number 1203
week 42


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BASS COMMUNION - DRONEWORK (2019 (CD by Headphone Dust) *
SOCIETE ANONOMIE - #1 (CD by Menstrual Recordings) *
PATTY WATERS - LIVE (CD by Blank Forms Editions) *
AFUMA - SONGS FROM THE SHORE (CD by Blank Forms Editions) *
  Records) *
BLOOD RHYTHMS - CIVIL WAR (LP + book by No Part of It) *
DOC WÖR MIRRAN - AMBILESS 6 (CDR by Miss Management) *
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - HUMAN BEING HORNY (booklet by Mirran Thought)
 THE SKY (CDR by Textura)
BU.D.D.A. - ALL DER GUTEN DINGE DREI (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
HEART STRUCTURE QUARTET (CDR by Vacancy Records/Dirty Clothes Records) *
 Records) *
BREATHER/DEATH REGISTER (split cassette by Invisible City Records)
 APPEAR (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
M. NOMIZED/POOL PERVERT (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
MASSAGE CREEP - INSTINCT (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
ERGOMOPE (double cassette by Amek)

BASS COMMUNION - DRONEWORK (2019 (CD by Headphone Dust)
About fifteen years or so ago, UK's twenty Hertz produced a bunch of releases, all called 'Drone
Works'. It was by people like Colin Potter, Darren Tate, Freiband, Paul Bradley (also acting as the
label boss) and Bass Communion. For whatever I am not aware of the latter was only available for
a limited amount of time, following which Bass Communion produced a CDR of his Headphone
Dust label. Later on, it became a CD and now there is 'Dronework (2019)', which has the original
and three remixes. The original and 'Dronework (2019) Version 3' are also released on cassette
by Coup Sur Coup Records, so the latter is unique to that. On the Headphone Dust CD version,
we have the original piece, the fourth version of 2019 and the Requiem version, plus
the :zoviet*france: 3 pm mix. All in a "Japanese style gatefold mini-LP sleeve', a common thing
with the Bass Communion releases. Behind Bass Communion, we find Steven Wilson at the
controls. Most people may know him from his rock career (well, perhaps not so much those who
read Vital Weekly), solo and with Porcupine Tree as well as a plethora of other guitar infested
projects, but the musical omnivore he is, there is also space for dark ambient; enter Bass
Communion. Not something he does on the side but, tour schedules permitting, something he
returns to like clockwork for more than twenty years. The four pieces here span seventy-four
minutes and it's interesting to see how it shifted over those fifteen years. In the original Bass
Communion uses vinyl crackling, phasing effects and stretches these out in a psychedelic yet
also somewhat naive drone piece. Fifteen years later dark ambient has evolved quite a bit and
everything is morphed together, nothing is to recognize as such as it has become slow-moving,
amorphous mass of sound. In the 'Requiem' version, Wilson allows for a melody, a swirl of organ
and synthesizer and it is that harmonious touch that brings a fitting end to the piece; not to be
exhumed? Perhaps it will be re-visited in the future? In between we have visited :zoviet*france:
sitting outside, literally in a field and played the original and recorded it with the natural sounds,
birds and planes may be (according to the liner notes they could only record when the sheep
were asleep) and it is a fine KLF inspired work of concept ambient music, that also works out
wonderfully well. This is a beautiful release, from cover to music and back. (FdW)
––– Address:

SOCIETE ANONOMIE - #1 (CD by Menstrual Recordings)

Let’s first take a moment to chuckle at the word “remastered”, written (I assume ironically) on the
back cover of this CD. Go ahead, it’s alright. Sure, this album (by an alter ego of Christine Glover,
Ross Cannon & Paul Hurst’s industrial band Produktion) was first self-released as a cassette in
1983 and has likely languished in a dusty attic or basement for decades. Still, if this is remastered,
I shudder to think of how the tape sounded straight out of the box. If sound-as-heard-through-a-
bucket-of-day-old-French-onion-soup wasn’t the intended aesthetic, it is now. Audible artifacts
include a pause button oops about 23 minutes in… nauseating hiss gloop that obscures any/all
sonic detail, forcing listeners to apprehend them as if through an inch of swamp water… copious
wow and flutter… and so on. I suppose what I’m saying is that if you pretended it’s a Sick Llama,
People Skills or David Payne/Fossils cassette that came out this month, it sounds absolutely fine.
But if you’re expecting an obscure piece of classic-industrial history excavated for posterity, “#1”
presents a challenge to modern ears. Still, the music is there for the curious. Layers of punishingly
skipping records stutter for the first fifteen minutes of enervating nausea. I think the loop is a voice
repeating “the Indian took the baby”, but it’s hard to say for sure. Relief (such as it is) comes in the
form of another stammering industrial machine-chug loop caked in rotten butter and animal hair.
After half an hour, someone hits the pause button. Then, the second track starts up and we’re back
into the slime. Human hands are more evident at the start of round two, bashing on metal pipes in
some large room, but again that warped tape is the starring character. A loud sound recorded onto
garbage microphones onto garbage tape has its own special sonic charm… that distinctive
saturation overload has a flattening effect that happens to be one of my favorite things to listen to.
If it’s yours also, then grab this album right away. But I can’t help but wonder whether it was the
artists’ intention, or if a proper restoration job is still warranted. Maybe not. Maybe Glover,
Cannon & Hurst were going for this ultra-low-fidelity grime when they first laid it down in 1983, in
which case: hey, it’s objectively enjoyable. This metal-bashing lasts for 15 minutes or so, then is
taken over by melodramatic movie dialogue. The finale consists of the word “genocide”  skipping
for what seems like eternity and someone repeating text about rape and death with intermittent
Casio clonk and a sudden end. Bleak stuff! "#1" is very much of its time, but that’s not a bad thing
if you (like me) happen to love that early 80s hometaper sound. (HS)
––– Address:

Seeing mentioned that this is the third full-length release by Kryptogen Rundfunk from St.
Petersburg was quite a surprise for me. I assumed there were many more, but they might be
split-releases, collaborations and compilations. For a project that started in 2002 that is indeed
not a lot of releases. I may have recounted before that I saw Artyom, the man behind this project,
play live and ever since I have a certain fondness of what he does. A wide variety of small devices,
synthesizers, sound effects, and shortwave radio was used to play out music that was dense, noisy
and quiet. There are also some acoustic devices and it seems a bit more on this new CD; think
mouth harp, bowed guitar, metal plate, singing bowl and voice), which are also added to the menu
and that further enhances the sound here. In nine pieces, all between five and nine minutes,
Kryptogen Rundfunk works around with everything at his disposal to create a rich ambient/drone
sound that is never easy-going, never new agey, never dull, but right up with some powerful music.
Loud? Not really, but also not necessarily very quiet either. It is that terrain that we sometimes call
ambient industrial music; the soundtrack to post-nuclear landscapes. The dystopian nightmare but
also something that one could see as lo-fi - even when the cover lists some nice toys. The acoustic
instruments one may not easily recognize in these pieces save perhaps for some whispering
voices in 'Shapeshifter's Lair' and 'Palus Somni', but that's all right. They are surely in here
somewhere. It is the overall composition that counts and I can safely say that is all perfect in
order. I would think that there is a curve going up in quality, and this project was already very
good, but it's now even better.
           I very much enjoyed Schlienz' first release for Zoharum (Vital Weekly 1093) and the follow-
up was good, but I detected a tendency towards new-age music, which in my book is not a
particularly good thing. The title of his third CD for this label (also available on LP) may poke a bit
fun with that new age notion but, on the other hand, there might also be some directional shift. In
the press text, comparisons are being drawn with music from Peter-Michael Hamel, Deuter and
Eberhard Schoener, all synth mongers of the gentlest kind. The cover says 'this is music to heal
your soul', so there you go; it might not be tongue in cheek. Schlienz is of course at the control
of his modular synthesizer, adding a few field recordings capture on his "cassette Dictaphone".
As before, I find it quite difficult to separate the ambient from the new age (not just with Schlienz’
music but in general), and yes, I realize the question implied: why would you separate them?
There are no good reasons for that, obviously, but I like the music that I heard to be engaging
and not just soothing. It can be shooting, but not for the sake of it. Schlienz walks a very fine line
here. In these six pieces, he plays quite soothing music, calmly meandering about. The new
addition of an acoustic guitar and the humming added to that feeling, and yet he also adds
somewhat meaner frequencies (such as the low end of 'More Beautiful'), but throughout it stays
on a gentle side. I fell asleep at one point, so perhaps that is a good sign? Probably it is in this
realm of music.
           If Schlienz is only a bit removed from my world, how about the next two new releases by
Zoharum? First, there is Uhushuhu, also known as Pavel Dombrovskiy, from St. Petersburg. He
simply gets the credit for 'sound', yet in the press text I read that the he "composes and improvises
with many other musicians under this guise", none of which are mentioned in the cover; nor are
the instruments they play. There is one piece on this CD and it lasts forty-five minutes. For some-
one who is not really into the world of the occult, magick and ritualz, this is not an easy trip, unless
the listener disconnects all those connotations and listens to it as music. That is what I did, and
yes, I know that is perhaps not the idea of this music. It is an endless stream of sounds, instruments
(bone trumpets, shells, bowls, rainmakers and whatever else can be found) and voices, all treated
with a fair amount of delay and reverb unites (and, again, whatever else at the disposal of
Dombrovskiy, and it is quite elegant, dark and atmospheric music; a journey into a misty forest,
with the occasional sound of a campfire in the far distance. I am not sure if I would think this is all
very spooky. It is foremost very ambient and relaxing. I had a good time but I wondered what made
this special enough to release this on a CD. It seems to me that one could do such improvised
sessions every week, but without the necessity to release them.
           And finally NNMHN, who are interested in putting "ceremony, liturgy and ritual influences
at the forefront combining it with dark synth music which has a strong experimental approach and
raw Gothic flavour", which surely screams that it is not for me. But actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
The music is indeed quite a synth-based, playing ominous dark drones, along with steady drum
machines and a ritual bass drum made by a Tuvan shaman Gendos. It is not dance music, nor
techno/house or such like. It is slower and not necessarily works around with strict 4/4 beats, but
it is all quite neat anyway. It is, but I say this with some hesitation, all along the lines of darkwave,
and it is something I normally wouldn't care about very much, but these eight songs, forty minutes I
found most enjoyable. Even the semi/quasi religious/ritual chanting put a smile on this case. Not
being religious or into the occult at all, I think it appealed to me dark synth-pop interest (that I like
to keep private) and found it all most enjoyable. (FdW)
––– Address:

Late last year saw Michael Begg, UK's ambient composer in a residency project at the Centro
Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. His work is about
"Leonora Carrington, the British painter closely aligned to the Surrealist movement who settled in
Mexico soon after the Second World War. There, Carrington’s alchemical, visionary work made
her a household name. The people of Mexico accorded her a degree of admiration and respect
only now starting to be echoed in her native Britain", about whom I had not heard before, and I
had to Google her work. It is some strong work indeed and Begg creates music that is perhaps
not as full of strange images, beasts and witches, but it does capture a weird atmosphere that
works quite well with Carrington's paintings. It is, so I think, not a one on one translation of the
paintings, or a soundtrack to that, but rather an interpretation of the atmospheres captures in the
paintings. It is about darkness, spooky surroundings, nocturnal wanderings in dark places. I think.
Begg's music is spacious, synthesizer like (did he bring a bunch to Mexico; Did they have some
over there? Or is it all laptop-based?), expansive and with a fine touch of experimentalism. His
trademark sound of water glass sounds, higher-pitched frequencies appear here again. When he
uses 'other' sounds they are voices from a mass in a church (such as in 'Morelia Cathedral'),
obscured field recordings, such as the percussive sounds of 'Plain Chant', along with what
seems screen wipers. It is the addition of these sounds that add that surrealist touch to the
already haunting music. It is then in a place I like Begg at his best; it's ambient, it is spooky and
it is narrative. It is a combination of many things I like in music and Begg does a great job here,
and that's what we are used from him. This CD is limited to 150 copies, so be quick. (FdW)
––– Address:

PATTY WATERS - LIVE (CD by Blank Forms Editions)
AFUMA - SONGS FROM THE SHORE (CD by Blank Forms Editions)
The first time I heard of vocalist Patty Waters was in 2006 at the Kraak Festival. She performed
with bass player Henry Grimes. The room was packed and anticipation was high. It was good but
not my kind of music. Waters recorded two albums for legendary ESP disk in the '60s and then
disappeared to raise her son. In 1996 she returned and played concerts, but if I understand the
press text correctly this is her first release since 1966. She plays with Burton Green (piano), Mario
Pavone (bass) and Barry Altschul (percussion). The recording is from 2018. I thought of forwarding
this to Dolf Mulder, but I safely assume he would write the same thing as I do now: this is not
something that Vital Weekly is busy with. This is very traditional jazz music, with the first five
pieces (the A-side of the vinyl version that also exists) are very smooth with Waters' vulnerable
voice and whereas the press text also tells us about Waters dismantling the voice "through a
series of anguished wails, moans, whispers and screams" that I not what she is doing here, also
not in the four freer pieces (the B-side). Of course, I am not a jazz connoisseur and I might be
           And as much as I love the releases by Blank Form Editions so far, I am sure that also Afuma
is not the sort of thing Vital Weekly concerns itself with. This trio of Stefan Tcherepnin (baritone
guitar, Sonica, vocals), Taketo Shimada (lap steel, shenai, vocals) and David Silver (drums, vocals)
may consist of people who "live with Herbert Huncke and worked with Henry Flint", and who use
the Sonica, "a lute shaped version of the Serge synthesizer, as developed by the uncle of
Tcherepnin, the music is for me too much regular rock music, or as the label calls it "brooding,
cosmic fringes of guitar-based song vernacular". There are surely 'experimental' edges in these
pieces, but throughout it is just not my cup of tea. I wouldn't mind some more selective mailing of
these promo's here, as both of these are probably great for what they, but just not for me; and I
doubt for others on the reviewing team.
           As much as I hate to lump in things I take this opportunity to tell you the same thing about
The Telescopes. 'Stone Tape' is their 10th album, yet the first one I hear from them. Cold Spring
says this is "wall-to-wall psychedelic drones, swaying chants, trance-inducing shoegaze" and
quoting Julian cope, "suspended-in-space magnificence". This is all very much true, at least as far
as I can judge such matters. They surely love their Velvet Underground record collection, the
Psychic TV-inspired singing, as well as the feedback on their guitars. Meanwhile, I was re-
arranging my record collection, for a moment thinking to put it in a rainbow colour order (decided
against it) and I quite enjoyed this dark, atmospherically rockist /folk noir music. Again not my
thing, or very much Vital Weekly's for that matter, but surely most enjoyable. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:

This you may find odd; I happen to know one of the guys from Sweden's Trepaneringsritualen
because he's Dutch and I spare workspace with him. Since sharing the space, there is quite a bit
more percussion to be found there, which I assume is used in the music of this duo.
Trepaneringsritualen is the work of Thomas Ekelund, whom we also know as Dead Letters Spell
Out Dead Words, Nullvoid, Teeraal Räum Pheynix, Teeth, Th.Tot and a host of others and Peter
Johan Nijland, of Distel, Hadwych, O Saala Sakraal, Norn, Skymme fame (no prices to win as to
which of these two I am sharing my studio with). All this acquaintance and yet I have very little
idea what Trepaneringsritualen is about. Mister Nijland assumed I would not like the music
because of its use of reverb and runes. The latter might be true, but the first I am not too sure
about. There is surely some reverb in good use here, but I would be more surprised if there
wasn't any at all. From the various pieces of footage, I saw concerts by Trepaneringsritualen on
YouTube I had a different idea about this. The music on this CD is something that I, the non-
ritualistic man, enjoy very much. It is dark and intense, and very spooky. The music consists of
slow drum sounds, trumpet-like blowing, Tibetan bells treatments and electronics creating this
intense atmosphere around it. This is of course music to play during some kind of ritual (God
knows, pun intended, what kind; I don't), surely in very dark and very natural surroundings - a
forest no doubt, on a very dark night. Or such. This is best be played at some considerable volume
and in a darkened room; then the music works best, again even for this and you know what to
fill in by now. It sounded quite different than the live footage I saw, and while that was noisy, I
preferred the controlled atmosphere of these two pieces, that both last exactly nineteen minutes.
That is surely another clue for you all. (FdW)
––– Address:

BLOOD RHYTHMS - CIVIL WAR (LP + book by No Part of It)

Holy shit. This album is intense. I’ve listened several times over, and find several things about it
fascinating. Compositionally, it packs a lot into a short amount of time. As a complete experience
from start to finish, “Civil War” is remarkably well constructed and compelling. It’s sonically deep
and detailed, compositionally varied and skillful. Out loud, it’s a burner… on headphones, it’s a
world to sink into and admire the project’s instigator Arvo Zylo’s studio mastery.
    Understand that I’m not generally a fan of power electronics. While some people surely do it
well and have made its tropes their own (Pharmakon is far and away the best going right now, but
also Ramleh, Bloodyminded, probably a couple others), it seems hopelessly anachronistic as a
genre. At PE’s inception in the early 80s, it made sense a response to Thatcher and Reagan, the
rise of the Christian right, popular nostalgia for a white-washed 1950s, economic polarization and
racial tension, punk and post-punk giving way to corporate synth-pop… white dudes screaming
about transgression had a particular place as a micro-sub-genre of industrial noise. In the 21st
century, power electronics has been embraced by non-ironic right-wing edgelords who think that
being aggressively vague about taboo subjects is the same as having something to say about
them. For the most part, this crap is as provocative as a wilted salad. Blood Rhythms, however, is
power-electronics that rises above genre. Not only is each song a self-contained unit full of depth,
space and drama, but “Civil War” also succeeds as a cycle of songs that grows stronger in
sequence, a single album-length statement that makes deliberate use of every minute of its run
time. For sure, Zylo does shout over feedback (such is power electronics), but he also builds a
uniquely uncomfortable tension with jarring juxtapositions and a wide range of compositional
ideas. The first side begins with “Closure” (har har), an elegy for reeds (baritone sax? bass
clarinet?) around which weave multiple whispered vocal lines and crumbling close-mic’d
percussive rattle. “Sick Skin” is a Prurient-ish feedback shriek, the most genre-representative thing
on the album, but noteworthy for how Zylo spaces component sounds around the stereo field to
give an impression of depth and motion. It’s followed by the mournful growl of “Locked Away”, an
ugly grunt of self-laceration set to mournful reeds and layers of noise that shift steadily sideways
with textures that change subtly as new elements are brought in and out. At one notable moment
on “The Face”, I audibly gasped when the introductory passage of nervous industrial sequencers
slams against a mountain-sized brass section. Blammo! As the song builds, a howl of gray
shrieking despair becomes a wall of pummeling acoustic drums, reminding me of Taiko drumming
or Crash Worship. The album ends with a punishingly bleak two-part blurgh called “Alchemy +
The Grief”, which has Zylo exhuming his voice from some buried brain horror as a steady roll of
beatless metal-sheering percussion amps up the anxiety. Instead of catharsis, "Civil War" simply
ends, dropping the listener callously off a cliff.
    Zylo is the main voice of Blood Rhythms, but on “Civil War” he’s joined by Dave Phillips (of
Schimpfluch), Dan Burke (Illusion of Safety), Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft), Mike Weis (Zelienople)
and other players. The LP comes in a gatefold sleeve with a 44 page art book. (HS)
––– Address:

This split LP is the introduction to two projects/musicians. On the first side, we find the guitar of Matt
Christensen. He is a member of Zelienople, a band from Chicago "that spoiled us with slow,
atmospheric vaguely rock-oriented music for well over a decade", but also unknown to me. So, I
have very little idea how much his solo music differs from his bands but this is some slow music
too. "Imagine Roy Montgomery joining 'Laughing Stock'-era Talk Talk, working on a Twin Peaks
soundtrack", which is probably quite a good description of those calm meandering tones.
Christensen plucks his string, maybe loops a few, and generously layers some reverb on to
further enhance the notion of atmosphere; as if such was needed. I was thinking of Durutti Column
meeting Manuel Gottsching, both being stoned out of their head. The music meanders widely and
nicely, even has a certain new agey flavour; it could have been an Emeralds side project! This is
some twenty minutes, but just easily could have been forty or sixty; time doesn't seem matter here.
           Circle Bros is not a brother duo, but the solo project of Wim Lecluyse, who has also a hat on
here that says 'label boss'. He too gets the credit for just guitar and the results are quite different
from Matt Christensen. His piece was recorded in Strasbourg at what seemed a long improvisation
session and some parts grew into the two pieces here. Circle Bros seems to be using loop stations
to create a drone-like backdrop for the music. Rotating patterns, slowly fading in and out of the mix,
a slightly piercing drone. On top of that Circle Bros carefully strums a few strings. There are two
pieces, of which the second, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat' starts with a guitar-playing sparse note, a bit
like the lute and from which slowly drones emerge and slowly take over the proceedings. From the
two projects, I had a preference for the music Circle Bros; as engaging and pleasant the music
from Matt Christensen was, I liked the way more subtle tension build-up from Circle Bros. That had
a great impact, with those subtle drones, mixing with those slow guitar notes. It all sounded very
filmic and simply great. Here too I would not have minded a complete LP of this work. (FdW)
––– Address:

This was sent to me by Joachim Henn, one of the members of Frood Of The Loop, of whom I
reviewed a double LP in Vital Weekly 1199. He informs me that he has a solo project called
Perrache and this is his first solo release as such. Here Henn plays the Moog synthesizer,
although not specified which one, which he recorded on an old Fostex 4-track machine along
with with some effect pedals. After recording all tracks in more or less one take, the mixing was
done in a similar quick, one-take version. Henn refers to that as his punkish approach, which
indeed it might be. Perrache stands in a long German tradition of synthesizer music and the
references mentioned are Cluster and Conrad Schnitzler, which I think are both spot on. Of the
four pieces, the last one, 'Grace Athletic' has a very gentle, melodic touch to it, and that is very
much Cluster territory. The other pieces are more in Schnitzler-land, with eerie lengthy
synthesizer parts slowly meandering and drifting. There is a fine industrial touch to it; the music
for a soundtrack driving through the industrial Ruhr area in Germany; at night, preferably. The
pulse of 'Synthismus' is autobahn, and I don't mean a cover of the song but the cars on the
motorway with headlights flickering as they approach in a steady cadence of sound. I like this
quite a bit. It reminded me of two things I enjoy very much, Schnitzler and Cluster and yet
Perrache does his own thing with it. It is also bypassing any of the current modular synthesizer
trends and harking back to old-fashioned multi-tracking and mixing of non-keyboard electronics.
This is the kind of stuff he could fill an entire catalogue of releases with, and preferable on
cassettes I'd say, to say within the genre of the music. I am not sure if that is something he
intends to do; I sure wouldn't mind hearing some more of this music. (FdW)
––– Address:

DOC WÖR MIRRAN - AMBILESS 6 (CDR by Miss Management)
JOSEPH B. RAIMOND - HUMAN BEING HORNY (booklet by Mirran Thought)
In the last few years I get up in the morning and play a bit of ambient music; something that I have
heard before, and without any need to review. I went through the works of William Basinski,
Stephan Mathieu, Harold Budd and just recently, true story, I played 'Ambiall', a 10CDR set by
Doc Wör Mirran that I reviewed back in Vital Weekly 666 (just a number, nothing to get excited
about). In front of me now is 'Ambiless', a sort of reduced version of 'Ambiall', condensed to one
CDR, and an excerpt of the original, of about six minutes, represents every disc. Back then I
spend a whole Sunday listening to the box, in one long session, all along reading old fanzines.
Would love to say I remember that day well, but I don't. When I heard it last time, I played one
disc every morning for ten days. I still enjoyed and I do enjoy this new version. Perhaps you
would expect me to write something sensible about the selections; something like "this is indeed
the best sections from each piece" or "random cuts, so what?", but even when I heard it recently,
I couldn't say for the life of me that these sections are great. I do enjoy this release; of course I
do. In all their diverse approaches to music, I have a particular fondness for the electronic,
ambient side of Doc Wör Mirran, and this is one fine example thereof. Sometimes quiet and
introspective, while on other occasions hissing and burping like a piece of industrial music. It
veers between these two ends and with these small selections one has an even better look at t
he different ambient approaches of Doc Wör Mirran.
           Mirran boss Joseph B. Raimond is also a painter and writer and these days he presents
neatly print on demand books with prose and poetry. 'Human Being Horny' being 'Western Haiku,
Volume 9' and is some 100 pages of haiku's; three per page. Some of these are funny, some
cryptic, some sad, and some abstract. It covers the whole range of life, I guess. If I was a literary
critic I would be able to write more. But I am not. I couldn't even write a haiku, so there you go.
Read one before going to bed. (FdW)
––– Address:

 THE SKY (CDR by Textura)
Something that escaped me: Joni Mitchell turned 75. I am sure I heard her music, and I couldn't
hum a single tune or mention a title. My bad of course. Here three ambient composers (perhaps
for the lack of a better word) pay homage to her, and it is hard for me to put that in the right
perspective not being familiar with the original Mitchell. I doubt we employ writers who could.
These three are Anthéne (also known as Brad Deschamps), Slow Dancing Society (being Drew
Sullivan), and orchestramaxfieldparrish (the man also known as Mike Fazio). Each has a
seventeen-minute (more or less) piece focusing on Mitchell's ambient soundscaping (should
check that out; makes a note here). I think I had not heard of the first two projects, which I thought
sounded quite similar. Deschamps is from Toronto and we know his work as North Atlantic Drift
(see Vital Weekly 1147). he also has a label, Polar Seas Recordings. His piece is one long drift
of synthesized sound, depicting a landscape or seascape. Sounds rise majestically and drop as
calmly as they come. Slow Dancing Society is very much along similar lines, only adding sparse
piano notes (that reminded me of Eno's 'bloom' app). When I first played this release I had not
looked at the cover and assumed it was all the work of Mike Fazio, since it was he who mailed
me this. I was kind of surprised to learn it was a compilation. Also, when I played it the first time, I
thought 'wow, that third piece is quite a strange one', a bit out of place, but now I know it is a
compilation I know better. Fazio plays "guitars, wolves", Jo Gabriel is on vocals and Thomas
Hamlin on percussion and it's one long piece of dreamy pop music. There is the angelic layered
voice, courtesy of Gabriel, the guitars being all spacious and Hamlin adding quite a set of free
percussion. It is not a song as such, but one long slow drift of sound; sparse and sorrowful. It is
very dreamy and slowly collapsing under the weight of dark guitars in a full formation. It is
something that I had not heard Fazio doing before, but it is surely a new road for him to explore
further. (FdW)
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Perhaps an apocryphal story, but someone once said that Chefkirk would stop sending stuff to
Vital Weekly if we started to write positively about his music. True or not, it has been a while since
I last heard his music and now he returns with a collaborative recording from 2010 in Gainesville,
Florida. Joining him on stage was Hal McGee on a no-input mixer, contact mic, effects and Ironing
on turntable and vinyl. Chefkirk also used a no-input mixer, sampler and effects. From Ironing I also
didn't hear much in a long time, and Hal McGee is hardly ever featured in this pages but has been
around for ages in the world of cassette labels. I expected the full-on, brutal noise onslaught that I
know Chefkirk can put on, but that is not what is happening here. That said, it is not a very quiet
release either. There is both a fine delicate and brutal approach to the sounds they have at their
disposal and they move cleverly back and forth the obvious acoustic treatment of objects
(turntable, vinyl, contact microphone and perhaps sampled versions thereof) in a battle against
(or perhaps side by side?) the uncontrolled lashes of feedback that sparkle around, the hiss of
amplification before bursting into feedback and the two pieces (thirty-two minutes) is a direct
assault on the senses. Somewhere in the second piece, there is a sudden outburst voice and
music, turntable galore going out of hand. The acoustic sounds are very dry, which makes that
have the impression of being right on top of it all and we are sitting front row. This is a very good
release! The consequences of that statement? Time will tell. (FdW)
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BU.D.D.A. - ALL DER GUTEN DINGE DREI (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Here's a new thing from two men who seem to play concerts all the time, and quite often they tour
together. A musical meeting is something that was to be expected. I am speaking of Sascha
Stadlmeier, better known as Emerge (samples, electronics, voice) and Chris Sigdell, better known
as a member of NID (1995-2005) and solo active as B*tong (electronics, samples and guitar). In
2018 they recorded music in Barcelona, with guest musician Dieter Mauson (electronics) of
Nostalgie Eternelle fame. I don't remember NID that well from before, but in the information, it is
said that we could see Bu.d.d.a. as the extension of that group; also mentioned is that it may
sound like "Troum meets Earth together with Eno". Both men are known for their love of all matter
dark (or should that be all dark matter?) and this new endeavour is along those lines. The music is
ambient and atmospheric, as well as experimental. It is drone-based, maybe also has field
recordings and in the opening piece has a slow cadence that reminded me of Lustmord. The third
one, Mauson, adds to the proceedings and blends in a natural way in. He is the third party
announced in the title (all good things come in three). The opening piece, 'Trommelfellatio' (all
track titles are silly wordplays, hard to translate. It shows they are not always that serious), is a
dark and steady affair, but 'Magischer Rochentanz' is a more open affair with piercing tones,
humming voices, the rattling of metallic percussion and quite experimental. The final and shortest
piece, 'Menopausenmassaker' has a faster, steady pulse going with some Emerge's trademark
samples going and slowly the others take over with a swarm of drones. It is all quite spooky stuff,
perhaps not as 'new', but it is very well made. Now we should catch them on tour again and see
how it works out in a concert situation. (FdW)
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HEART STRUCTURE QUARTET (CDR by Vacancy Records/Dirty Clothes Records)
Vacancy Records is a label that recycles stuff; old cassettes, CD(R) boxes and such like, but, of
course, in this case, not the CDR itself. Heart Structure Quartet are Toronto based DEL Stephen
and Jeffrey Sinibaldi, who are also in Think Of A Name, and I believe also responsible for Vacancy
Records, and Kingston-based David Parker and Bree Rappaport. They have been playing
together since 2017 when they toured together and in October 2018 they recorded the music
on this CDR. The duties are thus divided; Del Stephen (keyboards, piano, synths, sampler),
David Parker (guitar, voice) Bree Rappaport (clarinet, live visuals, voice) and Jeffrey Sinibaldi
(cymbal, contact mics, tapes, percussion, fx). This is some mighty fine and yet mighty strange
music. Think free improvisation within the realm of the free folk. So there is nothing all too hectic
going on here, not fast-changing or such, but slowly meandering music that is not folk, not rock,
not really anything that that goes by a genre. Perhaps some of the very adventurous groups from
the post-punk era, maybe This Heat, but then it is all recorded live and direct, with a microphone
in front of the stage. There is one piece on the CDR, but in four different parts from a few places,
so it's not one concert as such. It is never truly experimental, totally abstract or utterly weird, and
much of the material is a pure pleasure to hear. It is experimental music yet also very pleasant to
hear; it is folk-like, a bit rock-like, and a bit abstract. It is, perhaps, music that we have no name
for. It is all a very fine drift that transports the listener down a gentle yet firm stream. (FdW)
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BREATHER/DEATH REGISTER (split cassette by Invisible City Records)
So far the work by Stuart Chalmers is mainly instrumental, working with Dictaphones, Walkman
and effect pedals. Here he uses voice material. This is a collaboration with Rob Hayler, of whom I
had not heard in a long time and who worked before as Midwich, but now plays music as See
Monsd. For their collaboration, they turn to texts by Derek Beaulieu, who put a whole bunch of
stuff online, for free, because "I believe that releasing my writing online for free encourages new
and unexpected ways of people engaging and responding with the writing; it will encourage
experimentation and reaction". Chalmers and See Monsd set to work and asked people they
know to read the text art on-page of 'Both Both' and then start to work with that as sound material.
On the Bandcamp page for this release there is a link to the source material, in similar spirit of
Beaulieu, for further "experimentation and reaction". I have not yet other music by See Monsd,
so I am not sure what he does, and what his input is in this record, but I would think that some of
the more rhythmical material is his and that Chalmers is working his Dictaphones as he does
best. The material is, as the image, quite abstract and the plethora of strange voices buzz around
in the mix. There is a more rhythmic approach to this, hence me thinking of See Monsd doing this
part of the work. It is at times quite mysterious and poetic (I guess that's for me the definition of
poetry; mysterious and closed for me), and I found all of this most enjoyable, especially when it a
more collage-like approach. When that happened I was reminded of blackhumour, the Canadian
voice project. The one thing I didn't understand is why there is a 5" CDR with forty minutes of
music and a 3"CDR with thirteen minutes. It could have all fitted on a single disc?
           For whatever reason, it took some time before the other release was ready. It features a
single twenty-minute piece by Breather and Death Register, both of which are new names for
me. For the first is the first release on this label, while it is the second for the second (uhm..). The
cassette is mastered by Stephan Mathieu at Schwebung and comes in a high bit rate for
audiophiles. I have no idea what Breather does, equipment-wise that is, but I heard a bit of
piano, field recordings, synthesizers, cassette manipulations. Curiously, so it seems to me, he
sets these an order, one after another, but not necessarily all together; sometimes just a single
sound, sometimes a few. Breather has one piece but it is built from a bunch of fragments that he
crossfades together. I am not convinced that works well. The smaller, individual sections are quite
nice, but the fades do not always work out too well. It is just all too obvious these are crossfades. It
would have, perhaps, worked better if Breather took more time to explore various sections for a bit
longer and made separate pieces out of them. The second half of the piece, with a longer section,
worked in that respect quite well. On the other side, we find 'Postdrome' by Death Register and it is
quite a different piece of work. There is an on-going rhythm sample throughout these twenty-two
minutes, percussive and light and not something to dance too. This rhythm guides a web of
drones around. Some are quite dark and some are lighter and they have moved around gently;
sometimes one stick out, then another. In the second half, the sound becomes a bit more
distorted, the rhythm either disappeared or snowed under and the lighter tone is now gone. It is
almost like a torrential rain pours over the music. That is a pity as I quite enjoyed the first half of
it. It seems to be processing taken a bit too far. (FdW)
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 APPEAR (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
M. NOMIZED/POOL PERVERT (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
MASSAGE CREEP - INSTINCT (split cassette by Non-Interrupt)
This is the third split cassette to feature music by Ian Stenhouse from Berlin for the Non-Interrupt
label, and on the other side this time it's not Pool Pervert but Missing Person Of The Week. I had
not heard of that before, but seeing it is a musical project from Haarlem, the hometown of the label,
I would think this is another disguise for Egbert van der Vliet, also having his label boss hat on,
and Pool Pervert(s) and Klinikum. His music is on side A. It is not easy to point out the finer
nuances in the music of Van der Vliet, the differences between all the projects, but I would think
that here his music is a bit more based on the use of electronic sources it seems; or perhaps his
sources from free share sites with field recordings are transformed a bit more than under his other
aliases? It is all very minimal in approach here, topped with a somewhat noisy flavour, which is
something that worked pretty well for me. With the typewriter cover, I could imagine this to be a
long lost gem of the '80s.
           Ian Stenhouse also has four tracks on this ninety-minute tape and again explores the limits
of sound, space and how sound floats about in that space causing feedback. He feeds small,
minimal sounds into machines, or software, or space and works around with the resultant sound.
A title like 'Radio Pyongyang' may suggest the use of shortwave (it also sounds like that) or
number stations in 'Signal 6 (Nummerieren)', and the harsher edges of his first releases are
gone, just a little bit and somehow it sounds a bit more polished. If Stenhouse would work
lesser with feedback and a bit more with the ambient sound, it could blossom further. If that
happens, we surely will hear it very soon and no doubt on this label.
           The other new split cassette is by M. Nomized and Pool Pervert (more Egbert van der Vliet
there). As I wrote some weeks ago, when M. Nomized had a piece on a Non-Interrupt compilation,
I don't remember his music that well from the time he was recording as No Unauthorized. It
seemed more pop-like/electronic than this recent solo stuff. Here he has five remixes of what he
calls 'Episode 5' and which I see as some sort of process music. Using what seems a very low-
resolution sampling device, and feeding each remix into the next one, the music decays under
the heavyweight of low bit rates oxidizing. As usual: I might be totally wrong of course. 'Remix 4'
dwells heavily on organ tones, which I had not heard before. Some of these pieces are a bit long
(the total length side of this is thirty-seven minutes) and I think they could have been shorter.
           Pool Pervert continues his explorations of using free online field recordings and
manipulations thereof with free software. He too has long pieces, three of them, but unlike M.
Nomized he doesn't stay in the same place too long, which makes the duration perhaps less of
a problem. Pool Pervert keeps pushing his music through plug-in devices and is on a constant
trail of change and that I like very much. The zoviet*france influence is now pushed aside in
favour of what seems to be a harsher form of ambient music, especially in the slightly distorted
'Dream Telepathy'. It is, again, most enjoyable music.
           From Pool Pervert to Massage Creep (what's wrong with this guy? I thought jokingly.
Nothing, is the answer) and we have another project by label boss Egbert van der Vliet. Once
more he seems to focus on free samples from the Internet, with some film dialogue now being
a bit more obvious. Throughout this is at the noisier edges of his work, again throughout and not
completely, taking its cues from the world of industrial music. It is fine, mild distortion going on
here and via shorter samples, Massage Creep opts for that conveyer belt approach. It's machine-
like, using a plethora of loops and electronica. Here, I thought the sonic overload in ninety
minutes is indeed a bit much for me; it must be that end of the day ear exhaustion. (FdW)
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ERGOMOPE (double cassette by Amek)
As to the who and what behind Ergomope, I have no idea. It is not mentioned on the Bandcamp
page of Amek. The double tape is released in an edition of fifty copies. The music spans some
eighty or so minutes of music and judging from what I hear I would think this project loves to
combine field recordings from streets, shopping malls and other locations with human interaction,
with electronic sounds. These field recordings may be heard pure and clean, as well as sampled
versions thereof. The electronics can be synthesizers playing drone-like sounds, but something
also seems to process the input from those field recordings, as well as all sorts of electronic
devices at the end (reverb and delay, but maybe also harmonizers, chorus pedals or distortion
pedals). That results in an interesting melee of musique concrete, industrial music, radiophonic,
a touch of noise and a dash of ambience, if that makes any sense, of course. Sometimes all of
this within the space of one track, but more often they appear as stand-alone pieces, so there are
few more ambient ones and a few more musique concrete ones. The latter seems to appear at
the beginning of the tape and the quieter pieces towards the end; maybe as to indicate we need
a bit of rest by now? Whatever it is, it all works quite well. In the quieter moments I had the
impression that Ergomope also used guitars and effects pedals, but then maybe I was thinking
about many of the releases on this label that do so. Even when I wished there would be a bit
more information available, to give it some more context perhaps, I found all of this music, even
in its abundance, to be very good. It ticked the right boxes of ambient, noise, experiment and
entertainment. (FdW)
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