number 1172
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week 9
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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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PSYCH KRIST KASTRATOR - NOTHING SUBTLE (CD by EE Tapes) *
AGOGOL & NAABTALDEATH - MO#NO#NO (CD by Tonkunst Manufaktur) *
CAO KELLER SIEDL - MODULUS OF RESILIENCE (CD by Attenuation Circuit) *
INERT/E - CONGRUENCES CONTRARIEES (CD by Zora Records) *
TATAKAI TRIO – HAPPI (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
DAS RAD – DAS RAD (CD by Discus Music)
ĹKE HODELL - VERBAL BRAINWASH AND OTHER WORKS (3xCD by Fylkingen) *
GAD WHIP - POST INTERNET BLUES (CD by Fourth Dimension) *
CALJAN-WISSEL-NILLESEN - FOURTYFOUR FIFTYTHREE (CD by Creative Sources) *
THOMAS OLBRECHTS - INERTIA (CD by Seminal Records) *
GINTAS K - M (CD by GK Records) *
GINTAS K - ACOUSMA LIGHT (CD by GK Records) *
SZABOLCS ESZTÉNYI  HUBERT ZEMLER – KREATURA (LP by Bolt Records)
POLONKA – POEMAT KONFESYJNY (LP by Bolt Records)
AFFINITES SELECTIVES VOLUME 2 (CDR by Rhizome.s)
ANDREA BORGHI - 3DISCOS (CDR by Rhizome.s) *
IDEA FIRE COMPANY - LIVE ABOARD THE SINKING SHIP (cassette by Regional Bears) *
JELENA GLAZOVA & LEO LOBREV - DIE URSPRÜNGE (cassette by Cruel Nature Records) *



PSYCH KRIST KASTRATOR - NOTHING SUBTLE (CD by EE Tapes)

From all the labels that have a specific interest in the history of musical underground, I have
Belgium's EE Tapes in very high regard. Unlike others, they don't care whether what they release
attracts young people coming from the dance end of the current spectrum to sell them 'proto-electro'
or 'early acid' inspired electronics and the label has a genuine interest in releasing music by people
they can call their friends for thirty or more years. Plus EE Tapes also releases quite a bit of music
from their homelands artists, Insane Music, The Misz, Kloot Per W, Absent Music and Psych Krist
Kastrator. That is a name I never heard of, but in my defence (if one was needed) they operated in
the 90s when my interest in cassettes was a low point. Marc Ceulemans seems to be the main
man here, responsible for sequencing, sampling, all instruments, sounds and effects, with Robin
on vocals from 1992 to 1994, Tom Rosseyn doing that in 1994 and Sjille from 1995 to 1997,
following which the band ceased playing (well, releasing actually, maybe they kept on doing
music). This twelve-track release is a compilation of their work from 1992 to 1997 and the songs
are in a more or less random order (I guess) from those six releases they did back then. The all-
electronic music is well produced (or perhaps in the process of re-mastering pumped up?) and we
see where interest was in those years. It moved on from the 8os electro pop crudeness and
inspired by the world of acid, house and even gabber, it matured. Psych Krist Kastrator has most
of the time a somewhat crude touch in his music, never shy for an additional level of distortion or
crush of his beats and synths. Whenever voices are added they usually take the form of a spoken
word with quite a bit of vocoderized effects, pitch changes and whatever, as long as you surely
can't recognize what these lyrics are about - the booklet (old school A5 sized in a plastic bag). It
adds a mystic, gothic touch to the music, which I don't always like, but I guess that's part of the
concept here, with its magickal crosses and such like depicted also in the booklet. Those were
the days (daze?) when we (some at least) enjoyed our dance music to be part of the one-world-
unites-us-all under a pagan cross. Perhaps that is not something of our times and it makes the
music somewhat dated I think, but it is still most enjoyable. Some of these pieces are a bit too
long I reckon' and could have been a bit shorter for my taste, but that too was probably a sign of
the times. An excellent document of another underground, perhaps now ripe for re-discovery?
EE Tapes will guide us! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.eetapes.be



AGOGOL & NAABTALDEATH - MO#NO#NO (CD by Tonkunst Manufaktur)

This seems to my introduction to the music of Andreas Gogol (modified electric guitar, electronics
and voice) and Eberhard Meisel (amplified prepared zither, Kaoss pads, percussion) who
recorded the six pieces on this release in May and September 2018 in Berlin and Oderbruch.
That's about the extent of the information available. The six pieces last fifty minutes and one could
say they are all from the world of improvised music, but coming from a noisier end than usual
players would do in this field. There is quite some amplification and distortion going on in these
pieces. Yet it never reaches for the real harsh noise; it doesn't hit the harsh noise wall of plain and
simple sonic overload. The instruments they use can easily be recognized, despite the use of
reverb, delay and Kaoss pad, though they are heavily banged and scraped upon. Nothing here
that is by way of conventional playing which is a fine thing. Only very occasionally things tone
down a bit, and it becomes quiet (relatively speaking) before the engine fires up again. Only 'Birds'
seems to be on the overall quiet side for the entire ten minutes; again: relatively speaking. I quite
enjoyed this barrage of noise inspired improvisations; I was reminded of early 80s Merzbow,
combined with some of the more current improvisers doing stuff to their instruments, which they
didn't get taught in the Conservatorium. It's great on CD, how would it sound in concert, I
wondered. (FdW)
––– Address: http://tonkunstmanufaktur.de/



CAO KELLER SIEDL - MODULUS OF RESILIENCE (CD by Attenuation Circuit)

Although it may sound like one name, this is, in fact, a trio. It features Beat Keller (A great
pseudonym I should think, but it is his real name!) on 'customized feedback guitar', Gregor Siedl
on clarinet and electronics and Cao Thanh Lan on electronics and prepared zither. The title of
the CD is programmatic here, as they roll out Wiki to tell us "the modulus of resilience is defined
as the maximum energy that can be absorbed per unit volume without creating a permanent
distortion", which actually for me still doesn't mean much, but maximum energy being controlled
without leaping into a full blast noise is something I do understand from the music here. The eight
pieces were recorded in concert and in the studio in Austria and Switzerland and it's all a direct to
tape recording. While I was listening to the music, a few thoughts crossed my mind. The first was
that I was wondering how loud this music is supposed to be. At home there is the possibility to
control the volume and turn it up or down as you see fit, but how do they do this in concert? I am
not sure but I can imagine it is with quite some vigour. Then I was thinking about what this is
music is, say if you want to give it a label. And yes, I know giving it a label is surely not something
one should do, but alas so these things go. I would think this is not necessarily improvised music
in the most traditional sense, or even the more progressive sense, with all the feedback and noise
related sounds that fly about, mainly from the guitar, so we could believe, but in fact, all three
instruments do not sound very regular. Very occasionally one can recognize the guitar or the
clarinet or the zither, but just most of the times one can't and it's all static, crackles, hiss, feedback
and noise. It is never too much 'real' noise, in the also traditional sense, as it keeps cutting back
and chopping up, never allowing for something to go on for a bit longer. And just as well it also
cuts off the volume and leaps into a quieter field of interest, exploring sounds on a more
microscopic level. It is all quite the sonic overload but no permanent damage is done and it's a
wealth for the ears. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de/



INERT/E - CONGRUENCES CONTRARIEES (CD by Zora Records)

Very hot on the heels of the previous release, reviewed last month in Vital Weekly 1166, there is
now another release by Inert/e, the duo of Kasper T. Toeplitz and Lars Akerlund. There is a small
note that says that things will be quiet as of now, but not why this is released in such short
succession. This time there is no fancy timing of the piece, which lasts sixty-one minutes and thirty-
seven seconds. Both composers/performers are credited with 'digital electronics' by which I think
we should understand laptop technology. The piece was recorded and mixed during the summer
of 2018 in Paris and there is, so I believe, quite some difference between this and the two previous
releases. For both, I would say they owe to the world of musique concrete but it is worked out quite
differently. On 'Time Profiles' I would think it surely moved towards heavy noise, with some sharps
cuts and edits, but on 'Congruences Contrariees' (conflicting agreements? I am not sure if that is a
proper translation. I don't trust Google translate that much, easily misinforming us of a true
meaning) it all is in a slightly more opposite way, combining a more ambient direction with the
heavy noise. Maybe that's where that is where the conflict comes from? It is, however, ambient
music that is also from a much heavier kind. I believe, but I might be entirely wrong, that Inert/e
uses field recordings here a lot (cars, wind, street sounds, seashore, radio noise plus whatever)
which are heavily processed, in either real-time or through some way of layering these together
and then played together. Maybe each of the players has their own set of sounds prepared, and
perhaps there are some rough guidelines to the piece, how to play it out. In this hour the music
moves around from very quiet to something that only seems quiet, but which has a very deep end
bass sound, which makes your speakers all shaky. These are set against bits of noise, which are
not forgotten, but they have lost out on their dominant role I think. It is not the kind of ambient
music that makes you feel very comfortable, but also it's not the kind of mindless noise that drives
the neighbours crazy. They put quite some thought and consideration in this piece and it shows.
It's very conflicting but it works out damn fine. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.sleazeart.com



TATAKAI TRIO – HAPPI (CD by Relative Pitch Records)

I often come across the name of Martin Kuchen in the last few months. He participated in the
sessions with Ed Pettersen among others released for Split Rock Records. For Konvoj he
released a duo effort with Anders Lindsjö. And now there is this debut album by the Tatakai Trio.
A Swedish trio of Martin Kuchen (soprano and sopranino saxophone, Raymond Strid (drum) and
Anders Lindsjö (guitar). Strid is a veteran Swedish drummer, originally inspired by Han Bennink,
Paul Lytton and Tony Oxley his own career started around 1977. About ten years later he
established Gush, a trio with Mats Gustafsson and Sten Sandell, and became involved in
numerous collaborations like the Barry Guy New Orchestra. Anders Lindsjö is an improviser and
(bass) guitarist who entered the Swedish scene near the end of the 80s. After spending several
years in New York, playing with musicians like Eugene Chadbourne, David Moss, Fred Lonberg-
Holm to name a few. Saxophonist Kuchen is active since the 90s, mainly as an improviser, but
also as a composer, collaborations with dance productions, poetry and experimental films. So
the Tatakai Trio unites three experienced and important improvisers from Sweden. Recordings
that are offered here date from January 2016. They decided on a rough and punky approach. In
eight bolded and unpolished improvisations, they make a strong statement.  In the opening track
‘Cheerful’ they start from short phrases working towards a level of dynamic intensity that will be
continued throughout. In ‘Grinning’, with heavy electric guitar playing by Lindsjö, they improvise
in a free rocking style. Strid plays overall in a very angular style. Although they are using extended
techniques and tap from many influences, their vibrant improvisations taste very natural and
physical. Kuchen plays in a very expressive full-energy way. Exhilarated’ is the ballad on this if
you want with Kuchen playing in a more intimate and lyrical style. On ‘Smiling’ they kick off very
turbulent and expressive but the improvisation unfolds in a subtle interaction between the three.
It is one of those records of improvised music that make I never can get enough of this kind of
music. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.relativepitchrecords.com/



DAS RAD – DAS RAD (CD by Discus Music)

Das Rad is Nick Robinson (electric and acoustic guitars, loops, electronics), Steve Dinsdale
(electric drums, acoustic percussion, synth) and the ever-busy Martin Archer (saxophones,
clarinets, flutes, recorders, melodica, keyboards, electronics, synth bass). Their mission is to
create collectively what they call ´driving motorik music´ and combines this with ´freer, textural
and improvisatory material. ´ Robinson and Archer had played a variety of gigs together in
different formations when Martin suggested asking drummer Steve Dinsdale (Radio Massacre
International) to join. And so Das Rad was born. They choose for a German name for their
collaboration – translated: bicycle – and also many of the tracks carry German names; ‘Fernweh’,
‘Sehnsucht’, among others – and seem to point at the main source for inspiration for this project;
Krautrock, more specific Neu, Michael Rother and, Can came to my mind. The repetitive drumming
in several of the improvisations reminded me of Jaki Liebezeit. But also hints of prog rock and
Canterbury-styled music occur. I grew up with this music, so bands that are still inspired by these
times have my sympathy. But I’m not always impressed by the results. Also in the case of this trio
effort, I’m not convinced of its relevance. For sure we are speaking of good musicianship. They
create nice spaced-out tapestries. Sometimes propelled by a rhythm. Or, like in ‘Canterbury Steps’,
they create free-floating abstract textures, spacey sounds, etc. But in both cases, their extended
rock-based improvisations miss the necessary amount of original twists and musical ideas. I often
felt myself waiting for something to happen. It is too formless. Well, apparently this music is not
really talking to me…(DM)
––– Address: https://discus-music.co.uk/



ĹKE HODELL - VERBAL BRAINWASH AND OTHER WORKS (3xCD by Fylkingen)

“Verbal Brainwash and Other Works” is a welcome triple-disc reissue of the provocative Swedish
text/sound composer’s work from 1963 to 1977. The set was first released in 2000, the same year
that Hodell died, and has now been made available again. I won’t say too much about Hodell’s
fascinating personal story (you can read that on your own) other than that he was a military pilot
who suffered injuries during an accidental plane crash in 1941 and, while convalescing,
developed the staunchly anti-military stance that would inform his work for the rest of his life.
    Most (though not all) of the pieces on this collection are explicitly political and anti-military in
nature. The first disc immediately lays out what the listener is in for: “Law & Order Inc.”, a piece
which repeats throughout the album in several versions, is a loop of an American general counting
out 1-2-3-4 as troops march. This is followed by one of the “Structures” pieces, which replicate the
(for me) horrifying sounds of gunfire in a warzone. “General Bussing”, yet another piece presented
in a few different versions, is a spoken text about the psychological trick used by Swedish military
to convince soldiers that their officers were their friends, and in doing so make them more obedient.
My favourite track here, “Igevär” from 1963 (which we get in two versions), was first written for live
performance by 6 vocalists, but the versions included here are studio-created tape pieces. They
have comprised of a single vowel sound stretched to several uncomfortable minutes. The vowel
comes from the piece’s title, which is Swedish for “present arms”, again a response to Hodell’s
time in the military.
    The second disc in the set is more abstract and less explicitly political than the other two. It
begins with “The Djurgĺrdsfärjan över Styx”, first broadcast on Swedish radio in 1972, which is
an electronic setting for a poem about taking the ferry across the River Styx towards death. Though
I don’t speak any Swedish and so cannot understand the text, the sounds of crows and a ship’s
horn combined with warbling echo on the speaker’s voice make the journey towards death plain
enough. Feedback, hyperventilating, car breaks screeching and ambulance sirens of “Cerebus,
the Hellhound”, immediately follow it. The effect of these two stark radio dramas is rather bleak, as
you might expect. Luckily, the disc concludes with the relatively less harrowing “The Road to Nepal”
and “220 Volt Buddha”, both from 1971, which pit rhythmically fractured voices against an umbrella
of birdcalls which, over the course of 21+ minutes, transform into electronic swoops and jarring
motorcycle engines revving.
    The final disc is fierce in its politics, especially in the set’s centrepiece “Mr Smith in Rhodesia”,
which excoriates Ian Smith, who was Prime Minister of Rhodesia in the ’60s and 70s. Hodell hired
five white English kids to read a text (sarcastically) praising Smith: “Ian Smith is good white man”,
“Mr Smith gives us work and housing”, “God save Zimbabwe”, “God save British Petroleum” etc.
The sounds into which these words are embedded make it clear what Hodell truly thought of the
white government of the African nation that today is Zimbabwe. And just in case it's not, Hodell
states “Mr Smith is a murderer” several times to drive his point home, and further quotes Smith
stating that Europeans control the country and can “pretty well do what we like”. Yikes! If that’s too
heavy (and yeah, it very well might be), the set concludes with Hodell’s “Spirit of Ecstasy, Racing
Car Opera” from 1977, a sarcastic collage of car commercial text, motor sounds, names of car
manufacturers and patriotic marches that was broadcast when “Mr Smith in Rhodesia” was not
permitted to be played on radio lest the defenders of white European colonialism have their
fragile sensibilities challenged. Poor things. (HS)
––– Address: https://fylkingen.bandcamp.com



GAD WHIP - POST INTERNET BLUES (CD by Fourth Dimension)

Fourth Dimension presents a CD reissue of Gad Whip’s most recent album (released on vinyl in
2018 by X-Mist) and appends their 2017 “In a Room” EP (also previously available on vinyl). Gad
Whip is a fairly straightforward, muscular/minimal rock band that plays loping, repetitive riffs for
vocalist Pete Davies to speak his lyrics over. Davies’ voice is front-and-centre on every song, but
his low-key poetry recital can be tough going at times: “There go the monotone hands, held
together with rubber bands/speaking of generation credit debt or something else to make you
fret/An angel sneezed in my face/There’s always someone on my case” (from ‘Puddle of Death”).
He adheres to a rhyming cadence for most of these songs, sounding more like Anne Clark than
Mark E. Smith. The content of Davies’ lyrics is not particularly aggressive, confrontational or biting
(he’s not a sneering Jason Williamson or witty Atilla the Stockbroker), but what he does works with
the music well enough. The opening song, “Red Shoes”, gets perilously close to crunching metal
(that’s metal like Prong, not Hal Hutchinson), but the remainder of the album favours bass-led mid-
tempo grooves and cleanly-recorded upfront drum patterns that, with a different vocalist, wouldn’t
sound out of place on mainstream radio or MTV. “Bad Terms” even has backup vocal harmonies,
and the Bruce Anderson-esque guitar shimmer in the bridge of “Goat Bag” show a friendliness that
ought to win over fans more into pub rock than post-punk. There is a synth player, Geoff Bolam, but
for the most part, he only adds subtle shading to supplement the rhythm section. In other words,
though Fourth Dimension is known for publishing some harsh and experimental electronics, Gad
Whip are not that. Not at all. This music is surprisingly commercial sounding. That’s not necessarily
a bad thing; hell, Fourth Dimension takes enough risks putting out uncompromising anti-social
noise that they deserve to make some scratch with a record that could have mass appeal. “Post
Internet Blues” may not be for me, but it’s surely for lots of other people. (HS)
––– Address: https://fourthdimensionrecords.bigcartel.com/



CALJAN-WISSEL-NILLESEN - FOURTYFOUR FIFTYTHREE (CD by Creative Sources)

Previously I came across the name of Georg Wissel (prepared alto saxophone) in a trio release
he did with others (see Vital Weekly 1061), but also where he got some assistance of Duscia
Caljan-Wissel, I assume his wife, who plays prepared piano here. Etienne Nillesen (extended
snare drum) is a member of Emissatett (Vital Weekly 997). As a trio, they have been playing
together since 2015, "focussing on exploring their ensemble's language in improvised music". All
three have an extended background in this field. About a year ago they made recordings in Berlin,
presented here as six individual pieces on a CD, all the cover indicates it might be cut from two
sessions; Four pieces are from one session, and two from another. The music is still with one foot
firmly based in the world of more or less traditional improvised music, meaning lots of small notes
and gestures on the square millimetre, and it's especially the saxophone who is responsible for
that approach, and which is perhaps not really my cup of tea. If the trio sets out for a more abstract
course, one that sees them exploring their instruments more as objects, it also takes them on a
more carefully structured trajectory, in which there is much more room for a quiet approach. Here
minimalism prevails and the tones, textures and sounds become something more radical. This is
the side of the trio that attracted me quite a bit. At times I was reminded of AMM, especially the
more scraping and scratching approach, exploring abstract textures of their instruments, the
surfaces thereof and it makes up some delicate music. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.creativesourcesrec.com



THOMAS OLBRECHTS - INERTIA (CD by Seminal Records)

From Belgium, so I believe, is alto saxophone player Thomas Olbrechts and I didn't hear of him
before. He studied in Brussels and Liege, played with the group reFLEXible, Champ D'action, Dry
Speed and no doubt much more. As I am listening to these eleven pieces, all but one solo (one
includes reFLEXible, being also Joachim Deville on flugelhorn and effects and Stefan Prins on
live-electronics), I was thinking that some of this would be better at home in the capable hands of
our free-music reviewer mister Mulder, but some of the music is also something I enjoy very much.
The music was recorded as part of a residency at the Lago di Como in 2014, well the majority of
the pieces, while some were recorded in Brussels and Amsterdam. It shows, so I would think a
pretty good overview of what Olbrechts does, solo and in combination with others. The space in
which he records his music seems to me of some importance. Sometimes it sounds all very close
by the microphone but it can also in a space that is bigger, and the sound of the alto saxophone
travels around. Combined with some of the more musique concrete like techniques that he applies,
there is a very musique-concrete like atmosphere in some of these pieces. A brutal set of acoustic
sounds, high pitched and loud, but also the sound of the alto-saxophone is never far away; for me
that is perhaps the part I have some difficulty with, not necessarily being the biggest lover of the
biggest lover of pure saxophone music. The one piece by the small ensemble stands out from the
rest, obviously, I would say, with those additional sounds, and I wouldn't have minded a bit more of
those, mixed with the rest. Or perhaps not be included at all. Now it's an oddball in this otherwise
fine collection; not bad to have it included, but why? I have slightly mixed feelings about the overall
release but I quite enjoyed it most of it throughout. (FdW)
––– Address: https://seminalrecords.bandcamp.com/



GINTAS K - M (CD by GK Records)
GINTAS K - ACOUSMA LIGHT (CD by GK Records)

Some weeks ago I had a discussion about good ol' laptop music and whether or not it is due for
a revival just yet. Maybe it is? Gintas K is a composer from Lithuania and he's been around doing
laptop music consistently for a long time now. His name, which is actually Gintas Kraptavicius,
first popped up in Vital Weekly 361 and ever since then with some regular intervals he does new
releases. According to his biography, he's been active since 1994 and these days he's doing
music for films, compositions and installations. He also started his label, GK Records, and these
are the inaugural releases. On 'M' we find two pieces. One is 'M', divided into six parts and
'Mimicry', which has eleven parts. The first is from 2012 and the latter from 2017; the latter is
played live, but that is not something that one would know from listening. There is not a lot of
difference between both works when it comes to how they sound. The differences are minor,
really. In the eleven parts of 'Mimicry' he uses a lot of small sounds, being tossed around inside
the granular synthesis programs he is using (and I have no idea if that is Max/Msp, Pure Data or
AudioMulch; or even something else), creating repeating yet chaotic little modules that are on a
constant shift in ever-changing parameters. Sometimes these parameters are quite big and the
changes extensive, and sometimes the changes are quite minor and close together. In 'M' it
seems to me that his granular synthesis is occasionally doing it more drone like sounds, closely
 knit to form sustaining patterns, next to an even more chaotic approach, such as in the first, long
(-est) part. Differences are quite minor but occasionally crucial.
    To play straight away the other CD is quite the effort, which I didn't do; I waited a day. This CD
is about 'acousmatic music', "in which a sound source isn't visible during the concert or listening
session", like the old masters of musique concrete once did, using a reel-to-reel on stage and no
instruments were visible. Here "sound components are being grained into sonic particles - as
elemental as possible. The sound of the piece may be described in such characteristics as timbre,
spectrum of sound, varying and changing speed of motion. In the first stage of composition, in
which recording of live performance takes place, a principle of sound deconstruction is being
employed, Recorded material is then being organized into a structure that gradually evolves into
a crystallized form". I am not sure what that means, however. Is the first piece here a live recording
and the other eight subsequent deconstructions, or is each of the nine pieces a bit of live recording
with deconstructions, all part of the same composition, times nine? Not really sure, but also not the
most vital information I should think. Music wise we are here in a similar mood as with 'M', but
throughout these nine pieces seems to me to be slighter more complex in approach. There is more
happening in terms of chaotic sound bits sparkling about, but it comes with additional layers of
sounds that are more drone-like and sustaining. In both of these discs, Gintas K is neither very
noisy nor too quiet, even when 'Acousma Light' seems to me to have quieter bits, with more
isolated sounds. Both of these discs most certainly do not contain 'easy' listening but are filled
with quite some demanding music with a lot of sonic information. (FdW)
––– Address: http://gintask.puslapiai.lt/


SZABOLCS ESZTÉNYI  HUBERT ZEMLER – KREATURA (LP by Bolt Records)
POLONKA – POEMAT KONFESYJNY (LP by Bolt Records)
 
Two excellent new releases from the Bôłt Records, a Polish label founded in 2008 as an outlet for
experimental music in Eastern Europe. Szabolcs Esztényi (piano) and Hubert Zemler (percussion,
electronics) are two Warsaw-based musicians. They share a love for formal minimalism and
sensitivity for isolated sounds. Esztényi is a Hungary-born composer, pianist, improviser and
music teacher. As a pianist, he played performed modern composed music from Poland from
many different composers. He teaches at the Frederic Chopin Music Academy, an institute where
Zemler, who is of a younger generation, did part of his classical education. Afterwards, he turned
more and more to jazz and improvisation. He became a member of the experimental jazz band
Tria and nowadays Horny Trees, one of the jazz/outfits he is part of. Both joined forces for a very
interesting musical adventure. Most of it is improvised from what I understand, but it ‘sounds’ like
contemporary composed music. Esztényi plays short attacks and phrases on the piano that are
responded by Zemler with percussive textures and limited electronic treatments. Carefully they
create a minimalistic universe built from well-chosen gestures and patterns in a very disciplined
and reduced manner, but also very pure, sensitive and focused. This makes it intriguing music
that has been excellently recorded.
    Polonka is a Polish trio of Piotr Zabrodzki, Michal Górczyński and Jan Emil Młynarski.
Zabrodzki is an important exponent of the contemporary music scene in Poland. He works as a
composer, singer, multi-instrumentalist, etc. He worked with many bands and projects, from jazz to
grindcore. Górczyński graduated from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. He is bass
clarinettist, composer, theatre artist. He is into folk, jazz and composed music as well. He is
interested in expanding the sound possibilities of the bass clarinet, which led to experimenting
with the beatbox. Młynarski is a drummer, producer and singer, who graduated from the Drummers
Collective in New York and has a wide experience as a session musician. They started their
collaboration around 2011 as the trio Pole and debuted with ´Radom´ for Kilogram records. Their
second album – translated ´Religious Poem´ - is a release by Bolt Records, a label that started in
2008 as a medium for experimental music from Eastern Europe. It has Zabrodzki playing positive
organ, clavichord. Górczyński plays contrabass clarinet and Młynarski plays percussion and drums.
Their focus is to combine musical elements from very different traditions that are geographically and
musically distant and distinct from one other. Besides they integrate influences from avant-garde
and improvised music. With the conscious choice for so many influences, they need to have a
strong focus in order not to lose oneself in all these influences. But that is no problem for these
gentlemen, as they fabricated some really intriguing weird stuff. Their eccentric vehicles really
work.  We hear subtle and warm playing from the clarinet, accompanied by primitive sounding
rhythmic patterns. A very original and enjoying statement from musicians that have humour and
a free spirit! (DM)
––– Address: http://boltrecords.pl/



AFFINITES SELECTIVES VOLUME 2 (CDR by Rhizome.s)
ANDREA BORGHI - 3DISCOS (CDR by Rhizome.s)

Every now and then the Rhizome.s label releases bits and pieces that may have no relationship
together, and which on stand-alone are too short to warrant a release, so they are grouped
together. In this case, I think the twenty-seven minutes that The Pitch uses to translate Olivier
Messiaen's 'Louange a Eternite de Jesus' would justify a release by itself. The Pitch is Boris
Blatschun (electric pump organ), Koen Nutters (contrabass), Morten J. Olsen (vibraphone) and
Micheal Thieke (clarinet). They recorded their piece in August 2015 and I easily admit I know
next to nothing about the work of Olivier Messiaen or this particular composition. So I am not the
one who is saying this interpretation is very much along the score, or, the total opposite, a very
free interpretation. It is a beautiful piece; that much I do know. There are long-form tones being
held for some time, by each of the players (and yes, I am not always too sure how they do this),
until it seems a cycle has been completed, which then gets a full stop and new start, but with a
new fresh start; slowly adding different approaches to the sounds, allowing for more individual
placed notes. It is very gentle music with quite a solemn character. Sometimes similar can be
heard in the piece called 'viola. harmonium. on Likely Moor', the latter two words being the name
of the composer. The music is performed by Barbara Konrad (viola d'amore) and Klaus Lang
(harmonium) and the music here also a slow and peaceful character, and perhaps also a bit of
the same solemn approach, except that the music sounds here all a bit 'smaller', more intimate if
you will. It sounds quite vulnerable like it could collapse at any moment, but it sticks together
until the end and it is quite lovely too, in all its sixteen or so minutes.
    Something completely different is presented by Andrea Borghi, who plays electro-acoustic
sounds, vinyl and material. Whereas most of the releases on Rhizome.s deal with modern
composition and instruments, this one seems to be more inspired by the world of musique
concrete, but then in Borghi's by now well-known style. Over the years he has quite some
releases in which he explores his set up that involves laptop technology to alter the sounds of
the turntable. It's not always easy to tell what is what with his music. Sometimes it cracks and
bursts and we could think it's all from the world of laptops, but, so I was thinking, it could also be
that Borghi has created some surfaces of wood, metal, stones and sprinkled these with dust and
picks up these as irregularities and plays them out as music. The cover suggests this for three of
the pieces here, in which he's using resin, marble and embossed text on aluminium; he does use
these in six of the seven pieces, so I am not sure what he does in the other one. I would think it is
a combination of all that he has at his disposal. I quite enjoy the music from Borghi over the years,
and throughout people using turntables or prepared vinyl does not always blow me away. The
delicate approach by Borghi towards his material, physical and digital, reminds me of the early
days of laptop music, which was sometimes called 'clicks n cuts'; there isn't really much here that
says a lot of 'clicks' (meaning rhythm), but Borghi's approach is more ambient and more electro-
acoustic and is quite captivating. This is all lovely stuff, just as we know Borghi to do. (FdW)
––– Address: https://rhizomes.bandcamp.com/



IDEA FIRE COMPANY - LIVE ABOARD THE SINKING SHIP (cassette by Regional Bears)

It is no secret; at least I should think it is not, that I have high regard of Scott Foust and his Idea Fire
Company, of which his wife Karla Borecky is the main member. I have been following them ever
since the first record and even was a 'member' on a couple of concerts, many moons ago. I might
not be the right man to write anything at all about Idea Fire Company's releases. I also may have
recounted this before. Maybe even a couple of times. Here we have a... live recording? The title
seems to suggest it is a live recording from something called the Sinking Ship, but no specific town
is mentioned where this ‘venue’ is located. We could assume this is some sort of Titanic? Sinking
Ship is also the name of the website where Foust sells second-hand records (against his better will
that Discogs might be a 'better' place?). If we look at the line-up of instruments, we see Foust getting
the credit for "synth, trumpet, radio, guitar" and Borecky for "piano". If you would look on YouTube
for live footage of Idea Fire Company, you would see that Borecky usually plays a small synth, and
hardly ever a piano. Maybe this 'live concert' is less live, despite the audience kindly applauding?
The way Idea Fire Company evolved over the years, with more and more acoustic instruments
(piano, trumpet, trombone) it is not always easy to replicate that sound in a concert situation, so
maybe here a concert situation is faked and we get a glimpse of what things could be. Foust isn't
talking to his "audience", which might provide another clue. Both sides together last ninety
minutes and that are as much as a double LP worth of music. Borecky is a bit more minimalistic at
the piano, playing slow chord progressions, straightforward, with the occasional mistake, while
Foust adds his instrument per track; save perhaps for synth and/or radio, which he could drop in
at any given moment. The mood is overall a bit dark, especially when Borecky places the chords
in the lower region and playing them with a dramatic slowness. There is few field recordings,
water and boat sounds, maybe for us to think this is indeed a ship. Whatever it is, an elaborate fake
concert or the opportunity to present their work in a concert “as it could also be when you get Idea
Fire Company, providing people had the guts and money to organise a proper gig with a full grand
piano” but we all know that is unlikely to happen as we live in a world in which there are very few
people doing the right things and follow the same sad mainstream bullshit (and yes, that includes
many quasi-alternative circles). This is the perfect calling card for at least trying to get such an
opportunity. This is great tape indeed! (FdW)
––– Address: https://regionalbears.bandcamp.com/



JELENA GLAZOVA & LEO LOBREV - DIE URSPRÜNGE (cassette by Cruel Nature Records)

As I was playing this tape I was thinking that the cassette might not be the best medium for the
music played by Jelena Glazova and Leo Lobrev. Much of the time the music is on the quiet side.
The title refers to Heidegger's "The Origin of the Work of Art", in which he tries to "find an answer to
the question on the origin of creative impulse, while eventually coming up with a round definition, a
sort of “Möbius strip” answer, hence the origin of creativity still remains unidentified". The music is
called, by the label, as "semi-improvised" by Glazova providing "processed voice and electronics"
and Lobrev on the prepared piano. I don't think I heard of Lobrev before, but music by Glazova was
reviewed in Vital Weekly 979 and 1117. It is interesting how she uses her voice as for most of the
time, and this time is about an hour long, I hardly recognized this as voice material. Only after I read
some information I thought, "well, yeah, all right, this could be indeed some sort of heavily
processed voice". What makes this semi-improvised and not entirely improvised I don't know. To
me, it could very well be all improvised, even when it has that slightly modern classical music touch
to it. "Music for prepared piano and electronics" could have been a give-away title, but that is what
this. This duo explores the nature of both ends, the piano and the voice and how it is prepared and
processed very well. Sometimes it gets a bit lost on cassette, as the music more than once goes
down in volume quite dramatically and it's not always easy to follow around. All the techniques are
used here to generate sounds, including bows, hammers, crackles and hiss and it is a very fine
work. Maybe a bit too serious for my liking, but it seems I heard quite a share of serious music
already this week. (FdW)
––– Address: https://cruelnaturerecordings.bandcamp.com/



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