Number 218

L.O.S.D. – EXP900 (CD by Bake Records)
IL CORPO – OST by PIERO UMILIANI (CD/DLP by Easy Tempo Records)
KOZO INADA – a[] (CD by Staalplaat)
NIKO SKORPIO – DELTA AMOEBA (miniCD by Some Place Else)
DISCIPLINE – FOUR MOOGS (12″ by Paperplane)

L.O.S.D. – EXP900 (CD by Bake Records)
A recent release on Bake Records, this CD consists of two tracks, each 30
minutes long. Composed by Mr. L.O.S.D., who has in the past been
responsible for the quite amazing CD plus 5″ record ‘Organic’ (on LAB
Records), and a Staalplaat release in the Mort Aux Vaches series titled
‘The Man Who Made Radio.’ Both of these got me going, as do these new
tracks on EXP900. Low bass slithers out of the speakers and crawls up my
walls; pushing the air aside, it clears the way for faint rasping which
floats like a soft, ephemeral veil dancing at the mercy of tumbleweed wind.
Water (but its probably not) crackles somewhere off in the distance of this
huge breathing space. The second track is much more ominous, almost like
entering a cave of mysteries, where the darkness increases and the walls
narrow with each muted step. Whatever it is that lives here never shows its
face, although it gets too close sometimes, its soft, foreign whispers
spill secrets the mind can comprehend, but our tongues cannot articulate. A
graceful conversation between clear frequencies delicately woven on a fine
loom. Certain to induce dreams of the ‘other.’ And a brilliant cover by Ars
Design featuring a Hubble Space Telescope image – a perfect clue to the
audio content. Check it out, fearless droneheads. (MP)
Address: <>

IL CORPO – OST by PIERO UMILIANI (CD/DLP by Easy Tempo Records)
This soundtrack comes from a film starring Zuedi Araya, directed by Luigi
Scattini in 1974. The story is constructed on a sort of ‘The Postman Always
Rings Twice’ theme: bored wife of alcoholic/abusive/uncaring husband
seduces a drifter recently employed by her spouse, convinces the newcomer
of her desperation, and having shagged him into a state of submissive
intoxication, suggests that he does away with her Mister after which they
will shag some more. Overwhelmed by his furious passion, the seducee agrees
this is a very good plan indeed, and you have to see the film to find out
what happens next. Il Corpo was the final film in a trilogy directed by
Scattini, with soundtracks composed by Piero Umiliani, surely one of the
most prolific Italian composers of film music along with his contemporaries
Ennio Morricone and Lalo Schifrin. Easy Tempo intend to release the
soundtrack to ‘La ragazza fuoristrada’ soon; the soundtrack to ‘La ragazza
dalla pelle di luna’ (reviewed in an earlier Vital) came out last year. The
absolutely gorgeous Zuedi Araya, a ‘statuesque Nubian goddess,’ stars in
all three, and it’s probably quite an exhausting experience to watch them
all in one night.
Umiliani is ranked by many as the ultimate genius of orchestral jazz within
the world of Italian film soundtracks, and the music on this CD adds more
fuel to their argument.
(Don’t forget, Mr. Umiliani penned the song ‘Mah Nah Mah Nah,’ that has
been done by everyone from Moroder to The Muppets, and which is available
as a CD Single from this label, as is a CD of remixes of the track.)
Ranging from the sensual, breathy and erotic to soul funk, and featuring
the most far-out conga player I think I have ever heard (the trendy
chemical amusement aids must have kicked in as the engineer shouted
‘Rolling!’ or whatever the Italian equivalent is), this is another
incredible addition to the extremely worthwhile Easy Tempo catalogue.
A number of Umiliani’s soundtracks are still available from Easy Tempo and
they plan to release two new titles by him this year. One to watch.(MP)
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Loren Boyer is a free-noise guitar player from the Southern States,
although one wouldn’t tell from this CD: most tracks use a range of
instruments, but the guitar is not the favoured one, it seems. The pieces
are mostly experiments with sound, with the note that most sounds originate
from instruments (or voice). The overall sound quality is pretty raw, which
gives the work a rough edge, but it’s not really noisy. This is more
atmospherical stuff. Since this is a first release, it’s very difficult to
tell what direction Boyer is headed. From this CD it could go many ways:
the tracks are quite different and seem a collection of possibilities. This
is at the same time the weakness of it: it seems a little unfocussed. So
I’m not so sure about this one; you’ll have to find out for yourself. (MR)

KOZO INADA – a[] (CD by Staalplaat)
Well, when a CD looks like this, one would buy it only for the cover. Some
kind of transparent plastic sheet with a psychedelic design, the text
engraved on the jewel case and a red transparent plastic for the disc. WOW!
So what’s on this one: three tracks of austere minimalism. Track one starts
with one single click in a fast tempo, panning from one speaker to the
other, then fading into a 17 kHz or so sinewave, which is later followed by
a 30 Hz sinewave (or so). If you thought Ikeda was minimal, then check this
one out! Track two starts with a white noise in the left speaker, that
gradually increases volume. After one and a half minute there’s a cut to a
very low drone, that is very rich in texture. A high pithced whine
gradually increases in volume and then it all stops. Track three is
altogether different: the sound of water is manipulated in several ways,
before it turns into a sheer blast of noise, to be cut off suddenly, and
leaving us with the water sound from the beginning. Very interesting stuff
from a name I haven’t heard before. Let’s have some more! (MR)

I am only vaguely familiar with Knurl’s music, hearing bits here and there.
I was under the impression he is some heavy noise dude, but he is only a
part-timer. The cover is rather unspecified in what he uses, but my best
careful guess is electronics in combination with metallic sounds. The first
track and the last track are rather quiet, maybe subdued is better, dark
and bass end sounds, feedback delayed. Spooky in and outro. The three
tracks that form the body are particular noisy, with shrieks of feedback,
bangs on the oil drum and electronic distortion throughout. The combination
of the quiet versus the noisy tracks reminded me of the early work of
Daniel Menche, who did similar raw stuff but nevertheless sounded like it
was well thought. And seeing how he evolved, I think a nice future of Knurl
lies ahead. (FdW)
Address: <>

NIKO SKORPIO – DELTA AMOEBA (miniCD by Some Place Else)
This is my second encounter with Niko Skorpio and he progressed even
further towards popmusic, well his own form of it. Mutated, very slow
beats, with alienated, backward vocals. Not bad probably, but the mutations
of this kind are a bit beyond me. Too much mutation is no good either, I
think. More wacky then wicked. (FdW)
In case you want to check for yourself, remixes and bonus tracks are at:

A cover that looks very much like an old fashioned jazz LP, with two guys
behind their trumpet and piano. Playing the record, there are indeed
vaguely hints to jazz music – like plundered jazz music from vinyl and
stumps on a trumpet. The two musicians add a dose of samples, sounds, or
what have you got, and the result is strangely bumping music which has as
much to do with Jazz then the Rolling Stones with techno. Maybe I could say
“very nice” for the odd moments I raised my eyebrow, but throughout the
result was not exciting enough.
Address: <>

DISCIPLINE – FOUR MOOGS (12″ by Paperplane)
Paperplane is a small French label who releases such unknown bands as
Madrid and Discipline, who back their work with remixes by Pan American and
Bruce Gilbert (in Madrid’s case) and Darryl Moore of Soul Static Sound for
Discipline. Now of course it’s hard to ignore the title of this: ‘four
moogs’ bears ramifications of ‘four organs’ by Steve Reich: four similar
instruments play a tune which goes out of phase and back in phase again. A
simply but hallucinating idea. Discipline, the artist ego of one J. Ghosn,
takes this idea for a very low and very minimalist piece. It’s like a
gliding tone that is almost like a rhythm, which, surprise surprise, goes
out of phase and gradually fills the pallet of colours. Certainly
mesmerizing stuff for me, but somehow I don’t see Dj’s filling floors with
this. I’d rather saw a CD of this of course. Darryl on the flip may have
more luck, with his sped up sound moving between very low end and vey high
end. Rather a minimalist pick at techno, but a pick which is a tribute to
the founding fathers. (FdW)

I have known Vidna Obmana’s Dirk since we were both kids who weren’t
realizing what we were doing (I leave t up to you to tell if we do now).
Our interests were big time noise and we both grew beyond – I hope. There
was a time that I simply defied Vidna Obmana’s music as ‘too soft to be
good, read new age, but too dark to be called new age’. Last year however I
heard his more recent work, which were collaborations with others, such as
Serge Devadder (guitarist), Willem Tanke (church organ) and Asmus Tietchens
(concretist). I was surprised to see that Dirk was still so involved in
recycling other people’s sound and taking their material into his own
terrain, that of lush long keyboard patterns. So I was eagerly waiting for
his new, real solo CD in some time. Assisted by Joris de Backer (double
bass), Jim Cole (overtone singing) and Steve Roach (guitar), who no doubt
send their sound on tape, Vidna Obmana simply continues what he has started
in his way back. Dark hums of keycords, which hisses and hushes in harmonic
overtones. Even when it all seems smooth, it’s not. The overtones (in a
more metaphoric sense now) are dark, like watching the sky at night: you
see a lot of black, with small lights, endless amounts of small lights in
fact, but the background remains black. This is what Vidna Obmana
represents in his music, a dark sky but with the sense of light present,
and the assured knowledge that a new day will break at the end of the
night. And this album is just half of a two chapter work… More light in
the darkness to come. (FdW)
Address: <>

The continuos series of Metamkine’s series ‘Cinema Pour L’Oreille’
underwent some restyling, taking the design a bit more abstract. The second
edition in the new life is by Italian composer Martusciello, whose ties are
into composed electro-acoustica as Martusciello (but who are two brothers
in fact) and into improvised music, with Tim Hodgkinson as Ossatura. Here
however Maurizio Martusciello clears the job solo. He updated his sound (if
that is a saying of course… it’s probably less planned) and seeks
connection to the microwavers and glitch workers. Maurizio uses space, wide
open space, emptiness to give air to the sounds he is using. And those
sounds are small, clicks, hisses, a bang on a cup and all of a sudden the
sound of laughter. With this work he becomes a serious member of the Lopez
group (the quiet boys of the pack) and in particular I was reminded of Roel
Meelkop’s work (who I still don’t see lined up in this series – shame!) for
they use both sounds with a filmic character – more than some of the others
in this series. As you might have guessed by now, this is a more then
welcome addition to a series, which should be collected in it’s entirety,
and which lives up to it’s name. (FdW)
Address: <>

His first CD for The Leaf was not reviewed by me, not even heard by me, so
I can’t compare it. Apparently this guy is well-know throughout the whole
world except my house. In his eleven tracks he presents a kind of ambient
with a dash of techno (albeit kept to a strict minimum of repeating sounds
and maybe hummmm beats) and dash of pop music like the current glitchers do
(see last week’s review of Zammuto). Rather pleasant stuff, but nowhere
groundbreaking, innovative, just rather pleasant and entertaining. Nothing
more, but certainly nothing less. An average album, that is rated: OK.