Number 1160

DJ BALLI & AMPHIBIAN – GALVANIZED (10″ by Urbsounds) *
KOMARE – GOT TO STOP ME (7″ by Il Dischi Del Barone)
ETERNELL – STILL LIGHT (CDR by Sound In Silence) *
  Der Schöne Hjuler-Memorial-Fond) *
TETSU MINETA – #4 (CDR by Kirigirisu) *
PHILIP SULIDAE – GLASS (cassette by Verz Imprint) *
HAKON LIE – MEMOREX (cassette by Nonfigurativ Musikkproduksjon)
HARDTACK OAK – COLD WAR NOSTALGIA (cassette by Otomatik Muziek) *


It has been a while since I reviewed ‘Song Cycle’ by Voicehandler, a duo of Jacob Felix Heule and
Danishta Rivera (Vital Weekly 989). No doubt they are busy with other projects as both are quite
active with other projects in the field of improvised music. Heule plays with his group Sult and Bill
Orcutt and Rivero with Las Sucias. On the previous release Heule played percussion and Rivero
voice and hydrophonium. Now it is a full drum kit for the first and Rivero uses voice in combination
with modular electronics. Especially the latter add a whole new dimension to the music. Before it
was improvised, a lot actually, but from a more traditional improvised music background. Now it is
all a notch or two up the radicalism scale and it has become something else. Surely some of the
chaos from before is still a strong presence in this music, but now with hisses, cracks and drones
from the modular synthesizer making it almost like a strong noise beast. These three pieces reflect
their current live sound and are no doubt recorded live in the studio, even when the cover indicates
some mixing. In ‘June 1’ the radicalism is at it furthest, with some intense drone like sound ringing
through and drums doing things that are hardly recognized as coming from a drum kit. On ‘May 25’
the drums sound very much like drum, rolling about and the voice being the trigger for the modular
synths, which now sounds like a mass of insects, drones and only very occasionally as a voice. In
‘June 8’ it would seem there is a balance between all the parts, drums, voice and modular, and also
sounds very much like an excellent combination of traditional improvisation and more extreme
versions thereof, condensed into one piece. At forty-three minutes this is all a pretty radical release,
and while I liked the first, this is surely a leap forward. (FdW)
––– Address:


“The tanpura is a long-necked plucked string instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent,
found in various forms in Indian music. It does not play melody but rather supports and sustains
the melody of another instrument or singer by providing a continuous harmonic bourdon or drone”,
says wikipedia, in case you don’t know what kind of instruments it is. I didn’t. It is played here by
Susan Thomson and Prosser plays the violin and composed all the pieces on this CD. The tuning
of both instruments are not standard, the information says, “the tunings for both instruments explore
the theme ‘As close as makes a difference’. Tunings are not far in distance from standard pitch, nor
from each other. Yet, with nine strings available, the combinations provide wide scope for harmonic
and emotional interplay. The music is a mixture of prepared score and improvisation”. There are
fifteen pieces on this CD, spanning some seevnty-four minutes and that is, me thinks, a bit long. I
know, I know, you don’t have to play a CD from beginning to end, but  at the same time: you can
play it all the way through and that is in this case perhaps not the best of ideas. There is a great
uniformity in these way these two instruments are played and the way the sound; perhaps also a
bit these compositions were made. Everything is gentle and there is that fine Indian raga like
sound and the violin gentle moving around that, and surely the first half I found most enjoyable.
It had an excellent chamber music like quality and on a Sunday afternoon that made me feel very
sophisticated I guess. The second half is also great, but not when played in one long session I
guess. I’d say not bad at all, but in a smaller doses. (FdW)
––– Address:


Since his debut album ‘Migrations’ in 2006 (Vital Weekly 553), Italian composer Emanuele Errante
hasn’t been the most productive opf musicians. This here is his fourth solo album, besides working
with Dakota Suite and dag Rosenqvist. Everything he does deals with the world of ambient music
and this new album is no exception. Within that field Errante knows how to work with mild variations
of the genre to make it all more interesting. You may start off on the wrong foot with a slightly kitschy
new age like ‘Chrysalis’, something that I found in more of his work, but luckily he also hass few
different tricks up his sleeve. For instance ‘Comhaltas’ with its nicely reduced, mildly bouncing drone
and sustaining flute like sounds like the soundtrack for a scene with misty woods and dark hills. In
‘Beauty’ there is a deep bass sound like, and the voice of Pratyuscha Pilla on the subject of
colorism; quite unusually there is a political edge to this album, being a firm statement against
racism. Only in ‘Mist’ there is evidence of rhythm, but it’s rather supporting the music and not used
as to engage in a wild dance. Karaoke Kalk says that some of the music is not unlike early Oval
and Fennesz “or even Aphex Twin”, but I think I mainly the latter’s influence in this music. Errante
uses a variety of synthesized sounds, but also plays piano, violin and flute or uses samples thereof.
Throughout the music remains very introspective and quiet, which is quite nice for very late night
listening or early morning waking up music. You need to be quick as the album is only thirty-five
minutes and no doubt that has to do with the fact that this is also avalaible on LP. A bit more on CD
I would have greatly appreciated though, as this was lovely easy going ambient without too much
rough edges. (FdW)
––– Address:


Five very interesting new releases by New Focus Recordings, an independent New York-based
label focused on contemporary concert music. Worlds to discover here.
    First there is the fascinating solo work by Mabel Kwan, performing ‘Trois Hommages for two
pianos (tuned a quartet-tone apart)’. A premiere recording of a work composed  by Austrian
composer friedrich Haas who works in the US. Three homages, dedicated respectively  to Gyorgi
Ligeti, Josef Matthias Hauer and Steve Reich. Written for two pianos to be played simultaneously.
One by the right hand, one by the left hand. The different tuning between the two pianos is
effectively used by Haas and introduces a very specific tension. Kwan is Chicago-based pianist
associated with ensembles Ensemble Dal Niente, Restroy, big TEEN’s Mega Laverne and Shirley,
and Uluuul.  The first piece is a repetitive percussion-like work. With a strong drone effect. Also the
second one is built with repetition as an important structuring element. This time with a short
melodic phrase at the core. The third one is a strong pulsating minimalistic work. All three
compositions are closely related to the same minimalistic approach. For each composition
however Haas uses a phrase or element of compositions from the three composers that inspired
him  Only in the case of Steve Reich I was able to recognize this. Playing these works must have
been a very intensive physical exercise for Kwan. But she does a great job.
    Christopher Trapani is a composer from New Orleans. ‘Waterlines’ is the first CD dedicated
entirely to his compositions. The cd consists of five works, composed between 2005 and  2013.
The CD opens with ‘Waterlines: Five Songs about the Storms and Floods,’ referring to the damage
caused by hurricane Katrina. Trapani takes influences from blues and country for his eclectic
songs arranged for voice and a small ensemble. For ‘Visions and Revisions’, Bob Dylan’s 1965
song ‘Visions of Johanna’ was a departing point. Instead of reducing, Trapani tries to maximize
aspects of popular music, in order “to capture the richness of sonority”, as he explains. It is a
beautiful composition; powerful and eloquent. Illustrating that Trapani is a very interesting
composer with a strong voice and an original musical vision.
    Norway-born Marianne Gythfeldt is a clarinettist specialised in performing chamber and
orchestral music mostly by contemporary composers. She was introduced to electro-acoustic
music in 2003 by Robert Morris and his composition ‘On the Go’, which is also on this release.
The CD documents her research that started from then on: discovering the possibilities of electro-
acoustic world as a clarinet-player. She performs works by colleague composers John Link, Mikel
Kuehn, David Taddie, Elizabeth Hoffman, Eric Lyon, and Robert Morris, composed between 1999
and 2017. All composers work with interactive electronics and clarinet, featuring different aspects
of  interaction between clarinet and electronics.”Interactive and fixed media pieces, varying levels
of dialogue and role-playing between instrument and electronics.” Exciting work that gives insight
into how different composers, using different procedures, offer very different panoramas.
    Dalia Raudonikytė With was a composer from Lithunia. She worked from Oslo where she died
from cancer last September much too young. So unintentionally this debut album became also her
last statement. She was a composer with multiple facets, including many different arts in her
composing activity (literature, philosophy, visual arts, computer programming, etc.). The CD counts
six or her works, composed between 1996 and 2017. Four of them are written for solo instruments
(clarinet, piano, guitar, alto sax). One for a strong ensemble And one work – ‘Ventus’- for alto
saxophone and electronics, played respectively by Rolf-Erik Nystron and the composer herself.
The atmosphere in these works is often melancholic and romantic, like in ‘Primo cum Lumine
Solis’, played  guitarist Daniel Lippel (and co-founder of New Focus Recordings).
    Armenian-born violinist Movses Pogossian released for New Focus Recordings in 2017 ‘Six
Sonatas and partitas for Solo Violin’. With the follow up, ‘Inspired by Bach’, he presents three
compositions from three composers: ‘Frises’(2011) by Kaija Saariaho, ‘Suite Mestiza’ (2017) by
Gabriela Lena Frank, and ‘Sheer’(2017) by Andrew McIntosh. The points out that Bach was a
point of departure – in whatever way – for the omposers involved here. ‘Frises’ consists of four
contrasting sections for violin and electronics. ’Suite Mestiza’ takes inspiration from the mixed-
race cultures of Peru. ‘Sheer’ is a suite of also seven small pieces for solo violin and eight wine
glasses played by four musicians. All three are interesting and absolutely worthwhile compositions
that are performed superbly by the playing and interpretation by Pogossian. He gives a very warm,
expressive and moving performance. Pure beauty! (DM)
––– Address:


Even when I have been writing about music for a long, long time, I am very much convinced that
on many occasions I have no idea what I am writing about. On this release two these areas of ‘not
knowing’ interact. The name Martine Verhoeven you might know; mainly I should think for her
recent releases involving her playing the piano, as part of improvisations with her partner Dirk
Serries. In case you were following Dirk Serries’ long career as Vidna Obmana, Fear Falls Burning
or Microphonies, then the name Martine Verhoeven should be known for she has been responsible
for his covers since 1993, mainly through her photographs. These are mostly from nature and/or
old buildings and usually in black and white (or maybe always? I am not sure). For her to have
her own photobook is not a strange thing, I’d say. Serries wrote the introduction text to this book
and the photos show us flowers and plants in various times of the year; sometimes covered with
snow, or bathing in sun light. Lots of close up pictures she took, with lots of great detail and in black
and white it all looks even more powerful. But me being no photographer I couldn’t say something
clever about the framing or lights used, yet to my amateur eye it all looks great. Which brings me to
the second point of being clueless and that is music. Well, modern classical music that is. If that is
at all a term Verhoeven would use for her work here on the piano. On the CD we find a piece that
lasts thirty-three minutes, Verhoeven behind the 88 keys, a bit of reverb, playing repeating phrases.
However not in a strict order, but in a non-linear fashion. The tempo is quite slow and it is by no
means minimal music alike; no Steve Reich or Charlemagne Palestine here. It is, so I would think
with my limited knowledge, not really part of the whole Debussy or Satie tradition. Verhoeven is
not playing melodies but a rather more pointllistic way of operating the keys, making dots in the
sky that are only loosely connected. Perhaps it is part of some tradition or another, but I wouldn’t
know which one that would be. It is perhaps the same as with the pictures; I am clueless as to the
technical and historical context. But as with Verhoeven’s photo’s I can safely say I very much enjoy
it. I was flipping through the book with photos (which somehow also fitted this very grey November
day), alternating with Roger Daltrey’s autiobiography and I had the CD on repeat for some time.
There are worse ways to spend your time with. (FdW)
––– Address:


“During the 1870s Luigi Galvani performed experiments at the University of Bologna involving
frogs. While cutting a frog’s leg, his zinc scalpel touched a brass hook that was keeping the leg in
ON BEHALF OF Amphibian. Sincerely, Riccardo Balli” Yes, sometimes the information is that vague.
I suspect behind DJ Balli and Amphibian we find Samule Maoloni and Luca Torasso who are
thanked “for turning field-recordings into swamp-recording”. There are lots of musical genres that
we might cover but actually not know a lot about. Modern classical music for instance. But also
within the mighty scope of dance music there is quite a bit that make us scratch our heads. This
release for instance. This is some seriously fucked form of dance music that holds between
breakcore, drum n bass and gabber. If I am not mistaken, and surely might very well be mistaken.
As said I have very little knowledge of these matters, and to be honest breakcore, drum ‘n bass (as
well as dubstep) are genres that I also not particularly care for. I do like hardcore gabber, but more
those of the silly Dutch variety and perhaps I should not tell you that; guilty pleasures and all that. I
quite enjoyed playing this record actually, even when I don’t ‘get’ it. The furious beats, the intense
sounds, the brief pieces, seventeen in some twetny-five minutes, ade me chuckle and the free flow
energy was much appreciated. What more can I say? I have no idea. If you want a speedy bump,
right in the hearth, then try it out. (FdW)
––– Address:

KOMARE – GOT TO STOP ME (7″ by Il Dischi Del Barone)

You may not know this name yet, who have two releases out, a cassette, which I haven’t heard
and this 7″. Both came out at the same time. Behind Komare we find Dominic Goodman and Peter
Blundell, who are both behind Mosquitoes, a trio from London of which I only heard one 7″ (Vital
Weekly 1027), but I understand there have been some more releases. As Mosquitoes they play
some unusual deconstructed rock and free jazz, not unlike P.D./P16.D4 as in unusual for today’s
standards, not from a historical perspective. As Komare they also turn to the old days as they claim
so with mentioning Door And The Window and Storm Bugs/Snatch Tapes and that’s surely
something I can see. There is the loops of rhythm on a reel-to-reel machine, a drifitng synthesizer
piercing in the background, bass motif very minimal and upfront and the voice is, on both sides of
the record, more into reciting a text/poem with a bit of reverb, so its not clear what it is all about but
it sure sounds spooky. Like with the previous release on this label by Monokultur, who listened
very closely to the production values once used by Cabaret Voltaire in their early days, so did
Komare study their examples and I have no idea if they used the same now ancient technology or
found some clever plug ins to achieve the same result. They do it wonderfully well. I love it that
bands like Komare and Monokultur pick an old band and work along similar lines, both from the
music as well as the way it was recorded. And again: I would very much like to hear more this.
Two songs on a 7″ just tickled my appaetite. (FdW)
––– Address:

ETERNELL – STILL LIGHT (CDR by Sound In Silence)

On an afternoon a few days I started to play Eternell’s ‘Still Light’ and within two minutes I had
checked out all three pieces, short bits and I knew it was not the right time to play this release.
While I don’t subscribe to the idea to play music when you are asleep, I do believe certain times
of the day are good for certain types of music. Early morning when I get up I ‘d like to start the day
with a fine bit of ambient music. I happen to have a few discs to do that, and no, I won’t tell you
which. The music played by Ludvig Cimbrelius, also known as Eternell, but also his own name,
Alveol, Surr, Rust, Illuvia, Ziyal, Xpire “and others”, certainly falls in this category ‘music to wake up
to’. I did that this morning and the three lengthy pieces, spanning together some seventy-four
minutes, worked wonderfully well. Long passages of drifting melodies, guitars tinkling nicely, and
something that worked quite well at a medium to low level, just enough to warm up for the day to
come. All good, you’d say? Unfortunaly I don’t write reviews straight away, but later in the day. The
early midday it is now, for instance. The volume is up a notch or two and I am all set to write the
review. I now hear more detail, more deep bass end for instance, some more pads being played,
sampled voices, and more detail throughout. Those guitars start to sound quite new age like, as
well as some of these long waving, sustains synthesizer sounds. Isn’t Eternell a new age project,
I was thinking? Perhaps he indeed is, choosing such a name for a start, with some of these music.
It’s all a bit tacky; perhaps I don’t like to say something is full on new age, because I have no
enough knowledge to classify it properly as such, but me thinks this comes close. And that,
despite early morning waking habits, is something I don’t like that much. I like my ambient to
have a rough edge, a bite, teeth; call it what you like, but Eternell doesn’t have that for me.
    I havent’ heard the names Styrofoam, Tin Foil Star and Arne van Petegem in a long time. I am
surprised to learn he still does music, but perhaps he and me don’t move in the same circles. I
know he had releases on Morr Music, as well as Nettwerk and Rocket Racer, but Morr doesn’t
send us promo’s anymore, since many years (i don’t recall having written some negative, which
seems to cause rifts among the best of friends), so no doubt Van Petegem has been a s busy as
ever, playing live and recording. Having said that, Sound In Silence says that this is his first
Styrofoam album in eight years (“and his first ever all-instrumental”), “as the soundtrack to an
ever more confused and confusing world” – I am with you, Arne. Following the new age of
Eternell this is like taking a hot bath or a breath of fresh air, confusing metaphors there. His eight
pieces last between three and nine minutes (the whole album is forty-one minutes) and Styrofoam
is throwing his nets wide. In it he catches comsic synthesizers, shoe gazing guitars and spicey
beats. It is uptempo music but at the same time spacious and dreamy. Now, this is music with a
fine rough edge, such as the drone at end of  ‘Did Your Mouth Buy You This Scar?’ proofs. This is
lovely stuff, reminding me that this kind of music very rarely makes it to these pages and that’s a
pity. The bouncing, sometimes slightly complex rhythms, the arpeggio’s on the synths and Van
Petegem’s slightly distorted melodies on another synth and guitar make up for some great home
dancing. It is not really, i think, the sort of dancing for dance floors but it kicked some energy in me
doing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Different kind of floor, but nevertheless… (FdW)
––– Address:

  Der Schöne Hjuler-Memorial-Fond)

You could wonder why we’d write a review of something that is released in an edition of 11 copies,
but hey I have one in front of me and more important: on the day i writes these words there is a
copy for sale on Discogs. I understand this is some kind of collaboration between Roel Meelkop,
laptop musician since many years and Kommissar Hjuler and Frau, conceptual artists since
equally many years. I have no idea how this collaboration was made. There are three piece, one
is six minuets, one is nine and one thirty-one minutes. I would think, judging on what I hear, that
the long one is Meelkop’s take on Hjuler and Frau, and the two shorter pieces have those roles
reversed. I might be wrong. In the long piece there is a text, in German I would think, slowed down
in the beginning and over the course of the piece there is a lot crackles, hiss and mild distortion
applied and the meaning is rendered beyond recognition, which seeing it’s title ‘Regression – A
Babylonian Pit’ is not a strange thing. In Meelkopian terms this is a piece that hardly sees any
change and that is not something he does a lot. In ‘Mead’s Best – A Compulsive Repetition’ a voice
is looped around in the best Steve Reich ‘Come Out’ tradition; simple and effective. In the opening
piece ‘Freud’s Blues – An Oedipal Challenge’ these voices are also used but set against a collage
of musical sounds of nicely humming drones in the main portion of these nine minutes, but at one
point there are drum sounds and guitars and it thing gets a sort of Nurse With Wound collage like
feeling, but it makes it less sense when compared to the other two pieces as it seems to break
away from the concept, especially, I’d say, the drum/guitar bit. Having said that it is still altogether
quite a fine release. More conceptual than you would perhaps expect from mister Meelkop, but
nevertheless a fine release altogether. (FdW)
––– Address:


Now the days are shorter, there is always that end of the day doubt if it’s dark enough to switch on
the lights, or perhaps wait some more. Maybe because that end of the day thing signals the end
of the working day, and it’s time to do something else. I had to switch on the lights to read the cover
of the release by A Home For Ghosts called ‘… Of A Star, Never Setting’, which even then wasn’t
easy. It is all quite dark and black and the website of Eilean proofed more informative. It is the third
album for the duo of Neil Carter (modular system, radio, and electromagnet pickups) and James
Edward Armstrong (electric guitar, bow, and various effects pedals) and together they produced
three lengthy pieces (sixteen to twenty minutes) and one shorter of four minutes. there isn’t much
difference in approaches when it comes to long or short pieces for this duo. The music is intended
to be very atmospherically and they do a very fine job. The drones they create can be from the
guitar, bend around with a lot of sound effects and the modular system, and they are tied together
in pretty neat way. It sounds like a guitar being played with a bow, but at the same time there is a
lot more happening to these drones, which I account the modular system for. The drones are vast
but not loud; there is certain liveliness to these drones, like the recording is a clever mix of line and
room recordings. Around these drones there are sometimes smaller sounds, like static radio
cracking the waves, adding finer ornaments to the music, but it gives a bit more weight to the
music, already quite full of sound anyway, but without being too massive. There is an ambient
post-rock drone feel to the music and something that entirely fits end of days during the season
of the shorter days.
    On the second new release by Eilean Records we see a pairing of Cyril Secq, who we know
from his with the band Astrïd (Vital Weekly 983) and working with Orla Wren (Vital Weekly 1026),
but also working with Mathias Delplanque, Floating roots orchestra, Charles-Eric Charrier
«oldman», That Summer, Thousand and Bramier) using a verity of instruments such as piano,
harmonium, rhodes, analog synthetiser, sound objects, with Sylvain Chauveau, who is a bit better
known, I should think, for his solo work on labels as Fat Cat, Sub Rosa, Type, Les Disques du
Soleil et de l’Acier, Brocoli, Flau, Nature Bliss, Creative Sources, many of which don’t make it to
these pages. His work with Piipstsjilling was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1157. He is also a member
of I and Arca. Together they decided to be down to earth, seeing their rather clear title, ‘Minimal
Guitar’; a program in itself I’d say. They both get credit for acoustic guitar, Chauveau also for radio
and vocals. So perhaps there’s two things that are quite odd inthe world Eilean and that the
extensive use of guitars and a bit of vocals. The third surprise is that one of the pieces is a cover
of ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ by Eurythmics. This is however also a release that one expects from
someone like Sylvain Chauveau, whose work I know I bit better than Secq’s. I quite enjoy this
super silent acoustic guiyar duets of a few notes here and there, and with the addition of an e-bow
here or some radio hissing in the background there make there is always something happening.
It all sounds quite moody and atmospheric, but  it works quite well. Having said, I was never that
fond of the way Chauveau’s singing, and I know that is his selling point, but it is not my cup of tea.
It is something that is here only in a few songs as most of it is instrumental (which actually includes
the Eurythmics cover!) and I enjoy the instrumental pieces a lot. Maybe there is also something
post-rock-alike about this, I thought; at the same time I was also think of Gastr Del Sol and that is
never a bad thing. (FdW)
––– Address: ​
update: due to a mistake on the cover, the Eurythmics cover does contain vocals

TETSU MINETA – #4 (CDR by Kirigirisu)

These two new CDRs from Kirgiritsu are wonderful on their own, but also as an introduction to
the refreshingly genre-resistant Tokyo CDR label. Tetsu Mineta has been active for quite a while,
but has very few releases to his name… according to Discogs, just a tape and one CD before
“#4” (though, judging by the title, perhaps there’s another one out there). His music is highly
personal, not beholden to any one style. In roughly 25 minutes, he presents a jumble of tribal
drums (“Moshpitloser”), country blues warped with backwards tape (“Scene#2”), serene acoustic
guitar ballads (“Scene#3” and the title track), and dense ambience of layered tape (“Nova E.x.P.”
and “Space”). There are affecting passages of languid slide guitar over bendy tape loops and
background hiss. Imagine an album made by John Fahey, John Hudak and Low… each taking
turns leading the way on a song or two.
    Less straightforward is the latest missive from prolific cassette-wrangler Sindre Bjerga, whose
“Jan Ken Pon” (which translates to “rock paper scissors”), a shock of growling weirdness recorded
live at TooNice in Takamatsu, Japan. This is linear music, moving through sparse sections made
from just a sound or two at a time. Somehow, though this was a composed piece that Bjerga
performed on his Japanese tour, the pacing and gestures remind me of instrumental free
improvisation; I was always aware of human hands guiding each sound in an acoustic space.
Bjerga leaves plenty of breathing room around each of his component sounds, so that every
slurred vocal hiccup, every pause-button bloop and fast-forward attack, every slap of a metal
spring is legible within the audio-soup. Rarely do the components coalesce into a block of
overpowering noise; rather, each element remains in its own space, serving its purpose and then
moving on to the next. Angry forest animals mangled by tape start this off, grunting and protesting
and arguing with each other. Once they settle down, we get a passage from “Evita” for some damn
reason… then the music boils down to a single tone stretched and crumbled with taxed-motor
whining filigree. For a long stretch in the middle, we get a blank expanse of tape being pulled to
its breaking point and left there, twitching.This spacious stasis morphs into unsteady, nearly
bodiless tones until quick mechanical birds flutter briefly into view and break up the reverie.
Sindre’s signature tape-speed ugh lurches back for a final punctuation before the artist spills a
box of cutlery onto the floor and turns his machines off.  (HS)
––– Address:

PHILIP SULIDAE – GLASS (cassette by Verz Imprint)

Before I even discuss the music, let’s look at this guy’s awesome song titles: “Heat Sink With
Decorative Edges”… “Dust Trap Happiness”… “Wheeled Personnel Engine”… awesome, right?
I’m crap at titling things, so I appreciate when someone can glue a few choice nouns together so
well. Luckily, Australian composer Philip Sulidae makes damned interesting music to match the
evocative poetry. The sounds on “Glass” were sourced from “various air and ventilation intakes”.
Not sure what precisely that means, but I’m grateful for the ambiguity… it’s enough to point the
listener in a particular direction without being too didactic about it. The rush of air through tubes is,
as you might expect, a key characteristic of the work, but the main voice is Sulidae’s command of
drama. Across six short pieces, the focus continually shifts from background to foreground, from
monolithic blast to steadily undulating tonal hum… various speeds of whistling, howling and
abrasion… in other words, this is not some documentary field recording of office building air
shafts. “Glass” is a thoroughly engaging listen. Fans of Eric La Casa, Toy Bizarre and Dale Lloyd
would do well to check this out. (HS)
––– Address:

HAKON LIE – MEMOREX (cassette by Nonfigurativ Musikkproduksjon)

There might be information somewhere about this tape, other than what is written on the cover of
course, but I couldn’t find any. Not even an address to order it. So what I do have is this; Hakon Lie
plays ‘prepared turntable, tape and electronics’ and the two sides of his cassette were recorded
live at Nonfigurativ musikk Galleri Galleberg, Norway 2018, plus some credit for layout and cover
image plus “mix by Ask Dørmaenen Lie”. That should be enough indeed. I expected perhaps
something more improvised, maybe for no good reason, and I was pleasantly surprised by the two
pieces, both of which seemed to last about ten or so minutes. The music was strange, drone like,
improvised perhaps; it sounds on ‘Bir’ far away, like the machine that was used to record the music
was in the next room of the gallery, but it also added a strangely spacious effect to the music. The
effect of rotating sounds, quite common when turntables are used, didn’t seem to have an all to big
place in this music, more on ‘Bir’ than on ‘Cof’, which sounded altogether more drone like. On both
pieces there is the sound of occasional bumps in the groove. Strangely compelling music and sadly
not very long; I surely could have enjoyed twice the length of both pieces. (FdW)
––– Address: none given


Not a lot of recent releases by the French label Falt landed on my desk for reasons I don’t know;
maybe the editions are too small (usually somewhere in their 40s) or maybe they feel insulted of
what I wrote; I am not sure I ever did, but it causes rifts so I sadly noticed. They seem to be more
active than before, check out the link below and lots of their releases are free download, and along
the lines they picked up Matthew Atkins, who send me his release for the label. Atkins I know as
someone who releases his music on his own imprint but it’s good to see his work somewhere else
released, and what he does surely fits the Falt label quite well (from what I heard that is). Atkins
works with a lot of sound sources and he does that at in a vertical variation. That means that one
hears all of the sounds at the same time, but he cleverly pushes things up or fades out certain
elements. There are all sorts of concrete sounds, tapping on pots and pans if you will, field
recordings, maybe electronics of an non-specified nature, some piano sounds and more than
on his previous work there is quite a big role for drum and percussion sounds. Atkins plays drums
in various bands, and until in his ‘other’ work, this kind of music that I always hear from him. it
never showed much of that. But here the rattling of cymbals, crashes, toms and snares with objects
and sticks makes up a great addition to his already well-known sound pallette. The two pieces last
twelve minutes a piece and both a very vibrant excursions into the world of musique concrete, field
recordings and improvisation. It moves and shakes about and I would rank this as one of his best
works to date. (FdW)
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HARDTACK OAK – COLD WAR NOSTALGIA (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)

It’s hard to imagine but I was once interest in punk music. I call it my two-minute punk phase,
meaning that I was interested for two minutes, not that I played two-minute punk songs. My punk
days were mostly filled with listening to Dutch punk records of the second wave that swept the
country. In 1980 that was Rondos, Tandstickorshocks, The Ex, all those bands from the small
village of Wormer andthe more up tempo songs of The Nitwitz – classic first 7″ there. Out of The
Netherlands I just had one Dead Kennedys 7″s and all the records by Crass. I still play those these
days, plus whatever I have punk-wise left from those days. But musically it was not really my thing,
especially when I discovered post-punk and synthesizers (here’s threee chords now form a band?
here’s one finger now play a synth!), so much of the real hardcore punk that followed later on I
didn’t notice that much. I knew it was there. To read the text on Bandcamp that guides the release
by Hardtack Oak you need more time than the music lasts, especially if you also read the True
Youth Bootlegs fanzine that comes in the box. Hardtack Oak is a duo on drums and guitars plus
vocals, playing eleven songs in twelve minutes and they play hardcore punk that leans towards
speed metal. It sounds very mid-80s to me, but surely this is something that has been through a
few revivals in the meantime (all not noticed here). Do I like this? Hell yeah, this is great. Totally
energizing power punk music and surely with the hearth in the right place, meaning left. Does
that mean it is something the readers of Vital Weekly will care about, even when they are truly
open-minded? I doubt that. It is a bit too regular for that, but then who knows? (FdW)
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