Number 1184

2020: The Year Vital Weekly Ends

A few weeks ago I Dolf Mulder, the guy who has been writing for Vital Weekly for a long time (almost
as long as I do), visited me and he brought his wife. At a certain point the topic turned to ‘after doing
Vital Weekly for 23 years and not seeing much financial reward from it, how can we change that?’

Dolf has various small jobs and writes his stuff in his spare time in the evenings he could also spend
on the couch, sitting next to his wife and watch a movie. They argued that if there was some
payment, he could do it during the day and it would be another small job. Makes sense.
For me the situation is slightly different; I spend all my daytime writing for Vital Weekly and listening
to music. It is no secret that I offer the stuff I review for sale after I am done reviewing. Obviously, this
doesn’t bring much cash, so I also sold half my record collection over the years and can make ends
meet. More or less. Sometimes I have a concert that brings in something extra.

If Vital Weekly stays like that, we could do it until the day we die, hopefully of very old age. Or quit
all together.

Currently, there are over 4300 subscribers and so far this year we received about 200 euros in
donations. That is very kind of 7 people. Daydreaming, Dolf and I thought what we could do if there
was a bit of more money coming in. Not just pocket it but spend it also on better design, maybe hire
a professional text editor, review digital only releases and donating review copies to an archive.
Vital Weekly would be to grow and, maybe, become better.
Very soon we will do an online questionnaire about Vital Weekly to see what the readers think of
Vital Weekly and also, in all honesty, check if, after twenty-three years receiving it for free, giving a
small donation on a yearly basis is an option.
This is not an open call for designers or editors or tech nerds to send in their resumes and price
lists; not just yet.

Will Vital Weekly end in 2020 (I bet that got you reading this!)? I have no idea. Maybe we just throw
it all in and move on and get a job in the real world. Perhaps we stubbornly continue with business
as usual. Depends on what the readers want.

You can always send a donation to
<> and see your name being thanked here:

Frans de Waard

MAXIMILIAN LATVA – NEKYIA (CD by Art First Records) *
  Pico) *
MICHAËL ATTIAS – ÉCHOS LA NUIT (CD by Out Of Your Head Records)
  Apo to Spiti) *
  compilation by Attenuation Circuit)
OFFTHESKY – ILLUMINATE (CDR by Eilean Records) *
   Editions) *
COIMS – R BARD COLUMN (cassette by Aphelion Editions) *
CHURCH SHUTTLE – MIND LEASH (cassette by Anathema Archive)


From Maximilian Latva I reviewed a release last year, ‘Hrön’ (Vital Weekly 1123). It was mentioned,
by others, that his work resembled music by Charles Ives and/or Krzysztof Penderecki, but I added
Conrad Schnitzler to that list. Latva now returns with a new album, which he recorded with
“analogue synthesizers, electric & acoustic guitars, FM synthesizers, 8-bit synthesizers and
percussion”. In a letter, he writes that “dark ambient is probably a practical description of the style”,
which is not something I would easily agree with. Sure, the music is pretty dark and atmospheric,
but it doesn’t have, thank god, long-form drones. The dark ambient is perhaps more along the lines
of Schnitzler again; the non-keyboard use of electronics I think he used to call it, and it has that
orchestral feel the later work of Schnitzler also had. There is apparently not a lot of structure in
these pieces; it just seems to be floating about in space, dark space indeed, but it goes on without
much direction. Now, you would think that would lead to some deadly boring music, but actually, it
is not boring at all, far from. I enjoyed these five pieces a lot. It has a very free feeling to it; a very
firm touch of psychedelia, an effective rough and rusty sound with no further tarting up the result
with some elaborate software or such and there is some occasional mild distortion to roughen
things up a bit. I mean: what’s not like there? (FdW)
––– Address:


A long time ago two mysterious LPs from Japan by Agencement blew me away. There was very
little information; just the name, a number and a label, Pico. I found out that behind Agencement
was a violin player by the name of Hideaki Shimada. He mysteriously disappeared shortly after
that for a while and ever since he pops with some music and then its quietness for a longer period.
Seeing this is Pico release number seven, it means there haven’t been a lot of releases since
those first LPs in the late ’80s. Here he has two pieces, both recorded in 2016. On April 6 he
performed a duo with Evan Parker on soprano saxophone and on September 22 with Roger
Turner on drum set and percussion. Shimada takes for both pieces credit for electric violin and
electronics. Now, this is die-hard improvised music, which would, perhaps, be better of with Dolf
Mulder, but there is something quite captivating about these two pieces. The second and longest
piece, almost clocking in at thirty minutes, is a slightly more regular piece of improvised music
with Turner all over the kit, brushing, banging, scratching and hitting, it is Shimada who does some
really wild stuff. On the picture, we see him with an EMS synth and his violin sounds not like one at
all. Just what it is I am not sure; well, maybe it is a violin, but the sounds are hectic, nervous and on
a trajectory of constant transformation. It is a fine piece reminding me of the first time I heard
Agencement. The real firework, I think, is in the first piece; here both players meet up in the hectic.
The sounds are closely connected and Parker’s saxophone sounds at times as strange and alien
as Shimada’s violin. And sometimes the violin is surprisingly ‘normal’. This is the most intense
meeting between two like-minded musicians resulting in some great twenty minutes. (FdW)
––– Address:


A nice duo effort by two original performers. Swiss musician Andreas Fulgosi plays baritone guitar,
and Carlo Mascolo from Italy plays trombone and tubes. Their sessions were recorded in a Lisbon
studio in 2017. Mascolo is director of the Free Flow Festival in Italy since 2012. He plays in contexts
of jazz, world music, etc. For example since 2006 he plays with the German band Embryo. Also he
worked with Carlos Zingaro, Jean-Marc Foussat, etc. Fulgosi studied classical cello, but turned to
guitar and improvisation, studying in Geneva and Bern with Mick Goodrick, John Scofield, a.o.
Fulgosi worked for example with veteran trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff. So both play low-pitched
instruments, what makes them an interesting couple. In nine improvisations they shape their ideas
in a calm pace, following different procedures and ideas, but always with a primal feel. Their
collaboration is in balance, with sometimes Fulgosi in a dominant role, sometimes Mascolo.
Fulgosi plays his guitar sometimes with rock bravura and also Mascolo keeps it rough and
unpolished. A fine and inspired statement although the improvisations are bit too subdued for
my taste. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.creativessourcesrec.som

MICHAËL ATTIAS – ÉCHOS LA NUIT (CD by Out Of Your Head Records)

Michaël Attias is a saxophonist originating from Haifa (Israel) who grew up in Paris and
Minneapolis. Ornette Coleman opened up the jazz universe for him when he was 15. He studied
with Alan Silva a.o.. In the beginning of his career he played with Anthony Braxton, Bruse Eisenbeil
and Fred Lonberg-Holm. A good start! In 2005 he debuted with ‘Credo’ an album for Clean Feed.
As a leader he debuted with his Michaël Attias Quartet also for Clean Feed in 2017 with ‘Nerve
Dance’. ‘Échos la nuit’ his first solo album, consists of twelve short improvisations that were 
recorded at La Maison en Bois in Abéville-La-Rivière, France, in December 2017. No overdubs!
Attias plays the piano with his right hand , and sax with the other one, often at the same time.
Impressive of course. I hoped to read somewhere why, but alas no information on what brought
Attias to this. But the delicate unison parts in several of the improvisations work very well and
impress. Ideas for this album matured over a period of twelve years. Attias needed not more than
one hour of well-aimed improvising to record all the material he had in mind. His improvisations
are lyrical and minimalistic. Fragile and strong at the same time. Breathing a serene and sensual
atmosphere. Very rich and full-grown music. A sublime release by the recently established Out of
Your Head Records, a label run by musician Adam Hopkins. (DM)
––– Address:


Christian Winther Christensen studied composition at the Royal Danish Conservatory and quickly
developed into a composer with a very outspoken language. Christensen is familiar with the
tradition of composed music, and engaged himself intense with the work of Lachenmann and
Ligeti. But in the end he finds himself above inspired by composers of his own generation. I’m not
completely sure but I think this is the first release covering his work only. The album presents
following chamber works  ‘Almost in G’, ‘Sextet’, ‘Chorale’, ‘String Trio’, ‘Nachtmusik’, ‘Being Apu
Sarkar’ and ‘Four Hyper-Realistic Songs’. All composed between 2006 and 2017. Performed by
Scenatet , a Copenhagen-based ensemble, founded by Anna Berit Asp Christensen in 2008. The
ensemble works “in a field between contemporary music and conceptual art, often with a
surprisingly non-instrumental, sensuous and bodily approach to exploring the relation between
music, art and people”. The ensemble has following members: Hannah Törnell Wettermark (flute),
Vicky Wright (melodic, clarinet, bass clarinet), Karl Husom (trumpet), Matias Seibæk (melodica &
percussion), Frederik Munk Larsen (guitars), Tine Rehling (harp), Sven Micha Slot (piano), Kirsten
Riis-Jensen (violin), Mina Fred (viola), Karolina Ôhman (cello), conducted by Manuel Nawri. As
you can see the works are played on normal classical instruments, but the music sounds very odd
and different from what we know and normally expect. The cd opens with the title work, a
compositions in four parts of very detailed and tonal music. It soon becomes evident that we enter
a very outspoken and well-defined universe, designed by a brave composer who is in for
something completely different. Glimpses of traditional music every now and then shine through
his hyper odd constructions. But he shows above all a refreshing absurdism. His short compositions
are dynamic have an urgent drive of pulse. They are often built from short gestures and patterns
from the players using many extended techniques. How experimental and far out this music maybe,
on the other hand it is also very natural and enjoyable. Very human and humor is not far away. He
cd closes with four hyper realistic songs. Because of the term ’hyper realism’ they bring the work by
Noah Creshevsky to mind. Also a composer who wanted to reach for new territories. But maybe
better no comparisons in this unique case. ‘Almost in G’  is an intriguing work by a composer with
a very strong vision and handwriting of his own. Released by the prestigious Col Legno-label,
specialized in contemporary music and based in Vienna, Austria. (DM)
––– Address:


The minor city of Nijmegen in Holland used to be good soil for innovative jazz and improvised
music. For many years there was a lively scene. But is not fair just to speak in the past tense, as
there still is activity, although I don’t know much of younger generations stepping in. Anyway with
‘Birds’ Song’ we are in the company of two veterans of the Nijmegen-scene who are still in
business. Both were members of Wave an ensemble led by saxophonist Jos Engelhard, some 30
years ago. Fred van Duijnhoven performed a lot with I company, ensembles of Ig Henneman, a.o.
Van der Zanden is experienced as a member of  diverse ensembles performing classical and
modern composed music. In 2017 both met again and van der Zanden made his return jazz and
improvisation. Resulting in this sympathetic duo effort. Birdsongs  fascinate van Duijnhoven
already for a long time and make a common thread concerning the albums released under his
own name. Already in 1996 he released ‘Bellbird’, inspired on birdcalls, in duets with bassist
Pieter Douma and vocalist Niels Derks. ‘Bird’s nest’ for solo drum followed in 2002 and also for
the single cd ‘Breuk’ (2013), birdscalls inspired van Duijnhoven. Now, we are six years later and
van Duijnhoven surprises once again with a work in this line: ‘Birds’Song’. The combination of
flute and drums may sounds unusual, but while listening it soon becomes evident this makes very
good sense here.  The ten titles on the cd are for the biggest part compositions by van der Zanden
en van Duijnhoven.  Van der Zanden composed three and van Duijnhoven composed one track.
‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ is a composition by American saxophonist Eddie Harris. Van Duijnhoven
is not the kind of drummer who concentrates solely on beat and rhythm. Instead he includes other
aspects in his playing as well, as for example melody. The music is relaxed but a lot happens. It is
joy to listen to all movements and gestures made by van Duijnhoven. Very full-grown music with
warm playing by van der Zanden. Quality delivered by dedicated and experienced musicians who
follow their own way. (DM)
––– Address:


I’ve listened to this album at least eight times so far. Actually, there were two occasions on which I
played it on repeat, so I’m not entirely sure how many times though I heard it then… probably twice
each time? Hard to say. What’s easy to say is that I think “Prescient/Legend” is fantastic. Search
Ensembles (note the plural) produces entirely compelling ambient music made for shutting out the
world for awhile and submitting to its mystery. This is some heavy-atmosphere stuff, but it also
seems expansive and organic. As the band names makes clear, several different ensembles
contributed to “Prescient/Legend”, with occasional overlap of performers executing a single idea.
The group’s cohesion is especially impressive when one considers that this album was made by
12 artists scattered across several continents: Alan Courtis (Reynols), Cedric Peyronnet
(Toy.Bizarre), Slavek Kwi (Artificial Memory Trace), Eric Lanzillotta, Michael Northam, Dale Lloyd
(the artist/curator behind the and/OAR label and its either/OAR subsidiary), Jani Hirvonen (Uton),
Phil Legard (Xenis Amputae Traveling Band) and more. The globally-stationed participants
contributed field recordings and other evocative sounds (flute, recorder, percussion, electronics,
other less easily identifiable elements) in various duo, trio, and quartet combinations with one
long Northam solo piece bringing the proceedings to a meditative close. And yet, this is not a
compilation; it’s very plainly a coherent album by a single band with a recognizable sound and
focus. Listening to “Prescient/Legend” is like eavesdropping on excerpts of a hushed ritual in
some secluded outdoor location… each piece makes excellent use of ambient acoustics, with actions
exploiting the living energy of an imagined environment. Some sections reminded of the natural
rhythms of animal movement in the dead of night… bats, wind, insects, the moaning of a predator
scurrying around unseen in the dark. It’s not emotionally/tonally “dark” music at all, but seems to
take place in hazy darkness. Single woodwind notes sail out from the shadows, slowly rising and
falling and melding with one another. This is the sort of ambient music that grabs you by the
shoulders and implores you to lean in and listen deeply. Highest recommendation! (HS)
––– Address:


Not so long ago, in Vital Weekly 1156, Dolf Mulder discussed ‘I’m Fine With The Swirling Colors’
by Anders Vestergaard (percussion, feedback and sine waves) and Finn Loxbo (acoustic steel
guitar) and now there is already a new release. This duo uses a set-up of one acoustic guitar and
two drums with an analogue feedback system and a sine wave generator and in 2017 they started
working on this piece is the French village of Saint Erme, which also gave the title for this release.
They performed the piece a couple of times and when in Stockholm they recorded a studio version
at the EMS studios. This is quite a radical piece of opposite tones. The sine waves and feedback
tones shimmer in the background and very much upfront are the guitar and drums. They play loose
tones and notes for most of the time and I am not entirely sure how the sine waves and feedback
response to that play. Somehow, somewhere I think they do, but maybe, even so, they don’t. The
guitar and drums sound very dry, cut short and very dry. It makes that you have no idea when the
next ‘bang’ is going to be here and what it will sound like. The interaction between the musicians is
great but also the way in which they respond to the machines (or vice versa of course if you can
imagine that sort of thing) is great. There isn’t much action, even when there is also not a lot of strict
silence here, gives it somehow a meditative character, even when perhaps some of the higher
pitched tones are a bit unsettling to be a pure sort of Zen thing. In the last ten minutes, the action is
growing in intensity with more sounds from sine waves and feedback, but also the guitar playing
more notes. It becomes an entirely different thing almost yet it is also a fitting coda to the music.
Altogether this is quite powerful music. (FdW)
––– Address:


According to the information David Chalmin worked with the greatest of our times, Madonna, Bon
Ivar, Zu, Efterklang, Third Eye Foundation and many more in a role as technician and producer and
yet, somehow, he did not have a solo record. Ici D’ailleurs, a French label of many years, asked
him for a solo record, which is now released and they say, “David revealed himself to be a great
electronic music composer as well as a radical producer”. As for genres, they mention Intelligent
Dance Music (Didn’t know that was still in use. What do I know?), Berlin school, industrial and
classical music. It might not be something I heard; also the aspect of radicalness is perhaps a bit
questionable, and yes, I am aware that in press texts these things sound the way the sound in
order to sell a record, or two. The six pieces are instrumental and deal with quite a bit of synthesizer,
drum machines, samplers and effects. A piece such as ‘Les Âmes Perdues’ is one of those IDM
pieces; a bit techno inspired but perhaps not necessarily a piece of dance music. The closing piece
‘Lumière Blanche’ is the classical corner with some introvert piano playing. Those are fine pieces.
The pumping synths of ‘Matière Noire’ I found less convincing; there is neither head nor tail in this
piece, just this gated synthesizer sound. Also, ‘Vertige’ is not so convincing with its muddled rhythm
and techno synths. ‘À l’aube’ and ‘Images Nocturnes’ are the most ambient inspired outings on this
release and both work quite well. Nothing special perhaps, but they are effective and
atmospherically pieces of music. So, all in all received with mixed feelings. (FdW)
––– Address:


Terrie Hessels is still the old punk rocker; he still calls himself Terrie Ex, the only surviving member
of The Ex’ original line-up and, although I believe The Ex or Terrie Ex don’t identify themselves as
punk rockers, I think they are. Not just because of the use the name, in good Ramones style, but
also because they are always searching for new ways to play music and not being limited to one
specific style, the 1, 2, 3, 4 go punk rock. Over the years Terrie Ex has played with many musicians
from the world of improvised music and with Ken Vandermark he is part of Lean Left, along with
Andy Moor (also from The Ex) and Paal Nilssen-Love. In 2014 Vandermark and Ex took the stage
as a duo for the first time and played a dozen concerts together. In Hessels’ home, they recorded
this powerful, short explosion of ten pieces in the space of thirty-five minutes. Terrie Ex on guitar
and Ken Vandermark on tenor saxophone and clarinet; sometimes it seems as if Ken is actually
on both at the same time. Of course, this is totally free improvised music, with a tendency towards
free jazz, but especially the way Ex plays his guitar, with his roots in non-traditional use of the guitar
(i.e., perhaps, his punk roots), the anarchistic approach to scratching, hitting, banging, or whatever
these six strings play off well against some of the more jazzy approaches of Vandermark. It is
furious, rhythmic at times, chaotic at other times, and, surprisingly perhaps, there is also a bit of
humour in some of these pieces. Also to be noted is the great interaction between both players.
There is some response, reaction and action in here, supplementing and opposing each other,
going all wild or sheer silence, such as in ‘Instant Extant’, a very carefully played conversation.
Perhaps this is on the short side, but it’s quite powerful. (FdW)
––– Address:


Every day you learn to know new musicians, such as Doreen Girard, but also you learn about the
instruments they play. Girard plays the tsymbaly, of which Wiki tells, “Is the Ukrainian version of
the hammer dulcimer. It is a chordophone made up of a trapezoidal box with metal (steel or
bronze) strings strung across it. The tsymbaly is played by striking two beaters against the strings.”
That read and listening here, it is perhaps not the way she plays it. There is no frame of reference
here. Tim Olive plays his magnetic pickups and last he was back in his former home country to play
at the Sounds Like festival Saskatoon and the day before he recorded music with Girard, which is
now “overlaid and minimally edited”. The result is quite a short CD, of just over twenty-six minutes,
and it is quite lovely. It starts like a bumpy ride, with the strings being plucked and Olive on his
pickups with some rough sounds and it sounds quite raw with loving intention to do so. It cracks
and bursts under the mild attacks, but then slowly moves gentler explorations, in which the bow
starts playing a bigger role. In the final section, these two ends are going for a clash of bowing,
scraping and some lovely textures produced by Olive, with sounds almost sparking off from
whatever it is that he touches upon. It is quite the rocky road but it works all very well. There is a
collage-like approach yet because of superimposing various recordings together there is also a
great continuity in this.
    A couple of years earlier, Olive did a recording on “a lovely afternoon in Montreal, minimally
edited”, with the well-known turntablist Martin Tétreault. Again we find Olive on the magnetic
pickups. Although they have worked together before, “across three decades”, this is their first
release together. It is not difficult to see these two releases with Tim Olive together and depending
on which one is heard first and which second, will, perhaps, decide how these are viewed. In a
way, Olive takes his talent for the magnetic pickups up with a more acoustic instrument (with
Girard) and here with a slightly more electronic approach, the turntables of Tétreault. Music made
with the use of turntables is somehow always inclined to have some of the rhythm cadences to it
and this is no different. The rotating surfaces, which may not necessarily be pieces of vinyl, of
course, are scanned by needles and perhaps other amplified objects, to which Olive adds his own
blends of electric sounds, currents being pick up from the various apparatus in use and as such, I
can imagine Tétreault has something to choose from. The music ranges from ‘considerable quiet’
to ‘pleasant present’ or even ‘nice noise’ and in each of the four pieces, they seem to be moving
along those lines, with fine, intelligent conversation. A fine meeting this is of improvised music,
electro-acoustic and musique concrete and at thirty-six minutes it seems the right length; not too
much, just enough to get it right. (FdW)
––– Address:


Somewhere in the back of my mind, I hear a grey cell piping up saying ‘you know Denis Frajerman’
and I can’t remember where what and when. A quick look on Discogs told me he had a bunch of
mid-’90s releases on the no longer existing label Noise Museum. He was also a member of Palo
Alto, along with Laurent Pernice. One of the ‘old’ guys then, and seeing Klanggalerie releases his
CD is a confirmation of that. That Viennese label released new and old music by mainly old dudes;
The Residents are heavily present in their catalogue, but also Renaldo & The Loaf, Bourbonese
Qualk and a re-surfaced Eric Random. Sadly, I don’t hear many of the label’s output. Here we have
two works on one CD. First, there is the four-part ‘Wastelands’, with Susannah Rooke reciting the
T.S. Eliot poem (April is the cruellest month and so on). Originally Frajerman used rhythm boxes
and keyboards but had it re-recorded with drums cello, violin, guitar, bass clarinet and saxophone.
The other part is called “Lawrence Of Arabia” and contains of ten songs, for a more or less similar
set-up. It says on the press info: ‘no computers, no samplers, no sequencers’, as if that is some sign
of quality. I never get this mentioning of things not used. Must be me. These pieces were all
previously released on compilations and all recorded in recent years. One is a cover of a Minimal
Compact Song, and the album is dedicated to Samy Birnbach, the singer of that Israeli group. I
quite enjoyed the small orchestral sound of the ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’ pieces. It has a great Middle
Eastern feel, and yes, I know that is a too generic approach, but it’s best I can do. The music is
mostly instrumental, mellow and direct. I was reminded of the other fine Frenchmen with small
chamber music, Pascal Comelade and Klimperei for instance. A microphone is set-up and around
it, people are playing their instruments, not further make-up to the sound, no fancy studio tools.
The four pieces that makeup ‘Wastelands’ are similar, perhaps less ethnic in feel, but perhaps
with the voice being so very much upfront in the mix, it makes it hard to avoid, to see it as part of
the total musical picture. For someone like me, who likes mostly instrumental music, that is
perhaps a bit too much voice. Maybe I am more the kind of guy who picks up ‘Wastelands’
while listening to a piece of music, which could very well the ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’ pieces on
this release. (FdW)
––– Address:


There are a few things that I can’t deny, such as working at one point for Staalplaat, until some
sixteen years ago, and as such being responsible for a steady stream of Muslimgauze releases. I
am not going to say sorry for that. The whole subscription thing that Staalplaat did at one point to
assure fans getting their daily dose of Gauze was my idea. It is also no secret that I wasn’t his
biggest fan. I already spilt the beans on that in the form of a book about those years. I also recount
in that tome the well-known story of Muslimgauze requesting a master tape back, because the
PLO signed a peace treaty with Israel. The master in question was a DAT tape, then an expensive
format and Bryn Jones, a.k.a. Muslimgauze re-used the tape and Staalplaat released the
appropriately titled ‘Betrayal’. We at Staalplaat, always thought it was a pity since ‘Shekel Of Israeli
Occupation’ was felt to be a great Muslimgauze release. Now only a few tracks in remixed were
released on ‘Hamas Arc’, the EP preceding the album, and as it turned one of the best selling
Muslimgauze releases. So much to my surprise, I learned that ‘Shekel Of Israeli Occupation’ was
found and released, all thanks to a cassette copy I made for a guy in the UK. Your honor, I
definitely don’t remember this happening. I checked this story in the background; still knowing
which strings to pull even when I am no longer the puppet master and I can confirm it is indeed the
genuine article. After some twenty-five years do I recognize this music; yes, sir, I do. This is some
classic mid-90s Muslimgauze, with tribalistic rhythms, nicely shimmering electronics and oddly a
fine sense of experimentalism. ‘Iraqkuwait’ never seems to start, trying to get to start but it doesn’t. It
is the Muslimgauze sound that I like, actually. I kept very few of his releases over the years and
sometimes go back to a clip on YouTube, in a kind of nostalgic mood. With my name glorious
shining on a Muslimgauze CD, I’d say this is then the one for future trips in the past. It has a great
gold and black cloth cover and looks like a wonderful memento of bygone days. I sometimes don’t
miss these at all, and sometimes I do. (FdW)
––– Address:

  Apo to Spiti)

While the name of Pandopoulos is not one that ever popped up in these pages, the name of
Drygianakis, of course, has a couple of times. These days are best known for his solo work, but in
the late 80s also responsible for a group called Optical Musics (see Vital Weekly 1079 for a review
of retrospective release). In a sort of gap in between doing projects, the two men worked on music
together in which newly acquired technology, such as MIDI technology streamlining synthesizers
‘multi-timbre’ synthesizers and drum machines, was used to play something along the lines of non-
Western music; something that was along the lines (and yet different) from the world of Peter
Gabriel, WOMAD, Muslimgauze and Bryne/Eno. Of course without going to such non-Western
places, and it turned out they learned about it from books and created their own idealized version
of it. These recordings were made on a four-track cassette machine and later transferred to DAT
and somehow it took some thirty years to release this, but I am glad they did find a home for it. It
comes in a great digipack with an interesting text (in Greek and English), explaining what it is
about. Which I think is a good thing as otherwise, I would not know what this is all about. I quite
enjoyed this electronic music as it had that vaguely ethnic notion and yet also sound all very
electronic. Perfect fusion perhaps? There are some very gentle melodies here and some fine
rhythms. It is not easy to say what kind of ground is covered here (well, what they tried to cover
here) in terms of continents, countries or such things. I easily admit not knowing enough about
those things to know my way around it, but then I must also say I didn’t care that much anyway. I
just enjoyed the sheer musicality of it all and in no way, this sounds dated; just still some lovely
music, so it’s good to see it is released. (FdW)
––– Address:

  compilation by Attenuation Circuit)

Ah, it says here “the four-way split LP is a common format in the global sound culture, “Fiction
Circuit” is more than just a compilation”; ah, of course, I muttered. Maybe they are right, I thought
upon closer inspection of the information, cover and music. It is, in some way, a classic late ’80s
product of sound exchange, blurring lines between composers and suppliers of sound material.
On one side we find the source material supplied by Artificial Memory Trace in the hands of PBK
and Gerald Fiebig, each creating their ten or so minute piece. The same happens on the other
side, except the source material is recorded by PBK and now it’s time for Artificial Memory Trace
and EMERGE to play around with these sounds. Even an old sceptic, when it comes to
compilations, like me would agree that is indeed something different. Pieces might actually not
be ten minutes, I thought, when I was playing the PBK track, which seemed longer than Fiebig’s
track. PBK, as we recently (two weeks ago) found out is still a man who loves his industrial roots,
with heavy use of effects. To hand him the probably delicate sounds of Artificial Memory Trace is a
bold move and he reworks them into quite a beast and feast of sound transformation. Heavy-duty
noise, which is also a bold move on his part; it is not the way field recordings are usually treated.
Fiebig, on the other hand, keeps matters small and drone-like. He chops the material together and
carefully selected a few sounds and pastes these in a wonderfully fine mellow drone. Artificial
Memory Trace isn’t always very careful with his music, but also with the sounds produced by PBK
he knows his way around with the reverb unit, and with a pair of scissors he does a random cut-up,
set against fine glacial drones, ultimately going for some stuttering digital effects. EMERGE,
together with Fiebig, the men behind the label, may have swung by Fiebig and looked at the
notes he made (literally, maybe) and went; ah yes, a drone approach is nice. Then, of course,
he is known to play a fine drone himself and that’s what he does here. That makes that two times
two approaches are similar, which is something of interest and great excitement. This is a great
compilation; four bands on LP is the best format for such a thing. (FdW)
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In 1995 a Dutch young man called himself Meeuw and released his first 7″ on his label Meeuw
Muzak. Now, in 2019 there is release number 050. No celebration of any kind, so I assume, but
over the years it has been a very consistent label. Apart from an 8″-inch lathe cut record and two
10″ records, they have all been 7″ releases and always with a big hole in the middle and a cover
printed with effective low end means. There is no Meeuw Muzak sound; the releases can be very
musical, very funny (and musical at the same time) and sometimes sound art. This release is
clearly from the latter area of interest. Minuro Sato, also known as m/s is most active with sound
installations and releases not that much music. Asuna is a man whose concerts are a curious form
of live action and installation. I saw him perform his ‘100 keyboards’, just by switching them on, one
by one, until this beautiful drone emerged. A year or so later I saw him play many objects, tumblers,
toys, ping pong balls and it looked like a pinball machine; both concerts were very tactile. On this 7″
they combine their love for strange sounding objects such as the ‘air column resonator’ and
Helmholtz resonator’, which I assume is what m/s brought to the table, while Asuna once again
shows his love for keyboards manufactured by Casio. But then what? Listening to these two
pieces of organised humming and droning I kept thinking that it sounds really great, but man oh
man, all too brief. Even at 33 rpm, and I have no idea if that is the correct speed. I wish that Meeuw
Muzak would have returned to the 10” format for this, and there is some great interaction between
all those resonances produced, keys of keyboards taped and motor being picked. Maybe both
gentlemen should think about doing a CD of this stuff with some longer pieces. This, for now, is
great but I was tired of getting up and changing the record all the time. (FdW)
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This is subtitled ‘Historical Obscurities Vol. 4’. The previous was all about ‘industrial music’, but now
it’s all pop music. “This CD contains remixed and re-recorded versions of some of our more ‘pop’
tracks that appeared on now long out of print vinyl releases on eMpTy and Musical Tragedies”, it
reads on the cover. Besides some musicians that always seem to appear on Mirran releases
(Adrian Gormley, Michael Wurzer, Joseph B. Raimond, as he’s the boss of the band), we find such
odd luminaries as Zoogz Rift, Eddie Clarke of Motorhead (as it says on the cover; both deceased),
Kid G, Lars Sorensen, Denise Kusiak, Joolie Wood of Current 93, “and of course Fraulein Niemand,
who could forget her?”, well, yeah, who could? Pop music is a word with meaning as big as a
container here as within the world of Doc Wör Mirran anything is possible and much is happening.
But sure enough, there is some validity to the statement of this being pop music. Doc Wör Mirran
here sounds like a band, guitar, drums/drum machines, bass and vocals. Now, the latter is surely a
rarity in these days of the Docs. Humour is, as always, a constant presence in the world of Mirran.
Here with titles as ‘Chake Can’t’, ‘Punk Floyd’ and ‘Chumbawannamakemoney’, which is actually a
punk song. There is also a sort of shanty thing, folky in ‘Evolution’, free rock in ‘Cymbal Mix (Find
The Title)’, guitar doodles, there is a protest song in the form of ‘Save The Fish’, which, after all
these years I could still sing along, as I had the LP back then (actually it would have been nice to
have a list of which these releases these pieces came from). A very mixed bag this one, a very full
bag also, with seventy-six minutes of music this makes for an extended stroll on a lazy Sunday
afternoon. (FdW)
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The last time I heard music by Jason Corder, best known as Offthesky (but also Color Cassette
and Juxta Phone) was also with a release for Eilean Records, the CDR and DVDR release ‘Silent
Went The Sea’ (Vital Weekly 1041). he releases much more, but a lot doesn’t seem to be making it
to these pages. The music on this album was “composed in Fall of 2017 in Denver, Poland, Latvia
and Kentucky” and later on mixed with Corder at the piano, vibes, prayer bowls, percussion,
synthesis & sound design, composition, editing and mastering. There is some help from others on
voices, viola/violin, saxophone, cello, oboe, flute, rainsticks and “misc textures”. Just like before, I
could say and the music is once again a fine drift along the beach. For reasons I am not sure if that’s
the vibe I get from this music; a watery feeling, like sitting on the beaches and sounds washing
ashore, chimes in the distance, all in a gentle flow. Those chimes might be the bowls and
percussion, which get the occasional bump from Corder, but perhaps are also played in other
ways to come up with some fine drones. There is quite a relaxing feel to the music, which is great,
as I decided this will be the final album to review for today; I also realized that the music Corder
offers here, borders close to the world of new age. The weightless space is not black here, but
white, the humming ethereal and angelic, and only occasionally Corder steps out of line with
something strange, crackling, buzzing or even mildly distorted. I wish he would do that a bit more
here and a bit less of those tacky bits. It is by far a bad album, don’t get wrong here. There is much
to enjoy here but I am also tired from a short night and a long day, so I am soaking this up easily.
Oh, maybe I am at the age to enjoy the new age? Let me put on some noise and make some
dinner. (FdW)
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COIMS – R BARD COLUMN (cassette by Aphelion Editions)

Aphelion Editions is a small label from the UK, specialized in presenting musicians that I never
heard of, as it is proven here with Sgt. Elyas and Coims. Both of these cassettes are also available
a CDR, apparently. Behind the first name, we find Elyas Pollet from France, yet living in London.
He recorded the music on this forty-minute cassette in France with the help of a computer, guitar
and Tascam recorder. While the cover lists various pieces for what I assume is Side A and Side B,
it really listens like one track per side, going through various motions. Sgt. Eyas likes his guitar to
howl around in a cold and distant space, the result of using quite some reverb and controlled
feedback tones. There are also moments that are less rooted in the world of drones, and perhaps
could be labelled to be distant percussion. It all sounds like it has been recorded in an old factory,
now stripped bare. Apparently, so I am informed this partly improvised, with a lot of delays and
“real-time manipulated samples” and sounds like a top-heavy long, dark Ash Ra Temple song
with a long Göttsching solo slowed down and spiced with reverb; perhaps a bit too much reverb, I
thought. Otherwise, this was quite nice.
    Slightly more experimental is the music by one Coims. Not sure if this is a band or not. Maybe
it is, maybe not. Judging by what I hear I’d say there is an interaction between percussion and
guitar/electronics and/or bass. As always: I might be very wrong here. Here, the element of
improvisation shines through clearly and there are a call and response element within the music
that, perhaps, one could label as ‘jazz’, but preferably with a word before that; doom jazz?
Demented jazz? Or, as Aphelion Editions, dub jazz? None of which, I hasten to say, covers it,
really. There is also some sort of singing in ‘Tomorrows Gosling’, of a sort of outsider nature. No
words, just a howl or a cry; I am not sure there. ‘Strachans Michaela’ on the other side ventures
out into a fusion of start/stop approach of the first side but then in a more rock-like approach. Free
rock, obviously. I am not sure what to make of this; it was perhaps not the sort of thing that I hear a
lot, and the somewhat loose approach with these pieces wasn’t always convincing but they sure
have their own set-up and sound, which is a great thing. (FdW)
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CHURCH SHUTTLE – MIND LEASH (cassette by Anathema Archive)

All the music on this cassette is just on one side of this cassette, and it’s some forty-six minutes
long. The cover lists two track titles, but I heard more than two. One Chris Durham is behind
Church Shuttle and the music is recorded on a four-track Tascam, using tapes, synth pads,
feedback, found object, record loops and words. Throughout the music here is pretty much rooted
in the world of noise music, the good ol’ variation of industrial music. With the use of cassettes, it
is the case that the noise is toned a bit, depending of course on the duplication. In this case, it
certainly is not really over the top, but the music surely noise. Mucho distortion, records locked on
a groove to supply the rhythm and the voice through a bunch of additional stomp boxes, screaming
and howling. A long time ago, this would have been called power electronics; maybe people still
use that term?  Halfway through the tape, the sound changes a bit (maybe then, so I thought, this is
the start of the second piece, even when that too has different pieces or parts?), but that too has
some of the garbled vocals and over the top feedback and distortion. Surely this is all alienated,
strange, frustrated or otherwise a tormented soul; or perhaps we are led so to think that. I am not
sure. It is music that I had on heavy rotation in exactly those times we called this power electronics,
and while these days not so much anymore, it is a good reminder of happier days. That might
sound odd, but listening all day to cassettes was a great way of passing time in the ’80s. (FdW)
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