number 1106
week 46


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here:

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud!

before submitting material please read this carefully:

Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.

help Vital Weekly to survive:

  WATCHING BRIDE (2CD by Die Stadt/Auf Abwegen) *
CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - MAYBE (CD by White Paddy Mountain) *
CUT WORMS - CABLE MOUNDS (CD by Opa Loka Records) *
DB/MZ - HANDS THAT LEAD OUR DECAY (CD by Frozen Light Label) *
BENJAMIN THIGPEN - FLUX (CD by Empreintes Digitales) *
  MUSIC REWORKED (CD by Sub Rosa) *
ZE-KA - GHOST PLANET (CD by Opa Loka Records) *
RADIO NOISES (compilation CD by Antenna Non Grata)
YOUR REALITY IS BROKEN (LP compilation by Black Rose Recordings)
FRIESEN WATERS DUO - NO. 3 (cassette by Shaking Box Music) *
[SYMBOL AS THEME] (compilation CDR by resdatcom)
ISNAJ DUI - POIESES (CDR by Rural Colours) *
  Officielle) *
NILS QUAK - SUR L’EAU (cassette by Ana Ott)
RAEPPEN - VOUVDI/VALKHOF (cassette by Barreuh Records) *
CORRESPONDENCE - WAVE RECITAL (cassette by Audiobulb)


There is no need to repeat what I said before about Belgium’s Hybryds and my lack of appreciation in
the past, but as I noted with the previous re-issues Zoharum released (see Vital Weekly 818 and 921)
I enjoy their music now more than I did back then, even when their whole ‘magick/ritual’ whatever
thing is still not well spend on me. But of course it’s part of their legacy, part of the artwork and titles,
so it’s there. I guess I missed out some of the re-issues Zoharum did, as this is already the sixth they
are doing from the Hybryds catalogue. I am not sure if I remembered ‘The Ritual Of The Rave’ from
back then; hearing the music now I must admit I am a bit blank on it. As the title indicates this is
music that has been intended for raves, as in dance music raves. The music was recorded in the mid
90s and while very rhythmical this is not necessarily very strict techno or house music. The ritual
aspect of this rave is more like men dancing around the campfire in caves, as indicated by the cover
design. The music is throughout based on that 4/4 rhythm, but it doesn’t always have that groovy
touch. It’s more a mechanical drum complete with an extra cowbell or clap here and there. In
’Sjamanistic Dream (ravemix)’ I was reminded of ambient house, as this is also the piece that has
quite bit of additional synthesizer sounds. I was also reminded of Muslimgauze in an odd way. On
the bonus CD we find five live pieces and two studio from the same period by Hybryds frontman
Magthea and the Klinik’s Mark Burghgraeve and one with Magthea and Frank from the Plankton
Maffia. Here the minimalism also prevails, but there is also a level of experimentalism in ‘Zoo Intro’
that made me curious how well that went down at the rave, unless of course this was in a chill out
room, followed by a very slow ‘Call Of The Tuareg’, which I think is also something for chill out rooms.
The three collaborative pieces are more straight up dark wave/techno/acid pieces make up a nice,
slightly more conventional ending. This is a pretty interesting historical artefact!
    Only a few weeks ago, in Vital Weekly 1102, I reviewed a new work by (Erik) Jarl, the man behind
IRM and Skin Area, but for me mostly known under his own name for his long form dark electronic
music soundscapes/nightmares. With the release of this double pack we get some background on Jarl,
in the form of a re-issue of two old tapes, ‘Negative Rotation’ recorded in 2000/2001 and ‘Intensive
Fracture’ in 2003/2004, along with five bonus pieces for compilations from later years. One of the
main differences is that especially on ‘Negative Rotation’ we find much shorter pieces and they are
very much from the world of bleak industrial music, with monotonous rhythms and loops, a bang and
a clang, along with some desolate synth going on. Music that is quite cold and distant and still in an
embryonic stage. With ‘Intensive Fracture’ this is already different, forecasting the later ominous
drone symphonies. Apparently both of these tapes were made with analogue synthesizers and
analogue effects yet in a short time span Jarl seemed to start finding his own voice, moving from a
standard sort of industrial music towards the nightmarish soundtracks that we usually find in horror
movies, coupling the machines together and let them interact in a beautiful, powerful and dark way.
The noise element is still present here, more so than on his later works, even when the various
compilations make great sense to go with this re-issue.
    From Genetic Transmission there will be a bunch of reissues by Zoharum (see also Vital Weekly
1060), and the next two are number three and four from the series and both are in collaboration with
Moan, also known as Rafal Sadej, from the Silesian area. On ‘Collaboration 1’ he and Tomasz Twardawa,
the man behind Genetic Transmission, created sound material together and then they went home to
work on the arrangement of these pieces into a bit of music. Genetic Transmission delivers three
finished pieces, Moan two. There are a bunch of acoustic sources to be detected, piano, percussion,
objects and there is quite some in the way of hand manipulated sounds; like a big rumble in a dimly
lit basement of man stumbling about, but upstairs there is a myriad of electronics connected that pipe
in these weird electronic sounds. There is somehow, something that reminded me of Nurse With
Wound here. The studio being an instrument, where the strangest of events can happen; a surrealist
sound picture can be out together from the most unconnected elements, and when put together make
totally great sense. This is some substantially scary music! Beautiful and haunted, the combination
we love.
    Should you have no clue who Luigi Russolo is, than what are you doing here? Take a minute, look it
up, come back and continue. This is a split between Genetic Transmission and Moan, each with a thirty
minute, give or take, piece of music dedicated to the writer of ‘The Art Of Noise’, in 1913, and they both
use everyday sounds, and I assume from the urban environment, to create a lengthy tribute to the art
of noise. Moan’s piece is called ‘Men At Work’ and was a sound installation in the Museum of the city of
Jawor, and is a multitude of looped sounds of what could be acoustic machines, played by the hands of
men, rather than set in motion by the workings of electricity. Over the duration of thirty minutes some
sounds are pushed to the foreground, some removed to the background, but everything stays on a
similar dynamic level, which is quite minimal, but it surely has something quite captivating. The thirty-
five minutes by Genetic Transmission sounds from time to time like amassed field recordings, recorded
in a hollow space so there is a certain sense of remoteness, which is a bit of a pity. There might also be
some kind of electronic treatment going, which also has this remote feeling; I am not sure if this is all
due to the way it was recorded (picked up by a microphone in a space, more than direct input recording)
but I heard better from Genetic Transmission; even when this piece has some interesting sounds to
spare it lacks a bit in execution.
    You could almost think that Zoharum is a re-issue only label, but it’s not, as proofs the new release
by Maninkari, the brothers from France. Frederic Charlot plays viola, cello, cimbalom, zuma and synths
and Olivier plays santoor, cimbalom, bodhran-tar, marimba and synths. They already had a release
with the same title, see Vital Weekly 960, and as I couldn’t find a date on the cover of ‘second session’,
I am not sure if this was recorded back then also, or perhaps the same set-up as then, but then newly
recorded. Like before the rhythm aspect of their music is the most important thing, with the other
instruments adding texture and atmosphere. Reverb is added throughout to create a bit of extra
environment, making the overall sound at times also a bit hollow and also as before I am reminded
me of Muslimgauze (less political of course, but also less mechanical, i.e. more human made), Rapoon,
Internal Fusion and Dessacord Majeur. No titles, not really any kind of information, leaving the listener
free to make up his own mind about it. That is all fine, but I am not necessarily a big fan of the music.
Some of these pieces seem to be put together with a free form jam going on, around unsteady, changing
segments of percussion instruments and violin and other stringed instruments filling up the spaces
that are left in between. I guess it’s not a bad CD, but perhaps it is something that isn’t really my cup
of tea, this time around. (FdW)
––– Address:

  WATCHING BRIDE (2CD by Die Stadt/Auf Abwegen)

When Die Stadt started re-releasing old Asmus Tietchens LPs on CD in a series of total 17 releases,
back in 2003 I think they expected to be done earlier. Now they release number 16, which is a double
CD of a collaboration Tietchens did with Terry Burrows. That’s not a name popping up often in Vital
Weekly, but his main musical activities lie in the past, even when to this day he is active. In the 80s he
worked as Yukio Yung and Jung Analysts and was a member of pop band The Chrysanthemums (along
with Deep Freeze Mice’ man Alan Jenkins). Burrows had his own label, Hamster Records & Tapes and
one day he received a letter from Asmus, asking for some information. Since Burrows knew who Asmus
was, he proposed to do some musical work together. That became ‘Watching The Burning Bride’,
released by Hamster and early it was decided to do another one, as well as each a solo LP, so it would
be a quartet of releases (Tietchens’ solo one is ‘Abfleischung’, already re-issued; see Vital Weekly 657;
one could wonder what will happen to the Burrows’ solo one, ‘The Whispering Scale’. I never heard
that one). The fourth one took some time to materialize and was released in 1998, ad ’Burning The
Watching Bride’.
    This re-issue has a lengthy text by Burrows but the one thing it doesn’t tell us is how the
collaboration worked; well, a bit that Burrows send recordings of multi-tracked loops to Asmus, who
added material of his own, but is Tietchens then also the one who did the final mix? I guess so. That is
how it was the first time around, with on the second collaboration duties divided per side. Tietchens
creating five pieces out of sounds by Burrows, while he does one long piece out of the Tietchens
material (that piece is of course also included in this package). On the first album, the pieces are
mostly short, and limited to a few sounds per piece, but using a wide variety of sounds; acoustic
sounds, instruments as piano or guitar, synthesizers, rhythm machines, even voices are used and
throughout there is gentle fun to be poked with these sounds; that wacky Germanic humour I guess;
it is all very looped based, but with pieces being short it is not something that I found tedious. It all
ad an excellent speed to it.
    The second disc was made a good nine or ten years (and it was reviewed in Vital Weekly 125, but
not by me) later and technology had changed; maybe more for Burrows than for Tietchens, who always
used to work in a great studio, Audiplex, from his friend Okko Bekker. But Burrows moved on from an
8 track Fostex machine to working with computers and a 24track desk, but doing it all live; so he needed
a bunch of takes to get what he wanted. On this album the music is quite more serious in approach.
Loops are still the common place but they are played over a longer period of time, with a bit less
humour in them, but throughout there is much enjoy sonically. The music is much more ambient/drone
and offers quite the different listening experience I would think. Here one can sit back, drink a wine
and let the sound fully immerse your living room. Dark, atmospheric and simply great.
    The last one in this series will be ‘Monoposto’, an album Tietchens did with Liquidski. Can’t wait for
that one to come and play all of these Tietchens releases in a single day; if that is possible at all! (FdW)
––– Address:

CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA - MAYBE (CD by White Paddy Mountain)

So far the work by Straytone appeared on the improvised music surroundings of Ftarri, done with a
modular synthesizer set-up (see Vital Weekly 1000 and 1051), but here, on White Paddy Mountain
he picked a guitar, plugged it into a long line of sound effects and let the six strings hum and sing. I
didn’t hear Straytone (I have no idea who is behind this, but I guess it is a Japanese musician) a lot in
his solo efforts, as so far his releases were either digital, in collaboration or on cassette that didn’t
reach me. ‘Fluorescent Monochrome’ was his debut release, from 2011, and originally available as a
download from Straytone himself. There are two parts to this title piece and both are around twenty-
five minutes. Both are excursions in the world of ambient music. That’s where the comparisons end, I
think. The second part is a tad darker than the first part. Here we don’t recognize the guitar as much as
such, but it’s seems like the sounds are more clustered together, going into a strong overlap of sounds,
and it is quite a cloudy piece, without much detail. I guess that is the intention of this piece; to be like a
grey, misty cloud in the early morning with light just about shimmering through. That light shines
brighter through the mist on the first part, which is altogether opener and spacier than the second.
Not without good reason the label refers to Eno’s ‘Discreet Music’, breezing away like a nice, yet
somewhat colder spring morning. Sun is about to rise and the finer details of nature start to show to
the eye. Not entirely, not always, but you about to start seeing them. That is the somewhat more
detailed part one as opposed to the cloudier part 2. I guess in the greater terms of ambient this is not
really something new, but it surely sounds lovely.
    Labelboss Chihei Hatakeyama is a very busy bee. Just look at the label’s Bandcamp (which is in his
own name) and you can see what he puts out, and that is quite a bit. I am not sure what decides if
something is digital and what makes it to a CD. ‘Maybe’ was inspired by a trip to the battlefield
"Sekigahara" in West Japan, where in 1600 one of the more historic events in Japanese history took
place. When Hatakeyama visited the place it suddenly start to rain heavily and lightening struck, but I
am not sure what we should read into that. The feeling he describes for this album is “mujo” in Japanese
or a melancholic. Hatakeyama is mostly known as a guitar player, but besides the Fender Stratocaster
he also plays analogue synthesizer, a Juno 2. It’s foggy here, as the opening piece is ‘Cries In The Fog’
and continues perfectly from the previous album by Straytone, but with minor differences. Throughout
these five long pieces (shorter of course than Straytone’s) the sound isn’t as blurred; it’s perhaps not as
rich as in detail as some other music, but more so than Straytone’s. This too is some spacious ambient
music. It’s hard to say what is the synthesizer and what is the guitar; should one be tempted to think or
care about such matters. The soft slow tinkling sound of ‘Under The Blazing Sun’ can be either one, I
should think, and while I’m on it, despite this daytime title, I found the whole album to be a more
nocturnal. Maybe because it’s evening as I listen to this and think about such matters, but it just seems
to fit a perfect calm, November night, cold as it is outside, and the music inside the house to keep the
listener warm. This too is not something you haven’t heard before, but this is very well made by one of
the best in his field. (FdW)
––– Address:

CUT WORMS - CABLE MOUNDS (CD by Opa Loka Records)
DB/MZ - HANDS THAT LEAD OUR DECAY (CD by Frozen Light Label)

Following his debut album as Cut Worms, ‘Lumbar First’ (Vital Weekly 1038) here is the follow-up
from Richard van Kruysdijk in solo guise. You might know him from his work with Phallus Dei, Sonar
Lodge, Strange Attractor or Daisy Bell. Just like his first CD Van Kruysdijk went into the studio with a
limited amounts of means, “mainly a monophic synth and a circuit-bent Omnichord and some Baritone
guitar’, and without any beats or loops recorded everything to two-track tape without overdubs. I very
much enjoyed his first release and this new one seems to be continuing a similar path of very dark
ambient music that is not shy to play out some forceful tunes every now and then, yet never leaps into
the world of noise. In the press text it is mentioned that Van Kruysdijk went for a sound that is more
open, pastoral quality along the lines of Cluster and Harmonia, which connection is not something I
hear. I think these dark, ominous synth pieces are heavily orchestrated beauties, and ‘open’ is not a
word that easily associate with this music, maybe with the exception of the final piece, ‘Senor Tofu’
with it’s slow organ melody and open guitar doodling, but here too the tone is still quiet dark. Which
is of course not really a problem, as these are surely matters open for interpretation. I like music that
consists of drones and ambient in various guises, delicate and quiet (see for instance the two White
Paddy Mountain releases of this week) and I also like them to be louder and present, just as Cut
Worms does. While the delicate ambient seems to be in abundance in these pages, good quality loud
ambient isn’t. Cut Worms is surely one of the better ones in this field
    And staying on this subject, and perhaps entirely coincidental, is that next one I decided to play is
the duo of DB/MZ, which stands for David Bengtsson and Magnus Zetterberg. From them I heard a
previous release on Silken Tofu (see Vital Weekly 1007), which I didn’t overtly enjoy; the music was a
bit too minimal but the sounds didn’t always fit together very well. Noise seemed to be an interest.
Here they have three pieces, from nine to twenty-five minutes and again minimalism is the primary
interest. This time around the sounds seems to be fitting together much better, and the noise is more
balanced. In the closing ‘The Turmoil In Your Eyes’, the shortest of the three pieces, it is the loudest,
with a loud processed thunder of field recordings and a bunch of monotrons working overtime. Maybe
this is all a bit too loud for me, to easy in one direction. The opening piece is ‘Our Path Paved With Past
Failures’, which is the quiet, opposite end of that, with a menacing sounds crawling below the surface,
which works quite well. The middle piece, ‘Monuments Of Putrefaction’ holds the middle ground with
a more mid-range frequency piece and very slow developments. That is all fine, but I would think these
developments are a bit too slow for my taste. There could be a little more to this I would think, or
perhaps cut by half and have another piece of music added. That would have made an altogether
stronger album I think, but throughout I enjoyed this one more than the previous album by them, so
in that respect there is surely show of progress. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

BENJAMIN THIGPEN - FLUX (CD by Empreintes Digitales)

Here’s someone who was born in the USA, now official inhabitant of France, but who refers to himself
as a nomad. Although he dropped out of the conservatory, he taught at IRCAM and now in Mons,
Belgium. He creates music for loudspeakers and has a duo with Jean-Francois Laporte, called Rust and
as Les Freres Bobine with Stefano Bassanese and with cellist Benjamin Carat as Fluid Identities. “He
thinks that music is not a language but a lived visceral experience, and that is not the art of sound but
the art of the transcendence of sound”. On his CD we find seven pieces, four of ‘Still’ (2007-2009) and
three that make up ‘Pulse’ (2010-2015). In the first one “all the sound are recordings of common
objects, used without transformation; the only processes applied are equalization, compression and
reverberation”. It is not easy to say what these common objects are. In the three of the four parts it
sounds like wind blowing down pipes, along with some amplified string object, set up in a hollow,
reverb setting and in the other the amplified sound of rubbing objects over carpet; a very subdued,
low, bass like sound. I thought these were great pieces, especially because they didn’t sound for a
change like something on Empreintes Digitales; no endless amount granular synthesis here.
    On ‘Pulse’ he uses the sounds of Buchla 200 Modular analogue synthesizer and it’s all about small
fragments forever changing. This too is quite the different kind of music than we know from the label;
it is much more an analogue feeling that we get from this piece of music, with the second part being a
particular harsh one, even when more feedback like sounds are part of all three. Maybe this is
Empreintes Digitales entering the domain of modular synthesizers? The third part of ‘Pulse’ is a
particular beautiful, shimmering piece of delicacy but also with that much needed edge that makes
you sit up and listen closely. This was altogether an excellent release. (FdW)
––– Address:


Last week saw Jeremy Young already in these pages with his group Sontag Shogun, now it’s solo time
for him, being the most active in that field from his group. In 2016 he was commissioned to compose a
new work using recordings from the Ethnographic Museum of Geneve (or rather the Musee
d’ethnographie de Geneve), where they have stuff from all over the world, on all kinds of media. The
five pieces Young composed with these archives are in one word great. He doesn’t care where they
are from or how they are stored, if it sounds like something that could fit his collages, he simply goes
for it and uses it. There is an interest for using the sound of the medium as well, the hiss of tape, the
scratchy 78rpm, or whatever other irregularities are to be found in these and Young uses them along
the original recordings and recordings of his own making; sine waves in similar frequency range for
instance used as a melody to go along. There is chanting, someone playing a koto, speech, but also music
with drums, such as in ‘Reel V’, which seems sampled along the singing and with an extra keyboard
sound sounds almost like a pop song, but they are embedded in a longer piece of soundscapes. This is
some great plunderphonica; if that is a term that Young wishes to uses. In the best tradition of
plunderphonic he uses all sorts of sounds and put them in entirely new configurations and creates an
excellent piece out of it, that is part (pop) song, part documentary and part radio play. It’s a trip over
the world, one big world; there is no third, fourth, fifth world music here, just one music from all the
people, although I am not sure if such a message is projected by Young, but it could very well be. As if
there is one thing that this music has it surely is humour. Some of the combinations not only work very
well, but there is also very funny about these pieces. Made with an absolute love and respect for the
material, but some of these combinations work very well. Sometimes I was reminded of old Touch
cassettes, ‘Travel’ for instance. Should I have to worry about such things as ‘CD of the week’ then this
would be one that is certainly up there. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here we have two cases of old music and I am at a loss for both of them. First there is Sylvain Chauveau
who reworked versions of Renaissance music, sung by Chant 1450 Renaissance Ensemble along with
newly composed ambient soundscapes of his own making. That bit I understand. There is a deep
ambient music pattern as a backdrop to the nine pieces, in which we hear voices, viola, lutes and harp.
And they sound fairly traditional, I must say, but, and there’s me at a loss really, apparently these are
also reworked; how, what and do I hear this? I think Vital Weekly could be served with the help of a
specialist in this area (like Nick Hoffman’s Medieval guitar pieces of two weeks ago), but of course we
don’t know such a person. This is quite a beautiful release, and the voices, instruments and ambience
mix up together very well. Should one not know this is ‘reworked’ and ‘helped’/‘guided’/‘expanded’ by
ambient soundscapes from electronic sources, it would not always as easily recognize this. I think. But
again, my knowledge is far too limited to make a sensible comment on it. ‘Quite a nice CD, actually’, I
muttered to a visitor who dropped by, ‘some weird combination of the old and the new’.
    A little less old is the release from Pauline Anna Strom, who recorded her ‘Trans-Millenia Music’
from 1982 to 1988, when she lived in the Bay Area. She got interested in the mid 70s in synthesizers,
and the music of Klaus Schulze, Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, getting a Tascam 4 track recorder
and a Yamaha DX7, TX816, CS-10. She released her first album ‘Trans-Millenia Music’ in 1982, yet I
believe this CD with the same title is a collection of various works over various years. So, what’s there
not to get you would think? Electronic music, in the past, I’m an old bloke who dwells on lovely re-
issues (sometimes), this should be entirely up my alley? Unless of course one would think ‘ah, it’s
something he missed out back then, so finds it of less interest now’, the whole ‘the journalist as the
great archaeologist’ thing, only my discoveries count? Well, no, that’s not it. I find the music rather
uninteresting. It is indeed very electronic, ambient indeed, but all of these synthesizers, arpeggios
and sequences remain very middle of the road, if not to say even a bit new agey from time to time
(and luckily not all the time, which saves the album). It is entertaining music for sure, and everyone
who likes a bit of light weight, not too demanding bit of ambient music should surely check Strom
out, and I played it with great interest but decided it was too light for my taste. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

ZE-KA - GHOST PLANET (CD by Opa Loka Records)

You couldn’t tell, perhaps, but behind Ze-Ka is French cellist and composer Jean-Philippe Feiss. He
studied classical music, but after that he went to play jazz and improvised music. In 2001 he founded
Sibiel, a trio of cello, double bass and guitar and recorded three albums with that. Besides he is very
active in the world of improvisation and jazz but ten years ago he also started playing with a Korg
MS-10 synthesizer and liked that very much. Synthesizers and cello is what he uses on this record,
which is his first solo release. Some of the titles were inspired by the Tchernobyl disaster, and the
whole album is about the environment. Like many of the releases on Opa Loka Records this too is
about drone music, which is something that Ze-Ka explores very well in these pieces. The cello is of
course a perfect choice for an acoustic instrument to play some deep end drone material and what
synthesizer Ze-Ka uses these (or multiple!) here too he gets some really fine deep sounds out of. I
don’t think (but I am not sure) that he played both of these at the same time, but that these five
pieces are studio constructions of gathering long form drones on his synthesizers with somewhat
shorter ones on the cello, or even a slow rhythm of one string plucked in ’Oceans’. ‘Gold River’ is at
twenty-five minutes a bit on the long side, I think, at least for the amount of variation in that piece,
long bowed tones and a bit of synthesizers, and it could have been maybe fifteen minutes shorter, but
otherwise this is a truly great CD. Of course these atmospheric drones are mysterious and dark (very,
very low in the opening of ‘Landscape’), and not exclusively about one acoustic instrument or
electronic ones, but in a very fruitful, beautiful interaction together. This is a great release. (FdW)
––– Address:

RADIO NOISES (compilation CD by Antenna Non Grata)

The new (?) Polish label Antenna Non Grata has a “fascination with the sound possibilities of using all
kinds of antennas as full-fledged musical instruments” and their first compilation contains music by
people who were asked to incorporate radio sounds in their songs. I love radio sounds; it’s the poor
man’s instrument, I guess. Even when you have no instruments you can buy a 1-dollar radio and work
with that. I gather the musicians on this compilation have more than ‘just a radio’. I recognized the
names of Mirt, Zenial, Micromelancolie, Syntopia, Gaap Kvlt; there is also GW94, Dariusz & Joanna
Walewska, Mothertape, Uroruro and Radio Noise Duo. Apart from the two minutes of the last one and
Syntopia, the pieces are rather long, easily five to nine minutes, exploring the more experimental edges
of electronic music of thick slabs of ambient drones, feeding through modular synthesizers, effects and
snippets of crackles, static and speech mixed in. Mirt has a bit of rhythm underneath, Zenial crude synth
sounds and cut up spoken word, while others use the ‘in between’ frequencies between the various
stations. GW94 are in for an industrial take on the radio, just as Uroruro and Radio Noise Duo. Nobody
tapes a clean spoken word thing and cuts it up to make a new story, and thus rework the radio into a
radio play; that’s a pity. It’s all about long waves plucked out of the sky and fed through the electronic
buzzes of synthesizers and effects. This is more than just a bunch of static, and its certainly not poor
man’s music. Quite a nice compilation indeed as there was considerable variation to be noted. (FdW)
––– Address:


Firstly this I found amongst some other lost material, it's from January and what I couldn't find is any
supporting material, maybe that's not important? The labels website / blog
gives little more in the way of information. Sounds, noises of the computer game arcade type, which
follows for Mario (Gabola), who actually founded the label, whose background is saxophone and avant
punk, is here using no input self made light synth. Venta (Protesix) real name? Italo Belladonna - “His
one true goal is to design sounds with the specific, single-minded purpose of generating physical
distress in his listeners.” uses a lap top, from which I assume the sound samples of amongst others
groaning women originates, and there are the various pulses and alarm sounds and cut ups. As often
in noise, which has any intention far from causing me distress the sound textures actually have an
aesthetic. If one wants distress this is very problematic. I find many interviews with current politicians
very distressing, I could single out the current US President, though for me his input is more humorous,
though for others his noise is very distressing, though of course the believers in liberal democracy have
the problem of his election to circumvent, and their noises I find equally distressing. As do those of
Trump's supporters. And now we have people in Europe being locked up for sedition! We are no longer
at the point of noise being noisy, today it's almost a balm from the babble. A shelter from the storm.
––– Address:


Linecraft is Masahiko Okubo - 'Japanoise experimental noise project' who on this CD presents 7 tracks
of rhythmic noise and sound snippets. The recording  has an 'industrial' quality of live recordings made
from bashing metal, and then overdubbed with heart beats and other sound snippets feedback and
analogue synth pulses. Pictures on the CD insert shows what I presume is the artist – sans top, bare
chested, manipulating gear, though the pictures are far from clear it appears to be some performance
with a back projection, fairly dark, you must, if you are at all into PE industrial or noise get the picture.
Each track is about six minutes with a total running time of 43'30”.  A format that could almost be used
for a vinyl. It seems there is a tape version. The label has no web presence as far as I could find so if a
vinyl version exists I'm not aware.  Track 4, Apocalypse Factory – 2 stands out from the previous tracks
in using recorded Japanese speech mixed with static. Accompanying this was a red printed flyer
regarding 'Secret Noise Weapons in Germany'. It's a humorous? Pastiche regarding noise weapons,
which ends with a Professor Okubo promising to “kick the sh*t out of your ears”. No idea why the 'I'
 isn't there. Being probably unfairly critical the whole thing is 27 years after Japnoise broke out and
kicked the fuck out of our ears, this work, with its neat fades at the end of each 'track' seems tame, and
unoriginal. Though unoriginality is something I'd see as a possible trope. The painter Robert
Rauschenberg (he of the erased De Kooning Drawing) famously took the P*ss out of abstract
expressionism by producing two seemingly spontaneous expressionist paintings – though they were
identical. So maybe this is going on here, but I doubt it. Look out for my “Merzbough” tribute band. (jliat)
––– Address:


White Gold is Wiese and Blankenship (SS add Mumma).  WG - Two tracks, 1. At The least, 2. Tatertamort
(Live at Human Resources). Checking out the address below you can..... delete... should …ought... must...
get these now... Troniks are offering both plus 5 surprise back catalogue CDs for $20 USA  $40 World.
<END OF REVIEW> Maybe it could/should be. But moving on - Track 1 is what you expect, ravenous
harsh noise at near light speed, as is #2. Brain Floss, the joyous indiscriminate destruction of music,
reason, order... just what we need now more than ever. I would say in my opinion but this noise isn't
opinionated or subjective or expressive unless inserting earplugs made of Semtex is in some way only
an opinion. There is something to be said, else why read any review, but this noise is like passing a
limit, this limit is the beautiful or music, it could be called awesome, and that is a clue as Awe is the
beauty not of the pretty but of the sublime.  It is a confrontation with the sublime. Try this... The
Beautiful and the Sublime. “There are, however also important and striking differences between the
two. The beautiful in nature is a question of the form of the object, and this consists in limitation,
whereas the sublime is to be found in an object devoid of form... so far as it immediately involves, or
else by its presence provokes, a representation of limitlessness. For the beautiful is directly attended
with a feeling of the furtherance of life, and thus compatible with charms and playful imagination. On
the other hand, the feeling of the sublime is a pleasure that only arises indirectly, being brought about
by the feeling of a momentary check to the vital forces followed at once by a discharge all the more
powerful, and so it is an emotion that seems to be no play, but a serious matter the exercise of the
imagination. Hence charms are also incompatible with it, since the mind is not simply attracted by the
object, but also alternately repelled thereby, the delight in the sublime does not so much involve
positive pleasure as admiration or respect, i.e. merits the name of negative pleasure.”  Kant Critique of
Aesthetic Judgement p.76.  Slow Move exposes, according to the sleeve notes, the phenomenon of high
frequencies giving the illusion of accelerated speed, whilst the lower frequencies being responsible for
“all action (cutting, shifting, collaging)”  It consists of 5 tracks, White Knuckle, Catch Up, Other
Restrictions, Empty Set and Draw to a Close. In all there seems a slower wall like sound. The sounds
still abstract derivatives of pitches of white noise. They do appear 'slower' than White Gold though
IMO this seems more due to a lack of movement in the higher frequencies which is found in White
Gold, and what sounds like echo or reverb which gives the sound less immediacy. In doing so the
work moves more towards a wall of sound that is more static.  But both disks represent the difference
between Noise as I use the term, noise qua noise, and noise music. This is noise – not the PE expressive
Industrial post punk noise, but pure harsh noise.  The lack of such limits, meaning, expression give it a
sublimity, it is sublime, formless and negative. Negative here is in the sense of with the sublime in
nature, of the awe of the cosmos in which ones subjectivity becomes irrelevant, the object is formless
because it overwhelms the imagination, it is limitlessness, “ a momentary check to the vital forces
followed at once by a discharge all the more powerful” (jliat and Immanuel Kant!)
––– Address:

YOUR REALITY IS BROKEN (LP compilation by Black Rose Recordings)

Contrastate turned thirty years, which calls for a celebration. A compilation of ‘covers, reinterpretations
and/or transformations’ of pieces by them, by five closely associated friends and one by themselves.
There are some usual suspects, RLW, Troum and Band Of Pain, one unusual Genocide Organ and one
that is by a group that has been doing performances since 1988, yet this is their first release. As much
as I liked the first two records by Contrastate, I wasn’t a big fan of what came after that. There was
what I label a ‘gothic’ effect to the music, mainly through the use of vocals, that wasn’t my cup of tea.
It is seems that that particular line is followed here by Genocide Organ, with a piece that I consider to
be mild for them, but still with some piercing element and that deep narrative vocal. In the other pieces
there is a more delicate approach to the earlier sound, so it seems to me, and I admit I don’t know all of
their work chapter and verse, of low end drones, field recordings and electronic treatments, all
delivered with fine contemplative moods. Whether it is the carefully produced layers of Band Of Pain,
the computer treatments of RLW or Troum’s slightly less massive drone approach with sources lifted
from the first three albums. Etat D’Urgence, who simply are not interested in playing the game of
producing commodities in exchange for money, competition or ownership, have a somewhat more
industrial music treat with mild distortion and a bit of deep vocals, not unlike Genocide Organ earlier
on. Contrastate cover themselves from a song from 1997, which I am not sure I ever heard. Here we
have that vocal thing I wasn’t fond of, but in this song it works quite well. It is the only song with a
notable rhythm in the background, and sounds that depict the title, ‘The People Who Control The
Information’; computerized electronic sounds of databases out of control. Quite nice. This was a most
enjoyable record, very well balanced; with six absolutely fine songs, making for a beautiful tribute to
Contrastate in all their incarnations. (FdW)
––– Address:

FRIESEN WATERS DUO - NO. 3 (cassette by Shaking Box Music)

It’s been a while since Neil Campbell and Richard Youngs worked together; fifteen years to be precise,
when they did their “ How The Garden Is” LP is. Campbell is best known for his many guises and groups,
that include A Band, Vibracathedral Orchestra, ESP Kinetic, Astral Social Club, and much more whereas
Youngs plays in many different styles, from noise to electroacoustic, from singer-songwriter to ‘techno’,
always under his own name, so you have two diverse musical minds on one stage, in Leeds to be precise.
 There were some ‘rules’; each choose one instrument (Richard on violin, Neil on Casio) and both were
to use vocals. They then decided upon song titles, and each wrote words for it, but to be played together.
They also made scores for the other. These scores were not shared before the gig; Neil a bunch of text
based instructions and Youngs came up with notes on paper (perhaps knowing all too well, that
Campbell couldn’t read them). If I understand correctly this LP is not the recording of that gig, but
rather some home made recording in which they would recorded three each and then told the other
how long they were and with the instruction to record one, independently of the other music and then
mixed all together. Maybe that sounds like a complicated process or even like something unlistenable,
and surely my ears are used to something, so I can safely say, yes it all works out great. These six songs
are played with considerable force of course, probably as one can expect from someone like Campbell,
more than Youngs I guess. While at times a bit chaotic, in ‘Place Canada’ for instance, the music works
otherwise very well. The multi-layered voices, the not to de deciphered lyrics along with the screeching
of Youngs’ violin and Campbell’s colourful playing of the keyboard, noisy, but also rhythmic, it all makes
for some very pleasant anarchist music, like one knows from Youngs earlier works or his collaborations,
such as ‘Durian Durian’ or ‘Ceaucescu’. This I thought was another excellent collaboration for both of
    Of a more traditionally improvised nature is the music by Friesen Waters duo, being Nate Waters
on alto and tenor saxophone and Devin Frisen on electric guitar and tapes. I don’t think I heard of
Waters before, but Friesen is the man behind the label, and the man behind Bitter Fictions (see Vital
Weekly 878 and 820), whose releases was quite a mixed bag of musical interests. The recordings on
’No. 3’ were made in October 2014 and July 2016. I normally leave the more free jazz music to someone
else at Vital Weekly, and somehow he could as easily do this as well, but I kept listening and the music
slowly grew on me. The saxophone, in this disguise, is not an instrument that I like very much, still,
after all these years, it sounds at times like a blearing horn, which it probably is. What makes this
release interesting is the way it interacts with the guitar of Friesen, who plays a more subdued drone
like pattern and who stretches his sounds beyond the guitar. Going under in those sound effects the
saxophone becomes something different and while leaning towards the world of free jazz I would not
say it is just that. The drones of Friesen reach out to something that is more engaging to hear, even if
you are no fan of free jazz, like me. Sometimes the saxophone becomes embedded in the drones and
there is that smoky bar atmosphere that I like, especially in ‘Wasters Refine’, the best out of these six
pieces. Throughout quite a lovely release. (FdW)
––– Address:


A few years back I was at a Steve Reich concert where Reich performed one of his clapping pieces,
amongst others, “Radio Rewrite”. Prior to the performances he gave a talk about his work. Not
surprising his theory of the history of music (western) successfully located his work, the theory
was simple, music was simple, Bach, then gets complex, Mozart, then simple again. Jumping to the
20thC the complexity of serial music laid the foundation for Reich's simplicity, AKA minimalism. He
was the product of the likes of Boulez. This was his theory. We no longer in the age of Fake News
respect facts and his omission of his 'operas' The Cave, Two Trains, Three Tales and the use of
multimedia in collaborations was not a great surprise. The concert was of minimal music. No
reference to some 20 years of the 80s and 90s. (I will get to a point re Dissecting Table!). And I might
add Reich's “It's Gonna Rain” had a profound effect on me when I first heard it, many years ago, and
“Music for 18 Musicians” is a must see performance, unlike, sadly, “Radio Rewrite”.  Many of the
minimalists turned to operatics, notably Adams' “Nixon in China”, or Glass with “Akhnaten”,  “the
CIVIL warS” ... else like Terry Riley disappeared in a cloud of psychedelia and ganga. Here is my point,
art forms do at times reach a seeming terminus, Minimalism in music, or the empty gallery, the
dematerialisation of the art object. What happens next is interesting, and is very relevant in noise as
a genre now. A few years back, perhaps 10 now, noise was big and everyone was getting into it. Via
The Rita and the guys @ Troniks it transformed into a wall, as minimal as Vomir's.  Though HN and
HNW are still produced, and are wonderful, the shock of the new has faded. “Wolf Eyes' John Olson
Says Noise Music Is Over” The Troniks board is dead, the others not yet completely, and Ron of RRR is
    So what of Dissecting Table, well they (IMO as always) fit a model of re-complicating. The route is
not new, the development of the Greek architecture from Doric, through Ionic to Corinthian, the
movements in art from the renaissance into Baroque and the elaborate Rococo- the Victorian Gothic
followed by modernist minimalism. The works here (Dissecting Table) I'm supposedly reviewing fall
into such a history. They are Baroque Noise of complexity of form, twisting arabesques of sound.
They – their telos makes perfect sense. Well a long preamble to describe two releases. Noise as what
was once called The Avant Garde is passing, it represents perhaps one of the latter cultural termini,
in poetry this is also current, vis. conceptual poetry, in fine art and architecture it occurred back in the
1970s. What follows is post. What will remain is not nothing, like dense burnt out stars noise will
persist, the scale of noise, even with Vomir, was never big enough to collapse into a black hole, "Roro
Perrot is an acoustic project with a touch of synthesiser. I describe it as 'shit folk'." Romain Perrot AKA
Vomir. Noise will adopt many forms and continue, as it does here, as the background noise to what was
once an event. And as an addendum might I add what I see as an alternative and novel path, for when
asked what would become of philosophy, Martin Heidegger famously replied- “Cybernetics”. https://   ;-)  (jliat)
––– Address:


It has been quite a while since I last heard of Ben Link Collins, Vital Weekly 828 if I am not mistaken
and also from his publishing house, Silent Media Projects, I didn’t hear much. But here he returns with
a CDR and an USB device that contains the same four pieces as on the CDR as well as an extra piece of
music, two hours and twelve minutes long. All of this deals with field recordings Collins taped between
2009 and 2016, when he was living in Taos, New Mexico and not far away from the Sangre de Cristo
Mountains and the Rio Grande. With those field recordings he created both the four pieces on the CDR
as well as the two-hour piece, which was a sound installation part of the street festival in Taos. That
work came first and deals more field recordings; lots of insects and bird sounds I would think, but also
drone like processed versions thereof. I enjoyed the drones and field recordings quite a bit, and rather
than think of this as ‘just another piece of music, the length of it, the two hours, makes this is more a
private installation for the listener at home. Simply sit back and relax. I was reminded of the work of
Artificial Memory Trace. Throughout the piece there is change and movement, also adding extra
electronic elements, more disturbance of an unknown kind and it slowly progresses from something
in which you recognize field recordings into a gentler abstract piece of ambient music.
    On The CDR the human activity is captured, even when it is not always clear what kind of action
that is, or that it can combine natural and animals captured in the process. Clearly I have no idea what
it is that people do in Taos, New Mexico, but maybe we could assume there is some sort of manual
labour captured, pulling of ropes for instance in ‘Reaching In’ or various modes of transport, such as a
train; maybe I am wrong altogether. Sometimes we hear people speak in a faraway distance. Of course
these pieces are shorter but use a similar approach to using the pure field recordings as well as the
processed version thereof, but now in a concise time frame, focusing more on the composition, rather
than letting it develop in a natural way as on the long piece. Here too the balance between the natural
and the processed version is very well made. Lovely package also. (FdW)
––– Address:

[SYMBOL AS THEME] (compilation CDR by resdatcom)

More from the past, April... [SYMBOL AS THEME]  was created by the sonic responses of 7 artists to a
symbol which can be seen here My initial attempt
at playing gave the disk time of 0:00 but then kicked in. Track 1 is by Praying for Oblivion, and I would
in its texture and form say typical of Noise (see below). #2 Pedro F. Bericat is a processed speech of
J.F.K. Looped and almost inaudible. Both in the use of looped speech (“its gonna rain”) and the history
and conspiracy around JFK this is both an opaque recording and one with too much to say, or none.
How it relates to the symbol is again opaque. Moloch #3 is in much more musical territory, synth
drones and beeps bounce across the stereo field, definitely music, not even noise music very
reminiscent of early synthesiser 'symphonies' of the 70s / 80s with their psychedelic origins and
new age / exoticism feel. Think Perter Gabriel's Passion. Emiel ten Brink #4, is an electro loop with
very short cut up shards, sounding like Industrial PE machine noise.  Or a Floyd intro from DSOTM!
One simply waits to see if this is 'going anywhere' – which it appears to have the anticipation of. Like
the development of openings of much of classical music from which prog rock adopted its forms. Intro,
variation and conclusion. The sounds and rhythms here do build, but not to anything other, no
resolution, not one where the guitar riff breaks the pulse and the stage is flooded with light … and
the drummer comes in followed by the keyboard re-introduction of the main theme... but not here...
I feel a strange nostalgia now, I know we all got sick of Prog Rock, and cant understand why one
bought Tales of Topographic Oceans, but listening to this, a guitar riff, nope, the piece just ends. #5 is
Flutwacht, which sounds like badly recorded junk in a washing machine, again rhythm predominates,
so definitely noise music (see below). Should or does all such music end in the crescendos of Mahler or
Yes? Rather than be antagonistic to music in its symphonic form it almost seems to open up that
possibility, which we know ended in its rejection of such forms in the atonality of the early 20th C
and in the amusic (a as in 'not' a naemic a theist..) of noise qua noise. #6 is some very hammer house
of horror filmic music, feminine voice screaming 'with weapons' against a 'spooky' reverb moaning
wind on the moors background... oh by Satan's God. Which gives way to some recorded speech barely
audible... Finally Resonan, a deep synth drone and grinding rhythm... with the sound of a motor bike
and orchestral intro it could segue into Atom Heart Mother, but the scene shifts to a higher pitch and
more looped rhythm.  Then to a lower, and then to another... None of this I would particularly call
noise and though such sonic experiments and soundscapes were once novel one cant help wonder if
its time to move in some direction, back to music or the more dangerous alternative. Can noise or
anything sonic activity still be experimental? Or are these just thematic soundscapes to as yet unmade
sci fi films? Art for Deleuze and Guattari... is [simple] “affect”. I think however it never was, but maybe
has become so?
Onto the 3”, Vortex Aggressor noted as playing drums, custom made noise synth and voice actually
sounds like a rough continuous rumble/ drone like work with didgeridoo like sounds. Latter there
are some rudimentary beats – drums and moans?... this I suspect is an improvised set, and the beats
becomes a pulse... The pulse is a kind of 'primitive' in sound art, obviously related to body rhythms,
especially of the heart and breath, but also found in those of walking, dancing and sex.  How conscious
VA were of this is not certain, though it seems more accidental than deliberate to my listening.  Or
does the pulse alter, speed up or slow down. Deliberate or not such primitivism is basic to music, a
pulse or rhythm, which then is modulated by speed then pitch. Mozart can be seen in this manner,
notes rise but must fall, things start and must stop. The locked groove or tape loop did not break this
sonic architecture, for long before nature via wind chimes and other devices created a more eternal
music, even perhaps more than La Monte Young's. So VA marks one route of music as performance, in
contrast to that of endurance. Now is a non-performative noise one of no 'direction'?  And so the sonic
alternative to performative music? I'd argue here that it is, after all one of the main tropes of noise is
the feedback loop. So we can differentiate performative noise as noise music, and enduring noise as
noise, AKA noise qua noise AKA pure noise, real noise. I place VA at the origin of the former. (jliat)
––– Address:


So far the few releases I saw by Art First Records had something of an arty edge, but this one is a plain
sleeve, no print on it and a glossy card with hardly any information. The eight pieces were recorded
over a period of six days in February 2017 and it is all live, no overdubs. Kääriänen plays guitar in
various ensembles and he also plays with Teppo Hauta-Aho, Kalle Kalima en Paul Pignon. In these
pieces Kääriänen shows a wide interest in approaches; from the broken up hectic of the seventh piece
to the nice flowing ambience of the sixth. He allows for some sound effects to be part of this, loop
devices, reversing effects, which makes this perhaps less traditional in approach, which is of course
something I enjoy. Throughout is the music by Kääriänen quite atmospheric; he never seems to be
reaching for something that is very noisy or difficult, but in his more improvised moments it stays
small and intimate, even it’s hectic or broken up. The whole release is thirty-seven minutes and it
is quite a wonderful mixed bag of interest and a fine display of possibilities by Kääriänen. (FdW)
––– Address:


The year 2017 is slowly winding down and for Orphax it has been a good year; quite a number of
releases, concerts in Berlin and Portugal (soon, the latter), and to end the year there is now the follow
up to ‘Music For Thái Ngọc’, see Vital Weekly 1052, about the man who never slept and for Orphax
recorded in a period of difficult sleeping. In February and March of this year he worked on a second
album about sleeping disorders (not disclosed if he himself still had these problems) and to that end
Sietse van Erve took out recordings from 2002, which were released back then as his first ever releases.
So in a way this is also an album to celebrate fifteen years of Orphax. I guess I pretty much heard a
whole bunch of Orphax’ releases (twenty-one albums, eighteen singles and EPs as of today on Discogs),
and also by now I saw him quite a bit in concert, and while Orphax may not change his style in any
radical way, there is always something new to enjoy; just a bit different than before, I guess. A bit
more drone-based, a bit noisier, using acoustic sounds to do drones, and even a sort of poppy sort of
thing was done.  This particular new work is also one that is a bit different. In many of his Orphax is
all about playing a straightforward piece of drone music, in which the changing of the filtering defines
the composition. In this piece it seems to me that Orphax takes his source material, whatever the origin
was, and keeps processing them over and over again, and the result is a les straightforward drone affair
but a rather more ‘musical’, as in ‘the changes are a-coming quicker’ and with various, quite different
sound events put together. There is a drone here and on top of that some processed insect sounds,
moving slowly, like a rhythm almost. This is the bit from twenty-five minutes onwards, but it is
exemplary of the whole sixty minutes that ‘Somniātōrēs’ lasts, this slowly moving backward and
forward of various sounds together rather than the exploring of a single sound makes this again an
Orphax that entirely fits his catalogue, yet is something a bit different. This I thought was a particular
fine one. (FdW)
––– Address:

ISNAJ DUI - POIESES (CDR by Rural Colours)

Katie English, also known as Isnaj Dui, is always busy, working under this moniker, but also in other
areas and therefore not always is on the case on releasing new material as Isnaj Dui. The last time she
appeared in these pages might have been back in Vital Weekly 935. In her set-up she uses concert and
bass flutes, homemade dulcimers and electronics, the latter to be understood, I guess, mostly to be loop
devices. It is not always easy to recognize her instruments in the pieces that she is doing. That might be
due to the level of processing but very well also to the way she plays them. Isnaj Dui keeps her sounds
small, like an occasional repeated click, a shimmer of a melody or the sustain of a decaying drone, such
as in ‘Atnoisa’ for instance. Yes, that is a flute playing the melodic bit, looped and repeated, with some
minimalist change going on. In a way her music is quite folk like, albeit a not very traditional kind of
folk music. One could also say that this is ambient music but it lacks such things as ‘long sustaining
drones’ or ‘heavily processed bird sounds’. Instead Isnaj Dui almost plays ‘songs’, using a bit melody
here and there, the shorter lengths for her pieces, repeating elements through these songs and by
keeping it all close to herself. This all makes this a very introspective release, and as such it fits
whatever I hard of Isnaj Dui very well. (FdW)
––– Address:

NILS QUAK - SUR L’EAU (cassette by Ana Ott)

There is a lengthy technical description on the cover of this cassette, about three oscillators playing a
minor pentatonic canon from a quantized, low-frequency triangle wave and more of that about the
modulations in those synthesizers, and how they interact and there are two side-long pieces on this
cassette, recorded live and in rehearsal; a lost can be found on the website of the label. Like with his
previous releases by Fousek (see Vital Weekly 946 and 1061) this is all quite enjoyable modular
synthesizer improvisation. It follows the course of ‘One Another’ the last one I heard in a similar
trajectory of more abstract soundscaping, than the earlier more techno/synth ‘pop’ pieces. It is not
music that is very demanding, or strange, but also not really here to entertain or please in a cheesy
way. In a crowded world of musicians working modular set-ups the work of Fousek is good, but
doesn’t stand out, I think. It’s decent, but perhaps also a bit in a common place.
    In that crowded world of modulators we also find Nils Quak, who once worked as NQ (Vital Weekly
680) and under his full name had a few cassette out (Vital Weekly 1040 and 1062). Here is ’Sur
L’Eau’ (on water?), which is also thirty minutes long but here with nine pieces. This shorter approach
 by Quak makes it possible for him to make decisions in a different way; Quak can set the action, do his
stuff for a short amount of time, and when it is done, he can do something else. That works quite well
on this cassette, I think. In each of these pieces there are a few sound events running along each other;
one could say perhaps the background drone(s), the foreground melodic interaction and whatever else
is necessary to lighten up the pieces in terms of sound effects, or maybe heavily processed field
recordings on ‘Citta Aperta’. There is quite a bit more action in the music of Quak than of Fousek, who
spreads out his material quite a bit. Comparing and judging both releases, I would say I prefer the
Quak one, but it is a close call. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

RAEPPEN - VOUVDI/VALKHOF (cassette by Barreuh Records)

The person of Tim Holehouse, so says the label, is constantly touring and doing music. I only recently
heard his music for the first time, when I reviewed his cassette with Leaver (Vital Weekly 1097) but
his older work, under his own name as well as Vaelium I didn’t hear as they were reviewed by
someone else in these pages. I am not entirely sure what the difference is between all of these names
and, for instance, Raeppen. Looking at the rune text on the cover (hardly something I could decipher;
translation in English in inconvenient white ink) and listening to the music one could easily think that
this is all about some sort of performance or ritual. The music has been recorded in 2015 in lovely
Nijmegen during the weeklong festivities that torment the city on a yearly basis in July, and I am sure
I wasn’t at home back then, otherwise I could have witnessed this. Raeppen played at the small chapel
on the site of the old Emperor Charlemagne castle (well, the remains) and did his ritual there. I am
sure there is a visual element not represented in these recordings, which makes it perhaps a bit more
distant for those who were not present. Mumbling voices, a bell being struck, a slow percussive sound
and a mechanical rumble of amassed sounds, doing what exactly? Stuck inside a long line of sound
effects perhaps. Maybe I would enjoy this more had I seen the original performance? I am not sure.
As interesting as this aural documentation sounds, I guess it is not my kind of ritual herbal tea. (FdW)
––– Address:

CORRESPONDENCE - WAVE RECITAL (cassette by Audiobulb)

Behind Correspondence is Ben Catt, an electronic musician and library worker from Yorkshire, and
once the guitarist in a Leeds ‘noise-pop’ group Molars. He worked with other monikers for the last ten
years, but none of the names are mentioned. For his current music he uses ‘MIDI instrumentation, live
percussion and field recordings’, and each of the eight pieces uses a different process-based method,
owning to Steve Reich’s early essays. That is easily to hear in this music with its sharp percussion,
piano and harp bits, gradually shifting about, not unlike Reich’s ‘Six Marimbas’, ‘Octet’ or such pieces,
but perhaps a tad more mechanical, even when one easily not hear this, should one not be aware of it.
But this is not an all-round modern slab of minimal music. What Correspondence has to offer is quite
a varied bunch of musical interests. There is the very classical minimal approach (which also reminded
me of The Lost Jockey, the lost great band from the early 80s), but there is also something more broken
up, processed in the way piano sounds are used, there is a bit of atmospheric drones music, and thus it
is in many different territories. It may seem as if Correspondence is not sure himself which way to go,
and that he tries out various styles, but it is also a more deliberate thing. Not to show off, ‘see what I
mastered’, but I gather it’s more like a musical journey, going from place to place. Lovely stuff. (FdW)
––– Address: