Number 1429

Week 12

LLYN Y CWN – MEGALITHS (CD by Cold Spring Records) *
SUSAN ALCORN SEPTETO DEL SUR – CANTO (CD by Relative Pitch Records) *
MIRT – WANDERLUST (LP by Oddities of Nature) *
EMON PLAKTON – EMANKORE (CDR by Hazi Esporak!) *
COSMIC CARS – SOFT ATTACK (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
TIM OLIVE – SHEER (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation) *
ANJA KREYSING – ORTMIX (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
THING (CDR compialtion by Attenuation Circuit)
DURAN VAZQUEZ – JUNKIE TRACKS (3″CDR by Liceo Ocultural) *
D. VAZQUEZ – NATUREZA URBANA (3″CDR by Liceo Ocultural) *
DURAN VAZQUEZ & DUQUE – (3″CDR by Liceo Ocultural) *
MAMA BÄR/SUPERRORKO​(​S​)​MISCHE/GRODOCK – MATERIE (cassette by Grubenwehr Freiburg)
MATERIALEINSCH​Ü​CHTERUNG (cassette by Grubenwehr Freiburg) *
NUORI VERI – NVV (cassette by Aussaat) *
FABLE DUST – IN BETWEEN WARS (cassette by Zesde Kolonne Records) *
WE LOVE TRASH – 10 YEARS; A RETROSPECTIVE (cassette by Zesde Kolonne Records) *


Despite his career in hibernation for many years, Maurizio Bianchi, also known as M.B., has an extensive discography. There is the first, classic phase, from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, followed by silence until 1998, and since then, it has been highly productive. Many fans prefer his first phase over the second, and it’s easy to see the differences. In the first years, his music was empty and bleak, fitting the industrial tag very well. Music for post-nuclear landscapes. In his later work, M.B. diversified into music that became more ambient on one side and noise on the other. Using different kinds of equipment played a part here. The old M.B. had something crude and straightforward, which I always found attractive, and still makes me go for some of his older stuff. In that respect, ‘Bacillusmetrial Entopathogen’ is an exciting work, harking back to these early days. It is almost as if he dusted off his old equipment and tried to make new music with those machines. It works very well! The bleak sound isn’t fully there yet in the opening piece, ‘Bacillus, ‘ which is more of a demented ambient soundtrack. It is bleak but still very pleasant. In the other two pieces, ‘Metrial’ and ‘Entopathogen’, one quickly recognises that single sound feeding through some delay pedal, some tape-delay perhaps, some vague, almost erased trace of a melody, and it’s reminiscent of, say, ‘The Plain Truth’. The titles refer to diseases and have that dark science-fiction soundtrack quality to them. I admit I didn’t hear all of M.B.’s recent (as in post-1998) work, but quite a few and this new one I rank among his best. Look for a CD in an oversized 7″ bag, in an edition of 200 copies. (FdW)
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LLYN Y CWN – MEGALITHS (CD by Cold Spring Records)

New music by Ben Powell, the man behind Llyn Y Cwn, from Wales and “guided by the wisdom found in Julian Cope’s “The Modern Antiquarian” and Aurbrey Burl’s “A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain”, Llyn Y Cwn embarks on a sonic pilgrimage across the country, exploring the remote bleakness of these sites”. Powell has a background as an electronics technician for the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University and made research trips to the Arctic, so recording natural environments is nothing extraordinary for him. I really see him around the sites of megalith structures, taping the environment and using these in his camper van up in the mountains, altering the sounds into massive blocks of deep ambient music. He mentions a laptop and headphones as the primary instruments in composing his music, and this may mean he wants us to experience the music via headphones. Still, it’s something I hardly do, and maybe also because this big, or rather massive, soundscapes sound better on loudspeakers. That way, the music becomes more immersive, even when one plays it with a relatively standard volume (which I usually do; taking all music to review at total volume would be too demanding). Of course, we know this music originates in burial chambers, so maybe that explains why some of this has an extra mysterious dimension, as if we can hear the voices of ghosts in these pieces. Haunting is an easily overused word, but it fits well in this case. At one point, animal life is captured in these records, birds and cows, bringing us back to earth, perhaps, but that’s somewhere early on the album; the music hoists us back in the air, and we space out again. Big washes and splashes, the sea is, as in what seems all his work, never far away, but here mingles with the recordings of megaliths and the numerous processed versions. It is an excellent trip for the dark and rainy days, which the Netherlands has a lot of these days. (FdW)
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This CD is an oddly shaped album of collaboration and individualism. The three artists mentioned have two pieces on this release, and the middle is a 21-minute collaborative piece by the three of them. Of the three, I know Myers the longest, possibly over 35 years, first as Arcane Device and these days under his regular name; Sonologyst had a couple of works reviewed by me, and Lars Bröndum is the unknown quantity, even when I reviewed his ‘Chain Of Events’ in Vital Weekly 830; I don’t remember that album. I played this album a couple of times, each time without having the CD cover at hand, and at one point, I tried to guess which track was by which composer. I failed. One composer could have made the whole album. I am trying to think if that’s good or bad. It is good because it’s the right flow of pieces, but it may be bad because the pieces sound interchangeable. That’s not to say that these are seven of the same pieces, but they are far from it. Listen closer; it seems the Myers pieces are primarily electronic, whereas Bröndum and Sonologyst allow for other sounds, such as field recordings and guitar, well, perhaps! In their trio piece, there is a meeting of these like-minded composers, which has an exciting result. I believe this fits the idea of musique concrète best, leaning massively on the sonic treatments of sound, which may already have an electronic origin. It’s oddly enough this collaborative piece seems to be the one where the structure is a bit looser, with sounds relatively unconnected finding connections; think of this as a live recording, one of those impromptu meetings at the end of the night when three musicians played their solo sets and decide to ‘jam’ together. I don’t know how this particular was made and if someone thought of a conceptual approach, but it’s great to see that sort of thing not followed up and rather have this open-ended approach is something of a bold move. (FdW)
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Since I never learned to drive cars, I am rarily in parking houses and yet when I am I find these fascinating places. The smell of cars and gasoline, the massive, reverberant space and seeing how quick people want to leave such spaces. It’s this kind of space that is central on the disc ‘Parking’. There are two players of instruments: Jean-Luc Guionnet on saxophone and Dan Warburton on violin and they play improvised music in a parking space; well, two actually in ‘Parking 2’ (i’ll get to that). Two musicians in such a space could be interesting enough but it’s also the way the music is recorded and there we have Eric La Casa and Philip Samartzis as roving reporters. They move around the players capturing the music from various distances and thus allowing for more space; or less. They recorded the first piece in 2007 at the Parking Cité de la Musique in Paris; all clear. There are no cars sounds in either piece and one gets a clear idea of the massive of the space, and the way sound travels; especially Guionnet’s sax travels far and keeps resonating. Towards the end there is some other music coming in; from a car, from outside? I don’t know. At times it is quite a spooky piece, sometimes full of sonic life and sometimes seemingly absent.
‘Parking 2’ is a bit of a mystery. From what I understand the same principle, but recorded in 2021 when public life was restricted, and using two parkings, Parking rue de Maronites in Paris and Victoria Gardens Carpark in Melbourne. I know that’s the city where Samartzis lives but how did recording go in this case. Did he tape his carpark and La Casa his in Paris with the two players? I can only surmise that’s how it went. What Samartzis writes in the booklet, is something I can hear; due to absence of human activity, the other sounds (lights, vents and so on) became more audible. Maybe that’s his part mixed in with the Paris segment of the recording? Overall this piece seems to be working less with the close by/far away thing, and it all stays more or less on the same dynamic level. Also, ‘Parking 2’ seemed to be a more organised piece of music. All of this means both tracks are quite different from each other. I have no preference for one or other, as both deliver quite interesting listening experiences. I suppose this makes you experience carparks quite differently next time. (FdW)
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“How Long is Now” is the debut release of drummer Christan Mariens’ quartet, the first one under his name. The other members are Tobias Delius on sax and clarinet, a veteran of the ICP and his quartet, and Jasper Stadhouders on guitar and mandoline. He’s a busy bee in many groups. Alternating between Berlin and Amsterdam, he played with Ken Vandermark (Made to Break), an active member of Spinifex, Cactus Truck, and Bugpowder.
Last but not least, we have Antonio Borghini on double bass. He played with Alexander von Schlippenbach and Han Bennink and was a member of a quartet with Delius, Tristan Honsinger (the late unsung cello improviser) and trumpet player Axel Dörner. The pieces on this release are primarily consonant and pleasing to the ear, at least to these ears. Sure, there are some out-there moments, but it’s not surprising with these gentlemen and their backgrounds. But more often than not, there are very nice melodies, and yes, sometimes interjected with some frolicking in all the instruments. It’s remarkable how these four manage to sound like one. It all sounds natural and easy, although they sometimes play highly complex music. Closer “Deesse” could have been written by Radiohead. Fifty minutes of excellent music, improvised music of the highest order. Get this one: there’s much to enjoy on this release. And I could describe each piece in more detail. But in this case, it’s better to hear this for yourself. I, for one, hope they are already working on new titles. (MDS)
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Muddy Waters told veteran Susan Alcorn to play the slide guitar. And that she did. The pedal steel guitar, to be precise. The other six players are Luis “ToTo” Alvarez on guitar, Claudio “Pajaro” Araya on drums and cuatro a string instrument originating from Venezuela and looks like a ukelele-; Francisco “Pancho” Araya on charango -an Andean instrument with five double strings-, Rodrigo Bobadilla – flute, quena -an Andean flute-, zampoña -an Andean panflute- and vocals, Amanda Irarrazabal on double bass and vocals and last but not least Danka Villanueva on violin and vocals. Mostly melodic in content, with mesmerizing melodies this release and a cover of a Chilean protest song, it’s a wicked release. Merging folk melodies and modern classical sensibilities (in the way chords, melody and accompaniment, textures and atmospheres are created) makes for a stunning release. The sound of the pedal string guitar has an ethereal quality to it. The ensemble is aptly named Septeto del Sur: southern septet. Closer is a cover of a famous Chilean protest song against the war in Vietnam: El derecho del vivir en paz -the right to live in peace-, written by Victor Jara, who, after Pinochet committed his coup and got into power in 1973, got arrested, tortured and subsequently murdered. The song gets a powerful rock treatment. Kudos to Relative Pitch Records to get this out. It’s their most consonant release since Vostok. (MDS)
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MIRT – WANDERLUST (LP by Oddities of Nature)

I can’t remember exactly when I met Tomek Mirt for the first time, but it might very well be the first SuperBooth in Berlin. So, 2016, exactly eight years ago. He was there as a member of the XAOC Devices crew; I was there as a visitor looking for what was exciting and hot in the world of modular synthesis. And what I can say is that XAOC Devices is a brand that perfectly fits my triggers and philosophy, so Tomek and I (as well as the rest of the crew) quickly became connected.
What struck me from Tomek – and I hear that part of him back in his music – is that he is a ‘thinker outside of the box’. If a device or a musical development sends someone in a specific direction, Tomek is someone to go against that given direction. The exploration is the journey, and the final destination is less important. His ” Wanderlust ” describes this exploratory journey, which is the title of his latest release.
“Wanderlust” is divided into eight parts, all flowing into each other. So, the vinyl has two sides, 20 minutes each, and no concrete starting or ending points. You now understand where the previously mentioned ‘journey’ comes from. But the modular, sound and synthesis explorations are only half of the journey. The other half are field recordings from early dawn and morning rain recorded on Tarutao Island in December 2022. Because Mirt loves to travel and bring his recording gear, many field recordings he made can be found on Saamleng (link:
However, “Wanderlust” is more than a collection of field recordings and modular explorations. The result depicts what the field recordings do to you, what they do with you, and how they influence you. And the same field recording you listen to may trigger you differently on a different day. And even two different mornings on Tarutao Island may do two completely different things to you. In my honest opinion, that is what “Wanderlust” is about. Being an artist, you can tell stories, either strictly conceptual or emotional, but each time you tell the story, it will change. But if the result is that your audience loves listening to stories about the world or places they will probably never visit, then you have done something beautiful. You have shared your love for exploring and wandering. The promo text says it is more beautiful than I can: you will have created ‘a path leading through a slowly evolving artificial soundscape’. Mirt is your guide on this album. Let him lead you … You’ll see great things. (BW)
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The only time the name Jochen van Tol appeared in Vital Weekly was in issue 1263, with his duo SOON. He’s also a member of Silverbones, which i don’t know and The Paper Ensemble, which I saw maybe once or twice in concert, shuffling big sheets of paper around to produce sound. As T’iju T’iju, he works solo and, as far as I know, for the first time. The name comes from the “Bolivian word for grasshopper, an animal the Amsterdam-based composer and artist feels a peculiar spiritual connection to”. Despite the many words Esc Rec uses to write about the record, not much is revealed about the nature of the music, the instruments aren’t mentioned. Sure, Van Tol mentions using a clarinet, despite being unable to play one, and there is an “assembly of synth modules and tape manipulations”, however wide that might be. Had I been told the music was made with software manipulations of, why not, the clarinet, then I would have believed this also. There is a slightly computerised aspect to the music, but something that I couldn’t pinpoint in more precise terms; not that it matters anyway, I think. The 12″ has two pieces, just below 20 minutes in total, and in both pieces, there is a sense of collage, of sticking various bits together, sometimes separated by silence and sometimes cross-fading from one section to the other. While I found the music (possibly wrongly) from the world of computers, there is also something more old school here, harking back to the days of 1950/1960s electronic music (so, maybe more modules that I know? I am not an expert). Of the two pieces, the first side, ‘Blue Birds’, is the one that is more broken up. In contrast, ‘New Grass’, on the other side, has continuous streams of sound, even a bit ‘dance ‘-like (a word used with extreme caution) with an extensive, more ambient middle section (with clarinet) but ending in rhythm land again. Two excellent pieces, so why not a proper LP, one with 15-20 minutes per side and gives us some more music? (FdW)
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It seems as if Jim DeJong from Canada finally settled on one name: The Sand Rays. He writes about the new album being a sampler of earlier releases, or as he puts it on the cover, “some portions have appeared on earlier releases”. I am too lazy to look if I know which pieces came from what release; maybe because I want to avoid a lazy copy/paste review of earlier stuff and instead sit back for 67 minutes and enjoy it all, as fresh as it is, like hearing it for the first time. In addition, DeJong informs me about the title and how it refers to the surface noise of all life. These sounds accompany our existence,” and in all six pieces, the only sound source is the “short accidental recording of a humidifier”. There is definitely a remarkable similarity in all the pieces here. The music is tranquil and very slow-moving; sometimes, it seems there is no movement at all, and the music sounds like it is stuck in a locked groove at 5 rpm. This is ambient music in its most accurate form, and I suggest playing this at a considerably low volume, not just above the threshold of hearing, as that would be too low, but a little bit louder than that. It makes a pleasing presence in your living room as an apparatus would do; maybe it would even mingle with something in your space (mine seems relatively quiet, and little outdoor sounds are coming in, other than the occasional car passing and school kids walking by). The only strange interruption of the flow here is the abrupt ending of the third piece, which made my head turn, thinking something was wrong. Otherwise, these ambient machines worked like a charm and had that gentle touch of a well-heated/ventilated house. Lovely hiss. (FdW)
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Here’s a new release by the Bilbao-based label Hazi Esporak! (which means “grow spores!”) It’s by the Emon Plakton duo, consisting of Itziar Markiegi (aka Jana Jan) and Garazi Gorostiaga. They have worked together since 2018, when they met at a festival organised by Miguel A. Garcia, who mastered this release. At first, they were mainly rooted in noise music, but a joint fascination for Pan Sonic led to using rhythm machines as well. Unlike their Finnish inspirators, Emon Plakton likes longer and uncontrolled pieces. Right from the start, they dive in with a full-on distortion, and the beats rarely have that deep 4/4 bass punch that Pan Sonic is known for. One can say they failed at copying their heroes, or, positively, they effectively found a different way in the world of brutal beats meets noise music. I am on the latter side, but that doesn’t mean I am all-over positive. I see room for improvement. For one, cut these two lengthy cuts (27 minutes total) into small pieces, give them heads and tails, and do not present them as a wild live jam of distorted noise and very uptempo beats. Also, there is room for improvement in the production department, giving the rhythm side a tad more punch. It has all the proper markings of something original, but it fails in the execution department. (FdW)
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From that powerhouse, Love Earth Music, there is always a lot of noise (literally), but now and then, there is also something entirely different. Cosmic Cars is such a thing. It’s a silly name for this duo of Michael Sauta and Abdul Sherzai, names names for me. As great as Love Earth Music is, the downside is a website with no information nor a properly functioning Bandcamp. This means I know nothing about this duo, and judging by their music, they use guitars, drum machines, bass, and vocals; maybe some electronics, such as a keyboard, but that remains to be seen. In some way, you can call this pop music alternative, but these nine songs are quite pop-like. Brutal, dark, sometimes uptempo, and also touched by mystery. The music doesn’t use much production value, as in tarting it up with effects. It’s more brutally committed to tape and then releases, where it retains some of its raw energy. It’s not the kind of music I know too much about (and, yes, I have my preferences, but that doesn’t automatically mean knowledge), and I couldn’t think of something that resembles this, but that doesn’t mean anything. I found this quite enjoyable, partly because of their energy and freshness and partly because I like a break during the day and day listening to drones, ambient, electro-acoustic music, and noise. The wacky, weird pop of Cosmic Cars provides that break.
Behind Unredeemable, we also find a duo, Andrea Pensado (voice, electronics) and Tracy Lisk (bowed cymbals, drums), and their music is quite the odd collision of noise and improvised music. Of course, pairing those two genres happens all the time (and lots is to be said that a lot of noise, due to its direct nature, is improvised), but what these two do is a bit different. Their recording uses a sonic overload, or Pensado goes quite extreme with his sonic approach. Everything she does contrasts with Lisk, whose playing we quickly recognise, but with microphones picking up her sounds too, some spill into the noise. Lisk plays the drums mostly chaotic and bows her cymbals into shrieking textures. They rarely let the listener breathe fresh air, but it happens in ‘Noli Timere’, the most extended piece and the middle of seven. After that, they continued with another wild blast. I am reminded of the sonic brutalism and improvised noise I usually receive from Viande Records. At fifty-one minutes, this was quite the journey, an uneasy and bumpy ride that left me quite exhausted. I went outside for a walk in the cold sunshine to get out the hermetically closed sound of Unredeemable. (FdW)
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TIM OLIVE – SHEER (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation)

More music by Tim Olive is always welcome, especially since he’s working more and more solo. That’s something that started when the pandemic prevented Olive from going on his early world tour. When he did that, he played with others, resulting in albums of a more improvised nature. That element is still present in his solo work, but there’s more planning and organisation, resulting in more composed works. The two parts of ‘Sheer’ are alike. Olive has his trusted magnetic pickups, ring modulator and spring reverb. Both pieces have similar build-ups but are reversed. On ‘Sheer 1’, Olive opens with a firm dose of rolling concrete noises, thick as a brick, which halfway through falls apart in looser, fragmented tones. On the other side, he opens with such tones, which, on both sides, have a lovely ambient texture, helped by some fine reverb. The mood in the second half, the first half, is dark and moody, but also open and spacious. But then this mood becomes less spacious and closes up again, forming another, tighter mass of drones sounding still dark and moody. This is not to say that both sides are identical; far from it. ‘Sheer 1’ is the louder and somewhat noisier brother of ‘Sheer 2’. Here, the textures are much more gentle and spaced out, but in the loosely organised first part of the dark ambience of the second part, it slowly becomes grittier, like a delicate noise beast. As said, I immensely enjoy Olive’s solo studio work, and this is no different. For some reason, Olive prefers to keep his work short. This is a brief release at thirty minutes, and I would have preferred another 15 minutes with further explorations of this kind. (FdW)
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ANJA KREYSING – ORTMIX (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
THING (CDR compialtion by Attenuation Circuit)

I reviewed work by Anja Kreysing before from music she did with Dan Penshuck and Sascha Stadlmeier, but now it’s solo time. Or rather, she’s responsible for the music part of an exhibition she did with Thomas Gerhards and Erner Rückemann, and on this release, she uses/remixes that sound material again. The installation was at the Oxford barracks in Münster, used by the British army after 1945, even when the Wehrmacht built it earlier. The installation uses pictures and sounds from the area so we don’t forget and don’t glorify the past. The sounds, however, are not easily traced back to any origin, as they are all highly abstract. Kreysing uses sampling devices and electronic gadgets to alter these sounds so that nothing historical is part of it anymore. In her compositional approach, she reminds me of label boss Stadlmeier’s EMERGE project, who, in turn, took cues from Asmus Tietchens. They are not as delicate as Tietchens, but they have a similar love for using microscopic details from a set of what I can only assume are more significant sounds. We can label this as Reductionist music, which is fine-tuned and cooked into delicate music. Only in ‘ORTrmx4’ do we hear footsteps and a giant drone, taking the musical experience into a different field. I’m afraid only four lovely pieces didn’t satisfy my appetite; it’s only twenty-four minutes, and I think that’s not nearly enough. Isn’t the whole idea of remixing and recycling to work with an endless pool of possibilities? Why stop here? Great album!
Also on the same label, there’s another instalment of ‘Thing’, an ongoing four-way CDR compilation series, and this is number six. I didn’t count, nor did I look at older reviews. I just took Attenuation Circuit’s word for it. Of the four, el_masmore is the one I never heard of, The Phlod-Nar I recently reviewed, Walt Thisney a few times and from Claus Poulsen i reviewed a lot of music. Walt Thisney opens here (I am not going to try and recreate the way they spell their name), and they have a piece with a slightly distorted guitar drone, on the brink of distortion, but beneath that, there is some melancholic piano playing. While the label refers to Erik Satie, that’s a bit too far fetched, as it’s just a lot of piano sound drenched in reverb. The contrast works quite well. We find more piano in the piece by The Phold Nar, but this time without any distortion. The piano is the primary instrument in this piece, played melodcially and improvised, so the player is sometimes lost here. There’s a bit of colouring of sound effects, and towards the end, there is way more electronica in the way of sound effects going out of control. That broke off the piece for me.
We have to write el_masmore (all lowercase), behind which we find “Jesús Alfaro, sound experimenter and composer. This heterodox musician based in Marbella, Spain, began his experiences with a Korg MS10, later incorporating classical and electric guitar into his works”. His ‘Illuminated’ is a lighter piece of more improvised electronics, evolving around a few sound sources, and it sounds delicate but perhaps also too easy, as if it can’t decide which direction to go. Claus Poulsen, I know, is a man of many talents, and improvising with electronic means is one of them. He, too, works with drones of organ-like variety, and they have a shepherd-tone quality, that seemingly never-ending cycle. His piece seems to be about transforming similar sounds, taking them apart over time, and deconstructing them. The best out of four, but taste is subjective. (FdW)
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D. VAZQUEZ – NATUREZA URBANA (3″CDR by Liceo Ocultural)
DURAN VAZQUEZ & DUQUE – (3″CDR by Liceo Ocultural)

These days, you don’t see many 3″CDRs anymore, which, I’ve said before, is a pity. I have always liked the format of documenting a concert, a single idea, or a one-off short-lived project. In front of me are three 3″CDRs from Spain by Liceo Ocultural. As far as I can see, this label has no Bandcamp or other online representation. Duran Vazquez, the man behind the label and main operator of the music, as we will soon hear, writes that the original idea was to do releases in an edition of 50 copies. Still, when they really started, it became editions ranging between 5 and 12 copies, and the label will stop once they are out of discs. That’s the sort of concept I enjoy a lot. On the cover, Vazquez writes about the music being recorded behind “a computer, with two hands to control a keyboard and a mouse”. His music is at the extremer fringes of dance music, which means there is rhythm, some deep bass and a crushed melodic line, and its tempo is slow. This means this isn’t music aimed at the dancefloor. It’s more a drunken head nod music. Four of the pieces are short, with the fourth being slightly more up-tempo, with short meaning between one and three minutes. The fifth and last piece is a slow, minimalist loop running through various effects, aiming at the minimalist side. It’s not a bad release, but not great either, and typically, the sort of thing very well suited for a 3″CDR release.
I hope I have the correct title for the next release, as it is handwritten on the cover, and it is a co-production with Green Field Recordings, “a Portuguese netlabel, focusing mainly in unaltered field recordings”, or in words on the cover, “all sounds from field recordings captured in situ, which means that some guy had to go to places with a portable recorder and then press start button at the right amount”. What the right moment was remains to be seen. Vazquez went to a construction site and captured the loud sounds of machines in action, not just from construction but also from an aeroplane overhead and cars passing in the distance. Maybe Vazquez moves around with his recorder, picking up various sounds. That’s the impression I get from this work, as none of this stays too long in the same field (pun intended). Vazquez prefers louder and noisier sounds, but it’s not some full-blown noise music. This almost 22-minute piece of music is quite the force, but not exclusively about force or noise, and I wonder if this was recorded in one go or if it’s the result of mixing a few recordings. Whatever it is, Vazquez brings an exciting narrative to this piece.
The final release is with someone named Duque (again, I think), and we learn “this record was produced by two entities operating legacy software by hand. Every single sound was generated before rendering and even before the mixing process”, plus a similar rap about field recordings. This time, these field recordings are impossible to trace back to the original sound, as they are heavily processed. Again, there is a noisy aspect to this music, going all distorted rather pleasantly. In the first piece, there is some ditto distorted rhythmic undercurrent (more from the construction site?). The multitude of processing sounds gives the music a much more abstract character, and the five pieces show a love for glitches, crackles, microscopic rhythms, and the preservation of digital errors. The whole thing may have five pieces, and it sounds like one long track. Sometimes, on the strict minimalist side of things, with little development or action, it’s also okay too. I guess it’s one of those experimental things… (FdW)
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MAMA BÄR/SUPERRORKO​(​S​)​MISCHE/GRODOCK – MATERIE (cassette by Grubenwehr Freiburg)
MATERIALEINSCH​Ü​CHTERUNG (cassette by Grubenwehr Freiburg)

The first tape is a bit old (maybe too old for review), but perhaps it needs more promotion. A short cassette, 32 minutes, and a three-way compilation. Two pieces on side A. Mama Bär, known for her work with Komissar Hjuler, plays a detuned guitar and uses percussion; she also sings, which sounds like outsider music. It’s also not something I am all too interested in. Of more interest, I found ‘Kohlen- und Sauerstoffatome’ by supERROR. We may also hear slowed and/or processed voices, with some drones and a synthesiser sound from the higher frequency range. It all sounds straightforward and like ongoing processing or organic growth. The B-side is all music by label boss Grodock, whose ‘Anorganische Substanzen’ starts with some wonderfully constructed field recordings, granular synthesis and apparently a rework of the two pieces on the other side. I would have never guessed. When this piece is on the quieter side, it all sounds very refined and mysterious, but somewhere past the middle of the piece, the volume picks up and ends with some super loud noise blast, which is okay but perhaps predictable, too.
I had to look up what Materialeinsch​ü​chterung means, ‘Material intimidation’, as it happens, and it’s a duo of Torstn (not Torsten, it seems) Kauke and Oliver Kaib, who recorded the 13 pieces between 2014 and 2021. The labels describe these ‘industrial and kraut improvisations’, which I think covers it. The two play guitar and drums, and maybe the music has some electronic component. Throughout (but not exclusively), they take their time for their improvisations, seven to fifteen minutes, even when a few are shorter than this. As I was reading the D-Generation magazine this week, which, at times, read like a Genesis P-Orridge fan club magazine, someone mentioned that Genesis didn’t like laptop concerts and was into playing Hawkind, Syd Barrett, 13th Floor Elevators and Can type of music, which reminded me of how the earliest Throbbing Gristle used more guitar sounds. Playing the Materialeinsch​ü​chterung cassette is further evidence that some of the old school (and I mean very old school) industrial sound is indeed close to that psychedelic, grinding, Krauty sound, except this duo doesn’t use the same motorik beats; only occasionally there is a trace of such a thing (in ‘Superlovespreader’ for instance). It’s all a bit loosely played, which works fine. It’s also quite long and a bit repetitive, idea-wise, but as I wasn’t doing anything else and enjoyed being otherwise lazy, this was a fine soundtrack for such a day. (FdW)
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NUORI VERI – NVV (cassette by Aussaat)

‘NVV’ is my third encounter with the mysterious Finnish Nuori Veri, of which I still know nothing. As before, I like music. It’s hard to tell how this music is made, but before, Aussaat called this ‘farmyard noise’, which is stuck firmly in my mind. Of course, I believe animal sounds are present in these pieces, and there is a somewhat ’empty’ piece of field recordings in which we hear gunshots. Along with loops of rusty machines, agricultural equipment and old tape loops sitting next to an old organ. And then there is the voice, low, transformed, alien and spooky. As for inspiration he (?) mentions a bunch of references, some which elude me completely: “folk horror films, Theodor Kittelsen, King of Sartar, becoming a father, bumblebees, frogs, pines, junipers, heathers, barley, oats, the village of Kontttila, mysteries of Anukka, patriotic feelings and THE TRUE BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAUGHING SHADOWS.” And that “Nuori Veri stands for esoteric rural resistance and animal rights”, which is perhaps not something one thinks of when thinking about farming. There is, at times, the overdrive distortion in the noises, with contact microphones rubbing a bit too heavily on those rusty fences, but it works very well in this music. It’s hard to say which piece goes with which title, but early on, something reminded me of orchestral music. It is far from the actual noise music and something more of a combination of noise and poetry. Strangely, these farmlike sounds, combined with poetry/reading (in Finnish, so whatever it is about, I don’t know, but titles translate as ‘The Homeguard Gathers in the Backwoods’ or ‘From the Storm of Tadpoles’, so it goes many ways), and those single gunshots made me think of Etant Donnes, also quite rural at times. And much like the French brothers, there is quite a bit of mystery there. Quite my thing! (FdW)
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FABLE DUST – IN BETWEEN WARS (cassette by Zesde Kolonne Records)
WE LOVE TRASH – 10 YEARS; A RETROSPECTIVE (cassette by Zesde Kolonne Records)

I know there’s always a celebration, but mark my words: I will talk more about jubilees in the next few months about musicians and labels celebrating their 40th birthday, partly because of the background of Vital Weekly in the world of industrial music, cassettes labels and electronic music of the 1980s. One such label is Eindhoven’s De Zesde Kolonne, or as they now prefer Zesde Kolonne Records. They started in 1984 when two groups, Vovokai and MTVS, joined forces and squatted a space for their work, including rehearsals, concerts, a label and supporting alternative culture. They moved around Eindhoven to different locations and, in the past, also played concerts in places such as Minsk, Budapest, Belgrado, Labin, and Berlin. However, they release work from musicians closer to home as a label. Firstly, there’s Fable Dust, the musical project of Niels Duffhues. He’s also a member of The Gathering, a famous Dutch band entirely beyond my world, just like his other bands, Enos and Blimey. I am quoting from a previous review I wrote in Vital Weekly 962. Duffhues is a guitarist, and although the information says there are other instruments, I admit I found this challenging to hear. Maybe he’s sitting in front of an open window, as we sometimes listen to cars in the distance. The music is very atmospheric, with the guitar playing tunes rather than drones. These are small, dramatic pieces of what might be some blues music (again, as always, I am not an expert). Melodic music for sure, which he keeps small, choosing the right amount of reverb to add a bit of body to the music, but he doesn’t drown the guitar in it. It’s different from the music I review daily, but it works well.
Along with the cassette by We Love Trash comes a full-colour A6 booklet, explaining 9(n Dutch) what they are about and many photos of their equipment. This was part of an exhibition/installation of their tools, and I assume the group played there off and on or let the audience participate. We Love Trash’s name is the program here, as they dumpster dive, looking for scrap, waste, and junk for old apparatus to repurpose and to circuit bent old electronics. The distance from Nijmegen to Eindhoven isn’t too far, yet I have never heard of this trio (which is more telling about me, I guess): Krijn Hendriksen, Hans d’Achard and Rob van Gils. The pictures show a wide variety of toys, junk, instruments, and machines, and the nine pieces on the cassette sound exactly like the images: chaotic, playful, and improvised. Their music is entirely improvised but not much along traditional lines. Sure, there are elements of a more conventional approach, but throughout, the music is way more object-based, and what I particularly enjoyed is that the music is an exploration of sound, the resonant qualities of objects, and not some stomping around on objects. There is quite some interaction going on, showing these three players have some experience playing together. Occasionally, it forms a more coherent piece, such as in ‘Trash 2’, yet it also stays firmly on the more abstract side. Think Noise Makers Fifes, MEV, Kapotte Muziek, and all of these are more in touch with circuit bending than these examples are/were. It’s totally wild and entirely under control; that’s how I enjoy my electro-acoustic improvisations. (FdW)
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