number 1128
week 16


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  (CD by Discus Music)
THE QUIET CLUB - NO MEAT NO BONE (CD by Far Point Recordings) *
AMULETO - MISZTÉRIUMOK (LP by Three:four Records) *
AMULETO - ACRE (CDR by Eilean Records) *
RARU - BROADWAY (12” by miNIMMAl movement) *
ALSI - DREAM KEEPERS (12” by miNIMMAl movement) *
OTZIR GODOT - TEXTHEAD (CDR by Epatto Records) *
EAVESDROP COSMIC - HIT (CDR by Zenith To An Ear Records) *
DANE ROUSAY - AN INEVITABLE SOLUTION (TO) (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
MASSIMO MAGEE - TENOR TALES (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
  The Label) *
POP TEKTONISM - NOISY POPPY (cassette by Antiplay Boy The Label) *
PHILIP SULIDAE - VARIATIONS ON PLASTIC (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo) *
LEO OKAGAWA - BUZZ ON THE MOON (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo) *
MASAYUKI IMANISHI - MAZE (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo) *
JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - LOK (double cassette, private) *


It seems I missed out upon Athens born Zinovia Arvantidi’s first solo ‘The Gift Of Affliction’ or her work
with Pill-Oh. ‘Ivory’ is called her ‘first solo piano album’. She is now living in France, which may account
for the fact that already after a few notes in the opening (and title) track I was noting the names of
Debussy and Satie down. Not just as an influence (I mean: who plays the piano these days and sound
unlike those two, it seems?) but also it seems some of these chords and phrases she uses sound very
much like the old masters as well. Her piano has a nice ring to it and I am not sure if she plays it all ‘as
is’, or if there is some kind of overdubbing in place here; in some cases there surely is (a violin in
‘Afterlight’ for instance). I think I like the music, but somehow I can’t get it out of my head that it is also
perhaps a bit kitsch. This is music that borders closely to the world of new age music I think. I could not
say why it’s not but all the same it could very well. When Arvantidi adds her humming and more reverb
in ‘Fluttering’ I had this Richard Clayderman vision, which didn’t look too good, I must say. When she
leaves in sounds from the surrounding of the piano, like shuffling about as in ‘Invisible’ I think that’s
very nice and makes it less perfect and more human, and less factory made kitsch piano music. So my
conclusion is: I am not too sure about this album. Sometimes quite beautiful and at other times doing
nothing for me at all. (FdW)
––– Address:


Recently I reviewed the charming solo album ‘Hide+Squeak’ by Alan Purves. I didn’t expect to have so
soon another CD in my player with his participation. But here it is, in collaboration with Mark Lotz, of
whom we reviewed also a solo effort, named ‘Solo Flutes’. Both musicians are based in Holland already
for a long time. Lotz comes originally from Tübingen (Germany), and Purves from Scotland.  Purves
worked with Ernst Reijseger, Tristan Honsinger, Jacques Palinckx, and many others within the Dutch
improv scene. Lotz´ activity has a wider range and he works also in projects world music. This is not
their first collaboration. Purves already contributed on ´Pendant la Nuit´ an album by Lotz from 2005.
They make a good match and their collaboration seems ´logical´. Both use an extended set of
instruments that compliment and accommodate very well together. Lotz plays piccolo, c-, alto-, bass-,
pvc contra bass flutes, Indian Bansuri, prepared flute, voice, and fx while Purves plays toy carroussels,
wee shakers, sruti boxes, dadabells, hemarimbas, claxons, toy horns, brim bram, balacone, bones,
whirlie pipes, tin whistles, clock chimes, frame drum, wee frying pans, etc. So a wide range of colours
and timbres is assured. Both players know how to make refreshing and optimal combinations of these
qualities, framed in accessible melodic and rhythmic structures.  With imagination they created nice
melodic instrumentals of entertaining weirdness. Some of the tunes are really lovely and sparkling,
others have melodic lines that are not very surprising and a bit too conventional. Released by the Swiss
Unit Records. (DM)
––– Address:

  (CD by Discus Music)

Martin Archer impresses by his numerous musical projects. Many - if not all - of them are released on
his own label Discus Music. Sometimes the music is close to jazz rock, progrock or krautrock, avant
garde, impro, well you name it. Electronics may dominate; in other projects acoustical instruments
make the deal. So Archer is at home in many different musical idioms. Sometimes I’m a bit ambiguous
about the result and not convinced. However this new release,  ‘Safety Singal from a Target Town’, I
really enjoyed. A fantastic album! It is the third release of this project Engine Room Favourites. It
started with ‘Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites’ in 2013. Archer pointed out that the
Chicago-based AACM  (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) is his main source of
inspiration for this project. The Art Ensemble of Chicago for example was on important exponent of
this movement. ‘Bad Tidings From Slackwater Drag’(2015) continues on this road, as does his latest.
Archer wrote the music for this release in the last two months of 2016. The ensemble needed no more
than two days to record the music. Archer works with a big line up here: Mick Beck (tenor saxophone,
bassoon), Seth Bennett (bass), Graham Clark (violin), Laura Cole (piano), Steve Dinsdale (percussion),
Peter Fairclough (drums), Johnny Hunter (drums), Kim Macari (trumpet), George Murray (trombone),
Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Walt Shaw (percussion), Riley Stone-Lonergan (tenor saxophone,
clarinet) and Martin Archer on saxophones. The cd counts six compositions in an inspired interpretation
by the ensemble. Most improvisations start from melodic and thematic elements plus rhythm,
interspersed by climaxing sections of total free improvisation. But how strong these contrasts may be,
there is still continuity and a leading focus. It are open spaced out improvisations sometimes with a
relaxed groove like in the second part of the title track. They invite the listener to dwell around and feel
relaxed in their African flavoured jazzy structures. Archer makes full use of the ensemble, dividing
them sometimes in different sections, and giving room for spirited solos. (DM)
––– Address:

THE QUIET CLUB - NO MEAT NO BONE (CD by Far Point Recordings)

In January 2016 The Quiet Club, which is Danny McCarthy and Mick O'Shea, were invited to work as
artists in residence at the Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida and played every day at 2pm
in the shed on Jungle Road to play a concert. This is The Quiet Club’s second solo release; I didn’t hear
the first one, but I did hear the one they did with another duo from Ireland, Crow (see Vital Weekly
1049). The Quiet Club plays sound objects, electronics and amplified textures, at least that’s what we
were told last time, and judging by the pieces on this new release that is something they do here as
well, without there been a list of devices on the cover. This is at seventy-eight minutes a very long
release, which is quite a stretch on the listener as well. The Quiet Club live up to their name, as the
music is mostly quiet indeed. If you turn up the volume quite a bit than you will notice it is not all
exclusively about very silent sounds. Things peep and crack around here, but as said, only if you care
to play around with the volume control. Very much like The Quiet Club playing a concert a day, I think
with music like this that is quite demanding on the listener, it is best to play one track a day and spend
a week playing this. Approaches are quite similar in each piece, the careful and methodical exploration
of objects, feedback and radio sounds added and there are not a lot of differences between these pieces.
That is a pity I think, unless it is all of course intended to be like this, one endless Zen like stream of
sounds, short, long, high, low, loud and soft, which one should take as is. Something that one surrounds
with, like an odd form of ambient music perhaps. Somehow I think that is not the idea behind this
release and the musicians require that full concentration of the listener. It works well, in each individual
piece for me, but overall, listening back to back I thought was somewhat too much to take in. (FdW)
––– Address:

AMULETO - MISZTÉRIUMOK (LP by Three:four Records)
AMULETO - ACRE (CDR by Eilean Records)

Post arrives almost every day and is usually delivered by a bundle of companies, each with a specific
task; oversized packages, mail box parcels, parcels from Germany or the UK. So the other day this
really happened: in the morning I got handed a LP by Amuleto, while in the afternoon the CDR by
them arrived. Coincidence of course, but surely a nice one. The odd thing is that these two new releases
doubles the ones already reviewed by them, in Vital Weekly 997 and 764, so they surely take their
time. Amuleto is Francesco Dillon and Riccardo Wanke. On previous releases roles where divided and
we knew who did what but now it says “cello, electronics, guitar, harmonium and piano”, plus on the
LP field recordings from France and Bolivia and on the CDR they came from Bolivia, Mexico and India.
On the LP they play a piece by Gustav Mahler, which I didn’t recognize. Like before it is not easy to
recognize the field recordings in this music.
    The music played here, on both releases, is a mixture of improvisation on the acoustic instruments
in a very drone like way, but also with electronic treatments; it also has elements from the world of
drone rock, say in the best Velvet Underground tradition (no drums) up to David Maranha, but also
perhaps with a streak of classical music. There are also minor differences between the LP and CDR,
which I am not sure are intended like that. The pieces on vinyl are more coherent in their approach,
whereas on CDR the element of improvisation prevails. The sound is bit broken up now and then here,
or otherwise edited together from a few different sources. On both there is at times a forceful drone
approach to be noted, with a strong attack on the various strings they are using, which made me think
of David Maranha. For the pieces on the LP I would think they spend more time on recording and
mixing, using a delicate approach to where sounds are placed here, carefully adding electronics to the
procedure, moving back and forth between the acoustic and the electronic end of the music. I can
imagine that the music on the LP will appeal to wider audience since it sounds somewhat easier to
access, but it is interesting to hear both in a row. The various approaches to what they do are finely on
display and every open-minded music lover should check both releases out. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:


The name of Graham Dunning popped up before when he was part as a drummer on releases that
involved improvised music, such as his trio DunningWebsterUnderwood (see Vital Weekly 996), but
apparently he was/is a member of AAS (Vital Weekly 1006 and 1010). Here he has however something
different. Dunning devised a machine called Mechanical Techno Machine, which is a very elaborate
turntable set-up. I had no idea what to expect but YouTube showed me an interesting demonstration
and it surely was very impressive and judging by the comments I wasn’t the only to think so. Many
layers of records, separated by some space, kick starting objects and with a cool mechanical drive to it.
Think Jean Tinguely doing techno. Dunning’s set at Boiler Room showed how it worked in action. On
this 12” we find four pieces, which are called ‘live dubs to stereo. No overdubs. No edits’. I’ll take his
word for it, but it’s also not difficult to doubt that. Surely some time went into finding the right, sweet
spots in each of different set-ups to generate four distinctly different pieces of music. In the title piece
it’s a rough ride, bouncing around in the best minimalist Pan Sonic tradition, whereas in ‘Protest Dub’
Dunning plays around freely with his sounds and it’s not necessarily all about the rhythm. I would
think that in his set-up he also uses some electronics, though not a lot, to add a more distinct bass end
to his pieces. To proof that Dunning is firmly locked in the world of experimental techno, and it’s not
just a gimmick to play ‘real’ techno music, there is also ‘Escaped Clanking Replicator’, quite a loose
construction of repeating sounds. Not quite coherent, but it’s Dunning’s way of showing there is more
than a 4/4. Dance to the machine! (FdW)
––– Address:

RARU - BROADWAY (12” by miNIMMAl movement)
ALSI - DREAM KEEPERS (12” by miNIMMAl movement)

We seem to be doing reviews of the local miNIMMAl movement in pairs and here we have the latest
two, Nimma 005 and 006. While this is a local label, as in: from the very same city as Vital Weekly, the
music it releases is mostly made in Rumenia. 005 has an original by Raru and it’s strong driving
minimalist beat along with an odd loop or two of voices and piano, maybe from an old show tune on
Broadway, which perhaps gave the piece its title. There are also two remixes. One from Tulbure, also
from Rumenia, who is very straightforward in the beat section but also playful in the way he uses the
samples. Are these the same samples? I can’t tell. About remixer Niks (which means nothing ‘nothing’
in Dutch) I know ‘niks’ and his remix is almost twice the length of the original. I should think this is a
particular fine piece to play on the dance floor; it goes on and on, and has that great Kompakt minimal
vibe to it. This is likewise straightforward, but also a bit dubby in the use of the samples.
    Unlike many of the other artists on this label, Alsi is a duo, that of Alex Florea and Silviu Tanase,
both from Romanian descent and they are known for “fusing the traditional Romanian rhythms and
folklore with a more housey bounce”. All three pieces on this 12” are Alsi originals. I am not too well
versed in traditional Romanian rhythms, yet I enjoyed these pieces quite a bit. There is a somewhat
darker edge in some of their synth treatments here, not too much, not too weird, yet slightly alienating,
especially in ‘Ray’. The rhythm part of these pieces is very minimal, uplifting in approach and could be
great floor fillers - should I know anything about such matters. This is, despite that dark edge, sunshine
music, actually both records are. Here comes the summer. (FdW)
––– Address:

OTZIR GODOT - TEXTHEAD (CDR by Epatto Records)
In between the previous release I heard from Otzir Godot, ‘In-‘ and now I didn’t hear anything of his
music. I reviewed that one in Vital Weekly 968. In between he released ‘Caves To Sun’ and he has
been working with others in improvised music. His real name is Jouni Koponen and he calls himself
a ‘drum poet’, and as before: it has nothing to do with the voice, so I am still not entirely sure what
that extension ‘poet’ is supposed to mean. Otzit Godot plays drums and recorded “9 pages of acoustic
sound art for solo percussion”, bundled together as ‘Texthead’, an album of thirty-two minutes. In his
playing Otzit Godot is hardly traditional; not in the actual playing but also not in his approach and
selection of instruments and sounds. Some of this, ‘Page 6’ for instance, seems like a drum being played,
but ‘Page 3’ could be a fence outside in the garden; or a cymbal. Or? Hard to say indeed. ‘Page 5’ is the
rustling of sheets of paper. In none of this Otzit Godot shows any hurry or overload, yet also not always
cares to be slow and silent. Much of his playing is not very fast and he prefers to let sounds die out
rather than overlay them with new ones, and it all is very contemplative. Godot plays it all with a
beautiful slow paces, allowing the listener to sit back and think and meditate. Sometimes it reminds
me of voices, whispering for instance, as in Page 1’, and that might be where the poetry comes in. All
of this is most enjoyable, be it that it is also a bit short. (FdW)
––– Address:

EAVESDROP COSMIC - HIT (CDR by Zenith To An Ear Records)

It sure has been a while since I last heard the name Brannon Hungness. The last time may have been
when I reviewed a release by the Oblivion Ensemble back in Vital Weekly 532. I am no longer sure but
the first time must have been in the mid 90s when Multimood released a work from him, and back
then the main sales line was that he was a member of Glenn Branca’s group. Hungness had a group
called Figure, and played with a whole bunch of people since then (including Rupert Greenall from
The Fixx). Since many years he had no release at all, but with the arrival of these three new releases
and six more to come later this year/early next year, all part of a trilogy of feature-length films and
related art. More than ten years of silence well spend in solitude, so it seems. Now Hungness calls his
group Eavesdrop Cosmic and he plays guitars, vocals, keyboards, additional percussion, electronics,
various honks and noises, with many other people on other instruments, drums, bass, synthesizer,
bowed upright bass and trumpet - among many others. I only recognized the name Cara Deblinger
who sings on one song. The first one has the most guest players, while the other two maybe just a few.
Since I met the man once upon an evening long ago I played this with much interest and always thought
highly of his weird rock influenced experimental music but I wonder if most of these three are really
my cup of tea that much. Or in fact something that is for Vital Weekly. I would like to think we at the
weekly have very little by way of knowledge of rock music, alternative or otherwise. So anything I say
might easily be taking with a large barrel of salt. In some of these songs I thought to recognize some of
the current Wire sound (as far as I heard it, that is), but sometimes the music is a bit more complex
with odd signatures and changes that one could link this music to prog-rock, and voice-wise as such
maybe Steven Wilson. You could argue I don’t know much in that area and you’d be right.
    ‘The Ecstacy Of Agony’ is the most traditional album with rock songs, whereas on ‘Closed Eyes
Open’ there is a bunch of traditional songs, but also more ‘out there’ soundscapes stuff. Perhaps of the
kind where one could think that the word ‘cosmic’ in the name is maybe not a deliberate thing. More
soundscape at times, such as in ‘A Million Miles From Nowhere’ or ‘Closed Eyes’ with its orchestral
sampling of sources. The sound is throughout massive in the soundscapes whereas the songs seem to
be straightforward. This is quite diverse release for sure and whatever Hungness films may be about
I see soundtrack potential in this one. On ‘Hit’ Hungness bounces back towards the use of rock music,
and throughout with longer pieces than on the first and also with a somewhat more minimalist streak
to them. Rock music of course, with guitar, bass and drums (and vocals) but played out in a minimal
way, with on-going rhythms and strumming, sometimes with a break here or there. Here too the
aforementioned groups could have been an influence, but also a Branca, Zappa and a bit of Radiohead.
It is good? Surely it is. Is it something that belongs to our interest? I am not that convinced; I don’t see
drone heads, field recordists or noise boys heading out to check this out. I hope, of course, I am wrong.
––– Address:

MASSIMO MAGEE - TENOR TALES (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)

Following Otzit Godot’s solo percussion release reviewed elsewhere, there is also new work by Dane
Rousay from San Antonio. From him I reviewed ‘Anatomize’ back in Vital Weekly 1088. Unlike Godot
with Rousay we recognize the drum kit as such, at least most of the time. According to the cover it is
“all acoustic, no overdubs, no effects, no edits”, which is something we can’t check obviously, but I sure
like to believe that. The music is very intimate, but not necessarily very quiet. There is certainly an
aspect of layered sounds in this playing of his, which is perhaps possible with the drum kit; not being
a drummer myself I have no idea. Rousay has at times a sparse sound with space in between the notes,
but then sometimes also knows how to generate more rattling sounds with lots of small repetitions
going on. In the title piece, the longest of the five, he explores the high end scraping sound of bows
upon cymbals or edges of toms before playing the drums again. It is not a very a long release, only
twenty-five minutes, but as I thought it was quite demanding to fully concentrate it I don’t complain
(a lot!)
    In the very same issue of Rousay’s previous release there was also a review of a duo release of
James L. Malone with tenor saxophone player Massimo Magee, who releases the solo ‘Tenor Tales’
work now. So far I enjoyed his radical approach to the saxophone, which was never afraid of a bit of
feedback, noise and such like. Here however Magee returns to the ‘pure saxophone’ and it’s inspired
by the tradition of the solo saxophone, such as “Coleman Hawkins’ 1945 solo 78 “Picasso” through the
1970’s works of Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, and others, taking off into the
stratosphere with the Micro-Saxo-Phone albums of Magee’s mentor (and KSE recording artist) Alfred
23 Harth” - I had to copy that of the label’s website as I don’t know much about this particular world.
Magee’s disc has eight pieces and is about twice as long as the Rousay one and for someone like me
perhaps a bit of endurance test. I decided to sit back and listen. I must admit I enjoyed his previous
work better; I can see where this comes from, what historical background and all that, but the noisier
approach from before is perhaps something that I consider more of my own interest. Some of this
seems a bit too much from the world of free improvisation for my taste, even when towards the end
of the album there was a spark of that noise and feedback to be found. It is certainly an album I
played with much interest, and I like quite a bit of it, but not necessarily win me over as a fan of the
genre. (FdW)
––– Address:


The name Stephen Spera popped up once in Vital Weekly, back in Vital Weekly 677, when I reviewed
a 3”CDR from him. I wrote back then: “Stephen Spera, who's 'CV (is) as long as your arm', but I never
heard of him. He played in (unnamed) successful rock bands, but also is a painter, photographer and
friend of William Basinski and Kenneth Kirschner”. Later I found out that already in 1982 he was on
a compilation cassette by the On-Slaught magazine and had a 7” on a Dutch label back then (which I
never heard). His 3”CDR was very much ambient along the Eno lines, but shorter and maybe a bit
more computer based. Now he teams with Tamalyn Miller under the guise of Spirit Radio and they
have been playing in New York a bit and ‘A Light Is Running Along The Ropes’ is their first full-length
album. Miller sings and plays ‘horsehair fiddle’, while Spera plays “Keyboards, guitars, tape loops,
samples, sitar, mellotron, Roland MC-505 and devices”. Ambient seems to be again a firm interest for
Spera and I assume Miller, although with some of the instrumental pieces, I am not sure what her
contribution is. The pieces, eleven in just under an hour, bounce back and forth between moody
excursions and more song oriented pieces, the latter with Miller’s voice more upfront in the mix. Her
singing varies between a wordless chant approach and something that is more lyrics based. With the
addition of reverb from time to time it sounds a bit gothic in places, especially when Spera adds a
more melodic approach to the music. That too veers between the abstract and the melodic. It is
however not that this album is too varied; it all makes sense and yet I seem to be more attracted to
the soundscape/drone approach of the music and a bit lesser to the chant/singing part. The voice
certainly adds to the atmospheric quality of the music I’d say, but it also drags it into some kind of
musical area that is not really my kind of thing, even when I can easily see that would attract a much
wider audience. It is an interesting combination of dream pop and drone, and yet not fully poppy
enough to reach wider audience, luckily enough. There is enough strangeness around here, still (FdW)
––– Address:

  The Label)
POP TEKTONISM - NOISY POPPY (cassette by Antiplay Boy The Label)

Now there is a fine mission statement for a label: “AntiPlay Boy the Label is an independent record
label which supports, promotes and releases sounds from female experimental musicians and sound
artists, fabulous queers, feminists, factious pop stars and last but not least, failed musicians. The
aforementioned actions are willing to deterritorialize sound art and alternative music from the male
dominance and the masculine attitudes”. It may bring forward the question if these musicians are
female, queer or failed. Especially the latter: what defines failure? If that is defined by the last time
someone is mentioned in Vital Weekly then surely Bjørn Hatterud might be considered a failure, as
the last time was in Vital Weekly 766, when a collaborative work with Conrad Schnitzler was reviewed.
Certainly there was no failure there. Before that he was a couple of times in Vital Weekly with his
project Maskinanlegg. So after years and years of quietness (or simply out of sight?) Hatterud returns
with a cassette with seven songs of an electronic nature. Music that is partly noisy, but it’s not just for
the sake of noise, I would think. It takes its inspiration also from the world of dance music, fast and
raw, with lots of hi-hats and an occasional bass line; synthesizers are there to play not really a melody,
but create weird lines, such as in “Flimsey Girl Who is Ready to Take Action” (which has no beats). It is
not really pop, not really techno and not really noise. If you like dance music then you will find this too
weird, and if you like noise the rhythm will no doubt a bone of contention. Sometimes Hatterud misses
the point, such as in the too long time stretch “The Fart I Just Let Go Smells Like Antonio Gramsci”,
which perhaps may be the sound of a long wet fart anyway. Otherwise this is a pleasantly disturbing
    POP Tektonism’s cassette is sub-titled ‘lost recordings 2009-2011’, but for me it’s the first
introduction with this.... band? Project? Person? Let’s keep it at ‘person’, as the info says “7 lost noisy
pop recordings found in his old dusty hard drive, laying on his old apartment in Athens”, and that
these songs are “cerebrating [sic] the pansexual “confusion”, testing the heteronormative true love,
failing his male identity, talking about his first date with a webmate and more”. These songs too limp
out into the no-mans land of noise/pop/techno, but altogether seems to be much more coherent than
Bjørn Hatterud; less chaotic, less noisy and more composed, I’d say. But with all that also a bit loud
and raw, not caring too much about music production values, so a fair bit of distortion is part of this,
in the high end as well in the low end. Do not expect you’d be dancing around to this music, but you
can easily be found in a dark and noisy basement headbanging drunkenly around on this. Just like last
week’s Soaplands this seems to be all about power electronics and exotic synthesizers, just also with a
lot more vocals, robotic and otherwise. Power at the disco! (FdW)
––– Address:

PHILIP SULIDAE - VARIATIONS ON PLASTIC (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo)
LEO OKAGAWA - BUZZ ON THE MOON (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo)
MASAYUKI IMANISHI - MAZE (cassette by Hemisphäre nokukyo)

A new label from Australia you’d think, judging by the catalogue numbers 001, 002 and 003? Not
really, as there has been a Philip Sulidae release before on Hemisphäre nokukyo, as the label is called
on Bandcamp. The ’nokukyo’ part is in Japanese characters and I have no idea what it means. The
covers are quite nice, with a minimalist design and tracing paper. From Sulidae, clearly acting as label
boss here as well, we reviewed music before (Vital Weekly 1120, 1060, 925, 709 and 692), which
spans quite some years, and like with the, very recent, last one, I am not sure why that it is usually
some time lapse between releases. I believe to note a distinction on his work, as in various interests.
Sometimes he deals with field recordings and at other times with objects and sounds. This new tape
falls mostly in the latter category and a little bit in the first. I am not sure what method of operation
Sulidae used here in doing his work, but I could easily believe he recorded the five pieces on his
balcony or backyard, out in the open, as we hear traffic passing and occasional other outdoor sounds,
but just as easily he could also record these sounds of wires, cans and other assorted found objects and
mix them along with previous made recordings out on the streets of Sydney where he lives. He writes
it favours ‘cubist and oblique audio architecture’, which is not something I easily can see in these
pieces, but I enjoy the quiet yet direct approach of his music. Direct in that sense that there isn’t a lot
of additional sound effects and quiet, well, because it has the usual Sulidae approach to a more poetic
way of using sounds, be it field recordings or objects. You could wonder if the format of cassette does
justice to such a delicate approach, but in case of doubt you can always refer to the download.
    Leo Okagawa’s previous release (see Vital Weekly 1076) found him, at least for me, in the realm of
noise collage brothers Joe Colley and Francisco Meirino, but with a steadier flow in his material, and not
always the harsh cut-up approach. Okagawa seems to sharing a similar interest in obsolete electronics
on the verge of breaking down. That’s where he steps in and does his recordings. The cover of his new
release also gives away another clue as to how he works and that is “Make sounds degrade by repeating
playback”. The recordings he does are highly obscure indeed; field recordings? Dying machinery?
Electrical lines? It just isn’t easy to say, but I do like his Alvin Lucier like approach of playing back and
forth sounds and use the re-recording process in what I assume different places to alter the sounds.
Okagawa uses the collage approach again and again this is in a more flowing form; when his cuts are
more abrupt they are usually followed by something similar and not, as a form of shock value, but
something very loud and abrasive. In his compositions however Okagawa takes care of a dynamic
approach, going from quiet to loud and back again, over the course of his longer pieces, best exemplified
in his ’50 Knots Under The Sea’. All of this degrading of sounds makes that the sound is sometimes a bit
muffled, like it has been covered with quite a bit of dust. The music is quite obscure but also captivating.
    From Masayuki Imanishi I reviewed some time ago a new LP released by Moving Furniture Records
(Vital Weekly 1128), as well as some earlier releases and on this new tape the exploration of small
sounds continues. These small sounds consist of paper, radio and synthesizer, but I would think might
also include a bit of computer treatment. As before I would think that Imanishi records a bundle of
tracks together, say three minutes of paper rustling, radio tweaking and synth buzzing, and that times
two or three so there is something to choose from when it comes to mixing, going within the space of a
composition back and forth between all the variations recorded. It is still, by nature, small music, that
never breaks out in a big way, but intended for a more contemplative state of listening. In ‘B’ there is
quite a bit of reverb to suggest space, which me thinks is a rather new approach here. While I am still
the sucker for small sounds I must say that Imanishi’s approach isn’t the most original one and within
the world of microsound there are/were plenty of predecessors taking a similar course, even when
Imanishi may use a bit more acoustic sounds. Having said that, I also think this is a really fine cassette;
just to say: if you can’t get enough of the previous ones, here it is. (FdW)
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JEROEN DIEPENMAAT - LOK (double cassette, private)

Work by Jeroen Diepenmaat doesn’t always make to these pages, no matter how much they deal with
music. It is not because they are digital only, but also because their format is not always easy to play
back. Go to his website to see what I mean. As a visual artist there is always something to see and feel
and he’s a man who does artist-in-residencies. One of these was just the other week (which means:
two weeks ago) in the surroundings of the little Dutch village of Lichtenvoorde, where he played piano
and did recordings of on a cassette recorder with eraser head removed. The cassette is one of the
media Diepenmaat loves when it comes to working with sound, as well as releasing it, and ‘Lok’ (to
lure) is a double cassette (with a digital bonus of the live concert he did at the presentation, April 8th)
in an old, recycled cassette box, already touched by much sunlight. Inside there are sheets that are
light sensitive, so “the image will fade when put in daylight”, and if you hear the music you will get
his drift of all of this disappearing, fading and erasing. The lure aspect deals with the various bird
sounds that were also caught on tape and paper; Lichtenvoorde is a beautiful quiet area in that
respect. It sort of made me jealous of Diepenmaat. Sitting in a room somewhere quiet, playing the
piano, recording using ancient technology, capturing the process of disappearing on tape, and I
assume an occasional fine walk outside. This music reminds me in a way of William Basinski; it has
a similar feeling of decay, more than on his previous releases, while perhaps not as conceptually
rigid as with Basinski. These four pieces are variations on a theme, for piano and cassette decay, in
total an hour worth of music of a very tranquil nature. Best enjoyed I’d say with windows open, a bit
of sunlight and your own bird sounds from afar. It is interesting to hear how Diepenmaat plays this l
ive with both (I assume) real-time piano and real-time cassette manipulation and coming up with a
slightly more nervous approach. Within his ‘studio’ renditions it is quite careful, his performance is
a bit more hectic, which makes a nice contrast. (FdW)
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