Number 1045

NO MASK EFFECT — NOTHING OUT THERE (CD by Psychonavigation Records) *
RAPOON — WANDERLUST (CD by Winter-Light) *
WOLFRAM — X (CD by Monotype Records) *
K. LEIMER — RE-ENACT (CD by Palace Of Lights)
MARC BARRECA — TWILIGHT (LP by Palace Of Lights)
MOGADOR — OVERFLOW POOL (LP by Further Records) *
   (book and mini CD by Lenka Lente) *
DE FABRIEK — REMIXES VOL. 7 (CDR, private) *
FLORIAN VON AMELN — RVVR (CDR by Eilean Records) *
ØJERUM — VAEV (CDR by Eilean Records) *
THIRTEEN HURTS — UVB-76(CDR by No Part Of It) *
QUIBUS — SAVE SOME (CDR by Shipwreck Records)

NO MASK EFFECT — NOTHING OUT THERE (CD by Psychonavigation Records)

If I understand correctly, Keith Downey is not only the man behind No Mask Effect, he’s also the owner of Psychonavigation
Records, and as far as I understood he only recently started playing his own version of ambient music, the musical style
upon which is label is founded. In the press text I see he calls his own music ‘Ambient Classical’ music, which I must admit
is a new term for me. It is Downey’s third album this year, and also his third ever. I haven’t heard those previous two albums,
so I am not sure if this album is what he normally does, but there is quite some voice material in this music. In ‘Denver’ a
young woman recounts of her time there and almost sounds like the dopey of Ricky Lee Jones and her ‘fluffy clouds’, expect
that No Mask Effect keeps the music at all times on a sustaining level and never adds rhythm machines, unlike The Orb did
so many moons ago. In other pieces too there is a narrative aspect, which is not always easy to follow, but it is also loud
enough so one can’t ignore it. That sometimes works against the music, for my taste. Anything that is heavy on narration is
for me never easy to enjoy; I usually enjoy the music, and so I do here, but especially in the title piece I think the voices-with-
reverb is a bit too much; there is also far away a rhythm mixed in in that song. I didn’t know something as ‘ambient classical’
music existed, but listening to this I can surely see a market for it. No Mask Effect plays ambient music along the lines of the
sadly missed Pete Namlook and his voices reminded me of early Biosphere, circa the great ‘Patashnik’. No Mask Effect is
all about ambient and not about rhythm (but not without), and perhaps that is quite classical by now. Therefore one should
not be judging this by such qualifications as ‘innovative’, as this is surely not the aim of the music; this is all about pleasing
the listener with some long form string sounds played on a bunch of synthesizers, topped with a bit of field recordings,
sparse rhythm and sometimes a bit too rich on the use of voices. This is a quite a pleasant head-trip on a slow August
evening. (FdW)
––– Address:

RAPOON — WANDERLUST (CD by Winter-Light)

So I recently admitted that much of the music by Rapoon is not made for me, and I would have thought that based on that
confession I would be no longer receiving any promo’s (in fact it had already been very quiet in that department, seeing what
was released in recent years), so I was slightly surprised by this new one. When I wrote that much of the music by former
zoviet*france member Robin Storey is not made for me, I meant that I find lots of it quite similar, and in my humble opinion:
I’d love a change of scenery every now and then. A radical new take on what one is doing and I think that especially goes
for those people who release a lot of music. It’s not easy, and I don’t mean this as a lament, to review something similar
over and over; but Winter-light, a young Dutch label, wrote that this one is a bit different than his other releases and partly
that is because of the use of voices supplied by Tatyana Stepchenko, who also goes by the name Toloka, and who is a
Russian folk singer. I never heard of her. According to Winter-light, Rapoon has made some sixty albums, which is certainly
an impressive number (not Merzbow like however) and I think I heard about 25% of that. So I was a little surprised about
the musical content. Here Rapoon reaches for a wider scope of musical interests than I expected. Ambient music is still
a stronghold for him, and so is the use of loops and delays, creating rhythms, but this around, and as said I have no idea
how that relates to his other recent work, there is a stronger use of rhythm machines that even create, dare I say it, some
form of hypnotic dance beat. Maybe it is because of the Cluster like title of the release I wondered? I am not sure how that
voice of Stepchenko worked out, as unless it is heavily sampled and stretched out, I found it very hard to hear it in this
music. Perhaps I expected something else when I noted that vocals were used. A piece like ‘Standing In A River’ certainly
uses sampled voices, humming wordless and add a fine human element to the music and the only piece that overtly uses
a female voice is ‘Calling Ghosts’, which adds a great oriental mystique to the music. In other pieces this voice is not easily
found, but the variety of interests in using ambience and rhythm adds a great variety to the whole album. I quite enjoyed
this release; perhaps because it reminded me of old times, when I heard more Rapoon and today I realized that it always
has it’s distinct quality; and yes, perhaps I should pay more attention, and yes, maybe I think he releases too much music.
That is a bit of a dilemma I guess. ‘Wanderlust’ is a great release! (FdW)
––– Address:

WOLFRAM — X (CD by Monotype Records)

Behind Wolfram is Dominik Kowalczyk, whom we best know as a member of Komora A and Neurobot, but who also works
solo as Wolfram and since 2001 released a small number of works. The press text says something on being on hiatus for
eleven years, but that time was used to create music for movies, theatre plays and such like and some of that was released.
But we are to regard ‘X’ as his first real album in eleven years and uses new sounds and concepts. I am not sure what these
concepts are (unless the fact that the first piece is six minutes and then every new piece is exactly a minute longer; is
that a concept?), but the five pieces on ‘X’ display an interest in the world of computer processing of sounds beyond their
original form, resulting in five drone-like compositions. It goes beyond the more ‘regular’ guitar-plus-effects drone and I think
it is entirely created in the world of a laptop. Wolfram bends his sounds expertly around, into some deep drones of a
highly ambient, yet daring nature. Wolfram doesn’t go for the easy way into drone land, but adds a rough edge, such as
the voices (?) and field recordings (??) in ‘Nxzhe’, with a very low-end bass rumble at the bottom, or the looped rumble in
‘Secret Humans’. As said, I have no idea what goes into the blender, but what comes out is surely of great beauty.
Perhaps not really something that is very new, but something I enjoyed very much. (FdW)
––– Address:


Many of the works by Tim Olive are released on his own 845 Audio label, but this new duet with Anne-F Jacques comes
through the Intonema label in St. Petersburg. Usually releases on that label are recorded at the Experimental Sound Gallery
in the same city, but in this case it’s two live recordings from Washington DC and Boston, in November 2015. Earlier this
year I saw a concert by Olive and his current set up, which is basically a bunch of magnetic pickups, and a bunch of
objects that he uses to amplify them. Anne-F Jacques, who is from Canada, plays rotating surfaces and objects. She has
worked with Olive before (see Vital Weekly 942), as well as others from the world of improvisation. Like that previous
release this is not a very long release, spanning this time only thirty-ones minutes, but what is pressed inside these minutes
is some great intense improvised music. The rotating surfaces of Jacques provide an odd element in that world; slow loops
of highly amplified sounds, almost like a concrete surface with smaller stones bumping regularly along that. On top of that
there is the sounds played by Olive, which is from the department of ‘smaller sounds’, which provide a fine anti-thesis to
the heavy concrete sound of Jacques; it doesn’t seem to be as wild as their previous release, and this time around they
touch upon a more delicate and yet heavy ground. No bouts of noise, or slipping into feedback, but two pieces of careful
playing with an excellent sense of interacting between these two players. This one I enjoyed even more than their previous
collaboration. (FdW)
––– Address:

K. LEIMER — RE-ENACT (CD by Palace Of Lights)
MARC BARRECA — TWILIGHT (LP by Palace Of Lights)

Where to start this journey in to the Palace Of Lights? In the past or in the present? The LP by Leimer and the CD by
Barreca are re-issues, while ‘Re-enact’ is the latest work by Leimer. It’s there where I started, in the present. K. (as in
Kerry) Leimer started his Palace Of Lights label already in 1979, after some time of recording his own synthesizer and
guitar based ambient music. He was active in the early 80s, solo and with a group called Savant and then was quiet for
a long time (at least in releasing music, that is), but since ten years he releases new music, mainly on CD, as I think
he believes this a medium that suits the subtle nature of his music best. On these new works we have seen a slow shift
towards using fewer ‘real’ instruments and a growing use of computer-based treatments of those sounds. In the case of
‘Re-enact’ this is about sounds from the piano. Much has been said in these pages about pianos and electronics, even
somewhere else in this issue and I were thinking about that when I heard this music. What struck me was that the piano
itself is moved to the background; almost to a point of disappearance. Whatever analogue and digital synthesis and signal
processing Leimer applies to his music, the piano itself is gone. That may results with others composers into a form of
musique concrete (I was thinking of Asmus Tietchens’ ‘Notturno’; there are others of course), in which the processed piano
becomes part of a sound collage, but in the ten pieces by Leimer the music becomes very ambient. In ‘Forward Masking’
it sounds like string quartet, with the occasional bang on the piano working as a bass part. Leimer’s treatments are delicate;
percussive like but highly transformed (slower, deeper), melted into crackles and also, sometimes, it simply sounds as
a piano, such as in ‘Ordinary Music’, and there is nothing ordinary about this music. This is some very spacious music;
it sounds very ‘modern’, in the way it uses all the digital technology, but at the same time it also sounds very warm and
human. Leimer does an excellent job here, moodier it seems than before, but I might be mistaken. I do know, however,
that I think this a beautiful record, one of his best from recent years.
   Did I hear ‘Closed System Potentials’ before? I think so, but I can’t remember when I heard it for the first time; maybe
our shop sold copies? Or was it that shabby download years ago, with quite some vinyl crackle? Whatever it was, when
I played the remastered version it sounded new to me. Not ‘new’ as in recorded only this year, but as in something I had
not heard before. The recordings were made in 1979, and Leimer does a great job here. It’s not easy not to hear the
influence of Brian Eno here, especially his ‘ambient’ series, or ‘Another Green World’, especially since Leimer also creates
pieces that shorter rather than longer in duration. In each of these pieces Leimer paints small pictures with just a handful
of sounds. Mostly synthesizers are used, but he also adds a bit of piano and guitar, along with a tape-delay; in the
booklet there are some pictures of his studio set-up, which looks great, with these old machines and grainy colours. It is
a bit like the music, I guess, which also has some grainy textures. Perfection is not what Leimer wanted, or perhaps due
to the limitations of his set-up could not be reached, and yet he wanted that anyway; it’s something I do not know. I think
that slightly rougher edge is a wonderful addition to the music however; I like it when things are not perfect, and yet have
this very smooth quality. Leimer’s early ambient music is simply great. Beautifully sustaining with synthesized sounds,
melodic on the piano tones and a touch of experiment on the repeating loops of guitar sounds. The mood ranges from dark
and moody to crispy light. I was thinking the same thing as with the new CD: some of this (all of this, even?) would work
great as a soundtrack to a film.
   Oddly enough the career of Marc Barreca is very similar to that of K. Leimer, in that he released a few cassettes in the
early 80s, was a member of a band, Young Scientist in Marc’s case, but also a member of Savant, and then from 1986 to
2006 no release at all and since then a bunch of new releases. There is however also quite a difference with Leimer, I think.
Whereas Leimer’s music is all about ambient music is the truest sense of how Eno meant this, Barreca’s music is a bit
more experimental, and ‘Twilight’ shows that pretty well. Using tape technology that was available at that time, Barreca
crafts rather short pieces (like Leimer actually) of treated instruments, opener and more freely played than Leimer does,
who goes out for a more sustaining and melodic sound. Barreca fiddles about, using a ‘Oberheim four voice and prophet
5 synthesizers, hohner pianet, accordion, shakuhachi and various acoustic instruments, field recordings’ and seems to
placing these sometimes at random on tape, and finds interaction between these in the mix; sometimes a loop or rhythm
(although hardly from drum machines that is) holds the music together and everything else rings around it. It however
keeps a delicate and organic quality, which is what makes this fit along the music of Leimer pretty well. Both composers
have a refined sense of putting the right musical sounds together and create beautiful ambient music, each with their own
differences and qualities. I am pretty sure I didn’t hear the original cassette version of ‘Twilight’ but this new one,
remastered by Taylor Deupree, sounds great. Intimate but not ‘small’; details of the music are now heard in a better sound
quality than on a cassette I would think. Maybe, just maybe, I would have loved both LPs to be re-issued on a CD, but
downloads for both are available and they contain bonus tracks, so what’s there to complain? Nothing! These re-issues
are both highly anticipated. (FdW)
––– Address:


The name of Todd Anderson-Kunert popped up before, when I reviewed his split cassette with Lucid Pyramids (Vital
Weekly 964), and I liked his more organised form of noise better than the chaos of the other side. Now he has his own
label, Nonlinear, having already released CDRs by Clinton Green and Tarab. There is quite a lengthy text to promote this
release and there is also quite some information on his website, but the one thing I don’t see mentioned is what kind of
instrument he plays, but the various pictures of him in concert may reveal that it’s a bunch of effects, mixing boards and
such like, and perhaps this has all to do with the world of sine waves, modular synthesis or heavily treated field recordings
using a heap of guitar effects. Judging by the three pieces on this record it is most likely a combination of all of that and
he does play his music with great care and style. He writes, “I work with noise in terms of timbral content, but acknowledge
that this is a loaded term. To call this a noise album would also cast it in a different light. It is fair to say I have an instrument,
it is electronics. It is probably best to describe this as an electronic album, with a timbral interest in noise” so there you go
(plus even a bit about the instrument he plays, for whatever that description is worth), and I would think this is quite an apt
description of what he does. Anderson-Kunert’s music is from time to time a bit noise based, in all three of these pieces,
but he moves gently through his material, which ranges from introspective and quiet, into something much grittier and noisier.
Each of his pieces seem to me to be a form of sound collage, in which Anderson-Kunert moves very gentle through various
extremes, both loud versus soft, but also high-end versus low-end, and all of this makes up one excellent record. It is not
about noise indeed, even when some of this comes close; it is however much more than that. This is noise of the variety
that calls for more thought and greater care. (FdW)
––– Address:

MOGADOR — OVERFLOW POOL (LP by Further Records)

Never heard of Mogador? You might be right, as ‘Overflow Pool’ is the first outing of Mogador, and it’s a new project from
Celer’s/Oh Yoko’s man Will Long, who is getting more and more active it seems. With Oh Yoko he plays some folktronic
music and working as Celer he is probably best known, applying tons of processes to sounds to create a drone like based
soundscapes and having released a large amount of works. As Mogador he also plays ambient but arrives at totally different
results. The cover lists a Rhodes piano, Uher microphones and a Sony tape recorder, the latter to produce reel-to-reel tape
delay and nothing else. The electric piano is played in a room, picked up by microphone and fed through this tape-delay.
If you think ‘piano + delay = Harold Budd and Brian Eno’ then you’re not far off the mark. It’s what I thought, even without
reading the press release. It comes perhaps without the added technology of Eno, as there is no reverb used, no colouring
of sound, but then the tape delay system is of course entirely Eno-esque. Mogador plays it is in the upper region of the
piano and let’s notes die beyond their sustain, and there is some fine crackle to be noted in between the notes, like some
residue of magnetic tape flinging off the machine. Two sidelong pieces of this (plus a bonus in the download) of slow music,
in which not a lot happens, but there is also not really a sense of endless and tedious repetition. Mogador spreads out his
playing a lot, and leaves lots of room for the music to breath and fill up your space very nicely. It sounds very much ‘live’
and I suppose that is the whole idea of this music. You can play this soft and let it work your environment in a refined way
and have it as a presence, or, as I did, a bit louder and enjoy everything that is happening the notes, as it never gets quiet
with all sorts of fine crackles and tones. This is not like Celer at all, but you could see very well this having similar roots as
the music he produces as Celer, but then at the opposite end of the same ambient coin. This is an excellent start for a new
project. I am sure we’ll hear more of this. (FdW)
––– Address:


Not releasing many records means that you move out of sight. Scot Jenerik is such a person. He never released much
music anyway, and spends his time as a conceptual artist, doing a record out of cement and a CD in an edition of five
copies. You should check out his bandcamp. He also runs 23Five and Mobilization Records, the first well-know, I should
hope, to the readers of Vital Weekly for their many interesting releases (Karkowski, Chop Shop, Gum, G*Park and many
others) and the latter for their releases by Savage Republic and F-Space, a group of which Jenerik is also a member. Much
to my surprise this LP landed on my desk, packed in a beautiful black cover, with a die cut silver foil print and it looks dark,
stark and great. The music is credited to Jenerik and Aleph Omega and no instruments are mentioned on the cover, but
I would think percussion is certainly the place to be for this music; that, and a lot of studio trickery, which works out to
using quite a bit of reverb and delay, but I must say it’s not very much in the way of the music; the effects don’t take over.
There might also be a guitar in play, but maybe not. Each side has one piece and they last exactly 21 minutes and 12
seconds, according to the timing on bandcamp; the LP cover says it’s 18 minutes and 0 seconds. It opens up with more
drone based sounds, hence the guitar I thought, but somewhere half way through the first piece, ‘Praeludium’ it becomes
more percussive, and it’s from then on that one has the idea of this being two pieces of sound collage, albeit of long forms.
It’s not a quick cut ‘n paste, but it uses various longer blocks with overlaps in various lengths. There are drum parts that
end up with much effect treatments but these effects don’t take over. The overall mood of this record is quite dark,
but I found ‘Epilogue’ on the second side a tad bit lighter in tone. Whereas ‘Praeludium’ is a dark beast, this side reminded
me from time to time of zoviet*france in the mid to late 80s; lots of delay used, a bit string instruments being plucked,
percussion and more delay, but here too darkness is never far away. Overall I was very pleased with this album; the music
was great, the production excellent and, despite it’s blackness, it was not without light and not entirely focussed on a wall
of sound, as the cover maybe indicates. Let’s hope there will be more of this. (FdW)
––– Address:

(book and mini CD by Lenka Lente)

By now Lenka Lente from France published a whole bunch of these little books, 10×15,5 cm, usually about 40-45 pages,
and they all come with a three inch CD release. There is one general observation to be made about the series and one less
general. The great thing about these series it introduces texts from (obscure?) French writers from the 19th century to a
new audience, but the problem is that Lenka Lente finds their audience in France, as all of these little books are in French,
a language with a worldwide audience of 220 million speakers, but I am not one of them. Wouldn’t it be great to apply for
some funding and get these texts translated into English, a language that is more commonly used?
   Felix Feneon was an Italian (!) anarchist and writer who lived in the late 19th century and in this small book there are five
of his literary texts. That’s what I know.
   The music comes from Nurse With Wound, and I have no idea if it fits the texts at all. Here too I have something to
whinge about. I love Nurse With Wound and I can imagine Steve Stapleton is happy to supply pieces of music to small
sized, obscure books in France, but why a piece that is already available, on their ‘Automating Volume II’ LP from 1989
(CD version is from 2002 and easily available on Discogs)? Why only this nine-minute piece and not something else,
or why not a nine-minute piece that wasn’t released before?
   So while I love very much like little books, the 3″ CD format and certainly the combination thereof, there is certainly
room for improvement on the project, certainly if the aim is to reach a wider audience, which I think is the case;
otherwise, why send a copy abroad for review? (FdW)
––– Address:


So these things go, apparently: in Vital Weekly 1035 I reviewed ‘Remixes Vol. 5’ by De Fabriek, their first new release
that I heard in a very long time and now, ten weeks later, I have ‘Remixes Vol. 7’. So, yes, what happened to ‘Vol. 6’,
I wondered. The easiest answer is: it probably doesn’t exist, or is just not yet released. In the universe that is De Fabriek
things move entirely differently. The mysterious group that gathered quite some following (or cult status, whatever you
prefer) hails from Zwolle, The Netherlands and has a floating membership. Here sounds are supplied by people as R. van
Veen, R, Prenger, R. de Beer, K. van Loon and M. Besselsen, none of whom I heard before, but as usual with De Fabriek
it is all about mixing and that is done by R. van Dellen and K. Mons. Van Dellen is the main man since 1980 and Mons
a longstanding collaborator. As with the previous release, and actually as per probably their entire, extended, catalogue,
this is another one of those expanded musical journeys, in which they move along dark ambient music but mixing it as
easily with rhythmic inspired music, even reaching out for some fast trip hop rhythm, no doubt sampled from a record,
in ‘Operatie Schijtlaars. Sometimes the spirit of old zoviet*france isn’t far away, such as in ‘Rand Wegen’, with some
humming tape loops, or the highly obscured guitars in ‘NIVE A1313A’, which seems barely ‘there’, but there is a machine
rhythm loop in ‘Rookgordijn van Hogerhand’ (none of these Dutch titles are easy translated), the aforementioned trip
hop piece and a hardcore techno/industrial music rhythm in what might be a bonus track, i.e. it is not mentioned on
the cover. It is as varied as on the first release that I reviewed after a long hiatus and an excellent companion disc.
And much to my surprise there is apparently even a bandcamp page! (FdW)
––– Address: De Fabriek — Heemskerckstraat 69 — 8023 VH Zwolle — The Netherlands
––– Address:

FLORIAN VON AMELN — RVVR (CDR by Eilean Records)
ØJERUM — VAEV (CDR by Eilean Records)

You would to think that at Vital Weekly we know each and everyone. We wish. Eilean Records from France almost
always seem to be able to surprise us with new names. Here we have two musicians, new to this rag.
   First there is Florian von Ameln, who is from Nuremberg, Germany, and who releases mainly cassettes on various
labels such Dionysian Tapes, Phinery Taoes, Magnetic Purely and Cosmic Winnetou (all of which happen to be new
also for me). The cover nor his website give any clue as to the instruments used here, except for the drumming of
Stefan Rölle on two pieces. I believe to hear guitars, violin, lots of effects, glockenspiel and field recordings. The mood
is set to ‘atmospheric’, but it’s not completely dark here. There is light shimmering through this pleasant doodling on
the guitar, the sweeping melancholy of the violin and the bird chatter from outside. Sometimes it comes with quite
some sound effects being used on the instruments and sometimes not at all. That creates an interesting amount of
variations of approach. Sometimes neatly tinkling glockenspiel (in ‘Brief Propagation’) versus the more ominous
drones (in ‘A Completely Disingenuous Comparison’), which sounds a bit harsh compared to more moody outings
as ‘The Last Before Settlement’ and ‘Indistregation’. Von Ameln offers quite some different approaches but his music
sounds quite coherent; it makes all of this more alike a journey, moving through various spaces and textures,
via changing moods. This I thought worked very well.
   The other new release is by øjeRum, from Copenhagen, whose real name is Paw Grabowski not to be confused
with the Pawel Grabowski who released albums on Mystery Sea and Cronica Electronica. This one released his music
on A Giant Fern, Cabin Floor Esoterica, Scissor Tail Editions, Phinery and Vaald. Also on this release we see nothing
mentioned about used instruments, nor on the website of the artist himself. I would think that guitar is the primary
instrument here, in these eleven pieces, and while there is surely some kind of processing going, or even sampling
of that instrument, but the guitar is stage central. He plays it quite melodically, strumming, plucking, some chords
and along there is a fair amount of delay and reverb, plus no doubt other forms of sound effects to go along. In some
pieces very short samples are added to play a rhythm, but it’s kept all very sparsely. Hiss and field recordings have
free reign here; this is after all Eilean Records but it is perhaps a more musical than we usually find on Eilean Records.
I kept thinking that in a way this sounded like The Durutti Column in a very experimental mood, playing acoustic
guitar, and adding unusual technology but it had a similar, vaguely romantic, feeling to it. While I enjoyed what I
heard I must admit I enjoyed the album by Von Ameln better; more variety made a better journey, I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:

THIRTEEN HURTS — UVB-76 (CDR by No Part Of It)

Here we have two new releases by Arvo Zylo’s label No Part Of It, and one is with music by the boss himself and
the other is from a one-person band called Thirteen Hurts. Richard Adams is the man behind it and apparently lived
“in a solar powered home in rural Colorado, 6 hours from any form of civilization” and “drove over 2,000 miles to
play St. Petersburg Noise Fest”. From the rest of the text on the bandcamp page I gather he is a noise musician,
using 30 pedals on a table, which is actually something I distilled from playing the music. The title refers to a
Russian shortwave radio signal “whose origin has never been found, and whose communications have been poured
over and analysed for decades” and surely radio waves are scanned and picked up by Thirteen Hurts. I assumed
these were from number stations. Maybe these radio signals and transmissions are fed in those thirty effects on the
table as it sounds pretty much like a heavy noise release. At sixty-six minutes this is surely quite a heavy noise
release, but it turned out that Thirteen Hurts actually uses quite a bit of variation in these eleven pieces. Swiftly
cutting from sounds to sounds, going all over the frequency range (and band no doubt), from piercing high-end
feedback to stomach stomping low-end, and usually overlaying them. It is brutal music for sure and maybe some
of these pieces are a bit long and editing could be applied; a forty-minute album would have had a bigger impact,
I’m sure, and my attention started to wane after that time, and I was looking for the next buzz, but up to that point
it was all pretty strong.
   Arvo Zylo’s music so far has been pretty interesting, but also I wasn’t blown by all of it, such as his ‘Sequencer
Works Volume Two’ (see Vital Weekly 1011). A highlight was his album as Blood Rhythms reviewed in Vital Weekly
965. For his latest release, which was already recorded in 2008 (and which was released on cassette in 2008 by
Enemata, and again in 2010 by No Part Of It, also on cassette) he recorded staying awake for 36 hours at a friend’s
studio using “mostly voice, an SS330 keyboard, a sampler, field recordings from a construction site, destroyed tapes,
and a bunch of EVP that I’d recorded from Coast to Coast AM, in real time, the old fashioned way, for the most part”,
as he writes and interestingly also is the fact that he writes that at places in the title track there have been more than
150 tracks ‘in various mix down sessions’; and yet at nine minutes this is the shortest piece; the other two are thirty
and thirty-five minutes. The music is very minimal on all three of these pieces and I think this is easily the best work
I heard from him so far. Everything is very drone like, and it sounds like he’s using low-resolution samples and
sound effects, which are slowly moved around but throughout these pieces there is lot of variation with the material.
Always, so it seems, there is a new element dropping in and out of the mix, keep a constant flow of the music,
and which makes a truly fascinating listen, especially on the two longer pieces. The shorter title piece didn’t cut it
for me, as it was simply a bit muddy, and a bit noisy, in terms of overlaying sound material. In the longer pieces
that seemed to be a bit less present and a bit more open, with organ like drones, a soaring voice sample and the
amplification of tin foil. All of that worked in a really great, almost hallucinating way. This is an excellent
release. (FdW)
––– Address:


On this split release I found two projects I never heard of; I am not sure why they appear on one split release
together. One could think that we deal with a bunch of recordings made at a place called The River Lounge but
that is not the case. It is just a title to compile five songs by each artist.
   Senji Niban’s real name is Koichiro Shigeno from Kumamoto, Japan, who works as such since five years. He
sometimes works as Baboon Maniax, manages the On-Bang-Do label (“focusing on ‘mondo’ and techno music”).
His five songs are electronic affairs within the realm of ‘pop’ music, be it that it is all instrumental, but in each of
his songs he goes out for some nice melodic pattern, set against a fine, modest dance beat. Perhaps these songs
are not entirely something to dance too, but certainly something that could do well on an alternative chart; modern
music for modern people.
   The other five pieces are by The Moth Poets, a duo from Edinburgh, of Yo-yo Nielsen and Ariel Patterson, who
have been childhood friends and played with ‘indie/noise’ bands such as Minor Injury and Blood Orange. They too
play the sweeter melancholic version of techno music, just like Senji Niban but it is all bit grittier and stranger;
The Moth Poets have a bit more edge I would say, they dare a bit more, even when they have an all drone/ambient
exercise in ‘Ham’s Descent’ and a similar moody tune ‘Ring Road, Wrong Path’. But it is not necessarily something
that wins me over easily; it was music that sounded not bad, but just failed to do something anything for me, and
that is a feeling I also had with the Senji Niban songs. You hear they all know how to write a song, but it somehow
doesn’t grab me. (FdW)
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QUIBUS — SAVE SOME (CDR by Shipwreck Records)

Until last year Martijn Holtslag was a member of Knarsetand, apparently a Dutch band (10 people. latin, reggea
and such), but since then Holtslag decided to go solo, working as Quibus, and doing it all electronic. I must admit
it’s the kind of dance music I don’t care too much about. In the title piece there are vocals by Gosto, also known
as Roel Vermeer and guitar by Francesco Taranto, creating a very dark atmosphere over some bigger beats;
it’s too romantic I guess for me. Maybe this is really (too) pop music for me. I can imagine kids will like this. In
‘Groundlove’ the mood is also somewhat dark, but there is room for beats and guitar, chill-out style, and a trumpet,
which probably is all about a smoky club environment, but it is all a bit too cliché for me. Anne Bakker contributes
vocals and violin to ‘Breathe’ and ‘Can’t Let You’, with a more tropical rhythm on the first piece and a darker,
rolling style on the second, and the words/vocals a bit pushed towards the background. I surely see a big market
for this kind of more commercial music, and I hope Quibus will succeed in that world. It is just not the world of
Vital Weekly. (FdW)
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For those who know Ilia Belorukov as a highly gifted improvisation musician playing the saxophone, this release
might be a little shock. For me at least it was. It seems that the saxophone is not present here; at least the
bandcamp page says so. ‘However, you will hear neither hiss of mouthpiece nor rattle of bell nor clicks of keys —
the reductionist sound was changed by cold synth noises and monotonic rhythms’, it says, and that is very
much true. I am not sure if ‘cold’ is what it is, but the four pieces on this cassette are quite something else,
I think, a diversion from his usual music. It is worked out in four different ways. In the opening piece ‘He Needs
Someone to Wake Him Up’, the loudest of the four as it turns out, there is a fast thumping bass, two-note being
played and save for a bit of radio conversation, which dropped in, it is what it is; lots of low-end on this piece,
and perhaps a synth. By contrast is the second piece ‘ If Any Man Comes…’ very quiet and just a drone from
a ventilator picked up in a room and towards the end there is some piano sound. By then the music is almost
all quiet. ‘Ask Around, Somebody Will Know’ is then the piece with the repeating bang and twang of a rhythm;
slow from various objects and/or percussion and very neatly creepy sound of feedback. Here too we have some
crackles of whatever else happens in the room. In the final piece, ‘Someone Has to Lock Up the House’, there
is also a slow rhythm and perhaps a synthesizer set to hiss and has a similar creepy feel to it, although I liked
the previous one better. All of these pieces are quite minimal in terms of composition but I found all four pieces
very fascinating. Belorukov should do more like this, I think. (FdW)
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