number 1079
week 17


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KAZOU IMAI - THE SEASONS ILL (CD by Hitorri/Ftarri) *
VIPCANCRO - UNO (CD by Lisca Records) *
CILANTRO - BORDERLAND (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
EASE - NO NO NO, NO (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
THE HOLY QUINTET - BOROUGH (CD by Mikroton Recordings) *
UFO – III (LP by A Tree in a Field)
MATTHIAS PUECH - THRESHOLD (12" by Hisolat Records)
VERTONEN - NO. 6 (5x 3"CDR by Ballast) *
MALTHEIST (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)
HADALS - THE DOG (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)
RED BOILING SPRINGS - ADRIFT (cassette by Nailbat Tapes) *
HYPERCUBE - ARTIFACTS (cassette by Ressonus) *
NASTRO - GASTRO (cassette by Upside Down Recordings)
FILTRO - RIFLESSO (cassette by Upside Down Recordings)
GLAUKOM SYNOD - VAMPIRES AND GORGEOUS THROATS (cassette by Visceral Circuitry) *


Following a release by Marginal Consort, of which he is a member, and a solo release by Kazou Imai
reviewed in Vital Weekly 1038, here's another solo release from this guitarist who was born in
1955. His work can be found in improvised music, free jazz, contemporary music and noise and
as such 'The Seasons Ill' is part of the first and last, being improvised and noisy. According to the
liner notes it is not easy to capture his high volume concerts, but last year two concerts were
captured and both are about twenty-five minutes. On 'Delay 160925' Imai is the loudest guitar
player you would encounter without going for a full-on distortion play because that would be easy.
I think. The guitar is played 'con furioso', with sparks flying about. A fine torture of strings I would
think takes place here, and while it probably impossible to capture the same feeling as when you
would have standing next to it when it was recorded, it still makes a very big impression on me.
The second piece, 'Delay 160407'starts out quieter, well in a way that is, and throughout is not
as violent as the first piece, but it works very well also. This is the jazzier piece of the two, free
and hardcore, of course, and should easily appeal to fans of Derek Bailey or Stefan Jaworzyn, I
guess, although I readily admit not being someone who knows that much about the world of free
improvisation guitar players. I do know that the music captured on this disc is something I enjoyed
a lot. It is Japnoise, in some way, but then perhaps one of unique, one of a kind of way. (FdW)
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From San Francisco hails the quartet Collision Stories, of which the name Jorge Bachmann didn't
ring many bells, but Bryan Day, Michael Gendreau and Mason Jones did. The first is the owner of
the label here, as well as improvising musician in his own right; Gendreau is best known as one half
of Crawling With Tarts and Mason Jones founded Charnel Music in 1990, and played as Trance and
a member of Subarachnoid Space. Bachmann calls himself [rudiobello] and is one half of Snowsteps.
Their paths crossed before but now they set out to play together, and I would think looking at the
photo on the inside of the package, that each of these players have their own set-up of electronics
and that everything they do is improvised and edited later on for release. The ten pieces on this
release shows us how they work. Most of these pieces are heavily controlled affairs of sounds
played together, many sounds in fact, most of the time, and usually close together. Thus a vast
mass of sounds occurs and within that they create small differences, by moving forward and
downward sounds in and out of the mix. In a way one is reminded of some heavy psychedelic
electronic improvised, which sometimes goes on a bit too long for my taste. Some more editing
wouldn't have hurt, I guess. Also some more dynamics would have been nice, unless Collision
Stories set out to sound as hermetically closed as they do. But like I say more dynamics would
not be a bad thing, to keep attention from the listener through emphasizing details in the music.
Throughout I quite enjoyed this release, surely, but there are some points to improve. I can
imagine in concert this would sound very good, and maybe would also be more dynamic. (FdW)
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The oddly named band We Promise To Betray consists of two members, Giuseppe Verticchio, who
also works as Nimph and who plays here electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizers, Khlui (Thia
flute), effects and field recordings and Davide Del Col (also known as Antikatechon) on drums,
bass, electric guitar, synthesizers, effects and field recordings. Together they created four long
pieces, thirteen to fifteen minutes each, of music that is very atmospheric but also heavy on the
emotional side I would think. All of this seems to me to be quite dark, taking from crackling field
recordings and microsound electronics, right into a place where drums bang away, underlined by
ditto heavy bass and a wall of guitar sound. The way they built up their piece, slowly, rolling and
evolving towards a cascade of heavy rock sounds reminded me very much of the music of
Godspeed You Black Emperor (also oddly named, I should think), but then less the violins and
cellos, and perhaps the mighty crescendo's. The whole atmosphere of the music has something
that is no doubt best called neo-post rock, but I can't say I am blown away by it. I guess for what
it is it is not bad at all, but in a way it reminded me of gothic music; much reverb, much heaviness,
which I guess is just not really my world then. Simply too dark too enter.
    Deison has been around for some time now, and has a string of releases, quite a few I believe
in collaboration with others. Here he teams up with Mingle, otherwise known as Andrea Gastaldello,
who gets credits for electronics and treatments and Deison himself for electronics and noise. Don't
let that distract you, I'd say, as noise is no longer something Deison is really that heavily involved in.
The music here is dark throughout, ranging from the dense atmospheric clouds you usually
associate with ambient and drone music, filled up with quite a bit of sound effects (read: reverb)
to make sure we know it is all-atmospheric. That's however only one half of the story. The other
half sees the two working with mid-tempo rhythms, along with the same amount of sound effects
and generates essentially a similar set of moody tunes, but then with rhythm. Very few times they
step into noise land, but not a lot. The package is all black and white and those seem to be the
appropriate colours for such a release. The music is quite demanding and forceful, but then it is
probably also the pleasure through pain approach that will appeal to many who like some old
school industrial music, to which I'd say this certainly owns quite a bit. Thankfully it rains right
now, so this has become the perfect depression soundtrack for now. (FdW)
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VIPCANCRO - UNO (CD by Lisca Records)

Over the years a few releases by VipCancro have been reviewed in Vital Weekly, the first time the
name popped up is in Vital Weekly 36. The main member seems to be Andrea Borghi, who is also
active with solo releases. But VipCancro is a band of four people; Filippo Ciavoli Cortelli (percussion,
tapes), Alberto Picchi (electronics) and Nicola Quiriconi (voice) and Andrea Borghi on bass and
while that may seem fairly traditional, the music they play is far from anything traditional. Hard to
say what it is then, as the three pieces on this release are certainly far away, 'out there'. With
some of their older releases I could see a point of reference with New Zealand' finest lo-fi drone
acts Sandoz Lab Technicians or Surface Of The Earth, but the three pieces here are a curious
mixture of field recordings (people talking mainly), deep drone sounds from crude sine generators
and scraping sounds from microphones upon floors, as well as the crackling of acoustic sounds
against each other. Everything seems to be very amplified and 'alive' and all of this has very little
to do with a rock band. I must admit I copied the instrument thing from a previous review, and
none such are listed on the cover of this new release. Maybe by now they abandoned all instruments
in favour of acoustic sources, yet keeping their amplifiers in good use? It is not easy to say, but it
surely makes up some highly fascinating music, I'd say. Very intense with those sub drones
hovering below, and the knocking and cracking of objects on top of that. It is all quite spooky and
mysterious I'd say and all of this is quite haunting. An excellent release. (FdW)
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It has been a while since I first reviewed a work by Swedish composer Ann Rosén (see Vital Weekly
808). Later on I reviewed two works by Syntjuntan, a trio of female improvisers. Recently she
handed me this more recent release and I read on the label's website that the "Bredvid
compositions deal with parallel processes that might affect each other but are not linked! It’s like
young children playing next to each other rather than with each other. They have a lot in common
and can even borrow stuff from each other but they’re still in their own worlds!" The six pieces on
this CD are for saxophone, one or more, and always use something that is called 'freezerbox synth',
except for the one piece Rosén performs solo, for which she uses 'kneecuff and electronics'. I must
admit I am a bit lost how the actual composition for these pieces worked and exactly what these
custom built electronic devices do, as most of the time the sound of the saxophone and the
electronics seems to be merging together and it becomes unclear what is what. And that is
perhaps also why I very much enjoyed this release. Normally I don't care that much for traditional
saxophone playing, but the six pieces here show a bit of that kind of playing, but with usually
more 'held' and 'suppressed' tones, very much, so it seems, like those electronics are doing. In a
fine way this is very minimal music indeed with slow developments in each of the pieces, tones
clustering together and then drifting apart again, expanding before shrinking and vice versa.
Quite 'odd' this music, as it is somewhere along the lines of improvised music, modern classical
and electronic improvisation.
    The sixth piece, 'Kring', is the only piece in which the whole quartet plays and in which there
are no electronics and which has a very fine slow development too, and at a certain point seems
to be allowing voices to be used. It is a bit different than the five variations of 'Bredvid' but it all
seems to making perfect sense, I think, and all of this makes this quite an interesting release of
some intense music. (FdW)
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'Night Avenue' is the translation of Notchnoi Prospekt, a duo of Alexei Borisov (guitar, vocals,
lyrics) and Ivan Sokolovsky (keyboards and electronics). They already started in in 1985 and in
1987 a drummer and violinist were added to the line-up, and the band played lots of concerts in
Soviet Union and the band went through various line-ups, with Sokolovksy dying in 2005. These
days Borisov is still the main member and receiving help from a whole bunch of players on guitar,
voice, electronics (Olga Nosova, a regular sparring partner for Borisov), drums, bass, guitar and
violin. Borisov is someone who plays many different kinds of music and that's what I like about
him, even when I may not always like what the result is. With the music of Notchoi Prospekt, I
must admit, I have some trouble. It comes across as synth pop of a darker nature, sometimes a
bit rockabilly like, 80s new wave, a touch of noise and lyrics I can't understand, even if I don't care
that much about lyrics anyway. The voice is mixed so that it becomes quite dominant, at times
drowning out the music a bit, which I always think is a pity. I do like pop music, surely I do, and
some of this I found most enjoyable, but at the same time I found it very hard to get into, despite
it all being very accessible. I think something got lost in translation.
    Of an entirely different nature is the second album by Spanish group Sudaria. I don't believe I
heard their first one, nor do I know anything about this group. The cover doesn't have many details
either and the disc has just eight long pieces of music. It starts out with a densely layered blast of
violins and other string instruments set against a menacing drone pattern, but it turns out that
this does not set the tone for the album; in the other pieces the heritage of thirty-some years of
industrial music is played to full glory. Loud and aggressive at times, but that's only one part of
what Sudaria does. They can also take a step or two back and play a more thought out tune,
almost quiet and ambient in approach, which can easily lead to a black metal tune, sans rhythm.
As with regard to instruments used I must admit I am a bit clueless here. I hear organs, electronics,
guitars, violins and percussion, but as far as I know much of this can also come from a sampler or
two, and I would not be surprised to find out if this was all played by one guy and a sampler.
Somehow I doubt that and this is more of a band than we expect. All of this means that the
music on this release is quite varied and to the point. Maybe some of these pieces are a bit on
the long side when it comes duration and at seventy-two minutes it is all a bit long. (FdW)
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These two releases are very much connected. The double CD and booklet provides a proper
historical context for the Greek band Optical Musics, in their earliest years, 1984-1987, while
on cassette main member Costis Drygianakis performs 'a reconstruction of underestimated and
mislaid recordings from the period 1984-1987', so perhaps something we would have called back
then 'recycled'; taking recordings apart and put them together in a totally different way. Best
turned to the two CDs first, and the highly informative book that comes with (64 pages, 7"x7"
sized) this music. I reviewed their 'Volume 2' before, all the way in Vital Weekly 66, and it's is
possible that I also did 'Volume 1' when Vital (without weekly) was printed on paper, but I guess
we have to wait for the complete volume to re-appear (later this year!). Back then in VW 66 I had
some problem with saying something sensible about the group, but now I learned that they
started in 1984 as a fleeting membership group and that they were inspired by visual elements,
scores, photos, to play their improvised music, or better taking their cue from John Zorn's 'I
compose improvised music', and apparently using the studio as an extra instrument. I must
admit that notion is a bit beyond me when hearing this. I gather I was expecting something
along the lines of P16.D4 is that respect but that seems not to be the case. Much of what they
do sound improvised, composed or otherwise, leaving space for non conventional instruments,
such as 'pruning shears, ground connector, drawer, children's toys, next to bass, guitar, lots of
drums and percussion and a variety of organ sounds (casio MT65 and PT 30) and synthesizer,
the trusted Yamaha DX-7. As we progress through the recordings it becomes evident that the
band learned to play and structures become more complex, layered together (as opposed to the
two-track stereo recordings on the first disc), allowing a bit more (free-) jazz elements; sometimes
it is all electronic and almost musique concrete, and at other times it is more like free rock,
although Optical Musics never hammer away. It is, all in all, quite a diverse release, and while not
always something that I enjoyed (too random at times), it was a fine archival release.
    Main member Costis Drygianakis has produced a number of solo works in the past years, in
which his music is performed by others. I am not sure to what extent his solo music is 'composed'
or 'improvised', or maybe if there are graphic scores in play. Here he has a thirty-minute piece of
music, delved out of the archives of the band and I am sure he applied more than before musique
concrete techniques to this old material to create a most delicate and most strange piece of music
of weird sound, slowed sound, musical sound, field recordings plus whatever else was found and
sometimes it drops quite a bit in volume and it all makes a really strange impression on me. I don't
know what to make of this, but if anything it perhaps comes closest to the music of Biota and
Mnemonists; that kind of rock merging with tape techniques, which perhaps never sound really
rock like I guess. This is quite fascinating stuff, that, me think, would have had more justice if it
was released on CD. (FdW)
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Here we have more music by Leo Dupleix, of whom I already reviewed a double CDR in Vital Weekly
1027, which he released on own Albertine Editions, even when he writes that albertineeditions, no
doubt in honour of his microsound inspired music. Now it's time for a double CD, in an edition of
100 copies. He loves cheap electronics, computers and field recordings and plays with bands as
Tandaapushi (see Vital Weekly 1010) and Vierge Noirse. On 'Precess #1 he works together with
Simon Roy Christinsen, a new name for me. He's from Denmark and 'works at the interface of
theory and practice in the fields of arts and aesthetics with a particular interest in intersections
of Eastern and Western cultures. He lived in Japan for a couple of years and is now back in
Denmark. I believe they sat together recording this, and not worked via mail exchange.
    On both discs, clocking in at exactly sixty minutes each, you hear 'different spaces and
times and occasional activities and pauses according to the given score'. The field recordings
are from Paris and Tokyo and basically that's it; two hours of field recordings mixed together. It
still sounds pretty sparse with not always a lot going on and in the space it is played there might
be some activity, which is fed along the music (or rather, the music is taped inside the space it is
played and all action is both intentional and unintentional). There is one major difference between
both discs. On the first one there is something to be heard throughout the entire hour, quiet as it
might be from time to time, but there is still something to be heard and there are various sound
events to be noted. On the second disc the music is cut up into various smaller bits, lasting from
a few seconds to a few minutes, following by irregular breaks of total silence. The start/stop play
delivers some nice surprises, as there might be a totally different sound when the music starts
again. Two approaches and both are about the way Dupleix and Christensen wants you to perceive
their music. This is quite an interesting release. (FdW)
––– Address: <>

CILANTRO - BORDERLAND (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
EASE - NO NO NO, NO (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
THE HOLY QUINTET - BOROUGH (CD by Mikroton Recordings)

From a bundle of no less than seven releases I picked these three for this week, and started with
the one that from the outside looked like something I never heard of. It turns out that Cilantro is
a (new?) duo of Angelica Castello (paetzold, ukulele, organ, tapes and electronics) and Billy Roisz
(electric bass, organ, TV, piezo, computer and electronics), both of them not totally unknown in
the world of improvised music and reviewed in these pages before. Not a very common list of
instruments here, I'd say, and what is perhaps also a bit different is the fact there are ten tracks
here, ranging from just a minute to almost twelve. Much of what Mikroton releases, if not all,
deals with improvised music and as such I guess Cilantro fits that as well, but somehow, somewhere
this also sounds a bit different. Surely much of the material is made through various sessions of
improvising together, but I should think Cilantro is also attempting to incorporate more song like
structures. This is not your usual hit, scratch and pluck (to say it impolitely) music, but attempting
to find a drone, a repeating bass, loops of sound returning, a bit of noise thrown in, some samples
being and obviously, no, this is never 'pop music' in anyway a bigger audience would understand,
but it is all of these small things combined that makes this quite a wonderful and highly surprising
release. Very much thought out and planned, and executed with great care, and this is just an
excellent release.
    Ease sounded also new and perhaps they are for me. It is a duo of Klaus Filip and Noid, who
both get credit for playing 'ppooll', which is something Filip created in max/msp (check out the
Cycling 74 website for this), and one could say this is Ease is a laptop duo. Two pieces here, one
recorded in 2014 in St. Petersburg and one in 2015 in Vienna, together almost an hour worth of
music. This is perhaps exactly the kind of thing that you would expect from two laptops, armed
with software to process and alter sounds on the spot. Ranging from the very quiet, nearly
inaudible sound, via mid to high piercing sounds and a menacing low bass from time to time. A
typical concert by Ease seems to be moving all of these different points of reference, filtering sine
waves, crackles, field recordings and such like, in slowly fading parts that works very well in a sort
of ambient way (but not really ambient of course). It's fine music, nothing great or spectacular
and maybe to stand out these days, that might not be enough.
    I am not sure if The Holy Quintet is an on-going concern or a one-off thing. The group consists
of Johnny Chang (viola), Jamie Drouin (suitcase modular and radio), Dominic Lash (double bass),
Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga (zither) and David Ryan (bass clarinet). In February 2013 they played
at the Borough Welsh Congregational Chapel in London and on this CD we find two cuts from that
concert. I have no idea to what extent they are cut or edited from a bigger thing, or if this 'is it'?
Whatever is the case, you strike what I wrote 'usual hit, scratch and pluck' when it comes to
improvised music, as this surely is something very much along those lines. These five players
surely know how to do that and it is far from a 'scratch/pluck/hit' release. The main interest of
these five players is to play longer sustaining sounds, especially when it comes to the input
delivered by Drouin, Chang and Ryan. The other two seem a bit more limited by placing accents
here and there and all five players keep each other in a very good balance. Of the two piece the
second is a perhaps more traditional than the first when it comes to playing improvised music,
being a bit more broken up and less revolving around longer, sustaining sounds. At times it is all
very thoughtful and silent and the next moment everything starts firing up again and it keeps
moving all around the place. A most rewarding release. (FdW)
––– Address:


From Scotland Graeme Truslove bridges the divide between fixed-medium electroacoustic
composition and performance based on improvisation. From meticulous structuring of aural
mosaics with sonic impulses placed at exactly the right time, place, texturing et cetera, Truslove
moved into the realms of the recording and manipulation of these works. Consequently and
rather ironically, as technology advanced, these treatments of performances in themselves
became montage-performances, which turned to be possible source material for further
performance, montage and composition.
    With an 'ensemble' of energetic electronics, brimming with activity, slowly modulating,
finely attuned in terms of texture and timbre (ranging from polished glistens to rough and raw
barbs and wires), augmented with double bass, Truslove explores musical time and musical time
scales. It's all on display here, pretty much easy to hear in full frontal focus. That is: the evolution
of synthetic tones, textures and timbres from Truslove's performative-algorithmic machines. And
also: the tweaking thereof, the searching, embellishment and/or destruction – the immediate
present and the slowly unfolding development – the sound in and of itself and the placement in
something much (infinitely?) larger. Size-wise by the way not per se in terms of a filled out,
drummed up, jazzed through jumble or huge through-composed symphonic effort, but above
all in terms of strategies of time.
    Long lines and thin spikes and fat bubbles and short gurgles for example bounce around in
short-term presences, but together these also weave and bob in and out of an almost droning
aural field out of time, beyond eternal music, too. It's thanks to Truslove's amazing touch for
timbre and timing Intuited Architectures retains a splendid organic touch and feel, carving out a
fascinating niche somewhere in the corner of acousmatic and electroacoustic music where the
greats of the musique concrète meet 'classical' composers. A must-hear for all fans of the
releases by INA-GRM, Recollecion GRM and Unsounds. (SSK)
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It happens, but not that much, which is good; music arriving at the VWHQ that gets a serious
head scratching, and going 'why did we get that?' This is one of them. For more information I
am directed to Facebook, which shows nothing more than a few links towards Bandcamp and
Soundcloud. I guess Neptunian8 is one guy and he's from France. He calls this 'a trip and a
narration between modern classical, electronics and hip-hop', the latter comes straight away
via a rap in the first song. Did I just hear the name 2Pac in that one? Why are we still rapping
about that guy? Perhaps you'll hate for me for saying this, but I'm saying it anyway; I don't like
rap. I never care much for lyrics anyway, so yes, Mark E. Smith also gives me a hard time. Anyway,
there is some rap on this album, a choir, some moody electronics, which are actually maybe a bit
up our street, a bit of trip hop, jazzy variation of course, and all in all it's not bad. Except for the
raps of course, which is just not my cup of etc. I would think this is the kind of stuff that belongs
to the world of alternative pop music and not so much to the world of drones, noise,
experimentalism; say the kind of world that VW likes to deal with, even when, again, some of this
comes close to our world. Some, but not all, so there is something here I surely don't understand
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In his daily life Norman Ledeuil is a bass player from the rock/pop scene, and he has played with
Pierre Mottron, Mark Palmer, Gerald Moisan, La Mecanique des Sourds and others, none of which I
heard off before. In whatever spare time he has he works on more experimental projects, and 'A
Journey' is the first one that is released. To create the nine pieces on this record Ledeuil uses field
recordings, electronics, synths, guitar, editing and mixing. I am not sure where this journey is
heading, outside, another country or perhaps it stays within the listener and this is more like a
head-trip? I am not sure, but I could very well believe it is the latter; stay home, sit down, play this
music and feel transported by this music into a dimension of one's own making. The music Ledeuil
creates has nothing to with rock or pop, and whilst not being the most experimental music I ever
heard, far from it actually, I must say that this record sounds pretty good. All of thee pieces are
made with great care and style. It has all the right connections; ambient, atmospheric, drone like,
a bit of reverb to enhance the moodiness of the music, field recordings checked and proved to be
in the right place. While not entirely original, it's the combination of interests that works quite well
here. A bit of rhythmic rumble is in place, the production is well made, with some excellent deep
bass sound and even traces of melodies can be found around this place. This is a most promising
debut album, I thought. (FdW)
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UFO – III (LP by A Tree in a Field)

An adventurous and innovative work to start with! By Ufo, a trio of Michael Anklin (drums,
percussion), Lukas Huber (keyboards, electronics) and Robert Torche (modified tennis ball,
haha!). For their second project they invited five musicians, each of them took part in one
improvisation session with the trio: Fred Frith (guitar), Jannik Giger (electronics, piano), Raphael
Rossé (trombone, sheng), Martin Wyss (double bass) and Adrien Guerne (sax, electronics). These
recordings were subsequently distributed over six different sound artists who created the final
audio tracks. These artists are: Dimitri Grimm (electronic music producer), Jannik Giger (composer,
video artist), Valentin Liechti (drummer electronic music producer), plus core members Robert
Torche (electronic music producer), Michael Anklin (drummer, electronic music producer) and
Lukas Huber (composer, media artist). Dimitri Grimm determined the sequence of the pieces and
did final treatments. One might think all spontaneity is gone following procedures like these. Also
one might wonder how music can have a unifying identity with so much room for individual
decisions. Procedures that remind me of the American Biota-collective that worked in a similar
way but with totally other results.But surprising ones as the music is very expressive and lively,
and also coherent. For sure these guys are into exploring new concepts of music. So they break
with rules and open up and mix different conventions. But above all they succeed in creating
some very relevant and enjoyable music along new invented procedures. On side 2 for example
there is beautiful solo by Rossé on trombone, supported by drums, and embedded in an electronic
environment that takes over at a given moment. This is illustrative for the UFO-music. One can
identify the improvised sessions that are treated and used as a steppingstone for a next musical
process. Fascinating eclecticism, with results that are sometimes a bit fragmentary. (DM)
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MATTHIAS PUECH - THRESHOLD (12" by Hisolat Records)

Here's a new French label and their release is a 12" recorded by Matthias Puech, 'who composes
electronic music, designs musical instruments and explores the nature of computing and
mathematics in a single artistic nature'. The latter could be explained as in 'uses the modular
synthesizer', as that's what he uses to create his music. Only last week I wrote about the nature
of modular synthesizers and how 'hip' it is to use them these days, but that not all 'live and
unedited' recordings should be released. I have no idea how 'live and unedited' the music of Puech
is, but I must say this is an example of how it can be done properly. While I know very little about
how modular synthesizers work, I can imagine that Puech made an outline for each track that
defined which sounds to use, which filters to open and what gates to close and maybe did a few
trial and error runs before hitting upon the pieces he wanted; before he got the correct execution
of his idea. There are four pieces on this 12", and I am not entirely sure if I should play it at 33 or
45 rpm, but in both cases it works equally fine. With room in the cut for an additional piece per
side, I would say: why isn't there some more music? Music that is mostly abstract and alien and
despite the format doesn't seem to aim at the dance floor that much, but 'Blome', the final piece
on the B-side seems to get closest in that respect, with some heavy, repeating bass sound and
underneath the bubbles and oscillations that go with such tunes. Most promising record! (FdW)
––– Address: <>


Here we have a collaboration between three Polish musicians; Kucharczyk (various sounds, scrapes
and pieces, rhythmwork, melodies, production, design), Gazawat (soundscapes, structures, noises,
voice samples) and Czarny Latawiec (chants and tribal voices, spiritual forces, vocal processing),
and each of the nine pieces have a long title. The cover also reads: "voice samples were taken from
"White King, Red Rubber, Black Death" and "King Leopold's Ghosts" documentaries as well as
other internet sources". While the instruments may suggest this is all electronic in its origin, and
it surely is, I would like to believe that much of this was played in a rather improvised manner. The
music is at times quite spacious, but not really cosmic in any traditional way, just more or less
loosely organised together. Had it not been for the many voice samples used in all of these tracks,
the music would have been rather dull, I think, being without much organisation. Now the voice
samples, lifted from documentaries mostly, add a radio play like character to the music, which is
quite nice, even if you decide not to spend much time figuring out what this is about, or if the
narrative runs through all of these pieces, but it works more or less all right. This is not the best
thing I ever heard from the world of improvised electronics, not the worst either. (FdW)
––– Address:

VERTONEN - NO. 6 (5x 3"CDR by Ballast)

A massive three new release set is just released by Blake Edwards' Ballast label, and all three have
his musical stamp firmly on it. Each of these comes with additional print material in the form of a
book or in a box with separate cards with texts.
    The first is a follow-up release that uses the voices of Anthony Dunn, the singer of doom
metal band Sun Splitter and part of Terran Wretch. On the previous release it all worked out
towards the world of drone and atmospheric music, but as you should know by now, Vertonen
can play many tunes; drones as easily as noise and also something with a fair bit of rhythm.
'Stutterer' falls in that latter category with Vertonen paying homage to Esplendor Geometrico,
Sat Stochizmo and SPK, although the latter is a bit lost of me, I'm afraid. Of the eleven pieces,
eight are Vertonen pieces, and three bonus pieces are the source material. For these pieces
Vertonen takes short samples and feeds these through a line of sound effects and synthesizers
and by slowly changing the filtering the minimalist beat patterns change. I am most reminded of
the earliest experiments by Esplendor Geometrico, at their most brutal noisiest rhythm, and
probably their most minimal phase and least danceable. Vertonen goes for something similar in
these eight pieces. Listening to the bonus material it not easy to see to how it worked out doing
this music and in that respect it is easier to see how those sources ended up being the second
disc, 'Three Situational Drownings', which is a seventy-two minute piece of some highly remote
droning music and to be honest I think that's where Vertonen best work takes place, even when
I thought the rhythm material was quite good to here. In his minimalist drone treatment he is
simply so much better.
    I must admit I didn't find out about the sixties TV series 'The Prisoner' until a few years ago.
I maybe heard about it, but never saw it. That I made up, and by now I watched the series three or
four times, and even purchased it on DVD, feeling I didn't want to borrow it all the time. In the
series a man, only known as 'Number 6' is held prisoner in a village, but he doesn't know why and
the whole thing is rather surreal, with some great episodes. If you haven't watched it yet, then
make sure you do at one point in your life. You see where they got all the colours from in 'The
Truman show'. Vertonen took the iconic opening theme as a source and created no less than six
(but really, what other number should it have been?) 3inch CDR releases, so that is close to 120
minutes of music. This sees the many musical interests of Vertonen spread out over these two
hours. Much of it goes quite deep into the drone territory here, but not exclusively a fair bit of the
material is rhythmic and noisy, and sometimes a combination of both. Of course at no point
whatsoever I recognized the tune of 'The Prisoner', as such things go in these cases. Despite the
fact that changing CDRs every twenty minutes is a bit of an interruption with regards to the flow
one is in, each of the six pieces works very well. These works are not single pieces by themselves,
but can carry a fine transition in their own right. An excellent work, topped off with seventeen
small cards with text.
    And finally there is Blake Edward teaming up with Eric Lunde, in their guise as Dead Edits.
They played two concerts in Chicago last year and this is documented on the triple set of 3inch
CDR releases and booklet of images and text. The first disc is an actual, untouched live recording
of Dead Edits; well, I think untouched as it lasts only fourteen minutes, so maybe an edit anyway.
It is a recording from some distance with Lunde's voice set against a deep drone, and slowly
doubling in voices. It must be that I am reading Cosey Fanni Tutti's book, but all of this reminded
me of Throbbing Gristle. Brutal, noisy, lo-fi and estranged. On the second disc Lunde is not present
in person, but through a DVD, and Dead Edits present here their live rendition of a previous piece
they did, a further rework of Stefan Weisser's 'Poextentions And Contexts: A Forgery' (see also
Vital Weekly 1010). Weisser, you may know otherwise as Z'EV, released a 7" of poetry reading and
loops a long time ago, and is highly suitable for Dead Edits love to use and re-use spoken word,
taping in on the lowest means possible and playing it back into the same space, and this ad
infinitum. It works very well in this particular piece I think. Nothing of the rudeness of the first
disc, even when the first half is quite noisy with cracked loops from the turntable. In the second
half things quiet out and it all sounds moody and scary. On the third disc Edward reads out part
of an older book by Eric Lunde, 'LLND', and he uses Eric tape methodology to make further
permutations. There is a slow peaceful rhythm to this, like slow marching order and Edward's
recites the text with some solemn command. Oddly enough I was reminded of Architects Office's
'Caswallon' LP from so many years ago, which I do recall had certain passage(s) that sounded
similar to this. The text is not easy to follow (but I have the original book somewhere!) but it also
works very well as a piece of poetic music. This is piece is for me the highlight in this particular
package. (FdW)
––– Address:

MALTHEIST (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)
HADALS - THE DOG (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)
RED BOILING SPRINGS - ADRIFT (cassette by Nailbat Tapes)

Just elsewhere in this issue I write about getting music we don't get; rap in that case, grindcore,
metal in the case of Maltheist, which are apparently a 'new deathgrind band from Portland, Oregon.
Socio-political lyrics with old-school metal riffs'. I am not sure if the hardcore here is metal or punk.
I'd say, going by the music, the first but by the length of the songs for the second. The longest is
two minutes something and the shortest just under a minute. But perhaps that's the thing I liked
about this; the whole brevity of the songs and while metal has never been anything I even remotely
cared for in my life (not even when the bearded ambient posse started doing that; or was it vice
versa?), the twenty minutes in which these eleven pieces take place works quite well for me. After
such a short but furious blast it was also enough for the day. Lyrics were kind of hard to decipher,
so I am not sure about the socio-political side of it.
    Hadals are 'harsh noise experimentalists try their hand at primitive hardcore', which again
could be metal or punk, but within the sixteen minutes this tape lasts it is hard to say. Three
short pieces on one side and one long on the flip. I would believe they take some of their
experimental edge inside this music, via some odd choices of start/stop play and some weirder
transitions in the music. Of course this experimental side should make me want to 'like' this more
than Maltheist, but oddly enough I would prefer them to Hadals. It is nice to add an experimental
flavour to your hardcore metal music, I guess, but by the end of the day that's what it is,
experimental flavoured hardcore music.
    By which time the music of label boss Matt Sullivan, who works as Red Boiling Springs, is quite
a relief. This is the first time I hear his music, and apparently Red Boiling Springs is a noise project
but in this particular case the ambient side is played out more. He writes about this: "rediscovered
these recordings on an old busted-up computer early last year. They were made sporadically from
2009 to 2014 in Anchorage, AK, and Portland, OR, stitched together out of field recordings,
guitars, and electric piano." None of the instruments can be easily heard as such I must say, as all
of this is effectively transformed on that old busted-up computer beyond recognition and it works
very well. There is a gritty edge to the music, a bit of dirt at the corners, which is something most
welcome when it comes to ambient and drone music; for me at least. The best is kept to the last,
also on this release where the final piece, 'Drift', worked like soft bliss to these tortured ears. If the
rest of his work is like this, I'd surely like to hear a bit more of it. (FdW)
––– Address:

HYPERCUBE - ARTIFACTS (cassette by Ressonus)

Here's a name I surely remember from the past, say the early 90s world of cassette days, and I am
pretty sure I heard some of their music but it has faded from my memory. I recall it was quite heavy
on the use of synthesizers and quite spacious, but in a slightly roughed up manner. Dieter Mauson
(of Nostalgie Eternelle) and Siegmar Fricke (best known as the sparring partner of Maurizio Bianchi)
started all over recently and between February and June 2016 using 'stereo injections, restorative
audiology, osmotracking, intracranial stimulations' recorded two twenty-three minute pieces of
music. Now that I am hearing this music I am pretty much convinced the old DSIP, as they made
their name short most of the times, sounded pretty much alike this. Each of these pieces uses
plenty of synthesizer sounds, tons of effects and all of this is played in a rather improvised
manner. Recorded in an improvised way, but allowing sounds to freely wander about for a while
before removing them from the mix, but post-recording they continue the improvisation in the
mix. All of this sounds rather intuitive and playful, but also it is quite dark. DSIP move cleverly
through a whole bunch of sounds on their equipment, side-stepping the notion of drones quite a
bit, moving around quite a bit, never settling too long on the same sounds. I am not sure if this is
the first release after quite some time, but if so, they pick up their chain of thought pretty good
after such a long hibernation.
    Hypercube is the musical project of Rodrigo Passannanti, responsible for all the music. Here
the beats return, a feature that is quite common on a lot of the releases by Rssonus. I don't think
I heard of Hypercube before. He has five pieces on his thirty-minute tape. While I surely like some
forms of rhythmic music, the ones produced by Hypercube is not really my cup of tea, I think. The
balance between rhythm and synthesizers is a bit out of balance, with the latter being a bit louder
than the first and the rhythm jumps around, bouncing back and forth. Hard to say what it sounds
like, in terms of comparing it to something, but this quick broken-up beat stuff is just not my thing
and the synthesizer patterns to guide, drenched as they are in reverb also do not sound particularly
appealing to me. Let's move on. (FdW)
––– Address:

NASTRO - GASTRO (cassette by Upside Down Recordings)
FILTRO - RIFLESSO (cassette by Upside Down Recordings)

Here we have two cassettes from Italy of new music and new names. Nastro might very well be a
duo of Manuel Cascone and Francesco Petricca and their cassette might be a journey "through the
human body into the mysteries of the digestive system", as I read it on the bandcamp page. It
mentions a bunch more about chewing, eating, digesting and perhaps we ought to think now that
this is the source material they used for creating this music. Eight pieces in total and these two
recorded are taken on to the computer, subjected to the powers that we call max/msp, puredata
or whatever form of sound synthesis and cooked up as a new stew for the listener. I was reminded
me of the music of Tu'm, also from Italy, quite some time ago; a similar form of chaos derived from
the strangest sound sources, with the acoustic edge never being too far away. In a way it sounded
quite retro-like, like early twenty-first century laptop music, the kind that one doesn't hear very
often anymore. It sounds quite nice, nothing too spectacular, but nonetheless fine. I am not sure
what I would have made of this fifteen years ago, though. I assume I would have been a bit more
sceptical about it.
    Filtro is also a duo, but then Angelo Bignamini and Luca De Biasi, also of whom I never heard
before. Their background is in the Italian psychedelic and noise rock scene with bands like The
Great Sanuites and Satantango, but here working with their own brand on software, synthesis
and laptops. Unlike Nastro their pieces are longer, four in thirty minutes, and more controlled, and
perhaps not entirely confined to the use of laptops, if at all. They surely manipulate their sounds,
whatever they are, using laptops or modular synthesizers, but in a piece like 'Perno' I would believe
there is also some kind of acoustic sound ringing through the proceedings. The music by Filtro is
more organized than that of Nastro, but at times also a bit on the long side of things. Especially
the first part of the title track and 'Statore', both over nine minutes, seem to me a bit too long.
There is some fine experimentalism going on, on both releases actually, but both of them also
seem to be the work in transition. Probably the exactly the kind of thing that should be released
on a cassette. (FdW)
––– Address:


Three new releases from Crónica take the listener from Portugal to Greece to Scotland. Geographically
dispersed as the origins of these composers may be, the works hold a firm common
Crónica thread in serving aural tapestries amongst the best in avant-garde contemporary music on
the verge of composed acoustic and electronics music.
    Durán Vázquez work a full year on his tape Hiku Komuro, Hikikomori. Asking himself questions,
holed up with his gear. Can we know an aural world outside our own; the one we hear in our head?
The one ears tell us is there; we hear inside? Is hearing a product of outside phenomenons getting
in or could it be that we can never really know what goes on outside – i.e. not within our own brain,
mind, soul. Solus Ipse. Wandering alone – never in real contact; or, oh well... that than is as much
the real contact as we can get. It doesn't get any more. That's not to say it's a good or bad thing
in and of itself. It just is. And we cannot know, for sure. Really.
    Vázquez conjures plains and fields of sparse instrumentation. Very high pitches are never
thinning out the spectrum, which one might expect. Nor do these glistening glass organ like
shimmerings and piercing tones project eerie connotations. These frequencies are those of which
resonance is made. A transportation of rumblings and murmurs, pulling on the soul's strings like
perpetual high droning of eternal movement. Here dark skies are pushed away. Not per se to let
the sunlight in, but to wipe clean the crowded and muddied slate. Vázquez seems to be aiming for
an aural tabula rasa – far from emptied out or minimally reduced. His quintet of works on the a-side
promote vistas of zen gardens with slight breezes and birds singing in animated dialog with an
idiosyncratic stillness of ease always present – back- and foreground.
    In his Galicia based studio Vázquez composes his works using samples of old video games as
prime source materials, together with FM synthesis and other synths. On the b-side his acousmatic
soundscaping has been impregnated with gentle use of bleeping noises and swooshes reminiscent
of arcade space battle. The gently bubbling, slowly creeping tar- or lava like structure gives way to
multiplicities of translations; the full spectrum from highly advanced sci-fi technological down to
purely natural meadowlands teeming with wildlife. Like a fascinating soundscape of field recordings
from field yet uncharted, unseen, unheard – most likely only existing inside Vázquez' and our own
head(s). (SSK)
––– Address:


Let go theorizing, theories, rational reasoning. Strive for Stikhiya. Or: primitive immediacy. Then
and there, organic holistic experiences (may) emerge, dixit Yorgis Sakellariou. It's where
unfathomable and formless forces of perception are at play; awe-inspiring, myth-making.
    On his cassette Sakellariou manipulates field recordings from various sources; be it natural or
technological/industrial, be it in the field or at home. The crash of a waterfall joins a fridge's hum in
a symphony of clashes and juxtapositions. Scratching and scraping, creepy and crawly, rumbling
and bustling the aural zoo maintained by Sakellariou is teeming with lively action.
    This projects a power of catharsis in as much as these works bear their elementary building
blocks precisely to remain firmly rooted in reality, whilst rearranging these familiarities towards
expansions of the real; a rarification, perfecting too – also in size of the sound field and scope of
the emotional rapport. Sakellariou's rawness of sound is worn on his sleeve; a throbbing heartbeat
– the sound of what it means to be alive, hearing living – living hearing: here, now and with an
eternal glimmer from the noise of stern stuff, from which epic is written. (SSK)
––– Address:


It's been a very long time since I last heard from Glaukom Synod from France (Vital Weekly 604),
but here's a cassette that lasts sixteen minutes (copied onto a CDR, I have no idea why; we do
have a cassette player) of very short pieces of their sampled madness, which is still reminiscent
of Dissecting Table, more than In Slaughter Natives last time I checked in, and probably all of this
with a bit more humour than we anticipate in this particular world. Lots of drum patterns stumble
and jumble around here, and nothing seems to be in the right place, 'where it belongs', but no
doubt that is part of the way Glaukom Synod prefers to operate. It's noisy, it's heavy and it's in
part funny, with a Tarzan sample thrown in. Do I like it? I probably think it is safe to say that I
thought these sixteen minutes were most entertaining, but anything more would be too much.
Do you read me? (FdW)
––– Address:

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