number 1189
week 26


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ENRICO PIVA - ANTICLIMA (5CD by Spazio di Hausdorff) *
CHANGEZ RETRAVAILLE (3CD compilation by Ricera Sonara)
GOLDEN DARK (LP by Golden Dark)
RUTGER HAUSER - THE SWIM (LP by The Lumen Lake/Adaadat/Tutl)
HIN - WARMER WEATHER EP (CDR by Sound In Silence) *
POOL PERVERTS - (CDR by Non-Interrupt) *
POOL PERVERTS - ZWECKFORM (cassette by Non-Interrupt) *

ENRICO PIVA - ANTICLIMA (5CD by Spazio di Hausdorff)

Before experiencing this box set, all I knew of Enrico Piva was a name I’d noticed in a Soleilmoon
catalogue back in the late 1990s. He had a tape or two in there. I had a dim awareness connecting
Piva to industrial music or abstract noise, but that's all. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anyone who
knew much about him and I never ran into any of his recordings in stores or friends’ collections, so
I had no further information. Piva was obscure, even in a world of obscurity. Active since the late
1970s, Enrico Piva's final tape (indeed, his entire recorded output was released on cassettes) came
out in 1990, though he continued to produce art until his suicide in 2002. Little did I know, Enrico
Piva’s work ran deep, but only those who knew him were privy to most of it. “Anticlima”, a
remarkable set of five CDs with a book of text and reproductions of Piva's visual art and other
ephemera, is the definitive word of what apparently was a massive, far-reaching and varied body
of mysterious, compelling sound. Though he worked during the cassette noise heyday and was
somewhat aware of his contemporaries, Piva existed outside of any community, seemingly making
art for no audience other than himself. To hear it now, remastered and expertly presented, is to
peer into one man’s singular, hermetic universe. Cheers to Giancarlo and Massimo Toniutti and
Trax’ Vittore Baroni for producing what was clearly a labour of love to posthumously give Piva’s
life’s work the context and attention it deserves. The box set compiles recordings from 1978 to
1997; some excerpted from previously published cassettes, some from private audio letters, and
a lot of unreleased material from Piva’s archive.
    As Giancarlo Toniutti explains in his uncharacteristically comprehensible biographical essay,
“Che’l Tempo Saria Corto a Tanto Suono”, the core of Piva’s sound work was a trilogy of three
cassettes: “Iteratio” (1983), “Viaggio a Nybro” (1984) and “Warm Leeches Dance” (1985), all
recorded under the name Amok. Though he produced more cassettes than this under several
other pseudonyms and his own given name, these three albums seem to be the major sound
works of his life. However, Toniutti explains that understanding Piva’s canon is difficult because
the artist deliberately clouded so much of it. He would provide misinformation in correspondence
with friends and fellow artists and would categorize his non-musical activities (films, scotography,
drawing, preparing clothes, observing nature, hiking) as being essentially musical art. Toniutti
sums up the challenge of grasping Piva’s work this way: “(Enrico) was complete yet fuzzy,
maniacally attentive to detail yet often unable to pin down a structure. In all this he not only
confused friends, listeners and readers, and environments, he confused himself to death”. 
    The material included in "Anticlima" is presented in chronological order, starting the first disc
with words spoken by Piva himself and leading into several short excerpts of raw synthesizer
noise. Some of this was recorded under the name Locus Solus (repeating sequences moving up
and down a scale with irregular changes), M. Antipryne and Sokol Movement (small pulses of
nasty synth squelch that share some sonic sympathy with Maurizio Bianchi’s early work). This is
followed by some of Piva’s earliest work as Amok, where things take a decidedly more industrial
turn. These pieces are more aggravating, with atomized electronic ugh intertwined with crude
echo, tape delay, magnetic interruptions and rude blasts of radio. Each short track seems to be
comprised of a limited number of elements, but they all share an aggressive nature and a
foundation of minimal synthesizer tones. If this music seems the most “normal” of the lot, that’s
because it coincides with Piva’s own concurrent interest in experimental and post-punk music,
a passing phase of interest in the world around him that would diminish as his own perspective
became more insular.
    The music on the second disc shows an artist striking out his own territory, far away from
contemporary influences. It's centred around Amok's “Iteratio” cassette from 1981/1982, which is
followed by another spoken audio letter excerpt, then some compilation tracks and unreleased
music from the same period. During these years, Toniutti claims, “Piva founded his musical world”
characterized by “maniacal procedures of some sort… a voluntary reaction of his early works
against common sense, sometimes in a naive or preconceived anti-aesthetic disposition”.
Significantly stranger than what came before it, “Iteratio” contains fragmented language, a more
patient pacing, and disquietly awkward atmosphere. It’s structured in distinct sections, with
snippets of television news and Piva’s own voice reciting text or (as in “Iteratio Canto VIII”)
violently yodelling from beneath a marsh of tape loops and piercing synthesizer grumble. 
    Disc three features 1984’s “Viaggio a Nybro” cassette, and again demonstrates a huge leap
in Piva’s palette. No longer content with ugly synths and loops, by this point he was making
environmental recordings and incorporating metallic percussion into his collages of garbled
language. The two sides of the tape, each roughly half an hour long and presented here as
seamless tracks, have a narrative quality to them, as if they could have been made for radio (a
field he was involved in, at least in his early days). A voice talks over, under and to itself at
different speeds. Passages overlap or run past one another, backing up then speeding forwards
or sideways. None of it holds together in any conventionally satisfying way, but then I don’t think
it’s intended to. This sound is uncomfortable, unresolved and stubbornly singular. The fourth disc
is based on the Piva's last great work, the “Warm Leeches Dance” (how’s that for an evocative
title?) cassette, which like “Iteratio” is presented as two uninterrupted half-hours. It is even more
unmoored from conventional music, even from experimental or noise music, and is more
confrontationally awkward than any of his previous work. Despite the complexity of its structures
and the alien nature of Piva's component sounds, the most compelling quality of "Warm Leeches
Dance" is its rawness. This does not sound worked or worried over. Its sounds are rich, but dirty
and moist. The composition seems just out of reach, and yet has a very human immediacy that's
hard to pinpoint. It might have been made by animals or cavemen.
    After “Warm Leeches Dance”, Piva seems to have had much more difficulty creating music. I’m
assuming (though this is not explicitly stated) that declining mental health started to take a toll
around this time. He began projects that he never completed. In an attempt to find a new process,
he bought a sampler, but the music he made with it was somewhat clinical-sounding and not
terribly interesting. Perhaps even Piva knew that. Much of this material ended up released on
cassettes, even though he wasn’t satisfied with it. Continuing to search for new inspiration, he
devised a project called “Modules”, a system of four cassettes made individually for each buyer to
play in different environments; few people actually bought a set, but an excerpt is included on disc
five. It’s more rhythmic than most of the other music on “Anticlima”, reminding me of De Fabriek or
Vivenza’s automatic-sounding factory noise. Then, starting in 1988, Piva made recordings only for
himself, with no aim to make them public. The music became simpler, more compositionally rigid,
more ambient, featureless and disconnected. His final music was simply a filtered hydrophone
recording that lasted over an hour; the short excerpt included here proves that he had hit a dead
end by this point. Still, the inclusion of Piva's later work as part of “Anticlima” is important and
appreciated. The listener can trace his journey from initial rough experiments to highly original
and challenging work to his ultimate exhaustion. ”Anticlima” is more than a mere reissue; it’s an
artistic biography, very clearly compiled by people who knew him as well as anyone could. That
we’ve been granted such a window in Enrico Piva's world is a rare honour. (HS)
--- Address:


Although I could start out with 'hot heels on Hideaki Shimada's recent release as discussed in Vital
Weekly 1184, here's a new release already', I don't, because this isn't that new. I wrote back then
that there haven't been many releases by Agencement, the name which Shimada used in the '80s
for his music and as such he recorded two great LPs and a CD later on, but that disregarded this
2017 CD by Berlin's Tochnit Aleph. That arrived now my desk. It is not easy to describe what I felt
when I first heard the music of Agencement back then. It was, by all means, something I had not yet
encountered; it was nervous and hectic and sounded like someone was playing the same thing in
endless variations at the same time. It was as if someone filled up twenty-four tracks in a studio with
the same sort but different kind of nervous hectic playing and everything was mixed on an equal
level. It was both captivating and exhausting music. These days, for as much as Agencement still
exists, Shimada uses "violins, viola, cello, electronics, and tape". The music is no longer the big
surprise it once was, but then, so I thought, which music really is to the person who is privileged to
hear so much weird music all day? That is not to say that Agencement sounds similar now as to
thirty years ago. That is not the case in these six pieces. The hectic is gone, and while not entirely
replaced by carefully strummed strings, it surely is something much more controlled. Unlike
Shimada's more recent work carried out under his family name, which is all very improvised, these
pieces seem to be much more planned. Perhaps it is all more an updated version of musique
concrete, with the electronics and tape processing violins, viola and cello on the spot. A strum
here turns into a synthesized tone there. Shimada plays his instruments with great care, almost in
a classical music modus, albeit a modern version thereof. 'Solo 2a'' is just that, a piece of modern
classical music, but that is the exception here. The pieces here aren't intense, nervous, hectic and
certainly not exhausting but rather a fine piece of modern classical music meeting up with musique
concrete. Not the big surprise, unless you think of this in terms of personal development, seeing
where it came from and where it went in thirty years. That surprise is quite big! (FdW)
--- Address:


When I opened up the envelope and found this CD inside (and a pleasant surprise!), the first
question that came to mind was 'Paolo Ielasi? In what way is he related to Giuseppe ielasi?' I
quickly learned they are brothers and he has been paying close attention to what his brother did
and three years ago, when he was 35, he started to work on field recordings and use these in
combination with a Moog Mother 32 and a loop station. It is not easy to not think about the work of
his brother, but it has very little to do with that. At the same time, I must admit that I haven't heard
much new music from Giuseppe in quite some time. Surely, there are some similarities to be
spotted in the work of both brothers, but Paolo's work has a somewhat naive and fresh approach
to field recordings and electronics. He picks out a few field recordings (animal sounds, children in
the courtyard, vaguely ethnic chanting, percussion) and loops small extract of that while adding
electronics/synthesizer to colour the sound, to contrast it or simply as a backdrop. This he does in
pieces between three and five minutes give or take. That is long enough to explore these sounds
and make them into somewhat moody and atmospheric pieces of music. Would these be much
longer I would think it would not have worked in the same way, and shorter it would be too sketchy,
so I would think this is the right length? The naivety is in the form of the composition, which is
throughout fairly the same, but within these ten pieces/forty-five minutes, not something that is all
too disturbing. This is a most promising debut release and I am told this CD is mostly available at
his concerts. Try to contact the man through the below website. (FdW)
--- Address:


Unseen Worlds is a fine label dealing with unseen/unheard music. Somehow I would think 'minimal
music' is in one-way or another a constant in their releases. Sometimes they dig up old recordings
and sometimes it is something entirely new. Here an example of each of that.
    First off there is the CD by Leo Svirsky, who was born in 1988 in the USA but who lives in The
Hague, The Netherlands. He's a composer, improviser, pianist and accordionist. His previous
records were released by Emanem, Slow Fidelity and Ehse records, none of which I heard. He
studied with people like Cornelis de Bondt, Martin Padding, Antoine Beuger and Irena Orlov. She
taught him to play the piano and to her memory, this CD is dedicated. Svirsky plays a lot of piano on
this release, by Tibetan singing bowl, Wurlizter, while others play upright bass, windy gong, cello
and trumpet. If you think that being taught by Antoine Beuger would result in some very quiet,
Wandelweiser inspired music, then you're wrong. Svirsky's playing is always there and it is not
really quiet. Nevertheless, the music is quite introspective. The piano is recorded with a refined
amount of distortion, which I am pretty much clueless is how it was made. At first, I thought it was a
dirty CD but that was not the case; there was no regularity to this. Then I thought it was probably
some kind of resonating device close to the piano strings and one of the microphones positioned
close to the strings. The music meanders about in a peacefully, melodic way; perhaps for once
not reminding me of Erik Satie, and that's mainly through the somewhat strange, additional
sounds that are also produced. The other instruments, such as Leila Bordreuil on cello in the title
piece, are very hard to recognize. It is, on one hand, all very comfortable music, but also with an
entirely satisfying amount of discomfort; if you get my drift. The reverb going over the top in 'rain,
Rivers, Forest, Corn, Wind, Sand' (with no trumpet in sight!), is such an uneasy thing, but as said,
I very much enjoyed all of this. Modern classical music and perhaps it is also not.  That is how I
love this kind of music best!
    The other new release leaves me pleasantly confused. Already in the opening minutes of the
first track, 'Without Warning', I have no idea what I am hearing. Blues? Jazz? Big Band? But at one
point the female vocalist stops and the band keeps playing, repeating phrases over and over and
slowly it becomes a piece of minimal music, with those great shifting phrases on saxophones and
piano, and I am thoroughly enjoying this. What the hell is this? In November 1976 "Blue" Gene
Tyranny and Peter Gordon organised a few evenings of live music in Berkeley, playing four pieces
by Tyranny and five from Gordon. The first one wrote the lyrics to his pieces; Gordon used those
from Kathy Acker. The first plays the piano, and the second saxophone. There is also Patrice
Manget (vocals) Karl Young (saxes, winds), Paul Dresher (guitar), Steve Bartek (bass), Gene
Refkin (percussion), Janet Cuniberti (clavinet, RMI) and Maggi Payne did the recordings and
mixing. The music is a great mixture of a lot of things. There is blues music, riffing away, jazz,
minimal music ("Pattern Music, mistakenly called minimal music in a lot of books", so we can read
in the booklet), but also rock music, showing that these people moved on from the modern classical
background; Tyranny had already played with Iggy Pop and Gordon in New York playing with
Arthur Russell and Rhys Chatham, before forming his Love Of Live Orchestra. Maybe there are
some musical styles touched upon here that you may think not to be my cup of tea, but it works
wonderfully well. What I particularly enjoyed was the energy used by the group to play the music.
The performances are played in buoyant mood, with a real driving force from all the players. It is at
times so far removed from the world of Vital Weekly that I was thinking 'no no, this is not for me', but
then a few minutes later they are pattern musically (mistakenly called etc.) driving forward, like
Steve Reich on speed, such as Gordon's 'Machomusic' (and indeed macho it is!). Confusion is
sex, here! The more I heard, the more I liked it. (FdW)
--- Address:


Canada's Mystery And Wonder is a new name for me, and so are the musicians on these releases.
I started with the debut release of E for Elizabeth Millar. She works with an amplified clarinet in a
Montreal duo called Sound Of The Mountains, and in her solo work she works within combination
with air pressure, fans, propellers and 'irregular small-scale metallic percussion'. It is in some way
inspired by the work of Junji Hirose, whose work was reviewed in these pages before and who
also works with air compressors. The title is also a nod to Toshimaru Nakamura and his no-input
mixing board. To call this an album is a bold move, as it is only twenty-three minutes long, but there
is quite a wealth of music to be heard in these five pieces. One could perhaps expect this to be in
the world of improvised music but it is not; not really. The clarinet, for instance, is something one
doesn't recognize very easily in these pieces; it is mostly a rumble of some darker nature; wind
against a window, the last bit on an empty glass being sucked through a straw. Or the irregularities
picked up of vibrating surfaces in 'Light Metal" or the motorized drones in "Propeller And Metal
Disc". It is all great sound art, reminding me also of some of Toshiya Tsunoda's work (or other
composers from the WrK label), but perhaps a little less academic.
    Something entirely different is on offer by the PCP Trio, consisting of Alex Pelchat (electric
guitar), Eric Craven (drums) and Craig Pedersen (amplified trumpet). They are also from Montreal
and their roots in the cities rich music history; many names are mentioned, but I only recognized
Silver Mt. Zion. They say their influences come from Pauline Oliveros, Fushitsusha and Slayer.
Their music is partly improvised and partly planned. There are two pieces on this release and the
opener 'Crosslegged' is based on a text score to get things going. It is quite a heavy piece in which
the influences of Fushitsusha and Slayer shine through in blazing clarity. The trumpet is a bit lost in
this in the distorted racket played by drums and guitar; sometimes rocking out like a rock combo,
but also bending strings and exploring drums in a totally improvised manner, going back and forth
between both ends. 'Extended Listening Blues' is almost three times longer and "is expanding a
single iteration of a 12-bar blues into an 18-minute form, replacing harmonic 'tonic-dominant'
based tension and release with that created using different listening approaches - internal,
external, focused and broad", so the title is also explained there. In this piece also the drums
and guitar seem to be dominant forces but maybe the amplified saxophone plays the role of
disturbance? The feedback from beyond? This piece was the more improvised piece of the two
and at twenty-five minutes that concluded this release. That I thought was a pity as I wouldn't
mind having a bit more of this. (FdW)
––– Address:


With this one, we are in Denmark, in the company of Casper Nyvang Rask (double bass,
keyboards) and his Slow Evolution Ensemble (Francesco Bigoni (tenor sax, clarinets), Henrik
Pultz Melbye (tenor sax, clarinets), Mads Egetoft, tenor sax; Laura Toxværd, (alto sax), Lars
Greve (tenor sax, clarinet), Ole Mofjell (drums), Bjørn Heebøll (drums) and Roberto Bordiga
(double bass); all from the Copenhagen-scene. This is the first album by Rask as a leader,
featuring compositions by his hand. It is a personal document as Rask was inspired here by the
recent passing away of his father. The CD opens with the ‘Chaffinch (Goodbye Forever)’ with
deep resonating reeds playing unison. Followed by ‘Alan Silva, zum Beispeil’, which has very
vivid improvisation by the reed players, and unexpected keyboard-moves in the background.
‘Threeleggeddog’ has warm and fine playing by the blowers, and again strange, ghostly
keyboards in the background. This track starts with a drone that gradually unfolds with the bass
playing more pronounced solo and motives whereas in the background long extended sounds
colour/define a gradually changing background. When the reeds start to play their motives, we
quickly enter into a cacophonic phase with also the drummer taking part. Near the end, the
keyboards of Rask take over in a battle with the drummer. The role of the keyboards and synths
are a bit odd in my opinion, and I wonder why Rask choose to let them sound as they do on
 this debut of reflective jazz-inspired chamber music. (DM)
 ––– Address:


Martin Archer started playing in the 70s and is part now of the Sheffield improve and jazz scene
for decades now. In 1983 he started the saxophone quartet Hornweb that existed for some ten
years leaving three albums. In those days he asked himself what the ´band´ would sound like if
here were playing everything. No idea what made him think this, but Archer stored this idea in the
back of his mind. Over the years he played in many different combinations and not only continued
learning from and through the saxophone but also he became more interested and experienced
in using keyboards, synths, sampling, etc. Parallel he also became inspired by old krautrock, prog
rock and modern classical music. This experience with technology helped him to realize this solo
album, ironically titled ‘Another Fantastic Individual’. It is not a solo album in these that we hear
him playing one instrument after another. Now we hear a quartet. Here Archer returns to his
original inspiration, which is the AACM/school of jazz. Archer plays: baritone, tenor, alto &
sopranino saxophones, saxello, bass clarinet, flute, recorder, melodica, acoustic and sampled
percussion, software instruments, electronics, keyboards. But the saxophones dominate. It took a
year to record this project that depends on multi-tracking and editing. Happily, this didn’t lead to
overcrowded arrangements. On the contrary, Archer succeeds in keeping it sober and to the point.
In thirteen very different compositions, Archer carves his music, using many playing techniques.
A captivating album, showing it is possible what Archer had in mind years ago (what if I play
everything myself). But one could still ask: why? For what reason? (DM)  
––– Address:


Le String Blö is a fresh young unit from Switzerland of Lino Blöchlinger (reeds), Sebastian Strinning
(reeds), Roberto Domeniconi (piano), Urban Lienert (bass) and Reto Eisenring (drums). Sebastian
Strinning and Lino Blöchlinger knew one other from the Hochschule Musik in Lucerne and started
their duo-collaboration 2015. In 2016 they became a quintet in order to be able to realise more of
their musical ideas and plans. So far they toured Switzerland only and played for example at the
famous Willisau Jazz Festival. Now they make their debut on the Lucerne-based label Veto
Records, run by Christoph Erb. Recordings took place in a studio in Obernau on June 1st and
2nd. Their solid and transparent constructions lean strongly on melodic and rhythmic aspects.
And of course, there is room for improvisation and solos. The opening track ‚March for nature‘
starts with distorted noise by the Fender before jumpy reeds bring some order. They exercise a
fusion of avant rock and jazz.  Their performance is very tight and spirited, taking every curve with
maximum speed and energy. From a compositional point of view maybe not very renewing but
they do their job absolute very convincingly. ‚Bonobo’ starts with a drum solo and is a long intro
before a melodic theme is introduced by the reeds and fender. ‘Peacock‘ takes a very different
starting point with airy abstract lines played by the blowers. Gradually their playing becomes more
and more intertwined and empowered, and finally, fender and drums join the party. All in all, this
is a very enthusiastic quintet. Must be a pleasure to see them live. (DM)
––– Address:

CHANGEZ RETRAVAILLE (3CD compilation by Ricera Sonara)

Since their debut album, 1982’s “Changez Les Blockeurs”, The New Blockaders has spent most
of its existence declaring itself to be dead; it’s first “final” recordings came out in 1990, then again
in 1995. They performed their “Final Live Performance” in 1994 and many other after that (possibly
recruiting others to go on stage and produce sound on TNB’s behalf). That first album, though, was
probably the first noise album ever made, and inarguably one of the greatest. Sure, folks like
Masami Akita, Throbbing Gristle, SPK and others were making noisy abstract underground music
before 1982… heck, “industrial” music was already morphing into disco music by the time
“Changez…” came out… but TNB’s album was decidedly a noise record, not just a noisy record.
To hear it today is no less of a shocking blast than it’s ever been. Many have speculated on the
source of the sounds, but as far as I’m aware no details have been conclusively confirmed. To me,
“Changez…” sounds like endlessly cycling sheet metal scrape. Both sides share a uniform density
and a confounding absence of evidence of human hands, tape loops or conspicuous processing.
The effect is comparable to listening to a rainstorm, both chaotic and static at the same time. Surely,
a tribute to TNB’s towering achievement is warranted… and yet, there are a couple of major issues
with Ricera Sonora's triple CD of artists using “Changez Les Blockeurs” as source material. First,
there have already been TNB tributes; lots of them, in fact. And second, the essentially monotonous
nature of the original source sounds makes this new album something of a chore to sit through.
    The redundancy of the TNB tribute idea makes “Changez Retraville” a strange idea, even if
the music was great. You might recall “Viva Negativa! A Tribute to the New Blockaders” from 2011.
This was a series of compilations for which tons o’ artists recorded tracks inspired by TNB… it’s
very likely that some used the sounds of “Changez…” as source material. That compilation was
massive. It spanned 8 LPs released as two boxsets of 4 records apiece (by Vinyl on Demand, who
also reissued “Changez…” on LP in 2004), and was reissued as 7 CDs (released together and
separately in sets grouped by geography, published by Important Records, At War With False
Noise, Alchemy and Auf Abwegen). If those hours of TNB tribute weren’t sufficient (though it is
sure they were), a label called Hate Poem released a 2xCD set called “ANTI - 3.6 Decades of Anti-
A Dedication to the New Blockaders” just a couple of years ago. And that’s not all! Many of the
recent TNB collaborative albums (with Nobuo Yamada, Kommissar Hjuler, Putrefier, K2, Jim
O’Rourke, Xtematic, The Haters, Nurse With Wound, The New Movement, Veltz and on and on
and on) sound very much like someone using “Changez…” as source material. So my first
question is: why does this triple-CD set even exist? What does it add to the original that the
continual deluge of TNB collaborations and “Final Performance” (har har) albums don’t already
say? And what does listening to “Changez Retraville” have to say about the album it’s explicitly
paying tribute to? Short answer: not much. But perhaps the music is still good, even if the concept
is as fresh as TNB’s corpse.
    Nurse With Wound’s strangely reverential 7-minute track opens this compilation, and is
redundant twice over: not only does it duplicate an idea that Stapleton already published on his
own “Changez…” rework LP from just last year, but this piece sounds pretty much exactly like
TNB’s original. Whatever he did to the source material is identical to the source. Other artists
whose tributes are barely distinguishable from the source are The New Movement (a group
clearly inspired by TNB), Nobuo Yamada and Veltz (both of whom have already collaborated
with TNB), Phil Julian, The Prestidigitators, and (disappointingly, since I like this band so much)
Idea Fire Company. There are a few misfires, Anomali, who has been part of TNB for live
performances, sounds as if he just took the “Changez” LP and played some tedious, pounding
techno beats over it. K2, Toshiji Mikawa, GX Jupitter-Larsen and Merzbow all turn in tracks that
sound exactly like themselves. Daisuke Suzuki’s track sounds like he played the “Changez…”
record and added bird songs.
    The best tracks are the ones that seem to have something to say about the original, like
Thurston Moore’s recording of what seems to be him playing the guitar in front of a drying machine
full of zippers. Philip Sanderson’s piece mutates the source sounds into elongated percussive
textures. Mark Durgan (whose Putrefier/TNB LP is a wonderful record that’s worth tracking down
right now) pulverizes the source into cascading synth whoops and whooshes while maintaining
the source’s clattering core as a backdrop. Spoils & Relics, Ralf Wehowsky, Alexei Borisov and
Asmus Tietchens radically reduced the original, leaving small smears where a massive noise
once was. Giancarlo and Massimo Toniutti’s haunting track preserves the original’s recognizable
cavernous howl but overlays odd digital twitching and smaller details that bounce around the
stereo field. Das Synthetische Miscgewebe, Jim O’Rourke and irr. app. (ext.) transform the source
by re-sculpting it with increased dynamics and episodic structure. These are all fine pieces of
music in their own right.
    Some artists really ran with the “tribute” idea, stretching the original into surprising new shapes.
Rudolf’s piece appends buzzing flies (a recurring motif in his recent work) to an alarming
slowed-down voice, resulting in an unnerving and tense seven minutes. Kommissar Hjuler’s piece
is wonderfully claustrophobic, mashing TNB onto cassette tapes that sound as though they were
buried in mud then played on walkmans with dying batteries. I like that track a lot. QST contributes
a bouncing rhythmic piece, but he is more engaged with the source than Anomali’s lifeless track.
One of the most active tracks on here is by Jerome Noetinger, blurring tape across the sound field
in rapid, forceful gestures and adding metallic percussion and throbbing feedback of his own.
Kazumoto Endo’s strange piece lurches back and forth between a full-throated roar and sparse
screech in what appears to be an otherwise empty space. Still, there isn’t much variety in New
Blockaders’ original, so sameness permeates across these three discs. One at a time, some of
these short pieces are worth hearing… maybe this could have been edited down to a single disc
to make it stronger as a stand-alone listening experience. But I keep wondering what purpose
this triple-disc tribute actually serves. If pointlessness and anti-art is part of the TNB credo, then
I suppose a somewhat pointless tribute is appropriate. (HS)
––– Address:

GOLDEN DARK (LP by Golden Dark)

Golden Dark is a duo of Daevid McMillan from Scotland and Elo Masing from Estonia, formed and
based in Berlin since 2016. McMillan is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. I couldn’t find much on
his musical whereabouts. Masing is a violinist and singer with a background in modern composed
and improvised music. She is a member of the London Experimental Ensemble, and took part in
their performance of Cornelius Cardew’ s ’Treatise’, released by Split Rock and earlier reviewed
here. In 2018 she took part on a few recordings for Creative Sources Recordings in line-ups with
Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues a.o. That same year she met the Portuguese band Slow is
Possible what led to turning the duo Golden Dark into a band with João Clemente (guitar),
Bernardo Sousa (drums, vocals), André Pontífice (bass, cello) and guest appearances by Bruno
Figueira (saxophone) and Merran Laginestra (keyboard). They made a really good match together
as this exceptional recording proves. We don’t often review here albums of ‘just’ songs. But it is a
pleasure to make an exception with this one. Daevid McMillan who sings with a pleasant voice
composed all songs. We are obviously in psychedelic folk territories. The songs have tantalizing
dissonant and alienating arrangements. Masing very expressively plays the violin. A strong voice,
responsible for baffling moments like in the final song ‘What If’. Every song illustrates that they
work from a very consistent and clear vision of how to dress up the songs with delicate
instrumental outros. An impressive debut album that appeared in an edition of 100 copies with
hand-painted covers. (DM)
––– Address:

RUTGER HAUSER - THE SWIM (LP by The Lumen Lake/Adaadat/Tutl).

The oddly named group Rutger Hauser hails from London and consist of Lisa Busby, Jamie Coe,
Rose Dagul, John Harries, Ian Stonehouse and Jon Klaemint Hofgaard. It was thanks to the latter
that the group embarked on a recording session for a week in the Faroe Islands, and he's from
there. They brought the guitar, cello, drums, and studio gear to the Island and set up in the
community hall and improvised their music on the spot. There is a rock-like element to the music,
certainly on the opening piece, 'Maximum Tourist', with a fine, Tortoise inspired, jazzy motifs. I
thought that would set the tone for a new direction by the group (although I must admit I only heard
one previous release by them; see Vital Weekly 1007), but that is not the case. Before they used
something that was referred to as 'playback media', and I had no idea what it was; maybe skipping
CDs, or shards of vinyl flying about, but whatever it was it no longer seems to be having the same
place in this new work; it is there but perhaps all a bit more controlled and spaced out? The
improvisations are not spun out for a very long time and there seems to be a role for the 'studio-
as-instrument' here, in which they tape various sessions and then play them together to find a
new dialogue. Nurse With Wound might be an obvious point of reference, certainly with some of
the female vocals, but also Biota, Mnemonists or Faust come to mind, although perhaps not as
anarchistic as the latter. Their previous release was all recorded live, so perhaps I am all wrong
when it comes to the 'studio-as-instrument' thing, but then they mastered the art-form of sound
collage within the concept of a rock pretty well. Less high-tension music it seems to me, this time,
but it all worked out very well. The group plays highly dynamic music, going from introspective
moments to straight forward minimalist rock (maybe that's when I thought of Faust?) to a joyous
melody, and weird sounds are used on an equal level as normal instruments. I wonder how it all
translates to the stage? (FdW)
––– Address:

HIN - WARMER WEATHER EP (CDR by Sound In Silence)

From øjeRum I reviewed some music before (Vital Weekly 1045 and 1175), which is only a small
portion of what Paw Grabowski produced as such. He is from Copenhagen and I would think that
s the main instrument was the guitar but these days the interest seems to have been shifted
towards the use of electronics, loops and synthesizers; especially synthesizers on this release.
Here he has six pieces of gentle mood music, ranging from two and a half minutes up to sixteen
minutes. I was sitting back, tucked away in a good book about music and art, and in the
background, this music was playing. It is ambient music with the big A. It was when I got up and
sat down behind the screen to think about this while playing this again, I started to note different,
little things. That odd ring, this mild distortion, all of that sort of roughness that is to be found
around thus lush textures played a bunch of synthesizers and effects, that works so well as pieces
of ambient music. Quite rightly the labels mentioned Brian Eno as someone whose fans should be
hearing this (along with Harold Budd, Tim Hecker and William Basinski; I am less convinced by the
latter two, but sure, all of these might have their influences on the music of øjeRum). It is music that
relaxes when played quietly and gives you a refined rush of energy when played with a bit more
volume. The last track, 'Alting Falder I Samme Rum VI', lasts sixteen minutes and is the best piece;
notes are sent through a line of delay pedals and tinker away nicely. I think I should loop this into
a 60-minute piece!
    Something entirely different is the debut EP (twenty-one minutes) by HIN. This is a duo of two
school friends, Jerome Alexander (also known as Message To Bears) and Justin Lee Radford (The
Kids And The Cosmos), who live in London and Los Angeles respectively (makes rehearsing a bit
difficult I would think). The music here is melancholic too, but that's where the comparison stops.
HIN uses rhythms, guitars, bass, piano, and vocals. Hazy, blurred vocals by male and female
singers, the latter three different ones. It is all a bit shoegazing like but not as deep or dark; more
like colours of a water painting being blurred together and some lines in there a bit clearer. It is
perhaps quite pop-music like I thought and while I thought it was quite good, production wise,
music wise, I realized this is also not really my kind of thing, perhaps because it being that pop-like
but not the sort of pop I would easily play. Perhaps not just cheery, outgoing enough for my pop
taste? I am not sure. Don't let my considerations divert your pop attention however and seek this
out for yourself! (FdW)
––– Address:


Andy Cartwright is the man behind Seabuckthorn and for me, it's a new name, despite his
releases (since 2009) for Dead Pilot Records, Bookmaker Records, Lost Tribe Sound and Silo
Editions. On all fourteen songs, Cartwright plays "bowed resonator guitar", which is a guitar with
a metal body and he also plays "occasional banjo, clarinet, bass synth and percussion". I assume
there is also a bit of looping going on here, so there is some orchestration in the music. 'Crossing'
is his 8th album and recorded in his "home studio in the French Alps with the expectancy of
becoming a father", which has a lovely ring to it. As said, there are fourteen pieces on this release,
and Cartwright has various approaches to his guitar and offers a bit of necessary variation in his
music. He uses a bow, strumming and fingerpicking, as well, I would think, uses objects to play
the guitar and adds a bit of reverb to create some more space; when, of course, it is not coming
from the hollow body of the guitar itself. By using loopers, reverb and occasionally other
instruments he crafts some beautiful drone-minded melancholic sounds. Introspective music,
obviously and none of these sounds harsh or metallic, which sometimes can happen with the
resonator guitar, but Cartwright keeps it well under control. Each of the pieces is somewhere
between a fully formed piece and an elaborate sketch; in general, so it seems to me, the shorter t
he piece, the more sketch-like it is. At fifty-four minutes I would think perhaps a bit too long for the
amount of variation; maybe Cartwright should have done longer pieces? I am not sure.
Throughout however this was a very fine and refined release. (FdW)
––– Address:

POOL PERVERTS - (CDR by Non-Interrupt)
POOL PERVERTS - ZWECKFORM (cassette by Non-Interrupt)

A few weeks ago we had a sudden outburst of music releases by Egbert van der Vliet, which,
resulted in his label Non-Interrupt, mainly but not exclusively dedicated to his music, but also
others, as we will see. His moniker Klinikum is put to rest and now it's Pool Perverts. Here are the
first two releases. 'Zweckform' is the second release by this new name and the cassette is limited
to 18 copies only, but here we have the debut album, which is even more limited 11 copies, but on
CDR. The package (and also from the next one) are all loving tributes to the world of cassette
culture from thirty years ago; xeroxed, cut and paste and handwritten. From the Klinikum sound to
the Pool Perverts is a small ride but with some essential differences. One is that with Pool Perverts
it is all more loop-based, combined with a bit more sound processing and an Industrial varnish
that rolls over the music. Used among the plundered sounds are quite often short, machine-like
rhythmic sounds. It is heavier, moodier and less playful than before; it is, by and large, quite a bit
of industrial music that Pool Perverts play here and the ambient of before seems to have become
more of a sideshow here. I guess that's what you call progress. It works pretty well. There is not
my difference between the first and the second album, even when the second has four longer cuts
from the factory floor. This is all mysterious, especially when it comes to the use of sound sources,
which remain a small mystery, it is luckily not too noisy, and nicely dark: this too is a fine tribute to
the '80s underground music scene.
    Don't let the title of the Polish Kitchen Cult mislead you. There are no 'country & western
supertunes' to be found here; there are six pieces here. The cover mentions one Hermann Klaus
to be the man behind this project. I had not heard of him before. People from Freesound are
thanked, and I suppose that's where Klaus may find his sources to play around. I strongly suspect
this is an Egbert van der Vliet in disguise release actually. It uses very similar sampling techniques
along with electronic processing and the result is not unlike that of Pool Perverts. There is a fair bit
of rhythm of the industrial variety to be spotted here, along with short-cut sounds and stolen field
recordings that go along for the ride. In 'Sir' it sounds like someone is brushing teeth and gave me
the creeps. The other tracks were quite nice, in all their proto-industrial approaches, although I
think I liked Pool Perverts a bit more than this. (FdW)
––– Address:


Every now and then I see the name Ross Scott-Buccleuch in online social media, and maybe we
have crossed paths there, but that doesn't mean I heard his music. I understand that Diurnal
Burdens is his solo project and that he is one half of Liminal Haze. There have been previous
releases on Invisible City Records and Matching Head. In his solo music Scott-Buccleuch uses
blank cassettes, empty and modified Walkman, contact mics, magnets, tape loops, homemade
twin-Walkman looper, field recordings, no-input mixer, nebulophone, phonic taxidermist and
various pedals; quite a mouthful there, with a surprising role for blank and empty objects. Listening
to this music it is nothing strange that this found its way on the Falt label, the label founded by
Chemiefaserwerk, who operate in a similar field of garbled up tapes and electronics. Throughout
there is an excellent lo-fi sound to be spotted in these two side-long pieces of music; well, they
have a title for each side on Bandcamp, but one could argue there are various tracks on each side
of this tape. Scott-Buccleuch works with his elements in quite a clever way; sometimes there is
room for just the electronics, then something that deals with field recordings captured on a Ferro
cassette that has been re-used quite a lot and sometimes both ends meet up for a while, and then
drift apart again. There is a fine crudeness to these sounds, one that I for one enjoy very much.
The rust, the dirt and the debris captured on tape. There are clear stops in between sections
(suggesting indeed these are multiple pieces) and each section has just about the right length
to be entertaining while remaining within its minimal developments. This is a lovely tape
release! (FdW)
––– Address:


The sixth instalment of split cassettes with always Utrecht's Lärmschutz on one side and a guest
on the other see the seat being taken by The Howl Ensemble, of which I never heard. I recognized
Lärmschutz member Rutger van Driel being a member of "trombone drone & effects" and Otto
Kokke on "sax drone & effects", but none of the other names. Other instruments include guitar
drone, Moog mother 32 (that's the second in this issue, oddly), bass drone, synth drone, trumpet,
vibes, tape manipulation, super space drum, skychord sleepdrone 6. All in all seven people in this
ensemble with a live recording from 30th of March 2019, which kicks off as a very loud rock drone,
but right from the start it seems like it is stuck somewhere and thus it is more a drone than a rock
piece. Obviously, there is the absence of drums and that makes it also less 'rock'. Over the course
of twenty-one minutes they strip down the piece; from very heavy via mildly heavy, it seems as if
more and more instruments are to be recognized and in the end, it is almost a gentle strum; but
this is really in the last minute or two that this happens. It is all-together a piece of music that
should be played full blast!
    On the other side is Lärmschutz the core duo of Rutger van Driel (trombone) and Stef Brans
(guitar), receiving help from Ab Bol on double bass. Like with other releases in this split series,
Lärmschutz responds to what goes on the other side and this time they play a drone piece that
lasts eighteen minutes and eighteen seconds. It is a side of Lärmschutz that we haven't heard
before. They normally go for a free improvisation anarcho-punk style, but that means that they are
open to whatever they like (a lesson learned from The Ex, I suppose) and so if it works out to be an
improvised drone piece, with slow bending of strings and trombone feeding through some pedal
work so it stretches out, then they do so and they do a really great job at that. Here too matters
slowly unfold or fall apart, and the sound of the guitar becomes more dominantly recognizable,
while the double bass makes shorter, rounder notes on the instrument, without leaping to a
rhythm, per se. This is a surprising release by a group that already gave so many surprises! (FdW)
––– Address:


On Thursday June 20, World Refugee Day, Shameless released:

Sea-Watch 100% of all proceeds of this release go to Sea-Watch

To keep production costs low and proceeds (=donations) high this is digital only.

Almost the entire Shameless roster has contributed to this compilation.

Sea-Watch is a non-profit organization that conducts civil search and rescue operations in the
Mediterranean Sea. Politically and religiously independent Sea-Watch is financed solely
through donations.

Purchasing this album sets a sign of humanity and helps Sea-Watch continue their mission
to save lives. And the music, is for free.

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free
to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this,
then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <>.
Forward to your allies.

Snail mail:
Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard
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All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <>, Jliat (Jliat),
Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Peter Johan Nijland (PJN), Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg (SSK), Howard Stelzer
(HS) and others on a less regular basis. This is a copyright free publication,
except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author
before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly
has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.

The complete archive of Vital Weekly including search possibilities:

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free
to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this,
then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <>.
Forward to your allies.

Snail mail:
Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard
Acaciastraat 11
6521 NE Nijmegen
The Netherlands

All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), Dolf Mulder (DM) <>, Jliat (Jliat),
Freek Kinkelaar (FK), Peter Johan Nijland (PJN), Sven Schlijper-Karssenberg (SSK), Howard Stelzer
(HS) and others on a less regular basis. This is a copyright free publication,
except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author
before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly
has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.

The complete archive of Vital Weekly including search possibilities: