Number 767

PLEQ – BALLET MECHANIC (CD by Basses Frequences) *
PLEQ – GOOD NIGHT (CD single by Basses Frequences)
MESSEBASSE – AME (CD by Basses Frequences) *
MICHEL CHION – DIKTAT (2CD by Nuun Label) *
GURUN GURUN (CD by Home Normal) *
AUDIOTROP 2: WINTERBILDER (CD compilation by Audiotrop)
FATAGAGA – WINTERBILDER (CDR by Satori Hype Records) *
SLOW DEATH – CDR01 (CDR by Slow Death Records)
HJARNA – SUN & SILENCE (CDR by Blauer Abend)
CEX – EVARGREAZ (cassette by Automation Records) *

Will Mathieu, Stephan joins the ranks of Merzbow, Muslimgauze or Machinefabriek and release lots of Music? Last week we had ‘A Static Place’ by Stephan Mathieu and I wondered why it was on 12K rather than Line, 12K’s subdivision for more lengthy pieces of microsound, ambient and glitch. Somebody must have been reading my mind, as today ‘Remain’ lies on my doorstep and its of course the first to be played. Here he uses the same material that was responsible for the release ‘Extended Play’ by Janek Schaefer (see Vital Weekly 631). Perhaps not just because Mathieu likes to do remixes, but because of the sound sources used for that piece: old Polish music, old vinyl and old turntables, which happen to be strong interests in the recent work for Mathieu. And no doubt because he knows Schaefer quite well: they did a CD together. In the hands of Mathieu they melt together into an hour long piece of music. The crackles of the records play a minor role, but never seem far away, while the majority of the music is made of long stretched out deep cello like sounds – ok, I just made that up since the original uses a lot of cello and violin, while the piano is either processed beyond belief or simply absent. One long flow of sound here of majestic beauty, calm and tranquil. Music that fills head and space in a similar fashion. Eno like ambient music that easily matches the work of the master. (FdW)

That’s a pretty quick follow-up I’d say! It was in Vital Weekly 742 when I reviewed ‘At Willie’s Place’, the first collaboration between Tony D’Oporto, also known as Gnome and Mark Spybey, also known as Spybey, and hyper active when it comes to releasing music. He seems to have a home at Tourette Records and is now ‘Beyond Willie’s Place’, the second album with Gnome. Like noted before, Spybey is not the sort of man to change a lot when it comes to creating music. Anything that we can call atmospheric, psychedelic or krautrock is never away from his life. So ‘Beyond Willie’s Place’ is not that ‘difficult’ second album – that record industry notion for great young bands. Gnome & Spybey simply continue where they left us. An endless stream of sounds playing on keyboards, laptops and sound effects, without much sense for composition, but rather like a free flow of music. With some voice samples here and there, I’m again reminded of ambient house (to which someone said to me last week, when contemplating its return: yeah, it might happen for a few weeks), so ultimately the verdict for this is the same all around: a very fine record, but perhaps if ‘At Willie’s Place’ was already good enough for you, you may have second thoughts about this one. Its perhaps a bit too similar to the previous one. But no doubt there are plenty of fans of this kind of music (like most kinds of music actually) who don’t want to change a winning team. Gnome & Spybey might be such a team, so why should they change? Let’s wait for the ‘return to form third album’ – to stick with rock cliche’s. (FdW)

One of the few ‘old’ guys not to change his ‘band’ name into his given name is Hubner of Das Synthetische Mischegewebe. Since almost thirty years he works as such, and doesn’t follow the path of becoming a ‘serious’ composer by using his own name. TBC is Thomas Beck, the man behind the Wachsender Prozess label. A pro-pressed split CD by the two here of which Hubner ‘consumes’ forty minutes and TBC only half of that. Das Synthetische Mischgewebe composes electro-acoustic music, although it seems here its more acoustic than electric. He uses sounds found inside his house: carefully scratching, touching, moving and hitting objects, putting the microphone quite close to it and adding a little bit of filtering, delivers quite a silent piece of music. Certainly not the kind of music that goes into the section of ‘easy listening’, as this is all quite demanding music. Even when fully concentrated on what’s on offer, its not easy to tell if its a composition or a collection of sounds, or perhaps a number of sequences of household appliances. I must admit that I thought the very twenty minutes where very fine, but after that the piece didn’t seem to be adding anything else.
TBC uses stones, tapes, turntables and field recordings. I have not always been the greatest fan of this otherwise lovely guy, partly because its usually to be found in the field of noise music. That is what is going on here too, and it makes a perfect contradiction to the music of Das Synthetische Mischgewebe. Uncomposed in such a way that its a steady stream of sounds, loud at most of the times, but also a bit more quiet. At twenty minutes this bricollage of sound works quite well actually, and I can safely say this is one of the better pieces I heard from him. It seems that TBC gave the whole thing more thought than in some of his previous work (at least those that I heard). So about two-third of this CD I quite liked. Not bad, I guess. (FdW)
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PLEQ – BALLET MECHANIC (CD by Basses Frequences)
PLEQ – GOOD NIGHT (CD single by Basses Frequences)
MESSEBASSE – AME (CD by Basses Frequences)
Apart from being on a compilation, I don’t think I heard of Pleq before, being one Bartosz Dziadosz. His latest album is preceded by a CD single, which I also received. Quite curious I thought to have a CD single in this kind of music, which doesn’t necessarily relies on chart success (and actually has the shape of CD single, as I understand its usually a download these days). As I don’t have much previous knowledge of his music so far, I have to go by what I hear. Its an odd paradox here: I thoroughly enjoyed it, while thinking at the same time: I heard of all this before. Pleq uses crackles, hiss, static, ticks, clicks and cuts to create warm ambient glitch based music. Perhaps derived from lots of field recordings, being heavily processed through computer means, but for all I know it might also be very well instruments of whatever kind. Absolutely nothing new under the sun, as this is what so many did before Pleq, starting with Fennesz and everybody whoever copied his music. Having said all of that, I must admit that at the same time I quite enjoyed this. Perhaps interchangeable with all those other glitch works, but hey, the morning is grey, inside its warm, and coffee is hot. A perfect way to start a working day.
The CD single has the same version of ‘Good Night’ as on the album, as well as three ‘remixes’ of it. In the Pjusk remix ebowed guitars are added, while Jason Corder’s Offthesky starts a bit more noise based, and adds more static field recordings to the proceedings as well as bringing up the piano in the mix. Philippe Lamy’s mix is the most abstract one, applying all sorts of filters to the music. He moves into a different field with his music, and brings it into another place, something that Pjusk and Offthesky don’t seem to do. Nice enough, but no number one position I guess.
A trio of Azusa (voice, drawings), Fabrice (effects, sampler, bass) and Vincent (barytone, visual, musical and computer engineering) and they are called MesseBasse. They already had two albums on the A-haeon label (which I don’t know), and those were more ‘experimental noise’ but now they have grown into a more ‘instrumental maturity’. One track of thirty something minutes. The music of MesseBasse is generated, I think, through improvisation, along spacious themes. They go for ‘atmospheric’ music, but its loosely organized. Sounds meander about, into the open, far away, spacious, desert-like. A voice comes in and moves away again, endless sustain on the guitar, effects locked into eachother. If anything I was reminded of the free psychedelic sound of Voice Of Eye. Surely high and mighty atmospheric music, but not composed along strict lines, but free as a bird. Excellent stuff, if, just like Pleq, not entirely new either. So who cares about originality anyway? (FdW)

The last time I complained about the French language I was accused of being a racist, having not been further than Paris and more such niceties, so I have to be careful here. I really wish the text that comes in the booklet (12 pages) had an English translation, or perhaps a website in English. I am not allowed to call this arrogant or pretentious, so I just ask: what’s the point of doing this? Is this music then strictly intended for the French speaking people of this world (which according to Wikipedia ‘a total of 500 million speak it as either a first, second, or foreign language’)? I can’t imagine its so difficult to get this properly translated, and not an extract of the text through some crippled Google translat. I understand that this work from 1979 deals with the texts of one Melchisedech, the biblical figure from the old testament. Chion speaks his texts, there is a typewriter, and the sounds that Melchisedech hears: thunder, rain, dogs, rhythms). Chion is, I believe, a devoted catholic, but I am not sure how it works out here. The vertaling is not very good and something got lost. Despite all of these problems I am encountering with this release, I must say I quite liked the radio-play capacities of this piece (in seven parts). Its like tuning into a shortwave radio station and listening to whatever comes by. An excellent combination of spoken word and electro-acoustic sounds make a fine piece of just over 80 minutes of music (hence two CDs) even all is not easy to grasp as an outsider. (FdW)

GURUN GURUN (CD by Home Normal)
Brock van Wey’s project Bvdub came to light with his ‘The Art Of Dying Alone’ release (see Vital Weekly 739), but who had a whole bunch of other releases which I haven’t heard on Millions of Moments, Echospace, Smallfish, Styrax, and Kompakt. Like before Van Wey’s music is highly ambient, with a strong sensibility towards microscopic rhythms. Like before (oh no, I said that already), the link bvdub has to Kompakt, and his presence on ‘Pop Ambient 2010’, gives away a lot where to find this music. Highly relaxing orchestral samples, a driving ‘beat’ to keep things moving, but never towards something that we could classify as dancing, this is the true successor to ambient house – oh, no, not that again. Yes, that again. That cross-road of house, techno spiced with a large dose of ambient synthesizers. The previous was the perfect summer evening music, and this might be, although essentially not very different, the perfect companion for a good night in, next to the fire place, wine at hand and then its easy to drift away for no less than eighty (!) minutes on this. One cloud at the sky and its bvdub inviting you for a trip.
When I started to play the self-titled release by Gurun Gurun, my first response was ‘oh no not one of those Japanese female singers, we have had enough of those’. Much to my surprise I learned that this is a band, and from the Czech Republic. I see. The voice is however not part of the band, as we quickly learn in the second piece, but guest vocalists such as Moskitoo, Sawako and Aki Tomita. I see. They don’t appear in every track, which makes it good, at least for me. To be honest, I am a bit fed up by that particular way of singing/whispering – just as all those French girls sigh and sing (despite being married to the president). So for me, and I know taste is an objective thing, the power of Gurun Gurun lie in its instrumental songs. Here they do not necessarily do something different than the musical backing of the Japanese counterparts, but they add a bit of improvised music which makes it all quite nice. Pop-like for sure, with pieces kept short and to the point, with lots of instruments – acoustic, electric and digital – playing moody, atmospheric glitchy music. Four pieces are instrumental, six with vocals and two are remixes (by Opiate and Kora Et Le Mechanix). 12K music but which found its home on Home Normal. Not entirely my cup of tea, but perhaps the best thing is that the template of this kind of Japanese whisper music is out there and we can all do it. Not that we should all necessarily do so. (FdW)

The busy bee Lukas Simonis has tons and tons of projects going. Soon on Dutch stages with his Vril project (see announcements), he also plays in various combinations with various people. Not every project lasts a long time, but The Static Tics is different. Simonis started this duo with Henk Bakker in 2000. Bakker is, like Simonis, involved with Worm, Rotterdam’s prime stage for good music and together they create Radio Worm, a radio series for various platforms, and they play live concerts. Armed with laptops, but also bass clarinet (Bakker) and guitar (Simonis). I don’t believe they released anything in the past decade, save for pieces on Radio Worm, so this CD is their debut as well as an overview of their favorite moments of the last ten years. Its not easy to say what The Static Tics sound like. Probably like a lot of things. We come across elements of electronically improvised music, minimalist techno, plunderphonics, short punk like pieces, radiophonics and all of this cooked up in no less than nineteen short pieces of mayhem. Laptops on ADHD played by musicians on speed. Things never seem to stay static for a long time, which I guess is the ultimate power of this music. If it would, it be boring and tedious, but now it stays fresh and exciting. Not every moment is equally strong of course – their earliest moments together are also in here and are not always worked out great. But its never there too long and they move on, ever so quickly. Great speed and brutality all around.
Dutch composer Huib Emmer is a strange guy, not personally but as a composer. He comes from a classical background, but is also a guitarist and even dabbled in techno (without much success). Live-wise he is best known for using electronics, which by current standards is of course a laptop. The Desert in this title is not that made of a lot of sand and heat, but that of the desolated city. I don’t think Emmer has a particular city in mind but rather uses it as a kind of template for desolated areas we all know are sometimes part of big cities. Highly computer based music going on here, which is kinda cold and distant. Crackles, hiss, noises and gliding scales are used, but, and that’s were Emmer comes in as someone who looks further than usual trade of an electro-acoustic composer, also a strange organ sound that pops up every now and then, the human factor perhaps (?), and sometimes he uses sequenced sounds and loops, to add a rhythmic factor to the music. An odd collision of the cold computer versus the sole human, lost in the empty city, and who hears a faint voice every now and then, or some distant beat. The eleven tracks should be seen as a whole, I think and not as collection of separate pieces. Quite a nice CD as it doesn’t walk the usual path of electro-acoustic music, but integrates various genres into a highly enjoyable piece of work. (FdW)

Melmac exists 12 years and consists of the two French Brothers Reverter, but at the cover they presents themselves as Anaconda and LuckyR. “Le DÈsert avance” is the third release and is released at Label Ronda. Ronda is based in St. Denis in France was created in September 2002 by the members of Melmac to disseminate their own music, as well as that of like-minded souls. Anyway… “Le DÈsert avance” is full of heavy drones created by strong distorted guitars. The music develops slowly and is based in psychedelic krautrock, but in  industrial, minimalistic and instrumental way. Strong accords and feedback. The atmosphere is melancholic, but also with controlled anger. The last track called “Soldat” reminds me strong to Nadja. Soft sounds of guitar will grow and grow to a full spectrum noisy guitar and the drums, played by Jyves, complete this last track and grows to an explosion of sound. A great album for people who likes bands as Nadja and Transmission. (JKH)

AUDIOTROP 2: WINTERBILDER (CD compilation by Audiotrop)
FATAGAGA – WINTERBILDER (CDR by Satori Hype Records)
Like back in Vital Weekly 597 I am mildly confused by the package sent by Satori Hype, which included a CD compilation Audiotrop 2 and a new CDR by Fatagaga. That one looks quite nice: a plastic wallet with a whole bunch of pictures, printed on photo paper, showing late afternoon/early evening scenery from wintertime. Winter pictures is also how we translate the title of the release and each track has its own image. Stefan Zollner, the man behind Fatagaga, left behind his old punk bands a long time ago, and moved into creating atmospheric music. I have no idea wether this music is created with synthesizers or guitars, but there is a fair amount of effects being used to create a dark atmosphere. It might be indeed guitars or synthesizers which are at the core of the music. Here the cover suggests exactly what we get, unlike the previous release. Like before this is again relaxing music and nothing new under the sun.
Oddly enough the compilation has the same title, and the cover says ‘the artists featured on this album were asked to compose or perform music that is evocative of winter’ – maybe mister Fatagaga compiled it? The names on this compilation don’t mean much to me, except of course Fatagaga and Elfish Echo, who was also reviewed in Vital Weekly 597, and perhaps Konrad Kraft rang a bell, but otherwise it all seems new to me. I wasn’t particularly paying attention to the tracklist I must admit, which is a normal thing when it comes to compilations. Only if things go ‘wow’ in my head I want to find out – ‘wow’ in a positive or negative sense actually. That didn’t happen with this compilation, I must admit. The fourteen tracks are surely nice, although perhaps not always reminding me of winter time. There is a strong sense of homogeneity in these pieces, and one could wonder if that is a really good thing here. It makes it all a bit too similar for my taste, which is a pity. We have tracks here by Scheibenreiter, Zengomi, Fura Bliss, Con Mocho, Sonic Ensemble, Lostheim, Pondskater, elektrograd, Shades & Shapes and Andreas Resch. Although a bit interchangeable, quite nice also. (FdW)

AudioTONG is based in Krakow in Poland and is active since 2005. The aim of this platform is to explore sounds from the most forgotten territories and to promote music from outside the mainstream.  Rezo Glonti lives and works in the Republic of Georgia and participated in various art projects as a musician and photographer. The music at “Street risen wire” was made in open seas, during ocean voyages and is inspired by the infinite spaces and Japanese cinematography. This calming music has indeed a very open mood and is played by electronic piano and string synthesizers. To his relaxing compositions, with an high value of ambient and new-age music, are were almost mainstream, but he added sounds he recorded with his laptop and microphone miscellaneous sounds to make it more interesting. The album starts slowly and the intensity in the music is growing. Especially the track “Spy@” has more intensity because of wider range of use of instrumental sounds. For now it is just 18 minutes of music, but really a nice album to relax, to breath in and to breath out. I hope he will add in future more of his fieldrecordings to make the music more variable.
Brice Catherin was born in 1981 in Belgium. As pure conservatoire example, he followed the classes of Marc Jaermann and Patrick Demenga (cello, Lausanne) and of Michael Jarrell (composition, Geneva). Active composer, cellist, performer and improviser, he takes part in the Festivals de la CitÈ (Lausanne, 2005) and AkouphËne (Geneva, 2005 and 2006) and plays – among others – with the CH.AU and 1+1=1+1 ensembles. Early Works is departed in three parts. 1-3  is called Erster Verlust, with three compositions for solo baritone sax and is played by Vincent Droud. The compositions are quiet and slowly played. The music is very intense and has a naive mood. Great music. 4-6 is called Traumerei and is a composition for voice, cello, saxophone and percussions. The music has the atmosphere of a improvisation session in which the musicians are waiting for the next step. Especially when the singer starts to bark, cry and cough the music becomes too weird for me. Tracks 7-11 is called Symphonie Consternante for bassoon and orchestra and indeed is a modern classic symphony, with a high diversity in spheres. Much more developed than Traumerei and has the same intensity as Erster Verlust. audioTONG released in cooperation with Eastern Daze a compilation CD with groups from Eastern Europe. The aim of Eastern Daze is to explore the current political and social status quo in this region through the eyes of  young artist. For me it is always interesting how artists deal in their society and how they reflect on their own state of life in the social and political context. Anyhow the album consists bands from Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia, The music goes from new-wave to spooky western guitar music, from electro to deep-house. from experimental to industrial and more. Mugabe’s Lunch of K.O.F.Y. from Serbia really a funny song about dictatorship and the lack of food. Grobbing Thirstle from Poland plays music in the style of Throbbing Gristle and they can copy very good and I like this eighties industrial music. BEL14 from Serbia starts the track “Waves” as a electro-acoustic composition and slowly the music grows more and more in a musical piece. A compilations is a good tool to explore new music, but still I am wondering “why so many styles on one compilation?” I cannot imagine that it is impossible to create two of three different compilations with similar styles. (JKH)

With Mari Kimura we are at the forefront of violinists who search for ways of extending the technical and expressive capabilities of the instrument. Kimura is a Japanese violinist and composer who plays violin since the age of five. She completed her studies in the US. She has been composing for violin solo and violin with various media since 1991. In 1994 she introduced subharmonics “as a musical element to extend the range of the violin by a full octave below the open G without changing the tuning.” In several of her compositions on this cd she uses this technique, like in the first two pieces ‘Subharmonie Partita’ and ‘Gemini for solo violin’. Also ‘Alt’ is enclosed on this cd. In this composition she incorporated for the first time the subharmonics technique. It is very strange experience to hear such low notes on the violin, but is sounds at the same also very natural. For sure a technique she did not create just for the effect, or for creating a new possibility as an aim in itself. No the new techniques are part of the tools she needs for telling her stories. Remarkable is also the breathtaking performance by Kimura, making this cd in all aspects a very satisfying work. Another aspect of these and other compositions is that she uses elements from traditional classical repertoire. On the other hand also typical eastern or Japanese elements occur. Besides, since the early 90s Kimura also specialized in interactive computer music composition and performance. ‘Vitessimo for Augmented Violin’ is an example of this. And also the closing piece ‘Bucknerian for voice, violin and computer’, a piece written for Thomas Buckner. Also these compositions, that make use of the computer, are engaging. But I liked the pure violin works most. All together a very powerful, sensitive and musically satisfying work.
‘Flutes and Voices’ is the unpretentious descriptive title of a lovely collaboration between Dick and Buckner. Both veteran improvisers as both have a career of some thirty years behind them. So it is no question that these gentlemen developed their skills, vocabulary and techniques over the years. But what is more, these improvisations are very inspired and spirited. These improvisers still have a story to tell. Why not, one might say. But I think it is quite remarkable to be creative in the field of improvised music for such a long time. Although both gentlemen we are now talking of, have a long career, they started playing together only about four years ago. And in 2009 they decided time was ready to record some of their improvisations and they did so on june 18th at Systems Two. Dick plays flute in F, flute in C, flute with glissando and piccolo. Buckner sings. (DM)

A quartet from Vienna that started in 2002, being Peter Holy (piano), Alexandr Vatagin (bass, cello) Lukas Scholler (electronics) and David Schweighart (drums). Several years ago they debuted with ‘Memories of Bjorn Bolssen’, to be followed now by their second one. I don’t know their first one, but from what I understand they changed things considerably. Listening to their second release, I can say that Tupolev is a very interesting unit and certainly a name to watch. Intriguing music, that sounds accessible and familiar, but at the same time strange things happen. The thoroughly constructed pieces have piano as the dominant instrument. Around a strong nucleus, there music is intelligent and warm at the same time. Accelerating at one moment, calming down at another. Rhythmically complex. ‘Towers of Sparks 1’ has the most intriguing break I heard for a long time. After a piano-dominated melodic intro, the music crashes into silence, and abstract sounds emerge from this silence subsequently. Near the end the noisy intermezzo disappears and the piano sets in again. A very strange piece. Mysterious but it works. The music is somewhere in between jazz, classical, noise and rock but cannot be reduced to any of these styles or genres. But what is more important, this music has a clear identity of its own whatever label you want to put on it. Hot stuff. Keep alert (DM)

Art as sound can engage thought in a struggle for survival of the human species, the impact of this in  Mattins’s work -here- processed soliloquies, is becoming yet more transparent.  The materialism of thought and its relationship to capitalism is a response to something even more profound. Capitalism is a system, whether contingent or not and one even in the historicy of Marxism began with and is situated in agriculture. Agri culture here as agri, the beginning of culture and so a certain cultivation of the idea, its settling in a fixed point in both space and time, its finity, its fixation, psychosis, and its objectification of truth… objectification of thought, objectification of sound…  philosophy with is cultured thought is always at war with the nomadicism of life, or the real, just as music is a violence against noise, (non music) which here both the seeming nomadicity of thought, (only an hallucination!) as speech, is in confrontation with the real. Both protagonists, the farmer and the nomad can be as simplistic as the farmer and the cowman, such as the objectification of capitalism for Mattin, the object of thought deals with some difficult problematics, improvisation, and capitalization, the manipulation of thought, its attempt at the radical real and its comodification in the work ethic, one which is governed by synthetic time, material – mechanical time and not the real radical time. The non-time of improvisation is replaced by the abstract time of thought, of history and of course both the western dialectics and the wild west’s de nomadification as successive waves of colonization of a land still called free, or of the free. The image of thought is attacked by the “Red”-Indians! i.e. Capitalism is attacked by the nomad.  This recording is of thoughts which like the well known wagon train is forced on a circular defense of the radical real. All ideas revolve defensibility against the nomad, and as this record revolves, in speed and time, of mechanical time its very physicality, its analoguality allows nomadic infringements. This is not so much an object, but a scene from the war of the farmer against the nomad, the next skirmish after territorialization in the end of both music and philosophy. (jliat)

Mego continues to surprise me these days. Bill Orcutt’s acoustic guitar, CoH’s metal music and now Thymolphthalein’s LP, recorded at the SWR2 New Jazz Meeting in Switzerland. Jazz? Sure, why not. Thymolphthalein is a quintet under the guidance of Anthony Pateras (prepared piano, analogue synthesizer) with Natasha Anderson (contrabass recorder and electronics), Will Guthrie (percussion, electronics), Jerome Noetinger (tape machine, electronics) and Clayton Thomas (double bass and preparations). Thirteen tracks on this 12″ (45 RPM!), with about fifteen minutes of music per side. This is of course hardly regular jazz as you can imagine, but instead quite vivid, free jazz with lots of influences from the world of electro-acoustic manipulations – thank to the prepared piano, tape manipulations and other electro-acoustic devices attached to ‘real’ instruments. The name of the band comes from a key ingredient in disappearing ink, and perhaps that’s something we hear in this music too: sounds sometimes seem to be disappearing, just as they seem to be appearing again out of nowhere. Side two seems to be a bit more jazz based than the a-side, but even a non-jazz head like me likes this a lot. Very vivid, energetic music. (FdW)

Vertonen concludes with these two releases his quartet of CDR releases from 2010. The first two, as well as the third, were 3″CDRs, but the fourth is a double set of normal CDRs in a nice carton box, but it doubles more or less the releases so far. Both releases are in an edition of 33 copies only, which is a pity. Especially the double release contains some great Vertonen music. Blake Edward’s project has evolved over the years into what it is now: drone music, derived on analogue synthesizers and sound effects. On the double release he really takes his time to create the pieces he wants to do, with ‘Izanami-no-Mikoto’ as a somewhat louder counter piece amongst the eleven others which are more low humming affairs. Pieces are somewhere between seven and seventeen minutes and its quite meditating music, somewhere along the lines of Eliane Radigue. An excellent two hour drone ride, that moves along a lot of lines.
‘Perpetual Drown’ is a twenty three minute piece into two parts (according to the cover, one according to the CDR) of more rhythmic sounds, a bit like the earlier work of Vertonen, when employing turntables to great use. In the second half Vertonen moves into a somewhat louder field of music, with a mildly distorted sound, reminiscent of machine hum. Maybe its that after the first two hours of Vertonen, this is all getting a bit too much, but it seems that ‘Perpetual Drown’ isn’t the strongest of pieces. (FdW)

This is the first time ever I review a release from Iran. Autodidact Salim Ghazi Saeedi comes from Teheran where he started playing guitar in 1999 growing up in an environment where any new, western music was hardly available. Nevertheless Saeedi found his way in embracing rock music, as his new record exemplifies. Kurt Cobain was far a long time his musical hero. But in nothing his music now reminds of Nirvana or Cobain. He released three albums up till now albums “Abrahadabra” (2006), “Sovereign” (2007) and “Ustuqus-al-Uss” (2008) under the name of Arashk. For his new one, “Iconophobic”, he is composer, guitarist, keyboard player, drums arranger, mixing engineer and producer all at once. So in all respects a true solo effort. And probably for this reason he released this one under his own name. Saeedi has a very intuitive way of composing music, and if you want to put a label on it, progressive music is the most suitable one, according to Saeedi himself. Personally I prefer terms as avant rock or chamber rock music. Anyway, this records woke up many memories of R.I.O.-oriented music. His compositions often have a classical influence that make this music related to the music of Art Zoyd and Univers Zero. The music has from time to time the same darkness as we know from Univers Zero. But in many aspects it is also very different. I think it is hard to pin this one down. Making this instrumental album even more exceptional. No wonder this music also has qualities that make it eastern like in ‘¡siyen’. I think we have an original talent here. His neo-classical compositions are well-structured and original. He is an interesting and skilled guitar player with a very own sound. The balance between guitar and computer generated drums, etc is okay. Well crafted I must say. Alas he has no band around him, as that would make his music more physical. One could not imagine this one comes from Teheran. But probably I have to correct my limited view on what is happening there. Chapeau! (DM)

SLOW DEATH – CDR01 (CDR by Slow Death Records)
“4 tracks for 75 minutes of HNW. Sourced from radio, recorded & processed in 01.2011 by Ghost.” Harsh Noise Wall is the phenomenon of a certain discovery… not the truth of the meaninglessness of the outside world, but more itself inaccessibility, as a complexity of ideas and forces of a scale larger than the individual, human, mind, self, consciousness, concept, idea, image, composition, object… This external violence of forces (historical, technological, philosophical, scientific, mathematical, cultural, political..) often results in nihilism, the other(s) who are better, whose groups, matrix’s, sets, are larger, infinite, stronger and so generates the total ineffectuality of the individual as individual which may inhabit this nihilism is in fact empty of that, which is to say it’s a realization of the REAL as REAL and not as an external hallucination of culture, art, i.e. great music… and this realization is incomprehensible to the other, e.g. it is noise, an incomprehensible wall, an insurmountable wall which encloses the real from the colonialization and subjectivation of the other..  as such it is 1) Incomprehensible 2)Perfect  3) Real. A cancer FOR the other, an eye that sees as eye without brain, a leg which walks without a body, a sound which is sound without a form. (jliat)

HJARNA – SUN & SILENCE (CDR by Blauer Abend)
Blauer Abend is a small label from France and Germany and is run by Stephane Flauder, Goran Becker and Thibaut L. The label will release all kinds of genres of ambient, drones, experimental and lots of more music. Till now Blauer Abend released two ambient albums. Materia Aurora is a project of one of the co-founders Thibault L and he composed in February 2006 eight dark ambient tracks. It is ambient music as I heard many times, long lasting tones which slowly develop into other tones. But it is well played with a lot of attention. Materia Aurora takes the listener to different parts of his closed world. The music is calming and gives a melancholic mood. The album ends with open chords and some tweets of birds far away in the background. A happy ending. Great music for a dark night, to lay back and look at the stars which are coming and going. Hj”rna is a french collective based in Sarreguemines, Lorraine. It counts the noise artist David D. , LÈo Maury from the experimental project Niedowierzanie and StÈphane Flauder. “Sun and Silence” is a composition of 46 minutes and is a mix of several demo tapes and parallel projects of Hj”rna’s members. The composition starts noisy and strong and becomes ambient like the work of Materia Aurora. But soon flutes open the sphere and fieldrecordings make the composition abstract. And that’s how it works, 46 minutes long. From sphere to sphere; experimental, poppy, funny, dark, noisy and more. It is Hj”rna’s final report of several years of work and research. They describe it as a sonic journey into summer’s daydreams. And indeed it is a sonic journey, but for me the more “musical” parts makes this journey less pleasant than I was dreaming about. And that is a pity, cause the more abstract parts of “Sun and Silence” are interesting enough to compose another journey, what gives the listener more opportunity to dream and create phantasies about … whatever you like. (JKH)

CEX – EVARGREAZ (cassette by Automation Records)
It must have been years since I heard the music of Cex, also known as Rjyan Kidwell, and perhaps I never reviewed it in Vital Weekly. Maybe I just came across it on compilations or in some record store I was locked in. The career of Kidwell has been from IDM to rap to ‘experimental jam band’, an album of Steely Dan samples and a return to IDM. That’s where ‘Evargreaz’ comes in, released as a cassette. I am  not always the biggest lover of IDM, since the music seems a bit stale and is perhaps best enjoyed on drugs (say like drum & bass as I recently noted when on a party). But the four tracks Cex produced here are quite nice I thought. Maybe its because I didn’t such music in some time or perhaps its just good – I am not sure. Slow beats, nice keyboards, lots of samples, vocoder vocals, arpeggio’s, culminating in the bouncing closer ‘Weedlessness’. At thirty minutes this is all perhaps a bit short, but nevertheless it seems a nice come-back album. No more rap or rock, stick at what you’re good at. (FdW)

1. From: “” <>

Vril tour
all february;
16 tilburg ruimte x;
17 nijmegen extrapool;
18 rotterdam BAD
19 brussel Atelier Claus
20 amsterdam OCCI

Alan Jenkins – guitar
Chris Cutler – drums
Bob Drake – bass
Lukas Simonis – guitar


Vril was originally a studio project, instigated by Drake, Simonis & Cutler. After making their first album they asked english surrealist writer Frank Key to come up with the meaning for all that. And Frank did. He invented a story ( see the sleevenotes) & the names of the songs. Then VRIL made another album, two years later. And Frank did it again. Both albums were recorded & mixed at Bob’s studio in the south of France. For the second album they were helped by the swiss musician Pierre Omer (ao. The Dead Brothers) on guitar.  So now there were two albums but until now no public performances whatsoever. Then -after reading the sleevenotes about the Ulm award- Lukas thought it might be a good idea to really ask people to make films to the music (NOT in a videoclip kinda way and NOT the other way round). So now we’ve asked 15 filmmakers to come up with a film that belongs to a vril song, the idea being that there will be a VRIL DVD with films & music.

(filmmakers we asked; Pieter Jan Smit, Nino Purtskhvanidze, Florian Kramer, Daniel Zimmer, Sander Blom, Stella van Voorst van Beest, Esther Urlus,  Marit Shalem, Lenno Verhoog, Christine Bruckmeier, Chuck o’Meara, Annette Carle, Joost van Veen, Sandra Salter)

And this might come as a shock to some of you but somebody uttered the idea that playing live would not be such a bad idea after all. Pierre said he couldn’t do that as he was allready travelling a lot between Geneva and Madrid so we asked twangy englishman Alan Jenkins (Cordelia Records, Chrystanthemums, Deep Freeze Mice) to replace him. And he said he would. The idea is that we will start in the Netherlands… And maybe Present the DVD there as well. And not use a PA, just play the stuff on our backline. (if that is possible for the places we’ll play). And then we’ll see what happens… maybe use the films as a background to the songs?

2. From: nicolas malevitsis <>

hi, noise-below (<>) presents

xysm (gr) (<>)

jooklo duo (it) (<>)

blood stereo (uk) (<>)

saturday 12/02/2011 @ knot gallery (mihalakopoulou & pyrrou st), athens (<>)

20.00 hr admission euros 10.

3. From: “stichting B.a.d” <>

Aether: Tones and Talks is a concert series at Foundation B.a.d, where sound artists/musicians are invited to perform and talk about various aspects informing their work. To mark our first birthday on Feb 18 we present a special party edition; Aether: Sound Clash!
The Rules: feature two bands who are both legendary in their own way, and round it all off with a banging DJset. The Acts: VRIL, Anna Frank Zappa, and beats by Aether’s very own Jason Coburn.

Come and join us celebrate Aether’s first year in orbit.

Friday 18 February 2011

VRIL brings together Chris Cutler, Alan Jenkins, Bob Drake and Lukas Simonis. As such, VRIL is something of a supergroup; purveyors of experimental music, whose combined experience spans over a century. Their live set is raw and fervent.

Anne Frank Zappa is Elle Bandita, Jerry Hormone and Marcel Wiebenga. A band with as much love as hate for convention. Two guitars, a drumkit with a whole lot of screaming is all these folks need to get you hot and smokin’.

Jason Coburn is Aether’s very own diverse creative spirit who is an artist, curator, writer and DJ. Tonight he lays down the gauntlet with an epidemic of sparse beats, minimal rhythms and pulsating frequencies.

Date: Friday 18 February 2011
Doors: 8pm – 1am
Damage: €5,- at the door
more info at <>

Location: Stichting B.a.d
Talingstraat 5
3082 MG Rotterdam

4. From: gregory buettner <>

Friday 11th February, 19:30


Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden

Duo Birgit ULHER: trumpet, h–gtalare, sordiner, radio
& Gregory B¸ttner: dator, h–gtalare, objekt.

Trio med Andreas Axelsson: slagverk,
David Stacken”s: gitarr
Ville Bromander: kontrabas.

5. From: “Zipo@AA” <>

Di. 29.03.2011,
Start: 20.00h, Concert: 21.00h

broken sound #7

C U R R E N T  93

(Hypnagogic dream folk, industrial psychedelia, UK/USA)

Venloer Str. 40, 50672 K–ln
VVK 20,00 EUR / AK 23,00 EUR

6. From: DE PLAYER <>

DE PLAYER presents
‘SOUND as a WEAPON’ with
Goodiepal (dk), Erik van Lieshout (nl), DDV/Danny Devos (be), Mark Bain (us/nl)
in co–peration with ART Rotterdam

A. LIVE EVENT     12 February / 6 euro / program starts at 22.00 hrs (free with special ART Rotterdam ticket) / location: Tolhuisstraat 107BG, Rotterdam

B. EXPO            10-13 February / free / opening 10 February 20.00 hrs / location: Hillelaan 49D, Rotterdam

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All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <>, Robert Meijer (RM), Niels Mark (NM), Jeff Surak (JS), Craig N (CN), Jliat (Jliat), Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Michael Tau (MT), Jan-Kees Helms (JKH) and others on a less regular basis.
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