Number 1137

ANA DALL’ARA-MAJEK – NANO-COSMOS (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
BEN CHATWIN – STACCATO SIGNALS (CD by Village Green Recordings) *
  by Konvoj)
I II O (CD by Silentes) *
NICOLA DI CROCE – CLINAMEN (download by Silentes) *
KREYSING & PENSCHUCK & STADLMEIER – RE-ENCYPHER (CD by Marhorka/Attenuation Circuit) *
7697 MILES – KINE (CD by Attenuation Circuit) *
ILTA HÄMÄRÄ – VELLOA (7″ by Meeuw Muzak)
AMORAIM – RAINMAKER (CDR by Microdot Music) *
   by Xtelyon Records)
IAN HAGWOOD (CDR by Eilean Records) *

ANA DALL’ARA-MAJEK – NANO-COSMOS (CD by Empreintes Digitales)

Here we have a composer from Montreal, where she got a doctorate in composition at the University in
2006. Besides working with others in composing and performer, Ana Dall’ara-Majek organises computer
music programs and has a duo with Ida Toninato called Jane/KIN. “Nano-Cosmos is a cycle of acousmatic
pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms”, it says on the cover. There are five
pieces on this release, usually created for a multi-speaker set-up, but here traveling from two speakers
to your ears. The microscopic look at insects, bacteria and other hardly visible creatures lies at the basis
of the music, which in all five pieces seem to consist of lots of small sounds. Sometimes these are heavily
clustered together, thus from some drone like pattern (or two), but the can also appear like a swarm, all
appearing seemingly random and chaotic, although they probably are not. It seems as if some of these
sounds are voice like, almost singing, like in ‘Bacillus Chorus’, but surely the title of that piece was
perhaps leading me on. Dall’ara-Majek doesn’t seem to be using all these granular processes that sound
like slides, going up and down that some of the composers who record for this label are known for, but
throughout she seeks an extremer sound, with deep bass bumps and high end hiss, such as in ‘Pixel
Springtail Promenade’, yet she also never betrays her roots in serious electronic music. She uses quite
a bit of field recordings, although not always recognizable as from the land of microcosmos. In the final
piece, ‘Xylocopa Ransbecka’ one recognizes the sounds of wood doors; in the text she explains how sees
that relation and yes, that works well. Also within the context of the whole CD it works pretty well.
Throughout a most enjoyable, me thinks. (FdW)
––– Address:


To be honest I hardly listen to the radio, and maybe I never did that much. As young person perhaps
quite a bit but it’s a faded memory. I love radios for the crackling sounds they produce but that’s
something different of course. These days radio comes out of a radio, in your car, in your phone or in
home computer and something worthwhile to hear is
where people like Asmus Tietchens, Jetzmann and TBC have their programs, transmitting the kind of
music you read about in Vital Weekly. TBC sometimes uses the radio waves to transmit something he’s
being playing on the spot with other people and here he is active with ‘effects, mix, turntable’, while
Jetzmann plays ‘electronics’ along Czepocks, being Rieckmann (sax, effects) and Seemann (violin harp,
effects). There is no mentioning of a recording date or titles for any of the three pieces. I expected,
quite wrongly as it turned out, something quite noisy, but in the opening piece, which lasts some
twenty-two minutes, and while occasionally going a bit off the rails, I quite enjoy the piece for its highly
controlled conversation. In the second piece, which is three minutes longer, the level of control goes
down a bit in favour of a more noisy approach. Everybody is playing with a bit more power, seeking a
firm place in the mix, and here too I think some editing would have made it all a bit stronger, but it
never becomes a full on noise assault, but it is quite loud at times. At the end there is the six-minute
piece, which not necessarily adds any new insight to the longer pieces we just heard and which I think
is a bit superfluous. Throughout however I thought this was quite a fine release. (FdW)
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BEN CHATWIN – STACCATO SIGNALS (CD by Village Green Recordings)

There am me thinking that this is my introduction to the music of Ben Chatwin, but then I learned he
called himself Talvihorros before and was reviewed twice in Vital Weekly, 731 and 798. Back then he
was a man who played his guitar and effects, and since then he’s come a long way, changing from
Talvihorros to his given name, and expanding beyond the use of the guitar.  This is called his ‘most
ambitious record to date’, a phrase often used to attract one’s attention, but I didn’t hear his two
previous albums as Ben Chatwin, so I must take the record label’s word for it. Much of the music was
recorded at home, and while the original idea was an all-electronic record using analogue and modular
synthesizers, it expanded to use of a string quartet, but also cornet and tenor horn and the album
became a strange hybrid between modern classical music and electronic music. The result is some very
strong music. In his electronic approach, Chatwin leans towards the world of technoise, with quite
heavy rhythms and piercing synths, but also places at the right moment an arpeggio here and there,
and the string- and wind instruments either drifting along or rising to mighty crescendo, like an
orchestral burst. Sometimes these instruments provide a tune of sorrow, the complete anti-thesis of
whatever else is going, as in ‘Knots’, that odd combination of loud rhythms and remorseful strings;
it’s a strange combination but it works quite well. I can imagine Chatwin being picked up by some of
the bigger ‘alternative’ festivals and Chatwin in the middle with his electronic tools and around him a
small orchestra. Off stage he will be working on film soundtracks with bigger budgets. It all seems
within reach. By that time he will no longer be a man whose work is reviewed in these pages; instead
you can read about his work in a newspaper. Good for him, I should think! This is the kind of ‘difficult’
music that a bigger audience can easily understand. (FdW)
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  by Konvoj)

Konvoj is a Swedish label and platform run by Ola Paulson, a composer, improviser and sound artist.
On ´Seagull Sonatas´ he is in a duo with John Tilbury (grand piano). Ola Paulson plays alto sax and
plastic tube, and did computer processing on track 6. John Tilbury plays grand piano. Veteran Tilbury,
who has a long career (AMM, Scratch Orchestra, MIMEO, etc), still performs and plays beautiful as this
recording illustrates. It is recorded in Deal, UK, April 14th, 2016. All improvisations are inspired on the
seagull. The CD opens with the most lengthy improvisation ´Seagulls Screaming, Dogs Barking´, a very
introspective improvisation, yet very powerful and concentrated at the same time.  A very intimate
and appealing opening of the cd that is one long meditation exercise, one that really talks being very
communicative, loaded with meaning and emotions. This is an intriguing work. 
    ‘Like listening with your fingertips’ is one long improvisation of almost 37 minutes by Agustí
Fernández (grand piano) and Johannes Nästesjö (double-bass), who are both unknown improvisers
for me. They both have their history and are very experienced musicians. Fernández comes from
Palma de Mallorca and is an important force of the Spanish community of improvisers. He played with
key figures of the international scene: Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, Butch Morris, etc. Nästesjö hails
from Malmö, Sweden is likewise an international oriented player who worked with Tom Chant, Joe
Morris, Fred Lonberg Holm, Lotte Anker, and so on. Their improvisation is a fascinating improvisation
full of inventive twists and interaction. Very organically this improvisation shows different faces, leads
us through different moods and tempers. Created by two improvisers who are really tuned in on one
other. Both have lots of ideas, expressed through extended techniques, changes in dynamics, subtle
and silent sounds contrasted with harsh and loud sounds, colourful and evocative, etc. But again, all
in function of a very communicative and musical interaction, what makes it a very satisfying listening
    With Martin Küchen and Anders Lindsjö we are again in the company of two experienced
improvising musicians. Küchen (soprano, sopranino saxophone, snare drum) and Lindsjö (semi-
acoustic and acoustic guitar). Their duets were recorded on January 3th, 2017 at Allmogen, Malmö,
Sweden.  Anders Lindsjö is a guitarist and bass guitarist who entered the Swedisch scene of improvised
music around 1989 and soon played with musicians from the international scene (Eugene Chadbourne,
Sten Sandell, David Moss, a.o.  Martin Küchen is also from Sweden, active in the world of improvised
music since the mid90s. He is member of Fire! Orchestra of Mats Gustafsson for example. Both players
are engaged here in some very concentrated and pointed duets. I’m baffled by the playing by Küchen:
very expressive and on the edge and a very powerful, if not maniacal player. Lindsjö proves to be an
excellent partner. His first surprise is the typical sound of this semi-acoustic guitar. He plays in a
Derek Bailey-like style. Constantly inventing new gestures and movements. It happens not very often
to me that a label presents several releases of such a high quality of improvised music. But here it
is! (DM)
––– Address:

I II O (CD by Silentes)
NICOLA DI CROCE – CLINAMEN (download by Silentes)

One of Italy’s secret weapons when it comes of weird music is Le Forbici Di Manitu, a trio with Manitu
Rossi (voice, instruments, xenocronia, role-playing), Satana Cianciulli (voice, and whole bunch of things
in Italian) and famous mail artist and former Trax honcho, Vittore Baroni (‘testi e tempi’). Their work
doesn’t allow easy description. They work along concepts that deal with music, art, and literature and
crosses many musical genres, high and low brow culture influences. It is music for the listener who
likes to be surprised, all the time (I assume, looking at all the music that is re-issued these days and
so welcomed, this is a very small group by now; conservatism rules the music business as well,
unfortunately). Like The Who and The Beach Boys with their lost albums, ‘Lifehouse’ and ‘Smile’, this
is the lost album by Le Forbici Di Manitu. Life started for this in 2000 when Rossi and Cianciulli started
to work on it, after “a whole decade of furious quarrels and disagreements”, following the cassette
release ‘Saliva Calda’ (re-issued last year by Tapeworm; they too!), but the work wasn’t completed until
last year, following “pauses and deferments”. Baroni was asked to write texts, “Completely
independently from the music according to a strategy already employed in “Saliva calda”, as it said, but
somehow it all fits together pretty well. Very much like with The Residents nothing is what it seems to
be, so I wasn’t that surprised when it turned out there wasn’t that many text on this CD. It is there, but
just not in all twelve pieces. Like with many of the releases of this group, the music bounces in all
directions; from straight out weirdness in ‘Palo’, form as well as directionless yet neatly vague, to beat
driven pop songs as ‘Io Non Sono Appenzeller’, sample packed and almost like a dance song. Weirdness
however prevails in this album, which is made like one flow of songs going straight from one into the
next, like a radiophonic drama of epic proportions. Maybe there is a story of some kind belonging to this,
but what ever texts I could hear, they all seemed to be in Italian. I quite enjoyed the overall weirdness
of this release; the mystery of it all; to be captured by something one doesn’t entirely understand and
still be fascinated by it. That’s the power of this group.
    There is not yet information on the website about I II O, a trio of Alberto Collino (synth, prepared
guitar, radio, amplified objects), Alberto G. Carraro (computer) and Livio Fiorica (synth, computer). I
don’t think I heard of either these musicians before. In spring and autumn 2008 they recorded the
three pieces and I have no idea why it took so long to release these. Thee pieces are titled ‘I’, ‘II’ and
‘O’ and surely that adds to the mystery (again!), but throughout I’d say these three musicians are very
serious at what they do. The three pieces are all about setting forward a piece of drone music, dark and
mysterious. The guitar is in its best orchestral setting, like the best ambient drone guitar and around it
we hear radio waves, field recordings, the rattling of objects and obscured computer processes. In ‘II’ it
all becomes a bit noisy towards the middle part and it all sounds not bad, but to be honest it is also not
great either. It’s solid stuff for sure, but perhaps also a bit without much imagination. I had the
impression that they first drew up a list of favourite records as an influence and ‘must include’ sound
ideas and then went about to record it as close as possible as they could in that very template of ‘drone
guitar, electro-acoustic sound, a bit spooky and let’s not forget a bit of reverb’. Ticked all the right boxes.
    Wait a minute, Vital Weekly doesn’t do downloads, right? Yes, you’re right, but this came in the
form of a LP and a booklet. The LP is basically a recycled old album in a new silkscreened cover, the
music not related at all to the music of Nicola di Croce. If sending out download codes is to avoid high
shipping costs, one could say it failed here. Unlike many of the releases by 13, Silentes sub division, the
booklet deals with drawings, smears and lines, that one could also interpret as scores. Maybe it is not
intended like that. Di Croce taped field recordings in various Mediterranean cities, and adds to these
the trumpet and voice of Gabriele Mitelli as well as samples from a music of sources, listed in the
booklet, but I am actually not sure what they mean. I had to look up with clinamen are, and read that
“Clinamen (/klaɪˈneɪmən/; plural clinamina, derived from clīnāre, to incline) is the Latin name
Lucretius gave to the unpredictable swerve of atoms, in order to defend the atomistic doctrine of
Epicurus. In modern English it has come more generally to mean an inclination or a bias.” I understand
that the album is about “changes in the relationship between elements”, by which I think is meant the
field recordings and the voice/trumpet. There are four lengthy pieces here, almost forty minutes of
music and the field recordings may be processed in some way, to generate a more stuttering effect,
but I might be mistaken with the samples. Despite the abstract nature of the trumpet and perhaps
the voice I don’t think it always fits all too well with whatever else is going on in the music. That sort
of vaguely jazz tone of the trumpet may suggest a lazy Mediterranean atmosphere, but the rest of the
music is too abstract to give the same feeling. It is quite dark and alien and could be field recordings
from anywhere in the world. It is not bad (either) and perhaps something of his own, but altogether
it wasn’t something that did a lot for me. (FdW)
––– Address:

KREYSING & PENSCHUCK & STADLMEIER – RE-ENCYPHER (CD by Marhorka/Attenuation Circuit)
7697 MILES – KINE (CD by Attenuation Circuit)

For some time we received a lot of releases by Germany’s Attenuation Circuit label, but since a few
months that is no longer the case. The focus has been shifted to playing more and more concerts and
releases have been limited to either digital only and CD or LP releases. The first CD is a co-release
with a label named Mahorka and contains a live recording by Anja Kreysing (accordion, electronics,
recording), Dan Penschuck (percussion, synth, live effects) and Sascha Stadlmeier (guitar, heater,
wood, voice, effects, mastering). The latter I know quite well, for his work as EMERGE and I don’t think
I heard of the others before. On November 19th, 2017 they played in Münster, Germany, and on this
CD there are two pieces, which lengthwise, could have also fitted on a LP; twice about twenty minutes.
It seems that Kreysing is trained in the tradition of Deep Listening, as developed by the late Pauline
Oliveros, and somehow it is reflected on this music I think. With many of the previous improvisation
encounters I heard that included the involvement of Stadlmeier, it was much more electronic affairs
and there was always some noise crescendo. That doesn’t happen in these two pieces. The music stays
throughout on the quieter edge of the sound spectrum and has quite an ambient feeling, and yet also
something that is very much improvised. Perhaps, indeed, a sound that is not that different from the
Deep Listening band. The occasional accordion sounds waving in is of course textbook Oliveros, but also
Penschuck and Stadlmeier adding sounds and a fair bit of reverb to create space deliver their parts very
well. The music is throughout spacious and the mood, while a bit dark, is that of contemplation. I’d say:
deep listening indeed on this highly successful concert recording.
    Dieter Mauson’s name one may recognize from his work with Nostalgie Eternelle, but here he is
one half of 7697 Miles, a duo with Cristobal Rawlins from Chile. No doubt the name reflects the distance
between Santiago de Chile and Hamburg. In May 2016 Rawlins stayed with Mauson for three months
and they recorded in Berlin and Hambug and Mausan went to Chili and following more concerts they
also played concerts. On their debut CD they have seven pieces, somewhere between six and almost
eighteen minutes. I’d say that is all a bit long, but perhaps for me as a reviewer, and not as a listener. I
nested myself with a bunch of comics in an easy chair and flicked on the CD, started reading and finding
myself having a most enjoyable time. This duo plays what one could call armchair techno music.
Spacious synthesizer based music that takes quite a bit of time to develop and sometimes has no need
to develop at all as it keeps moving on within the same rhythm and synthesizer patterns. Sometimes a
bit of voice material is leaked into it, and perhaps the best was one of the longer pieces, ‘Choique
Purrun’, with its minimalist rhythm and psychedelic synths. Stick on repeat while you go through a
whole pile of comic books and have a most enjoyable time with this armchair experiment meeting
armchair techno.
    Pauline Oliveros’ name returns as the record recorded by Jonathan Chen (violin, viola), Jefferson
Pitcher (guitars, clarinet, field recordings, playground) and Doug van Nort (GREIS, electronics) dedicate
their record to her. The music was already recorded in 2012, but is now released and is a fine mixture
between acoustic and electronic instruments. There are familiarities with the CD by Stadlmeier,
Penschuck and Kreysing that I just heard but also differences. One of the main differences, I would
think, is that here the instruments are more defined. A guitar sounds like a guitar here, a violin like a
violin and it is less based around the extensive use of effects to create space. The six improvisations on
this record can also be classified as ‘quiet’ and ‘introspective’, but it is less spacious due to the fact their
is a lot less reverb used. Everything is a bit ‘dry’ here, which means that the musicians have to walk an
extra mile in playing their instruments. There is a fine conversation going on between these players,
and everybody listens and responds accordingly. Sometimes it is a bit scratch like and abstract, but
just as easily it veers back into something that is way more melodic and, sorry for the word, normal;
almost like some sort of post-rock group intro. This trio is more on the edge of electro-acoustic and
modern composition where as the other trio is more about improvisation and spacious approaches.
Both are equally great, of course, and this LP is also a most profound statement of deep listening. (FdW)
––– Address:
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Releases by Berlin’s Le Petit Mignon always pay tribute to the land of le bande dessinée, French for
comic books. It is not that the releases are part of comics, but the covers owe to that tradition. Here
the cover is painted by Polish painter Gosia Bartosik and looks great; in a sort of black and white DDAA
tradition. The music is one side by Spettro Family, the musical project of Stefano Iannone, and by Klaus
Legal (ak.a. Pavel Viry), from France, on the other side. I don’t think I heard of either of these musicians
before. From the releases so far on Le Petit Mignon that I heard where wacky, improvised and noise
based, but this is something altogether a bit different.
    Despite calling it a family, there is only person responsible for the music, and Stefano Iannone plays
analogue synthesizers and electronics. The first song is the shortest, called ‘Psychotic TV’ and maybe
about Genesis P-Orridge, but it all eludes me. The other two pieces, both just over and less than two
minutes, are of much more musical interest. A neat dark synth line or two, backed with a fine ditto
dark rhythm, while ‘Vampire Hoover’ has a slight robotic touch to it and is somewhat joyous. It is
perhaps a pity that both pieces are this short and ‘Moog Patrol’ ends on a bit of silly fade out. There is
surely much more here to explore in both pieces than these short three pieces. Where’s the LP?
    Klaus Legal plays drum machine, synthesizers and voice and his two pieces remind me of the best
in the world of 80s pop music on cassette, 90s electro and sounds quite big. It is not easy to understand
the lyrics of this, partly because they are in French but also, even if I could understand that language,
not always easy to understand anyway. The music of Klaus Legal is more ‘together’ in terms of a song
structure. Forty years of alternative pop music is packed up in these songs, from Fad Gadget to Suicide
to rap (well, not really rap, as this I like) with some fine aggression and energy, especially in the
‘PozorPoupoup’ song. A nightmare it is, but a pleasant one, if you can imagine such a thing. I’d love
to see this guy play a concert and/or hear something that is much longer! Next time a split LP with
both? (FdW)
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ILTA HÄMÄRÄ – VELLOA (7″ by Meeuw Muzak)

After being around for twenty-three years, Meeuw Muzak releases their forty-ninth catalogue number,
so time for MM050 being something special, but surely a 7″, as Meeuw Muzak releases solely in that
format (well, two 10″ and a 8″ not withstanding, but that was a long time ago). Ilta Hämärä you ask? I
asked the same thing, as the over didn’t tell me much. The website only gave this sparse note: “Timo
Van Luijk and Bart De Paepe in troubled water”. Van Luijk we know as a serious man within the realms
of improvised music, and I never heard of De Paepe, who is, apparently also known as Father Sloow,
Bart Sloow or simply Sloower, partly because he has a label called Sloow Tapes. I know quite a bit of
Van Luijk’s music but this particular enterprise I had not heard before. They have a cassette and LP
available and now there is this 7″ with two songs. Some tormented slow (sloow?) drum machine, and
much delay and reverb on the guitar, along with some percussive bits, and together they create some
highly wacky pop music. Maybe not unlike that of Jonathan Valdez reviewed elsewhere, but Ilta
Hämärä don’t use any vocals. There is an abundance of sound effects used, adding a sort of psychedelic
flavour to the music, maybe the effect of it is a bit murky, troubled water indeed. You could wonder as
if this was recorded by a mister nobody anyone would touch it to release it, which actually can be said
 of various things I hear every now and then, but given the fact that Van Luijk is slowly becoming a
household name, surely this will go down well. Slowed down off side rock music; I love it, but I would
also said that if it was recorded by the nobodies. (FdW)
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AMORAIM – RAINMAKER (CDR by Microdot Music)

South Africa isn’t the most likely for new music, and you could wonder why not. Jay Scott runs since
many years the Microdot Music label and before that he released cassettes as Network 77. Every now
and then we receive a new sign of life. Now in the form of a release by Amoraim, of which I don’t know
it is the musical project of Scott himself or friends. Like with previous releases by Kraftreaktor (see
Vital Weekly 1077) and Kalahari Surfers (see Vital Weekly 755) this too is about the use of rhythms,
synthesizers, sequencers and lots of electronics (yes, the Kalahari Surfers made a turn from all
alternative rock to all electronics somewhere in their career, just in case you were wondering about
that). Amoraim is along those lines yet also a bit more towards the ambient end of the musical
spectrum. Ambient along the more experimental lines, which is quite great. I love my ambient to be
a bit gritty, complicated, dirty and with an edge, and Amoraim certainly delivers the goods. In the
longest piece, the one that opens up this release, there are traces of ambient house, say The Orb at
their most experimental with big splashes of synthesizers, slowed down tribal rhythm and far away
voices swirling in and out in the mix. But already over the course of these twenty minutes one notes a
steady descent into more and more field recordings and a slow abstraction of the ambient. From there
on, and in the other five pieces there is quite sparse synthesizer patterns, very few rhythm parts
(mere a slow bump every now and then), and an intelligent mix of these along with field recordings
that aren’t heavily detailed but add along the texture of the music. Quite dark at times, but I don’t
think it is the intention of Amoraim to be all-dark, all the time. Sometimes it all opens up a bit more
and there is a hazy sunlight shed over the warm landscape. I thought this was a great release with
some daring experiments in the world of ambient music. (FdW)
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Last year I reviewed ‘Drone Day’ by Canada’s dreamSTATE (their spelling), which was recorded during
something that I never heard off but apparently exists, national drone day. The recording dreamSTATE
released in 2017 was recorded in 2014 that special day, now they release their 2016 version of the
same day. Unlike last time it is one continuous piece, recorded in one go and split for easier access into
ten parts of four to five minutes. dreamSTATE has developed an iPhone app called ‘Ephemeral City’,
which given the fact that it can play up to eight hours of always changing music is quite a blast at 3,50
euros (eat that mister Eno!) and this hour long ‘version’, or ‘excerpt’, or ‘example’ (I am not quite sure
what to call this) sounds pretty good. While I just forked out 3,50 euros and hoping to get on it various
apparatus and discover the power myself, I think this hour-long drone piece sounds pretty good as it
is. It is very spacious, lots of reverb, no doubt, very cosmic and sometimes bouncing into a free range of
what could be elements of percussion, but slightly ‘processed’ and remotely present in the endless
sustaining mix of the music. This is indeed music that comes across as the soundtrack for a dreamstate,
a dreamscape. While I have very little experience with ‘music while you sleep’ (and to be honest very
little intention of experiencing it), I can easily imagine that some people would benefit from something
like at a very low volume during the night. As a calling card for an app this is a great CD; if you can’t be
bothered with new technology than this is a great CD as well. If cosmic music is right up your alley, and
you want to experience something than Schulze or Tangerine Dream, or you want to try your hands at
it, here is the right point of entry. (FdW)
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   by Xtelyon Records)

As far as I can tell both of these musical projects are one-man operated noise bands, with Deludium
Skies hailing from Austria and Threes And Will from Estonia. They both have various releases and
here team for a split release. Threes And Will, described on Discogs as ‘psych-drone/noise/drone-
rock uses mainly guitar, I would think, topped with a whole bunch of stomp boxes, octavers, distortion,
boosters and what have you. His five pieces span about thirty minutes, just like the six from Deludium
Skies, and among his stomp boxes I think he also uses a looping device as that seems to be in play here
and there, where the guitar is stuck down to a repeating phrase and on top of the sound effects provide
the minimalist noisegasm of altering and adding frequencies, sometimes with the result of sounding
like a right burnout of the six strings. A pleasant nightmare might be the result, at least for me it did
have that effect.
    Deludium Skies is something different. It is, for starters, a lot less noise based. There is besides
guitar also drums being played, which I assume are out of a box, and not from a real kit. It comes with
quite a bit of reverb. The guitar is played in a slightly more conventional way here and reminded me,
as far as I have knowledge of such things of course, of some demented, tortured blues music. As said,
Deludium Skies is a lot less noise based, and offers more variation in his approaches to the six stringed
instrument. Like said, blues seems to be an interest, but also drone treatments on the guitar such as in
‘Disembodied Wail’ and the introspective, tribal percussion feel of ‘Transfiguration’. I was surprised
that Xtelyon Records had the more accessible music at the end of the release and the noise at the
beginning, but the two compliment each other pretty well. Nice one for sure. (FdW)
––– Address:


When I asked Jonathan Valdez if there was any press text to his self-released CDR ‘Domestic Terrorism’,
I got as an answer “I have no one to write for me, but the cover lists all the instruments”, plus the link
below. And there’s old-fashioned me thinking that DIY encompasses the whole thing, recording,
producing and promoting your own product. For one, I wouldn’t know what Valdez’ background in
music is, or why each of the eight tracks lasts four minutes and thirty-three seconds; is there a John
Cage interest in there. So the only other thing to report is that he’s a member of K9 Cognition Lab, and
that on this CDR (his first according to Discogs) he is responsible for voice, text, patches, effects, guitar,
bass, editing and engineering. Ah, oh, and recorded in Austin, Texas, 2016-2018. This is some strange
music; that much is sure. There is a curious mix of demented ‘pop’ songs, with Valdez singing and
playing his instruments, almost like a free range post punk approach, but it’s too weird, too improvised
perhaps to be real post punk pop or otherwise. Text seems to be playing a big role, with Valdez taking
at times more the role of a poet than singing, such as in ‘Anachic Conquest’, even when I am not entirely
sure what it is all about. It is quite fascinating stuff, just because it is so different than so many of the
other things that land on my desk. One simply wishes to know a bit more, in terms of context and
background. Now there’s, I would think, a learning curve. The music is quite all right, but now is too
much by itself. Unless of course there is a whole universe out there of people doing this kind of music
that I simply haven’t heard of yet. This is wacky and maybe outsider music. Further investigation
required, based on these first batch of songs. (FdW)
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IAN HAGWOOD (CDR by Eilean Records)

There is a title to this release, which is ‘Light’ in Guang. I might be wrong (Google translate might be
wrong as well). Ian Hagwood is besides a musician, “an educator, instrument builder and sound
engineer”, and while his music is not always reviewed in these pages, he also has various labels (Home
Normal, Tokyo Droning, Nomadic Kids Republic, Koen Music, and Folk Reels) and some of those releases
do make it here. I am told that these days he writes music for theatre and film and these days he uses
old reel to reel tapes to record his music on, which he plays on an old piano and vintage synthesizers. I
would think that on this new one it is just the piano. If you crank up the volume quite a bit then you
realize there is some hissy, rusty sound from those old tapes. Upon first hearing the volume was turned
down a bit and I didn’t notice that, but when I turned the volume up, it was like opening up another
layer of sound to this. Suddenly there was that hiss, but also some sort of strange delay effect. I haven’t
got a clue whether this is from the reels (which is an effect that sometimes happens) or some sort of
post-recording process Hagwood applies to his music. The playing is very sparse, a few notes, a chord,
silence, and fits very much the current (well, seeing as how this is going on, not-so current) modern
classical wave of piano players; think Nils Frahm or Max Richter. Yet Hagwood is calmer, more minimalist,
quieter than some of his peers, as far as I know their work, and this album is of a great,
vulnerable beauty. It took him six years to come up with this and it is a great album, but the sad thing
is that it is quite short, at twenty-eight minutes. Each of the pieces seem to flow into each other, usually
in the fading of a pieces and the residue left behind the sound effects, yet each piece has a title on the
cover. Best enjoyed with some sparse lightning and a fine glass of red wine. (FdW)
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The name of Yiorgis Sakellariou should not be an unknown one, at least if you have been reading these
pages for some time. Sakellariou hails from Greece but these days’ lives in Coventry where earlier this
year he got his PhD. His work deals with field recordings, electroacoustic composition and acousmatic
performance and usually he creates lengthy collages of music dealing with field recordings and lots of
processes. This new tape is a bit different in that it has shorter pieces, from three to nine minutes, even
when playing the tape doesn’t make it clear what track is what. I guess that is part of the idea here, but
if you listen to Bandcamp version it will become how tracks are divided. The sources are “sounds of
electronic signals, chants, insects, birds, wind, rain, closing doors, train stations, watermills and
museums” and “the title of the collection is inspired by Søren Kierkegaard’s “Diapsalmata”, a series of
aphorisms included in his book “Either/Or”, just so you know. This is all along the previous lines of
Sakellariou’s work; heavily processed sounds, no doubt indeed of the sources mentioned (one can even
recognize some) are put together in a collage form, with some interesting changes. Sakellariou knows
how to work towards a crescendo and there is a sudden stop, a loud sound, a rough cut and then it
moves somewhere, in what could easily be something entirely different. You would think this is
connected to the beginning and ending of pieces when it comes to shorter pieces, but that is not the
case here. Sometimes it does, between B3 (a piece with many car like sounds) and B4, but in A2 it
happens within the piece itself. There is some strong music on this tape, with some heavy dynamic
changes. Loud, as with the aforementioned car-like sounds to lovely birds and insects outside in the
field, from electrical currents cracking to wide-open spaces, all in that fine collage form; sometimes
pure and clean, sometimes rendered beyond recognition. It is great to hear such a thing on cassette
for a change! (FdW)
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ILL BROVOLD – SUPERSTAR (K7 by  Eh? Records)

Here are two cassettes from the Public Eyesore offshoot, Eh? Records. Bill Brovold was part of the
experimental band Larval that released several albums for Knitting Factory and Cuneiform between
1996 and 2007. In 2000 Tzadik released his only solo album ´Childish Delusions´ so far.. 18 years later
Brovold presents his second solo album ´Superstar´. All songs composed by Brovold and recorded in
his studio in Detroit. Brovold himself plays home-made tools and instruments, guitar, lap steel, drums,
percussion, bass, piano, Casio keys, organ, bells, engineering. He is assisted by an impressive line up of
ten musicians, adding saxophones, drums, violin, guitars, piano and bass). To call his music on this
album experimental is absolutely too far-fetched. These are conventional rock instrumentals, pieces
that develop along very well known paths with no surprises. Okay, induced with some weirdness
every now and then. But that is it. Everything is well played, but it never starts to boil.
    The album by Eugene Methe and Megan Siebe  is something totally  different. We hear Siebe
playing cello and violin. Methe plays loops(cassette) and electronics. They present a reworking of the
main theme of British TV-drama ´Brideshead Revisited´, that was composed by Geoffrey Burgon. They
create a dreamy echoing world that reminded me of the work by The Caretaker, and even more so of
Gavin Bryars ´The Sinking of the Titanic´. A short phrase of the main theme is repeated and repeated,
with constantly slightly changing elements. The music has a hypnotic effect, almost like waves of water
rolling onto the beach. Deeper and deeper we sink into another world. Well done! (DM)
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