Number 1051

BABY FIRE – GOLD (CD by Off) *
NORBERTO LOBO – MUXAMA (CD by three:four records) *
JANA IRMERT – END OF ABSENCE (CD by Fabrique Records) *
  AND MOONFLOWERS (CD by Meena/Ftarri) *
TEN – YUKON YOUTH (CD by Ten Recordings) *
CAM – TRUE OR FALSE (LP by Skrat Records) *
PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK – WAVES (double 12″ by Telemark)
JLIAT – BAD MUSIC (book and DVDR by Jliat) *
MARTIN KAY – STADIUM (CDR by Avant Whatever) *
REDUKT – OTHO (CDR by Kvitnu) *
E AND I – THE COLOUR OF SOUND (double CDR by Eilean Records) *
MARTIENS GO HOME – VINGT (six sound cards)
SUB LOAM – THE PORTABLE ARCHIVE (three cassettes, private) *
JACOB WICK – TWICE LOVE (cassette by Marginal Frequency)
STARVATION TIME – HOUSE OF DUST (cassette by Marginal Frequency)
SOMNOROASE PASARELE – VOMA (cassette by Magical Garage Taste) *


Now, while on many occasions I tell the world that Vital Weekly is not the place to send your review
copies of anything that is even remotely rock music like, there is of course, perhaps, more privately
an interest in this kind of music, which makes me far from an expert on the subject of reviewing
said kind of music. When I reviewed the previous release by Belgium’s Baby Fire (Vital Weekly 946)
I noted that I liked this release very much, and that the three current post-punk revivalist bands
that I liked, Savages, Candelilla and Baby Fire they were all-women groups. And at the same time I
note that there might tons of similar bands that I never heard of, and hence my reluctance to write
about this kind of music. Having said that I am very glad I got a copy of the third album by Baby
Fire, the group around Diabolita, who sings like Siouxie but also plays guitar and loops, and
furthermore consisting of Gaby Seguin (bass, loops, backing vocals) and Isobel Rocher (drums,
backing vocals). As influences Diabolita mentions the Riotgrrrl movement, Swans, Chelsea Wolfe,
The God Machine and 16 Horsepower, while her co-musicians like alternative rock and jazz. Those
are the details I guess about this band and on their third CD we find even songs, about passion,
about Brussels (where the band hails from), lust for life and music, about letting go, the healing
of the body through love and a desire for life and more, plus there is even a murder balled, which
we are told is the ‘only truly dark song on the album’, but I think many songs on this album are
pretty dark. This new album saw very little in terms of musical development, and I have no idea
how fast these things go in the world of modern post-punk bands (judging by the output of a
band like Savages so far, not very fast), but since this is the kind of music I rarely hear, I don’t care
that much about developments. I love it. It makes me want to spend the entire afternoon playing
Baby Fire, Candelilla, Savages and then by as much as possible of the discography of Siouxie and
The Banshees. If only there wasn’t so much other work to be heard as well. CD of the week had
we such a thing of course. (FdW)
––– Address:

NORBERTO LOBO – MUXAMA (CD by three:four records)

Back in Vital Weekly 955 I reviewed ‘Fornalha’, an album by Norberto Lobo, and it was my first
encounter with his music. Since then I heard some of his other music, with other people, such
as Joao Lobo (Vital Weekly 981) and the trio of Denki Udon (see Vital Weekly 1004). Lobo is a
guitar player and in his solo work he uses sound effects and in doing so his feet are as important
as his hands. His main technique to play the strings is fingerpicking but he also creates longer,
sustaining sounds, maybe (or maybe not) through the use of an e-bow. It is through the use of
effects that he further expands on the use of the guitar sounds. Spacious, melodic, alienated,
fragmented, expanding; all of that is apparent in these nine pieces (lasting thirty-three minutes,
but then this is also available on vinyl) and Lobo creates lots of textures with his music, but the
prevailing mood is a bit dark and atmospheric, and yet Lobo never looses sight of the melody,
which is easily the best thing about this music. It is no longer rooted in the world of pure sonic
abstraction, using a guitar and multiple sound effects, but takes it further, back into the world
of what most people would call ‘music’ (I am not one of those people, mind you). It perhaps
makes ‘difficult music’ easier to understand for more people? This new album was perhaps not
the big surprise, but it is a most enjoyable album. (FdW)
––– Address:

JANA IRMERT – END OF ABSENCE (CD by Fabrique Records)

So far Berlin-based composer Jana Irmert presented her work at festivals and it consists of
‘electroacoustic multichannel compositions, audio-visual installations and joint projects with
filmmakers, dancers and visual artists’. ‘End Of Absence’ is her debut CD, and for me an
introduction to her work. In the six pieces she works extensively with field recordings and
electronic sounds and what the label calls ‘vocal patterns’, so I first thought there would be
a lot of looped vocal humming sounds on this release, but that is luckily not the case. In fact
they are rather sparse and most of the time not really notable, except in the piece ‘Bagful’, but
in that case it is not hidden at all; it is a poem set to music, and with a beat below, making this
something of an oddball in this album. Only if you listen very closely you will recognize them (as
in ‘Untitled (Slow)’) in this otherwise excellent mixture of field recordings (insects, birds, street
recordings) and electronic processing thereof. Perhaps it is all not unlike what others do in this
field and I was thinking of Robert Hampson, even when Irmert seems to be a tad quieter than
some of her peers, but that added for me the quality of the music. It had certain mystique about
it, of sounds being a bit blurred and deliberate vaguely, so there is more to imagine for the listener;
it leaves more room for creating one owns headspace I guess. The combination of field recordings,
electronics and voice worked quite well here.
    Voices also play an important role on the debut solo album by Christopher Chaplin from
London. He worked Thomas Pötz before and released an album on Fabrique with him. Around
that time, 2010, he also met Hans-Joachim Roedelius, of Cluster and Harmonia fame, and toured
with him a lot since 2012, Roedelius playing the piano and electronics and Chaplin on synthesizer
and orchestral samples. ‘Je Suis Le Ténébreux’ also has input from Roedelius, but here reciting
text, and so does his wife Christine; the French actress and soprano Judith Chemla and Italian
tenor Pino Costalunga provide further vocals. The texts they recite and sing come from the
Enigma of Bologna, ‘a text in Latin from the XVI century inscribed on a tombstone near Bologna,
and it describes a man named Lucius Agatho Priscius and a mysterious woman named Aelia Laelia
Crispis’. What this text is about nobody knows; it wouldn’t be an enigma, right? The music is
certainly quite strange and not easy to define as one thing or another. The voices that recite
texts reminded me of the first Cluster records crossing over to the world of a radio play, while
the mixture is a strange mixture of modern classic music and electronic interventions, from a
synthesizer, no doubt of the modular variety and perhaps also some kind of computer processing.
When the voices sing it gets even more classical, in an opera sense. And sometimes this all seems
to be happening at the same time, which is the most exciting part of it, I guess. There are parts
that sound fully worked out, but also bits that have a more or less improvised character, and they
merge together quite well. The music therefore sounds very much like it’s own thing, and not easy
to compare with something else (unless there is a whole movement out there of composers doing
this kind of music of which I never heard, but somehow I doubt that) and while the moments when
this music leans too much on the world of classical music is not something that I particularly care
about, I found the whole idea of mixing of all these ideas, styles and diverse instruments together
to be resulting in quite a fascinating listening trip. Like the release by Irmert one does not entirely
know what this is all about, but it works quite well. (FdW)
––– Address:

  AND MOONFLOWERS (CD by Meenna/Ftarri)

In the last round of releases from the house of Ftarri I wrote ‘I never know what the difference is
when something is released by Ftarri, Meenna or Hitorri’, but someone pointed kindly out that
Hitorri means there is one player, Ftarri means two players and when there’s more than two it is
Meenna, so one with four players, as in this case, this is surely Meenna. Here we have Straytone
(modular synthesizer), Yui Nakamura (voice, only on the second piece), Takashi Masubuchi (guitar)
and Masahide Tokunaga (alto saxophone). This is a relatively recent recording, made June 5 of this
year in concert at Ftarri. This is the work of improvisation and that’s no surprise; it is after all on
Ftarri. Maybe it’s the time of day, maybe it’s I’m being a bit tired, but I found this release not easy
to get into. It contains all the right elements; careful playing, fine interaction, a sense of quietness,
call and respond, a level of strangeness (through the modular synth), so all the parameters were
right, and yet I found that I didn’t get into this. Maybe all of this was too standard, too normal, and
too conventional? I kept thinking that a great concert evening not always needs to be translated to
a release and a release like this is the best example for that. It’s not a bad release at all, don’t get
me wrong, but it is not one that stands out that much of what the label normally does, or what is
available in the field of weird improvised music. (FdW)
––– Address:


During the night of March 19, 2014, Andrea Borghi made recordings in Versilia, Tuscany and all of
the sounds recorded deal with ‘fire’, as the title indicates: fire rituals of Saint Joseph, the father of
Jesus and whose feast day is on March 19th (in Western Christianity that is). I am not sure how the
fire relates to that but Borghi tells us this: “In Italy, however, we know that every religious holiday is
intertwined magically with some pagan ritual that lasts even today despite the years. So, on March
19 in many cities and villages of Italy it also celebrates the end of winter and beginning of spring,
and the fire is the symbol of this long awaited step. The bonfire is also part of a purification and
consecration ritual.” It is part of agrarian purification rites that are held in springtime, and usually
a puppet of an old man or woman is burnt.
    As for sound sources, Borghi uses the crackling of fire, presence of people gathered around
the fire, frying oil on the fire, children playing around the fire and firewood. I assume Borghi is still
at his ‘usual’ trusted laptop, running whatever self-built version of max/msp to transform these
sounds, but for the well-trained boy scout that I am, it is not too difficult to recognize some of
these sounds, especially the frying oil is something I can very much relate too. The sound of people
and children however is not easily recognized in this crackling mass of sound. In each of the three
pieces on this rather short (twenty-nine minutes) release the mildly processed crackling of the fire
is further transformed in more crackling sounds. Very few longer sounds are added in the form of a
drone or a high piercing sound, but just enough to make these three pieces distinctly different from
each other, and yet it makes it also to a most coherent piece of music. I think as such the length is
quite all right. Much more of these crackles would have been too much, as it seems that Borghi has
exhausted the possibilities of his sound well enough, but it also makes this now into quite a
powerful work. (FdW)
––– Address:

TEN – YUKON YOUTH (CD by Ten Recordings)

Dominic Deane is the man behind Ten, and he has some releases out since he started to work on
music in 2009 on such imprints as Murmer, Cathedral Transmissions, Twice Removed and Heath
Death and for his new album ‘Yukon Youth’ he found inspiration trekking across Alaska for two
weeks. I am not sure, but it looks like I may not have heard his previous releases. Deane uses guitar,
sound effects, percussion (glockenspiel) and the outcome is rooted in the world of ambient,
experiment and something that is unmistakeably louder, meaner, played with a bit more force.
Something that Ten calls shoegaze, but it is doesn’t always have the fuzzy melodic touch of
shoegaze. There is a bit of field recordings to recall that somewhat cold Alaskan atmosphere in
the music, and throughout this is all quite enjoyable. The combination of more atmospheric and
introspective pieces versus those mild walls of fuzzy guitars and pressing bass matters make up
for some fine variation in approaches. It’s not music that one hasn’t heard before, as the fuzzy
ambient with a noise undercurrent has been explored before, think Tim Hecker for instance, and
while Ten may not add something that is necessarily new, he does what he does pretty well. The
music is all well produced, and Ten offers some variation in approaches and that is what makes
this for me a most enjoyable album. (FdW)
––– Address:

CAM – TRUE OR FALSE (LP by Skrat Records)

To the list of projects Claus Poulsen is involved in, Star Turbine, Small Things On Sundays, Carbon
Copy he now adds CAM, of which he makes up the ‘C’; the others are Anders Børup and Mads Bech
Paluszewski-Hau, both of whom I didn’t hear before. Børup is primarily a voice artist and
Paluszewski-Hau is currently working within genres and themes such as resonance, futurism, free
improvisation, electro-acoustic, music concrete, no-input mixing and feed-back systems, while
Poulsen himself works with laptop, turntables, guitars, synths, electronics, field recordings,
amplified objects and other sound sources. The three have been going as CAM since 2009 and
have been playing a lot since then (go look for their bandcamp page which has bunch of their
concert recordings), but now release their debut LP. They compare their music with the likes of
Supersilent, and it is not difficult to see why. CAM uses lots of samples from the world of pop, rock
and/or jazz, which are heavily chopped up, but one way or another they can still be recognized as
such. These samples are used to create small collages of sounds, along with lots of electronics and
perhaps a bit of vocals, although I must say that I found it hard to recognize the contribution of
Børup. All of the pieces are short, around the three to four minute break, which adds an odd ‘pop’
angle to the pieces, even when not of these pieces are very ‘pop’ like. CAM knows how to create an
interesting piece of music however and within the self-inflicted time frame they create a wonderful
coherent, small story. Unlike many other groups who meander about with their improvisations,
everything here is very tight, and that is a great thing. Rhythm machines, samples hammer away,
arriving at a form of demented pop/jazz, death jazz maybe (?) with hardly a moment of intro-
spection in sight; nowhere there is room for a quiet moment, which is perhaps a pity, but at the
same time it also gives the album plenty of energy. Of all the work carried out by Poulsen I think
this is easily the one that could be most successful in terms of commercial success. It borders on
the edge of what might easily comprehend and it is less experimental and abstract than much of
his other output. This is an excellent record! (FdW)
––– Address:

