Number 1220

DOC WOR MIRRAN – HOMININE 1-3 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
  by Some) *
DEGOYA – FRAGMENTA (CD by Liburia Records) *
  Circum Disc) *
  TATE – IMMENSITY OF THE TERRITORY, VOL. 3 (CD by Studio d’en Haut) *
THE ALVARET ENSEMBLE – EA (CD by Laaps Records) *
GEN KEN MONTGOMERY – ENDOGENY (split cassette by Tribe Tapes) *
STEVE RODEN – NIGHTFALL (cassette by Humanhood Recordings)
  ENTIRE LIFE (cassette by Eh? Records)
ANGELO BIGNAMINI – 36 (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records) *
  (split cassette by MaMü Music) *
SOMNOROASE PĂSĂRELE – AZZA (cassette by Ephem Aural) *


You may know Kasper. T. Toeplitz from his work, performing with bass guitar and laptop and
usually something that is quite loud? You may not know, or perhaps forgotten, that he started as
a “young contemporary composer” before meeting up with Zbigniew Karkowski and a bunch of
Japanese noisemakers. On this CD we have three examples of compositions from the early/earlier
days in which someone plays instruments along with live electronics. It is interesting to see that
these pieces are not the sort of break with his later, noise work. Toeplitz doesn’t make this
distinction between ‘serious’ and ‘less serious’ work. He also provided a link to scores, which is
quite helpful; Now we can, perhaps,
understand a bit better how these things work. The works here are for cello, percussion and flute
and each piece uses live electronics. These can be something that is on a CD, such as in
‘Secteurs d’Interférence’ but also using Max/MSP patches, which, according to the site, Toeplitz
is happy to send. ‘Secteurs d’Interférence’ is performed by Erik Drescher and is a lovely noise
piece of heavy clusters of white noise, next to oscillations and lengthy sustaining flute sounds.
Play this at a high volume and the noise is overwhelming, almost like a harsh noise wall. The
score for ‘Reflux – Reformation’ is in French and I may not understand it, but here too we have a
fine interaction between noise elements on tape and the acoustic ones created by the various
part of the percussion set; tapping, scraping and it becomes a form of orchestral noise music.
The CD opens with ‘Cello_Titan’ for, well, duh, cello and this piece makes use of a max/MSP, in
which that patch interacts with the cello, and vice versa. Here too we have some dense mass of
sound, in which we may not always recognize the cello. It is however also a great orchestral
piece of music of some noise quality. Toeplitz delivers an exciting release that pushes the
boundaries of modern classical music quite a bit up! I love it. (FdW)
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Caines was once a member of experimental prog-rock group East of Eden. That was in the late
60s! For a long time, he was out of the music business. Meeting Martin Archer several years ago
brought a change and stimulated him to pick up the saxophone again. In 2018 Caines and
Archer presented ‘Les Oiseaux de Matisse’. Their collaboration continues and grows. A new
recording has been recently released by Discus Music: ‘Dream Feathers’. Again with the
assistance of more or less the same crew: Laura Cole (acoustic and electric pianos, harmonium),
Hervé Perez (field recordings, electronics, sound design/processing), Anton Hunter (guitar and
electronics), Gus Garside (double bass), Johnny Hunter (drums). Ron Caines plays soprano,
alto & tenor saxophones and Martin Archer plays bass clarinet, organ and electronics. All material
is composed by Caines, with arrangements by Archer. His compositions are very open and
melodic. Leaving room for the listener to fill the gaps. Still, his music is very cohesive and moving
like a slowly meandering river somewhere between jazz and ambient soundscapes. Some of the
titles, like ‘Marcel’, seem free improvised and are more dynamic. The title piece has effective use
of field recordings, whereas, in other compositions, gestures by electronic means are added. It is
a joy to listen to Caines’ warm sound and lyrical style. I like their slightly psychedelic and
accessible music more than from their first effort. And it is above all fantastic to witness the
blossoming up of Caines’ musical vision after so many years. (DM)
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The Georgie Approach is a trio of Chris Sharkey (guitar, electronics), Ståle Birkeland (drums) and
Petter Frost Fadnes (saxophone, electronics). Birkeland and Fadnes hail from Norway, Sharkey is
a Leeds-based musician and it is here that the three met. Fadness is a performer, lecturer and
researcher at the University of Stavanger. He studied for a while in Leeds, where he became part
of the music scene. Birkeland is – for example – a member of the Norwegian Kitchen Orchestra, a
collective of local players that did projects with Alexander von Schlippenbach, Trevor Wishart,
Anthony Pateras, etc. As a trio, they are already for some years in operation and so far released
two albums for Bruce’s Fingers in 2007 and 2012. Discus Music now releases their third album
with recordings dating from 2015. In between, they toured a lot. The cd is comprised of two
lengthy improvisations of 26 and 37 minutes that are heard as played. In both cases we dealing
with heavy electric and electronic improvisations of an abstract level that seem to depart from a
fusion-music approach. Guitar and sax are often treated beyond recognition, except for the drums
by Birkeland. ‘North’ opens with a section of deep melancholic sounds, before they continue to
develop thick layered spatial soundscapes that drift upon the repetitive patterns played by
Birkeland. Also ‘South’ starts with creating spatial and floating textures of ‘cosmic’ proportions.
We are almost halfway this space travel before a pulsating beat is introduced. Both excursions
are very dynamic improvisations. Because of their spun-out character, they are not very
demanding but still engaging. (DM)
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DOC WOR MIRRAN – HOMININE 1-3 (CD by Attenuation Circuit)
  by Some)
You never know what you’re going to get with a Doc Wor Mirran album. Doc has been one of my
favorite bands ever since I first heard some 7”s of theirs back in the late 90s. I was struck by how
disparate they all were, sounding like several different bands from one track to the next. That said,
I follow whatever they do, and don’t expect all of it to be to my tastes. The group cover so damn
much ground that it would be unlikely for all of it to speak to any one listener. I admire that quality!
With an extensive discography stretching back to the mid-1980s until today, main docs Joseph
Raimond and Bernard Worrick have taken their omnivorous group of ever-changing collaborators
through recordings of psychedelic improvisation, rude noise collage, pop songs, free jazz, stately
drones and whatever else catches their ears. Albums have come adorned with drawings,
paintings, poetry, and a charmingly crude sense of humor that makes it clear that whatever path
Doc is taking on any particular album, the group is having fun. The 168th (!!!) release to bear the
DWM name, “Hominine 1-3”, is a small-run CD that features three guests in addition to the main
duo: sax player Adrian Gormley (also of industrial band PCR), Sascha Stadtmeier (aka Emerge,
and the guy who runs Attenuation Circuit), and Vital Weekly’s own Frans de Waard (aka Modelbau
etc etc). The entire album has the feel of a live-in-the-studio improvisation. The players are audibly
searching and wandering in a loose, easy-going drift at an appreciably leisurely pace. As I listen, I
can picture the five musicians jamming, enjoying an afternoon without worrying too much about
the final shape these sounds will be edited into. For my ears, though, that ever-present saxophone
is hard to take; over three tracks, each one around 20 minutes, the sax almost never stops. Amid
less easily identifiable electronic elements, like synth and effected percussion and radio static
fuzz, the plaintively melodic horn takes me out of the music too much. I found myself trying to l
isten around it. Even when put through delay effects, it always sounds like a player taking a solo
while the rest of the group was creating a more unified electro-acoustic texture. Perhaps the
album can be heard as a saxophone solo with electro-acoustic accompaniment? Improv fans
may enjoy it more than I did.
    “Three Options” might be the opposite of “Hominine”. Like the Doc Wor Mirran album, this
disc also features sound from Frans de Waard, but this time in a studio-based compositional
collaboration with Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson and BJ Nilsen. While “Hominine” sounds exactly
as if five people made it in real time, “Three Options” sounds almost as if no humans were involved
in any of it. A single hour-long exhale, “Three Options” is comprised of several extended meditative
textures and mechanized throbs sewn together into an album that demands full concentration.
Passages that seem eventless eventually reveal subtle layers scurrying around at the edges. The
segues from one section to the next happen so naturally that I didn’t even notice many of them
until the atmosphere around my head had shifted. Compared to “Hominine”s casual ambience and
light mood, “Three Options” is unmistakably the result of carefully sculpted tension and fine detail.
Large swaths of the music seem to have no movement at all; it was on my third deep listen that I
began to notice the rising and falling vibrations from bowed objects (?) and analog circuitry (??)
and the masterfully careful shifts in color from one aural space to the next. Most of the album has a
compellingly inhuman chill, but there are two tantalizingly quick hints of a garbled voice… maybe
intercepted radio? These small lifelines to humanity vanish just as soon as they appear. At around
the half hour mark, there’s a jarring explosion and a short section of loud/dense horror to jolt
listeners out of their reverie, then “Three Options” begins its descent. The soaring elastic tones
twist imperceptibly into a lovely coda of mystery texture, stripping it all back to another barren/
hushed landscape. This is an album I’m certain to revisit over and over, and I’m just as sure that
I’ll have more to say about it a year from now as I do today. Limited to 100 copies, though, so
interested listeners are advised to grab one while you can. (HS)
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DEGOYA – FRAGMENTA (CD by Liburia Records)

Sometimes releases arrive and you wonder what they are and while they seem to be outside
one’s comfort zone, they also sound quite fascinating. ‘Fragmenta’ by a trio name degoya (no
capitals needed) is such a release. The trio started n 2018 and consists of Andrea Laudante
(electronics, mixing), Francesco di Cristofaro (duduk, bansuri, nay, bagpipes and accordion)
and Gabriele Tinto (frame drums, tambourines and cymbals). In 2018 and 2019 they had some
studio sessions, focussing on “improvisation, sound investigation and real-time manipulation”.
From these recordings, the five pieces on this CD were created and it’s five pieces, thirty-one
minutes of great music. None of this refers to improvised music as such, but because of all the
electronics and sampling, this is much more the work of electroacoustic music; of modern
composition. The wind instruments of Di Cristofaro are used in a dark, mysterious and elegant
way. It’s nothing hectic or wild, but strangely exotic and introspective; something similar is to be
said of Tinto’s percussion; rather than banging time signatures, his playing is about the touching
of the surfaces, which in turn set a chain of events in motion inside the world of electronics. There,
in the centre, we find Laudante creating textures, drones and atmospheres in which all the
instruments still sound, to some extent as intended, but at the same time, they are also beautifully
melted into something bigger. Only in the fifth (untitled) piece, the accordion has a leading role
and that adds a fine Middle European flavour to the music. Strange music? Not really. Unusual?
Perhaps. Great? Absolutely! Too short; hell yeah, way too short. (FdW)
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  Circum Disc)

Many of the releases on the French label Circum Disc contain improvised music and end up with
our resident free jazz/improvisation reviewer. I do inspect them all before shipping them off (as
well as ripping a track for the podcast) and this one I played with some interest. Yes, this too is
improvised music, with Sakina Abdou on saxophone and recorder, Barbara Dang on piano and
Peter Orins on drums. They are active members of Muzzix and in other groups such as La
Pieuvre, The Grand Orchestre de Muzzix, Tombstones and more. The two pieces on this disc
are seventeen minutes each and that may seem like a quite a short release, but due to the
minimalist approach by the players, this is also quite an intense listening experience. The music
is quiet but not to such an extent where one doesn’t hear anything. Delicate is perhaps a better
word. Something that I enjoyed very much is their approach to the instruments. More than once,
one has no idea that you are listening to drums, saxophone, recorder or piano. The ‘instrument as
an object’ approach here works wonderfully well. Very much like the Bergmark/Hübner cassette
reviewed elsewhere, this sounds like acoustic objects being played but in this case, these are
instruments rather than objects. I hope I am excused (again!) for seeing a connection with Kapotte
Muziek in terms of a soft, delicate approach in the way the instruments are handled and the careful
but intense interaction among these players. At the same time, one also hears how much they are
tied into the world of improvised music when the instruments sound as such and again the
interaction among these players is great. After two of these pieces, I must admit, I felt quite tired;
tired yet also satisfied by the quality of the music here. (FdW)
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  TATE – IMMENSITY OF THE TERRITORY, VOL. 3 (CD by Studio d’en Haut)

As I am playing this CD by the trio of Havard, Beneteau and Taillard, I am thinking that I have no
clue about this. Three people are responsible for the music; Charles-Henry Beneteau (folk guitar,
electric guitar, abs(.)hum guitar), Christophe Havard (field recording, analogue synthesizer,
melodica, percussions, abs(.)hum guitar) and Anthony Taillard (electric guitar, folk guitar on
Tony’s song, AM radio and percussions on Ghost Farm). Plus voices by Marvin Tate, Joe Wilkins,
Caroline Gagné; in case you are wondering “Since 2003, the duo abs(.)hum has been playing on
the same prepared and remotely controlled guitar.” Beneteau and Harvard are that duo (see Vital
Weekly 491). The three know each other from other projects such as Formanex, ONsemble and
ensemble Minisym. This is their third episode in a “musical show”, a personal road movie in which
they “travel” from one place to another. This time it is Quebec to Montano; previous trips included
New York to New Orleans and California, Arizona and Nevada. They use field recordings from
that trip as well as some spoken word. So, that’s the basics, where is my doubt coming from? It is
hard to say, but it might be the polite nature of the music. There is a picture in the booklet of these
men in concert and I can imagine this being a nice theatre, with great light and better acoustics
and there we have these three men playing their delicate music, with neat field recordings;
strumming, picking and a writer with a beautiful voice telling something (I keep forgetting to make
notes what it is that is said). It is a fine mixture of ambient music, field recordings, post-rock in its
most elegant form, modern classical and very civilized. It is not bad at all; don’t get me wrong
there. The whole idea of a road movie on stage makes sense and these men have an idea that
works well. Why it doesn’t work for me is also for me something of a mystery. I like ambient
music, field recordings and minimal music; I admit not being that big into the whole post-rock
thing, but that can happen, so what’s wrong? I don’t know.
           Which brings me to the CD that arrived on the same day. It is on a new label called Laaps.
This is the follow-up to Eilean Records. Having fulfilled their idea of doing 100 releases, they
now started this new enterprise and it starts with something new from the Kleefstra brothers.
Well, new in the sense that I missed out their first records from 2012 and 2014. Jan Kleefstra,
poet, and Romke Kleefstra, guitarist, team up with Greg Haines (piano, church organ,
percussion), Joana Guerra (cello, voice), Olga Wojciechowska (violin, piano), and Sytze
Pruikema (percussion). The Kleefstra brothers have made name and fame with Piiptsjilling, a
group that also included Rutger Zuydervelt and Mariska Baars, but also FEAN (which was
Piiptsjilling along with Joachim Badenhorst, Sylvain Chauvea and Annelies Monseré) and other
projects which may not have made it to these pages. Essentially this ‘new’ group is a further
expansion on what they always do and that is playing highly atmospheric tunes in which Jan
Kleefstra recites slowly his Frysian poetry. That’s not a language I speak, but the translation is
enclosed. With The Alvaret Ensemble, they move a little more towards modern classical music. I
understand it is partly improvised in a small church in Leeuwarden (the capitol of Friesland). It
adds to the somewhat solemn atmosphere this music has and which is not easy to take in. I know,
I review tons of atmospheric music, so this should be no different, but it is. This too is rather
civilized; such as I know the brothers are. Polite music, well played, well produced; the reverb of
the space adding to the atmosphere and as always, Jan Kleefstra’s voice is not that dominating in
reciting his poetry. It slides in neatly with the music and there is much music without his words.
Beautiful stuff for sure, but also a bit much. After all this civilized tone I wanted something dirty,
some heavy dub music while doing the dishes; maybe blasphemous but needed. (FdW)
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Is it quieter in the world of Machinefabriek/Rutger Zuydervelt? Or does it seem to be? Who am I to
say? I see his posts on Facebook and I notice that there is quite some work these days that are
outside the Vital Weekly world of releases; music for dance, film, theatre and that doesn’t always
get a release. I am not sure why; it is not my world (sadly, I should add, as I can imagine it will
bring one’s music to an entirely new audience). But here are two new signs of life and one is a
collection of music Zuydervelt made for Esther Kokmeijer’s ‘Stillness – Brash Ice, Pack Ice,
Growlers, Bergy Bits and Icebergs’, which she filmed in Antarctica in 2014-2017. I am not sure if
Zuydervelt uses some of the sounds that were no doubt also captured in the music, save for the
water sounds in ‘Stillness #7’. We do not know what Zuydervelt’s primary instrument is these
days, other than the studio. In the olde days it was the guitar and effects and listening to these
pieces I can easily see that is still the case, but I might not be surprised if he also uses (software)
synthesizers and computer-processed field recordings for his music as well. This seems to be the
week of ambient music (see also AKB and William St Hugh elsewhere) and Machinefabriek is in
particular ambient mood here. I can’t replicate the volume of the cinema at home (again: sadly!)
but I can imagine in combination with the images (beautiful colour photos in the booklet) on
screen, no doubt slow-moving camera work upon mighty white and blue landscapes, this is the
only possible soundtrack and it works well. It also works as a standalone release, but with that
note that, just like AKB and St Hugh elsewhere, this is the sort of ambient music that we know
quite well. The slow, glacier-like (no pun intended) movement of icey sounds moving about
through the use of synthesizers, guitars, effects, processed field recordings, is, of course,
something that has been done before; Zuydervelt is someone who is particularly good in doing
a superb job and he doesn’t fail to deliver.
           I don’t know much about Bill Seaman, other than his work with K. Leimer (Vital Weekly 994)
and a solo double release by Eilean Records (Vital Weekly 1087). As far as I know, the piano is
his main instrument, although I wouldn’t know how duties were divided on this release as the
piano is present in various pieces, but also lots of other stuff. From Zuydervelt I realized I have no
longer a clue what he would consider his primary instrument. Once it was the guitar but these
days he also uses electronics, radios, software synthesizers, or maybe even modular ones. From
his work in the computer game industry I know he also works with rhythm. All of that can be found
on this LP with Bill Seaman. I assume this is one of those ‘exchange by mail’ music collaborations
and it leaves me in the dark as to who did what. Not just instrument-wise but also about final mixing
and how many different steps were made to get to the eleven results on this album. It is a joy to
hear as the record pleasantly leaps in all sorts of directions. One would expect some fine, delicate
ambient music, lots of space and lots of elegant piano work and whilst that too is part of the album,
there is so much more happening here. There are songs with rhythms and distorted guitars (‘Walk’),
desolated rhythms against the black night sky (‘Pull’), grainy textures on multiple tracks and all of
these songs are within the time-frame of a classic pop song; somewhere between three and five
minutes (yes, I am aware the real hits of the moment are more within the timespan of the average
teenager, so a minute and a half). As said, the delicate ambient texture is not forgotten here (‘Bits’)
and the dust mentioned in the title is something we find on various pieces; that extra layer of hiss
to add space. This is an excellent record. (FdW)
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This is the third release by this composer from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, following ‘The Luciferian’
and ‘Saturn’. According to the small note John Cage, Tim Hecker and Max Richter influence him.
The tags for this release on Bandcamp read as follows, “ambient experimental neo-classical”,
whereas iTunes informs me that this is ‘new Age’. That it is, I am relieved to report, not. Throughout
the music is too dark, I think, to be easily digested by incense new age fools in modern living
homes. There is no mention at all what kind of instruments is used and that makes me have to
guess a bit. Judging from what I hear I first thought it was a bunch of synthesizers that sound like
violins, but as I kept listening I could imagine this being violins, but then layered and treated with
some electronics. I just don’t know. There is a fine sense of darkness and melancholia in these
eleven pieces that, just like the AKB release elsewhere, tends to fade from one track to the next,
with not enough variation between the individual pieces. Especially the last two sound like one
piece. The one before that, ‘Future Alchemist’, breaks with the delicately built atmosphere and
allows for some dramatic percussion to enter. It surely breaks the mood of the album, but it is also
a bit too much of an oddball here. Like the album by AKB, I thought this was a good, solid album
of ambient music and this one being a bit more into a modern classic direction and while not
every track is a winner, it is a most solid good album. (FdW)
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GEN KEN MONTGOMERY – ENDOGENY (split cassette by Tribe Tapes)

Here we have two cassettes in one parcel and I have to decide which one to play first. It is, with all
excuses to Gen Ken Montgomery, the split tape by FâLX çèrêbRi and Greathumour that hits the
player first. For the simple reason that I know FâLX çèrêbRi longer than Montgomery and there is
much less music available from him. Back in the ’80s, there was ‘Rite 64’, a cassette on his Graf
Haufen Tapes and in 2014, Russia’s Monochrome Vision released ‘Trials Textures Errors’, a
compilation of odd bits ad bops. Graf Haufen, also known as Karsten Rodemann, went into video
business in the second half of the ’80s and that ended his musical career. I wrote this before, but
without him, you would not be reading Vital Weekly. A bold statement, but true fact. Go back to the
review of that CD in Vital Weekly 944 and learn why. Since a few years, Rodemann has a
Bandcamp page where he posts new music bits, but on this split cassette we find a longer
recording of a concert from 1984; about half of that concert was found on the CDR re-issue of ‘Rite
64′ from the late ’90s and which sold about 10 copies as no-one cared about old cassette releases
in the late ’90s. I know this because I released it. I was listening to this twenty-eight minute live
recording and thinking about people who don’t have a similar connection to this; what would they
make of this? Hard to tell, of course, as it depends also on what one has already heard in the field
of industrial music. That is certainly the label one could attach to this music and FâLX çèrêbRi
uses feedback, very primitive forms of sampling, voice and somewhere the middle, slab bang a
silly keyboard tune. No doubt there was a performance aspect that we mss out upon, but it still
sounds great. The other track on this side is a short piece of manipulated percussion. It made me
think that I would still love to hear a cassette that compiles all the compilation tracks from FâLX
çèrêbRi from those days. That would be something for a label with such interests (I am thinking of
Tribe Tapes or even the Regional Bears label here!).
           On the other side, there is music by Greathumour, of whom I never heard. Tribe Tapes
describe them as ‘raw psychedelic noise’, and that is something I would certainly agree with. This
is not your typical harsh noise wall release, but something that is forcefully loud, using the rainbow
colours of stompboxes to transform a whole load of organ/drone-based sounds from one or two
synthesizers bubbling and oscillating away. Second to that are manipulations of sounds from
cassettes or reels that are freely scattered around in some of these tracks. That may explain some
of the more psychedelic qualities of the music. A great combination and I have no idea if this is a
young meet old sort of thing, or otherwise. It surely fits together.
           I am not entirely sure, but I don’t think I reviewed ‘Endogeny’ when it first came out on
Direction Music in 1990. Hearing the music I am not even sure I heard it, even when being in
contact with the label at that time. I surely heard Gen Ken Montgomery’s music by then and was
always fascinated by that, his connection to Conrad Schnitzler and his Generator space in New
York, which was a venue doubling as a shop (or vice versa) for weird music. The pieces here are
for various instruments that were mixed. ‘Gattertor’ on the first side has “amplified drum skin, brass
pipes, violin, answering machine & synthesizer” and which was played in concert and later mixed.
It has all the markings on Gen Ken Montgomery, using mechanical sounds, tape-loops and
synthesizer to provide a more ongoing mix of sounds, set against the more impromptu playing of
the violin or voice treatments. The piece is divided into sections where one instrument is the
dominant sounds, be it bell sounds in the beginning, scraping the violin, the machines and the
synthesizer drone towards the end. ‘Father Demo Swears’ on the other side is a recording of
“processed electronics, violin, voice with additional live recordings made outside the window of D.
Myers during mix down” and is a more continuous action of scraping the violin in front of the open
window while in the background various degrees of sound effects are applied, mostly delay. This
is a form of direct music that shows the influence of Conrad Schnitzler, I think. This is
unconventional music, certain brutality in playing the instruments and right at the moment, direct
action. A nice revived document, hopefully, to be followed by more of that. (FdW)
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STEVE RODEN – NIGHTFALL (cassette by Humanhood Recordings)

Some time ago and now I am not sure when I thought that Steve Roden was becoming more
active in the world of audio releases. But that momentum passed, I guess; at least that’s what I
thought when I got this cassette. The last time I heard something from him was in Vital Weekly
1133. Now there is a ‘new’ (released some months ago) cassette from him, a short one, clocking it
twenty minutes and the short description reads, “all sounds improvised with a modular synth”. That
was something he also did on the previous release. The title, ‘Nightfall’, seems well chosen for
these short but powerful excursions into the world of nocturnal sounds. On ‘A Head Above Water’ I
could easily think Roden uses as source some piano sounds, carefully and minimally filtering
these, while on ‘She Kept A Hawfinch’, it could very well be (which is not me saying it s; I am merely
guessing here) a tape-loop that was first crumbled up and now made straight again of a flute sound.
Like in so many of the audio works by Roden there is very minimal development; especially the
second piece seems to be staying in the same stasis throughout, which is fine for me. It is a delicate
mood that could have lasted twice as long, I would say. All too short, sadly, all too pleasant, luckily.
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  ENTIRE LIFE (cassette by Eh? Records)

From Coims I reviewed a release before (Vital Weekly 1184), and, frankly, I am none the wiser in
the meantime. Is it a group? One person? Instruments? The only thing mentioned on the website
from Eh? Records (a subdivision of Public Eyesore) is that Coims is from Bristol. As before I think
this is a group and that percussion and guitars are the main instruments, but there might also be
some kind of wind instrument in play here. Their approach is a lo-fi approach to the outer limits of
rock music, in exactly that corner where it meets improvisation, noise, drone rock and whatever
another exotic novelty one can think of in the world of very, and I mean, very alternative rock
music. Maybe there is also some sort of manipulation going on, post-recording that is, of wonky
and crude manipulation of the tapes used to lay it all down. This happened more on the second
side than on the first and throughout that side, I began to doubt if it all just the aforementioned
instruments. Maybe there is something else in play here, something more electronic and going
back to the first side, here too that might be the case, especially in ‘Londos Versus Londos’. The
side-long ‘Over The Weather And Under The Hill’ (B-side) at one point leaps into a steady rhythm
and sounds wonderfully psychedelic and hypnotic. This is a lovely little lo-fi thing!
           Bergmark and Hübner are old gentlemen of the world of electro-acoustic music. Bergmark
more in the realm of improvised music and Hübner once as das Synthetische Mischgewebe;
these days he plays concerts with machines he constructed, with objects and motors. I am not
sure f that is what he uses here. The cover is a bit cryptic, but I believe these recordings are
culled from one or more live concerts. The title is Romanian for ‘nocturnal sound’ and a reference
to the surrealists. As far as I know, Bergmark plays objects that he finds on the street, with sticks,
bows and amplifies them with a contact microphone. The seven pieces here all have the direct
approach; surface upon surface. Unlike that stupid theatre thing called Stomp, where all they do
is banging on objects, which reveals exactly nothing about the specific quality of an objects,
these two men carefully explore all the sounds possible in these objects; by rubbing them
together, using different surfaces, using a bow, play them upon glass, wood, metal and plastic.
All of this happens with some fine interaction between both players. Listening and playing;
stopping and starting. That is the improvisation element of this music. Hardly surprising
(obviously?) I was reminded of Kapotte Muziek, especially for the total lack of any sound effects.
There are no delay machines or massive amounts of reverb used, or, worse, granular synthesis.
It all has to do with the objects ‘as is’. For a while, Kapotte Muziek used the term ‘musica povera’,
poor music, as to indicate the instruments were cheap and that is something that also applies to
the music here. Needless to say, I love this thing; at the same time, I realize this is some very
difficult music. I can imagine that word will be used with caution by some people. (FdW)
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ANGELO BIGNAMINI – 36 (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)

Slowly gaining steam when it comes to releasing music on cassettes here’s a new one on the US
powerhouse Powdered Hearts Records. There is no download for this and it’s limited to twenty-
five copies. So far I heard some of his work, and yet I have no clear picture of his working
methods. Partly because it all sounds so obscure, I guess. Or maybe it has to do with the
sometimes vague descriptions; |”’36’ is a two-piece improvisation for crashed 4 tracks tape
recorder and sound”. That’s all, folks, and now listen to it. The first side sounds like the tape is
not properly erased and there is still some audio detritus left, some remaining magnetic particles.
It ticks like a stylus hanging over a wobbly record, but then much slower. Sometimes a snippet
of sounds escape, maybe these are voices, some kind of electronics, perhaps; or just some
static electricity. We don’t know but it sounds fascinating, if not a bit long. The same can be said
for the other side, but now there is more much information kept on tape. There are obscured
voices, electronics, some objects being manually crashed together (plastic bottle) and it all comes
in section getting louder and louder and then stopping before starting again, and slowly more
and more electronics are added. It is a most curious piece of sounds stuck together in a most
randomized way. John Cage would be proud of this. Erasing can be beautiful! Scrape the dirt and
see what is below. (FdW)
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  (split cassette by MaMü Music)

What ties these two duets together on one cassette is that they are both live recordings and both
were recorded on February 3, 2019, at the Sound Out Festival in Canberra, Australia and both
duos played together for the first time. On the first side, we find Australian improvisation veteran
Jim Denley on woodwinds and Christian Marien, a new name I think, on drums. Their concert is
about twenty minutes (well, at least, that’s we get) and it sees the duo take an interest leaping
towards playing a mighty crescendo, taking it all down and do the same thing; sometimes in
reverse, the decrescendo. Throughout their playing together they also bounce and forth between
playing the instruments in a regular way or as objects, which delivers some fine results. It rumbles,
howls and rolls. The recording is of a dead natural ‘pick it up the venue space’, which adds to the
direct character of the music. Pierre-Yves Martel, also no stranger to these pages, plays viola da
gamba and pitch pipes while Matthias Müller, also acting as label owner here, plays the trombone.
Their set was seventeen minutes and starts in a very sparse mode for quite some time. Only at
about half the piece, it gets to a first climax and then it’s quiet again. The next two outbursts are
five minutes later. These two built their suspension in a great way and they too use the instruments
as object approach and here too we are dealing with the excellent recording quality. Not a single
moment I thought about these duos playing together for the first time; these are highly gifted
improvisers, who, so I assume, could easily play with anyone else with similar experience and
skill. (FdW)
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SOMNOROASE PĂSĂRELE – AZZA (cassette by Ephem Aural)

Many of the releases by Somnoroase Păsărele are credited to Gili Mocanu and Miru Mercury, but
the former is the main architect, while the latter’s contributions are usually more obscured and are
mostly with presentation and curating, as explained in a note with this cassette. On this new cassette
Somnoroase Păsărele continue what Gili Mocanu did on the previous release, ‘Capitol’ (see Vital
Weekly 1209). Both sides have one long piece and rhythm is absent (as opposed to many of their
earlier releases). One could call this ambient industrial music; it’s too dark and too loud to be truly
called ambient, but at the same time it is also not too industrial or noisy, yet certainly, there is a nasty
edge to the music anyway. It is just two slabs of mighty fine drone work. This time I have no idea if
synthesizers are used (of either the hard or the software variety) or some clever computer processing.
Somehow I think the latter, but honestly, I have no idea. There is a great ebb and flow nature in these
pieces and each new curve brings a new element to the music, so for twenty-two minutes there are minimal
changes and the pieces grows in intensity. This at times sounds like a horror soundtrack and that
is great. I have no idea if Somnoroase Păsărele will continue with these sort of long-form
ambient pieces or if this is just a temporary thing and will see them return to there rhythmic work.
I can imagine a marriage of both could certainly deliver some fine results. (FdW)
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