Number 1077

No Vital Weekly in week 15!

PACIFIC 231 – KYBEN (CD by E-Klageto) *
JIM DENLEY – CUT AIR (CD by Sofa Music) *
  (CD by Tak:til) *
DIETER MÜH – EPONYMOUS (LP by Sentimental Productions)
FIERCE TRANSMISSION (CD by Fierce Transmission) *
ANIMAL MACHINE/GEN 26 (7″, private)
   (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings) *
MICROMELANCOLIE – ANATOMY OF MODERN PAITINGS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
WOODBENDER – THE FOUNTAIN A CONDUIT (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
LEAH P – UNTITLED (cassette by Oxen)
EDWARD SOL – HOME MAGMA (cassette by Quasipop)
DIATRIBES – SISTERE (cassette by Mappa) *


Elsewhere in this issue I may joke about Nordic churches burning, but the first release by
Dødsmaskin, a duo of Peter Vindel and Kjetil Ottersen is a serious matter. Their album title means
‘completely burnt’ and it deals with the witch trials in Norway in the 17th century. I didn’t know
about that. The first song is ‘Baldom’ and it opens with the amplified fire of sound; like I say, this
is no laughing matter. Dødsmaskin also use metal percussion, drones, field recordings and noise
to tell this story of the witch-hunt and the result is easily classified as ‘top-heavy’. When it’s
noisy, it sure is awfully loud. But here it surely adds to the story, as a story it surely is. The
screaming voices, the sound of fire, and the slow pounding drums, the rattling of chains, the
agony and the ecstasy, it all has that mediaeval touch, and yet it all sounds very electronic. And
noise is just a part of the story, a crucial element in the story, but Dødsmaskin also pull back
and have more isolated sound events going, even bordering close to the edge of silence in ‘De
Ti’. This is probably some true Nordic Noise, right along the lines of much of the output of Cold
Meat Industry and all those bands, but now it comes with an excellent variety in sounds,
instruments, devices and dynamics. Maybe in the ‘old’ days this kind of music sounded too
much like a gimmick for my taste, but with this I’m not sure. The over-amplified history lesson
of witch hunt in the 17th century that is ‘Fullstendig Brent’ is a fully operating documentary,
almost like a time machine and resonating box at the same time, ringing loud and clear. This
seemed like it would not have been my cup of tea, but oh boy, I was wrong. I very much like it. (FdW)
––– Address:

PACIFIC 231 – KYBEN (CD by E-Klageto)

Named after a classical composition by Arthur Honegger, in which the orchestra imitates the
steam train, French music act Pacific 231 is Pierre Jolivet, who has been living in Ireland since
a very long time. Back in the 80s he was quite active in the big cassette network, but in Ireland
worked on his Phd, ”brainwave and sensorial perception applied to sound art”, so it’s all a bit
more serious these days, and perhaps that results in a lot less releases. In Vital Weekly 888 I
reviewed a solo work from him, but nothing in that department since then. His previous solo
work was made with a ‘single electric guitar, processed to fuse resonant cords with loop
sequences in a stereophonic dialogue’ and brought us a rather minimal, ambient piece of music.
This new one is something entirely different. It is also available on LP, but I understand that is a
bit different, and I assume in the mix. I can imagine that the first and third piece on CD, lasting
here some seventeen minutes, are trimmed down and perhaps sound a bit different. These pieces
show a rhythmic side of Pacific 231 that I never heard before. Inspired by the world of techno(id)
music, this is dance-like, but perhaps not entirely made to dance too, even when the development
in these pieces is rather minimal. It just isn’t that groovy that it would do well on a dance-floor, I
think (but I admit not being a DJ or a dancer, so what do I know?). In the other two pieces Pacific
231 seems to go back to his previous record with some more ambient approach to sound
treatment. For all of these pieces I have no idea what it is that he is doing here, but my best
guess would be that he uses digital techniques to generate these sounds and he shows us they
can work in a rhythmical way, as well as a more ambient approach, of which ‘Demon Trent’ is the
dirty, noisy cousin. I thought was all quite enjoyable, but not really that surprising. A sort of all
right but also something that you may have heard before and maybe also a bit more inspired.
Somehow I think Pacific 231 didn’t use his full potential on this release. (FdW)
––– Address: <>

JIM DENLEY – CUT AIR (CD by Sofa Music)

Throughout many years we reviewed much music by Jim Denley; mostly released by his Split
Records and, being an improviser, usually with many other players. Wind instruments have his
overall interest but on this release he plays the flute, an instrument he first picked up in 1969
and which has never been the subject of a solo release. Being from Australia, he playing uses
many influences, from the classical European approach, to Papua New Guinea, Amazone and
with a touch of the shakuhachi but above all the flute traditions of the Solomon Islands. There
are two pieces here, the title piece and ‘For Celina Rokona’, who herself played the Sukute, ‘a
curious combination of flute and percussion’, which inspired this piece. Last week I also reviewed
two releases by Sofa Music and I noted how they reached for that territory in between minimalism,
modern classical and improvisation, which seems very much true for the music of Jim Denley, I
would think. On the surface it sounds very much like a work of improvised music, solo without
any additional layering or colouring using sound effects. Sometimes there is plink plonk approach,
but that only seems to be happening when Denley moves from one part to another. Most of the
time however he searches for repeating, microtonal sounds, sometimes rapidly changing and
moving around, but then also spacious and slowly evolving. In both pieces, but more so in the
second there is also a percussive element in the music, in the way Denley, using his fingers and
lips on the body of the instrument, plays the sounds. There is no such thing, as I see it, as
something exotic about this release, moving along many different types of playing and making
this very much his own music, beyond styles or traditions. From the recent releases by Sofa
Music this is probably the most improvised one, but it is surely another beauty. (FdW)
––– Address:


Somehow I expected this to be all jazz-like, and maybe in a way it is, but then, maybe it isn’t. It
is the fourth album by Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society since they started nine
years ago, blending ‘traditional musics, American minimalism and jazz with the Gnawa ceremonial
instrument the guimbri’. Abrams hisemfl plays the latter along with small harp and bells, while other
musicians include Lisa Alvardo (harmonium, leslie percussion), Mikel Avery (drums, percussion), Ben
Boye (chromatic electric autoharp, piano wurlitzer), Ari Brown (tenor saxophone), Emmett Kelly
(electric guitar) and Frank Rosaly (drums, percussion, resonator bells). While I easily admit I have
not a lot of knowledge of any of these people, their background and all of that, I must say I am
very pleased with what I hear; the music is all about rhythm that seems to be stuck in one place
and all of the instruments are locked into that rhythm. Developments are very minimal in this
music and it was it says on the box, I guess. It is all happening at the same time (simultaneous)
and it is all very tonal music – but of course we could also see the word ‘microtonality’ in there,
which I guess this is all about. Except for the very jazzy closer ‘2128 1/2’, which is not really my
cup of tea, the other four pieces I think are great. The rolling thunder of these rhythms that show
a great motion, a speedy action, sounding like minimal music, make up some excellent music. It
sounds wild and free, exotic, composed as well as improvised, it is at the same time also something
that sounds like something you could meditate too, which may sound like an odd thing for such a
wild release, but it has that great Zen-power. This is an excellent release; the best jazz since I first
listened to The Necks properly. (FdW)
––– Address:

DIETER MÜH – EPONYMOUS (LP by Sentimental Productions)

As I was looking at the cover of this record, I was thinking: does Dieter Müh still exist? The previous
release I reviewed was not that long ago, Vital Weekly 1062, but that was, as is this new one, a
release recorded in 1998. The previous one was released back then in a small edition, but
‘Eponymous’ had a somewhat bigger edition back then; 103 copies were released on CDR by
Naninani Recordings, a short lived CDR label from France. Vital Weekly, being one of the oldest
online sources for this kind of music, of course (well…) reviewed this before, in Vital Weekly 337.
I wrote back then: “One would think that Dieter Müh is just a guy with a funny name, but it’s not. I
believe they are a duo or trio from the UK. Also, they have been around for sometime now, with a
couple of small scale releases some years back. After that things became quiet and they seem to
have vanished. But Dieter Müh is back. The pieces on this release are not very recent ones, they
were all recorded in 1998 {the release was from 2002 – FdW}. The easiest way to describe Dieter
Müh is by labelling them as ‘ambient industrialists’, but that wouldn’t entirely justify them. They
operate in a lofi sampling way, lifting samples from probably other people’s work, and creating
their own dense and dark tapestries of sound. Because of their humble recording methods, the
sounds remain kinda obscured, but that is something, I believe, that will appeal to the lovers of
such ambient industrial ethics. The final piece is a remix of Dieter Muh soundmaterial by one Cedric
Lerouley, who uses probably more updated sound techniques, but if you wouldn’t know would
sound like another Dieter Muh piece, but then recorded better. All in all in a nice release, without
anything dramatic new.”
    With fresh, 2017, ears I would say something like this; the recordings on this LP were made
in a studio and one easily notes the difference with the previous one, recorded in concert. I easily
admit I wasn’t that blown away by their live sound, which I thought was a bit too single-minded in
approach, but in their studio work they show much more. The seven titles here continue to explore
the mild industrial sound of sampled percussion, repeating voices, a fair dash of reverb; for instance
in ‘Dumhome’ I hear influences of both Big City Orchestra and early Contrastate. In ‘R.I.P.>5’ they
go out for a more industrial drone sound of multi-layered synth sounds, while in ‘Sebel’ Throbbing
Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire are guiding principles, with phased loops and spoken word samples. There
is throughout all of these pieces references to be made to one band or another, yet I would think
Dieter Müh, back then a duo of Steve Cammack and Dave Uden, have plenty of their own input to
make each track their own thing, and it is through variety that they achieve their own sound. It
seems like none of these pieces sound very similar to the other ones. None of this screams ‘true
noise’ in your ears and that’s some much better. Ambient industrial is surely something that is
still the most appropriate term for such music. It’s also a musical style that never became big and
never had a revival, oddly enough. This is a most welcome re-issue I guess; it sounded retro and I
love it (the previous remix not included this time) (FdW)
––– Address:


So far I don’t think of Pefkin before, even when Gayle Brogan is active in the experimental music
since the mid 90s. Before she was one half of Electroscope, which Morc Records describe as
‘mixing psychedelic pop, lofi, drones and folk’; she also had her own distribution company for
underground music, Boa Melody Bar, also of which I never heard, so there I go as an ‘expert’.
Since 2000 Brogan uses the name Pefkin, as her band when into hiatus, although back these
days. She has had releases before on Pseudoarcana, Foxglove, Ruralfaune and a previous release
on Morc, in 2014. This is my first introduction to her music and there are five pieces on this
release, all quite long and contemplative; guitars are fed through an endless amount of delay
pedals and probably some other effects as well, and the vocals are half-sung, half murmured,
which is something that is shown in the title of this album. Occasionally there is also some
synthesizer and the final piece has a piano and cello (or a cello bow on the guitar). To categorize
this album is not easy, but in all its weirdness and experimentalism it is also an album of folk
music. Experimental folk that is, like the one that is no stranger on Morc Records, who also
released Drekka and Annelies Monsere. It’s not easy to understand what the lyrics are about, but
a booklet of texts is enclosed. These lyrics seem to have that moody, melancholic touch, that
spleen if you want and it fits the darkness of the music very well. Everything is very much stripped
down, the music reduced to a few sounds, the sustaining of a single synthesizer in ‘Jackdraws’
for instance, some sound effects and slow rhythm and Brogan’s voice half hidden in the mix; if
that sounds sparse, then yes, it is, but even when reduced to the essence of it all, it sounds quite
menacing and strange; doomy and scary also, and ultimately this is quite a beauty. Like going out
at night; at first one doesn’t see a thing but the longer one stays out, the more can be seen. This
record works the same way; the more you play it, the more you’ll discover. Dark it will be, that
stays, but you’ll find much beauty in all this sadness. (FdW)
––– Address:

FIERCE TRANSMISSION (CD by Fierce Transmission)

For three of the four releases, Lamour send a press text along but perhaps the one that mostly
needed one, the CD by Fierce Transmission, didn’t have any. This CD comes in a black carton box,
of the variety that easily breaks, with a Xeroxed booklet that also says Fierce Transmission, with
inside a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, and nothing else, save for some images of a control room from
sixties science fiction books. Maybe it’s not even on Lamour, I thought. According to Discogs it
isn’t indeed, but released in an edition of 100 copies by Fierce Transmission. It is tied with Lamour
because, and I am quoting Discogs again, it is written and produced by Ronny Rasmusson and Slim
Vic; him we’ll again soon, so that explains it being present here. I also picked up on Discogs this is
‘industrial, dark ambient’, and the opening sounds, a deep ambient drone, very slow percussion
and distorted voice reminded me of Lagowski’s early S.E.T.I. but filled with more aggression. I
guess that is the industrial edge of Fierce Transmission; the fierceness I guess. While that
opening piece, called ‘Firestep’ (says Discogs, no tracklist in my copy of the package) is indeed
a total menace, the other songs aren’t that heavy throughout. They do know how to cut back
and delve the ambient mines for a slightly more introspective tune, such as in the opening of
‘Plös’; all of this sounds very much like the dark ambient music of the 90s, as found, sometimes
on Silent Records, Hyperium and Staalplaat. A tendency towards all things dark and ambient, with
a dash of rhythm, a bit of gothic, a slice of noir and it is actually quite nice. During the eighty
minutes this album lasted I dozed off a bit, as in, I went and did other stuff, not always paying
close attention and such, and perhaps if I would have I would have thought this to be a bit too
long for a single CD release. Now, distracted, it formed a pleasant backdrop to what I was doing.
    Slim Vic, one half of Fierce Transmission, is Viktor Zeidner, as we now learn, and is the
mastermind being Lamour (besides a label also a club), and also a member of ‘improband’
Hawaii, metalband Dieselkopf and working solo as Slim Vic. His first CD (Vital Weekly 922) saw
the processing of piano sounds from the house of Franz Schubert and his second release had a
less conceptual approach, but was also rooted in the world of ambient and drones. For ‘Personliga
Artiklar’ (personal items?) this is continued in also seven pieces. The playbook here is all the more
ambient and drones, and with the absence of rhythm as well as all things dark (except perhaps for
‘Camara Lenta (Parte 1); not that this is exactly covered with lots of bright light; it just isn’t as
dark as Fierce Transmission plus it seems to me that Slim Vic’s work deals much more with
computer processing than with something in the form of analogue synthesizers or such like.
Allowing quietness in here, the music is from time to time introspective and sometimes more
outgoing than that. It is, for the lack of a better word, all to be classified as ‘microsound’, but
then slightly louder and a bit darker. It is good music, but nothing great and that is perhaps a
pity. You play this and might think ‘not bad at all’, but at the end of the day: is that enough? I
am not sure about that, really.
    In Vital Weekly 1035 I first heard the music of Bottenvikens Silverkyrka, who were then billed
as ‘a northern Sweden congregation that preaches through their machine music: acid techno
infused with the message of eternity in the tradition of the Swedish revival movement’, which I
found, much to my surprise I may say, to be quite good. I expected some church choir on the
holy trinity-o-three, but it wasn’t. Here we have four new songs and again I was banging my head
and stamping my feet along with the sampled chant (solo voice) and maybe a bit of church organ,
but the 303/606 (more biblical references can be thought of there, I should think) are firmly in
place for some pure dance music injection. It is still hard to say if this is all a massive joke or not,
but who cares? As long as we’re having funny, it is paradise for us, right? Maybe Bottenvikens
Silverkyrka are big hoax, so what? Or maybe they are real, and Nordic churches aren’t burned
down for once, I would still say who cares?
    Gunnarsson and Törnqvist make up the duo Motormännen and I heard a remix from them
before, but here they have a LP, which turns out to be a re-issue of a cassette that was released
by Zeon Light in 2014, and which was nominated for ‘best Swedish album of the year at
Manifestgalan 2015′. According to Lamour Motormännen create ‘information age techno spiced
by Swedish aired nostalgia through a filter of retro futuristic skepticism’ and to that end they use
sampled voices from Swedish politicians (none that I recognized, but hell, would I know any by
name?), documentaries about the cold war and the decline of the welfare state. If Swedish is a
language that just sounds funny but is without any actual meaning, like I tend think (which is
not to say it is all bullshit, far from it) wrongly of course, then such a record is for someone like
me not the right thing to review. I can merely go by the music, which I enjoy, but not by any kind
of content. The Motormännen are also from the world of dance music, but they are more complex
and yet lighter than Bottenvikens Silverkyrka, who seem to be way more straight forward in their
approach to dance music. Motormännen are light, reminding me at times of Chain Reaction in the
use of synthesizers and house-like in their use of rhythm. Quite all right this dance inspired trip,
even when I didn’t get the message all together. (FdW)
––– Address:

