number 1121
week 9


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help Vital Weekly to survive:

ZIBUOKLE MARTINAITYTE - HORIZONS (CD by Music Information Centre Lithunia)
LUCA SIGURTA - GRUNGE (CD by Silken Tofu) *
THE SAND RAYS - REMBERED VOL. 1 (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
PORCH NAP - ANTIDOT - SELECTED WORKS 2007-2017 (CD by Fulldozer/Zhelezobeton) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - AS MUCH AS IT IS WORTH (7” by Machinefabriek) *
SEQUENCES - BENEATH THE EARTH (CDR by Audio.Visual.Atmosphere) *
FRETS OF YORE (CDR compilation by Spectropol)
MP HOPKINS - AEROPLANES & PUDDLES (cassette by Mappa) *
RIAR RIZALDI - I ONLY HAVE VISIONS FOR YOU (cassette by Hasana Editions) *
MAHESA ALMEIDA - ALTO/PAN (cassette by Hasana Editions) *
PVA IN HAIR - SUMPTUARY LAW (cassette by Whiteness And Pinkness)


The name Martusciello popped up a number of times in Vital Weekly, although in recent years mainly
on compilations. However it can be music by Maurizio or Elio that you find browsing the archive of your
favourite bundle of reviews. Together they had an album under their family name on KIP in 1995, but
then went separate ways. Maurizo seemed more active for a long time. Elio was involved in the world
improvised music (along with Eugene Chadbourne, Alvin Curran, Tim Hodgkinson, Z’EV and others)
and musique concrete. I am told that this album is also musique concrete, but it is also called ‘a new
avant-pop experiment’. There is something to say for that ‘pop’ tag, and that is mainly due to the
addition of female vocals, by a cast of singers, four of them, and curiously enough they pretty much
sound very much alike. But it wouldn’t be Elio Martusciello if he would do a collage of sounds, building
out of concrete elements, sampling, stretching and at the end it sounds like melodic. He adds a bit of
rhythm here and there and then had fifteen more or less finished pieces of abstract songs, as I believe
these are indeed ‘songs’ and not ‘pieces’, if you get my semantic drift. He invited the various singers to
come in to sing their songs in a more or less ‘free’ way, but with words, melodic lines, and not something
hissing, shouting, and whispering. These vocals reminded me of Portishead, but the music was, I think
on similar lines as well. Rhythms are usually a bit slow, lots of brushes and with that jazz noir off beat.
This is definitely mood music, for a later hour, glass of red wine and reminiscing lost lovers or rainy
days. I think it’s a most lovely release that could and should win Martusciello new audiences, even
when the music itself isn’t perhaps the most original. At least not how the outcome sounds; the concept
of sampling musique concrete like sources and start building ‘avant pop’ of course I think is pretty unique.
But I also admit not knowing the world of ‘avant pop’ that well. All together a lovely set of
songs. (FdW)
––– Address:


No doubt it helps to know people. Over the years I met Yiorgis Sakellariou a couple of times (and still
don’t know how to correctly pronounce his last name) and he is the ever enthusiast when it comes to
working with field recordings and talking about it. He’s from Greece and via Lithuania he now lives in
London. For his Unfathomless release he went back to the old country, the ancient one if you will and
recorded sounds and Aeolian harps at the Greek temple of Artemis in Aulis, Greece. With that he
composed a forty-three minute work of some refined dynamic beauty. It starts out very soft and it is
not easy to tell what it is you are hearing, but that could be said of the entire work.  Sakellariou is man
to work with sounds a bit more than just layering them together. Be it the emphasis of frequencies or
something more heavier when it comes to treatment, it all boils down to the way he composes his
pieces. Various sounds are layered together, building towards a crescendo, with a radical cut at the
end, and then he starts all over again, with a bit of dirt and sand here and there, but slowly adding
sound event upon sound event. He does that a couple of times on ‘In Aulis’, with at one point a very
surprising (and perhaps also a bit scary turning point through the addition of a last minute extra
sound), and it brings a great additional tension to the piece, as well it forces the listener to pay extra
close attention to the music. It is not something one can ignore; the quiet bits will be lost and the loud
bits will be perceived as annoying loud (maybe!). The wind through these ancient forms, the rocks it is
built upon, and the wind picking up dirt, it all becomes at a certain point almost melodic, which in this
world is perhaps a rare thing (somewhere around the sixteen minute break that is), whereas after
thirty-four minutes it is like a conveyer belt of industrial noise. And then along it can be as quiet as a
church mouse (in a Greek temple), with just a bit of far away wind blowing through a single string. I
couldn’t say if this is his best work so far, but I would surely rank it among his best releases. It is full
of intense drama and of great beauty, abstract as it is. (FdW)
––– Address:


Jasun Martz is a man with a remarkable and curious musical career. This career that spans 50 years is
now condensed in the release of ‘Solo Exhibition’, a prestigious retrospective box of 8 CDs, 10 hours of
music, 200 musicians, 85 tracks. Documenting Martz’ musical activity from the 60s up till now.
Reflecting his career as a musician and composer. We received above-mentioned three CDs from this
box, released on his own label Music Brut Masterworks. For decades Jasun Martz was the composer
known for one work: ‘The Pillory’, his first symphony. He composed this work in 1977/78 on board of
Frank Zappa’s world tour as his synthesizer programmer. He recorded it in 1978 with over 40
musicians participating, some of them from Zappa’s band. In 2005 he released an extended follow-up,
called the ‘The Battle’, his second symphony. A work of even more giant proportions. This time with
115 musicians from all over the planet: Intercontinental Philharmonic Orchestra. The release for the
‘Solo Exhibition’-box is not completely identical with the one of 2005.
‘Solo Exhibition: The Pillory’ opens with the version played by The Neoteric Orchestra. Followed by a
shorter live solo version, that was not earlier released. The album closes without unreleased mellotron
outtakes and rehearsals. ‘Solo Exhibition: The Battle’ contains the recording of 2005 supplemented
with previously unreleased outtakes. ‘Solo Exhibition: Corrosion’, subtitled ‘The essential noise,
soundscapes and cacophony of Jasun Martz, offers parts of ‘The Battle’ and ‘The Pillory’ and a few other
works. I would have helped if information about date of recording were included on the CDs. Sometimes
it is not clear to me whether I’m listening to a remix or the original. But in the end this doesn’t matter
much.  As all recordings give a good impression of Martz’ universe. Martz is obviously a composer in a
neo-classical vein. For this reason several passages with melodic lines dominating begin to sound a bit
out-dated. However where his music explodes in multi-layered noisy soundscapes the music still
sounds very up to date, relevant and over whelming. Like for example ‘The Battle Movement’, the most
extensive piece on this CD. Or the closing track ‘Erosion’. These sections are so multi-layered and
detailed. The works also still impress because of their format. What a project to have so many musicians
involved. For ‘The Battle’ over hundred musicians were involved, who made their recordings all over
the planet. It must have been a giant job for Martz to find his way in all these files, patiently assembling
everything into one whole, led by a clear vision of he wanted to create. (DM)
––– Address:

ZIBUOKLE MARTINAITYTE - HORIZONS (CD by Music Information Centre Lithunia)

It is widely known that whatever lands on our doorstep will get a mention in Vital weekly, and a
mention may not equal review. One of the reasons for that is that for a review there must be
something to write about; something the reviewer can relate to or has some knowledge about. But
that is not always the case. Sometimes the music is so far away from what we know that it is
impossible to write something intelligent about. That I think is the case with ‘Horizons’ by Zibuokle
Martinaityte from Lithinia, now residing in New York. Her classical music is “a quest for beauty and
longing for the unreachable distance from the ‘blue’ phase of her creative career’, and the pieces
here were written after two major life events, the death of her father and moving to New York. To
the untrained classic ear that I have this all sounds like fairly common classical music, but I couldn’t
say if this was early or late 20th century, even the 19th century, if it’s absolute or program music. I
could say and that is true, that I enjoyed it while I was sitting back and reading a book. I am not sure
if that is something the composer wants me to do of course. Fed up with electronics, drones, rhythms,
guitars and all that, then this classical pieces from the 21st century might be your thing. This comes
in a fine book bound CD cover. (FdW)
––– Address:


