number 1075
week 12


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7000 EICHEN – TRANSFERRATION (CD by Jazzwerkstatt)
DANIEL BENNETT - ROIL (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
  Editions MEGO)
  Furniture Records) *
OONDOOD - QSTNS? (CD by Shelfreleased Recohrdings) *
GOLDEN BRAID (LP by Bluesanct/Red Frost Industries)
RABOUD MENS & MATHIJS KOUW 1(LP by Moving Furniture Records) *
JASON KAHN - MONADS (2LP by Editions)
9T ANTIOPE - ISTHMUS (CDR by Eilean Records) *
BRB>VOICECOIL - CLOTH WHITE SKIN (cassette by Muzamuza) *
HEIDI UNTERPANTSCH - E.P.#2 (cassette by Barreuh Records)
  (cassette by Coherent States) *
MIKE COOPER & TASOS STAMOU - LONDON TAXIMI (cassette by Coherent States) *
WISH FOR SKIN - SCATTERED DEVOUT (cassette by The Tide Of The End)
MINEUR - TEGEN HET GEMATIGDE LEVEN (cassette by The Tide Of The End)
ONDREJ ZAJAC - ICU (cassette by ACR)


Before turning my attention to the two Le Syndicat releases that I am about to review, I first
listened to two other Le Syndicat releases that Ruelgo, the member's main band member since
they started in the 80s, also shipped along. First there is 'Festin D'Acier' from 2010 and a promo
CDR that Le Syndicat did with Sektor 304 (originally released on LP), in 2014. Perhaps as a
reminder of some more recent action when it comes to the music of Le Syndicat. Last week the
name popped up in conjunction with releases by Contort Yourself, and back in Vital Weekly 1030 I
heard 'Second Empire', another more recent release, so I wasn't entirely in the dark. In their 30+
years of existence the group moved from harsh rhythmic electronics to faster harsher electronics
and then back again. In a way one could say that Le Syndicat always were firmly rooted in the world
of industrial music, but always with a keen ear to other musical influences, such as techno, house
and gabber, or even drum & bass (drill n bass) on one of the tracks on 'Festin D'Acier'.
    These days Le Syndicat is a duo again, consisting of Ruelgo and Saphi, who used to be in
Nocturne. If I compare this new release with the two or three previous releases, then there is a
significant change going on. The music here may be based on rhythm, but now in a more chopped
up version, and with a lot more noise. There is not much in consecutive beats here, but it bounces
around, jumps up, falls down and all of this with some tremendous noise. They use lots of
distortion all over the frequency range, which brings on a dynamic that we haven't heard on the
old tapes, which should scare friends and enemies away. I was reminded of industrial music in the
truest sense of the word; I was thinking of fellow French acts Vivenza, but then with sequencers,
synthesizers and rhythm machines and Entre Vifs, when Le Syndicat is a bit more organized. I
thought 'Faction Vivante' was a most vibrant piece of work. Limited edition release of this comes
in a metal box with a DVD that shows us Le Syndicat looks in action these days; very much like the
music, this is a bombardment of sound, lights and vision. Most certainly all of this is not for the
weak of hearth.
    As a collaboration through mail, starting already in 2008, Le Syndicat (solo I assume) work
with Sigmar Fricke, also known as Pharmakustik, and since many years someone who has strong
ties to the out put of Maurizio Bianchi, adding much of his own music and influences to the final
mix. The two sides here last eighteen minutes and perhaps it is Fricke who manages to get some
control over Le Syndicat, taking the force a bit down, which after all that already washed over
these poor ears, is most welcome, and yet the abstract ambient granulations by Fricke aren't
exactly ambient either, but it moves away from rhythm 'n noise a bit, even when both are not
entirely absent. The rhythm here, when it gets going, is in consecutive mood than on the later CD
just reviewed, yet throughout there is something highly psychedelic about this music. Maybe it has
to do with the somewhat looser organisation of the music, that invites the listener to space out on
a nightmare. Music pressed in devilish red vinyl for optimum pleasure through pain. (FdW)
––– Address: <>
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7000 EICHEN – TRANSFERRATION (CD by Jazzwerkstatt)

A work by two Cologne-based improvisers. Matthias Muche on trombone and Nicola L.Hein on
guitar. Both are busy bees, but this is my first meeting with them both. Their name, 7000 Eichen
is a reference to a work of Joseph Beuys who planted 7000 oaks in Kassel in context of the
Documenta-festival and refers to an important source of inspiration for them. They present five
improvisations recorded on two occasions early 2015. Two of them were recorded live in
Saarbrücken. Three others in the Stollwerk Studios in Cologne. A bit on these two improvisers.
Muche studied trombone in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Cologne. In Cologne he also studied
audiovisual arts with Anthony Moore, of Slapp Happy fame. Last year he toured with Dutch
Spinifex Maximus. Hein is from Düsseldorf. He studied jazz guitar, composition and philosophy,
and developed himself to an unconventional player of electric and acoustic guitars and sound
artist, always seeking for new sounds. And yes, it is this that catched my attention first. Hein
uses a lot of gadgets and additional tools. I’m familiar with a lot of guitar improvisers and I am
surprised to meet a new one with a very own sound. Very nice. Sometimes turning it into an
almost percussive instrument, like in ‘Dick Vermummt’. Muche doesn’t use additional tools, as
far as I can hear, but has a lot of extended techniques to his disposal. Both participate on an
equal level in their improvisations that are full of life and dynamics. There is fine interplay and
communication to be enjoyed. All improvisations go by in a continuously restless manner, but
using well-chosen phrases, colours and techniques. Resulting in intense and absorbing music. It
seems to me they created the best of possible worlds within the given conditions. Improvised
music in optima forma, and in an excellent recording! (DM)
––– Address:

DANIEL BENNETT - ROIL (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

Sadly the toll of the dead seems longer, I thought it my age but the BBC has surveyed its
Obituaries and it seems there is a significant increase, sadly one amongst them Mark Fisher
(of k-punk") who wrote deeply concerning pieces re- history, the future, he writes- “When I
first saw the video for the Arctic Monkeys’ 2005 single ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’,
I genuinely believed that it was some lost artifact from circa 1980. Everything in the video – the
lighting, the haircuts, the clothes – had been assembled to give the impression that this was a
performance on BBC2’s ‘serious rock show’ The Old Grey Whistle Test.” And popularized Derrida’s
Hauntology.. and he argued post Fordist capitalism has "gradually and systematically deprived
artists of the resources necessary to produce the new."..
mark-fisher-ghosts-of-my-life-extract Or watch
“The Slow Cancellation Of The Future..” But wait! This is supposed to be reviewing Roil!!!! And yet
though Fisher’s prognosis was for the more popular musics of the 20th C my point is that in these
recent works which are presented as ‘Noise’ they are in fact not ‘bad’, or for that matter ‘good’ in
terms of…. Noise, the avant garde, innovation, progress… but fit the expectations of a kind of
music, and are not ‘a radical break from the past’. They are a “subtle re-modulation”… witness
then this… “Intricately constructed on computer, from performances on electronic and analogue
equipment feeding back into each other (oscillators, equaliser and a Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape
player), Bennett extracts nuance and clarity where others would have mostly exhibited chaos..”
together with Fisher’s quotes makes my point precisely. The mixing of ‘old’ analogue with ‘new’
technologies are ‘nuanced’ Sample
(link doesn’t work) and do not exhibit chaos-
Incapacitants. (jliat)
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There was a time that I played a lot of Skullflower. Or so I seem to remember. I have no idea when
that was, but certainly not recently. That much I know. There is no particular reason for that
absence; I am sure other things keep distracting me most of the time, and returning to a record
collection is not always possible. A band that once was a home at one point or another for people
like Anthony Di Franco, Gary Mundy (of Ramleh fame, among many other things), George Proctor,
John Godbert, Lee Stokoe, Matthew Bower, Russell Smith, Samantha Davies, Stefan Jaworzyn
(improvising enfant terrible) and Stuart Dennison, it is since many years the solo vehicle for
Matthew James Bower (as it says here) and sometimes with Samantha Davies, such as on this new
album that is 'referencing Inferno 17, Dante and Virgil's spiralling descent into the abyss on demon
Geryon'. Bower plays guitar, Pro One and cymbal and Davies guitar and violin. Two discs spanning
close to two hours of music and that is quiet a lot. Tracks last easily between four and twelve
minutes and follow the same pattern; two guitars are set in motion, through lots of effects,
distortion, delay, reverb and lots more, while the Pro One is stuck done to a noise setting and
whatever the cymbal is doing is unclear but safe to it produces more noise. You could wonder if
two discs are really necessary with pieces that sound so similar and perhaps for so long. But I think
that is the whole point of this exercise. To make it this long and similar is like looking at a minimalist
painting but then of a brutal nature; it is either that or the painting is of a more brutal realistic
nature. Like hell, it is probably eternal suffering (should you believe in such a place of course; maybe
hell is on earth), and with that in mind I had this on repeat for the entire afternoon. (FdW)
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Carl is a trio of Danny Kamins (baritone sax), Andrew Durham (electric bass, effects) and Ryan
Westin (drums, percussion). They have their base in Houston, Texas and describe themselves as a
“mixture of free jazz, drone and doom metal”. Kamins is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory’s Jazz
Department, teaches saxophone in Houston, has his own band My band Etched In The Eye, etc.
Durham has experience in metal, noise and grindcore. Later he got introduced to the improvisation
scene in Houston, learned more about technique and moved to improvisation. So Kamins and
Durham, who know each other from their youth, took very different routes. I couldn’t trace much
about the whereabouts of drummer Westin. Anyway, Carl is the name for their renewed
collaboration after many years. One clearly hears Kamins has a background in jazz, and operates
on a technical higher level what concerns skill and technique than Durham, who uses effective
extended techniques on his bass by the way. But they don’t make a game of that. Respecting their
different backgrounds they do their best not to regress to their respective idioms, but to seek new
common ground. Starting from an abstract level they interact and start their investigations. With
minimalist drumming by Westin, noisy sounds and textures by Durham and transparent sax playing
by Kamins. Not all ten tracks on this cd did it for me.  But it is an interesting experiment they are in. 
And there are many moments where their approach really works and talks. Released by their Pay to
Play label. (DM)
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Pellerin’s musical career started some forty years ago as a member of a Paris-band playing music
influenced by Canterbury music, Zappa, etc. he studied with Alan Silva and became member of his
Celestial Communication Orchestra for a while. Over the years many collaborations in jazz and
improve settings followed. He remained however a relatively unknown musician, who is not often
met on the vinyl or on cd, as far as I know. A few years ago I reviewed his solo work ‘Periplo’. This
time we have in a duo setting with Italian drummer Marcello Magliocchi, again a musician who is
already in business for decades. In recent years he often participated in projects released by Setola
di Maiale. He is part of the collective The White Noise Generator from Bari, Italy, who did the release
of ‘Waterfall’. In a trio with Matthias Boss they released ‘The Sounding Door’ in 2015 for a net label.
Now we have them both in two improvisations:  ‘Waterfall 1’ of about 36 minutes, and ‘Waterfall
2’, lasting a bit more than 3 minutes. The first improvisation was recorded in April 2015, the other
one in March 2016. Magliocchi plays drums, percussion, gongs and traps, Pellerin soprano and
tenor sax and bone flute. Their improvisations have a strong evocative power and show an intense
communication.  Their dialogues go through many different moods and tempers, using a wide
vocabulary. In ‘Waterfall I” there is also beautiful and expressive solo by Magliocchi, who impresses
throughout by his organic and fluent playing. Pellerin gives effective input. Both make a perfect
match. Absolutely an inspired meeting! (DM)
––– Address:

  Editions MEGO)

Two weeks in Haiku-Pauwela, Maui deliver two discs of new material by Anthony Child aka Surgeon.
From the title on I assume this collection to be verging on the documentary, akin to field
recordings of for example David Toop. And knowing Child uses the Buchla Music Easel as his '
weapon of choice' thoughts immediately go out to current touring grand maestro of the
instrument Thomas Ankersmit (or Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith as heard on EARS), yet this long record
is of a wholly other sort.
    Child uses the relative ease of the breathing jungle as a calm decor for his improvised
explorations of the Buchla. These take the shape of ambient meanderings of non-layered pure
synth workouts. Arpeggios and melodies join quite subtle drone in a symphonic interplay that is
extremely rich in tonality and presents itself pregnant with more than one of Tangerine Dream
and Klaus Schulze's love children.
    At times the warm, rather humid analogue synthesizer tones drown out the thick forestry,
at others the environment is clearly picking up its supporting role through the din and dusk of
Biosphere-ish syncopated sonics. Fogs from volcanic crater activity might have been quite
extinguished on Hawaii, in Child's hands the nebulae are all but suffocating in an airy, sometimes
slightly eerie green leafed kraut-sense, astutely attuned to timbre and texture. A massive record
to loose your way in with the greatest of ease. (SSK)
––– Address:

  Furniture Records)

Beneath the covers (styled in jagged water colour tones with sporadic dashes of pure pigment, a
bit unimpressive, not too present or engaging for my visual taste) Kim Cascone recounts of the
multiple possible hearings of drone and the effects thereof. Listening to drone as an acquired talent
that is, according to this statement, before encountering the realm of rich sonic phenomena; “a full
range of qualities and events that were previously inaccessible.” Learning to listen; gradually deeper
exposure and unfolding – it's not the most crazy of ideas.
    However: if there is infinity to be found “hidden beneath a simple surface”, maybe this here
premise is a bit off. Meaning: why hide all this richness when the inferred simplicity belies itself in
a lack of depth on the first place. A deeper touch one needs to be taught to hear to uncover – a
deeper shade of soul that one may tell oneself is there, when it's actually not. Maybe that is why
non-informed, non-taught people, those without the acquired taste of opened ears that might
get in the way of this heightened appreciation Cascone writes about, don't hear it, get it, because
it is just not there to begin with? Like the emperor's clothes?
    It is only (possibly musical) sound and if it works, especially the “supernal, a synaesthesia”,
this integration of the senses brought forth by the drone, then it happens and will want to happen,
needs to, cannot help itself: it will not hide; it will consciously and unconsciously pervade
perception(s) and work its 'magic' regardless of ears in the way or (un-) trained listening: it will
do away with these notions, altogether. Why hide all this beauty and bliss?
    Martijn Comes does away with exactly this part of hide and seek. In his hour long title track
it's all there, in plain ear shot. Think of a work by the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. From a distance his
sea views may look like a light and a dark block. Upon getting closer to the work, the lower one
opens up to reveal calmly waving water masses. We deduce the top half then must be still air with
occasional thin streaks of clouds. A bit like a drone by Phill Niblock works: on first encounter a
massive wall of sound, unmoving and monumental, but slowly unfolding to open up to micro tonal
shifts and beatings in constant flux. Not on deeper acquired listening, but just because of the
length of the works, upon durational immersion alone. Comes flips this script.
    In his 60 minutes track Martijn Comes literally puts the details which would 'normally' only
start to get noticed in (due) time above Sugimoto's horizon line. There's nothing hidden or to be
found beneath a simple surface here; the simplicity lies in the foundation, the baseline bottom. On
top of that Comes lets his Berliner Schule-like synthesizer and organ tones drift across the canvas
in brash and thick smears. More melodic lines and gentle noises drip as Pollock's splashes over this
action painting. All colour tones retain their respective purities, don't mesh and jumble, mix and
blur like in the cover painting. It's all there, within reach and grasp and aural dissection. On the
table, barely sewn together in a cloud of steady folding and unfolding out in the open.
    Now, this 2CD comes with a remix disc. Remixing Christer-Hennix, Niblock or Radigue might
be an ominous task to pick up as the short form will basically do away with the time based
immersion of their works. Also: remixers could focus on details and take a runner with the 'riches'
in details, which only make complete sense in their totality in complex interplay.
    Remix albums also tend to be a bit like sonic window dressing. A way of disguising that, to
quote Tom Waits: “the coffee just wasn't strong enough to defend itself”. And again: this work
by Comes does away with exactly this critique for it is precisely because of the strength of his
source material being in plain aural view it can be taken up by others to present their own view
without clashing, destroying or masturbation on a limp bizkit. Here the remixers can deliver more
riches from a horn of plenty sounding off loudly to begin with.
    Martijn Comes presents a work which might not work especially well as a drone in the standard
notion and connotation thereof, but which bears its sonics on the sleeve to show and tell of
electro-acoustic brilliance and constantly roving ears darting restlessly from point of interest
between dynamic shifts, textural zooming in and out and timbral coloration. From this massive
work Scant Intone can, for example, take monumental church organ drone and weave a symphony
of Leslie cabinet-like shimmerings. Zeno van den Broek reworks the sounds in tape saturation and
decay forcing analogue compressions on the material until the aural elements resemble things
falling apart. Alberto Boccardo amplifies the lack of rest in the source materials to the max, while
Juan Antonio Nieto manages to push the work into the real of industrial GRM-collage.
    Picking up the riches on offer and doing a runner... Now there's a not so crazy idea for a
sublime listening experience, I'd say and Comes plus his remixers deliver the highly entertaining
soundtrack to this game of hide and seek turned upside down and inside out. Even better: once
you've heard the remixes, the base work exudes all the more light and wealth of tonal bliss. (SSK)
––– Address:

OONDOOD - QSTNS? (CD by Shelfreleased Recohrdings)

Following '(Anduk)(Unduke)(Undude)', reviewed in Vital Weekly 1029, here's another release by
Oondood, of whom I still have no clue what it is about. I tried reading the press text; lots of
words, nothing much when it comes to making sense. There are nine songs here, spanning thirty-
five minutes. As I noted before, and still going strong, is the fact that Mik Musik, who are no doubt
also behind this release, continue their forays in the land of rhythm and electronics. I wasn't too
pleased with Oondood's debut album, which I thought was all too loud and too wacky, but this
one is quite different; different as in 'quite good'. There is still a sense of wackiness about this
music, that is surely the case, but there is more balance here between the wacky end and some
of the more coherent rhythm stuff. That leaps sometimes into quite minimalist acid stabs that
reminded me of some of the early Unit Moebius stuff, where a rhythm is played and on top there
is weird synth, a sample of a kalimba and there is some most entertaining stuff around here.
Especially from the third song onwards there is some great stuff to enjoyed, all the way to the
end. This is an excellent release of some fine minimalist beat music. (FdW)
––– Address:


The first composer here hardly needs introduction. I am sure I reviewed all of his releases since
2000 (his name pops up 28 times since starting the podcast in Vital Weekly 480); the second
name only once, in Vital Weekly 849 when I reviewed a miniCD by him, which he released himself
on his own Farmacia901 label. He also had releases on Line and Dragon's Eye. It is not difficult to
see why these two composers work together, even if I have only one previous Perletta release as
reference. The love for all things minimal is what combines them. There is nothing we know what
went into this, maybe sounds of an electronic nature or field recordings (or both) but they are
transformed, as it seems ad infinitum, and looking through the microscope we see the smallest
particles making sound. And yes, I do know that is probably not possible; seeing sound through
the microscope, but you get my drift. They take these minimal particles and stick them together
into the six pieces on this release. If you know the Tietchens post 2000 output, say in his 'Menge'
series, then you know what to expect and perhaps as such this is for me a bit of disappointment.
Somehow, somewhere this now sounds like '1+1=1' and not '2', which I would hope a collaboration
should be like. Each brings something to the table and by putting these together something new
arises. That is how collaborations work best for me. 'Deflections', no matter how much I like the
music, and I really do, sounds too much like a regular Tietchens record, and not like Tietchens
working with someone else. Or perhaps it sounds like Tietchens plus Tietchens, which I guess is
fine to some extent, but not when it says Tietchens and Perletta on the can. Perhaps the exception
to this is the final piece, 'Deflection 6', which has a fine drone at the bottom of it all, and seems
throughout the least quiet moment in this lot. I love Tietchens, this is fine work, but I do have my
reservations. (FdW)
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GOLDEN BRAID (LP by Bluesanct/Red Frost Industries)

The thing that kept me busy here, while listening, is what it says on the press release: "special one-
time 300 copy pressing LP that can be played forwards and backwards"; how does that backwards-
playing work, actually? Golden Baird is the nom de plume of Mike Adams, who got that name from
the 'Gödel, Escher, Bach' book, "an entire book about the similarities between math, symmetry,
and logic, and how the rules and systems we apply to these ideas are what gives them their
meaning", as he says it. It has also to do with Neil deGrasse Tyson who coined the same term
"attempting to weave between science, humour, and pop culture" and Adams wanted to do
something that has less his name all over it, and asked various friends (including Mkl Anderson,
Jared Cheek, Tyler Damon, John Dawson, Greg Dixon, Phil Elverum, & Rachel Yoder) to supply him
with source material which he stuck quite randomly on loops and played them using 6 cassette
decks, a few effects, and a mixing board and did a bunch of try-outs, each of about twenty
minutes, some of this in front of a live audience and all of this quite different every time it was
played. In the end he simply decided to take the two best versions and release them. All of this is
quite a story, I must say, but what would have been the outcome had I not know all of this?
Obviously it is one of those never easy questions (I already know the whole story). Would I
appreciate the music any less or more if there would have been no such story? I don't know. I'd
take this sort of thing more face value; do I enjoy what I hear? Yes, actually I do. Two pieces of
rather drone like sounds, all very dark, tapes being crumbled up and ironed out again, with all the
imperfections that come with such a process. The sounds are fed through a bunch of neat sound
effects, being not the usual delay/reverb ones, but also phasing, flanging and chorus (and who
knows what else), which is all quite all right, but also not something all too spectacular. There are
quite a bit of drone composers out there who work with lo-fi cassettes, loops and effects. I am
not sure if Golden Braid is all that different, even when as such his LP is quite good. I played it
with quite some interest, enjoyed it immensely, but maybe not something I would play again
easily soon. (FdW)
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RABOUD MENS & MATHIJS KOUW 1(LP by Moving Furniture Records)

Conceptually boring sounds turning non-boring by means of John Cage's ideas, how sounds can
change you following Karlheinz Stockhausen's trains of thought and desireless being inside music
as the best place to be as exemplified by Terry Riley form the backbone of 1 by Radbous Mens and
Matthijs Kouw. Abstract modular drones, barely there in terms of rhythm, weave in and out of an
evolving aural field like the protuberances thinning out at the edges of Mark Rothko's fields of
colour gently being washed out into the base plane. Mens and Kouw's figures level out around
pulsating and undulating frequencies in a GRM-like symphony which is indebted as much to the
aforementioned composers as it is to visual artists such as Agnes Martin and Alan Charlton.
    Recorded live in the studio Mens and Kouw experiment with the ease and unease with which
domesticated and habituated frequencies work within our bodies; both mentally and physiologically.
The results are appeasing, easing and peaceful but surprisingly enough subtle movements and
slight shifts produce a confusing, complex mesh of dense drone – colliding tones, clusters forming
in space like thin layers of almost washed out white paint collecting nuance and grey-ish moiré
overlays. Dynamic turns do not necessarily seem to occur by means of controlled volume masses
in crescendo or diminuendo, but grow almost naturally from accretion of non-habitual waves
grinding along side each other. No head-on collisions here but a slow bend in and blend of acoustic
phenomena where minimal tonal material produces massive (literally) results in terms of tactile,
immersive monumentality in aural power. A record that produces magnitude in the shades thrown
by towering sine waves. (SSK)
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JASON KAHN - MONADS (2LP by Editions)

Over the years I reviewed a lot of music by Jason Kahn. I lost count, but easily twenty or so
releases. Quite a lot he did was in collaboration with others, as Kahn is an improviser pur-sang,
and not much of that was solo work. I have seen credits for instrument slowly change; drums
and percussion, later on with the addition of synthesizer, but again later on synthesizer solo,
voice and field recordings. This double LP is a showcase of four interests, and each has it's own
side. Electronics, voice, percussion and environment are these four and for each side he uses
many recordings in order to create a sound collage per side. These compositions he does on
the computer and shows how he likes to do his studio recordings, which essentially these are
as he may use recordings from concerts and installations, it is a construction. Perhaps that is a
side of Kahn, which we don't get a lot, the studio constructions. Much of the work I reviewed
from him is recorded in concert and here we have another side of him. Using multiple recordings
Kahn manages to create a very full sound, with many tiny sound events happening all around. In
each of these pieces he moves between the carefully chosen minor details, solo and building
towards the major layers, with everything going on at the same time. Sometimes it all blurred for
me, which I enjoyed very much. Do I hear at this moment the 'percussion' side? Why does it sound
like voices? Or environment? The same thing seemed to be happening with the voice sounding
electronics, environment sounding voices, or the simple presence of drums in 'Environment'. But
then sometimes, yes, these are voices, a modular synth set-up or his kids singing. Kahn's power
in composing shines through here; its minimal music with maximal effect and perhaps maximal
input to create a minimal output; and vice versa. All of it is a sum that makes up: the work of
Jason Kahn. If you never heard of him, then this might be a good introduction. (FdW)
––– Address:

9T ANTIOPE - ISTHMUS (CDR by Eilean Records)

