Number 1207

VIPCANCRO – SU SE STESSO (CD by Lisca Records) *
MPH – TAXONOMIES (CD by Discus Music) *
BIRTHDAY PARTY (CD compilation by Bolt Records)
 Insub. Records) *
  Insub. Records) *
QST – COLLECTING SPACE (CD by Carpe Sonum) *
MODELBAU – NIGHTCRAWLERS (CD by Norwegianism Records) *
MODELBAU – ALL THINGS (cassette by Invisible City) *
MODELBAU – TRAVELERS (cassette by Park70) *
 Minimal Resource Manipulation) *
MATT ATKINS – A GARDEN OF SOLITUDE (cassette by Rusted Tone Recordings) *
RESPONSES (cassettes by Minimal Resource Manipulation)
MRS DINK – DIABOLIQUE (CDR by Degenerate Trifecta) *
XENTONE – FORENSIC BEATS (cassette by Degenerate Trifecta) *
PICA – PSYCHEDELIC TECHNOISE (cassette by Degenerate Trifecta)
FOOD PEOPLE – FOOD PARTY (cassette by Cosmovisión Registros Andinos) *

VIPCANCRO – SU SE STESSO (CD by Lisca Records)

Over the years I heard some of Italy’s VipCancro releases and I always seem to enjoy them. This
new release by this quartet is no exception. The line-up is Alberto Picchi (Computer, Tapes),
Andrea Borghi (Computer, Speaker), Nicola Quiriconi (MIcrophones, Electronics) and David
Lucchesi (Acoustic Guitar). The presence of an acoustic guitar seems odd, perhaps, but with
someone else on microphones, it perhaps makes sense. On the previous release, I oddly found
them to be sounding like a lo-fi drone rock band, but here it is something quite different. There are
only two pieces on this release, making just twenty-seven minutes and both are live recordings;
the first one is live in a studio and the second in concert. The latter also sees Filippo Ciavolu
Cortelli on percussion. Both pieces sound very improvised, but not in a very traditional way. It
seems to be very much about creating textures of sound, through (maybe; I am not sure) feedback,
amplification, no-input mixing and such, and along with this the group uses small objects that
buzz, crack, hiss and altogether it creates some radical music. It is musique concrete being
played through (organized) improvisation, taking cues from AMM, MEV, Morphogenesis, Kapotte
Muziek and THU20, but VipCancro goes for a rather sparse approach in their music. Not that it
is all very silent, far from it (although, also not noise), but rather in the slow development of the
pieces. They let their sounds meander about, slowly moving around, and there is not a collage-
like approach. The loud cracking of guitar sounds being sparsely plucked and the extensive
drone/feedback/high/low pitches form a massive field of sound. If you put up the volume quite
a bit then this will be an even more radical release. Details that were buried a bit, now also come
to light and the whole thing is quite overwhelming. Maybe the idea to make this ‘only’ twenty-
seven minutes is not a bad one? I can’t tell, I heard it three times in a row and needed a walk
outside. This seems a departure for the group and I wonder what they will do next. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here we have two quite different releases by Norway’s Hubro. First, we have Jo Berger Myhre
and Olafur Björn Olafsson, who have a second release out. I am not sure, but I think the debut
album, ‘The Third Script’ was not reviewed in these pages. They play the double bass, electronics,
Simmons SDS8 and prophet 6 (Myhre) and upright piano, Farfisa Organ, Moog, drums and
percussion (Olafsson), plus two guest musicians playing the trumpet, trombone/tuba. Throughout
bass and piano are the main instruments in all five pieces. It is a short album of mood music. The
opening song is dedicated to Johann Johannsson, with whom Olafsson worked a lot, but there is
a sorrowful atmosphere in all of these pieces. It is inspired by the canary Island of the same name,
with its desert landscape and Houellebecq’s short prose work with the same name and the writer
is an inspiration for both musicians. Throughout this moody music, there is also a fine smoky dark
jazz tone to be detected in these pieces, along with a sad melancholically touch to the music. Slow
and sparse music is of great beauty. It has a great soundtrack-like character of some intense
filming. ‘Conjure Up The Past’ with its threatening double bass and ringing instruments is one of
the highlights here, but you can’t go wrong on this album; it’s great in all its (short!) thirty-two
           Something different is Lumen Drones, a trio of Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle, violin), Per
Steinar Lie (guitars) and Ørjan Haaland (drums). Their ‘Umbra’ is also a second release, following
their debut from five years ago on ECM. They have a background in rock and improvised music
and that is something one can hear on this album. There are nine pieces here, ranging from two
to almost seven minutes, exploring these ends. The drums provide occasionally a firm rhythm, the
guitars are distorted and the fiddle is in drone modus, as guaranteed by the band name, and the
sound is spacious, mainly due to the use of reverb. In ‘Droneslag’, the group goes for a more
psychedelic approach, with the guitars freaking out, and in shorter pieces, such as ‘Inngang’ (not
surprisingly the opening piece here), or ‘Glør’, the sound is looser and freer, with a somewhat
more jazzy approach. It goes all over the musical place when it comes to influences, but it sounds
strangely quite coherent and that works well. From jazz to folk, to drones to rock, classical to
improvisation Lumen Drones pull it off, without showing off. It is a record full of variation and
surprises with not a single track that is not good. I have some favourites, such as ‘Droneslag’
and ‘Etnir’, the more psychedelic outings of the trio. It is all perhaps something that is not for the
pages of Vital Weekly, and yet I enjoyed it a lot. (FdW)
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There is an art and music space in Maastricht, The Netherlands, called the Marres house, and
Espen Sommer Eide, unlike me, heard of this place. He spent a year there, with his “large array
of custom made and modified instruments, along with Mari Kvien Brunvoll and Martin Taxt. It is
not specified what they did. The texts used here are read by Elina Bry and were written by
Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russel and Alfred North Whitehead. Eide worked before as Alog and
Phonophani, but this is the first solo under his name. I must admit I no longer have a clear picture
of his older music, even when I surely reviewed some of it in these pages. I believe that the pieces
on this release were recorded in the rooms/spaces they are named after, so bedroom, attic,
waiting room etc. Eide uses the Dutch translations here of these words, which is a nice thing. It is
a strange release, I think. I found it not easy to see the relation between the music, space in was
recorded in, and the texts read. These reading, not in all pieces, somehow distracted me from the
music a bit, and the singing of ‘Balzaal Tuinkamer’ didn’t appeal to me. There was also a guitar-
playing a long, all drenched in reverb, and maybe that is was the idea of ballroom/garden room,
but at sixteen minutes I found it a bit too long. When Eide was doing instrumental music I found it
all the more interesting. Whatever it is that does, acoustic instruments, electronics, loop devices
and such like, it was gentle music, stuck in a loop for some time and slowly morphing into the next
thing. That’s what I enjoyed about this album; that slightly mysterious sound approach that didn’t
reveal much about the provenance of the sound and which could be indeed the sound image of a
room. I like most of it, but not all. I would think I miss out on something here, yet I am not sure what
exactly. That or Eide wants to drag more into it. That is also a possibility. (FdW)
––– Address:


Supove is an American pianist specialized in modern classical music. She premiered many works
and integrates theatrical aspects, recitation and costume in her performance. Also, she plays
works that involve the use of electronics and other preparations of the piano. Her new release
‘Eye to Ivory’ has premiere recordings of compositions by American composers Mary Ellen Childs,
Guy Barash, Nick Didkovsky, Randall Woolf, and Dafna Naphtali. Supove plays the works on
piano and Yamaha Disklavier, using some electronics in four of five compositions, and her vocals
appear in a varied selection by less-known composers and for sure no easy stuff. The CD opens
with ‘Eye to Ivory’, an exuberant work by Mary Ellen Childs. ‘Talkback IV’ (2010/12) by Guy Barash
is a very fascinating and absorbing work for piano with real-time digital processing by the
composer himself; a work full of drama. Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve) composed ‘Rama
Broom’ (2000) for Supove is an ingenious composition playing with the drama of the music and
the drama of her vocal performance and it is a strange hypnotizing work that drips deep into your
mind. ’In the Privacy of My Own Home’ is a work written by Bang on a Can composer Randall
Woolf and partner of Kathleen Supove. Woolf recorded many different laughs by Supove and
used isolated samples of them for this composition. It is a work of nine short parts, that has Supove
playing the piano interspersed with the samples of her laughter. I don’t often feel very irritated by
music, but here we have an example. Dafna Naphtali with her composition ‘Landmine’ is another
example of piano and real-time processing. It is a very engaging and complex work by a so far
unknown composer for my ears. Naphtali who is also doing the digital processing here works as
sound-artist, vocalist, electronic musician, guitarist and composer of electro-acoustic music. This
work in four parts I like most of all. Very experimental, but I found something of a balance here in
the interaction between acoustics and digital processing that was okay and to the point for me
and not over-exuberant as in some of the other works. Included are informative liner notes by
Joan la Barbara! (DM)
––– Address:

MPH – TAXONOMIES (CD by Discus Music)

Most releases by Discus Music are about projects from the Sheffield-scene around Martin Archer.
There are exceptions, however, like this one by the MPH trio, which is a trio of Alex Maguire (piano,
Hammond organ), Martin Pyne (vibraphone, drums, percussion, electronics) and Mark Hewins
(guitars, electronics). The trio started in 2018 when Maguire invited Hewins and Pyne to join
forces. All three made their marks and have long and varied careers to look back upon. Mark
Hewins operated mainly in Canterbury music-related projects (John Stevens, Elton Dean). Also,
Alex MacGuire, who studied with John Cage, Steve Lacy, etc., played with many musicians from
the Canterbury-music scene and was a member of the last Hatfield and the North-line up. Besides
he also worked with improvisers like Derek Bailey, Tristan Honsinger, and so on. Pyne maybe is
the least well-known of the three, but at the same time, he is working with the widest musical
range involving classical, jazz, improvisation, dance and theatre productions. No doubt the three
met in earlier combinations, but this is the first time they operate as a trio. All improvisations show
a different face. They integrate many different influences. The cd opens with the ethereal
‘Tormentil‘ with MacGuire on piano and Pyne playing hand percussion. The delicate
soundscaping is also part of many of the following improvisations on this CD. On ‘Finger Muscle’
they a blues, or play with the blues. Likewise ‘Psychedelic Frogfish’ is submerged in a bluesy
atmosphere. ’Purple Loosetrife’ is more experimental and has lovely playing on the Hammond
organ by Maguire. ‘Rocket Larkspear’ has a strong drive with restless piano playing by Maguirre
in the foreground.
    ‘Lamina’ starts as a very subtle soundscape, but thickens from time to time into very intertwined
playing. Their communicative interactions are a joy, but in the end, it also remains a bit too much
without structure. In the end, I asked myself what made me feel a bit uncomfortable about their
excursions. Sometimes I hoped for a bit more structure and focus. But no doubt with their spirited
and rich interplay there is more than enough to be enjoyed here. (DM)
––– Address:


Archer is a composer who often seeks inspiration from a specific musician, period or style. This can
be krautrock, progressive rock, AACM or Miles Davis, as is the case with this new two cd set. In two
different line-ups, he offers interpretations of the same material: a set of fifteen compositions that
are played in identical order. On the first CD, we hear a septet of Martin Archer (saxello, electronics),
Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet), Chris Sharkey (guitar), Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Pat Thomas
(keyboards), Dave Sturt (bass guitar) and Peter Fairclough (drums). For the second version the
ensemble is extended with brass and wind sections: Martin Archer (sopranino, tenor and baritone
saxes, bass clarinet), James Mainwaring (soprano sax), Hannah Brady (alto sax), Riley Stone-
Lonergan (tenor sax), Alicia Gardener-Trejo (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Mick Somerset (flutes,
piccolo), Nathan Bettany (oboe, cor anglais), Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet, flugelhorn), Kim Macari
(trumpet), George Murray (trombone) and Ben Higham (tuba). From the first moment, it is evident
that for this project Archer is inspired by Miles Davis in his 70s electric phase. Archer composed
catchy motives and grooving vehicles that are open and loosely structured. Creating space for
echoing electronics and sparse accentuations. Blues, jazz and funk are never far away. The
musicians play with verve. Of course Keeffe on trumpet, the excellent drumming by Fairclough
 and, above all, the great guitar interventions by Sharkey, for example in ‘People Talking Blues’.
Arrangements for the extended version are by Charlotte Keeffe and Martin Archer: “Our premise
for the second version was to try to imagine how Bitches Brew might have sounded arranged by
Gil Evans.” This way an old dream of Archer came true: to make an album that presents
compositions in two different versions. Why this dream I wondered. But whatever the reason may
be, I never thought in this case that one version was enough. Both recordings satisfy and have a
lot to offer. With Miles as a starting point, Archer and his companions succeeded convincingly in
creating a similar atmosphere that stands solid on its own two feet. Big fun! (DM)
––– Address:


Road Works is Raphael Loher (piano, electronics), Ernst Thoma (synthesizer), Dominique Girod
(double bass) and Nicolas Stocker (drums) and leader Christoph Gallio (soprano & alto sax).
Loher and Stocker, who are both in the Kali trio with Urs Müller, are new collaborators for Gallio.
For this ensemble, Gallio composed the five-part work ‘As you were here’, in collaboration with
Caro Niederer who provided her video work ‘Glass Interior’ for this multimedia project. The project
was premiered in Baden, on December 3rd, 2016. Gallio is a veteran of the Swiss scene. Started
playing sax in the 70s and composing in the 80s. Many of his work is available on his Percaso-
label that exists since 1986. Niederer is a well-known artist in Switzerland. She works in the
contexts of photography, video, silk tapestries and painting. In their collaboration, they combine
their works that both have a life of their own. Of course, I can only speak here of the musical part.
On the one hand, the composition consists of jazzy and other often very accessible tunes that are
based on simple and clear motives. On the other hand, the composition contains many sections
that are very abstract and far out sound-oriented excursions, but always of a very specific and
well-defined sound. It is as if his compositions are compiled from micro-compositions that are
somehow interconnected and work as a mosaic. The music sounds very fresh and is performed
very disciplined and inspired. This is a very attractive work of modern chamber music. (DM)
––– Address:

BIRTHDAY PARTY (CD compilation by Bolt Records)

It must have been somewhere in the late ’80s, that I learned about the world beyond industrial
music, the academic, serious musique concrete music (no doubt thanks to the schooling Jos
Smolders gave me) and it became fashionable to pick up records by the two Pierres, John Cage
and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen. I am no longer sure, but I think the first I had from the latter, was
‘Telemusik’, which I enjoyed a lot; sounds from radio’s becoming music, that’s what the noise boys
(and some girls) were doing. I found myself incredibly lucky to find another Stockhausen records,
‘Stimmung’ for a bargain price, but when I played it I found it extremely boring. Twelve voices doing
some sort of ritual chanting. ‘Stimmung’ means atmosphere in German, but also has the word
‘Stimme’ in it, ‘voice’. The cover of this new version teaches us that the piece was booed in
Amsterdam in 1969, so perhaps it’s a Dutch thing. This recording was made in December of last
year at the Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw and it performed by
proMODERN, “a contemporary vocal sextet”. The seventy-three minutes they take to perform this
piece is divided into fifty-one separate versions on the CD, and that’s perhaps the best thing about
it for me; to apply the Cageian random approach to the piece and let it cut-up in an unusual pattern
that still makes sense, quite a bit even. These tracks marks aren’t chosen randomly, but rather
make great sense to keep the composition at the same pace as it would when played linearly.
Since hearing this piece for the first time and now, some thirty years have passed and I heard lots
of music that is perhaps of a more transcending nature, but in all honesty, I believe it is still a
hippy doodle of chanting voices; light the incense, lie on our rug, join hands and sing. Not for me.
           In 1959 the first all-electronic piece was composed in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio
by Wlodzimierz Kotonski, called ‘Study on One Cymbla Stroke’ (well, actually it was called ‘Etiuda
na jedno uderzenie w talerz’) and to celebrate that, Bolt Records invited a couple of younger
composers to pay homage to this piece, with the original as a source of inspiration. I heard of
Tomek Mirt and Robert Piotrowicz before, but I am not sure if the other composers are familiar
here; Teoniki Rozynek, Cezary Duchnowski, Milosz Pekala, Wojciech Blazejczyk and Hubert
Zemler, while the CD with a version by Male Instrumnety, using only toy instruments. In the
original, there is that classic early musique concrete sound of a percussion instrument being
transformed, while retaining some of the percussive feel and many of the guests to this birthday
party brought this in their gift for us. Tomek Mirt and Hubert Zemler don’t do that or not very
extensively that is and then these pieces is more an amorphous mass of sound and could be a
homage to many other things, but it is also a bold move to bring the material somewhere else.
Processed cymbal sounds play however a role in many of the other pieces, such as by Pekala,
in which the real ones are on an equal par with the electronic sounds, or in Blazejczyk’s piece
which is an orchestral sounding piece, also involving guitars. A more classic approach to musique
concrete is taking by Piotrowicz, Duchnowski and Rozynek (also paying homage to a piece about
piano and a door, so it seems, if you get it). It all makes a pretty varied release and throughout a
bundle of joy to hear. (FdW)
––– Address:

 Insub. Records)
  Insub. Records)

As much as I hate lump releases together, I think there is something to say to discuss these three
releases together. They are all releases with one long piece, composed by one person, but
performed by a large ensemble of players, using violin, percussion, recorder, bass, guitar,
objects, toy instruments, recorders, saxophones and much else. There are differences also, and
the main one is that the release by Costis Drygianakis seems to be very much a collage of many
recordings, whereas the two releases by Insub Meta Orchestra are straightforward live recordings.
           Costis Drygianakis’ ‘The Approach’ is a sixty-seven-minute collage of sound many of which
are produced by his friends on instruments, several of these playing electronics, but also voices
play an important role, and, so at least I believe, also the computer as the final place where
everything comes together. The texts, printed in Greek and English in the booklet, are dreams
from Costis, but also observations about zoos, and something about a street. None of these texts
seems to be recited as such, as part of the music. It doesn’t work like an opera or radio drama; they
rather become part of the overall work, which I regard as a stream of sound, be they electronic,
acoustic, spoken word or of concrete sound. Maybe there is an overall thematic approach to this,
but then I may not see it. It is fascinating music, I’d say and Drygianakis knows how to play around
with all the sounds at his disposal. Sometimes a section is a bit more orchestral, while others are
more electronic, and more on a delicate balance together. It is a long work, and every time I played
it, I wondered if it was necessary to such a length, but also every time I kept playing this until the
end, so there is something that the composer is doing right here. It is, sonically speaking, a very
rich work, filled with ideas and sound; never a dull moment.
           Not as sonically filled are the two releases with performances by the Insub Meta Orchestra,
a large ensemble of who’s who in modern European improvisation, with a strong focus (I think) on
Switzerland and Germany. The first by Michael Pisaro, the main composer from the Wandelweiser
group of composers and his composition is as to be expected, sparse. It is also a piece that sounds
quite different than one would expect from the instruments listed on the cover. Surely one
recognizes the odd bang of percussion, strings or such but there are various longer sections in
which all of this sounds very acoustic. Especially in the first half of this forty-five-minute work I had
the idea I was listening to objects being slowly rubbed upon objects; a very delicate form of
musique concrete. In the second half, there is more an orchestral feeling with various instruments,
wind and string section mainly, playing sustaining notes, in a slow, meandering way; also it grew
slowly and intensely. It works, perhaps not very Wandelweiser-like (and I am the first one to admit
I am not the expert on what everybody composes in the name of this group), in a sort of increasing,
dramatic way, which is something I don’t hear a lot. The swelling goes up and up until the climax
is reached and then slowly it is brought down, towards the final few minutes. This is a very fine
work, of two quite contrasting parts with some very fine dramatic climaxes.
           Magnus Granberg is someone who had a record on Insub Records before (Vital Weekly
1101), and who was once a member of Sheriff from Sweden, with various releases on Häpna.
The title of his work translates as ‘as all my birds my treasure and demand’, so sayeth Google and
of the three ensemble works discussed here, this is the one that I found the most conventional one
in approach. I am sure (without being certain) that this is some conceptual, graphic score, open to
be interpreted by the players as they see fit. I couldn’t say how the score worked based upon
hearing this work, but there are surely longer and shorter sounds to play here, in slowly shifting
patterns. These patterns overlap, so should not be understood as rhythmical parts. It is all quite
subtle, without necessarily being silent and occasionally it comes with a finer, meaner undercurrent
in the bass region. There’s lots of slow plucking and scraping of strings. I would think one can
regard this as a piece of meditative music and perhaps not. There is an interesting dualism in this
work. (FdW)
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Format isn’t anything, y’know. To release an album as a limited-edition cassette or CDR says one
thing (like this is for fans only!), to release a pro-pressed CD in a professionally printed cover with
beautiful design… well, that says that you expect an album to reach a large(r) audience and have
some staying power. For a while, the Troniks/PACrec label was releasing lots of CDs by
underground noise artists in editions of 500+, essentially demanding that more people than just
the harsh-noise maniacs sit up and pay attention. Then No Fun Fest happened, Wolf Eyes and
Prurient exploded onto world consciousness by touring heavily and bringing their friends and idols
along for the ride. That bubble burst, as all bubbles eventually do… and yet, noise never went
away. The lifers are still making the music they’re compelled to make and labels like Tasmania’s
Cipher Productions are just as committed to excellence in sound and presentation as they ever
were. Enter this untitled 3-way split CD of blistering harsh noise. The three artists don’t have much
to do with one another; the sections aren’t joined by any concept that I can tell; it’s just a 3-way split
disc, which might have just as well come out as a tape or a spray-painted CDR in the years before
noise broke. But here we are at the tail end of 2019. Cipher seems to be betting on folks not
needing a conceptual hook to pull them in… instead, the label is counting on people to just know
quality noise when they hear it, pure and direct and powerful. And oh boy, does this thing deliver.
Hostage Pageant’s three short opening tracks are a cyclone of full-force motion, tumbling metal
pipes and slamming electronic jumps in texture via what must be a table full of pedals and contact
microphones. It’s classic stuff, recorded with maximum painful clarity. The centrepiece is “Just
Before Dawn”, an archival 19-minute Brillo pad to your brain by The Cherry Point, aka Phil
Blankenship, the Los Angeles artist who used to run Troniks/PacRec. Now, full disclosure: I’ve
made two collaborative albums with The Cherry Point, but that just proves the point that I’m a fan.
I’ve enjoyed Phil’s work ever since I first heard it, though he’s long since stopped making noise
(as far as I can tell). All the more reason to savour this excoriating sheet of dense noise with very
few apparent surface features to latch onto. I’ve always loved how inhuman TCP’s work sounded;
as if he flipped a switch and this screeching din came out. It’s a truly massive sound, with no
acoustic elements or obvious sideways movements (until the very end) for a listener to hold onto
for balance amid the gale-force noise. And yet somehow, this isn’t boring “wall” noise either.
There’s a churning restlessness propelling the sound forwards, sickening sub-bass roil that
compels a listener to pay close attention to the seemingly-featureless din. The final third of the
album is by Kazuma Kubota, a young artist who first came to my attention via his collaborative
album with Kazumoto Endo on Phage Tapes, though he also records as Bloody Letter and The
Cracked Mirror. Compared to the breathless Cherry Point and hyperactive Hostage Pageant,
Kubota’s “Zattout Ni Tokete” is practically symphonic. He begins with stereo jolts of electricity,
slamming the listener’s attention around like a kickboxer… but he doesn’t remain there. nIn just
over 14 minutes, the track veers from hostile loops to cavernous metal percussion to cinematic
new age blissful calm to full-force roar, spending just a minute or so in each space before a jolt
sets the sound down a different corridor. It reminds me of what Pedestrian Deposit or Oscillating
Innards used to do, though Kubota has his own voice and isn’t quite as sentimental. (HS)
––– Address:

MODELBAU – NIGHTCRAWLERS (CD by Norwegianism Records)
MODELBAU – ALL THINGS (cassette by Invisible City)
MODELBAU – TRAVELERS (cassette by Park70)

Frans de Waard’s “Collecting Space” album, recorded under his QST guise, is an album for those
of you who couldn’t get enough of Pete Namlook’s FAX label. Frans couldn’t get enough either. I
imagine that his thought process behind “Collecting Space” went something like this: I like mid-90s
ambient techno… I’ll record some music in that style… I’ll offer it to the Carpe Sonum, the label
that’s explicitly continuing where FAX left off. And lo, here it is! No frills, no over-arching meta-
concept or irony or cute nostalgia. What struck me right away was how… dare I say it?… groovy
these songs are. Yeah, you can dance to this one and not be surprised by avant-shards ruining
your ambient good mood. The component synth sounds are beautifully produced, big and full and
round and clear. It shouldn’t be a shock that the man behind Modelbau & Freiband is venturing
towards clubland; he has composed danceable music before as Surge, Captain Black and with
the group Goem. But that stuff has an edge of cold severity and distance, almost as if it’s music
about dance music more than actual songs one could dance to. Goem, especially, sounds like
dance music as heard through a microscope. By comparison, you could put “Collecting Space” on,
turn up the volume, and bop around your house without ever being jarred out of the lightly funky
atmosphere. Fans of Frans’ noisier or more abstract projects might get the idea that this isn’t
intended for them, and perhaps it isn’t. However, as a fan of all things de Waard, I enjoy it as one
piece of his entire voluminous body of work. If you miss those Fires of Ork, Shades of Orion or
David Moufang albums of the era, here’s an enjoyable hour that will add bounce to your
afternoon without any rude noise shocks. 
    The three Modelbau albums are a different story altogether, but are very much in line with the
direction Modelbau has taken lately. His music under this name started as rather harsh, but now
the name seems to signal extremely patient and minimal abstraction, usually with recognizable
field recordings and artefacts of analogue technology folded into the mix. Such is “Nightcrawlers”,
 a single 45-minute wash with nature sounds burbling from inside a steadily ebbing drone. The
piece begins in silence, creeps towards a somewhat more present hushed bloop, eventually
introduces some birds, insects, frogs, human footfalls… and then slowly dissipates. As with other
recent Modelbau works like “The Lateness of the Hour” or “Long Distance Call”, each sound is
given space to exist independently, to sit still for a while and present itself with little apparent
involvement from human hands. The shifts in colour are slight, hardly drawing attention to
themselves as the music unfolds.
    The “All Things” cassette is a far darker affair, though the limited source elements and nearly
hands-off composition remain in place as the Modelbau signature. The first side kicks off with a
hail of static, an aggressively grey palette that continues unabated for quite awhile. Is it a field
recording of traffic during a rainstorm? Forklifts shifting cargo out of the backs of trucks on a
warehouse floor? Sand being blasted out of a canon onto a dirty pane of glass? Hard to say.
Eventually, the chaotic rush peels back, revealing some of what was previously hidden. The
sounds morph into deep bass churn, letting a melancholy slowed-down melody take the lead,
slathered in gallons of gooey analogue grit. The second side begins with a hollow resonance
like crows heard through a massive concrete pipe. The star of the show is, again, the glacial
pacing that pulls listeners in. The whole thing sounds as if it was recorded to tape and played
back at 1/4 speed.
    “Travelers” takes this even further, starting with a crackling texture as minimal as anything
yet presented under the Modelbau banner. Then, about halfway through the first side, a switch
flips… a switch is audibly flipped… and the music suddenly becomes a dense, rumbling texture
like a flock of bulldozers tearing down the foundation of an office building. The side ends even
more minimally than it began: an arhythmic creak, ultra-compressed rushing air, distant siren
whine. The second side is more uniform, an unbroken 25-minute elegy for line hum, sub-bass
throb and subtle synth fizz. Like all Modelbau, a deliberate pace keeps all “events” in check, so
that one can sink into a roughly uniform block of filth for an extended wallow. (HS)
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For a moment or two, I was thinking I could lump this in with the ensemble releases reviewed
elsewhere. Pierre-Yves Macé also uses recordings from various players (contributing viola, cello,
alto flute, bass flute, piccolo, trelombarde, speaking cello and field recordings), but with six players
it is hardly an ensemble. Also, his release has eight pieces, where the other ones only have one. I
would think that for Macé the music he recorded from his friends is merely a starting point to go
back to the computer and put it together with the use of electronics and collage techniques. In
much of his earlier work, Macé is a serious composer of ensemble pieces but also worked with
electronics before. Here it reaches a fine balance. In the title piece, the cello plays an important
role, along with percussion (marimba, I believe) and voice, next to electronics. It is an ominous
piece, with eleven minutes, the next longest piece. In other pieces, Macé shows us can be brief
with a few bangs on percussion and some percussion, such as in ‘Inharmonic Etude 2’ and
‘Precipite’. It is a curiously varied release, this one. From an almost ambient piece to wild modern
music ones, with spoken word by Bertolt Brecht in an even more classical surrounding of sound
montage, to end with what seems a sorrowful tune in ‘Finis Terrae’. I played this release a couple
of times and every time I heard I am not sure about it. When the previous time I thought the
variation worked well, then I think now, it doesn’t and questions the necessity of the variety. The
third time, I may the variation quite interesting. If one thing is certain, then this is a perfect
showcase of Macé’s talent in various musical directions. (FdW)
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Here we have two (well, three) discs of some pretty radical music. First, there is a double CD by Ilia
Belorukov (alto saxophone, snare drum, objects) and Jon Heilbron (Bontempi chord organs, bells,
toy harmonica and tuning fork). One disc has four studio recordings and the other has a forty-three-
minute live recording. Curiously Heilbron plays the same instruments in concert, but Belorukiv
(being in his home-town) plays alto saxophone, drum synthesizer, vibrating speaker and objects.
The radical approach here is one of extreme silence at various times, for a considerable amount
of time, followed by blocks that are quite loud, yet never noise. Also curious, so I thought, was the
silence when it comes to the use of the Bontempi, an instrument that uses a motor and has no
external output, so you always hear the fan (well, at least the few versions I have seen over the
years). In the longest studio piece, close to nineteen minutes, the two take the most radical
approach. More than half of this piece is near silence. When there is something to hear it is small
drones, except for the last few minutes when it is quite loud. This is a very intense piece, and
perhaps luckily, the other three pieces don’t have this approach in such extreme measures. The
second and fourth piece (all pieces are untitled), the drones are quite loud, yet very minimal in
development. Whereas the first piece has quite some silence, when it becomes louder, it is also
pleasantly ‘there’. This is minimal and drone-like, but in all the radical approach, it also calls for
some concentrated listening. In concert things never get as quiet as in the studio, and they find
another approach to their minimalist stances. Maybe it is the different instruments that Belorukov
brought to the concert space, as there is a distinct difference in sound here. There is a minimal
development in sound, there is the loud/quiet (as said, never totally quiet) approach, the
sustaining of tones, but also some different kind of sound, which I guess is the vibrating speaker
and objects. This is an excellent project of these improvisers, with quite a diverse approach all
           Lucio Capece is also a man with an extreme approach to sound. He has three lengthy
pieces here, 19:00, 23:14 and 28:00 minutes altogether. Although we know Capece from his
work with the bass clarinet and soprano saxophone, over the years he also used analogue
synthesizers and speaker set-ups. His music is throughout quiet and slow when it comes to
development. These three pieces show quite well what Capece’s music is all about and it holds
also quite some surprise. It opens with ‘Humanned Maneuvering Unit’, a piece that is slow with
waves of slide saxophone and analogue synthesizer and filter, all in the lower region of the sound
spectrum, giving it a sort of menacing tension character. In the longest piece, ‘Late Night Lake’,
there is a field recording from a lake in a forest in Poland and it starts very silent, but slowly he
adds sine tones, filters and equalization along with a bass clarinet, but before you hear of all that,
a good two-thirds of the piece has passed and the remaining part is another dark approach to
sustaining sounds, with quite a radical approach to the electronic sounds, in which the clarinet has
seemingly disappeared. The big surprise in the piece in the middle, ‘Wessenschau’, with no wind
instruments, but analogue filter, sequencer, analogue synthesizer and ring modular. Here Capece
puts forward a repeating, electronic sound; a beat, if you will and then it makes sense that this
album is dedicated to Mika Vainio. This could be a very long early Pan Sonic piece. A repeating
bass sound, a drumbeat of a steady bass pulse and weird repeating sound waves around that.
This is an interesting departure, as far as I know, his releases. Like Heilbron/Belorukov, Capece
does a clever play with the dynamics of the music here and it’s one hell of a release. (FdW)
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 Minimal Resource Manipulation)
MATT ATKINS – A GARDEN OF SOLITUDE (cassette by Rusted Tone Recordings)
RESPONSES (cassettes by Minimal Resource Manipulation)

Refraining from making jokes about the last name of Andrew here, I must say it is a new name for
me. He gets credit for a cassette recorder, metal objects, reeds and piano, while Atkins occupies
himself with tape loops, percussion, contact mics, pedals and piano. There is not a lot of
information available, other than this being a live in-studio recording from January this year and
Atkins did editing on it. More than many of his solo recordings, I would think that this is a work of
strict improvisation. A pair of microphones are set up in the middle of the space and it picks up the
sound in a very direct way. The rattling of bells, metal cans, the occasional bang on the piano, a
blow on some reeds, it is all presented without much use of sound effects. There is no altering or
processing of sounds. Even when the use of tape-loops and contact microphones might imply that
there is some amplification, I also thought it was all very acoustic. It is a short release, clocking in
twenty-four minutes, which is a pity, as there is much fine interaction going between the two
players, bouncing all over the place, quite literary, by moving between all the instruments they
use; it creates a fine sense of space, without being spacious. I would not have minded an extra
piece here.
           For no reason, Matthew becomes Matt on his solo release for Rusted Tone Recordings (he
will decide upon which to use shortly) and we find him working with music that we know he does
traditionally very well. I was thinking that this is also improvised, at least to some extent, but it
involves way more electronics. Atkins has a fine, free approach to all sorts of sounds he uses in
work, be it instruments (he’s a percussion player), objects, field recordings captured on cassettes
and/or Dictaphones and electronics and I can imagine he sets up his gear, searches for some
combination of sounds that he feels work best and sets about recording what he just thought of.
This as opposed to carefully recording loads of small sound event and then sitting down behind a
computer to mix them. I might be entirely wrong here, obviously, but this is my assessment of his
music. It has that free spirit of capturing things ‘at the moment’, while it is made. Maybe there is
some editing afterwards, but I would easily believe it would not be a lot anymore. Maybe make it
a bit shorter or sharper, but that would be it. In the seven pieces, he offers a great variety of
mechanical sounds, hand-cranked objects, shimmering electronics and even the odd bit of
rhythm, such as in ‘For Agnes Martin’. This is another great tape!
           Going back to Atkins’ label, he has a compilation and it is a bit complicated, so you’ll have
to excuse my lengthy quotation: “In the winter of 2018 I was thinking about the role of control in
creating a piece of art or music and wanted to explore what would happen if that control was in
some relinquished. I hit upon a process that I wanted to use to create several pieces that would
come into fruition without my hearing them until they were finished. I recorded the sounds of eight
different objects (run of the mill household items) and used these single sound sources as the
basis for each piece. I employed the same process with each recording: The sound was pitched
down, the result was then pitched down a second time creating three layers of the same recording.
Each layer was then randomly cut up using software and rearranged across the screen. Some of
the cut-up portions were then erased. I only listened to the results once all of the above processes
had been followed for each one and would then judge whether it had been a success”. These
pieces were then sent to the eight people on this cassette to record a response, a remix or even
throw it away and do something else. These musicians are Phil Julian, Littoral Transmissions, Iris
Garrelfs, John Macedo, Brigitte Hart, Martin Clarke, Phil Maguire and Blanc Sceol. Bandcamp
doesn’t have the same story as I have in front of me (why not?), each artists explaining what she
or he did. I will refrain from more long quotes, but the result is quite diverse. From the noise of
John Macedo’s short loops and the computerized noise of Phil Maguire, the voices of Brigitte Hart
to various working with a more improvisational feel for the material, such as Clarke adding an alto
saxophone, the obscured music of Blanc Sceol, and Littoral Transmissions (who sound like Atkins
and Ciccone!) and Julian doing a great computer transformation in the realm of ambient music.
While some of the backgrounds eluded me (maybe Atkins should have given us the source
material in the download as a bonus?), it turned out to be a neat compilation. (FdW)
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MRS DINK – DIABOLIQUE (CDR by Degenerate Trifecta)
XENTONE – FORENSIC BEATS (cassette by Degenerate Trifecta)
PICA – PSYCHEDELIC TECHNOISE (cassette by Degenerate Trifecta)

Although I haven’t made a study into this, I could think that CDR and cassette releases aren’t the
first choices of any musicians who work with beats. It is probably vinyl first and then CDs and then
all those online ways of sharing your music. So that’s why I like a label such as Degenerate
Trifecta, who carries the torch for electronic, underground dance music. I believe Mrs Dink is the
label boss here and she has her heart in the right place. The money she makes on the sales of her
release will go to the Lamber House in Seattle, a safe place for LGBTQ youth ages 11-22. The
music on this release consists of pieces from two previous EPs, one already recorded some years
ago, the more recent, plus two remixes by iZuel and one by Pete Hope. All in all some seventy
minutes of great raw and untamed dance music. I am no expert when it comes to spinning techno
tunes, mainly because I am not a rhythmic guy (always have troubling counting) and I have no
idea what makes people dance. As I wrote before, I have very little idea when it comes to the
nomenclature of dance music, the various boxes of sub-sub genres and as such, I have no idea
where to fit in Mrs Dink. Her techno music is a very forceful affair, with some strong bass drums,
cool bass synths and the occasional melodic touch. I was thinking that it is a pity that I am not the
outdoor sports guy; I should be running or cycling with this music firmly blasting through
headphones. The remixes don’t bring any new insight on the originals, which is fine, as it
continued that raw underground mood. The rough tumble reminded of the early records on The
Hague’s Bunker label but perhaps not as minimal, which made a fine little difference.
           Xentone delivers a short tape, around twenty-two minutes, if I am not mistaken, and they are
named are criminal affairs, ‘Cold Case’, ‘John Doe’, ‘Cadaveric Spasm’, ‘Autopsy’, ‘Luminol’ and
‘Petechial Hemorrhage’ (I am afraid you have to look that latter up on the labels’ Bandcamp).
Xentone contains were we left Mrs Dink, but his six pieces are tad cruder, rougher or perhaps
even a bit more industrial than that of the label boss. It is mainly due to the lack of many melodic
elements. Xentone’s use of samples is a bit off rhythm, or perhaps I should use the word
experimental, which breaks down the constant flow of beats, for instance in ‘Autopsy’. I can see
people dancing at the all-night bunker rave to Mrs Dink’s music, but somehow not to that of
Xentone’s. His crude approach also is not easy for an ambient room; I can see use in the
soundtrack of a movie, a black B-movie about mad scientist committing murders and a likewise
insane cop trying to solve (I am sure such a movie exists, but I am no buff). Odd. Strange. Weird.
ance music. All of these words could be followed by a question mark but it is ‘just great!’ as well.
           Also, Pica is about a good cause. His release is about an organisation called Flash Drives
For Freedom, “which takes old flash drives or SD cards of 8gig or larger, wipes them & gets them
to people in South Korea, who then fill them with info about the outside world & get them to people
in North Korea. I want YOU to send your old but operational flash drives (8 gig or larger pls!) to the
good people at #flashdrivesforfreedom at this address:
Flash Drives For Freedom
c/o Human Rights Foundation
350 5th Ave
Suite 4202
New York, NY 10118
Let Pica know how many you send and he will send you a free cassette. I hardly use them, so not
many are obsolete here, but I did my share in telling you about the good cause and its coordinates.
It is not only that the cause is a great one; also the music is worthwhile to trade in SD cards for a
cassette. Pica holds the middle ground between Mrs Dink and Xentone, with some excellent strong
beat material, keep them dance moves insight, a bit of experiment but also in touch with the
melodic side of things. Pica and Mrs dink could play back to back and everybody would be moving.
           And lastly, for a label that produces so many interesting electronic music releases, it was
hilarious to find a couple of guitar picks in the mailer. I think they were cut from old credit cards;
excellent recycling there! (FdW)
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The only previous time I heard the music of Valance Drakes, was when he did a remix for Late
(see Vital Weekly 1152). Now he has what Amek Tapes calls a rare full-length solo release. There
are eleven pieces on this thirty-four-minute tape and it seems to me that Drakes loves her sampling
device where she continuously samples acoustic sounds and in the process the adds mid-tempo
rhythms to it. These beats reminded me a bit of hip-hop (at least, as far as I have any idea what hip-
hop is. Spoiler: I don’t and if people think we should write more about hip-hop, I think people should
start their weekly, especially for the genre), but due to the fact all of the music is instrumental, it all
becomes a bit more experimental. His acoustic sources could either be the cracking of objects
with two hands, but my best guess would also be that Drakes involves quite a bit of field recordings.
In his use of synthesizers, she remains very much on the ambient side of things, with lush pads
being played out. While I enjoyed this release to some extent, I couldn’t help thinking that his
compositional approach was very much the same throughout; each song started with some
acoustic rumble, to which the rhythm was faded and a variety of synthesizers to put the icing on
the cake. That made me have some doubts about the release. I wouldn’t have minded having a
different song perhaps; one started with rhythm or one that had not similar samples running
throughout. But, perhaps, at thirty-four minutes it is also not too long and one shouldn’t complain.
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FOOD PEOPLE – FOOD PARTY (cassette by Cosmovisión Registros Andinos)

Here’s another release by a label from Chile, and like Mark Vernon before (Vital Weekly 1104),
Food Party is also from the UK. This is a trio of Matthew Hamblin, Greg Thomas, and Lila
Matsumoto and a new name for me. Their Bandcamp page has various releases, but Discogs
only lists two. The additional information is not informative per se: “Recorded in Nottinghamshire
and Essex. Sprawling owl drones roused into tulips, hens, out-goat limbs. Scrapes goaded
flowers & edam violin. Spumes numb bream, whooping mouth wiggles & cantering screech.
Hoops slipping dreamwhales, backwards & art freak bees. That their doofus years be so exciting.”
There are no instruments mentioned anywhere (well, besides violin, that is). That violin is surely a
party here, along with guitar and a dismantled drum kit, plus perhaps a few field recordings. Or,
perhaps, it is all recorded in a field somewhere? Judging by the sound it is the alive and direct
approach when it comes to recording, so being in a field somewhere, this could very well be the
case. It is a rather vague sort of free folk music and it is exactly this sort of vagueness that I like
about it. Throughout the music meanders about quietly, doesn’t have any direction or goal, and
sees somebody slowly plucking a guitar, while someone else uses a bow gently on the violin
whole almost being out of reach of the microphone and the third member bangs the drums, kettles
or whatever is being drummed on. I am not sure if that is intentional or not, but it sure makes up a
very nice release. The only song that I thought was out of place is ‘A Body’, which is a full blast of
noise. Why it was included, I have no idea. It ruins the gentle approach of the rest for me, but that
might be the idea? For all, I know it could have been left off. Great one! (FdW)
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