number 1081
week 19


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TEGH - DOWNFALL (CD by Midira) *
UNDERTHESNOW - POPSONGS (CD and book by Silentes) *
HAMPUS LINDWALL & LEIF ELGGREN – ATTEMPT NO. 6 (LP by Firework Edition Records)
AUME - ELEMENTAL (DVD/CD by Mobilization) *
  (CDR by Rhizome.s)
GARETH JS THOMAS - WANDSWORTH SPORTS (cassette by Aphelion Editions) *
MAP 71 - GLORIOSA (cassette by Fourth Dimension)
LEO DUPLEIX & LAURI HYVARINEN/RADIODA (split cassette by Spina! Rec)
  LAPSHIN & RAMON PRATS (split cassette by Spina! Rec)
OHR/SERGEY KOSTYRKO & ALEXANDER ZAITSEV (split cassette by Spina! Rec)


Many of the releases on Intonema are recorded in St. Petersburg, where this label resides, but this
new release was taped in Berlin, in August and September 2013. Drouin, of whom we had a release
he played on two weeks ago, plays here 'no-input mixer, contact microphone, laptop and radio',
while Hannes Lingens plays floor tom, snare drum and objects and the outcome is ten pieces of
some extreme nature. Obviously this is the work of improvised music, as one would expect from
these two musicians, but the music is, oddly enough, mostly electronically sounding. I have no
idea how they work and what they do, but it could very well be that the laptop and no-input mixer
set a number actions in motion; objects on resonating drum parts for instance is one such thing.
To which Lingens may add some of his own playing, but very rarely this playing sounds rhythmical,
if that is what one would expect from seeing the drum parts listed. Whatever Lingens does deals
with the resonating qualities of the drum parts, by rubbing them with objects, bows and hands.
Drouin's sound palette is that of sustaining sine waves, feedback and radio waves picked up, and
brought together with Lingens playing makes this all very intense improvised music. In a way it all
sounds like it has been taped with a pair of microphones, which adds a particular brand of acoustics
to the music (odd as it may seem) and adds to the intimacy of the music, despite some of the
more extreme sounds used, also strange as it sounds. This I thought was a beautiful release. (FdW)
––– Address:

TEGH - DOWNFALL (CD by Midira)

More and more there is interesting music coming out of Iran. We already had Porya Hatami, Sana
Ghobbeh and recently 9T Antiope, here it is Tegh, also known as Shahin Entezami, who is also
involved in an organization called SET, 'bringing all kinds of artists and fans together to celebrate
experimental music'. As Tegh he released an online album and some pieces on compilations, now
it is time for a real CD, 'Downfall', which has five untitled pieces. There is nothing on the cover or
the information as to which instruments are used by Tegh, but I would think there are plenty of
guitar sounds, bend and shaped through the use of many electronic devices, be it stomp boxes
or laptop technology, to create a noisy brother of the ambient coin. The label refers to Tim Hecker,
and it is not difficult to see that connection. There is lots of fuzzy pedals, chorus lines and what
have you played to the max, and with some organ and drum sounds (in 'II' for instance), this is
some furious form of noise/shoegazing (noisegazing?). A photograph of a boy falling out of a
flying airplane inspired the album and that sets the mood for the album; let's say it's far from a
pleasant trip, these five dark waves washing ashore like a tsunami. Tegh doesn't spare the listener,
but also doesn't do much out of the ordinary, which is also fine.
    On the same label Paolo Monti, also known as The Star Pillow, celebrates his tenth anniversary
as a musician by playing three long pieces, ranging from fifteen to twenty-six minutes, and a
shorter one, clocking at nine minutes. The music was recorded during one of those hot summers
in the North of Italy, but Monti is not someone to cherish these hot summers; perhaps somewhat
not like an Italian, the label suggests. Like Tegh he is a man who loves to play the guitar, but he
arrives at totally different results than his Iranian label mate. No loud outbursts here, but calm and
contemplative music of very slow development. Monti plays his guitar starting with a few chords
and then these go into a big line of loop stations and other audio enhancers to create a somewhat
glacial drone sound. There is not much difference between these four pieces I must say, except
perhaps that the last one is a bit darker than the other three, and that the guitar sounds the most
like one in this piece. If you like Dirk Serries, in whatever incarnation (although his Fears Falls Burning
perhaps comes closest to this), than The Star Pillow won't disappoint you. This is music that is
best enjoyed on a lazy Sunday afternoon, doing nothing at all; just watch clouds pass by and have
this on repeat for the entire afternoon. Maybe end with Tegh to wake you up again. (FdW)
––– Address:

UNDERTHESNOW - POPSONGS (CD and book by Silentes)

To put this under the banner of Underthesnow isn't doing the whole package justice, I think. They
are responsible for the music, but this is overall a gesamtkunstwerk; 'a collection of thought and
sounds about pop'. The booklet is a thirty-six-page affair; about 7" in size, with essays in Italian
and English about pop music, from a more general discourse to private affairs, by Paolo Cesareti,
Manuel Gentile, Marco Pandin and former Trax Records boss Vittore Baroni. Ceasareti's stance that
today's pop is rubbish and all about consuming is something I agree with, but not with 'it was
better in the old days'. Furthermore there are drawings (Massimo Giacon), collages (Stefano
Gentile) and a card by Lapo Belmestieri. But of course Vital Weekly deals with music and so it's
the sounds of Underthesnow I was mostly interested in. This duo consists of Gianluca Favaron
(field recordings, objects, mics, tapes, synth, analogue and digital effects) and Stefano Gentile
(field recordings; he's also the label boss here) and they have five pieces, called 'Popsong Nr. 1'
etc. This music has very little to do with pop music as we know it; the length of four of the five
sounds is well over five minutes (up to close to ten in the longest piece). A normal pop song would
be three minutes and eighteen seconds, as The KLF were so kind to teach. Also from the use of
sounds and compositional method this has very little to do with pop music, but there is a use of
loops, electronics; there is repetition surely, yet the whole thing is too delicate and fragile to make
a dent in the charts. It is connected to the world of ambient, drones, glitches (and yes, I am aware
of Fennesz' leap into glitch pop, twenty years ago, but this is not that), and is musically firmly
rooted in the musical biotope of the Silentes label. Just as, perhaps, the collages and images have
very little to do with the world of pop, but I must say I very much enjoyed this release, which kept
growing on me every time I played it (and it surely was on repeat for some time, reading the texts
and thinking about the whole thing; also because it was sadly at thirty-three minutes rather short).
An excellent package; this is probably the way forward for labels to present their releases. (FdW)
––– Address:


Both of these musicians are from Spain, although Meirino lives in Switzerland for many years and
Garcia no doubt prefers to say he's from the Basque country. Both of them are quite active when
it comes to releasing music, Garcia more so than Meirino, being almost present in these pages
every other week it seems. They worked together on a couple of occasions and using no-input
mixer, modular synth, field recordings and magnetic fields they created these five pieces, which
they wanted it to sound 'raw and tense, fierce and intense, but not necessarily noisy', which is
perhaps exactly how I would describe this music. That would also be based on the fact that many
of the more recent releases I heard by them follow a similar path. Noise being something I find
interesting for a long time, but not for the sake of noise; for me noise works best when there is
also a moment (or rather two) in which there is no noise. Put something loud and strange together
with something weird and quiet and you have my attention. That is something that these two men
can do pretty well. Percussive in 'Abholicater' for instance, with cans shaking in the backyard, but
ending on a quiet and subdued tone, or sine wave/feedback opening in 'Speecglessnesslessoness',
also going down like a missile, with the floor it hits upon being amplified by a multitude of contact
microphones. There is lots of abuse of those on this release, as well as crackles, radio static,
oscillations, feedback and all such like, but it is the construction that is made here that makes it
all the more interesting. Sure, this is at times quite a loud record, but it is best played at some
considerable volume and make the quieter bits come alive also, and don't let those disappear in
absence. This is yet another excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Who would've thought the greats and giants of for example the 17th century were destined for
such greatness, when just looking at their output in the first 17 years of the 100-year period?
Exactly. It's kind of hard to tell. That doesn't mean one can't give it a try. And a thorough one,
quite informed too that is, as with Anthology Of Lithuanian Art Music In The 21st Century as
curated by Frank J. Oteri who also wrote the very informative accompanying texts that go with
these two discs.
    Oteri has selected works for Lithuanian composers following a set of rules that excludes
names, which may be a bit less unknown, but manages to include surprising works by the non-
household names. Also: what's superb about this compilation is the fact all scores are included;
these works can therewith be played by anyone who can read music across the world – virtually,
also, on any given instrument for the selection has tried to make sure the compositions are not
too based on outré technology or any fixed instrumental medium.
    Oteri provides us with a selection that carries a coherence that brims with the heart and soul
of Lithuania; there are threads to be found to ritual and folk music, religious and historic elements,
but there's also an avid push forward in these works; an avant-gardism worn proudly on the sleeve.
Moving from works for brass ensemble or extraordinary duo settings to choral pieces, Oteri
presents a vivid selection that touches not only on a wide variety of musical genres, styles,
technical modes et cetera, but also manages to pull on a vast multitude of emotional strings.
    This compilation takes time to sink in; to find personal favourites. And then the fun really
starts in the hunt for more of these composers. And: in playing the works yourself. Or: to have
these performed. Also, in his introduction Oteri mentions lots of composers who were not included,
many of who are very much so worth searching for. From stabbing and jarring rasping strings to
minimalist pulses or plaintive song and mournful romanticism Anthology Of Lithuanian Art Music
In The 21st Century manages to disquiet, challenge, surprise and soothe in equal measure. At the
moment we can't tell whether these composers (and the ones mentioned but not featured) are
destined to become the new Haydn or Bach or Mozart or Wagner or Pärt. That's mostly for
hindsight to decide. We live now. This music lives now and in this conjunction we rejoice in the
fact that we can now hear the wealth of forward moving music from Lithuania in full glory. (SSK)
––– Address:


Following his 'come-back' album 'The Cleaner' (reviewed in Vital Weekly 1071), there is already a
new album by Kazuya Ishigami, erstwhile working as Daruin, and was a member of AdC~/DaC~ and
Billy? In the biographical note that comes with 'Canceller X' none of this mentioned, but it mentions
his training at INA-GRM in Paris 91997) and lists (serious, mind you) radio stations who played his
work since then. Maybe he is building a new profile as a serious composer? And perhaps that's why
he released this on a new label of his (before he ran Neus-318')? I am not sure, I must say, but
maybe a chance of scenery does wonders? There is a text enclosed but it's all in Japanese, so
without any clues for me. The music here seems to have developed from laptop bending and
reshaping into something that explores single sound events more and becoming more drone
affairs, but still using quite a bit of transformations that the computer offers; maybe a whole
bunch of INA-GRM plug-ins perhaps? The usual timeframe for a composition is somewhere between
three and seven minutes and he has fourteen of these, which I would think is perhaps four or five
too many. Just because a CD can hold 80 minutes of music, it is not necessary to fill them all, I'd
say. But unlike with his previous release, where I thought some of his pieces were too long, here
they can stand more easily the test of the given time. In fact, I would argue, that some of these
could have been a bit longer even, exploring the minimal textures a bit further than this. Sometimes
Ishigami sounded like Asmus Tietchens of earlier this century (in 'Bad Memory' for instance), or
from before that (in 'Bug Memory' or many other pieces) showing he has an interesting stance on
such notions as 'musique concrete' or 'ambient' and how these are related to each other. There is
some excellent sonic treatment going on here and I'd say Ishigami delivered his best release so far,
albeit a bit of a long one. (FdW)
––– Address:


There is a fine line between ambient, drone and new age music, and most of the times when I
mention this it is to say that a certain release is coming very closely the world of new age, but
stays on the right side; there is that spicy bit, that rough edge, those weird treatments. With
John Kameel Farah, from Toronto and Berlin and a former student of Terry Riley, I am less sure.
"Farah now focuses primarily on his own creative hybrid of improvisation, composition and
electronic music. Still active as a pianist, he often mixes classical works into his programs, with
a special passion for the music of William Byrd and other renaissance keyboard composers.
Simultaneously using piano, synthesizer, computer, and at times harpsichord and organ, his solo
performances exist between the worlds of the concert hall and the electronic producer, mixing
forays into experimental improvisation, jazz, electro–acoustics, middle-eastern modes and rhythms
with electronic genres such as Techno and Drum & Bass." A long quote from the website, but
that's because I am chewing on the music here. It is all very melodic, very dramatic, maximalist
minimalism if you get my drift, but also sugar sweet in it's use of piano sounds, strings (from a
synthesizer it seems) and the extended use of reverb to suggest more and more atmosphere.
Topped with a cover that shows us some nebulae, I realized that this is all too new agey for me.
The iTunes tag of 'new age' should have acted as a warning, I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:


At the moment I’m helping emptying a house where somebody lived, who never threw anything
away. This week I came across a few old books with Dutch folksongs. Some of the titles rang a
bell, sometimes I even vaguely remembered a melody. But in most cases I absolutely had no clue.
This illustrates what is happening with this heritage. It disappears. So a brave effort what Fuchs
and her companions present us with their ‘Linden’-album. They interpret a selection of - totally
never heard off  - old Dutch folk tunes. What was the intention? To revive old songs, searching
for a new relevance? Or to vitalize the praxis of improvised music by injecting a portion of out-
dated songs and see what happens? Or both? Anyway, Fuchs sings the original melodic lines and
adds improvised, non-verbal singing. Mete Erker (saxophone, bass clarinet) and Jeroen Van Vliet
(piano, electronics) supply a moody context. Fuchs, who originates from Switzerland, sings the
original texts almost without an accent. It is a funny effect to hear the lyrics that echo long
forgotten times, combined with tasty, jazzy arrangements. And it really works! Fuchs sings very
playful, smooth and flexible, and always with respect for the old lyrics. Van Vliet and Eker underline
with a fine sense for proportion, often creating a sensual atmosphere. Well done.
    What Kristina Fuchs and her companions did with ‘Linden’, taking old Dutch folk tunes as a
starting point for improvisation, so do Schmoliner and Kakaliagou with their project ‘Nabelöse’. In
their case they use old Greek and Austrian folk tunes and tales. This duo started their collaboration
in February 2016 during a shared artist in residence stay in St.Johann, Austria. This stay turned
out very fruitful and already in June 2016 they recorded material in St. Johann that is now released
by the Berlin-based label Corvo. Schmoliner and Kakaliagou know each already for many years. Both
are part of the trio PARA. Both are active in a variety of projects on improvised and contemporary
music. The opening track ‘To be given up‘ opens with a very long, slowed down intro before
Kakaliagou starts to sing a Greek ‘bluesy’ song. A very fine and delicate interaction between
Kakaliagou on French horn and Schmoliner on prepared piano. Also the title track ‘Nabelöse’ is
based on a Greek song and is of a similar beauty. Both ‘Goldgefühlter Lippenrand’ and
‘Schlangenfrau’, have repetitive patterns played by piano and prepared piano at the core.
Supplemented by sparse improvisations on French horn and voice, that remains at some distance.
With their extended techniques they create very soulful music, showing that the sound spectrums
of French horn and (prepared) piano, make a beautiful combination. Although the music unfolds on
an abstract level, melody and song-format are continuously suggested in most of the
improvisations. A surprising album. (DM)
––– Address:
––– Address:

HAMPUS LINDWALL & LEIF ELGGREN – ATTEMPT NO. 6 (LP by Firework Edition Records)

On this LP we hear the live-recorded results of a cooperation between Swedish organist Hampus
Lindwall and the Stockholm-based artists Joakim Forsgren and Leif Elggren, with the Werkleitz
Gesellschaft e.V. in Halle (Saale), Germany. The performance was the centrepiece of the Werkleitz
Festival 2016. Titled Trans-Positionen, the festival addressed and researched the power of
imagination associated with and involved in radio broadcasting and reception with the listener.
The 'concert' was live broadcasted on Resonance FM in London in 2016. In two fragments of
close to twenty minutes, the performance has now been issued gloriously on LP, with extensive
and very insightful remarks by festival curator Martin Hartung.
    Lindwall and Elggren dive into the world of EVP's. These phenomena of traces of voices
appearing on recordings of received radio waves (and not in the recording process itself, but only
noticeable in playback) have been thoroughly researched by first and foremost Friedrich Jürgenson
and Konstantin Raudive in the late 50's. The researches amassed a wealth of tapes like a Tower of
Babble – voices speaking in tongues, gibberish maybe, but also – at sometimes extremely short
instances – clearly audible fragments of speech in multitudes of (forgotten) languages. There is
ample evidence of something happening, being recorded, not being interferences or static forming
clumps of noise which the brain then translates into recognizable clusters it manages to identify
as speech. Researches like these beg the question towards opening up to imagination; making
room for adventures of the mysterious kind.
    Are these voices vocal communications for the other side? Are we hearing the dead speak
volumes, however hushed? We very well might be. And when the dead are here with us to
communicate through these technical radio means, does that not put upon us the notion of
respect and humbleness, kindness and empathy towards them, towards all that surrounds us
we normally do not perceive, hear, see? For the dead, they greatly out number the living. There's
so much to learn from them if only we'd be open to be privy to what goes on in the in-between
zone – the trans-position, the trans; on the borderline itself, the threshold of communication.
    Leif Elggren has been working with alternative possibilities and dimensions for understanding
the world and other people throughout his long and winding career. He has joined forces in the
field of EVP-experimentation with fellow travellers such as Michael Esposito and Carl Michael von
Hausswolff – the latter also the maintainer of the Audioscopic Research Archive of Jürgenson.
Now, for Attempt No. 6 he works with Hampus Lindwall – organist of Église du Saint-Esprit in
Paris and artist Joachim Forsgren. The attempt, the aim, the proposition is to bring together
Bach and Händel in a resonant, musical dialog in the Church of St. Moritz in Halle (Saale).
    Both composers worked for a time in close vicinity but there is no personal meeting between
the two greats. Historical facts, musicological data aside; Lindwall and Elggren work with the most
humane of touches, through the organ and custom built electronics to set the scene for a possible
meeting of minds and souls. The resulting performance is one in which organ works by both Bach
and Händel are juxtaposed with improvised interlude; a vivid musical mix in defence of everything
that is ambivalent, uncertain and unusual, especially when Elggren's interferences are interjected
into the clearly musical material.
    Planes shift, dimensions rotate, temporal movements slow down or stretch out in strange
convoluted ways. The aural representations etched into the grooves of this record extend way
beyond any known materiality (just like proposed contact with the other side does). This is a
performance of doubt and of doing away with common notions. Close or far-away melt into one
point of sonic vision – the horizon collapsed into the point of a needle: sharp, bleeding sharp,
threading together disparate elements as interface and mediator. The listener as an active
protagonist in this experiment, this research, the concert or performance too: in this inclusive
realm of experience beyond witnessing – a realm full of possibilities. Even and too: of establishing
contact between Bach and Händel; ever so close, closer still, moving through the din of radio
waves piercing thin air. (SSK)
––– Address:

AUME - ELEMENTAL (DVD/CD by Mobilization)

Following the first release, the LP 'Augere Urendum Mentis Epode' (see Vital Weekly 1045), here
is the second release by Aleph Omega and Scott Jenerik's project and this time contains a blue
ray DVD and a CDR. It is a thirty-six minute work, which is a combination of two films 'Appellio
Undusionus Munduys Exquisitus' ('summoning the resounding waves of a universe exquisite')
and 'As Above, So Below', so both of these deal with natural elements as shown in the film,
although the latter is a thing from the world of Alchemy (as far as I know). There are lots of
shots of mountains, earth, sea waves and air (I would think; of 'from air') from different angles
and rotating cameras, which makes this sometimes a strange and hallucinating thing to watch,
but the quality is really good; lots of detail in these shots, and powerful colours. Sometimes these
images are treated but everything happens with a slow pace, which adds to the drone like character
of the movie. It is a video that fits the music very well; or vice versa of course. On the previous
release drums seemed to be playing a big part but on the music here (split into three pieces on
the CDR, each with a separate title), it seems to be absent, and it all deals more with sustaining
tones of guitars and voices, no doubt helped to great extent by the use of electronics. In the first
ten or so minutes the music is forcefully loud, with a massive cascading wave of guitar sounds,
but in the second there are some far away voices and organ like sounds and everything drops in
volume to a level that quiet and subdued and the third part is a meeting half way. The ambient
industrial heritage is never far away in this music (zoviet*france as before springs to mind). Music
and video are best enjoyed, I would think, when played loud and watched in a completely darkened
room, preferable on a big screen and in surround sound. Not that I have any of that of course, but
it is not difficult to see how that would work out best for this. It must be a total immersion
    The cover is 'Lichtenberg Figures electrically etched into a handcrafted wood gatefold cover.
Each one is unique' and because of that there are only 81 copies made, which sounds like a pre-
programmed collectors item. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here's an odd coincidence; just last week I was in Jaap Blonk's hometown Arnhem and his name
came up in conversation. Everybody agreed that periods of activity are followed by periods of
hardly any, or least not that we see, but that he's probably on an ever-lasting tour, mostly in the
USA. His previous active period, when it comes to releasing music was about two years ago. This
new release deals with the Berlin subway. Blonk misread the Fehrbelliner Strasse as Fehlberliner
Strasse, meaning something like mistaken Berlin Street. And as these things happen, he can never
read it properly again. But it also kick started a sound piece that he created in the audio gallery
'Ohrenhoch, der Geräuschladen', in which he uses all the names of Berlin subway lines, reading,
singing, chanting them along with electronic sounds, from a computer or modular set-up. The
listing of names and train noises is not new; think The KLF 'It's Grim Up North' or The Hypothetical
Prophets' 'Back To Siberia' but they were songs, now it's an album, all about the subway and in
Berlin. Nine relatively short pieces of some pretty intense electronic sound and Blonk's ever so
flexible voice chanting these subway stops in a way only he seems to be able to do. Like with
some of his other recent music computer processing plays an important role in this music, even
when it's unclear for me how it works exactly.  From time to time one is reminded of serious
electronic composition, bleeping about, but at other times it almost becomes a song structure,
such as in 'U4' (the only piece with repeating words). It is all very consistent and beautiful. Blonk
once again shows his ability to do what he does best, using his voice, but also slowly changing his
approach to creating. This time it's voice and electronics on an equal level. I am not sure why the
tenth piece is enclosed; an eleven-minute piece of computer voices naming all the subway stops in
berlin. Perhaps one thought that twenty-eight minutes wasn't long enough for a release? The
booklet however (A5/24 pages) however looks beautiful and more than justifies this as an art
release. Limited to 150 copies. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (CDR by Rhizome.s)

The way I understand this that we have here three split releases, and that in each of them a theme
is explored, 'Interpretations' (of a piece composed by somebody else than the performer),
'Continuity' and 'Etudes', in both cases as performed by the player, but no doubt according some
sort of score.
    On 'Interpretations' we start out with two pieces, so it seems, performed at the same time.
'Zwischen (for two strings)' by Eva-Marie Houben and Les Jours, Mon Aubepine (for solo piano) by
Michael Pisaro, as performed by Elynor Freyss and Joshua Adam Acosta. This could have been split
into the stereo spectrum, but if I am not wrong it isn't. It has a fine acoustic quality to it, very
direct and very much in alive; seeing Pisaro composed this, I expected something with a lot of
silence, but that's not the case, even when the second two-thirds of the piece is way quieter than
the first ten minutes. There are some occasional outbursts of sound in there, which gives the
whole thing a rather surprising touch. Not as quiet as I expected by most enjoyable throughout.
The other piece is 'Ruzawi' by Lance Austin Olsen, which was also reviewed in Vital Weekly 1059,
so I suggest that you back there and read what the piece is all about. Back then it was performed
three times, by Bruno Duplant on organ and electronics, Ryoko Akama on electronics and Olsen
himself on amplified (broken) kinetic sculpture and guitar, this time it is performed by Duplant and
Daniel Jones together and no instruments are mentioned. Maybe because none were used? As per
instruction in the score, which is about a heartless place growing up as a youngster, the piece here
is very dark and sad, with what could be rain sounds and walking around in the dark (and in rain),
but there is throughout all sorts of small changes happening and it has a spooky character for
sure, but perhaps that's because I know the story behind the composition.
    David Velez has a forty-three minute piece that is 'repetitive and predictable music meant to
be gradually unnoticed', which I guess depends all on the volume you're using for playback. If it is
loud enough it will hardly get gradually unnoticed, I think. And perhaps it has also to do with your
level of perceiving this, and how much effort you want to go in there. If you listen closely it might
became boring or maybe all the more fascinating. I have not really an idea what I am listening to,
but it seems to be some kind of field recording going through some electronic device, looped but
with minimal changes going back and forth all the time. Played at a somewhat lower volume this
surely has some very nice ambient results. Louder I am not so sure, actually. Which actually might
be the same for Pedro Chambel's five pieces. These are distinctly more electronic, or perhaps the
field recording sank away to a level that we no longer detect, but if you play this loud you will
notice the minimalism better, but also the harshness, which might be the whole point of course.
For a continuous listening that works fine, but it can be annoying as well, I think.
    And finally there is 'Etudes', seven by Pierre Gerard and forty-two by Bruno Duplant. The
Gerard pieces use sound sources from Luigi Turra, "sounds of two acoustic instruments, a
stringed instrument and a wind instrument", plus cello from Pierre Gerard. I am not sure if he in
anyway transformed the sounds of Turra, or whether he simply plays along with them. It might
very well be the latter thing, but who knows, maybe not? It is not easy to tell judging by the
music. Music that is very silent throughout this, with very sparsely distributed sounds, and very
few occasional bursts of digital interruption. It's some very demanding or very meditative music,
depending on how you wish to approach this. There is no additional information regarding the
Duplant piece, which is subtitled 'sans paysage', which means 'without landscape', perhaps
referring to the fact there is no field recordings used? Or maybe something like that, as I believe
to something of that kind. Again I might be wrong (information, you might have guessed this, is
not really forthcoming), but this is, unlike Gerard, not really quiet and actually quite present. I
didn't count but these twenty-five minutes are indeed chopped up into smaller pieces, of buzzing
electricity, faulty wiring and electro-magnetic pick-up, rusty doorbells and who knows what else.
It hears very much as one work and not as forty-two small ones. One long etude perhaps?
    All three are fine examples of modern composed music and the practice of improvisation. (FdW)
––– Address:


While I am not sure if this is a CDR or a CD, or tape, or download, it is definitely a CDR what I have
here, but some sort of promo edition (read those guidelines please). The information is printed
on the inside and so I know now that it is dreamSTATE, a Canadian ambient duo of Scott McGregor
Moore and Jamie Todd and Heiki is Heiki Sillaste, once a member of Digital Poodle, Kinder Atom
(both names I haven't heard in a long time) and Lazer Caps. I never realized Sillaste released over
'45 synthesizer-based records since 1987'. The music here was recorded live at Christ's Church
Cathedral, and used here as the source. Grooves were eliminated and added where recordings of
field recordings made by Moore from Heiki's cottage, along with stones and rocks from the beach.
Elsewhere I write about the thin line between ambient music and new age music and here's one
that stays on the right side of things; right for me of course. This is the kind of ambient music
that is also mind expanding but it comes with that much needed rough edge, like the sound of
wind on barren land in 'Laurentide'. No effects are being spared in this music and the synthesizers,
guitars and field recordings are treated with reverb, delay, chorus, flangers, some mild distortion
and much more, like there is no end to this. In 'Secret Shore' everything is building up to a might
chorus line of a massive wave rolling ashore. This forcefully played ambient/drone music is best
served on a colder day, a rainy day and with a volume that makes your home rumble. That is the
only option you have. (FdW)
––– Address:

GARETH JS THOMAS - WANDSWORTH SPORTS (cassette by Aphelion Editions)

"Jazz and classical motifs are refracted by physical audio manipulation through a tapestry of
tones", the label writes about the release by Microdeform, of whom I had not heard before and
know nothing about, other than it's one L. McConaghy, using 'turntable, mixer, fx pedals, and
DAW, which is listed on the cover, but whose 'Neural Regression' seems to be the second release.
I must say it starts out pretty interesting with sounds through some delay, drums and saxophones
and I kind off hoped it would be along the lines of 'Six Empty Places' by A Tent from the early 80s.
It has that same mysterious character. It is not to be, unfortunately. In the eight pieces
Microdeform likes to feed all sorts of sounds lifted from vinyl sources through one or more echo
devices and that brings a slightly rhythmic feeling to the music, in steady pace, that at the same
time is also very atmospheric. I was easily connecting this to early zoviet*france but comparing
them to Microdeform I must admit that the latter looses out in the competition. The setting on
the echo devices and the similarities on the input side remained too similar in approach for me
and it seemed to me that in these eight pieces the variations are a bit too minimal for me. Similar
approach towards the input, similar when it comes processing and while that being so, I must
admit I also enjoyed this, doing some other work. In the whole genre of 'ambient/atmospheric/
industrial' Microdeform are doing something I don't hear a lot (vinyl abuse, lots of sound effects)
and after that I had an odd urge to re-visit some old zoviet*france music.
    On cassette we find music from one Gareth JS Thomas, who is known for his other musical
projects such as USA Nails, Silent Front, Mayors Of Miyazaki, all of whom I don't think I heard
before, and who brings us here five pieces of music in thirty minutes, ranging from two to eight
minutes. It is music that not easily is described in a few terms, as Thomas bounces all over the
place. I noted hearing a bit of noise, some rhythmic stuff, plunderphonics through the use of
samples from movie or TV dialogues, ambient and drones. It is to me a bit unclear what Thomas
wants with this diversity in approach. Is he trying to show off the various styles in which he wants
to operate, or perhaps this has all to do with telling a story (but if so, what's the story?) I liked
his ambient approach, un 'Metros' for instance, which has some rusty swing in the playground
and broken up string sounds in a haunted house soundtrack, but 'Acid Dick', the closing piece
with TV talk, rhythm 'n noise, is probably meant to be funny, but I don't get the joke. The
minimalist rhythm of 'Go Home' I liked better. Whatever the intentions are, the end result partly
was enjoyable and partly a bit annoying; a bit like listening to the radio I guess, with lots of
different music, and sometimes good and other times a lot less. (FdW)
––– Address:

MAP 71 - GLORIOSA (cassette by Fourth Dimension)

From Discogs I learned that MAP 71 is a duo of "a collaboration between poet and artist Lisa Jayne
and drummer Andy Pyne (Kellar, Medicine & Duty, Black Neck Band of the Common Loon, West Hill
Blast Quartet)", with some releases on Foolproof Projects and one on Blue Tapes. I had not heard
of them before and there is not much else on the cover of this cassette as for information. I
assume that words are of importance here, and you know me and words; I very rarely pay attention
to them. So I couldn't say what this is about, even if I would. Perhaps I am slightly distracted by
the odd way this all sounds. There is something definitely lo-fi about this, which I enjoyed quite a
bit. The way it starts out with 'Red Mass' sounded like a Throbbing Gristle live bootleg; recorded in
a concrete basement with some sonic overload on the recorder. That is not how this goes in all of
these pieces, as some other are more defined in the way that words are heard and drums sounding
like drums, and not like a rumble. But I very much believe all of this was recorded live and there is
something 'New Zealand' about this. Partly because of the recording, but also how the music is
performed. To quite some extent all of this is raw and it is all about the intention of the sounds
and not about the skills with which this is performed. Without being loud or distorted per se this
is the kind of rockist agenda music I enjoyed quite a bit. All of this is sufficiently weird and that
is sometimes enough, I'd say. (FdW)
––– Address:

LEO DUPLEIX & LAURI HYVARINEN/RADIODA (split cassette by Spina! Rec)
  LAPSHIN & RAMON PRATS (split cassette by Spina! Rec)
OHR/SERGEY KOSTYRKO & ALEXANDER ZAITSEV (split cassette by Spina! Rec)

Three new releases by Spina! Rec from St. Petersburg and they are all split releases. The first one
has on the first side a duet for guitar, played by Lauri Hyvärinen and Leo Dupleix on laptop and
contact microphone. We had a double CD by the latter just two weeks ago, but this one is a bit
different and that's mainly due to the fact that in this improvisation there is also a 'real'
instruments and both players seem perfectly comfortable with the other and complement each
other pretty well. Dupleix plays his hiss and rumble in a gentle way and on very few occasions he
goes up a bit in volume, but it's never loud or distorted. Hyvärinen's guitar plays mostly sustaining
notes (I guess with an e-bow) and sometimes more like a resonating object. The other side has
music by Polish brothers Piotr and Mikołaj Tkacz, who work as Radioda, which, as the name may
imply already, use radios as the only source of sounds. I am not sure if this 'live' or perhaps layered
together using a multi-track program, layered the best fragments. Also I am not sure if they use
sound effects; I would believe they do. The music is way more present than that on the other side
of the cassette, with all of these transmissions picked up. It seems that there is a bit looped here
and there to create something a bit more rhythmical, and through which runs the other radio
material, voices, bits of pop music, sometimes a bit off course so it comes with a natural distortion.
It's nothing new of course, to use radio sounds but this twenty-five minute piece has enough
interesting and musical events, improvised or otherwise, to hold one's interest, which I guess is
    The second split has the most musicians, three per side. On the first side there is Luis Lopes,
Portuguese guitarist, while on tour in Russia, playing with Ilia Belorukov (alto saxophone,
electronics) and Konstantin Samolovov (drums). I know Belorukov's music, but not the other two
(I think) and in their twenty-five minutes they explore the realms of free jazz in the best traditions
that music has. On two occasions it explodes into mayhem and noise, but in between and around
that they show that they can be calm and examine their instruments and some super quiet
improvisations. A wild ride, all of this, but it has some great energy. On the other two Spanish
musicians coming to Russia and teaming with Dmitriy Lapshin from Brom band. He plays the
upright bass and Albert Cirera is on soprano and tenor saxophone while Ramon Prats handles
the drums. If the previous side was free jazz, than this is even more jazz, free as well, but a very
acoustic and very traditional. I must say that this sort of traditional wild saxophone excursions
is not really my cup of tea. It is all well-played no doubt but not my thing.
    More my 'thang' is the music from Ohr, who presents his debut release here. I would believe
that he has a set-up of modular synthesizers and to which he adds some field recordings. The
result is some very powerful drone music; not loud per se, but present and very spacious as well.
Yet, this is not music to float by, dream away, but one that keeps you listening, full on
concentration. The field recordings add an estranged element to the music. At first I thought it
was a mistake, then I thought it came from outside my room and then I realized it was in the
music by Ohr. Maybe named after the label with such much Kosmische music in the seventies,
this Ohr is surely no rip off artist, rehashing old ideas. Excellent debut. The other side is no debut
as both musicians have been reviewed before, Kostyrko more so than Zaitsev. Here modular
synthesizers also play an important role, along with the Elektron, a digital synthesizer. The music
they create is not so much drone like, although not without drones, but more remotely present,
sitting next to a very minimal beat that is on top of the music. It is not a very coherent beat, i.e.
the one you can dance too, but rather chaotic and randomized. Following that excellent side by
Ohr, I'd say this is a bit of a let down. In itself the music is not bad but in competition not a
winner. (FdW)
––– Address:

From: Frans de Waard <>

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