Number 1117

MAZUT – ATLAS (CD by Bdta) *
PALCOLOR – WROG (CD by Kosmodrone) *
  7272 Music)
ODD NARRATIVE – A1 (CDR by Vatican Analog) *
AUTOMATING – EINSTELLUNG ZWEI (CDR by Second Language Records) *
  Recordings) *
DREAM MACHINE – STAR SERVANTS (cassette by Econore)
FS MASSAKER – SAME (cassette by Interstellar Records)
KASSEL JAEGER – RETROACTIONS (cassette by Eliane Tapes) *
ILIA BELORUKOV/JELENA GLAZOVA (split cassette by Hyster Tapes)
CLAUS POULSEN – STARRY WOMB (cassette by Dokuro)
GERT-JAN PRINS – DRUMS & ELECTRONICS #17 (cassette by Dokuro)
FILTRO – MATERIA (cassette by Dokuro)
TYSON SWINDELL – PALINDROMES (cassette, private)


It has been close to two years before Chris Gowers, also known as Lowered, came with the second in a
series of compositions dealing with drones under the banner of ‘Arche’. In the first one (see Vital
Weekly 1027) he used tam-tam and field recordings and ended with the sound of singing bowls, so we
knew what was coming next and now there ‘Arche (for singing bowls)’, ending with, spoiler alert, cello
and violin. It is again released by The Remains Of My Estate, also known as Trome Records, which is
Gowers own enterprise. Before he was active as Karina ESP and Evelyn Records. I assume that like
before this was recorded in real-time, without the use of overdubs and such, but it very much deals
with the way it was recorded; i.e. where do you place microphones and in what kind of space. It is all
about the pure quality of the instrument(s) and quite obviously this is all in a very minimal way. It is a
very vibrant, almost singing release and it sounds like a very meditative piece of music. In the opening
the bowls are hit and in the longer second half of the piece other techniques are applied to keep them
singing. It fits the preceding one very well, and looking at the last bit with the violin and cello, which
still lasts about seven minutes (and I have to work out how that is done with playing ‘live’, moving from
singing bowls and then picking up a cello and violin), I think I get the overall idea of what Lowered
wants in the end, which is one long piece, very drone like, moving over the course of this long time
frame from instrument to instrument. At this point it is not yet clear how many instruments Lowered
will play before this piece is completed, and how much time it will take to complete all of these parts,
but we surely get some more beauty in the future from Lowered. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far I had not heard of the Ants Records (in which the acronym ANTS stands for ‘a new timeless
sound’) label from Rome, Italy, but in their catalogue we find classics as John Cage and Erik Satie,
contemporaries as Tom Johnson and Hugh Davies and future (?) classics as If Bwana and Luca Miti.
Somehow, so it seems to me, variations in the world of modern classical music, perhaps laced with
some improvised feel to it. That’s where I would say the music of Werner Durand is. I haven’t heard
his music in quite some time; maybe the last time was his LP together with Amelia Cuni for ini.itu
(see Vital Weekly 774). Ages before that I heard solo music from him as well as his stint in a rare
Muslimgauze recording. Since many years Durand builds his own flutes, out of plastic, or rather
‘acrylic-glass’ of various diameters and lengths (I think) and the tuning is all different. There are no
finger holes and ‘the pipes are blown in the oblique way, like Arabic or Turkish neys’. Durand’s music
is very minimal and as such it is no surprise that the pieces on ’Swingende Luftsäulen’ is dedicated
to Tony Conrad, whom Durand met in Berlin in 1990. The last time before that Conrad was in Berlin
when there was no wall, so the liner notes tell us. Durand has nine piece here of some very slow
unfolding music. His approach to flute sounds is curious. It is, for instance, not easy to say if it is
something that is played ‘live’ or if it is perhaps the result of multi-tracking various flute recordings.
The cover lists ‘digital delays’ so I assume there is some kind of looping device in play here. It is music
on a very long and very slow drift. It changes only very minimally and has a meandering feeling to
it. I thought of the music that it is like driftwood, washing ashore and going away again.
    Music by Philip Corner very rarely make it to these pages; I am not sure why that is, but maybe
his releases are more about the world of art and less about the sort of underground we’re serving. It
seems the only previous time I reviewed something from him was in Vital Weekly 899, with a piano
piece and some environmental sounds. It was more an improvised piece. Corner was one of the
founding members of Fluxus, but also involved with various new music ensembles. Here is a
composition of his, which he and Evan Schwartzman play on two pianos and both of them count out
loud. “The increment-link, high-to-low, is maintained on the chromatic scale of the piano-keyboard,
giving durations from 1 to 88. However they are realized in both directions at the same time”. This
thirty-five minute piece (recorded in 1985) is surely a strange piece. The counting up and down
sound very rigid and over the course of this piece gets something hypnotic, even when it makes no
sense or perhaps even when they might miscount (I am not sure if that happened. All along there
is the occasional bang on the key (or two) of the piano. On the diagram on the cover one can see
which key correspond with the number. The first two times I started playing this piece I was
quickly annoyed by this and dismissed it as arty-farty nonsense, but when I finally decided to sit
down and listen properly I thought this was most captivating piece of music, especially the way
they keep counting quickly those numbers up and down, giving the piece a most curious groove.
This is an excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address:


Greg Sinibaldi is a saxophonist and composer from Seattle. For his release ‘Ariel’ guitarist Ryan
Ferreira and drummer Ted Poor assist him. Ferreira and Poor both made their mark. Ferreira played
with Tim Berne, Colin Stetson, a.o. Whereas Poor worked with Path Metheny, Bill Frisell, a.o. Also
Sinibaldi played with Frisell, as well as Gunther Schuller (!), Dave Douglas, Wayne Horvitz, etc. His
activities concentrate in Seatlle where he runs his own groups Goat and Burn List, plus membership
of metal band Uncle Pooch. All three of them were artist in residence at the University of Washington
at a given moment and so they met I suppose. Listening to this album, they prove to be a strong a
tight unit. The music for this album is inspired on a book by the same title, by poet Sylvia Plath.
Reading about this inspiration, I expected totally different music. The music is very solid, heavy,
thick and loud. Not ‘poetic’, whatever that would imply in musical terms. As I don’t know the work
of Plath, I can’t say anything meaningful about Sinibaldi’s play with her poetry. Sinibaldi’s music
surely is his response to his readings of Plath’s poetry. Of course there are not one to one ‘translations’
or ‘adaptions’ of the poems, again whatever that would imply. Not only the album title, also the track
titles refer to lines from the poems by Plath. For this job Sinibaldi plays an unusual instrument, the
EWI, an electronic wind instrument from the 70s, developed by Nyle Steiner. This non-keyboard
synthesizer is not often heard. I only know of Marshall Allen (Sun Ra). Sinibaldi makes full use of it
for its harmonic qualities. The cd opens with ‘Arrival of the Bee Box’, an electric wall of (symphonic)
rock-dominated sound full of pathos, of King Crimson-like proportions. The very solid drumming by
Poor is a pleasure.  Like for instance in ‘Black Sweet Blood mouthfuls’. Sinibaldi extracts very specific
sounds from his EWI. Very spread out, filling all the gaps. Also he is responsible for the engaging
compositions, which are accessible and complex at the same time. Ferreira delivers fine
contributions with his mean rock playing that comes close to metal. A convincing statement. (DM)
––– Address:


Over the years Emil Matko, also known as Strom Noir, built an interesting catalogue of atmospheric
music with releases on Zoharum (who seem his most steady supporters), Hibernate, Cosmic
Winnetou, Dronarivm and Taalem, and now found a home on Dutch ambient purveyors Winter-light.
I always assumed Strom Noir used many synthesizers, along with guitars and effects but Winter-light
informs me that “mostly only” electric and acoustic guitars and loop devices. This time, but perhaps
always, there are no field recordings, but when recording with a microphone his acoustic guitar we
also hear the room in which he sits down, so there is always some kind of additional sound to be
heard. Listening to the eight pieces here I could not say I was listening to guitars, whether or not
taped in room, let alone acoustic. In each of these pieces there is a long sustaining, organ like sound,
that, for all I know, could be some keys pressed down on an organ and coloured by some sound effects.
But no, that is not the case, so here we have the massively layered sound of guitars that play these
glacial like drones. Slightly eerie drone music, with the frequencies quite a bit in the mid-high, and
not much in the bottom end. It is music that Strom Noir can do very well and here too he doesn’t let
us down in anyway. One could say that he’s on a repeat mission and perhaps he indeed is, seeing his
sound doesn’t develop in a very rapid way, but there is surely no need for rapid changes. Like his
music is slowly paced, so is his development; nothing wrong with either I would think. (FdW)
––– Address:

MAZUT – ATLAS (CD by Bdta)

The two band members of Mazut are depicted on the inner sleeve of their CD, which is something
of a rare thing in this dark alley of the music world. According to the info Pawel Starzec and Michal
Turowski use “colourful pedals, a toy keyboard, vintage radio receivers, Dictaphones, cassette tapes
found among trash or bought at flea markets, samplers, synthesizers, drum machines, a four track
cassette record, and a truckload of other gear” and they work along means of improvisation. And I
guess if you read this list of instruments and see the word improvisation you might have an idea of
how it sounds, but it’s probably wrong. The music is mostly rhythm based and comes from the world
of acid-techno, but with all these additions it sounds pretty rough and it is something that I found
very enjoyable. I was cooking in the meantime, well, not for the entire 62 minutes this lasts, but
there is something very energetic about this music. It is dark, surely, it is at times pretty noisy, such
as in the title track, and the synth are played with minor chords, but the rhythm is a hell of drive,
pounding brutally away and in ‘Treatment Resistance’ the synths blear unrelentless away. It sounds
to me like those early records by Unit Moebius, so long ago. Dark, claustrophobic and yet very uplifting
at the same time. It made me want to drop everything, go out, drink beer and allow myself a dance
move or two. Sadly its two o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, everybody is at work and it’s not yet
party time. The dish tonight will be a spicy as this music. The only downside was that long pause
in the final track. Why are people still doing that? (FdW)
––– Address:

PALCOLOR – WROG (CD by Kosmodrone)

Emil Macherzynski is the man behind Palcolor, and ‘Wrog’ is his second full-length album. The title
means ‘the enemy’ and is “inspired by the Polish brand of McCarthyism that has set in since 2015.
The feeling of being an enemy (or the enemy) in the country where you are to live and being harassed
by the lack of prejudice”, which I thought was a bit curious. Lack of prejudice or abundance of it?
Unfortunately the call for a ‘strong leader’ is a force to reckon’ with, in middle Europe, but also in
many other countries.  The music is all electronic, using a MS20, Juno 6 and TR 606 (and if you are
a gear freak you know what that means), and the inspiration goes from Cluster and Neu, via The Orb
and early Autechre to the ‘contemporary retroscene’ (an expression that is new to me) of Belbury
Poly, Pye Corner Audio, 1991, Ketev, Demdike Stare, none of which are names that I know (the
current ones, the old ones of course I do). As regards to the older references I can easily see all of
that. Palcolor isn’t shy of a fine, somewhat more complex rhythm pattern but is also strong on the
use of synthesizer melodies. This is an album of, dare we use the term in 2018, intelligent dance
music. There is a fine sense of experimentalism in this music, as well as some fine stomping of beat
patterns that would do well on a good alternative dance floor; one where it’s not all about just
rhythm and groove but also about a fine melodic touch when necessary. Sometimes as rough as
sandpaper, but then also as smooth as silk, although the first more than the latter. The only thing
that was a bit of a downer was that the album was at thirty-four minutes quite short and I think
with some additional mastering it would have made an even better sound quality. (FdW)
––– Address:


From the home of one of my favourite labels when it comes to modern classical music we have here
two new releases. I started with Peter Garland’s ‘Moon Viewing Music’, which is sub-titled ‘Inscrutable
Stillness Studies #1’ and which is performed by a single player, William Winant in this case, on three
large gongs and a large tam-tam. Each of the six pieces is inspired by a short Japanese poem (by Buson,
Renseki, Ryokan, Hyakuri and Saigyo). Unlike the previous works by Garland that I heard this is quite
experimental and could as easily be seen as an unreleased early work by Thomas Köner, when he used
gongs as sound sources. The music here is very slow and very meditative, with slow melodies being
played on these instruments. The sound is very low in terms of frequencies, and if you play this
somewhat louder you feel the waves resonate through your body. Twenty or so years ago this would
have been easily called ‘isolationist’ music; music that is very atmospheric and has it’s origins in the
world of ambient music, but it is very dark and fills your entire space, music that is all immersive.
And here’s an example of how it could also sound, without any electronic processes and as purely
instrumental music. This is a more than excellent release; very contemplative, very Zen, perhaps,
even if you are not in that at all.
    It is perhaps, no doubt, sheer coincidence that the first time I heard music by Garland, back in
Vital Weekly 675, it was reviewed in combination with a new release by John Luther Adams, just
like it is today. Back then his music was the oddball release, a bit like today it is Garland. Adams
here has a string quartet, his fourth one, which grew out of an earlier work, which was a “rising
series of 16 harmonic clouds”. This new work works in the same way but is more melodic, sayeth
Adams, and each musician of the Jack quartet is a soloist, playing all the time, raising and raising
until the sound is entirely dissolved. So over the course of fifty-five minutes the music becomes
higher but also softer in volume. The harmony is slightly dissonant at times, so I think, and
sometimes the viola and cello are playing a low, sustaining tone, that holds somewhere between
a string instrument and brass band. There is something orchestral about this music. Orchestral,
yet also minimal, I think as this piece moves slowly, and eerily, to its vanishing point. It’s like a
whirlpool, but then in slow motion. It is a majestic piece, not in any way heavy but gentle and
peaceful, yet moving with a slow, majestic pace. Lovely stuff! (FdW)
––– Address:


The sort of question you get asked in promotional adverts would be of the sort ‘With what electronic
device would you associate the noise artist Blackphone666?’ And yes he has been doing so since 2001.
Whilst this performer has toured Japan and Europe and elsewhere, Korea, one assumes the south!
And played at a very wide range of venues from bars to art galleries and add to that a litany of
recommendations from noise Illuminati, see here
releases40-31.html#ooo31, this is either his first or one of his first actual releases. “long-awaited
1st official release” … Prior to listening I was wary of some of the quotes in which Blackphone666 is
said to have “affinity for dub….” and “He is like a cross-over bridge between noise music and various
genre of music.”?! And yet “His tough, strong and furious sound …his sound is noisy and fierce…. His
intense scream through a receiver is very spontaneous…” The CD opens with gentle micro electronics
pitched high against a one second deep bass sound, this stops at about 5 minutes with a silence of
nearly a minute which gives way to a slow fade of again gently groaning electronics sans bass. The
pitch lowers as the volume rises, spurts of white noise cross the left and right, the electronics is now
a deep reverb swathed drone. Someone else said in the blurb his music wasn’t psychedelic but this is
very “spacey”. We are still in track 1 at ten minute the drone speeds up and we do hear distant
screams layered in industrial reverb noises. Track two begins with a bass beat and a slowed voice,
then looped voices and processed? … I want to say noise, but it lacks the violence in its care and use
as a background for the looped voices. Sure its ‘noisy’ but lacks the intensity of HN, perhaps in part
due the effect of looping and reverb. Also the voice is centre whist left and right channels have
completely different electronics, so nothing like a wall of noise with such depth. (I can see how this
might go down well in an art gallery… avant garde lite) At 8 minutes a deep melodious drone, rising
sound and the repeated chant of the slowed voice. Then the sci fi wooo woo sounds and falling reverb
chords… and synth bass (please….!) of some 60s film. And now punctuated by a very short burst of
noise, the drone deepens and one expects the mighty mekon to appear. More wooo woo sounds…. I
think we are looking at a climax… the pitches rise… It could almost be the opening of an ELO set…
unfortunately it’s not. The third track, again very spooky (not) sounds and a heart beating or yeti
footsteps, no definitely a heart… (I kid you not). This ‘music’ is like the poetry of the azgoths of kri …
 not the worst. But given we are only now on track 4 which might well be going into dub! It’s certainly
trying… There is definitely a danceable beat going down… yes 4 is a dance track. And the last track-
praise the Lord! (jliat)
––– Address:


After a quick look at these three new releases from the house of Zoharum I decided to start with 23
Threads, mainly because I reminded not particularly being blown away by the previous release
‘Conspicuous Unobstructed Path’ (see Vital Weekly 982). 23 Threads is a four-piece band in which
we recognize the name of Marek Marchoff and the instruments used as “vocal essentials, spazmatic
audio, bass insertions, string glitch”, which is perhaps the only thing on this release that could l
abelled as ‘funny’. Like that other band with a number, not U2 but Current 93, 23 Threads is a folk
noir band where guitars are strummed freely, and the vocals song from below the grave (the same
graveyard where the band photos were made) and it’s all about the lyrics, I should hope, and the
music is more or less freely improvised. It is too noir, too neo-folky for my taste, even with that
touch of experimentalism that is also part of their sound. I am sure I am all-wrong, but I doubt if
Vital Weekly is really the place to be for music like this.
    I then went onto the music of Italians Francesco Todescato and Jacopo Pagin, renamed Raskol’nikov
and here the work with Hjalmar, whose last name is Hach. The duo has been working since 2010,
playing live quite a bit and releasing a bunch of limited releases. About Hjalmar nothing else is
revealed. The three of them recorded this album between 2011 and 2013, and the music is about a
mountain trip. There is no list of instruments used on the cover, but it’s not rocket science to assume
there is an array of electronic devices in play here, analogue and digital ones, I should think and the
music is right up our alley. It is a bit experimental, a bit improvised, and nothing very extreme or
noise based but atmospheric and dark, without going down the well-walked paths of ambient and
drone music; occasionally there is a dash of rhythm in here, but nothing techno or dance like. Maybe
there is at times an instrument, such as flute or guitar. I am not sure if it tells me a tale about a
mountain trip, not really I think, but it surely is music that has a narrative character I think. It has a
vaguely exotic feel, all of this, but I am not sure why that thought just crossed my mind. Maybe it was
because the opening sounds of the title piece sounded like a processed kalimba? The mild experimental
music worked very well, and the forty-seven minutes this album is a true delight for the ears.
    HATI member Rafal Kolacki has already made a previous album with field recordings, made in
‘The Jungle’, the refugee camp in Calais, France (see Vital Weekly 1029). Here he has an album of field
recordings made in Ethopia, not a place I visited and when one realizes such a thing the review will
be a bit problematic. Especially when such as in this case the recordings are pure and untreated.
These were made in Addis Abeba, which according the cover text is “a multicultural city, both
ethnically and religiously, where there are many different languages and different forms of religious
activity”. We have to take his word for it. This is sixty-four minute trip into a country where there is
always sound and Kolacki captured a whole of that. It is a great collection of mainly the sound of
humans; of religious activity, of bars, restaurants, and games, chanting and throughout it seems all
very pleasant. I got that holiday feel, but maybe because it was cold here today while having no
heating. This was a pleasant audio trip. (FdW)
––– Address:


Work by Stavanger based guitar player Gaute Granli has been reviewed before (Vital Weekly 896 and
979 for his solo stuff, and Vital Weekly 044 for his duo Freddy The Dyke). Granli plays guitar, loos them
and has a drum machine, while sometimes adding a bit of vocals. His music before was surely a bit
wacky, punky, chaotic and strange and while some of that can still be said of this new album, I also
think it is quite a step forward. More so than before Granli seems to be interested in organising his
music, if only loosely, into something that could be called a ‘song’, well, for the lack of a better word.
You could call this outsider one-man rock, demented punk or no wave, but fact remains these nine
pieces (forty minutes; there is also a LP version) are worked out rather smoothly. Granli likes his
recordings to be direct, sticking a microphone in a room and recording the events as they happen.
Sometimes that makes the sound without any moment of rest, which is for the listener a bit tiring
(well, maybe I hear too much music anyway, so I was thinking). But besides that this is a very fine
album of wacky song material. Lovely strange and alien in a way, and yet something that one easily
recognizes as a ‘song’. The chaos is mildly under control, I’d say, and a form has been found. This is
surely some alternative rock that will never ever be ‘big’ in a way, but I could easily see Gaute Granli
going many places and surprising audiences with this strange yet captivating sound. (FdW)
––– Address:

  7272 Music)

One of things that make Weston a unique musician is the format of his releases. In length they are
always very limited. No lengthy CDs, but preferably an old-fashioned 7” single with just two short
compositions with to the point results. But what is more important is the original musical worlds he
creates. Very idiosyncratic and weird, coming from a strong musical imagination. Weston is a
percussionist and electronic artists and consequently works on combining sounds of electronic and
acoustical origin. Drums and percussion can always be easily identified. Whatever other instruments
and gadgets he uses is more difficult to indicate. For ‘Searchlight Swings’ he uses pre-recorded tapes
with up speeded human voice. Also an amplifier seems to be used. Concerning the sounds he keeps it
rough and ‘primitive’. His works are very thought-over and composed, and have a distinctive musical
form. Earlier works had orchestral proportions. This time both works are closer to the ‘song’ format
and more accessible. ‘Is That Helicopter Over Our House?’ even has a beat. But in a very abstract,
experimental way and with humour included.  As always, everything is written, performed, arranged
and produced by Weston himself. Please continue mister Weston. (DM)
––– Address:

ODD NARRATIVE – A1 (CDR by Vatican Analog)

While I am not entirely certain what it is that I am reviewing I of course once more fall for the sale
techniques of Wouter Jaspers. Ages ago known as Franz Fjödor, then simply as Wouter Jaspers, as
part of 4Daladiez and The Jim Morrisons also ages ago, and still going strong with Preliminary
Saturation and Ezdanitoff and these days hardly with any time to do music, since he’s tied up being
the director of Koma Elektronik, who last year scored big time with the release of a nifty device for
all aspiring and arrived composers of electro-acoustic music, the field kit. Of course he lured me into
getting one as well and because of that I have been watching clips posted on YouTube to see what
other people are doing with this device and the one I noticed to be doing simple yet effective things
with this device is a German musician called Hainbach, also known as Stefan Paul Goetsch. His music
is very gentle, very ambient and he uses the field kit very imaginative. If you are easily lost then or
looking for new ways to work with the field kit check out his work. Hainbach is also from Berlin, just
like mister Jaspers and together they now work as Odd Narrative and at the end of this week they will
play in Winnipeg, by which time this CD should be available. On Bandcamp there is a digital version to
be heard and an A1 sized poster version with a gold painted CD in an edition of 15 copies. The CD has
only two pieces, lasting twenty-seven minutes, which, after I heard it, I could safely say is not enough.
It provides an idea however of what they do, which is sending signals from loops, tapes and sounds
into field kits, and seeing Koma Elektronik will shortly release a new device ‘field fx’, no doubt some
prototypes of that as well to play some heavy styled dark ambient, most of the time, via some heavily
slowed down tapes, music boxes on resonating surfaces and some far away cry from either player,
picked up through a contact microphone. It is music, should you be familiar with either of these
musicians that you could expect from them; dark, atmospheric, but not with a touch of melody and
a trace of rhythm. By its length certainly not pop stuff, but these lengthy excursions have a curious
musical feeling. So, the remaining questions then: why is it this short and is there really a CD for
mass consumption? Next time more of both please. (FdW)
––– Address:


A strange compilation of 12 tracks – 6+6. The first six by Orifice certainly could be described as harsh
noise, abstract electronics. The next six by Acid Discharge uses more cut up and processed samples,
field recordings and found sound, which could be considered as noise but also as ‘experimental’ or
even Industrial….. A strange mix made stranger by the accompanying booklet which has old black and
white photographs of run down urban scenes with captions in what I suppose is German and Japanese.
From which I would suspect ‘Im Winter ’66 furen mama und papa…’ is a clue to the date of these. Add
to that the hippy trippy lettering and a background frame around the photos of colourful, red & yellow,
images of the Mandelbrot set, the cover, which could be a ships pothole and the strangeness is
complete. At which point strangely for me I find there is little more that can be said. (Jliat)
––– Address:


For someone who is active in the art scene as much as he is in the music scene I must admit that Mario
van Horrik has a poor choose of cover design. There is surely a text and image but design wise it leaves
something to be desired. The cover text tells us about his various previous releases Van Horrik did with
guitar (none of which I think were reviewed) and in 2017 he bought a cheap guitar in China and re-
stringed so his left-handed sister could practice and he never bothered to restring it. Although the text
is not precise about this, I would think the guitar is an electric one, as the text also mentions the
purchase of a 5 dollar electromagnetic pickup, and along with the use of voice, mouth organ and loop
station he recorded twenty-five pieces of more or less improvised piece of music. Some two hour’s
music is a bit much, I would think, and some of the pieces are perhaps a bit long for what it is. I can’t
say I know all of his Van Horrik’s work, but for me he is at his best with longer pieces that work with
overtones, vibrating snares and objects. Some of these pieces reminded me of that, but most of them
didn’t. Here is where van Horrik experiments with sounds and positions of microphones and
amplifiers, and feedback plays some part of these pieces. Some of these pieces sound more or less
fully formed, and reminded me of some of Richard Youngs’ work for similar dissonant guitars and
direct recording (and especially when Van Horrik adds his voice, wordless mumbling), while other
pieces were not unlike hearing a sketch like approach to the sound and you could wonder why you
want to hear all of this. ‘Earwicker’ is certainly not a bad album, far from it. It has many great pieces
on it. For me that is when Van Horrik works around with minimally changing sounds, reminding
me of his work with the Maciunas Ensemble such as in ‘Magogagog’ (all titles taken from ‘Finnigans
Wake’). It is like taking a peep in a musician’s sketchbook and you’ll see some of these pieces are
finished, while others are not yet. Perhaps the best thing is that every listener has the option to
create the ideal album out of this! (FdW)
––– Address:

AUTOMATING – EINSTELLUNG ZWEI (CDR by Second Language Records)

If I understand correctly there is also a cassette version of this release, even if I have no idea how that
works when I look at the length of these five pieces, spanning in total seventy minutes. Bandcamp only
lists four pieces actually. Behind Automating is Sasha Margolis from Melbourne and his work was
reviewed before (Vital Weekly 841, 843, 862, 930 and 989) but there has been some gap it seems.
Before there was mention of what he did on a release but not on this new one, yet we can assume he
still uses ‘field recordings, found sound, tape manipulation, noise and effects unites’. The music was
recorded over a number of years, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 (why not 2011-2014? I don’t know) and
maybe Margolis was in Germany at the time, as he uses quite a bit of field recordings that use German
voices and railway sounds and the Bandcamp page for this thanks people in Hannover, Germany. As
before (also) Automating offers long pieces of pretty raw field recordings, mostly untreated (or at least
not that I can hear), and some sound effects placed on top, such as reverb, chorus and phasers. It is all
rather simply made but not without any effect. It all works quite well, especially if you decide to let it
all happen and not listen too close or try to analyse the compositions. It works best for me when the
layering of the various sound events is quite heavy, when field recordings are pushed a bit away and
electronics are in favour, and the complexity is spun out a bit more. (FdW)
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The name Graham Massey doesn’t pop very often in these pages for one could say he’s solid star of
dance music in 808 State in the late 80s and before that active with Biting Tongues, who released on
Factory Records. Here he appears on a release by Dave Clarkson, who first works as Illuminati (see
Vital Weekly 428) and since a few years under his own name (Vital Weekly 1077 and 965). He has
more Factory Records connections, working with Vini Reilly (The Durutti Column) and with Alan
Hempsall of Crispy Ambulance a duo called Scissorgun (which is also the name of an album by the
Ambulance). This new album continues Clarkson’s interest in doing music ‘on mysterious coastline
and aquatic subject matter’. He plays to that end synthesizers, keyboards, drum kit, drum machine,
harmonica, and field recordings as well as scratched 78s. Massey contributes on one piece bamboo
flute, bell tree, congas, glockenspiel, melodica, skulls, vibraphone and on another baritone saxophone
and bass clarinet and Ruth Davies plays cello on the first track with the extended Massey instruments.
That is also the most complex piece of the six pieces (total length, sadly, only thirty-two minutes).
Clarkson delivers again a very fine and delicate album of great atmospheric music. Sounds washing
ashore, taken from real sea waves as well as synthesized versions thereof, and much of what Clarkson
does is not very abstract, but more melodic; spacious but always with a melody hidden or in plain
sight. A touch of sustaining guitar sounds, the lovely saxophone in ‘The Ghost Whale’ or the peaceful
violin sounds of ‘On Reflection’. Clarkson’s music is all about delicate and refined moods and while I
though the previous album was his best effort so far, I think this one is even better. I enjoyed the
more balanced output of this one as opposed to the somewhat frequency heavier previous one. The
music benefits more from this refined balance, I think. Lovely release, once again. (FdW)
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DREAM MACHINE – STAR SERVANTS (cassette by Econore)

Econore is a label with headquarters in Mönchengladbach and Berlin and they have been going since
2008. They have quite a bunch of releases, seventy-eight no less on Bandcamp, and their releases are
always limited and handcrafted, not limited to CDRs or cassettes, but it can also be magazines. Among
the many names I spotted that of GW Sok, erstwhile singer of The Ex and so this seems all the proper
DIY spirit. Spirit we also know from Licht-ung, a group as well as label from Leverkussen, touched with
similar DIY DNA. Two live pieces here, spanning a total of twenty-seven minutes and one piece from
2013 and one from 2015. Licht-ung can play a fair bit of noise so we have learned in the past, but also
something that leans towards the noisy end of the world of post-rock. Guitar is an important
instrument, but so are the loop station and other effects. In the opening piece, from 2015, there is the
sampled sound of a violin and it is a mild, lovely piece of music; spooky yet gentle. The other piece, from
2015, is twice as long and deals with more gentle noise improvised music for guitar and loop devices,
plus a bit of humming, which comes across as ‘ritual’, or ‘campfire’, but nowhere near new folk noir.
Maybe a bit too short this release? I wouldn’t have minded hearing a bit more.
    And then on cassette music from a band who call themselves Dream Machine. Actually I have idea
if this is a band or one person. The music was recorded December 15th and while no year is mentioned
I would think in 2017 and released fourteen days later, on cassette in an edition of 19 copies. There is no
mentioning of band members and also none of the equipment. So that leaves something to guess, I
assume, and I would think this is one-person operation, armed with lo-fi samplers, effects to
 manipulate sounds and those lovely small monotrons. Both sides last fifteen minutes and there is
throughout the noisy card to be played here. No ears are saved in this ride, and there is throughout
quite a nice psychedelic feel to both pieces. I can imagine that live it must sounded all even more
impressive, but on tape things aren’t bad either, especially if you decide to crank up the volume a bit
more. There is a polite sense of aggression about this.
    The other cassette is by Eric Bauer, who calls himself daszwitscherndervoegel, which I have no
idea how to translate. It says this is the final release and looking on Discogs I only see one previous
release, also on Econore. Otherwise there is no information at all here. So by my best guess I would
think that Bauer is someone who has a modular synth set-up at home and he doodles around with
this for about an hour.. This, especially ‘Cool By The Pool’, which fills up the entire first side of this
release, does not impress me. It beeps, cracks and there is neither head nor tail to be discovered. The
two pieces on the other side are more interesting as here he plays with the notion of drone music,
slowly enveloping pieces of an endless sustaining tone to which filtering is applied, going from the
high end of the sound spectrum over the course of a piece to the low end. These pieces were, I guess,
all right; not great, not so original but quite fine. (FdW)
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FS MASSAKER – SAME (cassette by Interstellar Records)

With FS Massaker we are in the company of Werner Thenmayer (drums), Richie Herbst (analog
synths) and Michael Masen (sax). They present their first full-length album to the public. The name
they choose for their collaboration might give an indication of what to expect. No easy going music,
but probably heavy stuff. And yes, that turned out to be the case. They deal in combining free jazz
with heavy rock strategies. Producing a wall of sound, that is throughout maintained at a high energy
level. The release consists of two lengthy improvisations: ‘Improvisation 1 (for Maral bolaji Badego)’
and ‘Improvisation 2 (for Eddie Powell)’. The first one starts with a long lyrical solo by Masen, before
drummer Thenmayer steps in with Herbst producing noisy sounds from his synths. The improvisation
gains more dynamic and energy. Drummer and sax become engaged in a free improvised battle,
although Thenmayer sticks to rock-based patterns. Herbst adds spread-out electronic textures that
add an alienating effect to the music. Alas, not much is happening in this improvisation to make it a
worthwhile ride of 30 minutes. Also ‘Improvisation 2 (for Eddie Powell)’ starts with a solo by Masen.
But the others join very soon this time. Because of the limited range of patterns played by the
drummer, the improvisation soon becomes boring. In contrast Herbst is doing his best with his
disturbing electronic interventions. Interesting but enough to make this release a success. Released
by the Austrian label of noise and experimental music. (DM)
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KASSEL JAEGER – RETROACTIONS (cassette by Eliane Tapes)

Wednesday the 24th 2018 was the 86th birthday of composer Eliane Radigue and it will also the day
that the first release by Eliane Tapes will be available. This is a new series from Moving Furniture
Records, whose label boss Sietse van Erve kindly asked permission to use her first name for this new
enterprise, which will release works dedicated and/or inspired by her. An excellent idea me thinks
and for the inaugural release Eliane Tapes kick of with the artistic director of the INA/GRM Francois
Bonnet, who works under the name of Kassel Jaeger, a most suitable candidate. Radigue once worked
with feedback and a hifi system; Jaeger expands this using 6 microphones and 10 speakers, and the
feedback should been overwhelming, but it’s not. In the four lengthy pieces (all around twenty
minutes), he explores the feedback in various ways, controlling and not controlling and for both of
these a processed version. The result is music that I think would tickle anyone with an interest in
Eliane Radigue. Slow pieces, quiet pieces; music that is very much suitable for meditation, very much
like Radigue’s own music. It is of course, as you may have guessed, nothing very noisy, but very gentle
abstract sound scapes, with a fine bottom end and a delicate high end. Music that fills up a space, your
space at home and the perfect backdrop to read, study, meditate or sleep. Only ‘Non-controlled Aerial
Feedbacks’ is different in that respect, which is hardly moving and has a more drone like quality,
staying in virtually the same place all the time; perhaps oddly enough because this seems to me the
piece that is sounds very controlled, but apparently isn’t. It is perhaps the odd ball out, but it all
works pretty well with the other three pieces, which are more along similar lines. This is a limited
edition of 100 copies and I am sure they will go fast as various things around tell me this will be all
very collectable. (FdW)
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ILIA BELORUKOV/JELENA GLAZOVA (split cassette by Hyster Tapes)

Music by Ilia Nelorukov is reviewed quite regularly in these pages, but not very often, so I think at least,
solo. Here he has a fifteen-minute piece for ‘synthesizer & field recordings’, which he recorded, edited,
mixed and mastered in March-October 2017. We know him for his work with wind instruments mostly,
so this is a bit of a chance, I would think. I am not sure why it took five months for this process of
mastering (etc.) as it sounds like very much like a live recording of street traffic, which may (or may not
actually) be fed through a synthesizer. While the piece is best be labelled as ‘all right, nothing special’,
most definitely at the length of fifteen minutes, you could also wonder why this has to be released on a
cassette, even when they are recycled (as Hyster Tapes does). A download would have been equally
    On the other side we find two pieces for “vocals, controllers & laptop” by Jelena Glazova, of whom a
previous work was reviewed in Vital Weekly 979 (and released by Belorukov’s Spina! label). Here the
work was recorded, mixed and mastered in a period of three months, whereas here too one could have
the impression of a live recording with some editing, but who knows? Maybe the whole thing was a bit
more complex than what it seems of course. The voice is rendered beyond recognition and in the two
pieces become a drone like pattern that goes out towards mild distortion. Quite nice, these two pieces,
but at fourteen minutes it is also too short to tell quite in-depth what Glazova is all about, but it made
me curious about other solo work from her. (FdW)
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CLAUS POULSEN – STARRY WOMB (cassette by Dokuro)
GERT-JAN PRINS – DRUMS & ELECTRONICS #17 (cassette by Dokuro)
FILTRO – MATERIA (cassette by Dokuro)

The music Italian Dokuro releases is usually to be found in what we could loosely term as ‘noise’, be it
very loud, or somewhat quiet and subdued, but what Claus Poulsen has to offer is certainly best be
described as ‘very quiet’. Poulsen is best known for his work with Small Things On Sundays, Star
Turbine, CAM and Carbon Copy, all project dealing with improvisation on specific genres, such as
ambient, lo-fi electronics and pure improvisation. He also has a string of solo releases and in his solo
music he works with “bowing vinyl records, traveller’s record player, bonzai tree and ‘Children of
The Stars’ experiments with sampled voices of children” and that brings us four lengthy pieces here
of some very quiet, minimally expanding soundscapes. There is on the first part of the title piece the
meandering of a guitar, almost like a good ol’ hippie. This is very ambient and very, very good. The
other side opens with “Reflections’ and here there is a sampled rhythm, but all the electronic
components operate still in a very ambient fashion. Much of Poulsen’s work with Small Things On
Sundays remind me of zoviet*france, but in Starry Womb’ I must admit I have the same feeling. Some
of the sound continue on and on, while others drop by, develop and disappear again, all in a seemingely
undisturbed long flow. This is absolutely gorgeous music, slow, peaceful, meandering and spacious.
    Gert-Jan Prins does every now and then send me unsolicited mail, updating me on his concerts in
places I don’t live or installations in museums in places I don’t live in, so I must admit (now he knows)
I trash them without reading. That happens with most mail (or Facebook events, or, worse, messages
through Facebook) telling me about concerts in places I am not likely to be. Maybe in one Prins’ mails
there was an announcement of his latest cassette, so I missed out on that as well. It seems to me that
releasing music on traditional sound carriers is not really of interest to Prins, who improvised pieces
for electricity and drums may work better in a concert situation, certainly when it is connected visual
stuff. So I haven’t heard anything from him in quite a while. Music by Gert-Jan Prins is certainly not
easy listening and has very little to do with conventional improvised music and owes more to the
world of noise. Here both sides are filled with some heavily distorted sound, from what could be
feedback, broken cables, electrical currents or anything that near the end of it’s electrical life and
along that there is Prins tapping on what could bits of metal, but more likely he plays these faulty
apparatus and near-dead cables and captures in a rhythmical the electrical sounds as they are being
disturbed. Some of these sound on and on, while others are broken down even further. Quite a noisy
release for sure, but not one that is noise for the sake of noise.
    Angelo Bignamini (a.k.a. The Great Saunites) and Luca de Biasi (ak.a. Satantango, Playground,
Vhd Vhd) work together as Filtro (see also Vital Weekly 1079) and now I know they use magnetic
tapes and modular synthesizers, both of which are heavily twisted and turned until there is an
outcome that is best called by the word ‘dense’. On the tapes there seems to be a mixture of sounds
produced on objects and crudely taped field recordings, all of which sounds pretty lo-fi and dirty.
The modular synthesizers used also produce a slightly distorted sound and all of this is both dense
as well as undefined. Sometimes a sound pops out, the squeaking of a door, but that doesn’t happen
a lot. I sure liked it’s noisy aspect, but I also found this too much of the same thing for a bit too long.
Now, a bit of definition in the sound could have surely helped. (FdW)
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TYSON SWINDELL – PALINDROMES (cassette, private)

For some reason I thought I heard music from Tyson Swindell before, but looking up his name in
previous weeklies rendered nothing. He is trained in classical violin and viola and on the way also
learned to play the piano. Apparently he has “played and recorded in punk bands, indie bands,
heavy metal bands and even had time to do a short stint with the Austin Civic Orchestra on the
viola”, but none of the bands are specified. Swindell is somehow very concerned about the state of
his country and afraid of the future. “It feels like there is very little to look forward to and we seem
to be stuck in a never-ending feedback loop inside our country’s borders, outside them, and especially
worldwide. These bleak outlooks and feelings are the headspace where I wrote my new album.
Palindromes is a collection of piano pieces with electronic accompaniment which is dark, brooding,
ambient, and all-encompassing.” A majority of the proceeds of this album (on Bandcamp) will go to
Free Press, against proposed regulations on the free and open Internet.
    There are five pieces on this cassette and indeed the piano is the main instrument. I think this is
an upright one, taped in a living room, judging by the quality of the sound and that’s fine of course.
The processing of the piano sounds happens inside the computer, looping, reversing and cutting up
these sounds, to be followed by adding reverb, delay and other sounds effects. In ‘Do Geese See God’
this is all quite ambient in a sort of musique concrete way, which works very well, but the addition of
sequenced bass synth and drum machine in ‘Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm’ does come across as very
strong, but towards the very of ‘Dammit I’m Mad’ I must say it works well. The over the top processing
that happens in ‘A Santa Lived As A Devil At NASA’ (you do notice that all these titles are palindromes?)
is rather silly. Thus I am moving back and forth in my appreciation of this album. Some of the pieces are
great, while others don’t cut if for me, which at a five piece album is probably not good news. (FdW)
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