number 1107
week 47


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!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:

QOD - ABSEQUENCE (CD by Silentes) *
VETROPACO - SUBVOID (CD by Silentes) *
DAVE RUDER - QUALMS RECTIFIED (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)
DER VERBOTEN – SAME (CD by Clean Feed)
AAAAAAAAXB – THE BEST OF (CD by Cordelia Records)
ZOZOBRA (LP by Magiaroja)
  (LP by Cold Spring Records)
SHE SPREAD SORROW - MINE (LP by Cold Spring Records)
  Records) *
  LUCKY NAMES (CDR by Wild Science) *
SUB LOAM - THE UNFOLDING MAN (triple 3”CDR by Wist Records) *
NU NO - POP SONGS (CDR by Parva Editions) *
PANELAK - QUATSCH/SUNSPLAT (cassette by Urubu)
SOMNOROASE PĂSĂRELE - PENE (double cassette by Urubu)
LUCIFER’S ENSEMBLE - ALPHA (cassette, private)
DEE GRINSKI - SUBSPACE (cassette by Tape Lamour) *
LEHNBERG - MORGONDRÖM (cassette by Tape Lamour) *
A THOUSAND MOUTHS (cassette by Tape Lamour) *
LLARKS - REFLECTIONS (cassette by Tape Lamour) *
E42.A8 - NIOBIUM (cassette by Tanuki Records)
YANN LEGUAY - GROUND (cassette by Tanuki Records)


With the releases of these two new ones, Canada’s Caduc label moves from releasing CDRs to CDs. I
think I had not heard of any of the involved musicians. I started with Tyler William Wilcox, who has
two different pieces on this release. Both were recorded in a chapel, that’s what connects them, but
the instruments are different. In the first piece there is the Guidonian Hand Trombone Quartet and
the Ensemble Indexical string quartet that plays an octet, with Wilcox being the composer whereas
in the second piece Wilcox is composer and performer, on a pipe organ. Different as that may sound
it is not difficult to say Wilcox is a composer of minimal pieces of music in which drones play an
important role. Both pieces are around twenty-some minutes and of the two the pipe organ piece is
the busiest one, oddly enough, perhaps. Wilcox puts down the keys and let it all roll out and
occasionally he adds a note, or skips one, thus it has the impression of a very slow melody. It is that
melody for the entire piece, which accounts for the minimal approach. The octet of trombones and
strings is a much more open affair with notes played and dying out, rather than having it on an
endless sustain. One feels the presence of all these players (and audience) and that shuffling about
becomes part of the music, as the players wait to play another configuration of tones, which, this
time, are quite different throughout this piece. It is all very sparse, this piece, reminding me of
Morton Feldman, and it is of great beauty. I can imagine in a concert space that this works even
better, but at home, played a bit louder it works also very well. Just as the pipe organ piece, but
on a different level.
    The print work on the other new release is not easy to read, but I understand Hamann plays
violincello and Hall the saxophone and that they recorded these three pieces in 2015 in Melbourne.
Maybe that’s all one really should know anyway? I think last week I wrote something about the use
of saxophones and free jazz, and I am happy to say that this is not of a similar kind. The three pieces
here are improvised, that we know for sure, and the instruments are recognized as such, but there
seems to be some kind of amplification going on, which makes that the sound, in an odd way moves
in and out at times. These two women also play in a rather minimalist style, with tones coming and
going, but quicker than in the octet by Wilcox. Instruments are bend and played by forming small
clusters of sound and it sounds all both intimate as well as intense. This is quite the listening
experience, with notes bend all around, and especially at a louder volume this works quite well,
almost in an overwhelming sense. This is hardly the conventional improvised music release; it is
one that works really well. (FdW)
––– Address:


Back in the day, mid to late 80s, I was quickly cured from anything even vaguely ritualistic or all that
came with the name Aleister Crowley attached, so that’s were I missed out on this Italian duo, whose
name comes from Crowley’s book ‘"Liber A'ASH vel Capricorni Pneumatici SUB FIGURA CCCLXX”.
They are only known by their pseudonyms Pazuzu and Soda Caustica, but I didn’t expect otherwise.
A bit more research learned me they had a bunch of cassettes releases in the 80s, on a label called
666 Production, but also on SSS and Minus Habens and in 2016 there was this CD (isn’t it 2017 by
now? Anyway...) of six pieces recorded in 2014 and two in 2009, the latter that they did with Z’EV.
Apparently their set-up was mostly acoustic in the past, ‘PVC tubes, air compressors, hammers,
buckets, water, steel and aluminium tanks and plates, various metal and plastic objects’ yet on this
CD also percussions, voice, harp guitar, ac. guitar, treatments and processing, electronics and field
recordings. There is no ritual chanting here, which is always good in my book, but some fine
atmospheric music of long form drone like sounds, whether these are acoustic in origin or processed
versions. Actually I thought all of this was quite enjoyable throughout. Close your eyes, and there
are no sigils, no burning crosses or incense, no liber all, just highly enjoyable experimental music
based on loops, sounds, and with the right amount of reverb and delay (and no doubt more of those)
all highly atmospheric; creepy and dark. Maybe this can also be the sound of a fine horror movie I
thought. I am not sure this would make me rush out and hear their entire recorded output, but this
one is surely the fine soundtrack to a grey November afternoon. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is the first release I hear by Japanese Sugai Ken, whose ‘Ukabazumorezu’ (in which every letter
u may be written with a capital U) is his fifth album since 2010. “A lived experience of traditional
Japanese music’s conversation with environment, and vice versa, form the melodic make-up and
metaphysical conditioning ‘Ukabazumorezu’ “, so sayeth the label, and the title means something
as ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Sugai uses recordings from his surroundings and electronic
synthesis and keeps his pieces throughout quite short, from one minute to about six, but in general
around three to four minutes. In that time frame he uses a few sounds that might be looped/
sampled and fed through whatever synthesis he operates, changing the parameters as he goes
along, adding linear field recordings (although not easy to know what these are) and maybe some
vocal treatments. The whole album certainly sound ‘quiet’, and ambient might be one of those
keywords, but it surely is also firmly rooted in the word of electro-acoustic composition, but then
of a more silent approach variety. It doesn’t always work, as the vocal samples of ‘Katsura’ proof
(very cheesy) or cliché in ‘Sawariyanagi’, but in most other pieces these samples are not present
and it works all rather well, such as the processed raindrops of ‘Wakihi’, or the percussive piece
‘Okera’. I may not get all of the metaphysical conditioning that goes on in this album, but I enjoyed
most of it in terms of melodic electro-acoustic music. (FdW)
––– Address:

QOD - ABSEQUENCE (CD by Silentes)

Qod, or rather qod as they prefer to write it, is a new duo, consisting of Moreno Padoan (MP, Artcore
Machine, Otur Boyd) and Andrea Bellucci (Red Sector A, Subterranean Source, Vetropaco, Nerva,
Dio<X>ide). Two musicians with an extensive background in both mood music as well in more
rhythmic areas and here they certainly add noise to the balance. Ambient is the one thing that
looses out here, I think, as in all of the nine pieces heavy rhythm and ditto noise plays an important
role. As someone who is not initiated in the world of rhythm ’n noise (though I like silly hard-core
from time to time), I am a bit at a loss of this is music to dance too and what it is called. Silentes, a
label who we don’t easily identify with such hard boiled rhythm music, calls this a meeting between
“rhythmic-noise and polished IDM-techno ambient”, even when that ambient is reserved to the final
piece, ‘Aeris’. This took me some listening turns in order to get used to it, but the more I played the
better I dug these nightmarish dance bombast, still not dancing around I must admit, but nevertheless
tapping along with feet, nodding my head and setting the place on fire here. Heavy duty shit, man.
    Bellucci returns for a come-down party with Gianluca Favaron (Zbeen, Ab'SHE, etc.) for their
second album ’Subvoid’ with their duo Vetropaco, the follow-up to their self-titles debut album (see
Vital Weekly 1053). For Belluci this is more common ground, with what Silentes calls “polished IDM-
techno ambient”, and for Favaron it is nice diversification of more glitchy territory. He gets credit for
electronics and Bellucci for “electronics, (d)ronin & programming”. While this too is also rhythmic it
is throughout of a more pleasant nature. Before I compared this with the music released by Minus
Habens in the mid-90s and that is still something that is going on here on ’Subvoid’. Not exactly the
most straightforward 4.4 time signatures, but a more complex myriad of beats, samples, glitches and
melodies but also with some more abstract soundscapes, for instance in the title piece. I have no idea
if this all laptop stuff or modular synthesizers coupled with some analogue gear, but the outcome, a
hybrid version of dubby rhythm (’Slow Figures’), chaotic structures (’Shell Of Ghosts’), abstract or
straightforward beats (‘The Soft Zero’), is a highly varied and entertaining disc. (FdW)
––– Address:


Elliott Sharp needs no introduction. He is one of leading forces of the downtown scene in New York,
since the end of the 70s releasing stuff on his own Zoar Records label. His list of releases is an endless
one, and must contain many dozens of albums. I don’t know much of his whereabouts of the last
decade, but as this new release illustrates, he is still an active musician, always open for new projects.
‘Chanson du Crépuscule’ is a collaboration with French harpist, composer and improviser Hélène
Breschand. Their collaboration has a history I learn, but this is their first recording as a duo. Recordings
took place in a Paris studio in 2014. Obvious for their songs Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg were a
source of inspiration. This is very evident in ‘Je t’aime’. In the opening track the singing by Breschand
come close to Diamnda Galas-like extravaganza. But in most of the songs she sings with a soft voice,
with a bit overacting in her performance. Sharp concentrates on guitars of course, and a diversity of
tools and instruments (drum machine?) for creating ambient-like textures and backgrounds to
Breschands performance of the lyrics, which she almost all wrote. Also most of the songs are written
by the two of them, but carry above all the handwriting of Sharp. ‘The Cuckoo’, is a traditional, a bluesy
song sung with the deep voice of Sharp. Qualities of Sharp and Breschand make a good match, and
result in an entertaining album. (DM)
––– Address:

DAVE RUDER - QUALMS RECTIFIED (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)

Dave Ruder is a musician, composer and a lot more, based in Brooklyn. He is a keymember of Varispeed
and the great ThingNY. He worked with numerous composers and musicians in the past, including a
long collaboration with Robert Ashley. Since 2013 he is also the driving force behind the Golden Bolus
Recordings, a label that he initially started as an outlet for his own projects, but became soon also a
base for other artists from NY. ‘Qualms Rectified’ is his second solo album. He debuted with ´Untuned´
in 2014, an album that was dominated by two compositions for ten guitars. For ‘Qualms Rectified’
Ruder turns to the pop song format. He plays guitar, bass guitar, B flat clarinet, Sequential Circuits
Six Trak synthesizer, drum programming, Max/MSP and sings. He is assisted by a dozen guest musicians
playing trombone, cello, trumpet, Rhodes, synth, sax drums, viola, bass guitar, etc. The album consists
of nine songs that are constructed from beautiful melodic material. Humour and fun are supplied by
the texts Ruder sings (“Fuck you Steve”). Most of the songs are sparsely but effectively instrumented.
His stripped down and creative arrangements suggest a nice feeling for understatement and give the
music more power. It made me think of the long forgotten 49 Americans at several points. The music
is very well crafted by Ruder and his crew and a great pleasure to listen to. (DM)
––– Address:

DER VERBOTEN – SAME (CD by Clean Feed)

Der Verboten is a quartet of Frantz Loriot (viola), Antoine Chessex (tenor sax), Christian Wolfarth
(percussion, cymbals) and Cédric Piromalli (prepared piano). The session was recorded  Radio
France-France Musique at La Filature (Mulhouse, France) during the Meteo - Mulhouse Music
festival, on August 27th, 2016. Earlier Loriot and Pormalli worked together under the moniker
Treffpunkt, with Mikko Innanen and Christian Weber as partners, later followed by Amercian
musicians Sam Kulik (trombone) and Brad Henkel (trumpet) as guests. For this occasion the
quartet was named Kaijo, which is Japanese for ´meeting´- After Loriot got invited to be artist in
residence for the Mulhouse Music Festival, he decided for a version of this collaboration., this time
with Swiss artists Chessex and Wolfarth as guests. The CD has one long extended improvisation of
more than 40 minutes, titled ‘Der Dritte Treffpunkt’, the third meeting in English. Improvised music
is always about meeting of course and here the musicians who are curious to find out if they can
develop an interesting musical story. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. In the case of this set, no
doubt, an inspiring musical communication came about. From start one feels they are focused and
connected with one other. The improvisation counts different passages or episodes if you want.
Underway the improvisation unfolds in different constellations. Their improvisation is a sound
dominated research with a sense for detail and colouring. Built from small gestures that change
in dynamic and energy. Sections of intense interplay that move towards a climax are followed by
sections that show another face of time. This is an example of very condensed and concentrated
group improvisation. Pure beauty if you ask me! (DM)
––– Address:

AAAAAAAAXB – THE BEST OF (CD by Cordelia Records)

‘All your friends are morons’... sung to a funky, slightly 70s soft-core porn soundtrack backing. The
tone is set for this most curious album. Allow me to try to explain. Did you know that in 2014 the
concept of ‘good will reflectors’ was introduced at the annual ESM (Electronic Surf Music) convention?
The idea was, in brief, that by using such reflectors set up in or nearby concert venues audiences
would be prevented from liking bands in a general sense – and not liking them because of their actual
performance. By doing so the appreciation of the music would be the purest form possible. An example:
you may appreciate U2’s music better (or solely) because you like Bono’s hairstyle. If you can prevent
this pattern of thinking, people will appreciate U2 purely for their music and not because they happen
to like Bono’s hairstyle. Makes sense doesn’t it? In fact, the use of ‘good will reflectors’ would cause a
revolution in the marketing of music in general and pop/rock music particularly. Imagine bands or
musicians appreciated for their music only? This album was recorded by AAAAAAAAXB, whereby the
A’s stand for the eight Alan’s involved in this album, X for X Ray Romeo and the B for Brian. It might
come as no surprise one of the Alan’s is in fact Alan Jenkins, who is most likely the best known of the
eight Alans to the readers of Vital Weekly. Jenkins is the purveyor of Electronic Surf Music, which is
exactly what you think it is, and used to be a member of the Deep Freeze Mice, the Chrysanthemums
and Jody and the Creams – and a plethora of other bands foolish enough to let him sing and play his
guitar in their vicinity. This album, which is the band’s debut, is called ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’
and comes in a fold-out cover including the history of the band and featuring a few dairy excerpts of
their travels to Papua New Guinea. Musically ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ offers us Electronic Surf
Music, which we already discussed at length, but also tracks like ‘Door B’, ‘Look. Billy Gilbert’, the
amazing ‘Dizziness’ and other tracks featuring sound effects, reversed tapes, electronic collages,
almost free jazz improvisations and the likes, setting it apart from the Electronic Surf Music we all
know. Think Ed Sheeran. In fact, picture Ed Sheeran appreciated purely for this music and not for his
cuddly image, hairstyle and chequered shirts. There would be very little of Ed’s success left. But I
digress: ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ is a great listen; it features the typical melodic and a-melodic
music you’d expect from Jenkins, as well as his typical singing voice and sense of humour. Does
humour belong in music? Zappa answered this question by releasing a series of dead-boring albums.
You may consider ‘The Best Of AAAAAAAAXB’ not serious enough for Vital Weekly, but you are
wrong. Dead-wrong. (FK)
––– Address:

ZOZOBRA (LP by Magiaroja)

This is my first introduction to a label from Spain, and it is ‘a cultural association for members only’,
but apparently there are already 6000 of them, in 60 countries. They run a label, booking agency,
organization of conferences, workshops and sessions. Among the names on the flyer with their back
catalogue I only recognized the name Jochen Arbeit.
    The first record I played was by Zozobra, which is a one-man act from Barcelona and according to
the sticker on the front his music is “An iconoclast inside the post-industrial mélange. His artistic voice
is unique; vulnerable and brutal at the same time, his subjects are-at its core-classic: love, identity,
relationships. Taking clues from Coil and Nurse With Wound he samples live original sources in the
most unadverted ways and creates different layers which he modifies through pedals which serve
as backdrop to his lyrics where he digs deep into his most uncomfortable personal truths”. That is a
long quote, I know, but it says it better than I could do. I can see the Coil reference, but the Nurse
With Wound, in all their kaleidoscopic approaches to music is a but lost on me with Zozobra. His voice
is an important one, low and heavy, most of the times more speaking than singing, and along with
heavy, industrial rhythms and ditto heavy electronics makes this is all indeed sound like something
out of the 80s. Sometimes I am also reminded of the music of Foetus, but Zozobra doesn’t use his voice
in the same way, even when it’s very much on top of the music. Blackhouse is another name that
sprang to mind. It is not necessarily something I would play a lot, but just the other week I had Foetus’
‘Hole’ on the turntable for the first time in some time, and enjoyed quite a bit. Zozobra plays his
industrial music with a similar amount of aggression, ‘con furioso’; a well-orchestrated nightmare.
    Also from Barcelona (like the label actually) is Viktor Lux Crux, co-founder of the Màgia Roja label,
member of bands as Ordre Etern and Qa’a and as a musician working as Futuro de Hierro (meaning
the future of iron). He also worked with Jochen Arbeit, Nurse With Wound, Paddy Shine and Chris
Haslam (Gnod). As a DJ he works as Comisarios de la Luz, and those in the know recognize this as an
early title from the band Esplendor Geometrico, which surely is a strong influence on Crux, listening
to the four pieces on this LP. The rhythm is mechanical, feeding through synthesizers and on top of
that Crux delivers his vocals, sung, spoken and shouting, along with a fair amount of feedback. Just as,
I guess, Esplendor Geometrico once did in their earliest days. Monotonous, loud, noisy and aggressive.
Further references are made to Throbbing Gristle (I can see their ‘Discipline’ of influence), Laibach
and Swans, although that I fail to see a bit. This too is loud and forceful, aggressive and intense, but
unlike Zozobra this is also emptier and stripped to the barest elements. Once the rhythm is going
and filtered through a bunch of synthesizers, Crux delivers his vocals along with extra effects and
that makes up the song. It shares its love for minimalism with Pan Sonic I guess, even when the
older references are stronger here. He played some 300 concerts so far, and I would love to see this
in live action. Maybe the booking agency can send him our way and we can check how his music holds
out in concert? The record is most promising indeed. (FdW)
––– Address:

  (LP by Cold Spring Records)
SHE SPREAD SORROW - MINE (LP by Cold Spring Records)

This is a re-issue on vinyl of a CD that was first released in 2001, and which made these pages, in issue
303, and it is good to repeat the words of the square root of sub (MP as it was shortened) from back
then: “The idea of Motorlab is to create a new kind of electricity between musicians/artists by
introducing them to elements they had previously left untouched. Well, here's one that appealed
immediately - such a unique combination of talent cannot be allowed to escape, so I took it home
with high hopes. And how carefully made it is, and (the basic recordings are) live, too. The first (title)
track, a blend of an Icelandic choir performing Barry's (treated) microtonal, urgent score is slowly
infiltrated, first with an electronic breath and then by well-rounded bassburps that evolve into a
satisfactory crescendo before the scary humhum returns. Someone directly connected to this
broadsheet dismissed this track as Gothic" - and although I can't qualify it, not having the ilk for
such silly and affected gruesomeness - I do think he's being too simplistic, being of the opinion
myself that it is a highly successful,  contemporary hybrid. Hats off! (MP) (Oh! I almost forgot to
mention, there are two other tracks: the second is a short sigh, and the third, apparently a remix
by Andrew McKenzie, ranges from the sublime to the Wendy (yes, definitely after the operation!)
Carlos - a meandering piece that starts in a non-specific place and doesn’t travel that far in ordure
to stay there). Nonetheless, this shiny is still worth getting, even if it’s only for the first track.”
    To which review I have very little to add, I guess, as it reflects what I think about it, even when,
come to think of, I might have been the one that made the gothic reference. It must have been the
choir in combination with the slow beats. But in hindsight I more agree with MP’s view of it, yet I
seem to like the Hafler Trio’s remix better than I did back then.
    Come to think about such notions as ‘gothic’, well replace that with ‘intensity’, ‘experience’,
‘strangeness’ or such terms, She Spread Sorrow, also known as Alice Kundalini, certainly knows how
to do that. Her debut CD was ‘Rumspringa’ (Vital Weekly 998), which I enjoyed in all its unsettling and
uneasiness. Music about guilt, punishment, pleasure and perversion, the usual suspects I guess in the
world of “Ritual deathscapes, obscure Death Industrial, sinful Power Electronics”. Armed with a
synthesizer, sound effects and microphone Kundalini is on all out assault on the listener with her
pieces, that are called ‘Lust’, ‘Crushed On The Pillow’, ‘Straight Back’ or something as innocent as ‘On
The Bank Of The River’ (or maybe not so innocent?). The voice is whispering but then heavily amplified
and processed into near feedback, so it’s hard to understand what these obsessions and nightmares
are about, but then I am not a psychiatrist or out there to analyse her deepest thoughts. As you know
me, I hope by now, lyrics are never really well spend on me anyway. One of the things I also like about
this is that it isn’t all blown over the top, like an electric storm cleansing your soul/mind/psyche for
forty minutes, but Kundalini gets under your skin and because she’s not always blowing to smithereens
her music is much creepier than some of the other boys in black brigade. I am sure the words ‘enjoyed’
and ‘pleasant’ are best used in combination with ‘disturbed’ here, and I mean all of that in a positive
way. (FdW)
––– Address:


Legend has is and legend brings it: the long awaited ecstasy, the forlorn return of the king from exile
and from years of yonder. Not only matter of fairy tales and histories, but also a piece of 12” vinyl
featuring new work by Nikolas Schreck. And a ritual dark disco blast it is.
    This must be by far the most 'pop' act The Epicurean (known for releases from a far more noisy
realm from the likes of Anemone Tube and Last Dominion Lost for example). Dark echoes of beats
ricochet from banged up concrete walls in a humid underground discothèque. Schreck's whisper-
from-beyond-death voice declames with commanding authority like a vocalist from the age of Ballard
of Dick.
    The Futura Model (the A-side track, coupled with two remixes) is at once a slice of retro dark synth
pop deluxe as it is a futurist manifesto for a scene thought dead and buried; a sound and a dance from
and for the undead. Mix in some truly space-age like synthsweeps and the glistening orbits of personal
flight machines and cyborg-sex permeates the picture. A supernova filling the afterglow with a
background radiation that would not be amiss at a festival like Grauzone. (SSK)
––– Address:


Since time Jason Kahn, erstwhile a drummer, then analogue synthesizer player, is also working with
voice; not something we hear for the first time (for me that was back in Vital Weekly 1075), but that
was solo, and now it’s in duet with Christian Wolfarth on percussion, with a recording made in
Switzerland in February 2016. This is surely something entirely new for Kahn, and for someone who
has heard a lot of his ‘other’ music this is really something that may take some time to get used to. At
least I didn’t find it all too easy. Wolfarth’s handles his percussion like one expects from him; with
great care he works his skin(s) and (more so) cymbals, striking it with a brush or bow, generating
what could also be seen as electronic sounds. Kahn uses mostly his throat, making gurgling sounds,
like he’s suffocating. It’s not sound poetry in say the tradition of Henry Chopin or Jaap Blonk. It’s more
like a shriek or controlled howl, and in the two pieces (thirty-three minutes) Kahn shows he has some
excellent control over this, but like I say, it takes some getting used to this. I very much enjoyed the
consistency of the whole duet, the way both remain very in control and the way they interact, call and
respond and how that all goes together in these fine pieces of music. It is just that the way Kahn uses
his voice is something that at least I am not entirely sure of is the way to go. Perhaps it reminded me
of some more outsider musicians and somehow that might not be, in my opinion, the way Kahn should
go. I guess time will tell us what it will be. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far the name of violin player Jamasp Jhabvala popped up twice in Vital Weekly; once as a member
of Spook (Vital Weekly 1050) and in collaboration with Francisco Meirino (Vital Weekly 960), but this
is the first time I hear his solo music. As the title implies the pieces were edited from various live
recordings (at various places) between 2012 and 2015. The cover shows us a violin, piezo elements
and an amplifier, along with an empty cat food can and a cymbal with piezo on the inside, by which I
think we are to conclude how this music is made. Upon listening I don’t think we will be very wiser.
Part of this is firmly rooted in the world of electro-acoustic noise music, scratching and bowing the
strings (and objects no doubt), picked up through the body of the instrument and the piezo, but
sometimes there is also some more conventional violin playing, almost like a regular melodic thing.
Of course I have no idea to what extent there is layering going on here, i.e. how many parts are played
together at any point during this, or that, perhaps, this all made through editing in a more linear way
of letting various parts flow together one after another. I must admit I found that not easy to say, really
(and maybe the question is also not really that important I wondered). I quite enjoyed the balance
between the abstracter, noisier side of Jhabvala, which seemed to me bigger than his more regular
playing but that was most enjoyable. Not screeching noise throughout but every now and then a
bounce back to something the listener might be more familiar with. I also liked the more collage
approach Jamasp Jhabvala has towards his material, in a way that every old recording might be a
building block for a new composition; the electro-acoustic approach I of course always applaud. Nice
one! (FdW)
––– Address:

  LUCKY NAMES (CDR by Wild Science)

This is a rather complicated affair; we have here three pieces, each performed by a trio, of which
Chilean sound artist Cristian Alvear and Japanese Makoto Oshiro play in all three, and in the first
three also Shinjiro Yamaguchi plays and in the third Hiroyuki Ura. Behind all of this are the musical
ideas of Makoto Oshiro, Nicolas Carrasco and Shinjiro Yamaguchi; the press text doesn’t tell me which
these ideas are. The track list lists each of them as a composer of a piece however. Alvear is someone
whom we know from the performance of the works of Wandelweiser composers, and judging by the
three pieces on this CD there is a text based score at the heart of each of them. In ‘Repeat And
Memory’ (by Shinjiro Yamaguchi), there is a repeating metronome click, voices that recite text (though
not entirely clear what these are about I think) and a hiss that swells up every now and then. In the
title piece there is something percussive but not all the time, as it is interrupted by silence. At five
minutes a short piece, but there isn’t happening a lot. ’Sin Titulo #18’ is with thirty-two minutes the
longest track (obviously I could add), and the one with Ura, and also recorded on a different location.
As for all of these pieces it is very unclear what the sound sources are. Your guess, is I guess, as good
as mine. It might be some acoustic sources, some electronic ones, or, and I deem that most likely,
something in between; acoustic sounds being amplified with the use of contact microphones. Perhaps
amplifying surfaces being rubbed, or something along these lines. That final piece is also very minimal
but perhaps a bit too long? Like with many of these kinds of things, I more and more believe it is all
about the direct experience, and that a disc cannot always convey a similar intensity but merely
documentation, which is of course not the same thing. (FdW)
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While listening to the music on this CDR I tried figuring out what the title meant, and if this was
indeed some kind of Roman number, and what it could mean. Fifty, one hundred, fifty, ten, but
somehow I couldn’t find an answer. Both of these musicians live in Texas, and earlier this year they
had a LP on Elevator Bath (see Vital Weekly 1084), which I though was great record; a fine combination
of field recordings and electric and electronic devices. Here they have the fifteen-minute title piece, as
well as five more pieces. On ‘LCLX’ they rework recordings they made together in 2015 for their first
performance, using ‘many ambient hums of the giant lights known to blind the neighbourhood (of
Charles Alan Wright Intramural Field in Austin, Texas), as well as interactions with neighbours and
the space”, using acoustic and electromagnetic microphone techniques. In the other pieces they also
 use field recordings, urban and pastoral, which refer ‘to states of stasis and change in a rapidly
changing urban environment”.
    The title piece is a very low humming affair of deep bass tones, and some far away conversation
between people (the composers? other people in the area?) and what could be sounds of insects. This
is a beautiful as well as radical tonal piece, which extremity is less present on the other pieces. Here it
all seems to be dealing with a collage of field recordings, which are not always easy to recognize, but
somehow seem to be from urban environments, wet streets, cars in the far away distance or torrential
rain fall (in Texas? why not?). It is easier to recognize a massive amount of electricity in the title piece,
picked up by electromagnetic microphones than the capture the changing urban environment in the
five pieces that follow this one. The music is, somehow, dark and has a nocturnal feeling. I am not sure
why I think this is the case, but somehow this seems to be so. I might be wrong. The music has a
somewhat closed off feeling, like being locked up and you hear it from the inside, which is perhaps
given the nature of these recordings. This is quite some wonderful obscure music, a bit vague but
nevertheless sounding great. And a fine silkscreened package also, to top off a very fine release. (FdW)
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SUB LOAM - THE UNFOLDING MAN (triple 3”CDR by Wist Records)

Ah the lovely format of 3”CDs, or CDRs for that matter; I don’t see them as much as I wish I do, and
looking at this lovely little box with printed inserts, handmade sleeves and a embossed map, I wished
they would all look like this. In the past Sub Loam provided us with great packaging, such as three
cassettes of ‘The Portable Archive’. The man behind Sub Loam is Thomas Shrubsole (who also works
as Jesus On Mars and Space Capsule) as a vehicle for more atmospheric music, something at which he
gets better and better. Of course you could say that the material on three 3”CDRs will fit easily on a
single 5”CDR, certainly if the total length is around forty minutes, but perhaps there is logic to this?
The mood music of Sub Loam is not to be understood as highly processed field recordings with tons
of effects, but in this particular area it is more about also playing an instrument, in Shrubsole’s case
the saxophone, along with loops of sounds (percussion maybe) in ‘Elevation, a map unfolding...’ (The
title is much longer actually), which adds a alien jazz like atmosphere to the piece, whereas in ‘Grind
And Contour - A Linear Abstraction’ it is all about a more abstract soundscape, mild but with a strong
undercurrent of impending doom. On the third piece, ‘Terrain Condensed, congealed mud, soil’ one has
the impression of being stuck in machine; mechanical loops, like a pump, is stuck in the mud and even
when slowly the sound changes it remains very much the same sort of thing. Of the three pieces the
last one is my least favourite, but I very much the lo-fi ambience of the first two pieces, shimmering
through greyish sounds, samples on a low-bit resolution sampler and simply yet very effective sound
processing. I can say that this is his best looking package to this day, and two/third of the music is
ranked among his best. Not a bad score. (FdW)
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NU NO - POP SONGS (CDR by Parva Editions)
PANELAK - QUATSCH/SUNSPLAT (cassette by Urubu)
SOMNOROASE PĂSĂRELE - PENE (double cassette by Urubu)
LUCIFER’S ENSEMBLE - ALPHA (cassette, private)

Without much explanation as to why, all of this was found in one envelop, so for that very reason
only I will discuss all of this in one review.
    Thank god there is a post-it attached to the CDR, as the print work has no information whatsoever,
and I am suggested to go the first Bandcamp address mentioned below. That is entirely in Portuguese,
so not entirely helpful, but Google as always has some crippled help. Behind Nu No is Nuno Marques
Pinto, who is “a performer, actor, director, musician and the like”, and his album is a “heir to the old
iconoclastic and subversive tradition that Rimbaud inaugurates, sanctified by Jarry, Dada and
Surrealism, the theatre of Artaud, the Situationist International, P. Henry, Cage and the concrete
music”, but still called ‘Pop Songs”. In his studio there are lots of instruments, and the notebook is
filled with texts, so fifteen songs in twenty-eight minutes means it all goes rather quick. This is,
obviously, not really pop music that the Billboard Top 100 recognizes as pop, so let’s take it with a
pinch of salt. It is more along the lines of sound poetry I would think, or outsider music, even when
he can keep a rhythm going. Some of it just a bit of weird noise or screaming but it works best if Nu
No tries to playt a real song, over a longer period of time, such as in ‘Nu Descendo A Escada (nº2)’,
using keyboards, rhythms and some form of song structure. Nice enough.
    The next three releases are all by Urubu, a cassette label from Portugal and I decided to keep the
one name I recognized to be played last and started with Garcia da Selva, and apparently this is also
available on vinyl. The tags that Bandcamp gives are ‘experimental, exotica, experimental electronics,
muzak, progressive, sci-fi and Lisbon’ and I very much could go along with progressive and muzak, not
so much with the others (well, Lisbon is hard to argue of course). Da Silva is someone who plays guitar,
and is a very proficient player at that, adding melodic keyboards and rhythms to that and his music
sounds quite smooth, most of the time. The lengthy distorted guitar solo of the opener ‘Ogongo’ is
something that was a particular let down. His other pieces could easily be played in a shabby nightclub
and like shown on the cover Da Silva could keep his sunglasses on stage. A song like ‘Madeixa’ could act
as a new soundtrack to a seventies porn flick, German preferable. Quite camp and I am sure that is the
idea of it all.
    Panelak is one Pascal Ansell from England and both pieces on his cassette, ‘Quatsch’ on side A and
’Sunsplat’ on the flip, were used in a “noise-fashion show displaying dresses made from torn-down
billboards”. One in 2013 and one in 2015, and ‘several models paraded the dresses in a painfully slow
fashion (pun intended I wonder - FdW) while Panelak performed”. There is no indication on the cover
towards instruments used, if any at all, really. One could easily think there are no instruments and
that all of the sounds one hears are taped from a multitude of sources, stored on cassettes, Dictaphones
or, more conveniently, in Ableton Live, played in a sort of random mix approach that would make John
Cage jealous. There is no head nor tail to be discovered in this almost endless (well, forty minutes)
stream of the unconsciousness. You get the drift of it all pretty early on, I think, but that point the only
viable alternative is to put the cassette in loop mode, turn the volume a bit and have it spinnin’ round
and round all afternoon like a well detuned radio.
    The name I recognized was Somnoroase Păsărele, the Rumenian duo of Gili Mocanu, who is helped
with sequencing by Miru Mercury. I reviewed various of their previous cassettes (see Vital Weekly
1036, 1041, 1051, 1057 and 1062) and one of those reviews went down really badly, resulting in a
heated discussion, so I assumed I was blacklisted (not for the first time, nor the last; no official
publication of the list, but I have my suspicions as to who struck me off their mailing list), but maybe
not. I lost all my old e-mail this summer, so also whatever was said about that. The word ‘Pene’ means
‘feather, quill, (tire) failure or blackout’ in Rumanian. The double cassette contains material that has
been recorded in 2014, and it consists of lengthy pieces. The first cassette is forty minutes and the
second doubles that. That is a lot of music, and they use for all of these pieces a range of synthesized
sounds, which, once in motion, seem to stay in motion with very little difference throughout. Rhythm,
used by Somnoroase Păsărele, is also part of this, but slower and less dominant; or perhaps more
about carrying the ambient weight of the music. In a way it reminded me of one of Conrad Schnizler’s
more private releases; a bit rough and underdeveloped perhaps, but that seems to be the idea of this
music. Perhaps a bit like Panelak’s stream of the unconsciousness: you dive in and let it work on your
mind, without too much thinking. I thought it was most enjoyable. Nice package with Xerox art too.
    The final cassette looks like one of those ‘ritualistic’ things, with black booklet, a sigil or whatever
they are called silkscreened on the box, and Lucifer’s Ensemble “is a music performance project
crossing physical theatre, interactive technologies and sound art. An inverted triangle comprising
two performers and a musician/composer”, while working with guest musicians. On this particular
release there is a bunch of them, adding sitar, voice, live electronics and such like. The whole
performance/ritualistic element is something that is missed out on the cassette, which makes it,
perhaps for me, more enjoyable. Taken as a piece of music and nothing else, then this is all quite
enjoyable; moody electronic music most of the time, along with some obligatory whispering voices,
but also a sweeping dark wave rhythm towards the end of the first side (and there seems to be
individual pieces, but it hears like one continuous piece; both sides actually) and I found all of this
most enjoyable, because it was quite varied but also had a fine sense of experimentalism and seemed
less gothic than what the outside looked like. (FdW)
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DEE GRINSKI - SUBSPACE (cassette by Tape Lamour)
LEHNBERG - MORGONDRÖM (cassette by Tape Lamour)
A THOUSAND MOUTHS (cassette by Tape Lamour)
LLARKS - REFLECTIONS (cassette by Tape Lamour)

Tape Lamour is of course the offshoot of Swedish record Lamour, who do mostly vinyl, but in the past
also cassettes, and now have their own brand/boutique for that medium. For whatever reason I
started with the shortest of the four releases, lasting ten or so minutes in total and its by a member of
an ‘industrial performance band Manukind’, of whom I never heard before and Dee Grisnky is what
she calls her pop project. Here she is under the influence of Marina Abramovic and William Basinski
and these four pieces are all about experimentalism. The songs (she calls them ‘tracks’) are played on
the same analogue string synth keyboard and DIY modules and recorded in a single day. If you expect
some sort of Basinski inspired ambience (I don’t think I ever heard music by Abramovic; did she ever
do music I wonder?) than you might be in for a surprise. Dee Grinski’s music is more out there, louder,
dirtier even, but also more pop based. Especially ‘The Dripping Sea’ and ‘The Vivisection Orgasm’ have
melodies underneath the screaming of pushed down distortion pedals (especially in the opening
‘Euthanesia Tourism’) that owe more to the world of shoegazing I guess. Quite minimal these four
pieces, but I liked the rough edged pop weirdness that was somewhat buried there. A pretty fruitful
day when that was recorded, pity there isn’t a bit more.
    ‘Morgondröm’ can be translated as ‘morning dream’ and (David) Lehnberg is the composer of the
music. He is one half of The Deer Tracks, an indietronica band, and his solo project is described as
‘experimental electronics’ and the words ‘moody’ and ‘ambient’ could have easily been added. He has
six songs/pieces/tracks of his doodling around with what is no doubt some kind of modular electronics
set-up playing his moody tunes. Here too I was somehow thinking about shoegazing with that chorus
pedal like sound processing that is somehow part of this. Rhythm sounds are sometimes added, as in
‘Swimma’, non-grooving and a bit dramatic it seems. While I am never sure what the word
‘experimental’ is to mean (experiment to whom, by whom, in what context etc.) I can easily say that
what Lehnberg is not really experimental in a sense you never heard, as he does a fine job but within
the safer context of moody electronic soundscapes. And that is surely fine enough.
    And for now something completely different; Anders Walldén is the man behind A Thousand
Mouths and he is from Malmö. He has three long pieces (eight, eleven and nineteen minutes) of music
that easily aims for the dance floor. Is there any DJ out there who plays dance floor friendly music with
cassettes? (A rhetorical question; no answers needed on a postcard) The rhythm is a fine groove, the
bass is deep, and on top there is a rather mellow synthesizer playing a melody that has quite a pop
feeling but which is also quite spacious; almost cosmic even. ‘Untitled’, which spans the entire B-side
is the more out there experimental side of the dance floor, being also a bit darker, but still it works
quite well. This is all a pleasant surprise, I’d think.
    Llarks is the only name I recognized, being the latest incarnation by C. Jeely, once known as Accelera
Deck. As Llarks he has been pretty active in the last two or three years (see for instance Vital Weekly
982, 1005, 1037 and 1051) with a great number of releases, many of which are on cassette and lathe
cut 7”s. Although I am not entirely sure, but on ‘Reflections’ is the guitar the main instrument, even
when it surely is fed through a whole bunch of sound effects or whatever stuff on the laptop. That is not
a strange thing in the long career of Jeely, but with Llarks it is not always that obvious. Sometimes the
level of processing is that high up that whatever original sound is used is rendered beyond recognition.
Here he has nine pieces in which the guitar shines in all its ambient beauty. Peaceful, singing, ringing
and sustaining, humming misty chords of pastoral quietness. You can easily refer to the more ambient
side of Fennesz, or William Basinski, or Stephan Mathieu, although perhaps Llarks keeps his music
much more condensed than any of those drone meisters, even when he can go up to ten minutes.
Llarks plays music of refined, simply, haunting beauty. He should be doing CDs for some of the better-
known outlets! (FdW)
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E42.A8 - NIOBIUM (cassette by Tanuki Records)
YANN LEGUAY - GROUND (cassette by Tanuki Records)

Somewhere in the Belgium countryside there is an old warehouse in which the owners have a space as
well as tools to produce sound for people to improvise on objects and instruments. The place is called
E42.A8, with a nod to Manuel Gottsching, Basic Channel, P16.D4 and impossible chess moves (I am
told), and besides being a place of musical freedom, it is now also a group that is on the move, as in
playing concerts all over Europe. I believe the membership is fluid and on this tape it is Lydia Baziz
(bowed psaltery), Grégory Duby (cigar box guitar), Anna Gautier (Celtic harp), Arthur Lacomme
(contact microphones & rakarrack), Sylvain van iniitu (objects & electronics). At least that was the
case on August 29, 2016 when the five pieces of ‘Niobium’ were recorded. As you can no doubt imagine
this all improvised music, part object based, part instruments, and effects are in use everywhere.
There is at times a forceful play at work within these five players, reminding me of free rock
improvisation but also more electronic improvisers seem to be an influence here; I was thinking of
Kontakta, Morphogenesis, Kapotte Muziek and MEV. There is some excellent interaction going; nobody
is holding back (as far as I can judge of course), everybody is paying attention and keeping silent if
necessary. A piece like ‘Joie des courants de désintégration‘ is very quiet and introspective, followed
by ‘Renaissance du préfet‘, in which no distortion is spared. An excellent release, and surely a name
to keep your attention to, either when it comes to releases or concerts.
    Yann Leguay uses music, sound art and installations, and can be regarded as performance artist,
musician and visual artist. He uses all sorts of media devices, hard drives, modular synthesizer, record
players and cassettes. There are two pieces on this cassette, one per side, and both are live, well in a
sort of way. On the first side he repeats the words ‘here I am’ in the piece ‘Here I Am, A Portrait Of Brad
Downey’, related to a graffiti signature ‘Brad Was Here’, near his home in Berlin. This is not a live
concert in a very traditional sense. Leguay speaks these words as he goes about in the city, so we hear
street sounds, the metro, shops, until he reaches home. That is after about seventeen minutes and
then there is a coda of nine minutes of a very low tone, changing very minimally. It surely is quite a
captive piece. On the other side he goes below ground, into the catacombs of Paris for a concert of
battery powered instruments (sequencers, cassettes, record player) and this is more a ‘regular’ live
recording than what is on the other side. It is also something that is perhaps more your standard
experimental one-person affair; looped sounds from record players, a bit of drone mixed in, minimalist
developments in changing the tonal colour of these pieces. Perhaps the sort of thing that in concert
may be very impressive but doesn’t work in the same way at home. The other side, now that is
something else; that’s a fine radio play! (FdW)
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