So far quite a bit of the releases by Portuguese Haarvöl have been reviewed in these pages, their
debut in Vital Weekly 960 and the two subsequent releases by Moving Furniture in Vital Weekly
982 and 1088. That label also handles the distribution of their latest album, which this trio released
on their own label. Haarvöl maybe called a trio, but it is Fernando José Pereira and João Faria doing
the music and Rui Manuel Vieira for all the visual side of the group. I am not sure what is keeping them
from releasing a DVD; other than money of course. The band plays concerts but is also involved in the
creation of installation pieces. This new CD is the audio component of a film commissioned by the
Family Film Project in Porto in November 2017. The whole filmic component is something that is
lacking here, but from the long text I copied these two sentences, which may provide a clue about the
music. “The media times of our self-absorbed present seek instantaneity. A time that cancels time.
Times that affirm forgetfulness as the necessary matrix for the perpetuation of the present. A present
time that makes a continuous act of presence. The work that is now shown wants to reflect on the
three dimensions of time: past, present and future. It looks back deliberately to know how to look
forward. The anaesthesia of the present strives to put disturbances of time and space at a distance.
Forgetfulness and fragility of memory play a determining role.” There is a lot more but it would be
too long to quote it all. The music is what I would expect by now from Haarvöl. That refined combination
of something that could be digitally or analogue made, but no doubt is a combination of both. Take for
instance the opening sounds of ‘Times Of Mutiny’; that is surely to these ears a bass guitar. It slowly
builds into a piece of various drones, going at various speeds in different directions, with some excellent
minimalist changes in the dynamic range. Other instruments used include the guitar and bits of
percussion, even when I might be entirely wrong of course. The ‘mood’ card is one that Haarvöl always
plays; a bit dark, a bit noisy, but everything is about putting up a fine force field of atmospheric sounds.
Field recordings are used sparse but effectively, and have a more serving character throughout. This I
thought was another damn fine release, and for me personally it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what
the visual component was, but it might be worthwhile for Haarvöl to consider a DVD of some kind.
––– Address:


It has been a very long time since I last something from Luca Sigurta solo. It might be ‘La Vera Macchina
D’Argento’ (see Vital Weekly 438). After that his name popped up as one half of Harshcore, but nothing
solo, so I have very little idea as to how his solo work developed since then. It also means I was pretty
much ‘blank’ when I started to play this, but perhaps I was still somewhat surprised when I played this.
His music is still quite atmospheric, but it works very much from a dark pop context, darker then what
I expected. Rhythm also plays an important role here, which is not something I remember very clearly
from the past. Even stranger, perhaps, is the addition of voices, vocals, lyrics and poetry; whatever you
think is the best word for it. It is Sigurta doing those voices himself but a guest cast, including Father
Murphy, Black Sifichi, Francesca Amati and, quite surprising, former The Ex vocalist GW Sok. Others
contribute guitar, singing bowl, additional synths and cello. It results in quite the professional album
of dark pop songs, even when ‘pop’ is perhaps not the right word, perhaps just like with Elio
Martusciello, reviewed elsewhere. Sigurta’s music is however less abstract and with rhythms, guitars
and such like more a conventional mood record of some kind of parallel rock dimensions. Sometimes a
bit trip-hop in it’s use of rhythm, but also in the trippy, female vocals of ‘Glimpse’, but Sigurta can also
shoegaze/space out and land somewhere in a more noisy terrain. There is altogether within these
somewhat sparse thirty-seven minutes quite a bit of variation to be spotted, and yet the album as
whole makes quite a bit of sense. It is like a book with various chapters, each describing a mood,
lighter and darker, but never too bright I think. Beautiful pop musique noir, I would think. (FdW)
––– Address:

THE SAND RAYS - REMBERED VOL. 1 (CD by Zhelezobeton)
PORCH NAP - ANTIDOT - SELECTED WORKS 2007-2017 (CD by Zhelezobeton)

You may remember that in a short period of time I reviewed four 3” CDR releases by The Sand Rays,
or Ray Sands or Sandray. All of these were quite mysterious, and all of them contained music by Jim
DeJong, sometimes called Jim The Younger or Jim The Medium or Jim The Elder. In an era where
marketing seems very important it becomes, maybe, fashionable to un-market oneself. Just dream up
a new name each time and make it impossible to find. No-one would care anyway. Unless of course
that is the marketing trick, but I doubt that in the case of The Sand Rays, even when these four 3” CDR
are now compiled onto one CD. Ah, so they belonged together! Who would have guessed? I write about
these in Vital Weekly 1016, 1019, 1028 and 1030. You could look that up, or let me just repeated the
basics here. New to the basics is a list of instruments, which include “bass guitar, shortwave, playout,
field recordings, dehumidifier, bird cage, poly-800 and even cheaper keyboard, camera”. Three of the
four discs contained only ten to twelve minutes of music, and the last one lasted twenty. Here’s some
quote (re-) mix up soup: “In the title piece there is also a bit of drone like sounds, which could either
be from the use of train sounds or heavily processed whistles - maybe the title doesn't leave much to
guess? Both of these pieces are quite minimal when it comes to development or changes. They are
there, but mainly operate on a level of changing the equalisation to add to the variety of the music”. “It
is not easy to say what is fed into those delay units, but my guess would be some kind of acoustic sounds,
which we are no longer able to identify, especially in the first. In the second piece, 'That Blurry Tunnel
There', the source might be more of a field recording nature - the hollow sound of that blurry tunnel
there, in the mist. Changes in both pieces are quite minimal and take some time to show development”.
“It all remains a bit on the experimental drone side of things. A bit of samples of an unknown origin,
mucho sound effects to drone-out those samples and two moody pieces of electronics is what you get.
And that's what you got last time, and before that, so that's what this is all about. Minimalist electronic
sounds, perhaps based on field recordings, finely transformed and not too mellow in approach. We
have six pieces by now, and a somewhat clearer idea of what this is all about”. “There is a difference
here with the previous lot, which is that here we have just one long piece of twenty minutes and this
piece is not intended for 7", as the previous ones were. It is perhaps also less playful than the previous
releases, with much of this music being very dark. We are not kept in the loop as to what kinds of
sources were used here, but this is most likely all to do with samples and lots of sound effects. Just
what is sampled we don't know, but the first half is filled with some gorgeous drone material, like a
giant wave of water, slowly moving. An anchor is picked up by the sonar from afar and then, after a
full stop, the sunken vessel comes closer to the microphone and hear some more of the sounds aboard.
There are all sorts of debris passing by and there is mild overload; then we swirl into the ship's
ballroom (think Titanic) and the metal clanging become a small dance piece with industrial rhythms
to end with a small coda. From the current wave of material from this imprint, I thought the mysterious
one was the best.” It’s great to see all of these things lumped together and it makes up a very fine disc.
‘Volume 1’, so I was thinking, seems a complete package of the releases so far; what will be on Volume
2, then?
    I can’t produce as many words for the release by Porch Nap; mainly because I don’t know much
about this. It seems to be a one-man group from St. Petersburg, who have been going since 2007 and
it is all about a ‘fusion of seemingly incompatible genres of modern music – techno and improvised
noise’. Porch Nap also works with the cities finest musicians, as well as abroad, such Fedor Svolotch,
Alexei Borisov, Kryptogen Rundfunk, Brompton's Cocktail, as well as PBK. In the ten pieces here,
spanning the entire length of the CD, the sound is very minimal and quite brutal at times. I can surely
see there is some improvised element to all of this. Some kind of rhythm, brutal most of the time,
created from loops of distorted electronic sounds is being fed through more electronics, and the
envelope is pushed further. It is not along the lines of Pan Sonic, I would think, as it seems to be less
aimed at the dance floor with not heavy 4/4 bass sound below to support that dance floor vibe. Porch
Nap’s music is too abstract for that, perhaps too crudely noise based and too much in the mid-to high
frequency range. It is something that is quite enjoyable, but there is one thing that I think Porch Nap
should consider and that is trimming down his pieces a bit. Many of these easily reach seven to ten
minutes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pieces become stronger. I would think the opposite
and they loose some of their strong appeal after a while. Just the fact that you can put 80 minutes on
a CD doesn’t mean you have to, I guess. (FdW)
––– Address:


Here is a duo recording from Moscow, June 2017 and there is Konstantin Samolovov on “selected
drums, objects, radio, voice, and recorder” and Alexey Sysoev on “no input mixing board, max/msp/
ableton live”. Just a few weeks ago I heard a release that involved the no-input mixing qualities of
Toshimaru Nakamura and that was quite a blast. That is, I thought, inherent to the use of no-input
mixers, resulting in feedback. That is however not the case with this duo. As with many of the releases
on Intonema (a label from St. Petersburg) there is something careful about this. And careful doesn’t
necessarily equal ‘silent’, as this is surely not really a very silent release. Things burst and bubble
around here for sure, and there is some excellent interaction going on between these two players. The
rattling of the percussion is something that is very much central to this, and I wouldn’t be surprise to
learn that in many instances here the electronics are connected to each other, following Samolovov’s
drumming. Peeping, scratching, feeding back, responding, whatever term you use, it all seems
appropriate for this release. Everything is played with great care, quite calm, letting sounds breathe
and develop and not play it all out in a relatively short time frame. Action and reaction seems to be
the deal they made. Sysoev is by far just supporting here. He took can take the lead and go out on a
limb. The recording is very direct, doesn’t hide anything and is straightforward but I thought that was
most enjoyable. Excellent release throughout. (FdW)
––– Address:


Of course people like Machinefabriek shouldn’t do 7” releases. Their work is best served on CD or LP,
where their long form pieces can slowly develop. A 7” at say 33 rpm lasts five minutes and that is too
short. But then I thought Machinefabriek also recently did two CDs for a game, and that had lots of
short pieces, even poppy pieces, so hey why not a 7”? On the A-side of ‘As Much As It Worth’ “an edited
score for a short dance piece by Marta Alstadsæter & Kim-Jomi Fischer” and the B-side an alternative
proposal, all together just under seven minutes of music. What does that title mean? As much as it is
worth for you to pay for this free download? Or whatever it is worth for the two performers to choose?
It all seemed a bit tongue in cheek to me. The dance piece was ten minutes in the end so we still are
served with a short edit, but within the space of two times three minutes and a bit, Rutger Zuydervelt
plays with the vague notion of a pop song, reminding me of his ‘Astroneer’ soundtracks, and perhaps
not very much like Machinefabriek’s usual long form drone pieces. This is gentle pop music, a sequencer,
a sampled xylophone, a moody drone; lovely stuff. Yes, I wouldn’t mind a bit more of this, actually, and
see, that’s why someone like Machinefabriek shouldn’t do 7”s. Do a 10” with six of these songs! (FdW)
––– Address:

SEQUENCES - BENEATH THE EARTH (CDR by Audio.Visual.Atmosphere)

This CDR is released in a limited edition of 70 copies and a sub-edition of 30 comes with a 50-page
book of the same name, with images, words by Niels Geybels, in his triple role of record boss, word
smith and musician, the latter as Sequences. While the label is only three years of age this is already
it’s 50th release, hence the party I guess. I didn’t get a copy of the book, so I can’t say anything about
that. The seven pieces on the CDR were previously released on various cassettes around the world.
Sequences say that the music is a “symbiosis of composition and improvisation”. There are no
instruments listed anywhere, but I would like to think that guitars, effects and field recording take of
pretty much of all the ingredients of the music. Maybe there is a synthesizer or two in there but I doubt
that. I guess it is not difficult to see that ‘composition’ and ‘improvisation’ thing. The music of Sequences
maybe taped during extensive sessions in which he toys around with a wall of sustaining guitar sounds,
effects and those birds tweeting (not in every track of course), but at the end of the day he sits down
and listens back to what he did and makes a selection of his music. Do a fade-in here, some streamlining
of volumes, a fade out, maybe add a sound here or there and then there is a fixed piece of music, a
composition if you will. Part of this music is quite lo-fi, with not much production tricks going; hard
and roughly put down on tape, yet in all of these pieces there is also something that is something
atmospheric, dark and mysterious. Some of this might be quite loud, yet I don’t think it’s necessarily
about doing a bunch of loud guitar drones. It is more about playing something that is dark indeed, but
also it is about the contrast between loud and quiet (-er) and bringing out an emotional dynamic
between that. This is some powerful noise music, and it’s a lot more than just noise. (FdW)
––– Address:

FRETS OF YORE (CDR compilation by Spectropol)

Some time passed since we last received releases from the interesting Spectropol label. It is a net
label with a good taste for experimental and unusual music.
    ‘Frets of Yore’ is an album of 51 miniature guitar pieces, inspired on graphic works supplied by 26
artists, with Danielle Dax, Carl Schenkel and Jad Fair among them. Each work served as a source for
inspiration by two musicians, mostly guitarists. An incredible project realized in the second half of
2017, by Gonzalo Fuentes R, who did a giant job! Guitarists include Rene Lussier, Nick Didkovsky,
Andre Duchesne, Fred Frith, Mike Cooper, Karl Blake, Kalahari Surfers and many others more or less
of the same generation. There are not so much younger musicians involved, as far as I can overlook.
All of them are experienced musicians who have their own vocabulary, etc. All pieces emerged from
a spontaneous encounter with the visual work. Some of them were treated afterwards, others not. This
is a project that inevitably brings the legendary ‘Miniatures’-project by Morgan Fisher to my mind.
Likewise ‘Frets of Yore’ is a fascinating mosaic of a variety of contributions most of them under two
minutes; a kaleidoscopic experience with some real beauties by Rene Lussier and Brian Woodbury
(remembering his remarkable album ‘All White People look Alike’ from 1987).
    Totally different is the album ‘Lanes’ by Bruce Hamilton, an album of new chamber music and
electro acoustic music. Hamilton is a percussionist, improviser, electronic musician and composer
from Philadelphia. Many of his compositions are performed by a diversity of musicians and ensembles,
and released by equally diverse labels. For albums dedicated only to his music Spectropol is the place
to be. ‘Lanes’ is the most recent one, containing four works composed between 2013-2015, plus one
older work ‘Still Life’ (1994). Hamilton describes himself as an eclectic mind switching between
‘songwriting, chamber music composition, ambient electronica, noise music, free improv etc.’ This
album is another illustration his scope. A different ensemble or musician plays each composition. The
CDR opens with ‘Munk Punq Tezilo’ (2014) performed by the Slovenian Ensemble Kompulz, a fine
pulsating work. ‘Attractors’ for vibraphone, piano and recorded sounds is something completely
different and specially written for the New York-based Iktus Duo. A work built of strange ambient
textures; slightly dissonant resonating, and constantly changing movements over a clear-defined
framework. It is the most intriguing work of this compilation. ‘Still Life’ is a solo for clarinet. Here in
a live version Tasha Warren, recorded in 1996. ‘Osbatt’ is a microtonal miniature for keyboard,
improvised and recomposed by Bruce Hamilton. The Bellingham Chamber Music Society performs
‘Four Pieces for Mixed Quintet’. A nice but traditional sounding composition of chamber music. (DM)
––– Address:


Ryan Huber is an active force when it comes to producing music under a plethora of names, of which
Olekranon is for our readers the best known, but at one point or another we maybe also reviewed
work of his as Sujo, BobCrane, Vopat and Gratton. On Olekranon’s ‘Identi’ (Vital Weekly 701) there is
a song called ‘Tatira’. Today he has new project and it’s called Tatira. The ‘tag’ for this is ‘broken
rhythms/distant drones’, which seems to me the right order to mention this. There is more rhythm
here (broken and/or otherwise) than drones. There are only three downright drone pieces, maybe
around a quarter of the album. These pieces are quite mellow knowing Huber’s previous more lo-fi
drone approach, but the darkness is still preferred so it seems. The other pieces are all about rhythm
and I have no idea what makes a rhythm broken up (well, or rather, I have no idea what makes it
broken up for Huber of course) but these are lovely minimal techno pieces. Each of these pieces sets
forward a groove, straight from the beginning, and along the lines minimal changes are thrown in.
The tempo is around 130 Bpm (maybe even higher), and it’s some great stuff. My favourite piece here
is ‘Merciful Tyrant’, which at ten minutes is also the longest piece, with a great driving rhythm and
along for the ride is a bit of synthesizer sounds in arpeggio mode. In a way it reminded me of the old
Japanese project Sympathy Nervous but crossed with a funny synth loop or two of Severed Heads. The
darker but also Sympathy Nervous sound is something that I thought was also of influence with a song
like ‘All Is Seen’ or ‘Twisted Arms’. This is quite the schizophrenic release. I very much enjoyed the
minimal rhythm set here, and while the drone songs were good as well, it seemed a bit of an odd mix.
It would have been great to make the complete leap towards dance music, I think, certainly when
choosing an entirely new name for the project. Maybe something for the next release? (FdW)
––– Address:


According to the label “MP Hopkins is a hidden treasure from Australia, a sound artist known for his
varied music projects and strange mix of lo-fi urban field recordings”. I reviewed two previous works
from him, when he called himself Matthew P. Hopkins (see Vital 916 and 1040), and that is indeed
perhaps a sparse enough output to be called ‘hidden’. In his work field recordings play a role, but also
some lo-fi drone sound. On this new release he visits the industrial zone around Sydenham Train
Station in Sydney, an area up for renovation had it not been located right under the flight of Sydney
airport. So nothing much happens and it seems quite a desolated area with every now and then a
plane passing overhead. That is the sound captured by Hopkins and it is, as with his previous works,
not easy to say what it all is. I am pretty sure it is not all a direct form of documentation, sticking a
microphone in the air and that’s it. Hopkins may also use a bit of electronics, delay, reverb or such like
to do a bit of mild ‘processing’. Sometimes he narrates a bit of text, very close by (and which as far as I
am concerned he could have also not done) the microphone whereas other sounds appear to be far
away and that is not just the sound of an airplane. There is water dripping, the rustling of leaves,
stones, branches, rusty metal and it has that fine electro-acoustic radio play touch, with not much
straight forward narration. I very much enjoyed the far away/nearby approach Hopkins does with
his sound material, right next to each other and then separated for a while. Some thirty excellent
minutes of sonic debris picked up on a likely dirty location and with a lovely package (as usual with
Mappa). (FdW)
––– Address:

RIAR RIZALDI - I ONLY HAVE VISIONS FOR YOU (cassette by Hasana Editions)
MAHESA ALMEIDA - ALTO/PAN (cassette by Hasana Editions)

Music releases from Indonesia doesn’t land daily on this desk, but it is also not the first time. For some
reason I haven’t figured out, Bandung seems to be at the heart of Indonesian experimental music and
here are two examples of more radical music. Before Hasana Editions was called Hasana Private Press
(see Vital Weekly 804) but now under a new name it has a new aesthetic. Obviously I didn’t hear of
either artist before. Riar Rizaldi recorded his music in residency in Seoul, South Korea, which he calls
“winter sonnets about longings, heartbreak and alienation”, which is not something I heard in this, I
must admit. There are plenty of computer manipulations around here and no doubt on the input side
there are a similar amount of field recordings. In his working method he reminds me of musique
concrete composers, with a collage form of sound treatments, but taking a somewhat crude approach
to his sound material. His processing isn’t always elegant, but maybe that’s where we find his longing
for home; ‘let’s get this over and done with and go home’? I thought this was a most enjoyable tape, as
it didn’t sound like something precious or careful. In his crude approach also not something that
connected easily to the world of noise music because it sounded not unlike the world of musique
concrete. In that sense he had very much his own voice.
    The other release is by Mahesa Almeida, “a visual artist, oblique musician and video game
connoisseur from Jakarta”, as Hasana says. Almeida is also one half of Kracoon, the other half is his
better half. I also read this: “Taking a lot of inspirations from the golden age of arcade culture, in this
solo output, he revisited the archaic line between computer music and sound synthesizing, capturing
soundtracks for/from a long lost space invaders cinematic.” If I listen to his music I must admit that is
not something I hear. I believe there is one piece on each of this thirty minute tape and on ‘Alto’ I
would think I hear the sound of a guitar or percussion (or a guitar used as percussion) with some kind
of real-time computer processing and on ‘/Pan’ this might be some kind of field recording, but it is very
hard to see this as ‘computer music and sound synthesizing’, but of course: what do I know? Perhaps
towards the end of the second side there was indeed some kind of computer processing going on. It is
merely based on my perception of hearing things. These pieces are a bit long and despite the hectic of
putting these sounds forward also quite minimal. There isn’t an awful lot of variation, which made that
I couldn’t always keep my attention to it. I guess it was all right, not bad, but not something I liked as
much as I did with the Riar Rozaldi release.
    Both of these tapes come in a fine silver and gold carton cover, which looks classy, I think.  (FdW)
––– Address:

PVA IN HAIR - SUMPTUARY LAW (cassette by Whiteness And Pinkness)

All right, hands up. I’m lost here. No information, no website, a 7” sized box, with a five minute tape
and a Xerox. Both sides are filled with people talking, at home, cut together with some bits from TV.
According to Discogs this is limited to 20 copies, ‘style: dialogue’. I always believed that a dialogue
was something that works both ways. That didn’t happen here. Hello. Can anyone hear me? (FdW)
––– Address:

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