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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 346
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week 45
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DICTAPHONE - M.=ADDICTION (CD by City Centre Offices)
WE'RE BREAKING UP - LOVE DISTANCE ENDLESS ENDLESS (CDR by 2++2)
NOISE FLAMENCO - LONDON BOYS (CDR by 2++2)
JOEL STERN - UNPLUGGED/ODPHYR (CDR by 2++2)
BROKEN HANDS - BERLIN AIRLIFT (CD by 2++2)
ELLENDE - COMPOSTIONS OF FLUCTUATIONS OF 2 DEGREES CELSIUS (CDR by Ellende)
ELLENDE - NO CONCEPT IS STILL A CONCEPT (CDR by Ellende)
HAIR POLICE - BLOW OUT YOUR BLOOD (miniCD by Freedom From)
PIERRE CARTIER - DIS, BLAISE... (2CD by Ambiances MagnÈtiques)
MANTLER - SADISFACTION (CD by Tomlab)
LOWERCASE SOUND 2002 (2CD by Bremstrahlung Recordings)
PURE - NOONBUGS (CD by Mego)
LARRY POLANSKI - FOUR VOICE CANONS (CD by Cold Blue Music)
Larry Polanski is of course to those of you who investigated this
before a RANDOM INC - WALKING IN JERUSALEM (CD by Mille Plateaux)

 

 

DICTAPHONE - M.=ADDICTION (CD by City Centre Offices)
Although Dictaphone is one person, Oliver Doerell, he found some
interesting helpers around him. He is from origins from Brussels and
through this he got to work with people like Colin Newman and Maika
Spiegel (former Minimal Compact member). He also receives help from
Roger D­ring, a saxophone and clarinette player. Modern jazz music is
probably the most apt description. Not re-newed impro-jazz, but
loungy, lazy jazz in an odd combination of clicky rhythms and real
instruments. The opening title piece is such an example. The wind
instruments blow their tunes and samples and electronica swirl around
it. Other tracks have deep end bass sounds, soft tinkling piano's and
small electronica. It's an overall warm sound. Music for modern
households and clubs where people chat, rather then dance. Lounge
music, as said. But from whatever I heard in that perspective, with
all of it's stuff sampled together from jazz records, this
combination of acoustica and electronica sounds much nicer. (FdW)
Address: www.city-centre-offices.de

WE'RE BREAKING UP - LOVE DISTANCE ENDLESS ENDLESS (CDR by 2++2)
NOISE FLAMENCO - LONDON BOYS (CDR by 2++2)
JOEL STERN - UNPLUGGED/ODPHYR (CDR by 2++2)
BROKEN HANDS - BERLIN AIRLIFT (CD by 2++2)
A new label from London, 'to document a developing international
community of musicians based in London. The label focuses on a
diverse group that has come together through almost three years'
involvement in Eddie Prevost's weekly Improvisation Workshop'. Label
founder Micheal Rodgers is responsible for a solo release as We're
Breaking Up. He played in punkbands and free improv, but for his solo
disc he plays electronics. Six tracks, spanning 34 minutes and
probably involving all sorts of software. It displays an interest in
minimalism. The fifth track, the longest around here, is a
drone/organ piece that sticks right in your head until it falls apart
towards the end and has a sad, melancholical touch to it. The five
other pieces are in a more laptop noisy mood and are more raw and
primitive. However it turns out to be quite a nice release of
improvised laptop music.
An unusual meeting of Nishide Takehiro from Japan and Romuald Wadych
from Poland are Noise Flamenco. Their instruments are as follows
acoustic, electric, bass guitars, moroccan string instrument, trupet,
hunting horn, everyday objects and mouths. It seems to me that
'mouth' is quite important in their work. Mouths that sing, hum or
blow. Mostly wordless. One thing they don't care about is making a
great recording. Mouths are mixed somewhere upfront, and all the
other sounds somewhere far away. Like the held the microphones close
to their mouth and their thing. That's a pity and certainly
unneccesary. Spontaneity is nice, but the listener shouldn't be
forgotten.
Joel Stern hails from Australia and has been actively involved in the
UK/London improv scene for some time now. Here in solo mood, he
limits himself to the use of concrete sound and electronics. He plays
around with found objects, such as cutlery, pans, inside computer,
feedback, ghat and rugmaking. In nine relatively short pieces he
shows a shared interest with Roel Meelkop and Bernard Gunter and the
like, but because he limits himself to a minimal piece of a few
minutes, events happen quicker and are not spread out over the entire
length of a disc. He explores his soundmaterial along the lines of
audibility and inaudibility, like so many others do in this field,
but it's an quite enjoyable material.
The last release (the first by cataloguenumber actually) is the only
real CD so far in the 2++2 catalogue. It has music from both
labelfounders, Michael Rodgers and Anthony Guerra team up for a duo
of electric and acoustic guitars. This is probably the most
traditional improvised music disc on the 2++2 label. The boys tickle
away on their guitars, but the pieces are kept short and songs almost
like real small songs. There are hints of Taku Sugimoto or David
Grubbs (less the singing of course), but they have a strong enough
voice of their own.
Address: www.twothousand.com

ELLENDE - COMPOSTIONS OF FLUCTUATIONS OF 2 DEGREES CELSIUS (CDR by Ellende)
ELLENDE - NO CONCEPT IS STILL A CONCEPT (CDR by Ellende)
Something that comes from Japan and is called 'Ellende' - that's
Dutch for misery. Surely I'm interested in that. "Ellende celebrates
the passiveness of modern life" they say. I must say I expected some
harsh noise stuff, but it's not really like that, luckily.
'Compositions Of Fluctuations of 2 Degrees Celsius' has six lenghty
pieces which are all a research of drone like music. It's hard to
tell what kind of sounds they work with here, maybe processed
environmental recordings, which go through some lo-fi sound effects
and in the title piece with some analogue synth hum. It's a kind of
hissy release that is not really CD like quality, but it's sort of
alright material. Not really great, not really bad. Stuff I have
heard a lot of times, but oddly enough find pleasure in hearing,
still.
The 'No Concept Is Still A Concept' comes in a DVD case, with a
business card CDR containing a quicktime movie. This has processed
classical music, a cello playing. The movie shows us just pcitures of
people, I am a bit clueless as to who these people are. The music is
a continuation of the other CDR, except that I thought that release
was more open, more spacious and more varied. Highlight was 'Nogong',
which reminded me of Asmus Tietchens' 'Hydrophonien'. (FdW)
Address: www.ellende.net

HAIR POLICE - BLOW OUT YOUR BLOOD (miniCD by Freedom From)
Wow what a great sound it makes if I hold this microphone in front of
this speaker. It really making a high peep sound. Maybe I should
shout trough it. Oh yes that sounds great too. Let's try holding the
guitar elements in front of the speaker, maybe that peeps too. Great
it does. I reckon we're unique. Let's put out a twelve track CD, but
it shouldn't be too long. Twenty minutes is ok, otherwise mom and dad
won't like to buy our CD. Let's hope there is a label. Oh yes there:
Address: <sonitus7@freedom-from.com>

PIERRE CARTIER - DIS, BLAISE... (2CD by Ambiances MagnÈtiques)
The poem 'Prose du TranssibÈrien et la Petite Jehanne de France'
written in 1913 by Blaise Cendrars inspired Cartier for this double
cd. The poem evocates a journey by a teenager across Russia and
Siberia during the 1905 war between Russia and Japan. Cartier sings
the poem entirely. 'Sings' is not the right word. What Cartier does
is somewhere between singing and recitiating. It is obvious that
Cartier is impressed by this poem from the swiss writer Cendrars.
So in order to enjoy this cd fully it is needed that you have no
difficulties with the french language. Because I don't, I'm not wild
about this one. As the music is in function of the text.
The composition to this poem is played by Jean Derome (sax, flute),
Jean RenÈ (viola), Tom wlash (trombone), Bernard Faliase (guitar) and
Pierre Tanguay (drums). Plus Cartier himself on doublebass. He also
composed the music.
Cartier studied doublebass on the conservatory in Montreal and chose
a career as a classical musician. He specialized himself in medieval
music and gregorian chant. But that's not all. Cartier met Pierre
St-Jak and Jean Derome in 1973 and plays jazz, improvised music and
forms of new music that are typical for the Ambiances MagnÈtiques
scene. He guests on many cds by his mate Jean Derome. His own
releases reflect a post-bop kind of jazz.
With 'Chansons de Douve'(1996) Cartier presents something new, a song
cycle for two opera singers and eight musicians. Many influences are
melted together in an impressive whole.
'Dis Blaise' continues more or less in the same vein. It is also a
cycle of songs. Not a kind of jazz that is to identify as bop or
whatever. Compostions are much more personal here, moving towards
modern chamber music (DM).
Address: www.actuellecd.com

MANTLER - SADISFACTION (CD by Tomlab)
Mantler is a group! It has Sam Allison on bass, Paul Bethel on flute,
Dennis Frey on backing vocals, Duncan Macdonald on flugelhorn,
percussion, backing vocals and Mantler (not first name, sir) on
keyboards, percussion programming and vocals. The songs on this were
recorded between august 1999 and september 2000, but later remixed.
It has the direct in your face sound of a demo, but then better
produced. The voice is all the way upfront, together with the
rhythmbox, excuse me percussion programming, and the other
instruments colour the sound. In case you are still in doubt:
Mantler is a singer songwriter who get his help from some friends.
Intimate songs, sad love songs, maybe songs about lost sweethearts (I
don't know but I never quite get any lyrics of any band ever - they
are somehow somewhere always lost on me), but the melancholy and
drama by which we get the lyrics served is probably enough to
understand some of the sadness that this guy must have experienced.
Sad for him, and beautiful for us. I'm sure there are tons of things
to compare this with, but I lost connection to the real, intellectual
popmusic of the seventies and eighties a long long time ago. This is
very sad and nice, but the urge to play something funny and uplifting
afterwards, is, at least for me a necessary thing. (FdW)
Address: www.tomlab.com

LOWERCASE SOUND 2002 (2CD by Bremstrahlung Recordings)
Lowercase is a term coined by Steve Roden some years ago to describe
his music, and it turned out an attractive term for a lot of
musicians, so there is an active discussion group by the same name,
and this is the second compilation, two cd set. It comes inside a
nice small box, with an extra set of the discs which you can give
away. Be sure to be around to whomever you give it to, and make sure
he or she write the tracklist. There is just one track list in each
box and making a xerox of it, is next to impossible. The thing that
gives you a real headache are the linernotes and track list. Hardly
readable through the nice arty farty design. Why should these things
always be so difficult? There is a nice wealth of new and established
artists on this compilation. We have of course Francisco Lopez,
Stephan Mathieu, Carl Stone, Tetsu Inoue or Taylor Deupree but also
The Beige Channel, Tucker Dulin, Bob Sturm or Peter van Hoesen. The
music is best described as sound exploration. There's a piece for
boiling water (Gal), three trombones (Radu Malfatti), a computer and
a baby (Matt Shoemaker), environmental recordings (Electric Company),
blank tapes (Reynols), wax cylinder (John Hudak) etc etc. All of
these pieces have been treated in the computer to change whatever
there is to change (sound colour, length) and they are presented in
carefull constructed collages. CD one has them more acoustic and
musique concrete pieces and the second CD dabbles more around in the
very experimental click 'n cut scene. Like said, no bad pieces
around, but maybe also no real standouts... (FdW)
Address: www.lowercasesound.com

PURE - NOONBUGS (CD by Mego)
Pure might be known through his various releases on Mego, Staalplaat
and by themselves. This is their/his first full length for Mego, who
print in bold that this is 'as close to dark ambient as Mego has
come'. The presstext also raves about this release as 'can be seen as
a take on the darker edge of 20th (century - sic) classical/avant
garde as seen through a 4th generation raised on
industrial/electronic mediums'. However we are warned not to compare
this to Eliane Radigue or Alvin Lucier, because Pure has a shorter
built up and chances happen sooner. Music from the 4th generation of
TV zappers? Upon hearing this CD, I must say I had the urge to play
'Adnos' from Radigue again or anything by Alvin Lucier, since this
quite frankly was quite boring. Dark for sure, vaguely atmospheric at
times, but also loaded with irritating sounds, analogue violin/synth
sounds that couldn't keep up the tension in a piece. And there are no
less then eight pieces on this CD. Halfway through there was a piece
that had a little bit of suspension, but that was it. Dull music.
(FdW)
Address: www.mego.at

LARRY POLANSKI - FOUR VOICE CANONS (CD by Cold Blue Music)
Larry Polanski is of course to those of you who investigated this
before a well-known figure where music and computers meet. He
released his own work and that of others on his own Frog Peak music
and wrote a computer music programme HMSL. Here he explores the
canon. In a canon one voice (instrument) starts and after a certain
time the second voice start with the same thing, and then third and
the fourth. Take four people and start singing 'Row row row your
boat' one after eachother and you have an idea what a canon is (or
simply visit a boy scout campfire). In the fifteen canons on this CD,
Polansky explores the canon by slowing down the resulting voices a
little bit, but at the same time keeping the previous voices alive in
the mix. So we get relatively simple layers of repeating sound, which
slowly increase over the course of the CD. Per piece he selects a
minimum of soundsources (violin, voice, percussion etc.), which are
more or less the same, except that of course the input is different
per track. This makes this a strangely varied but at the same time
also a static CD. It has a entertaining appeal and is less serious
then one would expect from a man with such a reputation. (FdW)
Address: www.coldbluemusic.com

RANDOM INC - WALKING IN JERUSALEM (CD by Mille Plateaux)
Over the past year several well respected composers have been
recording and creating interesting and thought provoking projects in
the realm of electronic music. Earlier in the year Stephan Mathieu
released 'Edits' while his collaborator, Ekkehard Ehlers recorded his
'Plays' series. Tim Hecker created an album, which used source
material from Van Halen interviews, concert footage and Eddie's
trademark guitar riffs. The most recent artist to gather interesting
source material to create a body of work is Random Inc.'s, Sebastian
Meissner. Having been fascinated with the culture of the Middle East,
he traveled through Israel, but focused on the city of Jerusalem for
this project. 'Jerusalem' was released by Ritornell from Inc.ís
processed field recordings. Shortly thereafter, Mille Plateaux
released the companion 'Walking in Jerusalem,' which is a fresh take
on the reworking concept. Several artists, such as Tim Hecker,
Electric Birds and the Rip-Off Artist had the opportunity to
manipulate Ranom_Inc.'s original works for this album. The pieces are
ambient sound collages that have been treated through a variety of
software. Jewish and Palestinian musical styles are interwoven with
field recordings taken from the streets. These two factions at war
with each other have been brought together here. The music contains
thick sound-scapes and dub textures with rhythmic pulses. This
project is more beat oriented than the projects of his
contemporaries. The CD also contains two videos, as well as
interesting and un-biased accounts of the Israeli-Palestinian
struggles from both sides. We have seen many albums come and go
lately, but 'Walking In Jerusalem' will be remembered for its musical
and intellectual impact. (GK)
Address: www.mille-plateaux.com