number 1152
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week 41
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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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MOE / MARHAUG - CAPSAICIN (CD by Conrad Sound) *
VELGENATURLIG - KUNDALINI (CD by Winter-Light) *
KTT/VOMIR - ESPACE (CD by 4iB Records, Zora, Decimation Sociale, Narcolepsia) *
ZAVOLOKA - PROMENI (CD by Kvitnu) *
FREDERIC NOGRAY - ONDURENAS (CD by Unfathomless) *
[WT KR] - XIMENES (CD, private) *
MANUEL TROLLER - VANISHING POINTS (CD by Three:four Records) *
FILIPE FELIZARDO - VOLUME VI: THE SUN RISES IN YOUR TUMMY AND OTHER CHRISTMAS
  ILLUMINATIONS (LP by Three:four Records) *
AREK GULBENKOGLU - A GIFT LIKE A HOLLOW VESSEL (LP by Penultimate Press)
FRANCIS PLAGNE - MOSS TRUMPET (LP by Penultimate Press)
MP HOPKINS & MARK HARWOOD - DISFIGURED WITH ABBREVIATIONS (LP by Penultimate
  Press)
SARAH HENNIES - SISTERS (LP by Mappa) *
DOC WR MIRRAN - ALTERNATIVE FACTS (LP by Marginal Talent)
KARLA BORECKY - THE STILL LIFE (LP by Recital) *
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - THE END OF THE LINE, THE AIR VARIATIONS (cassette by Recital) *
TART - LIVE VOLUME 1 (cassette by Lathelight) *
BENT SPOON TRIO - NINE YEAR ITCH (CDR by Bug Incision) *
JOE MORRIS & CHRIS DADGE & JONATHON WILCKE - RURAL OPTIMISM (CDR by
  Bug Incision) *
CHRIS DADGE & JONATHON WILCKE - THREE LIVE PIECES (CDR by Bug Incision) *
JOE MORRIS & ROB OXOBY- DANCING WITH PENGUINS (CDR by Bug Incision) *
ARVIND GANGA – SUBRAHMANYA (CDR by Econore) *
LOUIS MINUS XVI (CDR by Econore) *
DANIEL & MIKEAL TJERNBERG - FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN (CDR by Venus Aeon Records)
DANIEL & MIKEAL TJERNBERG - ANTON (CD by Waerloga Records)
LATE - COLOR DRAINED (cassette by Amek)
NELEGAT - INTOLERANCE (cassette by Amek)
OMORI - ISOMORPHISM/TRANSPARENCY (cassette by Amek)
LEITMOTIV LIMBO/RNPNO. 2 (split cassette by Hyster Tapes)
THE BLANK HOLIDAYS - LET'S BREAK THINGS (cassette by Strategic Tape Reserve)
ICUMDRUMS - CASTLE (cassette by Sicksickick) *
JOAQUIN GUITERREZ HADID - SUSTAIN (download by Line) *
ENSEMBLE D’OSCILLATEURS - 4 COMPOSITIONS (download by Line) *
PINKCOURTESYPHONE - ROMANTIC THREAT (download by Line) *



MOE / MARHAUG - CAPSAICIN (CD by Conrad Sound)

You have to spell Moe as MoE, which in a previous review (not by me) was explained as 'the band's
name is pronounced "moo-eh" (see Vital Weekly 1080). MoE are a trio of musicians playing that
field that covers both rock and noise, and do that with quite some vigour. Teaming up with Lasse
Marhaug is not a strange thing. His background in Norwegian noise music turned into a career of
many releases, much collaboration with musicians from many different fields and soundtracks.
With Guro Skumsnes Moe of MoE he recorded a soundtrack for the Mexican film 'The Untamed'
and worked with him before on their acoustic side project Sult (see VItal Weekly 1070). Now it's
time for to collaborate with MoE, which also includes Hvard Skaset and Joakim Heib Johansen
and they created four long pieces, each around twenty minutes (oddly enough not available as a
double LP, but Utech Records released the cassette version). The material was recorded both live
and in studio and Marhaug put this together in his studio. This is not a very traditional rock band
meets noise musician sort of collaboration, in which everybody sets up their gear and then jam
together. It seems to me that one point that was the case, but following those jam sessions,
Marhaug took the music further apart, crafting new constructions using the original recordings as
building blocks, perhaps adding more electronics on his behalf to the proceedings. There are
many layers of slow distorted sludge like guitar sounds, sounding as if they are on fire Hendrix
style, topped with deep drones from the bass and electronics. Somewhere among that you can
vaguely recognize the rattling of cymbals (in the third part for instance) or drums (second part),
but it is all not really your traditional noise rock outing, which is great. Close to eighty minutes is
with this kind minimally developing massive blocks of noise is of course quite a challenge to take
it all in at once, but play one a day and at maximum volume and you'll feel like reborn.  (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.conradsound.com



VELGENATURLIG - KUNDALINI (CD by Winter-Light)

Little over a year ago I reviewed 'Opalescent Pust' by VelgeNaturlig (Vital Weekly 1090), the music
project of Ivo Santos. That was his debut CD and now it's time for a second release, which
continues where the previous left off. Again we have twelve pieces of music, flowing from one to
the other and it's a mass of drone sounds, which VelgeNaturlig derives from the use of synthesizers
(analogue or digital is hard to say) but also processed field recordings. Like before I would think
that much of this found its origin on the computer and through an endless stream of software
processes comes out as this dark and atmospheric tapestry of sound. VelgeNaturlig knows how to
use his sounds very effectively and it is a very dynamic release, with a nice bass end as well as
occasional mild piercing high end. It is hard to say what and if there has been any musical
progress; as far as I can judge these things I'd say VelgeNaturlig is busy carving out his own
musical abilities, exploring his own territory and quite rightly so I would say. Pick up the trade and
then slowly find a voice that VelgeNaturlig can call his, setting him aside from the others in this
already crowded field. I'd say, so far so good. This is another fine album, pushing all the right deep
ambient buttons, using the right amount of reverb to make it more atmospheric, touching upon a bit
of experiment and the perfect rainy autumn day soundtrack. Just as we like them. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.winter-light.nl/



KTT/VOMIR - ESPACE (CD by 4iB Records, Zora, Decimation Sociale, Narcolepsia)

So I guess you know Vomir, French master of harsh noise wall music? Good. KTT, you may ask,
who's that? It stands for Kasper T. Toeplitz and that's of course a name you also heard before. It
might seem an unlikely pairing, the endless noise from Vomir versus the composed noise for laptop
and bass guitar by Toeplitz and I started playing this, thinking it would not be something for me. It is
loud, surely is sir, loud as in Vomir loud, certainly in the opening piece (all three are called Espace
and before it is '1_', '2_' etc.), but in here I think I could detect some variation, which might be the
Toeplitz treatment. It’s not easy to hear that variation in action, so I might be wrong. '2_ Espace'
opens quieter, and in this longest piece of the release, there is the Toeplitz trademark bass playing
with bow, along with slowly shifting patterns of distorted hiss. The sound has something that can
be labelled as 'motor like', along with a high piercing sound and as the piece progresses there is
a whole bunch of layers of hiss and distortion added. In terms of 'change' versus 'no change', you
haven't heard a Vomir with so much change, I'd say. In the final piece Toeplitz and Vomir return to
a more monolithic approach in noise, by entering an airplane engine and sticking up a few
microphones in there. It results in a heavy rotating sound, but here too it stays away from the more
usual 'no change' approach of Vomir. However minimal, there are subtle differences in this attack.
It is all in all quite a fine collaboration, heavy as a mountain of course, and not something for early
morning digest, yet with some caution and limited dosage this a most enjoyable mighty noise
release. (FdW)
––– Address: https://4ibrecords.com/ https://narcolepsiahn.wordpress.com/
http://www.reclusoire.com/



ZAVOLOKA - PROMENI (CD by Kvitnu)

With the release of 'Promeni', (Kateryna) Zavoloka completes a quartet of releases "dedicated to
the purification by four Universe Elements". The others were, "Viter (for wind), Vedana (for water)
and Syngonia (for Earth Element)". I only seem to have reviewed the latter, in Vital Weekly 1076.
'Promeni' is the fire element. Zavoloka has been going since the early years of this century and by
now she has a fair number of albums, in which works with much rhythm and as many synthesizers,
 both from the digital and the analogue variations. I thought her previous album, 'Syngonia', was a
bit sweeter than her previous work but here on 'Promeni' I think she returns to a style that shows
somewhat more forceful beat material on this new release. Like many of the releases on Kvitnu,
and this should be no surprise, the music is rhythmic, dark and minimal, taking its inspiration from
the Pan Sonic textbook on this. The rhythms may have the origin in the world of techno music, but
are way more minimal, and added are icy synthesizer patterns. But Zavoloka is not a mere copycat,
I'd say. She adds something of her own to the mix and that is the occasional smoother synthesizer
melodies, finding a balance between the cold machine operations and something spacier and
mellow, and it's a combination that works out very well here. The nine pieces are altogether more
melodic than on your usual Pan Sonic record, but at the same time rely heavily on the driving
pulses from the rhythm machines. Zavoloka found an excellent in here work with this release, and
more and more finds her own way of doing this. Maybe the best record so far by her. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.kvitnu.com



FREDERIC NOGRAY - ONDURENAS (CD by Unfathomless)

As I was looking up some of the previous reviews of the work by Frederic Nogray, I stumbled
upon my review in Vital Weekly 952, of 'Merua', also released by Unfathomless, which used field
recordings he made in 2012 in Honduras. Then I read the cover of 'Ondurenas' and see it also
uses field recordings from Honduras in the same year, but now at Punta Izopo's mangrove forest
and the Pico Bonito rainforest. Oddly enough the cover also lists "added material is made of
feedback, electronic, and acoustic sine waves from crystal singing bowls". Odd because I thought
that most of the releases on Unfathomless deal exclusively with field recordings and very little with
anything else. Maybe other composers don't mention sources like this, or maybe they just add a bit
of editing and processing. There are two pieces here in which the insects from the rainforest ply a
very big role but along with that there is the deep end rumble of bass tones and the lower end sine
waves, feedback hums that Nogray adds. It makes altogether quite a radical release. It is, one could
think, a release that deals with the noise end of natural sounds. Natural in the way these insects,
birds and other wild life sounds, but also natural in the way Nogray plays with crystal singing bowls,
letting them work the space as it were. Both of these pieces are quite dense in approach, but work
on a very dynamic level; there seems to be happening something on virtually every sonic level of
the music. If you play this with some considerable volume you will be overwhelmed by it; be careful
because this can rip your speakers apart, I would think. This sort of nature & noise version is
something that you won't hear a lot I think and as such Nogray does something that out of the
ordinary. Having said that I also admit that the differences between both pieces don't seem to be
very big and the second is perhaps a more monolithic, heavier version of the first. It surely is quite
a powerful release. (FdW)
––– Address: https://unfathomless.bandcamp.com



[WT KR] - XIMENES (CD, private)

Here's a thing I didn't know: [wt kr] is the phonetic writing of the word "Outcry". Says Discogs. It is
the musical project of Kenneth Kovasin, who in two previous reviews of his work was called
Kenneth K. (see Vital Weekly 889 and 1033). His latest album is called 'Ximenes' and all the lyrics
"consist of historical catholic chants", says the cover and the voice is the primary instrument. There
is a bit of electronics in use here, so it becomes even spacier, more so than the music already was
with [wt kr] singing and looping of his voice. I tried to think of this in terms of songs and decipher
any lyrics but I failed. Judging by the titles I would think this is all in Latin anyway, a language I have
not mastered. [wt kr] tries to go for that monastery feeling I should think, when he is trying to sound
like an one-man sets of monks, chanting. In case you were wondering, 'Ximenes' is named after the
religious reformer and grand inquisitor Ximenes de Cisneros (1436-1517). I must admit I am
clueless if [wt kr] is all-serious about this and yet somehow I think he is. The atmosphere
throughout, the multi-layered voices, the suggested space by the additional electronics, the sparse
use of other instruments, a piano in 'Resurrexit Dominus' for instance, it is all very cerebral, and as
such I can listen with interest, but it fails to connect here, even when on paper I'm still a Roman-
catholic boy. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.owtkri.org/



MANUEL TROLLER - VANISHING POINTS (CD by Three:four Records)
FILIPE FELIZARDO - VOLUME VI: THE SUN RISES IN YOUR TUMMY AND OTHER CHRISTMAS
  ILLUMINATIONS (LP by Three:four Records)

So far the name Manuel Troller mostly popped in these pages as part of such groups Le Pot,
Blindflug and Khasho'gi. Here he has a solo album, even when for years he didn't like to play solo.
Troller is a guitarist, and he uses the electric guitar here, and everything is recorded live without
any overdubs. I would think there is some sound effects used, mostly a delay of some kind. Five of
the six tracks are between three and seven minutes and there is one that is eighteen minutes long.
The delay, and possibly the reverb, is used to give the music more space and body, but it's not that
Troller plays some kind of drone music. His music is, au contraire, very rhythmic, in an excellent
minimalist way. Jumping around on a few tones, which the label calls sounding "surprisingly like
club music", which I don't think is true per se, but I can see what they mean. I was thinking of Robert
Fripp and his frippertronics, but then cut short and on steroids. The long piece 'Wormhole', cutting in
and out with the delay is an excellent exercise in real time repetition. Very seldom the drone like
sounds get the upper hand here, and throughout is the music not particular moody. Far from it I'd
say, it is vibrant and joyful most of the times, even a darker stomp of 'As Long As You Do What They
Say'. An excellent release, with quite some variation in it.
    Also a guitarist is Filipe Felizardo but of an entirely different nature, who has found a solid
home in Three;four Records for the release of his on-going series of records. Volume IV (Vital
Weekly 1007) preceded this; I have no idea where Volume V is. His guitar howls around in sea of
distortion and amplification and yet it can still easily be recognized as a guitar. Felizardo also sings
in a similar free style as his guitar playing. As before his playing is dark and pretty grim. It is the
sound of pain I should think, blues music but of a very non-traditional kind I would think. His guitar
is tortured like there is no end and it is all very dramatic. It howls, wails, cries, whispers and
screams. There are two long pieces, one even spanning the entire second side and two shorter
pieces of some highly dramatic stuff. This too is improvised, just as Troller's release, but where's
that structured, rhythmic and uplifting, Felizardo goes down, to the deepest pit of black despair.
Before it was two records, which was too much, now it's one and that's enough for a day! (FdW)
––– Address: https://three-four.net



AREK GULBENKOGLU - A GIFT LIKE A HOLLOW VESSEL (LP by Penultimate Press)
FRANCIS PLAGNE - MOSS TRUMPET (LP by Penultimate Press)
MP HOPKINS & MARK HARWOOD - DISFIGURED WITH ABBREVIATIONS (LP by Penultimate
  Press)

Over the years I reviewed some releases by Arek Gulbenkoglu (Vital Weekly 492, 747, 966, 1034
and 1089) and the last time I wrote that I have no clue what he does; that is still the case and
perhaps the press text doesn't help in that respect. This new album "sees a sharper scalpel at play
resulting in a more nuanced release which unfolds a curious journey of suburban psychedelia".
Ah. However, the good news is that Penultimate Press sums up some of the sounds and techniques
used which includes 'voice and body sounds, recording of non-musical processes, actions and
events, breath, tapes of animal sounds slowed and sped up, processed field recordings, electronics,
percussion, tape delay, sample of old Folkways records and Esperanto text to voice translations".
All of which, so I assume are taken to the computer and put together by Gulbenkoglu into a collage
of sound. There is just one piece, 'A Gift Like A Hollow Vessel', which happens to be spread out
over the two sides of the record. As before Gulbenkoglu creates a fascinating world with sound
even when it is quite an abstract world of course, but none the less and excellent form of musique
concrete. It's never loud, and yet it is also never really a form of ambient music, perhaps due to its
collage form in which sounds suddenly disappear while others may continue. Besides for a bit of
spoken word at the beginning and the end of the piece it is all-instrumental. Some sounds are
more recognizable than others and again the word poetic comes to mind. Some of the passages
are quite intimate and personal, with Gulbenkoglu whistling or humming, or making very small
sounds. I am not sure if there is a narrative per se, but is that necessary? I very much enjoyed this
delicate record; the previous was the best so far I wrote, but this one is on par with that.
    I had not heard of Francis Plagne before. He's from Melbourne and apparently released "four
full length albums framed around more 'song' oriented spheres", worked with Andrew Chalk, Joe
Talia and Crys Cole and part of "that Food Court record released on Graham Lambkin's Kye label".
This one, so sayeth Penultimate Press is "his first solo which exclusively orbits a more abstract
domain". To that end Plagne uses flute, harmonium, keyboards, microphones, organ, paper,
percussion, recorder, synthesizer, tapes, tuba, voice, whistle and zither. I could assume Plagne is
a highly gifted virtuoso on all of these instruments, which justifies playing all of them, but I think
that's not the case. He plays them as he sees fit and that's great. In a more romantically notion I
can envisage Plagne in his home studio, surrounded by these instruments and each of these are
used to play a bit, regardless if he's proficient on them, and once he completed the circle of
instruments he places them on a multi-track program on his computer and starts playing them
together, in various combinations until he has found a dialogue which he is happy with. This
result in two side long pieces, one called 'First Part (Second Part)' and one that is of course
'Second Part (First Part)', which I am sure is funny. The music has that improvised touch to it, in
which all of these instruments used play a role, big or small, at one point, but none of this quick
or hectic. The music is quite intimate and introspective, with slow, long passages of drifting sounds.
I am reminded of some of Timo van Luijk's work and vaguely, whenever Plagne plays the
harmonium, of Raymond Dijkstra. The organisation of these sounds is loose, but that's the charm
of this record. Very refined experience!
    The MP that comes with the name Hopkins stands for Matthew Philip. Some of his previous
work has been reviewed before (Vital Weekly 916, 1040 and 1121) and he works with field
recordings and electronics in his solo work. I had not heard of Mark Harwood before. In January
2018 Hopkins and Harwood played their first concert, on the roof of a bakery, which was successful
enough to start on recording together. Originally they set out to work with individual, without
knowing what the other was doing (this is not a romantic notion from me this time, but something
mentioned in the information) and then later on structured the "found sound, field recordings,
electronics and voice". There is certainly links to be spotted towards the work of Gulbenkoglu
here, but this duo isn't as refined. Which is no complaint. And which is not to say this is noise,
far from it. The sounds used by Hopkins and Harwood are simply a bit cruder, rougher than
Gulbenkoglu's. One could, romantic notion again, imagine them walking around with
Dictaphones taping street sounds and back home flick on a synth, add some delay pedals
and do some vocalizations and create something that has a sort of haunted house film
soundtrack quality over Gulbenkoglu's more radio drama. I would also think they use more
electronic apparatus to alter their original sound material. The music is neatly obscured and
vague in its dramatic textures in a way that I find most appealing. It has that lo-fi noise texture
that is perhaps these days the common place, but it is something I am simply a sucker for and
this duo delivers a most promising debut album. (FdW)
––– Address: http://penultimatepress.com



SARAH HENNIES - SISTERS (LP by Mappa)

Perhaps this should read as title 'Sarah Hennies: Sisters by Lenka Novosedlikova’, as it does so
on the press release and the cover. It is a problem in the world of modern classical music; who do
you mention, the composer or the performer?  It all started with the people from the Slovakian label
Mappa discovering a church in Kyjatice, in the southern part of Slovakia, and they wondered how
this church could be brought to life again, filling it with sound and so they commissioned Sarah
Hennies for two compositions for a single vibraphone, which "analyses the psychoacoustic
dimensions of the space". Lenka Novosedlikova performs it and these are two radical pieces.
First of all both aren't very loud per se, and of course that is not necessary a bad thing, not at all. It
leaves room for additional adjustment by the listener who is now free to decide how to fill his own
space with these sounds. There are similarities and differences between both pieces. One striking
difference is that the first side works with the higher end frequencies and the other side with the
lower range. On the first side there is a quick attack of the instrument making it all sparkle and
bounce around the space. Novosedlikova's playing is rapid so lots of overtones emerge and at
louder volume can become quite piercing. The second side has a somewhat slower attack and
played in the lower region of the instrument it is not per se loud and working the space with
overtones but more an introspective piece. I couldn't help thinking of Alvin Lucier's pieces that
work with spaces, 'Still And Moving Lines Of Silence In Families Of Hyperbolas', which Hennies
performed some time ago (see Vital Weekly 732) and surely is a source of inspiration for Hennies
in her own work when exploring spaces. With some clever placing of microphones there is quite
some space suggested here and it is a beautiful record that leaves much room for the listener to
adjust to it's environment, which is certainly something that worked for me very well. (FdW)
––– Address: https://mappa.bandcamp.com/



DOC WR MIRRAN - ALTERNATIVE FACTS (LP by Marginal Talent)

The Mirrans this time release an overtly political work and do it in a serious as well as a playful
manner. Playful in that sense that this record is packed on the outside like an old school bootleg,
stating this is a live recording at Madison Square Garden, February 30th, 1972. That was a great
date, the best date there is. It lists as special guests misters Gilmour, Zappa, Harrison, Voorman,
Young and Dylan, as well as Brian Ladd doing bathroom security - if you don't get that joke, that's
fine. I thought it was very funny. On the insert we read that this album was recorded at the Provino
Club in Augsburg, Germany, on October 14th, 2017. The line up consists of Joseph B. Raimon on
guitar, bass, cover art and song titles, Adrian Gormley on saxophone, Stefan Schweiger on
samples, percussion and theramine (don't know if that a deliberate misspelling but it sure looks
good) and Michel Wrzer on synth, samples and theramine with .mario23. receiving credit for song
titles as well. This is Doc Wr Mirran in full improvisation rock modus, well more or less that is. Their
krautrock is never straight forward, without bass and drums laying some kind of groundwork that is
driving, motorik beat, but it is a rather a freefom jam with everybody doing their own bit, with
Gromley's saxophone sparse but never quiet. It is not necessarily a wild ride, and it's not a Trump
bashing campaign, but his voice does pop up towards the end of the first side. Track titles are fake
in as much there is not really separate tracks to be spotted, but they were in the mood to do some,
such as 'Wish You Were Her'. 'The Nambian National Anthem and of course 'Covfefe' should not be
missed. It is strange, it is deliberate vague, it's jazzy, it's improvised, there are field recordings and
spacious synths and samples. All true, my dear, all true. Unlike the man in the White House, I only
deal in writing what I hear and don't deal in alternative facts if it suits me better. A great soundtrack,
so I noticed, to be playing when reading the new book by Bob Woodward. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.dwmirran.de



KARLA BORECKY - THE STILL LIFE (LP by Recital)
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - THE END OF THE LINE, THE AIR VARIATIONS (cassette by Recital)
TART - LIVE VOLUME 1 (cassette by Lathelight)

Here are a bundle of releases and they all have involved of Karla Borecky. Her membership of the
Idea Fire Company of which she is, along with her husband Scott Foust, a founding member and
them together are the only members that continue until these days. With Graham Lambkin they
had a trio called Tart, which was mostly active in the early parts of this century with two LPs, and
concerts; more on this in a bit. As a solo artist Borecky plays the piano and 'The Still Life' is her
second album, following 'Still In Your Pocket' (see Vital Weekly 963). As before recorded at their
own Wunderwaffen Studio, which is a fancy way of saying 'at home', and seeing Borecky play on
a live Facebook stream, I know this is an upright piano, rather than see the Bosendorf Grand
Imperial, which is the Rolls Royce among the piano, says Charlemagne Palestine. Listening to
this, I had the same feeling as before; what if Borecky had the chance of going into a big studio
and record her work with a great piano? Would that improve the overall quality or would it perhaps
take away some of the more charming naive quality her music now has? Boreckly plays lovely little
melodic pieces. Think of Idea Fire Company's minimal approach (more of which in a bit), strip away
any electronics and follow the repetition of the keyboard. That's what Borecky does in her piano
playing. Obviously one easily thinks of Satie's piano works, but Borecky's compositions are even
less complex I should think. In 'To Keep Things Whole' I thought I heard some of the household
sounds in the background, but I might be mistaken. I am not very well versed on the way the world
of classical music works, and besides Satie, I would think of Debussy or Chopin, and I might be
wrong. If there were room for Nils Frahm in this world, then I'd say; get Karla Borecky, get her a
grand piano and let her do a recital. Her work more than deserves it.
    On 'The End Of The Line, Air Variations', the Idea Fire Company is just the core duo, being
Karla Borecky on keyboard (which is not a piano this time around) and Scott Foust on synths. It
was recorded in May and June of last year and it is basically four versions of the same piece. I
might be a bit biased when it comes to this group, having the pleasure of being a (ex-?) member
for some concerts, so I have some insight in how the music is made. I was a long time fan anyway,
ever since hearing their debut double LP, 'Explosion In A Shingle Factory', back in 1991. On a
rainy Sunday I pull out all IFCO records and start playing them, one by one. Here they have four
long pieces, each one being twenty-one/twenty-two minutes of a single drone, with very little
variation, but me thinks it is fed through a delay pedal to give it some wavering, flowing feel, and
on top Borecky plays a very easy melodic line which is just a few notes and which she keeps
repeating on and on. You could do the whole thing in ten minutes, but for me that wouldn't work. I
love this endless, minimal repetition a lot; you know it's not a loop as every now and then there is a
minimal change in which Borecky plays her melodic line. It is the full ninety minutes or it is nothing;
there is just nothing in between I would think. It is perhaps not something you would play on repeat
for a whole day, but essentially you could think of this IFCO's answer to Satie's 'Vexations'.
    And lastly there is a re-issue of a cassette that Foust's own Pineapple Tapes put in 2003 of live
recordings by Tart. Unlike the previous release by Tart that featured live recordings by Tart (see
Vital Weekly 1110), there are no specific dates or locations mentioned for any of these six pieces.
It is not difficult to think that these pieces were surely recorded around the same time. Noted before
that the music of Tart become more coherent over their existence and as such these pieces seem
to me from a later part of their career and continues their exploration of field recordings, short wave
radio, cassettes and lo-fi samplers and keyboards. I assuming it's Borecky here who plays some of
the slower melodic lines that we find in here and both gentlemen work their way around the drones
and field recordings. Lots of insect like sounds are used and all of these pieces use quite a bit of
time to evolve and at that sometimes at a remarkable slow manner. If anything there is an excellent
lo-fi psychedelic feel to these pieces. I wrote before that I think Tart is a stripped down version of
Idea Fire Company, but hearing this right after the IFCO cassette you could wonder if it's not vice
versa and that particular IFCO release is like a stripped down version of Tart? Also Foust's 'Jungle
Fever' (see Vital Weekly 686) is something that one can see in here; the field recordings with mild
electronic treatments. These are long pieces but it all worked very fine. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.recitalprogram.com/
––– Address: http://lathelight.org/lathelight.html



BENT SPOON TRIO - NINE YEAR ITCH (CDR by Bug Incision)
JOE MORRIS & CHRIS DADGE & JONATHON WILCKE - RURAL OPTIMISM (CDR by
  Bug Incision)
CHRIS DADGE & JONATHON WILCKE - THREE LIVE PIECES (CDR by Bug Incision)
JOE MORRIS & ROB OXOBY- DANCING WITH PENGUINS (CDR by Bug Incision)
 
I guess every city of a considerable size has its own scene for improvised music. In the case of
Calgary, Canada this is the Bug Incision-scene. A community of local improvisers first organizing
performance series, Around 2005 the label followed, started by the members of the Bent Spoon
Trio: Chris Dadge, David Laing and Scott Munro. Originally started as an outlet for their music,
releases by other local musicians son followed. Often documenting live performances. Soon after
releases by musicians from all over the planet followed. This led to a catalogue of over 100
releases. Always pressed in small amounts, but a functional way to let the world know of this scene
of dedicated and excellent improvisers. With their newest series of releases, the label returns to the
original pool of musicians.
    First there is a new release by the Bent Spoon Trio that started activity in 2002. We hear David
Laing on also sax, melodica, laindon and drumset, Scott Munro on upright bass and trombone,
and Chris Dadge playing drum set, percussion, trumpet and upright bass. They released several
albums in the past, but stopped activity in 2008 when Laing decided to concentrate on song writing.
Meeting again in 2016 they discovered the magic was still there. The recordings on this release,
dating from that same year,  may serve as proof. There is something dry and sober in their playful
improvisations. And I had to find my way in first. But after that I felt very rewarded by the abstract
group improvisations by these advanced players. Colourful and communicative interactions. The
fourth improvisation has a melody at the centre, and sounds like one long intro of some Balkan-
piece of music with nice percussion playing by Dagde.
    Dadge returns on another release, called ‘Three Live Pieces’, in a duo with Jonathon Wilcke
(sax). Also these recordings date from 2016. Their collaboration however started some 15 years
ago. But in between there were long gaps. Since 2013 they play again more regularly. On this
recording they present three modest improvisations that are leading up to intense and
concentrated sections.
    For ‘Rural Optimism’ they have guitarist Joe Morris as a companion. He is not from Calgary by
the way, but from Boston. Visiting Calgary for workshops, Bug Incision took the opportunity for
playing and recording. Morris is a very exceptional and prominent improviser. He uses no effects
or applications. But he sticks to the sound of his guitar, playing it consequently in a sort of picking
style. He is a very skilled player, playing constantly on the same hyperactive level. Introducing
another dynamic as met on their duo-effort, Dadge and Wilcke have no problem in suggesting and
adding their contributions. Very worthwhile!
    We learn about Morris on ‘Dancing with Penguins’, that has Morris in a duo with Rob Oxoby.
Oxoby is a double bassist who becomes more and more involved with the Bug Incision –scene,
with his group Not Now Hamelin that is co-lead by Wilcke. With Morris he is engaged here in a
spirited and intense interplay resulting in fine dialogues, dominated by the drive of Morris’
playing. (DM)
––– Address: http://bugincision.com/



ARVIND GANGA – SUBRAHMANYA (CDR by Econore)
LOUIS MINUS XVI (CDR by Econore)

Label and musicians are totally unknown to me. So I’m curious what I am about to experience with
these two releases by the German Econore Label, that is focussed on experimental and weird
music. Besides they organize art exhibitions and concerts. Okayy, two recordings, released in an
extremely limited edition: 24 and 20 copies respectively.
    Louis Minus XVI is a quartet from France: Adrien Douliez (alto sax). Jean-Baptiste Rubin (tenor
sax), Maxime Petit (bass), Frdric L'Homme (drums). Never heard of them before. A look at
Bandcamp learns that they are already some five years in existence. We are speaking of a very
tight playing band. They produce a kind of free rock from a hardcore attitude or background. Fine
duelling and improvising saxophones with bass and drums as a strong rhythm-unit. First two tracks
– ‘Lustig Traurig’ and ‘I want you Lemchaheb’- were recorded in 2015 at Mtalu (Loos). Third and
last track on this mini-album – ‘Three Letters, has Kids’ -was recorded in 2014 at CCL (Lille). It is a
great expressive solo piece by bassist Ptit. Nice sound with a strong narrative structure in a
crescendo way. Despite the many influences that can be traced in their music. They sure have
their own face and their own solid format. Interesting band! Their cdr comes in a spray-painted
clear jewel case.
    Arvind Ganga is a guitar player from The Hague in the Netherlands. He recorded with
percussionist Rogier Smal. Played also with drummer Onno Govaert, a.o. Last year ‘Fading
Ground’, a work with Josu Amador and Dirar Kalash. Noise, drones, North Indian ragas,
experimental rock, and everyday sounds inspire him. This becomes evident when listening to
his improvisations on this new solo album. The album has four improvisations on guitar and
objects. First three tracks were recorded in his home studio. The concluding improvisation was
recorded live. All four improvisations have Ganga playing guitar and objects and some effects.
Tracks 1-3 recorded by Arvind in Den Haag. Track 4 recorded live at the Incubate Festival in
Tilburg on September 19th, 2014. The improvisations vary in dynamics and textures. Weird over
the top cacophony and ambient-like drones go hand in hand. His approach is very physical and
aggressive. He improvises from a punk rock attitude with advanced technical skills. And above all
with lots of power and musical ideas. Very interesting and fresh sounding stuff! Encore! (DM)
––– Address: https://econore.bandcamp.com/



DANIEL & MIKEAL TJERNBERG - FLIGHT OF THE RAVEN (CDR by Venus Aeon Records)
DANIEL & MIKEAL TJERNBERG - ANTON (CD by Waerloga Records)

Following last week's Rivulets CD, which left me complete blank, there is this week's work by
Daniel & Mikeal Tjernberg. They have a new CDR and 'Anton' from 2013 was also in the parcel
with the announcement that it will be re-released in a re-mastered version very soon. Their music
is best described as Hollywood soundtrack music, made with many orchestral samples and
bombast that goes with any blockbuster. I reckon' they are very good at what they do. Their music
should be discussed in Hollywood trade magazines in which director share tips for soundtracks. It
has really nothing to do with what Vital Weekly is about. But at least now you it exists. (That would
good be a great title for a weekly column as part of our weekly; 'it exists' and then mention stuff like
this). (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.tjernbergmusic.com



LATE - COLOR DRAINED (cassette by Amek)
NELEGAT - INTOLERANCE (cassette by Amek)
OMORI - ISOMORPHISM/TRANSPARENCY (cassette by Amek)

'Color Drained' is the second release by Emil Mitov, also known as Late (see also Vital Weekly
1087). Again Amek sells this as an EP, and perhaps at twenty-two minutes it is an extended play.
There are six pieces here, of which one is a remix, made by Valance Drakes. 'Color Drained'
continues to explore beat driven music. Not too fast paced, this is more mid-tempo, hard beat
music with throughout a very dark atmosphere around it. These atmospheric interactions come
through the extended use of ambient synthesizers that add considerable dark matter to the music.
I would think that all of this finds its origins in a laptop, with some of these beats being crushed and
crumbled up. This is not really music to dance to, I should think, even when I easily admit being
someone who you won't on a dance floor. It seems to me it is just a bit slow and too dark for a
good night's of entertainment, but who knows what life in Sofia are these days? Maybe this is
the kind of music that the city calls for?
    Also from Sofia is someone who calls his musical endeavour Nelegat. He too offers six pieces
but the release is about twice as long. Nelegat shares with Late a love of rhythm, but he works it in
an entirely different way. Here the rhythms are stripped bare, a bass drum, some additional
percussive sounds and one think of early Pan Sonic, Goem or Alva Noto. To this rhythm Nelegat
adds a blend of electronics, while sound effects such as delay and reverb are added to alter both
rhythm and electronics along the way. It needs the length of the pieces, I guess to deliver that
hypnotic feel that psychedelic edge, and it works quite well. Negelat's music is a rough diamond
that reminds me much of Kvitnu's catalogue, but it is not yet shaped enough. It is perhaps because
Nelegat sometimes uses samples of other sources and plays around with loops of other, unnamed,
sources, and in 'Relapse' and 'Prolapse' become murky masses of sound. In 'Clockwise', the clock
and rhythm machine play a nice tune together and together with Descent it is the album's most
danceable enterprise. The albums limbs back and forth between these two ends, which is a pity. I
wouldn't have mind a bit more real dance rhythms played by Nelegat.
    Stoyan Yovchev is only 18 years old and he calls himself Omori. Amek says that this album
"sees him abandoning his usual genre-crossing rhythmic music explorations to delve deep into
the most paranoid and abstract territories of ambient, drone and noise", which suggest the man
already had quite a career. There are five pieces on this twenty-minute tape and Omori explores
more ambient textures and while rhythm is present in one form or another, mainly through the
use of loops of percussion and synthesized sounds, it is not really about playing rhythmic music,
unlike the other two releases by Amek. Omori however doesn't play very traditional forms of
ambient music but it is more like ambient version of musique concrete, with small shifting in the
granular processes that jump up and fall down. It is atmospheric music, surely, but it is perhaps a
rather pleasant nightmare type of music. Omori uses quite a bit of reverb, to suggest space, and
also a fair amount of delay pedals. It seems to me that all of this is in early stages of development,
and at times a bit too simple in compositional terms, but it might all happen when Omori is trying
to find his own style. It's a fine beginning and it could certainly grow. (FdW)
––– Address: https://amekcollective.bandcamp.com



LEITMOTIV LIMBO/RNPNO. 2 (split cassette by Hyster Tapes)

From the label that recycles old cassettes into new releases comes a split release with one side
Australia's Leitmotiv Limbo, of whom I reviewed 'Limbo/Wind Swept' in Vital Weekly 952. As usual
with cassettes by Hyster Tapes there isn't a lot of information on the cover. On the previous
occasion I heard the music of Leitmotiv Limbo I thought it was a band rather than a one-person
project but here I would like to think it is indeed one person. He or she is armed with a synth of
some kind synthesizer and electronics at his or her disposal, doing a nice free freak out, playing
around with sounds, textures and moods rather than rhythms and sequences. The cover lists five
track titles, but for all I know this could also be six or eight or one, but in different parts. It is all a
most enjoyable free ride on murky synth tones, cassettes covered with dust and rust, and a wild
excursion of delay and other pedals. It is never really ambient, spacious but more your dark trip
into a friendly psychedelic nightmare; of sorts. Maybe you get my drift. Maybe not.
    RNPn.02 as is the correct spelling of the “Northern Europa” band on the other side are sold
as "assorted electronics, instruments & percussions lying in a mildly intoxicated basement". I
assume it is taped in that basement as well with some additional hum on the microphone from the
amplifiers used. There is nothing else really than that and they have six tracks here. A set of drums
is present, some amplifiers, guitar, effects and perhaps a synthesizer of some kind and the
members improvise their way around them. Not hectic, nervous, not rock like but more like
spacious, not always musical per se, but trying to work out some kind of lo-fi rock improvisation.
 It doesn't work out too well, but it is all very much in the spirit of do it yourself. That's what we
like! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.pcuf.fi/~plaa/hyster.html



THE BLANK HOLIDAYS - LET'S BREAK THINGS (cassette by Strategic Tape Reserve)

Despite the fact that the name sounds like that of a real band, The Blank Holidays is an one man
project, of Stuart Bogatko, who writes that his 'Let's Break Things' is a collection of songs he wrote
over the past couple of years. He calls his music "lo-fi acoustic with varying degrees of post-
production. The sound straddles borders between folk, electronic and experimental music". I am
not entirely sure where the experiment is and with electronic I assume Bogatko means some of
the treatments he has given the original recordings, but throughout all of this there is in each of
the nine pieces his guitar and in some of these also his voice. Not really folky, as it sometimes
becomes a bit louder and meaner, such as in 'Major Blues', but it can also be introspective, such
as in 'Lady'. I must admit I wasn't too blown away by this. When it was regular sounding i thought it
was just too normal and when it a bit rougher, I wasn't impressed by the kind of noise it was. With
the cassette as the playground and try-out for wild ideas, this surely was released. But I'd say there
is plenty of room for improvement. (FdW)
––– Address: https://strategictapereserve.bandcamp.com/


ICUMDRUMS - CASTLE (cassette by Sicksicksick)
Icumdrums might be Kris Kerby’s contemporary one-man-band from New Mexico, but you could be
forgiven for thinking these songs were recorded by a late-90s duo from Providence, Rhode Island.
The propulsive, frenetic drums and electronically distorted voice that define most of these songs
reminds me very much of Load Records’ heyday. When Kerby slows down and steers "Castle" into
more atmospheric/psychedelic tribal sections, the effects-treated percussion provides an illusion of
multiple band members. These sections take a stripped-down late-Boredoms sort of approach, a
steady beat wrapped in peels of feedback and a shower of chirps and blips. Sometimes, though,
there actually are multiple band members, but the collaborators' contributions are difficult to discern.
Dale Crover, drummer of the legendary Melvins, sits in on one song, but that song's density is so
similar to the rest of the album that I’m not sure I would have known he was there if I didn’t read his
name in the credits. Pop singer Lilah Rose (also from New Mexico) lends a melodic vocal line to
two more songs; the first is more abstract, just another breathy layer in the sonic stew, but her
contribution to the title track really makes it the most conventional and catchy rock song on the
album. Guitarist Toshi Kasai (who plays with Crover in Porn and was a member of Big Business)
contributes to the weird backwards-tape groove of the final tune, “Can-not”. (HS)
––– Address: https://icumdrums.bandcamp.com/



JOAQUIN GUITERREZ HADID - SUSTAIN (download by Line)
ENSEMBLE D’OSCILLATEURS - 4 COMPOSITIONS (download by Line)
PINKCOURTESYPHONE - ROMANTIC THREAT (download by Line)
Full disclosure(s): I’ve know Line CEO Richard Chartier for many years… a couple of decades,
actually. In fact, back when I began my dumb little Intransitive label (thankfully RIP), Richard
designed the first covers and his music was the 3rd CD the label released. Next disclosure: Vital
Weekly does not, as a rule, review albums that have no physical edition. Line does not release
pressed CDs anymore, only downloads; I was allowed this one-time exception. So it goes. Line, of
course, has a very particular aesthetic. Most of the label’s output tends toward fragile, minimal and
digital, frequently presenting work that sits adjacent to “sound art” (in the sculptural sense). These
three new titles are very different from one another, and expose the diversity within the Line mission
rather clearly: one album is definitely has gallery lineage, one contains compositions for analog
electronics, and the other seems related to pop music or popular media. 
    Joaquin Guiterrez Hadid’s “Sustain” album is an outgrowth of a sound sculpture installation
initially presented in Buenos Aires in 2017. The composer’s idea was to collect sounds from a train
station (specifically a traffic barrier and bell), digitally alter them, and play them back at night in a
darkened room inside a large, dark building next to the station itself. The three tracks on “Sustain”
are not, as far as I understand, strictly two-channel mixes of the installed sound. Recomposing them
was probably a smart move, making it work for listeners who are likely not standing near Argentine
train stations at night. The sonic elements and the pacing they dictate remain: a steady ebb and
flow of a bell’s metallic clang, an undulating low tone, and the tell-tale clatter of a train car on tracks
cycling with a Hudak-like steady density. These sounds are plainly recognizable on the first piece,
which swings back and forth with the rhythms of snoring or ocean waves on a quiet beach. The
second piece uses the same elements, but adds a few more complimentary bells and varies the
pacing somewhat. The train-tracks clatter doesn’t emerge as regularly, the low tone alters its
volume and duration. More importantly, this piece bears more marks of a composer’s hand, actively
manipulating sounds through digital filters and stereo space. In a way, it sounded like Feldman
percussion music, the transit noise resembling the restrained roll of tympani drums. The final track
is the harshest of the three, as Hadid transforms his bells into peels of high-pitched feedback and
the rest of his sounds are ground up into familiar digital clicks. Passages of respite come in the
form of recognizable subway-station acoustics that appear fleetingly alongside clipped clicks. The
pace, set by the acoustics of the source location, are relatively unchanged from the start of the first
piece to the ending of the last, which makes this more enjoyable one piece at a time than all three
taken as a single thought.
    You don’t need to know any French to guess what Ensemble D’Oscillateurs is all about: it’s an
ensemble… of oscillators. The ensemble’s driving force, Nicolas Bernier, asked four different
composers to write pieces for his group (of more than a dozen people) to perform on his collection
of analog machines. The composers tasked with writing music for oscillators were Xavier Menard,
Francisco Meirino, Kevin Gironnay (of the group Unmapped), and Candas Sisman. I’m not sure
whether Bernier directed the composers to treat the machines as dry sine-tone generators, but
that’s what they all did. Across four pieces lasting around an hour, the electronic signals are not
processed to disguise the nakedness of their natural state. That limitation works in small doses,
maybe one piece at a time, but the shallow depth of the component sounds gets tough to listen to 
for the album’s duration.
    Menard’s piece, “Etats Alteres”, is a growling monster of competing tones and sharp left-turns.
The piece cycles through all the gestures you might expect unprocessed oscillators to be capable
of (piercing highs, aggressive swooping glissandos) but it ultimately works. On the next piece,
Kevin Gironnay’s “Ignis Fatuus (Solis)” clusters the tones close together, creating graceful arcs
and beating patterns that end in a jarring flatulence. Francisco Meirino, a composer with a well-
documented attraction to antagonistically high tones, delivers precisely that his “Shaping Things (A
Simple Spectrum)”. The opening minutes of Meirino’s piece allow those upper frequencies to frolic
in painful territory for longer than you (read: I) might be comfortable with, then segues into a
passage pitting dentist-drill squeal against woofer-taxing whoosh. The last piece, “SYN-Phon”,
actually came from a graphic score interpreted by the ensemble and it’s the most dramatically
varied of the lot. On this piece, the oscillators bleep and chirp and leap about in small event-driven
clusters that somehow resemble the phrasing of “free improv”. That humanity is a welcome relief,
coming as it does at the tail end of an album that’s so fully committed to its austere sound-world.
    Speaking of a welcome relief, Richard Chartier’s Pinkcourtesyphone is as friendly a project as
you’ll find on the Line label. Sonically similar to The Caretaker’s half-speed ballroom waltzes or
William Basinski’s lush tape loop reveries, the “Romantic Threat” EP is aggressively soporific,
resembling mid-afternoon television commercials as heard through an overdose of barbituates
with a white zinfandel chaser. The title track is an “original and overextended” (wait… which is it?
how can the “original” version of something also be extended? oooh, my head…) treatment of the
opening number from Chartier/Pinkcourtesyphone’s “Indelicate Slices” album, and take that
second parenthetical adjective seriously; it’s not merely extended, but overly so. At nearly 14
minutes long, it lingers with a seasick colloidal throb as the room begins to blur and wobble under
the threat of an oncoming monstrous hangover. The next track, “Travelogue”, is a stuttering little
palate-cleanser before “Palepalmdeathpalimsest”’ marks a return to the couch for a lie-down; a
skipping record is delayed into oblivion, finally stumbling into sickening blackout. (HS)
––– Address: https://lineimprint.bandcamp.com


1. markalbanlotz@gmail.com


I am the curator of the 'Focus On Holland' edition of the International Improvisation Festival, Taipei,
Taiwan 2018 in november. I have chosen a combination of well-known and new talents. Wilbert de
Joode, Onno Govaert, Felicity Provan, Rogier Hornman and Mark Lotz will give concerts with,
among others, Shih-Yang Lee and Min-Yen Terry Hsieh as well as masterclasses and workshops.

Here a link to the 2017 edition: https://www.arte.gov.tw/eng/pro1_perf_now.asp?KeyID=1853





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