number 1089
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week 27
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DUBIT - VITRIOL (CD by Backwards) *
MICHAEL PISARO/HAKON STENE & KRISTINE TJØGERSEN - ASLEEP, STREET, PIPES, TONES
  (CD by Hubro) *
THE IMMERSIVE PROJECT (CD by Spezialmaterial/Staubgold) *
JEFFREY RODEN - THREADS OF A PRAYER VOLUME 2 (2CD by Solaire Records) *
ZEITKRATZER & ELLIOTT SHARP - ONEIRIKA (CD by Zeitkratzer) *
ZEITKRATZER/SVETLANA SPAJIC/DRAGANA TOMIC.OBRAD MILIC - SERBIAN WAR SONGS
  (CD by Zeitkratzer) *
FOVEA HEX - THE SALT GARDEN II (10"/CDEP by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust) *
CAKEWALK – ISHIHARA (CD by Hubro)
STEPHAN MEIDELL – METRICS (CD by Hubro)
VAN BINSBERGEN PLAYSTATION – TALES WITHOUT WORDS (CD by Brokken Records)
AREK GULBENKOGLU - THREE DAYS AFTERWARDS (LP by Penultimate Press)
COSTIS DRYGIANAKIS/LAMBROS ZAFEIROPOULOS - κ/λ (LP by Hxoi Kato Apo To Spiti)
JONI ATARI - PUSARA DIGITAL (CDR by Gempita Rekod) *
AMBASCE - MAGNETIC DOMAIN (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
LDX#40 - STRUGGLING (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
RE-DRUM & LIMITED LIABILITY SOUNDS & EMERGE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
KH'LULU - SHORT LETTERS FOR A LONG SEPARATION (cassette by Attenuation Circuit) *
I'VE SEEN DEMONS (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
DAN OF EARTH - THANK YOU FOR THE PICKLES- LU (C20 by FTAM)
THE RITA + BREAKING THE WILL + FLESH TRADE + WRITHE
X MEANS NOT WELCOME, VOL. II (2 x C20 by FTAM)



DUBIT - VITRIOL (CD by Backwards)

While I am not entirely sure what Dubit means, it is the musical project of Pier Alfeo and on his
website he shares some pictures of his set-up, at home I assume, which includes laptops, snare
instruments, a dismantled drum kit, but also an ancient four track recorder. No guitar as far as
I can see but judging by the music on 'Vitriol' I could have sworn there is some form guitar in
here somewhere. Dubit has a previous full length on Several Reasons Recordings, but also a
bunch of online singles and EPs. However this is my first introduction to his music. I am not
sure if his set-up suggests anything really, but to be served with quite a bit of rhythm, out of
a variety of drum machines, is perhaps not what I expected. These rhythms are not thumping
4/4 stompers because Dubit adds quite a bit of effects to his rhythms, so they are very layered
and driven, but at times also a bit messy; not exactly dance floor material, I'd say. On top of that
he waves together a closely knit pattern of equally effect-heavy drone material, lots of stringed
sounds and at times it is of course completely without rhythm, and it is all about mood. And
the mood is dark to say the least. Everything is pitched down, there is lots of reverb to suggest
atmosphere and the whole thing sounds like a nocturnal trip; dark ambient but not strictly just
droning the night away. Think some of the more mellow music on Cold Meat Industry and some
of the more forceful microsound artists and top it off with a bit of rhythm. Ten pieces here, all
of which is a bit long, I think. With a total length of seventy-four minutes this is surely a overlong
and some of the weaker brothers could have been left out and at fifty minutes this would have
been, overall, more powerful statement.; perhaps more than it is now, but you could always do
 your selection of course. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.backwards.it/releases/



MICHAEL PISARO/HAKON STENE & KRISTINE TJØGERSEN - ASLEEP, STREET, PIPES, TONES
  (CD by Hubro)

Of course Pisaro is here the composer of the piece, and Stene and Tjøgersen are the performers.
Perhaps you know Pisaro is part of the Wandelweiser group of composers, of mostly quiet
compositions and usually for instruments. Here he has a composition that is part of his 'asleep'
series, which offer a different state for the listener, we perceive the world differently. This is the
second piece from the series and it contains street sounds, pipes and tones. The first is clear,
automobile sounds, pipes are to be understood as organ samples, both of which are used an
electronic assemblage, as Pisaro calls it, and tones are the ones produces by the two musicians.
Hakon Stene plays 'Godin and Moog electric guitars, bowed piano, field recordings' and Kristine
Tjøgersen plays 'bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet'. I didn't feel any urge to lie down and try
and take a nap, as what I heard for these sixty-two minutes was simply great music, best enjoyed
when fully awake. The way everything melts together in a seemingly natural way made perfect
sense. The music is dedicated to Phill Niblock, and that might be some clue as to where this all
goes, music-wise, and yes, sustaining and continuous tones are very well part of it all, but there
are seventeen pieces here, and it's not only long piece broken up, but effectively it shifts back
and forth between 'small sounds' of pipe organ samples, wind blowing through pipes, going up
via street sounds to more massive blocks of sound of the instruments, but they too alter between
'somewhat loud' and 'mildly loud'. None of this sounds the same very much as all of this appears
in various configurations, sounding highly organic, even when the sounds seem to be so radically
different. As said they way all of this is melted together works really well. In a way one could say
there is most certainly a relaxing quality to the music, even when you decide to be fully awake
and present. This is an excellent release! (FdW)
––– Address: http://hubromusic.com/



THE IMMERSIVE PROJECT (CD by Spezialmaterial/Staubgold)

This is something weird, and perhaps because it is also quite normal. I know that may seem like a
contradiction in terms. The Immersive Project is a duo of Holger Mertin, a percussion player from
Cologne, who works here with Michael 'Koko' Eberli from Zurich, who works with computers, be it
with a duo called person of bands as Sissikontest and God Loves Fags. Mertin worked with Jaki
Liebeszeit and Eberhart Kranemann, the former Kraftwerk musician (one of the founding members,
who left early on, so maybe that's why you never heard of him; the name didn't much to me, and I
read Pascal Bussy's book). The record starts off in a great way that made me raise an eyebrow (I
had not yet read the press text either). A sort of bossa nova rhythm, electronic sounds, some far
away voice; I thought someone tried to sound like Yello, but as I quickly learned in the following
pieces, rhythm of whatever kind plays an all important role and in general this is in a sort minimalist,
motorik krautrock fashion. This is not very strict minimalism, as Mertin adds a fine swing to the
music, whereas as Eberli spins all sorts of samples around that. In 'Pizzifikatto' for instance the
sound of a violins and guitars, but also a more rocky guitar in 'Blauwer', voices in 'Hilo', which
features Kranemann on more drums, adding more groove in the electronic section as well (and
ready for the dance floor this is!), this CD moves from great idea to funny silly, light hearted
tunes, to introspective moods ('Regenmann') and the twelve pieces captured here are a varied
bunch, but one that is a fine journey. Here we have some very skilled musicians at work and
altogether it is an excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address: http://spezialmaterial.ch



JEFFREY RODEN - THREADS OF A PRAYER VOLUME 2 (2CD by Solaire Records)

This is not the first time I review the music of Jeffrey Roden, the last time being the first volume
of Threads Of A Prayer', back in Vital Weekly 1058, erroneously already called Volume 2 back then.
This time around no expenses are spared and we get a slip case with a thirty-six page booklet,
featuring an overview of his discography by Tobias Fischer, who also conducted an interview with
the composer, artist biographies of those who play the pieces and lovely, sparse design by Rutger
Zuydervelt. Like I wrote last week about the new release by Florian Wittenburg, and on previous
occasions with this kind of music, no matter how much I like what I hear, my musical knowledge
is very insufficient to review this kind of modern classical music, no matter how many booklets
are added to the release. The music is very quiet and introspective; more than half the release is
filled with solo piano music. The other pieces are violin, double bass and timpani and one for violin,
double bass and organ, but throughout the fifty-four minutes of music on this disc, it is all deals
with the sounds between the silences, of which there is quite a bit. Music that leaves you much
time to contemplate, meditate, rest or read; I am not sure what Roden himself would prefer, but
I would not be surprised that he would feel this very much up to the listener to decide how he
takes the music in, reading about his own listening experiences from the sixties. This is a beautiful
CD, even if I could no tell you why; not at all really. (FdW)
––– Address: http://solairerecords.com



ZEITKRATZER & ELLIOTT SHARP - ONEIRIKA (CD by Zeitkratzer)
ZEITKRATZER/SVETLANA SPAJIC/DRAGANA TOMIC.OBRAD MILIC - SERBIAN WAR SONGS
  (CD by Zeitkratzer)

Already in 1997 New York music legend Elliott Sharp worked with Zeitkratzer and there have been
two releases of him with the boss of the ensemble, Reinhold Friedl, and of which one, 'Anostalgia',
was reviewed in Vital Weekly 325. Here we have a live recording from 2014 when Zeitkratzer
performed 'Oneirika', a composition by Sharp. The piece is named 'after the Greek waking dream',
and is "inspired by the cage-an tradition, and, with its score making use of Sharp's innovative
method to filter and process his self-generated musical manuscripts via Photoshop, leaves a
great interpretatory latitude to the performers", but it's not an improvisation, Sharp says. I
wouldn't have minded seeing what such a score would look like. The result is a forty-seven
minute piece of music, divided in ten parts. The music is very much like one expect from
Zeitkratzer; dense playing, somewhere on the border of modern classical and improvised,
dramatic most of the times and sometimes even a bit rhythmical, such as the loud fourth part,
which is followed by a much more introspective part actually, so we can see them move around
the musical material and come up with something that is, as always I'd say, worthwhile hearing.
It is the work's some of the more 'traditional' piece, part 4 and 9 for instance, that make this
slightly different from your usual Zeitkratzer release, and it's certainly another excellent work,
if perhaps at times also something you may already know from them.
    Of an entirely different nature are the 'Serbian War Songs', which were selected by Svetlana
Spajic (who is called here 'probably the most acknowledged expert for traditional songs in S
erbia) along with Reinhold Friedl and sung by her, as well as Dragana Tomic and Obrad Milic, who
also plays 'diple and gusle'. Milic also contributes 'Assassination In Sarajevo', which he learned
from his father, 'a famous gusla player at the beginning of the 20oth century'. In the booklet
we find the lyrics, full of sadness and terror and war is hell, which is something we may never
learn. The twelve songs are performed with great care and style. It is sung beautifully, full of
passion and power, and Zeitkratzer does a wonderful job playing the music. As these are songs,
each has it's own unique character and it is not an on going affair (such as the release with Sharp
for instance). The music is also, so it seems to me, less abstract and more 'musical' if you will.
Sometimes threatening dark, sometimes eerily quiet (like post-battlefield apocalypse) and
sometimes full of anger, despair and madness, such as in the powerful opening 'When The
Clouds Come From The Sea', in which fiery percussion plays an all-important role. At times I
was reminded of Dead Can Dance but then performing 'Carmina Burana' if that makes any sense.
This is a truly powerful work, and again something a bit different from their usual work. I hope
they do more of this traditional folk music in the Zeitkratzer fashion. (FdW)
––– Address: http://zeitkratzer.de



FOVEA HEX - THE SALT GARDEN II (10"/CDEP by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust)

Following the first instalment of 'The Salt Garden' (see Vital Weekly 1024), here's the second
one, coming again in the form of a 10" on Steven Wilson's Headphone Dust label, a CD on Die
Stadt and in a limited edition with a bonus CD by Abul Mogard. This time around Clodagh Simonds
gets musical help from Michael Begg, Colin Potter, Laura Sheeran, Cora Venus Lunny and Kate Ellis
with special guests Brain Eno and Justin Grounds, some of them part of the usual line up. Central
in everything that is Fovea Hex is the voice of Simonds, folk like, hauntingly beautiful voice and
someone who does not always like vocal music says that. The musical accompaniment is sparse,
stripped to the bone but in the opening piece 'You Were There' there is even a bit of rhythm;
perhaps for the first time and in 'All Those Signs' there are multiple voices to be heard, like a
gospel song. Maybe, so I was thinking, this is some Brian Eno influence, who loves gospel music?
Maybe he even sings along? Oddly enough all the electronics at work here to create the space
that is the music, it sounds very ancient and probably very alien as well. Like the heavens open
up and choir of angels sing in a mediaeval castle. From the more conventional world of music (I
wouldn't dream of calling this pop music) this is something that I think is truly amazing; every
song sounds like inspired 'Song To Siren' by This Mortal Coil and yet each song is unique. It may
give you sense of direction to make that link. These are songs of hope, love, despair and sadness
and probably all at the same time.
    I have no idea who Abul Mogard is, apparently a Serbian composer, and like remixers before
of Fovea Hex material, such as Steven Wilson last time, the music is torn apart, just not the
vocals, as they are left out of the remix entirely, or they are treated in such a way that we no
longer recognize them as vocals and just a mass of drones is what is left here. Unlike Wilson on
'The Salt Garden I', Mogard has a lot of deep drones here, all very much present in the mix, and
it's less musical than before, but uses whatever airy textures there are in the music to expand
on them and create an even bigger, and darker space, like one giant mass of humming voices. I
preferred Wilson's previous remix to Mogard's one here; it seems this one is a bit too much 'been
there, done that'. (FdW)
   Address: http://stevenwilsonhq.com/sw/headphonedust/ http://diestadtmusik.de



CAKEWALK – ISHIHARA (CD by Hubro)
STEPHAN MEIDELL – METRICS (CD by Hubro)

Cakewal is a trio of Øystein Skar (synths, keyboards), Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (drums) and Stephan
Meidell (guitar, bass, synth). Skar has an academic background in classical composition, and plays
in Highasakite and the duo Glow.  Ivar Loe Bjørnstad is part of the illustrious Hedvig Mollestad Trio.
    Meidell plays in the duo Strings and Timpani, Erlend Apneseth Trio, Krachmacher. Cakewalk
debuted in 2012 with ‘Wired’ and now presents their third release. The album contains six heavy
instrumentals that are rock-induced and mashed up with a lot synthetic sounds and noises. A
massive conglomerate of different influences: we hear touches of prog-rock, krautrock, improv,
jazz and noise. Grooving and hammering restlessly the music has a hypnotic and ritualistic effect.
All tracks are by the group and sound as if they result from endless jamming sessions. Cakewalk
is a typical exponent of the Scandinavian progrock-inspired power units. Excellent musicianship,
 a rich spectrum of sounds, resulting in varied musical ambiances. 
    Parallel to the Cakewalk-album, Meidell presents his second solo album, ‘Metrics’.  A follow
up to ‘Cascades’ that appeared in 2013. Meidell, who studied jazz at Conservatory of Amsterdam
(2004-2008) plays following instruments: guitars, drum machine, no input mixer, tape machine
and synth. He is assisted by four musicians, who take part in most of the seven compositions: 
Magda Mayas (prepared piano), Erlend Apneseth (Hardanger fiddle), Morten Barrikmo (clarinets),
Hans Knut Sveen (harpsichord) and Stefan Lindvall (baroque violin). The seven compositions by
Meidell came into being through improvising and are his first exercise in writing for an ensemble.
He followed different procedures with these musicians, and did the finishing touch through post-
production and editing. The music is of an experimental and adventurous nature. But it failed to
convert me and leaves me with mixed feelings. The music remains on the outside, and I couldn’t
always grab what the compositions are about.  Also the combination of drum machines with
acoustical instruments didn’t work me. But I admire that Meidell takes risks in integrating these
typical acoustical instruments with their very own sensitivity in a techno sound design. (DM)
––– Address: http://hubromusic.com/



VAN BINSBERGEN PLAYSTATION – TALES WITHOUT WORDS (CD by Brokken Records)

A second work by Van Binsbergen Playstation, the latest ensemble of Corrie van Binsbergen,
Playstation started in 2015 and debuted with an excellent live album. The ensemble combines
the talents of Miguel Boelens (saxes), Mete Erker (sax, clarinet), Morris Kliphuis (horn, cornet),
Joost Buis (trombone, lapsteel), Albert van Veenendaal (piano), Dion Nijland (bas), Yonga Sun
(drums) and Corrie van Binsbergen (guitar). Over the last few years, van Binsbergen composed
and played music for many literary meetings, where writers read from their work for small
audiences. Some of this music she rearranged for her band Playsation. This tight unit needed no
more than two days two record it. By each track is indicated for which occasion it was originally
composed with quotes the work from the respective authors. The music is of a reflective nature,
and there is something dark about it. But on the other hand it is also very accessible and organic
music, but not easy going. This is very mature and balanced music, that is not in need to impress
one way or another. But impressive it is! These are well-defined compositions with well-
proportioned (sound) arrangements, intimate and moody atmospheres, created through the
subtle and delicate playing by all band members. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.challengerecords.com



AREK GULBENKOGLU - THREE DAYS AFTERWARDS (LP by Penultimate Press)

While I first reviewed music by Arek Gulbenkoglu in Vital Weekly 492, which is easily some twelve
years ago, and since then on three more occasions (Vital Weekly 747, 966 and 1034), I have very
little idea of what he does. On his collaborative work with Dale Gorfinkel he plays snare drum, but
solo? I have no clue. The press release for this new record gives us a list of key words as the only
source or reference, and these words include: "sickness, rooms, FM synthesis, the fickle, objects,
rituals, Armenia, vibrations, the inconsequential", which may or may not gives us a clue as to
what it is about. Maybe the list is obscure but listening to the two sidelong pieces (which have
the same title so perhaps its one piece spread out over two sides of the record), I could see what
it is all about. FM synthesis played into various rooms, picked up from other rooms to document
the alternate way the sound bounces back and forth, for instance. There is a bit of voice ('rituals'
or 'sickness' perhaps) and some sort of obscure abuse of objects, or something that we could
label as field recordings. While some of his earlier music dealt more clearly with the world of
feedback/noise, this is kept here to a gentle minimum. It is there, that much is sure, but not as
loud as before. The whole piece (let's assume this is just one piece) is assembled as a collage, but
without any rapid edits flying about. The shifts between the sounds are quite slow and highly
gradual. The opening drones for instance of the second side take a while and slowly change in
colour and shape before morphing into voices, crackles and such like. Once it is there it is fully
settled, everything is slowly moving again. Glacial-like shifts these are, but not to be understood
as in those that I usually describe drone records with. Gulbebkoglu's music is very hard to label;
one could say this is electronic music, or musique concrete, or even sound poetry (which is
something I used to say before, but I am less certainly of this with 'Three Days Afterwards' as on
both sides there is only a little bit of voices), or even improvised music, and it might very well,
that this is all a combination of this (and by the way: who cares about labels). As before the
whole work of Gulbebkoglu is very mysterious; it's poetic, it may be telling a story, it might be
spooky and it is surely something I am quite fascinated by. This fifth release I regard as his best
work so far. Here we have a fully formed composition, mysterious, intense, playful and surreal.
An excellent record. (FdW)
––– Address: http://penultimatepress.com



COSTIS DRYGIANAKIS/LAMBROS ZAFEIROPOULOS - κ/λ (LP by Hxoi Kato Apo To Spiti)

Let's hope some of this can be read, when it is send out, as I copied the Greek title straight of
the bandcamp page from the label of which the name means something like 'sounds under the
house', and the 'κ' stands for 'in-between' and is composed by Drygianakis and 'λ' stands for
'Nocturno' and is composed by Zafeiropoulos. I don't believe I heard of him before, but I surely
know Drygianakis, of whose group Optical Musics I recently reviewed a double CD (see Vital
Weekly 1079). I started with his side, which is a piece for a small orchestra involving a bunch
of people on voice, bass, balafon, percussion, electronics, trumpet and there is even credit for
'kitchen', as played by Olya Gluschenko. Drygianakis has the credit for 'everything else', by which
I think he means mixing, editing and guiding directions on how to perform this piece of music.
The music has an interesting non-directive feel to it. It flows by but in a totally odd way. I can
imagine all of the sounds recorded on a multi-track machine, with individual players not necessarily
knowing what the others are doing and with Drygianakis acting as a conductor in the end moulding
and melting this together into a swirl of modern classical music, but at the same time sounding
improvised and like experimental rock music, and making a very refined piece of music.
    Zafeiropoulo's side is also played by a group of people, albeit a bit smaller and perhaps a bit
more conventional, with clarinet, guitar, trumpet, accordion, lullaby and feedback. Zafeiropoulo
had guitar lessons, but preferred the drums. He was a member of Adrasteia, Persona Non Grata
and Inner Sleeve, all in the Greek city of Volos, where he's from. It's there where he also did his
 field recording that is the start of this composition, which is, compared to Drygianakis' piece a
much more straightforward piece of improvised playing. The clarinet plays an important role and
later on the guitar appears, partly on distortion and everything is a repeat on a repeat mission,
playing the same thing over and over again, only gradually making changes, building towards a
crescendo in the middle, and then taking all of that apart again later on ending on the street
where it all started. Not bad, but perhaps a bit too simplistic I thought. Compared to the more
mysterious side by Drygianakis this was a walk in the park (well, the streets then), and the other
was more a nocturnal piece at a haunted house, come to think of it. (FdW)
––– Address: https://hxoikatoapotospiti.bandcamp.com/



JONI ATARI - PUSARA DIGITAL (CDR by Gempita Rekod)

From Malaysia hails Joni Atari, of whom I know nothing other than that he plays synthesizer,
guitar and sampler. From what it seems on Bandcamp this is his first release and he has fifteen
pieces, from just less than one minute to over five minutes, so it is all rather short and to the
point. In the first couple of pieces I had the idea that Atari was inspired by some of the more
experimental post-punk music from the early 80s, with a bit of rhythm going on, some sparse
guitar, nice floating delay on everything, creating naive spacey textured music that would have
fitted nicely on a cassette back then, but there are also a few exceptions, such as the broken
beats/drum 'n bass rhythm of 'Rehat Hari Ahad', which is a pity as it breaks the overall mood of
the release. I think it would have been better if that was left off or be replaced by something of a
similar mood. There is a great retro sound quality to this music, which reminded me, at times of
New 7th Music, YHR label, MFH, but perhaps a bit more pop-like if you, courtesy of the drum
machine, which is likewise dreamy at times, but can also be very much upfront in the mix, such
as in 'Invasi Berukera'. Some of these pieces are merely sketches, which further enhances the
notion of something that could have been thirty years ago. This I thought was all very lovely,
having lived thirty years ago to experience this all before, and it's great to hear someone doing
their own take on it in 2017. (FdW)
––– Address: https://joniatari.bandcamp.com/releases



AMBASCE - MAGNETIC DOMAIN (CDR by Love Earth Music)

Alberto Picchi is the man behind Ambascha, and had this not been mentioned on the information
that came with this release, I would not have recognized his name as one of the members of
Italy's VipCancro. In that group he plays electronics, which is something that he also does on
his solo release. The cover lists 'BK function generator, Korg MS10 filter bank, deck, tapes &
pedals'. "His work is inspired by unity of opposites theory applied in a sound context and is
focused on digital - analogue, full - vacuum, improvisation - organization". Each of the five pieces
on 'Magnetic Domain' is dedicated to 'nihilist noise artists', with whom he is on first name basis. I
figured out that these pieces are dedicated Maurizio (Bianchi), William (Bennett), Masami (Akita),
Richard (Rupenus), Philip (Sanderson, I guess), La Monte (Young) and Steven (Stapleton). "A
magnetic domain is 'a region within magnetization is in a uniform direction' even if the closest
regions are in different or opposite directions', he writes and within the five pieces he explores
the noisy end of electro-acoustic music, but it is altogether not too noisy and abrasive stuff. Of
course I have been trying to figure out if the 'homage' aspect of the title rings through in the
music, and surely I could recognize a more ambient industrial approach in the Bianchi piece, or
extreme noise in the Bennett piece, a straight forward, nihilistic attack in 'Conrad', the piece for
Masami, Richard and Philip, the minimalism of La Monte and perhaps least in the Stapleton piece,
but if you have musical as varied as mister Steven, then surely it is not easy recognize. But
having said all of that, I must also say that Ambasce surely has his own style in these pieces.
While there are differences between these pieces, I think they show an interesting variety of
approaches on the same subject, that of the noise end of drone music. Loud, louder and less
 loud, this is a fine slab of ambient industrial music, played with some great care and style. (FdW)
––– Address: http://loveearthmusic.com



LDX#40 - STRUGGLING (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
RE-DRUM & LIMITED LIABILITY SOUNDS & EMERGE (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
KH'LULU - SHORT LETTERS FOR A LONG SEPARATION (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)
I'VE SEEN DEMONS (cassette by Attenuation Circuit)

Many of the releases on Attenuation Circuit were recorded in concert, usually in their hometown
Augsburg. LDX#40's first release on this label was taped September 23, 2016 and the only thing
I know is this: "mainly concerned with the creation of 8 bit soundscapes & weird video worlds
since 1998. Active in Frankfurt am Main as an event organizer for Xerox Exotique. Runs the
media dump kunstscheisse". I am not sure if this is the complete concert, being just over 22
minutes, or that we are dealing with an edit here. The music seems to me to be all-electronic,
synth based, perhaps analogue ones, lots of electronics and the sound result is dark and intense,
yet also rhythmic, certainly in the opening minutes. Sometimes it is interrupted by steady blocks
of white noise, piercing, high-end synth sounds. In the second half the sound goes down a bit
when it comes to intensity but it remains spooky altogether. I thought all of this was very good
in terms of cold and distant electronics, with the downside of it being this very short. Even when
it is not really one idea, but rather two extended songs, I wonder what else he has up his sleeve
and I wouldn't have minded hearing some more as part of this release.
    The next one is, basically, a cassette of two concerts and both of them include Emerge, the
driving force behind Attenuation Circuit label, and who, by the looks of it, releases almost
everything he does. On the first we have a live recording of him and Russia's Re-Drum from March
last year (and something I actually was present at, I realize) and on the other side with Polish
Limited Liability Sounds, recorded in the same place, K15, Augsburg, but then in October 2015.
I do remember seeing the concert, but now I hear the recording I realize I don't remember the
music as such. With Re-Drum it seems Emerge takes risks, upping the volume a bit, smashing
about whatever samples they like to use for this. At one point there is the addition of some
percussive sounds, which does not result in some heavy rhythm, but add a somewhat ritualistic
element to the music. They never seem to be staying in one place very long and always on the
move for the next sound approach.
    Music from Limited Liability Sounds, as far as I know it, is usually on a quieter side of the
musical spectrum, and in playing together he manages to draw out Emerge into doing something
equally ambient. While not always the most quiet of approaches, throughout there is a gentle
industrial flow to this music (and yes, I would think that is indeed possible), with some Emerge's
sampling methods pushed to the background; here the development is much more minimal and
everything moves slower, unlike the other side. It is the two contrasts that make this quite an
interesting release; contrasts that supplement each other quite well.
    The next two cassettes contain music by people I never heard of. Kh'lulu is a man and a
guitar, and the obvious loop devices. I have no other clue here, other than this is 8th album
since 2015. He plays here twenty-one short pieces of guitar music, all identified with a number.
Sometimes these pieces are playful and music like, with repeating figures looped around, but
more often it is all a bit on the abstract side, be it ambient and drone like ('10') or more
improvised ('04'). It makes this is very varied album of doodles, sketches and proper tunes,
which not always make a lot of sense when played in a single row. I was thinking: Kh'lulu, you
play some tunes every now and then, and some are fine and some I could do without, but what
is you really want? Do you want please the listener, or show off your skills, be just very varied all
the time because you can or is it perhaps one big story? That is not easy to tell, judging by the
music. I sat back, listened and enjoyed this. Would I remember this tomorrow? Or remember this
maybe in two years if I review something else by Kh'lulu (although with his work rate it's surely
much sooner than that)? Probably not. It is perhaps not something that is easily stuck in your
brain for a long time.
    Of an entirely different nature is the music by I've Seen Demons (which I accidently first
read as 'I've seen demos') of which Bandcamp learns us that this was recorded at Echokammer
when it was held at the Ganze Bäckerei in Augsburg in November last year and that these are
'soundsculptures and electronic wilderness'. What that is we find out when listening to the forty
minutes this tape lasts. The first side contains a rather monophonic slab of noise drone music
with much distortion and repetition of loops to go a long with it. Not bad, I was thinking, but
perhaps a bit long to keep my interest going for all this time. Drones open up also on the second
(also untitled) side, yet it's a bit gentler and as we soon learn there is much more going on here
in terms of variation. The way sounds are mixed together, slow but steadily going in a different
course, and half way through allowing for the use of a slow thump of a rhythm machine, along
with the processed crackles of vinyl, make this all together for something that I enjoyed better
than the other side. It ends with the weepy whining voice of Genesis P. Orridge, lifted from an old
Psychic TV song, which for all I know, I would have cut off the master tape. Perhaps not something
I would necessarily play very often and something that I would probably enjoy better in situ, but
altogether it was pretty decent dark, experimental electronic music, just what we like best here
Chez Weekly. (FdW)
––– Address: https://emerge.bandcamp.com/



DAN OF EARTH - THANK YOU FOR THE PICKLES- LU (C20 by FTAM)
THE RITA + BREAKING THE WILL + FLESH TRADE + WRITHE
X MEANS NOT WELCOME, VOL. II (2 x C20 by FTAM)
 
In anticipation of any reader’s yawn at the following I will still write.  Noise in itself can carry no
meaning, have no significant content – by any play of differences and repetition, blah blah blah
blah. .. So we can have Merzbow’s Bloody Sea alongside The Rita’s Dead Sharks, Boyd Rice’s Neo
Nazism, Noise against Nazism, even noise as a philosophical tool. But all such is history, and
these two releases go much of the way to prove this and reveal a dead future. BTW, what
happened to Power Electronics and Industrial? Firstly the former release is about, well it can’t
be about! (see above) a thank you note for a jar of pickles, the latter, a comp, is a “rail against
 an acceptance of drug use”.  I suppose you could use the analogy of a gun, a weapon that any
side can use, or even music, military music has no sides… or does it? The whole idea of the Avant
Garde, the Underground was developed post WW2 via the use of electronics, Music Concrete,
through Punk, Industrial and power electronics in collaboration with institutions such Art Schools,
and the ICA, Darmstadt et al. But the whole thrust of this music was it seems manipulated by the
West against the formalism of Stalinist culture. I see an article citing Punk as a factor in the
pulling down of the Berlin Wall, and its also more than a rumour that the CIA sponsored the avant
garde  as an anti communist activity. (‘Cultural  Attaché’ in the  1950s and 60s was an AKA for
‘Spy’) How much the Avant Garde was a political tool, and how much it still is, is not for this r
eview. (I mean get on and review the tapes!) My point is music can carry a specific message. Can
noise, maybe, but more like the urinal, only in its context. So once you put one in a gallery, doing
the same or similar loses its significance. Is that what has happened in noise, the noise boards are
dead, gone, or mainly silent, academia seems to have moved on, adjectives such as Awesome,
Groundbreaking seem empty. If a jar of pickles is as significant as drug abuse we maybe have a
problem? Or maybe not, just listen to the noise Goddamit!  But is anyone listening? One of the
main features of noise is the  ‘anyone can do it’. Do I have to listen to all 40 minutes of a Vomir
to ‘get it’, only as a visceral experience. But such sensory experience *is* like drug abuse, or a jar
of pickles.  So I’ve tried to describe a trajectory in which to locate these two releases, and they fit
well with not only the current situation but with what I anticipate the future will bring. For noise
we will have only ‘enthusiasts’, while the main stream sees the growth in music around software
applications such as Ableton and retro Fender Strats, Noise Enthusiasts will be collectors of Noise
Names, have you ALL The Rita’s work? And a growing DIY and gear fetish. So DoE (Dan Schierl)
 uses his own ‘Bibletron’, a home made synth using limited ICs which fits into a hollowed Gideon’s
Bible, to produce his C20. One side of low pitches static and rumble, another with more variation
in the static. Not that by listening would this knowledge be possible. And obviously the use of a
Bible is far more significant for someone in the USA than Europe. It makes much more of a political,
anti establishment gesture within a culture where Christianity is politically de-rigour. (Even Bernie
Sanders pays lip service to a spirituality… I know – though Jewish- he is “not particularly religious”)
There are of course other texts which could, or for some maybe should, be hollowed out. Is this
important? From looking at the cassette, and from listening to it one would not know. 
    With “X Means Not Welcome” we have Sam Mckinlay’s stocking fetish, and Breaking the Will
(Stefan Aune), Flesh Trade (Discogs cites as a Punk Band from LA!) and Writhe (Ben Weymes,
Callum Goldsbrough, Daniel Lester, Mark Buchanan , Rob Woodcock). I must admit to not have
heard of the latter participants and checking they are more recent adherents to noise than the
now ancient Mckinlay, and given the double cassette release has no track IDs makes reviewing
down to listening to the sounds, so? Of the cassettes one has a screened X on one side, the
other XX. Playing X first off, the familiar? Rumble and screech of The Rita, however within this
mix! are vocals, speech, distorted and mostly unrecognisable. I confess to not being familiar
with recent The Rita material so maybe this is not a recent departure from the overwhelming
incomprehensible HN which might be a shark cage or a skate board or whatever.  The speech
breaks into the HN, here and there as a signal. At times discernable as a raised male human voice,
reminding me of the distorted recording of the crew of The Event Horizon. Worryingly for HN the
noise at times is attenuated to allow the speech to dominate. So maybe this isn’t The Rita… “Time
Joe” It’s as if someone has taken a The Rita track and mixed this with some recorded distorted
speech, and in doing so uses ducking- (“Ducking is an audio effect commonly used in radio and
pop music…. A typical use of this effect in a daily radio production routine is for creating a voice-
over..”) Flipping the cassette over we have a very coherent intro “He said he’d love me forever if I
smoked crack with him – he lied” Which segues into HN,  crashing electronics over a wider
spectrum with perhaps some repeated sections. I’d guess if the accompanying press release
gives a clue this might be Breaking the Will. Distorted arcade sounds?  And the intro voice does
support the release’s ambition “shaming people into thinking that drugs are dumb”? Yes that’s
on the ‘press release’.  Here I’m faced with another dilemma, to which – ‘Just listen to the
sounds’ ignores the motivation for the work, if drugs are dumb, and they probably are, we would
have had no Coltrane? Or much of ‘progressive’ music of a ‘counter culture’ which embraced
drug use, no Beat Poets, no Burroughs.. no Sgt Pepper through to Throbbing Gristle… this list
would be long… and I’m confused. The second tape begins with a track, which is again crashing
harsh noise, no vocals, but no overall roar of typical The Rita, and has occasional breaks and
repetitions. Constructed from … rather than a distortion of an actual recording. And ends in a
repeated fade.. So shall we say Flesh Trade? Or not, without the speech of track one I’d be more
sure.  So with the final track we again have a spoken intro, “18 million Americans are alcoholics… “
And in another voice… “I don’t think anyone understands how badly I need this…” we then have
another slab of harsh noise, more repetitive than the others, and more processed at first with fills
of staccato HN and mangled electronics. Though such a mix would make me think it’s not The
Rita, the first track clearly had mixing…so. We also have snippets of a vocal here. And this piece
ends with a vocal loop – “e eh.. You’re on the right track, just keep it up, keep it up, are you gonna
die” So I’m genuinely confused about this release, if sincere it certainly might be saying something
positive, a world without drug abuse? There is of course no establishment in the world which
would endorse drug abuse, and that includes Democrats and Republicans, Trump never drinks
alcohol I believe- as well as The Mormons… Strange that noise – whose  origins is in "disgust,
annoyance, discomfort, " literally "seasickness" (see nausea).” And associated with The Dionysian
Mysteries.. ‘an ancient ritual which used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques, like
dance and music, to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return
to a natural state.’ Should be a vehicle for what is ‘establishment thinking’.  But I must be rebuked
for seemingly defending the harm caused by drug abuse.  This is confusing me, though not giving
‘a sudden sensation of fear, which is so strong as to dominate or prevent reason and logical thinking
’ Panic -  From the God Pan,  whose noise gives rise to sudden fear but  is also the Piper
at the Gates of Dawn…  or the un-truth – lethea -   "Near the Cimmerii a cavern lies deep in the
hollow of a mountainside, the home and sanctuary of lazy Somnus, where Phoebus’ beams can
never reach at morn or noon or eve, but cloudy vapours rise in doubtful twilight . . . there silence
dwells: only the lazy stream of Lethe 'neath the rock with whisper low o'er pebbly shallows
trickling lulls to sleep. Before the cavern's mouth lush poppies grow and countless herbs, from
whose bland essences a drowsy infusion dewy Nox distils and sprinkles sleep across the
darkening world." (jliat)
––– Address: http://ftamproductions.com



1. Frans de Waard <info@kormplastics.nl>

July 5: Tech Riders (Sindre Bjerga & Frans de Waard) and A Cryptic Mantra (Wouter Jaspers) at
O Tannenbaum, Berlin
https://www.facebook.com/events/114758115802265/

July 6: Ezdanitoff (Frans de Waard & Wouter Jaspers) and Orphax (Sietse van Erve) at Common
Ground, Berlin
https://www.facebook.com/events/1923051997908789/

July 7: QST DJ/Concert/Whatever you call it at Extraopool, Nijmegen
https://www.facebook.com/events/127618077808543/
(not mentioned on this event, as I keep it as low-profile thing; a test, this is only a test)



2. Sindre Bjerga <sindrebjerga@hotmail.com>


JULY 5 – BERLIN – O Tannenbaum (Playing as Tech Riders w/ Frans de Waard)
https://www.facebook.com/events/114758115802265
JULY 6 – BERLIN- Spektrum (playing solo)
https://www.facebook.com/events/551523878570141
JULY 8 – BERLIN – Multiversal @ XB Liebig (Playing solo)
https://www.facebook.com/events/436978626658545
JULY 11 – LEIPZIG – Ateiler M89 (Playing solo)
http://www.m89leipzig.com/
JULY 14 – COPENHAGEN – Studio A (Playing as Star Turbine w/ Claus Poulsen)





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All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <dolf.mulder@hetnet.nl>, Jliat (Jliat),
Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Peter Johan Nijland (PJN), Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg (SSK),
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