number 1186
week 23


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  Circum Disc)
MAZUT - PROMIEN (CD by Postive Regression) *
CUKIER - THIRD SOURCE (CD by Antenna Non Grata) *
AKUSMATA (CD compilation by Antenna Non Grata)
COLIN POTTER - HEAR (2LP by Polytechnic Youth) *
JASON KAHN - LINING OUT (LP by Hiddenbell Records) *
  Fragment Factory)
MATTHEW ATKINS & ADAM KINSEY - LOWERCASE (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation) *


With the advancing of age, various people in my surrounding (both musical and non-musical)
developed an interest in meditation, Zen or such like. I’d like to think I am not old enough to do so,
but to be honest, I don't think it's my cup of tea. My bad. I thought who at the Weekly would be
interested in writing about this triple set of music based on "ten Zen Buddhist sutras. The recording
is investigating the part of Zen Buddhist philosophy, which states that no thing exists as a separate
self; everything is inseparable from everything else and always in flux'. Svendsen composed a
piece in which modern Western music and traditional Eastern culture, using his group Nakama to
play western music and a choir to sing the Buddhist chants. The ten pieces appear in three forms
on all three discs. On the first CD, we hear the choir and Nakama together, on the second disc just
Nakama and on the third CD Svendsen solo on bass but with occasional voice. I first assumed this
was music for meditation but it is not. Explored here are "the necessity of form as a means to
achieve freedom, both as a performer and a composer. Not freedom to choose but freedom from
choosing". All of this is pretty interesting, even for the non-Zen person that I claim to be. I played
the first disc and didn't quite get it, then played the other and returned to the first one. What seemed
some hippie chanting on wild free music now made more sense. This is some very free music and
in the longest piece 'Lotus Sutra', there is some great drive among the players and the choir,
almost like a hammer. Of the three discs, which I think all sound great, disc one is the most
complete version. The Nakama solo disc is fine too, but perhaps also sounds a bit too much like
a very modern classical recording; free improvisation but perhaps a bit traditional. The solo disc
was the most engaging one for meditation, with some deep soaring tones and solo chant. The
choir and Nakama disc is for me the real fire, and the more I played this fine meeting of modern
Western music and traditional Eastern chanting, the more sense it made for me. It all comes with
a big folder with text and pictures and is also available on LP. (FdW)
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There is no text along with this CD, nor, so it seems a nifty website that has that information (save
trees and that). I am not even sure if the website mentioned here is the right one; it is mentioned
on the cover but this CD is not to be found (I think). I understand that Torba is the musical project
of Mauro Diciocia, who is described on Discogs as a "sound-collage project focused on tape
manipulation, heavy electronics, field recordings, found footage, amplified body/vocals and objects
There have been a couple of releases, on such labels as Smell The Stench, Amex Nori, Breaching
Static, Monorail trespassing and Aaltra Records, the latter the precursor of Aaltra Edizione. You
don't need to be a linguistics professor to understand that the title means 'conventional music',
which is sure to be taken with a pinch of salt here. What Torba does is here is very interesting, in
terms of noise. The music is very loud, with much amplification on whatever it is that he does. Just
what he does, I am not entirely sure of. I heard here lots of field recordings, electronics, string
instruments beings craped, plucked and banged on, percussion, studio technology and all of this
quite loud. It's noise, but not your typical harsh noise music. Quite a bit of this is collaged together.
Here's what I think that Torba does: stick a ton of recordings on a multi-track device (computer no
doubt) and find a harsh dialogue within these sounds. These might be contradicting each other,
acoustic versus electronic, rough cutting in and out of the mix; sometimes certain sounds continue,
while others are abruptly removed from the mix. Sometimes there is a total changeover of the
scenery. It goes on and on and it never stops to surprise me. The total length of the piece is thirty-
nine minutes and it is great. It does away with all the careful approaches you normally have with
field recordings, it has nothing to do with drone music or ambient for that matter, and it crudely
mixes acoustic instruments with snippets from inside a factory and a demolition site. It is not an
entirely unique approach I would think, but there are not enough people doing this sort of brutal
musique concrete. Highly recommended! (FdW)
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Moe is in operating mode since 2008. From their base in Oslo, they travel the world and developed
into an astonishing live act with punk, noise, sludge as main ingredients of their music. Moe is a trio
of Guro Skumsnes Moe (bass, vocals), Joakim Heibø Johansen (drums) and Håvard Skaset (guitar,
synths). The latest development is their incorporating of free jazz influences, as is demonstrated on
their latest work which has a collaboration with Mette Rasmussen (saxophone), a Danish sax
player based in Trondheim. Improvisation is her thing, ranging from free jazz to pure sound
explorations. Before recording (September 2018), they did a tour together in Mexico. That worked
out successful and doing a recording was a logical next step. Combinations of noise and free jazz
are not new, but in the hands of these musicians it results in some very spontaneous and powerful
music with a charming one cannot easily neglect. They produce an overwhelming flow of noise
constantly near boiling temperature. Sections of pure noise, rock with a beat, free jazz, spoken
word and screaming are combined in captivating ‘songs’ with experimental twists. Their aggressive
and extreme performance is like a never-ending erupting volcano. Heavy stuff!  Well, you got the
picture, I suppose. (DM)
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  Circum Disc)

Here we have Swedish title for a release by a Lille-based trio of musicians from the Circum Disc
Scene. The title is Swedish for ‘to my friends’. Why in Swedish? Pianist Stefan Orins has mixed
French and Swedish origins, although born and raised in northern France, Scandinavian nature
and culture is often also a source of inspiration for his music. The three musicians involved know
one other since the early 90s and met in diverse combinations in the scene of Lille. All play for
example in the Circum Grand Orchestra. Stefan Orins has the biggest presence on releases by
Circum. For example, he has several albums out with his own trio with Christophe Hache on
double bass and Peter Orins on drums. Now we are speaking of a very different trio with Motury
playing the flugelhorn and Julien Favreuille tenor sax who make their debut with ‘Till Mina
Vänner’, offering many lyrical moments in their melody-oriented jazz. The compositions by Orins
are intelligent and multi-folded. In the opening track for example, ‘Bodisaattva’ we hear unison
parts of sax and flugelhorn on the hand and parts where the performers play from juxtaposed
positions. The performers play very sensitive and together, brewing some original and enjoyable
moments. Like in the ballad ‘Pétales au vent’ or in ‘Tabea fyller sju’. With a nicely treated melody
the composition, this is the track I like most from this release. But in general, it is a kind of jazz that
I personally find difficult to relate to and turned out not very appealing to me. (DM)
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MAZUT - PROMIEN (CD by Postive Regression)

Pawel Starzec and Michal Turowski are the two members of Mazut and they have played more
than 100 concerts in Europe and released so far four albums. Two of these made it to these pages,
'1' (Vital Weekly 1015) and 'Atlas' (Vital Weekly 1117). They have an array of "colour effects,
synthesizers, vintage radio receivers, Dictaphones, magnetic tapes found among trash or from the
flea market, sampler, drum machines, a four-track cassette recorder and a truckload of other gear".
Hearing the music they produce you might easily be convinced it is just a bunch of drum machines
and synthesizers or samplers. Whatever comes of those radio receivers and magnetic tapes is not
heard in the music, I think; that is not to say it is not there. The ten pieces on this album are quite
hard stomping electronic affairs, that, according to the band is "heavily inspired by early industrial
techno, Dutch acid scene and current EBM revival", which I guess more or less sums it up in a
neat way. Their music has matured quite a bit and is very strong. No hissy four-track cassette
production as far as I can judge these things. The production here is quite brutal like it has been
done on a computer.  It is all very techno-minded, very raw and aiming for the more adventurous
dance floor. Each track, save one, is about five to six minutes long and each of these work quite
fine; never too brief, never too long. It is, in all fairness, also music that is perhaps not really for the
pages of Vital Weekly. It is, even in all its brute force, perhaps a bit too normal? Other channels
might serve the interests of Mazut better than we could do; publications of more dance music
related origin. I made me wanted to dig out some old Unit Moebius records if I knew where to
find them.
    Michal Turowski also has "basically a debut album" to present, meaning there have been also
two very obscure CDRs released, mostly for friends. The music here is very different than that of
Mazut. Rhythm, as in produces by machines, is pretty much absent. Rhythms, as in loops of sound
repeating is, however, a strong presence here. The music here deals with the tragic story of the
Chernobyl Disaster, "but focussing more on everything that happened afterwards, including the
evacuation of people and pollution of lands and forests". The album is released on 26 Aril 2019,
the thirty-third anniversary of the disaster. The music is quite dark, well obviously I would say, but
also bleak. A stale wind over barren soil, the contamination of the nuclear disaster made audible.
Turowski uses his synthesizers to great effect to create saw-blade sounds cutting through wood,
set against an even darker undercurrent of darker drones. Rusty reverb unites take care of the
rest, be it squeaking noise or windy sounds. In each of these pieces, Turowsky depicts a grim
world, devoid of human life. It is dark ambient and we know it, and in that respect, we don't hear
something we haven't heard before. I would think that Turowsky balances between digital and
analogue sources, not that it matters I would think, just an observation. I would think with fewer
tracks and a bit more variation would have been a good thing for this album. (FdW)
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CUKIER - THIRD SOURCE (CD by Antenna Non Grata)
AKUSMATA (CD compilation by Antenna Non Grata)

So far the releases on Antenna Non Grata dealt with, to a lesser and greater extent, with the use
of radio sounds. With these two new releases, the label says goodbye to that and diversifies into
different musical directions. First, there is a trio called Cukier. Judging by the cover they could be a
heavy bunch, but they are not, really. It is a trio of Piotr Mełech (clarinets), Michał Kasperek (drums)
and Łukasz Kacperczyk (modular synthesizer). I think the band name translates as 'sugar'. The
recordings on this CD were made last year and I would say this is improvised music. Quite freely
improvised music, so to say. Especially the clarinet and drums play a wild role and they both
sound like a clarinet and a drum kit would do. The role of the modular synthesizer is perhaps a bit
more obscured here. I am not sure why that is; the clarinet and drums are very much a presence in
these pieces, but the modular sounds like something that is rattling in the background. I am sure
that is a deliberate choice, but I am not sure if it was a very wise one. Now the album is very much
a work of free improvised music, which is fine enough, but perhaps holds a promise that it doesn't
fulfil. What if the modular synthesizer would have been on an equal par with the rest? How would
that have influenced the music, I wondered. Throughout these pieces are quite long, between
seven and ten minutes, except for the seventh, which has a great  'fuck-all' shortness of three
minutes, a sort of punk rock approach if you will. I think they should have done a bit more of that,
perhaps; now it's wild, yet long and careful at the same time, not wanting to break the rules too
    The other new release is a compilation, called 'Akusmata', which original Greek word means
'heard' but also 'collections' and as such it is a collection of pieces inspired by the works of Pierre
Schaeffer, the first composer of musique concrete. He used sounds isolated from their original
source to create music with them. The small print on the insert explains what each of these
composers is doing along with a short descriptive biography, which is very handy of course. The
pieces are mostly, yet not exclusively, by Polish musicians. The full list first; Paulina Miu, Paulina
Owczarek/Eric Baur/Kamil Korolczuk, Adam Golebiewski/Michael Esposito, Ludomir Franczak,
Modelbau, Gintas K, Monika Pich, GW94, Bartek Kujawski, Grupa Etyka Kurpina, Radio Noise Duo
and Voices of The Cosmos. There is an interesting variety of approaches here, with the wider
context of musique concrete, from field recordings being transformed, including a piece for buried
microphones, thinking of Konstantin Raudive there, to a piece that includes an improvising
drummer and Esposito doing his electronic voice phenomena (more raudive!), and more
improvised pieces, but also very strict computer manipulations (Gintas K for instance) and
collages of found sound that includes 'Tutti Frutti'. Bartek Kujawski ventures, trusted I'd say, to
a techno approach, which makes him the lovely oddball in this collection. If this compilation is
the future of the label, then there is much interesting music ahead of us. (FdW)
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COLIN POTTER - HEAR (2LP by Polytechnic Youth)

Here we are, again, at one of the dilemmas of music reviewing. Well, at least a dilemma for me,
that is. There is, on one hand, the constant search and longing for new music, new names, new
labels, to explore the depths of new music, but there is, of course, the whole re-issue scene that I
also, luckily sometimes, have to deal with. Part of this a whole re-issuing business is what I label
to be conservatism that is part of the music business these days. It is that 'the past was great' thing
that sweeps through society these days that I label as conservative and I’m afraid we’re going to
have stuck with it for some years to come. Colin Potter is someone who creates wonderfully new
music all the time, but also someone who has an extensive back catalogue of releases, which
young labels want to re-heat and serve again. I am not sure if Potter is complaining about that; I
am sure he wants to be remembered for his latest masterpiece and not a yesteryear cassette, but
at the same time it is surely also flattering is someone is prepared to invest in a double LP of some
old cassette. Here, in particular, it is the cassette 'Hear', originally released by Mirage in 1981,
along with a bonus piece from the 'Visions' compilation cassette from Third Mind Records (and
while on the subject of re-issuing: why was that never re-released? I'd love to see a proper CD
version of that (a bit too long for an LP). Come on VOD, Minimal Wave or Dark Entries, you can
make a buck or 2 from this). The cover details the instruments Potter uses on these eight pieces
and it is interesting to see it is not just synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, but also
guitars, drums, harmonium, cymbals and a tenor recorder. Potter's music, it has been noted before,
was never a strict, pure synth act following the footsteps of Tangerine Dream, but rockier in the
use of the guitars, such as in the opener 'Two Feet On The Ground'. It is not something that he
consistently waves into this record, however. The music on the other pieces continues the
somewhat darker tone of the opening piece but moves into a more minimalist approach towards
the pieces. It is like Potter is trying out various approaches, be it a bit rocky, be it quite synth-like
such as in 'Gas (Part 1)' or even forecasting his current drone music in 'Shallow Water', without
settling too much for one thing or another. I guess that too is a sign of those times, where the
cassette release functioned as a try-out medium for ideas. Potter is less focused on the elektro-
pop side of things and more of some longer moody pieces, which I particularly enjoyed a lot. It is
also great to see music being re-issued that isn't the necessary elektro-pop of before but already
the start of a much more refined sound. (FdW)
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JASON KAHN - LINING OUT (LP by Hiddenbell Records)

Throughout many years Jason Kahn released lots and lots of records; mostly improvising with
other people, but also solo. He started out as a percussion player, but on many of these releases,
he plays synthesizer or radio. In recent years he also started to do vocal performances. This new
solo record sees him meeting up that very last new interest with his first choice (if I am correct), the
drums. Inside the cover, there is a long text about a trip to Egypt. How exactly this relates to the
music I am not sure. Maybe in a way, Kahn's music reflects some of the chaos in the busy country?
On the labels' website, you can find a link to a video by Kahn, in which we see him perform part of
the album, and I recommend everyone to have a look. It shows him behind a drum kit, with some
objects, sticks, small cymbals and such, and without very amplification, laptop processing, he
performs his music, without much other stuff than drums and his voice. Kahn doesn't use words,
just like he doesn't use traditional rhythms. It is all about the sound of the voice and the sound of
the drums. Rattling, shaking, rumbling, an occasional rhythm, howling, vocalizing, hissing and
growling. It all seems to be coming in tidal waves. Introspective, carefully played but then in a
whirlwind going up and up, like a tormented soul going crazy (the hectic of Middle eastern city?),
this is some pretty intense music. This is certainly not something you stick on for good fun, I would
think, but rather something to play at a loud volume and be fully immersed by it; don't do anything
else at all, but let this be one long wave that requires your full and undivided attention. Kahn's
approach to the drums reminded me of Christian Wollfarth, who is behind the release of this
record, who has a likewise approach to the drum kit and perhaps not as chaotic from time to time,
but with a delicate approach to the objects (bells, cymbals, and so on) being played here. Kahn
adds his voice to this and makes the music very personal. Quite a blast, this record, and afterwards
I didn't want to hear some music for some time.
    A true story then: two days after hearing the LP I got this tape. Months go by without receiving
any new Jason Kahn release, then there's two in one week. And how much different it is. Here
Kahn works with Sergey Kostyrko, whom we mostly know from his releases on Spina! Records
from St. Petersburg and recently from a release with Ilia Belorukov on Urbsounds (Vital Weekly
1170). There are no 'credits' on this cassette or on the website, but judging by the music, I'd say
Kahn is back to analogue synth here, maybe a modular one, maybe not, and Kostyrko is surely at
one of those modular ones. The music is quite a loud beast of improvised tones on these
apparatus. The only thing Dinzu Artefacts says about this release is "a collaborative maelstrom
of feedback loops and spatial drone" and true that is. Six pieces are presented here, all about
four to five minutes, and it's thirty minutes of some ear-wrecking music. I started this with
considerable volume, perhaps not entirely sure what to expect, but I had to turn it down quite a
bit, try to avoid complaints from the neighbours. The racket produced by these two men is however
not without thought or even composition. I don't have the impression some machines were flicked
on and thirty minutes later switched off. What they do is a bit more than that. There are indeed
drones woven into the fabric of noise here, and while top everything is cutting in and out, changing
the voltages at a rapid speed, below there is a fine woven pattern of drones to be spotted,
balancing the noise and keeping it somehow, somewhere in line with a more controlled form of
drone/feedback/sustain. Still, this is not something is easily digested and should noise be your
thing, you may find this Kahn release a bit of an oddball in his catalogue. (FdW)
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Wow, this is an LP that comes with a ‘zine and apparently, there is a 16mm short film. I haven't
seen any of this, as I got the CDR version, damn, but I am quite a fan of the trio Sontag Shogun.
They are Ian temple (piano, organ), Jeremy Young (tapes, sine and square waves, kitchen
utensils) and Jesse Perlstein ("plays field recordings like instruments, laptop, voice"). I once saw
them live and liked the music, but wasn't blown away by the voice. What they do is something that
I like as it combines various things in music that are right up my alley. There is a good use of field
recordings, electronics, software processing, a fair bit of melody, cut-up and, okay, there is also a
bit of voice in there. It adds that dream pop variety of laptop music, which is a rare thing. The group
mentions Nils Frahm, Kassel Jaeger, Sakamoto, or Luc Ferrari, but all of that is not the same thing
of course. Their use of piano might be akin to that of Frahm or Sakamoto, the addition of voice with
a copious amount of reverb is more like Sigur Ros, I thought. It is a most effective combination of
interests here, with some fine crackles set against introspective piano playing making some intense
music; thoughtful and dramatic in 'Aveyron', slowly building up into a strong 4/4 beat, going
somewhere else with this. That sense of drama is in most songs here, going from something
quiet to something very loud, such as in the title piece. The voice is still not really my cup of tea,
but I found the music part of all of this most enjoyable. There is refined musique concrete sense in
these pieces, more French than German if you get my drift, and the studio plays an important role
in editing and composing the music, making the whole album quite the overall composition. Very
nice. I would love to see them again in concert and see how this sound translates to the stage
these days. (FdW)
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  Fragment Factory)

It isn't a coincidence that I was thinking of David Jackman the other day and how much of his work
is a complete mystery to me. There are very few other musicians of which I could say the same;
Leif Elggren is surely another one of the big mysteries I can think of. I heard much of his work. I
read some stuff about him, even met him once or twice, but with all of that in the back of my mind: I
have no idea what it is about. Bits I actually do get. For instance that 'Motor' is the second part of a
trilogy that started with 'Das Baank' (see Vital Weekly 1018), which I thought was about money and
religion. I am not sure what this is about though; the back cover text is called "Opening Of The
Grave", which is more of a poetic/literature nature. Elggren used parts of the music for choreography
by Lotta Melin and a performance by Daniel Löwenbrück and Elggren in 2012. Now the music is
complete and presented here on this record; maybe the grave is now open and this is what is
exhumed? Two sides, both each 16 minutes and 21 seconds and it could be one piece, spread
out over two sides; it could be two different pieces. It could also be a long loop of a few minutes
that is repeated over and over again. Enter David Jackman, who sometimes seems to be doing the
same thing; seems not does. Important difference. Sound wise it doesn't resemble Jackman at all
(and why would it?). Elggren here presents a pretty industrial piece of music. It could be the sound
of the motor, even when, no doubt, we shouldn't be taking things so literally, revving up and staying
there for a few seconds, before leaping back into that revving sound. Those motor sounds might
have been fed through some electronic machines, modular synthesizers, stomp boxes or god
knows what, as to fattening up the sound a bit more, to hammer the point across that this is pretty
much the sound of a motor, or industrial music, or a conveyer belt. It is all crude and loud; it is
very minimal, with little movement or progress, so it seems. In that way, it is not unlike the music of
David Jackman. It is the same reason why I like this very much. I just am a sucker for all things
minimal and this is a perfect example. With the mystery completely intact, still having no clue what
it is about, I thought this was a great record. The sheer intensity and consistency of it made me
having this on a loud repeat for some time this afternoon. (FdW)
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The word is out. Following some recent issues of older records by Small Cruel Party, also known
as William Key Ransone, and some more to come, there is now completely new work by Small
Cruel Party, which, I so I believe might be his first fifteen years (if not longer). Ever since hearing
his first music, now perhaps close to thirty years ago, I enjoyed his approach to acoustic sources
and careful yet effective way of processing these sounds. I am told there has been a change of set-
up and without a studio (but then: who has a studio these days?) and strangely I find these two
pieces to be very much along with the previous work played by Ransone. These days with
technology being small and good, it is easy to take a ride on a rusty bike and make a recording of
that and mix it up with some recordings from a hollow space, an underpass or tunnel, make small
sounds and let the surroundings to do the work. Whereas before it was reverb and delay units it is
now a natural space. If you decide to use a little more volume than you perhaps would normally do,
you'd hear a lot more details. The natural reverb sounds of the tunnel, versus some more closely
miked up acoustic object treatment, works really well. It is just like the old days, but then without the
electronic undercurrent, I would think. It's welcome back, Small Cruel Party, and what's next? (FdW)
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Very hot on the heels of the last release by Meeuw Muzak (Vital Weekly 1184), there is already
another two and this time it is by Norbert Möslang and Joe Colley. The latter is a name I have not
heard in quite some time, I must say. I missed out on his recent release on Glistening Examples
but also before that it seemed quiet when it came to releases. In the late 90s and early 00s, Colley
was doing quite a few releases, first as Crawl Unit, then under his name. Releases that were bold
statements of sound art, working with the decaying sounds of near-death apparatus and strong
electrically charged works. Also works with a strong conceptual edge. The two pieces on this new
7" were recorded already live in concert in 2006 and for whatever reason shelved until now. You
get what it says on the box, a solo for chair and feedback. Well, actually two of these of course,
although I can imagine these two sides being just one long performance from which these sides
were cut. The chair is amplified and makes some interesting squeaking noise, that resembles
perhaps a very free jazz saxophone sound; the feedback is not some endless wail of high pitched
noise, but very short delay and repeat/change from the sound the chair are producing. It sounded
very much like David Behrman or David Tudor's 'Rainforest'. Two bold and rock solid pieces of
modern electronics an, who knows, maybe we will hear a bit more of mister Colley is up these
    Norbert Möslang, erstwhile of Möslang/Guhl and Voice Crack and since many years solo
operating in the world of cracked electronics and with lots of improvisations under his belt, offers
a 7" called 'Aether Grooves', for which the sole description on the Meeuw Muzak website is: "Two
radios and two big flashlights", so that sheds hardly any light on the matter. This might a concert
excerpt or the documentation of the installation. In his solo work, Möslang has a tendency to work
with ongoing, repeating sounds, rhythm is perhaps a strong word, but in a sort of Pan Sonic bass
drum/pulse sort of way, this is connected. On top there are some more repeating sounds; none of
which, I'd say, has to do with the sound of a radio or a flashlight, and it's very hard to work out what
it is that is going on here. Variations within each of the pieces are quite minimal, and even
comparing the two pieces, there are some strong similarities to be spotted here. The on-going
'groove', deeper and lower on the second side, the controlled static (perhaps), interrupted and the
change in equalization of the used frequencies. Just like the Colley 7" it is not easy to know if
these are from one long performance or two independent compositions. These two pieces are
also powerful and sadly at 45 rpm also a bit short. I wouldn't have minded of these 7"s to be a bit
longer. (FdW)
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In 2015 Daniel Barbiero and Cristiano Bocci released their first collaboration for Acustronica,
followed in 2017 by ‘Non-Places’. Now they present a new recording, this time released by Plus
Timbre, a netlabel dedicated to experimental and improvised music. The release consists of two
lengthy tracks: ‘Wooden Mirrors’ with Barbiero on double bass (left channel) and Bocci also on
double bass (right channel). On ‘From a Concourse’ Barbiero play also double bass and Bocci live
electronics. Because Barbiero lives in the US, whereas Bocci is settled in Italy, they communicated
by tape for their first two releases. For their new project, however, Bocci came to Maryland for doing
live recordings in August 2017. Bocci, by the way, is a multi-instrumentalist playing the guitar, 6-
string electric bass, double bass, theremin and viola da gamba, as well as sound designer and
composer. He participated on many albums as a sideman and has his own projects, like this one
with Barbiero. Barbiero is a double bassist, sound artist and composer, based in Washington DC.
He worked for example with If Bwana and Andrea Centazzo, a.o. ‘Wooden Mirrors’ has them both
in a fascinating duet. Very organically and fluently they wave their patterns, in an answer-response
way, or by going both with the flow they create, all in a very pleasantly meandering and poetic
dialogue. For ‘From a Concourse’ Bocci uses also live electronics for creating looped sounds and
other manipulations. Gradually the improvisation becomes more and more ‘electronic’ but always
with a recognizable bass-sound in the centre. Nice work. (DM)
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Enclosed with this CDR is information on Juan Antonio Nieto and I read that he has records on
Moozak, Trente Oiseaux, Mandorla, Experimedia, Impulsive Habitat, Plus Timbre, Test Tube,
A.M.P., Luscinia, and yet, browsing the Vital Weekly archive there is very little evidence that I
know him or his music. Only in Vital Weekly 1025, I reviewed a full length of his work, and that
was in collaboration with Metek. In Vital Weekly 818, there was work with Leo Alves Vieira, but
then Nieto was disguised as Pangea. Over the years he also worked with Kenji Siratori, Maria
Chavez, Igor Jovanivic and Laura Focarazzo; not all of these people are musicians, but writers or
video artists. Although it is not mentioned in the information I would think he's man armed with a
laptop and a device to record field recordings. The information says, "live electronics using field
recordings as raw material", so maybe I am wrong. That is of course not something we haven't
encountered before and Nieto does a fine job here, but not one that holds many surprises. His
take on 'field recordings and electronics' is not necessarily a quiet one, which is good, even when,
on the other hand, it is also not very loud. The twelve pieces, lasting forty-seven minutes, are
concise exercises in form. Take a field recording, put on some processing/effects (in case they are
not the same), and work with the minutiae differences on offer. An approach like that does not call
for super long pieces, and that is something that Nieto understands very well. None of the field
recordings is to be recognized in these pieces. It brings quite some variation into his release,
another good thing I think, and that is what made this for me very nice release. Not the lack of
innovation within the context of field recordings and electronics, but in the well-produced
miniatures Nieto produces here, he shows some skill in delivering some well-thought work. (FdW)
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MATTHEW ATKINS & ADAM KINSEY - LOWERCASE (CDR by Minimal Resource Manipulation)

It is quite curious, so I was thinking, to name your release after a genre of music. Like, I don't know,
Iron Maiden, doing a CD called 'Heavy Metal'. I am sure either Matthew Atkins or Adam Kinsey are
aware of that Lowercase is a term that, according to Wiki, was "originally coined by minimal artist
Steve Roden, lowercase is an extreme form of ambient minimalism were very quiet, usually
unheard, sounds are amplified to extreme levels. It is a common misconception that lowercase
music primarily consists of lengthy silences." Thereafter more artists used that term to describe
their music. Atkins already has quite a career in carefully constructed sound pieces, using sounds
and instruments. Adam Kinsey's name is new to me. He works with electronics and his interest is
with improvisation and "transmission arts" and he "curates a slow, meandering and largely
directionless project called Desire Lines which includes a Threads Radio show, live events and
releases". The credit on this release are a laptop and modular synth, without any specification as
to who does what, so maybe they both use them. I will not go into the whole notion whether or not
this lowercase; it is quiet music, but not necessarily that quiet. It is through these almost forty
minutes indeed quite minimal and to a certain extent also a bit directionless. There is not much by
way of development and for all, I know it could have also lasted eighty minutes per piece. I am sure
that is part of the experience these musicians are after here. Whatever goes into the laptop and the
modular synthesizers is hard to say. It might be field recordings or acoustic sources, and very likely
to be a combination of both and the transformations are not that radical. The music is all right, not
overly great, but throughout a most decent interaction between the two. (FdW)
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Spanish label Tsss Tapes are now present here with their third release and they become an
interesting voice in improvised music, here with another duet. This time, Graham Dunning uses
the unlikely combination of a turntable, snare drum and objects and Edward Lucas on trombone. I
don't think I heard of him before, Dunning has been in these virtual pages a couple of times. Lucas
is also the one who did the recording and mix of this. There are seven pieces on this release, which
is perhaps not what you hear when you play this. Perhaps it is part of the nature of improvised
music that we can't discern one piece from the next, even if there are a few seconds of silence in
the music. The music here is pretty radical throughout. I am not sure what the turntable does here,
safe for some common scratch like affairs, the trombone sounds very much like one would expect
a trombone to sound, and Lucas plays sustaining tones, but also at times hectic, short ones. The
snare drum at times also fairly 'normal', but scanned with objects it takes on a more abstract form. It
is a form I like a bit more than a more regular free improvisation approach. They do a fine job at
that as well, but perhaps the surprise is not really there for me. Especially the second side of this
I dug very well. It was pretty radical sounding and that's what I like best. It might upset a few more
regular listeners of this kind of music. (FdW)
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