Number 1138


MISTER SCHLÉÈMM (CD by Editions Vibrisse) *
  Opa Loka Records) *
MNEM – HEGENON (LP by Sentimental)
  Folklore Tapes)
MOUNT FOG – WE KNOW NOTHING (8″ lathe cut by Hustle)
  White Rose Network) *
ANTOINE PANACHE – PLEASURES (cassette by Barreuh Records) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ – FRUITS (cassette by Faux Amis Records) *
MARIA CARLAS & MYLO CYWITZ – 31337 (cassette by Plattegrond Records)


There people, many I believe, who hold Coil’s ‘Musick To Play In The Dark’ as one of the best
ambient records ever; I am not one of them. I do know Thighpaulsandra plays on that record and
occasionally I hear of music he does, but I do not know as much as I perhaps should. Massimo
Pupillo is not a name that rang a bell, but he’s a member of Italy’s jazz noise trio Zu, where he plays
the bass. Together they have a duo called Uruk, where Pupillo also plays bass and I assume with
quite a lot of electronics, whereas Thighpaulsandra gets credits for synthesizers and electronics;
the first no doubt being of the modular variety. This is their second album, following last years ‘I
Leave A Silver Trail Through Blackness’ on Consouling Sounds.  The title of this new one is a
reference to Carl Jung, his final work, subtitled “An Inquiry Into The Separation And Synthesis Of
Psychic Opposites In Alchemy”. Two pieces, both around twenty minutes (it is also available on
LP) and it does the trick that one expects. Well, the trick I was expecting. It plays out some great
ambient drone music. While I am not entirely sure if it is a good or bad thing that expectations are
met (perhaps better not think about them?), the music here is of an all-immersive character. No
sound effect is kept in it’s original box, all the studio tricks have been applied and the music shifts
majestically forwards and backwards, slowly unfolding an envelope, only to reveal the existence
of another envelope, containing the next set of drone bricks to built the big wall. Like I said I don’t
seem to have that much frame of reference when it comes actually both musicians here, so I can’t
say much where it stands in the bigger body of their output; I do know that this is very good record
of drone based music, solid as it is, not very innovative, but that is not necessary. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is already the seventh album by almost local Florian Wittenburg (Germany native living in the
sunny surroundings of Nijmegen) since his first one, ‘Arte-Facts’ (Vital Weekly 825). While he
always had an interest in microtonal sounds and computer treatments, his last few albums were all
about the piano. That is not the case on ‘Four Waves’, which is the last piece on this new CD, using
four oscillator waves, sine, saw, square and triangle, and the whole CD is a rather mixed bag of
pieces. Now he uses a bunch of different instruments, such as organ, flute, bowed vibraphone, and
the HKU student choir along with electronics and software that he designed called Kyma. It’s good
to see Wittenburg is moving again and exploring new territory. The different instruments are creating
different pieces of music, which is quite nice, even when I am not always blown away by the pieces.
In ‘Color And Talea (Studie)’ for instance there is flute and vibraphone, and in some parts of this
piece it has a very nice Steve Reich-like touch to it, bouncing, vibrant and minimal, but it also at
times a collection of seemingly randomized sounds. Something similar I thought of  ‘Maarten Slow
And Quick (organ version)’, the piece that opens up this CD. It starts out great, very powerful and
drone like, but when it becomes quick it just seems random stabs on organ notes. However the two
pieces in which he uses the student choir the voices become a very complex web of sounds that
remind me of Cardew’s ‘The Great Learning’, or the fading sound of seagulls. Sometimes similar
happens in ‘Minor2Morse’ of shimmering bowed vibraphone sounds being heavily processed and
sounding very good. The title piece I have mixed feelings about, but somehow I think I like the
modern composition approach as executed by very modern pieces of software; a simple but
effective piece of music. The conclusion is that even when not all of these pieces were well spend
on me, I very much enjoyed the fact that Wittenburg explores new musical territory here. (FdW)
––– Address:

MISTER SCHLÉÈMM (CD by Editions Vibrisse)

From what I could make out of the hand written note that came with this CD is that Francois Heyer
(if I got that right) is Mister Schléèmm and he’s a founding member of French weirdo band
Micro_Penis. This is his first solo record and it is recorded on a 4 track cassette porta studio in the
last years. There is no website or e-mail address mentioned, but I am not surprised at that. Over the
years to know Micro_Penis as some outsider weirdo’s involved in music; nothing is what it is, and
to conform to any rule is to fade away, probably. Plus, if you really want this, you should try and find
it. I think it is a pity that there isn’t that bit of extra information on the release or some effort in trying to
get it out there, because the music actually deserves some wider recognition. Obviously there are
no instruments mentioned anywhere, but there are wind instruments, loops, voices, guitars, objects
being abused and there is an occasional orchestral approach to these sounds. The voices aren’t
about providing some finer lyrical matter, but hiss, bubble, burst and suffocate. The first five pieces
are headed as ‘Der Electroniker’ (the electronic) and the next six as ‘Chanteur De Charme’, the
charm singer. The differences are there but sparse I would think. In the first five the sound is
perhaps a bit more complex whereas in the six pieces it is more about a rhythm machine, some
additional percussion and Mister Schléèmm providing some more upfront vocals, and these
pieces one could call ‘demented pop songs’, whereas the other five explore the realms of a
primitive form of musique concrete. I have a slight preference for those pieces and a little less for
the demented pop doodle; partly because I don’t get the ‘lyrics’ of those (if there is at all something
to capture there of course). The musique concrete pieces are less ‘outsider’ than Mister Schléèmm
would probably hope they would be, and show quite some imagination in approaches towards the
choice of instruments and sounds and the way they are executed in these pieces. Somehow I have
mixed feelings about the whole CD but overall I am very positive about it. (FdW)
––– Address: none given

  Opa Loka Records)

Perhaps these are two names that don’t mean much to the average listener and perhaps in the
case of Bart van Dongen it is not so strange. The few times his name popped up in these pages it
was in concert announcements. He’s from the city of Eindhoven and works mainly in the improvised
music scene over there. The name of Van Kruysdijk, from ‘s-Hertogenbosch (and I think Van
Dongen lived there for a while as well), popped up quite a bit, as the sole member of Cut Worms,
but also for his work with Phallus Dei, Sonar Lodge, Strange Attractor and Daisy Bell. His musical
interests are wide apart, from gothic to noise to ambient to improvisation, which is the case here.
Van Kruysdijk plays the omnichord, kaoss pad, live sampling and effects where Van Dongen is
restricted to one instrument, the piano. He plays the 88 keys in quite some impressionistic way,
spacious, sparse, a few chords, some notes. Van Dongen is, as far as I can judge not the man
who uses the whole piano as a source for sounds, it is all restricted to the keys, except perhaps
for ‘Four’. Van Kruydijk’s electronic share makes a great partner. I have no idea if in any way he
picks up the piano sound and treats it even if ‘live sampling’ seems to suggest he’s doing so, but
I’d like to think he delivers his own, independent share in the music. The five pieces (named ‘One’,
‘Two’ etc.) were recorded along the lines of improvisation, with, again I assuming, very little editing.
The music is throughout not very loud or noisy, but rather full of tension. There are lots of small
things happening here and one needs some concentration to capture all of this. My two favourite
pieces are ‘Four’ and ‘Five’; the first for it’s wider use of dynamics, a different and varied use of the
piano, the rhythm sample and the modern classical approach, whereas the latter is a very quiet
and sparse piece of music, in which Van Kruysdijk slowly builds one drone upon the next and Van
Dongen adds a few notes like twinkling stars, ending on a very powerful minimal music, which is
quite the surprise. Throughout an excellent collaboration. (FdW)
––– Address:


Three discs (well, four actually) of duet improvisations, each involving a Japanese musician playing
with a European musician. I started with the one that has Taku Sugimoto on guitar and Stefan Thut
on cello, partly because you have to start somewhere (obviously), but also because I haven’t heard
much new music from Sugimoto in quite some time. Maybe a decade or so ago he seemed more
active when it came to releasing music on CD. In March 2015 he played two concert with Swiss
cello player Stefan Thut, and they both wrote a piece that included scores; for Thut it was about
chance operations and in Sugimoto’s piece “the concreteness is manifest as a geometric shape
with its own logic”. On this disc we find the Basel recording and both pieces are presented as one.
Each lasts about twenty-five minutes and it’s first Thut and then Sugimoto. Both have ties to the
Wandelweiser group, which may be an indication of what to expect; music that is very quiet and
has quite a bit of silence between whatever sparse notes are played. The two pieces are quite
different. Sugimoto’s piece is more about sustaining sounds, on the cello and the ebow on the
guitar, but this is all very soft indeed. In Thut’s piece we hear the rolling of dice, a pause and a
performed short action before the dice are rolled again. By making the dice an integral part of the
piece they add an additional sound source and every time the dice are rolled you know something
new is going to happen, somehow being however very small. I wish it were all a bit louder, because
this sort of quietness asks quite a bit of one’s concentration, rewarding as it is.
    The second disc has two pieces recorded in Berlin and one in Ljubljana; the latter in 2012
and the first two in 2015, which means that Jean-Luc Guionnet (organ) and Seijiro Murayama
(snare drum, voice) have been going for some time. Murayama lives in France for years now and
so it’s easier for them to get around, I would think. Two of their previous releases were reviewed in
Vital Weekly 987 and 793, but the difference here is that Guionnet is now playing the organ and
Murayama uses his voice, although the latter not all the time. This is not music of the same quiet
variety as Thut/Sugimoto, but takes on a rather more dynamic approach. The music can be quiet,
for sure, but also piercing loud, although never for a long period of time. Besides their dynamic
interaction they also use a variety of techniques to play their music, which makes it all the more
interesting. The are stabs at the organ, piercing sustaining high notes or low end bass drone,
while Murayama uses sticks, hands and objects to play his snare drum. Throughout they interact
in a wonderful way, listening, responding, adding or subtracting to what the other is doing. One can
hear they have been going about for some years, as there is much confidence in their playing.
    The last one is a meeting of Kazuo Imai (nylon string guitar) and Roger Turner (snare drum,
tom tom, cymbals, metal, wood) and the only one recorded in Japan. The music is long enough for
a single CD (in total sixty-eight minutes), but as Roger Turner they were so different sets that night
in Tokyo, he wanted to separate discs. This is the world of more regular improvisation. Silence is
not something they allow very much. Not in either set, that is. Of the two, the first one is the most
conventional in terms of improvisation. The guitar is tortured in a mild way, no chords are played,
just a very free range of sounds and something similar can be said of Turner’s drum. It rattles about
and it sounds very solid. Fragmented playing that is, but solid in its execution. On the second disc
everything is bit more heavy. There is much controlled aggression going on here, unleashed upon
those instruments. Turner picks occasionally up a bow and treats his cymbals with much vigour,
while Imai hits those strings with a similar attack.  While I can see the reason to put these on two
different discs, I personally wouldn’t have minded to have them both on a single disc.
    Three different duos, three different angles on the notion of improvisation, three times a
winner, I would say. (FdW)
––– Address:


Probably recorded on the same tour that already brought us a live recording from Mainz (see Vital
Weekly 1127) there is now a CD by Tim Olive (magnetic pickups) and Anne-F Jacques (motors,
amplification and objects) and a few days earlier or later (there isn’t a specific date mentioned on
the cover) they were in Paris were did a recording (not mentioned in concert or a studio) with
Pascal Battus, who gets credit for ‘rotating surfaces’. I believe it has been a while since I last heard
music by Battus. There are three pieces here, and the album is some forty minutes. That’s the
statistics, I guess. The music is great. It is very much something we already know from Olive and
perhaps a lesser extent Jacques, scratchy, at times noisy, scanning of surfaces and textures, with
heavily amplification that leans towards feedback, just as John Cage would have liked it (and
which I think is sometimes very much ignored). Battus adds these rotating surfaces to it, and of
course I have no idea what that is, but my best guess would be that he has a turntable and puts
objects on it, made of wood, metal, plastic, paper and plays it, amplifying irregularities of the
material. It makes up some wonderfully strange improvised music. Sometimes quite loud, such
as in the opening of the second (untitled) piece, but at all times there is quite some sonic detail in
these pieces. It cracks and bursts, hisses and peeps, and it is far away from any sort of sound that
you might recognize as an instrument. It is all played with some excellent energy and the result is
a very vibrant record. Even in the quieter moments there are lots of things happening and this is
exactly the kind of improvised electro-acoustica that I like.
    So far I quite enjoyed the releases by Coppice, the duo of Noe Cuellar and Joseph Kramer
and looking at Discogs I see I missed out on some of the more recent ones. They moved from tape
manipulations of pump organs to ‘physical modelling and modular syntheses’ as it is now called
on the cover, and to be honest I have not really an idea what that means. Caduc describes this as
“Music for driverless dream cars on their self-driven way to the junkyard”, and listening to the
twenty-two minute opening piece ‘Ground’ I get what they mean by that. It’s a beautifully vague
piece of music, meandering about. No idea what went into the equation here (sounds like cars
on a wet street), but it sounds mysterious and intense. The other pieces are shorter and more
along the lines of the earlier work of Coppice, being transformations of sound sources that are
no longer recognizable, but perhaps this time mixed with some more modular synthesizer, or
maybe adding transformations using those modulars. I am not entirely sure there, and perhaps it
is also not really of importance. As always it is the musical result that counts and Coppice doesn’t
let us down. They once again know how to combine musique concrete influenced techniques,
obscure sound sources and improvisation into some excellent pieces that is drone heavy but not
limited to drone music. That opening piece is already worth getting this CD for, but also the eight
other pieces are great, and altogether this is seventy minutes of fine sonic bliss. (FdW)
––– Address:


Plaza Zachodnia is an independent music label founded in 2015 focused on releasing modern
Polish experimental and improvised music albums including genres from electronic through
psychedelic rock to free jazz and noise. ‘Copy of Pianodrum’ is an excellent example of this.
Wojtek Kurek is a Warsaw-based drummer, active within contexts of improvised and composed
music and theatre. Anna Jędrzejewska is composer and multimedia-artist. She is interested in
combining improvisation with contemporary European art, using music, multimedia and electronics.
They met performing in a quartet with Jacek Mazurkiewicz and Lukasz Kacperczyk. Both decided
to continue as a duo and soon after they visited a studio to record ‘Copy of Pianodrum’. Listening
to the album I understand why. They make a good match as their improvisations illustrate In six
improvisations, all lasting between 4 and 11 minutes, they interact in very musical and rich
dialogues. Both are very capable musicians with much technique to their disposal. They stimulate
one other in very engaging duels full of dynamics and energy. The opening improvisation has
Kurek in the most active role, with Jedrzejewska adding short motives and gestures. In ‘Hofurt’
Jedrzejewska plays with humour and also the spirit of the jazz idiom. The final and most lengthy
improvisation shows another face. Jedrzejewska starts with playing the inside of the piano. With
sounds and bolded attacks she knows how to create an open soundscape that is intense and full
of expectations. Kurek knows very well how to join. Their art of improvisation seems rooted in
jazz as well as modern composed music. A lovely and intelligent work. (DM)
––– Address:


El Helicoptero is an interesting combo from Argentina with following crew: Javier Areal Velez,
Agustín Areal Vélez, Ignacio Sandoval, Martín Vijnovich and Luciano Vitale. They started in 2012
as an initiative by Javier Areal Velez and Ignacio Sandoval. Both composed all the material this
release. Composer and guitarist Javier Areal Velez  is also involved in the post-punk trio Coso,
and improv outfit Calato. Earlier he was one of the founding members Buenos Aires’ Improvisers
Orchestra. I couldn’t trace about the others. But all are active musicians in the underground scene
of Buenos Aires. United as El Helicoptero they are obviously linked to the universe of Zappa and
Beefheart, RIO and also opera. But there is also a relation with a dadaïstic punk attitude. Inevitably
I had to think of that other bizarre combo from South America, the Brazilian Satanique Samba Trio.
The release consists of twelve deranged and weird songs; short songs, all between one and three
minutes. Each song has its own instrumentation and original and playful arrangement, using a
wide range of instruments: synthesizers, field recordings, choirs, samples, acoustic strings, etc.
They sing in Spanish and invented languages about “tales of somnambulism, unsuccessful
superheroes, the search of a porcelain case that dances, etc.“ Everything is performed with much
verve and theatrical drama and was recorded between 2015 and 2017 in the Studio Los Elefantes.
Released by Instituto Nacional de la Música. (DM)
––– Address:


McMullen is a veteran trombonist, composer, and arranger who made his mark in supporting other
musicians, be it in rock, pop, jazz, latin of new music. You find his name on dozens of records (Brian
Setzer Orchestra, Oingo Boingo, etc.). As a studio musician he also contributed for films, television,
jingles, etc. Besides trombone, bass trombone, flute and didgeridoo are his instruments. All in all he
is a very experienced musician, who now makes his first appearance under his own name with this
trio. It has Nick Rosen on bass, and Alex Cline on drums. Rosen is a Los Angeles-based multi-
instrumentalist and composer. He is the Music Director at The Sayers Club in Hollywood, released
two albums for Porter Records in 2010 and 2012. Cline appeared on dozens of records, in
collaborations with Tim Berne, Henry Kaiser, Charlie Haden, etc., etc. It is a very mixed combination
considering background and activity of these gentlemen. They play compositions by McMullen that
were recorded on August 16th, 2015 at Newzone Studio. Musically McMullen sticks to jazz here.
No pop, rock or whatever. So jazz maybe his ‘hometown’.  The compositions are not what count
here. They are not very appealing or original to my ears. Most adventurous are the three
improvisations, most of all, the third one: ‘Prairie Wind’. And it is a joy to listen to the trombone as
played by McMullen in the company of two dedicated mates. (DM)
––– Address:


Despite the years on on-going collaborations between Stilluppsteypa and BJ Nilsen it has been
some fourteen years since we last heard something by Stilluppsteypa as a duo. That last release
might have been their eponymous CD for Atak, reviewed in Vital Weekly 452. In the decade before
that, the trio (up to 2002, then a duo) released a whole bunch of records, starting as a punk band
and then all electronic, moving from Iceland to The Netherlands, playing many concerts, armed
with the then popular laptop under their arms. Their music being abstract, electronic, glitch,
dwelling on quite a bit of sampling and plundering; in a short a wild bunch of interests. As BJ
Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa they were mostly involved in producing drone-based records, so it’s
interesting to see where they are now. There are some guest musicians involved (BJNilsen, Oren
Ambarchi, Þorsteinn Eyfjörð, Gerard Herman and Kristín Anna). Somehow, so it seems to me,
Stilluppsteypa moves back to an earlier version of them and expand on themes they work with
back then. That is the music that deals with organ sounds, rhythm machines, exotic lounge music
but then totally torn apart. Still working with a lot of laptop technology has moved that sound
forward and made it even wackier than before. On the B-side the guitar of Oren Ambarchi sustains
in a fine prog-rock fashion along with some fake pompous organ chords (think Keith Emerson
either drunk or deaf). This is some lovely stuff. It’s all recorded quite loud, which is a pity as it
takes away a bit of the detail, I think, but it’s two sides of lovely, funny stuff, with some great titles
(‘Dusty Hofmann LSD’, ‘Boney Nilson’ or ‘San Dali’). There is a lot to smile about with this record.
If this is going to be a comeback album I would certainly a lot more of these will follow. The world
can do with a smile! (FdW)
––– Address:

MNEM – HEGENON (LP by Sentimental)

Judging by the name of one of the two members of Mnem, Juri Kaprov, Mnem is Russian or from
the Ukraine. The other member calls himself 1W, so that’s not really helpful. Sentimental is a label
run by Edward Sol, who for his other enterprise Quasipop is usually forthcoming with information,
but for whatever reasons not this other label, so it’s all a bit mysterious and perhaps that’s the point
of course. From Discogs I learned that at the core of Mnem’s sound there are old reel-to-reel
recorders and ‘analogue gadgets’. The sound they arrive at it is best called ‘old school industrial’,
with a strong influence of Maurizio Bianchi, or rather his Sacher Pelz moniker from before that.
Quite some disturbing sound, full of hissy distortion and the sound is pretty crumbled and loop
based. It rotates and rots away; one could almost hear the magnetic particles falling of those old
tapes. The analogue gadgets might be a bunch of monotron synthesizers, the slowed down
percussive sounds from some pots (the reel-to-reel is particularly useful for slowing down sounds)
and all of this comes in a loop based way. Mnem add a bit of sound effects along the way, just like
MB did, creating dense clouds of sounds from the nuclear fall-out zone. It is by all means an old
sound, but not something I for one hear a lot these days (perhaps not keeping up with all the M.B.
re-issues), so I quite enjoyed this crude set of pieces; all six of them. And just like them oldie days
it comes with a mysterious cover collage, but no concentration camps or pornography this time, so
we’ve moved forward by now in that department. (FdW)
––– Address:

  Folklore Tapes)

A brand new release from Folklore Tapes, one of my all-time favourite record labels. Based in the
UK, Folklore Tapes is an on-going research and heritage project exploring folkloric arcana,
traversing ‘the mysteries, myths, nature, magic, topography and strange phenomena of the old
counties through abstracted musical reinterpretation and experimental visuals’. This has resulted
in one of the most intriguing and highest quality audio-visual catalogues in this field. Since 2011
local artists, both visual as musical, have been documenting ghost stories, rituals, the folklore of
plants, industrial development and the likes in Devon, Dartmoor and other intriguing counties in
the UK. Released on cassette, 7, 10 and 12 inch formats, often with elaborate booklets and artwork,
Folklore Tapes are the best of both (and forgotten) worlds. Musically they range from spoken word,
field recordings, soundscapes to the occasional traditional song. Most recent release is this very
attractive 10-inch record: The Venefic Garden researched, composed and recorded by Sam
McLoughlin. Venefic plants are plants bordering between being used as hallucinogenic drug and
fatal poison. During the medieval period their uses were plentiful: as medicines or recreational
drugs to ending the lives of your enemies. They were also used as potent agents of magic and
divine knowledge, forming the basis of marginal folk practices involving body travel, spiritual
contact and ritual possession. Even if you dislike modern ‘interpretations’ of rural traditions, and
believe me you are not alone on this one, do please read on as McLoughin has created a
gorgeous and intriguing piece of music. Using mainly homemade acoustic instruments, which
incidentally sound quite electronic, The Venefic Garden is a two-suite of pure beauty. This is slow-
music, with slow melodies and slow-abstract soundscapes lazily documenting the venefic plants
growing or, if you like, the hallucinatic delirium their poisons bring upon you – somewhere between
sleep and death. The album comes with a fine essay on venefic plants and their use in medieval
history. A highly recommended release on a highly recommended label. There is much to
discover on Folklore Tapes and this album is a brilliant way to start your journey! (FK)
––– Address:

MOUNT FOG – WE KNOW NOTHING (8″ lathe cut by Hustle)

The cover of this record strongly reminded me of the first time I saw a record by P. Children:
silkscreened cover, plexi glass cover, also silkscreened. This record looks the same as that old
one and it looks very distinguished. Mount Fog is an “Italian-Swedish trio”, consisting of Nicola
Domaneschi, Erich Grunewald and Marco Verdi. They started in 2011, yet is their first release.
They have been playing live for some time. There are no instruments mentioned, but judging by
the music I’d say they use a variety of sound sources and tape manipulations to come with a sort
of brutal version of musique concrete. There is help on double flute by Oscar Palou (on ‘In A
House Of Many Entrances’) and Riccardo Canta on saxophone on the other. They add a slightly
more musical note to the manipulations on offer. According to the cover the pieces were recorded
in the space of three years, which were used for destroying and recomposing these pieces. The
studio as instrument approach is what guides them in creating these pieces, and it stands in a
long tradition. The addition of real instruments to tape manipulations reminded me of Biota and
Mnemonists, but also, again, of P Children, even when Mount Fog is a little noise based as their
American predecessors. The title piece is quite a mellow piece of percussion and saxophone,
whereas in the other pieces the wind instruments are layered and have an exotic touch to it. It’s a
pity that the lathe cut is a bit crackly (comes with the territory, I suppose), as the music deserves to
be heard in full, un crackling glory. There is always Bandcamp for that; the cover as object looks
beautiful, and worthwhile the purchase. (FdW)
––– Address:

  White Rose Network)

The duo with the name I can’t pronounce, Brekekkekexkoaxkoax teams up here with Will
Soderberg, who takes credit for electronics. Jeff Dahlgren plays electronics and voice and Josh
Ronsen electronics, voice and clarinet. The three of them recently played live in a living room
when Soderberg was in Austin, Texas, and the information says “the music may remind you of a
bygone era of noise cassettes in the late 1980s. Oh, 1980s noise cassette era, we miss you”. I do
too, son, I do too. Someone asked me recently and surely more or less rhetorical why so many
cassettes these days are just thirty minutes or less. Whatever happened to the good ol’ c60? I
offered that these days it is maybe easier to a cassette at any length but surely there is an aspect
that you can release more tapes. It begs the question of course why this wasn’t released on a
cassette? I can imagine there are labels out there that would have loved to release this on a c80,
as that’s how long this release is. It surely is something that remind me of noise cassettes from
the past; music for a small audience. The recording is muddy, as in without much detail, of shifting
back and forth some very obscure electronic sounds, long form drones picked up with perhaps the
lowest quality microphone they could find, some clarinet injections, some voice like material,
speaking and mumbling rather than singing. It is however not an endless session of the same
thing, as the first half is surely quite different from the second half. It took some time for me to get
into this, but as the music went on and on, I got a firm grip on it, and actually enjoyed it more and
more and exactly for those sentimental reasons. These days I don’t spin that many old cassettes
anymore, which, listening to this I realize is a great pity. (FdW)
––– Address:


Somehow I made the wrong assumption that with the release ‘Remembered Volume 1’ by The
Sand Rays the whole project of The Sand Rays, Ray Sands and Sandray was brought to a logical
conclusion, but with the release of this new one, now called Sand Ra, the project continues. Which
I guess is fine of course. Music wise there seems to be no break either with the previous bunch of
three-inch releases. This time around there are no sound sources mentioned, yet I would still
believe there is some kind of electronic device used here, maybe some sampled field recording
or acoustic source torn apart and sewn back together with the fabric stretched out and Sand Ra
creates two fine pieces of his trademark drone music. Spacious, dark, ambient, drone-like, all of
that is present in these two pieces, which total some twenty minutes of refined sonic bliss. One is
almost seven minutes in length and the other is almost thirteen and Sand Ra takes his time in
exploring sounds, opening up filters, sliders, faders and effects and does it with some fine, calm,
 firm hand and slowly the pieces unfold their natural beauty. Lovely stuff, once again, and no doubt
the promising start of the next bunch of releases and I am wondering who will release
‘Remembered Volume 2’. Can’t wait for that; three inches are nice, but I rather have these on a
long disc for some fine uninterrupted playback. (FdW)
––– Address:

ANTOINE PANACHE – PLEASURES (cassette by Barreuh Records)

The pleasures referred in the title may be explained as ‘guilty pleasures’; you know, songs that are
so bad they are great. Antoine Panache made a list of classic pop songs he’d like to cover and
oddly enough for me, I didn’t need to hear Alphaville’s ‘Forever Young’, as I leave this on many
Facebook timelines by way of a birthday card, but ‘Nocturnal Me’, by Echo & The Bunnymen I had
to look up again; I was never a big fan. Two songs here, a cassesingle if you want, twelve minutes
only and a teaser for the third album, ‘Endling’ coming later this year. In ‘Forever Young’, Panache
stays close to the original, with a Casio VL tone rhythm, massive reverb on that and LL (co-label
owner and musician) on guest vocals and makes a more demented version of the song. ‘Nocturnal
Me’, the original just checked, is a totally different thing with some higher level of abstraction going,
with some singing in the schoolyard, bird sounds, a strange slowed down percussive sound and
only in the second half of the song something of a melody is allowed. One could certainly argue
this is a very nocturnal piece of music, being outside at night and being followed by ghostly
nightmares. Or try to walk back home, drunk, to realize you forgot your keys. That happens. Going
back to ‘Forever Young’ made me then realize this has a similar nocturnal feel to it and thus
making both songs fit together wonderfully well. If only one could be forever young indeed. (FdW)
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LÄRMSCHUTZ – FRUITS (cassette by Faux Amis Records)

Two weeks ago Lärmschutz were reduced to a duo when they worked with poet Niels Terhalle
and on ‘Fruits’ they are still reduced to a duo. Stef Brans is now on acoustic and electric guitar and
Rutger van Driel on trombone and electronics. There are four pieces on this new cassette and it
seems to me that they divided each side so that it contains a quieter and a louder piece. In the
quieter piece the acoustic guitar is used and the trombone sounds more like a trombone, while in
the louder piece, the electric guitar is battling with the electronics generated with the trombone and
noise is certainly a goal there. In all four pieces the elements of chaos, freedom, musical anarchy
and energy prevail. There is more sonic detail in the quieter pieces, especially when it comes to
recognizing instruments, whereas none such is the case in the louder pieces. I like this sort of
division as it provides a variety of points of departure for improvisers (‘let’s go quiet’, ‘do all loud’),
but it’s a pity that on the second side the quiet piece is only six minutes and the noise almost twenty-
seven, whereas on the first side they are more equally divided. This is another fine release by that
fine Dutch group, with the crazy release schedule. And if you can’t get enough of their releases, do
check out the Bandcamp link below for more free, online-only releases of improvised music from
them and other musicians from their hometown Utrecht. (FdW)
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MARIA CARLAS & MYLO CYWITZ – 31337 (cassette by Plattegrond Records)

Behind the name of Maria Carlas hides Carla Genchi. A performer from Italy who studied singing
at Monopoli Conservatoire Nino Rota and who continued her studies in Austria and the
Netherlands. She works as a classical singer as well as improviser and singer of contemporary
material. Mylo Cywitz is a German singer and composer living in the Netherlands. He describes
his music as ‘electronic garage opera’ what indeed describes well what I heard on their release.
Carlas sings with a classically trained voice. Vocals by Cywitz are close to ‘Sprechstimme’. Their
voices are embedded in an orchestral environment created by their samplers and electronics.
Besides Carlas uses megaphone and Cywitz Chinese bells and xylophone. While listening I
imagined their opera as a soundtrack to an early German expressionistic film. Also Diamanda
Galas comes to mind. They created a dramatic and bizarre work and it is for sure a successful
combination of opera and heavy electronics. The bombastic music is full of breaks and twists,
underlining the narrative.  Sometimes the sounds are close to existing acoustic instruments. At
other moments they are just noisy and abstract. This is a very unusual and surprising work. 
Released on cassette by the Amsterdam-based Plattegrond Records, a collective that organizes
events, radio shows, mash ups, etc. (DM)
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This album is available as an “USB-pen Visacard” (the version I have in front of me), download and
also as a “RG39 acrylic sculpture” in an edition of 20 copies, whatever that is. Vitor Joaquim is best
known for his solo work as his part in @C, a duo of laptop improvisers. It has been a while since I
last heard music from him; if I am not mistaken, that was in Vital Weekly 804. I am not sure if I
understand what this new is about, something about “everything being predictable and everything
changing”. There are seven pieces on this album and it sees him working along the lines we know
of his previous work. There is, first of all, the laptop as the main station for creation, a centre for
collecting, storing and changing sounds, whatever they are. What goes into this machine is a
multitude of instruments, field recordings, sounds, and voices; the latter including “a tape-letter
from Tommy G to Maria” and an Arvo Pärt interview. At the other end we hear the outcome, which
is something that one could classify as ambient, modern composition, especially when ‘real’
instruments show up, drones and even a hint of dance music is possible. The latter, so it seems, a
bit less than on some of his older releases. Throughout the laptop treatments shine on all of these
pieces, hazy, warm, glitchy processes and throughout maybe not the most shocking newest sort of
music but it is surely some fine imaginative music. (FdW)
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