Number 450

PITA – GET OUT (CD by Häpna)
MELODIES (CD by Amorfon)
L’OMBRE – SIMULATIONS 2.0 (CD by Ant-Zen Recordings)
RUMP COMP VOLUME ONE (CD compilation by Rump)
ELECTRA (CD compilation by Elusive)
COTI – LIDO/LATO (2xCD by Poeta Negra)
LIKE MUSIC TO THEIR EARS VOL.2 (CD compilation by Mechanoise Labs)
STROTTER INC. – MONSTRANZ (CD by Everest Records)
THE ABSTRACTIONS – Novo Navigatio (CD by Pax Recordings)
DANNY SAUNDERS – GOLD (7″ by Shadazz)
KEITH BERRY – BUDDHA’S MILE (CDR by Authorized Version)
SMELL & QUIM – COSMIC BONDAGE (CDR by Authorized Version)
SIN #6 (CDR compilation by Syndrom)

PITA – GET OUT (CD by Häpna)
Although the name comes up in these pages quite regularly (less these
days then before it seems however) it was quite a search but the last
thing released by Peter Rehberg under his Pita monniker was ‘Get
Down’, the LP by Mego, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 336. I
believe ‘Get Out’ is only his fourth solo outing. Pita is a man of
live concerts, solo, with Rehberg/Bauer, Mimeo or just whoever is
available. Many if not all of these concerts are recorded and at home
Pita creates them into new pieces. Recycling pur sang. But on his
previous releases this resulted in heavy, uncompromising slabs of
digital noise, now on ‘Get Out’, Pita shows us his softer side. Less
in y’r face digitallia, and more subtle moments, like the
eight-minute, almost ambient of ‘Retour’. The heavy bits are now
bits, like the short piece ‘Babel’. I’m not sure if the tracks are
cuts out of concerts or treated concert recordings, by layering
various on top of eachother, but having witnessed some of his
concerts, I can imagine it’s either one. Pita is the master of the
plug in: armed with just his laptop he’s still, despite his lower
profile these days, the best you can get. Small his output may be, it
shows enough variation to maintain a continued interest; at least:
certainly from this listener. (FdW)

MELODIES (CD by Amorfon)
This seems to be one of those titles that explain the music well.
Fitz Ellarald is Vladislav Dobrovolski, a Russian artist + dj from
Moscow. The music on this album, which is the first release on
Amorfon (the other 2 are reviewed in Vital 436 and 437), seems to be
influenced by the global glitched-out movement. In that way this
music is closer to Markus Popp’s So than Oval, ’cause it’s going in a
more melodic direction. But improvisation is very important here too.
It’s actually glitchy aesthetics presented through improv playing and
style. Often ending as ambient. Fitz Ellarald is credited with tapes,
programmings, guitar, bass and synthesizers. Obviously this artist
belongs to the lap-top/computer improv scene, like Fennesz, Vladislav
Delay, Desormais and others, who use diverse instruments but the main
one is the lap-top and they improvise by/through it. Since it’s
improvised music there must be a good balance and a certain
intensity. That’s well done in the tracks ‘Hjarta’ and ‘Ruminant’ for
example, but also sometimes it’s not so focused and then it lacks
more dynamics, like in the first half of the album when it sounds a
bit absent. However, it’s a nice musical approach with mostly
non-obliged improv playing. (BR)

L’OMBRE – SIMULATIONS 2.0 (CD by Ant-Zen Recordings)
Last year Stephen Sawyer (a.k.a. L’Ombre) released his debut album
titled “Simulations 1.0” on Ant Zen Recordings. It was a pleasant
journey into sonic spheres of melodic ambient and bent-out-of-shape
breakbeats. Just a year later the follow-up, bearing the logic title
“Simulations 2.0” has hit the streets. And the recipe of the debut is
neatly followed. This time the result is even better! The album is
still focused on atmospheres of melodic fragility but the rhythmic
part of L’Ombre works better on “Simulations 2.0”, still with the
nice mixture of dark hop oriented beats and laid back breakbeat
textures. Even though the rhythmic section of the album isn’t
suppressed in the overall sound picture, the rhythms never disrupt
the chill-out feeling. Rather it helps accomplishing the laid back
atmosphere of the album in the best possible way. Samples of
soundtracks and looped vocal effects gives a fresh feeling, just like
the funky guitar riff-samples first of all appearing on opening track
“Relax, it’s digital”. The total playing time of the main album is
only 27 minutes, but the CD contains seven pleasant remixes of tracks
from the album by other sound artists. The quality of the remixes is
high. Despite the fact that each remix carries its own personal
expression by the remixing artist, the remixes generally stay true to
the original expression of L’Ombre. Thus the unattended listener
wouldn’t even realise that the main album had ended and the remixes
had taken over. So there we go: 70 minutes of excellent chill out!

RUMP COMP VOLUME ONE (CD compilation by Rump)
This is second compilation by Rump recordings. Usually new labels are
starting their discographies with a compilation, but Rump is doing
that in opposite way with their second release. In this case their
first release, a Rumpistol album, determinates the labels sound which
is pop, IDM oriented electronica with dubby influences. This
compilation is continuing with presenting of before defined sound,
still defining it with the variety of the sound that only compilation
can offer, but holing on concept of presenting Danish electronica.
Here can be found relaxed pop oriented electrononics of Zoffmann or
Manual & Syntaks, relaxed duby moments of Melk, glitchy minimalistics
of Kriipis Tulo, Theodor Zox and Pellarin, fine and calm tunes of
oRfeUs, Skyphone and Prinz Ezo, there are some tracks that are into
more classic idm sound like tracks by Sofus Forsberg, Karsten Pflum
and Rumplistol/Sortie. After listening to whole compilation it seems
that there are more styles incorporated into it and we can see that
Rump is interested in more sounds than it seemed from first look. Of
course crucial for that is the concept in which can be still
recognized characteristic melancholic Nordic vibe. But despite it
seems that it’s so eclectic, that variety, eclecticism and
combinations are still into one sound, production and mood. (TD)

ELECTRA (CD compilation by Elusive)
Judging by the sound that this record offers, it’s nothing but a
classic. It’s that classical sound derived from basic idm, through
the contemporary variations of post idm to the melodic
electronica…the sound that elusive have to offer with their third
release would be best described as: warm and melodic electronica
flavoured with organic elements. A standard description for styles
mentioned before. So what is it that’s new here? The sound and the
style surely not, but maybe it’s something to do with the individual
production implemented in the sound that this label treats. Twenty
tracks, by twenty different musicians, all coming from ireland, with
every track sounding alike from the melodic pop concept’s point of
view which is evidently what this compilation intends to offer us.
Therefore, apparently those are the label’s intentions as well, or as
they have stated: an initiative to gather different components, to
find something which could connect these, but which by the
traditional means of a compilation would be different. Nevertheless
the result in general would be a record with a linear character and
at the same time presenting a fine sounding whole, instead of a
sampler splitted by tracks/artists. In case this was the aim of the
compilation, i’d call it successful. But if the aim of this
compilation was to present many variations of sound, its perfect
accordance could be its fault. Anyway, their primary idea, concerning
the context of the sound, was above all, to present any kind of warm
sounding melody. Slow and melodic piano, guitars, cutt-up deep
rythms, soothing bass lines and occasional vocal samples. Different
moods, ambients, some calm, some louder, ambiental melodies and
strong dancing rythms….even some hip hop variations. So they are
successful in this as well. Finally their attitude states that this
compilation is about consistency of sound that glides through the
different moods, energy levels and styles it contains. As far as the
consistency is concerned, we’ve already proven that. Various moods…
That stands too. Styles….only in the means of this melodic sound.
Apparently it is clear because the rest of the styles aren’t even
included. (TD)

COTI – LIDO/LATO (2xCD by Poeta Negra)
What you can clearly notice in Poeta Negra’s previous releases is
that this label has a very eclectic approach concerning the sound.
From the classical post rock that makes, through decades’
typical electro, through the eclectic sounds of Peekay Tayloh to the
cinematic ambient that Dani Joss offers. This time Coti’s release
opens another perspective in exploring this label’s sound. Judging by
his biography, this artist apparently is a veteran in production.
“Lido/Lato” is coti’s fourth solo album, after leaving a serious
promising impression with his album metamemoria (Vibrant Recs, 2002).
In the meantime Coti simultaneously records his album while
participating in a few side projects, such as the texturiser with
Nikos Veliotis of antifrost. He performes live, composes film
soundtracks as well as music for theatre plays, finally records and
produces other bands’ projects, among which is tuxedomoon’s upcoming
album. As far as his own history is concerned, Constantino Luca,
Rolando Kiriakos aka Coti or Coti K is integrated in the scene with
all sorts of different pioneer electronic bands in Athens, with his
work as a producer, sound engeneer, and also by collaborating with
names like Blaine Raininger, the previously mentioned Tuxedomoon,
Stereoniva, Nikos Veliotis, Ilios… And many other collaborations,
composing soundtracks for not only films and theatre plays but also
commertials. This album consists of two parts (i.e. 2 disks) lido and
lato. The first part of this release is experimental, and completely
different from the second part, even though these are just two sides
of a unique creation both composed at the same time. It starts off
with completely dark ambience, while microglitch layers appear even
at the very beginning. These only insinuate the interesting moment
that is about to follow in the rest of the tracks on this album, that
have the same sensibility. The microglitch sound and the ambient
background wrapped in quiet unrecognizable melody represent the basis
of the whole album. (for exp. ‘baben g.’ is based on live recordings
from babis and pavlos makridis’ performances. In q.respiro you can
feel a completely quiet and unnoticeable noise flux which is mixed up
with the already recognizable ambient setting, while in s~p. The
noise direction is more categorical, to be later amalgamated in
ambience. The subtlety, the minimalism and micronoise variation are
the orientations that describe lido, a nice guide to what is to
follow, the second part called lato. Lato is more classic with piano
and string melodies. Although it begins interestingly and
experimentally enough, from the second track the classic melodies
take place, through the presence of a piano choked in the
unrecognizable minimal electronics. Contemporary classic is what
dominates and is realized through this part. Nostalgia, sentiment,
and emotion…that end it in a slight pathetic manner with
‘p.stritch’ that features a cello sample by nikos veliotis. Today
when the classical sound is something already past, lato faces the
usual problem of becoming too boring, uninventive and totally banal.
However he gets away with it thanks to the experimental tendency in
the sound. Despite these two parts being two complementary sides of a
whole, the sound that they have to offer is quite different and it
makes them come across as diverse, so diverse that they could be
considered as two different releases. Only if we see the experimental
intention as a link between the two, could this complementing be

Apart from the release of a 10″ by The Hafler Trio on Rossbin, the
label’s usual roster consists of the really die-hard improvisation
music. These two new releases are no different. Blue Collar is Nate
Wooley (trumpet, flugelhorn, voice), Steve Swell (trombone, voice)
and tatsuya Naktani (percussion) – all three of them new names to me.
Unlike so many other improvisation discs that land here on my desk,
this is one that firmly stays inside the acoustic areas, and unlike
others, their playing is rather traditional, compared to some of the
other players in these areas (Axel Dörner). But that doesn’t mean
that this by any new standard dull or boring. Throughout these eight
pieces there is much tension going around between the players and
also they don’t operate on the same soundlevel throughout. The
seventh piece is a loud beast, whereas the eight one is almost
ambient. A well varied disc of more traditional improvisations, but
all of them of a high standard.
The name Ferran Fages popped up before, as one of the active people
in the Portugese improvised music scene. Here he plays ‘acoustic
turntable’, with Ruth Barberan on trumpet and Alfredo Costa Monteiro
on accordion. Like the Blue Collar disc, this is also mostly acoustic
(I think), but the result is much louder and abbrassive. In a strange
way these three players manage to sound electronic (or maybe electric
is a better word) in an acoustic way. This trio knows how to built up
tension too, even when the tracks they take are a bit shorter and
things move faster than at Blue Collar. I especially liked the
acoustic quality of the noise approach they take. Certainly something
else again. Quite nice indeed.

LIKE MUSIC TO THEIR EARS VOL.2 (CD compilation by Mechanoise Labs)
Noise on a sunny weather? Even when it’s quite cold outside… I
don’t know if it makes a difference to you, but I’d better take a
walk and leave the music for later… This is a compilation from the
French label Mechanoise Labs and, as it says in the subtitle, it’s
‘an international gathering of extreme electronics’. These extreme
electronics are often presented in a noise form, but it’s not only
about that. Some of the tracks, by Cutman (from France), Control
(from USA) and others, are like a harsher noisy side of
(post)industrial. Sometimes there’s use of talking samples or the
noise atmosphere is building up with voice shouting in Cutman’s
track, which adds more disturbance to it. What’s common for all
artists is a rather untamed approach and trashy use of noise in
various contexts and ways, something Mechanoise Labs are obviously
fond of. Lots of unknown names here, in fact I recognize only two,
Government Alpha (Japan) and Mourmansk 150 (France). The others are:
Nagasaki Fondue and Foutredieu!!! from Canada; from USA: The Mark
Dutroux Slideshow, Pine Tree State Mind Control, Navicon Torture
Technologies and Angel of Decay; France: bETON bARRAGE, This Is Not
Red Paint; and also: DVT and Sulphur (from Australia), Rupor Udara
and Kryptogen Rundfunk (Russia). 16 artists and 17 tracks. (BR)

STROTTER INC. – MONSTRANZ (CD by Everest Records)
“It’s unlikely you’ll have heard anything quite like this before” –
that is a remark with a promise. Last year or so I reviewed Everest’s
‘Inhalight’ CDEP (Vital Weekly 372) and called it ‘intelligent dance
music for people that don’t dance’, where they cleverly combined
electronic music that could easily fit on Warp Records with street
sounds and environmental recordings. That was a nice release, but on
the new full length release ‘Heimlich Maneuver’ I find it hard to
have pleasure. The music is even more like good ol’ artificial
intelligence, ambient music with a large sauce of techno rhythms, and
the field recordings seem to have vanished. It’s quite likely I heard
such music before and this doesn’t add much, I think. It’s pleasent,
entertaining, none forcefull electronic music, that fills the living
room nicely for fifty minutes. But beyond that nothing new under the
Of much more interest is the release by Strotter Inc. He has released
a LP before and ‘Monstranz’ is the first full length CD. Strotter
Inc. uses manipulated and modified Lenco-turntables, which he uses to
built lenghty minimal pieces of concrete music. Of course everything
rotates, on end. It seems to me that Strotter Inc. doesn’t use any
vinyl to play on his turntables, but rather prepares the machines to
play elastic bands, wood or metal. Much of this sounds alike Institut
Fuer Feinmotorik, but Strotter Inc’s tracks are lenghtier and more
minimal. The eight track, with a length of thirty-three minutes goes
a bit over the top, but the others are quite nice. Track one is
pressed on the cover and can be played on a turntable, the eleventh
track can be downloaded from the internet. Old and new technology
meet. Certainly one of the more creative covers of the year. (FdW)

THE ABSTRACTIONS – Novo Navigatio (CD by Pax Recordings)
‘Novo Navigatio’ marks the third stage of the sonic explorations by
The Abstractions.
The name of this group makes their programm explicit. They borrow
from rock, improv, jazz, electroacustic music, soundmanipulation,
etc. without repeating it. But it is evident that these guys are
searching for new paths. It’s their pleasure and drive to investigate
that I like most. More then the results I must say. But maybe their
approach will result in a new and convincing musical identity.
All 19 pieces differ considerably from each other. It’s hard to
believe that this is one band actually. But maybe this isn’t the
case. The Abstractions came about as a project by saxophonist Rent
Romus and singer-guitarist Ernesto Diaz-Infante. On their new cd The
Abstractions are completed by some ten more musicians, like Bob Marsh
(cello), Philip Everett (drums, percussion), Dina Emerson (vocals),
Lance Grabmiller (laptop), a.o. But not all of them give acte de
présence on all individual tracks, which explains partly the
differences between the pieces. Parlty this is also explained by the
great diversity of musical ideas and concepts that are explored.
Sometimes condensed in a songstructure, sometimes in a soundcollage
or pure noise. So each piece has it’s own focus. Their approach is
anarchistic and psychedelic, not formal or analytic. They create
moods, textures and atmospheres. If their is any discipline, it is
their choice to keep things short. Between 1 and 5 minutes ideas must
become concrete and their is no reason to repeat them endlessy.
That’s a good thing. What to say more? The Abstractions make a
experimental music of a rare and interesting kind that is still
growing. (DM)

The final two releases for En/Of this year brings one known band and
one utter unknown person, at least to me. And that one is Andrew
Zealley, formerly a member of Green Bucket has ‘Five Nocturnes For
Electricity’ to offer. Built out of field recordings of one or the
other kind, but also sampled strings and keyboards, he brings quite a
varied blend of music. The a-side has four of them. ‘Nocturne I’ is a
minimal keyboard piece with shifting patterns. In ‘Nocture II’ the
strings cum feedback play a role, and in ‘Noctune III’, it’s computer
treated voices. ‘Nocturne IV’ is the most mellow piece of the lot.
‘Nocturne V’ is a dark ambient piece, with mumbled voices going on
towards the end. As said a pretty varied record, with sometimes
kitschy sounds on it, especially the first and fourth nocturnes, but
I am giving this the benefit of doubt. Nice record. The art-edition
that is part of this record is one of five different images by AA
Jazzkammer main opus for me is their ‘Pancakes’ CD. Much of their
other work is somehow too noisy for my taste – or lets say: too
regular noisy for me. But on their contribution to the world of En/Of
they have something of that magic of ‘Pancakes’ again. It’s mainly
built out of crackles of vinyl and microseconds of noisy outbursts,
all carefully distributed in time and place (that is left or right in
the stereo spectrum). This makes this certainly into a most demanding
record, one that requires the listener’s full attention. This isn’t
simply music to put and do the dishes. Demanding yet rewarding music.
Here Mathieu Mercier delivers the art in the form a photo. (FdW)

DANNY SAUNDERS – GOLD (7″ by Shadazz)
My first encounter with the Shadazz label from Scotland is a pleasent
one. Rude Pravo is a four piece band, consisting of Luke Fowler on
electronics/tapes, Stevie Jones on bass, Lucille Desomouray on vocals
and Janice Murray on cello. The two pieces here breath all an early
experimental popfeel. Music from a time when people with a sense of
popmusic played somewhat experimental songs. The days of Cherry Red
or Les Disques Du Crepuscule. Not coincidentelly some of my favourite
music. The french sung lyrics add a European feel to the music.
Electronics play a dominant role too, and the studio is the fifth
member. New millenium techniques back up an old and somewhat
forgotten style figure. Me love it!
Danny Saunders debutes with a three track 7″ that also breaths a long
history of underground popular music, that of folky tunes. Danny
sings, plays guitar and somewhere in the background there is a bit of
electronics going on. Three nice songs, I think, but also a bit too
normal going for me. But then Kevin Hewick was never my favourite
Cherry Red/Factory act either.

KEITH BERRY – BUDDHA’S MILE (CDR by Authorized Version)
In Vital Weekly 416 I reviewed the first Keith Berry disc and I was
quite amazed by the quality of his drone related material. Moving a
long the lines of Mirror and Andrew Chalk, I thought back then, that
Berry used sampled classical instruments to create his music. I still
know nothing more about Berry, other than on this new work (one
piece, thirty six minutes) he uses electro-acoustics and field
recordings. But me thinks that there is also the use of sampled
piano’s and strings. In the opening sequence the vague rumble is
apperent of what could be field recordings, but after the thirteen or
so minutes, treated piano sounds drop in and the sustained sounds of
processed strings. After that passage field seem to be moving in
again, but this time maybe even more obscured. I gathered these as
rain and wind sounds. These various movements are cross faded in a
slow and peaceful order, leaving everything time to develop. Just
like his previous release, this is another very nice work. For those
who love Ora, Mirror and Chalk but also into more serious avant-garde
music. (FdW)

SMELL & QUIM – COSMIC BONDAGE (CDR by Authorized Version)
By now Smell & Quim maybe regarded as old boys in the noise scene,
but for me they still are the new kids on the block. They might be
active for close to fifteen years by now (I lost counting), but their
output is still not big – not big by some other standards. This
release is a re-issue of their very first cassette, released on their
own SHF label. The Smell & Quim sound is usually based around
tape-loops, over which they bring their blend of feedback, voices and
in some case even North African Lung Pipes. I don’t believe I came
across this release the first around, but actually these first
strugglings are quite nice to hear. Smell & Quim play noise, but it’s
not a long, dense howl of feedback, but rather a lo-fi affair of
densely layered sounds, which may not be a deliberate decision, but
rather due to the technical restrictions of cheap cassettes and
likewise cheap microphones. But this added lo-fi affair makes this
into a rather nice release, that is different from much of the
altogether clean computer music these days. (FdW)

I dunno who Sharps Injury is, but Mechanoise Labs is a very nice
French (mostly) CDR label that it’s interested, sometimes but not
only, in noise. In this case it’s noisy abrasive rhythms in the 5
tracks here. It is dark and gloomy, but captivating and the ideas are
worked out excellent and seriously. There’s no idm trickery here but
still there are hints of melody underneath the industrialised noise.
It’s on a rougher noisy side of a darker industrial-inspired technoid
power electronics more than breakcore. The ideas are not repeating
but carefully changing, still maintaining the originality and the
personal approach of the artist. There’s a clever diversity of more
and less developed melodies in the different tracks which makes it
interesting as a whole release. Sometimes it bursts into a kind of
electronic punk dancing moments, or it’s keeping a more linear but
still noisy compositional structure of the tracks other times. It’s
done truly awesome! Excellent release and excellent cover design! (BR)

SIN #6 (CDR compilation by Syndrom)
For one reason or the other I looked at this and the only word that
came up was the word ‘noise’. Maybe because it started with Some
Asian Female Bodybuilders, of whom I heard before. There are four
bands on this compilation, and it starts out with Some Asian Female
Bodybuilders, who offer five very nice tracks built around sine
waves. After that a nice track by Toni Kandelin, which hints towards
loud noise but don’t seem to get there. However he makes this up in
the next three tracks, which are vicious loud blasts of noise. O.M.S.
is an one-man band from Belgium. His music moves along similar noise
lines. A fairly good student of Merzbow. Also new to me was Guttural
Strap-On. Their noise was more ‘hidden’, like it was covered with
dirt. The bass end of the sound lies on top and far away we hear the
feedback. Strange but nice approach to noise music. So one was
excellent, one was nice and two are only so so. Not a great score.

Behind Whitebass is one Clinton Watkins who used to work previously
as Doe, releasing some material in relation with Eso Steel. I am not
sure why he changed into Whitebass, but looking at the title and
bandname I can imagine what this is about: depth is certainly the
field, and when people speak of depth in music they usually speak of
deep bass sounds. And deep bass sounds is what one gets on this
release. Much of the almost forty minutes on this release consists of
very deep bass sounds. Very faint clicks appear at seemingely random
intervals. I was reminded of Jonathan Coleclough’s ‘Windlass’ release
here. A very consistent work this ‘Depth Of Field’, pure deep ambient
music. Maybe I miss out the link to the deep sea that usually is part
of Mystery Sea releases, but what is pressed here on this CDR is
certainly one of the better works on this label, and can easily match
the best works of Coleclough, Mirror or Ora. Highlight of the Mystery
Sea catalogue so far. (FdW)

The best thing about this release, I’d say is the title. A nice take
on Goethe. The music that is produced by Qwerty, aka Miro Merlak from
Croatia, is inspired by the whole IDM lot, like almost anything on
Warp, Skam, Rephlex and whatelse is there, but in none of the twelve
tracks I could detect something that I didn’t hear before and didn’t
heard doing better, even when I take in account that most of the
tracks are from 1996 to 1999. For some of the tracks I would give the
benfit of doubt, but there are some truely miss out tracks here too
(like the totally over the top drums in ‘Bordeaux’). Qwerty’s release
is not something that I could be very excited about. (FdW)