number 1212
week 51


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TRIGGER – PULL (CD by Shhpuma) *
HEART ENSEMBLE – OREADE (CD by Small Scale Music) *
 Square) *
TRANSIT (CD compilation by Edition Degem/Aufabwegen)
FILTRO - FORMA (CDR by Nausea) *
SEQUENCES - GATHERING COLOURS (cassette by Park70) *
BRUNO DUPLANT - FEU DANSE (cassette by Park70) *
ARNOLD & MONICA (cassette, private) *
GATE HAND - SONGS TO THE KEEPER (cassette by Sensorisk Verden) *
SAVERIO ROSSI - SIX FIGURES GETTING SICK (cassette by Discreet Records) *
THE VOID* - NORWEGIAN DISCO (cassette by esc rec) *
RADBOUD MENS & MATTHIJS KOUW - LIVE 29-05-2019 (download by esc rec) *


This is not the first time I review music by pianist Jacques Demierre and you would think I have
some idea what he does, but then, 'The Well Measured Piano' is something different. And also
something more difficult. Here we have three lengthy pieces, totalling sixty minutes, of solo piano
music. Demierre is someone who plays the keys and the inside (strings, tuning pins), but unlike
John Cage, no preparations are going on. I understand that two of the three pieces to be
constructed via layering blocks of sound together and the final piece is a live one, but picked up
by various microphones inside an old and empty bread oven. To start with the latter; sometimes
the piano is far away and sometimes close by, and still, it is hard to believe that it is all a live
recording. Here the left-hand is playing something entirely different from the right hand, that much
is sure. There is a beautiful overtone sound to some of these notes, ringing against the walls of this
oven. In the two other pieces, Demierre shows us more of his technique where he plays clustered
sounds and fast individual sounds and whatever else he's doing on the inside of the piano. At
times one thinks this is a release of modern classical music, but as easily it can move towards a
work of massive electro-acoustic proportions, in which the piano is the starting point for a whole
string of transformations (as best exemplified in 'Wind Motet') and of course there is a whole 'other'
world of improvised music part of this, running through all the pieces on this release, sometimes
to a great extent, sometimes a lot less. This is certainly not 'easy' music, but one that rewards a
lot for those willing to invest some time in it. (FdW)
––– Address:


Two things before we dive into the musical subject matter at hand. First: the stellar cover art by
Harco Rutgers featuring a deftly shimmering glissando of muted but brightly shining pink into
greenish hues cut through with subtle white wave form-like lines. With the inner panels and the
disc itself following this tone of visuals closely, Variations... is one heck of a CD with quite the
luxurious feel to it, a must-have you want to hold and cherish and give prime place of pride on
display in your collection, around the stereo.
    And secondly, come to speak of stereo: on the sleeve, it doesn't say so, but this album needs
to be cranked up to be fully appreciated in all nuance. Just so you know. Often ambient-esque
synthesizer experimentation tends to be all hush-hush Feldman volume, but no way with this
one, please. The granular synthesis opens up the full level of intensity on myriads of layers of
sound processing when the amp gets a thorough workout and the speakers are fed with all the
right power to project the microscopic detail(s) across the room. Also: I tried, but cannot think this
is supposed to work with headphones, for some reason I prefer the room filling up with sound
matter, instead of the head alone and boy does Gintas K deliver here.
    Estonian composer Gintas Kraptavičius presents his variations on the classical form in a-moll
not to showcase the possibilities of his machines in this most classical of forms and formats per
se, but to take the concept and push beyond with the help of intense granular synthesis; beyond
that is, into the realm of deeply immerse en impressive listening experiences. Gintas K doesn't let
up, doesn't do a second of ease or peace: his granulated fragments and shifting patterns divide,
merge, splinter, coalesce with an unrelenting forward and deep-diving motion, although he
manages to keep overpowering blunt force trauma at bay, in fact: Variations... turns out to be –
above all – surprisingly melodic and harmonic.
    Variations... is massive – feels like a ton of steel or concrete in a way, but then again, it is light
and airy... maybe best described as sweltering heat mixed with a punishing downpour of torrential
rains with rather heavy winds too... While that doesn't sound too appealing, it's exactly the push-
back from the music, the up-front an centre stage of the forceful projections of exquisite tones that
makes for a wall-like focal point against which the listener can lean as we came to know from the
best practices from My Bloody Valentine back in the shoegaze days of yonder. Far from
unpleasant, that is, in fact: you're hit with blast after blast and still there is air to breathe, moving
air that is sound-pressured.
    Gintas K doesn't do easy listening, but his Variations... is one of those CD's that keeps rewarding
the listener spin after spin. It's not as 'wild' as Mark Fell and/or Gabór Lazar, but you'd be hard-
pressed to remember melodic lines or phrases. This CD doesn't do comfort zone – doesn't allow
for the newspaper to be read alongside or a novel. This a full-on attention-grabbing beast, but
when you let yourself be hauled into its filigree maelstrom the aural vistas Gintas presents left,
right, centre, above as below are all sparkling gems of unfiltered but extremely detailed brilliance.
One album not to forget, to be put on the Long List for the 2020 Year lists. (SSK)
--- Address:


Looking at the large fold-out poster that is cover of the release here, I had the notion of the music
being created as part of building the shed-like construction that two men are engaged in.
Rumbling with tools, iron objects, mortar and such. Listening to the disc, I would think there are
also small synthesizers used in this construction. From Hegarty, we recently encountered a
release with Romain Perrot, under the guise of Maginot (and who is a member of Safe) and Mick
O'Shea is a member of the Quiet Club (see Vital Weekly 1128) and Strange Attractor. On this CD
we find five lengthy pieces, from six to twenty-one minutes in duration, of carefully played
improvisations, all recorded at the Cork Artists Collective, Sherkin Island and The Guesthouse in
Cork. The instruments are the aforementioned small synthesizers in combination with found
objects on the various locations where they recorded their work. At least that's what I assume
based on what I heard. In 'Vegetables 1' there is also a bit of voice, and it's perhaps the only
piece with more or less continuous sounds, along with 'Vegetables 2'. The other pieces seem to
deal with a freer play of sounds, hitting, scratching and plucking along the surface. Sometimes
the sound veers towards an inaudible level. Since the whole release is some seventy minutes
long it is quite a long ride here. For me, it worked best if I took it in a piece by piece, with the two
parts of 'Vegetables' perhaps counting as one piece, also looking at the similarities there. Overall,
it is quite demanding on the listener and one needs to exercise full concentration, but it turns out
to be quite a rewarding experience, I thought. It is a delicate crossover between electro-acoustic
music and improvisation and it is done with great-refined interaction between both players. (FdW)
––– Address:

TRIGGER – PULL (CD by Shhpuma)

Trigger is Will Greene (electric guitar), Simon Hanes (electric bass) and Aaron Edgcomb (drumset).
They first met working in John Zorn’s ‘Bagatelles’-project. Hanes is a bassist who graduated from
New England Conservatory, played in noise band Guerilla Toss and founded the 14-piece ‘italo-
cinema-pop orchestra’ Tredici Bacci. Will Greene, saxophonist, guitarist and composer is into
experimental and improvised music. He worked with Joe Morris, Marc Ribot, and JG Thirwell and
is also a member of Tredici Bacci. Drummer and composer Edgcomb works in contexts of
improvisation, jazz, new music, song, etc. And worked with Anthony Coleman, Red Reichmann,
among others. So together they cover a wide range of musical idioms and styles. As Trigger,
however, they limit themselves to a well-defined territory or playground of extreme high-energy
hardcore noise combined with improvisation. Of course, they add all their musical experience
into this high-pressure cooker, leading up to a cocktail of unheard intensity and complexity in this
musical corner. It is truly an impressive statement from this explosive trio. Restless and tireless they
interact and stimulate one other to play constantly on a very dynamic level. All three participate on
an equal active level what makes it seem each one follows his path. But on the contrary, they play
very tight and intelligent, leaving you no escape. In three extended rough and unpolished
improvisations, they fight their purely instrumental battles. The recording is very well done so that
one can unravel what each one is doing and adding to their strongly intertwined and constant over
the top exercises. Great exceptional work! (DM)
––– Address:

HEART ENSEMBLE – OREADE (CD by Small Scale Music)

Two excellent cd-releases from the Montréal-based independent Small Scale Music-label that
normally chooses for cassette releases. Heart Ensemble is also from Montréal. It is a duo of Guy
Thouin and Félix-Antoine Hamel, operating since 2015. Thouin used the name ‘Heart Ensemble’
earlier for an ensemble led by him from 1986-1998. His activity, however, has a far longer history.
Thouin was the co-founder of Quator de Jazz Libre de Québec, the first free jazz ensemble in
Montréal. Also, he was a co-founder of Avant-prog band L’Infonie, both near the end of the 60s.
He studied percussion and for many years also tabla in India. This year the Montréal festival Suoni
per il Popolo-festival paid tribute to the legendary Le Quator. Thouin, the only surviving member
from the original line up, played with Félix-Antoine Hamel, Craig Petersen and Nic Caloia. ‘From
the Basement’ documents some of the best moments of Thouin and Hamel recorded during
2015-2018. In eight vivid and focused improvisations, they explore themes and motives, played
with verve by Hamel following free jazz manners, and Thouin playing in a relaxed and playful style.
An improvisation like ‘Mtl Summer’ is a good example of their communicative and organic
interplay. On the closing track ‘Tehai’ we hear Thouin play in an Indian percussion style. Often
they work with guests like on ‘Oreade’ recorded in 2018. This one has them joined by Marilou
Lyonnais Archambault, playing harp and electronics. Archambault is a multidisciplinary artist,
working as a graphic designer, visual artist and musician. With Nela Paki, she has a dark ambient
duo Saudade. In collaboration with Thouin and Hamel, we meet her as an improvising musician.
Playing harp and electronics she adds some very different ingredients compared to ‘From the
Basement’. Due to her contributions, some of the improvisations are more lyrical and built from
melodic patterns, like ‘Ostinato’and ‘Daydream’. ‘Awakening’ has some eastern flavour and is
meditative. Again Hamel has a strong presence with his inspired playing. And it is very nice to
have at last some more recordings with pioneer Thouin, whose activity is badly documented,
etc. (DM)
––– Address:


Listening to this one, I wondered how completely different musical worlds can be within improvised
music, for example, created by just guitar and drums as on this one. Veteran guitarist Raymond
Boni began playing jazz somewhere in the mid-70s. He worked with many musicians from the
local French scene but also on an international level with Joe McPhee, Terry Day, Max Eastley,
etc. Gilles Dalbis is a French composer and drummer who is also dedicated to improvised music.
Although he is also active for a long time, he is a new name to me. He has several albums out with
people that are equally unknown to me: violinist Christian Zagaria, saxophone player Pierre Diaz
and vocalist Charles Borrett. Raymond Boni is a regular companion of him in the last few years.
Already in 2017, they did a duo recording for the same label: ‘Improvisations 8 pièces pour
guitares et batterie percussions‘. Their latest one, ´Selenites´, is an album of imaginative
improvisations of a radical nature, full of extravagant movements and dynamics. Their gestures
are zoomed out by the spatial recording and echoing effects, making them a bit oversized
sometimes. The electric guitar of Boni – who also plays some harmonica here - has far echoes
of the blues sometimes, like in ‘Selenite Blues’. But overall they abstract from recognizable
idioms and create their very own world that is full of drama. Very well recorded. (DM)
––– Address:

TRANSIT (CD compilation by Edition Degem/Aufabwegen)

The Cologne-based record label Auf Abwegen, run by Till Kniola, has brought the world splendid
releases from, among others, Asmus Tietchens, CM von Hausswolff, Marc Behrens en Anemone
Tube, branches out with EDITION DEGEM (all caps, indeed) – a label issuing annual compilations
of the German Association of Electroacoustic Music.
    For each edition EDITION DEGEM asks a sound artist to thematically curate a CD, with the
musical material covers a very wide array of electronic sounds from sound art to post-industrial
cut-ups and field recordings. For the latest edition, Michael Edwards and Thomas Neuhaus
controlled the curating reigns. Their subject op focus is transition as in the passage, transformation,
change, upheaval, breach et cetera.
    13C2=[♄] by Klarenz Barlow opens proceedings of Transit most repetitively, be it with slight
transformative elements beneath the beat pattern which ploughs on and on, gently Steve Reich-
ian patterns shift and moiré-like canons appear, making the subtle composition work for
contemplative listening instead of the dancefloor banger you might mistake it for initially.
    Dirk Reith's, on the contrary, starts much more abrasive with his hectic, alarming piece 'scattered
voices 3.47' full of industrially fragmented shards. The narrative seems to be lacking, maybe quite
intentional, as if to project a feeling Zeno van den Broek addresses on his BREACH 12”: one of
discomfort for the times we live in, a time of disruption, of sensory overload and political narratives
breaking down.
    A very concrete form of the transitory process is offered by Thomas Gerwin, who focuses on
alchemy, oh well: maybe not so concrete after all. Then again: a lot of alchemic processes and
experiments did leads to major transformations in scientific thinking and our knowledge of the
chemical matter. His materia prima has a strong storytelling arc to it, perhaps a bit too
explanatory, but when the work picks up intensity his boiling noise makes for interesting scurrying
and bubbling aural dashes of flickering flames and hopefully non-toxic fumes. A true case of
what's he cooking up in there; Heisenberg would be proud.
    Day and night travel, the big unknown, critical masses brought into motion: Transit address a
wide range of tangents related to the titular theme. Edwards and Neuhaus have, nonetheless,
managed to keep an overarching balance and coherence in terms of tone of voice – however
much diverse these voices may be. Because of the diversity Transit demands, time and effort to
be fully digested – best use the skip and pause button to focus on one work at a time and to take
a breath before the next one – but ultimately the selection is quite rewarding and surprising too
in terms of the selection of composers and artists. We are already looking forward to next year's
theme and selection by EDITION DEGEM. (SSK)
--- Address:


This is my second encounter with the music of this man, following his 'Le Coeur Et La Raison' LP,
which I reviewed in Vital Weekly 1135. This time the title translates as 'The Sharing Of Grievances'
and I am early with this review; the official release date is February 14, 2020, Valentine's Day. I am
sure there is a connection to be made between the title and the release date. Well, that and the
music of course. On the previous album, Hart-Lemonnier used keyboard(s) and a drum machine
resulting in some funny, quirky, almost 8-bit like music. This new album is a slightly different cake.
I have no idea what happened in the life of Hart-Lemonnier, but this new album has an overall
much darker tone. The rhythm machine is handed in and instead, Hart-Lemonnier now has a
sampler under his belt, which he uses to create weird sounds and loops them around, splicing
them up in real-time. The main ingredient here, however, is the synthesizer tones; dark and
ominous, but also with quite a bit of melodic touch. He plays his music in minor chords, a lower
rank of the keyboard. It is not necessarily filled with a lot of pathos; Hart-Lemonnier doesn't seem
to be interested in creating a new form of the requiem mass. It is not swollen or pretentious; it
melancholically touches the keyboard and along with this weird, small samples, of which I have
no idea what they are or where they come from. On various occasions I was thinking these were
perhaps vocalizations by Hart-Lemonnier, sounds of the mouth, heavily treated and (maybe?)
without a meaning. Of course, I might be entirely wrong here. The oddball track here was 'Tout Le
Monde Sait Mieux Que Toi', the last song on the second side and here the drum machine and
quirkiness from the previous record returned. I didn't understand that move very much. It broke for
me the rather atmospheric flow of the previous seven tracks and came across as a filler of the
album. Other than that strange thing, in the end, I thought this was a great record. (FdW)
––– Address:


If I may: sometimes you can indeed judge a release by the cover, and the concept, almost alone
based on those parameters. ‘Deconceptual Voicings’ comes in a stellar yellow sleeve featuring
the famous Scream painting by Ed Ruscha. Attention-grabbing letters, cut through with bright
yellow streaks. Cut-up in screaming practice, letters as big as advertisement screens, billboards
along the freeway.
    'Conceptually Deconceptual Voicings' following quite the intricate path. First, there was the film
essay Conceptual Paradise by Stefan Römer (2003 – 2005) (check: In
the film, conceptual artists are interviewed. This is the source material for collage and montage
compositions/voice works that make up ‘Deconceptual Voicings’. That is to say: songs made from
a speech using musical compositions, looping, cutting, effects et cetera. And only speech and
language were used in the production of the sound performances on the LP.
    What we have here is an odd form of Sprechgesang then, about concepts, ideas in the shape
 of slogans and statements, brief glimpses into the mind of the artists, hyper focussed and also
zoomed-out when for example Ed Ruscha touches upon conceptual art forming part of an art
world in a larger sense, also incorporating music and experimental dance for example.
    The composers manage to draw attention to the intricacies of the voice, of the statement and
prime the listener with the material at hand through repetition and focus, cutting away the
superfluous information, retaining the elementary core. Therewith the LP surely is, as the
composers state, a true homage to the conceptual artists featured. This was a good idea that
indeed needed to be amplified, to paraphrase Römer and Matter. And also: this record is an
import active protagonist in “global polyphony of positions and sounds” in opposition to
reactionary backlash and as a challenge to recent cultural conditions, preventing depression,
inviting us to “a neo-emancipatory dance”.
    By no means the easiest of listens, the libretto makes for quite an engaging read – a manifesto
in its own right. Coupled with the spectacular cover, concise concept and diagram of the working
process this, even without hearing the warm and moving voice of for example the late Sol LeWitt,
this LP speaks volumes. This is elementary material in the canon of both conceptual and sound
art. (SSK)
--- Address:

FILTRO - FORMA (CDR by Nausea)

From the minimum of information on the insert, I gathered the following information. Filtro is the
name of a duo, with Angelo Bignamini on tapes and Luca de Biasi on tapes and synthesizers.
They recorded 'Forma' in September 2019, and Giuseppi Ielasi did the mastering. From Bignamini
I reviewed some music before (see Vital Weekly 1196), which was obscured when it came to
sources and techniques but most enjoyable. I don't think I heard of De Biasi before. Together they
recorded a thirty-seven-minute piece of music, which fits the things that I heard before from
Bignamini. Sound sources are again obscured by thick clouds of effects, or perhaps by the modular
set-up of De Biasi. Like in his solo work there is here much hectic manoeuvring of sounds and not
much of stand-alone thing. No drones were created in this work. There is extensive use of reverb
from time to time on a variety of the sounds used, to make them leap out and 'solo' for the odd
second, giving this a musique concrete-like feeling. Yet, it also sounds like everything was
improvised on the spot, and perhaps there has been some editing later on, but for all, I know
there has not been any. Although I found it all interesting, I also thought it was a bit too long for
my taste. It just didn't have enough variation to hold all my interest, all the time. (FdW)
––– Address:

BRUNO DUPLANT - FEU DANSE (cassette by Park70)

As I am listening to Niels Geybels', also known as Sequences, new cassette, I was thinking that by
now there is a small movement of like-minded musicians and labels. Geybels also is the proprietor
of a music label, Audio Visual Atmosphere, releasing music that he also is involved in. Invisible
City Records from the UK is another such label. The aesthetic is usually black & white, the music
lo-fi and grainy, but not necessarily made with lo-fi means; an important difference I should think.
Releases by Park70 from the USA are also lo-fi and black and white, but with the difference that
these releases have a pro-print cover with the label name embossed in the carton stock wrap
around. That looks great, I think. Sequences have four pieces here, in total thirty minutes and it is
heavy on the use of synthesizer sounds. These are dark and ominous, massive and perhaps
slightly louder than one would expect. I have no idea if these are some cheap small synths and
some effect pedals or perhaps some bigger modular set-up. I am sure there is also a few field
recordings thrown in somewhere, but it's all buried beneath the slow evolving waves produced
by the synths and effects. The post-apocalyptic soundtrack, what I sometimes radioactive music,
the variation that works so well with any b movie, dystopian flick, is something that is well under
control by Sequences. Dark, vague, mysterious and sonically very rich music; the tapes have
been saturated with sound and Sequences is a firm player in a movement that has no name.
    I would not rank Bruno Duplant easily in the same lot of musicians, but to be honest that is
because I have very little idea what Duplant does. His name popped up almost twenty times in
Vital Weekly so far and still, I have very little idea. Primarily he works with field recordings, editing
and sometimes with instruments; sometimes played him or by others. Here, on this new cassette,
it is all a bit more complicated. At least, that's what I think. At far as I can judge matters like this, I
would think Duplant has four pieces in which he uses the processed sound of organ recordings.
Slowing it down, fiddling with the odd equalization, something to do with the amplification; I
couldn't say. This result in four pieces of what I would best describe as dark ambient. But perhaps
that is for the lack of a better, I think. It is very synth/drone heavy, which is something that I had not
yet heard in his music before and it comes with a more or less randomized aspect. It also sounds
like it involved freely played chords and that was slowed down quite a bit, allowing for other
frequencies to play their role. If there were any field recordings than I didn't hear them; of course
that is hardly relevant, I would say. I found this music to be odd; I am not sure if that also means
that this is great music. I was intrigued by it; that much is sure. Especially because it seemed to
connect with the world of ambient music but at the same time maybe it also didn't. There is quite
a lot to think about here and that is, of course, a good thing. This, I thought, was quite a surprising
release. (FdW)
––– Address:

ARNOLD & MONICA (cassette, private)

There is no real mystery as to who Arnold & Monica are; the clue is on the cover here. "Kittel &
Spenlehauer are members of the band Micro_Penis" (and yes I know what that sounds like; one
half of Micro_Penis). On the Bandcamp, there are some 'naughty' references. "Do you like child
pooh spread over a diaper? Do you like listening to the duos of some degenerated forty-
somethings? If yes, then Arnold & Monica are for you. [...] 138 hand-numbered copies up for grabs
all enhanced with a delicious poo candy. We hope you will do in your pants after listening to this
beautiful flabby and oily, liquid and stinky music". I am not a prude, but I don't understand the
poop/diaper references. As for shock value, it is not that much of a shock. Old-fashioned as I am, I
would rather see something about instruments used, as the music (twenty-four minutes) is quite
interesting. I would think that the two use a fair share of modular electronics in combination with
some tape-abuse; be that reel-to-reel machines, Walkmans or a Dictaphone. Voices play a role as
well, producing sounds we don't understand (mouth of babies, perhaps. looking at the diaper
references?) and it is quite an interesting mixture of musique concrete, a dash of noise and a
healthy amount of musique concrete. It reminded me at times of early Etant Donnes, which in my
book is a great reference; there is not many of those around, so it's good to hear people influenced
by that old sound. This is a great tape, despite the unnecessary shock value and the short duration
of it. I wish there was a bit more here! (FdW)
––– Address:

GATE HAND - SONGS TO THE KEEPER (cassette by Sensorisk Verden)

Here at Vital Weekly, we like to think we have a broad taste when it comes to music; perhaps we
even have that. That doesn't mean that we have all-around knowledge of music. This new release
from Denmark left me quite puzzling. Gate Hand is a duo of Francesca Burattelli and Claus
Haxholm. They have five songs on their cassette, from four to seven minutes. These songs deal
"with buildings as characters or living beings with the ability to both protect people as well as hurt
or consume them. Out of this architectural pseudo-paranoia, the lyrics weave in and out of visions
and fever-dreamlike situations in a blend of surreal ambiences and contemporary pop". I agree
there, on the contemporary pop thing. Buratelli's voice is atmospheric and reminded me of a trip-
hop singer (none specified) and also of Kate Bush; the music, in its entire ambience, perhaps also
with the latter musician, of whom I quite a fan. Does this mean I like Gate Hand as well? I am not
sure there. It's not bad, but for me all a bit too drama; perhaps it is also too much contemporary pop
for these pages. I think I fail to know much about it to say anything about it. That has little to do with
liking the music and more with not having the proper lingo to discuss it. If you like a good bit of
dramatic, contemporary pop music and you are looking for something new, then be sure to check
this out. (FdW)
––– Address:

SAVERIO ROSSI - SIX FIGURES GETTING SICK (cassette by Discreet Records)

Despite his previous releases on such imprints as Cronica Electronica, Dronarivm, Laverna,
Secretpress, Manyfeetunder and Discreet Records, I believe I had not heard of Saverio Rosi
before. He is from Italy and lives and works in Amsterdam. The seven pieces here use acoustic
and electronic instruments and tapes and it's a follow-up to 'Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than
They Appear', which was released in 2014. The title of this new one is a tribute to David Lynch.
With a label name such as Discreet Records, it is very hard not to think of Brian Eno, I would think;
his 'Discreet Music' album being one of the templates of ambient music. The music of Rosi is also
towards the world of ambient music and I would think uses digital manipulations of sounds like the
prime mover for the music. It is, however, also not always the smoothest of ambient music that is
produced here. In 'A Sudden Burst Of Energy' there is a fine, grainy blanket over the piano sounds,
giving all of this a bit of shoegazing sound. Also in the way, he creates the compositions he is not
always the most ambient composer. In the title piece, we hear some fine hissy organ drone and the
acoustic sampled environment via a recurring loop, standing out over the drones.  There are also
straightforward drone pieces, such as 'Ferric State', or with some strange voice samples in
'Compulsion To Repeat'. As someone who likes his ambient music to be a bit more adventurous,
steering clear from all too normal synthesizer pads and obvious field recordings, this is a most
enjoyable release. There is quite a lot of variation here, amongst these seven pieces, almost to
an extent that could also be a compilation. This is a very fine release! (FdW)
––– Address:

THE VOID* - NORWEGIAN DISCO (cassette by Esc Rec)
RADBOUD MENS & MATTHIJS KOUW - LIVE 29-05-2019 (download by Esc Rec)

The first time I reviewed music by The Void* (pronounce as The Void Pointers) is some time ago
(Vital Weekly 1037. They are a trio still, consisting of Roald van Dillewijn, Eric Magnee and Tijs
Ham and what I know about them is that they do a lot of improvisation on instruments of their own
making. All of these improvisations are recorded and then re-edited, reworked, reshaped,
remodelled (everything to avoid the word remix) into a final result. I have no idea why they took
such a long time to come up with something new, and then something that is, sadly (spoiler alert)
only thirteen minutes long. It fits, however, the group's previous work, which I thought was a very
clever combination of all the good elements of 'ambient', 'drone' and 'post-rock'. There are guitars
and drums to be spotted (also of their own making? I am not sure), giving the music that krautrock
push 'DI_S_CO', final two minutes, after a carefully build up tension. As before, I was thinking of
Radian, the group from Vienna, who do (did? I haven’t heard from them in quite some time) a
similar combination of post-rock and all things laptop. The Void* take their time to explore the
sounds at their disposal and never rush from one segment to the next, best shown on the track
on the other side, 'DI_S_WO'; the despite the use of a slow rhythm (samples, not drum/machines,
I think) a piece of ambient proportions. All of this is quite dark and atmospheric and could be
inserted without much editing into a fine movie about shape-shifting aliens controlling the earth.
All of this begs the questions; why is this such a brief release and can we please hear some more,
new music sooner than later? Thanks!
    Connected to Esc Rec is one of the smallest venues I ever encountered, the lovely Perifeer
space in Deventer. I think it can hold up to 20 people, providing the musicians don't take up too
much space with their equipment. One of the projects they (co-) organize is 'Instruments Make Play',
which features musicians creating their instruments, avoiding many traditional means. Normally a
one-day event (held just a few days ago), there are also smaller events on location, and on
October 6th, 2019, they hosted a concert by Jasna Veličković and Anton Mobin. The first (and yes,
I am quoting the information here, as I haven't seen either performer ever live) plays "the Velicon;
a metal surface with magnetic objects and handheld coil pickups. She uses existing fields around
us to create an electromagnetic field scape bringing sounds of interference and magnetic fields to
the forefront", while Mobin, no stranger to these pages (although not a lot) uses the "Prepared
Chamber; a resonant wooden box in which countless objects, springs and strings are organized
and amplified by magnetic pickups and contact microphones". With him, small sounds are
guaranteed to have a big place. This cassette is a document of them playing together for the first
time and it is something that worked very well. The release is short, twenty-one minutes, and cut in
the middle (the download, however, is one piece) and it shows quite a loud version of improvised
music, with all the nuances removed. Scratching, hitting, buzzing, hissing; it is a delicate (despite
some of the volume used) mixture of the craziest, obscurest sounds, playing around with acoustic
objects, bending them generate odd frequencies, set against the electromagnetic waves picked
up by Veličković. It all ends with a bang; four minutes or so of pure noise improvisation, but I guess
that's how these things usually come to an end anyway.
    And, finally, what may seem a gimmick is the free download by Radboud Mens and Matthijs
Kouw, for which the label also printed a postcard. A great tool to get your work out there for free
and still have a physical object. On May 29th of this year, these two men played at the. Lebuinuskerk
in the small city of Deventer and this release is, I think, the first time they release
a live recording. Their previous releases were all studio recordings (see Vital Weekly 1173, 1168,
1075). They are both known for their love of all things drone-based and this one-hour work is no
different. Mens and Kouw brought in a modular synth (Kouw) and a long string installation (Mens);
the latter has been experimenting with these for some time now, either solo as well as part of the
Staalplaat Sound System, of which he is also a member. The recording is a live recording, picked
up by a pair of microphones. Maybe they used a couple of devices to do the recording, and this is
the result of a mixdown. I am not sure there. Recording using microphones in a wide-open space
such as a church mean that all the 'other' sounds that are produced unintentionally are also picked
up. This happens here once and for me breaks the slow, tranquil mood of what is going on. Shit
happens; I think is what they say. From what seems to be line hum at the start, the piece slowly
starts building and sounds are added all the time, layer by layer; like peeling an onion in reverse.
There is a whole of sounds around the thirty-five-minute point and then the onion is peeled off
again. There is very occasionally a bit of an acoustic rattle to be heard and I assume that is Mens
fiddling with something on his long strings, changing the vibrations or such. The whole piece is a
constant flux, changing and shifting all the time, and a true delight for all drone heads. (FdW)
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