Number 1064

    1984 (CD by Fou Records)
FULLBLAST – RISC (CD by Trost Records)
MERZBOW & BALAZS PANDI – LIVE AT FAC251 (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
SYNCHRE – REQUIEM (CD by Attenuation Circuit) *
BRIOLINE – MOUNTAIN DESERT (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
IL SANTO BEVITORE – SORGE IT BUIO (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
DEAD EDITS – ERASED (double CDR, booklets by Ballast) *
333REDUX (DVDR by No Part Of It)
PLUCOSERCE (cassette by Pionierska)
WASCHMASCHINENFEST 2K16 (cassette compilation by Raketenbasis Haberlandstrasse)
DRNTTCKS – MITTEN (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)


A few years ago, Jos Smolders sold all his records, switched off his laptop and invested in the
purchase of modular synthesizer parts; a whole lot of them. Simply because it was time to do
something new. Before that he worked extensively with tape-machines, found sound and later
on with laptop technology to create his own version of musique concrete, his own take on what
Pierre Henry, one of his heroes, started to do in the fifties. Perhaps he’s now doing the same
thing, but with different means and a different attitude. Since some time Smolders is practicing
Zen meditation and that he translates to the modular synth. Setting up his system, very much
like a Zen painting, to do one piece in a few swift strokes, Smolders plays his modules, recording
the whole lot and then starts a bit of editing them into a final composition. Unlike so many others,
his work is not ‘let’s see what this button does’, ‘let’s stick another cable in here’, the end result
is not some snap shot or pastiche of sounds, but what he releases on a disc (or download, which
seems to be his preferred format, because you can present files that sound even better than is
possible on CD) passes for the best he produces. Also if we consider the Zen aspect of his work,
we could easily think that Smolders produces some hippy-dippy new age music, light the incense
and space out. That’s far from what’s happening on this disc. In some of these pieces, at various
times, the music is very sparse, such as in ‘NoWhere’, but even then some of the frequencies used
by Smolders are hardly friendly. But that piece is all what the new Smolders about; an excellent
build up in tension, throughout the piece, adding more tones, subtracting frequencies and maybe
some contact microphone manipulation. In other pieces the field recordings play a bigger role, but
I would think that there are very rarely used in an untreated way (except maybe the voices in
‘Incident At Ras Oumlil (Revised 2016)’ but more as a trigger to set the system of modules in
motion. An oddball in this selection of pieces is ‘For Rudy Carrera (Revised 2016) in which
Smolders also uses some of heavy noise sounds, as well as some beats from a bass synth. I
didn’t like the pitch shifted sounds of ‘Up. Up And Back To 1982’, which sounded too easy for
my taste, but otherwise I was very pleased with this release. It shows that modular synthesizers
not necessarily have to pave the way to another version of Tangerine Dream, or the umpteen
version of Eno-esq ambient doodle, but that it can also result in some great set of experimental
electronic music pieces, which are simply a delight to hear. (FdW)
––– Address:

    1984 (CD by Fou Records)

To new releases by the small French Fou Records label, dedicated to jazz and improvisation. The
first one is a CD by international known players. Both Lazro and Léandre are well-known improvisers
from French. Both started at the end of the 70s and had their first recordings early 80s on labels
such as Nato, Hat Hut, FMP, etc. Both continued to release albums up to now. But above all they
are restless improvisers and can be met in many different collaborations. For this new release by
Fou Records however, we go back to their early years, to 1984, when they shared the stage with
George Lewis from Chicago. It was a very lively set, as this excellent recording makes clear. We hear
Lewis on trombone and objects, Lazro on alto sax and Léandre on double bass and voice. There is
lots of humour, which are especially provided by the vocals of Léandre. I didn’t know this aspect of
her art, as I mainly met her on double bass so far. It is a recording of 1984, but it could also be a
recording from the 90s, or somewhere post-2000. That is a strange thing I often realize listening
to free improvisation. Pop music for example is far easier to situate in time. But in the case of
improvisation, without using too much of (digital) electronics, there is something timeless in
this music. The trio plays with flair and joy, intense interaction and communication. Very spirited,
with a lot going on all the way through. They make their points in ten improvisations ranging from
1 up to 19 minutes.
    Christiane Bopp (trombone) and Jean-Luc Petit (clarinet, alto sax) are both new to me,
although they are exponents of the French improvisation scene already for decades. I may be
wrong, but I think they play not so much outside of France. Anyway, their collaboration turns out
to be a very good occasion to get to know them. The CD offers some fine duets by the two, and
these are sensible, poetic improvisations. Concentrating on sound and textures, taking time to
paint and colour their interactions. Both make use of extended techniques, but in a very focused
and functional way. This is a disciplined work with interesting and engaging dialogues. (DM)
––– Address:


Some time ago we reviewed ‘Opening Lines’ by Simon Vincent’s The Occasional Trio, which was an
intelligent work for bass, drums and piano. With this new release we learn about a totally different
side of Vincent’s musicianship. The descriptive title gives an important clue of what their work is
about. But let me introduce Tom Arthurs first. He is a gifted trumpet player who runs two trios,
both with an international line up. He shared the stage with uncountable jazz and improvising
musicians, and is documented on many CDs. Instead of piano, Vincent now plays live electronics.
Their collaboration started in 1999 and over the years their work was shaped and developed. In
2010 they debuted with an EP on the London-based Not Applicable label. Combining trumpet and
electronics in a live setting is what they are researching. The results are extended sound textures
for trumpet and electronics. They are not into big, expressive gestures and movements, although
there are some very dramatic episodes like in ‘Part 2’. They seek for detail and nuance on a micro-
level. No wonder these are very abstract improvisations. Live electronics is not so much making a
contrast to the sounds of the acoustic trumpet. It is more that electronics and trumpet are
supplementing each other, resulting in one undivided universe of sounds and patterns. For this
reason I sometimes lost contact. It is music you have to inhale deeply, before getting the smell
and taste. (DM)
––– Address:

FULLBLAST – RISC (CD by Trost Records)

Fullblast is a power-trio of Peter Brötzmann (reeds), Marino Pliakas (e-bass) and Michael Wertmüller
(drums), operating since 2006. Brötzmann, part of the first generation of European improvisers
who started at the end of the 60s, is still full in business. This unit seems a continuation of Last
Exit, Brötzmann’s electric unit of the 80s with Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock and Ronald Shannon
Jackson as companions. ‘Risc’ is their fifth release and has the involvement of sound artist Gerd
Rische, former head of the Berlin Academy of Electro-acoustic Music, who added some effective
electronic treatments. He sadly died short after finishing this project. All three players are equally
taking part in the high-energy battles. While Brötzmann may be in the forefront, one can equally
concentrate on bas or drums, as both do a lot of amazing things. ‘Doss House’, starts with a
sensible solo by Brötzmann before turning into a hammering and noisy treat with disturbing
interventions by Rische. Also ‘Schwarspanier Street’ starts likewise and is an example of the jazz-
dominated improvisations. Other tracks, like ‘TTD’ start as a smash in the face piece of rock built
from unusual cyclic patterns. In its 10 minutes ‘TTD’ turns out to be a very curious suite of
mechanical madness, furious drumming, noisy backgrounds, and Brötzmann blowing his brains
out. Together with ‘Doss House’, both pieces illustrate best what they are up to. Trying to
combine free jazz dominated improvisation with mechanical, percussive patterns. Results are
boiling to use a single word. They are experts in over the top wild and loud madness, resulting
in aggressive and urgent music. The electronic additions by Rische make it even more edgy and
dangerous. Some very up to date music, released by the Vienna-based Trost Records! (DM)
––– Address:


Last week I wrote that the exit strategy for declining CD sales might be the release of books with
CDs, elsewhere this week I say it might always be the very limited releases, the third option might
be the box set. Sonoris’ previous release was a six CD set by Steve Roden, this time around it is
Kevin Drumm, who is no stranger to box land, having released ‘Necro Acoustic’, a set of five discs
in 2010. While that one was looking at the noisier end of Drumm’s music, ‘Elapsed Time’ looks at
the drone end, and neither box is exclusive in that respect. A while ago I was looking at Kevin
Drumm’s Bandcamp and I realized he did much more that I knew, but without actually hearing any
of these works; Internet has too many distractions I guess. This box contains works from that
Bandcamp page, some of which were highly limited CDR and cassette only releases, while other
existed in the digital domain only. Giuseppe Ielasi remastered all of this music after a careful
selection by Drumm and the label boss. In recent years I found Drumm’s music at times too
much wrapped around in the world of chaotic noise that goes on for too long, but this six CD
box proofs me very wrong and shows a Kevin Drumm that I enjoy a lot.
    As said, this is very much in the world of drone music and Drumm brings on some finer
details. Some of these pieces are very drone like, almost like meditations, like ‘Mithering The
Skiving Gorm’, ‘May 1’, ‘Shut In’, ‘Equionox’, ‘Middle Of Nothing (part 1’), ‘February’ (one of
the quietest moments in the entire box), ‘The Sea Wins’ and ‘Tannebaum’. These are works
for sine waves, ‘sine-saw-pulse’ or ‘organ, audio generators, guitar, voice, tape delay’. Usually
these pieces are long, between thirty and forty minutes and have a very slow development, and
have the length they need to develop themselves. I was easily reminded of the best of Eliane
Radigue in these pieces, as well as Mirror or Orphax.
    Up the ante a bit, make it spicier, yet still within drone land and then with more power;
we have a piece such as ‘Bolero Muter’, which is loud and nasty. Here we have the idea that we
have landed right inside a power plant, bursting with electricity, but if one listens closely, one is
likely to witness all the beauty in here.
    Which leaves three pieces, which are distinctly different. There is ‘Crooked Abode’, which
starts out with a taped voice (short), and continues to a similar drone pattern for some time,
but ends very quietly. This is a piece that has the most changes inside it, going from place to
place, even if it takes a while. All the other pieces stay mostly in one place. ‘Earrach (part 1)’ is
described as ‘cassette tape music’, and uses, randomly chosen cassette tapes, electronics and
computer assistance’, and is a piece that is very musique concrete like, with fast forward speeding
tapes and all sorts of other cassette manipulations. I quite enjoyed, but it’s the only time I
wondered if forty-one minutes is really necessary to get the point across; I think thirty or even
twenty-five would have done the same trick. ‘The Whole House’ is a two-part piece that is Drumm
at his most noisiest (on these six discs, not in his entire body of work) and contains ‘location
recordings in the homestead captured with a moody Radio Shack CTR-112 cassette recorder’,
which in the first part takes a while before it really starts cracking, but after a while gets really
noisy, which is a similar approach to the bath tub sounds of the second part. I am not if this
piece was really necessary, but it is placed as the last two pieces on the sixth disc, perhaps
suggesting it is now time for a round of ‘Nekro Acoustic’?
    All together I thought this was a great release, the first great one of 2017, even when I
got to hear it in the old year. (FdW)
––– Address:


It’s been ten years since I reviewed the first, untitled CD, by The Splinter Orchestra, a twenty-five
players group, but these days there are twenty-one musicians; that probably makes them one of
the bigger groups of improvised music. Labelboss Jim Denley is still present but the other two
members that were mentioned last time are no longer present here. I only recognized the name
Cor Fuhler on guitar and objects, and the strangest player is one Shota who plays ‘umofos
(unidentified musical objects from outer-space)’. Splinter Orchestra prefer to play in unusual
places, such as outdoors, and not be confined to auditoriums around the world. In March of 2016
they drove from Sydney to Adelaide to play at a festival and spend three days in Mungo National
Park to record their music in open air, as well as inside a wooden shed. There are some differences
between the three discs. On the first disc they perform their music surrounded by insects and
birds, with the players moving around two microphones, while on the second disc the microphones
are moved around the players, hand-held and changing hands from time to time; this is a recording
inside a wooden structure called the Woolshed. The third disc sees them playing in the dark,
responding to a ‘pulsing bike light in the profound dark’. These three discs are quite different, even
when there is also much overlap in approaches. First of all there is the absolute free improvisation
aspect that runs through all three discs; but that’s what Splinter Orchestra, in the execution we
find the details. The open air at night concert is very subdued and quiet, while the Woolshed
recording is very lively and, well, strange, with people talking casually from time to time. From the
description one could think it moves around a lot, but somehow it doesn’t, and yet there is fine
sense of pushing players to the foreground, or to the background; it sounds vibrant and energetic.
The outside recording including the animals has a much more distant quality, it captures the wide-
open space very well. Here we have the input from natural elements but with players moving slowly
around over quite an open field means that they mix their music in quite a natural way, by allowing
every player to walk around and allow each player for a bigger or smaller part of the total mix; a very
democratic way of making choices, I think, and one that fits the nature of improvised music very
well. This is a more than excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address:

MERZBOW & BALAZS PANDI – LIVE AT FAC251 (CD by Cold Spring Records)

By now Merzbow is a much respected artist in the world of music that no longer needs
‘underground’ before it, taking stages all around the world. These days he plays a lot with
Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi, who also played with The Sun Ra Arkestra, Bill Laswell, Justin
Broadrick, Bong-Ra and Venetian Snares, and when not playing live Merzbow is recording music
at home. Maybe he takes a nap, but I would think not more than once a week. So why a live CD,
you may wonder? Which is a valid question, I would think, as the man a) plays a lot of concerts,
b) already has a lot of releases (also with Pandi) so why add especially this one to the already
extensive discography? I would think because of the special location. A music venue in Manchester,
you might know, and that it is, but housed in the former office building of Factory Records, now
turned into a club by Peter Hook (who hopefully studied his own book ‘How Not To A Club’, about
his previously co-owned The Hacienda). The ground upon which once Tony Wilson, head honcho
of Factory Records, walked; and what would he think about the Merznoise that was played on 29th
of September 2016. Probably not much, as he was not into music that much, although he may
have liked the shock value of what is presented. There is through the drumming perhaps a bit of
very jazz addition to the music, in fact ringing back to the earliest days of Merzbow, but the drum
is not always that audible; either Merzbow’s noise pushes him away or sometimes Pandi doesn’t
play. Is it good or bad, is hard to say, as it is with much of Merzbow’s releases. It’s Merzbow, so
you get forty-four minutes and thirteen seconds of unrelentless noise, and it’s loud and obnoxious;
I am no longer the connaisseur I once was when it comes to the work of Merzbow (one has to divide
time more these and with the immense output of the man, it is simply not easy to keep up), but I
very much enjoyed the brutal electronic feedback of the second half better than the dense clouds
of the first twenty-odd minutes. To the untrained ear it is probably all one long stretch of white
noise, but for those who know, and there are quite a few, know this is Merzbow at his usual great
quality. (FdW)
––– Address:


Year ago Unfathomless started as a sub division of Mystery Sea, and while there have more releases
on the main label, it seems that they are now more active working on the sub-division. There was
one by Five Elements Music last week, and now it’s time for one Stephane Marin, of whom I think I
didn’t hear before. His album contains a piece of music with sounds recorded in Sri Lanka, and the
cover details the various places, such as a jungle beach, roads, temples and a water tank. Marin
asked the question “could there be some invisible web which would interconnect certain remote
places according to unheard ways and means?” and all the sounds he recorded at various dots
that he connects by composing them into a piece of music. This makes that this is not to be
regarded as a sound picture of Sri Lanka, but it is, so Marin says, about “an emphasizing and a
shaping along rhythmic patterns recorded all over Sri Lanka”. Sounds from different places are
imposed over each other, and don’t have a strict rhythm pattern, it is not ‘dance’ music of any
kind, but in all of the sections there is at least one rhythmic element, insects, birds, dogs, cars
but also very slow ones, such as sea waves towards the end of the piece. I don’t think Marin uses
a lot of processing in his music. It doesn’t sound like that he does.  But through his extensive
layering of very distinctly and different sounds he reaches for something that is close enough to
sound processing I think. It is the placement of these sounds that form either sharp contrasts or
similarities, which work out very well, in a highly refined way. It is a great release and with that
tropical feel that one just needs in a cold climate (well, at least ‘now!’); it offers that holiday feel
I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here we don’t have a CD of the best known songs by Christof Migone (for what would they be?)
but another fine example of his conceptual approach to music; he made a CD with the cracking
of knuckles, knees and wrists (Vital Weekly 293) and farts (Vital Weekly 389). On this new release
the microphone plays the main role. There are three pieces here, ‘Hit Parade’ (in itself twelve
separate parts), ‘Microfall’ (three parts) and ‘Microhole’ (two parts). In ‘Hit Parade’ Migone presents
live recordings of this piece, which is about a number of participants (ten to twenty) who lie on the
floor, face down and hit the floor, or pavement when performed outside, 1000 times in their own
tempo, with a microphone, which is amplified; sometimes with a bit of changes. The website has a
detailed description of each of the recording in different towns. Sometimes the music piece ‘before
and after’, such as ‘Milan’, or feedback (‘Seoul’), or mixes by other people. It makes that these
twelve pieces sound quite different from each other. There is indeed the hitting of microphones,
but sometimes also capturing the street sounds, rain or whatever else is going inside. None of
these pieces, I would think, is the complete recording of a single concert, but rather snapshots of
these concerts, and it is in that brevity that this works really well.
    In ‘Microfall’ he records the sound of a microphone falling down on the floor, amplified and
repeats that until the microphone is destroyed. There is a separate piece with all the 87 falls and
a piece with the rumbling in between the falls, a most curious piece of microphone cable hum. In
‘Microhole’ Migone uses a microphone to make a hole in the wall, a recording of which is edited here
down to a piece of music of six minutes, whereas the original last nineteen minutes.
    Now, one could think this is all either a joke or conceptual art, and surely the last is not far
off the mark, I would think, but purely in terms of music I think this is a most listenable release. I
mean, besides the conceptual nature of the music, this is also something that can be enjoyed in
terms of music. Migone has a great ear for finding the most interesting bits and pieces from his
recordings, and puts them in an order that ensures the most optimum listening pleasure. This is
in pure musical terms a great release, even if you have very little idea about the concept behind
the pieces. Maybe that was the reason that the cover holds very little information in that respect? (FdW)
––– Address:

SYNCHRE – REQUIEM (CD by Attenuation Circuit)
BRIOLINE – MOUNTAIN DESERT (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
IL SANTO BEVITORE – SORGE IT BUIO (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

Every once in a while Attenuation Circuit diverts into the release of vinyl or a real CD, like they do
here with the release of Synchre, an Italian duo of Lorenzo Brusci and Luca Canciello. The first one
is an audio designer and composer for ensembles, theatre, television and radio, while the second is
called a ‘multi-instrumentalist, composer, and sound designer’. None seem to have a background
with other musicians, labels or groups. Their ‘Requiem’ release is one piece, thirty-seven minutes
long and according to the cover there are three movements (unlike a real requiem mass, which I
believe has more parts). The instruments used, so I believe are all to be found inside a couple of
laptops, and maybe some other pieces of electronic equipment. There are also some vocals in the
second movement, by The Zimbabwebird, in Zulu and Shona. I have no idea what to make of this
release. In the first few minutes they meander about, using electronic sounds, a bit of rhythm, a
bit chaotic to be dance like, but hardly ‘requiem’ like, whatever that might. The second and third
movement, however, I thought were much more interesting; the heavenly voice of The
Zimbabwebird, set against time stretched sounds and dark rhythm played on a bunch of logs
works really well; spooky and mysterious. In the third movement Synchre works with a whole
bunch of likewise dark sounds, but more organized, a tad industrial and equally spooky. These
parts, easily two-third of the CD worked really well. I must admit I am a bit lost at the whole
‘requiem’ aspect of this; yet I also realize that this might be just my own aversion against
organized religion.
    Behind Brioline we find Khamzat Ozov, who lives in Cherkessk, North Caucasus, where he
records his music with sar, doul, flute and vst synths (the latter being software synthesizers, in
case you were wondering). It seems he also uses “field recordings, samples of Caucas folk music,
ambience sounds and old atmospheres of Eastern Europe and Western Asia”, according to
Attenuation Circuit. Here too we have quite a strange release. I assume, and I might be wrong,
that Brioline samples his old folk records and plays along with them, because that’s what this
sounds like. That works sometimes in a fine way, and sometimes it doesn’t at all. A piece like
‘Inguri’ moves all over the place, from ethnic samples, to a drum machine, some spacious synth
drones at the start and overall seems removed from what he really wants. It seems if not all
samples blend together very well, and his playing is too much on top of the samples, and
sometimes the playing does not fit the samples. Some of this reminded me of zoviet*france
during their ‘Vienna’ or ‘Shadow, Thief Of The Sun’ era, with it’s sampled string instruments.
Thaose pieces worked best for me; sampled string sounds, a bit reverb and delay, mysterious
field recordings and whispering voices. There could be a bit more of that, and a bit less of a drum
machine; now the balance seems fifty-fifty, which may not work for me to enjoy all of this
    I gather Il Santo Bevitore is from Italy, but I might be wrong of course. There is an Italian
voice in the first piece, ‘Luce Perenne’ (which, repeated, is also the text of the song), along with
some heavy drumming and distorted guitars. The information says that the percussion and drums
were recorded in London. There are three tracks on this nineteen-minute EP. Following ‘Luce
Perenne’, there is ‘Ottrepassare’, also a rhythmic piece, with drones and some vaguely notion of
ritualistic drumming and throughout a fine moody piece of music, with a fine intense crescendo
and decrescendo. The final piece, ‘Sorge Il Buio’ is also a rhythmic piece, more electronic it seems
at times, with some more spoken words in the beginning, and rocky guitars towards the end. I am
not all too sure what this is about; one way or another I was thinking this is music for a theatre
play, the way it sounded but I might be totally wrong. Here too, one could say, a little bit more
context would certainly be helpful. (FdW)
––– Address:

DEAD EDITS – ERASED (double CDR, booklets by Ballast)

Elsewhere I write about multiple CD releases as one possible escape route from the ‘difficult’ market
for CD releases, but Ballast do something that is maybe another escape; present something very
limited and with a lot of extra’s, usually in the form of booklets. Just like this new release; in an
edition of twenty copies, with two pro-printed booklets, two CDRs and supplements in an envelope,
this is more like arty multiple than a regular audio release. Ballast boss Blake Edwards is one half of
Dead Edits and Eric Lunde is the other half. They have released quite some interesting works to
date, combining the more intelligent side of noise with elements of musique concrete and the voice
of Lunde, reading texts. Text is also the main focus on ‘Erased’. Edwards and Lunde mailed each
other text with a pencil, to which the other added words or erased them. On the CDRs, which are
called “audiobooks” here, there is a collection of texts read, but along with ‘elements of tape noise
and voice noise substituting (and enhancing) the erased and modified hand writing’. There is very
little here in traditional writing or reading. The two booklets with their facsimile reprint of these
pages with erasing and words are more pictures of art to look at and it looks great. The audio
pieces reveal sometimes voices, but for the main part it is machine hum, much hiss and an
occasional word amidst all of this. Sometimes the voice is looped as in the sixth track on the first
disc (I am not sure if there are titles for these pieces). This is most certainly not a plain registration
of a live situation, but rather the result of meticulous editing and erasing. What remains is about
two hours of very minimal music. Sometimes one listens to minutes on end to sheer hiss, out of
which suddenly a voice rises. I thought it was very fascinating music. This time around Dead Edits
aren’t particular noisy, but rather ambient in approach, but without sounding tacky or clichéd. This
release, I thought, is probably their best to date. Very silent and very poetic. (FdW)
––– Address:

333REDUX (DVDR by No Part Of It)

This was released before, by Sk Sk in an extremely small edition, it now is re-issued by No Part Of It.
Machine Listener is Matthew Gallagher, and he also has a LP on Tusco Embassy, which is a pure
synth album. This particular CDR uses machines, of whatever kind, and mostly the electro-magnetic
sounds they produce; this was before Gallagher’s moved in the realm of synthesizers. No Part Of It
write “whatever the case may be, “Sentient System” is unlike any other recording you’ll ever hear”,
which seems to me a very bold statement, as what I hear sounds most of the time delving in the
old school industrial music, via raw sounds, much feedback, loops of concrete noise (or machines,
who knows?), but also into a much quieter and subdued version of that, such as in ‘Primeval
Forest/Sentinel’, which is a very beautiful ambient piece. His noise is very rough, going through
wild stages of crushing distortion and feedback, with all the effects open to the max. It is
something I heard before, and a lot. The noise of Machine Listener was at times a bit too simple
for my taste, but in those pieces where he pulls back and allows his sounds to breath, where he
gives them a bit of space, it actually worked much better for me. Here too I believe I didn’t hear
something that wasn’t heard before, but it simply was altogether more appealing to me. I’d be
curious to hear what Machine Listener does when it comes to ‘pure synth’.
    The other release i9s a DVDR with some eight hours of music, all of which is based upon
music by Arvo Zylo’s ‘333’ by 33 different artists. None of them received any specific stems
from Zylo, but rather ‘the whole thing’ to work with. Among these artists I recognized a handful
of names, such as Vertonen, Daniel Burke, Jliat, Blood Rhythms, Hans Grusel, Thirteen Hurts, Bran
(…) Pos, Dave Phillips, Sudden Infant, Somnoroase Pasarele and that means that most of the
others I never heard of; people like Bull of Heaven, Bruce Lamont, Bride, Skulsyr (TOMB, Dreadlords),
Protman, Insect Deli, Nows, Trou, Marlo Eggplant and so many others. I also never heard the original
so it’s a bit difficult to judge this; it must surely a varied bunch of sounds in the original, as the
results/remixes/re-whatever is also a varied bunch, even when the words ‘drone’ and ‘noise’ were
noted the most. Some of these pieces are very long, forty minutes for Blood Rhythms for instance
up to three hours for Jliat (Insect Deli seems to have the shortest remix, thirty-seven seconds);
those are exceptions of course, most of the tracks are between three and fifteen minutes. There is
no track listing on the cover so one has to put the DVD-R in and keep an eye on what is playing –
right now, let me see, a rather rhythmic piece by Somnoroase Pasarele, which is quite nice. I rather
look at a box, also to know what’s coming on next, Enoxeaon, it seems. Best is to treat the whole
thing like a radio program of experimental music that goes on and on. I had a similar experience
last week when I played that release that was mentioned in Vital Weekly, ‘Homework 1’, which was
over seven hours of drone music, in all its variations. Maybe it is the time of the year that has these
long releases, seven hours of Kevin Drumm, three of Splinter Orchestra, eight of ‘333 Redux’, one
easily passes the horrible slow days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And sometimes you
just skip one, all too noisy beast, or loop track (sorry about that, Jliat!). (FdW)
––– Address:


Maybe adding information of whatever kind is regarded by some as… old hat? Superfluous? A
pain? A trouble? It is hard to say. It is not something that Katja Institute likes to share with us.
This is a CDR; right out of the shop, with absolutely no information, no cover, no writing on it,
nothing. Not easy to find again if you are looking for it. There wasn’t a lot on the inserted
information, other that they are ‘a small organization working with reflected sound’ and this is
their fifth project, they hail from California, plus some quote by David Lynch. The Bandcamp page
has even less. I mailed and learned that everything here is about the actual sound, the experience
of hearing and that there should be no distraction from that; plus they have no money to hire a
designer. There is one piece on the CDR, that lasts exactly forty minutes and on the Bandcamp
site it is split into four pieces, not exactly ten each, but six, thirteen, fifteen and six again minutes.
There are distinct pieces, I think, but somehow they don’t seem to match up with the track listing
on bandcamp. Whatever this group does it certainly deals with a lot of electronics to produce a lot
of very minimal drones. For a long time, say from around the seventh minute break to somewhere
twenty-one minutes it seems as if this music got stuck in machine and the machine is doing the
music. Even beyond that point the music stays pretty much the same, with the only difference
that there is a slight change in the effects menu. Only after thirty-four minutes it really moves
somewhere else; the drone becomes much lighter, with the entire bass end removed. This was
an okay release, I think, but perhaps something that we heard before too much? Maybe it’s too
much of a standard drone excursion and that’s not enough; there should be something more of
their own in this. (FdW)
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PLUCOSERCE (cassette by Pionierska)

The cover has, besides the band name, label name and catalogue number no information, but
everything appears on a handwritten, oversized card; I could not find a Bandcamp page for the
label, just the Facebook contact, which might make it all the more difficult to find, especially if
you are not on Facebook. It’s a way of dealing with things, I guess. The name of the band can
be translated as ‘heart-lung machine’ and maybe that’s the device that is used to do the music,
I thought, based upon hearing this music, certainly with the first track on the first side. It was
industrial, pulsating and pumping, but going deeper in the album, it is not about a machine, of
any kind being sampled. Plucoserce uses a fairly traditional set-up of rhythm machines and
synthesizers to play a very strong, loud set of beat oriented songs. Sometimes there is room
for a guitar, but not in every song I would think. The whole thing has the notion of dance music,
but it might not always be something that would fill a dance floor. It is too crude or too offbeat
for that. But who knows, some more dark wave corner could be well suited for this. While I thought
the quality of the production was very good, very un-like a cassette even, and the music quite all
right, it was not something that I would play a lot. It is perhaps too much something out of
musical ordinary or perhaps even something that is maybe too ‘normal’ for my taste. I thought
that this too much out of the regular Vital Weekly digest. (FdW)
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WASCHMASCHINENFEST 2K16 (cassette compilation by Raketenbasis Haberlandstrasse)

In a plastic bag with a piece of cloth and stickers we find a cassette and upon closer inspection
the cloth is a washing bag; hence the title ‘washing machine festival 2016’; although the German
word ‘Fest’ could be ‘party’ as well. I am not sure, but somehow I don’t think there was a festival
around washing machines. Rather I believe this is wordplay on the name of ‘Maschinenfest’, which
 is a German darkwave/gothic do, held in Oberhausen every year. Like with the previous two
compilations by this label (see Vital Weekly 1040) there are many, if not all, names I never heard
of. I would believe that ‘machines’, washing or otherwise, are the main ingredients in the music;
either through a thematic approach in recording actual machines, the imitation thereof with
instruments (usually rhythm machines and synthesizers) or simply a reference in the title. Much
of this is indeed quite rhythmic, with all forms of dance music passing by; fast hard-core beats,
mild techno, electro pop, plus all sorts of more experimental forms of electronic music. Also like
before much of this comes with a bit of humour, very old school German, I thought, reminding
me early 80s Neue Welle music. I enjoyed pretty much all of these pieces, while there were no
particular standout tracks, although the two final pieces seemed to be field recordings of actual
washing machines. What’s missing? Yes, Matmos is missing; they did their laundry a while ago,
and recorded the sounds to rework them into music. I am not sure if that was a direct inspiration
or if this was all home-brew by the Germans. In either case, a most pleasant hour of electronic
music by, and this is to be complete, Toddy Baldischwylah, nyppy, FatoldFingers, Mark Harris, The
Peoples Republic Of Europe, aehm, NEIN., xotox, DJ Coquelin, Rohbart Ratford & Inga Kluntjes,
Denny Engler, Dr. NoiseM, Y-Luk-O, Grindmaster Flesh, Agnès Pe, philipp muench, Jandlsepp,
defaults and Unwucht; I am not sure why capitals in names are so unhip these days. Maybe they
shrunk in the washing machine? (FdW)
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DRNTTCKS – MITTEN (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)

It is no rocket science to see that this band name means ‘drone attacks’, and it says on the
bandcamp page that ‘right now’ it consists of F. J. Kaputt & T. Detlefsen. The recordings on
‘Mitten’ (‘middle’) have been made between 2013 and 2014, and I am not sure why they have
been released not sooner. Both members play guitar and lots of sound effects. The band calls this
“lurching between sparse experiments with contact mics and rythmic drum loops, new age synth
references played on guitars, frail melodies and no-input noise”, but I mostly hear guitars being
strummed and played and looped around in the best tradition of post-post rock, say the likes of
Navel ten or more years ago. Nothing wrong with that of course; the music has in each piece are
very minimal development. Once stuck in a groove of two intertwining guitars, it usually stays
there. There is sparse use of additional sound material, perhaps of the kind of contact microphone
rumbling, or the drum loop in ‘Rudolf Steinar’. Apparently there is also some voice material in here,
but none that I recognized. Again according to the information, this was all recorded live and edited
earlier this year, and yet each piece makes a solid impression on its own. I thought all of this was
quite pleasant music, nothing offensive, fine ambience but not too refined or slick. Just with that
tad of experimentalism to prevent you from getting lulled into a deep sleep. This one was relaxing
as well as entertaining. (FdW)
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