ANIMAL MACHINE/GEN 26 (7″, private)

This is a private pressing, most likely in an edition of only 23 copies, of a split 7″ by Animal
Machine and Gen 26. The first hails from Peru, but now resides in London, from where he delivers
his noise releases and concerts, usually in a violent cut-up style of interlocking sound effects.
Over the years he accumulated quite some recordings from rehearsals, sessions and concerts and
these are used here in some further cut-up style. It reminded me, in some way, of Merzbow during
his ‘SCUM’ period, chopping up his old tapes and re-configuring them. Essentially that’s what
Animal Machine does here too, even when a bit more force could have been used, either in mixing
or mastering, but this is some very fine structured noise work.
    Force however Gen 26 uses that on the other side by Matjaz Galicic, who is behind that
project. His noise is that from the world of harsh noise (wall) but he uses a few variations in that
approach, different filters of feedback, which purists will classify as something that is not harsh
noise. That of course is a matter of definition I guess, but in this short time-span of a few minutes
it works quite well. It may have the length of a (long) pop song, it is pure noise and for me only
works as such because of it’s brevity. Of the two I would rather hear some more of Animal Machine
cut-up approaches but with the production value of Gen 26. (FdW)
––– Address:


A long time ago I was in contact with Jay Scott, who ran his own cassette label called Network 77,
out of Cape Town, South Africa, and he was my only contact from that continent to this very day.
He had some interesting music to offer, mainly crude forms of house and techno if I remember well,
which was something you didn’t hear a lot on cassette. Later on he started a label called MicroDot
(or which ever way you want to write that) to release ‘psytrance and chill out music’, but also dub,
drum n’ bass, tribal trance and other electronica. Only one of their releases reached me, years ago,
the Kalahari Surfers, probably South Africa’s best-known alternative rock band, who by then traded
in their guitars for synthesizers (see Vital Weekly 755). Now Scott releases a live recording from
1996 by Kraftreaktor, culled from a three-hour recording by the band/project/person (no listing
on Discogs). The cover is quite chaotic to cull any serious information from, and the note that
came along mentions some players, of which I understand that Amoraim is the main man on
sequences and 303 machines. That might give you some clue as where to find the music of
Kraftreaktor. Maybe the band name is also an indication, Kraftwerk anyone? I am not sure why
this has taken so long to release, but reasons could be anything; from editing, permission to
financial. I simply don’t know. The music is all heavily influenced by the world of dance music,
techno and acid foremost, with people playing didgeridoo, intoning vocals, adding percussion
or jamming on a synth. The eight pieces selected here offer a nice variety to the themes and are
surely cuts from a bigger thing, but don’t stream into each other as one long mix, which is fine
with me. It sounds quite exotic, with all that extra percussion going on (but I guess I have to use
‘exotic’ anyway), and the music has fine warm summer festival feel. Spring may have arrived in
the cold lowlands but one sparrow doesn’t make a summer, but the critical mass on this CD does.
It is freaky, spacey, dancey and lovely. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings)

This is the follow-up to ‘Music For Lighthouses’, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 965, here
again Clarkson, erstwhile working under the names Central Procesing Unit and Illuminati (and
occasional collaborator of Vini Reilly, a.k.a. Durutti Column), stays close to the coast, here using
field recordings from various coastal locations. The previous release seemed to hint towards the
use of percussion and guitar, here there is mention of Roland JD-xi, Korg MS-20 and EMS iVCS3,
so all electronic and obviously, I’d say, the field recordings are heavily processed, effectively in a
melt-down into some deep drone rumble. Clarkson produces some excellent deep ripples of music
here, with a heavy low bass sound and on top he waves all of these electronic sounds, which in the
longest piece, ‘Quicksands – Low Tide’ has a vaguely melodic touch and is the best piece of the lot,
even at thirteen minutes. Dark, mysterious and nocturnal this particular trip to the coast. If pieces
are shorter, such as ‘Desolate Links’ it works less well. Clarkson needs his time to tell a story, and
that’s what he best in the longer pieces. The bass frequencies on this release are quite massive,
and caution is advised when playing this loud. Five pieces only, and at thirty-five minutes I thought
this was all a bit on the short side. I wouldn’t have minded another longer piece to top this journey
off. I thought this was the best release by Clarkson so far. (FdW)
––– Address:


Apparently Stuart Chalmers has a little celebration: he’s now active in releasing and creating
music for ten years now. A trip down the vaults to look for some unreleased materials over the
years, using ‘cassette tapes, fx pedals, synths, contact mic’d objects, field recordings, circuit
bent keys and swarmandal’ – whatever that is. In those past ten years I reviewed quite a bit of
his music (Vital Weekly 1050, 982, 962, 935, 896, 867, 818), and throughout I enjoyed it
quite a bit, even when not always to the same extent, being too noisy or chaotic. Going down
in the archives means hearing some of that again, but now as part of a historical development,
which means it all becomes quite interesting. Chalmers doesn’t mention on the insert when pieces
were recorded, which is a pity as it would be more insightful, but it gives a great view of his various
interests. Music that goes from skipping records, noisy toys to a more vaguely obscured cloud of
sounds, such as the seemingly random picked up sounds in ‘Spectral Transmission’. His sense for
musique concrete, albeit on the industrial edge of town, is present throughout these pieces and
it works quite well here; some of the more recent complex pieces, in which he develops a sense of
radiophonic drama, seem to be missing and makes this something that serves best Chalmers’
fans and others interested in his musical development. (FdW)
––– Address:

MICROMELANCOLIE – ANATOMY OF MODERN PAITINGS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
WOODBENDER – THE FOUNTAIN A CONDUIT (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

