Number 1142

TANGENTS – NEW BODIES (CD by Temporary Residence)
JANA IRMERT – FLOOD (CD by Fabrique Records) *
DAMN – FREISTIL-SAMPLERINNEN 4+5 (2CD compilation by Chmafu Records)
JFK – WEAPON DESIGN (LP by Fourth Dimension)  *
NIMMALTD001 (12″ by Minimmal Movement)
NIMMALTD002 (12″ by Minimmal Movement)
  Super Space Records) *
DISTANT FIRES BURNING – FOR THE LOVE OF… (cassette by Audiobulb Records) *
CLAUS POULSEN – MAKE A JAZZ NOISE HERE (cassette by Insula Jazz)
MARIUS CHWALEK – VOLTA PENTA (cassette by Ana Ott)


The line-up from the Pitch & Splitter Orchester reads like a who’s who from the Berlin improvisation
scene. It is probably better to ask who isn’t a member. This is an ad-hoc ensemble of twenty-five
musicians, which is made from two ensembles, The Pitch and Splitter Orchestra, but in the latter
already three members also are part of The Pitch. Just Koen Nutters is not a member of the
Orchestra. Andrea Neuman, Robin Hayward, Ignaz Schick, Kai Fagaschinski, Axel Dörner,
Burkheid Beins, Michael Thieke, Morten J. Olson are just a few names I quickly recognized
(mainly from previous releases with them). If I understand correctly they perform one piece here,
lasting exactly one hour and it is composed by the four members of The Pitch, and executed by
all twenty-five musicians. The title may be some indication of what to expect; an orchestra being
frozen. According to Mikroton “the score guides the group through various defined states of
frozen surfaces where each player makes individual choices from a set of intervals or noises
and thus constantly shifts harmonic weight and textural quality” but of course seeing is believing,
I’d say. Judging by the piece I can very imagine that is what is happening. Some players hold
their tones in an icy state together for quite some time, while others, by the very nature of their
instrument play isolated tones, such as an occasional piano note. The sustaining of tones
prevail here, and there are many instruments who can contribute to that; cello, double bass,
electric pump organ, trombone, clarinets, flutes, violin and trumpet. It is not easy to recognize
the inside piano, turntables, or tape recorders in this piece. There is a fine fluidity in this piece
as it doesn’t stay in one field all the time, as it moves from the strict sustaining tones of the first
half into something that sees a relative major role for the piano before going into sustaining
and fading out mode again. It is all played with quite some refinement and it sounds like a very
modern classical piece of music exploring the finer working of the microtonal spectrum. (FdW)
––– Address:


The photo book that comes with this release is by Yusuf Sevinçli and as usual I didn’t see it (that’s
not a complaint, that’s how it sometimes works) and the music is by Aaron Martin. The music is
available either on LP or CD, and listening to the delicate music I am glad to hear the crackle free
CD version. I wrote before I don’t know much of his solo work (Vital Weekly 1112) as somehow
some of his collaborations ended up being reviewed in these pages; projects with the likes of
Jeremy Young and Machinefabriek. Martin’s first instruments were the piano and the drums, and
these days include a lot of other instruments. Drums are probably absent from these pieces. The
cello and violin play a big role, along with glockenspiel, banjo, organ and electronics; the latter, I
would not be surprised to learn, probably including loop devices or computer treatments to loop
them. Also Martin uses his voice, to add wordless humming, occasionally. Throughout the seven
pieces sound quite sad and introvert, with all the keys in minor. Perhaps it is within the range of
the cello that it sounds quickly quite mournful, so I was thinking, but all the instruments sound a
bit down. Mid summer Saturday, full sun above, that doesn’t work very well. This is music for the
autumn period, a bit of rain, a bit of chill wind, and a bit of sunshine; this is not the music that is all
doom and gloom that it is without sunshine. I am not sure if this music fits the pictures of Sevinçli,
but surely the publisher thinks so. Let’s keep this for a while in the back of our mind and return to
it when weather allows for some less joyful music. This is some very refined music for sure and it
needs the attention and mood of the listener. (FdW)
––– Address:


From previous releases that have the name Ingar Zach on it I learned that he is a very wild
drummer in the world of improvisation. I would have easily believed this new one would be
something for Dolf Mulder to review, but Sofa Music released it, so it made me curious to hear
it first. Speak Percussion is a contemporary ensemble from Melbourne and they invited Zach
for the first concert in a series called ‘Before Nightfall’. It is a documentation of a single day of
collaboration, with a concert at the end. Granted not the most original idea in the world, but with
such a concise time frame it is interesting to see what the results are. The whole day is recorded
and mixed together as a new work, so I understand. It’s not a recording of the concert that is at the
end of the day. The first instalment resulted in a single piece of almost thirty-five minutes, which
seemed a short perhaps for a whole day of recording. But it is of course the content that counts
and while I am not sure to what extent there has been editing, layering and mixing, there is some
excellent music here. It moves along gentle textures of bells and gong like sounds, playing a
subtle game with overtones and various sounds that sound hardly like percussion sounds, but
rather a voice imitating percussion sounds. There is throughout a high level of control, save for a
few bits that sound like improvised music. For the most part it doesn’t I must say. Especially the first
seventeen or so minutes it all sounds like modern classical music; quite minimal with tinkling bell
like sounds, almost like wind chimes. Towards the end, when bows are used to scrape on
cymbals and toms the colour of the piece changed to darker tones. In that way this piece is like
a story, going from to light to dark. A very refined montage of sounds captured during what must
have been an intense day of working together. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is the first recording by a young electro-acoustic ensemble of eight performers. Started in
2009 and led by pianist Ju-Ping Song, an internationally recognized performer of contemporary
music. She is founder and artistic director of NakedEye Ensemble that is based in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. The ensemble concentrates on contemporary composed music (Louis Andriessen,
Nick Didkovsky, Arvo Pärt, Julia Wolfe, Zappa, and many others). Composed music that is open
for influences of rock, jazz, minimal, etc. This variety of influences is reflected in the selection of
compositions chosen for this debut. They choose works from relatively young and unknown
composers (Rusty Banks, Richard Belcastro, Zack Browning, Jonathan Russell, Randall Woolf),
plus one by Rzewski, who is an older generation. His work ‘Coming Together’ is a well-known
composition that is often performed and recorded. All five other compositions are recorded for the
first time ever. It took the ensemble two years of persistent activity to record the compositions. The
CD opens with ‘Sextet’ by Jonathan Russell, a composition with a dominant role for accessible
melodies and harmonies. The piece is performed with dedication and spirit. The composition itself
is pleasantly vivid and expressive. But as a composition it is also not very surprising or demanding.
‘Decade of The Dragon’ by Zack Browning reflects on the resistance and counterculture of America
during the Vietnam war, again using elements of rock as well as Vietnamese music. He juxtaposes
different idioms and elements in a very inventive and convincing way making it a work full of twists
and energy. Most of the compositions however lean too much – for my tastes – on the rock and
other vocabulary they use. They don’t really depart from the traditional forms by adding new
elements, etc. On the other hand the ensemble is a joy to listen to. They are very skilled and give
way-to-way very inspired and convincing interpretations. Also it must be said that the compositions
have a lot inventive twists and turns, intelligent combinations of different idioms, etc. often in
beautiful and colourful arrangements. Entertaining from start to finish, but no new horizons. The
CD closes with ‘Coming Together’, a pulsating and dynamic composition from the early 70s that
still works and brings back memories of early minimal music by Glass, a.o. (DM)
––– Address:


Han is a project by Portuguese musicians Vitor Joaquim and Emidio Buchinho. Early 80s they
worked together in the pop band Clã. After they split they met only occasionally on concerts, etc.
Both musicians developed themselves over the years into musicians that are very much into
improvisation and experiment. Now, after more than 30 years, they decided to join forces once
again. Buchinho playing electric guitar, plus vocals, and Vitor Joaquim doing electric guitar live
sampling and processing, organ, drone trumpet, objects, electronica, short waves, etc., with guest
appearances by Carlos Zíngaro (violin in 2, 4), Nuno Canavarro (electric piano, synthesizers in 6)
and Ulrich Mitzlaff  (cello in 2,7). They shaped their ideas in seven spacy improvisations, that in a
strange way breath a bluesy and psychedelic feel. Their improvisations are relaxed and drift by
like clouds in the sky. A qualification that I do not often use in relationship to abstract improvisation,
Buchinho and Vitor Joaquim recorded their interactions directly on tape. In a second phase the
guest-supplied material, that was integrated in the improvisations through a process of editing and
mixing. This resulted in open, spatial sounding textures, that work well. (DM)
––– Address:

TANGENTS – NEW BODIES (CD by Temporary Residence)

Tangents are a quintet from Sydney, Australia: Adrian Lim-Klumpes (piano, Rhodes, vibraphone,
marimba, pedals), Evan Dorrian (drum kit, percussion), Ollie Bown (computer), Peter Hollo (cello,
effects) and Shoeb Ahmad (guitar, pedals). Their music is about combining electronic production,
experimental rock and free improvisation. Except for Lim-Klumpes all band-members are new to
me. Lim-Klumpes you may remember from my review of his excellent solo-album ‘Yield (Preludes
and Fugues for Piano), released by Off Records last year. Tangents are an ambitious group who
released their first record in 2013 for Hello Square Recordings, titled ‘I’, in 2016 followed by
‘Stateless’ for the Brooklyn-based Temporary Residence label. Also this same label releases their
newest album. They excel in eclectic and fusion-like procedures. Although both terms have
negative connotations for me, in the case of this group they go very excitingly and intelligently
beyond all their influences (postrock, minimal, downtempo, The Necks, etc). In seven instrumentals
they construct superbly interwoven rhythm-driven, grooving patterns. Very solid and hypnotizing in
effect. It is evident that we are speaking of technically highly skilled musicians working from a
clearly defined aesthetic. In all its absolute beauty however, this is a kind of music that doesn’t
really speak to me on an emotional level. (DM)
––– Address:

JANA IRMERT – FLOOD (CD by Fabrique Records)

From Berlin hails Jama Irmert, whose previous release ‘End Of Absence’ was reviewed in Vital
Weekly 1051. This time around no vocal patterns, so it seems, but then what can you are sure of
these days? There is nothing by way of instruments mentioned on the cover, so my best guess
would, also based on the previous release by her, that she again uses extensive computer
treatments of field recordings and with that she creates a massive dark cloud of sound. The third
part of ‘Flood’ made me re-think that last bit; here I should think software is replaced by modular
synthesizers, which could have been also the thing for the other two pieces. I am just as confused
or ignorant as the next man, I guess. There are two long pieces here, spanning twenty-two minutes
each with a piece that last seven minutes to separate them. This is some highly abstract music and
mostly with some dark undercurrent. Not really the sun-soaked pleasure music that one associates
with summertime I guess. None of the field recordings can be recognized, as the treatments are
taking matters further than the horizon. I was thinking of ice breaking, but that is because the first
part of ‘Flood’ is subtitled ‘Standing On Breaking Ice’, so perhaps I don’t have the most original
thought here. The music is all-immersive, it is all around you and especially when played a bit
louder offer a whole sonic depth that you wouldn’t notice otherwise. Again I’d say that her music
is not unlike that of say Robert Hampson and this time around she’s not doing anything quieter
than him (or his peers). This is the field where field recordings, drone and musique concrete meet
up. This is a very fine follow-up to her debut with a more mature sound. (FdW)
––– Address:


When this CD opens up in Itunes it says for genre ‘new age’, and that made me suspicious; I don’t
like new age.  The cover says that Hilde Marie Holsen plays trumpet and electronics, and frankly
that could go in a lot of ways. With Hubro I could easily think this to be a more improvisational thing,
rather than, well, new age. When the first piece, ‘Opriment’, starts the trumpet gets a delay treatment
and I thought about Jon Hassell, but soon enough there is some weird, dark electronic undercurrent
in this short opening piece that made me listen closer. It is something that Holsen uses in all four
pieces and I have absolutely no idea how these sounds are made. The press text says that the
trumpet triggers these plug-ins, which might be very well possible, but just as easily I could believe
there is some kind heavily processed field recording playing there as well. Or maybe some kind of
scanning the surface with contact microphones, as it all sounds quite ‘earthy’. All along, lest not
forget, on top of that Holsen plays the trumpet using delay and reverb on the instruments so it
suggest a lot of time and space. Somehow I found these four pieces to be quite dark, like a mist
hanging over swamp. Dusk is setting in, the sun is low but still present; the music is not that dark I
would think as your average drone record but certainly also not the bright ray of light either. It
adds to the mystery of the music, these dense cloudy sound scapes that sign and ring on. In the
final (title) piece it all bursts open and there is a massive wave of drones pouring over the listener,
before pulling back to an almost trumpet solo and towards the end the delicate combination of
trumpet and electronics is restored. I found this a very impressive record. Very dark in a way, very
mysterious and like a swamp one that sucks you right in. At thirty-five minutes just also a bit too
short for my taste. (FdW)
––– Address:


So I don’t get this, right. All of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, played live by an orchestra,
concentrated into one hour and supplemented with electronics. The big question is of course
‘why’, and yes, most ‘why’ questions could be answered with ‘why not’ or ‘because one can’. Of
course I am not really a fan of Beethoven or of any classical music, with some exceptions, such as
the ninth symphony by Antonin Dvorak, most work by Erik Satie or Mozart’s Requiem. And yes, I
hear Ludwig Van in the movie, in pop music and in advertising, so some of this is familiar, but upon
reading the extensive liner notes I have not learned much. In Berlin lives a very kind man, who you
can hire to promote your releases; he does a great job. He sent me this. Maybe the label wanted
us to have a copy. But you see classical music isn’t our forte, let alone a work that works with
classical music, but which is surely something else as well. Just what that is, I haven’t got a
clue. (FdW)
––– Address:

DAMN – FREISTIL-SAMPLERINNEN 4+5 (2CD compilation by Chmafu Records)

The review of the previous “Damn – Freistil-Samplerinnen” (Vital Weekly 908) ended with: “What
more can I say? You may have guessed: compilations aren’t really the kind of thing I like
reviewing”, which is something of a mantra here. It’s summer, there is cycling to be watched, so
for once let’s not repeat why I don’t like reviewing compilations. I remixed bits of the previous
review: “The only thing that ties these fifteen compositions together is the fact that are composed
by female composers, mostly played by women, but not exclusively. Music wise things are wide
apart.”  From the musique concrete of Anne La Berge, sound poetry of Charlotte King, Gunda
Gottschalk, improvisation by Redox, Demi Broza (surprisingly with a drum machine!) Wickihalder/
Guy/Niggli/Homburger, Högberg/Bergman, Elena Kakaliagou and Anker/Lee/Lovens, sound art
by Lissie Rettenwander, (free-) jazz by FS:eins, Kaja Draksler Octet, drones by Katharina Ernst (a
very nice piece for tam tam) and even classical music by Homburger (playing a Bach piece,
closing off with a gentle computer piece by Okkyung Lee, there is surely much to enjoy here, yet
you need a very open-mind to love them all. “Essentially this is a wide apart thing again, just like
number two. I’d be surprised if you would like all ten pieces, but it’s all quite enjoyable, even in it’s
most experimental moments”, I wrote last time, hallelujah, I say it again, just I say this again: “What
more can I say? You may have guessed: compilations aren’t really the kind of thing I like
reviewing” (FdW)
––– Address:

JFK – WEAPON DESIGN (LP by Fourth Dimension)

You might read the pedigree of Anthony DiFranco and think you’ve got him pegged: a member of
pioneering power-electronics/psychedelic-rock band Ramleh and dark-ambient band Novatron,
solo guitar scree as Ax, white-out harsh pummel as Ethnic Acid… JFK must be some brutal noise,
right? Nope. On this outing as JFK, DiFranco’s music consists of spare, cyborg beats adorned with
metal-shearing sheets of synthesizer squelch. This is industrial music in the sense that it sounds
as if it might have come straight out of a factory. Sonically full yet compositionally minimal, “Weapon
Design” has a pervasive atmosphere of icy robotic alienation, more stripped-down and coldly
inhuman than his previous album “Nganga” (released by Chondritic Sound in 2017). The eight
instrumental songs on “Weapon Design” are built around relentlessly pulsing rhythms that, once
set in motion, march single-mindedly forward with little (apparent) change. Slow, heavy bass
throbs provide sickening counter to martial beats and looping fuzz. A couple of songs stand out
from the rest: the quicker pace of “D.M.Z” seems to be made for a dance floor, while the
hyperactive “Reality Slicer” lets the off-rhythms skitter like a stripped-down analog Autechre.
Fans of Le Syndicat or Vivenza would enjoy this, too. (HS)
––– Address:


Truth be told: I can’t say I followed Ikue Mori’s career and it’s probably blasphemy to some, but I
never was a big DNA fan either. I know she worked in her role as a drummer with John Zorn, Fred
Frith, Wadada Leo Smith and many others, but none of that stuff lands on this desk. Work by
Copenhagen’s Christian Rønn does land here (Vital Weekly 1079) and I quite enjoyed that record
of church organ meeting musique concrete. Both musicians are out of their comfort zones here.
Mori gets credit for electronics (whatever that might be of course) and Rønn for upright piano,
prepared grand piano, soundboard, FX and Buchla and Serge synthesizers from the EMS in
Stockholm, which I believe is also where the album was recorded. ‘Primordial Chaos’, the longest
piece on the record, opening Side B, is also the piece I least enjoyed. A very free improvisation on
hitting as many piano notes as possible and electronics stumbling and crawling to find space and
place. That’s a pity because I enjoyed the three pieces on the first side and the last on the second
quite a bit. Here they play around very carefully with improvised tones from the piano(s) and it
seems to me they are fed into whatever electronics, and re-worked and re-shaped they are
presented at the exit. Musique concrete in action, I’d say, resulting in some intense and powerful
improvisations that involve the acoustic and electrical side of technology and humans. There is
space for sounds to exist and take on a new form, just because there is no such thing as chaos in
these pieces; perhaps there is, actually, but it is a form of controlled chaos; one that exists within a
certain ordering. It is the dialogue I should think between the players and their material that makes
this work. For die-hard improvisation lovers I am sure it will be the total opposite and that’s
fine. (FdW)
––– Address:

NIMMALTD001 (12″ by Minimmal Movement)
NIMMALTD002 (12″ by Minimmal Movement)

Every now and then I meet up with this fine local young men who runs the Minimmal Movement
label, specializing in minimalist techno music, mostly so it seems by Rumanian musicians. So
when he came around with these I asked two questions; who did the music on these new ones,
as it didn’t show anywhere on the label, and why are these limited? ‘Because one can’ was the
rather easy answer, and truth being told I didn’t argue with that. I could have peaked on the mailers
he had with him, as he was sending out copies to the people who did these, but I already forgot.
Maybe in the world of dance music it is not that important who does what? All I know is that the
four sides are by different people. Music on Minimmal Movement is perhaps something that is
quite a bit out of Vital Weekly’s eyesight, coming from the DJ booth at a party. The first side of
NIMMALTD001 has a nice summer vibe to it, with a great bass and smooth organ samples and
while minimal it hardly stays very long in the same place. Turning the record over there is a slightly
more minimalist approach here, with a liquid sound and a wobble, reminding me of Russia’s
Motor – where is he these days I wondered. This piece is less melodic and hasn’t these musical
changes and dies out at the end quite abruptly. I guess DJs never spin records until the very end?
    The other record also has quite the minimal approach on the first side, driving forward all the
time with relatively simple means; drum machine and a sample or two plus an easy going bass
line, but it surely has something very captivating. The other side has a harder stomping rhythm,
squeezed bass line and keyboards from the school of Chain Reaction, but maybe a bit more
happy and more clappy. This was quite a cheerful piece of music indeed. (FdW)
––– Address:

  Super Space Records)

Here’s new music from Peru from Wil Volador, who is also known as Wilder Gonzales Agreda (see
also Vital Weekly 1037 and 1100) and this time he works with Gabriel Pereira Spurr from Uruguay
(which might be a first in these pages), who lives in Argentina these days. This is one of those
‘music by e-mail’ efforts I think, when they play and add on to each other’s stuff. The liner notes are
in Spanish and its via Google translate not easy to decipher, if that was at all the idea. Agreda likes
his stuff to be ‘spacious’, so we learned from earlier releases and that’s what he brings to this table
here as well. There is no specific list of instruments, well there is also not an unspecified list either,
and judging the music doesn’t make such matters easier, I would think. There is quite a bit of
synthesizers floating about, either as real objects of software variations thereof, especially in the
very cosmic opening of ‘Extasis Avantgarde’, with a bit of piercing top end and a slow rhythm
floating in at one point. ‘Egloga Orbital 1’ is an endless bunch of loops, percussive mainly on top
of which there is a guitar is a free fall looped jittering about. This is a more chaotic cosmos I think.
More coherent is the second part of that piece, and the final piece on this is the most conventional
piece with drums (although possible as loops) and big spacious krautrock inspired guitar playing.
It is, all in all, quite a diverse release, and that’s quite nice. It shows their various interests and how
that could possibly work together. (FdW)
––– Address:

DISTANT FIRES BURNING – FOR THE LOVE OF… (cassette by Audiobulb Records)

The only previous occasion I heard music by Distant Fires Burning, I wrote “someone who may be
taking the piss out of Dirk Serries: Distant Fires Burning (well, perhaps he’s very serious, who
knows?)” without mentioning his music. It was a compilation. It brought Gert de Meester in contact
with Dirk Serries, who was then working as Fear Falls Burning. And indeed De Meester started
using the word ‘burning’ after Dirk stopped his project. This is the first time I hear De Meester’s
music properly. He played bass in “rock, trash, funk and pop bands”, including The Hindu Needle
Trick and The Seven Laws Of Woo. Electronic music he created as The Mental Attack and Revered
Basstorius’ Intergalactic Funk Experience. Distant Fires Burning is his ambient side and he plays
the Fender Jazz bass guitar and digital effects, by which I assume loop pedals are in place. Quite
a long release here, some eighty plus minutes of music, which is for a cassette release perhaps
quite unusual. Eleven pieces, easily clocking at eight or nine minutes. This is not the kind of hit
one string, sample and hold that into an ever-spiralling drone piece, but they are surely part of the
music. On top of that, however, De Meester plays melodies and even is not shy to put a rhythm in
place. Not some 4/4 beat of course (not until we get to the four remix at the end), but sampled bass
notes forming creative loops along with that drone like material. It gives this material quite a varied
feeling, using different approach to his material. I can image some people thinking this perhaps too
wide apart, but throughout I enjoyed these excursions.  De Meester likes to show he can actually
play the bass guitar, yet that he also knows how to put on a fine drone excursion or two. The
remixes at the end are for me a bit superfluous; it was good as it was. (FdW)
––– Address:

CLAUS POULSEN – MAKE A JAZZ NOISE HERE (cassette by Insula Jazz)

Music from Claus Poulsen, Denmark’s busy bee  (being member of Star Turbine with Sindre
Bjerga, Small Things On Sundays, CAM, Blind Man’s Band and solo), can shoot off in many
different directions. I guess it is not easy to like it all, even if your musical tastes are wide apart. I’d
like to believe my tastes are a bit wild, and I like Poulsen’s output with Small Things On Sundays,
Star Turbine and CAM, and also in his solo work, he made some excellent efforts. On ‘Make A
Jazz Noise Here’, he does exactly what he promises; he makes a jazz noise here. Besides working
with electronics of all kind, Poulsen also builds instruments, such as the c-bow. “It is a cymbal
played with a bass bow, using extended techniques.” It sounds like something entirely different
altogether, not a cymbal and bass bow, and it’s not easy to say what that different would be. A
wind instrument is the most likely contender I’d say and reminded me of free jazz saxophone
players like Brötzmann or Gustafsson. There are sixteen pieces here, save for three that use a bit
of electronics, all taped as is, which probably made me scratch my head a little more. These
sixteen pieces are rather short, from ninety seconds to three minutes, and they all stay very close
together. It is mostly nervous, hectic playing in the vein of the aforementioned saxophone players,
but without much of the noise and distortion. It sounds like an exploration of a single object indeed,
mostly but not always in a wild manner, which makes that these pieces stay close to home as it
were. The sound of the object doesn’t change much. While I enjoyed the consistency of the work,
staying in ‘tune’ all the time as it were, and the free jazz current is perhaps not the thing I enjoyed
all too much. It was interesting, surely, good, no doubt, but a little too hectic for my taste. I would
prefer something wild and noisy I guess, not wild yet deliberate and controlled, perhaps. (FdW)
––– Address:


If you’re anything like me, you love the sound of a cassette tape being eaten. It’s a wonderful sound,
isn’t it? That unstable glorp is all over this collection of Boat Of’s live and rehearsal tracks from 1980
to 1982. “Forbidden Mourning Practice” is of particular interest to me as a fan of Tom Smith’s later
work with To Live and Shave in LA and Peach of Immortality. Even if you haven’t followed Smith’s
subsequent hyper-dense tape-collage and glam-adjacent rock-like noise explosions, this feral
teenage weirdness might still be of interest. The slowly stretched cocktail-jazz warp of “If You’d
Like to Nominate Your Boss (Part 5)” is some appreciably woozy ambience. That hors d’oeuvre is
followed by chopped-up radio advertisements and pop songs pummeled with stimulant-fueled
percussion and hysteresis punctuation on “Worthy of the Lamb”… though once the audience starts
clapping at the end of the song (and the band introduces themselves as Ultravox… Smith’s sense
of humor was recognizable even then) it’s clear that the almost-40-year-old recording was
changing speed the entire time. “Take Us For Gangsters” is a relatively subdued rumble for
shortwave radio before the best track of the album: a live performance of “Miracles of Seed-Faith”
showcases Smith’s “self-rigged faulty recorder”, which lurches violently in tape-speed for the
song’s duration, as jazz-improv-lineage drums furiously attempt to hold the thing together. More
evidence of the age of these source tapes is gloriously apparent on “Bore the Entreaty”, in which
drums (played by David Gamble of the Method Actors) and Dominique Amet’s wordless operatic
vocals are coating with a nasty veneer of distortion. The album concludes with what seems to be
Tom Smith solo, a live-on-the-radio collage of organ, records and tapes that sounds like inside-
out easy-listening music that nicely revisits the light-jazz looping ambience first heard at the
beginning of the album. (HS)
––– Address:

MARIUS CHWALEK – VOLTA PENTA (cassette by Ana Ott)

This is surely a new name, as Ana Ott says it’s the debut album by this German producer. There is
not a lot of information available how this music was made, but I would think this is very much
made with the use of modular synthesizers. Ana Ott says it’s “located between IDM, experimental,
ambient and music concrete”, which is perhaps true, even when the IDM component is not
something I easily detected in these pieces; there are various pieces that include a bit of rhythm
for sure, but it is hardly dance floor material. None of these pieces seem to me very outspoken
(perhaps because the tape seems a bit on the quiet side, duplication wise that is), as Chwalek is
carefully exploring whatever possibilities there are, staying within self-chosen boundaries. Within
these limitations he explores a few possibilities and makes that into a piece of music. Oddly
enough (perhaps; I am not sure), the second side is the more rhythmical side of the two, with
pieces that are slightly less abstract and quieter. It’s on this side that Chwalek offers a bit more
variation and surprise. I would have liked if both sides were like this, actually. The first side has
a bit too much bleepy peepy modular electronics but it could have used a more compositional
structure. On the second Chawlek shows he knows how to pull that off. Hopefully on a future
release this will be route he will explore further. (FdW)
––– Address:


A somewhat curiously titled ‘band’/’project’, which I think includes members as Syporca Whandall
(instruments), Rovar17 (effects, loops), Imre Tar (electronics) and Laszlo Kiss (instruments). There
are seven songs on this tape and like with the various releases that I heard by this label and/or
involving Rovar17, this is another curious blend of improvised electro-acoustic music touched by
a bunch of noise, in which we should understand that the noise is at times mean and loud, but it is
not their intention to put on all the noise fireworks. Chaos is something that they like very much it
seems and while the presence of seven titles on the cover may indicate they are different pieces, it
could very well be that this is just two long pieces with some occasional bits of silence dispersed
throughout. Sometimes the interaction was indeed quite captivating as good improvisation should
be, a dialogue between sounds if you will, but sometimes the scratch and hit policy, laced with a
bit of feedback, is uninformed and going nowhere and perhaps that also comes with the territory
of improvised music. Maybe the intention was that all should be documented, in which case I
haven’t said a word. But if not then I would recommend an even stronger weeding of the bad bits.
The overall impression, however, is not bad at all. (FdW)
––– Address:


Let’s take a deep breath and remember that for a while we ran a notice saying that we don’t review
arty, quasi-funny or wilfully obscure packages. It may have helped, as I haven’t seen them in some
time. However this is one. A cassette with only the sticker that says Nuss Baum Park and a note,
and I will retype in it’s entire form: “nussbaum.txt Fokuhila-Rockern mot VIP-Fuchsschwanz-
Schlüsseln auf Autoscooter-Fahrt im Rally 2000 Nussbaumpark – Das Edelsanatorium fur
Kapuzenträger. Für Kapuzen und Tonträger Geschlossene Abteiliung Nussbaumpark” and with
my limited knowledge of the German language I couldn’t do much with that, nor did I find it very
engaging to find out. Some Google search didn’t result into much. The cassette is very short,
maybe fifteen minutes and it consists of found sound from the streets mixed together with erased
magnetic tapes and spoken word. It probably means something to someone, but not anyone and
certainly not me. (FdW)
––– Address: none given, but that should be no surprise