Number 983

REGLER – REGEL #4 (CD by At War With False Noise, Rapid Moment, Decimation Sociale, Pilgrim Talk) *
RAPOON – A LONG VIEW ACROSS (CD by Aquarellist) *
KAZE – UMINARI (CD by Circum Disc)
DOKURO – AVALON (CD by Monotype Records) *
BALBALAB (CDR, private) *
DEISON & UGGERI – IN THE OTHER HOUSE (CDR by Final Muziek/Old Bicycle Records/Oak/Loud!/Grey Sparkle) *
EXPERIMENTALIEN – NINE TRIADS (CDR by Attentuation Circuit) *
ESA RUOHO – PARCHED THROAT (CDR by Attentuation Circuit) *

Thirty-one compositions by a young American composer named Michael Vincent Waller. Almost 140 minutes of music. A very productive composer is the first thing we can say, as all works are composed between 2012 and 2014. If there were one common characteristic in all these compositions, then I would mention stillness, a meditative state that is evoked by his serene music. He is not composing in the tradition of Schönberg or Boulez, nor strict in the line of the composers of minimal music, although he studied with La Monte Young, Peter Kotik, a.o. Overall his compositions are tonal and very accessible. Dissonants and other uncommon gestures are rare in his works. Neither are extended techniques his thing. Classical chamber music is the best suitable name. Also all works are written for small line-ups and many are for solo instruments. So it is easy to follow what is happening. In a way it is very daring to compose such tonal and pastoral music after Boulez. Is Waller throwing us back in history? Is he a retro-composer, I leave that to the musicologists. But I would plead he is not. I hear references of minimal music and Satie, but only very partly. But there is also Ravel, Debussy. French atmospheres I associate with this music. With first two compositions on the first CD, Waller moves really on the edge. Both pieces have a strong romantic feel and are close to kitsch. Waller does play a dangerous game. His compositions are everything modern composed music shouldn’t be, viewed from the Boulez-paradigm. But so what? Waller cleverly stays far from clichés with his gentle, friendly and self-conscious music. And that is quite an achievement. (DM)

REGLER – REGEL #4 (CD by At War With False Noise, Rapid Moment, Decimation Sociale, Pilgrim Talk)
In the liner notes, written by Vomir, we discover some of the working methods of Regler. Vomir quotes from an e-mail from Mattin, one half of Regler: ‘I have a project with Anders from Brainbombs, in which we set up rules and try to do different genres of music with rock instruments. We have done a recording regel #4 (harsh noise wall)’. Regel one to three have also been reviewed in these pages (see Vital Weekly 957 and 966), a double CD for number three and a LP for the other two. In these previous works they explored ‘dbeat’, ‘dub’ and free jazz. Now it’s time to dabble with harsh noise wall. I know I should leave such events with Jliat, he’s our expert in this musical field but as I enjoyed the previous Regler releases quite a lot, I thought I have a go here. Now, to say I am the biggest fan of the genre is not really the case, but what Mattin and Anders Bryngelsson are doing here is actually very nice. They play guitar and drums and for very close to half an hour they bang expertly on these instruments, in a very loud fashion and with lots of rhythm. Is this harsh noise wall? I think it very much is. There is, within these thirty minutes, hardly variation and it stays very much on the same level volume and dynamics wise. But instead of a wall of electronics, Regler uses the rock instruments to create that, and in that sense it’s more likely to be Harsh Noise Rock, Harsh Rock Wall and some would call this metal no doubt, in whatever variation I am not prone to know. I think this is an excellent, very tiring half hour of some exciting rock music; vicious, dirty, loud and highly monochrome. (FdW)
Part of a project which sets out to replicate other genres using guitar and drums, this is purportedly a piece of “HNW” (Harsh Noise Wall). One can clearly hear the guitar which is not continuous, the drums might be part of the low pitched rumble which is a kind of murky mud through which the guitar can be made out with occasional feedback and pauses. The sound file appears processed being clipped at a sample of (positive values)  31377 with occasional values over this to 31953. There are also odd ‘clicks’ one at 8:21 for instance which stand out from the rest of the mush, and its possible to edit these out, which in the case of an undifferentiated wall editing has no effect whatsoever.  Using the infamous analysis of the samples, the standard deviation (standard deviation is used to measure noise in communications amongst other things) is 12,803.35,  I compared that to samples from pain jerk of 26,230.47 and a square wave of 23,170.53 or 3,812.44 for a Frank Zappa sample. It puts it slightly higher than Oasis in other analyses and in the area of a Gabber sample. Or around half that for some Vomir works.. (- see using different samples…)
From the above in terms of noise #4 is towards the low end of other works, and the clicks and guitar breaks perturb the ‘Wall’. Given that ‘Harshness’ is the more tricky attribute to analyse using square waves as a bench mark again this puts the Mattin / Bryngelsson release well down that data set. Most readers are probably unaware of the fury caused in the ‘noise’ community by attempting objective criteria yet alone the ridiculous claim that HNW is not music but part of a much larger object called THE REAL. Guitars and rock music are not found in most parts of the cosmos – noise is. The random movement of particles via quantum probability in the guitar, the electronics and the structure of the drums means that this ‘sound’ is not ordered until these things  become instruments. (Mechanisms) Throwing yet another spanner in the (dialectical) works, isn’t the treatment of stuff as a resource, to fashion a commodity, a capitalist trope, even if it might be also Marxist, and HNW is never such. Why, because once ‘treated’ – processed – it is no longer noise. QED. (jliat)
Address: http://atwarwithfalsenoise.comhttp://rapidmoment.blogspot.com

Obviously I don’t want to give you the impression that I write these reviews in a single row (on an afternoon as someone once politely asked: ‘that Vital Weekly must cost you… what? an entire afternoon?’ Unlike others who try to be funny about this little operation, this guy really meant well), I played the CD by Masahide Tokunaga right after Regler. Similar sources prevent me saying this (they never realize that after thirty years of reviewing something may slip from my mind, even when I search every name in my database of reviews), but I genuinely never heard of this saxophone player from Tokyo. He was born in 1982 and in 2009 released his first alto saxophone record (on Slub Music) and now it’s time for the second. The saxophone is not always my most beloved instrument, but what Tokunaga does here is actually something I enjoy to quite some extent. The alto saxophone is an instrument we recognize as such in these seven pieces, but Tokunaga likes to play long sustaining tones. Take a deep breath and then slowly let it go into the horn. Everything is recorded close by, so we hear him breath and gasp for air, but hardly any of the instrument apparatus. The music is not very loud, but on the other hand it’s also not the quietest one; one can always hear something. As today is lovely day, I opened my balcony doors and the quiet neighbourhood sounds mingled nicely with the music of Tokunaga; at various points I believed they were all by Tokunaga, but such of course was not the case. It made up some wonderful music altogether, with or without doors open.
Of course the name Toshimaru Nakamura is a well-known one. He’s best known for his work in improvised music, using his no-input mixing board. On July 19 2014 he recorded two pieces with Katsuyoshi Kou on guitar and electronics and on August 16 a further third piece. All of this recorded at Ftarri, who now releases this, on a CD. Kou is an improviser, also from Tokyo, where plays in various venues for improvised music and he’s also the director of “Multiple Tap, a project (launched in 2014) that takes large groups of Japanese improvisational/experimental musicians overseas to hold live events”. Here we have a long CD, with in total seventy-minutes of music. The cover says ‘mixed by Nakamura’ but maybe we are dealing here with the entire sound information that was captured on both days? But as someone once said, there is no need to play a CD back to back. You can play one piece, give it a rest and return it another piece another day. That’s true, but maybe I was raised on a diet of listening music back to back. These three lengthy and noisy improvisations aren’t that easy to comprehend in one go, and this is no easy feat here. I quite enjoy single pieces and in every one of these there are moments in which they capture an excellent mood, atmosphere if you, an interaction between both that works really fine, but just as many times there seems a lack of all of these things and there is hardly any interaction. My suggestion would have been: chop these three pieces up, overlay them and create an excellent thirty-minute mix out of these. (FdW)

There is certain sparseness for all of these releases. That’s one way of saying: don’t judge these covers, don’t value this information, but listen to this music; it’s all that matters. The website is down as of writing this, so there you go. This is the sort of thing that accounts for the oft repeated ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’ in these pages. Mathias Grassow is someone we know from his many works that once sounded like new age electronic music but over the years gained a much more experimental edge – luckily. Here he teams up with something or someone calling him/her/themselves Closing The Eternity for a seventy-three cosmic trip. Upon opening up in ITunes it says that we are served ‘new age’ and it surely is a bit cheesy. Here we have bird chatter, recordings of water, and endless sustaining synthesizer washes along with the tinkling of bells – Tibetan no doubt. A bit of piano here and there and one could say there is a slightest experimental touch to this, with some of the reverb running a bit of texture. All of this has the feeling that it’s been improvised, which is actually something that I quite enjoyed. The third piece, ‘Blue Night Over Telpos-Iz’, is the darkest of the three (also the longest) with very slow percussive thumps and very dark and more abstract playing of synthesizers and samples, and field recordings seem absent here. Maybe the end repeat was a bit superfluous but a great piece all together.
Also the name Rapoon is one that we know for a very long time, and while we don’t keep up in reviewing all of his work, anything new is listened to with great interest. Robin Storey, a.k.a. the brain behind Rapoon, and before that an important part of :zoviet*france: he knows how to create highly atmospheric music with minimal means; sometimes it works out to be in a very ambient way, but the element of rhythm is not something that he ignores; in fact, one could say that repeating sounds, tape loops, samples are part and parcel of his work. After all these I still am a bit clueless as to how Storey works; is all loosely played and recorded in a more or less semi-live set-up or is meticulously put together through a process of editing on a computer? Somehow I am inclined to believe it’s the first thing, especially when listening to the two lengthy pieces on this release. Rapoon moves back and forth using a wide variety of sounds and moods, combining them, switching around these and making different configurations with these. Every bit lasts a few minutes and then is taken apart and the crossfaded into the next section, taking up another few minutes. All of that works rather well, and to be honest: its result is nothing strange for Rapoon. It’s what we know from him and what he does best, but it also comes without real surprises and that’s something to be regretted, at least by me: I like it when new roads are explored.
The most recent release of this trio is by Noroeste, of whom I never heard before and of which discogs lists this as their only release and no other information. All instruments, says the cover, are played by Gael Loison, while one Zalie Bellacicco is responsible for the voices. There are some guest players for other instruments. Here too the music is very ambient, but somehow it seems not as new agey as the Grassow release, or as rhythmic (as loop based, I should say) as the Rapoon release. The mood here is very dark, obscured by black clouds. That makes it not easy to say what’s going on. There are surely drones, lots of them, played by guitars, transformed by sound effects; but there is also drums (sampled) in brushy, jazzy vein, accordion and what seems to be horns, but they might be sampled too; they could easily be more processed guitars. Lastly there is the use of old vinyl, sampled crackles thereof, but maybe also the actual musical content. It’s all a bit dramatic, thanks to the use of reverb creating hollow effects. There is certain uniformity in these pieces, sound wise, composition-wise that makes these pieces a bit interchangeable. When there is no drums, no whispering voices and just abstract drones I thought worked best; but even then I had a feeling that I heard much of this before. (FdW)

KAZE – UMINARI (CD by Circum Disc)
The unconventional quartet Kaze combines the talents of two French and two Japanese musicians:  drummer Peter Orins and trumpeter Christian Pruvost, both from the jazz-scene in Lille, and pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. The quartet started with a meeting by Fujii and Orins back in 2002. Especially Fujii and Tamura are profiled musicians in their home country, where both lead numerous ensembles. Tamura is also very busy in the States. As Kaze they released a first album,  ‘Rafaele’, in 2010. It contained a live recording from Krakow.  A second one, ‘Tornado’ followed in 2013. ‘Imunari’, their newest effort was recorded in France in December 2014, after a twelve-day tour in Japan. The cd contains five pieces. And what is soon very evident, is the enormous contrasts between the works.  The opening track ‘Tioky Astimo’ starts with exuberant power play.  By contrast, ‘Vents contraries’  starts with a lengthy, sound improvisation, using extended techniques, before they decide to introduce rhythm and harmonies.  ‘Inspiration’ is a fine improvisation, using lots of gadgets and objects, extended techniques to create a diverse sound spectrum. This is probably the most humorous piece of the album. The closing piece ‘Uminari’ is again a very rich piece of music, more serious and dark in nature.  Passages that put pure sound and texture in the centre, are followed by passages where chords are dominant. What unifies their music is their intense interplay and shared musicality. This makes their music very organic.  Complex and intellectual on the one hand, but also wild and natural. Great work! (DM)

DOKURO – AVALON (CD by Monotype Records)
Behind Dokuro we find a duo of Agnes Szelag on electric cello, voice and electronics and The Norman Conquest on synthesizers and sound manipulations. The latter is from Tulsa and his real name is Norman Teale. I had not heard from both of them before, and they don’t seem to have many other releases, as ‘Avalon’ seems to be their second release. It was recorded during a tour through Europe in the spring of 2012. Maybe the fifteen pieces here were recorded in concert? There is no mention of such on the cover, but I think it is. These pieces are rather short and to the point, as these fifteen pieces clock in at fifty-two minutes. Each of these paints a picture of it’s own. Szelag bents her cello, feeds it through electronics to make it howl around, gently scrapes it and at the same time uses her voice to make similar sounds, none of this with words that constitute lyrics. The Norman Conquest adds drones, spheres and ambience to what she plays and even provides the occasional stomping beat, such as in ‘Backbeat’, but that’s a rarity. The album moves all over the musical place, from cosmical spheres to improvised ambient, to heavenly voices humming and all of this with great care so that nothing becomes too quiet or too small. Dokura uses great flair in the music and isn’t shy of doing a ‘heavy’ sound or two, without making this very noise based. This is a nicely varied CD with lots of great small pieces of music.
Much longer pieces are to be found on the release by Dave Phillips and Hirsohi Hasegawa, which is also recorded in 2012, with additional material by Hasegawa from 2013 and edited by Phillips late 2013 and early 2014. Part of this is recorded in concert. To the table Hasegawa brought filters and effects and Phillips field recordings from Vietnam, Ecuador, Thailand and Indonesia. Both of these musicians have a solid base in the world of noise music, Phillips mainly under his own name and Hasegawa as a member of C.C.C.C. and Club Skull, while working solo as Astro (these days actually a duo). In much of Hasegawa’s work there is loud noise, but from a more psychedelic angle: lengthy passages of on-going sounds at a high volume. It’s brain piercing but in a very pleasant way. Phillips unearthed from his tapes, minidisc, DAT tapes and hard disc recorders some field recordings that fit very well. In each of these tracks he creates a mixture of them and feeds off the sound to Hasegawa who treats this further. I am merely guessing here, but I think what is captured on this CD is both Phillips’ mix, dry as it is, along with Hasegawa’s additional effects, and those two are mixed together by Phillips when putting together this release. Clocking in at seventy-seven minutes this is quite a tour de force, I think, especially if you decide to go along and play this at the loudness that is required. Lots of high end piercing frequencies, but occasionally also dropping at the bottom of the sound spectrum. Definitely not easy listening music, but it’s something that worked rather well. Not over the top noise, not Phillip’ more usual approach of cut-up but also not Hasegawa’s monochrome approach, but a fine mixture of both their interests in some fine music.
It’s quite a leap, music-wise, from their CD towards the release by Astrïd, a quartet of players Vanina Andreani (violin, juno, rhodes, crumar, harmonium, metllophone), Yvan Ros (drums, rhodes, harmonium, metallophone), Cyril Secq (guitars, bowed guitars, juno, piano, charango, harmonium) and Guillaume Wickel (clarinets, rhodes, harmonium and saxophone). I never heard of them before. Their CD has seven lengthy pieces, from six to fourteen minutes and is some musical excursion into the world of post-rock, improvisation and a bit of jazz, all of which is played as though it’s a small ensemble – less rock perhaps, especially in any passages in which rock drums don’t sound. All of this is very moody and atmospheric music, with gentle, harmonious passages of all those keyboards and soaring violin and wind instruments intoning sad melodies. Sometimes it seems all a bit too sweet for my taste, I must say, but the sad, melancholic mood also didn’t leave me untouched (no doubt that’s the essence of great music?) and the sunshine today prevented me from bursting out in tears over this and pondering life’s difficulties. Filmic, intense, sweet, beautiful, melancholic, americana at times and all such connotations sprang to my mind. Perhaps not the kind of music I’d play everyday, but this leaves me quite impressed. (FdW)

One must be careful, but Sandra Boss is surely a name I haven’t heard of before. She was born in 1984 and studied at The Royal Academy Of Music in Denmark and now is working on practice based PhD on sound art in Aarhus. She has performed her music at various festivals and her primary interest lies in using ‘malfunctioning qualities found in obsolete electronic equipment or the hidden sound structures found in iconic classical instruments such as church organs’. On this LP (her debut perhaps?) she uses a Revox B77 MK 11 reel to reel recorder, Beocord 200 Delux reel to reel record, Sony TC 155, Tandberg 7B, B&O RC oscillator, Leader LFG function generator, metronome and electromagnetic microphones. All of this seems part and parcel of the world of musique concrete: you record a one sound from a oscillator and through speed change, reversing and looping (and lots of other tricks) you turn this into a piece of music. No doubt that’s something Boss did, but the end, the result we hear, sometimes sounds very much like the work of a laptop artist, especially the first two pieces on the first side, ‘Akkromatisk Legeme’ and ‘Signalflag B’. After that it’s indeed more musique concrete in the classic sense of the word. It’s all a bit more lo-fi also, with carefully placed cracks and peeps over a wobbly tape adding another level of transformation. All of the seven pieces are rather sparsely orchestrated with sounds, while leaving virtual gaps between the sounds; gaps, not as in silence. Sandra Boss covers a lot of space in her music, with sounds popping wide and afar and yet there is always something happening. It’s something I enjoy very much. One could easily be deceived into thinking that this is all a laptop-based record, but apparently it is all in the analogue domain. Created with a great sense of refinement. (FdW)

It has been a while since I last heard music from Andrey Kiritchenko I thought but of course I reviewed ‘Chrysalis’ in Vital Weekly 856. Is that long ago? Perhaps with the amount of music weekly to digest this indeed is. That LP seemed something of a shift from his earlier laptop based music to something more jazz like. More dwelling on acoustic instruments and as such we should regard his latest offering a 7″ with two pieces ‘Enough Heaven’ and ‘Heaven Is Not Enough’. There is no cover, nor tons of information, but I guess we have drums, piano, strings and wind instruments here, plus perhaps a bit of electronics. The two pieces are connected, not just by their title but also in the way they are composed, played and recorded. There is a fine sense of minimalism in both of these pieces, with repeating phrases for some of these instruments, while others (saxophone or piano usually) play a more melodic part, jumping about from place to place. One could say this indeed owes to the world of jazz music, and no doubt it does, but it’s actually a lot more difficult to qualify, just as the ‘Chrysalis’ LP was very difficult to judge. I have no idea if Kiritchenko is playing all of these instruments himself, or a bunch of session players, or even if they are sampled together; it all together makes up a fine yet odd orchestral sound, and two lovely pieces. Pressed on transparent vinyl, which is the only thing to complain about: it could have been pressed better. It might be just my copy of course. (FdW)

Here we have two new releases on Mathieu Ruhlmann’s Caduc label, which offers nice printed covers and in general music that arrives from the world of electronic and improvised music, usually a combination of both. Blaast is a duo of for me unknown Lali Barriere and the very well known Alfredo Costa Monteiro. They both get a credit for playing synthesizer and that this piece was recorded 10th of August, last year. Like said, I have no idea who Barriere is and how that is of any influence on Monteiro. The work here at hand is very long, seventy-three minutes and it spans one piece of drone like electronics. It doesn’t stay however in one place as it moves through various parts and sections here, from mid to low range. First time round I fell asleep while I was playing this – the usual afternoon nap, no doubt, but the music itself works very nicely in that. While I was napping, I wasn’t completely gone, but somewhere far away I heard this playing and my mind moved along this excellent piece of drone music. There are no sudden moves or uproars, massive moving along to another place, but in general an excellent organ-like sound that moves the listener through a whole set of dreamy environments. From the more experimental inclined musician, this is not something I expected. This piece left me pleasantly surprised.
Although it’s not mentioned on the cover, Meridian is a percussion trio, consisting of Tim Feeney, N. Hennies and Greg Stuart. The three pieces on their release where recorded at Barn Hall, Ithaca, NY in May 2014, so (surely?) a concert recording. Less electronic than the Blaast release and some of the other releases by Caduc, I believe this is not entirely free of electronics. I might be wrong, of course. They play various percussion instruments and do so in a rather minimal way, but not for very long. They rattle their drums; play them with bows and the whole thing start and stop at random will. It moves as easily to a new section, inside one of the three main tracks on this release. Large resonating surfaces are played here and microscopic sounds are derived from the same surfaces. The electronic component here might come from resonating textures, the room it was recorded in or simply from electronic devices, most apparent in the second part. It makes some damn fine improvised music here of some highly intense nature: there are occasionally some deep end sonic extremities explored here. Great releases actually, the both of them. (FdW)

BALBALAB (CDR, private)
This group is a ‘collective of experimental musicians from Singapore exploring a variety of strategies towards electroacoustic improvisation’ as they write on the cover. Here this collective consists of four players: Dennis Tan (electronics, voice), Hun Han Wu (percussions, voice), Shark Fung (bass, percussions, voice, electronics) and Zai Tang (turntable, prepared records, objects). If I am not mistaken there is a conceptual edge about their music, which includes scores, guidelines and directions for what seems otherwise to be improvisations. It’s not easy music, even when we are used to uneasy music here at Vital Weekly. On one hand there is the noise of two of the members; lots of feedback, distortion and such like, but Fung and Wu seems to be playing the odd men in here with their percussion. This percussion is not distorted or transformed but played like a regular free jazz instrument. Furious: of course. Wild and free: naturally. It is perhaps an odd marriage of two ends: the free jazz percussive slabs produced by two members versus the noise and distortion by the other two. Because both need to be heard, the noise is a bit reduced and not always having the power of an average noise record. This music worked best for me when the noise boys here listened and interacted with the other players, such as in ‘009-Card = Misbehave Playfully’, and then create some fine tension as a group, and not as four individual players playing something more randomly. While I am not entirely convinced by their approach, I think there is enough music in here to enjoy it to quite some extent. (FdW)
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DEISON & UGGERI – IN THE OTHER HOUSE (CDR by Final Muziek/Old Bicycle Records/Oak/Loud!/Grey Sparkle)
Two releases with Christiano Deison; both are collaborations and one of these is of a more permanent nature. I started with the less permanent one, with Matteo Uggeri, who is the founder of Der Einzige. As such he is responsible for industrial music, albeit of a more open mind. It can work out to be dark ambient, musique concrete, kraut rock or even EBM. Much of his work is in collaboration with others, such as MB, Fhievel, Telepherique, De Fabriek, Bob Corn and the ever-lasting work he does with Sparkle In Grey. Deison also collaborates a lot and moved from noise towards dark ambient, which is something clearly present in these new pieces. Deison plays laptop on these pieces, but also bass frequencies, field recordings, object, pedal effects, organ and such like, and Uggeri laptop, field recordings and violin/guitar/trombone/piano samples. The music was already recorded in the winter of 2012-2013 and is now finally released, 300 copies on LP and 100 copies on CDR. The album must be understood as a concept album, about houses, and preferable those that are haunted. In these six pieces these two musicians manage to create indeed a spooky atmosphere; maybe one is influenced by thinking while looking at the photos on the cover, taken by Francesca Mele, depicting bodies on the floor, in black and white. To think of eerie places, horror soundtracks while hearing instruments that emulate squeaking doors and foot steps on the stairs, while ghostly whispers float around through drones, sounding like a presence you can’t see but feel all to well. Field recordings of rain do the rest. This is indeed a haunting house. Both composers moved house before recording this, but let’s not read too much in that.
Anatomy is Deison’s on-going collaboration with dANi/ALvo, and ‘Hypomaniac Larvea’ is their second album, following ‘Dead Man And A Skeleton Stag’ (see Vital Weekly 831), which they recorded over a six-day period. I wasn’t entirely convinced by that debut, with it’s lo-fi rhythms sampled from all sorts of sources. This new album was also recorded over a short period of time, a week more or less, and also from a bunch of improivsations. Unlike the Deison/Uggeri release, which consists of ‘pieces’, this one is more about ‘songs’. Partly because dANi/ALvo is singing, in the same toneless intonation as Genesis P-Orridge sometimes does. Loops are still present, but it’s all a bit sparser and this duo is now looking to explore their music further and deeper. Pieces are shorter and to the point, with ten of these in thirty-six minutes. Some of these still too brief to make an impression, such as ‘Blind Larvae III’, but sometimes it works out well, such as ‘Wooden Dark Sky’ or ‘Embrace Lunacy’. The singing as such does not blow me away, but I think this new release is surely a leap forward from the previous release. Songs are tighter; more thought out, there is a fine amount of variation among these pieces; perhaps not always my cup of coffee, but certainly a significant step forward. (FdW)

ESA RUOHO – PARCHED THROAT (CDR by Attentuation Circuit)
From Slovakia hails L.V. Martinez, who works with a variety of (unnamed) projects with different styles and one of these is ExperiMENTALien, as the spelling should be. There are nine pieces on this CD, hence the title, I guess, and I have no idea what he does, but my best guess is that Martinez uses a lot of sampling of sounds, lots of effects (boxes, digital, who knows) and effectively melts down his sources into nine nightmarish pieces of detailed nuclear meltdown. Quite noise based, very industrial, but without any of the images that may come along such a ride. ExperiMENTALien keeps matters relatively abstract; more like the soundtrack to a movie that deals with such matters as apocalypse, zombies, mad max, robotic slavery and what else have you in the department of blackness. Even when he keeps things at a more limited volume, such as ‘Electrip’, it’s still forceful and alien (indeed). Long pieces, clocking in at six to eight minutes and sometimes that seems a bit long for the amount of sonic information it has to offer in a piece, but on a more mind penetrating level, the psychedelic side of all of this, I must admit this worked rather well. Nothing for the weak of heart or mind or both.
The other new release is even a bit longer, clocking at seventy-two minutes and it’s by Finnish composer Esa Ruoho, who sometimes works as Lackluster. I have no idea who he is or what he does, but apparently he’s doing a remix here of ‘Empire Of Dust’ by Anodyne. I never heard that track, so I looked it up on youtube, the world’s archive of music, it sometimes seems. It’s a pretty neat electronic dance track, which seemed a bit dark and probably not entirely my cup of tea. The original lasts some six or seven minutes but Esa Ruoho knows how to stretch these things into something much longer. Much, much longer indeed. One doesn’t recognize any beats in here, not even those that are time stretched and one doesn’t recognize any of the original melodies either. I have no idea what kind of software this guy is using, but it does a great job in tearing apart of all of the original into one super long super-drone based piece of music. This could also very well have been the result of a heavily computer treatment of a field recording. Or rather: multiple treatments of the same field recording, going all over the place, as Ruoho knows how to keep the tension and attention alive in this piece. A bit industrial from time to time, but always on the safe side of things, with the ambient heart beating in the right place. Quite cosmic from time to time to, especially in the final twenty or so minutes with long sustaining, shimmering melodies. An excellent, spacious journey this is. If only remixes were more often like this. (FdW)