Behind Micromelancolié we find Polish Robert Skrzynski, who before worked as Mikrodepresja. Over
the past few years I reviewed some of his work, sometimes recorded in collaboration with Sindre
Bjerga. Much of his work deals with highly atmospheric treatments of what are probably field
recordings along with electronic sounds. Here we have two pieces, both just under eleven minutes,
which exemplify very well what his music is about, even when this time around he also uses a bit of
spoken word. I am not sure if the words are his, or if they were lifted from a different source, nor
could I say what it is about. Somewhat cryptically, the label writes: “Art held together, a breath
closely examined. Speech on the surface of the moon constructing a connection. The law of history
is master in these rooms. The appearance of a step towards knowledge”, which seems more poetic
than an explanation. The voice is mostly whispering, set against the sound of a door closing, deep
drones, ducks (maybe) and a bit of a keyboard. The first side is rather ‘on-going’, whereas the
second is collage like and going through various cycles. I actually enjoyed the second side more
as for some reason it had an excellent radiophonic quality to it.
    I am not sure if I heard from Woodbender before, even when I mentioned the band in an earlier
review of Cinema Perdu, the music project of Martin Pieck, as one of the other things he is involved
in, along with Jon Unger. So this tape is my introduction to their music as Woodbender. I have no
idea how this was created, what kind of instruments they use and so on. The music perhaps is
something that doesn’t clear this up either. Here too the label cooks up something poetic: “A
pulse in the stratosphere sways bioluminescent spirals. Incalculable divisions of mechanical
movement, relieved of air pressure and oxygen. A sudden change in directory, strumming points
to a spacious and safe harbour”. There you go. I would believe the music uses quite a bit of
improvisation on conventional instruments, such as guitars, percussion and synthesizers, but
maybe also acoustic objects, effects and computer processing; the whole lot of it. In the bonus
download there is a piece called ‘Sessions (Improvisations)’, which shows how they work and
following the music I just heard I think this duo works along lines extended improvisations,
selecting their favourite bits out of it, and take their process/editing a bit further, adding more
effects and overlaying these recordings with each other. That becomes then the final piece.
Sometimes that is all quite noisy, such as in the opening minutes of ‘The Flood Moves The Earth
Back And Forth’, but somehow I don’t think it is all to do with playing much noise anyway. Surely
there are some bits here that quite loud, but throughout there is a refined quality about the music
of Woodbender, without being trapped in the world of drone. All of this has elements of the world
of collage techniques, and sometimes it reminded me of Gilbert/Lewis’ Dome project, when they
were at their most experimental (and Woodbender is all instrumental), bending and looping
acoustic objects and guitars alike. Quite an excellent release that unveiled something new
every time I heard it. (FdW)
––– Address:

LEAH P – UNTITLED (cassette by Oxen)

I first encountered Leah in Florida at one of the International Noise Conferences in Miami around
2007-9 when she was in the group Head Molt from Virginia. She is now a solo performer based
out of Los Angeles.
      The first track reminds me the most of Leah from the live sets that I have seen. Her style
when performing live is of the cut up harsh noise variety. While listening to this tape I get a
strong visual of pedals being punched and knobs being twisted with high impact energy and
expert control. “Bad Nerves” lives up to it’s name with strands of tape slipping by, rattling,
getting cut up, crunched and squelched. It easily captures the feeling of jangled nerves caught
on the edges of anxiety. The most successful track is titled “Buried By My Own Shovel” where I
could clearly hear the shovel scraping inside my ears digging it’s way deeper into a psyche that
is a cavernous hall of mirrors with Doppler echoes of worries unforgotten.
      This is a short tape running around 10 minutes total with four tracks. I found myself really
wishing I had a deck capable of auto reverse so I could listen to it on repeat and more easily
absorb all the detail contained therein. It’s probably unintentional on the artist’s part but I
started to feel manic over needing to flip the tape over and over again like a nagging thought
in the middle of the night. I hope this release is a taste of what could be a full length release
with further exploration of similar themes of introversion and anxiety. Even though these are
not unusual themes in noise I really like the illustrative nature of these tracks. Noise tends to
be very abstract but it is possible to weld it such a way as to have meaning beyond simple
expressions of harshness. Does this make noise music? I don’t know but I want to hear more
from Leah P. (AD)
––– Address:

EDWARD SOL – HOME MAGMA (cassette by Quasipop)

Just last week I also reviewed a cassette by Ukrainian musician Edward Sol, not for the first time,
and in that review I noted that I enjoy his music more and more, be it that I think it works better
when it’s concise and to the point. The longer pieces on that release don’t work as well. Little did
I know I would now be listening to a release that has two tracks per side, nineteen and eighteen
minutes each. And that is indeed much longer than most of his recent pieces, although I do
remember in the past he some longer pieces. This means I have to listen a bit differently to this,
keeping in mind what I wrote last week. It might seem a contradiction to that review but on ‘Home
Magma’ he knows how to keep my attention throughout both pieces. They don’t consist of a few
sounds that go on just a bit long, but of very few sounds that work together much better and
with a very minimal development seem to intertwine much better. As the proceedings go on, Sol
adds a few sounds here and there, opens a few filters or adds effects, while in the background the
original sounds keep moving and developing in their own fine speed. It has a fine ambient rumble
that goes on and on, but which never leaps into boredom, meaning I have to revise what I earlier
about Edward Sol and long pieces; it works very well on these pieces and should appeal to anyone
who likes all that music that we call ‘ambient industrial’; say for the old fans of zoviet*france and
Maeror Tri. (FdW)
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DIATRIBES – SISTERE (cassette by Mappa)

This is another lovely packed cassette by Slovakia’s Mappa label, presenting this time music by
Swiss duo Diatribes. D’Incise plays here ‘shakers & bells (a), cymbal (b) and background (b),
while Cyril Bondi signs up to players ‘shakers & bells (a), floor tom, bass drum and snare drums
(b); in which (a) and (b) of course means A and B-side. Here we have two pieces, each about
twenty-three minutes of some very minimal percussive music. I have no idea how this was made,
but my best guess would be that this is a live in studio recording without much editing or layering
and most likely very little in terms of post-processing. As said, both pieces are very repetitive but
also quite different. ‘Tabi-tabi’ on the A-side is faster with them shakers shaking and rolling, in a
steady mid-tempo mode. It seems as if something else is going on, a hiss like sound, but maybe
both hand and feet are using a variety of shakers and bells and there is a fine ritual quality to the
music. As with the other side, over the course of the piece, the sound changes slowly and the
end is quite different sounding than the beginning, even when the tempo seems to be the same
throughout the piece. This is the kind of minimalism I like very much; it’s refined, steady, minimal
and never seems to be stuck in the same thing that sounds the same for a very long time. Two
lovely pieces. (FdW)
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‘Hey, buddy, what’s up? Why so gloomy?” I would like to ask Favaron for this somewhat depressing
title. But then, here right now, sun is shining and mild spring weather is all around. Maybe that was
not the case when Favaron created the music or titled the music? There are two pieces of music
on this cassette, ‘Roquentin’ and ‘Meursault’, for which I have no idea who or what they are.
Favaron takes the by now usual credit for ‘objects, mics, tapes, synth, analogue and digital
effects’ and does what he does best, I guess, which creating some very fine modern day musique
concrete. As I wrote before, I have no idea how Favaron works, and this new tape doesn’t shed any
more light than it did before. My best guess is, still, that he uses multiple sound sources, maybe
hand manipulated or previously recorded on reel-to-reel machines, cassettes or Dictaphone and
they all go into the mixer, with some sound effects connected and Favaron creating a mix on the
spot; perhaps that is all the wrong assumption, and he works meticulously on multi-layering his
sound sources, but that’s not how this sounds. Noise is something that he’s not afraid off, leaping
into mild-distortion from time to time and sustaining sounds are connected through feedback, also
occasionally; maybe there is a no-input mixer in play also. As before I like this, and think it would be
great to put this in a four track machine and fiddle around with random mixes; it’s a pity that the
machine I had died recently, so that is no longer a possibility. This is another very consistent work
for Favaron. (FdW)
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