Number 1069

… THAT FIRST SEASON (2CD compilation by Winter-Light)
BURIAL HEX – THRONE (CD by Cold Spring)
NEU KONSERWATIW (LP compilation by Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien)
ANDREAS O. HIRSCH – ROW (LP by Makiphon)
BORIS HAUF – CLARK (LP by Shameless)
NOISE WAR (5CD by Audio Dissection/Industrial Recollection)
COLDSORE – POLLUTANT (CDR by Totes Format) *
FJORDNE & STABILO – ANDREW (CDR by Sound In Silence) *
BRAIN DRAIN – RECORDED FUTURE (cassette, private) *


From Chile hails composer Alejdanro Albornoz Rojas (although he leaves out the latter name on the
front cover), born in 1971 and who discovered, thanks to the Goethe Institute in Santiago, in 1987
electroacoustic music. It was not, however, until 2004 when, after a career in visual arts, he started
to compose this kind of music himself. Since then his work has been performed in various festivals,
and he’s actively involved in the organisation thereof, and composes these days music for theatre,
dance and video, as well as teaching. His interest lies in exploring the human voice, poetry,
language, acousmatic and algorithms. The pieces on this CD were recorded/composed between
2006 and 2016. Due to various highly uninteresting reasons I had this CD in rotation for three
times in a row, partly in state of close listening and partly being distracted by other things; every
now and then I looked up, and thought, ‘what was that again’, or I browsed the liner notes for a bit,
to check what a particular piece was about. It seems that Albornoz has quite the serious approach
when it comes to composing when I read ‘sound materials created exclusively by software synthesis
are used with acousmatic criteria and techniques, having as a mandatory condition the avoidance of
sounds recorded with microphone’, for instance. It is music that I played with great interest and I
must admit to various degrees I enjoyed it, yet not all of it. Some of the pieces with voices were not
something that I enjoyed too much, like ‘Un Regalito Misterioso’ and ‘La Luniere’, but I found it hard
to pin down why that was. Other pieces I did enjoy a lot more, even when perhaps some of
Albornoz’ approaches were a bit too serious for me. (FdW)
––– Address:

… THAT FIRST SEASON (2CD compilation by Winter-Light)

Every week I post Vital Weekly on Tuesday and copy the link on Facebook, and a few people duly
share it. Dutch label Winter-Light are among those who always share the latest issue, thus of
course making sure I notice their latest releases. I usually get a heads up when something new is
in the mail, so when it concerned ‘… That First Season – A Winter-Light compilation’, I wrote back
and asked if they ever read my warning (on the website of Vital Weekly) “we understand that labels
release label-samplers, to promote their label. Give them away to your customers, but rather not
send them to us. We simply are not fond of reviewing label samplers”, and yes they did but wanted
to give it a shot anyway. Fine, of course, as the problem is very rarely with the musical content of
compilations, but rather it has to do with the fact there is very little to tell about them, unless
wants to write an in-depth essay with a per-track breakdown of the music, and perhaps there is
where we find the problem with label compilations, certainly with the likes of Winter-Light. Obviously
there are differences among these seventeen pieces, but by and large this comes from the world of
drone music, atmospheric tunes and heavily processed field recordings. There haven’t been many
releases by Winter-Light so far, just by Abbildung, Seetyca, Phantom Ship, Foetus Dreams and
Rapoon, so all the others present here are label favourites and could perhaps serve as a reference
for future releases. Lots of new names, for me, Nexus Sun, Charadriiform & Filivs Macrocosmi,
Velgenaturlig, Havdis, Apocryphos, Kloob, but also Hakubone, Mathoas Grassow (working with
Michael Brückner), Strom Noir, Jeff Stonehouse, and Gydja; the latter I haven’t heard in many years.
Much of the music contains very stretched out lines played on a bunch of (software-) synthesizers,
with a vague sequencer back up (Bruckner/Grassow), but that’s an exception. Sometimes there is a
rhythm (Rapoon), or the heavily processed crackling of leaves. I look outside and even at the very
beginning of February the days begin to be a bit longer; today is an utterly grey and dark day, with
a bit of drizzle. Very much the sort of winter-light (as opposed to winter-heavy) that The
Netherlands experience most of the years. Dutch label Winter-Light provides the perfect soundtrack
for such days. While none of the pieces was a particular standout, I enjoyed it very much, and
thought this was a fine showcase. (FdW)
––– Address:


