Number 1333

KATSURA MOURI – M21 (CD by Edition Zeroso) *
ORPHAX – SPECTRUM (self released CD) *
FABIO ORSI & TEZ – OT/TO (CD by 13) *
NIMH – IRON AND ICE (CD by Standa) *
SONORIA – LE JARDIN SONORE (CD by Evil Rabbit Records)
ACAVERNUS & YANTRA – GNOSE (LP by Buh Records) *
GURUN GURUN – UZU OTO (LP by Buh Records) *
LUCA SCIARRATTA – TEME ME TANGIS (cassette by Attentuation Circuit) *
LUCA SCIARRATTA – DERIVATA DISTANTE (cassette by Attentuation Circuit) *
BLUNT INSTRUMENT – SUDARIUM​-​WEARING THUGS & KRAKENS (THE INNER​-​EAR TALES – ONE) (cassette by Black Hole Time Warp/Chili Com Carne) *
SAENYO – DENKI (cassette) *

KATSURA MOURI – M21 (CD by Edition Zeroso)

On the previous occasion, the name Katsura Mouri was in these pages was back in Vital Weekly 876, when I reviewed her collaborative work with Tim Olive. Now she returns with a CD that s sixty-one minutes long and has one long track. I understand that she uses the amplification of the hum from portable record players. “Ugly contact sounds from touching the arms, noise and scratches: all kinds of sounds fly past, warped into a tough, tenacious sound world”. She amplifies the motorized part, and as such, I could think that lots of other devices have a similar dark rumble. The whole hour is strong on the bass sound. It is a low-frequency festival. It was halfway through the album that I read this information, but until then, I had no idea that this was generated with a portable turntable. What it was, I had no idea. My notes read ‘field recordings’, cross that out, ‘noise’, ‘synthesizer’, ‘dark drone’. There is indeed quite some noise on this album, but I didn’t have the volume all the way up, so it felt more like dark ambient with the occasional noise touch. When I opened up the piece in my audio editor (to get an extract for the podcast), I realized that it was all heavier than I had first heard. I listened with a different approach, now more on the overall noise aspect and the heavyweight of the bass. In my opinion, sounds do not fly by, but there is indeed change throughout the album. Not super fast, but every few or so minutes, the music changes, going deeper, noisier, or quieter. Not being the world’s biggest fan of turntable music, I must say that I enjoyed Mouri’s approach, perhaps because it sounded so much unlike a turntable. Maybe there is hope for me? (FdW)
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Matthias Muche, a member of the local Impakt-collective, is a prominent musician in the Cologne scene of improvised and modern music. Last year we reviewed his Bonecrusher project written for ten trombonists and two drummers. With To.n we have trombonist Muche in a smaller constellation with Constantin Herzog (double bass) and Etienne Nillesen (extended snare drum). All three musicians have a background in jazz and contemporary music. In 2019 this trio debuted with ‘T.on plays Matthias Muche’ that was recorded in the Lutherkirche in Cologne. This new effort is recorded in four different churches in Cologne. Why four churches? The idea for this project started from the celebration 100s birthday of architect Gottfried Böhm who built several characteristic churches in Cologne. They invited four American composers to create works that connect with the aesthetic and acoustic qualities of these spaces: Dutch-based Ann la Berge, Sam Pluta from New York, known for his work for Wet Ink Ensemble, composer and trumpet player Nate Wooley and clarinettist Madison Greenstone, member of the Tak Ensemble with work published on Wandelweiser Editions. ‘The compositions are spatialized in an innovative set up via talk boxes with tubes attached to horn bells’. From what I understand, the works are pre-recorded by the composers and will be played through horns connected with tubes and talk-boxes in a setting where the trio interacts with the tape and the acoustic conditions of the churches not to forget. For a visual impression, please go to where impressions of the performances are filmed by Eva Jeske. The first CD has all four compositions recorded in the St. Gertrud on July 19th 2021. On the second disc, all four compositions return in a recording in one of the other churches designed by Böhm. Of all four works, ‘Aurora’ unfolds in a continuous flow in a drone-based way. Likewise ‘Experiment Two’ has characteristics of drone music. Intertwined long stretched movements grow in intensity, culminating in a very noisy apotheose. ‘Cathedral’ also creates a spatial sound environment but with improvised and distinguished movements by trombone, bass and snare drum resulting in more differentiated sound work. ‘Between Crystal and Smoke’ is the most open work. It opens with dominating harsh cutting sounds. But after a few minutes the atmosphere becomes more open and calm. But comparing the two versions of the piece, the music evolves in very different ways, leaving much room for improvisation. The music of this ensemble incorporates many different influences of improvisation and modern composed music, noise and drone music. Of course, the music is best enjoyed live on location. It must be impressive to experience the space filled with the omnipresent sounds produced by this adventurous trio. (DM)
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A massive package we have here; two CDs, wholly stocked with music, and a small booklet of Degrassi explaining what his work is about. Or rather, what it is not about. He describes the nature of field recordings, mentioning Luc Ferrari, Pierre Schaeffer, R. Murray Schaer, and their different approaches to the whole notion of field recordings. What are they, and how to use them. For Degrassi, of whom I had not heard before, in the end, it is all about the aesthetics of hearing field recordings. Sit back, take a meditative listening position, and enjoy the almost two-and-a-half hours of music. Degrassi uses field recordings he made in Puglia (Southern Italy), the Alta Murgia area and in Murgia Barese. He recorded much of these recordings in open spaces, the countryside, between farms and villages. That means that the music is busy and quiet at the same time. A lot is happening in the countryside; birds, water, people walking, cars in the distance, a plane overhead. If you zoom in, there are more details; that’s how easy this is. However, zooming in, so I noticed, means not sitting back and having that ‘let it all flow’ attitude. But, perhaps, that is just me and my reviewing attitude, and, as we all know, music is never made for the reviewer. In this case, the music is to be enjoyed and that I did. I have no idea if I am hearing recordings one at a time, or perhaps in a longer flow of things, with various combined. Sometimes I had the impression that it was one thing at a time, but sometimes, I believe in hearing various layers. Each piece concentrates on sound events, ‘In The Evening/Di Sera’, ‘Cars/Auto’, ‘A Farm/Una Masseria’ and so on, but within each of these, that is not the sole sound source, but maybe the guiding idea of such a piece. It is all perhaps a bit on the long side in terms of duration, but, again, that is the reviewer talking. (FdW)
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ORPHAX – SPECTRUM (self released CD)

“Spectrum” is the title of the latest output by fellow Dutchman and Droner Orphax. This album was supposed to be released on a Russian label Stellage, but due to the war and some other circumstances, it was delayed over and over, so Sietse van Erve wisely decided to release this one himself; Simply because it’s too gorgeous a piece of music to not be released and shown to the world. It will soon be available as limited CD in handmade artwork with a beautiful minimal feel.
Most of you will have heard Orphax’ music or at least heard of him. He is a very active member of the experimental music scene in the Netherlands. He runs the Moving Furniture label, he organizes performances in Amsterdam, and yes he makes and releases music under the name Orphax. His output – or at least what I know from him and heard from him live – consists of quite complex drones. Hearing them might be boring for one person because most of the time there is a stable sound forming the structure of the drone; Call it the fundament. But around that fundament, so much is happening … So much beautiful changes in perspective, stereo image, dynamics …
    So what is “Spectrum” about? In his own words: “It is a continuation of my interest in the perception of time, and at the same time an acknowledgement of me being on the autism spectrum.” Quite a heavy subject, but that is what art is about. It’s not about flowers and bees or the neighbour’s labradoodle. If you want things to leave an impression, you approach your art seriously. And “Spectrum” is in all aspects a great example.
    The fundamental drone gets triggered over and over by impulses and sound from all over the place, making it so that the fundamental drone becomes a new drone by it’s external impulses. But at the same time, not all of its behaviour is as expected or as fluent as one would wish for continuity. Making the result beautifully organic, alive, erratic and yet solid. It’s like a stable personality diagnosed somewhere in the autism spectrum with sometimes a bit of erratic behaviour, but it’s making the man who he is. Opting for a high position on my year list. (BW)
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NIMH – IRON AND ICE (CD by Standa)

There are active labels, and there is Silentes, the mothership of various labels. With great regularity, they release CDs, mostly in small editions. And when it comes to active musicians, Fabio Orsi is hyperactive. Since flicking on his synthesizers and sequencers, going ‘cosmic’ sounds perhaps unfriendly, he has a lot of releases. Here he teams with TeZ, also known as Maurizio Martinucci. he’s best known for his work with Adi Newton (Clock DVA). “We play synths, effects, sequencers, field recordings, samples”, so it says on the cover, and there are “eight tracks, each of which is marked by a specific numbering (from one to eight), according to a numerical sequence aimed at the ‘philological’ purposes of the authors.” I am a big fan of Orsi’s work, especially since going cosmic, and this work is along similar lines. So I thought if I could dissect the music into something that is very specific, ‘Orsi’, and since I don’t know much about TeZ, I could assume whatever else I hear in this music must be his. I must say I failed at that. Is this the cosmic element transporting me into another dimension? Partly I lay the blame over there, indeed. The slowly drifting sound patterns, the washes of synthesizer pads, and the peaceful passing of rhythmic blocks all sounded textbook Orsi. The one thing that may be ‘new’ here is a slightly more melodic aspect of the music and the fact that tracks seem to have more build-up/breakdown structure. Maybe that is the TeZ thing in the music? Whatever it is, it makes this another damn fine album.
    ‘The Blue Horizon’ is my second encounter with music by Richard B. Lewis, following ‘Introspect’ (Vital Weekly 1263). He’s a guitar player from the world of drone music. Not the pure drone variety, of endless sustaining waves of sound, but strumming and bowing strings, looping these. Along the way, Lewis adds field recordings because a bond between nature and noise is crucial for him. The music on this new album is a bit of a departure from his work, as it doesn’t have as much influence from the world of lo-fi ambient music. However, the ritualistic aspect of the music is undoubtedly still a presence in his work. For instance, in the opening piece, ‘Klesa’, there are some deep drones, sparse metallic percussion, all sounding like a dark forest ritual but, at one point, the whole carnage of distorted guitar rips the music open, and the music becomes something less obvious. That noise-rock aspect of Lewis now shines a bit brighter than before, sitting next to more ambient works such as ‘Padma’, with guitar washes, strumming and fire/water field recordings. Also, the absence of the voice is something that I enjoyed here. The music bounces back and forth between meditative spaces and something that is straight in your face. The whole nature versus human aspect is also not as present here, as if Lewis wants to present all of that, but now captured in more abstract music.
    Even when Giuseppe Verticchio is active as a musician, his releases under the name of Nimh are pretty far apart. The last time was ‘Beyond The Crying Era’ (Vital Weekly), but before that, in Vital Weekly 777. There was an album with Rapoon, but Rapoon music never reaches these pages. There is on this new album a strong influence from the likes of Rapoon and Muslimgauze. Both these music projects have a distinct sound, using instruments from all over the world, but mainly Middle-Eastern and anything east of that. These instruments are played only briefly, as Nimh likes to sample the hell out of these. The resulting samples are repeated repeatedly, and changes come from adding sound effects on top of these. The music becomes raga and drone-like. There are many string instruments, percussion and the occasional flutes. The information also tells us about field recordings, which is not something I could easily detect in the music. Maybe these consist of music lifted from streets in exotic places, and if so, they fit the overall picture quite well. While I may be known as not the world’s greatest enthusiast for Muslimgauze or Rapoon, I am also not the greatest hater either. At times, I enjoy their music quite a bit, just as I do with people influenced by them (Internal Fusion, Dessacord Majeur, for instance). The music here doesn’t necessarily put me in a state of trance, but listening consciously, fully awake, this works for me just as well. Nimh seems to dwell a bit more on the side of electronics than some others, giving it a slightly harsher edge, but for me, that added to the fun of it.
    ‘As Leaves Fall’ is the second album I hear from Like The Snow. Still, no names are mentioned, but I think it is one-person operation. The last time I wrote, ‘I don’t think this is the sort of thing for Vital Weekly’, which notion wasn’t picked up by Silentes. Like The Snow plays dark, electronic music. There are lots of rhythms, sequencers, and synthesizers in the music and In The Snow takes clear inspiration from the world of darkwave. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this music. After a long day, I just laid down for a slow afternoon, playing CD after CD, not trying to think too hard about the music or a review. Reading a book and my mind in slow-motion, this music worked really. Quite gothic, just like last, even when I may misuse the word Gothic. There are thirteen pieces here, from close to four minutes to just five minutes. Up-tempo, downtempo, jubilant melodies, sad ones and so on. All instrumental, even when in some (such as ‘Won’t See’), I believe to hear a robotic voice, courtesy of the vocoder: nice, but a bit out of our league.
    The big art release comes at the end. A 7″ sized, 78-page book with photographs by Lucia Badlini and music by Arlo Bigazi and Flavio Ferri. It is dedicated to Vladimir Mayakovsky, the Russian poet. Bigazi has various previous works dedicated to the man, mainly spoken word and music, but here it is word combined photographs by Lucia Baldini. There is a slight problem: the introduction text is all in Italian, and I have no idea what it says. I straight away admit also not knowing much about Majakowsky, which makes the language barrier even more poignant. So there’s a bit of a problem there, and I don’t understand much more from the (English) information. It builds on previous texts and (excuse for the lengthy quote) “The characteristic of these original editorial works is that each title is built on the sequence of an alphabet where each letter that composes it is associated with a word or a short phrase that dialogues with an image that is not immediately clear. In this case, however, with Chiara Cappelli, the characters have been defined and expressed not in the succession of the Cyrillic alphabet but by creating a different sequence, matching the individual letters with whose included in the line of the poem “Ascoltate!”. For this volume, the photos were taken using various Samsung smartphone models, using a modified app.” The music, too, is an extension of a previous CD, with Ferri expanding on the original music. All of this looks and sounds interesting, but also a bit like a party where one arrives late and missed out on all the speeches. I have zero references here, so what can I say? The music sounds good, electronic, with a big role for the fretless bass guitar, and is primarily ambient and spacious. Rhythm plays some role, and that adds to the moody atmosphere. Following the releases, I just heard, by Nimh and Like The Snow, I hear the connecting dots; atmospheric, rhythmic, slightly exotic, mysterious, each within a space of its own. (FdW)
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Seven pieces were played by four men, one baritone saxophone and three string instruments, viola, cello and double bass.
    All pieces evoke atmospheres and arguments between the musicians. Motifs are taken over, extended, and transformed in the course of a minute and commented on in the double bass by a very low note. Longer pieces demand concentrated listening. This is music I really like, and my wife absolutely abhors. Fleeting allusions to chords, hints of melodies, flageolets (not the beans but the lightly brushing off the bow to produce high overtones), pizzicato, multiphonics in the bari. Man, I love this stuff. Especially when it’s played with the utmost concentration and vigour, as is the case here. Not intended to be background music. The music drags you, and the musicians lure you into their dark lair where funny stuff happens. The right kind of funny. The birds in the title make their appearance in the last track. Not to listen on a second rate system, a lot could be missed that way. If you like this, you might also like other releases by the label: Creative Sources based in Portugal. Ernesto Rodrigues is the founder of the label. (MSD)
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WelkerBec is a duo of Marius Welker on saxophones, bass clarinet & flute and Mathieu Bec on drums. Mixing free jazz or improvisation with world music, this is infectious music. It took a few rounds of listening, though. At first, I wasn’t convinced by what I heard. Too slick, too lyrical. But… then it changed. Lasting 40 minutes, I wanted to push repeat right away. Even my wife likes it. We have common grounds in life, and not-too-far-out impro music is one of them. Back to the music: the tracks are relatively short, and each track has a distinct atmosphere. Small motifs in both wind instruments, repeated, transformed, interspersed with shouts, catcalling, underlined with smooth, energetic, and sometimes frenetic drumming, this is not exactly smooth music. Both musicians demand attention, listen quite well, and respond to what they hear in a split second. I could talk about the extended techniques (multiphonics) they use, the La Linea reference in the Interlude, or the slick opening of the title track Free Tao. I suggest you take a listen to this record. It’ll brighten your day. (MSD)
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SONORIA – LE JARDIN SONORE (CD by Evil Rabbit Records)

Even when I think that releases from Evil Rabbit Records are not my cup of tea, I always inspect them. Here’s one that caught my attention. Maybe it was the name Sonoria, which I simply think is a beautiful word. This Italian quartet consists of Cosimo Fiaschi (soprano sax), Alessandro Giachero (piano, prepared piano), Emanuele Guadagno (elecric guitar) and Nicholas Remondino (drums, live electronics).  They explore the “pure sound of the timbre”, which I am unsure what that means. The minimal exploration of their instrument attracted me to their music, connecting dots between electro-acoustic music, modern classical music, and improvisation. There are bits that are surely very much in one or the other musical area, but the whole thing is very fluid. This quartet goes from one musical interest into the next, or even do these at the same time. The title piece has acoustic sounds lingering in the background. The piano plays repeating notes while the saxophone plays a melody that is straight out of the world of modern music. Of course, not being the man to love all too improvised music, my interest lies in what they offer otherwise. ‘Here Come The Ants’ is a very spooky piece for live electronics, acoustic sounds, slowly fading into an electro-acoustic approach. Think MEV, AMM, but also the more electro-acoustic approaches of Morphogenesis and Kapotte Muziek (in their quietest moments), leaning heavier on the use of instruments. That gives Sonoria a strong, personal sound. A most enjoyable release! (FdW)
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In March 2019, cellist Okkyung Lee had a residency in Londo’s Cafe Oto, and she played one night with Jérôme Noetinger, who brought his Revox B77. The other night she played with Nadia Ratsimandresy, handling the ondes Martenot, a pre-world war two synthesizer. So two duos, and twice a meeting of electricity and an instrument. The difference lies in the thing that Noetinger picks up Lee’s playing and manipulates it on the spot. For me, this means that, at times, it seems that on the A-side, we hear just the cello, which, of course, is not the case. On the surface, this LP may seem to be a work of improvised music, as indicated by the way all three players handle their instruments and interactions. But digging deeper, one could also say this is an album where electro-acoustic music meets improvisation. For the recording with Noetinger, the devil is the details, I think. His actions are picking up the cello and feeding it back into the mix. It may meet a Korg MS20 (not mentioned, but I have seen Noetinger using this), and fragments of that captured on tape also find their way back into the chaotic overall picture of the music. The music Lee recorded with Ratsimandresy (of whom I had never heard before) is a meeting of two different instruments playing together. There is some of the other side’s hectic in this music, but it seems quieter and more reflective throughout. I have no idea how such things work if they grow organically when things come along. Maybe there are some agreements made? This duet goes to both extremes, and the ondes Martenot sounds at times like a cello, with glissandi being played and notes being plucked. If the first side is a wild ride all the way, then this side is a rocky road with many curves, and you never know what is behind the curve. I have no preference for either journey; I enjoyed both of them and thought the musicians explored a lot of new ground and had a great conversation along the way. Each time I played, I discovered something new. (FdW)
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GURUN GURUN – UZU OTO (LP by Buh Records)

All the way from Lima, Peru, Buh Records is a very active force in releasing experimental music from South American musicians. I don’t believe exclusively. We’ll see!
    I had not heard of Brazilian musicians Paula Rebellato (RAKTA) and Douglas Leal (DEAFKIDS). Paula has had a solo project by the name Acavernus, since 2013, and she incorporates sound, visual and written language. Douglas has a solo project as Yantra, next to his psychedelic punk trio DEAFKIDS (I assume capitals are in place as you wouldn’t hear it otherwise). For their collaborative record, they chose to use their solo guises. As far as my Portuguese goes, Acavernus plays synth, drum, harmonium, gong, effects and voices, and Yantra bouzouki, flute, djembe, tabla, rattles, and effects. For their joint effort, they are inspired by the “ritualistic potentials of music”, and in seven music pieces, they show an interesting variety in approaches. The common thread in these pieces may be the drone/raga-like approach to their instruments; there is the tabla opening of ‘Hiperexcitação’, reminding of Rapoon and Muslimgauze, but just as quickly, there are the dark drones of ‘Imersão’ or the layered strings of ‘Lamento & Cólera’. There is surely an element of free folk in some of this, such as that last one, going on and on, with a delicate voice loop to guide it, slowly growing in intensity, and in the end, it is the record noisiest offering. The second side offers a bit more light and, at the same time, also another round of psychedelia. Quite trippy music, and at that, a most enjoyable one. The whole notion of rituals may be lost on me, but I loved the music beyond that aspect.
    So not all musicians are from South America, as Gurun Gurun hails from the Czech Republic. Gurun Gurun, named after a fictional planet from an old Slovakian TV show, consist of Tarnovski, Tomáš Knoflíček, Federsel, and Ondřej Ježek. Instruments aren’t mentioned, but according to the description, you see “On the stage, you see four men hunched over tables overflowing with strange objects, hard-to-identify electronic devices, musical and non-musical instruments, and a chaotic tangle of cables, producing slow, constantly developing melodies and a hypnotic atmosphere that works a little like falling through a strange wormhole full of sounds, noises, and soft female vocals”. ‘Uzu Oto’ was created in concert, but it is not a traditional live album, we are told. Two pieces are with guests, Cuushe (Kyoto based singer) and Asuna, who is called a sound artist from Kanazawa”. Oddly enough, I was thinking about Asuna when I heard the record before reading the information or looking all too close at the cover. I once saw Asuna in a concert where he played music with a lot of small sounds and small objects. I recognize some of that sensibility and tactile approach in the music of Gurun Gurun. I looked some live videos up on YouTube and saw that much of the apparatus are synthesizers and electronics, much less on the promised ‘non-musical instruments’. From their music, I get the impression they love their free improvisation. They do a great job, if not something you haven’t heard before. Especially their sidelong ‘Toumeiningen’, with Cuushe, is a rather free-flow electronic improv fest. This last nineteen minutes, but just as well, could have been forty. In that respect, I enjoyed the four more condensed constructions on the other side better. The concise construction is a goal, and within that, events happen towards the greater composition. Most certainly a band to see in concert, I would think. (FdW)
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The music on this record results from a house renovation where Fromberg and Roigk lived. That was in 2012, and it was quite a racket for a long time. Stripping the roof, the plumbing, demolishing, hammering, sawing and drilling. The music was, in 2018, part of an installation at Ausland, Berlin, consisting of window sashes found on the streets of Berlin along with sounds from the renovation. A twenty-five-minute piece of music was part of this installation, which can be found on this LP. Currently, the house next door sees some renovation and sounds from over there reach me, much to my annoyance. It disrupts reviewing flow (or general enjoyment of music, film or conversation during the day). A long time ago, my house was renovated, which was worse because closer by, I thought of one remedy. Get out a microphone and a recording device and record the proceedings; make the best of the worst. I have no idea, but I can imagine this to be the same thing for Fromberg and Roigk. I should add they also use the sound of blowtorches, elevator buzzing and resonating gas heaters. And, as much as I don’t like dust, renovation or builders playing music all day, I can very much understand this work, this composition. The only way to deal with that is to go back to the sounds of annoyance, select and fragment, edit and layer these sounds into a thoughtful composition. Fromberg and Roigk certainly created excellent work with these sounds. It’s drone-like, repeating, noisy, strange, and familiar. Everybody heard these sounds in their life, yet with a few cuts and re-edits, you can turn the material into the music, as Fromberg and Roigk prove on this record. Side A is quieter than side B, but I guess together, it is part of the overall composition. Great cover, also, with photographs of the installation. (FdW)
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For a great number of years Ian Holloway releases some great music, sometimes under his own name or in guises, such as The British Space Group. His activities aren’t exclusively music-based, but his Wyrd Britain blog also has book reviews, stories and so on. As I am playing the music here, I was thinking about ‘wyrd’, and not so much ‘Briatin’, even when stories are about that land specific. Is the music released by Wyd Briatain weird, or not? Or, perhaps, is this the sountrack to play whle reading weird stories? “The Wyrd Britain label expands on this theme by releasing music that also tells stories,  music with a narrative and a sense of the mysterious that would be at home within the occult territories of a stranger Britain.”, so maybe it can go various ways? Holloway has quite a body of music available over the last twenty years, running various labels and musical projects. A common thread in his musical world can be described by such words as ‘drone’, ‘ambient’ and ‘atmosphere’. This new release doesn’t disappoint in that, as Holloway may shift a bit around with his sound, now including a bit more ‘rhythmical’ sounds (‘A Return To The Moment’), or a modern electronic aproach, such as in ‘A Chronal Equinox’. His full-on drone experience is on ‘Ghost Frequency’, with is carefull crackling drones, but here to sparse traces of rhythm (maybe samples of fences along the road?). Whatever shape it takes, all four pieces are mysterious and, perhaps, telling a story. Or, with the titles these piece hve, you can think of a story yourself, as it is easily all open for your own imagination. These days, Holloway isn’t as active anymore, it seems, and this release proofs that it is a pity. Two longer pieces and two pretty short; I wouldn’t have minded all of these a bit longer. (FdW)
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LUCA SCIARRATTA – TEME ME TANGIS (cassette by Attentuation Circuit)
LUCA SCIARRATTA – DERIVATA DISTANTE (cassette by Attentuation Circuit)

The name Luca Sciarratta appared twice before in Vital Weekly, two weeks in a row (563 and 564), when I reviewed some CDRs from his Rudeimentale label, as well as some of his music. I have no idea whatever he has been up to between ‘then’ and ‘now’, but here we have two tapes, released by Attenuation Circuit. Sciarratta is a guitar player, specializing in the ‘prepared guitar’ variety, along with tapes, objects and self-made instruments. If I understood correctly both cassettes were released at the same time, and, essentially, contain similar material. The package is different; one is a plastic bag, the other in a plastic case. Sciarratta’s music is somewhere along the lines of noise meets improvisation meets industrial music meets musique concrète. And yet it is never fully one thing or the other. Throughout there is certainly darkness in these pieces. I am not sure, but it might be the way the music is recorded. I would think by using a pair of microphones, so that the space the the amplifier is in, becomes part of the music. There is a certain in the music to be noted. The music lacks the hectic of pure improvisation, there isn’t the feedback of pure noise, and also remotely distant from pure industrial music. In fact, I can’t think of anyone whose work can compare with this; not that it is important or even relevant. Although I am not always convinced by the music, I am sure that Sciarratta has a voice of his own here. His solo guitar music, defining easy description, but it’s interesting to hear someone moving away pure noise or pure drone and finding another ground to let the six strings sing. I can imagine that Sciarratta would be an exciting partner in the world of improvisation, so hopefully he will expand in that direction one day too. (FdW)
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There are various Blunt Instruments, but this particular one is André Lemos, who is “known for his other worlds drawings, Lemos is also the publisher of Opuntia Books”. He now enters the world of music, armed with a “computer, field/home/street recording, voice, home appliances, miscellaneous editing, mixing”. Over a period of one-and-a-half years, he worked on the fourteen tracks on his debut cassette and throughout, there is a powerful love for plunderphonics to be noted. Blunt Instrument lifts his sounds left and right, everything from drums, guitars and vocals. The result is a wild mix of sounds, songs, ideas and sketches. Some of these are firmly rooted in Tape-Beatles, Negativland or People Like Us, but Blunt Instrument also takes his inspiration from both industrial music and hip hop. As far as I can judge, Blunt Instrument isn’t interested in conveying a political or sociological message. If anything, then the message could very well be that stealing sounds left and right for the benefit of making new music is a great thing. At times I was reminded of DJ T-1-11, a long-forgotten plunderphonic (not in the VWHQ, though, where his one LP can be found regularly on the turntable) but less dance-oriented. Blunt Instrument, implied by the name, is more about heavy guitar and industrial rhythm. Of course, a few snippets sound familiar, but I just don’t seem to remember their title. Thanks, Blunt Instrument, for sticking that in my head! Lovely tape! (FdW)
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SAENYO – DENKI (cassette)

The name of Saenyo popped up in Vital Weekly 1323, on a compilation ‘New Atlanta’, who said about the piece that it was recorded “in my most depressive hour(s) this year” in The Netherlands. Now there is a four-track cassette and still no other information. Nothing about the who, why and how side of this. Four tracks, sixteen minutes; that isn’t an album of stuff, but rather an introduction EP. Much like the music, the whole thing is a mystery to me. For instance, the titles are quite odd, ‘Progrock Guitar With Corny Organ’ and ‘Temporrray Busstation’, suggesting, maybe, a plunderphonic approach, but there is also ‘Darkness’ and ‘Gagaku’. I found it hard to say what the intentions here are; play solid dark glitchy, noisy ambient? That worked. Or maybe it is all a bit more playful than that? ‘Gagaku’ seems to take samples from Indonesian percussion instruments, along with some furious noise at the high end of the sound spectrum. ‘Progrock Guitar With Corny Organ’ is a dense slab of glitched drone noise? Guitar? Conry organ? Whereabouts? I immensely enjoyed this release, perhaps more for its mystery than its actual musical content, but come time, come growth, and I’d be interested to hear what’s coming next here. (FdW)
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