'Isthmus' is the second album by 9T Antiope, a duo from Iran, being all by music by Nima Aghiani
and words and vocals by Sara Bigdeli Shamloo. I don't think I heard their first album. Among the
many releases I heard so far from French Eilean Records, this might be an oddball for sure and
that's mainly because of the vocals by Shamloo. This time not just some wordless humming if
vocals can be found at all on the albums by Eilean Records, but vocals in the best tradition of
trip-hop; reminding easily of that of Beth Gibbons of Portishead (but maybe because I have not
a lot of other point of reference). The music is also a bit different than your usual ambient on
Eilean Records. 9T Antiope use quite a bit of instruments, violin for one, but then recorded in a
bunch of different layers, along with some electronics, field recordings and such like, and
occasionally they reach out for quite some nasty frequencies, especially in 'Metaphase' the high
frequencies are quite piercing. I have no idea what these songs are about, but throughout I would
describe the atmosphere as 'melancholic' or 'dark', especially also because of the voice of Shamloo.
The many layers of sound do not exactly sound like ambient music but it makes all a bit more
experimental in approach, and that is something that I very much enjoyed about these four
lengthy pieces, each around seven to minutes. I wouldn't have minded another song like this.
The length of these pieces adds perhaps a somewhat psychedelic effect to the pieces, a longitude
that works wonderfully well. It may seem like an odd marriage, the clear cut, dramatic voice of
Shamloo and the instrumental weirdness of Aghiani but it perhaps because of this oddness that
I enjoyed it quite a lot.
    As I wrote before, in Vital Weekly 890, Monolyth & Cobalt is not a collaboration between two
bands but it is the project of Mathias van Eecloo. He sometimes works as d.rhöne, and has had
releases on Somehow, Feedback Loop, Audio Gourmet and Kesh, and for the last time releases
under the Monolyth & Cobalt moniker after a three-year hiatus and on his own Eilean Records, and
goes out on a high note with a double CDR release. The first one is just his solo work, with a voice
sample in one track and on the second disc he has eight collaborative pieces with Aaron Martin,
Biggi Vinkeloe, Helena Espvall, Katharina Lundbøl, Madeleine Cocolas, Olga Wojciechowska and
Twincities. Perhaps not unlike 9T Antiope, Eeclo uses quite a bit of acoustic instruments, guitars,
violin, cello, wind instruments and even percussion and I would believe he uses quite a bit of
treatments to these instruments and yet they still sound quite like those instruments; sometimes
he bends them a little bit further into microsound land and they sound quite a bit alien and
ambient. Throughout Monolyth & Cobalt knows how to keep a fine balance between both ends
and conjures a fine set of ambient pieces. Which is something he also does on the other disc,
but then in collaborations with others. Here it's not easy to tell who is doing what in these songs,
perhaps because various of these musicians play multiple instruments themselves but effectively
it is on very much the same lines as his solo disc. In total we have some ninety minutes of music
here, all melancholic, introspective, spacious, melodic, careful and occasionally a bit strange. That
is perhaps a long ride, but reading a book on a Sunday afternoon and listening to this is certainly
highly recommended. I wonder what Van Eecloo will do next, musically speaking. (FdW)
––– Address:


From Todmorden hails percussionist Sam McLoughlin. He used to work as N Racker and Tongues
Of Light, both of whom I also didn't hear before. McLoughlin builds his own instruments, but also
using found objects, analogue synths and harmonium to create his music. I assume he doesn't
play all of this at the same time, although looking him up on YouTube (user 'samandtheplants')
and you might believe otherwise. But for a twenty minute construction like this EP is I would believe
he uses the studio to layer these sounds together. There is of course a fine delicate rhythm to be
detected in this music, jumpy but not with a beat one should or could dance too. It is rather hectic
but in a gentle way. Small percussion as opposed to big percussion and on top McLoughlin puts
some rather delicate sounds of toys, electronics, loops of sound and there is a fine sense of
delicacy through this piece, which, so I assume, exists anyway of various parts cobbled together.
Slightly exotic and partly home brew percussion bits, humming interventions and all of this is
quite spacious; that sums up what this music is about I would think. This is beautiful intimate
music, and perhaps a pity that is lasts only twenty-two minutes; I could have easily digested
twice this and stay in wonderland, on the beach. Did spring already arrive? (FdW)
––– Address:


Probably the best looking cover of the week is this one: a wooden box, with a laser burned mark
on it, closed with a rope and leather strip that says 'D.H.P.', no doubt standing for the title 'Dead
Horse pasture'. Inside there is a small booklet of normal and tracing paper. Only forty were made
and the music is by Starlite Coffins, also known as Ryan Brundage. His music here is 'inspired by
the desolation and despair of the Colorado high plains', so I for one am clueless what that looks
like. This is also my first, albeit short introduction to the music of Brundage and from the cover I
learned he plays drum machines, electronics, guitar, keyboards, percussion, tapes, turntables,
samplers, synths, viola and I am sure not all at once. Quagga Curious describes this "doom laden
country drone ambience tinged with crumbling analogue electronics" and while I may not entirely
see 'country' in this music, drone and ambience do indeed play some role, but in the twelve minute
title piece there is also quite a forceful presence of a drum machine, making it less drone and
ambience and perhaps all a bit more noise based - crumbling analogue electronics indeed. The
second piece, close to seven minutes, is 'The Sufferin Tarnation Of Emmet McCreed', is more
introspective with looped violin drone and slowly that is being swarmed by many effects, until it
ultimately disappears in that swamp. Well, more likely vanishes behind the Colorado high plains.
It is a pity that all of this is quite short, as I sure would not have minded to hear a bit more of this
musical project. This was firmly rooted in the world of noise, but played with quite some skill. (FdW)
––– Address:

BRB>VOICECOIL - CLOTH WHITE SKIN (cassette by Muzamuza)

It seemed a long time since I last heard of BRB>Voicecoil and a quick search told me I was right.
Vital Weekly 847 is indeed some time ago, and that is a pity as I always enjoyed their music very
much. At least, I always thought of them as a 'group', but in the text that comes with this release
I learn that it is the work of Kevin Wilkinson and that he was part of BigRoadBreaker (BRB) but since
2000 he works solo as BRB>Voicecoil. For whatever reason there have been no releases since 2011,
but 'Cloth White Skin' is the first one since that. A twenty-six minutes it is perhaps a bit of a short
release for a comeback, and as before it deals with "heavily processed field recordings, re-cut and
arranged in a logistical order to create complex listening templates", as he calls this. Whatever
these field recordings are is not easy to say, based on what we are hearing. In the past I compared
the work of BRB>Voicecoil with that of Small Cruel Party, but that might seem an even further
away ghost from the past; I mean, who remembers that? I do, and surely some others and the
whole minimalist approach towards using a single acoustic source feeding it to a few (well who
know? maybe a lot!) of sound processing devices, creating a dense and minimal pattern of sound.
The music is not necessarily very careful, as there is throughout these three pieces a hint of good
ol industrial music to be noted. In the title piece the source recording might be a fence outside in
the garden, recorded in the open, with wind at one point blowing full on in. In 'Crack Vessel' there
is surely something cracked, but I have no idea what it is. There is a fine amount of extra-terrestrial
frequencies added, whereas in 'Vent 2' there is some sort of pump installation along with what
could be some kind of voice muttering. I might be wrong of course. I do know however that I enjoy
this very much and I wished this had been longer. Excellent comeback and please do some more. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here's a new release on the label that only uses recycled tapes and Zoe Polanski sometimes is called
Bela Tar and according to her bandcamp under that name she is from Israel. I am merely guessing
here if this is all true. On Discogs it says for this tape: "Original scrore [sic] for the motion picture
"Inertia". Dir: Idan Haguel, 2015", and that this is a single sided tape. It is the only release listed by
Zoe Polanski. The film exists, according to IMDB and its plot summary reads like this: 'Mira Segal
wakes up screaming one morning to discover that her husband has disappeared. The police open a
Missing Person file and advise her to wait. As weeks turn into months, Mira continues to search for
him while exploring her own desires and the guilt of not wanting him back'. Four pieces here on this
cassette of eerie electronics mostly, played with a bit of sound effects for extra-terrestrial
treatment. In the last two pieces these electronic treatments sound like a recording of a string
orchestra being processed and it has that somewhat vague ancient Hollywood feel to it, a
fairground soundtrack in black and white, but stretched out and alien. Obviously I have no idea
if this is the kind of soundtrack that fits the movie very well, but as stand alone music it surely
works quite well. (FdW)
––– Address:

HEIDI UNTERPANTSCH - E.P.#2 (cassette by Barreuh Records)

Last Friday I missed out on the final event by OKC, the not really motivated artist collective from
Eindhoven, so I missed out on chaos, performance art, pancake opera and food fights, but as we
wait for the after movie, there is the item for the night (not exclusively I would think) from one of
the guises of one of the members Heidi Unterpantsch, who delivers two very short songs on the
cassette, maybe six minutes in total or so, of her fucked up beats and ditto vocals. The music was
already recorded in 2011, but with newly added vocals to 'Dirty Machines' and 'Mannen Met
Paarden' (men with horses); think Pan Sonic and Peaches playing together (which I actually saw
once); fierce beats, shouting vocals and a firm amount of distortion on the pedals. Most enjoyable
and sadly way too short. I am sure the after movie will pop up on YouTube any time soon, so we
can see what miss Unterpantsch was all about, as it is now confined to the annals of history. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (cassette by Coherent States)
MIKE COOPER & TASOS STAMOU - LONDON TAXIMI (cassette by Coherent States)

The first time I read Bananafish magazine, a long time ago, I must admit I found it very hard to get
into. They wrote about all the right noise musicians I liked, but had their own poetic lingo that
when right passed me. Responsible for that was Seymour Glass, who put out 18 issues, until
2004 and then started the Butte County Free Music Society (BUFMS), releasing music Bren’t
Lewiis Ensemble, The Conduits, The Protons, Felix Mace, Jett Hotcomb And The Talented Hairdos,
mostly likely alter ego's of Glass and friends, just like Glands of External Secretion is him and
vocalist Barbara Manning (of World of Pooh). This is my first introduction to this band and right
from the start I must say I love it. This goes back to the 80s, the 'studio-as-instrument', as
demonstrated by Nurse With Wound, whose work seems to be a primary influence in cutting up
tape that contains Manning's vocals, looping them, creating a weird rhythm, a bit of feedback
and sometimes allowing Manning to sing a bit. It has that playful character that most serious
musique concrete usually lacks. I am not sure to what extent the sounds used on this release are
lifted from other records, or if they played much of this themselves; based on what I hear I would
assume it is a bit of both. The A-side has ten relative short pieces, and the B-side one long,
nineteen-minute piece, but effectively it hears like a collage throughout either side. A collage of
sounds, but also of styles; musique concrete, improvisation, freak show and psychedelics (although
none required to enjoy this). Excellent release.
    The next one is an improvisation for piano and guitar. The latter is played Michalis Moschoutis,
whose 'Nylon' LP was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1008, and who runs the Holotype label, and the 88
keys are played by Danae Stefanou who "is an improviser & an assistant professor in musicology
at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is a member of the electroacoustic duo acte vide".  It is
not easy to recognize neither guitar nor piano in this. Like Moschoutis did on his solo LP, he plays
the guitar with quite some brutality, which reminded me of Bill Orcutt. The guitar is plucked,
scratched, bowed, and played nervously and hectic with what seems to be much aggression.
Maybe he has a love/hate relationship with his instrument. But also Stefanou has an odd
relationship with her instrument of choice and much like modern classical music she uses the
whole thing; not just the keys, which she occasionally hits, but also the strings inside, or the
body that contains keys and strings. She too has a similar force when it comes to 'attacking' the
instrument. Apparently this was recorded on a four-track cassette and perhaps that is something
of a pity. Recording wise I would think there is more to be gained for the power of this music if
they would be using good, clean digital equipment and some heavy-duty microphones. Some of
the more nasty frequencies, such as in the third (untitled) piece, would be heavier than they
appear now to be. That one reminded me of Organum meeting The New Blockaders. There is
quite an interesting crossover on this tape between improvised music and modern classical music;
certainly I remembered of some of the music by Xenakis (for as much I know it, and that isn't
much). Maybe I was also distracted by the fact that both are from Greece in that respect. Quite
a heavy load this one.
    And then the longest of the three releases here, which happens also to be a collaboration, face
to face in London, by Tasos Stamou, whom we best know as a highly varied composer of all sorts
of music and one Mike Cooper, who plays the guitar since 1958, but I am not sure if I ever came
across his name before. The instruments played here are bouzouki and handmade modified
electronics (Stamou), lap steel guitar and smartphone apps (Cooper), with the final piece just
the two instruments. All three pieces were recorded in concert in London and delve into the world
of traditional Greek music, the rebetiko. I must say that in combination with the electronics this is
not always an easy marriage, or perhaps it just failed to make a big impression on me. I found this
to be going on and on, failing to grab me. Perhaps the final piece, in which they just use two
instruments and nothing else, something of a spark appeared, with interaction between the two
players, listening and responding to what the other was doing. (FdW)
––– Address:

WISH FOR SKIN - SCATTERED DEVOUT (cassette by The Tide Of The End)
MINEUR - TEGEN HET GEMATIGDE LEVEN (cassette by The Tide Of The End)

A trio of highly obscure cassette releases, which I would think don't belong together, but since
they were in the same mailing they are from the same label.
    I started with something that is called Secular Identity who has a five track of low noise music.
The inside of the cover has KKK, swastika's and assorted images. One of those I thought. The
music is perhaps made with a synthesizer, but it could also be a radio that is changing channels
due to the interference with another electrical source. I don't know, he sighed, and said, 'well, this
either some form of conceptual art or someone who is very outside; outside of anything really'.
Maybe this is all very political, but then I miss the point of it all.
    Also short but more present, sound wise that is, is the cassette by Wish For Skin, if I read
that well on the cover. This is power electronics, via some distorted synthesizer, feedback and
the usual howl and distortion plus a bang on a can on 'Grasped Change' on the second side. The
Tide Of The End says they are presenting outsider art, and perhaps if a white box that is a gallery
is your standard in art, then Wish For Skin might be outsider art, but if you have been paying
attention to noise music in the past thirty years than you know that what Wish For Skin is just
your average trouble maker. Probably another sweet boy who can actually plays classical guitar
just like his hero in this field - you look that up, dear.
    Which brings me to Mineur and their 'Against Mediocre Life' release. Four songs, repeated on
the other side of this, and this is something completely different. There are guitars, drum
machines, synthesizers and on the Bandcamp page it says 'experimental coldwave harsh noise
industrial minimalsynth minimalwave outsider post-punk power electronics synthpop The Hague',
which is quite a varied bag, isn't it? These pieces are six minutes each, except one, and The Tide Of
The End could have added shoegaze, psychedelic and post rock to the equation. It is certainly not
pleasant music, but hey after the two previous releases I can only say 'what a relief to actually be
presented with a tune'. In 'Like No One Else' there is also a voice in the best post-punk fashion, a
bit dreary, but I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Perhaps because it sounded like something old
and something I had not heard all day: alternative pop music. (FdW)
––– Address:

ONDREJ ZAJAC - ICU (cassette by ACR)

‘Ondrej Zajac is a guitar player and improviser… ‘ and an accompanying note is to the effect that
I’ve been sent this as I’m the ‘noise guy’.. Well this is improvised guitar, and it is noisy. Noise as a
genre perhaps has changed, or simply died? It’s no longer cool, no longer are serious symposia
about noise, or concerts of repute, the Troniks board is gone, Ron of RRR now an enigma.. Maniacs
dead, mostly… and my mailings from Vital for review have all but ceased. What I’m listening to now
is clearly distorted guitar playing, rapid cadenzas of “notes”! and rhythmic pulses… and I’m aware
even God AKA Merzbow is more musical these days. Where was noise to go after the HN of The Rita
which was taken to the extremes of HNW? Back to improvised music? Zajac’s improvisations using
the feedback and distortions of electric guitar are like much improvisation for me best served live.
A recording raises the dilemma, if not philosophical question, that improvisation once recorded
ceases to be ‘improvised’. Lost is the uncertainty unless a single playing is undertaken, or some
Mission Impossible playback device is used. OK some will object saying a recording of an
improvisation can justly document a performance for future reference and also is available for
others to appreciate. And they of course have a good and sound point. My point about noise was
it as never a good sound and was best described irrationally. That it was noise and not music, not
organised sound, but might be still considered as art. We are of course in different times, and
perhaps the echoes of popularism and conservativism have created the inverse of shock waves,
comfort waves?, within the arts in general. I’m aware of the intellectual critique of failed radicalism.
The same might be said for noise. Or as someone else said, Café Otto was once a cheap place to
hear stuff but isn’t anymore… Back to the tape amidst the guitar improv on one side of the
unmarked cassette is a piece of blues steel guitar playing. So Fake News, Fake Noise, Fake
Reviews… (Jliat)
––– Address:

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