\ / | ----- /\ | \ / |== |== | / | \ / Week 11
\ / | | / \ | \ /\ / | | |/ | \ / Number 119
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PUSHBUTTON OBJECTS - UNAUTHORIZED EP (12" by Chocolate Industries)
FUNKSTORUNG - POST ART EP (12" by Chocolate Industries)
Two 12"s by Chocolate Industries, one by a new band (for me) and one by a
band that are rumored to be the next Autechre... Pushbutton limp on more
than one foot, but that makes it a varied thing. The side that has the
sticker on opens with a sort of Aphex Twin techno piece, well, it happens
twice on this side. The other side is, again, doubly fucked hip hop beats
and ditto samples. I liked the first side better.
Funkstorung are from Germany and have various 12"s out and are compared a
lot to Autechre. I'm not sure why, as Funkstorung have a rawer, and maybe
less complex edge then their UK mates. Their A-side starts out rather slow
and the synths sound a bit... old perhaps? But very German in a way. The
second track is indeed a true Autechre sound-alike and a very nice track!
The second has two quite laid-back techno tracks, which are excellent.
Great EP this one! (FdW)
Address: fax: 00-1-305-789-9302

POMASSL - TRAIL ERROR (CD by Laton)
When I was a home with flu (hot and sweaty, yeah) a while ago, I checked my
mail box by phoning everyday to the office, and someone said, 'Oh there is
a Pomassl CD but that sounds like a Rehberg/Bauer rip off.'... Not so fast
my son... This was recorded between 1994 and 1996, so this guy was already
toying around with the same ideas as the city mates. There is a ton of
fucked sound, which to me sound very analogue synth (but hey who am I?),
very noisy, but yet very rhythmical at the same time. This is where techno
has it's future. And for you remixy spotters out there (or just plain sound
hackers), there are also tons of sounds to sample for your own
Rehberg/Bauer... excuse me, Pomassl rip off. (FdW)
Address: <laton@t0.or.at>

CHARLES UZELL-EDWARDS - OCTOPUS 3 (CD by Fax)
Of course I am altogether unfamiliar with the previous outings by Charles
Uzell-Edwards on Fax or any other stuff he put out, except for that nice CD
that was released by Boxman a while ago. So Charles was kind enough to tap
me in on his recent work, by sending this third installment of Octopus. The
word that comes to mind when hearing this is 'neat' as in 'harmless'. The
ambiance put out by Charles is laid-back, with synths doing the washing and
the drums the wiping. The nice thing is that the tracks are quite short and
not endlessly stretched out in super psychedelic moods. Some of the pieces
have that out-dated touch which in some areas is now oh so hyper modern,
such as in 'Dirty Vinyl From The Desert'. And apart from some spoken intro
this is well worth enjoying in it's variety. (FdW)
Address: <fax@ipf.de>

BABA-OEMF - SIX SOUND POEMS (CD by Kontrans)
RAOUL HAUSMANN - POEMES PHONETIQUES (CD by Kaon)
Two times sound poetry here and both with a slight historical perspective.
The Hugo Ball is not a historical recording dug from the vaults, but a trio
interpreting his sound poems. The well known face from this trio is of
course Jaap Blonk, who is a busy bee: reciting sound poetry solo, but also
actively involved in various improv units. Here he teams up with an alto
saxophone player and a double bass. Historical in that sense that the
recording dates from 1989. The result is a wild free improv thing, and
obviously we don't know whether Herr Ball would approve of the
interpretation (being dead), but hey who cares about that anyway.
Real history is written with the beautiful item by Raoul Hausmann, key
figure of the DADA scene. Two long pieces recorded by Henri Chopin (himself
a legend) and two short pieces recorded in 1959. As one might say this is
unaccompanied voice, no electronic treatment. And what amazing voice and
poetry. Hausmann is not the inventor of the phonetic poems - it was Hugo
Ball (he says), but he sure was the one that gave it a shape. Some of the
poetry in here sounds like bits and pieces I heard from Kurt Schwitters'
Ursonate - the nonsense (not meant negative here) of the sounds is beyond
me, but it's maybe the non-sense that gives beauty a sense here. If you
found pleasure before in Jaap Blonk's stuff or Henri Chopin's own
historical stuff, then this is an absolute must have. (FdW)
Address: Kontrans: <wbk@xs4ll.nl>
Addresss: Kaon: <kaon@hol.fr>

MAEROR TRI - PLEROMA (10" by Ant-Zen)
One of my favorite extant bands that keep putting stuff out. Still great
fun, but I just can't get enough (while waiting of course for the first
thing to come out by Throum - the successor)
The title piece opens with throbbing sound and highly reverbed wall of
guitars, with some metallic sound (like one of those plastic tubes with a
string inside) very far away. Quite a noisy and offensive piece. A pity
that this might be a beautiful picture disc, but the sound quality lacks a
bit.
The other side has also one track, 'Atrove'. Again a wall of guitars and
fuzzyness. Hyper psychedelic, really non-ambient music for the neo-hippy
generation of the nineties. This must be the first time that I call myself
'hippy'. Time for a haircut. Watch out for their next final release! (FdW)
Address:

FOUR YEARS IN 30 SECONDS (CD by Dirter Promotions)
It took Dirter four years to compile a record with 25 artists doing a 30
second piece. That limited 10" sold out instantly last year, so it's a good
idea to present it now on CD, with a nice bonus (which are of course always
not necessary), this time all tracks in reverse. But actually I am the
first to admit, I couldn't tell, it seems like 50 good tracks. What to say
about something that is gone before you notice it? There it's good, and
there it's bad, and there is much noise to be found. Bands you'd never
heard off (who are Business Machines? who are East Of The Sun?) but also
some you'd rarely find on a comp nowadays, like Nurse With Wound (great
cover there too, Steve) or Faust, and whole bunch you see too often, like
Merzbow, Illusion Of Safety, RLW, Beequeen. And while this is limited
again, grab your chances now, so you won't have to pay too much in 4 years
and 30 seconds from now. (FdW)
Address: <slag@dirter.demon.co.uk.>

MERZBOW - PINKREAM (CD by Dirter Promotions)
MERZBOW - VIBRACTANCE (CD by E(r)ostrate)
Hey he's been quiet for a while (apart from that 2CDset that comes as the
extra to the 50 CD set, this is first one in some time, but please, please
e-mail me if I missed something). Pinkream is a re-issue of a 3 sided 10"
that came about two years ago, but with an additional 23 minutes here on
CD. If I am not mistaken, this was the period that Masami shifted from pure
electro-acoustic noise work, to a mixed version in which the old analog EMS
synth played a bigger role. Take for instance the opening track 'Tuku Tuku'
which starts out with pure synth tones, but which get eventually fucked up
by tons of effects. There is a repetitive element in some pieces, which
makes it something that could be called, ouch, techno music. Not the one
you dance to on a weekend party, but you get the idea where the Megoids get
their ideas from (well, half of them, the rest is digital mayhem ). This
one might appeal to die hard collectors only - count me in.
The Vibractance CD is based on the four elements, but it's unclear whether
Masami used the four elements as real sound sources. 'Vibrating Sand' opens
with a strong drone sound with slight added high crackles (although very
remote) - certainly something different here. After 5 minutes the piece
takes off and goes back to drony sound at the end. This sounds more
'composed'/' structured' then much of the noise improvs Masami usually
displays with great skill. It turns out that the other three tracks have a
likewise development. With care the elements of 'drone' (as in layered
synth pieces) are set against short, forceful noise outbursts. This CD
shows new directions for Merzbow, and should therefore be checked out by
those who want try out a new Merzbow every now and then, but who not
necessarily want to hear everything. (FdW)
Address: Dirter: as above
Address: Erostrate: <erostrate@wanadoo.fr>

LUC KERLEO - UN CLOCHER (miniCD by Kaon)
Extremely uninformative package! Nine tracks (just under 17 minutes) by
this guy. The first four starting points may belong to each other and so do
the other five, as it is one continuous stream. Although it is along Oval
lines, it didn't bring the same sensation I had that day the EFA sales rep
played Oval - Systemisch for me ('hey dude why are playing a broken CD?').
Having said that, I enjoyed this quite a bit. The sounds are short and in a
rhythmical mode, panning nicely in stereo. With the start of each new
track, there is a little bit of processing added. This isn't dance music at
all, but more a serious kick in the ambient butt. But I'm sure it will go
down fine with the some of the more adventurous dance lovers. (FdW)
Address: as above

CHOP SHOP - SMOLDER (miniCD by V2 Archief)
The 3" format is still not very popular, except for a few labels that
continue to do a lot of them, like Metamkine or V2 Archief. The format
challenges great packaging, this new one comes in lead and a small copper
plate (they won't break in the mail for sure!). As is hopefully known, Chop
Shop build speaker installations through which looped sounds are fed. In
his older work Chop Shop was more into continuous streams of noise, loud
and raw, just as the spaces of concrete he used to exhibit his
installations. The rawness of the concrete (you can almost smell it) is
still present, but his music has grown. Chop Shop builds carefully sound on
sound and sound after sound. Sometimes at a low volume, the rumbling of
wires broken, and sometimes loud, like huge clouds of electrical
discharges. This new work belongs to the better works Chop Shop did. (FdW)
address: <peterd@v2.nl>

NATURAL LANGUAGE - NATURAL LANGUAGE (CD on EMIT)
Here's a new release from a label which has been lurking in the background
for a while, following the huge dump of compilations and bandstuff which
heralded their arrival. Always reliable for music of quality, although a
lot of it didn't slurp me in, this new CD has a unique and mysterious
quality to it that kept me playing it for days. (And probably still will.)
This is a truly musical work by Hywel Davies, who contributed some cello
to the CD 'undark', by Russell MIlls as well as a track to the EMIT 1197
compilation.
'Natural Language' hovers between a multitude of musical worlds drifting
gracefully from one to the other with almost casual aplomb, although it is
no easy thing to pull these kind of manoevres off, I am sure. It's a
combination of the acoustic and the electronic; sounds are shaped and
shifted by an accomplished group of musicians (yep, the genuine articles),
who listen intently to each other before sprinkling their sonic
contributions like scattered stars. There are temple bowls, pianos, horns
and cello (of course). And beautiful treatments augmented by the familiar
3D processing which has become synonymous with this label.
It is in no way confrontational, instead it gently suspends the listener
in a electro-acoustic web of alternating shadows and light. Concrete mixers
and forest floors. Walking bass and tiny voice.
One to keep. (MP)
Address: <emit@msn.com>

CHRISTIAN CALON - LES CORPS EBLOUIS (CD - almost single - by Empreintes
Digitalis)
The latest in a series of many brief compositions released by this peerless
Canadian label who have played a major role in rejuvenating (more academic)
electro-acoustic music. Much of what they release are commissions from the
French and Canadian governments or their appointees, who operate through
some of the best electronic studios in the world. (No, Pierre Boulez is
still in a world of his own, somewhere close to the sewers of Paris.)
Christian Calon is a member of the younger generation of electro-acoustic
composers most of whom have access to the latest sound modifiers and so,
like their predecessors, have to approach their tools in very
individualistic ways in order to sound different to the rest of their gang.
Mr Calon has a full length CD out on Empreintes Digitalis which is still
quite groovy and which I still bung on once in a while as an interesting
counterpoint to everything else I have accumulated.
What I find interesting about a lot of contemporary electro-acoustic music
is the limitations the composers set upon themselves. In this case Mr Calon
sourced all sounds from an electric guitar and then he twisted them about,
topsy-turvy like, using some quite accesible but still phenomenal software
and additional devices, which make a guitar sound like anything but itself.
The composition itself is 22'00 long, but while listening to it I felt it
had reached it's level by about 17'00 in. Then it built up again to another
(less shattering) crescendo about a minute before the end.
Absorbing stuff though. (MP)
Address: <dim@cam.org>