Number 1067

LE POT – ZADE (CD by Everest Records)
HOT (HET ORGEL TRIO) – BIRD & BEYOND (CD by Lop Lop Productions)
EKL – DOLORES (CD by Veto Records)
BLUE BEAST – DEVIL MAY CARE (CDR by Declaw Ditties) *
     Acustronica) *
    Meteorismo) *


There are all sorts of re-issues, obviously; there are those that one knows about from before but
due to the obscurity never actually heard, there are total surprises and there are those that are
very personal. Here we have two re-issues, one from the first category and one from the latter. Two
weeks ago I reviewed a trio of highly personal re-issues by Ahoe Ahoea, Laibach and Bourbonese
Qualk, today is the same, yet also a bit different. I was aware in the 80s of an Austrian cassette
label, Nekrophile Records, for all the more esoteric releases and I even owned one, by Genesis P-
Orridge and Stan Bingo, which I found at that time musically disappointing. I saw Zero Kama,
another band of the label, play live in a city close by, splattering blood over a naked girl, which
wasn’t shocking at all. No sign of human skulls for percussion instruments, which was the main
attraction for attending this concert. A few years later I found myself working for Staalplaat and
at the time Staalplaat had already re-issued almost all but one cassette by Nekrophile Records on
CD. I had the chance to listen to them, and thought they were quite good (mostly; I still have them
to this day). The missing one was probably by 1993 the most attractive proposition to re-issue,
Zos Kia/Coil’s ‘Transparant’ release. A story I recounted in a highly subjective memoir about this
time when John Balance of Coil phoned me and asked if Staalplaat could re-issue this on CD in a 7″
cover with a stereographic cover, although he actually used the word ‘holographic’. I said yes, we
could and then nothing happened. A few years later Coil released it on their own Threshold House/
Eskaton label (and of course bootlegged in Russia). With the passing of both members of Coil, it
seems there is some ‘confusion’ as to who owns what regarding re-issues, but that is hardly a
subject for a review.
    So Cold Spring now re-issues the re-issue, along with two pre-Zos Kia pieces. Zos Kia was John
Gosling, who in 1982/83 performed regularly with Coil, partly because John Balance was a member
of both bands and that’s what on this release. Five live pieces by Zos Kia, the trio of Gosling,
Balance and Min Kent (live sound by Peter Christopherson of Coil), and two by Balance/Gosling, one
by Balance/Christopherson, and two by Balance solo, the latter six all credited by Zos Kia/Coil. The
two bonus pieces are by Ake, a group of Gosling, Kent, Matt Cope and Hugh Harwood. Confusing
times when people got on stage and played with their mates, and not so much cared about group
names. Having said that there are surely some differences between Zos Kia and Coil/Zos Kia. In Zos
Kia’s material as a trio the emphasis lies on the use of bass guitar and percussion, along with
vocals, shouting, whispering and some prepared tapes and it acts as quite a primitive form of
industrial music meeting up with some ritualistic purge. In the combined Coil/Zos Kia pieces, the
sound is fuller, more sound effects playing a bigger role, certainly in ‘Sewn Open’ and ‘Sicktone’,
while ‘On Balance’ is Balance at home, playing a synth with a rhythm box as accompaniment, which
sounds then entirely different from anything else on this release. With this being the last piece back
then on cassette it makes sense. Now it is followed by the crude electronics of Ake in ‘No Mass’ and
‘Rape’, in a live version, already starting to sound like Zos Kia. After which one can play the first
track again. Music wise this is perhaps not entirely the one release you should hear from the old
days, to be honest, but after all these years it is most certainly entertaining bunch of part primitive
old school industrial music and the early formation of the Coil sound that went to fruition later on
(and by which they also hardly played any concert for many years). In a historical way this is surely
an excellent release, something the true Coil fans should not be without.
        A re-issue from the first category, ‘one knows about from before but due to the
obscurity never actually heard’, is the debut album of Trepaneringsritualen, the musical project
of Thomas Martin Ekelund. It says debut album on the press text, but Discogs tells me this was
from 2012, and there has been a release by this project in 2008, so there you go (oh right, the
first slab of vinyl, before that it was all cassettes, which don’t as a debut I guess). Release The
Bats released it in 2012 as a 12”. I must admit I was more familiar with Ekelund’s music under
the banner of Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words, or even Normal Music, both of which sound
light years away from the music of Trepaneringsritualen, in which he, quoting Discogs here
“explores themes of religion, magick and the occult realms of consciousness, taking its musical
cues from the old school of ritual ambient & death industrial. Rhythmic and seething at times,
and oozing forward with a creeping sense of desolation, Trepaneringsritualen conjures forth bleak
but mesmerizing visions of the end-times”. This is all very dark and highly spooky music, in which
vocals play a central role, but the actual content of the words may not always be understood.
Should that ever have been the case of course (warning! no lyric sheet included)? Add to that
low howl some keys stuck down at the lower region of the keyboard (with knives hopefully, just
like Keith Emerson did, but then bloody ones) and the slow bang of percussion, which no doubt
comes out of a box rather than from a skin being beaten. Some of this music is played with true
vigour and aggression as in ‘All Hail The Black Flame’, in which the tempo goes up. The original
lasts some twenty-six minutes, so as a bonus there is ‘I Remember When I Was God’, recorded
‘winter solstice 2015’ by Teeraal Raum Pheynix, Alone In The Hollow Garden, A.I.L. (of Arktau Eos),
Michael Idehall, KzR (of Bölzer), Nÿland ii (of Hadewych) and Aether –  ‘to destroy and to give life’,
in a thirteen minute tour de force of choral singing, slow ritualistik percussion and the haunted
ghost of early Current 93 is never far away. But whereas the six pieces of the original record sound
hermetically closed black chambers, this piece is surprisingly open, full of small detail, despite some
of the heavily reverbed bang on a drum. There are carefully played string sounds, chanting,
percussion and refined ambient chords. A remarkable antidote after one feels being almost crushed
to by the original record. I liked both but prefer the one that keeps a better balance. This is what I
call an ‘interesting re-issue, good to have heard at least, and partly enjoyed immensely’. (FdW)
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LE POT – ZADE (CD by Everest Records)

The Swiss ensemble extraordinaire Le Pot debuted in 2014 with ‘She’, an album announced as the
first part of a trilogy, indicating these guys operate with a long term view. In 2015 ‘Hera’ followed,
and now the third part ‘Zade’ is out. All three productions are released by Everest Records with
following crew: Manuel Mengis (trumpet), Hans-Peter Pfammatter (piano, synths, Moog), Manuel
Troller (guitar) and Lionel Friedli (percussion). Why a trilogy? I don’t know. What is a trilogy anyway
at the bottom? What is the underlying scheme: thesis-antithesis-synthesis…? The mystery of the
strange cd-titles is now cleared: She-Hera-Zade, the storyteller in ‘One Thousand and One Nights’.
Anyway, this time they choose for an completely acoustic set, recorded in april 2016 in a studio in
Lugano. No re-workings this time of compositions like on ‘Hera’ where they did an interpretation of
a composition by Britten. Also no obvious jazzy elements like on the first cd ‘She’. So what then?
The music on this cd is of a very minimalistic nature. We find ourselves in open, spatial textures,
where it is not always easy to detect who is doing what. A very stripped approach like on the intro
of the longest piece on the album ‘Open out’. Marked with sparse piano and percussion an immense
space is evoked, before the trumpet enters and starts to travel in this space, inviting the piano and
percussion to interact and starting a conversation. Most tracks are best defined as sound
improvisations of a very narrative kind, like the closing piece ‘Suton’ that has a beautiful line played
by the piano in the second part. Also timbre is an important element this time. In ‘Wirrwarr’ they
are engaged in the most dynamic piece on this CD. An intense improvisation. Le Pot is absolutely
a very interesting combo, and I’m very curious what their next step will be. (DM)
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HOT (HET ORGEL TRIO) – BIRD & BEYOND (CD by Lop Lop Productions)

Hot unites Berry van Berkum (organ), Steven Kamperman (alto clarinet) and Dion Nijland (bass).
On two days in June this year they recorded ten compositions by Charlie Parker in an old church
in Utrecht. Why a church? Because it is a church-organ van Berkum is playing. The church-organ
is also the raison d’étre of this CD, as it was van Berkum’s idea to bring alive Parker’s work on
church-organ. Van Berkum plays two organs, both installed in this church and both built in the
50s when Charlie Parker had his highlights. A Danish company has built both organs. One, the
so-called ‘Sweelinck organ’ was especially designed to come close to the organ in the time of
composer Sweelinck. They selected ten compositions by Parker that were most promising for an
interpretation in this setting. And true, it is a real pleasure to listen to these inspired adaptions.
Very fresh and joyful. They show real musicality and play with verve and spirit. Especially the subtle
playing by Kamperman did it for me. Recordings of church organ in the company of other acoustical
instruments, is always a complex job I think. But the balance on this recording is okay. Well done!
The closing track ‘Otinro’ is an engaging composition by van Berkum and a nice finale of this
successful and worthwhile undertaking. Every track on this cd proves their intuition was right,
interpreting these Parker-compositions in a new way. (DM)
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Releases of Carrier Records return on a regular base in Vital Weekly. This young label (2009) from
New York step by step expands their catalogue of new music from the New York area. Several of
them are linked to the Wet Ink Ensemble, like this new cd. It is the first cd by Eric Wubbels, a
composer and also member (pianist) of above-mentioned ensemble. This CD counts four of his
    ‘Shiverer’(2007) for piano and flute is the opening piece. Followed by ‘The children of fire
come looking for fire ‘(2012). Third composition is ‘Doxa’(2014) again for prepared piano plus
prepared vibraphone. The closing piece ‘This is This is This is’ (2010) for two alto saxophones in
unison and prepared piano. Performers are all members of the Wet Ink Ensemble, except
saxophonist Eliot Gategno. Each composition is preceded by a period of intense collaboration of
Wubbels and his respective colleague from the ensemble. The fact that these musicians know each
other already for a decade, surely contributes. Wubbels is a composer with a strong signature. His
compositions of new chamber music are outspoken and sharply carved out. They are played with
virtuosity and full engagement. The intensity and dramatic impact of his music is not to be missed.
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EKL – DOLORES (CD by Veto Records)

Swiss improviser Christopher Erb I know best from his many engaging collaborations with musicians
from the Chicago scene. Also the album he did with Frantz Loriot impressed. This time he is in the
company of two other Swiss improvisers: Raphael Loher (piano, rhodes) and Emanuel Künzi
(drums). Künzi studied with Norbert Pfammatter, Pierre Favre and Gerry Hemingway. Loher started
playing piano at an early age inspired by the blues. He shows a remarkable pianist with his
percussive style on this CD. And with his extended techniques he has a broad sound spectrum to
his disposal. There is a good chemistry going on between the three players. Their improvisations
are on the edge, full of danger and uncertainty. Very focussed, pointed and together.  With their
rich vocabulary, they move from poetic and introvert, to loud and expressive. And always there is
dynamic at work that makes one wonder what will happen next. A totally convincing debut album
of abstract improvisation by three soul mates. (DM)
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Couscous is Andreas Ledl (clarinet, electric bass), Ralph Wakolbinger (drums, percussion), Martin
Max Offenhuber (electronics, ghosttube, saz) and Thomas Binder-Reisinger (guitar, guzli). An
Austrian group who have two earlier releases out on Pumpkin Records released in 2006
(‘Couscous’) and 2013 (‘Trans’). Also they did much collaboration, with Damo Suzuki, Thollem
McDonas (!) and many others. Boris Hauf, also from Austria, already participated on ‘Trans’ and is
now again a natural partner to work with. Also Bob Donc guests on one track, playing zurna flute
and field recordings on ‘Lord Skeleton Dance’. What is Couscous about? They produce pompous,
pulsating vehicles of massive sound. Heavy and loud music, departing from a rock and punk
attitude. Some of the tracks move into sound research. Others are hammering, rhythm-driven
entities. They serve their aggressive music raw on your plate. Either you like it, or not. They
incorporate many different influences of (kraut)rock, improvisation, noise, sound collage, etc.
Sometimes leading up to surprising twists and turns. No doubt they are an adventurous unit,
seeking for the extreme. But overall I was not convinced by their cacophonic escapades. (DM)
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So, by now you should know that behind the name Martin Schulte is Marat Shibaev from Russia.
We’ve already heard many of his releases (Vital Weekly 972, 913 (which was under his real name
actually), 863 and 734), and with the release of ‘Seasons’ nothing much changes. Here he has
eleven pieces, spanning seventy-five minutes and I would think neither Schulte, nor his record label
cares about such notions as ‘how to build an album’. Here the CD is merely a vehicle to release a
bunch of pieces, out of which the listener can decide to pick a few favourites, rather than the shiny
disc being perceived as one whole. Maybe they feel that’s the old way of devouring such things?
You could wonder if in the musical scene of which Schulte is part, CDs are really necessary, except
as easy to hand out promotional tools. With his minimal dub techno music, along the lines of
Kompakt and Chain Reaction, the music is more likely to be consumed by DJs on vinyl and by fans
on endless mixes on whatever digital platform is hip these days. My last review was more or less a
repeat of the one before that, so we won’t do that again. Now, don’t get me wrong. I may sceptical
about the format or on the subject of the repeat mission that Schulte seems to be on, but having
said all of that, I actually do enjoy that music quite a bit. It is great music to dance to, would I ever
engage in such a thing, but it also works very well as music for modern households; music to play
while cleaning up, cooking, drinking coffee and reading a book. Maybe sleeping is the one activity
that is less suitable for this kind of music. The music is all laid-back, with mid-tempo rhythms; a
bit of dub style on the production techniques and deep washes of synthesizers and reverb/delay
effect units working overtime. Here we have nothing that is new in anyway, and yet it is most
enjoyable. It is probably also something that is as easily out of mind when out of sight, and that’s
perhaps not the best thing. (FdW)
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With this album Andrew Chalk and Timo van Luyk publish their most recent ‘page’ in what is
perhaps more a musical diary of the friendship between these musicians than ‘another record
release’. Elodie’s music is truly ‘under the radar’ music – in the best sense of the word: I have
several Elodie albums, but I was surprised to learn this is their tenth (!) album since their debut
‘Echos Pastoraux’ in 2011. On this album, Chalk and Van Luyk collaborate with composer/producer
Tom James Scott, who also runs the Skire label and who has collaborated with Chalk on previous
albums like ‘Calluna’ and ‘Wild Flowers’ (both highly recommended). Another surprise is that this
album plays at 45 rpm! If you hadn’t checked the labels, you probably would never have guessed
and you would have ended up played the album – to full satisfaction incidentally – at standard LP
speed. And I can sympathize: ‘Sad Mac Studies’, a Stephan Matthieu album on En/Of records, that
plays at 45 rpm, which I only found out after I’d been listening to it (and loving it) for years at 33
rpm. On ‘La Porte Ouverte’ James Scott’s tinkling piano melodies in the high registers form the
basis to many of the songs. Maybe Chalk and Van Luyk are playing the ivories as well, but as this
album comes without any press release info (hooray!), I am not entirely sure. Sparse guitar lines,
bells and gongs are added to create an ambient atmosphere, dreamlike and melancholy. Even
though the album has track separation and feature various titles for the songs, I prefer to listen
to this as a single composition that fills my room with peace and calm – something we can surely
use in this day and age. Elodie have created another beautiful album, both in composition, as
playing, production as presentation. Only 300 of these are available and advertised sparsely. Get
one now before ‘La Porte Ouverte’ is closed and this gorgeous album disappears from another
radar. (FK)
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Just like the miniCD the 10″ is a format of doom. Too little to be a full length, too much to be a
single. Pascal Le Gall is called a ‘curious French percussionist of jazz and musical thinker. Composer
of musique electroacoustic for himself and the choreographer Bernardo Montet, he performed alone
or with the musician Marc Baron’. On the cover of his 10″ record Gall gets credit for playing
‘Electrophon Philips (6rpm) and laptop’, so looking at titles as ‘Tribute to Schubert’ and ‘Tribute
To Bach’ (along with two ‘interludes’ and the title piece), knowing he plays an ancient record player,
makes me believe that Le Gall puts on a record, reduces the speed to 6rpm and maybe there is
some further transformation inside the laptop of the record that he is spinning. That he is actually
spinning very slowly (even when the timing on the cover is all wrong) and listening to the two piano
pieces one can’t help thinking of Satie, but in the other three pieces, this all becomes more musique
concrete version of Satie’s work. One could say these pieces are also ambient, with their slowed
down sounds, percussive/bell like in ‘Landscapes’ (I was thinking of John Cage here and his early
foray in the land of using turntables as instruments; think ‘Imaginary Landscape’, the first and the
fifth one, for instance) and in both interludes of a more obscure acoustic nature; the surface of the
vinyl becomes an additional player in this music, as was to be expected. It’s a neat little concept, I
thought, and though not entirely new (I saw Jan van den Dobbelsteen once do a performance with
a custom designed turntable spinning very slowly or Bionulor’s computer treated piano music by
Satie, see Vital Weekly 959), there is a fine sense of moodiness in these pieces. It is ambient music
surely, but one with a bit of spice, a certain air of darkness; music that fits the ash grey, rainy day
perfectly. (FdW)
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You may go ‘Blue Beast’? Now, what’s that? It’s a duo of one Miguel Barella, from Brazil, of whom I
didn’t hear before, teaming up with Truus de Groot, who I know very well. She was for a few years
part of Nasmak and is for lifetime already Plus Instruments, initially with Lee Ranaldo and David
Linton, in 1981, but these days mainly just solo, singing and playing her home brew synthesizers.
She, along with some regular Plus contributor James Sclavunos on drums and Paulo Beto she played
a concert in Brazil and bumped into guitar player Barella, who already performed with such
luminaries as Damo Suzuki, Coffin Joe, Kaffe Matthews, Patricia Ossess, Rob Mazurek, Josh
Abrahams, Phil Minton, Hans Koch, Mauricio Takara, Audrey Chen, João Parahyba, Pekka Lehti,
Mai-Mai and Arebato. He was a guest player for the evening but apparently from both sides this
was enjoyed very much so that De Groot and Barella decided to work together, using the Internet
as a go between. The results are the twelve songs on ‘Devil May Care’, and it will also be available
on vinyl soon. Now, I am very well versed in the music of Plus Instruments (Vital Weekly 1034, 894
and 814 and I enjoyed those three releases immensely. Truus takes the motorik, sequencer
Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft sound of thirty years and brings out a more feminine side of
that, away from the macho marching tunes. In her other work, non Plus Instruments, De Groot
works with more radiophonic drama qualities, which is something that she also brings to the table
with Blue Beast. Throughout the music here is electronic based, but also seems to draw inspirations
from improvised guitar sound and on the spot treatments of whatever voice, guitar and
synthesizers are doing. For one it is not easy to see this as a work that made over great distance
by two people not in the same room together. It simply sounds like they are in the same room,
recording and interacting. Very little remains of the Plus Instruments rhythms and sequences, but
it’s not entirely gone either. ‘Vega Forever’ is such a piece, with an organ lifted straight out of
Suicide songbook, and opener ‘Comfort Zone’ is another, but with Barella already bending a few
notes in there; ‘Love To Misery’ has a lot of rhythm, but of a different kind than with her other
work. In many of the other pieces it deals with putting forward a mood, an atmosphere, haunted
(‘Heartbreakville’, almost like a Nick Cave song, with it’s slow pounding rhythm, but with a different
use of voice), nocturnal, spacey and even a straight forward rock song with ‘Searching’, along with
a few slides on the strings, which makes a nice counterpoint with some of the more abstract, ‘out
there’ material. All of this makes that this is a highly varied disc and an excellent addition to Truus
de Groot’s own music, as Plus Instruments and otherwise. (FdW)
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Here’s more music by Lauri Hyvarinen (see also Vital Weekly 987 and 989) and this is the first
time I hear him playing solo. He plays guitar, electronics and objects, according to the hand
stamped cover, with very little information. The other side shows a Lego picture and I learned
that Art First Records is a label from Helsinki ‘focusing on local underground culture’ and they
have releases by Sergio Castrillon, Experts From The Underground, Ville Vokkolainen & Kusipäät
and Jörn Bielfeldt, all of which are new names to me. Hyvarinen has two pieces here, clocking in
just less than thirty minutes, and both pieces are quite similar. There is an emphasis on careful
exploration of the strings through the use of objects. There is a high level of amplification within
this music so a certain amount of feedback rings through these pieces, but it never gets annoyingly
loud. It all appears to be on a more subdued level, and that’s something I enjoy very well; certainly
when the day was already filled with a lot of heavy music. It makes this a rather electro-acoustically
inspired release of improvised music. The guitar is never far away, but it is not always recognizable
as such; it is more a device to get things going, to get all the gremlins in action, and once that is
happening than the origin of the sound is no longer required. All of this works very well, and it’s a
pity there’s only two pieces on this release. I would not have minded another piece like this. I was
reminded of the early work of Giuseppe Ielasi and that is surely not a bad thing. (FdW)
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It is always a good thing if expectations don’t match up with reality. I looked quickly at the cover
of this and saw this is a duo of Massimo Discepoli (drums, electronics) and Daniel Barbiero (double
bass) and so perhaps I expected some free improvisation music. I put the CD aside for whatever
reason, and when I returned to it to the following day I forgot what my initial reaction, started to
play it and at first I assumed I was playing some laptop drone thing, as that was maybe the opening
sound of ‘Autopoiesis’ but when the drums and bass slowly kicked in, I realized I was wrong; in a
few ways. This is not ‘some laptop drone thing’, nor is it ‘free improvisation music’. Discepoli has
a background in jazz and improvised music, but also delivered compositions to corporate business;
he’s also the founder of Acustronica. Daniel Barbiero is from the USA and his background seems to
be in improvised and composed music, both as a performer and composer. The cover lists
recordings being made in Silver Spring, USA and Assisi, Italy, so I am not sure if they performed the
music together, or via some long distance collaboration by e-mail. Judging by the music, I would say
they performed this together in the same space. It might be culled from improvised sessions, but I
would think they made some agreements together before the ‘record button’ was hit. The seven
lengthy pieces (between five and ten minutes) have an orchestral feel to it. Partly because of the
electronics setting out a moody texture, ‘that laptop drone thing’, but also the extensive use of
reverb on certain sounds, and sometimes all, in which they play their also moody textured rhythms.
Maybe in some world out there this is called ‘doom jazz’; it has that dark quality, which is not a
strange thing listening to the bass notes being played, or the many uses of the cymbals with
brushes, and the occasional roll on the drums. Sometimes a piece is lighter, such as ‘The Occulted
Measure’, which rolls on and has a much more open character, but it’s darkness that prevails here,
I think. Although I thought this was a beautiful release, I found some of these pieces a bit too long
or perhaps the entire release a bit too long. When the sixth piece kicks in, I thought it would be
time for a dramatic change, but that didn’t happen. I was full and satisfied by then. (FdW)
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It has been quite a number of years since I last reviewed music by Brock van Wely’s BVdub project,
Vital Weekly 739 and 767, which is not to say he didn’t release anything else since then. In fact
BVdub has been quite busy with releases on such labels as Darla Records, Glacial Movements, n5MD,
Quietus Recordings and Home Normal. I did just not hear them, so it’s not easy to say how his
music developed over the years. I do remember that his older releases had some form of beat
attached to the ambient patterns he was playing, quite pleasant as well as entertaining. Nothing
shocking. His new release seems to me to have two important differences. First is the notable
absence of rhythm and secondly the amount of pieces, nineteen, and their timespan of three to
four minutes. That is not to say that BVdub now plays pop songs of any kind, as in these of these
pieces a few synthesizers play out some long, sustaining lines, and occasionally there is some sort
of melody played, drifting and distant; and sometimes there is some gentle piano sound, tinkling
away. Much of the atmosphere comes from the use of reverb that is abundantly used in most of
the pieces. ‘Each track depicts a time in which he remembered the moment of a true story that
took place in 2012′, the label writes, but it is then a pity that none of the pieces on this release
has a title, so it all stays perhaps a bit anonymous. For all we know this could also be a bundle of
short mood pieces, with very little development per piece. Once the various synthesizers have been
started they stay on that course until the moment it starts fading out. At eighty minutes, this is
quite a tour de force and you know how much I like the classic LP length for releases, but I must
say that this magnitude also made quite some sense. It is perhaps all a bit faceless, but in a sort
of op-art kind of way it is also quite hypnotizing. Stick this on repeat as well as shuffle play for a
few hours, and engage yourself in an activity of meditation, relaxing, reading, sleeping or perhaps
try to discover if there is any pattern in the grey January clouds and you’ll notice this is quite the
perfect soundtrack. (FdW)
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I thought it was a bit odd to hear a cassette called ‘Strictly Akustik’ and to see listed as
instruments, ‘synths, no input mixing board, tape echo and electronics’ among the three members
that make up Kresko, being Voljtech Prochazka, Tomas Prochazka and Petr vbra, who also play
piano, harmonium, guitar, objects, clarinet and trumpet. It also says that “Strictly Akustik was
recorded using a method of layered improvisation, that echoes the house martin’s cries when
building nests and the night calls of the corn cake” and that during ‘mixing the recording, the trio
invited Austrian vocalist Agnes Hvizdalek, who expertly thickened the fragmented musical
concoction’. That seems a bit odd, to add a single played in the stage of mixing, certainly when it
comes to improvised music. So perhaps we should take the whole ‘akustik’ thing with a pinch of
salt? There are four pieces on this forty-minute tape, and each is about ten minutes. In all of these
pieces there is quite an amount of music, which is all stuck firmly together. These four players sure
don’t like silence in any way. In their playing together they show also a great fondness for many
small and nervous sounds. By layering all of these together and keeping them together in a mix
that is mostly continuous, none of the sounds leap out of the mix. One has to keep a close ear
to what is going on; distraction is not encouraged it seems. The results are most pleasing I would
think, nothing truly spectacular, odd, or innovative, but along the lines of instrumental
improvisation on one hand and studio trickery on the other, this is quite a fine release. (FDW)
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