number 1158
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week 47
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HOWARD STELZER - ACROSS THE BLAZER (CD by Marginal Frequency) *
SANDY EWEN & CHASE GARDNER - TRANSFUSION (CD by Marginal Frequency) *
STREIFENJUNKO - LIKE DRIVING (CD by Sofa Music) *
RUDOLF EB.ER - OM KULT: RITUAL PRACTICE OF CONSCIOUS DYING VOL. 2 (CD by Om Kult/
  Schimpfluch Associates) *
KIM MYHR & QUATUOR BOZZINI & CARLONE BERGVALL & INGAR ZACH - PRESSING CLOUDS
  PASSING CROWDS (CD by Hubro) *
CLUSTER LIZARD - PROPHECY (CD by Prostir) *
DROP THE BEAT (CD compilation by Degem)
ERB & VATCHER – YELLOW LIFE (CD by Veto) *
DIKEMAN & HADOW & SERRIES & VERHOEVEN & VICENTE - IDEAL PRINCIPLE (CD by
  Raw Tonk) *
WEBSTER & LISLE & WILLBERG - STATIC GARBLED DREAMS (CD by Raw Tonk) *
TAKUMI SEINO - PATH OF JUNE (CD by Voice of Silence) *
MAJA BUGGE – NO EXIT (CD by Discus Music) *
REMNANTS - MARRED BY TIME (LP by Crisis Of Taste)
MODELBAU - A HUNDRED YARDS (CDR by Econore) *
MODELBAU - OFFEN (cassette by Barreuh) *
CLINTON GREEN - THYLACINE (CDR by Shame File Music) *
UPD COMPILATION 2018 “SONIC RESONANCE“ (CDR compilation by UPD Organization)
ORPHAX - DREAM SEQUENCE #5 (3"CDR, private) *
MÖRKERSEENDE - BARRIÄR (cassette, private)



HOWARD STELZER - ACROSS THE BLAZER (CD by Marginal Frequency)
SANDY EWEN & CHASE GARDNER - TRANSFUSION (CD by Marginal Frequency)

Of course you see the name Howard Stelzer almost every week in these pages, as he is, full
disclosure, a writer of this here Vital Weekly both also a friend and someone I who I know for a
long time and even work with from time to time. Does that mean it is not possible for me to
objectively listen to his music? Don't worry I can, and probably I am even more critical when it
comes to music of close associates. Stelzer plays cassette music, which is music that uses
cassettes for recording sounds and play back but not necessarily is released on a cassette.
Google a picture of Stelzer in concert and you see the many players and tapes he uses in his
pieces. There are very few other things that he could use, electronic devices to alter the sounds
for instance, and instead he uses quite a bit of the equalization to fine-tune his sounds. Stelzer
picks up his sounds in all sorts of places; there could very well the sound of frogs in the first
(untitled) piece, but who know what else. In the second and final piece he could very well have
taped a whole bunch machines in a big room (the information tells me that he lives in "a big
room behind a disused power plant"; maybe he taped some of the sounds when it was still in
use?), and there is a sort of organ like effect to the music, which grows and grows. Maybe there
is some natural reverb used, maybe artificial and when this piece reaches its climax, it stays for
quite some time. Too long perhaps, I was thinking, before realizing that this is probably something
that should be played very loud (much louder than my home situation allows), almost in concert
like proportions, or through headphones, also very loud, allowing for a full immersive effect. Only
then, as I tried with headphones, it becomes clear that the music is full little movements and over
time Stelzer nifty changing its course. It is loud, surely, much louder than the deeper, more bass-
like, opening piece, but it works very well as such. This is forty minutes of sonic bliss, one that
leaves you behind grasping for air. You may need some extra silent time to recover.
    Of an entirely different radical approach is the album Sandy Ewen and Chase Gardner. I am
not entirely sure, but I think I haven't heard of either of them. Ewen plasy with various groups and
persons, including Tom Carter, Weasel Walter and Damon Smith and many more from the world
of improvisation. Gardner has a music duo with Adriana Valls called Cut Shutters and "is also
active collaborator with many other musicians in North Texas". They both get credit for guitar, plus
for Ewen "objects" and Gardner "divided pickup". The six pieces on this album where recorded on
December 30th, 2018 and mixed later on. The improvisation tag is on this one, I'd say, and there is
quite some furious playing going. Much of this could be classified as 'snare abuse' as there isn't a
lot of careful playing here. Snares are bent and played with some heavy amplification; maybe the
volume was still up from the Stelzer CD, but this seemed to me quite a loud release, occasionally
playing around with feedback moves. Hard to say to what extent there are sound effects used.
Surely some, but in all of these pieces the guitar shines through loud and clear. Like Stelzer's
music this is most certainly also not something that goes down easily. This is not something you
put on, sit back and pick up a glass of wine and a book and let it all happen. I found myself in a
state of concentration to hear it all and try and figure what was happening on whatever level. Even
with two guitars it seemed to me that there was much going on many sub levels, and perhaps not
the same multitude of layers as Stelzer uses on his work, but surely some very exciting music;
nerve wrecking perhaps, but great it sure is. (FdW)
––– Address: https://marginalfrequency.bandcamp.com/



STREIFENJUNKO - LIKE DRIVING (CD by Sofa Music)

Somehow the name Streifenjunko sounded familiar, but a quick scan learned that I hadn't reviewed
their two previous releases on Sofa Music. There are two players here, Eivind Lønning on trumpet,
percussion, and electronics and Espen Reinertsen on saxophone, recorder and electronics. I am
not sure if recorder here means a reel-to-reel recorder or flute; somehow I think it's the first, judging
by the static crackles that can be found on the first piece, 'Everything We Touch Is Electric', a title
that is very much true indeed. It buzzes and crackles like static electricity. Only after a while I
realized I wasn't listening to a slowed down tape of harmonium playing, but trumpet and saxophone
being played with some long interval, which over the course of this piece get shorter and shorter.
This is some wonderful strange music and I love it. It is music that is easily not part of any scene or
genre, should you be looking for some such classification. I could say it is part of the world of
improvised music but then: is it? It is not easy to say how much of this is planned and what is
surely not. Is it then, perhaps, drone music? Surely, some of it is, especially I would say the
opening of the first piece, but also in other instances there is a continuous sound that you could
drone, and yet the music is also broken up by stops and gaps that it could be a collage. Yet to call
this musique concrete is also not really justified. There are loops, crackles and collages but also
there is quite an amount of real-time playing and just not enough tape manipulation. Even one
could think of jazz, in the second half of the title piece, but it's only vaguely hinting towards that.
The music is throughout these three tracks quite slow and in the longest, the title piece, there is
also a bit of percussion; dry clicks and a bit of rattle, but it is kept all in line with the line of the slow
moving, minimalist approach of the other two pieces. I am not sure if this meant to be meditative
music and I am not the sort of person to engage in that sort of thing but it had a great calming effect
on me. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.sofamusic.no



RUDOLF EB.ER - OM KULT: RITUAL PRACTICE OF CONSCIOUS DYING VOL. 2 (CD by Om Kult/
  Schimpfluch Associates)

Back in Vital Weekly 1145 I reviewed the first volume of 'Om Kult: Ritual Practice Of Conscious
Dying', now it is time for the second part of this trilogy. I hope you can excuse me for copying some
stuff from the previous releases such as the fact that these days the work of Schimpfluch's
originator Rudolf Eb.er deals with 'various shamanic and tantric traditions', "giving us a glimpse
into occult techniques for the transition from life to death" and that is coming "from his extended
'Brainnectar' studies on psycho-ritual forces and examinations of personal psychotic episodes with
aural hallucinations and paranormal perception. The focus now is on the occult knowledge and
practice of conscious dying; on the ejecting mind as well as on the decomposing human body". On
this second instalment Eb.er uses field recordings of Japanese forests, creeks and waterfalls,
haystacks and dirt piles, maggots and flies feeding on carcasses, monks chanting and eerie
obscured voices from occult activities. Which is pretty much the same as on the first volume and
despite the grimness of the sounds used (or at least knowing their origin) this is something that
sounds again quite fascinating. It is very loud for sure, cutting sound up and down. Sometimes in
the middle of a piece it stops and continues after a second or so with something entirely different.
Lots of closely miked animal sounds it seems and swarming of insects with a highly drone like
effect. Again, I have the same feeling about this as before and that is if even without thinking about
the background of the Om Kult and what it stands for, this makes up for some very radical music
build from field recordings. I am not sure to what extent Eb.er would allow us to enjoy the music for
it is, severed from it's conceptual background; I know I did and I enjoyed the music 'as is' very well.
I for one I don't know much about the Om Kult, nor, I am easy to admit, are willing to find out (when
time comes I'll see what will happen; never spoil a surprise) and until then I enjoy these loud field
recordings very much as pieces of music. Radical yet beautiful noise music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://rudolfeber.bandcamp.com



KIM MYHR & QUATUOR BOZZINI & CARLONE BERGVALL & INGAR ZACH - PRESSING CLOUDS
  PASSING CROWDS (CD by Hubro)

Here is a new work by Kim Myhr, consisting of six pieces, but all connected to each other via text
written and spoken by Caroline Bergvall, but also the Quatour Bozzini string quartet and Ignar
Zach on percussion. The music was commissioned by the Festival International de Musique
Actuelle de Victoriaville in Canada. Zach wanted to do something along the lines of the work of
Robert Ashley, music and a voice speaking rather than singing. I am never good with words, so I
am not sure what these texts are about, but then the press text says that "there is no easy, one-
dimensional interpretation", so maybe we should see it all as a musical work, in which the voice
becomes one with the music. There is some drama in her voice and in 'Future Present' she keeps
quickly, almost singing, following the rapid music. It is also one the few times that Zach plays his
percussion with some emphasis, as I am not sure what he does in the other pieces. Myhr himself
strums his twelve-string guitar and the other strings support the slow and minimalist moves of the
music. Most of the time the music is introspective, quiet and slowly moving. There is a strong
connection to the world traditional minimal music here, next to Ashley the music also reminds me
of Steve Reich, and quite rightfully the label mentions 'Different Trains' by Steve Reich and while
Bergvall's voice is not sampled along the music it is not difficult to hear the connection in music,
such as in 'Days'. It is all in all an unusual work. It is modern classical, yet at times also seems to
be improvised to some extent at least, and holds also common ground with radio drama. Bergvall's
voice with undertones of her part-French background gives it an almost film noir feeling. Very
nice! (FdW)
––– Address: http://hubromusic.com



CLUSTER LIZARD - PROPHECY (CD by Prostir)

This is quite curious indeed. Cluster Lizard is the duo of Dmytro Federenko and Kateryna Zavoloka,
both also quite active in solo capacity and whose first record, 'Edge Of The Universe' was reviewed
in Vital Weekly 1104. The curiosity lies here: this is the first release on their label Prostir, but they
already have a well established label, Kvitnu and the music of Cluster Lizard would have fitted
perfectly on that imprint, and also the cover is quite Kvitnu like with its block foil silver print. So why
did they start a new label, which the press text is "for their own music"? What I noted before is what I
note here, Cluster Lizard likes some sonic overload. It happens on all the levels of the music; be it
in the rhythm, be it in the use of synthesizers, or in the sequences. Everything is spaced out to the
maximum of ten: all in the red. There are 'only' six pieces, in forty six minutes, so pieces are between
six and ten minutes and even in their built up they can already be quite extreme, but once the
wagon is on the tracks, it rolls on, like mighty rusty walls making lots of noise. One could say the
ghost of Pan Sonic is ever present on these pieces, but Cluster Lizard surely adds something of
their own to the equation, and that is their use of synthesizers. They are large, they are fat and they
are synthesizer alike, unlike Pan Sonic more piercing sine wave approach. Also Cluster Lizard has
more room for composition, leaving breaks and changes within a piece, rather than a continuous
stomp for the entire duration of a song. As such they expand on the original Pan Sonic concept and
take it into the field of dance music, albeit quite an extreme form of dance music that is. Not for the
weak of heart, I'd say. (FdW)
––– Address: http://clusterlizard.com/



DROP THE BEAT (CD compilation by Degem)

Edition Degem is a German organisation for electro-acoustic music. They have courses, concerts
and releases, and these releases take the form of a compilation CD that is built around a theme
and for number sixteen that theme is rhythm; which of course you already guessed by looking at
the title. The website specifies that as "Which significance does rhythm have for us? Focus? Means
to an end? The main parameter or one parameter of many? How much time do we spend on
rhythmic organisation while composing? Is our music danceable? Which sounds do we use to
generate beats? How do our electronic “percussion instruments” sound? How is groove
generated? Does my computer groove? Can digital groove be distinguished from analogue
groove? What do our pulse grids look like? Music on the timing grid, microtiming, quantisation?"
It is not easy to create something with a coherent rhythm that people might want to dance too. I
remember one very serious Dutch composer trying his hands at it, but he created something with
lots of changes and was surprised that nobody danced. From the names on this Degem CD I
recognized Marc Behrens (see also last week) and Kai Niggemann, both not really known for their
dance music (in Behrens' case: not anymore; I do remember his Eyephone project from the 90s
where he explored dance music). I would think that the questions raised are answered by the
music. There is some Pan Sonic lookalike in the form of Stefan Schulzki, there are far out pieces
of many rhythms pulled together (Lina Posecnaite, Behrens), one beat stretched out by Jörg
Lindemaier, some try out straight forward beat by Jiayi Wu and something plain and simple silly by
Johannes Kreidler and stuff that I have no idea of why there were included such as Kirsten Reece's
piece, as it takes up a lot of time before doing something with rhythm. As always I have no idea who
the target audience is for compilations such as this, but there is surely something new and
interesting to discover here. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.degem.de



ERB & VATCHER – YELLOW LIFE (CD by Veto)

For many years Vatcher had his base in Amsterdam. After touring Europe with Available Jelly
around 1979 he decided to stay in Amsterdam. With his other companions, like Michael Moore,
who also settled in Amsterdam, they soon became important forces within the Dutch improvisation
scene. In 2017 he moved back to the US, and since I´m curious what he is doing now. The album
with Erb looked like a first sign. But, wait a minute, it was recorded in April 2016 in Lucerne.  So just
before he crossed the ocean. Erb practices bi-location. Playing on the European on the one hand,
and intensively already for many years now, with musicians from the Chicago-scene.  With ‘Yellow
Life’ we are in his hometown. Recorded live at Gelbes Haus (= Yellow House) in Lucerne. Erb
plays tenor and soprano sax. Vatcher drums. I’m not sure they played before together or if this is a
first meeting. The cd consists of four improvisations carrying strange names like ‘Carotin’, ‘Lutein’,
etc, all names of pigments. Their fresh dialogues are playful and subtle. From small gestures and
patterns they built intense conversations along the way. The emotional playing by Erb impresses,
using many techniques: phrasing, whistling, etc., in many different nuances. Likewise Vatcher has
a lot t offer and makes many different proposals and interventions. Great work! (DM)
––– Address: http://www.veto-records.ch/



DIKEMAN & HADOW & SERRIES & VERHOEVEN & VICENTE - IDEAL PRINCIPLE (CD by
  Raw Tonk)
WEBSTER & LISLE & WILLBERG - STATIC GARBLED DREAMS (CD by Raw Tonk)

Two releases by the London-based label Raw Tonk, specialized in free jazz, improvisation and
related. Run by saxophonist Colin Webster on his own, in order not to be dependent from labels
and their conditions. The label exists for about five years now and released over twenty CDs. Most
of them have Webster’s involvement as a musician. This is also the case for ‘Static Garbled
Dreams’, recorded in London at Soundsavers. It is a trio of Colin Webster (alto saxophone), with
two of his long-term collaborators Andrew Lisle (drums) and Otto Willberg (double bass) and it is a
very concentrated work of hot and expressive improvisations. Full of unpolished and extravert
energy. Willberg is new for me; I enjoyed his specific sound and technique.  Up till now I didn’t
know much of this scene. But it is absolutely a boiling one, as this trio work proves; very relevant.
This also is the case for ‘Ideal Principle’. This one is by the quintet of John Dikeman (tenor & alto
saxophone), George Hadow (drums), Dirk Serries (electric guitar), Martina Verhoeven (double
bass) and Luis Vicente (trumpet). Recordings took place in an Antwerp studio February 20th 2016.
They recorded five exploring and inventive group improvisations. Abstract and experimental on the
one hand, but also very communicative and dynamic. Open free from exercises by excellent
musicians, who with all individual potentials and manners know how to construct one focused
story. Passionate improvisations with no weak spot. (DM)
––– Address: https://rawtonkrecords.bandcamp.com/



TAKUMI SEINO - PATH OF JUNE (CD by Voice of Silence)

Here is a new work by Japanese guitarist Takumi Seino, who graduated from the Berkley College
of Music in 1996. Over the years – since 2006 - we reviewed many of his releases. All of them came
with the recognizable graphic style of his Voice of Silence label. Most of them are solo works, but
also duo recordings with Anthoine Berthiaume and Hugues Vincent. The one with Vincent called
‘Last Tree’ was his latest. Later I read about the drama behind the title ‘Last Tree’. His father’s
house was wiped away by the tsunami near Fukushima, situated within the radioactive zone. Only
a tree in the backyard reminds of former times…. No idea what is the story behind the latest title:
‘Path of June’ as the included information is sparse. It is a solo album of Seino playing nylon strings
acoustic guitar. He condensed his ideas in seventeen short pointed improvisations. Very mature
and rich music from a very capable player. His music moves somewhere between jazz and classical
chamber music. Except for the last track everything is improvised and played as heard, which
makes this release even more impressive. Recorded live at Big Apple, a jazz club in Kobe, Japan,
where he recorded much of his earlier work. The concluding track, also the title track, was
composed. Another fine statement by a musician who consequently follows his own path. Great
work! (DM)



MAJA BUGGE – NO EXIT (CD by Discus Music)

Bugge comes from the northern part of Norway. Nowadays she is based in Lancaster (UK) where
she works and lives as a cellist and composer. As a cello teacher she loves to work with children.
As a performer a debuted on CD in 2012 with the album ‘Shelter’, released by Euredice. Recorded
in an out of use oil tank. As she likes to work with the characteristics of exceptional spaces. As is
the case for her new album ‘No Exit’. Recorded by Hervé Perez inside the Standedge tunnel of 3 ¼
mile length. “She is also using the history of the site as an inspiration echoing the rhythmical
patterns of feet moving the boats through tunnels in the 19th century and the sound of stones being
carved out of the ground 200 years ago.”  The CD consists of four pieces of music that are mainly
improvised and came into being in contact and response to the specific conditions of this space.
With percussive effects, slapping the cello, sliding fingers over its surface, etc. she evokes this site.
This results in improvisations that are of a meditative and reflective nature. One can easily follow
all movements and gestures she makes during her playing that has a central role for melodic
elements. Neither complexity nor virtuosity is her thing. The use of extended techniques is limited.
But her music is very inspired and it works. It really tells you a story. Nice work. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.discus-music.co.uk/



REMNANTS - MARRED BY TIME (LP by Crisis Of Taste)

The previous occasion the name Remnants popped in these pages is a long time ago (Vital Weekly
878) in a review that I didn't write. So 'Marred By Time' is my first encounter with the music of Ryan
Marino, who so far has released only cassettes (twelve of them) and a lathe cut 7", for labels like
imminent Frequencies, Irrational Tentent, Ayurvedic Tapes and Tailings, all of which are unknown
names for me (which proof we hardly scratch the surface with our reviewing business). According
to the cover Remnants uses sounds "created with cassette tape loops (radio, tape hiss, vinyl surface
noise, synth, piano, voice, field recordings) and it results in six pieces of music that I would think is
very much something that fits what's going on these days. It seems to be ticking all the right boxes;
it is lo-fi, hissy, atmospherically, drone based, with a touch of melancholy in those far away piano
tones and sometimes a bit noisy, with mildly distorted tones of sounds captured on really bad (and
bad equals good in these circumstances) magnetically worn out tapes. Say something that Jason
Lescalleet also does, even when Remnants doesn't reach for the highest noise shelf, which
Lescalleet is never afraid of. It is far away from the laptop posse or the modular synth lot and
perhaps a bit closer to the cassette music of Howard Stelzer (see elsewhere), but without the
same density or noise the latter has. It is a bit hissy at times, a bit of noise at other selected
occasions and a bit of ambient in a third place. Could we call this mood music for a society in
decay perhaps? Or perhaps I am reading too much into titles like 'Hostile Terrain', 'The
Vanishing' (assuming it's not about the so-so US remake of a famous Dutch movie?), 'Demon' or
'Abrasive Path'? There is also, let's be complete, 'Veil Of Light' and 'Abstract No. 3', which isn't
pointing at anything I should think. I am sucker for this kind of music and while Remnants isn't
perhaps the most original voice in this kind of music, and maybe in bit of a search for something
of his voice in this field, the material on this record is most promising and certainly onwards to
newer work and more development. Of course the cover is lovely black and white; just as such
music requires these days. (FdW)
––– Address: http://tasteofcrisis.blogspot.com/



MODELBAU - A HUNDRED YARDS (CDR by Econore)
MODELBAU - OFFEN (cassette by Barreuh)

It could be that Frans de Waard makes and releases so much music that it’s hard for new listeners
to know where to dive in. If you’re not sure what in his vast catalogue to hear first, start with “Offen”,
which is a goddamned stunner. The four pieces on this cassette play up Frans’ subtler and melodic
sides… obtuse, skeletal melodies bubble below skittering circuits and warmly static feedback howl.
The first and last tracks, “Open Out” and “Open Air”, are particularly accessible… the music’s careful
restraint fosters a hushed atmosphere, ideal for late-night or early-morning ethereal moods.
    On the CD “A Hundred Yards”, de Waard stretches out for six 10-minute slices of sparse,
desolate thrum that occasionally recalls Maurizio Bianchi’s mid-1980’s dirges. Each track sets a
few small events in motion, then sits back and lets them interact, slowly. Some terrific moments
occur when tape distortion threatens to break the music from within, as happens on the first and
second tracks… the strain of the medium adds a physical tension to the otherwise somniferous
tone-blanket. On the second piece, the density gives way to what seems to be an outdoor urban
environment without people (though it could also be shortwave radio… the effect is so nice, I don’t
need to know how it was achieved). In contrast to the closed sound of a studio environment, the
piece’s electro-acoustic rustling and cassette gloop merge with deep-breathing acoustic and
distant micro-events, sparingly prodded with low-level analogue interruptions. By the fourth and
fifth tracks, the ghost of Frans’ Quest project peeks in, as some round synth throb provides
grounded ambience to the grey tape decay at the music’s edges. The pace is glacial throughout,
the atmosphere sombre and chilly. The CD comes with an additional 3”CDr that features a more
rhythmic "remix" of the first two tracks by Ramco B. It’s nice, but quite a different tone from the
album proper. (HS)
––– Address: https://barreuhrecords.bandcamp.com
––– Address: https://econore.bandcamp.com



CLINTON GREEN - THYLACINE (CDR by Shame File Music)

Regularly we receive work by Australia’s Clinton Green, who says of his work that he "makes
something akin to music". He’s been active in the world of experimental music as an artist,
curator, facilitator, writer and researcher. These days he creates installation pieces in which
turntables are used to play sculptures; a more or less randomized percussion orchestra.
Sometimes these pieces are in site-specific surroundings such as here. These recordings were
made in October 2017 at the Cradle Mountain National park and Cradle Mountain Wildernes
Gallery. I would think that the two tracks of outdoor recordings bookend this release and that in
between we have two pieces from the gallery space. Like before there is a fine aleatory aspect to
the music, almost like wind chimes calmly floating in air. Not wild, not chaotic, just a mild breeze.
In 'turntable At Dawn, Cradle Mountain', there is metallic rusting, a bit of wood and the occasional
birdcall. A very tranquil piece, just like 'Lament With Frogs' at the end of the disc, which seems
more like a bunch of frog recording that anything else. Here too there is a fine quiet approach to
the music, except there is no random percussion element to it. In the two 'indoor' pieces this
element of percussion is crisp and clear and it comes without any additional sound. It may be not
as quiet and tranquil but now the minimalist end of the music shines through much clearer. The
development in these pieces is rather slow, which works much better on a sort of meditation level
I think. Well, I suppose the quiet end those that very same trick. This is a very fine release,
showcasing what Green does with his kinetic constructions, both out and about and inside the
house. Quite different approaches at that and that is great. (FdW)
––– Address: http://shamefilemusic.com



UPD COMPILATION 2018 “SONIC RESONANCE“ (CDR compilation by UPD Organization)

I remember first encountering Ichiro Tsuji’s UPD Organization label back in 1991 or 1992 when I
picked up a couple of its first releases, both of them compilation CDs: “Constructive Music 1990”
and “Altered States of Consciousness”. I probably selected them at random on one of my throw-
money-at-RRRon-Lessard-for-stuff-I-haven’t-heard-of-and-see-what-I-get-back-in-the-mail grab-
bag mail orders that I used to do with alarming frequency when I was a kid in high school. Those
comps were great for a couple of reasons. First, Ichiro selected longer tracks by a smaller number
of artists for his comps, so that a noob like me could get a good sense of what each artist sounded
like (as opposed to lots of short tracks by lots of bands). And second, the music itself was diverse
and well curated. I can say the same thing for this new compilation, available now as a CDR
directly from the label and as a download from Nihilist Recordings’ Bandcamp page. There are
only five pieces here, and surely if someone were to be diving into noise today, “Sonic
Resonance” would be as fine a place to begin in 2018 as “Altered States…” was in 1991.
    Ichiro puts his own song (as Dissecting Table) first, with a 14-minute synth workout called
“Unknown Factor”. Squiggle and squawk in perpetual motion, cleanly recorded at a constant
volume/density, but cycling and pulsing without pause. There’s some nice separation across the
stereo field, so it’s fun to listen to on headphones, and not nearly as abrasive as DT’s better-known
industrial noise and death-metal-adjacent work. Sucking all the oxygen out of that sugar rush is
Maurizio Bianchi’s dour “Odissonom”, a nearly 10-minute no-fidelity trawl across the bottom of a
polluted lake full of tape hiss and garbage. It’s single-minded and depressing. There you go. The
middle slot goes to the one name on this comp that I didn’t recognize: someone called Syncope,
whose track is appropriately titled “United Shitstorm”. Way to give away the game, pal. An
awkward mix of downer ambient tones cut with randomly-placed percussion whacks and
crumpling temper tantrums. The elements and composition are so disparate and haphazard that
even though it’s the shortest track on here, it feels long. It sounds less like a single thought than
randomly-layered improvisations, with unrelated elements falling wherever. Andy Ortmann follows
with another contrast, the extremely focused “Botched Consciousness Upload No. 1”, a well-
crafted and gripping musique-concrete-lineage (does it begin with a door and a sigh? maybe!)
audio drama that’s easily the best thing on this album. Not a moment is wasted here; Ortmann
builds such affecting atmospheres with the most subtle of gestures… a wavering pitch ramps up
steadily with an undercurrent of metal being dragged across a surface (and across the stereo field)
… each sonic component is so attended-to that one can almost feel its physical presence. There’s
a pregnant tension that makes it seem as if some major rupture is about to explode at any moment.
The album ends with The New Blockaders, who give the fans what they want: a cyclic barrage of
metal furniture being thrown around a garage. No surprises, of course, but then no one listens to
TNB to get a surprise. (HS)
––– Address: http://updstore.cart.fc2.com/   https://nihilistrecordings.bandcamp.com



ORPHAX - DREAM SEQUENCE #5 (3"CDR, private)

Luckily the days of train commuting are long behind me. When I did the train ride Nijmegen to work
on a daily basis it was before mp3 players and phones, so I travelled with a walkman and later a
discman. While I worked for a company dealing in weird music I would usually play pop music on
the train. I guess it had something to do with subtle frequencies getting lost on the crowded train
and cheap headphones. Still the idea of having music especially for traveling is an idea I am still
very much interested in, even when these days its a bike ride. The fifth instalment of 'Dream
Sequence' by Orphax contains music he was asked to create so that participants in a project by
Justina Nekrašaitė could hear while traveling by train from Amsterdam to Maastricht. Well, part of
it. Orphax' piece is about nineteen minutes; the train journey lasts roughly two and half-hours.
Sietse van Erve, Orphax' main man, says that "often when I am travelling in the train I listen to
dreamy ambient music and while doing so I stare at the passing landscape and slowly start to
day dream"; maybe he has better headphones than I had in my days, but I can see why he likes
ambient music. On a nice sunny day, going through the low lands that is the lowlands you can
stare the landscape and dream away. You'll also pass some ugly industrial sites (near Utrecht),
but for the most part I would think you see the fields and canals that this beautiful little country is
known for (you may even see a windmill). The music, I'd say, is not really a reflecting of the
landscape; you could as easily hear this on a plane or a boat. While you may easily think that
Orphax equals drone music, there are throughout his many releases quite a bit of variation to be
spotted. This new one for instance isn't the straight forward drone piece, but sees Orphax tapping
out a slightly more cosmic inspired barrel, moving gentle around with sparse tones and a slightly
sombre undercurrent; it moves around quite a bit, for what Orphax usually does, and it's eerie and
beautiful, with a rather nice flow to it. Slow but moving forward; just like the landscape you pass
through when on a train and as such I'd say this is the perfect piece of music for a little bit such a
ride. Of course, an USB drive with something that would cover the entire journey would be
something to look forward to. Maybe for '#6'? (FdW)
––– Address: https://orphax.bandcamp.com/




MÖRKERSEENDE - BARRIÄR (cassette, private)

From Sweden we see the return of Mörkerseende, of whom their (?) self-titled debut was reviewed
in Vital Weekly 1054 by Jliat. This is one of those many mysterious projects from the world of power
electronics, which simply refuse to hand out any information. What do we read this time? "Barriär is
the manifestation of a depressive episode: the cycle of thoughts that show no remorse or any
indication of stopping. Ruthlessly destroying whatever is left of your self. This is MÖRKERSEENDE's
first full-length album since the self-titled debut EP two years ago. Six tracks of heavy drones and
unforgiving noise." No band members, instruments, recording dates or such trivia are wasted on the
listener. It is what it is, as promised on their Bandcamp page, six pieces of noise. Not the kind that is
one wall of sound, but one that is loud, surely, with piercing feedback tones, but one that is also
detailed. The bottom end is massive but so is the high end, with feedback and synthesizers almost
stuck in a single sound, but there is still life in those rusty knobs, so minor changes are allowed.
There might be loops, there might processed radio sounds, something of a rhythm in 'Avstand' and
then just as well a bunch of synths and nothing much else; hell, one is enough. Mökerseende offers
with in the limitations the equipment has, and within the boundaries he/she/they have for
themselves as a 'genre' actually quite a bit of variation. Perhaps this was all part of the therapy?
It worked out rather well I think. (FdW)
––– Address: https://morker.bandcamp.com



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