Number 1414

Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offer a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radio program with excerpts of just some of the releases reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here:

Manuel Mota – Isoc​è​le (Cd By Headlights) *
Mario Lino Stancati – Revision (Cd By Unexplained Sounds Group) *
Sam Dunscombe & Michiko Ogawa – Expended Desert (Cd By Ferns Recordings) *
C.c.c.c. – Community Center Cyber Crash/live In Pittsburgh (Cd By Helicopter/troniks) *
The Haters – Tractor 2023 (Cd By Helicopter/troniks) *
C.c.c.c. – Amplified Crystal (Cd By Helicopter/troniks) *
Merzbow/sissy Spacek – Coronado (2cd By Helicopter/troniks) *
Philippe Petit – A Divine Comedy (2cd By Cronica Electronica) *
Oleg Karpachev – Sputnik Ost (Cd By Cold Spring Records) *
Lina Allemano & Axel Dörner – Aphelia (Cd By Relative Pitch Records) *
Silke Eberhard & Céline Voccia – Wild Knots (Cd By Relative Pitch Records) *
Rick Reed – The Symmetry Of Telemetry (Lp By Sedimental/elevator Bath) *
Concepción Huerta – The Earth Has Memory (Lp By Elevator Bath) *
Colin Andrew Sheffield – Don’t Ever Let Me Know (Lp By Auf Abwegen) *
Doc Wör Mirran Featuring Adrian Gormley – Schnulz (Cdr By Attenuation Circuit) *
Joseph B. Raimond – Droop (Booklet By Mirran Thought)
Daniele Ciullini – [23] (Cdr By Rewired Noises) *
Steffan De Turck/manuel Padding – The Weights Of Babylon (Cassette By Silver Ghosts)
Ben Link Collins – To Be Human (Cassette By Full Spectrum Records) *
The Annual 2023 (Book By Korm Plastics)
Sounding Situations – Rwandan Records (Cd By Syrphe Records)

MANUEL MOTA – ISOC​È​LE (CD by Headlights)

Over the years, I have heard quite a bit of music by the Portuguese guitarist Manuel Mota, and I enjoy his work. I couldn’t say that one or the other title is his best, but that changes with ‘Isoc​è​le’. This time, three long pieces, twelve to fifteen minutes, are all live. The dates are on the cover, and the most recent one is the opening piece, recorded on October 10, only six weeks ago. Mota isn’t your usual guitar strummer; he never was, but there is always a trace of that. Maybe I called it ‘a different kind of blues’ at some point. However, what he does on this new disc also has little to do with it. I know it’s an electric guitar because the cover says so (and why lie about it?). Mota extracts some very atmospheric tones from the six strings and the amplification thereof. The amplifier is essential as much of what Mota deals with how the guitar sounds. He lightly touched his guitar, creating tiny ripples, I don’t know, using a piece of cloth for all I know and letting that hang around. The space used is also essential, as we hear the sound gently howling in the space he uses; it is slightly hollow, or maybe a natural cavern, and responsible for the reverb used. Unless, of course, Mota uses a natural reverb. Somehow, I suspect him not to use any effects. In the opening piece, there is another sound, a buzz if you want, adding further to the mystery of the music. There is quite a spooky atmosphere here in all three pieces, something I can’t define but love. In ‘Isoc​è​le 2’, the sound rocks very slowly back and forth and hits a few noisy bumps, but it is something that Mota keeps very well under control. As said, so far, I couldn’t point out what I think is the best release by Manuel Mota, but as of right now, this is the one. Mota effectively continues to explore his minimalist guitar explorations, always looking for a different approach, and now has found one that I find very appealing. I wonder what he will come up with next. (FdW)
––– Address:

MARIO LINO STANCATI – REVISION (CD by Unexplained Sounds Group)

Here we have the third album by Mario Lino Stancati for this label and the first one to reach me. Born in 1981, he’s an actor, director, playwright, poet, musician, and composer. From what I understand from his biography, he’s quite active in all of these areas. This new album spans the years 2017 to 2021, some previously released (mainly online), and the fourteen pieces were made with “field recordings, vocal anomalies and electronic innovations”. While no such thing is mentioned, I believe the music is rooted in the world of modular electronics, buzzing and cracking away. External sounds, let that be field recordings or vocal anomalies, are fed to the music, locked together, hissing and granulating no end. The good is that Stancati keeps his pieces concise, somewhere between three and six minutes, and each of these pieces is a world of its own, and together, they form a miniature universe. There are no massive differences between these pieces, and at the same time, they each have a character of its own, especially in a few pieces in which he narrates a text, such as in ‘Matriloquium’. There is a tendency to stay on a somewhat stronger side (read: louder), but noise isn’t what motivates Stancati, I think. He seems more interested in balancing the louder stuff and the music he plays carefully. It never becomes ambient, though. Stancati relies too much on musique concrète techniques of organising the chaos to do these long spun quiet bits. It’s a lovely release, with some pretty strong music, sitting next to music that could use further exploration, but, as said, throughout, it is a very coherent album. It’s almost an hour long, and it never becomes boring. (FdW)
––– Address:


In various ways, this is a bit of an odd release. First of all, because Ferns Recordings doesn’t seem to release a lot of ‘new’ or ‘unknown’ artists, maybe my thinking is clouded by the fact that I don’t think I have heard of these musicians before. Sam Dunscombe is responsible for field recordings and synthesis, and Michiko Ogawa plays the shō and a Hammond organ. The field recordings were made in various places, including Joshua Tree National Park, Ludlow, Salton Sea, Slab City, and Victorville. Maybe some of these are mixed together or perhaps placed linearly. The shō and Hammond organ play minimalist tones, and there is some variation in their approaches. It has an improvised music feeling, which is also not something I expect from this label; it’s more of a release you’d expect from Ftarri. Slowly, the music goes from a mildly high-end frequency to a more low-end one, in which we hear the sound of ducks. Towards the end, it was more of an electro-acoustic piece, moving away from the drones. I particularly enjoyed the more low-end part of this forty-one-minute piece, as it was ominous and atmospheric, but I’d also think the whole thing was oke but not great. I don’t know why. I played this CD more than anything else this week (I think), but I couldn’t get my head around this. Is oke enough? I don’t know. (FdW)
––– Address:

THE HATERS – TRACTOR 2023 (CD by Helicopter/Troniks)
C.C.C.C. – AMPLIFIED CRYSTAL (CD by Helicopter/Troniks)

A bundle of noise, this time for me to take it in, but, mind you, not at once. I started on Wednesday with C.C.C.C.”Community Center Cyber Crash/Live In Pittsburgh’, mainly because, at one point, I had the LP version of this, which was released in 1993 by RRRecords/SSS productions. The two sides have been restored as one piece, quite rightfully so, as this is a live recording from October 11, 1992, and best heard without interruption. That’s why I like this sort of thing on a compact disc. I always think of C.C.C.C. as the psychedelic edge of noise music. Primarily I base that on their use of electronics and effects, mainly concerning chorus, phasers and flangers, arriving at more synthesiser-based noise than effects noise, if you get my drift. Not that it matters; the result is a thirty-five-minute onslaught on the senses. One of those can’t escape trips into noise. For a noise wall, it has way too much variation, with various members freaking out on their synthesisers, but that’s exactly the quality in this music that I enjoy. What more is there to say? Quite a blast, but what else to expect from a noise release?
    Also a re-issue of an LP is ‘Tractor’ by The Haters, released in 1988 by Alamut Records/Big Body Parts. The fun thing was that one side played from the inside out. There are three live cuts on this record, and thanks to The Haters’ GX Jupitter-Larsen’s meticulously kept diary (much of which you can find online, but also in books), we know about these gigs;
    8/15/1987 San Francisco, the stage was a gallery full on-lookers. Four members of The Haters performed by tearing up numerous large sheets of paper. During this performance, the tearing and some pre-recorded sounds of fire were amplified. Performance lasted 25 minutes. Entitled “Teeaarrr”. (#59)
    11/10/1987 Colorado Springs, two members of The Haters performed by using sledge-hammers to smash holes through the brick walls of an abandoned metal refinery. Performance lasted 15 minutes. Entitled “Building Empty Holes”. (#65)
    16/12/1988 Salt Lake City, two members of The Haters were involved. A very large pile of junk was overflowing on the club stage. As soon as the performers started destroying the junk, the entire audience joined in. Entropy in action. The performance lasted 25 minutes. Entitled “A Trapeze Number”. (#76)
    To read these descriptions while playing the music is very lovely. Tearing up paper? Really? Or, why not? It can go either way. Did The Haters use any electronic treatments in Colorado Springs? It sounds like it, but when I said just before, there were no electronics; maybe something borrowed? Salt Lake City turned out to be a boisterous affair. As a bonus track, there is the title piece, in which GX and label boss John Wiese team up to do a delicate collage of acoustic noise, shifting back and forth between constellations of sound, slowly morphing into what seems to me them playing the original vinyl (worth a few quid these days), and is a fine piece of noise. And most definitely the kind of noise I like!
    Speaking about Wiese, we arrive, on the third day, at the double bill of Sissy Spacek and Merzbow. The latter is Masami Akita (if you have never heard that name, you haven’t been reading Vital Weekly), and the former is the duo of Wiese and Charlie Mumma. Between July and September 2023, they have been doing a mail collaboration, which, these days, is probably an e-mail collaboration. One of the odd things that immediately caught my attention is that both discs have ten tracks, each between four and five minutes, which is, and mind you, I haven’t heard all of Merzbow’s output in the last ten years (almost everything from before that), but I believe many if not all of his releases consist of on, two or three long pieces. To keep things within a more petite time frame, put some exciting points forward; one of these is, can the pieces be different enough, or will they blur together? That doesn’t happen. Things end and move on from somewhere else. The fact that Sissy Spacek uses drum sounds, played differently than Merzbow’s usual drum buddy Balázs Pándi would do, gives the music an excellent noise punk edge. Not because it rattles on end but because there are controlled bursts of rhythmic energy split into ear-biting noise, and those too are heavily cut up and collaged, which is one of Sissy Spacek’s trademarks. I couldn’t say who’s responsible for that, as there are no indications on the cover, but I think more a Sissy Spacek thing than Merzbow. The result is a collaboration different from what I expected and one I enjoyed – two discs long!
    On the fourth and final day of noise, we returned to C.C.C.C. They have two releases called ‘Amplified Crystal’. The second version is a ninety-minute tape, a remix of the second side of the same LP by Akifumi Nakajima, also known as Aube. The b-side of that cassette has solo tracks by the four members. The original LP has two parts of the title piece, and Nakajima mixes both. This new CD is a re-issue of that LP in 1993. From what I understand is that this is a recording made in a studio and a live recording. I don’t know if these reflect the a and b sides of the album (and thus the two tracks here). Nakajima has a good feeling for what C.C.C.C. are about, that psychedelic feeling of noise, rather than being ‘just’ abrasive and loud, but adds his flavour of effects, creating interesting variations of the C.C.C.C. sound, dragging it into a more traditionalist noise approach; or rather, looking at with the harsh noise wall scene in my mind, this we could perhaps see as an early variation of HNW. Nakajima doesn’t do his Aube approach build-up, but following a quick fade, the noise arrives and it stays until the end, where it cuts into sheer silence, and in both pieces. Some ear spitting noise that once a day keeps the doctor away (not the tinnitus, perhaps). (FdW)
––– Address:

PHILIPPE PETIT – A DIVINE COMEDY (2CD by Cronica Electronica)

I didn’t realise: Philippe Petit started DJing on the radio and editing fanzines in 1983, and now, forty years later, he is still active. In between, he ran a record label, Bip Hop, but in recent years, he has only been active as a composer. For his new release, he takes his inspiration from Dante Alighieri’s poem ‘A Divine Comedy’, as decorated by Gustave Doré. A book I haven’t read, just as so many other classics, such as ‘Paradise Lost’ or ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, and other timeless classics. Life is too brief, and there is so much to read. Petit looks at this as a symphony and not be too illustrative with the music; it all has to do with the way the listener wishes to perceive this, and you can think of this in terms of magic, he says. In the booklet, Petit outlines per track what he uses and where we are in the story (‘Inferno’, ‘Purgatorio’ and ‘Paradisio’), and he uses the inside of the piano a lot, along with a Buchla System 200 Analog synth and voices. Minor roles for the EMS synthi A, cymbalon, cymbal, Nepalese singing bowl and turntablism, among other things. Petit created a work using many musique concrète techniques and sometimes illustrates the story well. In ‘The Descent’, he uses the sound of screaming, which reminds me of Henri Chopin, and it’s easy to know where this descent goes. ‘Purgatorio’ and ‘Paradisio’ make up the second disc, proving that hell is a more exciting place with interesting people. Not perhaps in Dante’s view. It would be interesting to look for sonic differences between these places, and maybe I am making this up. Still, it seems that ‘Purgatorio’ and ‘Paradisio’ are a bit more on the minimalist side, and in ‘Inferno’ there is more sonic action. It’s all in my head, I guess. I do not prefer one or the other here, as I enjoy Petit’s variation, even when one disc seems to have considerably more action. You can even listen to this in terms of music, without any story, without heaven or hell, and even this on a more abstract level, thinking of whatever story you feel fits the music best. Petit is an excellent form here, and 40 years of hard work shows in fine craftsmanship. (FdW)
––– Address:

OLEG KARPACHEV – SPUTNIK OST (CD by Cold Spring Records)

What do you know? Downloading is so easy; I had no idea (I’m being a bit cynical here). I got the soundtrack to a Russian film called ‘Sputnik’, and I was playing this, contemplating writing that these pieces are very brief and it would make more sense if I saw the images they are used for. The internet has everything, and I downloaded the  Egor Abramenko-directed film, described as a “sci-fi horror” film. “Set during Cold War Soviet Russia, the ominous film starring Oksana Akinshina (Bourne Supremacy), Fedor Bondarchuk, and Pyotr Fyodorov Jr follows the story of a cosmonaut returning from space with a mysterious extraterrestrial organism; essential viewing for those with a penchant for “Alien”-style body horror”. I would watch that if it would make the cineplex I am a member of. I am not a film critic, so I usually don’t go further than ‘I liked what I saw’, or ‘Not for me, too much of a rom-com’, or something to that extent. We’re here for the music. After seeing the film, the soundtrack made more sense, and I’m still not convinced it works as a stand-alone album. When I saw ‘The Northman’, I immensely loved the music, but on its own, outside the darkened garage of shadows of flickering light (or whatever Tarkovsky wrote about cinema), it didn’t work that well. It’s not that music is terrible, far from it, but as I noted before with soundtrack albums, these pieces are used for film segments, and because not much more is needed, they are cut short. That is sad, as many of these pieces would make great musical pieces when explored further and more profoundly. Karpachev likes his orchestral sounds; they’re all dark and menacing, sometimes heavy on the percussion, pounding a heartbeat, and there’s always danger around the next corner. When I watched the movie, I couldn’t tell where each piece was, but the darkness made much sense with the movie’s dark tone. (FdW)
––– Address:

LINA ALLEMANO & AXEL DÖRNER – APHELIA (CD by Relative Pitch Records)

Recorded in 2 sessions in the autumn of 2019 (September 6 and November 11, to be exact), this release catches two trumpeters on a journey through our solar system, visiting various smaller dwarf planets that circle the Sun. Both Allemano and Dörner are no strangers to Vital Weekly. As it happens, Dörner is the original reason Allemano now resides in Berlin. She wanted to get acquainted with his techniques after hearing him in concert in Toronto, where she lived at the time. This is a great release, with more familiar with modern classical than full-blown free improvisation. Apart from hearing two distinct trumpets, trumpet choirs are to be heard because of overdubbing. Slow-moving clusters of sound bring Ligeti to mind. For example, slower and faster-oscillating intervals in Orcus create interference patterns, unlike the early electronic music pioneers would devise. And sometimes, it’s just breathing air through the trumpet without a mouthpiece. Some titles have longer pauses included. The primary modus operandi involves circling each other like a double star would do and seeing what happens if one gets too far away or too near in other cases. I now could list facts about the planetoids and try to connect them to the titles and the music named after them. But I’ll give that task to the listener. In short, this is a fantastic release by two like-minded musicians with thoughtful and spacious sounds, pun not intended by the (Milky) Way. Give this one a listen. (MDS)
––– Address:


Piano and alto saxophone, French-born Céline Voccia and German-born Silke Eberhard reside in Berlin. Both incidentally have a trio with bass and drums. And this is their first duo together. I can be very short about this one: this exciting release sounds like modern chamber music. It’s not surprising since Céline has had classical piano training. They weave intricate tapestries with notes, sometimes wild runs from both, occasionally contemplative ones, but always coherent. It’s a joy to listen to these seven longer pieces. And what does Céline do with the insides of the piano in ‘Indecision’? (MDS)
––– Address:

RICK REED – THE SYMMETRY OF TELEMETRY (LP by Sedimental/Elevator Bath)

It’s been a while since I last reviewed a work by Rick Reed. If I’m not mistaken, that was back in Vital Weekly 779, when I discussed his ‘The Way Things Go’, a double LP also released by Elevator Bath. Later, I also reviewed his work with Keith Rowe and Bill Thompson, but this new one is another solo work. He recorded this at home using the Buchla and Moog synthesisers, organ, and vocoder and found radio sounds. Of the latter, he writes that he’s more interested in atmospheric blasts of short-wave static than “accidental juxtapositions of ironic voices or music”. Although Reed likes the long-form composition, he’s not interested in spreading his sounds over a long period. There is an atmospheric aspect to all three pieces: moody, textured blasts of ominous drones in which radio static finds its way through a backdoor (and sometimes there are still some voices of music picked up along these waves), adding more sonic disturbance to the music. Collage is the form of choice for Reed, and here, too, he uses the long form of slow fades from one section to the next; only occasionally, he uses the hard cut to end a section and usually builds things slowly from the ground up. Sometimes, the music is very moody and quiet, but it always goes back up, and it stays in that mildly dystopian sound that something disguises as cosmic music, or vice versa, for that matter. The radio waves sometimes have that nuclear disaster crackle, along with the instability of some of the electrical outlets, creating wavering tones (deliberate, of course). With some of the voice/music material, it also gives the sonic memory of the past in this somewhat apocalyptic soundscape: a highly varied album, and fascinating music from beginning to end.
    Also heavily rooted in the world of synthesisers is the debut album of Mexican artist Concepción Huerta, at least that’s how it sounds. The text states that she “employs tapes to manipulate recordings of everyday objects and electronic instruments”. Her background is in audiovisual media, and she was a member of Amor Muere, with whom she has also had some releases. She has played played concerts in America, Europe and Asia. Huerta recorded the music on this album at the EMS studios in Stockholm, with further production at a seminar at UNAM with Olivia Block (who gets credit for co-production of two pieces). The synths used were the Buchla and the Nord, processed via magnetic tape, resulting in seven strong pieces of dark ambient music. Unlike Reed, Huerta doesn’t use collage as a compositional method; instead, she uses a sustaining, dark drone sound. Given that this is an LP with seven pieces, it means that none of these pieces are too long, and that’s a great thing. Here, the music is ominous, but unlike Reed, there is also more mass to the music. Each of these pieces is a heavyweight of densely orchestrated sounds, in which, at least in my imagination, I hear some rusty tape loops doing their best to keep up with the more high-end synthesiser sounds, a fine meeting of lo-fi technology and top-shelf synthesisers. However, this is not your lo-fi drone album; there is none of the grittiness many others have. Huerta likes her sound to be cleaner and more transparent in all its darkness. While not exactly dystopian in approach, I believe some of this could function quite well in a soundtrack; wide lens shots of mountains, deserts and dark clouds and ‘Trepidation’ as its soundtrack would work quite well. An excellent record!
    Label boss Colin Andrew Sheffield released an album earlier this year on Auf Abwegen but somehow seemed to have missed these pages. In his work, Sheffield uses a lot of samples from his extensive record/CD/tape collection; work that you can describe as either turntablism or plunderphonics, but the results are usually a bit different, more ambient in approach than an ironic comment on social events, the more common approach in that world. On his new record, he does something different. He works with samples from the city where he was born, El Paso, Texas. His late father was also born in this city, so it’s an ode to that city and his father, a work of loss and contemplation, the thing we all do the older we get. Yet, it is also known that if I hadn’t known this, I would have never garnered from the music. As such, the music stays on a very abstract level. Within these forty minutes, I never had the idea I was listening to samples from a city. Granted, I have not been to El Paso, but I assume it is a city; it sounds like one. In his usual approach to sound manipulation, Sheffield twists and turns the original material and cooks up a delicate ambient-inspired soundtrack of granular synthesis working overtime. He’s not interested in playing the long-form, sustaining drone card, but instead is on that crossroad of granulating sounds, pitching up and down, creating a constant shift in the music that, superficially, would mean this is not ambient at all, but, rather oddly, it works out that way. A soundscape of a city, abstract it is, that feels like a sonic journey through the city, as seen through a mildly distorted lens. Sheffield applies collage-like techniques, and to stay with the analogy of the city, a hard cut is like turning a corner; the scenery might change completely. Dark at times, intense always, relaxing sometimes and beautiful throughout. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

JOSEPH B. RAIMOND – DROOP (booklet by Mirran Thought)

As ever, Doc Wör Mirran remains a strange bunch. Adrian Gormley is a long-term member of the group, so why say ‘featuring’ this time? Gormley is known for using the saxophone, so I expected a heavy release of a saxophone, but that’s not the case. Next to his horn, we find band ‘boss’ Joseph B. Raimond on guitar, synthesiser, and bass, Stefan Schweiger on theramin and Micheal Würzer in samples and synthesiser. The core group seems complete here, even when Schweiger is not on drums. Together, they crafted some strange music during their sessions; this collection contains pieces recorded between 2016 and 2022. There is no particular musical genre to fit the group in, but they generally do one sort of thing on a release. This time, however, they go for a mixture of styles, which, funnily, works quite well. There’s some pleasing psychedelic rumble going on here (‘I Gots The Pfizer In Me’; as always, they have some funny titles, showing their dadaistic side), disco beats in the first part of the title piece and some of Gormley’s jazzy saxophone taking the lead in ‘Tell Me How I Feel’, or in the soft jazz of ‘Butterfly (minimal mix)’. There is chaos, too, in ‘Disco Duck’. Gormly’s saxophone is present in almost every track, but some go without him. As said, it is a highly varied disc and a constant source of pleasure. Not every track is a winner, but I blame that on my none-jazz roots.
    At the same time, there is also a new booklet of poetry by Joseph B. Raimond, with a beautiful cover; his painting style graces many covers. As much as I love to write something very insightful about poetry, I don’t have the skill set. Let these words be enough for you poetry lovers to know it’s out there. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

DANIELE CIULLINI – [23] (CDR by Rewired Noises)

“The number 23 represents change and exploration, both physical and mental. Using the typical night effect technique, the work proposes images taken in daylight and then transformed into night light. Specularly, the audio tracks are inspired by night visions translated, however, with sounds derived from daytime light”, Ciulini writes somewhat cryptical on the cover of this privately released CDR. He created twenty-three pieces for a site-specific installation involving the Standa label; it’s unclear what this installation is supposed to be. Each piece is one minute and three seconds, save for one that is fifty-two seconds, and one is exactly one minute. From what I know from his previous work (see, for instance, Vital Weekly 1399), he likes to manipulate all sorts of recordings from the field outside, toys, media, and voices, and what kind of manipulation that is, I am unsure of. Some kind of sampling is my best guess. Due to the brief character of the piece here, it is tough to form an opinion. I think I may have heard this mini-album about ten times now, and it’s still not easy to know what’s going on. Each piece consists of a few samples, rhythm, voice, or sound-based, played simultaneously during that minute. I can easily imagine some of these to be much longer than this, while others are probably long enough. The previous album had the right kind of pacing, but I admit that’s not always the case here, and that’s because of the conceptual approach of keeping this within one minute for each track. Nevertheless, I found this quite enjoyable, again, most of the time, even when there weren’t any tracks I didn’t approve of. Conceptual approaches are all fine, but I think they shouldn’t be in the way of a solid piece of music. (FdW)
––– Address:


Since he presented himself as a high school kid with a love of weird music, I have listened to music from Steffan de Turck and followed his work. First, and for a long time as Staplerfahrer and since some time under his own name. Here he has a tape with one Manuel Padding, whose name sounds familiar, but I don’t remember the where’s and when’s. They are both from The Hague and go to the same gym, called ‘Babylon’, near the big shopping centre of the same name. Hence the title and maybe the music will also be played while working out. When I work out, I ride my exercise bike and watch series, as I find music too much of a distraction. Last weekend, when De Turck handed me this tape, I saw him perform with two old cassette four-track machines, a heap of cassettes and some stomp boxes, and I realised I never gave that side of his work much thought. It wasn’t the first time I saw him play a concert, but somehow, I thought it was all more laptop-based; I admit the last time might have been six years ago. In the three pieces here (one could also see as one long piece in various sections), he works with manipulating percussive sounds without getting too rhythmic. It’s more like electro-acoustic treatments of percussion samples, and there is a lovely force behind the music here. ‘Pumping’ is the word that springs to mind, but I might be distracted by the context. A slightly similar approach has Manuel Padding, but maybe even more processed, and also something dealing with field recordings from a gym. I had not heard of the Silver Sounds label before, but it seems they use recycled cassettes, and it seems that all is not copied too well, which one could see as its charm or a nuisance. It might be a nuisance on the De Turck side, but on the Padding side, which I think is more a collage-like piece, some of that hiss and tape residue give it an additional flavour. It didn’t make me want to start running outside, nor do I think I like this kind of music on my headphones when doing so, but here, with a mug of tea, this is very pleasant electronic soundscaping, moody, experimental and utterly vague. (FdW)
––– Address:

BEN LINK COLLINS – TO BE HUMAN (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)

Over the years, I reviewed various works by Ben Link Collins, which sometimes have a solid conceptual edge, such as the previous one, ‘Fictionalism’ (see Vital Weekly 1325). His new release does not seem to have this big idea. Collins is “an architect by trade and a field recordist by vocation”, and for this release, he rigged “a 40-foot steel wire between a cedar tree and an elevated wooden deck in his backyard. This enormous cat’s cradle was complemented with a 40-inch tam tam gong, rounding out the tonal spectrum of these deeply textural sonic explorations.” He taped the sounds using an analogue microphone and contact microphones while this material went back and forth in the wind. The two pieces resulting from this may sound similar, but minor differences exist. The way this contraption sounds strongly reminded me of Stephen McGreevy’s recordings from the Aurora Borealis with electromagnetic radio signals. This is especially true on the first side of the cassette, ‘Imagine Being’, where there is this continuous crackling sound of objects in the wind or rusty radio signals. On the other side, we find ‘A Moment of Infinite Depth’, where he pushes this crackling to the background, and a beautiful drone is in the foreground. Maybe this is the gong. It gives the piece an eerie quality like a nebulous ghost in the foggy landscape moving over a frozen pond. I enjoyed both pieces, but the first side is, perhaps, a bit too straightforward ambient music made with acoustic objects and small amplified sounds. The second side is where the true beauty arrives; the mystery lifts things in the air and gives that something extra, and this could have been twice the length, and it would still sounded great. Music that becomes an environment. (FdW)
––– Address:

THE ANNUAL 2023 (book by Korm Plastics)

Occasionally Frans de Waard sends me stuff to read, which I like, since having a book under my nose is one of my favourite pastimes. That said, I read mainly fiction, science fiction and fantasy these days – mostly Hiron Ennes, Garth Nix and B. Catling. Reading music magazines is something I gave up long ago when the now widespread ‘poptimism’ was setting in; you know, the ‘write about what you like and not about what you don’t like’ attitude. I knew my days of exploring new music ‘because a reviewer thought it was bad’ were over, as these tirades of disgust had been a guiding light in my musical quests for a long time. Obviously, there was always something new to discover back then, but I found different ways of getting there, so out the magazines went.
    Now, ‘The Annual 2023’ is not a magazine per se; it’s a square book, 21×21 centimetre, 200 pages, black and white, lovely designed by Alfred Boland, the seemingly ‘silent partner’ in Korm Plastics. So, is it a magazine or a book? Judging by its looks, I’d say the latter and a yearbook is what Korm Plastics prefers, I gathered. But an anthology is what I would say.
    ‘Everything you never knew you were interested in’, it says on the front cover, which is a bold statement because what does Frans know about what I know or could want to know? A guiding note indicated that he expected me not to be familiar with most of the names in there, but much to my surprise, I did. Some of these artists have been covered in Vital Weekly, such as Truus de Groot and her story about growing up in Eindhoven (also, why the hell do we see Barry Hay’s mug, the flute-playing singer of Golden fucking Earring, in this magazine?), Killing Joke, Joy Division and The Slits, Brian Eno and his brother Roger – not exactly those who only dwell in realms of obscurity – or for instance kraut rock veterans Popol Vuh. However, the exciting thing is that perspective differs every time: from plain interviews to personal observations to encounters (Popol Vuh and Joy Killing?) – all from people who were in on the action. Actions are also described in a piece about a festival that involved The Haters, Merzbow, Die Form and the sound of screaming, or concerts ending in a riot. It’s all in the past, and much of that past is yet to be documented and researched; in particular, Kubus Kassettes looks like a label to investigate (and, 1. as with many of these things, YouTube will help you as much as it helped me. 2. I wish they’d pay me for this shameless plug). Other hidden gems that come to mind are Welvaartstaat Tapes, the Slonz project and Willem de Ridder’s Radiola Improvsatie Salon (you’ll find selections on Bandcamp these days). There are also some tiny bits by Freek Kinkelaar, who did a book on Korm before, and Frits Jonker. And, of course, there is a lot more. The article by Harold Schellinx went right over my head the first time I read it, but with Christmas rearing its ugly head around the corner, I paused my reading and promised myself some proper downtime for those dark days to enlighten me. (LW)
––– Address:


This is not a review. This is what it says on Bandcamp:
    The music of this album is one of different elements, which constitutes the walking-through-music- theatre piece Rwandan Records.
    What does tradition mean when the past is tainted by crimes? Who decides what is carried on a collective knowledge and moored in the culture? RWANDAN RECORDS is a sound installation, radio play and live concert by Sounding Situations featuring artists from Rwanda and Germany and combines pre-colonial accounts with stories from the present. It invites audience members to immerse themselves in the stories shared by Rwanda and Germany.
    What you experience in the piece on a musical level is a soundscape formed out of field recordings of nowadays done by Klaus Janek, musical field recordings and music experts collected in the 20th century starting from 1907 to the 80ies – the notion of a Rwandan auditive culture scape. The voices of the recordings which are activated by the audience mix an own language soundscape to the space. The private encounters with those voices are now and then sporadically interrupted by a collectively shared concert event: the music of these events you are holding in your hand now.
    The music is created by sampling through the archives in order to form an aesthetic synthesis of the music tradition of Rwanda and personalize it through a commonly shared OWN of 1Key and Klaus Janek, which is the fascination of 90ies Hip Hop.
––– Address:


Vital – The Complete Collection 1987-1995
Before Vital Weekly there was Vital, a Xeroxed fanzine covering experimental, electronic andelectro-acoustic music; interviews, reviews, in-depth discussion articles, background. All 44 issues in one hardcover book; 580 pages.
More information:

A Work By Leif Elggren A Day

With 300 entries, this catalog and almanac in four volumes presents an analysis and projection of possible ways of hearing, seeing, experiencing and living with Leif Elggren’s (sonic) art on the basis of a work a day, excluding Sundays and holidays, for a whole year. Written bij Vital Weekly contributor Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free
to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don’t wish to receive this,
then let us know. Any feedback is welcome at
Forward to your allies.

Snail mail:
Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard
Acaciastraat 11
6521 NE Nijmegen
The Netherlands

All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <>, Jliat (Jliat), Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Peter Johan Nijland (PJN), Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg (SSK), Howard  Stelzer  (HS), Lukas den Warme (LW), Nick Roseblade (NR), Robert Steinberger (RSW), Martijn Comes (MC), Mark Daelmans-Sikkel (MDS), Arjan van Sorge (AVS), Mario Reijnen (MR) and others on a less regular basis. This is a copyright free publication, except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.

The complete archive of Vital Weekly including search possibilities: