number 1286
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week 21
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NIGHT SCIENCE VI (magazine & CD by Cipher Productions)
VALINHO/VICENTE/DOS REIS/LUCIFORA - LIGHT MACHINA (CD by Multikulti Project) *
LE BRUIT DES DOFS – LA COMBINATRONIQUE (CD by Circum Disc)
RAS MOSHE BURNETT & DAFNA NAPHTALI – FUSEBOX (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)
IAN NYQUIST - ENDLESS, SHAPELESS (CD by Laaps) *
ASMUS TIETCHENS & MIKI YUI - NEUES BOOT (CD by Tal Music) *
BRIAN PARKS & PHILLIP SCHULZE - TASTATURSTUECKE VOL. 1 (CD by Tal Music) *
MATT WESTON - FOUR LIES IN THE EAVESDROP BUSINESS (2LP by 7272 Music)
O.R.D.U.C. - SHIFTING TIMES (LP by Motok)
TEAR APART TAPES (LP by Futura Resistenza)
LASZLO UMBREIT, SIRAH FOIGHEL BRUTMANN & EITAN EFRAT FEATURING THE RAMIREZ BROTHERS - SEEMINGLY STILL (LP by Audio Mer) *
LANCE AUSTIN OLSEN & BARRY CHABALA - A FIELD OF WILD FLOWERS FOR OUR LOST SOULS (CDR, private) *
JOE HASSICK - SKINWALKER (CDR, private) *
GARRETT CAMERON - BLANKETED, FROST VOL1-3 (CDR, private) *
DAVE CLARKSON - A POCKET GUIDE TO WILDERNESS (cassette by Linear Obsessional) *
CINCHEL - A LONG AWAKENING (cassette by Superpolar Taips) *
ZIGRA - ENIF (cassette by Superpolar Taips) *
KOSMOSE - FROM QUIETNESS TO CHAOS (cassette by Insane Music) *
KOSMOSE - A SONIC SLICE OF TIME (cassette by Insane Music) *
BENE GESSERIT – EXP1 - A HIGH, HAPPY , PERVERSE AND EXPERIMENTAL CRY OF JOY  VOLUME 1 (cassette by Insane Music) *
BENE GESSERIT – EXP1 - A HIGH, HAPPY , PERVERSE AND EXPERIMENTAL CRY OF JOY  VOLUME 2 (cassette by Insane Music) *
THE CONDUITS - SLIDE THROMBOSIS (cassette by Steep Gloss) *
GUSTAVO COSTA & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - LUMINOSA ESFERA (cassette by Steep Gloss) *
NASSSAU - HEDI SPIELT KOSMOLIN (cassette by Ana Ott)


NIGHT SCIENCE VI (magazine & CD by Cipher Productions)

One of the reasons I enjoy reading 'zines like Night Science is to learn about artists that I maybe hadn't heard of before. If the 'zine does its job, I end up seeking out new music after reading the interviews about them. Night Science VI is a 124-page perfect-bound book produced by Chris Groves of Tasmanian noise label Cipher Productions. It's immediately apparent why this is only the 6th issue of Night Science since it began in 2002. From the professional layout to the depth of the interviews and massive reviews section, this is no thrown-together punk fanzine. Groves is usually good at balancing articles about known and newer artists; you can check out an interview with someone whose work you already enjoy and end up following new paths to younger or more obscure creators. It's especially helpful that each issue comes with a CD compilation featuring some of the artists interviewed in the 'zine's pages. In this new issue, the CD is a thoughtfully curated compilation; it flows nicely from start to finish as a single hour-long program with no two tracks sounding too similar. The very first track is by Torba (aka Mauro Diciocia), whose exciting and original "Gnotmjent" is a knotty glorp of shifting-velocity tape junk that sets the bar pretty damn high right out of the gate. It's followed by a no-frills overdriven noise blurt explosion by Shane Church as Hostage Pageant. Church also closes the album with a remarkable anti-music tape-loop piece under the name Still Image. My preference is for the Still Image track, a bizarre off-balance atmosphere of a few elements cycling over one another. Elsewhere, on the compilation is a nasty sneer by leering pervert Taeter, a menacingly tense track called "Mire" by Spiteful Womb (New York-based artist Nora Egloff), and a Purgist's deep synthesizer drones punctured by disorienting white-noise blasts. The album's real shocker is the thrilling live recording of Toshiji Mikawa, which is not the full-bore screech you might expect from half of Incapacitants... his track is a linear series of discrete events and small, wiggly movements that recall the live electronics of David Tudor, Morphogenesis, Gert-Jan Prins or Gunter Mueller. (HS)
––– Address: https://cipherproductions.storenvy.com



VALINHO/VICENTE/DOS REIS/LUCIFORA - LIGHT MACHINA (CD by Multikulti Project)
 
Recently we reviewed the Multikulti Project-release ‘Suicide Underground Orchid’ by Ikizukuri & Susanna Santos Silva. Now we again focus on a Portuguese project released by this same Polish label. This time we are talking of a quartet of João Valinho (drums), Luís Vicente (trumpet), Marcelo dos Reis (electric guitar) and Salvoandrea Lucifora (trombone) from Sicily. The CD starts with ‘Machine Girl’, the shortest of three improvisations (9:06). It opens with cyclic motives on trombone. In the background, a percussive sound texture arises and trumpet and trombone start to dialogue. Guitar adds repetitive motifs that played with increasing dramatic effects as the end comes more nearby. ‘Raingoat’, the third and longest excursion on this release, starts from a dialogue between trumpet and trombone. The interaction becomes more dynamic when the drums join in. Further on rumbling guitar and drums create a sort of constant flux, like a stream that gradually becomes more intense. On top trumpet and trombone are immersed in a captivating dialogue. When the culmination point is reached, guitar and drums make a new start in a subtle communicative interaction. Great work and a fine example of collective improvisation. (DM)
––– Address: https://multikultiproject.bandcamp.com/



LE BRUIT DES DOFS – LA COMBINATRONIQUE (CD by Circum Disc)

Le Bruit des Dofs is a collaboration of three musicians from the jazz scene of Lille: Jean-Louis Morais (guitar, compositions), Olivier Verhaeghe (bass) and Charles Duytschaever (drums). As Le Bruit des Dofs they play already together for many years, from what I could trace. Both Morais and Duytschaever were members of Vazytouille. All three of them were members of Outre Mesure, a quintet that released two albums in 2009 and 2015. So these musicians know one other very well and no wonder Le Bruit des Dofs makes the impression of a tight trio. Now they present their debut album of electric music keeping the middle between jazz and rock. It reminded me most of the avant-rock as we know it from RIO-related groups from the 80s -90s. They are not so much into opening new perspectives, but they offer a bunch of solid compositions in a very capable and often groovy performance. Especially the edgy guitar playing by Morais impresses. (DM)
––– Address: https://www.circum-disc.com/



RAS MOSHE BURNETT & DAFNA NAPHTALI – FUSEBOX (CD by Gold Bolus Recordings)
 
Ras Moshe Burnett (tenor saxophone & flute) and Dafna Naphtali (electronics & live sound processing, voice) present their first recording, a result of more than 15 years of collaboration as a duo. Ras Moshe Burnett coming from a musical family, is a composer, playing mainly saxophone and flute as a performer. He worked with William Hooker, Karl Berger, Stefan Christoff, William Parker, Anaïs Maviel, etc. He runs his own projects as well and is an organizer of the “Music Now”-series in Brooklyn that is dedicated to free jazz and new music. Naphtali is a singer, electronic musician, composer and improviser. She operates in many musical fields and contexts with a special interest in electro-acoustic music. Considering this last activity, the duo-format with acoustic instrumentalists seems to function best for her electro-acoustic investigations. She worked for example with Hans Tammen, Jen Baker (trombone), Gordon Beeferman (piano), Chuck Bettis, Edith Lettner (saxophone)  a.o. Also, her collaboration with Ras Moshe Burnett is one of playing the game of integrating live sound processing in improvised music. This doesn’t imply that there is a constant activity of processing from start to finish in all nine improvisations. Nor are voice and saxophone constantly manipulated to whatever extent. Throughout there are parts and sections where the playing is purely acoustical. At other moments acoustic sax is accompanied by electronic sounds, etc. So all sorts of combinations are used in their explorations that span a wide range of dynamics. The expressive non-verbal vocals by Naphtali impress. The opening track ‘Hall of Mirrors’ starts from an intimate acoustic dialogue before it is mirrored halfway by the processing manoeuvres. In ‘Stochastic Leap’ Burnett plays an intense solo accompanied by manipulated sounds, followed by a dramatic solo by Naphtali, before Burnett takes over again with his squeaking sax. ‘Shot Fuse’ opens with a vocal movement by Naphtali that is continued by electronic means. In their most extended improvisation ‘Coded Futures’(10:07) some of their most captivating moments occur. Throughout their interplay is very lively, and they succeed in creating abstract improvisations that work as an organic whole. In this explorative session, both performers use different strategies that make their improvisations very diverse, shedding light from different corners on their electro-acoustic music. The session was recorded on December 10, 2017, in New York. (DM)
––– Address: http://goldbolus.com/



IAN NYQUIST - ENDLESS, SHAPELESS (CD by Laaps)

Slowly we can discover a pattern in the releases of the French label Laaps. Many of their releases (about ten so far)  deal with an interesting combination of electronics, ambient music, real instruments and also, to some extent, vocals. I reviewed a previous work by Nyquist in Vital Weekly 1170 on Laaps' predecessor label, Eilean Records). On this new album, there are no instruments mentioned, but I suspect this is all along similar lines of his previous record, so it includes (perhaps!) harmonium, violin, guitar, zither, field recordings, electronics and a bit of voice. Nyquist continues to create music that has all the right markings of a Laaps release. It is ambient, a bit modern classical, and hits all the buttons, while, just like his album, there is also some intense playing going. Nyquist has a personal sound, I should think, and adds an emotional edge to his music; I blame the use of voice here. Sometimes the music leans more towards the computer-processed variation, and sometimes it is acoustic and in between he works with all the variables, thus adding quite a bit of variation to the music and yet maintaining to keep the album coherent. All of this makes that this album is a like journey, a personal one for Nyquist, but one we can follow also. If anything, this album is far from 'endless, shapeless'; I have no idea why Nyquist choose that title. The music is dense, in a great shape and far from endless, unless, perhaps, he has a great vista from his studio. Lovely record! (FdW)
––– Address: https://laaps-records.com/



ASMUS TIETCHENS & MIKI YUI - NEUES BOOT (CD by Tal Music)
BRIAN PARKS & PHILLIP SCHULZE - TASTATURSTUECKE VOL. 1 (CD by Tal Music)

If I am not mistaken then this might be the first female collaborator for Asmus Tietchens, which is remarkable if you think about it. It could have happened much sooner. Yui was born in Tokyo in 1971 and since 1994 she is based in Düsseldorf, Germany and she works within the field of 'small sounds', and as such that is a good pairing with herr Tietchens. Something else out of the ordinary for Tietchens is the fact that there are titles for each track, and not the usual same title for all, with '1', '2' etc. behind it. The titles are surprisingly poetic, so I assume more something to do with Yui. Mentioned are both Audioplex Studio in Berlin and MY Studio in Düsseldorf, but judging by the music, it is Tietchens who is responsible for the result, like he is in almost all of his collaborative works. The title translates as 'new boat', and maybe that accounts for the field recordings used in the seven pieces here. Also in another way, there is a difference. Whereas in many of his collaborations Tietchens transforms minimal sound events into well-thought-out small blocks of 'reduced music', in this one, something of the opposite happens. Here it seems that some material is untreated, or at least not by him, but that Yui appears on a more equal level as a composer of the overall sound. This is quite interesting, as it effectively becomes a work that we don't hear a lot from Tietchens; and I heard quite a lot of his music. The seven pieces are delicate approaches to computer treatments of sound, with some high and low end leaping out of it, and some field recordings shining through. I would not be surprised if these field recordings are made out of material that includes water and boats. By the sound of it, I would say it does. Throughout a most enjoyable disc and for those who want their Tietchens releases to be a bit different, I'd say, this one surely is.
    Also on Tal Music, a label run by Stefan Schneider of Mapstation/Kreidler/To Rococo Rot fame since 2016, is a work by Brian Parks and Phillip Schulze. The latter we know from various of his double LP releases, full of computer treatments (Vital Weekly 1225 for instance) and of Brian Parks I had not heard before, but in my defence, this is his first release. He plays the organ and harpsichord here. I believe they play together, at the same time, and this is not a case of sound processing work by the computer of whatever Parks is playing. The two met when they were studying with Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton. The music on this record was recorded in three different churches in Düsseldorf, so the space of the recordings sometimes also adds to the music. This is some very strange music. I don't know what to make of this, to be honest. Throughout the music is very 'normal', almost in a modern classical way, even baroque when the harpsichord is played and the computer stretches some sounds a little, or add odd textures to the music. That all in a very minimal way, usually slow but in the final piece, 'Activated Progression 1', also more rhythmic, like in a sort of Steve Reich-inspired way. I enjoyed some of the more abstract approaches by this duo, such as 'Partials Chorale No. 1', but was less enamoured by the baroque 'Ranking Study mvt 2', or 'Grades And Terraces'. I might very well miss a point or to here. However, I can imagine that for a very daring listener of very modern classical music this is something very worthwhile to check out. (FdW)
––– Address: http://talmusic.com



MATT WESTON - FOUR LIES IN THE EAVESDROP BUSINESS (2LP by 7272 Music)

To say that Matt Weston is a drummer working with improvised music isn't doing him much justice. In recent years I have been enjoying his music quite a bit, and I am not the in-house expert on all things improvised. His work has evolved from improvised music to musique concrète in which there is a big role for percussion. Weston's work is sometimes site-specific, using vast spaces to work in. In the opening piece, 'We Are Armed', we hear the drums set up in such a space, far away, until he also uses sound that is recorded in the proximity of the microphone. I would think that Weston uses various layers of sound material to tell his story in music. He also applies techniques from the world of musique concrète, such as loops, speed change, reversing of sound and (maybe) even electronic treatments. 'Celluloid Caller' reminds me of the music of P16.D4, which in my book is always great news. The various elements that have been improvised here receive additional treatment and as such the music has a collage-like character.  Applying extended techniques from the world of improvised music is also something Weston; rubbing materials upon the skins, using the natural reverb to let the material shine, adding depth to the music. Sometimes the music has very little to do with drumming, such as the objects in 'You Tried To Fix The Paranoia', cracking around plastic objects and distorted voices. In 'Solitary Vulture', the other piece on the third side, we hear water sounds in the background and carefully constructed feedback sounds to go along with that, slowly growing in intensity. The one-piece that goes out to drumming appears on the last side, the only one with one long piece, in which the drums roll on and there is an added level of distortion, which makes this almost into a spikey punk rock song, but it gets off the rails and offers more chaos. I quite enjoyed that tribalistic ending to a highly varied record; four sides on this record showcasing the excellent music of Weston. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.7272music.com



O.R.D.U.C. - SHIFTING TIMES (LP by Motok)

About a month ago I reviewed a preview cassette of this LP, and now I am happy to report that the album arrived. Nico Selen, the heart of O.R.D.U.C. wrote some interesting liner notes to this album, in which he reveals that before he started O.R.D.U.C. (I believe in 1980) he already recorded music, inspired by the minimalism of Philip Glass and that at time, he had not heard of Steve Reich, and he wasn't aware of 'phase music'. Only twenty years he accidentally bought a CD with Reich's music. He continued experimenting with shifting patterns, polyrhythms in an equal tempo and so on and by 2010 he had enough material for three LPs, but for whatever it wasn't possible to do one LP. The state of the world in 2020 made it possible to finish an album, and that is 'Shifting Times'. With this background information, the music made more sense to me. This is a bit of a different album than many of the previous O.R.D.U.C. releases that I heard over the many years. In the past, there was a fine quirkiness in their music, a wacky sense of electronic pop music, but in LP by this new album, seven pieces strong there is quite a serious tone to be noted. Maybe that too is part of the 2020 pandemic and everything is a bit more serious? The shifting of chords, tones and noise is a bit different from your Glass or Reich (or such) music. O.R.D.U.C.'s music works with a lot of electronics, played by Selen and borrows from the world of cosmic music, bleeping and popping but without the quirky arpeggio's and massive synth clouds. 'Four Warnings' sounds like a bunch of Geiger counters running amok (well, it is still organized!) and 'Solstitium Brumalis' should be played 42 times (it's a pity O.R.D.U.C. still is without a Bandcamp page!). The album ends with 'Deep Night', in which there are no shifting sequenced rhythms, but beautiful dark drone music, which doesn't sound like anything I heard from O.R.D.U.C.  before. The other instruments, guitar (Peer Saer) and drums (Martin Selen) are only sporadically used; Burkhard Jaeger's noise synthesizer might have a bigger role, but I am not sure. I might be biased, but I think this is a great record. It is released in an edition of 107 copies ('107' was a previous LP by O.R.D.U.C.), of which only 86 will be sold. Highly recommended by me to hurry up! (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.motok.org



TEAR APART TAPES (LP by Futura Resistenza)

For odd reasons, the origin of which I am not entirely sure of, I get to review a fair bunch of re-issues. Understandably our chief whip of VW doesn't want to do this LP as he wrote the informative liner notes - he didn't make me say that - about Danny Bosten's Das Ding and his 'Tear Apart Tapes'. On the inner cover it is Danny Bosten, or so I assume, who wrote more liner notes, referring to himself as 'you' a lot of times, which becomes slightly annoying - even when this too is informative. In a nutshell: Danny Bosten started Das Ding and his cassette label in the early '80s; post-punk with a DIY mentality, armed with a drum machine and a synthesizer. He released a bunch of cassettes, then disappeared to do a job as a librarian. His tapes popped up on various blogs in recent years and this lead to resurrecting Das Ding and Tear Apart Tapes, both [mark 2], now doing records and cassettes. Some of these records were collected on this LP, which could serve as an introduction to the man's music; or rather, his and his mates'. Five pieces by Das Ding, two from Les Yeux Interdits and one by Ian Martin. The music consists of sequencer/rhythm-based synthesizer songs, with a bit of melody and, in the case of Les Yeux Interdits, also some vocals. It's all done in a fine 80s style from beyond the post-punk grave. Minimal wave, I think, is what you could this; electro-pop with a few housey influences (in Das Ding's 'Dream Decay', with some great spacious synths), or an in a more contemplative mood on 'Intermission' (which has a duration that seems hardly suited for something called 'intermission'). On this beautiful sunny day down here, this record, with a wonderful variety of tunes went down well with the first cold glass of beer of the day. Let's put both on repeat. (LW)
––– Address: https://futuraresistenza.bandcamp.com/



LASZLO UMBREIT, SIRAH FOIGHEL BRUTMANN & EITAN EFRAT FEATURING THE RAMIREZ BROTHERS - SEEMINGLY STILL (LP by Audio Mer)

Most LPs have two sides, but in this case, these sides are quite different. It is a bit of a puzzle finding out what it is all about. There is one side is music to the film 'Miroir Deb Fragile!', by Sirahl Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat, who also take part in the music, but not instruments are mentioned for them. Laszlo Umbreit (electronics) and The Ramirez Brothers, who are real (or not, akin to The Ramones) brothers; Uzi (guitar), Kitkit (drums) and Sefi (trumpet). However, I also understand this might be a live recording from just Umbreit and the Ramirez three. Liner notes and website information prove to be complicated; well, to me anyway. The other side is the title piece and is "a sound piece based on a four-hands macro stereo recording of a 16mm film playing the film", along with drums by Efrat and sound processing ("no additional electronic sounds") by Umbreit. As said, two very different sides. The title piece I enjoyed a lot. The rattling of the projector and whatever electronic processing applied by Umbreit (none of these musicians I think I heard of before), and the spare percussive elements by Efrat, playing the cymbals and going for a lengthier sustaining sound. It all brings an interesting result, a mixture of acoustic sounds (projector and percussion), and a more drone-based electronic soundscaping, ending up in a free form drum fight. There is a middle ground in which this all blurs together, and we have no much idea of what is what. This is the sort of auditory illusion I enjoy a lot. The piece on the other side is also a freeform music outing, but now with a more rock-like approach until the trumpet kicks in, and it all becomes jazzier. It has that fifties jazz noir styled playing which I don't care much for; it sounds like a worn-out cliché, a stereotype. I'd rather love the others to go and be more upfront in this recording, such as it happens at the start of the piece when there is some great tension between the players. That goes on, with the trumpet playing, but that instrument is a dominant feature most of the time, and it didn't work that well anymore for me. (FdW)
––– Address: http://audiomer.org/



LANCE AUSTIN OLSEN & BARRY CHABALA - A FIELD OF WILD FLOWERS FOR OUR LOST SOULS (CDR, private)

Although all the essentials are mentioned on the cover, something is missing; a label or email or Bandcamp or whatever. There are three pieces here, one by Olsen solo, one by Chabala solo and one by the two of them. Olsen also takes credit for 'concept, text score, and cover painting'. The text score, so I believe, is to be understood as instructions for the performance. In Olsen's solo piece, he plays amplified objects, also in the duo piece, but combined with trainer guitar, while Chabala plays the guitar on both. While there are three titles for these pieces, I can also see some relation between all three of them. The opening piece is 'Fallow Earth', which is the rustling of objects and a feedback loop, all presented modestly and in 'Seeding And Growing', this continues; or at least a variation of the loop, but it is soon joined by the two guitars, playing not very distinctly melodic lines, but add to the somewhat sparse action of the overall piece. It gradually grows in density, but it remains quite sparse. The build-up is strictly linear here. I like its non-dramatic character, and with that title in mind, one could think this is what is happening here. A seed is planted and over ten minutes we watch it grow. Contemplative music indeed and that can also be Chabala's solo piece here, which is almost like a vanishing act, estranging the guitar from the guitar and moving it along waves to distant pastures. It doesn't disappear, but it becomes something else indeed. For some reason, I enjoyed this more at a lower volume, so I noticed with the repeat playings over the last week. (FdW)
––– Address: https://barrychabala.bandcamp.com/



JOE HASSICK - SKINWALKER (CDR, private)

This is the second time that there is music reviewed on these pages by Joe Hassick but the first time by me (see also Vital Weekly 1245). I don't know too much about him, except that he is from New Jersey, has a bunch of releases on his Bandcamp page, and here he's using "tape loops, Yamaha Reface CS, Make Noise O-Coast, field recordings, contact mics, classic baby grand piano, found sound and pedals". He uses samples from a few films /miniseries, 'The Lighthouse and 'Salem's Lot' (one that I recently re-watched actually). There are eleven pieces here and what can be noted is that Hassick a man with a love with a strong love for full volume works. Yet, not exclusively full volume, which is good news, well, for me that is. I would think that Hassick takes his samples left and right and loops these, feeding them through his electronics. He uses jump cuts in his music, cutting abruptly out of a piece, and moving on with something entirely different. Noise sits next to quieter movements, such as 'Distant Bodies'. There is, next to the dynamics of noise and silence, also a plunderphonic aspect to be found in these pieces, and maybe Hassick has a stack of vinyl to abuse as part of his set-up, perhaps taped on a Dictaphone. It is not really musique concrète, but noise concrete, if such a term would exist of course. There is a total of eleven tracks on 'Skinwalker' in only thirty-two minutes. That, for me, was the perfect length of it all. I liked the brief aspect of some pieces, quickly moving forward to the next stabs of sound. For me the point is clear, there is some excellent sonic overload and some creepy textures. Spooky music indeed; 'Skinwalker'? What is that anyway? It could be the title of a horror flick. (FdW)
––– Address: https://joehassick.bandcamp.com/



GARRETT CAMERON - BLANKETED, FROST VOL1-3 (CDR, private)

This CDR is a collection of three EPs that you can download for free on Garrett Cameron's Bandcamp, and it comes in a triangle-shaped cover with absolutely no information. Cameron is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, saxophone, percussion player) with currently a strong love for the vibraphone, "his dream instrument since the sixth grade". He played with William Tyler, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and a bunch of other people I don't know and is one half of the silent film scoring group Duo Approximate and studies Scottish traditional music. The vibraphone is a wonderful instrument, I think, and the metal bars played with soft mallets create some rich soft music. Hearing this album made me wonder why it is not the instrument of choice for other people who work in the field of ambient music. Playing the metallic bars quickly generates overtones and playing notes quicker/quickly these overtones start to overlap and create rich sonic patterns. I am not entirely sure, but I would think that Cameron also uses a bit of electronic on some of these pieces; the additional layers of sound on 'Trail Through' for instance, are reminiscent of computer treatment. Also, I believe that in some of these pieces, or perhaps even all, Cameron uses various layers of recordings to create his music. Not being able to play the vibraphone myself, I would think such is the case, to create some sonic richness of the music. On a slow day such as it is on a bank holiday, no mail, no e-mail and bored with social media (actually, always), it is best to sit back and enjoy the quiet textures of Cameron, in which light and dark shades pass like gentle clouds in the     sky. There are subtle waves of music here in which an obscure musical element aren't hidden but woven into the fabric of the music. I checked some of his other music out on his Bandcamp, which was also interesting but in an entirely different musical field. A most curious discovery. I hope he sticks with the vibraphone for some to come as this was a lovely album. (FdW)
––– Address: https://garrettcameron.bandcamp.com/



DAVE CLARKSON - A POCKET GUIDE TO WILDERNESS (cassette by Linear Obsessional)

Over the years I have reviewed some music from Dave Clarkson, from Manchester (Vital Weekly 1185 and 1117, for instance) and much of his work deals with field recordings. This new one is not different. The subtitle here is 'Deep Forests And dark Woods Of The British Isles', and the cover notes, "sound recorded on location. Some left pure, some processed, some mangled. Field recordings in woods and forests plus voices, fingers and occasional electronics". I would think that occasional can also be understood as 'quite a bit'. The PDF that you get with the download gives some more information on the locations. I can imagine that many readers will have an idea of some kind of how this would sound, but Clarkson does something different and at the same time also not. Sue, there are recordings of birds and wind through leaves here, but Clarkson adds his electronics to add a musical layer to the music. This is very clear in the opening piece, 'Twig Dance', with its sampled snapping of the fingers and twigs, adding a jolly rhythm to the music. This sort of sampling returns in other pieces; not all of them. In 'No Easy Way Out', there is a sort of synthesizer melody, courtesy of processed voices. I very much enjoyed Clarkson's approach here, going for something entirely different approach when it comes to working with field recordings. Not by making it all more abstract, more drone-like, more ambient or noisier, but taking it to the stage where it almost becomes pop; and that it is not. Clarkson keeps his pieces short and to the point, adds melodic and rhythmic touches and remains firmly in the world of field recordings.  Quite an accomplishment! A most remarkable release. (FdW)
––– Address: https://linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/



CINCHEL - A LONG AWAKENING (cassette by Superpolar Taips)
ZIGRA - ENIF (cassette by Superpolar Taips)

This time Superpolar Taips only releases two new cassingles as they call it, short cassettes that last about five minutes in total. For many of these releases, Superpolar Taips surprises me with a lot of new names. Cinchel for instance is one Jason Shanley from Chicago. He is also part of a three-piece group, Mirror Of Nature, and works with Akosuen, all of which I had never heard of. The music as Cinchel is all about guitars and electronics, and in this case, I would think these electronics are to be found in the laptop. Maybe I triggered by the label's comparing to the likes of Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi and Jim O'Rourke, and Mego. On the first side, we find 'tuning in to the calls for help', which has a drone-like character of (triggered, here again, I think) what sounds like radio waves been searched for a station, but none is found. It is hard to hear a guitar in this piece, but sure, maybe it is there. The B-side is 'a new way to listen' (no capitals required) and is a multi-layered guitar piece, going forward and backwards at the same time, in a rather excellent way. It is a simple yet effective piece of music.
    Also from the USA is Jamie Orlando, who calls himself Zigra, and no other information is given then "electronics, knob-twiddling, meticulous glitching and artwork". His two pieces are demonstrations of force with beats that rumble and stumble on top of each other like it is a judo fight and each beat triggers a set of synthesizer values adding further chaos and mayhem. Zigra uses the same approach for both pieces. Although enjoyable and well-made, I must admit it is not my cup of tea. I like my beats to be straightforward and not sparkling around, but I can imagine this would go down well in the alternative club space. (FdW)
––– Address: https://superpolar.bandcamp.com/



KOSMOSE - FROM QUIETNESS TO CHAOS (cassette by Insane Music)
KOSMOSE - A SONIC SLICE OF TIME (cassette by Insane Music)
BENE GESSERIT – EXP1 - A HIGH, HAPPY , PERVERSE AND EXPERIMENTAL CRY OF JOY  VOLUME 1 (cassette by Insane Music)
BENE GESSERIT – EXP1 - A HIGH, HAPPY , PERVERSE AND EXPERIMENTAL CRY OF JOY  VOLUME 2 (cassette by Insane Music)

These four cassettes span the world of Insane Music for about more than 4 decades. Two archival releases by Kosmose and two new ones by Bene Gesserit. I started in the past with the music by Kosmose, Alain Neffe's first music project. Even when I am aware of Neffe's music for almost 40 years I wasn't aware of the existence of Kosmose until in 2015 Sub Rosa released the first double CD (not reviewed) and then EE Tapes a second double CD (Vital Weekly 1111) and quickly another double CD by Sub Rosa (Vital Weekly 1156). I was already aware of more music by this group, and I am happy to fill a long afternoon playing three hours of music by them. The incense and flowers are missing in 2021 (as well in 1976 chez FdW), but otherwise this is all a hippy trippy soundtrack and I love it. There have been various incarnations of the group, always with Alain Neffe on keyboards, but first with Daniel Malempre (also known as MAL), then with Paul Kutzner and Guy Hinant and in the third phase with Hinant (who'd later start the Sub Rosa label). In the good spirit of the free seventies, the music is all one big, free jam session and on the first volume, this results from time to time in a rockist space jam along the lines of other seventies space jammers, with long howling spacious guitars, freaky bass and drum rolls. But there are also spacious quieter pieces, such as 'The 37th Untitled Track', forecasting, perhaps, the music of Human Flesh. On the second cassette, from a bit later, the experimental nature of the music that is already present in the music is pushed to the foreground, and you can hear many of Neffe's later musical interests back in these lengthy space jams. There are elements from Human Flesh, I Scream, Pseudo Code or even Bene Gesserit (perhaps not so much Cortex or Subject) to be found in embryonic stages in the music of Kosmose, but still raw and unbalanced. Sometimes a turn is missed, and the music goes for a head-on collision, but Kosmose gets the cart quickly back on the right track. Three hours of great psychedelic experimental music.
    Fast forward to the present day, and we have Bene Gesserit, Neffe's most active project these days, with Benedict G on vocals. The recent releases by Bene Gesserit I enjoyed quite a bit, especially 'Eccentric????' (Vital Weekly 1029), in which I thought the music had matured further. The voice plays, as ever, a big role in the music, but it came with a lot of sampling of various instruments. On these two new cassettes, sampling doesn't play such a big role but Bene Gesserit goes back to their more experimental roots and work mostly with voice and the on the spot processing of that, along with sparse electronics. If any of their previous works are inspired by Dada, but embedded in more pop music like approach, then this one is Dada in the truer sense of the word. The music is now (again) 'smaller' than the slightly bigger sound approach they displayed in recent years. Benedict G uses looper pedals to sample her voice and sings on top of that, creating at times poetic, ambient pieces, such as 'Temps Réel', and Neffe adds a minimalist synth pattern and weaves together a pattern of dreamy saxophone drones. It all ends with the long 'Tout Doit Partier!!', which harks back to the old Bene Gesserit sound of the 80s, analogue loops, experimental electronics, a sitar and Benedict G meandering about. It is almost a hippy song, which rounds the circle with the old Kosmose releases. Excellent quartet of releases. (FdW)
––– Address: alainneffe@yahoo.fr



THE CONDUITS - SLIDE THROMBOSIS (cassette by Steep Gloss)
GUSTAVO COSTA & ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO - LUMINOSA ESFERA (cassette by Steep Gloss)

Who are The Conduits? We are only told they are "two reclusive characters residing in the American south". They love loops, that is one very clear thing. I am, however, not sure what kind of loops they prefer. These loops can be all analogue, cut from real tape, and placed on the heads of a reel-to-reel machine, but just as easily it can be any kind of digital loop work, ranging from an ancient Casio 2k sampling device to any modern loop station. Steep Gloss provides some more information and that is that "about a third of the sound sources on the album are field recordings captured while travelling on public transportation", eavesdropping on other people's activities and that the rest of the music are looped field recordings from "anomalous weather and atmospheric activities". There are twelve tracks here, taking up an hour of your time, and I didn't mind giving my time to it. It is a weird album, as many of these pieces have similar approaches and, maybe, also similar sounds. Whatever was taped on the subway, it is no longer to be recognized. Loops are cut short (however not as short as Oval once did), and sometimes it seems they only take the residual material, the sounds after the sound; sometimes you only recognize a tiny fragment of a voice, a scream or music, and this comes with a rather nondescript tangling of field recordings and, perhaps, a few electronics. Also, all of these pieces are around five minutes, which may be another thing with their conceptual approach. I enjoy the vibrancy of the loops spinning round and round, as they surely have a lot of them. I guess that is the thing that I found this a fascinating album: the multitude of loops and the variations within a self-imposed concept (which I may not understand entirely). This is surely quite a different take on the whole notion of 'music with field recordings'.
    Less conceptual considerations (I guess) by the Portuguese duo Gustavo Costa (percussion and objects) and Alfredo Costa Monetiro (recordings and walkmans), both no strangers to these pages and who recorded this work on August 28 of last year at Sonoscopia in Porto. 'Recordings and walkmans' sounds a bit vague, I must admit; what did Monteiro capture here? Was it something beforehand or in situ, the playing of percussion by Costa? I must admit I have no idea; it could be, either way, to be honest. There is quite a bit of darkness in these recordings; whether it is the slow percussion moves by Costa or the drone-based electronics by Monteiro, the music is dark and ominous. It is also quite intense at times when Costa plays the cymbals with metallic objects and there is a shrieking high-pitched sound set against the constantly shifting darker drones of Monteiro. Maybe this is the soundtrack of the dark year 2020 was? This duo moves slowly between louder and quieter material, going from rough patches uphill to an easy path in the valley. I found this all quite spooky and horror-like, but that was also the beauty of it for me. This seemed far removed from the world of improvisation that you might associate these musicians with. (FdW)
––– Address: https://steepgloss.bandcamp.com/



NASSSAU - HEDI SPIELT KOSMOLIN (cassette by Ana Ott)

From Mulheim an der Ruhr in Germany comes an 8-piece improvisation group called Nasssau, just like a part of Germany, in a different part of the country and with an 's' less. The group was formed in 2015 at the Makroscope Art Center of the city and they "attempt to find an ever-changing and collective musical language". The cover lists the bandmembers and their instruments; Hedi (kosmolin), Elister (synthesizer), Vomit Heat (guitar), Desktop (bass), Urwald Riese (organ),  Shansa R (guitar), Hipólito (percussion), Eule (throne), and Dmomo (omega beam). Some strange instruments here played with people with strange names. I know, I should leave this with our resident writer of all things improvised and free jazz, but I very much enjoyed the music on offer here. We have here two untitled pieces of music, twenty-two minutes in total. On the first side, there is an excellent big-band free jazz sound, with dominant roles for the organ and the bass (and perhaps for some other instruments if I would have a clue as to how these would sound. It is very chaotic and hectic, this interaction here, but it never becomes really noisy. It gets better on the second side of this cassette, which is more coherent in approach as if the group decided to play the same piece, but now with some agreement as to who is doing what and when. Suddenly all these little melodies pop up, on the guitar, the bass, the organ and so on, and there is an excellent drive behind the music. It is very jazzy and very psychedelic. It goes on and on until after ten minutes it all collapses and everything comes to a fragmented and quiet closing finale. I enjoyed this weird circus number a lot! I would not have minded hearing another one by them, so I put it on repeat. (FdW)
––– Address: https://anaott.bandcamp.com/










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