number 1122
week 10


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:

MAP 71 - GLORIOSA (CD by Fourth Dimension) *
FIRE! – THE HANDS (CD by Rune Grammofon)
USUFRCUT – WINDFALL (CD by Vaux Flores Industrial)
  Gruenrekorder) *
EUGENEKHA - GRAVITY (2CD by Frozen Light) *
ZINC ROOM - GRAVE ABYSS  (CD by Frozen Light) *
SYSTEM MORGUE - FROID (CD by Frozen Light) *
KOREA UNDOK GROUP - CONTINENT (7” by Il Dischi Del Barone)
JOS SMOLDERS - L’OREILLE COUVERTE (cassette by Soft Error) *
EFRAIN ROZAS - I ENJOY THE WORLD (cassette by Buh Records)
NICK HOFFMAN - SALAMANDER (cassette by Notice Recordings) *
BENZOIL (cassette by Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes) *
FAMOUS LOGS IN HISTORY (cassette by Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ - TEFLON (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records) *

MAP 71 - GLORIOSA (CD by Fourth Dimension)

If you go “hold on, didn’t we had that before?”, then you are right. There was a cassette release by Map
71, called ‘Gloriosa’, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 1081. I will quote that below, in it’s entire
form, but I will take the opportunity also to say that the CD version includes four pieces from a cassette
release from 2014 and two from a release from 2013. I believe these releases were mentioned in the
old review: “From Discogs I learned that MAP 71 is a duo of "a collaboration between poet and artist
Lisa Jayne and drummer Andy Pyne (Kellar, Medicine & Duty, Black Neck Band of the Common Loon,
West Hill Blast Quartet)", with some releases on Foolproof Projects and one on Blue Tapes. I had not
heard of them before and there is not much else on the cover of this cassette as for information. I
assume that words are of importance here, and you know me and words; I very rarely pay attention
to them. So I couldn't say what this is about, even if I would. Perhaps I am slightly distracted by
the odd way this all sounds. There is something definitely lo-fi about this, which I enjoyed quite a
bit. The way it starts out with 'Red Mass' sounded like a Throbbing Gristle live bootleg; recorded in
a concrete basement with some sonic overload on the recorder. That is not how this goes in all of
these pieces, as some other are more defined in the way that words are heard and drums sounding
like drums, and not like a rumble. But I very much believe all of this was recorded live and there is
something 'New Zealand' about this. Partly because of the recording, but also how the music is
performed. To quite some extent all of this is raw and it is all about the intention of the sounds
and not about the skills with which this is performed. Without being loud or distorted per se this
is the kind of rockist agenda music I enjoyed quite a bit. All of this is sufficiently weird and that
is sometimes enough, I'd say.”
    So then there are those six bonus tracks. These are very much along similar lines. Percussion
heavy and poetry heavy as well. This time around, for the entire release I was thinking of some other
names. Mother Tongue for instance, maybe because I played that one record again following’s Z’EV’s
demise, but also Attrition in an odd way came to mind, but maybe when things were less percussive.
It is all together quite a lovely release, very un-pop and very pop at the same time, but in a great
alternative way. The one thing I didn’t understand: why not straight away on CD? (FdW)
––– Address:

We are talking here of the 9th release by Neither/Nor. A small label dedicated to improvised music.
Improvisation of a high quality so I’m curious after each new release.
    This time it is a release by a quartet of Ben Gerstein (trombone, radio, cell phone), Sean Ali (double
bass, cassette player), Michael Foster (tenor and soprano saxophones, cassette player) and Flin van
Hemmen (percussion, mp3 player). Ali is present on most of the other releases by this small label, in
different line ups. Flin van Hemmen released a solo-album for this label. Ben Gerstein participated
was on ‘Statra’ of Carlo Costa’s Acustica, also for Neither/Nor. Also he is member of Frantz Loriot
Systematic Distortion Orchestra. Michael Foster is a new name in Neither/Nor circles, a saxophonist
from Brooklyn working in contexts of jazz, improve, noise, punk, etc. For their collaboration as a
quartet all four members play their main (acoustic) instruments plus low-fi electronics and objects.
The quartet has performed regularly in the last few years in location in New York and on September
11th, 2016 in New York they recorded the set for this release. It consists of one long improvisation
taking 66 minutes. It is a spatial sounding recording. After a quiet introduction , a phase starts of
increasing dissonant and scratchy sounds, leading to wonderful cacophonic moments. One could
call this very abstract and cerebral music. But one could equally say their improvisations are very
concrete, physical and lively. And that is what in my experience of their music reflects best what it
is. This is really a group improvisation. Each one contributes to the whole, being an instantly
produced sound painting. Music that is vibrant, organic and very spirited and a very strong
incarnation of their musicality. (DM)
 ––– Address:

FIRE! – THE HANDS (CD by Rune Grammofon)

Fire! is a stable unit of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin. With ‘The Hands’ they
present their sixth work. We are talking of a power trio of very skilled and experienced musicians that
has Gustafsson playing saxes and live electronics, Berthling electric and double bass and Werliin
drums and percussion. They developed their own energetic blend of jazz and rock with echoes of
heavy rock from the 70s. Their heavy and loud instrumentals don’t fail to impress on first hearing.
Sessions for this release took place in may 2017, and seven tracks made it to this release. All of them
taking four of five minutes, with the exception of one that lasts about nine minutes. Berthling produces
a real nice dark sound on his bass, but concentrates on playing repetitive patterns in most tracks that
become dull at one point. Together with the drummer both supply a solid base for solo exercises by
Gustaffson. However also his solos fail to engage me as a listener. Probably due to the limitations of
the format they choose. As a consequence the music in mine perception remained flat. Patterns and
motives that didn’t lift me up. No sparkling moments. Fire? (DM)
––– Address:

USUFRCUT – WINDFALL (CD by Vaux Flores Industrail)

Usufruct is a duo of Polly Moller Springhorn (voice, flute, bass flute) and Tim Walters (computer, voice).
Strange name, but an existing term meaning ‘the right of the people to harvest the fruits of common
property’. Both Moller and Walters are veterans of the Transbay area with a bulk of experience in jazz,
improv, rock and modern classical music. Polly Moller Springhorn for example is part of Ghost in the
House, who last year debuted with the intriguing ‘Second Sight’ album. Walters had four solo albums
out of electroacoustic music. Both Springhorn and Walters are members of the avant-rock group
Reconnaissance Fly. For this collaboration Springhorn and Walters composed five of seven
compositions together. Walters as well as Springhorn also delivered composition of their own.
Recordings took place in July 2017 in a studio in Oakland, California. The two shaped a very
uncommon world. Flute, vocals and computer are the means by which they create strange dramatic
constellations. The cd opens with muted vocals by Springhorn, followed by flute. ‘This is only a test’
has Moller speaking isolated phrases and words. ‘Pictures at an Exhumation’ is a very weird and
experimental electronic piece. Very far out. ‘Upside-down wedding’ has lyrical flute playing
embedded in strange electronic environment. There is a great many of diverse compositions and
improvisations. In a way they remain however song-oriented, sharing the same sense of drama, the
same aesthetic. (DM)
––– Address:


These two ladies, grande dame each of them in the world of field recordings and sound installation
 first met in 1975 when Kubisch interviewed Lockwood for an Italian magazine, and since then off and
on meet, but this is the first time they actually work together. They both like underwater sounds and
Annea is interested in the force of nature influencing us, and Christina does the same with
electromagnetic fields in our daily lives. They exchanged sound material together and worked on each
other’s sounds. However if I am not mistaken on each CD there is a solo piece. Annea Lockwood makes
the inaudible audible, with ultra and infra sound frequencies, and it begins with “solar oscillations
recorded by the SOHO spacecraft, 40 days of solar oscillations sped up 42,000 times, and ends with
ultrasound recorded from the interior of a Scots pine tree”, and is a truly fascinating aural journey in
space; or at least that’s how I perceived it, like a free floating spaceship in a vast, endless, black
surrounding, with sometimes intercepting transmissions from other life forms. In her piece with
Kubisch there is a fine combination of six sources per composer and has a more down to earth feel
to it. Sounds from electro magnetic waves, VLF whistlers and earthquakes make up from very fine
ambient piece of music, without betraying it’s musique concrete roots.
    Kubisch keeps her solo piece shorter than the collaborative piece and is a thirteen-minute
excursion in the buzzing whirring of modern day city life. It is a very solid piece of ambient sounds,
not loud or alienating, but just solid. It is perhaps a bit of standard solid piece; nothing special or out
of the ordinary. But then her longer collaborative piece, ‘Below Behind Above’, is on the other that
something special. It works very much along similar lines as the Lockwood side of the collaboration.
Here too things remain on a very ambient side of things, with slowly fading sounds somewhere in the
mid-range, sine-wave like and very gentle, along with a more ‘stand alone’ sounds, rumbles, pitches
and the occasional earthquake. This is a beautiful and intense piece of absolute beauty. (FdW)
––– Address:


‘With Leo Dupleix, Yumu Takeshita’ is what is also mentioned on the cover, and I am not sure why
there is this hierarchy. The other question I had was “why is this called ‘Land Of The Hermits’ if there
is only one piece, which is apparently be called ‘Duration, Dynamics and Pitch’?” This piece is composed
by Hiroyuki Ura, who plays keyboard and percussion here; Satoko Inoue plays toy piano and Kenichi
Kanazawa on steel. Guests Dupleix on computer and vibrating tin can and Yuma Takeshita on electro-
bass. In recent times we saw a couple of Ftarri releases that broke with the tradition that I thought the
label was in, some being more noisy, others more towards composition, this one seems to be along the
classical Ftarri lines of ‘less is more’. What I noted before with music like this is that it is apparently
along the lines of a composition, but it would be nice to see the score as we hear it. Not just so that it
would make more sense (I mean: why would it make more sense? Let the music convince the listener),
but maybe also to tell us something about the whole process of making this. The music is consists on
many small parts, separated by silence and each block is different from the previous or the next. Some
held tones, a bit of percussion, a wave of sounds, etc.; I would think that each block is about ‘duration’,
the one about ‘dynamics’ and one about ‘pitch’, but I might be wrong of course. Most of the times this is
some quiet music but occasionally there is quite some pressure on all of these instruments, which
makes this quite an intense piece of music. Very dynamic is perhaps a better word. This is not some
music you can easily play on and ignore, but instead requires your full attention. This is some very
refined improvised music. (FdW)
––– Address:


Not every re-issue we receive is something we reviewed before, of course; why would it be? But
somehow I thought that the first time around ‘Islands Of Sleep’ was reviewed in Vital Weekly. It is
not that every release by Small Cruel Party was reviewed in these pages (and before when Vital
appeared as a fanzine), but surely a few. Small Cruel Party was the nom de plume of Key Ransone,
who used every day objects and sound effects to create dense compositions of sound. These objects
can be made of wood, stones or metal and rubbing them against each other and then feeding it through
some sort of electronic device to make it denser if you will; to add another colour to the music. Usually
it is a delay or reverb. Ransone was pretty active in the 90s when it came to releasing his music and
lots of 7”s, cassettes and LPs were released. I would think that LP or CD was my favourite format for
the music of Small Cruel Party, because his music works best if there is some time reserved for it.
‘Islands Of Sleep’ was released on LP in 1999 by GMBH (of which Ferns is the follow-up) and it was
45rpm A-side and 33rpm B-side, so on CD it looks at twenty-nine minutes perhaps a bit short. The
dense approach of Small Cruel Party is best exemplified in ‘...cette haine dirigée contre lui mordait son
marbre et sculptait sa beauté’, the opening track of a rusty rubbing metallic sound and some form of
process to emphasize the lower frequencies until a beautiful drone pops up. This is the sound of Small
Cruel Party I remember best. However in the longest piece here, ‘...montrant l'envers délicat des
pétales’, it seems all very open, with a rowing boat sound, the rattling of a chain and pretty much
nothing else. A very ‘empty’ piece if you will, something that is reminiscent of field recordings stuck
together, but the minimal approach is also something that belongs to the sound world of Ransone. In
‘La voix possédant un oeil décidé à percer la nuit’, it all works together, but with a seriously higher
frequency range at the beginning, but slowly dies out over the course of the piece. This is a great re-
issue, even at this short length. (FdW)
––– Address:


It has been a very long time since I first heard music of Plaster, which was back in Vital Weekly 808.
A glimpse at Discogs tells me there were two more releases, also on Kvitnu, but somehow they didn’t
reach me. Back then, in 2011, Plaster was a duo of Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri and Giuseppe Carlini,
but the latter left in 2015 for a personal break, and ‘Transition’ is the second solo release for Moniri.
In the years in between the duo (and solo) have played around the world and also had some releases
on other labels, yet I am told that this new album is a bit different than before, with simpler yet
effective pieces and without the complexity of before. Also the music was more or less improvised
using analogue synths and hardware with not much more editing and post-production. Before I
thought Plaster a bit of an odd ball in the catalogue of Kvitnu, leaning more than their other artists
on the use of synthesizers in a more melodic fashion and that approach is also something done here.
The cosmic synthesizer approach is bend here into a science fiction nightmarish soundtrack with a
lower region approach on the keyboard and stronger bending of the oscillators. Rhythm as we know
and love it from the world of Kvitnu is not something Moniri dabbles in, not a lot at least, but
sometimes comes via the arpeggio chords that are played. It is grim music with grim titles, ‘Imaginary
Friend’, ‘Casual Encounter’, ‘Disconnected Heart’, which adds to the slightly dystopian nightmare, I
guess. This is also available on LP, hence it clocks in at thirty-six minutes, which is the only downside.
This nightmare could have been a bit longer as far as I was concerned. (FdW)
––– Address:

EUGENEKHA - GRAVITY (2CD by Frozen Light)
ZINC ROOM - GRAVE ABYSS  (CD by Frozen Light)
SYSTEM MORGUE - FROID (CD by Frozen Light)

It is probably not a question that I’m asked a lot, but it sometimes happens that someone asks me: “so
what do you listen to when you are done reviewing?” I wish I could say “nothing actually”, but on a lazy
Sunday afternoon I’d love some 80s post-punk, or synthesizer music. A particular favourite is Steve
Moore, one half of Zombi. I love his Tangerine Dream inspired synthesizer stuff, with those arpeggio’s
and big washes. I think I only reviewed his music twice (Vital Weekly 756 and 783) but his music drops
by every week at least once on my walkman. Why am I sharing this bit of personal information? I could
almost think Moore changed his name into EugeneKha, which is short for Evgenij V. Kharitonov, who
uses various bits from Korg, Arturia and Roland (I’ll spare you the complete geek list) to play exactly
that sort of bouncing arpeggio’s, lush synth patterns and spices it up with a bit of rhythm. Strike that;
EugeneKha uses a lot of rhythm, which perhaps gives it that techno edge, but the synthesizers remain
the most important feature of the music. Coming in like vast space ships most of the time, at warp
speed. Sometimes however it goes a bit out of control, with too much dramatic cliché’s, such as in the
title piece. A friend was recently fishing on Facebook for some discussion whether or not a few modular
synthesizer musicians were the new Jean-Michel Jarre. I can now tell him not to look further EugeneKha
is his man. This is total 70s cosmic music land, and I love it. A quick peek on the man’s bandcamp tells
me I can spend many Sunday afternoons with his music.
    Of a complete different nature is the music of Zinc Room, a duo with Alexander ‘1’ on bass, spiral
springs, steel slabs, samples, percussion and Kein on synth and cello. For the cover they took some
black and white pictures at a graveyard, so that might provide you with some clue as to the nature of
the music, perhaps along with the instruments used. They have ten pieces, recorded from 2004 to
2017, which seems to me a very long time, and the length varies from three to thirteen minutes. It is
surely no surprise when I write that the music is quite dark and partly atmospheric and partly noisy.
There is the bow on snares of the bass and the cello to provide a fine back bone drone to some of these
pieces, but there is also a fine, controlled burst in distortion to be noted, for instance in ‘The Evil
Clergyman’. Two pieces last thirteen minutes and I thought that was a bit too much, and these pieces
could have been a bit shorter. The whole album lasts seventy-four minutes and with such an amount
of sonic overload I would think it’s all a bit overwhelming, unless of course that is the whole idea of
this music. The good thing is that there is quite some variation in this dark music that makes it all
most enjoyable, if not, as said, a bit much.
    Also in a black and white cover is the release by System Morgue. Pictures of houses covered in
snow here, which is exemplified by the title, ‘Froid’, which is the French word for cold. Peter L is still
the man behind System Morgue and I believe this is the second time I hear his music, following
‘Feu’ (which means fire in French) back in Vital Weekly 948. This time around there are no instruments
mentioned on the cover, but from before I know Peter uses guitar and bass, and surely a bunch of
electronic devices to create that infinite loop of sustaining sounds, gentle floating by. This is the sort
of ambient music that is, unlike that of EugeneKha, very much part and parcel of Vital Weekly. It seems
less a combination of ambient and industrial, unlike his previous encounter. I was thinking of Vidna
Obmana/Fear Falls Burning most of the time. Four lengthy pieces, from nine to twenty minutes and
it was quite a beautiful trip. I must admit I didn’t understand the inclusion of the fifth piece, at five
minutes also the shortest piece. Here too that Ash Ra Temple inspired guitar sound, psychedelic and
all, but then with the addition of a slow yet heavy drum machine. I thought that broke away with the
refined character of the previous four minutes and I think was not necessary to be included on the
album. The rest was rock solid lush ambient guitar music, of the variety that I enjoy very much and
which I think holds very little news in that respect. (FdW)
––– Address:

KOREA UNDOK GROUP - CONTINENT (7” by Il Dischi Del Barone)

As usual Il Dischi Del Barone drags us to a parallel universe of musicians I never heard of. In fact Korea
Undok Group is a group (well, perhaps; the only thing we’re told is that vocals by Talula St) but also a
label, mainly doing small run cassette releases by the group of the same name, Angel’s Egg, Una
Laseme, Dogon Lock, Silent Partner, Liberation Cell and World Counsellor; plus more I never heard.
It’s either me in a parallel universe or them. It looks like a fascinating world, I must admit. I browsed
their website and enjoyed their Xerox aesthetic. In the mean I kept turning this 7 inch over and over,
and pondering what this means “Continent is a record about memory, time and identity, and marks
the first non-reissue vinyl output from KUG”; ‘first non-re-issue vinyl’. What is that? A strange record I
must say, and somehow along the same line as the Xerox styled cover. By slipping a Xerox of a Xerox of
a Xerox (etc.) again in, the image is fading and that’s what I thought of the music; it is also fading.
Through some highly obscured process sounds (piano, voices, a drone of some kind) are fed through
the machine again (and again, and again) until there is a highly blurred result. One that you can look
at and think: I have no idea what it is that I am looking at, but it looks great. Replace looking and look
by listening and listen and there is Korea Undok Group. Two lovely tunes, at 45 rpm, lasting only about
ten minutes, which is about not nearly enough for my appetite but it surely made me very curious to
hear more. (FdW)
––– Address:

JOS SMOLDERS - L’OREILLE COUVERTE (cassette by Soft Error)

Last year Pierre Henry passed away, and even if you weren’t all too aware of his legacy, I think in the
world of Vital Weekly, the extended one that deals with electronic music, with electro acoustic
treatments, with instruments and electronics, his legacy is enormous. Without him and his musique
concrete many of us would not be doing this kind of music, or reading about it in Vital Weekly. Jos
Smolders calls him his mentor, and back in 1995 he interviewed the old French master. A few years
ago Smolders did the re-master of a 10 LP for Vinyl On Demand (see Vital Weekly 975) and was again
in contact with him to discuss the technical details. For this homage release Smolders uses bits of that
interview, along with tapes, computer and modular circuits. This is not a documentary of any kind, in
as lots of talking and a bit of music as to clarify what is being said. Smolders takes a very free approach
to Henry’s techniques of sound manipulation. What is perhaps interesting to note is that this time
around Smolders has various shorter pieces than is usual in some of his recent work. These days many
of his pieces seem longer and way more minimal in approach; exploring a few sounds at a time, and
they way they interact. In these nine pieces Smolders takes a playful approach; it is not joyous music
as such, but playing around with acoustic sound, electronic treatments and snippets of Henry voices I
am reminded, or perhaps even transported back to the early days when I first heard Smolders’ music.
The element of collaging sound events together, sometimes very diverse, and yet to create something
that is a very congruent release is simply fascinating. By choosing a cassette to release this music, I
would think that also for Smolders this is something of importance, going back to his own roots as it
were as well. Especially some of those shorter loops he uses reminded me of that (and how jealous I
was back then that he had one of those digital delay pedals), but as said it goes for pretty much the
entire tape. All together this is a most lovely tribute. (FdW)
––– Address:

EFRAIN ROZAS - I ENJOY THE WORLD (cassette by Buh Records)

Both the musician and the label are from Peru, but the musician is now based in New York. He holds
a Phd in Composition and Ethnomusicology and is a teacher at the University. He sometimes plays
with his “experimental salsa band La Mecánica Popular”. About his new release he writes that ““I
Enjoy the World” is the result of an experiment I did during 6 months, in order to modify my
relationship with mysticism, to approach it not from the language of official religions, ancestralisms
or new age, but from everyday life experiences, available to anyone”. There is more besides on the
Bandcamp so I won’t repeat all of it. Apparently this is the second instalment of the “Myth And
Prosthesis” series, of which we must have missed the first one. There is a single forty-minute music
piece, program repeated on the second side, but listening to this one clearly notes separate pieces.
Making it one piece means that Rozas wants us to hear it non-stop for it’s entire length. The only
other work I heard from Rozas was an improvised work with Megan Moncrief (see Vital Weekly 854),
but this solo work seems to be something different. This is actually quite smooth music; it is mostly
instrumental throughout, except for a spoken word cut-up in the best Brion Gysin tradition about the
title of the release but otherwise there is quite a bit of electronic sounds, but also flutes, guitars, delay
machines and each segment is not very long (even when not easy to guess how long exactly). All of this
comes with a bit additional exotic percussion, and mystical approaches. In a way I was reminded of
Jorge Reyes from time to time, especially in the way Rozas electronically treated his percussion. It was
far removed from the world of noise and/or experiment, as Rozas plays some lovely gentle, minimal,
quasi-exotic tunes, mild-mannered, which I thought sounded lovely. The sun is shining out, yet it is
very cold, but this is sunny delight, which puts a smile on my face. A bit more information on the
cover wouldn’t have hurt, I think. (FdW)
––– Address:

NICK HOFFMAN - SALAMANDER (cassette by Notice Recordings)

The press text says this is Hoffman’s first full-length since ‘Necropolis’ (see Vital Weekly 960), but I
strongly recall reviewing ‘Parvae Harmoniae’ in Vital Weekly 1105, and that was a pretty full-on
cassette. That one was about medieval music, whereas much of his other work deals with algorithms,
software and processing. This one is about that again. “Hoffman is creator and observer of autonomous
systems and sound creation, both from customized software (Side A) and recordings of electric fan
motors and metallic objects (Side B)”, which I am not entirely sure how that works, but it surely does
work. I understand that these pieces aren’t the result of some stand-alone process, ‘let’s wait and see
what happens here’, but layered together from various events, which explains the somewhat denser
nature of some of these pieces, I would think. As I was playing these pieces, I was trying to think if the
word ‘noise’ was of any meaning here. Surely some of these pieces were quite loud, to some extent at
least, but hardly the noise that Merzbow does. Hoffman’s sound is more stripped down, to it’s core and
stuck together with a few of these treatments to sound like very aggressive insects in ‘Headless’, the
sound of an overpass (’Aura’), tape hiss of the title piece, all on the first side. The B-side seems, oddly
perhaps, a bit more electronic in approach, along with some very direct rattling of metallic surfaces, in
‘Brut’ and ‘Strange Lights Filled The Church’ for instance, but sometimes the process is very much
wrapped in rapid movements that it is not always easy to notice. It all makes up for an excellent varied
cassette. Not sure where that medieval guitar release fitted in, but this seems Hoffman back to what I
like him doing best. (FdW)
––– Address:

BENZOIL (cassette by Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes)
FAMOUS LOGS IN HISTORY (cassette by Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes)

Fuzzy Warbles, anyone? Maybe I am the only one to think of XTC’s Andy Partridge’s 8 (or 9) CD
collection of the same name? Maybe not, perhaps. This is a new label from New York and these two
are their first releases, both by musicians I never heard of. Benzoil, also from New York, spend “years
of (trial/error) soldering components to PCBs to get that Dadadata sound perfected... and many hours
logged in the bedroom and kitchen composing -> performing -> recording”, which ultimately led to this
thirty minute cassette with eight songs. Whereas most cassettes reviewed in these pages are from the
world of drone, noise and experiment, and usually a combination of that, but Benzoil is interested in all
things ‘electronic’, with a beat and a rhythm, plus the occasional cut-up of voice material. It is however
not always straight forward pop like music as a certain element of alienation is part of this. It is all a bit
too dark, sometimes a bit nasty on the use of frequencies, such as in ‘Android Sleeper Cell’, which comes
otherwise with a nice bouncing rhythm. The aim is clearly not at the dance floor, but then, how often do
I go places with dancing floors? In the 80s I would have thought the same thing, only to find labels thirty
years selling similar music as Benzoil like hot cakes. Quite rightly Fuzzy Warbles calls  ‘minimal synth’
and less so ‘post-punk’, but I can see where that comes from. This could have easily been a release on
Minimal Wave, me thinks, but maybe Benzoil has an incubation time of thirty years as well.
    The other release is by Famous Logs in History, labelled as ‘fake music, pop rocks, post-punk, punk,
post-post’ and “this cult (?) may live on a urban heat island but they have read their fair share of John
Burroughs and have visited his “slabsides” cabin once or twice”; the label also calls them “anti-social
socialists”. This is a very short tape, maybe six minutes in total, with four songs, hey presto: the classic
EP format and forty years ago (note the time difference) Rough Trade could have pressed this up as a
7”, yet somehow I think that should happen these days as well and not in another forty years time
(unlike Benzoil). This is some lovely post-punk guitar based group with a male and female vocal line
going at the same time, along with some fine arty ramble on bass, guitar and drums, captured with
some un-production standard that was common in the halcyon days, just after punk sold out and all
the bands were on independent labels. The garage/basement as studio, picking up the stuff of your
imagination, rather than replaying rock standards, which is a boring thing. Post punk indeed. To me
it sounds there is nothing fake about it. Great tape. (FdW)
––– Address:

LÄRMSCHUTZ - TEFLON (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)

Dutch trio Lärmschutz are avid readers of Vital Weekly; they never told me, but somehow I know.
They use it as a tool, I think. What are these labels and musicians about and how does Lärmschutz fit
into what they do? At least that’s what I think they do. Powdered Hearts Records is a label mostly
doing all sorts of electronic music, from ‘pop’ to ‘noise’ but surely there is also a place for the music of
Lärmschutz, the trio of Rutger (trombone), Stef (guitar), Thanos (drums), plus I would think quite
some sound effects on this release. "Teflon is like an itch: scratch it and things will only get worse.” Yet
they love a worn out frying pan; it beautiful in it’s far out state of decay. The music is homage to decay.
Lärmschutz, you should know by now, plays improvised music of a more radical nature. Think free jazz
and punk messed to become noise, but not the kind of that is stomping on a few boxes to fill up sixty
minutes of one distorted sound. Here Lärmschutz have a particular dense approach and more than
before I think they use electronics, or a bunch of monotrons, to add to their sound, which give the
music an even more radical edge, bursting and peeping until your ears bleed. Here we have four
pieces, each around ten to twelve minutes, in which especially the drums aren’t played in any ‘normal’
fashion (at least not that I could hear). The guitar plays an important role here, and oddly enough
sometimes one could even believe there is some kind atmospheric layer build in this; I expect
through the use of effects. Everything is quite loud, obviously, and mostly radical. Decay is okay! (FdW)
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This is the first time I hear of Erik Alalooga, who is “An art professor with past leadership of
Postinstruumentum, also having constructed many large scale mechanical installations in Global
Art Container. He has now turned an ear and an eye for solo sonic creations, salvaged from discarded
mechanical industry. Erik also runs the Supersonicum series of live events in Viljandi” and it is there
that he recorded his cassette. A bunch of kinetic instruments according to the information and,
 perhaps as always, something that one wishes to see and hear, as opposed to just hearing. Having
said that I must also admit I quite enjoyed these two sidelong compositions. Obviously I have no idea
how many instruments we hear here, but surely quite a few, which allows Alalooga to switch around
quite a bit between those sounds. Not in a very abrupt manner, but gentle moving back and forth
between all sorts of rhythmic patterns. There is the complete frequency range one might also find in
a drum kit; the bass end, the toms in the middle, snares and rattles in the high end. There is not one
steady beat being played, it is not ‘dance’ music of any kind. It is perhaps all a bit more machine like,
like walking through a factory with different conveyer belts and hammering going on. Alalooga uses
quite a bit of reverb to suggest atmosphere, and sometimes I thought it was a bit much, but maybe
music like this needs that a bit of extra atmosphere, I thought. It might very well be that this reverb is
part of the space in which the music was recorded, as it seems to me very much like something
recorded in a space, rather than a line recording. Very much something that belongs to the world
of sound & art, this is however also most enjoyable by itself. (FdW)
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