Number 1090

Vital Weekly this summer:

week 29: issue 1091
week 30: no Vital Weekly
week 31: issue 1092 on Monday, and 1093 on the Sunday there after
week 32-33: no Vital Weekly

TSVEY (CD by Mik Musik)
KLIMPEREI – OSTINATII 2 (CD by Monochrome Vision/In PolySons)
  (CD by Immediata)
BAD SECTOR – XELA (LP by Loki-Found)
DE FABRIEK – FABRIEK GOES SOLENOID (cassette by Ultra-Mail Prod.)
SUDARIA – THE SYNCRETIC LABYRINTH (cassette by Attenuation Circuit/Sphingidae)
PAT MOONCHY TRIO (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
EXEDO/ALEXANDER ADAMS (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)


This might very well be the first time that Confront releases something on a real CD (I might be
wrong though), rather than on their usual CDRs in tin cans. This CD is housed in a carton sleeve.
All of this of course has to do with the presence of David Sylvian, erstwhile lead singer of Japan
(and dare I say it, my favourite of all his musical outings), then ambient composer and since many
years working within the realm of improvised music. Here he recites a text by Bernard Marie Koltes,
as recorded in 2014 in Los Angeles, with music added earlier this year by Rhodri Davies (lap harp,
table harp, vibraphone, radio) and Mark Wastell (tam tam, cracked ride cymbal, chimes, Indian
temple bells, singing bowls, metal chain, tubular bell, concert bass drum) with a bit of help (on
tape) of the no-input mixer by Toshinaru Nakamura and Matthew Sansom supplying tubular bell
and concert bass drum (as well? so I was thinking). This is all a pretty radical work. For one some
of the high piercing tones supplied by Nakamura are quite loud in the mix, which makes this not a
particular easy work, but also Sylvian’s voice is up there a bit, so its hard to avoid the story of it
all. The text is part of a longer play from Koltes, with two characters, the Dealer and Buyer,
although unclear is what is sold or bought. Sylvian reads this text with some great deep voice,
and much of the thirty minutes, when he speaks it is very much on top of the music, which
means, at least for me, that it is not easy to put this on as a piece of music (which is of course
something I very much like to do). As I said this is a pretty radical work, no doubt shocking many
old Japan fans (if they should ever be interested in what Sylvian is up these days of course), or
ambient lovers like wise. Whatever Davies and Wastell add is very careful, playing a sound here and
there, using a long sustain and let the sounds die out over the course of some time. This has very
little to do with improvised music, in case you were wondering, as it all seems to me very much the
result of careful planning and composing. At thirty minutes this may seem to be a very short
release, but with the heavy weight of the text and some of the tones used, this is not easy work.
If you like a work with some excellent radiophonic qualities, then this is surely something you
should check out. (FdW)
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TSVEY (CD by Mik Musik)

More dance music from Mik Musik, who since a couple of years seem to be exclusively dealing with
music around rhythm, dance, a bit of noise and Tsvey here is no exception. In 2002 the duo of
Bartek Kujawski (also known as 8Rolek) and Piotr Poloz met up for the first time, ‘with laptops
causing confusion’ and since then they may or may not have played together but nevertheless
now present their first CD with nine pieces of some the more brutal disco music. The drum
machine sounds a bit naive, ticking time away, but not necessarily with the greatest production
value going. On top there is a fine set of bass sounds, crude samples and sometimes plain silliness
orchestral interjections, such as in ‘Haosa’. A couple of pieces are called ‘Cinquecento2003’,
‘Cinquecento2007’, etc., five in total and they are a bit more experimental, acting as links between
the ‘real’ tracks, four of those, which may perhaps makes this CD all a bit sparse, I think. Those
pieces are easily between six and seven minutes and quite forceful. This is something that you
could easily play a big party, I would think (should I be a DJ of any kind that is). I am not entirely
sure if it works at home as equally well. When do you go leaping about in your own space, dancing
to do the dishes perhaps? If Tsvey wanted to present a calling card of what they can do to cheer
up a dead party, then they delivered a pretty excellent card indeed. (FdW)
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KLIMPEREI – OSTINATII 2 (CD by Monochrome Vision/In PolySons)

It has been a while since I last saw a new release by Russia’s Monochrome Vision, the specialist in
releasing old and new music by musicians that have been around since the 80s. As such Klimperei
is hardly a surprise, since French musician Christophe Petchanatz has been around since the later
80s, with his first release from 1987. It is for me one of those names that you see around a bit,
but if you’d wake me in the middle of the night, and ask me ‘give me a description of the music of
Klimperei’, and I probably would draw a blank look on my face. The main instruments of Klimperei
are piano, toys, flutes and percussion and Discogs compares the music to that of Pascal Comelade,
Yann Tiersen and Nino Rota, and shamefully I admit only knowing Comelade’s music (beyond
recognizing names that is), but yes, I can easily see how these are linked. The cover here says
that all pieces were composed and played ‘using a heuristic method of constraints and chance in
the choice of rules’ and Petchanatz plays all instruments, except for the drums. Here we have
eleven piece of music that all sound considerable minimal, highly percussive and recorded without
much ornaments; there doesn’t seem to be a lot of studio tricks in this music, but more like ‘stick
a microphone in this space and record the action’, which doesn’t mean it sound like a basement
lo-fi recording, but the result is a very nice, direct in your face sound, which I quite love. It is
something different. There is a charming naive quality to the music here that is highly adorable.
The tunes are minimal, as said, in the best tradition of Reich et al, but without all the delicate
phase shifting technique. Another name that sprang to mind was Andrew Poppy, especially in
the way the piano is played but also in the use of rhythm. Some of these tunes are joyous and
spontaneous, others are more introspective or even a bit darker. With a relatively small set of
sounds, Klimperei knows how create different world with that. This I thought was an excellent
record; something else in the daily Vital Weekly meal. (FdW)
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Back in Vital Weekly 1069 I reviewed ‘… That First Season’, a double CD compilation by Winter-Light
and among the names I didn’t recognize and was thus served a first introduction was Velgenaturlig,
which they write as VelgeNaturlig. This is music project of Ivo Santos, and who has releases on
Galdor Technologies and Attenuation Circuit (the latter digital only), and this is his first real CD,
which started life as an ‘one take improvisational piece’, which he later fine tuned in his studio. It
means that the twelve pieces are strongly linked together, music-wise that is, even when each of
the pieces has it’s own distinct title. There is no mention of sound sources, but I would think it
involves a lot of digital processing of what could be field recordings, acoustic objects and/or wind
chimes; especially in the first few pieces I had the impression it was much about the latter and as
the disc went on more it became that first thing; the digital processing of sound sources. But
what these field recordings were (if at all of course), that is something we don’t know; we can’t
tell from listening to the music, which takes all the transformations three or four times around in
what is no doubt an endless amount of sound devices, reverb being the most important one, but
also delay, chorus and shifting of pitches up but mostly down. The beginning has a somewhat
chaotic feel to it with them rattling bell-like sounds, but from the fifth piece, ‘Gold Opacity’ (in
which I actually believed to hear some water sounds!) onwards the mood is alike that what you
expect from a record of all dark and atmospheric drones. Some of it is a bit on the long side I
guess, but no doubt Santos wanted to get most of the material he initially recorded and who can
blame him? And of course with music like this is not about being short and to the point, but to let
it all meander about, and that’s what VelgeNaturlig does pretty well. This is a very fine release for a
rainy summer’s day. (FdW)
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Two new releases by Gold Bolus, a label that started in 2009 is an outlet for works by Dave Ruder,
but quickly became an outlet for many other adventurous artists based in Queens and  Brooklyn,
NYC.  ‘Luminous Horizons’ is the debut recording by San Sowyrda, a percussionist and composer
living in Ridgewood, Queens.  His is best known for his MalletKAT player in avant-pop band Cloud
Becomes Your Hand. He composed many years for an experimental puppet group as well as a dance
company, and performs with several ensembles, all in the NYC-area.  On his debut ‘Luminous
Horizons ‘, he presents two extensive and dynamic compositions composed and performed by
himself. The title track is for prepared dulcimer, an instrument built by his father. A composition
that brought earlier work Arnold Dreyblatt and his Excited Strings to my mind.  The middle section
is strongly Eastern-flavoured, as if one listens to a gamelan orchestra. Amazing! Then Sowyrda
starts builts up towards a climax.  A solid work and performance, as is  ‘Occidental Error’, a
composition for vibraphone and sine waves. This last track is a piece in the minimal music tradition
of Steve Reich. A work of gradually shifting patterns, thjat moves on far more linear then ‘Luminous
Horizons’. It starts as a very percussive piece, before melodious and harmonious elements are
introduced and become more prominent. A strongly pulsating work, creating strange harmonies
by the overtones and of an hypnotizing quality.
    The collaboration of Bell and King is of a totally other nature and hard to describe. Gesley is
a composer and vocalist. Core member of the fantastic ThingNY, reviewed earlier in Vital Weekly.
Doing a lot of things, she performed for example work of John Cage and Robert Ashley. King is a
guitarist, composer and violist, who’s career started somewhere in the 80s. I remember two
albums of from this period with David Moss and Jean Chaine  (Dimthings). In the meantime he
wrote 8 operas, composed for string quartets, etc. Their project ‘Cicphony’ was “first developed
for Compagnie CNDC-Angers’s performance of Merce Cunningham’s EVENT, directed by Robert
Swinston, which was performed at the Joyce Theatre from March 10-15, 2015. In the aesthetic
spirit of John Cage and Merce Cunningham’s collaboration, Gelsey and John composed the music
they performed separately.” The CD has the piece in a live recording at Roulette on 4/26/16. It is
a work divided in 6 parts. A lot of difficult terms here. First the title: ‘Ciphony’ is the process of
enciphering audio information to produce encrypted speech. In all  six titles the combination
‘pelagic’ returns. Water that is neither close to the bottom nor near to the shore is called the
pelagic zone.  Each title on the album refers to a certain layer of this zone, followed by a more
deeply layered part. So, while listening, we go – as it were – deeper and deeper into the ocean.
What we hear are waves of sound, complex ambient textures produced by Bell (vocals, microkorg
vocoder, metallophone) and King (electronics, viola, ngoni). I enjoyed the fine combinations of
acoustical sources (viola and voice), sound that are electronically generated of manipulated. 
However the composition as such the work didn’t  convince me. Probably it works better
combined with the dance production, is my guess. (DM)
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  (CD by Immediata)
  (CD by Immediata)

    A maelstrom, a cascade of piano tones; keys struck at frantic pace… Two players – The Necks’
Chris Abrahams and the composer Anthony Pateras himself – multi-tracked four takes in each
octave of the piano. And these were then superimposed, resulting in a massive, but not dense
energetic interplay of clashing and dashing fragments in pure pianistic form and force. Abrahams
lets his hand go loose on the keys in a more powerful and maybe even maximalist fashion than
we’re used to from his playing in The Necks. Yet, the hypnotic qualities of this 50-minute piece
are no less evident.
    Please forget about the playing fast for fastness sake muzak of Melnyk. This here record is
where a truly novel and mesmerizing new approach to the piano and keys playing is on full frontal
display. Here Pateras and Abrahams stun the audience into awe, and – further still, above and
beyond – transport the listener to aural worlds beyond both players, beyond notes and timbres,
into an abstraction of sounds and sonic material. Music in Eight Octaves is hectic in its overflow,
unashamedly so and proud of it. Therewith this piece could be considered to be the hyperkinetic
counterpart to the works of Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard. Let the piano’s frantic force be with you;
wave after crashing wave.
    Also out now is ‘The Slow Creep of Convenience’. As if Pateras wants to stress the fact he’s
more than a one trick pony. As if we didn’t already know exactly that from his multifarious
practice, compositions and releases. Here he presents a work in collaboration with Erkki Veltheim;
the composer himself on pipe organ, Veltheim playing the electric violin. And this is a wholly
different ballpark than the one in which the two pianos seemed to ‘battle’ things out.
    In ‘The Slow Creep of Convenience ‘pipe organ and electric violin slowly and very surely move
as one; a unified single timbral voice of undulating drones waves. Control is key; movement is slow.
The droning qualities of the work induce ease, peace and hypnotic drifting but never loose a
sensorial attachment to the present, here, actual and factual. There’s just so much to hear in the
subtlest of details in this duo’s spectral investigations through various harmonic fields. Shimmering
shifts and glacial glissandos wink and nudge the aural mass through a volume of lightness to the
touch virtually unheard of. This is as much highly recommended material for fans of Tony Conrad’s
work as it is for lovers of Phill Niblock and Eliane Radigue. (SSK)
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A moody, somewhat jazzy piano melody starts this CD. Nightclub atmosphere. Nightclub gone
David Lynch dark red. Moody, sinister maybe. A bit wonky. Dodgy perhaps, too. And then, the
voice. Rasping, gravel-like, romantic, yearning: Gavin Friday joins the band, not to lighten matters
mind you. But, to carry us along with whispered words and softly spoken projections of the
ruminations of the heart’s strings. A saxophone plods along, barely holding on for breath – for dear
life. Through the crack in the floor boards a searing distorted guitars is awoken from its slumber.
    Renaud-Gabriel Pion and Arnoud Fournier form the duo called Atonalist. No code music is their
trademark. So you can end up in a dark noise alley way or in a jazz parlor. We could rave the night
away to smashing industrial or contemplate the merits of contemporary composition. Somewhere
between Dead Hippies and Hector Zazou, with some Dead Can Dance and Arto Lindsay for good
    On half of the tracks on ‘Atonalism’ the duo is joined by Irish singer Gavin Friday of massive
repute, not only solo but also for his work with his band Virgin Prunes. He puts his all into the
vocal performance; not sparing his pipes. More to the point even: Friday seems to be in quite a
manic mood; more so than on his latest solo album ‘Catholic’. And that one was at times quite
upfront and in your face. Cutting love, severed hearts and longing, loss and lust make up most
of the lyrical content here.
    ‘Atonalist’ basically shouldn’t work; the clash between thorough-bred jazz and multi-
instrumentalist composed music with electronics is bound to end up like a stale studio project;
devoid of any livelihood or sweat dripping from the practice room walls. And yet, that’s not the
case. For it does click. Like a band Dick Laurent from Lost Highway may be fronting now, having
moved on past 20+ years since he starred in the movie; raised from the dead (or undead). Frantic
jazz solos do mesh with rattling industrial drums and hollowed out screams from beyond the
grave. It shouldn’t, really, but it does. A bit like Zeal and Ardor’s mix of spirituals and black metal
cannot in any way ‘work’, but gels like hell.
    Having said that: there’s some noodling here like ‘The Philosopher’s Argument’ which pretty
much takes away the urgent drive of the surrounding tracks in its vibe of musique d’ameublement,
but mostly this is a great surprise of a record. Not only a very welcome return of Gavin Friday on
the forefront of recorded cutting edge music, but also a nice and sweet discovery of a daring
French duo. (SSK)
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BAD SECTOR – XELA (LP by Loki-Found)

Despite going strong since 1991, and having released music on many CDs as well as 7″ and 10″
vinyl, this is the very first 12″ slab of vinyl for Italy’s Bad Sector. ‘Xela’ was released before, in
2001, but is now mastered for vinyl. The original music was recorded way before that, in 1996,
as part of backing tapes used by Bad Sector when they played at ‘Sonderangebot’, a festival
organised by Staalplaat. I didn’t see that performance back then, but by all accounts I heard
afterwards it was great, ending in an encore of partisan songs sung by mister Bad Sector and
friends. I am not sure if that partisan theme was part of the ‘Xela’ thing at all, as the music
doesn’t give us much clues in that respect. Save for some intercepted radio voices all of this is
instrumental, based on sampling of electronic sources, which is something Bad Sector later relied
on more and more, along with the likewise sampled rhythms, which sound like pounding drums in
a gothic cathedral, thus effectively creating an odd combination of ancient sounding beats and
ultra modern technology. Although I am hardly an expert in this area, I’d say there is quite an
influence from early Coil in the music of Bad Sector here, but in the use of space voices I was also
reminded of SETI’s ‘Knowledge’ (was that even out at that time, I wonder? Maybe it wasn’t?). The
various pieces on both sides slowly subtle into each other and the mood is throughout dark, but if
you know Bad Sector that should hardly be a surprise. This a particular interesting Bad Sector
record from the early days of their career and it has some of that perhaps naivety that their early
sound, especially I’d say in their rhythmical treatment, which these days sound a bit clumsy. From
a historical perspective an important record, but also in terms of pure musical entertainment quite
a nice one indeed as well. For me personally it was a nice throw back to the old days of festivals in
Berlin and being involved with the release of Bad Sector.
    And if it was planned like this, two days after writing the words above, ‘Quaternion’ arrived.
And these things are not planned, I should think. Also ‘Quaternion’ is a somewhat older release,
being from 2010, when it was available as a free download from their website, but ‘reshaped/
remastered’ for this release. “This work is based on noisy, apparently monochromatic sound-scapes,
created with layered sounds that move and rotate in the tridimensional space. The
resulting micro-spatiotemporal structures are complex and organic, so an overall super-structure
is no more strictly necessary”, it says on the cover. Each of the eleven pieces is exactly four
minutes and thirty seconds. Rhythm plays no longer a role in this music, perhaps not at all in the
current Bad Sector sound, but certainly not in the eleven pieces on this release. The sound here is
drone like, dark, atmospheric and very ambient. I am not too sure about the tridimensional shape
of the sound, not having any kind of set-up that is more than ‘just’ stereo, but also not checking
this with headphones (which is not something that is mentioned on the cover anyway). The music
on this release comes across as much more coherent than on the LP, with everything being closely
together in terms of sound treatments, from whatever sources that were used for this. Not
entirely a soundtrack for nice breezy summer’s day, but if you wait for the crepuscule hour to kick
in, you dim all the light and watch the sun set with this being the soundtrack, then I am sure it all
works just very well. This is a fine, solid work of deep atmospheric music. (FdW)
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Apparently this record is released in an edition of 300 copies, of which 120 are for sale through
the bandcamp site of the label, as well as by contacting Vitorre Baroni, one of the band members.
The other 180 copies are packed as part of BAU 14, an annual magazine, taking the form of a
cardboard box with numbered and signed works of artists. BAU 14 is a cylindrical box, 12 cm in
height and 40 cm in diameter, so it can indeed hold a LP as part of it. There are two sidelong
pieces of music here; both are ‘audio journeys’. ‘GPS’, which stands for Gigantic Paradigm Shift
and ‘GaPS’, global art participation systems, “traveling in the direction of utopian goals and
revisiting a synoptic history of the international underground networks of the last century, from
Pataphysics to Fluxus, from Mail Art to the Luther Blissett project”, so seeing Le Forbici involved
isn’t that weird. Vittore Baroni was once at the heart of all of this with his Trax project (more than
a record label; a whole movement of mail art, music, performance. A retrospective album is to be
released soon) and he’s a member of this group, along with Manitu Rossi and Gabriella Marconi.
The music of Le Forbici Di Manitu can work out in whatever way possible, from minimal techno to
rock, to jazz, and here it is a kind of curious mixture of sounds that don’t seem to belong together,
at least not entirely. On ‘GPS’ there is some muzak, pop, many flutes and piano mixed together
from what could be a number of sources, along with spoken word in English, Italian and France. It
could very well a translation of each other, like a travel guide in various languages. While much of
the music sounded like, well, ‘music’, the whole random putting together of this made it perhaps
not the most easiest thing to hear but the use of voices made up for it.
    ‘GaPS’ on the other side is music wise a different thing altogether, with the music being
more structured in a way that reminded me of 60s minimalism, with repeating figures on organs,
synthesizers and other keyboards, along with a voice that sometimes seems to be (trying to) sing
along the music, and here too we have the idea being on some sort of trip, name dropping sixties
art movements and is altogether a much more coherent piece of musical theatre; in a way, but I
read the press text, this side sounded very sixties, even when it uses synthesizers, drum machines
and mentions laptops. It has that sort of agitprop theatre feeling from that era, multiple vocals at
the same time. Perhaps The Residents were an important influence on this side.
    The design of the record is, always with Le Forbici Di Manitu, excellent: a cylindrical piece of
carton, 35 centimetres, just to annoy you vinyl lovers, I’d say. (FdW)
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Now that, thanks to Trump, we all want to be punks again we should hope for a revival of the DIY
days from the 80s. That is probably wishful thinking, as it seems to me unlikely to happen,
attached as we are to our screens not to miss out what’s happening in the world. But if there is
a wave of 20+ year olds doing their music again, letting it float out on a medium that in 30 years
is subject of another revival, we have no doubt less trouble in finding these musicians, who in ten
years time move on to a real job in the world they now despise. That’s what happened in the 80s
when people bought a synthesizer, a drum machine and released three tapes on their own imprint,
lost interest in the whole DIY thing and then went on to be, say, a wedding photographer. That is
not a joke (or cynicism), it is what Siebe Baarda did. In the 1980s he produced three cassettes as
Cybe, playing this wonderful exotic music on a bunch of synthesizers. Very much, I’d ay, against
the doom & gloom of the day. He created joyful music that reminds the listener of gamelan music.
Why he ever stopped doing music I have no idea. A decade ago, archival explorers of the world of
cassettes in blogland, posted his music online and since then he’s one of those much sought after
people, while he was making a living photographing newly weds. There was already a tribute LP on
the Indonesian inspired Ini.Itu label (see Vital Weekly 1014), but here’s a LP by the man himself,
compiling pieces from his three officially released cassettes as well some unreleased pieces, all
sounding like it was made yesterday; fresh masters and all that. I had the pleasure of hearing these
cassettes when they first came out and back then I was fascinated by the fact that this sounded
so different than what I heard normally released on this medium. Maybe in those days I was not
into what is now labelled ‘fourth world’ music, but then, perhaps, that’s not what Cybe does,
really. His music is all electronic with the synth firmly attached to a pre-set that says ‘bell-like’
sounds, adding a bit of tropical field recordings (I have no clue if they were really tropical, or
indeed field recordings at all). Ambient music? Yes, sir, ambient it surely is, but with that pleasant,
joyful undercurrent. Mostly rhythmic but also there is a ambient drone like piece ‘Muzak Paintings
Positive Movement Part 2 No. 3′ of no rhythm and all mood. It is also not entirely limited to
Indonesia, with a beautiful tabla and synth piece called ‘India’, with some fifteen minutes taking its
natural course to develop. Cybe is no more but this is a fine overview of his work. A box set would
have been the best thing to compile his entire output, but maybe that could be done now? (FdW)
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There are a few names mentioned as references in the press release of this record, some of which
I never heard of and others having my approval. Maybe you can figure it out? Mentioned are Ich Bin,
Le Syndicat Electronique, In Aeternum Vale, Ike Yard and Alan Vega, although about the latter only
to say that will turn in his grave, hearing these ‘lithanies almost crashing into chasms ooze in this
cold-rhythmic blues’. The debut 12″ of this duo from Lorraine in France takes the form of a classic
three-track 12″, like they did in the good ol’ 80s. We have here Toma Uberenig on ‘voix/frequences
aigus’ and Scott Scorpion  on ‘rythme/frequences gravess’. One long piece on the first side, the
slow burning ‘The Wound’, with its slow rhythm machine, deep menacing synth lines, gentle piercing
ear drums before speeding up in tempo, becoming more dark wave than minimal synth. The two
pieces on the other side, ‘The Stalker’ and ‘The Knife’, continue in that direction but along with a
voice from the grave that comes natural (?) with this kind of music. Not really rockabilly
spookmaster Vega, but hey, what do I know? I can easily spot the other references though in this
music, especially the slower, older rhythm machine that could have been borrowed from Ike Yard. I
am not sure if in this day and age it is a wise decision to start with a three-track 12″ as a debut;
why not a full length LP? The other mystery being: why did it take so long before this was released,
seeing the music was recorded in 2013 already? Ancient by the current speed of things, but
perhaps that was the intention after all. Nice one. I feel joyously depressed now. (FdW)
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From the ever-expanding series of flexi discs released by Michael Esposito we have here his source
material from the world ‘beyond’, the electronic voice phenomena as they are called, with a musical
treatment by Kent Tankred and Leif Elggren, also known as The Sons Of God, which may seem in
this connection a most appropriate name. Like before the flexi disc is a one-sided affair, with a
piece of music that lasts maybe five minutes and also before the whole notion of the flexi disc
adds a great quality to the music. There is a low rumble going on, which one could believe is from
the disc itself, but might also be the amplified world of ghostly activities and to add they add a
very minimal interaction with the sound files of Esposito; a quick snapshot placed strategically
over the endless dark rumble. It’s that the record ends, and you know it played all the way through
that you know the piece is finished that is also you know the rumble is the music. Unlike some of
the other releases in this series this is quite a minimal affair, but it’s perhaps also one of the more
haunting tunes so far. Nothing happens and that’s the scariest thing. (FdW)
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DE FABRIEK – FABRIEK GOES SOLENOID (cassette by Ultra-Mail Prod.)

The connection between legendary Dutch ‘home tapers’ De Fabriek and less legendary but like-
wise ancient, as well as Dutch, Solenoid go back to 1981, when they collaborated for the first
time. Core Fabriek members A.D. Eker and R. van Dellen always liked to receive tapes by other
people and match and patch them up within their own sound constructions. In 1982 ‘Solenoid
Goes Fabriek’ was released, along with a release of their own ‘Silex Hippopola’, which in 2016 (!)
was the source material for ‘Fabriek Goes Solenoid’. The original cassettes can still be found in
blog-o-land if you look for them, which is interesting in case you want find out to what extent De
Fabriek treats these sources. Spoiler alert: quite a bit as it turns out. The old Solenoid tape
sounded a bit like lo-fi No New York, shabbily recorded back then, but with the right amount of
energy. On this cassette that sound is brought to a much more electronic territory, with looping
certain parts of songs around, adding treatments to the vocals (delay, reverb, layering) and it
becomes proper songs. Probably it doesn’t have much to do with some of the more recent De
Fabriek releases in that this uses vocals, guitars and electronics, but then sampling seems also
to be playing an important in that current sound, so perhaps all of this ties together, as some of
this is more soundscape like, but everything is kept within a short frame of time, two to four
minutes it seems. These short timings add quite a playful character to the music. Also the fact
that K. Mons, member of Solenoid, is these days actively involved with De Fabriek, shows how
membership is flowing between these bands these days. It is all less lo-fi than in the old days,
but even modern technology could not always hide that here.  No doubt the fact that this is
released on a cassette adds to that lo-fi flavour. This is an edition of 50 copies; to keep up with
the good ol’ days, I guess. (FdW)
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The music on this cassette was composed for an audio-visual collaboration Adkins did with
painter Andy Fullalove in the Bradford Cathedral in 2016. It was a “response to the newly
restored altarpiece by William Morris as well as the priceless stained glass windows in the
cathedral by Morris’ company”, and Adkins was inspired by the “layering and textures of
Fullalove’s paintings”. He wanted to create music “to induce a sense of meditation,
contemplation and reflection” and used sounds from the church organ. Both sides have one
piece of music, entirely in the spirit of the two albums I heard of Adkins previously (Vital
Weekly 768 and 825), especially the later, which I noted for bridging the gap between Niblock
and Mathieu. These two pieces are definitely more Stephan Mathieu, and less Niblock, with its
slow flowing minimal drone settings. Both of these pieces, ‘Sounds Of The Shadows’ and
‘Sounds Of The Sun’ are very similar in how they were made and how they sound. Deep organ
like sounds, no doubt in some way transformed by computer technology (slowed down, looped,
that sort of thing) and coming to you in a variety of layers, slowly making away for each other,
pushing one up, taking another one down and then going back to the first, and this for whatever
the duration is of this cassette; I must admit I was kind of lost when it came to that, reading a
more complex book on musical history at the same time. This music worked best if played at a
considerable softer volume and let it flow gently through whatever space you are in to hear this.
Headphones, I would say, could work but you miss out on the spatial character of the music,
which I guess is an all-important feature of this music. (FdW)
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SUDARIA – THE SYNCRETIC LABYRINTH (cassette by Attenuation Circuit/Sphingidae)
PAT MOONCHY TRIO (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
EXEDO/ALEXANDER ADAMS (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)

Following my introduction with Sudaria from Spain (see Vital Weekly 1079) I find here their
latest release, which Attenuation Circuit co-releases with Sphingidae. The way the group made
their logo reveals an interest in all things metal music, which is not exactly my kind of territory. I
enjoyed their previous release, even if I thought it was all a bit long. Here we have nine pieces, one
being over nine minutes but also one as short as just under two minutes. These nine pieces are
quite a diverse bunch of pieces really. The aggressiveness shines through a couple of pieces, but
as with the previous release, Sudaria does more than just play some metal version of industrial
music (or perhaps that’s vice versa), but that’s one part of it; if you would just hear ‘Beyond
Fields of Transgenic Wires’ and nothing else by them, you could think this is just one of those
fine drone musicians at work, with a gentle drone with heaviness underneath it all. It is followed
by ‘Cremation’, which is also a drone affair but a bit more powerful. But pieces like ‘Veils of the
Syncretic Maya’ with them heavy guitars (and isolated piano chord) or the disjointed percussive
stabs of ‘The Pulse of Endlessness Sinking inside the Immortal Binary Clock’ (same piano chords
apparently) or the bass hum of ‘Kapala’ show the dirty side of Sudaria quite clearly. I quite enjoyed
the vast differences between all of these pieces as it all made up a fine trip for the listener.
    Pat Moochy (voice and electronic device) is someone I haven’t heard of, but he has his own
trio, with Lucio Liguori on guitar and gongs and Attenuation Circuit boss Sasha Stadlmeier on
guitar, bass and effects. They played on April 29 2016 at k15 in Augsburg (home location of
many releases on this label) and there is one piece here, spanning some forty-six minutes. All of
this is rather loosely improvised, much of the time with a lot of space between the tones, without
all of this becoming very quiet. There is always somewhere the tail end of reverb or delay. It is all
very loosely with sounds seemingly dislocated played without, as far as I can judge, much
interaction between the players. Whenever things are in sustain mood it sounds like it is more
coherent, but that doesn’t help a lot. The end bit, say the last seven minutes, is the obligatory
full on approach, which is a very common ending for this kind of procedures. The singing
reminded me at times of Keiji Haino, singing, wailing, whispering, and always with some reverb
under the next button, to suggest more space. I guess I’m not in the right mood for this, or
perhaps this is not my cup of tea at all.
    The final one by Attenuation Circuit for this week is a split release by two unknown projects
for me. Exedo’s piece starts out pretty interesting with what could be a stringed instrument or a
voice of some kind and a bunch of sound effects and it’s all spooky and mysterious. That lasts
about five minutes and the next twelve are filled with a wall of harsh noise, actually with quite a bit
 of sweeping on the frequency side so purists might walk away from this. I rather had little bit more
of the opening piece and a little bit less of the wall. On the other side is Alexander Adams, who may
have two pieces (the cover is not clear on this), as it breaks down after seven minutes and the first
part is fairly chaotic with some modular synthesizer being infected by acid (the substance, not the
music) so it’s all twisting around like a dervish. In the second part order is restored and a power
drone is started up with feedback that goes out of control as the piece is going down the tubes.
More noise than is good for me at this point. It seems all a bit a pointless. No doubt they had a
great time to create this, I am sure of that. (FdW)
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