting, oscillating, sine waving away and the
rhythm pattern are quite more complex than simple ticking beat, more New York electro I’d say.
They call a piece ‘No Pop’, but don’t let that fool you: in a way this is all very pop, but of the
alternative variety and one should see this in the light of the day it was made; this is all very
much the music of the 80s. This is what one calls with minimal wave. Despite the presence
of the guitar it all remains very much synth heavy, with that monotonous singing and found
footage from radio and TV. I was reminded of Störung, another of those acts from the 80s
who found new fame in the past decade, who used guitar and vocals in a similar way. This is
great to have on cassette again, and hopefully the future brings more old and new delights,
which won’t be by S.M. Nurse and it is a great pity that this is their only release. (FdW)
––– Address:

PIERRE-LUC SIMON — FIXATIONS (cassette by Small Scale Music)
AARON LUMLEY — KATABASIS/ANABASIS (cassette by Small Scale Music)
LÄRMSCHUTZ — SLEEPCYCLES (cassette by Small Scale Music)

Out of these three I only recognized the Dutch band Lärmschutz, which I saved for last and I
started with the ones I didn’t know, Pierre-Luc Simon to take pole position. He is from Montreal,
just like the label that releases ‘Fixation’. Simon is a member of the band Technical Kidman
but he is also active in the world of improvisation. His solo cassette has two pieces and they
are quite different, making it a great showcase of his talent. ‘Apparation’ on the first side is a
rolling thunder of carefully executed minimalism. The drums roll and the hi-hat is in steady
mode. For quite an extended part of the twelve minutes this lasts, one could easily think his
aim is to have no variation, but then suddenly an extra beat happens and from there on more
and more other parts of the drum kit are added and while maintaining the same speed, the
piece gradually evolves and changes, ending with a quick crash at the end.
   On the other side we find ‘Cataire Party’ which is fourteen minutes, and sees Simon moving
through different segments, each one is quite minimal but this bears more the signature of
improvisation; sometimes in the best minimal music sense, and sometimes leaning more
towards jazz inspired music. It is less thought out/composed, compared to the other side,
but equally enjoyable. A fine release this is, a great calling card for his talent.
   Also of Aaron Lumley I may not have heard before. This cassette is the follow-up to his 2012
LP ‘Wilderness’, released by Tone Wood Editions. Lumley plays double bass, and all of the ten
pieces, spanning close to an hour worth of music, was played live and recorded with a single
pair of stereo microphones and there were no overdubs afterwards. This most certainly not
easy music; it is quite dark and sombre, but no doubt some of that is of course to thank the
darker tone of the double bass for. Sometimes the tone is all melancholy, but Lumley also
knows how to play it with a bit more aggression, so he’s not trying to lull the listener to deep
sleep. I must admit that once side one was over, I left it, and played Lärmschutz first and
then returned to the B-side of Lumley. It was all a bit too much to take in all at once, but this
certainly had some great beauty anyway.
   One of the things I really like about the Dutch anarcho-impro-jazz band Lärmschutz is that
they are so actively involved in getting their music released around the world, on the strangest
of labels; I secretly hope that reading Vital Weekly helps them. At the core Lärmschutz is now
a duo of Stef Brans on guitar and Rutger van Driel on bass, double bass and trombone, and
for this release they receive help from drummer Thanos Fotiadis. This new release is all about
sleep. One night after a gig they activated a sleep app, and it showed that one had a deep
sleep and one a restless dream sleep. They used the chart of that app as a score for their
improvised music. Both pieces last twenty minutes, considerable shorter than a regular night
of sleep, short or long. On the first side we find ‘Deep Sleep’ and ‘Dream Sleep’ on the other
side. These pieces live quite up to the sleep-charts, even when we haven’t seen the actual
diagrams. One can easily hear the more chaotic, full-on action of ‘Dream Sleep’, versus the
more introspective improvisations of ‘Deep Sleep’; do not expect something that resembles
ambient music; that is not the kind of music this group makes, nor is it music to sleep by.
This music is all about improvised music, and the sleep/dream chart is ways of get some
inspiration and some action. Lärmschutz plays again some wonderful crazy improvised music,
although I thought that at various points it sounded rockier than before, especially in the way
the drums were played, but don’t let that mislead you: there is enough mayhem and chaos in
here to make it sound like proper Lärmschutz music. This is another excellent release
by them. (FdW)
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