Number 1118

LARGE UNIT – FLUKU (CD by Pnl Records)
ALAN ‘GUNGA’PURVES – HIDE + SQUEAK (CD by Brokken Records)
FTARRI 2018 FUKUBUKURO (CD compilation by Ftarri) *
PS STAMPS BACK (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
NIHIL VERUM – HIBACU JIMOCU (CD by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
KIKO ESSEIVA – LE TEMPS DES MOTEURS (CD by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
MORE EAZE – STARING AT A STATUE OF PAINT (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
XTERIP – THE FIRSBEE SESSIONS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
  Editions) *
BRIDE /FREE AS DEAD – RETURN TO THE DUNGEON SYNTH (cassette by Danvers State Recordings)
TROU AUX RATS – HELGHAST (cassette by The Lowest Form Of Deity)
VOMIR – SEEDING OF A GHOST (cassette by Modern Decadence)
ERIK LEVANDER – COUESNON (cassette by Katukti Collective) *
  Nadi Records)


While I had no idea who Mark Renner is, reading the press text got me interested to hear this because
of the various references made to his earliest work: John Foxx, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Bill Nelson and
The Associates. The most influential were Skids, and their guitarist Stuart Adamson, just before
breaking big with his follow-up band Big Country producing some demos for Renner. Renner is now
almost sixty years old and while I had never heard of him, I read the entire booklet, about the various
records he made, the different styles he worked in, that he was a painter but also worked for UPS (and
shockingly learned that he retired at the age of 50! I want that as well), and listening to the twenty-one
songs from his career; songs from his LP ‘All Walks Of This Life’ as The Gate International and work
under his own name. It is a strange bunch of music I must say. The variation is quite extended. On one
hand there is the singer with guitar and drum machine, singing songs with a firm dash of reverb; the
typical doom sound of the 80s, the post-punk of Factory Records but then one of the lesser known ones
(Kevin Hewick maybe), but the jangling guitar also had that psychedelic feel of Felt and other Cherry
Red Records. Not bad, but nothing great either. There must be a ton of this stuff out there from those
days, and you could wonder if it all needs a re-issue. On the other hand there is Renner with his
keyboards and machines recording ambient textures that remind me of Brian Eno and Bill nelson’s
more moody records from the 80s. It sounds a bit dated as well, but it also sounds still quite lovely.
On the CD version in front of me there are blocks of one and then of the other musical interests and
that is quite nice, but somehow I wouldn’t have minded a double album, with one CD filled with the
songs and another with his more ambient outings, but I guess that would not be possible with the LP
format that is also available. All in all a fine historical document that has something for almost
anybody. (FdW)
––– Address:


It has been a while since I last heard music by Yann Novak, as long ago as Vital Weekly 881, but I see
(on Discogs) other releases that have been released by Dragon’s Eye Recordings (his own label), Eter,
Line and a previous album by Touch in 2016. Here is his second release for Touch of which the
“conceptual roots stem from ‘The Archaic Revival’ by American ethnobotanist and psychonaut Terence
McKenna’, in which he claims that if things go bad in a culture it wants to go back to a saner moment in
its own history, which perhaps has very much to do with the times we live in, with all the nostalgia of
‘our culture is the best one, but the past of that culture was even better, now getting to lost…’ (Fill in
whatever enemy you prefer’ doing its rounds worldwide. Novak goes back to his own musical past
and make (re-) connections again with sounds and techniques he used before on his older works and
how to put that into the new work. This is, mind you, not a remix of course of old stuff. The four pieces
of drone music here are however something that I would expect from Novak. These computer-
generated drones built up like deep organ tones, reach a climax and then go via a likewise slow ascend
down again. In between these pieces there are field recordings, especially at the end of the opening
‘Radical Transparency’, or at the beginning of ‘The Inertia Of Time’, which follows after that; each of
the four pieces seem to merge right into next one, giving the album an excellent flow. Novak’s special
feature, a very refined yet effective distortion is present in all these pieces; one should not think of this
as something heavy or noisy, but a gentle, brittle touch that has been carried out to all of these pieces,
a rough edge to gentle drones. I am not sure if it is enough to say that Novak really does his own version
of microsound, but he produces music with some fine delicacy that is just different enough for me.
Some very meditative stuff here for sure. (FdW)
––– Address:


Of course you recognize the name Reinhold Friedl, best known for his work with the ensemble founded,
Zeitkratzer, but also his work as composer is by now well-known. Here the Quatuor Diotimo, a string
quartet from France, perform the three string quartets Friedl wrote. As far as my highly limited
knowledge of string quartet goes (read: very, very limited indeed), I believe they are mostly in a few
parts, and that is not the case here. String quartet one and three are just under ten minutes and string
quartet two is twenty minutes, all as a single piece. I understand from the booklet that the way Friedl
composed these string quartets not according the classical rules, but more like transformations of a
given texture into the next one. Apparently there is also some physical force needed by the players,
and not easy for them. While these string quartets do not sound very traditional indeed I think they a
re still very much modern classical music. It is music that I am never clever about, simply because I
lack the idiom to write about such music. However I enjoyed this music quite a bit, especially the
second quartet was quite a furious and intense piece of music. (FdW)
––– Address:

LARGE UNIT – FLUKU (CD by Pnl Records)

The name of of Paal Nilssen-Love maybe familiar from other releases reviewed here on his PNL-label.
Nilssen-Love is a giant of the Norwegian jazz and improve scene. He played with too many to mention
groups and projects, reflected on dozens of CDs. So he is a very experienced musician. With ‘Fluku’ he
makes a new statement with his big band Large Unit. The ensemble debuted in 2014 with ‘Erta Ale’
and ‘ANA’ in 2016. ‘Ana’ had an extended line up of musicians from Brazil. For this new release ‘Fluku’
Large Unit has 12 members playing saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, electric guitar,
electronics, drums and percussion, electric and double bass. The recording dates from April 8th, 2016
at Victoria, Nasjonal Jazzscene, Oslo. A large ensemble like this one is best enjoyed live of course. But
this recording is okay, and one can identify all of the participators. The CD opens with the title-piece,
an improvisation of almost 27 minutes, being the central improvisation of this release. It starts with a
strong groove offering a solid base for some wild and dynamic solo improvisations by some of the
blowers. Lovely done. It is followed by three more improvisations that move between 5 and 16
minutes. The short ‘Springsummer’, is a more lyrical improvisation with a main role for the clarinet.
In contrast ‘Happy Slappy’ moves into abstract territories with heavy drum work. Throughout their
improvisations are captivating and exciting, built from a composed framework by Nilssen-Love with
plenty of freedom for free improvisation. (DM)
––– Address:

ALAN ‘GUNGA’PURVES – HIDE + SQUEAK (CD by Brokken Records)

This one makes you immediately smile. What a charming and innocent music! Let me start with that.
In the mid70s Purves met Sean Bergin in London and got introduced to the world of jazz music.
Associated with the Friends Roadshow, a theatre group of Jango Edwards, he and Bergin left for
Amsterdam, where he is living ever since. He played with many Dutch and Holland-based musicians
like Ernst Reijseger, Tristan Honsinger, Joost Buis, Jacques Palinckx, and many others. In the meantime
he worked on his own very personal musical universe, released incidentally on solo albums like ‘O
Amor Natural’(2000), ‘All by my Shelf’(2006) and recently ‘Hide + Squeak’. This album offers a
beautiful sequence of 14 instrumentals, dominated by melody and rhythm. There is probably no
percussionist with a more extensive collection of instruments then Purves. I will not list all of the
instruments and objects he uses here. But this surely explains the nice differentiated colouring in all
tracks. Really fine arrangements and careful chosen combinations of sounds, all very tasty. In another
way the music is very simple. It is very accessible constructions, recalling the music of the Residents
at their best moments. There is something childlike in his moving music that is very full-grown and
convincing at the same time, demonstrating a crystal clear vision. A joy! (DM)
––– Address:


Moon2 is a trio from the beautiful city of Krakow: Denis Kolokol (electronics), Ernest Ogórek (bass
guitar) and Tomek Chołoniewski (percussion), with Agata Woźnicka and Marcin Barski as narrators.
Recorded in 2015, at Kosa Buena Studio in Chrzanów and released by Mathka Records, also Krakow-
based. It is their first release, but maybe it can be considered also as the follow up to the release of
Sympli Romatikó, a trio of Kolokol  and Chołoniewski , completed here by guitarist Alexander
Chikmakov. They released an album for Mathka in 2014. Just like the album by Moon2 this release
contained three works, two of about 20 minutes and a shorter one. But here similarities may stop.
Moon2 deals in dark, abstract improvised constructions. “The group’s main focus is interactive
performance, algorithmic composition, virtual worlds, this kind of stuff”, is how they describe themselves.
    All three improvisations are partly driven by a beat that is dropped in order to enter a space free
of the usual musical conventions. This contrast is most obvious in the closing track ‘Na ulice uyjsc nie
sposob’ that starts with a very strong rock-driven rhythm, and halfway abrupted changes direction
completely taking of for free excursion into space. Overall the trio take time to work out their
movements and gestures within a limited range of possibilities. For my ears at moments the
improvisations are a bit unfocused, and I would like to them more condensed. The music is very
well recorded, and mastered by Jos Smolders. (DM)
––– Address:

FTARRI 2018 FUKUBUKURO (CD compilation by Ftarri)

Slowly the Ftarri empire expands and now they send four new releases my way. I kicked off with the
one that I expected would be quite noisy and loud, seeing the involvement of Toshimaru Nakamura
and his no-input mixing board, which is basically a word to say ‘controlled feedback’. Here he teams
up with Libanese trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj in a reocrding they made in November 2016 in Yan
Jun’s studio in Berlin. This is, as expected some radical music. Both players here do not spare each
other when it comes to sonic overload. It’s not just the chaotic feedback interventions put forward by
Nakamaru, also Kerbaj knows how to reach for extreme sounds out of his trumpet. This is surely not
something that you stick on for some fine wining and dining background music, but I would think it is
best enjoyed when the listener decides to put the volume up quite a bit and one listens undisturbed
by anything else. It is not just to soak all the noise in, but there surely is a whole world below these
extremities, which may get lost in a lower volume.  Small sounds, even moments of (un-) rest arise to
a level audibility and it enhances the overall nature of the music. I would think in the world of Ftarri
this is quite the oddball, but it also seems to me to be totally Ftarri; dealing with extreme softness so
it seems and sometimes the total opposite; this is one of the latter.
    The trio disc by Tetuzi Akiyama (acoustic guitar), Magnus Granberg (clarinet) and Henrik Olsson
(percussion, contact microphones, mixing board and loudspeakers) is as radical as the previous one by
Kerbaj and Nakamaru, but also something entirely different. The five pieces here were recorded in
November 2013 and while these pieces have nothing of the more extreme sonic richness, neither the
bursting nor cracking of energy, the mood here is controlled and slow. Akiyama plucks his strings in a
rather minimal way, While Granberg’s clarinet sometimes sounds like sine waves; and probably
feedback, so I was thinking. If Olsson plays contact microphones and loudspeakers I wouldn’t be
surprised to learn that as part of his work he picks up the sound by the other players and feeds
recordings of these back in the overall playing. This leads to the somewhat feedback like sound that
one sometimes hears here and that leads to a different kind of radicalism in sound. Of course I might
be entirely wrong and it is all in my mind and Olsson plays a much different role, and yes, I do hear his
percussion as well. The sound comes, perhaps strangely enough, across as something very acoustic,
very direct and surely picked up with some great microphones, which leads occasionally to some
surprise sounds up close to the listener. This was all rather excellent.
    If the Kerbaj/Nakamura disc seems an oddball in the Ftarri catalogue for its loudness, then the new
one by Seijiro Murayama is also ‘strange’ because it is composed rather than improvised. Murayama is
perhaps best known as an improviser playing percussion and voice, playing and interacting with other
people, or solo, and perhaps in the latter capacity he has recorded his over a long period of time, 2009
to 2017 and these he used to compose three pieces of music. It is more than a collage of his percussion
(and voice, even when I don’t hear much of that). Along the way he also taped electronic sounds, field
recordings of birds and water, and who knows what else. This is an excellent release, me thinks. There
is a great balance between percussion sounds, ringing, percussive, played with bows and odd little
electronic textures, the scraping of objects over concrete floors and other surfaces and just that little
bit of extra by way of field recordings. All of this is highly engaging to listen to. If you find improvised
music to be of interest but something that should best be experienced in the moment (in a concert
situation for instance), then these compositions by Murayama could be right up your alley. It combines
all sorts of short and longer recordings from his improvised playing, but superimposed onto each other
and combined with other sounds it becomes, well, truly a composition. This is all very much in the spirit
of musique concrete, and an excellent example of that.
    The 2018 compilation by Ftarri, perhaps called ‘Fukubukuro’, contains mostly new names for me.
One such is Shuta Hiraki, who plays an excellent careful constructed piece of drone music for modular
synthesizers; beautifully mysterious with some fine gradual shift in frequencies. Radio Ensembles
Aiida is a most curious and fascinating name for a group (?) playing ‘National Panasonic BCL Radio
Cougar RF-2200’, which looks a fine piece of ancient technology. I imagine this group sitting together
and everyone uses a bit of bandwidth and it is taped acoustic, no overdubbing. It works very well in
this case, but I am a sucker of radio sounds. Zhu Wenbo also has a poor man’s instrument, just like the
radio but perhaps one even more easily available and that is handclapping. It says ‘recorded and
mixed’ on the cover, but I am not sure what needed to be mixed, as it all seemed ‘live’ to me. Also
more curious than fascinating perhaps, or just a bit long, maybe? Zhao Cong had a whole bunch of
sound sources, “prepared light, paper, cloth, fanner, spring, metal box, wood ball, strings, bass guitar,
salt and other objects near at hand. All were amplified, but she did not use all of them”, but it was all
recorded directly without mixing. Her piece is a very fine mixture of acoustic sounds that by the
nature of their amplification sound electro-acoustic. A delicate exploration of small sounds, just like
mister Cage would have loved. Leo Okagawa is the only one I heard before and all we are given is the
title of the piece ‘No Trumpets Allowed’ and it was composed and recorded by him in 2017. Whatever
it is that he uses, no trumpets obviously, makes a collage of sound from obscured sources. Most of the
times these are played in some form of sonic overload, but nothing too extreme. (FdW)
––– Address:


A duo effort by Hey!zeus.i (production, vocals) and Radimo (alto and soprano saxophones, flutes,
percussions, keyboards, vocals, whistling), guested by Teknical Development.IS (vocals), King Kashmere
of Strange U (vocals), Stacy Epps (vocals), Blue Daisy (keyboards and percussions) and Honza ‘Watcha’
Koukal (bass) in some of the tracks. This is a collective of musicians hiding behind curious names. They
recorded in Prague and results are released by Minority Records, a label specialised in contemporary
electronic music, and based in that same city. It comes as a double LP in a limited edition of 300 copies.
Excellently pressed. It is immediately evident that their music is about fusing jazz and hiphop. Also
there is definitely a psychedelic feel in the music. Within this range they worked out their
unconventional ideas in 15 tracks. Radimo is a Radim Vychopeň, a Czech player of wind instruments,
engaged in many projects of the Prague scene. In 2008 he met Hey!zeus in London. This was the start
of a very creative collaboration, that took some years however to reach its final shape: ‘Are we now or
nowhere?’ took six years to produce. At the base are jam sessions followed by a lot of studio treatments.
Most pieces start from a beat, with melodic lines on sax or flute played by Radimo. In a collage-like
manner many other sounds and instruments are added. This way the tracks became very multi-layered
constructions of an experimental nature, recalling memories of old On U sound productions. Very well
done and a joy to listen to. (DM)
––– Address:

PS STAMPS BACK (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings)
NIHIL VERUM – HIBACU JIMOCU (CD by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings)
KIKO ESSEIVA – LE TEMPS DES MOTEURS (CD by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings)

The previous release I heard by Greece’s PS Stamps Back was a live recording released by Protos Orofos
(see Vital Weekly 1028) and I thought it was the best release I heard from them so far. It was a fine
combination of techno rhythms and bleepy monotrons. On this new CDR, which actually has a title in
Greek (which apparently means ‘Music for Ditches’) the techno element is pushed away, which is a pity.
There is rhythm here for sure, but it is much a stomping and simple beat and not spiced up as raw
dance music with a few exceptions, such as ’Tahrir Square’. The bleepy monotrons are still present and
the bubble, bleep, feedback nicely along. PS Stamps Back also say they use “reaktor and audiomulch,
string intsruments, field recordings and various pedal effects” and in general the mood is not very
uplifting. We live in dark times, and perhaps some of that grimness is reflected in this music? Especially
when there is no rhythm and PS Stamps Back take an all drone like route, the music is pretty desolate,
such as ‘The Marvelous Gardens Of Fukushima’. Other titles are also strong indicators of the mood;
‘Monsato Hymn’, ‘Arabian Spring, Nuclear Winter’, ’Srebenica’ or simply ‘The End Of The World, Again’.
Hard to say it is an ‘enjoyable’ release, but I actually liked this quite a bit.
    The other two new releases by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings are on CD. I don’t think I heard of Nihil
Verum before and the website says: “ps stamps back used dreadbox erebus and mfb doninion to make
the Bass; jason bakey, ableton live to make the Rhythms. the noises and samples, they shared”. I vaguely
have an idea what that means. Four pieces here, lasting twenty-seven minutes, which seems a bit short
to me. Maybe, so I was thinking when I was playing this, PS Stamps Back changed his own music and
made it less techno, because he now has Nihil Verum to do work with rhythms. The four pieces are all
about a nice kick drum, a crashing of hi-hats and a bouncing bass line, and the outcome is some excellent
retro acid techno music. Not super fast, but also not very slick. There is exactly that rough edge around
the music that I like. Be it a wacky sound from a synth, a field recording of insects or voice sampled from
television. It is not for me to say if this is the kind of music that should do well on the dance floor, but I
surely can imagine an alternative scene in which people dance to this roughness.
    Of an entirely different nature is the music by Kiko Esseiva, of whom I hadn’t heard anything in
quite some time, not since his split album with Francesco Meirino (see Vital Weekly 898). Before that
a few solo albums (Vital Weekly 839, 824 and 620) and the first release I heard was with Eric Boros
(Vital Weekly 607), also for 1000+1 Tilt Recordings. Esseiva is a composer of musique concrete sound
collages. Into the melting pot goes a fine blend of electronics, field recordings, recordings from around
the house and a bit of instruments, of which I recognized the piano mostly. These sounds are probably
processed in some way or another and layered together in a very fine way. Mostly these sounds are
stretched out quite a bit and superimposed on each other; maybe Esseiva uses a bit of time stretching,
maybe loops, I am not sure of either (or both) and acoustic elements are looped on top; sometimes they
are cut out abruptly and something else happens. In ‘Amplitudes Des Serpents’ this is done with some
delicate and excellent quality. It is a very mysterious world that he pictures in this piece of shimmering
sustaining sounds versus acoustic loops. That is a great piece, but so are the other two. Here we have
mild noise passages, slightly distorted organ sounds and looped field recordings. This is an excellent
release, maybe his best yet? Not necessarily a very innovative sound, but very much his own approach
to the genre of musique concrete. (FdW)
––– Address:

XTERIP – THE FIRSBEE SESSIONS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)

With quite some regular intervals More Eaze releases something new and this time around Marcus
Maurice Rubio, the man of More Eaze, releases a five-track album, with a total length of thirty-five
minutes. The sampler is his main instrument, even when it is probably all inside a laptop. In the past
his releases showed an interesting amount of variation, sound wise and approach wise, but this time it
seems slightly different. Here instruments aren’t easily recognized in the music, if at all really (but hey
my guess would include guitar and percussion), and it sounds more like a bunch of electronic sources
cut up all the time; especially in the first three pieces. It gives the idea of modular electronics, or some
computer controlled generative process that is going on here and while nothing seems to be staying in
the same place for very long, there is due to the limited reach of the sounds a very minimalist streak to
the music. In the fourth pieces a drum machine is started and some sampled Jew harp or guitar plays
sustaining notes. Here the cutup-approach is less prominent, but not entirely gone. In the final piece,
‘I Have Never Asked For This’, Rubio returns to the electronic sounds and a bit of guitar but now in a
much more ambient approach. If anything this reminded me of Oval’s approach to the use of skipping
sounds, not just of Oval’s early works (not really I should think) but also the warm ambient glitch of his
later works. At first I thought it was a bit of an uneven album, but after repeated listening I realize that
it is all actually quite coherent and these are interesting variations on a theme.
    Something completely different is the work of Xterip, a quartet with Robert Horton (Sky City, The
Appliances, Plateau Ensemble, duo w/ Tom Carter, and a name I hadn’t heard in a long time), Raub
Roy (“Horaflora”), Lee Ann Cameron (“Devil Bat, Sky City, long-time Texas acid-folk acoustic performer”)
and Lisa Cameron, who has had a couple of releases on Kendra Steiner Editions before. Horton plays
harmonium, boot, electric toothbrush, percussion and mystery objects, Lee Ann on vocals and yoning,
Lisa on amplified percussion, tape, lap steel and percussion and Roy on prepared speakers and detritus. 
No recording date or location mentioned, but as far as I can see (or judge) this was all recorded in a
single session, and with some editing ended up in four different pieces on the CDR. It is all in the spirit
of a free form jam between these four people and words as psychedelic and tribal would not be out of
place here. If you would be told this is some highly obscure improvisation, krautrock thing from
Germany and then forty years ago, you could also believe it. Like an unearthed unpublished recording
of Faust perhaps. There is surely a darker edge to this music, that hint of noise and when you realize
that the earliest work by Throbbing Gristle was also a bit of messy, psychedelic jam, you can easily see
these connections. Although I am not entirely convinced about the quality of the work I enjoyed its
intensity of the interaction between these four players.
    And from More Eaze via Xterip to Ernesto Diaz-Infante is quite a trip but it also shows the wide
scope of Kendra Steiner’s interests when it comes to weird music. Not that I believe this music to be
weird at all, far from it. Diaz-Infante set up microphones at ‘Next Door To The Jefferson Airplane Studios’
in San Francisco in July 2016 and played his nylon string guitar for seventy-four minutes; or at least
that’s the amount of music that is released here, in three lengthy pieces. Diaz-Infante is an improviser
for whom the guitar must sound like a guitar, and not like an object that just happens to be shaped in
the form of a guitar and that is a box that resonates. In three pieces here he displays a love for minimal
strumming and does that in a most beautiful way. If you need a quiet place following the Xterip release,
then this could not be more welcome. The playing is throughout each piece more or less the same,
going on and on, like the simple strum of ‘Off Into The Wilderness Where We Walk With No Gravity’
or the paused playing of ‘Watching Your Eyes Awake’. The listener is loses sense of time and place, at
least I did having this on repeat for a very long time, lost in reading a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
There is nothing plink-plonk about this, just some most lovely minimalist nylon guitar playing. (FdW)
––– Address:


So this is a 5-inch CDR but it has only twenty minutes of music, which I would think is a pity mainly for
two reasons. First I never heard of The Verge Of Ruin before so I only get twenty minutes of music as a
first experience. And secondly, more economic I guess, there could be something more on this one. The
Verge Of Ruin is a duo of the for me unknown Shari DeLorian on electronics and field recordings and
Stefano de Ponti on prepared guitar, cello and field recordings. De Ponti’s work with Eleonara Pellegrini
was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1110, whereas he was also a member of Passo Uno (see Vital Weekly 546)
and a solo release from him was reviewed in Vital Weekly 910. This is a release by Italy’s Setola Di
Maiale, known for their releases in the field of improvised music and this too is surely from a similar
background but in the various section of this piece (my count would be 4 or 5 different ones) one could
also note a tighter structure to the music. In the piece that starts round about the thirteen minute mark
there is strong, steady rhythm holding the piece together, which otherwise bursts with some fiery
electronics and a whispering female voice. In the end section percussion also plays a part but then
spaced out, with the voice doing a bit of spooky angelic singing. In the opening section there is some
more noise approach, and a free form interplay of string instruments buried a bit below, which fades
into the second section of slow drum pattern and field recordings. Piercing frequencies are excessively
used here and there, which makes it a little less post rock like than some of the music suggests, and be
taking it right back into the world of improvisations that involve a bit of electronics. So, after twenty-
minutes I know that I liked what I heard and I wished there was a bit more to enjoy. (FdW)
––– Address:

BRIDE /FREE AS DEAD – RETURN TO THE DUNGEON SYNTH (cassette by Danvers State Recordings)

Free as Dead is a Vomir side project & Bride a T.O.M.B side project (TOMB – for Total Occultic Mechanical
Blasphemy). Side A has Free as Dead 4 tracks of incredibly badly recorded organ pieces (4) which is
rather beautiful. For when the playing and the organ take priority over musical composition the reality
of the actual sounds of an organ and its recordings become apparent, rather like an abstract painting
where formal composition is denied or withheld so one experiences ‘paint’, a coloured liquid applied to
a flat surface subject to its properties and those of the support, canvas, and gravity. Such paintings are
‘essential’ as they reveal their essences, as opposed to expression of a being other than that,
psychological, political or whatever. Such is this work, in that case it is its own essence, it is essential. 
Bride’s B-side is somewhat confusing.  The six tracks were recorded in various locations such as The
cave of Kelpius and Yankee Pedlar Inn, “dark ambient synth combined with field recordings & EVP
sessions recorded at some of most reportedly haunted locations in North America.” … “Within ghost
hunting and parapsychology, electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sounds found on electronic
recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or
intentionally requested and recorded.” I must admit I’m somewhat sceptical about such things but
understand their attraction. One should not IMO just f write off all such ideas,  even given the nature
of such has its fair share of fraudsters,  however I’m not sure of the value of using such field recordings
as a background to the synthesiser pieces we find here. There use of the clichéd ‘spooky’ music – genre
and tropes make any serious listening to these EVP recordings impossible in an area fraught with
potential lack of clear thinking.  Maybe this is OK as a pretext for raising the issue of EVP, but maybe
the art becomes artefact, and wishful thinking. (jliat)
––– Address:

TROU AUX RATS – HELGHAST (cassette by The Lowest Form Of Deity)

Another side project of Romain Perrot and a split with Helghast of who I know next to nothing. Again
the theme is the occult  & supernatural.  With which I have a problem, because if anything like proof
of such phenomena could be established this would not only be of benefit for those who believe in such
occult powers but also likewise for the established orthodox religions which would wrestle back from
science those revelations such as the ideas of evolution by natural selection, the origins of both physical
and mental illness and everything that the popes of the renaissance sort to stamp out.  AKA thinking
rather than prejudice, and re-introduce superstition – witch burning and the whole un-thinking power
of these institutions.  The occult like Nazism has in its darkness an anti authoritarian attraction. As
perhaps does Neo-Marxism, though the latter has some recourse to reasoned argument and ‘scientific’
thinking.  And human nature does seem torn by two forces, Apollonian and Dionysian. And with the
Dionysian we have a third alternative to our predicament in Nietzsche, though his thought was
‘manipulated’ in the service of National Socialism, his influence and significance in the arts, in the free
generative forces found in artistic production should not be ignored. (though for my part the whole
‘thing’ – a chaotic mess-  is best described/addressed in Deleuze’s idea of Schizoanalysis)  But what of
this cassette? “Putrid funeral synth. Rotten, noisy black metal. Mangled church organs”. It would be, or
perhaps it would not, to think such occult absurdities no longer exist. But they do. The problem is
though not from these occultists, but those currently gathered  (as I write) in Geneva (The World
Economic Forum). But returning to the cassette again, though Romain’s side has some very pleasant
organ sounds which deteriorate somewhat, the B-side by Helghast is a fairly ambient drone, though
it does have deep sonorous moans……and a bit of screaming? (Jliat)
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VOMIR – SEEDING OF A GHOST (cassette by Modern Decadence)

Though this label has a fairly “nihilistic” roster of work/artists with Harsh Noise Wall as one of its main
attractors… a “void” … “menacing and at the same time relaxing… Raw and dirty rape to the senses.
Orgies of shit vomit and piss in a cave come to mind… the sound of being burned alive in the funerary
chamber. Hellish fire blasted to the skin as the flesh decays and boils. Total internal devastation and
death. Mind is torn apart, there is nothing but pain…the menacing Sodomizing Young Ladies…” there is
a problem with such ‘musics’, like there is with the idea of ‘Nihilism’ and Scepticism… Nihilism is simply
‘nothing’, so why should it be painful, famously Camus has the answer, life is meaningless, and so a
rational animal would kill themselves, but we have an alternative, Art. “The struggle itself towards the
heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” which only echoes Nietzsche –
“Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity and for the marriage-ring of rings—the ring of the return?
Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman
whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!” Camus then a child of The Eternal Return. (The greatest form
of Nihilism for our Fred…) But this is the overcoming of Nihilism, of nothing, but in itself nihilism it is
just that, and of course freedom (Sartre). As does scepticism like an ouroboros eats itself, and as for
“Orgies of shit, vomit and piss in a cave”, they are just cassettes guys, just cassettes, and Vomir’s is one
continuous 90 minutes of static HNW, and nothing else. (jliat)
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ERIK LEVANDER – COUESNON (cassette by Katukti Collective)

‘Couesnon’ is the follow-up to ‘Halx’, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1042 (even when in Vital
Weekly 1044 I had another review of his work) and that one was quite poppy, for the lack of a better
word, but from an electronic and glitchy background. On ‘Couesnon’ he does something quite different.
Here Levander plays on a clarinet he inherited and following a request for a piece of music with
‘processed clarinet, supported by electronic instrumentation, all multi-layered”, which is quite
interesting if one hears the music. The original clarinet sound is not something one easily recognize in
any of these pieces here (four on Bandcamp plus a fifth short one on the cassette), but one is reminded
of his work with fuzz and chorus boxes in his previous work when treating the recordings of the clarinet.
Some of his roots will never go away, but now it is all embedded in a longer time frame, and it becomes
more like a soundscapes of drone, times four that is. I have nothing against the sound of a clarinet,
really, but I must say that when they are thus lovely processed I like it more. Nowhere it actually
sound like a clarinet, but like gorgeous processed organ drones, fed through the fuzzy pedals of
shoegazing music, but without the sonic overload, or at least the mild variation of that in ‘Under
timmerstockarnas stilla flykt’. This is a one man orchestra with a single instrument and lots of toys.
Very spacious, very good. (FdW)
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  Nadi Records)

Just before the end of 2017 Dialectical Imagination, a duo comprised of Eli Wallace (piano) and Rob
Pumpelly (drums), returns with a second album. Titled ‘The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Wrath’,
it is a variation on the title of their debut album ‘The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture’.
Musically spoken this new album is not just a variation on their first one. Although both contain free
improvised music, recorded in Berkeley, 2015. But they work from a different angel here. Their debut
concentrated more on melodic and lyrical aspects. The improvisations on their new release concentrate
on rhythm and drive. The music seems to well up from some inexhaustible source. It is absolutely
sparkling music, where both musicians energize and vitalize one other to the max. This may have lead
to the title of ‘Autopoietica’, the title of two of four improvisations on this release, a title that refers to
the concept of ‘autopoesis’, system that is capable of fulfilling its own conditions for existence. Allusions
of the jazz tradition and composed music pop up in the piano playing by Wallace in the various motives
he creates, but are difficult to trace back for my ears. Often in improvisations of some length, passages of
high dynamics are followed by parts where the improvisers to take time to dwell around in a more quiet
phase. Not so with this duo. The same high energy level and intensity is more or less maintained
throughout. The music progresses as one constant flow, what made me think of Cecil Taylor’s work.
Their playing is very together, united and highly dialogical. Their vivid improvisations are full of
passion and joy. They play very eagerly, and trigger one other into a very intense dialogue. Virtuosic
musicians who make an excellent duo and who have for sure more songs to offer in the future. The
release comes as an usb stick hidden in what at first sight looks like a cassette. (DM)
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