Number 1163

RICHARD FRANCIS – COMBINATIONS (3) (CD by Senufo Editions) *
  Records) *
EARTHEN (2CD compilation by Cold Spring Records)
RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – SILEEN II (CD by Edition Wandelweiser Records) *
MACHINEFABRIEK – SAHARA MIXTAPE (cassette by Machinefabriek) *
  Moving Furniture Records) *
DEAD GUM – META (LP by Backwards) *
SH FOX – REALMS (CDR by Static Caravan) *
LUCA SIGURTÀ – GODDESS (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
ANTOINE PANACHE – ENDLING… (cassette by Barreuh Records) *
C U NEXT TUESDAY NO. 2 (fanzine)
C U NEXT TUESDAY NO. 3 (fanzine)


Here’s something that I probably said before, say when I reviewed the second instalment of
‘Combinations’, back in Vital Weekly 1011: Richard Francis is not as busy as he once was and I
think that’s a great pity. I am since a long time quite the fan of his work. First when he worked as
Eso Steel, then as someone who used the laptop nd these days with his modular set-up. He’s
been using that since 2012, right before everybody seemed to be using them. I believe his
domestic situation keeps him going out and about to play concerts and from his perspective the
world is far away, being out of New Zealand. Like before this new album isn’t very long, thirty-five
minutes and has six pieces. It is a continuation of his previous release in that sense that Francis
uses a few sounds per musical piece and within the time frame of five to seven minutes explores
these in a very organic way. Things move around and at the same time other events don’t seem to
be moving at all. Many of the sounds Francis uses don’t seem to relate to the world of modular
synthesizers, I would think. The buzzing, the crackling and the hissing sound more like static from
an old transistor radio mixed with the humming of a ventilator or central heating. It seems, but I
might be wrong here, that Francis is in a way in an even more contemplative mood. I had to turn
up the volume to quite a bit louder and then even more sounds were brought around. It is all very
delicate and simply great music; just like last time I would have liked this to go on for some more
time. Fifty minutes would seem to be a fine length as more would be too much. Now it’s simply not
enough. So it’s either that or do more releases, mister Francis! (FdW)
––– Address:

EARTHEN (2CD compilation by Cold Spring Records)

As I am playing this CD, which is a re-issue of a LP they released in 1988, I was thinking about
Bow Gamelan Ensemble and why in all those years they always escaped my attention. I remember
it as name I saw around back then, and I am pretty sure they played in The Netherlands (maybe on
a couple of occasions even) but I never heard anything by them; or maybe I don’t remember?
Maybe I had them in my book as a sort of rip-off Test Dept, but then more theatrical, and as such
perhaps not so my thing? Such are the considerations when attempting to review. What I do know
is that their performances were always wild affairs, including lots of light and fireworks. Their
instruments were made out of scrap metal, electric motors and glass. It is certainly worth your
while to check out some of their performances on YouTube to get an idea what it looked like.
Some of these instruments are kinetic objects in the best Jean Tinguely tradition. It holds out on
CD pretty well; while some of the footage makes them look like an industrial act, the music as it is
something that holds between musique concrete, industrial music and a documentary of sound
events. Plus, to put into an even artier context, I can easily hear a connection to the ‘art of noise’
manifesto of the Futurists; Bow Gamelan Ensemble use a lot of siren sounds in their music. In each
of the twelve pieces they use a limited set of sounds, be it whistles, percussion, glass fire sounds
and with these sounds they actually compose rather than fool around. It is clear they gave it all
some thought. I also like the fact that it is somehow quite down to earth when it comes to titles;
nothing obscure, vaguely or magickal, pieces are called ‘Two “Marimbas”‘, ‘Saws’, ‘Whistles’,
‘Glass Chimes’ or ‘Pyrophones’. Bow Gamelan Ensemble balances careful between something
delicate, controlled to music that is largely not controlled but everything is kept within reach. For
me a great surprise, to find this some thirty years later. One’s never too old to learn I guess.
    If you have no idea what any of this music is about that we write about for 23 years now,
maybe because you got this forwarded or because you signed up out of curiosity, Cold Spring
Records just released a limited double CD with bits and pieces from their releases, some of which
are forthcoming, such as by Ilpo Väisänen (which is something I look forward to a lot actually) and
one previously unheard song by Coil (where the hell did that come from?). So now’s your chance
to find who is Merzbow, Shift, Penny Rimbaud, Coil, Zeni Geva, Viviankrist, The Telescopes, Nytt
Land and many more. It gives the wide scope of sounds captured by Cold Spring, from folky tunes,
to lo-fi ambient, noise, brutal shouting and evertyhing in between. Limited I said, which is only
4000 copies; now there is some confidence from Cold Spring for a Hot Winter. (FdW)
––– Address:


The acronym MPM stands for Colin Potter and twice Mouldycliff, of which one, Phil, is a regular
collaborator with Potter and Jackson Mouldycliff, who is an “an audio-visual artist exploring the
possibilities of found sound and ambient music”. I don’t think I heard of his music before. Potter
and the other Mouldycliff are responsible, respectively, for mixing sound processing, studio
production and additional soundscapes. There are seven pieces, of which the first also uses a
free guitar improvisation by Tim Greenwood along with both Mouldycliff’s on ‘electronic devices’.
This is followed by three pieces “developed from original recordings of commonplace objects
including sticks, bells, chains and typewriters”, two other shortish pieces and at the end the title
piece, which lasts twenty-one minutes. If you have been following Potter’s solo output in the last
decade or so, as well as some of his collaborations, including the ones with Phil Mouldycliff you
know where this new one is heading to and that is ambient music. The studio as the main
instrument, just as Brian Eno once said. You stick in a few sounds and by making lots of
connections, using ditto many cables, any sound can be transformed into something else. The
sticks, chains and typewriters, for instance, are not things one easily recognizes in these pieces,
and oddly enough, the cowbells you can actually recognize. The shorter pieces here are nicely
condensed affairs, in which curiously more seems to be going on than in the two bookend longer
pieces, even with a bit more looping of sounds going on. Over there at the beginning and ending,
this trio likes to take a lot of time to explore things in a rather minimal way, which is of course the
more common thing to do these days. I liked those pieces, but the exploration that happens within
the shorter pieces made me more curious about those. Maybe this trio (or in whatever solo, duo or
other modus) should explore that further and work with concise time frames, blending the musique
concrete approach with ambient music into small-sculpted pieces of sound and go for those. The
long pieces we know, and we love, but maybe it’s time to explore a new road. (FdW)
––– Address:


Blondeel originates from Dunkerque, and did his studies at the Conservatory of Lille, where he is
based since. If I’m not mistaken he present here the second album by his quartet of Gregory Leroy
(guitar) Nicolas Mahieux (double bass) and Francois Taillefer (percussion). Blondeel himself plays
saxophones and composed all seven tracks that are on this album. Leroy is a long-time companion
of Blondeel. Mahieux is a very active musician and can be found on many releases by the Circum
Disc label. Taillefer is a Canadian percussionist who is based in Lille, working within very different
musical contexts as he is interested in jazz, folk, world and ethnic music. Recordings for this new
statement date from 2014. Blondeel composed solid, often lyrical material for his jazz quartet, but
not very original or appealing tunes for my taste. Nothing here really knocked me out or surprised
me, even when Leroy does a nice solo in ‘Jim’. Also the musicianship of these musicians is out of
the question. Percussionist Taillefer for example, does not play the usual drum kit, but a diversity
of ethnic percussion, showcasing his many techniques. The combination of jazzy tunes combined
with ethnic percussion like in ‘Sigiriya’ is what surprised me most on this one. And makes a
comparison with an earlier release of this label: the magnificent album ‘Mylapore’ by the trio Nandi,
that had Indian percussion combined with jazz formats. But in the end I wasn’t convinced. (DM)
––– Address:


Here’s another new release by the productive New Focus Recordings label. This time it is a
release with four compositions by composer Mathew Rosenblum. He is a composer who takes
his musical influences from everywhere (classical, jazz, rock, world music traditions, etc.). A wide
range of ensembles all over the planet has performed his compositions.  He is interested in
microtonality and uses a variety of tuning systems in his work. This new release presents four
compositions, composed between 2013 and 2017.  The CD opens with a very personal work, 
‘Lament/Witches’Sabbath’,  a composition about “migration, loss, memory and cultural
transformation.” Dedicated to his grandmother who fled Proskurov, Ukraine in 1919 with her
family because of the massacre that took place in that town. In a lament style his grandmother
spoke and sang many times of these dramatic times. Recordings of her together with other field
recordings are used in this composition for orchestra and improvising klezmer clarinet, played by
David Krakauer. Using a theme from Berlioz’’Symphony Fantastique’, Rosenblum composed a
very evocative work. ‘Northern Flicker’ is a composition for solo percussion, played and dedicated
to Lisa Pegher. An intense 8-minute work, energetic an vibrant. Like ‘Lament’, ‘Falling’ concentrates
on a historic drama, albeit of a very different context. And again using prerecorded vocal material.
This time on old recording of a poem by James Dickey on the accidental fall of a stewardess from
an airplane. This recording is combined with music for a small ensemble, using microtonal tuning,
and dedicated to Deam Drummond an important collaborator of Harry Partch. The closing work
‘Last Round (ostatnia runda)’ is a composition for a string quartet and six percussionists. Especially
written for the FLUX Quartet and Mantra Percussion, exemplifying and combing their unique
sensibilities. Through these four compositions I learned Rosenblum is a very expressive composer
with a very open and playful spirit. Open for unusual, even weird, combinations on many levels he
creates fascinating entities. So listening to these works is a very rewarding experience. (DM)
––– Address:


“Q: How would you describe your music? LS: I wouldn’t.” This telling couplet from Laurie Spiegel’s
self-interview, included as part of the liner notes that originally accompanied “The Expanding
Universe” (reviewed in Vital Weekly 847), her debut album, back in 1980, are a good indication of
how the composer saw her place both inside and outside academic electronic music. She
undoubtedly was at the forefront of electronic music and digital composition, and yet stood proudly
outside of it and made the utterly unique music you’ll hear on this reissue of her second album by
Unseen Worlds… a label whose dedication to Spiegel’s music is evident right there in their name.
While Spiegel’s music is technologically innovative and historically significant, it’s greatest strength
is that it’s so damn accessible. If you didn’t know or don’t care about the cutting-edge computer
programming, newly created digital instruments, and the technical facts behind the creation of
“Unseen Worlds”, that’s fine because it’s so enjoyable purely on its own terms. For any fan of
electronic music, this reissue is absolutely necessary, and not merely as archeological curiosity.
Like “Expanding Universe” (which was also given deluxe reissue treatment from the same label),
“Unseen Worlds” stands outside of time, sounding as alive and vital in 2018 as it’s ever been; in
fact, though decades old and written on obsolete instruments, one might believe that this music
was composed today. Or ten years from today.
    Initially released in 1991, more than a decade after her first album of icily futuristic minimalism,
“Unseen Worlds” is quite different from its predecessor. Most apparently, it was made on a
different instrument, one of Spiegel’s own invention called the Music Mouse, giving these pieces
a much warmer and darker sound overall. The sparkling idealism of “The Expanding Universe” is
mostly gone, replaced by wary suspicion and dread soaked in melancholy. The music can, at
times, become as massive-sounding as several choirs competing in a cathedral, with mournful
hints of pipe organ. But there are also sections that recall (or presage) the contemplative ambience
of Steve Roach. Other pieces (particularly “Sound Zones”) oscillate aggressively between dissonant
orchestral attack and airy shimmer. As the album progresses, it reaches more abstract territory of
inhuman percussive machine noise (“Riding the Storm”) before pulling back for a pair of (what
sound like) sparse piano ballads. The album concludes with the intense “Passage”, a thick swarm
of clanging bells and electric buzz barrelling forward, steadily dissipating until finally allowing the
listener to exhale. Holy cow. (HS)
––– Address:

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – SILEEN II (CD by Edition Wandelweiser Records)
MACHINEFABRIEK – SAHARA MIXTAPE (cassette by Machinefabriek)

These two releases come from the house of Rutger Zuydervelt, also operating Machinefabriek,
and they couldn’t be further apart. The first one is under his birth name and for Edition
Wandelweiser Records, and before you think ‘ah of course, serious label, so you need to be using
not some silly band name, no wonder why Zuydervelt did that’, you’re wrong. I have no idea when
Zuydervelt decides to his name or that of Machinefabriek, but his computer game soundtrack,
surely also world’s apart from ‘Sileen ii’ is also as Rutger Zuydervelt; just to give you an example.
Originally ‘Sileen’ was composed for a festival in Belgium and this new piece is recorded in “the
same pitch and tempo s its predecessor, then slowed down in post-production to half its speed and
one octave lower”. The player on this CD is Gareth Davies, who plays bass clarinet, unlike the first
version which was performed by fifty players from the local music school, while Rutger adds a bit
of his electronics. Zuydervelt says: “There’s three groups, and each have 4 or 5 sets of repeated
chords of exactly one minute – fading in and out like a wave. Each set of repetitions is followed by
a silence of the same length before presenting the next set. Since the amount of repetitions is
different for each group (2, 3, and 4 times), the overlap shifts and differs each time.” It is a beautiful
piece of music, very slow, very majestically moving in and out of the picture, with those one minute
length pieces and a bit of silence following that, but it is more or less quite a continuous piece of
music and each of forty plus segments it never sounds the same. Obviously they are closely
connected, but nevertheless sound actually quite different. It has a great modern classical feel,
very much alike Alvin Lucier or Phill Niblock, I thought, but then if they would cut up their pieces
into smaller segments and fading them in and out. Well, and perhaps Zuydervelt has more variation
up his sleeve. In the last nine minutes everything comes together and there is just one long drone
of multiple (all?) segments together. This is a most refined CD and Zuydervelt’s most classical
release up until now.
    A long time ago I needed the socket that connected my television and I unplugged it. Six
months later I realized I hadn’t plugged my TV back in and I decided that it was best if the TV left
my living room. I never regretted that decision. Much can be seen online anyway, and surely that
goes for the Dutch TV series ‘Sahara’ (a VPRO production, in case someone cares), a “travel/
documentary” series about the dessert. Machinefabriek did the ‘score’, which is now released as
‘Sahara Mixtape’. I must admit I have no idea what a ‘mixtape’ is, not well versed in the world of
rap, r’n’b and hiphop. These pieces aren’t in anyway mixed in a long string together, but appear as
a standalone pieces, all thirty-three of them, in a time span of forty-one minutes. As said, this
couldn’t further apart from ‘Sileen II’, but also on the mixtape there are quite some differences to be
noted between these pieces. From a few lines on a synthesizer ‘Enigma I’ to pices with sampled
voices (African I assume), exotic rhythms and a bass line, such as in ‘Hustle’. Like with the ‘Short
Scenes’ release, reviewed in Vital Weekly 1161, this is all very brief, which you can regard as a
good thing as it keeps up speed, but the downside, at least for me, is that you never really get into
a piece, it’s all too brief and when you hear something you like and wish it would be explored
further, it is already gone. That’s a pity, but who knows, looking at his work ethic, I wouldn’t be
surprised if there would be an extended version of this one-day. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

  Moving Furniture Records)

For their final release of 2018, the mighty Moving Furniture label presents this vinyl LP… one of
the very few productions on wax by the Dutch powerhouse of obscure ambience, whose previous
publications have tended toward (my favourite format) the CD. And why not a record? “Onder/
Stroom” exists because of an event curated by Extrapool, an arts organization in Nijmegen NL,
called “Zonder Stroom” (meaning “sans electricity”). Participating artists were instructed to not use
any electricity at all, including lights or the refrigerator. Richard Young’s performance at the
electricity-less event consisted of just acoustic guitar and voice. Being the sort of guys who enjoy
contrariness, Frans de Waard and Peter Johan Nyland (of darkwave group Distel) met up with
Youngs during the afternoon to record a session at the Extrapool studio using only electricity-
dependent synths and keyboards. The session was then mixed and edited until this album
emerged. The analogue format might be a small concession. As for the music, it maintains (for the
first 8 tracks) a spacious sound-image and a consistent tone of breezy jubilance, its fizzing synths
and patient pulses owing some sonic sympathy to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop or (at times)
classic Tangerine Dream. Swooping arpeggios and muted melodic flourishes keep the mood
buoyant and light. My favourite moment comes towards the end, on a track called “fpr_vi”, in which
the ambience of the recording studio appears in the audible form of bodies shifting in chairs, the
acoustic space of the room coming into focus and adding its own character. I always enjoy
moments like that. After the 8 main pieces that make up “Onder/Stroom”, the final three tracks are
compositions by each of the three participants, effectively highlighting the different personalities
involved. What’s interesting here is how each track bears some recognizable trace of what came
before, but is also a departure that allows each artist to effectively sign his name at the end.
Youngs’ piece is wild and fierce, much more aggressive than the rest. De Waard’s mix smooths
the sounds into a rainy-day wash of ambient glurp. Nyland brings the album to a close with the
closest thing here to a conventional song, an ethereal number with cinematic swells and a final
industrial chug. (HS)
––– Address:

DEAD GUM – META (LP by Backwards)

One of the musicians I never write about, but I could and would, is Steve Moore. No, not the guy
who recorded ‘The Threshold Of Liberty’ but his US name sake, one half of Zombi (with a ‘e’
missing) and synthesizer player par excellence. Long before the world turned modular, and long
after Tangerine Dream, he recorded, amidst a time of no interest, some great albums, which were
subsequently released, such as ‘Primitive Neural Pathways’, which actually did made to these
pages (Vital Weekly 756) and was ‘the best record of this week, for being so uncool and yet so
warm and great’. Of course these days he is a hero of the modular posse. Yes, I fully admit to being a
sucker for Tangerine Dream rip-offs. It has been quiet, so it seems for Fabio Orsi and I have no
idea why, but I assume he’s been busy with his photography as well, but he now returns with a
new LP. Now, Orsi, I had down in my books as a man with a guitar, electronics, drones, ambient
and such like, and maybe he still but ‘Sterminato Piano’ is something entirely different. He traded
in his guitar and electronics and got himself a modular set-up and this is the first excursion, taking
us right into Tangerine Dream/Steve Moore (but feel free to paste in any copycat you know) with
two sides of bouncing and rolling arpeggio notes, gliding tones and odd longer sustaining sound.
Lots of sequencers, rhythms and pulses and no guitar in sight! Actually, I have no idea if this all
modular or digital (and frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn), as this could just as easily made with
computers and software; I am nothing but an amateur, I don’t hear the difference and I think
modular set-ups are quite overrated, the new laptop. Toys for boys, and just like a shiny car,
which I equally don’t care about, it looks good. Okay, so besides that little iconoclastic talk, I
enjoy Orsi’s new direction a lot, simply because it’s music I like very much. Maybe it’s a guilty
pleasure of mine, as, yes, this kind of music is quite out-dated, but it’s exactly the kind of stuff I
play a lot, when not having to think about anything else. This is a great comeback album, but I
am sure it will raise a few eyebrows.
    Less enthusiastic I am about the second album by a band called Dead Gum. I don’t think I
heard the first, even when there is not much information available. Dead Gum is from Greece and
might the project of Panagiotis Spoulos, who was a member of Postblue (Vital Weekly 532), Old
fashioned Donkeys (Vital Weekly 541) and who had his own label, Phaseweb. As Dead Gum, so it
seems to me, he wants to do something that is noise based, with feedback, distortion but at the
same time is also harking back to post-punk, song based structures. He only partly succeeds. This
time around his noise leaves me cold, drenched in feedback as it is, and some of his quieter pieces
are not bas, such as ‘Excerpt From Ghost Tapes’, but when he picks up his guitar and switches on
drum machines, the lack of production lacks shows all too well. Those drums sound hollow, as if
played on a boombox and recorded from some distance, but it might very well just be the additional
and wrong use of reverb to suggest depth. Thus the record moves back and forth between all sorts
of interests, and it doesn’t seem if Dead Gum can make up his mind what he really wants. Oh, you
could call this a collage like approach, as the label does, but I’d say it is indecisiveness; or
showmanship: ‘see how many styles I can cover’. I heard Spoulos do better before. (FdW)
––– Address:

SH FOX – REALMS (CDR by Static Caravan)

One of my favourite labels, and for quite some time now, is Static Caravan. I think it’s still one of
the very few labels that one could collect all releases from, even when the music is at times miles
apart. Much of their output deals with electronics, one way or another, but also rock and folk has a
strong position in their catalogue. It is almost always a good tune that counts here and so the rune
cover of SH Fox’s ‘Realms’, complete with gold bird and text on black paper, looking like something
out the catalogue of Cold Spring Records seems very odd. This is what this is about: “Using
traditional and historical folk instrumentation as a starting point, ‘Realms’ invokes rituals,
processions and mythological worlds of the ancient North”. Not really the sort of thing you’d expect
on Static Caravan? At least I didn’t, but it makes great sense, once you play this. I never heard of
Simon Fox, whose work apparently ranges from traditional folk song to sonic experiments, playing
with bands as Kendo Nagasaki, Some Some Unicorn and Independent Country, indeed a country
& western band. On this solo release he plays guitar, percussion and possibly, though not
mentioned on the cover or website, some traditional instruments from up North (percussion and
strings I would think). And it is grim up North. Sometimes he plays an introspective tune, such as in
the opening piece ‘Midgard’, with a slow bang on the percussion, yet in other pieces he also plays
the electric guitar with quite some vigour and opens up the whole box of pedals and rocks out in a
dark and compelling way, thus combining deep drones through a wall of sound approach, as in
the appropriately named ‘Helheim’, just as easily cutting into another more mediaeval inspired
rock tune with more complex drumming than on other pieces such as ‘Jotunheim’. The leanings
on the distorted guitar sound not like something I easily heard on previous Static Caravan, but I
can safely say I didn’t hear all 334 releases, although I probably heard a lot of them. This is quite
some powerful release, un-Static Caravan like perhaps, but then I’d argue that even in these at
times heavy rock guitar sounds, the tune always counts and none of these exercises is too long,
usually clocking in at four to five minutes. Music for the dark season, this surely is. (FdW)
––– Address:


Owls Are Not from Warszawa, Poland, present their fourth album. It is the result of months of ethno
musicological research of the band’s leader in Malawi and Tanzania, and a collaboration of
Tanzanian, Malawian, Polish and Japanese musicians. Four of six songs have vocals by African
singers: Peter Kaunda from Tonga Boys, Certifyd and Martin Kaphux Kaphukusi, who is the
conductor of the small choir Christ Church of Malawi. For the other two compositions Masaya
Hijikata contributed. At the core of this collaboration are Martin Kuphukusi (vocals, lyrics) and Pitor
Dang (electronics, sampler, production, mixing, lyrics, bass). Their music is difficult to pin down. In
the end it are odd songs, built from very abstracted elements and electronics, that go hand in hand
with very down to earth melodies. Tonga Boys is Peter Kaunda, Albert Manda, Solomon Nikho,
Mylius Minthall, and Guta Manda. They are based in Malawi. Their eight songs have call and
response singing accompanied with dynamic percussion using ‘found’ instruments: plastic buckets,
shovels, cans filled with gravel, etc. It is very rhythmic-based and repetitive dance music. With my
‘knowledge’ I would easily classify their music as traditional Malawi music. But I have no idea if this
is the case… Piotr Dang asked Daniel Brożek and Wojciech Kucharczyk for final mixing, and
incorporated electronics into the sound. They did their job respectfully, leaving the original songs
intact and emphasizing the original atmosphere. This makes it a successful album, both unpretentious
and quite impressive. (DM)
––– Address:

LUCA SIGURTÀ – GODDESS (CDR by Glistening Examples)

While I was thinking that the name Luca Sigurta was a name from past, I recently reviewed his
‘Grunge’ release on Silken Tofu (Vital Weekly 1121) and now there is ‘Goddess’, so we might be
able to call this a comeback. ‘Grunge’ wasn’t as abstract as some of his older work, and leaned
towards more alternative forms of pop music. This is not the case of ‘Goddess’, which is dedicated
to  “actresses of old silent movies” and “assembled from tangles of homemade tape loops and
washed with analogue synths”, using a Revox B77. There are six pieces on this release, from five
to seven minutes and in each he explores the nature of drones. Whatever these loops contain is
something we no longer recognize, but perhaps that’s the whole idea of this, like fading and or
faded memories of the era of silent movies. Maybe these loops contain the sound of synthesizers;
maybe the sound is fed to the synthesizers; hard to say. There is a bit of bass in ‘Peekaboo Bang’
along with some rain sounds, majestically rolling washes of synths in ‘Hangover Square’ or a
nasty tone (guitar perhaps?) in ‘Wrong Room’. Each of these pieces is different from the others,
but they all belong together in a way. It is all highly atmospheric and drone-alike, but with enough
subtle differences to keep things very interesting. Like most of the releases on Glistening Examples,
using obsolete technology and tending towards the lo-fi end of ambient, this is release is perhaps a
lot more subtle and smoother, but even with the glitches of ‘Hold Back The Dawn’, this fits right into
the label’s aesthetics and Luca Sigurta does a great job in filling in his corner of the genre.
    I hope you can forgive me for not remembering ‘First Day Back’, the only thing (so it seems) that
I reviewed work by Kate Carr so far. It was all the way back in Vital Weekly 627. I learned that she
released more music in the years between then and now and that she runs the Flaming Pines label.
Back then her music seemed electronic to me, inspired by the likes of Oval, but these days she
seems to be more interested in working with field recordings. The title of her latest release has
nothing to with Kant, but is inspired by the poem ‘Diving Into The Wreck’ by Adrienne Rich, which
is quoted in full I think on the label’s Bandcamp page. That is an apt title as we learn that this
album is made “from sounds gathered underwater and along many shorelines”, which includes
locations in Iceland, Ireland, France and Scotland. It also says that “it is built from drones played by
a synchronised swimming speaker broadcasting into a fjord, many spluttering radios, morse code,
and geese”, which sure sounds a bit mystifying, considering the underwater nature of the sounds,
but why spoil a good story? Unlike what I just said about the label’s strong affinity with the lo-fi
ambient/drone/noise end of the musical spectrum, Kate Carr’s release is perhaps the odd ball out
here. Her pieces are refined, computer based treatments of field recordings. The original is not lost
in these treatments, as water sounds, above as well as below the surface, are part of most of the
nine pieces here). The spluttering radio bit is not something I heard a lot here, but maybe the
spluttering is so close together that it becomes those gentle drones that are also part of the music.
The balance between whatever is the pure sound and whatever else Carr adds to it is a very fine
one. The compositions work very delicate, like standing on a beach of clear winter’s day with
sounds of water washing ashore, along wind touching upon debris on the beach, and the music
is a very fine head-trip. Poetic transmissions from the Nautilus, from the time Verne wrote his
story. (FdW)
––– Address:

ANTOINE PANACHE – ENDLING… (cassette by Barreuh Records)

An endling is the last of his species, something I didn’t know but then biology isn’t my strong suit.
Antoine Panache is perhaps also an endling, looking like someone who lived at the end of the
19th century with suit and tie and wondering about then new technology. Not a steampunk but
someone much more refined. On this new work bird sounds play an important role, including
ones recorded by Panache himself and some taken from other sources. The music is electronic,
using samples, loops, hissy cassettes and the voice of Panache. The music is best described as
industrial, which perhaps you may find odd, thinking of Panache as late 19th century dandy. But
these six pieces aren’t a quiet bunch. The bird sounds are loudly amplified and along with this
comes the sampled sounds of chains as well as the piercing tones of a synthesizer, the Pan Sonic
thumb in the title piece, more wreckage of metal percussion (all looped), but also the sound of a
church organ in the self same title piece. The mixture of these organic sounds with those of a more
electronic nature works very well. It reminded me at times of the music and words of Etant Donnes;
it shares a similar interest in the poetic approach of texts, even when with panache they are not
always easily understood, except for ‘Forget me not’ as spoken by a choir of friends in Dutch at the
end of the title piece. That piece is easily the best out of six, but all of these are excellent;
whispering, loud, screaming and back at the point of silence again. There is a lot of atmosphere
suggested through the use of reverb, but it’s never going over the top. It is used when necessary,
and stopped when it becomes too much, just as these things should be. Perhaps it is all a bit too
grim, a bit too much fin de siecle, but I love it. Panache’s music has matured greatly over the years
and this is the best release so far. (FdW)
––– Address:

C U NEXT TUESDAY NO. 2 (fanzine)
C U NEXT TUESDAY NO. 3 (fanzine)

Much less these days than when Vital Weekly started out there are fanzines to review, which is a
pity as I personally love them, and of course it’s the original form of the weekly when it was just
Vital. I said something to that end when I reviewed the first issue of C U Next Tuesday in Vital
Weekly 1048 (and sad to say that the book with all the 44 issues of Vital isn’t out yet, not by a long
stretch). I understand the second issue had some delay and it is now available with the third issue.
Like the first one both are granted a CDR release. First the content of the magazines, which is
quite a diverse bunch with articles/interviews about first wave punk band The Rebels, more on
Xazzaz, Blown Out, poerry by Arthur Peverell, The New Blockaders (interview about their first LP,
soon to be re-issued) all in No. 2 while No. 3 has Cabbage, more Peverell poetry, Fossy, Fast
Eddy and probably more. It is not necessarily that I know all of these people, other than the
Blockaders and Fossy, I may not recognize any name, but it’s good read anyway. It is honest,
open and at times deliberately vague.
    I guess that’s where the CDRs come in handy, even when the content is also wilfully
obscured. One CDR has a different recording of The New Blockaders live in Leeds, from 2003,
which was originally released by Hypnagogia, but this bootleg is official. Quite a different
recording indeed, with some muffled recording, but which sounds great. The other six pieces are
from a band named Fowl, who sound very 70s rock in their first song but otherwise are more punk
rock/rock in the other songs. It sounds quite all right I guess, but perhaps is not really my cup of
brandy. I did like the Blockaders on this particular occasion though. The other CDR start out with
two songs by The Rebels, taken straight off vinyl, with lots of hiss and then ‘Drunken Christmas’
by Red Alert, which I guess makes it right on time for me to finish a weekly on Christmas eve,
followed by three pieces of Dictaphone abuse by Posset, with lots of spoken word, found sound,
and tape abuse, which I found all most enjoyable. It’s the musical equivalence of being deliberated
vague and that fits the magazine very well. A fitting bit of musical chaos to supplement the chaos,
which are the magazines.
    Both issues are only available on Ebay or through “a friend of the zine who sells, [who] will
offer them as a free ‘bonus’ with her sales of tea”. (FdW)
––– Address: search ‘fancy tea’ via e bay seller MICH6GREG