Number 1115

  Cold Spring)
  Dead Records) *
CAMILLE ÉMAILLE – BEKKOS (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)
AKP (CD by Middle Eight Recordings) *
MARTYRIA (CD by Malignant Records) *
TELE:FUNKEN – ROCKER SUMMER (CD by Static Caravan) *
MASAYUKI IMANISHI – WORN TAPE (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – PARANON (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
TASOS STAMOU – CAVEMAN (LP by Moving Furniture Records) *
AKADAMA BROS – SUNSHINE (12” by Adaadat)
EILEAN 58 (CDR compilation by Eilean Records)

  Cold Spring)

This is what seems to be the ninth full length by west coast ritual collective Common Eider, King Eider.
Again on Cold Spring, the label that has also released some of their previous efforts, though this album
has also been released by Sentient Ruin Laboratories in the US apparently. The digipak features a
picture of bound twigs that, if you’re familiar with their liberal outlook on live, can’t be meant to carry
the historical symbolic meaning one may expect otherwise. If anything, it seems to refer to a bond that
is more personal, which the song titles also seem to suggest.
    The cover also features satiny sigils, that are only visible from a certain angle, which i thought gave
the whole thing just a bit more (which to me is absolutely essential to even consider purchasing hard
copy). So yeah, props for that.
    For those who have seen them live in the last year or so: this album tracks the atmosphere and
sound of their recent performances perfectly. Opener “Cast Out to the Wolves to be Devoured” sports
the signature reverb-laden drones that the Eiders are known for. It’s a piece that clocks in at nearly 10
minutes and speaks of deep desolate woodland isolation and its lingering convoluted spectres that nest
in the personal existential void. The second track, “The Dark Winter”, is an equally lengthy dirge that
has the melancholy of strings and the hollow echoes of howling voices haunting every corner of this
room. The climatic build up made me think of the early work of Canadian post rockers A Silver Mount
Zion, though Common Eider delivers a sonically denser and physically, a more engulfing experience.
    The relatively short third track “Elk Tongue” floats like a hushed whisper in the aftermath of the
previous bombast and mirrors the bleak solitude of the first song, albeit in a less overwhelming
manner. The fourth piece on the album is by far the longest and most dismal one and features
contributions by A.G. Way. Again a threnody of strings plays a heart-wrenching leitmotiv that is
accentuated by distant guttural vocals. About have way through the initial drone dies out, to be
replaced by distraught screams that saturate everything, in a cavernous vocal tour de force that is
reminiscent of prominent french ritualists Cober Ord. The mid-range-y tail end lingers on and finally
seeps away, back into the soil, roots and rocks where it came from. These guys definitely don’t
disappoint. (PJN)
––– Address:

  Dead Records)

Has the world gone mad, or is it I? I downloaded the book that last week everybody wanted to read (I
know, nobody will understand this line in years to come, but so be it) and play Queen’s ‘A Day At The
Races’, which I would be appropriate for the stable genii that rule the mad world, but instead I still
have work to do and so I ended up with playing ‘Sometimes Puns Are A Sign Of Damaged Brain’, which
is something to consider (or maybe appropriate) while reading that book everybody is reading. The
damaged brains could very well be that of Dom and Lu, behind which we believe to find Lukas Simonis,
best known in Vital world as one of the three Coolhaven harbour masters and Ergo Phizmiz, radio
collage Dadaist but also a musician with a keyboard, guitar, bass and voice, and mister Simonis on
guitar, bass, banjo, keyboards and voice. Cor Hoogerdijk provides drums, plus there is cello, trumpet,
tuba and querflöte (transverse flute) by a bunch of friends and relatives (nepotism here too, like the
real world). Just like the rap music reviewed below, this music is nothing at all for these pages. This is
rock music of a high weirdo order. Weird voices, solid musicianship (nothing for us), melodies (yuck),
verse-chorus-bridge (you don’t know the drill, I guess). I was in a car with the designer of the cover of
this, and he said, if I recall correctly, ‘well, maybe you like it, seeing you don’t mind me playing ELO
right now’, and boy, he was right. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fucking great record. It surely is
nothing for these pages, because this is pop music of the alternative variation, but it is something
great. There is a bit of slide guitar, wacky lyrics, (‘Imagine I’m Aging’), great duet singing, catchy tunes,
and a song like ‘Imagine Imogen’ should be on a 7” storming the charts, should 7”s still be storming
the charts and not be replaced by endless Ed shenanigans on a streamload of spotify to define what
is a hit. Think for that song The Beatles meeting The Dukes Of Stratosphere. If you have no idea what I
am talking you should probably listen more. Or ‘Brand’ with its Kinks sound. Great names from the
past, fifty years of pop music influences are all over this and yet IG Witzelsucht don’t sound like one of
them exactly, taking the best of all and cook up their own fresh pot of tea out of it. The world, this
world, is not a world of great justice. The talentless, selfie taking selfpromoters have taken over (‘I will
never be a brand, though I long to be a brand’), and we are no longer prepared to look a bit further
down the line, afraid we could find something of great quality; we rather hear more mediocre bullshit.
God, this music cheers me up and depresses me at the same time, knowing it will never reach the
audience it deserves. Argh. Mad world. (FdW)
––– Address:


A new sign from the Nakama collective. They started in 2015 arranging concerts, releasing albums by
the musicians from the collective. This is the fourth album in the short existence of this quartet of
Adrian Løseth Waade (violin), Ayumi Tanaka (piano), Andreas Wildhagen (drums) and Christian Meaas
Svendsen (bass).  And it is the first one that has Austrian vocalist Agnes Hvizdalek as a member. She
released a solo-album this year for Nakama Records, ‘Index’. It is also their first fully improvised album,
recorded live during their first European tour. The importance of being a collective is also audible in
their improvisations. This is ruly group improvisation. All participants take part in creating one massive
stream of improvised sound. There is not so much room for solos, read the individual. It is the collective
that counts here. The take their inspiration from the European Jazz and impro tradition, contemporary
American Music, traditional Romantic music and classical music from the Romantic. The titles refer to
the five generations of our times; The lucky Few, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Plurals. The
improvisations are gentle and subtle, developing within a range of dynamics that doesn’t change much.
The improvisations are built from little movements and gestures, resulting in detailed and intimate
textures. Fine work. (DM)
––– Address:

CAMILLE ÉMAILLE – BEKKOS (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

It is the Portuguese Creative Sources label that makes the first solo album by Camille Émaile possible.
An excellent label, dedicated to abstract and sound-dominated improvisation. ‘Bekkos’ fits perfectly in
their catalogue, so you know what to expect. Émaille is a French percussionist and improviser from
Nice. She studied contemporary music at the Musik-Akademie in Basel with Christian Dierstein and
Fred Frith. She built up varied experience playing with many musicians and artists in very different
fields (video, theatre, happenings, etc.). She also has a love for Persian music and music from the Middle
East in general, what made her study the tombak and table. No wonder we find her involved in projects
of improvised music, modern composed music as well as ‘world’ music. Concerning her debut album
‘Bekko’ we learn more about her as a solo improvising musician. In January 2017 she spent a week at
Studio Musikarma, in the forests of Bromont in Canada, for recording improvised sessions. From these
sessions she choose eight improvisations for her album. Émaille plays a wide range of percussion and
percussive objects, which guarantees a wide range of sounds, and diversity in timbre and dynamic. She
creates many different textures and patterns; in ‘Royal ou la résistance’ almost a melodic one. Also the
following piece ’Malédie’ sounds very structured, and almost narrative. ‘Neiglier’ is constructed from
repeated patterns, changing all the time. Other improvisations like ‘Frémamorte’ sound more abstract
and at the same time evocating a hypothetical kind of ethnic music, like in ‘Trecolpas’. A fascinating
debut. (DM)
––– Address:


Excessive Visage is a band from Dresden, Germany, started in 2010 by Torsten Lang with a few mates
he knew from earlier collaborations. Several releases followed, as well changes in line up. For this new
album ‘You are lost anyway’ we have following musicians on board: Larissa Blau (vocals, slide whistle),
Torsten Lang (guitar, bass, vocals, synthesizer, fender Rhodes, Theremin), Simon Preuß (bass) and
Christoph Dehne (drums). All songs are by the band, and result of a collective process. First drummer
Dehne improvised the drum patterns, that functioned as point of departure for guitar, bass and
keyboards. Finally the lyrics were written also as the result of a collective work. Production and mix
was in the hands of Torsten Lang. The music is first of all rock, staying close to the song-format, with
experimental and jazz influences. The opening track ‘Dragged In’ for example is in essence a ballad
embedded in a deranged and experimental frame. In fact all songs on this album can be characterized
this way; experimental openings and interludes. Unusual twists and turns, but in the end just songs,
with very nice vocals by Larissa Blau by the way. For some reason their blend wakes up memories of
experimental bands in the 80s, Pere Ubu, Hail with Susanne Lewis. Not earth shaking, but a convincing
and enjoyable record. (DM)
––– Address:

AKP (CD by Middle Eight Recordings)

The one question I asked myself when I was listening to this CD was this: why did it take so long before
this was released? After all, it turned out that the recordings that are at the basis of these pieces was
already recorded almost six years ago. This is what the website mentions: “Sound materials have been
played live and multi track recorded at emitter19 in Berlin on February 2012. The sessions presented
three parts that each musician took care and process/edit/mixed separately. Mastered by Kris Limbach
at e-19 studios in 2016. Anton Mobin: prepared chamber, tapes / Kris Limbach : drums, tapes, rotors /
Pierce Warnecke : electronics, microphones”. So whatever was the cause that we had to wait for such a
long time? Maybe schedules didn’t add up or in any other way there was a hiccup in producing the
music on this release? I understand the process as this: three people in a room, recording for an x-
amount of time and each taking the recordings home for a further treatment/recycling process, and
that sounds exactly like something I enjoy; both in terms of music as well as working method wise.
Kinda like the ‘Captured Music’ LP Selektion released twenty or more years ago, in which live recordings
from a festival on musique concrete became building blocks got new compositions themselves.
Something similar happens here and with the variety of sounds this trio has on offer there is a lot to
work with/choose from. We have here Mobin’s box of acoustic delights versus the wave like sound
generations of Warnecke and in the middle Limbach on percussion, but also adding tapes. While the
five pieces (Limbach did two mixes, as well as Mobin and Warnecke one long; each has about 13
minutes at their disposal) surely sound like improvised music, because it retains certain freedom in
the organisation, allowing a more natural flow in the music than when it would have been composed
along very rigid musique concrete methods. Each of the three composers emphasize what they feel is
important in the music; the more freeform improvised approach of Limbach, the surface explorations
of Mobin or the catch all noise collage (reminding me of Scissors for Cutting Up Merzbow) by Warnecke,
even with some quietness build in. His rapid montage is a totally opposite of Limbach and both are at
opposite ends on this release, with Mobin holding the middle ground, yet leaving out rapid montage
techniques. This is quite a nice document of what sounds like a very fruitful event in 2012. (FdW)
––– Address:

MARTYRIA (CD by Malignant Records)

Is it really coincidence that today, the day some people call Blue Monday, the most depressing day of
the entire year, I am listening to Martyria, a duo from Greece? Well, yeah it is, of course coincidence.
Fact is that today is a very grey day but that’s January in The Netherlands. I love January, mainly
because of the fresh start of the New Year and don’t find it very depressing; just lots of time to do some
serious work again. Okay, enough about that and let’s have a look at Martyria, the duo of George
Zafiriadis (vocals, didgeridoo, synths, ozark harp) and Lena Merkouri (vocals, percussion, wind
instruments). I had not heard of them before but seeing this is their debut album that may not really
be a surprise. For me it starts off wrong with some wordless Byzantine chant and slow rhythm. All the
boxes ticked; yes, gothic music, yes, ritualistik in full form but it turns out this is only part of the picture
and I am actually quite positive about this music. Obviously this is not a record of total joy, of positive
vibes and such but firmly locked in the world of extensive use of reverb to suggest dark atmosphere;
music for grey winter days indeed. There is more chanting, but also spooky, misty textures of what
could processed wind instruments or down stretched samples. The rhythm is that of a slow heartbeat,
beating the drum at a campfire in some mediaeval castle, such as in ‘Nekros’, which leans towards
some old fashioned ambient industrial soundtrack. Some refined drones are placed effectively in these
five pieces and despite all the modern day electronics used, it sounds quite ancient. Malignant says this
is for fans of Shibalba, Caul, Herbst9 and Funerary Call, all of whom I don’t know (I think, even when
Caul might be in these pages in ancient times) and Voice Of Eye, which I do know and I can indeed see
a point of reference there, with some highly atmospheric chant and spacious electronics, with the
difference that Martyria keeps their pieces within a relatively short time frame. Get the incense and
sit cross-legged next to your fireplace and let this music take you on a spiritual (?) journey. Or perhaps
just a journey, if that works better for you. (FdW)
––– Address:


When K. Leimer returned to the world of music with the album ‘The Listening Room’ in 2002, I missed
out on that, so for me it was the album after that, ’Statistical Truth’ (Vital Weekly 533) when I became
reacquainted with his music. The album before that was ‘Imposed order’, which he released in 1982
on his own Palace Of Lights label. I am not sure why between 1983 and the end of the century Leimer
released no music, but as it now turns out he wasn’t quiet and kept recording new pieces, some of
which he calls sketches that were abandoned or set aside. In addition to his set-up, which included
loops, Lexicon PCM 41, memorymoog, micromoog, minimoog, Oberheim DMX, pianet, piano, Prophet 5
he also worked with a Kurzweil digital synthesizer and mellotron on these new pieces. ‘Imposed Order’
was already released on CD in 2002, but is now remastered by Taylor Deupree and now with ‘lost’
pieces on a separate disc as ‘Imposed Absence’ available on CD (and LP). As with many of Leimer’s
earlier recordings the music deals with both ambient structures as well as rhythm. These are looped,
I would think, and don’t have that traditional rhythm machine sound but a richer percussive touch; a
touch that is sometimes called fourth world music I think. It’s interesting to hear ‘Imposed Order’ again,
which for me has been a while (he admitted with a bit shame), with it’s more finished approach in the
pieces than the indeed sketch like approaches some of the music has on ‘Imposed Absence’. Of course
the latter is perhaps more like a book of ideas, and maybe a ragged bunch of highly atmospheric pieces,
but a bit unbalanced. It’s however great to hear all of Leimer’s diverse interests in ambient music, with
a variety of approaches, which even includes solo piano music, and it’s like flipping through a photo
album with all sorts of excellent snapshots. On ‘Imposed Order’ there is quite a fine balance between
the various interests, and much care has been made into putting these pieces in the right order, creating
different approaches with rhythm pieces, exotic strings (in ‘Water Music’) and tabla-like sounds, along
with spacious synthesizer passages. In a way very much music of it’s time I’d say, with a strong Brian
Eno influence when it comes to ambient music, rich in sound, more or less traditional when it comes to
the use of synthesizers and other instruments, but it still sounds remarkable fresh today and the music
has not aged at all. A most welcome re-issue and a great bonus disc! (FdW)
––– Address:


The return of Tom Fenn’s musical project has been announced in Vital Weekly 1091, when, after a
seventeen year recording hiatus, there was a new 7” by Tele:funken, with some excellent spacious
electronic music. I now learn that the pieces on his comeback album ‘Rocket Summer’ have been
recorded over a five year period, using “an iPad, a copy of cult iOS software nanostudio, a Chickenbone
Cigarbox single string bass and a coffee machine, occasionally enlisting the help of his wife and kids”.
If that sounds very ‘hip’ or ‘modern’, the music was this morning greeted by fellow reviewer mister
Mulder with “are you spinning some prog rock?”, to which he added “of the electronic variety that is”,
which I admit wasn’t my first thought but unlike the 7” which for me was more 80s synth pop than 70s
cosmo tripping, I would think that this new one is rather more 70s. Lovely instrumental pieces,
inspired by the short stories collection ‘The Martian Chronicles’ by Ray Brudbury (one could consider
reading them while playing this, and I didn’t do that) of highly spacious tunes, but Tele:funken isn’t
doodling away and lulling the listener to sleep. Far from it. Each of the ten pieces has a fine bass sound,
 a sparkle of a melody, a happy-clappy rhythm machine (‘Going Home Now’) or an otherwise weirdo
element thrown in. Some of these pieces seem to be a bit long in duration (at least for my taste), which
one could account for the krauty aspect of the music, for instance in ‘A Giant Tree In A Wide Landscape’.
Sometimes everything gets a time warp to ‘now’, and makes ‘Farfisabahn’ suddenly sound like an
electronic ditty from Aphex Twin. All of this made me think of soundtrack to 60s documentaries of the
space race (did I ever see one? Maybe I just have a vague notion of what they probably look like);
music that is funny, serious, sharp and witty. An excellent return and let’s hope the next one is around
the corner and not light-years away. (FdW)
––– Address:

MASAYUKI IMANISHI – WORN TAPE (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – PARANON (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
TASOS STAMOU – CAVEMAN (LP by Moving Furniture Records)

The new year kicks off in a great way for one and only true purveyor of experimental music in The
Netherlands; at least when it comes to professionally releasing them and keep doing so, despite the
fact the everything else in the market place seems to slow down.
    I started off with the name that vaguely ran a bell and when I looked it up I thought ‘oh yes, of
course’. Masayuki Imanishi had a LP before on ini.itu (see Vital Weekly 1024) and a cassette on Soft
Error (Vital Weekly 1080), both which I thought sounded not bad at all but somehow seemed to lack
a very strong voice of the composer. Perhaps the somewhat unique selling point would be that Imanishi
loves ‘small sounds’, of paper, of objects, of radio and of field recordings, and in his music he works
around with these, but not always, and that’s good I guess, keeps his sounds to be very ’small’. I
wouldn’t say there is a lot of other people taking a similar approach to working with small sounds in
quite the similar fashion, but along the lines of people who were once working with microsound,
Imanishi is one that does a more than efficient job. It is not easy, even impossible, to tell what the
methods are along which he works. It seems to me, and I agree I might be wrong, that Imanishi works
with a bunch of sounds that he recorded on a multi-track recorder and then mixes these together.
Sometimes by seeking sounds that fit together very well, but it can also be sounds that are heavily in
contrast. So in each of the eleven pieces it is a delicate collage of sounds. Mostly scratching and peeping,
folding and crumbling together, or unfolded and spread out, of very loosely organised sounds versus
something longer, courtesy of water boiling in a cooker, central heating systems and radio waves. Most
of the times the music is rather intimate and sometimes quite obnoxious and loud, as to make a counter
point I guess. While still not the most original, I must admit his work is growing on me more and more,
because I am sucker for small sounds being played it in a careful yet imaginative way.
    Zeno van den Broek is a Dutch musician who lives in Copenhagen these days and ages and ages ago
was better known as Machinist but since a few works under his real name. His previous release for
Moving Furniture Records was ‘Divergence’ (Vital Weekly 990), in which he working with strong pieces
of steady waves, sometimes called drones, and shorter, pulse like titbits, which are referred as ‘rhythm’.
It was a sonically rich album. For his new album, ‘Paranon’, Van den Broek has two pieces of exactly the
same length “based on parameter canons of sine wave generators. The canon is a counterpoint-based
compositional technique that creates one or more imitations of a musical movement after a given
duration. These imitations replicate the initial movement with transformations of parameters.” The
sine wave generators were programmed by van den Broek and have different possibilities of phase
shifting and different frequencies. If this sounds like difficult techno babble to you, then so it is for me.
It is not something I could easily re-write in my own words, simply because I have no idea how it works
(well, how it works exactly). In these two pieces sounds are played out against each other of almost a
similar fashion, and then start to shift, giving you the impression of going faster or slower (but probably
don’t do that). This is most certainly not easy listening drone music. This is one of those releases that
made think whether I should play this really loud or on a more moderate volume, and after repeated
listening I have no idea. The first ‘Canon’ I think works better if play with some considerate more
volume, in order to bring out some fury and makes you want to sit and listen very closely. ‘Canon 2’
seems to be something that works best when it quietly fills your space and becomes an additional
atmosphere in your living room. A quiet but firmly presence but not in a way that is physical. Maybe
the second canon is the ambient version of the first one? Both of this pieces are very consistent, very
rich and while very conceptual also highly enjoyable. If music by Alvin Lucier is something you stick
on for a good night of entertainment, I would highly recommend this record as well. At any volume
you like really.
    Then on a LP sized piece of find the music of Tasos Stamou and if I’m not mistaken this is the
second time he has a solo record on Moving Furniture Records, following ‘Koura’, reviewed in Vital
Weekly 1050. Stamou is an active force when it comes to releasing his music and playing concerts.
The two pieces on this new slab of vinyl have been recorded live with Stamou’s ‘portable electroacoustic
music studio’, pictures of which can easily be found online (providing they are still actual) and which
includes various toys and instruments, the latter mostly dominantly a zither. These are played by hand,
or with objects such as electric brushes and by opening these toys and bent the inside circuits to do
something new and weird. Both these pieces are ‘complete extracts’ (which seem a bit of contradiction)
from solo performances and give a fine impression of the various possibilities his various tools have.
From scraping to bending to droning and then back to a more fragmented, improvised approach, he
let’s his pieces slowly develop, building towards a mighty crescendo in which noise is no stranger, and
then quickly taking everything  and start all over again, with just a few sounds here and there. Of the
two pieces on ‘Caveman’ I thought ‘Neanderthal’ was nice but a tad bit too chaotic for my taste, but
‘Homo Sapiens’ worked really well. The drones gradually grew and grew in intensity and had a
beautiful direct in your face quality and in the second half seem to have been replaced by the
shimmering soaring Theremin like quality of a broken doll and mechanical wind instruments and it
is an excellent piece of music. Excellent one! (FdW)
––– Address:


Twice before I have reviewed music by Robert Schwarz (Vital Weekly 982 and 1048) and twice I more
or less wondered what it is that he does. I am pretty sure that this, the third time, doesn’t make much
sense to me, or that I have some more knowledge, even when Gruenrekorder that “Field recordings
render the core and compositional starting points around which modular synthesizers are built to
complex structures that resemble nature’s contingency as their inner logic”, which is something that I
could probably also gather from listening to this record. The field recordings were taped in “Wonder
Valley, Yangshuo, Fiskars, Palawan, Sandouping and Overton”, which probably could lead to a fun hour
on Google maps to see where these are located. So there is a bunch of field recordings on one side and a
stack of modular electronics on the other side and then Schwarz sets himself to work with these. Seven
compositions are to be found on ‘Double Negative’ and like before he creates some fine music with
these elements. Sometimes it all blurs and one has no idea what is what here anymore. I guess one
could easily call this musique concrete, but Schwarz’ pieces are shorter and more based on the idea of
telling a short story within a limited time frame. These stories aren’t necessarily very positive ones,
as somehow the record sounds all a bit spooky and dark, despite some chirping bird here and there.
Sometimes one has no idea what is going on, sound wise, and it seems that field recordings are pretty
much obscured. It sounded like the window scraper at times, or animals and I was reminded of the
music of G*Park even when Schwarz uses more electronics in his work (at least that’s what I think).
Through this is a very refined album, not necessarily ambient or noisy, but never too quiet, never too
loud or alien. Spooky, sure it is that very much, but there is quite some beauty in these haunting
pieces.  (FdW)
––– Address:

AKADAMA BROS – SUNSHINE (12” by Adaadat)

A while ago I wrote about rap music. Maybe something that Adaadat didn’t pick up, but it was a short
statement: “Now, I don’t like rap. At all. Never did, never will”. Akadama Bros is a J-rap crew from
London, fronted by Taigen Kawabe, singer and bass player of Bo Ningen (of whom I actually heard,
through their collaborative with modern post punksters Savages), and the music part is by Teppie
Ozawa from Fuffie Daddy from comedy hip hop group Hallo Werner Clan, from Hamburg. Rappers
are MC Chinza Dopenss and there are two remixes, from Technoman and Patric Catani, also known as
Candie Hank (now there’s a name I hadn’t heard in a while). It sounds like rap music and the lyrics
are all in Japanese. I know all of this doesn’t constitute what a review should be, and I didn’t earn the
title reviewer with this, but I have nothing to say about this.
    The other new release by Adaadat is ’skweee inspired experimental geeksta rap’ from Joe Germlin,
also known as Joe Howe. His first release, as Grenlin, was also on Adaadat, in 2006, and since then he
released on a whole bunch of labels and he has been working with lots of people, including his duo Gay
Against You. Surely this is rap and yes, surely there is an experimental edge to it. Obviously when there
was no rap going, and that sometimes happen here, I quite enjoyed the music. Quite electronic at that,
wacky synth pop music, which, as far as this non hip-hopper can judge, doesn’t seem to me very ‘rap
like’, if of course there is such a thing. Throughout I liked this record a bit better than the other one,
even when at the same time I doubt I will easily play this more often than the other. Is this then a
review? No, sorry, it isn’t. Should you have more interest in rap music than the current board of
reviewers, then check these out; and enlist yourself to be a reviewer for this kind of music, I have
some freebies. (FdW)
––– Address:

EILEAN 58 (CDR compilation by Eilean Records)

So far the releases by Eilean had lovely handmade card stock covers with stickers attached to them
but this new one is a metal box case, which is something that I am not particular fond of. I thought this
might be the new line for 2018, but perhaps it is a one-off, seeing it’s a compilation. While looking up
what the exact title is of this on the label’s website, I noticed that it’s ‘the final release of 2017’ with ‘all
the music artists involved this year’, so maybe the metal box is just a thing for this compilation. Of
course it is very well possible that Eilean never read a review in Vital Weekly about how I feel about
reviewing compilations (small hint: not my favourite pastime) or perhaps they think theirs a stand
out (quite rightly a label should always think that way!) among label compilations. At least, packing it
in a metal box means it’s not a throw away product for them; not your cheap carton sleeved label
sampler. I am not sure, basically too lazy to check this, if all of the sixteen artists have been reviewed
in these pages last year, but a quick glance along the track list (9t Antiope / Ben Rath / Bill Seaman /
Cicely Irvine / Daniel WJ Mackenzie / Danny Clay / Francesco Giannico / Giulio Aldinucci / Jacek
Doroszenko / Josco / Josh Mason / Jura Laiva / Monolyth & Cobalt / Monty Adkins / Nathan Mc
Laughlin / Sonmi451 / Sound Meccano / Spheruleus / Stijn Hüwels / Tatsuro Kojima / Toàn – yes,
copied from the website) would indeed confirm that all of these have had their released reviewed.
Eilean Records is a label that deals mostly with atmospheric music, drones, ambient or whatever is
your current favourite phrase and their artists use acoustic instruments, synthesizers and field
recordings, all of which at one point or another gets a firm make-over which is called ‘processing’.
Sometimes it works out in a more abstract sense, the world of drones, but it can also be more music
like, a miniature sound composition with a mildly processed piano chord or two and some sailboat
rumbling field recording in the background. There is, perhaps sadly, not a great deal of variation (save
perhaps for the fast arpeggio guitars of Jacek Doroszenko, a case of Frippertronics) among these sixteen
pieces, and just as well could have been a long album by one composer, but it is a fine show case of all
that Eilean does and should the more melodic ambient, the chamber orchestra instrumentation and
carefully styled field recordings tickle your fancy and you want a new place to start, then this is your
place. (FdW)
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GHOST FLUTE & DICE – KROPSBYGNING (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

The first release by Mikkel Almholt’s curiously named project Ghost Flute & Dice was called ‘Melody Is
God’ and reviewed in Vital Weekly 977. But not by me, but I heard his second release ‘Live At
Echokammer’ (Vital Weekly 1058) so before deciding who to give it to for a review I checked it out and
I kept listening to ‘Kropsbygning’ (meaning ‘body type’, says Google translate). Almholt on his first
release worked with some other people, but the second and now this new one all seem to have been
made by him and he uses the piano as his primary instrument and adds to that real time computer
processing or some kind of electronic set-up. Again this is an interesting mixture various musical
interests that not always mix properly on paper one would think. There is surely a vast interest in
modern classical music I would think, even when Almholt keeps his material with a time frame of
three to seven minutes, which one could as easily label as ‘pop length’. Sometimes leaning towards the
work of Erik Satie, spacious and introvert, but also towards the classical minimalism of say Reich and
Glass, taking a left turn to the world of musique concrete and very occasionally a bit of noise or drone
and in each of his pieces he delivers a sound world of its own. There is quite some variation in these
eight pieces, but that works very much in favour of the release. The diverse approaches is not a show
off of what Almholt can do, but it is to present a most interesting musical release. Great cover too! (FdW)
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There is a long description on the information about the project of which ‘Ontdekkingen’ (discoveries)
is part, but it comes down to the royal harmony (is that a word) Sint Philomena Chevremont handing
out commissions, and one was to poet Ricardo Frederiks, who speaks five parts of a poem, guided by
music of Core Shift, also known as Mike Kramer (who before was Evolution Garden, but then we’re
speaking of a very long time ago), who after a short flurry of releases (Vital Weekly 988, 940 and 931)
became silent again. Or perhaps less interested in releasing music and more into playing live? Here
Kramer lays down his field recordings and processed ambient sounds down as a fine woven tapestry.
Like before his inspiration comes from the world of ambient dance music, so besides some vast
sustaining soundscapes there is also the thumping of a beat. Not loud, not massive but presence. It isn’t
as thick and long in duration as Gas does it on ‘Narkopop’ (one of the more disappointing records of last
year, but I guess I will be burned at the stake for this heresy), but with a keen ear for delicate details,
and not just a long smear of reverb. There are two pieces on this release. One has Frederiks reciting his
poetry in Dutch, with that dialect of the area, which, and more burning ahead, reminds me of the one
politician from that area everybody hates, but Frederiks poetry is about the very opposite of what that
politician wants. Discover something! The music is somewhat pushed to the background, giving room
to the voice, which is a good thing, but not something I for one would play a lot, unlike the instrumental
version of the same piece, allowing us to discover the finer details of the music. A fine built up of synth
washes, dripping sounds and the momentary presence of a beat. This is mostly minimal music but has
quite a sonic richness and it made me think: why doesn’t mister Kramer release a bit more music?
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