number 1221
week 8


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  NATURE (CD by Inexhaustible Editions) *
PATRIZIA OLIVA – CELANTE (CD by Setola di Maiale) *
  (CD by Grappa) *
AKB - MARIANERGRAVEN (CD by Lamour Records) *
LAGUERRE & NOETINGER - DNT (CD by Revlab/Aagoo) *
TOTSOUKO - OLGA XEFTERI (10" by To Pikap Records) *
STAR TURBINE - SPACE RAGAS (cassette by Steep Gloss Records) *
CLAUDE & OLA - BOTH - AND (cassette by Steep Gloss Records) *
PHILIP SULIDAE - LE VOILE (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere) *
PHILIP SULIDAE - LA RIDGEWAY WELLE (cassette by Sounds Against Humanity) *
TERRITORIAL GOBBING/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette, private)
PSYCHOTROPES  2 (cassette compilation by Alrealon Musique Records)
ALIEN MUSTANGS - SHADOWS (12" by To Pikap Records)


David Jackman’s latest seems to be a direct continuation of his previous album, “Herbstsonne”.
The two albums are each comprised of a single 40-something-minute piece. They have identical
sleeve design, with the title and the artist’s name printed in identical font, black letters forming a
cross on the cover. Both albums seem to be made from the same (or else very similar) sonic
elements; a piano with long reverberation, some church bells, occasional crow cries. The music
even seems to be in the same key, so that you might listen to “Herbstsonne” and “Silence In That
Time” back-to-back and not realize that they aren’t a single album. What does it all mean? David
Jackman certainly isn’t going to tell you. All we have is the music, which is as it should be.
Jackman often employs a compositional strategy of repeating ideas a few times with slight
variations each time, as he’s done throughout his long and enigmatic career. If there’s any
characteristic that distinguishes this new album from the previous one, it’s a small increase in
activity. The piano chords crash more frequently, the bells chime a bit more often. The music
comes to a pause after 14 minutes, starts up again after a few moments’ silence, then takes
another breather at 27 minutes. Are we hearing the first 14 minutes repeat during the second
section? And the third? Are there variations among the sections, or not? I’m sure I could look at
the waves on some audio editing software and find out for sure, but that feels like cheating. The
magic lies in becoming absorbed by Jackman’s gentle pacing, the cycles of percussive piano,
the tamboura (?) drone and reverberant echoes that overlap one another in a slow dance. It’s
quite elegant and minimal and lovely. Nothing more to say about it than to listen.  (HS)
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A piece about time that's what this is. Rhodri Davies composed it in 2017 and assigned different
time systems to the players, "standard time, decimal time and hex time". No doubt also this is a
score more or less open for some interpretation by the players. Davies himself plays the pedal
harp and electric harp, with Ryoko Akama on electronics, Sarah Hughes on zither, Sofia
Jernberg on vocals, Pia Palme on contrabass recorder, Adam Parkinson on programming, Lucy
Railton on cello, Pat Thomas on piano, electronics and Dafne Vicente-Sandoval on bassoon.
The piece was recorded 13th of April 2018 at Chapter, Cardiff. While I have little idea how such
scores work and what happens here with those time systems, the thirty-eight minutes show a
slowly developing piece of music, in which, so it seems to me, every instrument gets to the
foreground in a certain part of the music. Starting with the voices and wind instruments, in the
beginning, followed by the harp and then the string instruments and towards the end the
electronics. That doesn't mean the others disappear, but the move more to the background. I
believe they then try to sound like the instrument in the foreground, but I might be entirely wrong.
There is a very delicate slow shift in this music, as everything happens in slow motion; or so it
seems. This is a work that leaves time to think, to meditate, or even to read a book; or to sit down
and analyse it but I must admit that I didn't like doing so. Of all the CDs I review in this issue, this
one gave me a difficult time; I kept returning and thinking about it, but without being able to make
up my mind. And yet, I think this is a wonderfully beautiful piece. (FdW)
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It was not a difficult decision to decide where to start. I quite enjoyed the recent Fabio Orsi
releases with him going all synthesizer and sequencer. That is something he continues to
explore on this new release. A one-man Tangerine Dream if you can imagine that. As much as a
sucker I am for this kind of music, probably to called a guilty pleasure, I must also try and be
critical. Orsi's music dwells heavily on sequencers and arpeggios and that is the rolling thunder of
the four lengthy pieces (altogether 65 minutes of music). Each piece is a slow builder, with sounds
being stapled upon sounds and then a rhythm kicks in (hardly bass drum, however) and then it
rolls about. Like the mothership Tangerine Dream (or Pete Namlook come to think of it) you could
easily fill lots and lots of releases like that; I may like them, but it will be increasingly difficult to write
about, of course. I don't have the same number of variation in words to describe that. And if I have
to be really critical there is one piece on this new album, 'Smarrita Distanza', that doesn't work for
me. Towards the end, the rhythm comes in too loud and seems to be out of balance with the
synthesizer action now moved to the background. For me the weakest Orsi piece in some time
and perhaps a proof that his decision-making can be too quick...
           Corrado Altieri and Gianluca Favaron deliver with 'To Found' their third album, following
'The System Of Objects' (Vital Weekly 904) and 'Decomposed days' (Vital Weekly 945). Altieri is
responsible for 'electronics, tapes and programming' while Favaron plays computer and
percussion. The two men have quite a history when it comes to experimental music in all its
various incarnations, ambient mostly, but also noise-based and in their duo work they add the
element of rhythm. It is difficult to say something about the way they work. It could work either
way; either this is all improvised and only comes to us via editing the best bits and pieces, or they
sit down and meticulously compose this. Somehow I tend to think it is the first. The pieces they
edit together are short and to the point, like the whole album is, being thirty-two minutes long.
The lessons learned from Pan Sonic are used quite well in these eight pieces. The bass sound
is a strong presence, stomping occasionally away like on a techno record. Yet this does not result
in dance music. Whatever else Favaron and Altieri add to the mix are noises, crumbled radio
waves, sine waves, feedback, field recordings and highly obscured sounds, all of which is
working quite well. By keeping these pieces between three and five minutes and in which there is
quite a bit happening, they make sure there is quite a bit of energy in the music, not the least
thanks to those rhythms that they slipped in. I think this is their best album together so far.
           I had not heard of Orlando Lostumbo before, the man behind Spheric. He is a Roman
double bass player and to earn money he works at the Istituto Superiore di Sanitá, as an
employee at the internal library, one of the most important in the biomedical field in Italy, as
Silentes informs us. This environment is the inspiration for the music by Spheric. The instruments,
other than obviously the upright electric bass, are piano, synthesizers, treatments and editing.
Brian Eno's 'Music For Airports' was also a source to create music for an environment. For
Silentes this is the perfect album to release, moody, atmospheric but also something of an
oddball. There is throughout quite an acoustic character in this music. The piano, even with a
dash of reverb, plays an important role and the bass is in a great supporting role. In the first
piece, 'Measurements', I had the idea the album might head into a jazzy direction (which would
be surprising for the label), but that's not the case. It is, however, throughout more melodic than
one would expect. The piano (and reverb) as played by Lostumbo reminded me of that great-
lost LP by A-tent, 'Six Empty Places', along with some of the synthesizer treatments (and lacking
the A-tent saxophones) and the sometimes loose way of playing the instruments. The melodic
aspect is also something that we don't get a lot in the catalogue of Silentes and one realizes how
great it would be to have a bit more of that. Electronics play a modest but not unimportant role
and even there is room for a bit of rhythm here and there. It all adds to the variation in the music
and still the album has a great balance. This is the sort of 'other' ambient that we don't get a lot
and it is some wonderfully beautiful music. Excellent! (FdW)
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  NATURE (CD by Inexhaustible Editions)

This a duo of violin (Blunt) and piano (Harnik). Elisabeth Harnik is a composer and pianist who
studied classical piano and composition in Graz. As a performer she is focused on creating
electric-acoustic sound worlds, using extended techniques and preparations. As a composer,
she plays with the borders between improvised and composed music. Kenya-born Alison Blunt
studied classical violin in England and developed an interest in projects exploring sound, motion
and space in diverse arts. As an improviser, she is a member – for example – of the London
Improvisers Orchestra. Their first duo-effort is comprised of 11 pregnant improvisations. Blunt
emphasizes on sound qualities of the violin in her vibrating and expressive playing. Harnik is
more focused on expanding techniques, creating special effects and contrasting manoeuvres, in
the function of an intuitive playing style.  More important together they develop some very
imaginative and dialogical improvisations, sounding very fresh and spontaneous. The violin
introduces the most melodic ingredients, sometimes making allusions to existing songs. Their
interactions are very communicative and engaging; multi-coloured and rich, touching on various
aspects of speed, timbre, dynamics, etc. An album needs a title. I’m often wondering how they are
chosen, and what is their relevance. The title of this album refers to Rupert Sheldrake's theory of
morphed resonance, a theory that holds that individual members of a species inherit a collective
memory of past members of the species. The cover photo has a piano turned upside down placed
amidst nature, another sign that they are alluding to some sort of connectedness. (DM)
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PATRIZIA OLIVA – CELANTE (CD by Setola di Maiale)

Last year I reviewed her collaboration with Stefano Giust and Roberto del Piano for the album
‘That is not so’ released by Setola di Maiale. Since 2007 she appears on many releases of this
Italian label, in many different line-ups. She started her performing career around 2003 as a
singer, improviser of experimental music, combining improvisation and electronics. In the case
of ‘Celante’, we are dealing with the first solo-effort by Oliva (voice, electronics). In 2018 she
worked on a project in Chicago that offered the opportunity to do some solo concerts. During
these concerts, she started developing material that resulted in this new album. For the first time,
she decided to write lyrics and sing them. So far she practised mainly a non-verbal vocal art.
Later in 2018 during a stay in Celante in the Dolomites, she further worked on this new material.
So Oliva writes everything we hear on this one. Except for the closing track she used lyrics
written by Pier Paolo Pasolini, the same lyrics that were used by Italian singer Modugno for a
song written in 1968. This is the only track sung in Italian. For all other songs, she used the
English language. The accessible songs are built from minimalistic repetitive electronics, looped
vocal sounds and singing by Oliva, sometimes with the addition of field recordings (bird calls) as
in ‘Mezza Stanza’. In five of eight tracks, Tommaso Marietta assists her on synth. With her lofty,
serious-sounding vocals embedded in a modest electronic environment, Oliva creates a
mysterious and reflective atmosphere. (DM)
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  (CD by Grappa)

The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2000 and became one of the most important
ensembles in Norway. They did projects with musicians like Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Joshua
Redman, Erlend, Jenny Hval, Stian Westerhus, etc. This time they collaborate with Olav
Luksengård Mjelva (Hardanger fiddle, violin) and Sofia Jernberg (vocals). Olav Luksengård
Mjelva began playing this instrument in his early youth and later founded an ensemble
specialized in fiddle music from Scandinavia and the Shetland Islands. Sofia Jernberg is a
Swedish singer and composer of experimental music. With a guest playing Hardanger fiddle
you may have a clue of what to expect here. Indeed they turn to traditional folk music for this
project. Except for one track, all material is traditional. For this project, the orchestra had
following members: Ole Morten Vågan (bass), Lucy Railton (cello), Jens Linell and Tor Haugerud
(drums, percussion), Alexander Zethson (piano), Espen Reinertsen (saxophone, bass clarinet),
Eirik Hegdal (saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet), Eivind Lønning (trumpet), Kari Rønnekleiv
(violin, Hardanger fiddle). The project was premiered at the Vossa jazz festival in 2012 and
recorded two years later in The Rainbow Studio. This recording is now finally released by
Grappa. All music is based on traditional Hardanger fiddle music from Røros and Hallingdal, in
arrangements by Sofia Jernberg, Alexander Zethson and Lene Grenager. The traditional melodic
tunes are cleverly arranged and transformed along with jazzy parameters. Hardanger fiddle is
mostly associated with this traditional music. With this project, they are trying to make the world
bigger for this instrument and its traditional repertoire. This led to a recording of very vivid and
playful ensemble music. This is very joyful and uplifting music and for sure a successful exercise
in interconnecting folk and jazz. (DM)
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A few weeks ago, in Vital Weekly 1214, we had a new release by Matt Shoemaker to review and
now there is a new one by the Elevator Bath label. Three years after Shoemaker decided to end
his life it is good to see that he's not forgotten. The previous album was all about field recordings
and this is all about modular synthesizers; at least that's what I think. There are two pieces, part
one and two of the title piece, and each almost thirty minutes long (maybe intended to be cassette
release, I was thinking). Within these pieces, Shoemaker takes us on a journey through different
countries, fields, colours or shapes (you can pick). Metallic rumblings are being fed to the
electronics, there are perhaps some field recordings or feedback and we tumble down the
factory chimney, down the mineshaft with some far-away sound and in the second piece, there is
a lengthy excursion outside, via some empty and spacious quiet walk, following water recordings
going into a mighty crescendo. The first part is where most of the action is; this is the mechanical
side of the music, clinking and clanking away, but all with a considerable slow pace. Slow and
minimal as it is, there is always movement in his music. At every point, something else seems to
be leaking in, slowly, carefully but once there it seems so natural like it always has been there.
This is some powerful music, offering lots of variation in terms of sounds, treatments and just an
excellent job. Elevator Bath notes that this might be the last thing to be released from his legacy
and it's quite sad to realize there is nothing more of this. (FdW)
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AKB - MARIANERGRAVEN (CD by Lamour Records)

The band name here is an acronym, which stands for Anna-Karin Berglund. She is from Gävle in
Sweden and she had a release on Lamour Records before, which didn't make it to these pages.
She plays ambient music with the big A and she goes down the Mariana trench, the deepest of all
in the Pacific sea to find inspiration for the eight pieces of music here. It is music in the best
tradition of Brian Eno, his children and his grandchildren. This is music that could fit perfectly on
a label such as Hypnos, twenty years ago. It is good music, that is sure, but also something one
has heard before and a lot of times. The carefully played keys that sustain on end (or as a sound
guy at festival once asked: 'is the next act also like listening to sea waves?') and tracks that
sometimes seem to flow into each other, even when the cover seems to indicate that all of these
are, more or less, unique, each having a title. Listening to this I realize, not for the first time, that is
damn difficult to do something within the realm of ambient music that makes a difference with
what we already know in this field. That 'something' is not done by AKB, but for all I know, it is
not her intention to do such a thing and all she wants to do it play some fine, dark and
atmospheric soundtrack about the deep and dark sea. As such she delivers a wonderful album,
with some elegant sombre steps to be made, all those miles below sea level. (FdW)
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Rev Lab is a Dutch label, run by designer Bas Mantel under the wing of Aagoo Records. The
covers are made in collaboration with the musicians and the music, in this case, a poster with
"separate patterns, isolated in a continuous flux haunting each other towards a leading junction
an intersection which exposes new abstract graphic shapes. The ninth release is a collaboration
between Jerome Noetinger in the reel-to-reel tape deck and Anthony Laguerre on drums. I had
never heard of the latter musician, who also works as a sound engineer. He has worked with
G.W. Sok, Alexei Borisov, Michel Doneda and others. Noetinger is no stranger to these pages
with quite a few releases that sees him working with other people, usually within very abstract
improvised music. From 1987 to 2018 he ran Metamkine, specialized in distributing difficult
music through mail order. In July 2018 they worked for two days at the Centre Culturel André
Malraux in Nancy and set up shop with a reel-to-reel machine, armed with a huge tape-loop,
which allowed Noetinger to do some real-time manipulation of Laguerre's drums. I have seen
Noetinger also use Korg MS-20, but I am not sure if 'electronics' mentioned on the cover is that
instrument. Listening to the music that could very well be the case. I have seen Noetinger a
couple of times, in various configurations and he is surely a master of real-time tape manipulation.
In the seven pieces here the two musicians show how that works, playing the drums and some
real-time manipulation. While some of the sounds end up on tape, others don't and whatever
lands on tape are being played with manual control of the tape, feeding through the electronics,
picking up resulting feedback and the result can be very loud, very distorted but also quiet and
introspective. These two players know what works and what doesn't. They interact in a great way
together, with a great level of control when it comes to using their instruments as well as playing
together. In 'Le Lendemain De La Veille A L'Ouest' they opt for a quiet excursion of gentle tones
and in the closing 'Reveil' for all noise session; both pieces seem to be more electronic, whereas
'Frisson Furtif' dwells more on the sound of the drums, all in a wild rage. The musical parameters
of this are quite diverse and it's a great release altogether. (FdW)
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There is good news and bad news to report. The revived O Yuki Conjugate will not be playing
live a lot this year as Andrew Hulme, one half of OYC will be directing a biopic based upon Cosey
Fanni Tutti's book 'Art Sex Music'. See, that is bad news and good news in one sentence. Other
good news is the re-issue of their classic (I know, overused word) LP 'Into Dark Water' on vinyl
(after it was re-issued on CD in the mid-'90s in combination with tracks from 'Undercurrents'), plus
two extra tracks in the download. Here, on this album, O Yuki Conjugate end their first phase,
starting as a messy, lovely post-punk experimental unit and slowly evolving into this ambient
group, which dwells heavily upon percussion, flutes and lots of electronics. That results in a most
mellow sound, with some great tribal-inspired drumming and watery synthesizers, beautiful eerie
soundscapes. Fourth world music? You may freely use that term if you want for this music, but a
song as 'Zone' (bonus track) also shows they didn't lose touch with their experimental side, with a
metallic rumble and lots of reverb. If you missed out on the original, the CD re-issue or the yukis
box set on Vinyl On Demand, then this is certainly something to have. The music is now more
than thirty years old and yet it still sounds remarkably fresh. That's the definition of 'timeless
classic'. (FdW)
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There was a time when the name Koji Asano was mentioned a lot in these pages; there was a
time when it was not and there was a time when I thought he made a comeback, but it turned out
he didn't. The last time I reviewed some of his music was back in Vital Weekly 874, but looking
on Discogs he has been active since. 'Alliance' is the 62nd release. From what I remember from
his last few releases, all those years ago, he was more and more delving into composing for
instruments again, mainly string instruments. Here he returns to the world of electro-acoustic
treatments and all of these pieces deal with 'energy', as the titles read 'Wind Power', 'Bioenergy',
'Hydropower' etc. Sometimes we hear that in the music, such as the water sounds in
'Hydropower', but there are water sounds in more pieces, so I am not sure there. 'Wind Power'
certainly has a mechanically played wind instrument and 'Bioenergy' environmental sounds. It
seems there is also some sort of instrument being played, but also in a mechanical way, driven
by the power source mentioned in the title. There might be political or environmental connotations
here, but other than the name of the musician and the seven titles, nothing else is mentioned. In
these pieces, Asano works with loops of sound sources (water, mechanics, repeating banging on
surfaces), which are treated a lot, but staying within their form they first appear in. Maybe due to
voltage control speed is minimally altered, but that's it. All of these pieces are four to six minutes
and that is a wise choice. It's not too short and not too long; it is the right length to keep one's
attention. It is all a bit obscure and curious but at the same time most enjoyable. I am not sure
what prompted him to release this on a CDR as in recent years he did a lot of digital-only
releases, but it is altogether quite nice. I wonder if he goes into hibernation again now. (FdW)
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STAR TURBINE - SPACE RAGAS (cassette by Steep Gloss Records)
CLAUDE & OLA - BOTH - AND (cassette by Steep Gloss Records)

With these new releases (the third and fourth from the label) I understand what Steep Gloss is
about; it is a label that is only interested in releasing collaborative works. The first three are by
[name] & [name], but the fourth release is by Star Turbine, the on-going collaborative work by
Claus Poulsen and Sindre Bjerga. So, yeah any collaboration by two people is by nature a
collaboration; duh! Last year I had the pleasure to see Star Turbine for the first time in concert
and now have a bit more of an idea what it is they are doing. Bjerga uses all the tools he uses in
his solo concerts; cassettes, Dictaphone, drones and microphones, whereas Poulsen's set-up, is
more complex with a combination of analogue electronics and digital technology. They take their
time in exploring sounds and configurations within a limited set of means. The five pieces here
are another proof of that. There is an interesting element of improvised music here. In 'The Organ
Has Been Drinking' it seems as if one of the two plays saxophone but I am sure it has more to do
with exploring metallic surfaces with objects and amplifying that. The result is great (if not a bit
long at fourteen minutes), an excellent piece of heavyweight improvised music. In 'Evening Raga
(Violin Failure)' and 'Afternoon Raga (Organ Failure)', Bjerga uses his metal object with strings as
a violin, while Poulsen adds a furious blast of electronics to the balance the thing. The other two
pieces find them in a spacier mood, exploring small sounds versus big drones and is more akin to
their previous work and are their usual great sonic exploration.
           Something entirely different is the release by Claude and Ola. I didn't know their music but I
reviewed recently a magazine they put did, Deft Esoterica (Vital Weekly 1209), which I quite
enjoyed. I understood from the magazine they were also active in music, but I had no idea what it
was. I am not sure if this tape is what they do all the time. From the Bandcamp page, I understand
that this from the early days, and have since expanded their musical interests and instruments. It is
a duet for piano and modular synthesizer, in nine relatively short pieces. Within these pieces, the
piano will always sound like a piano and the modular synthesizer is not out there to alter the sound
of the piano playing; at least that's what I believe. Both instruments sit next to each other. The piano
is played with some grace, fairly traditional, almost like it is played in a restaurant, a bit smooth.
Smooth, but also with some odd pacing and spacing between the notes. The modular synthesizer
is used quite modest, with only a few sounds here and there, bubbling, freaking but in such a
volume that it is also not always to be noticed. It supports the somewhat melancholic touch of the
piano but also adds a sufficient weirdness element to it all. (FdW)
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PHILIP SULIDAE - LE VOILE (cassette by Audio Visuals Atmosphere)
PHILIP SULIDAE - LA RIDGEWAY WELLE (cassette by Sounds Against Humanity)

Having your label to release your music is great, but it is also a vehicle to get to other labels. That
80's cassette network principle applies these days for a similar network of cassette labels. Here
Philip Sulidae from Australia releases on Belgium's Audio Visuals Atmosphere and Sounds
Against Humanity from Italy. They are two very different releases, even there is not a lot we
know about them. The first ten minutes longer than the other and as usual the label has a fine
yet vague description on Bandcamp; "Uncovered greyscale concoctions in a continual labyrinth
of hexagonal proportions. Sculpted fragments were thrown against the substratum of centuries
past. Sparse angles are draped in solemn energy while strange signals cover held beliefs.
Altering dissonant states of veiled reverberations will remain to collect dust. Ominous treats in
the engine of the mind recall features of a preserved memory." Read into that what you will, I
guess. The six pieces range from four to six minutes and throughout is very quiet and consisting
of drones, crackles and has very much a nocturnal feeling to them. It is as if Sulidea sat down on
the edge of an urban environment, with a microphone captured movement in the grass and back
home amplified the rumble of the city from far away to create the element of drones. As usual, I
might be wrong of course. The six pieces are called 'Neamhchinnteacht', which, is Irish for
'uncertainty'. The fact that Sulidea calls these parts with the same title, ties them in together; six
approaches of the same thing and each quite different from the other. Not just nocturnal playback.
           How different is 'Le Ridgeway Welle', with two pieces, 11:50 both of them, and one is
called 'Elsendita Clean' and the other is 'Elsendita Dub', the latter only available on this cassette
and not in the download it seems. The cover lists the various bits of equipment used, "Zoom H2,
Tascam DR-60D, Rode NTG2, various binaural and contact microphones, computer and software".
I would think that this is very much a recording from around the house where Sulidae puts his
microphones in the walls and picks up the electric whirring of cables, machines and such. All of
this is high-pitched material, with underneath chaos, only to be found in the animal world. It's loud
and it is dirty and I like it very much. This seems a more unusual work for Sulidae (I admit I didn't
hear his entire output), but it makes great sense to do something different. The 'dub' version, to be
honest, I have no idea what to make of it. It's not dub in a way that Lee Scratch Perry would learn
you. It might, and again, I might be wrong, that Sulidae uses some alternative filtering system on
the original but keeps the composition as such intact. Odd, but most enjoyable as well. (FdW)
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TERRITORIAL GOBBING/BRIAN RURYK (split cassette, private)

A tape packed in an old crumpled up envelope, hand stamped. This is the work of slightly
outsider guitar player Brian Ruryk from Toronto, who splits the tape here with Territorial Gobbing.
I believe the latter is a personal project and instruments used are "voice, contact microphone,
hearing aide, whatever). 'Having A Normal One Online', is the title of a piece that lasts just over
fourteen minutes. Think electro-acoustic, think noise, think sound poetry; throw that together and
there you may have the music of Territorial Gobbing. It’s heavy on the noise as much as it is
heavy on the use of voices. It sounds like a solid piece of demented noise poetry, if not, perhaps,
a bit long for what it tries to communicate. I was reminded of Sindre Bjerga here, but rougher and
noisier if you can imagine that.
           Ruryk's instruments are "tape, refuse, unwashed guitar)" and he offers in the same time-
frame of fourteen or so minutes nine shortish and longer pieces of what he calls "music, noise,
foley and hazard". His approach is that of an old punk guitarist with a very adventurous mind. His
guitar can sure as hell howl and blast way, but around it, where he uses many strange sounds.
More than once I had the impression that he records everything on a reel-to-reel recorder and
now and then gives the whole thing a twirl, speeding the sound up or down, or scratching the tape
and that gives the music quite an energetic feel; that is what is for me the element of punk music
here. Sometimes he can leap into the beginning of a real song, but he is hell-bent on ruining it
anyway. Since this is a tape it sounds like an endless wild sound collage; just like the other side,
but even more, scattered around the place. (FdW)
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The compilation corner;

Ah, compilations. They still arrive here, no matter how often I say that I don't like reviewing
compilations. I understand the need to release them, to promote your label for instance. To
promote a country and it's musicians. And more remixes! Here's an example of combing the two;


For once I will not play the grumpy old man and whine about remixes. As I always say, I
understand the need for them; to create them and to play them. In the world of Bass Communion,
I would think, the word 'remix' is probably considered not to be cool, so they rather speak of
'reconstructions and recycling', which are terms I enjoy. It has that 80's ring to it when working on
sounds and re-uses them over and over was called 'recycling'. Steven Wilson is not known, I
should think, for the people who read Vital Weekly, as a guy who is famous for his rock songs
and re-masters from old prog-rock records (well, to some surely) but his Bass Communion
project was reviewed quite a bit over the years here. It is his corner for all things dark, ambient
and less ambient. Wilson is a man who loves this kind of music and knows all about it (actually
he’s a man with a very wide taste in music). It should not be a surprise that the remixes here are
by people who are big in 'this' music scene; Lull, Monolake, Carbon Boy, Bola, Rapoon, Bla
ck Faction, Rhinoceros, Vidna Obmana, Experimental Audio Research and Jonathan Colcelough
& Colin Potter. This double CD is an expanded re-issue from a 2003 release. Back then a single
CD, now the tracks from Scorn and E.A.R. appear in a longer version, so a double set is justified.
The music is of course based on the earlier work of Bass communion and I quite enjoyed the
variety of approaches here. People like Bola, Black Faction and Monolake focus on a more
rhythmic approach here, taking the material into a more 'dance' scene, or Scorn's all out dub
rhythm tracks, exactly what a remix should do (in my humble opinion). The ambient side isn't
ignored either, by Vidna Obmana, E.A.R., Lull, Coleclough/Potter, Carbon Boy with a varying
degree of darkness; dark ripples but also with finer crackles such as by Rapoon, who is in a
surprising light mood. Rhinoceros sounds lovely dated but so it goes. All in all, these are all
great remixes. The sun is shining and the music makes that I am in a good mood! So it should
be. (FdW)
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PSYCHOTROPES  2 (cassette compilation by Alrealon Musique Records)

When I reviewed the first volume of Psychotropes (Vital Weekly 1101), I thought it was released
by Continuum Records, but for one reason or another, I now learn it is on Alrealon Musique
Records. For the same amount of postage, they could have sent me three CDs, non-compilations,
but it's still traditional music marketing thinking that labels believe sending out a compilation will
bring so much more information about their different artists. Maybe it does, in the real world, not
in this corner. Again, this new compilation has nine pieces by Indonesian artists Resk, Ayamkaili,
Room Temperature, Joe Million X Indra Menus, Gigahertz, Mencurigation, Grintabachan,
Darahrawa, and Uhyeah!, while the New York area is represented by Vx Bliss, Charmaine Lee,
Compactor, Gerd, Spreaders, Mike Sidnam, Sandy Ewen, Octonomy, Matt Luczak. With the
Indonesian label, Hasana Editions recently sending music for review one could easily believe
there is something of an underground music scene over there. That is great news. It is not easy
to tell these pieces apart, as this is throughout a tape with lots and lots of loud noise and with
that we get lots of feedback, distortion, screaming vocals and loud, vicious synths and guitars (I
am not sure there). Quickly I lost count where I was, so it's hard to indicate that highlight or the
one being a bit different than the others. Unfortunately, there is no streaming version on the
Bandcamp site, so we are a bit in the dark here. That is a pity, especially if reviewing
compilations is a task not done being over the moon with joy. (FdW)
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'Less than Vital – music [not] reviewed outside our box'

ALIEN MUSTANGS - SHADOWS (12" by To Pikap Records)

"It has been 7 years since Alien Mustangs' debut 7”, though it seems like time stands almost
still into their hypnic (sic) universe. Lazy slides, recurring bass lines and stoned tempos are
dressing the scenery of their new 12” single with the anticipated levels of fuzz. A perfect
prescription indeed."
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