Number 1174

  (CD by Sofa) *
STANDING WAVES – THE WAVE (CD by Standing Waves) *
  Zhelezobeton) *
TERRINE – CHEAT DAYS (12″ by Bruit Direct)
JACOB WICK – FEEL (LP by Thin Wrist) *
  1994-2016 (2xLP by Thin Wrist) *
IQ + 1 – CONVERSAPHONE PLUS (LP by Mappa Editions) *
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND – DISHWASHER (book by Mirran Thought)
333REDUX (CDR by No Part Of It)

  (CD by Sofa)

Many of the releases by Ingar Zach I leave with Dolf Mulder, our expert writer when it comes to all
things freely improvised, but there is a specific body of work of his that is very much up my alley.
‘Floating Layer Cake’ is such a work. It is his fourth solo release for Sofa Music, and it’s very far
away from being ‘wild’ and ‘improvised’. There are two lengthy compositions on this CD (total
length: forty minutes), and the first piece is ‘The Lost Ones’, which is performed by Zach, along
with the Canadian string quartet Quator Bozzini, poet/vocal performer Caroline Bergvall and
guitarist Kim Myhr. The latter two only fulfil smaller roles in the piece, with both of them only to be
heard in a small segment of the piece. The string quartet and percussion play the big parts here
and it is a slowly unfolding piece in which it is sometimes hard to recognize what is what. What
seems to be stringed instruments could also be very quick brushwork on the snare drum; what is a
bang on the snare could also be a strum. As the piece unfolds, so do the instruments. Then it
becomes clear what is percussion and string quartet, whereas of course the voice and the guitar
are easier to identify. The music is one long upward movement, growing out of a single cell into a
wonderfully rich piece for what sounds like a small orchestral ensemble. In the second piece, Zach
presents a solo version of a piece that he made for the percussion ensemble Speak Percussion,
and it is for “three snares with vibrating speakers and pre-recorded electronics”. Sine waves are
fed through the speakers and case the skins of the snare drums to vibrate. You could call this
drone music; or perhaps even an installation piece. But that is perhaps only half the story there.
This is a very refined piece of music with a slightly brutal motorized sound with at first very
minimalist changes but over the course of twenty minutes slowly changes and ending on a
beautifully played rhythmic piece, which might be some intervention of Zach? I am not sure but
it is a very piece.
    On the other new release by Sofa Music, we find Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, Daniel Lercher and
Julie Rokseth. The first two met in 2010 and released an album together; ‘TH_X’ (see Vital Weekly
932) and ‘Off The Coast’ is their second album. It is the result of a week-long residency on an island
off the coast from Trondheim (Norway) and they invited Julie Rokseth, a harp player of whom I had
not heard before, as their guest for two pieces (and Aksel Johansen on voice in one piece; I am not
sure who he is, but he sounds like a local fisherman, singing along with boats and ropes on a rough
sea). Nørstebø plays “trombone, half clarinet and breath piano” (the latter two on only one piece)
and Lercher plays “laptop, field recordings and bass clarinet”, the later instrument on one piece.
There are four pieces here and only each they display a refined style of sheer intense silence, or
at least that is what it seems. It is not that this is very quiet music, with not a lot happening all the
time, but these three players stretch out their playing in. a very economical way. Some drone like
sounds here, colliding with a single clarinet tone there, slowly being taken over by some bow on
the strings of the harp. Everything unfolds in a very slow way and at doing so one has the
impression of time slowing down; a bit. It is like being on a remote island yourself and life is
slower and quieter, even more peaceful, I’d say. Everything seems to blend as one natural thing;
the field recordings versus whatever Lercher is doing on his laptop (but no doubt some kind of
stuff which involves sine wave like sounds) versus the acoustic sounds. It is far a blurred sound,
but everything seems to be blurring together and the listener more than once has no idea what is
actually what here. I sat back for the entire thirty-seven minutes while this lasted, got up and
played it again. It could have been a bit longer, even when there is a slight risk of repetition here,
but I doubt that; these musicians are capable of doing more that is not out of place and still a bit
different. (FdW)
––– Address:

STANDING WAVES – THE WAVE (CD by Standing Waves)

Behind Standing Waves hide a few musicians I didn’t meet before Roger Huckle (violin), Marcus
Davidson (keyboards, sounds, bass) Kat Kleve (vocal) and Jayson Stilwell (vocal overtones). ‘The
Wave’ is their debut release. Davidson is the central force behind this project. All music was written
by Marcus Davidson and Roger Huckle and seems composed during jam sessions. For
‘Hildegard’s Dream’ they took a melody from Hildegard von Bingen. Marcus Davidson started as a
chorister at Worcester Cathedral, studied composition in London and specialized on music that
reflects sounds from nature.  He participated at the Bergen International Festival 2012 with his Bee
Symphony, in collaboration with sound recordist Chris Watson, where recordings of honey bees
are fused with the human song. Bristol-born Huckle studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire and
became a driving force for the Bristol Ensemble, a professional chamber orchestra. Nowadays he
performs with several orchestras like the London Concertante and Opera Box Orchestra. I couldn’t
find much info on the singers. There are several world fusion musicians I can appreciate very much,
like good old Jade Warrior to start with. But many of these east meets west exercises do not appeal
to my tastes. ‘The Wave’ is alas no exception to this. Their amalgam of western and other
influences, do not sound very original or surprising in my ears. They don’t add much to it; too many
clichés. Often there is a jazzy feel in their open music. The percussion-work I liked most. But the
vocals and the violin often sounded very irritating. (DM)
––– Address:


Philipp Eden studied jazz piano at Hochschule der Künste in his hometown Zurich. In the last few
years, he worked with musicians like darunter: Tobias Meier, Sheldon Suter, Christian Weber,
David Meier, Herbert Joos, Bernd Konrad, and many others. He is co-initiator of the Gamut Kollektiv
and member of bands Jenny and Staro Sunce. Most important however is his trio that presenting
now its first album ‘Placid’. This is a classic jazz trio of Xaver Rüegg (double bass), Vincent
Glanzmann (drums) and Philipp Eden piano. Rüegg is also from Zurich and part of the Gamut
Kollektiv. Also, Glanzmann is Zurich-based and you might remember him from his remarkable solo
album ‘Z/Rzw-Shiiiiiii’, released early 2018.  As a trio these excellent musicians make their version
of contemporary jazz, incorporating some experimental ingredients. This is most evident in the title
track ‘Placid’. Centred on a long continuous drone, piano, drums and bass add sparse little
ornaments. For the rest however they remain within normal jazz aesthetics. It is the expressive
interplay that I enjoyed her most! (DM)
––– Address:


Viv Corringham is a British singer and soundscape artist, who works from her base in New York.
Performances, installations, radio works and soundwalks are some of the formats she uses. She
was educated in Sonic Art at a London university. For years she worked with Pauline Oliveros
(Deep Listening). Her main interest is “exploring people’s special relationship with familiar places
and how that links to personal history and memory”. Her latest project is a perfect example of this.
For this undertaking, she stayed one summer in a cabin in the woods. Daily she made recordings.
After she made recordings on every hour of the day she stopped and prepared recordings for this
cd-release, offering a panoramic overview of a certain place at a certain time. We hear lots of
different birdcalls, aeroplanes far away, heavy rain and thunder, a dog barking, etc. Most of the
time the vocals by Corringham are not on the forefront, but just a part of the auditive environment,
amidst the other sounds of that natural environment. Sometimes she is responding to sounds, like
in the case of the dog barking. But often she is just one of the ‘birds’ and a very sympathetic one.
In a way, this work is a sort of meditation on the position of humankind on our planet, our
relationship with nature. The album is released by Farpoint Recordings, a label run by Anthony
Kelly and David Stalling, specialized in with contemporary sound and audio-visual practices. (DM)
––– Address:


From the active force that is St. Petersburg Zhelezobeton three new releases (as always they come
as three) and the first one is by mister label boss, M.M., himself working as Kryptogen Rundfunk.
Part of Zhelezobeton’s series of re-issues called ‘Zanki/Die Zeichen’, he takes a look at his own
early music under that name. Some of these pieces were previously released on compilations
while others were never released before. The first time this name popped up in these pages was
in Vital Weekly 450, on a compilation, but the first proper introduction was in Vital Weekly 468. I
compared it with harsh noise meeting loud ambient and the fifteen minutes on this lengthy (77
minutes) retrospective show us all the variations possible when using small synths, lots of effects,
a bit of shortwave/number stations and the occasional dash of rhythm. Kryptogen Rundfunk already
proofs in these early days it is not necessarily about being the loudest kid on the block, but it can
also be an effective, moody, almost drone-like piece of music. That is of course (?) a rarity on this
CD, as many of the others are cruder affairs of broken up synths in block waves, radio waves
nastily humming away and a bass thumb that comes along with irregular intervals. It is quite a ride
this CD and at this length a bit much to sit through in one long journey. Break it up into smaller
portions and listen at leisure! The cover details nicely all the sound sources and guides you
through micro-label land.
    Also around for a couple of years is Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, with a string of bigger and
smaller releases. This new release is inspired by a Tangut city with Buddhist culture, existing from
1100-1400 before being captured by the Chinese. An exhibition of artefacts inspired the music
and here we get, according to the information, the complete musical picture of the group. I agree
it is quite a diverse release. There are the usual more ritualistic inspired drone patterns, made with
humming voices, rainmakers and bowls, but now they seem to add quite a bit of rhythm and field
recordings and it becomes an interestingly varied bunch of pieces. What I particularly like about
this is the variation of the music, but also the abstract notion of it. This is not some easily fabricated
drone record; press a few keys, let a few bowls shake and rumble and loop your chanting voice.
Lunar Abyss Deus Organum’s sound palette also seems to include small synths and radio and
television sounds, bringing the music into a much more abstract or even experimental line, and
that’s what I like best. It is because some of this doesn’t seem to go as planned, nor smoothing out
any irregularities the music might have, it becomes less static and more organic. It surely also has
some of the more cliché elements of weird ambient music but for me it all was great. I would think
this is their most varied and, for me at least, their best work yet.
    I wasn’t aware of the existence of something that is called the Petrograd Drone Gathering, but
apparently, this is an “improvisational orchestra of mostly St. Petersburg-based experimental
musicians with shifting line-up, often performing at different venues in the city and at open-air
events of varying privacy”. They played together on November 3, 2018 at the Electro-Mechanica
XIII festival held at the New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, with the line-up for
this occasion being Alexey Korablin (KorA/M, Moss Reconstruction), Evgeniy Savenko (Lunar
Abyss, Mykoriza), M.M. (Kryptogen Rundfunk), Tim Six (Creation VI) and Pavel Dombrovskiy
(Uhushuhu). They operate a wide range of sound devices, including bass, analogue synth,
microcassette recorder, voice, flute, effects, mouth harp, ocarina, percussion, laptop, guitar and
all of them on a variety of sound effects. Yuri Elk is responsible for video projection, not shown on
this disc. Their piece lasts fifty minutes and covers the whole wobbly terrain of drone music. Long
field of endless sustaining sounds is mixed with more improvised pieces of sounds drifting far and
apart. It sometimes derails from the drone course, but that doesn’t matter. It is exactly that sort of
experimental leanings on drone/ambient music that work quite well. Throughout much of this is
very powerful (as quite loud) and nowhere it seems to go into an ‘easy’ modus. It sure must have
been an overwhelming experience, that night. (FdW)
––– Address:

TERRINE – CHEAT DAYS (12″ by Bruit Direct)

From this label, I reviewed a previous 12″, by Scorpion Violente (see Vital Weekly 1090), which
was a pleasant surprise of joyous depression ‘techno’ music. Here they have two new releases,
which are equally pleasantly disturbing. Claire Gappen is behind the name Terrine. She has
played bass in Headwar but also played in the funny band (names) Snif Nazal, Couteau Twins
and Me Donner. Here she arrives with keyboard/sampler and plays eight pieces on this 12″ (at
45rpm it is quite long, so maybe this still rather an LP of sorts?), which sort of defies easy
descriptions. Everything is quite minimal, with sampled drumbeats, peep and hiss here and there,
owing to dub music when the delay pedals drop in, but at the same time also is a bit chaotic and
noisy. Playful and naivety might be two other words that apply here. It is not, so I would think,
dance music at all, even at 45 or 33 rpm. Sure some of these pieces contain quite a bit of rhythm,
such as ‘Club 80’ for instance, but ‘No Bossa’, Terrine picks up free-range piano playing and
singing, no rhythm and quite a sad song. This is quite an odd record, accepting no boundary, no
control and an endless amount of variation. What is it that Terrine wants with this record? Very
hard to say; maybe she doesn’t want anything at all, just provide us with eight weird tunes, some
of these with the inkling of dance music. Maybe that’s it. I thought it was all strange but in a way
also quite captivating. You never know where it goes and that’s the beauty of it. Well, that’s just
what I think. I might be wrong.
    The other record is by Leighton Craig, of whom I also may not have heard before. He is from
Australia, and played with “free-rock misfits The Lost Domain, pop miniaturists The Deadnotes and
the dream tank duo Primitive Motion”. His solo releases were on Room40, A Guide To Saints and
Kindling Records, the latter being his own label. The pieces of ‘Diamond Eye’ were recorded
between 2006 and 2010, so before his debut release on CD in 2008. If terrine’s music could be
very remotely seen as something for the dance floor, this one is not for that, not by a long stretch.
The music here is… strange… to say the least. There are organ playing and singing, both recorded
with the same microphone, in the same basement, which is quite lo-fi, but also the captured field
recordings are something that is best described as something utterly vague. Probably one could
say this is ‘intimate’, ‘personal’ and/or even ‘outsider’ music. Many of the ten pieces don’t seem to
be finished, but they are rather sketched like, starting somewhere, stopping anywhere, but not
necessarily forming an entire shaped composition. I guess that is very much the idea of it all. With
‘Diamond Eye’ you open a sketchbook and you go through it; you can’t marvel at the finely tuned
pieces, but instead, you have to do with these half-finished ideas, which have a great charming
quality nonetheless. Throughout the atmosphere of these pieces is quite dark, with all the chords
played in minor setting, and with the voice not always making much sense. I guess that is part of
the deal here and as such, it works fine. (FdW)
––– Address:

JACOB WICK – FEEL (LP by Thin Wrist)
  1994-2016 (2xLP by Thin Wrist)

Thin Wrist is the genre-averse imprint run by Peter Kolovos (of LA free-rock trio Open City) and
Steve Lowenthal (author of “Dance of Death”, an excellent biography of John Fahey). Combine
these two guys’ tastes and you get… anything, really. They’re putting out records of rock, pop, free
improvisation, solo acoustic guitar albums (under the Vin due Select Qualitite banner) and vinyl
reissues of titles from the legendary Japanese label PSF (under the name Black Editions). What
unites all Thin Wrist titles is their uniformly high production quality. This latest salvo of vinyl mines
the New Zealand underground for one new album and one retrospective compilation, and pairs
those with a solo trumpet record by a relatively new American artist.
    The solo trumpet album, by Jacob Wick (an artist previously unknown to me), is the most
demanding and extreme of the batch. More extreme than A Handful of Dust’s noise scuzz?
Believe it. Imagine if Sukora wrote a piece for Axel Doerner to play. “Feel” doesn’t resemble
trumpet music so much as a monolithic blast of damp air and static. Each side does one thing
and one thing only. The first side’s piece, “For Ted”, is comprised of a continuous exhale (circular
breathing or post-production edited recording? I’ve got no idea) for more than twenty minutes. It
seems eventless at first, but fine gradations of texture make this more than mere minimalist
exercise. I was drawn into this music, captivated by tiny sideways movements and shading
along the piece’s seemingly uniform density. Side two, “For Matt”, is comprised of teeny
percussive pops constantly shifting in pace and colour, like popcorn in a microwave that’s a few
rooms away or an out-of-breath Pomeranian who just got home from the dog park. To be clear,
this is no exercise in barely-there minimalism; there is no silence on the album, it’s not at all
precious… “Feel” is bracingly intimate and confident, but forces the listener to sit still and pay
attention while it’s on.
    Michael Morley’s album is a lavishly presented gatefold double LP that sounds much more
casual and loose than Wick’s demanding platter. Indeed, all of the music on “Heavens Idleness
Awaits” was recorded during a single afternoon in December 2016, using a 12-string acoustic
guitar and nothing else. Morley recorded four side-long takes and presents them on the album in
the same order they were recorded in. As all VW readers must know, Michael Morley is a member
of The Dead C. He also plays solo as Gate (and under his own name), and has been in other
bands such as The Fuck Chairs and Tanaka-Nixon Meeting which span all manner of rock,
improvisation, disco and noise. Fans attuned to his Bandcamp page (which functions like an
ongoing sonic diary, similar to what Kevin Drumm and Jim O’Rourke do) already know that he’s
been exploring acoustic guitars recently, either with hours-long drones made by leaving e-bows
on the strings or with sessions of relatively straightforward/melodic music. “Heavens Ideness
Awaits” continues the approachable avenues he explored on “Memorial Gardens”, “Blessed High
Regency” and The Burning House”, finding him playing in a style that touches on Michael Hedges,
John Fahey or blues. The guitar rings and chimes and stirs up dust, landing briefly on subtle
melodies then circling around and around them with no strong desire to hammer the point home.
The seemingly offhand quality sets a tranquil atmosphere for the duration of all four sides as if
you’re eavesdropping as Morley plays just for himself, searching without any particular
destination. Some moments recall an elongated and abstract blues, others have a meditative
(almost new age) quality, still other passages just float amid the overtones and haze. I found
myself drifting in and out of these pieces, latching on to some sequence of chords and then
getting lost in the clouds of glacial blues that obscure and elaborate on them. Morley is in no
rush to get anywhere in particular. These are not linear songs, so I’ve enjoyed listening to them
as atmospheric ambience.  
    Bruce Russell, who is the other guitar-playing member of The Dead C., also has a storied and
influential history. His labels Xpressway and Corpus Hermeticum were invaluable in introducing
NZ’s most adventurous experimental music to the world. His own work outside of The Dead C is
far less conventionally musical than Morley’s solo outings, especially with his long-running duo
with Alastair Galbraith, A Handful of Dust. This is total noise, to be sure. The duo doesn’t aim for
catharsis, rock pulse or anything recognizably pleasing. The first three tracks sound as if they
were recorded live in front of a crowd that was talking all the way through the set; how could
audience members even hear themselves over Galbraith’s noxious exhalations and Russell’s
feedback roar? The first track (which also features Peter Stapleton on drums, but hell if he’s even
audible through the dismal mud) is an extended version of a track that first appeared on the
“House of Voluntary Poverty” 7” from 1994, now twice its length for all those people who didn’t
want that little record to end. “The Bad Days Will End” is reprised from its original location as half
of the band’s “Panegyric” CD, a piercing dirge for glass harmonica and Clavioline recorded live
in 2006. The 2nd LP consists entirely of previously unreleased noise, noxious whine and foggy
ugh. It concludes with the four-part howl “Dialogues With the Dead”, a squiggly screech that ends
on an appropriate note of unresolved grey mush that sorta sums up what A Handful of Dust is all
about: stubbornly free din that isn’t looking to make anybody happy. If that makes you happy, then
this album is for you. (HS)
––– Address:

IQ + 1 – CONVERSAPHONE PLUS (LP by Mappa Editions)

It seems that Mappa Editions switched to doing vinyl these days, which is a pity as I quite enjoyed
their often strange and different cassette packages. I reviewed a CD by IQ+1 before (Vital Weekly
922), which I thought was an odd mixture of free jazz and electronics and when the latter prevailed
I was all ears; their more free jazz inspired sounds was perhaps not that much for me. These days
the group consists of George Bagdasarov (vintage turntable, effects, baritone sax), Veronika
Hladká (violin), Jaroslav Tarnovski (synths, electronics, percussion, field recordings), Petr Vrba
(clarinet, trumpet, electronics), Michal Zbořil (analogue synths, electronics, Indian harmonium),
and Kateřina Bilejová (body weather). Some of these people play one piece only. There are six
pieces here and they continue their explorations in the domain of free music with conventional
instruments versus those that are perhaps less conventional, and over there it becomes something
that is perhaps all owing much more to the world of electro-acoustic music. Just as before I find all
of this quite interesting, even some of it is too much of a freak-out festival for me. When they allow
for more sounds, a more complex structure, a slow built up and such like, with all that is non
conventional playing a bigger role, than it sounds really good, such as in the sparse but intense
‘It’s Twenty Minutes To Twelve’; here too, the element of improvisation is never far away, but it is
embedded in a bigger picture and that sounds great. In ‘Sofa’ the nervous hectic improvising
prevails and takes away some of the tension. It is hard to say if one version is more present on
this record than the other; overall I thought this was a pretty good record, so who knows: maybe I
am won over for their more free improvisation approach. (FdW)
––– Address:

JOSEPH B. RAIMOND – DISHWASHER (book by Mirran Thought)

My favourite of modern day krautrock bands, since thirty years perhaps, return with a rather grim
release. Tom Murphy, to whom this release is dedicated, was an old friend of Joseph B. Raimond,
the mastermind of Doc Wör Mirran, and he killed himself when he was denied treatment for his
arthritis. Raimond blames Donald Trump, Ted Nugent and Brian Ladd for this, calling then “political
filth”. Some of the grimness is reflected in the music, which was recorded in 2016 and 2017, and it
includes a twenty-six minutes improvisation for a bunch of synthesizer sounds and heavily treated
guitar sounds, making this a heavy-duty dark matter/cosmic death trip. But there are also pieces
like, Song For Tom’ and ‘A Fish Dies’, in which the acoustic guitar plays a role, along with lyrics in
the first song, which I believe is a rarity for the band. It adds to the personal touch of the band with
Tom Murphy. In the other pieces, Doc Wör Mirran has their usual krautrock inspired guitar doodling,
along with drums, keyboards and bass guitar, but this time with a perhaps a more experimental
edge to it, such as the additional loops of field recordings (?) in ‘Sachsenhausen Change’. Adrian
Gormley is mentioned to be present but this particular set of songs doesn’t see much in terms of
saxophone playing, so this is quite the break with some of the more recent releases by this band;
not sure if this will be a one-off as such or if their music will be a bit less saxophone heavy for
some time to come.
    At the same Joseph B. Raimond releases another new book of his poetry, which I am not
qualified to review. I have no idea about poetry. I do enjoy his writings. Pick the book up, read
one or two and put it aside. His poems are about love and hate, everyday misery, love and a both
private and political, sometimes blurring the line. Nice hardcover print. No expenses spared over
there. That’s how you do it. (FdW)
––– Address:

333REDUX (CDR by No Part Of It)

It has been a while since I last heard some new music from Arvo Zylo, following quite a bit of his
work on LP, CDR and cassette. Much of his work is about noise, but not exclusively, which he
proofs on ‘Upheaval’. In 2005 he “constructed a drone piece out of several layered samples from
pop divas holding sustained notes”, and submitted to a compilation, who refused out of being
sued by said (sad?) pop divas. That piece was worked over by Zylo for 100 times and on this
CDR we get ‘Upheaval Version 93’ to ‘Upheaval 99″. It was previously available as a cassette by
Nova Alternativa, and now as a great looking CDR. As is to expected you couldn’t recognize any
pop diva in here and let it be known I could not name many pop divas, old or new, but the nature
of Zylo’s processing means that is surely not the case to recognize any of it. As his tools, Zylo
uses, so I believe, a combination of digital and analogue tools. The digital ones to pitch the
material up and down and to get a loop going, while analogue stompboxes are used to further
colour the material. At various times these transformations are taken to the extreme, enter Zylo’s
love for noise, with loops and sounds from the conveyor belts of an industry in decay, but also
decay of a more subtle origin can be spotted in not so ambient but also not so noisy excursions
such as ‘Upheaval 96’, which reminded me of Vivenza. I prefer that more ‘subtle but not too subtle’
approach by Zylo, perhaps more than the blunt noise of ‘Upheaval 99’. It is, however, the variety of
approaches here that makes this a most enjoyable release, even when the noise pieces could
have been shorter.
    Next one is a CDR called ‘333Redux’, subtitled ‘Arvo Zylo’s 333 Re-worked by Various Artists’
(oh no, not another remix compilation). Hang on a second… didn’t I review something like before?
Yes, I did in Vital Weekly 1064, which was a DVD-R of this. This CDR is “an abridged version of a
DVD release with a pro-menu”, it says on this cover and we get the music of Dave Phillips, Pigswill,
Verdant, Seth Ryan, Critter Piss, Comfort Link, Marlo Eggplant, Bob Bucko Jr, Aodl, Blood Rhythms,
Jason Ogawa, Insect Deli, Protman, Sudden Infant and One-Eyed Zatoichi. I am not sure why Zylo
decided to do this release; what was wrong with the DVD-R release? It’s interesting to see that not
many of the names mentioned in the first review made here, but that’s all right. I don’t think I heard
the original (still!), so it is hard to judge these pieces, but throughout Zylo choose a varied bunch of
approaches here, from Bucko Jr’s saxophone wailing to noise (various actually) and more subtle
variations on the word noise, which we sometimes call ‘ambient industrial’. Actually, so I was
thinking, not unlike Zylo’s own approach music. So, while being a bit in the dark as to the question
‘why’, this is altogether a pleasant remix trip.
    E. Al Dente and N. Vilches are the duo that makes Eavil, who the label call an “unwieldy odd
couple of queer synth-pop outsiders”; I might be thinking of something like Soft Cell, but this duo
has very little to do with that. Eavil however, throughout their ten-year long career, released a
bunch of CDRs in EP format, “almost always containing one or two cover songs”, so maybe a bit
Soft Cell-like there then? Here they have songs, among others, by Siouxsie & The Banshees and
Nico, as well as Prince. Not that I would have recognized any of these, perhaps not too well versed
with the originals. While the Bandcamp page mentions a whole bunch of inspirations (“BeNe
GeSSeRiT, Atari Teenage Riot, Giorgio Moroder, or Le Forte Four”), I had a hard time recognizing
much of that in here. They play synth or two, perhaps a drum machine and there is a singer. His
microphone goes into some reverb unit, set on something not too cathedral-like, but adding a
curious distortion to his voice. It is a bit of a pity that this distortion/effect treatment is used every
time there is a bit of singing. Much of this sounds pretty naive in approach. Not necessarily
because of some lo-fi production, but it has more to do with the way the instruments are played;
sometimes just a bit clumsy and ‘easy’. Not of this would go down easy by way of pop music, top
charts or alternative stage. There is missing something, and I find it very hard to point out what it
is. I am reminded of some of that grim 80s electronic ‘not so pop’ that was released on cassette
back then, which is not bad, not at all, but at seventeen pieces in seventy-four minutes is quite a
stretch. I understand this duo no longer exists and that this is some kind of retrospective release.
If the idea was to fill a gap in knowledge then No Part of It managed very well! (FdW)
––– Address:


On a strictly personal level I can see some relationship between Jaap Blonk and Sindre Bjerga. I
saw both of them play concerts on numerous occasions; in recent years hardly from Blonk and lot
more from Bjerga. They are both tireless performers. In the case of Bjerga that leads to a lot of
releases, taping every concert and finding labels to release (a selection at least) these. Blonk, on
the other hand, is someone whose music has a broader range, from solo improvisations with the
voice to heavily computer treated studies. His releases might not always (or rather: rarely) be
derived from concerts. Still speaking on a personal level, I think both gentlemen deal with a form
of sound poetry. In the case of Blonk clearly when he is using his mouth to generate sound, in
Bjerga’s case a bit more covered up. He uses various means, in which pre-recorded tapes with
spoken word (perhaps found sound; maybe not) are played on an old Walkman and Dictaphones,
something feeding the sound down a metal pipe to alter the sound. On his ‘Hesitation Marks’
cassette, he has a live recording from The Hague and Berlin, both within the space of one month in
2017. Both pieces are quite different. The one from The Hague is all about garbling up voice tape,
along with contact microphone abuse on rough surfaces, sometimes leaping towards a bit of
feedback, which he keeps well under control. In Berlin, the circumstances might have been a bit
different as Bjerga stumbled upon feedback, metallic percussion in a non-rhythmical manner and
it all sounds mildly more aggressive than what heard on the other side. It culminates in a dirty
drone excursion that lasts some eight minutes and it takes his voice poetry to the most abstract
level. Sindre Bjerga does what he does best and he does a great job at that.
    Jaap Blonk is a bit older than Bjerga and has been going since the late 80s with a wide range
of musical interests, all of which involve his mouth, producing sounds and words (or vice versa).
Sometimes harking back to the early days of Dada, improvising with other musicians, going all
computer; anything goes, it seems for him, and this tape is a wild ride along many of these
interests. Even when there are no other players listed here, it sounds at times like there are
instruments at work here, but everything and that is really everything, went into the computer
here and along the lines, various bits and bobs of software are transformed. Maybe live, on the
spot? That was at least the impression I got from this cassette. Blonk uses words, voices, gestures
of/by the mouth, singing, humming, moaning, sighing or whatever else, and then feeds it into the
computer where it slides up, pitches down, stretches, compresses, bend and shaped with granular
synthesis. All of these tracks are quite short and to the point, and somehow one fades into the next,
even when they all have individual titles. Along with all this voice stuff, there is also the sound of
the piano, percussion or strings. I have no idea how these fit into the picture; where do they come
from? Are people playing these instruments along with Blonk (but why no mentioning of them on
the cover?) or maybe these are midi-controlled instruments that Blonk has full control over as he
plays them along with using his voice and controlling the software to process that voice material?
Hard to say yet it does make up some fascinating listening. It is very poetic but with these
occasional musical instruments also crazy, slightly messed up form of improvised music, that
also goes out to the world of electro-acoustic music. It’s a one-hour wild ride and it is great to see
a new sign of life for mister Blonk; happy as always we this happens! (FdW)
––– Address: