Number 1225

MINOY – IN SEARCH OF TARKOVSKY (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
TNT – NEVER OD OR EVEN (CD by Multi Kulti Project) *
  Records) *
  MORGAN – THE PHANTOM SUNRISE (CDR by Aurel Detritus) *
WHALT THISNEY – THISTETICA (cassette by The Spiritual Triangles)
  Attenuation Circuit) *
GRODOCK – DER SOG (cassette by Attenuation Circuit) *
SAITO KOJI – FOAM (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
  (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
SEVERAL WIVES – SULKING NOW (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
  (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
SEX FUNERAL – FORGOTTEN, HARDLY WRITTEN (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct) *
KYLE QUASS – CONTRARY MOTION (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct) *
Z’EV, FRANS DE WAARD, JOHAN NYLAND – UNTITLED (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct) *
GIDOUILLE – 大規模な感覚過負荷 (MASSIVE SENSORY OVERLOAD) (cassette by Steepgloss) *
COOLING PRONGS – 316 (cassette by Deathbomb Arc) *

MINOY – IN SEARCH OF TARKOVSKY (CD by Cold Spring Records)

Now that more and more people are homebound because of the ongoing virus, I’d like to
offer some interesting free book tip; Joseph Nechvatal’s book on Minoy, the artist who died
in 2010 and now, ten years later, has his music published for the first time on CD (link below).
 From the 80s onwards Minoy (also known as Stanley Keith Bowsza) produced an endless
stream of cassette release, on his Minoy Cassetteworks label, but also Harsh Reality,
Nihilistic, SJ Organisation, Sound Of Pig and many others. Look at Discogs and you get a
glimpse of that vibrant network. I believe the Minoy archive is handled by PBK and out of
many works, Cold Spring Records selected ‘In Search Of Tarkovsky’ to be released on
CD. I have to confess that despite being around in the 80s and part of that cassette
network, I missed out on most of the Minoy releases back then. I don’t think we were in
contact. Minoy recorded the music here right after Tarkovsky died and listening to the
music it is easy to see why Minoy liked the director (and no doubt some of the inspiring
soundtracks). Minoy uses radio sounds, reverb, delay pedals and no doubt some kind of
synthesizer and in true 80s fashion it is one piece per C60 cassette, so this CD has two
thirty-minute pieces of music. The title piece keeps moving back and forth high-pitched
frequencies, dark doodles and some estranged voices (after twenty minutes). There is
some beautiful desolation here, just like in a Tarkovsky movie. In ‘Memory Undefined
(Dream As Truth)’, Minoy works with some more single-minded approach on a spacious
psychedelic piece. Here he has fewer sounds to work with, still radio sounds, loops, and
electronics I suppose and goes more or less in a ‘live’ way through his sound effects and
yet keeps the piece neatly afloat. As said, I am not too familiar with the man’s total (or
partial) output so I can’t say too much about if this a good example or an odd-ball but I
would think it is a good place to start exploring the music of this sadly missed artist.
           Sonologyst is Raffaele Pezzella from Italy and there have been a couple of reviews
in these pages; the last time being ‘Phantoms’ in Vital Weekly 1194. I believe each of his
albums is based on a theme and this one is about death cults in various ancient cultures
and that most religions are largely based on death cults. The five-track titles refer to that;
‘Purgatorium’,’Ceremony’, ‘Primeval Science’, ‘Popol Vuh’, and ‘Anubis, House Of Dead
Prince’. This being on Cold Spring Records might one lead to the conclusion is some
heavyweight gothic music but that is not; delighted to say that. The music played by
Sonologyst is not easily put in one category, I would say. Sure, it is dark and mysterious;
it is atmospheric and sometimes noisy. But, for example, in ‘Primeval Source’ there is a
soprano saxophone, played by Paulo Chagas, and that gives the music another
dimension. It is processed and sounds like something out of the world of improvised
music in a meeting with musique concrete. That is something that runs through all these
pieces, although not always to the same extent. I very much enjoy the mixture of styles
that Sonologyst offers. He uses some fine set of field recordings, rustling like leaves in
‘Puragtorium’ or the wooden percussive sounds of ‘Anubia, House Of Dead Prince’, the
mixture of synthesizers and digital processing (in ‘Ceremony’ most present) and the
slow, minimal development he uses in his music. It nowhere is too long or too short and
Sonologyst paints a fine musical story with these sounds. The whole death cult thing is
not something I would have noted if it wasn’t laid out that much in the press text. That is
perhaps my only, very minor point of criticism of this otherwise great release. (FdW)
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TNT – NEVER OD OR EVEN (CD by Multi Kulti Project)

Hung Mung is a Barcelona-based experimental improvisational trio of El Pricto (alto
sax, synthesizers), Diego Caicedo (electric guitar) and Vasco Trilla (drums, percussion).
Venezuela-born El Pricto is a self-taught musician based in Barcelona since 2001,
operating in the field of rock, jazz, avantgarde, post-minimalism, hardcore, etc. Since
2011, he runs Discordian Records, a netlabel that functions as an outlet for alternative
music from Barcelona. As a saxophonist and clarinettist, he moves in circles of improvised
music. Diego Caicedo is a classically trained guitarist with open ears for rock, blues,
jazz, etc. Nowadays he is engaged in projects of improvised music and contemporary
music. Vasco Trilla is an excellent and very versatile drummer, improviser from Catalonia.
The three play very regularly since several years as a trio and this is their first release.
A recording on one of the weekly sessions El Pricto organizes in Barcelona. First
improvisation ‘Vast Obscurity’ is a very condensed and intriguing piece. Guitar and
especially sax play compelling patterns over a multi-layered and pulsating fabric of
drums and electronics that define the character of this improvisation. A very cohesive
improvisation ending with high-pitched squeaking by the saxophonist near the end.
‘Mists of Chaos’ is a very captivating exercise with an undefined misty stream of
percussive and electronic noises in the first part, followed by a section that is more
of a free rock nature and has Trilla drumming more conventionally. The closing
improvisation ‘Primeval Atmosphere of Nature’ is an intimate and open piece,
coloured by the diverse small percussive instruments by Trilla. Surely this tight trio
goes for a new spot on free improvised music.
    Another trio featuring Vasco Trilla is TNT with Ricardo Tejero (sax) and
Johannes Nästesjö (double bass). The name is an acronym of their back names.
Tejero from Madrid played Latin and jazz in the 90s and also started his first
improvisation ensemble Soplathat. After a long stay in Britain working as a jazz
musician in Leeds and London, he returned to Madrid and became an active force
in the local scene. Nästesjö is a Swedish bass player from Malmö working in the
contexts of improvised and contemporary music. The album starts with an undefined
percussive soundscape with sparse modest sax interruptions and strange playing
of the double bass resulting. They create an almost eerie but also intimate atmosphere.
Throughout drummer Trilla uses diverse small percussion and objects creating
different textures and timbres. Improvisations like ‘In word, thrown I’ I liked most,
because of the wide-open and investigating percussion by Trilla with intense bass
lines and subdued sax.
    Both releases are a very worthwhile introduction to the scene around the inventive
drummer Vasco Trilla, I didn’t know of so far. Both releases appeared on the Polish
MultiKultiProject. This label released already several other collaborations of Vasco
Trilla. (DM)
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While the release is still some time away, Hunter Complex shared his new LP with us,
and even when not in LP form (yet?) and if you know me (a bit) then you know I am quite
the fanboy of Lars Meijer’s music, I could wait to share my thoughts on it. So far I enjoyed
all of his releases, of which ‘Open Sea’ was the last one (see Vital Weekly 1169; that
review will take you back to previous reviews) and the marine theme is continued on
this new record. Hunter Complex plays 80’s synth music. It is that simple. Meijer uses
original machines from those years, and I would think ‘just those years’, and there are
no vocals. That might be ‘less 80s’ perhaps but what it does is that the music has a much
more cinematic feel to it. Think Miami Vice on a big screen. His titles sound like scenes
in movies anyway; ‘Hot Streets’, June Gloom’, ‘Riptide’ or ‘Blue Tornado’. Big fat washes
of synthesizer sounds, pads and Linn drum machines (I should think, but as I am no
expert, I am not sure), fat bass lines and simply gorgeous melodies makes this record
from start to finish a true feast. It’s pop-like, it’s fit for the cinema (should Tarrantino do a
movie about the ’80s, he should pay attention), it’s melancholic and it’s exuberant. It is
human and it is mechanic; who said synths have no warmth (oh right, that’s what they
said in the 80s). Another great record. I am delighted, but I knew that from the moment I
opened up the mailer and saw what was inside. (FdW)
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In my previous review of work by Phillip Schulze, I used the word ‘lavishly’ to describe
the product, a 2LP and CD (Vital Weekly 1006); I can use that word again today, as
effectively this is a similar product. Gatefold sleeve, liner notes, CD with the same music
as is to be found on the LPs. As I was playing the music first, without reading the extensive
liner notes (which start with, “before I go into detail about the music at hand, let me first
comment that you do need to read the following at all; the music stands for itself and
does not need any additional explanation or contextualization”), I believed that Schulze
has switched from pure computer music to modular synthesizers, but upon reading what
he says about it online (the liner notes are not that clear in that respect) I understand
he still works with computer and that explores “multi-dimensional sound mutations and
musical causalities generated electronically in real-time”. I have no idea what it means
that I, apparently, (still?) can’t tell the difference between computers and modular
synthesizers; maybe it means I have a fresh approach to all of this? If I understand well,
Schulze creates systems of sound and these respond to each other, within parameters
set by Schulze and within all of that it all happens. There is also a random aspect to all
of this, which keeps the music vibrant. The result, nine pieces spread out over four sides,
is quite an interesting bunch of pieces. At times it deals with the abstract side of electronics,
almost in a classic 1950’s sense, as in ‘As Late As An Afar Shimmer’, or shimmering
drone-like in ‘All Disembodied’, but Schulze also uses rhythm in a neat, odd way such as
in ‘States Of Zenith & Decay’ or ‘Silhouettes Iridescent’. These rhythm pieces are in a
general way longer than the more abstract pieces; that doesn’t mean that Schulze is
going for something that could be called a piece of dance music (i.e. techno). It is just
that he likes the rhythmic thing to be explored for a longer time. All of this happens in a
rather minimal way, which is something that can be said for all of these pieces. I think
that is an approach that works rather well and none of these pieces overstays their
welcome or is on a repeat mission. I guess the next step is to build something that allows
the listener to add sounds of his making and let them interact ad infinitum; a bit like the
various apps as published by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers (as well as others in this
field). I am sure Schulze would loose some of his lavish packaging there, but I am also
certain he will find a way to surprise us there as well. (FdW)
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Recently I watched a documentary about the legendary all-female punk group The Slits,
who, after a while, had two male members, Budgie and Steve Beresford for short while. The
latter was perhaps an odd surprise but I do think his improvisational skills worked well in The
Slits. He has been playing with many people of the years and this year turns 70. This release
documents two concerts as part of the Aural Detritus Concert Series; one is from October
14, 2018, and contains the four musicians listed above, and the second one is from June
2, 2018, and features Beresford, Regina and Morgan. Beresford plays keyboards, electronics,
objects and toys; Blanca Regina handles voice, electronics, laptop, percussion, Richard
Sanderson on melodeon, electronics, percussion and Paul Khimasia Morgan on the
acoustic guitar body and feedback loop. Both concerts were played that Kino-Teatr in
St-Leonards and silent movies were shown, ‘Korkarlen (The Phantom Carriage)’ (1921)
and ‘Sunrise: A Song Of Two Humans’ (1927). Of the others, I don’t think I heard of Regina
before who is an artist, teacher and curator with audio-visual performances and co-founder
of the Live Cinema Foundation. Sanderson was a member of Ticklish and runs the Linear
Obsessional Recordings label and Morgan is an improviser with a wide reputation in that
world and also has (another) label, The Slightly Off Kilter Label. Lots of facts here! As you
can imagine the music is a total improvised affair and one that works very well. Interestingly
in the first, with the four of them, things sound a bit more chaotic and estranged; while in
the second there is a bit more control and a certain level of continuity, especially in the way
 the percussive sounds are used. The whole second piece, ‘Sunrise’, is an exercise in
control, I thought, with some fine introspective moments. ‘Phantom’ is a more chaotic affair
by comparison and an excellent meeting of instruments and objects; bits of music (what
seemed ‘Für Elise’?) pops up, melancholic touches of the melodeon sit next to abstract
movements of drone-like sounds and the voice of Regina going through it all, wordlessly
chanting; something not present in the second piece. Quite a fine document and I think it
works well without seeing the films. (FdW)
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WHALT THISNEY – THISTETICA (cassette by The Spiritual Triangles)

Before he was calling himself Walt Thisney, now it is Whalt Thisney, but I am sure it all has
to do with a form of confusion and that is something he likes. I still don’t know much about
the guy or have a clear indication of his motivations. Music-wise there has been quite a shift
from the last one I heard, which was ‘This Continuum’ (Vital Weekly 978). That one was all
about dance music. The only other release I heard was a ‘Space escape’ (Vital Weekly
945) and I called that ‘ambient/cosmic/drone’. These two new releases seem to continue
but also leap even more towards ambient. I always thought that Whalt Thisney was a man
of laptop technology and this new release is no different; I am listening to this music and
watching the rain outside and thinking about the music and watching clouds pass. Is this
new age music? I would think that in some ways it is. It is all very mellow, clouds of sound,
a faraway tinkle on the piano and yet, there is also some weirdness, however far away it
is pushed in some of the tracks; there is the rattling of machine sounds in ‘Step The Mind’
for instance, the overrunning delay effects of ‘Each Breath’. I could think that he plays all
of these instruments but just as easily, so I was thinking, it could very well he lifts his
sources left and right from the Internet and samples the hell out of them.
           The differences between the cassette and the CDR are minimal, but if there is one
I would say that the cassette contains a slightly more experimental side of the music. If the
weird sounds only seem to play a minor role on the CDR, they most certainly have an
extended role on the cassette release. If you would think that is the reason that I like the
cassette more than the CDR, then you are wrong. I enjoyed them both. The weirdness of
the cassette versus the smoothness of the CDR. For me both ends work quite well,
preferably on shuffle mode, should such a thing be possible. (FdW)
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  CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
GRODOCK – DER SOG (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)

When not working on releases as EMERGE for his Attenuation Circuit label, Sascha
Stadlmeier can be found on many stages across Europe. Playing solo, again as EMERGE,
or in various ad hoc combinations. On May 14 last year, he was at KunstbeTrieb in Vienna
and playing the guitar, bass, objects and samples, along with The Bassenger (also
known as Julia Zemanek; bass and vocals) and Gilbert Medwed (drums, synthesis,
sound design and noise). The title can be translated as ‘distance stagnation overcoming’
and they played for some forty-eight minutes and the result can be found on this release.
This is surely a strange release, even for Stadlmeier. He’s a more than an occasional
member of Doc Wör Mirran and they play a sort of krautrock; this trio is also rocking; in a
very peculiar way. The music is throughout improvised and very spacious. Sometimes it
unfolds into a steady rock rhythm but just easily it meanders about for some time. There is
sometimes spoken word, of which the meaning eludes me, yet reminded me of the first two
Kluster records (of which the religious connotations also went past by me when I first heard t
hem). The press text says it along with the best work of Einsturzende Neubauten; so, it is
surely somewhere in the middle, I think. It took me a couple of rounds to enjoy this. At first,
I thought it was just a bunch of free improvised music but the more I heard the more sense
it made and I started to recognize patterns and underlying ideas and with every round, I
enjoyed it more. Certainly, this is an oddball in his catalogue, but for anyone who follows
the career of Stadlmeier certainly one to check out.
           The only previous time the name Grodock appeared in Vital Weekly was in a concert
announcement, but a very long time ago (Vital Weekly 865). I am not sure what it means;
either Grodock isn’t very active in releasing music, or working with people who don’t do
much promotion. Or perhaps he has been quiet for a good number of years. He has his
label, Grubenwehr Freiburg, which means something as ‘mine rescue brigade Freiburg’.
This new release has one side of solo pieces and one side of collaborative pieces.
Grodock plays noise music; or rather, industrial music, perhaps as it was not intended
back then. This is not the sound of the postindustrial society, but rather the sound of the
industry itself. It’s bleak and empty music. In ‘Fluten’ we hear the machines from outside,
next to a river, but in ‘Fluggeschwader über dem Lago Maggiore’ and ‘Schlag ins Gesicht’
we are slap, bang in the middle of the factory mayhem. Use hearing protection. Yet
Grodock isn’t all about noise; there is more happening and that is the great thing about
it. There are also moments of relative quietness; strange intersections of near silence.
The collaborations are with Dieter Müh, Felix Mayer, Flutwacht and Oba Boba. Maybe
it is the nature of the collaboration but it seems things are a bit quieter around here, more
worked out and more eye for detail in the composition. The music here tends towards the
noisy end of ambient music and that happens in various degrees of intensity. I quite enjoyed
these four collaborative pieces as they bring out a human side to the work of Grodock which
I found more appealing than a pain level of bringing crushed by the wheels of industry. (FdW)
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SAITO KOJI – FOAM (cassette by Invisible City Records)
  (cassette by Invisible City Records)
SEVERAL WIVES – SULKING NOW (cassette by Invisible City Records)
  YOURS (cassette by Invisible City Records)

Here we have more from the fine home of Invisible Cities, introducing mostly new names,
but we kick off with one that we do know, Rovellasca. It’s not necessarily a release by
Invisible Cities, but behind Rovellasca we find the man who runs the label (and who is
one half of Liminal Haze); creating some confusion here, I would think, or perhaps keeping
the mother ship for cassettes only? Whatever the reason, it is good to see this made
available. I think we are dealing here with two live recordings, from The Soundroom in
Gateshead on 04/10/2019 and The New Bridge Project, Gateshead on 26/10/2019 and
seeing there is one title, I could think it is the same piece but in two different variations.
“All tracks recorded live from the back of the room” is the only other indicator on the cover. I
 have learned from the two previous releases by Rovellasca (Vital Weekly 1185 and
1162) that he’s a man who likes his drones to be minimal and these drones should be
thick masses of sound. No idea how these sounds are generated, but I could think it’s has
something to do with a bunch of small synthesizers, a bunch of pedals and maybe something
else to generate drone material. In the first piece (mono?) the emphasis is mostly on the
dark end of the sound spectrum, while the second piece (stereo!) is lighter; perhaps, hissier
if you want. It works more in the mid-range spectrum and has a more ‘live concert’ feeling to
it. There is certainly a bit more ‘action’ in the back of the room; those additional sounds work
well as an additional sound layer; it becomes less clear what is what and I enjoyed that a
lot. The second piece also has a slightly more musical feeling to it, with cluster-like organ
sounds. It is quite some melancholic deep drift, both of these pieces, but certainly the second
one. I think his best work so far.
           On the label, we find Saito Koji, of whom I never heard. He was born on December
25, 1978, and lives in Fukushima city. Following playing in bands he started to play solo in
2003, “after being influenced by Otomo Yoshihide’s live performances, Derek Bailey’s CDs,
and Kaoru Abe’s videos” and the label says that “Saito is engaged in the pursuit of an original
kind of minimalism/improvisation”. His cassette is rather short, twenty-four minutes and has
four pieces. His instrument of choice is not mentioned but I would think it is the guitar and a
whole bunch of sound effects. That results in four pieces of moody guitar drones. I would
think there is a bunch of loop pedals in play along with delay, chorus and what have you and
indeed the development within each of these pieces can be called ‘minimal’. The improvisation
aspect of the music is something that is a bit lost in these pieces, I would think, but to be honest, I
also don’t know. It could be the result of improvising. It is good, solid drone music; it’s also
something that is not too spectacular. It isn’t too different from the many guitar/loop pedal
swingers out there and Saito Koji should try and find a voice of his own.
           Next up is a duo of Duke Burnett and Peter ‘Bunny’ Cropwell, who call themselves Vile
Plumage. On Discogs, the names are Andy Jarvis and Darren Wyngarde. I assume it is the
same duo as on Bandcamp it says, “We live in an area called The Burselm”, and on Discogs,
it says some releases are by Burselm Crypt Recordings. “Every Sunday we trudge around the
streets, sometimes sheltering in Bingo Hall doorways. Always with the record button pushed
firmly down”, is a description of their work and I can see them walking around, any area really,
with a Dictaphone or two and taping the most obscure sounds in a similar obscured manner.
That results in two pieces of exactly twenty minutes each of lo-fi distorted noise music. They
cut whatever recording they have for shorter or longer amounts of time back to back together,
without any break or pause. Maybe they carry out some sort musical action in these places;
maybe they playback a bit of music from another Walkman or Dictaphone in these spaces,
as it sometimes sounds quite ‘musical’, even within that slightly noise context of playback in
an abandoned factory or late at the night parking lot. It’s an endless stream (well, forty
minutes) of lovely lo-fi sound tape manipulation. This is exactly the sort of thing to expect
from this label and I like it a lot.
           “All music by Several Wives”, it says on the cover, which is funny, I guess. It also says
“improvisations, mistakes, one takes and luck’. There are no names of band members if
indeed this is a band. This is their third release, following one by Tombed Visions and one
by Gizeh Records. I’d say, there are no instruments mentioned either and judging by the
music it is all a bit more complicated to guess. It is a long release, almost eighty-five minutes
and there are no individual titles mentioned. These are indeed sketches, sessions, and
improvisations. I would think there are guitars used, string instruments (violins most likely)
and the odd bit of percussion. Perhaps there is also a bunch of electronics at work here, but
it is merely to colour the sound, adding some space and weight to it. The music sounds like
it has been recorded in a basement, direct to tape and without much additional production
value. Throughout the music is slow and spacious, but not in a sort of electronic/ambient
way; maybe in a sort of ambient post-rock way? Perhaps, but I am also thinking along the
lines of movie soundtracks. The images flicker away in the same basement, a non-narrative
set of images, cars along highways and the music by Several Wives in a similar slow-
motion, non-directional and non-linear moving along. In some ways I’m reminded of early
80’s acoustic improvisational music, New 7th Music perhaps; maybe Sema, but Several
Wives don’t use any piano and let their music meander wildly. I thought this was a great
           On the cover of the final tape, there is ‘&’ between both names, which might indicate
they play together but they both have their music on a side of this cassette and not play
together. This release brings us something we don’t see a lot on invisible City Records and
that is improvised music. Daniel J. Gregory concentrates on using and abusing the guitar,
acoustic I think (but I have no idea really) and a bit of voice in ‘(Can You) Peel A Dove
(Tonight’)’ (Sir Elton would be proud), but in the other three concentrates on the guitar and
has maybe two or three microphones picking up the action and in a later stage mixed as
one piece of music. It is very much a free improvisation thing and it sounds pretty solid; he
knows what he’s doing. On the other side, there is Territorial Gobbing, which only recently I
heard for the first time (see Vital Weekly 1221). Here expands further on the use of “voice,
contact microphone, hearing aide, whatever” and as I noted previously I think of this a sound
poetry; it’s noisy sound poetry, reminding me of Sindre Bjerga and, in some ways, of Henri
Chopin, even when with Territorial Gobbing the poetry is more visual and abstract than
something that can be translated into words. Three pieces, fifteen minutes and quite the
blast. (FdW)
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SEX FUNERAL – FORGOTTEN, HARDLY WRITTEN (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct)
KYLE QUASS – CONTRARY MOTION (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct)
Z’EV, FRANS DE WAARD, JOHAN NYLAND – UNTITLED (cassette by Orphanology/Bluesanct)

Slowly the alphabet of Orphanology is nearing its completion. For each letter and a few odd
ones, there is a cassette. For the letter ‘S’ and ‘Q’, the label works with musicians I don’t think I
ever heard of. Behind Sex Funeral, we find Matthew Crowe and Bob Buck, who met in 2009,
who lived three hours apart but that didn’t stop them from working together on endless jamming.
They took the name as a joke, but they still had it in 2013 when they released their first tape.
Among the instruments they use there is a tenor saxophone, drum, “electronic drum pads,
samplers and assorted electronics and acoustic instruments”. By now they have a whole
bunch of releases and this new one is the first one to feature overdubs, as it is using a four-
track machine. As this is my first introduction I have no idea how it relates to their previous
releases, but what I heard sounded quite nice. It is not easy to say what it is they do as it
bounces a bit around in terms of style and influences. However, I could see some influence
from the more daring years of post-punk, the only true innovative time in musical history (he
said somewhat pathetic but with a good reason); think Two Daughters, Five or Six, This Heat,
Eyeless In Gaza in their most experimental form or A Tent; releases on Cherry Red. The
layered saxophone playing, towards the end of ‘Hypothetical Towns’ (which takes up the
whole of the first side), with a shimmering organ; that piece started with a fine massive drone
opening of distorted tones. On the other side, we find ‘Silent Estates’ which updates the
sound and it almost becomes laptop-modern, while ‘Leave Tracks’ is more improvised in
a rather free-form manner. Throughout I thought this was a most enjoyable release.
           For the letter Q, the label picked Kyle Quass from Bloomington, Indiana. he studied
jazz and played with David Baker, Joe Henderson, Greg Osby, Mulgrew Miller, Tyshawn
Sorey, Thollem, Tim Berne, Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi and Cory Smythe, none of which I
heard of before. His releases are on his label and in Fall of 2019 he recorded the two long
tracks (twenty-five minutes each), which can be found on this cassette. His instrument is
the trumpet and surely a bunch of other stuff, electronic drums, electronics, and/or maybe
synthesizers. I am not sure if this is something he played on the spot, or if there is some
kind of editing, layering going on. It could be either way; using some backing tapes and
pedals to alter his trumpet playing, or perhaps use studio technology to alter it in a later
stage of the recording/mixing process. Both sides start the same, with a single note being
played, on the first longer than on the second, which is also the jazziest it gets here. As
soon as the pedals are employed the sound becomes massive, with various events stumbling
across and while this is ‘free’ too, it also has a noisier and droney aspect to it. The ‘Motion
Side’ (the second side) is more chaotic and perhaps not one for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed
the title piece for its layered drama and massive attack. (FdW)
           This cassette documents a 2014 recording session in which the late percussionist/poet/
composer Z’EV explored the Extrapool art space in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, generating
percussive metallic filigree from the building. As Z’ev percussed, his sounds were routed
to speakers placed in various locations by Frans de Waard and Peter Johan Nÿland (who
were recently 2/3 of a very different trio, with Richard Youngs, on last year’s “Onder/Stroom”
LP; see Vital Weekly 1163). Starting from their recording of the trio, Nÿland and de Waard
each distilled ten minutes from the hour of the source sound. Z’EV takes centre stage on
both sides, as of course, he must. His rolling metal ambiences mingle with odd acoustics
of stairwells and hallways, scrapes that reverberate into threatening clusters and pounding
beats. The remixing remains respectful throughout. Nÿland and De Waard are a subtle
presence, moulding sections to accentuate tension while never usurping their guest. The
first side is more abstract and textural, allowing more suggestion of natural echo and
overlapping vaporous shapes. Punishing rhythm and elongated screech carries through
the heavier second side. Though I know there are no voices on the album, I could swear
I hear reverberating screams and chants; those ghost sounds must be residue from struck
surfaces mingling with strange architectural echoes. It’s a short tape, just 20 minutes in
total, but that just means it’s easy to flip over and repeat ad infinitum. (HS)
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Following ‘Time Vaccine’, ‘Nothing is Often Ignored’ is the second release by Psychonic
Imaging that makes it these pages (see also Vital Weekly 1140). This is a duo of Points Of
Friction member Tim Alexander and Cody Bryant. In his review Howard Stelzer complained
that the tracks were good but way too short; almost all of the twenty-two pieces were around
two minutes. I wouldn’t think Alexander and Bryant listened to Stelzer’s comments in this,
but the tracks are now longer. Stelzer also said that the duo used “synthesizer and other
unnamed gizmos” and I would think that is still the case. However, I would not be surprised
if they also used guitars and some form of tape manipulation. I would not be surprised if
there is some kind of manipulation of Walkman and/or Dictaphone going on here as well.
A level of noise is never avoided but also not expanded on. There is a gentle force present
in the music and one that works well. The music, so I gather, is the result of improvising and
some editing, layering or mixing in some sort of post-production stage. Now that these pieces
are longer they are more worked out. They no longer follow a pattern of some loops running
along but there is now build-up and tension between the cracks and movement. In ‘Anxiety’s
Faux’ it slowly builds, layer by layer and in the end is a fine massive beast of clustered drones.
Throughout there is some fine variation in approaches to be noted; from the drone to free
form acoustic abuse in ‘How To Dig A Whole’ (a great title also), from delicate meandering
to fierce noise, sometimes all of this in the space of a single piece. All the tracks are great
and there are no ‘fillers’ here.
           I didn’t hear of Gidouill before, who call themselves a “Pataphysical noise band”, and
who started in 2014. There are two members, Mick (Soprano Sax, Electronics, found sounds
etc) and Kat (electronica, “Electro-Faustus Drumthing and Blackfly”, etc). They had a cassette
on Cruel Nature before and this new cassette is called ‘Massive Sensory Overload’ and is “the
band’s response to its travels in Japan in 2019″. It uses found sounds recorded using a
specific brand of telephone mentioned on the cover, but why the free advertising? There are
three lengthy pieces on this cassette (program repeats on the second side) of music that
sounds way more improvised than Pyschonic Imaging and without much editing, I would think.
The employed sound effects are at best quite crude, delay mainly, some reverb and the field
recordings are spliced into loops. They are mostly from voices, speaking, singing, and the odd
restaurant and maybe there is the odd recording from a pachinko. For the rest, this duo does a
rather free improvisation doodle on saxophone and drums, both of which sound as they
normally sound. The loops of found sounds are also a bit crude and too minimal for my taste.
The whole thing is a nice naive ring to it, but throughout wasn’t too impressive for my taste. It’s
certainly not the massive sensory overload I experienced in the land of the rising sun when I
visited the place some years ago. (FdW)
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‘Less than Vital – music [not] reviewed outside our box’

COOLING PRONGS – 316 (cassette by Deathbomb Arc)

The whole idea of this ‘Less than Vital – music [not] reviewed outside our box’ was to mention
a release received, copy some lines out of the promo sheet that makes clear this is not our
cup of tea, not fitting the musical range of our rag and be done with it. Of course, this one has
no such text, in print or online. So, this is a review, I suppose. I like the music of Cooling Prongs.
The whole idea of this section is not to say I don’t like a release. The idea is that there is music
here, right in front of me, that I have no clue about, and I have no clue about Cooling Prongs’
music. It is a bit hip hop like and it’s orchestral and as such, It reminded me of the music of
Ron and Russell Mael, also known as Sparks, especially their post-2000 work. It shares their
love for sudden shifts in songs, dramatic changes, operatic singing, the music hall approach
etc. Should I listen to lyrics, and you know I don’t, I would think this too fits the silly approaches
of Sparks. If all of this means something to you, then be sure to check this out. This is a great
release; it is also music that we normally don’t write about. Damn, almost a real review. (FdW)
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