Number 1108

NARWAL – NIRVANA (LP by Ongehoord) *
DOC WÖR MIRRAN FEAT RE-DRUM & SASCHA STADLMEIER – 24/3/16 (LP by Attenuation Circuit) *
SONMI451 – PANTA REI (CDR by Eilean Records) *
THE IMPOSSIBLE & DIVIDED SEA (CDR compilation by Bearsuit Records)
  by Eter Editions) *
  Resource Manipulation) *
JASON E. ANDERSON – TRUTH (cassette by Draft Records)
DR:WR – SCI-FI MORALITY PLAY (cassette by The Slightly Off Kilter Label)
HEY EXIT! – INHALE EP (cassette by Of Plants)


It is a bit of a difficult decision where to start. ‘Irrelavent Comments’, with its simple carton sleeve, and
sixteen pieces, with Blonk on the front, mouth open, looks like ‘another’ voice only work, and judging by
its cover (never do that) it seems to me like Blonk was in need of a new, lightweight item to carry while
being on the road, which is something he does a lot, to sell at concerts. The other is a collaboration work
with one Tomomi Adachi and comes in one of those slim line jewel cases that always look a bit cheap.
Why not, so I reasoned, start with something I think I already know? Which is Blonk’s solo work for
    In recent years, following a hiatus from recording and performing some years ago, Blonk surprised
us with many releases that showed an interest in using computers, real-time or otherwise, to process
his voice, moving away from the more theatrical, Dada inspired sound poetry. In the ‘old’ days there
was just Blonk and his voice, but since the early 2000s he also uses electronics as part of his set-up.
The pieces on  ‘Irrelevant Comments’ were recorded from 2010-2016, save for 2 earlier ones, and I
think it very much serves as an overall compilation of all of his recent interests in music, which extends
far beyond the voice poetry stuff. There are pieces for voice and electronics, reminding me of the many
concerts I saw from him in the early 2000s, but also soundscapes, massive computer treatments, an
odd piece of minimal techno (‘Knackersumm’) in the best Pan Sonic tradition (but he already did
something like that with Radboud Mens in 2002, so maybe not really a big surprise?), various pieces
with instruments, such as the short piano improvisation ‘Slight Incision’, voice and computer
treatments, harsh noise, or a choir like piece ‘Dirges’. There is a bit of everything for everyone and that
is most enjoyable. There are pieces in here that one by no means would recognize as Blonk’s I would
think, even when, like me, you heard quite a bit of his music. It makes it very hard to pick out a piece
for our podcast, as what you hear may not be what it also can be. If you want to a great panoramic of
what Blonk is up these days, this is the perfect place to start. It would be good if Blonk had a page on
his website that would make connections between individual pieces on this CD and what other work
is along similar lines.
    I don’t think I ever heard of Tonomi Adachi, who, like Blonk, gets credit for voice and electronics.
He is a Japanese performer, composer, sound poet, installation artist and his list of collaborators read
like who’s who in the world of improvisation, composition and an address book of all the main
institutions. Naya Records, Tzadik and Omegapoint released his works. He lives in Berlin and Tokyo.
With Blonk he has been working since 2004, yet ‘Asemic Dialogues’ is their first recorded work and
the title reflects that there is a conversation but there is no semantic meaning (as that’s what the
‘asemic’ means). It was recorded in Berlin, earlier this year. I have no idea how often they played/
performed together, but judging by the music this has surely been quite some times. In the forty-one
minutes this CD lasts, two pieces from twenty and some minutes, they take the listener through this
conversation. Much of this interaction is hardly a call and response, but a simultaneous talking, singing,
sighing, moaning, shouting, feeding it through electronics (and I have no idea if these are kaos-pads or
something more elaborate; the music doesn’t reveal this), pitching it up and down at times. It is not
always easy to make a distinction between the voices of Adachi and Blonk, as there is a similarity in
timbre. It is all very vibrant and energetic as the two move quickly between sounds, textures, moods,
pitches and have near perfect control over their voices and electronics. All of that makes this is forty-
one minutes of very fine voice poetry. (FdW)
––– Address:


There was a time when the name Andrey Kiritchenko appeared on a regular basis in these pages, but
not so much in recent years. In the early days, second half of the 90s he turned from indie-pop to laptop
music, both electro-acoustic/glitch to something techno or improvised, releasing many albums, on
Spekk (this is his third one) and his own Nexsound label. In the current biography it says that he is
“currently director of Next Sound – international festival for advanced music and digital arts”, so maybe
that is where all his time goes. His first album for Spekk was ‘True Delusion’ (see Vital Weekly 476),
followed by ‘Misterrious’ (Vital Weekly 656), so the gap between albums has been growing extensively.
The last time I heard his music was on a 7” back in Vital Weekly 983, a thing that seemed quite a break
with previous work, with repeating phrases from instruments in a minimalist but also jazzy way.
Something he started on his LP ‘Chrysalis’ (Vital Weekly 856), and that he continues on this album. It
is very hard to say if this is all made with sampling or perhaps if he has a bunch of players in his studio
to play all of this. I think it is sampling most of the time. Kiritchenko didn’t want more abstract,
emotionless or chaos in his music, but “his own harmony of shivers”. Following the albums Spekk
released by Federico Durand and Alejandro Franov I can see what they like about this music. It touches
upon the ground of experiment, surely, but it is also very musical, and Kiritchenko adds quite an
orchestral flavour to the music this time around. Electronics are there also, but play a far more
supportive role than on the previous albums. In the final three pieces of the album (which is forty
minutes in total) they are most there, the electronics that could burst out into a piece of techno music
(‘Manifest’ seems to me very suitable for a remix, although I am sure that would not be an option). This
is a really interesting album, foremost I guess because it is so different than what I normally hear. I
quite enjoyed it’s more minimal phrasing at times (sorry, Andrey, if that wasn’t your intention), and
had to get used to some of the more clichéd orchestral sounds; it’s all bigger than your usual Franov
or Durand music, and I can see Kiritchenko crossing over doing a proper film score one day very
soon. (FdW)
––– Address:


Swiss artist Wiget is classically trained on cello. Became interested in rock, jazz and improvised music,
and moved away from classical music. As a cellist he performs with jazz, rock and improvising
musicians. He worked with Iva Bittova, Hans Joachim Irmler and Margareth Kammerer to mention a
few. Most known he is for his long-time fruitful collaboration with guitarist Luigi Archetti: the ‘Low
Tide Digitalis’- series for Rune Grammofon. Over the years he developed himself into an autodidact
composer, and started to write audio plays, writing for theatre, etc. With ‘Bukolisk Mimikri’ he is ready
for his first solo album, which has fifteen songs for just cello and voice. This is a fine personal statement
with serious musical miniatures but full of weirdness and humour. Wiget sings in a non-verbal way
that is touching and eccentric at the same time. In some of the songs his singing is close to yodelling,
like in ‘Hemvag fran Hemberg‘. And makes me wonder what the state of this old art is nowadays. The
cello is not just underlining the vocals, or the other way around. Both cello and voice operate are equal
partners, creating to the point intimate songs. In the beautiful solo cello pieces ‘Durchs Wäldchen
kommt ein Wind’ and ‘Der Wind sprang rücksichloskt o’patzigskt’  Wiget creates inspired sounds and
poetic textures. In his vocal performance – like in ‘Vanta fort!’, Wiget reminded me a bit of Partch’s
dramatic vocal style.  The songs are excellently recorded and mixed in Berlin, on a windy day Wiget
adds. Great work! (DM)     
––– Address:


Natura Morta is a trio comprised of Frantz Loriot (violin), Sean Ali (contrabassist) and Carlo Costa
(percussion). Loriot works on both sides of the ocean in different projects. Recently I reviewed his
release by Der Verboten, a quartet of Swiss improvisers. With Natura Morta we are in the US. ‘Natura
Morta’ is the Italian expression for still life paintings, a way of painting that concentrates on composition
and colour. This trio debuted in 2012 with a release for Prom Night Records, followed by new releases
in 2014. This makes ‘Environ’ their fourth release. This time for Neither/Nor Records, the label Carlo
Costa launched that in 2014. The release contains three improvisations, all lasting between 13 and 14
minutes, titled respectively, ‘Pulvis’, ‘Ventus’ and ‘Mycelia’. It is incredible what a rich acoustical sound
world these musicians create with their instruments without using a battery of tools and gadgets to
expand their sounds. The trio surely concentrates on colouring by creating beautiful and sensitive
sounds. But of course it is not just a succession of sounds they produce. These sounds serve as
ingredients for very concentrated and communicative improvisations. What appears as a wilderness
of sounds becomes a structured and focused work when your eyes (= ears) get used to it. ‘Ventus’ is a
very dramatic and moving improvisation. ‘Mycelia’is a fantastic percussion dominated sound
improvisation inspired by the visualization of the fungal underground networks. From start to finish
a very fascinating and sublime work! (DM)
––– Address:


Here we have an absolutely beautiful work, with violin improvisations by Finnish improviser Meriheini
Luoto in the centre. In 2016 she graduated from the Sibelius academy. Violin, ‘nyckelharpa’, vocals and
electronics are her key-instruments. She participates in Hohka, a band that plays updated folk music.
Also she has a duo called Akkajee. I don’t know any of it, but this debut work makes me more than
curious to her other output and collaborations. Here on ‘Metsanpeitto’ Luoto as a player concentrates
on violin and voice and she is assisted by Minna Koskenlahti  (percussion, wooden whistles, voice) and
Mirva Soininen (voice) plus the  Pizzicato Drops Orchestra, a quartet of four string instruments. Luoto
is mentioned as the composer of this work in five parts, but improvisation is equally constitutive for
this music. It was recorded live at Högfors Iron Works Hall in Karkkila, March 2017, using the spatial
acoustics of this location. Very well done. The spacial aspects contribute much to the sound and soul of
this music. The title ‘Metsänpeitto’ is about an old Finnish folk belief “that one can become lost in the
forest and be transported into another reality; one where the forest is timeless, reversed and distorted.” 
In five different sections we are lead through the forest. The melodic elements that occur evoke
traditional folk music. Throughout the music is built most of all from repetitive elements of a trance-
inducing quality. We hear a technically very skilled musician with a heart. The music is very emotional
and dramatic, but not in a superficial romantic way as this music directs to avant garde territories and
springs from an intelligent and creative soul. It reminded me a bit of the string duo Vilde & Inga, who
released an equally impressive work of violin-dominated improvisations with influences of
Scandinavian folk music. Engaging powerful music; a very thoughtful and carefully made album. (DM)
––– Address:


Apneseth has studied traditional Norwegian folk music, but moved to improvised and contemporary
composed music later. Never neglecting however his roots in folk music. These roots are reflected
again on ‘Ara’. But the music echoes also many other musical influences from all over the world. We
are talking of the second release by this trio, that debuted in 2016 with ‘Det Andre Rommet’. The trio
has Stephan Meidell playing baritone acoustic guitar, live sampling and electronics, Øyvind Hegg-
Lunde on drums and percussion and Erlend Apneseth concentrates himself on the Hardanger fiddle,
the eight-snared Norvegian violin. The music is by all three members and came into being after many
rehearsals, members introducing material, etc. Finally they found themselves ready for recording the
stuff in the studio. Always a pleasure to hear the specific and deep sound of the Hardanger fiddle,
embedded here in a very layered and detailed sound spectrum. It is very accessible and pleasing
music. Melodic elements dominate in their compositions that are often close to ambient textures.
Music that impresses me by the richness of sounds and the many atmospheres that are evoked. The
performance and production are absolutely top, but I wished they raised more questions with their
music. No surprises or strange twists in the way they structure their compositions. (DM)
––– Address:

NARWAL – NIRVANA (LP by Ongehoord)

One of the things I wrote a lot about in the past ten years is all the fine re-issues that came about and
much to my amazement the most crazy and obscure things come back into the light. Things that I
would never hear again, beyond the 80s. Back then, talking mid 80s here, I was way deep into the
world of cassette only releases, and very little else existed for me. Except when one of those cassette
acts did a LP, then of course I followed. I was in much contact with De Fabriek and traded many
cassettes with them, mostly their own music, but I also received four volumes, all called ‘Nirvana’ by
an obscure group called Narwal. There was not much information to go by on the cover, but it
mentioned ‘Studio De Tempel’ in sunny Nijmegen, which, so I knew, was the home base of local ultra/
synth group Mekanik Kommando, who drifted out to the world of psychedelic soundscapes, later
evolving into The Use Of Ashes. Involvement of Mekanik’s Peter van Vliet on some of the De Fabriek
releases was clear (‘Made In Spain’ for instance) and it was not difficult to see Narwal as a super group
combining De Fabriek and Mekanik Kommando. The first ‘Nirvana’ cassette was rather poppy, with
rhythm machines, sequencers and female vocals, but on the subsequent volumes (I learned of the
existence of a fifth volume in blogosphere about a decade ago), the music was more ambient, moody
and atmosphere, taking the best of krautrock, industrial ambient and cosmic and the result was unlike
much I heard otherwise. I loved those cassettes, and thought they were wonderful. There was also a
LP release back then, a bit later than the cassettes, by Artware, for which I did some artwork (hardly
designing) and was thanked by seeing my label’s name on the cover, for reasons I am still not sure of.
It is one of those records that keeps being mentioned by people over the 25 years that have passed
since; ‘who are Narwal’?
    That is a question also asked by Jeroen Vermandere, but he knows the answer, as he compiled
‘Nirvana’, which is effectively a best of ‘Volumes 2, 3 & 4’, released on LP by his new label Ongehoord,
and which takes me right back to the old days. Vaguely mysterious samples of ethnic chanting,
spacious humming of synthesizers, or a bit of dream pop which opens the first side of the record.
This is something that is kept up for the entire record, which unlike their first record has individual
pieces. What can be noted is that the quality of the music is absolutely great. No muddy old sound,
but it all sounds rather fresh and bright. Whoever did the restoring of the tapes did a great job. This
is music that never dated and in today’s world of ambient/drones/atmospheres sounds like it was
made recently and adding something that one doesn’t hear a lot, voices (sung or sampled, I am not
sure), which adds quite an exotic flavour to the music. This is an absolute lovely record, easily ending
up in my top 10 of this year. Oh, and it comes in a black & white cover and a silkscreened plastic
 sleeve, in an edition of 300 copies only. (FdW)
––– Address:

DOC WÖR MIRRAN FEAT RE-DRUM & SASCHA STADLMEIER – 24/3/16 (LP by Attenuation Circuit)

This is the 148th release by Doc Wör Mirran, and for a moment or two I was thinking about that. I know
for a fact that I didn’t hear them all, but then, how many did I hear? I am not sure, but surely a lot. A
quick search in 1107 issues of Vital Weekly showed that the name Doc Wör Mirran popped up thirty
times, but also before that I heard many of the records and cassettes. There are a few things I like about
this band, and one is that membership is quite open, but always-involving Joseph B. Raimond and that
the music can be in many different styles. Punk, rock, experimental, noise, ambient. Or plain improvised
as on this record, which for whatever reason lists two guests separately, Re-Drum and Sascha
Stadlmeier, a.k.a. EMERGE, who headed out to Nurnberg where the Two Car Garage Studios are located,
on March 24, 2016, armed with electronics, guitar, bass, effects where Stefan Schweiger (theremin,
percussion), Michael Wurzer (synths) and Raimond (guitar and bass) were waiting to record a whole
bunch of improvised music out which Raimond mixed the forty minutes of music on this release. I was
thinking (some more) if this kind of group improvisation, that holds the middle ground between out
there (kraut-) rock, object abuse and sampling and drums is something I heard Doc Wör Mirran doing
before and I can’t say I have. On the first side this quite open, with everybody (so it seems) in a free
role, playing sounds sparking off into an infinity space, whereas on side B there everything stays
together and dense field are created in which individual sounds remain just that: individual sounds
jumping up and down. Somewhere half way through the second the bass sound becomes very heavy
and reminded me of early Throbbing Gristle, while the percussion now becomes something of it’s own,
kling-klanging about. Part industrial music for sure, but as said also inspired by the world of krautrock,
but in their very special way, I guess. That was a rather productive day at the Two Car Garage Studios
(I always wonder what that looks like, seeing it mentioned so often). This is a very fine Doc Wör Mirran
release, again one that is a bit different in the vast universe of this German band. (FdW)
––– Address:

SONMI451 – PANTA REI (CDR by Eilean Records)

Despite this being the tenth release by Bernard Zwijzen, also known as Sonmi451, this is my first
introduction. His previous albums were on U-Cover, Slaapwel and Time Released Sound. The title of
this album means ‘all flows’, as coined by Heraclitus, ‘no man ever steps in the same river twice’; I was
thinking about that and think it could reflect to the music. There is no list of instruments on the cover
or on the website, but judging by what I hear, I would think Zwijzen uses a variety of synthesizers,
effects, a laptop with (processed) field recordings, maybe a guitar but I am not sure, or small percussion
(glockenspiel perhaps); in the final piece, ‘Avisio’ there is suddenly a cello and violin (although maybe
sampled). The album is “is dedicated to the rivers and streams, crossing the exquisite mountain-
landscape of the Alps and Dolomites in the beautiful region of Southern Tirol”, so maybe this is where
some of the field recordings were taped. In the ten pieces Zwijzen recorded he does what is perhaps
expected textbook stuff for him and for this label. Open spaces, melancholic moods, intimate sounds
and partly something dark, but it’s not exclusively something like this throughout. Sonmi451 creates a
fine balance here, between various of these interests, something dark versus something lighter, either
closed or perhaps a bit opener, with more emphasis on the instruments or the field recordings, and,
finally between more abstract sound treatments and a touch of melody. Thus he creates something
that I think is quite clever, because within the limitation of ambient music, he creates an excellent
amount of various approaches to that. This makes these sixty-four minutes a most enjoyable trip. As
something new it surely is not, but it’s the variation of approaches that I find most appealing here,
along with the excellent execution of ideas and the production of the sounds. Sonmi451 has a rich
sonic palette and the perfect greyish afternoon soundtrack you could wish for. (FdW)
––– Address:

THE IMPOSSIBLE & DIVIDED SEA (CDR compilation by Bearsuit Records)

Most releases that we receive usually have a smaller or longer letter, and very often it says something
like, ‘we thought you might be interested in giving it a listen – possibly even reviewing it for Vital
Weekly’, which I think is the whole point of this exercise of sending something. Even for label that send
something on a regular basis, say Bearsuit Records, this is still common, and, I know polite talk. Very
rarely someone writes, “Judging by your reviews of compilations, I gather you don’t like reviewing
them, however I have just released one that [insert something like ‘different’, ‘thematic, ‘strange’,
‘conceptual’] you can’t miss to review. There is no such thing for ‘The Impossible & Divided Sea’, which
is just a collection of seventeen bands by almost as many bands, from the UK, Belgium, Germany,
France, Japan and USA. Pop music mostly, so hardly our league to review this in anyway that makes
sense, as pop music is foreign language to the world of Vital Weekly. My best judgement is that it is all
quite a varied bunch here, from heavy guitars (Bunny & The Invalid Singers), sampled French vocals
in an odd marriage with techno hybrid (Ypomeutaneko, who in the other piece sound like The
Legendary Pink Dots in a very laidback hippie mood), sampled Japanese folk music (Shinnosuke
Sugata), heavy rhythm and sampled choir (The Moth Poets), Vangelis lover Alexander Stordiau, to
straight forward mood pop of Manga Brothers and Martian Subculture. The weirdness is well under
control, and the pop is never to slick or commercial; in all a most enjoyable album indeed while you
read a book or doing the dishes. (FdW)
––– Address:

  by Eter Editions)

A few weeks ago I wasn’t blown away by the latest work by Rhizome.s label owner Pedro Chamble and
Bruno Duplant, thinking it was all a bit too much of random get together of field recordings. Here they
have a new work, in which Duplant plays ‘organ with electronics’ and Chambel ‘electronics’, and this
one piece lasts exactly forty-four minutes and forty-four seconds (which I privately thought was funny).
Now this is absolutely something I really like. It is one long mass of sound, very drone like with slowly
developing sounds. You can choose to play this at a moderate volume and enjoy it on a more ambient
level and let it work the room but I think you would miss out on some of the more subtle, somewhat
hidden layers in this music. Turn up the volume and play it loud, you will feel the bass shake and
rumble through your body (and objects in front of you), while occasional a very high pitched tone will
pipe up, which becomes a nagging, piercing presence in your space. For me this somewhat louder
approach worked better than the softer one; the sound becomes overwhelming and loud, like an all-
consuming immersive wall. This is, however, not some kind of noise thing, as it is also quite musical.
In the first half there is a focus on the mid-range spectrum and in the second half it is all toned down
and very bass. The high pitches are in both halves. This is an excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address:


In the ever-consistent package of Rhizome.s we find firstly a recording from August 2016 by
percussionists Sarah Hennies and Tim Feeney. The recording was made in a place called ’Silo City’,
in Buffalo, New York and I read in that we are dealing with a large space here, which is no doubt of
influence on what we are hearing. This hour long piece is divided in five parts separated by lengthy
spaces of blank sound (well, not so blank if you isolate and normalize those sections!). Not mentioned
is what kind of percussion is played; Feeney is known for his work on the snare drum and toms and
Hennies for marimba, but it seems that both here play wood blocks or something similar (that consists
of wood). I am not entirely sure, but a lot here might be about the position of the players in connection
to the microphone, somewhere in this space. Reverb, but of the natural variety, plays an all-important
role here. In the fourth part it is all very dense and loaded with reverb, and the Hennies and Feeney
respond by speeding up their playing. In all of these parts they play a consistent, somewhat slow to
slower tempo, allowing the space to do it’s own work. There is very little by way of variation of these
woodblocks (or whatever) are played here; it starts out with a few ticks and by the time we have
reached the fourth one it is pretty full and then slowly starts dying out, like disappearing in this big
empty space. I am not entirely convinced by the blank spaces in between (they didn’t seem to be
really necessary I thought), but throughout this was some very fine meditative piece of music.
    And Dante Boon performs more meditative music on the piano at Jazz-Schmiede in Düsseldorf,
so it’s called ‘Düsseldorf Recital’, with a nod to ‘Köln Concert’ by Keith Jarrett. Both cities are close by
each other. Boon plays pieces by Coleman Zurkowksi, Gil Sanson, Anastassis Philippakopoulos, Eva-
Marie Houben, Assaf Gidron and Jack Callahan; only the name Houben I heard before, but judging by
the music, the label and the presence of Houben, I would safely say that all of these composers are
from the Wandelweiser area. This means that the music is very quiet, both in volume but also the
way it is recorded and the amount of notes; very few of those, most of the time that is. The recording
is not pristine, as in totally quiet, but especially in the first two there is somebody coughing and
shuffling about. I was thinking if that is something I consider to be a nuisance. I don’t think it was
actually; it made up a difference in approach and thinking about the music; more along ‘all is music’,
rather than what is solely played on the 88 keys of the instrument. This is all very minimal, obviously
I should add, and not very much along the lines of say Erik Satie or Harold Budd; that whole melodic
edge is something that these composers have less interest in, so it seems. A fine recital it surely is, of
modern classical music played on an ancient symbol of that very same music. (FdW)
––– Address:

  Resource Manipulation)

Following ‘Quiet Buildings’ (see Vital Weekly 1052) ‘Still Films’ is the second collaboration between
Matthew Atkins and Harvey Sharman-Dunn. Atkins is someone who is quite active, under his own
name as well as the rhythm based project Platform and playing drums in various bands, and Sharman-
Dunn, who is a composer, filmmaker, producer and lecturer in visual media, and who is a member of
Echolocation; he was a member of Chomsky, Bocca and half of Swiss Guards. The title here comes from
Geoff Dyer’s book on photography; if films are moving photographs than photographs can be seen as
still films. Unlike before, when they worked on each other’s sound material, they now play together,
but still use a variety of techniques; small sounds, amplified objects, field recordings (although I must
admit I am not entirely sure about that, but there is mention of that on the press text) and computer
manipulation of all of these sounds. There is no voice material (unlike before) and they like to keep
their sound small and together. In the fifth piece, ‘An Excuse For Seeing’, a synth pops up, along with
a strong delay on a single sound, which makes this release suddenly going from a microsound and
electro-acoustic terrain into something more straight forward ambient, which came as a bit of
surprise; not if one compared it to the previous release, which also some interest in that area. This
puts some variety into this otherwise short album (thirty-two minutes), which as far as I am
concerned could have been a bit longer than this; you know, a few more pieces, some more
configurations of acoustic treatments versus synthetic sounds, keep the somewhat dark mood for a
bit longer. I could have used some more but was happy to put it on repeat. (FdW)
––– Address:


The first track of this CDR played without problems, but then the CDR went spinning out of control;
glue residue on the playable side made it impossible to go on. I could ask for a new copy or a download,
but that maybe raise some expectations, so I went to the band’s website and played a bunch more
songs, but I quickly gave up on this bunch. Good or bad, I have no idea, as this is not the kind of music
that this publication is for. It’s a bit of dark wave synth pop; heavy rhythms and sequences, deep voice,
think Depeche Mode (maybe), but the songs are quite conventional in structure and approach. This is
music with balls, man, macho synth pop and surely they would make a popular bunch at dark wave
parties but it fails to impress me one bit. I don’t see myself dancing to this, nor raising fists sky high,
stomping the air above. What did they read in these pages thinking ‘oh they like this, they might like
us as well?’ (FdW)
––– Address:

JASON E. ANDERSON – TRUTH (cassette by Draft Records)

If I am not mistaken it has been quite some time since there was a new release on Seattle’s Draft label,
and Jason E. Anderson’s ‘Truth’ is the first release in three years. I am not entirely sure, but I may not
have heard of Anderson before, or his releases for Make Jet Silent, Börft and Discriminate Music.
Anderson works under his own name, but also “as Spare Death Icon, as LIMITS with Corrie Befort,
and is a member of network computer music collective Mesh Collaborative”. Anderson is being the
controls here, operating “supercollider, motu828, 5U/MU analogue modular synthesizer, cp-251”,
which, as far as I can judge means a combination of analogue and digital devices. Behind the
microphone is Ian Holloran who reads texts from “Metaphors We Live By” (Lakoff/Johnson, 1980),
which, and that should be no surprise, isn’t a book I read. This is very much one piece of music, spread
out over the two sides of the cassette and the voice is fed through ring modulation and super collider,
and is a very random bleep electronic piece of music. The voice sounds robotic and alien, hardly like
something you could easily recognize, as along that transformed voice there are more oscillators, sine
waves and square notes that Anderson pushes in and out of the mix. Most certainly not some easy
listening music; think Hecker using a voice along with some of his more wacky computer doodling.
It sounds not bad at all, and seeing this was “initially conceived for Sonarchy Radio/KEXP”, explains
some of the anarchy of the music, but it makes it also clear that one doesn’t stick on very easily to play
while reading a book (and of course not every piece of music should have that function). (FdW)
––– Address:

DR:WR – SCI-FI MORALITY PLAY (cassette by The Slightly Off Kilter Label)

The acronym stands for Doctor War and it is the musical project of Karl M Waugh, who got his PhD and
then realized he could call himself a doctor. Other projects with his involvement were with “drone
band Zero Map, noise band Binnsclagg and as part of The A Band, besides his own name”. This cassette
was recorded during his first month being a parent, so that can mean lots of sleep or lots of no sleep. I
hope for the new-born’s sake Waugh used a pair of headphones when doing these recordings. What
daddy is up to in his room is fiddling with lots and lots of knobs on synthesizers, effects boxes, or midi
controllers. Dr:Wr produced four lengthy pieces that are somewhere between noise, which I must
admit he is not particularly good at (‘Disc Accretions’, even when starts nice), via fuzz, rhythm, mild
distortion of ‘Infrared Deathray House Party’ to more spacious synthesizer drones, almost cosmic in
appearance of ‘Interspace Recreation’, which I enjoyed very much. He may not be the most original
voices in this genre, Dr:Wr does a very fine job here. It is not easy if this is all the work of careful
planning or something that is generated along the lines of improvisation. For the more noisy side of
his work I think it’s all about improvisation, but with ambient stuff I would think some planning went
into this; or at least all the controls are set in the right way to make it all happen as more or less
planned. These four pieces are a highly varied bunch and I’m not sure if that is an entirely good thing.
It displays all of Dr:Wr’s interests surely, but also looks like he hasn’t made up his mind just yet. (FdW)
––– Address:

HEY EXIT! – INHALE EP (cassette by Of Plants)

Brandin Landis’ Hey Exit ploughs on with another cassette release (and cleverly inside there is a
download to another album of his; good thinking), his favourite medium it seems (check also Vital
Weekly 992 and 1068; lots more on his Bandcamp). Landis is a man with a guitar, sound effects and
a voice; the latter is something new in his music, so it seems. On the cover we find a political message
that he is not thanking ‘white power acts in noise and metal’, something that one can applaud, but I
fail to see the relevance, maybe there is a song about this in here that I missed out upon as such? The
guitar music of Landis is chameleon like; it can be noisy, it can very introspective or ambient and here
he goes into the territory of moody guitar songs; think shoegazing mostly, but without many heavy
rhythms thrown in. It remains Landis on guitar and effects and a bit of voice. Points of reference made
include Grouper, Sun 0))), Codeine and Slowdive, which I partly can see; not so much Sun 0))) I guess
but yeah Grouper, sure, whatever I heard from her (which I admit is not much). Reverb plays an
important role to suggest space and mood, and there is plenty of that in these minor chords and sad,
slow songs. The experiment is not forgotten, thankfully, with some odd songs and textures thrown in,
as in ‘Yes They Said So’ or the radio waves of ‘Bore Through’, which made it all the more interesting
for me, as I must also admit that some of this is perhaps not entirely something suitable for these
pages, owing more to the world of regular alternative music (should such a thing exist) (FdW)
––– Address: