Number 399

Peripheral Conserve)
SANG 9 (CD compilation by Ambiances Magnétiques)
SKOPE – BUILDINGS EP (EP by Observatory)
TAISUKE MATSUO – S/T (EP by Observatory)
TINKERTOY – BROKEN BODUM (3″CDR by Piehead Recordings)
MMMZZZ (CD compilation by Ooze Bap)
TAPE – MILIEU (CD by Hapna)
MARKO CICILIANI – Tullius Rooms (CD by Unsounds)
HIM – LILA (miniCD by Galaxio)
NO XIVIC (7″ by Drone Records)
ENTRELACS – CYNORRODHON (7″ by Drone Records)
C.D. – UN PIANO EN LA GARGANTA (7″ by Drone Records)
EMERGE – RELATIVITY (7″ by Drone Records)

Back in the good ol’ 80s days I had tons and tons of cassettes, of
mostly experimental music. At one point I got rid of two-third of
them, simply because I didn’t have the space. Among the treasures
that I kept where of course the old Legendary Pink Dots cassettes –
but I knew it would be only a matter before they would be released on
CD. I am pretty excited that ‘Traumstadt 1’ contains my all time
Legendary Pink Dots cassette, ‘Apparation’, next to the also quite
good ‘Atomic Roses’. The recordings are from 1982 and 1983, I think,
and show the Pink Dots in fun mode – especially on the two tracks
that make up the a- and b-side of ‘Apparation’. Moods changes
quickly, intercepted by spacey synth sounds, hallelujah chorus, real
drums, rhythmboxes. Quite psychedelic, but also quite funny. I didn’t
play the cassette for quite some time now, but I was surprised that I
could sign along the tunes right away. The two pieces that make up
the ‘Atomic Roses’ are more synth-vocal based and the seperate tracks
take a bit longer and are more introspective. These two are definete
highlights of the Pink Dots at their very early stages (alongside
with ‘Basilisk’ and ‘Prayer For Aradia’, both which are already
available on CD) and to some the sheer adventure was never surpassed
by them. Count me in. (FdW)

Peripheral Conserve)
Quite quickly after the double CD on Absurd comes another release by
The Sonic Catering Band, who have relocated to Budapest in 2002. That
is to say: Peter Strickland, founding father of the band. He’s now
getting help from many players from the Budapestian scene, such as
Zsolt Sores, Pal Toth, Adam Csenger, RR Habarc but also Colin Potter.
This new release takes the Sonic Catering Band away from the kitchen
and moves them into a wider territory about cooking, eating and
social interact dealing with that. Take for instance ‘Table Manners’:
it’s an improvisation like piece using pots and panns, that raises
the question of table manners – or how do correctely do improvised
music. In ‘The Alimentary Canal By Night’, medical texts are used in
Hungarian about digestion. Of course other tracks use the usual
cooking sounds, but overall I must say that these seven pieces are
more musical than what I heard before. The music lies less on the
process of cooking and how to make that sounding, but now its trying
to actually make a nice piece of music, even when it leads to scary
music such as in ‘The Lamb Is The Light Thereof’ or the Colin Potter
remix thereof. A step forward! (FdW)

SANG 9 (CD compilation by Ambiances Magnétiques)
With this compilation Ambiances Magnétiques presents 20 new groups and artists.
Artists that have no album out yet. And listening to this cd not all
of them are ready for that, I think. All 20 groups present themselves
with one track. Information on all these musicians is included in
english and french.
All groups involved have in common that they play some kind of ‘new
music’. The spectrum is broad. But I won’t go here into each track.
So let me at least mention all the groups and musicians that are
covered here: In Vitro, Concorde Crash, The Fighting Koalas, Dickie’s
Nodan Levesky, Pascal Desjardins & & Frédéric Léonard, Mélanie
Auclair, Face dans I’dash, Torngat, Kareya, Malarafe, Cléo
Palacio-Quintin & Pascal Boudreault, Jocelyn Doctor Tellier,
Copromélomanie, James Schidlowsky, Hiatus, Tutu Combo, André Marceau,
L’Hexacorde, Bobok, Arborisationterminale.
It’s no coincidence that the cd opens with a track by In Vitro,
certainly one of the most interesting groups presented here. It’s a
project started by Colin Gagné and Lévy Bourbonnais that impresses
because of the strange and original structure of the piece, moving
between improv and structure, acustic and electro. The Fighting
Koalas also make a hybrid of acustic and electronic music, but in a
more conventional musical form.
Dickie’s Nodan Levesky is a quartet of two acoustic guitars,
percussion and electric bass. An instrumental kind of rock chamber
music that brings back memories of early Conventum. Also l’Hexacorde
offers an interesting piece of rock chamber music that you don’t
expect these days.
Face dans l’dash offers a very noisy and radical excursion. Just like
Arborisationterminale Torngat shows the groovy and funky side of
Quebec, but fail to convince. Malarafe comes most close to jazz
music, with a pianist playing in a style that you either hate or
like. But alle of them are capable musicians I must say.
For me it are the musicians that experiment with electronic and
acustic sound within unusual structures that make this cd worthwhile,
like the duo Cléo Palacio-Quintin and Pascal Boudreault.
The compilation makes evident that Ambiances Magnétiques does not
have to worry about the future. This compilation leaves no doubt that
are many interesting things going on there. It should appeal to all
of you that interested in the new music scene of Quebec (DM).

This ensemble has the following line-up: Pierre Labbé (tenor sax,
flute), Nathalie Bonin (violin), Julie Trudeau (violoncelle), Bernard
Falaise (electric guitar), Frédéric Alarie (contrebasse) and Claude
Lavergne (drums).
Leader Pierre Labbé may be known of that great record ‘Tête à Queue’
by Papa Boa. A very dynamic brew of avant rock. Falaise was also part
of this interesting group. He may also be known of his work Miriodor
and Klaxon Gueule, etc.
Multi-instrumentalist and composer Labbé is also involved in theatre
and dance productions. Currently he works on a solo show of music
tales for children, a.o.
But let’s turn to the debut of his ensemble that plays some of his
recent compostions. Like so many groups they search for a balance
between improvisation and written music. And also like so many other
groups they make their own blend of rock, jazz and composed music. In
the case of the compositions of Labbé this does not mean that they
are eclectic or superficial. All pieces form a organic whole, have a
clear shape and make you forget stylistic boundaries.
The playing is well-tempered, giving room to everybody. Solo’s are
not never ending trips, but always short, modest and serving the
whole. Arrangements are nice and transparant.
Just a cd of warm and intelligent new music that deserves to be heard
everywhere (DM).

My first encounter with Cold Blue Music was when I read in a
catalogue about a 10″ by Chas Smith. I can’t remember what it said,
but maybe something about minimalism in the style of LaMonte Young,
so I ordered the record and quite enjoyed the pedal steel guitar
playing on the record. Minimal indeed, but certainly with a distinct
touch of his own. Later on I learned that Cold Blue existed in the
early 80s releasing seven 10″ records and then went underground
before re-emerging as a CD label. Now they release the seven 10″s in
a nice three CD box set. The first CD has six dances for two violins
and gourd rattles by Peter Garland. There is a certain folk element
in this music, certainly in the third and sixth dance, but also hints
of minimalism and all six pieces are played with elegance. Michael
Jon Fink’s record was all about piano playing and one piece is with
piano and cello. Fink’s music limps on two different styles: one is
inspired by Morton Feldman and one is a more lyrical style. Elegance
is a keyword here too: the pieces are simple in form, Budd inspired
minimal, close the edge of new age music, but not quite close so.
The second disc has three pieces (how would that fit on two 10″s, me
wonder). The first one is by Barney Childs, and is ‘Clay Music’. Four
players play ceramic instruments, most likely various forms of the
ocarina. Of course it would be easy to make a piece that sounds like
Mexican/Maya culture inspired, but Childs went for a more open piece,
exploring the qualities of the ocarinas, pipes, tranverse flutes,
space whistles and tuba flutes. Only occassionally we hear a Jorge
Reyes’ like set of tones, but in general it’s much more minimal in
approach, quite open and free. The other two pieces are by Read
Miller, and with such a name we get two text pieces. Read Miller uses
text derived from messages on old postcards found at rummage sales.
It sounds nice, certainly when two voices speak the same text in
exact the same tempo, but overall, I found it quite boring. Too much
‘Stimmung’ like: a hippy work.
The third CD starts out with my beloved Chas Smith disc. He plays
pedal steel guitar and 12-string dobro. Drone like music, but quite
open; open like a huge desert, like a desolated landscape. Smith adds
a far dose of reverb to evoke such desolation, but it stays on the
fair side. Prize winning piece is the lenghty ‘Scircura’. Guitars
also play a role on Rick Cox’s records, together with voice and
clarinet. Cox plays prepared guitar, but it’s unclear how he actually
prepares it. It’s even hard to imagine that this is a guitar at all.
The instruments are treated well, certainly in ‘These Things Stop
Breathing’. In ‘Taken From Real Life’, the metallic sounds and voice
sounds definete dark and droney, and is the first piece on these CDs
that come close to popmusic. The last one is Daniel Lentz who offers
three pieces for multiple voices and keyboards fed through ‘cascading
echo systems’. This too refers more to popmusic, than to the more
classical approach of Cold Blue on the other 10″s. The reverby and
echoey sounds may be dismissed as a bit too kitschy or cliche, but in
the light of time it’s understandable. The last piece by Lentz has
piano and voice and the same echo system. Less layered and more
dramatic, this predates the early Disque Du Crepuscule sound, and is
the best piece by Lentz here. All in all a very fine collection of a
nice cross-over between classical music and more serious avant-garde
popmusic of the early 80s. (FdW)

SKOPE – BUILDINGS EP (EP by Observatory)
TAISUKE MATSUO – S/T (EP by Observatory)
Skylab Observatory, or only Observatory, is a net-sub-label of the
regular label (that releases CDs and vinyls) Skylab Operations, based
in Vienna. Observatory started operating in 2002, first with mp3s,
but from some time ago it’s ogg-label with a nice design of their
informative site. Observatory likes to promote less known people who
make interesting music, artists like Imtech, .Tape., Mou_Lips!,
Kunstner5, Formatt, Elasticlego, Lullatone, Osso Bucco, Onethema and
One of the latest releases on Observatory is a longer EP with 4
tracks from Skope. Skope is Doug, he paints graffiti and for more
info you can check Observatory’s site where you can also find Skope’s
e-mail and a link to his site. All 4 tracks from Skope’s Buildings EP
are nice and in a downtempo style, no catchy melodies to remember and
always in touch with pure simplicity. Soothing and easy-listening
rhythms with plain background atmospheres. Nothing shocking or
extraordinary but actually well done and sounds good. Music that’s
not trying to be experimental by all means and ending up being
pointless – opposite to that – this music manages to be simple and
cool in a positive downtempo way.
Taisuke Matsuo is, apparently, from Japan and his EP is also with 4
tracks. These tracks are in a more direct and japanese IDM-style,
with faster and sharper rhythms and sounds, but also listenable. Very
clever, inventive and unconventional sound solutions. I believe this
is connected with the fact that Taisuke Matsuo is from Japan, it’s
obvious that more japanese artists (like Aoki Takamasa, Sachiko M,
Merzbow) are doing something unique that separates them from the
others. Check out Taisuke’s tracks to hear some fresh and creative
IDM music. Let’s hope Observatory will continue to find out more
unknown artists in future for us to enjoy. (BR)

TINKERTOY – BROKEN BODUM (3″CDR by Piehead Recordings)
The final release in Piehead’s 3″ CDR series of 2003 contains also a
new name, Tinkertoy, but unlike many others in the series, Tinkertoy
is a duo, being Andrew Wedman and Paul Shrimpton. They have a
classical background but play electronic music. It is said that
‘sampling outdoor environments’ form the start of their compositions,
but I couldn’t hear much of that. Their sound is highly electronic,
playing keyboards and rhythmmachines. If the ‘Artifical Intellegence’
series on Warp still rings a bell for you, then I am sure this will
go down smoothly with you too. An ambient sound but with stripped
down techno rhythm at the bottom. Three lenghty and minimal cuts of
which the title piece comes close to Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected
Ambientworks’ release. Nice laid back late night listening music,
coming without much surprise, but executed with style and craft. (FdW)

Here Are The Facts You Requested is alternative pop
(guitar/bass/drums/vocals) band and they make songs. When I once
played the third track from this album on radio, one friend of mine
asked me is that a track from David Bowie. No, it isn’t. It’s this
band with a huge name. Variation (the third track) is really a great
song and the fact that this friend of mine, who is familiar in
details with the indie-guitar-pop-rock scene, thought it was a Bowie
song speaks for itself. Felt is second album from HATFYR and on the
cover of their first album Shocks+Struts (originally released in 1998
on their own Elevator Pop Gallery label and re-released by Testing
Ground in 2002) they say that some of their influences are Pink
Floyd, David Bowie, Flaming Lips, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Eno’s
Oblique Strategies, The Doors, Navajo Indians of Canyon de
Cheylles…, but their influences also come from The Beatles, Can,
Talking Heads, Prince, Laurie Anderson. I’m not the hugest fan of
guitar-rock music, I never liked the 90’s indie-rock much (like
Pavement and similar) but I adore today’s indie-guitar-electronic
artists from Morr Music and I also very much appreciate artists like
Will Oldham, Dave Pajo, Gorky’s and few others of that kind. What
about Felt? Well, it’s very nice and decent album, some songs are
better than others. It’s obvious that the band is having fun while
playing which is always important. I have some favourite songs, like
Remember, Variation, Diamonds, Sellout or the opener Trio. This music
is specially recommended to fans of artists like Beck, Ellioth Smith,
Ween, Belle&Sebastian, Kings Of Convenience…, and of course, David
Bowie. (BR)

MMMZZZ (CD compilation by Ooze Bap)
Reading poetry is never much my thing, so I started with mixed ideas
with this CD from Edwin Torres. Torres is a poet who invented the
“I.E. Interactive Eclectiscism” for his text and performance work. He
collaborates with lots of musicians on his CD, who either play live
with Torres’ work or sent in tapes to guide his work. Some tracks are
pure solo works. These are four track collages of rhythms, voices and
overall collaged madness. In some of the other tracks he is helped by
Sean Meehan (snare and cymbal stand), Un Caddie Renverse Dans L’Herbe
(tapes, production), DJ Posse Pause (Bossa Nova Loop) and also some
more regular instrument players. Torres uses rhythm in his texts,
which adds nicely to the music (or vice versa of course). Maybe at
times a bit too funny (was he drunk?), but certainly a track like ‘A
Postcard From Across The Youmisphere’ is quite nice, if ‘Let It Be…
Naked’ still doesn’t provide you with the right version of ‘Across
The Universe’. Not entirely my thing still, but quite nice, overall.
More voice and poetry related work on the same label comes on a mixed
media compilation, conatining normal audio, MP3 and texts. Edwin
Torres is of course part of it, but also Chocolate Sandwhich, Jelle
Meander, Jorg Piringer, Javier Hernando, The Bohman Brothers, Ryo Co
and more. On the audio part of the CD, things are very short, from
less than thirty seconds to just over three minutes. Voice is the
main instruments, but they are processed, looped or otherwise
transformed, which makes this into a rather vivid compilation. This
madness continues on the multi-media part of the CD, with maybe a few
hours (at least one that is) of music, which I only zapped through I
must admit, but it had a few nice channels. Overall two releases of
weirder, dadaist like music/poetry. (FdW)

TAPE – MILIEU (CD by Hapna)
The first CD by Tape was reviewed in Vital Weekly 350 and that CD was
received well (even when I didn’t write that review). Tape is a trio
of the brother Berthling (Johan and Andreas) and Tomas Hallonsten.
They play a wide variety of instruments from banjo to computer to
harmonium to piano to field recordings. Slow and peaceful melodies
played on acoustic guitar and steel guitar, while the recordings of
domestic sounds hoover somewhere in the back. They list a number of
influences, but of all those, I see Gastr Del Sol fit best, alongside
with Jim O’Rourke’s solo work. Eight sketch like pieces of music,
intimate yet powerful. Such diverse elements and yet such a coherent
CD. Maybe what Tape does not new (see Gastr Del Sol, even when Tape
is full on acoustic), but it’s of great beauty. It combines
experiment and song structures, it combines structured composition
and improvisation. Less is more is the adagio of this CD. And of
course on Hapna, one of the very few labels that is still worth
collecting. (FdW)

MARKO CICILIANI – Tullius Rooms (CD by Unsounds)
Ciciliani comes from Zagreb (Croatia). He studied composition in The
Hague, New York and Hamburg. He lives in Amsterdam where he is
involved in ‘Kraakgeluiden’, a series of improvised
music-performances involving acoustic and electronic instruments that
started in 1999. Besides, Ciciliani composed for orchestra, chamber
orchestra and other settings. He also performs and improvises and
loves to works in various collaborative projects in the fields of
theater, dance, video and music. As an improvisor Ciciliani uses the
no-input mixer and played it in performances with Jaap Blonk, Cor
Fuhler, Jim Fulkerson, Axel Dorner and others.
‘Tullius Room’ presents Ciciliani as a composer. It’s a large scale
composition in 24 parts for piano, electronics and ambient
recordings. It’s played by Ciciliani himself (electronics, inside
paino) and Josh Dillon (piano), and it’s recorded by Radio Bremen in
october 2001.
For this composition Ciciliani is inspired by old memory techniques
as the following quote extensively tells: “From Antiquity up through
the Renaissance, there are reports of people who had the ability to
retain unimaginable amounts of information. These people accomplished
such feats of recollection by means of a particular technique – the
ars memorativa – which worked in the following way. One created a
personal, imaginary building, all of the different spatial divisions
of which one came to know well. In order to remember a particular
subject, one would place various virtual objects in the rooms of the
building. These objects would symbolically represent information. To
recall something later, one would imagine oneself walking through
that particular part of the building which housed the objects
pertaining to the subject at hand and would then “decode” them.
The idea of a fictitious building which, although uninhabited, is
still ‘imbued,’ serves as the inspiration for this piece and as a
metaphor for its formal organization. The form consists of 126
sections that were derived by means of a magic square. The
architectural metaphor lends itself well to the piece and its
sections, in that although the physical characteristics of individual
rooms may greatly differ, together the rooms form an edifice. A
second aspect in the piece is derived from architecture, in that the
acoustic characteristics of the hall in which this piece is performed
play an important musical role, as do those of the piano and the
musician’s body. These last two are also utilized as ‘architectural’
entities unto themselves. Furthermore, artificial and remote
acoustics are brought in by means of electronics and soundscapes.”
So far the concept behind the music. Now the music itself. The
compositions lasts almost 80 minutes, so it is a very long work. We
hear mainly the piano, interluded or mixed with electronics. The
electronics evocate sometimes old doors that are crackingly opened
and give entrance to a new room. Whistling, some singing and little
percussive sounds complete the set of instruments used.
The 24 parts that make up this composition differ in use of
acoustics. In some parts, like part 13, environmental sounds are
heard and give a very spacial effect.
This modern classical work offers a succesfull intertwining of
acoustic and electronic soundsources. The composition that’s
characterized by some rigidness offers an interesting journey that
grows after repeated listenings (DM).

The work of Scottish trio Opaque was reviewed before (Vital Weekly
388 and 343) through small scale CDR releases, but now they have
their first full length out on a ‘real’ CD. As I noted before, when I
saw them playing they were a duo, but on the releases they were a
trio. Apperentely they are now a duo again. Opaque is a band of
extreme music, played on two guitars, feeding the sound through a
large amount of effect boxes, cooking up some extreme wall of sound.
It seems to me one guitarist plays the rhythm and the other is
responsible for the noise. Sometimes noise and rhythm go together
very well and the result becomes a closely interwoven pattern of
sound. But this CD is more then just that. A track like ‘The Squalor
And Intimacy Of A Man’s Suitcase’ starts out like a very free
improvisation play between two guitars before it explodes into a
minimalist tinkling of snares. You can hear that Opaque have been
together for some time, and that their sound is better worked out, a
certain level of experience is to be heard. Opaque crosses lines of
Sonic Youth, Merzbow and Einsturzende Neubauten in their duelling
guitar world. Big leap forward here. (FdW)
Address: or

Maybe Staalhertz are trying to get a recording contract with
Staalplaat? It might be so, because their electronic music has many
traces to the Staalworld: ethno inspired rhythms ala Muslimgauze,
Rapoon or Desacord Majeur and ambient industrial synthlines along the
lines of O Yuki Conjugate or Internal Fusion. Nicely recorded and at
times nice songs, but I found it hard to enjoy it throughout. It
seemed to be lacking a soul of it’s own. It seems gathered from
various sources of inspiration, but not something that Staalhertz has
come up in a rather natural way. The whole things remains somewhat
cold, clinical and alienated. Changes missed here. (FdW)

The name Dronaement has been lurking in these pages before, mainly
through a steady stream of CDR releases aswell as some limited vinyl
releases. For this new release, on the ever so nice Mystery Sea CDR
label, they (or better he, as Dronaement is Marcus Obst from Germany)
take field recordings from a ‘hydroelectric powerstation in natural
environment’ which were transformed using four and eighttrack
recording equipment. In ‘Moon Drone’ it seems to me that the sound is
fed through a whole bunch of synthesizers, resulting in a majestic
drone piece. In a much rougher territory is ‘PSW1’, which is also
drone related, but more in a dirty ground. Slightly distorted and
putting emphasis on hiss and static crackles. In ‘PSW2’ the focuss is
entirely on a pulsating, rhythmical effort, which adds an even more
alien feel to the release. Eerie and distant music but at the same
time quite captivating. (FdW)

I must admit I don’t know that much about Sunroof!, other then it is
the group around Mathew Bower, who also plays as Total when in solo
mode. Of and on he releases CDs on VHF, of which I heard bits and
pieces, but never at this length. Sunroof! uses guitars, drums,
radios, keyboards and they all play in a rather free mood. Some
instruments start a piece and then shortly after everybody follows in
a free floating jam of sound. Many layers of sounds, some of which do
not seem to have that much relation to eachother, such as in ‘Silver
Nazi Suicide’, but in this endless psychedelic space jam everything
is possible and nothing is left out. Very much inspired by seventies
krautrock, but with a big lo-fi stamp all over it. At times it seems
recorded in the shed behind the house, and post-production is a word
they haven’t heard of, I guess. Not a big problem anyway, as long as
the intentions are good. And they sure are good. Like an unstoppable
psych machine, Sunroof! marches on. Minimal, alienated and at times
with full volume on, even when this is supposed to be a somewhat more
mellow work (especially the opening pieces are mellow). For those who
like Vibracathedral Orchestra or Jackie O Motherfucker, this is
surely something that should go down well. (FdW)

Knowing that the three members have their background in more Power
Noise-related Industrial-projects it was quite surprising putting the
ears to this project called Ambre. The members in Ambre are Oliver
Moreau (Imminent etc.), C-Drík Fermont (Crno Klank etc.) and John
Sellekaers (Snog, Xingu Hill etc.). Earlier releases of Ambre have
been created in collaboration with among others Mark Spybey of Zoviet
France and Mick Harris a.k.a. Lull, which is not really surprising
considering the musical approach on this fourth Ambre-album titled
“Le Mensonge”. The three artists work in a sphere of vital ambience
built on strange and unfamiliar sampled sounds, creatures rather than
machines. Samples that have been cut-up, looped, processed,
manipulated into a sphere of dark layers of aural abstraction. The
combination of experimental and, in a lesser degree, conventional
sounds create massive clouds of sinister atmospheres. Atmospheres
that are further strengthened by threatening, meanwhile seductive
timbres. The rhythms are almost non-existing in the dark universe,
and those few signs of rhythmic structure on the album are first of
all subtle ones built on loop samples. Once in a while the album
floats into ritual soundspheres of ethnic expressions: A track like
“La vie est belle” sends a friendly postcard back to the earlier days
Coil. The layered textures on that certain track increase the
tensions of exotic darkness. “Le Mensonge” is an album that needs
some careful listening before it really opens. After that a treasure
of unconventional sounds finds its way into a sublime ambient
experience. (NMP)

Slowly but steadily S’Agita Recordings grows into a big label with a
big catalogue. They recentely added four new releases to the roster
and as before it’s people I never heard of and some more known names.
Mathieu Ruhlmann for instance is someone I never heard of.
Apperentely he is a drone musician from Canada, who processes field
recordings made during trips to the icy spots of Alaska (Although I
don’t see a relation to a title such as ‘The Night Of The Long
Knives’, which was a particular event in Nazi Germany in 1934).
Ruhlmann adds reverb, delay and a bit of equalization to these field
recordings, but it seems to me he leaves them otherwise fairly
unprocessed. That makes that I have some trouble with this. I think
one shouldn’t be changing anything or go all the way. Now we hear
vaguely hints of somebody walking on ice or on snow covered plains,
but with just a few, slight changes in the electronic spectrum. In
the fifth piece, ‘Aaora’, something that hints to some more
electronic processing arises. It’s in this and the next track where
the release gets interesting, but sadly the first four pieces didn’t
do much for me.
Aidan Baker is well-known musician by now, trying to break the world
record of using different CDR labels… He plays guitars, bass,
flute, recorder and voice. Baker plays ambient music. I believe the
seven tracks on this release is to be regarded as one piece of music,
in which Baker combines his love of ambient music with some more
experimental sounds and musique concrete. All of this was recorded
live, with just a minimal overdub here and there. Quite nice deep
ambient, which is, luckily far away from the too standard approaches
to ambient music. Aidan has ideas enough of his own to make a release
that is nice to hear but also a challenge to the listener.
I haven’t seen ‘Fata Morgana’ by Werner Herzog, so I am not sure how
the music by Belfi and Fioratti relates to the film. Andrea Belfi
runs the Chocolate Guns CDR label and Ciro Fioratti runs the
Soleilnoir label. On this release we have solo pieces by each and in
the middle a collaborative track by the two. All three tracks are
excellent excursions into the world of microsound. Shortwave sounds,
field recordings and some very strong sound processing. Building up
in tension all the time, with great counterpoints. Surely one of the
best releases on S’Agita so far.
Kar has had releases before on the S’Agita label, but that was a live
CD. Here they offer a studio CD, with just one track of thirty seven
minutes. Kar is a duo who produce also microsounding stuff but less
refined than Fioratti/Belfi. Traces of old school industrial music
can be detected throughout in the louder bits in this piece. Things
are more straight forward, direct in your face approach. Processings
take a much simple course and the overall approach is much more
minimal. Things stay longer in the same vein. For those who think
microsoundings are too soft, this is the one to get then… (FdW)

HIM – LILA (miniCD by Galaxio)
Rob Mazurek is a busy man, playing coronet with Chicago Underground
Duo, Tortoise, Gastr Del Sol and more plus composing his own music.
On this CD he plays with Doug Sharin, aka Him. Five pieces of drums
and coronet playing with additional players on bass. I don’t think
Vital Weekly has ever come close to jazz (with the big J), as did
here. Jazzy rhythms on the drums, the wavering coronet on top, vague
vocals in the background, five tracks in total, almost twenty two
minutes. It’s not the kind of music I play a lot, or even have any
knowledge about, so it’s hard to describe this in terms of good or
bad. I thought it was quite a nice release for what it is. Still not
something I greatly admire or would play a lot, but a nice one
indeed. (FdW)

With the release of this third part of Tjurkurrpa, Troum finishes
their trilogy. The first was subtitled ‘Harmonies’ (see Vital Weekly
260) and the second ‘Drones’ (see Vital Weekly 308) and now they
explore ‘rhythms and pulsations’. Troum is a German duo who play a
wide variety of instruments, such a metal percussion, mouth organ,
choirs, guitars and effects and their main interest lies in playing
trance like music that can’t be rationally accessed. So the release
as a trilogy makes sense. One side dealing with harmonics, one side
deals with drones and one aspect dealing with rhythmic music. It’s
music that plays with your (sub-) consciousness. It’s maybe strange
to hear Troum playing more rhythmically and up-tempo music, but it
perfectely makes sense, at least to me. Do not expect some
techno-trance music, but rather minimal, pulsating, beat related
music. Rhythms are minimal, but with small changes in texture and
colour. On top they add more colour from using various sounds,
playing around with sound effects and equalization. More then on
their previous releases, there are traces of Zoviet*France like
music, especially on their early records, but if there is one really
good lo-fi ambient industrial band around these days, it’s Troum.
Their trilogy is a true masterpiece in the genre. (FdW)

NO XIVIC (7″ by Drone Records)
ENTRELACS – CYNORRODHON (7″ by Drone Records)
C.D. – UN PIANO EN LA GARGANTA (7″ by Drone Records)
EMERGE – RELATIVITY (7″ by Drone Records)
Four new 7″ on Troum’s Drone Records. I have no idea how and where
they find all their bands, but everytime they manage to come up with
new names. Such as No Xivic, whose very first release is this 7″. No
Xivic hail from Finland and use metallic drone music. Kinda like
serious art installation music, maybe in the veins of Harry Bertoia,
but there is a gradual distortion coming in from beyond, which makes
this much more a product of an ambient-industrialist. Especially the
b-side is quite dark and droney. A bit of a raw diamant this one.
Entrelacs is the collaborative effort of Yannick Dauby and Micheal
Northam – both are quite known as manipulators of field recordings.
The piece on the a-side has a lot field recordings and a densely
layered pattern of acoustic objects being rubbed and pushed back and
forth. Also high frequency modulations play an important role. A
dense and closed piece. The b-side finds them in a different
territory, with a dark angular piece of what sounds like tons of
amplified wine glasses and small amplified rumbling of unidentifable
objects. Quite nice this one, for its different approach to drone
Behind C.D. is one Christian Dergaradedian, originally from Buenos
Aires and once a member of Reynols, now living Barcelona. He has no
less than six tracks on his 7″, but they do sound like one track per
side. C.D.’s music is very drone like, with a majestic wall of sound
approach. His pieces start out loud quite dense, only to become more
dense. His work sounds more digital than analogue, like a lot of
computer processing to arrive at this thick wall. Maybe there are
similarities in his work to that of the recent Hafler Trio, but C.D.
is much louder and much more present. This is one of those releases
on Drone that are really worthy the labels name.
Also a new name is Emerge, from Augsburg, Germany. He has released
two tapes and CDRs and now comes to a wider audience. It’s kinda hard
to describe what is going on here. Highly reverbed slowed down voices
is my best guess. Rumblings of an unknown kind take place, but
seemingly there is no start or end point – like cut outs from a
larger part. Of these four the least interesting one, at least for
me. If lo-fi rumbling is your thing, you might think differentely of
course. (FdW)

corrections to last week’s issue: Tim Perkis is the right name not
Tim Perkins. Also the album by Mike Bullock and Vic Rawlings is not
called ‘Fall Of Song’ but ‘Fall Of Science’.