Number 1146

RENÉ AQUARIUS – TRANSMUTATION (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
  PERCUSSION (SACD & Blu Ray by 2L Records)
SPACE QUARTET – SAME (CD by Clean Feed) *
MOKITA (CD by Creative Sources Recordings) *
FREDY STUDER – NOW’S THE TIME (CD by Everest Records) *
FÅGLAR I BUR (7″ by Il Disci Del Barone)
FOOD PEOPLE – VETCH (CDR by Chocolate Monk) *
TINDEGGER – UNTITLED (CDR by Chocolate Monk) *
ROVAR17 – CSONKOLT TÜNDÉR (cassette by Unsigned)

RENÉ AQUARIUS – TRANSMUTATION (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

You may recognize the name René Aquarius as the drummer of hardcore jazz duo Dead
Neanderthals, from the beautiful city of Nijmegen, their work with Machinefabriek, or from
projects that usually don’t make it to these pages such as Cryptae, Heavy Natural and Celestial
Bodies. He also works in a solo capacity, having released a previous solo album on U-Tech
some years ago. In daily life he works as a medical scientist, with a focus on bone and blood
vessel pathology and here he presents two pieces for sculptures by Ajla R. Steinvåg, who is a
“casualty special make-up artists and actor’, but also creating sculptures. “Inspiration for both
the sculptures and the compositions is the process of metal particle accumulation in the human
body. This process can drive cells to activate inflammatory pathways, programmed cell death
and subsequent encapsulation of dead tissue”, so Moving Furniture Records informs us, but
the exhibition is not open yet, so if you want to know what Steinvåg’s scultpures look like visit
her website It all looks organic in a way, but with really weird growth.
I couldn’t say if the slow percussive gong like pieces fit the exhibition of the sculptures, but I
could easily believe these gongs sound like massive sculptures set into a slow motion. It is not
difficult to think of Harry Bertoia sculpture/sound pieces, even when Aquarius’ music seems to
louder, more massive and ultimately much darker. Much like stuff from the medical world this is
a slow growing music, like an organism and as such it’s easy to see a connection with weeds or
roots growing rampant about. Some of the sculptures look like branches covered with moss and
this music is a fine reflection of that. At thirty-one minutes this is rather a short CD, and I could
easily enjoyed another piece. For fans of weird drone, early Thomas Köner and Harry Bertoia;
simply head out to Eindhoven on September 6th and see how it all works together and then
buy the CD. (FdW)
––– Address:


The first release here, by Penny Rimbaud, formerly drummer of Crass and since long improviser
and poet, is a re-issue of what was originally an edition of 60 CDs in 2011. Unlike his previous
release, ‘Kernschmelze II’, which was all voice and heavy computer manipulation, this sees
Rimbaud reciting his poetry over a mix of cello, drums, bass, saxophone and flute. Some of these
instruments appear more than once. Ian Vanek (drums) and Matt Reilly (bass) of the group
Japanthar recorded the basic material when they passed the Crass studios, leaving it for Rimbaud
to use at free will. The material was rearranged and organised and other players added parts and
Rimbaud added his ‘Oh, Magick Kingdom’ poem to it. It is about ‘broken relationships and the
conflicts which can exist between love and desire’, taking a few words from A Midsummers Night’s
Dream and The Tempest. Of the ten pieces, one is a five-minute intro and a ten-minute outro and
eight songs of spoken word and music, which last in total thirteen minutes; it’s perhaps a bit long
for in- and outro? The work is quite normal, compared to the previous one, or Rimbaud’s earlier
work with Crass. Throughout the music is quite jazz like, especially when the saxophone starts
wailing about, but it is also at times all very much a work of rock music, a bit noisy, a bit math and
with female voices in combination with that Rimbaud it makes up a very much gentle version of
Crass. It is all improvised, but in a rather conventional way, I should think, even for noise-rock and
free jazz. This is at twenty-seven minutes quite a short release, with the ten-minute outro being a
long saxophone blear-out on repeat, which is a bit too long, but it surely is also quite a powerful
release of music, words and ideas. That’s how I like them best from Rimbaud.
    About ten minutes longer is the release by Coil, Marc Almond and Zos Kia. Effectively this is
the complete recording of ‘How To Destroy Angels (A Slow Fade To Total Transparency’) by all of
them, as recorded on August 24, 1983 (occasionally the review is written on the very same date,
albeit thirty-five years later; if I would want it I could see some significance, but I don’t), plus a remix
by Zos Kia of that piece and a piece by them and Coil that was previous unreleased. It sounds
nothing like the 12″ Coil would release in 1984 with the same name; the long gong piece,
remember? Here it is something entirely different; Marc Almond recites a long, long tirade against
an ex-lover, apparently, and it is a seedy as you’d imagine the early Soft Cell surrounding to be.
On top there is a bit of synth sound, and that’s about it for twenty-three minutes; only towards the
end, there is clearly some sort of percussive sound and other voices, bringing this to a strange
finale. Of course the whole performance aspect is missing, but make sure you find it on YouTube
but only after you heard this piece. It certainly doesn’t resolve any questions you may have, but
instead asks for a few more. The Zos Kia remix of the piece is from the original 12″ and it’s one of
those mid-80s pieces of dance music; tribalistic, dark and ritualistic. From there it was a small step
to shamanistic, all-night rituals. ‘Baptism Of Fire’ by Zos Kia and Coil is from October 1983 and
quite a direct piece of tribal drums and bass and John Gosling on guitar and vocals. This is a
very direct recording, very powerful and very ritual also, but less electronic than the remix just
heard. It sounds like taped in a basement though this one, but that’s what gives it its power. I’d
say a fine release and not just for Coil completists. (FdW)
––– Address:

HOFF ENSEMBLE – POLARITY (SACD & Blue Ray by 2L Records)
  PERCUSSION (SACD & Blue Ray by 2L Records)

The audiophile label 2L Records, specialised in contemporary new music and jazz from  Norway,
released two new albums that come both in SACD and Blue Ray format. Jan Gunnar Hoff is a
Norwegian jazz pianist, composer, arranger and professor who worked with Pat Metheny, Chick
Corea, Mike Stern, and of course with many musicians from Norway. He has released 13 albums
as solo artist and co-leader, and he has composed 200 works for different settings (chamber
orchestra, sinfonietta, choir, quartet, etc.). Over the years he received several prizes for his musical
work. So, a well-established artist. Composing for a trio is a new step for Hoff.  Hoff Ensemble is
his trio of Anders Jormin (bass), Audun Kleive (drums) and Hoff himself on piano. Altogether this
is a tight acoustic playing unit that interpret twelve compositions by Hoff. Recordings took place at
the Sofienberg Church and are crystal clear. Hoff plays the piano with a jazzy touch. Their interplay
and aesthetic has romantic connotations and moves within the traditional concept of a jazz trio. Not
ground breaking but very sophisticated and together in their art.
    Another experienced and reputed musician is Kjell Tore Innervik, who has for 20 years
performed with the Oslo Sinfonietta and he is associated professor at the Norwegian Academy of
Music. On his album ‘Utopia’ he performs two compositions by Iannis Xenakis (‘Psappha-2nd
Persona’ and ’Psappha – 1st Persona’) and one by Morton Feldmann (‘The King of Denmark’).
Around the age of 30 Xenakis had experienced more in his life than most people do in their entire
life. As a member of the Communist Party he joined the resistance during the War and was
sentenced to death in 1947 as a terrorist, then fled to Paris. Here he met composer Messiaen who
encouraged him to integrate his background as a mathematician and architecture in his
compositional work. And so he stared to develop his controversial and unique oeuvre. For Feldman
it was a meeting with John Cage what encouraged him to follow his own intuitive way of composing.
The composition ‘Psappha’is presented in two recordings: ‘once from the perspective of an intimate
listener facing the performer, and a second time literally ‘over-head’, giving a first-persona
perspective. The difference not only in microphone technique but also in the performer’s state of
mind, and how he projects his playing has a profound impact on the listening experience.” The
recordings came into being in the context of the interdisciplinary project ‘Radical Interpretations
of Iconic Musical Works for Percussion’. In text in the enclosed booklet gives an insightful picture
of the working process: departing from philosophical viewpoints, searching for the right instruments,
etc. Underlining this project grew out of a deeply felt dedication. (DM)
––– Address:


Space Quartet is a initiative of Portuguese artist Rafael Toral (modular feedback circuit, modified
MS2 Feedback and MT10) who invited Hugo Antunes (double bass), João Pais Filipe (drums,
percussion) and Ricardo Webbens (modular & network synthesizer) for his newest project. A bit
on the participators. Joăo Pais Filipe from Porto is a self-educated drummer and percussionist. In
the past he worked with Fritz Hauser, Evan Parker, Burkhard Stangl and many others. Ricardo
Webbens from Lisbon is a multidisciplinary artist who started from visual arts and moved towards
music as well. Also from Portugal, Hugo Antunes mainly works in Brussels where he lives
nowadays. He worked with Scott Fields, Paul Lovens, Tobias Delius, a.o. Although this is new
project by Toral, it is also in continuity with his past work. Toral is deeply influenced by music and
ideas of John Cage. He shared this fascination with trumpeter Sei Miguel who became a long
time partner. This inspired Toral in his search for combining electronics and jazz that is reflected
in his ‘Space Program’. The last 13 years Toral worked on this Space Program series. For Space
Quartet Toral integrated the leading principles of this research. He works with a normal rhythm
section of drum and bass. So far this sounds traditional, but with two more musicians playing
electronic instruments, we have a very unusual configuration. Both Toral and Webbens play a
leading role in the improvisations. Their electronic patterns play with melodic elements,
sometimes evoking birdcalls and many other sounds and textures. Their instruments and their
playing are very flexible and go well with the patterns that come from the acoustic drums and
bass. It is all impressive how Toral consequently continues on his path (DM).
––– Address:

MOKITA (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

I’m not completely sure, but if I’m not mistaken this is the first time I meet Swiss player Gallio in an
international line-up. So far I only knew him of his group Day & Taxi. He is a veteran of the Swiss
scene-playing sax since 1977. And running his Percaso label since 1986. At first glance this
Mokita-release looked like a release by his Percaso-label. This one however is released by
Creative Sources Recordings, with artwork however by Anne Hoffmann who does most of the
artwork for Percaso. Christoph Gallio (soprano & alto saxophones) is in the company of three
musicians from Argentina: Cecilia Quinteros (cello), Alex Elgier (piano) and Marcelo Von Schultz
(drums). Concerning the background of these Argentinian players I can’t tell you much alas. Both
Cecilia Quinteros and Marcelo von Schultz are part of the Buenos Aires-based trio Haïti. This is
about all I could trace. But more important they demonstrate that improvised music is a very lively
and advanced branch of music in Buenos Aires. In four intense improvisations they gave way to a
spirited and lively interaction with equal participation of all players. They make a very good team.
This is evident from the first seconds of the opening improvisation ´Prosopis Ferox´ where they are
engaged in an intriguing interplay, although it seems as if everybody takes his own route.
Powerful, concentrated and to the point they communicate with rich musical vocabulary. A lovely
work. Recorded at Estudio Libres, Buenos Aires, on May 12th, 2017. (DM)
––– Address:

FREDY STUDER – NOW’S THE TIME (CD by Everest Records)

Autodidact Studer is a veteran musician from the Swiss jazz and improv scene. He started his
musical activity around 1972 by founding OM, an electric free jazz unit, including Urs Leimgruber,
Christy Doran and Bobby Burri. Over the years he played in many different settings: Andre Jaume
Quintet, Charlie Mariano Group and many Swiss-based projects. Daniel Humair, Pierre Favre, Fritz
Hauser, a.o. were long time companions of Studer. No wonder his contributions can be found on
dozens of albums. Over the years he did also solo concerts, playing drums, cymbals, gongs, metal
and percussion, often combining improvisation with groove. But so far he never released a solo
work. Now celebrating his 70th birthday time is ready for a first solo release. A statement released
on double vinyl, accompanied with a 250-page book with contributions by fellow musicians and
writers. The recordings took place on a few days in January this year at Gabriel Recording, Stalden.
No overdubs or electronics effects were added. In 14 improvisations Studer concentrates on many
different aspects, using the wide range of instruments as above mentioned. Scratching the surface
of metal objects as well as his drums, and many other techniques pass by. Sometimes the
improvisations are built along a strong groove like in the opening track ‘InPuls’. In other
improvisations like ‘Katharina San’ the delicate gongs and bells evoke a meditative state. ‘Noisy
groove’ is rhythmically complex construction. He makes fine combinations of different sounds and
colour. In most of his improvisations groove or rhythm are an important ingredient, like in the
extensive piece ´Joysticks´, that wakened up old memories of Carnaval in the streets of Luzern.
But ´Lonely Breathing´ is an impressive exception and a very nice sound improvisation, just like
the closing piece ´Rostiger Himmel´. In all, Studer offers a very diverse palette of percussion-based
improvisations, showing his ability to built fascinating grooving constructions, as well as moving
sound sculptures and making interesting combinations between them. (DM)
––– Address:


This new trio of releases by Germany’s Gruenrekorder all deal with field recordings, yet none in a
very traditional way; not your usual ‘let’s tape some bird calls’ type of thing. First there is ‘Path Of
The Wind’ by Eisuke Yanagisawa, who set up an Aeolian Harp of his own making and recorded
the instrument in a bunch of locations. The Aeolian Harp is also known as wind harp and it’s were
wind plays the strings attached to it. Yanagisawa learned how to work it, with string s being
attached, tension and angles to capture the right amount of wind, which causes the strings to
vibrate and thus a rich pattern of harmonic overtones emerge. I must say I can understand his
choice of title, as it is the path of the wind that causes these strings to vibrate, but I think it’s also
quite a terrible new age like title. That title is the only downside to the album, as the music pieces,
all seven of them, are great. The Aeolian Harp is set-up in quiet areas, a beach, a park in a rural
town, near a 1200-year old tree and sometimes we hear a bit of the environment through the
ringing and singing of the strings; some sea waves, a bird flying over, but it’s the harmonics of the
instrument that make the piece. Obviously there is some overlap in sound here and there, yet there
is also quite a bit of variation in these pieces; some are sustaining quite a bit, while ‘Ridge Line’
has a more careful off and on approach. The overall recording quality is excellent; there isn’t any
wind that blows down the microphones, so the emphasis lies on the instrument. This I thought is a
great release. It’s field recordings, it’s sound art, it’s music and it reminded me of Alvin Lucier’s
‘Music On A Long Thin Wire’, which I guess is always a thing.
    The other two releases by Gruenrekorder deal with field recordings of a less organic nature.
Gregory Büttner’s work in installations, composition and improvisation should be known by now,
and here he has a thirty-five minute piece of music entirely build from contact microphone
recordings he made on old steamboat, an icebreaker from the 19830s. In 2010 he went over the
Ostsee from Rostock to Rügen and spend his time in the bowels of the ship to tape all the rattling
of the metal in what was effectively a big resonant room. I am not sure but I would think contact
microphones may not capture the actual space, just the vibrating surfaces but no doubt Büttner
has better mics than me. He also recorded the steam engine, fired by coal. This piece comes
without any processing or manipulation; everything is layered, edited and cut together and has
four distinct parts. I was reminded of steamboats earlier this year when I was in Austria after a
very long time in the old village I visited as child, and it was said to say that the steamboat on the
lake was replaced by regular motorboat. Listening to Büttner’s music I reminded of that steamboat,
on that lake, somewhere in the early 80s. Like much of Büttner’s other work this too deals with
vibrating surfaces, metal plates shaking and buzzing, giving it a particularly rhythmic feel. At times I
had the impression I was listening to percussion music rather than something taped with contact
microphones on a steamboat; especially the last seven or so minutes were particular good in that
something sounds like something entirely different. Nothing sounds very mechanical here, which I
guess I liked quite a bit. Mechanically made yet sounding quite organic, a most lovely result.
Büttner has a pair of great ears to choose sounds that work together very well; sometimes as
opposites, whole at other times blending perfectly together. An excellent journey!
    More mechanics of some kind can be found on the LP by Michael Lightborne. I don’t think I
heard of him before and he describes himself thusly: “Michael Lightborne is an artist based in
Birmingham and Cork. He works with video, sound and print, and has exhibited around the UK
and internationally, in exhibitions and film festivals. His work engages with questions of landscape,
popular culture, memory, and technology. He is currently exploring the viability of ‘psychetecture’, a
concept used in the 1980s comic Mister X to describe the psychological effects of architecture and
urban forms.” In 2016 and 2017 he did recordings in a cinema projection box, documenting the
changing from 35mm to digital projection. Very few cinemas still use 35mm, and Lightborne found
one, which is what he calls “a workshop, an engine room, and an artist’s studio”, with a great
picture on the cover. That one is on the first side of the record, while the other side contains a
bunch of others. It ends with a digital projection recording. This is all very filmic, excuse the pun,
of film flapping around and cans being opened, the motorizing of projectors and such like. It is
indeed, one could say, the sound of an art slowly disappearing. It is very possible that our
grandchildren will not be able to recognize any of these sounds. Lightborne records in-situ, and
it is very much a documenting of the action. Getting the films on, starting the projectors and such.
It is not like Büttner’s work a collage of various sounds together and presented as a composition,
yet it is all most enjoyable to hear. Any sound that sounds great is a composition, perhaps (to
avoid the more well-known ‘you don’t have to call it music if the term shocks you’). Following the
very lively first side, the second side gradually spirals down to the use of ‘modern’ equipment and
we hear how the world of projection changes. Ending with an electrical drone piece that is the
world of digital projection. Another excellent journey, albeit of an entirely different nature. Great
record! (FdW)
––– Address:


As I said before, and no doubt will repeat for time to come; we live in a time that applauds its past
more than it’s present. After reworking history 15 years ago into new music (see Simon Reynolds
‘Retromania’ book), we are now simply re-releasing history. Colin Potter’s and De Fabriek’s recent
re-issues come to immediate mind. Yet it doesn’t have to be ancient music like those two. Here we
have a recent cassette release by Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, from 2014, being re-issued on LP
by Radical Documents. It was reviewed in Vital Weekly 939 and I wrote (review quoted in full due
to general laziness I guess): “And then there was the third release by Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson
in a very short time – see also Vital Weekly 933 and 935, and yet another cassette. This one was
recorded ‘one hot summer afternoon in Ghent 07/06/2014, using voice, guitar amplifier and tape
recorders’, and comes with another extensive booklet of drawings. This is indeed something else
from Sigmarsson. Although it’s atmospherically, it’s also clearly voice stuff. Sigmarsson hums and
chants, without words, but with some reverb and maybe some other type of sound effect, to thicken
the voice and make it a bit choir like. Maybe he has hooked up some tape recorders with loops so
he hums along with his voice, a kind like Frippertronics system? This makes a rather unusual
release for him. It’s atmospheric, it’s even got drone like qualities, but with that recognizable voice
it probably owes more to a crossover between a singer songwriter and sound poetry. I was
reminded of that wordless chant release by Elisa Faires, a few issues back, but whereas she had
several pieces that sounded alike, Sigmarsson however knows how to create a longer piece,
going to various motions and emotions and create a densely layered web of sing-song music. It’s
something I am not entirely used to, but it’s perhaps the promising start of something entirely new.”
I must admit I don’t remember that Faires release mentioned but otherwise I still stand by what I
wrote then (this time no laziness intended); it’s in the bigger body of Sigmarsson’s work still a bit
of an odd ball, but it’s a record that is most enjoyable. I am sure that justifies a re-release.
    Completely new then is a record Sigmarsson did with Dan Melchior, of whom I had not heard
before. Discogs says that he’s a “Guitar player and singer from Shepperton, England (born 1972)
who experiments with garage rock, blues and country music. He now lives in New York and is
married to Letha Rodman. His first band was called The Loaded Souls”, which made me not much
wiser. Judging by the music here, I believe there is indeed some guitar in action here. Obviously,
I’d say, I have no clue how this record was made. There is no indication on the cover, as is mostly
usual in these cases, and you could probably wonder why bother anyway? It’s the result that
counts, again obviously, but it would be nice to know if these two gentlemen sat down in a studio to
work together, have human interaction, or perhaps this is one of those ‘here’s a bunch of sound
files via e-mail and please work around with those’. Judging by the music it could have been either
way really, which I guess is probably good thing. I’d say Melchior brings his guitar to the
proceedings, and maybe a few sound effects and Sigmarsson… well, maybe also a guitar, but also
some of the field recordings used, of a highly obscure nature that is (even when it involves some
speech), rhythms and/or drones. It works together quite well. Both sides have one title, but I would
think that each is divided in smaller bits. Somewhere on the second side, called ‘Crepuscule With
Drunk Wrestler’, slowly a rhythm emerges, some wordless chant and a rather nice, sweet melody
are added. It becomes almost like a pop song, but it isn’t. In other sections they are the pairing of
gentle guitar sounds, drone sounds, strange obscured voices and something that I assume is
played with some kind of sampler. Sometimes it goes off the rails (later, on the second side),
perhaps also due to some of the more lo-fi equipment used; that ‘some kind of sampler’ could
easily be a 1 bit Casio from yesteryear. Some of Sigmarsson’s voice material is not far away,
perhaps suggesting that ‘I Say To You’ isn’t that much of an oddball. These are two sides of lovely
collages of sound, mild and a bit wild, strange and yet not too difficult. This is limited to 300 copies,
but I am sure a re-issue will be made in a few years. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

FÅGLAR I BUR (7″ by Il Disci Del Barone)

It is no surprise I had not heard of Fåglar I Bur before, as this is a new duo from Gothenburg,
consisting of Felicia Lindgren (Milos) and Joakim Karlsson (Facit). I also never heard of Milos or
Facit, but I assume they are previous bands. They have two pieces on this 7″, to be played at 45
rpm. I hear a bass, percussion (which might be mechanical, out of a box), a female voice and some
obscured electronics. On ‘Platt’ the sound is quite fierce, almost rough and industrial but then
perhaps in a sort of lo-fi electronic way. This is quite a lovely song but I am more impressed by
‘Öppen Inbjudan’ on the other side. The bass is slow, there is rain/crackle/hiss and Lindgren’s voice
is monotonous yet dramatic. Half way through an organ starts with a simple yet effective melody.
These are two quite different songs, which leaves the listener, well, at least this one, craving for
some more. Il Disci Del Barone do a great job at releasing 7″s, but man oh man, sometimes you
wish there was more to be heard. (FdW)
––– Address:


Adaadat from London is a label that always seems to come up with an artist or two that I never
heard of. Here it is Joel Cahen, from Israel, and he released before on HAK Lo-Fi Record,
Earsheltering and Le Colibri Necrophile (all label names new to me, in case you were wondering).
Cahen also organises multi-disciplinary art events. ‘Aquadelique’ is his latest album and I have no
idea what that means; I assume it’s an invented word that has something to do with water, as all of
the pieces here should be listened in a semi-submersed state, as “sounds are typically felt through
the body rather than the ears and sound travels four times faster than it does in the air”. The
problem is that I don’t have a bath handy to listen to this, so I have to do with a more regular
experience I guess. One of the things Cahen also organises is underwater concerts, which may
explains things a bit. Whatever I would wrote, one could also argue that I didn’t have the right
listening experience, but then I hardly use headphones when instructions read ‘use headphones’
(I just never mention that). The music of Cahen I think is best be described as computer music with
all sort of minimal processes taking places on what are probably field recordings and acoustic
instruments. Sometimes there is a slightly nautical element to be detected, that element of
underwater experience that is also audible above sea level. As the release progresses there is a
bit more rhythm in these pieces, yet it never becomes a full-on dance music experience. The
whole release seems to me taking more cues from the world of cosmic music but then all generated
with modern-day electronics and software. It is all quite ambient; it is quite good but nothing
spectacular at the same. It is very decent nothing-exciting ambient music. Of course I had only half
the experience. (FdW)
––– Address:

FOOD PEOPLE – VETCH (CDR by Chocolate Monk)
TINDEGGER – UNTITLED (CDR by Chocolate Monk)

   A staple of underground noise/outsider music since 1993, the Chocolate Monk label has always
excelled at providing a platform to lesser-known artists. Some of these obscure heroes have gone
on to greater acclaim, others are certainly destined to. Here are four recent titles, all of them by folks
I hadn’t heard of before.
    The most exciting discovery of this batch is the relatively new duo Food People, who apparently
approached Monk-in-Chief Dylan Nyoukis with a demo at his label’s big anniversary showcase at
London’s Cafe OTO, perfectly illustrating how genuinely open to new sounds this label is. “Vetch”,
rather appropriately for a band of food people, is named after the vine that produces fava beans.
Yum. For a group to deliver something so strong and singular as this right out the gate is
remarkable. The album is one lengthy track of overlapping/interwoven textures of impressive
patience and depth. I’m reminded at times of the Shadow Ring’s inscrutable anti-music with
deadpan lyrics muttered as if the vocalist wasn’t aware of being recorded… more like
eavesdropping on a rehearsal than listening to a finished product, imparting a disarming intimacy
the album. But while it’s all one track, the group moves from one sonic world to a quite different
other one with fluid ease. At several moments during “Vetch”, it occurred to me that the bit I was
hearing was so distinct from the preceding bit that I’d forgotten that I was still listening to the same
album. Food People’s combination of seemingly casual murk with passages of time-stopping
deep-focus stasis or energy-sapping audible nothing is deadly. Also, I think I heard a violin in
there. A fascinating album by a band to watch, for damn sure.  
     “Wilson Schmilsson” is comprised of three loopy analogue synthesizer adventures by F.
Ampism, aka Paul Wilson of Brighton. The opening piece, “Cave Watch”, reminds me of a looser
Conrad Schnitzler or Henri Pousseur, with sharp exhales of static hiss between all the improvised
chirp and fizz. Because Nilsson… oops sorry, I mean Wilson… hardly settles into any particular
zone for too long in this piece, it’s easy to maintain a mental image of hands twisting knobs in real
time, sending sparks blooping off in delay spirals as synth patterns speed up and slow down. Aside
from two minutes of respite in the middle of the piece, “Cave Watch” is more interested in sniffing
around the periphery than in describing a particular landscape. The remaining two pieces take a
very different direction; both “Strong Acid Button” and the meditative closer “Earth Occultation
Boundary”, share some sonic similarity to cosmic post-Berlin-School psychedelic-new-age
explorations of Pulse Emitter or Steve Hauschildt. These songs are warm and lovely, with big
round low tones.   
    Tindegger present an untitled album with five pieces, three of which sound like live recordings
of improv laptop and saxophone with occasional vocal yelp to stir things up. A confession: I
generally have a hard time getting into recorded “free improv”, and I’m experiencing that hard time
now. Improvised horn honking/spitting + random-seeming bodiless digital blips circle around and
around in a flurry of movement that somehow doesn’t lead anywhere. This is the sort of music that’s
swell when you’re in the room with the band as it’s happening, perhaps in an small gallery, but isn’t
purposeful enough for me to enjoy as a home-listening experience. But that’s only 60% of the
album! My favorite pieces are the remaining two, which share a distinctively menacing atmosphere.
“Mechanical” features Tina Krekels haltingly reciting text about “use value” (?) until her words are
overtaken by ugly robot churn. The final track, “Organoid”, is a muffled sullen string strum
punctuated by soft electronic coughs. Nice. I would have liked to hear more of that aspect of
    “Bijou Bastard Box Room Suite” is one 27-minute track by the duo of Goncalo Cardoso and
Alex Jones (of the band Angela Valid, not InfoWars), playing a strange sort of feral psychedelic
racket. The bowed and/or tape-delayed percussion and funny-animal-sound moaning wordless
voices recall (for me, anyway) mid-period Zoviet-France. Passages of recognizable acoustic bass
and clobbering underwater piano bring this tribe somewhat closer to Earth than Z-F ever got, but
the overall atmosphere of peering uneasily into an alien zoo remains. The album ends on a
relatively upbeat note, with spaceship-taking-off synthesizers cut off by creatures grumbling about
having to take a nap. (HS)
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From these three new releases I recognized only the name of Jason Lescalleet, who acts in his
double role as musician and label-boss. The other two are new names for me. There is not a lot to
go by. Hardworking Families is one Tom Bench from Brighton, with previous releases on Hairdryer
Excommunication, Don’t Drone Alone and Beartown Records, and so ‘Emergency Window’ is his
fourth release. The cover mentions the time frame of recording (2015 – 2018), instruments (tape,
radio, cracked Walkman-turntable, record player, objects, electronics, laptop, mixer feedback, field
recordings, cup) and a bunch of cities (“Krakow – London – Stansted – Berlin – Edinburgh – Gatwick –
Bexhill – Brighton”), of which the meaning eludes me, but judging by what I hear in ‘You’re Too Late’
probably field recordings taped in these cities. There is some interesting stuff going on here, on this
release; it’s that fine combination of lo-fi sound approach, sounds taped on cassettes, interference
sounds from faulty cables, cracking and destruction of objects and the rotation of surfaces on a
turntable, such as in ‘Cutting Through Air With An Electric Knife’. I was less blown away by that
piece, also because at seventeen minutes it seemed a bit long. In his other pieces Hardworking
Families rely more the humming and sustaining of sounds, cut along with some field recordings, in
‘E 580 20’ presumably the hardworking families that gave the project it’s name. It’s all quite
interesting and good, entirely fitting a more current trend of lo-fi approach and intelligent noise.
    Also from Matthew Azevedo’s musical project Retribution Body I had not heard before. He has
two self-released CDRs and a LP on Type, which makes also ‘Self Destruction’ a fourth release.
Which not much considering his first is from 2009. Other than that the release is dedicated to the
“memory of Phyllis Azevedo, 1956-2017” and that Matthew recorded this music in Boston in
January 2017, nothing else is revealed. From Discogs I understand that some of his previous
releases uses some synthesizers, which judging by the three lengthy pieces here is also the case
on ‘Self Destruction’. These synths are played with a strong emphasis on either the lower end of
the keyboard, or by turning all the knobs on modular synthesizers downwards, all pitches going to
minus and whatever else is needed to get a sound as a low as possible. This is what he does in
each of the three pieces, which, judging by their titles, ‘Self’, ‘Delusion’ and ‘Destruction’ also belong
together. This is some deep, way down deep drone music of very slow evolving tones, ranging from
pitch black to very black or just black. Not some cheerful ambient glitch, not some pleasant mood
excursion but something that needs some consideration while playing, volume-wise that is. The
tone is throughout sad and mournful, but perhaps the dedication is guiding me here, I thought.
Music for the darkest hour of the day or perhaps to be played on assorted sad occasions. It is all
quite good, actually, and the consistency throughout is most enjoyable, for the lack of a better word.
    Labelboss Jason Lescalleet we could probably see as one of the bigger names in that world of
“lo-fi approach and intelligent noise”. He tours quite a bit and his releases sell out easily. ‘Almost Is
Almost Good Enough’ is such a release that came out in two editions of 100 copies, on cassette,
originally to support a tour, so it’s now unlimited available on Bandcamp and CDR. The noise here
is rather remotely present, or perhaps even not present at all, as these five pieces show us a
Lescalleet that is working with very subtle, moody drone material. It is not easy to say if these
drones are played on (cheap?) keyboards, ancient organs or perhaps were generated in some
computer way. In ‘The Grind (Organ Music #4)’ it could be a church organ or harmonium with lots
of air being amplified, while in others I was thinking along the lines of cable hum, electrical currents
and such, and to add Lescalleet adds a bit of ‘other’ sound, though it is very hard to define what that
‘other’ sound is. These could be field recordings of some highly obscured nature, taped on a
Dictaphone and sampled on a two-bit sampler. Most clearly a gathering of all of these sounds is in
the final piece, lasting twenty minutes, called ‘In My Time Of Dying It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine’.
Here the organ is, certainly towards the end when it sounds very much like a mournful church
organ drone and some crackling of objects sampled together. Certainly this too isn’t the most
pleasant of releases, but it doesn’t reach for some of the grimness of Retribution Body. (FdW)
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ROVAR17 – CSONKOLT TÜNDÉR (cassette by Unsigned)

This is, as far as I understand, some sort of re-issue. It contains pieces from a previous cassette,
‘Faerie’, a live piece from 2005 and a very recent live recording with Stadlmeier (also known as
Emerge) spanning the entire B-side. In total some seventy minutes of music. Rovar17, from
Hungary, is a unit of noise, improvisation, sampling, mayhem and sometimes some kind of
structure. Usually they (?) have somewhat long and unformed pieces of music in which there is
an all freak-out on what I assume to be lo-fi equipment. Sometimes the music is a bit too loud for
my taste, such as in ‘No Longer Metaphysical Spirit’, which doesn’t amount to much but a rhythmical
excursion as ‘Department Of Obstetrics & Incantation – Pent Leditgrant Memorial Hospital’, like a
free float swirl of noise ‘n rhythm. ‘Spinned Out The Thread’, the piece with Stadlmeier spanning
the entire B-side is the most interesting piece of music, bouncing all over the place, left, right,
noise, quiet, introspective and wild. Much of this seems to be taped with a microphones so some
saturation is part of this, which doesn’t always make this the easiest of listening experiences. It is
a most adequate documentation of development. (FdW)
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