number 1124
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week 12
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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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!!: NEXT VITAL is scheduled for Sunday March 25th, the one after that most likely April 3 (or April 4)



ANDREW CHALK & DAISUKE SUZUKI – YAMA TO NASHI (CD by Siren)
NEW OLD LUTEN QUINTET – LETZTER RABATZ (CD by Euphorium)
NEW OLD LUTEN SEPTET – LETZTES REMMIDEMMI (CD by Euphorium)
NEW OLD LUTEN TRIO – LETZTER RADAU (MINICD by Euphorium)
PLY - RENDS TOI/CLUZEL (LP/CD by Warm Desk) *
MODELBAU – XEROX (LP by Des Astres d’Or)  *
HOLZKOPF - HOUSE OF AUD (CDR, private) *
THOMAS TILLY - CODEX AMPHIBIA (CDR by Glistening Examples) *
ARIES MOND - COME ON LET’S WAIT (CDR by Eilean Records) *
EMMANUEL WITZTHUM - SONGS OF LOVE AND LOSS (CDR by Eilean Records) *
KATJA INSTITUTE/PETER WULLEN - SHAPES (CDR by Katja Institute) *
LÄRMSCHUTZ - DRITTE TAFELMUSIK (cassette by Lurker Bias) *
INCARNASCOPE - THE DISINTEGRATING MAN (cassette by Dinzu Artefacts) *
ORPHAX - SUMMER’S END (cassette by Low Point) *
CLAUS POULSEN - DELICATE MONSTERS (cassette by Know Your Enemy)
STAR TURBINE - THE GREAT DISTORTION (cassette by Aphelion) *



ANDREW CHALK & DAISUKE SUZUKI – YAMA TO NASHI (CD by Siren)

This album is the result of the latest collaboration between musicians Andrew Chalk and Daisuke
Suzuki. Both men previously worked together on their 2003 album ‘The Days After’, on 2008’s ‘The
Shadows Go Their Own Way’ and 2009’s ‘In Faxfleet Clouds Uplifted Autumn Gave Passage To Kind
Nature’. Suzuki is a Japanese composer, working with field recordings and experimental drones and
also runs the ambient-drone-minimal music label Siren. Hailing from the UK, Chalk operates in like-
wise quarters and is the master in armour at Faraway Press records headquarters. Both Suzuki and
Chalk seldom appear in the press, giving the impression that they like to work in their own comfort
zones, far away from the ‘maddening crowds’. As such, they give an extraordinary and very welcome
attention and care to packaging, design and presentation. Releases on Siren and Faraway Press are
often like little artworks – in many ways. If ever a Nobel Prize will be awarded for loving design and
packaging, I would like to put forward both labels. Their latest album, ‘Yama To Nashi’, or in plain
English, ‘Mountains And Pears’, has just been released on Siren records. The seven tracks on this
album, 40+ minutes in total, breath a certain calm, featuring thin-lined melodies that would like to
be melodies, but aren’t quite yet, submarined sounds, strings, an electric piano, a passing gull (or was
that an actual gull flying by whilst I was listening? If so, its timing was perfect), there are sudden
echoes of a street carnival and drums and then there is the amazing closing piece ‘Yama To Nashi’;
a nearly 22 minute recording of what feels like a morning walk in a shimmering forest, reminding
me much of the fragile, yet overwhelming atmosphere on Midori Takada’s stunning 1983 ‘Through
The Looking Glass’ album. Which, incidentally, was rereleased last year (hint). Packed in a thick
carton gatefold cover, ‘Yama To Nashi’ is probably the best album Andrew Chalk and Daisuke Suzuki
have produced so far. This album, and in fact all releases on Siren of Faraway Press, are highly and
lovingly recommended. (FK)
––– Address: http://farawaypress.info/



NEW OLD LUTEN QUINTET – LETZTER RABATZ (CD by Euphorium)
NEW OLD LUTEN SEPTET – LETZTES REMMIDEMMI (CD by Euphorium)
NEW OLD LUTEN TRIO – LETZTER RADAU (MINICD by Euphorium)
 
With these three releases an exceptional trilogy is completed. A final release that in itself again is a
trilogy. Numbers does not obsess me, so I won’t seek for some symbolic meaning. Numbers that count
in this context are Petrowsky’s birthdays, as this initiative is centred around veteran Ernst-Ludwig
Petrowsky, one of the founding fathers of the (East)-German jazz scene, who left traces on dozens and
dozens of records.
    Supervised by Oliver Schwerdt (aka Elan Pauer) they managed to record remarkable sessions in three
successive years, always around the birthday of Luten as he is often called. The 2013-sessions led to
‘Letzten Tumult’. The recordings of 2014 found their way to ‘Letzten Krawall’, and now finally the
sessions of 2015, when Petrowsky celebrated his 82th birthday, are released as ‘Letzten  Rabatz’. All
three concerts are released on Schwerdt’s Euphorium label. Considering the age of Petrowsky – sorry
to say so - it was not evident that they could do two follow ups. And I’m not sure this was intended
from the beginning. Anyway it is a remarkable aspect of this series, but more important here is the
high quality of the improvisations. As said the third chapter of this trilogy is in itself again a ‘trilogy’,
released on three different cds. Not in a boxed set, but as three individual releases. ‘Letzter Rabatz’
comes in a jewel case, the other two in cardboard.
    All improvisations were recorded on December 13th, 2015. Line up of the quintet is identical with
the ones of proceeding years: Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky  (alto sax, clarinet, Romanian flutes), Elan Pauer
(grand piano, percussion, little instruments), John Edwards (double bass), Robert Landfermann
(double bass) and Christian Lillinger (drums, cymbals, percussion).
    The ‘Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik’, a prestigious prize by the German music critics,
awarded their ‘Letzter Rabatz’. Throughout the music surprises by its energy and dynamics combined
with its richness of expression and vocabulary. Ranging from very intimate with melodic and lyrical
touches to very loud, dynamic free improvisation crossing all borders. And above all, it is chapters of
one and the same story, coherent and together.
    Petrowsky impresses with his very dedicated playing. Sometimes squeaking, sometimes howling,
and all other expressive characteristics pass by in his playing. He is nothing holding back, but totally
goes for it; vulnerable and exuberant.
    ‘Lutens letzter Radau!’ has Petrowsky in the company of two much younger talents Lillinger and
Pauer. Lillinger, by the way, won the SWR Jazzpreis 2017. But there is no sign of a conflict between the
generations here, instead very dynamic interactions, with many ideas passing by in a strongly
intertwined session. Near the end Petrowsky changes his saxophone for a shepherds’ flute, which
gives an altogether very different atmosphere. A very spirited and focused improvisation, which gives
the opportunity to learn more of Lillinger and Pauer, who adds wit and humour in his playing.
    As a septet the quintet is extended with Axel Dörner (trumpet) and Urs Leimgruber(tenor and
soprano saxes). Their improvisation, ‘Letztes Remmidemmi’, starts with nervous piano playing by
Schwerdt over a long sound-oriented texture produced by the bass players. At the end of Schwerdt’s
exercise, Dörner and other blowers take over in a swirling interplay, working towards a climax,
entering – with some phantasy – a grooving phase. Halfway they find some rest, and begin to build up
tension and complexity gradually working towards a next boiling point, with a nice solo by Dörner on
the way. Completely engaging and not a dull moment. It hasn’t them all playing throughout, but in
different combinations along the route.
    I have no overview of Petrowsky’s career, but I can imagine this trilogy is a crown on his career.
Carrying out a project over three years with the same musicians involved who became closer and
close with one other is exceptional. A monument. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.euphorium.de/



PLY - RENDS TOI/CLUZEL (LP/CD by Warm Desk)

Back in Vital Weekly 1055 I reviewed Ply’s first release, ‘Sans Cesse’, now it’s time for a follow-up that
is one LP and one mini CD (twenty-seven minutes, so perhaps not that mini?). The duo of Mathias
Delplanque and Guillaume Ollendorff return with new pieces and various guests. Delplanque is
responsible for most of the instruments, and Ollendorff for lyrics, voices, noises and editing (the latter
in collaboration with Delplanque of course). According to Serge Gainsbourg ‘spoken word’ is one of the
most effective ways to make French sound good (sayeth the information that came with the release
actually), and true that is. If you are in France try and whisper the street names like Etant Donnes do
their poetry and you’ll see it makes beautiful sense. As before the music by Ply is about text and it’s a
beautiful language, but it’s a bit hard to understand what it is about if you have no idea what these
texts means. For all I know it could be “Jesus Christ is our saviour”, “satan is a great guy” or “vital
weekly is a rag”. Judging by the slow, jazzy beats, spacious guitar and sparse keyboards tell me that
it’s probably none of that, but then what it is? I don’t know. It sounds like sitting in a cafe in Paris, in
the mid 50s, a place filled with smoke, drink and jazz. And all is in black and white and throughout
there is a mysterious atmosphere with some odd sounds appearing in this bar. Ollendorf’s voice is
deep and has a great narrative quality, Delplanque’s music is equally like a story, sparse most of the
time, but very much there, I should think. There is not much difference in approaches for the LP and
the CD, I think, and perhaps it’s a bit that the CD is only this long. I would not have minded a few
more. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.warm-ed.fr



MODELBAU – XEROX (LP by Des Astres d’Or)

Granted, I am not too up to date with the musical output of Modelbau, one of Vital Weekly’s editor
Frans de Waard’s projects. Having said that, I am familiar with Frans himself so when he offered me
this album for purchase, and review as it turned out, I happily accepted. Every project that De Waard
undertakes, say for instance Modelbau, features a certain something that other projects do not have.
This could be a conceptual idea, a sound source or perhaps in collaboration with other musicians.
    Originally, Modelbau set out to use only low-fi sound sources such as Dictaphones, Walkmans,
shortwave radios and the like. But after five years, the palette used by Modelbau has extended to sound
effects, laptops and samples, retaining the original low-fi concept. All Modelbau releases are named
after a letter in the Western alphabet and as you may have guessed by the album’s title, we are running
close to the end. So ‘Xerox’ it is – and not Zerox as the word is sometimes spelled, which to me is a
shame as I could have drawn a parallel with Adam and the Ants’ classic post-punk single Zerox.
Modelbau’s ‘Xerox’ has been released on Raymond Dijkstra’s label ‘Des Astres d’Or’ on which Dijkstra
releases ‘artists records’ in very limited quantities. ‘Xerox’ is no exception: only 25 copies were pressed
on vinyl, so it is not a lathe cut, and if you want one, you should probably hurry. The album features
three tracks of which all titles start with, you guessed it, an X: ‘Xylophone’, ‘X Marks’ and ‘Xelem’.
    Opening track ‘Xylophone’ does start with the sound of what could be a xylophone before the
playing is sucked up in an immense cloud. At times bells ring and the sound of reversed tape recordings
appear over static drones that continuously hover in your ears. This is ‘clouded’ music; thick and heavy,
but also with a soothing quality. Like the storm you know is coming won’t hurt you. Side two starts off
with ‘X Marks’, which sounds more like a more field recording, its thinner ambient sound and
‘composition’ reminding me of an early Hafler Trio recording. ‘Xelem’, a word which has me struggling
for its possible meaning, closes the album with brief static like your speaker is giving up on life before
plunging into more chaotic and noisier water and emerging again majestically as a one-chord faded
church organ piece turning into a static phased fluttering hum. The album benefits from its brief length
– ensuring the compositions remain fresh and do not outstay their welcome. Like much of De Waard’s
recent work that I have heard, ‘Xerox’ is headphone music, made to be heard inside your mind and to
immerse yourself into.
    All albums released on Des Astres d’Or feature individual handmade packaging; ‘Xerox’ comes with
a carton sheet stamped with the name and title, a small painting on paper and on top of that a part of a
plastic model kit. As said, they are all different so with a little luck you might end up with a soldier or a
part of a tank or airplane stuck on top of the painting. It looks great with a certain Modelbau low-fi
esthetique. Now I could go on about the moral and practical pros and cons of limited editions as limited
as this one, but I won’t. In the end, it is the music that matters and I can only hope either De Waard or
Dijkstra will make this album available in digital format as well for others, less intrigued or led by the
limited editions-craze, to enjoy. Because this is a great album, which deserves to be heard. (FK)
––– Address: http://www.des-astres-dor.com/



HOLZKOPF - HOUSE OF AUD (CDR, private)

It has been quite a while since I last heard something from Jacob Hardy, also known as Holzkopf, who
is called now Jacob Audrey Tave (see for instance Vital Weekly 858, 786, 832) and back then it was all
mucho distorted breakbeats, created with glitch electronics and surely weird but, who knows, also
danceable? On this new release he takes the noise of Merzbow, the driving rock moments of Foetus and
Ministry in combination with “production styles lifted from early digital punk acts like Cobra Killer,
Lolita Storm and EC80R” and that results in a seven-piece blast that is just under thirty minutes. To
me, and I admit it has been a while since I last heard his music, this sounds like Holzkopf has entered
a new stage, up from the one he was on before. This time around he has real songs! No longer they are
snippets of sounds, a bunch of glitches stitched together, but some very strong songs; loud and powerful
beats, ear splitting guitars, crushing synths and with vocals. Those sound to these untrained ears in the
world of digital punk alike that of Foetus, with whom Holzkopf shares a furious energy and aggression,
as well, I should think similarities with the voice. These lyrics aren’t easy to follow (“post-industrial
occult sensibilities to create a meditation on anxiety in the shadow of a drug overdose crisis, resistance
to neural and gender normalcy and the crushing forces of gentrification and fascism” - that helps.
Maybe). I am sure this music is not really to be labelled as ‘uplifting’, I should think but half way
through a slow afternoon, doing bits of this and that, this is outburst of energy is something that is
most welcome. It’s reinvigorating music; like drinking five cups of coffee or eating a chocolate bar and
the world is yours again. It’s doom, it’s loud, it’s techno and it’s a great release. Even if the closing piece,
a cover of Coil’s ‘Restless Day’, comes early (the album clocks in under thirty minutes), be sure to put it
on repeat straight away. (FdW)
––– Address: http://holzkopf.bandcamp.com



THOMAS TILLY - CODEX AMPHIBIA (CDR by Glistening Examples)

This is subtitled “an interpretation of the explosive breeding phenomenon” and contains recordings
made in French Guiana. The cover of this release will bring you to a PDF with ‘texts and informations’,
but if French is not your language there is only photographs to watch, and they are beautiful close ups
of frogs. So I copied some stuff of Bandcamp: “this project comes from a research field session realized
with Antoine Fouquet, Research associate at The French National Center for Scientific Research;
"Ecology, environment and interactions in Amazonian systems Lab" (LEEISA); and the "Evolution and
Biological diversity Lab. [...] Comprised from unprocessed raw field recordings and  interspersed sine
wave structures by Thomas Tilly, 2017”, plus a bunch of supporting organisations for this field trip.
Looking at some spring rain in dreary low lands I wouldn’t mind taping some frogs in a more exotic
location.
    There are seven pieces here on this release, and after each track is says [phonography and
interpretation] or [interpretation and phonography] or three times just [phonography]. So I think
that the latter is a pure field recordings and they others a combination of field recordings and sine
waves. Also I think the field recordings deal with copulating frogs, to avoid having to say ‘fucking frogs’,
even when that sounds better. The exact how and why eludes me, I think. There is some however some
great music on this release, if we just take that as it is. From all the releases that Vital Weekly discussed
over the years that deal with jungle sounds we know that nature is a very loud place and this is not
different. That is not to say this is a release of noise music; far from it. The sine waves Tilly produces are
standing waves that infiltrate your space and very much in the best Alvin Lucier tradition it has to do
with the way you move your head through space that alters the sounds. On top of that there these frogs
sounds, probably in real time, but they could be looped as well. These pieces are somewhere in the
middle ground of documentation and composition and the result is occasionally pretty radical. Not in
terms of harsh noise wall, but Tilly certainly knows how to use some extreme frequencies, but in
combination with the pure field recordings he knows how to establish a fine balance between the more
extreme nature recordings and the quieter real life. In total quite an uncompromising release (FdW)
––– Address: https://glisteningexamples.bandcamp.com/



ARIES MOND - COME ON LET’S WAIT (CDR by Eilean Records)
EMMANUEL WITZTHUM - SONGS OF LOVE AND LOSS (CDR by Eilean Records)

There are two things that connect both of these new releases on Eilean Records, besides of course being
on the same label. They are both quite short, 30 and 38 minutes, and both are heavily influenced by the
world of classic music, but each of these composers works with it in a different way.
    First there is Boris Billier, who calls himself Aries Mond and he is from the Pyrenees Mountains in
southern France. In the past he worked with environmental sound recordings (since 2002), toured
with solo projects (none specified) and works with theatre. As Aries Mond his interest lies in working
with piano sounds and “additional sounds”, which could be some sort of processed version of piano
sounds or added electronics; somehow I think the first. ‘Come On Let’s Wait’ is his first album as Aries
Mond and he started this in 2016 during a hot summer, which then turned in an endless autumn,
turning into winter of 2017.  It is the piano that adds that classical touch to the music, and surely
somebody like Max Richter or Nils Frahm is an influence here, but what he does with those piano
sounds is of a more radical nature than his influencers. Here it seems glitch electronics play an
important role, and they can be crackling, high frequency like, but also the really low end, bass part is
something that is well explored here. Playing this at a rather medium volume some of that will surely
be lost on the listener, but if you turn up the volume quite a bit you can hear all of that in what could
be called full-force. Then another world opens up, and we hear what I think is the mouth of the
composers, sighing, whispering, vocalizing the music, guiding the music perhaps. The music is warm,
dreamy, but also ovalesque, alien and somewhat strange. It is quite an interesting mixture that Aries
Mond cooks up here and it works out wonderfully well. Keeping his pieces relatively short is fine as he
has quite some ideas up his sleeve, and the only thing one could wish is that it last a bit longer than
thirty minutes.
    From Israel hails Emmanuel Witzthum, who is a “musician, violist and composer, multidisciplinary
artist, and lecturer”, and who studied at the Manhattan School of Music, NYC with Michael Tree of the
Guarneri Quartet. He has worked with various orchestras around the world, but he also worked at
IRCAM. ’Songs of Love And Loss’ is his second album, following his debut on Cotton Goods seven years
ago, and various releases with Craig Tattersall (also known as Humble Bee) as E & I. There are four
pieces on this new release, and each title is a haiku. Where Aries Mond uses the piano, Witzthum uses
the violin and it’s hard to say if the composer samples these instruments, but I would think so. Playing
along side of his own recording, adding viola upon viola he reaches out for more traditional chamber
orchestral sound, and the electronics used are for sampling/layering and not a further alienating
process of glitch, crackle and bop. In the third piece there is also a bit of singing. The music is moody
and melancholic, yet also minimal and slow, and something for the perfect grey day. Sit back,
contemplate, do nothing, relax or be sad for yourself, its all a possibility here. A bit too sad for my taste,
I must admit. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.eilean-records.com/



KATJA INSTITUTE/PETER WULLEN - SHAPES (CDR by Katja Institute)

In the as always information-less design - just a slim line jewel case and image - comes another release
by Katja Institute and again with Peter Wullen. The first time it was Peter Wullen In The Katja Institute,
then it became Katja Institute vs Peter Wullen and now the two names are separated by a /. I am not
sure if there is a deeper meaning in all of that, for instance how duties are divided between both the
Institute in California and Wullen in Belgium. Seeing that this is their third collaboration they might
consider using a proper band name for their efforts. Like with all of the releases I heard from Katja this
is some heavily computer treatment of a field recording, and in this particular case I would think those
field recordings are some sort of metallic object. I might very well be wrong of course. It is one piece,
spanning fifty-five minutes (exactly) of the usual minimalist movements. It opens with a segment that
is rather rhythmic, like music from Z’EV being sampled into a dark, pulse driven beat and quite loud
and of course this is slowed down further and further until from twenty-five minutes it becomes soft
and very slow. After forty minutes the rhythm is picked up again, but now sounds altered, less loud
and phasing gently about. As always the movements are very minimal in terms of changes and
developments, and perhaps sometimes it could have bit more changes I guess, but it is also the way
especially Katja Institute operates (I am not sure about Wullen as I don’t know that much of his other
work) and that is by now their trademark approach towards composing. This is another excellent
release by them. (FdW)
––– Address: https://katjainstitute.bandcamp.com/



LÄRMSCHUTZ - DRITTE TAFELMUSIK (cassette by Lurker Bias)

Perhaps Dutch trio Lärmschutz have the burning ambition to be on every cassette label in the world?
Or maybe to be the next Merzbow, Machinefabriek or Muslimgauze, when it comes to amounts of
releases? Or simply to be in a lot of issues of Vital Weekly? Whatever the case, here the trio of Rutger
(trombone), Stef (guitar), Thanos (drums) return with a long cassette; five improvised pieces, each
around eleven to fifteen minutes and each named with some classical sounding term, such as ‘Ave
Maria’, ‘Intrada’, ‘Toccata’, ‘Dolce’ and ‘Tosto’. I have no idea why that is, as the music doesn’t seem to
have to do a great deal with classical music forms. But somehow, somewhere in the music there is also
some kind of collage/cut up of voices, orchestras and piano’s buried, so perhaps that additional layer
counts for these classical titles? Hard to say, but Lärmschutz do what they do best and that is to play
some excellent set of improvised pieces, keeping the sounds close together, hectic, nervous sometimes,
long form but they never relax or space out. Everything is recorded in a very direct way, yet also with
some extended compression so it comes across as very loud; acoustic sometimes, but loud. ‘Dolce’ is
perhaps the only piece around that leaves some space for the listener to breath, with some crazy free
jazz piano and guitar motifs. Also ‘Toccata’ is a very free jazzy piece and it’s nice to see them do this
kind of improvisations as well. This is another fine addition to their already impressive list of
recordings. (FdW)
––– Address: https://lurkerbias.bandcamp.com



INCARNASCOPE - THE DISINTEGRATING MAN (cassette by Dinzu Artefacts)

This may seem like a new name to you and it is, actually, the first release for a guy named Walker, and
of whom we don’t know anything, not even another release and Nigel Samways, of whom we reviewed
music before, including ‘Havenots Havenever’ (Vital Weekly 835), which I still regard as one of his best
releases. In his work field recordings play an important role, but also curiously processed recordings of
instruments, all finely collaged together. I am guessing that is what he brings to this table as well, just
as much there is no sense in guessing what Walker does, but I could easily think something along
similar lines, or maybe something a bit more laptop based. On this release they are inspired by the
notion of ‘the last man on earth’, that science fiction starting point from the twilight zone. “No man but
one left, and what will happen as he wonders through a post nuclear landscape or an abandoned city”,
with as the musicians say “psychological trauma and the ecstatic freedom to reimagine his world”. It is
all based on magnetic tape recordings and we hear a bit of piano, slowed down percussion and field
recordings in some rather moody setting, with bits of poetry occasionally contributing to the overall
drama. The music is quite obscure with sounds that aren’t identifiable as one thing or another, which
adds certain mystique to the music, perhaps that lingering presence of danger, even when no man is
left, but then: where do the these voices come from then? The musical instruments sometimes
apparently appear out of nowhere, and it becomes a small melodic piece such as the piano piece
somewhere on both the A and B-side. This is music, which should indeed go very well with a Twilight
Zone episode with such a theme, or any other similar inspired mysterious time travel film or series to
a parallel universe. Refined tape manipulations with some excellent musical touch when needed;
nothing grainy or distorted. (FdW)
––– Address: https://dinzuartefacts.bandcamp.com/



ORPHAX - SUMMER’S END (cassette by Low Point)

Ah the Dutch summer... it is apparently famous for being wet. Who remembers Mark Poysden’s ‘Dutch
Summer’ CDR release from 2001, an hour of soft recordings of dripping rain (not reviewed by VW; I
wonder why since the close alliance we had to this particular composer). No rain, drizzle or drip on
Orphax’ latest release, but it taps out of the same inspiration, the dreary weather of this country he’s
based in. The future will be worse, my friend. Short but heavy rainfall is the weather of the future for
this part of earth. Both pieces are touched by melancholy, ’Summer’s End’ and ‘September Mourning’,
of course if that isn’t a misprint for ‘morning’. For this release Orphax’ Sietse van Erve unearthed an
ancient machine, the JP8000, and recorded his source material with, only hovering about the low end
of the keyboard. As it were to emphasize the dark and greyish nature of the music. He writes that this
was a great period of his life, and yet the skies were grey and rainy, but who cares about weather if life
is good? With a release like this it is hard to avoid dropping some actual weather references, and while
it’s just about the last days of winter, with spring coming up the time you read this, the weather was
surprisingly mellow last week, and before that, on the first day of meteorological spring it was the
coldest March 1st ever in The Netherlands. There is no climate change, surely, anyone? In both of these
pieces the somewhat greyish weather mood is reflected in the music. With some omnipresent drone in
the title piece, very much derived from the world of organ sounds and ending on a standing wave
becoming quite annoying. So in that respect I think that piece is just a bit too long. I prefer the
‘September Mourning’ over the title piece, as Orphax stays on more pleasant drone level, of one long
processed voice stretch (so it seems, but isn’t) of what could be prayer for summer’s ending on a cold
September day. It is not loud but there is a raw quality in the music, which is not like the more refined
pieces Orphax usually releases. (FdW)
––– Address: https://lowpoint.bandcamp.com/



CLAUS POULSEN - DELICATE MONSTERS (cassette by Know Your Enemy)
STAR TURBINE - THE GREAT DISTORTION (cassette by Aphelion)

Here we have two releases with music that involves Claus Poulsen from Denmark. I started off with
his solo release, maybe because his recent release, ‘Starry Womb’ (see Vital Weekly 1017) was one
that I rank among the best I ever heard from him. The music on this new release is along the lines he
has been working in the last 18 months, using turntable, bowed cymbal (which he calls the
“saxophonephone”), laptop, field recording and a few effects (“only distortion and delay”). The music
is neither ambient nor noise, but perhaps be best classified as a bit of everything. A patchwork as
Poulsen calls this and I can easily agree with that. What I liked about ‘Starry Womb’ was it’s delicate
quality, the warmth of gentle noises in an endless stream. On this new cassette we find all sorts of
pieces, and it’s good to hear a more or less complete overview of possibilities of what Poulsen can do
with his equipment, but somehow, somewhere I would have preferred a more thematic approach
here; do various noise bits on one release, more improvised on another and the ambient lot on the
third, and make it all a bit coherent.  Now we are bouncing between various interests, which are
actually quite fine but out of balance. Some of the quieter moments I enjoyed very much, while some
of the louder pieces were less spend on me. It is however a fine item if you want to hear all the
possibilities of this set-up.
    Poulsen is someone who does quite a bit of work with others, mainly with regard to improvisation
and electronics and with Sindre Bjerga (also someone who does a lot of this kind of work, with others)
he has a duo they named Star Turbine. They have been going since 2011 and played over fifty concerts
together. Many of these are recorded and recordings are used as material for releases they do, with or
without some post-production afterwards. For this release it was as some of the recordings were a bit
too distorted, as the title already implies. Bjerga plays “cassette, Dictaphone, percussion, microphone,
circuit bend toy phone” and Poulsen plays “bowed cymbal, monotron, turntable, effects”. More than
before I can hear Bjerga’s solo work shining through here and that is something that I didn’t remember
from the few releases I heard of them before. I might be wrong and I surely didn’t hear all of them. The
two recordings here, taped on different nights during their 2017 tour show how well they interact
these days. On the first side it’s like a Sindre Bjerga plus guest playing electronic music, while on the
other side they close together through their piece with covered up sounds, none of which breaks
through a mighty barrier; there is no big crescendo, a sudden burst of noise, just a stream of the
consciousness throwing about what sounds the duo seems fit. A bit of drones of a monotron, some
Dictaphone sounds being leaked on the mix, and we are on a seemingly endless ride down stream. A
gentle stream with no big waves but with no stopping either. (FdW)
––– Address: https://clauspoulsen.bandcamp.com/album/delicate-monsters
––– Address: https://aphelioneditions.bandcamp.com/




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