number 1183
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week 20
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SPOELSTRA – WEST SIDE STORY WINNER OF TEN ACADEMY AWARDS (CD by
  Narrominded) *
JARED SAGAR - TOMBLAND (CD by Unfathomless) *
QUATOR BOZZINI – SIMON MARTIN: MUSIQUE D’ART (CD by QB) *
BENJAMIN VERGARA & FRED LONBERG-HOLM & AARON ZARZUTZKI – FIVE ARIAS FOR
   NALCA (CD by Inexhaustible Editions)
FROSTLAKE - ICE & BONE (CD by Discus Music)
4! – FACTORIAL (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)
GLEN WHITEHEAD TRIO – THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (CD by Pfmentum) *
THOMAS TILLY - A SEMIOTIC SURVEY (CD by Ferns) *
TROND KALLEVÅG HANSEN - BEDEHUS & HAWAII (CD by Hubro) *
EXOTERM - EXITS INTO A CORRIDOR (CD by Hubro) *
ERLEND APNESETH TRIO WITH FRODE HALTLI - SALIKA, MOLIKA (CD by Hubro) *
FREDRIK RATSEN - SIX MOVING GUITARS (CD by Sofa Music) *
NIKLAS ADAM - UNDULATE (CD by Sofa Music) *
THE HOME CURRENT - THE SPLENDOUR OF CHANGE (7"/CDR by Static Caravan) *
CONSTANT LIGHT - APPROACH (CDR by Second Language Records) *
AUTOMATING - HEAD LAND (CDR by Second Language Records) *
AUTOMATING - LOST & PROFOUND (CDR by Second Language Records) *
THE HUM - II (cassette by Insula Jazz)
BLIND MAN'S BAND - SURVIVING FLIES (cassette by Insula Jazz)
ETHAN BOKMA - DANCE, EARTH! SHAKE OFF THESE BORDERS (cassette by Insula Jazz)
KOGARASHI - ALL SORROW FEELS ANCIENT (cassette by Insula Jazz)
ANNE-F JACQUES & RYOKO AKAMA & TAKAMITSU OHTA - THE MAGIC CITY (cassette by
  Hasana Editions) *
WILL GUTHRIE - SOME NASTY (cassette by Hasana Editions) *
KLINIKUM - HYPERMNESIA (cassette by Non Interrupt) *
KLINIKUM - NEOCITY (cassette by Non Interrupt) *
DAS SYNTHESTISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - ZWISCHENMENSCHEN (cassette by More Mars) *
ROSS MANNING - TE T ON ON TI COMPUTER (cassette by More Mars) *
MODELBAU - WAVELENGTH (cassette by Cloudchamber Recordings) *
MODELBAU - A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE (cassette by Regional Bears) *
MODELBAU - LONG DISTANCE CALL (cassette by Non-Interrupt) *
KOOKY NUTS POP VOLUME 3 (cassette compilation by Istotne Nagr.)


SPOELSTRA – WEST SIDE STORY WINNER OF TEN ACADEMY AWARDS (CD by
  Narrominded)

The ten academy awards mentioned in this album’s title are for best picture, best director,
best-supporting actor, best supporting actress, best art direction and set decoration, best
cinematography, best costume design, best movie editing, best music score and best sound. There.
Whether you like the singular 1961 musical tragedy or not, West Side Story (WSS) is a phenomenon
in film, cinematography, choreography and music. Personally speaking, I find it hard to fault this
modern Romeo and Julia-interpretation - OK, so maybe Richard Beymer’s Latino-tinted facial make-
up wasn’t the best of ideas, but then again WSS never won an Academy Award for make-up. The
original Broadway score, WSS debuted as Broadway musical before it was transformed into a
movie, was written for thirty musicians, a number tripled for the movie orchestrations. Natalie Wood,
who played Maria in the movie version, recorded all her vocals under the impression they were
going to be used in the finalized movie. However, it turned out that, during the recording, music
supervisors had already decided that Wood’s vocals were going to be dubbed by ‘ghost voice’
Marni Nixon. Of course, they never bothered to tell Wood – who found out at the premiere of the
film. Back to this album: to take WSS on for a musical project is either a very daring act or just plain
nonsense. Let’s start at the beginning; who is Spoelstra? Despite being a common Dutch surname,
Spoelstra is not a single person, but the project of Jeroen Warntjes incorporating samples, a looper
and instruments. Yes, instruments. And friends who play those instruments. You could almost call it
a band. However, since the cover of this album uses a font that is pretty much undecipherable, I
refrained from working out the various who does whats. The iconic honeycombed image of Maria
on the front cover is a boon. This album is presented as ‘A gross misrepresentation of all songs of
the West Side Story’, but I do not buy that. As trendy as ‘a gross misinterpretation’ may sound, and
as much as Spoelstra wants to rub you up the wrong way, this album simply features covers of WSS
songs. Just not as we know them. Which, incidentally, is a very good thing, as I have yet to discover
a version of WSS that beats the original – and that includes the famous Stan Kenton versions (those
in the know will now nod their heads in silent appreciation). Anyways, back to Spoelstra’s WSS.
From the word ‘go’, or rather a sample of the famous finger click opening of the movie and this
album, Spoelstra’s music hiccups its way through Maria’s and Tony’s universal and tragic love
story. Using stuttering drums, often snares, as a backing, Spoelstra adds guitar and keyboards
that play fragments of the melodies and chord sequences of the songs. And you’d be amazed at
how many of those fragmented melodies ring WSS-bells in your head. Spoelstra, perhaps wisely,
keeps away from adding vocals, sticking to basic instrumentation, samples and loop stations. This
is never easy listening music, but then again the original WSS wasn’t classified as easy listening
by its critics. Musically WSS was, much like the cinematography and its blatant racial theme, quite
a revolution at the time. This album’s final track, the grand finale, drops the rhythms and general
unease creating a fantastic spacious track that I could listen to on repeat indefinitely. Despite the
carefully structured tone of the press release, this is not a parody or misinterpretation of WSS. I
know, it sounds cool to diss WSS and all that, but the fact of the matter is that Spoelstra’s WSS is
the best version of the musical I’ve heard. And this proves a number of things: most important of
which are the sheer quality and timelessness of the music, both the original music as Spoelstra’s
version, surpassing trendy statements like ‘gross misinterpretations’. This is a great album - don’t
let Spoelstra fool you. (FK)
––– Address: https://narrominded.bandcamp.com/



JARED SAGAR - TOMBLAND (CD by Unfathomless)

Here we have the second album by Jared Sagar from the UK for the Belgium label Unfathomless.
The first was 'Holme' (Vital Weekly 1085), recorded in the Norfolk area and Tombland is to be found
in the same area and without being all to specific, Sagar recorded his sounds here. There is some
more text on the Bandcamp site of the label about Tombland (Tom Bland or Tomb Land?), dating
back to the time of the Normans, a small English city in the heart of Norwich City. It has a cathedral,
Tudor houses and a river. It is all an interesting read as I must say that judging on the sounds, I
would not have thought of a city. In fact, I would not know what at all I could be thinking about. I
would think that as before Sagar took his recordings home, to the computer and via some process
and editing phase, made a forty-five-minute piece. Within this piece he moves through a whole
bunch of sounds, not staying for very long in one place. It sure adds a bit of speed to the release,
this crossfading between a lot of slightly transformed sounds of city sounds; very occasionally
indeed sounding like a city, with a car passing, a construction site and more often not to be
recognized at all. But at the same time, there is also something restless about this music, this
quick moving from segment to segment. Nothing, with a few exceptions, seems to be lasting more
than three or four minutes and then it is time for something new. Maybe some more development
would have been nice within each segment, play them against each other or perhaps combine the
processed sounds with some of the less processed ones? I am not sure, but I would think there
would more possible with this material and it doesn't fulfil that just yet. Having said that, this is
surely also quite a loveable release and some segments, especially towards the end sound
pretty tense and tight. So it is received with mixed yet positive feelings. (FdW)
––– Address: https://unfathomless.bandcamp.com/



QUATOR BOZZINI – SIMON MARTIN: MUSIQUE D’ART (CD by QB)

The profiled Quatuor Bozzini started in 1999 and interested mainly on contemporary music. They
make their own decisions in choosing and producing their programs, never taking the easy way.
Over the years they built up the impressive experience and premiered hundreds of compositions.
About 20 CDs appeared filled with works by John Cage, Phil Niblock, James Tenney, Gyula Csapó,
etc., etc.  This time they concentrate on a composer from their homeland Canada, Simon Martin.
Martin is a composer and producer of contemporary concert music, operating in the footsteps of
Harry Partch, La Monte Young and James Tenney, implying a focus on natural intonation. With
‘Musique d’art’ they set their teeth in an hour-long, five-movement composition for string quintet.
Besides the Bozzini sisters and Allisa Cheung and Clemens Merkel, they are joined here by
Pierre-Alexandre Maranda playing the double bass. Earlier Quator Bozzini performed work by
Martin: ‘Icebergs et Soleil de Minuit – Quator en Blanc (2007). But ‘Musique d’Art’ is a welcome
next step. The work is built from extended dissonant and abrasive sound entities, moving on like
a massive tectonic plate, with a very differentiated sound spectrum at a micro level. In the second
part there occur some dramatic changes where the music changes into harsh and noisy sections.
Overall with this composition Martin offers an intriguing exercise in combining noise and music,
that reminded me at moments of the work of Rumanian composer Iancu Dumitrescu. Playing with
timbre and pitch the music deeply resonates, and is very expressive and emotional in its own way.
In a great performance by Quator Bozzini and Maranda! (DM)
––– Address: http://actuellecd.com/



BENJAMIN VERGARA & FRED LONBERG-HOLM & AARON ZARZUTZKI – FIVE ARIAS FOR
   NALCA (CD by Inexhaustible Editions)

Recently we spoke here of Harald Kimmig’s remarkable solo-effort on violin ‘One Body One Bow
One String’. This time another new release by the Slovenia-based Inexhaustible Editions has our
attention. It concerns a trio recording by Benjamín Vergara (trumpet), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello)
and Aaron Zarzutzki (synthesizer, objects), recorded at Elastic, Chicago on December 8th 2016.
The name of Fred Lonberg-Holm needs no introductions, but Benjamin Vergara and Aaron
Zarzutzki are new to me. Trumpeter Benjamin Vergara comes from Valdivia, Chile. He is involved
 in improvised as well as modern composed music and director of the Festival of Experimental
Music Relincha in Valvidia. Aaron Zarzutzki is based in Chicago involved in diverse projects of
improvised music. Earlier (2011) Holm and Zarzutzki released a duo-work: ‘Freminiazation of the
Tassel’. The music by this trio is born from many different influences: improvisation, contemporary
composed music, electronics, etc. They use a wide range of playing and composing techniques.
They don’t exclude anything. For this meeting, the aria was in one way or another a point of
reference. All five improvisations on this recording are titled ‘Aria I’ up to ‘Aria V’. An aria is an
expressive melody sung by one voice, often as a part of an opera. No idea why they chose this as
a title. Listening to their radical improvisations it seems a little far-fetched to suggest they mirror
their improvisations with the aria-format. In the opening improvisation, they develop very cautiously
their sound-oriented textures. With Lonberg-Holm playing long-stretched notes and Zarzutzki
playing even more long-stretched out patterns. And Vergara doing short attacks trying to play
something of a melody. In the fourth ‘Aria’ his solo has more melodic qualities. In the second ‘Aria’
it is Holm who impresses with his intense playing. Zarzutzki is an inventive performer and his
interventions fit organically with the cello and trumpet. They construct balanced abstract textures
with fine timbres and colour. Relevant stuff! (DM)
––– Address: http://inexhaustible-editions.com/



FROSTLAKE - ICE & BONE (CD by Discus Music)

Frostlake is multi-instrumentalist Jan Todd (vocals, lyrics, electronics, guitars, banjo, Lute Harp,
Celtic Harp, zither, viola, melodica, clarinet, recorders, glockenspiel, Idiopan, percussion, Korg
MS2000, Wavedrum, drum creations, midi keys, Arturia Microbrute, field recordings and found
objects and her partner Terry Todd (bass guitars, Idiopan Dominus). This new album is the follow
up to ‘White Moon, Black Moon’ where Jan Todd was assisted by many more musicians. For this
recording, she decided to keep more in her own hands. After a period of performing live, they
decided to make a recording of these songs. The studio versions of this collection of songs are
similar to their live versions I understand. With acoustical and electronic means they create
atmospheric, ethereal songs. Poppy and with influences of folk, expressing a typical English
esthetic. Done with taste. All songs are of a reflective nature and pleasantly laid back. The delicate
vocals by Jan are multi-layered. As a listener, you are plunged from start to finish in dreamy,
otherworldly soundscapes. Not one moment you are disturbed in the reflective and melancholic
mood this music inevitably evokes. No unexpected twists of experimental manoeuvres will wake
you up. Because of this, the whole works a bit monotonous. All songs move on in more or less the
same pace. But the fact that each song has a careful arrangement of acoustical and electronic
sounds that are effectively interwoven, makes this one very enjoyable. (DM)
––– Address:  https://discusmusic.bandcamp.com/



4! – FACTORIAL (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)

4! Is a quartet of Patrizia Oliva (voice, electronics, bawu, objects), Carlo Mascolo (prepared
trombone), Domenico Saccente (accordion, prepared piano) and Felice Furioso (drums, friction
drums, double bass, sounded objects). Mascolo, Saccente and Furioso know one other also from
their work as Kerlox Dynamic 4et that is supplemented by pianist Michel Russo and focused on
combining Mediterranean music and improvisation. With 4! Russo is replaced by singer Oliva, and
they choose for a different concept I guess. With an unusual combination of instruments, this Italian
quartet takes the path of free electro-acoustic improvisation. Patrizia Oliva is an Italian singer,
musician, author and improviser, involved in experimental music that crosses electronics, electro-
acoustic, free jazz and performing arts. Most of her output so far is documented on Setola di Maiale.
Domenico Saccente is an Italian pianist and accordion player, trained at Conservatorio Dei Babbi
Natali Esistenti in Matera, Italy. Mascolo we also just met in his collaboration with Andreas Fulgosi
(‘Losca mio Gulofs’ for Inexhaustible Editions). He is the director of the Free Flow Festival and
plays in contexts of jazz, world music, etc. (Embryo, Carlos Zingaro, Jean-Marc Foussat, etc).
About drummer Felice Furioso I couldn’t find much, but his name says everything. Most of the
performers are new to me and I’m always eager to meet new improvisers and to see what new
possibilities they create. In the case of 4! We are offered a great variety of condensed in 9
improvisations. They use many contrasting gestures and patterns in order to create dramatic and
theatrical effects. Their improvisations are expressive and flexible, with changes in dynamics, etc.
Accelerating in a down to earth way one moment (‘Cave Caverna’), taking a flight into ethereal
zones at another (‘Intona suoni’). Oliva impresses with her vocals, using many different aspects of
her vocal abilities: (quasi-) verbal and non-verbal singing, Sprechgesang, screaming and
mumbling, etc. Although the musical richness and inventiveness of their explorations are
considerable, their interactions were not that ‘hot’ to make it a satisfying experience for me in the
end. (DM)
––– Address: https://www.creativesourcesrec.com/



GLEN WHITEHEAD TRIO – THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (CD by Pfmentum)

This combines the talents of Britton Ciampa (drums), Scott Walton (bass) and Glen Whitehead
(trumpet). Whitehead is a trumpeter, sound artist and associate professor of Music at the University
of Colorado. Scott Walton is a very experienced performer who worked with George Lewis, John
Carter, Vinny Golia, Nels Cline, a.o. Ciampa is a young drummer from Colorado. Whitehead
explains: “The Living Daylights is based on natural phenomena that play with our perceptions of
space, time and place, created from improvisational structures that enable many possibilities within
the natural restraints of a conscious system.” I learned from Immanuel Kant that we don’t perceive
time and space, but that we perceive things ín time and space. But don’t let us make it a play with
words here. But this abstract formal statement is in contrast with the music that communicates along
with other ways and saying a lot more. There is some very lively and passionate interplay to be
enjoyed here. With very spirited playing by Briton Ciampa on drums. Ciampa absolutely impresses
with his playful and very present style, often suggesting the course to follow. But also Whitehead
and Walton give absolutely their best and makes this a very expressive and communicative set full
of interactions that sparkle of energy and joy. With really gorgeous moments like in the finale of
‘Living Daylights Suite 3 – Apophenia’.  Exercising their own intelligent brew of avant-garde jazz
they decide only a few times for more far out free improvised excursions, that have Whitehead
effectively using some extended techniques. Overall the performing is very organic, vibrant and
together. A clear example of the result being more than the sum of its parts. Excellent! (DM)
––– Address: http://pfmentum.com/



THOMAS TILLY - A SEMIOTIC SURVEY (CD by Ferns)

The previous release I heard by Thomas Tilly was 'Codex Amphibia', for which he recorded
source material in French Guiana. On this new CD, he also uses recordings he made in that
country, but earlier, in 2015. Along with these recordings, he adds electronic sounds and what is
called 'microphones dysfunctions sounds', whatever that might be. It all has to do with the
"perceptible inversion of the proportions between humans and those of non-humans and the
undeniable fact of the audibility of this inversion". Ah! Some of the sounds on this release are high
pitched, which doesn't make it easy for the ageing listener, such as myself to hear everything
properly. I think. It is not easy to tell what is an electronic sound here and which sounds were
derived from nature, but I am assuming that is the whole point of these pieces. For each of the
pieces, the cover informs us what we are supposed to be hearing and three of the seven pieces
are 'edited field recordings', one is a 'processed field recording', two with the rest already mentioned
and the longest piece is 'field recordings transposed (-2400 cents)'. This is certainly not easy music
I would think. Partly because of the frequencies used, which sometimes borders to the inaudible
but also it is not clear for me why there is a seventeen-minute piece of transposed recordings. I
mean, everything can be transposed a lot or not, but what is the point? Now, it may seem as if there
wasn't enough material for a release and so, let's transpose and stretch out some. The advantage
is that, because it is slowed down, the pitch goes down and it becomes all more audible. I am not
sure if that was the point here. It is music made with field recordings, like so much music is done
these days, but the outcome is quite unsettling and alien, not aiming to please the listener I would
think (I could be wrong of course) and as such is Thomas Tilly doing something out of the ordinary
and that, of course, can only be regarded as a great thing. (FdW)
––– Address: https://fernsrecordings.bandcamp.com/



TROND KALLEVÅG HANSEN - BEDEHUS & HAWAII (CD by Hubro)
EXOTERM - EXITS INTO A CORRIDOR (CD by Hubro)
ERLEND APNESETH TRIO WITH FRODE HALTLI - SALIKA, MOLIKA (CD by Hubro)

Here's a trio of new releases by Norway's Hubro. The first is by Trond Kallevåg Hansen, a guitarist
who makes his debut here. The label doesn't hand much information about him. On this CD he has
a band around him on drums, percussion, double bass, violin, guitar, electronics and field
recordings (the latter three by the composer) and the leading role is played by Geir Siundstøl who
plays the guitar, pedal steel, marxophone, optigan and xylophone. This is a strange record. The
music is all-instrumental, save for some taped bits here and there, and it has a feeling that is folky,
jazzy, but also improvisation and some Pacific tunes. The fact that 'Hawaii' is mentioned in the title
is surely no accident. The slide guitar is a very prominent instrument here. The music is throughout
slow and laidback, almost like a hot summer's night in the Pacific (of course: like I would know how
that feels!). The music has a strong filmic character, even when I have no clue what kind of film this
would be. A technicolour shot one from the sixties of Hawaii and this as the new soundtrack, I
suppose. It is music that slows me down, almost giving me that holiday feeling. Hand me that
cocktail, turn off that awful computer and where's the sun?
    Exoterm is two people from Norway, Kristoffer Bere Alberts (saxophones) and Rune Nergaard
(bass) and two Americans, Nels Cline (guitar) and Jim Black (drums and electronics). Their music
is of a totally different nature. It takes you right off the desert island and puts you straight back into
reality. Well, sort of, I guess. It is mostly on the rock and improvisation side of the musical spectrum,
loud and massive most of the time, wild and very free. The third element in this dish is free jazz.
Especially when the saxophone takes up a lead or two, then it is very much a free jazz festival. I
like it when they move into a steady rock thing with a straightforward rhythm section, pounding
away, in a firm post-punk fashion and the saxophone more in the background, yet in its current
free form. There aren't many solos here, which I also liked very much. Probably some well-known
names here but no big egos; not in the music at least. It is music that is loaded with energy and
that passes on the listener. What's next? Vacuum cleaning, gardening, moving the house, literally?
It is that burst of energy, even when Exoterm is playing something 'quiet'; well, whatever is
considered 'quiet' in their universe, of course.
    Following that storm, it is time for something to wind down; moving houses is heavy lifting.
'Salika, Molika' is the third album by the Erlend Apneseth Trio. The two previous ones can be
found in Vital Weekly 1043 and 1108. The trio consists of Apneseth himself in Hardanger fiddle,
Stephen Meidell on baritone acoustic guitar, zither, live sampling and electronics and Øyvind
Hegg-Lunde on drums and percussion. On this CD there is also Frode Haltli on accordion. It is the
shortest of the three new releases, clocking at thirty--three minutes, seven pieces, but what
excellent music. Folk music is surely an interest here, but it's played through improvising and the
results are great. This music merges the best of what experimental music can be, weird sounds,
voices, instruments with a great melancholic touch of the instruments. Sometimes it is done in
such a way that one hardly notices this, the weird sounds just slip in and played along, and
sometimes they can be the start of a piece; a rattling mess of sounds out of which arises all of
sudden 'music' appears. My favourite is the title piece, with its lovely voice sample, an ethnic feel
to the percussion, the folk tunes on the accordion and the fiddle; it could be a hit, I think. What do I
know? From these three releases, which I thought were all great, this last one is the one I liked
most. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.hubromusic.com



FREDRIK RATSEN - SIX MOVING GUITARS (CD by Sofa Music)
NIKLAS ADAM - UNDULATE (CD by Sofa Music)

If I understand the text than 'Six Moving Guitars' is about three musicians playing acoustic guitars
in open tunings and three dancers, trying to find unity in music and movement. I think the guitar
players also move around; something like that. The idea/composition is from Fredrik Rasten (1988)
who plays in ensembles as Oker and Pip and released an album on Edition Wandelweiser and
now this one. In the five pieces on this release, we hear the guitars but also people moving through
space, although not always. Surely in 'Running' we hear them, going in a similar motion as the
guitars are being strummed. Now, I could say something about the lack of visuals here; it would
indeed be great to see how such a piece looks and sounds, but for some reason, we only hear the
sound part of it, but so, I was also thinking, this might be a good thing as well. Maybe that adds the
mystery of the music. These pieces, consisting of strumming guitars in slow motion, a strum and
then waiting for the decay to be almost gone before strumming again, and with three guitars in
almost unison makes this an excellent minimalist release. There is a solemn feeling to the music.
The mystery lies also in the movements that have been recorded; as we can't see them we have
no idea what it is about and it sounds like an extra layer of acoustic sounds being added to the
music. This is some truly fascinating minimal music!
    The other new album by Norway's Sofa Music is most likely stranger and yet also very minimalist.
Adam is born in 1986 in Denmark and works within performance, installation and music. He works
with "programming and electronics to generate instruments and/or situations with an inherent open
sentiment, and from there he examines how the ability of this work can break loose from the
traditional behavioural patterns of listening, rational thinking and immediacy". 'Undulate' is has two
pieces (it is also available on LP) and just what it is, isn’t easy to describe. An extract from the press
text perhaps might help, "it's a concert. It's a lecture. It's a drum solo, a homage to Tudor, an opaque
invitation, it's a conversation in silence and incomprehensible fields, a test for an upcoming AGI" I
guess this doesn't make much sense, but the music also doesn't. Not to me at least. These two
pieces are collages of sounds. All sorts of sounds. Voices, organs, objects moved around in a
small space, electronic sounds responding to these sounds (perhaps), computer treatments
(maybe) and yes, I have no idea what this is. It is minimal, as one only hears a few sounds at the
same time, there are slow crossfades; it might be improvised using software (the cover may
indicate the presence of software), but for all I know it might be the result of some careful planning.
There is some built up to be noticed in these pieces, going from a longer section to a longer
section, using individual sound events See, I really have no clue. Having said that, I must say I
am also highly fascinated by this music; sounds that seemingly don't fit together, for instance,
working surprisingly well. Adam has apparently great control over these sounds and puts them
in the right place, so it seems. This is not something that gives away too much at first listening
but one that slowly opens up. (FdW)
––– Address: http://sofamusic.no



THE HOME CURRENT - THE SPLENDOUR OF CHANGE (7"/CDR by Static Caravan)

The weather has been cold these days; not very May-like I would think. With much of the music I
receive also being a bit of doom and glum, it is great to receive a package by Static Caravan. In
fact, it is all year round great to hear music released on this veteran label of all things very
alternative pop. Today it is time for Martin Jensen who calls his project The Home Current. I already
heard his previous Static Caravan 7" (Vital Weekly 1082), calling it "excellent Kosmische space
touch, which adds in the context of pop an excellent sunny touch to the music", but rather short at
the time. Now we are offered fourteen new pieces on the CDR and a further two on the 7". This is
not the debut CD as there has been a previous release by Polytechnic Youth in 2018. This is some
excellent music; music that puts a little warmth in this house. It is all instrumental, it is all electronic
with synthesizers and drum machines, having its roots in techno, pop, Elektro; in Kraftwerk, OMD,
John Foxx and sounding mechanical but also very warm. Like before there is the odd feeling of
rock music in here. I am not sure whether that is due to the pop-length of the songs, or some of the
rougher energy The Home Current uses in playing his music. It is full of energy and vibrancy. The
bass (A real one? A machine? I don't know) is at times very present, which is very nice. The Home
Current lets quieter, spacier and more cosmic elements collide nicely with crunchy beats and bass
sounds and melodies are present in every corner, so it seems. I played it twice in a row and
towards the end, the sun came a little bit. No doubt that was an accident but a happy one; just as
happy as the music made me. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org/



CONSTANT LIGHT - APPROACH (CDR by Second Language Records)
AUTOMATING - HEAD LAND (CDR by Second Language Records)
AUTOMATING - LOST & PROFOUND (CDR by Second Language Records)

These three releases contain music by Australia's Sascha Margolis and two of them are solo
releases by him as Automating and one is a duo with James Dean under the banner of Constant
Light. The eleven pieces on this release are listed as Side A and Side B but I assume there is no
vinyl version. Musically these releases are far apart. I heard music by Constant Light before and I
quite enjoy their take on electro-pop. I called it krauty and cosmic before (Vital Weekly 784) and
their longer pieces, later on, didn't convince me very much (Vital Weekly 1096) but on this new
album, there are only short pieces. Some of these are brief interludes, which for all I care, could
have been left off as they digress too much from the main dish and that is a bunch of lovely quirky
pop songs. Lots of synths and drum machines (real drums on two tracks), in the tradition of early
Depeche Mode, Andreas Dorau and Silicon Teens; well, perhaps not as silly as the latter. Had
they been doing this stuff in the early 80s, I could easily imagine this being on Mute Records.
Incidentally, there is also a song called 'Mute' here. The mostly falsetto voice (duties are not
mentioned on the cover, so I have no idea who does what, except for the three guest players) fits
the most perfectly; on 'Nothing's Right' there is a much darker voice and the tone of the piece is
also sombre, which is perhaps out of place here. Otherwise, this is perfect pop music, worthy of a
release on vinyl. Preferable this record should be by Mute Records of course.
    As Automating, Sascha Margolis has had a bunch of releases. I enjoyed most of them so far and
Automating moves all over the place with his sound collages. As such this new one is not really
different. There is found sound in the form of an opera singer, delay/reverb work, field recordings
and drones. All of this is manipulated using computers or cassettes; well, or a combination of both.
I am not sure there, just as I have not a very clear idea of how this music was made otherwise,
whether or not there are instruments used. I would believe some form of sampling is surely used,
sound effects are used, and I would guess some synthesizer is in place. If I had to compare the
music of Automating with something, I would think in way Nurse With Wound's use of the studio as
an instrument is surely one. It might very well be that Margolis took the name of his musical project
from the various volumes that Nurse With Wound released to compile various bits and pieces from
compilations. Margolis doesn't cover the entire spectrum of Nurse With Wound, but more specifically
the use of drones and found sound. He does quite a fine job at that and these eight pieces, ranging
from four to fifteen minutes proof. It's never too long or too brief and done with some great power
and style.
    The other new release by Automating is not new, but a collection of out of print releases.
Contained herein we find 'Lightbox Sky' (Vital Weekly 1127), 'Bereitschaftspotential' (Vital Weekly
930), 'Cloud Burst' and 'Third Eye' (Vital Weekly 939) and two unreleased pieces. This could be,
pardon the pun, the 'Automating' by Automating. These earlier works, although not all necessarily
very old, explore what he does now, but it takes a much more minimalist approach in terms of
development. Especially in the first two pieces, which take up about forty minutes, which is half the
album. Head over to the old reviews if you want to know more. 'Third Eye' gets a remix treatment
here in what is called 'electric sounds hardcore jungle remix', which it is not really. It lacks the
power of such music. The other new track is a very nice exploration of drones, in what I would
think is a very digital way. Perhaps this will be a new direction for Automating? (FdW)
––– Address: https://constantlight.bandcamp.com/



THE HUM - II (cassette by Insula Jazz)
BLIND MAN'S BAND - SURVIVING FLIES (cassette by Insula Jazz)
ETHAN BOKMA - DANCE, EARTH! SHAKE OFF THESE BORDERS (cassette by Insula Jazz)
KOGARASHI - ALL SORROW FEELS ANCIENT (cassette by Insula Jazz)

As none of these names meant something to me, I just pick one up and started my journey there.
Insula Jazz is a label run by Claus Poulsen, whom we best know as an improviser in Small Things
On Sundays and Star Turbine, as well as solo. He's present here on a release as well. I started with
The Hum, a quartet of Henrik Pultz Melby (saxophone), Henrik Olsson (guitar), Nicolai Kaas
Claesson (bass/cello/synth) and Rune Lohse (drums). There is no other information than that
Olsson and Claesson did the mix and the master. I have no idea if this was recorded live or in a
studio. They play improvised from a noisy and jazzy side of things, even when it is not necessarily
all-loud. 'Oz6ym' and 'OZ1FF', the first and last track here are quite affairs in which all the players
seem to be lashing out, with the latter taking up the entire the second side. In the other four pieces,
they seem to be exploring space and silence and isolated sounds in combination with an anarchic
approach to music. It's all quite nice and powerful.
    From here to Blind Man's Band, a trio of Claus Poulsen (bass), Christian Rønn (würlitzer) and
Kevin Angboly (drums) is only a small step. Theirs is a live recording from February this year and
the difference is in the details. They play to be a real free jazz trio, with everybody taking turns
when it comes to doing solos on their instruments. The live recording adds a raw quality to the
music. It is perhaps an unusual trio of instruments (or perhaps not; what do I know about free jazz?
Exactly!) Maybe it's inspired by Sun Ra? Maybe it is not? There is some hyperactive playing going
on in 'Repeat', in which Poulsen's bass sound noisier than ever, but in all five pieces it sounds like
it is burning down, instead of being hectically plucked. Also, the others do their best times to hit the
cans and the keys really furious but throughout a line of jazz is a thread in all of these pieces.
    The opening minutes of Ethan Bokma playing bass clarinet, live on December 27, 2017 (location
not mentioned), is a quite relief after all the sonic violence so far. I had not heard of him. His last
name sounds Dutch. After four minutes one Danny Gorham joins on drums.  From here on it
becomes moodier and freer, but it never gets as wild as on the other two. I had the impression that
Bokma slipped in a few notes from 'The End' by The Doors (or perhaps it was because I just heard
Blind Man's Band, I was thinking of The Doors with that organ stabbing and jazz stuff), but maybe I
am mistaken. It is quite a solemn piece of music with the drums pounding neatly away until things
become a bit wilder but never too much. The end, coming at some twenty minutes is a bit abrupt;
too abrupt if you ask me. I wish it had ended on a slower pace, perhaps like the way it started and
that it would have come full circle. Great tape.
    We end this journey with Kogarashi, a duo of Tashi Dorij on guitar and Patrick Shiroishi on
sopranino and alto saxophone. They recorded the two sides at Coxial on September 9th, 2018.  I
don't think there was much mixing afterwards, as it seems to be a pretty straightforward recording.
For reasons I myself am not entirely sure of, I thought this was the least appealing of the lot. The
music was perhaps too much of regular improvisation for me; a bit of feedback, bits of sustain here
and there, but nothing much special, I thought. (FdW)
––– Address: https://insulamusic.bandcamp.com/



ANNE-F JACQUES & RYOKO AKAMA & TAKAMITSU OHTA - THE MAGIC CITY (cassette by
  Hasana Editions)
WILL GUTHRIE - SOME NASTY (cassette by Hasana Editions)

Here we have two releases by the Indonesian Hasana Editions label and it might be (I can be
wrong here) that all of these musicians are not from Indonesia. On the first cassette, we have three
composers/improvisers; Anne-F Jacques is from Canada, Ryoka Akama from Japan but residing in
the UK and Takamitsu Ohta is from Japan. This cassette was recorded in Todmorden, UK, on the
first of November 2018. It is if understood properly, a combination of a concert and installation,
involving glass bottles, rocks, newspaper, PVC pipes, matches, electronics or dried leaves, which
are all played by all involved. This sounds like an endless stream of sounds, very acoustic, like
rummaging through a pile of rubbish. There is no regularity to be spotted in this lot; it is all about
accidents happening, of sounds overlapping in different places, I guess. Whatever 'electronic' is
here is hard to guess. It might be the amplification of the sounds, through pick-ups, coils or
whatever, resulting towards the end of 'Holly In The City Magic' in a nice subtle feedback drone,
but through these forty minutes is all about a direct acoustic sound. I have no idea how this was
recorded, but there is a beautiful direct sound approach here, which works really great. At times I
was reminded of Yeast Culture - if that is a connection anyone still remembers. It also reminded
me of some of the lo-fi cassette artists of which there are quite a few around these days, but then
without much electronics. This is the most wonderful release.
    From Australia, a long time ago, or from France, where he is for a long time now, is drummer Will
Guthrie. It has been quite a while since I heard his solo music I think - Vital Weekly 547, if I am not
mistaken, save for a recent track on a compilation. Both sides sound like one piece, but via little
breaks, there is also something to be said for a bunch of individual pieces. All of this work is from
2018 and 2019 and, perhaps, gives us some update on the current state of his development in
improvised percussion, electronics and field recordings. There is also, so sayeth the label, "several
tussles with a couple of Indonesian percussions such as gamelan, saron and gong". Guthrie goes
back and forth between some hefty passages of sound versus something mighty introspective, from
noise to silent and back again and it is quite an adventurous ride that is going on here. From free
rolling to the tapping of rhythms; from free jazz to noise towards electronics. On the second side, it
seems as if Guthrie takes some more time to explore his sounds but here there is an element of
collage to be spotted. It all works quite well. There is time enough to explore the moves, there is
variety and we have a good look at the abilities of Guthrie. Well-updated I was now, and wouldn't
mind hearing some more. (FdW)
––– Address: https://hasanaeditions.bandcamp.com/



KLINIKUM - HYPERMNESIA (cassette by Non Interrupt)
KLINIKUM - NEOCITY (cassette by Non Interrupt)

Here we have more music by Egbert van der Vliet, whose recent re-discovery of the world of
cassettes lead to an explosion of musical ideas. First, we get 'Hypermnesia', which is a twenty-
minute piece on a single-sided cassette. It is his first long piece of music, exploring a world of
ambient sounds in a somewhat harsher context. When he handed me these cassettes in person I
forgot to ask him what his sound sources are (I know, not clever, but it's called reviewing, not
journalism) and talked about lots of other things instead. There might the sound of glass, of
shovelling and some electronics. The longer form of the piece works quite well, going from one
place to the next. I was reminded of a slighter harsher zoviet*france, but Van der Vliet told me
Core and Cranioclast are also big influences for him, which I can see here better than on his
previous release.
    Twenty-three minutes is the length of the six pieces on 'Neocity'. You could wonder why he
didn't put both on one cassette. Not a strange question, as much of this music, could be seen as
an extension of 'Hypermnesia', only shorter and with a bit more variation. It continues with that
ambient industrial sound and here, more than on the other, I could hear that Cranioclast influence,
especially in the last and longest piece, 'Viaduct', with its underpass sound quality and dripping
sounds. A melodic touch runs throughout these pieces, more than on the other release it seems.
What's next, I wonder? And for how long can this speed be maintained? (FdW)
––– Address: https://non-interrupt.tumblr.com/



DAS SYNTHESTISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - ZWISCHENMENSCHEN (cassette by More Mars)
ROSS MANNING - TE T ON ON TI COMPUTER (cassette by More Mars)

Guido Hübner is one of the very few people I know in the world of experimental music who has
never exchanged his 'band' name for the use of his own name, as so many others did. For those
people it might be a sign of being more serious now, for Hübner it might mean that he was always
serious about his work and everything is a continuation of what was started so long ago. When he
started out, in the early to mid-1980's he released a bunch of cassettes and later vinyl and some
CDs but in his work releases no longer seem to be important. It is all very much about music being
in concert and this cassette is documentation of concerts from 2018, all in Germany. DSM is all
about electro-acoustic music and in recent years he built his own "mechanic, motor-driven
assemblages, mixing desks, piezo- and other types of microphones and pick-ups and use
Equalisation pedals to balance Jack and XLR inputs to an equal signal level" as it says on the
cover. The music here is not culled from various concerts but rather a mix of various concerts and
home recordings/rehearsals, all in one long, coherent stream of sound. There is very little, if any at
all, by way of electronic sounds; perhaps electric sounds, from motors used, but otherwise, it is all
firmly acoustic. It doesn't make it quiet music per se; there isn't necessarily a hands-on approach
here, but with all the objects shaking, moving, colliding and bumping around there is a constant
shift in sound to be noticed here. Scraping and rolling sounds that make ever-changing patterns;
if that is what they are of course. Maybe they are not patterns at all? I am reminded me of Kapotte
Muziek in concert but DSM is throughout louder here and less careful in approaching the material.
Recently DSM played a few a concerts in The Netherlands but sadly not in my hometown; I am
sure it must have looked and sounded great, this half a concert and half a sound installation.
    Greece's More Mars released a cassette by Ross Manning before (see Vital Weekly 1062). This
Australian musician is not particularly fond of much information on his covers, so I still have no idea
what he does, but last time I wrote: "Manning creates his own instruments since a very early age
and on this cassette we find four of his pieces using these DIY electronics and "shelf-made string
pannel" [sic]", so perhaps it is fair to say he is still doing that. The chaotic approach of before is
now gone and there is much more control to be noted in these pieces, which works very much for
the benefit of the music. Of course, he is doing a similar instrument here, which is something I am
not sure of. It is a most enjoyable release here, in which Manning carefully explores the sounds he
produces with his devices. On the first side, there is a beautiful drone-like exploration of this,
somewhere in the middle of the tape, whereas on the second side there is a more percussive
element in the music. Then it sounds like a bit nervous yet regular tapping of violin strings.
Throughout there is a rough element in the music like it has been taped in a space, using an
amplifier and space plays a small but not insignificant role here. It is a mighty step forward, I
thought. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.moremars.org/



MODELBAU - WAVELENGTH (cassette by Cloudchamber Recordings)
MODELBAU - A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE (cassette by Regional Bears)
MODELBAU - LONG DISTANCE CALL (cassette by Non-Interrupt)

Somehow, I’ve become the world’s foremost reviewer of Frans de Waard albums. Not sure if that
distinction is prestigious enough to win me free drinks at the bar (“Hey, do you know who I am?”),
but it must qualify me for something. I suspect that it only qualifies me to review more Frans de
Waard albums. I’m okay with that. As I mentioned the last time I reviewed a bunch of Frans de
Waard albums, I think I’ve heard everything the man has done, or nearly so. Frans and I have also
made a handful of collaborative albums and will likely make more… so you know that I’m not just
the President of the Frans de Waard Fan Club, I’m also a member. All three FdW albums under
consideration here were made under the Modelbau banner, which is his latest and currently most
productive nom de musique. Unlike previous names he’s used that have some conceptual
boundary between one another (Shifts, Captain Black, Freiband, and so on), Modelbau combines
all sorts of methods, both analog and digital, with diverse audible results. Lately, though, it seems
that Frans has been in a somber mood, crafting long pieces of prickly drift. 
    The “Wavelength” album, released on cassette by Cloud Chamber in an edition of 30 copies
plus download from Bandcamp, is a meditative lullaby to inspire anxious dreams. It begins,
surprisingly, with a blast of brightly colored ommmm, a forceful chord that’s so aggressively sunny
that I wondered how it could be sustained for half an hour… naturally, the upbeat opening volley is
not meant to last. Sunshine eventually dissipates into spectral crumbles and growling gravel, further
devolving into a ghostly hiss textured by the wonderful (to me, anyway) sound of stressed tape,
audibly thin from wear and overuse. The second side begins denser than the previous side left off,
striking hard with a volley of furiously chirping nocturnal insects. Like the first side, the initial attack
dissipates after awhile, stripping back the layers and allowing a thick drone hum to undulate for
awhile without much human guidance. By the end, the only activity on “Wavelength” is a stark,
irregular electric pulse and some rapid eye movement.
    The next tape, “A World of Difference”, is half an hour of shortwave glurp and fragmented
wildlife (and actual human) songs with subtle electronic interference from de Waard. The tape
opens by scanning a radio and discovering distant garbled chatter, submitting the speaking (?)
voices to alienating echo and loops… I was reminded of a more sedate or minimal Zoviet France.
The bits of language smears and fades, steadily transforming into a waterfall until the reverie is
rudely interrupted by percussive intrusion. Side two brings the listener into a rainforest at night,
surrounded by screaming crickets, birds and distant chanting. About midway through this artificial
landscape, the voices abruptly slam into a deconstructed raga, a momentary melodic lifeboat that
falls apart bit by bit, leaving solitary chords punching out from beneath a bed of silence. The
recognizable shortwave, appropriated music and field recordings on “A World of Difference” give
it a very particular character, maybe more accessible than other Modelbau outings.
    The final tape of this Modelbau avalanche is “Long Distance Call”, is abstract indeed. Similar
to “Wavelength”, it has a deliberate pace and a seamless combination of throbbing synthesizer
tones and radio fuzz. Side 1 is a drifting drone, the elements gliding and circling round each other
gracefully. You might keep it on as background music as you work, which is not recommended (or
possible?) to do with the more in-your-face heft of Side 2. Though still essentially a drone, side 2’s
powerfully deep bass demands the listener’s attention. The layers of sharp chime and tape-
hysteresis warble manage to soak up all the available oxygen in front of the speakers. The back
half of the side is a torrent of churning feedback and gristle, a more paranoid form of active
ambience. (HS)
––– Address: https://cloud-chamber.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: https://regionalbears.bandcamp.com
––– Address: https://non-interrupt.tumblr.com



KOOKY NUTS POP VOLUME 3 (cassette compilation by Istotne Nagr.)

Let me quote and rework Vital Weekly 1133 so it has old words and new names: before launching
into a diatribe why I don't like reviewing compilations (which is not the same as saying 'I don't like
compilations'; I sometimes do), it is still the way of getting to know a bunch of musicians and
projects one has never heard about. In this case even times twenty-one musicians that never seem
to have made to these pages. Marcin Przylecki is the man who compiled this release. Since 2006
he has a radio show "presenting all kinds of various 'weird' electronic music, and for the tenth
anniversary, he released the first volume of this, asking his friends to supply him with tracks. Now
it's time for a third volume and here’s a list of all of those new names; DJ Ubunoir, Jack Dump,
OxygenStar, Fossa, Jallu Magic Orchestra, Yambabom, Morusque, Ergo Phizmiz (PLC), Tep,
Graham Kartna, Jason Forrest, Mohrcore, Native Cell, Faxada, Maciej Maciągowski, Darren Keen,
Libythth, Arkadiusz Entropia, SAX, Sinsky, Joxaren, Daftberk and Siren's Carcass. Of course,
somebody out there will say: “oh my, what a great cast of my favourite musicians”. I just only
recognized the names of Ergo Phizmiz and Jason Forest. I am not sure if 'weird' is also the word
Przylecki would use for these pieces and I do realize it is a term that is easy to be discussed. What
is weird for me can be normal for you. For me, many of these songs are very normal. I'd say all of
these people studied carefully how People Like Us constructed songs out of plundered sounds,
when she did work with a lot of the exotic records (I am not sure if she still does that); put a beat to
it, make a bit dubby, steppy, chip tuny (quite a bit of that here) or technoy and you have a pleasant,
short pop song. Sometimes I am also reminded of the music released by Bearsuit Records, with
equally sample heavy material. Of course 'weird' doesn't have to equal 'difficult', but many of these
songs are very much happy-clappy pastiches of easy tune, exotica, commercial pop, which makes
up a nice pastime soundtrack. It is nothing more, nothing less, which is of course not a bad thing.
(FdW)
––– Address: https://istotne-nagr.bandcamp.com/





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