Number 276

RESLAB (CD compilation by Mitek)
ISAN – LUCKY CAT (CD by Morr Music)
SPACE – New Music for Woodwinds and Voice / An Intersting Breakfast
Conversation (2CD by Mutable)
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS – The Visibility of Thought (CD by Mutable)

Dark Star is the project of German artist Wolfgang Reffert. Through
his collaborations with among others Italian Technogod and Edward
Kaspel from Dutch psychedelia-act Legendary Pink Dots, Mr. Reffert
already completed some of the materials for the album back in the
early nineties. Never released, the materials have instead been used
to this exciting album titled “Travelogue II”, which also includes
some newer tracks from Dark Star. Because of the varied musical
background of the Dark Star-contributors, “Travelogue II” is wide
spanning when it comes to stylish expressions. Starting out with
twisted psychedelic rock, “Travelogue II” gradually moves towards
other galaxies as the expression turns to a kind of drone-like space
rock. Having the sci-fi industrial touch of Chrome and the gloomy
gothic sound of Sisters Of Mercy, the sound of Dark Star somehow
seems retrospective, without turning stereotype. A great
crossover-experience that needs a few listens…only to reward the
listener. (NMP)

RESLAB (CD compilation by Mitek)
Four Swedish artists are presented on this compilation, some are
known and some are newecommers. All four operate as laptop artists,
playing techno inspired music. Andreas Tilliander, known as Mokira
and under his own for an excellent record on Mille Plateaux, opens up
here with a long, slow track, with dub track marks all over, sounds
dropping in and out of the mix. Very nice, Chain Reaction inspired
music. Grecl is a newcommer and presents four shorter tracks, which
seem to hover around one theme per track, which makes this quite more
minimal then usual. Silent Comfort is also a new name, despite them
having a track on the Clicks & Cuts 2 compilation, and is long event
again. Just like Tilliander, they explore the depths of dub through
the powerbook event. Again a down tempo, Chain Reaction like piece.
The CD is closed by two long pieces by Mitek’s label boss Mikeal
Stavostrand, who Mille Plateaux CD was received here with mixed
emotion. The tempo is a bit higher, but remain on an atmopsheric
side. For me these two tracks are the best of this CD. If Clicks &
Cuts 2 was your thing already and you wish to seek out four examples
from Sweden, Reslab is your place to be. (FdW)
Address: <>

ISAN – LUCKY CAT (CD by Morr Music)
The full length album that comes after the previous CD single on Morr
Music. Twelve tracks in their well-known style of down tempo rhythm,
melancholic key lines and desk top sound processing. But I must
admit, I am a tad bit disapointed. Most of the tracks sound too
similar. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that all twelve are remixes
of eachother, but there is a lot of similarity throughout these
pieces, which makes it hard to see the difference. It all sounds
melancholic and one becomes weakhearted after a full hour of this.
That’s a pity, because with some cuts this could have been a well
enjoyable album of 40 minutes and then much of my disliking wouldn’t
have counted probably. Still ISAN know their trade well, they write
nice songs, but there should be a little bit more progress by now.

Due Process are back, but were they ever away? Due Process is a group
around Ron Lessard aka Emil Beaulieu (who calls himself the greatest
noise artist ever, you are free to make up your mind on this) and
this time he works with Jason Lescalleet. In the past Due Process
used noise music along with readings of texts and poetry, but now
they just play improvised noise music. Raw, but inspired without the
howls on feedback and other overdrives that are known in the world of
industrial music. Most of these pieces seem excerpts from live
concerts which might explain the uncanned rawness of the music.
However there is more then just noise. They even arrive at their own
interpretation of ambient in ‘Combine XX111: Quinn’, which sounds
like a computerized version of Arcane Device’s feedback music.
Intense playing until the place explodes. The most frentic moments
are captured in the title piece, which is the longest and loudest cut
on this CD. Due Process move around outside any circles or scenes and
do whatever they think is necessary to do. Good attitude stuff. (FdW)
Address: RRRecords – 23 Central Street – Lowell, MA 01852 – USA

SPACE – New Music for Woodwinds and Voice / An Intersting Breakfast
Conversation (2CD by Mutable)
MUHAL RICHARD ABRAMS – The Visibility of Thought (CD by Mutable)
Two releases by the brand new Mutable label. New on the one hand, the
resurrection of the famous 1750 Arch Records on the other hand. 1750
Arch may be known to you for the “Complete Studies for Player Pianoí
Series of Conlon Nancarrow. Any way both labels were founded by
Thomas Buckner. And with his new label Mutable he starts with a
reissue of two classic albums on 1750 Arch by the trio Space. The
link between the two labels is also obvious when looking at the
catalogue numbers: 17501, 17502, etc. So it seems fair to speak a
renewed continuation of releasing music that features contemporary
composers/performers, in both composed and improvisational settings.
Space started as a trio in 1979: Roscoe Mitchell (saxes), one of the
founding members of the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago, Gerald
Oshita (saxes) and Thomas Buckner (extended voice, baritone). They
prefer to play in the lower registers. Alltogether a very unusual
trio because of the combination of saxes and voice. They explored new
concepts in composition and improvisation. “New Music for Woodswinds
and VoiceӒ contains four compositions. Two by Oshita, two by
Mitchell. “An Interesting Breakfast Conversation”í is devoted to
group improvisation. On both cds we hear good and solid work that
sounds never outdated. In a way this kind of improvisation seems more
european then american in my ears. Improvisations sound never jazzyí
but come nearer to composed new music. Do they want to prove that
improvisation is also serious musicí? Serious it is. It is improvised
music from itís most academic side. Compared to David Moss and Paul
Dutton, Buckner sings more like a classical trained singer. As a
baritone singer he worked together with many improvisors and
composers within a wide range of musical contexts: new music, jazz
and improvisation, computer music, multi-media theatre. Activities of
this trio came to an end when in 1992 Oshita died. Buckner and
Mitchell still work together and have also a new cd out on Mutable.
On The Visibility of Thoughtí we find six classical compositions by
Muhal Richard Abrams. It is his first release of composed pieces.
Abrams is co-founder of The Association for the Advancement of
Creative Musicians (AACM) and is a well-known jazzmusician. To me
this release shows contemporary composed music from a very boring
side. I can’t help it. Itís not exactly my piece of cake. Listening
to his compostions I hear things that I have heard already so many
times before. The way tension is build up is very stereotype. Not a
very original voice. The title track is a composition for computer,
synthesizer and sequencer played by Abrams himself. Most other
compositions are duets for piano and violin, contrabass, etc. Another
is for baritone voice (Buckner) and stringquartet. The cd closes with
an improvisation for piano that goes one for almost half an hour (DM)