number 1023
week 10


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HINTERLANDT - ENSEMBLE (CD by Art As Catharsis) *
BIG HARE - HASYAYOGA (CD by Blowpipe) *
STROM NOIR/MICROMELANCOLIÉ  - '49°05'19,3"N 22°34'0 (CD by Zoharum) *
MARTIN KAY - COURTYARDS (CD by Herbal International) *
VONNEUMANN – SITCOM KOAN (CD by Ammiratore Omonimo Records)
THE SILVERMAN - DISORIENT EXPRESS (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope) *
ASTATINE & OGROB - OEIL CELESTE (10" by Doubtful Sounds)
EIGENIDYLL - KURMASSNAHMEN (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
PUSTOTA - GREATEST HITS (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
X3D5 X NOISES OF RUSSIA - THEURGY (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
POLKKA LOVE MACHINE (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
KSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
EPAVLIS PAVLAKIS - 16 QUARTETS (cassette by Noise Below)


From the outside things have been quiet for Jochen Gutsch' one-man group Hinterlandt. Armed with
a guitar, electronics and a drum machine for a while he played some great alternative pop music.
I even saw this Australian man (born in Germany) play in a local bar in Nijmegen, ages ago. The
last time we had one of his releases in these pages was in issue 849. Now I receive 'Ensemble'
and am quite surprised to learn that Hinterlandt is now indeed an ensemble of four persons:
Gutsch himself on trumpet, guitar and percussion, Bronwun Cumbo and Natalya Bing both on violin
and percussion and Simeon Johnson on cello and percussion. As you can imagine with such a line-
up the music has also changed a lot. It is all about chamber music now, and the group recites
Tin Hat Trio, Kronos Quartet and Masada as influences and there is an admiration for composers
such as Antonin Dvorak (always good to mention his name in these pages for purely private
reasons) and Gyorgy Ligeti (which to me sounds worlds apart, but alas), as well as Marc Ribot
and Sufjan Stevens. This is not like anything I hear a lot these days, I must say; or rather,
perhaps not like anything I hear at all. With some of the music that I feel is not part of the
weekly, like rock or heavy metal, I can at least say that: it's not my world, but with this music
I am not sure. Somehow I would think this is in some way part of 'my' world, but I simply lack
the tools to write about it. Surely this is quite melodic and has very little to do with the more
difficult modern classical music, what some would call the plink-plonk music. Three long pieces
here, in which the quartet moves from mood to mood and in 'Patches And Paths' even has a bit of
distorted guitar. One could perhaps say this is all a bit music for films, but that doesn't
justify the music, I think. It actually stands very well by itself and is best-enjoyed sitting
down and listening carefully, but in a good mood; preferably with a glass of red wine at hand.
This is a total re-invention of Hinterlandt. I actually quite enjoyed this, even when it sounded
like anything I hear, and maybe that's the reason why I like it; but at the same time I must
also admit that this is worlds apart from my daily bread. (FdW)


Something that doesn't happen a lot: I already saw this band play live and thought that it
was very good, even when connections were easily made: Blancmangne, Soft Cell, Tears For Fears,
OMD and that's partly because of the synth based music, partly of the eighties look and partly
because of the fact that Big Hare is also a duo, like their inspirations. Their synth pop is
a bit different than the aforementioned bands and that's because Big Hare sounds a bit more
naive, production wise. Big Hare, two boys and synth toys, sound more lo-fi with their
synthesizer tunes. It's like the sound is deliberate closely mixed together without much care
for detail and the vocals are sometimes a bit too much mixed to the front. It sometimes sounds
like the music is played through a boom box and the boys sing on top of that and all of this
is captured with a single microphone. It's also not all strictly pop music that these boys play.
One of the longest pieces, 'Fun Face', shows a love for psychedelic tunes, going on just a bit
too long, with all sorts of crazy sounds dropping in and out. No doubt the lyrics are all funny,
but you know me, I never pay much attention to lyrics, but it sure sounds like fun and craziness
in this world. If you call your 'Hasyayoga', which apparently means 'bless you' in Russian,
then you know this is all about weird, crazy, funny things. Funny and sunny, as Big Hare uses
all the exotic percussion of their drum machines, the whistles, bells and rattles not many
people seem to use these days from their drum modules. It adds more exotic weirdness to Big
Hare. In a week with lots of coldness, flue and darkness, this is a most welcome vitamin
C(D). (FdW)

STROM NOIR/MICROMELANCOLIÉ  - '49°05'19,3"N 22°34'0 (CD by Zoharum)

Two times we have here the world of drone music but both of these releases arrive from a
different place. Which place that is, might be given in the title of the release by Strom Noir,
also known as Emil Mat'ko from Slovakia and Robert Skrzyński otherwise called Micromelancolié
from Poland. When Hands To had a release with a geographical location in it's title I tried to
look it up, and I think I failed, so I didn't bother this time. There are two lengthy pieces
on this release and apparently we hear the guitar and electronics of Strom Noir and "the sonic
structures prepared from defects and scraps that has been explored for several years by Micro-
melancolié", which I assume to be the sounds that drift about, which sound like far away objects,
bit of metallic sounds, covered with a fair of reverb dust. I must admit I don't know that much
music by Micromelancolié, but overall I thought it sounded like Strom Noir had the biggest part
in the production; glacial like drone music moves very majestically, like big icey mountains in
a polar sea. That's the overall sound, and there is the sound of metallic debris of ancient ships
that every now and then collides against the iceberg, and sometimes against each other. It makes
up a work that is quite all right. It is nothing like something exceptionally new in the world
of drone music but it sounds well made, with enough creative input of their own.
   Already going for twenty-five years is Germany's Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim, the musical
project of Jürgen Eberhard and friends. Unlike so many others, the Trinkers aren't very productive
when it comes to releasing music, as 'A Bug's Life' (isn't that some animation movie? I am not
looking that up) is their tenth full-length album. The cover says that the music was recorded with
the sounds of insects, just like 'bee, bumblebee, cockroach, midge, wasp, and dragonfly…’, which
I found not easy to believe, mainly because I also hear human voices. These are no doubt from the
guests on this album, such as Miss Polyester, Frau Kraushaar, btong, Genevieve Pasquier, Allseits
vs Troum, Joke Lanz and Frl Linientreu. The drones created by the Pinkels are more of an industrial
nature, using loops of acoustic objects, treated with lots of effects. Now the previous release
by Strom Noir and Micromelancolié used a fair bit of reverb, with the Trinkers this sometimes
gets too much. It adds a somewhat shrill effect to the music, like when you scrap a bunch of metal
together in a very large and very empty industrial hall. It's no doubt that kind of effect that
the Pinkels want to have for their music; the vast desolate ancient industrial space. I must
admit I have some problem with all of this. The vast amount of reverb used to create these pieces,
the way some of the sounds are made, crude and noisy, the slowed down voices and sometimes you
just think: what is this composition about? It may remind you of music by Nurse With Wound,
but not as refined. It wants to paint a similar surrealist picture, through the collage of sounds,
but for me just doesn't work in a similar way, even when some of these pieces contain to some
interesting insect sounds, and strange interceptions, such as the drums of 'Sandyanmon'.
I enjoyed the release to some extent but I found parts of it not really that much for me. (FdW)

MARTIN KAY - COURTYARDS (CD by Herbal International)

All the way from Melbourne hails Martin Kay, who sometimes worked as Mountain Black (see Vital
Weekly 897) and sometimes under his own name (see Vital Weekly 958) but in both instances he
works extensively with field recordings with however as Mountain Black with some extra computer
processing afterwards. Here however there is no computer processing going on as 'Courtyards'
is all about recordings made in shared courtyard spaces in Paris, both the classic spaces but
also the modern-housing estates, and each such space is like a sound box in itself, resonating
sound against all sides. Seven of the nine pieces are recorded in a single location, and the
beginning and closing pieces are the shortest ones, summing up all these pieces together. This
is a very straightforward work of field recordings. It seems like they have been culled out of
a longer recording, straight like that, 'these ten minutes' will do, but I doubt that is the
case. I think this is all the work of precise editing and sticking sounds together to create an
aural image of a place. What is even more curious is that in some of these pieces not a lot
seems to be happening. At one point I even assumed the CD was finished and I seemed to be in the
middle of a piece (I also check the cables of my equipment). It's that what makes this CD quite
good, the sheer variety in approaches; the ultra quietness of some of these pieces and the more
present approach. Just, as I would assume, life in different courtyards would be in a big city
like Paris. For anyone who visited the city (and who hasn't?) this is fine reminder of how quiet
and how loud such a city could be. (FdW)


The header might suggest we are dealing with here with a split album, duties divided between
Michael Begg and Human Greed, but it's not. Michael Begg is Human Greed, although on previous
occasions I already wondered why there is this distinction. Why not simply go for one name? The
new album doesn't shed much light on that again. Apparently the fourteen pieces on this album
were 'conceived for theatre, gallery and installation contexts. They are concerned with defined
and definite spaces, places and absences. These places arise both from nature and through
construction. In turn, the construction may be natural or virtual', which perhaps doesn't make
things any clearer, I think. If you would think that each piece has extended information
(conceived for this gallery piece, this date), then you are wrong, so for all we know we could
also have fourteen pieces of music, just like that. It continues were we left off 'Hivernant',
(see Vital Weekly 999) with more icy ambient textures of sustaining string like sounds, which
might be either sampled from orchestral instruments or originate in a box of samples. To that
Begg adds a fine bunch of field recordings, street sounds, sea shore sounds, seagulls and maybe
even a bit of exotic chant or percussion and together with the electronics he also uses some
fine subtle ambient music is made. And even some less subtle, as the high piercing sound of
'Francis Bacon: A Room' is far from pleasant. It provides however necessary variations in this
album, so that it doesn't become too much of the same sweet thing. It's good and solid album,
but not his best, I'd say. It is perhaps too much of compilation of various tracks. (FdW)


By now I should think that our readers are a bit familiar with both of these musicians from Spain;
they have an extensive set of works to their name, but this is the first time they work together.
Recorded in a single day in 2014 Monteiro uses here electro-acoustic devices and Garcia electronics,
which resulted in two pieces of almost equal length. I believe that at the core of this we have
some magnetic coils picking up signals from electrical sources and making these audible. This is
treated as source material by them, and presented in the form of quite noise-based collages of
sound. The first part might be a bit 'softer' than the second, but that too has its quiet moments.
It cracks, hisses and bursts with electrical energy and while I started out liking the first part
of the first part, I must admit I also just seemed to like the more subdued moments of this music.
When it became loud and harsh, I thought it was a bit too easy and in that respect, perhaps, the
whole album sounded a bit easy. One has a bunch of loud, electronic sounds, and some softer and
through some multi-track editor these sounds are stuck together. But that is, I think, too easy;
there should be added value, tension for instance. Maybe I wasn't playing this not loud enough
and should I have turned up the volume a bit more? That might be one of the problems. Or maybe
this afternoon my post-flue head wasn't into the world of noise that much? As said I enjoyed
major parts of this, especially the quieter bits, which seemed to have that much needed tension.
Overall I expected more of them, I think. (FdW)


Here's a new release of Seino on his own Voice of Silence label. This time around it is a work of
duo improvisations with French cello player Hugues Vincent. Vincent studied classical cello in
Montreuil. To be followed by masterclasses with Didier Levallet, Joëlle Léandre, Ernst Reijseger,
Barre Philips, a.o., illustrating that Vincent choose the path of improvisation, instead of
performing the classical repertoire. We catch Seino and Vincent a in live recording dating from
October 17th, 2014 at the Big Apple, Kobe. The improvisations are divided in three groups, named
‘Exposed Dialogue’, ‘Last Tree’ and ‘Enclosed Dialogue’, ranging from 5 to 9 improvisations. Seino
plays electric and acoustic guitars. Vincent just cello. Except for one, all other improvisations
stay within five minutes. No more time was needed by them to work out ideas in pointed miniatures.
In some tracks a jazzy atmosphere dominates, others make use of what sounds as traditional Japanese
music, or as modern composed chamber music. With success they strived for a wide variety of
dialogues, what makes this a rich and entertaining record. (DM)


Auguri is a musician of Polish origin, raised in Germany. She has Berlin as her base, if I’m not
mistaken. On her (debut?) solo release ’Green Water’, she offers five folk-inspired songs, that have
her singing and playing accordion. With sparse but tasty and effective additions by Felix Classsen
(drums) and Lukas Lonski, playing synths and electric devices. Both work also as a duo since 2007 as
Lonski & Classen. Joanna Gemma Auguri  is also singer of the The Cold Hand, who call themselves a
funeral folk band,  if that is of any help. She has fantastic , breakable but powerful voice. With
character and emotional impact. All five songs are written by Auguri. It is melancholy, dark, slow
songs. Nico on harmonium, and also Kurt Weil came to my mind. No wonder, as under the name of Ria
Gruen, she has a duo since 2006 with Klaus Schäfer singing songs from the 20s of Brecht, Weil,
Kreisler, a.o.  New is a collaboration with Nikolai Tomas as Poems for Laila, that will have a CD
out also very soon on Babouska. With ‘Green Water’, recorded at Osthafen studio in Kreuzberg, Berlin,
she creates a fascinating little universe. A strong statement. (DM)

VONNEUMANN – SITCOM KOAN (CD by Ammiratore Omonimo Records)

Von Neumann is Gabriele Paone (drums, percussion), Filippo Mazzei (guitar), Fabio Ricci (bass) and
Toni Virgillito (guitar, piano). And all play also laptop and electronics. We are talking of an
Italian combo that exists already for some fifteen years now. They released several albums during
those years. They are new to me and make the impression of being an anarchistic bunch of musicians
that don’t care much about rules. Free improvised rock is what they are doing. Free form experiments
from a punk attitude. For ‘Sitcomkoan’, released on their own label,  they used a live recording
from 2010. A recording so well done they wanted to do something with it. However releasing it as just
a live recording was not an satisfying option. So they decided to add overdubs on some of the tracks.
Also guest musicians are involved, one of them playing trumpet.  I like their attitude and approach
more than the results. Clearly they want to create new unusual music albeit in the neighbourhood of
rock. This results in interesting moments. But overall this release proves that a radical, freaky
approach not necessarily leads to interesting music. (DM)

THE SILVERMAN - DISORIENT EXPRESS (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope)

And The Legendary Pink Dots simply march on, as ever. There is very little room to catch breath when
you are a dedicated fan, but then, there is so much to enjoy that there is very little you would want
to miss out. It is a band for fans that are not addicted to a specific format; some of their releases
are download only, or CDR, CD or, like this one, on LP from a new label in Spain. It is announced as
the 'secret' companion release to 'Five Days' (see Vital Weekly 1014), which was quite an intimate
release of soundscapes and Edward Ka-spel's poetry, recited in a similar careful way. This 'secret'
album (limited to 300 copies, so what's 'secret' about that?) is a perfect companion to that album.
Much like the part of the name of the band's own label, the music by the Dots is a kaleidoscope of
atmospheres, impressions, outbursts, of pop, of ambient, of not so krautrocky pieces (not much of that
here these days for them it seems), all carefully placed next to each other. Side A has four parts,
side B two less but it's hard to say where one stops and the other begins, just in case one is
wondering about such notions. It starts with a rather regular, intimate song like piece, but then
quickly makes way for a collage of sounds, instruments, moods (orchestral samples, field recordings,
crackling), textures and then a little song like structure again. Because of this collage like
structure I was reminded of their earlier work, the glorious days of their many cassette releases,
which I always greatly admired (despite having many favourites from later periods too), but perhaps
less playful. Maybe it's all a bit more serious now, taking a long compositional form using all sorts
of elements. This is another wonderful record, but somehow you know I was going to say that. The
Legendary Pink Dots are these days, with works like 'Five Days' and this one, in a great form.
   On CDR we found a historical found by The Silverman, one half of the founding fathers of the
pinkies, and responsible for a lot less solo releases that singer Ka-spel, but still quite a few.
'DisOrient Express' was recorded in 2001 by 'using the studio as an instrument' (who doesn't in the
world of Vital Weekly, I'd say), but if you know The Silverman's previous solo releases, you might
be in for a little surprise here. All recorded in one take, without further overdubs or post-production,
this sounds like a bumpy train ride indeed. If you, probably quite rightly, believe that a lot of the
solo work by The Silverman is very ambient, you will be quite surprised by the somewhat more chaotic
soundscape presented under the banner of the 'DisOrient Express'. Imagine a bunch of recordings,
synthesizers, sequencers, rhythms, locked together in a room, mixed altogether creating a somewhat
unstable piece of music, in which the unexpected happens, by ever changing the combinations of these
patterns, sounds dropping in and out of the mix, over a longer course of time. Nothing immediate or
fast, but little by little, even moving along something that is a bit dance floor alike, and you know
you are experiencing indeed something unlike of The Silverman's earlier ambient trips. This train ride
goes along a rocky road, up and down hill and is quite lovely. A truly interesting archive found. (FdW)

ASTATINE & OGROB - OEIL CELESTE (10" by Doubtful Sounds)

Following quite hot on the heels of the previous, excellent LP with Vomir (see Vital Weekly 1019) here
is more new music by Sebastian Ogrob and this time he is working with Stephane Recrosio, also known as
Astatine and head of the label Orgasm. Ogrob himself is a member of Micro_penis and L'Autopsie A Revele
Que La Mort Etait Due A L'Autopsie. It contains the homemade noise experiments captured by Astatine in
Paris and the field recordings and short waves of Ogrob in Sydney, Australia and Tasmania; North meets
south? Maybe a dialogue? Or maybe a struggle? It is not easy to judge that on the basis of the pieces
what they want, but also not how these pieces were created. Together in the studio, judging sounds and
placing them somewhere in the mix by communal consent? That might be the case, but maybe not. It doesn't
really matter I should think, as the result is quite good. Whatever Astatine does, noise-wise, it fits
the field recordings from Ogrob quite well. These pieces aren't loud in anyway; the term noise is
perhaps a bit misleading here. All of these sound collages are quite intense, with bird sounds, plane
sounds, and some hard to identify sounds - maybe the addition by Astatine the menu. On Side A there are
more pieces and one Side B perhaps - I am reviewing without the complete cover. I enjoyed both the shorter
and longer approaches. Excellent record.
   A day later (this must be serendipity) I received two CDRs with the work of Astatine. I believe they
are also released as lathe cuts LPs in a very limited edition. The first is 'Du Jazz Dans La Ferraille',
which comes with a bunch of liner notes en Francais, which left me clueless. It sounds like Astatine had
a bunch of scratchy jazz records and played them at a much slower speed and sometimes not. Sometimes I
had the impression Astatine might be playing a long with these records. Either way: it is not easy to
say what he does or wants with this. At it's best one could say this is a work of plunderphonics, sound
collage in the best French tradition of musique concrete and perhaps doesn't have a lot to do with the
world of jazz music. It is messy, noisy, weird and vague. It does however have its moments, which is
good. Sixteen pieces in thirty-three minutes and I listened until the very end.
   The other CDR is called 'Faiblesse De Certains Sons De Guitare Lâche', the weaknesses of some loose
guitar strings, is, I believe, the translation. Here I would think Astatine plays it all himself, and
of course that's mainly the guitar, loosely, noisy, with a bunch of loops of sounds and rhythm around
it and everything is in free play mode. This has little to do with noise or singer-songwriter material,
and/or traditional free improvisation. I guess it is a bit of everything thrown together in the best
tradition of outsider music. Maybe more punk than your average local punk band. It was not bad, but I
must admit not entirely my cup of cognac. (FdW)


As I started to play this CDR I walked away from my computer and desk, so also away from the cover and
any information. The only thing I saw was something about this having something to do with the 100th
anniversary of William Burroughs. As the release played, from some distance, I kept thinking twice
'what again was this' and once I thought 'oh yes, Burroughs, how does he fit in'. None of the seven
pieces I thought could easily relate to the work of Burroughs, as I expected something with cut-up
voices or sounds. But then I read the information again and I noticed this is also about the life of
Burroughs and that explains the Joujouka-like opening with wind instruments and percussion of 'Agent
Lee' - ah now it makes somewhat more sense. The music was part of a large event with a multipart film
and readings of the works of Burroughs. Maybe I am less versed in other things about Burroughs life
to trace that back the music of Bionular, the project of Polish Sebastian Banaszczyk, which is 100%
about the recycling of sound. Just where to place these sources is a bit more difficult I think.
I simply have no clue about that. The seven pieces are sampled from a variety sources, which might be
ethnical in origin and which are gentle pieces of sampled music from what might ethnical sources.
A bit Rapoon like at times, I thought, without much rhythm underneath. It was not bad, but also not
something that really grabbed my attention and made me hold onto my hats. This is one of those things
that is all right, not great, not bad, but I'm not sure if that is enough these days in an over
heated music market? (FdW)


From Darmstadt, Germany hails Circuitnoise, a project of Jens Rosenfeldt, whose aim it is to 'discover
the vast field of random noises through electronic devices'. There is no specification as to what these
devices are, but Circuitnoise uses loopers, mixers and various effects devices and the result is quite
an interesting take on the notion of power electronics and power drone music. These can be quite loud
and forceful from time to time, such as in the opening piece 'Streaming Client Out Of Sync', but it
seems to me that noise is not a goal in itself. 'Uploading Incomplete Data' (all of the titles read
a bit like computer instructions, which I think is funny, as it doesn't have much to do with the world
of computers, but rather of analogue and electrical sources), already the second track here, is quite
a mellow piece of introspective sounds. And that turns out to be the idea of this release; strong
powerful, almost noises like pieces are cut with atmospheric pieces of music and that works quite well.
A few days ago I was down with the flue and I played this one a couple of times at a rather mediocre
volume, which worked quite well. When I was feeling better I played this at the volume that no doubt
is required for such a thing and it still felt like Circuitnoise is someone who know what he is doing,
which for me in the world of noise is always a big plus. An excellent release.
   Eigenidyll, which is a new project by Tobias Schmitt, whom we know as Suspicion Breeds Confidence
and Sasch Stadlmeier, also knows the other new release on Attenuation Circuit as Emerge (and who is
the label boss here). They both play guitar (Stadlmeier also a bass), which they process with all
sort of effects. This piece, which was recorded in concert in January of this year, shows very
occasionally a bit of guitar sound, but most of the time is actually quite abstract. It is very
ambient in approach but not necessarily it is a single mass of drone sounds. While with Emerge's
own work there is sometimes quite a bit of overuse of reverb, this is not the case here. All of the
effects are used in just the right way. It goes from all the way to the threshold of hearing up until
loud, spacey and bassey bits. I was reminded of the term 'isolationist music', actually for the first
time in a long time; remember that from the mid-90s? That covered a wide field of musical interests
usually dealing with guitars in ambient contexts, and Eigenidyll very much work along those lines.
Maybe a bit loosely organised, but then one has to keep in mind that this is a live recording, which
wasn't edited (I think) a lot afterwards. Most promising start of this new duo. (FdW)

PUSTOTA - GREATEST HITS (CD by Zhelezobeton)
X3D5 X NOISES OF RUSSIA - THEURGY (CD by Zhelezobeton)
POLKKA LOVE MACHINE (CD by Zhelezobeton)

Another trio of new releases by St. Petersburg's finest Zhelezobeton and I went in the 'Greatest Hits'
by Pustota, which is yet another name by Evgeniy Savenko, who we otherwise also know as Lunar Abyss,
but also as Hattifnatter and Boevye Cikady (and others). Here he sets out to 'explore various forms of
manifestation and convergence of the acoustic spaces and artefacts', which means he's all about getting
sounds from old tapes, mechanisms, half broken machinery, electro-magnetic interference and such like.
One of the reasons I never heard of this is that the releases he produces as such as strictly limited
to somewhere between seven and fifteen copies, with 'deliberately absurd handmade artwork'. So, if
these are the greatest hits is not for me to judge. It sure is quite a noisy tune Pustota plays here,
well most of the times that is. He hits upon a noise, which is never easy to identify in their source,
and then he does a recording of it, for a couple of minutes, well usually about six to nine minutes.
These come without much variation, and things stay as they are. That perhaps doesn't work always for me,
certainly when it comes to the more loud end of the music. I was thinking 'yeah, loud it is, and it
stays loud, it's not harsh noise wall, but is it interesting all this time?' With the pieces that allowed
for some quietness, such as 'Posle Vsego', with its crackling surface noise or 'To Da Syo', going from
noise into watery field recordings, worked much better. I would think that a true hit would be a bit
shorter than eight minutes anyway? I know this is all tongue in cheek (great cover by the way!), but
some more rigid selection and/or editing down the pieces would have been a good idea.
   The next release seems to be a collaboration between somebody who calls himself X3D5, of whom I had
not heard before, and Noises Of Russia, of whom I recall some work (but not all too well). There is
some cryptic reference to the writings of Saint Augustine, as well as 'dead christ, letters of Escher,
the last judgement, dark ambient with vodka etc'; what we find on the disc itself is spoken word in
Russian and dark ambient music. The opening track uses an extensive portion of The Hafler Trio's
'Masturbatorium' opening minutes - well beyond sampling actually and in other tracks there more dark
synthesizers, voices with tons of reverb all over it, machine like rhythms and the same dark intoning
voice reciting texts, in Russian. Music wise it's all a bit on the minimal side to leave room for the
talk, but since I have no clue what this is about it all felt a bit alien to me. Maybe world peace is
being preached here or world domination of satan but it's not a message that gets me marching in their
favour. But if you like a fair bit of dark ambient and stomping machine rhythms (think old Esplendor
Geometrico), and you don't care about the message than this is surely something for you.
   With Polkka Love Machine there is something not be the seen and that is the theatre group Sabotanic
Garden for whom this work was created in 2009. They toured in France, Germany, Austria, USA, Czech
Republic, Estonia and Finland with this, but these days they use the title of that performance work as
a band name. Now we know the Zhelezobeton label as a home for lots and lots of music that is generated
with electronic means, but while these are also present in the music of Polkka Love Machine, there seems
to me to be also quite some guitars at work, hissy amplifiers and a bit of distorted vocals. It has
surely all quite a lo-fi feeling to it, which is perhaps also unlike much of the music Zhelezobeton
normally releases. It is not easy to put the music down to one thing or another. It has that ritualistik
undercurrent, but it might very well these are more used as something tongue in cheek by these musicians.
There is quite a bit of charming lo-fi, even pop-like tonal material in this, with shimmering melodies,
a desolated bass, guitar feedback and then this demented voice. It could very well be all a bit of a
joke, but if so, they are quite serious about the joke, and I enjoyed it a lot. Lovely music. (FdW)

KSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)

Three releases to be part of Kendra Steiner Editions tenth anniversary and one is the obligatory
compilation. The first release however is by Lisa Cameron and Nathan Bowles, which read like duelling
drums: they both get credit for percussion, drums, cymbals, and Cameron also contact microphone and
Bowles for gongs and bells. The five pieces were recorded in 2013, of which two in a concert, and which
make up about more than half of the release. There is quite some difference in both approaches to be
noted, but maybe it has to do with the quality of the recordings. The three studio pieces are quite clear
recordings of minimalist playing on the cymbals in the title piece, while the two other pieces cover the
entire range of the kit, with 'Backing Into The Tree' is a more or less traditional improvised piece of
music and 'Rusty White Light' an obscured exploration of musique concrete territories. The two live
consist of a longer live version of the title piece and '40 Days Of Shrouded Dreams' uses the amplification
as an additional instrument, giving this a kind of lo-fi rock feel that we know from many of the bands
from New Zealand. All five together make up a fine disc of some solid percussion music with a fine
improvised edge.
   In August 2015 Mike Barrett and Tom Crean got together to record eleven improvisations with electronics
(Barrett) and guitar and banjo (Crean). I never heard of the latter, but Barrett was recently reviewed
with some very loud release as Belltone Suicide (see Vital Weekly 1003). I am not sure what kind of
electronics he is using here, but my best guess would be some sort of modular synthesizer set-up - like
so many other have indeed, these days. On top of his oscillations, bubbles, sine and square waves, there
are the improvisations of Crean on his guitar and banjo. I must admit these pieces didn't leave my rather
unimpressed. It was all quite noisy (however not in an industrial, power electronics sense of the word),
messy and the guitar/banjo fed through distortion to make a howl or two, with the electronics also at
times being quite chaotic, but it's not the chaos of two or three instruments pleasantly being random.
More like everything went together without much thought or direction; 'yes, this is also possible'. I
liked only a handful tracks, such as 'A Little R and R' and 'Friends That Work Together Stay Together
Pt. II'.
   And then there is the 10th anniversary compilation. Of course you celebrate with a compilation and
here we find many of the label luminaries who also found their way to these pages with releases such as
Alfred 23 Harth, Sarah Hennies, Rambutan, Vanessa Rossetto, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Derek Rogers, Brent
Farriss, Massimo Magee, Matt Krefting and (perhaps surprising) Graham Lambkin. It involves all of the
label interests, from improvisation to drone and a fine bit of noise by Magee. Great pieces no doubt,
but especially attractive for those who like to learn from this highly prolific label and perhaps less
for those already initiated. (FdW)

EPAVLIS PAVLAKIS - 16 QUARTETS (cassette by Noise Below)

Despite being active in playing classic flute under his real name, Pavlos Vakalos and since 1999 creating
collages with sound as Epavlis Pavlakis, I never heard of him before. In 2014 and 2015 he worked on the
'16 Quartets' that we find on this tape. The label calls this "Erratic noise situations, soundscapes,
narratives unreal, chaotic audio coordinated cluster", which perfectly sums this up. First of all I have
no idea why these would be 'quartets', although I can imagine this is recorded on a four-track machine;
that could be an explanation. It seems that Epavlis Pavlakis puts rather random sound events on tape,
spoken word, a bit of field recordings, some classical music, some pop music, and none of this has a
relation to each other it seems. One could ridicule this as some 'objets trouvees', stuck together in
some random order, and some of this is a bit of a miss, but most of the time I thought this was all quite
captivating as it works pretty well. It has usually something mysterious and strange. It's not very noise
based, which is good, and the different sounds are pretty much clear in detail. None of this uses rapid
editing, but once a quartet is set in motion it stays there, volume wise and dynamic wise. Quite an odd
release, I'd say, but one that works pretty well. Strange music is probably the best description. (FdW)