Number 1071

K. LEIMER – LAND OF LOOK BEHIND (CD by Palace Of Lights) *
CREATION VI & UHUSHUHU (CD by Muzyka Voln) *
ANTHESTERIA – EIS (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
JURMO – GNISTOR, IRRBLOSS 1:2 (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)
.PUNKT – DOTS AND LINES (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)
JAAS – SLOWLY ROCKING (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)
MIGUEL A. GARCIA – ARGIOPE (CD by Creative Sources) *
GINTAS K – UNDER MY SKIN (cassette by Cronica Electronica)
LUCA FORCUCCI – THE WASTE LAND (cassette by Cronica Electronica)
IRENE KEPL – SOLOLOS (CD by Fou Records)
EARTH TONGUES – OHIO  (2CD by Neither/Nor)
KAZUYA ISHIGAMI – CLEANER 583 (CD by Slowdown Records) *
EIGENGOIDYLL (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
THE JULIE MITTENS – SOUNDCULT (cassette by Barreuh Records))
KÖHNEN PANDI DUO – DARKNESS COMES IN TWO’S (Digital album by Svart Lava)

K. LEIMER – LAND OF LOOK BEHIND (CD by Palace Of Lights)

If you have been reading this thing called Vital Weekly for some time, then you may be aware I am
always quite pleased by the music of K. Leimer, who has been around for almost forty years in the
music business. His music is not a very static thing; he constantly searches for new techniques to
carve out his own take on what could be broadly described as ambient music. In his recent works
he explores the realms of the computer, treating for instance piano sounds, as on his latest ‘Re-
enact’ CD (see Vital Weekly 1045). Compare that with his 1982 soundtrack for a film by Alan
Greenberg, the now remastered ‘Land Of Look Behind’. Back then released as a LP, now again
available as a CD and LP. The film is about Rastafarian culture at the time of Bob Marley’s funeral.
Perhaps you think, much like I did, that Leimer is an unlikely person to score such a soundtrack, but
if you play this it makes much more sense. On ‘Land Of Look Behind’, rhythm plays an important
role, along with delicate sound treatments that easily could pass on jungle sounds. Quite rare is
the fact that Leimer also uses voices in this work; if he does, they are mostly looped around.
Compare this with some of Leimer’s other work from that period, and much of his back catalogue
is released again so you could know, and you will notice this is the oddball. Synthesizers play a very
big role here, as always I’d say, but it’s the rhythm that does the work. It’s sometimes rhythm out
of a box, but Leimer also uses percussion played by Steve Fisk, Kevin Hodges, David Keller and
James Keller. I am reminded of some of the music of Jon Hassell or early Michel Banabila; it has a
beautiful exotic playfulness, a warm sunny feeling if you will. All of this has very little to do with
reggae music, which perhaps given the nature of the documentary may sound odd, but Leimer has
an unique approach to using Nyabinghi drumming to create a fine tribal feel; spooky and sunny at
the same time. His synthesizers fill up spaces and remind me of the best of Eno in the same period.
This is an excellent re-issue, and apparently with three pieces on the digital download he finished
later on. This is thirty-seven minutes of exotic bliss.
    Around for as many years as Leimer is his buddy Marc Barreca, who is yet somewhat less
prolific. ‘Aberrant Lens’ is his seventh solo album for Palace Of Lights (incidentally Leimer’s own
imprint) and contains recent music, following a re-issue of older work, which was reviewed in Vital
Weekly 1045. Also very much like Leimer, Barreca explores new technology and his latest CD
consists of processed acoustic instruments, such as prepared guitars, pianos, Indonesian
metallophones and glass harmonica. By applying ‘long midi delays, synced MIDI processing via
Max for Live and extreme warping of disparate looped sound sources’, none of that is easily
recognized in the music. All of this technical mumbo-jumbo may sound like this being something
very cold and digital, or perhaps some very serious avant-garde music but that is not the case.
The twelve pieces of music here are fine, delicate excursions into the abstract side of ambient
music. It doesn’t use the glissandi used in the more serious form of computer music, nor does it
play as ominous drones that fade in/fade out and stay static for twenty minutes, but in each of
the pieces, lasting between three and six minutes, the stretched tones of acoustic sources are
coloured by digital techniques and sometimes Barreca adds a piano on top, or the tinkling of a
guitar, which together makes up some excellent pieces of mood music. Usually it is all a bit darkly
coloured around here, but Barreca knows how to paint flashes of light in this, as to avoid the true
darkness. Barreca’s music is smooth and edgy, ambient and yet still quite abstract. He doesn’t
play out for easy recognition, but that is what makes his work so much more interesting. (FdW)
––– Address:


Somi comes in a beautiful hardbound book, filled with the inspirational photographs for this record
of slowly repetitive, soft and gentle electronics. A grouping this is of explorations of change, stasis
and time versus timelessness – the debasement of time, too. Somi is constructed without the use
of software or automatic looping. Deupree instead, opted for the more tactile and hands-on
approach and worked with analogue cassette players to construct layered and textured ambient
    Somi shares affinities with the ambient LP’s that propelled Brian Eno to massive fame, while
connecting firmly with the soft-spoken and highly sophisticated stylings of Celer. In the ever volatile
analogue realm of phasing and polyrhythms falling apart; disintegrating in the very construction of
the works, Somi claims a spot right next to William Basinski’s master piece quartet of
fragmentation, somehow, somewhere still held together, at the end of the tape’s tethers.
    Deupree’s work will not doubt enchant fans of Endless Summer by Fennesz or Riceboy Sleeps
but adds a subtle yet profound level of conceptual interest to the palette of sweet guitar tones
drifting in and out of focus. The quiet carries an uncertain unease on its sleeve; natural irregularities
that betray the placid horizontal lines and move the pieces into a realm of fragile subtlety not unlike
the shimmering touch in the lines of stillness in Agnes Martin’s paintings: the lively and wholly
varied beautiful imperfections open up mesmerizing vistas of timbral shifts and layers moving just
out of phase. An intimate listen to get lost in time, time and time again. (SSK)
––– Address:


From Québec, Canada Christian Bouchard (born in 1968) delivers a work of acousmatics and
electro-acoustic contemporary composed brilliance – a remix of the acoustic space of the
exhibition Broken Ground; between the abstract and concrète by Derek Besant. Broken Ground
explores ever-changing perspectives and perceptions of cityscapes, from the city at eye- and
earlevel – the urban environment as a stage set, constructed and torn down, new builds and
debris of ruins.
Bouchard’s electronic soundtrack is a testament to continuous flux and movement. The livelihood
and breath of a city (anywhere in the world, non-specific) is given tangible form and structure in
constant variations, shadows cast forward towards traces that have yet to be formed, a streetlight
to be lit, clues hiding in alleyways where identification and interpretation are shifting. A map of
hypothetical reconfiguration and non-stop finding and refinding of terra firma; fragmented yet
soundly based in reality’s foundations.
    Broken Ground is as much composed as it is decomposed; measured and reconsidered yet
exuberant and exalting. Bouchard navigates the familiar, pushing the wanderer towards the alien;
takes the stranger (L’Étranger?) by the hand and leads us towards a point of reference we can
connect to based on past experiences. In media res we are jettisoned into a plan without city; a
city without apparent map. The ambiance is not per se hostile nor very friendly – a tabula rasa
perhaps which we will have to negotiate ourselves, every step along the way. No flaneur here. This
walk has purpose and determination if not a definite goal, aim, end point. Yet Broken Ground is by
no means of labyrinth structure; without time, without place we hear a city tour of the unknown,
with Borges and Barrico and more than a shard of Blade Runner as our guides. (SSK)
––– Address:

ANTHESTERIA – EIS (CD by Zhelezobeton)

A few days ago I came back home after a long trip in a fairly confined space, traveling various time
zones. I looked at a small pile of parcels, accumulated during my absence and picked up the one by
Closing The Eternity to be played first. It was probably the best choice I could have made (as I found
out later of course), since within fifteen minutes of the first piece (lasting close thirty minutes) I
was dozing off, drifting back into space, but this time without being in a confined space, and
without other people, noise, screens flickering around me. I have no idea who to thank for this,
since Closing The Eternity reveals no names. I only heard music from this project before when I
reviewed the collaboration with Matthias Grassow in Vital Weekly 983. I found that one a bit new
age-like for my taste, but with this one they dive right back into the world netherworld of dark
drone music. Music that was already recorded in 2004, and mixed in 2007, and for unknown
reasons never released before. Maybe it needed the right label, and Muzyka Voln means ‘music of
waves’, so it has found the perfect home for it. Two very long pieces, twenty-five and twenty-five
minutes, while in the middle there is an eight-minute piece. In all three of these pieces time comes
to standstill.  The drone pieces are very quiet, and I am not sure why that is. I would think it could
easily have been a bit louder than this. I am not complaining though. Even now, fully recovered from
jetlag, all present and not dozing off, I think this is a great release. Probably not in terms of hearing
something that hasn’t been done before, as this fits perfectly the world of all things dark, drone
and atmospheric, but Closing The Eternity simply delivers three excellent pieces of that kind of
isolationist music, with the closing piece, ‘Alongside The Infinity’ having the most action of the
three. This is an excellent mid winter mood music release.
    The other new release by Muzyka Voln is a collaboration between Creation IV and Uhushuhu.
The latter of whom we heard music back in Vital Weekly 987 and 933, while Creation VI before had
a work with Exit To Exist, reviewed in Vital Weekly 875. Here the two bands have a forty-minute
piece of similar drone related music as Closing The Eternity but yet there is also much difference.
These two musical projects allow for a wide palette of sound material to choose from. This includes
for instance an extensive use of field recordings, mainly recordings of birds I’d say. There is also the
use of acoustic instruments, such as bells and bowed strings, but all of that comes with a large
amount of electronic treatments, and among that I’d say the reverb plays the all important role.
Obviously, perhaps, as this is what makes dark drones probably dark and drony. The music rolls
about, in all those spacey sound effects, which has a very hallucinating effect on the listener. One
could easily call this psychedelic music, less any drums or guitars. This is just one giant atmospheric
explosion in the sky, with ever expanding boundaries. Like Closing The Eternity perhaps not the
most newest of drone affairs, but a very solid work it surely is. I enjoyed Closing The Eternity a
little bit more, because of their seemingly somewhat quieter approach.
    And finally the music of Anthesteria from St. Petersburg, with a collection of pieces recorded
between 2003 and 2010, some of which were released on compilations, the Internet or previously
unreleased. It has been a long time since I last heard the music of Anthesteria, being ‘Phobos 1953
(OST)’, back in Vital Weekly 744. That one was the soundtrack to a computer game. These thirteen
pieces from the older days show an interest in playing the mood card as well, just like the other two
releases from the same house, but this is something entirely differently. Obviously the tracks are
shorter, but also seem to have a background in the alternative pop noir world. Plus there is an
absence when it comes to using field recordings (save for announcements in the train station), and
a strong love for all things electronic, rhythmic and an occasional guitar being picked up. All of this
played with some chords in minor, and many grey colours. While I thought it was all quite enjoyable,
I thought this was the least of the three new releases. Some of the pieces were just a bit too long
for my taste; many of these are way over five minutes, but what is said could also have been said
in three to four minutes and pieces didn’t offer enough variation. In the end a seventy-seven minute
disc with many too long pieces and not enough variation is perhaps all a bit too much. You’d need
to be a die-hard fan to get through all of this with great ease. (FdW)
––– Address:

JURMO – GNISTOR, IRRBLOSS 1:2 (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)
.PUNKT – DOTS AND LINES (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)
JAAS – SLOWLY ROCKING (CD by Ausculto Fonogram)

First three releases and a promising start by a new label initiated by Johan Arrias a saxophone and
clarinet player from Stockholm. With this new label Arrias wants to promote what he calls “close
and detailed listening”. This is demonstrated by these three first releases by three different projects
of Arrias. Recordings of all three albums date from a few years ago. The Jurmo album was recorded
in 2011-2012. The albums by Jaas and .Punkt in 2013. Arrias moves from jazz to composed
music, from improvisation to experimental as these recordings illustrate. Jurmo is Lisa Bodelius
(trombone), Emil Strandberg trumpet on one half of the tracks and Johan Norin on the other half.
Seem for tuba. Played by Per Åke Holmlander on one half and by Sami Al Fakir on the other half.
Johans Arrias on clarinet, and alto and tenor sax. He is also responsible for the compositions and
arrangements. Drums and percussion are by Christopher Cantillo. Nicolai Dunger, vocals in track 1
and 11. The music is best called chamber music. The compositions didn’t contain many
manoeuvres that surprised me. Most of it is composed along very classical lines, and sounds very
normal and accessible. But there are welcome exceptions like ‘Utan Titel I’ that has a strange,
abstract middle part, or the three mini-tracks ‘Reglerana och leken’. ‘Berg och dal’ evokes influences
of folk music and Moondog and ends with a prominent part by the drummer. It is a nice album but
not earth-shaking.
    Jaas is a totally other piece of cake as it is far more experimental than the Jurmo album. For
this project Arrias works with: Anna Lindal (violin), David Stackenäs (guitar), Henrik Olsson
(electronics, percussion) and Wilhelm Bromander (double bass). Arrias himself plays again clarinet
and saxophone. The title track and ‘Sound of Wall’ are composed improvisations by Arrias the liner
notes explain. ‘Untitled I’ and ‘Untitled II’ are group improvisations. These special improvisations
concentrate on sound and timbre. Listening to these works I find myself far more concentrated on
what is happening. The expanded improvisations are made up of subtle sounds and movements,
and show a concentrated interplay between the musicians.
    Also .Punkt offers  similar music of a more radical kind. It is a trio of Tisha Mukarji (prepared
piano), Henrik Olsson (percussion, electronics) and Arrias again on clarinet and saxophone. ”The
trio intertwines improvisation and written music with a particular focus on graphic and text scores.
Questioning the practice of reading and interpretation of standard notation through to graphic
lines and text scores. They develop their structures combining these elements to a practice that
explores the central ideas of performing and reading music today.” Of all three this is the most
exciting one. Again we hear music that investigates sound and textures.
     But compared with the Jaas-album the electronics, played on both albums by Olsson, are
more dominant. Also there is more drama in these fragile sound works. The music moves on
slowly and invites to note all the details and nuances. And to feel at home in the unconventional
structures this music is made of. (DM)
––– Address:

MIGUEL A. GARCIA – ARGIOPE (CD by Creative Sources)

Three discs we have here, and Miguel A. Garcia, Basque’s most active force, is part of all of them,
while compadre Sebastian Branche is on two of these. All three released by Portuguese imprint
Creative Sources, one of the most active imprints of improvised music.
    I started off with Garcia’s solo disc, which also features some of his friends delivering
instrumental parts, such as voice, guitar and saxophone. Garcia’s music can be very harsh,
mainly working through a whole bunch of laptop operated techniques but these days it seems
that ‘pure noise’ is no longer on his daily bread. Which I guess is a good thing, as with works like
this, Garcia shows he can do so much more and how much more interesting this is. He still uses
quite some extreme sounds and frequencies, but in using collage techniques, he cuts and edits
these extremities into pieces of music that are totally worth hearing. In his way of applying
processing and editing, he reminds me of the work of Roel Meelkop or Marc Behrens, even when
Garcia is the more extreme version of laptop music. Having said that, the title piece then is at
times very quiet, and over the course of thirteen minutes, a slow builder towards something that
is more audible. Of the various sound sources he got from his friends, I can safely say it is not
always easy to hear. Much of the music appears to be at a low level, but if you put up the volume,
then you will be in for some more extreme frequencies, both in the high end as well as the low-end
spectrum. It is all in all quite an extreme treatment but a delight to hear.
    Together with saxophone player Sebastien Branche, Garcia recorded ‘Pnoladeu Avvrhig’,
whatever that may mean. There is no indication how this was recorded, either in concert or as an
exchange by mail of sound files and with Garcia treating the saxophone or not. Judging on what I
hear I would think that this is in fact a recording of them playing together, in the same space, but
whether or not in the presence of audience is unclear. I believe I didn’t hear of Branche before, but
he is surely someone who is up to par with Garcia when it comes to some extreme, sustaining
sounds on the horn. Here too Garcia and Branche seem to be playing something that is softer than
usual. Garcia produces his sine wave like sounds, while Branche follows him in a similar fashion by
producing equally long form notes, and yet one cannot say this is pure minimalism. There is an
element of alienation in this music, and perhaps that is due to the fact that either Garcia or
Branche, or even both, use contact microphones upon objects (or saxophone) adding these
strange electro-acoustic sounds, and topped with a microphone recording, it also sounds very
direct and in your face. All of this sounds rather subdued and intense, and one has to pay full
attention not to miss anything and only then this reveals it’s true beauty. This is a great, finely
balanced work of improvised music meeting laptop technology, cracking down into six pieces of
electro-acoustic sounds.
    The biggest group of players is on the last CD, which has Garcia on electronics, Branche on
saxophone and Abdul Moimeme on electric guitar, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola and Guilherme
Rodrigues on cello. They recorded the five pieces on March 27, 2016 in Scratch Built Studio in
Lisbon. While it lists Garcia’s name first and it is among these three new releases, that doesn’t
mean that Garcia is the main operator or conductor here; I’d rather think of him as one of the five
people playing this improvised music. While the previous Garcia/Branche CD seemed also improvised
to me, this five-person work is of the two the more improvised one. The quintet of players also like
their sounds to be sustaining, placing bows on strings, but also motorized objects, buzzing
electronics and such like, in order to create a vast mass of sounds that seem to closely tied
together. It sounds really good, but sometimes also a bit too long, such as in the longest piece,
‘The Unfathomable Yearning Of Carving The Void’. Sometimes, so it seems to me, things could
have used a bit more editing, which would have brought just that extra bit of tension to the music.
The way it sounds now, it seems that Garcia, who did the mix, wanted to use all of the sounds that
were captured on tape. These sixty-one minutes could have been a stronger forty-five or less
minutes, I think. But in terms of improvised music that sounds a bit different, a bit moodier and
atmospheric, then this is absolutely the right place to be. (FdW)
––– Address:

GINTAS K – UNDER MY SKIN (cassette by Cronica Electronica)
LUCA FORCUCCI – THE WASTE LAND (cassette by Cronica Electronica)

Music releases by Paris born and based composer Emmanuel Mieville are quite apart (Vital Weekly
803 and 1000 for instance) and has a strong emphasis on field recordings and this one is no
different. Mieville had training in sound engineering in a film school and later on at INA-GRM, but
also played in Javanese gamelan orchestra for two years. He records also sorts of environments
and treats them, layers those processed bits together and collages them into a composition. Each
of his releases is a bout a specific location. The title of his latest release comes from “the title of
this album comes from the Japanese translation of the Sanskrit word and points to a chapter of
the Lotus Sūtra, one the most famous text of Mahāyāna Buddhism”. Recordings for the four pieces
on this album have been made in Asia, such as Tibetan nuns from Copan monastery and FM radio in
Hong Kong, as well as Buddhist chanting for a deceased person and inspired by Bhutto dancers. In
all four of these pieces, Mieville uses a fair amount of original sound sources, as in to be recognized
by the listener; the chanting, percussive music, radio static and maybe overall street/field
recordings, which are treated extensively by him using mostly digital techniques. As such his music
stays quite close to the more traditional work of acousmatic composers and this would be easily
something that could have been released by Empreintes Digitales, even when I am too much of
uninitiated listener to judge if Mieville applies all the proper composing techniques that one ought
to apply in that world. I quite enjoyed it, and that’s especially due to the fact that we hear so many
of the original field recording, culminating in the final piece, ‘Taisi Funeral’, with its abstract organ
like sounds and singing and bell sounds; it sounds like this was a straight recording of a death rite
and not a mix of various sound sources. This was altogether an excellent release.
    Gintas K, from Lithuania, who has been around for many years, has used no field recordings
on his new release. Instead he uses ‘digital synthesis’. I am not sure if an input of any kind is
needed here, but maybe it is all in some sort of feedback process, where sounds bounce back and
forth against each other. In recent years I have not always been enamoured by his work, mainly
because so much seems the same really, and this cassette is no different. Much of what I hear on
this one, I also heard before from him. The digital sound processing that can be sweet and melodic
(well, not too melodic of course), scratchy, hissy, noisy or looped so that it becomes a rhythm.
Think Fennesz, think Alva Noto, think serious computer music and Gintas K does all of that. Every
release by him is actually quite good, but it also a bit too much on a repeat mission for me. I wish
for something new to happen in his world.
    And finally Luca Forcucci, of which no information was yet available. His cassette was
composed and mixed in places INA-GRM, Electronic Music Studio TU (Berlin) and Atomic Lady
(Earth).  Maybe his composition ‘The Waste Land’ is inspired by T.S. Eliott’s poem of the same
name, about the decay of life, and listening to the title piece I am sure it might very well be about
the decay around us (and with the current state of affairs, the decay is in full force). Forcucci is
someone who takes field recordings and processes to quite an extreme level, without making it all
too noisy. The title piece is especially a dark beast of crumbling sounds; acid rain or a polluted river
sound like the input. Or perhaps it was all recorded below a pile of dust? It sounds quite good; it is
very intense with all its dark toned sounds. (FdW)
––– Address:

IRENE KEPL – SOLOLOS (CD by Fou Records)

Short after the impressive album ‘Modes of Raw’ by Biliana Voutchkova another recording of solo
violin is at my desk. And again one that really hits. This time one by Irene Kepl, a musician from
Linz, Austria who studied violin and jazz at the local university. Nowadays she works as a violinist
and composer based in Vienna. As an improviser she worked with numerous musicians like Joëlle
Léandre, Moei Staiano, Tristan Honsinger, etc. She produced duo-recordings with Carl Ludwig
Hübsch (tuba) and ark Holub (drummer). Her composed work includes compositions for theatre,
film, dance, etc. She won several awards for her composed work. On this first solo recording we
learn more about Kepl as a solo improviser. While on tour early 2016 the idea popped up to record
some solo improvisations. And so it happened that she recorded twelve improvisations on March
6th in a studio near Paris, recorded by Jean-Marc Foussat. A fine demonstration of her skills and
vocabulary. Each improvisation zooms in on different aspects and techniques, like bowing and
scratching the strings, etc. Sometimes repetition is an important element. Other improvisations
are more about timbre and colouring. Sometimes a melody is hidden in the improvisations.
Sometimes she sings. Of course the improvisations are not meant as just an exposure of skills.
Above all Kepl offers a fine mixed bouquet of musically engaging improvisations. (DM)
––– Address:


While reviewing ‘Tumult’ by the New Old Luten Quintet last year, I expected it to be last recording
of Ernst Ludwig ‘Luten’ Petrowsky, who was 80 on this recording. But to my surprise it isn’t. This
new release is recorded in December 2014 when Petrowsky was almost 81. The cd contains one
30-minute improvisation called ‘Lutens Letzter Krawall’. Again this will not be the last statement
of this quintet, although it is suggested by the title.
    Euphonium, the label run by Oliver Schwerdt, presents this release as the second part of a
‘Tryptichon’, of which the concluding part will contain recordings made in 2015. So there is more
come from this founding father of jazz in East Germany who started his career in the mid 50s. No
idea if jazz was supported or tolerated in communist times. In any case tolerated, as there was an
important free jazz scene in East Germany. And so Petrowsky could develop himself over the years
and become a founding father of the jazz scene over there. Let’s now concentrate on ‘Krawall’
that has the same line up as ‘Tumult’: Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky (alto sax, clarinet), John Edwards
(double bass), Robert Landfermann  (double bas), Christian Lillinger (drums, cymbal, percussion)
and Elan Pauer (= Oliver Schwerdt) on grand piano and percussion, and also on toy piano at one
instant. Again we witness a powerful and very dynamic set, with Petrowsky fully and impressively
taking part. From start they accelerate very quickly into a high-energy improvisation with prominent
role for a very expressive Petrowsky and busy Pauer. Further on the dynamics change and we enter
more laid back moments, with plenty of room for the bass players and drummer. Nearing the end
we end up once more in an intense battle, with a lyrical Petrowsky in the final minutes. The playing
of this quintet is very together and inspired. One feels the joy they had. Great to have them in this
excellent recording so one can enjoy every step taken by the participators. (DM)
––– Address:


Archer is a composer, performer from Sheffield who started somewhere in the mid-80s. In the
beginning – as a saxophonist – he was influenced by Parker and Braxton. But later on he developed
his own signature. Since 1994 Discus Music, the label that he co-founded with Mick Beck, releases
most of his work. Many CDs were released over the years. But the conceptual album ‘Story Tellers’
is my first encounter with this musician. Let us start with the line up: Mick Somerset, The Wounded
Healer (C, alto, bass, meditation, geisha and drone flutes, chalumeau and bass clarinets, shawm,
shruti boxes, shaman drums, bells, rattles, gongs, trine, jews harp), Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan,
The Barbarian (trumpet), Corey Mwamba, The River Follower (vibraphone), Anton Hunter, The Rain
Maker (guitar, electronics), Peter Fairclough, The Wayfarer’s Bastard (drums and percussion) and
Martin Archer, The Casuist (alto, sopranino and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, bass recorder,
flute (B7 only), shaker, chimes, loops & electronics). We are speaking of a new sextet who makes
their first statement with ‘Story Tellers’. It is cycle of six ‘books’, each one containing five or six
chapters. In total it are about 150 minutes of music, moving from completely notated to
completely improvised. “Each Book begins with a version of the Story Tellers theme which is
played by everyone. The second Chapter is drawn from a group of rhythm pieces. Each Story
Teller has their own individual theme, performed as a solo third Chapter. These individual themes
are also combined in different pairs with additional textural material and improvisation models to
form more Chapters, heard fourth. Some Books end with a Shaman Drone; others have an individual
coda as a fifth Chapter”. Listening to these extended, narrative works my attention often drifted
away. It is one of those records where I can’t find the entry. It is all put together intelligently. Nice
arrangements, built from composed and improvised parts, solid, etc., but it doesn’t appeal to my
senses. Too civilized, I miss some dirt. Matter of taste I guess. I never experienced a sense of
urgency and I missed depth. There are exceptions of course, like the opening of  ‘Shaman Song’,
the closing track of the first cd, where the players follow their own path, resulting in a spirited,
cacophonic improvisation. A rare moment alas. (DM)
––– Address:


Undisturbed The Remote Viewers are building their own musical universe since 1997. I gave up
counting the number of their releases, but I’m still curious for every next step by this combo.
For ‘No Voice from the Hall’, compositions are – as usual – provided by David Petts. In the 32-
minute title track of this new release however, there is plenty of room for improvisation. The
composition is divided into nine episodes. The even ones are improvisations in different small
line-ups. The uneven parts are composed. The title track is embedded between two shorter
compositions: The Trouble with Fiction’ and  ‘Screens and Uniforms’. Performers are: David Petts
(tenor saxophone, noise generator), Adrian Northover (sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone,
pocket theremin), Sue Lynch (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Caroline Kraabel (alto saxophone,
baritone saxophone), John Edwards (double bass, electric bass) Mark Sanders (drums, percussion).
With an efficiency and feel for understatement we know from earlier releases, they produce music
of a fascinating power and energy. This is captivating and engaging chamber music, showing a very
specific balance between improvised and composed ingredient and a characteristic division of roles
between drummer and blowers. The music sounds very dry in a way, but at the same time madness
and humour are just on the corner. The performance is very inspired and to the point. Again a very
personal and self-conscious statement from this very remarkable ensemble (DM)
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EARTH TONGUES – OHIO  (2CD by Neither/Nor)

Earth Tongues is a trio with a very unusual instrumentation: Joe Moffett (trumpet, cassette player),
Dan Peck (tuba, cassette player) and Carlo Costa (percussion). Costa changed Rome for New York
several years ago and participates in several ensembles and projects. For example Natura Morta,
that is co-led by him with Frantz Loriot. In 2014 Carlo Costa also started the Neither/Nor label
dedicated to improvised and experimental music. Peck originates from New Yersey where he played
bass and guitar in garage bands, before he decided for the tuba. Nowadays he is performer of
modern composed music, but also busy in the improv scene, like in trio we are now talking about.
Besides he has his own doom jazz trio The Gate. New York-based Moffett is into collective as well
as solo improvisation, with a special interest in unusual sounds and forms. Also he interested in
relations between words and music, which is the focus of the Twins of El Dorado ensemble that
he co-founded with vocalist Kristin Slipp. As Earth Tongues these three musicians debuted in
2015 on the Neither/Nor label with their album ‘Rune’. The follow up ‘Ohio’ is a double CD filled
with one long-extended improvisation of over 90 minutes, recorded in July 2015 in Ohio.
    The first part is very dense, often close to silence, often nothing more than just some sort
of  (empty) space of sounds. No drama, no duelling soloists, no battles, or interactions that built
up towards a climax or something similar. Neither nor (neti neti), you know. We are now in the Zen-
section of improvised music if there is such a thing. An emptying improvisation that is not defined
by intentionality but is a continuum of humble and subtle sounds and gestures. Sensible textures,
interrupted with noisy and dynamic moments. In the second part of this long journey I especially
enjoyed the beautiful tuba playing by Peck. A daring release, and a rewarding meditation if you
take the time. (DM)
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KAZUYA ISHIGAMI – CLEANER 583 (CD by Slowdown Records)

Perhaps I am entirely wrong, but it seems that I have not heard any new music by Kazuya Ishigami
since Vital Weekly 772, when I reviewed two collaborative works, one with Kentaro Takei and one
by Tamako Katsufuji. Before that, in Vital Weekly 685, it was the last solo release by him. In the
old days he sometimes worked as Daruin, and was a member of AdC~/DaC~ and Billy? The latter ‘?’
being part of the name. With the amount of music that have passed my ears ever since, you’ll have
to excuse me that I only have a very vague recollection of how Ishigami’s music sounded back then.
I do remember it sometimes being quite noise based and sometimes venturing out to be drone like
and atmospheric. I have no idea what Ishigami did since that last release, if there was a reason to
be all-silent for so long. The cover, nor the information, doesn’t reveal much as to what Ishigami
does here, so one has to assume that these eleven pieces are a further continuation of his earlier
forays into exploring laptop techniques in processing field recordings and electronic sounds. Usually
Ishigami’s pieces are long, say between six and eight minutes, exploring a few sounds per piece,
bending and reshaping them. You could wonder if all of this time is needed for each of these pieces,
as sometimes it seems just not enough. It works best if somewhere during a piece Ishigami slips
into an entirely different stage, and allows for some other sounds to be part of it, such as in
‘Cussing’. On ‘Cleaner 583’ there is not much in the way of true noise, which I thought was a
particularly good thing. It could have been slimmed down a bit, a bit less tracks and all a bit
shorter, but it’s a most welcome return anyway. Let’s hope the time lapse to the next one is
not that big. (FdW)
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In 2016 improviser Kim Myhr and Norway’s finest noise musician Lasse Marhaug were asked to
work together on a commissioned work for the MetaMorf Art Biennale in Trondheim, Norway and
they presented an 8 channel sound installation, which borrowed it’s title from a 1988 film by
Andrzej Zulawski about a distant planet, as well as being inspired by the book ‘Moon Dust’, by
Andrew Smith about the astronauts in the Apollo programme. From the press text we learn that
Michael Collins is the favourite astronaut of Marhaug. This is a rather short release, with five pieces
clocking in at thirty minutes, which is a pity, as it sounds excellent. The music is all played on
guitars, vintage analogue and modular synthesizers, digital processing, acoustic objects and ‘a
wide range of studio trickery’; just the way we like these sort of things. Everything goes, and
everything is possible. In these five pieces they have some playful experimental music, ranging
from fine delicate crackles of static electricity on one side and some vacuum cleaner drone sound
in the fourth part, sounding like a stale wind over a barren planet. Sometimes verging towards the
noise (second part), with a far away howl of the guitar, but nowhere this gets very loud or
obnoxious. Just like the Marhaug and Sult release from last week. Marhaug plays out something
quite mellow for a man of his noise reputation. The whole release has a kind of forbidden planet
 feel to it, but then perhaps updated to the 20th century. It is like vintage electronic music from
the digital era. Future music perhaps? Great release! (FdW)
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Here’s another addition to the vast expanding empire, which is publishing house Lenka Lente. As
with most of these lovely small books, we have to guess what it is about. Some of their books are
in both French and English, but the majority of their publications is in French only. That is a great
pity, but it might very well be that I said something along similar lines before. This time the writing
is by Guillaume Belhomme, who is responsible for these releases. The musical component here is by
Daniel Menche, of whom I must admit haven’t heard much news in some time. For obvious reasons
it is not possible for me to say something about the relationship between music and text, but
according to the translated text on the website, the composition is ‘with the sounds of some of
the elements found in the text of the same name: the movement of a train, the noise of the glass,
the color of the blood’, but who knows what Google Translate made of that. Menche’s piece lasts
exactly twenty minutes and is a vastly layered piece of many sounds. I believe to hear strings; piano
sounds, electronics, maybe field recordings (although I am not too sure what these would be; fire
perhaps) and some of these sounds are playing in reverse. Everything sounds together but there is
no strict repetition going on. Menche cleverly moves his faders around to keep the piece full of
dynamics, and creates a fine sense of movement. Maybe twenty minutes is just a bit too long, I
thought; a few minutes less would have made the same impact, but perhaps would have been
stronger. (FdW)
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Poisonous Frequencies is a trio of Didi Kern (drums), Petr Vrba (trumpet) and Tomislav Federsel
(guitar). Kern is from Austria. Vrba and Federsel are from Czechia. Kern, drums since his childhood
years. He is co-founder of the Broken Heart Collector, a collective that has also Mats Gustafsson,
Ken Vandermark, Georg Grawe, Franz Hautzinger  and Philipp Quenhenberger as members, which
gives a clear hint of what Kern is into. Vrba is a very active force within the Prague improve scene.
Federsel works as an improviser, sound artist and producer. Also he started the Meteorismo label.
Based in Prague this Czech-Finnish label came about when Federsel and Mäkelä, seeking for a label,
released their project on their own. Since then the label is an outlet for related eclectic and strange
music. Recently Frans reviewed ‘Strictly Akustik by Kresko and Agnes Hvizdalek, a cassette release.
Now we turn to ‘Torschlusspanik’, a vinyl release of 100 copies. The trio started in 2015 brewing
their own mix of improvisation, rock and noise. On ‘Torschlusspanik’ we find four of their nervous
improvisations, all making their points between 7 and 13 minutes. The music changes constantly
and moves in unexpected directions. Very free-form and abstract parts are changed for more rock-
based, rhythm-driven explosions and the other around. A very adventurous trio indeed. Happily
they are also not afraid for more introvert and quiet interludes. In all, they deliver some fresh and
surprising improvisations. (DM)
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EIGENGOIDYLL (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

The name variation indicates that we are dealing here with Eigenidyll, the duo of Tobias Schmitt
(guitar, processing) and Sascha Stadlmeier (guitar, bass, sampler-processing) but with the
addition of Go Tsushima (guitar, drum machine), captured in concert on September 23, 2016 in
Augsburg. Like with their previous release (see Vital Weekly 1023), Eigenidyll’s guitar music is not
that easily traced back to a six-string instrument, let alone two of them. The previous release
seemed quite ambient, and this one is, to a certain extent also quite ambient, but not entirely and
throughout. As a trio they explore the outer limits of ambient music meeting noise meeting quiet
approaches and a dash of rhythm, all while the guitar as such is not easily heard, not even three of
them, but upon closer inspection they are indeed there. Guitars are used to generate sounds,
mostly drone based, and in three sections they work from quiet to loud (though not really noise
based); in the second section the guitar is actually picked up and played, along with Pan Sonic
drive on the rhythm. The third section is all quieter and subdued. This is all quite good; a fine
mixture of piercing electronics, ambient drones and some tormented as a rock trio, all of which
sounded great to these ears. (FdW)
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THE JULIE MITTENS – SOUNDCULT (cassette by Barreuh Records))

In a very limited edition of 40 copies the Eindhoven-based Barreuh Records, released the new
release of The Julie Mittens. Barreuh is a young DIY-label with a focus on noise, ambient drones
and the likes. With The Julie Mittens we talking of a Dutch trio of Michel van Dam (bass), Leo
Fabriek (drums) and Martin Luiten (electric guitar). The trio started in 2002. In 2012 founding
member Aart-Jan Schakenbos left, and Martin Luiten joined. Alas I don’t know much of their
history. Besides touring America and Europe, they did interesting projects with Austrian composer
Peter Ablinger and Gareth Davies. Their newest effort ‘Soundcult’ is a cassette-release, counting
four tracks, all lasting between ten and twelve minutes. The trio deals in noisy, rock-oriented
improvisation. They don’t shape their music into familiar rock formats. No beat or melody. No
lyrics. They start where bands like the Swans and The Ex stop. They smash out their music
unpolished and in all its roughness. All tracks are stretched-out battles, with changes in dynamics
and intensity. ‘Seelengrund’ is a great opener. Over the top all of noise. Alas the drums is too
much in the background. Sounds like an aeroplane in great trouble. At times their music shows a
psychedelic or even a bluesy touch, like in the title track. There is sufficient development and
constructing activity in all four tracks. So there is more it to then just a continuous stream of
rolling and thundering noise and energy. I actually had a very good time during this tumultuous
trip! (DM)
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KÖHNEN PANDI DUO – DARKNESS COMES IN TWO’S (Digital album by Svart Lava)

In this triptych of live recordings Jason Köhnen and Balazs Pandi carve out cavernous and nebulous
netherworlds of ominous soundscapes, dark ambient and rustling percussion. This is the chill out
soundtrack to give you chills. Recorded live in Budapest, Köhnen (also known from countless other
projects, amongst which and most notably Bong-ra, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, The Hard
Way) delivers the gloomy and glowing synth tapestries full of as much Bohren as there are touches
of Badalamenti and Raison d’Etre. Pandi meanwhile brings his percussions skills to the mix in echo-y
crashes of scraping springs and metal sheets, pounded skins and crashing cymbals that ricochet
left and right, front and back through large empty concrete corridors, seemingly only lit by a low
wattage dying light bulb.
    The three tracks dive into ever descending realms of pitch-blackness. Lights out as if the
twosome hosts a guerrilla radio show of claustrosonics for the dead of night. Analogue synths
battle rattling and intimidating waves of erratic percussion; textures smolder into flickering pile
of residue from a deranged alchemist’s experiments. The air never turns stale but the vapors
might not be the most welcoming. When you’re ears have been attuned to the lack of lightness,
the initial oppressive warning signs scurry away to give way to a stunning ‘symphonie noire’. (SSK)
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