Number 1049

ASCANIO ORGA – RAW SCIENCE (CD by Sonic Boundaries) *
THE QUIET CLUB & CROW – AS THE QUET CROW FILES (CD by Farpoint Recordings) *
ROTTERDAM – GIZICKI (CD by Everest Records) *
BOKEH – PEACE OBSCURED (12″ by The Weevil Neighbourhood)
KATSUNOURI SAWA – SECRET OF SILENCE (LP by The Weevil Neighbourhood)
SPR – TESSALATION DISTRICTS (12″ by The Weevil Neighbourhood)
LITTLEBOW – THREE (CDR by Rural Colours) *
  TABLE LEG (CDR by Caduc) *
FERGUS KELLY – SHOTO TO SHREDS (cassette by Farpoint Recordings) *

ASCANIO ORGA – RAW SCIENCE (CD by Sonic Boundaries)

Following his return in Vital Weekly 1014 with ‘Altered States’, after a couple of years being not
present in the world of Vital Weekly, here’s another travel into the sonic work of Ascanio Borga.
On this previous release Borga just used guitars and (I assume) effects, on this new one he takes
credit for using electric guitar, synthesizer, samples, noises and treatments. Borga writes that this
album is all about applying effects and sound manipulation directly into the process of recording,
rather than adding them later on, so ‘mixing and mastering are part of the composition, active
creative phases in which crucial modifications and ideas can be inserted, driving the recording
towards completely new and unexpected directions’ as he writes and that he feels that should be
part of the creation of experimental music, which I must say I more or less always thought was the
 case in this field of music. The four long pieces, spanning one hour, continue to explore the route
of the previous release, and that is one of a very loud form of drone music, sometimes bordering
towards noise, making his guitars sound like chain saws, or a full on orchestral approach at times.
Borga doesn’t use his effects very sparsely and there are times when I believe he’s just using
effects and nothing much else. All four of pieces have this ‘loud to very loud’ approach, although
they also start out in a very quiet fashion. Composition wise that means that all of these pieces
sound quite similar, even when they they do not sound the same in executing these compositions.
It is music that is quite dark and oppressive and on a hot day like this doesn’t fare well, but maybe
I should wait until night falls and listen to this with headphones and have they shit scared out of
me. I am sure that work very well. (FdW)
––– Address:


That’s the beauty of the German language, I gather, a word like ‘Zwischenwelten’, which one
translate as worlds in between, but it doesn’t sound as beautiful. Seetyca is a one-man ambient
project most of the times, who plays e-maschinen, samplers, ocarina, recorder, zither, voice,
acoustic guitar, schwirrohr (and I have no idea what that means; google neither) and wood
blocks, but on this new work he gets help from Thom Yeesland on ‘ambiant’ guitar sounds,
Julian Eckstein on trombone and Kris Caelis on glockenspiel and environmental sounds. The
most curious credit is for Simone Michalko for ‘sample food’ – chewing on a vegetable like Macca
once did for the Beach Boys (and Super Furry Animals, if I’m not mistaken)? I found this new
album an odd one. I understand a piece like ‘Hide My Place, Hide My Heart’, which seems like
textbook Seetyca; ominous lengthy drone music, on an endless ringing sustain, low on the
keyboard, dark, atmospheric. All of those words are useful here. It is also the longest piece here,
on a disc that lasts anyway eighty minutes. That piece is not what makes this CD an odd one,
although there are a few more of these more traditional drone pieces, and I suspect they are,
more or less, Seetyca solo. There are also pieces in which the other players appear and there is
a rather improvisational mood going on. Seetyca lays down his drones, not necessarily all dark
as the flute like sounds of ‘The Clouds Form A Smile’, but then an instrument like the trombone
improvises on top of that. Field recordings are dropped in at seemingly random moments and
may consist of people talking, sampled and played around within a piece. That happens in a piece
like ‘Der Schwimmer Im Dunckel’, which is, by result, hardly your traditional drone music. I think
that those pieces are a daring move on Seetyca’s part, even when it doesn’t blow me away
musically. The outcome has times a somewhat random result and it makes that these pieces
lack coherency. I think the idea to combine drone music and improvisations is something that
could be done more but is not always successful here. It makes that this album is a varied batch
with the majority of the pieces being of the traditional variety, and those are great, if not very
innovative and there is an attempt at doing something different, which is partly successful.
That is not a bad score, I would think. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here we have two ‘of Ireland’s most innovative duos’, so sayeth the label, who got together
on 5th December 2015 at The Model in Sligo. I hadn’t encountered these duos before, so an
introduction to them. In the left corner we find The Quiet Club, which is Danny McCarthy and
Mick O’Shea, who play sound objects, electronics and amplified textures (says the cover)
and/or stones, homemade instruments, electronics, amplified textures, theremins, field
recordings (says the information sheet). In the right corner we find crOw (as they spell it),
being Cathal Roche on alto saxophone and loopstation and Ian Wilson on electric guitar, e-bow
and toys. Apart from improvising, crOw ‘also seeks to respond to its performative environment
by adjusting its sound parameters in real time in order to engage the acoustic and architectural
properties of the auditorium itself in performance’. I made up those left and right corner
positions of course; I have no idea how they were situated on stage. I am not sure who takes
lead here, if anyone at all, but it lives up to the name the quiet club; it could be the name for
all of them, as the music is throughout mostly very quiet. Especially in the first twenty or so
minutes it seems as The Quiet Club takes the lead with lots of crackles, objects such as paper
and plastic being amplified. The sound of the alto saxophone seems far away, if not absent.
But no doubt Roche uses it as an object too. In the other thirteen minutes the volume goes
up a bit, and the saxophone and guitar are clearly more audible here, and there is a fine interplay
going on between objects, surfaces, contact microphones and the two instruments, also allowing
the electronics to play a bigger part here. There is quite some tension in this music, between
these four players and it is all less based in the world of traditional improvisation, and more from
the world of electro-acoustic music, with the emphasis on the word of acoustic. This is a great
work of improvised music from a more unusual perspective. (FdW)
––– Address:

ROTTERDAM – GIZICKI (CD by Everest Records)

It’s been more than five years since I reviewed ‘Cambodia’ by Viennese duo Rotterdam. I have no
idea why it took them so long to do another album, but perhaps they have been lots of concerts
in between? Rotterdam is a duo of Susanne Amann (cello, flute, electronics) and Michael Klauser
(acoustic guitar, electronics) and ‘Cambodia’ was certainly an odd CD. It was not unlike Pan Sonic
or the collaboration between Jaap Blonk and Radboud Mens (see Vital Weekly 322); small snippets
of cello, flute or acoustic guitar are sampled and placed together to create a form of dance music.
Back then I thought that was a fresh and original look how to create this sort of ‘dance music’, out
of the results of improvised music. Now I am playing the seven pieces of ‘Gizicki’ and must say that
the novelty is of course no longer there. This is what Rotterdam does, apparently. I am a bit in a
dilemma here I must admit. Seeing there is no longer a novelty, and it seems to continue what they
already done, and I notice that for me it becomes less interesting. But I notice that this is odd.
When somebody plays drone music for a couple of albums, I also don’t loose interest with the next
release, so why does this happen now, I wondered? I am not sure why that is. The machine rhythm
music of Rotterdam is quite minimal, bouncing in strange, odd rhythms, do not make up for a
proper dance music release, and all of this is a very arty take on the word ‘techno’ I think. I guess
the route is, dare I say it, to go ‘all techno’ on this and have it remixed by some DJs and see what
that brings. I can imagine that in concert, with the proper volume, this might work very well, but
on disc I wasn’t too sure. Is this is the difficult second album rock journalists complain about?
––– Address:


The only time the music of Martin Stürtzer was reviewed in Vital weekly was quite some time ago,
 in Vital Weekly 721, when ‘Astral Unity’ was reviewed. He made another release for Malignant
label and for ‘Human Stasis Habitat’ he found a home in Loki Found from Germany. Although I
realize I don’t recall the previous release that well, after re-reading the old review, it is safe to say
that this new album is something completely different. The previous album was all about dark
ambient spiced up with a fair amount of percussion added to the mix. On this new release there
is not a lot of percussion; only in the closing piece ‘Eye Of Terror’ we find some of slow bass
thump, which one could perhaps constitute as percussion. Back then it reminded me of Inanna,
Deutsch Nepal and Archon Satani and such likes from the Cold Meat Industry label, which is, I can
safely say, not my kind of music perhaps but then also a fine reminder of old days, another life.
Now all of that percussion is absent, and just the massive drone sound remains, and while Phelios
delivers an album that is most enjoyable, especially for some nocturnal spin in a darkened room, I
must say that it’s not really that different from the many other albums which are made a ton of
synthesizers and sound effects and aiming for everything that ‘s ‘dark’, ‘atmospheric’ or ‘spacious’
(or a combination of all of that, which is best of course). Maybe his ‘old’ sound wasn’t
that new either and surely many others operate in a similar field of musical interest, but it was
something that I don’t hear a lot, whereas of his current variety there are surely similar albums,
almost on a weekly basis. That I thought was a pity; production wise and how everything is played,
I thought it was all done with some great care and sense of style.
  In Vital Weekly 980 I was introduced to the music of Germany’s Ionosphere, through the album
‘Nightscape’. No other names are known. That was his third release, after a debut in 2004 and a
CDR ‘The Stellar Winds’, released in 2007 by Avatar Records. Loki-Found believes in their artists so
that old CDR release is now granted a re-issue, completely remastered and with two bonus pieces.
Here too we see a continuation from the other new release by Loki-Found, but obviously this is the
kind of music they deal with. There are of course differences. Whereas Phelios uses (I think) mainly
synthesizers and sound effects, I think Ionosphere adds to that quite a bit of sampled ‘other’
sounds. They might be from percussive elements, spoken word (but heavily treated), humming
voices or acoustic objects but they seem to rattling on in the music on a very subdued level.
Imagine you are on board a spaceship and flying through a storm of windy cosmic debris, which
you hear far away, on the outside of the vessel. It is that kind of rattle, and not something that
appears on top of the music. Inside the ship we you hear the gentle of machines, of mechanics
and motors, all buzzing away, creating that spacious drone, in which one pleasantly enjoys the
dark environment outside. Just like Phelios I don’t think much ‘news’ is happening here, even
when I think the music of Ionosphere is a bit more original, mainly because those sounds that
add a bit of roughness on the side. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far we reviewed very little of Yan Jun’s work, even when he some available. It’s not easy to
describe what he does, but perhaps working with musical concepts comes close. This new
release gives a pretty accurate overview of his work. The title consists of three different parts,
and on CD we only find two of them. The first CD is ‘Montreal Spy Diary’ and the second contains
‘Nothing’; for ‘Living Room Tour Montreal’ you have to go the label’s website where you can
download these concerts, easily six times thirty to forty minutes of music. Download codes are
in the CD package. So the first CD is a diary of a visit of Yan Jun to Montreal where he recorded
secretly bits and bobs of sound at people’s places; Yan Jun plays his concerts preferably for a
small audience, in a living room, so he’s entering lots of homes and tapes then a bit of sound. I
assume he uses quite a bit of different microphones, as sometimes the sound is quite loud and
crackling. But this is a really interesting CD of found sound, which even includes two live
recordings, and if you didn’t know you would have probably not noted these were live recordings.
  In his living room concerts Yan Jun plays feedback concerts and he describes how different they
can be. In ‘Nothing’ he did a feedback improvisation in a real studio, and effectively this is then
his first studio CD. The music is most certainly not ‘easy’, with a ton of high-pitched sounds,
which perhaps is more than what I can hear, due to loss of hearing (advanced age). This is
certainly not easy listening, but quite essential to understand where Yan Jun comes from.
  To follow straight from ‘Nothing’ to all the living room concert recordings is hard-core, but
I tried a bit. The booklet lists all the places and what kind of materials there were to play his
concerts and the results are quite different from each other. It depends on material available
and I guess size of the space. Playing six of these recordings, spanning easily three more hours
 I found very interesting but even at the most moderate volume I use for home playback my
seventeen old companion came in asking me what the hell was going on; apparently Yan Jun’s
music was very audible down the hall, with two doors closed. When she has say in it, Yan Jun
can only play this living room when she’s not here.
  The release comes with an oversized folder with texts and images and that makes a complete
package. (FdW)
––– Address:


Perhaps because Benjamin (Ben for everybody actually) is not active within the field of releasing
music and more with installations, his name doesn’t pop up in Vital Weekly, which is a great pity.
His previous release was ‘Vestibül’ (Vital Weekly 1011), which was recently indeed, but his other
works, mainly recorded with people like Jason Zeh, Lee Patterson and Helmut Lemke are further in
the past. Here he teams up with work he recorded with Stephen Cornford as part of a residency in
2012. Cornford is also somebody who works installations and performances, but since he has his
label, Consumer Waste, he’s a bit more visible when it comes to these pages. The cover here is a
bit cryptic when it comes to what was done, but it lists a Grundig TK5 tape machine’ and if are to
take the title and cryptic notes literal, they took the machine apart; ‘posted to Brussels, dismantled
on arrival, various levers spun on motor, speakers used to amplify floor, resistors as styluses, fixing
plate as broadcast antenna, feedback animated through chassis, springs heated & cooled,
components crushed’ and all of this was recorded. The remains were buried, so the cover tells us.
I assume the recordings of all of that are on this CD, but it’s not easy to make out if this is a live
recording of some kind or the result of some form of editing process. Somehow I think the first,
and that we hear a sort of live deconstruction of a tape machine; a sort of process/action form
of musique concrete and it is a highly fascinating one. There is a beautiful, calm interaction
between both players, with a fine emphasis on ‘small sound’. One could think: ‘I’d love to have
seen how that worked’, and I too would have loved to see the action but without seeing and
without knowing I think this has more mystery; it leaves more to ponder about, which in this
case I think is great. These sounds are very fascinating, I must say. It beeps, scratches, hisses
and sometimes sounds like an acoustic/contact microphone object examination (reminding me
of Kapotte Muziek in their quietest moments) and all of this is delivered with great care and style.
Without the image it sounds even better. This is the pleasant art of destruction.
  Labelowner Ben Owen sent me another release at the same time, which appears not to be on
his own Winds Measure Recordings, or on any label at all. It is a private release of just thirty
copies, but it comes with a cover printed by Middle Press, Owen’s own private letterpress. The
cover lists a title, which is ‘For Echo Of Echo’ and what seems to be a location, Joo Yeon park,
May 02, 2013 but also it mentions Doosan Gallery, NYC, and I’m not sure what that relates too.
The music is very quiet, and consists of a single field recording, a near empty space perhaps, and
the far away sound of a trombone. Now with The Netherlands currently under a small attack of a
heat wave, windows are open (but overlooking a quiet street) and ventilator is full on, so something
gets lost. I went back to this a few days later and still found it very quiet, so I had to crank up the
volume quite a bit. I found it very hard to make out what exactly Owen was doing on this release,
I must admit. Maybe he provided the field recording? Maybe he’s responsible for the recording as
such? Or for some action in the space? Tucker Dulin plays trombone but he’s not in close proximity
of the microphone and he doesn’t seem to be playing all the time. It makes all of this, cover
included, very obscure I think. I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked this or not. It sounded all right,
I guess, but at the same time I thought this was a bit troublesome; maybe it was too much effort
required on the listener. (FdW)
––– Address:


No doubt no thanks to my complaining about their publications being all in the French language
(see Vital Weekly 1045), Lenka Lente now publishes three poems by William Wordsworth in both
English and French. Wordsworth, who lived from 1770 to 1850 is best known as a poet of the
Romantic age, and he let go of the stricter rules of writing poems. Nature is all-important. It’s not
that I know this sort of thing from long training in literature, but I looked it up on that lovely online
encyclopaedia. Like I also wrote recently “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”, so what can I say about these poems? Not much really. They make up a fine read if you
listen to the music of Talweg, of whom I didn’t hear before but which is a duo from France. Black
metal, free jazz, but also the more spacious end of New Zealand’s drone rock inspires them. I am
not sure if the poems are the direct inspiration for the music, but in the eighteen minutes they
move cleverly from a loud opening bit that spans half the playing time of slow drums and guitar
explosions guided by some unearthly howling; this must be the black metal influence, but the
other half of the piece sees them playing around with drones, shreds of metal percussion,
overtone singing and on the final three minutes sound has almost disappeared and a single
tone remain, and they are singing at a very low level. All in all this was some pretty exciting
music, and it made me curious about other works this band has made. All of this, as said, is
great music if you are pondering over the poems. (FdW)
––– Address:

BOKEH – PEACE OBSCURED (12″ by The Weevil Neighbourhood)
KATSUNOURI SAWA – SECRET OF SILENCE (LP by The Weevil Neighbourhood)
SPR – TESSALATION DISTRICTS (12″ by The Weevil Neighbourhood)

Hurrah! New releases by Berlin’s The Weevil Neighbourhood, and the first is a collaboration
between two players that are quite important to the label, Anthone (see Vital Weekly 860)
and Katsunori Sawa (vital Weekly 877 and 931), who now work together for the first time as
Bokeh. That resulted in this three-track 12″ if what they call ‘industrial dub and noise influenced
techno’. What I noted before with this label, still holds up for this one (too); the label finds it’s
aesthetics (both sound and visuals) in the good ol’ Sähkö Recordings label, and their main acts
Pan(a)Sonic and ø, but also early releases by Alva Noto and Goem could be noted as an inspiration.
The beat is minimal, yet pulsating and the sound is that of thunderous storm. There is quite a bit
happening here, as it is not all stripped down and out to the bare bone. Dance is never far away
(unlike say Goem was in their days), and the element of dub exists in the rhythm machine that
is at the start of each these compositions. Especially ‘Void Armour’ taps out of the Pan Sonic
book, but it is a great body mover for everybody who’s willing to move.
  The work of Katsunori Sawa comes from the same barrel of minimalist beats and tension fields
of electrical discharges, as the opening of his latest record starts. In that piece rhythm is absent,
but otherwise it is very present. Sawa adds to his palette of industrial music, noise, now also a bit
of breakcore, while applying occasionally the merits of dub music. While loud and fierce, it is not
as fierce as the Bokeh record I just heard. It is also not without variation, which I think is quite
important. This is afterall a Monday afternoon and listening to these records at home, makes
surely a different impression than Saturday late at night, in a dark club with the volume many
times louder than this will sound at home. Sawa produces some fine stomping pieces, and I must
admit I preferred the ones that were devoid of breakcore influences, but that’s because I never
really cared for breakcore that much. So all in all, this was a most enjoyable tour de force minimal.
  And then there is SPR, of which I don’t know what it stands for or who they are. The label says
they are bridging Steven Porter (a Japanese duo with Katsunori Sawa and Yuji Kondo) and
Repetition/Distract, but none of that means much to me. This is the most mixed bag of the lot,
and I am not sure what to make of this. There is some of the well-known minimalism on this
record, but it also seems to be dwelling more on samples and electronics, even going in a more
atmospheric direction at times, but the four pieces sound very coherent. It is as if SPR wants
too much and didn’t make up their mind when it comes to choosing form or direction. Do they
want this varied bag of interests, or is it still early stages, before knowing what they really want?
I enjoyed some of the more rhythm driven moments of this record, but was less impressed by
their atmospheric meandering through samples. You can’t always win, I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:

LITTLEBOW – THREE (CDR by Rural Colours)

As the title indicates, this is the third album by littlebow (no capital L in there), a trio of Katie
English (flute, bass flute, cello glock), Keiron Phelan (flute, piano, acoustic and electric guitars)
and Brona McVitte (harp and vocals). Second Language released the previous two albums. There
is help from Jenny Brand (electric piano and clarinet; she’s from Kluster Ensemble) and Jerome
Tcherneyan (drums; he’s from Piano Magic). Of the cast, I think I only heard of Katie English
before, who works as Isnaj Dui and is a member of The Sly And Unseen and The Doomed Birds
of Providence. As you can imagine from the instruments this trio uses, the music is quite folk
like. That is not say that this is all about some soft tinkling of guitars, a bit of harp and some
sweet singing as I would believe this is really a lot more than that. There isn’t, for instance, a
lot of vocals here, just occasionally. A piece like ‘Too Green, These Widows weeds’ is a bit jazz
like, but I am also reminded of Berio’s ‘Folk Songs’, with some beautiful dissonant flute playing.
Desolate, orchestral and yet intimate. That orchestral mood is something that is actually all over
the album, no doubt thanks to the use of loop devices, expanding flutes, cello and harp sounds
 into a small chamber orchestra. There is something pointillist about this music, child-like perhaps,
but it’s not without a darker lining somewhere, over the rainbow. A sorrowful flute for instance,
in ‘Some May Transition Drift’, with held tones on the cello and harp, but all out joyous, also
thanks to the effective use of drums, in ‘Some May Transition’. This is some truly great music.
Music that fits the perfect hot summers day it is today, here in VWHQ land. Littlebow combines
a lot of styles and keeps it all coherently close together. This is the kind of music that one finds
on such labels Static Caravan and now on Rural Colours. Rural Colours; those words sum up the
neo-classical folk of littlebow pretty well, I think. Full of colours and quite rural. An excellent
release, me say. (FdW)
––– Address:

  TABLE LEG (CDR by Caduc)

Following last’s week collaboration between Chris Strickland and Mathieu Ruhlmann the latter now
releases a solo work by his buddy on his own Caduc label. A strange release, as it is copied on a 5
inch CDR but nevertheless contains only sixteen minutes of music, spread out over six different
pieces. There is a bit of help of Maica Maica Armata on vocals and Jon Boles on electronics on two
different tracks. I am not sure what Strickland’s intentions are on this release; maybe it is an
attempt at playing more song-based structures? That could very well be the case, judging by the
music, even when it is hardly traditional structures. But by cramping in all the sounds in a very
limited time-frame of two or three minutes, using certain elements on a return basis (i.e. loops),
and by editing them in such a way that it all makes sense in such a short time frame, Strickland
creates some very interesting music. It moves away from the long-form pieces that we known
from him (Vital Weekly 954 and Vital Weekly 1044 for some of his previous solo releases), and
also towards a more noise-based sound that I wasn’t aware off before. The music is short but
very powerful and highly effective. This is surely a road Strickland should explore further. This
short album, extended play is a better word, shows an excellent variety of approaches towards
creating song-like, short pieces of music.
  The other new release is by one Matthew Revert, of whom I never heard, and from what I
understand he is primarily an artist who uses his voice, but also touches upon a guitar and
might be applying some sort of musique concrete technique. I am not sure, as I couldn’t find
much information, other than him having a LP on Kye and a CD with Vanessa Rossetto on
Erstwhile. He is also an author, and I read that his “work tends toward the indescribably unusual
and patently absurd and defies easy genre classification” and that “outside of writing, Matthew
also works as a graphic designer. He tries admirably to record music, however he’s not very good
at it. His only area of vague aptitude is in writing”, which is not immediately a fine sales point. His
piece lasts thirty minutes and is best defined as a ‘spoken word/outsider’ art kind of release. None
of his mumbling is something that can be easily understood, and on top he plays around with a
contact microphone, objects, a little bit on the aforementioned guitar and in general all of this
sounds very personal. It is not a piece of music that is very open, very engaging towards the
listener, but at the same time it has something captivating I guess. You have no clear idea of what
is going on, and yet I kept listening and thinking ‘what the hell is this all about?’, which I guess is a
good thing; this is one of those releases that asks more questions than that it answers. Is it good?
Is it it bad? I believe that really doesn’t matter than much. It is quite fascinating, that much I’m
sure of. (FdW)
––– Address:


“So what should do for a name for our band?” “How about Ghost?” I find it hard to believe that
someone would think that Ghost, whether or not with brackets is a highly original name for a
musical project. I quite like Ghost (32) as they are called on Discogs, which is a totally different
band but it says something about how often a name is used. So (ghost) is this particular instance
is the work of Brian Forh, who apparently explores ‘a mixture of music genres, ranging from idm
and electronics to ambient and post-rock’, and who released two albums and an EP on n5MD plus
a few on his own. On ‘The First Time You Opened Your Eyes’ Froh explores his ambient side quite
extensively in a thirty-four minute piece. The label calls him someone who uses electronics, so
that’s probably what he uses here; otherwise I would have probably written something along the
lines of ‘stretched out fields of guitar sounds’. It is a pretty good work of ambient drones, with
quite some variation; it is not about having a single tone that is explored for the entire length of
the piece, but it also stays on a similar level to be fully effective as a piece of atmospheric music.
It builds and builds up to two-thirds and then slowly dies out, which I guess for a piece of
atmospheric music is hardly surprising.
  Also a new name for me is Panoptique Electrical, which is the musical project of Jason Sweeney,
from Adelaide, who is at the centre of this group, and sometimes it is him solo. He also works as
Other People’s Children and Simpatico, or with others in such projects as Sweet William, School Of
Two, Luxury Gap and Par Avion and many more. I believe that on ‘Disappearing Music For Face’ he
plays everything himself, and at the core of the sound is the sound ‘of rusty pianos in unusual
locations’, as he calls it. To those piano sounds he adds beats and electronics, but applies them
sparsely. No doubt one is reminded of the work of Budd & Eno, but I believe Panoptique Electrical
actually does something a bit different than the old masters. The soft tinkles of electronics, the
sometimes crispy, sometimes soft ticks of the beat, the electronics forming ornaments owe more
to the world of post-rock (Labradford, Pan American) and ambient dance music, especially when
there is more beat, such as in ‘In A Forest Forlorn’; when those disappear the more classical
approach ambient music comes to the foreground. In the eleven pieces on ‘Disappearing Music
For Face’ there is quite a variety in approaches to the ‘piano and electronics’ approach, with one
or the other being more in control and also ranging from ‘spacious light hearted’ towards ‘eerily
dark and haunted’ and it all together makes for some excellent music. (FdW)
––– Address:

FERGUS KELLY – SHOTO TO SHREDS (cassette by Farpoint Recordings)

Irish composer Fergus Kelly returns with another solo work, which I believe could be his first since
‘Unnatural Actuality’ (Vital Weekly 958) and he continues to explore the genre of field recordings
through some highly obscure recordings. It is very hard to say what Kelly records, what he is doing
in terms of sound processing and the cover gives no clue. Maybe the titles do? We have here eight
parts of ‘Debris Field’ on the first side, and on the other side there is ‘Impact Spatter’, ‘Discrete
Oblique’, ‘Cored’ and ‘Closing The Circuit’, so maybe that’s a clue? That it is all about waste from
the electric landscape, sounds that one normally can’t hear, picked up with resonant coils, or other
high-tech microphones, aqua phones and what have you and that results in some very intense
pieces of music. It is all quite forcefully present, but in pleasant way. While some of this is quite
loud indeed, it’s not noise for the sake of noise. It is all about listening I would say; listening to
your immediate surrounding and Kelly combines various recordings into some very strong pieces
of music. He keeps matters short and to the point, which is a great thing. It is not about playing
out sounds for too long without going anywhere, but Kelly keeps his pieces to the point, full of
tension and attention for detail. Throughout the noisier pieces are the ones on the first side of
this cassette, and the pieces on the other side seem to be in a moodier and atmospheric vein.
Here Kelly may have picked more of the surrounding, like some far away foghorn in ‘Closing The
Circuit’. I very much enjoyed this intelligent noise based excursion into the world of field
recordings. (FdW)
––– Address: