number 1140
week 29


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help Vital Weekly to survive:

  LANDSCAPES (CD by Discus Music)
  Discus Music)
  Edition Friforma)
LIVEBATTS! (CD by Ants Records) *
JOHN KRAUSBAUER - BEATS (CD by Ants Records) *
ASMUS TIETCHENS - LINEA+ (CD by Klanggalerie) *
MKM - TEPLO_DOM (CD by Mikroton) *
  Worlds) *
SICK LLAMA - SNAKE CODE (CDR by Chocolate Monk) *
MOTH - SCINTILLA (CDR by Chocolate Monk) *
PHILIP SULIDAE - CONURB (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings) *
ORPHAX - CIRCLES (3"CDR, private) *


Mikroton labelboss Kurt Liedwart is an active force himself when it comes to playing music, as he
proofs with this trilogy of releases. First he teams up with Czech musician Petr Vrba, who is also a
busy bee when it comes to playing music on the border of improvisation and electro-acoustics. He
takes credit here for 'synthesizers, electronics' while Liedwart handles 'synthesizers, cracked
homemade and everyday electronics'. For Vrba it seems to a step aside from his usual set-up that
includes trumpets and clarinets. There is no indication on the cover here if this is all studio material
or perhaps some kind of live recording. The two have been on stage together at least a few times,
as far as I know. I would think that these six pieces are the result of them playing together in a
studio, with some editing and mixing after the recordings have been made. These pieces sum up
what especially Liedwart is about in his work and with his label in general. There are probably
good reasons to call this improvised music, and no doubt much of this is recorded through
improvisation, but it is also something else. Enter the world of electro-acoustic composition. These
pieces aren't about scratching and scraping a lot of different sounds together, with nothing
resembling whatever else happens. It is more than that I should think, as they keep repeating
sounds for a while, add new stuff to it, repeat that for a while, remove stuff and together arrive at a
somewhat free version of modern electronics. Rhythm is in general avoided, but there is an
occasional beat in 'Hot Spot' and loops are freely used throughout the whole album. These pieces
are much more composed than improvised, even in the somewhat chaotic 'Dusted', and it works
wonderfully well. Whatever way this was made, I suspect indeed editing and mixing, it makes the
music quite strong.
    The 'cracked everyday-electronics' that Liedwart is no doubt inspired by his acquaintance
Norbet Möslang, who has been playing this for a long time, with his duo with Andy Guhl and with
Voice Crack, but in his recent solo and group work, moved from improvised cracks to a more
coherent sound, to avoid the word rhythm. These days he plays a lot with Jason Kahn and Günter
Müller. With the latter and Liedwart they played a concert in 2017 in Moscow. Liedwart here plays
electronics and Müller plays electronics and iPods; funny to think that it once sounded very
futuristic to play 'iPods', whereas these days people would ask 'what's that? A broken iPhone?'
Here there are two pieces, and they are both around twenty-eight minutes long. Just like
Liedwart's collaboration with Vrba the pieces sound partly improvised and by editing and mixing
there is something very much not improvised about this work. It might be because there is an
extended use of rhythmic particles in this stuff, for which I think Möslang is responsible (for no good
reason other than hearing some of his solo work), which is at the core of these two lengthy pieces.
Around that everything flies about. Most of the times these are long form sounds, like drones of
electronics creating a very odd feeling within the music. Lots of big and small textures are created
and all of this sound pretty rough but also great. There is an excellent drive throughout these two
lengthy pieces, which sound now (maybe because of its length, I think) a bit more improvised but
the three players keep it all together very well; almost like a very weird minimal dance music, in
some places. In other places it is just a massive spaceship circling through space.
    On the final release with Liedwart's involvement he plays modular synthesizer and cracked
everyday and homemade electronics again along with Julien Ottavi on computer and the
legendary (this time I'd say rightfully used wording) Keith Rowe on guitar and electronics. They
played together at the Sanatorium Of Sound 2017 festival in Sokolowsko in Poland. The two track
titles translate to 'gold' in Latin and Russian, just as the title is the French word. Of the three
releases this is the one that I think is the one that is the most improvised sounding of the three.
It is maybe because of the occasional guitar sound by Keith Rowe, but also the acoustic objects
that Ottavi feeds into the proceedings, here, there and everywhere. Yet it also incorporates those
long form drone sounds (Liedwart perhaps?) from modular synthesizers and electronics, so it's still
very much along the lines that Liedwart has set out as his aesthetics. The origins may be inside the
world of improvisation but the way it is all executed and shaped is more electro-acoustic, or, in this
case, a drone like approach. I think that especially the long 'Aurum' could have benefitted from a bit
more editing, as it's a bit out of focus in places. But in other spots it is right on the mark, so all in all
I'd say this is a very fine release. (FdW)
––– Address:

  LANDSCAPES (CD by Discus Music)
  Discus Music)

Three new releases from Discus Music, the label founded in 1994 by Martin Archer concentrating
on his own and other Sheffield-based projects. Eclectic Maybe Band from Belgium is an exception
to this focus. Band members are: Roland Binet (flute, tenor saxophone), Joe Higham (electronics,
soprano saxophone, doudouk), Michel Delville (electric guitar), Catherine Smet (keyboards), Guy
Segers (bass, samplers) and Dirk Wachtelear (drums). We are talking here a Belgian based-project
initiated by Guy Segers. He was member of the legendary bands Univers Zero and Présent in their
early and most impressive years. Later he ran the Carbon7-label. I had no idea that he still is active.
The music on this CD was spontaneously composed in the studio by the musicians and arranged
by Segers. The album has a rare appearance by flutist Roland Binet who already played with
Segers and Roger Trigaux in pre-Univers Zero times as Cubical Sock. They create open, spaced-
out improvisations departing from a rock-based attitude. Sometimes we hear echoes of Miles
Davis, like ‘Gradual Assistance’). Often it is just dark atmospheric textures they create, where a
sense of urgency is missed; likewise in the grooving tracks like ‘Second Permission Secrete’.
Although we are in the company of very capable players, the music isn’t that focused and
concentrated to make it really work and interesting.
    Metamorphic is an octet with following line up: Kerry Andrew (vocals), Chris Williams (alto sax),
John Martin (tenor and soprano sax), Ollie Dover (bass clarinet), Seth Bennett (double bass),
Ruth Goller (double bass, electric bass), Johnny Hunter (drums) and Laura Cole (piano, Rhodes,
composer). They play compositions by pianist and bandleader Laura Cole. Cole comes from
Leeds, and is involved in several projects of Archer and others. With her own octet she present
now their third statement. In 2011 they debuted with ‘The Rock Between’, followed by
‘Coalescence’ released in 2013. It is a double album, containing also a composition of Peter
Fairclough, plus three group improvisations. Besides they play an arrangement of Ornette
Coleman’s ‘Lonely Woman’ combined with ‘Lonely Wing’ by Jimi Hendrix. Title of the album
refers to a painting of the same name by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The music is jazz inspired
chamber music, but with typical English touches, evoking Wyatt, Canterbury, Recommended
Records related groups,  a.o. The performance is lively and organic, coming from a positive
chemistry between the players. Cole composes catchy tunes that are worked out in fine
arrangements. Nice job!
    ‘The Sincerity of Light’ is the title of the album by Chris Meloche (guitar, electronics), Martin
Archer (woodwind, electronics), Gino Robair (percussion, electronics) and Lyn Hodnett (voice).
Central are the electronic soundscapes by Meloche, a Canadian composer and performer of
electronic, electro-acoustic and computer music as well as a video and multi-media artist. These
soundscapes could be well enjoyed on their own. But Archer had other plans. He invited well-
known American musician Robair to provide some recordings of his percussion playing. Also
Archer asked vocalist Lyn Hodnett to record some material. Combined with his own improvisations,
Archer assembled the material into three lengthy soundworks. So one could call it a collage,
arranged by Archer as the final architect of these soundworks.  An interesting project that is about
combining minimalistic trance-induced loops and drones combined with (pre-recorded)
improvisation. Archer turned it into three hypnotic and psychedelic soundscapes that work well. The
electronics b Meloche and the free drumming by Robair make an interesting contrast that is bridged
by Archer’s interventions. (DM)
––– Address:


A lovely and very surprising work by Ketan Bhatti! Born in New Delhi, but raised in Germany where
Bhatti learned piano and drums from early on. He became involved with the German jazz and
hiphop scene. Nowadays he works in different areas: contemporary chamber music, experimental
dance and theatre, hip hop-inspired experiments, etc. Since many years he worked closely with his
brother Vivan, mostly in contexts of hip-hop and rock. Further educations in classical music and jazz
followed.  Nowadays they have a studio in Berlin. Interested in crossovers, Bhatti focuses on
combining new music and groove on his new release. In thirteen short compositions he arranged
intelligent meetings of these two ´styles´ and gave shape to this focus. It is immediately clear we are
not dealing with a superficial eclectic operation. On the contrary we hear very inventive and solid
works that came from a very thorough composing process by a composer we knew where he is
heading. It sounds as if everything was written out into every detail. Most compositions are dealing
with rhythmic complexity and are worked out in transparent arrangements. The works are performed
with verve and discipline by Bhatti himself and Ensemble Adapter: Antonis Anissegos (grand
piano), Matthias Engler (percussion), Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir (harp), Kristjana Helgadóttir (flutes),
Ingólfur Vilhjálmsson (bass clarinet), Milian Vogel  (bass clarinet) and Andreas Voss (cello). Bhatti
plays drums and piano in just two compositions (tracks 4 and 9). Although breathing above all the
atmosphere serious new music, it is absolutely no dry academic affair. The music is very lively,
imaginative and colourful and a very convincing and impressive statement by Bhatti. A joy! (DM)
––– Address:

  Edition Friforma)

A few lines on the participators: Krispel started his musical career in Vienna with bands like Licht
and Ron Bop. He had his solo-projects like Der Polizist and Lesco Lak, experimenting with all kind
of instruments. Later he concentrated on alto sax and improvisation. Schellander is an Austrian
composer and improviser also based in Vienna, using double bass, modular synthesizers and
speakers and also for this collaboration the double bass is prominent. He worked with musicians
like Isabelle Duthoit and Burkhard Stangl. Szilveszter Miklos is a Hungarian free jazz drummer. He
graduated at the Franz Liszt Academy Of Music in Budapest, but learns most from playing with other
fellow improvisers. We have them here as an improvising trio, recorded live at Vodnikova Domačija
Šiška, Ljubljana on 5 May 2017 at one of the Borderless Dissonance events, a festival that invites
Austrian, Slovenian and Hungarian improvisers to collaborate. They play one 40-minute set, simply
named ‘Put’. We hear Krispel playing alto and baritone sax, Matija Schellander plays double bass
and Szilveszter Miklós drums. Krispel is in the lead throughout this improvisation. The music goes
through different stages, moving from very silent and intimate to loud and expressive. We learn
above all more on Krispel and Miklos as players. Miklos is an inventive and playful drummer and
Schellander impresses with a solo near the end of the improvisation. This is quite a worthwhile
release by Edition FriForma, a subsection of Inexhaustible Editions, in an edition of 300 copies. A
bedroom label focused on improvisation and contemporary composed music. (DM)
––– Address:

LIVEBATTS! (CD by Ants Records)

The first time I read about piano player John White was a review of ambient music played in
museum surroundings. Later on I spotted his name on an Erik Satie album with White playing the
piano (still on regular rotation) and his involvement with Obscure Records. Now it turns out he also
has a passion for "cheap battery driven keyboards", also known (not mentioned on the cover, but
pictured) as those developed by Casio. Livebatts! is his trio dedicated to these instruments.
Christopher Hobbs was an early member but now consists of White on keyboards and toys, MJ
Coldiron on vocals and extra keyboard parts and Andrea Rocca on electric guitar and samples. If I
had the idea that John White is a serious composer and performer than that idea is pretty much
scattered now, which is a fine thing. Another thing that is scattered is that this isn't a pure work of
Casio sounds. Not that well-known rhythm all the time (think Trio’s cult-hit), or the bleepy synth
sounds. The lion roar and dog bark sounds of the SK-5, a bone of contention back then (both with
the machine as well as hearing it on a Sigillum S record) is also present here, which is not
something that I enjoy very much. Livebatts! is about more than just a bunch of Casio’s running
amok. Here we have a bit of good ol' plunderphonic in action, minimalist synth doodle, strange
voices, and perhaps not really poppy, techno like, synth pop like, it is also not really serious,
modern electronic and it is a bit of everything. The shifting synthesizer sounds of 'PT-30 Cross
Talk', or modern electronic plink plonk in 'Harold In Salt Lake City', along with some film samples
and then there is the easy lounge tune of 'Adventures In Outer Space', complete with robotic voice.
The Casio machines play an important role in all the pieces, but it is not exclusively just about
that. It is about a lot more and it resulted in a highly varied album that bounces around the place.
Sometimes I thought this varied approach was a bit too wild for my taste but then when another
day passed and I played it again the variety made perfect sense. This is some mildly confusing
yet highly pleasant music.
    I don't think I heard the name of John Krausbauer before. It seems that he is mainly active as
a solo musician, playing voice, violin and synthesiszer "mainly concerned with systems-based
phasing constructions". He is a member of Ecstatic Music Band and The Essentialists ("country-
blues boogie-rafa guitar/violin duo") and Night Collectors ("minimalist psych-punk"). Minimalism,
it seems, is a thread that runs through his entire work. 'Beats' is such a work. It lasts twenty-six
minutes and is the sole piece on this CD. It is a piece for three accordions (played by Krausbauer,
Aaron Oppenheim and Kate Short) and is in the grand tradition of LaMonte Young, Charlemagne
Palestine and of course Pauline Oliveros if not only for the use of the accordion. It is all those
minimalism boxes ticked; phasing, shifting, minimal development, rhythmic and actually quite loud.
The beats in the title aren't those that come in fat, short pulses, bass heavy, but the beating of long
form clusters together, of similar tones collapsing together and the wave becomes the long pulse. I
am not sure if I think this is at twenty-six minutes the right length. Maybe I would not have minded
this all to be longer than this, even when at a considerable volume this is not easy to digest. It is all,
I think, about finding an audible sweet spot in the music, that right volume and then the only option
is to put this on repeat for some time and then decide what duration works best for you as a listener.
I have no idea what other compositions he made, but I am surely curious about it! (FdW)
––– Address:

ASMUS TIETCHENS - LINEA+ (CD by Klanggalerie)

This is not a review at all; this is a personal observation. About thirty years ago I started to meet Dolf
Mulder, who was slightly older than me and about every once in 2 weeks we would meet up and he
would play me weird records. Or I'd play some weird cassettes, as this I was I already much into.
These days Dolf still writes for Vital Weekly about weird music, just as I do. I'm sure at one of those
occasions he played me a record by Asmus Tietchens, I'd like to think one of the Sky Records or
'Formen Letzter Hausmusik' and Dolf told me he was in contact with Tietchens and that there was
unpublished work, refused by Ladd-Frith on the basis it was too monotonous. For the small cassette
label I had this seemed to me like sure-fire hit, selling more than the usual thirty copies. I wrote to
Tietchens, got the master tape, liked it, and had a very professional cover printed, unlike all the
Xerox business so far. A decade later, when CDRs became household, I re-issued all of the
cassettes I did on Korm Plastics on that format and gave 'Linea' a second life. Not bad for a boring
piece of music, indeed. Now it gets a third life, including two lengthy bonus pieces, both from the
same series, but with 'Linea 12' and 'Linea 13' a bit further down the line. If Tietchens doesn't
release a particular composition it is probably not good enough. On the original we have 'Linea 1'
and 'Linea 3'. The fist is a very straightforward rhythm machine and sequence along with a
repeating loop. It is very much at the tail end of Tietchens' Sky Records phase; very electronic,
nothing concrete and yet also very minimal indeed. 'Linea 3' is also minimal yet with a stranger
attack on the keyboard and rhythm machine pushed a little to the background. In both pieces
there is very little development but it slowly shifts around. 'Im Atelier Zu Hören' is the tip Tietchens
gives us, 'listen in your workspace' and that's where this works well indeed. In the two bonus
pieces, Tietchens gives something away from the working methods behind 'Linea', which I didn't
hear to the same extent as before. In these pieces the rhythm machine has disappeared and it's
only arpeggio synthesizers, playing repeating lines and feeding through various delay lines, so
sometimes we only hear the residue of the delay of the original line, chasing each other on end.
Again this is all very minimal and again it works very well. 'Linea 12' has a darker touch and
'Linea 13' is the lighter side of things. Excellent re-issue. (FdW)
––– Address:


I’ve been a fan of Yui Onodera’s music for some time, but this album surprised me. Rather than his
usual stately drones and glacial fluttering, Onodera’s collaboration with New York sound artist
Stephen Vitiello is… a pop album? Yes, I think so. The music is tuneful and upbeat, with even the
more low-key songs having a melodic element at the forefront. Some of Vitiello’s previous work has
moved in this direction, but “Quiver” puts accessibility in the forefront. I enjoyed it very much! Some
tracks, such as “Quiver 4” (none of the songs have real titles), feature a skeletal guitar lightly
applying Vini Reilly-esque melodic lines over a bedrock of electronic skitter and sometimes a
steady (though understated) anchoring pulse. “Quiver 6” is rather lovely, with something sounding
like moving water burbling next to a synthetic chorus and dreamlike shoegaze guitar wash that
would appeal to fans of Chris Herbert, Cheihei Hatakeyama or even recent 12k releases. After
listening through a couple of times, it occurred to me that this collaboration seems as natural and
complete as an album by a full-time “band” might be… so I hope these guys pursue the duo
further! I wouldn’t mind more of this to spin as the soundtrack to my pleasantly groggy weekend
mornings. (HS)
––– Address:

MKM - TEPLO_DOM (CD by Mikroton)

This is technically the 3rd album by MKM, the acronymic band made up of Günter Müller, Norbert
Möslang and Jason Kahn, but these three Swiss artists have a long collaboration history. All three
gents recorded a chapter of Müller’s “Signal to Noise” series, they also comprise 3/5 of Signal
Quintet (leaving out Tomas Korber and Christian Weber), they’ve broken off into duos and have
taken on additional collaborators over the course of more than a decade. The familiarity these
folks clearly have with one another explains why “Teplo_Dom” hardly sounds like a group effort at
all; rather, one might believe this anxiety-inducing electronic noise was the work of a single person.
It’s a unified exhale of sci-fi cough syrup ooze, gooping out into the world like warm alien molasses.
“Teplo_Dom” is a three-part slab of deep, menacing music with an intermittenly insistent throb that
belies that percussive background of both Müller and Kahn. The first track, “Dom_1”, sets the bar
with a staccato rhythm grounding some Tudor-esque unstable bleep. The lengthy middle track,
“Teplo”, very slowly ramps up from relatively sparse squeak to a massive short-circuit stormcloud.
The final track, “Dom_2”, is the most upfront with its metronomic pulse, surrounding it’s rhythm
with harsh feedback blasts before pulling back everything except uncomfortable high tones. (HS)
––– Address:


While I leave most music by Athana, also known as Alf Terje Hana's releases to discuss for Dolf
Mulder, I started to check this out and decided to have a go. In much of Hana's other music it is
improvised in a jazzy and psychedelic way, massive most of the times, the music he created with
Guttorm Andreasen is quite something else. I never heard of Andreasen, who is well-known in
Norway from radio and TV as a journalist, but also plays in punk and metal bands and here plays
guitar, electronics and iPad, whereas Hana plays guitar, electronics, kalimba and sampling. They
spend together some afternoons and evenings playing sessions and from these the seven pieces
were chosen. The methods of improvisation are used here to generate the music and it's not easy
to get a handle on this. It is mostly ambient in approach with long sustaining sounds on the guitar
and an abundant use of reverb here, but there are also more freely played sounds on the kalimba.
I am not sure what to make of it. It might be because I am, for various reasons, distracted by other
things this afternoon and heard this album on repeat a lot actually and found myself attracted to
some of the heavy ambient doodles on ebow and guitar and less enamoured by the more loosely
organised sound pieces, such as the short piece 'Passage', which is the only one to include drums.
But 'Nanula', 'Broken', and the heavy 'Empty Island' I certainly enjoyed. As a whole it is quite a
mixed bag and I am not sure if that is the right thing to do. (FdW)
––– Address:


When reviewing a CD by Le Forbici di Manitu in Vital Weekly 1137 I wrote that this "is music for
the listener who likes to be surprised, all the time (I assume, looking at all the music that is re-
issued these days and so welcomed, this is a very small group by now; conservatism rules the
music business as well, unfortunately)". And shortly before that something similar about the
endless recycling of old titles in 'new' formats (that trick to get you to a record store on a certain
day). A decade ago there was a small but dedicated movement of blogs that dug out lots and
lots of old music and offered it for free, as a download; people like Mutant Sounds or No Long
Forgotten Music and while of course not really legal, it was often the only possibility to hear lost
treasures from the 70s and 80s, mostly released on cassette. Old acts started to play again, with
considerable new following, such as Das Ding, and business smart people started labels
releasing the old music on LP; Minimal Wave and Dark Entries I guess wouldn't have existed
and be popular if it wasn't for blogosphere. Which is all-fine with me, even if it would be nice to
get a promo every now and then from the label, and not, as in this case, from the musician. Colin
Potter has already a bunch of ancient history cassettes re-issued, and why not? If someone
wants to spend money on pressing your old music on a double slab of vinyl, why would you
say no? These days Potter's music is much more abstract, big splashes of electronics creating
massive fields of drone music (if not playing with Nurse With Wound of course), but his last solo
LP, 'The Abominabke Slowman' (Vital Weekly 1111) saw a return to rhythm machines, melodies
and guitars; not like the old days of course, as that new one was quite heavy and 'The Where
House?" is simply not as heavy. Recorded in 1981 with drum machines, bass guitar, synthesizers,
sequencers and guests on guitars, it is very easy to see why a label like Dark Entries wants to re-
issue it now. It has some great electro-pop tunes, yet it is also sufficiently experimental and dark.
From the spooky 'Yoursmine' and 'The Burrowing Engine' it is a long way to the quirky 'Just
Another Five Minutes' (which title says it all, I guess) or the haunting humming of 'The State';
it all sees Colin Potter flying all over the place, experimenting freely with styles and influences
(Tangerine Dream is never far away, I'd say, but also some of the guitar playing may remind
me of Bill Nelson), with a bunch of highly different tunes and it is the very inconsistency of it all
that for me made it most enjoyable. It is like them good ol' days of cassettes, where the
experimentation was all that counted. I am bound to say that, obviously, but this is a re-issue
that counts! (FdW)
––– Address:


This is the follow-up to 'Electronic Music From The Seventies And Eighties', also released by
Unseen Worlds (see Vital Weekly 1069) and which was already an excellent introduction to the
electronic music composed by Carl Stone. In many of his pieces he uses one bit of technology
and is constantly exploring new possibilities. Some of that stuff may seem out-dated by now,
where computers can do the same but then much better. Stone explains the various bits of
machinery used here, none of which means much to me really, not a technology freak (then and
now), but I can imagine spotters for this kind of stuff will like it. Computers have Stone's interest
since the early 80s and along with his interest in minimalism makes up some excellent music.
Each side of this LP contains one piece, from 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1993; oddly enough almost
in the reverse order. The four pieces are quite different, but there are also overlapping points to
be seen here. In all of these pieces there is that phasing and beating of minimalist sounds. In 'Mae
Yao' (1984) there are a whole lot of short sounds bouncing around. It's not possible, nor mentioned,
what these sounds are, but it sounds like the skipping of a CD, very Oval like, only fifteen years
earlier. At one point everything seems to be coming together, and from there on it is more like a
drone, slowly dying out and changing shape, ending with some female voices forming choir like
sounds. Something similar happens in 'Woo Lae Oak' (1983) but with entirely different sound
sources (strings and wind blown into a bottle), of which we find here the first version (the full
length Unseen Worlds already released years ago; see Vital Weekly 616), in which he uses
tape-loops and which may remind the modern day listener of Steve Roden. As said here too it
all attracts to one point and it keeps playing around with the same sounds. These two pieces
show clearly that Stone performs these pieces in real-time, with the risk of running amok, but
he knows how to keep it all together.
    In 'Sonali' (1988) he uses samples of his own making along with a Mozart opera (towards the
end of the piece, and remind me of Steve Reich's earliest ensemble pieces. There are repeating
phrases and on top shortcut samples, stabbing about until the orchestra samples become longer
and longer. 'Benteay Srey' (1993), opening up the record has long form, organ like sounds and a
very refined melancholic touch to it. Four quite different pieces, all made with then current
technology and with some fine imagination and none of this sounds out of date.  I wonder what
Unseen Worlds will release next from the Carl Stone history; I can't wait! (FdW)
––– Address:


Summertime is not one of those periods I enjoy very much and it's not just the continuing heat
(although I am tempted to re-read 'The Burning World' by Ballard again, had I not started the Paul
Simon autobio) but also the fact that everything seems to slow down, yet on the other hand
slowing down means there is some time to sit back, with a book indeed, and play some music
and why not something quiet indeed. I must admit I forgot about David Jaycock's 'Ten Songs'
(see Vital Weekly 884), but perhaps also because I didn't come across his name anywhere else
since. This time around there is no photograph of the musician, no list of instruments, just a CDR,
with ten songs in a fine retro sporting cover. Yes, indeed whatever happened to the mobile library,
I wondered. Jaycock plays 'all other instruments' and Sam M. Kelly all drum kit and percussion (
save one piece) and like before there is a lot of guitar being played here, along with some
keyboards (organ and piano, of course, and a little less on the synths) and maybe some of the
other instruments he used before (banjo, glockenspiel), but I am less sure there. Before I said
this was too weird to be traditional folk music, and this time I am less sure about the 'less weird'
thing. I have no idea what kind of transition Jaycock went through when recording his new music,
but this seems to me a step towards 'normalcy', more so than before. But, and here's where the
whole summer thing comes in, it's hot and humid outside, probably too hot to think about solid
weird music and so a breath fresh folky air is most welcome; that too seems to me a change from
yesteryear when I seem to have appreciated it on a darker spring day. Seasons change and
musical tastes apparently also.
    Open Field is a band of Kenneth Stephenson, who was a member of The Kingsbury Manx,
along with Chris Girad and Lee Water, out of North Carolina. If I was afraid (was I?) if the music of
David Jaycock was too easy accessible, then what to say about Open Field? Poppier? Folkier?
Rockier? I don't know much about such things, I said it before and I will say it again, but this
sounds, with all the tinkling guitars, like Americana, and with the multi-vocal parts very rocky/folk
like, with some musical instruments with an odd choice (glockenspiel), but with drums, bells,
guitars and plenty of vocals, surely something that is outside of these pages. There is very
occasionally a streak of weirdness to be heard such as on... hold on... oh I see there is no tracklist
with the pieces on the CDR, well, the tenth piece as it is, but then there is also, erm, the second
track, which is a beautiful pop song. Had it a title, it could be a hit. This is a joyful tune, though a bit
dark, with a fine female chorus 'ohoo-ing' in the chorus. Lovely tunes, still hot weather, what more
could you want? It seems that the Jaycock release also came with a lathe cut 7" (not the one in
front of me), and so does Open Field. It's hot weather, who wants the walk to and from an armchair
and a turntable? Well, the lessons learned there is that I know that joyful tune is 'W.B. In
Reverse' (as the blurb writes "The 'Ghost Riders In The Sky' gallop of 'W.B. In Reverse', so this
must be the place) and the other side is Negative Panic, leaving the other nine songs untitled.
Maybe there's an insert missing? Whatever, I never announce this in the weekly, but 'W.B. In
Reverse' will be the opening piece in this week's podcast and it's ten days away from doing that
one. I hope it's still sunny by then and I hope this un-weekly track will surprise many. (FdW)
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SICK LLAMA - SNAKE CODE (CDR by Chocolate Monk)
MOTH - SCINTILLA (CDR by Chocolate Monk)

   It dawned on me while listening to “Snake Code”, the new CDR by prolific painter/weirdo Heath
Moerland, how different it is from much of his previous work. In contrast to previous low-bias
cassettes of saturated-tape gunk, “Snake Codes” is (shock!) fairly legible and compositionally
diverse. Not that Sick Llama’s telltale seasick lurch of slowed-down tapes is no longer the star of
show; of course it still is. But in contrast to previous monolithic albums of midrange mud that seem
to have been made without interaction from human hands, the four creeping ughs of “Snake Code”
are distinct compositions with their own character. Layers of gloop interact in a very rough manner,
jumping in volume at arbitrary moments. There’s always an underbelly of nauseous colloidal ooze.
The third track, “Lamb Story”, is a queasy little ditty with a lightly rhythmic figure suggestive of
skipping disc rot. On the final track, “Do Th’ Interminable Shake”, the sound opens up from
deadening all-midrange-all-the-time punishment to spacious clatter of low feedback and a
stampede of furious balloon animals.
    Psychotic Imaging is the duo of Tim Alexander (of the LAFMS-adjacent group Points of Friction)
and Cody Brant, performing a set of 22 thrillingly concise squiggles for synthesizer and other
unnamed gizmos. The fact that nearly every song on “Time Vaccine” hovers around the two-minute
mark is both good and bad: good because it allows the band to cover a lot of ground and cut things
off before they get stale… and bad because I really wanted to spend more time in some of these
micro-environments! For instance, the 3am-codeine-soaked beats of “Broken Moons of Amphibia”
were so wonderfully cinematic that I think I said “Oh no!” out loud when the track stopped after only
a minute and a half, backing right up against the much looser guitar twang and annoying tape loop
pf “Idiot Enlightenment”. Of course, I grew tired of the repeating loop on that song but only had to
wait another two minutes before Psychonic Imaging changed the subject again. Other miniatures,
like the backwards growl of “Prayer Damage” and “Squinting Distance”, are perfect as one-minute
sketches that benefit from rapid-fire contrast with quick bursts of underwater tracing-paper guitar
and tape-speed distress.
    On his lonesome as Moth, Tim Alexander’s “Scintilla” sounds like a tape of testcard music
that’s been left out on a hot dashboard for eons. These woozy little numbers have emotional,
song-like gestures floating amid crystalline digital flutter and languid analog smoosh. I’m
reminded at different times of Stephan Mathieu’s fractured pop music, other times of Steve
Thomsen or Joseph Hammer’s deconstructed melodies. The album as a whole has a pleasantly
melted atmosphere, with just enough spikes and detours to keep me returning for further
investigation (HS)
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The name Grundik Kasyansky hasn't been in Vital Weekly since issue 574, if I am not mistaken. I
have no idea why, but it seems that in the meantime moved to London and now has a duo called
Llull Machines with Danil Gertman. On 'Insect Angel' Kasyansky plays 'feedback synthesizer' and
Danil Gertman plays "mixed media on canvas, 62" x 74"" as it says on the cover. I found some
photographs online, which made me believe that Gertman is some kind of action painter/
projectionist of images to a soundtrack plays by Kasyansky. I, of course as always, may be wrong.
There is a single piece on this CDR, which sounds like an airplane engine. Of course you could
think 'feedback synthesizer' probably equals some ferocious loud noise but that is not the case
here. It is a very drone-like piece of music, which comes in a cycle so it seems there is some kind
of low beat bass bump below. The evolvement of the piece is very minimal. There is a quick fade
in; a fade out at the end and in between there is the engine and bump playing about. Quite a nice
piece of music actually, but also one that calls for a few questions. What is Gertman's part in this
music? And to what extent is there is a visual component we are now missing out upon? I surely
believe there is something else, and perhaps it would have been better if this was released on a
DVD-R, and we would have had the complete picture. Now, I suspect, we miss out on something.
It is a fine release as it is for you drone-heads, and I surely am one, and that makes this is a most
enjoyable piece of music anyway. But the sparse information made me wish for an improvement
next time. (FdW)
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It is perhaps all a bit odd, this 'new' release by Frequency Curtain, the duo of Rick Reed
(synthesizer, electronics, radio) and Josh Ronson (computer). I found it odd because the
recordings are from May 2002 and May 2003 and odd because already released last year. The
copy I have in front me comes with a full colour, neatly printed cover, but it is primarily a download
only release. I am not sure if Frequency Curtain is still an on going concern for both gentlemen.
Their only real release was a self-titled on Elevator Bath, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 359;
yes, that long ago. What prompted to dust off these recordings and give them life now, I don't know.
Two long pieces, each a live recording and both of them quite massive, both in dynamic range as
well as audio content. Two big blocks of frequencies, coming in from on high, middle and low.
Especially when the volume is pushed up a bit, everything becomes piercing and oppressing. Yet
I'd like to think that is the right volume for this. Nothing quiet or spacious, just these forceful drone
like sounds, bursting and sizzling away, with, perhaps pushed to the back a bit too much, the hand
cracked objects. I would like to believe this is picked up in the room, rather than from the board,
which not only adds more colour to the recording, it also takes the edges of, funnily enough and
gives the whole thing a dark, rumbling yet psychedelic feel to it. Two long masses of sound,
penetrating right into your brain and in need of some undisturbed attention. I only wonder why it
took so long to get this out? (FdW)
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PHILIP SULIDAE - CONURB (CDR by Linear Obsessional Recordings)

Maybe I am entirely wrong but it seems that Philip Sulidae is getting more and more active.
Following his CD on Unfathomless (Vital Weekly 1120) and a bundle of three releases, including
his own, on his Hemisphäre nokukyo label, there is now  a new release on UK's Linear
Obsessional Recordings. Five pieces and they are all made with field recordings from Sydney in
2016 and 2017. Sulidae writes that it "is the result of hundreds of field recordings made here in
Sydney, Australia. I guess it’s my ode to a city that has changed and grown quite a lot of the last
decade", which of course is something we have to take his word for. Surely a big city but how
many readers of Vital Weekly have been in Sydney multiple times to note the changes and
growth? I gather not much. So for all I know these field recordings could be from any city because
if something is clear from the various open spaces and voices this is indeed from a city. Listed are
a bunch of recorders and microphones as well as 'computer and software'. I am altogether not too
sure to what extent this computer and software is responsible for any processing. Maybe not at all,
or maybe a lot; it is very hard to tell, but should it be nothing at all than Sulidae found some rather
odd places to tape his sounds. Between the cracks of the pavement or behind closed doors, as
some of the sounds here sound indeed rarther muffled. That is actually quite the beauty of it all I
would think. In these five pieces a rather obscured, blurred vision of the city (any city if you will) is
presented and these are intense pieces of quiet/loud collages of field recordings
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ORPHAX - CIRCLES (3"CDR, private)

Over the years I wrote a lot about Sietse van Erve's musical project Orphax and I also witnessed
quite a few of his concerts. I lost count of both, and by my estimation I must have seen him at least
ten times in concert, in various surroundings. Yet as far as I know this is the first time I review a
release of his that I also heard in concert; not many of the Orphax live recordings make it to a
release I guess. On May 3rd of this year Orphax played as part of a Moving Furniture Records
showcase (Van Erve's own label; the Orphax releases are always separate) and this time his
set-up included an ARP Odyssey, MFOS WSG/01 and AudioMulch, the latter being a bit of trusted
software he has been using for a long time. As far as I can judge this is an edited recording as
when I sat there at Steim Studio it was a bit longer, maybe even twice as long. The room was dark
and big, which made me experience the music from Orphax slightly different than I would do at
home. Today the total opposite, bright sunlight bursts into the room and the music isn't as loud, yet
the immersive aspect of the music works really well. It just seems to work on entirely different level
at home than in a concert auditorium. Obviously at home there is more control to be had; at around
ten minutes the sound became rather piercing, so I turned it down a bit, but it went up again after
thirteen minutes. Orphax has an excellent drift in his music, quietly floating and never staying too
long in one place. This is another fine addition to the musical atmosphere called Orphax. If you
have a festival of new music, then check this out: it shows what Orphax can do and there is no
reason not to invite him next time. It's about time. (FdW)
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