Number 1047

WRANGLER — WHITE GLUE (CD by MemeTune Recordings) *
JASON SHARP — A BOAT UPON ITS BLOOD (CD by Constellation Records) *
OFF WORLD — 1 (CD by Constellation Records) *
   (CD by Frozen Light) *
GINTAS K — DIMENSIONS (CD by Frozen Light) *
IOS & SOPHUS — LOVE OF ONE (CD by Frozen Light) *
RLW & PAAK — ZUR ARBEIT 1 (LP by Attenuation Circuit)
GREAT WAITRESS — HUE (LP by Another Dark Age)
JONAS OLESEN — OBJEKT #3 (vinyl object by Bin)
NIKLAS ADAM — A3&B (12″” by Bin)
DUKE ST WORKSHOP — SCURO ESTIVO (7″ by Static Caravan) *
BLOOD RHYTHMS — SKIN FLINT (CDR by No Part Of It/Ka Rey Eye Tapes) *
MEINEIN/N(48) (split CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
   (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
SKREI — CÖRENGRÄTÖ (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
ALTESA — SENSAZIONI (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
BELLEROPHONE — STRAW DOG (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
Attenuation Circuit) *
MODELBAU — LIFEBOAT (cassette by No Rent Records) *
   (cassette by Cruel Nature Records)
DRUUNA JAGUAR / HEIDYYOUKO — SPLIT (cassette, no label)

WRANGLER — WHITE GLUE (CD by MemeTune Recordings)

These days one can witness Cabaret Voltaire in full action again, and I understand one either hates
or likes it; I have yet to speak someone who holds the middle ground. Which I guess is a good thing.
But CV these days is just Richard H. Kirk, as Stephen Mallinder left the band in the mid-90s to pursue
other musical interests, such as Sassi and Loco, the Ku-Ling Bros and Hey Rube, while getting a
PhD in music and popular culture (you can find his thesis online somewhere) and these days has a
new trio called Wrangler (‘White Glue’ is their second release, following ‘LA Spark’, from 2014), along
with Phil Winter (of Tunng) and Benge, who we know as modular synth enthusiast since before the
days everybody started to use them and who is these days also a driving force behind John Foxx &
The Maths. No doubt the three members of Wrangler see things different, but it’s of course Mallinder
who is stage centre grabbing the attention, but I must say that’s also because his voice sounds very
recognizable, no matter how many vocoder treatments it gets. A while back I played everything that
I could from Cabaret Voltaire, physical and otherwise, and decided that for me the early period, up to
the mid 80s where their best period, and their nod to house and techno didn’t cut it for me. Much of
what Kirk did after I enjoyed, especially the first Sandoz release, but I never kept up with Mallinder
after his exit from the band. I think it is safe to say that much of what makes Wrangler is directly
influenced by the sound of Cabaret Voltaire, perhaps more than what goes under that name these
days, judging by the clips that pop up every now and then. ‘Dirty’ with its guitar chops and stop/start
rhythm, and a funky bass sequencer could be mid 80s CV. And much of that has to do with the
vocals of Mallinder, that much is sure. The other two members handle their warm and old analogue
synthesizers with great care and up the tempo a bit more compared to the old days, and create a
beautiful album of synth based music, with lots and lots of rhythm; either from connecting all the
modulars together or maybe out of a box — who cares, I would think. The nine pieces are a pleasantly
varied bunch, some of the songs in a fine up-tempo beat and others a bit slower. But nevertheless all
of this makes up for some great pop music; I spun this at least six times in two days and never had
enough. Excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Behind Legiac we find the duo of Roel Funcken and Cor Bolten. The first is perhaps best known as
one half of Funckarma, with his brother Don and Bolten was a member of Dutch post-punk legends
Mecano. Somewhere in 2002/2003 they met up as part of a project called Dif:use, in which a whole
bunch of laptop musicians, played together for a couple of night. I didn’t like it very much; lots of
reverb and echo to create an ambient sound and ‘spiced’ up with a couple of beats. The CD that was
subsequently released was reviewed in Vital Weekly 600 and not received favourably. I have no idea
if the two men worked together in between, although there has been an album as Legiac in 2007 and
one last year, by Tympanik Audio. This new album takes the Voyncuh manuscript as it inspiration.
This 15th century manuscript is by an unknown author (and named after the person who obtained it
in 1912) and is a complete mystery still as to what it means; language that doesn’t make any sense,
along with images of plants, of biological nature and stars. Well, that is perhaps, as it is still waiting
to be decrypted. It looks great, and all along listening to the ambient music of Legiac I watched the
online version of it and reading about this fascinating mystery. The music itself is perhaps less of
a mystery. There is an extensive use of field recordings (thanks to Taavi Tulev), synthesizers and
sound treatments, creating a fine piece of cosmic music. Of course there is quite some use of reverb,
but whatever rhythm these men use, it no longer belongs to the world of dance music, as it did with
their other project. This music is hardly a surprise if one looks at fifty years of ambient music, going
from the classic Brian Eno records and seventies cosmic music, all the way via 90s releases on
Fax Records, up to post 2000 ambient glitch and computer processed sounds. But of course
originality and innovation is not something one always needs, I would think. The eleven pieces
on ‘The Voynich Manuscript’ are short, around three to five minutes in general, and to the point.
Legiac doesn’t expand too much on a theme by staying somewhere very long and that is perhaps
something others could take their cue from. Keep it concise; make it beautiful; that is something
that Legiac does wonderfully well. (FdW)
––– Address:

JASON SHARP — A BOAT UPON ITS BLOOD (CD by Constellation Records)
OFF WORLD — 1 (CD by Constellation Records)

There was a time when every new release by Constellation Records was welcomed and that was
even our small avant-garde shop realized that Godspeed You Black Emperor delivered such great
music and everybody else knew this already. But post-shop, post-label and writing only, the label
moved out of sight and I had no idea they were still a going concern. But lo and behold here we
have three new releases, with catalogue numbers above 100, so a quick look at their site proves
they were very active in all these years. None of these three names meant much to me, so I
started with Jason Sharp.
   Most curious it lists ‘amplified heart’ as one of the instruments he plays, along with feedback,
synthesizers and bass saxophone, along with Joe Grass on pedal steel guitar and Joshua Zubot
on violin. ‘The Heart’, a poem by Robert Creeley, inspires the music. Sharp is from Montreal where
he plays with jazz musicians, improvised music and contemporary ensemble. On his solo album
his heart beat and breath are translated via custom-built equipment electronics and form the
basis of these seven pieces. It starts out with the first part of the title piece and that sounds quite
electronic; perhaps not something I would expect on Constellation that easily. It’s a beautiful
piece of layered electronics, drone like and pulsating in the background, with the emphasis on the
atmosphere rather than the rhythm. But then in the next piece the other instruments are added
and it all moves towards a more rock oriented drone; Jesse Zubot adds a drum machine and
synthesizer to two pieces and a group named Architek Percussion add microphone and mini
amp.It moves from the louder end of drones in ‘A Blast At Best’ to more introspective and moody
textures in ‘Still I Sit, With You Inside Me’, of which the second part is all the more post rocky. 
In the third part of the title piece a drum machine sound alike pops up, imitating the sound of a
train. The heartbeat like sound is the core of each track, but in some of these it seems to be less
present than in others. All in all this is a highly varied release and a most enjoyable one. Sharp
offers variation but also presents some very coherent music, using different angles for his music.
   Something different is the music of Off World, a new group around Polmo Polpo boss Sandro
Perri, who also worked under his own with ‘tropicalia, jazz, prog-influenced vocal music. He also
recorded throughout all of this music that works with acoustic and electronic instruments, with
‘pointillist aleatory composition techniques’, and starting with ‘1’ there will three volumes with
pieces he recorded in the past years. Perri is the boss in the studio, playing electronics, guitar,
harpsichord and piano and there is a bunch of musicians adding electronics, drum machine, banjo,
viola and violin, whereas more than one musician adds electronics. Much of what ended up on
‘1’ was recorded over a two-day period in London, when Perri met with Drew Brown (Lower Dens,
Blonde Redhead, Beck) and together with the other musicians such as Susumu Mukai and MJ
Silver) they laid down the foundation of these pieces with old synthesizers (EMS Synthi,
Syntochestra, Prophet 5), later on adding the other instruments. This is not music that one could
easily define as one thing or another. There is certainly an element of jazz music in here, even
when it sounds all quite electronic most the times. There is an element of abstraction in these
pieces but at the same time it all sounds quite melodic also, most of the times. It may sound
improvised, but then using studio technology means there is also more organisation in these
pieces. Curiouser and curiouser; this is the kind of music that is not easily pinned down to being
one thing or another. That is great, but then so is the music, as I thought this is an excellent
   Something entirely different (again!) is the music from William Jourdain who works as
Automatisme. He is from Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec and works since 2013 releasing albums and
tracks, in which he takes ‘site-specific field recordings’ as a starting point, which he then feeds
into synthesizers to transform them into music that both owes to the world of drones and that
of beats. He takes his cue from Pan Sonic, Pole and Carsten Nicolai, all from their early work
(1995-2002). Constellation says that even then, when the label seemed more about rock and
punk, they were big fans of the genre, so for them it is a logical thing to release this kind of
electronic music. ‘Momentform Accululations’ is the first physical album by Automatisme and
it is a most enjoyable one. I couldn’t say what kind of field recordings went into his machines;
for all I know, there might be no field recordings at all, as whatever Automatisme does, it
sounds all purely electronic. His aim is not directly at the dance market, I would think. I am
not even sure if his music would do well in such a place. He uses quite a bit of beats, but
very single-minded focussing on the bass drum at times; it’s not some crushing 4/4 beat
pattern luring people who dance on to the stage. Automatisme’s compositions are dark and
atmospheric, such as the high pitched drones versus low pitched drones and beats of
‘Simultanéité 1’ (there are three pieces titled ‘Simultanéité’) which is all the more about
listening and experiencing, but perhaps this is Automatisme at it’s most abstract. Drones
play an important role in all of this, but in the other two parts the rhythm is more complex.
In the three pieces that are called ‘Transport’ the rhythm is more upfront and present, and
one can see Automatisme is inspired by the minimalism of the 90s, and I’d like to add Basic
Channel and Chain Reaction to the list of possible inspirations. I thought this was a most
enjoyable release of music that seemed out of place on this label, but then because of that,
it also made totally sense. (FdW)
––– Address:

   (CD by Frozen Light)
GINTAS K — DIMENSIONS (CD by Frozen Light)
IOS & SOPHUS — LOVE OF ONE (CD by Frozen Light)

By now Russia’s Frozen Light looks further afield and so they now release the very first
CD by Star Turbine, following a string of previous CDR and cassette releases by this duo.
Behind Star Turbine we find Claus Poulsen from Denmark, who is also a member of Small
Things On Sundays and Sindre Bjerga, best known for his solo work, his duo with Iversen
and a whole bunch of other names, such Tech Riders. While I saw various other incarnations
of mister Bjerga, I never saw a concert by Star Turbine, but judging by the five live recordings
presented here, I have some idea. Whatever Bjerga does solo, contact microphones, steel
object, wires, walkmans, he brings to the table of whoever he is working with, and perhaps
so does the other partner. In Poulsen’s case this is a bunch of electronics of whatever
kind (analogue, laptop) and mixed media sources (walkman, radio and such like). Both men
contribute to the sound, which is dark, atmospheric and drone like and yet never looses
its experimental edge. Movements within the piece is quite minimal, perhaps along the
guidelines provided by the title, but it is not a complete thing of no change. Star Turbine
creates fields of sounds, moving without changing, but it is Bjerga I think who makes all
the small moves here, his Walkman manipulations, as shown by the sixth track, which is
Poulsen remix of Bjerga source material, which moves gentle around drones being slightly
more upfront. A fine document of what they do in concert, I’d say.
   Gintas K has been around for quite some time now, and he works these days within
the realm of serious computer music. The thirty-five minute title piece was presented
during the 21st International Symposium On Electronic Art in Vancouver and ‘created/
played using Plogue Bidule software and various VST plugins. Plugins were assigned
and controlled by midi keyboard and midi controllers. All the elements were played live’,
as it says on the cover. Maybe whatever the computer does is all purely electronic,
like constant filtering and treatment of it’s own sound, but maybe there is something
that goes into the machine, like field recordings. I doubt that, as what I hear sounds
very digital and quite distorted at that. This is some serious radical computer music that
requires quite a bit of strength from the listener. The first twelve or so minutes are pretty
hardcore and quite demanding on the listener. Not because it is loud per se, but quite
gritty, abstract and without much logical sequence. In other parts of this piece that is
repeated and while there are also lengthy passages that are quieter, this is music that
remains quite demanding, well, perhaps because it has parts that very quiet. As a sort
of coda there is also ‘Antras Galas’, which stays on the same level for the entire six
minutes and comes across as a very chaotic piece of computer sounds, that come in
a multitude and they are all demanding your immediate attention. Much of what I heard
here, I heard before, which was a pity, as I sometimes hope for a new direction.
   [S] is the mysterious man behind many projects such as Exit In Grey, Five Elements
Music, Radioson, Redhouse, Black Deal With Snow, Candyman And Evil Flowers and
Sister Loolomie, but now he adds Ion & Sophus to that list and I must confess I lost
track of the differences between all these names. I believe some were to be a bit more
on the experimental side, but when I am listening to the two pieces on ‘Love Of One’ I
don’t seem to hear much difference with some of his other output. Here we have two
pieces made with the use of field recordings on the Black Sea and these sea waves
are transformed into two pieces of ambient music/drone/atmospherics of the highest
order. In the first part these waves sound suddenly very synthesizer like, which hoovers
closely to the world of new age. The second part on the other hand shows that the roots
of [S] lie firmly within the world of dark drones and the sombre atmosphere surely reflect
the name of the sea. I was thinking in terms of day and night here. The first is light and
it is the daytime, whereas the second is the nighttime version of the piece. The first has
majestic waves but in the night version it is all rather a bit staler and we must be careful
our vessel doesn’t hit upon objects floating in the water. Pleasantly dark and hardly
a surprise in musical development. (fdW)
––– Address:


While this is a CD release in an edition of 300 copies, the cover is just a black and
white Xerox folded around the CD and sealed with a plastic fish. That calls for
improvement I’d say. The press text is a bit cryptic as to what I am hear, but here’s the
deal (I think!); two pieces recorded live at a club called Rybanaruby on June 23 2016,
which together lasts about thirty-five minutes. Then there is also a studio session of
thirty-six minutes, divided into 97 pieces on the CD for your random shuffle pleasure
(I didn’t know people cared about that these days). eE eS eM, as is the preferred
spelling, is a three piece improvisation group, with Radek on ‘3pisynthesizer’ and
effects, Honza on effects and vocals and tenor saxophone on one piece, and
Zdenek on vocals and effects, while on the studio pieces that changes to Zdenda
(‘souchirekorder’, effects), Ienda (tenor saxophone, effects) and Radeg, the same
as before, except that he spells his name different. Phew. That is all quite
complicated, I would think. The music is pretty minimal and yet very noisy. Not
exactly noise in the meaning of harsh noise wall, but a rather concentrated effort
on doing the same set of sounds over and over. The vocals are here to produce
throat noises rather than scream or shout. Comparing the studio and live versions
of this band, I prefer the studio variation over the live version. Simply because
there is a lot more happening in here and there is more depth in the material.
Surely the element of playing this in a random/shuffle mode surely helped, even
when you skip manually the two live recordings every now and then. Quite a blast
this one, but a most enjoyable one. (FdW)
––– Address:

RLW & PAAK — ZUR ARBEIT 1 (LP by Attenuation Circuit)

You could easily forget that among the vast amount of CDR and cassette releases
by Attenuation Circuit (see also elsewhere) they also release CDs and LPs, and
here’s one of the latter variety. RLW I should hope, despite releasing a lot less
these days, is the well-known brainchild of Ralf Wehowsky, who in the early 80s
was the main force behind P16.D4 and the Selektion label. Paak is perhaps less
known, but Peter Kästner hails from Hamburg, Germany, and works quite a bit
with TBC (see Vital Weekly 987). I assume this record is the result of
exchanging sound materials back and forth. Paak gets credit for microphone,
voice and noise and RLW for playing the harpsichord, mellotron, rhythm machine,
and transformations, while also mixing the side long piece that is ‘Schnaps’ and
‘Gerberei’ on the flip, while Paak created the ‘Kantine’ piece. There seems to be
a political theme throughout this record, which is about ‘work’, and the situation
workers are in today. Those seem to be the basics of this release.
   I must say that I didn’t hear much difference between the two pieces mixed
by RLW and the one by Paak, which I guess is a good thing, even Paak seems
to be using a lot less of the instrument recordings. Like many of the records by
RLW, solo and otherwise, it is all about the balance between non-instruments,
noise, objects and such like on one hand and instruments on the other. To
hear the mellotron and harpsichord is perhaps quite odd as they surely add
a more musical dimension to the release. Sometimes the two are set apart,
with a block of ‘instruments’, followed by a block of ‘noise’, but sometimes they
also are overlaying each other. Especially the harpsichord is a really weird
instrument I would think. It is full of history, like baroque music, but it sounds
wacky, funny, silly or simply bizarre, when it pops up in these electro-acoustic
compositions. It’s not easy to make up my mind regarding ‘Schnaps’, the piece
in which these instruments sound most; I think I preferred the second side
better. Here the pieces were stricter in composition, tighter if you will, reminding
the listener of P16.D4 at times (well, this listener anyway), and there was a
fine amount of tension right under the surface, which made me listen over and
over again. No work was done, but that’s okay. We live in a different age
I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:


Now here’s something quite curious; an exhibition catalogue, and that perhaps
is not something unusual in these pages. Here it is the exhibition ‘Not Making
Sense As Something Else’, organised by P/////AKT in Amsterdam and curated
by Freek Lomme, whom you could know as the driving force behind Onomatopee
from Eindhoven, releasing books (mostly), art objects and records, but who is
also a poet. In many of his works, Lomme is quite the conceptual artist and this
is not different. Here the exhibition and the catalogue reflect upon ‘the way the
various exhibitions come about, as unmediated mediation typical to the
production and presentation of artist-run projects’. The exhibition consisted of
works by Bram de Jonghe, Dan Walwin, Bas Van Den Hurk & Hans Demeulenaere,
Claudia Pagès & Ulijona Odišarija, Roderick Hietbrink and Kasper Bosmans and
in the booklet there are small pictures of the artworks made, but for each artist
there is also a list of materials brought to the exhibition. Carved into the vinyl we
find Lomme’s words in which he describes the works, just as he saw the works.
Very descriptive and not very much like a review of the works, nor explaining
context or history. Part of this is in English and part in Dutch, and as far as I
can tell, the English is the translation of the original Dutch. Lomme calls these
poems and while he whispers much of the text (remember: silence in the gallery!)
and it has a strange captive feel to it. Lomme recites his texts very dry and
without much emotion, so it seems at least most of the time, but his delivery
makes you want to listen on. I am not sure if this is the kind of record you
would want to play a lot of times or if this is something to shock your friends
with; ‘this is some crazy shit art record’. I guess it could go either way. I quite
enjoyed this oddity. (FdW)
––– Address:

GREAT WAITRESS — HUE (LP by Another Dark Age)

With the first release by Great Waitress I got band name and title mixed up,
but now, with their third release (the second went by not reviewed) I do a better
job (I hope). Great Waitress is a trio Monika Brooks on accordion and Laura
Altman on clarinet, and both are from Australia, who team up with Berlin
based Magda Mayas (piano). The two sidelong pieces were recorded in 2014
in Sydney and while the labels states that the vinyl format is what this group
always deserved, I am not so sure about that. Partly because the music that
these ladies play is quite soft and quite spaced out. It makes that one hears
the surface of the record and scratches pretty early on, and that I think is a
pity. The instruments played always remain sounding like a piano, accordion
and clarinet, and as whatever else can happen if you use objects. Great
Waitress likes to keep it very restricted to the actual instruments themselves,
but clarinet and accordion produce sustaining tones, with lots of gestures
moving to and from the microphone. The piano might be bowed with a bow
at times, or plucked on the inside, and perhaps as such is a bit of an oddball
in here. Despite the fact that the music is very quiet, it is very intense.
Sounds move very slow and interact in a great way together. The three
players listen closely to what the others are doing and act correspondingly;
or don’t act at all, which is of course the best thing about excellent
improvised music; the ability to not do anything at all when that is required.
That calls for a high level of concentration on behalf of the players, but
also from the listener. Only if you are prepared to fully immerse yourself in
this dark forest of carefully played sounds, a great and unique sound world
will unfold right before your ears. (FdW)
––– Address:

JONAS OLESEN — OBJEKT #3 (vinyl object by Bin)
NIKLAS ADAM — A3&B (12″” by Bin)

As much as I would love to do so, reviewing anything else than music is
really a hard task. That ‘else’ includes video art, literature, poetry, sculptures
or art-objects, such as Jonas Olesen’s ‘Objekt #3’, which is a 7″ (black vinyl),
stuck on a 10″ (white vinyl), stuck on a 12″ (black again). Now I thought
this was the thing, an object of records stuck together, but upon inspecting
the website, I read this: ‘several vinyl sizes are glued together, forming an
audible staircase and, at the same time, a visual object. Where a new vinyl
size begins, the pickup arm will stop and begin to loop, and thus requires
an action from the listener to advance to the next track.’ It is with some
hesitation that I played this staircase of records, as it looks like something
that could potentially damage your styles. I am not sure, seeing this is an
edition of 25 copies, if all of these records were made for this project,
or perhaps if they are available somewhere else, in a different form. The
music by Olesen is made with electronics, sine waves, clicks, cuts and
what could be the crackle of vinyl (unless that stylus damage is something
that just happened). It is the kind of glitch music from yesteryear but it still
sounds great I think. Olesen deals with minimalism, as probably the genre
wants it to be, but it is quite fascinating. The 12″ has click loops, the 7″ some
continuous sine-drone and the 10″ holds the middle ground between both ends.
   The record by Niklas Adam was previously released in 2010, and now there
is a repress, in an edition of just 80 copies. The music was recorded in 2009 in
East Jutland and on one side he plays baritone and alto saxophone along with
Danielle Dahl and on the other side he gets help from Benjamin Lesak,
and together with Adam he plays the harmonium. These pieces are from his
earliest work as a sound artist when he was focussing on ‘near-static and
reductionist acoustic music’, which surely it is on the first side, which is called
‘A3’. One has to crank up the volume quite a bit and unlike the Great Waitress
record reviewed elsewhere, hiss and crackles are necessary components of
the music. Lots of room sound from where they made the recording and very
little in terms of saxophones. Just the odd tone here and there. Take down the
volume a bit when flipping this record over for the other side is ‘louder’, but
works along similar principles of playing sound in a room and capturing that
sound from a bit further away, allowing more ‘room’ in these recordings and
the two harmoniums play at first a more drone like piece, which is all dark
and mysterious, but towards the end it sounds more like we just hear the
lungs of the harmonium, treated as electro-acoustic objects, which ooze
great obscure atmosphere. A most curious record, and perhaps the first side
is not the easiest music to hear, but it sounds all highly captivating. (FdW)
––– Address:

DUKE ST WORKSHOP — SCURO ESTIVO (7″ by Static Caravan)

Perhaps this has to go here, as a 7″, but since I got this on CDR, with a text
that says it was released as lathe cut (size not specified). Seeing both tracks
are just over three minutes it is fair to say it is a 7″. Following their LP with
Laurence R Harvey telling tales by H.P. Lovecraft (see Vital Weekly 1017)
and a string previous releases, they are now on their own again, and apparently
the focus on these two new pieces is less on the warm, analogue synthesizers
and more on other, not specified, instruments, but I imagine these might flute,
drums, piano, Hammond organ and such like. With the first part of the title
track they opt for a vaguely exotic sound, mainly through the use of percussion,
but it’s a very laidback song, and a great one at that. On the flip the second
part starts out with the piano, but soon drums and synthesizers take over and
there is even a bunch of humming voices to be noted in this song, but it has
a similar nostalgia feel to it. That is something that remains then for Duke St
Workshop: nostalgia for old film tunes, 60’s science fiction and playing the
musical mood card par excellence. Why is this on lathe cut, I wondered?
A bigger audience should hear this. (FdW)
––– Address:

(CDR by Setola Di Maiale)

The name of guitarist Alessandro Seravalle came up in a review of a release
by Schwingungen 77 Entertainment, back in Vital Weekly 945. This time he
has a solo release, the first under his own name. He is also a member of the
band Garden wall, with whom he recorded eight records so far, but none of
which I heard. Other projects in which he also appears are James Frederik
Willet, Agrapha Dogmata, Tzim Tzim, Bonsoir Trio and SeTe, while Genoma
was an earlier solo project. His musical range lies within improvised music,
ambient and experiment. As such we can also regard this new solo album,
which is inspired by a neologism coined by Henri Michaux in the 50s, called
‘morphocreations’, and for Sevaralle it is based upon improvisation and a
dialogue with himself ‘on the basis of the emerging of auditory forms, often
unforeseen and yet always related to an idea or a basic mood’, to keep a
close relationship within the ghosts within himself and such like. His text is
longer and hard to summarize in a few words; perhaps also because I may
not entirely understand what he is about. The five pieces are listed with all
the sources they use, such as in the first one ‘for jack wire, live electronics,
hollow body electric guitar, samples and post-treatments’ or the last one
‘for freezed-and-not voices’. How does that work, you may wonder. In each
of these pieces there seems to be a frame work, sounds that are continuously
present; not necessarily long form drones or short repeating sounds, but
something on a long sustaining level, and on top of these sounds, Sevaralle
freely improvises with his guitar sounds, either in real time or sampled and
layered, as with the voices in the final piece, in which guitars also seem to
be absent and which is therefore also a but different in approach than the
other four pieces, but all of this sounds pretty I must say. There is very fine
combination of improvised music and more atmospheric patterns of sound
manipulation, which is not something that hasn’t been explored before,
but it is something that is done very well in the capable hands of
Seravalle. (FdW)
––– Address:

Ka Rey Eye Tapes)

For one reason or another I thought I heard the heard Ataraxic Ataxia
before but it seems I am mistaken. I only found one release for this duo
of electronics and violin, as produced by Dominick Dufner and Nicole
Pizzato, who hail from Columbia, Missouri, and that release is ‘Shadow
Sea’. According to Discogs previously available as a digital release, but
the cover also mentions a release in an edition of 23 copies by Side Of
The Sun Recordings (No Part Of it mentions they also had a bunch of
other, very limited releases). So you could easily believe there is some
interest in this material. I am not sure why, other perhaps than that this
is unavailable at the moment.  There are six pieces of music on this
release, and all of them seem to me to be the result of improvisation.
One of the pieces is recorded in concert and that’s the moment when
the music is really loud and noisy. I prefer the other five pieces, in which
we find the violin to be pleasantly played against a backdrop of more
noise oriented electronics, but whoever is responsible keeps it under
control; most of the time that is. In ‘Shotguns, Phrenology And A Steady
Hand’, the noise prevails and there is some serious string abuse, but it
followed by the great subdued tones of ‘If It Happens Once, It May As
Well Have Never Happened’. Ataraxic Ataxia walks the fine line between
industrial noise patterns and improvised violin and they do a pretty
neat job. Sometimes a bit long as is to be expected, but pretty decent
noise anyway.
   Blood Rhythms’ ‘Heuristics’ were already reviewed a few weeks back
(Vital Weekly 1042) and here they return with another release. On ‘Skin
Flint’ the band consists of core member Arvo Zylo, this joined by Wyatt
Howland. Three pieces here, of which the first one is the title piece
and at twenty-two minutes also the longest. It was assembled from
a sixty-two minute improvisation and consists of very harsh noise;
just that and nothing else. What was there to assembly, I wondered.
I don’t mind a bit of harsh noise, but I prefer if there is a bit more
thought went into it. That doesn’t happen here. ‘Melt Compartment’
starts out way softer with some mild, low resolution samples but
by slowly adding sound effects the piece becomes another industrial
affair, which can also be said of ‘Zippers With Eyes’, but then with
a sample that is a bit more rhythmical. The music is very much
as it was recorded, in all it’s full glory, without any kind of editing.
I must admit I though this was all a bit too much for me. I love a
bit of noise, but I also love a bit of thought put into the noise,
and that’s something I missed in this particular release. (FdW)
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MEINEIN/N(48) (split CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
   KONSERVE (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
SKREI — CÖRENGRÄTÖ (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
ALTESA — SENSAZIONI (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
BELLEROPHONE — STRAW DOG (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Attenuation Circuit)

First of all, let me share some disappointment with you. This is maybe the first
of two long reviews devoted to no less than thirteen new releases by Attenuation
Circuit. Now, in the past I complained if a label send me more than three, which
I think is really enough, but 13 sets a new record (and that’s no invitation to top
that). But what I also find a bit disappointing is the fact there is no information
save for the LP on this one; I will review that one elsewhere. I was used to
getting information on every release, but in their successful attempt to
overproduce, the label no longer seems to care about additional information,
and with some of the releases having rather cryptic covers, it is not easy to
something worthwhile. I’m sorry about that.
   The first one I pulled out of this bunch is a split of Meinein and N(48), which
includes a track by each plus a collaborative piece. I have no idea who Meinein
is and behind N(48) we find Hellmut Neidhart; well, actually the band name is
N and the number is consecutive number of pieces he made so far. Much of
his music is from the world of ambient, drones and such like, all done with
guitars and effects. Meinein surely comes from a similar background, using
samples and electronics, but once I got to the piece by N(48), a most
powerful piece of drone music, Meinein seemed a faded memory. It didn’t
make much impression, unlike the N(48) blast; organ like drones, mildly
distorted, a drone heavy weight. Their piece together is the longest on the
disc and combines both ends. The guitar of N is still quite loud, but not
as loud as on his own and Meinein delivers a fine tapestry of changing
motifs on his sampler to go along. The second half of the piece is much
darker and it ends with the usual ‘let’s all go ape-shit loud now’ — a steady
fixture for improvisers in the realm of the electronic, yet an unnecessary
one, I would think.
   I continued my trip into the great unknown with one Holger Bischoff, who
works as Konkete Anti-Wulst, which, despite many years studying the
German language in school, I can’t translate, and it goes also for the title.
When they were a duo, I reviewed their ‘Unsichtbare Zwilinge’ (Vital Weekly
946). The cover looks a bit like an old HNAS record, and seeing ‘tapes,
korg and glocken’ mentioned (the latter meaning ‘bells’, I knew that),
I hoped for a fine manipulation of bell sounds with a reel-to-reel tape
machine; the rough edge of musique concrete. That is not the case,
and just like the last time I got it wrong. The forty-eight minute piece is
quite loud, and seems to me some kind of ‘direct-to-tape’ action piece.
Surely ‘rough’ is the right word here. Somewhere between minute mark
12 and 17 the volume drops a bit, but otherwise it is on the same level
and that is loud. It’s the kind of power electronics/industrial music that
was once popular, and luckily this comes without the obligatory imagery
of porn and swastikas. I can imagine listening to this factory floor (the
bells! the bells! where are they?), is surely great to do, on that spot,
in that time frame, but is it also for an external listener? I am not
sure here.
   Skrei is Giuseppe Capriglione, and of him I didn’t hear before. Apparently
he uses one tape loop as a sound source, which is then processed and
reworked using a multi-tracker tape recorder. Here too we have the
impression of a (semi-) live recording, the immediate action of recording
an idea, rather than meticulously performed composition that is the result
of editing. It is not as not noise based as the release I just heard, but
the industrial element is never far away. Here too one easily has the
impression of being locked down in a factory, and the workers aren’t out
for lunch break. It is also a bit unformed, not entirely finished or simply
the result of improvising with a bunch of tapes. Having said that, I found
more musical pleasure in these thirty-one minutes than in the Konkete
Anti-Wulst release. One could think of this as some kind of unnerving
ambient music. If you want!
   A little bit shorter (twenty-nine minutes) but a little bit louder is the
release by Altese. The cover says that the music is composed and
arranged by Alessandro Quintavalle, but Luca Canciello mixed it, so I
am not sure how and why that is. Obviously there is no mention of any
instruments, or any of that ilk, so my best guess is some collision of
synthesizers, sound effects, stomp boxes or digital, and maybe some
kind of sampler or drum machine. You never know these days, do
you? I assume Altesa hails from Italy, a country with a lively harsh
noise scene (I never figured out why, come to think of it), but I can
easily see Mauthausen Orchestra, MB or LXSS being the main
inspiration for this unrelentless industrial noise. There is that word
again. What’s wrong with me today? In all the ‘tags’ Atenuation
Circuit use on their bandcamp page, this is the one they don’t
use, oddly enough so it seems to me. I like good slab of old school
industrial noise; a bit of distortion, a bit of feedback, even a bit of
rhythm from time to time, minimal as they are, some fucked radio
transmissions, and ending in a good all white noise out. Not for
daily consumption however, this one.
   Bellerophone then is also something I had not encountered before.
Here we have one piece that lasts thirty-one minutes (which seems
a standard thing, right?) and a quote from Tao Te Ching on the cover.
No instruments are mentioned; no… ah… you know the drill by now.
Music wise we are finally allowed some place of rest here. Finally the
tag ‘drone’ actually means something, I would think, even when the
drone doesn’t have the form of a cigar (quick fade in, and staying on
the same volume level for the rest of the piece), but an active, lively
piece of slowly enveloping minimal electronic sound. I would think
this is all the work of electronics, mainly
synthesizers making curves and waves, rather than being set to
sustain on the same tone for an endless amount of time. As said
minimalism rules in this piece and for the main part it is all quite
low in volume, going from mid-range to low-range, on an active
course of change, ending on a more fierce note towards the end,
without it getting the all-noise treatment we got from Meinein &
N(48). Delicate is the word I was looking for, but this rough and
ready ambience was well received.
   And finally, for this week that is, music by Le Scrambled Debutante,
the only name of this lot of six that I actually recognized at once,
and that’s because Attenuation Circuit released more of their music
in the past. This is perhaps also the one in this lot that is actually
a band, consisting of five members, centred on the person of Sir
Bear Trapper. On New Year’s Eve 2014 the group recorded this
work and like before I have this vaguely romantic notion that
they gather around a reel-to-reel tape machine and consume the
right kind of spiritualia and do this all group musical weirdness
using electronics, records, and what have you. As such this
new work isn’t much different than many of the other works I
heard from LSD; there is a serious pile-up of sound debris on their
machines (analogue or otherwise) and someone is blindfolded
when doing the mix of this, moving through the various sections
they recorded, but stays all one piece of music. Some of these
sections are a bit long I would think and some rigorous editing
could be in place to make it all a bit more surrealist and/or Nurse
With Wound (take your pick), but my suggestion is to use a similar
amount of psychotropia and bob’s y’r uncle. It has to wait until
night falls and bottles are opened. (FdW)
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MODELBAU — LIFEBOAT (cassette by No Rent Records)

Another Modelbau release and I’m looking forward to scrutinising it
as I enjoyed the previous album on Moving Furniture records a lot.
Modelbau is of course no one other than Frans de Waard and this
is the project’s 10th release already.
   As opposed to recent album “Four Squared Wheel”, the tracks
on this album are quite obviously layered. The a-side does start
with your straightforward garden-variety low end drone, but it
quickly mutates into something more complex plagued by digital
synth squelches into something that I can only describe as an
abstract tropical fever. This fever then introduces a hypnotically
looped woodwind/brass/synth solo (hard to be sure), picked up
in the jungle somewhere along the way, upon which the track
becomes — dare I say it — even a bit psychedelic. After a while
our body seems to recover from the infection and the drone dies
out, only to be resurrected at night as a hazy dream of the crispy
maladie it once was. It pleasantly reminded me of something of
Denis Frajerman’s (Palo Alto) solo records from way back.
Then: A pulsating mid range drone with seasick timbre shifting
opens the b-side and what seems like an eerie, distorted vocal
loop looms up in the distance. Swarming sinusoidal sweeps
together with the rising volume build up the tension until the point
where some of the layers get stuck in a panicky loop and a razor
sharp synth pad sound subdues the culminating tension. Slowly
the situation cools down, though it does not get resolved completely.
I’m a sucker for vocal synths, formant synthesis and virtually
anything that gives synthetic sounds something human. This track
explores that territory in a fascinating way and this is easily my
favourite Modelbau release up to date. (PJN)
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   SPECULATIVE REALISM (cassette by Cruel Nature Records)
DRUUNA JAGUAR / HEIDYYOUKO — SPLIT (cassette, no label)

Being ostensibly Vital’s go-to goth guy, it’s probably not much of
a surprise these two tapes found their way into my deck. I was
not familiar with the work of enigmatic noise artist Druuna Jaguar,
whose primary weapon of choice seems to be the guitar and country
of origin is Portugal. “Speculative Realism” on Northumbrian label
Cruel Nature Records is a collaboration between Druuna Jaguar
and the prolific North American dark ambient artist Phantasm
Nocturnes. We’re talking power electronics here and to a lesser
extent post-industrial, but with a powerfully ominous, atmospheric
backdrop. So yes Cold Meat territory; Brighter Dead Now,
Genocide Organ, stuff like that. Some pieces seemed less
obviously structured than anything you’d find on “Leichenlinie”
and a few of them feature bits of crunchy guitar slur, which was
a welcome addition to the usual spectrum of abrasive mechanical
sounds. Talking about the latter; whereas most of the tracks are
quite balanced regarding their dosage of harsh noise exposure,
closer upper “Black Seas of Infinity” is that 10 minute full-on
blast you might have been waiting for. Some parts lingered a
bit too ‘infinitely’ for my taste, but overall I found it a colourful
and appetising.
   The Druuna track on the split release, named “pornologie vs.
capitalisme” starts with 2 minutes of Japanese twaddle until a
harsh drone drops in that is somewhat reminiscent of the older
work of Esplendor Geométrico, though again perhaps less
structured. Then there’s another bit of chitty chat again and
another intensive drone that seems largely improvised. Though
it is definitely not bad within its genre, I really loved the dark
ambience on the other tape. It provided Druuna’s drones with
a background that allowed for a wider dynamic range. On the
b-side we find “mambo guitar” by the Japanese HeidyYouko,
which is a lengthy exercise in profound dadaism — think an out-
take of an alcohol-fueled collaborative recording session between
the Residents and Le Club des Chats, at the point where nobody
understands each other any longer. There’s some random guitar
plucking, the stammer of a mental drum machine, a lot of
layered murmuring voices and some processing. Well, this goes
on for quite a while, which is partly hilarious, but mostly not the
kind of late night entertainment I had hoped for. (PJN)
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