number 1020
week 7


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:

AMUTE - BENDING TIME IN WAVES (CD by Humpty Dumpty Records) *
ANDREW LILES - ANIMAL MAGICK (CD by Tourette Records) *
GERMAN ARMY/NOVY SVET (split 7" by Tourette Records)
LASSE-MARC RIEK - SCHWARM (cassette by Alarm)
WIL BOLTON - FEBRUARY DAWN (CDR by Eilean Records) *
JLIAT - 13TH JANUARY 2016 EVENING (CDR by Jliat) *
JEPH JERMAN - 34°111'3"N 111°95'4"W (cassette by Mappa)
X-NAVI:ET - VOX PARADOX (cassette by Wounded Knife)
ROBERT RIDLEY SHACKLETON/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette by Hissing Frames)
STEPHEN BOYLE/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette by Theater Quality Control)


Three new releases by Russia's Frozen Light label and as these albums are by musicians
I never heard of, I played them in no particular order.
   Dark Awake is described, at least on discogs, as 'Neoclassical/Martial/Ritual/Neofolk Music
and Occult Philosophy', and I see they have releases on Twilight Records, Rage In Eden, Great
Turf Deluxe and Seventh Crow Records. The band consists of Shelmerdine who gets credit for
'instrumentation, human bones (kangling), vocals, orchestration and production', where one
Sekte is responsible for female vocals. Three songs here, total length of twenty-eight minutes,
so maybe it's more a lengthy EP, or a rather short full length. The orchestral sounds of the
opening piece 'I Am The Black Wizards' reminded me of some of Autopsia's earlier work, though
not as good. Probably sampled together from a bunch of orchestral records, or played with some
kind of software that offers such possibilities, Garageband springs to mind. There is a bit
of singing also in here, but hard to say if it's male or female. The title piece follows and
lasts seventeen minutes; acoustic guitar playing, harpsichord and electronics on a course to
further alienation - maybe these are the human bones that are being played. Voice here is most
likely male. The final piece is a 'tradition [sic] pagan song cover', called 'Herr Mannelig'
and is also a bit of guitar, orchestral sounds, synthesizers but perhaps all bit too loosely
organised to be a song, unless of course there is some pagan ritual I am not aware off (which
is very likely). This release I thought was a bit too 'gothic' (which word I use for all things
dark and which is surely not my cup of tea) for my taste. No doubt this is a popular band.
   To follow that I wanted some less 'gothic', I continued with Winterblood and I easily admit
that is quite a 'gothic' name too. Luckily the music is much more ambient and synthesizer based
and comes without, well besides the metal music lettering on the cover, too many dark under-
currents. Apparently 'La Via Di Neve' (the road of snow, I believe) is the long lost album of
this project from Florence (do they have roads of snow there, I wondered). There are five pieces
on this album, which span a total length of forty-three minutes and the music is all made with
digital and analogue equipment. Five pieces of long sustaining, mellow synthesizer sounds that
pass by like clouds on a winter's day; well, perhaps I was thinking just that looking outside.
It's winter and cold (well, as cold as The Netherlands can be in these days of global warming,
I guess) and the slow moving sounds of Winterblood fill up space and tick away time in a very
melancholic mood. 'Destino', the final piece, also had a bit of piano and a faint trace of
rhythm. I quite enjoyed this beautiful sadness, even when, rather objectively, I think all of
this music was already done before, and with the same production quality and with similar soft
touches. That's all right. One can enjoy this simply for what it is: some fine mood music.
   From Poland is Karmiciel Wszy, 'mostly devoted to strange and unexpected death theme'. He
started out in 2015 but already has releases on Lighten Up Sounds, Lurker Bias, BDTA, Silentium
In Foresta, Jasien, Craneal Fracture Records and 'Torre Bert' is the first real CD. I only heard
the privately released 'Isdalskvinnen' (see Vital Weekly 1004), which I liked but I think the
pieces were a bit short. For this new release I read “'Torre Bert' is a name of amateur tracking
station in Northern Italy, where lots of space telemetry signals were picked up by brothers
Achille and Giovanni Battista Judica-Cordiglia between 1957 and 1965. That recording included
voices of first ever cosmonauts and astronauts catched by self-made equipment. Were these voices
true or fake? Disputes are on-going for more than 50 years, but these recordings share with
us that unique atmosphere of first space surveys’ tragedy and mystery." I also learned that
“Karmiciel Wszy” means “louse feeder” – a person who feeds the louses on his/her body for
scientific or laboratorial aims." Oh. Maybe he listened to my earlier criticism since now he
has four pieces, spanning forty-two minutes. Like Winterblood, Karmiciel Wszy taps into the
vault of ambient music, but unlike Winterblood's nicer and melancholic touches, he finds some
dirt and decay here, a rumble well below in the basement. Everything is pitched down, filtered
away and there is hardly any light in this release. There are also hardly any voices, which,
based on the description is something I would have expected. Unless of course these voices are
heavily transformed in these masses of sounds that effectively becomes the music. No problem of
course as it all sounds firmly rooted in the world of dark ambient, where as such it's one of
many, as Karmiciel Wszy may not yet have fully found his own voice in this world. With a career
that has been going for a year that is hardly a surprise. Time will tell. For now, I'd say:
thumbs up! (FdW)


The German musical project Anemone Tube has been around for a very long time, maybe close to
twenty years now, but there haven't been that many releases. Anemone Tube is the musical project
of Stefan Hanser, from Germany and his music is usually a mixture of dark ambient and loud
industrial music. For his latest release he is inspired by a whole bunch of paintings by people
like Caravaggio, Barend Cornelis Koekkoek, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, John William Waterhouse and
others and a whole bunch of quotes from the Bible to Wagner, from Schopenhauer to Mishima; truly
a small treasure trove with thought provoking text and images, all, I would think dealing with
death and mysticism. Anemone Tube brings out all arms to deliver his personal soundtrack for this
mission and the music bounces nicely between all things dark and doomy and all things loud and
noisy. When the latter it is all very furious, perhaps more than I could remember of the few other
releases I heard from him. Everything rattles in the factory, crushed by the wheels of industry,
the conveyer belt is a slaughterhouse. I have no idea what it is that Anemone Tube does to create
his music, but the cover mentions both field recordings from Japan and China as well as synthesizer
and feedback, and the latter two in full action here. The ambient side seems to be a minority
on this release and only a few instances Anemone Tube pulls back and allows the music to breath,
such as in the power drones of 'Sea Of Lights (Golden Temple)', but otherwise this is one hour
of hermetically closed noise music. It is however not noise for the sake of noise, but one hears
that Anemone Tube did think about such notions as 'variation' and 'composition'; i.e. what does
work best if I want to create something of raw power. The answer is simple: 'this'. Topped off
with a great package, gold on black paper and a booklet of paintings and quotes, this is a rare
thing these days. (FdW)


The sound world of Julien Ottavi is a conceptual one. He sets out to record an event and then
executes that. Not necessarily he think in terms of a composition that pleases the listener.
This is quite clear on this double CD. The first disc is an one-hour piece of music that explores
'inaudible sounds', those that can be picked up using very low frequency antenna, hydrophones,
ultrasound device and such like, but in 2012 they (being Jenny Pickett and Julien Ottavi, making
the Electromagnetic Collective) used their VLF devices to record man made electricity, those huge
high tension electrical pylons. According to the cover, Electromagnetic Collective explored these
recordings and discovered musical qualities in these recordings, but the average lover of say,
alternative rock or hip hop might find this a definition of music too far. In this piece we hear
lots of buzzing, high end, low end, of electrical currents. In the early bits of this piece very
loud but in the second half this dies down to a more moderate level, with occasional cracks, which
after the forty-fourth minute break are entirely gone and a single tone remains until the very end.
This is quite some radical music.
   And there is more to explore in terms of radical music on the second disc. Here we have five
pieces of electromagnetic waves, which are a combination of two 'disturbances', electric and
magnetic, vibrating together. These can be made audible with copper induction coils, magnets and
surfaces that capture charge or vibrations. These electromagnetic waves are everywhere and if you
have the right equipment (which is not at all expensive), you too can scan the city for these waves.
The five pieces are recorded in the collective's hometown of Nantes, at the train station, tramway
and tickets machine at the train station, and sound at times more musical than the other disc,
with repeated bleeps and waves that move like obnoxious insects around your head, or a cheap
synthesizer left in a solitary buzzing position. Pickett and Ottavi captured some great waves
and while this is anything but easy listening, I found this some fascinating stuff. Not that
both discs should be played in a row, as I would think that is way too much, but a bit every now
and then, makes up a wonderfully difference in an otherwise clean world. (FdW)

AMUTE - BENDING TIME IN WAVES (CD by Humpty Dumpty Records)

By now Jerome Deuson releases his sixth album, which in about twelve years is not a lot of releases.
I didn't hear them all; just the debut 'A Hundred Dried Trees' (see Vital Weekly 421) and 'Savage
Bliss' (see Vital Weekly 928) by which time his music progressed from laptop/folktronic/glitch 'n
cut to a more rock oriented sound in which the guitar played the central role. The wall of guitar
now uses quite a bit of rhythm (sometimes from machines, sometimes real drums) and the music is quite
rock-like; well, perhaps I should say 'post-rock like'. But there is more here, as the influences
range from post rock to shoegaze but also blues ('Solar Flames', which also has vocals, as one of
those pieces), ambient and orchestral, such as the opening of the title piece. It's a highly varied
disc, with pieces between somewhere between five to eight minutes, each being very much on it's own,
but with some stylistic overlaps; the fuzzy guitar is never far away. It seems less drone based than
the previous release and that's no doubt due to the fact this was recorded with a band, including
drums and cello and Deuson as an one-man army guitar band. I am sure this would make some fine waves
on a real stage. Spacious, rocky, space-rocky, fuzzy and hazy; this is may all very be more rock
music than we normally review but for the occasion a most welcome diversion. (FdW)

GERMAN ARMY/NOVY SVET (split 7" by Tourette Records)

Early (?) in his career I was a keen follower of Andrew Liles and even shared a car while traveling
the East coast of America to play a handful of poorly attended concerts. It was not this tour that
made me lose interest, far from, but then what it was I don't know. Maybe Liles started to release on
labels that didn't muster the likes of Vital Weekly with promos; I do know a lot of music was released
in the last decade and Liles' interest in magick and monsters, certain surrealist aspects thereof, is
perhaps not always mine either. No doubt what also helped push his popularity was the fact that Liles
is now a regular member of Nurse With Wound and Current 93, playing his electronics for both. So while
being at a loss when it comes to the bigger picture of his work, I started playing his 'Animal Magick'
release, covered with monsters and pentagrams. Whereas the Liles I saw live worked with electronics,
reverb and isolated children's voices to create a haunting and surreal soundtrack, this new music
dwells heavily on samples, mainly from the world of lounge music, easy tunes and perhaps the circus.
Sometimes it is just that: a bit sampled tunes together. I must admit I prefer the added value, such
as in '(Rotund! Manatee!) Trichechus', in which we hear an squeaking toy, reverb, electronics, perhaps
one could say, the classic Liles sound. No doubt Liles adds more techniques that work a subtler level
than superficial hearing will reveal; I am thinking of tape manipulations in 'The Flea Circus
Ringmaster', which is also a bit long for what it is. Some of the Dada/collage sound techniques of
the early Nurse With Wound ring through in a piece like that. It's at sixty-six minutes (and no doubt
there is a deeper meaning there, if only we knew what it was) all perhaps a bit long. At a certain
stage in this CD you heard all the happy clappy circus music lounging away and one wishes for a bit
more variation, a bit of relaxation, such as 'Pronghorned' or the aforementioned '(Rotund! Manatee!)
Trichechus', or beter both ends working together, side by side, rather than two individual lines on
the release. It made it hard to select a track for this week's podcast.
   The other new Tourette release takes the form of a classic 7", a split one. First we have three
pieces by German Army, who have a whole bunch of releases, but I only heard very few of their works
(see Vital Weekly 906 and 941), but I quite enjoyed their take on combining rhythms, synths and voices.
It's a bit of industrial music but it doesn't necessarily dwell on a lot of distortion and noise. It
is quite dark music however. Angst pop might be a most appropriate word for this kind of music. These
pieces are quite short and to the point and find German Army working in something that is a bit more
song oriented, which is great. Rhythm is now stage central and voices are kept in the background,
adding to the atmosphere of the synthesizers. Three strong pieces.
   On the other there is Nový Svět, from Vienna, of whom I never heard before, but in existence since
1997, and here we have a loop of an organ, a loop of some kind and slow rhythm, while vocals are mixed
very upfront. This too is a bit of dark and a bit of industrial, but maybe also a bit too 'gothic' for
my taste, even when it is probably too experimental for that particular scene. Scratchy copy also,
with the Nový Svět more so than the German Army side; I hope just this one on my desk, and not the
whole pressing. (FdW)

LASSE-MARC RIEK - SCHWARM (cassette by Alarm)

Two new releases by Gruenrekorder, who now clearly state on the cover of which series these releases
are part. Thus we learn that the release by Christina Kubisch and Eckehard Güther is part of the sound-
scape series. I am not sure if I heard of Güther before, but surely I did of Kubisch, even when in
recent times she seemed more active in building sound installations rather than releasing music on CD.
This new CD however is a bit of both: it is a CD (obviously), documenting a sound installation, which
had no less than twenty-six channels, and which uses the sound of water from the Ruhrgebiet area.
To be more precise water that is underground, in old and disused mines and they have to be clear of
water, so pumping goes on and on, as one doesn't want the water to mix with the normal groundwater,
out of fear for contamination. Kubisch and Güther did all the field recordings and I think its
Kubisch who is responsible for the composition as such. Two pieces here and there is of course an
interesting parallel to be drawn to the world of music (rather than pure documentation of a sound
event), industrial music to be precise. Much of this deals with the sound of machines, pumps, pipes
and mechanics. And of course the sound of water, running through these pumps and pipes. Kubisch
creates a truly fascinating sound world with these sounds, and it might be that I am biased and love
motorized sound, mechanical objects and such like and where ever I am I try to listen to sounds like
that. So the dark rumble from mines below, the pumping of water and the way Kubisch collages all
of these sounds together into these two pieces of music makes this an utterly wonderful release.
Sometimes hard to recognize the mechanics, but perhaps that adds to the mystery of it all.
Excellent release.
   Would you recognize a river by it's sound? That's the question poised by Lasse-Marc Riek (field
recordings) and Thomas M. Siefert (location scout and pictures) - a proper band then? The river in
question originates in Switzerland and ends in the North Sea, near Rotterdam (having split at the
Dutch border, becoming two rivers (Nederrijn (which also splits) and Waal, the latter passes the
sunny city of Nijmegen). That's not the entire course this piece of music follows. We start the end
spring of Rhine in Switzerland up to the harbour of Karlsruhe, a total length of 589 kilometres,
roughly half the total length. To answer their question: no I did not recognize this as the river
called Rhine, even when perhaps at various points where Rhein_Strom made their recordings I also
passed the river. It's hard not to think of the 'Sound Map Of The Hudson River' by Annea Lockwood,
who does the same thing, albeit with the Hudson River, but I believe she follows the river over
greater distance. This is not something one could discuss in terms of music, I think, but rather
one can say: yes, I really like to listen to sounds from nature and listening to the sounds of the
river, quiet, loud, with or without any human activity, pure water recordings and with animal life
around, and these twenty-one pieces are one flow along those 589 kilometres down the river coast
line (and according to the pictures also several recordings have been made sitting in a boot). By
choosing various points of recording, Riek has an interesting variety of sounds to choose from and
makes full use of that when he put together this piece of music. It is quite a fascinating listen
this release, exactly the kind of thing this label is known for.
   Under his own name Riek also has a new cassette released by Alarm and it consists of a collage of
twenty recordings he made, each lasting thirty minutes, of a flight corridor in Hanau-Steinheim, in
Germany, so it consists of lots of plane flying overhead along with field recordings, such as the
church bells in this lovely little village (13.000 inhabitants). These results in two thirty-minute
pieces of music, which have, I think, little by way of composition and it seems all more to do with
the ambient quality of the wide-open sound. Slowly these various recordings are layered on top of
each other and there is the far away hum of the planes overhead, adding a grainy texture to the music.
I found this working at it's best when played at a somewhat lower volume and create an even more
ambient environment and let it work your own space. Even better is to open your own windows and let
your own environment mingle with the sounds on this tape. Unfortunately not the right kind of weather
today, but rain (Rhine?) could also do well. I just don't feel like mopping the floor and prefer to
keep my windows closed. (FdW)


Behind Gondeln we find Albert Oehlen, who, as Jailhouse and Titan Katzen, already released music on
Meeuw Muzak before, and something works as Euphrat Und Tigris, Nachdenklich Wehrplichtige, Weiss Und
Doof and The Knowhow Rockers. He has a few pieces as Wendy Gondeln, mainly single releases and 'Betty'
is the A-side of this record. Gondeln plays electric violin, maybe even a couple of lines at the same,
backed up by a strong bass drum beat that is not the most steady one, i.e. not engaging to dance (or
maybe it does, but surely an odd dance it would be). Quite an effectively weird piece; not really a
'song' perhaps but it works quite well, I think.
   The other is by Norbert Möslang, once of Voice Crack and Möslang/Guhl, but since some time on his
own, and seeing this side is called 'Betti_Corr', and not just by the look of that, it's safe to say
this is a remix of 'Betty'. In the cracked everyday electronics that usually inhabit the world of
Möslang it would be nice to know how he creates his remixes, but we don't know. Maybe there is an
enormous amount of tape loops at work, deconstructing the raw and direct sound of Wendy Gondeln,
and gathering a massive sound. It's not bad, but maybe I would loved another 'song' by Gondeln and
see what her/his sound is all about.
   This 7" comes with a big hole and the usual lo-fi Meeuw aesthetics. (FdW)


From Ghent, Belgium hails OGW. Well, not entirely true, it's where he resides these days. I know OG
Wyers from the beautiful home town Nijmegen and his previous work running a label called Oggy Records,
which released a bunch of fine works with electronic improvisation and mister Wyers himself as the
most accessible musician, operating with lo-fi techno music. That is something that he still finds
of interest, if the six-track release is anything to go by. A rather lo-fi cover (I am sure intended
like that, but there is room for improvement there) and you'd better hop over to the bandcamp if you
want to find out the titles of these songs. The release opens with the first title of the title of
the release, and is a pretty straightforward techno song that hammers on and on. It is followed by
'Slow Moving Rocks' in which the rhythm is pushed to the background and is a more organ/synth heavy
song. Two different approaches and OGW wants to confuse us as much as possible. 'Floppy Jazz #1' is
a truly cut-up beat piece while 'FRAM EXP2' is a very distorted piece of rhythm heavy music (perhaps
not really the kind you dance too?), which 'Floppy Jazz #2' and 'Mind Fug' certainly could provoke
the listener to do. These pieces are longer than the others and have that excellent minimalist techno
vibe, but then from a cruder end of technology. Well worth checking out, certainly if you plan a true
underground party. (FdW)


Here are some unusual releases by Edgetone. This may seem a contradiction as this label is specialized
in the unexpected. But lengthy ambient-like music is not their thing, I thought. And that is exactly
what we have here with both releases by James Freeman. All music on both CDRS is composed from three
ingredients. Field recordings, layers of electronic sound produced by Freeman, plus on top of it, one
or more musicians improvising taking inspiration from this material. ‘Echoes of Nature’ contains three
extended duets. In all pieces Freeman did the field recordings and production, and plays synthesizer.
In each piece stars a different guest: Yehudit (violin, viola), Nika Rejto (flute, piccolo, bass flute)
and Mads Tolling (violin). On the second volume Freeman again did production and playing synths. Field
recordings however are only used in the first of four tracks. Also the three soloists reappear on this
one. In ‘Stream’ Freeman is assisted by Sheldon Brown (clarinet) and Carol Alban (flute). This happens
to be the track that it did for me. Dripping sounds, meandering solos that may go on and on if you ask
me. Freeman is not afraid of time. All pieces take time. Duration is an important issue of the music
that Freeman describes as “atmospheric sound paintings for mind, body and spirit”. His field recordings
not extensively manipulated. Birdcalls are still just birdcalls as in ‘Sunrise Birds’. Additions by
Freeman and the soloists are in function of these field recordings. Field recordings are not reduced
to background, but play a constitutive role. No wonder I had to think of Walter Carlos’ ‘Sonic
Seasonings’, an important release in my formative years, that also had a dominance of field recordings.
No drama is added, which makes the music unintentional in a way. This changes however in the pieces
where two or three soloists make their contribution. Then we have much more musical interaction and
dynamics. Ambient might also be a label that also fits for the new release by Nashville Electric,
although their music differs enormously from Freeman’s tapestries. Here we have thick-layered noisy
textures. A score, in fact, for a documentary by Orson Welles from 1942, ‘It’s all true’, produced by
Tracy Silverman (electric 6 string violin, effects), Ryan Norris (keyboards, effects), Dylan Simon (EML
101 synthesizer, echoplex) and Ed Pettersen (guitars, effects). The music is built from a constant
stream of power-electronics, with violin and guitar trying to carve patterns on these massive walls of
sound. No idea how these rock-induced experiments work with the images of Welles, but this music can
stand on its own feet as well. (DM)


From the ever so active Wil Bolton yet another release, hot on the heels (it seems!) of 'Inscriptions'
(see Vital Weekly 1002), with another ten songs of his trademark mood music. Bolton plays bass, acoustic
guitar, synthesizer, effects and field recordings. With two exceptions, all of these pieces are around
four to five minutes and within each of them, Bolton explores a mood, a texture and that's it. The bass
is watery but present, the guitar tinkles away on top, and there's that bit of field recording here or
a touch on the synthesizers there. Very occasionally, such as in 'Bleaching Ground' or the title piece
the music is grittier and dirtier, but I believe these are exceptions and not a deliberate ploy to change
what he does. And why should he? Bolton is one of those musicians who found a niche market, settled upon
a specific sound and explores that on end, without making very strange career moves. For me, the reviewer,
that is a pity since it would be great to write: the new Bolton is all about heavy metal samples, what a
sudden change of scenery; and not something the lines of 'this is some great music, but it fits what he
does for quite some time and on quite a number of releases. And that is, unfortunately, the case here:
Bolton carving further and deeper into the sound world he is now best known for. As a listener however,
I'd say this is again some wonderful ambient music with sometimes a weird touch. (FdW)


There is not an awful lot of information here. Cover (and information) says 'music by Garaliya', an
electronic duo from Lodi, North of Italy. There are five pieces, twenty-four minutes, so this is a rather
lengthy EP. If you investigated the music that Kvitnu releases you should know what to expect here; many
beats, digital production, glitches that can be beats or melodies, or both. And while it may sound like
something that has been created the latest sound production tools available that move bodies on dance
floors, it is perhaps not always the kind of music that one would easily find on the dance floor. That
is the kind of music Garaliya plays. In sometimes like 'Z-Clones' the beats are coherent enough to find
it's way into a DJ set, others may not succeed (and I say this with all the limited knowledge I have
about such notions as DJ sets), because it seems to me these time signatures are sometimes a bit weird
and strange, like limping on a foot for a bit too long. This is for such as the opening piece 'Ventricle'
or the long final piece 'Replicant'. I can imagine however one would go about and do a bit of physical
exercise while listening to this, as these five pieces convey some fine energy, which allows to listener
to channel in his own way. (FdW)


In Vital Weekly 1012 I already told you about the return Jliat did to the world of drone music, with a
lengthy release build on an endless sustaining drone. This is part of a new series called 'Days' and
here's another one, build on the ideas of Fripp and Eno. Using various synthesizers (Nord, Yamaha, Roland,
Boss and Korg) and loop devices there is a few lines running rampant on this and it goes on and on. It
perhaps could even drive people crazy, even when that is perhaps not the idea behind this music. The idea
is, more likely, to transport the listener to a nice place and this is not something to play very loud
or to listen to very actively. Music to immerse yourself with. At 69 minutes this is of course music
that allows you to engage in various other activities, of which I would say, reading works best, but also
cleaning, cooking or perhaps even sleeping, even when I didn't try that. If you would like something
else that what it sounded on the previous instalment of this series, then this is not the place. I quite
enjoyed this; I read a lot of pages! (FdW)

JEPH JERMAN - 34°111'3"N 111°95'4"W (cassette by Mappa)

From a 'God-forsaken place in the south of Slovakia' comes a new label, Mappa and their first release
is packed in a hessian bag and the music is by Jeph Jerman. In the late 80s I was a keen follower of his
music, when he released his solo music as Hands To, or, together with John Hudak as Domaine Poetique,
as well as many other collaborations. Somewhere in the mid-90s I lost contact with Jerman and it seemed
he focussed on playing music to small audiences in unusual places, rather than releasing it. Much of his
work is about listening; to small objects, to locations, usually without any amplification. The
geographical location that is the title brought me to China, but for all I know I have not been doing
this right, as the text reads: “The recordings were made over a period of a couple of years. The windmill
is located about a mile north of the town where I live, on what I assume is ranch land used for raising
cattle. It was once used to pull water from underground to fill a couple of large tanks nearby. It's in
a bad state and no longer in use. There are two large crows nests at the top, and the inner workings are
laying on the ground next to it.” And for all I know Jerman still lives in the USA. He attached a hand-
made contact microphone against the windmill for a couple of times over the course of several years and
I assume the three pieces on this cassette are a mix of these recordings. But perhaps it is not and it's
just a plain registration of events that happen within that time frame. It is hard to tell, I think,
but also perhaps not really important as it is the results that counts. Whatever Jerman does, mixing or
registration, it's not possible to hear, but there is a chilling beauty in these recordings. The wind
vibrating these metal objects in a calm and peaceful way, but without sounding too overtly ambient make
this a great release. I have no idea why this is divided into three separate pieces, but I'm sure there
is a good reason for it. Excellent release! (FdW)

X-NAVI:ET - VOX PARADOX (cassette by Wounded Knife)

Hati drummer Rafal Iwanski is as busy with his main group as he is with his 'solo' project X-Navi:et,
for which he also employs help of friends; not on all pieces. If Hati is all about percussion and mood,
then X-Navi:et is more about mood, for which he uses his voice, digital drummer, tone generator, sampling
unit, analog synthesizer, effects, balalaika, rattles and objects. His friends supply voice, micro-
programming, trumpet and bass guitar, but, as said, only on a couple of tracks. The track with the
trumpet, 'Machina' has a film noir jazz style, but then set inside a factory. The music of X-Navi:et is
atmospheric and moody, but also has a touch of industrialism, at least on this release. I am not sure
if the voice plays a bigger role here than on his previous releases, but the title seems to imply so.
These are six pieces, thirty minutes of sturdier experimentalism, mood music, with fine dashes of rhythm,
atmospheric trumpets, exotic field recordings and spacious synthesizers. It might be just me, but it
seems to me that X-Navi:et is a bit more daring here than on some of his earlier releases. Maybe the
format of a cassette invited him to do a bit more daring stuff? Whatever it is, I quite enjoyed the
variations X-Navi:et served on this tape. It's not just about a single thing, say drone music, or ambient,
but a bit of everything, and into a varied set of pieces. Great! (FdW)

ROBERT RIDLEY SHACKLETON/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette by Hissing Frames)
STEPHEN BOYLE/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette by Theater Quality Control)

Guitar player Brian Ruryk popped up twice in recent times in Vital Weekly, both in connection to Canada's
improvisers Fossils, one dedication to him and one collaboration with them. Ruryk is from Vancouver and
now mails me two tapes with some nice hand-made packaging - something we don't see a lot. Both of these
tapes are split cassettes, and the first one is with Robert Ridley Shackleton, of whom I didn't hear before.
Like Ruryk he plays the guitar, but there is also some taped voices, along with a very crude form of guitar
samples. It is essentially a nice idea that is being put forward here but at fourteen minutes I thought it
was a bit too much of the same thing. I liked the acoustic character of some of the sounds, but a bit more
variation would have been better.
   The Ruryk side here I liked more. It seemed to be a bunch of recordings from various concerts stuck
together in quite a rudimentary way, so it skips back and forth between all sorts of recording techniques.
Sometimes quite in your face, sometimes with lots of sound effects and then all of a sudden very dry.
Sometimes there are various objects that play the strings and these objects are tossed in the space, much
to the enjoyment of whatever audience there is. Quite an intense piece, bouncing all over the place and
keeping the listener at all times focused.
   The other cassette is only ten minutes in total and has on the first side 'Call Me' by one Stephen Boyle.
His piece is all about lo-fi noises, no instruments as such it seems, just found sound, spoken word and
collages of sound snippets stuck together. It sounded very crude, but also quite captivating, plus at five
minutes this also had the right length. Quite intense.
Ruryk may use a bit of guitar playing in his piece, which is a continuation of the other piece I just heard;
collage-like, sticking odd bits of tape against each other from seemingly unrelated releases, but somehow
this seemed less challenging than the other piece. Hard to point out why this is, for me it just seems to
be the case. (FdW)
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