number 1103
week 43


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C-SCHULZ - FRÜHE JAHRE (CD by Unseen Worlds) *
ERLAND DAHLEN  -  CLOCKS (CD by Hubro Music)
ELAN PAUER – YAMAHA/SPEED (CD by Creative Sources)
SKY BURIAL - CHAPEL IMAGE (CD by Wrotycz Records) *
CHRISTIAN KOBI - ATTA (CD by Monotype Records) *
SEETYCA - WINTERLICHT (CD by Winter Light) *
FRANK CRIJNS - SHADE OF IMPULSE (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
MANUEL MOTA - I II (2CD by Headlights Recordings) *
GLICE - CIELO (LP by Narrominded) *
MATTIN - SONGBOOK #6 (LP by Munster Records)
AL KARPENTER - THE CHOSEN ONE (7” by Munster Records)
EOIN CALLERY - OAKUM (CDR by Eh? Records) *
DERIVITIVE - MONSTERZZ (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)
BAKEN - THE SAGA OF NEST-RILEY (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq) *
DERIVITIVE - DO YOU WANT M.O>R? (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)
THE ‘P’ IS FOR PUSSY - ‘... IF I WERE ALIVE...’ (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq) *
TANNER GARZA & FUNERAL PARLOR - DARK DAYS (cassette by Aural Canyon)
LILAC - HELIX (cassette by Twin Lakes/Burnt Brain)
HUXLEY BOON - DISTRACTION LOOPS (cassette by Twin Lakes/Burnt Brain)
SUNMOONSTAR - RAINBOW SPRINGS (cassette by Inner Islands) *
INNER TRAVELS - SEA OF LEAVES (cassette by Inner Islands) *
CHANNELERS - SLOW LEAF SPELL (cassette by Inner Islands) *

C-SCHULZ - FRÜHE JAHRE (CD by Unseen Worlds)

Now I was convinced that I wrote a review of C-Schulz’ 1991 LP ’10. Hose Horn’ and/or the 12”
‘Meisterschaft’ shortly released after that, when Vital was not a weekly and printed on paper every
three months. But I can’t find it, so either I am not looking in the right place (we have to wait for the
book that reprints the old Vital on paper issues) or I simply didn’t do it. Which is odd, as I remember
this record so well, being a favourite at that time, that it is hard to think I wouldn’t have reviewed it.
Frank Dommert released the original on his own Entenpfuhl label (along with an album of his own
and one by Jim O’Rourke) and it blew me away, both the LP and the 12”. The music was entirely made
with samples, so it seemed to me, but, and especially on the first side of the record and the 12”, not in
abstract way, but very much like a film soundtrack. Sounds swirling in and out of the mix, mysterious
drones and hisses and in ‘Reis’ those keyboard lines and in ‘Meister’ the half spoken/half sung voices.
The eleven pieces that made up the original B-side of ’10. Hose Horn’ are sketchy, but here the line of
the first side continues. Spoken word, fragmented bits of electronic, jazz freak out, piano, glockenspiel,
electro-acoustic experiments of cutting up reel-to-reel tapes, pop music, and all of this in a fantastic
mix that is an excellent travelogue for the ears; it’s that or a fine example of ‘kunst radio’. The CD
version has all original thirteen pieces, the 12” ‘7. Party Disco’ (sadly lacking one of the three original
pieces), four pieces from early years (from compilations, a 7” by a group he was in, Blockwart) and on
the Bandcamp version a previously unreleased piece. All of this reminded me of the exciting music
that came out of Cologne in those years, the early 90s and this record sums it all up: lots of
experimentation, lots of fun and lots of seriousness. If you have never heard of C-Schulz, then now
it’s time to correct it and get a slice of the best of what Germany had to offer in those years.
    Robert Haigh’s claim to fame is either with Sema, the industrialists who went acoustic on the
piano or with Omni Trio, ambient drum & bass, about a decade or so later. I still haven’t heard Omni
Trio (or maybe I did but forgot), but for me Sema is one of the more legendary names from the mid
80s industrial music. Check out their LP box set on Vinyl On Demand, probably one of the label’s best
releases. Sema incorporated various instruments and electronics with piano and in the end that
instrument took over and Haigh only played the piano, and after a hiatus of some twenty years he
returned to releasing piano music under his own name in 2007. Quiet rightfully the label refers to
Harold Budd, as like the old master Haigh builds a delicate wall of sound with tons of reverb
suggesting deep space in which the piano tones meander about. There is also the reference to Erik
Satie, which seems sometimes like an obligatory reference when it comes ‘soft piano music’. When
Haigh leaves out all the electronic treatments it has perhaps some of that sparseness of Satie’s piano
pieces, but somehow I am also thinking about new age music. Where exactly becomes this tacky new
age and when is it high art? That is not easy to say with the music of Haigh. I think we need to give
him the benefit of doubt, but with some of these pieces on ‘Creatures Of The Deep’, I am not sure.
Keep adding space and strangeness, mister Haigh, and you’ll be in safe zone! With sunlight fading
early these days, this is exactly the melancholic stuff the mind needs; with or without the tag of new
age. (FdW)
––– Address:


Following last week’s fourth anniversary pack on Ftarri, there is now a new release by Taku Sugimoto
and it’s the first release by him in quite some time. Many years ago he seemed more active when it
came to releasing his work on CD. Maybe he moved his interest towards composing and performing
pieces, rather than recording and releasing? Here he has two pieces for two quintets, one recorded in
Berlin and one in La Jolla, California. Both quintets have the same instruments, flute, violin, cello and
two clarinets, which in both quintets are played by Samuel Dunscombe and Johnny Chang. Both pieces
last around thirty minutes and are very minimal. The three wind instruments play longer sustaining
sounds that intertwine and sound occasionally like sine waves, whereas the violin (and perhaps the
cello) are plucked, rather than played with a bow. The pieces evolve rather slowly, and seem to be on
a standstill, but that’s not the case; over the course one hears small changes, in all instruments and
the whole has a very ‘wandelweiser’ like feeling. This is all very quiet and introspective music and has
a Zen like meditation feeling; very beautiful, like an emptiness to get lost in.
    Minimalism is something that is also of interest to Junji Hirosi, but that’s about the only thing that
is similar to Taku Sugimoto. Hirose is somewhat of a main-stay on the Ftarri label and his main interest
in sound these days us is in the use of instruments he builds himself. Before he called these ‘self-made
sound instruments’, but now he calls it ‘no-instrument air noise’, but as far as I understand it follows
the same sort of idea as before, using wind-like sounds from air compressors, recorded with
microphones and nothing else; hence ‘no-instrument’, of course. Two pieces here, both twenty or so
minutes and it is quite noise based. What he does with these air compressors I am not sure, but maybe
he controls the amount of it with his hands or an object, changing the frequency of the sound. All of this
sounds very powerful, like white noise out of a synthesizer, controlled by fiddling very minimally with
one or two buttons. It is like listening to the sea but then amplified multiple times. There is not a lot of
difference between both pieces, but at this length it makes a perfect statement of intent, as well as keeping
it musically interesting. Great manifestation of noise music. (FdW)
––– Address:


Gordon Beeferman (piano) and Dafna Naphtali (voice, live electro-sound-processing) present their
first album. Beeferman is composer, improviser and pianist. He composed work for the New York City
opera Orchestra and California EAR Unit. Naphtali is a sound/artist, vocalist, electronic musicians and
guitarist. She is a performer of composed new music as well as improvised music. They play `duet
pieces and improvisations for piano and voice with kinetic sound processing, fractal rhythms, and
general polyphonic/kaleidophonic disturbances`. It is not just live manipulation of the piano sounds,
but also a feedback system that shapes their interactions. This is an extraordinary and stunning
release. Not just by the unique procedures, but also because of the musical interesting and satisfying
result. Even more when one realizes that no overdubs or edits were done. Everything was recorded
on November 15th, 2014 in a New York studio. Their avant-garde improvisations start from extended
vocal techniques by Naphatali and the piano playing by Beeferman. But by the sound processing the
music and its sound-spectrum are very much extended and multidimensional. This is almost of
orchestral and theatrical proportions to use an inadequate comparison. The music really breathes
and is full of energy, not losing itself in meaningless experimentalism and stays focused and very
together. (DM)
––– Address:

ERLAND DAHLEN  -  CLOCKS (CD by Hubro Music)

‘Utopian tales’ is Urheim’s fourth solo album for Hubro Music. Urheim, a composer and slide-guitar
master from Bergen, Norway, is assisted by the Cosmolodic Orchestra, an ad hoc ensemble of six
reputed musicians: Kjetil Møster (Møster!), Mari Kvien Brunvoll (Building Instrument), Per Jørgensen
(Jøkleba), Ole Morten Vågan (Trondheim Jazz Orchestra), Jørgen Træen (Sir Dupermann) and Kåre
Opheim (Real Ones).  Urheim plays guitars, vocals, tamboura, Turkish tanbur, bass, samples, collages
and electronics. For this album Urheim took inspiration from micro-tonality. This brings of course
American composer Harry Partch to our mind, who worked extensively with this phenomenon.
Urheim refers in several of the titles to micro-tonality: ‘Mikrotonia’, ‘Just Intonation Island’ and
‘Trouble in Carnaticala’’, a reference to Carnatic music. In the track ‘Just Intonation Island’, that
sounds like a strange ambient collage of textures, Urheim uses samples from Hary Partch, Terry
Riley, and Lou Harrison among others. In contrast, a piece like ‘Trouble in Carnaticala’ is a grooving,
funky piece of music. Also ´Letter from Walden Two´ is a grooving piece of music. Other tracks are
more close to ambient music, like ´Mikrotonia´. The album concludes with the beautiful solo piece
‘Pala’, where Urheim puts all sounds, etc. aside, and chooses for an inspired solo statement. The
compositions by Urheim however don´t seem to offer many surprises or unexpected twists. It is
music of a pleasing nature.
Erland Dahlen presents his third album for Hubro Music, after ‘Rolling Bomber’(2012) and ‘Blossom
Bells’(2015). Everything is composed and played by Dahlen who uses a wide range of instruments:
drums and many percussion instruments, but also electronics, keyboards, voice, guitar, etc. Since the
mid 90s he played on many dozens albums. He may be best known as the drummer in “the successful
band Madrugada for the last years of the band’s life, and as the drummer in Nils Petter Molvær’s
different groups during the last years”. He plays as a duo with Geir Sundstøl and as a trio with Stian
Westerhus and the Pale Horses. He was nominated for a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy) for
his previous album, ‘Blossom Bells’. Dahlen is a collector of musical instruments, and always searching
for new sounds. Which explains the battery of instruments used on this new album. Listening to his
rhythm-based music it is evident that Dahlen is a gifted drummer and percussionist. I enjoyed listening
to him as a drummer and arranger of multi-layered tapestries of sounds. With each listening one can
discover new instruments and sounds. His compositions however didn´t convince me very much. They
offer not much that made me wonder in one way or the other. What is left is thoroughly executed
instrumental music. (DM)
––– Address:

ELAN PAUER – YAMAHA/SPEED (CD by Creative Sources)

So far we met Oliver Schwerdt two times in the Vital Weekly columns, as a member of the Old Luten
Quintet with veteran Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky. So far this ended up in two CDs released on Schwerdt’s
own Euphorium-label, but another release is to be expected in this series. However Schwerdt, a
German jazz musician, improviser, musicologist and journalist, from Eisenach living nowadays in
Leipzig, is already in the scene for a while. In 1999 for example he started his own Euphorium
Freakastra. He uses several pseudonyms like Birg Borgental, Elan Pauer and the Dada-inspired name
Ra Ra Da Boff.  As a musicologist he wrote the extensive work ‘Große Monografie zu Günter Baby
Sommer und zum Räumlichen in der Musik’, a theoretical work on free jazz drummer Sommer. After
releasing albums on his own Euphorium label for about ten years, playing with Axel Dörner, Leo
Smith, Barre Philips and many others, time has come now for a first solo effort: ‘Prestige/No smoking’,
an impressive double CD-recording. Paralleled by a second solo release for the Portuguese Creative
Sources Recordings. ‘Prestige/ No Smoking’ was recorded on june 2nd, 2015 in Leipzig. Two days later
the recordings for ‘Yamaha/Speed’ were made, having Schwerdt more or less in the same flow, shape
and condition I suppose. Torsten Schroth excellently recorded both sessions in the same studio with
Schwerdt playing on a Yamaha CFX. A first difference between the two releases: an extensive booklet
accompanies the double CD with liner notes by Schwerdt, where as these are completely absent in her
 other release. Liner notes have Schwerdt interviewing himself, a quasi dialogue with and by himself.
Is his solo improvisation also a kind of (quasi) dialogue, or is monologue the more fitting term?  One
would say monologue, the more the recordings were made in the studio without the interaction with
a public. But in the end I would say the term ‘inner dialogue’ is the most descriptive one. The double
CD offers two lengthy and lively piano improvisations: ‘Prestige’(41:13) and ‘No Smoking’(48:26). I
don’t know if this is Schwerdt’s normal time span. But two solo improvisations of over 40 minutes is
quite an exercise. Also for the listener it is a long journey. But time passed by quickly, listening to
these eloquent improvisations. He propels his improvisations full-energy forward, in a playful manner.
It is one continuous overwhelming stream, with changes in speed, dynamics and intensity. Moments of
silence are rare. Sometimes one-hand contrasts with what the other one is doing. At other moments
they supplement one other in building and weaving giant structures. References to classical music and
jazz are never too obvious. For this reason I compare him with Fred van Hove, of whom I recently
reviewed a duo effort with Roger Turner. Where van Hove often plays the inside of the piano, Schwerdt
keeps his fingers on the piano manual, not using so-called extended techniques. While listening I never
had the feeling of ‘why doing this and not something else’. The music follows a strong inner logic. Same
experience I had with his improvisations on ‘Yamaha/Speed’. Improvisations are shorter here, but of a
similar style. Exciting music, played with spirit and enthusiasm by a gifted musician who knows well
tradition and has his own story to tell. (DM)
––– Address:


Here is a trio of Ethan Sherman (guitar), Chris Rolontz (bass) and Christian Euman (drums). These
are new names for me. Sherman is a young guitarist, improviser, composer, and arranger based in
Los Angeles. He performed with artists like Nels Cline, Robert Fripp & The Orchestra of Crafty
Guitarists, among others.  For this debut of nine tracks he composed eight tracks of which one piece,
‘Pretty Polly’, is a traditional. The music grew over a period of one year of concerts and rehearsals. It
was recorded in October 3th, 2016 in the Paperchaser Studios in Los Angeles. The music is very laid
back, open and transparent, situated somewhere between jazz and chamber music. Sherman
integrates several influences in his music. ´Dangling´ and ‘Motivation’ are bluesy compositions.
‘Positive Space’ is a bit funky. ´Norway´ is s to ambient. The track ‘Keltner’ inevitably brings the
name of drummer Jim Keltner to our minds. Not sure if the music makes a reference to him. Overall
the music is performed very disciplined and controlled by this nuanced trio. Most of the time the
sound and plying is very clean. Only at a few moments the music becomes edgy and distorted. Most
of the time the music continues in a pastoral atmosphere. This makes this release not a spectacular
one, but just a very solid and focused work. (DM)
––– Address:

SKY BURIAL - CHAPEL IMAGE (CD by Wrotycz Records)

Micheal Page worked with members from Zoviet France, Hawkind, Coil, Crass and Nocturnal Emissions
and I think I heard his music when he worked as Fire In The Head but more, later on, the music he does
under the moniker of Sky Burial. If Fire In The Head represents Page’s love for noise, as Sky Burial he
works with the ambient side of the noise coin, ‘often citing esoteric, literary, metaphysical and
mythological subject matter as a muse’. ‘Chapel Image’ is a work of ‘epic length’, forty-five minutes of
sonic bliss and overload. I seriously had to turn down the volume a bit; otherwise I would have been
crushed by the weight of the music. The music has a lot of saturation, which sometimes pushes the
finer details out of the mix, which is a pity. Turning the volume dial down a bit, allows you to spot
some of these details a little better, such as the percussive bits in the last ten or so minutes. It is hard
to say what it is that Page does, instrument or sound-wise, but no doubt it involves some overload of
the effect boxes, which are plenty around I should think. Even if there is some sort Tibetan bowl being
struck with a mallet, or the recording of wildlife at night, a squeaky chair or whatever, it’s impossible
to identify any of that in this endless maelstrom of sound, well, except perhaps for that end bit. I must
admit I enjoyed this partly. The whole sonic overload didn’t work for me that much; maybe it’s just me,
and just today, I am not sure. It’s like having a peek at the bottom of the ocean; you can’t see thing and
yet you are overwhelmed by it. This music is not for the weak hearted. (FdW)
––– Address:

CHRISTIAN KOBI - ATTA (CD by Monotype Records)

The cover also lists Wakana Ikeda, Taku Sugimoto and Yoko Ikeda, but as a quartet they appear on one
long track (eighteen minutes), while the other twenty-five minutes are by saxophone player Kobo solo.
Hence I think it is best to call this a solo CD by him. Kobi is from Switzerland and has played with Phill
Niblock, Jurg Frey, Keith Rowe and Sugimoto before. ‘Atta’ was recorded in April 2017 in Japan and has
three pieces by Kobi playing tenor saxophone, and one soprano. In all of these solo pieces the emphasis
lies on the minimal exploring of sound material, either with longer sustaining blocks of sounds, such in
the second (all are untitled) piece, which maybe counts for some Phill Niblock influence or inspiration,
but in the fourth and fifth piece it is more about using separate sounds and textures, and the saxophone
becomes an acoustic objects that produces all kinds of sounds which are not necessarily usually derived
from this instrument. These are two contrasts that work quite well. On the quartet piece Wakana Ikeda
plays flute, Taku Sugimoto plays guitar and Yoko Ikeda plays violin. In this piece they effectively blend
together the two contrasts of longer sustaining notes and a more (electro- but sans electricity) acoustic
approach towards instruments-as-objects in an ultra-controlled atmosphere of slowly unfolding
minimalist music. This may all be very quiet but it is also very intense and it all works very well. Play
this at a modest volume and let the musical frequencies do their work in your space. (FdW)
––– Address:


Quite some years ago, Sound_00, the musical project of Toni Dimitrov was an active force in the world
of net labels and CDRs (this was before cassettes became hip again), but he disappeared for a while,
for reasons I don’t know but I see his name popping up again and here he has seven pieces recorded
in collaboration with Boban Ristevski, also known as Lefterna, and who, also many moons ago, wrote
reviews for this rag. Apparently they have been working together for some time now, and released
their work on compilations on such imprints as all Into Void, Post Global Recordings, HNM Recordings,
AOsmosis and Crna Zemlja. Not that I heard any of these. This collection sees these pieces re-mastered
by Cruel Sound Works, “adding a richer, more distinctive warm feel to each piece”. These are quite
lengthy pieces of music, somewhere between seven and fifteen minutes, dealing with field recordings,
processed and otherwise, and to which a bunch of electronics are added. There is a strong love for field
recordings that contain a lot of water, rain, running taps or river streams; that sort of thing. By way of
processing and adding effects and electronics it comes out as a deep wash of atmospheric drone music.
I can’t say if these are now warmer than before, but they sound pretty much all right to these ears.
There is the dash of reverb, set to a cavernous setting to suggest that spooky touch, which is something
that you can find on all these releases, by this label, and in general with this kind of music. This is music
that one should undergo and feel, rather than rationalize about. Like many of the other isolationist
musicians it seems less about composing and more about letting sounds wander freely inside a bunch
of sound effects but it becomes a very nice work indeed.
    Germany’s Seetyca has had a release before on Winter Light (see Vital Weekly 1049), which made
him, perhaps, so happy that he decided to call his latest ‘Winter Licht’? I don’t know. Seetyca uses “e-
maschinen, samplers, glass harmonica, air voice and harmonica”, as they are listed on the cover and a
whole bunch of friends supply other sounds, such as “ice piano, bass, electro harmonix, environmental
sounds” and other sorts of sound material. The music all of this leads to is not much different than from
the previous Seetyca releases I heard (which I believe is a far from complete collection); the long
sustaining sounds on synthesizers (what he calls ‘e-maschinen’ I guess), the heavily processed drones
made out of field recordings. Not that much of this can be easily recognized of course in this music, as it
all melts together, like in a big melting pot of sounds. Maybe the occasional higher pitched sound may
be derived from stroking a bowl but by and large it is a fairly traditional drone album. Unlike his
previous, which seemed to me a bit more randomly put together, with diverse source material. Here
tracks seem to be flowing into each other, even when they have distinct different titles, and form a
bigger picture. Perhaps. This album is packed to the max with eighty minutes of music, and only in
the final piece, ‘Global Chillage’ Seetyca does something else and that is tapping into the world of
cosmic music. Maybe we should consider that as a starting point for a change? The future will tell. (FdW)
––– Address:

FRANK CRIJNS - SHADE OF IMPULSE (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

The name Frank Crijns popped up twice in Vital Weekly, when he was torturing the guitar as part of
rock improvisers Betonfakraktion (Vital Weekly 937 and 1059), but his work is so much more.
Following his study at the Rotterdam Conservatory he composes for soloists and ensembles, but he’s
also a member of bands as Titanic Combo & Spelonk, Big Band Nieuwe Muziek, Positive Nuns, BLAST
and the aforementioned Betonfraktion. He has also played with Fred Frith, Elliot Sharp, Tim
Hodgkinson, Pavel Fajt, Jacques Palinckx, Rhys Chatham, Phill Niblock, Bram Stadhouders and Aart
Strootman, as well as composing music for theatre and dance performances. Here on his solo CD he
coins the term ’N-bient’ of which he says that is ‘refers to nature (here water) and acoustics (here
passages by classical ensembles). They are combined, or interact or collide and as such this is a work
of electro-acoustic composition; fitting all the bits together through editing. Now, we may know Moving
Furniture Records as a label primarily interested in drone music in all its colourful aspects, and so this
release by Frank Crijns will raise an eyebrow, here and there. Partly, I would think, because of collage
like approach he has towards his sounds; sometimes sitting next to each other, sometimes overlaying
each other, breaking up radically and moving on as something completely different. That’s not all that
is new here; Crijns uses extensively recordings of acoustic instruments, especially in the first part of
this piece, which adds a modern classical feel to the music, which is so far unheard of in the catalogue
of this label. And yet, Crijns also works with extended sounds, computer based treatments of water
sounds (not always recognizable as such), pitched up or down, and singing for some time around before
changing over. Once you get over these two surprises a beautiful CD will unfold itself to the listener.
The modern classical element is something that is mainly to be noted in the first part (at twelve
minutes also the longest part) and lesser in the other four. This CD is quite a surprise; an overall
great musical release and perhaps a somewhat daring move for the label. (FdW)
––– Address:

MANUEL MOTA - I II (2CD by Headlights Recordings)

With highly irregular intervals Manuel Mota releases something and usually his releases end up on my
desk. It is usually without much information, either on the cover of the release or on the website.
What’s there to say? The first disc, named ‘I’, has seven pieces, recorded in Ericeira on January 5th,
2017 and the second disc, named ‘II”, has five pieces recorded in Antwerp over three days in May 2017
and two more from Ericeira, recorded three days after the ones on the first disc. This is an edition of
200 copies. Manuel Mota plays guitar, the cover says, but it could have said ‘electric guitar’. So that’s
about it, I guess. Playing the fourteen pieces on these two CDs I realize it is not really important to
know much about it; even knowing the recording dates and places may seem be a bit unnecessary.
There is not an awful lot that changed in the five months between January and May 2015 in the way
Mota approaches his guitar. His music is very minimal. Mota plucks a string, waits a bit, and plucks
another. The silence in between the notes isn’t long at all, but thanks to the clever use of the reverb
setting on his amplifier notes sustain a bit, and almost, just almost overlap each other, but not
completely. It is very quiet and sparse, everything reduced to the barest of tones. I have no idea if
Mota goes to a studio to record his music, or places his guitar and amplifier in a space and just starts
playing and edits his pieces later on, taking from a bigger picture sort of thing. There is, but I am the
first to admit I have no clue what I am talking about, a blues like feeling of desolation in the music of
Mota, even when nothing in the package gives you the slightest idea that this is in some way doom,
gloom or desolate. It is just something that I get from hearing this music. I am not sure why Mota
didn’t put all of this on a single CD, as with the total length of seventy-three minutes it could have
easily fitted, but I am sure mister Mota has his reasons for it. Another beauty delivered by this
Portuguese guitarist of some highly refined quality. (FdW)
––– Address:

GLICE - CIELO (LP by Narrominded)

So far I missed out on the releases by Glice, a duo from Amsterdam, consisting of Ruben Braeken (who
 is also a member of more rock oriented groups as Katadreuffe and Apneu) and Melle Kromhout, who
recently did a distortion on ‘noise in sound recording’. I did see them live however once, which was on
an evening of pop music, if I remember well, where their noise stood out by a long stretch. Good and
solid, was the impression I got. They have some cassettes available, but here present their first LP and
for this one they went to Berlin, to have it produced by Einstürzende Neubauten member Alexander
Hacke, and I am not sure how much their sound changed now. On the first side (two pieces; just like
the second) their sound is again very much inspired by the world of noise music, perhaps as I remember
from the concert. A solid wall of sound is erected and in between there are heavily distorted acoustic
sounds and towards the end of ‘Pentachromacy’ also an additional layer of distorted guitar. In ‘Rangda’
acoustic sound start up and slowly smears of sound effects, effectively building up a complex system of
noise sounds, cover each one. Maybe some of the effects are a bit too easy.
    Turn the record over and electric guitar turn and tune up and it seems this could become another
blast but it’s not. In ‘Jackdaw’ the noise contained and restrained and works towards some sort of violin
passage (actually played by Erik Kromhout en Wieke Meijer, composed by Florian de Backere), which adds
a beautiful soaring, modern classical feel to the noise that lurks on in the background. ‘Animalicule’ is the
closing piece and the longest at that, but its also Glice at their softest, despite the somewhat force opening
sounds. After a while voices slip in, noise disappears and the words humming becomes a chorale by itself.
While I don’t mind a bit of noise, perhaps more in a live context than on record these days, I prefer Glice’s
two pieces on the second more. Here the music seems less omni-directional, more complex and more
suited for home entertainment. (FdW)
––– Address:

MATTIN - SONGBOOK #6 (LP by Munster Records)
AL KARPENTER - THE CHOSEN ONE (7” by Munster Records)

As always I love a surprise, and Mattin is surely someone who knows how to pull that off. He’s no
stranger to the land of free noise rock, but rarely, so I believe, does he use lyrics. But here’s a record,
made by friends from Berlin, playing with the lyrics of Mattin. These friends are Farahnaz Hatam, Pan
Dajiing, Werner Dafeldecker, Colin Hacklander and Dean Roberts (of whom I haven’t heard in a long
time) and the latter describes this as "Butthole Surfers meets Run The Jewels”. The lyrics are said to
be “dealing with our fucked up times and the search for overcoming them. To say that there is no
authenticity is not to fall into the postmodern relativism that has been a debilitating force in the
struggle against the new wave of neo fascism. In fact, the latter also claim their own authenticity:
race realism. Nor surprisingly, authenticity was also at the core of Heidegger, which somehow connects
National Socialism and its French deconstructionist critics.” Lyrics are printed the cover and are indeed
about these subjects of fascism, foreigners, of the drains of society. But you know me, not being one that
listens very closely to lyrics (spoilt western man that I am), but the music is pretty interesting. Mattin
provided all the rock instruments, a bunch of electronics and some microphones and before recording
the group discussed how the lyrics could be best set to music and it’s a pretty wild affair of free sounds
running amok, but also with electronic peeps and bursts and the lyrics themselves sung very freely, by
Mattin and Dajiing. There are elements from the world of rock music to be found here and some of that
Butthole Surfers madness can be found here indeed, and as much as I like surprises, I must also admit I
am less enamoured by this record. But then, the surfers back then also failed to impress me  (but surely
I should have seen them play live, which I didn’t). I can see the relevance of these lyrics and it’s another
daring move by Mattin and will please his fans no doubt.
    From Bilbao, Mattin’s erstwhile hometown is Al Karpenter, “the only wild rocker able to restore
the hard core of the true rebel music”. He used to have a fanzine, did a Bilbao tribute album to the first
Velvet Underground album, and now plays guitar, drums and sings, along with Mattin on guitar and
drums and Loty Negarti on bass. The label as to put drops names us on track for references (No New
York, Alternative TV, Scott Walker and Iggy Pop) and I can see some of that here in these three pieces.
Certainly the element of free rock with elements of improvisation, say No New York, lingers on here
and Karpenter does that with considerable force. There is quite a bit of feedback and power used in
these pieces, more so than in any of things it is compared with. Mattin recorded and produced this
with quite some pure direct injection and no additional production values. Perhaps as one should
record a fine punk record, except that Karpenter’s music isn’t really punk. Too slow and too weird are
just two of those things that make it different. Nice one! (FdW)
––– Address:


The title is explained on the cover: “Oakum: fibrous strands obtained by plucking and picking apart old
ropes, a task often performed during the 18th and 19th centuries by inmates in prisons and
workhouses”. Eion Callery plays a shure sm57 amplifying a violin bow in the first piece, then that plus
a string in the next three and in the final piece an electric guitar. He also ‘utilizes a series of overlapping
automated limited band-pass filtered feedback patches, controlled with SuperCollider. Occasionally the
Supercollider patches are further processed - EQ, reverb and Thomas Mundt’s amazing Loudmax limiter
- in Logic audio’, which I must admit went a bit over my head, certainly when listening to the music.
There is quite some acoustic scraping of objects or such like with that bow and indeed some kind of
electronic process going on. In all five of these pieces (the two bookend pieces being the longest at over
17 minutes the other three relatively short) there is an interesting complexity of sounds going on. The
way the acoustic parts collide with the electronic is quite effective. In the four pieces with the violin
bow it all sounds pretty similar, but the guitar piece is quite different with a sort of open strumming
and with massing up these sounds in a fine orchestral way. This is quite a fine release of someone
doing his very own take on electro-acoustic music with some highly satisfying results. (FdW)
––– Address:


Now, here we have some truly strange thing. In a sort of handmade package with glued on bits of texts
and image and crap tape, and inside two CDRs. The musical main man here is Finish musician Ville
Vokkolainen who plays electric guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, electric drums, programming,
production, recording, mixing and mastering. On both discs he has guest players. On the first disc,
which is only fourteen minutes in duration, that is an electric bass, alto saxophone and the soloist on
a grand piano. This is disc is called ‘Piano Concerto’, and indeed Seppo Kantonen rocks out on the
instrument and the piece has a filmic character, and sometimes an odd and uneasy marriage between
the real instruments and whatever Vokkolainen samples together, which sounds at times a bit weak.
Somehow this piece seems to be the result of editing various bits together, which do not always make
sense. Jazzy, at times, orchestral, but also naïve. It’s not bad but not particular strong either.
    The second disc contains a twenty-eight minute piece with Vokkolainen on pretty much the same
instruments, but helps by a whole lot more musicians on ‘v synth’, bass, lead guitar, piano, spoons,
baritone saxophone, prepared electric guitar (by Lauri Hyvärinen, the only name I recognized) and it
is called ‘Post-Colonial Love Affair’ and starts out like with something that reminded of a lengthy intro
from the world of ambient house music in the mid 80s, but moves in the rest of the piece between
something that is improvised dark jazz, klezmer, ambient, free jazz, film soundtrack and dance music,
with the saxophone is a particular free role, blearing about. And yes, I realize that is quite an eclectic
hybrid of music that is in play here, perhaps like the other disc, but here it works much better. It has
less the approach of sticking various bits together, and in all it’s musical diversity it is very enjoyable.
––– Address:

DERIVITIVE - MONSTERZZ (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)
BAKEN - THE SAGA OF NEST-RILEY (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)
DERIVITIVE - DO YOU WANT M.O>R? (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)
THE ‘P’ IS FOR PUSSY - ‘... IF I WERE ALIVE...’ (CDR by Fukminate Mewziq)

“Do you review digital stuff?” Well, no, but read our guidelines online and have look on submission
guidelines. A few days later: “I sent you all my releases... sorry sir...” Oh, you didn’t read anything at
all then? “I guess I would request that you focus on the Derivitive CDs... Of heaven of hell, monsterzz
ball and the whaling wall...this is the primary group...totally understand not looking at the rest of it...
the most recent releases are...the painters, g. Castro and family and Derivitive "do u want m.o.r?"...
Mea culpa in advance... And thanks in advance again... It's kind of a mess over here...” Thanks to 15 CDs
it’s a mess here too and with some of this artwork being ‘not easy/arty/unreadable’, the mess lingers
on. Let this quotation of mail conversation be a warning if you just grabbed a box to pack your complete
label. Where are the Derivitive CDs? Oh found them. I started with ‘Monsterzz’, opening with a glitch
rhythm. Derivitive is Draven on synthesizers, turntables, efx, beats and E.P. 1:9 on efx, synth and beats
and Bakon on vocals. By which I understand that this is rap music. Now, I don’t like rap. At all. Never
did, never will. So that’s pretty easy to judge this. The music is quite all right, with wacky sampled
sounds and unfortunately the rap standing in its way to enjoy. I must admit that I enjoyed it best
without rap of which there is also some but not a lot.
    Let’s move to ‘Of Heaven/Of Hell’ then. No line-up mentioned on the cover so let’s assume it’s the
same people. The level of experimentation is present, again very loud and very crudely put to tape,
but recognizable samples of other music, a bit of scratching and, lo and behold, more rap. See as before.
    ’The Whaling Wall’, then, let’s continue, is twice as long as the two previous one, this time seventy-
three minutes, but with lesser tracks. The track sounds like a Meat Beat Manifesto opening (I took out
‘Storm The Studio’ for some after party playing, once reviewing was over), more rap, more noise, more
mayhem. Maybe it’s because the pieces are a bit longer here that means that the instrumental bits are
a bit longer as well. Whether that is good or bad? The word isn’t out on it yet. “If something is
derivative, it is not the result of new ideas, but has been developed from or copies something else”,
 yes, but what?
    So, that went really well. Let’s see what’s next in this pile that is easy to read? Baken is G. Castro,
also the person who didn’t read; busy to pack up these CDs. So, he’s the rapper than? I am sure he use
a bit more than just his voice on this solo release, but its voice heavy. Not so much rap, but spoken
word/singing is surely one way or another part of this. Here too there is quite an amount of distortion,
mayhem, feedback, noise to be found, which is actually quite all right I think; at least I kept listening
on and on, until I had enough, which took me indeed some time. The voice is used to generate feedback
and white noise and who knows, one could say this is some kind of ‘noise voice poetry’? The first fine
release so far.
    The next I picked more or less randomly from the heap lists a whole track titles and implies they
are covers of songs by Ace Of Base, Norah Jones, Bob Dylan, Soundgarden and such. A quick check
learned I could only recognize ‘All That She Wants’ by Ace Of base, except I didn’t. But it gave me ample
time to go the bandcamp page and compare images and noticed that, hey ho, it’s Derivitive again.
‘M.O.R.’ in the title of course means, ‘middle of the road’, meaning most normal radio friendly pop drivel,
but in the good (?) hands of Derivitive it of course doesn’t sound like anything normal or friendly, well,
or both. Luckily none of these pieces contain not much rap, received by a modest applause here. This is
more like a sample fest, a bit of techno rhythm (for Dylan, of all people), a genuine amount of weirdness
and there is nothing middle of the road; like I would expect such a thing, having just sat through three
previous releases. This was the best Derivitive I heard so far.
    ‘Motherfuckerrrr’ sounds like something out of mouth of Hank Moody, and I had a hard (too hard)
time deciphering hand written scribble that are the, ho-hum, liner notes. Bandcamp, where would be
without you, helps out: “As the old maxim says: Cowards dies a thousand deaths///So this takes the
saying to new extremes as loving anything or anyone denotes the underlying pain of losing this thing
or person and the inevitability of this happening. Sudden violence falls upon the psyche and alters it
never to return to its former stasis and sense of benevolence/////“ All right. Two pieces; one is almost
eight, and the other almost twenty-nine. Some voice, some electronics, some rhythm, a bit of torment
on the pop side, a bit of noise on the torment. I am not sure what the intention of all of this is, if of course
there is one at all. Like Baken there is perhaps, just perhaps, some sort of poetry and noise involved in
this, just in a less noisy manner, and more stretched out, more minimal perhaps also. Not bad either,
perhaps a bit of variation would have been welcome?
    So, how are we doing so far? Pour me another coffee and wipe the sweat of me forehead, and we
continue with, hold on, The ‘P’ Is For Pussy, how about that for a dollar? This time I will dispense with
the Bandcamp information, as it’s pretty much the same sort of thing I didn’t understand from the
previous release. There is more noise here, more weirdness and maybe there is something lifted from
a pornographic flick or two, but then screwed and fucked up to an extent that we don’t recognize it
anymore, and besides the word ‘cock’ on the inside is hardly offensive. If it was at all. The fourth track
has a sample of some kind of rhythm. Didn’t understand this I am afraid.
    Encore you say? Let’s do one more so we have less than half left for next time. Label boss Castro
hauls the whole family in front of the microphone and maybe you think this comedy hour (look at the
title; well, maybe comedy fifty-three minutes) but that is not. There is a very minimalist affair, with
the first fifteen minutes looped guitar improvisations, followed by thirty-four minutes of improvised
electronics. Home fun? No doubt. Do we have the look after the children? Probably. Is it good? Not
really. It is the kind of thing that in the eighties gave cassette releases a bad name, but CDR is a likewise
easy medium to release this private jam session. (FdW)
––– Address:

TANNER GARZA & FUNERAL PARLOR - DARK DAYS (cassette by Aural Canyon)

It has been a while since I last heard something by Tanner Garza from Texas, but maybe work or family
got in the way of some steady production, but here he returns with a collaborative work with Funeral
Parlor, which was “was the dark Synth & Soul obsessed alter ego of Josh Doughty”; was, as the project
existed from 2013 to 2017. This was made “with the mutual influence of severe depression, an
unhealthy fascination with the macabre, and the likewise enjoyment of collaboration, Tanner Garza &
Funeral Parlor have turned a varying mix of everything weird”. I didn’t think this to be that weird,
really, but indeed a certain element of desolation and despair is certainly in place here. But this time it
doesn’t work to be in all drone affair of holding down a few minor chords for a long time, with some
long recording for heavy rainfall to underpin the despair. In the nine pieces here Garza and Funeral
Parlor hint towards the classic Eno/Fripp collaboration of a spacious synth of a loop and sustained e-
bow guitars, some with a fine slow rhythm that is borrowed from the world of ambient house. Rain
recordings are present, in ‘Better Daze Under These Gray Skies’, but that too has a nice arpeggio and
slo-mo drum pattern. Maybe for the musicians dark days but I thought this was this was all rather
enjoyable, a most welcome distraction from the world of drones and a fine reminder of the world of
ambient in the 90s. (FdW)
––– Address:

LILAC - HELIX (cassette by Twin Lakes/Burnt Brain)
HUXLEY BOON - DISTRACTION LOOPS (cassette by Twin Lakes/Burnt Brain)

From London hails the Twin Lakes/Burnt Brain label, even when Richard Phoeniz writes that is not a
label as such and he’s working with structure, improvisation and imperfection. As such he might very
well be the person who is behind both of these releases. On ‘Helix’, recorded as Lilac he improvises
with a keyboard and a sampler. There are seven pieces here, which show an interest in minimalism,
with those loops running unchanged for a while, and with the keyboard in a noisier mode; there is a
bit of rhythm in ‘Upstairs’. The recording of this very direct and to the point; nothing has been done to
touch this up, plug, play, record and release, seems to have been the plan. It is a pretty varied set of
pieces that Lilac delivers here and it is most enjoyable as well.
    As Huxley Boon there is a cassette with a piece per fourteen minute side and these pieces were
made with a four track recorder and samples from “punk record by a band called Sauna Youth”, if I read
that well. And sampling it is; short phrases are on a repeat mission, mainly taken from the guitar part
of the recordings and put together with some interest towards sound collage. Patterns shift very slowly
and cross fade into each other. There seems to be no samples of drums or vocals and Huxley Boon aims
for an ambient soundtrack with quite a bit of fuzzy logic. No doubt there is a some inspiration delivered
by William Basinski, right from the title towards the execution of the music, but in Boon’s defence he
does a great job and all of it melts together in a very refined way; refined but not too much of that, as
the music has it’s rough edge. (FdW)
––– Address:

SUNMOONSTAR - RAINBOW SPRINGS (cassette by Inner Islands)
INNER TRAVELS - SEA OF LEAVES (cassette by Inner Islands)
CHANNELERS - SLOW LEAF SPELL (cassette by Inner Islands)

Here in front me are these three cassettes and looking these titles, as listed above, and the images (look
it up on Bandcamp), one can probably conclude this is the kind of ambient gone soft and leans towards
the world of new age. It’s something I already noted with a previous release from this label, also by
Channelers (see Vital Weekly 1093). I notice that the words ‘new age’ as a definition is more and more
used in these pages, when it comes to the softer kinds of ambient music. I thought, just today, how
would the holy grail of all knowledge, St. Wiki, define New Age? “There is no exact definition of new-
age music. An article in Billboard magazine in 1987 commented that "New Age music may be the most
startling successful non-defined music ever to hit the public consciousness". Many consider it to be an
umbrella term for marketing rather than a musical category, and to be part of a complex cultural
trend.” but also “New age music is a genre of music intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation,
and optimism. It is used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation, reading as a method of stress
management to bring about a state of ecstasy rather than trance, or to create a peaceful atmosphere
in their home or other environments, and is associated with environmentalism and New Age
spirituality.” It can be acoustic but also electronics, “frequently relying on sustained synth pads or
 long sequencer-based runs” This is something I kept in mind when listening to the music on these cassettes.
    I started this trip with Sunmoonstar, the musical project of Natasha Home, hailing from Australia
and who recorded her six pieces in Florida. She certainly uses ‘long sequencer based runs’ of bell-like
sounds, a bit of drums, watery piano sounds and has five shorter pieces on the first side of the cassette
and one long on the other. The five shorter pieces I’d definitely label as new age music. Sweet music
most suited for relaxing, and totally without any edge or mystic. The long title piece however is
something different. Here she uses ‘sustained synth pads’ and bird sounds, which sounds like the
Heavenly Music Corporation twenty years ago (and most likely also other releases by Silent Records;
or a bit like Pete Namlook), but it has a beautiful moody edge, which I found most enjoyable. Now this
works for me very well in terms of relaxing and inspiration, but I can imagine it also being a bit of
darker cloud compared the tunes on the other side, which are a bit too sugary sweet for my darker taste.
    Birds starts ‘Conversations With A Forest’, the opening song on ‘Sea Of Leaves’ by Inner Travels,
which is the musical project of S. Targo, from Pell Lake, Wisconsin and he uses a “ Waldorf Blofeld,
Moog Mother-32, Yamaha SY-2 & Vox DelayLab”, for all you gear freaks. Targo call his music “synthesizer
meditations on the splendor of nature”, which seems to me a most appropriate description of the
mostly gentle sounds he’s playing. No doubt Pell Lake is a beautiful area and it inspired Targo play
some very gentle music. He says that the A-side is about ‘sequencer-based composition and the
possibilities of building layers out of patterns’; and the other side ‘is meant to induce a trance-like
state, best listened to in the evening’. Damn, it’s just midday and there is last bit of summer sunshine,
so maybe not right to hear this. I must admit I didn’t hear these two seemingly different approaches;
or at least not enough to see them as different things. All six of these pieces are very mellow affairs, all
seem to be sequencer based, but maybe in the last three they are longer and slower? It is quite nice;
hanging very much, for me at least, at the edge of where ambient becomes new age.
    Sean Conrad, also known as Channelers returns with another album using the dulcimer, guitar,
Juno 60 and field recordings (from a summer in Ohio), which makes Conrad one of the few here to not
only work electronically but also using acoustic instruments and that is something one can hear
straight away. In the title track, which spans the whole of the second side this is perhaps less the case,
with a slow arpeggio played on the Juno60, guided by some wind and rain sounds and what seems to
be a dulcimer with considerable reverb. In the other three pieces on the first side the balance between
all three instruments seems to be more in balance and here we have, for the first time in these three
Inner Islands releases, a sense of experimentalism within the realm of ambient music. It’s not just
purely based on endless sustaining sounds pulled from a synthesizer or two, but played by a human,
with some fine, slow development, minimalist plucking on the dulcimer and yet also retaining that
fine moody atmosphere. Now this is exactly the kind of ambient music I like; atmospheric, dark,
intense, a bit rough, and throughout most enjoyable.
    Conrad is also the man behind the label and as such responsible for the artistic choices he makes; I
have no idea how much he wants this to be an overall ambient label, and how much this should be new
age styled music, but, as before, I would like to give him the benefit of doubt, but that’s mostly based on
his own music. (FdW)
––– Address:

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