Most releases of this Dutch label have – no surprise – a link with Holland. Concerning these two new
releases however the link with Holland seems absent. The Core Trio based in Houston is comprised
of Thomas Helton (double bass), Seth Paynter (sax) and Joe Hertenstein (drums). They exist since
2004 and a few years ago they released two CDRs, one with Robert Boston and one with Matthew
Shipp as a guest, both released in a small number on Freebass Productions.  The one with Matthew
Shipp was recorded in 2014, as is this new release on Evil Rabbit. The CD has two lengthy
improvisations both taking more than 30 minutes, recrded at Ovations Night Club, November 22th
in Houston. Heavy free jazz of a serious nature, where I vainly hoped for a bit of humour. There is a
prominent role for pianist Matthew Shipp. But also Paynter and Hertenstein made their mark in
these intense and engaging improvisations. Helton is impressively present halfway the first
improvisation in a battle with the piano. ‘Modus of Raw’ is another piece of cake, with a title that
made me instantly very curious. And Jesus, this one goes directly to your soul! Vibrating music
from violinist and vocalist Voutchkova, an unknown musician for me. Because she combines violin
and vocals, I immediately had to think of Iva Bittova. The more as both musicians integrate
theatrical aspects in their work. But Voutchkova takes us to other, more extreme territories. She
studied classical violin and became during this period engaged in improvised and modern music in
New York. She is involved in several projects, duos (with Michael Thieke) and trios (with Ernesto
Rodriguez and Micha Rabuske), some with a theatre or performance component, for example
Pedesis, a trio with Markus Personen (guitar) and Tom Arthurs (trumpet), who we met recently in
a duo with pianist Simon Vincent. ‘Modus of Raw’ is the first solo statement of Voutchkova and it
is a very outspoken and personal statement, which was prepared and recorded in the Swiss Alps.
Radical music as the title of the album suggests. In seven improvisations Voutchkova unfolds a
world of very physical, uncompromising, improvisations. Abstract but also very expressive and
dramatic, with lots of energy concentrated in each movement. The timbres, sound and colours
she creates on her violin are of a baffling beauty! (DM)
––– Address:


This is a beautiful first collaboration by Buyukberber and Nabatov. Turkish born musician Oğuz
Büyükberber lives and works in Amsterdam. Pianist Nabatov comes from a musical Moscow family.
He studied at the Moscow University and after the family moved to New York; he continued his
studies at the Juilliard School of Music. He played with many, many improvisers from all over the
world. He plays mainly jazz and improvised music, but also performs modern composed music.
Also Büyükberber works with a pool of international musical from his base in Amsterdam where
he studied with Harry Sparnaaij and Theo Loevendie. Like Nabatov he works within contexts of
improvised as well as composed music. Turkish music is also an important source for him and can
often be traced in his playing. Both gentlemen played with Gerry Hemingway in a trio initiated by
Büyükberber in 2010. On ‘Wobbly Strata’ we find six improvisations, all recorded on October 26th,
2014 at Loft in Cologne. Solid and fresh improvisations with fine intertwined and communicative
playing are to be enjoyed. They built interesting constructions, through their sparkling and
focussed dialogues. The music swirls and rolls on thanks to their very flexible playing. Their playful
and light-hearted interactions make this one a real joy to listen to. (DM)
––– Address:

BURIAL HEX – THRONE (CD by Cold Spring)

Tunnels of Āh is Stephen R. Burroughs – better known as the vocalist of Head of David, the
‘precursor to Godflesh’. This is his third album up to date, all of which were released by renowned
UK-based label Cold Spring.
    What to expect? If you weren’t already familiar with Burroughs’ more recent output, this will
be quite a change of pace and pose. From time to time we do get to hear what I assume is the
heavily treated whispers originating from the good man’s mouth, like on “Release of the Burning
Mouths” – which is slightly reminiscent of Trepaneringsritualen – but there really isn’t too much
“vocal” going on – which is perhaps not what one might expect from a vocalist.  Other exceptions
are “My Love to the Lordly Cobras” and “Emission Through a Hole in the Head” that feature
mangled whispers and with regard to the former a lament drenched in reverb. Composition- and
sound-wise, “Surgical Fires” has a bit of a vintage 90s touch to it, which definitely isn’t a bad thing
if you know and love your Cold Meat classics. The album consists of eight atmospheric industrial/
noise tracks that, although there are some repetitive elements, never become as rhythmic as for
instance a Brighter Dead Now. What we do get is a series of dystopian landscapes and vistas that
leave you staring into the void for a good part of its 42-minute run. There’s an interesting and well-
balanced shift from the one atmosphere into the other and the sparse garbled whispers and vocal
bits pull the album away from the desolate Cold Meat Industry camp somewhere halfway between
that and World Serpent territory – with hints of C93 and Coil.
    The sickeningly prolific Burial Hex is of course the main guise of Clay Ruby. With such an
extensive discography to his name, there’s bound to be a fair amount of releases that are not
available any more, so a while ago Cold Spring began the noble and highly anticipated task of
reissuing the Hex’ long out of print collectibles as a series of compilation albums, of which “Throne”
is the third instalment.  You might know these pieces already and in that case it’s rather pointless
to read on, as there’s really nothing more to it. For those who are not familiar with these early
works, I’ll give a simple track by track rundown, which I think makes sense for something that was
not originally intended as an actual album in the first place. The album commences with eponymous
track “Throne” that was released on Aurora Borealis ages ago. Back then Burial Hex had a much
more straightforward and monolithically abrasive sound, especially compared to the way in which it
is all over the shop nowadays, but I often felt that the coarse industrial timbres and raw production
overshadowed the compositional attainment. Still “Throne” is quite a harsh opener to a collection of
tracks that is much more diverse as we shall see. The epic “The Coming of War” is a piece of
relentless horror poetry; a wailing string section, desperately declaimed oratory pervaded by a
horrifying ambience that suddenly comes to a rattling halt, gaspingly awaiting the advent of the
inevitable dirge of death. The second track taken from the split LP with Iron Fist of the Sun is
“Actaeon”: a dense death industrial track in the Swedish tradition that gives one the ominous
sense of being hunted. It slowly moves towards a rhythmic climax that reveals the underlying
predatory mechanics at work. “The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul” starts off as a dark droning
piece of machinery that has shreds of choir whizzing about it until it slowly dies out and digresses
into a festering and smoldering ambience eerily accompanied by the murmur of vocal synth pads…
only to be revived into the body of Bocksholmish crushing automaton of distorted percussion.
“Armagiddion” is the one piece that may just appeal to the fans of Ruby’s more recent work with
its lofi drones and rivers of swirling piano. That is if you can take the torrent of violence that
follows. So yes, if the eclectic paradigm on “The Hierophant” got you onto the Hex wagon, this
release may not do it for you. Or it might just introduce you to the absorbing sonic palette of
ritual and death industrial. Who knows. Just give it a go. (PJN)
––– Address:


Recently Birgit Ulher pointed out that I often spelled her name wrong; but I was in good company
as more people made the same mistake of writing Uhler instead of Ulher. I hopefully will do better
in the future. Ulher plays trumpet, radio, mini sound stations, speaker and objects and on the 15th
of June 2015 she recorded with Felipe Araya in her own flat six pieces; Araya played Peruvian Cajon
and objects. The Cajon is “nominally a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru,
played by slapping the front or rear faces (generally thin plywood) with the hands, fingers, or
sometimes various implements such as brushes, mallets, or sticks”, as Wiki explains. Knowing
Ulher one expects and gets a disc of improvised music but if one expects to get something that
uses a lot of rhythm, one is perhaps a little disappointed. The Cajon as played by Araya is the
subject of objects being played on the surface; shuffling, vibrating, hitting (a bit), and with a wide
variety of objects. I have no idea what these objects would be, but they surely have different
surfaces, so the colour of the sound changes throughout these six pieces. Ulher plays her trumpet
like she perhaps always does, which is as an object, rather than as an instrument. She adds her
other instruments on the spot, and all of this gives a very vibrant interplay between these two
players. Mostly careful but it never goes down to being very quiet, or beyond that. The rattling of
objects in combination with some of the more sustaining scratches, peeps and feedback are
delivered with much passion and flair. This is music from the world of improvisation but is very well
at home in that of electro-acoustic music, and altogether an excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Over the years I reviewed a bunch of works by Carl Stone, among which was the excellent ‘Woo Lae
Oak’, and yet somehow never seemed to get any grip on ‘who is Carl Stone and what does he do?’,
and perhaps this set of three records with music from the seventies and eighties will provide some
more answers. Primarily Stone uses electronic music and since 1986 he is busy with using
computers. In the seventies I assume with good ol’ Bucla synthesizers. There is not really a
chronological order with these LPs, as you start with ‘Sukothai’ from 1977 and via pieces from
1986, 1982, 1984, 1981, and 1974 you end with ‘Chao Praya’ from 1973. I am not sure why
this order was chosen, but perhaps there is not always a logical reason necessary. There are four
groups of pieces here; the earliest two created by a Bucla 200 series synthesizer, one piece for
tape recorders, three for a machine called the DHM 89 (manufactured by publison) and one piece
for the Prophet 2002 sampler and Macintoh Plus and this time I did put in a chronological order.
All but the two oldest pieces use sounds from others, like Henry Purcell’s ‘Abdelazer Suite: II.
Rondeau’ in ‘Sukothai’, Schubert lieder in ‘Shing Kee’ and pop and rock songs in ‘Dong Il Jang’
and ‘Shinucho’. Only in ‘Kuk Il Kwan’ Stone uses his own field recordings and voice material.
    So, then, what do we hear? The trio of pieces made with the DHM 89 are in general quite a
wild ride of sampled and plundered sound. Especially ‘Shibucho’ is a piece with fingers snapping
and plundered pop archives – I believe I recognized the Jackson 5. In that piece, as well as ‘Dong Il
Jang’, the sound is skipping all over the place, recognizable at times but sometimes quite abstract.
It is in way to be compared with Oval, but without the shortish pop sensibility. All of the Stone’s
pieces are lengthy (except for those early ones) and quite rightly so; it is within this minimalism
that his music makes perfect sense. Stone sets his pieces in motion and every now and then he
gives a bang on the machine and it changes. ‘Kuk Il Kwan’, from the same series, is however a much
more ambient pieces, with whispering voices, street sounds and other sources being used quite
peacefully, with much slower development. No bang on the machine is needed to alter the sound,
but here a gradual shift in processing the material takes place, and only in two places it becomes
quite a loud. But all of three of the ‘middle period’ pieces are fine examples what this early work is
    If we then go all the way back to the early pieces we are less surprised. Stone, as a student
of James Tenny and Morton Subotnick, produced two pieces for electronic drone sounds but
essentially do not sound much different than the work of Pauline Oliveros or Eliane Radigue, but
then much shorter. By no means two bad pieces, far from it, it’s just that music like this is
something we have heard before, and quite a bit of it.
    Which leaves two pieces; ‘Sukothai’ is a piece which starts out with the first few bars of
Purcell’s well-known piece (I knew it, but had to ask the composer, so much for ‘well-known’),
which is played on a harpsichord and then gets gradually layered, first mono, then stereo, then
four, eight etc., up until there are 1024 layers, and for a long time the piece is easy recognized,
but gradually all rhythm and cadenzas is removed and a noise remains, almost like a cluster being
played on a church organ. In the digital download there is version, ‘Unthaitled’ from a year later,
and twice as long which takes the rest of the piece at one point further down the line, and has
the same creepy intensity as Wendy Carlos’s title music of ‘A Clockwork Orange’. ‘Shing Kee’, the
most recent piece, is of all these pieces the most delicate one; the singing is slowly expanded and
stretched out, almost in ‘time-stretch’ as-we-know-t kind of way, by slowly opening more and
more the sample. It might be that technology by then allowed such smoothness. It forecasts
already the later music of Stone already. This 3LP is a most welcome addition to the discography
of Stone, and one that provides some fine introduction to his earlier work, and sheds a clear light
on his development as a composer. This was already released last year and now is repressed again,
due to high demand and quite rightly so. (FdW)
––– Address:

NEU KONSERWATIW (LP compilation by Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien)

We live in an increasingly conservative world, where old values are hailed as the best, protect and
serve your nation, distrust anything that is not of your own ilk and populist thought. It’s game on,
one could say, if you want to start a punk band and fight all that. Or to start your own label, named
after a dictator. But be aware that in 1980 Uli Rehberg started his Walter Ulbricht Schallfolien,
named after the first president of former East Germany. Rehberg was responsible for LPs by SPK,
Throbbing Gristle, Werkbund and Laibach in 1980s, and later on used his label to release many
works of his own Ditterich von Euler-Donnersperg, but also Column One and [-Hyph-]. Neu
Korservatiw (that’s new conservatism, in case you were doubting it’s meaning) has been the
slogan of the label and in 2013 they existed for 33 years, so time for a little party, in the form
of this compilation LP, with social realism artwork. None of the early groups are present, only
German ones, such as Column One, [-Hyph-], Von Euler-Donnersperg and Werkbund, but also
Asmus Tietchens (with two pieces), Evapori (also two), Pierce Warnecke and Margitt Holzt. It was
a bit of puzzle what was what on the LP, or which side is A or B, but once you know (check Discogs
for some help), you can play it. I sat back and didn’t look at either vinyl or cover again, and curious
enough I though that this LP sounded nothing like a compilation; it could as easily been the record
by one person or group. While there are individual differences to be noted, everybody here seems to
be using processed acoustic sound sources, and either bring round the block so they are no longer
recognized as such, or looped around, feeding them through samplers and boxes but still
recognizable as ‘treated acoustic sounds’. Only the label boss brings voice to the table, and that’s
processed too. I must say I quite enjoyed this release but I am not sure what to make of this. Maybe
there is some deliberate policy behind the fact that these pieces sound similar, perhaps the current
trend not to be different from the rest? In the world of Uli Rehberg that is something that one
should seriously consider. This is a beautiful record of experimental music, but as with all great art
there is surely something to question here. Excellent! (FdW)
––– Address:

ANDREAS O. HIRSCH – ROW (LP by Makiphon)

Although I drink it, do wash myself and can swim, I am otherwise not particularly fond of water;
especially sailing and rowing I am terrified of. Here we have a recording about rowing, and that’s
not the first time; in Vital Weekly 144 we reviewed the compilation ‘Oars With Ears: Attention:
Go’. This time it is a record that is actually 8 people rowing (well, seven plus one steersman), and
apparently Andreas O. Hirsch has recorded a whole bunch of versions of this piece. I am not sure
how that works, as he is not listed among the rowers. Is he in inside the boat as well, or did he
stick in a recorder? This version has a Dutch connection, as it was recorded aboard the ARAD, a
lifeboat of the Dutch rowing team Roeiteam Terschelling Recreatie, up north where the brothers
Kleefstra (see elsewhere) also live. On this record, forty minutes in total, we hear them rowing
from the ‘harbour of West-Terschelling out into the Wadden Sea and back again’, and nothing.
The repeating sounds of the oars, the water among the boat, have a highly minimal rhythm, which
is exactly the idea of rowing: maintaining a steady speed. It does not become a dance record of
any kind obviously, but it just has a very minimal drive to it. What makes it however even nicer is
the presence of the commands by steersman Clees Plug (who died in 2013; recordings were made
in 2011), whose commands are almost like vocals to the music. He too has repeating shouts and
commands, which sound like soul/funk singer shouting out, but he’s a bit far away in the recording
and it becomes rather something of an additional rhythmic layer to the music. This is some highly
conceptual record from the world of field recordings and it is also a highly fascinating piece of
sound art. God beware that someone starts the remix project of this; let this be just a great
record by itself. (FdW)
––– Address:


Now here’s something of the more obscure kind; obscure as ‘there is next to nothing we want to
reveal’. The label from down under doesn’t have a website, or Bandcamp and can be contacted
through Facebook (I am not sure how easy that is for those who are without Facebook), but in
their various recent posts I learned nothing about the band Blue Chemise. Discogs reveal the
existence of another release by them. That’s it. The record, subtitled ‘melancholy of the healthy
kind’, has fourteen pieces, all relatively short and to the point. The music seems to me all electronic
and each of the pieces (simply called ‘part 1’, ‘part 2’ etc.) is to the point. It is not easy to say if
we are dealing here with a band of some kind, or an one-person project; whether these are modular
synthesizers, perhaps with the addition of feedback/saxophone (in ‘part 10’) or a more traditional
set of laptop doodles. Blue Chemise’s music doesn’t sound harsh or distorted, despite me using
the word feedback, but has all quite a relaxed quality to it. Ambient is a word that I feel is not very
much out of place here, but Blue Chemise operate from a much more experimental side in their
approach to that musical term. There is a fine use of odder sound sources, short loops and
acoustic objects being treated, as well as the sound of dripping water, set against another finely
woven carpet of synth based sounds, looped and processed feedback, to give the material more
edge. All of this sound very delicate but as said not without certain sharpness; the idea is, so it
seems, not to lull the listener into deep sleep, but to give him a most pleasant time, through
meditation or just fine deep listening. An excellent record, but on the information side of things,
there is certainly room for improvement.
    This record comes in a black sleeve with an add-on sticker and is released in an edition of
merely 105 copies, so, who knows, an instant collectors item. This may be highly obscure but
let music speak for itself and then a diamond shines. (FdW)
––– Address:

BORIS HAUF – CLARK (LP by Shameless)
NOISE WAR (5CD by Audio Dissection/Industrial Recollection)

Ah, we’re back on the subject of re-issues. Last week I wrote: ‘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.’ This week I
should add ‘and there are the ones that one has personal link to, via the music and there are re-
issues, which one already reviewed before’. Let’s start with the latter.
    Back in Vital Weekly 515 I already reviewed Boris Hauf’s CDR release ‘Clark’, as released by
the Sijis label. Last week Hauf asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing the LP re-issue of that.
Sure why not? However, in such cases I look at the old review, even reprint it before updating my
view. You could call that laziness, I know. So I wrote back then: “the activities of UK born world
traveller Boris Hauf are numerous: playing with Efzeg, with TV Pow, with Lozenga and even a Berlin
based classic rock cover band The Understated Brown, he also finds time to produce his own solo
things. Armed with his laptop he sets out to produce a fine bunch of microsounding glitch ambient
or whatever you call it, but here on ‘Clark’ he comes up with something that sidesteps that: his
own version of techno music. Stripped bare of all unnecessary elements, adding his own sometimes
creepy sounds, such as the high pitched frequencies in ‘Hit Me With Your Pet Shark’ (all titles seem
to me related to popsongs, like ‘Annie, Are You Puking On Elvis’ or ‘Ken Doll In The Wind’), which
gives this dance music a weird twist and certainly makes this less useful for your next rave. It’s
more like after party music, when you have left the real party behind, and on a late night train
going home, still being in the mood for some more techno related music. The train goes past
sparsely lit cities with great speed and you can also sit down and listen, while your feet tap away
with the rhythm. Certainly weird enough to be techno music, but it is pleasant enough to be
throughout entertaining and breaking away from well-covered territories of microsound. Very
nice indeed.” The most curious thing about the new release is the change of titles. ‘Hit Me’
became ‘Mind Tapes’, ‘Ken Doll’ became ‘Viølet Møøn’ and for the three pieces on the A-side
timings are different. After twelve years I still think the weird twist doesn’t make it easy to spin
this at a party, even when ‘Le Chien’ comes quite close with a steady beat and sine waves and
square notes (think Alva Noto, but slightly more chaotic), and we could wonder how little music
progress has been made since then. I didn’t contemplate that thought very much, but rather
enjoyed this (again!), and thought the re-issue on vinyl makes a lot of sense. It has a great quality
and doesn’t sound dated at all, unlike some of the computer music that appeared a few years
before that (say, roughly speaking, some of the releases by Ritornell or Meme), the technoid music
of Hauf still sounds remarkable fresh; to me it seems like a wise decision to re-issue this.
    A personal link, via music, I found on the 5CD set ‘Noise War’. At the very end of my studio
career with a project called Kapotte Muziek (before it became an exclusive live concert concern) I
was still working around with cassettes and handing out pieces for compilations. There are quite a
few of these, ranging from 1984 to 1995, or possibly a bit later, and Discogs lists many of them.
One of them was ‘Disconnect’ for Mother Savage Noise Productions, the label of Joseph Roemer
and Rodger Stella. Somewhere a decade I loaned all my tapes to some active blog force and later
on picked up the rumour that ‘Noise War’ was to be re-issued. I thought that I wasn’t sure this
was necessary, but now I have this box of 5 CDs on my desk, I think it looks great and I even
considered for a moment how awesome it would be to have many more of those old compilations
on CD. The original two-cassette package was twice a C90 cassette, so each side of those tapes
fill up a single CD. The track list reads like an encyclopaedia of noise artists; Masonna, Merzbow,
Incapacitants, Freudwerk, Illusion Of Safety, Mortal Vision, Taint, The Grey Wolves, Controlled
Bleeding, Emil Beaulieu, Monde Bruits, Macronympha, Trance, Telecorps, Sudden Infant, C.C.C.C.,
Con-Dom, Kapotte Muziek, MSBR, Thirdorgan, The Haters, Onomatopeia, One Dark Eye, Evil
Moisture, Solmania, David Gilden, Shockcity, 15961 4538, and Mother Savage. All
right, I’ll admit that there are some lesser known gods present in this package. Much of this is a
statement of bold, vicious, loud noise, predating by many years what we now call Harsh Noise Wall,
but surely here we have those who laid the groundwork for that musical genre. Only very few
moments are devoted to a piece of contemplation, such as the intro of Controlled Bleeding. As a
bonus there is a thirty-one minute disc of five recent pieces (2013-2014), by Encephalophonic,
Kazumoto Endo, Skin Crime, K2 and Sickness, who all perhaps show that there is new technology
to record music like this, thus sounding even harsher, but otherwise it all sounds very much the
same. That’s three and half-hours of loud noise; I enjoyed it a lot and I need an aspirin. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:


In Vital Weekly 1044 I first came across the music of Coldsore, which is the same guy as Totstellen
and GRMMSK and here we have something political again, as the music deals with environmental
pollution. The first edition apparently contained toxic materials, but the one I have here is a regular
edition. It says on the cover: “recorded in 2016, while digging out from the ruins of TEPCO’s Daiichi
NPP. We hear the sounds from under the debris inside the slowly collapsing sarcophagus containing
reactor 4. COLDSORE uses mostly handmade electronic equipment: sound generators and –
deformers powered by disastrous memories of the future and dirty electricity”, so you never know
what is really true about such things, but I am sure there is a genuine concern here. In the pieces
they use cold synth bleeps, airy electronics and sometimes a bit of voices, all to mark off a sense
of a post nuclear landscape, via some nicely primitive ambient industrial music. Music, in general,
which slowly builds up with some shimmering frequencies to make up a sense of violence and treat.
I say ‘primitive’ to indicate the kind of instruments they are using here. I would think much of this
comes through a bunch of humming monotrons and a couple of stomp boxes, plus perhaps a 2-bit
sampler, older than the current owner and full of dust; all neatly taped on a cassette for that extra
layer of roughness, which is not lost in translation back to the CDR. The website mentions this as
fifty-minute tape, but I have here a sixty-three minute CDR; the final piece being a twenty-two
minute live recording at the Anarchist Black Cross in Helsinki, in which everything goes up a bit
and the group/project sounds a tad more industrial. This is surely a sonic wake-up call. (FdW)
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FJORDNE & STABILO – ANDREW (CDR by Sound In Silence)

This is a very limited edition (150 copies) and rather short (twenty-two minutes) album. Two
short pieces by Fjordne (or FJORDNE as is the preferred way of writing), also known as Fujimoto
Shunichiro and Stabilo (or stabilo as is the preferred way of writing), of which Yasutica Horibe is
the mastermind. The first is from Tokyo and the second from Hiroshima. The first has two pieces,
clocking less than four minutes and the latter two that are just over seven minutes. Both musicians
are also active in other projects and bands, including a postroc/shoegaze one for Horibe. On this
EP they explore the realm of ambient music but with a strong classical music touch. In the case of
Fjordne it is very much about the use of the piano, which is on top of whatever else Fjordne adds
to his music. These might be time stretched field recordings of a fun fair in ‘Acquainted’, or the
use of reverb to colour the overall sound, but it sounds all very intimate. ‘Andrew’ is the more
subdued piece, and ‘Acquainted’ it’s livelier brother. ‘As Well’ and ‘Alison’ by Stabilo also use piano
but then buried a bit inside the music, surrounded by clouds of field recordings, which by itself are
surrounding by active forces of reverb, delay and perhaps a dash of granular synthesis. It gives the
music a somewhat more drone like character, and given the length of these pieces, that time is well
spend in these pieces. It’s all highly atmospheric and spacious; reminding obviously of some of the
Eno/Budd collaborations, and of current day piano players, such as Nils Frahm or Federico Durand.
This is an excellent release, but oh so short. Way too short, I would say. I wouldn’t have minded
four of these pieces, by each of these players. (FdW)
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BRAIN DRAIN – RECORDED FUTURE (cassette, private)

Adam McFillin is from Brisbane and he calls himself Barin Drain. On his bandcamp I see he has some
older releases as well. McFillin plays electric guitar and sings, releasing his music on cassette. That’s
it. I find all of that very sympathetic, but I am listening to this, and I must say this is not really
something for Vital Weekly. It is all well played, singer-songwriter material and it may very well be
all ‘about uncertainty, isolation, resentment, disappointment and struggle’, but here at VW we
love our music to be strange, different, atmospheric, weird, avant-garde even, noisy, very quiet, or
whatever else, as long as it doesn’t sound too much like something we’ve already heard before,
down the pub, on a festival or is perhaps down to the world of rock and pop music. I may be wrong,
and missing a point, but this is just not something for us. (FdW)
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