Number 378

PARADISE CAMP 23 – BAR-BQ DUNGEON (CDR by Mandragora Records)
PARADISE CAMP 23 – MANDRAGORA (CDR by Mandragora Records)
LIB (CD compilation by Fabric)
ARNE NORDHEIM – DODEKA (CD by Rune Grammofon)
TBTTBC – MUSICSOUND (CDR by To Be The To Be Announced Records)
SINDRE BJERGA & ANDERS GJERDE – STAVANGER (CDR plus fanzine by Playground)

PARADISE CAMP 23 – BAR-BQ DUNGEON (CDR by Mandragora Records)
PARADISE CAMP 23 – MANDRAGORA (CDR by Mandragora Records)
Two new releases on Mandragora Records, who seems to be specializing
in music that is a crossover between psychedelica and industrial
music. Paradise Camp 23 clearly takes their inspiration from good ol’
Throbbing Gristle. Distorted guitar, treated field recordings,
snippets of field recordings. Their CDR could have easily been part
of the twenty four CD by Throbbing Gristle. Quite a rough recording,
maybe down the garage of one of the members (are there members, or
maybe just one?). Actually I though this was quite nice, since I
always a big Throbbing Gristle fan, and I think their sound was never
really copied to such an extend.
The other release is a mix work, in which Paradise Camp 23 samples
the entire Mandragora catalogue in one long mix (split in five
tracks). You’ll have to forgive me, but I am not altogether familiar
with the Mandragora catalogue, so I don’t recognize anything here.
Musicwise it’s more open then the “Bar-BQ Dungeon” release, even when
both “psychedelic” and “industrial” are stamped all over it. Maybe
this one is more psychedelic and the other release more industrial?
The “Mandragora” release features more guitar samples and comes
closer to some form of lo-fi rock music. Both releases are quite
nice, and very much rooted in musical underground. (FdW)

The world of abstract electronic music is growing larger every day,
spreading like a virus, but a healthy virus. Macedonia is just one of
the many countries to have been hit by the bug, and Acid Fake
Recordings has put itself on the map of unusual electronic music with
its third release of glitch induced mayhem. This split ep is the
first in a series that will contain two artists recording a twenty
minute track each. The first track comes from Massaccesi, who has a
variety of releases on compilations, cdrs and most notably his 2001
release on Phthalo “I Never Fall Apart Because I Never Fall
Together”‘ he continues where he left of in the world of
cut-and-paste dynamics; however there is a notable improvement in his
sound design abilities. His composition, ‘L’hotel Massacesi” was
recorded entirely from sounds he sampled while at work at small hotel
in New Hampshire, USA along with his additions of analog keyboards
giving the track a 1970’s gore/horror film vibe. Printers, computer
buzzes, swimming pool, etc. were used to create vast soundscapes and
electro-acoustic bliss, while the addition of source material from
gore films completes the picture. Sometimes a rhythm ensues, giving
the listener a false sense that a minimal techno track is building,
but abrupt changes and inserted silence keep things interesting.
‘L’hotel Massaccesi” is a great headphone piece and a wonderful
example of how to kill time, while working at a hotel during the
graveyard shift. Next up, is the label-head, Every Kid on Speed with
his track ‘jj’. This glitch/noise piece opens with gurgles and
bubbles, which move into IDM territory. Shortly thereafter,
recordings of voices pitched up roll in and out until shards of noise
fill the open spaces. From that moment on, ‘jj’ is a noise piece. Its
highlight is the white noise that flows effortlessly in and out of
the mix. Avoid all hallucinogens and narcotics while listening to
this track; it’s too intense for mind altering substances. Both
tracks work well together in this format. It will be interesting to
see the development of this split ep series. Stay tuned! (GK)
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Two great musical personalities shake hands here. They have met and
played before, looking at their discography. On this new cd we find
them together with a bunch of improvisations recorded live in 2002
mainly and 2000. Some background information first. Composer and
multi_intrumentalist Bob Marsh (violin, cello, piano, vibraphone,
flute, extended vocal techniques) is the founder of the
Quintessentials, the Emergency String Quartet and the Emergency Piano
Quintet. He is involved in several musical projects like Fred
Lomberg_Holm’s “Phenomenal String Quartet”. He played with people
like Ernesto Diaz_Infante, Bhob Rainey, Hal Rammell, Scott Rosenberg,
Ken Vandermark and Michael Zerang.
Wright plays already for 25 years and cooperated with a great variety
of musicians: Chris Cochrane, Peter Hollinger, Fred Lonberg_Holm, Jim
Meneses, Roger Turner, Mike Bullock, James Coleman, Greg Kelley, and
so on.
Since 1986 Marsh and Wright play together regularly. They explore
their version of improvisational music and implicitely their
relationship as friends. Wright says “For me, music is about loving
what you do and those with whom you do it, and, so, paradoxically,
free improvisation becomes an exploration of the interdependence of
For there new explorations Marsh plays cello all over the cd, and
violin in track 6. His processed voice is also heard throughout the
cd. Wright plays contra-alto clarinet, alto sax and soprano sax,
equally distributed over the 6 tracks. It’s music with great feeling
and humantiy. Good interplay. If you think free improvised music is
dead already since a long time, here is some evidence of the
opposite. These musicians are important exponents of the renaissance
of free improvised music (DM).

Jad and David Fair wrote history with their band Half Japanese. Their
importance cannot be denied. I don’t know what David is doing these
days, but Jad still continues on the road Half Japanese once paved.
It was already in the days of Half Japanese that Jad started to
release solo stuff. His solo-output is of a considerable quantity
now. Not all of it is okay, off course. I still like ‘Best Wishes’
from 1985. But several months ago I was greatly dissappointed by a cd
by Fair and R.Stevie Moore.
One of his mates for many of his solo work in the last few years is
Jason Willett with whom he released several albums (see catalogue of
the Megaphone label). By the way, output by Jason Willett is dominant
on this Megaphone label. We come across Willett as a member of The
Dramatics, The Pleasant Livers, The Can Openers, The Jaunties, The
Attitude Robots, The Recordings and The Dentures.
But for this new collaboration, Public Eyesore was chosen to release
it. The cd features 20 songs, plus 135 MP3 bonus songs!! Songs in the
tradition of Half Japanese. Punky, trashy and noisy. Bizarre and
eccentric. We hear Jad Fair doing all the vocals as only he can do
it. With over the top singing, screaming out his bizarre fantasies.
Willett signs for mix, production and music. I’m not sure but it
seems Willett plays all instruments. We hear a great variety of
instruments, objects, etc. So I suppose it was quite a job for
Willett to produce this album. This way each song has its own
characteristic. Well done! At least what the 20 songs on the cd
concerns. I cannot judge about the 135 MP3 songs, because I have no
facility to play them at the moment. Fair and Willett must have a
great joy in playing together. 135 songs! What a exuberance. I
suppose they continue their extravagant punk journey (DM).

LIB (CD compilation by Fabric)
Fabric is a new sub-division of Cubicmusic, and they start their new
side-dish with a compilation. The main focuss lies on presenting
artists that are somewhat well-known via their own releases but do
not belong (yet) to the top ten of the glitch ‘n cut scene.
Z.E.L.L.E., Aero, Tu M’, Motion and Alejandra and Aeron represent the
European/US side and Minamo (the band who is behind this label, I
think), Tosjimaru Nakamura, Masahiko Okura, Yoshio Machida and Kazumi
Namba the Japanese side of this CD. I know, I said glitch ‘n cut, but
that was just to quickly put them in a corner. In fact not one of
these artists belong in strict rhythmic corner, as the overall idea
behind these tracks is a rather austere soundworld. Aero has a simple
piece of sine waves moving along eachother, but which works well.
Yoshio Machida works with sound processings of his steel drum, maybe
this is one of the more odd-balls in this collection. Another one
might Minamo themselves who do an improvisation on guitar and
electronica, which sound, at least, in this collection, quite
traditional. High pitched excursions are to be found in Z.E.L.L.E.’s
piece and of course the no input mixer from Nakamura. Motion and
Kazumi Namba are the only ones from the warm laptop ambient circles.
In all a small variety that is offered in maybe a limited context.
But for the very well iniatated, there is a great deal of very nice
music to be discovered here. (FdW)

Behind Formatt is Peter Smeekens who started playing in a grindcore
band at the age of fifteen. Now he is twice as old and works, armed
with a laptop, in the areas of microsound. Apperentely he was quite
pleased with a recording he did in february this year at the ‘Kunsten
Centrum’ in Belgium, that he decided to release this. For the main
first part of this recording his laptop doodlings hoover around in
more ambient areas which continious drones and crackles to put the
icing on the cake, but after some seventeen minutes, slowly a beat
kicks in, which in the second part of the set slowly builts up. But
Formatt is not a crowd pleaser, his beats do not evolve into a big
techno party or indeed any sort of quantized 4/4 rhythms. It remains
a strange affair, more dubby with small echoy effects then something
straight forward. The sounds below and beneath show a side interest
in trip hop and illbient. The recording is of course a bit more raw
then an official studio recording, but it works well here for the raw
character of the music. (FdW)

The small Dutch label Narrominded surprised us some time ago with an
excellent compilation LP ‘We’re Running Out Of West’ (see Vital
Weekly 317) and now offer the first in a series of split LP’s. On
this first one we find Living Ornaments and Accelera Deck. The first
is the band behind the label. Their side is called ‘Ribbels’
(‘ripples’) but is divided in eleven short pieces, which are all
crossfaded into eachother. The basic material are piano and guitar,
which are extensively transformed and mutated on the computer.
Because of all these tracks going into eachother, but keeping an
overall feel to the entire twenty minute work, it almost seems like a
seventies conceptual prog rock band, but then updated for the next
millenium. Living Ornaments quite clearly state their influences,
mostly Fennesz, Keith Fullerton Whitman or in fact many from the
laptop areas (Stephan Mathieu comes to mind), but the material is
strong enough to stand by itself. The sparse rhythms work nice enough
as counterpoints and give the material a nice extra touch.
On the other side we find Chris Jeely in his Accelera Deck monniker.
I thought he stopped using that name, but maybe I was wrong. Accelera
Deck, or in fact the majority of Jeely’s output, has always been a
diverse project. From ‘intellegent’ dance music to folk songs and now
these four pieces of low resolution sampling. Grizzly samples with a
very low sampling rate of guitar noise have a strange, yet appealing
character. Towards the end the folky acoustic guitar arises from the
mass of computerized sounds and puts the listener back on earth.
Strong material – again! (FdW)

To tell the reader what this new Janek Schaeffer work is about, is
probably the same as re-writing the cover notes. The ‘Skate’ LP is ‘a
record that usurped the deterministic spiral (and the ‘anti-skate
mechanism’) as a way of playing and listening to sound on vinyl’. The
grooves are made by hand held stylus, cutting is done seemingely
randomly. The ‘Rink’ CD uses sounds from the first version of the
vinyl, and is divided in 99 tracks, to be played at random. As you
can understand this is not a production to put on and sit back and
relax. This record is an invitation to use. By you, at home. Try it
at 33, or 45 or spin the album manually. Everytime new possibilities
occur. If you are an adventurous DJ, you can even take this out and
try to evacuate the dance floor. This record is sure fun and would
even opt for a remix CD, me thinks. Most of this stuff has been done
before, think RRRecords’ anti records from the mid eighties or Ios
Smolders or Freundschaft’s shuffle CD’s, but they were never as
lavishly packed as this one. Art with a big A. (FdW)

What else can you expect from a noise orchestra then noise? The
Norwegian Noise Orchestra exists of a varying line up, but on this
live recording, made at Betong (whereever that may be), there are
fifteen players. Many names I didn’t hear of before, but also
including Sindre Andersen, Andreas Meland and Ole H. Melby. The whole
hour that this recording lasts is filled with noise in the best
Merzbowian tradition. Loud, noisy, aggressive and like a bath of
sound to get drowned in. A nice work of the more intellegent noise.
Only one thing crossed my mind: why are fifteen players needed for
something that can also be done by one person? Maybe that is where a
bit of my disappointment comes from. What could be the real
oppurtunities for fifteen people doing noise if they would operate
from fifteen personal views? (FdW)

The music of Frank Niehusmann is made with open reel analogue tape
machines, and that is not a fancy plug in, which pro-tools offer you.
Frank uses an eight track reel to reel on which there is one loop
running, with eight different sounds, which he mixes in a live
situation, using every button of the machine (start, fast forward,
rewind). Almost like a DJ, but with strictly his own input. “Schnitt”
is a recording of such a live thing, in eight different movements.
Needles to say that this music, regardless of the input has a
repetative element, from machine like structures, environment
recordings, sine waves and Morrocan drumming. Quite a vivid play of
sounds, that, despite the input and maybe the limitness of the
concept, is quite enjoyable to hear.
Also on this CD is a piece called ‘Untertagemusik Nr. 1’, which is
hard for me to translate into English. Apperentely the sounds were
recorded 1000 meters underground, with very special
recording-equipment. Since Niehusmann is from the highly
industrialized Ruhr area in Germany, he went down old mines to do his
recordings. Later on he manipulated these recordings via his analogue
and digital working methods. The recording here is part of his usual
programm for playing live, but I believe it’s a studio version.
Highly industrial music with machine like sounds (that me think are
impossible to record at such a depth, but who am I to disagree?), but
those synthesizers dropping in half way through the piece sort of
spoil it for me. Otherwise a nice piece indeed. (FdW)
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ARNE NORDHEIM – DODEKA (CD by Rune Grammofon)
The Dodekaphonie, the twelve tone musical system, was developed about
a century ago by Arnold Schonberg, who attempted to break through the
usual system of eight tones. I am not sure if this what Arne Nordheim
had in mind when he composed the twelve short pieces of ‘Dodeka’.
Nordheim would fit nicely in the Sub Rosa series (reviewed last week)
as a forgotten and underrated composer. He was born in 1931 in
Larvik, Norway and studied organ, piano, theory and composition and
composed electronic music. In 1998 his CD ‘Electric’ gained him
attention again. ‘Dodeka’ was recorded in Warsaw between 1967 and
1972, mainly because there was no electronic studio in Norway. Maybe
the work comes as a rather primitive one, but one should not forget
that it is made under maybe primitive circumstances. Oscillations and
primitive sine waves play an interesting act together in a very clear
way. The music, entirely electronical, fits more the German tradition
from the early fifties (the WDR studio recordings by people like
Koenig or Stockhausen) then the French school. It’s a nice work,
historically right to release, but not a surprisingely new or
innovative work, even for the days in which it was made. (FdW)
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TBTTBC – MUSICSOUND (CDR by To Be The To Be Announced Records)
The name TBTTBC stands for To Be The To Be Continued, which is a
funny name of course. the history of this bands dates back for almost
a decade when they started out as a guitarrock band, slowly evolving
into free rock and now exclusively working with synths, computers,
guitar and bass. The pieces on this CDR are by TBTTBC, aswell as
various solo pieces by the two members. Their five tracks sound a bit
like the Paradise Camp 23 mentioned elsewhere: a mixture of
industrial but maybe less inspired by Throbbing Gristle (or maybe
more accurate: not as obvious), but they produce a nice thickly
layered industrial ambient, with analogue synths bubbling up every
once in a while. The solo tracks are a bit different: sometimes a bit
hooky with guitar lines like ‘Paddington’ by Layer (the other calls
himself The Insane Alchemist), but also playful collage works and
stuff that sounds like TBTTBC. I must say, I enjoyed the solo tracks
more then the five band tracks. Quite obviously there is more
variation and overall a bit more joy when playing. To me it seems
Layer is more the guy with the pop background and The Insane
Alchemist is more the man for the experiments. The mixture of both
talents needs some shaping, but this is a young band, so I am sure it
work out. (FdW)

SINDRE BJERGA & ANDERS GJERDE – STAVANGER (CDR plus fanzine by Playground)
If you are like me, and have some difficulties with the greek
language (and no doubt that will be the case with the vast majority
of the people reading this) then maybe this new magazine will not be
well spend on you. “Playground” will present itself in various
formats, dealing with one set of artists, whom are friends of the
editor. A CDR will always be part of the magazine. Here Sindre Bjerga
and Anders Gjerde were asked to do something about their hometown
Stavanger. Gjerde runs the Humbug label (a handy list of his releases
is included), but this is the first time I encounter him as a
musician. Together they went through the city looking for sounds,
which were manipulated afterwards, aswell as presented in their raw
state. I must admit I was highly amazed by the sheer quality of this.
The combination between electronics and field recordings work really
well. Dogs barking, water dripping and people in a shopping center,
coupled with drones, cracks, hiss and synths (or so it seems).
Everything is thought out well, nicely structured with lots of
variation in the material. What else is there to say? A great
release, even when the written portion comes in an unreadable form.
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