Number 1070

THINGNY – MINIS/TRAJECTORIES (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)
LAY LLAMAS (LP by Backwards)
MIRT (7″ by Backwards)
NOSTRA SIGNORE DELLE TENEBRE (2LP compilation by Backwards)
SULT & LASSE MARHAUG – HARPOON (LP by Conrad Sound/Pica Disk) *
KOMPJOTR EPLEKTRIKA — MO CO VO MU (7″ by Eplektrik Audio)
THAT BLACK – NOSTALGIA (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
MODELBAU – MOVEMENT (cassette by Sentimental Productions) *
KADAITCHA – CORPUS CAELI (cassette by Quasipop)
OPTICAL RESONANCES (cassette compilation by Audio Visual Atmosphere)


Andy Diagram and Richard Harrison, still have ideas and fun continuing their Spaceheads adventure.
Their newest release ‘Laughing Water’ is new proof of this. For years, since early 90s to be exact,
they release CDs under that name. Before, both were member of Dislocation Dance. Yes these two
have a history. On all their Spaceheads-releases one hears they are rooted in the new wave music of
the 80s and 90s and there is nothing wrong with that.  This time they join with long time friend
Vincent Bertholet, a double bass player from Geneva. Bertholet is mainly active in the local scene of
Geneva with L’Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp and Hyperculte. At the base of this new
release are recordings of jams they did in 2005 in Geneva. Over the years the tracks were shaped,
etc., leading up to this nice collection of eight little songs that ask about 30 minutes of your
attention. We hear Andy Diagram on trumpet, effects and live looping, Richard Harrison playing
drums and percussion and Vincent Bertholet double bass. Between their catchy tunes there are
always one or two that would do best on the dance floor. This time this goes for ‘Quantum Shuffle’
and the up tempo title track. But also ‘Machine Molle’, that has an African feel. The closing track of
the album, ‘Aire De Rhone’, is almost an ambient piece, with a continued bass loop at the core. The
bass of Bertholet fits perfectly in the sound world of the Spaceheads and adds more warmth to it.
––– Address:

THINGNY – MINIS/TRAJECTORIES (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)

ThingNY is a collective or performers and improvisers: Gelsey Bell, Hristina Blagoeva, Andrew Kozar,
Will Lang, Andrew Livingston, Pat Muchmore, Josh Perry, Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Dave Ruder and
Jeffrey Young. They exist ten years now, working on their very own style of poetic music; music
that is close to theatre, spoken word, opera, chamber music and improvisation A seldom heard
combination. I don’t know of any, more or less similar projects. ‘Minis/Trajectories’ is their second
release, featuring works by members Paul Pinto and Erin Rogers. The cd opens with eight short works,
called ‘Mini 001’, ‘Mini 009’, etc. They are composed by Pinto as a part of his on-going
series of ‘short theatrical, stream-of-conscious compositions blending chamber music, storytelling,
and poetry’. These are concise and quirky works that follow the drama of the little stories. Very
compact operas in a way. Luckily for me the texts are included in a textbook, as they are read and
spoken very rapidly. Each work has a different instrumentation. A series of well crafted, entertaining
miniatures, showing a thorough and organic unity of form and content. They are followed by two
compositions by Erin Rogers, first the short ‘Chronolinea’ (2009), “a whispering, screaming
concertino for vocalist and ensemble”, which has soprano Gelsey Bell doing great job and followed
by four-movement ‘Trajectories’, a work for six players/vocalists with room for improvisation, with
issues taken from normal life: I. Money, II. Action, III. Love, and IV. Family)”. Opera was never my
thing, but the way they shape and use this format and blend it chamber music and improvisation
really works. It is unusual, but also very natural sounding. Showing they really succeeded to give
their ideas life in their compositions and performance. The performance is fresh, very spirited and
one feels their enthusiasm and joy. Really a lovely work! (DM)
––– Address:


Volume One of this project was released in 2015 and reviewed at that time for Vital Weekly. This
first chapter was recorded in May 2014 and this is also the case for the second volume. We are
talking of a project led by Gronseth who started his professional career in 2000, after finishing
the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. The Mini Macro Ensemble was started in 2007 focussing
on a combination of improvisation and new modern composed music. From 2011 onward the
ensemble operates in a line up of eight musicians: Hanne Rekdal (flutes, fagot), Morten Barrikmo
(clarinets), Martin Taxt (tuba ), Sigrun Eng (violoncello),  Audun Ellingsen (double bass), Anders
Aarum (keyboards), Andreas Bratlie (percussion) and Anders Lønne Grønseth (saxes, clarinet).
“The aim is always a seamless entity where the improvised substantiates the composed and vice
versa.” This shows Gronseth is doing what so many other musicians are doing, namely to search
for fruitful, interesting interactions between improvised and composed music, by using and
developing specific rules how the game is to be played. Gronseth surely makes his own game of
it. In the opening track ‘Caput Mortuum’ Gronseth impresses with a concentrated eastern-
flavoured solo. Gradually the rest of the band wakes up and starts to participate in a journey that
counts 12 compositions and where also influences of Indian music and others can be traced. To
my ears the music is above all music of a composed nature. I miss the dynamic and tension that
is often met in improvised music. It is a bit too controlled for my tastes. The chamber music is of
a lyrical and romantic atmosphere with nice harmonies. This is nothing earth-shaking or demanding,
but very friendly music with fine playing to be enjoyed. (DM)
––– Address:


So far I had not heard of the Belgium label B.A.A.D.M.; I have no idea what the acronym stands for,
and so far they released music by Mathieu Serruys, Frederik Croene, Sewer Election & Leda and now
Mattias Gustafsson, whose name may sound familiar (but there are more alike with that name), and
this particular Mattias is a member of Altar Of Flies and one half of Cryme. ‘Nattmusik’ is his first
solo record, released under his own name. According to Claudius Galenus (131-216 AD), ‘human
temperament has a direct and reactionary link to the world around us. A phlegmatic personality is
connected to water and the moist chill of winter; the aridity of summer is associated with fire and
human irascibility’, which Gustaffson translated into five pieces of music, all played by him, using
magnetic tape, vinyl, acoustic guitar, organ, voice, radio and field recordings. I am not sure what
‘Nattmusik’ means, but according to Google ‘night musik’ comes close; ‘wet musik’, using the
Dutch word ‘nat’, ‘wet’ sounds probably equally appropriate. Whatever it is that Gustaffson does
in his ‘other’  music, more noise oriented, the work carried out here is something different. It all
sounds very atmospheric, with lots of lo-fi sounds, recorded on warped cassettes, going back and
forth between cassettes. A trace of melody is left behind, such as the looped guitar (or is a piano?
hard to tell) on ‘Känn Ingen Oro, Känn Ingen Ängslan’, in the middle of looped noise from field
recordings, or vinyl, well, or both. That is the most ‘looped’ piece, but Gustaffson knows how not
to leap into boredom. The three pieces on the first side are more subdued and quiet, almost like
the side is further down the night, compared to the other side, which I thought was rather odd.
Some, if not all, of the music on the first side reminded me of Oren Ambarchi, the early work, of
nearly still movements, if such is not an oxymoron, slowly moving forward and backward at the
same time. While the first side sounds distinctly more moody than the second side, the overall
temperament is atmospheric and it sounds really great. This is one of those things that was in
rotation for an entire afternoon. (FdW)
––– Address:

LAY LLAMAS (LP by Backwards)
MIRT (7″ by Backwards)
NOSTRA SIGNORE DELLE TENEBRE (2LP compilation by Backwards)

While I realize that not everything contained in this review is top new releases, I got them anyway,
and what can you do? Backwards is an Italian label, who release mainly music on vinyl and looking
at the names in their catalogue, it was either a feast of recognition or a total blank and very little
in between, so I decided to start with the most heavy item in this parcel, and by someone who I
know, Fabio Orsi. Besides playing the guitar, Orsi’s main occupation, certainly these days, is
photography and that is shown in his box with a single sided LP (why, oh why? I will never
understand one sided LPs, except that they are cheaper to cut, but if you decide the amount of
money Backwards did on this package, an extra LP side would hardly be noticed), a card and a hard
cover (10″ sized) 220 pages book with photos by Orsi. As much as I would love to say something
intelligent about these pictures, and I do think they look great, I admit right away I know very little
about the world of photography. Beautifully printed, fine photographs, and here’s a music reviewer
who finds it hard to see the relation between the pictures and the music on offer, but hey, that’s
me, I guess. The music on the one sided LP (why, oh why?) is top notch Fabio Orsi music. Armed
with his guitar and effects he creates some fine, gentle music; harmonic, spacious and expansive,
meditative and drone heavy. Exactly like we know him to do and yet as always he knows how to
surprise the listener. Orsi isn’t shy when it comes to using reverb, sometimes a bit too much, such
as in the final segment of the piece, but when he finds the right balance between a melodic guitar
and reverb, it all becomes very beautiful. This is quite the soundtrack for a grey day, browsing a
book with black & white photography.
    I then moved on to a name that I know for more thirty years, Maurizio Bianchi, who teams up
with one Ryan Martin, whose name popped in Vital Weekly when he ran a label named Hot Releases,
and who re-issued a bunch of Maurizio Bianchi LPs (see Vital Weekly 667 and 730). These days
Martin is the driving force behind Dais Records, as well as producing music as Copley Medal, Death
Houses and Hanel Koeck, and a member of De Trop, On A Clear Day and York Factory Compliant.
Apparently he is still in contact with Bianchi, and 2010 and 2012, they worked on the four
sidelong pieces that are now released on ‘As Strong As Death Is’. The cover doesn’t tell us, and
it is not easy to guess what they are doing together. I would guess there is some amount of
instruments used here, unlike many of Bianchi’s solo works and collaborations, which seem to
focus on the extensive use of electronics. They are present on this record as well, but I would
think there is also a bunch of heavily processed guitar sounds used in this recording. The sound
seems somewhat muffled, remote or otherwise not always very present, and has this sort of
vaguely ambient notion, even when it is all a bit of an unsettling kind. It is not bad, but at the
same time it wasn’t something that particular grabbed me. It seemed to lack urgency, tension
or the simple notion of an entirely meditative piece of music.
    So Lay Llamas I heard off, but whose sound has faded from my memory (Vital Weekly 877
and 901); on their tumblr page they call themselves ‘spacedelic-afro-kraut fourth world music,
psych tensions, tribal percussions and kosmische synths melted together for a new heights [sic]
of consciousness’. The cover, nor tumblr, mention individual names of musicians, but it’s the
project of Nicola Giunta (guitars, bass, percussions, backing vocals, organ, synth, drum machine
and sound fx) and a bunch of friends. They have a couple of records out, of which this is their
fourth, and a re-issue of a cassette that MT reviewed in VW 877. Back then he wrote: “As I graze
over to the Lay Llamas’ tape, I begin realize that there is isn’t too much background information
on this pet project of Nicola Giunta, an Italian songwriter who also has a solo CS out on Tulip
Records. Here he’s joined by an assortment of allies and together they pull off a tape inspired by
the fringes of fifties/sixties lounge and exotica music. “African Spacecraft” weds tribal drums to
a funk bassline and a troposphere of cosmic synth pearls and ethereal flute, landing somewhere
between Martin Denny’s ‘Exotica’ and 101 Strings’ ‘Astro Sounds from Beyond the Year 2000.’
Then “Space Jungle Mantra” treads one step further into the bizarre, again meshing astronomy
with the animal-kingdom stomp of the wilderness. After the resplendent, paisley-clad pop of “The
Voice of the Big Snake” momentarily steals the show, a stretch of thick guitar fuzz and textural
hand drums close out the tape.” I listen today, with fresh ears and I hear music that has a quite
finely woven psychedelic sound, but of a more very kind and pleasant nature. There are sweet
tinkling guitars, synthesizers, a fine dash of field recordings, a bit of rhythm here and there, such
as in ‘African Spacecraft’ (and I thought the record could do with a bit more these ethnic tribal
rhythms), which made it all very much the kind of chill-out music one never hears enough, or so
it seems. A most enjoyable re-issue.
    Then we have two 7″s. The first one is by the ever so active force Mirt, playing two pieces
using his modular synth, Kurzweil K2000 and field recordings. Often I remark that the format of
the 7″ is perhaps not always suited for experimental music, and as such Mirt’s music benefit also
from a longer form. It seems however that in these two pieces, Mirt gave the format a thought
and brings us two concise pieces of music, almost playing as if they were proper songs. ‘Don’t
Go There’ even has a rhythm, melody and yet also enough weirdness to be different. ‘Another
Disaster’ luckily doesn’t live up to its title and is a shimmering delicate electronic song. This will
hardly play a role in the charts, and that’s a pity. Are 7″ still being made to play roles in charts?
Probably not.
    Benoit Pioulard plays guitar and sings. Just like Brain Drain last week I’d say, although the
work of Pioulard is more accessible than that, and this could easily chart in some kind of
alternative, independent top whatever. But just like I said about Brain Drain Vital Weekly might
not be the right place to write about this kind of music. Too far away from what we do.
    I ended this trip with a double LP compilation that included many people I never heard of
(Heroin In Tahiti, Lay Llamas, Second H. Sam, Lamusa, Edible Woman, Mai Mai Mai, Jennifer Gentle,
Slumberwood, Mamuthones, Gianni Giublena Rosacroce, Beautiful Bunker, Cannibal Movie, Father
Murphy, OVO, Maria Celeste would be the complete list) and there is a theme running through all
these songs, and that is Italian movies, be it the well-known ones, or the super bad ones. I know
you expect a music expert (like me) to be an expert in many different fields as well, to proof my
overall knowledge of all sorts of counter culture, film, literature, but I’m not that expert. I see some
names referenced here, but do I really know Fellini, Visconti, or Morricone? No, I don’t. I understand
that the bands on this record are all part what is apparently called “Italian occult psychedelica”,
which, there are no real surprises anymore, is there, is not something I know much about. So there
you go, unknown bands playing thematic songs on theme I have no idea about. A recipe for
disaster? Well, hardly. I did enjoy the music very much and the filmic thread I would have picked
up as well, from listening to the music. Some of the pieces where just to rocky, like the one by
Edible Woman, but when bands start using keyboards, samplers and have a sort of half-half
orchestral approach, but then all a bit ‘out-of-box’, rather than conducting 80 people with violins
and timpani, which I thought was a really nice approach. Some of these pieces come complete with
spoken word dialogue, as in screaming victims. I know I should see more movies, read more books
and listen to more music; where do I find the time to be unomo universale? (FdW)
––– Address:

SULT & LASSE MARHAUG – HARPOON (LP by Conrad Sound/Pica Disk)

When I read this is all about Marhaug working with the sounds of improvisation group Sult (being
Havard Skaset on guitar, Jacob Felix Heule on percussion and Guro Skumsnes Moe on contrabass),
I somehow expected this to be some sort of Merzbow approach to their music. Play back whatever
Sult recorded and puts tons of sound effects on it. That’s not what Marhaug does here and what
he does is something quite interesting. Marhaug is a man of noise, but he also knows his music,
and here he approaches the music of Sult as a work played by Organum. Taking loops of all sorts
of length, and playing them all together he creates two pieces (of almost identical length) of
scraping sounds; lots of bows on strings can be heard, but also bows on cymbals and because
none of the loops are of equal length the music keeps changing colour and motion all the time.
Sometimes it seems Marhaug slips in recording of the band playing together, and all through that
the loops are in place. Marhaug cleverly mixes all of this together, by constantly shifting his sounds
around and bringing them up and now in the mix, which is a great thing as it gives both of these
pieces are very vibrant character. The second part seems a bit more distant, further way in the mix,
whereas the first side is very much up close and confrontational. I think I prefer that side over the
other, as it reminded me very much of Organum ‘In Extremis’, which back then blew me away as a
statement of acoustic noise; very much like this record then. A true beauty this one. (FdW)
––– Address:

KOMPJOTR EPLEKTRIKA — MO CO VO MU (7″ by Eplektrik Audio)

Hot on the heels of his LP reviewed in Vital Weekly 1046, Mats Björk, also known as Kompjotr
Eplektrika returns with a 7″ in pink generic sleeve. I assume this has to spin at 45 rpm, and by
all means here’s what I think (and this didn’t happen, so you know). One day Björk took a
screwdriver, opened his laptop, while it was connected to the speakers, and also running some
software. His screwdriver touched the motherboard and that had some effect on the sound
program. Nothing broke down, but it all seemed it could crack within minutes. The chaotic,
spastic sounds the computer started to produce where recorded and then produced on a 7″.
Was there any editing? I have no idea, nor do I think this is really an interesting question. On
this 7″ Kompjotr Eplektrika has something that is like a lively piece by Oval, played on acoustic
instruments, recorded on a burned hard disc and unscrewed for release, also meeting Aphex Twin,
who applied the same screwdriver method to a rhythm machine, and in the end he had a bunch of
bolts and nuts left, wondering what the hell they were for. Of course that didn’t happen, I know,
but perhaps it could give you an idea of what it is that Kompjotr Eplektrika does, and it’s basically
circuit bending but then with a laptop. Within the space of 45rpm, two cuts that work particular
well. (FdW)
––– Address:


New music by Jaka Berger, also known as Brgs, and whose primary work is with percussion. His
previous releases were reviewed in Vital Weekly 1016 and 977. On this new release he has four
recent pieces, in which he uses ‘prepared snare drum, string boxes, feedback speakers and
computer’ and as such it moves away from the pure improvisation work he also does, but then
mainly with other people. In his solo work he does something else; improvisation is perhaps the
starting point of it all, but Brgs moves further down the line and for something that is more
composed and ending up with music that is ultimately a combination of drone music, improvisation
and modern composition. All of these components appear in these four pieces, simultaneously and/
or separate. I have no idea how Brgs records his music, whether or not this is the result of multi-
tracking or live playing, but he creates some excellent collages with these sounds, which made me
think this is more likely to be the result of multi-tracking and editing than playing it live. Maybe
some of the music is fed through speakers and computers after they were recorded, setting up
ideal situations for that particular process. The result is something very dynamical, ranging from
quite soft to moderate loudness. Objects on surface, resonating freely in space, cut down quickly
and replaced by something else, like mallets bouncing gently up and down surfaces. All of this
concise and to the point, clocking at just over thirty minutes, this has a fine intensity curve and
the overall quality is very high. (FdW)
––– Address:

THAT BLACK – NOSTALGIA (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

Another trio of new releases by Attenuation Circuit and here we start with a name we heard before,
Thomas Park’s Mystified project, of whom we reviewed quite a bit before, who gets credit here for
sounds and composition, while one Scott Lawlor is responsible for ‘some sonic treatment’. I never
heard of him (I think), but on Discogs I see he has quite an impressive discography and judging by
the titles and labels, I would think his music is very much rooted in the world of drones and
ambient. This particular collaboration is not much different I would assume. There is an extensive
amount of sound effects that effectively transform whatever input. Ideally, looking at the title, I
would say this is all about machine hum, an one-off recording with no editing, of some sort of
machine room, and on top of that both artists freely play around with the stomp boxes, chorus,
flangers, phasers, delays and of course reverb, to expand all of this into one might, forty-eight
minute piece of ambient industrial music. In the final ten or so minutes, the machine becomes a
conveyer belt, and with that comes the notion of rhythm and reminded me of a not too great live
recording of Vivenza, albeit now with some of that lo-fi charm. It is nothing spectacular, nothing
you haven’t heard before from Park (and as said, I can’t say that about Lawlor), but as always I
have a weak spot for that ringing industrial drone.
    Volcanic Queen is up next, and all Discogs cares to share with us, is that this ‘a Texan based
experimental music project’, whose five releases were released privately, as well as one by Black
Fires and two by Craneal Fracture Records. ‘Innnocence Of Those Who Persihed’ is the fifth and
his first CDR, following online releases and cassettes. I would think Volcanic Queen is a one-person
project, armed with a guitar, an amplifier and sound effects. The first three ‘songs’ are electric
guitar storms that howl like the wind. Then, in the fourth song, ‘Letters To Provoke Ruin’, a rhythm
bursts out and Volcanic Queen switched to play keyboards and yet the amount of reverb stays the
same. That is followed by a short blast of noise, more keyboard and rhythm pieces (almost hardcore
in ‘Every Severed Relationship’, then more noise and we end, twenty-five minutes after we started
this roller coaster of rhythm ‘n noise, with ‘Shadows Of A Fallen Empire’, which despite the white
noise, is actually a quiet piece; I think it’s theme is ‘desolation’, but ‘despair’ might also be the
buzzword. As you can see quite a diverse release and that can be a good thing; the artist has
many talents. Or a bad thing, ‘the artist has not yet a clue what he wants’. I think it’s the latter,
and with some wise decision-making, I’m sure he will find his way.
    And finally, That Black, ‘Ukrainian trip hop project’ (Discogs again), who has had his first
release in 2000 and since then did a couple of albums. After 2010 there was much silence, until
the release of ‘Nostalgia’, which was recorded on September 14th, 2016 in Augsburg, and once
again shows the strong ties Attenuation Circuit has with Eastern European artists. I have absolutely
no idea what in the Ukraine they believe to be trip-hop, but I imagine some instrumental hip-hop
with some fine cinematic samples and lifting material from the world of musique concrete. There is
rhythm in here, that is sure, but in no way does sound like a slow hip hop rhythm, but perhaps I am
also a bit too much distracted by the noise that is also played at the same time. I have no idea what
his set-up was that night, but a bunch of monotrons, a turntable with a skipping needle, much
effects, and somewhere around the twenty-minute there is something in there that could be trip-
hop, if I was drunk or stoned enough, but throughout I was thinking that almost all of this belong
more to the world of noise, and as such perhaps a more daring variation of noise, but nevertheless,
noise. The second half of this twenty-nine minute recording I thought was more appealing than the
first half. Not bad, but perhaps this is something to witness in concert, more than on a release.
––– Address:


While the name Nathan McLauglin rang many bells here, I don’t think I heard of Josh Mason before.
He’s from Florida and plays the guitar, often in conjunction with tape machines, computers,
electronics and found sounds and “he tends to believes that audio works should go on only as
long as they need to. His work has been published by FET Press, Desire Path Recordings, Own
Records, Digitalis, Sunshine Ltd. and others”; McLaughlin works a lot with his reel-to-reel machines
and treats acoustic sounds and instruments, mainly stringed ones. He has a lot of cassette releases
on Digitalis Limited, Sunshine Ltd, Tape Drift, Full Spectrum and many others. ‘On The Brink’ is the
first time they work together and release results. They produced one piece that last fifty-four
minutes and which easily can be the results of many sessions stuck together, but then they did it
in such a way that one doesn’t hear; it could also be the product one evening together (somehow
I don’t see this as a result of collaboration via file exchange). There is great care throughout all of
this in using a bit of guitar sounds, fed through some effects, maybe a modular synth on the side,
and with lots of hiss, in all sorts of variations, that are played along, in all varying degrees of volume
control. The guitar is most of the time recognizable as such, with Mason plucking strings, waiting
for the delay to have died out and then starting again, usually the same but over the course of a
few minutes he changes the scenario a bit, before changing to playing some more sustained
sounds, or au contraire, something even more broken up. All of this reminded me very much of
the work of Brian Eno; it has the same pastoral feeling to it and moves in very slow paces, going
back and forth, but ultimately never stays too long in the same place. An excellent piece of
ambient music for a short winter’s day. (FdW)
––– Address:


Three new releases by Australia’s Tone List and the first one is by the for me unknown guitar player
Jameson Feakes, who performs a bunch of pieces by people, such as Clarence Barlow, Eva-Maria
Houben, Josten Myburgh and James Bradbury. The latter two also contribute electronics to their
own compositions. ‘…Until…’ is Feakes debut album. In the title composition, by Barlow, the guitar
sings like a bunch of wine glasses and moves about with very slow speed. A name that springs to
mind is the Wandelweiser group of composers, and Houben is part of that group. In her short
composition, ‘Prelude,’ (and yes, that comma should be there), the guitar is easily recognized,
despite the fact that only very few, isolated notes are used. Her other piece on her has the same
name sans comma, and is even shorter, but easily from a same territory. In between we have
Myburgh’s piece, ‘A Window In Sicily’, at close to twenty-nine minutes by far the longest piece here.
It may involve field recordings from that place and some crackling/white noise along with some very
soft guitar playing. The piece with Bradbury is an improvisation between guitar and computer, with
a call and response game going on between the two. It is improvised but by no means does this
break with all the careful building of the previous four pieces, even this might seem to be the
‘loudest’ (all highly relative of course) all five pieces. Feakes builds very quiet music, in which not
always a lot seems to be happening, but then, I am sure this might not be the sort of thing he’s
after anyway and as such I believe he’s the perfect player for Wandelweiser compositions.
    When I inserted Bradbury release, nothing happened; it looked like it wasn’t a music CDR, but
then I found out it is data CDR. It all deals with a max/msp patch Bradbury wrote, called
‘Biomimicry’, which acts like an ‘autonomous musical system that draws on perceptual features
of an improviser to synthesise a response. By parsing the collaborators sound into Mel-frequency
cepstral coefficients the system is imbued with an evaluative capability and can assess changes in
amplitude and timbre in order to shape its interactive behaviour”, just in case you were wondering.
I tried opening the enclosed patch, but failed to discover how it works, maybe I was too easily
distracted by other things today. There are two input files here, one by Sage Pbbbt (voice) and
one by Dan O’Connor on trumpet. Listening to the various MP3s on this release, I must also admit
I don’t have a very clear idea what it is that is going on here. Some of this doesn’t seem very far
away from the input files, also enclosed on this. The whole thing is a bit confusing as to what is
what here, with various folders of mp3s and all that. It sounded all right, perhaps too much in the
world of computer treatments that we’ve heard before. I think I would prefer something like this in
combination with one or more players, somewhere along the lines of picking up the other playing
their instruments; maybe something he did along the lines of his piece with Feakes. Maybe there is
much more to this, but I fail to see it.
    And then finally on cassette we find the music of Shoshanna Rosenberg, who has four pieces
here, three of which are for bass clarinet and one for the clarinet, and that latter one is being
reworked by Aviva Endean as an independent composition, but then for bass clarinet again. All five
pieces are quite short, around three minutes and a few seconds. Rosenberg calls herself a ‘queer,
Jewish, eternal novice’ and the text along with this is about Womenhood. You can look it up on the
website and bandcamp from the label. I feel there is not much relation with what I hear, save
perhaps for the somewhat mournful tone of her bass clarinet. That extends also to the piece on
the clarinet. I quite enjoyed these pieces, even when a solo instrument is not always something
that I like. It doesn’t sound like improvisations but rather like composed pieces of music. Most
enjoyable. (FdW)
––– Address:


The duo of Joseph Kramer and Noé Cuellar, working together under the banner of Coppice, have
surprised me with their music quite a bit by now (see Vital Weekly 1007, 991, 921 and 892 for
instance) and continue to do so with this new, albeit, short release. Here we have only three pieces
of music, and together that’s just eighteen minutes. We learn from the label’s Bandcamp site that
these are “Games of Impossible Objects & Binary Clocks in preparation for virtual worlds in real
spaces. Physical modelling synthesis, modular synthesizers, and custom built devices”, so safe to
say that the first line of that I didn’t understand. The music Coppice plays holds somewhere in
between drone and improvisation, but in these three new pieces there is a certain shift noticeable.
Whereas in the old days the emphasis was perhaps towards drones from pump organs, processed
in real-time, delivering a finely woven electro-acoustic version of drone music. I am not sure if pump
organs are still something they use, but there is a distinct progress to be noted in these three
pieces. In all three there is some form of rhythm to be noted; not something to dance too, but
something to hold on to. Also these pieces are shorter, between four and six minutes, and have
a song like structure, as opposed to the somewhat meandering pieces of before. In each of three
pieces there are recurring elements, built-ups, bridges and above all rhythmical elements that make
this more like regular music; I could see them at a point in the future move on towards dance music,
and them doing a record of pieces like this. In an odd way I was reminded of dub music by some of
this, especially in ‘Flut (Tighter)’ and ‘Sucked In’, but then of a much more abstract nature. An
absolute surprise this new Coppice, an excellent move towards a new sound, and I wonder what
the future will bring. (FdW)
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To say I am well versed in the work of avant-garde composer Luciano Berio (1925-2003) is not
true; in fact I hardly heard any of his work, although ‘Folk Songs’ is the one piece that I know very
well, and love very much. My father gave me the record, and I remember I played that piece over
and over, and ignored the others that were on there, such ‘Nones’, ‘Concerto For Two Pianos’ and
‘Chemnis IV’. So perhaps I am not the right person to judge the five pieces on the homage that
Polish Adam Mankowski, also known as Limited Liability Sounds, just released. For instance I can’t
say whether or not Mankowski uses Berio’s methods of composing, or that his homage is more
loosely based on Berio’s work. Some, if not all, of the titles, are inspired or taken from Berio’s work.
Limited Liability Sounds operate from a more electronic angle, but perhaps as such relates to some
of Berio’s work. Maybe he uses sounds from compositions? Much like Berio, Limited Liability Sounds
plays for the effects of the sounds on the listener. If there were no connection to Berio, I would
perhaps have said something about processing acoustic sounds and instruments, that this is
perhaps part of the world of electro-acoustic music and at the same time also from the world of
ambient music. In each of the five pieces, ranging from one to seventeen minutes, Mankowski aims
for bringing on some kind of mood; all of these a bit darker. The most obvious one being ‘Chants
Parallèles (sons fixés)’, with its extensive use of reverb going wild over stringed sounds, creating a
dense cloud of sound; in ‘Momenti (ninety-three sine waves)’, the sound of perhaps ninety-three
sound waves rise and disappear, solemnly and dark. Vast webs of sound are spun in all of these
pieces, except perhaps the sparse clicks of the shortest piece, ‘Omaggio a Joyce (shot #1)’. I
thought this was an excellent release, a fine bridge between worlds, which sometimes seem not
alike, the worlds of modern classical music, drone music, ambient and electro-acoustic music, and
probably an invitation to start listening to the work of Berio (again?). (FdW)
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MODELBAU – MOVEMENT (cassette by Sentimental Productions)

Here’s another release by Modelbau – one of the more recent additions to an impressively extensive
set of monikers used by Frans de Waard. All material on this cassette was taken from one single
evening-long session. Opener “Mechanik” consist very aptly of a dense mechanical drone that is
accompanied by noise based cuts & clicks – a bit like a slow fuse box singing along to chaotic
karaoke versions of Stefan Betke’s Pole. This goes on until modulated high end synth fragments
make their way to the foreground while the glitches recede. “Measure” is a pleasant dive into a
more distinctly synthesised sound that is perhaps somewhat akin to that of Thorofon; a dark
modulated synth drone, analogue glissando pulses and a distorted ray of monotonous mid range
radiation. The track builds up to a point where it just drops all parts except for the mid range layer
that then modulates for a while and slowly echoes away into infinity. “Mass” is a filthy old generator
faithfully simmering on, half-submerged in a vacated, muddy, construction light-lit excavation site,
slowly waiting for the builders to return while rain starts pouring down. Quite evocative in a
different way is “Malfunction” in which we hear the alarm of a fancy Enterprise class spaceship on
the verge of a warp core meltdown. Then suddenly somebody manages to either fix whatever was
wrong with the core, or.. just muted the siren. The stifling tension of possible impending death
becomes almost tangible during these last few minutes, not knowing whether it is the one thing
or the other. Still in the end, ostensibly having dodged the bullet, we live. And to wrap up,
“Moribund” brings us another lonely machine, but this time a snidy one inside a factory hall,
concocting a megalomaniacal plan for world domination via Internet enslavement. It continues to
send out its addictive pulses into the ether, knowing that one day we will falter and it’ll be matrix
time… Quite a trip this one and only 50 copies available so you’d better are quick. (PJN)
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KADAITCHA – CORPUS CAELI (cassette by Quasipop)

From “Nova Kakhovka, the steppe, Ukraine”, hails the duo of Andrei Kojoohar & Yuri Samson, who
go by the name Kadaitcha, and I believe Coprus Caeli is their first release. “Kadaitcha explores
organic aspects of the noise, post-industrial and archaic aestethics”, Quasipop tells us and at the
disposal of the two musicians we find guitars, saxophone, percussion and electronics. Six long
pieces, spanning forty minutes, of highly captivating noise music at times, through a myriad of
distorted guitars, but also some more introspective moments, such as the saxophone piece
‘Deprivatio’, but that is a minority here. Kadaitch don’t use a lot of changes in their pieces and
like everything to be on the minimal side, however not minimal when it comes to using power.
Overall there is certainly something psychedelic about this music, albeit also from a more industrial
music side of things; there are some heavy forces at play here and throughout it is all most
enjoyable in all its dark power. (FdW)
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OPTICAL RESONANCES (cassette compilation by Audio Visual Atmosphere)

Back in the 80s a compilation cassette was a gateway, among other things, for bands to get
exposure and for listeners to experience new music by unknown bands. My love for say The
Legendary Pink Dots comes from that period, also because they had a stand-out sound that
was so much different from most of the other bands on compilation cassettes. Back then one
of the often heard objections was that since so much music on a compilation was alike and one
was easily lost; who does which track? That problem I had with ‘Optical Resonances’, an 80-
minute compilation by Belgium’s Audio Visual Atmospheres. In between making coffee, answering
mail, looking at my phone, iPad and scribbling down words, I was very quickly lost who does what
here; right now I am on side A, somewhere in the middle, but already I have no idea if I am listening
to O Ratel Ratel or Meryllampe. I was looking for the release online, Bandcamp version, which was
not up (yet), as to verify what I was hearing, and realized that these days the online representation
is probably the gateway to getting new music heard, of course providing people are still looking for
something they don’t know yet. The download card provided all the answers I needed. While the
music on ‘Optical Resonances’ seems closely connected to each other, and all to be found in the
world of ambient and industrial music, with a fine amount of rhythm and loops, there are certainly
new names to explore here, apart from the two already mentioned. There is Thorsten Soltau,
Sequences and Cinema Perdu, of whom I heard before, but also Victorine Maurent, Silent Venture,
Ohm Saw, Fading Contour, Anji Cheung, Sofia Ozdravovna, Sho and Persona Mercue, and while
there is no one that leaps out in the way the Dots did back then, the overall connected dots
made this a very interesting tape to hear. The music is dark and yet most enjoyable, bouncing
all over the axis ambient and industrial. If you believe that trying out new stuff is your thing, then
this is surely a must have. (FdW)
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Recently I viewed a documentary by Zack Taylor about cassette culture, and while I found that the
whole scene of ‘bed room composers’ were missing in action, another aspect of cassettes was also
not mentioned; in the 80s many of them came with a weird package, like milk cartons or bathing
sponges. That’s something you don’t see these days too much. Today the postman handed me a
cardboard tube and on the customs slip it was written ‘artificial flower, usb drive’, and out came
just that. This is next release from Todd Anderson-Kunert, of whom I reviewed his ‘Where There Is
Nothing Left To Say’ in Vital Weekly 1045. I quite enjoyed that release, simply because it was noise
based, but everything was clearly executed with plenty of thought. His ‘Almost There’ deals with a
piece of music Anderson-Kunert made and which controlled various vibrators, used by ten different
people (a mix of genders and a variety of sexual identities) while masturbating. Anderson-Kunert
asked them to record their voices and then everything went back into the mix of the original piece.
The participant’s responded to the music with their voices; a very intimate piece of music. Very
John Duncan-like, I thought, and very Hafler Trio like (think ‘Fuck’ and ‘Masturbatorium). It comes
with a flower, as masturbation is something one does for one-self, like buying a flower for one self,
for your pleasure. ‘Almost There’ lasts fifteen minutes, very sadly, as this is quite a beauty. I am
not sure what I would have made of it, had I not known the concept behind this. I am not sure if I
would have picked up the sexual voices in this piece, but there are surely there; more towards the
end than the beginning, which might be to do with the orgasm. The music is quite extreme, and I
wonder what some of these participants made of this, when they heard the music. Some of the
blocks (two to four minutes, nine to ten) are sonically in overload, but in between there is a gentle
processed electronic sound and for the first time we hear voices. This is also noise, with a lot of
thought put into it, and with the result being absolutely great. Think Joe Colley, Francesco Meirino
or some older Hafler Trio cut-up works and yet Anderson-Kunert adds very much his own unique
approach to it. This is a highly personal work. (FdW)
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