Number 1091

Vital Weekly this summer:

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

BARRECA/LEIMER – DUAL MONO (2CD by Palace Of Lights) *
HANGING HEARTS – INTO A MYTH (CD by Shifting Paradigm Records)
KOSTIS KILYMIS – A VOID (CD by organized music from thessaloniki)
TELE:FUNKEN – GOING HOME NOW/STILL SKY BLUE (EDITS) (7″ lathe cut by Static Caravan) *
ORPHAX – STUDIES IN DISSONANCE (7″ lathe cut by Champion Version) *
BOY DIRT CAR – SILVER (CDR by After Music Recordings) *
KAMIL KOWALCZYK – TRANSMISJA (CDR by Vertigo Blue Produktions) *
STILL IMAGE – A FINITE LINE (cassette by Throne Heap)
HIDEGKUT – GYEREKKOR (cassette by Throne Heap)
HÄNDER SOM VARDAR – ANHEDONIA (cassette by Throne Heap)


Just seen touring with Amanda Palmer on the heels of their ‘I Can Spin A Rainbow’ album (see
Vital Weekly 1088), Edward Ka-spel also releases another solo album, in the form of ‘High On
Station Yellow Moon’. Is Ka-spel solo just like The Legendary Pink Dots but a bit more stripped
down? A bit more voice and a bit less instruments? Perhaps, as boundaries tend to blurr when
it comes to the work of Ka-spel and The Legendary Pink Dots; one never can be pretty sure who
does what when it is comes out on a release. ‘High On Station Yellow Moon’ is surely very much
a Ka-spel solo record I would think. It has the form of a concept album, certainly when we read
stuff like this; “There is a station where the train never arrives, where the Waiting Room is always
occupied, where the conversation is inevitably awkward and where you’re never quite alone, but
perpetually ALMOST alone. Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to Station Yellow Moon, the final
bastion of humanity, the last stuttering blip on the life support system, the domain where
Access Is Denied perpetually – but who the Hell would want to go there anyhow? Well, some
pay handsomely for the Great Escape, despite the risks….”, which may or may not shine a light
on what this is about. Some of Ka-spel texts are now recited as poetry, which I believe is one
of those markings of his solo music these days (whereas with the Dots it is more about singing),
with a minimalist backing of a few sounds, some toys, a melodic touch on a synth or a piano
tune; maybe a bit of percussion. Sometimes the music meanders about, flying as it were
through space, with no voices and just intimate electronic music going on, but the whole
thing is text heavy; about the state of things, our personal lives, Ka-spel’s words are never
without hope, even when the situation is getting grimmer every day. The soundtrack reflects
that careful balance between misery and hope, between despair and excitement. This is another
excellent release by Edward Ka-spel, who doesn’t do much else than what he always does and
does that superb. I didn’t expect anything else. This is perhaps not the essential must-have
album out of that vast catalogue, but if some of his more experimental outings are too weird
for you, then you surely take note of this one; even if only for the fact that Amanda Palmer
is also part of this.
    It is, I should hope, no big secret, that I was never the biggest fan of Coil. I can’t exactly
say why that is, it just is, I guess. Some of their ambient works were not bad, but I thought
these also nothing extraordinary either. I didn’t keep up with the many releases and side
projects, or following the death of both Peter Christopherson and Jhonn Balance the post-
humous releases, which I believe are quite a legal nightmare. Electric Sewer Age was one of
those side projects, which consisted of Christopherson, Danny Hyde and John Deek, the latter
himself sadly also deceased, and erstwhile owner of Divine Frequencies. The music on this CD
was originally intended to conclude Coil’s ‘Moon’s Milk’ series and first released in 2012 by
Divine Frequencies, later on by Hyde himself and now there is another re-issue by Soleilmoon.
Each of the four pieces is about seven to nine minutes in length (so at thirty-three minutes
perhaps more of an EP) this is some all electronic music. It’s not really some deep ambient
music but rather undefined synthesizer and sample sounds stuck together and which create
this sort of half-half mysterious ambient science fiction soundtrack, in ‘Moon’s Milk (Waxing)’
also with a bit of rhythm, which makes it, curiously enough, even more soundtrack like, just
like the deep orchestral violin sounds of ‘Moon’s Milk (Waning)’. Not bad at all I must say, and
it made me think it is about time to return my trip every once so many years to the work of
Coil and replay some of that. If you wanted me to tell you where this CD stands in the bigger
picture of their work, I must disappoint you: I have no idea. I do know this is a very fine
release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Blindflug is a trio of Lauren Newton (vocals), Emanuel Künzi (drums) and Sebastian Strinning
(reeds), based in Luzern, Switzerland. Newton originates from the States, and is a performer
of contemporary composed and improvised music. For over a decade (1979-1990) she was
member of the Vienna Art Ensemble and became a very important vocal artist. She continued
working in Europe, up till this day as this new release shows. She is in the company of two
Swiss musicians. Sebastian Strining was educated at the Hochschule Luzern Music, with Urs
Leimgruber, Gerry Hemingway, a.o. as his teachers. With Hemingway and Manuel Troller he has
his own trio Tree Ear. Needless to say they are involved in many other projects, which also
counts for drummer Künzi. As a trio they work since 2013 and present a very strong (first?)
recording. First there is the stunning vocal work by Newton. Her style reminds me a bit of
Thomas Buckner, concerning the dynamic and ‘classical’ elements in their singing. Künzi and
Strinning however are equally important forces. Their playing is subtle and to the point. They
really are a unit with a clear focus. The music is strongly interwoven and thoroughly structured.
Every detail contributes. The music culminates in moments of a great intensity. An impressive
statement. (DM)  
––– Address:

BARRECA/LEIMER – DUAL MONO (2CD by Palace Of Lights)

While traveling a few days on a train I kinda hoped I would find time to do all those things one
could do in peace and quiet on a train; writing a story, a longer piece on music, maybe a bit of
music, and then one finds himself in a crowded tourist train, ventilator not fully functioning
and then taking the opportunity to relax, and relax only. Crowded it was, but fortunately not
very noisy, so with a pair of headphones (as opposed to earplugs), I sat back, closed my eyes
and listened to music; a lot of it, and among that a few bits you read about in this issue, and I
won’t spoil which they were, with the exception of these two new releases on Palace Of Lights,
the label run by K. Leimer. I won’t say it again after this, but his ‘come-back’ is completed and
the man is back on track releasing new music all the time, being the most active composer on
his own label, but Marc Barreca is surely a fine runner-up. I have respect for both of them, and
more and more they seem to be working along similar lines in terms of musical development.
The music was made by one, while the other got Midi data ‘and being limited to revoicing the
composition’, each working on either all the time, but we’re not sure who did which of the
fifteen pieces. That is perhaps not really important either, I would say, as what counts is the
end result and while listening with closed eyes, I would say that this is some of the best
ambient music one could hear while relaxing on hot, somewhat long train rides. Each of the
fifteen pieces is slow meditation (time doesn’t go much faster when listening to this, so train
rides aren’t over in a shorter time span) of expansive notes, time stretched sounds, the soft
tinkle of a sparse piano tone. The lines between what is analogue and what is digital are quite
blurry with this music and while this sounds clam and relaxing, these two composers know
very well how to avoid the pitfalls of new age music, by adding a rough line, a raw edge or
simply a somewhat darker corner in which this music operates.
    Which is about, more or less, the same corner in which we find Steve Peters’ new release
‘Airforms (Chamber Music 10)’. Peters has also been around since the mid 80s and operates
out of Seattle, close to the hometown of Palace Of Lights. His debut CD ‘Emanations’ was a
 classic work of feedback music turned into ambient music (see Vital Weekly 118) and over
the years he created a small but excellent catalogue of works. In 2013 he recorded this as a
birthday gift for Steve Roden, who supplied the basic material for ‘Airforms’. These were two
hours of “empty room tone” recordings and one hour was used to create drones and the other
for more bell/piano like sounds and these two were put together (superimposed it is called)
into the 60 minutes of ‘Airforms (Chamber Music 10)’. He says he applied “certain Roden-
inspired compositional strategies”, which I believe to be the overlaying of various passages in
different configurations. On the surface it seems as if this music stays the same, some long
form drones and wind chime like sounds moving around in the wind with irregular intervals. At
times it reminded me of Brian Eno’s music, an obvious point of reference of course when it
comes to all things ambient, but I was thinking of his ‘Bloom’, which one can tinkle around
with similar sounds, which are embedded in a larger pattern of delayed drone sounds. Over
the course of this 1 hour, 1 minute and 1 second work the music changes minimally, going
from ‘light’ to a bit ‘darker’, with some of pitches going down towards the end. Here too we
have someone who likes ambient to be relaxing, but altogether not too relaxing and who adds
shades of grey and black to stay away from the dreaded world of new age music. Excellent
disc! (FdW)
––– Address:


Hautzinger is a trumpet player from Graz, Austria, where he started his career in the 80s. In
2000 he presented his solo album ´Gomberg´. Here Hautzinger for the first time gave an
overview of the techniques and vocabulary he developed. He is a true pioneer, always seeking
for new possibilities on the trumpet. He is part of Zeitkratzer and collaborates with a variety of
musicians all over the planet. This time he works with Isabelle Duthoit, a clarinet player from
Lyon. She has a background in classical and modern composed music, and became more and
more involved in improvisation music. She participates in several groups (rock, impro,
experimental, etc.) that didn’t ring a bell. Jacques Demiere and Jacques Di Donato are her
main collaborators. She is also a vocalist. Self-taught, singing non-verbally comparable to Phil
Minton’s style. It is of this side of her talents that we learn most on this release. She uses her
clarinet very sparsely in these improvisation if I´m not mistaken. Well, from these lines you can
conclude that we are talking here of improvisation of a very abstract and radical level. Abstract
in the sense that many aspects are missed here that are normally met in music, even in
improvised music. But on the other hand these improvisation are also very much the opposite
of abstract, and very concrete and physical. It is all about the human breath and voice. Their
intense meeting results is in some very intimate and emotional music. In a way their playground
is very reduced as their research concentrates on sound, dynamics, timbre. But at the same the
music is also very rich, expressive and inspired. The duo has a lot of stories to tell. The
improvisations that have Duthoit singing, screaming, etc. are among the most dynamic and
extravert ones. In contrast the instrumental improvisations, like ´Echoes of Light´ are made
up of small and subtle gestures and patterns. Both are very concentrated and focused
improvisations. The recording is excellent and makes it possible to pick up every nuance. The
album is produced by Mike Panico and Keith Reilly. They started  Relative Pitch Records in
2011, specialized in avant-garde jazz and improvisation music. (DM)
––– Address:

HANGING HEARTS – INTO A MYTH (CD by Shifting Paradigm Records)

Henry Cow, Zappa, and the likes seem source of inspiration for this combo from Chicago. A trio
of Chris Weller (saxophone), Cole DeGenova (keyboards) and Devin Drobka (drums). With Dave
King guesting on tambourine on ‘Pilsen’. ‘Into  a Myth’ is the follow up to their debut ‘Chris
Weller’s Hanging Hearts’ dating from 2014. Recorded in June 2016 in the studio of Howl Street
Recordings in Milwaukee. The release consists of eight tracks most of them composed by Weller.
The rest by DeGenova and Drobka. All tracks are thoroughly constructed compositions.
Sometimes close to pop or rock. Others more close to jazz. They deal in an avant-rock style that
we know from the 80s and 90s. Nowadays this style is not much practised any more in my
perception. So t is a surprise to hear a band operating in this field. However they don´t add
much new elements or disturbing twists. The music unfolds as is to be expected. Their process
of blending jazz and rock is too well-known. So a bit disappointing for a CD that is released on
a label called Shifting Paradigm. (DM)
––– Address:


Detour Doom Project is a quintet with an international line up. From Italy are Adriano Vincenti
( sampler, electronics, concept), Gianni Pedretti (electronics, synth) and Michele Malaguti
(electronics, synth, sound manipulation). Bjarkan Wolfsdóttir (vocals, lyrics, piano, synth) is
from Germany and Izzy Op de Beeck (trumpet) from Belgium. I couldn’t trace much on their
background. But Op de Beeck is part of the Belgian dark-ambient unit For Greater Good. I
suppose all have experience in dark-ambient outfits. They started in 2014 and debuted in
2016 with ‘Detour Doom’. In that same year recordings took place in Rome, Bologna and in
Uedem, Germany (just a few miles from here), for their second statement. It has Bjarkan
Wolfsdóttir from Germany (NO†HING MORE †O SAY) as their new singer. They are called a
’doom jazz band’ and mention Bohren & der Club of Gore, Angelo Badalamenti and David
Lynch, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation, Dale
Cooper Quartet And The Dictaphones, Hidden Orchestra, and the dark ambient school of
the 90’s,  as their main influences. It didn’t became clear to me what the jazz aspect is in
this music. In eight tracks the quintet create dreamy soundscapes, dark-ambient textures.
Because of the use of melodic elements in many of the tracks, it all remains on the comfortable
side of the spectrum. Creating certain atmospheres is the most important aim for them, I
conclude from the listening. I feel submerged in an audio atmosphere, and not so much
involved in a musical exercise. The music is not complex nor experimental. Musically spoken
nothing demanding is happening in their ambient constructions. They just create effectively
filmic and romantic soundscapes. And that’s it. Released in an edition of 300 copies by
Aquarellist, an experimental label based in St.Peterburg, Russia. (DM)
––– Address:

KOSTIS KILYMIS – A VOID (CD by organized music from thessaloniki)

Beyond the drapes, hanging in front of the windows, through the opened pane… Sitting on
the sill, the threshold so to hear, so to speak. So to remain tacit. Nothingness beyond the
‘nothing to hear’- the symphony of the urban rustle and bustle. An announcer’s voice and
high pitched frequencies running amok; a scurry and flurry of walking feet and driving noises –
tires on tarmac. Piecing together from prying apart; coalescence, coagula. The alchemy of
excavating the beauty from sheer nothingness. The filling of the void – a void, even, too.
No less.
    The urban environment is Kostis Kilymis’ canvas and paint and primer and brush on
this album. Soft spoken, gently applied. Like sound muffled by drapes coming through,
filtered through the din. And curiously you lift the veil with him, to get a clearer aural picture.
To focus and pull from focus. In an out of poetics. To and from meaning: inferred, present,
actual or implied, emerging maybe even, perhaps confrontational, soothing too.
    Sounds reach us and are immediately assigned a position: a character and fixed glossary
index – we can’t help ourselves, recognition works in very clear and simple ways. But, what
happens when this dictionary of (re)cognition is shaken, stirred, jumbled by surprise
juxtaposing? What happens when bird songs clashes with deep droning machine static?
The preconceived definitions are starting to loose footing, fundamentals and elementals
give way. A collapse of aural strongholds seems is projected as the ear scurries around to
find its bearing, like the eye skitting around a painting by Agnes Martin. Sure: there are some
thinly veiled straight lines, but the whiteness, the white-out, the washed out white… With
Kilymis this: the gentleness, the non up-front, the blurred and smeared one would say –
but!, it’s exactly not that. For: A Void is all so crystal clear.
    All in nothing. Nothing in all – All for nothing and nothing for all? It’s not. Of course not.
Signing the sky might have been a brilliant and novel idea for Yves Klein; in a way this French
artist of the void, the maestro of Viens Avec Moi Dans Le Vide, the jumper into the void, too,
meets his companion here. As we could surely say: Kilymis here signs his name across these
sounds. Not the sound per se. But: a sound. This one. And that. And on and on. Next to one
another. On top or below. Following each other or singled out. Not ‘the’, but ‘a’. Klein’s “Le
Vide” turned into Kilymis’ “Un Vide”. Pars pro toto? Somehow it is precisely in not claiming the
provocative oneness, general idea, all-inclusiveness, but the particular, the singular, the personal
and subjective where Kilymis hits home hard. His aural vision and his alone presented for all to
bear witness to; to lift the veil, the curtain off – to hear.
    And yes: what’s there to hear we might have been able to hear even without this album.
But, admittedly, we didn’t. For Kostis makes us pay attention to the singled-out details, the
sounds that made it through the flurry, out of the chaos, into the symphony. Open a window
and listen. Not: hear the sounds from outside coming through: but listen. And you too will
single out. And will focus or pull away from clear listening. Feel the difference between hearing
and listening. See: tacit? No way. Cage’s epic smile and laugh all over, again. Or somewhat akin
to Bernd Friedmann’s Leisure Zones: a world of little noises and sounds and sonic event just
there, just noticeable difference in your room – filling a void by nary being there. And still filling
the void, completely – utterly. To quote Bruce Nauman: “PAY ATTENTION MOTHER FUCKERS” –
said most most most gently, wholly benevolent invitational. (SSK)
––– Address:


Every morning I wake up to the sound of a radio; some ancient rock station and every time I
wonder why there is so much talking on a radio station (next to the question: ‘why don’t I
change the channel?’ of course), but it means I’ll switch it off quickly; that’s the positive side
of it of course. Then I don’t listen to any radio until I go to sleep again. Why should I? There is
always something to hear for Vital Weekly, a reasonable collection of physical sound carriers or
a hard drive with too much music. But I realize this is all privilege. If you want to explore new
music there are some great stations, online and on real waves (well ‘real’ waves) such as WFMU,
out of New Jersey, who every now and then raise some funds and have a compilation CD out.
‘Speak Unless Spoken To’ is the most recent one and it is all inspired by, or rather a tribute,
to ‘Fylkingen’s Text-Sound Composition Series’, so all of these pieces deal with voices, one
way or another. And a fine tribute it is; from the layered voice of Adam Bohman or Mats
Lindstrom, to the improvised voice and electronics of Vom Grill, Phil Minton, via more obscured
voice material of Alan Courtis, Alan Courtis, Joke Lanz, Leif Elggren and Ectoplasm Girls, onto
looped voice material by Lea Bertucci, the blackhumour inspired Modelbau and blackhumour
himself. The two most curious pieces are by Jaap Blonk, speeding up, slowing down and with
a sort of rhythm, which is also part of the piece by Irene Moon & Yon Irsell. As a bonus there
is a 1983 piece by Bruce Gilbert from an ancient cassette release by Touch. It captures the
atmosphere of the Fylkingen compilations quite well, I’d say. Like the tower of Babel: many
different voices, and each has it’s own language. (FdW)
––– Address:


Benny’s back. With a debut LP on MEGO no less. Again the maestro presents dispatches from
the collision of natural and human force; a narrative of cause and effect and above all: of affect.
Following urban explorations and industrial tribulations, Nilsen now moves into travelogue
territory. Guided by Benny’s trailblazing hand the listener is transported to Alpine regions;
hiking through aural meadows and mountainscapes – these impressing their impact forcefully
upon body and psyche.
    Nilsen currently lives in Amsterdam, the city of the great Paradiso-concert venue. Not a
place where his music, bordering on sound art, can be heard quite often. Another Gran Paradiso
is brought to sonic life through Benny’s reflections on a couple of fortnights spent around the
highest mountain peak of the Alps. The busy, (over)crowded, jitterbugging city (sound)scapes
are left behind. At Gran Paradiso it’s not the sea-level horizontal plane that is evoked, a juxta-
posing and compression of human activity – however diverse: still in the humanoid bandwidth.
Here massive forces of nature are at play vertically and challenging. Going with the flow here is
adapting or loosing out to Donnerwetter and cold winds, living with nature, moving with the
herd of sheep, the rush hour of life with the elements.
    In my mind Chris Watson always stuck as the poet of field recordings. His works open
themselves to multitudes and changing perspectives; one needs to make the aural space for
oneself – oblique clues steer in directions but the course may or may not be overtly clear.
Nilsen’s work is not per se less poetic, but to me seemed to move in a more prose-like manner.
A narrative which is not even forced upon the listener in a strict way, but which uses more
‘words’ to arrive at a sequence of events, dialogs, dramatic development. His album then,
also: not as much a collection or bundling of poetic gestures and hints, but rather concise
groupings of short stories; thematically joined at the hip.
    One might conclude then that Nilsen has upped the ante quite a bit on Massif Trophies
for some notion of myth and legend expands his narratives to grandeur and grander epic scale.
However: Benny’s deft and gentle touch doesn’t overplay any hand here. His manipulation of the
aural material doesn’t go for the Wagnerian ‘extra large’, instead it focuses on the minutest of
details. Canny tinglings of cows bells can become uncanny when you zoom in extremely closely.
Rumbling lightning storms and gusts of wind are all to impressionistically ‘painted’ when sensed
from somewhat afar – moving closer, closing in?
    Nilsen manages to marry myth and legend to the factual and actual; the man-made narrative
of man trying to make some kind of sense of the elemental forces of nature he finds himself in
and up against. Somewhere between a stumble and a fall and soaked to the bone from never
ceasing drizzles, Massif Trophies opens up vistas to peak through the cracks in the crust of our
daily habits, however far removed (or: still close to?) from nature. Cracks too to open oneself up
to the question of how much nature is left in present day mankind; how (un)natural our way of
living has become and what nature was trying to tell us all along. May we heed the stories nature
is telling is from way up high in the Alps through Benny Nilsen’s aural trophies he brought home
his exploration travels. (SSK)
––– Address:

TELE:FUNKEN – GOING HOME NOW/STILL SKY BLUE (EDITS) (7″ lathe cut by Static Caravan)

Now here’s a name I remember from Static Caravan’s formative years, when Tele:funken had a
piece on a compilation 7″ and some releases on Domino and a collaboration with Flying Saucer
Attack on Drag City. That one was 21 years ago and since 2001 there hasn’t been any new
releases by Tele:funken. I must admit, with time passing, water under bridges and these sort of
excuses, that I don’t remember much of those earlier works, but I am happy to report that Static
Caravan will release a full length album shortly of new material and this lathe cut 7″ is a forecast
of that. Two electronic instrumentals. ‘Still Sky Blue’ is a melancholic slab of swirling melody, slow
rhythm and spacey chords, meandering about like on an endless beach during a long summer’s
night. Lovely but perhaps not a sure-fire winner, hit wise. ‘Going Home Now’ starts out as a
Tangerine Dream piece with rhythm machine and synth bouncing but as soon as the melodies
kick in this is more 80s synth pop than 70s cosmosis, thanks to its nice bass synth backbone.
One waits for some vocals to kick in but that doesn’t happen. Now this is surely some great,
radio friendly material. Can’t wait for that full length.
    Before you think I am losing it and in need of a well-deserved holiday, yes, I did review the
other one before, but now I have the proper copy, so let’s see what I got wrong. EAN is a remix
project that includes master of label ceremony Geoff. They bring their remix qualities to Eliza
Carthy & Disreali on one side and the Memory band on the other side. The first piece is electronic
with a sort of rap to it, which I don’t get very much. I am lost there. The other side is quite more
interesting I would say, with a melancholic down beat rhythm, and layered wordless humming
moving around more lines of electronic sentiments. In an odd it sounded like that first song of
Radiohead’s ‘Kid A’, whatever it is called, but smoother and without words. Quite nice. I must
admit I haven’t heard the originals of either song, so I can’t say that much about how different
these pieces are, but certainly the Memory Band remix is a lovely introspective piece. (FdW)
––– Address:

ORPHAX – STUDIES IN DISSONANCE (7″ lathe cut by Champion Version)

Besides a few releases on cassette, all of the music released so far by Orphax has been on CD or
CDR, and nothing yet on vinyl. This one isn’t either, but it on lathe cut, so you have to play it on
a turntable anyway. I got the digital files so I am not sure how it translates to the medium of lathe
cut. The most interesting question of course is ‘how does music of Orphax stand when it is in a
much shorter time frame’? Both sides are little over four minutes and in each Orphax explores a
single sound source, which is worked out a bit dissonant, hence the title. On the first this is the
sound of an organ (which in the bigger schematics of Orphax is hardly odd), but the horns on
the other side surely is. The whole dissonance thing is not really there, or either I’m tone deaf
and/or too much used to a bit of dissonance. Both pieces work absolutely great within the given
time frame. In both of them Orphax works well within the given time limit and the ‘Organs’ piece
is wandering about with some majestic drones but with the quicker evolution of things has a
strong ‘song’ like character, while ‘horns’ stretches that out even a bit more, in a very melodic
vein. I was thinking here of Steve Roden’s shifting patterns but with a fine (pop-) melodic touch.
This is a side of Orphax we haven’t heard before and can we please have some more? (FdW)
––– Address:

BOY DIRT CAR – SILVER (CDR by After Music Recordings)

Perhaps one could call Boy Dirt Car US’s proto industrialists, going back to 1981 when the band
was formed, being inspired by Einsturzende Neubauten. Here we have two new releases and I
started with ‘Psychic Driving Treatment’, because this is a collection of pieces from concerts,
studio outtakes and ‘other rarities’ recorded in the first five years of their existence. ‘Silver’
contains studio recordings from 2016 and 2017 and reflects how the band sounds in those
days. The line-up for the first is also bigger, including people as Eric Lunde, who had a mighty
solo career later on. In the most ancient recordings it is perhaps quite remarkable how ‘non-
noise’ the band sounds. Partly, I would think, this had to do with the way some of the music
is recorded, which is very low-key at times, like a microphone in a basement (the first five pieces
for instance), but there is also room for guitar feedback, industrial drumming (‘Strange Town’),
more post-rock guitars (‘K.I.D.’ or Terroriste’, which sounds as naively as these things did in
the 80s, when good recording and mixing was something that most bands couldn’t afford)
or silly punk (in ‘I Ate My Lunch And Left’). Sometimes Boy Dirt Car is way more abstract than
that as they show in the opening songs (maybe the band’s oldest? If this is in some way
chronological of course, which is something I don’t know). At the end of the disc there are a
couple of live recordings from 1983-1987 and it shows their more common industrial music
leanings with percussive stabs, vocals through a bunch of delay pedals, feedback and aggression.
It makes all of this into a highly varied bunch of pieces, covering a wide territory of music and
not necessarily always very noise based. I’d say this is not just for die-hard fans, but also for
those who like their current sound and want to have a slice of history.
    And what about the current sound, you ask? ‘Silver’ is a recent recording and it shows
how their music changed over the years and yet it may also sound along similar lines. ‘Silver’
is at twenty-six minutes rather short and Boy Dirt Car, here a quartet of Josh Mead, Julie Brown,
Dylan Ritchie and Darren Brown, is more control of the noise. The feedback of ‘The Wrong Planet
(For LL Stoner)’ is a highly controlled affair indeed, but also in their tape manipulation of a more
guitar based sound, in ‘Stratosphere’, shows more idea of how to create a composition as
opposed to the more free form improvised noise attacks of decades ago. Also the way Darren
Brown uses his voice, more reciting poetry like than singing, is quite a break with the past.
This side of Boy Dirt Car reminded me of Brown’s ‘in between’ project Impact Test. But then
some of the other pieces have that industrial vibe of yesteryear (‘A Molecule That Has Broken
Free’), and throughout this too sounds quite diverse; from sound collage to rock band with
poetry, from shady electronic experiment (‘Test’ and ‘Parking Lot’) and improvised noise, it
shows a great variety in approaches and within the limited time frame nothing sounds boring
or overtly long. Curious how an old band sounds today? This is a great one. (FdW)
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Following “Train Pieces’ (Vital Weekly 1030) here’s a new release by Antoni Robert, who has
been playing music since the early 70s. Like with the previous, there is a conceptual angle to
 it; “electronic manipulation of background noise of audio tapes and vinyl records. I play no
instruments in this work”, he says. Hardly something new, but, along with the use of radio
waves, one of those easily accessible sounds anyone can use to do his own music, I guess,
with or without electronic manipulation. What Robert does here is somewhere in the middle
ground of playing vinyl loops and using massive amplified blank tapes, all of which comes to
the listener in a very looped version. Very rarely one hears vinyl used and then slowed down
to a very complete stand still. But unlike some other people in this direction, Robert is not
interested in playing some minimal techno music with a scratched record, but in each of these
six pieces (well, maybe not the first short opening piece), the sound is looped and densely
structured. This is a kind of ambient music of some forceful nature. There is extended use of
delay and reverb going on, making it both ‘easy listening’ (at a somewhat lower volume) and
‘pretty intense’ (when a bit louder). There is quite some minimalist approach to these pieces
here, in the pieces respectively but also throughout the six pieces all together. Only the final
piece seems to be a bit different, with some added voice material. That makes this an album
that is perhaps best regarded as one piece in six parts; perhaps best as a requiem for a dying
medium? (You choose if I mean vinyl or tape) (FdW)
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KAMIL KOWALCZYK – TRANSMISJA (CDR by Vertigo Blue Produktions)

So far I reviewed two releases by Kamil Kowalczyk, which is some time ago (Vital Weekly 770
and 867) and I quite enjoyed the music for it’s rather cosmic approach. While no expert on
the Polish language, it is no rocket science to think that ‘Transmisja’ probably means ‘trans-
mission’ and here we have eight pieces that are all called ‘Transmisja’ and music wise this is a
further exploration in the world of deep space, via a whole lot of low humming synthesizer
drones. Gone are the voices, the intercepted radio transmissions; Kamil Kowalczyk’s spaceship
has left the known universe and is now on a crash course into a black hole. Most of the time
the music is dark yet relaxing but in the seventh transmission this spaceship is under electrical
attack by some alien life force that even the Doctor has not seen before. The sonic screwdriver
stutters here and in the eight and final piece there is the residue of that, but also some
constellation; inevitable fate as been accepted and slowly this life form dies out.
    Of course I could try to write lots and lots of more science fiction and space references
here, but I won’t. Back on earth I am inclined to say that this is a very fine release, that there
is nothing in here that I haven’t heard before, that there is no doubt quite some modular
synthesizers hard at work and that the whole presentation is a bit too much of a low affair
for my taste. I couldn’t find any way to order this. And that’s a pity since the music is
absolutely worth hearing. (FdW)
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STILL IMAGE – A FINITE LINE (cassette by Throne Heap)
HIDEGKUT – GYEREKKOR (cassette by Throne Heap)
HÄNDER SOM VARDAR – ANHEDONIA (cassette by Throne Heap)

A quick scan of all four tapes learned me that none of these names meant much to me, so I
decided to play them in the order of the catalogue numbers, the lowest first, which turned
out to be Antonin Pagaille. His first name reminded me of the composer Dvorak, rather than
Artaud (but that comes with childhood memories) and I see on Discogs he has now three
tapes out, including this one, and that he’s also active as Alleypisser, Ayin, Growing Rot,
Knækkede Stemmer and Mikkel Rørbo, none of which I heard of either. The latter might be
his real name. Of the four new tapes by Throne Heap this is with forty-four minutes the longest.
He’s a man that loves his synthesizers, maybe all two or three of them, playing some desolate
tunes on them; slowly moving chords and on top a bit of oscillations. This is music with a
swamp like nature; it sucks you right in, it seems. There seems not to be any separation
between pieces, if in fact this is not just one piece per side anyway. The overall mood can
be labelled as dark and is probably from the underworld of the modular synthesizer posse.
A bit of eerie Maurizio Bianchi (circa ‘The Plain Truth’) mixed with the finer intros and outros
of the cosmic music brigade. Loosely orchestrated nightmare music, just as how I love them,
especially on this format.
    Even less releases and information are presented by Still Image, which is the musical
project of Shane Church (who also works as Hostage Pageant and Harness). This is his debut
as Still Image (but there is also a cassette now on Monorail Trespassing). The music that is on
this thirty minute tape is quite strange and not easily describe. An easy way out would be to
say that this is a form of musique concrete, but in a very crude form. Sounds are collected on
a reel-to-reel tape, slowed down and there is a bit of sound effects but it is also a bit more than
that. Still Image creates a sound collage out of these elements he collected and we’re not
listening to the first results of someone who just discovered the most basic tricks of a reel-
to-reel machine. Whatever is pushed around in a basement I have no idea, objects, chairs,
tables, it is very hard to tell, but the result is most odd. Like Pagaille’s tape it is all put
together in a rather loose manner, without caring too much about compositional values,
which is very nice.
    Moving our telescope to Hungary, where we find Zoltán Suba, who released a split with
Brödraskapslöftet on Hatets Dok earlier this year, and otherwise not much else. This tape,
twenty-eight minutes in total, starts out with some slow melodic touch on a keyboard and
slightly distorted field recordings from the school’s playground. If I did a proper headcount
there are four pieces on this cassette and if Still Image is very abstract and Pagaille just moody,
then Hidegkut is all about mood and melody. Not joyous, quick, shifting ones but slow and
chilly, with a bit of looped rhythm (second piece, first side). It is all rather melancholic, me
thinks, but seeing rain all day in the middle of summer is probably something one gets sad
about anyway. There is a fine sense of experimentalism thrown in these tunes and while firmly
remote from anything pop like, this is the easiest release of the four.
    Händer Som Vardar is Henrik Söderström from Sweden, who had releases before on
Järtecknet, Release The Bats Records and Posh Isolation among others and I have no idea
what he has going when it comes to musical equipment. The music on the tape doesn’t give
us many clues, sad to say (well, probably, because one could also say, who cares?), but perhaps
it is safe to say it is all a combination of electronics, be it synthesizers or effects, a bit of tape
manipulation and it works out in both an abstract way, but perhaps also a bit less abstract.
One can easily recognize a bit of a loop going here and there, along with rides an isolated tone
every now and then and while melodic stuff is not really part and parcel of this, it shimmers just
below the threshold of hearing. Throne Heap makes a connection to Tetsu Inoue, which is a
reference that is a bit lost on me, unless there has been an ambient meltdown in modular synth
central and everything has been sufficiently made a bit spicier. Lovely tape as well, like it’s three
sisters; four different sides of the electronic scale.
    All four releases come with silkscreened covers on textured paper and each is limited to
seventy copies only. ‘Devotional Music’ is how Throne Heap sells their music and that’s very
much true. (FdW)
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