============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 400
------------
week 49
------------

 

A.H.B. - BAROKKEN (1600-1750) (CDR by Tibprod)
OSCILLATOR 707 - SUITE #1 (CDR by Tibprod)
JOE COLLEY - DESPERATE ATTEMPTS AT BEAUTY: CONCEPTUAL AND RESEARCH
EXERCISES (CD by Auscultare Research)
KIYOSHI MIZUTANI & DANIEL MENCHE - GARDEN (CD by Auscultare Research)
R.H.Y. YAU - COAGULATION: SELECTED WORKS 1996-2000 (CD by Auscultare Research)
PHILIP JECK - 7 (CD by Touch)
TINY HAIRS - COLDLESS (CD by False Walls)
JOHN DUNCAN - DA SICH DIE MACHTGIER... (CD by Die Stadt)
EDWARD RUCHALSKI - HAVING IT OUT (LP by Humbug)
CRANK STURGEON - EZ VOICE OVER BOX TOP LIVING SOLUTION (7" by Humbug)
A.M. - STRATA (CDR by Humbug)
POLIO - CONCRETE (CDR by Humbug)
COTTAGE INDUSTRIAL VOLUME 2 (CDR by Humbug)
VOLT-AA (2CD by Oral)
FANNY - REVELRY AND DECADENCE AS THE RIGHT OF SLAVES (CD by Mirex)
JEAN-LUC GUIONNET & ERIC LACASA - MAISON HOUSE II.V (CD by Vert
Pituite La Belle)
JET BLACK CRAYON - EXPERIMENTS IN THE SPACE METAL TIME SIGNATURE
(miniCD by Galaxia)
SCREAMERS - IN A BETTER WORLD (2CD by Xeroid)
PIMMON - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
TWILIGHT CIRCUS-THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION (CD by M Records)
DUNCAN/VON HAUSWOLFF/ELGGREN/TANKRED (7" + CDR by Die Stadt)
ALEXEI BORISOV & JEFF SURAK - ULITSA NOVATOROV (3" by Locus Of Assemblage)
LIVING ORNAMENTS - KLONTEN (3"CDR by Scarelight Recordings)
EVOLVED AS ONE (CD compilation by Evolved As One)
ORGANUM - EIN SCHWARZERES SCHWARZ (7" by Die Stadt)
EL CAMINO - LAIKA (LP by Muze Records)
BEANBAG AESTHETICS (2miniCD by Pink Dot)
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - A GUIDE TO LPD'S VOL. 2; PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS
AND RARITIES (3CD by Big Blue)
MAITREYA - TELLURIC WAVES (CD by Council Of Nine)
SNOSPRAY - YUM YUM (CD by Melody Resort)

 

 

 

 

 

A.H.B. - BAROKKEN (1600-1750) (CDR by Tibprod)
OSCILLATOR 707 - SUITE #1 (CDR by Tibprod)
There is not much known about Andre Hardang Borgen, long for A.H.B.,
other than he is a member of the Norwegian Noise Orchestra. The ten
pieces on this CDR were recorded in the course of six years, from
1997 to 2003. I am not sure either what this music has to to do with
baroque music or lifestyle - there doesn't seem to be a trace of
that. Borgen plays electronic music, which if I am not mistaken
follows a more or less chronological order on this release.
'Kunst-hus', the last piece, sounds much more '2003' than the rest of
the piece - computer processed synth music, of which most of the
others are examples of. Although the music is quite alright, I must
say it's also a bit faceless music. Nice to hear, but never a real
big challenge for the listener. Ok, but not great.
The release by Oscillator 707 is something I don't understand. It's
one track on the CDR, but apperentely ten different Italian acts are
involved but it's all mixed together by Guignol Dangereux. Did he
somehow 'remix' the pieces? Are they originals? Is then Oscillator
707 the same thing as Guignol Dangereux? Or are all the bands of
Oscillator 707 and this one is just mixed by Guignol Dangereux? The
website wasn't very clear. It's hard to tell which track is by whom,
but after a lenghty intro of ambience and ripped apart improvised
music, things start to speed up, rhythmwise. Loads of techno inspired
musics drop by in quite a nice mix. I had however the same mixed
feelings as with A.H.B.: no standout track, but also not a real weak
brother. Again, ok, but not great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com

JOE COLLEY - DESPERATE ATTEMPTS AT BEAUTY: CONCEPTUAL AND RESEARCH
EXERCISES (CD by Auscultare Research)
It has been a long way from Crawl Unti to Joe Colley - but it follows
a tendency of musicians that have been operating under a 'band name',
who eventually come up with just their real name and Crawl Unit was
once Joe Colley's 'band'. It's not just a name change that went on
here. Crawl Unit was best decribed as an ambient-industrial outfit,
but especially in their later works going more and more ambient. As
Joe Colley, the works have become much more conceptual and are
usually fixed on a single idea in sound. Sticking a piezo microphone
is clay that dries and listen to it happening - that's the approach
of Colley. Funnily enough it also means that his work has become more
noisy again. The opening piece 'Icewater.05.02' sees the effective
drowning of a microphone and we hear it's death rattle at zero Db -
set your speakers for this volume and the CD will sound fine
throughout. It's a short piece but powerful enough. Sometimes Colley
alters the sounds he has recorded and builts a dark aural picture
such as in 'Lost, Or At Last Realizing That Very Soon None Of This
Will Matter' - coming close to the later Crawl Unit period. Some of
the concpetual ideas are beyond me, such as the inclusion of an eight
track, which is not on the track-listening. Otherwise this is Joe
Colley's most refined moment to date. (FdW)
Address: http://www.groundfaultrecordings.com

KIYOSHI MIZUTANI & DANIEL MENCHE - GARDEN (CD by Auscultare Research)
Daniel Menche is back! This is maybe the third CD is a very short
time-span that I am reviewing of his and here he teams up with
Kiyoshi Mizutani, who was (or maybe is, I don't know) a member of
Merzbow. The two guys had the idea of making music around the theme
'garden' and set a concpetual restriction: Kiyoshi would do the high
sounds and Daniel all the low sounds. I have been to Japan and found
that nature, at least in July, was quite noisy. Lots of insect sounds
with these high frequency sounds, also in the middle of a city. So
maybe it's only natural to have Kiyoshi do these sounds and Daniel
the very low end part of the CD - maybe digging in soil and
amplifying the sound. It's a solid hour of pure environmental
recording - at least that's what seems, I might be (and probably am)
wrong. Kinda like Lopez' 'La Selva' this one, but with the
occassional low end heart beat sound, a tad more alienated. Towards
the end the low end part of Menche comes more alive and things become
less purely soundscape like. A nice CD but maybe a bit overlong. At
forty-five minutes (that is twenty minutes less), things would have
been more concentrated and more lively. (FdW)
Address: http://www.groundfaultrecordings.com

R.H.Y. YAU - COAGULATION: SELECTED WORKS 1996-2000 (CD by Auscultare Research)
For a while Emil Beaulieu claimed to be the 'greatest living noise
artist', but he gave that title to R.H.Y. Yau. I wasn't aware of his
music that much, but this compilation of works from 1996 to 2000 may
provide some insight. Some of these tracks were released on
compilations, and some are previously unreleased, such as his
collaboration with Kazumoto Endo. I am not sure if Yau is the
greatest living noise artist, but this CD is a fairly interesting
collection of noise music. Yau uses harsh amplified concrete sounds
which he messes around with in a collage form. It's not an endless
stream of effect loaded music which doesn't seem to move forward or
backward, but Yau composes quite effectively shorter pieces of noise
music with sudden and abrupt changes. Perhaps not the greatest, but
at least someone who at least tries to do something different in
music, and that is perhaps a very, very good thing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.groundfaultrecordings.com

PHILIP JECK - 7 (CD by Touch)
This is already the seventh album by Philip Jeck, and his fourth for
Touch. It also has seven tracks, with last 7x7 minutes and 7x7
seconds, so the title couldn't be better chosen. Originally Jeck is
visual artist who started to work with music, and most notable with
old turntables. Since then he gives concerts and produces
installations using old turntables and using casio keyboards. A very
lo-fi set up one might think, but that doesn't mean that the outcome
is lo-fi too. The seven tracks on this CD are edits of home and
concert recordings. It's hard to believe that this is all music
coming from old vinyls as these densely layered miniatures have all a
strong life of their own. It's unknown for me how many pieces of
vinyl Jeck puts on per piece, and what it is that he does to it, but
they are all dense and also quite filmic, but not so much narrative,
more abstract. More filmloop like than a real film. Repetition is an
important thing for Jeck, but here I found it lesser on the
foreground then before. It makes Jeck's music even more fascinating,
then before. The sorrow-sounding 'Veil', the final track on the CD is
an epic by itself. Slow, peaceful humming of sad music. Better than
before. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

TINY HAIRS - COLDLESS (CD by False Walls)
This is the third release of Tiny Hairs, follwing their debut 'Subtle
Invisible Bodies' (see Vital Weekly 314) and a split LP with
Millionaires With Guitars (see Vital Weekly 381). Tiny Hairs is a big
band, including guitars, double bass, electronics, drums and violin
and together they improvise their pieces. Just as with their debut
CD, the eleven tunes here are quite nice, but also at the same time
not always inspiring. Nice stuff, but not always with great tension
among the players. At times just too easy, too mellow with not much
exciting going on. Tiny Hairs taps out of many sources, post rock,
improvisation and electronica (although this only brief), but do not
match the likes of Town & Country or Tortoise. Maybe it's about time
they went for some serious composing. The skills to play their
instruments well are there, so that shouldn't be the trouble. (FdW)
Address: http://www.falsewalls.com

JOHN DUNCAN - DA SICH DIE MACHTGIER... (CD by Die Stadt)
This is one of those things that seem should have happened a long
time ago, but never did. A collaborative work between John Duncan and
Asmus Tietchens, two masters of musique concrete, each with their own
distinctive style. The start was texts read by Tietchens (of course
of Em Cioran, the french philosoph of whom you will find quotes on
most Tietchens covers), which he slightly processed and John did work
on. In the end Tietchens thought that the work was good enough by
itself, and so it's now released as just a John Duncan CD. Duncan's
recent style of stretched out ambient fields of noise music, comes
best alive in the final piece on the CD and to some extent also on
'Tauf Sind Mit Andere Namen', which is by far the best piece on the
CD. Dense and intense, with a very creepy atmosphere. The CD opens
however with 'Freih Zein Hoern Macht...' which employs a more heavy
type of sound processing, which are quite clearly made in the digital
realm. The least interesting piece, also because it stretches out
over a longer period of time. The third and shortest piece represents
the best what the original processed Tietchens recordings sounded
like. But of course there was a series of three 7"s on Die Stadt
before, so you know what that could sound like.
In the final piece, 'Aber', the voices become a very densely layered
mass of sound, almost like swarms of insects, not just a few hundred,
but thousands and thousands. It's that we know it's the processing of
voice, otherwise one could think it's a flock of seagulls. Quite a
minimal piece, but with small changes. Most of the time you place
this CD you have no idea you are listening to a processed voice work.
Apart from the first track which I didn't like that much, this is
quite an enjoyable CD for fans of both Tietchens and Duncan. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

EDWARD RUCHALSKI - HAVING IT OUT (LP by Humbug)
CRANK STURGEON - EZ VOICE OVER BOX TOP LIVING SOLUTION (7" by Humbug)
A.M. - STRATA (CDR by Humbug)
POLIO - CONCRETE (CDR by Humbug)
COTTAGE INDUSTRIAL VOLUME 2 (CDR by Humbug)
A whole bunch of new releases on Humbug, one of Norwegian's finest
CDR labels, although these days also releasing a 7" and various lathe
cut records. To start with the latter, a limited lathe cut LP is
released by Humbug of US artist Edward Ruchalski (who has other
releases on Humbug too). The a-side has three lenghty drone pieces of
processed field recordings, with shimmering sounds played on zither,
which sound like long strings creating densely layers of overtones.
In the four pieces on the other side, the emphasizes is less on drone
music, but piano, loose plucking sounds from the zither and mild
percussive sounds. Much more loosely played and improvised this side,
it's the side of Ruchalski that I am less attracted to.
On 7" regular vinyl size we find Crank Sturgeon, a US noise act, who
offers some weirdness here. Using tape, electronics, clutter and
voice, it was recorded at his desk. I imagine this guy with some
electronics and objects on his desk, making sounds with them aswell
as with his voice. Very lo-fi but also very personal. A bit Emil
Beaulieu like. Concrete noise with a slight poetic touch. Quite nice
in all it's weirdness.
A.M stands for Anthony Milton, of whom I know is from New Zealand and
that's about all I know of him. Much of this was mastered from
cassettes, and Milton plays guitar and uses field recordings,
sometimes on a very lo-fi basis, but at other times with howling
guitars, such as in 'The Movies Over, You're Free To Go' which is a
diametrical opposite of 'If You Walk Gentle'. Quite nice stuff along
the lines of Corpus Hermeticum. Very much along the lines of much
music coming from that island.
Also from New Zealand comes Polio, a name chosen by Peter Wright, who
had releases before on his on Apolexy label. Here he explores quite
effectively drone music, feeding unknown sources into three lenghty
cuts of slowly changing but deeply atmospheric music. Very
effectively played and done this one. The piece 'Sandblaster' is a
beautiful example of isolationism - hey, if there is anyone who
recognizes that term.
And if none of these names mean much to you, you can always try
'Cottage Industrial Volume 2', which collects a whole bunch of names
who have full length releases on Humbug and some people who travel
through CDR land. Mostly electronic and ambient in approach (Shifts,
Peter Wright, Edward Ruchalski), but also some improvised music (Ivar
Grydeland & Oyvind Torvund) and a little bit of noise. Eric Cordier
pops up, under his own name by also a NOL, which stands for No Output
Laptop. Pricewinning best name. Also included are United Bible
Studies, The Magickal Folk Of The Faraway Tree, Anders Gjerde, The
Cherry Point, Murmansk and no less then twelve short pieces by Pal
Asle Petterson.
Address: http://www.tibprod.com/humbug.htm

VOLT-AA (2CD by Oral)
Recentely a new edition of the Volt AA festival was held in Montreal
and probably on that occassion this double CD was released: a
collection of recordings made in the 2002 edition of the festival.
The artists were asked to prepare a piece around a theme of their
choice. They could choose for 'amnesia', 'mutation' or 'irony'. On
the first CD we find four pieces composed for 'amnesia' and one for
'mutation'. It opens with a short atmospheric piece of Christof
Migone, with what sounds like sounds from the kitchen. Francisco
Lopez has a rather silent piece, but luckily loud enough to be played
at a regular volume. Alexandre St-Onge also has a rather silent
piece, with concrete sounds and voice manipulations. Skoltz_Kolgen is
the only 'mutation' piece on disc one. It seems to me that they are
mutating sounds from the environment, maybe even the concert space,
into a large hybrid sound of ambient music. Quite deep and
atmospheric. Tim Hecker closes the CD (all pieces are lenghty, up to
almost twenty four minutes for the Lopez piece) with a piece of
sampled guitars that take off like a plane engine and eroding low bit
samples as lights on the ground. Erosion takes the piece apart.
The second disc opens with Champion, of whom I never heard. They are
the only one to have two pieces and these two are the ones from the
'irony' evening. Mutating voices in their 'Chain Smoking' piece into
a slow choir, in 'The International Le' the voices are boiled in hot
water. I am not sure what the irony is... Mylena Bergeron has a short
piece from 'amnesia' but sounds if it fitted better in 'mutation'.
Certainly Kaffe Matthews' piece falls in this category, she mutates
the sounds picked up in her environment directly. The final two
pieces on disc two are by D'Iberville and Pierre Andre Arcand, and
form the more noisy parts of this compilation. Here is where the
industrial music comes, via tape-loops and machine like static. But
in an odd way these pieces fit the CD quite well. In all a good
documentation. (FdW)
Address: http://www.oral.qc.ca

FANNY - REVELRY AND DECADENCE AS THE RIGHT OF SLAVES (CD by Mirex)
"If you can stand the cover then you won't have any problem with the
sound" is the label's tagline for the album. I almost couldn't...!
Considering my personal interest in extreme metal and what this might
have carried away of repulsive artwork during the last two decades
from bands like Carcass and Cadaver, that actually says a lot about
the aesthetics on this second album by Fanny titled "Revelry and
decadence as the right of slaves". Also the music is rather extreme
in its own way. Opening dramatically with chamber orchestral workout
that could be a manipulated soundtrack of some 50's horror flick, we
suddenly find ourselves in a storm of breakcore Noise-inferno heavily
mixed with grinding bass power and a number of samples penetrating
the infernal soundscape. Second track on the album, the 8 minutes
long piece titled "Snakecharming", belongs to some of the best I have
ever heard from that certain scene of ultra-fast drum'n'noise. The
blend of over-the-top distorted aggression and samples of Eastern
chant are great! Even though the musical climax of the album peeks
within the first 10 minutes of the album, the intensity of the album
remains. What is quite remarkable about the album is the clever use
of Ethnic samples adding a quite unusual atmosphere to the album.
Fanny did a tour around Europe with Venetian Snares in October. Two
heavy weights from that certain scene. In the literal and most
positive sense of the word, this must have been one hell of a concert
just like this is one hell of an album by Fanny. Breakbeat brutality
to the filthiest extremes. Repulsive and excellent stuff indeed! (NMP)
Address: http://www.c10cl12.com

JEAN-LUC GUIONNET & ERIC LACASA - MAISON HOUSE II.V (CD by Vert
Pituite La Belle)
It's not easy to describe in a few words what this CD is about. Five
houses were selected in the Dordogne (south France) and each house is
'the center of the experiment, it is the perimeter of analysis
through which filter we get the information from the whole place.
According to the parameters of each site, the saxophone seeks for an
appropriate note. This note seeps through architecture and landscape
and rebuilds space. Both saxophone and microphone organize a measure
of the place'. So each of the five pieces (maybe with the exception
of the first piece, which is very short), each piece starts out with
a calibration of the background noise, and then saxophone playing,
followed by field recordings (glasses, people talking in the
background) and at the end an interview with the owner of the house,
albeit in french, so pardon me. This release bounces off to every
corner of serious music: improvisation, musique concrete, field
recording and horspiel, but somehow knows how to capture a coherent
thing. I can however imagine that four long pieces might be a bit too
much, certainly when each piece has more or less the same built up.
Maybe compressed to one house on a 3" CD would have been enough for
these conceptualists (at least for this one). But overall quite nice
indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vertpituite.lautre.net

JET BLACK CRAYON - EXPERIMENTS IN THE SPACE METAL TIME SIGNATURE
(miniCD by Galaxia)
On the cover it reads that Jet Black Crayon (I assume no connection
to Jet Black of The Stranglers) that they play two sets of an hour
and a halfper concert, so it eludes me why there is only twenty two
minutes of music on this CD, spread over four tracks. They use
samples of spoken word, police sirens and scratching laid over a bed
of funky post rock guitar/drum doodlings. It seems very intense, but
none of the four pieces could really grab me. They were played nicely
enough, but didn't had too much of their own, to be really
interesting. So maybe it isn't a bad thing that their long sets are
down to twenty two minutes for a CD release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.galaxia-platform.com

SCREAMERS - IN A BETTER WORLD (2CD by Xeroid)
In Vital Weekly 394 I reviewed a 7" by Screamers and said that a
double CD also exists. It was out of print for a while, but now it's
available again. Screamers were from Los Angeles and consisted of
Tomata DuPlenty on vocals, Tommy Gear on synthesizer, KK on drums and
Paul Roessler on electric piano and synthesizer. The band existed
from 1977 to 1981 and had quite a reputation for being a different
punk band - mind you: no guitars, no bass, just vocals, drums and
synths. During their existence the band didn't release anything, but
now, two decades later, people still cherish the old recordings,
mostly live ones, but also demo's and radio spots. Screamers play
punk music, but one that is much more vibrant then y'r average punk
band. Pounding drums, the unsteady vocals of Tomata, and the
sometimes irritating tones on the rather primitive synths: it deals
with raw energy that works best in their live work. You could wonder
if you would need 'The Beat Goes On' in two versions, or the title
piece or 'If I Can't Have What I Want, I Don't Want Anything' even
three times on the CD, but hey, I know people who have a CD full of
versions of 'Strawberry Fields'. You can doubt wether it's a bad
thing that Screamers never made a LP. Maybe their magic is in the
performance, interacting with the audience, and maybe that would have
been lost in the studio. It's something we'll never figure out
(Tomata died three years ago). A DVD of concert footage, now that's
something I can imagine - if such exist! Screamers are an essential
missing link between punk of the late seventies and sole-synth based
music of the early 80s. Essential stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xeroidrecords.com

PIMMON - MORT AUX VACHES (CD by Staalplaat)
From all the people with a laptop and who travel, I rate Pimmon as
one of the better ones. Not falling in a pure noise mode, or a pure
improvisation mode, his music is a combination of melodies, raw
chunks of sound and glitchy rhythms. His recent 'Snaps Crackles Pop'
(a rather self-explanatory title) for Tigerbeat didn't make it to
these pages, but would rank high in my top 10 for 2003. That CD was a
studio, to get the full Pimmon picture, one would also need the 'Mort
Aux Vaches' CD. Recorded at roughly the same time as the Tigerbeat
CD, the live recording on 'Mort Aux Vaches' CD dates from about a
year ago, upon his first Europe tour. Of course, the live side is
always arranged in a more free mode, small mistakes happen but these
pieces bear the Pimmon trade mark allover: grainy yet warm glitch
rhythms, amplified static hiss that evolves into small wormholes and
crackles and pop all around. However, Pimmon never looses the idea of
composition - he never leaps into pure improvisation nor does he let
things get out of control, there is always the structure to control.
Pimmon clearly has this capacity, both in his studio work, but also
in his live work. Finally a very good example of the latter becomes
available. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staalplaat.com

TWILIGHT CIRCUS-THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION (CD by M Records)
Ah, Dub music. Whats not to like about it? Anyone with even a vague
sense of music history knows about the vital role and influence that
Dub music has had on the style and production techniques on modern
electronic music and virtually every conceivable genre of music.
Clearly, it was Dub music in the 1970's that gave birth to the
concept of "remixing" an instrumental version of an artist's track; -
primarily Reggae - stripping it down to the bare essentials with a
mixing board; working only with the skeletal elements of rhythm and
the minimum of melody. The Dub producer at the helm of his mixing
board, then boosted the low bass frequencies of the drums and bass
guitar and added various effects, mainly: reverb, echo and delay, to
fill out the overall sound of the live, in-the-studio mix. The result
of these experimentation's produced utterly different and original
alternatives that proved quite popular in Jamaican dance halls and
abroad. Thank goodness we have producers that continue to carry the
torch of Dub music into the 21st century. Maintaining the lead with
his brand of fantastic dub excursions, Ryan Moore AKA Twilight Circus
gives us an incredible album entitled: The Essential Collection; a
dozen selections from his acclaimed previous releases from 1995-2001.
It is an album designed to tide his fans over while he totally
revamps his studio to better suite his future releases. It is also an
excellent starting point for anyone interested in the studio wizardry
that is inherent in Dub music production. You will be pleased with
the lush, spacious and original musical alchemy emanating from your
sound system as you spin this tantalizing cross-section of Ryan's
past releases. I eagerly await for his new release: "Foundation
Rockers", to scrutinize the evolution his newly rebuilt studio will
have on his music. (CN)
Address: http://www.twilightcircus.com

DUNCAN/VON HAUSWOLFF/ELGGREN/TANKRED (7" + CDR by Die Stadt)
Another collectable but also loveable item on Die Stadt. Another 7"
released for a concert, with the remainder being sold off through
mailorder. Here is the Swedish connection is shown, together with
John Duncan. Duncan offers quite a fierce noise piece, minimal yet
hectic sound processing of radio waves. Carl Micheal von Hausswolff
has a spoken word piece, which is nice, because Hauswolff has a good
speaking voice, but in general spoken word pieces are never so my
thing. Leif Elggren has the short piece with the longest title ("The
Gobblestone Is The Weapon Of The Proletariat No. 8"), which is
basically a short time stretching piece. Nice perhaps, but also too
short.
The first hundred copies get also a CDR by Kent Tankred, also a
swedish composer which might be less known as the aforementioned Von
Hauswolff and Leif Elggren, but who has an interesting number of
works. In 'Tranmission II', he stretches the sounds picked up from
radio waves, into a twenty four minute work which sounds like an
ambient industrial landscape. Desolated by human life and machines
have taken over. I wonder why it is not people like Kent Tankred who
do soundtracks to 'The Matrix'? He would do a great job on a
soundpicture of 'Machine Park'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

ALEXEI BORISOV & JEFF SURAK - ULITSA NOVATOROV (3" by Locus Of Assemblage)
Two names from the world of underground. Borisov's work was reviewed
here before (328, 252) operating in various guises, such as
F.R.U.I.T.S., Volga, Nochnoi Prospekt and his own name. Jeff Surak
works a V, Violet and in another time as -1348- and is soon on tour
in Europe and Russia. Together they team up for a four track, three
inch CDR. 'Radioalmaata' is the opening piece and the longest of the
CD. It's a bit of mish-mash of synths, samples and radio voices, that
half way through changes mood, and seems to become a different track.
Track two and four on this release are more rhythmically inspired,
and vaguely hint at techno, but in a slightly more industrial vein,
whilst the third track is more an ambient soundscape piece in which
street sounds play an important role. I think I like these more than
the first piece. Overall a nice collaboration of two guys that
mastered various skills quite nicely. (FdW)
Address: http://www.assemblage.freeuk.com

LIVING ORNAMENTS - KLONTEN (3"CDR by Scarelight Recordings)
A while ago I reviewed a split LP between Accelera Deck and Living
Ornaments (see also Vital Weekly 378). Apperentely with good result
for both parties, as now Scarcelight, a small label run by Chris
Jeely, aka Accelera Deck, releases a 3"CDR by Living Ornaments.
'Lumbs' is the translation of the title of it, and the seperate
tracks are named after 'long forgotten Dutch TV celebrities'
(although 'Diewertjeblok' is always my mind, boys). Living Ornaments,
a duo of Lars Meijer (who runs the Narrowminded label, who released
the aforementioned split LP) and Coen Polack. More so than on the
split LP, rhythm plays an important role here. Grainy textures of
slowly decaying software is held together by the sticky tape called
rhythm. They chop up piano sounds, an acoustic guitar, a broken
musicbox in the last piece, and overall a wacky sense of humour makes
this into quite an enjoyable release. At times a bit poppy, but never
too much or too regular sounding. A fresh approach to the down beat
rhythmworld, which lacks humour and which Living Ornaments bring back
in. (FdW)
Address: http://scarelight.com

EVOLVED AS ONE (CD compilation by Evolved As One)
A new label from The Netherlands: hurray! Evolved from a series of
concerts held in Utrecht, their main man nows has his own label and
as a start he released a CD with nine tracks by his favourite seven
artists. Like with the evenings, Evolved As One focusses on ambient
and drone related music. They seek drone music in various directions:
sad, introvert or melancholic. On this CD we find some very deep
drony music by some of the more well-known players in the field.
Dual, Ultrasound and Troum all have releases out that gained quite
some recognition. Runner up are SRMeixner (the solo project of
Stephen Meixner, formerly of Contrastate), Ure Thrall (whose
'Breathing' here is on the edge of kitsch, I must admit), Cats Of Tel
Aviv (solo project of Rob Ovetz of Ultrasound) and Moljebka Pvlse.
These seven groups play their usual standard - high standard, I must
say - of organic, densely layered music, but the standout is Troum's
'Ananke', with accordion playing and a highly reverbed and slowed
down sea man choir. A true melancholic song - a song that it is,
rather then a landscape. It's the shortest song, but quite a
surprise. The converted to the genre will surely like this, as much
as I do (because I am already converted) and the uniniated will have
a splendid introduction to the genre. (FdW)
Address: http://www.evolvedasone.com

ORGANUM - EIN SCHWARZERES SCHWARZ (7" by Die Stadt)
Another Organum 7", is there anybody out there counting? David
Jackman has found a new love in playing the piano and here he has two
pieces of them. Apperentely no less than five albums of piano music
are planned on his Aeroplane Records in 2004. While releasing this
under the monniker of Organum, Jackman wants to focuss on using
overtones. Part 1 of 'Ein Schwarzeres Schwarz' (more black than
black) has bangs on the piano, but also hiss and a reversed recording
of the same piano. Minimal, but due to the hiss and the really far
away cry of feedback or strings being played, a good Organum piece.
The second part finds itself in similar territory, but with the
feedback/string a little bit more upfront. Two quite similar Organum
pieces: David Jackman never does things the easy way. Of course in a
total white cover with white print. Never the easy way. (FdW)
Address: http://www.diestadtmusik.de

EL CAMINO - LAIKA (LP by Muze Records)
Maybe calling your music postrock is not the most wise to do, as it
will draw people too much into one corner with it and others will
abandon it altogether: been there, done that (let's move to the next
hype). So maybe we should take El Camino more serious, because they
make it very clear what they are about: postrock. El Camino are a
five piece band from Haarlem, The Netherlands and 'Laika' is their
second LP. Unlike Tiny Hairs (see elsewhere) they play much more
interesting pieces, slow and dense, open for experimentation and
improvisation, but always with care about the song structure. Like
bands like Tortoise, who are probably a prime source of inspiration,
El Camino is purely instrumental, standard rock set up, but with the
addition of 'extra sounds' - samples, field recordings are added to
the darker atmospheres of most of these songs. Postrock may be worn
out as a musical term, and pushed back into the underground of music,
there is for sure still quality around in the genre. (FdW)
Address: http://www.muze-records.nl

BEANBAG AESTHETICS (2miniCD by Pink Dot)
Who didn't thought of inventing their own music genre and be famous
as the inventor, going down in music history? Somehow I am not
convinced that the inventors of the 'beanbag' genre will make it into
the anals of music history. "Beanbag is best described as 'lounge
music for people who can't afford lounges" it reads. I think Beanbag
is just another word of plunderphonica. Taking samples from lounge
and popmusic, fucking them around in the samples or direct on the
turntable, nothing more. Thirteen examples of this on the 'beanbag'
CD of the package. There was a time when people had a good laugh
about this. Now I just nod my head about such nonsense.
The 'aesthetics' disc is apperentely an overview of people working in
the genre. Well, I seriously doubt that. No less than 99 tracks of
what sounds like a radio finding a tune - 99 tunes to be precise. I
guess more time went into thinking of all the bandnames and track
titles than in producing the actual content of the CD. No fun. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pinkdot.org

LEGENDARY PINK DOTS - A GUIDE TO LPD'S VOL. 2; PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS
AND RARITIES (3CD by Big Blue)
Be forewarned: this review is gonna be coloured by nostalgia. Over
its 20+ years course Legendary Pink Dots has seen many changes in
line-up and with that in sound. Their eighties material being most
well-known for its experimental electronic music and luscious baroque
violin playing from Patrick Q. Wright. The nineties for heading into
krautrock/spacerock territory, with a more conventional
instrumentation; including for example drums and saxophone. For those
still not acquainted with the band, this compilation-release offers a
view of both styles' via two audio-discs, though the first one is
only featured with two tracks (including Evergreen' Waiting for the
Cloud). Die-hard fans will not find any new material (except maybe
Old Sparky, that was previously only available on a different
artist-compilation boxed set), though may want to checkout the four
unreleased live-tracks, dating from 1997. Things did change. This
heavy drone rocking is hardly comparable to what we find on the third
disc, a dvd-compatible CD-I. Compared to nowadays standards
(full-screen, multi-angle, Dolby Surround) this looks pretty bleak,
but in here it's the charm that counts. The majority of it being a
concert dating from 1989, right before the so-called big break-up.
Here we still see Patrick Q Wright on violin, guitarist Stret Majest
Alarme, Jason Salmon on bass and Graeme Whitehead behind the
keyboards, important contributors in the eighties. Is it really
fourteen years ago I saw these guys for the last time? The concert is
amateurishly filmed with only one camera, starting somewhere halfway
in the audience, fighting its way to centre stage. The first couple-a
songs we only get to see Patrick Q. and singer and core-member Edward
Ka-Spel. Is good to see him back in the days he was only' the
frontman. Nowadays he's a keyboard-player as well, though it must be
admitted that this didn't bother him becoming a far more better an
intriguing entertainer. What a contrast! Later on in the show we also
get a view of the other members. Also included are two so called
videoclips, being actually two snippets from performances taken place
right after four members leaving the band almost at once. Here we
meet new member saxophonist Niels van Hoornblower. Key-part is an
interview held in Germany right after the break, in which we are
properly introduced to Van Hoornblower. For the long-time follower
it's nice to see Ka-Spel again wearing crooked lines on his face and
Silverman, the other core-member, actually being silver coloured in
indeed. Both have become more their natural selves in the included
second interview, held in Poland, dating from 1997. Funny fact I:
while the band-members (now also including one Frank Verschuuren)
tell their tales a voiceover gives a Polish translation on the spot.
Funny fact II: the questions are asked in Polish, which means that
the non-Polish understanding audience has to figure out what the
actual question was through the answer. This 60min+ disc could never
have been a separate release, but as a part of this set it's not only
a nice visual introduction to the band but also a touching trip down
memory lane for the long-time follower. (RT)
Address: http://www.terminalkaleidoscope.com

MAITREYA - TELLURIC WAVES (CD by Council Of Nine)
This is the 4th release from Council Of Nine, a small label from UK
founded in 1999, and it's the 2nd album from Maitreya (Simon Lomax,
born in 1979) on the same label. It's ambient music. Do you know
what's ambient music for you? I have the impression there's a bit of
abuse of the word 'ambient' by some people, or at least it's used in
many different contexts. Few weeks ago I played one track from Coil
called Chalice on radio and one listener told me on phone that it
sounds like ambient. I can agree that it's atmospheric but I can't
really say it's pure ambient. To some people 4/4 house music is
ambient, Vladislav Delay's Anima/Naima are ambient (and also
improvised), Yagya (Force Inc) is ambient... Opposite to all
mentioned before, Maitreya is the classic sound of ambient-ambient,
no beats, just totally calm atmospheres. You can remember how the
separate tracks from Biosphere's Substrata sound, but you can't
remember anything from the beginning, the middle or the end of
Maitreya. Probably the biggest disadvantage of Maitreya's kind of
classic ambient sound is that it's too classic, it would be good if
there's a wider space for more inventive and new approaches to music.
But compared to Maitreya's first album, this new one has more subtle
sound that's detailed and minimal. It's more interesting and also
quite enjoyable. I'll surely play it on radio. (BR)
Address: http://www.councilofnine.co.uk

SNOSPRAY - YUM YUM (CD by Melody Resort)
Pop, do we not like it? Snospray are Anders and Mette Arhoj and their
album Yum Yum is the first release of the danish label Melody Resort.
It says in the inlay of this CD that all tracks are written and
painted(!) by Anders and all vocals (sung + cutups) are by Mette. So,
Anders paints the music, and that's true because this music is very
colourfull, lively and extremely positive! Snospray's influences are
diverse: Stereolab, Cocteau Twins, Alec Empire, Stina Nordenstam,
Steve Reich, Slowdive, Les Rhytmes Digitales, Pet Shop Boys,
Spiritualized... About their own style I'd say it's a crossover
between electro-idm-disco-pop. Almost all of the tracks are
uplifting, danceable and very much in your face, with exception of 2
or 3 more laid-back tunes (like the amazing Star Forest). It would be
interesting if sometime Snospray make a whole album with music only
for listening, like those more relaxed tracks. If you're a dj you can
play Snospray's music if you want to cheer up the people and if you
want to have a happy set. Check their site for more yum yum. (BR)
Address: http://www.snospray.com or http://www.melody-resort.com

Correction: In last week's issue name and title got reversed of
Staalhertz. 'Staalhertz' is the title and Northern Machine is the
band. The release will be a CD, and not a CDR