Number 1157

FEAN (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
MIKE FAZIO – THE VAST APART (CD by Faith Strange) *
LAURA COLE – ENOUGH (2CD by Discus Music) *
ZABELOV GROUP – EG (CD by Minority Records)
  Monk) *
AUME – CQ CQ (CD/USB by Mobilization Recordings) *
TAR OF – FANA (cassette by Glass Orchard Records) *
TROMBILATION (double cassette by Faux Amis Records)
THEY WILL BURN US TO ASHES – UNTITLED (cassette by Saga House) *
JEROEN DIEPENMAAT – KNIP/PLAK (cassette, private) *

FEAN (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

All right, so you may think, Fean? Now what is that all about? Should I know this? You’ll be excused
for not knowing who they are as a ‘band’. The individual names, however, might ring a bell or two. In
the left corner we have Piipstsjilling, the group with Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars and
Machinefabriek’s Rutger Zuydervelt. They have been going for some time now, even when in more
recent times I didn’t hear much from them. In the right corner we find three musicians from Belgium,
who didn’t play together before; Joachim Badenhorst (clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, church
organ), Sylvain Chauveau (tuned percussion, radio) and Annelies Monseré (church organ,
keyboard, vocals). The seven of them came together as part of a musical residency in a little church
in Katlyk, a small village in Friesland, the province of which the Kleefstra brothers are proud
inhabitants. The whole project is about the ecological decay of peat land that is Friesland. The
music is all improvised and if you are familiar with Piipstsjilling then you more or less know what to
expect here. Even with seven people there is not much change of scenery. The music is overall
atmospheric, carefully played, all around, with not always the clearest of positions; Romke
Kleefstra’s drone guitar, or Zuydervelt’s electronics, or Chauveau’s percussion? Anything that
generates some sort of mood, I guess. Badenhorst’s wind instruments stand out best, at times; most
clearly from all the instruments used. Baars’ adds wordless humming, while Jan Kleefstra recites
some Frysian poetry from time to time, which is something I don’t understand, as a language that is.
His subdued and sparse reciting means there is much more room for the music. It’s not that his
voice of words is on top of the music; it is part of the overall picture. There is also room for
experimental sounds, such as the radio sounds that open up ‘Oardeis’, along with eerie peeps and
hisses and sound poetry voices, ending with a wall of guitar sound, or the noisy opening of ‘Ketlik
III’. Thus the album moves between the quiet yet intense soundscapes and some more daring
experiments, which are usually a bit shorter than the more ominous pieces, stretching out a bit.
Quite an impressive release. (FdW)
––– Address:


While I most of the times like the releases on Germany’s Audiophob label, I also think that some of
their musical interests are not always what we are interested in, as proven by these two releases.
First there is Krischan Jan-Eric Wesenberg, who has been going for quite some time in the world of
dance music, with releases on such labels as Force Inc, Groove Attack, Play It Again Sam and since
2003 he’s more into producing Dark Elektro music. His latest solo records is called ‘Third Places’
which “evolves around a social concept defining the home as the first and work as the second
place, while places of social interaction as third places”… to which I thought, yes, well, so? He has
ten pieces of music on this release, which shows a variety of interests. There are some stabs at
minimalism in the best Chain Reaction tradition in ‘Hotel Drake’, but just as easily the place gets a
more stomping acid piece as in ‘Temple’. Ambient-based synths are part of almost all of these
pieces, from deep washes and fat pads to more regular bouncing, such as in ‘Base’. Not being a DJ
or party animal myself, I have no idea how well pieces like this would go down on the dance floor.
For some of these I can surely see some fine anticipation from the dance crows (‘Maria’), but for
others I am less convinced. ‘Phuture’ is a great dub-like piece, which I suspect goes down easier
with head nodders than foot tappers. I am sure I am wrong and I am sure that Wesenberg, with all
his experience, knows what he is doing. For this sort of weird and less weird dance music I can
surely see a place within the weekly. We like to nod our heads to good rhythm too.
    Something different is Mortaja, whose third album is called ‘Combined Minds’. Behind Mortaja
we find one Bert Lehmanns. I don’t think I heard his work before. Apparently the previous release
was ‘quieter’, but now Mortaja sound in much the same way as his live sound, which is quite
powerful. Strong sequencers support ditto heavy beats, and I am reminded of the good ol’ days of
EBM. Not that I was ever that much of a fan of the genre. Too dark, I guess, but that is not to say I
sometimes enjoyed the music. There is quite a captivating thing with this music with that dark
undercurrent, swollen pathos and all its seriousness. Which is of course to say assuming they take
themselves very serious? I have no idea. The titles of the songs (are called that? Pieces? Tracks?)
may be some indication towards that serious approach, such as ‘Massive Dose’, ‘Haunted’,
‘Banquet House’ or ‘Strong Conviction’. There aren’t much lyrics around to support this perhaps
hasty conclusion, but voices come from TV series, movies and games, but are drenched with
effects, reverb foremost to make out any meaning. Unlike the Wesenberg CD the pieces here are
more uniformly shaped around the same elements that return in every song. Sequencers, lots of
rhythms, lots of reverb on separate elements to suggest atmospheres, some cut-ups/effected voices
and at sixty-three minutes it all becomes a bit much for my taste. Wesenberg had less minutes and
more variation. That made me like Mortaja’s music a bit less, I guess. Half of it today, and the other
half tomorrow seems like the right dose for me, and not the ‘Massive Dose’ as prescribed by
Mortaja. Included are remixes by Greyhound and Suki, which not necessarily shed new light on
the matter at hand. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far Mike Fazio is best known for the work carried out under such guises as Gods Of Elecricity
(Vital Weekly 527), A Guide For Reason (Vital Weekly 793886978) and Orchestramaxfieldparrish
(Vital Weekly 1054 and 1057), and this one is under his own name, even when there were a few as
Fazio before (Vital Weekly 826834), but he promises this would be something entirely different.
Fazio was part of Chill Faction in the 80s, and “forming the improvisatory backbone behind the
unique poet performance artist Copernicus”, and was a studio guitarist for Black 47, although I
must none of that means anything me. His work, whichever name he uses, is a journey among
many musical styles. Ambient, microsound, rhythm; it is all no strange land for him, so to announce
an album that is “a very different album unlike any in his history”, is of course quite the
announcement. It took him eleven years to complete this album and I am sure not all time was
spent on this one. The big question is: how different is it? That is a hard to answer one, probably
because Fazio covered so much terrain already and the ten heavily guitar oriented pieces here
are rooted deeply in the world of ambient music. There is a substantial amount of reverb to be
noted here, but also quite a bit of computer treatments, chopping the sound up and downwards,
inside and out, yet all of this is kept to mild proportions. Fazio’s more improvised playing is present
as before. It begs the question: is it that different from his earlier work and of course I am an
outsider and I know how a musician can feel about important differences not perceived by
listeners. I for one don’t hear these vastly different approaches to music. It is, again, some great,
daring ambient music, one that isn’t playing by the book, with it’s improvised textures and
sometimes even a dash of Porter Ricks’ like rhythm sample of that very same guitar; sometimes
Fazio even has a trip hop like rhythm to play with. Maybe that’s new? But is than that new? The
most remarkable track is ‘Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair (Funny How Time Flies)’,
which has a shower like vocal reminding me of ‘I Wander’ by Berio’s ‘Folksongs’. Hauntingly
beautiful. The other nine are equally good, spacious and powerful. (FdW)
––– Address:

LAURA COLE – ENOUGH (2CD by Discus Music)

Discus Music is a very generous label. Compared to many other labels they have a significant
higher amount of double CDs in their catalogue. ‘Enough’ is the latest one in this succession. It is
the debut album by pianist and composer Laura Cole from Leeds. She is bandleader of
Metamorphic. Recently I reviewed their album ‘Two Fridays’. Besides she is involved in many of
Martin Archer’s projects and groups, like the second release we will discuss below, following her
solo release. To be honest I had difficulties with it. I did my best, but this one wasn’t talking to me.
The first CD – ‘This is Water’- has arrangements of ten compositions, given to Cole by related
composers and musicians. Compositions which reflective and romantic in nature. But they were
not very appealing for my tastes. The second CD, called ‘As Warm as The Sun’, consists totally of
compositions and improvisations by Cole herself. It is more interesting than the first one, even
when the music is comparable to that of the first one. The music remains in similar moods and is
of an aesthetic that you either like or don’t. It is a very personal statement from an engaged
    ‘Les Oiseaux de Matisse’ is something completely different. Again we hear Laura Cole on
grand and electric piano as part of the Axis project by Ron Caines (alto and soprano saxophones)
and Martin Archer (saxophones, clarinets, electronics). Other players are: Gus Garside (double
bass), Johnny Hunter (drums), Hervé Perez (live sound processing, shakuhachi) and Graham
Clark (violin, electric guitar). A special album because it has a rare appearance of Ron Caines.
He was an important member of East of Eden, a prog-rock band from the late sixties that debuted
in 1967. A progrock band that incorporated many different musical influences like jazz and world
music, etc. They debuted on the famous Deram-label (remember Egg?). Their music was related to
Soft Machine and the Canterbury scene, but with their own focus. Caines quit from the music scene
and worked as a painter and artist. Now that he is in his seventies, he makes a return to music after
an inspiring meeting with Martin Archer. He contributes with five compositions and Archer has three
compositions. Although their music is evidently related to the musical past of Caines, what they
prove is that is this cocktail of influences as was exercised by East of Eden still works and inspires.
Open textures giving room for inspired jazzy solo’s by sax and violin. Cole gives effective
underlining and accents. (DM)
––– Address:

ZABELOV GROUP – EG (CD by Minority Records)

Zabelov Group is a duo of Roman Zabelov (accordion, vocals, piano, organ, harp, glockenspiel,
field recordings) and Jan Šikl (drums, trumpet, electric guitar, percussion, piano, organ, kantele,
tailpiece). Zabelov is a Belorussian composer and accordionist. Sikl is a Czech composer of
classical music, world and traditional folk music. They describe their music as ‘cinematographic’,
taking influences from ambient, jazz, minimal music and post rock. About four years ago the duo
debuted with ‘Secret Session’. Their latest ‘Eg’ took two years of preparation with assistance of
vocalists Hannah Cecily, Cécile da Costa and Madeleine Walker, plus Varine Mkrtchyan (soprano),
Jaromír Honzák (double bass), Daniel Radanović (double bass), Petr Kalfus (soprano saxophone,
bass clarinet) and Children‘s opera Prague‘s preparatory circle. Fine melodic music with a
prominent role for the accordion, and with grooving percussion mixed in the forefront. The wide
spectrum of instruments assures a multi-coloured range of sounds in nice arrangements. They
made intensive use of the studio possibilities in order to create the sound they had in mind.
Resulting in a very produced and stylized kind of music. A very professional production, that’s for
sure. The compositions however are not very demanding or surprising, although very well
structured. It is just solid, accessible and enjoyable instrumental music that won’t chase you out of
your comfort zone. Released by Prague-based label Minority Records. (DM)
––– Address:


It has been a while since I last heard something new from Marc Behrens. I am sure he hasn’t retired
from music making, but altogether he could be no longer interested in releasing his work on sound
carriers. Perhaps preferring sound installations; or lecturing. Which is something he did in the past
for sure, and perhaps still does. But this new release teaches me that he is still traveling the world
with his laptop and recording all sorts of events and situations, which he alters, treats and collates
into sound compositions. There are three pieces on this release, ‘Imm’, ‘Att Imm Mut’ and ‘Mut Att
Narc Imm’, all of which are connected to each other. ‘Imm’ is the oldest piece and the third the most
recent one, ending some thirteen years of playing his piece. Behrens has a whole bunch of sounds
at his disposal, such as a circular water reservoir, various electric kettles, a wet towel, metal
percussion and metal jetties at the Marseille harbour. All of these sounds can be used in an
endless amount of different configurations, and each concert is a new version of the piece. It is
quite interesting to hear the development over the years of this piece. It seems to me it becomes
more and more complex, layering little variations of the sounds together, but in the final piece it
seems as if Behrens is stripping away sound, and works with the residues there of. There is quite a
‘wet’ approach in these sounds. It’s like being aboard a ship and within the engine room we listen to
the outside world; metallic sounds, electricity, steam, water leaking and something one has the idea
of being crushed beneath objects falling left and right. I have no idea if there is any sort of
processing going on; maybe there is none at al, actually, and Behrens is just concerned with the
placing of sound events on a time line? I have no idea, but it sounds wonderfully well. There was a
time when I used his name (and with that of fellow composer Roel Meelkop) to identify certain
qualities in composing music with the use of a laptop, and this new release shows me that Behrens
is still on top of this particular game. On to the next cycle of compositions and hopefully there is
something to hear just a little sooner.
    The name Cranioclast very seldom pops up in these pages, which is not helped by the fact
that their last record was released in 1993. Somewhere from the mid 80s until 1993 they released
a bunch of remarkable records, with extensive black and white covers and music that wasn’t easy
to place, but for me it was right up there with the best from the world that combined all good things
industrial and ambient. I thought of Cranioclast as the dark, germanic answer to zoviet*france. I
have no idea what prompted them to return, but for a die-hard fan like myself it is good to see them
back. The members of Cranioclast remain something of mystery, sharing that with The Residents
(although… well) and Swedish hard rockers Ghost, and the members are called Captain Coitra,
Soltan Karik, Sanct Clario and soone (guitar & bass). Why only the latter gets a credit for
instruments I don’t know. The record is long, twenty-seven minutes per side; I didn’t know they still
manufactured records this long. It certainly is worth it. The music has progressed from the last one
until now, which made me think that these people continued to play music without doing any
release. From the slightly more abstract pieces from all those moons ago Cranioclast now carefully
taps into a more musical adventure. To call this pop music is perhaps still a bridge too far, but the
guitar shrieks, bass riffs, sampled percussion and extended sound effects suggest carefully
planning and composing of this music. The music is however not particularly careful anymore; it is
quite loud music, but also with quite some details. This is music that grew on me everytime I heard
it. The first time the many guitars were  something that I didn’t particularly like, but as I kept playing
it, the background of complex rhythms, hisses, samples started to work much better and set against
the guitars it made much more sense. It is multi-layered as well as multi-coloured I guess and
altogether an excellent album, and hopefully the start of a second life for this great band! (FdW)
––– Address:


For their latest split album, self-styled “outsider” performance/sound/visual artists Kommissar Hjuler
und Frau (aka Detlev & Andrea “Mama Bar” Hjuler of Flensburg, Germany) share a slab of wax with
Andy Ortmann/Panicsville. The LP is available in both an art-collage edition (27 copies adorned
with unique handmade collage) and a slightly more available run of 100 copies. The Hjuler und
Frau side is, like almost all of their work, strongly text-based and that text is spoken/shouted/crooned
in German. I do not speak any German, so I can’t say for sure what the two-part piece is about,
though the title provides a hint: “Grußverweigerungen” is an old-fashioned idiomatic expression
that roughly (as best as I can figure out) translates to a refusal to greet under a dictatorship… some
sort of rebellious behavior. The first part doesn’t sound so rebellious at first; in fact, it’s lovely for the
first several minutes. Andrea “Mama Baer” plays an atonal, tinkling toy piano and sings an ethereal
melody as if she’s coaxing a child to sleep. Her voice cracks and squeaks as she reaches beyond
her range. Der Kommissar lurks behind her, banging and screaming and growing demonstrably
angrier as the song continues, culminating in shrieking feedback. The second part puts Detlev in
the foreground, banging and shouting as the tape distorts from over-saturation until the inevitable
ramp upwards in feedback and screaming. As with most of their work, Hjuler und Frau’s deliberately
raw recording quality is inseparable from the content. It sounds as if they set up a mono microphone
in a bedroom and bashed this out. I wouldn’t be surprised is that’s exactly what they did.
    Fans might recognize two of the three songs on Panicsville’s side from his 2017 tour cassette
“Panicsville Plays Panicsville”, and I’ll again state how damn impressed I am with Andy Ortmann’s
recent work. This is meticulously sculpted electro-acoustic music, richly produced with an attention
to sonic detail to contrast Hjuler & Frau’s intentional roughness. The first and third songs here are
explicitly narrative, with spoken text in the foreground and music serving to amplify a disturbing
atmosphere. The opener, “Dominatrix Printer”, is 100% not for me… maybe it’s for you, but I can’t
really deal with sexual/homicidal fantasies (I think from Marquis de Sade?), a reading of which is
the through-line to this ten-minute audio drama. The way the speech is treated, with tape-echo
doubling elements and phrases back over themselves, rendering them as unstable liquid, is
certainly an effective counterpoint to the narrator’s nauseatingly matter-of-fact enumerated
descriptions of sadistic acts… but, eh, this subject isn’t one that I find interesting. I appreciate the
craft, but recognize that I’m not the audience. The brief, interstitial second piece, “Creakers &
Huffers”, is more obliquely narrative, with onanistic heavy panting pulling the listener through a
forest. The piece that works best for me is the intense final song, “I Like the Game Called
Sardines”, which pits a disjointed and disarmingly personable monolog about (among other
things): yelling at something to destroy its spirit, cooking chicken-fried steak, and childhood
games like hide-and-seek and the titular Sardines. It also includes a sly homage to Nurse With
Wound to wind down this disturbing side. (HS)
––– Address:


I LOVE Neil Campbell’s music. All of it. Love love love every damn thing he’s done. I’m such a fan.
And here, I’ll tell you why: whether recording under his own name, as Astral Social Club, with
Vibracathedral Orchestra or in any of his myriad collaborations, Campbell’s work always radiates
an atmosphere of sincere joy. It’s not naive or forced… his music has a palpable, disarming
openness, naturalness and honesty that somehow leaves its residue on whatever sounds
Campbell produces. Even at his most abstract or challenging, there’s never a sense that he’s
reaching. It’s as if he simply exhales the music. Campbell’s latest album, a document of a live
performance at Cafe OTO in London as part of Chocolate Monk’s anniversary event, is no
exception. As he states to the thrilled audience at the start, Campbell’s collaborator, Sticky Foster,
was in south India, where he works and lives, on the evening of this performance. “I didn’t think
that was a hurdle to him being here,” he says, “but for some reason he has a job and a life”. To
bridge the small problem of half the band being several nations southeast of the venue, Campbell
asked Foster to mail him sounds of his life in India. He showed up with a tape-collage of Foster’s
sounds and played piano along to them, explaining that the taped component was to be the
primary focus of the piece and Campbell would try not to get in the way. Field recordings of vehicle
motors, quiet conversation, farm animals and street sounds are respectfully given the foreground
as Campbell’s live piano provides respectful decoration and guiding focus to the tape. There are
some affecting passages of disconnected words (“fulcrum”… “brisket”… “scotch egg”… “library”…
“starling”… “fiasco”… “cornerstone”… “pork scratching”… “pedestrian”…) strewn about the stereo
field with spare piano hanging it all together with the barest of frames. This is very apparently music
made for the artists’ friends in the audience. I like their choice to leave in Campbell’s introductory
speech describing the process of creating the music he’s about to play, or how he somehow wrote
the melody from based on his and Foster’s astrological charts, deferring that Foster’s melody
sounds like his personality and Campbell’s own melody sounds “much more conventional”. I also
love it that the album includes audible audience response like the approving roar of “YEAH!!!!” the
first time Campbell says Foster’s name, or someone saying “It’s good to hear his voice” afterwards.
Even if you don’t personally know these guys (and I do not), the sense of inclusive family gathering
translates fantastically. (HS)
––– Address:

AUME – CQ CQ (CD/USB by Mobilization Recordings)

It’s worth starting with the artists’ own suggested listening instructions. Scot Jenerik and Aleph
Omega suggest imbibing some substance, turning out the lights, putting in headphones and
listening to “CQ CQ” while drifting in and out of consciousness. The only recreational substances I
enjoy are beer and deep-fried shellfish, neither of which were within reach of my comfy armchair
when I slipped on my headphones in the pre-dawn darkness. However, I think I get the implication
that this album is intended to be immersive brain candy. I expected something hypnagogic,
perhaps a deep drone or some playful frequency-hijinks. The bad news is: there’s nothing about
the album that seems particularly written with immersion or psychedelia in mind. The good news is:
“CQ CQ” may not be the album Aume thought they were making, but it’s still pretty good. Twelve
short tracks form three multi-part suites of buzzing shortwave, howling static, and Foley-effect
rainstorms. Dramatic shifts from one section to another are jarring in a cinematic or radio-drama
sort of way, implying an over-all ominous mood with horror-movie jump-cut scares. If I were
chemically altered when I listened, this might scare the crap out of me… but since I’m sober and
it’s 6am, I only note the composers’ control over mood and dramatic flow. One issue is the use of
shortwave sounds and text… those elements work when they’re manipulated and used as source
and texture, but there are too many obvious uses of numbers stations and that one reading of “I
have become death, destroyer of worlds” that so many Wax Trax!-lineage industrial bands have
sampled to death over the years. There’s also, bizarrely, a track of throat singing that seems to be
lifted out of some other album and dropped into the middle of this one. When “CQ CQ” sticks to
dark-ambient throb of implacable origin, it’s enjoyable. Of particular note is the visual/tactile
component of this album, which comes in two physical versions. One version is a standard CD.
The other version comes in a handsomely designed wooden box with a compartment for a rolled-
up scroll containing the liner notes and another for an engraved thumb drive. The thumb drive
contains sound files for the entire album, plus images and a sleek video for the song
“Transmission”. If I were to choose one version to pick up, I’d go for the box. (HS)
––– Address:


These two guys met when Jyrki Lehto came to Markku Toikkanen for some traditional Finnish
treatment for back pain and was wearing a T-shirt of Electro Harmonix, which lead to a friendship
and a musical collaboration. The both have a background in playing improvised music, and while
living quite apart, Lehto in Cuba and Toikkanen in Finland they occasionally meet up to record
new music.Both play guitar and their music is the result of improvisation. Lehto plays the moog
guitar with effects and Toikkanen plays electric guitar save for one in which he plays acoustic and
prepared guitar. In their work together they go out for something that is moody and atmospherically,
but which stays away from all to clear drone music. They aren’t shy when it comes to using effects
in their music, pitch shifting, reverb, delay and such like, which add a fine musique concrete like
flavour to the music, along with some more sustaining drone like sounds. It works best in the piece
called ‘Jiddu’, which uses the voice of Krishnamurti, along with some organ like drones and slowly
bending the snares into infinity with those pedals, but with some frightening results. It has quite the
scary feeling this piece, stuck in with some spooky loops and ending late at night on the graveyard
with just two guitars plinking away. It is all a bit short, however, and I wouldn’t have minded
something a bit longer. (FdW)
––– Address:

TAR OF – FANA (cassette by Glass Orchard Records)

This is a strange one. Not because the music is strange, not at all actually, but this seems to be one
of those cases in which I feel a little lost. Imagine hearing this, liking it in fact, but also thinking; isn’t
this a bit too far away from the world of the weekly? Or is it perhaps not and does it right in? Tar Of
is, as far as my ‘research’ went, as not information was included, a duo from Brooklyn, Aritan Basu
and Ramin Rahni, with not instruments specified, but there seems to me guitars, a drum machine,
some small percussion, and perhaps field recordings. All of this leading to pop music; well, for the
lack of a better word that is. Their vocals are in duo-tone, with some air of psychedelic flavour to it.
Intimate songs most of the times, atmospheric tunes but also with that fine breezy summer feeling
to it. Pop? Well, yes and no, really. There is also some touch of experiment in these songs, where
things don’t always sit right, and give the music a fine, rough edge. I read of influences/similarities
with Panda Bear and Avey Tare of Animal Collective, but I have long drifted away from the
alternative pop scene that I have no idea if that is true or not, and frankly I couldn’t care less of
which scene they may or may not be part. I very much enjoyed these strange songs and while it
is all perhaps a bit removed from our usual interests I also would recommend anyone with a mild
interest in alternative pop to check this out and be as equally impressed by these six songs. Too
short of course! (FdW)
––– Address:

TROMBILATION (double cassette by Faux Amis Records)

Now there’s a funny word play on the words ‘compilation’ and ‘trombone’ and this collection is put
together by Rutger van Driel, whom we also know as the trombone player of The Netherlands’
finest in anarcho free punk jazz Lärmschutz; I guess this is their contribution for this week, seeing
as they have been in these pages for lots of weeks in the recent past. I am not sure if trombone
players know other trombone players but Van Driel certainly knows a few. I only recognized a few
names here; Philip Corner for instance, but I didn’t know he was a player. Other names I recognized
were Peter Zummo, Hilary Jeffery (also known from Zeitkratzer), Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø and
James Fulkerson, whose work I heard when I got ‘Nothin To Look At Just A Record’ by Phil Niblock
(I first heard an excerpt of it on ‘From Brussels With Love’, in 1981, when  ‘A Third Trombone’ was
used as background music for an interview with Brian Eno). None of the other names mean much
to me. This is quite an interesting release (in a nice plastic box!) with a variety of approaches
towards the trombone, and even when the majority of pieces seem to be within the realm of
improvised music it is not all hectic nervous huffing and puffing. A piece like by Scott Thomson
displays an excellent control and concept of longer tones, without going all drones. Maria Bertel
uses amplification, so it seems to me, and has a more noise oriented piece, as opposed to
Fulkerson going all-silent with just breathing. There is very little, I think, in the way of electronically
processed sounds. Martin Ptak seems to be one of the few doing that, and I’m not sure what it is,
but it could be some form of live sampling. It is certainly the odd ball in this collection, but it’s a
great piece. Maybe Sylvain Poitras also uses some sort of electronics as part of his set. Another
highlight was the trombone and three-guitar amp piece by Sophie Cooper, which sounded quite
orchestral. For an instrument that I should think is perhaps not the most popular one there are
surely a lot of approaches and this compilation show some of those approaches and makes up
a very fine compilation. (FdW)
––– Address:

THEY WILL BURN US TO ASHES – UNTITLED (cassette by Saga House)

You may not recognize the name You Will Burn Us to Ashes, but Vital Weekly readers surely know
of the artist responsible: Mike Mangino, formerly half of the greatest band ever to come from New
Jersey (yeah, that’s right), those prolific home-taper heroes Smersh! If you’re a fan of Smersh (and
of course you are), don’t go into this new cassette expecting more of the same. Under his current
alias, Mangino stays far away from his previous band’s song-based & feedback-laced floor-shaking
thump and instead comes up with something like a drone album. Not exactly a drone album, but
close to one. Neither dark nor ambient, TMBUTA is static, strange, awkward, and singular.
Mangino’s new music retains his previous band’s lo-fi outside-of-everything aesthetic, with all the
rough edges and artefacts of DIY home recording stubbornly left intact, with component sounds
that seem entirely digital, two-dimensional and hermetically opaque. The six momentumless
compositions are oddly cold and distant, each one seemingly made of just a handful of repeating
loops. A sound appears and simply continues without shifting too much in depth or colour. In some
sections, Mangino’s loops feed back on themselves to create tone that’s slightly warmer, though
not much. In others, a light skipping rhythm imparts a vaguely Wolfgang Voigt-ish or mid-90s Mille
Plateaux flavour. The final track, “In This Grave Hour”, does this for nearly 43 minutes without
building up to anything. It’s all quite strange and confusing. I look forward to hearing where
Mangino takes this project next. (HS)
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JEROEN DIEPENMAAT – KNIP/PLAK (cassette, private)

Here we have someone for whom music is an important as the way it is presented. Jeroen
Diepenmaat, like a true visual artist, has no ‘releases’, but ‘editions’. In the past he worked
extensively with blank records, which he scratched and played and then sold the one copy of
(needless to say they didn’t make it to these pages), these days he expanded to using all sorts
of media, not just vinyl but also cassettes and on ‘knip/plak’ (cut/paste) he uses flexidiscs. He
added a Wikipedia link to tell me what a flexidisc is, but thanks, I think we all know what a flexi
disc is. Easy to cut and paste into new configurations, Diepenmaat uses four of them at the same
time, but unlike someone like AMK, who has been cutting flexi discs since thirty years with some
pretty nasty results, Diepenmaat is not interest in noise and chaos, but rather likes some gentle
music to arrive from his work. He references people like Milan Knizak, Philip jeck, Saule, Christian
Marclay and Janek Schaefer, and listening to these sidelong pieces (twelve and fifteen minutes) it
is easy to see those connections, again with not much chaos or noise. Knowing Diepenmaat to be
a gentle and careful person this is hardly a surprise. I don’t think he uses much by way of
electronics, and there is a fine sense of decay in these pieces. Surely a name like William Basinski
comes to mind. The flexi discs are of course not the kind of medium to last for eternity and when
they are stuck in a loop the decay becomes almost audible. There is a quarter of a flexi disc used
as a cover and there is a small booklet with Xerox art nifty sewn together with thread that looks like
a loop. On a small paper strip there is the name and title, so it all of this says to me: trademark
quality by Jeroen Diepenmaat. (FdW)
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