Number 1095

  (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
CHALUNG-GRA – MOSTAFERI (CD by Facthedral) *
BARNACLES – ONE SINGLE SOUND (CD by Boring Machines) *
LUNAR ERROR – SELENE (CD by Becoq Records) *
LASSE MARHAUG – VOID (7” by Becoq Records)
DANNY CLAY – STILLS (LP by Iikki Books)
THIERRY MONNIER – TEMPS (LP by Doubtful Sounds)
LUKE & WENDY – TONY CONRAD (7” by Meeuw Muzak)
TH€€€F – I (CDR by Paraferal Sound) *
TH€€€F – SHRED.FM (CDR by Paraferal Sound) *
[RG] – UNFOLD (cassette by Autumn Archive) *
DREKKA – THERE IS NO SILENCE LEFT (cassette by Bluesanct)
  (cassette by Unsigned)
CLUB ALPINO – TUNGA (cassette by Gusua Records)


The sun is out, the temperature is great (not too warm, not too cold), a perfect day late August, so why
on earth did I decide to pick up a CD to review as the first thing on this beautiful day of which the title
is: ‘dear god, let us die’? Partly because I was already playing it and I didn’t look at the title too closely
yet. Titles are important here, it seems, ‘as historical events intersect right into the contemporary
sound making, slit through their titles sharp cites in our listening present era and pry our eyes towards
the seemingly inexplicable backyard of history’, Küchen writes on the press text, and I have no idea
what that means, but there is a picture of a concentration camp on the cover, and maybe it’s all
connected, image, text and such. Küchen plays alto and tenor saxophones, radio, iPod, electronic
tambura, speakers and Kapsch & Söhne speaker. Two of the five pieces are done with overdubs and
the others are unedited live recordings, which is something I must admit I didn’t hear easily, but now
I know I believe to hear also. Küchen is a well-known improviser and in his solo work he plays some
very haunting stuff, both live and overdubbed. In his live pieces it’s all a bit more traditionally
improvised, but all along the extra sound material he uses, it’s not some hectic, crazy saxophone
playing. This was recorded in a crypt in the Swedish city of Lund and that adds a wonderfully strange
atmosphere to the music. It’s a natural reverb, obviously perhaps, but it also seems to be placing a
‘cover’ over the music, making it less sharp and adds a melancholic tonal quality to the music. When
Küchen goes drone like, such as in the second half of ’Purcell In The Eternal Deir Yassin’ one no longer
believes to hear improvised music but some strange movie score, about, perhaps indeed, a monastery
with strange events going on. This I thought was an excellent CD. (FdW)
––– Address:


Masahide Tokunaga presents more alto saxophone here, and ‘Bwoouun’ is his third solo album so far.
I don’t think I reviewed his two previous solo releases; his name came up so far only once in Vital
Weekly, issue 1051 with a disc of quartet improvisations Straytone, Yui Nakamura and Takashi
Masubuchi. On his solo CD Tokunaga is mostly interested in playing long form tones of usually a more
quiet nature. None of the three pieces is very loud and Tokunaga sometimes leaves quite a bit of space
between the notes, even when it hardly becomes all-silent here. In his technique Tokunaga doesn’t
use much else, I think, than blowing; he doesn’t treat his instrument with objects as some of his peers
do. Three pieces of great Zen-like quality and music that requires your full attention or nothing at all;
something in between I don’t think exists for this and there is probably not a lot more to say about it.
This is music to experience.
    More saxophone can be found on the duo disc of a veteran player of the instrument, John Butcher,
who teams up with the like-wise veteran sound artist Akio Suzuki. They have been playing as a duo
since 2002 and this release we find five recordings from their tour in Scotland in 2006 and one from
2015 in Tokyo. Butcher already released a solo recording from the 2006 tour, which brought them to
various places with ‘highly distinctive acoustic characteristics’ (see also Vital Weekly 672). Suzuki
here gets credit for ‘pebbles, glass plate, sponge, pocket bottle, voice analapos, brass plate, cardboard
box, wood screws, bamboo stick, metal plate, noise whistle and swizzle sticks’, a complete line up of
electro-acoustic sounds, the impromptu musique concrete workshop one could say. While their
approach to instruments remains the same, Butcher on his saxophones and Suzuki on his objects
the way they sound is quite different. It is not the passing of years that makes it sound different, but
the place in which they are recorded. In Tokyo in 2015 is all sounds rather dry and to the point, and
perhaps also bit more detailed. Especially in Suzuki’s approach to sounds is very dry: he rattles his
objects, strikes cases and rubs on objects. Butcher plays along and does all sorts of crazy bending of
the horn. On the Scotland pieces the natural reverb of the places the music was recorded in adds a
whole new dimension to the music. Here tones and sounds stay around for some more time, have an
afterlife if you will and both players (re-) act accordingly. Some of the nervous hectic playing is
apparent here too of course but it is Butcher who uses his saxophone in these spaces to create vast
textures for Suzuki to operate in. It all results into beautiful and powerful improvised music. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (CD by Cold Spring Records)

Here we have two rather surprising releases; surprising, perhaps, to see them released by Cold Spring
Records. Or maybe not? Penny Rimbaud, best known as the drummer of punk legends Crass, already
had a release on Cold Spring before (see Vital Weekly 1043), but now he surprises us also with the
music, more so than he did with that previous release. That one was still in his good old, well-known
punk boots, but perhaps lesser known is that in the seventies Rimbaud was part of Exit, a group of
free-improvising musicians along the lines of AMM and John Cage and following Crass he went back
to improvisation and in that light this new release is perhaps a little less strange. This piece started
life in 2005 when Rimbaud composed an electronic introduction for his concerts of heavily processed
voices. In 2013 that piece was expanded into a forty minute composition, growing later on, with the
addition of piano sounds by Charles Webster into ‘Kernschmelze’ (meaning ‘meltdown’; it was started
being part of a festival for the victims of Fukushima) and with Crass singer Eve Libertine lending her
voice, reciting a poem, the second part is now completed; there is more to come. So how does this
sound, you quite rightly wonder (I hope at least; I was always a big fan of Crass, one of two punk bands
I liked). I am not sure how these various pieces work together, but on this second instalment there is
the electronically processed sound, piano (Webster) and voice (Libertine), even when it’s not easy to
hear the piano, unless that was treated along with the original and that each new stage sees a
reworking of the previous? If electronic music is something you eat and drink all day, from pop tones
to the difficult ones, or if you worked with a bit of musical software yourself you may easily recognize
the somewhat recognizable way of time stretching sounds. Rimbaud adds a fair amount of reverb, on
both the processed sound as well as the voice of Libertine, giving this work a choral treatment, which
actually works pretty well. All too easily this could result into something very kitschy and clichéd,
‘gothic’ perhaps, but it is actually not like that all. It’s powerful and poetic, and the way the choral
voices merge together with the spoken parts work really well, along with those time-stretched
sounds; it’s almost modern classical, but in a way it is probably not at all. It doesn’t resemble the
work of Crass at all, and many more traditionally minded fans will be upset, which is even better.
Who wants those kind of narrow-minded fans? Let’s celebrate a bit of musical anarchy! This is an
excellent work.
    And so, perhaps, the next release is not really the big surprise then, but one that fits perfectly to
the Rimbaud one, and that is the re-issue of Krzyszof Penderecki’s ‘Kosmogonia’ LP from 1974, now
re-mastered and for the first time on CD, apparently. Penderecki’s music you may have heard in films
as ‘The Shining’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Children Of Men’ or, also apparently, in the recent season of ‘Twin
Peaks’. At 83, he’s probably the best-known living composer from Poland. Here we have four of his
works, including ‘De Natura Sonoris II’, which was used in ‘The Shining’. Perhaps that already gives
you an indication of what his music sounds like (and if not, then this is the right moment to rent that
DVD and treat yourself to a great movie with great music, including Penderecki’s, Wendy Carlos and
Bela Bartok); sparse at times, with a few instruments playing elegantly, but most of the times massive,
aggressive and abrasive, like a bunch of strikes being delivered. There is great use of ‘non-musical’
instruments such as a saws, buzzers, siren, typewriters and oddly enough very rarely you notice these
as the music is dissonant, but in a most pleasant way. It is not difficult to see what attracts filmmakers
to use music like this for their movies; especially those of the horror genre. Building towards a mighty
crescendo, then letting all hell break loose to bring it all back home on a gentle note. I’m not musically
trained to say which F-major or D-minor is responsible for such music and what it’s immediate effects
are upon the listener, but I do know one should play this music quite loud and let it come over you,
like there is no escape. This is not some easy listening modern classical music but nothing less than a
total experience. (FdW)
––– Address:


Some thirteen years ago Chalung-Gra released ‘Kalonga Incantations’ and now they release their
second album.  They, or she, or he, that is, well he, as behind this project is Le K. of whom we learn
that his real name is Marc Reina. He was a member of Sizzle (from 1994 to 2012) and since 2013
onwards in Velventine and besides this Chalung-Gra he also has a solo project called Ingodeme. In
Chalung-Gra uses ‘cheap instruments and machines’ and records these on a Tascam 4 track cassette
recorder, which are then digitally mixed; I was wondering: why not mix them on the machine itself
and keep it all lo-fi? A bit further down on the information I read that ‘a computer generates all the
composed audio sources, patched to internal & external effects, recorded and assembled on 4 tracks
cassette, digitally mixed with no overdubs’, so which is then the cheap instrument? The music
certainly would allow a grittier approach to recording and mixing of staying all in the analogue
domain. Reina is inspired by his environment of Martigues in the South of France, which apparently
in an industrial surrounding. The music is all-dark ambient from an industrial perspective. The
nightline of barely lit industrial lot with flickering lights, and decay setting in; objects and machines
on their final breath, falling to the floor, crumbling and the process of industrial rot being amplified
in the music. These pieces do not necessarily follow compositional lines, but are rather non-linear
soundscapes of sounds put together. Like looking at this industrial lot and seeing various events
happening at the same time, each with it’s timing and place in the bigger story of it all. Powerful
music as such, and perfect as a soundtrack to a home horror movie, taking place in such surroundings.
At the same time I must also say that this is not the most unique release in the world as it follows a
heavy trail of like-minded dark ambient music going strong for some thirty years. If you want to
xplore a new name, then lend Chalung-Gra an ear. (FdW)
––– Address:


Behind Barnacles is Matteo Uggeri, for whom this is a new project. You may know him from his work
as Hue, Normality/Edge, Der Einzige or his collaborations with other people. Much of his work is
about playing carefully around with microscopic detailed dissections of field recordings so as
Barnacles he wants something different. “Each of these four tracks is built using only 1 drone, 1
field recording, 1 sampled drumbeat. Then a lot of effects.” Simple as that, and you get what it says
on the box, indeed. One drone, one field recording, although perhaps not always as easy to recognize
that (“a lot of effects” surely do a trick or two) and there is indeed a highly present drumbeat in all
four of these pieces. Not your groove kind of rhythm to dance too, but an industrial bang on a can,
the oil rig, a pile that goes with a steady, mid-tempo into the ground, but perhaps sampled from real
drums, but again, much thanks to sound effects, sounds electronic. Everything around here is a bit
darker here, like perhaps it is prescribed in the world of industrial music, as this is where I would
place this particular set of droney, part noisy, part atmospheric tunes. The shortest piece is seven
and half minutes, the longest close to ten, and at four pieces this is perhaps a bit of a short release,
but for me it worked very well. There is a relatively easy concept, it is worked out four times in a
very consistent way, and it’s not too short and not too long. Repetition seems to be avoided, and
that’s a clever thing. Nice one. (FdW)
––– Address:

LUNAR ERROR – SELENE (CD by Becoq Records)
LASSE MARHAUG – VOID (7” by Becoq Records)

For me a new label from France, who introduces me to a group I never heard of, Lunar Error, and
none of the players’ names I recognized. On the label’s bandcamp and cover their names are
mentioned, and in French the instruments they play; I can translate a few, including ‘incomplete’
drums, saxophones, clarinet, piano, harmonium, banjo, objects, gong but someone gets also a credit
for ‘ gangsa gantung, harmonium indien…’, so I googled that (otherwise we have that whole thing of
‘he never look at my instrument, easy to find on google etc.’) and it seems to be some of Indonesian
percussion instrument. This piece, lasting just under thirty minutes, was recorded in September
last year and mixed early this year and is perhaps best described as either ‘modern classical’ music
or, perhaps half serious, half jokingly, as ‘the sons of Zeitkratzer’. It shares a similar modern classical
feel in an improvised setting really, with some very concentrated playing on all involved, rubbing
and scratching their instruments, staying close together, starting out in quite a forceful manner
but as the piece evolves going down and down, and while it doesn’t become inaudible it surely
drops dramatically in volume, just like the remaining radio left on in another room. After that it
builds up to a crescendo of cascading tones, using bows on cymbals and perhaps also on wind
instruments alike, and it dies out with a dark and moodier setting. It is quite an intense work,
certainly of the wide dynamics it uses; it’s best to start with some considerable volume, let the
work roll over you and enjoy its more introspective moments later on. Anything below that takes
away some of the shimmering power of the piece, I would think. With all the improvised/modern
classical releases this week, this makes for a great variation.
    On 7” we find Lasse Marhaug, who is of course one half of Jazzkamer, publisher of magazines and
books, improviser and who knows what else. In Spring 2012 he recorded two pieces at ‘the Best
Studio in Oslo’, which is obviously a great name, called ‘Video Void 1 & 2’ and it comes without any
further information. So there is not much context, nor information on instruments and that makes
it all a bit harder. Marhaug is someone who can most certainly play a great deal of noise, but also in
much of his work shows a gentler side, a refined sense of experimentation. This is where the two
parts of ‘Video Void’ come in. Maybe with the use of modular synthesizers, field recordings, sound
effects, processed guitar and laptop treatment he has two pieces of music, six minutes each, in
which explores a linear course of building a piece by adding layer after layer, effect upon effect but
without proceedings coming to a halt or closed up; there is always space to breath for these sounds
until they die out again right before the pieces end. Quite nice, both of these pieces and for once
fitting perfectly on the format of a 7”. (FdW)
––– Address:

DANNY CLAY – STILLS (LP by Iikki Books)

These three records have a hole on the front, displaying which artists did the music and apparently
there are also three books released at the same time. These books are hardcover, 30cmx22cm, 112
pages, with photos (varying amount). On the cover of each record we read: “I I K K I is an edition
project which is the result of a dialog between a visual artist and a music artist. The books are
focused on a fine art book which work as series with three publishing by year […] It should be
appreciated in different manners: the book watched alone, the vinyl listened to alone, the book
and the vinyl watched and listened to together.” Of course I once too often remarked that reviewing
photography (or visual art, poetry, novels etc.) is not something I like to, and music is my core
business, so none of the books were send and so I can’t comment on any of these.
    Danny Clay was in dialogue with Katrien de Blauwer and he is a composer from Ohio, now
living in San Francisco. You may know his work from previous reviews in Vital Weekly (1083 and
1072), both of them works in collaboration with others, so this is my first full introduction to his
work. Clay uses “open forms, archival media, found objects, toy instruments, analogue and digital
errata, family history, graphic notation, and the everything-in-between”, and that is surely
something one hears on the twelve pieces on this record, where he uses piano, voice, harmonium
and viola, plus Paula Karolak adding viola. No doubt there is also a bit of manipulation going on in
terms of computer. This is very meditative music, but not your more usual abstract drones; this is
not unlike modern classical chamber music. Piano tones are recorded in an odd way, like on a
magnetic tapes that has been buried for a couple of years and on top there is a rusty violin, a music
box or a few tones of a looped harmonium. This is all very intimate music, very sparse but never
silent. This is excellent music for the pending autumn season; leaves falling, a bit of rain and the
sun shining a weak light over a still green garden, but not for long anymore. Spacious and beautiful.
    Andrea Belfi is someone who is not a lot present in these pages, busy (probably) with playing
concerts and creating sound installations. His dialogue was with Mathias Heiderich from Berlin
(where Belfi also lives, I believe), who went to Italy to take pictures of buildings (also, I believe).
This is the sixth solo record for Belfi and honestly I can’t remember hearing a solo record from, but
I remember a great solo concert a couple of years ago. Belfi’s primary instrument is the drums but
he also uses electronics. Those electronics are stand-alone sometimes but at times also follow Belfi’s
drumming. His drumming style is quite dry and mainly about playing toms with mallets and sticks,
and his patterns is minimal with slow developments; electronics can follow that pattern, like a
synthesizer processing the sound in real time. But they can also be standalone and act as a drone
background in which the drumming takes place. While I use the word minimal it is not said that
this is all very quiet. The music can be at times quite noisy with the synthesizer doing all sorts of
crazy bending (in ‘Abito’ for instance), but perhaps the majority is all a bit more introspective and
drone like, with minimalist drum patterns. Somehow the record doesn’t seem to be very loud, but
 I am not sure if that is intentional, but me thinks it could have used a bit more power.
    The final record for now is a duo dialogue with two musicians, Taylor Deupree and Marcus
Fischer with photographer Ester Vonplon, taking picture on a journey in the Arctic Ocean. Of course
Deupree is well-known from his many releases, and his work with the 12K label, and in the past
years he already worked with Marcus Fischer (see Vital Weekly 1006) and I am never sure if they
meet up in person to do this work together, or if it all happens via the use of the internet. Maybe
 they did meet up as they worked on this between 2014 and 2017, so I can imagine a few days here
and there to work together. Their music, together but also solo, is not unlike that of Danny Clay; that
sound of an old tape being used to record music onto, from a music box, xylophone or a piano; it then
gets a cut and a bit of glue and a loop is made of quite some length and fed through various machines
with different speeds and tape delay. That sound is then fed into a small speaker and recorded with
a simple microphone, a few feet away, thus capturing the space in which this (imaginary, mind you. I
make this entirely up as I go along) working together takes place. Maybe there is just a bunch of
plugins for Ableton Live that read ‘fifties reel to reel sound’ and we have here two men looking at
their computer screens? That last is something I doubt. Here too we have a great melancholic sound,
a bit modern classical, spacious and relaxing. Perhaps not something new, but what else would you
want from them? You know what they do from their previous output and it’s most likely they will
stick to this for some time to come. Great records, all three of them (FdW)
––– Address:

THIERRY MONNIER – TEMPS (LP by Doubtful Sounds)

In 2009 I missed out on the CDR release of France Sauvage’s ‘Le Monde Des Doigts’, but now it’s re-
issued by Doubtful Sounds. They tell me that ‘with France Sauvage every show is different and it’s
also the case for the albums, and within the albums’. I never heard of them, a quartet of musicians
on drums, samples, turntables, piano, saxophone, computer, before, but yes, I can easily agree this
some wacky record, making great leaps all over the place. It starts with as a piece of improvised
percussion music, then becomes a krautrock tape collage in the best Nurse With Wound tradition,
followed by a piece on a keyboard and some demented Elvis crooning. And that’s just on the first side
of the record. The other side follows a similar pattern, with an improvised start but growing more
evenly into a collage of drone related sounds, which, so I believe could very well be made out of field
recordings, perhaps some organ like sounds, but above all studio trickery and here too I was thinking
that France Sauvage is very much influenced by Nurse with Wound; the studio as the canvas for your
sound pictures and pictures they surely are. France Sauvage’s music is like opening a photo album
and looking at two pages at the same with totally unrelated snapshots on one page and on the other
a photo collage of images that are linked together. Even all in its craziness I quite enjoyed this record;
perhaps a little less for that Elvis bit but I understand the wackiness the whole of this represents and
that’s what I like about this record very much. It’s playful, strange, funny and perhaps also serious;
who knows?
    It’s been a while since I heard music from Thierry Monnier; back in Vital Weekly 637 I reviewed
a 7” by Sun Stabbed, of which he was one half, and in Vital Weekly 827 a CDR he did with Yong Yand
Sen and Adbul Aziz, but now he’s back (?) with a LP with two compositions. ‘Intermezzo’ was recorded
in 2003 and ‘Interfluve’ in 2015, one inspired by Deleuze/Guattari’s ‘Mille Plateaux’ and the other is
‘taken from the space in between two talwegs’, which is ‘the middle of a water-way’. The liner notes
on the cover are in French, so not very helpful for me. Both sides of this record were done with
electronic means, but it’s hard to say what kind they are. Maybe in the case of ‘Interfluve’ there is
some kind of modular synth set-up, whereas on ‘Intermezzo’ these might be feedback manipulations.
That piece is occasionally quite fierce and loud, with monotonous slabs of feedback flying around; the
outer limits of the drone pattern. ‘Interfluve’ also taps into the world of drones and noise, but is
something gentler in approach, with wider dynamics used throughout. Fierce yet thoughtful this is
 a mighty piece of power drone, falling apart as the piece progresses. While I am not entirely sure
about the underlying concepts of these pieces, they sound great. (FdW)
––– Address:


Australian Eamon Sprod is the man behind Tarab, ever since releasing ‘Surfacedrift’ on his Naturestrip
label in 2004. This LP is his eight album so far, so we can’t say Tarab is flooding the market with his
music. All of his work so far, and I think I heard quite a bit of it, deal with field recordings, although it
sounds better in his words: “Tarab explores re-contextualised collected sounds and tactile gestures
formed into dynamic, psycho-geographical compositions inspired by discarded things, found things,
crawling around in the dirt, junk, the ground, rocks, dust, wind, walking aimlessly, scratchy things,
decay and most if not all the things he hears and sees. More than simply documenting a given site,
tarab is interested in a direct engagement with our surrounds, teasing out half narratives, visceral
sensation, false leads and heightened awareness.” That sounds better than I would have put this,
which would probably sounded something like this; Tarab uses field recordings from all sorts of
sources, either by sticking a microphone in the air and recording what goes in the environment, but
also by kicking his feet against objects and recording the resulting sound phenomena, which, once
he returns home, he puts on the computer and then transforms these into blocks of sound, and then
these are put together in a collage form to form an abstract narration. And yes, that sounds a bit less
than how Tarab describes it, but also I would not be sure if that is really the case. Maybe there is no
processing and is everything ‘as is’, but still in some sort of collage like formation. In the forty minutes
this record lasts there is much to be enjoyed. From obscured rumble of dirt found in the desert, to
kicking around in an abandoned industrial site, wind over barren land, animal sounds and Tarab
takes you on an audio journey through Australia I would think; there are no locations mentioned. In
fact there is hardly any information at all on this record. That perhaps adds to the mystery of it all?
Tarab tells only the story he wants to tell and the rest remains a mystery. That makes most intriguing
music, and ‘An Incomplete Yet Fixed Idea’ a great record. (FdW)
––– Address:

LUKE & WENDY – TONY CONRAD (7” by Meeuw Muzak)

Who are Luke & Wendy I wondered. The press text has everything blacked out, which makes it more
a piece of art than a sheet of information, and as such it’s not easy to say much about the ‘band’ or
perhaps what this has to do with Tony Conrad. If, of course, anything at all, because the way I look at
this, I could say that there is indeed an electric violin in use here on one side, like Conrad maybe once
played, but it comes along with drums and a voice howl. The other side seems to be more electronic,
but effectively it comes from the same improvised music scene. A few stabs on a keyboard, along with
drums, a bit of noise and something that is on a delay pedal, but to call it ‘dub’ is a bit far off. Meeuw
Muzak, now going on for more than twenty years, do leave the reviewer somewhat confused behind,
not for the first time, scratching his head and thinking ‘oh my, what the hell is this’ and most likely
also not the last time, and Meeuw certainly knows some wacky people. I like many of the records he
put out on this big holed 7” label, but for this one I must say I not so convinced. It is a very consistent
record for the label, being all weirdo, freaky and strange (not to mention the consistent lo-fi covers),
but for me, today, this is not it. Maybe it will grow and on the annual ‘let’s do a Meeuw 7”s’ day
(somewhere around Christmas usually) I might think otherwise. (FdW)
––– Address:


Crackle, crackle… Through the din, the fog of time and matter, from the finely etched surface come
the flexible mutations of thin air, surrounding the cloud-capped towers of your ears – tempests
 across time and space, too. Gushes of phantom utterances and picked up receptions. Crackling,
the cackling voices from beyond our dimensions are present, locally and emotionally.
    The locus in focus: as much the here and now as the whenever, wherever then and yonder.
Beyonder even, boldly going with his recording devices where nary a man strays, EVP maestro
Michael Esposito hunted or tracked down, invited in and welcome to his tapes sounds from the
other side. And remember: the dead outnumber us greatly. Still, like Leif Elggren you might ask
your selves: is there a smell on the other side?
    Steven Wilson (Bass Communion) and Frans de Waard (Freiband) share their respective
musical powers on this flexi-disc. They mould their massive sound incursions around samples of
recordings provided by Esposito. Phantom telegraphy from the great beyond chatters away in the
static hum of crushing clouds of electronic brilliance – the tactile Babylon of voices, ghosts on tape,
is mirrored in, juxtaposed by, reflected and refracted through intense growling and bubbling
analogue drone in waves of bass crashing and communing, communicating and diverging like a
background hiss or hum of ages our reach can scarcely hope or fathom to touch.
    It would be far too easy to relegate both tracks to the realms of unsettling or uneasy listening.
Here, there is no darkness of darkness’ sake anywhere to be found, nor gratuit Gothic cave reverb.
Bass Communion and Freiband – in stead – worked together on both tracks, although both had a f
inal say in each designated respective track. And in the collaborative, concerted effort, both artists
present deeply felt, personal extrapolations of Esposito’s material, in terms of content and context
as much as concept.
    There’s an improvised touch to these musical materials; it’s almost as if sounds were caught –
ghostly, appearing from oblivion – on tape by mere serendipity. That is to say: the immediacy of call
and response and of harmonic conjoined sympathetic consonance of the different sound sources
makes for an almost organic, lifelike diorama which might creep the living daylight out of some, but
which nonetheless fascinates beyond preconceived possibilities of one’s own imagination. By any
    Pressing one’s face up to the glass ever closer the crackle dissolves into a shining mirror surface
like the ones used in extremely sophisticated telescopes; a magnifier thus bringing about notions of
the magic in peering deep into that dark and possibly truthful mirror. A reflector too and above all
else of oneself, of the chances taken or missed, the inferred interpretations or plain biological
    And, of course: the very instance in which the listener is confronted by her/his own ability to
not only recognize language, speech, intonations and inflexions even from the smallest of fragments
(sped up, jumbled, played backwards), but to also apply this very talent to disembodied details of
concrete or synthesized acousmatic aural slivers and shards. To make ‘whole’ again thusly, across
the great divide, in collaboration with the other side: in this room and that, the one we think we
know and the next – always moving, in constant communication, free vessels in a flow of flux. Wholly
    The crackle crackle will tell its next stories on repeated listen and the voices will speak yet
another language. The Next Room as in: the never solidly, firmly, fixedly extant venue for partial
truth. (SSK)
— Address:


This might be the first release by Canada’s Caduc label that has a bit of a different cover, being now a
12-page full colour booklet, of her writings, art and photos. It seems to be made in a period of great
turmoil, but now she’s feeling better; I think. This is her second release for Caduc (see also Vital
Weekly 1024). She is or was a member of Good Area and now deals with field recordings. There are
two pieces on this new release, one of about thirty-two minutes and one half that length. I am not
sure if there is any sort of processing going, or even some kind of editing. We hear for a long time in
the first piece walking, perhaps on a parking lot, heading towards a vehicle, then driving a car for s
ome time, and slowly we pick up a conversation between two men, and at the end a woman’s voice
comes in. In the second piece that voice takes over, along with some other people talking and we
might very well be in some diner, and over the course of the piece sounds seems to die out a little;
I am not sure if all of these conservations is something need to pay closely attention, like
eavesdropping in on a conversation, or they are meant to add to the overall idea of the composition.
I rather treated it like the latter; like sitting in an airport or swimming pool (just two locations I
recently visited) and one hears voices around but not paying too much attention. Of her previous
release I wrote ‘I found it hard to say if I liked this or not’, even when this is not the noisier end of f
ield recordings like before, I am not sure what this all is supposed to mean; do I like it? Perhaps.
Do I think this is perhaps outsider music? Yes, I certainly do. (FdW)
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TH€€€F – I (CDR by Paraferal Sound)
TH€€€F – SHRED.FM (CDR by Paraferal Sound)

Here we have the first two releases of Niko Skorpio’s new project TH€€€F, which is to be pronounced
as \thef\ (with a little something on top of the ‘e’, which can’t find on this keyboard). It’s been a while
since we last heard of Skorpio, in any guise really, so maybe it took some time planning to what’s been
coming next. Skorpio calls TH€€€F a ‘plunderphonic sound art project’, ‘focusing on live sampling of
radio broadcasts and recorded music, TH€€€F generates sound collages and constructions that are
explorable spaces rather than music compositions, even though the source material may suggest
otherwise’. I am not sure what ‘explorable spaces’ are, really. The first release has one thirty-two
minute of sampled together slabs of rhythms, voices and synthesizers, like it has been stuck in a
short-cut loop, bouncing around; very much like very early sampling. I was reminded of Nicolas
Collins’ “Real Landscape” from 1987, but less the humorous touch to it. “Liberated sounds for
liberated minds”, is the band’s slogan, but I found this actually a bit boring. The same treatment
applied to the same source.
    On the second release we find five pieces, fifty minutes in total, and offers more “live sampling of
random radio broadcasts. Samples are splintered and resequenced relying on chance, intuition and
bleeding edge algorithms”, taking it’s sources from fields of sound art, noise and a bit of pop. Not one
recognizes any of it. While much the same short cut methods are applied here, one easily recognize
drums, or even a hint of melody, which makes this is all a bit more coherent in terms of ‘composition’,
and indeed again reminded of Collins, but more time and effort has been made to make it all musically
engaging. Some of these pieces are still a bit long, I think, but I can certainly imagine all of this getting
a bit shorter and to the point and be a highly engaging piece of pop by itself. Perhaps along the lines
of good ol’ Oval at times, which is nice; haven’t heard many doing that kind of plunderphonics in
quite some time. (FdW)
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Here we have more music by Susan Matthews of which I reviewed ‘From Veliko’ in Vital Weekly 1043
as the most recent release from her. On her first release she played pieces by Erik Satie (Vital Weekly
810) and a bit of piano is also part of this new release. On her new release she is inspired by “Brutalist
Monuments: concrete snapshots that capture a significant moment in history. It also represents the
fracturing of the human psyche in response to trauma. Concrete, like the psyche, wears, weathers
and erodes” and she makes this audible with the use of piano, voice, percussion, field recordings,
Yamaha PSS-480 Keyboard, toys and electronics, with Mark Ingram supplying bass guitar. It’s not
that I recognized all of these instruments I must admit, but the main theme, which is ‘erosion’ so I
believe is certainly something I think to hear in this music. It is one long piece, of twenty-two minutes
and starts out with some far away, low humming synthesizer, which eventually slowly fades over in
percussive sounds, light and unorganised. Following a very soft voice and drum sounds the next
lengthy bit is more coherent eroded piece of percussion and synthesizer, with the whole end bit, the
last six minutes a heavily amplified bass guitar and no doubt some extra treatments. Piano I noted
was only at the very end of this. An excellent, well thought out piece of music, which again was a bit
too short for my taste. (FdW)
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[RG] – UNFOLD (cassette by Autumn Archive)

All I know is that [RG] is from Belgium, and there have been six albums so far, five them privately as
downloads and this, ‘Unfold’ the first on a physical format. Nothing further about how this was
composed, using what kind of instruments or by whom, and all that sort of thing reviewers are happy
with. So we’re opening up to some firm amount of guessing, which would include me thinking that
[RG] is one person, operating a variety of sound producing tools, which may include (software)
synthesizers, sound effects and/or samples and maybe something that is to do with acoustic objects
and/or contact microphones. Maybe these sounds can be ascribed to field recordings, but just as well
they might not. Each side is about eighteen minutes long and one long piece, of the first side is a
combination of synths and acoustic sounds, crackles and a bit of static, resulting mostly in mild,
experiments; shortish pieces stuck together rather than one on going flow of sounds. For the second
side (guess what: both sides are untitled) there is more a sense of keeping matters going but here it
sounds like it is done in one take and everything is up a notch or two, and it all becomes a bit louder,
noisier for the most part but not necessarily better; I preferred the gentler first side, even when that
was a bit sketchy and all over the place, but for me that worked perfectly well. Next time, please, a bit
less of noise thing and also a bit more on the information side. (FdW)
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DREKKA – THERE IS NO SILENCE LEFT (cassette by Bluesanct)

Here we have two new releases of Michael Anderson’s Drekka project; one is filled with thirteen old
pieces, scattered around the world since 1996 and now collected together and the other is with new
music. That’s where I started, mainly because it comes in a nice matte black box, including a button,
insert and a chapbook by Mark Trecka, of poetic portraits of artists “who may or may not be or have
been discontent; unsatisfied with their own personal situation or their own personal feelings about
the world”; Jhonn Balance being one of them. The music was commissioned by Blackened Disco and
previously released online, but now comes as a fifty-minute piece on a single side of the cassette, with
the same thing again on the second. With such a length I’d say it’s not a problem to keep it on repeat,
providing that is your thing. Anderson calls this a ‘non-linear ambient industrial mix’ and while I
think it is more ambient than industrial, I can also see what Anderson means with that. The music
fits the overall drone approach that Drekka is known for, but perhaps it is all bit more drone here
than on some of their/his (it does involve other musicians from time to time) other releases;
everything is spaced out to the max and filled with tons of sound effects, reverb, delay, chorus and
just very occasionally one recognizes a bit of music leaking through or some spoken word (by
Anderson? Tecka? I’m not sure). There might be a bunch of guitar sounds used here, along with field
recordings and the whole thing is best enjoyed here when played a lower volume and indeed on
repeat. Very relaxing and yet always a fine dirty edge to prevent the listener from falling asleep.
    Of an entirely different nature are the thirteen pieces on ‘There Is No Silence Left’, which
Anderson recorded between 1996 and 2012. Some of these pieces are remixes of Racebannon,
Loveliescrushing, Soul Junk while others are just ‘rarely heard’. As such this compilation bounces
around with various textures and moods and shows the many musical faces Drekka (or perhaps
Anderson) can have, or did have over the years. There is a bit of rhythm in ’Spartan Dub’ (but
never seems to properly start up), noisy ends, and dream pop singing in the 4K mix of Area 101,
or a bit of shoegazing noise (of course with the Loveliescrushing remix). From the insert it is not
always to guess what is what, and who is the remixer but it offers a great variety of musical
interests. It is like tapping into a radio station playing some random weird music; a radio station
where the more curiously open-minded listeners keep hanging around simply because you have
no idea what comes next. This is easily a release that could be of interest for those who want to
discover Drekka, as it covers a wide area of interests, but also for die-hard fans to fill in gaps in
their collection. I’d say start you evening of Drekka entertainment with this one and then after
some time move over to ’Sleep Patterns Of The Discontent’ for some ultimate relaxing. (FdW)
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  (cassette by Unsigned)

Of course Hungary has no king, so the Royal Hungarian Noisemakers is more or less a jokingly found
band name. Maybe also then the ‘noisemakers’ part of their name, I wondered? This duo, consisting
of VlaD and Rovar17, has been reviewed before (Vital Weekly 1007) and back then it was ‘God save
the Noise! Noise save the God!’, which is still their slogan. These two cassettes is actually my first
proper introduction, as the previous was a collaboration/remix with Noisesculptor. Like with so
many other releases that are reviewed in Vital Weekly, here too I’m clueless as to what instruments
are used, perhaps other than what one could suspect, being electronics. I could easily believe this
to be a combination of laptops and electronics, maybe a bunch of kaos-pads or such like connected
as well, and something that picks up sounds, like a (contact-) microphone or two. The noise aspect
of their name is not forgotten and much of what they do is on the edge of true, powerful noise with
the capital ’N’, but not in the Merzbow sense; the Royal Hungarian Noisemakers know how to pull
back and let their noise bounce around in a bath of ambient sounds and that is a combination that
works pretty for me. Their noise can be full on and yet it is not full on always which gives some
breathing space to the listener and that works quite well.
    On the other cassette they have two originals, ’Don’trump’ and ‘Chillary’ and each of these gets
a remix, with the same remixes for both, in the same order; Noisesculptor, Pol Mod Pol, RHN and
Chris Sigdell are present for these ‘rremixes’, there is no mistake there on my behalf. The two
originals are ambient industrial and noise based, but let’s assume it has very little to do with the
political point of view of the Hungarians; I guess they don’t like both politicians. Which, looking at
the various titles of the remixes, goes for the remixers as well.  They rework the original into heavy
rhythmic noise (Pol Mod Pol), more ambient excursions (RHN, Sidgell) and Noisesculptor offering
a combination of noise, rhythm and improvisation. Nice enough this one. (FdW)
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CLUB ALPINO – TUNGA (cassette by Gusua Records)

One Marek is behind Club Alpino and he was born in Poland but these days’ lives in Iceland. He’s
“ethnologist and hearing aid prostehtics” and perhaps that explains his interest in languages,
perhaps. The text on ‘Tunga’ is read in the Old Norse language, now dead, but living on in the
current Icelandic language. The texts are from an anonymous source from the 13th century; “Father
teach his son who want to be a trader what rules he is allowed to follow during his trip to the foreign
countries. At the end, he reminds him to do not forget his native language.” On his previous release
‘Woouldy’ (Vital Weekly 1083) Marek travelled through Europe and set that to music using
electronics/synthesizers, which came across as a bit of dark wave for me, and that can be said here
as well. There is a mid tempo rhythm, some bass synthesizer bleeping away but the samples used
make it all perhaps a little less dark wave and more sample pop (not simple pop) and like before I
am a bit lost on this; it surely sounds nice enough, pleasantly entertaining and such, but I also have
the idea there is something more to this, that I am not entirely able to grasp; I would seem to me this
is all a bit more about art than entertainment, but I am not entirely sure what the deeper layer of art
is supposed to mean. In terms of sampled pop and plundered voices this worked for me quite well, so
the entertainment side for me worked quite well. (FdW)
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