Number 1187

  Records) *
JORG PIRINGER – DARKVOICE (CD by Transacoustic Research) *
ATHANA – THE MAY SESSIONS 0518 (CD, private) *
  by Blank Forms Editions) *
CLINTON GREEN – YOUNG WOMEN OF ASIA (7″ by Shame File Music) *
HOMO – A GOOD DOG IS A BAD WOLD (CDR by Gravacoes Tunguska) *
  Tunguska) *
KAGERAW – SEEKING OUT THE SPIRIT (cassette by Gravacoes Tunguska)
SISTO ROSSI/XQM (cassette by Noise Control Act)
EVOLUTION ENDS?/XQM(cassette by Noise Control Act)
MUSIC FOR A FEW PEOPLE (cassette compilation by Non-Interrupt)


It is quite a surprise to see Esc Rec releasing something like a physical object. It’s not what they
do a lot, unfortunately. They surely have faith in Matthijs Kouw. I must have said it before, and I
say it again: I know Kouw from way, way back, when I was working in the office of a record
company and he was this young man, armed with a laptop, showing me stuff that he did with
sound that looked and sounded like someone who knew what he was doing. I think we even
shared a ‘stage’ on one of those long afternoons of free laptop improvisation. Later on, he moved
out of sight but since some two years, he’s back and actively releasing music. His partner in crime
is Radboud Mens, with whom he has an ongoing relationship exploring drones from modular
synthesizers (Kouw) and long-string instruments (Mens). Here we have Kouw in solo mode and
the cover lists no instruments or sound sources; just the five titles, that Jos Smolders did the
mastering for and the artwork is credited to Xia Gui. I understand from information from the man
himself that this CD is made with guitar and e-bow, which in turn has been manipulated with
software and that there is no modular synthesizer used here.
    In 2007 Kouw went to the Wudang Mountains in China to study meditation and martial arts and
that is what inspired this album, along with his interest in Daoism. According to the press release,
“Daoism teaches us that the foundational cannot be named and identified, but rather has to be
experienced first hand. This album is an invitation to the listener to dwell in this space of the
unnameable and the mysterious, and to embrace it wholeheartedly”, and listening to this music it
is very easy to see how that works out in the music Kouw produces. The D-word is obvious, just as
A for ambient. The drones Kouw produces have that all immersive character that good drone music
should have, regardless if you play this very loud, or very quiet, if you care to devote all your
attention to it, or play as some background music. I tried it all and it works on all of those levels.
One’s attention is of course drawn to different aspects of the work. I preferred a sort of medium
volume, which allows for all the sounds to be heard, with that fine, rich amount of detail, but without
forcing itself too much upon your ears. It is not easy to single out any field recordings in this music,
so we have to take his word for it that they are in there. The music becomes a fine physical
presence in my living room, without taking over my complete environment. When I put up the
volume there is a fine layer of mild distortion pressing through the music, which is fine, but for
me a bit too much, and when it’s too soft the details are not there enough for my taste. It is all
together with a very refined album of drones, of ambient music and with that right amount of
roughness around the edges to make sure it does not become some new age meditation
music. This is an excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Very hot on the heels of ‘The Pentheus Myth’, an unreleased old work by Kostas Pandopoulos &
Costis Drygianakis (Vital Weekly 1184), there is now a re-issue of the latter’s work ‘Chondros And
Katsiani On The Mountain’, which he composed in 1998 and which was broadcasted by Greek r
adio back then. It was released in 2006 by Alli Poli but now is due for a re-issue. I had no idea
who Thanasis Chondros and Alexandra Katsiani were, but thanks to the extensive booklet, I
realized they were Dim. Retire, of whom, so I think, I reviewed a CD when Vital was a fanzine on
paper. Thanks to the extensive text in the booklet here, I know they were artists, with a Fluxus
background and already a bit older. They knew, in the early 80’s Costis Drygianakis, and when
John Adams completed his opera ‘Nixon In China’, they saw a line from ‘Einstein On The Beach’
and suggested that Costis would do an opera about the then leader of the conservative party,
‘Mitsotakis In Trikala’. The idea stuck, but instead, Costis started to use voice bits from Chondros
and Katsiani, also teachers and performers and during two separate periods of four years he
composed this radiophonic drama. For the music end, Drygianakis plays all the instruments
himself and these include percussion, piano and lots of electronic sounds; found sounds as well
as those plundered from other people’s records. Joy Division’s ‘Substance’ is mentioned but not
detected by these ears, nor did I hear Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I understand from the booklet that
all of this was made tongue in cheek, the parody of aforementioned operas, and that shows through
‘text and music’, which is not something I can say happens. Maybe I am just playing this all in a
serious state of mind, too seriously maybe, and enjoying the strange, one hour long sound collage
of improvised music passages, mixed with a sequenced beat and some hand manipulated objects.
There are also the occasional spoken words, in Greek, and even with the translation at hand, I am
not sure about the humour. But whatever, so I was thinking, I enjoyed it purely on its merits, and
that was the radiophonic work and Drygianakis did a great job there. It moves back and forth
between all sorts of sceneries, textures and moods and it is very pleasant work, even if something
is lost in translation, due time and context. (FdW)
––– Address:


David Rothenburg is building up an interesting life work. He is working on ‘interspecies music’!
Several of his earlier projects for Gruenrekorder, a German label specialised in field recordings,
soundscapes and sound art, has been reviewed here. But with this new release, it started to work
for me what Rothenberg is exploring. This project took five years (2014-2018), doing recordings in
Berlin and Helsinki, including a book as well as a documentary. Gruenrekorder again releases this
double CD, with a 20-page booklet included. Disc one has 72 minutes of recordings done in Berlin.
For disc two we are 69 minutes in Helsinki. As a composer and clarinettist with roots in jazz, to
make music with birds became a fascination that never left him. At the same time, it remains a
mystery for Rothenberg himself what attracts him in this possible communication that can never
be proven. His research on the relationship between music and birds is what made Rothenberg
known as an expert in this field. On earlier recordings, it was always just Rothenberg and the birds.
This time he invited musicians to participate: Emil Buchholz (bass), Korhan Erel (iPad), Wouter
Jaspers (Field Kit), Lembe Lokk (voice), Benedicte Maurseth (Hardanger fiddle), Wassim Mukdad
(oud), Jay Nicholas (electric bass in remix), Volker Lankow (frame drum), , Sanna Salmenkallio
(violin), Cymin Samawatie (voice) and Ines Theileis (voice). David Rothenberg plays the clarinet,
bass clarinet, seljefløyte and iPad.  Rothenberg: “The nightingales have helped me find the perfect
sound. By assembling just the right group of kindred spirits, together we dream of a way that
humans and nature might live closer together. Our species is warming the planet beyond
recognition, and this could mean the end of our reign over this place. Yet there are still these
moments during which humans can touch nature through sound happening all around us, as we
make music along with the nightingales of Helsinki and Berlin. The paths to animal music sit right
before us.” Most of the tracks have a clear recording of a nightingale, with few other environmental
sounds. For his recording in Berlin, Rothenberg is assisted by two or three musicians. The Helsinki
recording has him solo. So what is it that we are listening to? A one-sided communication, blinded
by idealism? Anyway, it is a very specific and consciously chosen musical response to aspects of
our environment that starts with a close listening, driven by curiosity what nature and environment
produce. In this case, the phrases produced by the nightingale. A sympathetic and sometimes
touching enterprise! The last track is a surprising one; a long one with some ‘real’ music. A
computer-generated beat, with a bass solo by Jay Nicolas. And ‘Nightingale as a machine,
machine as a nightingale’, Rothenberg explains. (DM)
––– Address:

JORG PIRINGER – DARKVOICE (CD by Transacoustic Research)

Multi-disciplinary artist (composer/film-maker/sound poet) Jörg Piringer describes his latest album
as dealing with “the role of spoken language in the age of pervasive and permanent electronic
surveillance”. He makes the connection between encoded digital messages and the secret
languages of organized crime (such as Rotwelsch). I think what he’s getting at is the sinister
subtext of digital communication leading to a breakdown of language, or stripping meaning from
language in order to evade systems that would decrypt private language use. At least, that’s what I
think he’s saying… it’s unclear precisely what he’s getting at. There’s certainly a long history of
sound poets subverting language as communication, using electronic means to abstract human
voices into tones and noises that defy literal meaning. How does “Darkvoice” add to the ongoing
conversation about privacy and encoded/secret language? Starting with samples of his own voice,
Piriniger built these 11 short songs up from sputtering snips of consonants, hiccups and elongated
vowels. The only sonic material he used was his own voice. But rather than challenging meaning
or confronting surveillance with his album, Piringer adopted the familiar language of electronic
dance music. He grafted his own vocal utterances into recognizable 4/4 patterns that one might
have heard a lot of in the early 2000s (like the stuff put out by Bip-Hop or Lucky Kitchen).
Throughout “Darkvoice”, each song is draped over a steady head-nodding rhythm, recognizable
bass lines and repeated melodic motifs all sculpted from the artist’s own gob. In case you just had
a mental image of Bobby McFerrin with Ableton Live, I should qualify that there aren’t many
moments that showcase vocal dexterity or “singing”; in fact, aside from a few sections that leave
the source legible, the sounds might have been anything. I’m still not clear on how this is about
surveillance or secret languages. Plenty of people have made music out of digitally processing a
voice; the vocalist/sound poet Jaap Blonk leaps to mind. In comparison, “Darkvoice” seems rather
safe; the songs have no swing, but neither are they as aggressively sterile or provocative as
Raster-Noton, Zeno van den Broek or Pan Sonic. Piringer’s articulated idiom is just another
language, very clearly communicating something that will strike listeners as recognizable. (HS)
––– Address:


Signe Emmeluth is a very young talent from Denmark. She is in her twenties and works from her
base situated in Oslo. She debuted last year as a leader with the really impressive album ‘Polyp’
by her quartet Emmeluth’s Amoeba. Besides she leads the quartet Konge with Mats Gustavsson,
Ole Morten Vågan and  Kresten Osgood. Also, she worked with important innovators like Paal
Nilssen-Love, John Edwards and Mette Rasmussen. For her new ensemble, the sextet Spacemusic
Emmeluth invited equally young artists from Rohey and Megalodon Collective: guitarist Karl Bjorå
(who was also on ‘Polyp’), pianist Anja Lauvdal (also synths), tuba player Heida Karine
Johannesdottir, drummer Andreas Winther and vocalist Rohey Taalah. Except for Taalah all add
vintage synths and no input mixers.  Not much phantasy is needed – listening to the intro of the
opening track – to imagine visualize a spaceship navigating through space. However, ‘space’ is
meant here in a different way: how can one create space in the music? “By playing with the
placement of sound sources one can change the perspective and sense of depth”, liner notes
explain. Emmeluth provided intelligent compositions, with free improvisation also as an important
part of the game. Especially the synth-dominated passages are very abstract and of a pleasant
weirdness. Besides Emmeluth composed melodic jazzy material that breathes an English
atmosphere. This leads to unusual and surprising ways of structuring the compositions. That
makes you wonder how they will proceed with their fascinating journey. It is above all this aspect
of her music that makes it very worthwhile and relevant. Full of contrasts and typical colouring that
make there is a lot to discover in this universe. For sure a creative spirit is at work here, searching
for new perspectives and procedures. No wonder this recording is released by Motvind, the outlet
of that other innovative unit Miman. (DM)
––– Address:

ATHANA – THE MAY SESSIONS 0518 (CD, private)

Athana is the long-lasting project of Alf Terje Hana, a Stavanger, Norway-based guitarist and
composer. ‘The May Sessions 051’, his latest one is – in his own words – ‘a rhythmic post-
industrial soundscape’. This time the nucleus is Alf Terje Hana (guitar, electronics), Torgeir Nes
(electronics, live sampling) and Øyvind Grong (bass, voice). Hana who earlier invited Stewart
Copeland for one of his projects, this time invited  ‘world star’ Jody Linscott (percussion) and Gary
Husband (drums, keyboards), plus vocals by Astrid Kloster and Christian Hovda. Husband is a
pianist and percussionist who worked with John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth and Jack Bruce.
Jody Linscott is an American session musician and percussionist. So we are in the company of
experienced musicians. That is not a problem. Their music, however, moves within a very
traditional and outdated concept of rock. Okay, with all technical possibilities, etc. that were not
available in the 70s, but in the end, Athana doesn’t bring anything new. We are offered a
grooving, spacy kind of prog rock, with endless solos by Hana embedded in ambient textures.
It is well executed, produced, etc., but in my view, nothing surprising or original is offered. Nothing
challenging. Just comfort. (DM)
––– Address:


Paal Nillsen Love is a very active and busy musician. Not only what concerns performing, but also
in preparing releases for his PNL Records that was initiated by him in 2007. Here he documents
his work with his big band, solo efforts, and his many collaborations in smaller units. Paths of
Vandermark and Nilssen cross regularly since 2002 and they did many duo concerts and CD
releases. ‘Screen Off’, their tenth album, is their way of celebrating this longtime collaboration.
They do this in an exceptional way in collaboration with Lasse Marhaug. Taking a kind of a meta-
position, they work here with a random amount of selected material of their performances recorded
from the audience and uploaded to Youtube, covering a time span of ten years (2008-2018).
Inspired by the Structural Film Movement (Michael Snow a.o.) Marhaug decided to take 60
seconds only from each video. The outtakes were not ordered chronologically but combined in a
way that made musically some sense. I’m not sure if Marhaug selected and combined the
fragments on his own. I suppose all three were involved in this process. Fragments of very
different sound quality pass by, echoing very different locations, etc. They end abruptly. Constantly
one is catapulted to another time and another place. A collage of very lively snippets that give a
relevant and clear impression of the energy and communication that was going on so far between
these two improvisers. Of course, often I thought ‘damn’ during this collage, as fragments end
abruptly, and I would love to enjoy the full journey. But okay, that is not the idea here. And in a
way there is continuity, especially concerning the intensity between these two performers. (DM)
––– Address:


Oddly enough it seems as if Rutger Zuydervelt, machine operator at Machinefabriek is occupied
with lots of other things these days and not so much with releasing new music; or, perhaps not all
reaches these shores. Here he has a follow-up to the album ‘Drawn’, which Foxy Digitalis released
in 2008, and which, so I believe, wasn’t reviewed in these pages. That album saw Zuydervelt
working with Mariska Baars, vocalist and guitar player of Soccer Committee and once described
by me as ‘Oren Ambarchi with vocals’. Together they are also part of the quartet Piiptsjilling, an on-
going concern for many years. Now the two of them have new work, ‘eau’, which is ‘water’ in French
and should be pronounced as “oh”. It is thirty-minutes and ten seconds long and one long stream of
sounds; the same sounds actually, but not repeating in a strict sense of the word. There are a bunch
of looped voices, Baars’ I assumed but in fact from both, topped with some eerie reverb and slowly
there is a whole bunch of small sounds added. A bit of guitar here, a passage with e-bow there,
some glitch sound, which you can’t tell it’s an accident or not, some crackles and everything
wanders about. At one point the voices disappear and a thumb piano opens up, slowly, crackling
with a contact microphone taped not so carefully and some more delay effects. All of these sounds
are produced by both of them. Following this interlude, the voices return but now rest in a slightly
busier sound field that doesn’t lose it’s calm, meandering feel. The end is like the beginning and it
is, so it sounds to me at least, the only to do now is to play it again and have it on repeat for
some time, preferably at a low to mid volume range and enjoy the subconscious stream of
sounds. (FdW)
––– Address:

  by Blank Forms Editions)

Sometimes I fear the day that my trusted accomplice Dolf Mulder says goodbye to Vital Weekly. It
would leave a serious gap in reviewing. Who else would do all of the free improvisation, modern
classical music and free jazz? As I was thinking about that I was listening to Masayuki Takayanagi
New Direction Unit and their (it is a quartet of players with the name giver on guitar, Kenji Mori on
alto sax, flute, bass clarinet, Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and cello and Hiroshi Yamazaki on percussion)
‘April Is The Cruellest Month’ (the second time TS Elliot makes it to these pages in a very short time),
a LP that was recorded for ESP in 1975 but that didn’t happen as the label folded. It was released in
1991 on CD and now re-issued by Blank Forms Editions. I am no expert when it comes to free jazz,
you must know this. I did hear ‘Machine Gun’ by Peter Brötzmann at one point, and Albert Ayler at
another point, mainly when people whose taste I have a high regard of, say it’s good, and I like the
energy of some of that music. Perhaps that’s what kept me listening to this release. I did my quick
check, to decide if that should go to Dolf, but I kept listening and found the music very captivating.
It rolls on quite heavily, within ‘We Have Existed’ a great role for the flute of Kenji Mori, whereas
Takayanagi on guitar is a brutal force behind the bass and percussion explorations, but in ‘My
Friend, Blood Shaking My Heart’ it an all-out assault on the senses, with Mori now on saxophone
and everybody with full-on aggression on their instruments, Takayanagi with some very heavy
guitar work, taking up half of the thirty-eight minutes here. In between, there is the shortest ‘What
Have We Given?’, which is the group in their most controlled and vulnerable playing, a moment
of relative unrest before the early form of Japnoise is unleashed upon the listener. I found this all
most enjoyable, and no, I don’t think I would easily step in Dolf’s free jazz shoes, but very
occasionally I like a blast, especially as furious as this. (FdW)
––– Address:


It should be no secret that I know Freek Kinkelaar very well and for a very long time. I have worked
with him on many occasions and while not as much these days, drifting apart and such, there is, so
it seems all of a sudden a new Brunnen LP. Or a re-issue? Or both, in fact? As Brunnen, Kinkelaar
plays some of his more moody, introspective pieces.  The catalogue (check out his is small and you’ll see there are two releases called ‘The
Garden Of Perpetual Dreams’, a new one, this LP version, an old one, from 1991, which was re-
issued on CDR in 1999. They are not the same releases. The new LP is not the old cassette. It fits
Brunnen’s tradition to take the old tapes and re-do them completely. The last Brunnen release,
‘Sometimes My Arms Bend Back’ (Vital Weekly 972) is partly reworked of ‘Goodbye Bye
Brunnen’ (Vital Weekly 77). Call it updated, reworked or remixed. These solo recordings were his
earliest solo recordings, just after he started Beequeen and show Kinkelaar in a hazy (free of
narcotic and alcohol actually), dreamy soundscapes, using the simplest of equipment. A
synthesizer loops from the cheapest 2-bit sampler available and the first signs of the use of voice,
which, later on, was a prominent feature in Brunnen’s music. Some of this is inspired by the
zoviet*france of that period, such as ‘Roger Caught A Rabbit’ (if I got that right, tracks tend to flow
into each other and there seem to be more tracks than titles; I might be wrong), with its crude ethnic
loop and flute sounds. That may sound a bit dated now, but throughout this music works very well.
Right after this, I played the original CDR (cassette missing, presumed lost) and I was listening to
something entirely different. Both have a great charming naivety about them, and while the original
is technically something that has room for improvement, this is now corrected on the LP version,
which sounds and shines with great depth. In twenty years this will be updated to a triple LP, the
original cassette, this LP and a further updated version. Can’t wait. (FdW)
––– Address:


Tablesports is a new label from Portugal, run by Hugo Mitsuhirato, who was, a long time ago, the
man behind a cassette label, Tragic Figures. This new enterprise is called a “safe haven for the
unruly, the growlers, the shapeshifters. We share the music we love, songs that move us, puzzle
us, haunt us, regardless of style and format.” The inaugural releases are by ‘older’ people he said
somewhat ashamed. Recently, in Vital Weekly 1182, I reviewed a cassette by PBK, called ‘Solution
Circulaire’ and noted the interest Philip B. Klingler, also known as PBK, had in Cluster. Perhaps not
something I heard entirely back in that cassette release, but in a private conversation with PBK, he
told me that he was “only interested in exploring what I could of their track “In Ewigkeit […] it’s a very
circular composition with the same super-slow melodic elements returning again and again only in
somewhat different fluxings each time”. I must admit I had to look up the original, because, as much
as I love Cluster, I am not that familiar with specific titles (and had a fine afternoon with some more
of their music). The original Cluster cover/tribute was recorded in 1998 for a compilation and then
expanded into the four pieces that are now on ‘Thinking Of Eternity’, which means in German
‘Gedachten Uber Ewigkeit’, gettit? It is worthwhile to play the original Cluster piece (I’m sure it is
somewhere on YouTube; otherwise invest in purchasing the original album ‘Sowieso’, never a
bad idea) and then play the PBK’s take on it. You will immediately note the differences, as his
approach is a much darker one, but unlike the cassette before, which I thought was at times pretty
abstract and industrial sounding, these pieces here are based on loops of sound, mainly from
synthesizers I would think and come with neat, shimmering melodic touches. Perhaps not the kind
of melodic touches, previously owned by Moebius and Roedelius, but it works very well. I
understand that the basic principle behind these pieces is that PBK set it all up, synthesizers,
sequencers, samplers and what have you, and then played the piece ‘live’, direct-to-tape. That is
something that works really well in these pieces. I have no idea if there has been much editing
afterwards; actually, I doubt that. I would rather think it all went by trial and error until he found the
best version of what he conceived to be a finished piece. PBK has some great control over all the
tools at his disposal; gentle mixing the various sound events into one unified pattern that becomes
the piece. It is like Cluster and then it is not, which for me is the best thing about being influenced
by something; not a blind carbon copy but one’s idea about it and take it further and create
something new.
    The other new record is by Achwghâ Ney Wodei, and the press text starts with the most curious
remark: “Achwghâ Ney Wodei is not a Bourbonese Qualk side project. ANW was a real art-band.”
Okay, thanks for the heads up, then. This group existed in the mid-80s and apparently some people
thought it was a Bourbonese Qualk undercover project, which I find hard to believe, listening to the
music. Achwghâ Ney Wodei was a quartet of François Boitière (drums, keyboards, vocals), Didier
‘Higgins’ Copp (bass, percussion, vocals), Eric ‘Riton’ Sterenfield (guitar, keyboards, percussion,
vocals) and Phillippe ‘Wodi’ Royer (percussion, trumpet, bass, vocals). They released a cassette
for the French label V.I.S.A. and later, in 1987, a triple 12″ for New International Records, a short-
lived by Simon Crab, of Bourbonese Qualk (maybe that should serve as an explanation?). That
was the last sign life of his band. This LP is a re-issue of those first cassettes, then housed in a cult
plaster Citroën DS model, and now the LP in a handmade cover. I didn’t hear this cassette back
then, nor did I hear the triple 12″; it probably was over my budget back then. The band called their
music ‘Razz!’, by which we are to understand it is influenced by “Jacques Tati, Blurt, Neu!, Les
Frères Jacques, Captain Beefheart, Tex Avery soundtracks, French working class Chanson and
music hall, Razz! is an unpredictable sound mass, a comedic blend of oddworldly jazz-funk,
repetitive motives, binary syncopated rhythms and narrative voices”; it somehow sounds very
French to me. The invention of a music genre reminded me of the invention of a language with
Magma, the music not unlike that of Un Department or D.D.A.A., but also with the roots in rock in
opposition, Univers Zero. It has humour (which may be lost in translation), strange sounds, weird
melodies, odd interjections and surreal notions. Yet the music has sounded like something from
the mid-’80s, owing to the world of post-punk and faux-funk, with its rough production techniques
and almost danceable rhythms. It is altogether, all nineteen tracks quite a wild ride, but a lovely
one. The energy level is kept up with all these short pieces, mood changes, alterations in tempo
and lots of funny, captivating and strange voices. A great record and a most welcome re-issue,
simply because it seems so out of the ordinary, compared to many other re-issues. (FdW)
––– Address:


A long, long time ago I wanted to release a flexi disc. I loved those, ever since music magazines
came with free ones and I still do. I phoned a company who manufactured these and asked
something along the lines of ‘how much for 100 flexi discs?’, thinking I wouldn’t sell anymore. The
sales rep on the other end laughed and said: “minimum run is 5000”. So I asked if they could do
1000 by exception, which was, he said, switching the machine on and immediately off, in order to
not overrun it, but sure he could. Selling 1000 flexi discs wasn’t easy, yet the upshot was that we
had a vast number of flexi discs to create new music with. Take a pair of scissors and chop them
up, stick m on a piece of cardboard and needle damage is your new friend. I still have a bunch of
them, as well as those created by AMK, who was into the same thing. These days you can do
easily 250 flexi discs only, so cutting them up for fun is not done that much anymore (you might
be able to sell that amount), but here Clinton Green uses a bunch of “Japanese and Pakistani folk
music” flexi disc on his turntables and on this lathe cut 7″ (edition of 50 copies only) he literally cuts
and pastes them together and creates a fine piece of scratchy sounds with a voice being stuck in a
groove. On the two studio pieces, this becomes a rather coherent mesh-up of hand-cranked
sounds, with some singing in the right spot (side A) and many crackles and stuck voice (side B).
In the download version, there is rather a sense of chaos and anarchy and distance. It is a very
short live cut at that, which I am not sure why it isn’t any longer. It would have been nice to hear a
bit more of this. Now I will grab some of my oldies, but I don’t think I will have the same result.
    On CDR we find volume 8 of ‘surface Noise’, which is a limited edition series of split releases,
documenting live performances. There are two more volumes to come, so it is announced. I
assume, as far as I recognize all these names that they are from Melbourne/Australia. Snacks, for
instance, is a trio of Jennifer Callaway (synth, vocals, objects), Dale Gorfinkel (vibraphone,
percussion) and Allanah Stewart (percussion, objects). The recording on this release is from their
first concert, in May 2017 at the Yarra Hotel in Melbourne. I only recognized the name Gorfinkel
from a previous solo release (Vital Weekly 963) and his work with Sonic Systems Laboratories
(Vital Weekly 616). You can hear that these people are versed players in the world of improvised
music and there is a fine, delicate balance between the percussion players (which, for all we know,
could be all three of them, including Callaway and her objects), finding a middle ground between
rhythms and textures and the abstract workings on the synth. This trio work on both ends, rhythmic/
melodic versus abstract/free in a fine way. There is no winner at the end.
    The other side of the split is a duo of Laura Altman (clarinet) and Monika Brooks (accordion);
they are members of a trio called Great Waitress, but also perform together in many other contexts.
This particular recording is from 2013 when they performed in a tunnel at the Central Station in
Sydney. Using the cavernous space (so I assume) to great effect, they play a series of sparse
notes, hanging in the air, and work occasionally with longer sustaining sounds that work like
clouds of sound in the air, that slowly drift away, outside the tunnel, into the open air. The music
is more conventionally improvised; the additional quality of the space in which it is performed
works really well here. (FdW)
––– Address:

HOMO – A GOOD DOG IS A BAD WOLD (CDR by Gravacoes Tunguska)
KAGERAW – SEEKING OUT THE SPIRIT (cassette by Gravacoes Tunguska)

Here we have three releases by a Portuguese label that has been going for twenty years and still,
their catalogue has about thirteen releases. There have been long periods of hibernation. All of
these artists are new to me. I started with Homo, which stands for Hysterical One Man Orchestra,
also known as Filipe Silva. His music has three basic propositions; lyrically these are ‘self-
addressed messages’ on “two years of reflections on how to survive psychologically and
spiritually while dealing with a self-inflicted hostile perception of the created world”. Emotionally,
with computer-generated voices to ‘sing’ the lyrics and sonically, this being something between a
song and something “more oblique”, which I think is meant as a soundscape. I am not sure what
these lyrics are supposed to mean, as they are hard to decipher; sometimes I am not even sure in
what language they are. The lyrics for ‘Are You The Moon’ I understand as they are in English and
are an odd love song, with a weird computer voice. Luckily the booklet includes the lyrics. Music
wise I would think these five pieces aren’t really songs but rather extended, lengthy improvisations
with noises, synthesizers and found sound. Homo doesn’t really care about playing a neatly
planned song but rather a subconscious stream of sound, ideas, and lyrics. Production values
are also not important so it seems, which sometimes results in a somewhat shrill sound. Bleak is I
think the word for this. It sounded not bad; it all sounded like a very personal document, a purge
    A purge is perhaps also the thing about Novo Projecto Terapeutico, the solo project of U-Sá
“and the multiple personalities that live within his mind”. He was inspired by Einsturzende
Neubauten and Throbbing Gristle and recorded between 1994 and 2004. All of that work is now
on this double CDR, and I must be honest; I am not very excited by this music. It is not really
industrial, nor experimental but yes, at times it is quite noisy. It is somebody who hits a few pots
and pans, literally, I should think, and adds some electronics, as well as some, obscured field
recordings and not the best equipment to record these doodles; sometimes way too soft or way
too loud. Even a bootleg by EN or TG sounds better; let alone those bands most embryonic
recordings. It is all very naive and just not very interesting, save for the odd piece, such as ‘Vivem
Na Decadencia’. I wonder would be interested in this legacy, other than the creator of course.
    I believe it is kageraw, no capitals needed there and this is the solo music project of Juily Kiran,
playing the piano and guitar and singing. I believe she is from Russia. On her Bandcamp, there is
a bunch of her other releases. Here too we are not dealing with the best of recording qualities, but
like the other two releases, it all sounds very personal. Again the lyrical content was a bit beyond
me, but no doubt songs about loss, love and lust. She doesn’t play her instruments in a very
conventional way, which is quite enjoyable. It becomes a kind of different folk music. Strumming a
detuned guitar in front of an open window (I am guessing here), or with otherwise strange field
recordings and singing these lyrics, makes this quite the odd release. Not really my sort of thing, I
honestly admit that, but in terms of dark folk meeting dark ambient, no synthesizers allowed, this
certainly worked very well in terms of being very much an outsider thing. (FdW)
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SISTO ROSSI/XQM (cassette by Noise Control Act)
EVOLUTION ENDS?/XQM(cassette by Noise Control Act)

Sisto Rossi’s track ‘Untitled’ is the A-side of this Noise Control Act release, (an underground tape-
label run by Matthias Weigand – member of xqm) which always has for its B side a xqm ‘session’,
in this case #34. ‘Untitled’ begins with a deep bass bell-like sound and vinyl scratch. Bursts of
noise all set in swathes of reverb, typical of the industrial music of the previous millennia which
turns into more pulses and beats… perhaps improvised, which was interesting, if the reverb wasn’t
so persistent, and the opening ‘industrial’ sequence so out of place? Xqm’s track emerges
hesitantly out of a bass fog into textured noises, rumbles, sound textures and pulses, given the
use of reverb, much in the vein of industrial soundscapes of years ago. Mark Fisher has made the
point of comparing recent ‘music’ with that of the previous millennia, where now it’s impossible to
locate works in time. So if this turned out to be from 1990, that’s 30 years ago, one wouldn’t be
surprised, but he maintained one couldn’t do that with work from say 1968, music from 1938
being very different, as was work from 1998! So what has happened, what is happening?
    Evolution Ends?, [sic!? It may well have] split with xqm is another in the series where xqm
take the B-side and a guest takes the A-side. Evolution Ends? (remove the ‘?’) Tracks are 1er
mouvement & 2ième mouvement in Memoriam of Alan Vega. 1er mouvement consists of a
melodic melodramatic work with deep drums and guitar chords worthy of the closing credits of
some movie of the film noir genre, maybe? 2ième movement, similar but lacking the depth of the
first’s drone. But this ends with spoken text, which I guess is Alan Vega. Given the cinematographic
‘feel’ of these works the genre ‘Industrial, Drone, Electro’ seems inappropriate. And sits strangely
and inappropriately IMO with the other works here. Xqm’s track is Session #43, begins with almost
inaudible bass which slowly fades up into what appears to be saturated looped drone, which
builds slowly in layers… such that the overall sound is a homogeneous sound/rumble, more
sounds are added as we ‘progress’ through the 45 minutes which ends much as it began in a
rumble which fades to nothing. I try to be positive but these two cassettes prompted this, “One
might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable,
how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature.
There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect,
nothing will have happened.” Or as Mark Fisher might have chimed, they are slowly erasing the
future by repeating without a point the past. (Jliat)
––– Address:


“Every month in 2019, Lärmschutz invites a fellow like-minded artist for a split release on Faux
Amis records”, so in a similar concept to the NCA tapes… But this began well, Harsh Noise
Movement: Thug Life, Harsh Noise, (and it was) by Ade Rowe, and saxophone by Akano
Shibahito. A crazy mix then of improvised sax and… well… harsh noise. A surprising and splendid
mix. The Lärmschutz track is ‘Junior M.A.F.I.A.’Stef Brans: guitar, Rutger van Driel: trombone, Niels
Achtereekte: keys & electronics. A more complex mix, where the electronics blend within the overall
mix. “Free-improvised brass and string noise-punk from Utrecht, the Netherland”, I can go with all
the identified propositions here, though I’ll have to take the geography on trust and my
musicological skills are questionable “ Free-improvised brass and string noise-punk” I wouldn’t
make any argument with. If you can say, and I do, not perhaps as radical a juxtaposition as HNM,
but enjoyably listenable, I happen to like this kind of improvisation, even though it falls foul of the
ideas of Fisher’s above. We can expand the idea in that it’s still possible to listen and play music
of any previous period, it should not be, and cannot be presented as the avant-gardism of
industrial music and its more dystopian soundscapes, which was a socio/political critique. And
these two works, unlike NCA? do not. As examples of the contrary Fisher’s examples are Amy
Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys, as of being the past now, and now the past, i.e. the removal
of time. The aesthetics of these latter and the critiques of the former are no longer valid in what is
now late Capitalism and it’s associated problems, again a problem found in Fisher’s work.
Likewise the neo-industrial cannot evoke, or only evoke nostalgia, like a contemporary ‘tribute’
band, and in doing so invalidates the agendas of 80s and 90s industrial and power electronics
music, as much as the tribute band invalidates the then and past creative genius of “The” David
Bowie or The Pink Floyd. These now become signs of ‘The Slow Cancellation Of The Future’. (jliat)
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MUSIC FOR A FEW PEOPLE (cassette compilation by Non-Interrupt)

I must applaud the Non-Interrupt label for having such a realistic idea of its audience. The diverse
tracks that comprise “Music For a Few People” work as a strange non-statement of the label’s
varied interests. They swing from industrial noise to hushed ambience to instrumental improv to
acoustic folk music, and the label trusts listeners to keep up… and, I suppose, to not interrupt. If you
think you could be one of the few people, then here’s what you get with this cassette: two long
tracks by FâLX çèrêbRi (aka the long-running project of Graf Haufen aka Karsten Rodemann),
consisting of paranoid electronic convulsions. The music is dark and brooding, each section
moving through shorter distinct passages which imply an oblique narrative of some kind. Ah, but
if you’re thinking this is a noise tape, don’t get too comfortable because the Dutch group
Lärmschutz is up next with a languorous improvisation for guitar, electronics and… trombone?
Oh yeah. The presence of a honking horn is tough to take, no question. I’m not usually a fan of
“improv” as an idiom, but perhaps you are. For me, it was a jarring presence that took me out of
the other instruments’ evocative textures. Aside from FâLX çèrêbRi, the only other artist to appear
in a double shot is Modelbau (aka Frans de Waard aka QST/Freiband/Shifts/etc etc), whose
patient electro-acoustic creep is something I could immerse myself in for days (as I often have).
His pieces here are very much in line with the most recent Modelbau albums, a bleak emptiness
lightly dotted with distant implacable rumbling. Just when you think this is an “experimental music”
tape, Non-Interrupt throws another curveball: Antoinette Giesen concludes the first side with an
airy instrumental folk/pop number for unadorned acoustic guitar. I haven’t been able to learn
anything about Giesen, or fathom why her short song sits here amid more extended abstraction.
Again, see the title to be reminded that no explanation is forthcoming (or, probably, necessary).
The grand finale is “Assembly”, by the Dutch group Kyntronik, which sounds an awful lot as if
someone left a tape recorder next to a factory assembly line. This is banging industrial clank in t
he classic vein of Vivenza or De Fabriek… until the closing passage of someone’s alarm clock
going off. Mechanized pulsing and clacking are some of my favorite sounds and alarm clocks
among my most despised, so I appreciated the perversity of anyone who would commit such a
thing to tape. Indeed, it’s a fitting conclusion to a compilation that makes no attempt to please
more than a few people. (HS)
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