Number 310

NANOLOOP 1.0 (CD compilation by Disco Bruit)
WHEATON RESEARCH – TOKYO 02.00 (CDR by Boxmedia)
LOESS (CD by Non Response)
METALUX (CDR by Hanson Records)
M. BEHRENS – TRANSITION (Double Mini-CD by edition…)
MOTOR – FIRST SNAKE (Mini-CD by Broem)
THE SONS OF GOD – DRIVE CHAIRS (7″ by Firework Edition)
SMALL CRUEL PARTY – CEREMONIES OF MEMORY 1 & 2 (7″ by Fylkingen Records)
STEN HANSON – MY GALLOPING HEART (7″ by Fylkingen Records)
LOVERS ANONYMOUS (7″ by Firework Edition)
AAL – 13 (CDR by S’ agita recordings)
KOTRA – STIR MESH (CDR by Nexsound Records)

NANOLOOP 1.0 (CD compilation by Disco Bruit)
As part of a students project for the Hamburg Art School, one Oliver Wittchow
developped music software, called Nanoloop, for the Nintendo Game Boy. My girls
are too small for such toys, and I’m too old for one, so it’s hard for me to
imagine what it can do. But Disco Bruit invited a bunch of artists to create
sound pieces with software and a gameboy, which in some cases had to be
borrowed. I can’t judge wether Nanoloop is a great powerful tool which can
compete with traditional sodtware or a limited gadget (it would have been nice
if Disco Bruit would have added some software on the CD). With each track on
this CD, you are also told what other software has been used, which is nice for
you software spotters.
The 16 pieces on this CD are relatively short and give, me thinks, a good
impression of what Nanoloop can do. It’s funny to see at the same time some
artists manage to sound like they always do. For instance Vladislav Delay (here
present under guise of Agf/Dlay) with a dubby piece and Pita with a trademark
noise piece. I expected all to sound like simple pop tunes but in a rather
lo-fi 4 bit mode, and was surprised to see it has more potential. Blectum From
Blechdom for instance create a nice Pan Sonic inspired piece of rhythms and
pure tones. Pyrolator gets closest to real techno music and Felix Kubin is the
best amongst the pure pop tunes. Others involved are Hrvatski, Dat Politics,
Ascii, Ostinato, Bruno & Michel Are Smiling, Merzbox (proving that making real
noise is not really possible with Nanoloop) and Scratch Pet Land. Nice
compilation, and making the secret that this software should be for sale too.

WHEATON RESEARCH – TOKYO 02.00 (CDR by Boxmedia)
Boxmedia is a small US label who release besides real CDs and vinyl, CDRs.
There is a series of releases housed in silver painted carton sleeves, who
which the first few were reviewed in Vital Weekly 236. Here are three new ones.
Wheaton Research is the solo project of TV Pow member Brent Gutzeit, also the
owner of Boxmedia. A lot of the music on Boxmedia is improvised, but not just
traditionally on instruments or objects, but also on laptops. Wheaton Research
is a fine example of combining laptops with instruments. The eight tracks here
were recorded live in Tokyo a year ago, on different locations. Two of them are
Brent solo, and the others are improvs with people like Taku Sugimoto (guitar),
Otomo Yoshihide (hand built synth), Kazumoto Endo (laptops) and Toshimaru
Nakamura (open input mixing desk) to name but a few. Overall there is a
concentrated feel on all of these pieces. In most cases minimalist in approach,
in which the smallest particles get a life of their own. Maybe you could put
this down as ambient for it’s drone like and meditative character, but that
doesn’t entirely justify Brent’s music. The microscopic quality goes much
deeper. It needs an amount of concentration to get into this, but when done so,
a world of opens up. A world were laptops do sound interesting and were laptops
and instruments bring intense music.
Gunshop is by now for maybe some readers of Vital Weekly known. Boxmedia sells
them as the Voice Crack of Chicago. I can’t say wether that is true, I haven’t
seen Gunshop live (but if it’s true then it must be exciting – Voice Crack
is!). Although the three tracks on this CDR sound live, there is no reference
to it being a concert recording. Gunshop, a duo, use homemade, circuit-bent and
storebought electronica. Gunshop have an overall improvised inspired atmosphere
with strong tendencies towards noise. In the second and third track (also the
more lengthier of the three) long portions of feedback treatments are
presented. However I think Gunshop are on the more interesting side of noise
music. The flow is better and the sound is more purer (ie less drenced in sound
effects). Powerful stuff from the edges of noise improvisation.
Last new is Jliat. I explained my problem with Jliat before (too much concept
which don’t seem to bring any interesting music piece), but it’s good to see
him here with a long (just under 74 minutes) piece of drone music. Music he is
best known (and loved?) for. The piece is from 1999 and uses the elements Jliat
once was so known for. One long drone in the mid range of sound spectrum. It
seems as if nothing happens (maybe it does), so it results in a highly hypnotic
tapestry of sound. Not music to really listen to intensely, but more
environment to work or sleep in. It doesn’t necessiraly add something new to
what we already know of Jliat though… (FdW)

LOESS (CD by Non Response)
Two releases on NonResponse, but no information was enclosed and when I tried
to view the website, it gave me an error. Maybe they built mysticism?
Behind Codec Scovill we find one Clay Emerson, Alfredo de Matteis and Jan
Pullmann. That’s about all I know. Their eleven tracks on this CD can best be
classified as ambient of the more daring kind. Sustained tones (maybe guitars?)
are set against a wall of chilly electronics. In ‘Alpine’ there is a sense of
rhythm going on, again with the elements of sustained tones and chilly
electronics. For the larger part, Codec Scovill live in a world that is closely
related to the musical worlds of Hypnos, but is a little bit less synthesizer
oriented, and more into processing all sorts of sounds. Although the album is
ok, it is also a bit sterile and distant. Music you put on, but don’t seem to
really notice. Hey, that was the definition of ambient music anyway…?
Loess is responsible for the second release. Apperentely Loess are Clay Emerson
and Jan Pullman, so Codec Scovill less Alfredo… From what I hear on this
disc, Loess is inspired by down tempo techno music, with fiddles on the piano
plug in, but they add an overall flavour with is not common in this kind of
music, a more experimental edge with weird sounds or sound effects which seem
out of place. Dashes of ambient and minimalism to the rest (certainly in the
second half of the CD). This albums blends together musical innovations in
dance music of the last 10 years, or at least at the different perspectives at
the softer edge of the musical spectrum. Although it’s ambient techno (though
still more ambient than techno), it’s luckily away from the ambient house from
years back. So no whales, birdcalls and oceans washing… Quite an entertaining
CD. (FdW)

For about 16 years know I know Vidna Obmana and his music. Evolving from a
harsh industrial music project via ambient to a more personal styled form
ambient sound processing. I can’t say that I am a big fan of every stage of his
career, but I do see the evolution. Tremor is his latest, strict solo album
(Vidna Obmana is known to do a lot of musical collaborations) and also the
first in a trilogy dealing with Dante’s poem ‘Inferno’. Of course Vidna Obmana
doesn’t depict the hell by using tons and tons machine sounds, noise and what
have you. On Tremor the main ingredients are flutes, ethnic percussion and big
reverbed walls of sound. In general a nice ambient sound but just the use of
reverb is at times too much. It makes this into a somewhat clinical album, and
could be, I think, a bit less. Having said that, I have been playing this album
for many times now, and I must say I like it very much. It’s a great background
music (at low volume) or reveals more dramatic moments when you play it at a
higher volume. It is less experimental then some of the collaboration albums
Vidna Obmana did (and which are more in my alley), but nevertheless one of his
better ones. (FdW)

This is the second CD by the mysterious Maenad, following the too short first
one (see Vital Weekly 226). They present us here another four pieces, all quite
lengthy ones. Maenad plays mood music of a more desperate nature. The opening
piece uses a sad, slowly played melody line with vaguely quasi religious
humming in the background. Bird sound and a thunder storm form the basic
ingredients of ‘In Within’. Processed long wave signals, sounding now like
water bubbling through an oscillator are part of ‘The One Who Is Created’ and
becomes the most noisy affair around here. More mumbling voices in ‘Pigs My
Fly’. For the bigger part Maenad plays ambient related industrial music, with a
dark touch. Music that sounds rather depressed, not for the weak of heart I
guess. Rather doomy stuff. ‘Pigs My Fly’ with it’s waving synths and mumbling
voices is my favourite, the overall darkness works well here. As a follow up to
their first release, I can indeed say that the impact is better when there is
more to hear. (FdW)

Kim Cascone, Richard Chartier and Taylor Deupree on one night must be for the
laptop freaks a dream becomes true. If they end up playing (improvising)
together, I assume a wet dream becomes true. They did it last year at a small
festival Micro Mutek in Montreal. They wouldn’t be good laptoppers, if they
didn’t decide to rework the material by each one afterwards. So we get here the
full improv concert, followed by three smaller re-creations. The joint concert
goes from using the sound of matrix printers to a densely layered rhythm piece
(almost Pan Sonic/Goem inspired) and in the second half some sort of sound
processing for electro magnetic sounds. The second half I thought to be less
inspired. Kim Cascone’s rework is the shortest, but he seems to be putting all
the sounds on top of eachother and makes the waves more dense. It seems that
Richard Chartier does the exact opposite. His near silent piece doesn’t seem to
use any sound from the improv at all, but I’m sure that’s all aural illusion.
>From all the silent people I know, Chartier is one of the better. His sound may
not be there, but for sure it is there. Last is taylor Deupree. He takes a
tick, builts from that as if it were a rhythm and then start slowly to add
subtle layers of sound. From the improv part, I think it’s multi layered rhythm
piece that got him going most here. A dense, creepy and intense piece. A fine
showcase of possibilities here.
Richard Chartier also just released a new CD, with three pieces. The title
piece is the longest here, with a lot of silence, and also some occassional
sound. If you move through your room, you will notice some very low bass
frequencies. Spacious spatial music. It seems as not much is going on, but
again, like his piece on ‘After’, this is just an aural illusion. Chartier
works with extreme frequencies, either very high, or very low. These are
collaged in a very clever, using stereo a lot. Definitly not easy music to
access and one that will hand it’s beauty only to those willing to concentrate
on close hearing. Unlike so many ambient (= environment, space) music, a
difficult but a most rewarding work. (FdW)

METALUX (CDR by Hanson Records)
Metalux are a three piece group, whose instruments include bass, reel to reel,
sampler, voice, guitar, drums, commodore 64 and circuits. They offer eight
tracks of very primitive music. A weird and free playing on guitars, drums,
sounds and bass with all of the wrong uses of the sound effects that one can
connect to a guitar. Very naive, but also played with great charmm as one can
only expect with this kind of music. The voice reminds me of and on of the
female Nurse With Wound vocals from years ago. The whole album breathes a 80s
feel when this kind of bad playing was a higher artform. But even today it’s
still nice to hear – mind you, with a small dose… (FdW)
Address: <>

M. BEHRENS – TRANSITION (Double Mini-CD by edition…)
Yet another new release by Marc Behrens in an excellent package: a double
plastic wallet with three inlays on each side, in which the mini-CD’s are
stored, also in (smaller) plastic wallets. The inlays show pictures, taken by
Behrens himself and can be seen as a seperate artwork. There are no explanatory
texts with this release. Transition has five tracks, two on the first disc and
three on the second. The first track is a mix of several stretched sounds with
a slow build up, a change and then the end. A pretty sober piece that gets the
ears going. The second track starts more suddenly, also with stretched sounds,
and then seems to fade away slowly, to settle on an almost unconscious level.
Sounds get softer and lower in frequency, until the piece simply disappears.
Then, in a very subtle way, it picks up again and works its way to a finale,
that resembles the start. Track three puts a needle on a record of test tones
it seems, before introducing other elements, some of which are quite noisy. The
composition is very different from the two tracks on the first disc. Those were
more ambient in nature, whereas this track is almost one big cut up, with some
longer parts. The fourth track is mostly based on environmental recordings and
resembles track three in composition. The same seems to apply to track five.
The difference between the first CD and the second is pretty big and probably
due to the fact that the first two tracks were composed in 2001 and the others
in 1993. But they do give a pretty good idea of Behrens’ development over the
last decade. In one word? Refinement. (MR)

MOTOR – FIRST SNAKE (Mini-CD by Broem)
Motor is probably best known for his juicy techno releases, but has gone a
completely different way with this mini-CD. Don’t expect any dance floor
material here. Pure radio cut ups for the whole duration of the CD. Jingles,
looped orchestras and pop themes with weird sounds, spoken word and
environmental recordings are combined into a hallucinatory trip, juggling the
ears. And although this is certainly good stuff, we will sadly miss his input
on the dance floor…….(MR)

THE SONS OF GOD – DRIVE CHAIRS (7″ by Firework Edition)
SMALL CRUEL PARTY – CEREMONIES OF MEMORY 1 & 2 (7″ by Fylkingen Records)
STEN HANSON – MY GALLOPING HEART (7″ by Fylkingen Records)
LOVERS ANONYMOUS (7″ by Firework Edition)
A whole bunch of 7″s, mainly on Fylkingen Records and two on Firework edition.
Both labels are connected and both are known for releasing a lot of conceptual
work. As an overal thing, I don’t see the relation between these records…
The Sons Of God is the band behind Firework with the ever active Leif Elggren
and the lesser known Kent Tankred. Their 7″ is a live recording of pushing
chairs around on (probably) an amplified stage. Strange, kinda aggressive sound
going, but also a highly concentrated action. Not really the sort of music that
is very clear, but more a fluxus like happening sort of documentation of some
Small Cruel Party is no longer active in music, so I was kinda surprised to
find him here. The two recordings on his 7″ are from 1992 and were recorded ‘in
a ravine in Seattle next to the house of Jim Woodring for a proposed and
unrealized collaboration with this visual artist’. Unearthly low rumbles on one
side and more high pitched sounds and crackling wood sounds on the other. Both
pieces are classic Small Cruel Party pieces and show us the sadness of seeing
this guy leave music (although he now works as a cook, that makes it up a
little bit I guess).
Sten Hanson’s record deals with heart sounds. After going to a hospital with
heart problems, Hanson was examined and were recorded by ultrasonic equipment.
On this record he produces music with those ultra sonic recordings, almost
solely (except for a bit of electronic sounds). There is no steady rhythm here,
I’d say almost of course. The heart failure problems and fragility of men never
sounded so direct. Men remains a fragile biological machine
I think I miss a point or two on Johannes Nilsson’s record. It seems like a
radioplay recorded out on the streets of Luxemburg. You hear people scream, cry
and talk, sadly in Swedish and I have yet to master the language. Will
definetly fit your DJ case section weirdness.
Behind Analogue Society we find Lary 7 and Jim Sharpe, known from their rare
yet conceptual work on Plastikville. “Sound sources created through the use of
pure analogue devices and various kinds of metal apparata connected through
electronics, unaffected in any way in the hope of rendering a kind of sonic
inscription of the machines”. You hear the buzzing of machines, metallic sounds
and vintage machines of the early days of the industrial revolution.
of course we don’t know who the Lovers Anonymous are, otherwise they wouldn’t
be anonymous. You hear female steps (that’s what the cover says) walking on a
sidewalk, a piano tinkling and voice crooning ‘can’t help falling in love’ on
the first side and just a romantic piano tinkle on the other. Mood music. (FdW)

AAL – 13 (CDR by S’ agita recordings)
Aal is nom de plume of Davide Valecchi, who has released more and under
different names, but nothing that I probably ever heard. As far as i understand
this release uses field recordings from last summer, which are processed into
music via synthesizers, cd player, sampler with the addition of piano, effects,
guitar… Pretty much the usual stuff it seems to me. Although most of the
pieces deserve to be heard, the overall sound quality is a bit low. It’s all
rather held back, with not much breathing space for the individual sounds. That
results in a blurry sound, which makes it hard to recognize what it is all
about. Some of the potential gets lost I think. That’s a pity, because Aal
sounds nice with it’s occassional nature rumble and darker touches of synths.
Address: <>

KOTRA – STIR MESH (CDR by Nexsound Records)
I have no idea who The Moglass are, but they have three tracks on this split 3″
CDR with Nihil Est Excellence, so each eats about 10 minutes. It seems to me
that The Moglass are into sampling. The first piece is called ‘Guitar’, but I
don’t think I heard one through the sampled choirs. ‘Agitur’ may use guitars,
but maybe also a violin, plus maybe some sort of computer processing. Or is
that the high end distorts. The third track is darkly toned and densely. The
prize winning piece of the entire release…
Nihil Est Excellence is a guy from Russia who presents us two ambient like
recordings, with some dark synths and what could be environmental sounds.
Though not bad as some background music, but not very interesting as these
pieces are mere layers of sounds, rather then interesting compositions. They
don’t seem to go anywhere.
Another release on Nexsound is by Kotra, aka Dmytro Fedorenko Kyiv from the
Ukraine. His sound is definetly more noise and electronic oriented. Using
elements from techno, industrial music and clicks and cuts, he creates his own
thing. In general the pieces are quite slow and overall there is no 4/4 to be
recognized. Harsher edged sounds make this much more into an industrial version
of Oval and a less swinging Pan Sonic. Although 14 (untitled) tracks are
listed, they flow into each other. Unfortunally some pieces are too static to
hold the full attention, even when it comes to a few minutes per track. The
limitness of the sounds used overall is what makes this product into a too long
thing. The 3″ size would have worked well here. (FdW)

correction to last week:

the website by Tu-M with MP3s for download can be found at: