number 1072
week 9


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MAURIZIO GRANDINETTI – SEEK (CD by United Phoenix Records)
DAY & TAXI – WAY (CD by Percaso)
  Rusted Rail) *
A LILAC DECLINE 0 THE MIUNTAIN RAGES (cassette by Rusted Rail)
QST - 36811 (12” by Inta) *
MILLIONS OF DEAD TOURISTS (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings) *
ORPHAX - DREAM SEQUENCE #3 (3"CDR by Taalem) *
PHILIPPE LAUZIER - DÔME (cassette by Small Scale Music)
DANNY CLAY & GREG GORLEN - BIRCH (cassette by Midnight Circles) *
DIE NEUEN IBM - BERLINER KLASSIK (cassette by Midnight Circles) *
C. REIDER - CHEW CINDERS (cassette by Midnight Circles) *
LINE GATE - DEN (cassette by Mappa) *
  Tapes) *


Following 'Offal' from last year (see Vital Weekly 1033), here's a new release by Kevin Tomkins and
Paul Taylor, who have been working as such for some time now. Tomkins now gets credit for vocals,
synthesizer, sample keyboard, Autoharp and guitar, whereas Taylor plays modified guitar
synthesizer. The subject matter is grim and perverted; some things never change. Very much in
similar vein as 'Offal'  the music here on 'Shame' along the lines of good ol'noise. Remember I liked
'Blue Rabbit' (Vital Weekly 825), which seemed to have a more loud acoustic approach? That
seemed to be a one-off, which is a pity. I believe noise could be so much more, but apparently
Sutcliffe Jugend rather takes the 'easier' approach of producing something that is very loud and
electronically made. Yet this is not the kind of noise music that just goes over the top just for the
sake of going over the top. Over the years Sutcliffe Jugend became more and more 'musical', for
the lack of a better word; or perhaps the musical world around them got more and more used to
extreme sounds. Think metal music in all it's extreme forms; or gabber music for that matter. It
would be great to see all of that influenced by the likes of Sutcliffe Jugend, and perhaps it is
(although I doubt that), but the Esplendor Geometrico like introduction of 'Bait' shows they love
their rhythm as much as they do their feedback. None of the five pieces are particular structured
like a proper pop song, as all of these quite minimal and long slabs of noise, with is sustaining organ
stabs, walls of guitar sounds and screaming, aggressive vocals. Like before Sutcliffe Jugend offers
quite a bit of variation in their noise pieces, and it's far from one long howl of distortion. And that
variety on offer is something I enjoy every much. This is another damn fine blast. (FdW)
    Incidentally I had a cheeky nostalgic spin of a compilation of Sixth Comm / Mother Destruction
tracks a few weeks ago and wondered what had happened to them. Apparently they had an album
out in 2015 - first one in 10 years - and now, to be examined shortly is the debut album of
Godlesstate, Patrick Leagas' new project.
    Opener "Godless State" is reminiscent of the classic Sixth Comm sound with its repetitive
drum samples and orphic energy.  In that respect it also reminded me of 'Cathedron' by Sephiroth,
even more so due to the production value. Even though the music is clearly sequenced, it retains a
familiar organic sensation.
    "Birch Initiation" sets of in a different direction, fusing Jew’s harp, tribal wails, hammering
percussion and an intensive industrial loop into an enticing private ritual experience. And these
two songs forebode an album that is very diverse indeed. As is to be expected from a drummer,
Godlesstate is extremely percussion-heavy. Especially "Vedic Transference" is an absolute tour the
force in that respect, featuring tabla, intricate polyrhythmic patterns and a whole range of bells and
metal sounds. "Cedar Forest" I reckon is a nod to the epic of Gilgamesh, as successor "Enkidu's
Wildness" is a reference in a less abstruse manner. The dense mist of chants, coercive drums and
lamentation of wind instruments evoke a solemn atmosphere that could very well serve as a
companion to the reading of this ancient, but still so existentially relevant work. The two tracks
manage to retain a mesmerising tension throughout and I had to replay them just to take it all in.
Then on "Ice Voyage" we hear a Swedish voice recounting tales of nautical exploration, perhaps an
excerpt from some book or diary... However, this track really put me off due to its extremely
dramatic, a motion picture-sized string section and it clearly departs from the somewhat more
personal ritual state on the first few tracks. "Doggerland", the longest track of the album, prolongs
the bombast with slow dark surges, dissonant glissandos and electronic meanders, until the track
launches into an swirl of noise and treated orchestral gush, but sadly becomes a plodding exercise
after that.  Fortunately "Happy New Year Deer" pulls us right back onto the shamanic path and is
more or less a bit of a frothy, but very welcome reiteration of the private disposition of the second
and third track. "Zika at the Sill" and "Catalholyuk Beyond" in their turn bask in the radiance of that
typical Sixth Comm sound again, which does tie the whole album together nicely.  35 minutes in I
felt that this album was absolutely brilliant, but the 7th and 8th track made me reconsider that
opinion. But you know what, I'll just chuck those two away and it is an excellent debut again. (PJN)
––– Address:

MAURIZIO GRANDINETTI – SEEK (CD by United Phoenix Records)

The electric guitar is the ultimate instrument of rock music. I don’t t often come across releases of
modern composed music with the electric guitar as a central instrument. But there are exceptions
of course. For Vital Weekly I often reviewed albums by Canadian composer Tim Brady for example,
who composed many works involving the electric guitar, often played by him. So it is a rare occasion
now that I can introduce two new works with electric guitar. Both contain difficult and usual works,
confronting me with the fact that I’m used of the guitar in the context of music where repetition is
very dominant, something that is lacking on these recordings.
    First there is the album by Maurizio Grandinetti. He comes from the south of Italy, where he
studied at the Bari Music Conservatory. Nowadays he is based in Basel where he has several different
things going on. He is a player of the classical-romantic repertoire, but also of early music as a lute
player. Also he is a performer of modern composed music (Boulez, Cage). Besides he is into
improvisation, and regularly performs on electric guitar with electronic devices. So he is a musician
with a extremely broad scope, which is not often met. He is member of Ensemble Phoenix Basel,
who run their own label United Phoenix Records offering live recordings of the ensemble as a
download, as well productions by the ensemble or its members. Like ‘Seek’ on this album
Grandinetti is into exploring and extending the possibilities for electric guitar, exemplified in seven
compositions, written by seven composers. All composers Grandinetti worked with in the last few
years, and who were invited by Grandinetti to write compositions for electric guitar that go one
step further and deeper. The composers didn’t ring a bell, except for one: Elliott Sharp who
composed ‘Seek’. All works were performed live in the studio (no overdubs), with Alex Buess as
sound technician Buess is also the composer of the opening track ‘ata-11’, a work for electric guitar
and a number of live electronic tools that are also played by Grandinetti. ‘Pit Stop’ by Domenico
Caliri, is the work that stays mostly closely to the sound and possibilities of the guitar no now or
less extra tools. “Scuse Me” by Eric Chasalow is an older work, that I also know in a performance by
Brady. The composition starts with a well-known rock-riff that is deconstructed and opens a
complex musical world far away from rock music but remaining indebted to it. ‘Take life as a Slow
Motion Suicide Process’ by Marcelo Nisinman has Nisinman on bandoneon and Wendy Moten vocals
and offers a complex play with the tango-idiom. Although we witness some very accomplished
playing, and a diversity of compositions, it didn’t really appeal to me.
    Same can be said for ‘Wandering Rocks’ of Francois Sarhan, a young composer originating
from Rouen, France. He studied composition with Guy Reibel, Brain Ferneyhough, a.o. His output
is very diverse, ranging from instrumental music, video installations, movies, etc.  This CD features
two of his compositions. ‘Wandering Rocks’ (2014), a work for four electric guitars and 27
loudspeakers and ‘Commodity Music’ (2016) an installation/theatre work by François Sarhan and
Zwerm for the 2016 Darmstadt Festival for New Music. Released by the French Alamuse label, an
activity of La Muse en Circuit, an national centre for innovative new music and arts. Zwerm is an
interesting guitar quartet from Antwerp, Belgium. Inspired by the guitar quartet of Fred Frith they
seek for new musical territories for this line up. In case of this collaboration with Sarhan they are
very successful in this. Both compositions of Sarhan are presented here in an alternative version
for cd, as it was impossible to record them in the way they are originally meant and realized. So
they are offered in adapted, “easy teenage version”. We hear not only guitars. In ‘Wandering Rocks’
also pre-recorded sounds are used. For example the voice of James Joyce, reading a part of his 
‘Ulysses’. The title ‘Wandering Rocks’ by the way is also the title of the tenth chapter of this book.
It is difficult to find a grip on the music of Sarhan. He composes some very complex and unusual
works that take time to digest. Dramatic sonic soundscapes. One recognizes the electric guitars
throughout but at the same time it all sounds very far out. (DM)
––– Address: /

DAY & TAXI – WAY (CD by Percaso)

Day & Taxi is already for some 25 years in business and a central work unit of Christoph Gallio,
who is on the scene even longer;aA stable force in the Swiss for many years. Most of his output
is available through Percaso, the label he started in 1986. For Day & Taxi he is nowadays joined
by two musicians of a younger generation: Silvan Jeger (double bass) and David Meier (drums).
Both play since a few years in Day &Taxi, and debuted on ‘Artists’ a double cd from Day & Taxi
from 2014. Their new effort, the eighth release by Day & Taxi, counts 22 short works, all
composed by Gallio and recorded at Percaso Studio in Zürich in January 2016. Many of the
compositions are dedicated to people who belong to his social circle I guess. The ultra short
opening track ‘Icy’ has a childlike charm. Three other short pieces have poems by Friederike
Mayröcker sung by Silvan Jeger. In other tracks I hear echoes of Steve Lacy and sometimes
Ornette Coleman. ‘Klumpen’ for example, has the energy of a free jazz improvisation. For sure
those who know the jazz history better, will hear more influences. Of course one is always
influenced by what and who ever. But Gallio himself understands his craft. His compositions are
very transparent and clear. No unnecessary ornaments or demonstrations of technical skills, but
to the point in a cool performance. Poetic but also a bit intellectual. (DM)
––– Address:

  Rusted Rail)
A LILAC DECLINE 0 THE MIUNTAIN RAGES (cassette by Rusted Rail)

Back in Vital Weekly 726 I wrote about Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon for the first time. Before
that they were called Snowmachine (Vital Weekly 464). 'The Statue Of The Hunter Is Lost At Sea'
is the third album of the duo Aaron Hurley and Scott McLaughlin. The first one is the singer, but
also plays guitars, melodica and xylophone and the other plays cello, bass guitar, drums, clarinet
and organ, and usually one of these per track, the cello appearing in four pieces. The label pulls out
such phrases as 'avant-folk' and remind us of "Bark Psychosis and Talk Talk", and indeed there is a
resemblance with the voice of Mark Hollis; that sort of falsetto singing. Before I noted that at Vital
Weekly we are not very well-versed in all things folk, indie-rock or shoegaze; Phantom Dog Beneath
The Moon use a lot of reverb to suggest a lot of atmosphere, which is something that I can
understand they would do that, but for me that works bit against the release. It is used a bit too
much, I think. In general this is still not the kind of music we know too much about to something
very intelligent about. It is quite folky, most of the times, it suggests mystery, and was quite
entertaining on this rainy day.
    Which actually also goes for the cassette by Cecelia Danell, of whose name you can make the
anagram A Lilac Decline. She moved from Sweden to Ireland a decade ago, and is a member of Cubs
and Lober Deluxe, both of whom also release their music on Rusted Rail. There is a single
microphone set-up for Cecelia, and she picks up a guitar and sings her songs. Sometimes she
borrows instruments or even finds them and plays these while singing her even more folky songs.
Sometimes he voice is double tracked so perhaps there is some extra use of equipment such as
loop devices. So it's not entirely a folky down in the basement. If Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon
is avant-folk, then I'd say A Lilac Decline is more regular folk. A Lilac Decline leaves off the reverb
unit, most of the time that is, and concentrate on a purer folk sounds, despite her occasional use
of odd sounds and instruments. But very much like Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon I feel this is
something that is not entirely in place with Vital Weekly, with us lacking points of reference.
However, rain continues to pour down, so some sad music is perhaps most welcome. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here we have the return, after what seems to be some absence, of Francisco Meirino, one of
those noise musicians whose work I quite enjoy these days. Work by French bass and modular
synth player Eryck Abecassis was reviewed throughout the years, mainly when performed by him
and composed by Kasper T. Toeplitz, but in Vital Weekly 1002 we also had a solo CD of his
modular synth playing. Meirino has the same instrument here, and of course I know no two
modular systems are alike. They met up at the GRM studios in Paris, in November 2015, and
recorded a whole bunch of stuff together, which they mixed at home, resulting in the seven
pieces that can be found on this CD. Something I noted before: the modular synthesizer is like
the new laptop. Not in size, far from it, but the fact that everybody seems to be using these
these days. A duet between two people them is hardly something you never seen before. I enjoy
the way they have a somewhat noisier approach to the modular synthesizer, with some nasty and
gritty modular working overtime, leaving out the soft bits and pieces. Many of their peers would go
out for something that is more ambient perhaps, flowing and/or a downright Tangerine Dream rip-
off but these two gentlemen go deep for the more extreme possibilities without planning things to
be an all-out noise excursion. I think I wouldn't have liked it any other way; intelligent noise is what
we want I guess and that is something we surely get with this release. These are fifty minutes of
sonic overload, but nothing mindless; everything that needs to be in here is there and everything
else is left out.
    It's been a while since I reviewed 'Decay And Persistence' by Alice Kemp (Vital Weekly 899)
and now she moved on to release her first piece of vinyl. A very long time before that (Vital Weekly
296) her name popped in connection to Dual, the ambient drone duo of Colin Bradley and George
Richardson. By now she has performed her work in Japan, USA, UK & Europe as the label says (and
there's me thinking that the UK is in Europe, unless they mean the union) and has she has seven
pieces to offer. There is some additional sound by Rudolv, so you may think there is some
Schimpfluchgruppe connection, and maybe there is, but Kemp's music is much more delicate I
think. Whereas many musicians connected to the Gruppe have a loud sound, using cut-ups and
collages, the work of Kemp tends to be quiet, using field recordings (bird sounds, but also
something that is very hard to define), a bit of electronics to colour sounds, rather than to
process them; her most important instrument however is her voice. I am not sure if she uses
words, or just sounds, but it sounds very poetic as well as quite scary. It sounds like a purge, a
ritual, like theatre, like poetry, like a mental institution. Electronics seem to be drones, sometimes
working their way up in the mix and quickly disappear again. If anything the music of Alice Kemp
reminds me of Etant Donnes, circa 'Bleu'. It very much has that same aesthetic of field recording,
poetry and musique concrete, but in Kemp's case it has seems even sparser and controlled.
Although I am actually not sure if 'controlled' is the right word for all of this. It surely sounds
utterly captivating. You have no idea what's going on, and yet you keep listening; that's what
the music of Kemp does. It's like a horror movie: you know you might be scared but you keep
watching. Kemp's music has the same thing; you are clueless as to the action, or what's going
to happen next, and you continue to listen closely. This is an excellent record, which should be
heard by many. (FdW)
––– Address:


The word 'field recordings' is used a lot in reviews in Vital Weekly. Sticking up/down a small recorder
and taping whatever goes on in the environment is something perhaps all of us do. 'Processing' is
another word that is often used, and very likely in combination with the word 'field recordings'. In
one way or another the reviewer tries to recognize the field recordings and that is not always
possible. On this record by Dutch Werner Urban it surely is quite difficult. Urban has been around
for ten years, composing music for film, art projects and records and he has his roots in 80s and
90s hip hop culture. Beats are important in his work and that's something that shows on this
record. At the core he uses field recordings made in an abandoned freight station just outside
Wroclaw’s city centre, in Poland. Watch
if you want to see him recording all of this. If you then go to his bandcamp you'll be amazed by what
he come up with, as music pieces. And I am sure many will go 'oh wow, that's great', but I must
admit I am bit more sceptical. Maybe you heard of the theatre group Stomp, who play music on
waste bins? Effectively they don't do anything else but creating rhythmic music on metal objects,
and sound like a percussion group, and that says nothing about the quality of the sounds that
can be derived from such objects as opposed to regular percussion instruments. Werner Urban
does pretty much the same. He samples the hell out of his kicking around an empty train station,
but the end result is techno-based music. Based on something else than y'r average 303/909-
sample pack, but this all about kicks and beats, and for all the listeners who don't know the
background story, he could also have used some cups and spoons at home.
    None of the sounds we see him produce on his YouTube clip can be recognized in this music. That
is a pity. Does it mean that this record is not great? Well, no, that's something else. I quite enjoyed
this beat music, and for exactly that reason it sounds out of the ordinary, simply because it uses
different sounds to generate these beats. And also no doubt because it sounds not too dance like,
and Urban keeps his pieces concise to the point. On this LP he has twelve pieces, all quite short
and showing a great variety in approaches, towards the whole notion of dance music. Topped with
a beautiful pyro-graphic letter cut cover on hardcover carton, this is a very arty record. This is
surely one of the more interesting approaches towards field recordings, and one that for a diehard
conceptualist like me doesn't work too well, but it brings some fine listening pleasure; or even
dance pleasure. (FdW)
––– Address:

QST - 36811 (12” by Inta)

QST is the moniker used by Frans de Waard for his ambient house output and '36811' is the
project’s first 12”. The name '36811' is just the four titles put together, so no intricate Lost-like
mystery there. The A-side starts out ambient enough indeed. You’ve got your warm but ominous
synth stabs, your hysterical seagulls here and there, undulating noise surges; All seems fine, until
the beat rears its synthetic head and takes us directly to what I’d say is more minimal ambient
techno land than your box-standard ‘house'... But yeah, definitions. Big on the syncope action
and that’s how I like it personally, especially when finally the long awaited 4/4 kick drops. The
main synth reminded me of some track on Vainqueur’s Elevations. The a-side as a whole has a
whiff of Chain Reaction about it, which is definitely a good thing.
    The B-side sports two shorter tracks, the first of which has a bit of a monolakey thing going
on, the second sort of picks up where the a-side left of. Not literally, but it has a similar
hypnotically poly-rhythmic quality to it, though now it is the synth arp that is severely syncope-
laden, as opposed to the rhythm section. The only thing I didn’t like is that this track is quite
short. It could rise and fall and expand and release for another 4 minutes and it would still leave
the crowd screaming for more. Would love to hear this last one on the dance floor in a minimal
techno set. (PJN)
––– Address:


This is already the 24th 10" release by Drone Records' Substantia Innominata series, 'presenting
works inspired by or related to 'the Unknown' around or within us'. I believe the title roughly
translates as 'life in the air and in water'; I might be wrong. According to Dauby they were "touching
metal with our skin, with wood and with stones. We were navigating in the obscurity, under the
earth. We were probing the water with our instruments". Dauby we know for his field recordings
inspired work and Kojo was once known as Spiracle, had a duo with Michael Northam as Kodama
and releases under his own name, playing object based music. I am not sure if they were together
when they recorded this, as Dauby is based in Taiwan and Kojo in Belgium, but it could very well be
the case. It's meeting also of both their interests; where field recordings meet up with a dense
mixture of scraping sounds of metal on metal, which on the first side reminded me of Giancarlo
Toniutti's earliest records. It has quite a dense feeling, this one, but at the same time it is also
quite loosely played. The sparse rattle of metal objects in the wind, the foghorn from afar, and
everything moves in a very slow pace. There is something mysterious about this music; it feels
like we spy in on a secret nocturnal performance of some kind. We hear some instruments, and
also a cold wind blowing past these proceedings. Or maybe these are not instruments but
everything is site specific; a kind of magic circle in which all sorts of things happen? Stuff we can't
see, but we hear it from a great distance. One side is based near a pond with water splashing a bit
and the other side is inside a forest. Everything around here is very careful, very quiet and yet full
of sound. It's not your typical drone record; not some long form ominous drone piece, but careful
and sparse. Excellent in its entire mystique. (FdW)
––– Address:

MILLIONS OF DEAD TOURISTS (CDR by 1000+1 Tilt Recordings)

You may remember P.S. Stamps Back? The project of Iason working the electronics to create a
more dance oriented beat, with 'Half Life' (reviewed in Vital Weekly 1028) being a highlight so far.
Here he teams up with two bass players, Sotiris and Yiannis (all of them come from circles in which
last names don't matter; 'copies have no rights' it says on the cover as a tell-all), who are a
member of hardcore/grind band Ksera. They formed an alliance under the guise of Millions Of
Dead Tourists in April 2016 and apart from two bass guitars, the other equipment is played by
Iason, and that includes 'audiomulch, nanozwerg, erebus synths, pedal effects and sequencer'.
The five pieces on this self-titled CDR were recorded from May to September 2016. I had no idea
what to expect really, and I was thinking something along the lines of Millions Of Dead Cops. That
it is not. To me, but I'm sure this trio will see things entirely differently; Iason is the man who leads
the troupe. There is quite a lot of sequencers and synthesizer sound to be noted in this music, and
perhaps not a lot of bass guitar. It has not much to do with the world of hardcore or grindcore, and
all with the alternative leanings of techno music. The bass guitar might very well be going through
a bunch of sound effects, making it all light and thin, but it works well within the music. Should
one not know this is a trio of musicians playing together, it could as easily pass as a one-man
electronic army with a bunch of lo-fi apparatus, producing a wackier form of techno than one
usually hears in a sweaty club. I very much enjoyed this crude take on techno, and towards the
end, 'The Day 1.71 Billion People Died And Went To Facebook' (which says probably they aren't a
laughing bunch) they go for some excellent minimalist guitar sound, acid synth, bass sequencer
and a fine slow rhythm. I am not sure about the political side of all of this, but the music sounds
quite all right. You should see me leaping up and down in the VW HQ. (FdW)
––– Address:


It surely has been a very long time since we last saw some of these little babies, but hurrah, Taalem
is back on track releasing these 3"CDRs. I picked Orphax to start with, as it's someone whose music
I generally like very much and the first part of 'Dream Sequence' I rank easily among the best works
by him. Last year he worked on the third instalment of the piece, from April 28th to July 10th, and
I assume not all the time, which became a fine dark beast. It is never easy to say what the input is
Orphax uses, but most of the time on the input side we find an organ, a rather simple one, and
inside the computer, through pathways Orphax creates using Reaper and Audio Mulch, everything
becomes very drone like. 'Dream Sequence #3' is not different, although the way it sounds, this
could very well be a field recording of some kind, and if so, then it's probably a refrigerator of some
ancient nature. I am not sure why this occurs to me like that, but it is just what I associate this
with. I might be wrong. The whole sound is slowly developing into a point zero, a vanishing point if
you will, as slowly, one by one, sounds are removed, and you realize it might very have been a
bunch of treated voices we have been hearing (and again: I might be wrong), but it is on a slow
fade out and disappears after twenty-three minutes. This is another mighty fine work for Orphax;
it is among the better ones (although I realize I seldom heard something I didn't like), without
being in the top range of his pieces, but he confirms he by now solid reputation as a drone master.
This is a damn fine one indeed.
    This is followed by a 3"CDR that is a collaboration between the for me unknown Emanuele
Becheri and Pietro Riparbelli, who we also know as k11, and for his releases as such on Silentes
and Gruenrekorder. They too use field recordings and on top of that a bunch of analogue gear,
which are described as 'dusty'. Whereas the other two have just one long track, here we have
three of them, and it is all very much along the lines of what this label releases. There is much in
the way of suggested ambient music, lots of heavily processed field recordings and in 'Secondo
Processo' there is also the sound of an alto saxophone. The latter played by Becheri, who also
plays piano and guzheng. Overall these three pieces are quite intimate and carefully constructed,
but also seem to be dwelling upon the notions of improvisation. There is nothing very loud here,
and all is well placed and crafted with great care.
    And finally it is one track again for two French musicians working together. I believe I may not
have heard of either of them. Cheerleader 679 works apparently is 'the ambient/cinematic project
of the French cyberpunk punish yourself band singer' and .Cut comes from the world of post-rock.
For 'nagatsuki' they use field recordings from Japan and to which they added bass and guitar
drones. The piece starts out in a fine metal fashion, but after a point drowns in a sea of moody
passages, faint clicks before picking up with a metal bang on a can. After that they pick up guitars
and bass again in order to end with a full on blast on all instruments. I always wondered when and
where ambient hooked up with metal music, but it did and it's there. It's here also. I am not always
a big fan of this crossover. It sounds like a lot of heavy drone music played on a guitars and effects
boxes. What happens in between is of way more interest I think, but here too I had a feeling I heard
it all before and better. (FdW)
––– Address:

PHILIPPE LAUZIER - DÔME (cassette by Small Scale Music)

Originally Lauzier is saxophone and clarinet player and does so with people from the world of
improvised music. However since 2014 he also works on the development of an instrument of
his own, half way between something to look at and to be played, which he calls Gritty. On his
solo cassette 'Dôme' we hear a recording of a somewhat more developed version of that, recorded
in Montreal in 2015. The instrument consists of bells, zithers, motors and a Korg synthesizer, and
on this tape there are two seventeen-minute pieces that simply sound beautiful. This is the kind
of acoustic drone music that I enjoy a lot. The motor based devices spinning against strings and
metal objects, complete with just a fine dash of reverb (I have no idea what the Korg is doing here),
make up for music that reminded me of Organum or early Paul Panhuysen. It is played by a human
and has a very human touch, as opposed by objects being played in a similar way but controlled by
midi or some sort of computer interference. Lauzier creates a massive texture with all sorts of
small sounds happening above and below the über-drone, and sometimes it veers towards feedback
and noise, but every time Lauzier knows how to move back and take control again. There is not
much difference between both sides, which is good; I had it on repeat all afternoon, doing all sorts
of boring computer work and every now and then I sat back and listened more closely, effectively
doing the same as the music; moving around while going from quiet to loud and back again.
Excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:

DANNY CLAY & GREG GORLEN - BIRCH (cassette by Midnight Circles)
DIE NEUEN IBM - BERLINER KLASSIK (cassette by Midnight Circles)
C. REIDER - CHEW CINDERS (cassette by Midnight Circles)

Here we have three new releases by Germany's Xerox label Midnight Circles. I started with the one by
people I believe I didn't hear of before, and about which no information has been given. Their thirty
minute tape has eight pieces, which all seem to be using a great number of loops; or rather each
piece is built out of a few loops of sounds that could be a from a piano, but just as easily a
machine, a clock work or such like. But sprinkled on top of those loops there is the heavy use of
sound effects, next to delay and reverb, also a fair bit of distortion. All of this makes that these
pieces sound like they were recorded in a room, next door, with a rather cheap microphone, gain all
open and captured on a cassette, but all of this at least thirty years ago, and all this time the tape
was not in a plastic box, but in a dust filled basement (or attic) and then transferred to a new, fresh
cassette, most like Ferro quality. All of this is of course something I made up, but it is to tell you
that there is a distinct lo-fi atmosphere about these eight pieces. In general with an ambient feel
buy also, at times, with the best of noise intentions. This is not bad, but at the same time perhaps
also not something you haven't heard before, and yet nevertheless makes up a fine release.
    Die Neuen IMBM are sometimes called The New IBM or Les Nouveaux IBM and is a duo of
Chemiefaserwerk (cassette recorders, Korg MS-20, effects) and Aaron Yabrov (cassette recorders,
Yamaha SY77, effects) and last year they recorded their 'Berliner Klassik', which is their third album,
in a single day session and also it has eight pieces. It is very much along the lines of the music we
just heard from Danny Clay and Greg Gorlen, working along similar lo-fi lines (re-read all of that
room, attic, dust again), but here the music is not very much based in the world of noise, even
when it is just from times to times, but it is all about the quietness of sounds and they emphasize
the present of tape-hiss, along with some minimal touch of a taped down key on a keyboard in
order to generate some longer sustaining sounds. On the cassette-input side Die Neuen IBM are not
limited to piano sounds, but they can be anything, and usually a bit percussive, acoustic objects
and voice based, but all of this is too alien to be recognized easily. If the previous was something
you heard before, one could easily say the same of this, and this too is a fine release. If I had to
choose between either, I'd go, today, for Die Neuen IBM; tomorrow I might be in a noisier mood.
    And finally from Northern Colorado, owner of his own Vuzh Music label is C. Reider. He has a
C26 tape and also uses found sound, field recordings and tape-manipulations. Lots of what Reider
does here deals with the manipulation of time. Slowing down tapes, speeding them up, using digital
manipulations that do effectively the same time, and we are never sure what the actual input was.
Sometimes Reider works this out to be some sort of sound collage overlaying quite distinct sound
sources together, and in other instances it becomes a dense cloud of sounds; its like he's picked
up a bunch of motorboat recordings stuck together, and then that's followed by kitchen sink
percussion; it works out pretty neat I think. If The first cassette reflects the noise side of ambient,
the second is about the ambient of noise music, the Reider's music is the most musique concrete
like effort of this lot, by using the collage form more than the others do, and this is from the rather
naive side of that musical genre, but it's exactly because of that, that I find this really most
enjoyable. (FdW)
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LINE GATE - DEN (cassette by Mappa)

One of the few labels to pay attention to unusual packaging is Mappa from Slovakia. Here the tape
comes in a carton box, with what seems to be hole eaten through one side by a mouse (probably
not). I understand Line Gate was first a band, from Michalovce, Eastern Slovakia , formed in 2010,
but is now a solo outing and residing in Prague. 'Den' is the second album. One Michal Vaľko is
responsible for the music, which is played using hurdy-gurdy, voice and samples, plus there is the
violin played by Simona Deščičková. There is just one piece on this cassette, but it lasts over forty-
two minutes and the first four minutes are just hiss; then it really starts and it stays on a similar
volume throughout the very end. This is minimal music and as minimal as you like these to be. The
labels says " ocean where Poseidon, Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Charybdis, La Monte Young,
Moby Dick, … are throning", but it's especially La Monte Young and Tony Conrad I am thinking of,
except when Vaľko starts intoning; then I'm more reminded of Charlemagne Palestine or traditional
Indian music. The strings are played on an endless sustain and has various layers, all sounding at
the same time, and has a strong hypnotic effect on the listener. The whole piece sounds like it was
recorded in one take in a very live room and I think it sounds really great. Throughout it has that fine
sixties, NYC loft atmosphere (not that I would know this first hand of course). Excellent release!
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When I previously got a volume from the 'Heteroticisms' series, back in Vital Weekly 1062 I
assumed it was a split cassette. With this one I am less sure. Judging by the titles 'AB-LS-spoorA'
and 'AB-LS-spoorB' (with 'spoor' meaning 'track'), and judging by the music I believe Aidan Baker,
well-known string slinger of all things ambient, and Lärmschutz, Dutch anarcho-jazz duo, work
together, overlaying each other's music with new parts. Maybe, so I was thinking, they just did a
four-track cassette, and we hear on one-side two tracks of them playing together and on the other
side also two of them. Maybe that was the idea behind all of this? Or maybe I simply mistaken? How
does a meeting of what seems to be two very un-like minded people work out? Of course I can't say
who took the lead here, or perhaps that either participant has control over a side here; I wouldn't be
surprised if it was the latter. On the B-side there is a certain level of chaos, not unlike I heard before
in the work of Lärmschutz, whereas on the first side there is an absolute level of control and
quietness that is very much something that a musician like Aidan Baker would bring to the table,
even when it seems from time to time quite loud. Guitar sounds play a bigger role anyway on this
side it seems, and not so much the drums of Lärmschutz. Two quite different pieces, and yet a
minimalistic approach can be heard throughout both sides, and it makes this, despite also the
notable differences between both sides a very coherent release. A most enjoyable work of
improvisation is going on here. (FdW)
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