Number 1076

STEFAN THUT – ABC 1-6 (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
DAVID FYANS – TRÜBHAND (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
MR. CONCEPT – XXXVII (CDR by Klappstuhl)
CELER – ANOTHER BLUE DAY (CDR by Glistening Examples)
BR’LÂAB – MOLOCHVILLE (cassette by Ana Ott)
YANNICK DAUBY – MAGICIEN ROUCH (cassette by Tanuki Records)
EDWARD SOL – BELLADONNA PSYCHED ASTROLAND (cassette by Sentimental Productions)


Sadly I missed out on ‘Songs For William’ and ‘Songs For William 2’, the predecessors to this new
one, as I am enjoying this quite a bit. It is the end of the day and after a full day of listening to
‘difficult’ music it is now time to hear something that is less ‘difficult’ and even when this wasn’t
planned as such, it just worked out that way and I sat back and read the ‘hand-drawn bonus track
track’ “William – The Seven Year itch”, a comic book about the breakup of a stomp box named
William and a MS-20 filter clone named Charlotte. There aren’t enough comics in the world of Vital
Weekly! Ronnie Sundin, when are you starting again? Troyer, with quite a career in electronic music,
has eight pieces here of slow, dub inspired electronic music, starting off with the catchy and
spacious ‘At Muff’s Place’, going via vocoder voices, the bouncing of ‘Dark Roots’, the chippy
tunes of ‘Horny Chiptunes’; the speed never goes up that much and the element of reggae dub is
never far away, except maybe in the somewhat alien spaced out, just a slow bass drum heavy ‘I
Miss Your Noise’ and ‘Alone On A Crowded Bus’, less noisy than the previous but also perhaps a
bit out of place. But then I am playing the CD; on the double vinyl these two are to be found on
the fourth side of the record. At the end of a long day with difficult music those two odd-balls
didn’t matter, it was the overall joy that counted. The music of Ulrich Troyer invites the listener
to stop working, open up a cold beer, light a cigarette and turn up the volume a bit more and have
some friends over and start a proper party; it’s a pity it is still cold and winter like, as this the kind
of music for a hot summer’s evening. (FdW)
––– Address:


For a while I thought Sofa Music was another label for the improvised music from Norway, a bit like
Hubro, but the more music they release, the more I realize they are onto something bigger, less
easy to classify. A crossroad if you will where improvised music meets modern classical meets
microtonal music, if you catch my drift. Philippe Lauzier is perhaps a fine example of how that
works. Much of his music so far was in the world of improvised music, but a month ago he
surprised me with the release of ‘Dôme’, a cassette of works with an instrument of his own
making, creating richly layered overtone music that reminded me of Organum and Paul Panhuysen.
Those two pieces were very microtonal and perhaps I listen now with fresh ears to his new work
and here he returns to his original instrument of choice, the bass clarinet. In the four pieces he
presents here he uses a multiple tracks of his playing mixed together and he created a true beauty
here. In each of the four pieces he is keen on using long form sustaining sounds and let this
intertwine with each other.  In the first piece, ‘Bleu Penombre’ it sounds like he also using loops
of acoustic sources being rubbed on the body of the clarinet. In ‘On The Window Side’ he drops
in occasionally a sound and that adds a collage like aspect to the music; or perhaps the added
value of the improvisation? It’s not easy to say. Composer Phill Niblock is thanked on the cover
and that is hardly a surprise. Lauzier’s music is very much on a similar trajectory of long form
sounds but it seems to me that he’s a bit more playful, especially when he adds that extra sound,
that drop or what seems to me loops of acoustic sound (which they might not be), but all along
there is sine wave like sounds floating about in the best Niblock tradition.
    Maybe you remember Ubeboet from Spain? That was the name chosen by Miguel Angel
Tolosa, who these days abandoned the name Ubeboet and uses his own name. Tolosa studied
composition with Antoine Beuger and electroacoustic music with Jean Claude Risset and
Eduardo Polonio and there is not a lot of difference between the work he created as Ubeboet
and Tolosa. He’s not interested in any ‘extramusical contents’, such as of religious, political or
commercial things, but “the object of his music is the experience of time through listening with
an additional, subtle emotional element. Music as time made audible, music as beauty made to
sound”. Perhaps this is something more of an oddball release for Sofa Music. So far their releases
had real instruments, even when perhaps not conventionally played. In the case of Tolosa I would
think there is a lot of computer processing going on, in which he transforms a lot of other sounds,
which might be field recordings, acoustic sounds or synthetic/electronic sounds, into a gentle
microsound mass of ambient sounds. Sometimes a bit dark but gentle it surely is. I can imagine
this might be something new in the living room of Sofa Music, but in the world of Vital Weekly it
is something that is hardly unusual. Not a single week passes without a release that consists of
field recordings, software and processing resulting in something very much ambient. That is not
to say that Tolosa released a CD that is ‘bad’, actually far from it; it is just not something that is
very new. What Tolosa does, he does very well. In the ten relative short pieces, ranging from one
and half minute up to almost nine minutes, we hear a fine variety of approaches on these sounds
and the result is very much dark, microscopic and atmospheric, but as said with a fine amount of
variety in the shades these pieces will put on your wall. (FdW)
––– Address:

STEFAN THUT – ABC 1-6 (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

Stefan Thut’s process based compositions carry determined, yet unpredictable elements in their
sonic resulting outcomes. The Swiss composer not only composes for the classically known
acoustic instruments; he also makes use of quotidian sounding materials, such as cardboard and
paper. Focus on the box, for Thut, means to bring forth the spatial and resonant characteristics
of the form, the tactile aspects of the paper of board and the spaces contained within boxes
versus the room outside of same said box.
    As a member of the Wandelweiser group of composers and performers Stefan Thut invites
close listening, working with spaces between notes or sound events and a definite organic quality
in composed elements merging with the sounds of the everyday – all systems open.
    Moving Furniture Records now release ‘ABC 1-6’ as performed by Cristian Alvear, Cyril Bondi
and D’Incise. In the piece, which clocks in a little over 47 minutes in length Thut presents a work
that evolves around “faintly coloured noise”, “an amalgam of noise and pitch” and “a pitch”, so
the composers says. The structure is, one might say: of course, open ended and ever changing.
    ‘ABC 1-6’ juxtaposes white noise and environmental sounds, the latter colouring the
whiteness of the noises, on record that is. And upon playback these slightly toned noises mesh
yet again – now with the ambient sounds and noises in the playback space, adding yet another
layer or touch of colouring. This coloration is not per se extremely exuberant, but it’s definitely
present, offering interesting, though quite subtle shifts in intonation and tonal perception. Thut
sees and hears this as his baseline, point zero, t=0, starting point. When working from there, he
encounters a “fundamental step in determining further a sound.”
    Thut adds acoustic instruments; tools to produce sounds. These ‘scream’ for attention by
cutting a way through the fogs of white and other colours of noise. These make themselves heard.
And in this making-heard, the ear focuses on these acoustic tool-sounds immediately, suppressing
the attention for the soft spoken, barely there granular noise (moving from centre stage into the
decor back ground).
    From these sounds being heard, picked up, in focused attention with the listener, Thut then
highlights the chosen pitch(es), from amongst the noises and above that, the multitude of
sounds produced. But his structure is never this linear, nor predictable. Lines cross over, run
backward, seem to feedback on each other. Pitch dissolves rapidly into thin noise of near silence.
Strings activated slowly hover towards just notable difference in volume while soft rasping touches
on a drum’s skin caresses the ear away from a shimmering drone tone towards a small gesture
which presents itself as a major aural force in the paired down sound field of the composition.
    Merging, leaving alone, single focusing or smears in mixing, divergence and convergence are
constantly questioning relative relations between the sonic materials, the performers and the
cues given (or not given) by the score. Where do we go from here? If we go at all. And what do
I hear? Or how? Or – better still, maybe, too – am I listening, and not (just) hearing?
    Does this becoming, growing awareness take time alone? To me it seems like the record begs
for multiple performances, varied playback locations, opening and closing of windows, headphones
off and on listening, close attention and playing as a backdrop to conversation and everyday living
et cetera. A record that is, to live with; a composition not per se as ‘ameublement’, but like a good
work of art hanging on your wall, catching your eye and your mind’s eye, heart, soul at yet another
angle every time anew again and again. The more you know, the more you know how little you
know – and in a way I’m still not quite sure if ABC 1-6 let’s you get any closer or enlarges the
riddle with every new encounter. Like learning to read and count anew. And time and time again
doing your homework by saying your ABC’s and 123’s over and over, only to learn there’s
literature and poetry too; there’s math too… (SSK)
––– Address:


The Urge Trio is Tomeka Reid (cello), Keefe Jackson (reeds) and Christoph Erb (reeds). In 2015
Veto released their debut cd, a live recording dating from October 5th, 2013 at the Robinwood
Concert House in Toledo, Ohio. This new live recording dates from exactly two years later, and is
recorded at the Hungry Brain, Chicago in the same line up. Both released on the limited Exchange
Series, documenting the Chicago-Lucerne partnership. And again like all preceding releases, this
one comes with beautiful artwork by Sonnenzimmer. The CD contains one improvised set of 34
minutes called ‘Hecha de toda la agua’. Often line-ups as this one exist for a very short time,
maybe doing a short tour. Make some recordings and then split. And then, after a considerable
period of time they decide to synchronize their agendas once again. In the meantime a lot
happened, habits and ideas changed, new techniques are developed, other collaborations passed
by, etc. One has to attune to one other once again and see if things still work. In the case of Erb
and his Chicago-connections this seems no problem as this new recording proves. Jackson and
Erb both play tenor sax, Erb also soprano sax and Jackson sopranino sax and bass clarinet. Reid
plays cello, in a minor but providing essential details and delivering some fine underlining of the
sax players. Halfway she has a solo-moment, but as soon Jackson and Erb join, her playing. Erb
and Jackson prove to be in a very sensitive mood. Their interactions are of a moderate and fragile
kind. The music constantly changes and evolves. Repetitive patterns never take long. Conversing
strategies follow up to diverging ones. They squeak, babble, etc. The spirited improvisation ends
with a powerful swirling climax that fades away slowly. (DM)
––– Address:


‘Relephant’ is a collaboration of Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, electronics) and Adam Golebiewski
(drums, cymbals, objects). Lonberg-Holm needs no introduction I suppose. Composer, improviser,
cellist, studied with Anthony Braxton and Morton Feldman, played with Peter Brötzmann, Ken
Vandermark, and so many other musicians from all over the planet. Adam Golebiewski needs
more introductions; he’s an improviser, percussionist and musicologist who lives and works in
Poznan, Poland. Experimental and improvised music is his territory, worked with Mats Gustafsson,
Thurston Moore and of course musicians from the Polish scene. As both act in the same circuit of
improvised musicians they probably met in other combinations and projects. ‘Relephant’ is
however their first duo-effort if I’m not mistaken. The CD has four improvisations, recorded live
at MDK Dragon, a club in Poznan. Golebiewski uses a lot of objects, adding a lot colour to the
sound spectrum of these improvisations. Lonberg-Holm uses a lot of electronic devices that are
hard to define, producing noisy and weird sounds. But that just means to an end. Both players
were very well connected during these recordings. One can hear these improvisations are very
focused and together, also very dynamic, spirited and playful. It is as if they are telling stories in
their improvisations. But that again that is just a metaphor, or an image for the experience this
music has a strong nucleus. Everything abstract improvisation needs to offer; in order to deliver
a satisfying listening experience is offered by this duo. (DM)
––– Address:


The first is a Norway-based duo of two exceptional musicians, who are also a couple in everyday
lives. Sarah Jane Summers plays fiddle, Juhani Silvola guitar. He is of Finnish, she of Scottish
origin. Both have their roots in their respective traditional folk music. Together they make an
interesting blend of traditionals and their own compositions. In 2013 they released their first
collaboration that received positive reviews. ´Widderhins´ is their second effort. This is music
that is not often covered in Vital Weekly. So for me as an outsider to this kind of music, it is my
impression that also their own compositions move within the paradigms of folk traditions.
‘Widdershins’ is a Scottish expression for going against the norm. But that is not what they
themselves demonstrate. They are not into far out experimenting with folk music material. Often
it is dance music what they write, with melodies and harmonies that I associate with folk. What
impresses me most is the high level of musicianship. Both are gifted players. Summers is in the
most of the tracks in the leading role. Which is no problem, as her expressive and spirited
performance is a joy to listen to. Also the sound of her violin helps a lot. She plays a Matthew
Hardie violin, dated 1812, and often described as the ‘Scottish Stradivari’. Silvola is prominent in
the pieces that are by his hand, ‘Silver Spring Reet’ and ‘Burning Sands’. The music is recorded
live in the studio and without overdubs.
    ‘Strange Flowers’ is the debut solo album of Juhani Silvola (guitars, synthesizers, electronics
and percussion) who also mixed and produced the album. He received help from by Sarah-Jane
Summers (fiddle, viola) and Timo Silvola (drums, percussion). Again this is an instrumental album
but of a different kind. The duo-album was strongly oriented on folk music; this one starts from
other inspirations. The opening track ‘The Gods That Built This Place Were Mad’, is plain blues.
Most other tracks move between ambient and rock, and are quite undemanding and don’t contain
many compositional surprises. I was sometimes reminded of the charming simplicity of the solo
work of Michael Rother, if you need a comparison. Everything is very well played, arranged and
produced by Silvola. However it is a bit too polished for my ears. Happily there a few strange things
I can mention. The creepy sounds in ‘Vents of the Underworld’ and spooky atmospheres in the
dark ambient track ‘Black Breath, Black Blood’, the most experimental track of the album, with
scratchy violin playing by Summers. (DM)
––– Address:
––– Address:


Now here’s a name I remembered, but it had slipped very much to the back of my mind. Plurals
had two of their releases reviewed, as it turns out from their earliest phase (in Vital Weekly 679
and 732) and since then released a few more works, on such labels as Tor Press, latitudes, Oaken
Palace and Structured Disasters. I now learn they are a trio of Daniel Mackenzie (of whom as solo
release was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1065), Michael Neaves and David Hamilton-Smith. Silken Tofu
invited them to play a four-hour concert inside a former German military fortification near Ostend
in Belgium, in an empty circular gun emplacement. They set up their gear, which included guitar,
synthesizers, keyboards, vocals, tape machines, radio and reed and string instruments and do
what they always do, which is improvise. I may have missed out on a few years of their development
as a band, but at the same time it seems like coming home, to find it sounding better. Plurals are
still that lo-fi noise rock band; with a cling-clang approach on percussive bits, distortion pedals
held down, and everything on an endless sustain release. On top of that they drop in occasional
sounds, gather loosely arranged loops that throw about on the surface, or sometimes just below
the surface, adding minimal changes to the über-drone. Most of the times it is quite noisy, but I
don’t think they go for cheap noise overkill. The second and third piece on the second disc proof
such a thing, when they go out, in their way, into some introspective mood of atmospheric,
menacing drone material and not just a random clash of noise elements. As said development
in each of the seven pieces is not very quick and evolve around slow moving themes; and to think
that this is just two of the hours they played. I am sure this was a very intense evening, even if
one decided to catch only a bit of this. I wasn’t there, but this sounds like a fine selection to me,
and two hours for me personally was quite sufficient. (FdW)
––– Address:

DAVID FYANS – TRÜBHAND (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

Previously David Fyans worked as Erstlaub and as such had a release on Moving Furniture before
(Vital Weekly 685) but also on labels as Highpoint Lowlife, Broken20 and ConV, and now returns
with another release on what slowly becomes the most important Dutch label for all things
experimental and drone music, Moving Furniture Records. “Trübhand”, which according to the
label means something as Cloudy or Turbid hand, was recorded in February 2016 when Fyans
and his wife were “living in north Germany in exile at the time as a result of untenable UK visa
policy”, and the flat land he found there made him more homesick and isolated. There are two
pieces here, each lasts exactly twenty-three minutes and they were recorded “using a small case
of eurorack modules, a mixer and a couple of guitar pedals as two separate live performances to
a zoom H4 recorder”. Both of these pieces are very minimal when it comes to development and
very strong on the drone front. Both of these pieces are structured the same way: fade in, stay
on that volume is arrives at, all sorts of minimal developments going in a slow course, over time
and fade out at the end. That’s how these things work and that’s not very likely to change easily;
it’s also not really a problem. Fyans music is quite dark and highly atmospheric, two things that
perhaps also aren’t in for a total change. There is something about this release that I really like,
but somehow don’t know what it is. Perhaps it is that somewhat sinister ring some of this has, a
particular spooky character, that nocturnal flat land feel in which a stale cold wind blows? I am not
sure, but I thought both pieces sounded truly fascinating. I realize that a lot of drone music sound
very similar and maybe that is the whole point, this one surely sounded a bit different and so much
more I liked it. (FdW)
––– Address:


Back in Vital Weekly 1064 I wrote this about ‘A Monument For Your Enthusiasm’: “Maybe adding
information of whatever kind is regarded by some as… old hat? Superfluous? A pain? A trouble?
It is hard to say. It is not something that Katja Institute likes to share with us. This is a CDR; right
out of the shop, with absolutely no information, no cover, no writing on it, nothing. Not easy to
find again if you are looking for it.” Now there is a new release, their sixth and again it comes with
a David Lynch quote. This time there is one piece on the CDR, exactly clocking in at sixty minutes,
but if you take a look at the Bandcamp version (which actually comes with an image in the form of
a text), then you’ll notice the group sees this as eight separate pieces. Opening this as a wave file I
can see two breaks so that would mean there are three separate pieces. The longest one, starting
around nineteen minutes, going all the way until the end, definitely moves through a bunch of
textures. Like before all of this is very much part and parcel from the world of drone music, and
this is not different. But as with the previous release, some of this seems to be taking too much
time, or, in different words, it stays too long in the same place without too many changes. That
is a pity as what they have to offer sounds pretty good. There is some strong dynamic music to
be found in this, with especially in the first thirteen minutes (these tracks have no titles, but I am
guess you don’t think that is a surprise for a no-cover release?) a very deep bass sound. It is
followed by a short piece of some mid-high frequency sample/hold sound, after which the ‘rest’
of ‘Time Age’ starts. It is all quite enjoyable, these remaining forty minutes but I couldn’t help
thinking that perhaps a somewhat faster curve, say doing all of this in twenty-five to thirty
minutes would have made the whole release a bit stronger. I know drone music is supposed to
sound spaced out but there is a risk of the listener dozing off. Unless that of course is exactly
what Katja Institute wants? But then I would think that the listener should actively rework some
of the frequencies before trying to go to sleep, as it might be a bit too heavy on the bass tones.
So, all in all, not a bad and somewhat long release and I for one hope the next one will be sporting
 a cover, however minimal that will be. It will be difficult to tell them apart in the future. (FdW)
––– Address:

MR. CONCEPT – XXXVII (CDR by Klappstuhl)

With me being trained in matters of history, I know the title stands for ’37’ in Roman numbers
but my memory is not that well trained that I recognize the name Mr. Concept straight away from
the old cassette days (daze more likely) and yet it sounded vaguely familiar. Maybe I saw it on a
blog when those started to delve the mines for all that obscure stuff. Behind Mr. Concept is one
Rob Grant, who released his last cassette “Conceptum Umbilicus” (Concept City) twenty years
ago, then spend time of his family and gardening, and now presents eighteen pieces he recorded
from 1988 to 1992. Some of these pieces had a digital release in 2007 as “While My Sitar Gently
Beeps”, but that is now deleted and presented here as well. So what is it that Mr. Concept does,
what is his concept? I am not sure if there is really a bigger concept behind all of this, except for
making some synth pop music; armed with a guitar, a rhythm machine, bass guitar and keyboard,
plus very occasionally vocals or sampled voices, everything is recorded on a Portastudio 4-track
machine, which I guess is the classic way of going about for any good old Do It Yourself musician.
The guitar sounds from time to time quite twangy, vibrating and resonating against the beats
produced. All of this bringing us some very joyful pop tones, quite upbeat but without being
quirky. Songs are between three and four minutes (with a few exceptions, but then they are a
bit shorter) and, as said, mostly instrumental. Now, perhaps, that is the only downside to the
music; why not go the all-pop way and add more vocals or silly samples, like Margaret Thatcher
in ‘Do It’, which sounds very much retro electro from the late 80s, including that ubiquitous
political message. A bit more of those kind of vocal tracks and in any event we hope to see Mr.
Concept around earlier. (FdW)
––– Address:

CELER – ANOTHER BLUE DAY (CDR by Glistening Examples)

Just the other day I was re-reading a biography about Brian Eno, so when I saw a new CD by Celer
called ‘Another Blue Day’ I smiled and thought of Eno’s ‘Another Green World’; perhaps I could
have made the connection Eno and Derek Jarman (in his ‘Jubilee movie) and been thinking about
his movie ‘Blue’, but I just didn’t. I did now. The cover surely has a similar blue cover as the
soundtrack to that movie, but this one lacks completely in narration. On the labels’ website there
is a text from Celer’s only member Will Long and it reads like a dream; perhaps one that inspired
him to record this. It could be; it’s about running and falling asleep and while the music certainly
makes no hazy impression, it could very well be about sleeping. Just today I had a conversation
about music while you sleep and with the same person about ‘innovation’, both topics that make
good copy for a release like this. Personally I like to keep music away from the bedroom; I prefer to
read a book (from paper) and no music, or other distractions. When I was reading from an iPad, I
would have Eno’s app ‘Bloom’ playing in the background, which I guess was all right, but I was too
much doing other stuff on such a device that can so much. With or without I am ever the bad
sleeper. However I can imagine people spinning some music to make them drowsier, or who can
switch off all electrons and fall asleep straight away. Those people should try ‘Another Blue Day’
by Celer, as it would work perfectly well. My friend talked about innovation, as the thing reviewers
always seem to seek, because it makes good copy, and I think that might be true, also in the case
of Celer. Many of his releases are alike and ‘Another Blue Day’ is not different, although I seem to
be doing not too bad in producing a lengthy review. I too am someone who likes people to try new
stuff. From Will Long I know he does that, albeit under different guises. Celer is his outlet for
ambient drone stuff. ‘Music should grab the listener and a review should tell me that there is
something new’; which in this case is the perfect example. Ambient music doesn’t grab the
listener per se, I would think, and probably has lots of other functions (sleeping for instance,
meditation) and while I had this on, I picked up that Eno biography again, read a few more pages
and thought that music by the likes of Celer, who produce a lot of similar music, exists very much
in the ‘now’. It is great music for this specific moment, but if I want to have a similar experience I
could easily take another Celer of the shelf and play that. This new one is just as good as many of
his other releases; the man can’t wrong as Celer. An extensive body of work and they’re all great.
    I never heard of Leo Okagawa and the cover, nor website, doesn’t tell us much when it comes
to instruments and such like, except that it was composed and recorded in Tokyo in 2016. This is
first release under his name and before that he had a release as Protocell called ‘Shipwreck Poetry’,
released by Obakekoubou. On Discogs it also says: ‘He creates sounds mainly using edited field-
recorded sounds and raw noises.’ There are five pieces on ‘The Notional Terrain’. That is probably
something I would have written anyway, based on the actually hearing music. There is for instance
the ducks/seagulls/birds at the opening of ‘Lumbar Spine’, recorded in a zoo, along with more
obscure rumbles from broken down electrical equipment, slowed down cassette recordings of rain
and more of these delights. All of this is put together using collage techniques, so for instance, a
piece starts by opening a door, and then we hear animals, or people talking and slowly it gets
transformed into a more drone like experience; we are resting our heads against a faulty
transformer, an loud ventilator, up the escalator into the second floor of a shopping mall. This is
the kind of thing that sounds like radio play or a damn fine piece of musique concrete,
emphasizing the longer form of composition. Okagawa moves carefully through his material,
going from something that is very quiet and introspective towards something that is angular
and brisk; noise is something that is present but it never becomes loud and distorted. If Okagawa
takes noise material to work with he tones it down a bit, adds colour to it and as such he may be
working along the lines of say Francisco Meirino or Joe Colley, he keeps it all together a bit more.
No rapid, harsh cuts or noisy intersections are created here. Quite a fine release and first
introduction. Let’s wait and see what else he has up his sleeve. (FdW)
––– Address:


By now Patrick Farmer has quite an impressive series of releases, yet very few reached these pages.
I only seem to have done two of them, and quite some time ago, in Vital Weekly 793. Here he
teams with David Lacey’s, of whom I actually reviewed more; mainly works carried out with Fergus
Kelley and Chip Shop Music. Both musicians are active in improvisation and seem to be interested
in playing percussion. Farmer writes on his website: “‘Pell-Mell’ was recorded during a short
residency at SARU in Oxford Brookes university, where we made use of their variety of percussion,
predominantly recorded to tape, in ways which seemingly befit our discussions concerning Jean
Luc Godard’s ‘Film Socialisme’”, which made me think if you haven’t seen that, it makes one an
outsider to that discussion; or indeed even to the music. The music is quite strange, to say the
least, as it seems to be removed quite a bit from the world of regular improvisation. The music
seems to have been recorded on tape and in some crude way it has been processed further; at
least that’s what I believe to hear. It has been cut into loops and played back in a space of some
kind, picked up with lo-fi microphones, or even contact microphones against surfaces and then
occasionally there are gaps in this material, just dead silence, in irregular intervals. I was reminded
of Hands To at the end when Jeph Jerman started to play more and more percussion; Farmer and
Lacey reach for a similar crude ‘concussion’/percussion music, sometimes with a similar noisy
outcome, when a radio blears along. This I thought was noisy music, but it was quite intelligent
and very good noise music.
    Less noisy is the duo of Cristian Alvear (guitar) and Gudinni Cortina (turntables) who recorded
their duo in Santiago de Chile. No doubt along the lines of some concept or score. Perhaps that in
one speaker we hear Alvear and in the other we hear Cortina? Maybe we are invited to adjust which
player we’d like to hear? It is the sort of thing I very rarely try actually, just leaving everything as it
is. The work, lasting thirty-one minutes, consists of four parts, of which the first and third are
quite the same and the second and fourth also. Alvear plays very minimal, yet rhythmical patterns,
with or without a delay pedal, I am not entirely sure here, and in the fourth part he’s actually
present on both channels. Cortina plays records filled with dust and at some point I was thinking
he has a record that already has Alvear playing, or perhaps he’s picking up the sound from Alvear
through the stylus? I found all of this very confusing and therefore it wasn’t easy to concentrate
on the music. I decided to close my eyes and just listen, regardless who was doing what on this
release and where sound was coming from. It worked so much better. The music is very much like
a Wandelweiser piece; quiet, unintentional and engaging for some kind of meditation. With early
spring sun outside creating some warmth, this was quite a beauty. Very thoughtful and best
played at a soft volume. (FdW)
––– Address:


Following ‘Volya’ (see Vital Weekly 948) here’s a new release by Kateryna Zavoloka, who uses her
last name as artist moniker. She’s been around for quite some time now, working with Mark Clifford
of Seefeel, AGF (Vital Weekly 515) and Kotra (Vital Weekly 545) and who played around the world,
sometimes as part of more art events, but also in clubs. ‘Volya’ seemed a to be a very political
statement, all about the Russian invasion of the Crimean peninsula, but that seems not be the
case on ‘Syngonia’. It says that this is the ‘third volume from a series of albums dedicated to
Purification by Four Elements: Earth’, even when I am not sure what that means. The music seems
to be gentler than before, or in fact than much of the music on Kvitnu, which we know to be
rhythmic and noisy. The eight pieces on this CD are all rhythm heavy, but ‘nicer’, ‘sweeter’ than
before; it’s not that Pan Sonic machine drift that many of Kvitnu seem to love, but a fine techno
beat, and the there are some excellent melodies on top of that. This time around it is not the
cascading of sine waves together, but Zavoloka plays a bunch of synthesizer melodies; dark but
gentle, laced with the right amount of sound effects; much delay and reverb, as things should be.
I don’t know that much about the world of techno, house or such like to say what this sounded
like, but I thought this was a most enjoyable record (also available on LP it seems). Very
danceable, even for those who don’t dance. (FdW)

BR’LÂAB – MOLOCHVILLE (cassette by Ana Ott)

Ana Ott released in 2014 a previous work by Michael Valentine West, and now it’s time for thirty
new minutes of music on this cassette. I didn’t hear that previous release, or other works by
West, who is called ‘a composer/decomposer utilising lessons learnt from various musical
disciplines such as minimal, ambient, avant-garde, music concrete, jazz and sound design’.
Sometimes he uses other names such as Twiggy And The K-Mesons, K-Meson 4, Suck Susan,
Lower Third, Mikimo Sosumi or Anal Teens, and he does music for films. There are no instruments
mentioned but listening to these three I heavily suspect him to be using all analogue gear or
something to do with Ableton Live; or a combination of both. The results are quite different from
each other. On the first side we find the sidelong ‘Another Alice’ piece, which is a piece that is best
described as a light ambient piece; synth sounds got stuck inside a delay and reverb unit and all of
that is opened more and more and slowly takes on a different shape, a much darker one, and yet
the original starting point can still be recognized. The two pieces on the other side have rhythm;
a minimal, slightly distorted synth sequence rather than something that comes out of a rhythm
machine. ‘On-Off’ is more the sampled sound of a switched on (off?) machine, crudely sampled so
it now sounds like a Pan Sonic rhythm, albeit with not a lot of bass sound. I thought all three
pieces were rather simple in approach and not very engaging to play. ‘So what?’ was my thinking
after I heard it.
    I have no idea how to pronounce Br’lâab, the musical project by Brecht Ameel, who is also a
member of Razen (which I missed when they played my town). According to the text this consists
on ‘the one hand of themes from Ameel’s songbook for the Acid Boogie Quartet, on the other
hand of tape collage pieces based on recordings of found audio, ultra-fi sampling, degraded VHS,
skipping CDs and sandpaper vinyl’, which works best if you know what the Acid Boogie Quartet is,
which I don’t. These pieces, three on the cassette and two further more in the download, were
made after hours and names to reference are Raymond Dijkstra, Slint, Tape and Peer Raben, some
which may also not mean that much to me. The music is indeed a curious mixture of sounds and
music, as if one could find a distinction between the two of them. On the A-side there is ‘Moloch
50′, which is Br’lâab at his most experimental, a collage of found sound indeed, stuck together in
the best random ways of John Cage, including cutting-up a jazz record. The two pieces on the
other seem to be using loops more effectively to create a new song out of it, and both the dusty
obscurity of an old soundtrack, one from the 40s and the title track from the seventies. Also in
the two bonus pieces there is an overall obscurity in play, but these work also quite well. The A-side
didn’t work for me that well, but the other pieces surely did, albeit all too brief. I would not mind
hearing a bit more of this. (FdW)
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YANNICK DAUBY – MAGICIEN ROUCH (cassette by Tanuki Records)

Even when not the most active composers when it comes to releasing music, the name Yannick
Dauby popped up on quite a few occasions in the past years. We know him mostly as a composer
of serious music, dealing with field recordings, mainly from the country where lives since 2007,
Taiwan. This new work is quite different. He went back to the country where he was born, France,
and in the archives from the INA GRM and French radio he found interviews and texts by Jean
Rouch about his 1955 movie ‘Les Maitres Fous’, which shows Hauka’s voodoo rituals. “Mainly
composed of migrant workers from the countryside of Niger and Ghana, this community,
principally found around the city of Accra, devised possession rites to imitate, to emulate and
to mock the British colonial authorities, and thus steal their life force”, says the press text and
on this thirty-three minute, one piece on each side of this cassette, we hear Dauby cutting he
voice of Rouch up, adding a bit of alien electronic sounds to the proceedings. I am not sure to
what extent we are supposed to understand this text that Rouch tells us, as the way Dauby
made his cuts and loops makes this quite impossible to understand (besides of course the fact
that knowledge of the French language is required). At best there is a radio play quality to these
pieces even when much of the process applied by Dauby is on a similar level, which is okay if one
sees this as one long piece; but a bit more variation would have been nice, I would think. In the
catalogue of works by Dauby this is surely quite an odd ball that will surprise his fans. (FdW)
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EDWARD SOL – BELLADONNA PSYCHED ASTROLAND (cassette by Sentimental Productions)

Music by Ukrainian Edward Sol has been reviewed quite a few times and it becomes stronger and
stronger with every new release. His LP with Brume (Vital Weekly 1030) was a highlight and since
then he’s been on that high end. This new work is not much different, be it that I think some of
these pieces are a bit too long. I still have very little knowledge as to how this music is created,
but I would think it includes a fair bunch of electronic devices, as well as a guitar, voice and
perhaps turntables. The ten tracks here are defying categorization. One moment you think that
it is ‘industrial music’; the next it is all some wacky pop music, culminating in swift montage
techniques not worlds apart from what one calls musique concrete. Throughout the music is
‘heavy’, in terms of production, which sounds like it was recorded it much ear for the small detail,
but also perhaps a bit heavy on the moody side of things. It all sounded great; it just that when
Sol tries to combine all the elements he puts in a great four minute piece and extends that into
something that lasts seven to ten minutes, you notice that the tension evaporates. It goes on a
bit too long and couldn’t hold my attention. That happened on all of the four pieces that have
such a length. Sol’s strength lies in keeping matters short and to the point. I prefer a shorter
cassette that sounds so much stronger, then a lengthy one with some weaker brothers. (FdW)
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