Number 1099

NOGAWA KAZUNE – REFLECTIONS (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
OKADA TAKURO & DUENN – MUJO (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
MELODIA – SMALL CONVERSATIONS (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
LISE-LOTTE NORELIUS – SKY (CD by Firework Edition Records) *
CELER – ALCOVES (CD by Two Acorns) *
CELER – ON OR NEAR THE SURFACE (7” flexi disc by Two Acorns)
FRED VAN HOVE & ROGER TURNER – THE CORNER (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
MAGDA MAYAS & JIM DENLEY – TEMPLE JETZ (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
  MORNING(CD by Relative Pitch Records)
  And Wonder)
KALE PLANKIEREN (LP compilation by Knekelhuis)
DOMESTIC SAMPLER UMYU (LP compilation by Discos Transgenero)
AVSA – PARALLELS (CDR by Manyfeetunder/Concrete) *
GIOVANNI LAMI – HYSTERESIS III (cassette by Soft Error) *
STRICT NURSE – ERRATIC (cassette by Vatican Analog)
MODELBAU – QONRAD (cassette by Aubjects Aujx)
MODELBAU – TYPEWRITER (cassette by Dokuro)
ANDROID AUTOMATIC – MOJAVE (cassette by Katuktu Collective)
POINT PLEASANT – SOLEMN (cassette by Katuktu Collective) *
TOUCH TEST (cassette by Katuktu Collective) *
BRØRBY & CLAUSEN – MANNEN FALLER (cassette by Katuktu Collective)
GALKINA & AVROVIN & DMITRIEV, LIS – MAY 2016 (cassette, private)
G. AVROVIN – WANCHMAN (cassette, private)
G. AVRORIN – LEATHER IS SKIN (cassette, private)

NOGAWA KAZUNE – REFLECTIONS (CD by White Paddy Mountain)
OKADA TAKURO & DUENN – MUJO (CD by White Paddy Mountain)

After a period of silence, or perhaps the more mundane reasons of excessive postage these days (or
massive delays; or whatever) made that I didn’t hear from this label in some time, I got hold of a
whole bunch of new releases by Chihei Hatakeyama’s White Paddy Mountain label, so I am doing
some now, and some next week, even when some are a bit older.
    The new name in this bundle is for me Nogawa Kazune, who started to play concerts in 2011,
and was once selected, by Warp and Bleep in some contest. In 2013 he started his own cassette label,
‘Stuk Label’ (the Dutch word ‘stuk’ can mean ‘piece’ or ‘broken’, bytheway) and ‘Reflections’ is his
second release of his music. Apparently, and something I didn’t hear, he is mainly interested in using
“heavy growing synth bass and a number of overlapping voice samples”, which might be the case, but
as said, not something I hear. He has nine pieces on this CD, with a total length of thirty-four minutes,
so perhaps one could say that these pieces have a pop-like length, and perhaps the music has leanings
towards ambient pop. Unlike many of the other artists on White Paddy Mountain, Kazune likes to
keep his music short and to the point, exploring heavy bass sounds, even in a bit of rhythm
(‘Heartbeat’), quite a bit of reverb, and looped voices; once you know what to look for, they are there.
This is quite a heavy release, certainly in the world of White Paddy Mountain, but also with some
angelic sounding chants and shimmering melodies. Just like Sacromonte’s release last week, I could
easily believe there would have been a place on a more daring pop label, such as 4AD. A bit hazy and
shoegazey, dreamy but not asleep; this is a very unlike release for this label, but most certainly not
out of place.
    Also new names, I think, are Okada Takuro and Duenn. The first is born in 1991 and he plays
guitar, pedal steel, mandolin and electronics; he also composed music for the movie ‘Deer Deer’. For
Duenn we have a lot less information. He is from Fukuoka and runs the cassette label, ‘Duennlabel’,
but not what he plays. Judging by the music, his spiel is mostly electronic, providing the drone like
curtain/pattern/cloud that we find in this, untitled, forty-minute piece. There is Takuro’s guitar,
mostly the steel one, I would think, sounding metallic and a bit remotely present; not really absent,
but placed in the mist of the reverb and the massive, chilling hum that passes on as a drone here.
One piece, a few sounds and with little variation, but not without that. It is a slow beast this track.
While much music released by White Paddy Mountain can easily be qualified as ‘atmospheric’ and
‘quiet’, with both of these terms interchangeable, this is not so much the case on this disc, just as on
the previous release by Nogawa Kazune. This is quite ‘loud’ (well, not noise, of course), machine like
through it’s endless sustaining delay and like a violent, massive beast lurking below sea level waiting
for it’s turn to destroy the world, and the music is recorded from inside this submarine, slowly being
swallowed by it. I thought it was great; it was something different for a change.
    But that doesn’t stop me liking the next one as well, being the total opposite of the previous and
perhaps more the classic White Paddy Mountain ‘sound’ (like the ‘Motown’ or ‘Stax’ or ‘Factory’ sound,
perhaps) with the duo of Federico Durand and Tomoyoshi Date, whose work was released before (see
Vital Weekly 963 and 927). They are both also active solo (Duran) or with others (in Opitope and
Illuha for Date), and the four pieces here (total thirty-eight minutes) are recorded with acoustic
guitar, chitters, piano, organ and such like. Usually there are only a few sounds in a piece, almost as
recorded by two people using two hands; as in ‘live’. Maybe not, and there has been some overdubbing
but I would not be surprised to learn there isn’t much of that. In the opening piece, ‘A Blue Place’, they
both pick up a guitar and they both play it in a rather improvised manner, just as in ‘A Last Message
Of A Rainy Day’, in which there is more a bit after sound and one can almost hear the musicians
breath. In the other two pieces the emphasis lies more on the use of sustaining sounds, with piano
and organ, first in ‘Reverie’ played sparsely with a few notes here and there, and in ‘A Lilac Name
Written On Water’ all the way sustaining through and sounding like a very delicate piece of feedback/
sine wave. Maybe the running order should have been a bit different, unless we should see this as
two sides of a LP; but it is not. Beautiful music, and a great afterthought after the two somewhat
heavier releases heard just before. (FdW)
––– Address:


Even when both musicians hail from Spain, the music on this release was created via file exchange.
Daniel Romero, you might know as Dot Tape Dot, send about 100 loops (“a mix of generative melodies
with computer drones”) to David Cordero, whom I didn’t know from his band Ursula (from the 90s),
of which he was a “ghost member”, and who recently released a solo album on Home Normal. David
‘recomposed’ these loops and added his own sounds when needed. This resulted in eight pieces of
very ambient music, very quiet and perhaps also a bit digital. Each piece consists of a variety of layers,
at least five or more I would think, and they are moved around within the space of a piece, but not
in a static way; it’s not that when everything is in place it stays there through the piece but it shifts
back and forth with that piece. A bit like tectonic plates in the earth’s surface, except here we have
no earthquakes, as the music stays very gentle throughout. And something a bit too gentle if you ask
me. A song as ‘Noviales’ sounds a bit too new agey for my taste. There is no sharpish point, an edge, a
rattle that doesn’t belong there, and it all stays very much on the sweet side of things, which for me is
not really a plus. I enjoyed the release pretty much, but at the same time wish it would have been a
bit more than sweet loops of processed sounds being played. Sources are no longer recognized and
are perhaps also not necessary to be recognized as such. This is pleasant pastime music, but maybe
not more than that; good for a quiet autumn day. (FdW)
––– Address:

LISE-LOTTE NORELIUS – SKY (CD by Firework Edition Records)

Here we have a solo release by someone who has been active since many years as a solo artist but
also known for working with other people, such as Vfo, Ludd, Unsk, Smullotron, Anitas, Syntjuntan
and Valfardsorkestern; only the last two I heard music of. Norelius interest is within improvisation
with electronics, composing and multi-speaker sound installation. The latter two interests we find
on this new release, which has six pieces, three of which are installation pieces, and the other three
music for dance performances by the SU-EN Butoh company. The speaker installation pieces have
been reduced to stereo, obviously, for this release, but nevertheless some its vibrancy is very well
retained in this. And vibrant her music certainly is. From the label releasing this, the fact that some
of it was recorded at the prestigious EMS or the fact there is some subsidy for it from the National
Council for Cultural Affairs, one could easily think this is all part and parcel of the serious world of
modern composition, well, and perhaps it is, but at the same her music is all about certain roughness
 in the way she treats her massive blocks of sound. In each of these pieces she layers together massive
blocks of sound, maybe finding the origin in synthesizers of computer treatments of her self-built
circuitry, but it all comes at you with some considerable force from the speakers and that’s great,
with maybe the exception of ‘Pipare’, the shortest piece here at three and a half minute, and a careful
construction. It reminds me of industrial music, of Pan Sonic, of noise, but also of control and
composition. This is the kind of musique concrete cum ‘noise’ music I like very much. It’s brittle
and sharp, it’s imaginative and yes, it’s also quite loud. Maybe it is all very academic but it doesn’t
sound like it. And all of that makes this a most pleasant release. (FdW)
––– Address:

CELER – ALCOVES (CD by Two Acorns)
CELER – ON OR NEAR THE SURFACE (7” flexi disc by Two Acorns)

There is a little story by Celer’s Will Long along this CD about days of work and hours of leisure,
walking to and back from work and swimming, but all of which may not necessarily relate to ‘Alcoves’,
or perhaps it does and the music is all about his current, quiet life? It’s not easy to say, since music if
the music of Celer is very quiet and ‘Alcoves’ is not different. There are four pieces here and the first
three flow into each other, whilst the fourth, about half of the rest of the CD, seems to be a piece by
itself. Whatever Celer does, and after so many of his releases I still have no clue what it is actually is,
it all seems to evolve (rather than revolve) about heavily computer treated sounds that form long, slowly
sustaining sounds; an endless amount of sustaining sounds, slowly fading in and out. Just a few layers
(it seems), adding to fragile nature of the music. This is just like many other Celer releases, and surely
I made this remark before. I could look it up, but I won’t. No, I’d rather sit back and listen to the music,
flipping through a magazine, without trying to read much of it. I re-read Long’s notes about the
weather, “The clouds in the distance are reaching over the islands, their overcast arms swooping and
dropping warm rain”, and I look at outside to see very light clouds mixed with autumn sunshine, and
while it doesn’t feel warm inside the house, it looks like a beautiful day. Its one of those days where I
should consider not staying at home, but go out and have that walk myself, a nice 4KM stretch
somewhere among the small forest in beautiful sunny Nijmegen, not far away from the HQ. I could
bring Celer’s music on a pair of good headphones, or, alternatively, listen to birds. I could consider
that, but I won’t, knowing myself.
    No, I’d rather stay inside and pick up the flexi disc ‘On Or Near Surface’, which Celer announces,
is a bonus track to the ‘Alcoves’ album. I can’t drag my turntable outside on a sunny afternoon’s walk,
can’t I? But I was thinking “Celer and vinyl”; is that a good combination? Now, obviously I am known
to argue that good techno surely should be on vinyl, delicate ambient on CD (or higher bitrate
downloads) and gritty noise on a cassette, so why should Celer put his delicate music on what is
clearly an inferior medium, the flexi disc? Now, I love flexi-disc, ever since as a fifteen year getting
one with the music magazine that proofed to be so important in my life, and partly that is because
the quality easily deteriorates and I guess that’s the attraction for Celer as well. His music is delicate
and sometimes builds from crackles and now these crackles are present in playback and the piece
will further decay and crackle and it will always make a new piece of music. Good choice, and perhaps
a good gimmick, for once. Not to be repeated too often, I’d say. (FdW)
––– Address:

FRED VAN HOVE & ROGER TURNER – THE CORNER (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
MAGDA MAYAS & JIM DENLEY – TEMPLE JETZ (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
  MORNING(CD by Relative Pitch Records)

Relative Pitch Records is a NY-based label specialised in improvised music, operating since 2011.
Considering these three new releases one would think they focus on veteran players. What also
strikes, almost all players on these releases are from Europe, none of them from the US. Both
observations are coincidental, looking in their back catalogue. Label founders Mike Panico and
Kevin Reilly follow their own taste and ideas of improvised in choosing their releases. And this is
the sole criterion. Belgian pianist Fred van Hove is one of those mastodons of European free
improvised music, who celebrated his 80th birthday this year. We have to go back to 1969 to find
his first appearance on the vinyl: ‘Requiem for Che Guevara, Martin Luther, John Fitzgerald and
Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X’, with Peter Kowald, Han Bennink, a.o. as his mates. Those were different
times! Also Roger Turner is in business already for a long period, starting his career at the end of the
70s. No wonder both have a very long list of collaborations and releases. Both played together for the
first time in 1983 as members of the Lol Coxhills’ Hot Love Orchestra. But this in fact is their first
collaboration. Recorded live in concert in London, December 2015. The CD consists of two lengthy
improvisations and two shorter ones. Van Hove plays in his own distinguished and personal style
that has touches of classical and romantic music, and is also reminding me of Cecil Taylor. His rolling
notes and extended exuberant rally’s are played with a strong drive. He develops long extending and
dynamic patterns. Overall I had the impression that Van Hove is in the leading position, with
underlining and contrasting playing by Turner. With exceptions of course, like the second part of
‘Shopped’ that has an intense battle between the two.
Another duo effort is the one by Magda Mays and Jim Denley. Mayas is a pianist from Berlin. In 2013
Relative Pitch Records already released a duo album (‘Gardener’) by Mayas with Australian pianist
Chris Abrahams (The Necks’). With ‘Temple Jetz’ she works again with another important veteran of
the Australian scene. Both unfold their ideas in four improvisations, lasting between 4 and 17 minutes.
Denley plays alto sax and bass flute. Mays plays a clavinet (!), an old electric piano from 1970 with
strings and metal chimes. An instrument that is no longer produced.  Mayas plays above all the inside
of this instrument, using objects and extended techniques in order to extend the sound spectrum.
Also Denley is a player using many extended techniques. This makes that they have an incredible big
potential of sounds to their disposal. They create very abstract, ‘small-scale’, sound improvisations.
They play with textures, colour, and dynamics. Their interactions are full of details.  And although
multi-coloured, it is always possible to distinguish who is doing what.
With ‘Last Dream of the Morning we are in the company of three famous players from the UK. All of
them masters on their instruments, with many experience with other key improvisers from the UK
and continent. In 2003 John Edwards recorded a cd with Mark Sanders (‘Nisus Duets’), as well as one
with John Butcher (‘Optic’). But surely they met in various ensembles and projects over the years.
This however is the first time, we have them as a trio on cd. We hear Butcher on saxophones, Edwards
playing double bass and Sanders on drums. All of them take equally part, resulting in concentrated
interplay and communication. They shape their conversations in a very to the point manner, giving
relevance and content to each step they take. A very rewarding listening experience, which counts in
fact for all three releases. (DM)
––– Address:


All right, so what I understand of this is the following: Falter Bramnk (of whom I never heard) had an
epiphany when he heard the barely perceptible sound coming from returned glasses rinsed with hot
water and then set himself to work. “All sounds heard on this recordings are the direct (and intentional)
result of water vapour condensation formed inside glass containers (bottles, glasses). Then they were
somewhat mixed and edited together without compression nor other effects”. Bramnk is from France
and studied piano and singing. He works with music for theatre, video art, contemporary dance and
films and is founder of the The Grand Orchestre de Muzzix. But all of this aside, ‘Glassical Music’ is a
project of sound art. I would not have recognized that sound, but perhaps that’s also because I am
not sure what I should hear when glasses are rinsed with hot water. Maybe this is all a more industrial
cleaning process? Or perhaps as part of kitchen work in a restaurant? The result is quite fascinating I
must say. You have to put up the volume a bit to hear something but if you do a whole new world
opens up. It sounds like a tropical forest at dawn, like insects, cicadas, or dripping water sounds from
a small creek up a mountain, or slurping through a straw. The pieces are somewhere between three
and seven minutes, and while that may seem long, all of this, in all it’s minimalism, held my attention
throughout. As said, this is most fascinating stuff, and my only critique is this is a bit too low in volume.
Of course one can turn up the volume quite a bit, and fiddle with the EQ, but with some additional
mastering I would think there is even more to gain in the world of sound surprises. Otherwise I think
this is an excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Just merely three issues ago there was a review from a new cassette release by David Lee Meyers,
’Superimpositions’, now it is followed by a new CD for the respected house of new music, Starkland
Records. Myers, I wrote, three weeks ago is best known as (quoting myself here) “‘Arcane Device’,
which was his moniker from the late 80s to the mid 90s, followed by a retirement. In recent years
however he revived Arcane Device, as well as releasing music under his own name, and all of that
using the principles of feedback. Take the output of the mixer, put it into the input and a high piercing
sound will emerge; that’s feedback. That’s what Myers does, but not just like that. He feeds his sound
through ‘other processors, via a series of matrix mixers’ and he plays around in real time with the
results and you could think it results in a barrage of noise, but it doesn’t”. I also noted that his work
“owes as much to the world of serious electronic music from the sixties as it does to the world of short
song structures, to avoid the word ‘pop music’”, which on ‘Ether Music’ is also something that is quite
clear. His work can ambient, noisy, poppy or academic, and such the possibilities of his interconnected
delay machines with no input offer many possibilities. Many of the pieces on this release were recorded
more or less live and very little editing has been done, and over the years Myers has so much control
over his machines that this seems very much composed and not improvised, with a few exceptions;
‘What’s Happening Inside Highs And Lows’ or ‘Royale Polytechnique’ for instance are pieces that are
a bit too much on the improvised side, but in many of the other pieces, Myers does a great job in
playing some very thoughtful piece of music and all of his interests drop by, perhaps with the exception
of noise. Some of this is quite ambient (‘Arabic Science’ for instance), but using small rhythmic blocks
in ‘The Dynamics Of Particles’ or ‘Implicate Order’ doesn’t make this ‘pop’ of course in the sense of, say,
techno music, but at the same time it also not very academic I’d say. It is quite lovely music, again, very
playful, also again, serious but not too serious. This release comes with a booklet describing what
feedback is all about, and Myers’ background into doing what he is doing now, which is, looking at his
various other releases quite a treat. Lovely stuff. But then I am a fan ever since I heard his debut
‘Engines Of Myth’, back in the late 80s. This time around it’s all very refined and subdued, beautiful as
ever. (FdW)
––– Address:

  And Wonder)

On both of these disc wind instruments are used and in a way that justifies reviewing them together.
On the first there is bass clarinet sampled and electronics by Christian Müller and the soprano
saxophone by Christian Kobi. They recorded their work in June 2015 and it spans five pieces, lasting
altogether almost one hour. They both have a background in improvisation and composition. Kobi’s
last solo release, ‘Raw Lines’ was reviewed in Vital Weekly 913, whereas Müller’s project Deer was
reviewed in Vital Weekly 890. He is also member of Convulsif and IMO. In the five pieces they recorded
together they seem to share a shared love for minimal movements and microscopic detailed sounds. It
sounds perhaps a little less improvised, mainly due to the electronically altered sound of the bass
clarinet I would think. These pieces might have been recorded along the lines of improvisation, but
they sound like collages with sound. We hear breathing, the reeds but also the sampling of the body
of the instrument being played together and how that is worked into the overall composition.
Sometimes via rapid changes and something forming a more or less longer drone-like backdrop, such
as in the opening of the fourth piece, which is shimmering, atmospheric drone, almost like processed
feedback out which slowly more organic sounds arise, but then the fifth piece is again about short,
controlled bursts of sounds, from both the saxophone and the sampler. This is quite some intense
music that really needs all your attention and concentration. There is happening a lot on this, which
you would otherwise miss, I guess.
The title of the release the duo Sound Of The Mountain says it all; this is music for amplified clarinet
and trumpet. The players are Elizabeth Millar (amplified clarinet) and Craig Pedersen (amplified
trumpet). They are from Montreal I believe and recorded their music at Hotel2Tango. Even more than
the duo of the two Christians the sound of their instruments, and I mean the way they are ‘properly’
played is barely recognizable in this. The microphones are very close to the mouths of the players, so
we hear them breathing, sighing and vocalizing, but all of this in a very minimal way. Pauline OIiveros,
Keiji Haino, Toshimaru Nakamura, Isabelle Duthoit and Franz Hautzinger inspire them, and especially
with the latter I see a connection here. Sound Of The Mountain is very much interested in exploring the
small tones possible, turn them inside out and upside down and create five very dense patterns of
sound. This is perhaps all improvised music, based on the amplification of two wind instruments, but
also, very much this is a work of microsound. Should you be without any information and listening to
this music, you could easily believe this is some electro-acoustic music; maybe of objects pushed
around on a carpet, but then heavily amplified; very soft in volume but very powerful at the same
time. This is some fascinating stuff. Kobi and Müller may be on a trajectory away from the instruments,
Millar and Pedersen certainly have left them behind and explore a new terrain and came up with a
brilliant release. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

KALE PLANKIEREN (LP compilation by Knekelhuis)
DOMESTIC SAMPLER UMYU (LP compilation by Discos Transgenero)

As much as I hate to lump in releases from various labels into one review, it is sometimes hard to
avoid, especially as I got these three on the very same day. All three of them deal with music from
the past, from the early 80s and two of them are compilations covering an underground scene from
one city or country. It is not chauvinism that I started with ‘Kale Plankieren’, or the fact that I am
thanked on the cover of that one for some minor input or advice. If you happen to hang around long
enough you’ll be regarded as an expert I guess. I am trying to think really hard if I could translate
the title, or if just go with Google translate and call this ‘bald planks’, knowing it doesn’t entirely
cover this. Anyway, the subtitle is in English and clear about the intention: ‘Dutch Cassette Rarities
1981-1985’ and all nine of these artists were household names for me in those days, even when I
didn’t buy all of this on cassette. Y Create, Das Ding and De Fabriek I surely had, the others were
familiar from the magazine I read every month, and more specific the column called ‘Dolby’ by the
man who was the true expert when it came to cassettes, Oscar Smit, and still someone with an
extended musical knowledge. The nine pieces collected here are all driven by rhythm and have a
certain swing to them, with perhaps De Fabriek somewhat darker and less about rhythm; the other
eight surely aimed at the alternative dance floor, then and now. Also vocals are present for various
of these SONGS, from the motorik driven Plus Instruments (still active) to the funky, Linn drum
beats of Necronomicon and Rite de Passage (both bands shared a cassette, from which both these
pieces originate), the proto electro of Das Ding (still active, following a discovery that his music was
in much demand in recent years) or Y Create, or which I didn’t know they used vocals. Roy G. Biv I
never properly paid attention to, since Smit called this a psychedelic band back then, but whose
music actually fits this collection of underground electronic music very well. For the old geezer, like
me, this is all a feast of recognition (and an unpleasant reminder of my age probably), and it’s not
easy to think what a much younger person would make of this. To me it doesn’t ancient or retro but
who knows? Maybe it is? Either way, retro trip or genuine newness, this is a great collection and I
wonder what number two will bring.
    A bit of different music can be found on ‘Domestic Sampler UMYU’, which is a compilation that
was first released by UMYU, compiled by Victor Nubla, and has bands from Barcelona. He is still a
figurehead of Barcelona’s experimental and improvised music, with a strong love for the more rocky
side of all of that, and in many of the groups here he takes part in one way or another. The bands here
are El Grito Acusador, Entr’Acte. Logotipo, Klamm, Secreto Metro, Error Genético, Detra’s Band 10,
Boris and Mimi Pimer. I think back then I only Secreto Metro, of whom I had a cassette, which I
remember I didn’t like that much back then (but it had a nice package). Part of this scene at that time,
we’re talking 1982, were two English musicians, Jim Whelton and Bing Selfish, known for their work
with The Homosexuals and The Murphy Federation, but in Barcelona active with bands as Milk From
Cheltenham, Amos & Superslicks and The Hostiapath; so this compilation is all from Barcelona bands,
but with some strong ties to the UK. The original record was made as ‘pay per minute/get x amount
of copies’ principle, so that means the record wasn’t that well distributed and that most of these
tracks are relatively short. All of these bands are from the free rock, improvisation and post-punk/
free jazz scene; not a lot of synthesizers or drum machines in use here. It is the brief character of the
songs that gives the whole thing quite some speed and energy. Much like punk music, the technical
qualities to play an instrument are not really important but this leads to more interesting musical
results than your average punk band. The music is playful, energetic (but not in a fast tempo way)
and sometimes downright boring with a guitar solo that sounds like something out of 1974-bearded
rock band. This is all about musical freedom, to do something out of the ordinary and being different.
Not always my cup but a lovely record indeed.
    Along the lines of freedom but altogether a bit more conventional sounding is the music by The
Manchester Mekon from indeed the best music city in the world, Manchester. Not my words of course,
but there are a great long tradition of bands from that city. Do we need the list? No we don’t. Some of
the groups started gigging at the Manchester Musicians Collective and it is there The Manchester
Mekon was formed in the mid 70s, just for the explosion of punk. I must admit I never heard of them,
and in the various books I read on Manchester music life they are not mentioned (I think! Or it didn’t
leave much impression). It is perhaps because their sound is not punk or post-punk, but more
conventional rock music, including the use of the flute and the violin that are not part of that bit of
history. Mark E. Smith was a fan, thinking they looked like Can. Others compared them to Faust,
Swell Maps, Brian Eno’s rock records or The Velvet Underground and themselves said to be
influenced by Zappa, Stravinsky, King Crimson, Ravel and Pink Floyd. Isn’t that the oddest bunch
of names? I must admit I played this with great interest, but wasn’t blown away by it. I like the more
naive sound The Manchester Mekon had in their production, not the over the top rock production it
could have been, but their music is too conventional for my taste. There is no experiment, no
strangeness or weirdo element in this but rather solid rock songs, sometimes a bit psychedelic and
improvised jamming, but that’s about it. I liked their more pop-like tunes, when they keep things
together. It’s not bad, but nothing for me. (FdW)
––– Address:
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The great thing about writing about music week after week, year after year, is that one tends to
forget names. People you once applauded become quiet, no new releases arrive and slowly fade
from memory. Jarra from Eindhoven is such a person. About fifteen years ago I reviewed three of his
releases (see Vital Weekly 296, 343 and 370), one released privately and the other two by and/OAR;
his whole discography as it turned out). Then there was a silence. Jarra went on to work as programmer
of digital networks and now returns with a new disc with a remarkable change in his work. His three
releases back then all dealt with field recordings, of silences around the world, and two releases of
sounds recorded in Malaysia but this time around he works with analogue equipment, after being
stuck within the digital world all day this makes perfect sense. Another difference is that there here
 we have improvisations. What remains is that Jarra has a strong love for all things minimal and
quietness. Some, if not all of this, is recorded very quietly. One needs to turn up the volume quite a
bit and more sonic beauty will be revealed. Using the hum of cables, small synthesizers, feedback
even and effects he creates some very still music, which is not without a melodic touch, however
quiet and slow they are. I was reminded, at various times, of the work of Eliane Radigue, even when
Jarra does this music a bit faster, i.e. with quicker developments. I think this is a great release! Quiet
and yet experimental music, making an interesting shifts from his earlier work. I would think the
cover could use a bit of extra work, and the information not as sparse. Just the title and name is not
enough, I would think. (FdW)
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AVSA – PARALLELS (CDR by Manyfeetunder/Concrete)

About this album, the press release says, ““Parallels” is a speculation about time(s) and its perception.
The founding concept behind the album is the existence of different ‘timeplanes’ (and related sound, of
course) at the same time, the perceptions of those planes from several subjects, both individually and
jointly, and about the complexity of the whole sheaf of time planes with their own sound apparatus”,
which is a long quote, but not something I easily understand, if I understand this at all. Avsa is the duo
of Sergio Albano, whom we know from his work with Grizzly Imploded and Amklon, responsible here
for ‘sound sources, guitars, synths, microphones and objects) and Anacleto Vitolo (of AV-K, K.lust,
Internos, X(i)Neon and the label who releases this Avsa release) who plays ‘processing, synthesis, live
electronics and arrangement’. It hears like the nine pieces are connected and may from two bigger
pieces; one in five parts and one in four parts. The music is easily being labelled as experimental and
works on many dynamic levels. There are bits that are quite noisy and loud, perhaps like a good solid
noise band, especially in the first few pieces, but in ‘Fluid’ Avsa shows they can pull back and create a
digital heavy version of musique concrete; processing concrete sounds in real-time, working on the
fine line between ambient and noise, where some of the original input can still be heard, but also the
many filters that are opened and closed. The music becomes very dynamic and it works best when
played with a considerable amount of volume. Let those heavy parts roll over you and get lost in those
very quiet ones, the small sounds and gestures. For me this worked very well as it had a great tension
in all of this. This is some very modern musique concrete, following it’s own rules and the result is
very good. (FdW)
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It is not the first time that Eilean Records comes with a release that is by a new name and this time it
is one Cicely Irvine, born in 1990, and who is from Stockholm, Sweden. There are sadly not a lot of
women doing weirdo music, but here’s one. She also does sound design for film, radio and performance
art. ’Excavation’ is her first record and is a collection she recorded in the past ten years. As instruments
she uses voice, guitar, bass, piano, pump organ, synthesizer, glockenspiel, musical box, sansula, saw,
glass, flute, bells, melodica, violin, although probably not all at the same time. Unlike many others on
Eilean Records, Irvine keeps her pieces shorts, from just under one minute to just under five, but
average around two to three minutes and that’s something we don’t see a lot in the world of
microsound, ambient and mood music. To be honest, I am not blown away by some of her wordless
chant like singing, with mucho reverb and delay, such as ‘Come Around’ or ‘Heavy’. If she keeps all
her music instrumental, then I enjoy it very much and she does this in the majority of the pieces.
Then her sparse orchestration of few well placed sounds works quite well. A bit of drone on the pump
organ, some melody on the piano, violin on delay and sample; it seems as if she wants to try out all of
these instruments and created a track for each, and sometimes there is a combination of various
instruments, but it doesn’t seem to be happening a lot. It makes this not the most coherent of releases
I would think. It is more like a showcase of her many talents to play sketch like pieces of ambient music.
Now it’s time to make a choice, what does she want to develop any further and expand on that. (FdW)
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GIOVANNI LAMI – HYSTERESIS III (cassette by Soft Error)

Wikipedia says about Hysteresis “Not to be confused with Hysteria”, but it’s “the dependence of the
state of a system on its history.” Lami writes: “There is a perfect match between hysteresis (concept)
and this kind of practice: both are in the field of reality, and both are related to objects (physical
objects, sound objects, living things)” and that is a piece that is played on site and recorded with “four
microphones, using reels instead of tape loops, switching from the ambience couple to the two on the
recorder back and forth, using objects and other shit on tape, recording everything, doing everything
in the field – I mean – outside the studio”. Lami already has five versions, all released so far (by Turtore
Burlato, Czaszka Records, Falt, NullZone Tapes and now Soft Errror). There are two parts of this piece
and it can easily be seen as one piece, I think. Close your eyes and listen, and you see the action; the
rattling on an object, the slamming of a door, people talking and with very brusque changes of the
microphone the whole perspective changes quite dramatically, from time to time. The whole
proceedings seem to take place in an open square or such like, so there is some natural reverb going
on here. The whole piece has something mysterious I think. You may recognize sounds of a stone
surface upon a metal surface, and or an object in a bicycle wheel, but then you might be entirely
wrong. There is an interesting vibrancy about all of this, with a constant shifting back and forth of
sounds and positions that worked in a great way, the complete twenty-six minutes. (FdW)
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STRICT NURSE – ERRATIC (cassette by Vatican Analog)

Last week I saw a label presentation of Antilounge, from The Hague, The Netherlands, a name which I
had not heard of before, and surprisingly all four acts where solo ones by women; the music ranges
from electro with Dutch lyrics, two times house/techno and the opening was by Strict Nurse, whose
‘Erratic’ is released by Vatican Analog, a label we do know, but haven’t heard of in some time. Strict
Nurse is the solo project of Leilani Trowell, who is along with her husband Steffan de Turck (also
known as Staplerfahrer) part of Hexeneiche. Her set was quite loud, played on a synthesizer and the
addition of sounds from cassettes and a bunch of effects no doubt. Noisy but not necessarily superloud,
she allowed for steady pulse driven sounds (beats they were not, more along the lines of bangs that
were once produced by Goem), with also some room for voice. Those elements we also find on her solo
cassette, and it comes perhaps with less noise than I would have anticipated after seeing the concert.
The voice is a bit buried in the music, more an additional instrument I’d say than necessarily something
to be understood as lyrics; a sense of anger and despair is surely what I gathered this to mean, but
what helped also was the chords in minor, the sad organ tone of the music and the somewhat lo-fi
approach of recording, adding an additional layer to the music. This is quite the outsider type,
something of desolation, being on a far away planet, singing into the sky. That at least is what these
six pieces said to me, but I might as easily be all-wrong. This is not really pop music but surely these
pieces can also be understood as songs. Quite a fine start of this solo endevour and most promising
for the future. (FdW)
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MODELBAU – QONRAD (cassette by Aubjects Aujx)
MODELBAU – TYPEWRITER (cassette by Dokuro)

Keep em coming, keep em coming. The flood gates are opened and Frans – Modelbau – De Waard knows
no stopping the influx and output. Modelbau is a beast unleashed. In 2017 alone already there have
been seven Modelbau releases. And counting? Well, we’re at the T now and since all Modelbau release
follow the alphabet in terms of the first letter of the title, when this line of titling is adhered to strictly
there’s not many left.
    For now let’s settle with a new couple of release. Yes, I know: there are three ‘items’, but basically
‘Qonrad’ and ‘Confluence’ (mind you, with ‘Cataract’, that’s the second release featuring the C!) are like
sibling works, joined at the hip so to speak. The latter was released by De Waard for free on Bandcamp
and dedicated to the non-keyboard electronics of Conrad Schnitzler. The file-set was released on the
date of passing of the late legend.
    ‘Confluence’ came from an intensive period of rehearsals and recordings in the run-up to show De
Waard was to play in February and April of 2017. Two iPad synths deliver the input which is routed
through a variety of analogue effect units. The resulting (very) short pieces move freely and virtually
wholly improvised through well-known and loved kraut-synth tones, soft and mellow synth pads,
warm and tender sine-wave glissando’s and shimmering chrome space opera SF-wizardry. Occasionally
there are touches and flourishes of noisy layering; sometimes you’re hit with high shrieks running
amok. Mostly however: this is brooding material, like proto synth soup in an incubator teeming with
life in pretty early stages of evolutionary development. That’s not to say ‘Confluence’s’ eleven tracks
are simple non-sense on a childlike level. Au contraire: these pieces retain an innocent and pure
experimental quality in being not worked all the way through, not refined to kill every bleeding inch
of thorny edges. The shock and awe here lies with the rough and ready search and tactile touch to the
tonal matter. At times scurrying synth sounds cluster together to form analog bubbly baths or washes
of crashing waves in thin air. And: there’s also plenty of rhythm bouncing around in deep space.
    From the same period ‘Qonrad’ is also sourced. The spontaneous aspect remains as strong as on
Confluence. Again, the pieces are short to extremely brief. Sketches for Schnitzler thus, from the same
vault where CONSTRUCTION is writ large on the wall. For: Qonrad too proves to be an exercise in
wearing the architecture of synthesizer sound and going with the waveform’s flow proudly on the
sleeve. However: here the result from free form experimental labor is – at times – much more
minimal. Virtually not there even; slowly but surely through the hiss of the tape, maquettes of
concisely tweaked analog (sounding) aural bliss come to the fore. Gentle, dreamlike – little dervishes
of twinkles and bleeps and – again – the familiarity provided by the slow motion mellowest of kraut
shimmers and glimmers. ‘Qonrad’ carries a to-the-pointedness which brings some kind of red thread
through the disparate collection of 22 rather varied tracks. Most feel far from rounded, never rushed
however. A lot of these tracks deserve more than a fast and cursory glance in moving past when the
tape is pulled forward, forward still. Like paintings in an exhibition you – helas – move at a pace much
too quick, too often. I’d love to spend more time with several of these works. To really get lost (in) there.
    Alas: there’s always the utterly stunning artwork to dive into. The label have totally outdone
themselves here as the cassette comes in an over-sized box and numerous shards of paper which you
can photocopy to turn into de facto analogue wallpaper. Should you feel like it. Or you can see if there
a jigsaw image somewhere to be found. Or: a construction of some sort, or another – for your own
assembly. In any case: it’s lovingly released; clever and tasteful, splendid and with quite the artistic
touch and heart. Becoming of Schnitzler to the fullest; becoming too of this material which may lack
the density, drone and noise of earlier Modelbau releases, but which goes to show the extremes to
which De Waard, even (or: exactly?!) when improvising knows the machines at his disposal inside
and out and trusts them and himself to take, carry him and us to uncharted territories, still not yet
wholly nor fully out of bounds; here, there and out into space and back again.
    ‘Typewriter’ is a different beast altogether. Here the crackling gets proceedings moving like dust
under a worn-out styles sloughing through a dirty record. Juxtaposed to this sound of decay and
disintegration are layers of densely formed sound masses in which clear sine-waves battle it out
with washes of static and radio interference-like noise. The four pieces jolt you back into an attentive
(not to say: alarmed) state. This acute alertness still carries a human and intensely musical touch.
These proceedings unfold symphonic, unfurl like the layers of dripped, strewn and thrown paint on
a Jackson Pollock painting. Modelbau here makes noise rather inviting yet again; like a ‘come on in’,
a cabinet of curiosities De Waard is proud to show and not to show off. Unpretentious but not
unassuming is writ large across the canvas of this quartet. (SSK)
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ANDROID AUTOMATIC – MOJAVE (cassette by Katuktu Collective)
POINT PLEASANT – SOLEMN (cassette by Katuktu Collective)
TOUCH TEST (cassette by Katuktu Collective)
BRØRBY & CLAUSEN – MANNEN FALLER (cassette by Katuktu Collective)

We have here a quartet of releases from the Katuktu Collective from California and save for one none
of these names meant much to me. I started with the cassette that looked very much like something
from the 80s, design wise. Android Automatic is the musical project of Michael Gene Graham and just
like the cover is quite retro, so is the music. There are seven synth pop songs on this tape, with a fat
80s production sound on the rhythm machine sound (and I wish I had enough knowledge to say that
these are Linn drum computers or not), sequencer driven melodies and a mildly distorted guitar on
top of that. All seven songs are instrumental and that is a pity I think. Put some vocals on top and you
have fully formed pop song. Now it’s great too, but perhaps with something amiss. If anything it
sounds that this is exactly the kind of stuff that would fit under a sci-fi movie set in the 80s, say
something like “Stranger Things” but maybe something sleazier and more B-movie styled. I was
reminded of Dutch Hunter Complex, of whom I sadly missed a concert last week, and who do similar
80s synth soundtrack music. Lovely synth work going on here.
    D. Deane is the man behind Point Pleasant, and in May 2017 he recorded the ten pieces of ’Solemn’
at home. Dominic Deane is also active as Deadwall, Sunwølf, Trouble The Dark and Ten, and it’s only
from the later I heard music; see Vital Weekly 1051 for a review of ‘Yukon Youth’. That was all about
field recordings and shoegazing ambient, this new one is ambient with the big A. Ten pieces here,
ranging from two to six minutes and I am not sure what he uses in each piece for instruments, but it
sounds very much like an organ like sound that he uses again and again, in mild variations, certainly
in the first three or four pieces. Maybe this organ sound is based on processed field recordings (the
tags on the Bandcamp page suggests such a thing), but they are no longer to be recognized. Time
comes to standstill in this music, which is a simple set of drone (or drones) per piece, of great
melancholy. All of these pieces belong to each other and perhaps that is the downside of the album;
it sounds quite similar. Enjoy this as two long pieces of similar nature, I’d say and best at night.
    Behind Touch Test is Jesse Kapp, who was previously a member of The Mental Arts Exploitation
Center and “left the project after a nasty fallout and relocating from Los Angeles to Eugene, Oregon”
where he is putting together a basement studio, where he starts to work with synthesizers, guitar,
oboe, saxophone, drums, voice, and field recordings and we should see the six songs on this debut
album as a first sign of (new) life. He receives help from Mark Margolies with oboe on one track and
saxophone on another, and Jason Bryson on vocals for one piece. The mood is here is also dark but
not in the same way as Point Pleasant. There is a lot more happening in these pieces, using a wider
variety of sound sources and the way it has been worked out. Rhythm plays an important role in this
music, slowly drumming away, while the other instruments primarily play moody, rocky sounds; not
really that melodic, it all seems to be based upon the extended use of repetition. A bit rocky, a bit
atmospheric and played with some great care and style. This is a lovely cassette.
    The final new release is by someone who has been reviewed before, Anders Brøbry, who works
with Rune Clausen in what is a tribute to Norwegian forests and animals. There aren’t any instruments
mentioned on the cover, but I would like to think there is a bunch of synthesizers at work, sound effects
surely as well, guitars, voices, as well as field recordings from Norwegian wildlife, and all of this is used
to create some esoteric music of wordless humming, long form picking of strings on a guitar and an
endless sustain on the reverb. Very much like those forests the music is dense and atmospheric, like
veil of mist covering the view and haunting voices sing from afar. But there is also a bit of creepiness
in this music, a sense of danger; a hidden threat that you can’t see (just yet). It’s not your standard
ambient affair, but a bit more than just that. This is ambient music plus a bit extra, and that’s great
news. They offer a wide variety of sounds, moods, textures, colours and instruments in what we can
only experience as a total love for home country.
    In conclusion: four great tapes. (FdW)
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GALKINA & AVROVIN & DMITRIEV, LIS – MAY 2016 (cassette, private)
G. AVROVIN – WANCHMAN (cassette, private)
G. AVRORIN – LEATHER IS SKIN (cassette, private)

Somehow I imagined a conversation like this: “hey man, you send stuff to Vital Weekly? Can you add
my releases to the parcel? I already packed them up” and the answer as affirmative but here at the HQ
the parcel was opened and heads were scratched. For a while it said at the bottom or the top of Vital
Weekly ‘arty farty bullshit we don’t review’, or something along those lines and these three I would
certainly label as such. Re-used tapes (in itself no problem), texts in Russian and no website in sight
to seek some additional information. How on earth is a proper review even possible? Information was
requested through the sender of the parcel, and in turn I got this. These three releases are by G.
Avrorin, and he is a ‘noise musician from Saint-Petersburg (Russia). Active since 1997’ (according to
Discogs). Aliases are Alisa-Yhtye, Dr. Kinchev, G. Fredrikson, Huren Aquarium, Karl (11), Noise Wendy,
Скрипач В Жопе, Фон-Барон, Человек В Штанах and he is in groups: Bad Pheng Shui, Tea Man With
Tea Gum, The Soviet Sex Machines, ГРАПЕ, Д&Г, Талонов Нет.
    The first cassette may very well have a title, but its in Russian and it is a live recording from May
2016, recorded live under bridges over Neva one rainy night. I believe to a saxophone, some sort of
percussion and maybe some sort of long string and the hollow sound of the bridge adding atmospherics
to the proceedings. The first side is pretty much thoughtful and on the second side they add a notch or
two in their playing and volume and it comes quite noise-based at times, with strong sounds bouncing
against the concrete buildings. I very much the first side, whereas the second was not bad, but not
entirely my cup to coffee. Too strong for me.
    ‘Wanchman’ is a solo release by G. Avrovin, “based on records I did working the watchman at
working place”, whatever that means and is a more noise based tape. Quite a bit of screaming,
banging of percussion and radio/TV snippets but without much use for electronics, so there isn’t the
usual howl of feedback and distortion. It is most enjoyable I’d say; it sounds at times as if someone is
doing some experimental music in an asylum. Just with an open microphone rambling while being
locked away. Perhaps that’s the definition of outsider music?
    ‘Leather Is Skin’ contains pieces from last year. After hearing this I am pretty sure G. Avrovin is
not really an outsider as this is quite conventional harsh noise music; feedback, distortion, screaming
down microphones, sonic overload, I guess the drill of this is known? Also not bad, but not something I
particular thought was original or great. I guess is was something I already heard a lot in my life, ever
from almost the first independent cassette I ever bought. (FdW)
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