Number 1155

  Editions) *
  (CD by Inexhaustible Editions) *
DEAD PIANO (CD by Silentes) *
  Insub Records) *
WAKO – UROLIGE SINN (CD by Ora Fonogram) *
(THE) MUDGUARDS – ON GUARD (LP by Horn Of Plenty)
MUSIC FOR HARD TIMES – SEA METALS I & II (2CDR by Docking Station) *
MONOKULTUR (7″ by Il Disci Del Barone)
DAMAS PROSPECT – EXODE (cassette by Urubu Tapes)
SA BERNARDO – CPO (cassette by Urubu Tapes)
CINEMA PERDU – FRAGMENTS OF ECHOES (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
PASCAL SAVY – COLOUR FIELDS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *


From one of the more exciting homes for ambient music comes a new release by Marc Barreca.
Together with label chief K. Leimer he belongs to the most active composers on the label, both
having returned after some hiatus and busy since the mid 70s. They both share a mutual interest in
thinking about ambient music and how it could progress to the next point, and not churn out album
after album with the same set of drones in a new dress. Here he works extensively with computer
software, Nodal, Live, Kontact, Reaktor, Absynth, Aaltom Kaivo, Virta, Serum, as well as iPad apps
Different Drummer, Nodebeat and Soundbow, along with hundred Midi tracks with were all
manipulated in Max for Live, to which also processed field recordings were added. He created six
pieces, three of which are twelve to fifteen minutes and it is not your usual drone pieces. He uses
many samples of what I would think are acoustic sources, or perhaps midi versions thereof. In the
first two pieces I believe to hear a lot of stringed instruments, violins, cello, but also percussion,
piano and such like, all on a continuous drift and wild mild treatment. There is both chaos to be
noted here but also a calmness about it, which may contradiction may seem odd for sure. Imagine
watching the sky at night, being overwhelmed by so many stars, which yet also seem to project so
much tranquillity. Barreca also taps into waters that are quieter/less busy and perhaps a bit more
traditionally ambient; such as ‘Jazz Age Color Organ’, but as equally something quite the opposite
in ‘Clavilux’, with its slightly more distorted tones adding a hot bed of fuzzy tones to the patterns. In
all of his pieces however Barreca remains a very strong musical element, despite fuzzy tones,
ambient drones and chaotic sounds, there is always a shimmering melodic touch in these pieces.
Hardly a very traditional ambient record and yet also something that fits the world of ambient just
perfect, Barreca carves out new routes into the future of ambient music. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (CD by Inexhaustible Editions)

The Slovenian label Inexhaustible Editions is rapidly growing into a powerhouse for more radical
forms of improvised music. Here they present three new releases to proof their extremity. The first
one is by Birgit Ulher (trumpet, radio, speaker and objects) and Christoph Schiller (spinet,
electronics and objects). The spinet is of course not a very common instrument when it comes to
improvisation. The five pieces here were recorded in Schiller’s atelier (oddly enough not called
‘studio’ on the cover) and contains some intense music, perfectly outlining the sort of improvisation
that this label deals, and players like Schiller and Ulher normally play. Much of this is quiet, yet
never bordering too much on being all-silent with just a scratch here and a tick there. There is, as
far as I can judge always something to hear on this disc. The spinet and trumpet are recognizable
as such to most extent, the first being plucked and the second playing longer notes. To that this
duo adds the resonating sounds of objects on a speaker, of on going manipulations by hand
manipulation of objects and a bit of static crackles from radio and electronics. There is some fine
controlled interaction going between these two players, leaving room for each other to expand their
sounds, adding and subtracting when necessary and within the limited range of their means there
is a lot to be done, so the level of variety is quite big here. It moves between the gentle and the
extreme, between quiet and less quiet and it is throughout a beautiful release.
    Also radical but of a different kind are the five pieces by Jason Mears and Stephen Flinn. They
play saxophones and percussion, respectively. I don’t think I heard much of their work before. This
was recorded a year ago in New York, in a studio, and I have no idea to what extent there has been
any editing or mixing. This could be very much a ‘live in studio’ recording. The different radicalism of
this lies in the use of more extreme sounds. The saxophone is well recognizable as such but the
percussion is mostly played with the use of bows, so there is a sustaining sound from the higher
end of the frequency spectrum. Flinn is not the sort of percussionist who shakes his drums in a very
hectic way all the time, as he seems to be preferring longer, sustaining sounds. Also Mears is not
like that. He likes his notes to be mostly going on for a longer duration, with small bends along the
way. Silence in between notes plays no role for them, but there is some dynamics to be noted,
going from louder, piercing tones in ‘Atomists’ and ‘Looping Through Time’ to some quieter and
free jazzier moods of ‘Truth’. The most dynamic approach, the loud versus silence approach is in
the longest piece ‘Real Legacy’, coming from sheer nothing to an almost overwhelming buzz
towards the end, with Mears bending his horn in a jazz mood.
    The final new release is a trio disc by Cristian Alvear (guitar, sine tones and field recordings),
Mokoto Oshiro (kachi-kachi electromagnetic relays, prepared speaker unit, sine tones, field
recordings) and Hiroyuki Ura (snare drum, cymbal, sine tones and field recordings). For each of the
players there is also a credit for ‘archives’, which is specified as previous releases by each player.
The cover details the specifics of the piece, how many parts there are, how long sounds should last,
what sounds should be same or different throughout the piece etc. There are quite a lot of rules to
be noted. The composition is specified for three different durations, twenty, forty or sixty minutes.
The version presented here is forty minutes and it is quite a strange piece of overlapping short bits
of sine waves, field recordings and instruments. Some of the sine waves are quite radical. Cuts are
made in an abrupt way most of the times, like it being timed with a stopwatch, which is indeed a
required necessity according to the score. This piece has a certain randomized aspect to it and I
am altogether not sure if it really works well. There are surely some configurations that work quite
well, but also at times it doesn’t work at all and all we hear are various layers of sounds that have
no relation or interaction altogether and that’s a pity. Maybe there is a point to it, but I fail to see it.
––– Address:


While in Istanbul, Chihei Hatakeyama found some pictures in an antique store and that became
the inspiration for the eight pieces on his new release ‘Afterimage’. He plays here guitar and piano
and judging by the recordings all were done in a single day (though not all on the same day!) and
it may also imply this is all recorded in a more or less live setting. It is the music that we know
Hatakeyama to play well and he does again a great job. If you started to read this review hoping to
find that remark ‘this isn’t something we know Hatakeyama for and it is a radical shift in his work”,
you can stop reading now, as this isn’t the case. Hatakeyama is someone who produces some very
good pieces of ambient music with the instruments at his disposal and paints small pictures (pun
intended) with them. Here these small pictures can be literally small, with a piece that is not longer
than two minutes and eighteen seconds but it expands also to the title piece being close to twenty
minutes. In some of these pieces we hear the guitar being carefully played being played, with
strings being carefully touched, but in some pieces it seems one only hears some after effects,
mere drones produced by these instruments, true perhaps to the title of the release, such as in
‘Wilderness’; or perhaps it is in such pieces that the sound is slowed down and spaced out even
more? Whatever is the case this one hour long release made me fall asleep on two occasions,
and that is a compliment. The music has a very relaxing feeling and that’s what I like about it.
Nothing new, no innovation, and a further exploration of what Hatakeyama does best and that is
playing these excellent ambient pieces of music. (FdW)
––– Address:

DEAD PIANO (CD by Silentes)

It might very well the case that both the project name and the title of this album is Dead Piano, but I
kept it to just one name. I am also not sure if this a one-off project or something that will go on for
some time, but it is the musical collaboration between Andrea Bellucci on piano and effects and
Cristiano Deison on tapes and electronics. The cover is very black and hard to read in this moment
of twilight, but the moment is, on the other hand, the perfect time to listen to the music. It is slow and
dark music in which the piano this time is not played by just touching the keys but also the strings
and the body, the complete usage of the instrument and expand those tones with further addition
of electronics. These create a fine set of drones and tones in which all those piano treatments
calmly float around. The space in which this piano was located plays only occasionally a role, such
as at the beginning of ‘Onde Accordanti’. The melodies played by the piano are rather sparse; the
electronic treatment may sound like Brian Eno, but the piano is not always like that of Harold Budd.
Belluci’s plays his notes way sparser, a chord here, some delay on it, much reverb and it all works
very well. The crackles placed very sparsely add a further element of abstraction. The whole album
lasts thirty-two minutes, and after repeated playing I haven’t figured out if I think that’s the right
length or that I would have liked some more. A few times I thought ‘nah, this is enough as it clearly
indicates what it is and what the concept is’ but sinking back in another chair, picking up a book,
followed by ‘hey why did it stop already’, made me think that it could have as easily been fifty
minutes. Altogether this is a very consistent record and a true beauty of pastoral music. (FdW)
––– Address:

  Insub Records)

This line up tells you ‘improvisation’, right? If you have been reading these pages for some time
you must have come across these names. Carl Ludwig Hübsch (tuba, objects, pitch pipes), Pierre-
Yves Martel (viola da gamba, pitch pipes, synthesizer) and Philip Zoubek (pinao, synthesizer)
seem to be a bit out of their comfort zones with additional instruments they don’t always play. On
November 10, 2017 they played together at the famous Loft club in Cologne, and recordings
ended up as two different pieces on this CD, that is about forty minutes. Something they do, which
deems me as out of their habitat, is there is a certain rhythmic sense going on, which in some
places almost sounds like a proper song structure. Not a lot, not always, but there are these
instances in both pieces where this is the case. It is almost like it is planned by these players,
certainly if it gets a fixed stop by all of them. Just as easily they can drift off into more regular
improvised playing, with Hübsch’ tuba and Martel’s violin playing longer sustaining notes and
piano and violin contributing shorter sounds when necessary. They all use their instruments in
such a way you can recognize what they are, but when it becomes more rhythmical you realize
they also use the bodies of these instruments as objects to tap on. The interaction between the t
hree players is very fine, resulting in some fine tension at times, but also going to easier passages
in which there is a more relax exchange of ideas and responses. This is altogether a very fine
release. (FdW)
––– Address:


To be honest: I don’t know much about Philip Corner; just a bit about his involvement with Fluxus
and that he does graphical scores. And he lives in Italy these days where he worked with Silvia
Tarozzi (violin) and Deborah Walker (cello). He composed a work for them, the title of this release,
which they perform along with older works by Corner, with the composer on the piano, plus a piece
with Rhodri Davies on harp. Every since receiving this disc a few weeks ago I have been meaning
to play it and write a review. I never get beyond the first, which is playing the disc, and then putting
it away, postponing the review, simply because I was thinking: “I don’t know what to write”. Well,
until now, of course, but to be honest: I still have no idea what to make of this, and also my fellow
writers had a hard time. It is, perhaps, because this is something very much from the world of
modern classical music, which is a world that I hardly understand or know much about. It is at times
quite extreme, keeping the title in mind there, with very soft and careful passages mixed with some
vicious loud scraping of strings; for instance towards the end of the title piece. That is perhaps the
thing I enjoyed most about these pieces; you’d never have an idea where a piece may move next. 
But otherwise I am still pretty clueless. (FdW)
––– Address:


Several releases by Grønseth were reviewed here in the columns of Vital Weekly among which
were albums by his Mini Macro Ensemble and his collaboration with Bhattacharya. On these
records Grønseth incorporated influences of Indian and Eastern music as well as contemporary
music in his jazz music. With ´Multiverse´ he sticks to the jazz tradition, with pieces for a classical
line up of piano, sax, drums and bass he wrote six captivating themes leaving room for initiative
and improvisation by the players. Besides Anders Lønne Grønseth (saxophones, bass clarinet)
himself , we hear: Hayden Powell (trumpet), Espen Berg (piano), Audun Ellingsen (bass) and
Einar Scheving (drums, percussion). No doubt Grønseth and his companions take inspiration from
great forerunners like Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and so many others. But I´m not specialized
enough in the jazz tradition in order to identify these influences. But I don´t hesitate in saying that
however they may lean heavily on the jazz tradition, we are in the company here of musicians
who know how to make a next step, and develop their very own voice how close to jazz it may
sound. The sax playing by Grønseth in the opening track is fantastic; very smooth and vibrant and
with a nice piano solo by Berg halfway. In ´Accelerated Expansion´ bassist Audrun Ellingsen
introduces the theme in an impressive way. Grønseth and Powell converge and diverge effectively.
Once can hear these musicians know each other. No time is lost in searching for another. They are
far beyond that and this is clear from the first moment. The fine interplay and communication is a joy.
Their improvisations are very balanced and well proportioned in all aspects; fragile and solid at the
same time. (DM)
––– Address:

WAKO – UROLIGE SINN (CD by Ora Fonogram)

Here is another high quality jazz ensemble from Norway. Norway has a good and fruitful soil at
the moment for jazz and related music. Wako is another example of this. We are speaking of
Martin Myhre Olsen (saxophone), Kjetil André Mulelid (piano), Bárður Reinert Poulsen (double
bass) and Simon Olderskog Albertsen (drums).  Martin Myhre Olsen runs also his MMO-Ensemble.
Recently we reviewed the remarkable work ‘Any Day Now’ by this ensemble. The Norwegian
quartet Wako is conventional considering their line up, but not in other aspects, as we will see. 
They tour a lot since 2014 and released two CDs so far. ‘Urolige Sinn’ is their third statement. A
short one, in 34 minutes 13 tracks pass by. This underlines a first typical aspect of their music: the
shortness of the tracks. In many tracks the music continued a little while in my head after they
stopped. I’m pretty sure they decided consciously to keep things short and condensed. In one half
of the tracks melody and harmony prevail. Be it in a ballad, like ‘Du Grater Aldri’ or in an up-tempo
composition like ‘Elisabeths Vise’. They are contrasted by short miniatures dominated by rhythmic
complexity with strange patterns, extended techniques and a little weirdness, like in ‘Den Endeløse
Planen’. These compositions are the most avant-garde ones. But also the melody-dominated works
have unexpected twists. For all compositions counts that they are very pronounced. These guys
have no lack of ideas. It’s really inventive music performed by a very tight quartet. Their sound is
very consistent and together. Superb! (DM)
––– Address:

(THE) MUDGUARDS – ON GUARD (LP by Horn Of Plenty)

The past is still an attractive place to visit. Some do it great and others go for the hits. Recently
there was a (not reviewed) compilation LP of Dutch cold wave songs which repeated what you
could have picked up on various Vinyl On Demand boxes, Enfant Terrible releases and so on,
which seemed to me flogging a dead horse. Knekelhuis is a label from Amsterdam and they surely
do things differently. They don’t go for the ‘hits’ or the well-established names of the past (no Ende
Shneafliet on this record) but do an extensive research and compile their records with great care.
Much of this comes from the blog-o-land from a decade ago when all of this old, early 80s music
was put online for the first time and others established their business on purely re-issuing this kind
of music, and Knekelhuis went through all the drawers to find a beautiful selection, also by
selecting less familiar names. They do it again, as they already released the fist volume some time
ago (Vital Weekly 1099). None of the names here are any surprise for me, but that’s just me being
old enough to have grown up on a diet of this kind of music in those days, appreciating the format
of cassettes from the age of 15 onwards.  Not that I had all of these originally on cassette; also for
me some of this came ten years ago. Knekelhuis is also a label that release current music and as
they choose something that fits their overall music approach and that is both rhythmic and
synthesizer based. Throughout the tendency is towards the more melodic approaches, gentle as
in the work by Frank Dullaart and Corneil Nies, through something darker such as Another (the
former singer of Suspect), who also uses guitar and Störung (whose sound didn’t work for me in
more recent times, too screamy I thought; I learn from the extensive liner notes for this record that
this was the first time the band used live drums. The inclusion of liner notes is a big bonus here. It
is something that not a lot of others do). Included is also RTC, a band from Groningen who never
released many cassettes, if any at all (but some fine releases on vinyl), who are the odd ball out
here, with their more Residents like approach. De Fabriek are present, just like on the first volume,
and like back then, they always were around. Van Kaye, now in his solo role off ‘& Ignit’ has a rare,
unheard solo piece and the obscure Eric Toornend has a more industrial music inspired piece of
darkness. Like before this is a wonderful record that should appeal to all retro-minded hipsters or
more genuine followers of all things old and new. There are some excellent electronic pop and
beyond tunes on this one and Knekelhuis obviously spent some time on getting these pieces in a
fine running order. Onto the next one!
    From more or less the same period, but from a different country are (The) Mudguards, a duo
of Nelson Bloodrocket and Reg Out. I never heard of them, but seeing they only had one LP in
1984 it is easy to have missed them (certainly when my youthful head was down with cassettes).
There is a strong political motivation behind this record; being anti Thatcher and all that, and the
bands says they had influences from “quintessential English working class entertainment”. Its not
that these lyrics are easy to understand so influence or political inspiration aren’t easily detected.
The cover doesn’t tell us much about the instruments, other then “re-appropriated scrap, vintage
sound equipment and circuit-bent electronica”, resulting in sometimes quite chaotic songs.
Throughout there is something mighty naive about these pieces, in which they do a freak out with
sound effects (delay twiddling). It works best for me if the music is a bit more structured/less chaotic
hovering around in sound effects. I very much however enjoyed the lo-fi, do it yourself approach of
this duo, even if they sometimes fail a bit. It very much is something of that period when technology
wasn’t as that advanced to cover for any mistakes you would make and a time when the ability to
really have mastered an instrument didn’t count. It is all about the intention and the motivation and
(The) Mudguards surely do a great job at that. Industrial music meets wacky pop meets Residents
meets derailed experiments in this lovely ancient journey. Another history lesson learned. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address: <>


Some time passed since I reviewed ‘City Of Cardboard’ by Music For Hard Times, which was in
Vital Weekly 932. This duo contains former New Zealander Paul Winstanley (formerly a member
of Plains) on bass guitar and Tom Nunn who plays the ‘skatchplate’. That is “a cardboard surface
covered with a variety of attached objects. Mostly it is played rubbing specially prepared combs
across the surface. The sound is amplified in stereo, via a pair of pickups on the underside”, as
can be read on the backside, which also lists a bunch of quotes from magazines and musicians.
On the previous release he played a bunch of self-created instruments, but on this new record it is
just the skatchplate. As before this is all very much about the exploration of objects and surfaces.
There are five pieces on this records recorded in concert in 2013, 2014 and 2015. While this is all
very much from the world of improvisation, it sounds much more like something from the world of
electro-acoustic music. This duo plays surfaces with great control and whatever electronics they
use add a great, different flavour to the music. They provide real-time processed elements to the
hand cranked rubbing of objects and controlling of surfaces. The element of improvisation is there
but the interaction between the two is very good. The sound is close to home, and electronics
flavour the music, not take it over and make it become something else. There is very little use of
reverb for instance, so there is quite a direct feel to the music. Amplification and equalization are
also used to make subtle changes in the music. The thing I kept wondering about is that I am not
sure what the band name means. Are we living in hard times and this is its soundtrack? Or are
they experiencing hard times in getting their music to be heard? Hard to say but I sure know this
music doesn’t give me any hard times; just much pleasure.
    Some older release is the double release ‘Sea Metal I & II’, packed in two separate sleeves,
which already came out in 2015 but contain recordings from 2012. These pieces were all recorded
live (“no overdubs and no added effects”) and has a slightly different set up. Winstanley is still on
bass, objects and effects, but Nunn gets credit here for “electroacoustic percussion boards,
resonance plates and lukie tubes”. The resonant plates are described as “the Crustacean, Chase
plate, Ghost plate and variants on these designs, and several members of his electroacoustic
percussion board family – the Crab and the Sonoglyphs”. The music is quite different here. From
the slightly more nervous, hectic approach and yet also dry experience from the LP, these pieces
are much more spacious sounding with those resonant boards being covered with reverb, as well
as, so I assume Winstanley adding bow to bass. The music on these two discs is a mixed bag. The
seven pieces on the first disc is perhaps Music For Hard Times in their most improvising mood.
Winstanley plays his bass in shorter bits and pieces while Nunn plays his resonant plates with
bows and objects. On the second disc everything is more drone like with huge overtones being
played quite majestically. Slow movements providing big sounds. On both discs there is a lot more
use of reverb, more than on the LP, but on the first disc there is slight tendency to more
improvisation than on the second disc.
    While I was thinking that three releases by the same band would possibly be three times the
same thing with perhaps some slight variations, these three proof me wrong for having such
assumptions. The music was a highly varied bunch of improvised tones with a likewise big variety
of results. It was a lot of music but a great trip indeed. (FdW)
––– Address:

MONOKULTUR (7″ by Il Disci Del Barone)

Swedish finest house for 7″s reports for duty again, and now it’s first time for Nagual & Stefan
Christensen; the latter being a favourite for this label (they claim) and behind Nagual we find the
duo of avid Shapiro and Ian McColm, of whom i never heard and this the thrid time they work
together, following cassettes by C/Site and Gilded Throne. They all picked up a guitar for these
two pieces and the amplifiers were switched on guitars are close to the amplifiers, so sustaining
guitar sounds mingle with the feedback for all drone out guitar bliss. Lou Reed may have
composed something along these lines which, to be honest, is not really my cup of tea (not even
as a ‘get out of a record deal joke’), but in the case of this trio I very much enjoyed these guitar
blasts. Probably not as loud and mean as Reed, but on a similar level howling around in an
endless space, like a guitar solo getting stuck on a single note times three guitars. Despite these
sides being recorded months apart there is a very fine consistency in these pieces. It is almost like
they left the studio with everything plugged in an returned months later. ‘Let’s do another one’, like
it was after a tea break. Great!
    The other new release is by Monokultur, a new duo, apparently, of Elin and Julius from
Skiftande Enheter, which is also not really a name I heard before. Del Barone compares this with
the earliest results what we would later call post-punk, the early Cabaret Voltaire records on Rough
Trade, Dome and This Heat. This record spins at 45 rpm and still manages to have four pieces; it’s
just like in them old days, isn’t it? I can see the connections that label makes. The rhythm machine
sounds a bit muffled, the voices are a bit unclear and there is urgency about the music. Steady
pulsating forward with machine and bass. I have no idea (nor the knowledge really) to say if this
was recorded on an ancient four track or with some proper plug in to make it sound ‘old’ but it
captures the old style pretty well. Post punk galore here I’d say, and Monokultur must have done
a great study of the classic records to emulate the same sound. It sounds wonderful on 7″, all four
songs, but how would it hold up for a complete album? Would it become tedious or still be as
captivating? Time will tell, but so far so good. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is a small corner for some more outsider like music. Perhaps outsider to the ‘world out there’,
but maybe also a bit outside the scope of our writing about music, but perhaps it could also fit in.
Let’s see what it is all about.
    The first one is by one Jorn Ten Hoopen, a guitarist from Rotterdam who plays solo guitar and
“no overdubs or accompaniment”, using at night the “abandoned rooms at Conny Jassen Danst,
Rotterdam”. The various rooms create different atmospheres. His background might be in
instrumental jazz-rock, soul, jazz, modern pop, but his solo work is something else. Just what that
something else is I am not yet sure of. I can’t say he does much with the space itself. This is not
some big empty space in which the sound keeps spinning around. Ten Hoopen plays his guitar
rather melodically, strumming, finger picking and it sounds rather melodic; sad tunes, surely, at
times, and one hears that Ten Hoopen is a very gifted musician. All of this is instrumental and it
is all quite pleasant, but perhaps also not very dangerous. It is without danger, or rawness, or
edge. Maybe this is just not something for these pages, but I also found it very hard to think what
kind of market Ten Hoopen is aiming at. Not the jazz posse, or blues, or rock, or symphonic nor,
so I would think, that of outsider musicians. Maybe the fact that this is something of mystery is what
is appealing to me and surely the music is, in all its decency, quite all right, but so I believe it is not
something for these pages.
    Also Dutch is one Christian Berends who works as Lend Me Your Underbelly. ‘Cocoon’ is his
sixth album and to make it personal each of the jewel cases and CDRs are hand painted. Don’t
hand paint CDRs! It can affect the playing. Berends plays all the instruments himself which includes
guitar, voices, percussion (made of branches, baskets, shoes etc.), bulbul tarang, bas guitar, and
keyboard. He has nine pieces here, spanning the complete 80 minutes of the CDR. Of his music
he says it’s not necessarily ambient but nevertheless dreamy and also perhaps with a rock twist.
All but one of the pieces are quite long and it seems to me there is an element of psychedelica in
all of this, which made me think this is perhaps not something too much for these pages. Perhaps
despite the fact that some of this is pretty experimental. There are surely a bunch of passages that
sound quite good, ambient indeed, but most of the time it sounded like he was enjoying himself
very much, which is a great thing, but also that he had a hard time knowing when to stop and end
a piece of music. The shortest piece, ‘Harmonium And Birds’ show it is possible to enjoy one self
and be concise but in most of the other pieces there was simply no time stopping him. Perhaps
because I am not much of a hippie trippy sort of guy I didn’t find it easy to enjoy all of this. I can hear
the love that went into making all of this, but it’s not necessarily a love I share. It’s good, it’s long and
it’s not always my cup of tea.
    Less paint is used by Will Faber, who send us two copies of his CDR, for reasons very much
unknown to me; one didn’t play due to paint residue on the side with the music, so that explains.
The other copy also doesn’t play that well, but it managed in the end. Also Will Faber, and this
should be no surprise, is someone I never heard off. He plays here nine piece of ‘solo fretless 12
string acoustic guitar’. On the Bandcamp page I read that of these pieces “five [were] composed
winter through summer 2018; two developed since 2016; and two adapted from works of two
deeply inspirational musicians in Chicago: Ernest Dawkins and Ben LaMar Gay”. I am not sure
what to make of this music, while at the same time I like it. It is folky, perhaps Americana like, but
also with a fine touch of experiment, sounding like it is all improvised to some extent. At times I
was reminded of Greg Malcolm’s work, but stripped down; no rhythm tapping on a second guitar.
It’s a great release surely, but it’s too much out of my imagination to discuss it in more objective
terms. If you wonder what it is all about I guess you could check it out yourself. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:
––– Address:


Richard Franecki (guitar, electronics), James Warchol (guitar), Lars Kvam (sax)  and Rusty (drums,
percussion). One Last Region is the latest project by Richard Franecki who worked as F/i and
Vocokesh in the past. He is operating since the mid 80s. I keep vague memories of his work with
Tom Furgas. I can’t tell you much on Warchol (guitar), Kvam (sax) and Rusty (drums) in whom he
found companions for his anarchistic, loud and chaotic excursions. Franecki himself plays guitar
and electronics. They make their point in long extended, noisy rock- and repetition-based
improvised sessions that are induced with bits of space rock and psychedelica. Over a simple
rhythmic base layers of electronic noise are added with soloing and duelling guitars. It is freaked
out music, dark and wild, but in a low profile manner. Musically they keep things simple. Just
creating noisy and spacey atmospheres is their thing. Most tracks take much too long time for me,
but it is an effective way to let these spooky atmospheres penetrate your mood and soul. (DM)
––– Address:


Here’s another SD card release by Berlin’s Kasuga Records, again in a bigger carton sleeve,
which looks quite nice. i don’t think I heard of Adam Basanta before, who is described as a “visual
artist, composer and performer of experimental music”. Here he uses an acoustic guitar, “cut,
sliced, re-arranged and folded-over”. With Kasuga Records’ previous release I wrote that it seemed
to go back to the early days of laptop music, at the turn of the century, when we called this music
‘click ‘n cuts’. Something similar can be said of Basanta’s release. Obviously there is a connection
to be made with Fennesz, being also a guitar player heavily involved with a laptop. Lutz two weeks
ago was more interested in working with laptops to create a sort of but not really forms of dance
music, but Basanta here is more interested in the ambient qualities of the sound. There are surely
rhythmic ticks, loops and such like to be noted in these pieces but these are embedded in a bigger
body of sustaining sounds, drones, and largely processed sounds from the acoustic guitar. Only in
the first two pieces the guitar can be recognized, but not so much in the pieces that follow. It seems
as if it gradually pushed to the background more and more in favour of a more abstract sound
pattern. Laptops working overtime here, plug in running amok and it is very nice to hear such a
thing again after all these years where we heard very little from the world of click n cuts. The disc
ends with a remix by Kai Basanta (no doubt a relation there) in which the material is pushed a
more rhythmic level, without becoming a dance track, but that too is the sort of thing that fits this
music very well. (FdW)
––– Address:

DAMAS PROSPECT – EXODE (cassette by Urubu Tapes)
SA BERNARDO – CPO (cassette by Urubu Tapes)

Of course you could argue that covers of cassettes or records or CDs do not need any kind of
information, simply because most them are sold online anyway, so the customer knows what it is
that he buys. These three tapes gave me a little headache, I must admit as they were all quite low
on the information scale. The name of the label I retrieved from the mailing. Pointing our cursor to
Bandcamp for that extra bit of information wasn’t helpful either. The only thing that is mentioned on
the plastic bag is Damas Prospekt, with nothing on the tape or on the Xeroxed booklet, except for
what turned out to be the titles of the songs. Bandcamp information turned out to be zilch. The black
and white aesthetics proof a love for 80s cassette culture, and more in particular the one the sub
division of all things magickal and ritualistick. The sons of Psychic TV; the real Psychic Youth as it
were. I couldn’t say if it was all about brainwashing and temple sects, but maybe song titles as ‘Be
Aware’ or ”Path Is Clear’ is some kind of indication. the music is what I would call industrial of the
loud rhythmic variation, with heavy beats, pounding like military marching music, some synths and
very shouty vocals, and no, I couldn’t say what these lyrics are about, if anything at all. It is all very
loud, without being distorted or noisy in the regular noise scene. It is, to be honest, perhaps not
really my cup of tea anymore. This something I happily left behind in the past and only gets a
lukewarm response from me these days.
    From the next one I understood that there are three pieces, all composed by Bernardo Alvares,
using double bass and amplifier. The first on is a piece that spans
the entire first side of the cassette, twenty-one minutes of striking the bass with a bow and some
amplification. The piece is picked in the space it was played, rather than from a direct source,
which means there is remoteness to the sound. Almost like someone from the audience made this
recording from some distance, but at the same time I must admit it surely has some captivating, the
minimalist strumming and the space in which is resonating. This is not the case in the other two
pieces, which can be found on the second side. The first is a rather closely miked
piece, in which the double bass resonates and at the same time acts like as an electro-acoustic
exploration. Curious enough the other piece is a bit similar, but here the double bass
makes a bit more drones (how you wonder? I don’t know) and in all three pieces Alvares maintains
quite a bit of control, and as such it’s a fine line between composition and improvisation and he does
a great job.
    The final release is a split between Zarabatana and Lucifer’s Ensemble. The latter I first
encountered in Vital Weekly 1107. This release comes in an envelop with a print and booklet
with some actual information; lo and behold. We learn that Lucifer’s Ensemble’s piece is a
“reflection over Haitian Voodou, bridging art, anthropology, the experimental and the ancestral”
and a collaboration between anthropologist/filmmaker Goncalo Mota. The piece was recorded in Salão
Brasil (Coimbra) and instruments are trombone/electronics, double bass and drums. This is a very quiet
and subdued piece, slowly building a massive layer of some kind, with drums and electronics gradually
getting a bigger role in the music. It is not easy to see any link with voodoo, but it is surely an
excellent piece of improvised music. Zarabatana is also a trio, of double bass/balafon/voice,
percussion/voice and flugelhorn/percussion/voice. This is more traditionally improvised music, but
with more emphasis on the use of voice, and oddly enough this is what makes this more ‘ritual’
than Lucifer’s Ensemble. With its rattling drums, percussion and multiple voices this is like witnessing
some obscure nocturnal ritual. It also reminded me of the earliest work by DDAA, which is of
course always a good thing to be reminded of.
    While I enjoyed the non-standard packaging here, I must also that especially the last one is
packed in a rather whimsical envelope that easily damages and that’s a pity. (FdW)
––– Address:


Gawd, what a strange tape. First of all, I’m not sure if the band is called Story Teller, or if “Story
Teller” is part of the title and the credit for the tape should go to the artists’ names: Scottish writer,
film-maker and multi-disciplinary artist Bruce McClure and composer Bjorn Hatleskog. Ah, but if
only that were the only odd thing about this tape, which is designed to resemble a child’s read-
aloud story book but is not in any way intended for children. Yeah, no way. “The Stubborn
Organic…” is a definitely a story, read in McClure’s flat yet vaguely portentous monotone over
Hatleskog’s percussion and electronic backdrop. The voice is the main element here, so one can
approach it as one might a radio drama. The plot seems to revolve around a libidinous king who
introduces himself by bragging to the listener about his insatiable lusts, both sexual and
murderous, then goes on to describe his relationship with a houseplant. As the story progresses,
backwards tapes and slowed gongs add to the creeping unpleasantness as the plant becomes
sentient and starts to grow eyes, wear clothing, and behave like a human. Unfortunately, as
fascinating as the story is, McClure’s delivery never wavers from the single emotionless pace at
which he began, which makes it harder to follow. It’s the same whether he reads dialogue or
exposition. I was always aware of a man reading words slowly off a page, when the story might
have been better served by voice actors, or else McClure using more varied dramatic techniques
to tell his horror tale. Appropriately, “The Stubborn Organic…” is released on Halloween. (HS)
––– Address:

CINEMA PERDU – FRAGMENTS OF ECHOES (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
PASCAL SAVY – COLOUR FIELDS (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

It seems as if Martijn Pieck, alias Cinema Perdu becomes more and more active with releasing his
music. Hot on the heels of his 3″CDR for Taalem (Vital Weekly 1150) there is now a cassette by
Belgium’s Audio Visuals Atmosphere. The tape has very little to go by; just four pieces that are
called ‘Fragment’. Before we learned for instance that his music was based on field recordings
being processed. There is no such mentioning here, so perhaps this is still the case, or perhaps
not. What stayed is the modular set-up, which is Piecke’s trusty transformer of sounds. Four pieces
that are quite moody and dark, and for a change Cinema Perdu plays out his music for a bit longer
than before. Quite drone-like, very massive and nocturnal, Cinema Perdu sounds here like a
soundtrack to a flick about post apocalyptic life, or whatever remains. There is very little hope for
those who survived the blast with all this hissing and droning of broken electronic circuits piping
through tunnels. It’s not one long ominous drone but moving back and forth between something
loud en something altogether more quiet and spacious; spacious yet dark. Great stuff, once again.
    From Pascal Savy I reviewed ‘Adrift’ back in Vital Weekly 952. Here too not much information
about how, when and where it was recorded, but going by Discogs I would say he is still based in
London, using his combination of “acoustic and electronic sources generated from field-recordings,
pick-ups, tape loops, feedback, synthesisers or home made electronics”. His tape contains seven
pieces of which the latter spans the entire second side. Savy too plays the dark card, like Cinema
Perdu, like so many others of course on this label, but there are minor differences between, for
instance, Cinema Perdu and Savy. Savy plays his pieces in a more linear drone form, and add a
bit of melody to it, from time to time. His loops of slowed down sounds act as percussive elements
from time to time, and there is some indication of the use of field recordings. These are just subtle
differences between the work of Cinema Perdu and Savy, and perhaps to someone who is only
mildly interested in this kind music something that goes without too much notice, but if you know
and like this a bit you will know the difference. The more abstract approach of Cinema Perdu
versus the slightly more melodic and changing drones of Pascal Savy. Both do what more people
do, but both deliver an excellent job. (FdW)
––– Address:


This week Dutch trio Lärmschutz takes a look at Dutch nursery rhymes. Children love to sing and
don’t care about musical structures, bars or notes. Very much like Thanos Fotiadis (toy piano,
samples, electronics), Rutger van Driel (trombone, recorder, electronics) and Stef Brans (guitar,
violin) do pretty much in all their work. They play such pieces as ‘Berend Botje’. ‘Zage, Zage’ and
of course the well-known ‘Hoedje Van Papier’, but if you are not Dutch or if you have no kids in
this country, then maybe that is lost on you. It is also lost on me, I must admit. I didn’t always
recognize these songs, even when the bands add ‘vocals’ to some of these songs and I do know
all of these songs from my time working as a baby-sitter (you didn’t think Vital Weekly kept me
alive?), although I surely never sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ for any of the boys I took care of.
Lärmschutz are in their usual free modus of letting sounds roll about, playing with anarchy and
chaos, musical freedom, weird sounds, lots of effects roaming about and more such things. Not
always very noisy, as they can sometimes also do, but in the right balance of all of their interests.
Free, noisy, quiet, electric, acoustic, strange and sometimes accessible, even when none of the
children songs can be recognized. This is another, another, yet another lovely tape by these
active working bees. (FdW)
––– Address: