number 1198
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week 37
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DE FABRIEK - REMIXES VOL. 1 (CD by De Fabriek) *
ANTOINE BEUGER - TRACES OF ETERNITY: OF WHAT IS YET TO BE (CD by A New Wave
  Of Jazz) *
ANTOINE BEUGER - NOW IS THE MOMENT TO LEARN HOPE  (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz) *
DANIEL THOMPSON & COLIN WEBSTER - BOSKAGE (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz) *
BENEDICT TAYLOR & ANTON MOBIN - CLOSE/QUARTERS (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz) *
USAMI / SOUND MAPPING CAMP - GEMER GOTHIC ROUTE (CD compilation by Mappa Editions)
DIASTOLIC MURMURS & FURT - HOSPITAL OF THE SOUL (CD by Psych Kg) *
FRESH DUST TRIO – HILARIOUS EXPERTS (CD by FMR Records)
MICHAEL VLATKOVICH – 5 WINDS: FIVE OF US (CD by Pfmentum) *
HENRIK OLSSON – HAND OF BENEDICTION (LP by Barefoot Records)
PHILIP SCHAUFELBERGER & CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH – DISCOVER ANTHROPOLOGY!  (LP by
  Wide Ear Records)
DRONE A CLOCHETTES (LP by Le Cri De La Harpe)
TAMAGAWA - LIVE IN JAPAN (10" by Le Cri De La Harpe)
STROTTER INST. & PETER VUKMIROVIC STEVENS - BILE NOIRE (LP by Arpaviva)
AKI ONDA & PAUL CLIPSON - MAKE VISIBLE THE GHOSTS (LP by Audiomer)
FRANK NIEHUSMANN & HAINER WÖRMANN - KABEL (LP by NurNichtNur)
PLUS INSTRUMENTS - AIM FOR THE CENTER (CDR by Dewclaw Ditties) *
KLINIKUM - RAIN OF SAND (cassette, private) *


DE FABRIEK - REMIXES VOL. 1 (CD by De Fabriek)
 
There is nothing much logical about the work of Dutch legends De Fabriek. But then, you don't
become a legend by doing ordinary things. There is much mystery about De Fabriek, even when
in the last two years there is a Bandcamp page and you can reach (some) members via e-mail.
Their last double CD was a real CD, and so is Remixes Vol. 1. Now, before you wonder if 'Remixes
1' is the beginning of a new thing; it is perhaps the end of something? In Vital Weekly 1035 we
discussed 'Remixes Vol. 5' and after that other volumes not in any chronological order when they
were released on CDR and this being De Fabriek, it is always confusing. Who remixes who or
what? In this case, one P. Ehrmann, also known as Peter PET takes on a look at material submitted
by K. Mons, A. Eker, P. van Vliet, F. de Waard, R. van Dellen, R. Hemmes and M. Hohmann,
besides Ehrman. Some of these names you may have found on the earliest De Fabriek releases
back in the late '70s. Throughout the many years, this 'group' (collective might be a better word) is
active, they have shifted through numerous musical genres; from experimental to ambient to
industrial; even pushing the boundaries of techno music. These days De Fabriek are perhaps at
their most eclectic and it shows on a release like 'Remixes Vol. 1'. Here spacious electronic parts,
ambient music if you will, sit next to more beat-driven music, if one doesn't want to use word
techno, but there are surely some strong beats on this release. Voices are picked up from the
ether and mixed at will; that, perhaps, adds to the notion of the krautrock roots of De Fabriek,
which they also have. As such the music bounces freely all over the place and it should be no
surprise that there is also room for an updated version of 'Kein Spass In Zwolle', their electro-
punk anthem of bored youth from 1977, but now in a robot voiced version. As before De Fabriek
takes the listener on a journey, from the cosmos to the dance floor, occasionally visiting a chill-
out in space again and landing with a 4/4 rhythm in 'Gedane Zaken'. Excellent, as usual. (FdW)
(FdW)
––– Address: https://defabriek.bandcamp.com/



ANTOINE BEUGER - TRACES OF ETERNITY: OF WHAT IS YET TO BE (CD by A New Wave
  Of Jazz)
ANTOINE BEUGER - NOW IS THE MOMENT TO LEARN HOPE  (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz)
DANIEL THOMPSON & COLIN WEBSTER - BOSKAGE (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz)
BENEDICT TAYLOR & ANTON MOBIN - CLOSE/QUARTERS (CD by A New Wave Of Jazz)
 
Here we continue our journey through seven discs by A New Wave Jazz and a festival they are
organising on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October in Rijkevorsel, Belgium; see also last week.
These people also play! On Antoine Beuger's work 'Traces Of Eternity: Of What Is Yet To Be',
Daniel Boon is at the piano, the only release with just one player, and he will also perform solo
at the festival. Beuger is the founding father of what is called Wandelweiser, not just a label, but
also a group of like-minded composers and performers of mostly quiet music. Whereas A New
Wave Of Jazz occupies the world of improvised music, Wandelweiser is about composed music.
However, as many of the releases on A New Wave Of Jazz are also quiet and dealing with lots of
spaces between the notes, the music you don't hear, it is not difficult to see the interest they would
have in the music of Wandelweiser or even why Beuger has two releases at the same time. Dante
Boon's piano is very quiet; recorded from a distance, or maybe just the way he plays? Either way,
it's all very quiet. There is no repetition, I would think, but simply note here, there, silence, and
even, occasionally a cluster of notes from time to time. Somewhere in the middle is where we find
most activity; it is not the usual building to a climax (climax? what climax?) but rather the most
concentrated cluster of the piano is over there and from there on it slowly the amount decreases
again.
           The other piece by Beuger is something different. First of all, it is a piece for an ensemble,
unlike many of his solo and duo works. It is also not in the same league of quietness; far from it,
as this is quite an audible piece of music. It is performed by the Extradition Ensemble, "a fluid
group of musicians associated with Portland's Extradition Series, which presents programs of
20th and 21st-century experimental music exploring purity, space, sound and silence". The only
name I recognized was Loren Chasse, who plays a bell here. Other instruments for this piece
includes classical guitar, harp, bowed crotale, bowed guitar and alto trombone. It was recorded at
the Portland Garment Factory, of which the cover says, "a women-owned, certified zero-waste
manufacturing studio". When listing all the instruments I was surprised there was no piano, as it
surely sounded there was one present here. The occasional returning bang sounded like a piano,
but surely is Chasse's bell then. Also, there is the sound of water, like it is recorded in a cave; no
doubt that is a field recording. The work, forty-seven minutes, is slow with long strokes of the bowed
instruments and the alto trombone, whereas the bell, harp and acoustic guitar may play that bang,
which might not be in 'sync'; the intervals don't seem regular, but I was never good at counting. It is
a peaceful composition that reminded me of recent David Jackman music (now, there's a thought
for Wandelweiser label!), but then not as strictly organised. The music of Beuger here is a rather
fluid (pun intended) and less intense. An excellent piece!
           The first of the two duos this time is the acoustic guitar of Daniel Thompson and the alto
saxophone of Colin Webster, also of Tonus (see last week). I am not sure if I heard of Daniel
Thompson before, but he played with Steve Noble, Neil Metcalfe, Tom Jackson, Benedict Taylor
and Alex Ward. Here we enter the zone where free improvisation and free jazz meet up. Like the
Serries/Verhoeven/Vanderstraeten release from last week this one about total freedom in playing,
and none of the instruments are treated in a very regular way. Although, and I am not proficient in
playing either instrument here, I can imagine it is easier to extract some sounds out of an acoustic
guitar by the inexperienced player, and it still sounds like someone is banging the strings, but with
the saxophone, I am less sure. I would imagine it needs some skill in the use of lips. On this
release, both instruments can be recognized and yet both players use also a variety of techniques
to do other stuff. Using a bow on the strings, or the saxophone as a percussion instrument. The
interaction between both players is great. There is refinement in playing together, responding and
being independent, each on par with the other. The duties are equally divided and separated. One
takes the lead, the other follows, and roles might be reversed as easily. This is certainly not easy
music and at fifty-five minutes also quite a sit through at this radical level. Best to be taken in a
smaller portion or at full volume all at once, and not doing anything else but concentrated listening.
           There never were many reviews of the music of Anton Mobin, mainly because has something
to do with him thinking that I didn't look at his instrument or some such (how does he know?). Of
course, there has been no personal communication following that, and as I understand it he is not
a fan of this weekly thing, which is fine of course. Mobin uses a prepared chamber, according to
the cover (and looks like this), which does look like Tore Boe's acoustic laptops or Das
Synthetische Mischgewebe's acoustic objects but Mobin's version also seems to have an
electronic component. Here he teams up with Benedict Taylor, who we know from previous
Tonus releases and who plays the viola. I was playing this release a
couple of times, mainly because I couldn't make up my mind. I was hearing improvised music
and surely the viola can be recognized as such quite a bit in here and yet also not really. It is,
perhaps, that Mobin's prepared chamber also sometimes sounds like a stringed instrument and
at other times like something hard to define; it is the ringing of metal rods, plucking of springs and
sometimes even a thing or so electronic/distorted/feedback. Here too we have some fine interaction
between both players and the music owes a bit more than is usual for this label to the world of
electro-acoustic improvisation, like a hyperactive version of AMM, Noise Maker’s Fifes,
Morphogenesis or Kapotte Muziek, moving around like the angry young man they are. It is very
well possible, however, to see a place for this sort of improvisation on this label. I am sure it will be
a very interesting festival. (FdW)
––– Address: https://newwaveofjazz.bandcamp.com/


