Number 1430

Week 13

+DOG+ – ANGEL WINGS (LP by Love Earth Music) *
VERTONEN – SHE WOULD HAVE MADE SUCH A LOVELY BRIDE (2x CD-r + 5″by7″ Postcard Lathe by Ballast) *
MODELBAU – GROEF (CDR by ballast) *
SINERIDER – PERENIAL (CDR by Sound In Silence) *
IBIZA SHOCK TROOPS – CAFÉ CARNE (3″CDR by Inner Demons Records) *
JUICE MACHINE – THE NUMBERS (3″CDR by Inner Demons Records) *


What do I know about metal music? Nothing, as it turns out. Just like dance music, the genre has been pulverised into many sub-sub sections, and one needs to be a specialist to point out the microscopic differences or live with the eternal shame of being ignorant. You may not be surprised that I never heard of Corrupted, the “mysterious Japanese doom metal band formed in 1994. Immensely downtuned guitar and crushingly slow bass are shrouded under deep layers of feedback. They are rightly hailed as one of the heaviest and darkest doom metal bands of all time”. Apparently, this new CD is a reissue of the 2018 2018 “multi-speed, vinyl-only release “Felicific Algorithm”, but with the first two pieces are reworked here. They use the same field recordings from places such as Amagasaki, Osaka and Fukushima, and they create some genuinely intense music. A collage of very obscured sounds, recorded in some extraordinary way (it sounds as if the microphone is hidden in a jacket. But occasionally, the music bursts out, like an explosion, all feedback and noise, which in a similar sudden way disappears in a black hole. In the second part of the piece, there is a lengthy piercing guitar drone along with these field recordings, and it sounds like a fine piece of metal meets drone music. Intense and spooky, this is excellent music, but hold on, metal? Even with my limited knowledge, I wouldn’t say this is metal.
There is also ‘Mushikeras’, a track from 2022-23, which lasts about 28 minutes, and now we hear Corrupted as the quartet they are: Kaz Mike (howling guitar and bass), Rie Lambdoll (vocal and bass), Mark Y. (guitar and bass), and Chew (drum and high carbon steel). It starts with a voice and piano but slowly picks up a guitar and heavy, deep bass, and drums, all in a slow but menacing and doomy way. It is rather detailed and more complex than I expected. Sometimes, it goes back to the voice and one instrument, slowly adding the other instruments. Quite a fine piece, which didn’t win me over as a fan of metal music (of whichever variety), but as a change of musical scenery, well received. (FdW)
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To my horror, I noticed the wrongly spelt band name in my first review of this Finnish project (Vital Weekly 1390), which has now been corrected. Augmented Atrocity is still the music project by “former Kovana member Janne” and is a continuation of what I heard in the previous release. There is a ton of distorted noise music here, yet it is still about more than just playing a load of ugly sounds (as some would perceive noise music to be). Augmented Atrocity knows how to pull back, go deep, turn on a few loops, whisper a few words and have a different kind of creepiness, only to return in full glory (gory) power electronics at the next corner. Brutal synthesiser attacks, distorted vocals, and titles leave little to guess, ‘Pile Of Decay’, ‘Entwined With The Vines Of Regression’ and ‘Back To Where It All Started’. What it all means is something to wonder about, as none of the lyrics can easily be understood. As with all music genres that have subgenres (and I gather that applies to all genres), I, as a general rule, do not know the finer determination. However, I think one could call this power electronics, mostly, and it reminded me of Genocide Organ and Whitehouse, but on updated machines. Brutal, minimalist synths, strict square waves, piercing right into your brain, but the variation does it for me here. Without those moments of quiet unrest scattered about, the listener can breathe briefly before filling their lungs and diving back in. Now, that is the kind of noise I like. (FdW)
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In my last review of Neu Gestalt, I wrote: “A lot of times, it seems things are reviewed and then never heard of again, or at least not for a very long period. One such thing was ‘Altered Carbon’ by Neu Gestalt, also known as Les Scott, reviewed in Vital Weekly 650“. That was in Vital Weekly 827, the last time I heard Neu Gestalt until today. So, what’s long, indeed? Also mentioned in that review is what I thought would be a coming revival of ambient house music, as that release and the previous one sounded like they could have been made in the 1990s and released by Silent Records. I don’t think that revival ever happened, but perhaps so is my current thinking, ambient house was never really gone.
Behind Neu Gestalt is Les Scott, from Scotland, who was once a member of September’s Room. He writes me that due to illness, he was absent for many years, and after recovering, he had to do daily biking exercises, which resulted in a bike crash. He also made a few other albums that he thought would not interest Vital Weekly. I liked his first two albums, as reviewed, even when I thought both weren’t that remarkably new or a massive leap forward in the genre. This is no problem, as this is also something I wrote before. Originality is excellent for the reviewer because there is something new to write about, but many musicians carve out a niche and explore that for several albums. I think that’s how I should approach this album, as a continuation of musical interests explored years ago for the first time and with considerable exploration again. Neu Gestalt plays elegantly constructed pieces of music supported by gentle grooves, glitchy rhythms, a pleasing bass sound, some Japanese spoken word, and moody melodies. Most of the time, it is atmospheric and dark, which is always great in my book. There is also a slightly more experimental edge to these pieces, of broken-up beats and scratchy vinyl sounds. Perhaps herein lies the progress?
The album also has a USB version, which contains videos for each track. I do not know about video art, but these fractal-like images add to the notion that this is very much the 1990s version of video art, and that fits the music very well. These images move around, morphing from one thing to the next. I admit these images didn’t cut it for me, thinking these are easily generated software things (but again, don’t take my word for it), and the music is strong enough to stand by itself. And next? When will I hear from Neu Gestalt again? (FdW)
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Before I wrote this review, I considered if I should do it. I know Steven Wilson personally, and at some point in the future, I will be present in some sort of presentation of this album. That’s a pretty close relationship, but then I realised I also reviewed work by people like Roel Meelkop or Howard Stelzer (to name but two), with whom I also extensively worked on many occasions. So, yes, I think it doesn’t matter. The first time I heard about Steven Wilson’s Bass Communion was in the 1990s when former Vital Weekly scribe The Square Root Of Sub made a remix of a Bass Communion track; Robert Fripp was the other remixer. Then he did two CDs with Muslimgauze, which sort of passed me by. Years later, he mailed me some CDs, I mailed some of mine, and we did work together. It was only when that release sold more copies than my usual releases that I learned Steven Wilson is a well-known rock musician by his own name and with Porcupine Tree. Bass Communion is his side project for all things experimental, ambient and dark. He has more musical projects like Blackfield, Storm Corrosion, and No-Man. Being so active with so many things means there isn’t always time to work on one thing, and as such, it has been a while since there was a last, proper Bass Communion record; 12 years, I am told (there has been a 3CD set by Bass Communion and Freiband, and various re-issues). one of the things he doesn’t find too exciting is repeating the formula of ‘dark ambient’, in which one uses an amorphous mass of sound. This new album has some interesting changes. On one hand, there are sounds of vinyl and tape hiss, heavily processed yet to be recognised as such, and there is the addition of real instruments, such as a mellotron (well, maybe not ‘real’, but a distinctly different kind of instrument than you’ll find on your usual dark ambient record. Also, there are some shimmering chords played on a keyboard (in ‘Apparition 3’, for instance), crippled voices in the very creepy title track, along with more mellotron (I think). Using tape hiss in ‘Tape Hiss Study’ is quite a daring and risky movement. One could all too easily think, ‘tape hiss, that we’ve heard enough of by now’, but Bass Communion gives it an elegant twirl and creates an excellent collage, using various stages of the process. Throughout these seven pieces, there is quite a bit of variation so that there is no repeating of stale ideas of worn-out dark ambient. In ‘Blackmail’, Wilson ventures out to noise music and is more Merzbow (around 1990) than anything you would label as ambient music. Quite the accomplishment! (FdW)
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A different beast is The Absence of Zero: not only because of the number of musicians, three instead of four, no wind instruments, but also because of the amplification of two instruments, not to mention the addition of effects on the output of one. In other words, here we have a traditional jazz trio, guitar, double bass and drums. But the guitar sends his signals to an effects circuit, adding a “ghost” fourth musician. Or sometimes relying primarily on the output of the effect. “The Absence of Zero” is an enchanting album that transcends boundaries, weaving intricate melodies and spontaneous rhythms. This captivating work invites listeners into a realm of free improvisation where time dances and boundaries blur. However, there are still more traditional roles for each instrument. Andrea Massaria, a versatile guitarist, seamlessly blends classical precision with avant-garde exploration. His spiky lines and broken rhythms reflect both dexterity and audacity. Massaria’s electronic effects add a cosmic dimension to the trio’s sound. Meinrad Kneer. Even if amplified and rich with extended techniques, his acoustic playing complements Massaria’s abstractions. Kneer’s fingers and bow traverse uncharted territories, pushing the boundaries of conventional jazz. Joe Hertenstein (drums & Percussion): his drumming is the heartbeat of “The Absence of Zero.” His free pulse maintains a constant chatter—cymbals, snare, and tom-toms—hinting at tradition while breaking free from it. Hertenstein’s rhythmic explorations mirror the ebb and flow of time itself. The album’s five tracks are like cosmic conversations. Elastic sounds stretch and contract, responding to each other’s gravitational pull. The trio navigates uncharted constellations, leaving pages blank for listeners to fill with their own interpretations. “The Absence of Zero” invites us to embrace uncertainty and explore figures without boundaries. It’s a poetic meditation on time’s malleability, echoing R. Kolewe’s long poem. As we listen, we become part of this temporal dance—a witness to quantum errors and unrecognised constellations. Music thrives in this absence of zero, and the trio’s synergy becomes our compass. There’s a lot to enjoy in this release. But as always, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. (MDS)
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“It isn’t really what it’s like” is the third release by this German-Belgian quartet. 2005 and 2008 were the release years of their previous efforts, four years after its founding. Now, 18 years later, this one is release number four. The Belgian half of the quartet is Jacques Foschia and Mike Goyvaerts. Foschia plays the B-flat (soprano) clarinet and the bass clarinet. He’s part of the London Improvisers Orchestra and has self-released some solo works. He also makes music with real instruments and uses radio (waves). Here’s an episode of The Radius dedicated to his work: Radius ( The other Belgian musician is Mike Goyvaerts, on percussion and toys. A veteran on the scene, he was part of Werkgroep Improvisatie Muziek, founded in Nijmegen by Bo van de Graaf. There’s not much information to be found on him on the internet. The biggest change is the absence of shorter pieces. On to the German part of the group. Christoph Irmer. He plays the violin. Like Foschia he’s a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra and has recorded with John Butcher and Peter Kowald. The other German of the quartet is Georg Wissel. He’s one-third of the trio C/W/N who released the excellent Thirty-Nine Fifty-Five. On to the music: four pieces, all completely improvised in almost an hour. That’s the most significant change compared to the previous releases. The pieces are a lot longer. The most extended piece here is almost half an hour long. The four conjure up a living, breathing, nearly tactile sound world. Sometimes, it is hyperkinetic, slow, and meditative, but always with intent and no ego. They play to make instant music. And it’s not about being loud, most sections are relatively and sometimes highly soft. A sudden burst of sound from the shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute) breaks the relative silence. The effect is not constantly repeated, as some would do: milk it until it becomes dull. No, here it’s like a motive repeated just a few times and then gone. As a listener, you have to be attentive; the music deserves it. You could call this improvised postmodern classical music. They create intricate tapestries of textures, sound, and melodies, sometimes just snippets, other times lasting half a minute or more. And there’s an implicit pulse to the music. Not in the form of a beat but in a collective sense of a beat, without stating an apparent beat. In other words, it was an excellent release from an extraordinary quartet. CANARIES ON THE POLE – Baltic Fleet ( is a link to see them perform a shortish piece. Be aware: not everyone will like this music. Open your ears and enjoy the ride. It’s quite the journey. Best listened to on headphones or in a tranquil environment. (MDS)
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+DOG+ – ANGEL WINGS (LP by Love Earth Music)

Every artist here knows how magickal it is to release a vinyl. At least, well, maybe not if you’re releasing vinyl all the time, like when you were a techno artist in the 1990s and vinyl was the standard, but for a lot of ‘us’ who release cassettes, digital-only or CDRs in low counts vinyl remains something so beautiful and mysterious. So after many of those, it was time for Steve Davis / +DOG+ (don’t forget those ‘+’-signs), the owner of Love Earth Music, to finally release a full album on vinyl. And here it is.
“Angel Wings” has beautiful artwork from LOB as always, a view through the leaves of a tree where the leaves themselves look like bugs have eaten them; The beauty of nature in relapse, or maybe as a hint towards trees being food for another species giving them life. Who knows, it fits the music strangely enough. Yes, noise and nature, because noise is one of the most rudimentary forms of art, in my opinion. It’s about letting emotions out with what you have and focusing on the emotion itself rather than the output of your actual art.
Eleven tracks are evenly spread over two sides (one 6, one 5), and the playing times are roughly 2 and 4 minutes. Side A opens with a pulsating drone with some throbbing noise in the background entitled “They were all good kids”. And it’s the start of a relentless journey through 18 minutes of feedback, delay and reverb as an instrument, voices (I dare not use the term vocals here), improvisation with gadgets and synths and nicely saturated sounds through excellent use of mixing EQs. At least, I think that’s how he did it. Side B opens more relaxedly with the minimal approach of noisy electronic sounds in ‘Don’t be doomed’, after which ‘Physical Sense’ continues with ever-so-subtle feedback in the background. And it’s not until the fourth track, “Like in olden times”, that the music becomes quite heavy again. While listening, I was constantly drifting away until here, so that’s good. The final track is the title track, but it is ‘Angel Wings 2’ Have I missed something? No, the original ‘Angel Wings’ was released on a previous album ‘To share with you forever’ (VW 1404 link: But there is a difference: These wings are 1min38sec, a playful track with a toy box, whereas the original wings are more massive, almost devilish—thirteen minutes of noise. Here, I have some questions left, which my brain will, without doubt, at some point, answer in a different setting.
“Angel Wings” is an album which turned out great. There are many great moments on both sides and if it’s too expensive for you to get it from the US to where you live, you might consider the digital version. You get a free bonus track, ‘Far, far away’, a 24-minute feedback piece of weirdness to comfort you in the feeling that the vinyl was rugged. (BW)
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This is another one of those strange records by the Dutch/Belgium Futura Resistenza label. I played a bit without reading the information and dismissed this ‘improvised music, will return later’. When I did, I read more about it, and, admittingly, I didn’t understand much about the concept. Andreas Trobollowitsch likes the “sonic alchemy of rotating objects”, and in 2020, he made a sound installation in Berlin based on a turntable that is 2 meters in diameter. I have to use a lengthy quote, as summarising doesn’t work. “The music emanating from it was made by two trumpet players sitting on its colossal surface, facing outward and turning in circles at a leisurely 8 rpm. They regularly rotated past six holes, each of them 16 centimetres in diameter, that were themselves the openings of 4- to 6-meter-long pipes that were arranged radially around this gyroscope of sound in a charming construction devised with a keen sense for the idiosyncrasies of the employed materials. The pipes transformed the acoustic impulses of the instruments, organised according to a specially written score and enriched with the resonant energy of the materials used in the construction, into an extensive acoustic topography of wandering, overlapping, and mutually permeating sonic clouds, pulsing fuzzily and constantly in flux, through which the audience strolled.” Get it? The two trumpet players are Alex Kranabetter and Martin Eberle, and they get the credit for the live recording we find on side B. The three tracks on side B are then all by Andreas Trobollowitsch, even when there is no credit for a trumpet, yet it sounds very much like a trumpet. There’s an interesting sound here, indeed of rotation, a sort of Doppler effect, a turntable but a slow one. There is a strange kind of orchestral sound in these pieces, steadily rotating, adding a peculiar effect to the music, especially in the title piece that works very well. In the duo piece on the other side, the music is way sparser, revolving around the rotation but with the two trumpets sounding at some distance. This piece has a more improvisational feel yet stays within the minimalism of the other side. It took some time to grow on me, but every time I hear this record, I like it more and more. A strange one, indeed. (FdW)
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In a previous review of Ard Bit’s work (Vital Weekly 1400), I mentioned he has previous works with field recordings, which were ‘name your price’, but these days come with a fixed price, and Ard Bit (Ard Janssen from Rotterdam) decided to release these on limited edition CDRs; twenty copies per release. The first on a shiny disc is the hour-long Poland recordings. In some of the titles, we know where these recordings were made (‘Hotel Katowice’, ‘St. Barbara’s Church’ and ‘Mount Tatra’). As before, places of quiet sounds, natural environments and almost no humans (though not wholly absent). Unlike the previous release, on ’03 Poland’, Ard Bits adds what he calls ‘ambient layers’ back home in Rotterdam. He uses guitars, electronics and synthesisers. While I enjoyed his previous album, which dealt with pure field recordings, I always appreciated adding musical sounds. The pure version with only field recordings is always difficult to judge; are these unedited or edited? Moreover, it is not unimportant; if it is a place I have never been to, it is not easy to say something sensible about it. Now, at least, I can discuss it in more general musical terms. Ard Bit does a fine job of blending his field recordings into works of ambient music. There is, perhaps, a strange division here, with six pieces lasting about fifteen minutes and some with slightly unfulfilled potential. That is the risk of playing ambient music within a limited time frame. ‘Mount Tatra’, the album’s closing piece, is forty-five minutes of rocky structures and some acceptable ambient synthesiser drones being walked upon. This time, however, perhaps all too long and too much on drifting concerning field recordings and synthesisers; it could have been chopped up into various pieces. It may seem I am complaining, but at the same time, I enjoy this album quite a lot. On one of those days when things slow down (or seemingly do so), I sat back and played this album a few times in a row, too lazy to get up and write these words or to want to change the tune, so in that sense, it was a most successful album. (FdW)
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VERTONEN – SHE WOULD HAVE MADE SUCH A LOVELY BRIDE (2x CD-r + 5″by7″ Postcard Lathe by Ballast)

Blake Edwards is a name that thorough readers of this medium have encountered more than once. Blake runs a label in Chicago called ballast, and he has a musical outlet (okay, he has more, but this is his best known) called Vertonen. I’ve had the opportunity to write about his works a few times, and I am mesmerized and puzzled each time. Please note that both feelings are positive. Music, sound art, experiments… No matter what you call it, it should invite you to start thinking about what you’re hearing. Okay, okay, maybe that’s a bit too strong, but at least it offers possibilities to ask questions.
And guess what, “She would have made such a lovely bride” is a piece where you will ask whether you want it. Reading the title, you already wondered who the ‘she’ is, am I right? Well, ‘she’ in this case is Miss Taylor Swift. And no, Blake is not married to her, and as far as I could find out, he has no plans. But Taylor is, of course, considered to be America’s perfect daughter-in-law, or outlaw or whatever. She had a massive tour through North America, and from that tour, the audience’s reaction was used for the Lathe and one of the CDRs. A whole different approach to noise if you consider the request by many artists to start ‘make some noise’. It’s not what Blake wanted to say with this release, but I leave it up to you to find answers to the questions this release raises.
The second CDR, however, is something different altogether. It’s a single piece entitled “The idea you had of me—who was she?” And it’s so, so beautiful. It ‘is the most traditional musical component of the release: a continuation of my [Blake’s] interest in piano—specifically the work of Conlon Nancarrow and Steven Reich’. So that gives you a direction in what to expect. Built on two two-second Swift piano loops on loads of layers and some additional drones… It is an absolute masterpiece in its minimality and atmosphere, and I have tried not to say it this year, but yes,it is A contender for the top list of 2024. And only 30 copies are available. (BW)
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MODELBAU – GROEF (CDR by ballast)

This week’s second release by Ballast is from our own Uncle Frans, a.k.a. Modelbau. When he heard the 30th-anniversary release by Vertonen (reviewed in VW 1353), he included the words ‘This release kept me busy for a good five hours, confirming that I enjoy his music a lot,’ he might have already thought about doing something in return. The joy of listening to the music Blake gave Frans was returned by a Mobelbau project where Frans created pieces based on, or better yet, made use of, that actual 30th-anniversary release. So, in the end, the time spent with that release was way more than the initial 5 hours Frans wrote about.
Modelbau probably started analyzing the works a bit further, especially the locked grooves, giving them a treatment the way only Modelbau could. As we are used to from Modelbau, the result can be anything, but it’s always dictated by the setup of that moment, Which changes every so many months or years. So we find on “Groef” a collection of 4 tracks which I would label experimental drones with noisy characteristics. As always – and it’s no secret anymore, I started to really appreciate his output over the years – it’s of a high quality in its lo-fi approach. And even though the initial thoughts of Modelbau were to create basics for Vertonen to create a collaborative release, when Blake got the tracks, he must have been as mesmerized as I am while playing them, too. The richness of the compositions is of a level that doesn’t need any additional sounds. That would probably be ruining the whole atmosphere they generate at this point.
The four tracks have a playing time of 50 minutes and weren’t given a title. Lengthwise, they are between 7 and 16 minutes, and as said, there is a certain minimalism in them, probably because Frans’s original thoughts were they would be ‘finished’ by someone else. But this minimalism is what drone is about. It’s the whole philosophy of Less is More, or how the famous Dutch writer Bomans stated, ‘Schrijven is Schrappen’ (To write is to cross out) or maybe even ‘it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it’. And with a couple of locked grooves on a Lathe, you can already do miracles. Which Modelbau proves on “Groef”. QED (BW)
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SINERIDER – PERENIAL (CDR by Sound In Silence)

As a returning musician, David Newlyn has released three albums on this label. I also reviewed his music released by Ephre Imprint, Symbolic Interaction, and Boltfish Recordings, returning to Vital Weekly 557. His last album was short, and so is his new one, which has five pieces in 33 minutes. The new album returns to a purer ambient form, with the rhythms of before. The music leans heavily on the use of synthesiser sounds, which are rusty and broken, adding a delicate additional layer to the music. These could have been recorded on an unstable recorder, slightly altering the speed. He further expands upon that unstable character with faint clicks, a bit of vinyl crackle, and field recordings too obscure to recognise. Each of these five pieces shows a melodic drift, slow, hazy and shimmering in the background. It’s like an organ melody set against the blurry tones of whatever else is happening, which can’t be easily heard. The first time I played this, the details escaped me, and I thought I was hearing nothing more or less than a most pleasant ambient album. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the wavering tones of rusty magnetic tape, including tape hiss and small sounds buried in the mix, which gave it a distinctly different feel. This was a great if not very short, album.
SineRider, also known as Devin Powers returns to Sound In Silence with his third album (see Vital Weekly 1309 for the second; the first we didn’t review). Here, we have a continuation of previous approaches, with Powers taking the classic ambient approach. Luscious pads of warm synthesiser glow, a bit of piano sound with a healthy dose of reverb to suggest space and all of this in twelve variations. Sometimes, leaning heavily on the synthesisers, more on the piano, sometimes melodies shimmer around the corner, just as they can be entirely abstract. All of this is done with one objective, and one that he reaches: to play some excellent fine mood music. I found his previous release to be along the lines of Eno/Budd, and this one is similar. Music for quiet summer days out in the country, with insects buzzing around and sounds from the environment mingling with the electronic tones from SineRider. Alright, it ain’t summer here yet, but on one of those early spring days when it’s warm enough to open the balcony doors and let that winter dust blow away, sitting around with a cup of tea, trying to avoid work as best as I could (or rather, for as long as I could), but after four repeated plays, it was inevitable time to move on and break the delicate spell of sonic bliss. (FdW)
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Many of the works by Sergio Sorrentino I reviewed over the recent years are collaborations, such as with Loren Connors (Vital Weekly 1366), John King (Vital Weekly 1244), Eliott Sharp (Vital Weekly 1204) and Machinefabriek (Vital Weekly 902). In June 2023, he sat down with Italian musician Luca Sigurtia in an old deconsecrated church, armed with piano, guitar and electronics (Sorrentino) and tapes and electronics (Sigurta). Each title is a palindrome, and we should treat the music as palindromes, too; well, maybe not, as it doesn’t follow strict rules. The seven pieces (total time: 38 minutes) sound very much like ambient music, played on various instruments. If a piece uses a piano, there is only a little guitar and vice versa. Sigurta’s role is to add a delicate web of abstract sounds to these ambient patterns, using samples of a more rhythmic nature, such as in ‘Kilik’, or of a more drone-like nature. The music has a very gentle melodic drift, largely thanks to the piano and guitar played by Sorrentino. Occasionally, it may lean a bit towards new-age music, especially in his piano playing, but there’s always Sigurta to pull him back into the world of more exciting and daring ambient music. The two offer enough variation to maintain interest, and at the same time, it all remains quite a coherent album. My preferences are in this album’s slighter, dark, and more abstract corners, while I can imagine for many listeners that the opposite will be true. (FdW)
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The most recent batch of Inner Demons Records from Florida hit the office, and it’s massive (!!!) again. There are no less than 19 new releases by well-known and lesser-known artists, and in these coming few weeks, I’ll be looking at some of them. Or all of them, I don’t know yet. As I’ve written several Weeklies before, Inner Demons Records is the label of Dan Fox, who we know from projects Loss (Spectre Records / ant-zen), Fail, If and several other lesser-known but just as exciting projects. The thought behind the label is that everything goes style-wise as long as your heart is in the right spot. The rules you receive are clear (‘tRUMP SYMPATHIZERS, CONSPIRACY THEORISTS AND OTHER CULT MEMBERS NEED NOT APPLY’); for the rest, it’s art. Just art. Sounds. Noise. Rhythm. Walls. Anything …
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The first release I’m playing is Andres Davids’ “The Inability to be Happy.” Andreas, who some of you know from his main project, XOTOX, does stuff here that wouldn’t really fit the XOTOX moniker. The sounds he releases under his own name are way more experimental in nature and definitely less danceable, so please don’t see this as an XOTOX side project. See it as a different side of the human Andreas Davids.
Even though the 20-minute track contains rhythm, droney layers, minimal melodies and some weird-ass noises of unknown origin (it’s not guitar, is it?), it’s hard to pinpoint the style. It’s not ambient as we know it, it’s not noise, it’s weird and experimental, and it has a beautiful flow. At moments, it gets a bit of a dubby feeling, which—even though I don’t really like dub—I actually like.
I will write some words I hope Andreas will forgive me for writing down, but if “The Inability to be Happy” is the result of an unhappy Andreas, then making music like this would be a perfect form of therapy because listening to the result everyone would become happy, even Andreas. So, with that in mind, I can only come up with a paradoxal emotional charge of this release. Well done my friend! (BW)
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IBIZA SHOCK TROOPS – CAFÉ CARNE (3″CDR by Inner Demons Records)

The Ibiza Shock Troops have been ‘doomed to dance since 2007’. Frans just reviewed the duo of Carl Kruger on beats and Chefkirk on noise about three weeks ago in Vital 1427. Frans’ conclusion then was that ‘this is sometimes all it takes to get a party going’. And exactly that was what I thought when hearing this 3″ (which is my favourite format of all times).
What makes it a fun release is that there are six tracks, each around 3 minutes long, all uptempo and noisy. Rhythmically, there isn’t a real style, I suppose. It’s not like drum and bass or acid or techno or something like that. But in all honesty, I don’t think everything in Ibiza is a particular style. Some things there are merely style-adjacent. And as long as there are techno artists who sometimes noise things completely up, there is still hope for everyone.
The one thing I liked a bit less from this release – but this is all personal – is Chefkirk’s approach to the noise layers. It would have added for freaks like me if there had been a bit more variation in the chosen sounds or the production/manipulation of the noise layers. Maybe add some effects and change them between tracks, use a different waveform, or something else. But then again, this might also very well be a choice which the concept behind the Ibiza Shock Troops needs. And I’m making a fool of myself here even thinking about it. Favourite track: #4 (BW)
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JUICE MACHINE – THE NUMBERS (3″CDR by Inner Demons Records)

For steady readers, another name that was recently published in the Vital Weekly (1417 and 1427) is Juice Machine. Yes, another Roger Chefkirk, but this is the project between him and Heather Chessman. ‘The Numbers’ is one 18-minute track, and it’s full of dynamics; it goes all over the place, and I like it. A lot. From all I’ve heard so far from them, this is my favourite. Having closed the Ibiza Shock Troops review about 30 minutes ago, which also had Roger ChefKirk in there, I am now used to the characteristics of his noise. It’s quite clear and straightforward, not that manipulated as in effects, and I guess it just took me some time to get used to it.
The track opens with a beautiful droney sound, over which slowly the noises get overhand, and before the track hits the 5-minute mark, it goes berserk. Pulsating sounds from what I think is a modular system and which no knob is not turned at some point. Playing this chaotically must be close to a workout at the local gym! The erraticness of sounds disappears a bit just before the 8-minute mark, and a slowly climbing pulse train creates a gorgeous moment of tension, after which the composition has a moment of rest, and the background layers get a bit more space to breathe. Then, a last hiccup from the evil noise maker himself before the synergy of the composition fades out as if there was a voltage depletion in the setup.
I said it earlier; I’ll repeat it once: I favourite Juice Machine so far. (BW)
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It is in an excellent, simple, yet very effective package, looking like a frame for a painting. I had not heard of End, Red Dress, from Breda in The Netherlands. I don’t know if it’s a group or a one-person project. There is a connection to Klitink, whom I also have not heard of, and I am unsure what the connection is. On Bandcamp, I read about End, Red Dress: drones broken loops electro-acoustics hints of feedback field recordings void and that this thirty-minute cassette contains recordings from 2008, waiting to be edited. The five pieces on the first side are relatively short and are more rooted in field recordings, and the side-long track on the other side is more drone-based. That’s not to say there are no instruments on the first side. In ‘series of untitled events, pt. 2’, the main instrument is a guitar. Still, throughout End, Red Dress uses a lot of highly obscure field recordings, footsteps in the sand, some broken and rusty fences around a piece of farmland, and all of that with some reverb to suggest atmosphere and texture. Maybe it’s all too much reverb, but it does the trick, and there is a fine, delicate, somewhat ambient-based mood.
I believe the same material may have been used on the other side, ‘it ambles the trail dulled, uneventful, and rest assured’, which takes on more of a collage-like approach at the start, which sets a chain of events in action, all quite electronic, going on a long disappearance act. It seems to have been gone at one point, but then it reappears and does the same act, again but faster. Overall, and I am talking about both sides of this cassette, the music is quiet; perhaps one would call this microsound, even when I am unsure if we still use that phrase. There is that sparse minimalism that we found in abundant quantities when microsound was a major thing, along with that ultimate vagueness of not knowing what kind of sounds and field recordings we’re hearing. Topped with that excellent package, this is a beautiful release. (FdW)
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