Number 254

– (CD by Zanfonia/Hronir)
DJ FLUID – FUTURETROPIC {Afro Brazilian Electronic Beatscapes} (CD by Om)
NO WATCHES, NO MAPS (CD compilation by Fat Cat)
OSCID – OPENING SWEEP (CD by Ash International)
ULTRASOUND – HAMESH (CD by Another Autonomy)
KIM CASCONE – PARASITES (3″ CD by Anechoicmedia)
MOTORLAB # 1 (CD compilation by Kitchen Motors)
MIMIT – CC/BB (LP by Sigma Editions)
ULI TROYER – NOK (3″CD by Mego)
FENNESZ / ROSY PARLANE – LIVE (3″CD by Synaesthesia)
MUSIC 1994-1999) (CD by Leaf)

Slight and surreptitious words preface tunnelled sounds emergent as fuzzy
little ducks from the woods. There is a sense of reinvention in the
shuddering taps that come clean. A tubular whinging takes its place –
saliva bobsleds down the track in a loogie luge. There is also a sense of
humour (vitreous and good-natured) about the sounds. Circular breathing? A
curling travel down, across and away, flowing on the membranes of
Immediacy drips from the bell of the instrument as sounds snake out and
break out. Your pipes duet with some later sounds, and up pops Nancy from
her nap, awakened by a dripping tap. And I SWEAR this to be true: a siren
in the background here in Los Angeles coincides with the siren in the
background of the recording. Suddenly, fortuitously – coincidentally?
The crickets overflow and mate inside the scuffling instrument. Attracted,
as they are, by the sound. But, it’s not as if these “other” environmental
sounds are lost on the person playing alongside them. There’s quite a lot
of listening occurring, it would appear… (DC)

Sounds that are so soft that they require some amount of headphone
mindfulness. The kunstkopf is in full effect as the voices neighbour one
ear, then the next. Transmission – but how exact can it be? The cover
reveals a floating body in water. Pacific? Buzzing sounds a call and
sublimates with rumbling. What correlation does the artwork have with the
sounds, vis-a-vis vice-versa? And, of course, the mutual invasion of other
worlds that comes with space exploration shall kick up the spores of even
more archetypes aligned with these sounds…
A grinding, one-legged beat kicks ass until the echo tones interrupt.
Then, the beat returns, summoning up similar spectres in a cavalcade of
corrupting cacophony. The voices drift back in and out of the frame,
running with the ever-present glitchticks of imperfection. The phantom
lighthouse sounds its foghorn call and the final, inexorable sea washes it
all into memory with one inevitable thud… (DC)

Kid 606 orchestrates the tuning-up of his “Dandy”. Its tapping and
gleaming points a diamond at you. Johannes Fink finds out what the funk is
going on and thereby gets the funk out by way of organ and snare. His
electronic ants enter the machine and gnaw a headnodding arc of panic and
q’ul. Hairy Butter (“I like…no, I don’t…” – a rorschach) enters, on
beathoisted hands, with some sort of music for driving and driving away the
blindness of the setting sun. Thunder and jazz ensues.
The Remote Viewer idly snaps fingers while tiny organ lines hover in thin
air. Another remote viewer, possibly on koto, joins inn. Alternative 3
burns the rhythm deeply into the flange as a gossamer gull melody glides
along, guiding it through a concrete jungle of horns, vibes and the
occasional voice. And now, Hrvatski gallops across the chromatic scale,
horns honk and urge speed like he was supposed to be running from Elm St.
They Came From the Stars lauds rum, against the versus onslaught of the
London Toy Orchestra – wheee! Kaboom, zing, crash and where is
onomatopoeia when you need him? Manning the Cheeses International stall at
Rective, most likely. Max Tundra brings the peace with a piece of
pacemaking known as the club mix. Oddly enough. Runaround? I’ll take
Joan Jett, thanks so much! I hereby bring the inaugural meeting of
C.A.S.S.D. (Composers Against Soul-Singin’ Divas) to order, however.
Order, please!
Ivan Seal and Benedict Drew tapdance into the meeting without so much as a
“hello”. With chalk and cuckoo clocks, they rush this way and that. Thank
you, gentlemen. Ceephax cultivates his melody in the interstellar
tradition and it duets with the pouring of a drink. Much like the Addie
Brik/Richard Thomas liquid static sound that follows. The dinging of glass
and then drums and stringing; a picking through of possibilities. Cursor
Miner – the pop song. A clinking on glass and the imploration to samba
with Cursor and/or Miner. Rothko – speech over the drone of strings and
the aftertaste of voyeurism. And this is the legacy of teaching? Jean
Baptiste’s pans bang, and strings effervesce. The tweet tone of the
triangle. A wobbling and creakiness – soundtrack to the end of a world, or
at least, a smaller moon?
The VL-Tone drums hugely through a haze of ancestry and progress. It
covers the surrounding memorytime like a quilt of looking-back. It summons
an incarnation of times one knows one is cool but can get none to believe
it. Leis farts a hornet into compact disc air and there is a video game
gamely lurking in all of this. This is not to denigrate farting, however –
all hail Mr. Methane, from Manchester UK!
ST now with the block – a pleasant pop paladin that your compilation
cassettes will love in their final minutes. Santa Dog laps the guitar
lying dejectedly outside the Antenna Farm (different group now, keep up
keep up!), which lustily regales the open sky with the Frequency (now
another group) of a hound in heat. Wobbles and wardles – a shake of the
unexpected. C PIJ Obscura picks the guitar back up, wiping off dogslobber
in a backward tone. In the heavens above, the stars hesitate before
tumbling to a place between the atmosphere and the ground and is it
purgatory? Sensum takes the residue from this starsound and boils it down
to a simmering sea of delayed voices. Delayed voices – a compilation? (DC)

The pulsing thrum of the heady fuck music glow cracks and crumbles beneath
a charge of snowstorm static. Scree moves to excoriating – excoriated? –
words and then the icy movements of a slayer’s flayer, raising feedback
weals with the speeded invisible whipstroke. But victory over what?
Against whom? It is not for nothing that Hanoi Hannah addresses US GI’s in
Vietnam as “adversary” and not as the “enemy”. And, too, the inset photo
of the Wotan Clan can be seen as heshers, or hessians. The sounds come
fractured, stillborn – snow men, made and destroyed time and again by a
restless creator. At lower levels, this fuck music will help plants grow.
The voices vanish in the spiralling fade of sound. A trope on propaganda,
now – very educative – is carried in on the front legs of a spider,
exploding across the landscape, escaping into the tendons of tinnitus for
the short while that it exists. A speech on resistance follows, obscured
by the stutter of drumbeats. It wears itself down into oblivion as the
rumbling continues, as do the staticked clouds that descend in harpied
splendour. A final riposte about social surgery – the expunging the weak
from an unknown society in an unseen way. Mysterious and succinct. But
just what society amongst societies? (DC)

Wherein a sound bank is established by one of the Young Gods as La Batie
Festival and several individuals make withdrawals and deposits.
Scanner comes out of the corner with very adept typing and where are the
cheers? Whither goeth the “live sound”? It’s slightly reminiscent of the
letter sent to Maximum Rock’n’Roll where the author thanked the punks for
buying the bootleg Misfits cd. Said recording was merely old 7″s played on
a boombox to a chorus of drunken, bawdy friends and then remastered.
To Rococo Rot further steep the equasion (and in this corner) with the
eternal cheep of deep space transmission and the opening of a package of
Tang. Their reflective, meditative tones hearken back to a picking up of
rocks on earth which make the moon glow silver. Bump and Grind – do just
that. Of course, as there are 360 degrees in a circle (and even more in an
oven) – so, too, are there as many ways to describe the movement. It’s
upbeat and beat-up. Reversal of coin and the train is entering the
David Shea rides the graviton rainbow from poor Barugon’s back, through the
aviary and down amongst the primordial soap. Lathering in whisltes, he
nodnods the beat into curlicued existence, slap slap slap slap. Rehberg
and Bauer shuffle their scratches through the fleshy bond that has by now
no doubt formed between them after so many releases. Tubular whorls of
sound stretch, totally awesome, from their computer world and what food was
served at La Batie? What fueled part or all of this? Extra sound ticks at
the imagination and bursts free as a question.
Second cd-ed DJ Olive herds a crowd of crows across the devotional pipe
organ/acetylene torch combo. They disperse – thoughts of Graeme Revell
drummed into their heads. The scratches are slowed down to a bacterial
consistency, flitting here and that way like the orgone energy you see in
the very blankness of this page. It ends(?) with the screaming of the
jingle-lilies. Kreidler delves into that sambaesque underworld, drying out
a bottle of loneliness. It is as thought you’ve waited in the car for the
bomb to explode and your wristwatch beats louder than your heart. Yes,
YOU. The snapping of the timing mechanism; the hiss of the fuse. A
narrowness edges on, into the eardrums. A ghasp and the loop of sirens –
faint contents under pressure? And no sound has blossomed up that sounds
like any other from the sound bank; the mother box.
Vincent Haenni plucks the umlaut from his name and punches holes into a
stainless steel pan to fit them. After this, the tension crescendoes until
until until the bass and popping locks onto the speakers. The explosion of
the previous comments knocks pipes to the pavement periodically and the
rain begins to fall. Finally – on to Stock, Hausen and Walkman. These
emperors of A.D.D add carnal knowledge of anarchy (the nice, apolitical
kind) into the bank, replacing the notes with portraits by Boggs and is
this why there’s no group that follows them on this copulation? They drop
sonic stalactites onto stalagmites of sound, so turvy-topsy is the
pressured process. In the end, they refrain from trying to get the car
keys they’ve dropped in the lava, because hey, man – they’re gone.

The birds fly free and the woman’s voice calls for the best of. Did he
forsee his own death, when writing any of the later pieces? Intrigue is
tendered and whither goeth the lowered truck through the streets of Tel
Aviv, blastin’ these songs? Oh, and typos rock. “Fatah Guerilla” raids
Messmer’s tomb and projects all the power that it contains. The boulders
roll off the top of the sepulchre, into the sandy pit below. What criteria
were used to cull these tracks? There are so many from which to
choose…it is unclear.
And yet the majority of re views treat his work as a headstone, rather than
a hope.

– (CD by Zanfonia/Hronir)
These are the first four volumes of the Objectieve Composition Method
series (M.C.O.) by Victor Nubla. He is known for his work with Macromasso,
a group that started back in 1976. In 1980 Nubla started a solo career and
he has released a massive corpus of his own work under his own name. He
founded his Laboratorio de Musica Desconocida (Unknown Music Laboratory)
and worked in improvisation, electronic experiments, soundscape,
instalations and music for cinema, video, theatre and contemporary dance.
With these four cds Nubla presents an aspect of his work that is the result
of several years (1997-1999) of experimentation with the socalled Objective
Composition Method. What this method implies is best explained by Nubla
himself: “I was trying to find the answer as to what could be the best way
to obtain the widest possible range of sound sources. Although there are
few answers around the subject I decided that radio waves could be the
closest possible sound source library available at hand. Even if all the
sounds of the world are not on the radio waves at least they come from all
over the world. Once the decision was made on the sound sources, I
proceeded on to the next step which was to disconnect the loudspeaker in
order to not to listen to the incoming sounds from the short wave radio
thus avoiding the temptation of ‘choosing’. This in turn allowed me to pick
up ‘unconsciously’ any possible incoming sound or not sound, be it
frequencies, noises, hisses or whatever it was that was out there
fluctuating in the radio waves. Working with short wave radio I had access
to hundreds of radio stations around the planet as well as interferences,
flapping noises including the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) or ‘Big
Bang’s echo’. Essentially this is how the Objective Composition Method
(MCO) was born in 1989.”
He uses a multiband recorder, sampler, multitrack recorder, dat and
headphones in the following subsequent operations: 1. determination of
pychic fields, 2. exact obtaining of risky samples; 3. generation of loops
and sequences; 4. irreversible mix. For Nubla it is absolutely not
important what he has sampled. Important is only that the samples are
taking from the radio. It is not important where the samples come from.
They are ‘bits of reality’ abstracted from their context. They function as
basic elements for Nubla to construct his own world. He is not interested
in a conscious process of selecting soundmaterial. He searches for a
unconscious and emotive response to the material. Loops, repetition, speed
are the structuring elements used by Nubla that are very obvious for me as
a listener. But probably he uses more techniques. His music is not complex,
instead it has a minimalistic simpelness that works (DM).
Address: <>

DJ FLUID – FUTURETROPIC {Afro Brazilian Electronic Beatscapes} (CD by Om)
Africa and South America are some of our last frontiers of experimentation.
Why should William Bennett and Embryo have all the fun? Soliman Gamil
previously had some amount of fun, but he’s dead now. But are those
rhythms so immune to experimentation and cross-pollination? Consider this
a call – we are distant cousins, even if one relative gets more sex than
the other, koff koff…
The beats flow seamlessly together – a spacesuit for exploring foreign
towns. The woman’s voice summons the words, teases them out of the quiet
and ashes. Artificial strings vine their way along the breadth of the
rhythm and there is a longing now pronounced. But how is it pronounced?
What sort of leeway might one have to create within Afro Brazilian
electronic beatscapes?
Movement and longing: the aching, inevitable combination that makes the
world go ’round. But is this world really as sad as it seems? (DC)

The odd thing about ersatz “soundtracks” is that the musicians generally
have the means with which to produce the film upon which they’ve based the
music. These sounds race steeped in archetypes – solid, brooding and
anticipatory. There are many atmospheres from which to choose by why so
few? The bridge between funk and experimental music was opened some time
ago and may still remain open. Who’s going to cross it?
Possible samples flit and weave. Interludes? Quaaludes? Does a recording
enter a different kind of scrutiny when it’s associated with film? And what
about the mind of the musician? What images does the music mean to
transmit? There is a meditative aspect to the groove – a medicated aspect?
For health and general overall welfare?
It ends with the upbeat tone that is somehow simultaneously suspicious – a
bright outlook stretching to the horizon that can only be completely
appreciated by looking over your shoulder…

NO WATCHES, NO MAPS (CD compilation by Fat Cat)
Some labels are still on the side of idealism, rather then grabbing the
cash. I will not discuss any others here, but Fat Cat is certainly one of
them. Those are not knowing: Fat Cat grew out of the techno scene as an
independent record label, releasing techno, next to noise next to
post-rock. From the outside they seem to do well, so the Fat Cat
headquarters are being flooded by demo’s. Having some experience of me own
on demo’s, I know the feeling. 75% is bad – let there be no doubt about it.
People presenting their stuff too early. 5% is ok and worth considering,
but it’s that difficult 20% which gives the A&R guy a headache (and that’ss
why A&R stands for Alcohol & Restaurants). Because a demo can have a good
track or more, but on the whole it’s not good enough. What to do? Fat Cat
found a good solution: take the best tracks, make a compilation CD and thus
new bands present themselves, albeit via one track, but it’s better then
nothing. And it wouldn’t be Fat Cat if the same style diversification would
be all over the place. From digital glitch distortion to lush post rock to
ambient techno. I could describe every track in detail, but since these
names mean nothing, I won’t. Only Bexar Bexar recentely released a LP on
Elevator Bath, Duplo Remote a 12″ on Fat Cat and Mokira made the best
cross-over from being unknown to …? He has a CD out now on Rastermusic
and there is one to come for Force Inc. Sending demo’s can be worthwhile.
Fat Cat continues supporting young talent via their website, which will
also feature indepth information on how to Do It Yourself. And being
something of an old punkrocker myself, I’d say: Home taping is killing the
music biz, so do it. (FdW)

OSCID – OPENING SWEEP (CD by Ash International)
Oscid is the name chosen by such busy bees as Graham Lewis (of Wire, Dome,
He Said fame), CM von Hauswolff (Phauss and king of Elgaland-Vargland) and
Jean Louis Huhta, from the Lucky People Center. This, their second CD, was
recorded live at an event that lasted over five hours. Before the audience
entered, the floor was swept, but the three had started. From this start
until 75 minutes later is what it is on this CD. Marked as one track which
makes it hard to pin favourite passages or skip boring ones (besides being
a nightmare for you DJs out there), this is best described as laptop cum
MD-J’s, toying around sounds of their own, aswell as music from others (I
recognized a large portion by the band Goem). They capture some good
moments and in some they are searching for a good groove, which is to be
understood here in no rhytmical conncection. Even when the good moments
outlast the lesser ones, I can’t get it out of my head why the entire
concert wasn’t edited and the best moments from the entire concert spliced
together? A critical, objective ear could have been a great succes I think.
Now this CD gets the mark: quite alright. (FdW)

ULTRASOUND – HAMESH (CD by Another Autonomy)
These are harsh times: microwave is dead, postrock is dead; what happens
next? Luckily there are still people from a particular angle that continue
to push their own things, and move forward. Ultrasound for instance. Having
released a handful of LP’s and one CDR with very dark, very static and very
droning music (plus being silent for some time) comes back with a 11 track
CD (as opposed to his 1 track per LP side approach) which is a distinct
break from the past. One can recognize distinctive groups of tracks: there
are four small pieces of environmental sound (like interludes between
tracks), the usual drone pieces, three tracks that involves vocals in the
best mumbling pop tradition (ie unrecognizable as to their content), and
some beautiful “ensemble” pieces, like ‘Phyrgian In E’. Almost classical in
approach with a score written for viola, baritone sax, guitar. Very sad and
melancholical, must be the time of year, but in all its sadness beautiful.
Being eclectic myself, I like every approach on this CD, save for the
tracks with the vocals. Those are musically alright, but the wordless
humming is not for me. I am curious to hear in which direction Ultrasound
might develop… but I can say, I’d like to hear more of that classical
stuff. (FdW)

KIM CASCONE – PARASITES (3″ CD by Anechoicmedia)
Maybe to some people, Kim Cascone is known as one of the glitches, with
releases on Ritornell or Rastermusic. Maybe to some people, Kim Cascone was
known as one of ambient house guru’s, with his Heavenly Music Corporation
and landmark releases on his own Silent Records. But if your hair is really
grey, and mine is, you remember Kim Cascone as PGR, the ambient
industrialists on the same Silent Records. Ambient industrial, but I dare
say with a touch improvisational elements. If I remember correctly he
called it ‘accidental imbrication’. It was in those days that Kim visited
AMM guitarist Keith Rowe and that he recorded some of his improvs on
guitar. Nothing was done with those recordings, but they were recentely
unshelved by Cascone and mixed. Now a single piece mini CD is released,
which is square shaped!
It would have been nice to know what would have been the result if Kim
mixed this when it was made, so we had something to compare. I bet it would
have sounded ooops more conventional, with more recognizable guitar sounds.
Now the sound is a hugh ambient cloud which swirl around, vaguely looking
from the sky upon us. The sound of the guitar is almost completely removed,
save for some occasional 1/10 of a second. It’s a beautiful piece that
slowly evolves and unfolds. I wonder what it will sound like in 10 years.
The same label released another square shaped CD by Kim Cascone, which
contains more recent work, and which differs quite a bit from the albums on
Ritornel and Rastermusic, or from the above work with Keith Rowe. These are
20 short and much shorter tracks, orignating from processings done on the
good ol’ laptop. Short and witty, with per track an idea, that quickly
develops and then moves on. Microscopic stuff, with many cracks in the
vaults. Fits well in the microwave scenery. (FdW)

MOTORLAB # 1 (CD compilation by Kitchen Motors)
One of the good things about Iceland is that everyone plays in a band or
does other forms of art. Kitchen Motors is an organisation whose interest
lies in doig events, such as Motorlab. The idea is to have various artists,
not just sound, but also film and spoken word, work together and present
the outcome. This CD documents four projects. Almost half this CD is taken
by Magnus Palsson, a Fluxus writer, and Stilluppsteypa, the laptop three in
exile. It’s hard for me to tell what these texts are about, because they
are relatively soft in the mix compared to the music. Also my lack of
Icelandic is problematic of course. Musicwise you’ll find Stilluppsteypa at
their best: cracks and microwaves, but in a very well structured mood.
Then we get Hilmar Jensson, Ulfar Haraldsson, Johan Johannsson and The
Caput Ensemble, performing a piece for processed guitar, electronics and a
10 piece ensemble. Beautiful glding tones set against laptop crackles – not
unlike the Dean Roberts CD on Ritornell. For me this could have lasted an
hour instead of 12 minutes. Hispurslausi Sextettinn performs on material
found on the junkyard, but their improvisations were not very well
recorded, so I pass on. Curver performs a piece by Andrew McKenzie, of
Hafler Trio fame, and Johann Johannsson. It deals with a kind of Alvin
Lucier like set up to process sounds people could phone in from their
mobile phones. Musicwise is has that usual Hafler Trio quality but upgraded
to the year OO. Interesting document of an unique event. (FdW)

MIMIT – CC/BB (LP by Sigma Editions)
Mimit are exiles from Down Under in the Netherlands. Last summer they
returned to Sydney to record this LP. Both pieces are side long and
according to the cover “recorded in less then an hour”. ‘CC’ opens with a
fast high end pulse that slowly evolves, by opening the delays I assume,
into a drone like piece. Halfway through low resolution samples are added
and the record moves towards the end into more convential territory. Highly
minimal, but also highly hypnotic music.
‘BB’ is a more flat piece. Long stretched ambient sounds in the middle
range of the sound spectrum. It doesn’t sound like any conventional synth
being played, nor indeed any instrument, so my mind goes wandering off.
Maybe the processed sound of seagulls? or the rustling of paper? It doesn’t
matter. The random thrown in percussive elements feed the idea that this is
a ‘live in studio’ album (and accounts for the ‘less then an hour to
record’ on the cover). Great depth covered on this side. Great record. (FdW)
Address: <>

ULI TROYER – NOK (3″CD by Mego)
The clips and pitches run high, deep and backwards – a flashback of
glass, under glass. Various cameras group on the cover and is it the soup
of a beatladen ocean that rises through the platinum laudanum lens? Their
time ticks onward, moving as though caught beneath both a proverbial and an
actual microscope.
Paramecium – where do they live, on the surface of a 3″ compact disc?
Where do they enter into the sound? Might some live along the infinite
klines of the laser beam? Have we been listening to the microscopic world
as well, all this time? Do they catch the invisible lands and speak to the
brethren bacteria of the ear?
Address: <>

FENNESZ / ROSY PARLANE – LIVE (3″CD by Synaesthesia)
A rolling quilt of crackles and scour tumbles over the sadness of things –
that low series of tones which augur an undesired reflection. How many
tones and clicks does it take to raise a feeling, a memory, a thing of
resonance? The cover: cross on headstone with eyes, eclipsing the sun.
The sounds stretch from within, like rambling daylight…
Backwards tones shoot outward, eddying in riverapid flows, fighting a
current. Spiked with static, it playes against tones plucked from the
garden of records; stroked like Beuys speaking to his hare. Whose are
these tones? Fennesz’? Parlane’s? Whose are these ripples? A bit of
both? Neither? Either?
Is it love?
Address: <>

“With Ludwig van Beethoven the symphony became no longer entertainment
music but an expression of monumental intellect and innermost feeling…”
Words on a cd – the beginning to the recording itself. A text piece – for
a written transcription, listen to it again and start writing. This might
be slightly disrespectful – critique – due to the fact that this recording
was sent
as a Christmas card. Is the voice that speaks that of James Whitehead
himself? Is the hand that writes – my own, or one of my many different
personalities? Forinstance, at this point, I am the promiscuous wife of a
Mafia kingpin. Wife of aMafia kingpin??? Get the hell out of here – I
don’t need that kind of trouble!!
Fantastic for educative purposes, sexxxy mixxxes, and merry Xmas, Mr.

MUSIC 1994-1999) (CD by Leaf)
Sweeping ur-klang tones ring out, sing out – travelling across the
watercrests to find their own level. This is a compact disc, details in
the title. There is no other information at hand. They float up onto an
island of dulcet tones and organic organry. Pianissimo lives in there –
that vast verdant veldt of outtakes and mistakes. Sounds pool into lakes
and streams, spattered to the shores by this curiosity splashing one way or
t’other. Insects in sound buzz past more somber beasts that wait and watch
for something they know is coming – but presently remains unrevealed.
Music for the home – but whose, exactly? One’s desire to have one’s
music heard is an invitation of sorts – but to do what? To go where? Or
just what is it? Ithe music itself a home – in which one lives, spends a
certain amount of time witan implicit welcome from the owner? Or is it a
room – large and separated from a wider entity, and explicitly meant to
stay that way?