Number 1404

HYDRA ENSEMBLE – AGUAS (CD by Cylinder Recordings) *
GONÇALO ALMEIDA – CICLOS (CD by Cylinder Recordings) *
ATRAX MORGUE – DISCONNECTED (CD by Death in Venice Productions) *
STEVE SWELL – FOR RHINA P. ESPAILLAT (CD by Relative Pitch Records) *
LA FIN DES PSEUDONYMES – CAVE (CD by Thin Consolation) *
EXTRA – SPIRAL/ATHLETICS (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
COMPACTOR – UNITED (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
+DOG+ – TO SHARE FOREVER WITH YOU (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
DAVID NEIL STOKES (cassette by Research Laboratories) *
RIPPED SPIT – HOINT HURFER (cassette by Research Laboratories) *
STELLA SILBERT/NAT BALDWIN – 01.30.22 (cassette by Notice Recordings) *
RYOSUKE KIYASU – DIG UP ROOTS (cassette by Notice Recordings) *


Here is another example of modern composition meeting improvisation – at least, that’s my idea. I partly conclude this from the notion on the cover, saying ‘composition’ by Joris Rühl, and partly because of how it sounds. The composition is for two clarinets, one by Rühl, one by Xavier Charles, plus Jonas Kocher on accordion and Toma Gouband on percussion. It is not necessarily the kind of music I like very much, but at the same time, it is also music that brings the occasional surprise. That is also the case on this CD. ‘Feuilles’ is a fifty-one-minute piece of music that primarily explores the clarinet’s quieter side, a wind instrument that I rank among my favourites. Maybe it’s that sine wave quality that I like and is sometimes very much part of the music here. When Kocher extracts similar long-form sounds from his accordion, there is an interesting interplay between the three instruments, in which the percussion plays shorter, rhythmic phrases. The result is reflective music that works quite well in the contradiction of long and short-form sounds. In a few instances, this quartet relies on a more improvised feeling, banging and scratching in a hectic way. Those bits may form a nice counterpart to the rest, but I think it is too much of a break with the carefully construction reflections of the other parts. Luckily, these calmer parts form the majority here. Especially the second half of the piece, this works very well. The last twenty minutes are a beauty, and I wouldn’t mind hearing that bit extended and expanded for the entire length of the CD. Here, there are a lot of intense and dark atmospheric sounds, and it becomes difficult to recognize any instruments. Throughout, but not all, this is the most enjoyable work. (FdW)
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HYDRA ENSEMBLE – AGUAS (CD by Cylinder Recordings)

Two new releases by Rutger Zuydervelt, also known as Machinefabriek. Why he sometimes his own name instead of Machienfabriek remains a mystery to me. Lily&Janick is a contemporary circus company, which seems to be without clowns (luckily, as they scare me), as I read, “It’s a play between light, reflections and new perspectives onto partner acrobatics. With a long mirror that lays on the floor, images are getting created that hypnotize – like watching an everyday life situation through a kaleidoscope”. I haven’t seen this, so I can’t comment on that side of the thing. Zuydervelt composed a fine soundtrack that works well as a standalone piece of music, all four of them. The CD opens with ‘Utopia’, the longest of the four pieces, and a rather beautiful piece of ambient music. Mellow synthesizer sounds, some looped guitar sounds, and it all flows most naturally. Then, in ‘Escalation’, Zuydervelt opens up more electronic sounds, also from the side of rhythm machines, and the outcome is a rather fine ambient house sort of music, very much like the last one, ‘Point Of No Return’, which sees him going further into the world of dance music. It’s almost techno-like and works well as music for movement. In between, there was ‘Dystopia’, a more ambient piece again, a mirror of ‘Utopia’, of course, the darker side of ambient. Rhythm plays a role as much as Zuydervelt uses field recordings of a demolition site. Two times, the two pieces seem quite apart, but it makes a very consistent album; as said, it also works fine as a standalone album.
    Zuydervelt is also part of the Hydra Ensemble, where he plays the electronics. The other members are two cellists, Lucija Gregov, Nina Hitz, and Goncalo Almeida, on double bass. I already reviewed ‘Vistas’ from them (Vital Weekly 1338). As before, wild variation is happening herein approaching these low-frequency string instruments. Strumming and plucking, long or short sounds, sustaining or hectic, is all part of the players’ approaches. It’s not easy to determine what Zuydervelt’s role is here. There are textures, sounds, and even shorter loops of sound (to avoid the word rhythm) to be noted here, but they are sometimes buried deep in the music. Or, maybe, with four players, it isn’t that deep, but with three players offering similar sounds from similar instruments, it all becomes a lonely place for Zuydervelt. I like it when I hear him a bit more, and that seems to happen when the music takes on a more contemplative side, quieter, more spun out. Some carefully placed silences open up, such as in the first and the last piece. There is quite a bit of variation in this album, going all wild, quiet, and everything in between. This is improvised music bordering on the world of contemporary music, so it easily appeals to a broader audience. (FdW)
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GONÇALO ALMEIDA – CICLOS (CD by Cylinder Recordings)

‘Ciclos’ is Almeida’s fourth solo double bass record, excluding a release with compositions for solo double bass reviewed here: Vital Weekly 1380. Almeida is a musical omnivore with improvisation as his menu’s main or key ingredient. His tastes range from jazzcore (Albatre) to modern classical (Hydra Ensemble) to slightly more traditional jazz (Almeida/Duynhoven/Klein trio). This latest solo effort, available on CD, vinyl and digital format, are two sidelong pieces. After a nice introduction with long notes and rich overtones, reminiscent of many shoegaze records in the nineties, including the slow-changing “chords”, Almeida achieves this without pedal effects. To be fair, the room greatly helps get a natural reverb/delay. It’s the Old Chapel in Brecht, one of the few remaining buildings of an old monastery.
    It’s mesmerizing music; both pieces are almost minimal music. I say almost because a lot is happening with the changing overtones that sometimes sound like a choir (for instance, after 16 minutes in the first piece), and the material evolves much quicker than in a composed piece like Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich. In the second piece, Almeida changes the accents to create a polyrhythmic structure that slowly shifts over time. And as with almost all minimal music, time stands still and, at the same time, passes by quite quickly. Almeida uses all strings to great effect, and to me, there’s not a single dull moment on the whole release. The relentless fast and faster and fastest bowing is also a physical exercise for Almeida. This music is pleasing to the ear, tugs at the heartstrings (mine, anyway) and is accessible right from the start. Other music that comes by here at Vital Weekly is sometimes more challenging to unlock its secrets. Not this one. Another way to look at this music is a guided meditation to the heart of the string. Halfway through ‘CICLO II’, the music sounds like a pounding heart. While you check this one out, please look at his label Cylinder Recordings. It’s quite the treasure trove. (MDS)
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ATRAX MORGUE – DISCONNECTED (CD by Death in Venice Productions)

After rereleasing the 1998 CDR on tape in 2021, Death in Venice Productions decided it was not enough and rereleased the magnificent “Disconnected” by Atrax Morge as a CD. It is still Italian because Death in Venice and the original label Sin Organization are from Italy, and we all know Marco Corbelli was. There are a few things you’ve read more often from me: is it necessary to rerelease so much stuff from the past if so many new sounds are being made? In my opinion, when it comes to Slaughter Tapes or Atrax Morgue, in my humble opinion you can’t do it enough. Keep sending those rereleases, and I’ll review them!
    Marco Corbelli, a.k.a. Atrax Morgue, has something magical. So far, I haven’t been able to put my finger on it, but it is the minimalist approach to the sounds and the incredible spookiness of those haunted vocals. The sounds in his compositions – not all, but definitely on this release – are pure synthesized melodic sequences. No rhythms, yet rhythmic, no distortion, yet distorted, and the purity is like they’re straight from a machine. You hear the sound waves as they should be. The vocal procession is different: Distorted yet audible, chorus, delay and probably an overdrive. Lyrics the Brainbombs and Brighter Death Now would be proud of.
    So this is “Disconnected”, as mentioned, a CDR release from 1998, two years ago, rereleased on tape and now on CD. Thirty-one minutes only, sadly, but this is one for the books. This is Atrax Morgue the way I like him the best. Direct, extreme and still alive. (BW)
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STEVE SWELL – FOR RHINA P. ESPAILLAT (CD by Relative Pitch Records)

In the ongoing series of solo releases spanning the globe, it’s now Steve Swell’s turn on Relative Pitch records. Dedicated to poet Rhina P. Espaillat and, more specifically, her poem “Why Publish?” by Rhina P. Espaillat ( as a poetic measure to listen to this music. In a hundred or two hundred years, a listener who puts on this music and puts it in perspective will not change for us humans. We still read Shakespeare, for example. And on the other hand, it will be listened to with completely different ears than Steve could imagine. Steve Swell has been active since 1975. Member of the big bands of Buddy Rich and Lionel Hampton, for instance, which led to touring and recording with a string of musicians: Tim Berne, Joey Baron, Herb Robertson, Jemeel Moondoc, Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor, William Parker, Bill Dixon, Butch Morris, John Zorn, Dave Burrell, Elliott Sharp, Rob Mazurek, Perry Robinson, Ken Vandermark. I took the list from his Wikipedia page. It’s a who’s who from the (free) impro scene.
    This is his second solo release after 2015’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Improviser, the title most likely alluding to ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’, (a 1962 film) and short story (1959) by Allan Sillitoe. On this one, he plays the trombone and the pocket trumpet. The 18-minute-long piece Hope starts off the record with a long breath in the trombone and, via various extended techniques, culminates in a swinging groove interjected with a melodic line. Impressive piece to start with. All other parts are much shorter. Rubber glove utilizes a rubber glove to make additional sounds. Scraping for Walter Weirbos is probably dedicated to Wolter Wierbos. It is a difficult name to spell for foreigners, and Walter Weirbos looks like the phonetic transcription of his name. Wolter Wierbos is, I think, most famous for being part of the Instant Composers Pool since 1980. Incidentally, Steve and Wolter are from the same generation. It’s the strangest-sounding piece on the record. Scraping sound moving in the stereo field with a single pitch. Pocket trumpet with sordino scraped along a wall? I don’t know. What Steve Swell does is use extended techniques to tell a story. Or not, just making interesting sounds to listen to and seemingly telling a story. Either way, this is a highly recommended release by a very talented musician. (MDS)
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The French Laaps label knows where to look for artists that I never heard of. Tomáš Knoflíček is such a new name. He’s a member of the Gurun Gurun quartet (called ‘visionary’ by Laaps), who have releases on Home Normal, Silver Rocket, and Buh Records. He is also part of “the audiovisual project LyrArkestra+, which focuses on interpreting graphic scores by prominent Czech and Slovak visual artists (Milan Adamčiak, Jan Steklík, etc.). He is also the organiser of the Cuckoo Festival of Art in Public Space (”. In his music, he uses field recordings, instruments, “including historical psaltery or guitar”, and computer deconstruction. Add to this his voice, and in some pieces, voices by Emiko and Hanabi are the main ingredients of the album. We would probably call the element of computer deconstruction glitch at different times, by which I mean the area of the laptop musician. Much of the music here reminds me of reflective music, with tinkling on the guitar, slightly disturbed and interrupted by glitches and singing in a relatively subdued way. Words, if there are any, may not mean anything and are there to enhance the dark mood of the music further. Lots of stretching of small sounds, but never extreme, never too much. Spacious music, but with words and voice, is also firmly rooted in pop music. It’s been a while since I concerned myself with such music, so off-hand, I can’t think of anything to compare this with. Abstract or not, music with voices, vocals, and lyrics is not my strong interest. I enjoy the music from Knoflíček for its darkness and slightly dramatic touch, but maybe doesn’t do enough to hold my attention all the time. Sometimes, the voices are a bit too much of a distraction. Not bad at all, but it also received with mixed feelings. (FdW)
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LA FIN DES PSEUDONYMES – CAVE (CD by Thin Consolation)

There are many ways to listen to music: actively and passively, and there is no right or wrong. There is, however, music that requires active listening, and that’s music with spoken word. Especially when the voice is very high up in the mix and hard to avoid, it is hard to escape the music. That is the case here with La Fin Des Pseudonymes. Hey, wasn’t that the title of a CDR by Antonin de Bemels (Vital Weekly 1223)? This is not an active memory, but De Bemels reminded me of a previously reviewed work. These days, La Fin Des Pseudonymes is a quartet with De Bemels on groovebox, Olivier Taskin on drums, Nicolas Claus on guitar, bass, loops, and effects and Frederic Arden on spoken word and processed field recordings. I said it before and, no doubt, many more times in the future and here: I don’t have a particular interest in words, primarily when spoken. I like music, and I find the spoken word a distraction, especially when they are high up in the mix, and that’s the case here. The words are also in the booklet, so if I wanted them to hear out loud, I might as well recite them myself. The music is an exciting mixture of improvised, rock-like textures, with a bit of doodling on the electronics, adding a slightly more electronic music feel. The best news is that the text isn’t always there, as there are lengthy passages in which there is just music; if I am not mistaken, I think the piece ‘Plain Étude’ is instrumental. Maybe this music is somewhat sweet sometimes, but it adds to the atmospheric character. Arden’s voice is slightly dark and has a pleasant tone, a fine narrator. What his texts are about, I admit, I don’t know. It is a most pleasing CD, but as always, I like text and music separate. (FdW)
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‘Spectral Nights’ is the second solo CD by Berlin-based drummer Rudi Fischerlehner. We didn’t review the first, but we did some of his work with others, such as Olaf Rupp and Matthias Müller (Vital Weekly 908). That collaboration may give you an idea of his active musical field, improvised music. We have increasingly less space for improvised music that we receive quite a lot of, and I apologise. Vital Weekly always had a more passing interest in this kind of music. I sometimes like what I hear, but that hardly makes me an expert. One of the things I wonder about when I review solo releases of improvised music (but not something I constantly repeat) is why these are made. Is it to display one’s capability to improvise? Or are those capabilities shown in interaction with others? Here again, my lack of knowledge as I don’t know the answer. Listening to the five pieces on this CD, it is safe to say that Fischerlehner is a great improviser, and I think his approach is pretty traditional (again, with all the reservations). We have the drumkit, which we recognise as such, and I think he plays it with sticks and brushes and not with objects. The drumkit remains a drumkit and doesn’t become an object to extract sounds from. In the information, I read about influences from Haitian and Japanese music, musique concrète and turntablism, free jazz, punk and new music, all of which, to some extent, I can recognise, and none of which play a very dominant role in the music. At thirty-nine minutes, this is for me the right length for such a release; I appreciate the display of skills, and the variation of approaches in textures, rhythms and sounds Fischerlehner has, but now let’s hear the interaction with others. (FdW)
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Out of Brighton hails The Spirit Of Gravity, which is not a group but rather an event. Every month they organise an event and have been doing this since 2001. This album is a compilation with six out of more than a hundred contributions, and it is a nicely varied bunch of music. None of the names mean much to me. There is Alien Arms with Ieva Dubova, Ensemble 1, McCloud, Andrew Greaves, This Sound Bureaucracy and Gun Boiler. The opening piece, by Alien Arms with Ieva Dubova, has a poem recited, and because I had studied what this was about, I thought it would be another poetry reading record. I had the title in mind. Andrew Greaves has a lovely minimalist electronic piece with found vocal sound and a nice background bounce, which works quite well. Ensemble 1 also deals with minimalism, partly electronic, it seems, and partly acoustic; this is a beautiful uptempo piece of music. On the other side of the spectrum are the almost Gabber-like beats of Gun Boiler, carefully placed at the end of the record. I don’t know if that was a night of hardcore music (or attempts at such, as this is not the real thing), but it’s an acceptable alternative. McLoud is more like old-school electronics and found voice, with lots of delay work. This is the kind of thing we had in abundance in 1980, which is a fine reminder. More reading we find on This Sound Bureaucracy, again with a more uptempo rhythm and the voice pushed to the background, so I like it all the better. Here, too, I believe to hear something more old-school-like. Playing these six pieces, one can only regret not living in Brighton and witnessing this sort of stuff every month for over twenty years. Wow.
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If the name Extra is new to you, it is indeed new. ‘Spiral/Athletics’ is the first release mentioned on Discogs, but there are also ‘Hard/Rainbow’ and ‘Draw/Orb’, all from this year (the latter a digital-only). Three releases straight away say, maybe, something about the musicians behind Extra. Howard Stelzer, you know. His work has been reviewed a lot in these pages. Brian Grainger perhaps not, and that’s odd as his discography is vast – as immense as space itself. Two hundred forty-seven alone under his own name, and then there is a plethora of nicknames with as many (or more releases As Coppice Halifax he has over 500). I only heard a handful of his releases. With Stelzer in Massachusetts and Grainger in Ohio, I assume they exchange music via the Internet. According to the cover, they use “tapes, speakers, synthesizers and so on”, the last of which makes it all the more interesting; what is this ‘and so on’? The music here is one piece, just over fifty minutes, and I believe it consists of three distinctly different sections. I think I can hear some of Stelzer’s field recordings and the way he processes these in the music. From what I know from Grainger, the little I heard, I think he’s responsible for some of the overall digital processing. The whole thing has quite a lo-fi ambient character, which works well. It’s not as noisy as some of Stelzer’s solo material, and perhaps it’s all more spun out here. That works well because the two play the ‘mood card’ and the ‘dark atmosphere’. In the third part, which easily extends more than half the disc, there are a bunch of highly obscured samples at work, making it all a bit more musical, while at the same time, they are clearly stretched out a bit. I can’t vouch for Garinger and how this particular relates to the rest of his work, but for Stelzer, this seems to be an exciting diversification from his regular menu. It is not too big or strange, as it fits his other work very well: another dimension. I am not sure if the catalogue of Extra should have similar proportions as Grainger’s, but this is undoubtedly a most promising new collaboration. (FdW)
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Lawry Zilmrah, a.k.a Lawry Romani, works with everything ranging from handmade instruments to modular synths and from what Discogs can tell me, this might be his first full-length album. It is released on the consistently productive and highly acclaimed Love Earth Music from New England, so we might have a little indication of where this will bring the listener.
    “Hallucinatory X-Ray Visions” is only 32 minutes in total, which is a bit on the short side. But as the Atrax Morgue CD reviewed in this Vital was only 31 minutes, I’ll take it. The tracks range from approximately 3 to 7 minutes and carry dadaist names like “Serial Prognosticator” and “Algorithmic Personality Syndrome”. Maybe a fair dose of LSD should be given away with each sold album to get into another realm of reality; who knows, maybe the chameleon on the cover is drenched in it! (Oh no, I’m mixing them with Sonoran Desert toads).
    Musically, there is a lot of sampling and resampling of sounds and some proper manipulation in between. It’s hard to find the origin of the sounds and the ‘handmade instruments’ Lawry uses. It’s all manipulated, even though authentic distorted pieces are not the main ingredient of the album. When it’s all too distorted, it tends to become more of a broken wall of sound, and in these compositions, there is still enough clarity and open space to enjoy the music. Sure, there are moments where it all gets completely garbled, but those moments seem to have a function too.
    After several listens, I’m still puzzled by the release. It’s not something I haven’t heard before, but at the same moment, Lawry has quite an original approach to things. Next to the cutup electro acoustics, there are scarce moments where the rhythmic tendency comes forward and other moments where the hypnotism comes from a droney layered soundscape (the algorithm track). Towards the end, the expression gets more extreme (read: noisy), which are the moments you can get lost in this release. For a first full album: Proper! I wouldn’t mind hearing more. (BW)
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COMPACTOR – UNITED (CDR by Love Earth Music)

“The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labour”. This quote by Thomas Donahue can be read on the inside of this album by Compactor, and I believe his first on Love Earth Music. The layout has a nice (post)industrial feel, which fits the music well. Fifty minutes in ten tracks, and everything released just before the Compactor Westcoast tour, which starts September 29th in Seattle and ends the 14th of October in Los Angeles. So you can get your copy of this album at one of the gigs there.
    Compactor is the primary outlet for ‘The Worker, ‘ a mysterious anonymous figure who has represented all the workers since 2011. The system administrator for Compactor is Derek Rush, whose name we’ve seen before when it came to, for example, A Murder Of Angels, Dream Into Dust and Loretta’s Doll. However, Compactor is nothing close to those names. Tracks range from a 90’s post-industrial soundscape to full rhythmic, even danceable things to experimental / improv sound sculptures. It’s a bit of everything but always with an approach to shock or make you think. Because yes, no two tracks are the same, which is very hard to market, but also beautiful in that there is always something for everyone.
    “Selling Your Body By The Minute” could have been taken from a Slaughter Tape sampler, “Resist Mandatory Coercion” starts a bit ritual but changes into a throbbing slow stomper, sort of P.A.L meets Skinny Puppy (in the old days) and “Army Of One” is a dronescape ending in a beautiful noise part. One final track I’ll lift out of this album is “They Had To Die Before The Powers Let Us Live” because, as with all the bands with solid feelings about workers, this even reminded me a bit of Test Department in the era of ‘The Unacceptable Face Of Freedom’. Go see him live if you can and get this pearl; otherwise, order this album where you usually get your L.E.M albums. Unite! (BW)
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A lovely artwork by Cierra G Rowe of two interstellar beings kissing or hugging is used for the latest release by +DOG+, who is, of course, is Steve Davis, the label dude of Love Earth Music. These days, most of his releases get sent to me to review, so I can also compare or find links with earlier stuff I reviewed. And I probably say the same thing every time: That’s not a punishment of any kind, as I like his approach to sounds and composition. His Discogs page is a bit empty as not all releases are on there, nor are all of the Love Earth Music releases. And as with the previously reviewed Compactor, I suppose a bit of mystery should be there.
    “To Share Forever With You” has many titles that in some way relate to relationships and maybe even pregnancy or the end of either of those. “Nothing Loved Is Ever Lost”, “His Eyes, Her Laughter”, “Keep Living & Loving”, “A Responsibility To Wonder” and “Angel Wings”. It’s obviously a conceptual approach to the subject, but it remains a mystery to the subjects. It can be all made up; it could have happened to Steve or someone nearby. But as information about most L.E.M. releases is scarce, I will stick to what I hear, and that is some loud music. Maybe even a bit louder than I’ve heard in his recent releases. The cutup noises are pushed towards the front of the audio-image, and several tracks have (audible yet incomprehensible) vocals. With these vocals, they get a bit of a power electronics feel as it’s less ‘screamy’ than what one normally hears in harsh noise.
    The tracks on this release can roughly be divided into two directions. One part seems to be recorded fully with sounds and noises in a collage kind of setting, and the other is a combination of generated electronics with what appears to be live drumming – albeit not all too coherent and not always recognizable as such. My favourite track is “Everybody Has A Light” because this one has a bit of everything. (BW)
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DAVID NEIL STOKES (cassette by Research Laboratories)
RIPPED SPIT – HOINT HURFER (cassette by Research Laboratories)

It’s an oversized parcel with some highly obscure releases. Not many labels use Tumblr for their website, but here’s one. The cassettes come in plastic bags with an A6 postcard, usually just the title, artist name, and ‘released by Research Laboratories’. I believe many of these are in an edition of 25 copies. That is at least the case with Leif Elggren, whose tape comes in a small black box with a hand-cut carton on the top of the lid. While I write elsewhere that I usually am not much enamoured with spoken word releases, what Elggren does is just that, but at the same time, it is also captivating. He feeds his voice through sound effects, almost like a broken speaker on ‘His Sister 1 (For Poe)’ and a pitch-shifting effect on ‘His Sister 2 (For Me)’. What he talks about, I don’t know; see elsewhere for my lack of attention in understanding words. This is a fascinating release with a bit of additional tape hiss, coupled with Elggren’s delivery. As much as I love this and many of the man’s previous output, I also don’t understand much about it and much of it is very conceptual, yet I find this quite captivating.
    Which is something that I can’t say about David Neil Stokes. There is zero information about the man unless I should have paid more attention to his talking on this cassette. He walks around with a Walkman, talking about his activities, walking outside, spotting people fishing, and walking home. Sometimes, he recounts his past and his diagnosis as a mild schizophrenic. Plus various bits about his life. Stokes doesn’t have an exciting voice. I stay away from listening to podcasts, and yes, I am aware loads are exciting, but I find myself without much time and energy to sit down and listen to them. The same goes for Stokes, I’m sorry to say. I didn’t play all the way through, so perhaps I missed out on something of more importance.
    More talking on Absurd Cosmos Late Nite, whose ‘These Magic Clothes Don’t Play Music’ references Pantera. I didn’t investigate that much further, mainly because I was listening to the music and liking what I heard. The voice seemed slowed down, and there may be some kind of drone in the background, highly obscured sounds (what appears to be processed muzak). What sounded fascinating became less attractive as the tape progressed. It all stayed a bit in the same sort of thing. Everything slowed down, with the music being a sort of randomized event. I was thinking of a cross between Due Process and Architects Office, but never as good. They would do one piece like this and move on. Certainly, this approach has some exciting potential, but it has not yet been heard.
    For Ripped Spit, who I believe is from America (and whose cassette is available on his Bandcamp page as a download), voice plays a much less important role. In some twenty-three minutes, there are no less than sixteen pieces of manipulated sounds. Turntablism, Walkman and Dictaphone abuse are cut and spliced together. It’s noisy but not for the sake of pure noise, but rather a form of crude musique concrète, not being hindered by rules of composition (I am sure Ripped Spit would be surprised to know that there are rules in composing). Here, too, an element of randomness is never far away, as these plunderphonics seem to be stuff that he happens to stumble upon. In that sense, these plunderphonics aren’t a form of social critique but rather taking stuff left and right and throwing it together. Lo-fi, as I imagine, none of this uses much computer technology. Some of these pieces are a bit too short to convince fully, so the whole thing sometimes sounds like a poorly tuned radio, but that’s something that I like anyway – poorly tuned radios.
    The label has various lathe cut releases, and I received one from Ekaterina Bazhenova-Yamasaki, of whom I had not heard before. She’s from the UK, plays music, and creates glass objects, books, zines and photography. In 2022 she was in Los Angeles and recorded the two pieces on this 7″. She also made four unique glass sculptures along this release, which are also 7inch long and for sale on her Bandcamp. Both pieces on the 7″ are precisely four minutes and thirty seconds and contains quite obscure drone-like computer-controlled time stretchings. What the source is, I don’t know, but the result is as beautiful as it is mysterious. It is very dark and intense, making me think that a lathe cut is perhaps not the best medium, as she tends to border on digital distortion. These nine minutes made me curious to hear more music from her because this sounded pretty good.
    And finally, the label boss also has a cassette, albeit on a different label, also a new name for me, Drowned By Locals. Both sides are untitled, about eighteen minutes long, and have various parts. He, too, works with voices, but more in the background, apart from the opening section. LaRoche works with field recordings and electronics and tends towards the deeper end of noise music. It’s not necessarily loud but more old-school industrial at times. I have no idea where he recorded his sounds, as there is quite some treatment on these sounds. Some voices reminded me of early Scanner; maybe LaRoche also uses found sound. There is quite some darkness in this music. LaRoche loves using hard cuts right in the middle when you think it’s getting pretty interesting; that’s a bummer. Also, he uses quite a long fade-in, making this tape at times inaudible, which, I guess, adds to the charm of the music. (FdW)
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STELLA SILBERT/NAT BALDWIN – 01.30.22 (cassette by Notice Recordings)
RYOSUKE KIYASU – DIG UP ROOTS (cassette by Notice Recordings)

Here are two new releases by Kingston’s (NY) Notice Recordings, two by musicians I had not heard of before. The first is a duet between Stella Silbert on the prepared turntable and Nat Baldwin on double bass. The five pieces (about sixty minutes) were recorded live on January 30, 2022 (hence the title) at 10 Forward, Greenfield, MA. I assume what is on the cassette are the best pieces from their sessions. It is, perhaps, not a very common combination, double bass and turntable, but then, maybe the turntable is not something I often hear in the world of improvised music. And that is where we find this duo. I don’t know what kind of preparations Silbert made, as some sounds seem commonplace, such as scratches, hiss, loops, and static sounds. Baldwin plucks and scrapes his instrument, mostly strings but sometimes also the body. There is an immediate atmosphere here as if we are sitting very close to the musicians. You can hear Baldwin breathing. Especially when the two up the volume, such as in 8′, the music has a beautiful tension element. I like this approach of being close together, which is also present in the first half of ‘2’, the longest piece here. When they drifted apart, going a more scratch-and-hit approach, I found the music less attractive, which means that side A is much less appreciated than side B.
    The previous work by Ryosuke Kiyasu was reviewed by Jliat (Vital Weekly 1283), who no longer wishes to send his wise words on noise music. If that Jliat thing is a hint towards the music of Ryosuke Kiyasu, then you are only partially correct. While Jliat wrote mostly about noise music made with electronics, none seems to be the case here. The instruments of choice are a snare drum and a table, as recorded live at the Tokyo Arts And Space on July 1, 2022. About five years ago, I saw him play here in Nijmegen, and honestly, I don’t remember much about it other than it was all quite furious. That is also the case on this cassette. The recording is very loud (I am unclear if this was enhanced in the mastering process or because the microphone was very close to the action). The music is free and improvised but con furioso, and there is very little in escaping the noise on offer here. Maybe I am sometimes reminded of Z’EV here, especially when the music is distorted and raw, almost like a piece of industrial music. None of this contains many traditional rhythms, yet it is also quite rhythmical. Kiyasu allows for very little silence in his work, but there is a bit of that, very brief, and then he blasts away again. It’s some excellent extreme acoustic noise music, which is a rare thing (too!) in the world of improvised music – as far as I know about these matters. I found this quite an entertaining noise release. (FdW)
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