number 1171
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week 8
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S.E.T.I. - SLEEP ENVIRONMENTS FOR INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL (8CD by Loki Found) *
MERZOUGA - DE RERUM NATURA/DANCE OF THE ELEMENTS (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
THE SENSORY ILLUSIONS (CD by Karaoke Kalk) *
SAMUEL ANDREYEV - THE TUBULAR WEST (CD by Torpor Virgil Records) *
TIM OLIVE & YAN JUN - BROTHER OF DIVINITY (CD by 845 Audio) *
CAL LYALL & TIM OLIVE - LOWERING (CD by 845 Audio) *
YAN JUN (CD by Firework Edition Records) *
TETUZI AKIYAMA - MISREPRESENTING MEMORY (CD by Ftarri) *
MASAHI TAKASHIMA & MADOKA KOUNO & MASAHIDE TOKUNAGA & YUMA TAKESHITA -
  HUBBLE DEEP FIELDS (CD by Ftarri) *
YASUMUNE MORISHIGE & YOKO IKEDA & TAKASHI MASUBUCHI - SHADE (CD Ftarri) *
BLOD & MILJÖ (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)
ARMPIT (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)
THE STATIC MEMORIES - PUDDLING (CDR by Linear Obsessional) *
MICHAEL BENTLEY - ARCHAI (CDR by The Foundry) *
DISSECTING TABLE - SHATTERED ILLUSION (CDR/DVDR by Ultimate Psychological
  Description Organization) *
JOEL DANIELSSON - IRR.LICHT (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
STEFAN CHRISTOFF & JOSEPH SANNICANDRO - TEMPS DE TRAVAIL, SYNCOPE (cassette
  by Moon Villain) *
FREE PERCUSSION (cassette compilation by Tsss Tapes)
THE FIELD OUT THERE (cassette compilation by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
KANTOOR (cassette compilation by Staaltape Berlin/Petrichor)



S.E.T.I. - SLEEP ENVIRONMENTS FOR INTERPLANETARY TRAVEL (8CD by Loki Found)

Some time ago a good friend of mine already recommended hearing the new S.E.T.I. box, but he is
biased as one of the pieces carries his name. A total of 8 CDs is quite a project, so I hadn't delved
in straight away but now I have. One of the things that I very much enjoyed what Andrew Lagowski,
the man behind S.E.T.I., says on the cover: "I don't have a studio in the traditional sense; full of
keyboards, rack synthesizers and weird boxes. It's tiny synthesizers, a portable digital recorder and
a couple of desktop effects, coupled with software devices and an Apple-based DAW. No Eurorack
modules insight", which sounds right up my alley; not going with the consensus of using modular
synthesizers but use what feels comfortable and/or workable. The eight hours of this was recorded
between 2014 and 2018 and over time bits of that studio changed, but the thread that runs through
all of these is that pieces are intended as "a kind of sleep timeline". I wrote this before but I am not
a fan of sleep music; as a part-time insomniac I have a hard time finding sleep and I would think
music would keep me awake. I am sure other people would think differently about that and they
love to have some music going to sleep. You can buy fine apps for your phone with bell chimes or
rain sounds, but music, I would think, is much better; there is something to enjoy while being
awake too!
    For me, the best listening experience when it comes to ambient music is early morning. Right
after I wake up, made coffee it is time to hear some music and ambient music is for me the best to
start the day. Be it an older Pete Namlook CD, Stephan Mathieu, Basinski or such like, that is
always a fine soundtrack to start the day. Surely there are people who have the same experience
with Merzbow. Listening to the eight discs in this box (not in a single day!) made me realize I could
easily add this to my collection of soundtracks to wake up by. The music is quite dark but also quite
soft in volume. I am sure that is done for the benefit of the sleeper, but the more awake listener must
turn it all up a bit. That's fine, as it also leaves something to adjust in the higher or lower frequency
range, should this be something the listener wants. Throughout the music is of course all about all
sustaining notes, passing by like slow-moving clouds in the sky and perhaps some of these pieces
sound alike, but there is enough variation in here to enjoy the whole thing. Rhythm, for instance, is
something you may the name Lagowski for, although not always when working as S.E.T.I. but here
too he uses off and one small, repeated particles that one could call 'rhythm'. It is in a very
supportive role here, guiding those long sounds like floodlights through the sky.
    Recently I was asked, privately, to look into some of Brian Eno generative music apps, which
was interesting (why is the piano a dominant sound in all of them is a question that came to mind),
and now that I am playing these eight CDs I was thinking that S.E.T.I. would be the kind of musical
project that could also create his generative music app. Don't know how but something that allows
the listener to play various of S.E.T.I.'s trademark ambient sound in ever-changing configurations
would certainly be a most appealing thing. For one, the sleeper would not have to wake up every
hour and stick the next CD on. Did it occur to me that maybe S.E.T.I. is not interested in generative
music but rather fixed compositions? I am not sure, but I could imagine this being an interesting
extension to his well-known ambient composing, and probably that would be put to good use
while sleeping.
    I have been playing this box for the good part of every spare moment in the last week, reading,
doing dishes, vacuum cleaning, working, updating social media, drinking coffee, just not sleeping,
but I found much pleasure in having this as a background score. S.E.T.I.'s sounds and music are
ever changing and a pleasure to hear. Perhaps not always on the brink of sonic discovery, this
eight-hour work shows us some of the depth his work has. (FdW)
––– Address: http://wp.loki-found.de/



MERZOUGA - DE RERUM NATURA/DANCE OF THE ELEMENTS (CD by Gruenrekorder)

This is already the fourth release by Merzouga (Vital Weekly 812, 912 and 922), the duo of Eva
Pöpplein (computer) and Janko Hanushevsky (prepared bass guitar) and the third one for
Gruenrekorder. They are a duo of improvising with electronics and so far I wasn't blown away by
their music, even when the last one seemed to be the best of the lot. Here they take a poem by
Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius as their starting point. In this poem, he presents "an entire
cosmology: based on the principles of atomism {...} explains the nature of the mind and sound and
the development of the world. While everything in the universe is finite, the atoms themselves are
eternal - they collide again in order to create new forms. Life is a beautiful chance-driven Dance of
the Elements". The poem is recited (perhaps partly?), and set to the music of sounds, instruments
and processes. This is done in an intelligent and serious manner, civilized is probably a term
covering it. They neatly explore everything that is at their disposal, not just what is in front of them,
but also they keep in mind all the various ways using these sounds and technologies when
working out how to use this in the thirty-eight-minute piece. Sometimes it goes all the way down
and becomes very quiet, which sits fine with the occasional louder bits in which field recordings,
hiss, bass plucking and perhaps just downright noise becomes a much louder counter setting. It
moves back and forth, just like it would do with the changing of seasons, even if I don't know if
that is a source of interest here at all. Acoustic sounds are bent and shaped with computer
technology, while at the same time the bass is playing in all sorts of irregular manners; it can as
easily move into something that is just a straightforward bass sound or a seemingly a mere synth
sound. Throughout we hear the bits and pieces of the poem, but it never stands in the way of the
music; it is never too much about the recited the text, but rather fitting the music quite nicely.
Throughout I thought all of this was most enjoyable; perhaps another one up, one better as
before. That's the way to go! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de



THE SENSORY ILLUSIONS (CD by Karaoke Kalk)

The Sensory Illusions is a duo of Scottish composer and multi-instrumentalist Bill Wells and tuba
player Danielle Price, Price studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is active in many
musical directions: street theatre, Pure Bass Quintet, playing with the Royal Scottish National
Orchestra and with The New Orleans jazz ensemble The Copper Cats. In 2015 she worked with
Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat for the ‘The Most Important Place in the World’-album. Last year she
was one of the initiators of the Viaduct Tuba Trio, that also concentrates on performing work by
Wells. Wells is a self-taught Scottish bassist, guitarist and composer who worked with many
Scottish indie pop and rock musicians since the late 80s. But also in the contexts of jazz,
improvisation and experimental music. In the case of this duo effort, the term ‘pop’ is maybe the
best fitting. Wells composed a bunch of very idiomatic compositions, touching on genres like jazz,
pop, tango, folk, bossa nova, etc. Very charming melody-dominated material, reminding me of the
49 Americans. Of interest above all because of the role of the tuba. Price’s shows very capable of
finding her way on the tuba within very different musical genres. Sometimes concentrating on
melody, sometimes on rhythm. Very enjoyable street-corner music! (DM)
––– Address: https://karaokekalk.de/



SAMUEL ANDREYEV - THE TUBULAR WEST (CD by Torpor Virgil Records)
 
Several new releases we use to discuss here have sometimes been recorded years earlier. This
is also the case for this one. This one came into being during 2011-2012  But not only that, but it
has also been released at that time. So we are not speaking of a recent release either. But it is
absolutely a very remarkable one that has been unnoticed at that time and has now been
distributed by Jvtland Records. Andreyev is a Canadian composer and musician, living and
working in France where he studied for example at IRCAM. Nowadays he works as a Professor
of Musical Analysis at the Conservatoire de Cambrai (France). He gives lectures and master
classes throughout Europe.  He composed for orchestra, chamber music, electro-acoustic as well
as vocal music. Besides he has a strong interest in pop music. He released two ‘pop’-albums:
‘Swollows’ (2000) and ‘Songs from Elsewhere’ (2002), both released on the Torpor Vigil label.
After many years, ´Tubular West´ is the next chapter in this series, offering a very unusual and
original meeting of modern contemporary and pop standards. “In it, Andreyev hollows out the
usual narrative-sentimental content of a popular song, leaving only the stylistic contours—and
then fills it with abstract, non-linear lyrics, extremely unusual orchestrations and playing
techniques, and the composer’s own distinctive singing voice.” Everything is composed, arranged
and produced by Samuel Andreyev. And also performed by Andreyev with the assistance of
Ayako Okubo, Olivier Maurel and Léo Maurel with Chris Swithinbank, Winnie Huang, Joshua
Hyde, Andrea Agostini and Nicolas Dufournet. Recorded at Melodium Studio, Montreuil, France
during 2011−2012. A wide range of instruments – acoustic and electronic - is used in very
diverse arrangements. This intelligent music is completely out of step. Compared to developments
in modern composed music, and also compared to contemporary popular music it is literally an
eccentric and idiosyncratic work. At first listening, I had to think of the early work of Van Dyke
Parks (‘Song Cycle’). Equally dislocated in time and space. He doesn’t move away from the song
format that far. His songs remain accessible and enjoyable, but they are filled to the max with
unusual orchestrations, arrangements, twists, and other ingredients. A very curious and unique
collection of songs from a very original musical mind. A must! (DM)
––– Address: http://www.torporvigil.com/



TIM OLIVE & YAN JUN - BROTHER OF DIVINITY (CD by 845 Audio)
CAL LYALL & TIM OLIVE - LOWERING (CD by 845 Audio)

Over the years Tim Olive has proven to be someone who loves to hook up with musicians all over
the globe, in person, and record together for a couple of hours and when he gets home, he sits
down with all of these recordings and starts cutting, erasing and pasting the audio files, effectively
treating the original recordings as building blocks for new works. None of his CDs tends to be very
long, but they are usually filled with quite a sonic richness. First up is a twenty-eight-minute work,
which was recorded in October 2017 in Kobe by Olive on magnetic pickups and electronics and
Yan Jun on electronics. The latter is a musician known for his radical living room concerts,
involving feedback. Whatever his electronics are here, I don't know. One of the musicians must
have brought a radio to the recordings (at home? in concert? I am not sure) as from time to time
we hear a bit of that. I expected, wrongly no doubt, something very loud, which this is not, but still,
it is very much about the sonic extremes that both gentlemen do. Lots of hiss, crackles, bursts,
high-frequency feedback and other unwanted sounds that every sane person would jump to the
volume control for, but not this person. I enjoy this sort of unwanted audio very much. I turn up the
volume quite a bit and detect some more details available in the music, which you may lose out
on. An excellent release that every time I play seems to sound different.
    I don't think I heard the music of Cal Lyall before, who plays here hydrophones and electronics.
The recordings were already made in 2012 and on YouTube, you can find a clip of Lyall and Olive
playing together, which, so I believe, might be one of the sources for this release. To the untrained
ear, this could sound like the same stuff as Olive and Jun, but there are quite some differences.
Where Olive and Jun go for a scratchy sound, full of cuts and chops, sounds falling in and out,
Lyall and Olive go for a more continuous sound approach. They pick up a few elements and then
start to repeat that. It is, however, not looped with devices, but the repetitions come from repeating
the action by hand. Because of the nature of the objects they use, rusty and all, they scan the
irregularities of the surface and amplify that. I believe there are five or six different sections here
to be distinguished, each with its own character. Sometimes this character comes from the
additional use of feedback or reverb, but essentially they are about or a slightly more or less
coherent exploration of objects and materials. I am not always sure what the hydrophone does,
but maybe some of the more sub-aquatic sounds are from that? Not sure, but this duo to has a
whole world to explore by the listener. I can imagine someone thinking that the Yun/Olive axis is
a bit too radical, a bit too much cut-up and scratching, but should he or she be interested in a
more drone-like approach to sound art then this surely has some more captivating approaches
for that listener. Especially the last six minutes are massive drones and single sounds bubbling
under. This too is a fascinating sonic experience, even when it is a bit shorter (twenty-seven
minutes in total) (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.845audio.org



YAN JUN (CD by Firework Edition Records)

Having just discussed the work of Yan Jun playing in collaboration with Tim Olive, two days later I
receive a work from him released by Firework, all by himself. To quote the text on the cover: "this is
a work with no title. i.e. it’s not a work entitled “untitled” but a work stands on its own. once Marcel
Duchamp said title is invisible colour. for me be with no title is using invisible canvas. of course
you are free to point it by any name or pronoun, anyway. i assume there is a body that concept
could returns to. where language speaks itself”. (He’s not a man to use capitals it seems) The
music (fifty-four minutes) is one piece and besides that, it was "conceived and realized in winter
2016" there is no additional information. I checked the volume setting before hitting play,
expecting some feedback, line hum, static crackles and noise but quickly had to turn up the
volume quite a bit to gather what was going on here. Just what that is I am still not sure of. At first
it sounded like someone being asleep (not unlike label boss Leif Elggren as already demonstrated
on a previous release), recorded from very close up the mouth/nose area, but then slowly the
sound shifted towards what could very well the sound of the sea, or a drawer being pushed
across the floor, along with some odd short click like sound, like the slowed down ice cube in a
glass). At one point I started to believe it was very likely all of these sound elements played
together in a strange way that there is no overlap or repetition, but at the same time, it seems
that these sounds are pretty much the same, or maybe there are minor changes? That too was
something very hard to work out about this work. Should I not have to think about it, and simply
enjoying the music, which of course is the thing I should be doing, I thought this was a strong,
compelling and strange release. I very much enjoyed the way it sounded, in all its changing
minimalist conceptual approach. Every time I played I thought I heard something else, and every
time I thought I heard the same thing. That probably sounds odd, and it is. But then this is a very
odd release indeed. It is strange and great. Whatever it is about, or not. (FdW)
––– Address: http://web.comhem.se/elggren/fer/fer.html



TETUZI AKIYAMA - MISREPRESENTING MEMORY (CD by Ftarri)
MASAHI TAKASHIMA & MADOKA KOUNO & MASAHIDE TOKUNAGA & YUMA TAKESHITA -
  HUBBLE DEEP FIELDS (CD by Ftarri)
YASUMUNE MORISHIGE & YOKO IKEDA & TAKASHI MASUBUCHI - SHADE (CD Ftarri)

It has been quite a while since I last heard music from Tetuzi Akiyama, who usually did careful
explorations of the acoustic guitar. In December last year (and yes, that is one quick release), he
played at Apollo in Tokyo using electric guitar, tape echo, effects, contact microphones and
objects. I have no idea if Akiyama gradually changed his music over the years, or perhaps do this
for some time, or, the third option, this is a one-off thing. Surely this is an entirely different piece
from Akiyama that shows a noisy side of his that I didn't hear before. It is very much based on the
use of objects on strings, or below, between or whatever, feeding it through a bunch of pedals and
amplification. The first half of this thirty-one minute piece is all relatively modest in approach, with
tones being garbled up, but in the second half Akiyama goes all the way out with quite some
distortion on the strings and still with the same wrapped up sound, like it is recorded on some
dirty reel-to-reel effect for additional noise effect, which works surprisingly well if that is the
intended effect. A great release in all its effective thirty-one minutes.
    The Akiyama release is volume one of 'Ftarri Fukubukuro', and the second is a quartet recording
of August 19, 2018. It has Masashi Takashima (drums, G.I.T.M.), Madoka Kouno (tape recorders,
mixer, speakers), Masahide Tokunaga (alto saxophone) and Yuma Takeshita (electro-bass). I had
the word Fukubukuro translated and it says 'lucky bag', which I am not sure how that relates to the
music (if at all), but here too we are dealing with some radical music. One could say this goes for
all of the releases on Ftarri, but usually (not always) the radicalism is within the fact that the music
is quiet and controlled. But this quartet, like Akiyama, ventures out to the world of noise. There is
quite some use of feedback here, effectively from all players, I would think, due to the amplification
used on the instruments. It sounds at times like a bunch of no-input mixers in battle with the alto
saxophone producing radical sustaining tones and the cymbals being bowed. At other times there
are traces of rhythm, free jazz-inspired bass line, or the fact they all go in a silent modus. The four
pieces neatly bounce delicately over the improvised music spectrum, but with a refined sense of
radicalism in all four pieces.
    By comparison, the third one is the most regular release of this Ftarri lot. Here we have
Yasumune Morishige on cello, Yoko Ikeda on viola and Takashi Masubuchi on guitar, captured
at Ftarri on September 29, 2018. They played two sets (maybe more but only two are on this
release) of what I would think is fairly traditional modern classical music sounding music. There
isn't the careful approach that the label is known for, but also none of the sonic radicalism just
experienced. It is all very moderate and considerate improvised music of the kind that is not really
my cup of tea. It's good, solid, well played but also nothing that could really tickle my attention. I
might be having an off day or thoroughly satisfied with the previous two; I don't know. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.ftarri.com/



BLOD & MILJÖ (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)
ARMPIT (7" by I Dischi Del Barone)

From the ever so strange, sometimes, most of the times, the world of I Dischi del Barone, the
Swedish label entirely devoted to releasing 7"s only, two new releases. For the first, they stay
close to home with the pairing of Blod and Miljö, with a highly confusing 7". I have no idea what I
am playing here; it lasts about nine minutes and it sounds like they found a bunch of tapes on the
street, thrift stores and flea markets, which have been cut up into a random section and then stuck
on multi-track tape, and then blindly mixed together. Bits of voices, piano, electronics, acoustic
sounds, found sound, all effectively pushed away from something even remotely hi-fidelity and I
love it. It sounds like it is either covered with a lot of dust and dirt, dusted off but not in a very well,
and it sounds like it has been mastered from a Ferro cassette. Maybe it was! In a normal world,
nobody would even think to release this, let alone on a 7", by these Swedes proof you can. Quite
rightfully so. What did I just hear again? Let's play it again.
    By comparison, the 7" by New Zealand's Armpit is conventional. This is a trio of both CJA and
Jon Paul on guitar and Nodrog on drums, and in this line-up, they only played two concerts and
did some recordings. Those recordings, made in the back of a bookstore, have been forgotten
about for some twenty-five years and now found their way on this 7". The label says that this "falls
in somewhere in the middle between a more sluggish, wobbly Sun City Girls and a Les Rallises
Denudes played on 16rpm or something", which I am sure means something to more people but
not much to me. It is quite the ramshackle playing of guitar and drums, not very coherent, but like
the Blod & Miljö 7" there is a firm lo-fi attitude to the recording. Maybe with the Blod & Miljö, this is
a deliberate ploy and with Armpit the necessity to tape something for private reference and not
necessarily ready for release, but so it goes, I guess. Armpit is not entirely my cup of coffee, but I
can see why I Dischi Del Barone are keen to release. Sufficiently weird enough. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.iddb.se/



THE STATIC MEMORIES - PUDDLING (CDR by Linear Obsessional)

It's always nice to see a previous review quoted in the information of a new release, but seeing
my name spelt as Franz de Wald (also on the mailer, so there is no confusion) is a bit weird. Now
there is a new release by The Static Memories, following 'The Bloudy Vision Of John Farley' (Vital
Weekly 940), the duo of (carefully checking names here), Gus Garside on double bass and
electronics and Dan Powell on electronics. As with their previous release, this duo is on a course
to explore improvised music with an electro-acoustic approach, or vice versa. Both ends are well
represented. We hear the most improvising elements coming from the double bass, scratching,
ticking, bowing and whatever techniques Garside uses, and feeding that through the lines of
sound effects; maybe also loop devices? I am not sure there. It could very well be that Powell
picks up the bass sound and reworks that on the spot, or playing around with earlier recordings
of bass material. His electronics is a bit unclear to me; I am not sure if these are loop devices,
stomp boxes or laptop technology. Somehow I don't think the latter is the case here, but I am not
sure if that is really true. There are certain crude elements to the music implying stomp boxes or
devices of that kind. The music is carefully played, yet at the same time also it sounds quite rough
at the edges. Overall the release could have been benefitted from some proper mastering. Now it
is all on the softer side and that might be a deliberate thing, but someone with some mastering
skills could surely have brought out some more out of this, sound wise that is. The music is good
enough and deserves a good polish. Otherwise: a fine release. You may quote me on that,
providing... (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.linearobsessional.org



MICHAEL BENTLEY - ARCHAI (CDR by The Foundry)

It has certainly been quite a while since I last heard music by Michael Bentley. It could very well
be Vital Weekly 524. About ten years ago he stopped doing electronic music and continued with
Scottish traditional music, "playing live and recording Scottish Dance music", but following a move
and rebuilding his studio he stumbled on unused sound files and started a new with electronic
music. This became his new album 'Archai'. In the past, Bentley would describe his music as
'ambient' or 'drone' but following a conversation he had with Myles Boisen, he would rather refer
to his music as 'active listening', which means; 'listen closely to the many details in the music and
that will reward the attentive'. With ambient music, in the original Brian Eno sense, it was enjoyable
and ignorable, which I guess is a bit different then. I could easily think that for Eno's music too, one
could devote an active interest in the details, as well as one could take Bentley's music as it a very
elegant sonic backdrop to whatever one is doing. Whatever Bentley uses, sound source wise that
remains also after a couple of listening sessions a bit unclear. They could be, for all I know,
synthesizers, samplers, field recordings or laptop technology; most likely it is a combination of all
of this. The six lengthy excursions are quite nice. None of this sounds like easily or hastily made,
none of this borders on the clichés of new age music. There is, throughout, a dark and creepy
undercurrent in this music and Bentley stays away from overtly melodic touches and likes to keep
his music on a rather abstract level. It might be abstract but it is not alien or too strange or too dark
to be enjoyable for those who like their ambient music to be milder. Bentley sometimes leans
towards the light and sometimes to the dark and finds a great balance there. This is some fine,
solid ambient music if you are not afraid to call it like that and hopefully will prompt Michael
Bentley to do more. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.foundrysite.com/home/


 
DISSECTING TABLE - SHATTERED ILLUSION (CDR/DVDR by Ultimate Psychological
  Description Organization)
 
"Chance Of Meeting On A Dissecting Table" will if searched almost certainly bring up the debut
album by Nurse With Wound (Steven Stapleton),1979, the earliest mention of Ichiro Tsuji's work is
1986, (a single) and the project of his,  Dissecting Table, is dated at 1988. That Ichiro Tsuji
employed the name from Nurse With Wound, (or that the Chinese band ‘Torturing Nurse’ might
also allude to Stapleton) is not that particularly interesting. The precedent for Stapleton's name for
the first NWW release is I think more so. (here is a long linage I wish to explore, but in passing say
this is not unique, the 'project' of Masami Akita's Merzbow refers to Kurt Schwitters' Merzbau). It, the
use of the term, begins, I think if ever anything can, with a work (one of only two) by Isidore Lucien
Ducasse, under the name Comte de Lautréamont, who though dying of a mysterious disease at the
age of 24 during the Prussian siege of Paris has certainly had some influence. I cite:
 
"I am an expert at judging age from the physiognomic lines of the brow: he is sixteen years and
four months of age. He is as handsome as the retractility of the claws in birds of prey; or, again, as
the unpredictability of muscular movement in sores in the soft spot of the posterior cervical region;
or, rather, as the perpetual motion rat-trap which is always reset by the trapped animal and which
can go on catching rodents indefinitely and works even when it is hidden under straw; and, above
all, as the chance juxtaposition of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table!"
Comte de Lautréamont, The Songs of Maldoror, Canto VI, Verse 3.
 
(I paraphrase wiki as Vital is as yet I think not a respectable academic journal) In 1917, Philippe
Soupault (writer) discovered a copy of Les Chants de Maldoror in the mathematics section of a
small Parisian bookshop, he wrote "By the light of a candle that was permitted to me, I began
reading. It was like an enlightenment. In the morning I read the Chants again, convinced that I
had dreamed... The day after, André Breton came to visit me. I gave him the book and asked him
to read it. The following day he brought it back, enthusiastic as I had been." (We already see the
tremors of something quite remarkable) Due to this find, Lautréamont was introduced to the
Surrealists. Soon they called him their prophet. As one of the poètes maudits (accursed poets), he
was elevated to the Surrealist Panthéon beside Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, and
acknowledged as a direct precursor to Surrealism. André Gide regarded him as the most
significant figure, as the "gate-master of tomorrow's literature", meriting Breton and Soupault "to
have recognized and announced the literary and ultra-literary importance of the amazing
Lautréamont". Man Ray made L’Enigme d’Isidore Ducasse, 1920, remade 1972, consists of a
sewing machine, wrapped in a blanket and tied with string. In direct reference to Lautréamont's
"chance meeting on a dissection table", Max Ernst defined the structure of the surrealist painting
as, quote, "a linking of two realities that by all appearances have nothing to link them, in a setting
that by all appearances does not fit them." The artist Amedeo Modigliani always carried a copy of
the book with him and used to walk around Montparnasse quoting from it. Maldoror 'inspired' Fray
De Geetere, Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Jacques Houplain, Jindrich Štyrský, René Magritte, Georg
Baselitz and Victor Man, Max Ernst, Victor Brauner, Óscar Domínguez, André Masson, Joan Miró,
Aimé Césaire, Roberto Matta, Wolfgang Paalen, Kurt Seligmann and Yves Tanguy. Félix Vallotton
and Dalí made "imaginary" portraits of Lautréamont, since no photograph was then available. A
portion of Maldoror is recited toward the end of Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film Week End.
Situationist founder Guy Debord developed a section from Poésies II as thesis 207 in The Society
of the Spectacle. The thesis covers plagiarism as a necessity and how it is implied by progress.
Situationist Raoul Vaneigem in the Introduction to The Revolution of Everyday Life states "For as
long as there have been men — and men who read Lautréamont — everything has been said and
few people have gained anything from it." Jean Paulhan and Henri Michaux have both counted
Lautréamont as an influence on their work. Kenneth Anger claimed to have tried to make a film
based on Maldoror and in recent years, invoking an obscure clause in the French civil code,
Article 171, modern performance artist Shishaldin petitioned the government for permission to
marry the author posthumously. John Ashbery, an American poet influenced by surrealism, entitled
his 1992 collection Hotel Lautréamont, and he notes that Lautréamont is "one of the forgotten
presences alive" in the book. Lautréamont and his Chants de Maldoror are briefly mentioned in Jô
Soares' 1995 novel O Xangô de Baker Street. Isidore Ducasse is the given name of the fashion
creator in William Klein's 1966 movie Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?. Lautréamont, as an unnamed
"South American", appears as a character in Julio Cortázar's short story "The Other Heaven", which
also uses quotations from Maldoror as epigraphs. And almost certainly not finally Gilles Deleuze
and Félix Guattari cited Lautréamont twice over the course of their joint two-volume work,
Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Dissecting Table - Shattered Illusion sits within this 'constellation'. 
    The CD / DVD is packaged in those thin plastic DVD cases with a lurid abstraction of colours
with very little information. Given the pedigree above it could have come placed between two slabs
of concrete, or pigs liver, in a hollowed out bible or pornographic magazine, as this is not the case
the cheap plastic and garish artwork is just as good or, or just as bad. The music is both charming,
amusing and spectacular. One might imagine AI insects, playing gongs and using Morse code in
some pre-mating dances pictured by Paul Klee. A good deal of looping, and at times vexed
outbreaks of one of the creatures. Perhaps at times the creatures try to imitate chickens, (obvious
Merzbow reference) but they are not that good. Occasionally another little angry solo appears,
clucking and wobbling, only to recede into the 'normal' background of gonging, clucking and
coding, or a little loop breaks out, and then some chirping. The second track sees the creatures in
some jam session trying to play some music and attempting to imitate a trumpet? but not getting
very far with either. (The first track was 'Corrosive Nature', this one is 'Believe In Souls') A kind of
AI insect catatonic Rumba. A very strange kind. The third track, 'Secondary Decay', could be
described as being the self same creatures being more 'romantic' or 'poetic'. Though at times one
is not quite sure if the CD is skipping, or that these naughty creatures are having fun. The last
track, 'Noise Poisoning' sees the creatures in their most excited state, rapidly chattering and
dancing jigs...
    The Video opens with the caption “Corrosive Nature” and shows what appears to be an
empty lecture hall save for a figure sitting on the floor back to the viewer and unmoving, bottom
right,(Ichiro Tsuji?)  in front of whom are 8 or 9 boxes which are I suppose electronics producing
the sound via four speakers. Behind these is a large video screen with a fairly unrecognisable
image which occasional changes. At around five minutes the figure moves out of shot to reveal a
lap top which is showing the same image as the large screen. The sounds resemble those on the
audio CD but are no where as clear or defined. Ichiro Tsuji? reappears to take up his seated
position, it's not apparent that he is actually controlling either the audio or video as he appears
very still sitting with his back to the viewer. The caption “Believe in Souls” appears. I'm guessing
then that this is in effect a 'live' version of the audio CD. At some point the seated figure stands for
awhile before moving out of shot, only latter to resume his seated position. The caption “Secondary
Decay” appears. There is an obvious edit at the end of Secondary Decay where the sound stops
and then the caption “Noise Poisoning” appears, and suddenly the seated figure. Again at some
point the figure moves out of shot, to reappear standing. As the figure is never seen alerting any
of the devices, and is at times not present, the changing sounds and images one assumes is
automated.  Due to the lighting, the brightness of the video display is such that no definite images
can be resolved, just a changing light blue grey and white. Here at one point the figure reappears
in profile and does what looks like looking down to observe something out of sight at the bottom of
the picture frame, only to resume his sitting on the floor, back to the viewer.  There is some
movement of the figure which might indicate some interaction but this can no way be certain. The
piece finishes with a caption giving the date of the recording. Recorded on August 4, 2018 at
Sakurapia  rehearsal room. The Audio (from the case) Recorded at UPD studio in July 2018. It
might be objected that my long introduction was pointless, and that  Ichiro Tsuji's name 'Dissecting
Table' has nothing to do with any of what I wrote. Such a pedantic argument given the planktonic
singing of the aubergines makes the remark plasterscene. (jliat & The cuttlefish)
––– Address: http://www002.upp.so-net.ne.jp/upd/



JOEL DANIELSSON - IRR.LICHT (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)

It is not easy not to think of the Klaus Schulze record of the same name, even when it is spelt a bit
differently. I cannot see a connection, but perhaps that is because I don't know much (nay,
anything!) about Joel Danielsson. The Bandcamp page from Audio Visuals Atmosphere doesn't
provide us with any information, except that Stephan Mathieu mastered this tape. The cover is a
neat black on a very dark stock, which adds to the darkness of the music. I would think that Joel
Danielsson is a man of computer technology and he uses field recordings on a meltdown to eight
relatively short pieces of dark ambient music. Of course, I might be wrong and it's all taking place
in the world of modular electronics? In the last (and longest) piece, 'Unknown, Illuminated', we hear
water sounds and an aeroplane. In other pieces, this seems less obvious and it is a bit harder to
guess what it is that he uses. In the three parts of 'Caesura', feedback plays an important role,
along with some very deep end bass rumble. Throughout this is very dark music, with a great
sense of dynamics. You could wonder if the cassette is the best medium for this, but in the
download, you will find this to be 96-bit versions, so there is always a possibility to play those if
the full picture is required; or if over there the sound is too radical you could go back to the
cassette. This is all most enjoyable music; perhaps a bit short at times as I felt some of these
could easily have been a bit longer, playing out the ambient cart of the words 'dark ambient'.
Now, these are concise, minimalist etudes with a fine science fiction character of dystopian
calibre. Maybe nothing you haven't heard before, but who cares if it's pretty damn good? (FdW)
––– Address: https://audiovisualsatmosphere.bandcamp.com/



STEFAN CHRISTOFF & JOSEPH SANNICANDRO - TEMPS DE TRAVAIL, SYNCOPE (cassette
  by Moon Villain)

Somehow we missed out on 'Les Rumeurs De La Montagne Rouge En Choeur, Convergent', the
first release by Stefan Christoff (acoustic guitar, piano) and Joseph Sannicandro (electronics,
synth, ebow, loops, melodica, production), which was released in 2014. That was "an explicitly
political reflection on the Quebec strike of 2012", but I am told there is fewer politics on this
release, "much more about the everyday social experience of selling our labour-power". They use
the rhythms taped from commuting (foot, bike, bus, train are mentioned; not the car), along with
recordings made in a print shop, the silences of the overnight shift and "the voices of those who
live their lives just out of sync with the traditional 9-5". The music was already recorded during
two sessions in Stefan's apartment in January 2016, with the final mix from July 2018. Both sides
contain one long piece, which is divided into smaller bits. It is not easy to guess what kind of music
they play, based on these instruments and outlines, I guess. It has resulted in something quite
beautiful. There are throughout various lines that run along with this. There are the guitar and
piano sounds, slowly drifting in a slow manner. A bit post-rock inspired perhaps, yet there is an
absolute absence of conventional percussion. Rhythm comes from the repetition in playing those
instruments, but also from the looped sounds of daily activity; sometimes they run sounds for a
longer period of time and it becomes one with the looped field recordings and the playing of the
instruments. Throughout the music is peaceful at most of the times but also slightly unsettling with
all those sounds from everyday action of men trying to get to work. Highly atmospheric music it is,
even when sometimes the frequencies are relatively extreme, such as towards the end of the first
side. It sounded all very Italian to me; reminding me of Fabio Orsi, 3/4Hadbeeneliminated and
such like, incorporating real instruments in quite some abstract electronic setting. Beautiful release!
(FdW)
––– Address: http://moonvillain.com



FREE PERCUSSION (cassette compilation by Tsss Tapes)
THE FIELD OUT THERE (cassette compilation by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
KANTOOR (cassette compilation by Staaltape Berlin/Petrichor)

Growing up as a young man with a healthy interest in all things 'noise', 'music' and 'cassettes',
compilation cassettes were the ultimate lifeline. That was the place to discover new music. It
would be great if it had a point of reference, say a track by The Legendary Pink Dots, Attrition,
Merzbow or such like, but otherwise, it would be a playground to explore new music. Here we
have three recent compilations, and while no longer young and immersed in all things new
music all the time, how does it work now when it comes to enjoying compilations? Should you
be reading these pages for some time, you may know I am not a big fan of reviewing compilations
(which is not to say I don't mind being on them; it is a form of advertising your business).
Sometimes they lack direction, theme, or anything else that connects them, other than being
bands on the same label. 'Free Percussion' on the new Tsss Tapes from Spain certainly has a
theme. Percussion music by twelve different artists, many names sounding familiar for the
readers of these pages (I should hope). We have Rie Nakajima, Chris Dadge, Will Guthrie, Joao
Lobo, next to names that don't show up often, such as Tim Daisy Simon Camatta, Francesco
Covarino or Skyler Rowe. "Snares, bells, cymbals, pinecones, rattles, brushes, bass drums,
mallets & other objects that make a sound if you hit them, stroke them, let them bounce" and one
could safely say this is a very diverse compilation, each exploring their notion of 'percussion'
differently. There is more traditional percussion playing with bits of the kitbashed around, but also
the rattling of acoustic objects is not forgotten, and pretty much anything in between, crossing from
one side over to the other. Only very few ventures out into something radically different; Francesco
Covarino, for instance, sounds like he is doing the dishes including water sounds and Rie
Nakajima has almost motorized scanning of surfaces going on (glass mainly). Ted Byrnes wins
the prize for being the loudest here; its a close-miked recording of what seems to empty a crate
of metallic objects. It's not always easy to distinguish one piece from the next, but that's a common
thing in the world of cassettes.
    I am not sure what connects the seven musicians on 'The Field Out There'. I think I only
recognized the name of Giovanni Lami. From the others only Formless Hours doesn't have a
release on Audio Visuals Atmosphere, so the thread that runs here is being on the same label,
who are the usual poetic/cryptic about this: "Static shapes distinguished by the reverberations of
an acoustic field of vision. Two flanks that disclose a quintessential spirit of the contemporary
foundation. Diverse pigments surmount a crystal creek, beginning in the first sunlit fathom and
down into darkness. Utopian meadows open the treasures of bright and promising dawn.
Veneration scales the tide as a haunting pallor amid instrumental liquid. The theme is continually
audible in the hemlock-shaded mountain". Recognizing who does what there is also a bit of a
problem, even when there are a variety of approaches to be noted. Lilac Pavilion proof to be able
merchants of dark ambient, while Formless Hours and Giovanni Lami opt for a more processed
acoustic sound approach, Lami leaving more traces of the original than the former, which is more
in the domain of granular processing. If this is a trip of "static shapes" of the "reverberations of an
acoustic field of vision" then it surely works very well. There is quite a bit of variation here and there
are certainly some new names to explore; I was quite curious to hear more from, well, all of these
musicians, so in that way, this is a most successful compilation. Great cover as well, with black on
shiny silver stock; it certainly fits the darker mood of the music.
    A more thematic approach can be found on the compilation 'Kantoor', which is the Dutch word
for office. I am not sure how that is related to the theme, but the four artists here all work with
found tapes and it works out quite differently. When the cassette was first developed, in the early
sixties, it was not to record LPs and in that process kill the music industry, but more for audio
letters or recording one's doodles at the organ and other homely activities. The people of this
cassette actively seek out where to get these old tapes (thrift stores, flea markets and on the street)
and use them for their musical work. Jeroen Diepenmaat, for instance, crafted a great radio-play
like piece (all pieces are about twenty-two minutes) of spoken word, music, and conversations
taped by accident along with some religious chanting. Some of it is in Dutch; so knowing the
language works in one's advantage. Wassily Bosch concentrates entirely on a bunch of tapes
from Russia, so there is some language barrier there and it takes less the format of a collage,
fading from one bit to the next, but more a documentary. The excellent booklet tells us the story
(for Diepenmaat actually translations!) of all pieces. Ezio Piermanttei does the same with tapes
found in Italy, but somehow it seems that most of them are played too fast, which gives it an
occasional (yet unintentional?) effect. Ben Roberts is the last one and he has just one long tape,
a recording of a conference by a Kreuzberg church from 1974 and we hear the voice of Mr Janani
Luwum, the archbishop of Uganda's Anglican church (under Idi Amin), speaking about immigration
and displacement. He was critical of Amin and died in 1977 in a car crash (actually on February
17, the day I'm writing this in 2019 - odd little coincidence). His words about immigration still
make sense. This you have to hear for yourself. Three more or less different approaches to the
world of found tapes, and four times fascinating stuff to hear. (FdW)
––– Address: https://tssstapes.bandcamp.com/releases
––– Address: https://audiovisualsatmosphere.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: http://staaltape.com/




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