PETRA DUBACH & MARIO VAN HORRIK – WAVES (double 12″ by Telemark)

Hold on, didn’t I review something called ‘Waves’ from this artist couple from Eindhoven, The
Netherlands before? I did indeed (also to show off I don’t forget everything of course); it was back
in Vital Weekly 914. We are to understand that ‘Waves’ is not a single release, but the result of an
on-going research into creating music without any human intervention. To that end they use
‘shakers’, a kind ‘of loudspeakers that reproduce sound frequencies in vibrations’. These shakers
set objects into motion, usually involving some kind of string and the movements cause feedback.
If you have no idea how that looks like, hop over to the Vimeo channel by this duo at On this double 12″ (all four sides spin at 45 rpm; I am not sure
why they didn’t go for 33 rpm and have longer pieces per side) we find one piece we already heard on
the previous incarnation of ‘Waves’, but the other three pieces are new and it brings us another
10-12 minutes per piece of sound that sees very little movement, although I would think there is
some movement, one that is very hard to pin down; In ‘Clamps And Hooks’ two sound sources are
explored and in that piece a lot more happens than in the other three together. I find all of this a
true beauty to hear. The resonating sound of metal, aluminium, copper, paper lanterns and such
like open up a rich world of musical possibilities. This is a fascinating sound world of slow motion.
This is, I guess, music to sit back and contemplate along, or meditate. There might be an obscure
industrial ring to these sounds, but Dubach and Van Horrik keep the volume level under control,
even quiet most of the times and that makes that this music is so wonderful. Like with the
previous ‘Waves’ release, the most obvious reference to be made is that of Alvin Lucier; Dubach
and Van Horrik investigate similar acoustic phenomena, but the end-result is less about the
investigation and more about the beauty of sound. In that sense this particular interest of Dubach
and Van Horrik is on-going (they also play music that includes humans; see for instance their
excellent LP ‘Failing Humans/Failing Machines’, Vital Weekly 962) and will result in more pieces in
the future; perhaps unlike Lucier who explored many acoustic phenomena only once. And I realized
that one could play this at 45 rpm as it says on the cover, but also on 33 rpm it sounds just as
great. (FdW)


The way this looks, the title and a quick glance at the various pieces, made me think that this
would be an extreme work of certain frequencies and oscilloscope images; think Pan Sonic in
concert. That is not the case. Mark Wagner is the artist behind this and his ‘work is steeped in
mysticism and focuses primarily on waveform phenomena’ and he works with other people in
projects as S&M, Moon RA and H.U.M. and he’s responsible for the images and music on this DVD,
along with the help of others. It all deals with ‘mythical and powerful frequencies and resonance
experiments’ and is ‘at a crossroad between sound healing, sonic ritual, experimental art and drone
music’, which I must admit is not something I know a lot about. Images are usually static and
changed through filtering, although in ‘111hz’ the image of animals changes. Each of the pieces is
described in detail on the cover, about the various hemispheres of the brain, about the syllable from
which all things comes forth and the chord which is said to resonate the pyramids of Gizeh. The
music is very drone based, and there is quite a bit of humming here, such as in ‘Aum’, which
sounds very much like early oil and Current 93. Sigils, leaves and images of earth company these
ritualistik pieces of music. As said this is not really my territory and perhaps I regard myself as
someone is not as easily touched by this kind of magickal mumbo jumbo; I must say however that
I enjoyed the music component of all of this very much. Some of the voice stuff is not of my taste,
but pure drone experiments as ‘F#’, ‘528Hz’ and ‘432hz’ or even the voice layering of ‘936hz’ are
right up my alley, even if I have no idea if it really ‘works’ for me. It makes that the whole package,
sound as well as imagery is something I liked very much; the musical drones and the near static,
slow moving images best, some of the voices and sigils a bit less. All happens to be quite
fascinating. (FdW)
––– Address:

JLIAT – BAD MUSIC (book and DVDR by Jliat)

Maybe there isn’t that much noise to write about these days, or perhaps noise musicians don’t
want to a review that they might not understand, as some of the writing by Jliat can be ‘dense’,
to say the least. His spare time, should he have any, he puts into writing lengthy bits, and I always
start at the beginning and give up by the time I am really lost; perhaps in a book of philosophical
matters that’s where one should read on, I guess, but maybe the modern man in me is also easily
bored by stuff he doesn’t ‘get’. ‘Bad Music’ is 112 pages and I was quickly lost in here. ‘Bad Music’
is music that is made with the “simplest of methods, a mere repetition of pre given pre
programmed samples and note sequences. So like noise “music” the works are without particular
skill and exhibit a lack of meaningful content” as he writes in the preface. That I understand but
much of this book is about noise and if noise is without content, can it be art? And to end he uses
Deleuze and Guattari to discuss this; that’s where he quickly lost me, and that’s a pity because I
really wanted to hear the six-hour work that is part of this package while trying for at least six
hours to read Jliat’s words. I gave up and read something else, while continuing to play Jliat’s
rather love and rather empty six hours and forty-four minutes of drone music, which reminded
of his earliest works and something which he seemed to have returned too in recent times. I am
not sure if this is a demonstration of bad music as Jliat sees it; easily made. Let some machines
run and add some automated sweeps over a very long duration so the listener won’t pick on them
too easily and bob’s y’r uncle. I quite enjoyed this drone piece; perhaps because I enjoy long form
drone music, not on a daily basis of course, but if the day and time is right – let’s say Sunday
afternoon – then I am all ears for this. Good or bad; It was John Peel who said ‘there is no such
thing as good and bad music. Only good and bad listeners’. That I understood. Having said that,
there is for curious and no doubt those more intelligent than this reviewer, quite a bit to explored
in this book. (FdW)
––– Address:

MARTIN KAY – STADIUM (CDR by Avant Whatever)

Music by fieldrecordist Martin Kay has been reviewed before (see Vital Weekly 1023 and 958) and
for ‘Stadium’ he “records the crowds of voices that fill the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Beginning in the thick of the action, it traces their lines of flight upwards and outwards, throughout
the surrounding public space and on into the suburb of Richmond”, as it says on the cover. Each of
the pieces is from a specific point at the stadium, such as the ventilation system, the elevator, the
ground level seating bank, but also a residential living room, the Saint Ignatius Church and even a
drainage system beneath some streets; the sound of cricket can not be escaped. That is what is
this release is about, and while I don’t care much for any sport, certainly not to watch in the flesh,
live, in a stadium or elsewhere, this I think is quite a fascinating release. I am sure Kay didn’t record
all of this during one of these endless (and dare I say this out loud, boring) cricket matches, but it
is rather the culmination of many visits to the stadium and it’s surroundings to find the right spots
to record these sounds. Voices of the cheering crowd are manipulated in a natural way, resonating
in different environments, in small spaces, wide-open spaces, inside a sewer system and something
is just a massive hum. And sometimes it just seems to have totally disappeared, oddly enough.
Maybe Kay is a sport’s fan and regrets this disappearance? It’s possible but somehow doesn’t seem
very likely. As the release progress, sound almost seems to have vanished, and Kay finds his rest?
Again perhaps oddly, but I found the less silent pieces of more interest, really. The way the voices
resonated into objects and odd spaces made a bigger impression than the far away drenched ones,
but throughout I kept listening with much interest. This was an excellent experience, part pure field
recordings and part social research. (FdW)
––– Address:

REDUKT – OTHO (CDR by Kvitnu)

From Moscow are musicians Alexander Vasiliev and Nikolai Turchinski, who call themselves Redukt
and they do not wish to tell us much about the conceptual nature of their work; the label just
writes that they are “making figurative sound aesthetics the corner-stone, they lay bare elements
in their rough natural beauty, without any attempt to enrich them artificially or shock listeners”.
You just let yourself go in the music. To that end they use analogue drum machines and synths,
but also computer hard drives and pickups. ‘Otho’ is their first release and has five pieces that
span thirty-three minutes. Knowing releases on Kvitnu quite a bit and perhaps expecting a bit of
a rhythm blast, Redukt is all the same about something else, maybe something more. Rhythm does
play a role in these pieces but synths are of equal importance, or perhaps even more important.
The first piece is a pure dark heavy drone synth piece called ‘Ooth’ (all five titles are actually ana-
grams of the title of the release), but with a slow revolving sustaining synth and with each new piece
there is more rhythm unleashed, but in good Kvitnu fashion all of this stays very minimal. A deep
bass thumb mostly, but guided by some ultra-mean synthesizer sounds, and some industrial kling-
klang in ‘Tooh’. This is not music that is any way shocking but it is certainly music that could come
across as aggressive. It has it’s roots firmly in the old industrial music ground via those ultra heavy
minimal synths from the lower end of the keyboard and is this time only a somewhat reduced
influence from the school of Pan Sonic. Quite a powerful release, even when it was perhaps all a
bit short. I wouldn’t have minded a couple of more tracks. (FdW)
––– Address:

E AND I – THE COLOUR OF SOUND (double CDR by Eilean Records)

Craig Tattersall (who also works as The Humble Bee) and Emmanuel Witzthum are the duo here
behind E And I. I may not have heard of them before, I think. Their previous releases were two
albums and an EP for Cotton Goods, but they haven’t released anything in the past five years.
The duties are divided between Emmanuel playing electronics, viola and voice and Craig on
electronics, tapes and midi processing. Just last week I played all of the records by Talk Talk,
 who had an album called ‘The Colour Of Spring’, and I was thinking about that band when playing
this; maybe because of the similarities between both titles, but also that I very rarely make the
connection with them and music reviewed by me. Certainly some of their later work would serve
as a fine connection to the music reviewed here, especially of the likes of E and I. The drones made
out of string sounds, the highly careful and introspective sounds these people play could all be a
starting point for Mark Hollis to sing over. While Emmanuel gets credit for voice, it doesn’t mean
that there is a lot of voice to be heard on these seven pieces, lasting ninety minutes, and if there
is any voice used, that I am sure it is heavily transformed, but that’s something one could say for
pretty much all of the sounds on this release, although a guitar and violin could perhaps be
recognized as such at various times. Hence me thinking of Talk Talk, but also Stars Of The Lid is
a band that comes close to the sound of E and I. The music is very quiet and peaceful, certainly in
the two twenty-minute pieces on the second disc, where they also use quite a bit of (near) silence.
The other disc has a similar long piece and some that are shorter, but I think the music of E And I
work best when it is played out a bit longer, taking up fifteen or more minutes; it allows the listener
to leave on a space ship and start tripping on his own. While I thought E And I fit perfect in the well
carved nice of drone-with-guitars-and-electronics of Labradford, Stars Of The Lid, Windy & Carl and
so many others, they do a truly great job on these two discs. It may not be the most original thing,
but it surely is made with great care and love for the smallest detail. (FdW)
––– Address:

MARTIENS GO HOME – VINGT (six sound cards)

When I opened the mailer that contained this I sighed very deep: what, six CD(R)s in one mailer?
 Is there no end to overproduction? It turns out to be something else.
    First an admission: I always read the band name Martiens Go Home to be something as a
someone with a Flemish name Martiens to go home, and not the invaders from Mars (the chances
of anything coming from Mars are a million to one he said), until I heard someone pronouncing this
correctly. Everybody, except me, thought it was a hilarious mistake.
    The Martiens here is a group of various, not fixed to any number, members who get together
every week and improvise using field-recordings, samples, archives and electronics for an hour as
part of a radio show. Very seldom they leave the studio to play a concert or create sound
installations. They have been going for twenty years now, which calls for a celebration and as they
already did a USB stick with thirteen hours of music for their thirteen anniversary (see Vital Weekly
671), they now do something completely different; six birthday cards with a build-in chip, all six
different, and which one can play as a sound installation, just opening and closing each card or by
trying to flap these cards around, holding all six; or simply invite five friends over and have collective
fun with these. Now this surely doesn’t win them the price of most eco-friendly item as these
batteries are far from environmental friendly and won’t last until their next anniversary; certainly
not when you decide to play them a lot. But I can surely see a remix project looming for this. (FdW)
––– Address:

SUB LOAM – THE PORTABLE ARCHIVE (three cassettes, private)

Here we have a great package; a box consisting of three cassettes, a 20 page book, prints,
information and poems, all created by Thomas Shrubsole, who works as Sub Loam (as well as
Jesus On Mars and Space Capsule as well as other names). This box, much as the title already
explains, is a release of archive recordings. It is a lot of music, and some of this has been reviewed
before. The second side of the first tape is ‘2’, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 732; two other
works also see their re-issue here, ‘Ohtr’ (from 2009) and ‘Earthern Circle’ is from 2010. That
covers the first cassette and the first side of the second cassette. The other three sides are all
previously unreleased and recorded in 2010. This is quite some amount of music, maybe close
to three hours of recordings. I wrote before, when first reviewing his work, that Sub Loam seemed
influenced by the likes of Mirror, Ora and Basinski, mainly because of his use of loops of sound and
synthesizers. I learned in between that Shrubsole uses very low techniques, all putting it down to an
ancient four-track machines, and that all of his music is a ‘real-time two-track improvised dubwise
mixdown’. Maybe that accounts for the fact that none of these ten pieces (only!) is very short; ten
minutes is the shortest, forty-seven (!) the longest and that development in these pieces is very
minimal, and sound usually more abstract. It’s hard to say what Sub Loam uses for his loops, but
my best guess would be field recordings, underlined with one or two lines on a synthesizer in an
endless mode. ‘Lady’s Bedstraw’ is the one piece that has a distinct guitar sound, strumming
absently minded away, and in but usually the drone inspired music is quite abstract. Maybe a piece
like ‘Earthern Circle II’ is a bit too long for it’s complete forty-seven minutes and in general I think
the duration of around fifteen minutes works best for these pieces. In that time-frame Sub Loam
knows how to built attention and tension and hold that for that amount of time; going over that
means he loses focus a bit and that’s a pity. I am reminded of some of the music released by
Midnight Circles, who also tap in a similar musical territory of ambient electronics and minimal
development. Overall a beautiful release, and one that is regrettably limited to 99 copies only.
––– Address:

JACOB WICK – TWICE LOVE (cassette by Marginal Frequency)
STARVATION TIME – HOUSE OF DUST (cassette by Marginal Frequency)

These are the inaugural releases from a new ‘magnetic tape and vinyl label in San Diego’ going by
the name of Marginal Frequency. The first one is by Jacob Wick, a trumpet player who lives in Mexico
City. Each side of his tape is a sidelong improvisation with another musician. On ‘The Wulf’ that is
with Christian Weber, who is a bass player and on ‘Bread & Salt’ it is with Casey Anderson, who calls
himself a multimedia artist, dealing with composition, improvisation and such like, but no doubt
here he plays saxophone. The pieces are heavy when it comes to the word improvisation. There is a
tendency towards free jazz in these pieces, I’d say, and it is occasionally pretty wild stuff, but it is
not exclusively just that. There is also room for peace and tranquillity in the music he plays with
Weber. In Wick’s duet with Anderson the whole electronic edge prevails and while we may hear two
wind instruments, the addition of electronics, whatever they do, whoever is operating them, the
add another layer to the music, one that makes all of this go out into the world of experimental
music, with mildly ringing overtones, a bit of feedback and such like. I preferred the second side
to the first side, and that’s not to say I didn’t like the first side. That one seemed a bit more
traditional in free jazz/improvisation approach, while the second side moved beyond that and
seemed, for me at least, the more engaging side.
    The other release is by Starvation Time, a duo of Steve Flato (guitars, bass, drum program-
ming, electronics, synths, noise, recording/production) and Jeff Williams (vocals and lyrics, guitars,
noises, springs and bows). I am not sure if I ever heard of William before and from Flato I reviewed a
solo work back in Vital Weekly 978, but this is something different. Here we have four relatively long
pieces of… songs? I guess that is best word to describe this. It’s not conventional pop ditties
however, it taps into the wild and wide world of postpunk from the early 80s, when experiment
was not a dirty word in the world of all that happened after punk. The drum machine here plays a
vital role in hammering out a beat, but it’s not becoming a gothic/wave dance, but it stays machine
like cold; vocals are treated with sound effects and guitar likewise with an emphasis to distortion
and decay. The label mentions quite rightly Chrome, one those great lost bands from that time
and their looser approach to music seems to be an inspiration, even when Starvation Time
apparently never heard of them before, until the label mentioned this band. The music is full of
angst and despair, I think, and continue to go on a bit longer than is necessary; that’s the
psychedelic edge I guess. The vocals are warped in sound effects and all of this is a true pleasure to
hear. If you are old and cry over the loss of Chrome, or perhaps Second Layer, if anyone remembers
them, or if you think that grim times, such as ours are, need an even grimmer soundtrack then
Starvation Time is your band and ‘House Of Dust’ the perfect soundtrack for such a bleak age.
This should have been on vinyl I think, but no doubt that will happen in a few years when another
round of re-discoveries is made. (FdW)
––– Address:


On cassette from Swedish Lamour, via two limited releases, we find first collaboration between
four string players (Matt Howden, Jo Quail, Katt Hernandez and Liam Morrissey) and the electronic
composer Per Ahlund, whom we know as one half of Mollusk as well as for his solo work. The strings
are to be understood as cello or violin, and as such cover isn’t very specific about these. It just
mentions four titles and who plays on what piece, with Ahlund on all four, with his software and
effects to change the sound. One could easily think that this results into some mighty drone
sound, in which the strings are rendered towards multiple layers of drones, heavily on the
sustaining side; that is not the case. The strings are still easily recognized as string instruments
and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Ahlund uses pure, untreated recordings next to those
that are just mildly treated. It is not your usual glissandi made with max/msp software, bouncing
up and down the scale. It seems at times rather traditional string music, such as ‘From Afar’,
which could be a Gorecki work. Throughout the music has a sad feeling, in all of these pieces
actually; one of despair and loneliness, despite the multitude of various strings sounds. Music
like this easily can fit onto a documentary of someone who died alone at home, about a lost
relative turning up, or the disappearance of a forest. I quite enjoyed this, actually; it has that
pleasant modern classical ring to it, the one that is not all about dissonant and fast movements,
all nervous and hectic, but of simply, moody spacious music. Why this is released in an edition of
thirty-three copies eludes me.
    So far the revived Chris Jeely released his works as Llarks mainly on his own Lathelight label,
or by Kikimora, close to home, but now he expanded and releases on Swedish Lamour and it’s a
mighty long release also, maybe somewhere around eighty minutes. So far I heard quite a bit of
his music and I enjoy his fuzzy soundscapes a lot. With just a few loops of sound, created from
playing the guitar, piano and/or field recordings, and all of that goes into… well, I don’t know, but
my best guess would be the computer, but for all I know it might also be a four track cassette. If
it is a computer Jeely then packs every layer with a whole bunch of plug ins and transforms the
sound quite a bit, and in the case of a cassette the music passes a whole bunch of stomp boxes
before arriving on the magnetic tape. Judging by the somewhat lo-fi quality of the music (which I
regard with much pleasure), I would think the four-track route is the one Jeely uses. It’s not easy
to recognize any instruments in here, save for a very occasional guitar strum, but everything is way
more abstract then he ever was, in the good ol’ days of Accelera Deck or September Plateau. He left
behind digital process, beats and sequences and is now all about rusty drone music. There is a risk
that Llarks is on automatic pilot, churning out releases like this on end, with little variation. That
would be a pity. I give Llarks the benefit of doubt, but it might be worthwhile to think about the
next step forward. (FdW)
––– Address:

SOMNOROASE PASARELE – VOMA (cassette by Magical Garage Taste)

This cassette was mailed from Moldavia, and is perhaps my first ever from that country. The music
it contains is from Somnoroase Păsărele, and this is already their third release in a relatively short
period of time (see also Vital Weekly 1041 and 1036) from this duo from Constanta and Bucharest
in Romania, perhaps also not your average country when it comes to Vital Weekly, although for this
new one the band seems to be reduced to Gili Mocanu. There is also another change to be noticed
and that is that both sides contain just one piece, on the first side clocking at 18 minutes and on
the other at 17 minutes. The music may have changed also a bit. While much of this still uses a lot
of electronics, the rhythm seems to be a lot less here. The Pan Sonic driven minimalist beats play a
less important role and somehow it is more about spacious synthesizer sounds, chopped up in
loops. There is a certain level of fragmentation going on here, more so than it before. With the
other two releases I had the idea this duo wanted to play songs, but in these two lengthy pieces I
think it is all about sticking sketches and ideas together, rather than playing out fully formed songs.
Of course the cassette is a fine medium to do so, but I must say I am less taken by this approach.
I preferred the old style better; or else, maybe a free download is these days the place to release
these things? It is not entirely bad, but just something that could have done with more work.
––– Address:

1. Sindre Bjerga <>

Both playing solo sets.

Sophienstraße 16, 48145 Münster / Doors 7.30 / Donation
Also playing: Jon Collin (UK)

Lubbenerstr 19, Kreuzberg (U-bahn: Schlesisches Tor)
Doors 7 pm. Start 9 pm / Donation

Mulheim, 50163 Cologne. U-Bahn Mulheim Wiener Platz / Start 8 pm / Donation

Brigitten str. 5, St. Pauli, 20359 Hamburg / Doors 9pm, Start 10pm / Entry 5 euro
2 x solo sets + duo set

Ebenhaëzerstraat 52A, 3083 RP Rotterdam
Start 8pm / Enrty 5 euro

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