Number 1188

GREGORY TAYLOR – RETINUE (2CD by Palace Of Lights) *
  (CD by Some) *
# IMPRO 5+1 (CD, private) *
ARASHI – JIKAN (CD by PNL Records) *
TRIO IO – WAVES (CD by Bolt Records) *
SOUNDS OF OLYMPOU STREET (LP compilation by Topikap Records)
TERRITORIAL PISSINGS (LP compilation by Topikap Records)
GHENT – THE HORIZON CIRCLES (cassette by Grain Of Sound)
VOMIR – UNTITLED FOR HARSH NOISE LONDON (3 ½ inch Floppy by Harsh Noise London)
VARIOUS ARTISTS – « 神经刺痛 » COMPILATION PRO TAPE (cassette by Autoproduzioni
HARPOON – PERMISSION FIRST (cassette by Aphelion Editions) *

GREGORY TAYLOR – RETINUE (2CD by Palace Of Lights)

After living and studying for a while in The Netherlands, Gregory Taylor is now back in the USA
and works for Cycling 74, the software company that is responsible, among other things, for max/
MSP. That is a sort of do it yourself software, allowing you to create your own patches to process
sound, combine them, randomize them, sequence them and such like. Taylor wrote a book on the
creation of step sequencers using max/MSP, and that “was an opportunity to re-encounter his love
for sequencing as practiced by the form’s early (Edgar Froese, Suzanne Cianoi, Michael Hoenig)
and later (Saul Stokes, Paul Ellis) and also to explore its connections with longer form Javanese
musical traditions that have informed his work for decades”. Something, which I read as “here’s
something that sees Tangerine Dream meeting gamelan music” and of course, that it is not. It is
not some neatly bouncing sequencers, arpeggio’s going up and down the scale, mixed with the
metallic sound of traditional Indonesian instruments (maybe coming out of a bit of software, or
real-time played, or field recordings). Taylor uses max/MSP, of course, I would say, but also uses
analogue and digital synthesizers and field recordings, which of course leaves the question
unanswered if Taylor plays the gamelan himself? There are six long tracks on this double CD,
and in every one of them, there is a finely woven pattern of synthesized sound, dark, sustaining,
minimally changing, according to sequenced patterns (I assume) they slowly evolve and change.
In every piece, there is at one point the slow percussive sounds. What seems at first perhaps an
odd marriage between two entirely different sorts of sound worlds turns out to be working together
really well. The mysterious sounds of the gamelan set against the likewise atmospheric sounds of
the synthesizers, emulating what I would perceive as sounds at dawn or nightfall. Each of these
pieces is a slow builder, easily lasting between twenty and thirty minutes, and Taylor avoids the
pitfalls of new age music by slipping some very nasty sounds occasionally, the oddball out that
keeps you from drifting too much. In the opening piece, ‘Emissary (Utusan)’ one can hear the
clearest influence of Tangerine Dream, with the gamelan in it’s most processed form but not so in
the other five pieces, they are very much the ‘real’ thing, even when it all sounds slower in tempo.
This is a great release, massive at two-and-half hours, and certainly, something that would not
have been out of place in the catalogue of the sadly missed ini.itu label; now it comes in an even
more overwhelming amount here and there is not a moment of boredom. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (CD by Some)

Mister Sigmarsson, Siggi for friends, is quite busy with CD releases lately. They are all in limited
editions of 100 copies and all arrive in a digipack. With his history in music, Sigmarsson has by
now, there is, obviously I should think, quite some material on the shelf waiting to be released.
This particular work is from September 2008 and it is recorded in collaboration with former
Reynols’ man Anla Courtis and noise musician Andy Bolus. Despite knowing the latter’s name
for many years, I only heard a little of his output under the name of Evil Moisture. I believe he
uses old electronic equipment, which he rewires and bends the circuits of. I am not sure what
Courtis or Sigmarsson are doing here, instrument wise. Courtis might be playing electronics and
guitar and Sigmarsson also applying electronics and field recordings. There is a special mention
on the cover that the material has been transferred from reel-to-reel earlier this year, so maybe
some sort of reel-to-reel manipulation is part of this as well. I have no idea about who did what
when and where. The five pieces are untitled and the first is quite noisy at the start. Don’t be afraid
that this trio sets out to treat us with fifty minutes of noise. It is perhaps throughout also not the
quietest of releases, but the balance between whatever noise bits there are and something that is
more delicate and refined is great here. Heavily processed field recordings open up the second
piece and slowly work their way up to a wild montage of noise sounds, tape-manipulation of
speeding up tapes and assorted bits and bobs until the end of the track. In six minutes it unveils
a whole world. In the fourth track, I believed to hear some of Courtis’ guitar sounds and it works
finely with some of the other manipulations that are is in this piece. Sigmarsson’s voice is also
not lost, and we hear him humming away in the third track, also processed (and most likely
possessed) by reel-to-reel ghosts. This is a great release, but you knew that would be the
outcome of this review anyway, right? I have been following mister Sigarmarsson’s tracks for
a very long time and I have not been disappointed by his work. It is, as usual, an excellent
mixture of drones, collages and the personal surrealist wackiness that he does so well. (FdW)
— Address: <>

# IMPRO 5+1 (CD, private)

As I was looking at these three releases, all involving the work of Alexei Borisov, I had no idea
where to start. I know Borisov’s work a bit, and he operates in the world of improvised music as
one of the louder voices, I choose ‘Introspection’ as a starting point. Maybe Borisov was open for
some more introspective improvisations? Looking at all the other names on these CDs, I must
admit I didn’t recognize any (well, not straight away). Borisov recorded ‘Introspection’ with Irakli
Sanadiradze on drums, percussion and objects, while Borisov is handling electronics, tapes and
guitar. The music was recorded in a single day in a studio in Moscow. Titles can be deceptive, I
would think, certainly after hearing ‘Introspection’. This is not noise, not really, but also it’s not
really the most introspective music around. This is some, sturdy improvised music, which sees
both players, interacting and contradicting each other. Sanadirazde plays his kit mostly in a
regular, wild manner, occasionally using other techniques with objects placed on the skin, but it
Borisov who plays a mostly wild range of sounds, be it from the guitar, howling around and
meandering off into the free range of feedback, but at close proximity he keeps his monotrons in
one hand, bursting with trashy sounds and Dictaphones in the other, providing sped-up voice
material. All of this while taking note of whatever Sanadiradze is doing in the other corner. There
are some very free music vibes coming from this, partly rooted in the world of noise, but which can
also be called free jazz. It is quite a wild ride these six pieces. Forty-three minutes, but it’s worth
your every minute.
    On ‘#Impro 5+1’ we find five players, Arnaud Desvignes (grand piano, keyboards), Nazar
Kozhukhar (acoustic violin), Katya Reek (daxofon, voice, electronics), Nikolaj Ovchinnikov (guitar,
electronics) and Borisov (electronics). The ‘+1’ mentioned is Artem Kolpakov (real-time painting).
The piece they play is just under thirty minutes and recorded at Moscow’s favourite hangout for
experimental music, The Dom Cultural Center. It is a meeting of trained players and amateur
musicians, of which Borisov belong to the latter category. The piece was played on the spot,
without rehearsals or discussions. The trained musicians, normally working in the field of
chamber and academic music, apparently adjust easily to the improvised nature of the others.
When this piece started, I thought it would be have been better to call this ‘introspection’, as the
subtle, mostly acoustic instruments open up, but after a short while everybody starts adding small
sounds, growing bigger and bigger. A net is cast wide and everybody plays wilder and more
expressive. There is a slight tendency here to go towards free jazz, but it stays away from it. After
a while, when things have been hectic enough, they start again, with a single sound and a different
mood and start building again; a procedure they repeat a few times here. While there is quite a bit
by way of electronics, the whole thing is in fine balance with the acoustic sounds, which include
the expressive singing of Rekk.
    Dolf Mulder reviewed in Vital Weekly 1038 the previous effort by Fake Cats Project and now
they return. Igor Levshin (voice, guitar, bass, keyboards, virtual ANS, metal rulers, razor blades,
etc.), Kirill Makushin (voice, accordion, mouth organ) and Alexei Borisov (bass, guitar, drums,
analogue synths, tape recorder) were also on the previous release, now also with Ilya Gnoensky
(piano) and Pavel Sheveliov (didgeridoo, bass clarinet). Borisov is known to work in many different
musical areas; he’s also a member of Notchoi Prospekt for instance, which a sort of 80s synth pop/
new wave band, and also Fake Cats Project is a bit more rock-like. It is, perhaps, also more
traditional, perhaps in some ways inspired by traditional Russian music. I am not sure there, partly
because of my lack of any knowledge in that area. They use that as inspiration for some highly
curious mixture of rock, folk and improvisation. One piece is called ‘FCP Robs Rachmaninoff’, but
my knowledge on that Russian composer is rather rusty after all these years (I used to have LPs
with his piano concertos); ‘A Kitten Looks At Soldier’s Eyes’ sounded like Satie’s first Gymonopedie,
but then played on a guitar and with vocals. Maybe the sad tune reflecting some of that famous
dark Russian soul? The music is perhaps not entirely my cup of tea, but once they descend into
a world of an improvised rock sound, going all abstract and seemingly without being all too
coherent, it all starts to work pretty well for me. When it’s more rock-based, hammering about,
such as in ‘This Is Not My Youth’, and Levshin’s voice going all dramatic it is less for me, but even
in the course of the fourteen minutes this piece lasts, they move through various experimental
passages, so all in all, this is a pretty great release. One that leaves perhaps also some room for
a bit of mystery. (FdW)
––– Address:

ARASHI – JIKAN (CD by PNL Records)

Arashi is a trio of Akira Sakata (alto saxophone, Bb clarinet, vocals), Johan Berthling (double bass)
and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion), in business since 2013 when they made their debut
on the Molde Jazz Festival in Norway. Now they present their third statement, a live recording from
the Pit Inn club in Tokyo in September 2017. Their first (‘Semikujira’) and a second one (‘Trost Live
Series’) were both released by the Austrian Trost Records in 2016 and 2017. More recently we
met Sakata and Nilssen on ‘New Japanese Noise’ – also on PNL – in the company of a few other
Japanese performers, recorded live in Denmark, 2018. Here they are joined by Johan Berthling, a
Swedish bassist and composer of film music, featured on more than 100 recordings, performing
with far more musicians like Martin Küchen, Jim O’Rourke, Mats Gustafsson, etc. Sakata is a
veteran of the Japanese jazz scene.  Arashi refers to the 1977-album by Yosuke Yamashita Trio
and dance group Dairakudakan that has Sakata in a central role. In the opening improvisation,
Sakata is in the lead as a vocalist. With a strong voice, he sings, screams, yells, etc. Halfway the
double bass takes over with repeating patterns for an interlude with percussion, with Sakata
joining in once again for the final part of this improvisation. I prefer to hear him on sax with his
penetrating style that makes you well aware of his presence, as is the case in the other
improvisations. Again their name Arashi – meaning ‘storm’ in Japanese –  illustrates the
powerful and high energy behaviour of these free jazz veterans. Simply put, this is good stuff.
Quality as can be expected from this trio (DM)
––– Address:

TRIO IO – WAVES (CD by Bolt Records)

Trio Io is a trio from Katowice (Poland), founded in 2017 by Zofia Ilnicka (flute), Łukasz Marciniak
(electric guitar) and Jakub Wosik (violin). This is how they introduce themselves: “Our music is the
resultant of three minds, three different musical languages, three different sources of origin. Our
meeting brought open compositions from the music tradition of contemporary composers,
experiments with the preparation of instruments and elements of free jazz and folk music. Our
music can be defined simply: as new music.” We are in the company of three excellent performers.
Since 2014 Zofia Ilnicka is part of trio Layers, including accordionist Ryszard Lubieniecki and
Jakub Wosik (violinist, composer, improviser). A trio with an interest for improvising as well as
performing composed music. Although I don’t know the work of this trio, I can imagine Wosik and
Ilnicka make the next step as Trio Io with Marciniak as a third member. Marciniak is a guitarist and
composer who often works in duo with Rafal Blacha (Makemake), Lena Czerniawska, Kuba
Sokołowski and Jacek Mazurkiewicz. Combining improvisation and composition, noise,
electronics, ambient, is his focus. In nine compositions, all between two and seven minutes
length, Trio Io make their proposals, offering a kind of modern chamber music, combining
traditional and experimental elements, strange arrangements and combinations of instruments
and playing techniques. Opening track ‘Waves’ starts with a drone by electric guitar. After a while
violin and flute start to involve and adding their patterns with the drone in the centre. The flute
delivers often the most traditional elements, like the melodic lines in the composition ‘Shoal’ that
has unusual breaks and turns. ‘Foam’ is more like an abstract soundscape. Whereas ‘El’ is a
repetition-based minimal piece, that gradually works towards a climax. I especially enjoyed the
fine guitar playing by Marciniak, like his percussive playing in the closing track ‘K’. ‘Waves’ is an
interesting work. The Trio Io offers an intelligent and engaging play with very different ingredients.
Truly inventive and experimental music! (DM)
––– Address:


Instrumental outfit Thee Reps is Dave Ruder (guitar), Karen Waltuch (viola), Jeff Tobias (bass
guitar), Sam Morrison (keyboards) and Max Jaffe (drums), who make their debut with their first
full-length album. The seven compositions on this record are by Ruder, Morrison and Tobias.
Overall the compositions are built from simple, but infectious and catchy themes and patterns,
with the use of repetition that betrays a witty attitude. Like for example the opening track ‘Big Bekek’
that is propelled by a motoric minimalism à la Neu, but without Teutonic weight. This also counts for
‘Punisher’ that has glimpses of Tony Conrad and Faust. Overall the music is built from friendly up-
tempo riffs that are combined with shifting patterns in a minimalistic way. In the closing track ‘Nature
Rides Again’ also postrock elements can be detected. ‘Music to Watch ‘97’ woke up memories of
the good old Fibonacci. As the keyboard playing in the first two tracks reminded me of another old
band, Crutchfield’s Dark Day. ‘Head for Sand’ has fine intertwined and locked-in playing. Introvert
‘Qumran’ continues like a perpetual continuum. With sparse accents by violin and percussion, the
repeated attractive pattern shows in an exemplary way the strength and beauty of repetition that is
aimed by Thee Reps. A very charming and uplifting work! (DM)
––– Address:


Behind the name Thomas Carnacki we find Gregory Scharpen. The name comes, according to
Discogs, from “a fictional supernatural detective created by English fantasy writer William Hope
Hodgson, who appeared in a series of six short stories published between 1910 and 1912 in the
Idler magazine and The New Magazine.”. Oddly Discogs lists only one James Kaiser as a
member. He ran the Petit Mal label until his passing in 2017. According to the information in front
me, Scharpen has been active as Thomas Carnacki since over a decade and performed in San
Francisco, sometimes working with dance performances, theatre and a HBO documentary about
heroin. On this new record the credit goes out to Sheila Bosco (b2), Gregory Hagan, Jim Kaiser
(A1, B2), Cheryl E. Leonard and Scharpen. When nothing is mentioned, so I assume the musicians
appear on all three pieces. There are no instruments mentioned on the cover and I could not say
what they are using. My best guess would be the studio-as-instrument, capturing electronics,
stringed objects, acoustic and hand manipulated objects and percussive stuff. It is not merely
guessing on my behalf as I read in the press text that Thomas Carnacki is operating in the tradition
of Nurse With Wound, H.N.A.S. and Scharpen was for a while member of the latter’s
live ensemble (just as mister is an occasional live member of Nurse With Wound;
funny small world). I would think that the Thomas Carnacki sound is closer to that of
than with the more kaleidoscopic approach from the Nurses, or even H.N.A.S.; it is only a few
aspects that are touched upon, such as the sustaining string sounds, the ethereal use of reverb
and the small, amplified sounds. Thomas Carnacki (it’s a group, so I can’t start with ‘Carnacki…’,
right?) plays the mood card here and does that very well. There is a slightly cavernous approach
here, with guitars being played with rusty strings in a great hall, and everything slowly develops.
All the electronics used set the mood to ‘dark’, ‘obscure’ or even ‘alien’. It is not to easy to avoid
such words as ‘spooky’, ‘trippy’ and ‘surreal’ (even when that word is pretty much over-used in my
humble opinion). This is a great record, for fans of the aforementioned group and perhaps as such
not truly, wholly original (if we were to care about that) or for those who love their a different
soundtrack to a horror or fantasy movie. Not to be played in the dark, is my advice. (FdW)
––– Address:


One of Italy’s wackier groups, Le Forbici Di Manitu (Manitu’s scissors) releases another highly
conceptual album and one that leaves room for many questions, little answers and a lot of
scratching one’s head. So, I might be wrong, utterly and totally wrong, but here is what is going on;
these are cover of songs from Mina Mazzini, an Italian singer from the ’60s and ’70s and now they
are sung by Manitu Rossi, the founder of the group. He might sing these songs as the originals (I
didn’t do research that extensive), but the music is something completely different. The group
asked a bunch of friends to supply with unreleased sound material, or they went to the archives
of the legendary Trax cassette label and plundered some recordings of there. The music supplied
by (old ones by) M.B., Nocturnal Emissions and Mind Invaders and new ones by Sigillum S, My
Cat Is An Alien, Nightmare Lodge, Bruno Cossano, Capricorni Pneumatici, Noiselik, Uncofiied,
The Haters and Samora has it’s rooted in the world of noise mainly, but also free improvisation.
On top of that, for each of the twelve tracks, there is also a video clip by another twelve directors,
and these videos are available on DVD and will be shown during ‘video-concerts’ and
presentations. This is a bit of an “exquisite corpse”, says the group, with a random sticking of
unrelated voices and music together; well, perhaps the voice is the most regular musical element
in this, and the music is very abstract. It is most certainly a great idea, a bold one and fascinating
to hear. You must, however, like the operatic delivery of Rossi in all of these pieces. I am sure you
like the noise easily in these pieces, but it’s the voice that may be something that needs adjusting
too. Sometimes it works really well, such as ‘Se C’e Una Cosa Che Mi Fa Impazzire’ and ‘Insieme’,
when the music is also not that noisy, and the more instruments seems to have been used; when
the voice is more on top of things, I found it more difficult, perhaps being the kind of guy who isn’t
that much into lyrics and vocals. I was wondering if a concept like this needs a whole LP. Maybe
 it could get the same idea across on a 10″ piece of vinyl? Otherwise, it is one very consistent
piece of conceptual thinking that we know from Le Forbici Di Manitu so well, and that we like so
much. (FdW)
––– Address:


What I love most about the Residents is that they, like no other band before or since, continue to
manage to retain their innovative sparkle (for over 50 years!), constantly dangling a conceptual
brilliantly red herring in front of our noses – and getting away with it. The Residents are truly
unique; perhaps not always in execution, but always in concept. In 1979 the Residents released
their masterpiece Eskimo, a 40-odd minute suite based on stories of the Inuit (meaning ‘the
people’, ‘Eskimo’ was considered a pejorative term by the Inuit themselves), inhabitants of the
Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada and Alaska, played on ‘authentic’ Inuit instruments. Despite
recordings starting in the mid-seventies, many distractions constantly delayed the album until it
was finally released in 1979 on Ralph records. Eskimo stands as one of my favourite albums:
strange and unearthly beautiful, serious yet somehow also funny, familiar and comforting – all at
the same time. It convincingly conjures a solemn and lonely soundtrack of what I (and the
Residents) guess the Arctic Circle freezing sounds sound like. Yet at the same time, it gives us
unconvincing Inuit chants (gibberish and some hardly-conceived commercial messages). Eskimo
hands us the truth and the lie at the same time in a very attractive way – the cover, with the
Residents in full smoking and the white vinyl (of course), completed the perfect package. Now, 40
years later, the Residents have come up with a unique conceptual sequel: Eskimo Deconstructed.
And before I start to get all-enthusiastic, I need to voice a few complaints about the recent re-
releases of Residents albums: 1. The sound of the first few albums (Meet the Residents, Third
Reich and Roll, Fingerprince) is atrocious – compressed to death and 2. The bonus material is
not contemporary, combining 1971 recordings with live recordings 50 years later. That COULD
work, but most of the time it doesn’t. Great idea to put out double CD’s, but when the bonus
material feels out of place and the original recordings are brickwalled, I prefer to stick with the
original discs. Small rant over. Eskimo Deconstructed is, simply put, a brilliant artistic concept that
is musically as inventive – a combination not found often enough. The two albums feature over 70
loops, chants, musical fragments, sound effects and single tracks taken from the original multi-
tracks. This not only allows you to create your own ‘remix’ of Eskimo but also deconstructs/
unwraps the original 1979 album revealing details that are at once familiar. Revealing the layers
that became Eskimo, giving these recordings to others free to do with as they please is not only a
brave and bold move, it is somehow also a very emotional one. To me, Eskimo Deconstructed
therefore also sounds like a musical ‘last will’. Those who fear four sides of bare tracks and
sounds of Eskimo are unlistenable can rest assured: this is a very enjoyable musical adventure
into uncharted, yet somehow familiar, territory. The cover urges listeners to go out and sample
the recordings and create their own masterpiece. By doing so, the Residents stick to their ‘hippy
origins’ of the late 60s. Bless them. A bonus CD of ‘Arctic field recordings’ taken from recordings
‘collected by the Residents in the 70s’ has been added, however, they sound more like white
noise from a synthesizer. Another conceptual joke by the Joyful Four: presenting the truth
unwrapped in the recordings on the vinyl album and a red herring on the CD. Eskimo
Deconstructed, as well as the original 1979 Eskimo album, come with the highest recommendation –
together, and as standalone releases, they are among the most important ‘experimental’ albums
ever! (FK)
––– Address:

SOUNDS OF OLYMPOU STREET (LP compilation by Topikap Records)
TERRITORIAL PISSINGS (LP compilation by Topikap Records)

This must be my lucky day? Let me quote Vital Weekly 1183: Let me quote Vital Weekly 1133:
before launching into a diatribe why I don’t like reviewing compilations (which is not the same as
saying ‘I don’t like compilations’; I sometimes do), it is still the way of getting to know a bunch of
musicians and projects one has never heard about. Or what did I write last week: “Ah, compilations.
Every time I receive one I am reminded to put a disclaimer on the Vital Weekly site that says: we
don’t like reviewing compilations, full stop. I bet no one would read that and they still arrive.” So,
my lucky day then, is not one but two compilations, both by Topikap Records from Thessaloniki,
Greece, zero information on any of the group enclosed. On ‘Sounds Of Olympou Street’ you’ll find
Mononome & Oldman Talkin, Tengu Ni Naru, Totsouko, Raj Pannu, Rete, Tsekouri Prioni Katsavidi
and A.E. Emdy, while on ‘Territorial Pissings’ we don’t find Nirvana covers (yes, I do know my pop,
don’t I?) Sky Above, Oldman Talkin’, Emdy and Damage Per Second, each doing two songs. The
first is described as “Sounds of Olympou Street is a compilation of some of the finest, contemporary,
electronic & electroacoustic music, created in Thessaloniki”, while the other is “An Electronic Music
Compilation. A Co-production with DINARA Records”.
    On the first record, the element of electro-acoustic music is not something I hear, perhaps also
not really contemporary. It surely is quite electronic, but from a more techno, dance and pop
perspective, even when it is not necessarily aiming at the dance floor. Katsavidi’s piece is a
spooky piece with some interesting production values, while Emdy here is the most experimental
with a piece for bass clarinet and electronics. Rete is also leaning towards a more experimental
sound, but not with any menace; it is also the one who use voice a bit more than the others. The
others on this record are pleasant mild pop/techno/dance pieces, all more or less instrumental.
    The other record is not as varied and all eight pieces seem to be rooted in the world of dance
music, more techno than pop at that. Oldman Talkin’s ‘Don’t Get Up’ sound like a plunderphonic
piece with a nice bass line, Emdy is much more accessible in his (?) pieces here, Sky Above in
‘When You Sleep But You Are Not Afraid’ is fine take on dark wave and Damage Per Second end
the proceedings with a moody electronic piece of slow tones. It is all very entertaining for sure.
What else can I say? I don’t like reviewing compilations, perhaps? Maybe I wish I would? (FdW)
––– Address:


The distance from the sunny city of Nijmegen, the hometown of Vital Weekly, to that of the German
city of Kleve is quite small. Yet it seems as if the forces of experimental and improvised music of
both cities never/hardly meet. In Kleve there is a label, Nurnichtnur, going now for a very long time
and around it a group of improvisers, instrument builders and composers. Florian Wittenburg is
sure of the latter variation. We have reviewed quite a number of his works, and following a couple
of releases involving the piano, he’s now back, it seems, where he started and that is computer
processing sounds. On this new release, the first to come as a CDR, because of economic reasons
(and with no real cover, looking, rather sadly, as a demo), we find seven pieces, three of which
involve instruments played by fellow German instrument builder Stephan Froleyks. He plays
bicycle percussion, daily drone instruments and bowed glasses. In the other four pieces, he uses
sine waves and noises. It is, as I see it, a combination of two different musical interests; or,
perhaps, it is the same interest, but one solo and the other in combination with, well, ‘instruments’.
I looked at Froleyks’ website and tried to find the ones mentioned here on this CDR, but either I
was too quick in looking or I could find them. In all of these seven pieces (spanning thirty-four
minutes), Wittenburg brings out the drone/ambient sound that I remember from his first release,
‘Arte-Facts’ (Vital Weekly 825), which I thought was not unlike the work of Thomas Köner.
Perhaps that was also because Wittenburg used gongs back then, just like Köner on his debut
CD, and here the sources are more electronic; only the bowed glasses and bicycle percussion
could be recognized as such and yet both also add an additional, acoustic ambient flavour to the
music. All of these pieces are carefully constructed, with a minimum of sound information, but
enough to hold one’s attention through each of these pieces. It has at times, in ‘Soil Cracks 1975’
a slight industrial music feeling, but at the same time is still somewhat subdued. This, altogether,
made up for some lovely music. (FdW)
––– Address:

GHENT – THE HORIZON CIRCLES (cassette by Grain Of Sound)

There is not a lot of information on Ghent, the band; I am sure there is a lot to be found in the
Belgium city with the same name. This Ghent here is a duo of Nuno Moita and Fernando Fadigas
and I assume they are from Portugal. Following a digital release on Grain of Sound, there is now a
forty-minute cassette. I don’t think I heard of either musician before and don’t know what they do;
looking at images of them online, I would think both are best-called laptop artists and the music
they produce is then perhaps the wide area of laptop music. Some of this sees them ventures out
into something that uses beats and rhythms, even when not really danceable; it’s a bit muddy and
dirty (maybe that’s the cassette for you?) and certainly has its charm. Sometimes they go out and
be a bit more experimental, glitch based, without getting too noisy or too abstract. The hiss and
glitch approach works quite well for them, even when I thought the music was also a bit too distant.
Maybe, so I thought, it is because one has no clear idea of the intentions behind the music. Are we
to sit down and listen, or are we to be engaged in a sort of activity that is beyond listening, say
dancing, vacuum cleaning or whatever? That I found hard to tell with this. As a pure listening
experience I would think it is not quite ‘there’ yet and to dance to it is a bit too abstract. So there
is much room for growth, I would say. (FdW)
––– Address:


Like many releases these days, this is no exception in the lack of information provided for the
reviewer. So it demands? Internet searches to find out stuff like, who? What? Where? Why? Or,
is it that these are no longer of any consequence, like the conversations on cell phones… merely
what in Internet jargon is known as ‘pinging’, like geese honking… I’m here… I’m here … I’m here.
From Discogs, we find Facebook, which though there is a JLIAT it’s not me… and Bandcamp.
Despite what you may think, if you are, this is very pertinent to the text associated with this release.
Another “OMG A.I.!” – which we get on all the media at the moment. A.I. was huge back in the 80s
when the Japanese threw gazillions at it, the result was fuzzy logic and self-focusing cameras,
then, of course, The Matrix and the chess-playing Deep Blue, 20 years on, and now another 20
years on and a computer beats the GO champion and we have self-driving cars. So what has this
to do with this release, originally on lathe cut, available for digital download for a fiver…? So this is
a harsh noise release of two tracks made from material gathered in the EU 8 years ago, is a
thunderous roar, screech, and rapid bursts of noise, on my player with the odd gap of silence here
and there?  Two tracks, named after their lengths, 0603 =  06:03, 0252 = 02:53, a short extract also
on YouTube. The one feature of the A.I. scare is a lack of philosophy, AKA ‘Brains in vats’. One
simply asks the question ‘why would super intelligent machines do what we want?’, which is
followed by ‘and why would they be bothered?’  And from this, ‘why release this CDR?’ Not as an
act of intelligent communication? Or as such an act?  The truth might be that humans are more
habitual than intelligent, and one of these habits is releasing noise works, and occasionally
worrying about A.I. (jliat)
––– Address:

VOMIR – UNTITLED FOR HARSH NOISE LONDON (3 ½ inch Floppy by Harsh Noise London)

“The Matrix is a shared simulation of the world as it was at the end of the 20th century”. The cover
graphic is of a penguin rendered in Blue and Black, the disc contains a single MP3 of 1 minute and
11 seconds of “typical” Vomir. Even to the strange ‘dip’ in the rendered image of the sound, which I
could see but not hear. I mentioned elsewhere the idea of “The Artist” being now like a Zoo animal,
but wearing an animal suit, ‘performing” for an unintelligent bored public, in an animal suit and
hopefully knowing this…

“What brings all of my noise work together is its non-savoir-faire, its anti-musicality; the fact that
anyone could do it. I see it as pouring out all of my disgust in the rawest, and most absurd ways
possible. Of course, when you come to analyse it and reflect upon it afterwards, the cynicism, the
deep irony becomes clear, but when I make my noise, it is deeply serious.” – Romain Perrot.

And the continual OMG at technology…

“We no longer partake of the drama of alienation but are in the ecstasy of communication. And
this ecstasy is obscene…. not confined to sexuality, because today there is a pornography of
information and communication, pornography of circuits and networks, of functions and objects in
their legibility, availability, regulation, forced signification, the capacity to perform, connection,
polyvalence, their free expression. “ Jean Baudrillard – 1987. Nineteen-Eighty-Seven. (jliat)
 ––– Address:  ‘Find us on Facebook’

VARIOUS ARTISTS – « 神经刺痛 » COMPILATION PRO TAPE (cassette by Autoproduzioni

Again difficult read the accompanying packaging but I recognised the ‘poster’ on Harsh Noise
London’s Facebook with this text…
BIG FULF COLORS INFO PAPER.  Given the above list, may or may not correlate to the tracks this
non-performative review will necessarily be general.  And generally we have ‘musicality’ at what
was maybe once thought extreme, but beats, lots of drum riffs, lots of drumming… heavy metal
guitar through to jazzy improv, at times very badly recorded, a track recognisably Animal-Machine?
What appears to be fairly conventional pop line ups, guitars, saxes, some electronica… in which
drumming predominates, with interludes of more electronic noise and samples. Some quite poppy
dance/movie pieces. – samples..  through to Japanese pop- samples I guess.  I hope, those playing
in the bands, and by that I mean in the main traditional ‘bands’ or even traditional noise artists –
sans vests…? Here enjoyed what they did. But extreme, no, we can’t do extreme these days. (jliat)
––– Address:

HARPOON – PERMISSION FIRST (cassette by Aphelion Editions)

Sometimes the simplest ideas work best and sound sources can be found easily. A turntable or
radio, for instance, coupled with some effects can already lead to some interesting results. One
notch up, perhaps, is the use of a drum machine (or two) and stomp boxes; distortion, pitch shifters,
phasers, flangers or whatever else is available in this department of rainbow coloured apparatus.
This sort of set-up I would think is at the core of the duo named Harpoon, being Tina Hitchens and
Aron Ward. I don’t think I heard of them before and I am not sure if there is much other work by
them available. They have the aforementioned set-up and their music works best if you allow it to
have some volume. According to the label, this is the result of “honing years of live improvisation”,
and I am trying to think about what would come close in comparing this. Perhaps I am just not that
well-versed in the world of rhythm ‘n noise, but I kept thinking of early Esplendor Geometrico, but
perhaps not as extreme or noise based, but sharing that industrial, conveyer-belt idea in the music.
It is not dancing music. The music is not groovy in any way, but the machines hammer away in a
mid-tempo and along with that the stompboxes work like Oompa-Loompa’s in changing the course
of the sound. I have no idea if one or more drum machines are used but it is of no importance I
would think. Darkness comes part and parcel with this music of course. Maybe it would do well in
a small space at a darkwave/gothic festival, and maybe people actually would jump and down to
this, given enough strobe and smoke effects, drink and drugs are provided. They could omit a
softer song like ‘Junitaki’, but it a song like that, creating variation in the home environment. Very
nice release altogether. (FdW)
––– Address:


Patrick Shiroishi is a Los Angeles based multi-instrumentalist and composer, member of  Corima,
Upsilon Acrux, Nakata, Oort Smog, Danketsu 9 etc. Together with Arturo Ibarra and Noah Guevara
he worked as Sewing Circle. On ‘La Blues’ Shiroishi and Ibarra operate as a duo, and has
Shiroishi playing sax and Ibarra guitar. They recorded four improvisations, all between 10 and 15
minutes and were recorded live on a day in November 2017. All improvisations are titled
‘Projection’, combined with a number. “The tracks on this release were loosely inspired by the
forms of Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi”, a Japanese free improviser who started his
career in the 50s on the scene and died in 1991. Together these two maniacal musicians make a
hell of a noise. On ‘Projection 14’ they operate a bit more reserved. This has the advantage for
me as a listener that I was more able to follow (and enjoy) their interplay. This also counts for
‘Projection 3’ showing both also have an interest in nuance and smaller gestures in their
interaction. In the closing track ‘Projection 58’ we are again on a high noise level that has both
performing with full power. Throughout their emotional performance is very tight, intense and
communicative, no matter if they seem to diverge or to converge in their battles. (DM)
––– Address:

1. Frans de Waard <>

Roel Meelkop & Frans de Waard – Glas
1998 10″ vinyl now available on Bandcamp

Sunday 23 June
THU20 at Worm
from 15:30 until 18:30
first concert in 5 years
Jos Smolders, Roel Meelkop, Sjak van Bussel, Peter Duimelinks, Frans de Waard

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