Number 1153

JEREMIE MATHES – IN[CORE]WAT[T] (CD by Unfathomless) *
DANIEL CORRAL – POLYTOPE (CD by Orenda Records) *
OGNI SUONO – SAXOVOCE (CD by New Focus Recordings)
JOS SMOLDERS – SPACES (2CD by Moving Furniture) *
ANDREAS LUTZ – BINARY SUPREMACY (SD card by Kasuga Records) *
DISTEL – WAPENS (CD by Ant-Zen/LP by Aufnahme + Wiedergabe & ant-zen) *
MONIQUE JEAN – TROUBLES (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
ERIKM – MISTPOUFFERS (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
PRESENTLY UNTITLED (double 7″ by Fourth Dimension Records)
ANTONIN ARTAUD/NURSE WITH WOUND (mini CD and book by Lenka Lente) *
  by Setola di Maiale) *
MODELBAU – YPSILON (cassette/2CDR by Zhelezbeton) *
EXPOSURE YOUR EYES – BRAIN PAN (cassette by Aphelion Editions)

JEREMIE MATHES – IN[CORE]WAT[T] (CD by Unfathomless)

Here we have a return of Jeremie Mathes to Unfathomless, following his ‘Fallow Memory’ (Vital
Weekly 1010) and ‘Efequen’ (Vital Weekly 872), and maybe the first to have a third CD on this
label. He also had a release on Mystery Sea, the parent label to this little empire, which is
seemingly in hibernation these days. Mathes is since three years living in Cambodia and has
visited various traditional Buddhist temples. He recorded a whole bunch of sounds in several of
these pagodas as well as the surroundings of these places. All of these are stuck together in one
solid forty-minute piece of music, of many layered sound events. There is both the layered, empty
room recordings that work now as a drone, or even a massive set of drones, while around that
there is the sometimes busy rumble of temple bells, human activity, percussive sounds of an
unknown origin and perhaps also some animals were captured by the recording devices. You
could believe there is some kind electronic processing going on, but that, so I believe is not the
case here. Because it is at times a massive gathering of sounds it is this illusion of being
electronically processed but it might now. Sometimes he uses shrill sounds that sound like a bow
playing cymbals, or an aeolian harp, but these might be some form of electrical transport systems,
especially judging the voice that goes along (around twenty-nine minutes). Delicate is perhaps not
a word that applies to this release, with all its layers of sounds, but it is a truly fascinating one,
because there is so much happening here, all the time. You can go over and over this release and
discover new sounds, new patterns and more richness throughout. Mathes provides the listener
with a great on-going flow of sounds in which there is a common thread running through all of it,
as well as a constant popping up of new sounds, going from inside pagodas at the beginning and
being totally outside at the end. (FdW)
––– Address:


All the way from Alaska hails Daniel Corral, who is these days based in Los Angeles. He is active
with such diverse interests as “accordion orchestras, handmade music boxes, post-punk opera,
electronic collages, puppetry, site-specific installations, chamber music and inter-disciplinary
collaborations”. Some of which I am surprise to hear of their existence. Right now he is on the
composition faculty at the California Institute of the Arts. ‘Polytope’ is, as far as I understand a work
that not only involves music but an Indonesian master Shadow puppeteer (a Dhalang), a string
quartet, Kraftwerk and James Turrell and I’m not sure what the latter two’s involvement is. There is
also light and video. None of this is of course present on the release here and there is just the
music, which is all about micro tuning and minimalism as well as gamelan like percussion; its hard
to say if it’s a real gamelan thing or perhaps some kind of electronic emulation thereof. Whatever it
is, it sounds simply wonderful. There are beautiful sine wave like passages, gliding nicely, softly if
not a very loud volume and somewhat sharper when played louder, but louder also means that
some of the bass comes out better. Sometimes it sounds like Corral uses a lot of delays to arrive
at a more bouncing sound, even sort of beat like thing going. Each of the fifteen pieces flows right
into the next, despite the fact there are individual titles for each of these pieces. It’s drone like from
time to time, especially when there are just sine waves and then there are more rhythm based
pieces, such as ‘Arrow’, which has many rhythms melting together, in the best phase shifting way
of the traditional minimal music. This is a great release, powerful as it is. I am sure the whole multi-
media spectacle is great, but the music by itself is worth your every while. (FdW)
––– Address:

OGNI SUONO – SAXOVOCE (CD by New Focus Recordings)

Ongi Suono is a duo of Noa Even and Phil Pierick, formed in 2009 and committed to expanding
the modern repertoire for saxophone. Their first results were released on the cd ‘Invisible Seams’.
It featured new compositions especially written for the duo by six composers. This is again the case
for their new project. A new selection of composers was invited to write material, with exploring the
possibilities of synthesizing saxophone and voice as a special focus. All compositions were
recorded during three days in December 2017 at Stone Soup Recording Studios in Maumee, OH.
The duo performs works by following composers: Kate Soper (‘OTOTOI’), Zach Sheets (‘dare-gale,
speaks and spells’), Christopher Dietz (‘ My Manifesto and Me’), Chris Fisher (‘Lochhead:
Chroma’), David Reminick (‘Walking After Midnight’), Felipe Lara (‘Vocalise II’) and Erin Rogers
(‘Clamor’). This is a fine collection of contemporary composed music. Each composition offers its
own interplay of voice and saxophone with its own handling of dramatic and theatrical aspects. 
‘My Manifesto and Me’ uses spoken word, ‘Walking after Midnight has them (quasi-) singing.
Other compositions integrate non-verbal sounds and aspects of the voice and breath. During the
trip we get acquainted with the very professional and inspiring duo of Even and Pierick. Great
performance. (DM)
––– Address:


Productive Martin Archer operates within several projects. Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere is
one of them, presenting their fourth recording. On board are: Martin Archer (keyboards, electronics,
saxophones, clarinets, flutes, recorders, melodica, voice), Steve Dinsdale (electronic drum kit,
synth), frostlake (= Jan Todd) – vocals, lyrics, electronics, Celtic harp, lute harp, korg wave drum,
keyboards, bowed electroacoustic bass, idiopan), Yvonna Magda (violin, electronics), Walt Shaw
(acoustic percussion, electronics, voice), Terry Todd (bass and electroacoustic bass guitars). This
eight-piece ensemble is rooted in rock and excels in repetition-based improvisations. Chris
Bywater makes no longer part of crew what makes their sound less electronic. They are guested
by a violin-section and cello player, plus a choir. They name Terry Riley, Magma, Sun Ra, krautrock
as their inspirations. So they play with the avant-garde from the 70s. Listening to the records I surely
had to think of the 70s music too, although it is difficult to pinpoint evident references to music of
these times. In the first track it are the keyboards that bring back early work by Terry Riley. Every
now and then I had to think of Jade Warrior. But luckily they are not just interested in reviving and
copying music of the past. They surely have their own eclectic brew of jazz, prog and electronics.
They permit themselves very free and abstract interludes in their rock/prog structures. They create
a very spacious sound to unroll their stretched- out tapestries.
    The haunting vocals add to the atmospheric and ambient atmospheres.  First three albums
were all double CDs. This time we are dealing with a single CD. Long enough to lose any sense
of time and to get lost in their spacious soundscapes. (DM)
––– Address:


Ensemble Fanaa is a trio of Daro Behroozi (alto sax, bass clarinet), John Murchison (upright bass,
gimbri) and Dan Kurfirst (drumset, frame drums). Let me introduce them first. Daro Behroozi is a
NY-based saxophonist who plays also in the funky outfit Lucky Chops with trombonist Josh
Holcomb, among others. John Murchison is a bassist from Brooklyn. He can be met in many
different musical scenes: pop, musical theatre, jazz, avant-garde. And more and more he is into
music that departs from African and Middle Eastern traditions. Dan Kurfist is composer, improviser
and percussionist from NYC, with much experience with improvised music as well as music from
Middle East and India. He worked with Matt Darriau, Hamid Drake, William Parker, etc. They take
inspiration from African-American, North African and Middle Eastern musical styles. From exploring
and blending these traditions they make their own music, often with the gimbri-instrument in the
centre, a bass-register instrument from Morocco, used for healing and trance purposes. ‘Fanaa’
literally means ‘lose yourself’ in some – not indicated – language and points at what this trio is
aiming at. The rhythmic patterns played Kurfirst are tight and more complex then they sound. The
gimbri provides a strong pulse and groove in many of the works on this CD. Behroozi has a
remarkable phrasing in his playing, a natural symbiosis of jazz and microtonal Eastern influences.
Behroozi and Murchison provide compositions. Two tracks were improvised in the studio and the
closing track is a rearrangement of a traditional Gnawa piece of music. Overall their music is very
modest and sober in character. Delicate and meditative also. At times their intelligent music was a
bit too controlled for my ears. Absolutely worthwhile! (DM)
––– Address:

JOS SMOLDERS – SPACES (2CD by Moving Furniture)

Moving Furniture is an exciting and prolific label that tends to publish drone (or drone-adjacent)
music, releasing batches of three or four new titles at a time.  The current furniture being moved
includes three artists whose work I know, plus one name that’s new to me.
    “Siticidelhous” is a collaborative album by the duo of French multi-instrumentalist Jean-Luc
Guionnet and Basque artist Miguel A. Garcia. It’s difficult to tell whether this is a studio creation or
if it was recorded live, and I enjoy that it’s unclear. The individual contributions of each artist blend
into a unified piece of music. Most of the album has a baseline of near-silence, with specks of reedy
squeaks, low rumbling, and organ punctuation rising up from the negative-space chasm. The
general glacial pace and minimal density remains static for the entire first piece (from which the
album gets its title), component sounds seeming distant while reverberant rustling of microphones
and unnamed objects intermittently jump forward to map out the acoustic space. Towards the close
of the second piece, the music drops its carefully measured restraint and fills up the void with a
crescendo of white noise crunch and loopy organ. A very short coda of some spoken words in (I
think) French might offer some illumination on the preceding events, but they’re quick and low in
the mix, so I can’t tell what’s being said. C’et la vie.
    “Spaces” is a major album by influential Dutch composer Jos Smolders, whose wide-ranging
electro-acoustic music has taken in drone music, noise, dub, tape collage, and field recordings
over a career that has spanned decades and continues to evolve. “Spaces”, a conceptually
fascinating album, is defined by its scale… it’s a massive work, and sounds like it. Across two CDs,
Smolders presents engrossing and challenging compositions built out of recordings made in
museums… spaces intended to present primarily visual art. In his accompanying text, Smolders
describes how he enjoys listening to museum spaces as he moves through them. He adds, “The
music on the CDs has been laid out as spacious as possible”, and boy is he successful on that
front. With headphones on, the experience of three-dimensional space is unmistakable. I’m
transported into large halls with quiet conversations, coughs and footfalls bouncing off recognizably
museum-sounding acoustic spaces, hushed words blurred by reverberation. Other elements
seems to have been recorded in outdoor spaces (sculpture gardens, perhaps?), with birds chirping
and open-air acoustics added to the stew. Smolders uses these familiar-sounding source
recordings as the starting point for dynamic compositions that jump from hushed ambience to
dense electronic (and on sections of the 2nd disc, approaching industrial) burl to a more “musique
concrete” implied narrative. He highlights certain found elements by adding (seemingly) studio-
created sounds such as ringing bells, soaring tonal arcs (which often retail the rough acoustic
character of a reed instrument, perhaps a saxophone, though it’s hard to say for sure), percussive
clatter and occasional synthesizers (sometimes in sparingly decorative blurps, other times in
upfront throb) compliment musical or rhythmic phrases discovered in the field recordings. The
conflation of documentary observation and hands-on composition is the defining character of
“Spaces”. Multiple deep listens seem necessary to fully absorb this one; I look forward to
returning to this album and living with it for awhile.
    Moving Furniture excels at curating work by new or relatively unknown artists. In this current
batch of releases, that artist is Matthijs Kouw from Utrecht. His evocative “Obscurum Per Obscurius”
album is a good representative of the Moving Furniture sound and an ideal entry-point for anyone
wanting to begin investigating the label. It contains nine untitled compositions of darkly elegant
electronic drone music, each one charting a singular path of focused burbling intensity for several
minutes, just enough time for a small number of sounds to establish themselves, turn in place or
shift gradually sideways, and then move on to the next idea. Throughout, there is a veneer of
edge-of-feedback howl lurking behind these rounded hums, imparting a subtly threatening edge
to music that might otherwise have sunk into the background. (HS)
––– Address:


Last time round the gap between two releases by Canadian composer Jocelyn Robert was quite
short (Vital Weekly 986 and 999) and this time it has been quiet for some time. Robert is best
known for his work with the Disklavier, “a real acoustic piano outfitted with electronic sensors for
recording and electromechanical solenoids for playback. Sensors record the movements of the
keys, hammers, and pedals during a performance, and the system saves the performance data
as a Standard MIDI File (SMF)”, but on ‘Signatura Rerum he plays pipe organ and computer. A few
years ago (hence the gap perhaps?) he discovered  “the new Casavant instrument of the Palais
Montcalm in Qubec” and started to play with it in conjunction with computer automation, slowly
blending the human touch and the mechanical precision together. That last bit I read on the
information, as I didn’t hear that sort of computer automation in these pieces. It all sounded like a
pipe organ being played and nothing much else. But then so I was wrong I guess and it made me
wonder what that computer did. There are eight pieces on this CD and it’s all quite normal pieces
of pipe organ on the surface but if you listen closely odd little things can be noted, strange intervals,
odd repetitions and such like, along with some wonderful melodic pieces, such as ‘Rose Et Jaune
Et Vert’. Despite this being one instrument, which may limit the sound pallet a bit, there is quite
some diversity in approaches here; quiet and introspective versus melodic, from a few carefully
placed notes to more abundant playing. This is certainly not easy music, but something that I
thought was quite demanding. (FdW)
––– Address:


When I saw this was a SD card release I feared it would be one of those 8 hour releases that is 7
gigbytes long but it turned out to be a most regular album sized release. Not as 24 or 96 bit audio
either, so perhaps it is all just the gimmick of doing something different. This is the follow-up to
‘Zwolftonform’, Andreas Lutz’ album from 2016. There isn’t a lot of information on this man and what
he does. I would think he’s a man with a laptop and a thing like Ableton Live or Audiomulch, set up
to play lots of glitchy rhythms with an occasional strong beat, along with clicks, cuts, scratches and
hisses and a bit of computer treated voices. It’s not really dance music, as the tempo is too slow
most of the times, but at the same time it is also not very abstract. There are some warm
synthesizers used from time to time, which make a fine contrast with the some cold and clinical
clicks and cuts. It is music that is very much from the early days of laptop music, when ‘clicks ‘n
cuts’ was actually a word that people used to name a specific genre. It would not be out of place
in that scene, even when Lutz adds his own touch to it. It is good to see someone doing something
that seems out of place and time at this moment and still do something that is very much part of the
Vital Weekly world. A great release in a small format! (FdW)
––– Address:

DISTEL – WAPENS (CD by Ant-Zen/LP by Aufnahme + Wiedergabe & ant-zen)

Here is twice news from my local buddies Distel, synth wielders and merchants of angst-pop. While
it is something that is not regular rotation here, the genre that is, I quite enjoy this kind of dark pop
songs. It is a reminder of different times, the 80s obviously, even when the man behind Distel is too
young to actively remember any of that. Years ago I saw the people of Distel walking in my home
town and thinking they must be depressed gothics, but in a small city it is hard to avoid the same
circles and boy, I was wrong; I usually am when it comes to situations like this. As I wrote before the
voice reminded me of Ende Shneafliet, but the musical setting is quite different. The synths are loud
and brutal, ‘fat’ is probably the sort of word people use in a context like this, but it is nevertheless
also very melodic music. These are very much ‘songs’ and not ‘pieces’. Along with the dark vocals
and ditto synths comes a very fine set of rhythms that are quite groovy. Dark groovy of course,
perhaps not the cheery and happy clappy of rave music, but it surely owes to that world. The whole
big fat rave synthesizers that we heard on Distel’s previous release (Vital Weekly 1131) is
continued here. ‘Wapens’ means weapons in Dutch and of course are those things to use in war,
but it can be translated as ‘family crest’, but also to arm one self, and I have no idea what the lyrics
are about. And some of these pieces are in Dutch, oddly enough, but then to say something
intelligent about lyrics not really my strength anyway. These are ten strong songs, played with as
much style as aggression; vigour is probably a better word. It’s all pop noir, but with some unusual
shades of black, grey and white mixed together. One truly powerful record.
    At the same time, on the same label there is a 12″ by Distel on one side and on the other side,
each with a five-minute song (give or take). The rest of the vinyl is die-cut shaped with arrows. Like
a black sun rising, sayeth the label(s) involved. Both bands perform a Coil song and being not the
biggest Coil fan alive, I only recognized Distel’s ‘Solar Lodge’, from their debut ‘Scatology’. They
deliver a very strong rendition of the song, which I understand is in their live set for years now. As
with Distel’s sound everything louder and heavier, so comparing Coil’s original and the Distel
version, the original sounds rather thin now. Dead Neanderthaler Otto delivers an excellent free
saxophone part to this rhythm heavy song and the vocals are deeper than ever.
    Trepaneringsritualen’s ‘A Cold Cell’ is a song that I don’t think I heard before from Coil, and
after looking it on the holy grail, YouTube that is, and comparing both versions, I can safely say that
Trepaneringsritualen did a total transformation of the song; here the drums are slow and pounding,
the voice is deep as opposed to angelic and the synths are pushed to the background. I enjoyed it,
without saying I disliked Coil’s original. It seems just a different song, which I guess is quite a good
thing as well. This is a very limited edition, I am told (I have just the digital version in front of me),
and probably long gone now. (FdW)
––– Address:

MONIQUE JEAN – TROUBLES (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
ERIKM – MISTPOUFFERS (CD by Empreintes Digitales)

Since more than twenty-five years Empreintes Digitales is probably the leading label when it comes
to computer based electro-acoustic music, mostly composed and performed by conservatorium
skilled composers. Oddly enough I don’t see a reference to those in the short biography that is
printed on the cover of the album by Monique Jean. She was selected by several competitions
(which I think is THE thing in this musical area) and played international concerts and festivals.
She has here two pieces of which the first, ‘T.A.G.’, which stands for ‘trottoir, asphalte,
goudron’ (sidewalk, asphalt and tar) is inspired by “crowds of demonstration” and she says that
sounds are “mainly synthesized”, which I found hard to believe. I was more thinking about heavily
processed field recordings, certainly in the opening section of the piece that sounded like car tyres
screeching. I might be wrong of course. As the piece evolved it became more obvious that there
are indeed synthesized sounds used and even some more orchestral ones towards the end. It’s a
massive piece, crowded with many sounds, as crowded as the pavement of the inner city perhaps.
This is quite a powerful piece of music. The other piece here is “Out Of Joint’, and it is a “sound
hybridization on Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the various silver screen adaptations, stagings and
rewrites it inspired through time” – whatever that means but “what I am trying to do instead is to
develop a form that operates through grafts of time, interpretations, meanings and references”.
Which I guess wasn’t helpful either. Here the piece is also computer based I would think as well
as dense, slightly distorted from time to time, a massive narrative perhaps; again I could have been
fooled it included field recordings as I distinctly heard some birds. Both pieces are quite good and
seemed removed from the more usual glissandi approach that was common with releases on this
label some years ago. Either the composers have moved on, or the label did.
    Of course eRikm, as he loves to spell his name, is someone who is no stranger to these
pages, ever since he first surfaced as a turntablist in the mid 90s. He works as an improviser,
expanded to using vinyl, CD, mini discs and finds his own narrative, which is not unlike that of say
Luc Ferrari. A particular highlight was his LP ‘L’Art De La Fuite’ (Vital Weekly 1000), even when
that was an earlier work. The three pieces here deal with the past, his own past, in Switzerland,
which he calls ‘his other homeland’, but also using a traditional Icelandic text in the first piece
‘Draugalimur’, meaning ‘phantom limb’. In that piece eRikm combines field recordings with text and
with some instrumental sounds, while in ‘Poudre’ he uses many recordings of new year’s fireworks
in Berlin, with it’s many reflections of the buildings and perhaps also from history. In the third piece,
‘L’aire De La Moure 2’ there is also a text, by Paul Eluard and I must admit reading the description
didn’t make things clearer for me. Here there are quite a few field recordings, mainly birds I believe,
along with insects and wind, with what seems to me a minimum of processing here and there, but
not a lot, or at least: not throughout the entirety of the piece. eRikm doesn’t follow Ferrari’s more
linear approach to the use of field recordings but it seems to me it is all bit more of an anarchist
approach; see where sounds fit and then use them accordingly, which I would think is the best
approach. This too is not really the sort of things one expected from Empreintes Digitales, and for
instance more at home on Gruenrekorder, but here too I thought the label does a smart move and
venture into something new. In the past I may have been a bit (too) sceptical, but with these two the
label is back on track. For eRikm I would say this is another highlight. (FdW)
––– Address:


Thankfully only very occasionally Vital Weekly receives music that leaves us a bit clueless. Why
send this to us? We haven’t got a clue. Last week I sort of jokingly remarked we should have a
section that we’d call ‘It exists’, just to mention these releases were received, have a mention but
not a review, simply because it is eludes us. There is also a grey area of releases that I receive
and think that are quite nice, and can even spend some words on it, but which are altogether from
a different world than most of the music we review. Missing Waves is such a group, a trio from
France, with the voice and keyboards of Marie-Catherine Mossé, Daniel Palomo Vinuesa on
“blowing into tubes, shaking scissors and brushes’ and Nabil Bouteldja on drums. First and
foremost Mossé’s voice reminds me of Beth Gibbons of Portishead, but just as well the poppy,
jazzy electronic music of the two other players. Brocoli throws in this: “Portishead crossing the
road to meet Robert Fripp, Kate Bush partnering with Talk Talk or Björk recording with Robert
Wyatt”, which I should think ticks all the right boxes for all the ubergood alternative pop minds. It’s
seven pieces of very stylish pop music, alternative surely but highly accessible to these ears. This
music reminded me of other, similar, Portishead lookalikes as Antenne, 9T Antilope, My Home
Sinking, Asonat or Beequeen. Maybe the biggest surprise is a cover of The Cure’s ‘Boys Don’t
Cry’, complete with a crying baby (which we assume is a boy) and wind up instruments, probably
not intended as such by misters Smith, Tolhurst and Dempsey, and making it into a lullaby. It is all-
pleasant and decent, very considerate, very mature pop music. A very fine release for sure, but
less suited for these pages, I would think. (FdW)
––– Address:


All the information is printed on the CD itself, which I always find annoying and which is probably
the reason why people do this. Quost is a trumpet player, and this is the first time I hear his work.
He recorded this work in Copenhagen and adds field recordings from that city to the music. You
can hear him moving through the city, well occasionally that is. The main portion of these fourteen
pieces is about Qoust playing the trumpet in not really conventional ways. Again: most of the time.
In ‘Before Zero Crossing – Track 6’ his lungs burst, and along that there is also some noise from the
microphone mixer he also uses. On this piece there is also the alto saxophone by Lotte Anker,
making this a very free jazz pieces. But as said sometimes it is all more subdued and Quost treating
his trumpet like an object, and adding these strange electronic sounds to the mix. ‘Before Zero
Crossing – Track 8′ for instance is almost quiet but then same harsh feedback sounds come in all of
a sudden. It makes that this is quite an extreme release; extreme in its use of dynamics for instance,
which made it not easy for me to set a volume for this. I think seventy-four minutes is also a bit too
long to digest all at once. The closing twenty minutes are consumed by ‘Before Zero Crossing –
Track 11′ and by then it was a bit too much for me. With some more rigid selection I would think this
would have an even stronger release. It’s good, but a bit too much for me. (FdW)
––– Address:


It might be the end of the day confusion/tiredness, but this is a CD by a Belgium group called Book
Of Air Vvolk, a group that in 2016 released a LP/CD called ‘Vvolk’, but then they were called Book
Of Air. Maybe this is some extension as Discogs says the Book Of Air group has a line up of four
persons, and now on ‘Se (In) De Bos’ it is expended to eighteen musicians. Not really much names
that I know or heard before, and the they plays many saxophones, euphonium, electric guitar,
rhodes, vibraphone, basses and something that is obscurely called ‘kankles’ (“Lithuanian plucked
string instrument (chordophone)” – thanks wiki). The piece this orchestra plays is composed by Stijn
Cools, who is a drummer and composer in many styles, although I gather from the rest of his
biography it is much jazz music. None such here on this piece that is exactly one hour and three
seconds and it is a very ambient music piece of music. Three bass players are interwoven and on
top the other players play long sustaining tones, on whatever instrument they have at their disposal.
I could take a more cynic approach and say something that goes like this: why would someone
need so many players, whereas with a guitar and a bunch of loop pedals you could arrive at a
similar work of ambient? Many have proven it can be done. I won’t do that. It’s one of the last truly
warm days of the years and this is slow music further slows time for me today, and that is a great
thing. Some of the instruments have to wait for a long time to join, such as the saxophones, which I
believe on show up in the second half. By then my mind was twisted so much that I could actually
believe this to be a very slowed down piece of jazz music, mainly with those bass patterns being a
steady presence, and instruments playing solos at a similar 1 rpm speed. That said, this work is not
one of a very steady static sound, it seems always on the move and sometimes drums are more
present than on other occasions for instance, or those saxophones playing long notes, while the
guitars may seem to have an ever presence. Music that is best on repeat for a lovely long Sunday
afternoon. (FdW)
––– Address:


If I am not mistaken this is the third album I listen to by Portuguese duo Sturqen, also known as
Cesar Rodrigues and David Arantes, following ‘Praga’ (Vital Weekly 806) and ‘Cura’ (Vital Weekly
1036). Looking at Discogs it seems I may have missed one or two. Here they have ten new pieces,
ranging from one to eight minutes and the duo continue the path they have chosen. Again we have
some very strong beats, and very strong they surely are. Even stronger than before I should think,
but that easily goes for all the music here on this disc. More so than before these sound like late
night acid jams with every button operating a sound, and every frequency is reached.. The whole
notion of acid music is something that I didn’t hear so much in their work before. The ghost of Pan
Sonic is still there, now perhaps also with the one of Unit Moebius, but what makes Sturqen
different is their not so minimal sound. It is not something that goes on and on; there are quite a
few drops and changes in the music, and also with their leanings towards heavy synths, the music
gets something much more dramatic, maybe even orchestral. Nothing is held back here and
Sturqen sets a new level for rhythm ‘n noise. Is it unpleasant noise (with a few calmer moments,
such as ‘Minar’)? Not really; it was quite refreshing at the end of day, and in much need for a
heavier tune or two. Is it dance music? Hard for me to say. The sonic overkill may prevent it from
this being played as part of a DJ set, but hey, I’m not really the expert here when it comes to
DJ-ing. A suitcase full of Kvitnu releases might do that trick for the true hard core (in every sense
of the word) fans. (FdW)
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For a moment I considered to lump this one in with Jocelyn Robert CD reviewed elsewhere as
here’s another work with organ. I decided against it since this is a church organ and not a pipe
organ. Guionnet’s approach is radically different, as well as being just quite radical. I have no idea
how Guionnet plays the organ, in this case of the Basilica of Arontzazuko Santutegia. I am almost
sure this album is not a registration of a concert, but more a work of recordings sounds from the
organ, in all sorts of ways and manners, a combination of being an instrumentalist and a someone
who does field recordings. The microphones are placed close by, far away and it allows Guionnet
to have a whole lot of options to create this very rich collage of church organ sounds. There are
many times in which one doesn’t recognize the church organ at all, with its high end sounds,
drones, hisses and then, suddenly, it very well sounds like a church organ with a clusters of notes
being played with some vigour. It is a very intense work. Every time I play this I seem to be
discovering something new in there; is that a carillon? The outside of the building? A door falling?
That sort of extra sounds adds to the notion of field recordings for me. This is a record to be played
loud; sometimes the sound is very low in volume, which you may miss out upon, but also at a
louder volume there is an overwhelming richness in the louder sections. Also some of the higher
sounds become a fine gentle pierce in the eardrum. Guionnet created an excellent collage of
sound here, a true masterpiece carved in black vinyl! (FdW)
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PRESENTLY UNTITLED (double 7″ by Fourth Dimension Records)

Rarely in my reviews I say things about the label that’s releasing the music. Many of the labels
work in specific genres, say drone, field recordings, lo-fi electronics, dance etc. One of the few
labels that operate in a wider field of musical interest in Fourth Dimension Records, a label I have
been following off and on for the past twenty-five years. While covering a wide field of musical
interests they don’t touch upon drone and field recordings (which on social media gets their
despise all the time), but surely a lot of other interests. By the time you read this, providing of
course you pick this up on the day it comes out, you have very few days left to head to London, to
the cafe OTO and witness a Fourth Dimension Records showcase and all of the artists playing are
present on this double 7″, which is no doubt also available as a souvenir of what will surely be a
memorable night. Smart move also, as a 7″ is easier to carry on the bus back home, one of the
reasons why I hardly ever bought a LP at a concert. I was also thinking about the very first Factory
Records release, which happened to be a double 7″ as well, and knowing Richo, the charming
grump from the Fourth Dimension, that connection isn’t lost on him.
    Richard Youngs opens up with a surprising piece of processed organ drones (this must be the
week of organ’s!), which is perhaps against the no drone policy of the label, but lovely it is. Theme,
being Stuart Carter and Richo the boss, plays a piece that is typical of them. Strong on the rhythm
part, with vocals pushed away to the back and on top there is quite some distortion. Music con
furioso, with much speed and aggression, which given their background (Splintered for instance)
is not a strange thing. Sion Orgon has organ drone and computer treated sounds to which voices
are added. A fine dramatic piece of modern dark pop. Which is perhaps also the case with
Alternative TV, arch punkers with a bouncing sequencer and Mark Perry’s voice on top with most
likely a very political lyric. Piercing and minimal, more synthesized than I remember from all those
years ago. A lovely piece.
    The other record has EXTNDDNTWRK on one side, which is the only band to be granted one
side. Behind this is Andrew Fearn, the music man of the Sleaford Mods. The previous occasion I
heard his music (Vital Weekly 942) I had no idea who Sleaford Mods were, now I do and I can
safely say I think Sleaford Mods is one my current favourite pop bands. Funny, danceable, political
and I’ve rarely seen so un-pop like pop musicians. Fearn’s solo piece here is darker and more
complex than his beat music for the Mods. Less groovy as well, but a great piece. Map71 on side 4
does what they do best and that is a drum and voice piece, while Kleistwahr closes the proceedings
with what is best described as a dystopian howl in a rather subdued noise setting. That is seven
relatively short pieces and a perfect display of what Fourth Dimension has to offer. Head out to
OTO if you can, or order this while it lasts. It might be your Factory Sample for the future! (FdW)
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ANTONIN ARTAUD/NURSE WITH WOUND (mini CD and book by Lenka Lente)

While I was looking very hard, indeed I did sir, to find a translation of Antonin Artau’ds ‘C-Gît,
Précédé La Culture Indienne’, I couldn’t find one. I did found some stuff on the poem from Artaud’s
last years, which made also an interesting read. This time the Nurses are reduced to head nurse
Steven Stapleton who delivers the sonic component here, called ‘To Another Awareness’, which is
not your typical Nurse With Wound piece, should such a thing exist anyway. It is one solid fifteen-
minute piece that builds and builds, coming from almost nothing to very much present towards the
end. It could very well be a bunch of loops, which are cobbled together here with the use of sound
effects. It has, in the beginning at least, the effect of ‘Soliloquy For Lilith’ but soon the piece becomes
intense and much more sinister. This is some spooky and haunted stuff, which keep building and
building and then, towards the end there is just a short fade out; that is a pity as I was expecting, or
rather hoping for a more dramatic ending; a hard cut at the end or some silence. That was for me
the only downside to this is otherwise pleasant nightmare. (FdW)
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  by Setola di Maiale)

What to make of this one? It is a collaboration of improvised music that focuses on the combination
of acoustical and electronic sound sources. Projects like these are always interesting, risky and
raising questions. Digital electronic devices often have a  ‘manoeuvrability’ that doesn’t naturally
converge with that of acoustical instruments. Novello is a scientist, composer and multimedia also
known as Jestern. He is concerned with the “technological limit between instability and error,
failure and expression”. Tom Arthurs is a trumpeter and composer from Northamptonshire. He has
a background in jazz and improvised music. For example, he has his own trio with Finnish
percussionist Markku Ounaskari and pianist Marc Schmolling. He is also engaged in a trio
collaboration with violinist Biliana Voutchkova and Markus Pesonen. Working in duo setting with
live electronics is not new for him. With Simon Vincent (live electronics) he works already since
1999. Also Novello worked earlier in a similar setting. In 2014 he recorded with trombonist Flavio
Zanuttini, doing real-time sound manipulation, at the Institute of Sonology of the Royal
Conservatoire in The Hague. So both Novello and Arthurs had similar experience and background
for their collaboration. August 2017 they recorded at Art OMI, NY. Two of their improvisations are
now presented on this release: ‘Escargots’ (19:40) and  ‘Molluscs’ (11:30). All aspects of Arthurs’
playing illustrate his jazz attitude and sensibility. With all his technical skills and creativity he
proposes many movements and gestures. The radical treatments by Novello make a strong contrast.
Together they offer an interesting and at times intriguing puzzle for the listener to
finish. (DM)
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MODELBAU – YPSILON (cassette/2xCDR by Zhelezbeton)

On his new album “Ypsilon”, Frans de Waard (who, full disclosure, is both my friend and the editor
of this here Vital Weekly) exploits the length of the format… or rather, formats. “Ypsilon” is issued
as either two CDRs or as a 90-minute cassette, with two tracks taking 45 minutes each. Such a
span of time allows de Waard to move his sounds extremely slowly, nudging the monolithic music
forward in a way that sometimes seems hands-free, as if de Waard set a process in motion and
allowed it to flow on its own. The first piece, “Yesterday Afternoon” (either disc 1 or side 1,
depending on which format you’ve got) is relatively more active, but not much. It sets the pace
right away with a low thrum that gurgles for five minutes or so, lets in some synthesizer harshness
for a quick jolt, then backs waaaay down to a slowly oscillating, nearly unadorned crawl. The mood
is unnerving, too austere and severe to be background drone. The second side (or second disc),
“Yesterday Evening”, sounds even more hermetic than the first. A two-note synth line oscillates at a
funereal clip for more than ten minutes before de Waard lets in a teeny bit of light, but the
suffocating atmosphere rapidly reasserts itself. Only after 20 minutes is a new note introduced to
(barely) widen the colour spectrum, a detail that seems momentous in context. This is patient and
single-minded music, ascetic yet darkly contemplative. “Ypsilon” is dedicated to the memory of
Dmitry Vasilyev, who ran the Russian label Monochrome Vision before his recent shocking
accidental death, and is fittingly released by a Russian label. (HS) 
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EXPOSURE YOUR EYES – BRAIN PAN (cassette by Aphelion Editions)

Paul Harrison has been going as Exposure Your Eyes since the middle of the 90s and as such
responsible for a string of releases, mostly on CDR and cassette. This new release seems to be
a collection of pieces that Expose Your Eyes released previously gathered here together by
Aphelion Editions. I am not sure why such a collection is necessary. The best reason I think of is
that the original releases have been sold out. I am not sure if this is to be seen as a ‘best of’
compilation, but maybe Aphelion considers this as such? As I noted before, and mind you I do not
very often review music by Harrison (Vital Weekly 1096 for instance), Expose Your Eyes is a noise
project in which all the right buttons pushed, literally of course, but it’s not the kind of noise that
leans on just some mindless distortion that goes for too long, but Expose Your Eyes has variation
to offer. There is the distortion, but never too long, there also bits of processed organ sounds
feeding of through a line of stomp boxes, mainly some delay and echo, creating some unsettling
atmospheric tunes, which he does rather well actually. It might be me of course, but I enjoy these
intense yet quieter moments better than his more straightforward noise approach. That is fine as
well, especially when he keeps things within a limited time frame for that sort of thing and taking
the right amount of time for his more thought out stabs at the organ. Then his music works best for
me. There is some thought to these pieces, and Harrison applies a loose compositional structure
that is sufficient enough to keep the intensity level going for the duration of a piece. (FdW)
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