Number 1162

SKYMME – KHORO (CDR by Norwegianism Records)
KATHARINA KLEMENT – DRIFT (CD by Chmafu Nocords) *
SHE SPREAD SORROW – MINE (CD by Cold Spring) *
  AME ZEK – BURATINO (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)
SCHWEBEN – SKETCHES OF PLAINS (cassette by Otomatik Muziek) *
MATTHEW ATKINS & PETER MARSH – PAPER WASPS (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
ROVELLASCA – INTERFERENCE (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
BITSY KNOX & ROGER 3000 – OM COLD BLOOD (cassette by Tanuki Records)

SKYMME – KHORO (CDR by Norwegianism Records)

Now here’s a name that is new to you, but it is a project of names you might recognize. The main
man is Peter Johan Nÿland, also the main man behind Distel, sometimes member of
Trepaneringsritualen and formerly of Hadewych. We can see O Saala Sakraal as the new
Hadewych, but now with four percussion players even more rhythm heavy. These drums are
played by Scramasax (Hadewych, Distel, Volksweerbaarheid), Rene Acquarius (Dead
Neanderthals, Fantoom, Krishna), Patricia Manko (Hadwych) and Donne Brok (Donne Et Desiree,
Danielle Liebeskind). Nÿland operates the tapes and a “piano-string percussion instrument called
‘draak’, next to regular percussion”. The title is translated as ‘natural day’ and “s the first in a series
of explorations that aim to serve as a channel between the ethereal and chthonic, sacred and
profane, the innermost black well and the outermost white sun. The album follows the circadian
path as an analogue to the revelation of the actual self, with the sun as the inverted eye that
unveils all things in their temporality, opposite the eternal inner black of night”, which you might
believe is a bit too gothic for me. Having said that I actually enjoyed this a lot. There is a bit of
spoken word/vocal on ‘Lilit’, but otherwise this is all instrumental and O Saala Sakraal is works
very effectively with pounding drums, drones and ethereal chants (again on ‘Lilit’) along with
moments of quiet bell sounding and a sort of pagan/monastery feel (depending on your thoughts
about that; the band would probably be more in favour of the first). Reverb suggest atmosphere,
but throughout this isn’t a reverb drenched album, but excellently produced all around. It has much
depth, much space and certainly lots of detail. Sometimes cave like/church like or dark forest-at-
night ritual. The two pieces span thirty-eight minutes and would make a lovely piece of vinyl. For
those who love early Current 93, Test Dept, Cold Meat Industry and more noir inspired music from
1980 until now. Not necessarily the kind of stuff that is in heavy rotation, but this album surely was
in the past weeks.
    As more or less at the same time there is another release with Nÿland’s involvement, as he
has quite a few projects up his sleeve and that is his duo with Bert van Beek under the banner of
Skymme. I already reviewed a previous release by them, the cassette ‘Huone’, released by the
always-likeable Barreuh Records (Vital Weekly 976). Here they have a CDR released by Nijmegen
based Norwegianism Records, run by Dead Neanderthals, and its not easy to avoid comparing this
with O Saala Sakraal. Of course it is a coincidence that both albums are released at more or less
the same time, but the percussion of O Saala Sakraal is a main feature on this release as well,
even when it’s all a lot less complex in approach. At times there is just a few slow pounding
percussion sounds to be heard along with the striking of a Tibetan bell and it sounds like being
present at some late night forest pagan ritual, especially when some of chanting and vocals drop
in. The hum and wail, and perhaps there is some of ritualistik undercurrent in this music that you
might normally think it’s not up my footpath (into the woods), but Skymme cleverly mixes these
pagan tribal tunes with something that is owing to the world of drones, through guitars, samples
and electronics and thus broaden the spectrum and interest considerably. There is of course
nothing ancient about the music, but there is that aura of mysticism about this that you would like
to believe its otherwise. It is perhaps that I know both of these people to some extent that changes
my liking of this; it might be also be cold winter evening and red wine that blurs my attention. Either
way: great release as well. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:


In modern classical music there is something that is called “[instrument] plus tape” or “[instrument]
with electronics” and the latter is something that is to be found on the CD by Katherina Klement. We
reviewed her work before, mostly when it was dealing with improvisation and piano. Here however
she has three compositions performed with other musicians and in which Klement plays electronics.
‘Compositions for instruments with electronics by Katharina Klement’ is the subtitle of this release
and I would think ‘composition’ here could as easily mean something along the lines of a graphic
score. The main piece is the second one, ‘In Dem Himmel Benannten Däruber’, which is performed
by two ensembles, Phace and Subshrubs, combining such instruments and recorders, electronics,
clarinet & bass clarinet, soprano and baritone saxophone, violin, cello and double bass. Within the
thirty-five minutes I couldn’t help thinking about the fact that this music had a very open structure,
almost like a piece of improvised music, but within a slightly more traditional way and while it had
some excellent moments it was overall not that well-spend on me, perhaps also because I didn’t
get a clear idea about the electronics. In the two pieces that bookend this I had a better idea about
the “[instrument] with electronics” of which the title piece is a great piece for organ and electronics,
drifting heavily with clusters of organ sounds and piercing electronics in a powerful battle of
sounds, dying slowly out; sometimes it is hard to make out what is what. In ‘Wie Tag Und Nacht’
the electronics go along with three zithers and here the distinction is clearer, with those zithers
starting out and electronics slowly taking over. The piece is about the transition of day turning into
night and that is very nicely exemplified here. So, one half of the CD is very good, and of the other
half I’d say two-third is also good, but at times for me at least a bit problematic. (FdW)
––– Address:


Previously released as vinyl-only on Cold Spring, She Spread Sorrow’s “Mine” is available again,
this time as a CD that comes with some additional material. Personally I often can’t be bothered
much with these kinds of extended re-releases, however, to me “Mine” was one of the good things
that 2017 had to offer (see also Vital Weekly 1107). So I am curious if the additions manage to
improve the whole thing even more. That may be an unfair thing to expect – I don’t know. But then
Alice Kundalini is one of those musicians I’d consider capable of achieving just that. The LP version
clocked in at 34 minutes, which normally I feel it is a proper length for music of this kind of intensity.
Then again, the album does feature some more ambient bits as well, so let’s just go on and have a
    Reviewing the album track-by-track seems somewhat redundant one year after its release, but
let’s just say that what I liked back then was how for instance “Crushed On The Pillow”, “On The
Bank Of The River” and “Straight Back” reminded me somewhat of avant-garde electronic composer
Ruth White’s masterpiece “Flowers of Evil”. It is imbued with a similar kind of poetic claustrophobia,
even though “Mine” has a more contemporary feel because of its high-end production. Still there
are salient similarities in composition and the use of effects for instance.
    The other tracks (“Lust”, “Mine”) sport a more coercive post-industrial throb that seems really
well-calibrated to pull the listener out of the pensive mood of the other tracks, without become
stylistically jarring in any kind of way.
    And that brings us to the sixth track, “Blue Monsoon” – one of the additions. Right away it opens
up and launches us into planetary orbit. A droning melody that sounds somewhat like reverberated
guitar adds a free layer of stateliness while clouds of whispered voices whizz past us like radio
transmissions emanating from the planet’s atmosphere. Slowly we disintegrate due to the massive
amount of radiation and the sound continues to saturate until nothing is left.
    “Mild Homily”, the second bonus and final track paints a dense industrial vista that makes Fritz
Lang’s Metropolis look like a fairy tale. Distant chanting in the background attempts to add
something vaguely human, echoing off the walls of factory halls and cast iron domes, but hardly
manages to pierce the dystopian full metal rage that sweeps across the outer surface. There’s no
message, no music, just the distant memory of something individual – and “mine” – that painfully
lingers on between the cages of machine code and electromagnetism.
    If you are looking for more of the same, these additional 10 minutes of material will probably
turn out be a disappointment. Still I feel this actually concludes the sonic narrative of “Mine” in a
more colourful way than the LP did the first time around. And then it definitely makes this my
favourite She Spread Sorrow album up to date.
    What? It’s only P-Orridge and Mr Japanoise himself teaming up for an album. Cold Spring has
the exclusive on this one and there’s some flaxen gold vinyl in there for you if you act quickly – then
again it’s very likely that’s sold out already. Anyway, sounds like something right up my alley so let’s
have it.  Opener “A Perfect Restraint” has (dare I say it) a quite catchy synthetic loop pumping away
like there’s no tomorrow and which is subsequently joined by a low-end thump that saturates the
spectrum enough to give it a scorching, hypnotising push. In comes Genesis with equally saturated
vocals that are quite hard to make out – however you’ll find these all printed neatly in the CD
booklet; possession through embodiment as an existential fundamental seems to be the theme of
this one, with some hints of thelemic occultist slogans, so if you’re a follower of Thee Way, or just
interested in those kinds of arcane poetic ramblings you can safely purchase this one right away.
    “Flowering Pain Give Space” starts out with an analogue rhythmic loop with some metal plate
vibrations and gushes of noise. Genesis’ recitations are either extremely modulated or drenched in
plate reverb, still somewhat more comprehensible this time. Half way through the rhythm dissolves
into rhythmic noise stabs only to kick back in suddenly upon which it is clearly time for Merzbow to
showcase his abrasive improvisational skills, without any interruption from Genesis.
    The album flows on directly into the 25-minute epic “Source Are Rare” which takes a minute to
build up steam and see the return of Genesis. Suddenly the song tumbles off into the harsh realms
of japanoise that some may consider to have originated with Merzbow himself. So yes, it’s white
noise torrents, acoustic feedback and occasional metallic timbres that only by means of their
structural absence offer some relief. Also the voice is saturated to the max within the painful high-
mid range and, as such, fits in quite nicely. The track undulates towards a less straining atmosphere
that sees the introduction of a jolly break beat sample, just before it gets swallowed by the sea of
saturation again. Around the 9 minute mark all that remains are that seemingly ironic drum loop
and a couple of howling feedback pulses. The true Merzbowian anger is lurking just beneath the
surface but it takes another minute to fully culminate into a wave of white noise that drags along
some low-end punctuation from time to time. After a while it gets even more intense with
explorations out in the very high end of the spectrum, which is of course particularly straining on
headphones, even though the pressure is increased gradually. Perfect pain indeed. And slowly
emerging from the haze, we start to recognise our old friend the drum loop. Another bath of intense
feedback, white noise, hyperbolic processing and the distant (and sometimes not so distant) hint of
rhythmic movement conclude this track and this is the part where I need a drink.
    “Kreeme Horne” is up next and it starts with another one of those locked groove drum loops. It’s
obviously Genesis’ moment to shine. A hymn to the surpressed malevolence and repulsiveness of
mankind that could easily serve as an homage to the brilliance of Isidore Duchasse aims to
confront us with the filth we should acknowledge we are. If that came as news to you, near the
end the track gives you a second of silence to think about that, before the loop fades back in and
gets stretched beyond recognition.
    “All Beauty Is Our Enemy” is a godzilla that stumbles around in a massive sonic cathedral.
Feedback check. Modulation check. Two minutes in: Genesis check. Merzbow gets pushed
somewhat into background to make a bit of room for the anti-christian readings, upon which the
track skilfully walks a tightrope between the agony of Merzbow’s distressing pulses and the caustic
cynicism of P-Orridge. Merzbow gets the final say though and then that’s that.
    In the end it all comes down to thee perfectly simple cliché with these two; you either love them
or you hate them. For me it was interesting hearing from both again, especially re-discovering
Genesis in a (japa)noise context was a good thing. But I can’t imagine listening to it again, except
for perhaps that first track.
    ‘Maximum Implosion’ is a compilation album that collects all collaborative material between
Zeni Geva (Kazuyuki Kishino aka KK Null, Eiro Noro & Mitsuru Tabata) and Steve Albini (Shellac /
Big Black / Rapeman) from the first half of the 90s. Disc number one features the 1993 album “Nai
Ha” that was originally released by now defunct Californian label Nipp Guitar. Two bonus tracks
from the limited 12″ “Superunit” were added as well to fill the whole thing up a bit more. All tracks
were recorded and produced by Zeni Geva and Albini, but it is the track “Angel” that actually
features him on guitar and vocals. This all amounts to eight tracks of dense, sludgy noise rock, with
again “Angel” as a notable exception, as it remains somewhat mellow until the last minute where it
explodes into the angular distorted riffing Big Black was known for. The rest of it is very much what
you expect from Zeni Geva; repetitive, hulking riffs and percussion, noisy excursions and Kishino’s
typical voice. My personal favourite has to be “Terminal Hz”, that stomps on with an addictive
Ministry-like drum pattern by which it also breaks away from the rest of the tracks, that are a lot
more more “boom-tack” down-beat oriented. The bonus tracks are somewhat less noisy, but
not to the degree that they’re out of place. A nice listen, but did not find them to be as memorable
as the rest. But it’s still nice for the fans/collectors I guess.
    Disc number two features the 1993 release “All Right, You Little Bastards”, also originally
issued by Nipp Guitar and it consists of tracks from two concerts in Tokyo and Osaka recorded
straight from the mixing desk onto DAT in 1992. However on this recording all tracks feature Albini
on guitar – and on vocals on both Kettle Lake and The Model – which indeed is an interesting
addition to the Zeni Geva sound. The quality of the recordings is astounding and the album
definitely seems to capture the monolithic energy of the performances at the time;  perhaps think
of a noisy brother of Skin Chamber, Gnaw or somewhat less related (from a technical perspective),
early Swans.
    Favourites are the quite unexpected Kraftwerk cover and closer upper “I Hate You” that spirals
out of control and ventures into territory that Kishino had already charted 10 years earlier, together
with fellow japanoiser Merzbow.
    All in all, I reckon this is a must-have for both fans of Albini and Zeni Geva, but probably also
interesting for those who are into (the history of) sludge or noise rock in general. (PJN)
––– Address:

  AME ZEK – BURATINO (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

Recently we received a whole bunch of releases by Hui Chun Lin from Taiwan. Most of them are
several years old. As we review only recent ones, I will concentrate on two recent releases of
improvised music featuring Hui Chun Lin. This is my first encounter with her work.  She was
educated on classical piano and cello, of which the latter became her main instrument. She studied
in Dresden and Leipzig and settled in Berlin where she works and lives nowadays. Maybee
Records is a Berlin-based label run by Hui Chun Lin and Shuichi Chino. Most of her work is – no
wonder – documented through this label. In this small catalogue you find Hui Chun Lin in projects
with other musiciasns from the Berlin scene (Max Loeb Garcia, Peter Kuhnsch, Tommaso Vespo,
Davide Piersanti, Miriam Siebenstädt, Martin Braun, a.o.). Also she has a release out on the profiled
Creative Sources Recordings label: ‘Buratino’. It has Hui Chin Lin (cello) in the company of Elo
Masing (violin), Caroline Cecilia Tallone (hurdy-gurdy, objects), Ernesto Rodrigues (viola) and Ame
Zek 912 string guitars, objects). A set recorded May 7th, 2018 in a studio at Zepernick. Because it is
released by Creative Sources Recordings and also has Ernesto Rodriguez participating, one may
know what to expect here. These improvisations concentrate on textural aspects, investigating
qualities of sound. The musicians involved here have no problem with this playground and interact
in inspired sonic communication. On ‘I’m not Yours’, we find Hui-Chin Lin in a trio with Chino
Shuichi (‘strange’ harp, piano) and Marie Takahashi (viola).  From the first moment they take off,
and one is entangled in their intense interaction that continues throughout the set recorded here.
Takahashi is a modern and baroque violist from Japan. Shuichi is the veteran of these the
musicians involved here and was – for example – member of the fantastic Japanese band Wha-Ha-
Ha , back in the 80s. So a lot of musical experience is combined here. They bring more dynamic
and vitality into their dialogues, compared to ‘Buratino’.  I’m not sure if the three are playing together
for the first time, but their improvisations are very solid, rich and vibrant. Every gesture and
movement is to the point. Fascinating! (DM)
––– Address:


This is Tim Brady’s second release for Starkland. A few years ago he debuted on this label with his
electric guitar quartet Instruments of Happiness. Most of his output you’ll find in the catalogue of the
Ambiances Magnétiques label. ‘Music for Large Ensemble’ premieres two new compositions by
Tim Brady that were both written during 2016-2017 for the Victoriaville Festival: ‘Désir: Concerto for
Electric Guitar and Large Ensemble’ and ‘Eight Songs about: Symphony #7”. And his Bradyworks
Large Ensemble performs both. Several of his releases from this Canadian composer have been
reviewed here over the years. Brady is a composer and guitarist, promoter of the electric guitar in
the context of orchestral compositions. Because he is a very virtuosi player of the electric guitar, he
knows  – as a composer – the instrument from ‘the inside’. Like in his earlier work, this becomes
evident in ‘Désir’. It is not only just the electric guitar, but also the rock-attitude Brady imports in his
compositional work, reminiscing art-rock, King Crimson, among others. As a composer of tonal
dominated music, one could say Brady is a rather conventional one.  His work mostly moves within
the paradigm of minimal music. This is surely the case for ‘Désir’, a strongly pulsating and lively
work in three parts. His focus is not so much about contrasting the electric guitar with the orchestra,
but far more to make them one and supplementing another. Brady is working along this line since
the early 90s, and ‘Désir’ is a successful and engaging example of this approach. 38-minute ‘Eight
Songs about: Symphony #7’ is something else. Here Brady is the conductor of an altogether very
different work. In this work Brady contemplates and evokes “the Leningrad premiere of Dmitri
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 on August 9th, 1942. The Leningrad performance took place in
the middle of a 900-day siege of the city by the German Army, under the most horrific conditions of
war, death, and privation.”  How dramatic can life be? Douglas Smith with whom Brady collaborated
earlier on two of his song cylces wrote the text, which is brought by Sarah Albu (soprano) and
Vincent Ranallo, portraying various characters in this historic constellation. I don’t know all of his
work, but I know Brady composed song cycles and operas in the past and is experienced in this
métier as well. The libretto is convincingly embedded and underlined by the movements Brady
composed and arranged for this drama. An intriguing ant-war statement  (DM)
––– Address:


The first release here, by Maulex, gives me some headache; not the music but more so when it
comes to how and why. The music is by Maulex, annex Rene Middelhede, who also has a label
called Phloq and who might be co-releasing this record. I think. There is otherwise not really any
information available. You might have guessed this is my first introduction to his music. No
instruments are listed on the cover, just the five titles of the pieces, plus some additional information.
At first I thought this was all about synthesizers, such as of the ambient variety in the opening piece
‘Khora’, but as I listen more and more closely I realized I might be wrong. Just as well this might be
an album of computer treated sounds, whether or not in combination with software synthesizers.
When I reached the end, ‘Niz’ on the second side, I was strongly suspecting Oval in their most
ambient phase was surely a strong influence on the music. On the first side Maulex plays around
with quite a bit of reverb to emphasize the fact that we are listening to music of atmospheric nature.
Various of the releases by Bin happen to have a more conceptual edge, especially by someone
like Jonas Olesen/Hector Rottweiler, but that is not the case here, unless of course I am very much
mistaken, which can happen. This was a fine record, and on q quiet Wednesday afternoon, a most
welcome soundtrack for fulfilling some online duties, but I realized at the same time it wasn’t more
than a fine record. Maulex certainly doesn’t do what others have done before him in the world of
glitch/ambient/drone/computer processing and perhaps he’s not looking for a wild change but
trying to do it is his way. It’s just not his style yet, but I could surely see this grow further.
    Concept is surely something that is present on the album by Sandra Boss, of whom I reviewed
the album ‘Perfekt Temisk’ in Vital Weekly 983. On that album she worked with “malfunctioning
qualities found in obsolete electronic equipment or the hidden sound structures found in iconic
classical instruments such as church organs”, for this new use uses “the Qualitone Acoustic
Appraiser analogue audiometer. The audiometer is a two-channel portable audiometer originally
intended for conducting hearing tests. The audiometer comes with a tape machine and a tape that
contains a speech test (in German). Each channel can be controlled independently with duplicate
controls for tone, masking, microphone and tape. Frequency ranges 125 Hz to 8000 Hz. Pulse
generator, hold and slope functions”. She played various concerts with this apparatus and festivals
and all of the seven pieces on this new album were recorded in concert, perhaps with some
editing.  Having reached a certain age I am sure I lost a bit of my hearing and every now and then
I do a test to check the status (which you might find of interest to know for someone who writes
about music). Usually I get to hear a few beeps, and very seldom music as produced by Sandra
Boss. Which is a pity as Boss plays exactly the kind of thing I wouldn’t mind hearing when testing
my ears. Long sustaining notes bending up and down, glissandi neatly unfolding but also
something that is almost like a beat or collage like. These pieces are more on the second side
than on the first side. Within the concept of using a single sound source Boss does a great job in
making variations with this thing and still manages to sound very coherent. Drone and sine wave
alike, along the lines of say someone like Ryoji Ikeda, but then much more playful, almost on the
brink of improvisation. Excellent record and certainly a strong own voice here. (FdW)
––– Address:


Now here’s someone who continues to surprise me, going new directions all the time. Which is
not an odd thing, as Truus de Groot emerged from the late 70s post-punk no wave scene in The
Netherlands, the scene we called Ultra, as a member of Nasmak and later on, for a lifetime now,
as Plus Instruments, but also as Trigger & The Thrill Kings. Her best-known work is as Plus
Instruments, fine motorik beats and sequencers, the female side of the macho DAF sound. Under
her own flag she has more freedom to whatever she wants, be it radio play like sound scapes or
the modular synth drones of ‘Lineality’ (Vital Weekly 1114). On this new release she heads out in
yet another direction, her own private take on the surf genre. Not really the kind of music I’d say I
know a lot about, but I surely have a notion. To this end De Groot has her usual Opus 3 Moog, but
shut down all the other synths and picks up guitar, bass and drums and plays some heavy guitar
tunes. The music is throughout highly atmospheric and drenched with some fine reverb to suggest
more atmosphere and bigger spaces. The result isn’t just some heavy music, a wall of sound but
De Groot knows how to add little melodies on the guitar and synth, bending and shaping string
sounds, like a good surf tune would be. There are nine pieces here, thirty six minutes and it’s like
not much you hard so far from her and yet it still very much fits the vastness of her musical
interests. It’s new, adventurous and completely fits the idea of doing what one thinks works best;
and of course simply to try out something new. Maybe surf music, even when it comes in such a
heavy dose as this, is something is not the sort of thing we would know much about, in the capable
hands of De Groot she convinces us with this bold move. (FdW)
––– Address:


Just the other day someone posted some pictures of 3″CD and 3″CDRs he had in his collection,
which me made slightly nostalgic. There used to be a time, roughly from 1997 to 2011 that I liked
this size a lot. It was perfect for some experimentation, a quick idea, or the odd concert recording
that you felt was special to release. Unlike the 7″, with its two times five minutes per side, the
twenty minutes of this format was suited much better for such exploration. ‘SUV22’ by Daniel
Spicer and Paul Khimasia Morgan is copied on a 5″CDR but at twenty-one minutes this could
have been easily copied onto a 3″CDR. Maybe that’s no longer easy these days, and it moves
towards the obsolete media pile, next to the DAT tape, mini disc and 8-track? On August 4th May
Strange Umbrellas, V22, London Daniel Spicer played violin, bugle, bamboo sax, voice and Paul
Khimasia Morgan plays amplified guitar body and electronics. Towards the end Spicer recites a
poem of his hand. Both of these players we know from previous releases of similar improvised
music, even when it seems all a tad more delicate and introspective as before. There is an
excellent balance here between instrument use, as you would expect a violin or bugle to sound
like, bending tones, playing sustaining notes, along with the instrument-is-an-object approach,
which I would believe is more Morgan’s addition to the table, but also Spicer surely does this to
some extent. The two of them respond and interact in a fine way, making within these twenty
minutes shorter pieces, almost song like in length, until at one point the bamboo sax starts playing
a larger role and the two leap towards some longer approaches. This is a very work altogether; it
could have been longer but its not necessary. (FdW)
––– Address:

SCHWEBEN – SKETCHES OF PLAINS (cassette by Otomatik Muziek)

Following the hardcore punk release by this label from only a few weeks back, still ringing loud
and clear, follows Philipp Hager, also known as Schweben. At least not yet by me, but that is now
changed. Following Miles Davies’ Sketches Of Spain, someone once proposed Sketches Of Pain
(and no doubt used by someone), but Schweben preferred ‘Sketches Of Plains’. Hager had
previously a band, Zement, where he played guitar and synths with his brother drumming, and
from the text I understand this was something along the lines of Neu. On this tape Hager works
exclusively with synthesizer, no doubt of the highly fashionable modular variety and within thirty
minutes he paints nine sketches like pieces. This is music that is not drone like, carefully placing
one layer of synth sound upon another, but in these pieces sequences play quite an important
role. Each of these pieces contains a set of bouncing synth notes, small arpeggios, a bit of rhythm,
and some longer melodies. All of this from the good book of cosmic music, but with a few
interesting differences. One is of course the length of these pieces, which ranges from two minutes
to six minutes. That never happened with Tangerine Dream. The other difference is the charming
naivety with which Hager plays this. There is not a lot of extra production value used in this, so it
doesn’t sound ‘fat’ as they say in the parlance of our times; just a very straight recording without
many ornamenting going on, which is something that makes this most enjoyable. Like a easy
going, do it yourself version of Klaus Schulze. Just occasionally leaping towards a bit of techno
but it never reaches that shore, as ‘Huib-Plateau’ and ‘Causse’ proof. This is all very lovely stuff,
most charming and very much of our time, despite all the historical influences. (FdW)
––– Address:

MATTHEW ATKINS & PETER MARSH – PAPER WASPS (cassette by Invisible City Records)
ROVELLASCA – INTERFERENCE (cassette by Invisible City Records)

More branching here by Matthew Atkins onto different labels, just his release by Falt, these weeks
ago. I have no idea who Peter Marsh is; he takes credit for playing electric bass guitar and assorted
machines, while Atkins is using computer, percussion, objects, contact mics and pedals. I assume
they know each other from the world of improvised music as well as I assume they were together in
the same space when this was recorded, when none such information is present on the cover of
this release. Besides the titles there is no information, as what I know from the instruments comes
from the Bandcamp page. As with much of Atkins’ music there is a fine sense of multi-layered
sounds but this time I would think it arrives from the improvised music angle. Sounds stumble and
fall together, with what seems to me would be various layers of recordings together, but just as
easily might something these two men play in a sort of semi-live situation together, with all sorts of
sounds mixed together. I am not sure but it sounds quite fascinating. There are quite some
continuous sounds from electronic sounds, crackling, bursting and hissing about and on top of
that the instruments are being played in a sort of occasionally hectic movement. You can recognize
bass and percussion most of the time, but they both also use extended techniques and approach
their instruments as sources of sounds, objects as it were, but moving objects of the body of the
instruments. The combination of both of these lines of sounds, the continuous versus the more
broken up playing works very fine in these four pieces.
    The other cassette on this label from Gateshead, England, is by Rovellasca, which is
something of a mystery. There is, besides the two titles on the cover, and some obscure
photography not much else on the cover, while the Bandcamp page only tells us to “Listen with
headphones at maximum volume”. Me not being particularly fond of maximum volume and/or
headphones decided to listen to this on speakers with the normal volume I listen most music
and found Rovellasca to be interesting and good, without being the most original voice in the
world of low grade sampled ambient and drone sounds. On ‘Only Time Will Tell’ this results in a
low volume, dark rumble of something that has been heavily slowed down on a reel-to-reel
recorder and that comes with not really a lot of changes. Played loud and this rumble presses
against your eardrums. On the other side we find the twenty-three minute composition ‘Neroli’,
which I don’t think has much to do with the Brian Eno CD of the same name, but I might be wrong.
Maybe the ambient piano tones of Eno are sampled, slowed down and place in the treadmill of a
loop, slowly adding just a few more sounds over the course of the length of this, but also changing
very minimally the colour of the sound, ending on a slightly more dissonant and noisy note than
at the start. As said, it’s all fine and good, without being particular original. (FdW)
––– Address:

BITSY KNOX & ROGER 3000 – OM COLD BLOOD (cassette by Tanuki Records)

“In the future, we will trade in energy. We will carry around colostomy bags of our own shit,
trading their contents for phone credit and doobies. This will be a human currency, a global
currency, weighed in our direct relationship to digestion…” On her collaborative cassette with
Belgian musician Roger 3000 (whose mother calls him Julien Meert), Bitsy Knox describes
relationships and economics in terms of messy human bodily functions. Her coolly detached,
mostly-spoken delivery reminds me of a more profane Laurie Anderson or Allison Statton at a
poetry reading, casually delivering provocations and slipping between wistful memories of
childhood, sex, gardening, and relationships, always circling back to the textures and scents of
corporeal messiness. Her lyrics juxtapose the mundane with the scatalogical and accusatory
(something about spreading shit on errant arms, then Kevin Costner’s hair clogging the drain…
“I cant tell if it’s your mouth or your asshole, both puckered, that’s been making me sick.”). Knox’
evocative vocals are presented without effects most of the time, which makes the sporadic
processing and layering all the more effective for its judicial use… sometimes, her words stretch
out behind her on tape loops, other times she seems to be splitting into several voices at once.
On a few occasions, she sings a phrase or two but for the most part her voice is spoken up front
and clear. As a duo, the instrumental elements seem to support the lyrics… Meert begins with
laconic almost-pop meander, but gradually becomes more electronic and abstract when the
darker passages require it. (HS)
––– Address: