Number 1130

Releaseschedule for the next few weeks:
Vital Weekly 1130: Monday April 30
Vital Weekly 1131: Saturday May 5
Vital Weekly 1132: Tuesday May 15
and then Tuesday again for a few weeks

DNMF – SMELTER (CD/LP by Moving Furniture Records, cassette by Tartarus Records) *
KAPITAL & RICHARD PINHAS – FLUX (CD by Instant Classic) *
JDC.BLC – DEMON ANGEL (CDR by Alabama Field Imprint) *
PRIMOŽ BONČINA – DEAF LOVE (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
SHŌ – SPECULATIONS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
DAVID LEE MYERS – APPARITIONS (download by Silent Records) *
LINGUA LUSTRA – ETERNAL BEING (download by Silent Records) *
7PRS – DIVISION BY ZERO (download by Silent Records) *
FROM HERE TO TRANQUILITY VOLUME 9 (download by Silent Records)


Along with these two releases I got a booklet about a festival this label organises in Ljubljana, in the
republic of Slovenia, and judging by the line-up from the edition held in March this year, as well as
the six previous years this is a die-hard improvisation festival, mainly for people holding an
instrument, and not so much for those improvise using electronics. Perhaps as proven by these two
releases. The first contains nine improvisations by Jost Drassler for the double bass. He recorded
these last year, I assume in studio surroundings. These nine pieces span thirty-eight minutes and
throughout this the instrument is easily recognized as such. Drassler plays the instrument with his
fingers, sliding and plucking, but also with one or more bows, bending those strings beyond cracking
belief. Sometimes it all gets forcefully loud, but as easily he pulls out and carefully explores notes,
leaving room for silence and contemplation. Sometimes he moves inside one piece between both
ends, the careful and reckless, but more usual is to separate these ends, and explore one route in a
piece. Drassler does this with great care and style, and if I ran a festival like ’Sound Disobedience’ I’d
certainly consider letting him play.
    In November last year Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto saxophone) met up with Samo Kutin (hurdy
gurdy) in an abandoned war-shelter complex in the Ljubljana area; I assume to record this music,
but I must admit that I didn’t notice anything odd, space wise that is, the first time I heard this
album; only when I set myself to write this review I noted this on the cover. I don’t think I hear
this space very much, but maybe I have the wrong idea about such as a space, and it’s not cavernous.
The improvised music played by Guionnet and Kutin is a bit more radical than that of Drassler.
Surely the alto saxophone is something one can recognize, but the hurdy gurdy gave me some more
difficulty. Maybe because it’s an instrument I don’t get hear very often, but I think also because
Kutin treats it from time to time as an acoustic object to generate strange sounds. But sometimes,
so it seems, that saxophone and hurdy gurdy generate a massive acoustic drone and here is where
I later on realized that the size of the space might have a bigger role than I at first anticipated. The
heavy sustain on the sounds may come from using the space and playing sounds very close to walls
and corners, allowing to play around in this space. While the instruments can be recognized, it is
nevertheless quite a heavy release. Sometimes it is very loud, and quite endless on sustaining, but
it can also be quite soft, or broken up. This is some intense music, not just for the players and the
physicality it needs, but also for the listener, who needs some concentration to follow these pieces.
Great one! (FdW)
––– Address:

DNMF – SMELTER (CD/LP by Moving Furniture Records, cassette by Tartarus Records)

For anyone who’s even slightly plugged into the experimental music underground, a wordy
introduction of either Dead Neanderthals or Machinefabriek would be a superfluous exercise. Being
as prolific as can be, they now present their second collaborative effort under the moniker DNMF on
Amsterdam-based label Moving Furniture. The first one was an incredibly intense trip through
Lovecraftian netherworlds and I have to say, my expectations for this one are high. The whole thing
is just one track, so grab a seat and I’ll just walk you through it.
    It all starts here: Swallowed by the murk sea of tranquillity, we float amidst stars for a minute
or so, to be roughly awoken by a monolithic doom dirge that slowly crawls forward though the
monumental cathedral of the firmament. Gradually a cathartic wash of layered brass hovers over
the steadily stomping procession into infinity. The air becomes more electrically charged by the
minute, culminating in a dense point of release. Worlds shatter and we’re afloat again amongst
fragments and remnants of what once was, dead and dormant in the wake of the event. Harmonically
wailing waves become a strained spectacle upon the canvas of dissonant background radiation.
Saturation surges and we reverse back to the sluggish march that gently moves the shattered pieces
and debris back into their former state of existence – however, with so much force that, in the end,
the gesture itself becomes incomprehensible to the human mind. A lacuna of consonant drone offers
an indispensable respite from this gargantuan U-turn.
    Throbbing gravitational pulses carefully restore balance within a convulsing system. Once again
we are left floating deep within the mother of all night, but with our cores cleansed. Listening to it
like that it becomes one of the oldest stories – an archetypical one, of destruction and restoration and
DNMF communicate it in a sublime way.
    A while ago my (equally praising) review of the previous DNMF album sparked some “controversy”
with a few sensitive minds in the Dutch experimental music scene. So if anyone decides to lift a quote
from these paragraphs this time around, please make sure it isn’t possibly offensive when standing on
its own, since aforementioned situation should have taught us that ‘actually reading the thing you plan
on bashing’ is definitely a subtle art from times past. Still. it’s a sad thing you should be bawling your
eyes out on social media about something (essentially) nice that someone has said about your mate’s
work, while you could be out there trying to record an album as amazing as this one (or the previous
one), right? Yeah… get to it, you plonkers. Love. (PJN)
––– Address:


Polish label Zoharum use a vast amount of their catalogue to re-issue old works next to releasing
brand new music, which I think is a good thing. I won’t go into the argument that it would be better
to just release new music all the time, as especially in the case of Vidna Obmana’s trilogy, works are
concerned that I haven’t heard in a long time. So perhaps it is not that odd to start there. I knew (and
met) Vidna Obmana’s Dirk Serries ever since his earliest days when he was one of the boys doing
noise. For me it came as quite a shock when he turned all-ambient at the turn of the 80s. It was a
slow process, which first manifested itself very defined on ‘Gathering In Frozen Beauty’. At least
that’s what I remember, but quickly lead to ‘Revealed By Composed Nature’ and then the three
individual releases, which are now part of this box, being ‘Passage In Beauty’ (1991), Shadowing In
Sorrow’ (1992) and ‘Ending Mirage’ (1993). These three albums belong very much together as one
thing, sonically and musically and have been re-issued as a triple box by Relic in the mid-90s. Now
Zoharum does it again and it brings back some of the delights I heard so long ago, while working in
a record store. Maybe I reviewed some of these in the fanzine that is the predecessor of Vital Weekly,
but was too lazy to find evidence of that. Just over three hours of ambient music, the perfect soundtrack
to a somewhat chilly spring day, especially for an early morning soundtrack, when there are very few
cars around and the birds sing. Some of that chilly weather is reflected in the eerie, long sustaining
tones of Vidna Obmana. On the first two albums they sound like stretched out and slowed arpeggio
tones on digital synths that the noise boys couldn’t afford, but in a somewhat mid-range frequency
range. On ‘Ending Mirage’ there is a bit more room for the low end of the sound. The very deep end
seems not yet to be part of it, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for an ambient household. This is music
that should be played at a medium to low(-er) volume and given the opportunity to gentle fill your
space; not loud, not soft, not immersive but present. Of the three works ‘Ending Mirage’ is the most
matured one of this early ambient phase, allowing what seems to be field recordings and long fade-ins
and fade-outs, making the pace slower and ever more spacier in approach. This is a most welcome re-
    Also from Belgium’s Hybryds Zoharum re-issued a whole bunch of work and the double CD
‘Mistrust Authority & Tectonic Overload’ is already the seventh re-issue from this band. I frankly
admit I never knew they had so many releases, having given up on them in the early 90s; too gothic
for my taste I think was my judgement back then. ‘Mistrust Authority Promote Decentralization’ was
released on vinyl on Iceland in 1996 and ‘Tectonic Overload’ on CD by Ant-Zen in 1998. On this disc
that promotes the libertarian agenda there is also some thirty minutes of bonus material recorded
live in Munich in 1996. As I noted with the previous re-issue, ‘The Ritual Of The Rave’ (Vital Weekly
1106) by this time in the 90s the sound of Hybryds shifted towards more dance based music, without
being strictly techno or house. On ‘Mistrust Authority Promote Decentralization’ the strong rhythmic
sound is employed to play some heavy industrial nightmarish dance music. These sound like drum
machines set up in the middle of an empty factory and hammering away like Chaplin on a conveyer
belt in ‘Modern Times’. The empty hall is a huge cavernous space, but it’s the abundant use of reverb
that for me makes it less timeless and that’s a pity. Even back then it was not that common to use
reverb on top of everything, rather on specific sounds to give each a place them in the mix. Not so
with Hybryds, where it seems everywhere, also on top of the taped voices and vocals. In that respect
the ‘Tectonic Overload’ CD is of much more interest. Here the beats are produced in a much more
refined way and yet it still sounds all very much industrial and factory like. Esplendor Geometrico’s
spirit lives on here as well. Some of the pieces are a bit long (and one shouldn’t always fill a CD
because it is possible) for my taste, letting a rhythm run amok in a set of sound effects and play
around with them, but some trimming could have been nice. I quite enjoyed the second disc!
    Music from Justin Wright doesn’t sit too well with me. I wasn’t blown away by psychedelic music
on ‘Live At The Pit KFJC 89.7 FM’ (see Vital Weekly 1074) and here’s another double of “rare recordings
from 2008-2010, released only on two mini CDRs and two cassettes”. It is again Wright on guitar and
loop devices and Matt Hill on bass and analogue drum machine. All pieces are an endless doodle on
guitar with Wright in the role of the grandson of Manual Göttsching of Ashra Tempel. Pieces are slowly
built and looped and are very spacious. Music for the mind, ma’an, just lay on your rug; smoke a big J,
sipping… I don’t know, a white Russian maybe… and just space out, for something less than two hours
on a diet of endlessly sustaining guitars. I was reading a spy mystery novel in between, not allowed to
space out during work, and I thought it was most enjoyable for what it is, and that is some good old
fashioned space music. Nothing more and nothing less, and surely I’ll be the first to admit this might
not be out cup of herbal tea.
    The last one is entirely new music and is a split by Nowa Ziemia and Echoes Of Yul; both had
previous releases on Zoharum, but from Nowa Ziemia I just heard one work (Vital Weekly 1074),
which Artur Krychowiak recorded with other people. The four pieces here he recorded on his own.
Michal Sliwa is the man behind Echoes Of Yul and here he has ‘Fuse’, which is a single piece lasting
almost forty minutes. I can see why Zoharum wanted to release this as a split CD as the music of both
projects fit very well together. Both have a dark approach to textures and sounds from bowed string
instruments, I assume guitars rather than a cello (I might be wrong of course). Nowa Ziemia plays
the atmospheric card in the first three pieces with some extended drones on the guitar without being
overtly heavy on the use of effects, although also not entirely absent. In ‘Holter’ he adds a bit of rhythm,
slow and mechanical, almost like a krautrock sort of piece. For Echoes Of Yul I would think the guitar is
the primary instrument along with a fine line of sound effects. For the main section of ‘Fuse’ that guitar
and those effects howl around in a dark swamp of swirling guitar mist and only towards the end there
is the rise of drums and it becomes a slow, heavy rock song sort of thing, but really in the last seven or
minutes. Quite a powerful beats this one. It’s dark, it’s atmospheric and it’s scary: that sum up the fine
quality of this entire release and a most lovely thing it is. (FdW)
––– Address:


When I reviewed a LP back in Vital Weekly 1074 which was dedicated to Richard Pinhas I wrote this:
“I know the name Richard Pinhas for a long time, and I do know he was in a group called Heldon, but
somehow over the course of my long life I have never heard his music properly”, and that I checked
out some of his music before writing a review. Here Pinhas, living in Nantes these days, works with
Kapital, which is Rafal Iwanski (of HATI fame) and Jakub Ziolek. In October 2013 they met up at some
festival to play together and later on spend a few days in the studio taping the pieces on this CD.
Pinhas is on guitar, loop station and effects, Iwanski on analogue synthesizer, percussion pads, rhythm
machine, sampling unit and effects and Ziolek on analogue synthesizers, bass guitar, sampling unit, pc
wave and drum programming and effects. There are similarities to be drawn from this music and that
of Expo70 reviewed elsewhere as both seem to dip into the world of seventies psychedelica and
comparing the two the balance is in favour of the French-Polish connection. Their music is spacious
too, that much is sure, but way more varied and also slightly more connected to musical interests that
happened a little bit later on, say the world of ambient (house) and other rhythm inspired electronic
music. This gives the music something that is both relatable and something more or less fresh. It
doesn’t leap into sustaining boredom but keeps it on a fresh roll for the entire forty-five minutes this
lasts. Rolling thunderous streams of guitars, along with bouncing chords of synthesizers, supported by
a fine bass line or two and the slow yet steady pace of the rhythm machine and sequenced synth
patterns (to avoid referring to arpeggio’s and Tangerine Dream) in pieces that are of exactly the right
length; not too long but also not too short. It is just enough to want to long for some more. I am told
there will be more by this collaboration and I’d be curious to hear that. (FdW)
––– Address:


Since Philips gave me a slap on the wrist for writing about his stances on vegan life style and animal
cruelty, which wasn’t untrue but should be seen in a broader humanist context, I have been trying
think less about the context in which his music is presented, and more in musical terms. The latter I
always found pretty good. Philips is easily one of the most interesting composers of noise music. But
with a title like ‘Ritual Protest Music’, one needs to think what exactly is to be protested. I could copy
a lengthy quote from the label’s website, but better is to read what Philips has to say, with the
limitation of a quote by me. It is, okay, quote coming up, about his “work might touch on topics such
as animal rights, human rights and environmental awareness and sensitization, but actually it’s the
interconnectivity or hyperconnectivity (some call it chaos) between all these things that interests me”.
The music Dave Philips produces lies on the heavy amplification of nature sounds, field recordings and
the human voice, but also instruments as cello, violin, piano, bass and his “growing bank of “hitting”
sounds culled from recordings of whips, punches, slaps, smacks, slamming doors & windows,
hammered chairs and tables and objects flying about and breaking”. Especially the latter is around
here quite a bit, and it is spread around the stereo spectrum, in all sorts of configurations, creating an
element of constant surprise for the listener. All of these sounds are quite amplified as well and yet it
never becomes a real noise record. Surely all of this should be played loud but it is the form of collage
that makes this very interesting. It’s occasionally about distortion (and destruction) but just as easily
Philips uses various loops of insect recordings as drones for a while and slams a few doors or hits a few
tables. New seems to be the whispering voice to recite a text, something I haven’t heard before in his
work. Also a there seems to be use of rhythm, more than I heard before, or so I seem to remember as I
surely haven’t all of his work; especially in ‘Go Away’ there is a tribal rhythm to be noted. It is minor
variations like this, which make the progress in the work of Dave Philips. Along the lines of what you
already know something new is added and it immediately sounds like it has always been there. This
is another powerful record and one that makes you think about some serious subjects of today’s world
but also a record that simply sounds wonderful. (FdW)
––– Address:


From the outside it seems that quite a few Italian musicians are busy within the field of improvisation,
and of them quite a bunch within the more abstract electronic side of things. Vitolo’s music we heard
once before, in duet (do I need add ‘obviously’?) with Gianluca Favaron, but he also works as AV-K,
which I didn’t hear. I never heard of Luca Buoninfante before. He plays objects, microphones, laptop,
field recordings and Vitolo live electronics, laptop and effects. They have ten improvisations here
within the space of thirty-six minutes, so everything happens with quite some speed. It also happens
with quite a bit of gentle force; nothing is sacred for these two gentlemen. They like their cracks and
cuts, deep massive drones, high-end frequency peeps and yet sonic overload is not the primary
concern, so it seems. They also know how to pull back, let stuff on a gentle roll for a while, before
leaping up the noise and distortion again. There is quite some of the use of field recordings here,
filtered, unfiltered, topped with brutal electronics, owing to equal parts of the world of improvised
music, noise and musique concrete and at that these two men do a wonderful job in creating perhaps
not the most original of releases, but they do a very solid job at combining these varied musical
interests into something that is well produced and their own. (FdW)
––– Address:


The one time I heard music from Caroline Park, back in Vital Weekly 846, it turned out to be a release
that is not on Discogs, or at least not listed with the Caroline Park who did this new one, released by
Glistening Examples. She was from Los Angeles and back then lived in Providence, Rhode Island and
mainly known for her laptop music, but also working with a quartet of improvisers known as BUMPR.
Back then it was all very quiet music, and this is still the case, but now it comes with directions;
“Please play this album at full volume, with good speakers, in a nice room”. Of course I have no idea
what constitutes as a ‘nice room’, but safe to think it is some place one feel’s comfortable in, and
maybe also listening without any disturbance. The first piece opens with dripping water, but slowly
moves into a very low droning sound. Low as in low in volume and low as in bass-end. “Throughout
this album, volume becomes a physical and nuanced medium to slowly and sculpturally carve out
affective spaces for contemplation, unease, and desire”, Park tells us. The second piece opens with a
mid-range, highly reverberated sound, that somehow for me reflected something of that factory feeling
that is mentioned in the title, like a vast space with some massive reflections against the walls. The
longest piece is ‘Braiding And Unbraiding Repeatedly Day After Day’, is at the end, and maybe you will,
like me, grab your remote to turn the volume down a bit, as this surely strikes hard, but in reality is not
a loud piece, it is just considerable louder than the rest. It is a very droning piece as well, and made out
of massive layers of organ like drones. It could easily be a bunch of processed violin sounds and is my
personal favourite of this release. This is an interesting release, and one that works best on repeat.
    Taneli Viljanen seems like a new name to me. His three previous releases were all cassettes and
released by Pai Tapes And Records. He also wrote four books of experimental fiction. In his sound
work he uses “many disparate and heterogeneous sound sources” and creates assemblages out of
that. I am not sure if these assemblages are the result of a more randomized process of mixing or a
careful constructing various elements together, and after listening to these four pieces, spanning
forty-six minutes in total. As said it’s not easy to say to what extent this is all composed in a very
strict sense or the result of some blind mixing. It could work out either way, I think. Sometimes I hear
combinations of sounds that work very well, almost like a natural dialogue of field recordings; walking
about, shuffling, some sort of electronic process thing in ‘Helmiauskallo, Myskimalva’, but sometimes I
also had the impression of some more or less a set of random field recordings stuck together, without
much dialogue but in conversation for a bit too long, for instance in the opening minutes of
‘Metallisuhde, Harha-aurinko’. In the final piece, Taneli Viljanen breaks with the cross fading of
sections together and has a more abrupt to his collages of sound, and this one also includes some
piano material, which I assume he played himself. Throughout I’d say this is a most enjoyable work,
not outstandingly well but simply a fine work that involved using a lot of field recordings. (FdW)
––– Address:

JDC.BLC – DEMON ANGEL (CDR by Alabama Field Imprint)

Behind the acronym here we find two brothers, of which the ‘blc’ part is Ben Link Collins, of whom I
reviewed work before (Vital Weekly 1106 and 828), whereas ‘jdc’ is Josh Dwight Collins. The latter
contributes keyboard, whereas Ben is responsible for field recordings and analogue synthesizer.
Furthermore there is a bit of cello and voice by the wives of both gentlemen. The whole piece lasts
just under twenty-four minutes and, spoiler alert, that is a bit short, me thinks. On their Bandcamp
page there is a short description from which I gather this is sort of soundtrack for an imaginary movie:
“Out of the fire, into the undergrowth, and across the field of time, some rough beast paddles through
your evening cocktail, takes wing, and ascends most womanly. Domestic industry of your days, goodbye
– the Demon Angel has spoken.” Going back and forth between field recordings and synth, which are in
the opening minutes of a particular loud nature it moves slowly into something that is a bit more
towards chamber music, with majestically played piano and cello notes. While not entirely separated
in a very strict way, I would think that certain parts are more one thing than the other. Lingering
underneath the whole piece is a layer of heavily treated field recordings on a computer. Only around
the thirteenth minute break this sounds by itself. There are quite some forest-like sounds used in this
piece, from the crackling of branches and leaves, which open up this piece onto the campfire and rain
sounds towards the end of the piece. It all ends on a melodic humming voice, on a gentle note. Quite
the scary trip, this one. (FdW)
––– Address:


A relatively young project, this Ausströmen project, whose first recordings were released by Tesco,
wholesalers of noise matter rather than retailers of fizzy drinks, for a compilation in 2017. At the end
of that year Ausströmen recorded the ten pieces that are now on ‘Immobile’. I have no idea with how
many Ausströmen are, or from which country they are. Somehow I assume from the UK, just like the
new Faktion label. Their noise approach is one of classic proportions; classic as in early to mid 1980s
power electronics and noise music. Take a bit of Ramleh, a pinch of Esplendor Geometrico and big
lovin’ spoonful of Genocide Organ, and bob’s dein unkel. Grim music is the more than obvious result,
with such titles as ‘Pornography Of Violence’, ‘Dead machine’, ‘Glass’ and ‘Fading Life’, but other titles
show a more oblique approach; ‘microsound’ is not something you expect. Ausströmen use a bunch of
analogue synth playing repeating block and sine waves, along with some oscillations and distortions
thrown in for good measure and on top in the texts are spoken more than sung and also these come
with a fine byte of distortion. Of course a taped TV text is part of this, just as Cabaret Voltaire’s ‘Baader
Meinhof’ did on the very first Factory Records release in 1978, something in German, and maybe also
about the RAF. As someone who rarely pays attention to vocals, I have no idea what these are about,
not even when I tried to give it the attention it deserved. Somehow though it didn’t seem to be the
usual nazi/porno/control/state sort of thing to be. I have no idea why I believe this to be different.
Throughout it is produced quite well with much attention for sonic detail and variation in executing
the single-minded ideas into a pleasant album. At forty-five minutes of course intended to be on vinyl
one day, when 21st century noise has its revival. Clever thinking. (FdW)
––– Address:

PRIMOŽ BONČINA – DEAF LOVE (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
SHŌ – SPECULATIONS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

For both of these cassettes the Bandcamp descriptions are rather obscure. Also the covers don’t reveal
much when it comes to how, what, why, when and such mundanities. Therefore I don’t have that many
wild ideas about Primož Bončina; a group, one man/women/otherwise? It is hard to judge matters like
that going by the music. Also perhaps because I have very little idea how this was made. I believe to
hear guitars at work; quite a few are layered together. There is also quite a bit in way of effects and the
result is a considerable ‘heavy’ release. Not really noise based, but throughout there has surely been a
bit of feedback flying around in these chains of effects. This is the kind of music that guides you on your
nightmares; you’re half awake and half asleep and along your hear these chilling sounds of feedback
sparking about, loops of guitar drones and sounds that you can’t identify, not even when you are wildly
awake. One could easily say this is a noise release of some kind, but not that it is about playing noise
per se. It’s heavy yet also remains moody; shock tactics don’t seem to be part of this, neither does it
aim to please the listener in the same way ambient music does. This is also not without humour, I’d
think, as one of the funnier titles of pieces this week can be found on this release:  (The Ghost Of)
Prussian Postal Service’. This seems to be Primož Bončina’s first release and it’s not a bad start at all
and hopefully with more to come in the future.
    The other new release is by Shō (again I’m glad I don’t have spoken introductions to the podcast
as I have no idea how this should be pronounced), who is from Berlin. And that’s about the extent of
the information I have. Listening to the music produced by Shō I think we are dealing here with
someone who uses computers to produce a somewhat naive kind of ambient music in which rhythm
plays a part too. It has all the right sounds, all the right production moves, but somehow not yet
worked out very much. Here’s a bunch of loops and a dash of effects, but that doesn’t make up a song.
Also sometimes it all leaps out of control and it becomes less ambient, noisier perhaps without
becoming some kind of harsh noise. Maybe some kind of shoegazing ambient? I doubt whether that
should be shoegazing ambient pop though, as it may not be that pop like. I’d say this music is more
about creating uncomfortable atmospheres through gritty textures and moods (for instance in ‘Felt’).
While not entirely worked out properly I’d say there is enough promise in here for future releases.
––– Address:

DAVID LEE MYERS – APPARITIONS (download by Silent Records)
LINGUA LUSTRA – ETERNAL BEING (download by Silent Records)
7PRS – DIVISION BY ZERO (download by Silent Records)
FROM HERE TO TRANQUILITY VOLUME 9 (download by Silent Records)

So this is not really a review, but merely a personal observation. I get tons of download codes and as
a general rule I don’t review downloads, and sometimes, also as a general rule I guess, I break ‘m; rules,
not downloads. I got a bundle of codes from Silent Records as a way saying thanks for your music that
we released and of course the sad thing is that I won’t review that one, but if you do hop over to the
Silent Records Bandcamp site, think of the ‘other one’ too. It is a pity that the forces of economy mean
that since the return of Silent Records a few years ago none of this stuff is released on CD anymore (or
hardly actually).
    I kicked off with the name that I know for many years, David Lee Myers. Once he was working as
Arcane Device, was on a hiatus for many years and now is back with his feedback set-up, as that’s
what he has been doing for the past thirty or so years. Mixers are cobbled together and the internal
connections generate feedback and Myers plays around with them, filtering, adding effects; sometimes
in a very ambient way and sometimes rather noisy. ‘Apparitions’ holds the middle ground between
that. While his previous work, on CD, by Silent Records (early to mid 90s) was more ambient in
approach, here it is occasionally quite piercing and loud. Obviously that comes with the territory of
working with feedback. His rhythmical approach that he sometimes also does (check out the recently
re-mastered download only ‘Diabolis Ex Machina’ on Myers’ own Bandcamp) is not something he does
here. Sometimes these feedback tones are quite organ(ic) like and I wasn’t thinking of feedback
anymore, but more something along the lines of computer processed sounds. Perhaps it is altogether
not as ambient as one would expect from Silent Records, but very powerful music.
    Silent Records already released music by Dutch Lingua Lustra before, that I haven’t heard, but I
heard a previous release by Psychonavigation, but he also released on Databloem, Spiritech, Anodize,
Lagerstätte, Spherical Records. Albert Borkent is the man behind the name and he lives near the coast,
an environment providing an endless source of inspiration. ‘Eternal Being’ is perhaps a bit of a tacky
title, borderline new age says the cynic in me, but his ambient music is textbook stuff. In the title piece
the birds chirp away like on the beautiful spring it actually is right here, right now. To that he adds a
fine blend pack of synthesizers, all with key pressed firmly down to create that ever flowing stream of
sound, like waves cascading. Yet Lingua Lustra’s music is also nothing that is even remotely close to the
world of new age music. ‘Night Phase’ sounds like a computer stretch of nocturnal silence, spooky and
dark, which I assume would go down bad on the hippie crowd. This I would classic ambient music that
Silent Records is known, sans any rhythm – more on later.
    From Ireland hails Robin Parmar, who is not only a musician but also a Drone Cinema filmmaker
and I had not heard of him before. There seem to have been two previous releases as Robin Parmar.
His ambient music comes in five parts of which four are well over ten minutes. All of this was done live
and without overdubs, and is surely something of a darker nature than Lingua Lustra does. There is
an ever-pulsating loop in these pieces, which gives it a slightly industrial edge. There is a short loop
created and fed through an endless amount of sound effects and it is ever expanded upon, until it’s
dirty and fuzzy, almost like some shoegazing rhythm ’n noise. It is certainly something else, but I am
not entirely sure if it is my cup of tea.
    And finally there is the ninth volume of ‘From Here To Tranquility’, which is subtitled ‘In Dreams’.
Back in the old days these compilations were excellent overviews of what the label had to offer; from
moody ambient to quite wild house rhythm based atmospheric music. Since the label returned they
released a bunch of more compilations in which the balance is in favour of the more moody ambient
pieces, and that is a pity. Partly because there is so much of that kind of thing around that is harder
and harder to separate the good from the copy, but also I always enjoyed the other side of Silent
Records; the rhythm and the mood combined. It is, I think, a legacy to be proud of. How is it this
time? As much as I hoped for a well-balanced ambient drone versus ambient house, it is not what
the current interest at Silent HQ is about. Many of the musicians here dabble with computer
technology to create pieces of music filled with dark atmospheric textures, usually very abstract
with not a single trace of an instrument. In Mike Rooke’s piece we recognize a guitar among the
reverb, but that is a rare thing. Oddly enough the only one to use rhythm is Lingua Lustra who
uses a slow dubby rhythm that sounded like a slowed down Porter Ricks. Deeper Than Space, the
only ‘old’ name here this time, has the most synth based piece, but sans rhythm. Having said all of
this the compilation contains some fine, solid experimental drone and ambient music, with none
of the pieces leaping out, and no weak brother either. (FdW)
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