Number 1177

SARAH-JANE SUMMERS – KALOPSIA (CD by Eighth Nerve Audio) *
ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – BREACH (LP/CD by Moving Furniture) *
CHERYL E. LEONARD – WATERSHED (CD by Great Hoary Marmot Music) *
JON WESSELTOFT & BALAZS PANDI – TERRENG (LP by Moving Furniture Records) *
TAG/MATAR (split flexi disc by Anterior Research Media Comm)
MODELBAU – THE INVADERS (cassette by Hemisphäreの空虚) *
MODELBAU – THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *


While Tomaso Corbetta spends quite some words about the music and bit about his background,
there is nowhere a label mentioned, nor a website where people can purchase this CD, but a
quick find turns up a Bandcamp page. Corbetta says that this is “my first attempt into the project of
weaving “sound situations” where I explore sequences and timbres as well as sound textures
possibilities to construct an abstract tapestry that attracts me to the structures of sound composition.
For this project, I used layers of sound recordings from natural environments, short wave radios,
digital electronics and more.” In the press text, he also says this is “a theme of my interest where I
try to combine psychological meanings as a bridge to recover the synthesis of East and west from
a perspective of understanding nothing. Or do nothing”, which quite frankly I didn’t understand (and
I more or less quoted all the information). His background is in sound production, editing and
engineering. ‘Wakes In Emptiness’ is, perhaps, a title that suggests a lot of silence, or something
that is created out of recordings of silent, empty spaces, but it’s not. Corbetta tells us that he uses
recordings from natural environments, short wave radios, digital electronics and more, all of which
can be heard clearly in the music. Not necessarily clear is what these environments are, as they
might very have been transformed through the use of those digital electronics. It is one piece that
spans forty-eight minutes here and Corbetta uses the form of sound collage. He is not using abrupt
cuts here, going radically from one to another, but instead uses very slow crossfades between
sections. That careful approach he also uses in the way he creates his composition. Most of the
time these sounds are quite soft, even going to the threshold of hearing, but in a few selected point
also louder and very present. Some sounds return, most notably a slow bang on a bass drum, or
some such. It is the gentle flow of the sounds, the variation that lies therein and the time Corbetta
uses to play out his, which works very well to attention and tension going. That’s all great and it fits
the rich tradition of laptop musicians, such as Marc Behrens and Roel Meelkop. (FdW)
––– Address:


Dolf Mulder has so far, reviewed music played by Peter Orins. I am sure I heard bits of those
releases, but this might very well be my first proper introduction to his solo work. Orins is someone
who is a member of TOC, Kaze, Circum Grand Orchestra, Flu(o), Trouble Kaze and his own troupe,
Stefan Orins Trio. I could have left this with Dolf Mulder as well, as much of this is from the world of
improvised music but as I was listening to this, I was more and more attracted to the way he plays
the surfaces of his drum set. It is a combination of technique and material, I’d say. Orins uses
objects, bowls, wood and shells on the skins of his drums, but in his approach, Orins is very much
into ‘minimalism’ and that is exactly the kind of thing I like. By rubbing these objects (etc.) over the
skins on a very controlled way, small accidents occur, bumps along the way as it were and it makes
that this is a very human release. Throughout the music is very quiet and minimally. Objects are
rubbed on surfaces or dropped with long intervals, or a combination of both. There is some mixing
and perhaps the addition of reverb (I am not sure; it might also be the natural space in which these
recordings were made) and the interaction between the very dry recordings and some that have
more ‘space’ and ‘air’, make this a great release. There is very little, nervous and hectic playing
going on and in all seven pieces Orins explores with minimal means a maximum of possibilities
and along the way allows for small mistakes to happen; barely noticeable actually, these mistakes.
It is a great release and would also appeal, I would think to those who have a mild interest in
improvised music. (FdW)
––– Address:


Juhani Silvola is a composer, musician and producer working across multiple genres and
disciplines: acoustic folk, free improve, doom, sound-art, etc. He is a very accomplished performer
on acoustic and electric guitar. He works with Sarah-Jane Summers, Frode Haltli, The SISKIN
Quartet, among others. So far he released two well-received solo albums: ‘Imaginary Archives’, an
album of acoustic improvised solo guitar, and ‘Strange Flowers’ a drone-rock album. With his
newest release, this multi-talent shows again another face. His compositions on this release are
the result of his master’s degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music, where Silvola studied
electro-acoustic music with composer Natasha Barrett. It is an absolutely gorgeous album where
Silvola took inspiration from the history of electronic music. In ‘Machines of Loving Grace’
Japanese hardcore noise was a point of reference. In the opening track, ‘Ritualrytmikk’ flashes of
old European electronic were triggered in my mind. ‘20th Century Meditation’ is a percussive-
based meditative track, reflecting 70s cosmic music. The title track ‘Post-Biological Wildlife’ sounds
as a field recording of water, birds, wind, etc. But it is a totally electronically generated one,
imagining a time where we will no longer be able to enjoy nature in an unmediated way. ‘Vaster
than Empires’ starts from an acoustic sound source: the (Hardanger) fiddle played by Sarah-Jane
Summers. This is very intense work. Everything on this album is done by Silvola himself, with final
mastering by Helge Sten (Deathprod). With great accurateness and finesse, Silvola created
electro-acoustic and electronic multi-dimensional soundworlds that are very engaging and truly
fascinating. Sublime work!
    Summers originate from Scotland but is based in Norway and developed into one of
Europeans leading fiddle players. She is a broad-oriented musician with a love for improvisation
too. Recently she worked with the Canadian Quatuor Bozzini. In her collaboration with Juhani
Silvola, she released two folk-related albums. With ‘Kalopsia’ she presents her latest solo
statement. ‘Kalopsia’ is a Greek term meaning the delusion of things being more beautiful than
they are, representing the confusion that arises when contemplating beauty. We think we
understand what it is, but it, of course, has no inherent meaning. Beauty – just like how we listen –
is so subjective. From this idea, she shaped 14 miniatures that have Summers playing the viola,
Hardanger fiddle and fiddle. Summers uses many extended playing techniques inspired by
composers like Scelsi and Lachenmann.  Silvola did the recording, mixing and productions, with
again Helge Sten for the final mastering. Summers creates rich and detailed textures and evidently
has a great love for the sound of the fiddle. She deepens this focus in an excellent way, bringing
baffling sound aspects to the surface. Melodic elements reveal her folk-background. But that is not
what this record is about. They are more of a vehicle to draw your attention to you to the diverse
and complex aspects of sound with a strong emotional impact. The music is excellently recorded,
suggesting an almost physical contact with these sounds, due to accomplished recording
techniques, placing microphones inside the fiddle. Great work! (DM)
––– Address:


I must admit I’ve not come across, or if I have I’ve forgotten, this artist before, a productive guy who
apart from the noise, tours extensively, collaborates in and with various projects – quote “French
sound artist, composer, musician, poet and experimental film… Founder and member of the sound/
activist collective Apo33.” This work quote: “Composed and played in 2018 by Julien Ottavi with
Computer and Puredata. Longtime work composition series based on programmatic composition
with limited instruments, noise generator only for this one.” Ottavi’s work is focused around
software, computer technology and composition. As such it is the other face of that of the analogue,
spontaneous improvisation, anarchistic performance and what is a negative critique of
postmodernity. I suppose, this just entered my head, the opposite of someone like (if one can be)
Vomir.  Well, I’m reviewing this from a digital download (with the CD en route), which may be apt,
and my default app for .WAVs is Goldwave, so the first thing I get is an image. A solid block of
sound for 40 minutes, then a short piece of about 2 minutes which looks like low volume noise,
then twelve minutes of what looks like louder noise, a further sold block for eighteen minutes then
3 minutes of silence, which I guess may or may not be part of the piece? Having the file in
Goldwave means I can analyse at the byte level (well PCM is two byes signed integer) and
confirm the three minutes isn’t silence, it has values mostly zero, but also -1s and fewer +1s. So
there is a “wave” of sound there, but such a variation is inaudible. Excuse this diversion but being
in Goldwave means I can change the volume, and by increasing this 4000 times hear slightly
coloured white noise. The digital world though finite still has its labyrinths, one could, for instance,
remove the zeros and then break up and use the 1s and -1s to form ASCII texts, maybe there is
some code there, maybe one can find messages where none exist. However compared to the
analogue world it seems cold, though ‘analogue’ here is questionable if we are as I think Elon
Musk thinks. I began this probably annoying tangent for no good reason but now its provoked the
thought that ‘why in the digital world should we respond by means of our biological and “analogue”
senses’? Why listen to numbers being quantized, why not feed them into a spreadsheet and tally
the 0s , 1s and -1s ?  If “listening” to PCM data might be considered potentially enjoyable or
instructional, why not numerical analysis be likewise, and moreover why isn’t this more relevant to
the medium which is in its materiality numerical data. Like the early days of plastic which was made
to resemble the more familiar materials of wood, stone and metal, only when designers broke from
the conservative tradition could plastic reveal its own properties, its plasticity and ability to have
texture colour and multiple materialities, hard, soft, sheet, block. Maybe there is a point to be made
that this relatively new form of digital art is wrongly forced into the biological world of flesh, whereas
it lives, if alive, as just binary streams. Which is perhaps why those wishing to embrace analogue
synthesis do so not out of nostalgia, but out of wanting to ‘respect’ the analogue sound as in itself
recognisable, rather than the sophisticated digital emulation of strings, pianos, guitars and all the
classical musical instruments. This is not so stupid as it seems. The conceptual poets produce texts
or reproduce texts, such as a copy of the New York Times (Ken Goldsmith) which we are not
expected to read!. But rather than just accept the work as a non-read concept could one also sort
the text in a database to find the most used words, least used, and then the same for letters? An
objection might be ‘why would or should one do this?’ My answer would be to cite Kant, the
aesthetic, which is more than mere sensuous gratification which is immediate, is the act of
Judgement which involves contemplation not based on determinate concepts. IOW not based on
some fixed purpose. That contemplation is the aesthetic. So this very ‘stupid’ idea of judgement
has a philosophical basis for a universal aesthetic… As sound, the piece begins with harsh noise
which quickly moves to white noise which in turn is morphed by filtering, which perhaps at times
shows slight self-oscillation through to more harshness @ 40minutes. The small section I
mentioned above is very low-frequency noise, and the following the same but ‘louder’? The final
section which has two sounds split across the stereo image begins on one channel first harsh
noise which again is modulated this time into a high pitch mechanical sound, and finally the 3 or
so minutes or ‘silence’ which maybe isn’t. – see for yourself (jliat)
––– Address:


Here we have two new works by Paal Nilssen-Love; two different line ups, both recorded at the
Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 2018 and both are very boiling sets! The album titles might
suggest a contrast between the two, but in fact, they exercise the same musical approach. ‘New
Japanese Noise’ has Nillsen-Love (drums) in the company of Akira Sakata (alto saxophone, Bb
clarinet, voice), Kiko Dinucci (electric guitar), Kohei Gomi  (electronics ) and Toshiji Mikawa
(electronics).  Full-energy from start to finish. Going the max on any moment. A constant stream
of lovely cacophonic speedy noise jazz with veteran Sakata in the lead. He is on the scene since
the early 70s (Wha Ha Ha, Sakata Orchestra, Bill Laswell’s  Last Exit, etc.), and didn’t lose anything
of his temper. Guitarist Kiko Dinucci is also playing on ‘New Brazilian Funk’, a likewise ultra
dynamic exercise with Nillsen-Love (drums, percussion) joined by Felipe Zenicola (electric bass),
Frode Gjerstad (alto saxophone) and Paulinho Bicolor(cuica). Again we are amidst a storm of
noise rock with jazz-inspired improvisations on top of it, like the solos by saxophonist Gjerstadt.
Maybe a little more ‘relaxed’ then the ‘New Japanese Noise’-set, but in the end equally
concentrated and furious. What makes this one Brazilian? Above all, it is the cuica, a Brazilian
friction drum, and the melody sung by Bicolor (?) on ‘Rural Rides’. Great bass playing by Zenicola,
with a funky touch on some places and excellent freaky guitar by Dinucci. Both are pure unpolished
energizers above all inspired on Japanese noise rock. (DM)
––– Address:

ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – BREACH (LP/CD by Moving Furniture)

Inspired by popular protests around the world (though not specifying which), Zeno Van Den
Broek’s latest is the audio portion of a multi-media installation built from roaring riots and cold
electronics. Two “Interludes” make the sound source clear, with the unmistakable pitch of masses
of people screaming in righteous anger chopped up and scattered… the tone of frantic fury is
obscured by the artist’s white-noise static interference. Four “Breach” tracks take those sounds into
an inhuman territory, twisting them into heavy bass drops, nauseous buzzing tones and robotic
pounding. I was reminded of Pan Sonic or Ryoji Ikeda, and for sure Van Den Broek is working in
similar sonic territory to those titans. I like that he left the specifics of his source open, to be applied
to whatever context one first thinks of. As an American, I listened with the anti-Trump protests in
mind… but also the right-wing rallies that threaten to drag the US into 1940s Germany. With the
latter in mind, the polyrhythmic “Breach” tracks remind me of very real fascistic perversity becoming
emboldened around me. “Breach” is quite tense music that, in its mechanized stasis, provides no
easy release… a riot that changes nothing as the machine marches inexorably forwards. (HS)
––– Address:


Despite the fact that Duenn released music on such imprints as Entr’acte, SicSic Tapes, New
Motion, OnmyodoCassette, Grumpy Records, Slowdown Records, Progressive Form, White Paddy
Mountain, I only heard one record by him and that was a collaboration with Okada Takuro (see Vital
Weekly 1099). Duenn is from Fukuoka in Japan and his real name is, I believe, not known. He has
also worked with Merzbow and Nyantora as 3Rensa. I am sure that is something that is quite noise
based. On ‘.On Layer’ there is no noise as is to be expected by a release on Silentes’ sub-division Ambient music it is and there is very little to go by how this was made; there might be quite
a bit of analogue or digital synthesizers at work here, but for all we know, Duenn might be taking
field recordings apart through the use of digital manipulation inside the computer. Whatever the
case might be, the outcome is some dark ambient music (well, obviously) with the more or less
usual slow approach when it comes to the development of the music. Eerie tones and rusty drones,
that come along with a slightly more out of tune drone in the second piece; that may say something
about Duenn’s interest in some louder and nastier forms of ambient music. This combination of the
more regular approach to ambient and something that is perhaps a lesser-seen interest in the world
of drone and ambient, the cruder edge of that scene, is what makes this quite a fine album. With five
(untitled) pieces and thirty-nine minutes, I thought it was just not enough to satisfy my appetite and
as easily I would have digested another one or two of these dark monoliths of sturdy ambient
processing of sources unknown. Not exactly terra incognita, but also not a well-walked path. (FdW)
––– Address:

CHERYL E. LEONARD – WATERSHED (CD by Great Hoary Marmot Music)

Over the years there have not been many reviews about the music by Cheryl E. Leonard. There
was a split 7″ with Key Ransone back in Vital Weekly 62 and collaborative work with Brian Day and
Jeph Jerman (Vital Weekly 1046). Not enough to say what it is she does or wants with her music.
From the information, I understand she is a composer, performer and instrument builder and her
work has been performed by the Kronos Quartet and Hope Mohr dance and that she has received
various awards. I am not sure to what extent the three pieces on ‘Watershed’ are exemplary for what
she ‘normally’ does. These three pieces certainly belong together, I would think. In each of these
pieces Leonard uses field recordings, made near oceans, estuaries, lakes, streams, rivers and
caves (in short, everything that has water) and along she creates sounds using glass, driftwood,
stones, shells, crab claws, bird bones, feathers, kelp flutes, Japanese bowl gongs, Nepalese bells,
water and sand. Reading the liner notes for these pieces I couldn’t help but think there is also a
political, ecological statement Leonard wants to make her with her music. She recorded in places
with drought or flooding because climate changes. This ‘message’ is not forced upon the listener,
but rather stated as a matter of fact but not without some significant meaning. The three pieces she
plays here are delicate affairs of an acoustic rumble of all of the objects she found on beaches and
near lakes, along with the delicate addition of gong sounds and bell sounds. They add a fine layer
of drone-like sounds to the slightly chaotic rumble the music at times also seems to be. Leonard
layers quite a bit of sound together and carefully mixes these together to make a coherent
composition. Especially ‘Frozen Over’ is a more chaotic enterprise, whereas the title piece is a
much quieter piece with gentle waves washing ashore. ‘Confluences’ holds the middle ground
between the two and has occasionally a slightly more percussive feel to it. If you want points of
reference, then I would think that this comes close to the work of Jeph Jerman, especially the
tactile approach of found elements and these were not amplified and Small Cruel Party for a very
organic approach to the overall sound, but not as much when it comes to his electronic side. This
is an excellent CD. (FdW)
––– Address:


The first time I heard the name Dieter Müh was when I got hold of a CD release, packed in a
carton envelope, hand stamped. I stocked a few for the shop that employed me to purchase weird
music, and as far as I recall we never sold one. It made it in these pages, all the way back into Vital
Weekly 91 and don’t let me little tale discourage you. Perhaps we were not very good at promoting
weird music from unknown people. Over the years Dieter Müh kept releasing music and even went
on a small tour at the end of last year. This is the second time they have a release on EE Tapes and
as is not unusual for the label, this too concerns a re-issue. In 1995 Dieter Müh released a cassette,
which was given away “for those who shared an interest”. EE Tapes certainly has fine detection
skills when it comes to very obscure releases. In the overall catalogue of the label, Dieter Müh is a
bit of an oddball, I think. Many of the releases deal with synthesizers and rhythm, but not so Dieter
Müh. Surely synthesizers play a part but not rhythm. Musicwise Dieter Müh, a duo of Dave Uden on
synthesizer, electronics and sampler and Steve Cammack on guitars, tape machines and
electronics, belongs to the mid 90s wave of musicians blending the old industrial power noise with
more subdued ambient sounds. The result is not some long-form drone or carefree ambient music,
but something a bit nastier and dirtier, more alien and not unlike the soundtrack of a fine post-
apocalyptic movie. Music that we know from zoviet*france, Maeror Tri and Illusion Of Safety from
that period (and these are just the ones I compare it too; there are countless others and they would
work as well here). All the more traditional (back then) roots of industrial music have been weeded
on this release, the axis of power electronics (Throbbing Gristle, Ramleh) and early Cabaret
Voltaire styled drones, and like the previous release by EE Tapes from Dieter Müh all in favour of
the dense drones, heavily loaded with sound effects, creating very rich (sonically) and dense
patterns of sound. Play loud is not something I suggest a lot, but here it is something that would
certainly work very well. Turning up the volume means that whatever is buried in these pieces
becomes more audible and enhanced the quality of the music further. This is a most excellent
release! (FdW)
––– Address:

JON WESSELTOFT & BALAZS PANDI – TERRENG (LP by Moving Furniture Records)

If you have the idea that Moving Furniture Records is all about serious drone based art music, then
here’s a record that might prove you wrong. I don’t think I heard of Jon Wesseltoft before, but from
the information I learn has a long history in sound art, noise and improvisation. Balazs Pandi is, of
course, best known (or to me: only known) as the drummer who plays along with Merzbow. I
always thought it was an odd choice for Merzbow to add a drummer to his sound, but maybe it
makes sense in the sort of venues Merzbow performs these days. Here he teams up with someone
who is also playing electronics, and while not in the same noise league as Merzbow, still quite the
work of noise. It is, and that is perhaps the most remarkable thing, quite the work of improvisation
one doesn’t expect on Moving Furniture Records. I think the Merzbow/Gareth Davies record is the
other notable exception when it comes to an all-out improvisation thing (surely it is something that
others also do on their releases for this label). I have no idea what kind of electronics Wesseltoft
here, which, judging by what I hear, is a combination of laptop electronics, field recordings and
stomp boxes, uses. Sometimes it sounds like a fuzzy old synthesizer and sometimes like a bunch
of cicadas on the loose. It sizzles and hisses and Pandi plays his drums freely along. On the first
side, ‘Soft Close-Up’, this is all rather dualistic, with drums and electronics doing their thing and
separated in the mix, while on the other side, ‘Refractions’ it is all closer together. The electronics
have become a bit nastier and noisier, while it all stays close to the drums, which sounds a bit
further away in the mix; I am not sure if this is a deliberate thing. The second side is definitely the
louder brother of the two, but it is the contrast of both sides that make that this record works pretty
well. Not entirely opposites, but still it gives you a clear picture of what this is all about. Play loud is
my recommendation and let it all wash over you. (FdW)
––– Address:


Without having read the cover notes I started playing this record and it opened with a very familiar
tune. ‘Bright Waves’ it is called and I heard it years and years ago on one of my favourite compilation
LPs, ‘Perspectives And Distortion’, as released by Cherry Red Records. In them days that label
released some of the best alternative pop and beyond music (think Five Or Six or A Tent), unlike
these days when they churn out re-heated dishes of post-punk music that you all used have
got rid off and now ‘need’ to buy again (I am not a fan to those compilations; I wish Cherry Red did
proper CDs of their own history, like a box of everything by Five Or Six). Anyway, ‘Bright Waves’,
was the opening piece back then, credited to Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey, but now we know it
is by Philip Sanderson, erstwhile of Storm Bugs and vocals by Nancy Slessenger. Storm Bugs,
Sanderson’s previous musical project, used crude tape loops and electronics, but occasionally
sounded like a great moody pop band, such as on their 7″ for l’Invitation Au Suicide. Following that,
Sanderson got more involved in doing soundtracks for experimental films and this LP compiles
several of those soundtracks. Sanderson explores electronic music here, but moving away from the
noise end of the music of that time, and wanders into something that is more mellow and pop like.
He experiments with various female vocalists, who add a sort of jazzy style, but there is also spoken
word and humming without words. As I noted last week, without the (moving) images it is not always
easy to judge the music proper, but as it is released without the images, the composer is confident
enough to let the music speak for itself, and quite rightly so. There is an abundance of beauty in
these pieces, as well as variation. Guitars are gently strummed, echo is in place where necessary,
and so is the reverb unit and throughout Sanderson plays the vibraphone on a bunch of pieces,
even when at times a bit processed. This is exactly the kind of experimental ‘pop’ (for the lack of a
better word) that I liked as a young man and that attracted me to such labels as Cherry Red (and
Glass Records, to mention another, more forgotten one); that delicate balance between experiment
and something that is a ‘tune’. A record like this would not have gone amiss in their 1982 catalogue,
I would think. But now it’s 2019 and I am very happy to see it’s release and it begs the question: is
there more like this and when can we hear that? (FdW)
––– Address:


So, so far I wrote about all of the previous releases by French imprint Iikki Books by saying
something along the lines that they are LPs and extended photo books and that I didn’t get the
latter and I would not mention the books again. Obviously, that is until the day I actually see one
and that day is today. Now I also get the photo book, which contains pictures by Dmitry Markov,
who calls himself “a Russian documental photographer, social worker, volunteer and journalist
from Pskov”. He proofs you don’t need expensive camera’s as he works with the iPhone only and
takes pictures of the ordinary lives of ordinary people from Russia. It is not necessarily a life that
looks great; quite the opposite, really. The pictures show a harsh life, people growing old fast,
buildings and cities in decay and the matt reproductions of the pictures may soften that a bit, but
nevertheless a harsh reality. Markov shows us an unpleasant reality, but also a captivating one.
The pictures are grouped together and each ‘chapter’ is named a track of music by Aries Mond.
We came across his music before, when reviewing his debut album in Vital Weekly 1124. On this
new work, the piano also plays an important role; it is in the middle of the room and there is a
microphone picking up Aries Mond playing it; it also captures the space in which the piano stands
and that is surely not a ‘proper’ studio. There is too much leakage of ‘other’ sounds, plus an amount
of hiss. That adds to the quality of the music. Maybe Aries Mond (real name: Boris Billier) adds
some of the extra sounds, like the loops that spin the background of ‘Fixer’, or the extra layers of
hiss in ‘Cracks’, along with some reversed sounds, and creates a play with sounds and images
that are not real; layering recordings of children playing outside, some electronic processed
sounds and piano sounds, with the illusion this is all homemade, cosy music. Children playing,
daddy plays the piano; that kind of thing. It reminded me at times of the music of Dominique
Petitgand, who had a similar combination of intimacy and audio illusion. It is not easy to see the
relation between the harsh reality of the photography of Markov and the quite pleasant music of
Mond. If it is to smooth any of the pain, then surely Mond did a great job. It is delicate music for
difficult times. (FdW)
––– Address:

TAG/MATAR (split flexi disc by Anterior Research Media Comm)

In the ongoing series of flexi discs with EVP sounds it is another double-sided one, as the
previous with Bass Communion/Freiband. Here we have two projects, both involving Adi Newton
of Clock DVA. Already in the 80s, he diversified with another project, The Anti Group, mixing music
with multi-media. Later on, this became TAG and here Newton teams up with Shara E Vesilenko in
a surprisingly mild piece of ambient melodies set against a loop (or two) of busy electronic sounds
leaping around, without forming too much of a rhythm. It is gentle and yet also spooky. It is a great
piece, already shaking and hissing the second time onwards when I played, but such are the
limitations of the flexi disc.
    On the other side, we find Matar, which is mister Newton with Michael Esposito. The latter is
responsible for EVP Recordings and sample manipulations. EVP, in case you forgot, are sounds
from beyond, voices of deceased, as discovered by Friedrich Jurgenson (see also Vital Weekly
1159). Come to think of it, there might be no EVPs on the other side (pun, possibly, intended). EVP
recordings are usually obscure sounds of what could be voices, and here Esposito loops them
around and Newton adds sounds from a more organ-like nature to it, full of menace and tension;
it is almost like a marching song and it works well in all its spookiness, aided with the addition of a
female voice, humming, but surely from this side of the spheres. Another great release! (FdW)
––– Address:


Otherworld Ensemble is a project by Finnish musician Heikki “Mike” Koskinen and American Rent
Romus, exploring jazz and improvisation inspired by the Arctic region. Their first album was ‘Live
at Malmitalo’ recorded live in Helsinki Finland. ‘Northern Fire’ their second statement is a live
recorded session at Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki, Finland, May 29, 2017. Participating are Heikki
Koskinen (tenor recorder, e-trumpet, flutes, kantele), Teppo Hauta-aho (double bass, percussion,
pigs), Rent Romus (alto saxophone, flutes, bells, mandolin-banjo), Mikko Innanen (alto and
sopranino saxophones, flutes, percussion, pigs) and Veli Kujala (quartertone accordion). These
are very intelligent and fascinating improvisations that really caught my attention. With their
focused and concentrated interplay they lift one other up and create a fantastic musical
togetherness. Very fine textures, like the eastern-flavoured opening track ‘A Fire to Freedom’.
They also use some melodic elements of old Finnish origin I suppose. All players are more than
excellent, and the open spatial recording makes it possible to enjoy each gesture by all
contributors. These improvisations really go deep and have an almost ‘religious’ intensity. I
especially enjoyed the accordion played by Kujala. Kujala is a very reputed interpreter of
contemporary composed music but from the start of his career also very active in territories of
jazz and improvisation. But also I need to mention the flute and trumpet playing by Innanen. This
one is pure beauty by one of the finest collaborations of Rent Romus I know of and for sure one
my highlights for this year! (DM)
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MODELBAU – THE INVADERS (cassette by Hemisphäreの空虚)
MODELBAU – THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

Classic episodes of “The Twilight Zone” are marked by an ironic twist at the end, and these three
new albums by Mr Vital Weekly himself, Frans de Waard, have a surprise in store. Quest might be
the name he’s used for “ambient” music since the 1990s, but “Yesternights” is not the most ambient
of his latest batch of releases! That honour goes to the Modelbau tape called “The Invaders”, named
fittingly after a nearly dialogue-free TZ story. Two 28-minute washes of glacial grey hush that unfold
patiently, one on each side of a cassette, without calling much attention to the composer’s moves.
It’s chilly and distant, rolling out like a fog on a city street after everyone’s gone to sleep… or
mysteriously vanished. The implacable techno-paranoiac threat continues with “The Lateness of
the Hour”, a relatively more active (which is to say: not particularly active) set of songs that robots
might hum to themselves after they’ve taken over. Both tapes seethe with unnerving calm, ambient
but in no way relaxing… foreground ambience that might keep you awake at night. The occasional
ringing clang of metal junk punctuates beds of eerily undulating synthesizers and murk. Even
distant bird calls, which in other contexts might be a reassuring nod to life on Earth, somehow
contribute to the atmosphere of creeping post-human dread.
    Quest is the name de Waard used for beat-free ambient music and is generally much more
approachable and friendly than his abstract work as Modelbau. “Yesternights”, as might be
expected, is an album of supple synthesizer and tape drift that percolates with an unhurried and
brooding pace. The sounds used on the album’s seven songs are not, however, the kind that would
necessarily inspire one to relax or go to sleep. It’s a departure from 2017’s “Quay”, more stripped-
down and harsh. “Yesternights” maintains a sombre, even melancholy, tone as it slithers through its
seven tracks. Those cello-like melodies twisting amid beds of spacious darkness and aquatic
mystery add a touch of cinematic drama and more than a little implied threat. There’s a hint of 70’s
Tangerine Dream in here, ambience with a touch of unnerving skeletal severity. (HS)
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