number 1322
---------------------
week 6
---------------------


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offer a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the releases reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud!




HESSEL VELDMAN - YMUIDEN (CD by Winter-Light) *
LEO OKAGAWA - MINATO (CD by Unfathomless) *
REYNOLS - FIRE MUSIC RELOADED (CD by Auf Abwegen) *
STRAFE FR - SOUNDLESS SPHERE (CD by Auf Abwegen) *
OLLI AARNI - LOPOUT (CD by Laaps) *
YIORGIS SAKELLARIOU - FONS ET ORIGO (CD by Music Information Centre Lithuania) *
MACHINEFABRIEK - OUR ARMS GREW TOGETHER (CD by Machinefabriek) *
ENSEMBLE 0 - POZGARRIA DA (CD by Belarri) *
CRUSH STRING COLLECTIVE - AERIFORM (CD by Barkhausen Recordings) *
MILOSZ PEKALA - MONOPERCUSSION 2 (CD by Bolt) *
PHILIP SANDERSON - PASSIONATE PARTICLES (CD by Klanggalerie) *
NUBDUG ENSEMBLE -VOLUME 2: BLAME (CD by Pest Colors Music) *
G.CALVIN WESTON – HYDROGEN 77 (CDR by Soundscape Recording Lab) *
AMANDA CHAUDHARY – MEOW MEOW BAND (CD by Catsythn) *
ZUKUNFTMUSIK/IM HIER UND JETZT ODER NIE/WENDEPUNKTE (3CD compilation by Edition Degem)
NEIN RODERE - CATH UP WITH WHAT PARY (LP by Horn Of Plenty)
EYES OF AMARYLLIS - SIFT (LP by Horn Of Plenty)
BLOEDLIP (7" by Darcytrash Records) *
THING (CDR compilation by Attenuation Circuit)
THING (CDR compilation by Attenuation Circuit)
PERFECTION OF UNDERSTANDING (CDR compilation by Aural Detritus)
B.P.S. (cassette, private) *



HESSEL VELDMAN - YMUIDEN (CD by Winter-Light)
LEO OKAGAWA - MINATO (CD by Unfathomless)

You may not recognize the name Hessel Veldman, except for his work with Martijn Comes (Vital Weekly 1259) and his LP 'Eigen Boezem' (Vital Weekly 1231). However, his music career started in the seventies when he had a guitar, synthesizer and tape deck. In the 80s, he had projects under his name, Y Create, FNTC (with Willem and Cora de Ridder and Nick Nicole) and the group Gorgonzola Legs, which was a bit more towards improvised music. Besides that, he also ran the Exart cassette label. Later on, he wasn't as prolific when it came to releases. Some of his work was re-issued in recent years, such as the aforementioned LP. 'Ymuiden' is an entirely new work and deals with his home city 'IJmuiden' - slightly different spelling. It is a city that I don't think I have ever visited. Located next to the North Sea, this town has a harbour and an industrial setting, courtesy of a certain steel making factory, whose name is best not mentioned. Pollution and industrial noise don't make this the most pleasant city in The Netherlands. I am sure Veldman agrees and disagrees; you don't leave your hometown all too easily. If you know his old work as Y Create, you might be in for a surprise here. If his old music sounded electronic or even poppy at times, none is the case here. Going around town with a recording device to tape field recordings, which, back home, in the studio are transformed into long passages of drone music. To that end, the only device mentioned is the Korg MS20, a trustworthy device for changing sounds. The outcome is a release with seven pieces of dark ambient music. The field recordings disappear in a haze of time, space, and mist, even when some bid calls start at 'Tongrot'. That is the shortest piece of this release, just under five minutes, and the one seemingly has the prominent feature of untreated field recordings. In other pieces, this is less clear, sinking away in the rubble and dirt of the area; well, metaphorically speaking, of course. Long-form pieces of dark ambient music, with slow developments. Yet, all of these pieces may move like a slow sea on a quiet day, they all move majestically, and like the tides, they are different at the end. I found all of this wonderfully fascinating music, even when in terms of dark ambient, not something that one hasn't come across before.
    I'm not particularly eager to make a habit of lumping things together unless there is an all too obvious connection in the same week. Two days after I wrote the above about Veldman and 'Ymuiden', Leo Okagawa's Minato' arrived. On the cover, we read that this is a work dealing with field recordings around the Yokohama Port; needless to say, also a place I have not visited. After a few hundred years in isolation (except for the trade with the Dutch in Deshima), Japan opened up in 1853 and in 1859, they established the port in Yokohama. The 'harbour' connection is the only thing that connects both releases, and there are some essential differences. First and most importantly, Okagawa doesn't apply any sort of external processing to his sounds. That also means that his sounds are easily identified as activities around the harbour. Most clarifying, of course, the mist horn that starts the piece. The fact that Okagawa has one long piece is another difference, but there are definitely subsections or parts to be noted within this piece. The kling klang of the industrial environment, lifting of containers, railway mechanism, ships docking and the rumble of debris, Okagawa is a keen capturer to paint us a picture of the environment. I doubt that the sounds in this area are different from any other harbour around the world. It is, however, great to hear a work of field recordings from a more industrial ground, as opposed to the umpteenth recording of a rain forest. Great one! (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.winter-light.nl/
––– Address: https://unfathomless.bandcamp.com/



REYNOLS - FIRE MUSIC RELOADED (CD by Auf Abwegen)
STRAFE FR - SOUNDLESS SPHERE (CD by Auf Abwegen)

It is confession time again here at Vital Weekly. When Argentianina band Reynols were around two decades ago, I missed out on much of their music. Not out of no interest or ill-will. I have no idea why not, to be honest. I blame the fact that much of their work came out on labels that didn't send promo's en route to these premises and that many were only limited available. I believe that I reviewed their 'Blank Tapes', but I can't find evidence of that. One of their members has Down's syndrome always made me think it was a gimmick - I am sure I am wrong. 'Fire Music Reloaded' is a re-issue of a work first released by Digital Narcis in 2002, but incomplete. This new version is the complete, six-part version of the piece. Because I wanted to fill the knowledge gap here when it came to the music of Reynols, I spent some time online, playing other music from them. I understood their music to be covering a wider field of musical interests than I remembered. From free noise/rock/folk improvisations to neatly constructed sound pieces, using many similar sources; their '10,000 Chicken Symphony' or 'Blank Tapes'. In the latter category, we find 'Fire Music Reloaded'. There are six tracks of crackling fire sounds, similar to using a truckload full of fire sounds. I attribute this to the early days of laptop music, in which one could finally layer 1000s of sounds together and see what happens. Take the Steve Reich 'Come Out' approach to its extreme. It works very well, I think, here with 'Fire Music Reloaded'. It is both deep and brittle, crunchy if you will. It is removed from the world of musique concrète, and at the same time, it is very much part of it. There is no collage, just density, like a Yves Klein monochrome, but electro-acoustic sources. The music moves from light to dark and back again and is best enjoyed without interruption.
    Also new, also by the excellent Auf Abwegen label, is a new release by old-timers and slow burners Strafe FR; the FR once stood 'Für Rebellion', punishment for rebellion. Bernd Kastner and Siegfried Michael Syniuga started in 1979 in Düsseldorf, more a project than a band. They did concerts and installations, and over the years, they released a few records. It took me a while to 'get' their music, but I was indeed a fan when I was won over. Their interests are cast wide, from science, history, philosophy, and popular culture, and no sound source is sacred. On 'Soundless Sphere', there is much room for the female voice; on seven of the eight tracks, they have a strong presence. There is no easy way to describe what Strafe FR ae doing with their music. I know, it's easy to say 'genre defying', but in this case they. Just as easily, they use a variety of 'real' instruments, guitars, piano, strings, and a lot of electronic sound effects. Plus, there is an abundant use of objects, so this is part of the musique concrète tradition. Yet, in the hands of Strafe FR, that might quickly transform into, well, a pop song. 'Cannot', the opening piece here, is such an example of rhythms borrowed from pop music, a voice singing (and I keep being reminded of a pop song, of which the title eludes me), complete with sound effects (dub music, anyone?), so it never becomes a real pop song. Ambient passages sit next to the rhythmic pieces ('Black Camel' is another strong piece in that direction) or noise; in 'Liquid' they play around with distortion pedals, acoustic objects and alienated voices. All of these strange moves make that this is a highly varied album, a rollercoaster perhaps. I know, again, that I sometimes say that an album is too varied, but in this case, it makes more sense. No doubt part of that makes sense because I know Strafe FR's music from their early days, and that rollercoaster ride is their trademark 'sound'. It would be more surprising if it didn't have that! (FdW)
––– Address: https://aufabwegen.bandcamp.com/



OLLI AARNI - LOPOUT (CD by Laaps)

As I am playing this new release by the French Laaps label, I think this label isn't easy to categorize in one musical style. In recent times we saw the rhythms of Sonae (Vital Weekly 1307), the 'pop' (??) of Zhaaliah (1308) and last week Hanns Buder's cello and voice. Now it's time for Olli Aarni (Vital Weekly 1111 and 1232) to present two long works (did I ever mention all Laaps releases are also available on vinyl? Now you know). Aarni is from Helsinki, where he has a master in arts, the Finnish language to be precise, and "makes sounds, music, video, sound poetry and other things". There is nothing listed on the cover for instruments, but I would think that anything that closely connected to the words 'synthesizers', 'field recordings' and 'reel-to-reel machines' would come in handy if one wanted to try to do the same kind of music. It's slow music, without too much movement, with a fine sharpish edge; you should not think that Aarni plays new age music for one minute. The rusty, decaying sound of old tape loops losing magnetic particles while spinning round and round is something we know from William Basinski and countless others from the field of lo-fi musicians. In Aarni's case, however, I think the synthesizer additions give the music something extra that moves it away from the darker, deeper lo-fi rumble familiar among the musicians here. Aarni's music is both dark and light at the same time. You can perceive it as misty fields or carefully constructed lights shimmering over morning land. Moody? Sure. Atmospheric? Hell, yes! Music for the cold winter's day? If you keep in mind Aarni is from Finland, then the answer would be yes, but I can easily see myself enjoying this in six months when summer's here, and one lies back, longing for a cold beer (or cooler nights) and the mood calls for a soundtrack of slowness. The two titles translate as 'In The Waves' and 'Room Above', so there is not much given there when it comes to 'interpretation'. For me, this is the perfect release for all seasons. (FdW)
––– Address: https://laaps-records.com/



YIORGIS SAKELLARIOU - FONS ET ORIGO (CD by Music Information Centre Lithuania)

Originally from Greece but based in Lithuania is composer Yiorgis Sakellariou. I reviewed his work many times before. His latest work is Latin for 'source and origin' and uses sounds from the river Neri, which runs through Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The other day I had a conversation about field recordings, and one of the conclusions was that water, birds and train sounds are the easiest to capture and therefore used most. Sakellariou writes on the cover music replaced emotional and intellectual functions originally served by mythology and that rivers in myths signify a journey between worlds. He made his recordings in various seasons, including wind and snowfall and city sounds. I must admit the latter is a bit lost on me. As (almost) always, Sakellariou works with the recordings themselves, rather than applying all sorts of processing to the material. I can imagine he uses a bit of colouring via equalization, but otherwise, it is all in the form of a sound collage. Various events run simultaneously (I suppose!) and build towards a crescendo, only to be cut away and replaced by something else. There are two parts here (why not one, I wondered, but given the length of both, I would not be surprised if the intention was for an LP release) and if you expect this to be forty minutes of endless water sounds, which make you want to run for the bathroom, then the good news is: it isn't. There is water dripping and flowing, but the breaking of leaves on the shore, the cracking of ice, all add to the diversity of the music. You could say this is a relatively traditional piece of musique concrète, using familiar sources, but it is another fine, strong work from  Sakellariou. Not his best work, but among his best. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.mic.lt/en/



MACHINEFABRIEK - OUR ARMS GREW TOGETHER (CD by Machinefabriek)

More and more, Machinefabriek's Rutger Zuydervelt composes music in commission for film and television and dance and performance. When it comes to film, I usually complain that not seeing the film makes the music difficult to understand, but today I realized this is not the case with music for dance. Odd, come to think of it, but I am not sure why I feel this way. One explanation I came up with is that, for instance, on this CD, the pieces are longer than on his average film soundtrack CD (well, perhaps any other film soundtrack release, as well). Over there, the music feels sketch-like, whereas on this new release, we have eight fully formed pieces of music. There is also something else to enjoy: the use of a rhythm machine. Not unique in the musical world of Zuydervelt as he used that on his game soundtracks for Astroneer, but here plays a vital role in various of these pieces. It makes for an exciting development for Machinefabriek, going back (perhaps!) to a more song structure and moving away from the lengthy excursions in music. I think there is also a tendency to make the music less careful, which is another development that I enjoy quite a bit. Having said that, the conclusion isn't that Machinefabriek is born again and completely re-modelled. The careful approach, the atmospheric touches, the drones and the tones are still there, but now with the occasional rhythm bursts, the bigger, fatter synth pad (in 'V-ing') or the variety used in samples of real instruments, in 'S-ing'. Hard to identify these, but it all works pretty well. A happily varied release, mixing the best Machinefabriek of old and new. Quite a surprise! (FdW)
––– Address: https://machinefabriek.nu/



ENSEMBLE 0 - POZGARRIA DA (CD by Belarri)

Pozgarria da is a commissioned work by Ensemble 0, bringing several poems by Father Bitoriano Gandiaga to life through Peter Klanac’s composition. Quite literally, as the last track is called, 'I love life' and has a life-affirming quality to it. It’s also the longest track. It needs to be played as loud as possible, featuring physically modelled (church) organs, gamelan, flutes and several percussion instruments. A fugue-like melody in several registers of the organs is interspersed with vocals only or vocals with sparse use of flutes and percussion. At two-thirds of the track, there’s a big crescendo building up to a seeming finale only to be followed up by a voice-only ending. Quite impressive. The tracks before that last one are more spacious in design. The release starts with a Preludio with single notes doubled in the gamelan creating a brooding atmosphere. The melodies of the songs have a folk-like quality to them as if these songs have always existed in the Basque culture.
Fanny Chatelain understatedly sings all the poems. As this is delicate music, this should be listened to in a quiet environment and highly recommended for anyone interested in minimalistic music, Basque culture, and unusual music instrumentation. On a side note: there’s a special edition for sale with the full score of the last piece. Ensemble 0 specializes in contemporary music and has commissioned several works apart from playing compositions by its members. (MDS)
––– Address: https://petarklanac.bandcamp.com/album/pozgarria-da



CRUSH STRING COLLECTIVE - AERIFORM (CD by Barkhausen Recordings)

'Aeriform' is the first release by this string ensemble hailing from Copenhagen. All-female, the musicians proudly look back on a collective 150 years in music. And a collective they are, working outside of any hierarchical, classical format and turning their musical potency to free improvisation. Apparently performing as a sextet, septet (on this recording) or even octet (as eight musicians are listed as members), they use the classical string instruments to create something that stands between contemporary classical music, free jazz improvisation and free music, and post-punk.
Though the titles of the 12 pieces may imply memories of Scandinavian modern composers, as so often drawing on inspiration from nature, they clearly follow an anarchic approach to sound. Nevertheless, the titles set the context and the pieces 'Svarm' and 'Aeriform' create notions of tiny creatures swarming around, using brushing sounds, until strings break into more dynamic sounds. 'Aeriform' establishes an element of lightness by placing single sounds until a building of sound and light evolves.
    Nevertheless, most pieces will build from restrained beginnings to sonic mayhem, reminding of The Ex, such as the opener, aptly named 'Nymphalidae' (Butterflies). 'Solhjul' (sun cross) erupts into something Branca-esque, celebrating sunrise (?), whereas Choral I and II, though in no way following any sacral music rules, create an impression of graveness, supported by the fact that this recording was made in a church in Copenhagen. The fact that we here have more cellos (3) than violins (2), says it all. The other two are violas, by the way.
    Though all this sounds a bit chaotic (well, it actually is) and neither fits the industrial nor classical music categories very well, it has an appeal to it that will bond with free music lovers and sound experimentalists. Though the sight of how the music (sounds) is/are actually made will be reserved to concert settings, the music nevertheless deserves this purely aural release. I look forward to more to come. (RSW)
––– Address: https://www.barkhausenrecordings.com/



MILOSZ PEKALA - MONOPERCUSSION 2 (CD by Bolt)

Though Milosz Pekala is the solo performer on this recording, he plays pieces by a variety of composers, including Thymme Jones (of Illusion of Safety, Cheer Accident, and Brise-Glace fame), Sergio Krakowski, Igor Silva, Pawel Mykietyn, some Ben Zucker (not sure which one).. and actually himself. The release is a follow-up from his 2018 album 'Monopercussion' (who would have thought ..), which included a track composed by Felix Kubin.
    The CD kicks off with 'Radio for vibraphone and tape', and pure sine tones remind of early RasterNoton, which makes you wonder whether the CD title is actually a joke or pun. But a bit into the piece, you begin to realise that the vibraphone mentioned in the title actually produces sounds that are very close to sine tones when handled with care. As more sounds are added, tape snippets join in that have a radio quality to them. Mostly of counting voices, upon which the piece enters into the rythm, creating a trialogue between the counting, the percussion and some remaining electronic (I believe) elements. This is, in fact, quite funny, and rereading the track title, you begin to understand that someone with a sense of humour is at work here, as actually the title would indicate this is a piece FOR the radio, not WITH it. The next track uses more conventional (recognisable) percussion, Casio-like electronic sounds, and again some voice samples. The mood is much more aggressive and uses bursts of noise, alongside quiet passages exploring sound qualities of single sources. As the piece progresses, though, it turns into some sonic mayhem of all kinds of percussion, voice samples, and electronic sounds until it erupts into a snare drum solo, ending with the words 'stop with this shit, please'. As before, the novel quality is the reaction of the music to not only the voices, but actually what they are saying. Not in a necessarily predictive way, apart from the end of track two, of course, which is instantly complied with.
    Track three starts off with synthesiser sine tones and a drum, exploring the equivalence between electronic and percussion sound. But as the piece evolves, the synthesiser sound turns more and more from pure tone to fuzzed sounds, finally pulling the percussion along to speed up and create a feeling of climax. Jones supplies the idea to contrast clicking tones with an ostinato pulse. Both could be purely electronic, or acoustic, or acoustic electronically treated. You begin to cherish the possibilities of wooden xylophones to create various interesting sounds. Track 5 is essentially a field recording (it seems) that is melded with electronic and reverberating sounds that could also be the brake of a tram. Gradually this is augmented by percussive sounds that melt into the soundscape. And again, the title 'Everyday is fiction' plays its own role in the overall picture ... as in the final track, 'Raga'. A deep growling tone forms the base for tuned percussive sounds playing a 'melody' across it.
    Thus we can answer the age-old question: Does Humour belong in music? by turning it around, humour can create interesting music. I can't remember how it ended with Zappa, though. Was he funny or just provocative? (RSW)
––– Address: https://www.boltrecords.pl/



PHILIP SANDERSON - PASSIONATE PARTICLES (CD by Klanggalerie)

I like Austria's Klanggalerie label because they are not strictly a re-issue label, even when a considerable part of their catalogue is about giving old releases a new life. They also like their old artists to release new music, which is great. Please don't stick to your old guns, but also care about new music, as we will see today and in the next few weeks; I got a few of their recent releases. Today I'd like to start with Philip Sanderson. As you may know, Sanderson began his musical career in the late 70s with the Storm Bugs and his Snatch Tapes label. For many years he worked his own name (next to a more ambient oriented side project as Ice Yacht), and 'Passionate Particles' can be seen as a re-issue but not of one particular old release. Rather, it is a collection of pieces from the last twenty years that found their way to a plethora of formats (LP, cassettes, downloads, CDR). I enjoyed Storm Bugs in the past, but Sanderson's work is totally my thing. It is a no-brainer that I picked his album first from the bundle of Klanggalerie. Since the release of 'On One Of Those Bends' (Vital Weekly 1177), I have paid particular attention to his work. There is something lovely pop music about his work. I recently (Vital Weekly 1290; two of the pieces from that cassette are also on this CD) connected to Sparks, especially in his vocal delivery. That is not yet as strong on the sixteen pieces on 'Passionate Particles', except for the two pieces from Not Even My Closest Friends', but poppy it certainly is. Not the naff kind that is popular with the kids these days, but lovely music for adults. All electronic and sometimes instrumental bring a fine balance to the album. I would think that if you love Sparks or The Residents (who have a strong presence in the Klanggalerie as well), Sanderson's music will go down well, even without the guitar parts that these days seem to play a more significant role with The Residents (so I am told, not being the biggest fan there; odd, come to think of it). Sanderson's music isn't per se uptempo and upbeat, but moody and introspective, next to being quirky and pleasant; another excellent act of balancing there. Obviously, you'd find none of these tunes in any top ten, which is a great pity. This is precisely the sort of music that deserves a bigger audience; if only the world would listen! Today it rained a lot, but this release put a big smile on my face. It went straight to repeat, just as yesterday. Next up is some more of his music, as I call it a day and I want to enjoy some more wacky tunes! (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.klanggalerie.com/



NUBDUG ENSEMBLE -VOLUME 2: BLAME (CD by Pest Colors Music)
G.CALVIN WESTON – HYDROGEN 77 (CDR by Soundscape Recording Lab)
AMANDA CHAUDHARY – MEOW MEOW BAND (CD by Catsythn)

The Nubdug Ensemble came out of the blue for me when we first received some of their work for review at Vital Weekly. I learned that this ensemble is led by Jason Berry, who worked for decades with his companion Michael de la Cuesta under the moniker of Vacuum Tree Head. In 2019 their collaboration ended, and Jason Berry started his Nubdug Ensemble. Like the surprising debut album, this new album is again a mini-album of various very profiled and well-defined compositions delivered in a well-crafted and spirited performance. Members of the crew are Steve Adams (soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophones, flute), Myles Boisen (electric guitar, lap steel guitar), Amanda Chaudhary (keyboards, synthesizers, electronics), Chris Grady (trumpet), Jill Rogers (voice), Brett Warren (bass guitar, fretless bass, electric upright bass, chapman stick), G Calvin Weston (drums, percussion) and Jason Berry (programming, keyboards, electronic sounds, etc.). The album contains seven compositions, all carrying one-word titles starting with letters ‘Bl..’ Together, they make a lovely eclectic ride, reminding me of Fibonaccis (‘Bleep’) and a lot, lot more. Aspects of blues, jazz, prog rock, avant-pop and -rock pass by in this kaleidoscopic journey. ‘Blaze’ starts with strange sounds and movements on synth before a jazzy interplay takes over. ‘Block’ is a funky tune with great bass played by Warren. They make intelligent use of the idiomatic material and construct catchy and accessible tunes, with much attention for instrumentation and arrangements.
    Amanda Chaudhary is a multi-sided artist working as a composer, bandleader, electronic musician and visual/sound artist. Involved in diverse projects in the Bay Area and New York, she presents her first solo statement. Involved are several musicians that were also involved in the Nubdug Ensemble like Chaudhary herself: Steve Adams (alto and tenor saxophones), Myles Boisen (electric guitar), G.Calvin Weston (drums, percussion), plus Sheldon Brown (bass clarinet), Amy X Neuburg (voice), Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass guitar), Serena Toxicat (voice) and Amanda Chaudhary (synthesizers, keyboards, electronics). Again a short album of six compositions. After a strange opening invocation track, the mini-album continues with funk-based tracks. ‘White Wine’ is a non-spectacular funky tune, developing as one expects it to do. It is performed very drily combined with weird synth-escapades.‘Cables and Carafes’ and ‘North Berkely Bart’ impress both because of the weird outdated 70s synths sounds. Very funny. ‘Under the Ceiling Fan’ is a nice ballad with a main role for the blowers. Closing track ‘Donershtik’ is an up-tempo funky ride with excellent playing by Tacuma and again with odd synth arrangements.
    With ‘Hydrogen 77’, G Calvin Weston, who participated in both albums we discussed so far, presents his trio of Richard Hill (bass) and Colton Weatherston (guitar). I could not find much information on his companions. Guitarist Weatherston has a background in playing standards, swing and bebop. Weston needs no introduction. He was a member of the legendary Prime Time Band of Ornette Coleman and performed as well with James Blood Ulmer, Lounge Lizards, a.o. Later he worked with musicians like Eyvind Kang and Kato Hideki. In much of his more recent work, one can find own his Bandcamp-site. We are in the company of three excellent musicians with his trio, but I waited in vain for something to happen. All twelve tracks resulted from improvised beat-driven jamming. Spun out excursions often with the guitar in the lead. Again sometimes with a funky vibe like ‘Play Time’. A track like ‘Pieces of Music’ starts promising but refuses to become really exciting. Overall I missed surprising movements or gestures. (DM)
––– Address: https://nubdugensemble.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: https://amandachaudhary.bandcamp.com/
––– Address: https://gcalvinweston1.bandcamp.com/



ZUKUNFTMUSIK/IM HIER UND JETZT ODER NIE/WENDEPUNKTE (3CD compilation by Edition Degem)

DEGEM is the German association for electro-acoustic music (well, the acronym spells out the German name), and they have annual compilations. Each year is curated by someone else and always thematic in approach. These compilations CDs always come with a bi-lingual booklet explaining the theme and the pieces and the background to the composers.  The one thing not explained right now is compiling three compilations into one package. Maybe the only reason to celebrate thirty years of Degem? The design is such that each CD has a tracklisting on the back, with the digipack and booklet in one box. There are three themes (curated by Tobias Hagedorn, Anne Wellmer and Flkmar Hein), two CDs with twelve pieces each, and one with only seven. The playing time is about seventy-two minutes per CD. I played this box last Sunday afternoon in one go. I was a bit occupied with other things, most of the time, never good to play music, I know, but I found it all most enjoyable and only found a few differences. If that is a good or bad thing, I leave it up to the listener. The seven pieces on 'Wendepunkte' seemed to be moving away from a more strict perception of electro-acoustic music and veers towards a more improvised music sound. Still, maybe that is explained by the title, which translates as 'turning points'. Oddly enough, the first disc is 'Zukunftmusik' (future music) is the most traditional in that respect. In between is 'Im Hier Und Jetzt Oder Nie', meaning 'in the here and now or never), and deals with the uncertain times we encounter and how to respond. Can we hear all of that in the music, you may ask? I am not sure, but if I'm honest: I didn't. In whatever capacity I was hearing this, I certainly enjoyed the music and found the most stunning piece at the end, 'Shall Und Klang' by Christina Kubisch. She has a montage of traditional musique concrète techniques and voices, carefully played out with a tremendous radiophonic feeling. It reminded me of Nurse With Wound.
    Also included are pieces by Jorge García del Valle Méndez, Kirsten Reese, Ulf Pleines, Junyu Guo, Verena Hentschel, Andreas H. H. Suberg, Théo Pozoga, Greg Beller, Monika Golla, Ben Meerwein, Ludger Kisters, Florian Hartlieb, Christian M. Fischer, Maria Pelekanou, Donna Maya, Antje Vowinckel, Karl F. Gerber, Elisabeth Schimana, Klarenz Barlow, Clemens von Reusner, Sabine Schäfer, Javier Alejandro Garavaglia, Solidarity Noise Project, Niayesh Ebrahimi, Robin Minard, Ludger Brümmer, Orm Finnendahl, Johannes S. Sistermanns, Wilfried Jentzsch, and Georg Klein, so there is a lot to discover here. Many of these names are new to me! (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.degem.de/



NEIN RODERE - CATH UP WITH WHAT PARY (LP by Horn Of Plenty)
EYES OF AMARYLLIS - SIFT (LP by Horn Of Plenty)

Horn Of Plenty is quite a curious little enterprise. There are now about ten or so releases, and apart from Moniek Darge, all of these names are new to me. That goes for these two new ones as well. Nein Rodere is the musical project of David Roeder. He's also a visual artist, and that's about the extent of my knowledge here. He has two previous private releases and another cassette on Horn Of Plenty (I didn't hear). I noticed about this label before that there is a particular love for something on the fringes of what people call outsider music. Nein Rodere could undoubtedly be called that. He has no less than twenty-three tracks on his album (the cover houses also a 20-page booklet with his paintings), in which one can't find head nor tails. I am a man of romantic notions, so I imagine Nein Rodere with a four-track cassette machine at home, surrounded by many instruments, including your traditional rock lineup, but also keyboards, a saxophone and a handful of cassettes with 'sounds'. Field recordings, perhaps, from his hometown Berlin, Nein Rodere is the kitchen making a brew. Sometimes this results in a fully formed song, but sometimes a mere sketch; sometimes a rock band, sometimes his music has the quality of a bedroom demo. Oddly enough, some of this reminded me of early Legendary Pink Dots, when a song becomes a result of a spacious jam; sometimes it is a tape-collage of sound, with Nein Rodere cutting away randomly at some tapes. It's private music sometimes; at least I had the impression Nein Rodere was a bit too shy, but looking at his impressive guest list, I am sure he's not the social loner has his music may pretend he is.
    The other new release is a debut LP from a band from Philadelphia. According to the information, this band includes members who worked on releases for Siltbreeze, Blackest Ever Black and Kashual Plastik; I am sure for someone that adds an exciting thrill. The bandmembers are Goda Trahumaite, Esther Scanlund, Jim Strong and Jesse Dewlow, who all have a plethora of instruments at each of their disposals. Electronics, synthesizers, guitar, objects, voices, wheel barrel and clatter. Unlike the Nein Rodere record, which has many songs, it only features ten songs, and it's certainly not easy to listen to. "Although conceptually akin to fellow Philadelphian Sun Ra’s Strange Strings, Sift likens to sounds from the early 4AD catalogue, Flying Nun’s slowest hitmakers, or Förlag För Fri Musik’s stock-in-trade". That, unfortunately, didn't mean much to me. The information also speaks of 'songs collapsing into abstraction, or vagueness uniting in melody', but somehow only the word 'vagueness' stuck here. I am sure this is all part of a musical world that I am simply not known to. A world in which a detuned guitar, half-cooked song structures and barely sung words mean something. And mean something else, maybe a revolt against tradition? I don't know. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like this. I simply don't understand this. And at the same time, I am also intrigued by it. I think of this as a novel; the words look familiar, you all know the order of the words, and you may also get that. But the meaning of the words in this order may elude me. That's what I think happens with this music. Intriguing this music certainly is. Where's the key to the door to unlock this world? (FdW)
––– Address: https://horn-of-plenty.bandcamp.com/



BLOEDLIP (7" by Darcytrash Records)

I recently pondered the history of punk music in The Netherlands, from 1976 to 1982. Online some people mocked me for being not interested in hardcore punk, which arrived by way of Dead Kennedys in 1982 in The Netherlands. That caused a break in punk history. Hardcore still lives on. That said, Bloedlip (bloody lip) isn't your standard hardcore punk band. Ha! If only I had a clue what hardcore is these days. I can see some references between the speed, honesty and brutality of Bloedlip and some of the 7" records that I had when I was 16. Nitwitz and De Straks, or Outlawz, Pistache BV and Vaccum - although the latter used a drum machine. Amsterdamned and Frites Modern. Stop! Is this a show-off? I know many old Dutch punk bands? Bloedlip concerns itself with modern subjects, such as Black Lives Matter, the soup kitchen, animal rights and more introspective themes loneliness and boredom. Twelve songs on 45rpm in about half that time. Perhaps because I have played more punk in the last year than in the ten years before, I enjoy this 2022 Dutch punk update a lot? Who knows! And with a full-colour cover; who had one of those back then? (FdW)
––– Address: https://occii.org/distroinit/



THING (CDR compilation by Attenuation Circuit)
THING (CDR compilation by Attenuation Circuit)

Following my rather lazy review of the previous 'Thing' (Vital Weekly 1320), which essentially consisted of two previous split LPs combined into one CDR, Attenuation Circuit takes matters a bit further down the road offer eight artists about fifteen minutes of space. 'Thing' is, of course, a physical thing, the CDR object, but in old Norse and Germanic languages, a meeting place, a place of a popular assembly. This is a meeting of old and familiar names and newbies; well, rather new names for me. The latter constitute of Eisenlager, Wilfried Hanrath, and Hans Castrup. The latter opens up the proceedings with an exciting piece of modern electronics inspired music. Seemingly random drones and tones mingle in ever-changing configurations. Steffan de Turck (whom we better know as Staplerfahrer; I have no idea why he chooses his name for this release) has a somewhat unfocused piece with some interesting percussive loops, but, sadly, also some unimaginative turntables moves. Recently revived and active as ever, Boban Ristevski continues his excursions in drone land, and this time, the subject is acoustic sources; or so it seems. It has that warm laptop/pop sound that we used to love fifteen years ago, and which, in fact, I still do. Grodock, of the Grubenwehr Freiburg label, closes the proceedings with a descent into the underworld of darkness. Deep and mean rumbling below the earth's surface, via a monolithic synth, slowly slicing the core of the earth and unleashing a higher-pitched drone. Lovely!
    The other one starts with the oldtimers of Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites. I hadn't heard new music from them in quite some time (or, at last, I think so). They offer a fine piece of synthesizer imitating insects, backed up with a spooky drone/loop. Eisenlager borrows from 'The Rite Of The Valkyres' (I think), but buried deep in the mix, and has a delicate drone setting, around which they (?) spin a lot of other sounds, swirling and twirling in and out of the mix. It is one of the few pieces on these two compilations which uses quite a bit of voice. Throughout, it is pretty dark, which can also be said about Occupied Head. They have a spooky piece too, which works with a few sound sources and is most effective. Wilfred Hanrath closes the proceedings with 'guitar manipulations', which curiously sounds like a heavily processed voice loop.
    One Thing (pun intended) I didn't understand, however, how will people be able to tell the difference between releases with identical names and almost similar covers? Unless that is the thing, of course, that ties these together. (FdW)
––– Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de



PERFECTION OF UNDERSTANDING (CDR compilation by Aural Detritus)

This release was meant to be an audio documentary of a residency at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China of six Chinese coupled with three UK-based ceramic artists. Alas, COVID-19 happened, and the project got transformed into something different. As travel wasn’t possible, the sound artists were commissioned to construct pieces that would evoke China's porcelain capital, as Jingdezhen is known. There’s also a companion book available with pictures of the ceramic art. The five commissioned pieces are complemented with field recordings made by Joseph Young. The record starts with Turning the Wheel, a very nice abstract drone created by Dennis Wong with some nice subdued arhythmic pulse and slowly alternating intervals of frequencies. The whole has a positive vibe to it because of the frequencies used. Glaze Drunk is a collaboration between Hui Ye and Vivian Xiaoshi Qin called Glaze Drunk, incorporating song, field recordings and an anecdote of an insect drinking ceramic glaze and unwittingly assisting the maker of a cup. Broken Chant by Echo Ho is the densest piece with a lot going on, different sounds come and go. The sound design is excellent. The Crazing from Jingdezhen To Kolner by Sheng Jie starts with field recordings coupled with a repetitive pulsing drone. Cloud Scenery by Sun-Wei is sonically related to the opening track as it is also a drone-like piece with slowly and sometimes sudden changing pitches with the same timbres creating something of a long stretched melody. The rest of the release are field recordings made by Joseph Young, slightly manipulated in the stereo image. These recordings represent that the porcelain capital has been made for more than 1000 years. The commissions represent the current state of Chinese sound art. Overall a very nice release. (MDS)
––– Address: https://auraldetritus.bandcamp.com/



B.P.S. (cassette, private)

The acronym stands for Bird Painting Scum. I understand this to be a duo of Kohhei Matsuda and Mark Cremins. I am not sure if I have heard of either musician before. Matsuda is a guitar player, and Cremins plays tape machines, mics, bells and some wind. On the first side of their cassette, we find recordings they made at the Willem Twee Studios in the Dutch city of 's-Hertogenbosch. They house a wonderful collection of old synthesizers, which was lost on the recording of this music. At least, that's what I assume. The other contains five shorter pieces. There is a certain brutalism to be noted in the music throughout these pieces. Not the kind of brutalism that blows up your speakers because they don't play as loud as possible; rather not! I mean, they use a sort of direct approach when it comes to recording. Straight to tape, with all the 'mistakes' ( I am sure they don't call it as such) left in. So when Cremins cuts a loop that isn't perfect, it still ends up getting used. Matsuda's guitar is, at times, a guitar, but he knows some tricks to bend and shape it, playing a rather percussive edge, which is most enjoyable. All of this moves away and around the lines of improvisation, drifting at times further afield, towards noise, towards lo-fi experimentalism. There is quite a variation within these pieces; they shift techniques and approaches in a vivacious environment. Topped with a classic 'no Dolby' layer of hiss, the ultimate do-it-yourself release this week. (FdW)
––– Address: https://occii.org/distroinit/











<