 
USAMI / SOUND MAPPING CAMP - GEMER GOTHIC ROUTE (CD compilation by Mappa Editions)
 
This release comes in a nice fold-out map thing that has one major downside: all the text is in the
Slovakian language. The basic stuff is on the Bandcamp page, and I will quote from that, but the
cover gives out details about the various composers involved, so we miss out there. About the
project we read that the “aim is to bring curatorial activities more to the field, trying to map various
cultural and social phenomena from the sonic vantage point. For that we use marginal forms of
sound art that link the interest in active listening, experimenting with sound, social and critical
dimensions of listening, oral and aural history and the issues of acoustic ecology". In this case,
they used "The Gothic Route / Gemer-Malohont (Slovakia)" and recordings were made in various
churches ("Rimavská Baňa, Kraskovo, Pond, Žíp, Štítnik, Dobšiná, Brdárka"). The following
composers were in residence for this project Stanislav Abrahám, Jonáš Gruska, Skupina/Mirvis,
Lucie Vítková and AVA: Moving Spaces. The recordings were made in the last week of August
last year. Judging by the music, I would think that each of these composers took these recordings
and moved them out of the direct context of their locations, transformed them, played around with
them, or added instruments. None seem to be a strict/direct documentation of the field. I am not
sure if that is a deliberate thing. In some instances, it is all very clear, but it also sounds like some
of them used a purer form of field recording, such as AVA: Moving Spaces in their piece; but even
then I would think there is some kind of treatment, like heavily edited, various layers of pure sounds
mixed together. In Stanislav Abraham, the field recordings move along with the rhythm it also
captured but going in a slightly more abstract, drone territory. Here he uses loops of sound, which
is something that is also done by Jonas Gruska, taking apart the church organ, maybe a bit too
loopy in all three of his pieces. Skupina and Mirvis also have three pieces, and they seem to be
concentrating on the spatial qualities of the church, silent but not silent, transforming the original
shuffling into stretched out pieces of drone music. Lucie Vitkova uses the church organ and
cicadas to create a song in a rather freestyle; probably intense but it is not my cup of tea.
(FdW)
––– Address: https://mappa.bandcamp.com/


 
DIASTOLIC MURMURS & FURT - HOSPITAL OF THE SOUL (CD by Psych Kg)
 
Psych Kg is a most curious label, releasing lots and lots of weird music that one could call outsider
music; lots by Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer for instance. Here they unearthed a cassette
release from 1993 that was recorded at the London Film-Makers Co-op in 1993 by Diastolic
Murmurs, a duo of Adam Bohman (amplified objects) and Crow (amplified objects, electronics
and projections), meeting up another duo, Furt, consisting of Richard Barrett and Paul Obermayer,
both credited with electronics (which surely were not laptops in those days). Vintage Productions,
a label I had not heard of before, released the original cassette. Now it is all remastered and the
piece, lasting almost one hour is dedicated to Akos Rozmann, the organist and composer who
lived in Sweden for a long time. This is the work of improvisation, but perhaps, so I was thinking,
we could also see this as a piece of action music. Pretty much as the musique concrete composers'
works: get a microphone, get some acoustic objects and start recording all sorts of interactions with
these objects. In the next stage, these sounds would be going into a variety of electronic devices
and through methods of splicing (the old fashioned way) would become a composition. That last
part is not going to happen at a concert. Here the various actions exist next to each other. The
object treatments sit next to the electronic sounds and there is live interaction going between all
four players, and over an hour slowly grows in density. The cover mentions text by Harry Howard.
Ronald Lloyd and Stanley Williamson, but I am not sure where to find these. If there were voices, I
would think they are too much part of the music to be understood. Mors Mea delivered the liner
notes so that can't be it. This is quite an intense release in which a lot happens and one that
requires quite a bit of your attention, but that turns out to be a most rewarding experience. (FdW)
––– Address: https://limitierte-schallplatten-1.jimdosite.com/


 
FRESH DUST TRIO – HILARIOUS EXPERTS (CD by FMR Records)

With Fresh Dust Trio we are in the company of Marina Dzukljev (piano, objects) from Serbia,
Slovenian musician Jaka Berger (drums, objects) and Samo Salamon (acoustic guitar, 12 strong
acoustic guitar) also from Slovenia. Their excellent debut release starts with three pieces
composed by Berger, and closes with a lengthy collective improvisation. Dzukljev is a pianist,
improviser and performer of classical and contemporary music. She worked with Diatribes, Franz
Hautzinger, Joel Grip, John Dikeman, Isabelle Duthoit, Tristan Honsinger, Bertrand Denzler, to
name a few. Salamon studied classical guitar, took lessons with John Scofield, Tim Brady, a.o.
He has already about 20 records out, worked  with John Hollenbeck, Wilbert de Joode, Pascal
Niggenkemper, Tim Berne, etc. So he can hardly be called a new force. Of Slovenian drummer
Jaka Berger I couldn’t trace much, except that he worked in earlier projects with Salamon and did
duo-work with Dzukljev. In short for all three counts that we are dealing here with creative
musicians from the Balkan areas. Their united talents make up a very inspiring trio, delivering
some very engaging improvisations that are very spirited and playful.  In the opening track
‘Hilarious Experts’ a simple motif, is treated  in many different ways appearing and popping up in
very different shapes. Also ‘Liu’ has a short motiv at the core. But during the improvisation
musicians abstract from it, losing themselves  in diverse excursions but always this motive is in the
neighborhood. ‘Coal Trains’ has a very great solo by Salamon. The closing improvisation ‘Down
the Rabbit Whole’ is very together and full of  twists and gestures demonstrating once more these
three musicians make a lovely and inspiring unit. A great surprise from an excellent trio offering
some very relevant stuff. (DM)
––– Address: http://www.fmr-records.com/



MICHAEL VLATKOVICH – 5 WINDS: FIVE OF US (CD by Pfmentum)

Over the years many records of Vlatkovich have been reviewed here. Projects in very different line
ups and constellations. Vlatkovich is a very active force (trombonist, composer, arranger, initiator)
since many years now on the West Coast, but maybe not very well-known over here in Europe.
However his work is always interesting and has a lot to offer. This time he works with a Canadian
crew of David Mott (baritone sax), Lina Allemano (trumpet), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet) and
Peter Lutek (tenor sax). Vlatkovich  himself plays – of course - trombone. Lutek is an improviser
from Toronto, often making use of electronics as well, and worked intensively with David Mott.
Also Rampersaud is a trumpet player, improviser and composer and same counts for Allemano
who also is a Toronto-based trumpet player, improviser, and composer. Mott did many solo work
and played as a side man with a lengthy list of North American musicians. Toronto is also the
place where the recordings took place on june 3rd, 2015. The cd opens with ‘Please help me
blowing bubbles’ and is followed by the nine part ‘5 Winds Suite’. This composition makes up the
central work on this release, although six more individual compositions follow. His compositions
are not very far out, a bit traditional for my taste but also very solid. In the hands of these musicians
they are turned into lively chamber jazz constructions. It is fun to follow what individual players are
doing and blow a soul in these compositions. The suite opens with a answer-response part,
introducing the game of divergence and convergence in the interactions of the players. Sometimes
operating unison then individual players follow their own path. The compositional material I didn’t
found always that interesting. But the lively performance makes it a joy. (DM)
––– Address: http://pfmentum.com/



HENRIK OLSSON – HAND OF BENEDICTION (LP by Barefoot Records)

Based in Copenhagen, Swedish-born guitarist and composer Henrik Olsson works as a member
of the Barefoot Records collective and is engaged in many projects on the Danish as well as
international improv scene. He debuted in 2014 with his Penumbra Ensemble with an album that
was well received. It took several years for this second statement to appear, but it is very worthwhile
a wait. This time Olsson is joined by Jeppe Skovbakke (electric bass, double bass) and Rune Lohse
(drums). An adventurous power-trio with guest appearances by Julie Kjćr (flute, bass clarinet) and
Kristian Tangvik (tuba) in two tracks. Call it freeform avant-garde rock and you have an idea what
their music is about. Lohse you may know from his work with Horse Orchestra, Michael Rexen, and
Klimaforandringer. Jeppe Skovbakke toured and recorded with several generations of Danish jazz
musicians. Olsson operates in very different settings. He has a duo with trombonist Ola Rubin. A
trio with Marcela Lucatelli (voice) and Erik Kimestad Pedersen (trumpet) and a quartet with Henrik
Pultz Melbye  (sax, clarinet), Nicolai Kaas Claesson (bass) and again Rune Lohse (drums). With
‘Hand of Benediction’ Olsson is pushing forward the idiom of avant rock, making it more wild with
his oversized  eccentric movements. For sure here is somebody at work with a very outspoken
vision and drive. His playing is aggressive and nervous and makes a strong presence. The
interaction with bass and drums is very dynamic and fresh. ‘N.H.F.T.P.H.O.B.’ is a strange progrock
like piece, with some allusions to King Crimson. More often the madness of Chadbourne’s
Shockabilly came to my mind as a point of reference. ‘Collect in a bowl, let the afflicted person
drink’  has free funk connotations with burning playing by Olsson. ‘Udug’ is more of a laid-back
soundscape. Very surprising and disorientating are two sections dominated by flute and tuba,
introducing a totally different world of sounds and colors, playing a straightforward conventional
tune like in ‘Black Tourmaline’. Resulting in very unusual contrasts. But how freaky and weird it all
may sound it is not just for the sake of being freaky. One can sense a deeper logic behind this
extravagant combination of styles and idoms. It is a lovely madness and a very remarkable
statement by this composer and guitarist of whom I hope to hear more. (DM)
––– Address: https://barefootrecords.bandcamp.com/



PHILIP SCHAUFELBERGER & CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH – DISCOVER ANTHROPOLOGY!  (LP by
  Wide Ear Records)
 
Classically educated guitarist Schaufelberger, originating from Germany lives and works in
Switzerland. In the past he toured as a member of bands led by Pierre Favre and Lucas Niggli, 
nowadays runs his own projects on a local scale. As  a performer of contemporary music he works
often with the ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich. Wolfarth is a drummer from Zürich, educated at the
Swiss Jazz School in Bern. Jazz, but also free improvisation and contemporary composed music
have his interest. He worked with Claus van Bebber, Malcolm Goldstein, Michael Lytle to name a
few. ‘Discover Anthropology!’ is their first collaboration and for this project they selected 13
compositions by people like Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Lester Young, a.o. They are not
afraid to interpret very well-known tunes like ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’, ‘Mood Indigo’ or ‘Tea for
Two’. “The tracks remain formally intact and a constant pulse is generally evident, but within this
idiom, a dialogue takes place, which has an unreserved openness more commonly found in
improvised music.” This describes very adequate what they are aiming at.  They play with the
material in an open and minimalistic way and in a very personal and intimate style. It takes some
courage to play such well-known tunes, and not to fall in the retro-trap. They succeed in avoiding
this. And if one shares a love for this old material why not perform it… With their stripped down
arrangements they try to hit the essence from a different approach. Results are very charming
and worthwhile, however not captivating from start to finish. (DM)
––– Address: https://www.wideearrecords.ch/


 
DRONE A CLOCHETTES (LP by Le Cri De La Harpe)
TAMAGAWA - LIVE IN JAPAN (10" by Le Cri De La Harpe)
 
It has been quite a while since I last reviewed something released by the French label Le Cri De
La Harpe (Vital Weekly 452); I didn't get the LP they released in 2007 and since then the label was
in hibernation. Now, they are waking up, in 2019, with these two new releases. The first is an LP by
a duo from Paris, Drone A Clochettes, being Thomas Robyn (who also worked as Oldine) and Elisa
Krywonis. They started in 2009 and released an EP in 2012. They toured in the USA with
Tamagawa. According to Google translate the band name means 'Drone A Bells', which I am sure
is a bit wrong. They have four pieces with guitar, melodica, whispered singing and "of course the
famous tiny bells", which may reveal a bit more about the band's name. There are four pieces on
this album, displaying a wide interest in all things drone and a few things folk like. Free folk, freak
folk or psychedelic; take your pick there. The singing of Krywonis is wordless (well, I think it is) and
more an atmospheric chant. The drones are a varied bag, which is quite nice. This can be a low
hum, as in 'Couloir', which sounds like an organ but as the piece evolves a guitar is added, with the
layered vocals being dreamy. In 'Soleil' the guitar is a forceful presence, almost like a rock guitar
and in 'Lune' there is a spacey presence of cosmic electronics, while the guitar is plucked slowly.
The "famous tiny bells" I only heard in 'Desert', being all quick and atmospheric, just like the voice
and the droning guitar. Long pieces indeed and with the sheer variation in approaches, this works
quite well. This is some great stuff indeed; quite powerful in its intimacy.
           Music from French musician Tamagawa was only reviewed once in Vital Weekly, and a long
time ago (Vital Weekly 714). A quick look at Discogs tells me he has never many releases anyway,
so this too is a sort of coming out hibernation as well (maybe related to the long nap the label had?).
Thanks to the fact that this is a recording from one or more concerts in Japan, the entire wording on
the cover is in Japanese, so I have no idea what it says. Le Cri De La Harpe describes this as "lunar
blues, atmospheric guitar", but don't let the word blues fool you. This has very little to do with blues,
I would think, but all with atmospheric music played on a guitar. On side A we find one long piece
that sees Tamagawa strumming slowly and feeding through a line of delay pedals so that it
becomes an endless sustain of slow cascading sounds. That process is repeated on the second
side of the record, albeit in four, shorter pieces, which works also well. It seems to be slowing
down throughout these pieces. The variations are minimal here, which makes it all very consistent
I guess but perhaps also a bit too much of the same thing. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.lecridelaharpe.com


 
STROTTER INST. & PETER VUKMIROVIC STEVENS - BILE NOIRE (LP by Arpaviva)
 
Being the 'puritan little snob' that I was called in some podcast (and you have to live up by these
standards) I have strong opinions sometimes, less than what most think, and one of that is that I
am not particularly blown away by turntablism. I saw Christian Marclay in 1985 or thereabouts play
a concert and granted: that blew me away. But it wasn't alive changing a thing. As time went on, I
realized he did something that I had not heard or seen before, but altogether was the result of
something of an experience. With later turntablists I saw in concert or on record I was less
impressed. Some of them where good, certainly when it was in combination with other instruments
but stand-alone; not my thing. It has to do with the rotating, looping element I guess; yes, you skip
records, get them stuck to a groove, or played sandpaper/wood/metal, use three tonearms etc., but
it's that skip and rotates that remains the same. Granted: there are a few exceptions. Strotter Inst is
from Switzerland and has quite a long career in turntablism; he's good at what he does. I never
heard of Peter Vukmirovic Stevens who is a composer, pianist and visual artist. He plays with
orchestrates, but here has a prepared piano and plays along with the turntables and sound effects
of Strotter Inst. 'Bile Noire' is a term from ancient folk medicine, the source of all melancholy. I have
no idea how this prepared piano worked, or to what extent it is prepared as it sounds mostly like an
unprepared one. I am also not sure about the mix of the record. It sounds like the microphone is
positioned in such a way that it captures mainly the piano and not so much the turntable. I must
assume that was the idea, but the reason is a bit lost on me. The music seems a bit out of balance
now. Stevens plays the piano slowly, clustering notes, make melodies and Strotter Inst. ads his
vinyl sounds, sometimes being fed through electronics, so it becomes an electronic component. I
thought it was all not bad, but somehow it didn't work for me, this music. Very hard to tell why, but
mainly, I guess, it was that balance, which I thought was a bit off. You listen to it, but you feel it
doesn't work. This wasn't easy for me to pin down to something, so maybe I am wrong here. Check
it out yourself. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.arpavia.org


 
AKI ONDA & PAUL CLIPSON - MAKE VISIBLE THE GHOSTS (LP by Audiomer)
 
It has been a while since I last heard music by Aki Onda; maybe not since I saw him playing a few
concerts with Lionel Marchetti, a collaboration that unfortunately never materialized into a release.
His main choice of instrument is cassettes, which he uses to store sounds from locations and field
recordings and which are fed through a bunch of Kaos pads and such and end up in a good old-
fashioned guitar amplifier. On this album, the co-credit goes to Paul Clipson, of whom I had not
heard before, but he is the man responsible for the images on the cover. Clipson was an
experimental filmmaker who died on February 3, 2018. In 2009 Clipson and Onda met when they
both travelled to the Rotterdam Film Festival and since then stayed in contact. Just as Onda uses
cassettes, radio signals and Walkmans, Clipson uses 'ancient' techniques as Super 8 and 16mm
projection. The cover here is a big, 6-panel poster fold out of Clipson's images from films, presented
as film stripes. The work here is, however, a work they did together, starting with a collaborative
performance in 2012 and they worked on it from 2015 to 2017. There are four pieces of music on
the album, each about eight to twelve minutes long. Each of the pieces is a fine combination of
drones and acoustic sounds. It might very well that these drone sounds are just heavily processed
acoustic anyway, with all that stuff going on the Kaos pad, but I'd like to think it is all a bit more
expanded than that. Perhaps due to the use of amplification, rather than picking up the signal from
a mixer, Onda waves an additional layer over the music, a dirty layer if you will, grainy, textured but
one that works pretty well as it adds a somewhat different colour to the music. It is all quite delicate,
but not all too smooth, if you catch my drift, and that is something I enjoy about Onda's approach. It
can even be a bit of good ol' fashioned noise, almost like an ambient Throbbing Gristle as in 'Palm
Held Out For Us To Read'. An additional DVD would have been a most welcome thing of course;
seeing is believing, but listening to the music made me curious which visuals would have fitted to
this. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.audiomer.org/


 
FRANK NIEHUSMANN & HAINER WÖRMANN - KABEL (LP by NurNichtNur)
 
NurNichtNur is a label located in the German of Kleve, as it happens not too far away from the
Weekly headquarters, and they have been active since the early '80s. Mainly with cassettes and
CD/CDR releases, so it seems that this LP is the first-ever LP release this label is doing. On it, we
find Frank Niehusmann at the computer and Hainer Wörmann on the electric guitar. Add that to the
fact that the label is known for releasing improvised music, you may have an idea where this is
going, but I hasten to say: you might also be a bit wrong. It has very much to do with the way these
two gentlemen play their instruments. There is, of course, no traditional way of playing the laptop.
Niehusmann is a man who loves some wild action; whatever he sticks into his laptop sound-wise,
it comes out at a furious rate. He races through his sound files, pitching them up and down, con
furioso, and nothing can be recognized. The press text that his "sounds often reveal his origins in
the Ruhr industrial area", but listening to this music wasn't that revelatory. Hainer Wörmann, of
whom I didn't hear before (unlike Niehusmann; Vital Weekly 1053, 567, 523, 510 and 378)
apparently likes to play his electric guitar in similar vein, using all sorts of material (small motors,
brushes, bows, plastic forks, quark boxes, polystyrene, paper, biscuit boxes and such like), arriving
at a similar hectic sound as Niehusmann. That leads to some highly vibrating music here, full of
energy. The three pieces on the first side are short (altogether some eleven minutes), which is a
pity as they work like punk rock laptop to me, and I wish there was some more. There are also three
pieces on the other, all of which are a bit longer, and here the curious thing happens in which
everything winds down throughout the three pieces and 'Kabel 6' becomes slowly a drone-like
piece; all the machines are now in decay and slowly on their way out. There is an interesting
narrative aspect to it all, I'd say. This is a great record! It gave me a lot of energy! (FdW)
––– Address: http://nurnichtnur.com/



PLUS INSTRUMENTS - AIM FOR THE CENTER (CDR by Dewclaw Ditties)
 
Is that title, and the target cover, for real or is it a remark on the current state of the USA where
unfortunately any idiot can own a gun and sadly enough also use them a bit too much? I met
Truus de Groot, the woman behind Plus Instruments a couple of times, and didn't ask for her
political ideas (I rarely do that, actually), but I am sure it is her cynic comment on the country
where she resides since many years and not a plea for more guns. Originally she was from The
Netherlands, member of Nasmak and then forming Plus Instruments, along with Lee Renaldo
(before his time in Sonic Youth) and David Linton, but since many years Plus Instruments is now
her solo project. Sometimes she works as Truus de Groot and does a bit of other music, such as
her 'surf' album, 'The Wave Widows' (see Vital Weekly 1162). I like that other work, but for me, Plus
Instruments is where she delivers her strongest work. Over the years she gathered quite a bit of
synthesizer, including a big crackle box of which only two copies exists and made by Steim in
Amsterdam, where she recorded parts of this album. On previous occasions, I called Plus
Instruments the feminine version of D.A.F. for the use of motorik beats and icy synths because of
De Groot's soulful voice (well, not as in soul music, but you get my drift, I guess). Over recent years,
that sound is less D.A.F. inspired, growing slowly into a more electronic project of all kinds. Plus
Instruments can be poppy, noisy (the crackle box gets the headline in 'Love Comes In Waves'),
techno-based or krautrock alike. De Groot's voice, whether or not treated with a Kaos-pad is
sweet, angry, demanding and in a likewise ever-changing mood. The ten pieces last forty minutes
and they are all great, without anyone especially leaping out; no straight forward hit single this
time, but that doesn't matter. In many of the songs there is that fine rough-edged synth sound,
bubbling and bursting away, in a very free role, underneath but various times also right on top of
things. That gives the music a fine raw edge, one that works in fine contrast with the voice of De
Groot and the strict tempos used. And damn, so I thought, with all the interest in electronic pop-
related music, especially from those who have been around so long, and with all the love for vinyl,
why is this not released on vinyl, but a CDR? I could see this reaching to all the people who
happily shop at all the usual labels with re-issues. That is something that eludes me (unless
Truus de Groot has some hang-up on being independent and wants to have something cheap to
mail!) as Plus Instruments is something that I could see reach a larger audience. She aims for the
center, now the center has to respond! (FdW)
––– Address: http://plusinstruments.com/


 
KLINIKUM - RAIN OF SAND (cassette, private)
 
Last week I wrote about a new Klinikum release, saying, "After a small flood of releases under
various names, but ultimately setting upon Klinikum, Egbert van der Vliet took a step back and did
a few online-only releases (check out his Bandcamp page) and now has another new cassette. In
good ol' fashioned style, respecting his roots the first time he did cassettes in the late '80s, the cover
is all black and white and the cassettes are recycled tapes", and as everything always seem to shift
in the world of Van der Vliet there is now a second, new tape, containing one piece of music, 'Rain
Of Sand', which lasts fifteen minutes. "This cassette is dedicated to the memory of Bryn Jones", it
says on the cover, which looks like Van der Vliet took the classic Muslimgauze (for he was Bryn
Jones or vice versa) design from the Staalplaat world. Maybe Klinikum also used some sounds
from the vast Muslimgauze musical imperium, but for all I know, he might have lifted a bunch of
free sounds from some Islam sources. Whereas last week's release was quite industrial in a
scratchy sort of way (broken and scratched vinyl as sources, perhaps), here he uses quite a bit of
rhythm, in mid-tempo, along with what I would think are sounds from the minaret, a call to prayer.
In the first six minutes, this is the most furious, with quite some idea how to build up these rhythms
into a fully tribal thing. There is certainly in the second part of the piece a strong ambient
undercurrent of slow drifting loops, which could have been some kind of voice material being
extensively layered? In the third and final section, rhythm returns and sounds more like a
conveyer belt crushing tablas. Over the years, but also years and years ago, I heard quite a bit of
Muslimgauze and I would say that Klinikum is quite a nice student of the old master, but in a raw,
unpolished way. Like with last week's release, there is quite some distinction between the left and
right channel; I am not sure if that intended or not. I should ask him next time. (FdW)
––– Address: https://klinikum.bandcamp.com/







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