number 1097
week 37


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QUEST – QUAY (CD by Where Ambient Lives Records) *
RICHARD YOUNGS - THIS IS NOT A LAMENT (2CD by Fourth Dimension Records) *
CHRISTIAN RØNN - BROKEN AIR (LP by Insula Music/Flinc Music)
THINK OF A NAME (lathe cut 7” by Vacancy Niagara Records)
DEL STEPHEN - ARRIVALS/DEPARTURES (cassette by Vacancy Niagara Records) *
SICK DAYS - DEAD PINES FALL 2016 (cassette by Vacancy Niagara Records) *
MARRACH & BAD POET & CHTIN MARA - LOVE LOW (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
HARALD LILLMEYER - GLYK (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
NEGATIVNEIN (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
ODD NOSDAM - LIF (CD by Sound In Silence) *
CRISOPA - TRANSHUMANTE (CD by Sound In Silence) *
   Craneal Fracture Records)
DESDIA SIN FINAL / SYPHILIS NON METAL (cassette by Craneal Fracture Records)
GREGORY BÜTTNER - TONARM, P.S. (cassette by Fragment Factory)
VIANDE 18 MARIO - XEBECHE (cassette by Dokuro)

QUEST – QUAY (CD by Where Ambient Lives Records)

Halfway through listening to this new album by Quest I realized this album needed to be listened to
with headphones on. The reason being the devil is, like the mood, as it is so often, in the detail. And
there is a lot of both on this album. But let’s start with a brief history on Quest: born in the mid 1990s
Quest’s main man is Frans de Waard, well known to his Vital Weekly audience and me. I remember
the first album (from 1994, released under the name QST) on the Korm Plastics Ambient Series – if
you are unfamiliar with this series, I strongly urge you to check its releases via Discogs as Korm
Plastics Ambient Series features some great music for you to explore. QST became Quest in 1995
when rhythm was dropped from its musical palette. With that Quest became QST’s far more interesting
sibling. In the mid-1990s two albums and a single were released before the project was put on hold for
over 20 years. Which brings us to today, to ‘Quay’, the brand-new Quest album. And headphones. For
this is a headphone album, best enjoyed in contemplative mood, sitting or lying down and giving your
full attention to the music. Recorded on four track tape recorder, all ‘hiss is intentional’ the cover
states. And it feels that way too. The recordings were then digitally mixed and mastered. A lot can
happen in 20 years and in Quest’s case it did. It is most prevalent in the fact that De Waard has grown
so much as composer – there is a delicacy and mood to this music that sets it apart from his other
projects. Most of this is synthesizer-based, embellished with ‘little’ sounds that basically could have
any electronic or natural source. ‘On Sea’ the ten minute opener, features synthesizer sequences (think
German, think 1970s) that leads to an utterly beautiful sequence of tracks (‘Half-Life’, ‘Shivering’,
‘Landward’, ‘Coast Line’ and ‘Turn In’) before returning to a sequence-driven ‘Lighthouses’, which
draws your attention to the ‘real world’ out there, almost ‘disturbing’ the flow. ‘Pylon’ with its sound
of sea waves washing ashore and synthesizer chords is the perfect closing track of an album that I
found intriguing listen. Even though divided into tracks, Quay feels more like a one hour soundcape
travel and is probably best enjoyed that way. Some sounds literally took me back 20 years, and made
 me dig out my old QST/Quest records – how time has flown. ‘Quay’ is a reflective album, withdrawn
in itself, where the listener feels like a guest allowed to listen in on its secrets. To me, and I’m not up-
do-date with everything De Waard produces, this is one of his best albums. (FK)
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Following his debut album ‘Music For The Anxious’ (see Vital Weekly 1057), there is now ‘Devils For
My Darling’ by Omar El Abd, from Cairo, Egypt, who works as omrr (no capitals, please). Not the most
likely country for this kind of music, but hey, it’s a global village of course. Of his new album omrr says
it’s ‘an imaginary love story’ and he uses ‘glitch, noise, micro-sounds, sampling and field recording’,
along with instruments, foremost, I would think, guitar. Like on his previous release omrr combines
these sketchy guitar fragments with glitches, heavily processed field recordings and covering them
with a warm blanket of more sound effects than you can dream of. On paper it may sound like a very
odd combination, a total collision of sounds that don’t fit together, but lo and behold it works very well.
I am most reminded of Machinefabriek’s work in this respect; it has that great ambient edge, and
seeing this on Dronarivm you know it must be ambient and atmospheric, but just as Machinefabriek
builds in these odd elements, rough edges and weird patterns, omrr goes even further and has some
skipping CDs, scratchy record and digital distortion to add, which never break the melancholic mood
of the music. It doesn’t enhance it either, yet it works wonderfully well. Without these glitches it would
all be a rather mediocre release I would think, quite average in terms of warm ambient music, but
with these glitches and cuts it becomes something of its own. Its not something you haven’t heard
before, I know, but this is something omrr does pretty well and certainly something he should
continue to do in the near future. (FdW)
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RICHARD YOUNGS - THIS IS NOT A LAMENT (2CD by Fourth Dimension Records)

There are lots of musicians who use a plethora of (band-) names to distinguish all their different
musical interests, and probably that is a wise thing. Off hand, I can only think of three bands and
persons who always use one name for many musical interests and who seem to be getting away it.
The two bands are Doc Wör Mirran and to a lesser extent Big City Orchestra and the musician is
Richard Youngs. And yes, if I would think about this for longer I could come with more names. Youngs
can pick up an acoustic guitar and sing a song, play drone music, do a bit of techno or come up with
CD from sounds around the house. And with all of that he built up a dedicated fan base. Exactly the
man I love, as I very much like to believe there are no boundaries and one should always be open for
whatever your favourite musician comes up with; you don’t have to like it all of course. Maybe Youngs
has the secret aim of educating his listeners?
    Youngs is, I know from some experience, also someone who is very keen on playing with other
people and here comes ‘This Is Not A Lament’ into the review. It is a double CD with not a lot of
information regarding the recordings but of the eleven pieces, three are by Youngs solo and the rest
is in collaboration with other people. There are duo pieces with Neil Campbell, Oren Ambarchi, Simon
Wickham-Smith, Sybren Renema and Norifumi Sgimogawa and two pieces with Alasdair Roberts feat
Ronald W. Lindsay and the final piece has perhaps the most curious credit “Alastair Galbraith w/Reg
Norris and Mick Elborado feat. Richard Youngs”.  The three solos and two with Roberts/Lindsay are all
on the first disc and one could easily say that all of these are quite noisy. Especially the three solo pieces
are based on feedback and some kind of digital processing and sound at times pretty piercing. ‘Airdrie’
also sees Youngs using voice, which might also be the case in ‘Bridge Of Allan’, the second collaborative
piece with Roberts and Lindsay. In both of collaborative pieces I believed to hear some sort of processed
bagpipes, but I might wrong. Quite a blast, these fifty some minutes, but very much an incarnation of
Youngs I like very much.
    Six pieces we find on the second disc and the opening piece with Campbell is a twelve-minute
guitar solo, well, maybe two solos, but not entirely my cup of tea. It goes on a bit too long, and that’s
something that can also be said of the piece Youngs recorded with Ambarchi. Here it is some modular
set-up and a wind instrument, both of them playing aimlessly around for too long. However the other
four pieces are great. Closing the set is the longest piece of them all, an almost thirteen minute piece of
shimmering drones (with Wickham-Smith), whereas the other three are shorter and explore throat-
singing, more bagpipes (I would think) and electric drones in a powerful manner. Disc two is musically
more varied than the first one, or so I like to believe, and despite the two pieces that didn’t do much for
me, the majority of the pieces, disc one and two, sounded great. It shows a Richard Youngs in a noisier
mood than usually and most certainly a kind of Youngs I like very much. (FdW)
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Here we have two releases involving Russia’s legendary (by now) experimental music Alexei Borisov.
Astma is a duo he has with Olga Nosova, who plays drums and vocals, whereas Borisov places ‘mixed
devices, synthesizer’. Their music is rooted in the world of improvisation and working with others is
not a foreign land for them. Before they worked with Anton Nikkila (see Vital Weekly 951) and A
Spirale (Vital Weekly 898). Here they work with one Bob Meanza (electronics and synthesizer). There
is a picture of the three of them playing a concert, but I think the seven pieces on ‘Raw Volumes’ are
studio recordings, even when I have no reason to think so. The music of this trio defies categories, I
think. It is easy to see it consists of elements of free improvisation, especially on the part of the
electronics played, but with the more or less rhythmic drumming of Nosova it is very much not really
improvised music; it is also not strange for this trio to leap into a groove with rhythm and noise playing
something very coherent, for instance in ‘Monoclinic’ such a thing happens. But it’s never throughout
the entire length of a piece. If it happens it stays there for a few beats but then, as if they realize playing
groovy electronic music is not what we do, they move over and tear the whole thing apart again.
Everything is recorded very direct, without much studio trickery I would say, which makes the drums
sound rather dry from time to time. There is some room for improvement in that department I thought,
but then that would not a very improvised music thing to do. See where I am getting at? Being neither
this nor that, Astma and Meanza break down musical boundaries and that is, I think, always a good
    Improvisation is surely a thing that is going on the other release, which he recorded with Katya
Rekk, of whom I never heard. She plays a Wolfram synth (of which the cover also says ‘produced by
Vtol’, apparently a necessity we need to know of), spring sound object (‘produced by Anatasia
Alyoklhina’) and Korg Kaossilator (and we all know who makes those!). Borisov plays Papa Srapa
synths, Dictaphones and radio. The six pieces (forty-two minutes) were recorded in Katya’s home
between 2015 and 2017 and the music is quite noisy most of the time; noisy as well as chaotic. As such
this too is not really part of the more traditional improvised music scene, but it reminded me of circuit
bending quite a bit. Sounds tumbling over each other, chaotic, hectic, nervous, with feedback sparking
off; the rumble of the springboard marking a fine contrast with the electronic scratches of the other
instruments. In the third and longest piece ’01/16’ it is all a bit too long and without too much
development for my taste, whereas the minimalism of  ’01/16’ works actually very well for me. There
is a sort of organ loop going round and round and on top motorized objects spinning. I have mixed
feelings about this release. Some of this I enjoyed very much, while others didn’t do much for me.
––– Address:
––– Address:

CHRISTIAN RØNN - BROKEN AIR (LP by Insula Music/Flinc Music)

The broken air mentioned in the title is (maybe) the air used in the church organ of Søborg Kirke in
Denmark, where Rønn recorded a concert that is the basis of the three pieces on this LP. This is Rønn’s
second LP, following ‘Time Charged Maneuvres’ (see Vital Weekly 1010), which I thought was
somewhere ‘within some middle ground of dark ambient, electronic pop, psychedelic music, a bit of
drone and is made with delicate touch of improvisation’, which is not what I think about this new one.
Here we have the church organ, along with a ‘MFB semi modular synth’, granular sampler, effect
devices, guitar amp and contact microphone and objects. Less pieces here, which may mean more
emphasis on the development of a piece and perhaps making this more complex? The whole work
seems to me at least bit noisier than before, especially the side long ‘Diffusion 2’, which reminded me
very much of the original musique concrete composers, with church organ sounds and many deviations
there. Quite a tour de force this side, with a fresh amount of energy going towards the listener. The two
pieces on the other side are less forceful and not as noisy, but in a similar musique concrete mood.
Partly played live, it seems, which adds an element of random organ stabs to the music, but that also
adds to the vibrancy of the music. The mood is overall a bit dark, but the sound also has something
quite overwhelming. As a whole I thought this album was much coherent and more conceptual and
it worked very well. (FdW)
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Here we have new music by Stuart Chalmers, of whom I reviewed quite a bit before (Vital Weekly 1077,
1050, 982, 962, 935, 896, 867, 818 for instance) and someone I saw in concert (which is something I
can’t say of many of the others I review). The first one is a new solo release from him, and continues his
previous ‘loop phantasy’ releases, which has all to do with the creating tape-loops from a lot of sources.
I heard only the third instalment (I think), which sounded a bit like a disappointment back then, but
just before that I heard a great release of Chalmers, ‘Poetry Of Decay’. Normally his set-up involves
cassettes, effects, Dictaphones and such like, whereas in ‘Loop Phantasy’ the set up is limited to playing
a whole bunch of loops at the same time and to create dense patterns of sounds, presented in a collaged
form. Very atmospheric, surely, but maybe somewhat limited also. On the fourth volume there are six
pieces, with an average length of six minutes. As I am playing this and thinking about it, I noticed that
if Chalmers keeps his loops together, sound wise that is, say all from a similar source, but some shorter
and others longer, than I quite enjoy it. In the third (all untitled) piece there is a bunch of organ like
loops playing at the same, shifting about in the good ol’ Steve Reich manner, and I quite enjoy this
piece. Something similar is done in the fourth piece with orchestral loops. But with the layered
drumming of the sixth piece I nodded off; too easy and not really engaging. And so, I am slightly more
in favour of this than of the previous release, but Chalmers should go back to making his sound collages
with cassettes and effects, me thinks.
    On his collaboration through online file exchange with Neil Campbell, Chalmers did use cassette
loops and effects, while Neil plays guitar, percussion and electronics. Neil Campbell is an active force
in the experimental music of the United Kingdom, working under his own name, but also Astral Social
Club and a member of Vibracathedral Orchestra, ESP Kinetic, A Band and many others, as well as
playing with say Richard Youngs (see elsewhere). I must admit that in more recent years I didn’t keep
up with his output, so I am not sure what he does ‘now’. Also I am not entirely sure how this was made
in terms of going back and forth with sound files. Who started what and who finished a piece. Going by
the music that is not easy to determine. Chalmers, I would think, applies a wide range of loops here,
allowing for weirdo elements in the music, which he doesn’t seem to be using in his other work;
skipping and jumping rhythms, loops of electronics or rusty toys. Campbell adds, again I’m assuming
here, voice material, looped and chopped, squeaky percussion (also looped) and a brand of drones of
guitar and electronics, cutting in and out of the mix. The six pieces have a nicely psychedelic feel to
them, which I enjoyed very much. It reminded me of the last time I heard music by Astro Social Club,
the same sort of multi-layered approach of many sounds together, especially in the fifth piece, which
brings the whole loopiness of Chalmers to an entirely new plane. There is a lesson to learn from that I
would think for Chalmers own approach to loops: make it all a bit more over the top. This is an
excellent collaboration. (FdW)
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––– Address:

THINK OF A NAME (lathe cut 7” by Vacancy Niagara Records)
DEL STEPHEN - ARRIVALS/DEPARTURES (cassette by Vacancy Niagara Records)
SICK DAYS - DEAD PINES FALL 2016 (cassette by Vacancy Niagara Records)

The medium of cassettes is a perfect tool to recycle. RRRecords has a long running series of re-used
cassettes, all called ‘Recycled’ and Finnish Hyster Tapes also plunder thrift stores for old cassettes.
Vacancy Niagara, indeed from the same city, got a whole bag of old language course tapes from the
local library and release their works in extremely small editions, the two tapes here in an edition of
7 and 9 respectively.  The label also releases CDRs (in re-used jewel cases) and lathe cuts. As you can
expect with a label like this, the downloads are ‘name your price’
    I started with the latter, a release by Think Of A Name, which contains two excerpts of a concert
from April 29, 2016 by this improvisational group, which consist of Julian Anderson (laptop, synths,
fx, etc.), Adrian D'Avirro (bass, fx, etc.), Ken Brennan (electric guitar, fx, tapes, etc.), Stephen Del Duca
(keys, synths, fx, tapes, etc.), Avery Mikolič-O'Rourke (keys, synths, electric guitar, fx, etc), Jeffrey
Sinibaldi (tapes, samplers, fx, etc.) and this time also and Bram Tebutt; I am not sure what he plays as
I copied the rest from my previous review. Their improvisations are long formed, and without much
structure. There is no plan to start with and let’s see where it all ends. At various points of the two
pieces (and I mean the download, that’s where I started to get an idea of what the whole thing was) it
seemed as everyone was playing their own bit without noting what the rest was doing. That is usually
not necessarily a good thing, but in this case I must say it wasn’t bad either. If you decide to go in, and
let the whole fifty minutes wash over you it perhaps makes more sense, I think. But how does that
work, breaking the whole thing into two sides of a 7” you wonder? Actually quite good, I think. Think
Of A Name picked out the right two spots that I also noticed, with a marimba coming in, and a
psychedelic interjection of electronics on one side and on the other they choose a bit with voices
mumbling and cut out of the larger it almost becomes a song. Very nice! The lathe cut is limited to
twenty copies.
    According to the typewriter information delivered with these releases, ‘Arrivals/Departures’ is
Del Stephen’s third release, but I can only find two the label’s Bandcamp page and oddly enough this
label has not yet made to Discogs, nor any of the artists reviewed this time around. The previous Del
Stephen release was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1018, and we learned that his real name is Stephen Del
Duca and that he is from London, but now I realize that this is London, Ontario, not London, UK, looking
at the two places the live recordings were made. Both sides were recorded in 2016 and on the ‘Arrivals’
side Stephen plays keyboards, synth, pedals and tapes, with the help of Ken Brennan on keyboards and
pedals and Jeffrey Sinibaldi on tapes, sampler and effects, whereas the latter plays percussion on the
other, Sid Baron keyboards, Jon Lepp saxophone and Brennan and Stephen the as on the first side. The
slightly different line-ups result in two different approaches. With the bigger line-up the ambience of
the first side is expanded into a nightclub approach, with jazzy chords on the keyboards, that film noir
saxophone sound, as well as a somewhat more exotic sound, via an improvisation on the marimba.
Stephen also sings here in “song for whitney”, which was originally performed by Leena Conquest.
Nice, but I preferred the A-side a little more with the freeform ambient improvisations with percussion
instruments, utterly obscured samples and drones on keyboards, but nothing static, all nicely fluid. It
has the same noisy feel from before and it works again wonderfully well.
    And finally there is Sick Days, the project behind the label, with his third release (see also Vital
Weekly 969 and 1018) and again Jeffrey Sinibaldi, uses field recordings (no doubt something with
dead pines here), live synth, sampler and cymbal and while it starts out with what seems a pure field
recording, maybe sitting in a dead pine forest, very slowly the sound is manipulated and treated and
over the course of thirty-three minutes it develops in a highly minimal way, but it kept me listening
all the way through. This is very much a piece of drone music, with forest sounds at the beginning and
sea shores towards the end, with slow and low humming drones at the core of it all and the rattling of
the cymbal at the very end. Before I thought Sick Days sounded a bit without much organisation, but
here I’d like to believe there has been some careful playing before starting the recording and the result
is great. Maybe this was all recorded on the spot as an improvisation but the result certainly doesn’t
sound like that. With only three releases it is perhaps too soon to say ‘his best yet’, but so far it is, and
with the progression from one to three it is a curve up. (FdW)
––– Address:

MARRACH & BAD POET & CHTIN MARA - LOVE LOW (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
HARALD LILLMEYER - GLYK (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
NEGATIVNEIN (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

Another round of releases by Attenuation Circuit, and I picked one that from the cover was a bit hard
to tell what it is, but there is a little note inside that says Marrach, bad Poet and Chtin Mara are the
performers, and ‘Love Low’ is the title. The text on Bandcamp about this is too cryptic for me “their
music is one part of this deconstructed brain phenomenology. They live and work somewhere in
between here and there, but not necessarily”, but today I seem to be flooded by cryptic messages, so
it must be me. No instruments are mentioned on the cover, but I hear a saxophone, drums and voice
and it has very vaguely jazzy notion, like a smoky fifties nightclub film noir scene. I am not sure if the
lyrics are supposed to mean anything at all, but if they do they should have been printed on the insert
or be spoken more clearly. Not even remotely something I like, I am truly sorry about that, dear friends
of Attenuation Circuit.
    The next new release is even a bit shorter than Marrach and his chums, a live recording one Harald
Lillmeyer made in December last in Munich. He studied classical guitar but works within improvisation
and electronics. The title refers to a friend who passed away. What these electronics are I don’t know,
but I would think Lillmeyer loves his cassette Walkman devices, Dictaphones, contact microphones
and perhaps circuit boards. What I particular like about this recording is that there is quite a bit of
silence in this music, and suspicious as I am, I would not be surprised that these silences were built
in later on, or perhaps really silenced afterwards. Lillmeyer plays a collage like piece, which reminded
me of the early SBOTHI LP; only a few days ago I heard that one again, and Lillmeyer’s collage like
approach sounded very much like that. Quite noisy at times, with massive distorted sounds of heavy
radio waves, there are also orchestral interjections, sudden stops, scratches and peeps. Easily all of
this is followed by quite a bit of silence. An excellent release, even when I suspect not all of this to be
really ‘live’. A beautiful release and it made me curious to whatever else he did.
    Behind Negativnein we find Sebastien Crusener and Cin Windey. The first is responsible for field
recordings and sound manipulation and the second for piano and piano manipulation. The Bandcamp
page lists a whole variety of instruments such as “a broken piano, a hairdryer, a bathtub, manipulated
singing bowls and violin strings, lots and lots of field recordings (recorded with a simple Tascam
recorder, sometimes using piëzo microphones), sine tones (made by attaching a pick-up coil to a cell
phone) and Cin's voice” and it ends with “no electronic instruments were involved, we don't even
have them”, which I guess is not easy to believe if you listen to the music. Should I not have read all
of this, what would I have written? That is of course a question I can no longer answer, but I have a
pretty clear idea. Surely I would have written something along the lines of drone music, played with
electronic means, mixed in a gentle way with field recordings, especially of rain (and I am not sure if
the rain from outside is louder than on the music) and such like. That it is beautiful in its atmospheric
approaches and that of course doesn’t change now I now it’s all done without electronics, but with the
list of items mentioned earlier on. This made me re-think how music like this is made and perhaps,
with all the electronics in the world, it is easier to assume it is all made that way, not through some
more or less acoustic manipulation of sound, but surely that too is way to create music. The close to
forty minutes this piece lasts is absolutely great. Slow pace, great sound, nowhere static but in constant
motion and this is one of the best releases I heard on Attenuation Circuit in quite some time. (FdW)
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ODD NOSDAM - LIF (CDR by Sound In Silence)

The Greek house of Sound In Silence knows many musicians that fit right up our street and yet I never
heard of them. Odd Nosdam, for instance, hails from the bay Area, and at one point he was beat master
for cLOUDDEAD, which I surely heard before, but don’t remember. He’s also behind the Anticon label,
releasing “indelible strain of super-saturated, no-fi weirdness that intersects British IDM, West Coast
hip-hop and ethereal drone”, which is also an indication of his own music. ‘LIF’ was recorded in the
first months of this year when there was a lot of rain in his area and Odd Nosdam was working with
tape-loops (if that may indicate a relationship of course). On these loops he has sounds, instruments,
guitar perhaps, and feeds these through tape-delay, space echo and other analogue from decades ago.
It breaks down his sounds and adds a strange atmosphere to the sound, like a stutter or something.
That works quite well, but in all on honesty: it also sounds very much the same, no matter what the
input, the sound of sounds falling apart, the disintegration (which we also know from William Basinski)
seems to be on repeat for all ten pieces, the complete thirty-four minutes. Maybe the whole thing
would have been stronger if there was just one long piece, gradually falling apart more and more?
Indeed perhaps even more like Basinski. Now it sounds like the same treatment is applied to a whole
bunch of sounds, making this release perhaps a bit of a one-trick pony.
    One minute longer is the release by Santiago Lizon, from Madrid, who works as Crisopa. So far he
has released music on n5md, Plataforma-LTW, Persona-Isla, Add-Sensor and Escala; none of which I
ever heard. This is his fourth full-length release and has seven pieces. Crisopa is also into the business
of creating mood-based music, just like Odd Nosdam, but with an entirely different outcome. His music
is both dreamy, but at the same time it comes with a rhythm, sparse vocals, guitars and is a bit post-
rock like, dream pop; think 4AD, think perhaps the band you didn’t see in the return of Twin Peaks,
but who could easily have fitted. Providing of course Crisopa is something that Lizon could do live.
There is much bass in here, lots of spacious synths and the guitars are effect heavy, to underline the
shoegazing nature of this. Now, I will easily admit I am no expert when it comes to shoegazing, far
from it, having only heard very few of the original waves, but this particular inspired set of songs
works very well. It is one of those things where you think ‘why not do more with vocals and expand
on the sound further’? That would bring the music to a wholly different level, one that may also mean
a bigger audience in a more pop sense. If of course that were something that Crisopa would want of
course. (FdW)
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  Craneal Fracture Records)
DESDIA SIN FINAL / SYPHILIS NON METAL (cassette by Craneal Fracture Records)

Here we have two releases of a rather noisy nature, but to be honest some of that is rather blurred
on the Animal Machine release. The common denominator is Ernesto Bohorquez, who is the man
behind Animal Machine and one half of Syphilis Non Metal. The duplication of the Animal Machine
cassette is rather low in quality, which is a pity since I would think it is meant to be very loud. I never
know if Animal Machine is one of those noise makers that do noise for the sake of noise, but what I like
about it is that he isn’t all about playing one long symphony of noise. He uses cut-up and collage styled
noise fragments to built his pieces. There are eight here on this tape, according to Bandcamp, but no
titles on the cover and one could say it is very much one piece per side also. It is not easy to distinguish
these as separate pieces, as they sound very much like one idea. Cutting up harsh noise sounds into
short blasts, like cutting up a reel-to-reel tape, fling the pieces in the air and picking them up in a
random order and sticking together. It is one idea and as such it works fine on a cassette, I think.
    On the other cassette we find Desidia Sin Final, a duo of Miguel Tipaci on voice and guitar and Jhon
Cruz on drums, whereas on the other side Ernesto Bohorquez plays electronics and Tipaci is now found
behind the drum kit and they call themselves Syphilis Non Metal. The first side is recorded in Lima,
Peru and the other in London, UK. Here too the duplication quality leaves something to be desired.
Desidia Sin Final has one piece of on going drums and some sort of noise on the guitar and it sounds
all rather lo-fi. I have no idea what to make this. Much louder, even when not in both channels, is the
music on the other side, which has the rattling of drums and the distortion pedals full at work on the
sounds produced by Bohorquez. Chaotic and manic is perhaps what one could call this. Noisecore and
noisegrind, as the label tagged it on Bandcamp is of course also. Quite a short tape, this one, maybe
fifteen minutes in total. (FdW)
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GREGORY BÜTTNER - TONARM, P.S. (cassette by Fragment Factory)

In the past I already reviews some of Gregory Büttner’s music (see for instance Vital Weekly 1002, 961,
948, 936, 921, 879, 832, 697, 629, 573, 572, 521), which operates both in the world of sound art as well
as improvisation; the latter with people like Birgit Ulher, Simon Whetham and Rhodri Davies. This is his
first cassette release, and for this he uses ‘different objects and materials to educe noises from record
grooves, he draws on the syngery of materiality and acoustics to combine recorded sounds and the
immediate sonic response to his actions’. In short he built his own tone arm to amplify sounds from a
record. We are not told which record. A very long time someone impressed me with very sharp
fingernails amplifying a 7” with his fist being the speaker (if I recall well) and it’s certainly something
you should try one day, obviously not using your most expensive record or use a needle instead of a
fingernail. It gives the music a totally new outlook and that’s what fascinates Büttner as well I guess.
The cover lists these objects, albeit in German, and there is a paper cup, tin can, feather, and tea box
(and others). The musical pieces Büttner creates with this are quite fascinating. It has very little to do
with spinning records or objects in the way for instance Institut Für Feinmotorik did in the past. Only
a very few occasions (don’t know which piece, I must admit; one of the downsides of this medium)
Büttner has these rotating sounds, but it sounds more like the rumble of acoustic objects with contact
microphones with a very odd tonal quality to it. A bit field recordings like, I guess, in combination with
object based sound art. Should you not know this has anything to do with tonearm’s, it might be very
difficult to guess. That too made this into quite some interesting release. I wonder: does he doe concerts
with this and can we experience how it works live? That would be something to see one day. (FdW)
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Here we have two musicians of whom I never heard. One is named Tim Holehouse and the other is just
called Leaver. In London May 2016 they wrote the music on this cassette in ‘three hours and two takes’
and in May 2017 they recorded the vocals in Sofia and London. Each side has one track, around twelve
minutes per side and guitars play a big role. They are strummed and plucked with a fair amount of
reverb. It’s a bit drone like with all the heavy atmosphere of the big spaced reverb but certainly there
is also a strong element of folk music. And there is a voice, which sings low and from beyond the grave.
It’s not grunting but it’s deep and sonorous. Folk music you may ask? Well, yes, perhaps one could say
this is folk music, but not like that of, say Fovea Hex. Folk noir? That it isn’t either. It misses that whole
Death In June campfire attitude. Leaver and Holehouse play slowly their chords and progressing and
add a bass note every here and there. I have no idea what these lyrics are about, sadness, loss of love,
or such melancholia no doubt. This was quite enjoyable, but at the same time I must be honest and say
that is not really my cup of tea. I need coffee. (FdW)
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VIANDE 18 MARIO - XEBECHE (cassette by Dokuro)

Perhaps Mario Gabola is best known as one half of Napoli’s Aspec(t) but as Viande18 Mario he works
solo and ‘XBCE’ is his second solo release. Although perhaps not strictly solo, as he receives help from
M. Argenziano, G. Leandra and Sec (the latter also from Aspec(t). Gabola uses a variety self-built device,
no input mixer, feed drum, feedback and saxophone. Much like the music I know from his duo work
Gabola bounces around with some heavy-duty noise versus more controlled atmospheres, where he
keeps everything under control. It is not difficult to see the connection with his improvised work, but
at the same time I was also thinking that in the execution of the pieces on ‘Xebeche’ there was a bit
more planning going and it was all less a ‘hit and see what happens’ approach. Here we have maybe
also a bit more of song approach, with repeating fragments in the form of loops, and while none of
these ‘songs’ are traditionally organised, they do have head and tails and explore a limited set of ideas
and sounds within each track. This is quite the intelligent noise with an improvised music angle I enjoy
very much.
    I never heard of Storm{o}, a band of which Federico Trimeri is a member and Molestia Auricularum
is his solo project. Apparently it was a harsh noise/HNW project, but more and more his interest went
out to musique concrete, tape music and field recordings. His new work is inspired by Japanese onkyo
music scene and the works of William Basinski and Jacob Kirkegaard and sees him using a no input
mixing board, a reel-to-reel tape recorder and various tape loops, but if you would think this leads to
something that can be classified as careful (thinking of Basinski’s work for instance), then you are
mildly wrong here. Trimeri didn’t loose his noise roots that easily, as the music on offer here is quite
noisy, most of the times. I believe he too has various tracks per side, made with piercing feedback and
it’s heavy manipulations, taking the material down into the bass region, which is like adding a whole
additional world the music. Quite some blast, the music of Molestia Auricularum, heavy weight noise,
but also one, just as Viande18 Mario, comes with some additional production value. This is not noise
for the sake of noise, which in my book is always a good thing, but something that actually cares for
the listener and set out to deliver a solid thirty-minute of most entertaining noise plus a bit of gentler
approaches. (FdW)
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