Number 1434

Week 17

ORPHAX & KENNETH KIRSCHNER – MOVEMENT (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
FACTOR X – AT-ROCITY EXHIBITION (CD by Cheeses International) *
UTON – WHAT ON EARTH ARE WE DOING HERE (CD by Cheeses International) *
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE & KEN VANDERMARK – JAPAN 2019 (7CD by Catalytic Sound) *
MIG INC – MAIS LES MORTS AURONT LE WIFI (3″ CDR by Inner Demons Records) *
GAËL SEGALEN – AIRE DU MAQUIS D’EM (cassette by Tanzprocesz) *

ORPHAX & KENNETH KIRSCHNER – MOVEMENT (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

As much as I heard of Orphax’s music, music by Kenneth Kirschner a lot less. The last time might very well be in Vital Weekly 989, almost ten years ago. In my little (non-existent) book of information, I have Kisrchner down as a composer of ambient music, with the piano as his favourite instrument, among others, such as drinking glasses and electronics. Combining this with the drones produced by Sietse van Erve, also known as Orphax, is a great idea. Combinations of piano and electronics are a tested idea, going back to Harold Budd and Brian Eno. Still, in that case, the electronics coloured the piano playing, whereas here, we have two independent sources playing together. Orphax worked with piano sounds before, and in 2019, he approached Kirschner for collaboration. He received various piano sketches, adding a synthesiser and organ. The movement in the title is a reference to keep the music in motion without ever coming to a grinding halt. It’s also a reference to various movements within the piece, which lasts over 32 minutes, The first 15 minutes sound as one would expect such a collaboration to sound. Delicate shifting electronic sounds, buried piano tones, slow and only occasionally rising to the foreground. Sometimes, one recognises phrases; sometimes, they remain isolated tones. After about minute 16, the piano comes to the foreground, and it becomes clear that we have the sketches untreated and the electronics reduced. This section sounded more like modern classical music, something Orphax enjoys (he recently performed with the Maze Ensemble, much to the enjoyment of mainstream press – good for him!) as a musician and label boss, but I am less impressed. What follows shows more of these phrases, looped and again with the electronic parts a bit covered up; the loop we hear remains too much of a loop, effectively removing the mystery of the music. Some of the magic of the first 15 minutes returns only in the final minutes. Next time, a face-to-face recording? There are some powerful ideas here, and also a few misses, but that’s part of the game, I think of working together. Why not more pieces is another (minor) mystery. (FdW)
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The VW chief/editor forwarded me this release with a note explaining that he thinks he wrote enough about The Legendary Pink Dots and reviewed a previous version of this release in Vital Weekly 917. I replied I knew nothing much about this group, which prompted the boss to send a PDF of Freek Kinkelaar’s book ‘Close Your Eyes, You Can Be A Space Captain’, which chronicles the first ten years of the Dots. Whilst playing the music I read the book cover to cover (well, I had to play both CDs twice and a bit to achieve this). Kinkelaar neatly lists all Pink Dots releases, but ‘Traumstadt 2’ as such does not get a separate listing, and this is what is mentioned about the ‘Traumstadt’ series: “with the financial situation at a low point, the raiding of the Dots’ seemingly immense, ever-unending and kaleidoscopic archive was both an effort to bring order to chaos as well as an attempt to bring some money in. The unveiling started with releasing the Traumstadt-series, German for ‘city of dreams’ – five cassettes compiling various cassette-only albums and a selection of live and studio recordings from previous years. The cassettes featured homemade covers and were manufactured and sold by the Dots themselves from their soon-to-be Nijmegen headquarters.” As said, the Pink Dots were always under my radar; it was a name I heard in connection to things I like but I’ve never actively investigated, for no particular reason. As such, I do not know if ‘Traumstadt 2’ is a fine entry point to know more. From what I’ve heard, I wouldn’t say this is their typical 1980s sound. It is odd to consider they have been on many scene compilations with this material, as some of it I would classify as ‘pop music’: melodic, accessible, violin and guitar stuff. It makes me wonder: were hippies allowed in the cassette underground? Maybe their more experimental approach on some tracks puts the balance in their favour. For example, a piece like ‘World War Six’ sounds like a bunch of decaying reel-to-reel loops, slowed down, Basinski style. Singer Edward Ka-spel has a distinct voice: lively, vivacious and very present, though I have to say I have no idea what the lyrics are about most of the time. Quite enjoyable music, and ‘music’ it is, more so than my daily intake of the noisier variants. Some of this even put a big smile on my face, and that’s always a good thing. Perhaps yes, these are tracks from the dark 1980s, the apocalyptic Cold War mutual assured destruction never far away, but its musicality is hard to resist. I think I’m in for some further exploration of the Dotted realm. (LW)
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FACTOR X – AT-ROCITY EXHIBITION (CD by Cheeses International)
UTON – WHAT ON EARTH ARE WE DOING HERE (CD by Cheeses International)

It’s always good to see a Casio SK-1 mentioned on a very low resolution sampler cover with the capacity of a 1,4 second sample, which usually sounds not great. It is an excellent machine to create noise music. Whenever I see ‘Atrocity Exhibition’, my first thought is with the Joy Division, even when I know they got it from the J.G. Ballard book. The book, rather than the song, is the inspiration for Shaun Robert, also known as Factor X. Also listed are “instruments, cassette machine, tape loops, voice and radio”. According to the cover the music he recorded the music in 1991, and, as far as I know, it wasn’t previously available. I called Factor X a plunderphonic act before, but according to Robert, that’s not the case. The sounds he uses, he recorded himself, around the house. None of his original sounds are to be recognised through the lo-fi techniques he uses. You can think of Robert’s music as combining musique concrète, industrial music and noise. In the latter sense, his music is never too loud or an over-the-top blast, but it never goes all quiet. In each of the nine compositions, Robert uses a variety of sounds, shifting back and forth, and rarely stays too long in one place. With the shortest being merely a minute long and the longest five, you know the CD isn’t very long; only 24 minutes. One could argue it’s long enough, as he gets his point across very well, but I wouldn’t have minded an old-time classic length, 46 minutes, like the good old C46 cassette. The broken-down sound collages of Factor X sound like they have excavated from a pile of dirt and only been half-cleaned and played on old machines to leave in some more uneven magnetic particles. The only thing that springs to mind in terms of comparing this is the early work of Dutch music Odal, something I also love, so Factor X is in good company.
Cheeses International is one of those stubborn labels not to have a Bandcamp page, and no website, so where do they sell their stuff? Where do I find some information? I reviewed music by Finish group Uton before, and these days, it is the solo project of Jani Hirvonen. I only reviewed a handful of his releases over the years but his catalogue is enormous. I believe in the musical universe of Uton, electronics play a significant role, even when I have no idea if these are synthesisers with keyboards or modular ones. Listening to the five pieces on this CD provides no further clues, partly because I am not the tech nerd know-all about such matters. The music combines both ends and a truckload of sound effects. Suppose I had to guess how Uton works. In that case, I’d say he records a lot of parts into a multi-track program (or, who knows, an old-fashioned analogue recorder) and then finds his way in the mix, looking for constructions that work as a composition, whatever these constructions are something that seems to be. There is that element of cosmic music, without the arpeggios, of free interaction, adding that psychedelic element to the music. Or think of a stoned, out-of-his-mind composer of modern electronics or the non-keyboard electronics of Conrad Schnitzler. Whatever way, there is a lot of history in this music, a lot of tradition to build upon, and Uton does that in a great way. Meandering about, going in all sorts of directions, taking on the colours of the rainbow, it is, at the same time, organised enough to listen to without a similar amount of hallucinogens. Less drone-like than my last encounter with his music (Vital Weekly 1073), and while I have no idea if this is true, Uton takes on a slightly different musical trajectory here than what I know from him. Another damn fine work! (FdW)
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By now, you know Massimo Toniutti is the brother of Giancarlo, who is a bit better known. Massimi’s output was never massive and had various, prolonged periods of silence. What I know about his work is that much of it deals with objects and the space in which they sound—music from or for installations- which also work very well as a standalone piece. Silence also plays a significant role, yet the music never becomes too silent. This new work might be his most ambient work to date, and according to the label, he calls this his “personal musique d’ameublement”. There is also the mentioning of this, “a model of this work has been part of a permanent installation in a museum since 2013”, suggesting this to be an installation of some kind, and maybe the 55 minutes are something of a straightforward documentation. I don’t know. There are wind-chime-like sounds, more of a wooden than a metallic variation, and some irregular sounds. A thump on a drum, some singing sounds, drone-like and mysterious, all to arrive with some great irregularity. Maybe this installation (and I wished it had some photos on the cover) is one of those interactive things; if one thing moves, something else will move a bit later, a third one after that, stopping the first and so on. Maybe some amplification switches off and on, with the same irregular intervals. I am unsure, and perhaps I’m all wrong, but this is a great CD. At times, the music reminds me of Brian Eno, the slow percussive parts, but the electronics (should there be any) are, in some places, a bit too dark. Not for me, as I love this darkness, and this CD could have lasted three hours for all I cared. Nothing seemed to be in the same place, and the music had a constant, slow and minimal shift. One of the highlights of this week! (FdW)
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Because Nobuka, also known as Michel van Collenburg, from the lovely hometown of Vital Weekly, has a new CD he dropped on in my mailbox, adding the older, not reviewed ‘Fehrbelliner Str’ release. I could ignore this release, as it is from 2023, but for the narrative of this review, it works better if I also review this one. The ‘str’ thing in the title is ‘strasse’, the German name for ‘street’, and this street we find in Berlin, a city Nobuka calls his “home away from home”. The seven tracks suggested by their titles, Nobuka recorded in one week, starting on ‘Samstag’ and ending on ‘Freitag’, while staying in this fine city; we agree here. Berlin has all the markings of a big city, and yet there are also areas in which everything seems like being in a small, quiet city, which is one of the things I like. There are some field recordings, although heavily processed, bits of guitar sounds, acoustic objects, granular synthesis, drones, etc. He calls this album the most ambient one he ever did, and whle I don’t think I heard all his work, I surely agree this is a very ambient album. At times very much your standard, slow drifting ambient music, but Nobuko throws in some rougher shaped elements, such as the sharpish sounds on ‘Montag’. I very much enjoy this album, perhaps, because I am a sucker for all things ambient, albeit ambient with an edge. The length of the pieces ranges from five to ten minutes, and nowhere does the music seem rushed, and nothing seems to be taking too much space: a lovely quiet and unquiet album, a fine homage to a great city. Inside is a black and white booklet with photos from, I assume, the street.
The main reason for dropping something in my mailbox is the new album, ‘Finally We Are All Floating’, which Nobuka calls his ‘free-folk jazzbient’ album. It is also an album of working with other people. Marcus Hamblett plays trumpet and flügel on five pieces, Thomas Jaspers drums and percussion on seven, and Rutger Zuydervelt is present on four of them. Van Collenburg plays guitar and electronics on all eight pieces. His playing away on the guitar was the starting point, then adding and using modular synthesisers. In the next phase, he added the recordings delivered by his friends; I assume they recorded their parts at home, and Nobuka mixed these as separate parts where they fit best. I admit I didn’t find this easy music. Maybe the whole muted trumpet playing, the entire film noir aspect, is a worn-out cliche by now. In the chaotic ‘Bended Little’, every box of improvised music I don’t like is ticked. The even longer ‘Try As You Might’ and ‘Woke Up At Seven-Eleven’ sounded much more interesting. Obviously, my favourite pieces are those with the trumpet, both with Machinefabriek, which were delicately ambient-like and atmospheric, and the final piece, a duet with Jaspers, which had an excellent rainy-day presence. Throughout this album, there are some wonderful pieces and some that didn’t do much for me. I can see all eight pieces as part of the bigger plan Nobuka aims for, doing a different kind of collaboration with some other results and as such, he succeeds very well. (FdW)
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So far, I know Bertrand Gauguet as a saxophone player, playing improvised music with others. I missed his 2013 album ‘The Torn Map’, an electronic album. ‘Encerlements’ is his second electronic album; the title translates as ‘encirclements’. On the cover, we find the Latin phrase, ‘In Girum Imus Nocte Et Consumimur Ign’, which comes from the poet Virgil and means ‘we go round and round in the night and are consumed by fire’. The first seven pieces are simple: the first and second circle (in French, of course), etc., and the last is ‘En Route!’. We aren’t told what kind of electronics Gauguet uses, and I’m not mainly a nerd concerning this stuff. My best guess would be that this is modular synthesiser stuff. As always, it’s the result that counts. The eight pieces on this album are an exciting mix of glitchy material, drones, stuff that leans towards the noise end and some quite introspective parts. As I sat back in my chair, I couldn’t see the CD player, and I had no idea when a piece started or stopped. In a way, the entire 47 minutes of this album became one long, moving back and forth between various interests on offer from the machines. Listening to this as one long track gives the music more of the idea of a trip, from rocky passages to meditative landscapes, sometimes even shifting within a track, as Gauguet plays around with collage-like elements in his music. Gauguet has an excellent production, taking full advantage of the dynamic range. Deep bass sits next to piercing high ends, but the music never feels too loud or too quiet; it’s not a noise fest. It is a sturdy, heavy-weight release with, perhaps, no real surprises, but executed with great care. (FdW)
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Steven Wilson, here at Vital Weekly better known under his nom de plume Bass Communion, released another solo record last year. Starting with processed trumpet, which sounded awfully familiar and checking the list of musicians I read, that’s Nils Petter Molvær. I played his ECM record ‘Khmer’ many, many, many times when it came out in 1998—and ending with processed guitar. Ten songs, with the title song The Harmony Codex being the most Vital Weekliest of the songs, with its mesmerizing synth lines and changing chords. What can I say? The production is exquisite, with many details and chock-full of beautiful melodies, textures and transitions, so you have to keep an open ear. And that’s just the stereo mix. There’s also a BluRayAudio version with a Dolby Atmosmix and a remix version. And it’s spouse-friendly, as in I can listen to this in our car with an excellent sound system. Preferably to be played on volume eleven. Impossible Tightrope reminds me of a Frank Zappajam circa mid-seventies with Adam Holzman channelling his inner George Duke. Listen to this record and be surprised.
Bloody hell, what a trip this is. No psychedelics are needed. Oh, before I forget: Steven wrote a short story (published in his autobiography ‘Limited Edition of One)’ called ‘the Harmony Codex’. A short synopsis is this: “Two siblings, Harmony (the album’s namesake) and Jamie, travel on the underground to a London highrise skyscraper, get caught in the crossfire of a terrorist attack, and proceed to move up a never-ending staircase. The rest of the story is sorta of a David Lynch dreamlike sequence to whether what can be determined as real and a bit of sci-fi/possible extraterrestrial involvement gets introduced.” Courtesy of ThinWhiteDuke00 on Reddit. I leave it to the reader to make the connection. Once again, this is a record full to the brim with earworms and life-affirming melodies. Well done, Mr Wilson (and all the other musicians, including Pat Mastelotto, who played the drums on my favourite project incarnation (Number Three). Nuff said: listen to the record! Pronto! (MDS)
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The information tells us about two Niblock proposals arriving simultaneously with this label in the summer of 2022. One is “an overdue vinyl reissue of a CD release”, which we will hear of later (I’d rather see a CD reissue of ‘Niblock For Celli/Celli Plays Niblock’ or ‘Nothing To Look At Just A Record’). The other proposal was from Anna Clementi, working with Thomas Stern on a piece by Niblock for them called ‘Zound Delta 2’. Clementi is the voice here, and Stern plays slide guitar, bass and sound processing. It’s not a traditional Niblock piece, in some ways, at least. For starters, there’s a different kind of building of the piece. This time, it’s not starting and ending as a wall of sound, but from isolated voice material, the piece starts building, and other instruments, assuming slide guitar and bass here, add to the density of the piece that it arrives after some ten minutes. From here on, the music remains dense, but there are changes within the colouring of the piece. The two versions of the piece are pretty different. The first has a relatively linear building of the piece, whereas the second version, halfway through adds other voice sounds (or even acoustic sounds or field recordings) and then the piece starts building again, but not with the same density. The voice is the primary instrument in this version, whereas in the first version, the voice is on an equal level as the other instruments; or perhaps processed along in similar ways. I have a slight preference for the first, perhaps, because this seems closer to Niblock’s sound world, and in the second, the music veers towards improvisation a bit more. Both pieces make up for some interesting variation in the well-known Niblock territory, and that alone is great, but the results are excellent also. (FdW)
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In my formative years, when I was 16, I heard about bands but needed more money to buy their records. Later on, thanks to the possibilities of downloading, I caught up with bands like Wire, Talking Heads and Tuxedomoon. While I like some or all I heard, none of the music is with me as some of the bands I heard in 1982 (Joy Division, A Certain Ratio or Throbbing Gristle). When you are older, this is a difficult task. Beyond Tuxedomoon, what do I know of the solo careers of their various members? Not a lot, but violinist Blaine L. Reininger is the most active. For me, ‘Ghost Festival’ is like hearing a musician for the first time, even when I’m sure I listened to some of his other solo records in the past. The Ghost Festival isn’t a festival of new music but an annual event held in Asian countries to honour and appease restless spirits. This is a concept album around the notion of such a festival, but also about passing on and the world hereafter. Had I not read these liner notes, I could have as easily imagined this to be an album of thirteen pieces of pop music, well of one kind or another. Mostly instrumental pieces in which keyboards play the leading role, but also there is quite a bit of violin and vocals. In his synthesiser approach, Reininger takes inspiration from cosmic music or even a bit of new age (such as with the harp in ‘Nova Chord’). Still, he balances this with more rock-like drum machines, up-tempo and, so I believe, joyous melodies. At times, it felt there was a prog rock streak to the music, full-on keyboard stuff, but within the overall album, it works very well. It’s an album that grew more and more, perhaps because it’s not music that I review a lot, or a general lack of familiarity with Reininger’s music in particular or this kind in general, without even knowing how to dine ‘this general’ anyway.
There are four things I know about Snakefinger: he played with The Residents, effectively being the one member with a name; he got his name from the way he played the violin; he’s no longer with us, and I heard his cover Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’. Following some work with pub rock bands in the UK, he went to the USA where he recorded ‘Chewing Hides The Sound’, released by Ralph Records in 1979. The Residents play on some of these pieces. Recently an alternative mix of the album was found, which the Residents made as part of a tribute to Phil Lithmann’s passing in 1987. This is now on the second disc of this package, plus three further bonus pieces on the first disc. Unlike what I just wrote about discovering bands at a later age, I am convinced I had not heard this album before, just ‘The Model’, opening up the first disc. There is a particular weirdness about Snakefinger’s music, with jumpy rhythms, scratchy guitars and weird vocals throughout. All of which is quite funny and strange. Certainly comparable to the 1970s music by The Residents, but throughout keeps a more conventional structure for his songs, especially on the regular 1979 version. In the alternative 1987 version, the music is way more broken up and more in the style of The Residents in the 1980s. Quite an interesting variation on that material can be found on this second disc. All of which is too far away from the usual musical interests of Vital Weekly, other than Klanggalerie serving another interesting historical lesson. (FdW)
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Norwegian drummer Nilssen-Love and Boston-based reeds player Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone) have a longstanding musical relationship. Their first duo recording came out in 2002. And since then they played numerous concerts together as a duo and with guest musicians. Apart from the duo, they played and played in several groups over the years: Lean Left (with the guitarists of the Ex), Atomic/School Days, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, and Double Tandem (with Ab Baars), to name a few. Here is the documentation of five concerts of a 16-date tour in Japan. The limited box edition consists of seven discs, each documenting a date at a specific location or a whole set, a whopping six hours of music. In their eighties and accomplished pianists Masahiko Satoh and Yuji Takahashi join the dynamic duo in a few sets. Disc three is a trio of Nillsen-Love with the two Japanese pianists: forty minutes of four hands on two pianos and a drummer with two hands and two feet. Satoh and Takahashi play as if they are one body with four hands and with music that borders on chamber music with an implicit, steady tempo. Nillsen-Love accentuates that steadiness with assorted accents, letting the two pianists be on the centre stage. On another disc, Akira Sakata joins the duo. He’s in a long-standing trio with Nillsen-Love and Johan Berthling (double bass) called Arashi (not to be confused with the Japanese boyband!). I saw them last year, together with Soundbridge (another group featuring Ken Vandermark). That was an impressive set. Akira uses his voice to mimic Japanese as if performing an ancient ritual. Here, there’s only a relatively short track of eight minutes that features Akira on vocals. For the rest of the disc, he plays clarinet and alto saxophone. I could dissect the discs musically, one by one. But that would be an immense task and beside the point here. Suffice it to say that all musicians play on an extremely high level. It all flows naturally. If you think there’d be a lot of repetition on the seven discs, you’ve got it wrong. These gentlemen are bursting with ideas. And yes, there are segments where the spirits of free jazz are set loose in a controlled, Zen-like manner. That sounds like a contradiction, but it all follows logically in the stream of creative (and musical) consciousness embedded in the musicians. This is an outstanding release, capturing two musicians on disc with legendary Japanese musicians. It’s a feast to listen to them. (MDS)
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It’s an album that is against conspiracy theories. I am already loving it before hearing the music. “In the past several years though, those Christian right-wing conspiracies of my youth have become more absurd, more toxic, more hateful, more violent, more virulent, more racist and even more paranoid here in America. No big surprise there. However, they have also become mainstream – with approximately 15-20% of Americans believing in Q-Anon at this time.” To me, it’s no surprise that Christian right-wing people believe Q-Anon; they are Christians anyway, always open to fairytales. I don’t think I heard music by Craig Varian, the person behind 400 Lonely Things, and from what I understand, the music is almost all based on samples they found left and right, “obscure films about war and tribal identity, and from obscure devotional music”, but none is all too recognised. The thematic approach is not in your face very much (not like Christians), and maybe the music works on a much more personal level for Varian. What for him is a straightforward thing might be obscure for someone else. It all depends on the movies we see and the tribal identity we adhere to. What I like about the music is the message is only there on a subliminal level. It’s merely suggested, and the samples played from a great ambient industrial backdrop. Using extensive delay over looped orchestral sounds, voices and textures, the music reminded me of Zoviet France. Very spacious, very dense, occasionally a bit noisy, but with eyes firmly locked on the ambient and atmospheric aspect of the music. With some excellent results, I might add. Each of the ten pieces is a lengthy exploration of ideas, each unfolding minimally, with dashes of shorter loops forming blocks of rhythm and lengthier ones used as textures. This album is long, 77 minutes, but there are enough variations and ideas that kept me listening and prompted me to start the album again when I was done. (FdW)
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In recent weeks, Vital Weekly has seen many releases by Inner Demons Records from Florida. The reason is that when they release a batch, they release a batch. This time, I received around 20 3″ CDs and a few 5″. Because doing everything in one run would be overkill, we’ve decided to sneak in a couple each week. So this week, there will be a few again, starting with Fencepost and “This Atrocious Nursery.”
The four tracks on “This Atrocious Nursery” are inspired by ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman from 1892. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature for illustrating women’s attitudes towards mental and physical health in the 19th century (quote from promo sheet). Written as entries into a journal, I can only guess – not having read the story myself – the four tracks refer to four entries in the journal. The actual story has been included in the download, so if you get this release, you can enjoy words and sounds together, just like with VW each week.
The music on here is highly disturbing. It’s not noise in the physical sense, but it’s incoherent as hell, and I can relate to the sounds describing a deteriorating mental state: a ‘gradual descent into obsession and madness’ (promo). Looped sounds from a prepared piano are recorded and manipulated into five-minute tracks, creating a surreal atmosphere. The journey through sounds ranging from bowed piano strings to sounds from outside, chaotic behaviour…
A final fun fact: His / her / prior release on Inner Demons was titled ‘Henry: Preparation of a Serial Killer’, so I can’t wait for the next release … There are more than enough psychopaths to choose from these days. (BW)
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MIG INC – MAIS LES MORTS AURONT LE WIFI (3″ CDR by Inner Demons Records)

I had to use a translation tool for the meaning of “Mais les Morts Auront le Wifi”, but it means ‘But the Dead Will Have Wifi’. My French is not what it has been, maybe it’s why I spend more holidays in Germany. But Mig Inc. is Gabriel Berteaud from Bordeaux, France, and through this release, we learn that he thinks before he talks, but at the same time, he talks without thinking and thinks without proving that he is. Bear with me; I’ll explain.
I’ve read the promotional text on Bandcamp a few times and the text there pictures a pretty good image of the world. Fatalistic and misanthropic, but hey, I’ve been both a fatalist as well as a misanthrope (or sociopath) all my life. I love noise, drones and anything extreme, I suspect. But in this world Gabriel describes that he and his music are like the apples growing from an apple tree. Why does an apple tree give apples, because it’s what it does. There might be no other reason to do things than ‘because’. And so Gabriel describes his music as what he does, no reason other than to be a part of the equilibrium of existence. To resonate with others without a specific goal to influence others; To be. Not to add a meaning but just to be.
So, no, this is a review where I will NOT go in-depth about what I’m hearing. It would be cheating, or it would be like telling you about the end of the book when you’ve all just started reading and you’re still in the first chapter. And I’m not going to give a direction of a style or project that sounds alike, because it would already taint your carte blanch/tabula rasa. If this review speaks to you, you should take the time to listen and see if the music resonates with you. And that’s all I can write about this one. (BW)
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Three tracks in between 6 and 7 minutes are on this one. And from what I didn’t find on the interwebz, this is the first release (self-titled). And since another has already released on the same label but… I’ll save that one for another time. So no, The internet comes up with some other Mademoiselles, but I couldn’t find any connection to noise or experimental art. So I don’t know who this is or is, no background, no location, nothing—only the music to go from and a little text on Bandcamp about how it was made.
The three tracks have some poetic titles like “Passion in Nature”, “To the Buried That Repose Around Us”, and “That of Which the Ultimate is Composed”. The music has been created within the digital domain, and all tracks use the same sound source, the sound of a trigonometric function. And I do love a little mathematics, so that may be why I love some noise more than others. If people ask me why I love noise, my most frequently given answer is that I subconsciously look for recurrent patterns well hidden within chaos. Like slow movements when everything is hectic, or a particular filtered frequency or a pattern of LFOs on an additional sound moving through the audio image being drawn.
A good example of a noise track that makes it less chaotic is the second track of this release. It was beautifully done, and it reminded me at moments of NAMANAX. And if you know me, I don’t say that very often, so that’s a compliment in my book. (BW)
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GAËL SEGALEN – AIRE DU MAQUIS D’EM (cassette by Tanzprocesz)

From French composer Gaël Segalen, I reviewed an LP before her third release, ‘Sofia Says’ (Vital Weekly 1205). Now, there is a new cassette with two side-long compositions, totalling forty minutes of music. In my previous review, I mentioned something from the information about it: “danceable field recordings”, which wasn’t on the last release. Segalen studied at GRM, and we quickly found traces of electro-acoustic music, field recordings and lots of processing in her music. Musique concrète certainly is a term that one can latch onto this music. However the results are far from traditional musique concrète, or acousmatic music. Segalen uses ideas and concepts from that world but also borrows from the world of glitches, drones, noise and such and also, in her compositional approach, things work slightly differently. The first side contains a live recording from 2018, ‘Coquie Flair, Travel Air. Volt Avers’, consists of drones mingling with glitches and suppressed voice material, quite drone-like but builds towards a rhythm-induced fest at one point. I’m unsure if this is ‘zum tanzen’ or generated from processed field recordings, but it sounds great—thunderous rhythm material without a strict 4/4 beat. ‘Zizanke Iveaie’, on the other side is a bit shorter and is also from 2018. Here, she started with rhythm, again more complex and not dance beats, with drone pitches and granulations. In this piece, the beats keep a strong presence and change throughout. Both pieces have an unusual density and very rarely, if at all, allow for some patience or quietness. If there is a collage-like aspect, it’s more within the slow shifts of music and not via complex edits. An excellent cassette, different from a lot of other material and something with a personal identity! (FdW)
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It looks like a digipack, but it’s a USB device: the latest compilation from Degem. Folkmar Hein compiles this particular edition. He was the director of the electronic music studio from the TU in Berlin, and in 1991, he co-founded Degem, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische Musik e.V. — German Society for Electroacoustic Music) supports electroacoustic music and sound art within Germany as well as internationally.” In 1994, Gein commissioned a piece of music and then, every four years, a new one, and since 2013, this has become an annual thing. One piece, by Robin Minard, is lost, but the others are on this USB device, celebrating Hein’s 80th birthday. Sixteen pieces in total, and it’s a USB, so time is aplenty here; the longest is over an hour, the shortest eight minutes. Furthermore, there are another 93 (!) pieces of 65 seconds, works created for Hein’s 65 birthday in 2009. Altogether, some four and half hours worth of music. I’ll be honest: I didn’t hear all of this. It is simply too much (and yes, I know, I could play a few daily and so on), and I get the idea. These are works of electro-acoustic music, some by people whose names I recognised (Jonty Harrison, Natasha Barrett, Trevor Wishart, Gilles Gobeil, Anne vande Gorne, Hildegard Westerkamp, Kees Tazelaar), but also a lot of new names. Names from the world of Empreintes Digitales and works accordingly. There are many computer treatments of acoustic sounds, but also, quite interesting, some collages of pure acoustic sounds and a lot less electronics. I thought the short pieces were quite funny. I quickly lost my way in there, who doing which piece, but some of these showed a lighter side to the world of electro-acoustic musc, which is worked quite well. (FdW)
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