number 1209
week 48


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ERIN ROGERS – DAWNTREADER (CD by Relative Pitch Records)
THE CHUTNEYS – HOME  (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)
DAIMON - REMEDIES FOR A FOGGY DAY (CD by Norwegianism Records) *
CHÖD - TO NOTHINGNESS... (CD by Norwegianism Records) *
11MIN - SNOW (LP by Gruenrekorder) *
MIKEL R. NIETO - A SOFT HISS OF THIS WORLD (book/Flexi disc by Gruenrekorder)
MHZ - FORM (SD card by Kasuga Records) *
YNAKTERA & KENTA KAMIYAMA - NOTTURNO (CDR by Stochastic Resonance) *
VAMPYRES - EMBERS OF DESTRUCTION (cassette by Invisible City Records) *
FORDELL RESEARCH UNIT - PERICHORESIS (cassette by Invisible City Records) *


Ah, the month December is looming and that means it is time for box set editions. Last year I saved
them all up for the end of the year issue, but that was merely an accident of them all arriving at the
same time. I have no idea if this year there will be a similar amount of boxes. I doubt it, but you
never know. Over the years I kept up with Jim O'Rourke online output, on his Steamroom
Bandcamp page, mainly because he always send them my way (thanks for that, Jim), even
without not always/never reviewing them. Ever since I first heard his music I am a big fan of his
music; or, to be precise, of his solo music. I know he played with bands, jazz musicians, improvisers
of all kind, and surely there is much there that I also enjoy, it is the solo work and some of the
collaborative pieces, that I enjoy most. Being classically trained means that in the past he had
musicians playing his pieces, which he then put together, micing and editing. Lovely and lengthy
pieces of drone music; great pieces of field recordings, electronics and a bit of 'real' instruments. I
gave up thinking about how he produces music these days. I had a discussion about this just the
other week with a friend and we both came to the conclusion we haven't got a clue. We couldn't
figure out if O'Rourke is a man of modular synthesizers, tape splicing or software (as in max/msp/
Audio Mulch or PureData); or even a combination of all of that. Listening to the more than four
hours of music on these CDs I still have no clue at all. At one point, I think somewhere into disc
two I thought it was all guitar-based. Why not return to the original? O'Rourke started as a guitarist,
and whatever line of sound devices he uses, why not the guitar at the start of it all? I played these
discs over the last week quite a bit, more or less in a random order, and what I noticed that within
each disc, there is a great sense of ebb and flow within the music. It's not one piece per disc, but
various coming and going, separated by near silence, without ever becoming silent. Then the
whole thing returns, different configurations, different settings while maintaining the same slow
pace. May be joined with a couple of field recordings and looped feedback passages. The third
disc starts with some synthesizer sounds, perhaps signalling that we have reached the middle
part of the whole work? The whole work is very ambient and spacious, with lots of slow sounds,
slow movements and slow everything. This is, perhaps, the sort of music for a month of
darkness. (FdW)
––– Address:

ERIN ROGERS – DAWNTREADER (CD by Relative Pitch Records)

Erin Rogers is a Canadian-American composer and saxophonist, working in the context of new
music integrating chamber music, sound alchemy, theatre, vocals, improvisation and performance.
No surprise she is part of the experimental ensemble thingNY that we know from Gold Bolus
Records. New Thread Quartet, Hypercube, Popebama are some of the other ensembles she is
(co-)leading. ‘Dawntreader’ is her first solo statement, presenting three of her compositions. On
‘Beacon’ she plays soprano sax, bending and shaping her way through a very intense monologue.
On ‘Surface Tension’ she plays tenor sax using cymbal resonance creating fascinating drone-like
effects at moments. In the closing improvisation ‘Breaking Waves’ she plays with dissonance and
dynamics. All three works are examples of very radical and refreshing music. Thorough
explorations by a musician who is into developing and exploring new horizons. Her music invites
to close listening and to follow all the movements and gestures that make up the story. Rogers
combines incredible technique with an expressive attitude. Very impressive and rewarding! (DM)
––– Address:


Nick Dunston is a young bassist and composer based for a few years in Brooklyn. His work is in
between jazz, contemporary composed music, no wave and more. He worked with Dave Douglas,
Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman, etc. He has two bands going on, Truffle Pig and Atlantic Extraction.
With this last one, he presents here his first statement. Onboard are Louna Dekker-Vargas (flute,
alto flute, piccolo), Ledah Finck (violin, viola), Tal Yahalom (guitar) and Stephen Boegehold (drum
set). Dunston himself plays double bass and vocals on one track (‘A Rolling Wave of Nothing’).
Musicians have very different backgrounds which are part of Dunston’s plan to incorporate many
different influences and idioms in his music. His short complex compositions are very hybrid and
eclectic constructions, full of allusions and references. The cd entails sixteen tracks all moving
between one and eight minutes. There are an incredible amount of ideas condensed in these
tracks. After each listening one hears new aspects, movements, etc. Dunston creates contrasting
and juxtaposed movements that diverge and converge from one extreme to the other. Very
complex compositions with plenty of opportunities for improvisation as well. And at the same
time, the music is very organic, lively and together showing it is all based in a consistent and
clear musical vision and performed by a very focused crew. An extraordinary and impressive
debut from a new exponent of the New York avant-garde scene. Surely a name to watch! Very
nice to see this one released on Out Of Your Head Records, the small label of Adam Hopkins
who operates in similar comparable musical territories.  (DM)
––– Address:

THE CHUTNEYS – HOME  (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)

The Chutneys are Gelsey Bell (vocals), Fast Forward (percussion) and Chris Cochrane (electric
guitar). Both Cochrane and Fast Forward are active in the New York scene since the 80s.
Cochrane worked with No Safety, Curlew and Church of Betty who is still around. Fast Forward is
an English composer based in New York since 1981after studying with Robert Ashley and David
Behrman. I vaguely remember his work from earlier days when he worked with a steel pan. Bell is
a younger generation and started originally as a singer-songwriter before moving into more
experimental territories. An example of this is her duo-work ‘Ciphony’ with guitarist John King,
released by Gold Bolus in 2017. The Chutneys started in 2011 and took the time to prepare their
first release ‘Home’. At first sight, the extensive percussion set of Fast Forward is most prominent
determining most of the colouring and atmosphere. But a closer listening gives a more
differentiated picture. Cochrane participates mainly by adding dark and noisy interruptions. Bell
screams, yells, growls and whispers. She has a wide range of techniques to her disposal. But I
found her vocals overall a bit too sterile for my tastes. The title track has Fast Forward playing small
percussion and vocals by Bell in what sounds like a quasi-song. On ‘Land’ Bell and Cochrane are
in a nice duet with delicate and proportionate gestures by Cochrane. On ‘Highlands’ all three
equally engage in a very dynamic and rhythm-based improvisation. The closing track ‘Rose’
comes again close to the song-format and has nice drones by Cochrane and sparse percussion
by Fast Forward. (DM)
––– Address:

DAIMON - REMEDIES FOR A FOGGY DAY (CD by Norwegianism Records)
CHÖD - TO NOTHINGNESS... (CD by Norwegianism Records)

Twenty-five minutes is perhaps not very long for a full-length album? That, at least, is my
impression, especially when it was all over and I had the feeling I wouldn't have minded hearing
some more. From the trio Daimon I reviewed a work before (see Vital Weekly 1129). On the
previous release, Simon Balestrazzi got credits for “(d)Ronin/vibes/treatments” but this time it is
keyboards, modular synth, gong & cymbals, treatments. For the other two, Nicola Quiriconi on
voice, percussion, microphones and magnetic tape and Paolo Monti on electric guitar and
electronics, the credits have not changed. They have three pieces to offer here and it continues
where the previous release left us. This trio combines a few interests with great care. There is a
love of all things atmospherically, drone minded and dark, which, looking at the current flow of
releases on Norwegianism this is the right home, but Daimon also has an interest in the world of
improvisation. It is not one particular player here with that interest; it is something that all three of
them bring to the table. The carefully played the guitar in 'Silent Organ', with what seems to be
made with scratches of vinyl, the contact microphones upon objects in 'The Shaman's Foghorn'
and the rusty, windy field recordings on hissy tape in 'Morning Lines'; all of that is woven into the
fabric of the music and it makes that this music is not full-on drone, but something more is
happening; a different icing on the cake and that is most welcome in this particular corner of the
music world. Which begs to question: why not more music on this disc? Why the urge to release
something when there is room for something else?
           Also, a mix of various musical interests is presented by Chöd, which is Tibetan for 'to sever'.
"It cuts through hindrances and obscuration, sometimes called 'demons' or 'gods'." It is a
collaborative work between Dharma (The Observatory, Heritage, Meddle, Throb) and Shaun
Sankaran (Mindfuckingboy, Dream State Vision), both of whom I don't think I heard of. The
recordings were already made in 2011 and 2013 and previously released on tape by Worthless
Dispatch. Here too we have drones combined with almost improvised music (I must admit I am not
sure there; I was thinking of the guitar playing in 'Confessions - Recremate), but Chöd also adds
gothic and metal undercurrents to the mix and thus it becomes something very strange. This
album, twice the length of the Daimon release, is much darker than Daimon's, almost pitch black,
in whatever form the music comes to us. The gothic element is to be found in their use of voices; a
dark howl from the cave or a monastery, while the metal element shows in the use of the guitars. It
all sounded very much like a ritual of some kind; a cleansing one, perhaps. To cut ties with any
musical genre and do exactly that kind of thing that you and just you want to do. I might be barking
up the wrong holy tree here. I was reminded of some of Trepanerungsritualen’s music, except that
Chöd uses a broader musical pallet; to each his own, and even when this is not the sort of music
you'd hear on a daily rotation here, it was most enjoyable. And like most of the recent releases on
Norwegianism, limited to 50 copies (and still a pro-pressed CD), so act quick! (FdW)
––– Address:


It is something that doesn't happen a lot, but today there was one parcel with one CD, Takumi
Seino's 'Piled Distance - Book Apple 2 -'. On a busy day, I would rip a track of this, and forward the
CD to Dolf Mulder, who wrote about this Japanese guitarist about ten times before. But with not
much else to do (well, more or less, of course), I thought it was the right time for some investigation.
What is it that Takumi Seino does that made me forward his CDs to mister Mulder all these years?
He plays the guitar and it is somewhere in the realm of classical chamber music and jazz, so I am
told by previous reviews of his work. Seino plays acoustic, electric and baritone guitars. On this new
CD, we find no less than thirty short pieces, which iTunes labels 'jazz', but which I didn't think to be
very jazz-like; of course, what do I know? The album is dedicated to 30th anniversary of Big Apple
in Kobe (hence thirty pieces on the CD), which I learned on this rather investigative afternoon is a
live venue in that city and the program contain quite a bit of jazz (again, what do I know?). The
music is quiet and thoughtful, yet, despite the name of the label, not silent. Seino plays his short
pieces with great care and the recording is excellent. There is a very warm sound her, especially
from the baritone guitar. Only 'BA -26' is a very jazzy piece and sounds a bit out of place here. It is
all very smooth but not slick if you get my drift. On what seems an otherwise quiet afternoon, with
a book at hand, tea in the cup, this is quite the chill-out music after a night of heavy talk and too
much drink. It also is not the sort of thing that Vital Weekly is big on, but as I understand from the
previous reviews, this might also not be his most regular release. (FdW)
––– Address:


The violoncello is the instrument of choice by Lori Goldston. The word more often used is cello; the
cello is bigger than a violin, smaller than a double bass. I may not have heard her music before, as
far as I know, and I don't know much about her, but Wikipedia tells me she was a member of
Nirvana during their MTV Unplugged recording and played with Earth, the Black Cat Orchestra
and Spectratone International. She covers a wide musical field, however, also being influenced
by people as Schoenberg, Cage, and Messiaen. On this LP she has five pieces by composed by
her and a further three composed by others. This is very much a record of modern classical music,
I would think. It is as such perhaps something that goes beyond my limited knowledge of that kind
of music. It is, perhaps, something, that I can only approach from a good/bad perspective, a like/
dislike one. As much as I would love to say something serious, involving serious music wording,
about pitches, compositions, the way the bow goes across the strings (I am sure there is a word for
that); I draw a complete blank there. Which goes to say also for the 'sounds like' department. What I
do know is that I quite enjoyed the music I heard. The cello is recorded beautifully, without much
treatment, direct to tape, but captured in a great glow; a round sound if you will. Her pieces are
sparser and leave more room for silence, I think, perhaps because the compositions are based on
a book of poems by Melinda Mueller. In the other three compositions, it is all a bit more direct,
rougher if you will, especially in 'Things Opening (For Lori)', composed by Julio Lopezhiler, with a
mildly aggressive tone. And the word 'aggressive' is to be used very light here! All in all, this was
great Sunday afternoon record. (FdW)
––– Address:

11MIN - SNOW (LP by Gruenrekorder)
MIKEL R. NIETO - A SOFT HISS OF THIS WORLD (book/Flexi disc by Gruenrekorder)

You would think that 11min stands for 11 minutes, but it a piano player who is called 11 (I will r
efrain from 'Stranger Things' jokes) and Sangyong Min on drums. For both, we could not find
much information online, as the latter brought me to car websites, even when the spelling is
slightly different. The mastering was done in Seoul, so these musicians could also be from South
Korea. Gruenrekorder is a label mostly known for their releases with sound art and field recordings,
but they also have a section devoted to improvised music and that is the field where we find the
music on this album. One could even say this album is a bit jazz like; throughout the music is
laidback and easy and it reminded me of some Austrian music of some years ago (bands like
Radian, Kapital Band 1, Efzeg and such like) and Australian jazz from some years ago (Spartak,
Triosk and 3ofmillions), but since I easily admit nor pretend to be an expert of this kind of things,
and only know what I heard over the years, there might be other examples out there. There are
four duo pieces on the first side of the record, in which there is a fine interaction going on between
both players, not emphasizing either instrument, but some fine gentle slowly paced music. On the
other side there is a remix of the title track (opening on side A), now called 'Snow Keeps falling
(snow Remix)' by 11 and it sounds curiously close to the original but now expanded quite a bit
and 11 keeps finding new configurations for both instruments to interact. I assume this is all done
on the computer, but 11 maintain a fine flow for this. 'Loose', also on this side of the record, is a
solo composition by 11 according to the cover and I still hear piano and drums for this, so perhaps
Min plays a role too? There are also vocals used, dreamingly humming away, which I thought
sounded a bit out of place, but alas. This is neat, delicate music, very pleasant.
           I love to read part 1 (see elsewhere for part 2). If I could do that all day, plus listening to
music (without the obligation to write about it) and drink coffee (and hopefully still sleep well at
night), then that would almost perfect; maybe watch one movie every evening. But a book that
makes it difficult for the reader is not well spending on me. Mikel R. Nieto already published a
hard to read a book (Vital Weekly 1037), called 'Dark Sound'. That book was all black letters on
black paper and you would have to sit either in sunlight or a strong lamp. I tried and I failed. This
new book is about silence and the sound of snowflakes. And snow being white, of course, means
that we deal with a book of white paper and very light grey ink, and you need the same procedure
of holding book against the light to read it. I have up after a few pages. I copied some info from the
likewise difficult to read the website (warning: very long quote ahead; you may label this as
laziness on my part).
           "This book contains texts by three authors: Tim Ingold, Carmen Pardo and
Mikel R. Nieto, on the research carried out by Nieto in Finland during 2016. The text by Tim Ingold
opens the book and introduces the reader to the main subjects of the research: language,
landscape, sound and listening. This text is easy to read and aims to immerse us in the Finnish
landscape and the listening act to its sounds and silences.
    Carmen Pardo‘s text unfolds first, how the gaze and listening of the snow constitute the
experience of disappearance, of a concentration in the void or nothingness of which A Soft Hiss
of this World participates. Secondly, and in dialogue with Roland Barthes, the kind of listening
involved in recording different states of snow is questioned. From that listening, the text proposes
in the third place, the exercise of recording as an experience that implies multiple temporalities that
reminds us that it is always habited in heterogeneity of times. The third text belongs to Mikel R.
Nieto and is divided into four parts: The first part called “This is nothing” contains Nieto’s texts and
thoughts about the most important points of the investigation, such as silence, listening, landscape,
language, disappearance and absence, archive, hyperojects and the Anthropocene.
    The second part is a “Diaries (2009 – 2019)” which brings together a selection of photographs
and the most outstanding moments throughout the research in a brief direct and poetic format
marking the corresponding places and dates. The third part is a code that reflects the loss of most
of the sound recordings made during his research with more than 600 hours of recordings. This
code is the only thing that could be recovered from all recordings, except the only sound recording
published in physical format as a transparent Flexi-disc. The fourth part is the result of silencing
every word by John Cage in his “Lecture on Nothing,” leaving only the punctuation marks, such
as commas, periods, separators and the last sentence of the text of Cage."
           Did I just read the word Flexi disc? Yes, I did. There is indeed a Flexi disc with this book.
Ever since I was kid and music magazines sometimes had a Flexi disc (Flexipop and the Dutch
magazine Vinyl) I love Flexi discs. They are fragile and simply look great. Mikel R. Nieto recorded
the sound of snow falling for this one-sided Flexi disc. I was trying very to remember if someone
had done this before, and I am almost convinced someone had (John Hudak or Stephan Mathieu,
I was thinking of), but I might be wrong. Hearing snowflakes is not easy, and I have no idea what
kind of equipment Nieto has but it sounds a bit distorted, like a microphone being snowed in (no
pun intended), but it sounded very nice. Even when I am not particularly fond of snow and ice
myself, I always enjoy the way the environment sounds so different after the snow has fallen, like
a blanket covering your ears; that is something I heard in this music as well. I trust this is not the
review Nieto has hoped for, but alas, so it is. (FdW)
––– Address:

MHZ - FORM (SD card by Kasuga Records)

So far I reviewed four releases by Berlin's Kasuga Records and this is the fifth. A pattern is getting
clear to me now; I think we can fairly save say that Kasuga Records is the true successor to the
throne of Mille Plateaux. And I don't mean the watered down comeback version of that label from a
few years ago (and most likely silently vanished again); I mean the original version, with minimal
beats and the early laptop sound. To be honest, maybe the label can also be seen as the little
brother of Raster Music, but in all fairness: I have no idea what they are up to these days. I never
see or hear anything new by them, which means that they must have been promoted to the
department of serious music business, something we ain't no part of (despite all our early support
for the label). Mo H. Zareei is from Iran but lives in Wellington, New Zealand and he calls his
musical endeavour mHz. In the always somewhat convoluted language of the label, this album "is
an exploration of a materially constrained sound source through the lens of the primary elements
of formal order: unity, variety and harmony. The raw material in this series is created through a
single generative engine comprised of eight identical oscillators. Throughout the album, this
material is reconfigured using distinct compositional strategies involving varying degrees of
control, freedom, chance and will." mHz uses custom-built software and hardware, I think, mostly
with max/MSP, which he then structures using, perhaps, something like Ableton Live. Like with
various of the previous releases on Kasuga Records, there is the always strict, rigid 4/4 bass beat
created from sine waves, and hiss and click provide the 'melodic' top. Think Pan Sonic meets Alva
Noto, Goem meeting Ryoji Ikeda and you get part of the picture. In 'Form D' there is even a more
formal synthesizer sound bouncing along with the beat and it is the album's most straightforward
approach to dance music. What I particularly liked about this that there are four pieces which can
be seen as 'originals' and then from each of these four, mHz created a remix of some sort,
reshaping some of the elements, making it quite a different song altogether, and yet recognizable
when compared to the original. I can see how his mission statement works here. This is another
fine mark of what I think could be a comeback of the whole clicks 'n cuts movement. (FdW)
––– Address:


While I was quickly checking if this was something for me (as many releases by this label go to
mister Mulder), I kept playing it and liking it a lot. I don't think I knew both players (that well). Rubin
plays the shakuhachi, which she also teaches. She specializes in "playing honkyoku on chokan,
jinaishi shakuhachi". Formerly a student of Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, she attained the rank of Shihan
 in 2014 and a meditator for over 25 years. Flinn is both composer and improviser, who "often
works with unusual sound sources, including found objects". It is perhaps exactly that what got
my attention. The cover lists Flinn on percussion, so maybe my expectations were all wrong.
Maybe I thought this would be another wild ride of improvised music, even when the shakuhachi
flute is not an instrument commonly connected to wild, free improvisations. I was pleasantly
surprised by the fact that the percussion by Flinn sounds like anything but percussion, which
allows Rubin to take on a more traditional approach to the flute. These eight pieces are very
quiet pieces of thoughtful improvisation. On many occasions you could think it is just a flute as
the textures provided by Flinn are very subtle; in fact so subtle that they sometimes seem to
disappear, but if you listen closely enough you can hear them. I would think Flinn explores
surfaces with the use of other surfaces, woodblock on the drum skin, maybe, but mallet upon a
wall could be as likely. A violin bow upon a cymbal is surely the case in 'Devotion', or the gong in
'Plunge'. Sometimes this results in a high-frequency drone, like a residue of the flute sound, but I
suspect it is not. Throughout this is some beautifully rich music that one can use to meditate along,
but also it is something for a very concentrated listening session and enjoying the small details.
––– Address:


Behind Ynaktera is one Dario Colozza, who is the "founder and artistic director of the network of
electronic artists Stochastic Resonance" and he has a release of his music, recorded with Kenta
Kamiyama, who is part of the same network. It is primarily a label, for which the goal "is found in
the uniqueness of its artistic projects, which move between experimentation and harmony, sliding
the sensible impulse into multimedia." I also learned that "The label takes its name from the
physical phenomenon of the stochastic resonance, where a low-level signal becomes louder and
perceptible through the addition of other signals or even noise, the non-signal for excellence." The
cover is made with 3D printing but still looks like a CD case; maybe, I just don't know enough of 3D
printing. All the information is on the CDR itself, which is a great pity once you start to write the
review. No instruments are mentioned and judging by the music, I'd say it is all-.electronic and
perhaps uses more the laptop than the analogue synthesizers or modular ones, but of course, I
might very well be wrong. If anything, I would say that ambient music is the main interest for these
two men, but they are not shy for a bit of more forcefully brought sounds (in order to avoid the term
noise, because it is not) and a bit of repetition in 'Night - Notte', making a connection to the world
of beat music, but still with a heavily reverb-drenched piano; the rhythm continues in 'Sunrise -
Aurora', but then even more powerful. Still not dance music, but it owes no doubt to the world of
Alva Noto. It is all quite enjoyable on a winter's afternoon. I liked what I heard and I thought none
of this was highly innovative, but that, of course, is not necessarily a goal in itself. (FdW)
––– Address:


As I am playing this new release by Somnoroase Pasarele from Rumania I am thinking that it is a
most bizarre group. Or project? Or a one-man band? That's one thing I never figured out there. In
the past I thought it was a duo, Gili Mocanu and Elena Album, later on, Album left and one Miru
Mercury was responsible for sequencing and on this new one, only Gilo Moncanu is responsible
for composition, recording and mastering of the music. I reviewed quite a bit of their music,
although I am pretty sure not all of the releases they did and it is safe to say that all of this music is
electronic. Yet it is worked out in many different ways; rhythm played quite a role in their earlier
releases, but later on, they had also released with less rhythm versus bigger ambient drifts. On this
new release, it is all about ambient music, not at all about rhythm. At forty-eight minutes this is also
their longest journey so far, and it is all about synthesizers being wielded. It burps, oscillates,
spaces and drones and oddly enough has a very direct feeling. Rather than being a work of
deliberate consideration, of polishing the waves via mixing and editing on a multi-track, I could
easily think this was all done in one long spur of the moment, following some time of carefully
setting all the sliders, faders and knobs in the right position. And even then it seems they (well,
he) loses a bit of control and some unexpected stuff happens in there. This is what I mean with the
direct feel of the music. It took me some time to get 'used' to it; I first thought it was a sort of
rehearsal tape, but as the piece unfolded I started to see their point and enjoyed this strange take
on kosmische musik quite a bit. It is music for some uneven terrain to be crossed; nothing is perfect
there and that's also the case with this music. It is not perfect and nor intended to be, and that's why
it worked quite well for me. (FdW)
––– Address:


In the hot summer of 2019, Di Placido and Welch went on a European tour, taking them from
Naples to Glasgow and from this tour, we find fourteen short pieces on this cassette. I heard their
music before, with a previously self-released cassette (see Vital Weekly 1048), so the brutality of
their improvisations isn't alien to me. Olivier di Placido plays electric guitar with a variety of pick-
ups, each differently connected to rods, and objects, while Fritz Welch plays percussion, objects
and uses his voice; the latter, so I would think, mostly sparsely. The pieces here are short,
somewhere between one and three minutes and each sound like a concentrated eruption of
sound. It has a great acoustic noise approach from both players, using all of these objects on the
instruments they are using. It is a thorough scanning of surfaces here, with amplified objects and
very little by way of electronics to alter the sound, even when it's not absent here. This is hard-core
improvised music and I mean that in that is hard-core music but also the nothing planned/total
freedom performance approach by these two men. This is some very furious music that can only
be played with maximum volume so that even the quietest moments become explosive. Check
out some of the live videos on YouTube and you know what I mean. (FdW)
––– Address:

VAMPYRES - EMBERS OF DESTRUCTION (cassette by Invisible City Records)
FORDELL RESEARCH UNIT - PERICHORESIS (cassette by Invisible City Records)

Quite quickly Invisible City Records are expanding their little black/white empire of small-run
cassettes and CDRs with a string of releases that, by and large, could be considered to be dark
and drone-like; yet, everyone has its different quality to bring to the table. Here we have Vampyres,
perhaps not the most original name I assume, which is a "duo of Stokoe and Reid" and described
as "horror drone" with "analogue excursions throughout the underbelly of Gateshead". Would I
have made a connection between music and horror? That is hard to answer now, of course; maybe
I would as it sometimes happens that I describe stuff as ghostly or haunted house soundtrack. This
is perhaps not the case here, certainly not with 'Purity Hunts', which fills up the first side. Here
Vampyres take a long run of relatively quiet meandering lo-fi drones but when things explode, they
go off like a rocket and Vampyres are like a fine power electronics unit below a blanket to muffle
some of the sounds. 'Laceration', on the other side is a more straight forward sort of drone piece,
building and building blocks of feedback, synthesizer drones, cassette hiss, field recordings until
there is a vast layer of muffled sounds, with some of that industrial character shining through here.
           I believe I may have reviewed one of the first releases by Fordell Research Unit, 'Real Man
Drink Horse Milk', back in Vital Weekly 635, and I wrote that behind the project was one "the mighty
Fraser of pjorn72 & linwood flats", and found the music to be a form of loud and distorted drone
music. Looking on Discogs today I see the real name is Fraser Burnett, and there have been more
releases; on Cosmic Slumber, Krapp Tapes, Bells Hill, At War With False Noise, Pjorn 72 (hey!),
Gold Soundz and others. I missed out on all of these, and get back in with 'Perichoresis', a five-
track, sixty-minute tape of dark drone music. Here the one-line sales pitch is "subdued yet intense
atmospheres prevail in the greyscale forest". Here the devil is in the details, comparing it to
Vampyres. Fordell Research Unit is less 'industrial' and much more controlled than Vampyres,
with some long stretched out tones and very dark ambient music. I have no idea what it is that
Fordell Research Unit does; I would be surprised if it was still the guitar, but then: who knows?
What kind of treatment this music gets, analogue or digital, the result is massive. My best guess
is that there is some kind of muzak recording used here that is heavily transformed. Traces of
such I seem to detect in 'Morningside, 2019' and in 'icsl', which spans the whole second side. It
has an oddly melodic drift; even it is stuck in some looped form that is not so much present in the
other pieces, which seem to be stuck in some stasis. I liked the slightly more melodic side of this
better; feeling that the pure drone drift is perhaps a bit worn out by now. (FdW)
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This is I love to read part 2 (see elsewhere for part 1). Unlike the book reviewed elsewhere, this is
a very normal print fanzine, white paper, black ink, no fancy typesetting or such. That is how I love
my fanzines best. Every time I get a new fanzine, and unfortunately way too many, I am jealous that
these Vital words no longer exist on paper. They did, from 1986 to 1995, and while it was a hassle
to produce a fanzine and ship it out to subscribers, it was also 'easy' to go digital back then and
stick with that, now for almost 25 years. But looking at the sixty A5 sized pages of Deft Esoterica
Issue Two, I would love to go back and do one again myself. The content of this issue are three
lengthy interviews with Fernlodge and Raoul van Herpen, both of whom I had not heard (and the
latter being Dutch, which made it even more peculiar) and Calineczka, whose music has been
reviewed a couple of times in these pages, plus a bunch of reviews that include one released by
Roland Kuit, also Dutch, never heard of. How Vital is Vital actually, when a US fanzine introduces
me to Dutch artists? The interviews are about motivations, ideas, equipment used and 'the scene'
in which they operate (or not) and not the usual 'I recorded this, released that' type of questioning.
Issue one, so Bandcamp learns me included Angelo Vincent Jr, NUM and Phil Maguire and on
offer is the possibility to buy both fanzines in one bundle, which I highly recommend, even when I
haven’t read volume one myself. Surely, this will not result in me doing a fanzine myself, despite
all the goodwill, but thankfully others do. (FdW)
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